Maarty Leunen

And-Ones: M. Gasol, Leunen, B. Ferry, Overtime Elite

After big man Ekpe Udoh suffered a serious knee injury last month, Virtus Bologna head coach Sergio Scariolo reached out to Marc Gasol to gauge his interest in joining the Italian club, Scariolo confirmed this week on Italian Twitch channel Area 52 (video link). As Marc Stein of Substack relays (via Twitter), Scariolo said Gasol turned him down in an “elegant way.”

Scariolo coached Gasol on the Spanish national team and as an assistant in Toronto, so he has an existing relationship with the veteran center. However, Gasol – who was traded to Memphis and then waived in September – appears content to spend time with his family in Spain rather than joining another NBA or EuroLeague team anytime soon. There were rumors last month that Gasol would be playing for Girona, the Spanish club he owns, but that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Oregon forward Maarty Leunen, who spent the last 13 seasons playing overseas in various European leagues, has announced his retirement, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Leunen was the 54th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has had his rights traded four times since then – most recently to the Pacers in 2019 – but never signed an NBA contract.
  • Former Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry, who ran the front office from 1973 to 1990, died at age 84 on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The father of Danny Ferry, Bob Ferry won two Executive of the Year awards and helped Washington win the only title in franchise history in 1978.
  • Jeremy Woo of shares his impressions of the Overtime Elite’s Pro Day, including his thoughts on the program’s three most notable 2022 draft-eligible players: guard Jean Montero, wing Kok Yat, and forward Dominick Barlow.

Rockets Trade Stauskas, Baldwin To Pacers

10:00pm: The Pacers have officially completed their trade with the Rockets, acquiring Stauskas, Baldwin, Milwaukee’s 2021 second-round pick and the rights to Maarty Leunen for cash considerations, the team announced.

Indiana also waived Anigbogu to make the agreement official.

1:05pm: The Pacers are waiving second-year center Ike Anigbogu to make room for their incoming players, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

12:16pm: A day after acquiring Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, the Rockets have reached an agreement to send them to the Pacers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Houston will also ship a second-round pick to Indiana, Woj adds, and the Pacers plan to waive both players (Twitter link).

The Pacers only have one roster opening, so they will have to get rid of someone before they can take on Stauskas and Baldwin, notes Keith Smith of Real GM (Twitter link). The Rockets are making the deal for tax purposes, so it’s unlikely they will be getting anyone in return.

A flurry of trades over the past two days has put Houston $634K under the luxury tax, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The Rockets are down to 12 players, two below the league minimum, but are expected to be active on the buyout market. They will have two weeks to get their roster back to at least 14. Owner Tilman Fertitta has been saying that he wanted to get under the tax this season to avoid repeater penalties in the future, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Indiana will drop down to 13 players once if it follows through with plans to waive Stauskas and Baldwin and will also have two weeks to get back to the 14-player minimum.

The Rockets acquired both players last night in a three-team deal that also brought them Iman Shumpert. Houston had to take both players from the Cavaliers to help Cleveland stay below the luxury tax. This is the third trade in four days for Stauskas and Baldwin, who were also sent from the Trail Blazers to the Cavs in the Rodney Hood swap.

Rockets Trade Chinanu Onuaku To Mavericks

AUGUST 2: The Mavericks have officially announced the trade in a press release. Dallas receives Onuaku, cash, and the ability to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick with the Rockets’ pick. In exchange, Houston receives the draft rights to 2008 second-rounder Maarty Leunen.

AUGUST 1: The Rockets are trading center Chinanu Onuaku to the Mavericks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Dallas will receive Onuaku and cash from Houston in exchange for the ability to swap 2020 second-round picks.

Onuaku, 21, was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2016 draft with the 37th overall pick. Although he has spent the last two seasons with Houston, he has appeared in just six NBA regular season games for the club.

The former Louisville big man has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In his NBAGL career, Onuaku has averaged a double-double (12.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG) to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG%.

Having apparently felt that Onuaku wouldn’t have a role on this year’s team, Houston will move him and his guaranteed $1,544,951 salary to Dallas, creating a trade exception worth that same amount. The in-the-tax Rockets may end up replacing Onuaku on their roster, but will perhaps do so with a slightly less expensive player who has a better chance to contribute to the 2018/19 squad.

As for the Mavericks, they’ll absorb Onuaku’s contract using their leftover cap room. Once the move is official, Dallas figures to move forward with completing minimum salary deals for Salah Mejri and Devin Harris.

Clippers Acquire Johnathan Motley From Mavs

The Clippers have acquired forward Johnathan Motley in a deal with the Mavericks, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Both Los Angeles and Dallas have confirmed the transaction via press releases.

The Clippers also received the rights to Renaldas Seibutis in exchange for the draft rights to Maarty Leunen, plus $50K. Motley is on a two-way contract. It’s the first-ever trade involving a two-way contract, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Dallas opened up a two-way contract slot via the transaction.

Motley, 23, averaged 8.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 11 games with Dallas last season. The 6’10” power forward went undrafted out of Baylor.

Seibutis was a second-round pick by Dallas all the way back in 2007. Siebutis, 33, is a 6’5” guard who currently plays in Lithuania and is also a member of that country’s national team.

Leunen was drafted in the second round by the Clippers in 2008. The 6’9” Leunen, 32, attended the University of Oregon and is currently playing in Italy.