Nando De Colo

World Cup Updates: Lithuania, Joseph, Nigeria, France

The Lithuanian national team has announced its roster for the 2019 World Cup, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that the 12-man squad will include Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas and Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt. Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is also on the roster.

Lithuania is viewed as a contender to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, but it won’t have an easy path to even make it out of the first round. The Lithuanian national team is part of a group that also includes Australia, Canada, and Senegal — only two of those clubs will advance to the round of 16.

Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup, which will tip off in just four days in China:

Nando De Colo Signs With Fenerbahce

JULY 6: Fenerbahce has officially announced De Colo’s new deal in a press release.

JULY 5: Raptors restricted free agent guard Nando De Colo has reached an agreement with Turkish club Fenerbahce, sources tell Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops. According to a report from beIN Sports (as relayed by Sportando), De Colo is set to sign a two-year contract that features a third-year option.

De Colo, 32, was a second-round pick in the 2009 draft and eventually arrived in the NBA in 2012. However, he spent just two seasons in the league before heading back overseas. In 119 games for San Antonio and Toronto, he averaged 3.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.7 APG with a .429/.363/.835 shooting line in 11.9 minutes per contest.

Having played for CSKA Moscow for the last several seasons, winning EuroLeague titles in 2016 and 2019, De Colo parted ways with the team this year in the hopes of making a return to the NBA. However, it appears that won’t happen after all.

Because he only had two years of NBA experience and the Raptors have been issuing him qualifying offers every year since 2014, De Colo remains a restricted free agent, unable to sign outright with any NBA team, which perhaps suppressed his market.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Bucks, Sumner, Nets, De Colo

The first-round draft pick the Pacers will send the Bucks in their sign-and-trade deal for Malcolm Brogdon is lottery-protected in 2020, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. And if it doesn’t convey in 2020, it’s lottery-protected for five more drafts after that before becoming unprotected in 2026, Lowe adds. In other words, barring a catastrophe in Indiana, Milwaukee will be getting a pick in the back half of the first round, likely next year.

Meanwhile, Edmond Sumner‘s new three-year deal with the Pacers will be worth $6.5MM, a league source tells Grant Afseth of The Kokomo Tribune (Twitter link). It’s not clear whether all three years will be fully guaranteed, but it sounds like Sumner will be getting more than the minimum.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • A source tells Marc Stein of The New York Times that Spencer Dinwiddie was “at the forefront” of a months-long push to convince Kyrie Irving to choose the Nets over the Knicks — and to push Kevin Durant in the same direction. While DeAndre Jordan spent the last two months of the season with the Knicks, he also came to view Brooklyn as a more favorable destination to team up with Irving and Durant, according to Stein, who says the veteran center “joined the chorus promoting the Nets” in recent days.
  • EuroLeague powerhouse Fenerbahce is in serious pursuit of Raptors RFA guard Nando De Colo, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, De Colo – who last wore an NBA uniform in 2014 – remains focused on getting back into the NBA. But if he doesn’t get an offer he likes within the next couple weeks, it’s possible he’ll sign with the Turkish club, says Carchia.
  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype caught up with veteran center Nikola Vucevic to talk to him about his new $100MM contract agreement with the Magic. “I feel rewarded for what I’ve done – not just last season, but what I’ve done throughout all of my years in Orlando,” Vucevic said of his new deal. “It means a lot for the team to reward me with this nice contract. It was important for me to be able to continue [my career] there and I’m glad we were able to agree on a deal that keeps me in Orlando for four more years.”

Raptors Issue QOs To Patrick McCaw, Nando De Colo

The Raptors have tendered qualifying offers to guards Patrick McCaw and Nando De Colo, making them restricted free agents, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM.com. RealGM’s log of official transactions confirms that Toronto issued those QOs on Friday.

As we explain in our glossary entry on the subject, qualifying offers are essentially one-year contract offers worth a set amount that give a team the right of first refusal on a free agent. If McCaw or De Colo signs an offer sheet with another team, Toronto will now have the opportunity to match that offer.

McCaw, who had a lengthy restricted free agency standoff with the Warriors last summer, briefly joined the Cavaliers before eventually ending up with the Raptors. The 23-year-old played a modest role in Toronto, averaging 2.7 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 26 games (13.2 MPG). McCaw, who won his third consecutive NBA title in 2019, has a QO worth about $1.88MM.

As for De Colo, he hasn’t actually played in the NBA since 2014, but the Raptors have held his rights since then by issuing him a qualifying offer every year while he played overseas. The veteran guard recently left CSKA Moscow and is looking to return to the NBA, so it will be interesting to see whether Toronto makes it a priority to retain him. His QO is worth about $1.83MM.

In other Raptors news, the team agreed to a deal with undrafted rookie Sagaba Konate out of West Virginia, a league source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). Scotto’s report doesn’t include additional details, but Blake Murphy of The Athletic suggests (via Twitter) that Kobate will sign an Exhibit 10 contract, which would give him a spot on Toronto’s 20-man offseason roster.

A 6’8″ forward, Konate was limited to just eight games in 2018/19 due to a lingering knee injury, but opted to go pro as an early entrant anyway. In his last full college season in ’17/18, he averaged 10.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 3.2 BPG in 36 games as a sophomore.

Nando De Colo Aiming To Return To NBA

JUNE 21: Having parted ways with CKSA Moscow, De Colo plans on returning to the NBA this summer, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who adds that the veteran guard could command an “ample” market.

“I have asked my agents to explore NBA opportunities over the coming weeks,” De Colo told ESPN. “I am excited for the next challenge in my career.”

As noted below, De Colo will be a restricted free agent if the Raptors issue him a qualifying offer.

JUNE 3: Former Spurs and Raptors guard Nando De Colo is considering leaving CSKA Moscow to return to the NBA when he becomes a free agent next month, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).

De Colo, who will turn 32 later this month, was a second-round pick in the 2009 NBA draft and eventually arrived stateside in 2012. However, he ultimately spent just two seasons in the league before heading back overseas. In 119 games for San Antonio and Toronto, he averaged 3.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.7 APG with a .429/.363/.835 shooting line in 11.9 minutes per contest.

Because De Colo only has two years of NBA experience under his belt and Toronto has never renounced his rights, he’d be a restricted free agent if he returns to the NBA. If the Raptors issue a qualifying offer (worth less than $2MM) again this summer, that would give them the right of first refusal, allowing them to match any offer sheet he signs with another team.

While a return to the NBA is one option this offseason for De Colo, it’s not the only possibility. Carchia suggests (via Twitter) that another stint in Spain’s ACB is a viable scenario for the French guard, who previously played for Spanish club Valencia from 2009-12.

De Colo has played for CSKA Moscow since his time in the NBA ended in 2014, winning EuroLeague championships with the club in both 2016 and 2019.

And-Ones: LaMelo Ball, Brooks, De Colo, Black

Like fellow 2020 prospect R.J. Hampton, LaMelo Ball will play in Australia’s NBL next season. After announcing his decision on ESPN’s The Jump on Monday (link via ESPN’s Jonathan Givony), Ball made it official, signing with the Illawarra Hawks for the 2019/20 season. According to Givony, Ball signed a two-year contract, but it has NBA out clauses.

Having spent a year playing in Lithuania, Ball was unlikely to be cleared to play for an NCAA program anyway, but he’s still the second potential 2020 first-round pick to join the NBL for the coming season. LaMelo, who is Lonzo Ball‘s younger brother, is ranked by ESPN as the No. 21 prospect in next year’s draft class.

“My agents did a ton of research on the options I had to play this coming season, and Australia really made sense for me,” Ball told ESPN. “They have a really strong league, with excellent coaches and great players, including former and future NBA players, and great strength and conditioning programs. My goal is to be the top pick in next year’s draft, and I feel they can help me reach that goal. Also, the timing of the season works well with the timing of next year’s draft.”

Meanwhile, the Illawarra Hawks also appear poised to add a former NBA guard to their roster, as Lachy Reid of Channel Ten and Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia (Twitter links) report that Aaron Brooks is set to join the Australian club (hat tip to Sportando). Brooks, a longtime NBA point guard, last played in the league in 2017/18 when he appeared in 32 games for the Timberwolves.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

Raptors Issue QOs To VanVleet, Miller, De Colo

The Raptors have extended qualifying offers to Fred VanVleet, Malcolm Miller, and Nando De Colo, ensuring that all three players will become restricted free agents, the team announced today (via Twitter).

VanVleet, the most notable of the three players, had a breakout season for the Raptors in 2017/18. The leader of the team’s second unit, VanVleet averaged 8.6 PPG and 3.2 APG with a .414 3PT% and was a finalist for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. His qualifying offer is worth just under $1.7MM.

As Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca detailed earlier today, the Raptors are wary of a rival suitor back-loading an offer sheet to VanVleet via the Arenas provision. However, if the 24-year-old doesn’t receive any over-the-top offers from other teams, there’s a good chance he’ll remain in Toronto on a new multiyear deal.

Miller was on a two-way contract with the Raptors in 2017/18, so his QO will be a one-year, two-way contract offer with a $50K guarantee.

As for De Colo, he hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, but the Raptors have retained the right of first refusal on the 31-year-old since then by issuing qualifying offers each year. De Colo seems unlikely to return to the NBA at this point, given his success overseas — the CSKA Moscow guard has earned First Team All-EuroLeague honors for three straight seasons. As such, the Raps’ QO looks like a mere formality.

The only Raptors player eligible for restricted free agency who didn’t receive a qualifying offer today is Lucas Nogueira. The team has a couple more days to issue a QO if it changes its mind, but it appears Nogueira will become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins.

Luka Doncic Named EuroLeague MVP, Rising Star

Luka Doncic picked up a pair of honors at today’s EuroLeague Awards Gala, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The 19-year-old, who is expected to be taken early in next month’s NBA draft, was named both MVP and Rising Star. The MVP is determined by a vote of the media and fans, while the coaches choose the Rising Star.

Doncic, who became the youngest MVP in league history, put up a 14.5/5.2/4.7 line this year in helping Real Madrid reach the league final, which will be played tomorrow. He declared for the draft in March, but indicated this week that he might play another season or two in Europe, depending on the circumstances.

“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream come true,” Doncic said in a video tweeted by the EuroLeague. “Still we have one more game to go, which would make me so much happier. But thank you to all the media, all the fans and all the coaches. Especially to my coaches, my teammates and all my team. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

The All-EuroLeague First Team is filled with names that are familiar to NBA fans, as Doncic is joined by Nick Calathes, Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely. Calathes spent two seasons with the Grizzlies, DeColo played for the Spurs and Raptors and Vesely played three NBA seasons after being drafted sixth overall by the Wizards in 2011.

The fifth member of the First Team is Tornike Shengelia, who was taken by the Sixers in the second round of the 2012 draft. His NBA career consisted of 36 games with the Nets and nine with the Bulls.

The Defensive Player of the Year is Kyle Hines, who played at North Carolina Greensboro and went undrafted in 2008.

And-Ones: De Colo, Okafor, Shumpert, Wright

French guard Nando De Colo has enjoyed some of the best seasons of his playing career in recent years, including earning EuroLeague MVP honors for CSKA Moscow in 2016. However, while De Colo is happy to continue playing in Europe and is concentrating on that for the time being, he admits that he hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of an NBA return.

De Colo spent two seasons with the Spurs and Raptors from 2013 to 2015, but never got to play a significant role during his first stint in the NBA, as he tells Spanish media outlet Farhampton Magazine (link via TalkBasket.net).

“The truth is that going to San Antonio was a somewhat complicated decision because I knew I could continue in Europe,” De Colo said. “I had contacts with Barcelona, for example. On the other hand, I wanted to go to the NBA and see how it was. In the Spurs, I didn’t have the opportunities I expected. I think that is a part of life that you can’t control.”

At age 30, De Colo still has time to return to the NBA, but given his starring role for CSKA, it’d be no surprise if he decided to remain overseas to finish his career.

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

  • The Timberwolves don’t have any interest in Jahlil Okafor, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Okafor, who had his 2018/19 turned down by the Sixers, remains on the trade block and may even end up seeking a buyout.
  • Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert will be sidelined for at least the next five to seven days due to knee soreness, the team announced today in a press release. Shumpert, the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, is averaging a career-low 18.2 minutes per contest early this season for Cleveland.
  • Longtime NBA forward Dorell Wright, who appeared in 549 regular season games over the course of 11 NBA seasons, has signed in Germany with Brose Bamberg, the team recently announced (via Twitter). Wright last played in the NBA for Portland during the 2014/15 season.
  • Former NBA forward Al Harrington has taken an unusual career path since his days as a player ended, having gotten into the medical marijuana business. David Aldridge of NBA.com has an interesting and in-depth look at Harrington, who wants to encourage the NBA to consider the benefits of medical marijuana.

Raptors Tender Qualifying Offer To Nando De Colo

The Raptors have issued a qualifying offer to Nando De Colo, ensuring that he’ll be a restricted free agent, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Unlike other free agents who have received qualifying offers this month, De Colo didn’t play in the NBA last season. In fact, his last NBA appearance came during the 2013/14 season for Toronto. The 6’5″ guard has spent the last several seasons with CSKA Moscow and doesn’t appear poised to return to the NBA anytime soon.

As such, the Raptors’ QO is purely a bookkeeping move in order to retain their rights to De Colo. If he does decide to return to the NBA at some point, the Raptors will have the opportunity to match any offer he receives. While De Colo’s QO counts against the cap for now, Toronto won’t be on the hook for any extra money at season’s end, assuming the 30-year-old remains overseas.