Lorenzo Brown

International Notes: Monroe, Poythress, Brown, Lauvergne

Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg is interested in signing former NBA big man Greg Monroe for the 2020/21 season, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops, who tweets that there are “ongoing talks” between the two sides.

Varlas suggests that Monroe is still considering both NBA and international options, with Zenit looking like one of the strongest contenders to sign him if he continues his career overseas. Monroe, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, spent the 2019/20 campaign with Bayern Munich in Germany after nine years in the NBA.

Players like Monroe, who may prefer to seek an NBA deal, are in a tough spot, since European clubs are filling their rosters now while the NBA’s free agency period won’t begin for another three months. Some players with NBA aspirations may decide it’s not worth the risk to wait until the fall.

Here are a few more international updates on players with NBA experience:

  • If Monroe ends up joining Zenit St. Petersburg, he’ll join another former NBA big man in the frontcourt — Zenit announced on Monday (via Twitter) that Alex Poythress has reached a one-year deal with the team. Poythress previously appeared in 52 NBA games for Philadelphia, Indiana, and Atlanta from 2017-19.
  • Turkish team Fenerbache has agreed to a one-year contract with veteran point guard Lorenzo Brown, according to a press release. Brown has played in a total of 103 NBA regular season games since making his debut in 2013, making 26 appearances in 2018/19 for the eventual-champion Raptors before being waived last January.
  • Veteran big man Joffrey Lauvergne, who suited up for the Nuggets, Thunder, Bulls, and Spurs from 2014-18, has signed a one-year deal with Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando). The Frenchman returned to Europe after his contract with San Antonio expired in 2018, spending the last two seasons with Fenerbahce.

International Notes: D. Williams, Harrison, Singleton, L. Brown

While the NBA’s 2020 free agency period is still a few months away, teams in Europe are already making offseason roster moves in preparation for the 2020/21 season, and a number of former NBA players are in the news. One of those players is Pau Gasol, who is reportedly in serious talks with Barcelona about a potential one-year deal, as we relayed earlier today.

Here are a few more updates on former NBA players lining up new deals overseas:

  • Spanish team Valencia has reached an agreement to sign former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams for the coming season, the club announced in a press release. Still just 29 years old, Williams has appeared in over 400 NBA regular season games, but has spent the last couple seasons in international leagues, playing for Fenerbahce in Turkey in 2019/20.
  • Olympiacos BC in Greece has officially announced the signing of Aaron Harrison, the former Kentucky guard who played for the Hornets and Mavericks in the NBA from 2015-18. Harrison, who spent the last two seasons with Turkish team Galatasaray, signed a two-year contract with Olympiacos.
  • Former first-round pick Chris Singleton, who last appeared in the NBA in 2014 with the Wizards, has signed a multiyear contract extension with Turkish club Anadolu Efes, the team announced in a press release. It’s a two-year deal with a third-year option for the veteran forward, who joins Rodrigue Beaubois in agreeing to an extension with Anadolu Efes this week.
  • Turkish club Fenerbahce is eyeing veteran guard Lorenzo Brown, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Brown last played in the NBA during the 2018/19 season before being waived by Toronto.

Lorenzo Brown Signs With Serbian Team

Free agent point guard Lorenzo Brown has signed a deal with the Serbian club KK Crvena Zvezda of the ABA League for the 2019/20 season, the team announced (via Sportando).

Brown, 28, has seen action in five of the past six NBA seasons. The North Carolina State product has suited up for the Sixers, Timberwolves, Suns and Raptors. Last season, Brown played for the eventual NBA champion Raptors, averaging 2.1 PPG off the bench in 26 games.

The Raptors waived Brown in early January. The former second-round pick latched on with the Guangzhou Long-Lions in China for the remainder of the season, averaging  25.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 4.9 APG.

Atlantic Notes: Zion, Raptors, Loyd, Moreland, Sixers

The Knicks apparently won’t have to worry about Zion Williamson demanding a trade if they win the lottery. Williamson said on Friday that he would “love to play” for the Knicks if they drafted him, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. The Duke freshman made the remark during a Final Four press conference while accepting the Oscar Robertson (Player of the Year) Award. He went on to say he’d be happy to go wherever he was drafted.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors made a number of cost-cutting moves during the course of the season that saved an approximate $18MM, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic details. Waiving Lorenzo Brown, dumping the salaries of Malachi Richardson and Greg Monroe, trading three players for Marc Gasol, getting Gasol to waive his trade kicker, and signing players to 10-day contracts to meet roster requirements all contributed to a healthier bottom line.
  • The Raptors still have an open roster spot heading toward the playoffs and will likely sign a player, Murphy writes in the same story. Guard Jordan Loyd’s two-way contract could be converted to a standard contract and center Eric Moreland, who recently played on a 10-day contract, is another candidate. Veteran center Marcin Gortat could also be in play.
  • The 76ers believe their powerhouse starting lineup will be the difference in the playoffs, even though they haven’t played much together, Michael Lee of The Athletic reports. They’ve gone 8-2 in games that Tobias Harris, J.J. Redick, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler have all been available to play. “Although that starting group hasn’t played that much basketball together, especially relative to the other teams, the excitement is to take the talent we have and quickly try to maximize that,” coach Brett Brown said.

Lorenzo Brown Will Play In China

China will be the next stop for former Raptors point guard Lorenzo Brown, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Brown, who was waived in January, has signed a contract with the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Brown appeared in 26 games for the Raptors this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 assists in 8.2 minutes per night. He spent 2017/18  as a two-way player for Toronto, getting into 14 NBA games, then signed a standard contract last summer.

Brown, who was named MVP of the G League last year, was a second-round pick by the Timberwolves in 2013. He also had brief stops with the Sixers and Suns.

Raptors Waive Lorenzo Brown

The Raptors have placed guard Lorenzo Brown on waivers, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Like other players who were waived today, Brown had a contract that would have become fully guaranteed by 5pm Eastern.

The reigning G League MVP, Brown was a two-way player for Toronto last season before signing a standard contract over the summer. He appeared in 26 games this year, averaging just 2.1 PPG in 8.2 minutes per night. The 28-year-old has also played for the Sixers, Timberwolves and Suns.

If Brown decides to return to the G League, his rights are held by the Pistons’ affiliate in Grand Rapids, notes Adam Johnson of 2 Ways and 10 Days (Twitter link).

The move leaves Toronto with 13 players, one below the league minimum. The team will have two weeks to add to its roster.

The Raptors’ luxury tax projection falls from $34.5MM to $32.2MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Brown received $800K in guaranteed money on his deal.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, R. Williams, L. Brown, Raps

In order to maximize their potential, the Sixers will need to find a way to improve their floor spacing and outside shooting, writes Dave Zarum of Sportsnet.ca. Asked after Tuesday’s loss to Toronto about the 76ers’ shooting woes, Joel Embiid replied, “Last year we had some really good shooters and this year we don’t have them.”

Philadelphia does still have some reliable long-distance marksmen on its roster, including J.J. Redick and Robert Covington, but the team has missed Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli in the early going. Assuming Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz don’t turn into outside threats overnight, the Sixers will need more out of Dario Saric, who has made just 23.4% of his three-pointers so far this season.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

Atlantic Notes: Faried, L. Brown, Raptors, Celtics

As first reported by Valerie Gordon of 27East.com, new Nets power forward Kenneth Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on Sunday morning and was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor for those allegedly possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. The Nets know about the situation, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, who confirmed the initial report.

“We are aware of the situation involving Kenneth Faried and are in the process of gathering more information at this time,” the Nets said in a statement.

While it’s possible the arrest could eventually lead to a modest fine or suspension for Faried, it’s fairly minor as far as criminal incidents go. It’s unlikely to have a major impact on the veteran’s on-court availability during his first season with the Nets.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Although Lorenzo Brown‘s one-year contract isn’t fully guaranteed, the Raptors view the veteran guard as a roster player, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. According to Lewenberg, Brown is a good bet to be Toronto’s 14th man and the club probably won’t start the year with 15, meaning camp invitees like Chris Boucher and Kay Felder are long shots to make the regular season squad.
  • The Raptors‘ acquisition of Kawhi Leonard is a roll of the dice that could represent either a new beginning for the franchise or the beginning of the end of the club’s recent run of success, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Celtics will enter the 2018/19 season as the favorites to win the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, but the Raptors and Sixers won’t make things easy. A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston identifies five keys that could help Toronto or Philadelphia knock off the C’s next season.

Raptors Sign Lorenzo Brown To One-Year Deal

JULY 20: The Raptors have officially signed Brown, the club announced today in a press release. The one-year deal is partially guaranteed, per Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic (Twitter link).

JULY 17: The Raptors are finalizing a one-year contract with guard Lorenzo Brown, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Brown played on a two-way contract with the club last season and earned G League MVP honors for Raptors 905.

The 6’5” Brown appeared in 14 games with the Raptors last season, averaging 2.3 PPG in 9.9 MPG. Brown, 27, has bounced around the league since he was drafted in the second round by the Timberwolves in 2013. He has played for the Sixers, T-Wolves and Suns, logging a total of 77 career NBA appearances. He’s a career 37.5% shooter overall and just 15.4% from long range.

Brown dominated in 32 G League starts last season, averaging 18.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 8.8 APG and 1.8 SPG.

The Raptors have opened up some roster spots over the past week by waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie and rescinded their qualifying offer to another forward, Malcolm Miller.

Raptors Convert Lorenzo Brown To Standard NBA Contract

APRIL 11: The Raptors have formally converted Brown’s two-way contract to a standard NBA deal, the team announced today (via Twitter). Toronto now has a full 15-man roster heading into the postseason — two-way player Malcolm Miller is the only Raptor who won’t be eligible for the playoffs.

APRIL 10: The Raptors will sign Lorenzo Brown for the remainder of the season, according to Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic. Brown is currently on a two-way deal with Toronto.

The point guard won the G League’s Most Valuable Player Award this season, appearing in 32 games for the Raptors 905. He averaged 18.8 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game while playing for Toronto’s NBAGL affiliate.

By having his contract converted, Brown will be eligible to play for the Raptors in this year’s NBA postseason. Players on two-way deals are not eligible for postseason play, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors recently detailed.

Toronto had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no corresponding move will be required to make room for Brown.