Isaiah Taylor

Raptors Waive Isaiah Taylor

According to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors, the Raptors have waived point guard Isaiah Taylor. As Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes, this all but means that Malcolm Miller has earned the team’s final roster spot, with Oshae Brissett‘s contract likely to be converted into a two-way deal.

As we relayed yesterday, Murphy opines that the Raptors look to be interested in re-signing Taylor to a two-way deal, where he may very well join Brissett. Both of Toronto’s two-way slots are currently open.

Taylor, 25, made his NBA debut with the Rockets during the 2016/17 season, then spent the 2017/18 campaign in Atlanta, appearing in 67 games for the Hawks. In 17.4 minutes per contest for Atlanta, he averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.

Taylor had a $50K guarantee in his contract, so the Raptors will be on the hook for that on their 2019/20 books.

Raptors Waive Cameron Payne, Devin Robinson

The Raptors have cut a pair of training camp invitees, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic, who tweets that the team has placed point guard Cameron Payne and small forward Devin Robinson on waivers.

Payne, who was competing to be Toronto’s third point guard, had a partial guarantee of $150K, so the Raptors will be on the hook for that money, which will count against their cap. Robinson, who appeared to be in the running for a two-way contract, had a non-guaranteed deal.

After waiving Matt Morgan on Friday, the Raptors are now carrying 17 players, including 12 on fully guaranteed contracts. Dewan Hernandez and Chris Boucher appear likely to earn regular-season roster spots, leaving Malcolm Miller and Isaiah Taylor battling for the 15th spot, Murphy tweets. Oshae Brissett‘s contract will likely be converted into a two-way deal.

As Murphy notes (via Twitter), the Raptors’ preference may be to retain Miller, cutting Taylor and then re-signing him to fill the other two-way contract slot after he clears waivers. However, it’s not clear if Taylor would be on board with that plan — or if he’d go unclaimed on waivers.

The Raptors don’t have to make their final decisions today since Miller and Taylor both have partial guarantees. Keeping both players until Monday’s roster deadline won’t result in any extra dead money on the club’s cap.

Raptors Notes: Ujiri, Camp Battles, T. Davis, Lowry

Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri reportedly drew interest from the Wizards this spring when Washington was in the market for a new head of basketball operations, and will likely continue to be targeted by teams making front office changes.

However, speaking to Frank Isola of The Athletic last weekend about his job status, Ujiri made it clear he intends to remain in Toronto at least through the end of his current contract in 2021, if not longer.

“The most important thing is that when you sign a contract you’re obligated to serve it,” Ujiri said. “I signed the contract and I have time left on that contract and I will serve the time. This place has been unbelievable to me. It’s been just a blessing.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Adel, Raptors, Nets Staff

Frank Ntilikina‘s last coach in the French Pro A League told the enigmatic Knicks guard that he must build off his strong showing the FIBA World Cup, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. Vincent Collet knows this could be a make-or-break year for the lottery pick. Ntilikina helped Team France win a bronze medal in the tournament. “I told him he must keep going,” Collet told Vorkunov. “He must take advantage of the World Cup. When you start the camp, you must show them you are not the same Frank anymore.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets’ G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, acquired the returning player rights to Deng Adel from Raptors 905, according to a team press release. Brooklyn had already signed the small forward to an Exhibit 10 contract. Adel played on a two-way contract with the Cavaliers during the second half of last season, then became a free agent. Long Island also acquired the returning player rights of JaKarr Sampson from the Windy City Bulls in the three-team G league swap. Sampson signed with the Pacers in August.
  • The five players who have partially guaranteed contracts with the Raptors will likely compete for three roster spots, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic details in an examination of the team’s salary cap situation. A dozen players have fully guaranteed deals and will almost assuredly make the squad. That leaves Cameron Payne, Isaiah Taylor, Dewan Hernandez, Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller vying for the remaining spots on the 15-man opening night roster. Hernandez might have the biggest edge because he has the most guaranteed money and the most team-friendly contract long-term, Murphy adds.
  • Former NBA center Tiago Splitter has been promoted by the Nets to player development coach, according to a team press release. Splitter joined the organization after retiring in February 2018. The other staff additions or promotions included J.R. Holden (director of player personnel), Daniel Jones (physical performance coach) and Ryan Forehan-Kelly (player development coordinator).

Raptors Notes: Siakam, Roster, Taylor, Tampering

Several coaches and executives believe Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has a strong case for a maximum extension after his breakthrough season, writes Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Siakam was fighting for playing time in his first two NBA campaigns, but he earned Most Improved Player honors for 2018/19 by posting a 16.9/6.9/3.1 line in 80 games.

“With Toronto in the situation that they’re in, no longer having Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green, Pascal Siakam may be a safe bet for them and they may want to give him a max extension to lock him up,” one Western Conference coach said. “I’ve been impressed with his development; he’s improved into a highly, highly serviceable player who’s very efficient and does a lot for that team. From the outside looking in, it seems like he’ll be able to continue his development too. He seems highly motivated and very grateful to be in the situation he’s in and he doesn’t take anything for granted.”

However, a couple of executives questioned whether Toronto should commit to a full max deal right now, saying it might be wiser to let him play out this season and negotiate with him as a restricted free agent next summer.

There’s more from Toronto:

  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star takes a look at the battle for roster spots as training camp draws closer. With 12 players holding guaranteed contracts and three with Exhibit 10 deals, Smith expects the competition for the three open slots to be decided among Cameron Payne, Isaiah Taylor, Malcolm Miller, Chris Boucher and Dewan Hernandez.
  • The two-year contract that Taylor signed this week contains a $50K guarantee for the first season, but no protection beyond that, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. If he stays on the roster, Taylor will receive $1.62MM for this season and $1.76MM for 2020/21. Marks notes that it’s similar to the deal that Payne received, though Payne’s guarantee was $150K.
  • Columnist Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star calls the NBA’s newly-adopted tougher stance on tampering more of a “nuisance” than a deterrent. He adds that little could be done to punish the Clippers for their aggressive recruitment of Leonard last season because the wealth of owner Steve Ballmer makes a $10MM fine insignificant, and most of the team’s upcoming draft picks already belong to Oklahoma City from the Paul George trade.

Raptors Sign Isaiah Taylor To Partially Guaranteed Deal

SEPTEMBER 19: The Raptors have officially signed Taylor, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 18: The Raptors have reached a contract agreement with Isaiah Taylor and will sign the free agent point guard to a partially guaranteed deal, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Toronto will have a full 20-man roster once the signing is officially completed.

Taylor, 25, made his NBA debut with the Rockets during the 2016/17 season, then spent the 2017/18 campaign in Atlanta, appearing in 67 games for the Hawks. In 17.4 minutes per contest for Atlanta, he averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.

After being waived by the Hawks during the 2018 offseason, Taylor caught on with the Cavaliers and was pushing for a 15-man roster spot in Cleveland when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently released. He worked out for the Raptors earlier this month, as we previously reported.

Although the Raptors will have a full 20-man offseason roster after signing Taylor, only 12 of those players have fully guaranteed contracts. Dewan Hernandez, Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller, Cameron Payne, and Taylor have partial guarantees and figure to head into camp as the top contenders for the final two or three openings on the regular season roster.

Meanwhile, Oshae Brissett, Sagaba Konate, and Devin Robinson are candidates to end up as affiliate players for the Raptors 905 or to have their contracts converted into two-way deals. Taylor could technically be eligible for a two-way contract too if his partial guarantee doesn’t exceed $50K.

Raptors To Work Out Isaiah Taylor

Free agent guard Isaiah Taylor is working out for the Raptors in Toronto this week, a source tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Taylor has also worked out for the Suns, Celtics, and Nuggets in recent weeks.

Taylor, 25, made his NBA debut with the Rockets during the 2016/17 season, then spent the 2017/18 campaign in Atlanta, appearing in 67 games for the Hawks. In 17.4 minutes per contest for Atlanta, he averaged 6.6 PPG and 3.1 APG.

After being waived by the Hawks during the 2018 offseason, Taylor caught on with the Cavaliers and was pushing for a 15-man roster spot in Cleveland when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently released. Now healthy, the Texas native is seeking a new NBA home.

The Raptors currently have 19 players under contract, leaving room for one more training camp invitee. If Taylor were to sign with Toronto, he’d likely have to beat out Cameron Payne to have a chance to make the regular season roster as the team’s third point guard behind Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, ‘Melo, Nuggets, Wolves, Jazz

Star point guard Damian Lillard attempted to recruit Carmelo Anthony to the Trail Blazers before the 10-time All-Star was traded to Oklahoma City in 2017 and then again before ‘Melo signed with Houston in 2018.

With Anthony once again on the lookout for a new team, Lillard has made peace with the fact that the veteran forward probably isn’t coming to Portland, as he said during an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast (video link via ESPN). After Lillard detailed his previous recruiting efforts, he was asked if he’s “not putting [his] hand out again.”

“The team or me,” Lillard responded. “I’m like, ‘He ain’t coming here.’ He deserves to be in the league, but he ain’t coming here.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Free agent point guard Isaiah Taylor is working out for the Nuggets in Denver this week, league sources tell Harrison Wind of BSN Denver (Twitter link). After spending the 2017/18 season with Atlanta, Taylor was pushing for a spot on Cleveland’s roster last fall when he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and was subsequently waived. Now healthy, Taylor has also worked out for the Suns and Celtics, according to Wind.
  • The Timberwolves announced this week in a press release that Sam Newman-Beck will assume head coaching duties for their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Newman-Beck, who was an assistant for the Erie BayHawks last season, previously spent eight years (2010-18) in Minnesota as a coaching associate/video scouting director.
  • Bryan Bailey, who was previously on the Salt Lake City Stars’ staff in the G League, has been hired as an assistant by the Jazz, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jones adds (via Twitter) that Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen will continue to be Utah’s lead assistants, with Lamar Skeeter, Zach Guthrie, and Vince Legarza sharing the third assistant role and rotating on the bench.

Cavaliers Release Kobi Simmons, Three Others

4:52pm: The Cavaliers have also waived Taylor, according to a second press release from the team. That leaves the club with 14 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals.

3:47pm: The Cavaliers have waived guard Kobi Simmons and forwards Bonzie Colson and Emanuel Terry, the team announced today in a press release. Cleveland’s roster now stands at 17 players, including 15 on standard contracts.

Simmons, 21, spent last season on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies, appearing in 32 games for the NBA squad. In 20.1 minutes per contest, the rookie point guard contributed 6.1 PPG, 2.1 APG, and 1.6 RPG. However, he was waived by Memphis this summer and joined the Cavs for camp.

Colson spent the 2017/18 season at Notre Dame before going undrafted this spring, with foot injuries hurting his stock as a prospect. Terry signed with the Nuggets earlier this offseason but was cut by Denver and inked a deal with the Cavs on Thursday. Both players are candidates to join the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate.

If no more roster moves are forthcoming for the Cavs, that’s good news for guard Isaiah Taylor, the team’s only other player on a non-guaranteed deal. Taylor recently suffered a stress fracture in his leg, which is expected to sideline him for about a month, so it wasn’t clear whether or not he’d make the team.

Eastern Notes: Howard, Trier, Collins, Nance Jr., Taylor

Dwight Howard has been shut down since Oct. 6 after he received a second opinion on a buttocks injury, but he could return to the court for light training on Monday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes.

Howard, 32, has yet to practice with his new team as the injury has kept him sidelined for all of training camp the preseason. Given that the Wizards‘ regular season begins on Thursday, it’s highly unlikely their center will be ready to go by then. However, Washington’s plan is to make sure the veteran is healthy and ready before he returns to game action, per head coach Scott Brooks.

“We’re in no rush. It’s a long season and we would love to have him,” Brooks said.

Howard averaged 16.6 PPG and 12.5 RPG for the Hornets last season as he appeared in 80-plus games for the first time since 2009/10.

Check out more Eastern Conference notes below:

  • The Knicks will let Allonzo Trier use up all 45 NBA days on his two-way deal in lieu of waiving someone to create room on the 15-man roster, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “We have 45 days of him working with us to figure out what’s the next move,’’  head coach David Fizdale said of the undrafted guard. “We are in the process of working with that and finding the best way to stretch that out. Obviously the kid has shown he’s an NBA basketball player.”
  • The Knicks’ preseason schedule is wrapped up but New York will enter the regular without a defined point guard, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and even the aforementioned Trier are all possibilities. “I am definitely undecided going into the first game,” Fizdale said. “I don’t feel a deadline for game one like everybody else does.”
  • Hawks big man John Collins underwent a non-surgical procedure on his injured left ankle on Monday and is scheduled for a re-evaluation on Oct. 22, the team announced. In addition to Collins, the Hawks will likely be without Dewayne Dedmon, Justin Anderson and Daniel Hamilton for the regular-season opener, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Cavaliers swingman Larry Nance Jr. suffered a right ankle sprain on Thursday and will undergo treatment before being re-evaluated, the team announced. Also, Isaiah Taylor received additional imaging on his left leg that revealed a stress fracture. Taylor could miss upwards of a month, putting his hope of making Cleveland’s roster in jeopardy, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes.