Hoops Rumors Originals

Oldest, Youngest Players On NBA Rosters For 2022/23

For a third consecutive year, veteran center Udonis Haslem is set to enter the NBA season as the oldest player on any of the league’s 30 rosters. Haslem, who turned 42 in June, was born three-and-a-half years before any other active NBA player and is the only active player in his 40s.

Haslem’s teammate Kyle Lowry is also one of the top 10 oldest players currently on an NBA roster, making the Heat the only team with two players in the top 10.

Lowry is one of several new additions to this list this year due to the fact that many of last year’s oldest players – including Carmelo Anthony, Paul Millsap, Trevor Ariza, and LaMarcus Aldridge – remain unsigned.

It’s possible that one or more of those free agents could sign before opening night or that one or more of the players on the list below could be waived when regular season rosters are set in mid-October, but here’s the current list of the oldest players in the NBA heading into the ’22/23 season:

  1. Udonis Haslem, Heat (born 6/9/1980)
  2. Andre Iguodala, Warriors (born 1/28/1984)
  3. LeBron James, Lakers (born 12/30/1984)
  4. P.J. Tucker, Sixers (born 5/5/1985)
  5. Chris Paul, Suns (born 5/6/1985)
  6. Taj Gibson, Wizards (born 6/24/1985)
  7. Kyle Lowry, Heat (born 3/25/1986)
  8. George Hill, Bucks (born 5/4/1986)
  9. Goran Dragic, Bulls (born 5/6/1986)
  10. Garrett Temple, Pelicans (born 5/8/1986)

Al Horford (Celtics), Rudy Gay (Jazz), and Jeff Green (Nuggets) are among the other NBA veterans who turned 36 years old this year but just missed the cut.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, all of this year’s youngest NBA players were either members of the 2022 draft class or signed as rookie free agents after going undrafted.

The only team with multiple players on the list of the NBA’s 10 youngest players is San Antonio — the Spurs actually have three players on the list and just missed a fourth, as rookie Blake Wesley is about two months too old to qualify for the top 10.

Here are the 10 youngest players currently on NBA rosters:

  1. Jalen Duren, Pistons (born 11/18/2003)
  2. Trevor Keels, Knicks (born 8/26/2003) *
  3. AJ Griffin, Hawks (born 8/25/2003)
  4. Nikola Jovic, Heat (born 6/9/2003)
  5. Shaedon Sharpe, Trail Blazers (born 5/30/2003)
  6. Dominick Barlow, Spurs (born 5/26/2003) *
  7. Ousmane Dieng, Thunder (born 5/21/2003)
  8. Jeremy Sochan, Spurs (born 5/20/2003)
  9. Jabari Smith, Rockets (born 5/13/2003)
  10. Malaki Branham, Spurs (born 5/12/2003)

Note: Players marked with an asterisk (*) are on two-way contracts.

Decisions On 2023/24 Rookie Scale Team Options

While decisions on player and team options for veteran NBA contracts are typically due in June, the deadline to exercise third- and fourth-year team options for players on rookie scale contracts arrives each fall. This year’s deadline for teams to pick up rookie scale options is October 31, 2022.

All the players whose options will be exercised or declined by October 31 are already under contract for the 2022/23 season. Their teams will have to make a decision on whether they want to lock in those players’ contracts beyond the coming season, picking up or turning down team options for the 2023/24 campaign.

For players who signed their rookie scale contracts in 2020 and have already been in the NBA for two years, teams must decide on fourth-year options for 2023/24. For players who just signed their rookie deals last year and only have one season of NBA experience under their belts, teams will already be faced with a decision on third-year options for ’23/24.

In many cases, these decisions aren’t difficult ones. Rookie scale salaries are affordable enough that it usually makes sense to exercise most of these team options, even if a player isn’t a key cog on the roster. And for those players who do have a significant role on a team’s roster, the decision is even easier — it’s not as if the Rockets will consider turning down their option on Jalen Green, for instance.

Still, we’ll wait for a trusted reporter, the NBA, a player (or his agent), or a team itself to confirm that an option is indeed being exercised or declined, and we’ll track that news in this space.

Listed below are all the rookie scale decisions for 2023/24 team options that clubs must make by October 31. This list will be updated through the deadline as teams’ decisions are reported and announced. The salary figures listed here reflect the cap hits for each team.

Here are the NBA’s rookie scale team option decisions for 2023/24 salaries:


Atlanta Hawks

Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets

Charlotte Hornets

Chicago Bulls

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dallas Mavericks

Denver Nuggets

Detroit Pistons

Golden State Warriors

Houston Rockets

Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Clippers

  • None

Los Angeles Lakers

  • None

Memphis Grizzlies

Miami Heat

  • None

Milwaukee Bucks

  • None

Minnesota Timberwolves

New Orleans Pelicans

New York Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder

Orlando Magic

Philadelphia 76ers

Phoenix Suns

  • None

Portland Trail Blazers

Sacramento Kings

San Antonio Spurs

Toronto Raptors

Utah Jazz

Washington Wizards

Extension Candidate: Brandon Clarke

This is the fifth installment in our series examining players who are prime candidates for contract extensions. This series will explore the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and will evaluate what a fair deal between the player and his team might look like. We’re continuing today with a look at an athletic big man with one of the league’s best floaters.


Rundown:

The No. 21 overall pick of the 2019 draft after three college seasons (the last at Gonzaga), forward Brandon Clarke was technically drafted by the Thunder, who traded his rights to the Grizzlies for the No. 23 overall pick – used on Darius Bazley — and a 2024 second-rounder. Considering Bazley is probably more likely to be waived entering 2022/23 than to receive a rookie scale extension, and Clarke is well-positioned to land a significant payday, it obviously turned out to be a shrewd move by Memphis.

Clarke made an immediate impact in year one, earning a spot on the All-Rookie First Team after averaging 12.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG while shooting 61.8% from the floor and 75.9% from the line in 58 games (22.4 MPG). He even showed the ability to space the floor at times, though on very low volume: he converted 35.9% of his 64 three-point attempts on the season.

In year two, Clarke was still productive, but he developed a hitch in his shooting motion that caused his percentages to fall across the board. In 59 games (24.0 MPG), he averaged 10.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG and 0.9 BPG on .517/.260/.690 shooting. He only attempted 1.3 threes per game, so the dip of almost 10% in that category wasn’t nearly as impactful as the 9.3% drop on twos (65.8% to 56.5%).

Instead of focusing on his weaknesses entering his third season in ‘21/22, Clarke chose to enhance his strengths, and the decision paid off with arguably his finest campaign. In 64 games (19.5 MPG), he averaged 10.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 1.1 BPG while shooting 64.4% from the field and 65.4% from the line. He all but eliminated the long-distance shot from his arsenal, attempting just 22 threes (converting five, for a 22.7% rate).

Clarke was instrumental in leading the Grizzlies past the Timberwolves in their first-round playoff series last season, averaging 16.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.0 BPG while shooting 67.9% from the floor and 65.7% from the line in six games (29.4 MPG). He also pulled down 3.8 offensive boards per contest, and second-chance points were a huge problem for Minnesota. The Warriors’ elite defense was much more effective in neutralizing Clarke in their second-round series, limiting him to 8.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG with a 51.4% mark from the field and 68.4% from the line in six games (20.0 MPG).

Strengths:

In a league full of incredible athletes, Clarke is a true standout as one of the NBA’s best. He knows how to harness his athleticism to his advantage in multiple ways, making him a unique and versatile player.

Clarke is a matchup problem as a big man because he’s got a very quick first step and has pristine timing for making cuts when defenders aren’t paying attention. He plays with great energy on both ends of the floor, creating extra possessions by hustling for loose balls.

Clarke is a constant pick-and-roll lob threat who is capable of some jaw-dropping dunks. His terrific body control allows him to twist and contort in the air for acrobatic finishes on plays that look like they should be blown up, a rarity for a player his size. Had he qualified, his field goal percentage would have ranked fourth in the NBA last season, and his true shooting percentage (66.0%) ranked fifth.

One of the primary reasons his rim-running is so effective is because Clarke has one of the best floaters in the league. According to Basketball-Reference, 31.1% of Clarke’s shot attempts came from between three and 10 feet and he converted 56.8% of those looks – an elite mark. If a shorter player is on him, he’ll simply rise up over them; if it’s a bigger player, he’ll use his quickness to create space and pull up with feathery-soft touch.

Clarke is an explosive two-footed leaper (40.5″ vertical) with great timing and instincts for blocking shots, ranking in the 93rd percentile of all players in block percentage (4.7%) last season, per DunksAndThrees.com. A quick second jump and a nose for the ball also make him a strong offensive rebounder — his 11% offensive rebounding percentage ranked in the 90th percentile.

Part of what makes the Grizzlies an exciting team to watch is their ability to force a lot of turnovers and excel in transition, and Clarke plays a big part in that. He possesses great speed, is a good enough dribbler to start a fast break, and is an unselfish get-ahead passer in addition to being a tremendous finisher.

He isn’t often asked to make plays for others, but Clarke makes quick, decisive reads with the ball in his hands and is an intelligent ball-mover who rarely turns it over. He posted a 2.53-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in ‘21/22, and his 6.3 turnover percentage would have ranked seventh in the NBA had he qualified, both excellent marks for any player, let alone a power forward.

Finally, Clarke is also a solid defender who can switch across multiple positions. He does a good job limiting his fouls, forcing turnovers (3.1 steals plus blocks per 36 minutes last season), and is an above-average rebounder.

Improvement Areas:

At 6’8” and 215 pounds with a 6’8.25” wingspan, Clarke is built more like a plus-sized wing than a big man. While he’s able to compensate to an extent with his non-stop motor, top-notch athleticism and court awareness, he’s still at a size disadvantage the majority of the time.

There aren’t many players with the post games to exploit Clarke’s relative lack of size, but it’s definitely problematic when the situations arise. He’s stronger than his frame suggests, but he simply lacks the bulk to compete with behemoths down low.

The hitch in Clarke’s jump shot never went away, with his free throw percentage dropping in each of the past two seasons. As deadly as his floater is, its range is still limited, which means that he functions more like a center on offense even though he spends the majority of time at power forward, making him somewhat matchup dependent.

Clarke benefited from the versatility of Kyle Anderson and Jaren Jackson Jr. as frontcourt partners who could make plays and space the floor. However, Memphis let Anderson walk in free agency (to Minnesota) and Jackson is injured to start the season, so Clarke may have to fend for himself in ‘22/23.

Even though he’s the best reserve big man on the roster, Clarke isn’t necessarily an obvious replacement for Jackson in the starting lineup alongside another non-shooter in Steven Adams. It will be interesting to see how head coach Taylor Jenkins toggles the lineups, because he has typically staggered the minutes for Clarke and Adams due to spacing concerns – the two only shared the court for 165 minutes over 32 games last season, 10 fewer minutes than the garbage time pairing of Jarrett Culver and Xavier Tillman, per NBA.com.

Clarke is a decent ball-handler for a player who plays almost exclusively in the frontcourt, but he’s not particularly adept for someone his size. If he tightened his handle, he’d be able to exploit his speed advantage even more.

Conclusion:

Clarke has proven to be a high-level role player for the Grizzlies and a steal at No. 21 overall. The fact that Memphis didn’t re-sign Anderson in free agency could be a sign that Clarke is in the team’s long-term plans, and for good reason.

His energy, athleticism, efficiency and high basketball IQ have made Clarke of the league’s best bargains on his rookie deal, which paid him a combined $12.15MM over four years (ending in ‘22/23). He could equal or surpass that total in annual average salary on his next contract.

At 26 years old, Clarke is one of the oldest players in the 2019 draft class. Some might say that’s a negative. Yet despite coming off the bench, he has led the class in win shares and trails only teammate Ja Morant in value over replacement player through three seasons, per Basketball-Reference.

Another positive about Clarke being a few years older than his draft peers is that he doesn’t need more time to develop — he’s already very good — and he’s about to enter his prime years. That’s not to imply he can’t continue to improve, but instead of paying him for what he might become, whichever team ends up paying him (he’ll be a restricted free agent if he doesn’t sign an extension) will be getting a player who already contributes a lot to winning.

If I were representing Clarke, I would point to the deals signed by Marvin Bagley III (three years, $37.5MM) and Chris Boucher (three years, $35.25MM) as a baseline, because Clarke is a more well-rounded and better all-around player than both of them have been over the past three seasons.

Clarke’s game is probably most similar to Richaun Holmes’ — another undersized, energetic and athletic big man with an elite floater who’s also a great finisher. Holmes got $46.5MM over four years in the 2021 offseason. However, I think Clarke is more valuable than Holmes as well, because he’s more versatile on both ends of the court, fouls less, and is a much better passer and decision-maker (Holmes is stronger and a better shooter).

Mitchell Robinson’s four-year, $60MM deal seems a little high for Clarke, but it depends on how the Grizzlies value him. If he puts up big numbers this season and they view him as the long-term starter at power forward with Jackson at center, it could be within reach as a restricted free agent next summer.

The problem with that is the deadline for his rookie scale extension is the day before the ‘22/23 season tips off, and I don’t think the Grizzlies will go that high right now. If an extension is reached, I think Clarke will receive something close to the four-year, $50MM deal Wendell Carter signed a year ago.

2022/23 NBA Over/Unders: Recap

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been examining projections for all 30 NBA teams for the 2022/23 season, publishing polls asking how many games each club will win. With the help of lines from professional oddsmakers, we’ve had you vote on whether each team will go over or under a given win total, from the Celtics (55.5) all the way through to the Thunder (22.5).

Here are the full results of those votes:


Eastern Conference

Atlantic

  • Boston Celtics (55.5 wins): Under (56.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (51.5 wins): Under (64.5%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (50.5 wins): Over (76.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Over (65.7%)
  • New York Knicks (40.5 wins): Under (63.0%)

Central

  • Milwaukee Bucks (52.5 wins): Over (75.5%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (47.5 wins): Over (73.4%)
  • Chicago Bulls (44.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (28.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Indiana Pacers (23.5 wins): Under (62.8%)

Southeast

  • Miami Heat (50.5 wins): Under (56.6%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (46.5 wins): Over (53.6%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (36.5 wins): Under (63.0%)
  • Washington Wizards (35.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Orlando Magic (26.5 wins): Over (55.3%)

Western Conference

Northwest

  • Denver Nuggets (51.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (49.5 wins): Over (64.7%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (40.5 wins): Under (57.0%)
  • Utah Jazz (25.5 wins): Under (65.5%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (22.5 wins): Over (54.2%)

Pacific

  • Golden State Warriors (53.5 wins): Over (69.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (53.5 wins): Over (60.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (52.5 wins): Over (58.0%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (45.5 wins): Under (66.6%)
  • Sacramento Kings (34.5 wins): Over (62.0%)

Southwest

  • Memphis Grizzlies (49.5 wins): Over (68.7%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (48.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (44.5 wins): Over (61.2%)
  • Houston Rockets (24.5 wins): Under (61.8%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (23.5 wins): Under (67.5%)

Our voters were most bullish on the Central and Pacific, picking the “over” for four of five teams in each of those two divisions. Conversely, they were bearish on the Atlantic and Southeast, choosing the “under” for three clubs in each of those divisions, including presumed contenders like the Celtics, Nets, and Heat.

In total, our voters went “over” for 18 teams and “under” for 12, which is a pretty standard divide. It’s only natural at this time of the year to view certain offseason roster changes in the most positive light, before we get a chance to see which ones will backfire. And with most teams fully healthy at this time of year, it’s also impossible to predict which clubs’ seasons might take an unfortunate downturn as a result of an injury or two.

These were the five “over” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. Philadelphia 76ers, 50.5 wins: 76.1%
  2. Milwaukee Bucks, 52.5 wins: 75.5%
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers, 47.5 wins: 73.4%
  4. Golden State Warriors, 53.5 wins: 69.2%
  5. Memphis Grizzlies, 49.5 wins: 68.7%

There are some interesting picks in this group. The enthusiasm for the Cavaliers is presumably related in large part due to the recent acquisition of Donovan Mitchell, which raises the team’s ceiling in a major way. But the Sixers, Bucks, Warriors, and Grizzlies didn’t make any additions nearly that significant this offseason — Philadelphia’s signing of P.J. Tucker is perhaps the most impactful short-term acquisition made by any of those clubs.

In the cases of Milwaukee, Golden State, and Memphis in particular, it appears our voters are counting on continuity and returning talent winning out.

Here are the five “under” bets that received the largest vote shares:

  1. San Antonio Spurs, 23.5 wins: 67.5%
  2. Los Angeles Lakers, 45.5 wins: 66.6%
  3. Utah Jazz, 25.5 wins: 65.5%
  4. Brooklyn Nets, 51.5 wins: 64.5%
  5. New York Knicks, 40.5 wins: 63.0%

These teams fall into two general categories — the Spurs and Jazz are rebuilding franchises that may not mind winning only 20 games this season in order to get a shot at a top prospect like Victor Wembanyama. The Lakers, Nets, and Knicks are big-market clubs whose projections may be slightly inflated by oddsmakers in order to encourage more betting action.

Most of these picks make sense to me, though I wouldn’t feel especially confident betting on the Spurs’ under. San Antonio’s roster isn’t exactly loaded with talent, but Gregg Popovich‘s teams always seem to find a way to outperform preseason expectations.

The Lakers and Nets, conversely, have enough talent to easily exceed their projected win totals, but it’ll come down to how often their stars are able to play together. Last year, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons combined to miss more games (230) than they played (180).

Here are the five picks that were closest to 50/50:

  1. Washington Wizards, 35.5 wins: Under (50.8%)
  2. Chicago Bulls, 44.5 wins: Over (51.6%)
  3. Detroit Pistons, 28.5 wins: Over (51.6%)
  4. Atlanta Hawks, 46.5 wins: Over (53.6%)
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder, 22.5 wins: Over (54.2%)

The splits on these teams are logical ones. We haven’t yet seen Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis play together for the Wizards. We have no idea how much Lonzo Ball will be able to play for the Bulls this season. Dejounte Murray‘s impact on the Hawks and his fit alongside Trae Young remains to be seen. And it’s unclear whether the Pistons and Thunder will once again be as bad as they were a year ago — Detroit could be ready to take a step forward, while Chet Holmgren‘s injury means Oklahoma City could be in for another long season.


What do you think of our picks in general? Are there any results above that you strongly disagree with? Did you make any over or under votes within the last couple weeks that you’re second-guessing now? Jump into our comment section below and weigh in with your thoughts!

Community Shootaround: Best Starting Lineup

As the NBA season nears, it’s fair to wonder which team will sport the best starting lineup this season. Of course, a team’s finishing group matters more than its starting group, but that can depend on which players are having a good game on a given night, as well as the opponent.

When it comes to the best projected starting lineup, the reigning-champion Warriors can make a. Golden State can start Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. The team can also go bigger and swap one of those players with Kevon Looney.

The Celtics, who lost to Golden State in the Finals, are bringing their defensive-minded group back: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Robert Williams III. They narrowly edged the Bucks in seven games last season, and Milwaukee figures to start Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.

Besides those three teams, the Sixers, Nuggets, Nets, Suns, Bulls and Clippers can all make valid arguments for having the best projected group. The Grizzlies shocked the NBA by finishing with the second-best record at 56-26 last season, while the Hawks added Dejounte Murray to a star-studded lineup, so there are arguably other teams to consider depending on who improves the most.

We want to know what you think. Which team do you think has the best projected starting lineup? Was your pick mentioned, or do you believe another group deserves strong consideration? Take to the comment section below and voice your opinions!

Eight NBA Teams Have Open Two-Way Contract Slots

As of Friday evening, 52 of the NBA’s 60 two-way contract slots are filled. Given how flexible those two-way slots are, it’s possible – and, in fact, very likely – that not all 52 of those players will still be under contract when the regular season begins in a month. But for now, there are just eight two-way spots up for grabs around the league.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

A team with a two-way opening doesn’t necessarily need to decide how it will fill that spot before training camps begin in 10 days. Some of those clubs may decide to bring a handful of players to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts and then let those players compete for a two-way deal, since Exhibit 10s can be converted into two-ways before opening night.

Listed below are the eight teams that still have open two-way slots, along with some potential candidates to fill those openings.


Charlotte Hornets

With second-round pick Bryce McGowens occupying one two-way slot, the Hornets have no obvious candidate to fill the other, so it’s possible the team will hold a preseason competition. Currently, Jalen Crutcher, Jaylen Sims, Anthony Duruji, and Isaiah Whaley are signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, and all are eligible to have those contracts converted into two-way deals.

Dallas Mavericks

With their first two-way slot, the Mavericks signed Tyler Dorsey, who has high-level international experience and could earn a rotation role in Dallas this season. We’ll see if the team wants to use its second slot on another player who could contribute right away or if that spot will go to someone who is more of a developmental project.

McKinley Wright IV, Mouhamadou Gueye, and Tyler Hall are signed to Exhibit 10 deals and Marcus Bingham will reportedly receive one as well. All could be two-way candidates.

Houston Rockets

Bruno Fernando is the only Rocket who currently has an Exhibit 10 contract, and he remains eligible for a two-way deal. However, Houston has some roster cutdowns to make, which could open up opportunities for other camp invitees to emerge as two-way contenders. For now, undrafted rookie Trevor Hudgins is the club’s lone two-way player.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers were the last team to sign a player to a two-way contract this offseason, completing a deal with Kendall Brown on Friday. With Brown holding one two-way slot, the other remains open.

Deividas Sirvydis, Gabe York, Bennie Boatwright, and David Stockton are the two-way candidates currently on the roster, but the team has also reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with Tevin Brown, Eli Brooks, Fanbo Zeng, and Jermaine Samuels, so there will be no shortage of options.

Los Angeles Clippers

Moses Brown, who has 92 career regular season appearances under his belt and could provide much-needed frontcourt depth, is the most intriguing two-way candidate on the roster at the moment, but he’s hardly the only one. Like Brown, Xavier Moon and Keaton Wallace also have Exhibit 10 deals, while Justin Bean, Lucas Williamson, and Michael Devoe will reportedly receive them too.

For the time being, second-rounder Moussa Diabate is Los Angeles’ only two-way player.

Portland Trail Blazers

Given that the Trail Blazers don’t have a G League affiliate, it’s hard to see why they’d sign four players to Exhibit 10 contracts unless they want to have the option to convert one or more into a two-way deal. None of those four players – Jared Rhoden, Isaiah Miller, Devontae Cacok, and Olivier Sarr – has more than three years of NBA experience, meaning all of them are two-way eligible.

Portland’s lone current two-way player, Brandon Williams, is a holdover from last season, so his roster spot may not be as secure as a player who has signed a two-way deal since the offseason began.

Utah Jazz

Like Williams in Portland, Xavier Sneed was in the second year of his two-way contract before he was waived on Friday. The move leaves Johnny Juzang as the only two-way player on the Jazz’s roster.

Utah has a roster logjam to clear and could still make a trade or two before the regular season begins, so it’s too soon to name an obvious candidate to take Sneed’s spot. However, the team has reportedly agreed to sign Kofi Cockburn, Darryl Morsell, and Jeenathan Williams to Exhibit 10 contracts.

Washington Wizards

Jordan Schakel is in the second year of his two-way deal, so he may have to prove this preseason that he deserves to make the 17-man roster. Makur Maker, Quenton Jackson, Davion Mintz, and Jordan Goodwin are all on Exhibit 10 contracts in D.C. and could be in the two-way mix. Second-rounder Yannick Nzosa is also unsigned, but is expected to spend the 2022/23 season in the Spanish League.

2022/23 NBA Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2022/23 NBA regular season will tip off next month, so we’re getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and continuing an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites – including Bovada, BetOnline, and Betway – we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2021/22, our voters went 16-14 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’22/23?

We’ll wrap up our series today with the Northwest division…


Denver Nuggets


Minnesota Timberwolves


Portland Trail Blazers


Utah Jazz


Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 2021/22 record: 24-58
  • Over/under for 2022/23: 22.5 wins
  • Major offseason moves:

Previous voting results:

Atlantic

  • Boston Celtics (55.5 wins): Under (56.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (51.5 wins): Under (64.5%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (50.5 wins): Over (76.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Over (65.7%)
  • New York Knicks (40.5 wins): Under (63.0%)

Central

  • Milwaukee Bucks (52.5 wins): Over (75.5%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (47.5 wins): Over (73.4%)
  • Chicago Bulls (44.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (28.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Indiana Pacers (23.5 wins): Under (62.8%)

Southeast

  • Miami Heat (50.5 wins): Under (56.6%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (46.5 wins): Over (53.6%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (36.5 wins): Under (63.0%)
  • Washington Wizards (35.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Orlando Magic (26.5 wins): Over (55.3%)

Pacific

  • Golden State Warriors (53.5 wins): Over (69.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (53.5 wins): Over (60.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (52.5 wins): Over (58.0%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (45.5 wins): Under (66.6%)
  • Sacramento Kings (34.5 wins): Over (62.0%)

Southwest

  • Memphis Grizzlies (49.5 wins): Over (68.7%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (48.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (44.5 wins): Over (61.2%)
  • Houston Rockets (24.5 wins): Under (61.8%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (23.5 wins): Under (67.5%)

Community Shootaround: Charlotte Hornets

When I previewed the Hornets‘ offseason in May, I speculated that it would be a busy summer in Charlotte, with James Borrego‘s ouster as the team’s head coach representing the first of many personnel changes likely to occur off and on the court.

As I outlined at the time, the decision to dismiss Borrego suggested that Hornets leadership wasn’t satisfied with the team’s gradual improvement (from 23-42 to 33-39 to 43-39 over the last three seasons) and was preparing to take a big swing to ensure the club was closer to contention in 2022/23.

Instead, Charlotte has been one of the least active teams of the offseason.

The Hornets have inked just one veteran free agent to a standard contract, re-signing RFA forward Cody Martin. They made two trades, but neither brought back a veteran player. The only new player the club has added to its projected 15-man regular season roster so far is former Duke center Mark Williams, the No. 15 overall pick in the draft, who seems unlikely to play a huge role as a rookie.

There are a few possible explanations for the Hornets’ relative inactivity. One is that the club simply hasn’t found many opportunities it liked and continues to bide its time, waiting for an opportunity to make a splash on the trade market. Charlotte was, after all, one of the potential suitors linked to Donovan Mitchell before he was dealt to Cleveland.

Another explanation is that the Hornets aren’t prepared to make major changes to their roster before they see what new head coach Steve Clifford can get out of the current group. If the front office believes that Borrego simply wasn’t maximizing the talent on the roster, it makes sense not to do anything drastic until getting a sense of how the team looks under Clifford.

A third possible explanation is that the domestic violence charges levied against restricted free agent Miles Bridges forced the Hornets to rethink their entire approach to the offseason.

Bridges was one of Charlotte’s two most important players last season, along with LaMelo Ball. Now that his NBA future is up in the air as his legal case plays out, the Hornets may have simply decided that it’s not in their best interest to go all-in on their push for the playoffs, given the extent to which Bridges’ potential absence limits the team’s ceiling.

There’s still a good deal of talent on this Charlotte roster. Ball is a rising star; Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier are quality starters; Cody Martin, P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre, and Mason Plumlee are solid rotation pieces; James Bouknight, Kai Jones, Jalen McDaniels, and Williams are among the intriguing youngsters who could prove capable of greater roles.

But Bridges will be a big loss if he doesn’t re-sign or if he misses most or all of the season, either on administrative leave or serving a suspension. On top of that, the Hornets are still missing an impact player in the frontcourt who is capable of anchoring the defense and being a pick-and-roll partner to Ball on offense — Williams has the potential to become that player, but the 20-year-old can’t be relied upon to be that guy right away.

We want to know what you think. What’s the next move in Charlotte? Has Bridges played his last game in a Hornets uniform? How can the team continue to make forward progress after making the play-in game in each of the last two seasons?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

Players Who Have Signed Designated Veteran Contracts

When the NBA and the Players’ Association introduced the Designated Veteran contract in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the goal was to help teams keep their very best players by giving those clubs the unique ability to offer more lucrative contracts to stars who met certain performance-related criteria.

The Designated Veteran rule allows a player with between seven and nine years of NBA experience – who would normally qualify for a starting salary worth 30% of the NBA’s salary cap on a new free agent contract or extension – to become eligible for a salary worth up to 35% of the cap if he meets one of the following requirements:

  • He was named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.
  • He was named NBA MVP in any of the three most recent seasons.
  • He was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.

The new rule has been somewhat hit and miss. In some cases, it has worked exactly as intended — Warriors guard Stephen Curry, for instance, signed the very first Designated Veteran free agent contract and earned every penny of it, making four All-NBA teams, winning two championships, and earning his first NBA Finals MVP award over the life of the five-year deal.

The ability to offer a Designated Veteran extension also allowed non-marquee franchises like the Bucks and Nuggets to retain their superstars (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic) with minimal drama.

In other cases, the Designated Veteran rule has been less effective. Players like Paul George (Pacers), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), and Anthony Davis (Pelicans), among others, were willing to pass on super-max opportunities with smaller-market clubs in order to push for trades elsewhere.

Additionally, two of the first Designated Veteran extensions signed by star players turned sour well before they expired — John Wall was kept away from the team during the fourth year of his super-max deal, then was bought out of the fifth year by the Rockets, while Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has become impossible to trade without sweeteners as he enters the final year of his own DVE.

Although the Designated Veteran contracts signed to date have been something of a mixed bag, there has been no indication that the NBA or NBPA will be looking to remove the rule in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. It seems safe to assume it’s here to stay.

Here’s the full list of players who have signed Designated Veteran contracts since they were introduced in 2017:


2017

  • Stephen Curry (Warriors)
    • Free agent contract. Five years, $201,158,790. Began in 2017/18.
    • Qualified by winning Most Valuable Player award in 2015.
  • Russell Westbrook (Thunder)
    • Contract extension. Five years, $206,794,070. Began in 2018/19.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA teams in 2015 and 2016.
  • James Harden (Rockets)
    • Contract extension. Four years, $171,131,520. Began in 2019/20.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2017.
  • John Wall (Wizards)
    • Contract extension. Four years, $171,131,520. Began in 2019/20.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2017.

2018

  • None

2019

  • Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
    • Contract extension. Four years, $176,265,152. Began in 2021/22.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2019.

2020

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
    • Contract extension. Five years, $228,200,420. Began in 2021/22.
    • Qualified by winning Most Valuable Player award in 2019.
  • Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
    • Contract extension. Five years, $205,000,000. Began in 2021/22.
      • Note: Gobert’s starting salary was about 31.4% of the 2021/22 cap, rather than 35%. That makes it a Designated Veteran contract, but not a full super-max deal.
    • Qualified by winning Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018 and 2019.

2021

  • Joel Embiid (Sixers)
    • Contract extension. Four years, $210,112,000 (projected). Begins in 2023/24.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2021.

2022

  • Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
    • Contract extension. Five years, $272,020,000 (projected). Begins in 2023/24.
    • Qualified by winning Most Valuable Player award in 2021.
  • Devin Booker (Suns)
    • Contract extension. Four years, projected value TBD(*). Begins in 2024/25.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2022.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)
    • Contract extension. Four years, projected value TBD(*). Begins in 2024/25.
    • Qualified by making All-NBA team in 2022.

(* The NBA has yet to issue an official salary cap projection for the 2024/25 season.)

2022/23 NBA Over/Unders: Atlantic Division

The 2022/23 NBA regular season will tip off next month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to continue an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites – including Bovada, BetOnline, and Betway – we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2021/22, our voters went 16-14 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’22/23?

We’ll keep our series going today with the Atlantic division…


Boston Celtics


Brooklyn Nets


Philadelphia 76ers


Toronto Raptors


New York Knicks


Previous voting results:

Central

  • Milwaukee Bucks (52.5 wins): Over (75.5%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (47.5 wins): Over (73.4%)
  • Chicago Bulls (44.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (28.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Indiana Pacers (23.5 wins): Under (62.8%)

Southeast

  • Miami Heat (50.5 wins): Under (56.6%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (46.5 wins): Over (53.6%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (36.5 wins): Under (63.0%)
  • Washington Wizards (35.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Orlando Magic (26.5 wins): Over (55.3%)

Pacific

  • Golden State Warriors (53.5 wins): Over (69.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (53.5 wins): Over (60.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (52.5 wins): Over (58.0%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (45.5 wins): Under (66.6%)
  • Sacramento Kings (34.5 wins): Over (62.0%)

Southwest

  • Memphis Grizzlies (49.5 wins): Over (68.7%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (48.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (44.5 wins): Over (61.2%)
  • Houston Rockets (24.5 wins): Under (61.8%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (23.5 wins): Under (67.5%)