Edmond Sumner

Edmond Sumner Signs With Lithuanian Club

Former NBA guard Edmond Sumner has signed with Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, the European team tweets.

Zalgiris was searching for a replacement for Naz Mitrou-Long, another former NBA player who signed with Greek’s Olympiacos.

Sumner became a free agent when the Hornets waived him during training camp. He had signed an Exhibit 9 contract prior to camp.

Sumner, 26, averaged 7.1 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1.3 APG in 53 games (13.9 MPG) for the Nets last season, posting a shooting line of .461/.356/.917. It was his first season back following an Achilles tear that cost him all of 2021/22.

A second-round pick in 2017, Sumner also appeared in a total of 108 regular season games with Indiana. In his 161-game NBA career, he has averaged 6.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 14 minutes per night.

Hornets Sign Ish Smith, Waive Edmond Sumner

3:03pm: The Hornets have officially signed Smith and waived Sumner, the team announced in a press release.

12:37pm: The Hornets are making an early-season roster change, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the team will sign veteran guard Ish Smith, waiving Edmond Sumner to clear a spot on the 15-man roster.

Smith, a well-traveled NBA veteran, has played for a record 13 teams, including the Hornets in 2021/22. Last season, the 35-year-old won his first NBA championship in Denver, averaging 2.5 points and 2.3 assists in 9.3 minutes per game across 43 regular season appearances for the Nuggets.

Charlotte presumably felt the need to add some extra point guard depth behind starter LaMelo Ball, with projected backup Frank Ntilikina expected to miss at least four weeks due to a fractured tibia. Smith and Theo Maledon are among the players who will be in the mix for those backup minutes until Ntilikina is ready to return.

While terms of Smith’s deal haven’t been reported, I’d expected a non-guaranteed minimum-salary deal. That would give the Hornets the flexibility to swap him out for another player prior to the league-wide salary guarantee date in January if Ntilikina is healthy by then.

It’s bad news for Sumner, who was on track to be one of four players on non-guaranteed Exhibit 9 contracts to make an opening night roster. Instead, it sounds like he’ll be placed on waivers prior to the Hornets’ regular season opener on Wednesday.

Sumner, 26, averaged 7.1 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1.3 APG in 53 games (13.9 MPG) for the Nets last season, posting a shooting line of .461/.356/.917. It was his first season back following an Achilles tear that cost him all of 2021/22.

Assuming he’s officially cut on Tuesday, Sumner will receive a small portion ($40,459) of his non-guaranteed minimum salary, since he was on the roster until the first day of the regular season and will spend two more days on waivers.

Hornets Sign Edmond Sumner, R.J. Hunter To One-Year Contracts

5:18pm: Sumner and R.J. Hunter, whose deal was previously reported, are officially members of the Hornets, according to a press release.

As we previously noted, the team waived three players to create roster space for Sumner, Hunter and Theo Maledon, who is back with Charlotte on a two-way deal. The Hornets are still at 21 players under contract — the offseason maximum — following the transactions.

4:12pm: The Hornets are signing free agent guard Edmond Sumner to a one-year contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Sumner will be vying for a roster spot in training camp, Wojnarowski adds.

According to Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Sumner’s contract will be non-guaranteed (Twitter link).

Sumner, 27, is a 6’4″ combo guard who played college ball at Xavier. He holds six years of NBA experience — five with Indiana and one with Brooklyn.

The 2022/23 season represented a comeback year for Sumner, who missed all of ’21/22 with a torn Achilles tendon. He appeared in 53 games (13.9 MPG) for the Nets last season, averaging 7.1 PPG on .461/.356/.917 shooting.

The Nets waived Sumner in July before his salary for ’23/24 became fully guaranteed. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto previously reported that the Hornets were interested in adding Sumner to their roster.

The Hornets’ roster is currently full, and Theo Maledon is returning to the team on a two-way deal. That means Charlotte will have to release two players to make room for Sumner and Maledon.

Scotto’s Latest: Tucker, Gay, Sumner, Noel

With James Harden‘s trade request still unresolved, teams are monitoring the future of his Sixers teammate P.J. Tucker. According to a report from HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, Tucker has come up in trade discussions between the 76ers and the Clippers, Harden’s reported preferred destination. The Clippers “covet” Tucker’s ability to guard multiple positions, according to Scotto.

Tucker, a teammate of Harden’s on the Rockets from 2017-21, joined the 76ers last summer on a three-year, $33MM deal to reunite with Harden and former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. Harden and Tucker are close, with Harden reportedly taking less money last offseason to help bring Tucker aboard one of the Eastern Conference’s top contenders.

Tucker, a 12-year NBA veteran, is owed $11MM this upcoming season and has a player option worth $11.5MM for the 2024/25 season. At 38 years old, Tucker is one of the oldest active players in the NBA but he hasn’t shown any mileage yet, starting in all 75 of his appearances last season and averaging 25.6 minutes.

There’s more from Scotto:

  • Free agent forward Rudy Gay, who was recently released by the Thunder, is drawing interest from several potential playoff teams, according to Scotto. The Warriors, Lakers, Mavericks, Bulls and Pelicans have all registered interest in Gay, per Scotto. Gay will be 37 by the time next season starts and while his role has diminished in each of the past three seasons, he’s still a seasoned veteran with 17 years of NBA experience. Gay averaged 5.2 points last season. Each team linked to Gay has at least one roster spot open and could offer him a one-year, veteran’s minimum which, for a player with 10+ years of experience, is worth roughly $3.2MM next season.
  • Free agent guard Edmond Sumner, who was recently let go by the Nets, is also drawing attention from multiple teams, according to Scotto. The Hornets, Bucks, Raptors, Heat and Suns all have registered interest in the 27 year old. Scotto says that some of the named teams appear more likely than others to pursue a deal with Sumner. The Bucks have one roster spot open and no true point guard behind Jrue Holiday, but those around the league expect Milwaukee’s final spot to go to Thanasis Antetokounmpo, according to Scotto. The Suns also just filled their final standard roster spot with Bol Bol, so they would have to create space elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Heat are reportedly in a holding pattern amid Damian Lillard trade talks. On the other hand, the Hornets are searching for veteran point guard help and the Raptors lack point guard depth behind new addition Dennis Schröder.
  • Before agreeing to a one-year deal with the Kings, center Nerlens Noel drew exploratory interest from the Lakers and Bulls, according to Scotto. The Lakers’ interest, in particular, is noteworthy due to their reported desire to add frontcourt depth to their roster. Free agent big men Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo have also recently been linked to the Lakers.

Darius Bazley Signs One-Year Deal With Nets

JULY 16: Bazley has officially signed with the Nets, the team’s PR department tweets.

JULY 14: The Nets are signing free agent big man Darius Bazley to a one-year contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bazley was the No. 23 overall pick of the 2019 draft. He spent his first three-plus seasons with the Thunder prior to being traded to Phoenix at the February deadline.

Like all former first-round picks who have all four years of their rookie scale contract exercised, Bazley was eligible for restricted free agency had the Suns given him a $6.2MM qualifying offer.

They chose not to, making him unrestricted and free to sign with any team. It wasn’t surprising given that Bazley had limited role with Phoenix, only appearing in seven games and a total of 61 minutes down the stretch.

Overall, the 6’8″ forward/center has averaged 9.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG on .411/.310/.673 shooting in 218 career games (118 starts, 3.6 MPG) with the Thunder and Suns. Bazley is still just 23 years old, a high leaper, and has shown flashes defensively. He also handled his inconsistent playing time last season with Oklahoma City very professionally.

Brooklyn technically hasn’t used any of its mid-level exception or bi-annual exception, but I’m guessing Bazley will be on a minimum-salary deal, given the timing of it (two weeks into free agency) and the Nets’ proximity to the luxury tax.

The Nets have focused on youth and athleticism this offseason, also signing Lonnie Walker and Dennis Smith Jr., two more former first-round picks.

As Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes, Bazley will fill Brooklyn’s 15th and final standard roster spot for now. However, the Nets could have another spot open soon. Guard Edmond Sumner, whose non-guaranteed contract becomes fully guaranteed tomorrow after he agreed to push back the guarantee date, sent out a tweet talking about overcoming adversity.

Nets Waive Edmond Sumner

JULY 15: The Nets have confirmed that they’ve waived Sumner (Twitter link).

“When they counted me out, Brooklyn gave me a shot to prove myself again,” Sumner said in a tweet of his own. “For that it’s always love. Had a ball hooping again! Story continues.”

JULY 14: The Nets are expected to waive guard Edmond Sumner before his non-guaranteed deal becomes fully guaranteed tomorrow, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

As our tracker shows, Sumner would have locked in his $2,239,943 salary for 2023/24 had he remained with the Nets beyond July 15.

Sumner recently sent out a tweet talking about overcoming adversity, which was a hint this news was coming. However, he played pretty well last season for Brooklyn after missing all of 2021/22 following a torn Achilles tendon. The 27-year-old averaged 7.1 PPG, 1.5 RPG and 1.3 APG on .461/.356/.917 shooting in 53 games (13.9 MPG) with the Nets.

An athletic combo guard, Sumner showed he still had his quickness in ’22/23 following the major injury, and he’s expected to draw interest on the open market, according to Scotto.

Assuming he clears waivers without being claimed, Sumner will become an unrestricted free agent. Any team interested in placing a claim could do so using the minimum salary exception, but would have to be willing to fully guarantee his 2023/24 salary.

Sumner is a former second-round pick, selected 52nd overall in 2017. He spent his first four seasons with the Pacers, first on a two-way deal before he was promoted to a standard contract. He played his college ball at Xavier.

Atlantic Notes: Beverley, Sumner, Harden, G. Williams, Raptors

In his latest podcast, Patrick Beverley said he consulted with former Sixers coach Doc Rivers before deciding to sign with Philadelphia (video link from Barstool Sports). Beverley describes Rivers as a “mentor” and said he often reaches out to him before making important decisions.

“This is a Hall of Fame coach who just got fired, and his exact words: ‘I love Philadelphia for you; they need you,'” Beverley said. “‘You will be great with Joel (Embiid). James (Harden), he respects you, you will be great with him. If I had you last season, we would have been a different team.'”

Beverley, who agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal, said he was planning to talk to the Celtics and Wizards, but changed his mind after getting Rivers’ endorsement of the Sixers.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets and guard Edmond Sumner have agreed to push back his salary guarantee date, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Sumner’s $2,239,943 non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24 had previously been on track to fully guarantee if he wasn’t waived today, as our tracker shows. His new guarantee date is July 15, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey showed good judgment by not letting his fondness for Harden affect what’s best for the team, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Morey has a long relationship with Harden going back to Houston, but he wasn’t willing to give the 34-year-old former MVP the pricey long-term contract he wanted. Hayes states that the first indication that Morey wouldn’t give in to Harden came when he hired Nick Nurse as his new head coach instead of Mike D’Antoni, a longtime Harden favorite.
  • Under different circumstances, the Celtics might have been willing to give Grant Williams the four-year, $54MM deal he received from the Mavericks, suggests Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Forsberg believes the Celtics would have paid that price for Williams before last season started or if they had been able to unload Malcolm Brogdon‘s salary. But the addition of Kristaps Porzingis affected Boston’s financial picture and likely would have reduced Williams’ role on the team. Forsberg points out that the Celtics are about $7MM below the second apron and have limited options to replace Williams, which should result in more playing time for Sam Hauser and other young players.
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic looks at potential deals for the Raptors after losing point guards Fred VanVleet and Dalano Banton in free agency. The most prominent name is Brogdon, whom Koreen believes might be available in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. Koreen also eyes trades involving Delon Wright, Ricky Rubio, Devonte’ Graham, Payton Pritchard, Killian Hayes, Cole Anthony and Kira Lewis.

Nets Notes: Offseason Needs, C. Johnson, Curry, Watanabe

The Nets may be encouraged by how they performed after trading Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but they’ll need to add rebounders and shot creators to get past the first round of the playoffs, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn couldn’t muster a single win in its series against the Sixers, even with Joel Embiid sidelined today with a sprained right knee. Playing without its starting center, Philadelphia had a decisive 54-38 advantage on the glass.

“We’ve got to get bigger over the summer. We’ve got to get nasty over the summer,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’ve got to get guys who really love hitting, and take it personal when the other team gets a rebound. That’s what we’ll be looking for.”

Rebounding was only part of the problem. The Nets shot 9-of-37 from three-point range today and just 5-of-29 after the first quarter. Mikal Bridges appeared exhausted by the end of the series, Lewis observes, and would benefit from having at least one more teammate who can run the offense and attack the basket.

“For our group going forward, the ability for multiple people to get downhill and get to the paint and create opportunities, that’s a need for us, yes,” Vaughn said.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • The Nets will almost certainly have to go over the luxury tax line to keep restricted free agent Cameron Johnson, according to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. He notes that Johnson would be a good fit for virtually all the teams with cap space this summer, such as the Rockets, Magic, Jazz, Thunder and Spurs. Gozlan projects a four-year offer sheet for Johnson somewhere around $80-90MM.
  • Seth Curry could be headed elsewhere in free agency, Gozlan adds. The 32-year-old guard doesn’t appear to fit the Nets’ long-term plans and may find a better opportunity with another team. Re-signing Yuta Watanabe may be a higher priority, but Gozlan notes that Brooklyn only has non-Bird rights and would have to use part of its mid-level exception to give him a salary that’s very much above the minimum.
  • The Nets have offseason decisions to make on Royce O’Neale, who only has a $2.5MM guarantee for next season on his $9.5MM salary, and Edmond Sumner, whose $2.2MM contract for 2023/24 is non-guaranteed, per Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link). Marks also points out that Spencer Dinwiddie will become eligible for a four-year extension worth up to $128MM in August.

Nets Notes: Depth, Mills, Thomas, Drummond

The NetsKevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades earlier this month significantly reduced the team’s star power but have created a deeper roster, resulting in difficult decisions for head coach Jacque Vaughn, as Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post writes.

With Seth Curry back in action on Wednesday following a five-game absence due to a left adductor strain, the Vaughn and the Nets employed a 10-man rotation that left out a couple players who have had regular roles for much of the season. As Sanchez writes, there was no room in that 10-man rotation for Edmond Sumner or Yuta Watanabe in addition to Day’Ron Sharpe or Patty Mills.

Vaughn is happy to use 10 of the Nets’ 14 players (not counting two-ways) for the time being, but expects to tighten the rotation further this spring.

“We’re playing 10 guys right now,” Vaughn said on Wednesday. “Eventually that’s going to whittle down to nine or eight as you get into the playoffs, but I think that’s the biggest thing is being able to utilize the depth.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Although he’s one of the odd men out of the Nets’ new rotation, Mills said he likes the look of the roster in the wake of the trade deadline and remains confident in the team’s chances to make the playoffs. In a conversation with Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the veteran guard made multiple references to the character of the locker room and the off-court bonds between Nets players. “Genuinely, you look around the room and we’ve just got really solid dudes,” Mills said. “(Potential) friendships, (where) you can talk and you can go outside of the basketball court, which I think at the end of the day makes a real impact on what we can do on the court.”
  • Given the opportunity to take on a larger role, Nets guard Cam Thomas scored 134 points in a three-game span earlier this month, but he has seen his minutes dip again within the last week, averaging just 19.8 MPG in Brooklyn’s last three games. Thomas, who expressed frustration with his limited playing time early in the season, doesn’t sound thrilled about once again taking a step back, Sanchez writes for The New York Post. “It’s tough,” Thomas said. “From doing one thing and trying to adjust to the team because that’s just what you got to do. It’s tough for sure. So just got to figure it out.”
  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Bulls center Andre Drummond admitted that he would’ve liked to re-sign with the Nets as a free agent last summer, but turned to the “next best option” when things didn’t work out with Brooklyn. “I definitely wanted to come back, but I think they were going in a different direction, so there was nothing I could really do about that,” said Drummond, who was the Nets’ starting center down the stretch and in the playoffs last spring.

Scotto’s Latest: Irving, Rockets, McMillan, D. Williams, Goodwin, Sumner

It seemed highly unlikely at times this past summer and fall that Nets star Kyrie Irving would even finish the season in Brooklyn, let alone stick with the team beyond 2022/23. But now several executives around the NBA believe that Irving will remain with the Nets this summer rather than leaving for a new team in free agency, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

“I think Kyrie ends up with a short extension with the Nets,” one executive predicted. “A sign-and-trade for Kyrie this summer would be tough given the length needed and assets to make it happen from another team. I think there’s an incentive for an extension on a one-plus-one or two-year deal.”

The Lakers, who were rumored to have interest in Irving during the 2022 offseason, loom as perhaps the biggest threat to lure him away from the Nets during the summer of 2023. They’re currently on track to open up about $30MM in cap space and could offer Kyrie the opportunity to form a Big Three alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • The Rockets are expected to go “star hunting” during the offseason, according to Scotto, who notes that Houston will have a significant chunk of cap space and wants to be more competitive in 2023/24.
  • Echoing previous reports, Scotto says the prevailing belief from outside the Hawks‘ organization is that head coach Nate McMillan won’t still be coaching the team next season.
  • Donovan Williams‘ new two-way contract with the Hawks covers next season in addition to the rest of this one, according to Scotto, who tweets that Atlanta has long been intrigued by Williams’ upside.
  • Wizards two-way player Jordan Goodwin is a strong candidate to be promoted to Washington’s 15-man roster before the end of this season, assuming the team can open up a spot, league sources tell Scotto. Goodwin is 10th among Wizards in minutes played this season, having earned playing time over several players who are on standard contracts.
  • Before he signed with the Nets over the summer, guard Edmond Sumner also received interest from the Suns, Pistons, and Pacers, per Scotto. Sumner worked out for Phoenix and had a workout scheduled with Detroit that he had to miss due to COVID-19.