Dominick Barlow

Spurs Notes: Wembanyama, Vassell, Barlow, Graham, Wesley

Ticket holders for the Spurs’ game against the Warriors on Monday got some good news on Sunday. Victor Wembanyama is not on the injury report, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets.

Wembanyama has missed the last two games due to a gimpy ankle. Second-leading scorer Devin Vassell, who is dealing with a left hip contusion, is listed as probable.

We have more on the Spurs:

  • Dominick Barlow, who had his two-way contract upgraded to a standard deal earlier this month, delivered a big performance at Golden State on Saturday with the star rookie sidelined, supplying 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes. “Props to him,” Jeremy Sochan told Jeff McDonald of the Express-News. “He just got an NBA contract so we’re all very proud of him. He helped us a lot, just scoring, playing good defense and just in general playing well.”
  • Devonte’ Graham got a rare opportunity to play meaningful minutes on Saturday and contributed eight points in 12 minutes to the victory, McDonald notes. “Devonte’ hasn’t played much,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He came in and gave us a real boost.” Graham’s $12.65MM contract for next season is partially guaranteed for $2.85MM, so he appears likely to be traded or waived this summer.
  • The Spurs used one of the picks they acquired from Boston in the Derrick White trade to draft Blake Wesley. Wesley, who turns 21 on Saturday, has received steady playing time off the bench and San Antonio still has high hopes for him, according to Mike Finger of the Express-News. “He’s definitely got the explosiveness of a (Russell) Westbrook,” big man Zach Collins said.

Contract Details: Lawson, K. Brown, Forrest, Barlow, Bouyea, More

The Mavericks used a portion of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception to give A.J. Lawson a $1MM rest-of-season salary and a four-year contract when they promoted him to their standard roster, Hoops Rumors has learned.

While Lawson’s 2023/24 salary of $1MM – which is well above his prorated minimum – is guaranteed, he’s not necessarily assured of any money beyond this season. His minimum salaries for the following three years are fully non-guaranteed. If he plays out the full contract, the Mavericks wing would earn approximately $7.91MM.

Here are more details on recently signed contracts around the NBA:

  • The three-year contract that Kendall Brown signed with the Pacers features a starting salary of $1.1MM, which came out of the team’s room exception. This season is the first year that the room exception can be used to sign players for up to three years instead of just two, and Indiana took advantage of that flexibility to give Brown non-guaranteed minimum salaries in 2024/25 and ’25/26, with a team option on that final year. He’ll receive a partial guarantee of $250K if he makes the Pacers’ regular season roster in the fall.
  • The new contracts for Hawks guard Trent Forrest and Spurs forward Dominick Barlow are just rest-of-season, minimum-salary deals, which suggests that those two players just got standard conversions from their two-way contracts rather than negotiating new terms. Forrest will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Barlow will be eligible for restricted free agency.
  • As expected, both Shake Milton (Knicks) and Mike Muscala (Thunder) signed rest-of-season, minimum-salary contracts with their new clubs.
  • Like fellow San Antonio newcomer RaiQuan Gray, Jamaree Bouyea signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Spurs, so his new contract runs through the 2024/25 season.
  • The two-way deals recently signed by Jeff Dowtin (Sixers), Jacob Gilyard (Nets), Jacob Toppin (Knicks), Ish Wainright (Suns), Quenton Jackson (Pacers), Harry Giles (Lakers), and Dylan Windler (Hawks) are all one-year (rest-of-season) contracts, so those players will be eligible to become restricted free agents this summer.

Spurs Notes: Wembanyama, McDermott, Branham, Barlow, Gray

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne declared during an NBA Today segment on Monday (Twitter video link) that Spurs phenom Victor Wembanyama is “ready to win” and questioned how patient the Rookie of the Year frontrunner will be as the front office looks to build out the roster around him.

However, Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link) pushed back against the idea that Wembanyama will be urging the team to accelerate the roster-building process.

“I say this without an ounce of exaggeration or hyperbole: I talk to people about the Spurs every day. And of all those people, there is one who is, by far, the most forward-thinking and relentlessly patient when it comes to the plan,” Finger wrote. “It’s the 20-year-old kid. And it’s not close.”

Armed with plenty of cap flexibility and an excess of draft picks this offseason, the Spurs will be well positioned to continue adding talent to their young core, but there’s no indication that the club will be looking to consolidate several of its assets in a win-now move quite yet.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • Ahead of the Spurs’s game against the Pacers on Sunday, Zach Collins admitted that he was sad to see former teammate Doug McDermott go at last month’s trade deadline, though he appreciated that McDermott landed in a favorable situation. “I talked to him the day it happened and just told him I was going to miss him and that it was really fun playing with him,” Collins said, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required). “But I am happy for him that he got to go (to a playoff contender). In the playoffs you need shooting, and he is going to be really valuable for them.” McDermott was unable to suit up against his old team on Sunday due to a calf injury.
  • A full-time starter for the Spurs in November and December, Malaki Branham had been coming off the bench since January 2. However, he earned a rare start on Sunday and took full advantage by scoring 18 points and handing out six assists, much to the delight of his teammates, Orsborn writes (subscription required). “I don’t have words to say how excited I am for him,” Keldon Johnson said. “I’m happy for him and the way he stepped up tonight. We really needed it and it was big.”
  • After having been promoted to the Spurs’ standard roster from his two-way contract, Dominick Barlow earned praise from head coach Gregg Popovich for having improved “pretty dramatically” since joining the team, according to Orsborn. “He is someone who plays in a solid manner,” Popovich said. “You don’t see him making mistakes really. He is not really a shooter. He is a pretty good defender and he goes to the boards pretty well, runs well. So, all those kind of basic things he puts together and plays a game that kind of complements everybody else.”
  • RaiQuan Gray‘s new two-way contract with the Spurs will cover two years, running through next season, Hoops Rumors has confirmed.

Spurs Promote Barlow, Sign Bouyea To Two-Way Deal

MARCH 2: The Spurs have officially promoted Barlow to the standard roster and signed Bouyea to a two-way contract, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News.

MARCH 1: The Spurs are converting Dominick Barlow‘s two-way deal into a standard contract, agent Todd Ramasar tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

San Antonio will fill Barlow’s former two-way spot by signing free agent guard Jamaree Bouyea, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Barlow went undrafted out of the Overtime Elite league in 2022 and caught on with the Spurs that summer, signing a two-way contract. The 20-year-old forward/center re-signed with San Antonio last offseason, inking another two-way deal.

Barlow has appeared in 51 games with the Spurs over the past two seasons, averaging 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per contest. San Antonio had an open spot on its standard roster, which means no subsequent roster move is necessary to promote Barlow.

Bouyea, 24, has appeared in 11 NBA games with the Heat, Wizards and Trail Blazers over the past two seasons, averaging 2.3 points in 11.6 minutes. While he struggled in his limited run with Portland in 2023/24, the former San Francisco star has been on fire in the G League of late, averaging 29.3 points, 11.3 assists, 9 rebounds and 2.3 steals over his last three games, per Charania.

Bouyea, who went undrafted in 2022, has spent most of his first two professional seasons with Miami’s NBAGL affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Cuban, Barlow, Pelicans

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic leads the league with 34.2 points per game, yet there’s little buzz regarding his Most Valuable Player award candidacy. Perhaps a big showing in tonight’s All-Star Game could change that narrative, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

However, Doncic himself is skeptical. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t know.”

He does know there’s a lot of work to be done to make this a special season for himself and the franchise. “I have a long, long way to go,” he said. “So I just enjoy every moment. . . I just appreciate every day. Every game. Every practice. For me it’s fun. So for me to do this as my job, it’s a dream.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver has plenty of praise for Mark Cuban, who has given up majority ownership in the Mavericks but will reportedly remain involved in basketball operations. Silver called Cuban a “game-changing owner” who continues to voice his opinions regularly to the NBA office, Townsend writes in a separate story. “He’s had an incredible impact on this league,” Silver said. “I have been with the league through the entire tenure of his ownership. From his earliest days in the league, he pushed us hard. He came in as a technologist.”
  • The Spurs’ Dominick Barlow, who is on a two-way contract, participated in the NBA G League’s Up Next tournament on Sunday. Barlow, who has appeared in 23 NBA games this season, said he’s grateful to have any type of pro contract. “If you don’t have a purpose and a passion for something and aren’t giving your all, you are just wasting your time,” he told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News. “So many people, especially young people, are searching for what they want to do in life and it takes a long time for a lot of different people to find that. I was fortunate to find what I wanted to do at a young age and I try to take full advantage, understanding I have a gift and a blessing. I don’t want to waste it.”
  • Former Warriors GM and current ESPN TV analyst Bob Myers compares the Pelicans to the Knicks, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune relays. “I think the Knicks are the Pelicans of the East,” Myers said on ESPN. “Very deep. A lot of good players. Lacking greatness.” Myers adds that those types of teams are less effective in the postseason. “When you get to the playoffs, it’s not about the ninth or 10th guy,” he said. “When the Warriors were winning championships, you know what our bench scoring was? Twenty-seventh in the league; 28th in the league; 29th. You know who scored? The guy making $40 million. The guy making $30 million.”

NBA G League Announces Up Next Participants

A pool of 28 players has been selected for the NBA G League’s Up Next Game at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, the NBAGL announced in a press release.

According to the release, the event features “four teams of seven players competing in two semifinal games. The winner of each semifinal will face off in a Championship game.

“The teams will be made up of 28 NBA G League players, including 10 selected by a fan vote. The remaining 18 players will be selected by the NBA G League and will include eight members of NBA G League Ignite and at least one member of the Indiana Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the All-Star hosting Indiana Pacers. Each team will be coached by a head coach from the NBA G League.”

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are on two-way contracts.

Fan vote:

Former Kentucky guard Hagans received the most votes.

NBAGL selections:

G League Ignite:

They aren’t currently on NBA teams, but it’s worth noting that Labissiere and Bazley are ineligible for two-way deals because they each hold four years of NBA experience. Weatherspoon (three years), Hagans (one) and Williams (one) also hold at least some NBA experience.

Spurs Notes: Wembanyama, Barlow, Murray, Young

Victor Wembanyama started the season at power forward but he’s mainly manned the center position in recent weeks. The first pick of the draft says he’s eager to find out where he best fits, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez writes.

“I’m glad we can experience stuff and figure out my role. I’m a rookie,” he said. “It’s also me figuring out how I want to play now but also for the future how we want to build. We’re still trying some stuff.”

The Spurs also want him to develop chemistry with wing Devin Vassell.

“Those are two of the people we want to have the ball a lot since they’re our skilled players in a sense,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “Seeing those two guys meld together is important for us. They’re doing pretty well.”

We have more on the Spurs:

  • Wembanyama is planning to participate in the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend in Indianapolis next month, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.
  • With Wembanyama sitting out against Chicago over the weekend, Dominick Barlow got a chance to start on Saturday. He didn’t dazzle, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News notes, as he contributed five points, six rebounds and a block in 22 minutes. It was still a milestone for an undrafted two-way player. He’s been backing up the super rookie since Zach Collins was sidelined by an ankle injury.
  • The Spurs have been linked to Dejounte Murray, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer argues that they should pursue the Hawks’ other starting guard, Trae Young. Wembanyama and Young could form a dynamic duo that teams wouldn’t want to switch screens against. Young is also one of the league’s best at creating easy shots for bigs, which would allow Wembanyama to score off of rolls and cuts on a regular basis, O’Connor notes.

Dominick Barlow Returns To Spurs On Two-Way Deal

JULY 27: Barlow’s signing is official, the Spurs confirmed (via Twitter).

JULY 26: Power forward Dominick Barlow will remain with the Spurs on a two-way contract, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The news was confirmed by his agent, Todd Ramasar of Life Sports Agency, Wojnarowski adds.

Barlow, 20, was a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer from San Antonio last month. His new deal amounts to another two-way contract with a small guarantee for the upcoming season.

Barlow inked a two-way deal with the Spurs last summer after going undrafted following a year with Overtime Elite. He spent much of the season in the G League, but he appeared in 28 NBA games and averaged 3.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per night. He put up some impressive numbers in April, including 21 points and 19 rebounds on the final day of the NBA’s regular season.

Once Barlow’s signing becomes official, the Spurs will have one open two-way slot on their roster. Sir’Jabari Rice is also signed to a two-way deal.

12 Two-Way Restricted Free Agents Remain Unsigned

The action on the NBA’s free agent market has slowed since the start of July, but there are still many FAs seeking new deals, including a notable group of under-the-radar players whose situations will need to be resolved in the coming days, weeks, and months.

A total of 12 two-way restricted free agents are still available, as our up-to-date list shows. Those players are as follows:

That group doesn’t include a 13th player, Neemias Queta, who is also a restricted free agent after finishing last season on a two-way deal. Although he remains eligible to sign another two-way contract, Queta was ineligible for a two-way qualifying offer after having played on a two-way with the Kings for consecutive seasons — his QO is a one-year, minimum-salary contract with a small ($75K) partial guarantee.

For the rest of these players, their qualifying offer is simply another one-year, two-way deal, which limits their leverage to negotiate a more lucrative standard contract.

Some two-way RFAs have managed to earn standard deals this offseason. A.J. Green of the Bucks was one. Julian Champagnie of the Spurs was another. Ty Jerome (Warriors) and Jack White (Nuggets) received standard contract offers from the Cavaliers and Thunder, respectively, that their former teams were unwilling to match, so Golden State and Denver simply withdrew their respective qualifying offers, making Jerome and White unrestricted free agents.

Offer sheets for two-way restricted free agents essentially never happen though. And in general, unless a team has earmarked a 15-man roster spot for a two-way free agent, it’s an uphill battle for these players to earn offseason promotions.

As a result, the majority of the dozen restricted free agents listed above will likely end up accepting their qualifying offers and hoping that their play in 2023/24 forces their clubs to find 15-man roster spots for them later in the season.

Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on this group to see if any of them can do better than another two-way — and to see how long some of them might be willing to wait in the hope of earning that opportunity.

No QOs For Suns’ Bazley, Cavs’ Windler, Heat’s Yurtseven

The Suns opted not to issue a qualifying offer to forward Darius Bazley, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). As a result, Bazley will become an unrestricted free agent rather than restricted.

The decision doesn’t come as a huge surprise, since Bazley’s qualifying offer would have been worth approximately $6.2MM. While it’s not clear if Phoenix is interested in re-signing the former first-round pick, the team will hold his Bird rights and could probably re-sign him at a more team-friendly rate.

Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler also didn’t receive a qualifying offer and will become an unrestricted free agent, reports Scotto (Twitter link).

Windler was never considered likely to get a QO, which would’ve been worth just shy of $6MM. He has been limited by injuries in his first four NBA seasons and hasn’t become a rotation player in Cleveland, appearing in just 84 total games.

Heat center Omer Yurtseven is another player who was eligible for a qualifying offer but didn’t receive one, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

Yurtseven’s QO is only worth a projected $2.22MM ($200K more than his minimum salary), but the Heat will be cost-conscious about how they fill out their roster, given that their team salary projects to go well beyond the luxury tax line.

The following players did receive qualifying offers and will be restricted free agents: