Isaiah Roby

Knicks Sign Isaiah Roby To Multiyear Deal

11:05am: The Knicks have officially signed Roby, the team confirmed in a press release (Twitter link).

9:32am: Roby is getting $400K for the last day of the 2022/23 season, reports Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). If he had received a minimum-salary deal, Roby would have been paid just $10,932 for the day, but New York was able to give him significantly more than that using a leftover portion of the team’s room exception.

Roby’s minimum salary for next season will be non-guaranteed, Katz adds.

8:40am: The Knicks have agreed to sign forward/center Isaiah Roby to a contract that covers the rest of the season and runs through 2023/24, agents Zach Kurtin and Mark Bartelstein tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Wojnarowski reports that the deal includes “significant” guaranteed money. It’s unclear whether that money will apply to this season’s cap hit (using the remainder of New York’s room exception) or if a portion of Roby’s ’23/24 salary will be guaranteed.

Roby, 25, spent most of the season with the Spurs after being claimed off waivers from the Thunder last summer. He was released just over a month ago when San Antonio needed a roster spot to accommodate its addition of Sandro Mamukelashvili.

In 42 games (11.3 MPG) this season as a Spur, Roby averaged 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per night, with a shooting line of .432/.300/.488. He was more effective in 2021/22 in Oklahoma City, averaging 10.1 PPG and 4.8 RPG on .514/.444/.672 shooting in 45 appearances (21.1 MPG) for the Thunder.

As we noted earlier today, the Knicks entered Sunday as one of three teams with a 15-man roster spot open, so no corresponding move will be necessary to make room for Roby. The Lakers and Rockets are the other two teams that still have openings on their standard rosters.

Because Roby was waived on March 3, he won’t be eligible to participate in the playoffs this spring.

Spurs Waive Isaiah Roby, Claim Sandro Mamukelashvili Off Waivers

4:35pm: San Antonio has officially waived Roby and claimed Mamukelashvili, the team announced. The Spurs immediately converted Mamukelashvili to a standard contract, and their 17-man roster is full.

4:15pm: The Spurs plan to waive forward/center Isaiah Roby and will claim big man Sandro Mamukelashvili off the waiver wire, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

There is a corresponding move that is missing from Charania’s report, however, as Roby is on San Antonio’s 15-man roster, while Mamukelashvili was on a two-way contract with Milwaukee.

The Spurs’ two-way are currently occupied by forwards Dominick Barlow and Julian Champagnie, so they will either need to promote or waive one of those players, or perhaps immediately promote Mamukelashvili — we’re not sure yet if that’s permitted.

Ironically, the Spurs claimed Roby off waivers last summer, and now will reportedly release him to add another player off waivers. His name did pop up in one trade rumor prior to the deadline, which signaled that San Antonio may not have viewed him as a long-term keeper. He is currently sidelined with an ankle injury that has kept him out of action since February 13.

Roby, 25, spent his first three seasons with the Thunder, averaging a combined 9.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG on .495/.365/.708 shooting in 109 games (62 starts, 21.9 MPG) with Oklahoma City. As previously mentioned, San Antonio claimed him off the waiver wire last offseason, but his role has been pretty limited in 2022/23, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .432/.300/.488 shooting in 42 games (11.3 MPG).

Assuming he clears waivers, the Spurs will be on the hook for Roby’s full $1,930,681 salary and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Mamukelashvili, 23, was waived a couple days ago by the Bucks. A report at the time suggested that another team might be interested in his services, and now he will reportedly land with San Antonio.

After spending four college seasons at Seton Hall, Mamukelashvili was selected 54th overall in the 2021 draft. He has spent the past two seasons on a two-way contract with the Bucks, but his playing time was very limited at the NBA level — he averaged 3.2 PPG and 2.1 RPG on .439/.345/.750 shooting in 65 games (9.6 MPG) from 2021-23.

The big man played much more for the Wisconsin Herd in ’22/23, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate. He averaged 19.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.8 APG and 1.3 SPG on .533/.200/.667 shooting in 11 Showcase Cup games (30.9 MPG), and 23.3 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .486/.471/.667 shooting in four regular season games (36.5 MPG).

Moore’s Latest: Pelicans, Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets, VanVleet, Vanderbilt, More

The latest trade intel column from Matt Moore of Action Network is packed full of tidbits about the upcoming deadline, including some details on which players a handful of Western Conference teams have made available.

According to Moore, the Pelicans – in the market for another shooter – have made players like Jaxson Hayes, Devonte’ Graham, and Naji Marshall available, while the Spurs are discussing Isaiah Roby in addition to previously reported trade candidates like Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Perhaps most interestingly, Moore says the Warriors consider Jonathan Kuminga “off limits,” but have been willing to discuss youngsters James Wiseman and Moses Moody.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets – who have put second-year guard Bones Hyland on the trade block – are seeking another wing and have their eye on players like Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Pacers swingman Chris Duarte, Moore writes.

Here’s more:

  • The Magic, who have previously been cited as a possible free agency suitor for Fred VanVleet, have “real” interest in the Raptors point guard, reports Moore. While VanVleet is thought to be available at the trade deadline due to his uncertain contract status beyond this season, one executive told Moore that trying to get a deal done with Toronto is “like blood from stone.”
  • There’s a growing belief that forward Jarred Vanderbilt will be on the move this week even if the Jazz don’t get the first-round pick they’re seeking for him, according to Moore, who suggest the Trail Blazers may be the frontrunner to land Vanderbilt.
  • Two league sources tell Moore that the Cavaliers have contacted the Hawks to inquire about Bogdan Bogdanovic. While there’s no indication those talks went anywhere, it’s worth noting Caris LeVert‘s $18.8MM salary is a near-perfect match for Bogdanovic’s $18MM cap hit.
  • Recent strong play from Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has reduced the odds that he’ll be traded before Thursday’s deadline — the belief is that he’ll remain in New York, per Moore.

Texas Notes: Roby, Bates-Diop, Fernando, Silas

Forward Isaiah Roby has been a fan of the Spurs‘ organization since childhood, reports Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. After the fourth-year power forward was waived by the Thunder over the summer, San Antonio claimed him off waivers.

“[The Spurs] were the team my grandpa really liked watching,” the Dixon, Illinois native said. “… Ever since then, I’ve had an interest in the Spurs and the way they play basketball.”

Roby was initially drafted with the No. 45 pick out of Nebraska by the Pistons. The Mavericks traded for his draft rights later that summer. He suited up for the team’s G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, before being flipped to the Thunder in January 2020. He averaged 10.1 PPG on .514/.444/.672 shooting splits in 45 games during his 2021/22 season with Oklahoma City. The 6’8″ forward also contributed 4.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.8 SPG and 0.8 BPG.

According to McDonald, Roby was apparently surprised to be waived by the Thunder during the offseason. In San Antonio, he joins another rebuilding effort that features plenty of intriguing young prospects, with presumably more to come in the next few seasons. The Spurs have liked what they’ve seen from Roby so far.

“He is really more skilled than I was expecting, and he’s a little bigger than I expected,” head coach Gregg Popovich observed. “He handles himself really well.”

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Spurs forward Keita Bates-Diop is in the running for the last open spot on San Antonio’s standard 15-man roster, having turned in solid performances in two preseason games as a starter, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. McDonald notes that Bates-Diop may start tonight against the Pelicans in the team’s third preseason contest after averaging 9.5 PPG in the first two. “His game improves with every increase in his confidence,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s why he’s still here.” Though Bates-Diop may not ultimately start for the Spurs, McDonald predicts he’ll remain in San Antonio through opening night, thus guaranteeing he gets paid his full $1.9MM salary. “Whether you just signed a new deal or you’re on a one-year or whatever it is, you should always feel like you’re battling for it,” Bates-Diop said. “You don’t want to get too comfortable.”
  • The Rockets front office is excited about the fit of 6’9″ fourth-year center Bruno Fernando as a rim-runner, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Iko notes that Fernando becoming a lob threat will open up the downhill offensive games of starting guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green.
  • Rockets head coach Stephen Silas has yet to clear the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). Berman adds (Twitter link) that assistant coach John Lucas, acting as the team’s head coach while Silas remains ill, has expressed optimism that Silas will clear protocols and be able to travel later to join the team in Miami for its next preseason game.

Rockets Notes: Frontcourt, Tate, Gordon, Martin

Whether or not they hang onto Boban Marjanovic, the Rockets would like to add one more big man to their roster, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who says the club may use a two-way contract slot to add more depth up front. Trevor Hudgins currently occupies one of Houston’s two-way slots, but the other is empty.

Iko names Moses Brown, Freddie Gillespie, Bruno Fernando, and Mfiondu Kabengele as players who could be of interest to the Rockets as they look to add another frontcourt player.

According to Iko, Houston had some interest in Isaiah Roby after he was waived by Oklahoma City, but the Spurs ultimately claimed him off waivers. The Rockets were ahead of San Antonio in the waiver order and had a trade exception available to claim Roby, but they already have 18 players on guaranteed contracts for 15 spots, so they likely weren’t eager to bring in another.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • The $500K annual bonus in Jae’Sean Tate‘s new three-year contract are tied to the Rockets winning at least 35 games, Iko reports. So Tate would earn an extra $1.5MM if Houston wins 35 or more games in each of the next three seasons.
  • The Rockets were close to trading Eric Gordon on draft night, possibly to the Sixers, but the deal fell apart, according to Iko, who says the Heat, Bucks, and Suns also pursued Gordon before the draft. Sources tell The Athletic that Philadelphia re-engaged Houston on the veteran shooting guard at the start of free agency, but there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll be moved before the season begins.
  • The Rockets aren’t in any rush to trade Kenyon Martin Jr. either, says Iko, noting that Martin may “need to mend some internal relationships” if a trade doesn’t materialize and he remains in Houston.

Spurs Claim Isaiah Roby Off Waivers

The Spurs have used a waiver claim to add Isaiah Roby to their roster, a source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein was the first to report (via Twitter) that there was a “strong expectation leaguewide” that Roby would be claimed on the waiver wire.

As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report previously noted, Roby earned more than the minimum salary in the first year of his four-year contract with the Thunder, so the Spurs will have to use some of their cap space to absorb his $1,930,681 salary for 2022/23. Waivers claims are rare for non-minimum players, but Roby has shown some promise, so San Antonio will be taking a relatively cheap flier on him contributing next season.

In his third season with the Thunder in ’21/22, the 6’8″ Roby averaged a career-best 10.1 PPG along with 4.8 RPG on .514/.444/.672 shooting in 45 games (21.1 MPG). Oklahoma City had previously picked up his club option, but then the Thunder waived him before his contract would have become fully guaranteed. Because his salary guarantee deadline was July 3, his $1.93MM will now be fully guaranteed.

The Spurs recently agreed to sign Gorgui Dieng and now added Roby, so clearly adding frontcourt depth was a priority with their final roster spots. Once all of San Antonio’s first-round picks are signed to their rookie deals (only Blake Wesley has been signed thus far, but the other two should be formalities), the Spurs will tentatively have a full 15-man roster.

Even accounting for the new additions, the Spurs still have well over $30MM in cap room this offseason, so they have plenty of options to work with going forward.

Contract Notes: Konchar, Roby, Landale

John Konchar‘s contract with the Grizzlies called for his $2.3MM salary for 2022/23 to become guaranteed if he remained on the roster through Sunday, and there has been no reporting indicating that he and the team agreed to move that date back. As such, we’re assuming Konchar’s salary for ’22/23 is now locked in.

If that’s the case, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Konchar was a solid role player for the Grizzlies in 2021/22, averaging 4.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.5 APG with a .413 3PT in 72 games (17.9 MPG). His salary is relatively modest and he had already been owed a partial guarantee of $840K.

Konchar is one of many players on non-guaranteed contracts for 2022/23 whose salaries will become guaranteed this summer if they’re retained through certain dates. We’re tracking all of those players and decisions right here.

Here are a few more contract notes from around the NBA:

  • Although Isaiah Roby was earning a minimum salary ($1,930,681) when he was waived by the Thunder on Sunday, he had been on a four-year contract that was worth more than the minimum in year one, which means any team interested in claiming him off waivers can’t use the minimum salary exception to do so, as Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets. A club that wants to put a claim in on Roby would need the cap space to absorb his salary or a trade exception worth at least $1,830,681. Waivers claims are rare for non-minimum players, but Roby showed promise in Oklahoma City last season and could draw some interest.
  • Jock Landale‘s non-guaranteed minimum salary became partially guaranteed for $46,120 when he was traded from San Antonio to Atlanta last week, Hoops Rumors has learned. That was the exact amount that needed to be guaranteed for salary-matching purposes, as Landale’s $46,120 was added to Dejounte Murray‘s 2021/22 cap hit ($15,428,880) to get to within $5MM of Danilo Gallinari‘s incoming $20,475,000 figure (it was also partially guaranteed, but San Antonio needed to be able to match the whole incoming amount). The Hawks have since agreed to flip Landale to the Suns, and it doesn’t appear his partial guarantee will increase any further in that trade, since no salary-matching is involved.
  • In case you missed it, we relayed earlier today that Otto Porter‘s new deal with the Raptors is worth $12.4MM over two years. We’ll get more info on the specific details of contracts like Porter’s and many others beginning later this week, when the July moratorium lifts and those signings start becoming official.

Thunder Waive Isaiah Roby

The Thunder have waived big man Isaiah Roby, the team announced. Roby’s $1.9MM contract would’ve become fully guaranteed if he wasn’t waived today.

[RELATED: Early NBA Salary Guarantee Dates For 2022/23]

Roby has spent the better part of three seasons with Oklahoma City since being acquired from Dallas midway through his rookie year in 2020. He appeared in 45 games last season, averaging 10.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per contest. He also shot an efficient 51.4% from the floor.

Assuming he clears waivers on Tueday, Roby should receive interest as a free agent, as he’s only 24 years old.

He appeared in 109 total games with Oklahoma City, holding career averages of 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest. The Thunder are coming off a season in which they finished with the league’s fourth-worst record at 24-58.

Thunder Decline Muscala’s Team Option, Pick Up Roby’s

The Thunder have declined their 2022/23 team option on Mike Muscala and exercised their option on Isaiah Roby, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype and Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links).

Muscala’s option was worth $3.5MM and declining it makes him an unrestricted free agent. Roby’s $1,930,681 contract for next season is currently non-guaranteed, but will become fully guaranteed on July 3, per Smith.

Muscala, 30, had arguably the best season of his nine-year career in ’21/22, averaging 8 PPG and 3 RPG on .456/.429/.842 shooting in 43 games. While those figures are relatively modest, he averaged just 13.8 MPG, so he was quite productive on a per-minute basis.

Ankle surgery in March ended Muscala’s season prematurely, which is why he only appeared in 43 contests last season. Teams looking for a reserve big man capable of making three-pointers (37.7% career) could do worse than Muscala, who will likely be pretty affordable.

In his third season with Oklahoma City, the 6’8″ Roby averaged a career-best 10.1 PPG along with 4.8 RPG on .514/.444/.672 shooting in 45 games (21.1 MPG).

His season was a study in halves, as Roby rarely saw action before the All-Star break (22 games, 15.1 MPG) and spent time in the G League. In the second half of the season when most of the Thunder’s roster was decimated by injuries, Roby averaged 13.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1 SPG and 1 BPG in 23 games, including 20 starts (26.8 MPG).

Northwest Notes: Jokic, Roby, Micić, Beverley

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic appears to be the favorite as the MVP race enters the home stretch, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. In its latest straw poll of 100 media members, the network found 62 first-place votes and 860 overall points for Jokic, putting him ahead of the SixersJoel Embiid, who had 29 first-place votes and 719 points, and the Bucks‘ Giannis Antetokounmpo with nine first-place votes and 593 points.

Bontemps notes that the race appears similar to last year’s when Jokic built late momentum to capture his first MVP award. ESPN’s previous poll, taken in mid-February, showed Embiid with a slight advantage.

Jokic’s statistics are nearly identical to last season as he’s averaging 26.3 points and 8.0 assists to go with a career-high 13.6 rebounds per game. He has kept Denver in the playoff race despite injuries to Jamal Murray and Michael Porter, but his candidacy could suffer if the Nuggets fall into the play-in tournament. They’re currently in sixth, two games ahead of seventh-place Minnesota.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder fans may not have wanted to win Monday’s game at Portland, but Isaiah Roby did, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. With Oklahoma City locked in a tight lottery race and having only had eight available players, all of whom started in the G League this season, Roby delivered a career-high 30 points, including a clutch shot that sent the game into overtime. “With the amount of talent that we have out, nobody’s counting on us to win any games,” Roby said. “The fact that we’re going out competing against playoff teams (Denver on Sunday) and we’re winning games like tonight, that’s very encouraging. I’m just proud of the guys. Proud of the eight guys we had out there tonight.” 
  • Vasilije Micić, whose rights are owned by the Thunder, is only interested in coming to the NBA if he believes he’ll get regular playing time, according to Eurohoops. The 28-year-old signed a three-year extension with Anadolu Efes last summer that contains an escape clause after each season. “Honestly, I have a desire to go to the NBA,” he said. “But in a way, and I told that to the people from Oklahoma, to actually play there. I don’t see myself going there to tell my neighborhood friends that I was in the NBA and bring them back an OKC jersey. That doesn’t inspire me. I also came to Efes when they were at the bottom, and I had offers of some, perhaps, better-standing names.”
  • Patrick Beverley has completely changed the culture surrounding the Timberwolves since arriving in an offseason trade, states Cole Huff of The Athletic, who adds that the veteran guard has inspired toughness everywhere he’s been in his NBA career.