Briante Weber

And-Ones: Team Canada, USA Basketball, Blockbuster Trades, Weber

The Canadian national team has clinched a spot in next summer’s FIBA World Cup, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Team Canada improved to 9-0 in qualifying rounds with a victory over Venezuela this week, taking a big step toward qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Even with a victory over Colombia on Monday, USA Basketball cannot yet clinch a spot in the World Cup, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. At least five, and possibly six, of the seven World Cup spots for teams from the Americas region will be decided during February’s qualifying games, Reynolds adds. Team USA lost to Brazil 94-79 in a qualifying game on Friday, which prevented it from clinching a World Cup berth, according to an AP report. The U.S. does, however, still lead Group F with a 7-2 record, and will face Uruguay and Brazil in February.
  • Generally, blockbuster trades involving star players haven’t worked out for both parties, according to Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight. Selling teams often haven’t improved beyond where they were with that star talent, while acquiring teams haven’t always found greater postseason success after bringing in that big-time player.
  • Former NBA player Briante Weber has been cut by the Israeli team Bnei Hertzliya, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Weber appeared in a total of 45 NBA games for a handful of teams, most recently during the 2017/18 season. He’s also played in Canada, Europe and Puerto Rico.

And-Ones: Westphal, Weber, Free Agency, Extensions

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement on the passing of Paul Westphal, who played 12 NBA seasons from 1972-1984 and lost his life on Saturday after a bout with brain cancer at age 70:

“Paul Westphal was a Hall of Famer and one of the great all-around players of his era. His toughness, skill and intellect made him a key contributor on the Boston Celtics’ 1974 championship team and a perennial All-Star with the Phoenix Suns. … He will be remembered for his generosity, leadership and love for the game, which defined his many years in the NBA. We extend our deepest condolences to Paul’s wife, Cindy, and their family.”

Westphal, a five-time NBA All-Star, played for Boston, Phoenix, Seattle and New York during his career. He later transitioned into coaching for over 30 years, most recently serving as an assistant with the Nets from 2014-16.

In honor of Westphal’s legacy, NBA teams observed a moment of silence before each of the scheduled games on Saturday.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent guard Briante Weber has signed in France with BCM Gravelines, the team announced (Twitter link). Weber spent part of last season in France with Metropolitans 92, holding per-game averages of 12.2 points and 4.6 assists. He has made past NBA stops with the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors, Hornets and Rockets.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic examines the free agent class of 2021, listing Kawhi Leonard as the consensus best player to potentially reach the open market. Leonard could decline a player option worth $36MM to test free agency next summer.
  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic explores the chances of any remaining contract extensions being finalized in 2020/21. Several veteran players are eligible to sign extensions with their teams, including Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Dennis Schroder (Lakers) and Mike Conley (Jazz).

And-Ones: NBA Layoffs, Larkin, N’Diaye, Weber

The NBA has laid off a number of its behind-the-scenes employees this week, according to reports from Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News and Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links). Alex Silverman of Morning Consult suggests that approximately 100 employees were affected. League spokesperson Mike Bass confirmed the layoffs, though he declined to specify how many employees were let go.

We are restructuring certain functions at the league office to better align with changes in our business, particularly around digital media, and be well-positioned for future growth,” Bass said in a statement.

While Silverman’s report indicates that the cutbacks are related to the coronavirus pandemic, Bondy says it’s unclear what role the pandemic played, if any. The league’s events staff, ticketing staff and team business staff were affected by the layoffs, Bondy adds.

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

  • Former first-rounder Shane Larkin, who last played in the NBA in 2018, has agreed to a two-year, $7.7MM contract extension with Turkish team Anadolu Efes, according to Semih Tuna of The deal includes an NBA opt-out for 2021, though Larkin recently said he’d only consider a return stateside if he were offered a favorable role.
  • Former NBA big man Makhtar N’Diaye has agreed to be the new general manager of Senegal’s national men’s basketball team, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). N’Diaye only appeared in four games back in 1999, but made history as the first player from Senegal to play in the NBA.
  • Veteran guard Briante Weber, who suited up for five NBA teams between 2015-18, has signed with Canada’s Hamilton Honey Badgers, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando). Weber, 27, was a G League All-Star in 2017 and made the NBAGL’s All-Defensive Team twice, but never carved out a regular rotation role with an NBA team for any extended stretch.

French Team To Sign Briante Weber

Briante Weber, who has spent time with five NBA teams, will play in France this year, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. The 26-year-old point guard has reached an agreement with Metropolitans 92, which is based in Boulogne-Levallois.

Weber attended a pair of free agent mini-camps in June with the Raptors and Timberwolves. He began last season with Sioux Falls in the G League after being waived by the Heat in training camp, then signed with the Greek club Olympiacos in February.

Weber’s last NBA experience was a combined 18 games for the Rockets and Grizzlies during the 2017/18 season. He also had brief stops with the Heat, Warriors and Hornets.

Raptors Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

As the Raptors‘ players and coaches focus on preparing for a potential NBA Finals close-out game in Oakland on Thursday night, the team’s front office will take a closer look at a number of veteran free agents over the next two days in Toronto.

According to a press release, the Raptors will host a free agent mini-camp at its practice facility on Wednesday and Thursday, with 23 players scheduled to attend.

Those players are as follows:

McLemore, Patton, and Payne – all former first-round picks – are perhaps the most well-known players on the list of participants, but they aren’t the only ones with some NBA experience. Artis, Brussino, Costello, Lofton, Thomas, and Weber have each appeared in at least one regular season game as well.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

And-Ones: A. Davis, Moreland, Weber, Stokes

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported last week that the Pelicans were told by the NBA that they’d be subject to fines of $100K per game if they sit a healthy Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, but league spokesperson Mike Bass suggested today that that’s not quite right, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links).

“The NBA did not tell New Orleans that it would be fined $100K per game if Anthony Davis were held out for the remainder of [the] season,” Bass said in a statement to Stein. “The Pelicans were advised that the team had not identified a proper basis for making that determination at this time and league rules governing competitive integrity therefore require that he be permitted to play.”

It seems clear that the Pelicans will face penalties if they elect to sit Davis and ensure that he’s healthy in advance of summer trade talks, and the league’s approach to the issue has been the subject of plenty of debate among NBA observers.

Several other teams, including the Rockets (Carmelo Anthony), Cavaliers (J.R. Smith), and Grizzlies (Chandler Parsons) have held out healthy players for much of the season, not even requiring those players to be with the team, and they haven’t faced any sort of discipline from the NBA, as Stein tweets. Of course, those players don’t have nearly the same on-court impact that Davis has — the Pelicans can’t make the case that they’re better off without AD, whereas perhaps those teams could have made that case with regard to their exiled players.

On the other hand, Davis and his representatives were fined by the league for making a public trade request, and it’s probably in the Pelicans’ best long-term interests to sit the All-NBA big man to protect their trade asset and to improve their spot in the draft lottery, writes Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated. You could make the case that the Pelicans should be allowed to run their team as they wish, given the unusual circumstances surrounding Davis and the franchise.

As we wait to see how the AD saga plays out, let’s round up some odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • While players who were released at the trade deadline are generating the most speculation at the moment, keep an eye on Eric Moreland, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. According to Scott, Moreland – who was waived by Phoenix last month – is on NBA teams’ radars.
  • It got lost amidst last week’s trade deadline madness, but journeyman guard Briante Weber has landed in the EuroLeague, inking a contract with Greece’s Olympiacos. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops first reported that Weber was nearing an agreement with Olympiacos, while Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) confirmed that a deal was in place.
  • Free agent big man Jarnell Stokes, who last played in the NBA in 2016/17 for Denver, has reached an agreement with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. We reported at the end of January that Stokes was drawing interest from Chinese clubs.
  • Longtime NBA guard Carlos Arroyo, who played in 569 total regular season games for seven teams, has joined the BIG3 draft pool for the 2019 season, the league announced today (via Twitter). The BIG3 has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for ’19, as we noted last week.

Heat Release Briante Weber, Three Others

1:40pm: As expected, the Heat have waived Purvis, Putney, and Stokes along with Weber, the team announced today in a press release. They’re all candidates to end up with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League squad.

10:29am: The Heat have moved toward the regular season roster limit by waiving guard Briante Weber, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Weber hinted earlier today that he had been released by Miami, tweeting, “Some things just don’t change smh.”

Weber’s frustration is understandable — this is the third time in the last four years that he has been waived by the Heat before the start of the season. He had been hoping this year would be different, suggesting last month that there was “nothing else” for him to do in the G League. “My game speaks for itself down there. I am here for the NBA,” Weber said at the time.

However, after being cut by the Heat, Weber may have to decide between returning to the G League once again or trying to find a job overseas, unless another NBA opportunity arises. The 6’2″ guard has appeared in 87 total G League games, primarily for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, over the last three seasons.

Miami will need to make at least a couple more cuts before Monday to set their roster for the regular season. Rodney Purvis, Raphiael Putney, and Jarnell Stokes remain under contract on non-guaranteed deals, and all three will be released if the Heat decide to start the season with an open roster spot.

Heat Notes: Wade, Haslem, Winslow, Weber

Speaking to reporters today at the Heat‘s Media Day, Dwyane Wade admitted that he was “90-10” on retiring after last season, and is now ready to enter his final year in the NBA, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. No matter how Miami’s season plays out, Wade is comfortable and at peace with his decision, noting that he’d like to remain “around the game” after retiring as a player.

Meanwhile, longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem joked today that he’ll retire when Wade does, but later clarified that he has yet to make a decision on his own future, opting to take it year by year (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). Haslem and Wade both entered the NBA in 2003 and have been teammates for all but one season since then.

Here’s more out of South Beach:

  • Justise Winslow acknowledged today that it’s hard not to think about his contract situation with an October 15 deadline for a rookie scale extension looming (Twitter link via Ira Winderman). However, he said he’ll be fine with or without a new deal in place by that time. Winslow added that he has met with the Heat front office about an extension.
  • Briante Weber has spent most of his career in the G League, but he doesn’t feel like that’s an option as he tries to earn a roster spot with the Heat, relays Barry Jackson. “I’ve pretty much done everything I could in the G-League,” Weber said. “There’s nothing else for me to do down there. My game speaks for itself down there. I am here for the NBA.”
  • In another article for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson rounded up all of Erik Spoelstra‘s notable comments from today’s Media Day presser, including the head coach’s thoughts on Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Miami’s roster versatility.
  • Earlier today, we passed along word that James Johnson may not be healthy in time for the Heat’s regular season opener.

Southeast Rumors: Waiters, Dedmon, Pope, Satoransky

Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters may not be ready for the beginning of the regular season, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Teammate Briante Weber told Jackson that Waiters, who underwent ankle surgery in January, has not participated in any contact work or pickup games with his teammates. With Dwyane Wade continuing to waffle on whether he’ll re-sign with the team, Miami could pursue other free agent options, Jackson adds, with Jamal Crawford, Mario Chalmers and Joe Johnson among a pool of potential targets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon, who suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle last week, has shed his walking boot, according to a team press release. He will now participate in weight-bearing rehabilitation and then be re-evaluated in two weeks. Dedmon, who will make $7.2MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • The Magic are close to hiring Bill Pope as their director of pro personnel, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Pope currently holds a similar position with the Kings.
  • Tomas Satoransky will enter camp as the Wizards’ backup point guard but there’s no guarantee he’ll remain in the rotation, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes in a player profile. Satoransky had trouble holding onto that spot last season and newcomer Austin Rivers and Troy Brown Jr. can play the point behind John Wall if needed. There’s also more depth at the wing, reducing the chances of Satoransky seeing action at those positions, Hughes adds.