Jake Layman

Atlantic Notes: Layman, J. Jackson, Celtics, Raptors, Sixers

When they signed with the Celtics, Jake Layman and Justin Jackson both received one-year, minimum-salary contracts that are non-guaranteed. However, the terms of those agreements are slightly different — Layman got an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract, while Jackson’s deal is an Exhibit 9, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Both Layman and Jackson are ineligible to have their contracts converted into two-way deals because they have too many years of NBA service under their belts. But Layman’s Exhibit 10 contract makes him eligible to receive a $50K bonus if he’s waived before the season and then spends at least 60 days with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League team.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

Celtics Officially Sign Jake Layman, Justin Jackson, Denzel Valentine

The Celtics have officially completed three previously reported deals with veteran free agents, signing forward Jake Layman, swingman Justin Jackson, and guard Denzel Valentine to their training camp roster, according to RealGM’s NBA transaction log.

A report in August indicated that Valentine would be signing an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston. The exact terms of the team’s agreements with Layman and Jackson, which were reported more recently, aren’t known, but those are presumably non-guaranteed camp deals as well.

All three veterans are expected to take part in a preseason competition for one of the Celtics’ back-end roster spots. The club currently has 10 players with guaranteed standard contracts, plus Al Horford with a significant partial guarantee. That leaves three – or possibly four – spots available on the regular season roster for a group of players with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries.

Besides Layman, Jackson, and Valentine, those camp invitees vying for roster spots includes Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet, and Bruno Caboclo. Two-way players Mfiondu Kabengele and JD Davison could also be in the mix for promotions to standard contracts. Boston has one more open spot on its 20-man offseason roster, with restricted free agent Brodric Thomas among the top candidates to fill it.

A second-round pick in 2017, Layman has appeared in 243 regular season games across six NBA seasons in Portland and Minnesota. In total, the former Maryland forward – who is a Massachusetts native – has averaged 4.8 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .460/.300/.719 shooting in 12.8 minutes per contest over the course of his NBA career.

Jackson, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2017 draft, signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns last season and one with the Celtics, appearing in seven total games (just one with Boston). In Las Vegas this July, he averaged 15.0 PPG in four appearances (29.0 MPG) for Boston’s Summer League squad.

The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Valentine spent the first five years of his NBA career in Chicago before signing last offseason with the Cavaliers. He played a minor role in 22 games for Cleveland, then was dealt in January to the Knicks, who waived him. Following a 10-day contract with the Jazz, Valentine played in the G League for the rest of the 2021/22 season. Considered a strong three-point shooter, Valentine has made 36.0% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 256 NBA appearances (18.8 MPG).

Celtics Notes: Smart, G. Williams, Roster Spots

Marcus Smart agrees with the theory that a shallow rotation left the Celtics exhausted by the time they reached the NBA Finals, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Smart, who admitted that he still rewatches the Finals to see what he could have done differently, said the team exacerbated the problem by getting off to a slow start and not playing to its potential until January.

“I think depth was one of the big things that hurt us,” he said. “You had me, Jayson (Tatum), Jaylen (Brown) and our starters playing, clawing (up the standings) and we did it to ourselves.”

Smart likes the offseason additions the Celtics made, though Danilo Gallinari may be lost for the season with a torn ACL. Smart heard his name mentioned in Kevin Durant trade rumors this summer, but he’s thankful that he wasn’t moved and that the core of the team has remained intact.

“For someone who’s always talked about in trade talks, I didn’t really pay too much mind to that. Until it actually happens, I don’t believe it,” Smart said. “We can sit here and say this person said this, but we don’t even know who said it. It’s like a telephone game. By the time it gets back to you, you don’t know what changed and who said what. Until it actually happens, I try to pay trade rumors no mind.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • In an interview with Bobby Manning of CLNS Media, Smart revealed that he’s still feeling the effects of injuries from last season’s playoffs. He suffered a sprained right foot in the Eastern semifinals and a sprained right ankle in the conference finals. He also had to miss Game 2 of the Bucks series after aggravating a right thigh injury. “My ankle is feeling better, it’s still healing, so I’m dealing with that,” Smart said. “Just giving it as much rest as I can, but definitely back on the court. I’m definitely back into the action. It feels like yesterday we just started playing, we haven’t really missed a beat, but I’m definitely doing everything I can to be ready for next season and to go deeper. I’m pretty close (to 100%), obviously it’s September, you don’t want to be in June, July, May shape right now so I’m trying not to go too crazy, but I’m really close and I’ve been doing this going into my ninth season.”
  • Grant Williams‘ hopes for a contract extension will be impacted by the three-year, $33MM deal that Maxi Kleber got from the Mavericks, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Robb believes Williams would be better off taking what he can get in an extension rather than dealing with the unpredictability of restricted free agency.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston examines the battle for roster spots at Celtics training camp and views Sam Hauser, Luke KornetMfiondu Kabengele, JD Davison and Jake Layman as having the best shot at making the team.

Celtics Expected To Sign Jake Layman, Justin Jackson

The Celtics intend to sign free agent forward Jake Layman to a training camp contract, a source tells Bobby Manning of CLNS Media. The report has since been confirmed by Souichi Terada and Brian Robb of MassLive.com.

A second-round pick in 2017, Layman has appeared in 243 regular season games across six NBA seasons in Portland and Minnesota. Although he was a regular rotation player for the Timberwolves in 2019/20 after signing a three-year contract with the team, Layman was limited to 23 appearances that season due to a toe injury and didn’t have a consistent role during the following two seasons.

In total, the former Maryland forward – who is a Massachusetts native – has averaged 4.8 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .460/.300/.719 shooting in 12.8 minutes per contest over the course of his NBA career.

Within his report on Layman, Manning says the same source confirmed that Justin Jackson will be joining the Celtics for training camp as well. Jackson, a forward who was drafted with the No. 15 overall pick in 2017, had a strong Summer League run with Boston in July and has long been rumored as a possible camp invitee.

Jackson signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns last season and one with the Celtics, appearing in seven total games (just one with Boston). In Las Vegas this summer, he averaged 15.0 PPG in four appearances (29.0 MPG) for Boston’s Summer League squad.

Assuming the Celtics make it official with both Layman and Jackson, the two veterans join the competition for one of the team’s open regular season roster spots. Boston has 10 players with guaranteed contracts, plus Al Horford with a significant partial guarantee. That leaves three – or possibly four – spots available for a group of players with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries.

Luke Kornet, Noah Vonleh, and Bruno Caboclo have already been added to the Celtics’ training camp roster. Layman, Jackson, and Denzel Valentine are expected to join them. If all three officially sign, the club will have 19 total players under contract, including JD Davison and Mfiondu Kabengele on two-way deals.

Wolves Rumors: KAT, Russell, Edwards, Beasley, Draft, More

In the latest HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic said he fully believes that Karl-Anthony Towns will be offered — and will sign — a super-max extension with the Timberwolves summer. Towns became eligible for the super-max after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

Krawczynski acknowledges that Towns has his share of flaws, but he points out that Minnesota isn’t a free agent destination, the team has undergone lots of front office and coaching changes in his seven seasons, and he hasn’t played with a whole lot of talent around him. Once the deal is signed, if Towns plateaus, the Wolves still have the option of trading him in the future due to his “age, production and efficiency,” says Krawcyznski.

Here’s more from Scotto and Krawczynski:

  • Scotto wonders if trading away D’Angelo Russell might affect Towns’ decision to sign an extension, and points out that the last time Russell was in a contract year he wound up making the All-Star team with the Nets. Krawczynski thinks Towns will sign the super-max either way, but determining what to do with Russell will be a challenge for new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. Krawczynski notes that Russell is eligible for an extension this summer, but he’s doubtful his next deal will be worth the max. If the price is right for both sides, Krawczynski thinks an extension might be viable. Russell helped lead the team to a 46-36 regular season and had a huge game in the play-in win over the Clippers, but then struggled against the Grizzlies, so gauging his market value will be tricky for Connelly, says Krawczynski.
  • A couple of scouts told HoopsHype that they think Anthony Edwards, not Towns, will eventually be the best player on the Timberwolves, but Krawczynski says there’s no jealousy between the two players — they enjoy playing together and believe their games complement each other.
  • Malik Beasley, who was drafted by Connelly in Denver, could benefit from the reunion, says Scotto, who believes Beasley is primed for a bounce-back year after seeing his name in trade rumors. Krawczynski agrees that Connelly’s presence should help, and reports that Beasley was out of shape entering training camp last fall due to his legal trouble. While noting that it was Beasley’s fault and he only has himself to blame, Krawczynski also says that he’s the hardest worker on the team.
  • The Timberwolves currently control the Nos. 19, 40, 48, and 50 picks in the upcoming draft, but don’t expect them to have four rookies on the roster next season. According to Krawczynski, a more likely outcome is that they either draft-and-stash some European prospects in the second round or package some picks to move up or acquire veteran help. Attaching the No. 19 pick with a veteran to improve the roster is also a possibility, he says.
  • A reunion with Taurean Prince, who’s an unrestricted free agent, could be in the cards. Krawczynski says there’s mutual interest between the two parties, noting that “players and coaches love him,” and Prince has stated that he was happy in Minnesota. Neither Scotto nor Krawczynski expect Jake Layman to be back, and Josh Okogie‘s return seems unlikely, but could still occur if he doesn’t draw much interest in free agency. The team likes him, but he didn’t receive much playing time, so he’ll probably look for another opportunity, per Krawczynski.

And-Ones: P. Jones, Mac, Clark, Opportunities, Hardship Deals

Perry Jones and Sheldon Mac are the latest players attempting NBA comebacks, agent Harrison Gaines tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter). The two players will be entering the G League player pool.

Jones was the 28th overall pick of the 2012 draft for the Thunder and played three seasons with the team, last appearing in 2014/15. In 143 career games, Jones holds averages of 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.7 minutes.

The 29-year-old Mac appeared in 30 games for the Wizards in 2016/17, holding modest averages of 3.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran forward Earl Clark has joined Miami’s G League squad, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It was reported last week that Clark had signed a G League deal.
  • The opportunities for players caused by COVID-19 absences are no laughing matter, write Jon Krawczynski and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Krawczynski and Weiss note that Timberwolves players who’d been out of the team’s rotation (Jake Layman, Nathan Knight, Jaylen Nowell) or out of the NBA (Greg Monroe) are trying to make the most of their newfound minutes. “I’m not quitting,” Monroe said. “I believe I belong in the NBA. So I’ll just come out and play wherever it is, as hard as I can.”
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype takes a behind the scenes look at what it’s like for players on hardship deals. Scotto spoke to Brandon Knight, Lance Stephenson and Joe Johnson about their new NBA opportunities.
  • There was a slight change to the NBA’s COVID-19 isolation rules for players outside of a team environment, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The change has no bearing on a return to team activities, so players who enter the health and safety protocols will still be required to remain away from the team for six days, unless they return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Scotto’s Latest: Lowry, Aldridge, Oladipo, Wolves

The Heat are among the teams that have reached out to the Raptors about veteran guard Kyle Lowry, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Some of the players discussed in a possible deal include Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Kendrick Nunn, according to Scotto.

Lowry, who will turn 35 this month, continues to remain productive, averaging 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.5 rebounds through 31 games. He recently pledged his loyalty to the franchise, but didn’t offer a guarantee that he will re-sign with Toronto when he becomes a free agent this summer.

As a one-year Bird player, Dragic has veto power over any trade, Scotto notes. If Dragic agrees to a deal and a new team declines his $19.44MM option for next season, his Bird rights will be reduced to Non-Bird when he enters free agency. Olynyk is headed for unrestricted free agency, while Nunn will be a restricted free agent if he receives a $4.7MM qualifying offer.

Scotto offers a few more tidbits in advance of the March 25 trade deadline:

  • The Heat have also talked to the Spurs about veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who won’t play again until San Antonio can work out a deal. According to Scotto, Miami offered Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard to match salary and would be willing to include a minimum contract such as Chris Silva or KZ Okpala or possibly draft picks. The Spurs will have many suitors for Aldridge, and several league executives expect the Celtics to get involved with their $28.5MM trade exception, Scotto adds. Boston is about $19.9MM below the hard cap and would have to send at least $4.1MM in contracts to San Antonio in return.
  • Rockets guard Victor Oladipo may be the top player available before the deadline, a few executives tell Scotto. The Knicks and Heat are among the teams that are reportedly interested. Scotto adds that Christian Wood is the only player the rebuilding Rockets might consider untouchable.
  • Several teams have inquired about Timberwolves veterans Ed DavisRicky RubioJuan Hernangomez and Jake Layman. Minnesota would like to acquire a young forward such as the Hawks‘ John Collins or the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, Scotto notes, and has future first-rounders to offer starting in 2023.

Western Notes: Powell, Bazemore, Holiday, Brown, Timberwolves

Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, who is signed through the 2022/23 season, is showing good progress as he rehabs from a torn right Achilles, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News reports. Powell, who underwent surgery in January, has no movement limitations. However, the closure of the Mavericks practice facility has created an obstacle to get on-court time. It typically takes an NBA player a year or more to return to action from an Achilles tear but the delayed start of next season should work in his favor.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors could consider adding one of their former players,  the Kings’ Kent Bazemore or the Pacers’ Justin Holiday, in free agency, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole breaks down the pros and cons of both players and concludes Holiday would be a better fit, since he has proven more durable in recent years. However, it’s also likely he’d cost more than Bazemore, Poole adds.
  • It’s unclear if former Sixers coach Brett Brown is a candidate for the Thunder’s opening but there is a strong connection to the front office, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman notes. Brown worked with GM Sam Presti in the Spurs organization from 2002-07.
  • The Timberwolves mini-camp facilitated Jarrett Culver‘s development and Josh Okogie‘s playmaking skills, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. It also reinforced the value of forward Jake Layman, though he suffered a broken nose during the workouts.

Northwest Notes: Beasley, Hernangomez, Layman, Dort

Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez played their old team for the first time on Sunday, suiting up for the Timberwolves against the Nuggets, less than three weeks after being traded to Minnesota. Before the game, Hernangomez was the more nostalgic of the two former Nuggets, praising the organization and the fans in Denver, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post details.

“I’m the man who I am because (of) Denver, because (of the) organization, all the teammates, all the coaches,” Hernangomez. “I just want to (say) thanks to everybody for making my dream come true, make the chance to a kid who was dreaming about the NBA, make believe it and make it true.”

Beasley was more pragmatic about seeing his old team, per Singer: “It’s a business, put it like that. It’s not about personal life or anything like that. It’s just a strict business. That’s how you gotta take it.”

According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, the Nuggets offered Beasley a multiyear extension worth “north of $10MM annually” last fall. When Beasley turned down that offer, it increased the odds that he wouldn’t remain in Denver long-term.

As Kosmider explains, the Nuggets have “strongly hinted” that they’d like to re-sign Jerami Grant, and they’ll also have to negotiate new deals with Paul Millsap and Torrey Craig this summer if they intend to keep them, which reduced the team’s spending power for RFAs-to-be like Beasley and Hernangomez.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Addressing the Timberwolves‘ recent acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said the NBA is “all about taking chances,” according to Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “You have to pay a premium for good players,” Rosas said. “Not only did we need a point guard in our system, we needed a guy who fit our timeline and a guy who has already established himself as a player in this league. In those pursuits, you have to be comfortable hearing ‘no,’ and you have to be comfortable being patient.”
  • Timberwolves forward Jake Layman, who has been sidelined since November 18 due to a toe injury, appears to be on the verge of returning to action. Layman was cleared to practice last week, per a press release, and is listed as probable for Monday’s game vs. Dallas (Twitter link).
  • On the heels of one of the best games of his season, rookie Thunder swingman Luguentz Dort is making a case for a promotion to Oklahoma City’s 15-man roster, writes ESPN’s Royce Young. Dort, who scored 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting in a Sunday win over San Antonio, won’t be eligible for the postseason if he remains on his two-way contract.

Northwest Notes: Layman, Nurkic, Davis, Grant

The Timberwolves‘ sign-and-trade deal for Jake Layman didn’t earn any accolades as one of the summer’s key moves, but Layman’s new team can’t stop raving about him, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. As Krawczynski explains, Minnesota loves Layman’s athleticism, his ability to play multiple positions, and the way he can complement star player Karl-Anthony Towns.

“A lot of our offensive creativity is going to be with Karl and the ball in his hands, whether that’s top of the key in a lot of our series or even at the elbows or even out of the post,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “Guys that can space the floor, run the floor, cut away from the basket with high IQs are going to be important for us. A guy like Jake Layman can really do that and has done that throughout his career.”

It remains to be seen whether Layman will come off the bench or if he’ll crack the starting lineup alongside Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, and Jeff Teague. Either way, he figures to play a regular role in the Timberwolves’ rotation after being acquired in July from their division rivals in Portland.

Let’s round up a few more Northwest notes…

  • Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who continues to rehab after breaking his leg last season, won’t be available to start the season, but says his leg has been pain-free for several months, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Portland’s head of basketball operations Neil Olshey said this week that he’s being “purposefully vague” about the big man’s recovery timeline, since the team wants to avoid “Nurk Watch 2019.”
  • Ed Davis won’t be able to fully replicate Derrick Favors‘ skill set as the Jazz‘s new backup center, but Davis believes he can provide value to his new team in his own way, as Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune relays. “I’m gonna be myself — I’m not here to replace [Favors], I’m coming here to be myself, I’m gonna do what I do,” Davis said. “Being available, for one; being consistent; toughness; I’m gonna give it all I got. I’m not the most skilled player, but I’d say I’m one of the toughest players in the league, so you’re gonna get that every night.”
  • New Nuggets forward Jerami Grant, who said at Media Day that he’s not worried about what his exact role will be for his new team, acknowledged that he wasn’t too broken up about being traded by the retooling Thunder, according to Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post. “I don’t think (the trade) was too difficult,” Grant said. “It was almost good to get out of a sinking ship.”
  • Robert Covington admitted this week that his physical health issues last season affected his mental health, telling reporters – including Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune – that he saw a therapist to deal with his frustration at being sidelined. Heading into a new season, the Timberwolves forward says he’s feeling good both physically and mentally.