Bucks Sign Taurean Prince To One-Year Deal

JULY 9: The Bucks have officially signed Prince, according to a team press release.

JULY 3: Free agent forward Taurean Prince intends to sign a contract with the Bucks, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), it’s a one-year deal.

Milwaukee isn’t currently in position to offer more than the veteran’s minimum to any outside free agents due to its proximity to the second tax apron, so this figures to be a minimum-salary agreement.

Prince, 30, signed a one-year, $4.5MM contract with the Lakers last season and played a significant rotation role in Los Angeles — his 49 starts and 27.0 minutes per game represented his highest marks since the 2019/20 season. He appeared in 78 games overall, averaging 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per night, with a .396 3PT%.

While Prince was perhaps leaned on too heavily as a starter in L.A., he’s a solid three-and-D reserve who figures to play a regular role off the bench for the Bucks in 2024/25.

The move will reunite him with Darvin Ham, the former Lakers head coach who trusted him with those significant minutes last season. Ham, who was also an assistant in Atlanta from 2016-18 at the start of Prince’s career with the Hawks, is now part of Doc Rivers‘ coaching staff in Milwaukee.

A minimum-salary deal for Prince will pay him a salary of $2,988,550 and will count against the Bucks’ cap for $2,087,519.

Rockets Add N’Faly Dante Via Two-Way Deal

JULY 9: Dante has officially signed the two-way contract, the team tweets.

JUNE 27: The Rockets are signing undrafted Oregon center N’Faly Dante to a two-way deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The 6’11” big man was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree and was also named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team in 2024. A five-year senior in 2023/24, he enjoyed his most productive season yet as a super-senior, averaging 17 points per game on 69.5% shooting from the field and 61.3% shooting from the charity stripe. Dante also logged averages of 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.7 steals and 1.6 assists per contest.

Houston only wound up with one pick in the 2024 draft, the third selection, which the Rockets used on sharpshooting Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard. The club traded out from the No. 44 pick in the second round to obtain reserve small forward AJ Griffin from the Hawks as part of a three-team deal.

Warriors Showing Patience In Pursuit Of Lauri Markkanen

The Warriors haven’t given up in their pursuit to acquire Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen but they’re willing to wait and see how the process plays out, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports.

Markkanen, who has an expiring $18MM contract, becomes extension-eligible on Aug. 6. From what Slater is hearing, the Jazz plan to renegotiate-and-extend Markkanen by using their remaining cap space.

If Markkanen signs that type of contract on that date, he would still be eligible to be traded at the February deadline. However, if he signs any time after that (beginning on Aug. 7), he’d be ineligible to be dealt during the season due to the league’s six-month trade restriction on renegotiated contracts. That provides some extra leverage for Markkanen, which could dictate whether he gets moved this offseason to the Warriors or another suitor.

The Kings made a strong push to acquire Markkanen last week but they were unwilling to give up Keegan Murray in a proposed deal. Instead, they made a substantial picks-based offer. They put a deadline on pursuing a trade with Utah and the Jazz didn’t meet it, so Sacramento pivoted to a sign-and-trade for DeMar DeRozan.

The Warriors don’t feel that type of urgency, Slater continues. They’re comfortable with the 14-man roster they current have with the free agent additions of De’Anthony Melton, Kyle Anderson and Buddy Hield. There’s no room financially under the hard cap to fill the 15th spot.

Golden State appears, on paper, to need one more impact player to be a legitimate contender again. But Slater’s sources tell him that the front office and ownership don’t feel compelled to make that type of move right away unless the right opportunity comes along. It’s also noted that the front office is increasingly willing to add future first-round picks and make pick swaps in trade offers.

The Warriors are currently below the tax aprons but above the tax line. Owner Joe Lacob is still willing to spend to remain competitive.

Lindy Waters III and Gui Santos have non-guaranteed deals but the Warriors currently plan to keep both of those reserves. Second-round pick Quinten Post is expected to sign a two-way contract, Slater adds.

Hawks Re-Sign Seth Lundy On Two-Way Deal

The Hawks have signed wing Seth Lundy to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

The 46th overall pick in the 2023 draft after a four-year college career at Penn State, Lundy spent last season on a two-way contract with the Hawks. He appeared in nine games with Atlanta and 25 contests with the College Park Skyhawks.

Atlanta extended a qualifying offer to Lundy in late June, the equivalent of another two-way deal. He may have simply accepted that offer rather than negotiating a new two-way deal.

Lundy averaged just 5.8 minutes in his nine NBA appearances. In those 25 G League games (23 starts), the 6’4″ guard/forward averaged 20.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks in 32.6 minutes. He shot 46.2% from the field and 40% on 3-point attempts.

The 24-year-old underwent ankle surgery in mid-May. The left ankle procedure removed a medial ankle bone spur.

Lundy won’t play in the Summer League but the expectation is that he’ll make a full recovery in time for the start of next season.

Timberwolves Sign Jesse Edwards To Two-Way Contract

The Timberwolves have signed center Jesse Edwards to a two-way contract, according to the NBA transactions log. The team has confirmed the signing in a press release.

Edwards participated in both the G League Elite Camp and the NBA’s combine but went undrafted last month. The 24-year-old spent four seasons at Syracuse, then finished up his college career at West Virginia. He played 23 games for the Mountaineers and averaged 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 28.3 minutes per game.

In his last season with the Orange, the seven-f00t Edwards averaged 14.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 32.6 minutes while making 32 starts.

The Amsterdam native suited up for the Netherlands Senior National Team during the 2023 World Cup qualifying tournament and the 2022 EuroBasket tournament.

The Timberwolves also have 2023 draft pick Jaylen Clark on a two-way deal but still have another slot available.

Pistons Claim Paul Reed Off Waivers

The Pistons are claiming former Sixers big man Paul Reed off waivers, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweets. The Pistons have confirmed the move in a press release (Twitter link).

Reed was placed on waivers on Saturday when Philadelphia chose to sign free agent forward Caleb Martin. He had been due to clear waivers and become a free agent at 4:00 pm CT if he had gone unclaimed.

The Pistons will use some of their available cap room to claim Reed, who signed a three-year, $23,555,150 contract last summer with Philadelphia. Only the first year was guaranteed — his $7.7MM salary for next season remains non-guaranteed until early January, and his $8.1MM salary for 2025/26 will stay non-guaranteed as long as his team doesn’t advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Pistons could retain Reed to compete with or back up incumbent center Jalen Duren, use Reed as a trade chip, or waive him again if they need to clear cap room to make another move.

Reed has evolved into a serviceable backup in the frontcourt over the past few seasons. In 2023/24, he averaged 7.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks, appearing in all 82 of Philadelphia’s regular season games.

Suns Notes: Durant, Okogie, Lowry, Morris, Kessler, Plumlee

Despite both Suns owner Mat Ishbia and general manager James Jones shooting down the notion that the team is entertaining the idea of trading Kevin Durant, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith advised viewers on draft day to “pay no attention” to what the Suns were saying publicly, suggesting that the franchise wanted to move the star forward.

Speaking to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, Durant didn’t name Smith specifically, but appeared to reference that comment in dismissing the trade rumors that keep popping up around him.

“You could just press the ‘KD wants to leave’ button anytime you want some attention,” Durant said. “Yes, it’s a button. What else is gonna get people going around this time? Besides, ‘Oh, the journeyman is leaving again.’ That story is always gonna hit.

“… For somebody to say, ‘Phoenix wants to get out of the KD (business),’ I’m sitting here like, where is this coming from?” he continued. “It bothers me that people lie like that and that the audience eats up the headline. I get sad when people buy into lies and just make up s–t. It’s bigger than ball at that point for me. I can’t control that. I feel for people. It’s a bad practice to have when you just believe anything, for one. Just believe what you see on TV. And then it’s another bad habit when you’re just lying.”

Durant will turn 36 this September and could be entering the final stage of his Hall of Fame career, but he told Goodwill that he’s not thinking about retirement yet and suggested he’d be comfortable transitioning into a lesser role during his twilight years as a player.

“I just love to play the game. If it’s a good situation, if I’m still enjoying the game of basketball, my goal is to play this (game) till the wheels fall off, for whatever role that is, so we’ll see,” Durant said.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Team USA head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Tuesday that Durant, who missed his fourth consecutive with a calf strain, won’t play in Wednesday’s exhibition vs. Team Canada (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN).
  • The Suns continue to work on re-signing free agent wing Josh Okogie and remain engaged in talks with veteran guard Kyle Lowry, according to Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports (Twitter links). If Lowry ends up signing elsewhere – Bourguet suggests a return to the Sixers is in play – then Phoenix would be “more than comfortable” with Monte Morris in the backup point guard role, since he was one of the team’s top three offseason targets, says Bourguet.
  • Responding to an inquiry about whether the Suns could trade for Walker Kessler, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 rejects the idea, tweeting that the Jazz have already declined offers from two separate teams that featured two first-round picks apiece for the young center.
  • In a story for GoPHNX.com, Bourguet takes a closer look at what veteran big man Mason Plumlee will bring to the Suns, outlining why he’s a clear upgrade over Drew Eubanks at the five.

Raptors Sign Ulrich Chomche To Two-Way Deal

The Raptors have officially signed No. 57 overall pick Ulrich Chomche to a two-way contract, per the NBA’s transaction log.

According to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link), Chomche’s deal will cover two years instead of just one, putting him on track to reach restricted free agency in 2026. Chomche was the youngest player in this year’s draft class (he won’t turn 19 until December 30), so his camp and the Raptors agreed to approach his development with a longer-term view, Murphy explains.

Chomche, who was born in Cameroon, was part of the NBA Academy Africa before playing in the Basketball Africa League in 2022 and 2023. The 6’11” center became the first player in league history to be selected in an NBA draft after playing in the BAL.

The Raptors reportedly sent the Timberwolves $1MM in cash to acquire the No. 57 pick in last month’s draft in order to nab Chomche. That deal ended up being expanded to include four teams.

Toronto has now filled all three of its two-way slots, with Chomche joining D.J. Carton and Branden Carlson. The club also has 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts. It’s unclear if the Raptors plan on making any more roster changes in the coming days, weeks, or months, or if this is essentially the group they’ll take into training camp (with camp invitees to fill out the 21-man squad).

Nuggets Sign DaRon Holmes To Rookie Contract

Nuggets first-round pick DaRon Holmes has officially signed his rookie scale contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Holmes built an extensive résumé in his three college seasons at Dayton, earning All-Atlantic 10 honors in all three years, including a First Team spot in 2023 and 2024. He was named the Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2024 after averaging 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 blocks in 32.5 minutes per game across 33 starts in 2023/24. He also posted a shooting line of .544/.386/.713.

The Nuggets were linked to Holmes for much of the pre-draft process, and while there were conflicting reports on whether or not the team had made him a promise, it certainly appeared that Denver was targeting the 6’10” forward on draft night — the club traded three second-round picks in order to move up from No. 28 to No. 22 to nab him.

Assuming Holmes receives the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale amount, his four-year deal will be worth about $15.2MM, including a first-year salary of $3.07MM.

Holmes was the last 2024 first-round pick to sign his contract, so all 30 first-rounders are now officially on NBA rosters.

Kings Sign First-Rounder Devin Carter

The Kings have officially signed lottery pick Devin Carter to his first NBA contract, the team confirmed today in a press release (Twitter link via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee).

Carter had a big junior year in 2023/24 at Providence, averaging 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals in 35.3 minutes per game across 33 outings (all starts). He made 47.3% of his shot attempts from the floor, including 37.7% of 6.8 three-pointers per contest and claimed Big East Player of the Year honors.

The 6’3″ guard was selected 13th overall by the Kings, but was ruled out of the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer Leagues due to a left shoulder issue (which the team was aware of prior to drafting him). A report on Sunday indicated that Carter will undergo surgery on that shoulder, potentially jeopardizing his availability for the start of the season this fall.

Assuming he signed for the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale, Carter will earn $4.69MM as a rookie, while his four-year deal will be worth $22.14MM in total. Rookie scale contracts include two guaranteed seasons, with team options on the third and fourth years.

Now that Carter has officially signed, there’s just one 2024 first-rounder – Nuggets forward DaRon Holmes – who still needs to finalize his rookie contract, as our tracker shows.