Marvin Bagley III

Pistons To Re-Sign Marvin Bagley III To Three-Year Agreement

The Pistons have agreed to bring back restricted free agent power forward Marvin Bagley III on a three-year, $37MM contract, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

After being selected by the Kings with the second pick in the 2018 draft over multiple future All-Stars, Bagley struggled through erratic playing time and a variety of injuries with Sacramento, but produced on offense when given some leeway by the team. He holds career averages of 13.6 PPG, on 50.1% shooting, and 7.4 RPG.

Bagley was traded to the Pistons in a four-team deal this February. In 18 games with Detroit, Bagley averaged 14.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.1 APG and 0.7 SPG across 27.2 MPG. The 6’11” big man, still just 23, has yet to become a plus defender, but has value as a scorer on a rebuilding young Pistons team.

Detroit has already enjoyed a busy 2022 offseason. In this year’s NBA draft lottery, the club selected guard Jaden Ivey and center Jalen Duren. The team also traded for veteran shooting guard Alec Burks and reserve center Nerlens Noel from the Knicks. These new additions will join Bagley, 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, an All-Rookie First Team selection, promising young center Isaiah Stewart, and former lottery pick Killian Hayes as the Pistons continue to look toward the future.

Eastern Free Agent Rumors: Sexton, Bagley, Claxton, Hartenstein, Bridges

The Cavaliers are trying to re-sign Collin Sexton, but their first offer was short of what he’s hoping for, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The free agent guard wants a new deal that averages about $20MM per year, sources tell Fischer, but Cleveland’s early offer in extension talks was below that number. Fischer says it was similar to Jordan Clarkson‘s “three-year, $51MM” deal, but Clarkson’s contract is actually worth $52MM over four years, so it’s unclear which of those figures was closer to Cleveland’s initial offer.

Sexton missed most of last season with a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was recently cleared for full basketball activities and should be ready for training camp.

There’s more on Eastern Conference free agents, all from Fischer:

  • Marvin Bagley III, who was acquired at the trade deadline, is expected to re-sign with the Pistons for more than $10MM per year. Fischer compares the expected deal to what the Hornets gave Kelly Oubre, which was two seasons at $24.6MM with a partial guarantee on the second year.
  • Fischer confirms a report that Nic Claxton will likely remain with the Nets, probably for an amount in the neighborhood of the full MLE.
  • The Bulls and Magic could be among the suitors for center Isaiah Hartenstein now that the Clippers are expected to give their full taxpayer MLE to John Wall. Chicago has been linked to several centers, but Fischer hears that the team would prefer not to use its entire non-taxpayer MLE of $10.1MM, so Hartenstein may be a lower-cost option. Rumors have emerged that Orlando may have interest in Hartenstein, but Fischer adds that he could also decide to remain in L.A. on a cheaper deal and hope to cash in later.
  • The Pacers are considering an offer for Hornets forward Miles Bridges, but Fischer says it’s not clear if Indiana is ready to hand out such a large contract. Fischer adds that the Grizzlies have been considered a “sleeper candidate” due to the presence of Jaren Jackson Jr., his former college teammate, but sources tell Fischer that Memphis isn’t expected to pursue Bridges.

Knicks To Trade Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks To Pistons

The Knicks are trading center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the Pistons, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The Knicks will unload more than $19MM in 2022/23 salary in the deal, providing ample cap space to sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson. Noel has a $9.24MM salary next season, while Burks is due approximately $10MM.

Both players are signed through the 2023/24 season, but there are team options in the final year of their respective contracts — Noel at $9.68MM and Burks at approximately $10.5MM. Thus, those salaries could come off the Pistons’ cap next summer.

New York will send Detroit back its 2023 second-round pick, plus the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (top-55 protected) and $6MM in cash as sweeteners to take those contracts off its books, Wojnarowski reports in a separate tweet. The Pistons can absorb those salaries without sending out any contracts, since they project to have more cap space than any other team.

The Knicks and Pistons were involved in a three-way draft-night deal that included the Hornets. In that trade, Detroit also took Kemba Walker‘s contract off New York’s books. While the Hornets and Knicks have completed their half of that trade, the Pistons’ and Knicks’ half isn’t yet official, so it could be folded into Tuesday’s agreement.

New York won’t necessarily have to waive Taj Gibson‘s non-guaranteed contract now in its pursuit of Brunson, John Hollinger of The Athletic observes (via Twitter). The trade will give the Knicks approximately $30MM in total projected cap space, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

As Marks notes (Twitter link), there’s no way Dallas can offer Brunson that kind of money without serious tax implications. Signing Brunson to a $30M starting salary would cost the Mavericks a total of $130MM in salary and tax penalties in one season alone, Marks says.

The Pistons plan on keeping Burks and Noel, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Burks, a 38% career 3-point shooter, will give the Pistons a perimeter threat on the wing who can help mentor the young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey. Noel provides depth in the middle behind Isaiah Stewart and rookie Jalen Duren.

Despite the addition of Noel, the Pistons are still committed to bringing back restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III, Omari Sankofa of the Detroit Free Press tweets.

Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III Among Players Receiving QOs

The Suns have issued a qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent, reports Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Ayton’s qualifying offer is worth $16,422,835.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Qualifying Offers]

Although there have been consistent whispers about the possibility of Ayton leaving Phoenix in free agency this summer, there was never any doubt that he’d receive a qualifying offer. That QO ensures that he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent and gives the Suns the opportunity to match any offer sheet he signs with a rival team. Ayton also has the option of signing the one-year, $16.4MM deal if he wants to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, though that’s considered very unlikely.

Here are a few more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have tendered a qualifying offer worth $7,228,448 to big man Marvin Bagley III, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Multiple reports in recent weeks and months have indicated that re-signing Bagley will be a priority for Detroit this offseason. His cap hold will exceed $28MM, but if the two sides agree to terms quickly once free agency opens, the Pistons will be able to maximize their cap room by reducing that $28MM cap hold to a first-year salary that will come in much lower.
  • The Nets have issued qualifying offers to center Nic Claxton and two-way guard David Duke, per Smith (Twitter link). Claxton’s QO is worth $2,228,276 while Duke’s is for another two-way contract. Both players are now restricted free agents.
  • The Nuggets have extended qualifying offers to forward Vlatko Cancar and two-way swingman Davon Reed, according to Smith (Twitter link). Like Claxton, Cancar has a $2,228,276 qualifying offer. Reed’s is for another two-way contract, though it’s possible he could generate interest from teams interested in giving him a standard roster spot.
  • Wizards forward Anthony Gill received a qualifying offer making him a restricted free agent, according to Smith (Twitter link). Gill’s QO projects to be worth $2,011,516, though that could increase or decrease slightly depending on where the salary cap for 2022/23 ends up.
  • The Warriors have made swingman Quinndary Weatherspoon a restricted free agent by giving him a two-way qualifying offer, reports Smith (Twitter link). Golden State reportedly agreed to a deal with Lester Quinones to fill the team’s other two-way slot.

Stein’s Latest: Grizzlies, Mavs, Pistons, Schröder, Bagley

After reporting over the weekend that the Grizzlies, who hold the 22nd and 29th overall picks in this Thursday’s draft, are “trying hard” to move up, Marc Stein says in his latest Substack report that Memphis is among the teams that has explored the possibility of acquiring the No. 4 overall pick from the Kings.

It would be a challenge for the Grizzlies to entice the Kings to move that fourth overall pick without a lottery selection of their own to offer in return. As Stein observes, Memphis would probably have to offer up at least one member of its veteran core to pique Sacramento’s interest — Stein mentions Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke as possibilities.

Jeremy Woo of SI.com, who confirms that the Grizzlies are trying to trade up from No. 22, suggests that the team has proposed package that includes various veterans, including De’Anthony Melton. However, Woo says Memphis has been trying to move “into the teens,” which is a more realistic goal than getting all the way up to No. 4.

Here are a few more items of interest from Stein:

  • Having agreed to acquire Christian Wood from Houston, the Mavericks are “far less likely” to make use of their $10.9MM trade exception, a source tells Stein. That exception, which will expire after June 27, would allow Dallas to acquire nearly $11MM in salary without sending out any salary of their own, but the Mavs already project to be well over the luxury tax line, especially if they re-sign Jalen Brunson, so they’ll be wary about continuing to spend.
  • While the Pistons have been cited as a potential suitor for Brunson, Stein hears from sources that they’ve been considering targeting Dennis Schröder as a more cost-effective option in the backcourt.
  • Stein also confirms that the Pistons continue to be linked to free agent center Mitchell Robinson and have “very strong interest” in re-signing former No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III.
  • In case you missed it, Stein also passed along several Hawks-related tidbits, which we round up right here.

Central Notes: Bagley, Jones, Wright, Dragic, Bulls

The Pistons are prepared to make a three-year offer to restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III, James Edwards III of The Athletic reports. He fit a need for an athletic big man, which is why they traded for him just before the deadline. However, Bagley may seek a shorter deal and test the open market if his stock rises, so that he can get a bigger payday.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • It has been reported that the Cavaliers would entertain a reunion with free agent guard Ricky Rubio. However, there are other options on the table to provide backcourt depth, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cavs are also expected to show interest in several other unrestricted free agents, including Tyus Jones, Delon Wright, Raul Neto and Goran Dragic, says Fedor.
  • Which players should the Bulls retain and which ones should they shed? Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic takes a closer look at that topic in a player-by-player breakdown. Mayberry’s position on unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine? He’s one of the keepers.
  • DeMar DeRozan said he’s open to recruiting players to Chicago, but Bulls coach Billy Donovan said no matter what happens in the offseason, expectations need to be tempered, Jon Greenberg of The Athletic writes. “I think you have to be careful, and what I mean by that is, we got off to a really, really good start this year,” he said. “And it was really impressive to me with a new group that hadn’t had a lot of time together that they could jell and mesh the way they did. We’ll actually have to work harder going into this offseason and next year to even get back to this point.”

Central Notes: Caruso, COVID-19, Bridges, Joseph, McGruder

Guard Alex Caruso played 33 minutes in the Bulls’ Game 1 loss to the Bucks on Sunday. Coach Billy Donovan said Caruso has been dealing with back pain for several weeks and is trying to tough it out, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. He was limited to seven points and missed all but one of his five 3-point attempts.

‘‘He’s felt the best I think he has felt,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘Is he 100%? No, but he’s a lot better than he was those games before he sat out. I do think with Alex [that minutes restrictions are] going to be somewhat important. I think if you start pushing him with his back up into the high 30s, I don’t think that would be really, really wise. You want to see how he’s feeling in the game. He kind of throws his body in there and plays incredibly hard and physical, so we’ll have to see how he responds.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks are wary of how a positive COVID-19 test could affect their playoff run, coach Mike Budenholzer told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He noted how Paul George missed the Clippers’ second play-in game after testing positive. “There’s been a lot of positive movement. You just don’t want to forget, you’ve just got to know it’s still out there,” Budenholzer said. “When we had the conversation what happened with the Clippers and Paul George had happened and the coaching staff with Chicago. I’m guessing those things pop up in conversations in the locker room or at baskets and things like that. It’s not good, but in the sense of it just being a reminder in conversation, I think it’s helpful. Certainly our guys are aware.”
  • The Pistons could have the most cap space in the league this summer but a giant offer sheet for Hornets restricted free agent Miles Bridges wouldn’t be a wise move, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Bridges’ best position is probably at power forward and putting him in that spot wouldn’t be a long-term upgrade over Saddiq Bey, who can play either forward spot.  If Detroit winds up with a top-three pick, the team will likely draft a power forward, which would force Bridges to play small forward with Bey moving out of position to shooting guard. The only way adding Bridges would make sense would be to trade Jerami Grant for a wing or to draft one with their lottery pick, Edwards writes.
  • Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press predicts that Grant, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder won’t return next season but that the Pistons will re-sign restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III.

Potential 2022 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s rookie scale, which determines how much first-round picks earn during their first four NBA seasons, also dictates how much the qualifying offers will be worth for those players when they reach restricted free agency after year four. However, the value of those qualifying offers can fluctuate depending on whether or not a player has met the “starter criteria.”

Here’s how the starter criteria works in a typical year:

  • A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency.
  • A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games one year and 32 the next, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons is 41.

The thresholds for the starter criteria this year are a little different due to the truncated nature of the 2020/21 season. We outlined those tweaks at the start of the season.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player eligible for restricted free agency officially makes that player an RFA, ensuring that his team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another club. It also gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO.

Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. There are exceptions though.

Last offseason, for instance, Bruce Brown met the starter criteria heading into restricted free agency, increasing the value of his qualifying offer to $4,736,102. The Nets decided to issue that qualifying offer and he accepted it. Had he fallen short of the starter criteria, Brown only would have been eligible for a qualifying offer worth around $2MM and his free agency could have played out very differently.


Top-14 picks who failed to meet starter criteria:

With all that in mind, let’s check in on how this year’s RFAs-to-be will be impacted by the starter criteria. Listed below are the former top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who did not meet the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $7,228,448.

Seven of the 14 players selected with lottery picks in the 2018 draft signed rookie scale extensions in 2021, meaning they won’t have to worry about the value of their qualifying offers this offseason.

Of the other seven, the three players listed above failed to meet the criteria. Bagley is the biggest loser in the trio — his qualifying offer would’ve been worth approximately $14.76MM if he had met the starter criteria. Sexton’s would’ve been about $8.56MM, while Knox’s would’ve been $7.92MM.

Even with the amount of his qualifying offer lowered a little, Knox likely won’t receive a QO at all, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bagley and Sexton are much safer bets for QOs.

Top-14 picks Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Mohamed Bamba (Magic), each met the starter criteria, locking in their QO amounts at $16.42MM and $10.1MM, respectively. Miles Bridges (Hornets) also met the starter criteria, as detailed in the next section.

Jerome Robinson was the only top-14 pick from ’18 who was waived before completing his rookie contract — he’s no longer on an NBA roster and won’t be eligible for a qualifying offer this summer.


First-round picks between 10-30 who met starter criteria:

A player who fell into this category would see the amount of his qualifying offer increase to $7,921,300. Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick, was the only player to qualify.

As a result of meeting the starter criteria, Bridges’ qualifying offer will increase from about $7.46MM to $7.92MM, a modest bump. It shouldn’t change the outlook of his free agency, since he’ll almost certainly receive a lucrative long-term offer.

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons looked like one of the best candidates to join Bridges in this group. He needed to make 41 starts this season for Portland, but only got to 30 before he was shut down for the season with a left knee injury. His qualifying offer will remain at $5.76MM, but that shouldn’t have a major impact on his free agency, since he’ll likely work out a multiyear deal with the Blazers.

Meanwhile, because Kings wing Donte DiVincenzo was a full-time starter for the Bucks in 2020/21, he only needed to make seven starts this season to meet the starter criteria. However, he ultimately started just once for Milwaukee and Sacramento, even when he was playing heavy minutes down the stretch for the Kings.

DiVincenzo’s qualifying offer will remain at $6.6MM, which actually could have a tangible effect on his free agency — if he doesn’t get a multiyear offer with a starting salary much higher than his qualifying offer, accepting the QO and reaching unrestricted free agency in 2023 may be DiVincenzo’s best option. Presumably, that’s why his camp reportedly wasn’t thrilled that he was still coming off the bench at the end of the season.


Second-round picks and UDFAs who met starter criteria:

The players listed below signed as second-round picks or undrafted free agents, but met the starter criteria and are now eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,869,012.

Of course, it’s very possible neither Dort nor Tate will even become a free agent this summer, since their contracts both include team options for 2022/23.

The Thunder could decide to turn down Dort’s minimum-salary option for next season in order to make him a restricted free agent this year instead of an unrestricted free agent next year, but there’s no guarantee they’ll go that route. If they do, his QO would be worth $4.87MM instead of $2.22MM.

Meanwhile, there’s no incentive for the Rockets to decline Tate’s option, since he’ll still be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023, so the amount of his potential qualifying offer this summer will be rendered moot.

Among other second-round picks and undrafted free agents, Hornets wing Cody Martin (1,866 minutes), Clippers swingman Amir Coffey (30 starts), and Trail Blazers forward CJ Elleby (28 starts) are a few who were in the ballpark of the starter criteria, but none got there. Martin, Coffey, Elleby, and the rest of this year’s restricted free agents won’t have their projected qualifying offers impacted by the starter criteria.

Pistons Notes: Grant, Offseason, Bagley, Cunningham

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver isn’t sure what kind of trade offers he might get for Jerami Grant this offseason, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes. Grant was a hot name on the rumor mill prior to the trade deadline but the Pistons opted to hold onto their starting power forward. Grant will enter the final year of his three-year, $60MM contract and he’s eligible to sign an extension.

“Jerami demonstrated his efficiency in the way he fit with the group. I’m curious. I’m not sure. The deadline, people had their feelers out but nothing that blew us away,” Weaver said of Grant’s trade market. “Maybe something comes down the pipe. We’ll see. I don’t anticipate it being an avalanche. After the playoffs, some teams will feel like we can add a player or two, and maybe the phone rings a little more. I’m not sure. The landscape of the NBA changes weekly.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Armed with cap space and another lottery pick, Weaver plans to be proactive this offseason, Sankofa reports in a separate story“We’re going to look at everything,” Weaver said. “We’re going to be aggressive, turn over every rock and vet it out and try to come back better as a team, whether it’s one guy, two guys or three guys. We’re going to be aggressive in our approach and make sure that we come out ready to go and hopefully put a better product on the floor.”
  • In the same story, Weaver hinted he wants to retain restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III, who was acquired Sacramento at the deadline. “Coach (Dwane Casey) and I talked about this, I didn’t give coach enough tools and the Bagley trade was a big tool for us,” Weaver said. “We didn’t have enough athleticism up front. We needed to address that, and we did. I feel better for the team that we were able to acquire that young man and give us a tool we didn’t have.”
  • Cory Joseph has no doubts that Cade Cunningham will be one of the league’s brightest stars for many years to come, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “He’s beyond his years,” Joseph said. “He’s already a star but he’s going to be a superstar in this league sooner rather than later. He’s an amazing talent. We all know what he can do with a basketball, but he doesn’t get sped up. Mentally, he’s there every possession, every play, and he wants it. You can tell in those big moments. He wants to be in those moments. He wants to be great.”

Central Notes: Bagley, Mobley, Vildoza, McConnell, Komoroski

Marvin Bagley III is headed to free agency this summer but Pistons coach Dwane Casey hopes the front office re-signs the young power forward, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. Detroit can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $7.3MM qualifying offer. Bagley has played well since being traded by Sacramento, averaging 14.6 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 27.2 MPG while appearing in 18 games for the Pistons.

We have more Central Division news:

  • Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley is questionable to play against Brooklyn on Friday, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. Mobley hasn’t played since March 28 due to an ankle injury but he was able to do “everything” at practice in Orlando on Thursday, coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. Jarrett Allen is listed as out, although he went through an individual workout.
  • Guard Luca Vildoza signed a two-year, $1.8MM contract with the Bucks, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. His contract for next season is non-guaranteed and includes a $500K trigger date if he’s not waived before Milwaukee’s first regular season game. Vildoza was signed on Wednesday.
  • T.J. McConnell surprised a lot of people by returning to action this week, even though the Pacers are out of the playoff picture. McConnell played 15 minutes on Tuesday after missing 55 games due to a hand injury. McConnell told Joel Lorenzi of the Indianapolis Star he just “wanted to feel like a basketball player again.” “They’ve been talking about coming out here and creating that chemistry, and what better way to get that chemistry started than to come back now?” he said. “You know, I just wanted to feel like a basketball player again. It was hard sitting there.”
  • Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski is stepping down from his post at the end of the season, according to a team press release. Komoroski’s career with the Cavaliers began in 2003 as a team president. He took on the CEO title in 2013. He will remain affiliated with Rock Entertainment Group.