Gabriel Lundberg

Gabriel Lundberg Joins Virtus Bologna

JULY 21: Virtus Bologna has formally announced its deal with Lundberg.

JULY 20: Free agent shooting guard Gabriel Lundberg, who finished the 2021/22 season with the Suns, is set to join Italian team Virtus Bologna, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). According to Carchia, Lundberg’s new deal will be the most lucrative ever for a Danish player.

Lundberg, who has played professionally in international leagues since 2014, left CSKA Moscow earlier this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and signed a two-way contract with the Suns in March. He appeared in four NBA games for Phoenix, averaging 3.3 PPG and 2.8 APG in 11.0 minutes per contest.

The Suns didn’t issue a qualifying offer to Lundberg last month, so he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Phoenix reportedly offered him a Summer League roster spot, but the 27-year-old said he didn’t want to accept that offer without getting any further guarantees, and instead opted to return to Denmark.

Home of Glory, which first reported that Virtus Bologna was pushing to sign Lundberg, stated that the veteran guard also received interest from several other European teams, including Fenerbahce in Turkey (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Ayton, Lundberg, Lakers, Wiseman

The market for Suns center Deandre Ayton has slowed in the wake of Kevin Durant‘s trade request, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski expects it to pick up soon. Appearing on “NBA Today” (video link), Wojnarowski said Durant’s availability affects the few teams with remaining cap room as well as teams that might be considering a sign-and-trade deal for Ayton.

He added that the “worst-case scenario” for Phoenix is that somebody will give Ayton a maximum offer sheet, which the Suns will have to decide whether or not to match. If Ayton’s offer is matched, it will be a full year before he’s eligible to be traded again.

Phoenix, of course, is one of the teams Durant reportedly wants to join, and the details of an Ayton trade could affect what the Suns can offer to the Nets. Wojnarowski said the Durant situation has “complicated the timing” of Ayton’s free agency process.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Gabriel Lundberg, who ended the season on a two-way contract, returned to Denmark rather than play in Summer League because the Suns wouldn’t offer him any guarantees, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I didn’t want to risk playing in the Summer League without having some kind of security,” said Lundberg, who appeared in four games after joining the team in March. “They didn’t want to give me that, so I went home. I can’t risk getting injured without having a deal. My family depends on me to provide for them.” Lundberg hasn’t signed a new contract overseas yet, but said he has received multiple offers.
  • As the Lakers discuss a potential Kyrie Irving trade with the Nets, they’ve also checked on Rockets guard Eric Gordon and Pacers guard Buddy Hield, Wojnarowski said on “NBA Today” (Twitter link). Both are former clients of general manager Rob Pelinka, and L.A. came close to trading for Hield last summer before deciding to pursue Russell Westbrook.
  • Warriors center James Wiseman isn’t expected to play in Friday’s game, but the team plans to use him at some point during Las Vegas Summer League, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Wiseman, who missed the entire season due to right knee issues, participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage Tuesday. Jonathan Kuminga joined the team today and is also expected to see some game action (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Wiseman, Lundberg, Dorsey, Brunson, Tampering

Warriors center James Wiseman remains on track to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Wiseman played 5-on-5 full contact on Sunday for the first time since he had a setback in his right knee rehab late in the regular season. The No. 2 pick of the 2020 draft missed all of last season.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Gabriel Lundberg is not on the Suns’ summer league roster and he could be on the move, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets. Lundberg, who signed a two-way contract with Phoenix in March and appeared in four regular season games, has a possible deal overseas, Rankin hears. Lundberg left CSKA Moscow after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Tyler Dorsey had a private workout with the Mavericks on Sunday, Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports tweetsDorsey appeared in a combined 104 regular season games for Atlanta and Memphis from 2017-19. He played for Olympiacos (Greece) last season and was the team’s second-leading scorer.
  • Will the Knicks be penalized for tampering after securing a commitment from Mavericks free agent guard Jalen Brunson? Fred Katz and Tim Cato of The Athletic tackle that subject, with Katz hearing that there’s an expectation around the league that the Knicks will get charged with tampering, unless they work out a sign-and-trade with Dallas. Katz notes that New York started dumping salary on draft night and continued to do so amid reports prior to the start of free agency that Brunson was going to the Knicks.

Pacific Notes: George, Curry, Lundberg, Suns

Paul George returned from a three-month absence Tuesday night and showed no signs that he had ever been gone, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Playing his first game since December 22, George logged 31 minutes, scored 34 points and helped the Clippers erase a 25-point deficit in a win over the Jazz.

“In the beginning, legs were a little heavy,” said George, who had been sidelined with a torn ligament in his shooting elbow. “But after second wind and everything settled, got the jitters out, everything came back and I felt fresh, I felt really good.”

He credits assistant coach Brian Shaw for helping him get back into game shape, saying Shaw had him do “a ton of running.” George added that the pain is gone from his elbow and he estimates that its about 90% of being at full strength. He admits that he considered shutting down the season after getting injured, but decided to trust the advice of team doctors.

“Honestly, right after it happened, I was on the side of just getting surgery and getting over it and getting it done now so I don’t have to go into a summer rehabbing and healing and nursing an injury,” George said.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry hasn’t resumed on-court activities since suffering a sprained ligament in his left foot, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Coach Steve Kerr said Curry’s workouts have been limited to the weight room and pool. The team plans to reevaluate his condition on Friday.
  • Gabriel Lundberg‘s NBA debut will be a memorable way to cap off a chaotic month, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Lundberg was playing in Moscow when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. He opted to leave to protect himself and his family, taking them back to his native Denmark before signing a two-way deal with the Suns on March 12. “It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, to say the least,” Lundberg said. “Moving around. A lot of elements we needed to get a hold of. From getting my visa to getting out of the situation in Russia, waiting on my visa coming here. Getting acclimated to the system. Getting to know everyone. Waiting and joining the guys, but overall, I think it’s been a pretty good process.”
  • The Suns are hoping to host the All-Star Game soon, according to Evan Sidery of Basketball News. The team will submit a bid to host the game in 2025 and plans to try again for 2026 if that’s unsuccessful.

Suns Sign Gabriel Lundberg To Two-Way Contract

2:43pm: Phoenix has officially signed Lundberg, the club announced in a press release.

7:44am: European star Gabriel Lundberg is signing a contract with the Suns, Johnny Askounis of relays. The news was first reported on Danish TV 2.

It’s a two-way deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Lundberg, 27, left CSKA Moscow recently amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He’s considered the best international free agent available in the market, Wojnarowski adds. Phoenix had a two-way spot available and won’t have to make a corresponding move.

In 24 Euroleague games, Lundberg averaged 9.1 PPG and 2.0 APG in 21.1 MPG. He also averaged 12.6 PPG and 3.2 APG in VTB United League games.

Lundberg averaged 11.3 PPG and 2.2 APG in 15 Euroleague contests last season. He’s shot 33.6% on 3-point attempts in his international career.

Lundberg finalized his separation from CSKA Moscow by paying the contract buyout himself, according to Eurohoops’ sources. Lundberg will likely see little playing time for the leaders of the Western Conference but they’ll get an up close look at the 6’4” guard. They can then decide if they want to retain him beyond this season.