Jannero Pargo

Western Notes: Russell, Suns, Beverley, Kings, Rivers, Blazers

The Timberwolves, led by D’Angelo Russell‘s close friend Karl-Anthony Towns, were confident about their ability to get a commitment from Russell in free agency and went into their Sunday meeting with him ready to make the trades necessary to make a deal work, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota was just waiting for the green light from D-Lo to move forward on those trades, but the All-Star point guard instead opted to join the Warriors.

The Suns were viewed as a team that might try to get into the mix for Russell, who has another good friend – Devin Booker – in Phoenix. However, despite Booker’s campaign, Phoenix chose not to pursue the RFA guard, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. According to Rankin, the Suns “apparently felt Russell wouldn’t have been a good influence on Booker off the court.”

The Warriors, with their veteran leaders, apparently had no such qualms about D-Lo, who – by all accounts – matured considerably during his time in Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After agreeing to sign a three-year, $40MM deal with the Clippers, Patrick Beverley tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he turned down a more lucrative offer from the Kings to return to L.A. “I got a bigger offer from Sacramento and I took $9-10 million less to come here,” Beverley said. “… It was the right decision. Of course, the human part of you wants to take as much money as you see, but all money isn’t good money. I did what was best for me and my family and I did what was best to stay on a winning team, and I feel like I made the right decision.”
  • Despite Beverley’s comments, Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) hears that the Kings offered the veteran guard a guaranteed total of $35MM over three years, with a partial guarantee in year three. Theoretically, it’s possible that Beverley’s claim could still be accurate if that third-year partial guarantee was very small and he’s including the non-guaranteed money as part of Sacramento’s bid.
  • Before he agreed to return to the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum, Austin Rivers had offers in the range of the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “Now that the league is wide open, I just saw an opportunity,” Rivers said. “You can’t really put a price on happiness. The goal was to come back to Houston all along. I think we have the team to beat.”
  • The Trail Blazers have announced Terry Stotts‘ coaching staff for the upcoming season, with Nate Tibbetts replacing David Vanterpool as the team’s associate head coach. Portland has also promoted Jim Moran to the front of the bench and hired former NBA guard Jannero Pargo as an assistant.

Central Notes: Wade, Irving, Quicken Loans Arena

While there’s reason to believe that Dwyane Wade would graciously accept a buyout from the Bulls, he’s not going to put up a fuss about it, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Wade, after all, has 23.8 million reasons to put up with being a good sport for the rest of the season.

It’s been said that Wade started hoping for a buyout following the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. If that deal serves as the symbolic beginning of Chicago’s rebuild, then it doesn’t make an awful lot of sense for the Bulls, as an organization, to continue paying such an exorbitant amount for a 35-year-old that isn’t particularly motivated to stay there.

Wade averaged a respectable 18.3 points per game for the Bulls last season and could no doubt contribute to a contender should he be bought out and freed up to sign with one. That said, the 15-year-veteran has a solid reputation, not to mention a legacy, to uphold during the final years of his career.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • According to Iman Shumpert, the Cavaliers weren’t exactly surprised when Kyrie Irving asked to be traded, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. Shumpert adds that Irving didn’t have anything against LeBron James, just that he was eager to move on.
  • The Bulls have named Jannero Pargo the new head coach of their Windy City G League team, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • Construction has begun at Quicken Loans Arena, Jay Miller of Crains writes. The renovations of the Cavaliers‘ stadium were originally scheduled in June but held up by citizens groups that pushed for a referendum regarding the use of tax money for the project.
  • Despite only suiting up for seven games during his rookie year, Diamond Stone finds himself on his fourth team since getting drafted last summer. His latest opportunity, with the Bulls, could be his best yet, Dan Santaromita of CSN Chicago writes.

Players Catch On With D-League Franchises

Several players who were recently waived out of the NBA have reached agreements with D-League teams, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back:

  • Spencer Dinwiddie, released on Friday by Chicago, has signed with the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link). Chicago, which acquired Dinwiddie in a deal with the Pistons, then waived and later re-signed him, parted ways with the guard again despite being at the roster limit of 15.
  • Johnny O’Bryant, who was waived by the Wizards on Friday, has signed a D-League contract and will be eligible for the draft (Twitter link). The 23-year-old power forward spent the past two seasons with the Bucks.
  • Vince Hunter, who was waived by the Bulls and Grizzlies this month, will return to the Reno Bighorns (Twitter link). Hunter, 22, is a 6’8″ forward out of Texas-El Paso who has yet to play in the NBA.
  • Cliff Alexander, who was released by the Magic, has signed with the Erie BayHawks (Twitter link). The 20-year-old power forward played eight games for the Trail Blazers last season.
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts will return to the Texas Legends, where he finished the 2015/16 season (Twitter link). The 29-year-old swingman last played in the NBA in 2014/15, when he spent 12 games with the Clippers.
  • Josh Childress, who has been out of the NBA for almost three full seasons, signed with the Texas Legends (Twitter link). The 33-year-old swingman’s last NBA experience was four games with New Orleans during the 2013/14 season. He finished last season with the Legends after playing in Australia. (Update: Report denied by Childress’ agent; Reichert has removed his tweet)

Also, from the D-League Digest:

  • Axel Toupane, who was waived by the Nuggets, will return to Raptors 905 (Twitter link). The 6’7″ small forward played 21 games for Denver last season.
  • Jarell Eddie, who was released by the Wizards on Friday, will return to the Austin Spurs (Twitter link). Eddie, 24, appeared in 26 games for Washington a year ago.
  • J.J. O’Brien, who was cut by the Bucks, has signed with the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). A 24-year-old small forward, he got into two games with the Jazz last season.
  • Egidijus Mockevicius, who was waived last week by Brooklyn, will play for the Long Island Nets (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Lithuanian forward has no NBA experience.
  • Veteran point guard Jannero Pargo has signed with Oklahoma City Blue (Twitter link). The 37-year-old last played for the Hornets in 2014/15.

Western Notes: Howard, Durant, Morris

Despite the reports that the Rockets are entertaining trade offers for Dwight Howard, GM Daryl Morey insists the team hasn’t given up on the season and the center is needed if Houston wants to make a playoff push, Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle relays. “We’re just focused on this season,” Morey told reporters. “So is Dwight. If we as a team and he as a player plays like we know he’s capable and has been this year and was last year, all that stuff takes care of itself. There’s no way we make the conference finals last year without Dwight and there’s no way [we] are making the solid playoff push this year without Dwight.

The Rockets haven’t had any meaningful dialogue about a Howard trade since December and aren’t looking to trade him, one source told Calvin Watkins and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, a dispatch that conflicts with earlier reports. Here’s more from out West:

  • Houston plans to make a big push this offseason to sign unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant, and the front office believes it has a legitimate shot to sign the Thunder star, Watkins and Stein note in the same piece. Rockets officials believe privately that they will have as good a chance as any team to lure Durant away from Oklahoma City because of his strong relationship with former teammate James Harden and the room Houston has to pay Durant max-contract money while also re-signing Howard, the ESPN duo note.
  • The Suns have indicated they plan to make Markieff Morris the focal point of their offense, a move that is geared to showcase him to teams potentially interested in trading for the power forward, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders opines.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone raves about the potential of big man Nikola Jokic and believes the sky is the limit for the 20-year-old, Harrison Wind of BSNDenver.com relays (via Twitter). “You can talk about some of these very young bigs who are very talented. I know Nikola Jokic and wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the world,” Malone said.  “He’s a special young man, he’s a special young talent and he’s only going to get better as he continues to get stronger. But he’s a heck of a young talent. I give a lot of credit to [GM] Tim Connelly and the front office for finding him and making him part of this organization.”
  • Former Hornets point guard Jannero Pargo, who signed with the D-League earlier this week, was claimed off waivers by the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor tweets.

Southeast Notes: Frye, Skiles, Pargo, Whiteside

The Magic have fielded multiple inquiries on Channing Frye, league sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Interest in the 32-year-old big man is high, an executive from a rival team told Deveney, adding that it looks like Orlando is moving on from him. The 11th-year veteran, who’s making $8.193MM this season, is averaging 17.5 minutes per game, his fewest since the 2008/09 season, save for 2012/13, which he missed entirely due to a heart condition. Coach Scott Skiles recently removed him from the starting lineup, and Frye didn’t appear in Sunday’s win over the Celtics. Sources told Zach Lowe of ESPN.com before the season that Frye, whose contract runs through 2017/18, was available for little in return, but Magic officials denied that. See more on the Magic and other teams from the Southeast Division:

  • Skiles admitted that he wasn’t effectively conveying his messages to Magic players as they struggled through 12 losses in 13 games before Sunday’s win, observes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “This is my responsibility,” Skiles said before the game Sunday. “I’ve got to get these guys to understand what it takes to consistently win in the NBA, and I haven’t gotten that done in the last five weeks. For whatever reason, it hasn’t happened. So I’ve got to find a way to get that done.”
  • Former Hornets point guard Jannero Pargo has signed to play in the D-League, reports Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). Pargo has been out of the NBA since Charlotte released him nearly a year ago, midway through his 12th season in the league, while he dealt with a back injury. The 36-year-old has never played in the D-League before, so he’ll go through D-League waivers before landing with a team.
  • The success of the Heat and backup big man Amar’e Stoudemire during the recent absence of Hassan Whiteside raises further questions about whether the soon-to-be free agent Whiteside is a truly a fit for Miami, argues Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel.

Bulls Eye Mike James, Jannero Pargo

11:40am: Chicago no longer plans to fill its open roster spot in the wake of GM Gar Forman‘s declaration today that the team expects Rose back in four to six weeks, Johnson tweets.

9:54am: The Bulls have had preliminary conversations with the representatives for Mike James and Jannero Pargo, league sources tell K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. That’s in addition to exploratory talks with team has held with Nate Robinson, which Shams Charania of RealGM reported earlier this week and which Johnson confirms. Chicago is likely to fill its open roster spot regardless of the timetable for Derrick Rose‘s recovery from his torn meniscus, Johnson writes, though the team won’t necessarily sign a guard, sources told the Tribune scribe. Johnson indicated Thursday that the team’s decision regarding that 15th roster spot would hinge on whether Rose is out for the season.

There’s “considerable optimism” that the tear in Rose’s right meniscus is small, Johnson has heard. If that’s the case and only a small part of the meniscus is trimmed during surgery today, the likely timetable “could” be three to six weeks, according to Johnson. Still, a quick return entails Rose coming back to on-court activity but not necessarily to games, Johnson cautions (Twitter link).

James is certainly no stranger to the Bulls, having signed seven different contracts with the team since January 2012. The 39-year-old point guard is averaging 15.0 points, 6.4 assists and 3.4 turnovers in 33.1 minutes per game for the Mavericks D-League affiliate. James, a client of Bernie Lee, is only two years removed from having finished the season as the starting point guard for the big club in Dallas.

Pargo is another former Bull, having signed with Chicago on five previous occasions, though the Mark Bartelstein client’s last action for the team took place in 2009/10. His health is a question mark, and Hornets coach Steve Clifford said at the beginning of the month that he wasn’t close to being able to play, citing that as the reason Charlotte cut him loose to ink Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract instead in the wake of Kemba Walker‘s injury. The Hornets apparently weren’t ruling out a reunion with Pargo, but that was before the team let go of Elliot Williams to trade for Mo Williams.

The Bulls only have the prorated minimum salary to offer. Still, they’re nowhere close to the luxury tax threshold as they were last year, so they have some financial flexibility.

Southeast Notes: Pargo, Orton, Payton

Hassan Whiteside has proven a remarkable midseason pickup, scoring 24 points and grabbing 20 rebounds Wednesday to further cement that status, but the Heat haven’t reaped much benefit in the standings. They lost Wednesday’s game to the league-worst Timberwolves and have but a half-game lead on the Nets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets aren’t ruling out a reunion with Jannero Pargo later this season once the back injury that led to his release has healed, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Charlotte waived Pargo on Wednesday to sign Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract.
  • Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton has seen action in every game Orlando has played so far, but embattled coach Jacque Vaughn isn’t hesitant to sit him when he proves ineffective at the start, as Ken Hornack of Fox Sports Florida points out. In any case, Payton has shown flashes, but the transition from playing in the NCAA’s Sun Belt Conference last year to the NBA season this time around has proven a challenge, Hornack writes. The Magic gave up the rights to Dario Saric, a future first-rounder, and a second-round pick just to acquire Payton at the draft this past summer.
  • Wizards camp invitee Daniel Orton is joining the Purefoods Star Hotshots of the Philippines, a team official told Richard Dy of Spin.ph. Orton confirmed to Snow Badua of Spin.ph that he’s set to play with the club as soon as a hand injury heals. The four-year NBA veteran had been with the Sichuan Blue Whales of China before their season ended this week.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Hornets, Magic

The Hawks‘ depth took a hit with the injury to Thabo Sefolosha, and one of Atlanta’s primary concerns with making any deal to compensate for his loss is disrupting the team’s excellent chemistry, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets couldn’t wait any longer for Jannero Pargo‘s injured back to heal, which is what prompted the team to waive the veteran in order to make room for the signing of Elliot Williams, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “He still wasn’t close to being able to play,” coach Steve Clifford said of the decision to waive Pargo. “We were playing with fire out there if Brian Roberts goes down. Lance Stephenson and Gary Neal are doing a great job, but you’ve got to have a point guard.”
  • Heat assistant GM Adam Simon had been the key figure within Miami’s organization keeping up with Hassan Whiteside before the team signed the big man in November, notes Chris Mannix of SI.com.
  • If the Magic had managed just five more wins during the first half of the season, it’s likely that coach Jacque Vaughn‘s job wouldn’t be in jeopardy, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Schmitz speculates that if Orlando had 20 wins, the franchise would be in the playoff hunt in the weaker Eastern Conference, and Vaughn’s employment situation would have been more stable as a result.

Hornets Cut Jannero Pargo, Sign Elliot Williams

WEDNESDAY, 10:32am: The moves are official, the team announced.

TUESDAY, 5:37pm: The Hornets intend to waive Jannero Pargo in order for them them to ink Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Charlotte currently has the league maximum of 15 players on its roster, which is why the team would need to release Pargo prior to inking Williams.

Williams, 25, has been playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate. In 19 D-League appearances this season, Williams has averaged 20.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.6 assists in 36.3 minutes per contest. He was briefly a member of the Jazz this season, having signed a pair of 10-day contracts with Utah in early January. In five NBA appearances this season, Williams has logged 3.6 points in 8.4 minutes per contest.

Charlotte will be on the hook for the remainder of Pargo’s 2014/15 salary of $915,243 if it releases him. Pargo has missed time this season due to an ailing back, and he has been limited to just nine appearances for the Hornets, averaging 4.6 points in 8.1 minutes per night. The 35-year-old’s career numbers over 10 seasons in the NBA are 6.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 2.0 APG. His career slash line is .391/.356/.864.

Hornets Re-Sign Jannero Pargo

JULY 25TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 18TH: The Hornets and point guard Jannero Pargo have struck a deal, according to Pargo’s agents at Priority Sports & Entertainment (Twitter link; hat tip to Marc Stein of ESPN.com). The Mark Bartelstein client returns to Charlotte presumably to reprise his role as the team’s third point guard after the Hornets agreed to a deal with Brian Roberts to replace Luke Ridnour, who’s off to Orlando, as the primary backup to Kemba Walker. It’s a fully guaranteed one-year deal for $1.5MM, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). That figure is closely aligned with his minimum salary, which would be $1,448,490, so presumably it’s a deal for that minimum.

Charlotte had renounced its rights to the 34-year-old earlier this month as it cleared cap room, but while that move meant the team gave up its Early Bird rights to him, it didn’t necessarily preclude a new deal. He saw just 8.3 minutes per game in 29 appearances this past season, but apparently the Hornets like having the 10-year veteran around. This year’s deal is a slight upgrade on the one-year contract that Pargo signed last year with the team, since that arrangement was only partially guaranteed.

Pargo made the most of his meager playing time last season, averaging 4.7 points per game and draining a career-high 40% of his three-pointers on 2.1 attempts per contest. His 18.9 PER was also a career-best.