Matt Thomas

International Notes: Ferrell, M. Thomas, Zhou, Canada

Veteran guard Yogi Ferrell, who cleared waivers today after being released by the Clippers late on Sunday night, would like to find another NBA opportunity this fall. However, he isn’t ruling out the possibility of moving overseas and playing in Europe for the first time in his career, according to Stefanos Tatsios of Eurohoops.net.

The Thunder could be an option for Ferrell if he remains stateside, per Alessandro Maggi of Sportando (Twitter link). However, Oklahoma City might not have any regular season roster spots available, so Ferrell’s best chance to get some job security and regular playing time could come overseas.

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

  • Before he signed a non-guaranteed contract with Chicago, sharpshooter Matt Thomas drew interest from multiple EuroLeague teams, including CSKA Moscow, according to a report from Spanish outlet Encestando (Twitter link). If Thomas doesn’t make the Bulls’ regular season roster, a return to Europe seems like a possibility — he spent two seasons in Spain from 2017-19, so he’s no stranger to international basketball.
  • Former Rockets big man Zhou Qi, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, has officially signed a two-year deal with South East Melbourne Phoenix in Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced in a press release. Zhou, who appeared in just 19 total games with Houston across two seasons in 2017-18, got a second-year player option on his new contract.
  • Veteran basketball executive Glen Grunwald, who had stints with Denver, Toronto, and New York, is retiring as president and CEO of Canada Basketball, per a press release. Michael Bartlett will succeed Grunwald, who will remain involved with Canada Basketball in a part-time advisory role through the 2024 Paris Olympics, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bulls Sign Matt Thomas

The Bulls have signed free agent sharpshooter Matt Thomas to a contract, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions. The signing occurred on Saturday, per RealGM.

Thomas, who signed a multiyear deal with the Raptors in 2019 following an impressive stint overseas, spent a year-and-a-half with Toronto before being sent to Utah at the 2021 deadline. In total, he appeared in 86 games for the Raptors and Jazz, averaging 4.0 PPG in 8.9 minutes per contest.

Thomas is known for his ability to knock down three-point shots. He made 41.3% of his long-distance attempts during his two NBA seasons after making 48.1% for Valencia Basket during his last year in Europe in 2018/19.

While the specific details of Thomas’ deal aren’t known, RealGM classifies it as a one-year contract. And since it doesn’t show up NBA.com’s transactions log – which doesn’t list non-guaranteed signings – it’s probably safe to assume it’s not guaranteed.

Since Chicago has been carrying 13 players on guaranteed contracts, Thomas could get an opportunity to compete for a regular season roster spot. Stanley Johnson, another former Raptor who reached a deal with the Bulls today, also figures to be in the mix for a roster spot — it’s unclear whether or not Johnson’s salary will be guaranteed.

Jazz Waive Matt Thomas

The Jazz have waived second-year wing Matt Thomas, the team announced on its website today. Thomas appeared in a total of 45 games with the Raptors and Jazz during the 2020/21 season.

Utah, having acquired Thomas from Toronto in exchange for a future second-round pick in March, chose not to guarantee his $1.78MM salary for next season.

The 26-year-old shooting guard averaged 3.1 PPG and 1.0 RPG with a .338 3PT% in 45 total games (7.2 MPG) with the Raptors and Jazz this season.

Thomas went undrafted in 2017 after spending four seasons at Iowa State. He then latched on with the Lakers’ summer league team one month later, spending the following two years overseas.

Jazz Acquire Matt Thomas From Raptors

MARCH 26: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Raptors.


MARCH 25: The Raptors are trading guard Matt Thomas to the Jazz for a future second-round pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. The pick will be the Warriors’ 2021 second-rounder that was owed to Utah, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Thomas provides the Jazz with another shooter off the bench. Thomas, 26, made his NBA debut last season, appearing in 41 games and averaging 4.9 PPG in 10.7 MPG. He’s appeared in 26 games this season, averaging 2.7 PPG in 7.4 MPG. However, the 6’4” Thomas has knocked down 45.7% of his 3-point attempts over the last two seasons.

Thomas is making approximately $1.52MM. The Jazz will have to decide by the start of free agency whether to guarantee his $1.78MM salary next season.

Utah will use a $3,542,060 traded player exception to absorb Thomas’ salary, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. The Jazz had an open roster spot.

Toronto will generate a $1.5MM TPE through this transaction. The Raptors also open up a roster spot, which they may need if they deal Kyle Lowry by the trade deadline.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thomas, Wolves, Jensen

The Nuggets reshaped their rotation with the additions of forward Aaron Gordon and reserve center JaVale McGeeMike Singer of the Denver Post details Denver’s thinking behind the two acquisitions.

Singer cites the interest of Denver head coach Mike Malone in adding an experienced, rim-protecting playoff veteran in the post as the motivation behind adding McGee. The Nuggets are hopeful that McGee can help add some interior toughness against his old team, the Lakers.

The addition of Gordon makes sense as a solid “tweener” forward replacement for departed small forward Jerami Grant, capable of making an impact on both ends of the floor, Singer contends. The Nuggets did their due diligence in researching Gordon’s off-court fit as well as his on-court fit. Singer also notes that, because the team moved on from Gary Harris as part of the Gordon deal, Will Barton now appears destined to become the club’s starting shooting guard for the rest of the year.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz view new acquisition Matt Thomas as a keeper beyond this season, per Tony Jones of The Athletic (via Twitter). The 6’4″ shooting guard has a non-guaranteed $1.78MM salary for the 2021/22 season, but Utah doesn’t intend to waive him in the offseason. Thomas appeared in 26 games for the Raptors this season, averaging just 7.4 MPG.
  • The front office of the lowly Timberwolves, led by team president Gersson Rosas, opted to stand pat at the trade deadline. Jon Krawczynski and Britt Robson of The Athletic report that the Wolves wanted a power forward upgrade, but struggled to find a deal they liked. Minnesota is the worst team in the West with a 10-34 record. “We could’ve acquired those high-end guys today, but it’s short term,” Rosas said. “From a long-term perspective, we’re very excited about our young guys and what the future holds for them. That’s why we weren’t as active as we potentially could’ve been.”
  • Jazz assistant coach — and Utah Utes alum — Alex Jensen has withdrawn from consideration for the head coaching gig with his alma mater, according to Christopher Kamrani and Tony Jones of The Athletic“He had great conversations with [Utah Athletic Director] Mark Harlan and knows it is a very positive situation but the timing was not right,” a source told Kamrani and Jones.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors’ Start, Johnson, Thibodeau, Nets

The Raptors are struggling to cope with a slow start, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Fred VanVleet, who opted to re-sign with the club, admits that the 1-5 start has been tough to take.

“This is probably uncharted territory for most of us,” VanVleet said. “Just speaking for myself, I’ve never been a part of something like this. … There’s a boatload of problems and we’ve got to find ways to solve them.”

Pascal Siakam and free agent signee Aron Baynes have performed poorly in the early going.

“I think [Siakam] is gonna work himself back into it a little bit more, and I think we don’t worry about it,” Kyle Lowry said. “We can’t worry about him too much. We’ve got to figure it out and all of us come together.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Stanley Johnson has displaced Matt Thomas in the Raptors’ rotation, Bontemps tweets. Coach Nick Nurse wants more size on the wing and has been disappointed in the play of both Thomas and Terence Davis. Johnson, noted for his defense, played 11 scoreless minutes but contributed two assists and three steals in 11 minutes against Boston on Monday. Davis held his rotation spot, scoring 13 points in 17 minutes. Johnson exercised a $3.8MM player option prior to the season and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Julius Randle has been the Knicks’ top player in their 4-3 start, and he gives plenty of credit to new coach Tom Thibodeau, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Randle said Thibodeau’s attention to detail has created a greater focus. “Thibs every day is on us,” he said. “He’s a great leader for us and given us a game plan we believe in every day and we’re coming into every game focused and locked into the game plan of what we need to do.”
  • The Nets are below .500 and won’t have Kevin Durant for as many as four games. But coach Steve Nash sees a silver lining, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “Plenty to clean up,” Nash said. “It’s early. We can’t lose our minds over it, and we can’t get overly frustrated. … And you know what? It’s good for us. It’s good to get a little tension. We’ve got to get comfortable being uncomfortable, so here we are.”

Atlantic Notes: Robinson, Boucher, Celtics, Thomas

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson won’t complain if he continues come off the bench, with Tom Thibodeau currently opting to start Nerlens Noel over the 22-year-old, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Noel, who signed with the team last month, recorded 10 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action on Friday. Robinson started in just seven of the club’s 61 games last season, though many thought he’d crack the starting lineup entering this campaign.

“It is what it is,” Robinson said. “I’m going to go out there and play hard. I really don’t mind starting or don’t mind not starting. I don’t have hurt feelings. I’m just going to go out there and just be the best me.”

Robinson averaged 9.7 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23.1 minutes per game last season. Upon being asked if he truly cares about coming off the bench, he gave a clear response.

“Not really. As long as I can go out there and help my teammates I really don’t care if I start or not,” he said. “It’s early. I’m not going to sit down and pout about it. I’m not going to make a problem or whatever. As long as I get to play, I’m fine with that.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Raptors plan to utilize Chris Boucher as the first big man off the bench in most games this season, head coach Nick Nurse said, as relayed by Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Boucher added nine points, four rebounds and three blocks off the bench in the team’s preseason win over Charlotte on Saturday, logging 14 minutes of action.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic examines the Celtics‘ upcoming season, previewing their rotation, making predictions and projecting the team’s record entering the campaign. When healthy, the C’s are expected to sport the same starting lineup they used during the postseason, having also added players such as Jeff Teague and Tristan Thompson in free agency to bolster the bench.
  • Raptors guard Matt Thomas displayed his versatile scoring ability against the Hornets in his first preseason action, Chris O’Leary of NBA.com writes. Thomas added 16 points and five assists in the win, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-7 from deep.

Raptors Notes: Thomas, Lowry, Flynn, Anunoby

Matt Thomas is off to a strong start as he seeks a larger role in the Raptors‘ rotation this season, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. The second-year shooting guard posted 16 points, five assists and two steals in Toronto’s preseason opener Saturday night while hitting 4-of-7 shots from three-point range.

Thomas played just 10.7 minutes per game as a rookie, and he’s trying to break through in a crowded wing rotation. The offseason signing of DeAndre’ Bembry adds to a bench group that already includes Norman Powell, Terence Davis and rookies Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris.

“He’s a shooter, obviously, but he’s also a good player,” coach Nick Nurse said of Thomas. “He cuts and he moves. He does the right thing on defense. He’ll get overmatched once in a while size-wise or strength-wise or whatever. But I think for as much as he does at the other end, and his good decision-making at both ends, I’m wanting to lock him into a role this year where he’s a big factor.”

There’s more on the Raptors:

  • Kyle Lowry‘s absence isn’t a cause for concern, Grange adds in the same story. The veteran guard didn’t accompany the team for its two games in Charlotte, but the coaching staff is just being cautious as Lowry prepares for his 15th NBA season. “It’s basically load management and just not really (seeing) any need to have him on the trip,” Nurse explained.
  • Flynn turned in a solid debut, playing almost 20 minutes with nine points and four assists, notes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. The rookie also lived up to the defensive reputation that helped make him the 29th pick in this year’s draft. “It’s just adjusting on the fly,” Flynn said. “It’s a different game, they call it different, so really I’m just trying to see how they call it and adjust to it and I’m still doing those things, so I think it’ll just be a lot of adjusting throughout the year.”
  • As they try to preserve cap space for next year’s free agent market, the Raptors have an important decision upcoming on whether to extend OG Anunoby, writes John Hollinger of the Athletic in a season preview for the team. Anunoby only counts $11MM against the cap for 2021/22 as long as he remains unsigned, but Toronto risks having a team submit a huge offer sheet if he becomes a restricted free agent.

NBA G League Assignment/Recalls: 1/7/20

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/6/20

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Hornets recalled forwards Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. Martin, an undrafted rookie, has appeared in five games for the Hornets, averaging 1.8 PPG in 6.4 MPG. Martin has appeared in 17 games for the Swarm, averaging 19.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.8 APG in 35.1 MPG. McDaniels, a second-round pick who has made two cameos with the Hornets, has appeared in 20 games with the Swarm, averaging 17.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG.
  • Point guard Chris Clemons has been recalled by the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Clemons had a 40-point game for the Rio Grande Vipers on Sunday. The previous Sunday he racked up 16 points and nine assists for the Rockets against New Orleans.
  • The Mavericks assigned small forward Isaiah Roby to the Texas Legends, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round pick has been rehabbing a foot injury.
  • The Suns recalled Jalen Lecque from their Northern Arizona affiliate, the team tweets. The undrafted rookie guard has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Pacers recalled star guard Victor Oladipo from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. Oladipo practiced with the Mad Ants as he continues his rehab from a right knee ailment.
  • The Raptors assigned Matt Thomas to Raptors 905, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. He’ll play in a G League contest on Monday, then return to the NBA club and suit up against Portland on Tuesday, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. The shooting guard has been sidelined by a finger injury and hasn’t played for the Raptors since November 23.
  • Raptors forwards Stanley Johnson and Malcolm Miller have also been assigned to Raptors 905, Murphy adds in another tweet. Johnson, who asked to be sent to the G League, will also play on Monday as he works his way back from a groin injury, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). Miller has appeared in 20 games with the NBA club this season but is only averaging 5.5 MPG.
  • The Lakers recalled Talen Horton-Tucker from South Bay, the G League affiliate tweets. The second-round rookie has appeared in two NBA games this season.