Cenk Akyol

Suns Notes: Offseason, Oubre, Johnson, Akyol

The Suns will have to decide this offseason whether they want to try to bring back known commodities like Aron Baynes, Dario Saric, and Frank Kaminsky, or whether they want to opt for an unknown commodity via cap room, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link). Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, but Saric is restricted and the club holds a team option on Kaminsky.

Kelly Oubre‘s expiring contract will be another factor to watch for the Suns this fall, according to Marks. On paper, it seems like a slam dunk that Phoenix would want to make the 24-year-old wing a part of the club’s long-term future, Marks writes, but Oubre wasn’t part of the team’s 8-0 run in Orlando this summer, and there’s some positional overlap with young Suns like Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • The Suns have faced criticism for a number of their roster moves in recent years, but the club showed this summer in Orlando that the roster was built with a purpose, according to Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. Tjarks singles out last year’s drafting of Cameron Johnson at No. 11 as a decision that was panned at the time, but seems to be working out well.
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic explores what’s next for the Suns after their success in Orlando, wondering if the summer represents a jumping-off point for making Phoenix a desirable destination for NBA players.
  • Turkish wing Cenk Akyol has announced his retirement at age 33, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Akyol, the 59th overall pick in the 2005 draft, never played in the NBA, but his rights were held by the Suns, who acquired them in a 2017 trade with Atlanta.
  • Earlier today, we broke down the Suns’ odds for this Thursday’s draft lottery.

And-Ones: Jones, Thornton, Suns, Raptors

The Pelicans waived Terrence Jones on Thursday after being unable to find a trade partner for him and the Nets waived Marcus Thornton after acquiring him in the Bojan Bogdanovic trade. Both players have cleared waivers and are free to sign with any team, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

Jones should have no problem finding a new home. He’s a productive 25-year-old big man who was averaging 11.5 points per game in New Orleans while sporting a 16.2 player efficient rating.

Thornton may have to wait slightly longer to find a new club, but he should be able to help a team fill out the back end of its rotation.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Hawks sent $500K to the Suns as part of the Mike Scott trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). In addition to the cash considerations, Phoenix received the draft rights to Cenk Akyol for taking on Scott’s contract, while Atlanta received a protected second-round pick.
  • As part of the P.J. Tucker deal, the Raptors sent the Suns cash considerations of $1MM, Pincus tweets. Phoenix also received Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks in the deal. The Suns waived Sullinger on Friday.
  • The Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate, has traded Cameron Jones to the Canton Charge, leagues sources tell Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter link).

Nuggets Acquire, Waive Mo Williams

1:40 pm: The deal is official, according to a Hawks’ press release. As part of the deal, Atlanta will gain a $2.2MM trade exception that will expire one year from today.

8:49 am: The Hawks have agreed to send Mo Williams and cash considerations to the Nuggets in exchange for the rights to Cenk Akyol, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Denver is expected to waive Williams upon arrival.

The point guard’s contract, which is worth $2.2MM, will get the Nuggets within $7.66MM of the salary floor. Wojnarowski notes that the move will save the team roughly $1.0MM in addition to the cash considerations Atlanta will send its way.

Williams hasn’t played this season and while he’s expressed interest in playing again, he hasn’t committed to making a return to the league. Akyol was selected in the 2005 draft but never came stateside. Wojnarowski notes that he’ll likely never play in the NBA.

Sixers Acquire Jared Cunningham

6:58pm: The trade is official, the Clippers have announced. Los Angeles sent Cunningham, the draft rights to Akyol and cash considerations to the Sixers in exchange for the draft rights to Lishuk. The deal allows the Clippers to create a trade exception worth $915,243, the equivalent of Cunningham’s salary. Philadelphia has yet to make an announcement, and the Sixers couldn’t have traded for Cunningham without offloading someone, since they were carrying a 15-man roster, so it would seem there’s another part of the equation still to be revealed.

6:25pm: The Clippers will receive the rights to Serhiy Lishuk from the Sixers, and Philadelphia will acquire the rights to Cenk Akyol, Bolch reports (Twitter link). Akyol, 27, was selected in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft, and Lishuk, 32, was the No. 49 overall pick in the 2004 draft.

4:52pm: The Sixers and Clippers will also be swapping rights to draft picks as part of the deal, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.

2:32pm: The Clippers have inquired about Wroten, but those are preliminary talks, according to John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link).

2:01pm: It’ll be cash going Philly’s way from the Clippers, and the Sixers will indeed waive Cunningham once they acquire him, Wojnarowski tweets.

1:59pm: The Clippers aren’t taking any players back in the deal, according to Wojnarowski (on Twitter). That means the Sixers would have to offload someone before the deal can become official.

1:56pm: Tony Wroten is the Clips’ target in the deal, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter). Wroten, who’s averaging 30.5 minutes per game for Philly, is on a guaranteed rookie-scale contract that would further tighten the squeeze under the team’s hard cap.

1:53pm: The Sixers are unlikely to keep Cunningham once they acquire him, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times counters that the Clips are merely exploring a move that will affect whether or not they waive Cunningham (Twitter link).

1:38pm: The Clippers are trading Jared Cunningham to the Sixers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Cunningham has a non-guaranteed deal and the Clippers were set to waive him in advance of today’s deadline to do so before his minimum salary would have become guaranteed for the balance of the season. Philadelphia has 15 players on its roster, so it’ll need to either send someone to L.A. or make a corresponding move. That’s true even if the Sixers don’t intend to keep Cunningham, as is often the case with the veterans the Sixers acquire via trade.

Trading Cunningham instead of releasing him would help the Clippers financially, since it would remove his entire salary from their books, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The Clippers would be stuck with the money they had already paid to Cunningham this year counting against their hard cap if they were to waive him. The team is less than $1MM shy of its hard cap, a collective bargaining agreement feature it triggered when it gave out the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception to Spencer Hawes and the biannual exception to Jordan Farmar.

Cunningham, the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft, has only played in 40 career NBA regular season games, 19 of which have come this season after he showed enough in the preseason to make the team out of training camp. Still, he’s averaged 1.8 points in just 4.7 minutes per game for the Clippers.

Clippers Trade Antawn Jamison To Hawks

The Hawks announced that they have acquired Antawn Jamison and cash considerations from the Clippers in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol.  Sending Jamison to Atlanta saves Los Angeles $884,293 toward its tax bill.  

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers

The 37-year-old has been averaging 3.8 PPG and 2.5 RPG in a career-low 11.3 minutes per game this season for Los Angeles.  For his career, the veteran has averaged 18.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG across 16 NBA campaigns.

We learned earlier this week that the Clippers were dangling Jamison and others for frontcourt help.  Jamison signed a one-year, minimum salary deal with the Clippers over the summer and despite his impressive resume, he hasn’t had the kind of impact that Doc Rivers & Co. were hoping for.  Meanwhile, Jamison may not be staying it Atlanta for long as the club is said to be considering a buyout for the veteran forward.

Akyol, a 6’7″ forward, was the Hawks’ second-round draft pick in 2005 but has never appeared in the NBA and now plays in the Turkish Basketball League.  It’s extremely unlikely that he’ll wind up in the NBA.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.   Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com first reported the deal.  Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter) added details.