Austin Daye

And-Ones: Daye, J. Johnson, Coaches

Despite reportedly receiving some interest from NBA teams, forward Austin Daye has decided to remain in Italy and will sign a two-year contract extension with Reyer Venezia, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

A former Gonzaga standout and a first-round pick in 2009, Daye averaged 5.2 PPG and 2.6 RPG with a .402/.351/.778 shooting line in 293 NBA regular season games (14.1 MPG), but has played overseas since 2015, winning an LBA (Italian League) Finals MVP award in 2019 and earning Italian Cup MVP honors in 2020.

A report last month indicated that Daye had talked to an NBA team and was considering exercising the out clause in his contract before a June 30 deadline. However, perhaps in part because of the uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s calendar, Daye has opted to remain with Reyer Venezia, where he’ll continue to play a major role.

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

  • Former NBA swingman Joe Johnson will play for Overseas Elite in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) this summer, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter). As we detailed last month, the annual event still intends to move forward in July with frequent COVID-19 testing for participants.
  • As some teams around the NBA prepare to search for a new head coach, or weigh whether or not to do so, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz takes a deep dive into the hottest names on the coaching market, exploring which assistants and former head coaches are good bets to receive consideration for jobs this summer.
  • It won’t happen, but several of The Athletic’s NBA writers consider what it would look like if the 22 teams headed to Orlando this summer were permitted to “draft” players from the league’s bottom eight teams. The results of the experiment, including Stephen Curry to Washington and Trae Young to Phoenix, are pretty entertaining.

Austin Daye A Candidate To Return To NBA?

The 15th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Austin Daye spent his first six professional seasons in the NBA, primarily with the Pistons. Having played in international leagues since then, Daye is a candidate to return to the NBA this year, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

As Carchia reports, Daye has an out clause until June 30 in his contract with Italian club Reyer Venezia. The veteran forward, who will turn 32 next Friday, is in talks with an NBA team and could even return stateside before the end of this season if the league’s transactions moratorium is lifted and teams get an opportunity to make roster moves.

Daye is one of many players on international teams with an NBA out who may have his decision impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. He’d have to be pretty confident he has an opportunity lined up before he exercises that out clause — given the uncertainty surrounding the remainder of the NBA season and the coming offseason, staying overseas could be the safest move for Daye and other players with outs, as we discussed on Thursday.

A former Gonzaga standout, Daye averaged 5.2 PPG and 2.6 RPG with a .402/.351/.778 shooting line in 293 NBA regular season games (14.1 MPG). Although Daye did win an NBA championship with San Antonio in 2014, he didn’t play much for the Spurs and has enjoyed more individual success in Europe, winning an LBA (Italian League) Finals MVP award in 2019 and earning Italian Cup MVP honors in 2020.

And-Ones: Howard, Harkless, Mozgov

Dwight Howard is seeking a contract starting at $24MM annually, a league source tells Calvin Watkins of (ESPN Now link). Howard is expected to conduct his meetings in Atlanta, with the Celtics and Hawks the first two teams scheduled to meet with the big man, Watkins notes. The Blazers and Hornets have also expressed interest in Howard, who is an unrestricted free agent, the scribe adds.

With free agency set to kick off, here’s the latest from around the league:

  • The Pistons, Wizards, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks are among the teams interested in Trail Blazers restricted free agent Maurice Harkless, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (via Twitter).The 23-year-old appeared in 78 games this season and averaged 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 18.7 minutes per contest.
  • One of the first calls the Pacers will make when free agency commences will be to unrestricted free agent big man Ian Mahinmi, who the team is interested in re-signing, Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star tweets. Mahinmi earned $4MM in 2015/16.
  • If the Warriors miss out on signing Kevin Durant, the team could shift its focus to unrestricted free agent forward Pau Gasol, Ramona Shelburne of (ESPN Now link) relays. Shelburne also notes that Gasol isn’t too keen on taking a discounted deal, but market and contender status could sway him.
  • Cavs unrestricted free agent center Timofey Mozgov has no desire to ink a one-year deal this offseason, preferring the security and stability of a long-term pact, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post relays.
  • Unrestricted free agent point guard Beno Udrih, who spent time last season with the Grizzlies and Heat, has switched to Octagon Sports for representation, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Udrih agreed to a buyout arrangement in February with Miami that helped the organization avoid crossing the luxury tax threshold.
  • Also switching agents is Rockets forward Terrence Jones, who will now be repped by Dan Fegan and James Dunleavy of Independent Sports and Entertainment, Charania relays (on Twitter). Jones is an unrestricted free agent this offseason after earning $2,489,530 in 2015/16.
  • Former NBA player Austin Daye has signed with the Turkish club Galatasaray, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). Daye last appeared in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign when he split time between the Hawks and Spurs.
  • The Kings are interested in Ryan Anderson and Courtney Lee, who are both unrestricted free agents, and restricted free agent Allen Crabbe, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.
  • Another player gaining traction within the Sacramento organization is Thunder restricted free agent Dion Waiters, who could help strengthen the team’s backcourt, Chris Mannix of The Vertical tweets.
  • DeMar DeRozan is set to meet with the Raptors in Los Angeles as soon as the free agent period commences, Marc Stein of tweets.

Austin Daye To Play In Italy

Small forward Austin Daye has signed with the Italian club Victoria Libertas Pesaro, the team announced (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The length and terms of the arrangement are not yet known, nor if Daye’s pact includes an NBA out clause.

The 27-year-old was waived by the Hawks back in July in an effort to clear cap space. Daye’s salary was non-guaranteed, but releasing him cleared away his $1,185,784 cap hold from Atlanta’s books, which the team needed to re-sign Paul Millsap and trade for Tiago Splitter. The forward then signed with the Cavaliers back in September on a non-guaranteed deal but didn’t snag a regular season roster slot and was subsequently waived in October. The former 15th overall pick averaged 5.0 points in 11.9 minutes per game in six preseason appearances for Cleveland.

Daye has made 293 career regular season appearances in the NBA over the span of his six year career. His averages per contest are 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.7 assists with a slash line of .402/.351/.778.

And-Ones: Scott, Daye, Lawson

Lakers coach Byron Scott believes he still has the support of GM Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball personnel Jim Buss, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News details. The Lakers are 2-12 so far this season. Scott, as Medina points out, is in the second year of a four-year contract worth $17MM, with a team option for the final season.

“We still understand that this is a process,” Scott said, per Medina. “We have a lot of young guys on this team that we feel will be very good players. But it’s not going to happen in a month. It’s going to take some time. It might take a year or two.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Austin Daye, who the Cavs waived in October, is close to signing overseas with Victoria Libertas Pesaro, a team in Italy, according to Italy news source Spicchi d’Arancia (h/t Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Daye agreed to join the Cavs in September on a non-guaranteed deal. The 27-year-old former 15th overall pick averaged 5.0 points in 11.9 minutes per game in six preseason appearances. Daye’s career numbers through 293 NBA contests are 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.
  • Ty Lawson‘s playing time is being compromised because of his poor play and Patrick Beverley‘s return from an injury, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. Lawson, whom the Rockets acquired in July despite his legal problems, was held scoreless Wednesday for the second straight game.
  • The Knicks are better this season, but in order for New York to continue to play well, Carmelo Anthony needs to step up as a leader internally and remain heavily invested in the team, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders opines.

Cavs Waive Cooley, Christmas, Daye, Stephens

The Cavs have released Jack Cooley, Dionte Christmas, Austin Daye and D.J. Stephens, the team announced. All were with the team on non-guaranteed deals. The moves leave Cleveland with 16 players, 14 of whom have full guarantees. Shooting guard and preseason sensation Jared Cunningham along with former Duke point guard Quinn Cook are the remaining non-guaranteed Cavs, though he Cavaliers have reportedly been planning to carry only 14 players for opening night.

Cooley, 24, was a late addition to the Cavs preseason roster after the Jazz cut him loose earlier this month. Cleveland signed him in part to compensate for the absence of Tristan Thompson, as Jake Fischer of SI Now tweeted, but with Thompson finally having re-signed this week, it’s no surprise to see Cooley go, in spite of his impressive rebounding. The big man averaged 4.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in just 12.1 minutes per game over two preseason appearances with the Cavs.

Christmas also signed after the preseason had already begun. The 29-year-old shooting guard nonetheless saw plenty of playing time, averaging 6.8 points in 19.9 minutes per game over four contests.

Daye agreed to join the Cavs last month in an effort to refresh a flagging NBA career. The 27-year-old former 15th overall pick averaged 5.0 points in 11.9 minutes per game in six preseason appearances.

Zach Links of Hoops Rumors reported in early September that Stephens would sign with the Cavs. The high-flying 24-year-old swingman put up 3.3 points in 7.3 minutes per game during his four preseason contests.

Cavs Notes: Williams, J.R. Smith, Blatt

Mo Williams is a client of Mark Bartelstein but said Monday that he represented himself in free agency, tweets Dave McMenamin of The point guard who simply wanted to return to the Cavaliers signed a two-year deal for nearly $4.295MM after trying and failing to get the team to lift the value of the deal, as McMenamin relays. Williams also said he rooted for the Cavs even when he wasn’t playing for them, as George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal writes.

“I didn’t see me [being] over here because I said they’re pretty good at point guard,” Williams said.  “[Matthew Dellavedova] was coming out of his shell and turning into a player. I didn’t see that then. Obviously once the conversation started with [GM David Griffin], I saw a bigger role for me and listening to him, I thought it was a good place for me to be.”

Williams was coy when asked about his relationship with LeBron James, Thomas notes in the same piece, pointing to tweets Williams made in the past criticizing the four-time MVP. However, James embraced the idea of Williams’ return to the team, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this summer. See more from Cleveland here:

  • J.R. Smith will make $5MM with the Cavs on his new deal this year after declining a player option worth about $6.4MM, but he expressed no regret over that decision Monday, Haynes notes (Twitter link). “I’m a gambler,” Smith said. “I’ll take a gamble on myself any day.”
  • Michael Dunigan was the last of the Cavaliers camp invitees to be reported, but he was the first to sign, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All Twitter links). Cleveland ordered its transactions thusly so that it could sign Jared Cunningham, Chris Johnson, Austin Daye, D.J. Stephens, Quinn Cook and Nick Minnerath to Exhibit 9 contracts that cover one season at the minimum salary with no money guaranteed and limited injury protection, Pincus reports. Teams have to have 14 players signed to non-Exhibit 9 contracts before they can sign anyone to an Exhibit 9, and Dunigan was the 14th player, as Pincus reveals. Dunigan is on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary with standard injury protection, according to Pincus, so the Cavs would be on the hook for his salary for as long as he’s sidelined if he were to get hurt while playing for them.
  • One of the best ways for David Blatt to show he’s learned after his first year in the NBA will be to cut down the minutes for LeBron to keep him fresh, opines Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • We looked at the latest involving Tristan Thompson right here.

Cavs Sign Michael Dunigan, Quinn Cook, Five Others

The Cavaliers have signed center Michael Dunigan, the team revealed on its training camp roster, one that also officially confirmed earlier reports of deals with Jared Cunningham, Austin Daye, Chris Johnson, Nick Minnerath and D.J. Stephens. Quinn Cook also appears on the roster, so it looks like he and the team have worked out a deal, as expected. Cleveland has 20 players, 13 of whom have fully guaranteed contracts, though those totals don’t include Tristan Thompson, who remains in restricted free agency with Thursday looming as the final day for him to sign his qualifying offer before it expires. The Cavs would have to waive a player before signing Thompson, since they’re at the preseason roster limit.

Dunigan, 26, was in camp with the Grizzlies in 2012, but he’s chiefly played overseas since going undrafted in 2011. The Mike Naiditch client came stateside to spend part of last season with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, putting up 11.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game across 24 regular season appearances, so the Cavs are familiar with him. It’s unclear exactly what sort of terms he’s getting, though Cleveland is limited to paying the minimum salary, just as with all the rest of the deals the team confirmed today.

Cook, 22, went undrafted out of Duke this year. Conflicting reports had clouded the matter of whether he and the team had agreed to a deal, but Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the point guard would be on a non-guaranteed pact.

Cunningham and Daye are former first-round picks. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Cunningham’s deal with the team, with Haynes noting that the 24-year-old shooting guard would be on a non-guaranteed contract. Charania also first reported Daye’s deal, and international journalist David Pick added that the pact for the 27-year-old small forward would be non-guaranteed.

Johnson, a 30-year-old center from LSU, is not to be confused with the swingman by the same name. Haynes reported his deal, which is for one year at the minimum salary and non-guaranteed. Haynes also had the story of Minnerath’s one-year deal. The 26-year-old combo forward is on a non-guaranteed pact.

Zach Links of Hoops Rumors first reported the Stephens deal. The terms of the contract for the 24-year-old high-flying swingman are unclear, beyond the fact that he’ll be making the minimum.

Cavaliers To Sign Austin Daye

5:38pm: Daye’s contract will be non-guaranteed, international journalist David Pick tweets.

5:34pm: The Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a contract with unrestricted free agent small forward Austin Daye, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). It will be a one-year deal, though it is unclear if the arrangement includes any guaranteed salary, Charania adds. It’ll have to be for the minimum salary, since that’s all the Cavs can give. Cleveland’s roster count will increase to 17 players with the addition of Daye, including 13 with fully guaranteed pacts. This number does not include restricted free agent Tristan Thompson, who remains unsigned.

Daye, 27, had been waived by the Hawks back in July in an effort to clear cap space. His salary was non-guaranteed, but the move cleared his $1,185,784 cap hold from Atlanta’s books, which it required to re-sign of Paul Millsap and trade for Tiago Splitter. Atlanta originally signed Daye to a pair of 10-day contracts during the 2014/15 campaign before inking him to a deal that covered the rest of the season as well as added an additional non-guaranteed year. Daye recently hired agent Obrad Fimic of the AltiSport agency to negotiate deals in Europe.

The former 15th overall pick didn’t see much action while with the Hawks, appearing in only eight regular season games for an average of 9.5 minutes per contest. He didn’t make it in to any of Atlanta’s playoff games. Daye’s career numbers through 293 NBA contests are 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists to accompany a slash line of .402/.351/.778.

And-Ones: Durant, DeRozan, Warriors, Bennett

Kevin Durant is fully cleared for training camp, Thunder GM Sam Presti said, according to Royce Young of (Twitter link). Thus, the former MVP is ready for the start of a pivotal season for the Thunder, who’ll surely do what they can to prove their worth as a contender before Durant can bolt in free agency next summer, and for Durant himself, who’s out to prove he can stay healthy after a broken foot cost him all but 27 games this past season. While we wait for action to begin in a 2015/16 campaign sure to include plenty of chatter about Durant’s future, see more from around the NBA:

  • It’s certainly no shock, but GM Masai Ujiri conceded that DeMar DeRozan won’t be talking about an extension with the team this season in advance of his ability to opt out next summer, as Ujiri said this week on SportsNet’s Free Association podcast. The Aaron Goodwin client becomes eligible for an extension on October 31st, three years from the day that he inked a rookie scale extension with Toronto, but unlike those sorts of extensions, veteran extensions come with sharp financial limits that discourage players from signing them.
  • The Warriors don’t have much cap flexibility, but their existing roster and superior management team, which includes Executive of the Year Bob Myers, has them atop the ESPN Insiders Future Power Rankings, which rate teams based on their potential for success over the next three seasons.
  • Former 15th overall pick Austin Daye has hired agent Obrad Fimic of the AltiSport agency to negotiate deals in Europe, Fimic announced (on Twitter). The Hawks waived Daye in July, but no indication of NBA interest has emerged since.
  • The Timberwolves didn’t provide Anthony Bennett with the tools to succeed on the court, as Flip Saunders‘ lack of enthusiasm for three-pointers encouraged the former No. 1 overall pick to launch too many long twos, one of myriad problems with Bennett’s game, opines Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. Still, Bennett deserves blame for many of his shortcomings, too, and he’ll need to show improvement just to carve out a niche as a reserve stretch four, Golliver believes.