Chris Babb

Free Agent Rumors: Gordon, Cousins, George, Favors

Having stated in the past that he hopes to land a maximum-salary contract as a free agent, Aaron Gordon reiterated that stance this week, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. However, Gordon also said that he’d prefer to simply negotiate a deal with the Magic rather than having to procure an offer sheet from another team.

“Hopefully we just get it wrapped up with Orlando,” Gordon said. “That would be fantastic.”

For what it’s worth, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders hears from league sources that the odds of Gordon landing a max deal this summer seem remote. As Kyler observes, two potential suitors for Gordon – the Suns and Kings – addressed their frontcourt with the top two picks in the draft and may be less inclined to be aggressive in pursuing the Magic power forward.

Here are a few more free agent notes and rumors, with the new NBA league year right around the corner…

  • Kyler’s latest article also includes some items on DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Paul, and Paul George, along with a couple other top free agents. According to Kyler, there’s a sense that Cousins may get a contract like Joel Embiid did last year — Embiid’s extension included guarantee triggers and exit language in the event that he has recurring injury issues. Meanwhile, Kyler also confirms that the Lakers and Thunder are the strong frontrunners in the George sweepstakes.
  • In conversations with Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune and Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Derrick Favors said that he’d like to remain with the Jazz, but admitted that he’s looking forward to testing his value on the open market. Per Spears, Favors is also into the idea of visiting teams in free agency. “I don’t think you get a really good feel over the phone,” Favors said. “I’d rather be face-to-face in a meeting, ask questions and kind of figure stuff out.”
  • Kevin Pelton of explores whether the Sixers might be an ideal on-court fit for LeBron James, while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer outlines how Philadelphia could plausibly sign James as a free agent and acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade.
  • Free agent shooting guard Chris Babb, who spent last season with Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban, has received a workout invite from the Clippers, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link).

Heat Notes: Winslow, Bosh, Udrih

Heat swingman Justise Winslow has made tangible improvements from a season ago, according to coach Erik Spoelstra, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. Spoelstra compared his second-year player to Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, whom Miami squared off against last week, Winderman adds. “He does what he’s always done, and that’s make winning plays,” Spoelstra said of Winslow. “He is one of those unique players. The guy he was playing against on the other side [Friday] night is very similar. They make a lot of winning plays. And you can’t define them necessarily by a box score. Now, Justise can fill up a box score, and he’s showing his development. We plan on using him all over the court — handling the ball, posting up, drives, spacing the floor. The more responsibility we’ve given him, the more inspired his play has become.

Miami recently picked up Winslow’s third-year option and will likely do the same next October when it needs to decide on his fourth-year one, Winderman writes. “It’s new to me, some parts of it,” Winslow said regarding contract deadlines. “But you’ve just got to understand the situation. You’ve got to understand the business. So a lot of guys are just talking to me about the business of basketball, and that’s just one part of it, the two-year team option. You’ve just got to know it and be aware of it, because it’d be crazy if they didn’t pick it up and I had no idea about it. So just being aware of the situation is the first step.

Here’s more from South Beach:

  • In his latest “Ask Ira” column, Winderman opines that Miami is likely to keep Beno Udrih on its roster over Briante Weber to start the regular season, with Weber on-deck as a call-up option from the D-League later in the campaign.
  • The Heat must wait until at least February 9th, 2017 to release Chris Bosh if they wish to clear him from its cap, provided an independent doctor says the forward is still unfit to play. But despite that cutoff, Miami may wait longer to part ways with Bosh, given that they would be back on the hook for his salary if the player appeared in 25 regular season or playoff games with another team, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Chris Babb Signs To Play In Germany

Former Celtics and Warriors shooting guard Chris Babb has signed with Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm, the team announced (on Instagram). first reported the move. Babb was on the Warriors roster for the preseason after he went to Golden State in the David Lee trade, but the team waived his non-guaranteed contract before opening night.

Babb, 25, averaged 2.2 points in 11.4 minutes per game across six preseason contests for the Warriors this fall. It’s the third straight year he’s been in an NBA training camp, as he’d joined the Celtics the previous two autumns, but he’s yet to make an opening night roster. Boston signed him at midseason in 2013/14 and 2014/15, though he only played in regular season games during the first of those years, notching 1.6 points in 9.5 minutes a night over 14 appearances.

The Greg Lawrence client has spent much of his pro career in the D-League after going undrafted in 2013 out of Iowa State, where he played under now-Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. Babb is instead bound for international ball this season, and he’s a strong fit for the European game with his floor-spacing ability and two-way game, observes Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). It’s unclear if the deal gives him the power to return to the NBA later this season if an opportunity presents itself.

Warriors Cut Babb, Eddie, Henry, Udofia

The Warriors have waived Chris Babb, Jarell Eddie, Xavier Henry and Chris Udofia, the team announced via press release. Cutting those four non-guaranteed deals gives the Warriors 15 players, the regular season maximum, and it’s a positive signal for Ian Clark, whose deal is also non-guaranteed. Golden State has 13 full guarantees plus a partial guarantee for James Michael McAdoo, who has the support of coach Steve Kerr.

Henry, a five-year NBA veteran, has the most extensive experience of the four players Golden State is letting go, though the 24-year-old just signed with the team Monday in a move that could be related to his D-League rights. That was the same day the Warriors also inked Udofia, 23, who went undrafted out of the University of Denver in 2014. Neither saw any preseason action. Both signed non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that only covered one season, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported (Twitter link).

Babb, a 25-year-old shooting guard, came to Golden State from the Celtics in this summer’s David Lee trade. He averaged 2.8 points in 11.4 minutes per game during six preseason appearances. Eddie agreed in August to a deal for camp. The 23-year-old small forward posted 4.5 points in 10.1 minutes per game across two preseason contests.

Clark would pick up a partial guarantee of about $474K if he sticks for opening night. The 24-year-old offseason signee had a strong preseason, knocking down five of his 12 3-point attempts and averaging 5.9 points in 13.1 minutes per game over seven appearances, including one start. The two-year NBA veteran who’s played for the Jazz and Nuggets circled back to the Warriors this year after first making his mark in the NBA on Golden State’s summer league team in 2013.

Do you agree with Golden State’s moves? Leave a comment to give us your input.

Celtics Acquire David Lee

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 27TH, 11:10am: The deal is finally official, the Celtics announce. It’s Babb and Wallace headed to Golden State, with Lee going to Boston.

“We are excited to welcome David as a member of the Celtics family,” Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “His proven skill set and experience on a championship team will add valuable depth to our frontcourt and a veteran presence to our locker room.”

The Warriors followed with their own press release to confirm the deal.

“On behalf of the entire Golden State Warriors organization, we thank David Lee for his contributions both on and off the court over the last five years,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “Throughout his time with the Warriors, David was a great player, competitor and presence in our locker room as well as in the community and was a stabilizing force during a period that saw many positive changes within the organization. Most importantly, he leaves Golden State as an NBA champion. We wish him nothing but the best in the next chapter of his career.”

4:09pm: The teams are still considering “several different ways” to structure the trade and are in no rush, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). In any case, the Celtics have no intention of flipping Lee to another team, Himmelsbach also hears (on Twitter).

3:03pm: Babb is most likely the player headed to the Warriors, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, who nonetheless won’t rule out that it’ll be Pressey going to Golden State instead.

2:43pm: Berger clarifies that no picks or cash are headed to Golden State in addition to Wallace, but a “filler contract” will go from the Celtics to the Warriors, he says (Twitter link).

2:11pm: Boston will send another player to the Warriors, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link), which conflicts with Berger’s report. That’s perhaps a signal that the Celtics will seek to stay over the cap, a maneuver that would allow them to keep their trade exceptions. In any case, the extra player who would be going to Golden State would be on a make-good deal, Amick adds. Phil Pressey and Chris Babb are Boston’s only players on non-guaranteed contracts.

JULY 7TH: 1:46pm: The Celtics have agreed with the Warriors on a trade that will send David Lee to Boston, reports Tommy Dee of (on Twitter), and as Marc Stein of confirms (Twitter link). Gerald Wallace will head to Golden State, Stein adds (on Twitter). Part of the efficacy of the deal for Golden State is that it can use the stretch provision to waive Wallace and spread his nearly $10.106MM salary, while Lee’s contract is ineligible for the provision because he signed it under the previous collective bargaining agreement, notes SB Nation’s Mike Prada (Twitter link). The Celtics can open cap room, so it won’t matter that Lee’s salary of nearly $15.494MM is more than $5MM in excess of Wallace’s. Indeed, no other players are involved in the deal, tweets Ken Berger of Boston, despite its multitude of trade exceptions, doesn’t possess one large enough to absorb Lee’s salary, and trade exceptions can’t be combined.

The Warriors plan to keep Wallace, despite the tax savings the team could reap if they waive him, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though they have until August 31st to change their minds and spread his salary in equal thirds over the next three seasons. Golden State was poised to have a payroll in excess of $100MM before their agreement on this deal, and while bringing in Wallace would take that figure closer to $96MM, that’s still well in excess of a tax line projected to fall around $82MM.

Lee provides the Celtics a player who’s shown more production in the last two seasons than Wallace has, even though Lee receded from Golden State’s rotation for stretches this year. He isn’t the superstar or the rim-protector that the Celtics have long sought, but he averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 33.2 minutes per game for a playoff-bound Warriors team in 2013/14.

The Knicks and Lakers had reportedly considered trading for the 32-year-old former All-Star as Lee’s representatives and the Warriors sought takers for his contract, which expires next summer. However, record gate receipts from the team’s run to the Finals left Golden State with greater comfort in paying at least a moderate amount of tax, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported. Lowe suggested that it meant the Warriors had become more likely to swing a trade that brought back salary in return, as is the case with this deal.

Boston had reportedly been willing enough to trade Wallace that it would have parted with a first-round pick to make it happen, but it looks like the Celtics won’t have to pay that price. The forward turns 33 later this month and saw only 8.9 minutes per game this past season. His contract, like Lee’s, runs only through 2015/16.

Eastern Notes: Middleton, Babb, Scola

Bucks‘ forward Khris Middleton has made tremendous strides this season, setting himself up for a nice raise this summer when he can become a restricted free agent, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel writes. “Khris is one of the guys who has really improved,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s just letting the game come to him. He’s one of our best scorers and shooters on the floor, and the ball will find him. He’s been able to step up and knock down shots for us. Confidence in this game is big, and I think his confidence is growing.” In 74 appearances this season, including 53 as a starter, Middleton averaged 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 30.1 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Chris Babb‘s two-year minimum salary deal with the Celtics calls for him to make $48K for the remainder of this season and $947,276 for 2015/16, Chris Forsberg of tweets. Babb’s contract contains no guaranteed money for next season, Forsberg adds.
  • Forward Jae Crowder has enjoyed his time with the Celtics since coming over from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo trade, Forsberg writes in a separate piece. The 24-year can become a restricted free agent this summer, but Crowder insists that he hasn’t thought about next season, Forsberg adds. “I just want to make the playoffs,” Crowder told the ESPN scribe. “And once you make the playoffs, everything will take care of itself. I’m not worried about it. Because my goal is to make the playoffs and we are right here where we want to be. I’m just focused on that.” Crowder is averaging 9.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists over 24.2 minutes per game in 53 appearances since arriving in Boston.
  • Pacers‘ big man Luis Scola is finally adjusting to his reserve role with the team, and the 34-year-old veteran says he would like to continue playing past the age of 40, Mark Montieth of writes. “I don’t feel close to the end, that’s the truth,” said Scola. “I know people don’t play that much longer after 35, but I’m feeling well. I don’t know how fast the process is from the moment you start feeling close to the end versus the actual end. But I’m not feeling close to the end. I’ve got energy and I feel I can still do this and I’m still having fun and I can work out hard and play hard every day. As long as all that’s still there I don’t see me being close to retirement.”

Celtics Sign Chris Babb, Waive Shavlik Randolph

The Celtics have signed Chris Babb to a multiyear contract and waived Shavlik Randolph, the team announced. Boston is immediately assigning Babb to the D-League, the statement adds. The C’s were carrying 15 players, so that’s why they needed to let someone go to bring Babb onto their roster. He’s been playing on a D-League contract with Boston’s affiliate, but even though he’ll continue to play for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics have secured his NBA rights going into next season.

Randolph was set for unrestricted free agency this summer, so the move allows the C’s control over one extra player. Boston had given Randolph only 25 minutes total across five appearances since acquiring him in January as part of the Austin Rivers trade. It’s no surprise to see Randolph as the Celtic to go, since there were hints that he would have been the player released if the team had signed JaVale McGee, as the C’s were close to doing. Boston scheduled a meeting with Randolph when the McGee deal was close and canceled when it became clear a McGee signing wouldn’t take place, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported last month.

Babb is a familiar face to the Celtics, who’ve had him on the NBA roster on multiple occasions the past two seasons. The shooting guard was with the C’s for training camp in 2013, and he saw brief regular season action last season after the C’s signed him to pair of 10-day contracts followed by a three-year deal. That three-year deal didn’t involve any guaranteed salary for the final two seasons, and Boston waived him just before training camp began this past fall. It’s possible that Babb once more has a contract for three or even four years, since the Celtics have a portion of their mid-level exception available, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

The 25-year-old Babb, who went undrafted out of Iowa State in 2013, has played 78 games for Boston’s D-League affiliate over the past two years, and he upped his offensive output from 12.0 points per game last season to 15.4 PPG this year, thanks in part to improved shooting. He’s lifted his shooting percentage from 38.1% to 43.2%, and he’s nailed 37.5% of his three-point attempts this year.

Eastern Notes: D-League, Jenkins, Magic

Chris Babb, Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford are joining the Celtics D-League affiliate, the team announced (Twitter links). The Celtics are using their ability to retain the D-League rights to up to four camp cuts to keep Frazier, McGruder and Watford out of the D-League draft, but they don’t have to do so with Babb, since he played for Boston’s D-League team last season.

Here’s more from the east:

  • The Magic‘s D-League team has signed Seth Curry, Peyton Siva, Kadeem Batts and Drew Crawford, the club announced, The Magic waived the foursome last week.
  • The first two years of Anderson Varejao‘s extension with the Cavs are fully guaranteed with the third year being a team option, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Varejao will make $9,638,554 the first year; $10,361,446 the second year of the deal, with $9.36MM guaranteed; and the third season is set at $10MM,  Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). If Varejao is on the Cavs‘ roster past August 1st, 2017 then $4.5MM of the third year will become guaranteed, adds Marc Stein of (Twitter link).
  • John Jenkins admitted he’s upset that the Hawks decided to decline his rookie scale team option for 2015/16, but he called it “part of the game” and a potential blessing in disguise, observes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • While it’s still a bit too early in the season for any coaches to truly be on the hot seat just yet, Fran Blinebury of takes a look at eight coaches who are under the most pressure this year, including David Blatt (Cavs), Mike Budenholzer (Hawks), and Derek Fisher (Knicks).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Celtics Waive Babb, Johnson

The Celtics have waived Chris Babb and Chris Johnson, Chris Forsberg of reports (Twitter link). The team has confirmed the moves via a press release. Neither of the players’ deals carried any guaranteed money for the 2014/15 season.

These releases came in the wake of the deal that sent Keith Bogans and two future conditional Sacramento second round picks to the Cavaliers for Dwight Powell, John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy, and Cleveland’s second-rounders in 2016 and 2017. The Celtics still have deals with 22 players, including Evan Turner, whose deal has not been officially announced yet, so they will still have to clear two more players prior to training camp beginning.

The 24 year-old Babb appeared in 14 games for Boston last season, averaging 1.6 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 9.4 minutes per night. Johnson, also 24 years old, played in 40 contest for the Celtics last season, putting up 6.3 PPG and grabbing 2.4 RPG while averaging 19.7 minutes per.

And-Ones: Prigioni, Scalabrine, Celtics

The Knicks are trying to trade Wayne Ellington and Pablo Prigioni in order to create roster room and alleviate the overcrowding in their backcourt, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter links). New York was originally trying to trade Ellington on his own, notes Stein, but have been weighing adding Prigioni to any deal in order to create more interest.

Read more here:

Here’s more from around the league:

Read more here:
  • The Warriors offered Brian Scalabrine the chance to rejoin the team as an assistant coach this summer after hiring Steve Kerr as head coach, as Scalabrine said today in a radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (transcription via Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group). Scalabrine, whom the team demoted after a high-profile clash with former head man Mark Jackson, turned Golden State down to instead take a broadcasting gig with the Celtics.
  • Agent Marc Cornstein doesn’t foresee having to find a new deal soon for client Chris Johnson, who’s on a non-guaranteed contract with the Celtics. “So far, everything has been positive,” Cornstein told A. Sherrod Blakely of “We’re well aware of the roster additions. He has a great relationship with the Celtics organization and the coaching staff and as I said, everything we have heard thus far as been positive so we’re cautiously optimistic about his future with the Celtics.
  • Blakely casts the possibility that Chris Babb remains with the Celtics as unlikely, given the guard’s poor summer league showing. Babb is also on a non-guaranteed deal.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.