Gabriel Deck

Team USA Will Play For Bronze At AmeriCup

The American team will be in the bronze medal game at the AmeriCup tournament after dropping an 82-73 decision to Argentina in today’s semifinals (story via The Associated Press). Team USA was the defending champion, defeating Argentina for the gold medal five years ago.

Gabriel Deck, who played briefly for the Thunder over the past two seasons, led the Argentinian team with 30 points. Deck was waived by Oklahoma City in January and signed a two-year deal with Real Madrid. Former Spur Nicolas Laprovittola had 18 points and Facundo Campazzo, who is seeking another NBA opportunity after spending the past two years with the Nuggets, added 10.

“For sure, a lot of credit to Argentina and (coach Pablo Prigioni). It’s a good team, veteran team, a lot of good players, a lot of different weapons and they did a great job in the end,” said Team USA head coach and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen. “We made our runs. They did a good job taking it up another notch and we lost our patience.”

Argentina will face either Brazil or Canada for the gold medal, with the loser squaring off with the Americans for the bronze.

Team USA’s roster in the 24-team tournament was made up of former NBA players, along with a few G Leaguers. Its leading scorer in today’s game was former Heat, Pelicans and Thunder guard Norris Cole, who finished with 18 points.

“This is a good learning experience for our team,” he said following the loss. “And we’ll learn from it.”

Gabriel Deck Returns To Real Madrid

JANUARY 19: Deck has finalized an agreement with Real Madrid that will cover the rest of this season and the following two seasons, running through June 30, 2024, the team announced today in a press release.

JANUARY 17: After being waived by the Thunder earlier this month, forward Gabriel Deck is returning to Spain and rejoining Real Madrid. Reports shortly after Deck’s release indicated this was the plan, and Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso confirmed as much on Sunday, as Eurohoops relays.

The deal hasn’t been finalized yet, but Deck is expected to sign a contract that runs through the 2023/24 season, according to multiple reports.

Deck played for Real Madrid from 2018-21, leaving the club last season to sign a contract with Oklahoma City in April. Although the 26-year-old technically received a four-year deal, only his 2020/21 salary was guaranteed, so he was always considered a long shot to play out the full contract unless he made a strong impression during his first stint in the NBA.

Deck appeared in just 10 games for the Thunder last season and seven more this season, averaging 6.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.7 APG with a .494/.211/.818 shooting line in 15.8 MPG across 17 total contests.

During his last season with Real Madrid in 2020/21, Deck recorded 10.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .533/.333/.862 shooting in 21 Liga ACB games (23.3 MPG), as well as 8.8 PPG and 3.6 RPG on .487/.414/.833 shooting in 31 EuroLeague appearances (24.1 MPG). He also played a key role for Argentina during the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Discussing Deck’s impending return to Real Madrid, Laso expressed enthusiasm but added that it’s hard to glean much information from the forward’s time in the NBA.

“The only bad thing, at least from my perspective, is that Deck has just played four games since he left Madrid last April,” Laso said, per Eurohoops. “The ones at the Olympics. The others are difficult to analyze.”

Jazz/Thunder Trade Notes: Draft Pick, Cash, Deck

The 2028 second-round pick the Thunder acquired from the Jazz in Tuesday’s Miye Oni trade was technically already owed to Oklahoma City conditionally, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter).

When the Jazz sent Derrick Favors to the Thunder in an offseason deal, Utah included a top-10 protected 2024 first-round pick. If that pick falls in its protected range, the Jazz would instead owe the Thunder their top-10 protected first-round pick pick in 2025. If it still hasn’t changed hands by that point, it would become a top-eight protected 2026 first-rounder.

The conditions of the Favors trade called for the Thunder to get Utah’s 2028 second-round pick if that first-rounder fell in its protected range all three years. Now, Oklahoma City will receive the pick unconditionally. If the Jazz’s 2024 first-rounder isn’t conveyed after 2026, the Thunder will instead receive $890K in cash, according to Marks.

Here’s more on the Jazz/Thunder swap:

  • The Thunder sent $1MM in cash to Utah as part of the trade, according to Marks. So not only did the Jazz avoid having Oni’s dead money increase their year-end tax bill — they also received more than enough cash to cover the prorated salary they’d already paid him this season.
  • The Thunder, who had to waive Gabriel Deck to make room on their roster for Oni, will carry a cap hit of $1,690,507 in dead money for Deck. His $3,676,852 salary wasn’t guaranteed, but Oklahoma City paid him a portion of that figure prorated across 80 days.
  • Sarah Todd of The Deseret News considers how trading away Oni and creating another opening on the roster could affect the Jazz’s plans on the trade market in the coming weeks.

Jazz Trade Miye Oni, Second-Round Pick To Thunder

4:51pm: In a press release, the Thunder have confirmed their trade to acquire Oni and the Jazz’s 2028 second-round pick, in addition to the release of Deck. Utah acquired cash in return, according to the announcement.

3:03pm: The Jazz are finalizing an agreement with the Thunder on a trade that will send swingman Miye Oni to Oklahoma City, according to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Thunder will also receive Utah’s 2028 second-round pick in the deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Oni doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary for the 2021/22 season, so he can be waived by Friday without his entire $1,782,621 cap hit applying to team salary. Presumably, the Jazz planned to part ways with Oni before Friday’s salary guarantee deadline and will trade him instead of cutting him so that his cap hit won’t apply to team salary at all for cap or tax purposes.

If Utah had released him, Oni would’ve counted against the cap for a prorated portion of his minimum salary — that amount (about $820K as of Monday) would’ve further increased the team’s end-of-season tax penalty. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), the Jazz’s projected tax bill would’ve been about $2.4MM higher if Oni had been waived rather than traded.

Instead, the Thunder will be the ones releasing Oni, according to Wojnarowski. They’re well below the salary floor despite technically operating over the cap, so adding a little dead money to their cap is well worth it to acquire a future second-round pick.

With no players headed from Oklahoma City to Utah in the swap, the Jazz will open up a second spot on their 15-man roster, which they’ll have to fill within the next two weeks.

The Thunder will have to waive someone in order to make room on the roster for Oni, even though they don’t plan to keep him. Gabriel Deck, who has a partially guaranteed salary, will be the odd man out in OKC, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Once they officially release Deck and then acquire and waive Oni, the Thunder will have an opening on their 15-man roster too.

Since Oni is in the final season of a three-year contract, he can’t be acquired using the minimum salary exception, so the Thunder will have to use a traded player exception to absorb his salary. They have two sizeable TPEs expiring next month that would work.

The Jazz will create a small traded player exception worth a prorated portion of Oni’s salary in the deal.

Thunder Notes: Roby, Watson, Deck, Player Development

After playing a regular role for the Thunder in 2020/21, Isaiah Roby has been one of the odd men out of the frontcourt rotation so far this season, appearing in just 10 of the team’s first 20 games. However, with Derrick Favors and Kenrich Williams unavailable on Monday, Roby logged a season-high 27 minutes. He put up 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and was a plus-five in a game the Thunder lost by 13 points.

As Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes, Roby has accepted his reduced role, telling reporters on Monday that he understands it and is just doing his best to stay ready. While Roby made a case for more playing time on Monday, head coach Mark Daigneault said there are still some things he wants to see from the forward on a consistent basis before reinserting him into the rotation.

“The things we’ve talked about is his rim protection and pick-and-roll coverage, which I thought was good at times (on Monday),” Daigneault said. “And then offensively just kinda being a floor-spacing, ball-moving, drive-and-kick player.”

The Thunder can make Roby a free agent in 2022 by turning down the team option on his minimum-salary contract, so if he continues to play limited minutes going forward, it’s possible his days in Oklahoma City are numbered.

Here’s more out of OKC:

  • Paul Watson, who is on a two-way contract, made his Thunder debut on Monday. Oklahoma City is a young team and two-way deals are typically reserved for younger players, so the choice to fill one of the club’s two-way slots with Watson (27 next month) is somewhat unusual. “You can’t develop 10 20-year-olds at the same time,” Daigneault explained, per Mussatto. “You’ve gotta have a level of functionality and allow people to develop in context. Otherwise you’re just kinda rolling the balls out and just hoping that the experiences are just adding up.”
  • Here’s more from Daigneault on the Thunder’s rebuild and the decision to try to develop players like Watson and 26-year-old Gabriel Deck: “It’s not a requirement moving forward that all of our players have to be 22. We have to continue to mine for opportunities with everybody.”
  • Having played in just five games with the Thunder this season, Deck has been assigned to the G League to get him more playing time, tweets Mussatto. The Argentine forward is a EuroLeague veteran, but has appeared in just 15 NBA contests since arriving in Oklahoma City late last season.

Thunder Notes: Favors, SGA, Vaccinations, Krejci, Deck

After being traded from a title contender in Utah to a fully rebuilding team in Oklahoma City this offseason, Derrick Favors admitted on Monday that the idea of not reporting to his new team and/or asking to be sent elsewhere crossed his mind. However, he said he didn’t “want to be that guy,” as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman relays (via Twitter).

Favors likely isn’t part of the Thunder‘s long-term plans, but he’s under contract for another year beyond this season, so the team likely won’t consider buying him out or releasing him anytime soon. As they did with veterans like Chris Paul and Al Horford, the Thunder will likely try to build up Favors’ value as much as they can before perhaps pursuing a trade at the 2022 deadline or next summer.

Here’s more out of Oklahoma City:

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who missed the last two months of the 2020/21 season due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, has “no limitations at all” entering training camp, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said last week, according to Paris Lawson of Presti admitted the team took a “conservative approach” to the injury last season in the hopes that Gilgeous-Alexander would be 100% now.
  • Presti also said last week that all of the Thunder’s players are vaccinated against COVID-19, per Lawson.
  • It has now been a full year since rookie guard Vit Krejci tore his ACL, and he said today that his knee isn’t giving him any problems, tweets Mussatto. Krejci was selected with the 37th pick in the 2020 draft, but spent the year rehabbing his injury and didn’t sign his first NBA contract until this offseason.
  • There were rumors in international outlets over the summer that Gabriel Deck, who is on a non-guaranteed contract with the Thunder, might return to Spain this offseason. However, Deck denied those reports today. The rumors are not true,” he said, per Mussatto (Twitter link). “It was always my plan to be here with the Thunder.”

Northwest Notes: Porter, Deck, Thunder, Snyder

Michael Porter Jr. is remaining patient while his agent works out an extension with the Nuggets, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Porter is eligible for a new deal worth up to $168MM over five years, but Denver may be reluctant to commit the full amount because of his injury history. He had back issues coming out of college and sat out his entire rookie season.

Porter is coming off a breakthrough year that saw him average 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 61 games. He’s clearly a part of the team’s future and he is optimistic that agent Mark Bartelstein will work out a favorable deal.

“Everything is sounding great, in the direction that I’d like to be headed,” Porter said. “Nothing is set in stone, but everything is going smooth as far as that goes. One thing about Mark – something probably could’ve been done already but Mark is the best in the business. I told him, ‘Take your time, do your thing. I’m in no rush, I’m in grindmode. I’m not stressed about it. I’m just in the gym, and whenever you’ve got some news for me, hit me up.’”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Argentinian forward Gabriel Deck faces an uncertain future with the Thunder, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. He’s set to make $3.67MM this season, but the team hasn’t stated how much he’s guaranteed or how the contract is structured. There are two more years on the deal he signed in April, but they are both non-guaranteed. There were rumors last month that the 26-year-old was considering a return to Spain. He averaged 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 10 games last season.
  • The Thunder will have plenty of bench players who are worthy of a spot in the rotation, and Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder tries to sort out the hierarchy of which ones should get playing time.
  • Jazz coach Quin Snyder received a lot of criticism last season for keeping his main rotation players on the court too long, and Sarah Todd of The Deseret News looks at whether that practice is likely to continue.

And-Ones: Buyouts, Hearn, Beauchamp, Morrison

In a piece for, Donatas Urbonas explores how Real Madrid is able to secure such lucrative buyout deals for its players, such as Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck, and Usman Garuba, among others.

The Spanish powerhouse made over 10 million Euros in buyouts in the last nine months alone, more than the total budget of Euroleague teams such as Zalgiris, according to Urbonas, who explains that because of its pedigree as a championship team, Real Madrid is able to attract top talent, but also institute their own conditions. There’s also the appeal of living in Madrid and the top-flight amenities the club is able to offer.

Finally, Urbonas writes that the team invests tens of millions in its youth development program, which is renowned for getting the attention of NBA teams, making the exorbitant buyouts a tradeoff of that exposure and unrivaled development system.

We have more from around the world of hoops:

  • Former Piston Reggie Hearn has signed with German team Fraport Skyline, reports Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (via Twitter). Hearn spent last season with the G League Ignite, averaging 3.9 PPG in just 13 MPG.
  • MarJon Beauchamp, a top-5o recruit in the class of 2020, has signed with the G League Ignite, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. After COVID-19 disrupted his ability to train in San Francisco, Beauchamp enrolled in Yakima Valley junior college, where he averaged 30.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 4.8 APG per game while shooting 40% from three. Beauchamp joins a loaded Ignite team that may get even better, with top 2023 recruit Emoni Bates set to make his recruitment decision tomorrow.
  • Former Celtics assistant Scott Morrison has signed on to be the head coach of the NBL’s Perth Wildcats, per an NBL announcement. The deal will span three years. Morrison, who had spent the previous three seasons with the Celtics, reportedly interviewed for Washington’s head coaching job this offseason.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Deck, Mitchell, SGA

Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard still hopes to eventually lead the team that drafted him to a title, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. In an interesting bit of trivia, Quick says that Lillard has gone above and beyond in researching what it takes to do this. He has spoken with championship-winning players (including his new teammate Norman Powell, who won with the Raptors in 2019) and coaches with the goal of integrating their wisdom into his title quest.

“I want that more than anything,” Lillard said of winning a title for the Trail Blazers. “Not just to say I won a championship. But I want to do it in this city. I want to have a parade on Broadway and ride past El Gaucho (steakhouse). That’s what I think of. Every time the playoffs [are] starting, I’m going into it like, ‘Is this going to be the year that we shock the world or that we come up big?’

“I mean, I see every year when we get to this point as pivotal,” Lillard told Quick. “Because at every point, it’s an evaluation: Where do we go from here? Like, can we get the job done as we are? And if not, where do we go from here? What is the change that needs to be made? And I don’t know where that change comes from, you know, maybe we … I don’t know if it’s moving players, I don’t know if it’s a coaching change … whatever it is that happens in the NBA, the changes that are made when you look at the postseason and what you consider success and failure, and things like that, and what changes you have to make to improve or give yourself a better chance.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Recently-added Thunder rookie power forward Gabriel Deck hopes to represent Team Argentina in this summer’s rescheduled Olympics, but will remain in Oklahoma City for the next few weeks, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.
  • The top-seeded Jazz will face the Western Conference’s yet-to-be-determined eighth seed when they begin their postseason this weekend, but the health of All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell remains in question, writes Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune. Mitchell has been unable to play through a full team practice since spraining his ankle in a 119-111 defeat of the Pacers on April 16. “Whenever he’s healthy, we’ll have him back,” Mitchell’s teammate Joe Ingles said, delivering an expert non-answer.
  • As Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to recover from a foot injury, he is holding out hope that he will be healthy enough to suit up for the Canadian national team in this summer’s Olympic qualifiers, tweets Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Wiggins, Thunder, Nuggets

Damian Lillard has long been commended for his loyalty to the Trail Blazers, but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports questions where that loyalty has gotten Lillard during what has been his most frustrating season. The veteran guard, who has repeatedly stated his desire to win a title in Portland, hasn’t played with an All-Star since 2015 and the team doesn’t appear to be moving any closer to contention — the Blazers’ recent 4-9 slide has them in play-in territory at No. 7 in the Western Conference.

Acquisitions like Robert Covington and Norman Powell looked like steps in the right direction, but Haynes advocates for the Trail Blazers’ front office to take a more aggressive, riskier approach, seeking a deal that would pair Lillard with a legitimate second star.

While Haynes’ piece for Yahoo Sports is an opinion column, it’s worth noting that the veteran reporter is on good terms with Lillard, having frequently interviewed him and reported on him. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lillard shares the views Haynes puts forth in the piece, but the Trail Blazers star will turn 31 this summer and will want to make the most of his remaining prime years.

Whether or not they’re getting a push from Lillard, it’s fair to say the pressure is increasing on the Blazers’ front office. That pressure applies to the coaching staff too. Echoing another recent report, Haynes suggests within his column that head coach Terry Stotts is very much on the hot seat.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Former Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, who played in Minnesota on Thursday as a Warrior, said he has “nothing but love” for his old team and for his time in the city, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Living here was great,” Wiggins said. “I got to meet a lot of people in the community. I made a lot of friends and people that I’ll talk to and be cool with the rest of my life. Just playing here with the organization it was cool. Helped me grow into the man I am today.”
  • Charlie Brown Jr. is looking to make the most of his 10-day audition with the Thunder, a team he worked out for prior to the 2019 draft, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. Meanwhile, in a separate story, Mussatto writes about Gabriel Deck‘s “welcome to the NBA” moment during his debut on Thursday — the Argentinian forward was matched up with Zion Williamson during his first few minutes in the NBA.
  • In his latest mailbag for The Denver Post, Mike Singer explores Michael Porter Jr.‘s contract situation, JaVale McGee‘s role, and whether any more roster moves are coming for the Nuggets. Singer expects the current 17-man group to be the one Denver takes into the postseason.