Ivan Rabb

Grizzlies Sign Ivan Rabb To Three-Year Deal

SEPTEMBER 21, 12:08pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Rabb, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 18, 7:58pm: The Grizzlies and Rabb have agreed to a three-year deal, with the first two seasons fully guaranteed, reports Geoff Calkins of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

5:56pm: The Grizzlies are close to reaching an agreement with rookie forward Ivan Rabb on a three-year contract, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Rabb, the 35th overall pick in this year’s draft, had been one of the last 2017 draftees who remained unsigned.

Many draft experts and NBA observers expected Rabb to declare for the draft a year ago, but he made the surprise decision to stay at Cal for his sophomore season. In his second year with the Golden Bears, Rabb averaged a double-double with 14.0 PPG and 10.5 RPG, though his FG% dipped from .615 in his freshman year to .484 in 2016/17.

Viewed as a probable first-rounder if he had entered the 2016 draft, Rabb slipped to the second round this spring. The Grizzlies sent a 2019 second-round pick to Orlando in order to acquire the No. 35 overall pick, which they used to select Rabb.

While exact terms of the agreement aren’t yet known, the Grizzlies figure to use their mid-level exception to sign Rabb — that exception allows the club to offer slightly more than the minimum and to go beyond a two-year contract. Memphis already used most of its MLE to lock up Ben McLemore, Rade Zagorac, and Dillon Brooks, but still has about $1.44MM left, which is more than enough for Rabb’s starting salary.

Assuming Rabb’s 2017/18 salary is fully guaranteed on his new deal with Memphis, the team will have 16 players on guaranteed contracts. That number would increase to 17 if the Grizzlies work out a new deal with JaMychal Green, who remains a restricted free agent. Teams are only allowed to carry 15 players on their regular season rosters, so the Grizzlies will potentially have to make a trade or two before opening night in order to avoid eating some guaranteed money.

Checking In On Unsigned 2017 Draft Picks

One month into the 2017/18 NBA league year, most of this year’s draftees know where they’ll be playing for the upcoming season. As our tracker for draft pick signings shows, we’re only waiting for resolution on a small group of players.

Twenty-nine of 30 first-round picks have signed their first NBA contracts, and the 30th – Sixers big man Anzejs Pasecniks – will remain overseas for at least one more year. Meanwhile, in the second round, about half of this year’s picks have signed NBA contracts, a handful of others have agreed to two-way deals, and some will continue to play international ball.

There’s no rush at this point for teams to finalize plans for the last few unsigned draft picks from this year’s class, but it’s still worth checking in to see where things stand for those players. Here are the 2017 draftees whose statuses for ’17/18 appear to be up in the air:

  • Ivan Rabb (Memphis Grizzlies, No. 35): The Grizzlies signed 45th overall pick Dillon Brooks, but have yet to lock up Rabb, who now finds himself in an interesting spot. Memphis already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts for 2017/18, and that total doesn’t even include RFA JaMychal Green, who seems likely to return. Even though there’s no current opening for Rabb, he was probably too high a draft pick to accept a two-way contract, so perhaps the Grizzlies ultimately intend to trade or waive a player (or two) to make room. Otherwise, it’s not clear what the plan is for Rabb.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein (Houston Rockets, No. 43): International basketball reporter David Pick provided an update on Hartenstein today, tweeting that Houston will likely have him start with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. So far, no player drafted earlier than No. 51 has signed a two-way contract, and typically only players selected at the very end of the draft accept straight G League contracts. If Hartenstein is willing to go to the G League, it would be a great value move for the Rockets.
  • Nigel Williams-Goss (Utah Jazz, No. 55): Two weeks ago, we heard that Williams-Goss was a candidate for Utah’s second two-way contract opening. The Jazz haven’t made a move to fill that slot since then, so I’d expect Williams-Goss remains the leading candidate.
  • Jabari Bird (Boston Celtics, No. 56): Like Williams-Goss in Utah, Bird appears to be the top candidate for the final two-way contract opening in Boston. Such a move would make a lot of sense. There isn’t enough room on the Celtics’ regular-season roster for Bird, and the four players selected with the picks from 51 through 54 in this year’s draft all got two-way deals — it’s logical that the 55th and 56th picks would too.

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, Luxury Tax, Rabb

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin wanted more autonomy when it came to managing his team’s roster, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com says. The scribe responded to a question  about Griffin’s recent exit in a mailbag with readers.

Per Vardon, franchise owner Dan Gilbert had a tendency to get in the way of trades and contracts and the philosophical differences between the two parties were evident.

Vardon confirms that Griffin was also seeking a significant raise but doesn’t suspect that any negotiations even reached that far considering that they didn’t appear to be on the same page to begin with.

  • The $2MM reduction in payroll room the league hinted at with its latest salary cap projection could cost the Cavaliers as much as $10MM in luxury tax damage, Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today writes. The Cavs will be hit with the repeater tax in 2017/18.
  • The Cavaliers had a deal on the table to acquire the 34th pick in the draft last night with the intention of drafting Ivan Rabb, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Rabb ultimately went 35th overall.
  • The Cavaliers could look to add Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While the scenario sounds, and probably is, farfetched, Vardon suggests that their personal ties to LeBron James could land them in Ohio if they are ultimately bought out by their respective clubs.

Northwest Rumors: Gallinari, Blazers, Monk, Timberwolves

Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari doesn’t consider Denver his preferred choice in free agency, according to a Premium Sport interview that was relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Gallinari, who will decline his $16.1MM player option in order to enter the market, says the Nuggets are “exactly at the same level” as any other team that pursues him. The only thing in Denver’s favor is that it can offer an extra year, Gallinari adds in the interview.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • North Carolina swingman Justin Jackson was among six players the Trail Blazers brought in for pre-draft workouts on Monday, the team’s website reports. Considered a potential late-lottery selection, Jackson is currently ranked No. 16 on DraftExpress’ list of Top 100 prospects. A trio of big men with first-round potential were also at the workout, including Isaiah Hartenstein (No. 19), who played in Lithuania last season; University of California’s Ivan Rabb (No. 30); and Oregon’s Jordan Bell (No. 35).
  • The Timberwolves will have a tough decision if Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk is still available when their turn comes up in the lottery, as Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune details. Monk could turn into a prolific scorer in the mold of the Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum, Zgoda continues. Alternatively, Minnesota might conclude that the 6’3” Monk will end up being an off-the-bench scorer because of his lack of size and length for his position, Zgoda adds. Minnesota holds the No. 7 overall pick.
  • Along with the well-documented Jimmy Butler rumors, the Timberwolves could pursue a number of pricey veterans in trades, Zgoda writes in a separate piece. LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Eric Bledsoe and Wes Matthews are among the players that Zgoda speculates could be potential trade targets for Minnesota.

Pacific Notes: Griffin, Divac, Suns Pre-Draft Workouts

The Clippers could be a drastically different team next season as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and J.J. Redick could leave for greener pastures this offseason. While Paul is a long shot to depart, Griffin and Redick are far from guaranteed to stay in Los Angeles. James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders examines Griffin’s options as he considers potential suitors.

The Celtics are an intriguing possibility as they have the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft, a budding superstar in Isaiah Thomas, and a young core of talented assets. Griffin, 28, can think long-term with a younger team in Boston and if Thomas departs after next season, he could become the primary option in Beantown.

Additionally, the Heat are a possibility as the team’s history luring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami shows a commitment to winning. While the Heat lack Boston’s young assets, Blancarte explains that playing under Erik Spoelstra — who is known to bring out the best in his players — and being the definitive centerpiece in South Beach is an appealing proposition.

Here are additional links around the Pacific Division:

Pistons Notes: Downtown Move, Kennard, FA Workouts

The Detroit City Council voted on Tuesday in favor of several key agreements related to the Pistons’ move downtown, as Christine Ferretti and Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News report. However, while Tuesday’s votes finalized approvals for the Pistons’ new practice facility and headquarters, there are more roadblocks that will need to be cleared before the club’s move to the Little Caesars arena is fully approved.

On June 20, the Detroit city council is scheduled to vote on the issuance of $34.5MM in proposed taxpayer-funded DDA bonds. Shortly after Tuesday’s city council session took place though, a federal judge granted a June 19 lawsuit that seeks to halt that June 20 vote, per Louis Aguilar of The Detroit News. As Aguilar explains, that lawsuit seeks to allow Detroit and Wayne County residents to vote on whether taxpayer money should be put toward the new arena and team facilities.

As the Pistons wait for resolution to the legal battle over their potential new arena, here are a few more items related to the team:

Pacific Notes: J. Jackson, Isaac, Tatum, Thompson

The Suns potentially have a difficult decision to make when they find themselves on the clock with the fourth overall pick, writes Doug Haller of AZCentral Sports. Three talented freshman small forwards could be available: Josh Jackson, Jonathan Isaac, and Jayson Tatum. Defense and three-point shooting are likely the Suns’ two most glaring weaknesses, and one of these athletes could certainly help.

Haller writes that Jackson’s real impact could come defensively. The scribe adds that, while Tatum is nowhere near the defender that Jackson is, the Duke freshman may be the most polished scorer in the draft. As for Isaac, he can play both forward positions, with many believing that he will also be able to man the center position when his body fills out. Furthermore, the departing Seminole would contribute defensive versatility, having defended all over the floor for Florida State.

Here are some more pertinent notes from the Pacific division:

Western Rumors: Kerr, Parker, Ingles, Lakers

Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it’s unlikely that he’ll be on the bench for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, as he discussed with Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News and the assembled media on Monday. Mike Brown has filled in for Kerr on the sidelines for much of the postseason, though Brown himself missed practice on Monday because of the flu. Kerr will travel to Cleveland when the series shifts there and says he’s been at practices and coaches meetings, but coaching during a game is still an issue because of back pain, Slater continues. The pain became severe during the opening-round series against the Trail Blazers. “You saw me in the fourth quarter of Game 2. I could not sit still in my chair,” Kerr said. “There was that much pain. I would say I’ve gotten a little bit better. That’s why I’m here talking to you right now. But you can probably tell, I’m not sitting here happy-go-lucky.”

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Spurs guard Tony Parker expects to return from his torn quad injury in January, as he told the French magazine L’Equipe and relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Parker required surgery earlier this month for the tear, which he suffered during the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets. Parker will make $15.45MM in the final year of his contract next season.
  • Gordon Hayward‘s decision in free agency won’t influence Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, according to Olgun Uluc of  Foxsports.com. Ingles will be a restricted free agent once the Jazz extend him a qualifying offer of $2.687MM, which they almost assuredly will do. Ingles averaged 7.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.7 APG while shooting 44.1% from long range this past season. He would like to stay put, as he told Uluc.  “I think we’ve got the team,” he said. “Obviously, Gordon is a big part of that, so his free agency — it’s not going to change what I’m going to do or where I want to go — but, we’re a different team depending on whether he’s there or not. I’m not gonna be sitting there calling Gordon every two minutes, but if everything works out in Utah and they want me, and it all comes together, that’s great.”
  • California forward Ivan Rabb headlines a group of six players that will work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, which was posted on the team’s website. Rabb is currently ranked No. 25 overall by DraftExpress and Los Angeles owns the No. 28 selection, as well as the No. 2 overall pick. He’ll be joined by four potential second-rounders in Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame (49th), Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey (46th), Nevada forward Cameron Oliver (59th) and SMU forward Sterling Brown (57th), as well as Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Draft Notes: Allen, Irvin, Magic

Frontcourt may not be the Bulls‘ biggest need, but if someone as talented as Jarrett Allen is available at No. 16, the team shouldn’t hesitate to go in that direction, Mark Strotman of Comcast Sportsnet contends. Strotman believes Allen could be the team’s next Joakim Noah. Chicago drafted Noah in 2007 even though Ben Wallace was under contract and it worked out long-term for the franchise.

Allen may not surpass current starting center Robin Lopez this season, but by the time his rookie contract is up, Allen could be one of the best big men in the league. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express has the Texas product as the 17th best prospect in his class.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • The Lakers recently met with Michigan’s Zak Irvin and the team was impressed with his workout, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Irvin will also work out for the Bucks later this week.
  • Pittsburg’s Jamel Artis will work out for the Lakers and Rockets later this week, Scotto reports in a separate tweet. Artis isn’t ranked in Givony’s top 100 prospects.
  • The Magic have several players scheduled to work out for the team on Tuesday, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel passes along. Cal’s Ivan Rabb, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, Villanova’s Josh Hart and Houston’s Damyean Dotson will all participate in Orlando’s workouts.

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Workouts

After a disappointing 2016/17 season, the Pistons will be looking this offseason for ways to improve the team’s outlook for next year. However, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press details, Andre Drummond doesn’t believe a roster overhaul is necessary.

“I don’t think we need to do any changes,” the Pistons center told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of bumps in the road last season with different things going on, and it took everybody out of sync. … With this summer coming up, we have to do a better job staying connected — the more stuff we do together, the better our camaraderie will be.”

Even if the Pistons were interested in making major changes to their roster, they would be tricky to pull off. Detroit has nearly $95MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18 without counting Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $9.2MM cap hold, so the team won’t have cap room to work with.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

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