Arsalan Kazemi

Southwest Notes: Douglas, Kazemi, Pachulia

Toney Douglas new contract with the Pelicans covers two years, with the second year non-guaranteed, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops. New Orleans signed the 29-year-old guard Friday after waiving Nate Robinson. This is the second stint with the Pelicans for Douglas, who signed two 10-day contracts and a multiyear deal with the team last season. However, the Pelicans waived him in July to avoid guaranteeing his salary for this season.  Douglas cleared waivers earlier this week after being released by the Pacers.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Arsalan Kazemi, who was with the Rockets briefly this preseason, will play overseas rather than in the D-League, tweets Calvin Watkins of Kazemi was waived last week after being claimed on waivers from the Hawks on October 12th.  He appeared in one preseason game with Houston.
  • Dirk Nowitzki is a already a huge fan of new teammate Zaza Pachulia, tweets Tim MacMahon of Pachulia, who came to Dallas in a July trade with the Bucks, had 10 points and 10 rebounds in his first game with the Mavericks“I don’t think I’ve played with a smarter center than he is,” Nowitzki said.
    “Just making smart plays, setting good picks, getting guys open. He’s a good passer for his size and just makes really, really smart plays.”
  • The Grizzlies know what to expect from their core starters, but their level of success could depend on complementary players, writes Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen are established after playing in 279 games together entering this season, according to Herrington, but it’s the contribution of other players, such as offseason addition Brandan Wright, who could determine if Memphis makes a serious run at the title.

Rockets Waive Joshua Smith, Arsalan Kazemi

4:34pm: Smith and Kazemi have been released, the Rockets announced.

3:05pm: The Rockets are waiving Joshua Smith and Arsalan Kazemi, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter). The team has yet to make an official announcement, though Feigen indicates the moves have already taken place. Neither player’s deal included any guaranteed money. The team’s roster count drops to 14 players, one below the regular season maximum.

Smith, 23, finished his NCAA career at Georgetown this spring after spending his first two seasons at UCLA, and he appeared in 33 games as a senior, averaging 10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 20.5 minutes per night. His career collegiate numbers overall were 10.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 0.7 assists, and his career slash line was .591/.000/.613. Smith played summer league ball for the Heat this offseason, appearing in nine contests in which he averaged 5.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG.

Houston had claimed Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks earlier this month. He put up 15.0 points in 38.9 minutes per game for ChongQing AoLong of China last season.

Rockets Claim Arsalan Kazemi From Hawks

The Rockets have claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Houston becomes the third team within the past month to have a hold on Kazemi after the Sixers relinquished their draft rights to the Iranian power forward so he could sign with Atlanta. Houston inherits the non-guaranteed contract he received from the Hawks. Kazemi becomes the 20th player on the Rockets, who have 14 signed to fully guaranteed pacts, as our roster count shows.

The former Rice and Oregon player didn’t appear in a preseason game in his brief time with the Hawks, who had him for less than two weeks when they released him Saturday. His deal only covers one year at the minimum salary without any guarantees, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported, so the Rockets don’t assume much risk. It’s not altogether surprising to see him end up with Houston, since GM Daryl Morey is the former boss of Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who had acquired his draft rights in a trade with the Wizards in 2013 on the same night that Washington drafted him 54th overall. The waiver claim is the first in the NBA since the calendar flipped to the 2015/16 season on July 1st.

It would nonetheless seem as though the 25-year-old Kazemi, who put up 15.0 points in 38.9 minutes per game for ChongQing AoLong of China last season, faces long odds to make the regular season roster in Houston, given the competition from five other camp invitees. The Rockets face a hard cap because they exceeded the taxpayer’s amount on the mid-level exception with their signings of K.J. McDaniels and Montrezl Harrell, so the distinct possibility exists that Houston won’t carry a 15th man for opening night. Still, the Rockets can keep the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they waive, so perhaps that’s what they have in mind for Kazemi.

Hawks Waive Edgar Sosa, Arsalan Kazemi

3:35pm: Both players have officially been waived, the team announced in a press release.

1:12pm: The Hawks have waived point guard Edgar Sosa and power forward Arsalan Kazemi, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter). Both players were in training camp on non-guaranteed deals, so Atlanta won’t be on the hook for any funds as a result of these moves. This reduces the Hawks’ preseason roster count to 18 players, including 13 with full guarantees on their deals.

Sosa, 27, went undrafted out of Louisville back in 2010 after posting career NCAA numbers of 9.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He joined the Pistons summer league entry that year, but he ended up signing overseas with the Italian club Angelico Biella. The point guard spent the 2014/15 campaign playing for Dinamo Sassari in Italy. Sosa’s numbers last season were 10.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG to accompany a slash line of .387/.320/.789.

Kazemi, a native of Iran, played last season for ChongQing AoLong of China in his second year as a pro after he became the 54th overall pick of the 2013 draft. He spent the majority of his college career at Rice before transferring to Oregon for his senior season, when he notched averages of 9.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game.

Hawks Sign Arsalan Kazemi

The Hawks have signed former Sixers draft-and-stash prospect Arsalan Kazemi, the team announced (hat tip to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Vivlamore reported late Monday that the sides were working toward a deal after Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed the Sixers had relinquished his rights so he could try out for the Hawks. The 25-year-old power forward goes into the roster spot vacated when Atlanta waived Jason Richardson, who’s retiring, bringing Atlanta to the 20-man preseason roster limit.

Kazemi, a native of Iran, played last season for ChongQing AoLong of China in his second year as a pro after he became the 54th overall pick of the 2013 draft. He spent most of his college career at Rice before transferring to Oregon for his senior season, one in which averaged 9.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game. The 6’8″ Kazemi again showed a knack for rebounding for the Sixers summer league team in July, notching 3.2 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 27.4 MPG, though it would be a stretch to say he looked particularly strong against a level of competition much weaker than he’ll see in standard NBA action.

He’s with the Hawks for the start of camp today, Vivlamore notes (Twitter link), though he’ll face a stiff challenge to remain with the team beyond the next month. Atlanta has 13 fully guaranteed contracts, and Vivlamore has referred to Mike Muscala, who possesses a partially guaranteed deal, as a “lock” to make the regular season roster. That means Kazemi would have to overcome Lamar Patterson, Terran Petteway, Earl Barron, DeQuan Jones and Edgar Sosa to win a spot on the regular season roster, assuming the Hawks even carry a 15th man on opening night.

Hawks Close To Signing Arsalan Kazemi

8:45pm: The Hawks are negotiating with Kazemi on a training camp deal, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter links). The deal is likely to be finalized Tuesday, giving the Hawks 20 players on their camp roster.

4:40pm: Philly let go of Kazemi’s rights so he can try out for the Hawks in training camp, Pompey says in another tweet, so it appears that audition is still to come. The Hawks have one open space on their roster if they decide to add Kazemi.

4:30pm: The Sixers have forfeited their draft rights to Iranian power forward Arsalan Kazemi so that the 54th pick from the 2013 draft can audition for the Hawks, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirier. The team made its required tender by the September 10th deadline to do so, which allowed the team to retain his rights, but it appears as though Philadelphia has backtracked on that. It’s unclear whether Kazemi has already tried out for the Hawks or if that audition is still to come. Atlanta is one shy of the preseason roster maximum.

Philly originally wound up with the rights to Kazemi the same night that the Wizards drafted him, sending the rights to Glen Rice Jr. to Washington in return. The Sixers also received the rights to Nate Wolters in the deal, flipping them soon after to the Bucks. Kazemi, who played collegiately at Rice and Oregon, has appeared in summer league for the Sixers each of the past three years, but he’s otherwise remained out of the NBA. Last year he averaged 15.0 points in 38.9 minutes per game for ChongQing AoLong of China.

The Sixers have a full preseason roster of their own, with 20 players, so the team had no room for Kazemi. He could have signed the tender, but Philadelphia would have had the right to simply waive him if he did that.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Kazemi, Thomas

Nets coach Lionel Hollins dismisses the notion that his team is doomed this season after the departure of Deron Williams and with Jarrett Jack expected to be the starting point guard, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes. “I see it, [and] I laugh,” Hollins said. “What do they do? They go in and take each player’s [statistical] numbers, put them in a group and that puts us at the bottom of the NBA. But that’s in the past. Whatever anybody did good last year is still in the past, and whatever anybody did bad last year is still in the past. Now we’re here, and everybody has to go out and obviously you can’t have the same numbers as an individual. You hope they’d be better. But we still have our core guys. … I’m pleased and I’m excited.

The team was aware prior to cutting ties with Williams that there would be a potential backlash, Bontemps notes. “We did what we set out to do, and that was to try to get some younger players, change our team a little bit, try to get some athleticism,” Hollins continued. “I thought [GM] Billy [King] did a great job. Now it’s up to us to try to work with and develop these individuals.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers have offered Arsalan Kazemi the required one-year tender that will allow the franchise to retain his draft rights, according to Kazemi’s Instagram account (hat tip to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Kazemi, 24, was the No. 54 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.
  • Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas‘ two primary goals for the 2015/16 campaign are for the team to make the playoffs and for him to earn an All-Star nod, Chris Forsberg of writes. “First off, team goals, we just want to build from what we did last year,” said Thomas. “We made the playoffs, but we definitely weren’t satisfied. We think we have a better team than we had last year and we have a full season together — it’s only going to make us better. My goal for the team is to make the playoffs and just build from there.” As for his personal goals, Thomas added, “When you achieve your team goals, then your individual success comes. But I definitely feel like I can be an All-Star. I’m not just saying that. I honestly feel that way. With hard work and dedication and just taking my craft serious. And, with the opportunity given with the Boston Celtics, I feel like I can reach that goal.

Eastern Notes: LeBron, Hawks, Heat, Sixers

With his free agency potentially less than a year away, LeBron James continues to brush off questions about his future. Most recently, it was's Chris Broussard who asked the Heat superstar about his plans for the summer of 2014.

"I have absolutely no idea," James said. "I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That's ideal. But we don't know what may happen from now to the end of the season. That's the nature of the business. It's the nature of not knowing what tomorrow brings."

As the reigning MVP continues to focus on the coming season, let's check out a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Former Texas-San Antonio guard Chris Allen will work out for the Hawks today, according to Shams Charania of (via Twitter).
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel believes 2012 second-rounder Justin Hamilton is more likely to start the 2013/14 season with the Heat's D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, rather than with the NBA club.
  • Sixers second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi may be headed to Iran for the coming season, tweets Mark Porcaro of Secret Rival. That news isn't confirmed yet, and wasn't included in the daily update of our international player movement tracker, but we did hear earlier this summer that the Oregon product was expected to play overseas in 2013/14.

Odds & Ends: Abdur-Rahim, Kazemi, Butler

According to a team press
, former NBA All-Star and Kings' director of player
personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim has
been named as the general manager of the Reno Bighorns, which serves as Sacramento's D-League affilliate. Abdur-Rahim will be joined by Chris Gilbert,
who was named assistant general manager. Here are some more of this evening's miscellaneous news and notes:

  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that the 76ers could still send second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi overseas for the coming season. 
  • Caron Butler is "thoroughly excited" about returning home to Wisconsin to play for the Bucks, writes Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times
  • Suns GM Ryan McDonough issued a statement about the team's trade agreement with Milwaukee, saying that the deal was about creating more cap space (Paul Coro of 
  • Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld profiles this year's rookie head coaches and identifies some challenges that may lie ahead for each of them. 
  • Later in the same piece, Koutroupis wonders if Marcin Gortat is the next player in Phoenix to be on the move. 
  • The newly created Delaware 87ers of the NBDL acquired the rights of 16 players via the D-League's expansion draft last night ( Among the more notable names on that list with NBA experience are Ish SmithSean Williams, Willie Warren, Jerome Dyson, and Josh Akognon. Smith and Akognon remain on NBA rosters, but if they were released and wanted to play in the D-League, Delaware would hold their rights.

Sixers Rumors: Trades, Kazemi, Brown

Yesterday, we rounded up the latest news on the 76ers' coaching search, which has lasted about three and a half months so far and still seems to be adding viable new candidates. Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool is the latest contender for the job, joining other frontrunners like Spurs assistant Brett Brown, Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga, and in-house candidate Michael Curry. As the Sixers' lengthy coaching search continues, let's check in on a few more notes out of Philadelphia….

  • No team has more cap room still available than the Sixers, and GM Sam Hinkie believes that will open the door for additional trades, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. "We will be an attractive trading partner for teams around the league all year – not just for players, but for the cap room that we have," Hinkie said. "That kind of flexibility will give us real options."
  • It's worth noting that while much has been made of the Sixers needing to spend more money to reach the salary floor, the team has until next June to increase its payroll. So taking on money in a trade at next year's deadline is an option for reaching that floor.
  • Within Pompey's same piece, Hinkie also confirmed that the club's 54th overall pick from last month's draft, Arsalan Kazemi, is a good bet to spend the 2013/14 season overseas. "He would get a chance to work on his game somewhere else for a year," Hinkie said. "Then [we] would have the opportunity to reassess where he is later. I think that's an attractive opportunity for someone like him."
  • A source tells Tom Moore of (Twitter link) that the Sixers aren't currently working on any buyouts with players, but Kwame Brown is a candidate to be bought out and/or waived before next summer.