Jaron Blossomgame

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Smith, Sexton

Ben Simmons‘ near-$170MM extension with the Sixers may sound like an exorbitant amount for the 22-year-old, but Derek Bodner of The Athletic argue that the deal could turn into a bargain.

Simmons’ 2020/21 salary (estimated to start at $29.25MM) currently places him 30th among his NBA peers that season. Surely other players will sign top-end deals next summer, dropping him lower in the rankings.

The point guard still needs to further develop his jumper to become great, Bodner cautions. However, Simmons has all the tools to easily become a top-10 talent for the Sixers and should that happen, he would be severely underpaid.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • If J.R. Smith signs with another team, the Cavaliers will recoup the $500K they agreed to give him for extending his guaranteed date via setoff, ESPN Bobby Marks notes on Twitter. Cleveland waived Smith on Monday.
  • The Cavaliers didn’t play Collin Sexton in Summer League because the point guard didn’t have much to gain from the experience, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com explains. The level of competition in Las Vegas and Utah isn’t very high and it was much more prudent to allow Sexton to join the team in those locations but not risk injury during live action.
  • The Cavaliers are fans of Jaron Blossomgame, who played for their Summer League team, Fedor relays in the same piece. Blossomgame spent time with the club under a two-way deal in 2018/19 and is a candidate for a roster spot this upcoming season.

Cavaliers Notes: Garland, Love, Blossomgame, Mitrou-Long

Darius Garland won over Cavaliers management with an impressive shooting performance in a workout last week, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The Cavs sent a sizable contingent to Los Angeles to watch Garland in his first pre-draft session. He didn’t disappoint, sinking shots from all over the court and reportedly going five or six minutes without missing.

“We saw him take 30-footers and flick them like it was nothing,” general manager Koby Altman said.

The Cavaliers had been hoping to draft De’Andre Hunter, but didn’t have the resources to trade up to No. 4. They also liked Jarrett Culver, but Garland changed their minds with his shooting display. Vardon reports that new coach John Beilein was seen cheering on the Vanderbilt guard as he hit one shot after another.

“It was like, ‘OK, how could this work out?’” Altman said. “We started to get fascinated with the idea.”

There’s more Cavaliers news to pass along:

  • Cleveland is talking to teams interested in Kevin Love, but hasn’t made any progress toward a trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during an appearance this week on WKNR in Cleveland (hat tip to Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report). “It’s hard to find the right deal for him,” said Windhorst, who put the odds of a trade at 50-50. He noted it would be easy to find a taker for Love if the Cavs just wanted to unload the four years and $120MM left on his contract, but because he’s one of their few tradable assets they want to get something of value in return.
  • The Cavaliers won’t extend a qualifying offer to two-way player Jaron Blossomgame, tweets Cleveland-based basketball writer Chris Manning. The 25-year-old small forward signed with the Cavs in December and played 27 games at the NBA level, averaging 4.2 PPG. He posted an 18.5/7.5/2.2 line in 35 G League contests. He will be an unrestricted free agent.
  • Naz Mitrou-Long, who had a two-way contract with the Jazz this season, will join the Cavaliers for Summer League, a source tells Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News (Twitter link). The 25-year-old shooting guard got into 14 games for Utah, averaging 6 minutes per night.

Cavaliers Waive Preston, Harrison, Sign Blossomgame, Jones

The Cavaliers have replaced both of their players on two-way contracts, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Cleveland waived Billy Preston and Andrew Harrison and signed Jaron Blossomgame and Jalen Jones.

Blossomgame, a second-round pick by the Spurs in 2017, was recently acquired in a trade by Cleveland’s G League affiliate in Canton. The 25-year-old averaged 17.2 PPG in five games with the Charge while shooting 49% from the floor and 38% on 3-pointers.

Jones, also 25, played 16 games last season with the Pelicans and Mavericks. He started the year as a two-way player in New Orleans, then was claimed off waivers by Dallas in January. Fedor speculates that he may remain with the Cavs for a few games, rather than being sent to the G League right away, because David Nwaba is sidelined with a sore knee.

Preston signed a two-way deal with Cleveland in July, but hasn’t advanced above the G League. Fedor states that the Cavaliers talked about calling him up as insurance with the recent rash of injuries, but management decided he wasn’t ready to contribute at the NBA level.

The Cavs signed Harrison on November 9 to provide an extra ball-handler with George Hill hurt. Hill returned to the lineup last night and Alec Burks, acquired in a trade with the Jazz this week, will help run the offense, which eliminates the need to keep Harrison. He had played in 10 of the team’s past 11 games and was averaging 4.3 PPG.

And-Ones: All-Star Game, White, Holland, Carmelo

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he would discuss holding a future All-Star Game in the city of Detroit with Arn Tellem, the vice-chairman of the Pistons, Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News reports. The Pistons are playing their second season at Little Caesars Arena, which is also the home of the NHL’s Red Wings. “I’m sure we’ll be talking about it,” Silver said during a business trip to the city. The state of Michigan hasn’t seen an All-Star Game since 1979, when it was held in the Pontiac Silverdome. The Pistons’ former home, The Palace of Auburn Hills, never hosted the event.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Former Heat and Cavaliers big man Okaro White is close to signing with Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to a Eurobasket.com report which was relayed by Sam Amico. White appeared in six games with Miami last season after seeing action in 35 games with the Heat the previous season. The Cavaliers signed him to 10-day contracts last season but he didn’t play. He was waived by Cleveland in August and then by the Spurs in October after joining them for training camp.
  • The G League’s Austin Spurs acquired the returning rights to guard John Holland and a 2019 second-round pick from the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate, in exchange for small forward Jaron Blossomgame, according to a press release from the G League club. Holland had a two-way contract with the Cavaliers last season and played 24 games, posting an average of 2.3 PPG in 7.3 MPG. Holland appeared in one game this season with the Cavaliers before being waived on November 9th. Blossomgame, the Spurs’ second-round pick in 2017, spent the last two seasons with Austin but has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Warriors, Sixers, Lakers and Pelicans are the most likely landing spots for Carmelo Anthony once he’s waived by the Rockets, Matt Eppers of USA Today opines. Anthony could help each of those teams to varying degrees, mainly as a second-unit player.

Spurs Waive Jaron Blossomgame

The Spurs have waived former second-round pick Jaron Blossomgame, according to Jabari Young of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move opens up a spot on San Antonio’s 20-man preseason roster.

Blossomgame, who played his college ball at Clemson, was drafted by the Spurs with the 59th overall pick in 2017. He signed a G League contract for his rookie season, becoming a starting forward for an Austin Spurs squad that won the NBAGL championship this past spring.

In 50 games (48 starts) last season, Blossomgame averaged 16.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG. He also played for San Antonio’s Summer League team this July, posting 13.0 PPG and 7.6 RPG in five contests in Las Vegas.

Those performances earned Blossomgame a camp invite, but now that he has been waived by the Spurs, San Antonio will no longer hold his NBA rights. The 25-year-old could still end up playing for Austin in the G League, but he’ll be free to sign with any other NBA team if he clears waivers later this week.

Spurs Sign Okaro White To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Spurs have made another addition to their training camp roster, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, who tweets that veteran forward Okaro White has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with San Antonio. Per RealGM’s transactions log, the Spurs have also officially completed reported deals with Drew Eubanks, Olivier Hanlan, and Jaron Blossomgame.

White, who signed a two-year contract with the Cavaliers during the final week of the 2017/18 season, was waived by Cleveland in August before the team owed any guaranteed money for that second year. Formerly a member of the Heat, White has appeared in 41 NBA games over the last two seasons for Miami, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.4 minutes per contest.

The Florida State alum, who missed a good chunk of the ’17/18 campaign with a broken foot, talked earlier this year about how he’s still working to mentally get over that injury. It appears he’ll have the opportunity to work on it this fall with San Antonio.

The Spurs now have a full 20-man roster, with 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries, four on non-guaranteed deals, and one (Eubanks) on a two-way pact. However, one of those 15 guaranteed contracts is Manu Ginobili‘s — the club will still need to officially release him at some point after he announced his retirement.

Spurs Cut Two Players, Sign Jaron Blossomgame

The Spurs are making some changes to their roster in advance of training camp. After agreeing to terms with Olivier Hanlan, San Antonio has also signed former second-round pick Jaron Blossomgame to a training camp deal, as he confirmed to Jeff Garcia and Michael Rehome of The Spurs Zone.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Blossomgame, who was drafted by the Spurs with the 59th overall pick in 2017 and played for the Austin Spurs last season. “I’ve played really well in open gym, so it’s exciting.”

In a pair of moves that will open up roster spots, the Spurs waived Amida Brimah and Julian Washburn, just a few days after having signed them, per NBA.com’s transactions log. Brimah and Washburn weren’t expected to compete for roster spots, having presumably been signed for their G League rights.

Blossomgame, however, could be given the opportunity to vie for an opening on San Antonio’s 15-man regular season squad. The 25-year-old, who played his college ball at Clemson, was a starting forward for an Austin team that won the NBAGL championship this past spring. In 50 games (48 starts), Blossomgame averaged 16.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG. He also played for San Antonio’s Summer League team this July, posting 13.0 PPG and 7.6 RPG in five contests in Las Vegas.

Jaron Blossomgame To Join Austin Spurs

1:30pm: Blossomgame will be joining the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate, but not on a two-way contract, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. Wright indicates that Blossomgame will get a standard G League contract, as the Spurs retain his NBA rights. That will give the club the flexibility to add two other players on two-way contracts.

10:39am: Reports of Blossomgame signing a two-way contract are “not accurate,” per Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).

It’s not clear whether the Spurs intend to sign Blossomgame to an NBA contract or if no decision has been made yet. Since he was a draft pick, San Antonio holds Blossomgame’s NBA rights, so the two sides figure to work something out at some point.

8:27am: The Spurs will sign 2017 second-round pick Jaron Blossomgame to a two-way contract, according to Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days (via Twitter). The deal is not yet official.

Blossomgame, a 6’7″ forward, was ranked as the 50th-best prospect in this year’s draft class by DraftExpress. In his senior season at Clemson, Blossomgame averaged 17.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 33 games. The Spurs made him the 59th overall pick in the draft last month.

As we’ve detailed, two-way contracts are a new addition to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allow teams to control two extra players who primarily play for the club’s G League affiliate. They can be called up to the NBA roster, but only for up to 45 days per season.

Blossomgame is the third late-second-round pick to agree to a two-way contract, along with the Pacers’ Edmond Sumner (No. 52) and the Suns’ Alec Peters (No. 54). I expect most second-round selections will avoid having to sign two-way deals, but I wouldn’t be surprised if teams picking late in the draft spoke to players and agents before draft day to see if they’d be amenable to doing a two-way deal.

Pre-Draft Workouts: Hart, Smith Jr., Kennard, Adebayo

It’s that time of the summer, days until the NBA draft, when your favorite team is doing its due diligence and working out every prospect and his brother. Here is the latest in pre-draft workout news:

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts: