Kessler Edwards

Contract Details: Monk, Bucks, Edwards, Dort, Jones

Malik Monk‘s two-year deal with the Kings is worth approximately $19.42MM in total, with a first-year salary of $9.47MM, Hoops Rumors has learned. While Sacramento used most of the mid-level exception to bring Monk aboard, the team still has $1,017,781 left on the MLE, which is the exact value of the rookie minimum salary.

The Kings didn’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, so that leftover mid-level money won’t go to a 2022 draftee. But the club may have it earmarked for a player like Sasha Vezenkov, a 2017 second-rounder whose draft rights were acquired from Cleveland last month. Using that leftover mid-level money, Sacramento could offer Vezenkov – or another player – a minimum-salary deal that exceeds two years.

Here are a few more details on recently-signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • As expected, Joe Ingles got the full taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.48MM) from the Bucks, while Bobby Portis‘s four-year deal is worth the most he could receive using his Early Bird rights ($48.58MM), Hoops Rumors has learned. Portis’ contract includes a 15% trade kicker and a fourth-year player option.
  • Wesley Matthews‘ new deal with the Bucks is a one-year, minimum-salary contract, while the team used Jevon Carter‘s Non-Bird rights to give him a first-year salary ($2.1MM) worth a little more than his minimum ($1.97MM). Carter’s second-year player option is for the veteran’s minimum.
  • Kessler Edwards‘ two-year deal with the Nets, which features a second-year team option, is – as expected – worth the minimum.
  • Luguentz Dort‘s five-year contract with the Thunder includes a team option in year five and has a total base value of $82.5MM. It can be worth up to $87.5MM if Dort earns $5MM in total unlikely bonuses ($1MM annually), tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
  • Tyus Jones‘ two-year deal with the Grizzlies begins at $15MM and declines to $14MM in 2023/24, per Marks (Twitter link). The deal includes an additional $1MM in unlikely incentives related to the team’s performance, Marks adds.

Nets Re-Sign Kessler Edwards

The Nets have officially signed free agent wing Kessler Edwards to a new multiyear contract, the team announced today in a press release. Exact terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link) reports that it’s a two-year agreement with a second-year team option.

The 44th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Edwards spent most of his rookie year on a two-way contract, then was signed to a standard deal right before the end of the regular season in order to make him playoff-eligible.

Edwards showed promise in his first NBA season, averaging 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 48 appearances (20.6 MPG). The former Pepperdine standout posted a .412/.353/.842 shooting line and even made 23 starts when the team’s depth was impacted by injuries and COVID-19.

The Nets declined Edwards’ minimum-salary player option last week in order to give him a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent. That QO was later rescinded, making him unrestricted, but it appears Brooklyn’s interest in bringing back the former second-round pick never wavered.

The Nets have now signed or agreed to terms with three free agents in the last two days, having also struck deals on Tuesday with forward T.J. Warren and guard Edmond Sumner. The club now projects to have 13 of its 15 standard roster spots filled, though obviously trades involving Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving could change that.

Nets Rumors: Durant, Trade Request, Edwards, Irving

Free agency has stalled as teams wait to see what will happen with Nets star Kevin Durant, but the situation could be resolved when general managers gather this week in Las Vegas for Summer League, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Owner Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks are making their way through a flood of offers and are focused on getting the best package in return rather than making a quick decision.

The Heat and Suns are reportedly Durant’s preferred destinations, and while Lewis says the Nets are willing to work with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman on finding the right deal, they won’t be “held hostage” by Durant’s wishes.

The Pelicans and Raptors may provide the best options to trade Durant without having to rely on a third or fourth team to make the deal work, Lewis adds. Both teams have full control of their future draft picks and they have young stars in Brandon Ingram and Scottie Barnes to build a trade package around.

There’s more news from Brooklyn:

  • Durant made his first public comment since his trade request, Lewis states in the same piece, with a tweet on Saturday that read, “The ones who were locked in that gym with me know what it is, they know what I’m about. If u haven’t been in there with me, ask around.” Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated responded with specific questions about Durant’s intentions, but Durant answered, “Keep dreaming robin lmao.”
  • The Nets pulled their qualifying offer to Kessler Edwards this week, but they still have interest in bringing him back, Lewis adds. Brooklyn holds Edwards’ Non-Bird rights and is talking to the 21-year-old forward about a new deal.
  • Other teams have little interest in trading for Kyrie Irving because they know he wants to end up with the Lakers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter link from Hoop Central). “In talking to league executives over the last couple of hours, the value of Kyrie Irving in a trade has absolutely plummeted,” Windhorst said. “They know he’s going to be a pure rental. If he doesn’t want to go to the situation he is [traded] to, it’s unclear what he’ll do.” 

Nets Rescind Kessler Edwards’ QO, Making Him UFA

The Nets have rescinded their qualifying offer to free agent wing Kessler Edwards, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). The move makes Edwards an unrestricted free agent instead of a restricted FA.

The 44th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Edwards spent most of his rookie year on a two-way contract, then was signed to a standard deal right before the end of the regular season in order to make him playoff-eligible.

Edwards showed some promise in his first NBA season, averaging 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 48 appearances (20.6 MPG). The former Pepperdine standout posted a .412/.353/.842 shooting line and even made 23 starts when the team’s depth was impacted by injuries and COVID-19.

While the Nets will no longer have the ability to unilaterally match any offer Edwards receives, they still hold his Non-Bird rights and could re-sign him. The club previously declined his minimum-salary player option in order to make him a restricted free agent, signaling that there was interest in a longer-term deal.

Brooklyn’s motives for pulling Edwards’ QO now are unclear, but it’s possible that with Kevin Durant‘s and Kyrie Irving‘s situations still up in the air, the club wanted to maximize its roster flexibility and not risk Edwards accepting his $1,837,966 qualifying offer — doing so would have locked in his salary for 2022/23 and given him the ability to veto a trade through the 2023 deadline.

Nets Decline Kessler Edwards’ Option, Issue QO

The Nets won’t exercise their team option on Kessler Edwards for 2022/23, worth $1,563,518, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. However, Brooklyn has issued a qualifying offer worth a projected $1.84MM, making Edwards a restricted free agent, Smith adds.

The 44th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Edwards showed some promise as a rookie this past season, averaging 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 48 appearances (20.6 MPG). He posted a .412/.353/.842 shooting line and even made 23 starts when the team’s depth was impacted by injuries and COVID-19.

It may seem unusual for the Nets to turn down Edwards’ option in order to tender him a more expensive qualifying offer, but doing so will give the team the opportunity to sign him to a contract that extends beyond 2022/23.

The Pelicans took this approach with Didi Louzada a year ago, declining his second-year option, issuing him a qualifying offer, then re-signing him to a four-year contract worth a little more than the minimum.

Brooklyn didn’t have the ability to offer Edwards more than a two-year contract last offseason because the team was over the cap and used its full mid-level exception on Patty Mills. Now, the Nets have Edwards’ Non-Bird rights, allowing them to go up to four years on a new deal. They’d also be able to match any offer the former Pepperdine standout signs with another team.

Edwards joins Nic Claxton and David Duke as Brooklyn’s restricted free agents.

Contract Details: Gabriel, K. Edwards, Cannady, More

During the final three days of the regular season, five NBA players who had been on two-way contracts were promoted to their respective teams’ 15-man rosters.

[RELATED: 2021/22 NBA Two-Way Contract Conversions]

Three of those five players – Jazz guard Trent Forrest, Suns forward Ish Wainright, and Cavaliers Moses Brown – received straight conversions, having their contracts turned into one-year, minimum-salary contracts, Hoops Rumors has learned. Forrest, Wainright, and Brown will be eligible to play in the postseason with their respective teams, but won’t be under contract beyond the 2021/22 season.

The other two – Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel and Nets forward Kessler Edwards – signed two-year, minimum-salary deals that include team options for the 2022/23 season. Their clubs will have the opportunity to bring them back for another year if they pick up those options before the June 29 deadline. Gabriel’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if his option is exercised.

Here are a few more details on contracts signed in recent days:

  • The Magic used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Devin Cannady a three-year deal and a $100K rest-of-season salary on Sunday, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. A minimum-salary contract would’ve been limited to two years and would’ve resulted in a rest-of-season salary of just $8,558. Smith adds that Cannady’s second- and third-year salaries (worth the minimum) are non-guaranteed, with a team option on the 2023/24 season.
  • The Bucks dipped into their mid-level exception in order to give Rayjon Tucker a three-year, minimum-salary deal, according to Smith (Twitter link). The contract is non-guaranteed beyond this season.
  • Juwan Morgan‘s new two-year deal with the Celtics includes a minimum-salary team option for 2022/23, tweets Smith. Morgan’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if the option is exercised.
  • Chaundee Brown‘s new two-way contract with the Hawks is a two-year deal, while the two-ways signed in recent days by Mac McClung (Lakers) and RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers) were just rest-of-season agreements, Hoops Rumors has learned. The majority of the players on two-way deals will be free agents this summer, but Brown is one of 13 who is also under contract for 2022/23, as our tracker shows.

Nets Waive James Johnson, Promote Kessler Edwards

APRIL 10: Edwards’ new contract is now official, the Nets announced (via Twitter). It includes a team option for next season, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

APRIL 7: The Nets have waived forward James Johnson, our JD Shaw tweets, and plan to promote rookie Kessler Edwards to a standard deal so he’s eligible for the postseason, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Johnson, 35, is a 13-year NBA veteran who’s appeared in a total of 747 regular season games. In 62 games (10 starts) with the Nets this season, he averaged 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists on .469/.271/.527 shooting in 19.2 minutes per night.

Edwards, 21, was the 44th overall pick of the 2021 draft after three seasons with Pepperdine. He’s been on a two-way contract this season, and clearly the Nets like what they’ve seen from the young forward, because they want him to keep contributing for a potential playoff run.

Through 46 games (22 starts) this season, Edwards is averaging 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds on .412/.359/.824 shooting in 20.1 minutes. He took advantage of his opportunity over the winter months when the team was ravaged by players in the health and safety protocols, as he’d rarely seen action to that point.

Edwards is known as a strong, versatile defender and is a better spot-up shooter than Johnson, as evidenced by their respective three-point percentages. Because Johnson was waived so late in the season, he will not be eligible to play in the postseason with another team.

Nets Notes: Simmons, Brown, Dragic, Curry, Edwards

After Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on SportsCenter on Sunday that it was “not realistic” to expect Ben Simmons to be ready for the Nets‘ first play-in game next week (hat tip to NetsDaily), head coach Steve Nash confirmed as much when he spoke to reporters on Monday.

The Nets are ruling out Simmons for the rest of the regular season and the play-in tournament, Nash told reporters, including Laura Albanese of Newsday and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic (Twitter links). If he’s going to make it back this season, Simmons’ return would have to come in the playoffs.

Although Simmons was able to do a little more at practice on Monday, Nash said the team doesn’t plan on scrapping its requirement that he must take part in at least three high-intensity workouts before being cleared. The three-time All-Star isn’t at that stage yet and has only been doing light shooting work.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • After missing Saturday’s loss in Atlanta due to a non-COVID illness, Bruce Brown will be ready to play on Tuesday, tweets Schiffer.
  • Goran Dragic remains in Atlanta with COVID-19, tweets Schiffer. Nash is hopeful that the veteran guard will be back in time for one of the team’s final regular season games.
  • Seth Curry, who is battling ankle pain, didn’t do much at practice on Monday and Nash admitted that there has been some discussion about holding him out of the rest of the regular season to give him more time to rest the ankle (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN). The goal would be to make sure he’s as healthy as possible for the play-in tournament and playoffs.
  • Asked by Schiffer whether the Nets will give two-way player Kessler Edwards a standard contract this week in order to make him postseason-eligible, Nash didn’t rule out the possibility, but said he expects today’s roster to be the group he enters the play-in with (Twitter link).

Nets Notes: Curry, Brown, Drummond, Edwards

Nets guard Seth Curry offered a reminder of how valuable he can be when he returned Friday after missing three games with a sore left ankle, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Beyond his 27-point outburst, Curry provided a floor spacer who can make teams pay for throwing double- and triple-teams at Kevin Durant.

“It was huge … he had 27, 9-for-14, efficient from all angles on the floor,” Durant said. “We needed that, and it was good to see him back out there. Missed a few games with that ankle, but I’m glad it’s getting better and he’s able to come out here and play. And we needed all those points.”

Curry has the best career three-point shooting percentage among active players, so it’s easy to understand why the Nets targeted him in the trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia. They lead the NBA in both offensive rating and effective field-goal percentage in the games that Curry has played, and he will be counted on to provide scoring with Kyrie Irving only able to play in three more games.

Curry, who will be eligible for an extension this summer, said the ankle pain began when he was still with the Sixers, but he believes he can play through it.

“I was dealing with it probably a month before the trade. It’s been a while. It’s something I’m just going to have to manage and deal with until the offseason,” he said. “It’s not something that’s going to go away. So as long as it’s not getting worse, I should be good.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • The Nets were able to keep Bruce Brown on a $4.7MM qualifying offer last offseason, but his price may be a lot higher this summer, Lewis suggests in a separate story. Brown has upped his game since the Harden trade, and while some of the improvement has come from more minutes and a revamped role, part of it is related to attitude. “Early in the season, it was all mental for me,” Brown said. “I was trying to fit in the role that I had last year, and it wasn’t working. So I got kind of frustrated, and that’s when I kind of got out of the rotation. Then I went to ‘Smoke’ [assistant coach Royal Ivey], and I was like, ‘Bruh, I want to get better.’ So we got to work on something different. I started working on a little bit of guard stuff, just getting back to my game, the way I played my whole life, and it started to work.”
  • Andre Drummond, another addition in the Sixers trade, has found the game comes a lot easier playing alongside Durant and Irving, Lewis states in the same piece. Drummond is putting up his best numbers of the season, averaging 14.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in his last six games. “For me, it’s a lot of fun for two reasons: One, I’m playing with two of the best players in the world,” he said, “and secondly, when they do miss, there’s nobody down there because everybody’s so worried about contesting their shots. So when they do miss, it’s a walk in the park for me to go get the rebounds.”
  • Kessler Edwards is hoping to bounce back after hitting the “rookie wall” at midseason, Lewis adds. Edwards fell out of the rotation following 18 straight starts in January and February, but he scored 26 total points in back-to-back games this week.

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Mandate, Nets, Raptors, Knicks

Nets superstar Kevin Durant voiced his displeasure over Kyrie Irving not being able to play in the team’s home game on Sunday, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets. Durant’s comments were made toward Eric Adams, mayor of New York City.

“Eric, you got to figure something out, man, because it’s looking crazy,” Durant said. “Especially on national TV, and he can come to the game, but not play, come on, man.”

Irving was at Sunday’s game as an unmasked spectator and even entered the team’s locker room, but he still can’t play at Barclays Center or Madison Sqaure Garden due to the city’s private sector vaccine mandate. The Nets wound up winning the game 110-107 behind Durant’s 53 points.

Here are some other notes out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets rookies Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe did their jobs while the team dealt with injuries, but both players have seen their minutes decrease their month, NetsDaily relays. The talented young duo gained valuable experience during their time on the court. Edwards is on a two-way contract, while Sharpe (the No. 29 pick) is on a standard deal.
  • The Raptors’ confidence is growing after wins over the Suns and Nuggets, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. “We’re relentless,” said Pascal Siakam, “and we just want to continue to compete and get better as a team.” Winners of three straight games, Toronto now owns the seventh-best record in the East at 37-30, trailing Cleveland by one game for sixth place.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday explores the path going forward for the Knicks. New York’s chances of making the play-in tournament are starting to diminish, as the team currently trails the 10th place Hawks by five games. At 28-40, the Knicks only have 14 games left this season.