Eugene Omoruyi

Contract Details: Omoruyi, Wilson, Freeman-Liberty, Bolden

Eugene Omoruyi‘s new two-year standard contract with the Wizards will pay him $900K for the rest of this season, Hoops Rumors has learned. Washington dipped into its mid-level exception in order to give Omoruyi that $900K, since using the minimum salary exception would have resulted in a rest-of-season salary worth approximately $522K.

Omoryui’s 2024/25 salary is worth the minimum and is non-guaranteed for the time being. If he remains under contract until the start of the ’24/25 regular season in the fall, he’ll earn a partial guarantee of $1MM. He’d receive his full guarantee for next season if he’s not cut on or before January 7, 2025.

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

  • Jalen Wilson‘s three-year contract with the Nets is worth approximately $4.96MM in total, with a $850K rest-of-season salary for 2023/24 and minimum salaries for the following two years. Brooklyn used its mid-level exception to give him a contract that covers three seasons and a starting salary well above the prorated rookie minimum. Wilson is also assured of a $75K partial guarantee next season, which will increase to $325K if he makes the opening-night roster.
  • The standard contract that Javon Freeman-Liberty received from the Raptors is a two-year, minimum-salary deal that includes a $100K partial guarantee for next season and multiple trigger dates for his 2024/25 salary. Freeman-Liberty’s partial guarantee would increase to $150K if he’s not waived by July 23 and to $800K if he’s still under contract at the start of the ’24/25 regular season.
  • Marques Bolden‘s two-way contract with the Hornets is a two-year agreement, so it will cover next season in addition to the rest of 2023/24.

Wizards Notes: Poole, Jones, Losing Streak, Omoruyi, Coulibaly

Jordan Poole‘s recent move to a sixth-man role may not be in the Wizards‘ best long-term interests, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. Aldridge admits that the inefficiencies in Poole’s game have been glaring since Golden State traded him last summer to a Washington team where he’s expected to be the best player. Poole is the Wizards’ most explosive scorer and has an ability to create his own shot when the offense bogs down, but he’s shooting just 40.1% from the field and 31% from three-point range this season while turning the ball over 2.2 times per game.

Point guard Tyus Jones is extremely efficient with the ball, but Aldridge notes that pairing him with Poole wasn’t working because they’re too small to play together and neither is a good defender. With Poole in the first season of a four-year, $123MM extension, Aldridge doesn’t expect the Wizards to be able to trade him any time soon. Jones is headed toward free agency this summer, which is why Aldridge believes the organization should commit to Poole as its starting point guard despite the flaws in his game.

Explaining the move, interim coach Brian Keefe said he’s a “huge believer” in Poole and expects him to have more offensive freedom coming off the bench.

“I want Jordan to be himself. And that was my message when I first took over,” Keefe said. “I want him to play in attack mode. And I think this is more of an opportunity for him to do that, because of the amount of time he puts into it. And what he can mean for our team when he does that.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Players are doing their best to stay positive amid a losing streak that reached 14 games Friday night, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. They’re two losses away from the franchise record, but the locker room emphasis is on continued growth. “Right now, we understand a lot of things we’re doing … halfway through the year. Changing coaches, we’re also changing a lot of philosophies, we’re also changing to do a lot of things that these young guys, they haven’t necessarily been taught,” Kyle Kuzma said. “We have a learning curve right now. We understand that. It’s always tough to lose, especially when you’re a competitor, and everybody in this locker room is a competitor. But we understand that we’re searching and we’re fighting for growth every single day.”
  • Interim coach Brian Keefe said Eugene Omoruyi‘s effort level helped him earn a standard contract after he was a two-way player for most of the season, Wallace adds. “This is someone who has worked his tail off behind the scenes, and then you guys get to see it occasionally when he plays,” Keefe said. “Every time we put him out there, we’ve done well. I think it’s also a credit to our development program and the use of the Go-Go in the G League and their staff. But mostly, Gene deserves it. He’s a guy that represents stuff that we’re about as a culture and want to build. Thrilled for him.”
  • In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, rookie forward Bilal Coulibaly talks about the challenges of his first NBA season.

Wizards Convert Eugene Omoruyi To Standard Contract

The Wizards have officially converted Eugene Omoruyi‘s two-way deal into a standard contract, the team announced in a press release. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news, indicating that it’s a two-year pact (Twitter link).

Ava Wallace of The Washington Post suggested last week that Omoruyi looked like a strong candidate to be promoted to a standard deal, and now that has come to fruition.

A 6’7″ forward who went undrafted out of Oregon in 2021, Omoruyi holds three seasons of NBA experience, having made previous stops with Dallas, Oklahoma City and Detroit before catching on with Washington last summer. The 27-year-old has appeared in 27 games for the Wizards in 2023/24, averaging 4.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per night.

In addition to his NBA minutes, Omoruyi has also played 12 total games for Washington’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, averaging 20.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals.

Omoruyi will technically be the Wizards’ 15th player on a standard deal, at least for one day — Justin Champagnie‘s 10-day contract expires on Saturday night. If they don’t re-sign Champagnie, they’ll be back down to 14 players on standard contracts at that point, with one two-way opening.

Southeast Notes: Miller, Curry, Wizards, Young

Rookie forward Brandon Miller is the main reason for optimism in Charlotte, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, who suggests the Hornets should trade LaMelo Ball and build for the future around Miller.

Although Ball has better stats, Jones views Miller as having more overall impact because of his superior shooting combined with an ability to dribble and pass, along with his impact on defense. Jones sees Miller as a younger version of Paul George, which is a comparison that was made frequently when Miller was in college.

As Jones notes, injuries are the main concern for Ball, who signed a five-year extension last summer that will take effect in 2024/25. He has appeared in just 22 of Charlotte’s 56 games this season after being limited to 36 last year. Even so, Jones believes Ball has enough trade value to provide a nice return for the Hornets, who are also likely to land a top five pick in this year’s draft.

Jones believes Charlotte is headed in the right direction after bringing in Grant WilliamsSeth Curry, Vasilije Micić and Tre Mann at the trade deadline. Each of those players brings something valuable to the roster, Jones adds, and Mann has excelled since becoming the team’s starting point guard.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Curry was thrilled to be traded to his hometown Hornets, and have his father, Dell, as one of the team’s broadcasters, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The whole family was together Friday night in San Francisco as Charlotte faced Stephen Curry‘s Warriors. “It’s special,” Seth Curry said. “When we are in the game, we are locked into the game, so it’s kind of like no different. But just to see him on the floor about to call the game and to see him afterwards it’s special. Because usually we only see him twice a year, four times a year or something like that. And for all three of us to be involved in one game, that’s history.” 
  • Interim coach Brian Keefe is experimenting with rotations for the Wizards, who dropped their 10th straight game Friday night, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. During the final part of the season, she expects the team to see what it has in Patrick Baldwin Jr., who was acquired from Golden State last summer, Johnny Davis, a 2022 lottery pick who has never been able to earn consistent playing time, and Eugene Omoruyi, who’s currently on a two-way contract but may be a strong candidate for a standard deal.
  • Hawks guard Trae Young is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Orlando due to an injured finger on his left hand, tweets Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution.

Wizards Notes: Coulibaly, Gill, Avdija, Omoruyi, Lineup

It raised some eyebrows around the NBA when the Wizards traded up to No. 7 in June’s draft to nab French forward Bilal Coulibaly, who played second fiddle to Victor Wembanyama for the Metropolitans 92 last season. But Coulibaly, the NBA’s third-youngest player, has impressed the team with his poise and maturity so far this fall, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

“I think that’s unique for a teenager,” head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Coulibaly’s mindset. “It doesn’t seem like he gets rattled. He’s not overly demonstrative in any way, but I think he’s got the right approach.”

Third-year wing Corey Kispert said that Coulibaly has had to learn a lot in his first NBA training camp and preseason, joking that the rookie has been forced to “drink out of a fire hose” in taking in all the information the Wizards are throwing at him. However, Kispert added that he has been “nothing but impressed” with Coulibaly so far.

According to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, Unseld said this week that the plan for Coulibaly this season is to give him a “steady diet” of meaningful minutes in games. That might happen in the NBA with the Wizards or in the G League with the Capital City Go-Go. The franchise doesn’t want to rush the developmental process with the 19-year-old, and he’s on board with that plan.

“I know I’m young,” Coulibaly said. “I’ll take the time that it will take.”

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • The Wizards announced on Thursday that forward Anthony Gill has suffered a strained left hamstring and will be sidelined for the next two or three weeks, tweets Wallace. That means Gill likely won’t be available when the club’s regular season begins on October 25.
  • Deni Avdija, who has missed the Wizards’ first two preseason games due to back tightness, was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and could’ve played on Thursday if needed, tweets Robbins. It’s sounds like Avdija will be good to go for the start of the regular season, barring a setback.
  • Wallace shares some takeaways from the Wizards’ first two preseason games, singling out two-way player Eugene Omoruyi as an under-the-radar standout and observing that the club’s starting lineup is beginning to take shape. Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Coulibaly, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford have started both preseason contests for Washington, though Wallace suspects Avdija may supplant Coulibaly in that five-man group once he returns.
  • With Bradley Beal no longer in Washington, which player or players might emerge as the locker room leader(s) in 2023/24? Candace Buckner of The Washington Post explores that topic, writing that those leadership roles will come down to stature and won’t simply fall to the highest-paid players by default.

Wizards Notes: Unseld, Starting Point, Muscala, Omoruyi

While the Wizards‘ new front office has publicly shown support for incumbent head coach Wes Unseld Jr., who was hired by the previous regime, Josh Robbins of The Athletic believes 2023/24 will be a “make-or-break season” for Unseld’s future with the organization.

As Robbins writes, the Wizards have gone 35-47 in each of Unseld’s two seasons at the helm. After trading away Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, Washington likely took a short-term step backwards, so evaluating Unseld by the team’s record might not be prudent.

Robbins is interested to see how much buy-in Unseld will be able to coax out of the many new faces on the roster, and if the team’s young draft picks will develop over the course of the season, among other evaluation tools.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In the same mailbag article, Robbins thinks Tyus Jones, who was acquired from Memphis in the Porzingis trade, has the edge for the starting point guard job heading into the season. His main competition is likely Delon Wright, who has been in trade rumors this offseason. As Robbins notes, Jordan Poole should have plenty of on-ball opportunities as well, even if he’s technically slotted as the shooting guard.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington evaluates what big man Mike Muscala will bring to the Wizards. As with Jones, Muscala was acquired in the Porzingis deal (from Boston). The 32-year-old makes quick decisions and is a strong off-ball mover in addition to being a threat from deep, Hughes writes.
  • The Wizards signed forward Eugene Omoruyi to a two-way deal last month after he split last season with the Thunder and Pistons. According to Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington, Omoruyi is a late bloomer, as he didn’t start playing basketball until he was a sophomore in high school. The 26-year-old is known as a strong cutter and versatile defender, Todd notes.

Wizards Sign Eugene Omoruyi To Two-Way Contract

JULY 12: Omoruyi has officially signed a two-way contract with the Wizards, the club announced today in a press release.

JULY 11: The Wizards have agreed to a two-way contract with forward Eugene Omoruyi, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets.

Omoruyi became a free agent when the Pistons waived him at the beginning of the month. He appeared in 17 games after initially signing a pair of 10-day deals with Detroit in early March. He averaged 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game.

Omoruyi was able to earn a contract that ran through 2023/24, but it contained no guaranteed money beyond last season.

He also appeared in 23 games with Oklahoma City last season and four games with Dallas the previous season.

The Wizards have now filled two of their three two-way slots, as our two-way tracker shows. Quenton Jackson holds one of the other two-way spots.

Pistons Waive Eugene Omoruyi

The Pistons have waived small forward Eugene Omoruyi, the team announced (via Twitter).

Detroit picked up Omoruyi’s $1.9MM option on Wednesday, but his salary for next season remained non-guaranteed, so the move won’t cost the team any money. Omoruyi will become an unrestricted free agent if he clears waivers.

The Pistons arranged trades on Friday for Nets swingman Joe Harris and Wizards point guard Monte Morris, so they may have needed to part with Omoruyi’s salary to clear cap room before those deals can be finalized.

Omoruyi appeared in 17 games after signing a pair of 10-day deals in early March. He was able to earn a contract that ran through 2023/24, but it contained no guaranteed money beyond last season.

Pistons Picking Up Option On Eugene Omoruyi

The Pistons have exercised their $1.9MM option on Eugene Omoruyi, sources tell James L. Edwards of The Athletic. (Twitter link).

The 26-year-old small forward joined the team in early March on a pair of 10-day deals and earned a contract that extends through 2023/24.

Although the Pistons have reportedly picked up his option, it’s believed that Omoruyi’s salary for next season won’t immediately become fully guaranteed.

Omoruyi impressed team officials with the effort he shows when he’s on the court, Edwards adds. In 17 games with Detroit, he averaged 9.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 21.9 minutes per night.

Pistons Notes: Burks, Livers, Coaching Search, Diallo, Offseason

The Pistons are likely to exercise their team options on Alec Burks and Isaiah Livers for next season, but the decision on Eugene Omoruyi appears to be less clear, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscription required).

Burks, who will make $10.5MM if Detroit decides to keep him, was a valuable member of the team’s reserve unit because of his ability to create shots for himself and his teammates, Curtis notes. There was speculation that Burks might be moved at the trade deadline, but Curtis believes the front office sees him as a valuable component for a team that hopes to contend for a play-in spot next season.

Livers seems like a safe investment at his $1.8MM price tag for next season. Although injuries have slowed his progress, Curtis notes that he has responded to the nightly challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best player. He has also improved his mid-range game and shows promise of developing into a reliable scorer.

Omoruyi joined the Pistons in February on a pair of 10-day contracts and landed a deal that included a non-guaranteed $1.9MM salary for 2023/24. If his option is picked up, he’ll likely be part of Detroit’s Summer League team.

There’s more on the Pistons:

  • General manager Troy Weaver appears to be open to hiring an unproven head coach, observes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required). Pistons assistant coaches Rex Kalamian and Jerome Allen are both candidates for the job, and other names mentioned include Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Nets assistant Brian Keefe, Pelicans assistant Jarrod Collins and Bulls assistant Josh Longstaff. Sankofa notes that the first-time coach strategy has paid off recently for teams such as the Grizzlies, Thunder, Jazz and Pelicans.
  • The Pistons could have up to $30MM in cap space this summer, but there’s a chance they may lose some of their own free agents while they concentrate on the bigger names on the market, Keith Langlois of states in a mailbag column. One possibility is Hamidou Diallo, who Langlois said may appeal to a team with limited resources to offer.
  • James L. Edwards of The Athletic examines what a perfect offseason would look like for Detroit. It starts, of course, by winning the draft lottery and drafting Victor Wembanyama, and may include bringing back Jerami Grant in free agency and trading Bojan Bogdanovic.