Jemerrio Jones

Lakers Notes: Opening Night, LeBron, Kawhi, Jones

Kyle Kuzma is not playing for the Lakers tonight against the Clippers as he recovers from a stress reaction in his left foot. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, it’s not clear how long Kuzma will remain sidelined.

“He’s on no-contact, half-court now,” coach Frank Vogel said of Kuzma. “I’m sure we’ll build up to no-contact, full-court with sprinting or potentially half-court with contact. I’m not sure which direction they’re going to take it next, but there will be a progression this week building him up.”

Vogel added that Kuzma has been “impatient” with his injury but is “on board with the plan” that the team has to get him back at full strength.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • LeBron James could envision a world where Kawhi Leonard was also on the Lakers, but he isn’t sure why the reigning Finals MVP picked the Clippers in free agency, as McMenamin relays in a separate piece. “Man, how the hell can I answer that? I don’t [expletive] know,” James said jocularly when asked what convinced Leonard to sign elsewhere. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Ask Kawhi.”
  • Anthony Davis said he had a role in attempting to recruit Leonard. “It was fun just to go through it, for me, with a player like Kawhi, trying to recruit him to come here. It was fun,” Davis said (via McMenamin in the same article). “We had one conversation, and I think he came out with a statement, or his uncle or something … somebody said he don’t really like all the recruitment and all that stuff, so I felt like I overstepped my boundaries…But it was a fun process. I would do it all over.”
  • The South Bay Lakers have traded the G League rights of Jemerrio Jones to the Wisconsin Herd (Bucks‘ affiliate), per a team press release. The Lakers’ affiliate will receive the No. 8 overall pick in the upcoming G League draft and the Herd’s 2020 first-rounder for Jones, who was recently waived by the Wizards and signed by Bucks on an Exhibit 10 deal.

Bucks Waive Tucker, Lacey, Jones

Rayjon TuckerTrevor Lacey and Jemerrio Jones are the final three roster cuts for the Bucks, the team announced in its Twitter feed. All three were on Exhibit 10 contracts and are likely to wind up with the Wisconsin Herd, the organization’s G League affiliate.

Tucker signed with Milwaukee in August and appeared in three preseason games, averaging 3.3 points in 9.7 minutes per night. He announced in the spring that he was transferring to Memphis from Arkansas-Little Rock, but opted to keep his name in the draft, where he wasn’t selected. Tucker played for the Bucks’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Lacey signed with Milwaukee on Thursday and Jones inked a deal with the team earlier today, so neither saw any preseason action with the Bucks. Jones was waived by the Wizards earlier this week.

Bucks Sign Jemerrio Jones

The Bucks have signed former Lakers and Wizards forward Jemerrio Jones, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Jones, 24, finished the 2018/19 season with the Lakers, averaging 4.5 PPG and 8.2 RPG in six games (23.8 MPG). He was sent to Washington in the three-team Anthony Davis blockbuster this summer for salary-matching purposes, then was waived by the Wizards earlier this week.

Because Jones received a partial guarantee of nearly $200K as a result of his inclusion in the Davis trade, he’s ineligible to sign a two-way contract with any NBA team this season. However, he can still play in the G League.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), Jones’ new deal with Milwaukee contains an Exhibit 10 clause and the plan is for him to be waived and to join the Wisconsin Herd to start the season, so he can earn a $50K bonus. Of course, if he gets an NBA opportunity before he spends 60 days with the Herd, that plan could change.

Wizards Waive Justin Anderson, Others; Sign Jalen Jones

After reporting earlier today that the Wizards are signing Anzejs Pasecniks, Fred Katz of The Athletic has the details on several more roster moves made by the team. According to Katz (Twitter links), Washington has waived Justin Anderson, Jemerrio Jones, and Phil Booth, using one of the newly-opened roster spots to sign Jalen Jones to an Exhibit 10 contract.

Booth, an undrafted rookie out of Villanova, is expected to join the Capital City Go-Go – the Wizards’ G League affiliate – for training camp later this month, per Katz. It’s not clear what the next steps will be for Anderson and Jones.

Anderson, the 21st overall pick in the 2015 draft, spent last season with the Hawks, recording 3.7 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 48 games (9.6 MPG). He averaged 9.8 PPG with a .385 3PT% in four preseason games for Washington, though his most memorable moment came when he mixed it up with Marcus Morris, goading the Knicks forward into a Flagrant 2 foul and an ejection.

Jemerrio Jones, meanwhile, was one of three Wizards players acquired from the Lakers as part of the three-team Anthony Davis blockbuster. He played limited minutes in three preseason contests for the club. Jones received a partial guarantee worth just under $200K as a result of his inclusion in the Davis deal, so Washington will have to keep that dead money on its cap this season.

Jalen Jones, a 6’7″ forward out of Texas A&M, has appeared in 32 total games for the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Cavaliers over the last two seasons. He was waived from his two-way contract with Cleveland back in January and finished the 2018/19 season with Baskonia in Spain.

With three players released and two signed, Washington would have 19 players under contract, leaving one opening on its preseason roster.

Southeast Notes: Johnson, Turner, Jones, Wizards

James Johnson‘s agent Mark Bartelstein said his client has been absent from the Heat’s training camp because of his weight rather than his conditioning, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Johnson hasn’t been allowed to participate in camp until he reaches that weight goal set by Heat president Pat Riley. Bartelstein said Johnson passed the team’s conditioning test and will return to the team “shortly,” Jackson adds. Johnson has a $15.3MM salary this season with a $16MM player option next season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce wants to take advantage Evan Turner‘s versatility, Kevin Chouinard of the team’s website tweets. Turner will serve as the backup point guard and will also be employed as a small-ball power forward along with playing the wing. Turner was acquired from the Blazers for Kent Bazemore.
  • Forward Jemerrio Jones is trying to gain a role with the Wizards via his rebounding and hustle, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details.  Jones, who played six games with the Lakers last season as a rookie, has a $1,416,852 salary, but less than $200K is guaranteed. “I go hard in the paint,” he said. “[Fans] are going to like the hustle in me. You gotta pay people to play hard now, but it’s in me.” Jones was acquired in the three-team blockbuster that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.
  • Thomas Bryant inspires his other young Wizards teammates to exceed expectations, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes. Bryant, who was cut loose by the Lakers, earned a three-year, $25MM contract after replacing injured Dwight Howard as the starting center last season. “The opportunity that he got, making the best of getting cut, it’s incredible for me to observe,” second-year center Moritz Wagner said. “I’m very happy to do this with him together.”

Lakers Officially Acquire Anthony Davis In Three-Team Trade

The Lakers, Pelicans, and Wizards have officially completed the three-team trade that makes Anthony Davis a Laker. All three teams issued press releases tonight to announce the deal. The structure of the trade is as follows:

  • Lakers acquire Anthony Davis.
  • Pelicans acquire Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick (9-30 protected; unprotected in 2022), the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), the right to swap 2023 first-round picks with the Lakers, and cash ($1.1MM; from Wizards).
    • Note: The Pelicans will also have the option to defer the 2024 first-round pick to 2025.
  • Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, and the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick.

The long-awaited deal was held up slightly today as the Lakers officially finalized a series of signings using their cap room. In order to maximize its cap space, the club had to sign free agents first before acquiring Davis. Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and JaVale McGee all signed their contracts with the Lakers since the July moratorium ended this afternoon.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, will now flip the rights to Hunter to the Hawks in a separate deal, putting the No. 4 pick on track to join his new team for Summer League action. Once the deal is done, Atlanta will also be able to complete its trade with the Sixers involving Bruno Fernando and Jordan Bone, then Philadelphia will be able to flip Bone to the Pistons.

For more details on one of the summer’s biggest trades, be sure to check out our previous stories on the Lakers/Pelicans aspect of the deal, as well as the Lakers/Wizards part of the swap.

Davis Deal Could Be Delayed If Leonard Remains Undecided

The Anthony Davis trade could be delayed if Kawhi Leonard doesn’t choose a team by noon ET on Saturday, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Bobby Marks report.

The complex, four-way series of deals involving the Lakers, Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards can become official Saturday. The Lakers would lose their ability to give Leonard a max contract if any of the other teams involved decline to delay the trade. However, those teams are expected to cooperate, according to Marks.

The Lakers and Pelicans agreed on the initial trade in which Los Angeles sent Lonzo BallBrandon IngramJosh Hart and three first-round picks to New Orleans for Davis. Los Angeles opened up a $32MM salary slot by agreeing to ship Moritz WagnerIsaac BongaJemerrio Jones and a 2022 second-round pick to Washington, which sent cash to New Orleans. Davis also agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker.

New Orleans and Atlanta made a big draft-night swap as an offshoot of the Davis trade. New Orleans agreed to move the No. 4 overall pick, forward De’Andre Hunter, they received from the Lakers as well as a late second-rounder along with Solomon Hill‘s contract to the Hawks for two first-rounders, center Jaxson Hayes and guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, an early second-round pick and a first-rounder next year.

Without the delay, the Lakers could only offer Leonard a four-year, $127MM contract — $11MM less than the max over the life of the deal.

Leonard’s indecision also may cause some other delays.

The Pelicans won’t be able to sign free agent guard J.J. Redick until the Hill trade is finished. Hill is ticketed to the Grizzlies in another trade once the Davis deal is completed. The rookies involved in those proposed transactions, as well as the three young players headed to the Wizards, aren’t allowed to play summer league ball until everything is finalized.

Lakers Trading Wagner, Bonga, Jones To Wizards; AD Waiving Trade Kicker

The Lakers have found a way to maximize their projected cap room for free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Wizards as part of the Anthony Davis trade. Additionally, Davis has agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker, per Wojnarowski.

As a result of those developments, the Lakers will be able to generate just over $32MM in cap room based on the projected $109MM cap. That’s more than enough space for a maximum salary for a player with less than seven years of NBA experience ($27.25MM), and puts them in the ballpark of the max for a player in the 7-9 year range ($32.7MM).

[RELATED: NBA Maximum Salary Projections For 2019/20]

Here’s how the Lakers’ moves will work once the July moratorium lifts on July 6:

Prior to completing the Davis deal, the Lakers will have approximately $32MM in cap room after accounting for eight players, the cap hold for the No. 4 pick, and three empty roster charges. The team will use that room in free agency, with ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeting that L.A. is still considering whether it will commit all that money to a single star or split it up among two or three players.

If the Lakers go after a single star, D’Angelo Russell and Kawhi Leonard are among the presumed targets. According to Wojnarowski, players like Danny Green, Terrence Ross, and Seth Curry could be among the club’s targets if it breaks up its cap space.

Once that space is used up, the Lakers will complete its agreements with the Pelicans and Wizards as part of a single three-way trade. In order to acquire Davis, whose salary is $27,093,018, the Lakers will have to send out at least $21,594,415 in total to meet salary-matching requirements as an over-the-cap team. They’ll do so with the following contracts:

Jones’ salary is non-guaranteed, which means it currently counts for $0 for salary-matching purposes. Without it, the Lakers would fall just under $200K shy of the salary they need, since the unsigned No. 4 pick would also count for $0 for matching purposes (draftees who sign rookie contracts can be used for salary matching, but can’t be traded for 30 days). As such, according to Marks (via Twitter), Jones’ salary will be partially guaranteed for $199K, allowing the Lakers to meet the necessary outgoing-salary threshold.

The Wizards, who will use trade exceptions to take on the incoming players, will also receive the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. In order to officially make it a three-team deal – and to incentivize the Pelicans to sign off – Washington will send $1.1MM in cash to New Orleans, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. That’s the minimum amount necessary to satisfy the “touch” rules in a three-team trade, tweets Marks.

While the Lakers’ motivation for the deal is obvious, it’s not a bad arrangement for the Wizards either. As an over-the-cap team, Washington didn’t have many other avenues to add talent this offseason, and have several rotation players facing free agency.

The Wizards will now get a chance to take fliers on Wagner and Bonga while also picking up a future second-round pick. They had interest in Wagner leading up to the 2018 draft, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the big man will get an opportunity in D.C.

In other Davis-related news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that LeBron James has agreed to give up his uniform number (No. 23) to AD in an effort to make the big man as comfortable as possible in Los Angeles. Davis is “extremely grateful,” Haynes adds. It’s not clear yet which number James will wear in 2019/20, but he was No. 6 during his years with the Heat.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Brogdon, Lakers, Favors, Ross

With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford expected to sign elsewhere and Aron Baynes having been re-routed to Phoenix, the Celtics have the ability to create about $25.8MM — or up to $34MM-ish if they renounce Terry Rozier.

As Chris Mannix of SI.com notes in his latest look at free agency, Kemba Walker has been linked to the Celtics this week, but he’s not the only free agent the club is considering. According to Mannix, Boston has internally discussed the possibility of pursuing Bucks RFA-to-be Malcolm Brogdon.

There has also been speculation about Bradley Beal as a potential trade target for the Celtics, but that probably won’t be an option, according to Mannix, who notes that Beal (a favorite of team owner Ted Leonsis) has been told by the Wizards that he won’t be dealt. Even if Beal were available, there’s a feeling in Boston that it might take Jayson Tatum to acquire him, Mannix adds.

Here’s more from Mannix:

  • The Lakers have shopped their “spare parts” in trade discussions, but talks have gone nowhere so far, league sources tell Mannix. Presumably, Mannix is referring to Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, who would have to be rolled into the Lakers’ Anthony Davis blockbuster for the club to maximize its cap room.
  • While it seems likely that he’ll be back, the Jazz haven’t necessarily locked in on retaining Derrick Favors, who has a non-guaranteed $17.65MM contract. Mannix suggests that Nikola Mirotic could be a name worth keeping an eye for Utah on if Favors is released to create cap room.
  • The Magic have been “steadfast” in their desire to re-sign top free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, and some within the organization are anxious to see what their market value will be, writes Mannix. Ross may be a candidate to receive a big contract offer from a team in need of a three-and-D wing, according to Mannix, who speculates that the sharpshooter could command $15MM per year.

Lakers Notes: Irving, Russell, Horton-Tucker, Adams

Kyrie Irving or D’Angelo Russell? The Lakers may wind up chasing whichever free agent point guard doesn’t sign with the Nets, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Rumors have had Irving headed to Brooklyn for a few weeks, but there were rumblings recently that the Nets’ front office isn’t sold on Irving without Kevin Durant.

If Brooklyn adds Irving, that means Russell, a restricted free agent, will likely be renounced. If Irving goes elsewhere, the Nets are expected to work out a new deal with Russell. Either way, that puts a talented guard on the market for the Lakers, who are looking for someone to pair in a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell had a checkered history during the two years he spent in L.A., but Nick Young is gone, along with the other former teammates he feuded with.

Irving has championship experience and has played with LeBron before. However, at 27, he’s four year’s older than Russell and probably much more expensive. He won’t take less than a max deal, while Pincus suggests the Lakers may be able to land Russell for about $80MM over four seasons.

There’s also a sense that Irving is more difficult to handle, with a rival executive telling Pincus, “They’re both divas, but Irving takes it to another level. Russell may be high-maintenance, but he’s no Kyrie.”

There’s more from L.A.:
  • The Lakers are trying to convince the Hawks to become part of the Davis trade, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said on Sports Center (video clip tweeted by Lakers Outsider). Lakers GM Rob Pelinka wants to open more cap room by sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to Atlanta in a three-team deal. The Hawks agreed to a trade with New Orleans for the No. 4 pick on draft night, so it’s possible those moves will turn into a single transaction.
  • L.A. sent $2.2MM to the Magic for the rights to the rights to the 46th pick, McMenamin tweets. They used that selection to take Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker.
  • The Lakers received permission from the Warriors today to talk to assistant coach Ron Adams, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. There’s no indication that Adams is interested in leaving Golden State, but L.A. could change his mind by making a large offer.