Cam Spencer

Grizzlies Sign Second-Round Pick Cam Spencer To Two-Way Deal

The Grizzlies have signed second-round pick Cam Spencer to a two-way contract, the team’s PR department tweets.

Memphis acquired Spencer’s draft rights in a four-team swap that featured the Pistons, Timberwolves and Raptors.

Spencer played a major role in UConn’s second consecutive national championship after transferring from Rutgers.

The No. 53 pick in the draft, Spencer started all 40 games for UConn last season and averaged 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.8 minutes. The 24-year-old, who was selected First Team All-Big East, shot 48.4% from the field, 44.0% from 3-point range and 91.1% from the free throw line.

Spencer fills the Grizzlies’ final open two-way slot. Scotty Pippen Jr. and Trey Jemison occupy the other two-way spots.

Pistons, Wolves, Grizzlies, Raptors Complete Four-Team Deal

The Pistons, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Raptors have folded a series of separate trade agreements into a single four-team trade, which is now official, the Wolves announced today in a press release.

The Pistons and Timberwolves initially agreed to a deal sending Minnesota’s Wendell Moore to Detroit in exchange for a second-round pick swap, with the Pistons moving up from No. 53 to No. 37.

The Wolves subsequently traded the No. 53 pick to Memphis in exchange for No. 57 and a future second-rounder. Then Minnesota traded No. 57 to Toronto for a reported $1MM in cash.

The end result is as follows:

  • Pistons acquire Moore and the draft rights to Bobi Klintman (No. 37 pick).
  • Timberwolves acquire a future second-round pick (from Grizzlies) and cash ($1MM; from Raptors).
  • Grizzlies acquire the draft rights to Cam Spencer (No. 53 pick).
  • Raptors acquire the draft rights to Ulrich Chomche (No. 57 pick).

The Pistons are taking a chance on an inexpensive former first-rounder in Moore ($2.54MM salary in 2024/25) while having moved up in the second round to select a prospect higher on their draft board; the Wolves, who are operating over the second apron, save some money while having swapped out their No. 37 pick for a future second-rounder; and the Grizzlies and Raptors gave up minor assets to trade into the back end of the second round of the draft.

The one missing detail is here is which future second-round pick the Grizzlies are sending Minnesota. We’ll update our tracker of 2024 offseason trades with that information once it’s reported.

Western Notes: Boston Jr., Holmes, Grizzlies Draft, Pelicans, Collier

The Clippers are not issuing a qualifying offer to 22-year-old wing Brandon Boston Jr., Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (Twitter link). That means Boston will become an unrestricted free agent.

Boston was the No. 51 overall pick in the 2021 draft, spending each of his first three seasons in the league with the Clippers. He played well in limited action, averaging 6.2 points in just 12.9 minutes across 105 appearances with Los Angeles from 2021-24. Per 36 minutes, his career averages jump to 17.4 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Still, Boston never broke through into the main rotation with the Clippers. There’s a chance he remains in Los Angeles on a new deal, but if not, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a younger team take a flier on him.

The No. 4 ranked prospect in the 2020 recruiting class, Boston played one season at Kentucky in 2020/21, averaging 11.5 points in 25 games.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • It’s easy to envision how rookie DaRon Holmes II can fit on the Nuggets, with his rim protection and ability to stretch the floor standing out as key elements of his game, The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando writes. Holmes will man the second unit for now, giving the team a breath of fresh air there, but he might be a starter down the line. “I definitely see [playing the four] in the future, especially the way the game is now,” Holmes said. “You look at the Grizzlies. They just got Zach Edey. They’re probably gonna play him and [Jaren Jackson Jr.] together. I think that’s perfectly fine for me. Small-ball five will be good at times. I don’t think that will be an all-time thing for me. I’m probably not gonna start at the five if I’m gonna be a starter [someday].
  • The Grizzlies draft selections were all highly coveted by the franchise, Damichael Cole of Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Outside of No. 9 overall pick Edey, Memphis selected Jaylen Wells and acquired Cam Spencer in the second round. “To come out of day two of the draft with both of them joining us, that’s an outcome that we thought was zero chance of,” general manager Zach Kleiman said.
  • At the end of the season, Pelicans general manager David Griffin said changes would be necessary so the team could keep up with the rest of the West. Trading for Dejounte Murray shows Griffin is backing up those words, William Guillory of The Athletic writes, but there’s more work to be done. The roster is unbalanced, with a lack of frontcourt depth standing out as an issue. Guillory writes that trading Brandon Ingram or CJ McCollum in a deal for a starting center would be a sensible move, with Ingram the likelier option due to his trade value and contract status. Some trade options could include Deandre Ayton, Brook Lopez and Mitchell Robinson, though it’s hard to gauge whether opposing teams would have interest in extending Ingram.
  • The Jazz played the waiting game in the draft after considering options to trade up, and USC guard Isaiah Collier fell into their lap at pick No. 29, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. “As the draft started to fall, there was a very high percentage chance on our probability markers that the guys that we liked were going to be there [at 29],” general manager Justin Zanik said. “So we are absolutely thrilled that Isaiah was available for us to take.

Grizzlies To Acquire No. 53 Pick Cam Spencer From Wolves

JUNE 28, 10:33am: The Timberwolves will acquire a future second-round pick from the Grizzlies to move down from No. 53 to No. 57, and cash considerations from the Raptors for No. 57, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).


JUNE 27, 5:16pm: The Timberwolves are swapping the No. 53 pick to the Grizzlies for the No. 57 pick, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium tweets. Minnesota will then send the No. 57 pick to the Raptors, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

UConn shooting guard Cam Spencer was taken with the No. 53 and he’ll now join the Grizzlies. Spencer played a key role in UConn’s championship run this past season, averaging 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists after transferring from Rutgers. He also played three seasons at Loyola Maryland. Spencer shot 44% from beyond the 3-point arc for the Huskies and knocked 41.7% of his 3s in 132 college games.

He’s the fourth UConn player to get selected in this draft. Stephon Castle and Donovan Clingan were chosen in the lottery and Tristen Newton was also selected in the second round.

Cameroon big man Ulrich Chomche was chosen at No. 57 and he’ll join Toronto. He spent this past season with the NBA Academy Africa. He only played three games during the Basketball Africa League qualifiers, in which he averaged 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal per game. Overall, he averaged 8.5 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 blocks in 26 games last season.

He’s the first player from the NBA Academy to be drafted.

Minnesota, in a cap-saving move, agreed to trade shooting guard Wendell Moore Jr. and the 37th pick to Detroit earlier in the day. The Pistons used that pick to select forward Bobi Klintman.

Essentially, the Timberwolves made three deals to trade out of the second round.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Mavs, Spurs, Rockets, Pelicans

Luka Doncic has averaged nearly 30 points per night in the first three games of the NBA Finals, but the Mavericks were outscored by 10 points when he was on the floor in Game 1; he committed eight turnovers and missed four free throws in Game 2; and he made just 11-of-27 shots in Game 3 before fouling out of a three-point game with over four minutes still on the clock. He has also been repeatedly targeted on defense over the course of the series.

While head coach Jason Kidd isn’t throwing in the towel on this series with his team facing a 3-0 deficit, he noted on Thursday that no matter what happens the rest of the way, he expects his star player to learn from the challenges he has faced this spring and use those experiences as a springboard to get even better in future seasons.

“The history is there for us to learn from, when you look at great players and the struggles,” Kidd told reporters (story via Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports). “You look at (Michael Jordan) and the struggles that he had against Detroit. You look at some of Magic Johnson’s struggles. You look at LeBron (James‘) first time around (against the Spurs in the 2007 Finals). It’s there to learn from. But the great ones, they use that going into the next season, or the next couple of seasons, to try to get back there. Because now they understand experience is a big thing.”

Here’ more from around the Southwest:

  • Kidd isn’t planning to make any changes to the Mavericks‘ starting lineup in Game 4, he said on Thursday, as Joe Vardon of The Athletic relays.
  • Which prospects in this year’s draft would fit best next to Victor Wembanyama for the Spurs? Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) considers that question, offering up some suggestions for San Antonio at No. 4, No. 8, No. 35, and No. 48. Kentucky guards Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham are Givony’s top suggestions for the fourth overall pick, while Nikola Topic and Dalton Knecht lead his list at eighth overall. Terrence Shannon, Adem Bona, Cam Spencer, and Jaylen Wells are among the players Givony likes as second-round targets.
  • The Spurs appear to be eyeing more experienced backcourt prospects with their second-round picks, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required), who takes a closer look at Boogie Ellis‘ recent visit to San Antonio and notes that Houston’s Jamal Shead also recently worked out for the club.
  • Shead visited Houston on Friday, confirms Kelly Iko of The Athletic, tweeting that Tyler Thomas (Hofstra), Isaiah Stevens (Colorado State), and N’Faly Dante (Oregon) were among the other prospects working out for the Rockets. The club controls the No. 44 overall pick in addition to No. 3.
  • An evaluation of Smoothie King Center’s infrastructure is nearing completion, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com, who says the results of that assessment will help determine whether the Pelicans renovate their current arena or need to build a new one.

Northwest Notes: Blazers’ Draft Options, Wolves’ Workouts, Adelman

With the draft just two weeks away, there’s no consensus on which players the Trail Blazers might land with the seventh and 14th picks, writes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. He examines several mock drafts and notes they have varied widely on Portland’s selections since last month’s lottery.

With a talented backcourt already in place in Portland, Highkin believes the only certainty is that the Blazers won’t take a guard with their first choice. That would eliminate Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, along with Serbia’s Nikola Topic. However, if a recent ACL injury causes Topic to slide down to the end of the lottery, Highkin thinks Portland might be interested.

UConn center Donovan Clingan is a popular projection to the Blazers in recent mock drafts, but there’s also a chance he could be taken in the top three. Highkin doesn’t expect Portland to trade up for Clingan or any other prospect because there’s a strong chance the team can get a player it likes by staying at No. 7.

Highkin observes that the Blazers’ front office typically focuses on potential upside rather than looking for a player with a high floor. He hears Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht had a strong showing when he worked out in Portland.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers are planning to upgrade and expand their practice facility, Highkin adds in a separate story. In February, the team advanced the project by spending $4.6MM to buy a plot of land next to the current facility. The move suggests that owner Jody Allen is in no hurry to sell the franchise, Highkin states.
  • The Timberwolves hosted Texas’ Dylan Disu, Stanford’s Spencer Jones, Serbia’s Bogoljub Markovic, Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves, UConn’s Cam Spencer, and Clemson’s PJ Hall for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, the team announced (via Twitter). A Sunday workout brought in Utah’s Branden Carlson, Minnesota’s Cam Christie, Serbia’s Nikola Djurisic, Marquette’s Oso Ighodaro, Weber State’s Dillon Jones, and UConn’s Tristen Newton (Twitter link).
  • Bennett Durando of The Denver Post questions why Nuggets assistant David Adelman isn’t getting more consideration from teams that are looking for head coaches. Sources confirmed to Durando that Adelman interviewed this year with the Hornets, Cavaliers and Lakers, but he hasn’t been reported as among the frontrunners for any of those jobs. The Nuggets believe it’s just a matter of time before Adelman gets an opportunity, Durando adds.

Draft Notes: Fit Vs. Value, International Prospects, Top PGs, More

In their latest mock draft for ESPN.com (Insider link), Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo provide two paths — Givony makes each pick based on the team’s biggest need, while Woo chooses the player who would be the best value at that spot.

For example, at No. 1, Givony has the Hawks taking Donovan Clingan, arguing that one of the league’s worst defenses would benefit from adding the draft’s best rim protector, while Woo views Zaccharie Risacher as the choice for Atlanta, since both he and Givony have the French forward ranked as the best prospect in this year’s draft class.

There are several spots where the best fit and best value overlap, including at No. 2 (Alexandre Sarr to the Wizards), No. 4 (Reed Sheppard to the Spurs), No. 5 (Matas Buzelis to the Pistons), No. 6 (Stephon Castle to the Hornets), and No. 12 (Nikola Topic to the Thunder).

Here’s more on the 2024 NBA draft:

  • In another Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Givony and Woo highlight 20 draft prospects who excel in specific areas. For instance, while Givony and Woo consider Kentucky’s Sheppard to be the best spot-up shooter in the 2024 draft class, ESPN’s duo names UConn’s Cam Spencer as the best pull-up shooter and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht as the best movement shooter. On the other side of the ball, Virginia’s Ryan Dunn is viewed as the best defensive play-maker, UConn’s Castle is recognized as the best on-ball defender, and Risacher is identified as the best off-ball defender.
  • While top prospects Risacher and Sarr and potential lottery picks Tidjane Salaun and Topic have gotten plenty of attention leading up to the draft, there are several other international prospects worth getting familiar with, according to Givony, who provides a primer on a handful of others who could hear their names called on June 26 or 27, including French wing Pacome Dadiet, Spanish point guard Juan Nunez, and Serbian forward Nikola Djurisic.
  • In an interview with Cyro Asseo de Choch of HoopsHype, Djurisic said he has been told his game is similar to that of seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson and likened himself to a “less athletic, taller Anthony Edwards.”
  • Referring to UConn’s Castle as one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process, Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports ranks the reigning national champion No. 1 among point guards in this year’s draft class, followed by Topic at No. 2. Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham, Providence’s Devin Carter, and Pitt’s Carlton Carrington round out Peek’s top five point guard prospects.

Central Notes: Pistons, Ham, Bucks, Cavaliers

Reports that the Bulls, Trail Blazers and Grizzlies are all interested in moving up in the draft could create some trade options for the Pistons with the No. 5 pick, writes James L. Edwards of The Athletic. He explores potential deals with all three teams that would still leave Detroit with a first-round selection.

Edwards’ proposed trade with Chicago is a swap for No. 11 in this year’s draft, plus a top-four protected pick in 2027. That would allow the Pistons to pick up some future draft capital and still wind up with a prospect such as Colorado’s Cody Williams, G League wing Ron Holland or French forward Tidjane Salaun.

Edwards suggests helping Portland clear cap space by taking Jerami Grant, the No. 14 pick and possibly Matisse Thybulle in exchange for No. 5. That could speed up the Blazers’ rebuilding process by giving them two selections in this year’s top seven while saving them about $40MM next season.

With Memphis, Edwards proposes parting with the fifth pick in exchange for the ninth choice in this year’s draft and a top-four protected pick in 2025. That gives Detroit an extra selection in what’s projected to be a stronger draft next near, while Memphis has a better shot to land a center such as UConn’s Donovan Clingan.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Darvin Ham, who was fired by the Lakers last month after their first-round playoff loss, will rejoin the Bucks as the top assistant to Doc Rivers, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Before being hired by L.A., Ham spent four years in Milwaukee, where he built a reputation as one of the league’s top assistant coaches.
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic kicks off a series of Bucks draft previews by looking at guards who could still be on the board at No. 23 and 33. Nehm profiles Pitt’s Carlton Carrington, Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, A.J. Johnson, who played in Australia this season, UC Santa Barbara’s Ajay Mitchell, Creighton’s Trey Alexander, Houston’s Jamal Shead, UConn’s Cam Spencer and Colorado’s KJ Simpson.
  • Speaking on the Wine and Gold podcast, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com said he doesn’t expect Dan Hurley‘s decision on the Lakers‘ coaching job to impact the Cavaliers‘ search. Fedor considers James Borrego to be the current front-runner in Cleveland, and he speculates L.A. will turn to J.J. Redick if Hurley declines the team’s offer.

Pacers Notes: Defense, Toppin, McConnell, Workouts

Having already taken one big swing this year by trading for Pascal Siakam in January, the Pacers aren’t opposed to having a relatively quiet offseason and running it back with a similar group to the one that made this year’s Eastern Conference finals, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required).

“You always gotta look and see what’s out there on the market,” general manager Chad Buchanan said this week during his end-of-season press conference. “Is there a player or players out there who are available who make sense for your team? You’re also very excited about the young core we have. It’s a balance. It’s going to be a lot of discussion, a lot of debate. Maybe there’s nothing out there that makes sense, and we’re fine with that. We really like this team. If we come back with this same group next year, we still believe there’s a lot of upside with this group.”

Improving the defense will be an offseason priority in Indiana, though it’s possible that could happen without making any outside additions, according to Dopirak, who points to young players like Aaron Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard, Ben Sheppard, Bennedict Mathurin, and Jarace Walker as guys who are capable of getting better on that end of the court. Buchanan acknowledged that the defense will be a focus for the front office after the team ranked 24th in defensive rating during the regular season.

“As you watch the team that eliminates you, it’s always fresh in your mind what they did to beat you,” Buchanan said. “I think Boston, obviously they have more experience than us, No. 1, but they have a tremendous defensive foundation. When we needed to try to score these last couple of games, it’s been very, very challenging. That’s one thing we take away that’s going to be important for us moving forward if we want to make another step.”

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • While Indiana’s spending power will be limited if Siakam signs a maximum-salary contract, the team hopes to continue its relationship with restricted free agent forward Obi Toppin, per Buchanan. “I thought Obi had a tremendous year for us,” the Pacers’ GM said, per Dopirak. “… I thought he really blossomed this year. We envisioned him being a good with a team that played fast; he was exactly that. His three-point shooting really developed and improved as we saw this year. The way we play, you get a lot of open shots. If you can catch and shoot, you’re going to have some success. His defense grew as the season wore on. He seems to be happy here too. Would like to continue the relationship.”
  • Buchanan also raved about the contributions of backup guard T.J. McConnell, who will be extension-eligible this offseason as he enters a contract year. It sounds as if Indiana will explore an extension for McConnell, as Dopirak relays. “He’s not slowing down. You’re not seeing any sign of an aging player,” Buchanan said. “… His value to us is very, very high, and that has not changed by anything that happened this year and we hope he’s with us for a long time as well.”
  • In a separate story for The Indianapolis Star, Dopirak observes that the Pacers‘ first pre-draft workout on Friday only consisted of prospects who played college basketball for four or more years and started for at least three seasons. As Dopirak writes, Indiana has three picks in this year’s draft but none higher than No. 36, so the team may be targeting seasoned prospects capable of stepping in and contributing right away, rather than focusing on upside. Dopirak notes that head coach Rick Carlisle frequently said during the season that Sheppard’s four years of college experience made it a smooth transition to the NBA for the No. 26 pick in last year’s draft, since he understood his role without requiring much instruction.
  • The Pacers’ second pre-draft workout, scheduled for Tuesday, will feature several more experienced college players, including Reece Beekman (Virginia), DJ Horne (NC State), Lance Jones (Purdue), Cam Spencer (UConn), and Harrison Ingram (UNC), tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Mantas Rubstavicius, who has played professionally in Lithuania and New Zealand since 2018, will fill out the six-man workout group.