Noah Vonleh

Nets Waive Roberson, Vonleh, Shumpert; Plan To Sign Cook

The Nets have announced via a press release that they have waived swingmen Andre Roberson and Iman Shumpert, as well as power forward/center Noah Vonleh.

Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets that Shumpert and Roberson intend to ink 10-day deals with Brooklyn should they clear waivers this Friday. Releasing this triumvirate of players now frees the Nets from having to guarantee their contracts for the whole season. This year, players must be cut by tomorrow, February 24, to beat the February 27 guarantee deadline.

Waiving players on non-guaranteed deals and subsequently adding them via 10-day contracts is common practice for teams looking to avoid a full-season cap hit.

Beyond hoping to retain Roberson and Shumpert through a string of 10-day contracts going forward, the Nets also intend to sign power forward Tyler Cook to a 10-day deal as a Vonleh replacement, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). Cook is averaging a stellar 20.6 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 4.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.6 SPG for the Iowa Wolves across seven games on the 2021 NBA G League Orlando “bubble” campus.

Vonleh was signed earlier this month to address the Nets’ shortcomings in their frontcourt. The well-traveled 25-year-old had suited up for the Hornets, Trail Blazers, Bulls, Knicks, Timberwolves and Nuggets across seven seasons before arriving in Brooklyn this year. Vonleh appeared in just four games for the Nets, averaging 2.8 MPG.

Nets Sign Noah Vonleh

2:42pm: The Nets have officially announced the addition of Vonleh in a team press release. He will be available for tomorrow night’s game against the Pistons, per Malika Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link).


9:29am: Free agent power forward-center Noah Vonleh will sign with the Nets, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Vonleh will add frontcourt depth to a team that has been lacking in big men since parting with Jarrett Allen last month in the James Harden trade. Brooklyn, which recently added Norvel Pelle and Iman Shumpert, will have a full 15-man roster for the first time since the deal once the Vonleh signing becomes official.

Vonleh had several opportunities to join the G League bubble in Orlando, but he decided to wait for a call from an NBA team, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 25-year-old signed with the Bulls in the offseason, but never played for the team. He contracted COVID-19 during training camp and was waived in December before the season began.

A lottery pick in 2014, Vonleh has been with six teams during his six-year NBA career. He started last year with the Timberwolves before being traded to the Nuggets at the deadline. He averaged 3.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 36 total games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Noah Vonleh Tests Positive For COVID-19, Waived By Bulls

DECEMBER 15: Vonleh’s release from the Bulls is now official, according to RealGM’s transactions log.


DECEMBER 14: Veteran forward Noah Vonleh has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be waived by the Bulls, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Teams won’t be announcing which of their players test positive for the coronavirus this season, but Vonleh confirmed his diagnosis to Haynes.

“Unfortunately, I have tested positive for COVID, and so my time with the Bulls has come to an end,” Vonleh said in a statement to Yahoo Sports. “Thank you to the organization for everything. Though it was a short time, I appreciate the opportunity. I am thankfully feeling good, and I look forward to working my way to another NBA opportunity once I’m cleared to play again!”

The Bulls are carrying 15 players on guaranteed contracts and Vonleh isn’t one of them, so his positive test likely just accelerated his release — unless he earned a spot on the regular season roster, he would’ve been waived within the next week anyway. He’ll undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine as he awaits medical clearance, Haynes notes.

The ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Vonleh began his career in Charlotte before moving on to Portland, Chicago, and New York. In 2019/20, he began the season in Minnesota before being traded to Denver as part of the four-team mega-deal involving Clint Capela and Robert Covington.

In total, Vonleh averaged just 3.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 36 games (10.5 MPG) for the Timberwolves and Nuggets last season. He was more productive in 2018/19 for the Knicks, recording 8.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 68 games (25.3 MPG), and is still just 25 years old, so he should get another NBA opportunity.

Bulls Notes: Karnisovas, Vonleh, Temple, Donovan

Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas didn’t make sweeping changes during his first offseason running the Bulls, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. Thirteen of the 15 players who finished last season on Chicago’s roster are back for training camp.

Karnisovas has a philosophy that emphasizes building through the draft and player development, Johnson adds. He is also holding onto the $25-$30MM in cap space the Bulls project to have for next summer’s talented class of free agents.

“We were pretty happy with the roster that we had,” Karnisovas explained in a session with reporters. “We didn’t have a lot of wiggle room to work with. We added players that are versatile. We added some leadership, experience to the roster we already had and that was the mentality. And also preserving cap room for next summer and using this season to look at our roster and evaluate and see what the long-term goals will be following this season.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Noah Vonleh was briefly in Denver with Karnisovas last season and could be a threat to earn a roster spot, Johnson states in the same story. Vonleh signed a non-guaranteed deal, and Karnisovas said he is “going to compete in training camp.” That may mean the Bulls are willing to waive a guaranteed contract such as Cristiano Felicio ($7,529,020) or Luke Kornet ($2.25MM).
  • Free agent Garrett Temple, who was the team’s only free agent addition with a guaranteed contract, was added for his “versatility, experience, leadership. Those would be my three things on Garrett.” Karnisovas tells Johnson (Twitter link). He also said the organization will “make every effort” to work out an extension with Lauri Markkanen (Twitter link). Markkanen expressed strong interest in a new deal earlier in the week.
  • Bulls players have already noticed a different atmosphere with Billy Donovan taking over for Jim Boylen as head coach, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Zach LaVine, who had numerous run-ins with Boylen during their time together, was among the players who commented on the change. “They’re showing their faces,” LaVine said of the new coaching staff. “I see them every morning. I get here around 8 o’clock and they’re already in the gym. They’re on the court with you. They’re talking to you about not just basketball, but personal life things. What things do you like to run? What don’t you like? They want you to be upfront. They’re willing to change and hear players’ opinions, so that’s something that’s been different than in the past.”

Contract Details: Temple, Vonleh, Sixers, T. Johnson, More

Garrett Temple‘s new one-year contract with the Bulls is worth exactly the amount of the room exception ($4.767MM), according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). However, Chicago is an over-the-cap team without the room exception available and used a portion of its mid-level exception to complete its deal with Temple.

Meanwhile, Noah Vonleh‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bulls is entirely non-guaranteed for the time being, per Smith (Twitter link). Vonleh won’t have to wait too long to find out whether or not that money will be guaranteed though — if he’s still on the roster through opening night, he’ll receive his full guarantee, Smith says.

Here are several more details on newly-signed contracts from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Justin Anderson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers has a $125K partial guarantee in year one, while Ryan Broekhoff‘s one-year, minimum-salary deal with the club is non-guaranteed, according to Smith (Twitter links).
  • Tyler Johnson is already assured of his salary for 2020/21, as his one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Nets is fully guaranteed, per Smith (Twitter link).
  • Kelan Martin‘s new two-year deal with the Pacers features a $723K partial guarantee in year one and is non-guaranteed in year two, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Indiana is now over the luxury tax line by $577K, though I expect the team will look to sneak back below that line later in the season, whether or not Martin remains on the roster.
  • Oshae Brissett‘s new multiyear deal with the Raptors features a $300K guarantee for year one, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That guarantee signals that Brissett probably has a leg up in battle for Toronto’s 15th regular season roster spot.

Bulls Sign Noah Vonleh To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 28: Vonleh is officially a Bull, per RealGM’s NBA transactions log.


NOVEMBER 26: The Bulls are in agreement with free agent forward Noah Vonleh on a one-year deal, agent Jim Tanner tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). It will be Vonleh’s second stint with the franchise, as he finished the 2017/18 season in Chicago.

The ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Vonleh began his career in Charlotte before moving on to Portland, Chicago, and New York. In 2019/20, he began the season in Minnesota before being traded to Denver as part of the four-team mega-deal involving Clint Capela and Robert Covington.

In total, Vonleh averaged just 3.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 36 games (10.5 MPG) for the Timberwolves and Nuggets last season. He was more productive in 2018/19 for the Knicks, recording 8.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 68 games (25.3 MPG).

Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ new president of basketball operations, worked in the Nuggets’ front office last season, so he got a first-hand look at Vonleh for about a month before the hiatus.

It has been a relatively quiet free agent period for the Bulls, whose only other newcomers via free agency or trade are veteran guard Garrett Temple and undrafted rookie Devon Dotson, who signed a two-way deal.

If Vonleh is retained for the regular season, he, Temple, Dotson, figure to provide some additional depth on a Chicago squad that will otherwise return many of its players from last year’s roster. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes (via Twitter) that the team already has 15 guaranteed contracts, so for Vonleh to make the team, someone else would have to be traded or released.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff Edition

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. With the playoffs ongoing at the Orlando campus, it’s time to examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors.

Enes Kanter, Celtics, 28, C (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9.77MM deal in 2019

It’s difficult to pump up your value when you’re glued to the bench. That’s the dilemma for Kanter, who has dropped out of the Celtics’ big man rotation. Kanter averaged 15 MPG in the opening round against Philadelphia but coach Brad Stevens has gone with Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III during the second-round series against Toronto. Save for a four-minute cameo on Thursday, Kanter has been a spectator. He has a $5MM player option for next season and the benching might compel him to take the guaranteed money and force the front office’s hands.

Goran Dragic, Heat, 34, PG (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $85MM deal in 2015

Perhaps we all forgot how good this guy can be. Dragic is getting a little long in the tooth and has battled injury issues, but he’s been fantastic on the Orlando campus. He’s been the most consistent offensive force for the surprising Heat, averaging 22.8 PPG and 5.0 APG against Indiana in the first-round sweep and 25.0 PPG and 4.5 APG in Games 1 and 2 against Milwaukee. Dragic could provide a major jolt for any playoff-caliber club and his price tag keeps rising.

Ben McLemore, Rockets, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $4.3MM deal in 2019

McLemore got off to a strong start in Orlando, including back-to-back 20-point games during the seeding round. As the playoffs have moved along, McLemore has seen his playing time diminish. He received 10 or fewer minutes in the last three games against Oklahoma City, as Russell Westbrook’s return affected his role. McLemore’s $2.3MM for next season isn’t guaranteed. The contract is cheap enough for the Rockets to retain him, but if that happens, there’s no guarantee he’ll be a rotation player.

Evan Fournier, Magic, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a five-year, $85MM deal in 2016

Fournier has a $17.15MM option on his contract for next season. It seemed likely prior to the stoppage of play in March that he’d opt out and test a weak free agent market. His career year hit a snag during the restart, as he battled a non-COVID related illness and then was generally a non-factor in the first-round series against Milwaukee. He shot 35.7% from the field, compared to 44.9% shooting during the regular season. With all the uncertainty surrounding next season, Fournier has more incentive to take the guaranteed money.

Noah Vonleh, Nuggets, 25, PF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2019

A lottery pick in 2014, Vonleh has already played for six organizations. It looks like he’ll be adding a seventh to his resume next season, provided he can find another NBA home. Vonleh made three brief appearances in the seeding round but his only action during the playoffs was a three-minute stint during a 37-point loss to Utah. It’s easy to forget that Vonleh started 57 games for the Knicks last season. There won’t be any teams valuing him as a starter this offseason; he’ll be fortunate to get another veteran’s minimum deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nuggets Notes: Campus, Bol, Vonleh, Daniels

The Nuggets have yet to relay to reporters exactly how many of their players are in Orlando, according to Kendra Andrews of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bench guard Troy Daniels indicated today that between eight and ten players are currently available to the team in the Disney World campus. Thus, there may be at least seven players who have yet to join the club.

Per reporting from Monday, Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., and Torrey Craig number among the absent players. To the relief of all Nuggets fans, Denver superstar Nikola Jokic, who tested positive for the coronavirus while in Serbia, has already rejoined the team in Orlando for the NBA’s season restart.

There are more notes from Denver:

  • Due to the aforementioned shorthanded Nuggets roster, 7’2″ rookie center Bol Bol, who has yet to log any time with Denver this season, may make his season debut during the NBA restart, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Bol noted to reporters that he has been playing out of position during team practices due to the absences. “With not so many people, you can get placed anywhere,” Bol said. “There were some times, like today, I was playing at the three.”
  • Nuggets big man Noah Vonleh has new representation, says Singer (Twitter link). Vonleh will now be represented in all negotiations, marketing and publicity by Tandem Sports/You First Sports. Vonleh, a free agent this fall, was traded to Denver from the Timberwolves midseason, and has played sparingly (4.3 MPG) in four games for his new club.
  • New Nuggets sharpshooting guard Troy Daniels, inked to Denver just six days ahead of the league’s coronavirus-related pause, has enjoyed his tenure with the team in Orlando, according to Eric Spyropoulos of Nuggets.com. “It’s been a rollercoaster ride for me and this is an unprecedented time, so it’s tough to get used to it,” Daniels said. “But the guys have been great, coaches are great and everything’s been smooth for me.” The journeyman three-point specialist, who started the 2019/20 season with the Lakers, will be a deep-bench option on a loaded roster.

Nuggets Notes: Trade Deadline, Bates-Diop, Health, Bench

When the Nuggets traded bench players Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt in a series of deadline deals this week, the team was actually improving its long-term outlook by shoring up its collection of draft picks, Mike Singer of the Denver Post contends.

Beasley and Hernangomez, free agents in 2020, could not finalize extensions with Denver last October. After that, it became clear both players would seek more playing time elsewhere this summer, in Singer’s view.

The Nuggets were able to secure the Rockets’ 2020 first-round draft pick, plus intriguing youth in Keita Bates-Diop, Jordan McRae, and Noah Vonleh to shore up their bench. Extracting a first-round pick for a few little-used players destined to depart anyway was a smart play, Singer argues.

There’s more out of Denver:

  • Bates-Diop, the lengthy, rangy No. 48 pick out of OSU by the Timberwolves in 2018, could be a valuable addition as a multifaceted forward off the Nuggets’ bench, Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post notes.
  • The Nuggets hope to finally reach full health after the All-Star break. Paul [Millsap] is right there,” Denver president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told Denver’s Altitude Sports Radio (92.5 FM), according to DNVR Sports’ Adam Mares (Twitter link). Michael [Porter Jr.] is getting right there. I think Mason [Plumlee] will be after the All-Star break…Will [Barton] is just banged up… I think coming out of the all-star break you should see a fully healthy roster.” 
  • The newest bench assets should serve to enhance a backup roster whose play has improved in 2020, according to Alex Labidou of Nuggets.com.

Wolves, Hawks, Rockets, Nuggets Complete Four-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 5: The trade is now official, with Twitter announcements from the RocketsTimberwolves and Nuggets confirming the deal. Atlanta also formally waived Chandler Parsons to accommodate the trade, as detailed earlier.

FEBRUARY 4: The Timberwolves, Hawks, Rockets, and Nuggets are in agreement on a massive four-team trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that the four clubs were close to reaching a deal, while Woj says (via Twitter) the players involved are now being informed.

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Charania (Twitter links), Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), the trade looks like this:

There have been rumors for the last several days suggesting that a trade like this one could be in play. An earlier variation had the Warriors in Denver’s place, with the Wolves pursuing D’Angelo Russell, but Golden State backed off those talks earlier on Tuesday, leaving Minnesota, Houston, and Atlanta to work out a new agreement.

Let’s break down how the deal will impact each team…

Houston Rockets:

Daryl Morey‘s group has long been on the lookout for an upgrade on the wing, and they’ll get their man in Covington, a three-and-D specialist who is on a team-friendly contract that’s worth $11.3MM this season and runs through 2021/22.

The Rockets gave up two valuable assets in Capela and their 2020 first-round pick to bring in Covington, Bell, and a second-round pick. By moving Nene and Green in the deal, the team will also move well below the luxury-tax line, which would be a favorable outcome for ownership — while Tilman Fertitta has claimed to have signed off on the club being a taxpayer, it looks like this could be the second straight season that the Rockets sneak out of the tax at the deadline.

On the other hand, as Wojnarowski points out (via Twitter), the structure of the deal would allow Houston to take back up to another $12MM in salary. So until the trade is made official, there’s a window for the Rockets to potentially expand it even further to include another team and player, assuming they find a suitable target, agree on compensation, and are willing to go back into the tax. That won’t be easy, however.

While Bell could play some minutes at the five, the Rockets will remain on the lookout for a more reliable replacement for Capela, either via a trade or on the buyout market, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston’s go-to lineup will feature P.J. Tucker at center, but the team still wants a more traditional big to match up with star bigs in the playoffs, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN (via Twitter).

MacMahon also adds (via Twitter) that Green, who is likely out for the season with a broken foot, had the ability to veto his inclusion in this trade, but won’t do so.

The move will reduce the Rockets’ roster count to 13 players on standard contracts, so the team will have two weeks to get back up to the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players.

Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets were said to be seeking a first-round pick for Beasley and a second-round pick for Hernangomez, their two restricted-free-agents-to-be. They won’t quite meet that asking price, but they’ll at least get the first-rounder they were looking for, acquiring Houston’s 2020 pick in the deal.

In addition to sending out Beasley and Hernangomez, Denver also moved Vanderbilt and will bring back four players: Green, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh. The team had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no one will have to be waived, though MacMahon reports (via Twitter) that Green is expected to be cut after the trade is official, once again opening up that last roster spot.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Napier and Vonleh are capable of playing rotation minutes and providing depth off the bench for the Nuggets. Bates-Diop will probably be further down on the depth chart. Napier and Vonleh will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end, while KBD has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2020/21.

Having previously traded away their own 2020 first-round selection for Jerami Grant, the Nuggets can get back into this year’s draft with Houston’s first-rounder. Of course, with Wojnarowski suggesting Denver will continue to be active before Thursday’s deadline, that pick could theoretically be flipped in another move.

Atlanta Hawks:

The Hawks have been linked to several centers over the course of the season, reportedly expressing interest in Andre Drummond, Steven Adams, and Dewayne Dedmon, among others. In recent days, the club appeared to be zeroing in on Capela, a big man whose rim-running ability will complement Trae Young on offense and whose rim-protecting ability could help bail out Young on defense.

Atlanta will surrender Turner’s expiring contract, Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, and an extra future second-round pick in order to lock up Capela. The move will give the Hawks some cost certainty in the middle — Capela, who has a $14.9MM cap hit in 2019/20, has three more years and about $51.3MM left on his contract after this season. He won’t be eligible for free agency until the summer of 2023.

Acquiring a center now rather than waiting until the summer and trying to land one in free agency will give the Hawks the opportunity to evaluate how Capela looks next to big man John Collins. A heel injury is currently nagging Capela, but it’s not believed to be an issue that jeopardizes the rest of his season.

A 2017 first-round pick, Collins will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason. If he meshes with Capela down the stretch, Atlanta would likely be more willing to invest heavily long-term in Collins, who is expected to seek the max or something close to it.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Hawks are currently carrying 15 players, so they’ll have to waive or trade someone in order to take back both Capela and Nene for Turner, even if they intend to eventually release Nene.

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Although the Timberwolves probably would have preferred to get the Warriors involved in this deal to acquire Russell, they’ll get a handful of intriguing assets in exchange for Covington and several low-cost role players (Bell, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh).

Beasley and Hernangomez will both be eligible for restricted free agency this summer, which will give the Wolves the chance to match any offer sheet they sign. Neither player had been great this season in Denver, as a crowded depth chart pushed them out of the rotation at times, but they both had solid seasons in 2018/19.

Beasley averaged 11.3 PPG with a .474/.402/.848 shooting line in 81 games (23.2 MPG) a year ago, while Hernangomez averaged 5.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG on .439/.365/.767 shooting in 70 games (19.4 MPG). The Nuggets explored contract extensions last fall with both players, reportedly offering Beasley $30MM over three years, but they didn’t reach a deal with either one. Now the Wolves will have the opportunity to evaluate them during the season’s final two months and decide whether they’re part of the franchise’s long-term plans.

In addition to acquiring those two Denver players – and a little-used project in Vanderbilt – the Timberwolves take on Turner’s $18.6MM expiring contract, generating some extra cap flexibility for the 2020 offseason by moving off Covington’s guaranteed money. They also secured Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, which could end up at No. 15 or 16 if the Nets hang onto a playoff spot this spring.

This move doesn’t necessarily affect the Wolves’ plans to revisit a Russell trade with the Warriors, though like Allen Crabbe, Turner can’t be aggregated with another player in a deadline deal to match D-Lo’s salary. That Brooklyn first-round pick figures to be one of the assets Minnesota dangles in any offer for Russell.

Like Houston, Minnesota will have two openings on its 15-man roster once this trade is finalized, and will have up to two weeks to get back up to 14 players, the league’s required minimum.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.