Malik Fitts

Clippers Waive Nate Darling, Malik Fitts, Xavier Moon

The Clippers have removed three players from their preseason roster, announcing today that they’ve waived guard Nate Darling, forward Malik Fitts, and wing Xavier Moon. All three players had been with the team on Exhibit 10 contracts and are candidates to join the Ontario Clippers, L.A.’s G League affiliate.

Darling went undrafted out of Delaware in 2020 and spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with Charlotte, appearing in seven games for the Hornets. Last season, the 24-year-old was a fixture in the backcourt for the Clippers’ G League team, averaging 17.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 31 NBAGL appearances (32.4 MPG).

Fitts, 25, spent time in 2020/21 with the Clippers and their G League affiliate after going undrafted out of Saint Mary’s. Last season, he appeared in 15 total games for Utah and Boston, but played a very minimal role for both teams, logging just 63 total minutes. After finishing the season with the Celtics, Fitts had a non-guaranteed salary for ’22/23, but was traded to Indiana in the Malcolm Brogdon deal and was subsequently waived by the Pacers before signing with L.A.

Moon, who was on a two-way contract with the Clippers last season, didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the team in June, but eventually signed a new Exhibit 10 deal. The 27-year-old, who has spent most of his career overseas, got into 10 games with L.A. as an NBA rookie.

With the cuts, the Clippers now have 16 players under contract. Fourteen of those players have guaranteed contracts, while Moussa Diabate has a two-way deal and Moses Brown is on an Exhibit 10 pact. Brown could have his contract converted into a two-way pact before opening night, though it’s unclear if that’s the Clips’ plan.

Clippers Sign Malik Fitts, Nate Darling

The Clippers have signed forward Malik Fitts and guard Nate Darling, the team announced on Wednesday. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed, but they’re likely non-guaranteed training camp contracts with Exhibit 10 language included.

Fitts, 25, spent time in 2020/21 with the Clippers and their G League affiliate after going undrafted out of Saint Mary’s. Last season, he appeared in 15 total games for Utah and Boston, but played a very minimal role for both teams, logging just 63 total minutes. After finishing the season with the Celtics, Fitts had a non-guaranteed salary for ’22/23, but was traded to Indiana in the Malcolm Brogdon deal and was subsequently waived by the Pacers.

Darling, meanwhile, went undrafted out of Delaware in 2020 and spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with Charlotte, appearing in seven games for the Hornets. Last season, he was a fixture in the backcourt for the Clippers’ G League team, averaging 17.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 31 NBAGL appearances (32.4 MPG).

Both Fitts and Darling look like good bets to be waived before opening night and eventually join the Ontario Clippers in the G League. It’s also possible one or both will be in the mix for L.A.’s open two-way slot.

The Clippers, who made three cuts on Tuesday, now have 19 players on their training camp roster.

Pacers Waive Duane Washington, Three Others

7:18pm: The four cuts are now official, according to a press release from the Pacers.


3:15pm: The Pacers are waiving Duane Washington and using the waive-and-stretch provision on Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan and Nik Stauskas in order to create the necessary cap space to sign Deandre Ayton to a maximum-salary offer sheet, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Washington, 22, went undrafted last year after three college seasons with Ohio State. He signed a two-way contract with the Pacers and had a productive rookie season, appearing in 48 games (20.2 MPG) while averaging 9.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG and 1.8 APG on .404/.377/.754 shooting. More than half of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.

Washington received a promotion at the end of the season when his two-way deal was converted to a standard contract, but his salary for next season was non-guaranteed. He and the team previously agreed to push back his guarantee date from July 6 until July 15, so he’ll be released one day in advance of that deadline.

Fitts, Morgan and Stauskas were all sent to Indiana for salary-matching purposes as part of the trade that saw Malcolm Brogdon head to Boston. Each of the three players received significant guarantees on their minimum-salary contracts in order to complete the trade, but obviously none of them were part of Indiana’s long-term plans.

The stretch provision allows teams to pay players they waive over multiple years. In this case, the three salaries will be spread out over three seasons, because they were all waived between July 1 and August 31 and only had one year on their contracts.

Of the four players being waived, Washington seems like the best bet to immediately find a new team, whether it’s via waiver claim or a new deal after clearing waivers. Despite being a rookie, he had the most productive season in 2021/22, even if it was due in part to Indiana’s disappointing season that saw the team finish with a 25-57 record.

Central Notes: Pacers, Sexton, Rubio, Bulls

As part of the trade sending Malcolm Brogdon to Boston, new Pacers Nik Stauskas, Juwan Morgan, and Malik Fitts all received significant partial guarantees on their minimum-salary contracts for 2022/23.

Stauskas had $2,106,932 of his salary guaranteed, while Morgan received a partial guarantee of $1,728,689 and Fitts got $1,665,650, Hoops Rumors has learned. Each amount is exactly $86,988 below the player’s full salary.

When added to Daniel Theis‘ $8,694,369 salary and Aaron Nesmith‘s $3,804,360 salary, those partial guarantees total $18MM. That was precisely the amount the Celtics needed to send out to in order to legally match Brogdon’s incoming $22.6MM salary — Boston was able to take back up to 125% of that outgoing $18MM, plus $100K.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com spoke to a team source who is “quite confident” that Collin Sexton will remain with the Cavaliers going forward, either as a result of a new agreement between the two sides or the guard accepting his qualifying offer.
  • Ricky Rubio‘s new three-year contract with the Cavaliers is fully guaranteed in the first two years and features a partial guarantee in year three, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Rubio’s partial guarantee in 2024/25 is $4.25MM of a $6.44MM salary.
  • Patrick Williams‘ potential for further growth will be crucial if the Bulls hope to increase their ceiling, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who wonders if 2022 first-rounder Dalen Terry could help Williams realize his upside. As Cowley explains, Terry pushed Williams hard in Summer League practices and the two engaged in some competitive banter during those sessions.

Pacers Trade Malcolm Brogdon To Celtics

JULY 9: The Celtics’ deal with the Pacers for Brogdon is now official, per an Indiana press release.


JULY 1: The Pacers have agreed to trade veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The deal will send center Daniel Theis, wing Aaron Nesmith, and a 2023 first-round pick to Indiana, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter). Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan are also headed to the Pacers in the swap, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

The 2023 first-round pick the Pacers are acquiring in the trade will be top-12 protected, tweets Brian Robb of MassLive. If it doesn’t convey, Indiana will instead receive a second-rounder.

The Celtics wanted to acquire a “true play-making guard,” Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter), and were able to do so without including any of their core players in the package. Brogdon has battled injuries frequently over the course of his six-year career, but has been effective on both ends of the court when healthy.

In 2021/22, the 29-year-old averaged 19.1 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 5.1 RPG in 36 games (33.5 MPG) for the Pacers. Brogdon’s three-point percentage dipped to 31.2% last season, but he’s still a 37.6% career shooter from beyond the arc.

Although Brogdon’s name has come up frequently in trade rumors this offseason, he was primarily linked to the Wizards and Knicks in the weeks leading up to the draft. Washington addressed its point guard hole by agreeing to acquire Monte Morris and sign Delon Wright, while New York landed Jalen Brunson in free agency. That opened the door for another Eastern Conference club to make a deal with the Pacers.

Brogdon will earn $67.6MM over the next three seasons, including $22.6MM in 2022/23. In order to match his salary and make the trade legal, the Celtics will have to include five players in their package — the priciest of those players, Theis, is making $8.69MM next season, while Nesmith will earn $3.8MM. Stauskas, Fitts, and Morgan were on non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts, which will become guaranteed for matching purposes, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

The Celtics, who also reportedly agreed to sign Danilo Gallinari, now have about $167.5MM committed to 11 players, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), so team ownership doesn’t appear worried about paying a tax bill in 2022/23. Depending on how deep into the tax Boston is willing to go, the club could also make use of its $17MM trade exception, which won’t be utilized in this deal.

The Pacers, meanwhile, had interest in Grant Williams, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), but were ultimately willing to accept for a Celtics’ 2023 first-round pick that could land pretty late in the 20s.

Indiana may also see value in Theis and Nesmith, but the deal is more about the first-rounder and the cap flexibility moving off Brogdon will create. In addition to clearing some long-term money, the Pacers now have about $31MM in projected cap room this summer, tweets Marks.

The two teams will have to wait until July 9 to officially complete the trade, Marks notes (via Twitter), since Morgan can’t be dealt until then.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Reddish, Raptors’ Draft, Celtics’ Summer Roster, Boucher, Young

The Knicks have checked in with the Pistons regarding the No. 5 pick in the draft, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. Cam Reddish‘s name has come up in those conversations but it would take a significant package for Detroit to trade down the lottery. New York owns the No. 11 pick. The Knicks have also reportedly explored trading with the Kings for the No. 4 pick with their eyes on point guard Jaden Ivey.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Notes: Curry, Siakam, Sixers, Fitts

In his second game back from a left ankle injury, Nets guard Seth Curry re-injured the same ankle, leaving Monday’s game late in the second quarter with what the team has initially diagnosed as a sprain, per Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. Brooklyn is hopeful that Curry’s latest injury isn’t too significant.

“We’ll see what it’s like [Tuesday], but speaking to him at halftime, it didn’t sound like he thought it was doom and gloom,” head coach Steve Nash said after the Nets’ win over Utah. “Hopefully, it’s a quick recovery, but you never know how these things respond, if they balloon up over night. … I think he feels optimistic that it’s not too bad.”

Although Ben Simmons was ostensibly the centerpiece of the Nets’ James Harden trade last month, Curry has provided the most value so far, averaging 15.5 PPG on .493/.471/.846 shooting in 13 games (30.3 MPG) since arriving in Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has reemerged as an All-NBA candidate this season, averaging 22.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 5.1 APG with a .488 FG% through 59 games (37.7 MPG). However, as Eric Koreen of The Athletic outlines, Siakam’s odds of making an All-NBA team will be slim if voters view DeMar DeRozan as a forward and/or list Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid at forward to squeeze both onto the First Team.
  • The Sixers have performed very well when both Embiid and Harden are on the court, but have struggled in recent weeks with just one of their two stars playing, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com, who says the team will need to find a way to address that issue. Both Embiid (back soreness) and Harden (left hamstring injury recovery) missed Monday’s game, but Philadelphia pulled out a 113-106 upset over the top-seeded Heat.
  • Malik Fitts‘ new two-year contract with the Celtics is, as expected, worth the minimum salary and is non-guaranteed for next season. Fitts will receive a partial guarantee of $50K if he’s still under contract beyond September 1, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Malik Fitts Signs Two-Year Deal With Celtics

8:37pm: The Celtics have officially re-signed Fitts, the team announced in a press release.


4:19pm: Power forward Malik Fitts will sign with the Celtics through the 2022/23 NBA season, his agents at UNLTD Sports Group, Nick Blatchford and Derek Johnson, inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Woj adds that Fitts’ contract for the 2022/23 season will be partially guaranteed.

Fitts and Kelan Martin, having both signed a pair of 10-day deals with Boston, saw those deals expire on Monday night.

After initially going undrafted out of Saint Mary’s in 2020, the 6’8″ Fitts latched on with the Clippers for three games in 2020/21 and appeared in 14 games for L.A.’s G League team. Ahead of the 2021/22 season, he joined Utah on a training camp deal. The Jazz liked what they saw enough to add Fitts on a two-way contract heading into the 2021/22 season.

When Fitts fractured his finger in January, the Jazz waived him. Boston then added him on his initial 10-day deal last month. He holds averages of 4.4 MPG through nine games between the two clubs this year.

Celtics Sign Kelan Martin, Malik Fitts To Second 10-Day Deals

MARCH 5: The Celtics have officially signed Martin and Fitts to their second 10-day contracts, the team announced (via Twitter).


MARCH 4: The Celtics are expected to sign Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts to a second pair of 10-day contracts, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). Both players’ current 10-day deals will expire on Friday night.

Fitts, 24, is a second-year power forward out of Saint Mary’s. He had a two-way deal with the Jazz earlier this season, but was waived by Utah in January after fracturing his right wrist. He later signed an NBA G League contract prior to catching on with the Celtics.

Across seven contests with the Jazz this season, Fitts averaged 5.0 MPG. In seven games with the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBAGL this season, Fitts averaged 15.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 BPG and 1.0 SPG, on shooting splits of .396/.267/.846.

Martin, 26, played for the Pacers the past couple years, but Indiana waived him in January before his contract for the rest of this could become guaranteed. Through 27 games with Indiana this year, the third-year small forward out of Butler averaged of 6.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG.

Martin and Fitts have each made one appearance with the Celtics, receiving just three minutes apiece. The Celtics are currently 38-27, fifth in the East.

Malik Fitts, Kelan Martin Sign 10-Day Deals With Celtics

FEBRUARY 23: The Celtics have officially signed Fitts and Martin to 10-day contracts, the team announced today in a press release.


FEBRUARY 22: Forwards Malik Fitts and Kelan Martin are set to sign 10-day deals with the Celtics, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Fitts, a 6’8″ second-year power forward out of Saint Mary’s, had a two-way deal with the Jazz earlier this season, but was waived by Utah in January after fracturing his right wrist. He signed an NBA G League contract prior to the news of his joining the Celtics.

Across seven contests with the Jazz this season, Fitts averaged 5.0 MPG. In seven games with the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBAGL this season, Fitts averaged 15.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 BPG and 1.0 SPG, on shooting splits of .396/.267/.846.

The 6’5″ Martin, 26, was most recently with the Pacers, but Indiana waived him in January before his contract for the rest of the 2021/22 season could become guaranteed, as Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files observes (via Twitter).

Through 27 games with Indiana this year, the third-year small forward out of Butler holds averages of 6.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG while making 41.7% of his takes from the floor and 69.2% of his looks from the charity stripe.

The duo will join a revamped Boston roster hoping to make a push up the Eastern Conference standings following an active trade deadline. As we noted earlier this week, the C’s had to make two roster additions this week in order to get back up to the NBA-mandated minimum of 14 players.

The Celtics, who won nine of their last ten games heading into the All-Star break, are currently the sixth seed in the East with a 34-26 record. The team is now just 4.5 games behind the top-seeded Heat and Bulls.