Clippers To Sign Marshall Plumlee

Marshall Plumlee has agreed to join the Clippers on a partially guaranteed contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The 25-year-old center has brief NBA experience, playing 21 games with the Knicks last season and averaging 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in about 8 minutes per night. Undrafted out of Duke in 2016, he signed with New York as a free agent and spent most of the year in the G League.

The Knicks decided to waive him in July to create cap room to sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Plumlee received the $100K that was guaranteed on his contract for next season. New York considered trying to bring him back earlier this month, but Plumlee has opted for L.A.

The signing brings the Clippers up to 18 players in camp, with 14 having guaranteed contracts. Plumlee will try to earn a roster spot as a third center behind DeAndre Jordan and Willie Reed.

Noah Admits Guilt Over Jackson’s Firing

Knicks big man Joakim Noah spoke out about his feelings of guilt regarding Phil Jackson‘s firing as team president, relays Marc Berman of The NY Post. Noah feels that his awful season in 2016/17 contributed to Jackson’s ouster.

“It’s tough, man, because I got a lot of love and respect for Phil,’’ Noah said. “He gave me an opportunity to play back home. Somebody I read all his books as a kid. I was just a big fan and still am. I have a lot of respect for him. It didn’t work out. That sucks. It’s something I have to live with. He believed in me, and I kind of let him down. That’s frustrating. He got a lot of blame that it was his fault. But we didn’t lose all those games because of Phil Jackson.’’

Noah also admitted that he lost his confidence last season and was not moving properly. He said that his drug suspension “hurt a lot of people” and that he has “to live with it the rest of his career.” 

Jackson lavished Noah with a whopping four-year, $72 million contract last offseason, but Noah’s first season at Madison Square Garden proved to be a nightmare. Jackson was fired in late June. The NBA veteran is now ready to put last season’s struggles behind him and be a model mentor to the team’s big men.

Adreian Payne, Magic Close To Deal

The Magic and Adreian Payne are close to an agreement that will bring the big man to Orlando, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter links). Pick adds that the 26-year-old recently turned down an offer from Guangdong in the Chinese Basketball Association worth $900K.

Paynes deal with the Magic will be a two-way deal, according to Darren Wolfson of (Twitter link).

Payne was drafted by the Hawks with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Atlanta sent him to Minnesota during the 2014/15 season for a future first round pick. In two-plus seasons with the Wolves, Payne has seen just 13.5 minutes per game. He averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 40.0% from the field.

Jeff Withey, Mavericks Agree To Deal

The Mavericks have agreed to a deal with Jeff Withey, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The scribe adds that the pact will be for one season.

Withey spent the last two seasons backing up Rudy Gobert on the Jazz and Utah renounced the rights to the Kansas product last month after agreeing to terms with Jonas Jerebko.

Withey was accused of domestic violence this past spring, though authorities said that despite the presence of physical contact between him and his ex-fiancee, he was innocent of wrongdoing since they determined that he was simply defending himself. It’s possible that Withey is handed some sort of suspension for the incident. However, no word of any punishment has been reported.

Withey was selected with the No. 39 overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Blazers before being dealt to the Pelicans later that offseason. After two years in New Orleans, where he played just 9.9 minutes per game, he became a free agent and signed with the Jazz.

Dallas currently has a void at the center position, though it’s likely that Nerlens Noel fills that void once the RFA comes to terms with the teams. Withey will likely compete with Salah Mejri for the back-up five spot behind Noel.

Jordan Mickey, Heat Close To Agreement

The Heat and forward Jordan Mickey are close to an agreement on a two-year contract, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Mickey would receive the guaranteed minimum of $1.5MM for the upcoming season and the team would hold an option on the second year, Charania adds. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel confirms that the club is planning to sign Mickey (Twitter link) and that the contract is not a two-way deal.

Mickey was drafted 33rd overall in 2015 by the Celtics. He appeared in 16 games with them as a rookie and saw the court in 25 games, including one start, last season. The 6’8” power forward averaged 1.5 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 5.6 MPG in 2016/17.

The Heat, who are over the cap, have 12 players on guaranteed deals, two with partial guarantees, plus another on a non-guaranteed contract. He projects as the No. 3 power forward behind another former Celtic, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson.

The Celtics waived Mickey in mid-July in order to clear cap space and sign Gordon Hayward to a maximum salary contract. Mickey had an non-guaranteed contract with Boston for the upcoming season. He went unclaimed and became an unrestricted free agent but had little success finding a team until the Heat came calling.

When Mickey wasn’t playing in Boston the last two seasons, he was suiting up for the G-League’s Maine Red Claws. He averaged 18.6 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 3.8 BPG in 35 G League contests.

Marc Gasol Suggests Changes May Be Needed In Memphis

After nine seasons in Memphis, Marc Gasol may be ready for a new start, according to Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. In an interview with a Spanish media outlet, the all-star center indicated the Grizzlies should shake things up if they can’t put together a serious run in the playoffs.

“I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise,” Gasol said. “We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.”

Gasol still has two years and nearly $47MM left on the extension he signed in 2015, plus a player option worth nearly $25.6MM for 2019/20. So it will be a while before he has any leverage to force Memphis into a trade.

He is a three-time all-star and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He appeared in 74 games last season, averaging 19.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per night.

The Grizzlies already lost Zach Randolph, who signed with the Kings after eight years in Memphis, while Tony Allen, another key player from the “grit and grind” era, remains a free agent and appears unlikely to return.

Nigel Hayes Agrees To Deal With Knicks

The Knicks have reached an agreement with Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes on a partially guaranteed contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowki of ESPN.

The senior averaged 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds last season for the Badgers. He was invited to New York’s mini-camp in July and played for the Knicks’ summer league team, averaging 5.2 points, and 5.0 rebounds in five games in Orlando.

New York has 14 players with guaranteed contracts, so Hayes will have the opportunity to win a roster spot in training camp.

Hayes’ deal with the Knicks was first reported in June by ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Donald Sloan To Sign With Wizards

The Wizards have reached agreement on a one-year deal with free agent guard Donald Sloan, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 29-year-old played in China last season for the second time in his career. His last NBA experience was in 2015/16, when he played 61 games for the Nets, starting 33.

Sloan has been a journeyman since signing with the Hawks in 2011 after going undrafted out of Texas A&M. He played just five games for Atlanta and three for New Orleans during his rookie year and finished the season with Cleveland. He later returned to New Orleans, then spent two seasons in Indiana.

A 6’3″ combo guard, Sloan is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists per game through his NBA career.

The Wizards now have 19 players under contract, one short of the maximum, with camp a little more than a month away.


K.J. McDaniels To Sign With Raptors

K.J. McDaniels will sign a one-year, partially guaranteed deal with Toronto, tweets Adrian Wojnarowki of ESPN.

He will join Alfonzo McKinnie, Kennedy Meeks and Kyle Wiltjer as training camp invitees with some guaranteed money, notes Josh Lewnberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link).

McDaniels, 24, finished last season with the Nets, who acquired him from the Rockets at the trade deadline. With expanded playing time in Brooklyn, he averaged 6.3 points and 2.6 rebounds over 20 games.

A second-round pick by the Sixers in 2014, McDaniels had a promising start to his career in Philadelphia before being traded to Houston in February of 2015. He was never able to crack the rotation with the Rockets and saw limited minutes before being dealt away.

Before adding McDaniels, Toronto had $116.6M in guaranteed salary committed to 13 players, along with $100K for McKinnie that counts against the cap, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Udonis Haslem Discusses Potential Reunion With Dwyane Wade

Veteran forward Udonis Haslem is the latest Heat player to express interest in bringing back Dwyane Wade if he agrees to a buyout in Chicago, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Interest in the possibility was reignited with a report Wednesday that Wade and the Bulls could part ways at some point this season.

Wade has a $23.8MM salary and doesn’t seem to fit on a team that started rebuilding by trading Jimmy Butler and not re-signing Rajon Rondo. A buyout is always a possibility, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, but the Bulls haven’t changed their position that it would have to be “advantageous” to them, meaning Wade would have to give up a substantial amount of money.

He would have several options if that happens, with one obvious choice being a return to Miami, where he spent the first 13 seasons of his NBA career.

“I talk to D-Wade every day,” Haslem said today on radio station WQAM. “My advice to D-Wade and his advice has always been to me is, ‘Take it one day at a time. Just take it one day at a time, step by step.’ We kind of understand the direction that Chicago is going in. We kind of understand the direction that Dwyane wants to go in the last couple of years of his career. The business side of things sometimes doesn’t always allow both sides to co-exist.”

On Tuesday, Heat center Hassan Whiteside sent out a GIF on social media indicating he would like to see Wade return, and Dion Waiters endorsed the idea on Twitter in July.

The Heat are well over the salary cap after re-signing Waiters and James Johnson this summer and adding Kelly Olynyk in free agency. However, they have retained their mid-level exception, which gives them up to $4.3MM to offer Wade.

Winderman notes that a crowded backcourt could hinder the move, with Waiters and Goran Dragic cemented as starters and Tyler Johnson, Josh RichardsonRodney McGruder and Wayne Ellington in reserve. There’s also the possibility that Wade could find a reunion with LeBron James in Cleveland more desirable than a return to Miami.

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