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Hornets Notes: Graham, Monk, Hernangomez, Washington

Devonte’ Graham is outplaying free agent addition Terry Rozier through the first two games, but the Hornets‘ best option might be to use them together, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Graham, a second-year guard, is Charlotte’s leading scorer at 23.5 PPG while sinking 12-of-16 shots from beyond the arc. He’s also handing out three assists for every turnover.

The Hornets gave Rozier $58MM over three seasons this summer, so they don’t plan to take him out of the starting lineup. While Graham will likely remain a reserve, coach James Borrego expects to utilize them together in a smaller backcourt, especially while Nicolas Batum is sidelined with a broken finger. He took a similar approach last season, frequently closing games with Kemba Walker and Tony Parker on the floor.

“We can play them together,” Borrego said. “We can play Terry off the ball some with Te’ out there. We’ll look at that lineup.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Even though Malik Monk has been disappointing, the Hornets had to pick up his fourth-year option to preserve his trade value, Bonnell writes in a mailbag column. A lottery pick in 2017, Monk hasn’t developed  the way the Hornets had hoped. He’s shooting 37.6% from the field for his career and is averaging just 3.5 PPG so far this season. Still, a $5.3MM commitment for next season shouldn’t be significant, as general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team won’t be aggressive in the 2020 free agent market.
  • Large salaries will make Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist difficult to trade this season, but there might be demand for Willy Hernangomez, Bonnell notes in the same piece. The fourth-year center has a minimal expiring salary of $1.68MM, and Bonnell believes the Hornets would part with him for a second-round pick. He adds that there may be more value in letting Biyombo’s $17MM contract and Kidd-Gilchrist’s $13MM deal expire to open cap room for the future.
  • PJ Washington is looking like the draft gem the Hornets needed to give them hope for the future, notes Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation.

2016 Free Agent Power Rankings

The trade deadline has the spotlight in February, but fueling much of the movement will be the anticipation of the summer ahead, when a booming salary cap figures to make it a lucrative time to be a free agent. We’re ranking those at the front of the line to snag that cash, just as we’ve done from time to time since last summer’s free agent market died down. Here’s where the top 2016 free agents stand as the NBA enters a pivotal month:

  1. Kevin Durant — No one’s better than the New York media at eliciting a response from prospective free agents who’ve been otherwise reluctant to talk. Durant’s respect for the charm of Madison Square Garden aside, he’s given no major hints that he’s ready to leave Oklahoma City. Of course, the Thunder still have half a season and two Western Conference juggernauts to overcome, and nothing’s settled yet. Last time: No. 1.
  2. LeBron James (player option) — He might not have his top choice as coach, but the Cavs have given LeBron someone he apparently likes better than David Blatt, and the results, save for a hiccup against the Bulls in Tyronn Lue‘s first outing, have been encouraging so far. Last time: No. 2.
  3. Andre Drummond (restricted) — No, he can’t shoot free throws, but Drummond does so much to offset that. The league’s leading rebounder is also tops in defensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference. It’s enough to vault him into the No. 3 spot here, though it’s a virtual certainty he’ll remain with the Pistons. Last time: No. 4.
  4. Al Horford — Recent reports that the Hawks aren’t entirely certain he’ll re-sign and that the Celtics have asked the Hawks about him cast doubt on the future whereabouts of the once-again Wasserman Media Group client, but there’s no doubting his game. Horford’s sudden addition of the 3-point shot to his arsenal this season adds intrigue, even if he’s only hitting them at a 33.1% clip. Last time: No. 5.
  5. Mike Conley — It was a tough January for the usually durable 28-year-old point guard who missed six games with a sore left Achilles tendon and averaged just 11.6 points in the eight that he played. He’ll no doubt return to more familiar form, but for now, he goes down a couple of pegs. Last time: No. 3.
  6. Dwight Howard (player option) — The 30-year-old is exhibiting some self-awareness this season, one in which he’s concentrated his shot attempts to within 3 feet of the basket like never before, as Basketball-Reference shows. Consequently, he’s nearly at a career high in field goal percentage, and his rebounding numbers are better after a regression in his injury-shortened campaign last season. Last time: No. 6.
  7. DeMar DeRozan (player option) — Even the 26-year-old’s maligned 3-point shooting is up to a nearly-decent 31.8% this season, a well-timed career year for the Aaron Goodwin client. Max offers reportedly await, but DeRozan has repeatedly expressed his affection for Toronto and the Raptors, saying recently he’d like to spend his entire career with the organizationLast time: No. 8.
  8. Bradley Beal (restricted) — Beal’s admitted that he’ll probably have to deal with a minutes limit for the rest of his career, his defense has slipped, and an opposing GM said that he’s “scared” of the shooting guard because of his track record of injuries. Red flags abound, but it’s remarkably tough to see Washington turning its back on a 22-year-old averaging 18.1 points and shooting 39.3% from 3-point land. Last time: No. 7.
  9. Harrison Barnes (restricted) — He lacks eye-popping stats in part because of all the talent around him, but the numbers that matter — a 44-4 record and his 24th birthday this May — point to a significant payday ahead for the new Jeff Schwartz clientLast time: No. 10.
  10. Hassan Whiteside — The league’s leader in blocks per game did himself no favors when he said recently that his upcoming free agency weighs into his decision-making about whether to play with injury. Questions about his approach to the game abound, but he’s still talented enough and, turning only 27 in June, young enough to loom as a tantalizing figure on the market. Last time: No. 9.

We don’t always carry the rankings past the top 10, but we’ll do our next 10 here. Batum, who’s likely in line for the max, was a particularly difficult omission from the main group:

11. Nicolas Batum
12. Rajon Rondo
13. Dwyane Wade
14. Pau Gasol (player option)
15. Chandler Parsons (player option)
16. Ryan Anderson
17. Kent Bazemore
18. Evan Fournier (restricted)
19. Eric Gordon
20. Deron Williams (player option)

See all the previous editions of our rankings here. See the full list of 2016 free agents here.

Think one of these soon-to-be free agents should be higher on the list? Lower? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Hornets Notes: Rotation, Williams, Friedman, Rozier

With Kemba Walker no longer on the roster, the Hornets are entering rebuilding mode, and head coach James Borrego has made it clear he’ll prioritize developing the team’s young prospects during the 2019/20 season. Still, as Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer details, that doesn’t mean that the Hornets’ veteran players won’t have opportunities to play regular roles.

“If I’m going to be a coach who says, ‘Competition is the No. 1 thing on my board,’ then I have to give (veterans) the ability to compete for minutes,” Borrego said. “I’m not strictly handing minutes to young guys. The young guys have to go earn this.”

Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bismack Biyombo are among the high-priced veterans on the Hornets’ roster who could be competing with younger players like Malik Monk, PJ Washington, Miles Bridges, Willy Hernangomez, and Dwayne Bacon for minutes during the 2019/20 season. It’s possible the situation could lead to some frustration over the course of the year, but for now Williams had nothing but praise for the way Borrego is handling things.

“J.B. has been amazing for us older guys. He’s been straightforward with us, he told us the direction he’s going in, and what he wants from us. That’s all you can ask,” Williams said. “We understand the situation. When we get our opportunities, we’ll make the most of it.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • The losses of Walker and veteran guard Tony Parker created something of a leadership void in the Hornets’ locker room, but Borrego believes that Williams is capable of setting an example for his younger teammates, per Bonnell. “One of the biggest things for our young guys is (to think), ‘Look at Marvin, he’s a true pro.’ Marvin checks those boxes every single day. He takes this as his job, as his profession, and there is a pride about his work every single day,” Borrego said. “I’m going to expect him to lead us in that area. He understands that.”
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell suggests that the Hornets probably shouldn’t expect to net more than a second-round pick if they try to trade a veteran on a pricey expiring contract this season. Biyombo, Williams, and Kidd-Gilchrist are all on expiring deals worth between $13-17MM.
  • The Hornets issued a press release today announcing a series of changes and additions to their basketball operations staff, including Nick Friedman being named a player development coach. Friedman will bounce back and forth between the Hornets and the Greensboro Swarm, accompanying players on G League assignments.
  • Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders explores whether a breakout season is around the corner for new Hornets starting point guard Terry Rozier.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Poirier, Ntilikina, Nets

Veteran NBA center Marc Gasol added to his already impressive year by helping lead Spain to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup today, finishing with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 25 minutes of work against Argentina.

Gasol, who also helped Toronto win the NBA championship in June, joined Lamar Odom as the only players in league history to win both a title and gold medal in the same calendar year.

“It reminded me a lot of the Larry O’Brien trophy,” Gasol said when asked about winning the Naismith Trophy, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the winner of the World Cup. “And hey, you can drink out of it!

“When I saw it, it was pretty shiny as well. Completely different tournament, completely different setup, but the feeling of fulfillment was there, because you invested so much, you risked a lot and you put everything on the line for your guys.”

This year’s World Cup could be the last for Gasol, who turns 35 in January and is set to enter his 12th NBA season this fall. The defensive-minded center has been on top of the basketball world in 2019, something he surely won’t forget when he looks back on his career.

“It feels like I haven’t stopped playing basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s been an amazing year for me and I’m just happy.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Vincent Poirier was a good pick-up for the Celtics this offseason, according to French teammates Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier. Poirier signed a two-year deal to join the franchise back in July. “It’s clear that he’s a center that can block shots and control the paint,” Fournier said, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com. (Twitter links). “He’s a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It’s a good pick-up for Boston, for sure.”
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina is healthy again and motivated for the upcoming season, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times. Ntilikina, according to Stein, also mentioned how the entire group is “very hungry” for next season. New York has several new players on its roster, including the likes of Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett and others.
  • The Nets plan to give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys when the team hosts the Knicks on October 25, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The Knicks were one of several teams interested in signing Irving in July, though Irving was said to have his sights set on joining the Nets well before the start of free agency.

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:

Rookie-Scale Extensions And Restricted FAs

As the NBA's third season under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement begins, most of the changes written into the new CBA have now taken effect. The repeater-tax penalty is still a year away, but more punitive tax penalties will be implemented this season, and the annual increases to the salary cap, tax threshold, and cap-exception amounts are in full swing.

At this point then, the effects of the league's CBA are starting to become more obvious. Outside of the Nets, most teams are trying to avoid going too deep into tax territory, with even the deep-pocketed Lakers and Heat amnestying key role players to reduce the overall cost of their respective rosters. Under the new CBA, the three-superstar model has become less viable, draft picks are more valuable than ever, and cost-controlled players are crucial for building an annual contender without breaking the bank.

We've discussed the added value that threeand four-year contracts can provide for a team, and of course the NBA's rookie scale for first-round picks has resulted in many of the best bargains in the league. But there are other ways that teams can maximize cap flexibility, and one that's worth exploring is how clubs handle players coming off of those rookie-scale contracts.

During the first year of the new CBA, only five players received rookie-scale extensions: Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, and Kosta Koufos. That meant that many extension-eligible players hit restricted free agency in the summer of 2012, and many of those guys landed big contracts that offseason. As our '12 Free Agent Tracker shows, Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon, and Roy Hibbert all signed maximum-salary deals, while Nicolas Batum and JaVale McGee also inked for $11MM+ annually.

What that offseason showed is that when a talented young player hits free agency, there will be plenty of interest, even if that player isn't viewed as a "sure thing." Lopez and Gordon had missed most of the 2011/12 season with injuries, but the Suns were still willing to offer Gordon the max, and Lopez may have fielded max offers of his own if the Nets hadn't locked him up first. Hibbert was healthy in '11/12, but wasn't an elite two-way player, yet it didn't take long for him to receive a max offer from the Blazers.

Batum and McGee didn't get max offers, but considering Batum's track record, the four-year, $45MM offer sheet he received from the Wolves raised a few eyebrows. As for McGee's four-year, $44MM deal, perhaps the Nuggets, who extended Gallinari and Koufos earlier in the year, would have tried to lock up McGee as well, for a few million dollars less, had he been on the roster before the extension deadline.

By comparison, as I outlined last fall, by the time the rookie-scale extension deadline passed in year two of the new CBA, eight players had inked new deals for a total of over $420MM. As illustrated below, both of those figures represented high watermarks for the last several years.

Extensions

All those rookie-scale extensions meant that only a handful of intriguing restricted free agents were available this summer. As our 2013 Free Agent Tracker shows, Nikola Pekovic, Tyreke Evans, Tiago Splitter, Jeff Teague, and Brandon Jennings were this year's big restricted FA signings, and none of them received maximum salaries.

Pekovic and Splitter hadn't been eligible for rookie-scale extensions, since both players were second-round picks, so they hit the open market out of necessity, rather than because their respective teams' chose not to extend them. And among the other three top restricted FAs, it should have come as no real surprise that they didn't receive extensions last fall — the Kings were still owned by the Maloofs when Evans was extension-eligible, making a long-term commitment unlikely. And reports surfaced over the last several months that Teague and the Hawks and Jennings and the Bucks didn't see eye to eye, reducing the likelihood of a long-term marriage. Teague did still end up in Atlanta, but only after the Hawks had few other viable options.

In other words, here's the main takeaway from this past season: Virtually every team that wanted to keep a high-level restricted free-agent-to-be (and had the means to do so) ended up reaching an extension agreement with that player prior to free agency. Because these rookie-scale players aren't eligible for the same kind of maximum salaries that long-time NBA veterans are, even max deals like Blake Griffin's and James Harden's don't cripple a team's flexibility, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors detailed recently.

Of course, since we're essentially only two years into this CBA, it's hard to argue that a pattern has been established. It's entirely possible that in the next few months we could see a repeat of that 2011/12 season, with plenty of fourth-year players heading for restricted free agency next summer, rather than agreeing to extensions. Still, to me it looks like teams have recognized another way to maximize value and flexibility.

Consider the Thunder a year ago with Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City reached an agreement with Ibaka on a four-year, $49.4MM contract extension. Had Ibaka hit free agency this summer at age 23, he almost certainly would've received a max offer sheet, like Hibbert did a year ago. The Thunder would've matched, but it would've cost the team about $10MM over the course of his four-year deal. For a small-market team right up against the tax, $2.5MM per year is not an inconsequential figure.

Stephen Curry's four-year, $44MM pact with the Warriors is another example of a team rolling the dice a year early rather than opting to battle multiple suitors in free agency. Curry's extension was viewed as a major risk at the time, considering the ankle issues he had battled early in his NBA career, but in hindsight, the deal looks incredibly savvy. If Curry had been a free agent this summer, he would've had no problem landing a max offer. As is, the money Golden State saved by locking him up early was put toward bringing in a couple extra veteran contributors to round out the team's rotation.

As I previously noted, it's a little early to conclude that a pattern is developing, but the current offseason should provide a hint. So far, John Wall has signed a long-term deal with the Wizards, and Larry Sanders is closing in on an extension of his own with the Bucks. If last year represented a one-year blip, perhaps we'll only see two or three more new deals signed before the October 31st deadline. But if NBA teams view these extensions as a way to maximize their cap flexibility, we should see more than that. Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, and Greg Monroe are a few of the summer's other extension-eligible players, and I wouldn't be surprised to see most of them locked up by opening night.

Offseason Outlook: Portland Trail Blazers

Guaranteed Contracts

Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Free Agents / Cap Holds

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (10th overall)
  • 2nd Round (39th overall)
  • 2nd Round (40th overall)
  • 2nd Round (45th overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $43,240,658
  • Options: $0
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary: $1,399,507
  • Cap Holds: $22,078,219
  • Total: $66,718,384

If you were simply perusing the NBA's regular-season standings, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Trail Blazers took a step back this past season. After all, Portland's 33-49 record (.402) was the franchise's worst mark in seven years, and the club took a nosedive at the end of the season, losing its final 13 games.

But consider how the Blazers' roster looks now compared to how it looked after the lockout. The 2011/12 season opened with Nate McMillan on Portland's bench, coaching a veteran-heavy team that included Raymond Felton, Marcus Camby, and Gerald Wallace, among others. Since then, Portland has jettisoned its overpriced veterans, added 2012/13's Rookie of the Year (Damian Lillard), locked up a promising young swingman (Nicolas Batum), and built around a big man who receives perennial All-Star consideration (LaMarcus Aldridge).

In addition to Lillard, Batum, and Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Meyers Leonard look like keepers, and give the Blazers a solid core at positions one through five. But while that five-man unit represents a nice start for Portland, the team's weakness in '12/13 wasn't its starting lineup — it was its bench. With J.J. Hickson starting in Leonard's place, the Blazers' bench was made up primarily of NBA rookies (Leonard, Joel Freeland, Victor Claver, and Will Barton) and unproductive players on rookie deals (Nolan Smith and Luke Babbitt).

The bench figures to be GM Neil Olshey's primary area of concern this offseason, as he enters the summer armed with the 10th overall pick and over $10MM in cap space. Olshey has talked multiple times about making the roster deeper and more flexible, so it's unlikely he'll put all his cap room toward a single player, though a big man like Nikola Pekovic could make a nice target. The more likely scenario involves dividing that cap space and using it on multiple mid-level type players to give the team some productive bench players while its young players continue to develop.

Although a number of mock drafts have the Blazers taking a big man like Steven Adams, I'd be a little surprised if the club targeted a center with the No. 10 pick, considering Leonard remains a work in progress in the middle. Pairing Leonard with another rookie makes less sense to me than having him team up with a veteran who can help him develop. Hickson saw plenty of minutes at the five a year ago, but Portland figures to target a more traditional center rather than playing a power forward out of position again. Chris Kaman looks to me like a good fit, and Jermaine O'Neal has indicated he'd have interest in returning to the Blazers.

Assuming the Blazers don't target size in the draft, a shooter such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or C.J. McCollum would be ideal, as ESPN.com's Chad Ford suggests in his latest mock draft. It's also worth noting that Portland controls three second-round picks, at 39th, 40th, and 45th overall. After incorporating so many rookies a year ago, the Blazers will prefer to add veterans this year, so I'd be surprised if more than one of those second-round picks ends up on the roster next season. It's more likely that the Blazers will use those picks to either facilitate trades or to stash international players overseas.

A backup point guard behind Lillard also figures to be a priority, and the Blazers will have the option of extending a qualifying offer to Eric Maynor, who was acquired from the Thunder in a deadline deal. Given Maynor's performance and injury woes over the last couple seasons, his stock isn't exactly sky-high at the moment, so Portland may decide to pass on the QO and consider him along with a handful of other unrestricted free agents. Mo Williams, Devin Harris, D.J. Augustin, and Will Bynum are among the guys who also could be in the Blazers' price range.

A year ago, the Blazers attempted to make a huge splash by signing Roy Hibbert to a four-year max offer sheet, but they were thwarted by the Pacers, who matched the offer. Hibbert would have provided exactly the sort of rim protection Portland lacked in 2012/13, and it will be interesting to see how the team addresses that issue this summer. Of the top free agent centers, Dwight Howard isn't coming to Portland, Pekovic and Al Jefferson don't offer a whole lot in the way of rim protection, and a pursuit of the injury-plagued Andrew Bynum may cause a riot in Portland. As such, I think we're unlikely to see the Blazers make any huge bids on free agents like they did with Hibbert.

For Portland, this figures to be a summer of filling in a number of holes without spending exorbitantly on any one spot. With all their core players locked up through at least 2015, the Blazers have to focus on adding the right complementary pieces if they want to become a playoff team in the West. The success they have in finding those players may determine how long Aldridge remains in Portland — if the Blazers undergo another losing season in 2013/14, it will likely only be a matter of time before trade rumors start swirling.

Additional notes:

  • I focused more on free agent targets than trade targets for the Blazers, but trades are very much in play for Olshey. One asset to consider when Portland eyes a potential deal is Kostas Papanikolaou, whose agent expects the Blazers to move his client at some point.
  • The Blazers will continue to pay the amnestied Brandon Roy his salary through 2014/15. Assuming Roy doesn't sign elsewhere for the '13/14 season, which looks like a safe bet, he'll receive a $17.89MM salary from Portland.

Cap footnotes:

  1. Pavlovic's contract is fully non-guaranteed. It becomes fully guaranteed if he's not waived on or before January 7th, 2014.
  2. Maynor will be eligible for a qualifying offer of $3,351,387.

Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports were used in the creation of this post.

And-Ones: Durant, Superteams, French National Team

Multiple teams around the NBA still consider Kevin Durant a talent worth investing max money in, despite the ruptured Achilles that will sideline him through 2019/20. Ben Golliver of the Washington Post weighs in on several franchises that could entertain the idea this summer.

Golliver writes that the Clippers, backed by billionaire Steve Ballmer could afford to sign Durant, tinker with the impressive lineup that led them to the postseason this spring, and then hit the ground running with Durant in 2020/21. That’s a scenario that would be ever dreamier if they were able to land Kawhi Leonard this summer as well.

Of course Durant’s absence next season will still have some impact on his value. Could the revelation that Durant won’t play in 2019/20 derail a potential pairing with Kyrie Irving in New York? Would Irving prefer instead to work with a different star in Brooklyn?

These are questions we’ll get answers to eventually but for now one thing is clear, Durant’s value remains high but that’s not to say that his Achilles hasn’t still thrown the league for a loop.

There’s more from around the league:

  • Is this the beginning of the end of the Superteam Era? Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN wonders as much in a video released on Instagram, suggesting players around the league are showing a greater interest in leading their own teams. For the past decade, star players have seemingly gravitated to one another to stack the deck and win championships but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, if the Raptors’ 2019 title plays a small role in the ushering out the Superteam Era, they’ll be walking right back into a climate that saw former Raptor star Tracy McGrady bolt the franchise for the chance to get out of Vince Carter‘s shadow and lead his own Magic squad.
  • Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas has received interest from a number of NBA teams and has several offers to join teams on non-guaranteed pre-season camp deals, international basketball reported Donatas Urbonas tweets.
  • The preliminary French national team for the 2019 World Cup has been revealed and a number of household NBA names will fortify a competitive roster. As seen at Sportando, Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier are the biggest names on the preliminary roster but they’re not the only ones with big league credentials.

Teams Using Cap Space In 2012/13

For NBA franchises, the idea of having cap space is often more conceptual than it is literal. For instance, the Boston Celtics headed into the 2012 offseason with only a handful of contracts on their books and the opportunity to clear $20-25MM in cap room. However, the team never actually used any cap space during the summer, instead opting to re-sign its own players, use cap exceptions, and complete sign-and-trade deals to fill out its roster.

Not every team used the same approach as Boston this summer though — plenty of clubs dipped below the cap, and took advantage by offering players contracts that they would have been unable to offer using cap exceptions. Listed below are the teams that have used cap space at some point during the 2012/2013 season. These squads are no longer eligible to use the $5MM mid-level exception or the $1.957MM bi-annual exception, and may have renounced traded player exceptions in order to claim cap room. They could still have cap space or the $2.575MM room exception available, however.

  • Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats' major free agent signing (Ramon Sessions) was only for two years and $10MM, which could have been achieved using the mid-level exception. However, being below the cap allowed them to claim and acquire Brendan Haywood after he was amnestied by the Mavericks. The Bobcats have less than $2MM in cap space remaining, but do still have their $2.575MM room exception.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs haven't taken advantage of their huge amount of cap room yet this season, but their approximate $11MM in space could come in handy later in the year, if they agree to take on a bad contract and acquire assets of value in the process.
  • Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks entered the offseason having cleared just enough cap room to make Deron Williams a maximum-salary offer, but when D-Will returned to the Nets, the Mavs used that money to add a handful of other players. Chris Kaman's one-year, $8MM deal wouldn't have been possible without cap space, and neither would the team's amnesty bid on Elton Brand.
  • Houston Rockets: At one point, the Rockets were so far under the cap that they appeared to be a frontrunner for Dwight Howard, considering they could take on virtually all of the Magic's bad contracts. Much of that space was chewed up on big deals for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik though — the two players will earn close to $17MM annually between them.
  • Indiana Pacers: Most of the Pacers' big deals this summer involved re-signing players with Bird Rights (Roy Hibbert, George Hill) or acquiring players via sign-and-trade (Ian Mahinmi). Still, it was necessary to use cap space in order to sign both D.J. Augustin and Gerald Green to $3.5MM salaries, something that wouldn't have been possible with the mid-level exception.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves were very active this summer, attempting to clear every last dollar from their books to make a big offer to Nicolas Batum. When the Blazers matched their offer sheet for Batum, the T-Wolves used their plethora of cap room to sign Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved, and Greg Stiemsma.
  • New Orleans Hornets: You could argue that the biggest move of the Hornets' summer was drafting Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers in June, or matching a max offer sheet for Eric Gordon. But their big move with cap space involved acquiring Ryan Anderson from the Magic in a sign-and-trade for four years and $34MM, a figure that wouldn't have been possible without cap room.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: I didn't love the Sixers' decision to amnesty Elton Brand and clear cap space when the team ended up using that space to sign Nick Young and Kwame Brown. The Andrew Bynum acquisition makes the team's offseason look much better, but cap room wasn't necessary for that deal. The Young signing was the only move that required the space, since his one-year contract exceeds the $5MM mid-level.
  • Phoenix Suns: After employing their cap space to make a maximum offer to Eric Gordon, the Suns turned to Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, and a handful of other free agents when Gordon was retained by the Hornets. The Suns still have over $8MM in space remaining, so like the Cavs, they could take on salary later in the season.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Like the Suns and Eric Gordon, the Blazers used their cap space to make a failed bid for Roy Hibbert. After that didn't work out, re-signing Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson took up a good chunk of their room, leaving them only about $2MM under the cap.
  • Sacramento Kings: The Kings slipped below the cap, but didn't appear to have big plans for that space — they re-signed Jason Thompson, which could have been done without cap room, and Aaron Brooks' deal was for a modest $3.25MM.
  • Toronto Raptors: The Raptors' cap space was necessary to make a run at Steve Nash. While that bid failed, the team made the most of its space when they acquired Kyle Lowry from the Rockets without sending out any salary, simply absorbing Lowry's deal under the cap. Landry Fields' three-year, $18MM+ contract also wouldn't have been possible without that cap space.

Teams Calling About Grizzlies’ Green, Temple

The Grizzlies are making Mike Conley and Marc Gasol available for trades, but there’s more interest in two other Memphis players, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.

Sources tell Deveney the Grizzlies are getting more calls about power forward JaMychal Green and veteran guard Garrett Temple, with the Trail Blazers and Hornets especially interested. Green ($7,666,667) and Temple ($8MM) both have expiring contracts.

“(The Grizzlies) want picks. They want to rebuild,” an unidentified executive said to Deveney. “They’ve given away a lot in the draft, and they need to find ways to get that back. A guy like Green can have a role on any team as a rebounder, and he’s been better offensively. A guy like Temple can come in and help anyone.”

Memphis owes this year’s first-round pick to the Celtics (top-eight protected) and its second-rounder to the Bulls. The team may get a second-round pick from Boston, but it’s protected from spots 31 through 55, which means it will only convey if the Celtics have a top-five record. The Grizzlies are also sending their 2020 second-rounder to Chicago or Houston and their 2021 second-round choice to Sacramento.

Trading Temple and Green, even if only for second-round picks, could help fill some of that void as the Grizzlies embark on a rebuilding plan, Deveney notes that the team still has hopes of dealing both players in return for a first-rounder.

Memphis has gained little traction in the market for Gasol or Conley because of age and contract status. Gasol, who has a $25.5MM player option for next season, will turn 34 next week and is no longer considered an elite defender. Deveney suggests the Grizzlies may have to take back a player with significant contract to move Gasol, such as Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, who is owed $52MM over the next two seasons.

Conley is having a strong season after returning from last year’s heel surgery, but he’s also in his 30s and has two years and $67MM left on his contract. Deveney suggests that the Pacers might have been interested before Victor Oladipo‘s season-ending injury, but salary matching would force them to part with Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and either Doug McDermott or Cory Joseph, leaving the team with little depth.

Kemba Walker Trusts Kupchak To Build Hornets’ Roster

A Hornet since 2011, Kemba Walker has still appeared in just two career postseason series, a factor he’ll surely consider as he weighs his upcoming free agency decision. However, Walker said this week on ESPN’s The Jump that he has spoken to general manager Mitch Kupchak about what the team has in mind for roster upgrades and has faith in Kupchak to build Charlotte’s roster.

“They know. They know what they got to do,” Walker said. “That’s not my job. I’ll leave it up to those guys. … We have Mitch now, who’s a great guy who’s done a great job at building teams over his GM career, and I have a lot of trust in him.”

The Hornets are currently carrying several oversized contracts on their cap, which will make it tricky for the team to substantially improve its roster this season or next. Reports have suggested that Charlotte is making an effort to move at least one of those contracts – possibly Nicolas Batum‘s – by dangling Frank Kaminsky as a sweetener. That would create some added flexibility for Kupchak and his front office this offseason, but there’s no indication that any deal is close at this point.

Of course, at this time last year, it was Walker who was the subject of those trade rumors, but the Hornets held onto their star point guard through the 2018 trade deadline. And after Kupchak took over for former GM Rich Cho in the spring, that trade speculation died down for the most part, with the former Lakers GM expressing multiple times that he viewed Walker as a long-term building block.

Walker, who turns 29 in May, will be an unrestricted free agent in July, at which point the Hornets could offer him up to five years and a projected $189MM+ (or $221MM if he meets the Designated Veteran Extension criteria). It’s not clear if Charlotte would be willing to go that high, but the club is expected to make a strong push to bring back Walker.

For his part, the veteran point guard joked that he’s not sure what he’ll say to “the GOAT” (team owner Michael Jordan) at the negotiating table, adding that he’s in wait-and-see mode in regard to his free agency.

“I want to enjoy that process I guess, and just wait for it over the summer,” Walker said on The Jump.

Players Who Can’t Be Traded Until February 6

As teams explore the trade market for potential deals in the coming weeks, there are a handful of trade restrictions those clubs must take into account. Most notably, newly-signed free agents can’t be dealt until at least February 6.

The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement states that – in a typical league year – a free agent who signs with an NBA team can’t be traded for three months or until December 15, whichever is later. That rule has had to be tweaked for 2020/21 to account for the league’s revamped calendar, so the new trade eligibility date for most offseason signees is February 6.

There are also some recently-signed players who meet a few specific criteria and can’t be traded until March 3. The list of those players can be found right here.

The players who aren’t eligible to be traded until February 6 are listed below. Players who have the ability to veto trades in 2020/21 are marked with an asterisk (*).


Atlanta Hawks

Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets

Charlotte Hornets

Chicago Bulls

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dallas Mavericks

Read more

Eastern Notes: Boylan, Hornets, Saric, Yabusele

Former Cavaliers assistant coach Jim Boylan has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against the franchise, which the team has labelled “frivolous” and a “shameless cash grab,” according to an Associated Press report. Boylan, 63, worked five seasons under former coaches David Blatt and Tyronn Lue but did not have his option picked up this summer. Boylan contends GM Koby Altman told him owner Dan Gilbert wanted a younger coach.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets have used a committee approach at the center spot and that position is likely to remain in flux, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. Starter Cody Zeller, Willy Hernangomez, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminsky and Bismack Biyombo have all taken turns in the middle but first-year coach James Borrego isn’t worried. “We’re still searching (but) I like the dilemma I have,” he told Bonnell.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is allowing forward Dario Saric to work through his shooting slump, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Saric has scored in single digits in each of the last three games while shooting 2-for-13 from long range. Brown has no plans to reduce Saric’s workload. “If he came to me and said, ‘I need some time,’ I would listen,” Brown said. “But I don’t feel like I’m force-feeding anything, I do not feel like I’m hurting him. In fact, I feel like I’m helping him.”
  • Guerschon Yabusele’s option was picked up for next season because his game fits the modern NBA, according to coach Brad Stevens, and the Celtics believe the 22-year-old has high upside, the team’s PR department tweets. Boston’s brass decided to retain Yabusele despite a cap hit of $3,117,240, a figure that could grow if Boston pays the luxury tax. The 6’8” Yabusele has played just 18 minutes this season after seeing action in 33 games in his rookie campaign. But with several players hitting the free agent market next summer, the Celtics felt Yabusele was too valuable to give up, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald notes. “Having Guerschon gives us continuity. He knows our system,” GM Danny Ainge said. “He’s loved by everybody. It’s just not easy to find that type of player.”

Community Shootaround: Hornets And Kemba Walker

Heading into the 2018/19 season, there were several questions surrounding the Hornets and Kemba Walker. Would they make the playoffs this season? Would Walker re-sign with the team after the season? How would new head coach James Borrego impact the team’s style of play? With these questions surrounding the franchise, it is imperative that they have a strong season and return to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

As the Hornets were fighting through another disappointing season last year, many called for the team to trade Walker in hopes of acquiring a package of young players and draft picks that could be the start of a rebuild. The Hornets balked at the idea, insistent on competing for the playoffs as long as they can given their current roster and lack of salary cap flexibility.

Instead, the Hornets re-tooled their coaching staff and front office, added another lottery pick in Miles Bridges and signed Tony Parker to lead second units when Walker is off the floor. The Hornets return most of the roster from last season with a few exceptions, as they hope that a fresh perspective from Borrego and continued development from Bridges and Monk can play key roles in getting the team back to the playoffs.

However, it really rests on Walker’s shoulders. As the team’s leader and unquestioned star, Walker must be at his best for this Hornets team to truly have a chance on a game-to-game basis. So far this season, Walker has been just that, averaging 35.3 points and 5.3 assists per game while hitting 50% of his 3-pointers.

Walker looks determined to lead the Hornets back to the playoffs and play on the national stage as he approaches free agency this summer. Walker has said all of the right things regarding his desire to finish his career in Charlotte, but should the Hornets re-sign him to a (likely) max contract? There are questions surrounding the extent to which he will be worth such a contract given that he will turn 29 years old at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Should the Hornets re-sign Walker next summer, they will be locking their team up for the foreseeable future given the length remaining on other contracts for Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller. As currently constructed, the Hornets are too good to get a top talent in the draft, but not good enough to win a playoff series, presenting the front office with an interesting dilemma.

If this season goes south for the Hornets, should they look to trade Walker at the deadline for 40 cents on the dollar? Given the team’s market and Michael Jordan’s desire to compete, it’s unlikely that will be the case.

What would you do if you were the Hornets? Would you look to trade Walker this season or re-sign him in free agency?  Comment below with your ideas!

Southeast Notes: Borrego, Swarm, Howard, Rivers

New coach James Borrego will emphasize ball movement in an effort to improve a Hornets team that ranked 24th in assists last season, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The former Spurs assistant wants players to make quick decisions with the ball and not let the offense slow down, which led to the trade of Dwight Howard this summer.

“When the ball is just being pounded and one guy has it in his hands for five or six seconds – when we’re just seeing him dance with the ball – the rest of the defense just gets to relax and load up,” Borrego said. “You’re not going to be perfect all the time, but let’s put pressure on the defense constantly. … We demanded it in San Antonio. My job is to sell that to the players to do what’s best for the team.”

Faced with a roster that was hard to revamp because of so many large contracts, new GM Mitch Kupchak hired Borrego to bring a fresh approach to the team, which will include playing at a faster pace. Former Spurs point guard Tony Parker was signed to help implement Borrego’s philosophy on the court, and Nicolas Batum will have a larger role in running the offense while moving from the backcourt to small forward.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets‘ G League affiliate in Greensboro has hired Joe Wolf as its new coach, the team announced on its website. A former assistant with the Nets and Bucks, Wolf comes to the Swarm after serving as an assistant at UNC Wilmington.
  • A pair of Wizards top the list of the list of the most underrated offseason acquisitions compiled by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Howard occupies the No. 1 spot, signing a two-year deal in Washington after being traded by the Hornets and bought out by the Nets. He provides a huge defensive upgrade from Marcin Gortat, O’Connor notes, and could develop into an effective pick-and-roll partner with John Wall. Austin Rivers, who was acquired from the Clippers in the Gortat deal, ranks second on the list and should provide backcourt depth the Wizards have needed behind Wall and Bradley Beal.
  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown has signed a multi-year shoe deal with Nike, tweets Nick DePaula of ESPN.

Rockets Remain In Market For Wing Player

The Rockets are poised to finalize a deal with Carmelo Anthony after he clears waivers later today, but signing Anthony won’t necessarily complete Houston’s offseason. As ESPN’s Zach Lowe details in a recent podcast conversation with Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight, the Rockets remain in the market for at least one more wing player.

“They are going to get another wing,” Lowe said of the Rockets. “It’s going to happen.”

The Rockets lost two key forwards last month when Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute signed with new teams in free agency. Despite re-signing Gerald Green, adding James Ennis, and lining up a deal with Anthony, Houston could use another player with the ability to make threes on offense and guard talented perimeter players on defense.

Earlier this week, we heard that Houston has interest in Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore — Lowe and Herring discuss that possibility, with the ESPN analyst suggesting that the Rockets would likely offer Atlanta a package of Ryan Anderson and their 2019 first-round pick. However, the Hawks aren’t the only team the Rockets are keeping an eye on.

According to Lowe, the Rockets have also talked to the Heat. While Lowe doesn’t identify any specific Miami players that Houston is targeting, he speculates that perhaps the Rockets would be willing to offer that same package of Anderson and a pick for someone like Tyler Johnson.

The Rockets have also “kicked the tires” on Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith, per Lowe. At $14.72MM, Smith has a smaller 2018/19 salary than players like Bazemore and Johnson, so the Cavaliers wouldn’t be able to trade him straight up for Anderson ($20.42MM) and a pick. Smith also only has a modest partial guarantee on his 2019/20 salary, making his contract much more palatable than Anderson’s. That could complicate any trade discussions between the two teams.

Although Lowe doesn’t go into more details on any other trade talks the Rockets might be having, there are a handful of other players around the NBA who would be logical targets as Houston dangles Anderson and a draft pick. Nicolas Batum, DeMarre Carroll, Marvin Williams, Danilo Gallinari, and Courtney Lee are other wings who make between $12-24MM in 2018/19 and are under contract for multiple seasons, though some players in that group are more realistic trade candidates than others.

Hornets Notes: Howard, Parker, Backcourt

While Dwight Howard joked in his introductory press conference with the Wizards about being “stung” by the Hornets, he admits to Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports that there was some truth behind that remark, since he was confused by Charlotte’s decision to trade him earlier this offseason.

“I didn’t see any signs,” Howard said. “I wouldn’t think after having a really good season a team would be like, ‘OK, let’s trade you.’ That really caught me off-guard. That’s why I said in the press conference, the Hornets stung me.

“I asked [Hornets GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and I asked the coach: ‘What did I do? Was it something in the locker room that I did?'” Howard continued. “And Mitch said, ‘No, it had nothing to do with the locker room. It has nothing to do with you as a person. We just felt like we wanted to go in this direction as a team.’ I asked him, ‘If this is the truth, you need to come out and say this stuff, because people are thinking it’s because I did something in the locker room or acted a certain type of way.’ And I’m like, ‘This is not who I am.'”

As Howard moves from one Southeast team to another, let’s check in on a few other Hornets-related notes…

  • Tony Parker‘s two-year deal with the Hornets, which is now official, is non-guaranteed in year two, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). Sources tell Lowe that the second year – which has a guarantee date of July 4, 2019 – is worth $5.25MM, bringing the overall value of the pact to $10.25MM.
  • As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays, Parker said this week that the opportunity to help former Spurs assistant James Borrego succeed in his first head coaching job was part of what drew him to the Hornets this summer. The veteran point guard also hopes to help his friend Nicolas Batum bounce back from a down year. “He’s been a business partner and my little brother,” Parker said. “I hope we can get the best out of him next season.”
  • In a mailbag for The Observer, Bonnell explores whether a Kemba Walker/Malik Monk backcourt pairing would work, given their size and their defensive limitations. Bonnell also addresses the Hornets’ starting center job, Miles Bridges‘ potential, and Kupchak’s influence on the team culture in Charlotte.

Southeast Notes: Borrego, Wall, McGruder, Monk

As we wrote yesterday, the Hornets have no immediate plans to blow up their roster. Yet, a culture change is definitely in the works with new head coach James Borrego, who brings with him the winning culture of Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise with five championships and a sixth NBA Finals appearance since the 1998-99 season.

While Borrego is not Popovich, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer opines that there are four great habits he learned from Popovich that he can bring to the Hornets – great ball movement, getting the best out of your players, the ability to positively impact a locker room, and perhaps most importantly, develop talent.

As Bonnell notes, the more important quality the Hornets were looking for in its next head coach was player development. And while the Spurs front office gets a lot of credit for its ability in the draft, having a coaching staff adept at developing players is just as important.

Some examples of players who the Spurs drafted low and turned into serviceable NBA players include Tony Parker (28th overall), Manu Ginobili (57th), George Hill (26th), Tiago Splitter (28th), and Dejounte Murray (29th). Moreover, the Spurs developed Danny Green (46th) after acquiring him as a free agent. To that end, the Hornets hope that the hiring of Borrego will help develop its two young players drafted last summer – Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Candace Buckner of The Washington Post opines that although the leadership of John Wall was at times questionable this season for the Wizards, the situation would’ve been helped if Wall was able to play more, using his on-court leadership skills as opposed to trying to lead off the court.
  • Heat swingman Rodney McGruder is looking forward to returning to the hardwood next season and working to win back a spot in the rotation after missing 64 games during the 2017/18 campaign, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.
  • In another piece for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell looks at how Monk will fit into the Hornets’ plans. According to new head coach Borrego, “I see him as a playmaker, who can play with Kemba (Walker) and also be on the court without Kemba, creating offense for us. (Or) pairing him and Nic Batum in a lineup where Nic is facilitating. He’s a combo (guard). I don’t know until I get my hands on him where I’m going to put him or how we’re going to play him. But he’s just going to be a very good basketball player who fits today’s NBA.”

Hornets Notes: Walker, G League, Howard, Monk

With changes taking place throughout the organization, Kemba Walker understands he may not play another game for the Hornets, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press. Walker, who became the leading scorer in franchise history this season, has one year left on his contract at $12MM and  could be moved this summer to bring Charlotte some much-needed cap relief.

“I have no idea,” he said when asked about his future with the Hornets. “That is out of my control. I am just going to focus on getting better as a player. That is really all you can do. I don’t know what they are going to do.”

Walker made his second All-Star appearance this season while averaging 22.1 points and 5.6 assists in 80 games. However, the Hornets are about $17MM over the salary cap for next season and have missed the playoffs the past two years.

There’s more tonight out of Charlotte:

  • The hiring of president and GM Mitch Kupchak and the firing of coach Steve Clifford made headlines this week, but the Hornets are going through a complete overhaul throughout the organization. Most of the training staff and analytics department were dismissed along with Clifford, tweets Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. Clifford’s assistants have been retained for now, but they will eventually be replaced (Twitter link).
  • The house cleaning extended to the G League affiliate, where head coach Noel Gillespie will not have his contract extended, the Hornets announced on their website. He compiled a 35-65 record in two seasons with the Greensboro Swarm.
  • Dwight Howard‘s track record under Clifford was an important factor in the decision to trade for him last summer, but Clifford’s departure doesn’t mean Howard will definitely be moved, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The biggest factor for Kupchak in a potential Howard deal, Bonnell observes, is what the team would have to accept in return to match Howard’s $23.8MM salary for next season. Howard put up his best numbers in several years, averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
  • Rookie guard Malik Monk has a lot of work to do this offseason after being limited last summer by a sprained ankle, Bonnell adds in the same story. He states that Monk could be in line for a starting spot if the Hornets decide to trade Walker or Nicolas Batum.

NBA 2020 Free Agency: Day 2 Recap

The list of available NBA free agents continued to shrink on Saturday, which was technically the first full day of 2020’s free agent period. Over two dozen more standard contracts were agreed upon over the course of the day.

Listed below are Saturday’s notable contract and news items. For the most part, these deals aren’t yet official, so the reported terms could change — or agreements could fall through altogether. Generally speaking though, teams and players are on track to finalize these deals sometime after the moratorium ends on Sunday.


Here are Saturday’s noteworthy contract agreements and signings:

  1. Gordon Hayward, Hornets agree to four-year, $120MM deal.
  2. Fred VanVleet, Raptors agree to four-year, $85MM deal.
  3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers agree to three-year, $40MM deal.
  4. De’Anthony Melton, Grizzlies agree to four-year, $35MM deal.
  5. Jae Crowder, Suns agree to three-year, $29.2MM deal.
  6. D.J. Augustin, Bucks agree to three-year, $21MM deal.
  7. Serge Ibaka, Clippers agree to two-year, $19MM deal.
  8. Tristan Thompson, Celtics agree to two-year, $19MM deal.
  9. Rajon Rondo, Hawks agree to two-year, $15MM deal.
  10. Avery Bradley, Heat agree to two-year, $11.6MM deal.
  11. Jevon Carter, Suns agree to three-year, $11.5MM deal.
  12. Paul Millsap, Nuggets agree to one-year, $10MM deal.
  13. Kris Dunn, Hawks agree to two-year, $10MM deal.
  14. John Konchar, Grizzlies agree to four-year, $9MM deal.
  15. Bobby Portis, Bucks agree to two-year, $7.4MM deal.
  16. Michael Carter-Williams, Magic agree to two-year, $6MM deal.
  17. Elfrid Payton, Knicks agree to one-year, $5MM deal.
  18. Nerlens Noel, Knicks agree to one-year, $5MM deal.
  19. Denzel Valentine signs one-year, $4.64MM qualifying offer with Bulls.
  20. Gary Clark, Magic agree to two-year, $4.1MM deal.
  21. Maurice Harkless, Heat agree to one-year, $3.6MM deal.
  22. Brad Wanamaker, Warriors agree to one-year, $2.3MM deal.
  23. Wesley Iwundu, Mavericks agree to two-year, minimum-salary deal.
  24. Carmelo Anthony, Trail Blazers agree to one-year, minimum-salary deal.
  25. Jeff Green, Nets agree to one-year, minimum-salary deal.
  26. Raul Neto, Wizards agree to one-year, minimum-salary deal.
  27. Jeff Teague, Celtics agree to one-year deal (terms unknown).

Here are a few more of the day’s noteworthy headlines:

  1. The NBA and NBPA set a December 1 deadline for players with COVID-19 concerns to opt out of the 2020/21 season.
  2. The Warriors formally requested a disabled player exception in response to Klay Thompson‘s season-ending Achilles tear.
  3. The Hornets will use the stretch provision on Nicolas Batum to create the cap room necessary to sign Gordon Hayward… unless perhaps they can work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics.
  4. Bogdan Bogdanovic is one of the most popular free agents still on the market and is said to be receiving interest from the Hawks and possibly the Pacers.

Previously:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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