Juancho Hernangomez

Raptors Notes: VanVleet, Anunoby, Siakam, Hernangomez

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has the ability to become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he turns down his player option for the 2023/24 season. At Monday’s Media Day, he and team president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri were noncommittal about whether a contract extension will get done in the coming weeks, but both sides expressed enthusiasm about continuing the relationship, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca relays (Twitter links).

“I’ll just say I love being a Raptor,” VanVleet said. “… There’s nothing I could ever complain about being on this team. You guys will know when it’s time to know, but I’m happy with where I am and I think it’s a mutual love.”

Ujiri stated that the team is in a “good place” with VanVleet after some initial extension conversations.

“Whether it’s now or later on, Fred is beloved to us,” Ujiri said. “… Hopefully we’ll figure (it out).”

Here are a few more notes out of Toronto:

  • O.G. Anunoby told reporters today that he was “surprised” by an offseason report claiming that he was unhappy with his role on offense, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. I haven’t really talked about role with (head coach) Nick (Nurse),” Anunoby said. “We’re all just trying to get better and everything will fall into place.”
  • After making an All-Star team and earning a pair of All-NBA nods, Pascal Siakam is setting even higher expectations for himself, telling reporters today that his goal is to become a “top-five” player in the NBA. “I want to be one of the best and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” Siakam said, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). “I’m ready for it. It’s time.”
  • Before he signed with the Raptors, Juancho Hernangomez spoke to fellow Spaniards Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon, and Sergio Scariolo about the franchise and the city of Toronto, tweets Lewenberg. The input Hernangomez received from former Raptors assistant Scariolo, in particular, played a major part in his decision.
  • The Raptors let their tender window for Jalen Harris lapse, which made him an unrestricted free agent and allowed the Knicks to sign him outright, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet and The Fan 590. Toronto had the ability to retain Harris, but the team already had a full camp roster and opted to let him go.

Atlantic Notes: Thybulle, Sixers, Randle, J. Hernangomez

Matisse Thybulle‘s rookie season ended amid the COVID-19 pandemic and last offseason was dedicated to the Olympics, so this is the first summer he’s been able to fully focus on improving his skills, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers guard took advantage of the opportunity, spending time training with Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan, and he’s eager to show off the improvements he has made.

“It’s just a different feeling you feel when you can see how much more of yourself when you are giving to your craft,” he said, “and to the team and surrendering to the work and living to whatever the outcome can be.”

Thybulle was a lightning rod for criticism last year because of his limitations on offense and his refusal to get vaccinated, which left him unable to participate in playoff games in Toronto during the team’s first-round series. He was reportedly included in trade offers this summer as the Sixers tried to acquire Eric Gordon from the Rockets, but he’s come to accept that as part of life in the NBA.

“At this point, I would always want to stay in Philly,” he said. “And if it’s up to me, that’s always going to be my choice. But considering that I’ve realized the reality of how far out of my control it is, if I do get traded or something does end up happening, I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

And-Ones: Wembanyama, High School Prospects, EuroBasket, More

Victor Wembanyama is projected to be the top pick in the 2023 draft, but he’s more concerned about landing with the right team than being taken No. 1 overall, writes Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops. Wembanyama, who plays for Metropolitans 92 in France, discussed his prospects during Media Day for his team’s new season, which starts this weekend.

“Sports-wise, the most interesting thing is always to find an organization that will take care of the project and the player,” Wembanyama said, as reported by the French outlet BasketSession. “So it’s better to be second, third, or 20th in the Draft if you have a better career afterward. But I don’t know if it’s pride, I have a part in me that says that there must be no one (drafted) in front of me.”

The 18-year-old center stands 7’4″, but he only weighs a little over 200 pounds, so durability is one of the few questions surrounding him as he prepares for his NBA career. Scouts are nearly unanimous in raving about his talent, and he has been a star in international competitions for the past three years.

“What matters to me this season is above all to consolidate a place as a possible No. 1 pick in the draft,” Wembanyama added. “That’s my goal, rather than trying to put on 15 kilos and take risks. I want to strengthen myself, but above all to move towards a favorable situation for the NBA.”

  • With the possibility looming that high school players will be allowed to go straight to the NBA in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Jacob Polacheck of ZagsBlog talks to some of the top prospects in the Class of 2024 about how that might affect their decisions. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for players who have the ability to go out of high school and follow their dream of playing in the NBA,” said Ian Jackson of Cardinal Hayes in New York, who is considered one of the top prospects in the class. “I think it’s great and the best part is that it gives high school athletes more choices.” It’s possible that the one-and-done rule could remain in place beyond 2024 even if the NBA and NBPA aim to eventually get rid of it, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.
  • Willy Hernangomez and Juancho Hernangomez stood out while leading Spain to the EuroBasket championship, Michael Scotto said in a HoopsHype podcast. Scotto also believes Finland’s Lauri Markkanen showed that he’s ready for a breakout season with the Jazz and that Italy’s Simone Fontecchio could be productive in Utah as well.
  • Raptors representative Larry Tanenbaum was unanimously re-elected as chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, the league announced this morning (Twitter link).

Spain Wins EuroBasket 2022

After defeating France 88-76 in the championship game, Spain has officially won EuroBasket 2022, as announced on social media (Twitter link). This is the fourth time Spain has won the tournament.

Spain was led by Raptors forward Juancho Hernangomez, who finished with 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting. His seven three-pointers were the second-highest mark in a EuroBasket final, trailing only Aleksander Djordjevic in 1995, according to EuroHoops. He also won the game’s MVP award.

“Spain played better from start to finish, they had a clear gameplan and we didn’t execute ours well enough, we never really had control of the game,” France guard Evan Fournier said, per EuroHoops.

Hernangomez’s brother, Willy Hernangomez, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Spain, while Lorenzo Brown recorded 14 points and 11 assists. France was led by Fournier’s 23 points and only led once during the contest — when Rudy Gobert made a free throw to make it 1-0.

More Than 30 NBA Players On Track To Suit Up For EuroBasket

The first EuroBasket tournament in five years will tip off in two weeks and there are currently 34 NBA players on track to participate in the event, representing 17 different countries, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net.

EuroBasket is a 24-team international basketball competition also known as the European Basketball Championship. It historically took place every two years, but that gap was recently adjusted to four years, emulating the FIBA World Cup schedule.

The last EuroBasket tournament was played in 2017 — the next one had been scheduled for 2021, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, after being played every two years since 1947, it has now been five years since the last EuroBasket tournament, easily the longest layoff since World War II.

It’s possible that some NBA players will be cut from their teams’ rosters or will have to drop out due to injuries or personal reasons before the event begins on September 1, but in general enthusiasm to participate in the long-awaited event appears high.

Here’s the list of NBAers currently set to play in EuroBasket, per Eurohoops:

There are also multiple NBA free agents on EuroBasket rosters, including French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and German guard Dennis Schröder.

A number of young NBA players, such as 2022 draftees Jeremy Sochan and Nikola Jovic, have dropped out to focus on getting ready for the 2022/23 season, while others, including Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Frank Ntilikina (France), were ruled out due to injuries.

Round robin play will begin on September 1, with each team facing the other five clubs in its group once. The top four teams in each group will advance to a 16-team bracket that begins on September 10. The final will take place on September 18, just over a week before NBA training camps get underway.

Contract Details: Hernangomez, Fontecchio, Rollins, Harris

Juancho Hernangomez‘s one-year contract with the Raptors is fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. That full guarantee should put the veteran forward in a good position to earn a spot on the team’s 15-man regular season roster. Hernangomez’s deal is worth the veteran’s minimum, so he’ll earn a $2,298,385 salary while Toronto takes on a cap hit of $1,836,090.

Here are a few more notes on new contracts from around the NBA:

  • Simone Fontecchio‘s two-year, $6.25MM deal with the Jazz is fully guaranteed and was completed using a portion of the club’s mid-level exception. Fontecchio will earn $3,205,128 in 2022/23 and $3,044,872 in ’23/24.
  • Ryan Rollins‘ three-year contract with the Warriors is worth the minimum salary and is fully guaranteed for the first two seasons, as previously reported. The third year includes a partial guarantee worth $600K — that third year would become fully guaranteed if Rollins hasn’t been waived by June 28, 2024. Golden State used a portion of the taxpayer mid-level exception to complete the signing.
  • Kevon Harris‘ two-way contract with the Magic is for two years, Hoops Rumors has learned. Most two-way deals are for just one year, but Harris is the third player this offseason to sign a two-year two-way pact, joining Cole Swider (Lakers) and Vince Williams (Grizzlies).

Raptors Sign Juancho Hernangomez To One-Year Deal

JULY 28: The Raptors have officially signed Hernangomez, the team announced today in a press release.


JULY 26: Free agent forward Juancho Hernangomez is finalizing a one-year agreement with the Raptors, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Hernangomez has been on the open market since being waived by the Jazz on June 30. Utah released him before his $7.3MM salary for the 2022/23 season became guaranteed. While terms of the veteran’s new deal with Toronto aren’t yet known, it’s a safe bet it’ll be worth less than that — I’d expect a minimum-salary contract.

Hernangomez, 26, has flashed the ability to contribute as a stretch four over the course of his six NBA seasons, but didn’t stay in one place for long during the 2021/22 league year. He was traded from Minnesota to Memphis last August, then to Boston in September, to San Antonio in January, and to Utah in February.

In total, Hernangomez averaged 3.3 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 40 games (11.1 MPG) for three teams last season, posting a shooting line of .415/.348/.559. He’s perhaps most recognizable to many NBA fans for starring as Bo Cruz in the Netflix film Hustle.

The Raptors currently have 18 players under contract, with second-rounder Christian Koloko and Hernangomez likely to fill out the team’s 20-man offseason roster.

It’s possible that Hernangomez – like D.J. Wilson, Dalano Banton, Armoni Brooks, and Justin Champagnie – will get a partially guaranteed contract and will have to earn for a spot on the 15-man regular season roster.

Jazz Notes: Mitchell, Gobert, Free Agents, Kessler

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik didn’t label Donovan Mitchell as “untouchable,” but he made it clear that moving Mitchell isn’t part of the team’s current plans, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In the wake of the Rudy Gobert trade, there has been speculation that Utah might seek to unload Mitchell and launch a full-scale rebuild, but Zanik said the organization still considers Mitchell to be a vital part of its future.

“Change is inevitable in the NBA,” Zanik responded when asked about Mitchell. “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan is on our roster and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do. Things evolve in the NBA, so I couldn’t sit here and say anybody is (untouchable). We’re trying to build a championship team, but there’s no intent there (to trade Mitchell), at all.”

Zanik added that management has been in touch with Mitchell and he “has been supportive” of the team’s offseason moves, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Mitchell may see more time as the primary ball-handler during the upcoming season, and CEO Danny Ainge believes he’s capable of becoming a full-time point guard (Twitter link).

There’s more on the Jazz:

  • Zanik also said the team is “in the middle of” reforming its roster and indicated that more moves are coming, Walden tweets. Addressing the Gobert trade, Zanik said the Jazz loved having Gobert to anchor their defense, but decided the offer from Minnesota was “in the best interest of the organization.”
  • The team is still considering re-signing free agents Eric Paschall, Trent Forrest and Juancho Hernangomez, Walden adds (Twitter link). “By no means have we closed the book on any of those guys,” Zanik said.
  • First-round pick Walker Kessler is dealing with a minor toe injury that he suffered during pre-draft workouts and won’t play any more in Summer League, Walden tweets. Kessler has received clearance from the team’s medical staff, but will focus on conditioning.
  • Jared Butler and Bruno Caboclo were Jazz “standouts” at the Salt Lake City Summer League, per Trent Wood of The Deseret News.

Jazz Waive Juancho Hernangomez

4:03pm: The Jazz have officially waived Hernangomez, the team announced in a press release.


3:01pm: The Jazz are waiving forward Juancho Hernangomez, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones (Twitter link).

His $7,307,130 salary for next season would have fully guaranteed if he had remained on the roster beyond Thursday. The move was expected and gives Utah more room to manuever as it reshapes its roster.

Hernangomez, 26, played for three teams while getting dealt four times last season. He played 18 games with Boston, five with San Antonio and 17 with the Jazz. He saw action in 17 games with Utah, including nine starts, and averaged 6.2 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 17.5 MPG.

And-Ones: Hernangomez, Brazdeikis, Take Fouls, Mitrou-Long

Juancho Hernangomez told Daniel Arribas of El Pais (hat tip to HoopsHype) that he “can’t picture himself” returning to Europe next season, despite speculation about that possibility. “I have spoken to nobody or signed any offer,” he said.

While the Celtics are three wins away from the championship, Hernangomez said his 18-game stint with Boston wasn’t a pleasant experience. “I wasn’t happy there, it was very hard. There was no communication,” he said. “I didn’t know what was expected of me. There were many super selfish players, no team building. I lost my love for basketball a bit.”

Hernangomez finished the season with the Jazz and is technically under contract through 2022/23, but his $7.42MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed. Utah is expected to make him a free agent before the guarantee deadline at the end of the month.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Magic forward Ignas Brazdeikis will play for Lithuania in FIBA World Cup qualifiers this summer, according to BasketNews.com. “I want to play, and I will play for Lithuania,” Brazdeikis said. Brazdeikis was born in Lithuania but grew up in Canada, and has a Canadian passport. It took nearly two years for the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) to complete all the paperwork required to receive official FIBA confirmation he could play for their national team.
  • NBA coaches and players frustrated by transition take fouls will see a rules change next season, according to commissioner Adam Silver, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. The fouls, committed to prevent fast-break baskets, will include stiffer penalties next season. The G League rule awards teams one free throw and possession, while international rules have a penalty of two free throws plus possession.
  • Fenerbahce is currently leading the race for former NBA guard Naz Mitrou-Long, according to Italian newspaper La Prealpina (hat tip to Sportando). Mitrou-Long is also being pursued by Olimpia Milano after a strong season with Germani Brescia. He appeared in 20 NBA games, most recently with Indiana in 2019/20.