Francisco Garcia

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Stephenson, Garcia

It’s not shaping up to be a banner night for the league’s Northwest Division, with the Nuggets losing big in Charlotte, the Blazers down 20 at the half in Houston and the Jazz facing a 21-6 Grizzles team in Memphis. But that hasn’t affected the buzz coming out of the division on Monday night. Let’s round up the latest news and notes here:

  • The Jazz have no interest in pursuing Josh Smith should he hit free agency, reports Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter). This news certainly comes as no surprise, as Utah remains committed to developing their young frontcourt of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert, as Jones notes.
  • Matching Charlotte’s $63MM offer sheet on Gordon Hayward, perhaps the most critical member of the Jazz‘s young core, is looking even better for Utah considering that the Hornets ended up with Lance Stephenson as a result, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. With the Jazz in Charlotte this past weekend, Genessy rehashes the offseason’s festivities with Hayward, who has enjoyed a breakout season for Utah.
  • Speaking of Stephenson, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said the much-maligned Hornets guard, who he coached in Indiana, is misunderstood and might be a victim of unrealistic expectations in Charlotte, writes Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post. “Obviously he does some stuff out there on the floor that a lot of people don’t agree with,” Shaw said. “That’s just part of maturity with him. But it’s also part of his edge. You see Kevin Garnett on the court, and he’s always talking sometimes to the opponent, but a lot of times to himself, just trying to do what it takes to get himself pumped up to win the game. Lance is much the same way.” The Nuggets are one of a handful of teams that have been linked to Stephenson.
  • The Timberwolves did not put in a waiver claim on Francisco Garcia, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (via Twitter). Garcia was waived on Friday after he declined to be traded to Minnesota, but there were reports that the Wolves may still try to add the veteran off waivers.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: D-League, Daniels, Garcia

Prior to being waived by the Rockets yesterday, Francisco Garcia declined to be traded to the Wolves, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). There is still a possibility that Minnesota will claim Garcia off of waivers, Spears adds.

Here’s the latest from out west:

  • The Wolves‘ acquisition of Troy Daniels in the trade for Corey Brewer nets them an effective outside shooter, something the team was lacking, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes. If Daniels can indeed fill that role, his team-friendly salary for this season and next will make him a steal, Rand opines.
  • The Pelicans have recalled point guard Russ Smith from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League, the team announced in a press release. In two D-League assignments this season, Smith has appeared in six games with Fort Wayne, averaging 16.5 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals.
  • Ricky Ledo has been recalled by the Mavs from the Texas Legends, their D-League affiliate, the team announced in a press release. This was Ledo’s fifth sojourn of the season to the D-League.
  • The improved play of Darrell Arthur should benefit the Nuggets big man when he inks his next deal, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. Arthur is in the final season of a three-year contract worth $9MM, and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Judging by the high-volume of trade calls Denver has received about him this season, Arthur’s value on the open market will likely be high, Dempsey adds.
  • For the fifth time this season, the Thunder have assigned Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue, their D-League affiliate, the team announced.

Rockets Acquire Corey Brewer

8:15pm: The trade is official, the Rockets have announced in a press release. Houston received Alexey Shved from the Sixers and Corey Brewer from the Wolves. Minnesota received Troy Daniels, along with the Kings’ 2015 second round pick (protected for picks 50-60), Houston’s 2016 second round pick (protected for picks 31-45) and cash considerations from the Rockets. Philadelphia received Houston’s 2015 second round pick and the rights to Serhiy Lishchuk from the Rockets, and Ronny Turiaf from Minnesota. The Rockets have also officially waived Francisco Garcia to reduce their roster count to 15.

5:52pm: The Sixers will also receive the rights to Serhiy Lishchuk from the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter link). Lishouk was the No. 49 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

5:24pm: Alexey Shved is likely to head to the Rockets as part of the deal, and Turiaf will go to the Sixers, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter links). Houston intends to release Garcia rather than include him in the trade, Wojnarowski also notes.

2:58pm: The Wolves receive Sacramento’s 2015 second-round pick, which the Kings previously sent to the Rockets, as long as it’s within the top 49 selections, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). The 2016 second-rounder going Minnesota’s way is Houston’s own, Zgoda adds.

2:48pm: Minnesota and Houston discussed Rockets swingman Francisco Garcia, Wolfson hears (Twitter link), though it’s unclear if he’ll be part of the final arrangement.

2:22pm: The Rockets are also sending cash to Minnesota in the deal, Feigen tweets.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Minnesota Timberwolves1:36pm: The Wolves and Rockets have struck a deal that will send Corey Brewer to Houston, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Troy Daniels heads to Minnesota as part of the deal, Wojnarowski also tweets. Ronny Turiaf, who’s likely out for the season, is headed to the Rockets, though there’s a decent chance that he’ll wind up on a third team, Wojnarowski adds (on Twitter). Minnesota-Houston deal itself is liable to involve another team, too, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). As the deal stands, two future second-round picks are also heading from the Rockets to Minnesota, one of which is the 2015 second-rounder that Houston had acquired from the Kings, though the draft considerations are still being hammered out, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

Houston GM Daryl Morey and his staff had been pushing to use a trade exception worth nearly $8.375MM by no later than today so that the Rockets could flip whomever they acquired in another trade that aggregates that player’s salary prior to the trade deadline. It’s not immediately clear what the other elements of the Brewer deal are, but the Rockets are indeed taking Brewer’s salary of nearly $4.703MM into the exception, as Wojnarowski writes in a full story and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets.

The teams first discussed a Brewer deal last month before Minnesota appeared to take him off the table amid injury woes. At the time it seemed as though Brewer’s suitors were pushing for him to waive his $4.905MM player option for next season, but it’s unclear if Houston was hung up on that notion or whether Brewer has indeed done so. The Cavs were also keen on acquiring Brewer both in November and this week, when Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders reignited the talks. Reports indicated that the Clippers had interest at both points, too, and the Heat were apparently eyeing Brewer at least during the initial round of talks.

Houston’s coaching staff is reportedly enamored with Brewer, and, as Wojnarowski writes, it’s primarily his defense at the small forward position that’s driven the Rockets to make the deal. Still, that’s somewhat odd, since the Rockets have given up the second fewest points per 100 possessions in the league so far, per, even without Brewer. His game seems an awkward fit for Houston, as I examined when I looked at Brewer’s trade candidacy. A November report from Feigen that first revealed Houston’s eagerness to use the trade exception, a vestige of this summer’s Jeremy Lin trade that doesn’t expire until this coming July, suggested that the Rockets were merely trying to bolster their rotation, regardless of fit. Thus, Houston could put together a more attractive trade offer in pursuit of a star at the deadline, when the Rockets would be able to aggregate the salary of whomever they used the exception on with other salaries.

The Wolves, who are in a rebuilding stage, as Saunders recently admitted, announced earlier this week that Turiaf is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery. He’d appeared in only two games so far this season because of the lingering hip injury, and his contract, which pays him a guaranteed $1.5MM this year, is up at season’s end. Saunders indicated this week that Minnesota would waive Turiaf if an intriguing free agent came available, but instead the 10th-year veteran is departing the Wolves via trade.

Daniels is heading to Minnesota after re-signing with the Rockets this past summer on a two-year deal that’s fully guaranteed for the minimum salary. The 23-year-old swingman was surprising playoff hero for Houston last spring, but he’s seen just 6.4 minutes per game across 17 appearances for the Rockets this season.

Rockets Waive Jeff Adrien, Ish Smith

The Rockets have waived Jeff Adrien and Ish Smith, the team announced via press release. Shams Charania of RealGM reported overnight that the team would do so with Adrien (Twitter link), adding that Houston was considering Smith or Francisco Garcia for the final cut necessary to take the team’s roster down to the regular season limit of 15. That appears to put rookie Tarik Black on the opening-night roster, as Charania noted, in spite of the lack of a full guarantee on his contract. Adrien and Smith both signed fully guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary with Houston this summer, and the team will be on the hook for them providing they clear waivers.

Smith had held the lead earlier this preseason on fellow point guard Isaiah Canaan, who remains on the roster, but Canaan made a strong push in the past two weeks and the Rockets always felt he had higher long-term potential, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Smith has bounced around to six teams in his four NBA seasons, spending last year with the Suns, where he averaged a career-high 14.4 minutes per game.

Adrien is another journeyman coming off perhaps his finest season, one in which he averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 25.2 mintues per game over 28 appearances with the Bucks after they brought him to Milwaukee in a deadline-day trade with Charlotte. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a team claim the power forward off waivers, though that’s just my speculation.

The moves leave the Rockets with 13 fully guaranteed deals plus Black and the non-guaranteed contract of Patrick Beverley. Charania indicated that Black’s contract would be partially guaranteed when he agreed to his deal, though Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders lists the pact as non-guaranteed.

Rockets Re-Sign Francisco Garcia

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The team inked Garcia to a new contract Monday, according to Pincus (Twitter link). Presumably, it’s guaranteed for the minimum salary and covers one season, just like the original pact.

SEPTEMBER 11TH: It appears as though Garcia’s contract with the Rockets has become invalid, likely because he failed to take his physical in time, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The matter is likely clerical in nature and Garcia will probably ink a new version of the contract and take his physical soon, Pincus says in a pair of tweets. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player must report for his physical no later than the third day following the time at which the contract becomes official. That would have been August 27th, three days before the start of the FIBA World Cup in Spain, where Garcia played for the Dominican Republic team. Rockets GM Daryl Morey referred today to signings that had been delayed by the World Cup as the last items on his offseason agenda, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston notes on Twitter.

AUGUST 22ND, 11:28am: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

AUGUST 21ST, 6:52pm: The Rockets will re-sign veteran guard Francisco Garcia to a one-year deal, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (via Twitter). Berman confirmed the report with Aaron Goodwin, Garcia’s agent, after Houston GM Daryl Morey welcomed back the Louisville product to his roster on Twitter. The deal is for the veteran’s minimum of $1.32MM, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, which is equivalent to the minimum salary option Garcia turned down from the team in May.

“He liked the opportunity,” Goodwin told Berman. “He felt he could continue to help the team in a number of ways outside of just being a good guard on the team. He thought he’d have an opportunity to play there a little bit more with Chandler Parsons being gone.” (Twitter links here)

We also heard from Goodwin last week, when he told Chris Haynes of that Garcia had not yet re-signed with Houston. Though he turned down his option with the Rockets, there were reports that the sides maintained mutual interest. The Jazz, Pelicans and Nets all reportedly had interest in Garcia, who preferred to play for a title contender.

Garcia averaged 19.7 minutes over the course of 55 games in his second season with the Rockets in 2013/14. He shot a paltry 40.1 percent from the field — he’s a career 43 percent shooter — but his 35.8 percent mark from three was near his career average. While Trevor Ariza figures to be the man primarily responsible for replacing Parsons, Garcia has carved out a nice long-range role over the past two seasons in Houston.

And-Ones: D-League, Garcia, Love, Bost

Sources tell Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (on Twitter) that the 2014/15 D-League season is likely to start a week earlier than last season, which could provide roster opportunities for teams.   Also, with the new schedule, the regular season is set to wrap on April 4th (link).  More from around the Association..

  • Despite some speculation to the contrary, agent Aaron Goodwin says that client Francisco Garcia has not agreed to re-sign with the Rockets, tweets Chris Haynes of  Late last month it was reported that there is mutual interest between the two sides, however.
  • With Kevin Love likely heading from the Wolves the Cavs in a little over a week, Michael Rand of the Star Tribune looked at five things he’ll miss about Kevin Love and five things he won’t miss.  Rand will miss Love’s willingness to take big shots and his beautiful outlet passes, but he won’t miss the All-Star’s inability to elevate the team around him and his lack of interior defense.
  • Sources tell Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (on Twitter) that Dee Bost‘s deal with the Jazz is guaranteed for $65K.  In total, it’s a three-year deal worth $2.35MM, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.  He’ll attend Jazz camp but will likely play in the D-League for the Idaho Stampede.  In 50 games for Idaho last season, Bost averaged 15.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 40.5 minutes per night.

Rockets, Francisco Garcia Have Mutual Interest

Francisco Garcia “definitely” has interest in playing in Houston again and agent Aaron Goodwin has spoken with the Rockets about his client, as Goodwin tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The Rockets are one of a handful of teams reported to have shown interest in the swingman this month, and Goodwin said that he and Garcia continue to sort through their options.

The 32-year-old Garcia turned down a minimum salary option to remain under contract with the Rockets for this coming season, and Houston has multiple ways to give him more money than he passed up. The Rockets still possess their $5.305MM mid-level and $2.077MM biannual exceptions, and they can also give Garcia up to 20% more than the minimum salary through his Non-Bird rights.

The Jazz, Pelicans and Nets were the other teams apparently interested in Garcia as of two weeks ago, though Goodwin told Feigen that Garcia would prefer to sign with a title contender. Brooklyn has the strongest chances of at least a deep playoff run among those three, though the Nets would be limited to giving Garcia no more than the minimum salary.

Western Rumors: Smith, Lakers, Ballmer, Thunder

The Kings don’t believe any of their power forwards is a solution at the position, and they’ve tried to move one this summer in a quest for an upgrade that’s sparked revitalized talks with the Pistons involving Josh Smith, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee details. Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Lakers have renounced the rights to Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, and Kent Bazemore, Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times reveals (all on Twitter). The maneuvers will accommodate the re-signings of Nick Young, Henry, and Johnson, all of whom have agreed to new deals. Pincus expects Young to be renounced before re-signing as well.
  • The Times scribe suspects that the Lakers are using part or all of the room exception to sign Ryan Kelly, considering the cap room that will be eaten up by Young’s contract, and a “reasonable” market of suitors for the power forward (all via Twitter).
  • Steve Ballmer agreed to extend his deal to purchase the Clippers until August 15th, but Linda Deutsch of The Associated Press reports that Ballmer’s lawyer told a judge in the Donald and Shelly Sterling legal proceedings that the agreement will be off if there is no ruling prior to that date. Ballmer’s potential withdrawal would further cloud the team’s status, as commissioner Adam Silver recently cautioned that Sterling could still own the Clippers at the beginning of next season.
  • The Thunder have announced that their D-League affiliate will move from Bixby, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City next season, as first reported by Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. The change will make shuffling players between the Thunder and 66ers more convenient.
  • The Jazz still have free agency moves to make in filling out their roster, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (all Twitter links). Francisco Garcia is a possibility for Utah, who seek a shooting wing along with a third point guard brought in to sit behind the team’s developing backcourt.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Free Agent Rumors: ‘Melo, LeBron, Morrow, Blake

Phil Jackson might be expecting Carmelo Anthony to rejoin the Knicks, but ‘Melo hasn’t ruled out the Bulls just quite yet, tweets Ken Berger of Meanwhile, the Heat expected to have had an answer from LeBron James by this point, according to Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick. James was frustrated with some of coach Erik Spoelstra‘s strategy during the Finals this year and wasn’t impressed with team president Pat Riley‘s end-of-season press conference last month, Skolnick adds.

While the NBA world waits on the decisions of superstars like Anthony and James, let’s round up the latest from free agents all around the league..

  • Anthony Morrow has received interest from several teams, but it appears he’s deciding between joining the Clippers, Heat, Wizards, Raptors and Suns, reports David Aldridge of, who adds that each of the teams Morrow is considering would be willing to use some or all of their mid-level exception to sign him (Twitter links). Given that the Clippers and Heat have both used up the full amount of their mid-level exceptions, signing Morrow would likely require a sign-and-trade to complete.
  • The Warriors took “another” look at DJ White today, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter), thereby implying it’s at least the second time Golden State has looked at the big man. White had his rights renounced by Charlotte earlier today.
  • Other teams submitted much stronger bids for Steve Blake but he “desperately” wanted to play for the Blazers, as he agreed to do today, a source tells Chris Haynes of (Twitter link). The Lakers weren’t among the teams making an aggressive play for the point guard, as they offered only the minimum salary, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times hears.
  • The Jazz, Pelicans, Rockets, and Nets are interested in Francisco Garcia, a source tells Haynes (Twitter link).
  • The Wolves are making an effort to sign Evan Turner to one-year deal, a source tells tells Darren Wolfson of Turner played poorly last season after being shipped to Indiana at the trade deadline.
  • The matter of whether Mike Miller will re-sign with the Grizzlies will likely come down to contract length rather than salary, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, who writes in subscription-only piece. Memphis wants him back on a two-year deal, but Miller is pushing for three or four seasons.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been in contact with Paul Pierce‘s representatives at Excel Sports Management, but it’s unlikely the veteran forward ends up in Houston, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Alex Lee and Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Francisco Garcia Opts Out

JUNE 30TH: Garcia has informed the team that he has turned down his option and will hit free agency, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

JUNE 22ND: Francisco Garcia intends to opt out of his contract for 2014/15 with the Rockets, agent Aaron Goodwin tells Sam Amick of USA Today (on Twitter).  Garcia would have earned $1.3MM with Houston next season but he’ll take a look elsewhere in hopes of a better deal.

Garcia, 32, averaged 5.7 points in 19.7 minutes per game over 55 regular season appearances for the Rockets, but his minutes dried up in the playoffs.  He saw 18 minutes in Game 1 against the Blazers, four minutes in Game 2, and was squeezed out of the picture for the rest of the series in favor of Troy Daniels.

The Rockets have full Bird Rights on the swingman and they’ll have extra flexibility now that he is opting out.  Garcia is a nice bench piece, but Houston is thinking much bigger with their sights set on Carmelo Anthony.