Nick Calathes

Canada, Greece, Turkey Set World Cup Rosters

While USA Basketball had its share of withdrawals this summer leading up to the 2019 World Cup, there’s a strong case for Team Canada being the national team hit hardest by a lack of participation from NBA players.

Team Canada formally announced its 12-man World Cup roster today. As expected, the group features just two NBA players: Kings point guard Cory Joseph and Magic center Khem Birch. As we outlined earlier this month, the list of Canadians not participating in the World Cup includes Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett, and several other NBA players.

The national teams for Greece and Turkey also announced their final 12-man rosters for the World Cup, and both squads feature multiple current NBA players.

Bucks teammates – and brothers – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo headline the Greek squad, with former NBA players like Kostas Papanikolaou, Nick Calathes, and Georgios Papagiannis helping to fill out the roster.

On the Turkish national team, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, and Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz are the headliners. Former Celtics and Cavaliers center Semih Erden is also part of Turkey’s 12-man roster.

The World Cup will officially get underway in China on Saturday with an eight-game schedule, though Canada, Greece, and Turkey won’t take the court until Sunday.

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.

Nick Calathes Plans To Return To NBA

After two seasons abroad, former Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes is looking to return to the NBA, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes. The 29-year-old guard, regarded as an elite playmaker with good size, is expected to attract significant interest as a reserve.

Calathes didn’t make much of an impact during two seasons with Memphis from 2013 to 2015, averaging 4.6 points and 2.7 assist in 129 career games, but he emerged as a EuroLeague MVP candidate this season.

After having averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 assists per game for Panathinaikos Athens in Greece’s top league, Calathes will be one year younger than Milos Teodosic was when he came across as a Euroleague star to ink a two-year, $12MM deal with the Clippers last summer.

The Florida native will be represented of ISE’s James Dunleavy and will follow in the footsteps of other Americans like Anthony Parker and Bobby Brown who turned successful EuroLeague stints into additional NBA opportunities years after they were drafted.

And-Ones: World Peace, Lillard, Blatt, Calathes

Veteran NBA forward Metta World Peace, who said at season’s end that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Lakers in 2017/18, has an uncertain basketball future and intends to put off a decision on his next move until August. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details, World Peace told Italy’s La Gazzetta Dello Sport that he’s leaving the door open to the possibility of playing in China or Europe if no NBA opportunities arise for him.

The man formerly known as Ron Artest has maintained in recent months that he’d like to play 20 professional basketball seasons before he calls it a career. World Peace, who will turn 38 this fall, has spent 17 seasons in the NBA and also played in China and Italy in 2014/15, so he’ll need to play for two more years to meet that goal.

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

  • Damian Lillard created some speculation fodder during a Twitter Q&A with fans today when he answered a question about where he’d sign if he had to leave Portland. “If [the] Blazers said they didn’t want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers,” Lillard replied (via Twitter). Lillard is under contract through 2021, so Blazers fans should have nothing to worry about anytime soon.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer makes the case for why 2017’s NBA draft looks primed for more draft-pick trades than usual.
  • After coaching Darussafaka in Turkey this past season, David Blatt is meeting Darussafaka officials in Istanbul this week to resolve his release from the team and pave the way for his return to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Blatt coached the Israeli club for several seasons before joining the Cavaliers in 2014.
  • Nick Calathes, a former second-round pick who spent two seasons with the Grizzlies, is content to continue his playing career in Greece, as he tells EBasket (English link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). “The NBA is still on my mind. Obviously I want to play at the highest levels. But in this moment the Panathinaikos is my priority,” Calathes said. “I am not in a hurry to go to the NBA. I love Panathinaikos and I am doing well here. So I am not pushing for something else.”

Pacific Notes: Gay, Pierce, Calathes, Kings, Suns

After Rudy Gay made some interesting comments that conveyed his dissatisfaction with his situation in Sacramento, Kings general manager Vlade Divac was asked about the disgruntled forward. As James Ham of CSN California details, Divac downplayed Gay’s comments about a lack of communication between him and the Kings as trade rumors swirl.

“He has my number,” the Kings GM said. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything. … I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing. Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”

Let’s check in on a few other items from out of the Pacific division…

  • Paul Pierce has yet to formally announce a decision one way or the other about his future, and a source tells Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links) that the veteran forward will take a few more weeks to weigh his options and make a final call. However, another source suggests to Turner that Pierce is planning to return to the Clippers for one more season.
  • As we heard earlier this week, the Kings made an effort to land Nick Calathes, but the former Grizzlies guard is “bound to return” to Panathinakos in Greece, according to international journalist David Pick.
  • The Suns have officially announced Earl Watson‘s coaching staff, confirming in a press release that Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren will be assistants, with former Raptors coach Jay Triano serving as the club’s associate head coach.
  • After signing a three-year deal with the Suns, Jared Dudley has penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune about returning “home” and aiming to get the Suns back to their “2010 vibe.”

And-Ones: Stoudemire, Calathes, Quarterman

Amar’e Stoudemire, who announced his retirement earlier today, wanted to sign with the Suns and play one more season, but Phoenix had no interest, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 relays (via Twitter). The scribe also speculates this snub could be the reason the forward chose to retire as a Knick despite having his best seasons in a Suns uniform.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Kings are attempting to lure point guard Nick Calathes back to the U.S. for next season, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). Calathes, who is under contract from the Greek club Panathinaikos, last played in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign and is an unrestricted free agent as a result of the Grizzlies withdrawing their qualifying offer to him.
  • Tim Quarterman‘s two-year, minimum salary deal with the Trail Blazers includes a partial guarantee of $75K for the first year, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • In order to create the necessary cap space to sign Alex Abrines, the Thunder renounced their Early Bird rights to former player Derek Fisher, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets.
  • Ben Leibowitz of The Mercury News examined some of the most team-friendly player contracts in the NBA.

Southwest Notes: Barnes, Nowitzki, Duncan

The Mavericks are planning an expanded role for newly signed forward Harrison Barnes, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Dallas gave Barnes $94MM over four years after losing small forward Chandler Parsons to the Grizzlies in free agency. “You’re going to see a lot more to his game than you’ve seen in the past,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said of Barnes. “I think he can do a lot more than he’s been asked to do, and that’s what we expect to see. … Maybe not first year, but I think he’s going to grow into [the role of go-to guy]. Just because a guy hasn’t done things doesn’t mean he can’t do it.” Barnes, 24, averaged 13.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 66 games with the Warriors last season.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Dirk Nowitzki probably would have left the Mavericks as a free agent or requested a trade by now if he hadn’t won a title in 2011, contends Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News. Cowlishaw also gives Dallas a C grade for its performance in free agency and speculates that medical reports on Parsons must have been scary for Cuban to let him go.
  • The SpursTim Duncan, who announced his retirement this week, has officially cleared waivers, according to Real GM. It’s a minor footnote for someone who almost certainly is done with the NBA, but Duncan would be a free agent if he ever does decide to return.
  • San Antonio has removed its cap hold for 2015 first-round pick Nikola Milutinov, Real GM notes. The move means the 6’11” Serbian center, who played this season with Olympiacos in Greece, will spend at least one more year overseas.
  • The Grizzlies have withdrawn their qualifying offer to shooting guard Nick Calathes, according to Real GM. Calathes, who spent this season with Panathinaikos in Greece, would be an unrestricted free agent if he returns to the NBA. The 27-year-old spent two seasons in Memphis.

Qualifying Offers: Sullinger, Daniels, Barnes

If an NBA team wishes to ensure a player who is eligible for restricted free agency actually becomes one, that team must issue a qualifying offer before the new league year begins on July 1st. Clubs are gradually making those qualifying-offer decisions official, with the latest round of offers noted below:

  • The Warriors submitted qualifying offers to Harrison Barnes ($5,194,227) and Festus Ezeli ($3,013,123), making both restricted free agents, the team announced via press release.
  • The Kings have submitted a qualifying offer for combo guard Seth Curry, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays (via Twitter). Curry’s offer is worth $1,215,696, with the 25-year-old having earned $947,276 for his 44 appearances this past season.
  • The Celtics submitted qualifying offers to frontcourt mates Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald tweets. Sullinger’s offer is worth $4,433,683, while Zeller’s comes in at $3,695,169.
  • The Hornets officially announced today that a qualifying offer worth $1,215,696 was submitted for shooting guard Troy Daniels, making him a restricted free agent.
  • The Raptors submitted a qualifying offer to Nando De Colo in order to retain his rights, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star tweets. De Colo isn’t likely headed stateside anytime soon, having signed a three-year contract extension with CSKA Moscow earlier this month. The cap hold for the 29-year-old is $1,901,900.
  • The Grizzlies submitted a qualifying offer to guard Nick Calathes, as the RealGM transactions log shows. The 27-year-old, who is under contract from the Greek club Panathinaikos, last played in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign. The move by Memphis was merely a procedural one in order to retain Calathes’ rights.
  • The Nets have submitted a qualifying offer worth $1,180,431 to Markel Brown, making him a restricted free agent, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com tweets. Brooklyn declined to submit a qualifying offer worth $1,215,696 to Willie Reed, making him an unrestricted free agent, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets.
  • The Warriors declined to submit a qualifying offer worth $1,180,431 to James McAdoo and the player will now become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets. The team also passed on submitting a qualifying offer worth $1,215,696 to Ian Clark, Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle tweets.
  • The Pelicans won’t tender a qualifying to James Ennis ($1,180,431), but remain interested in re-signing him if the price were reasonable, Scott Kushner of The Advocate tweets.
  • The Sixers declined to submit a qualifying offer to Isaiah Canaan ($1,215,696), making him an unrestricted free agent, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets.

Nick Calathes Signs With Panathinaikos

Grizzlies restricted free agent Nick Calathes has signed with Greece’s Panathinaikos, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi on Twitter). Sportando’s Enea Trapani reported the sides had a deal earlier this week, though Calathes denied it. David Pick of Eurobasket.com reported that he’d commit to the Greek club today if he couldn’t find an NBA deal to his liking. Memphis couldn’t match the offer from Panathinaikos since that right only applies to bids from other NBA teams. The exact terms of the agreement were not released, but Trapani’s initial report pegged Calathes’ deal as being for three years and $7MM.

Memphis had extended Calathes a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276, making him a restricted free agent this offseason. The point guard made 58 appearances for the Grizzlies during the 2014/14 campaign, averaging 4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 14.4 minutes per contest. His slash line was .421/.256/.533.

Calathes had been drawing some NBA interest, but he was reportedly hesitant to continue his career as a backup, as Pick noted. The Mavericks had reportedly contacted him, though that was more than two weeks ago, and the addition of Deron Williams likely eliminated any opportunity for Calathes in Dallas.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Williams, Calathes

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke Tuesday with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and “it started off more than a little frigid,” as Cuban recounted via Cyber Dust, his social media app, and as the Dallas Morning News relays. That’s not surprising, given the DeAndre Jordan saga, but Cuban said he and Ballmer cleared the air.

“I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player,” Cuban wrote. “I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.”

Cuban said he doesn’t have a problem with the July Moratorium, which seemingly helped facilitate Jordan’s reversal, but even if he did, the moratorium doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Deron Williams‘ two-year deal with the Mavs is worth $10MM and includes a player option, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The clock appears to be ticking on an NBA future for Grizzlies restricted free agent Nick Calathes. The point guard denied to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that he has signed with Panathinaikos of Greece, but he’ll commit to that team if he doesn’t find an NBA deal today, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Calathes is drawing NBA interest, but he’s hesitant to continue as a backup, Pick hears. The Mavericks have reportedly contacted him, though that was two weeks ago. Memphis has the power to match all competing bids from NBA teams, but not from overseas clubs.
  • Panathinaikos is close to a deal with center Nikola Milutinov, this year’s 26th overall pick, Sportando’s Enea Trapani writes. Regardless, Milutinov won’t soon be joining the Spurs, the team that drafted him, as San Antonio has informed the NBA that it won’t sign him or 2013 No. 28 pick Livio Jean-Charles during 2015/16, allowing San Antonio to remove their cap hits, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links).
  • The Rockets reportedly had hopes of signing draft-and-stash prospect Marko Todorovic this summer, but that won’t be happening, as the big man has signed a three-year deal with Khimki Moscow, the Russian club announced (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Spurs GM R.C. Buford said he and the front office didn’t think that they would have been able to snag Ray McCallum if he’d have been a free agent on the open market, so they were pleased to pull off the trade with the Kings that brought him in, as Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News chronicles. McCallum, who’s excited about the deal, earned a $200K partial guarantee on his salary when the Spurs didn’t waive him Sunday.
  • A $390,089 sliver of Houston’s Jeremy Lin trade exception expired Monday, though it was essentially too small to use. The Rockets had already used the majority of the exception, once worth $8,374,646, to trade for Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in December.
  • Brewer’s new three-year deal with the Rockets is worth precisely $23,420,913, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows.