Jarnell Stokes

Heat Notes: Dragic, Olynyk, Stokes, Bosh

The Heat may be willing to trade Goran Dragic, but only if they can get a first-round pick and some financial flexibility for next summer, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Dragic’s name was floated last week as a possible target for the Suns, who are without a veteran point guard after dealing Brandon Knight to the Rockets.

Dragic is the only established point guard on the Heat roster, but Winderman notes that Miami has a logjam in the backcourt, needing to find time for Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and possibly Dwyane Wade. The Heat, who are over the projected luxury tax for this season with nearly $127MM in guaranteed salary, could also benefit financially from unloading Dragic, who will make more than $18.1MM this year and has a $19.2MM player option for 2019/20.

Winderman passes along more Heat info in the same story:
  • Kelly Olynyk has committed to play a pair of World Cup qualifying games this month for the Canadian national team. Olynyk is among several NBA players on the roster for Canada, which hopes to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2010. Olynyk’s games are set for Wednesday and September 17, so they won’t interfere with Miami’s training camp.
  • Jarnell Stokes is grateful for the opportunity to join the Heat in camp, even though he faces long odds to win a roster spot. The power forward played five games with Miami during the 2015/16 season and has a high opinion of the franchise. “They are very fair when it comes to trusting what they see,” Stokes said in a recent interview with J.D. Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. “A lot of guys go by numbers and politics, but you can pretty much trust that if you put in the work — guys like Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson — these guys really did not have an opportunity at first. Miami is typically the spot that is able to trust in what they see.”
  • Former Heat big man Chris Bosh continues to express his desire to return to the NBA. The Georgia Tech alum, who hasn’t played since doctors discovered a recurrence of blood clots in 2016, said in an interview with ramblinwreck.com that he hopes to work toward a comeback this season. Because Bosh left the Heat over a medical issue and the final two years of his contract were removed from Miami’s cap, he is not permitted to rejoin the team.

Jarnell Stokes Signs Contract With Heat

AUGUST 27: The signing is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

AUGUST 20: The Heat have agreed to a contract with forward Jarnell Stokes, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets.

Terms were not disclosed but it’s almost certainly a training camp deal.

The 6’9” Stokes hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2016/17 season, when he made two cameos with the Nuggets. He was in the Heat organization the previous year and saw action in five games. He also played 21 games with the Grizzlies after being acquired in a draft-night trade with the Jazz. He was the 35th pick of the 2014 draft.

Stokes played in China last season before getting waived in early February. He played for the Bulls’ summer league team in July and averaged 5.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 10.2 MPG over five Las Vegas games.

His biggest claim to fame was being the G League MVP in 2016 after posting averages of 2o.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG for the Sioux Falls SkyForce.

Timberwolves Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

The Timberwolves will become the latest NBA to host a mini-camp for veteran free agent this week, with Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News providing some details on the session that will take place in the coming days in Minnesota.

According to Wolfson (Twitter link), former Slam Dunk champion Jeremy Evans is the most notable NBA veteran taking part in the Wolves’ mini-camp. Although Evans has appeared in 250 NBA games over the course of his career, it has been a while since he played real minutes for a team — since the start of the 2016/17 season, he has appeared in just one regular season contest, playing five minutes for the Hawks this April.

Besides Evans, Quincy Miller, Jarnell Stokes, Jarell Eddie, and Shawn Long are among the other mini-camp participants who have some NBA experience, per Wolfson (all Twitter links). Of those players, Eddie suited up for an NBA team most recently, appearing in three total games for the Celtics and Bulls during the 2017/18 season. His outside shooting ability could intrigue the Wolves — in 128 career G League games, Eddie has knocked down 44.2% of his three-point tries.

Jonathan Holmes, German guard Maodo Lo, and Minnesota native Alec Brown are among the other players who will take part in the Wolves’ mini-camp this weekend, Wolfson adds.

Lavoy Allen Set To Play In China

After not finding an NBA home for the 2017/18 season, veteran big man Lavoy Allen is headed to China, according to international basketball journalist David Pick, who reports (via Twitter) that Allen will sign with the CBA’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Former Grizzlies power forward Jarnell Stokes is expected to be let go by the Bulls, per Pick.

Allen, 28, entered the NBA in 2011 as the 50th overall pick in the draft. After spending two and a half seasons with the Sixers, Allen was sent to Indiana in 2014 along with Evan Turner. Allen had been a member of the Pacers for three and a half seasons since that trade, but had his team option for 2017/18 declined in June, making him a free agent.

Allen’s numbers in 388 career regular season NBA games were modest — in 17.8 minutes per contest, the Temple alum averaged 4.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG. Those averages figure to skyrocket in China, where marginal NBA bigs often transform into stars. Jared Sullinger, for instance, has put up 34.0 PPG and 15.6 RPG in nine games for the Shenzhen Leopards this season, while Stokes – apparently being replaced by Allen – had recorded 28.2 PPG and 13.4 RPG in five games.

Allen will join a Zhejiang squad that has a 5-3 record in CBA action so far this season. Former NBA swingman Sonny Weems has been the club’s leading scorer, averaging 29.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 6.6 APG.

Jarnell Stokes Signs With Chinese Team

Jarnell Stokes, who played briefly for the Nuggets last season, has signed with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Dario Destri of Sportando.

The 23-year-old center/power forward signed with Denver shortly before last year’s training camp and appeared in two games before being waived in mid-November. He joined the Sioux Falls franchise in the G League in March.

Stokes was selected 35th overall by Utah in 2014 and traded to Memphis on draft night. He played 19 games as a rookie, then had short stints with the Grizzlies and Heat in 2015/16. Stokes has spent most of his career in the G League and won both regular season and playoff MVP honors in 2016.

Free Agent Rumors: Teague, Rose, Olynyk, Waiters

Much has been made of Paul George‘s approaching free agency, but the Pacers star won’t be eligible to hit the open market until 2018. Another key Indiana player – Jeff Teague – will see his contract expire this summer, and if Teague leaves the Pacers as a free agent, that probably increases the likelihood of a George departure as well, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

One league source who spoke to Deveney predicted that Teague will seek a contract close to the max, pointing to Mike Conley‘s five-year, $150MM+ deal with the Grizzlies as one that Teague’s camp will probably bring up in contract negotiations. However, Deveney notes that Teague grew up in Indianapolis and would like to stay with the Pacers, which means a hometown discount isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Here are a few more notes from around the NBA related to current free agents or players whose contracts will be up this summer:

  • In a video for The Vertical, Bobby Marks and Chris Mannix identify Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk as two free agents whose value is very hard to pin down. Mannix suggests he wouldn’t commit to Rose for more than one or two years, while the duo agrees that Olynyk will likely command an annual salary worth at least $10MM, a substantial price to pay for a player whose production has been inconsistent.
  • It has been a tale of two seasons for Dion Waiters, who is enjoying perhaps his best year as a pro in Miami, but has also been slowed by various injuries, including the ankle sprain that currently sidelines him. Still, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn’t expect those injuries to give the Heat much additional leverage in contract talks this summer with Waiters, since they’re not serious, long-term ailments.
  • Former NBA players Solomon Jones and Jarnell Stokes are currently NBA free agents, but both players have signed D-League contracts, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter links). Stokes’ D-League rights are held by Sioux Falls, so last year’s NBADL will return to the Skyforce. The club waived former NBA center Johan Petro in a corresponding move.

Nuggets Waive Forward Jarnell Stokes

The Nuggets have waived forward Jarnell Stokes, league sources informed Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com confirms the transaction in a tweet.

Stokes, who missed the last two games with a foot injury, appeared in just two games this season and played a total of seven minutes. The 6’9” power forward appeared in 21 games with the Grizzlies over the last two seasons and another handful with the Heat. He has averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.4 minutes in 28 career games.

He was signed by Denver in September to a two-year contract and received $150K in guarantee money. His $980K salary for this season would have been fully guaranteed if he had remained on the roster through January 10th.

The University of Tennessee product was originally drafted by the Jazz with the No. 35 overall pick in 2014.

Contract Details: Warriors, Nuggets, Celtics, Pistons

Teams signing players to training camp deals in the hopes that those players will eventually land with their D-League affiliates often incentivize their offers by including partial guarantees. That appears to be the case with the Warriors — as we noted earlier today, Golden State awarded $50K guarantees to Cameron Jones, Scott Wood, and Elgin Cook, who all seem like good bets to end up with Santa Cruz. Given how modest D-League salaries are, that extra guaranteed money can motivate players to accept D-League assignments rather than seeking more lucrative jobs overseas.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), another Warriors camp invitee, Phil Pressey, also received a small guarantee, worth $35K. However, JaVale McGee‘s contract with the team is fully non-guaranteed. Of course, McGee seems more likely to earn a spot on Golden State’s regular-season roster than many of his fellow camp invitees, in which case he’d have an opportunity to earn his full $1.4MM+ salary.

Here are a few more salary details from around the NBA, via Pincus:

  • According to Pincus’ salary information, the Nuggets signed Robbie Hummel and Jarnell Stokes to two-year, minimum-salary contracts, while Nate Wolters got a three-year, minimum-salary deal. Hummel and Stokes received guarantees worth $150K apiece, while Wolters received $50K in guaranteed money.
  • The Celtics signed Damion Lee to a two-year, minimum-salary contract that features $50K in guaranteed money, while Jalen Jones got a one-year deal with a $25K guarantee, per Pincus (Twitter link).
  • The one-year, minimum-salary deals Nikola Jovanovic and Trey Freeman inked with the Pistons are both worth about $543K, the rookie minimum. However, Jovanovic got a $30K guarantee from the team, while Freeman’s deal is fully non-guaranteed, Pincus notes.

Nuggets Sign Jarnell Stokes

SEPTEMBER 15: Stokes’ deal with the Nuggets is now official, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the deal still aren’t known, but it’s likely a minimum-salary pact that includes little to no guaranteed money.

SEPTEMBER 4: The Nuggets are close to a deal with reigning D-League MVP Jarnell Stokes, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. Stokes played briefly for the Grizzlies and Heat last season.

The 6’9″ center/power forward helped Sioux Falls win a D-League record 40 games in 2015/16, posting averages of 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per night in 28 games. At the NBA level, Stokes appeared in two games with Memphis before being traded to Miami in November. The Heat shipped him to New Orleans in February, but the Pelicans released him the next day.

Stokes, 22, was a second-round pick in 2014 by the Jazz, who traded him to Memphis on draft night. He has spent most of his career in the D-League. Dempsey expects him to have a legitimate shot at earning a roster spot in Denver Twitter link).

Heat Notes: Bosh, Stoudemire, Stokes

It’s unlikely the Heat will use the stretch provision on Chris Bosh this year, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Teams face an August 31st deadline to trigger that option for the 2016/17 season, and Miami officials don’t appear ready to commit to such a move. The stretch provision is a relatively new rule that allows teams to ease the burden of an unwanted contract by waiving the player and stretching his cap hit for double the number of years left on his deal, plus one. Bosh has three years remaining at $75,868,170, so the Heat could choose to pay him $10,838,750 each year through 2022/23.

One consequence of using the stretch provision is it erases the possibility of a medical retirement, which could happen if an independent doctor rules that Bosh, whose past two seasons have been cut short by blood clots, cannot continue playing in the NBA. That must occur at least one year after a player’s final game, which in Bosh’s case was February 9th, 2016, and would take the entire remaining contract off the Heat’s cap.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Bosh continues to send positive messages to teammates about resuming his career, Winderman notes in the same story. If the Heat decide to use the stretch provision on Bosh, he could immediately sign with any other team, most likely one with fewer objections than Miami about letting him play again.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire would have preferred more time in the NBA before joining the Israeli team that he co-owns, Winderman adds in the same piece. Stoudemire appeared in 52 games for the Heat last year and became a regular starter by the end of the season. “I started 37, 38 of the last 40 [regular-season] games,” he said at a press conference in Jerusalem. “My stats were pretty good. But teams want to go younger and have a different mindset about basketball.”
  • Jarnell Stokes, who appeared in five games for Miami last season, hired Priority Sports as his new agent and turned down offers in excess of $500K to play in Europe, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The 6’9″ center/power forward was acquired in a trade with Memphis last November, but spent most of the season in the D-League, where he earned MVP honors. Miami traded him to New Orleans in February, and the Pelicans promptly released him. The Lokomotiv Kuban franchise in Russia is among the teams interested in signing Stokes, according to Sportando.