Leandro Bolmaro

Jazz Notes: Sexton, Conley, NAW, Bolmaro, Strong Start

Jazz point guard Mike Conley has taken new teammate Collin Sexton under his wing and is helping him see the game in a new way, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. With 16-year veteran Conley held out of the second game of a back-to-back set, Sexton received his first start of the 2022/23 season in Saturday’s win over Memphis, recording 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four assists in nearly 32 minutes.

We’ll walk through, and he’ll be like, ‘Alright, what are you doing in this situation?’ And I’ll let him know, and then he’ll be like, ‘Well, in this situation, I think you should do this. Just try it,’” Sexton explained. “During the game, he’ll be like, ‘OK, you got to the basket — now let’s see if you can pitch [the ball] behind two or three times.’ And I’ll do it. And then he’s like, ‘Alright, now the next time, try to see if you can get all the way there [to the rim].’ It’s opening my mind to multiple ways of playing, and also multiple ways of seeing the game, too. I know he sees it from a different angle than I do.”

As Walden writes, the Jazz have been cautious not to overextend Sexton after he only played 11 games last season with a torn meniscus, which required surgery. He’s technically not on a minutes restriction, but that’s partly why he’s only averaging 19.0 MPG.

Sexton is eager to prove his worth after inking a four-year, $71MM deal as part of the Donovan Mitchell sign-and-trade with Cleveland, but he recognizes he’ll have more opportunities as the season goes on, per Walden.

Just giving [it all in] the time that I’m out there and just making an impact. And I might play four-minute spurts, so in those four minutes, giving it all I can, whether it’s pressuring the ball or pushing the ball and changing the pace of the game, whether it’s on the defensive side or offensive side,” Sexton said. “Just trying to use the little time that I’m given just to make sure that they know I’m out there, you know what I mean? Because I know once the season continues to go, more minutes, more time [will come].

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • Little-used guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker got an opportunity for extended run with Conley sidelined against the Grizzlies, and he showed that he can be a positive player when given the opportunity, writes Sarah Todd of The Desert News. Alexander-Walker played solid defense against Desmond Bane and Hardy was pleased with his effort, as Todd relays. “He came in with such a fire,” head coach Will Hardy said of Alexander-Walker. “He really got into the ball with Desmond Bane and I think he got two steals on the ball, just taking the dribble. He has really good instincts and really long arms and he did a good job of just trying to speed up their ball handlers, which I thought was great…It’s a difficult situation. He hasn’t played that much and he got thrown into a big game with Mike out, and I thought he handled himself great.”
  • Second-year guard Leandro Bolmaro, who recently had his third-year option declined by Utah, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out for Monday’s game against Memphis, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Rudy Gay and Simone Fontecchio are still in the protocols. Rookie center Walker Kessler (non-COVID illness) has also been ruled out for the contest, according to Jones (Twitter link).
  • How have the Jazz gotten off to a 5-2 start? Tony Jones tackles that topic for The Athletic, concluding that the team’s depth, offensive pressure, floor spacing, and key adjustments from head coach Will Hardy have been instrumental to the surprising seven-game stretch.

Jazz To Decline Rookie Scale Options For Azubuike, Bolmaro

The Jazz won’t pick up the fourth-year option for Udoka Azubuike or the third-year option for Leandro Bolmaro, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Both players will become unrestricted free agents next July.

Azuibuike would have earned $3,923,484 during the 2023/24 season and Bolmaro would have received $2,588,400. The deadline for rookie scale option decisions is Monday, and those are the only two that Utah faces.

Azubuike, a 23-year-old center, was selected by the Jazz with the 27th pick in the 2020 draft. He has dealt with injuries during his brief NBA career and has played a total of 33 games, including one this season. The former Kansas standout is averaging 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

Bolmaro, a 22-year-old swingman, was acquired from the Timberwolves this summer in the Rudy Gobert trade. He appeared in 35 games for Minnesota last season and two so far with Utah, averaging 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per night. He was the 23rd pick in 2020, but didn’t come to the NBA until 2021.

Northwest Notes: Sharpe, Hart, Agbaji, Bolmaro, Towns

With Damian Lillard sidelined due to a calf strain, rookie guard Shaedon Sharpe earned his first career NBA start on Friday and didn’t disappoint, scoring 14 points in the Trail Blazers‘ victory over Houston. Given that Sharpe didn’t play at all at Kentucky and just turned 19 this spring, there was a sense that he may not see much action right away, but head coach Chauncey Billups hasn’t hesitated to throw the youngster into the deep end.

“I look at it as, man, we lost a lot of basketball games to get Shaedon Sharpe; let’s play this kid,” Billups said, per Jason Quick of The Athletic. “Let me see what he’s got.”

While Sharpe wasn’t the reason Portland won on Friday, he was the Blazers’ most electrifying player, throwing down three big dunks over the course of the night and earning praise from coaches and teammates alike, with Billups calling him “must-see TV.” Veteran Blazers center Drew Eubanks is among those already excited about Sharpe’s long-term potential.

“I heard Dame say it earlier this year, he was saying like, Shaedon is the type of talent that could take us over the edge of being a fringe playoff team into a full-blown playoff team fighting for a championship,” Eubanks said. “When he said that, I was like, ‘Damn, I’m gonna kind of take that with a grain of salt.’ Because I hadn’t seen Shaedon play … but after watching him play these first six games, and in preseason, I’m like, he’s super talented. He has the world at his fingertips. I believe what Dame said now, for sure.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart has entered the NBA’s concussion protocol, tweets Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Hart suffered the injury on Friday when he hit his head on the floor after a drive to the basket.
  • Ochai Agbaji and Leandro Bolmaro, two young players acquired in Utah’s blockbuster summer trades, got their first extended run with the Jazz on Friday night, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News details. Agabaji scored nine points in 19 minutes, while Bolmaro flashed promising play-making and defense and was a plus-16 in 15 minutes. The Jazz have until Monday’s deadline to exercise Bolmaro’s $2.59MM option for the 2023/24 season.
  • As the Timberwolves adjust to their new-look frontcourt that now features Karl-Anthony Towns at power forward instead of center, head coach Chris Finch continues to praise his All-Star big man for his willingness to accommodate Rudy Gobert, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “That guy is All-NBA. There’s no other All-NBA player who is being asked to play a completely different position,” Finch said. “One that he’s willing to do and has approached it with an open mind-set, and he’s actually embraced it.”

Jazz Continue To Engage In Trade Discussions

The Jazz have traded three starters from last year’s roster so far this offseason, but even after moving Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale for a boatload of draft picks, the team isn’t necessarily done with its offseason work.

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz continue to engage in trade conversations about a number of their remaining veterans, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson.

In the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms that Bogdanovic, Conley, and Clarkson are “definitely on the trade block.” Fischer says he has also gotten the impression that the Jazz would “love to move off” Rudy Gay and has heard Leandro Bolmaro‘s name come up in some trade rumors.

Even beyond those five players, Utah would likely be willing to listen to inquiries on many others members of their roster, including Malik Beasley, according to Fischer. Jarred Vanderbilt is another player the club could theoretically move, though Fischer says a team might have to “knock Utah’s socks off” to acquire the young forward.

Based on the deals they’ve made so far this summer, it’s safe to assume the Jazz would be prioritizing draft assets as they continue to gauge the trade market.

Among Utah’s veterans, Bogdanovic might be the one with the most trade value. He’s on a reasonable $19.55MM expiring contract and is a talented frontcourt scorer, having averaged 18.4 PPG over the last three seasons (204 games) with the Jazz. The 33-year-old forward is also a major threat from beyond the arc — he has made at least 38.7% of his three-point tries in each of the last five seasons.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported on Thursday that the Suns had inquired on Bogdanovic, but Phoenix is hardly the only team with interest. Gambadoro tweeted late last night that several teams, including the Lakers, are eyeing Bogdanovic.

Any trade sending Bogdanovic to the Lakers would have to involve Russell Westbrook for salary-matching purposes, and would require at least one or two other players to go to Los Angeles — the Jazz would likely try to pry away the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in that scenario, though L.A. has been reluctant to attach more than one first-rounder to Westbrook.

Bogdanovic’s cap hit of nearly $20MM will make it tricky for certain teams to seriously pursue him. For instance, while he might be a good fit in Boston following Danilo Gallinari‘s injury, the Celtics probably can’t make a viable offer for him that doesn’t include at least one key rotation player whose value matches or exceeds Bogdanovic’s.

Northwest Notes: Watford, Walker, K. Johnson, KCP, Bolmaro

Strong showings by Trendon Watford and Jabari Walker in the Las Vegas Summer League may have eased any concerns the Trail Blazers have about front court depth, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.

Watford, who signed a two-way contract with Portland last summer and was converted to a standard deal in February, was outstanding late in the season when injuries to teammates pushed him into a more prominent role. He remained productive in Las Vegas, averaging 13.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game as the Blazers captured the Summer League title.

Walker didn’t have flashy statistics in Vegas, but he showed he can be a valuable role player, Fentress states. Walker rebounded, played defense, set screens and did other things that will be necessary for him to earn consistent minutes in the NBA.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers shooting guard Keon Johnson also stood out during Summer League, Fentress adds. Johnson, who was acquired from the Clippers in February, looked like a former first-round pick, leading Portland’s squad in scoring at 14.2 PPG. Fentress doesn’t expect Johnson to be part of the rotation this season, barring injuries, but said he could see spot duty.
  • Although Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has found a new home with the Nuggets, who gave him a two-year extension last week, he didn’t expect to be traded by the Wizards, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post. It marked the second straight offseason that Caldwell-Pope has been part of a significant trade. “My initial reaction was surprise because what me and my team and the Washington Wizards was talking about and communicating was different,” he said. “It was a surprise.”
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune examines what the Jazz can expect from Leandro Bolmaro, who was part of the return in the Rudy Gobert trade. Bolmero, a 21-year-old swingman, is a 2020 first-round pick who made his NBA debut last season with the Timberwolves. Larsen notes that Bolmaro is an outstanding defender and a capable rebounder and playmaker, but there are questions about his ability to score.

Jazz Trade Rudy Gobert To Timberwolves

JULY 6: Gobert has officially been traded from Utah to Minnesota, the Timberwolves confirmed today in a press release.


JULY 1: The Jazz are trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), the Jazz will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, and four future first-rounders in the deal.

Minnesota will send Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, along with a top-five protected 2029 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders in 2026, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A major shake-up had been expected in Utah this spring and Gobert has been mentioned in trade rumors since the Jazz were eliminated from the postseason. On top of that, the Wolves were rumored to be in the market for a rim-protecting center to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and had been linked to Gobert.

Still, the fact that the two division rivals were able to agree to terms on this blockbuster deal comes as a major surprise. It represents a huge home-run swing by new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, and is the first significant roster move made by Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

The move will cost the Timberwolves a good amount of their depth, but will create a loaded starting five. Towns and Gobert figure to be joined by point guard D’Angelo Russell, rising star Anthony Edwards, and one of Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, or Jaden McDaniels.

The Wolves will have Gobert under contract for several years — he’s owed a guaranteed $123MM over the next three seasons and has a $46.7MM player option for 2025/26.

Minnesota currently projects to be about $9.5MM below this season’s luxury tax line, with 11 players on their books, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Meanwhile, of the players headed to Utah in this trade, only Kessler will have guaranteed money on his contract beyond 2022/23. Beverley is on an expiring contract, while Beasley, Vanderbilt, and Bolmaro all have team options for ’23/24.

The Jazz are currently $11MM below this year’s tax line for 13 players and should have significant cap flexibility in future seasons, says Marks.

Having also acquired a first-round pick from Brooklyn this week in exchange for Royce O’Neale, the Jazz are now loaded with draft assets and plan to retool their roster around Donovan Mitchell going forward, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Tony Jones of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the team has no plans to trade Mitchell.

There could be an opportunity for the Jazz to turn around and immediately flip some of the picks they’ve accumulated for an impact player who will complement Mitchell.

For instance, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reports (via Twitter) that Utah has some interest in exploring a sign-and-trade deal for Suns restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton, and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms (via Twitter) that the Wolves, Jazz, and Suns had discussed some three-team scenarios.

After seeing multiple unprotected first-round picks change hands this week in deals involving Gobert and Dejounte Murray, it’s safe to say the Nets’ asking price for Kevin Durant will be astronomical. Brooklyn is said to be seeking a “historical haul” for the former MVP.

And-Ones: Beasley, Delaney, Bolmaro, Duarte, EuroLeague, Ticket Prices

Michael Beasley has officially committed to play in the BIG3 league with 3’s Company this summer, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. ESPN’s Marc J. Spears recently reported Beasley was expected to play in the league. The former No. 2 pick, who last played in the NBA with the Lakers during the 2018/19 season, has hired agent Andre Buck and will continue pursuing an NBA comeback. 

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA player Malcolm Delaney will miss the remainder of Olimpio Milano’s season due to an abdominal injury, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Delaney won’t return to Milan next season. “Two special years, in which I played in two of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of, but with a lot of bad luck,” Delaney said. “I enjoyed my experience in Milan, on and off the court.”
  • Timberwolves rookie Leandro Bolmaro and Pacers rookie Chris Duarte will be among the coaches at the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Americas camp next week, according to an NBA press release. The camp will be held from Monday to Thursday in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and will bring together the top high-school age boys and girls from Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean.
  • This year’s EuroLeague First Team selections have a distinct NBA flavor. NBA veterans Mike James, Shane Larkin and Nikola Mirotic were all selected to the First Team along with Walter Tavares and Sasha Vezenkov, Eurohoops.net tweets.
  • Ticket prices around the NBA continue to rise as attendance drops, Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post report. According to the Post, fans are now paying an average of $109 per ticket, an 18.6% increase since 2018/19. However, the number of paid fans at arenas has dropped 7.1% to 13,603 per game. Those numbers could impact the league’s negotiations with its broadcast partners.

COVID-19 Updates: Haliburton, Clippers, Powell, Caruso, Bolmaro

For a brief period in late December and early January, there were well over 100 NBA players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. However, the situation has improved considerably since that spike. The latest update of our protocols tracker shows just 15 players who are currently affected.

That doesn’t mean no one is entering the protocols anymore though. As Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes, Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton was placed in the protocols ahead of the team’s game vs. Houston on Sunday. Haliburton joins Robert Woodard as the two Sacramento players affected.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

  • Clippers teammates Luke Kennard and Justise Winslow have exited the COVID-19 protocols and are taking part in return to competition reconditioning, as Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group tweets. Kennard is doubtful to play on Monday vs. Indiana, while Winslow is questionable.
  • Trail Blazers wing Norman Powell was upgraded to questionable for Monday’s contest in Orlando and his status is now listed as “COVID recovery,” so it sounds like he has cleared the health and safety protocols (Twitter link via Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian).
  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso won’t play on Monday in Memphis, but he’s no longer in the protocols, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Timberwolves rookie Leandro Bolmaro exited the protocols on Sunday and was available vs. Golden State. He played the final 1:42 of garbage time in a 20-point Wolves victory.

COVID-19 Updates: Grizzlies, Harrell, Thybulle, Bolmaro, More

All the Grizzlies players who were recently placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols have now been cleared, head coach Taylor Jenkins said on Thursday evening (Twitter link via Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal). After three Memphis players exited the protocols on Wednesday, John Konchar and Xavier Tillman were the only players still affected — they’re apparently out of the protocols now too.

Here are more updates on COVID-19 and the health and safety protocols:

  • Wizards big man Montrezl Harrell has cleared the protocols and is questionable to play on Friday in Chicago, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Matisse Thybulle is no longer on the Sixers‘ injury report, as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, which is a good indication he’s out of the protocols.
  • Timberwolves rookie Leandro Bolmaro has entered the COVID-19 protocols, according to the team (Twitter link). He’s the only Minnesota player in the protocols for now.
  • The NBA’s latest injury report lists Mavericks guard Isaiah Thomas as simply “not with team” and Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman as probable to play on Friday in Portland as he takes part in return to competition reconditioning, so it sounds like both players have exited the protocols. However, Thomas has been ruled out for tonight’s game and his 10-day contract will expire overnight.
  • Hawks guard Chris Clemons has entered the protocols, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Clemons’ 10-day deal expires tonight, so his time in Atlanta could be over.
  • The NBA will continue daily COVID-19 testing of players who haven’t received a booster shot through the All-Star break, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. All players and coaches, regardless of vaccination status, will also continue to be tested daily through January 15, Wojnarowski adds.

Wolves Sign Leandro Bolmaro To Rookie Contract

SEPTEMBER 18: Bolmaro has officially signed his rookie deal, according to the NBA transactions log.


SEPTEMBER 14:  Leandro Bolmaro, the No. 23 pick in the 2020 draft, will be signing his rookie scale contract with the Timberwolves this week, according to Dane Moore of Blue Wire (Twitter link). Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News adds (via Twitter) that the deal is expected to be completed in the next 24 hours.

The Wolves stashed Bolmaro overseas for a year after drafting him — he remained with Barcelona in Spain for another season in 2020/21 before coming stateside.

The 21-year-old guard won a Liga ACB championship and a Spanish Cup title with the team in 2021, and was named the ACB Most Spectacular Player (essentially an award for the player who shows up the most on the league’s highlight reel). He averaged 6.4 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.5 RPG on .500/.453/.867 shooting in 33 Liga ACB games (15.5 MPG).

As a No. 23 pick, Bolmaro will sign a rookie contract identical to the one signed by this year’s 23rd overall selection, Usman Garuba. That means he’ll earn about $2.35MM as a rookie and $11.8MM over four years, as our breakdown shows.

The Wolves, who also reached agreements with restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin last week, are expected to formally announce those deals soon, per Wolfson. Once Vanderbilt, McLaughlin, and Bolmaro are locked up, Minnesota’s regular season roster looks set, barring a trade, according to Moore, who notes that the club would have to cross the luxury tax line in order to retain a 15th man.

The Wolves will have 12 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell on non-guaranteed deals.