Maxi Kleber

Contract Bonus Notes: Nene, KCP, Randle, Jones

Veteran big man Nene officially signed his new contract with the Rockets back on September 6, but the NBA has yet to formally approve the deal, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link). Sources tell Marks that the league has been discussing internally whether it should disapprove of the incentives in the agreement, which create a $10MM trade chip despite the fact that Nene will likely only be paid about $2.56MM.

The NBA has the right to challenge deals that it believes violate the spirit of rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, even if those deals are technically legal based on what’s written in the CBA. While it seems unlikely that Nene’s deal would be nixed, it wouldn’t be surprising if the league looked to adjust the rules related to bonuses and incentives in the future to prevent teams from manipulating a player’s cap hit to such a significant extent.

In the meantime, Nene’s deal is hardly the only one signed this offseason heavy on bonus money. We’ve gone into detail on the incentives included in a handful of other contracts, such as the ones signed by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but Marks has even more details on bonuses available to players around the NBA this year.

We won’t pass along every single note included in Marks’ article, but here are a few of the noteworthy new bonuses worth watching in 2019/20:

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can earn three separate $350K bonuses if he averages 1.85 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game this season with the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope’s new deal also includes a $163K bonus for being named to either All-Defensive team and a $50K bonus if the Lakers reach the Western Finals.
  • Julius Randle‘s contract with the Knicks includes three separate $900K unlikely bonuses that he could earn if he makes the All-Star team, is named to an All-Defensive team, or makes the playoffs (and appears in at least 65 games).
  • Tyus Jones‘ $9.258MM cap hit with the Grizzlies in 2019/20 includes an $858K bonus that has been deemed likely. Jones will earn the bonus if Memphis wins 33 games. If the rebuilding Grizzlies fall short of that mark, Jones’ cap hit for the season will dip to $8.4MM.
  • Maxi Kleber‘s new contract with the Mavericks features a set of four unlikely bonuses that could be worth up to $475K in total. To earn them all, Kleber must make an All-Defensive team ($150K), make at least 80% of his free throws ($75K), make at least 40% of his three-pointers ($150K), and average more than nine rebounds per 36 minutes ($100K).
  • Again, if you’re an ESPN Insider, be sure to check out Marks’ full story for more details on some of the more unusual incentives around the league.

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

World Cup Updates: Shamet, Powell, Germany, Senegal

The series of withdrawals from Team USA’s World Cup training camp rosters continued on Friday, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Clippers guard Landry Shamet has opted against participating. Shamet had been penciled in as a member of USA Basketball’s Select Team.

He was appreciative of the opportunity and hopes to be part of USAB again in future,” agent George Langberg said of Shamet, who will focus on preparing for what he hopes will be a long Clippers season that ends with a deep playoff run.

Of course, Team USA isn’t the only club dealing with NBA players removing their names from consideration. After finding out earlier this week that R.J. Barrett wouldn’t participate in this year’s World Cup, Team Canada will now also be without Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Having signed a contract extension with Dallas this offseason, Powell will use the time to focus on the upcoming season, says Stein.

Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup:

  • After the 2014 World Cup, FIBA altered the qualification process and schedule for the event going forward, and Team USA – with a roster full of NBA players – has been hit hard by those changes, as USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo tells Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “Playing in back-to-back years, with full NBA seasons before and after, in a real hurdle to overcome,” Colangelo said. “FIBA is not concerned about us. They’re concerned about what’s best for basketball internationally. FIBA got exactly what they wanted. They’re getting a lot of games, a lot of attendance. There’s more interest in a lot of countries. Personally, I didn’t like the change. I knew it would have a negative effect on us.”
  • Team Germany formally announced a preliminary 16-man World Cup roster that features several NBA players, including Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, Celtics center Daniel Theis, and new Wizards Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga.
  • Team Senegal’s preliminary 24-man squad will have to be cut in half in advance of the 2019 World Cup, but it also includes some intriguing names. According to the official release, Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng and Celtics rookie Tacko Fall are among the players representing Senegal.

Contract Details: Porzingis, Kleber, Horford, Smailagic, More

In addition to having no injury protection, Kristaps Porzingis‘ five-year max contract with the Mavericks also features a fifth-year player option, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Elsewhere on the Mavericks’ front, Maxi Kleber‘s new four-year deal with the team has a total base value of $34MM, but only $25MM of that money is guaranteed, according to Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights, who tweets that the fourth year ($9MM) is fully non-guaranteed. The pact also features $475K annually in bonuses, Siegel notes.

Finally, Siegel reports (via Twitter) that Delon Wright‘s three-year contract with the Mavericks has a descending structure, starting at $9.47MM in year one before going down to $8.53MM by year three. The agreement includes a total of $3.15MM in unlikely bonuses in addition to its $27MM base value, per Siegel.

Here are a few more details on recently-signed NBA contracts:

  • Siegel and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links) provide the interesting details on the fourth year of Al Horford‘s contract with the Sixers. Currently, Horford’s $26.5MM salary for that season is only partially guaranteed for $14.5MM. However, that guarantee jumps to $19.5MM if Philadelphia makes the NBA Finals in 2020, 2021, or 2022. It would become fully guaranteed if the 76ers win a title in one of those seasons.
  • Alen Smailagic‘s rookie contract from the Warriors is a four-year, minimum-salary pact with the first two years guaranteed, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (via Twitter). Despite being over the tax line, Golden State technically has access to the full mid-level exception, which allowed the club to go up to four years for the No. 39 overall pick.
  • Ivica Zubac‘s four-year deal with the Clippers includes a team option in the final season, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM. As Siegel details (via Twitter), it has a total value of about $28.52MM.
  • According to Smith (Twitter link), the Bulls‘ three-year contract for Ryan Arcidiacono also has a team option for its final season.

Mavs Re-Sign Maxi Kleber To Four-Year Deal

JULY 10: The Mavericks have officially re-signed Kleber, per a team release.

The fact that Dallas has made this deal official signals that the club plans to function as an over-the-cap team, forfeiting potential cap room. That will allow Dallas to keep a trade exception worth about $12MM for a possible move down the road, as we detailed in a story earlier today.

JULY 1: The Mavericks have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Maxi Kleber, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who reports (via Twitter) that Kleber will sign a four-year, $35MM deal.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter links) pegs the value at $33MM, but says it can be worth up to $35.9MM via incentives. The fourth year of Kleber’s new contract will be a team option, according to Stein (via Twitter).

Kleber, 27, has spent the last two seasons with the Mavericks after playing for teams in his home country of Germany for most of his professional career. In 2018/19, the 6’11” power forward was a regular part of Dallas’ rotation, averaging 6.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG with a .453/.353/.784 shooting line in 71 games (21.2 MPG).

Kleber’s raise won’t impact the Mavs’ ability to continue building their roster. Because he has a very modest cap hold of about $1.82MM, Dallas can keep that hold on its books to maximize its cap flexibility before going over the cap to sign him using his Early Bird rights.

This is the second four-year contract agreement of the day for the Mavs, who struck a similar deal with free agent guard Seth Curry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Dudley, Beverley, McGee, Green

The new-look Nets may be close to bringing back one of their locker room leaders, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Jared Dudley is interested in signing up for another season in Brooklyn, a source tells Scotto.

Dudley, who will turn 34 next month, also contributed on the court in his first season with the Nets, averaging 4.9 PPG in 59 games and shooting 35% from 3-point range. Dudley is also drawing interest from the Pistons and met with Detroit officials today, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

There’s more free agent news to pass along:

  • The Mavericks’ planned discussion with Patrick Beverley didn’t happen tonight, relays Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link), who speculates that it was because of the team’s involvement in a three-way trade with the Heat and Sixers. Townsend adds that the Mavs’ chances of landing Beverley seem less likely than they were earlier.
  • Dallas is optimistic about reaching a deal with restricted free agent Maxi Kleber, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. He cites “productive discussions” between the Mavericks and the power forward/center.
  • JaVale McGee has a meeting set with the Pistons tomorrow, relays Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The free agent center talked to the Rockets today.
  • Danny Green spoke on his Instagram account about meeting with the Mavericks, Lakers and Clippers and Raptors, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “Being patient, man,” he said of the process. “Being patient.”
  • The Wizards would still like to re-sign Tomas Satoransky, but are looking into other options at point guard, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Hughes states that they are interested in Quinn Cook and notes that Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported an inquiry about Cory Joseph.

Oubre, Wright, Finney-Smith, Kleber Receive QOs

With the qualifying offer deadline just a few days away, several more players have been tendered QOs by their respective teams, which will ensure that they become restricted free agents (rather than unrestricted) on the evening of June 30. Those players are as follows:

Oubre’s name is the most interesting one in the bunch. Wojnarowski suggests that the former Wizard will be a candidate for a significant offer sheet, especially from a team with cap room that misses out on a high-profile unrestricted free agent.

As long as Oubre remains on the Suns‘ books, he’ll carry a cap hit in the neighborhood of $9.63MM, which will cut into the club’s projected cap room. Once they acquire Aron Baynes and Dario Saric and move T.J. Warren, the Suns project to have about $14MM in cap space. That number would increase to about $23MM if Phoenix were to renounce Oubre.

Wright had a strong finish to the season for the Grizzlies after being acquired in the Marc Gasol trade at the deadline, averaging 12.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.3 APG in 26 games for Memphis. With Mike Conley headed to Utah, Wright could be re-signed to share point guard duties with No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant.

As for Finney-Smith and Kleber, the Mavericks view them as quality role players who will fit in well with franchise cornerstones Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, says MacMahon. Because both players have such modest cap holds, they won’t compromise the team’s flexibility on the open market.

Dallas could keep those holds on the team’s books and eventually go over the cap to re-sign Finney-Smith and Kleber to new deals. The Mavs have Bird rights for Finney-Smith and Early Bird rights for Kleber.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

Maxi Kleber, 27, Mavericks, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.19MM deal in 2017
Kleber has received increased playing time since the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis deal with the Knicks. He’s averaging 10.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 25.7 MPG as a starter this month while making 36% of his 3-point attempts. Kleber would be a restricted free agent if Dallas extends a $1.82MM qualifying offer. With loads of cap space to spare, the Mavs have plenty of incentive to make that modest offer for a rotation player, even though he’d probably move back to the bench next season when Porzingis is ready to play again.

Kenneth Faried, Rockets, 29, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $917K deal in 2019
Clint Capela‘s return from a thumb injury this week will reduce the Manimal’s minutes. He’ll still play a valuable role for Houston, where he has revived his career after getting bought out by Brooklyn. After appearing in just 12 games with the Nets, Faried has averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 13 outings with the Rockets. It seems Faried has been in the league a long time, but he’s still just 29. In an era of stretch fours and fives, it’s questionable whether anyone views Faried as a starter going forward. He should still get a multi-year deal somewhere as a second-unit difference maker.

Justin Holiday, Grizzlies, 29, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9MM deal in 2017
Holiday was acquired from the Bulls when the Grizzlies still harbored hopes of making the playoffs. He didn’t move the needle at all before Memphis went into sell mode prior to the trade deadline. He’s averaged 8.2 PPG on 34.8% shooting (29.8% on 3-point tries) in 28.5 MPG with the Grizzlies. Holiday has posted below average PERs throughout his career, which doesn’t help his cause in the analytics era. Holiday has enough of a resume to land on someone’s bench next season but his days as a starter are likely over after this season.

Elfrid Payton, Pelicans, 25, PG (Down) — Signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in 2018
Payton inked a short-term, ‘show me’ contract after the former lottery pick flopped in Orlando and Phoenix. He was given the opportunity to replace free agent Rajon Rondo in the lineup but has spent a majority of the season in the trainer’s room. He’s appeared in just 19 games, with a right ankle sprain sidelining him for the last nine games heading into Friday’s action. The Pelicans lost six of the last eight games that he played. Payton will probably have to settle for another one-year deal this summer, this time in a backup role.

Dante Cunningham, Spurs, 31, SF (Down)– Signed to a one-year, $2.49MM deal in 2018
Cunningham has seen spot duty with the Spurs, averaging 15.9 MPG in 53 appearances. He’s managed to stay in the league for a decade, though he’s usually the No. 5 option at the offensive end. He accepts his limited role and provides some defense, so it’s possible he’ll squeeze out another veteran’s minimum deal with San Antonio or another playoff contender. But being on the wrong side of 30 means he’ll probably have to wait until late in the free agency period for an offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Anderson, Wallace, Kleber, Randle

Suns forward Ryan Anderson lowered his guaranteed salary to $15.4MM for the final year of his contract in 2019/2020 but it can be traded for the prior fully guaranteed value of $21.4MM, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post tweets. Anderson agreed to the reduction to facilitate the trade from the Rockets. However, since his contract was signed under the previous CBA, its trade value remains unchanged. The Suns will have until July 10, 2019 to decide whether they want to guarantee Anderson’s full salary for the final year of his contract or waive him, in which case they’d still have to pay the reduced guarantee.

In other news from around the Western Conference:

  • Shooting guard Tyrone Wallace can’t be traded by the Clippers without his consent as a result of Los Angeles matching his offer sheet, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. The restricted free agent signed a two-year, $2.9MM offer sheet with the Pelicans but the Clippers opted to match it on Wednesday despite a roster logjam. The Clippers are prohibited from trading Wallace to the Pelicans for one year, Nahmad adds.
  • Maxi Kleber needs to improve his long-range shooting to earn rotation minutes with the Mavericks during the upcoming season, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. Kleber will be competing with Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri for playing time with DeAndre Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki guaranteed to play steady minutes. The 6’11” Kleber shot 31.3% from deep in his first season with the club.
  • Anthony Davis called Julius Randle three times after Randle hit the free agent market to ensure the former Laker would sign with the Pelicans, William Guillory of The Athletic reports. Randle had his rights renounced by the Lakers after LeBron James agreed to sign with Los Angeles and Randle quickly agreed to a two-year, $18MM deal with New Orleans. Randle had more lucrative deals on the table, Guillory adds, but Randle wants to remain with the franchise even though he has an opt-out next summer.

Mavs Notes: Nowitzki, Kleber, Noel, Mejri

All signs point toward Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki returning next season, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports in his latest newsletter. Nowitzki has been pleased how his body has held up this season, as he has appeared in all but one of the team’s 73 games. “I feel great,” he told Stein. “I’ve only missed one game this season. I signed a two-year contract because I wanted to play two more years. And here we are.” The Mavericks hold a team option on his modest $5MM salary for next season and would unquestionably welcome back the future Hall of Famer. He’s averaging 12.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 24.8 MPG.

In other Mavs news:

  • Maxi Kleber‘s future with the team is uncertain, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs have too many similar players on the roster and won’t keep them all, Sefko notes.  The 6’11” power forward has not played in five of the last 14 games and 10 or fewer minutes in seven others. Kleber’s $1.38MM salary for next season is not guaranteed.
  • Nerlens Noel is enjoying every chance he gets to play as he heads into unrestricted free agency, as he told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News“I’m just playing basketball and having fun,” he said. “If that means showcase, then that’s fine, but I think I’m going out there just doing what I love to do.” Noel, who posted his second double-double of the season against the Hornets Saturday, signed his $4.2MM qualifying offer last summer after a disappointing foray into restricted free agency.
  • Salah Mejri is a better bet to return than Noel, Sefko opines in a live chat segment. Mejri would likely be a cheaper alternative and plays with a little more of an edge, Sefko adds. But it’s quite possible that both big men will not return.  Mejri will be an unrestricted free agent unless the club extends a $1.84MM qualifying offer.