Devin Vassell

Spurs, Devin Vassell Agree To Five-Year Extension

5:09pm: Vassell’s extension is a straight five-year deal with no options and features $135MM in guaranteed money, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who reports (via Twitter) that Vassell can earn another $11MM in incentives.

4:09pm: Guard/forward Devin Vassell is signing a five-year, $146MM rookie scale extension with the Spurs, his agents at CAA Sports tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Given how much money they’re committing to him, clearly the Spurs view Vassell as a long-term cornerstone of their rebuild alongside No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, 2022 lottery pick Jeremy Sochan, and Keldon Johnson, among others.

Vassell, 23, was the No. 11 pick of the 2020 draft after two years at Florida State. The Georgia native had a breakout third season in 2022/23, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals on .439/.387/.780 shooting.

However, Vassell was limited to 38 games (31.0 minutes per night) last season due to a left knee injury, which required surgery in January.

Back in June, there were rumors the Spurs might be looking to add another lottery pick. General manager Brian Wright shut down any speculation that the team would entertain trading Vassell, and now San Antonio is inking the young wing to a new contract.

If Vassell’s extension is fully guaranteed, he will earn $29.2MM annually on his new deal, which will begin in 2024/25. He will make $5.89MM this season.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, despite the significant financial commitment to Vassell, the Spurs still project to have $45-60MM in cap room next summer, so they could be a major player in free agency.

The Spurs have a history of signing their productive first-round picks to rookie scale extensions. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Johnson all inked extensions with San Antonio in recent years, though Murray and White have since been traded.

Vassell is the sixth player to agree to a rookie scale deal this offseason. The full list — as well as the players who are eligible for their own extensions — can be found right here.

Spurs Rumors: Wembanyama, Vassell, Johnson, Draft

While a previous report indicated that Victor Wembanyama likely wouldn’t play in Summer League games this July, he told reporters on Wednesday that he plans to do so, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press relays (via Twitter).

The Spurs and Wembanyama will likely sort out the specifics after he’s officially drafted on Thursday, but LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk gets the sense that the team will probably allow the big man to suit up if he wants to.

As Ellis explains, while the Spurs will likely want to be as cautious as possible with a player they expect to build their franchise around for the foreseeable future, Wembanyama takes pride in his availability and has conveyed that he wants to play as much as possible after not missing a single game in France this past season. That means he’ll want to take part in Summer League and this year’s World Cup before aiming to play all 82 games as a rookie.

While the Spurs won’t want to push Wembanyama too hard as he adjusts to the more rigorous NBA schedule next season, it sounds like they won’t stand in the way of him playing for France in the World Cup, Ellis writes.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • San Antonio is open to the idea of hiring some of the personal trainers that have worked with Wembanyama and kept him healthy so far in his professional career, according to Ellis. Those discussions are expected to begin after he’s officially drafted on Thursday.
  • The Spurs don’t appear inclined to offer Devin Vassell or Keldon Johnson as they continue to look into acquiring an additional 2023 first-round pick, according to Ellis. General manager Brian Wright said as much earlier this week. However, the club has made future draft assets available in an effort to land a second lottery selection, Ellis writes, adding that Anthony Black, Kobe Bufkin, and Bilal Coulibaly have been cited most often as possible San Antonio targets.
  • A scout previously suggested to Ellis that the Spurs may pursue a veteran point guard like Fred VanVleet or Chris Paul this offseason, but a team source essentially shot down that idea. “The plan is to avoid big, costly mistakes and to slowly build this thing out,” the source told Ellis. “See what you have first, see what you need, see what can be grown organically and go from there.”

Trade Rumors: T. Jones, Hawks, Spurs, Wolves, Jazz, Sexton

The Grizzlies are exploring the possibility of trading reserve point guard Tyus Jones, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

It’s an interesting rumor, given that starting point guard Ja Morant is expected to miss at least the first 25 games of the 2023/24 season due to a suspension. Jones, one of the league’s top backups, would presumably be promoted to the starting five if he remains in Memphis through the offseason, but apparently that’s not a given.

According to Fischer, with Dillon Brooks expected to move on in free agency, the Grizzlies are making it a priority to upgrade their wing depth. Fischer notes that the Spurs talked to Jones last summer before he re-signed with Memphis, but are probably unlikely to pursue him again this offseason after his brother Tre Jones emerged as San Antonio’s starter.

The Raptors (OG Anunoby) and the Clippers (several wings) are among the other teams that could make sense as destinations for Jones, Fischer writes, though Toronto may re-sign Fred VanVleet and has set a high asking price for Anunoby. Eric Gordon, Norman Powell, and Marcus Morris are among the veterans the Clippers could offer in a deal for Jones, according to Fischer, adding that Morris has been viewed as a trade candidate by rival teams since he fell out of the rotation near the end of last season.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, league sources have linked the Hawks to several teams in trade discussions, including the Celtics, Raptors, and Mavericks. O’Connor reiterates that Pascal Siakam is a player of interest for Atlanta, which Fischer previously reported.
  • There are rumblings that the Spurs are looking to acquire a second lottery selection in addition to their No. 1 pick, according to O’Connor, who wonders if the team might package its second-round picks (Nos. 33 and 44) with a “rising player” to try to move up. For what it’s worth, Spurs GM Brian Wright was asked if the team would consider moving Devin Vassell or Keldon Johnson in a deal for a first-round pick and said no, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “With this team we want to see what we have,” Wright said. “We have a group that has worked really hard. Where they were last year may not be what they are in the future. We want to see how things blend together.”
  • The Timberwolves, who currently hold only the No. 53 pick in Thursday’s draft, have been making inquiries to see if they could get into the first round, but haven’t gained traction on a deal, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • As ESPN suggested earlier today, the Jazz have contacted the Pistons about the possibility of trading up to No. 5 in the draft using the Nos. 9 and 16 picks, according to Fischer. However, while ESPN’s report indicated that Jarace Walker may be Utah’s target, Fischer suggests rival teams think the Jazz are after Anthony Black.
  • The Jazz have made veteran guard Collin Sexton available in trade talks, sources tell Fischer. Sexton has three years and $54.5MM left on the contract he signed a year ago.

Western Notes: Doncic, Brunson, Bamba, Vassell, Sochan, Popovich

With the Mavericks seemingly headed for postseason elimination, Luka Doncic acknowledged that he misses former backcourt partner Jalen Brunson “a lot,” Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News reports.

“I mean, amazing guy, amazing player. For sure,” the Mavericks’ franchise player added.

Doncic describes the Mavericks’ season as “very disappointing” due to chemistry issues, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I think you don’t see that chemistry we had before — I mean, especially last year,” Doncic said. “I think that chemistry was at the top, everybody. But chemistry builds not just not right away. It’s a long process.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Lakers could have another frontcourt option as soon as Tuesday. They have upgraded Mohamed Bamba to doubtful for their game with Utah, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. Bamba has been sidelined since March 5 with a left ankle sprain. In a Late Night Lake Show podcast, Buha said he “would not be surprised if (Bamba is) back by the end of the week.” (video link).
  • Spurs swingman Devin Vassell has been out since March 26 with a knee ailment. Jeremy Sochan has been sidelined since March 22, also due to a knee issue. It’s likely both are done for the season. Sochan has far exceeded the number of games he played last season at Baylor, while Vassell is coming off surgery performed in January, so the Spurs are playing it cautious, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets.
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that hearing he’d been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame was an “out of body experience,” Orsborn writes. Popovich got the news Saturday in a phone call from Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo. “Sort of a phone call you never think about or expect,” Popovich said “It’s like somebody telling you the earth is flat, some weird feeling that you have, an out-of-body experience, because it’s not what you grow up thinking.”

Texas Notes: Mavericks, Hardaway, Irving, Rockets, Spurs

Despite falling below .500, the 36-37 Mavericks remain intent on competing for a title this season, writes Eddie Sefko of

“The standings are going to change to the last game of the season,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “If we can get healthy and have everyone on the court, that gives us the best chance to win… We feel we have the pieces to be a championship team. We’re playing for a championship. But we just right now have to focus on the game that’s in front of us and that’s Charlotte.”

Over the past two weeks, Dallas has gone just 2-5, while slipping from the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference to No. 9. They have been without one or both of their two All-Star guards, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, in each of their past six games.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. are both questionable to suit up for the Mavericks in their next game, Friday against the Hornets, the team has announced (Twitter link). Irving is dealing with a sore right foot, while Hardaway continues to struggle through a non-COVID illness.
  • Two Rockets players may not be available for Houston on Friday against the Grizzlies, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Small forward Jae’Sean Tate will miss another game due to his sore left knee, while center Frank Kaminsky is considered questionable to play due to migraines.
  • Several key Spurs players will be sidelined Friday night against the Wizards, as the team continues to tank. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News reports (Twitter link) that rookie Jeremy Sochan will be shelved with a sore knee and guard Romeo Langford will miss the action with an adductor injury. The team’s second-leading scorer, Devin Vassell, is questionable with a knee injury, as is center Zach Collins, who is dealing with a biceps bruise.

Spurs Notes: Vassell, Branham, Graham, Bassey

The Spurs are more concerned with developing their young players than maximizing their lottery odds, writes Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. Some fans may have been dismayed to see back-to-back wins this week or Devin Vassell‘s return after missing two months following knee surgery, but the organization is committed to getting its young players on the court together to build a foundation for the future.

“I am not trying to tank,” Vassell said. “I am trying to win as many games as possible.”

Vassell is one of five recent first-round picks on the roster, and the Spurs want him to become a clutch-time scorer who’s capable of closing out games. He showed some of that prowess in his return Thursday against Indiana, pouring in 10 points in the third quarter as San Antonio pulled away.

“The shot-making is still there obviously,” assistant coach Mitch Johnson said. “It’s tough in this league when teams have guys that can make shots when there is good defense and there is not really anything going offensively, and he did that for us.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Malaki Branham had a breakthrough in February, leading all NBA rookies by averaging 16.8 points per game, Orsborn adds. The 19-year-old small forward hadn’t topped 7.8 PPG in any other month. “It’s a tribute to him and a lot of the young guys in this program,” Johnson said. “If they trust the process and put in the work, at some point the game usually slows down for them and they find some success.”
  • Devonte’ Graham has been given a green light to shoot since the Spurs acquired him at the trade deadline, and he took advantage Saturday with 28 points in 29 minutes, Orsborn notes in another Express-News article. “As an athlete, you always want opportunity to show you have talent and whatever the case might be,” Graham said. “(Coach Gregg Popovich) gives everybody confidence to just go out and play freely and play the right way.”
  • Charles Bassey has been excelling as the primary backup center since Jakob Poeltl was traded, Orsborn tweets. Bassey had 14 points and eight rebounds Saturday night and tied a career high by making seven shots from the field.

Southwest Notes: Porter, Morant, Kyrie, Jones, Vassell

After returning on Wednesday from a 20-game absence due to a toe injury, Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. admitted that he still wasn’t 100%, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, Porter considers it important to play during the final stretch of the season to try to carry some positive momentum into the offseason.

“There’s definitely going to be some tolerable pain going on,” Porter said. “I want to play. This is the best I can get it. Can’t get it 100 percent, so I will play.

“Just the passion and love I’ve got for the game. I’ve been away, been trying to do everything I can to get back on the court. Twenty games later, I’m at this point. This is the best I can get as far as my toe. The pain’s not too bad. I can play through it.”

As Feigen observes, injuries have prevented the Rockets from getting an extended look at their young core together this season, so the hope is that they can stay relatively healthy down the stretch. The starting lineup that Houston employed on Wednesday – Porter alongside Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Alperen Sengun, and Kenyon Martin Jr. – is probably the one the team would like to lean on down the stretch, but it has been used just four times so far this season.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, whose alleged involvement in a pair of off-court incidents had been previously reported, has been accused of threatening a security guard at a Memphis mall, according to reporting from Molly Hensley-Clancy of The Washington Post. The Post’s report also stated that the 17-year-old who was punched by Morant last summer during a pickup game claimed that the Grizzlies star went into his house and reemerged with a gun visible in his waistband. Morant’s lawyer and agent put out statements on Twitter vehemently disputing that claim, but didn’t address the incident involving the security guard.
  • On Thursday, two days after expressing a need to scale back the pressure he’s putting on himself with his new team, Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving scored 40 points to complement Luka Doncic‘s 42 in a victory over Philadelphia. The Mavs are still just 2-4 in games the two stars have played together, but are confident that the wins will come, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “They’ve got to work through the kinks,” head coach Jason Kidd said of his backcourt duo. “But I think at the end of the day, we’ll be happy with what we have.”
  • The Spurs got two of their top rotation players back on Thursday, as Tre Jones (left foot soreness) returned from a five-game absence, while Devin Vassell (left knee surgery) played for the first time since January 2. Both players were on minute limits, but had positive plus-minus ratings in a victory over Indiana, with Vassell scoring 18 points in 23 minutes. “It’s refreshing, man,” Spurs center Zach Collins said, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “These guys mean so much to our team. We’ve had a lot of guys hurt, one through 15. But Tre and Devin were starters for us. To get them back, is going to make the game a lot easier for us.”

Injury Notes: AD, Schröder, Isaac, Embiid, Simons, Vassell

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said star big man Anthony Davis was held out of Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City for precautionary reasons and it had been planned for “weeks,” writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

He’s frustrated as hell,” Ham said of Davis. “He wants to be out there, but he also understands the process of us managing his foot the right way. And again … it’s a stress reaction, so anything could set that thing off. The more stress you put on it, the more it’s gonna react. I’m not saying it flared up or anything. He’s absolutely playing pain-free. It’s just something we’re monitoring that we want to be extra careful and cautious about.”

The Lakers were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, so that likely played a significant factor in the team’s thinking. Point guard Dennis Schröder, who was starting in place of the injured D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain), sprained his left ankle on Wednesday night, but he had the ankle retaped and was able to return to the game, per Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group (Twitter links).

Schröder had called Wednesday’s matchup with the Thunder a “must-win” game, per Goon (via Twitter), and he toughed out the injury and finished with a game-high 26 points, six assists, two steals and was plus-16 in the six-point victory.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Magic big man Jonathan Isaac missed his third straight game on Wednesday night with a right hamstring/adductor strain, but he did rejoin the team in Milwaukee and was able to go through parts of Tuesday’s practice, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). Price reports that the Magic are “operating with an abundance of caution” due to the amount of time Isaac has missed the past few years. The 25-year-old has played 11 games thus far in ’22/23.
  • Sixers star Joel Embiid was ruled out of Wednesday’s game in Miami due to left foot soreness, tweets Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Despite missing their best player, the Sixers trounced the Heat by 25 points. It’s worth noting that it was the front end of a back-to-back, so the Sixers were likely just being cautious with Embiid; they play in Dallas on Thursday.
  • Anfernee Simons returned to the Trail Blazers‘ starting lineup on Wednesday night, the team announced (via Twitter). The fifth-year guard was dealing with a Grade 2 right ankle sprain, but he returned to action fairly quickly; he was technically out 15 days, but only missed three games due to the All-Star break.
  • Spurs guard/forward Devin Vassell is listed as probable for Thursday’s home game against Indiana, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Vassell has been sidelined since January 2 after undergoing a left knee procedure. His potential return was anticipated, as coach Gregg Popovich previously said the team was hoping he would return on Thursday.

Western Notes: Jazz, Snyder, Vassell, Fox, Wiggins

The Jazz won’t seek any compensation from Atlanta if the Hawks move forward with Quin Snyder and hire him as their new head coach, reports Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

As Walden explains, Snyder technically resigned from his position as the Jazz’s head coach last June rather than being fired. Because Atlanta may hire Snyder before his contract with Utah would have expired, the Jazz would be entitled to seek compensation in the form of draft assets or cash before allowing him to officially join the Hawks.

[RELATED: Hawks, Quin Snyder Making Progress In Talks]

However, according to Walden’s source, the Jazz are comfortable with simply severing ties with Snyder and allowing him to accept whichever job best suits him without holding up the process.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • According to head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs are hoping swingman Devin Vassell will be able to return to action on March 2, the team’s next home game (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). Vassell has been out since January 2 after undergoing a left knee procedure.
  • Losing took a toll on De’Aaron Fox, who endured five consecutive sub-.500 seasons upon entering the NBA and saw the Kings‘ record-setting playoff drought reach 16 seasons. However, the team’s success this season has rejuvenated Fox, who admits that he’s “a lot happier,” per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Now, Fox and his teammates are determined to make sure that the Kings’ strong play this season isn’t a “one-off,” as he explained during the All-Star break. “It’s great that this is the first year that it happens, but we kind of want to make this an annual thing,” Fox said.
  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who didn’t play in the last game before the All-Star break due to a family issue, remains away from the team for personal reasons. He missed Thursday’s contest and has been ruled out for Friday’s too. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter links), head coach Steve Kerr was unable to provide additional details or a return timeline for Wiggins.

Southwest Notes: Jones, Langford, Vassell, Bassey, Grizzlies, Green

There’s optimism that the Spurs will get some key players back shortly after the All-Star break, head coach Gregg Popovich said on Wednesday (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). According to Popovich, Tre Jones, Romeo Langford, and even Devin Vassell are all getting close to returning.

Jones has missed six of the Spurs’ last seven games due to left foot soreness, while Langford has been out since January 23 with a left adductor injury. As for Vassell, he underwent a procedure on his left knee in early January and has been on the mend since then. All three players were part of San Antonio’s starting five before being sidelined.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Charles Bassey‘s new four-year contract with the Spurs has matching $2.6MM cap hits in its first two seasons, both of which are fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. Bassey’s third- and fourth-year salaries are each $2.5MM and are non-guaranteed. His third-year salary would become guaranteed if he remains under contract through August 1, 2024 and his fourth-year salary would be guaranteed if he stays under contract through August 1, 2025.
  • When Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. were named All-Stars for 2023, it the first time in franchise history that two Grizzlies players had made the All-Star team in the same season. As Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes, the achievement serves as validation for the franchise that the right core pieces are in place, even if the club is still working on the complementary parts.
  • Kelly Iko of The Athletic examines Jalen Green‘s development and explores how important the growth of the former No. 2 overall pick is in the Rockets‘ long-term plans. As Iko details, Houston wants to take a significant step forward next season — adding another lottery talent in the draft and having up to $60MM+ in cap room will help, but the team also needs its own young players to take a leap.