Josh McRoberts

Mavericks Waive Josh McRoberts

The Mavericks have waived veteran center/power forward Josh McRoberts, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The move is likely a buyout agreement, although terms were not released.

McRoberts played just two games in Dallas after being acquired from Miami in an offseason trade. The Mavericks also received $5.1M in cash and a 2023 second-round draft pick in the deal, so they don’t walk away empty handed.

McRoberts was hampered by a left foot injury early in the season, but he has been active for every game since December 31. He was trapped in a logjam at center that will only get more crowded once Nerlens Noel returns from thumb surgery. McRoberts, who was making a little more than $6MM in the final year of his contract, will try to sign with a contender once he clears waivers Monday.

Coach Rick Carlisle said the team will monitor the waiver wire and future buyouts to fill its open roster spot, tweets Mavericks insider Earl K. Sneed.

2017/18 Buyout Market Summary

With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, much attention is being paid to what is expected to be several weeks of busy buyout market activity. The last day that a player can be waived from their current team and still be eligible to play in the postseason with a new team is March 1.

Below are a series of lists breaking down the veterans who have already been bought out – or simply waived – by their respective teams since the trade deadline, along with those who are expected to be, and several more who really ought to be considered possible buyout candidates even if no reports have come out explicitly stating as much.

As the weeks unfold, we may see new names surface as buyout candidates, in such cases (and whenever a player is formally bought out) we’ll update the list.

Potential buyout candidates:

Expected to be bought out or released:

  • None

Veterans who have been bought out or released:

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Leonard, Green, Grizzlies

The Mavericks remain willing to take on salary in any deal as long as they get draft picks for their troubles, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas has about $13MM in available cap room, and the quality of the picks they ask for will rise according to how much salary they absorb. The Mavs were rumored to be a potential third team to help complete a George Hill trade to Cleveland, with a Sacramento second-rounder coming to Dallas, but Sefko dismisses that as unlikely.

He identifies Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr. and Dirk Nowitzki as the only untouchables on the Mavericks’ roster, but adds that it would take an extraordinary offer to get J.J. Barea, Devin Harris or Wesley Matthews. Sefko notes that Dallas feels a sense of loyalty to its veteran players and speculates that another organization might have waived Harris before his contract became fully guaranteed earlier this month.

The Mavs, who rank fourth in our Reverse Standings, are counting on a high lottery pick to add another building block for the future. They would like to acquire a second pick and are hoping to find a center in the draft.

Sefko adds that Josh McRoberts, who has a $6MM expiring contract, is being made available in trades, but Dallas plans to let him play out the season if no deal is reached. The team is hoping to re-sign Seth Curry, Salah Mejri and Yogi Ferrell when they all hit free agency this summer.

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • The tension between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs over his injury is “legit,” a source tells Ken Berger of Bleacher Report. GM R.C. Buford has denied any rift with Leonard, but both sides are frustrated over his long recovery time from right quadriceps tendinopathy. The same source says the Spurs have a history of being reluctant to get second opinions from doctors outside the organization. Despite the hard feelings, a rival GM says San Antonio hasn’t given any consideration to trading Leonard.
  • The Rockets‘ return to full health has cost Gerald Green his spot in the rotation, notes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Green, who signed with the team in late December, averaged 15.6 points in 10 games while some key players were sidelined with injuries. “I can’t upset five guys to appease one,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I’d rather have one guy kind of out of it and four happy. I’ve got to keep a core that knows about their minutes. Now, whenever I can, I’ll play him. I won’t hesitate to play him. If somebody’s hurt or sick, he’ll play. Or if I can find time, I will.”
  • The Grizzlies are already making moves with next season in mind, writes Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis is giving more minutes to younger players and letting veterans rest longer after injuries. The team plans to explore the trade market for Tyreke Evans and other players on expiring contracts before the February 8 deadline.

Southwest Notes: Conley, McRoberts, D. Smith, Rondo

Mike Conley is traveling with the Grizzlies on their road trip and is hoping to return to action soon, according to Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Conley, who has missed 23 games with an aching left Achilles and heel, appears to have made significant progress in his rehab program, Tillery notes after watching his pre-game workouts.

Conley and the Grizzlies haven’t commented on a possible return date. The team issued its last medical update December 18, saying Conley would be out at least two more weeks. Tillery expects further news to be announced Monday or Tuesday. After a strong start to the season, Memphis has collapsed without Conley, going 4-19 to tumble into the Western Conference basement.

There’s more today from the Southwest Division:

  • Josh McRoberts is getting closer to making his debut with the Mavericks, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Acquired from the Heat in an offseason trade, McRoberts has been sidelined with a lower extremity injury. There was hope that he might be able to play tonight against the Thunder, but he has been declared inactive, tweets Earl K. Sneed. With McRoberts returning and Nerlens Noel expected back from thumb surgery in early to mid-January, the Mavericks will again have an abundance of big men that will likely be resolved by a trade before the February 8 deadline.
  • Regardless of whatever else happens this season, the Mavericks are confident they have a building block for the future in Dennis Smith Jr. The rookie point guard has been everything Dallas expected when it made him the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft, although coach Rick Carlisle said he still needs to learn how to be a leader at the NBA level. “We drafted him because we think he can be a great player, one of the best players to ever play in a Mavericks’ uniform, on the one hand,” Carlisle said. “On the other hand, the things that are really essential to winning and are very nuanced aren’t screaming out to the world the way a triple-double is. And he’s understanding that. It’s a huge step.”
  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters not to read too much into his decision to leave Rajon Rondo on the bench during the fourth quarter of Friday’s loss to Dallas, relays Christian Boutwell of The Journal Times. Gentry opted for veteran backup Jameer Nelson, but that probably won’t be the start of a trend. “It had nothing to do with Rondo, or the way he was playing or anything like that,” Gentry said. “It was just coach’s instinct.”

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are in a curious position as an NBA franchise, suspended in a unique limbo between rebuilding and (sorta) contending. Thank Dirk Nowitzki for most of it, as team owner Mark Cuban seems to have insisted that the Mavs field a semi-competent roster in the future Hall of Famer’s final years.

While the club has seemingly acknowledged the writing on the wall and started to amass long-term building blocks – most recently, ninth overall pick Dennis Smith Jr. – it’s unlikely that the Mavs will fully give into an outright rebuild so long as Nowitzki is on board for 2018/19 (which, for reasons discussed below, we’re going to assume to be the case).

Seth Curry verticalSeth Curry, PG, 27 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $6MM deal in 2016
Curry has yet to see the court this season on account of a leg injury that may now require surgery. Even at full health, however, it’s not likely that Curry would have siphoned minutes away from either lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. or several other niche players in Dallas’ backcourt rotation, a reality that casts doubt on his future with the franchise.

Devin Harris, SG, 35 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $17MM deal in 2014
While Harris has produced admirably off the bench for the Mavs, it doesn’t make sense for a team attempting to usher in a new era to retain a 35-year-old reserve in an already crowded backcourt. Harris could be a sneaky value add for a contender late in the free agency process next summer.

Yogi Ferrell, PG, 25 (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2MM deal in 2017
Ferrell carved out a role for himself as a rotation piece on the Mavs last season but he probably won’t garner much interest as a restricted free agent next summer given that his ceiling seems somewhat capped. Still, he could provide solid long-term value in Dallas if the team does decide to part ways with Curry and/or Harris.

Wesley Matthews, SF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015
The Mavs poached Matthews from an elite Trail Blazers squad hopeful that the swingman’s two-way game would help keep their aging core relevant in the West. Through three seasons, Matthews has posted a relatively uninspiring 12.9 points per game but will almost certainly return to Dallas considering how unlikely it would be for him to exceed his $19MM 2018/19 player option on the open market.

Josh McRoberts, PF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $23MM deal in 2014
The Mavs absorbed the final year of McRoberts’ contract over the summer, yielding a future second-round pick from the Heat in the process. Considering that the 30-year-old has been sidelined with a knee injury since joining the organization, he’ll be hard-pressed to earn a significant contract after this season. McRoberts may be able to fill a rotation spot somewhere – maybe even in Dallas – but he’ll presumably have to do so on a minimum salary.

Salah Mejri, C, 32 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3MM deal in 2015
While Mejri has played a modest role for the Mavs in each of the past three seasons, he won’t command much on the open market as a 32-year-old free agent with career averages south of five points per game.

Nerlens Noel, C, 24 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $4MM deal in 2017
It’s been less than a year since the Mavs plucked a disgruntled Noel away from the Sixers, but any notion that the team was eager to include the 23-year-old in their long-term plans has quickly faded. It’s hard to picture Noel commanding the big money he supposedly aspired to land last summer but even harder to picture him back in Dallas next season after how head coach Rick Carlisle has handled his minutes so far this season. Realistically the 2016 lottery pick’s value falls much higher than his $4MM qualifying offer and, once the free agency dominoes start falling next summer, he should find a team happy to throw him a more significant long-term offer.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF, 40 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2017.
Nowitzki has said that his decision (yes, his decision, even though it’s formally and contractually the team’s) will be based on how he feels over the course of this season. For what it’s worth, Cuban hopes to see him return and thinks there’s good chance that he does so in order to break the record for most seasons with one franchise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texas Notes: McRoberts, Noel, Gay, Nene

Mavericks center/power forward Josh McRoberts doesn’t know when he’ll be able to play again, but he hopes to start practicing soon, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. McRoberts, who was acquired from Miami in an offseason trade, has been diagnosed with a “lower extremity injury” that has kept him out all season. It’s the latest in a string of mishaps that limited him to 81 games over the three seasons before he came to Dallas.

“Basically, it’s just my foot having been broken three different times,” McRoberts explained. “That’s pretty much what it is. I’m trying to get my foot healthy and feeling good and get it to a place where Casey [Smith, athletic trainer] and the staff feel comfortable with where we’re at to be able to get out on the court and stay out on the court and not have any setbacks.” 

McRoberts hopes to be able to practice in the next week or so and says there’s “no doubt” he will  play at some point this season. He is making a little more than $6MM in the final year of his contract.

There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:

  • Mavericks center Nerlens Noel is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing thumb surgery Friday at the Cleveland Clinic, according to Joe Vardon of Noel had a torn ligament repaired and should return in four to six weeks. The 23-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent in July, is averaging 4.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18 games.
  • Rudy Gay was considered an odd fit when he signed with the Spurs this summer, but the move has worked out, notes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype in a Twitter video. Gay has accepted a reduced role in San Antonio, playing just 23.5 minutes per night, and is averaging 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds. He has also adopted the Spurs’ language, as Kennedy includes a recent quote of Gay saying, “For us to be successful, we have to find the open man and pass up a good shot for a great one.”
  • The Rockets can’t find enough minutes for veteran center Nene, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Going into the season, the team hoped to play him 19 minutes per game, but he has reached that total just once and is averaging 14.4 minutes. “I don’t know how important it is right now,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The biggest thing is just to make sure he’s healthy going into the playoffs. That’s the biggest thing we want to do and getting his rhythm before that happens. But that’s a long time from now. I’m not worried about that right now.”

Five Candidates To Be Waived With Stretch Provision

NBA teams have about two more weeks to apply the stretch provision to the 2017/18 cap hits for players they waive. After August 31, teams will no longer be eligible to stretch salaries for the coming season, and the stretch provision will only apply to future seasons on a player’s contract.

The stretch provision is a CBA rule that allows teams to stretch a player’s remaining salary across additional seasons. For July and August, the rule dictates that a team can pay out the player’s salary over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. So a contract with three years left on it could be stretched out over seven years. After August 31, only the future years on the contract can be stretched in that manner.

In practical terms, here’s what that means for a player who is earning $6MM in each of the next two years ($12MM total):

Year Current contract Stretched by August 31 Stretched after August 31
2017/18 $6,000,000 $2,400,000 $6,000,000
2018/19 $6,000,000 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2019/20 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2020/21 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2021/22 $2,400,000

In some cases, it can be advantageous to wait until September to waive a player and use the stretch provision. If a team isn’t close to the tax line and can’t clear additional cap room by stretching a player’s current-year salary, it may make more sense to be patient, since that extra immediate cap room wouldn’t be useful.

However, there are several teams around the NBA who may be motivated to waive and stretch players prior to that August 31 deadline. Here are five stretch provision candidates to keep an eye on during the next couple weeks:

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Heat Paid $5.1MM To Mavs In McRoberts Deal

The Heat took full advantage of the increased limits for cash used in trades last week, sending $5.1MM to the Mavericks in the deal that landed Josh McRoberts to Dallas, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

In each NBA league year, teams are permitted to send up to a certain amount of cash in trades, and are permitted to receive no more than that amount as well. In 2016/17, that figure was $3.5MM, but it increased to $5.1MM in 2017/18. That means that the Heat have already used their limit for the current league year, and won’t be able to send out any additional cash in trades until July 2018. Miami could still receive up to $5.1MM in trades, however.

With the cash taken into account, the Mavericks come out ahead in the trade in more ways than one. McRoberts is earning $6,021,175 this year, and A.J. Hammons – who went from the Mavs to the Heat in the swap – is making $1,312,611, so the difference in their salaries is $4,708,564. Dallas received more than enough cash to make up that difference and received a future second-round pick from their troubles. Since they’re acting as an over-the-cap team, the Mavs didn’t sacrifice any cap room by taking on McRoberts, though they now won’t be eligible to receive any more cash in trades until next July.

Meanwhile, the deal is also a win from the Heat’s perspective, since the team had to use every last dollar of cap room to squeeze in new deals for Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk. Cash paid in a trade doesn’t count toward the cap, so by dumping McRoberts’ salary and only taking back Hammons’ modest contract, the Heat were able to just barely create the space necessary for their signings. They also landed Hammons, a player Riley spoke highly of earlier today.

Heat Trade Josh McRoberts To Mavericks

The Heat and Mavericks have officially finalized a deal that sends veteran forward Josh McRoberts to Dallas, the Heat announced today in a press release. In addition to McRoberts, the Mavs will receive a 2023 second-round pick and cash considerations. Miami will acquire young center A.J. Hammons.

The move is a salary dump from the Heat’s perspective, and helps clear the way for the team to finalize its contract agreements with Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson. All three players reached deals with Miami this week that will reportedly pay them between $12-15MM annually.

[RELATED: Heat’s summer contract agreements, via our free agent tracker]

McRoberts has been limited by injuries for the last two seasons, and may not have a future with the Mavericks, who could stretch the final year of his contract if they so choose. Last season, the 30-year-old averaged 4.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 22 games (14 starts) for the Heat.

The Heat have already traded their second-round picks in each of the next four years, meaning the earliest pick Miami could have offered would have been its 2022 selection. The club hangs onto that pick in the transaction, sending its 2023 second-rounder instead. Meanwhile, the amount of cash changing hands isn’t known, but the cap for the 2017/18 league year on cash paid or cash received is $5.1MM.

Heat, Mavs Nearing Josh McRoberts Trade

7:54pm: The Mavericks will use a trade exception to absorb McRoberts’ salary, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas has a $6.6MM+ TPE that would fit McRoberts’ $6MM+ salary. The use of that exception signals that the Mavs intend to function as an over-the-cap team for now.

Meanwhile, Charania’s full report on the proposed deal also notes that the Mavs will receive cash from the Heat.

7:12pm: The Heat are working to trade Josh McRoberts to the Mavericks as they look to clear salary, Adrian Wojnarowski of tweets. Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (Twitter links) that Dallas will send A.J. Hammons to Miami in exchange for the power forward.

The Mavericks will also receive a future second-round pick from Miami, Charania adds. The Heat have already traded their second-round picks in each of the next four seasons, meaning the earliest pick Miami could offer would be the 2022 selection.

By removing McRoberts’ salary, which is approximately $6.02MM for the 2017/18 campaign, the Heat should be able to fit in the already agreed upon deals for Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk as well as a new contract for James Johnson, something that the team is still working on. Moving the Duke product should also allow the team to keep Wayne Ellington on the roster.

The Heat also have interest in bringing back Luke Babbitt, and figure to keep his cap hold on their books so that they can retain his Bird rights.