Desmond Bane

Southwest Notes: Brooks, Doncic, Bane, Mamukelashvili

Rockets wing Dillon Brooks recently discussed his offseason and playing for Team Canada in a conversation with Michael Grange of Houston gave Brooks a four-year, $86MM+ deal as part of a complex five-team sign-and-trade.

I’ve been chilling. I’ve working out, making sure I get my body right, keep my body right the whole time so I don’t have no drop off,” Brooks told Grange. “And then just focusing mostly on myself, staying off social media, working on my game, doing what I have to do.”

As Grange writes, Brooks has been a longtime member of the Canadian national team. The 27-year-old is looking forward to competing with his compatriots this month.

Everyone that’s in the building, you came across when you were younger, grew up with or played against or with when you played up (an age group),” said Brooks. “It’s a family environment and everybody is here to win, get better and do something special for the country.”

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic banged knees with an opponent in an exhibition game with Team Slovenia, but the Mavs have “no concerns” about the injury, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). As with Brooks, Doncic is suiting up for his home country for the upcoming World Cup, which will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. He exited the loss against Greece as a precaution.
  • Grizzlies guard/forward Desmond Bane, who underwent toe surgery in May, says he hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 work yet, but he expects to be a full go for training camp next month, tweets Drew Hill of The Daily Memphian. “I’m not quite cleared to play contact yet, but as far as working out on the court, I feel like my body is in a pretty good spot,” Bane said, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Bane signed a massive rookie scale extension this summer that will go into effect in 2024/25.
  • Sandro Mamukelashvili re-signed with the Spurs on a guaranteed one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, but he confirmed he received interest from EuroLeague teams in free agency, according to Pijus Sapetka of “Definitely, I had multiple EuroLeague teams [interested in me], but I want to stay in the NBA,” the Georgian big man told BasketNews. “I want to show everybody that right now, I am an NBA player. European doors are never closed, and I love watching EuroLeague. I know how good the competition is. … Right now, my head is straight to the NBA to show everybody that I can be an NBA player and that I belong to this league.”

Southwest Notes: Capela, Mavericks, Cissoko, Grizzlies

The Mavericks are still in the market for a veteran center and would like to acquire Clint Capela from the Hawks as the third team in a potential Pascal Siakam deal, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

Atlanta has been pursuing the Toronto forward in trade talks, but an offer centered around De’Andre Hunter may not be enough. The Hawks could be willing to include Capela, who has two years left on his contract at a total of about $43MM, but the Raptors don’t need another high-priced center after re-signing Jakob Poeltl. Stein suggests that Dallas could either try to facilitate the deal or work out a separate trade with Toronto involving Capela.

The Mavs attempted to acquire Capela from the Hawks in June, according to Stein, but they refused to part with Josh Green along with the 10th pick in the draft.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Summer League coach Jared Dudley was impressed with both of the Mavericks‘ rookies, grading Dereck Lively II a “seven out of 10” and Olivier-Maxence Prosper a “nine out of 10,” per Eddie Sefko of “Lively will get there. He has potential. He’s going to be the starting center of the Mavericks one day,” Dudley said. “O-Max is right there. The three-and-D guys, it’s easier to transition. Offense, he’s a bull going at you. He has to work on his decision-making a little when he gets in the paint. But myself and the Dallas Mavericks are happy with what they did.”
  • Spurs rookie Sidy Cissoko‘s ability to attack the basket has stood out during Summer League, observes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. The French forward prepared for the NBA by spending last season in the G League. “I didn’t change my game,” he said. “In my (pre-draft) workouts, I was doing the same thing almost every time. I have this in my game, so I just repeat it over and over. If it is still working, I will not change it.”
  • Jake LaRavia, David Roddy and Ziaire Williams are all possibilities to be the Grizzlies‘ starting small forward when the season begins, according to Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. Memphis didn’t bring in anyone to replace Dillon Brooks after he signed with Houston, so there’s not an obvious choice for the position. Cole adds that once Ja Morant returns from his suspension, he may start alongside Marcus Smart in the backcourt with Desmond Bane sliding to small forward.

Southwest Notes: Wembanyama, Kyrie, Bane, Rockets, Liddell

Victor Wembanyama‘s Summer League experience is over after just two games, the Spurs confirmed on Monday (story via Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press). Wembanyama had an up-and-down debut on Friday, making just 2-of-13 shots from the floor, but showed on Sunday why he’s considered the best prospect to enter the NBA in years, racking up 27 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks in 27 minutes of action vs. Portland.

As Reynolds writes, shutting down Wembanyama at this point will give the Spurs an opportunity to evaluate other young players during the club’s remaining games in Vegas. It will also give the No. 1 overall pick a much-needed break — his season in France didn’t end until June, and he has had a demanding schedule of media obligations since arriving stateside last month.

“In the past month, I think basketball wasn’t even 50% of my schedule,” Wembanyama said on Sunday. “I can’t stand it. I know it’s a special moment in my life, but I’m glad it’s over. Honestly. I just want to hoop. I just want to work out, lift because this is my life. Obviously, every first pick is going to go through this. And it just makes me better for the future.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Kyrie Irving‘s new three-year, $120MM+ contract with the Mavericks features a 15% trade kicker, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). There’s also a 15% trade kicker in Desmond Bane‘s five-year, $197MM+ extension with the Grizzlies, Hoops Rumors has learned.
  • New Houston forward Dillon Brooks sees similarities between his new team and his old one, suggesting that the Rockets are where the Grizzlies were a few years ago, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link). “I feel like it’s almost the exact same team,” Brooks said. “Three, four years ago, we had almost the same type of players. Jalen Green (is) like Ja Morant. Jabari (Smith) is like Jaren (Jackson Jr.). Young guys that can expand their game to be among the best or the best in the league. I feel like those two guys are almost the same type of deal.”
  • After missing his entire rookie season due to an ACL tear, E.J. Liddell was thrilled to get a promotion from his two-way deal to the Pelicans‘ standard roster, as he tells William Guillory of The Athletic. “They told me how happy they were about my approach during the recovery process, and that meant everything to me,” said Liddell, whom New Orleans signed using a small slice of the mid-level exception. “I’m just going to keep embracing this opportunity. Keep showing up and doing what I’ve got to do everyday. I’ve just got to keep being me, and it’s great to know they appreciate me for being me. It means the world.”

Contract Details: Brooks, Bane, DiVincenzo, Ball, Clarkson

Dillon Brooks will receive even more money from the Rockets, thanks to their complex five-team sign-and-trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Brooks’ four-year, front-loaded contract agreement with Houston was originally reported to be worth $80MM. He’ll now receive at least $86MM through the life of the contract and can reach $90MM if he reaches certain incentives.

The sign-and-trade involving Memphis, Houston, and three other teams was finalized on Saturday.

The four guaranteed years are spread out in this fashion: $22.6MM next season; $22.3MM on 2024/25; $21.1MM in 2025/26; and $20MM in 2026/27, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

We have more contract-related news:

  • The five-year rookie scale extension that the Grizzlies gave Desmond Bane isn’t quite a max contract because it includes some incentives. Bane will receive $197.2MM in guaranteed money and can make an additional $8.7MM if he reaches certain incentives, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets.
  • Unlike Brooks, Donte DiVincenzo‘s four-year contract with the Knicks includes typical raises. He’ll receive $10.9MM next season; $11.4MM in 2024-25; $12MM in 2025-26; and $12.5MM in 2026/27, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. The contract, which is guaranteed for $47MM, also includes $750K per year in unlikely bonuses, including Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year and All-NBA.
  • LaMelo Ball‘s five-year max designated rookie extension with the Hornets doesn’t include a player option, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. The pact does, however, feature a 15% trade kicker.
  • Jordan Clarkson renegotiation and extension deal with the Jazz begins with a salary of $23.5MM for next season, MacMahon tweets. It drops down to $14.1MM in 2024/25 and inches up to $14.3MM for the 2025/26 season. The contract also has $1.1MM in incentives.

Southwest Notes: Wembanyama, Kareem, Bane, Pelicans

The Spurs’ prized 2023 draft pick, power forward Victor Wembanyama, may not be a superstar immediately when his rookie year begins, but San Antonio will need to give him a long leash, notes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The 7’4″ big man submitted a middling first Summer League game against the Hornets, scoring nine points on 2-of-13 shooting from the floor and pulling down eight boards. Fischer notes that Wembanyama will be playing against veteran pros who could weigh as much as 60 pounds more than him. Adding muscle and improving his jump shooting could be the keys to his long-term growth.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Wembanyama recently received some advice from one of the other most highly-touted NBA prospects ever, Hall of Fame Bucks and Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at the first ever NBA Con in Las Vegas, writes Jeff Maillet of The Athletic. “We were overcoached,” Abdul-Jabbar opined about his own era of players. “I wanted to bring the ball up (like Wembanyama did in his summer-league opener) but wasn’t allowed to. If I did, I would’ve had splinters in my ass (from sitting on the bench).” The first-year Spurs big man will certainly have the option of running more plays himself than Abdul-Jabbar did in his era.
  • Signing Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane to a five-year, $200MM+ contract extension was a fairly straightforward choice for the Memphis front office brain trust, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “He is what we’re about and what we’re pushing for together,” team president Zach Kleiman said. “We want people who are wired like Des driving us to get there, so [not] the most complicated decision on our end.”
  • The Pelicans are kicking off a crucial 2023/24 run without huge personnel adjustments, writes Christian Clark of Clark notes that, though the Pelicans potentially had the assets to trade up for the draft rights to now-Trail Blazers point guard Scoot Henderson, the team reportedly never made an offer. Clark observes that, under team president David Griffin‘s guidance for the past four years, the team has never had better than the ninth-best record in the West. The team did make the playoffs in 2022 thanks to a strong play-in contest showing, but the health issues of stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram seem to have impeded the club’s growth.
  • Within that same story, Clark reports that the Pelicans extended Griffin’s contract in the spring.

Desmond Bane Signs Five-Year Max Extension With Grizzlies

JULY 8: The Grizzlies have officially completed Bane’s extension, the team announced in a press release (via Twitter).

JUNE 30: The Grizzlies are signing shooting guard Desmond Bane to a five-season maximum rookie scale extension, agents Jim Tanner, Max Wiepking and Terrence Felder tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

While Wojnarowski says the deal will be worth $207MM, that amount is a projection, as the exact sum will be tied into the league’s salary cap.

Based on Woj’s wording in his reports on the new extensions for Bane and Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, it sounds as if Bane’s deal will likely not include the Rose rule escalator, which would have allowed him to qualify for a starting salary worth up to 30% of the cap.

If that’s the case, Bane’s new deal will feature a starting salary worth 25% of the 2024/25 salary cap when it goes into effect next year.

As Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial tweets, Bane’s new agreement will now leapfrog All-Star Memphis point guard Ja Morant‘s contract as the priciest in team history. Morant agreed to his five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension exactly one year ago.

Bane has quickly outperformed his selection as the No. 30 pick out of TCU in the 2020 draft. Last season, the 25-year-old averaged a career-high 21.5 PPG on .479/.408/.883 shooting splits. He also chipped in 5.0 RPG, 4.4 APG and 1.0 SPG in his 58 healthy games with Memphis. Thanks to the strong play of Morant, Bane and Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies finished with the West’s second seed for the second straight season, this time with a 51-31 record.

Injuries to starting center Steven Adams and reserve big man Brandon Clarke greatly impeded Memphis’ frontcourt during its first-round playoff series against the seventh-seeded Lakers, and the Grizzlies fell in six games.

Southwest Notes: Bullock, Wembanyama, Grizzlies, Kleber

The sign-and-trade agreement that is sending Reggie Bullock and a 2030 first-round pick swap (via Dallas) to the Spurs could help them both now and in the future, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (subscriber link).

As McDonald writes, Bullock will immediately become the oldest player (32) on the roster, with an opportunity to serve as a veteran mentor while competing for rotation minutes. His $10.5MM expiring contract will also push the Spurs above the salary cap floor, giving them access to the annual tax payment from the league’s biggest spenders.

However, the pick swap could turn out to be the real prize, McDonald notes. No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama theoretically will be in his prime in seven years, which might give San Antonio an edge in terms of having a better record than Dallas in 2030 (and thus the swap conveying).

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Speaking of Wembanyama, the Spurs will be cautious with their franchise player, but that doesn’t mean they have durability concerns about the 7’4″ big man, writes Mark Medina of Sportsnaut. It’s normal for top draft picks to have their minutes limited during Summer League action, as Wembanyama will when he makes his debut on Friday in Las Vegas, Medina notes. People around the league believe the Spurs are focused on Wembanyama’s transition to the NBA being as seamless as possible, which is why they want to limit his workload early on.
  • The Grizzlies‘ playing style won’t change with Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of 2023/24, head coach Taylor Jenkins said on NBA TV. “Our system doesn’t change,” Jenkins said, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “What we emphasize offensively — the pace, the space, the unselfishness — defensively, the discipline nature that we got to have every single night, that’s what we’re going to lean on.” The Grizzlies will also be looking for internal development from Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. to fill Morant’s void, Jenkins added.
  • Maxi Kleber‘s ’22/23 campaign was ravaged by injury, having suffered a torn hamstring in December that required surgery. The Mavericks big man is healthy again now and feels much more like himself, he tells Eddie Sefko of “I’m ready, yeah. That’s what I’ve been preparing for,” Kleber said when asked if he’s ready for an injury-free season. “Last year was obviously frustrating because I was out for so long. And even coming back, I had so many issues. I couldn’t move properly. It’s something you don’t want to have to deal with during the season. So it was good to have this summer actually to recover and do some work.” Kleber also told Sefko he’ll play for Germany in the World Cup next month, his first national team appearance in several years due to various injuries.

Grizzlies Notes: Bane, Smart, Morant, Jackson, Adams, Clarke

Desmond Bane believes Marcus Smart is a perfect addition for the Grizzlies‘ style of basketball, writes Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. Memphis acquired the former Defensive Player of the Year from the Celtics in a three-team deal that was finalized late Thursday night, and Bane is thrilled to welcome him to the team.

Bane sees Smart as a replacement for free agent Dillon Brooks, who Memphis isn’t expected to re-sign. Bane said Brooks’ defensive prowess relieved him of the burden of having to guard the opponent’s best player, and he expects Smart to do the same.

“Marcus Smart brings a lot to the team,” Bane said. “I mean I think you guys are going to love him. He kind of brings that Dillon edge, a little bit more playmaking. It’s going to be fun.”

Bane added that he’s making progress after having toe surgery in mid-May, and he hopes to resume shooting soon. He’s expected to receive a rookie-scale extension after averaging a career-best 21.5 PPG this season.

There’s more from Memphis:

  • At a post-draft press conference, general manager Zach Kleiman offered the Grizzlies’ first public statement on Ja Morant since his 25-game suspension was announced last week, Cole states in a separate story. Kleiman said team officials have maintained a dialogue with Morant and the relationship isn’t strained, but the troubled guard has to prove he can change his behavior. “We’re going to continue to pour into him, we’re going to continue to hold him to account for everything that he’s doing day-to-day,” Kleiman said. “It’s on him to follow through, but he’s going to have every opportunity to do so.”
  • Second-round pick G.G. Jackson will likely receive a two-way contract and spend most of the upcoming season in the G League, Cole adds in another piece. The 18-year-old forward out of South Carolina was taken with the 45th pick Thursday night. “We see someone who for his size is incredibly skilled,” Kleiman said. “We see someone who is a hard worker and is committed to doing the hard work. … G.G. is going to have to put in the work to achieve his potential.”
  • Kleiman expressed confidence that Steven Adams will be ready for the start of next season, Cole tweets. The team’s starting center wasn’t able to return after suffering an injury to his right knee in January. Kleiman believes Brandon Clarke will be available for a “good portion” of the season after tearing his left Achilles in March.

Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Jackson, Bane, Adams

Adam Silver will wait until after the NBA Finals to announce Ja Morant‘s punishment for his latest gun-related incident, but the commissioner dropped some hints about the length of a potential suspension during his press conference last week, writes Mark Giannatto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Giannatto examines five statements from Silver to get an idea of what Morant’s suspension might look like. He suggests that the commissioner seemed more disappointed than angry about Morant’s behavior when he talked about creating “better circumstances going forward” for the Grizzlies star.

Silver mentioned the involvement of the players’ union in the process, which Giannatto believes may be encouraging for Morant. He points out that no player has ever been suspended for more than 30 games without being charged with a crime and theorizes that the NBPA won’t let that happen to Morant without putting up a fight.

There’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Appearing on Paul George‘s podcast, Jaren Jackson Jr. expressed support for Morant and said he’s holding up well amid the likelihood of suspension, relays Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. “He’s good,” Jackson said. “That’s my brother, though. No matter what, I stand by my brother, and I think that’s the lesson everybody should take away from this. … Everybody is going to say whatever, but they’re everybody. It never matters at the end of the day. This is your family. This is your brother.”
  • The absence of Morant will make this an especially important season for Desmond Bane, Cole adds in a separate story. Bane, who will be on the final year of his rookie contract, will have to assume a larger leadership role on the team and Cole states that he might have All-Star potential. Cole also points to Santi Aldama, Ziaire Williams, Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Tyus Jones as players to watch heading into next season.
  • The Grizzlies never fully recovered after losing Steven Adams to a right knee injury in January, Cole states in another Commercial Appeal piece. The team’s starting center appeared in a career-low 42 games this season and was especially missed in the playoffs when Memphis was outmuscled in a first-round loss to the Lakers. Cole adds that in addition to his rebounding, the Grizzlies also missed Adams’ screen setting and his leadership as the oldest player on the team.

Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Jones, Point Guard, Bane

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters during a press conference on Thursday that the league won’t announce the results of its latest Ja Morant investigation until after the NBA Finals. However, Silver’s comments seemed to hint that a harsh punishment is on the way for the Grizzlies guard, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter video link), among others.

“It was very unusual for him to basically say, ‘I know what I’m going to do but I’m not going to announce it now,'” Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up. “The second part is that he brought up that he’s working alongside the Players Association on this. He’s obviously bringing them along side by side. Trust me, typically the Players Association isn’t there as the discipline is being decided on and doled out.

“So this is a situation that is wide-ranging, and quite frankly, the indication here is that this is going to be a significant suspension. The tone and the tenor and the fact that the Players Association is involved does not indicate this is going to be something similar to what we’ve seen before. And I also think that Adam Silver’s expecting for there to be a lot of reaction to what he does. He doesn’t want it to be a story line during the Finals. So take all of that under advisement as you consider what’s headed for Ja Morant.”

Asked during Thursday’s press conference whether the NBA was too lenient in suspending Morant for eight games earlier this year after a similar viral video in which he flashed a gun, Silver admitted he wasn’t sure, as Amick relays.

“If it had been a 12-game suspension instead of an eight-game suspension, would that have mattered?” Silver said. “… It seemed appropriate at the time. That’s all I can say. Maybe by definition, to the extent we’ve all seen the video that it appears he’s done it again, I guess you could say maybe not.

“But I don’t think we yet know what it will take to change his behavior. (It’s the) same thing I said at the time; he seems to be a fine young man. In terms of my dealings with him, I think he’s clearly made some mistakes, but he’s young, and I’m hoping now —once we conclude at the end of our process what the appropriate discipline is, that it’s not just about the discipline, it’s about now what we, the Players Association, his team and he and the people around him are going to do to create better circumstances going forward.”

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Addressing the Morant situation on Friday at an NBA Cares event in Denver, Silver clarified that the league’s biggest concern at this point is about “gun safety” rather than whether or not any state’s laws are being broken. “I feel across the board, regardless of what people’s individual views are on gun rights, everyone feels firearms should be handled in a safe way, and waving them around or displaying them in a certain context is not consistent with gun safety and is not the proper message that an NBA player, particularly one at Ja’s level, should be sending to the tens of millions of followers he has,” Silver said, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
  • While Tyus Jones is capable of stepping into the Grizzlies’ starting lineup if Morant is suspended to start the 2023/24 season, the team will likely target a reliable backup point guard or a play-maker at another position this offseason in order to provide additional depth behind Jones, says Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
  • Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal takes a look at how Desmond Bane continued to evolve and improve in his third NBA season, noting that Bane was solid on defense and made progress toward becoming an “efficient three-level scorer” on offense. Bane will eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason.
  • Denver’s run to the NBA Finals can serve as inspiration for the Grizzlies, according to Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Like the Nuggets with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, Memphis has a core it wants to build around (Morant, Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr.) and – barring further off-court setbacks with Morant – can focus on continuing to upgrade its roster around that trio, Giannotto writes.