Jacob Toppin

Contract Details: Lawson, K. Brown, Forrest, Barlow, Bouyea, More

The Mavericks used a portion of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception to give A.J. Lawson a $1MM rest-of-season salary and a four-year contract when they promoted him to their standard roster, Hoops Rumors has learned.

While Lawson’s 2023/24 salary of $1MM – which is well above his prorated minimum – is guaranteed, he’s not necessarily assured of any money beyond this season. His minimum salaries for the following three years are fully non-guaranteed. If he plays out the full contract, the Mavericks wing would earn approximately $7.91MM.

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

  • The three-year contract that Kendall Brown signed with the Pacers features a starting salary of $1.1MM, which came out of the team’s room exception. This season is the first year that the room exception can be used to sign players for up to three years instead of just two, and Indiana took advantage of that flexibility to give Brown non-guaranteed minimum salaries in 2024/25 and ’25/26, with a team option on that final year. He’ll receive a partial guarantee of $250K if he makes the Pacers’ regular season roster in the fall.
  • The new contracts for Hawks guard Trent Forrest and Spurs forward Dominick Barlow are just rest-of-season, minimum-salary deals, which suggests that those two players just got standard conversions from their two-way contracts rather than negotiating new terms. Forrest will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Barlow will be eligible for restricted free agency.
  • As expected, both Shake Milton (Knicks) and Mike Muscala (Thunder) signed rest-of-season, minimum-salary contracts with their new clubs.
  • Like fellow San Antonio newcomer RaiQuan Gray, Jamaree Bouyea signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Spurs, so his new contract runs through the 2024/25 season.
  • The two-way deals recently signed by Jeff Dowtin (Sixers), Jacob Gilyard (Nets), Jacob Toppin (Knicks), Ish Wainright (Suns), Quenton Jackson (Pacers), Harry Giles (Lakers), and Dylan Windler (Hawks) are all one-year (rest-of-season) contracts, so those players will be eligible to become restricted free agents this summer.

Knicks Sign Jacob Toppin To Two-Way Contract

The Knicks have signed Jacob Toppin to a two-way contract, according to a release from the team (Twitter link).

Toppin has spent most of the season on a two-way with New York, but was briefly promoted to the 15-man roster on a 10-day deal. Now that that’s expired, he’s back on a two-way contract.

Toppin, 23, has appeared in eight games with New York so far this season, averaging 1.6 points per contest. He’s been more productive in the G League, averaging 18.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 32 regular season and Showcase Cup appearances with the Westchester Knicks.

The 6’9″ forward went undrafted last year out of Kentucky after averaging 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in his final collegiate season. He spent training camp with the Knicks before earning a two-way deal before the season. He went on to appear in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend this year.

With Toppin signed, the Knicks have filled all three of their two-way contract spots. He joins Duane Washington Jr. and Charlie Brown Jr. as New York’s two-way players. Once the reported Shake Milton signing is finalized, the Knicks will have 13 players on standard deals and three players on two-way contracts.

Today is the deadline for teams to sign players to two-way deals. New York was the final team left with an open two-way spot and now, all 90 available two-way slots are filled league-wide.

Knicks Sign Jacob Toppin To 10-Day Contract

The Knicks have reached a 10-day contract agreement with two-way player Jacob Toppin, the team announced (via Twitter).

With three open spots on its 15-man standard roster, New York faced a deadline of today to make at least two additions. Toppin’s 10-day deal and the expected signing of DaQuan Jeffries to a 10-day contract will get the team back to the league minimum roster of 14 players.

Toppin landed a two-way contract with the Knicks after going undrafted out of Kentucky last summer. He has only appeared in five NBA games, but he scored 11 points in 17 minutes last Wednesday as New York was dealing with a depleted roster.

Toppin has spent much of the season in the G League, averaging 21.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 13 regular season games with the Westchester Knicks. He also took part in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend.

Toppin’s promotion leaves New York with an open two-way slot that can be filled by March 4.

New York Notes: DiVincenzo, Knicks’ Roster, Johnson, Bridges

Knicks swingman Donte DiVincenzo would like to represent Italy in this year’s Summer Olympics but it apparently won’t happen.

“Ideally, I would love to,” DiVincenzo told Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. “Logistically and how everything plays out, I don’t know if it’s possible. But if everything works out perfectly, I would love to.”

However, in a follow-up story, Bondy said he received an email from a representative from the Italian Basketball Federation stating that DiVincenzo couldn’t be added to the team.

“For the next Olympic Games there would not be the time to complete the procedures to provide him with an Italian passport,” Francesco D’Aniello wrote.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • The Knicks only have 13 players on standard contracts and need to add at least one more. According to Ian Begley of SNY TV, signing one – or more — of their G League players to a standard contract is a possibility. Charlie Brown Jr., Jacob Toppin and Duane Washington are currently on two-way deals and may be candidates for a promotion, while Taj Gibson, who is currently on a 10-day deal, could receive a rest-of-the-season contract, Begley adds.
  • Nets forward Cameron Johnson returned to action on Wednesday after missing four games with a left adductor strain. He came off the bench and played 18 minutes, contributed four points, three rebounds and two assists. Johnson started in all 40 of his previous appearances but Dorian Finney-Smith got the starting nod with Johnson on a minutes restriction. Coach Jacque Vaughn will have to choose between the two of them going forward, unless he wants to put Cam Thomas in a sixth man role again, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post,
  • The Nets’ last game before the All-Star break was a disaster, as they lost by 50 to the first-place Celtics. Forward Mikal Bridges told Lewis that the team shouldn’t forget about the loss. “Yeah, I mean you gotta learn and fix the issue; that’s pretty much what it is. You can’t just let this one go and think like, ‘Oh, like, let it drop.’ No,” he said. “Yeah, maybe if you lost towards the end, but you got beat by 50. It’s not just, ‘Let it go.’ A lot of (bleep) is not right, and you’ve got to fix it.”

Knicks Notes: Deadline, Bogdanovic, Burks, Hartenstein, Grimes

No team, including the Knicks, was certain whether Bojan Bogdanovic would be available via trade at the deadline, writes SNY’s Ian Begley. Decision-makers in Detroit were split on whether to keep him and guard Alec Burks, but ultimately decided to move off both.

New York managed to acquire both players, who had been on their radar during various time periods. The Knicks were interested in getting some scoring help off the bench and accomplished that by bringing in Bogdanovic and Burks.

Before figuring out which way the Pistons were leaning in regards to keeping or selling Bogdanovic and Burks, the Knicks checked in on Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins and now-Piston Shake Milton, according to Begley. Milton was ultimately traded from the Timberwolves to Detroit as part of a package for Monte Morris, but it’s clear the Knicks were eager to add scoring to their lineup.

We have more notes on the Knicks:

  • Knicks players were happy about the team acquiring both Bogdanovic and Burks, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post. “I think Leon [Rose] and the front office was cooking,Josh Hart said. While the Villanova trio of Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson and Hart were sad to see fellow alum Ryan Arcidiacono leave as part of the trade, they appear to be on board with what the front office is doing. The Knicks are 16-4 since the New Year but are dealing with a plethora of injuries — including long-term ones with Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. Those injuries left them with an eight-man rotation on Thursday after the deadline, with a bench rotation consisting of a 10-day contract player and a pair of two-way players. Bogdanovic and Burks are expected to provide an instant boost.
  • The Knicks traded their own 2028 and 2029 second-round pick to Detroit in the Bogdanovic/Burks trade, according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov (Twitter link). New York also sent $3MM to Detroit.
  • New York’s injury issues got worse on Thursday when center Isaiah Hartenstein exited with a recurring Achilles injury after only 15 minutes of play. He was ruled out for the Knicks’ game against the Pacers on Saturday, according to Botte. Hartenstein is averaging 8.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per agme as a starter this season. With Hartenstein out, Botte writes the Knicks may turn to two-way player Jacob Toppin, who would be squaring off against his brother Obi Toppin. “It was amazing having him on the court with me [in Indiana]. Hopefully we can do that again,” Obi Toppin said last time Indiana visited. “It would be even better if we are able to do that here in New York and at the Garden.
  • Grimes, who was drafted by the Knicks with the 25th overall pick in 2021, expressed his gratitude to the Knicks after being traded to the Pistons on Thursday. “It was an honor to be able to wear a Knicks jersey and represent the city!” Grimes tweeted. “Your love and support throughout the years has meant the world. Forever grateful to the entire Knicks organization, my teammates, and most importantly the fans. THANK YOU, NEW YORK.

And-Ones: Lamb, Trade Candidates, Buyout Market, Pre-Agency, Dunk Contest

Former Warriors forward Anthony Lamb suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon while playing for the New Zealand Breakers, Olgun Uluc of ESPN tweets.

The non-contact leg injury occurred at the end of the first quarter of his team’s game against the Perth Wildcats on Sunday afternoon. An MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis.

Lamb appeared in 62 regular season games with Golden State last season, averaging 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.3 minutes per game.

We have more from the around the basketball world:

  • Which players are most likely to be on the move at the trade deadline? The Athletic’s John Hollinger reveals his list of players who could be swapping uniforms, breaking it down by expiring contracts, salary-matching contracts and luxury tax-shedding moves.
  • Following the trade deadline, attention will be turned to buyout candidates. Keith Smith previews that market in a Spotrac post, evaluating the possibility of Kyle Lowry, Joe Harris, Gordon Hayward, Davis Bertans and numerous others going that route.
  • What is “pre-agency?” A growing trend in the league, where players who could enter the free agent market get traded to a team interested in retaining them beyond the end of the season. The Athletic’s Danny Leroux notes that OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam fit that category, as the Knicks and Pacers, respectively, have positioned themselves to keep those starters after trades with Toronto.
  • It was reported on Monday that Jaylen Brown was seriously considering a spot in the All-Star dunk contest. Now it’s confirmed. The Celtics star will join Heat forward Jaime Jaquez, G League guard Mac McClung and Knicks forward Jacob Toppin in the annual event, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. McClung is the defending champion.

Knicks Convert Charlie Brown Jr., Jacob Toppin To Two-Way Deals

The Knicks have converted Charlie Brown Jr. and Jacob Toppin to two-way deals, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The moves are official, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

Both players were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, and New York had a couple of open two-way spots after waiving Nathan Knight and Jaylen Martin. That means no corresponding moves were necessary in order to promote Brown and Toppin.

Brown, 26, has appeared in a total of 41 NBA regular season games for the Hawks, Thunder, Mavericks, and Sixers since 2019, but wasn’t in the league last year, having spent the season with Philadelphia’s G League affiliate. He averaged 13.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game for a Delaware Blue Coats team that won the 2022/23 G League championship.

Following his stint in Delaware, the 6’6″ wing caught on with the Knicks for Summer League play in July. He was a standout in four games in Las Vegas, averaging 19.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG with a shooting line of .547/.375/.800.

Toppin, meanwhile, went undrafted in June out of Kentucky. The 6’9″ forward averaged a career-best 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game for the Wildcats as a senior in 2022/23, earning a starting role and averaging 31.4 MPG in 33 appearances.

Interestingly, it was initially reported that Toppin would receive a two-way contract, but he actually signed an Exhibit 10 deal. Now, the 23-year-old has wound up on a two-way deal after all.

According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, Toppin impressed head coach Tom Thibodeau with his defense during preseason action (Twitter link). Toppin is the younger brother of former Knicks forward Obi Toppin, who was traded to the Pacers this summer.

New York Notes: Simmons, Thomas, Exhibition Game, Toppin

The initial returns on Ben Simmons‘ comeback from the back ailment that wrecked his 2022/23 season were encouraging, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets guard had 10 points, three assists and a steal in 14 first-half minutes against the Lakers on Monday.

“[It felt] amazing. That’s really it, just amazing,” Simmons said. “Happy to be out there, and compete, and feel good out there and able to contribute like I know how I can. So I felt great. It’s the best in two years for sure.”

We have more on the New York teams:

  • In the same game, Cam Thomas led the Nets with 26 points. His other contributions were more noteworthy to coach Jacque Vaughn as Thomas tries to secure a rotation spot, Lewis writes in a separate story. “He can flat out score the basketball,” Vaughn said. “I look at the other things, and he knows that. What were the box outs? Was he running hard? Is he communicating with his teammates? Did he know where he was supposed to be on the floor? So those things he’s really taken strides in and give him a lot of credit. And with credit comes playing time.” Thomas’ $2,240,160 salary for this season was picked up by the club last year. The Nets hold a $4,041,249 option on his contract for next season and must make a decision on it this month.
  • Despite the war in Israel, the Nets’ preseason game against Maccabi Ra’anana is still expected to take place Thursday at Barclays Center. The exhibition hasn’t been cancelled or delayed, Lewis tweets.
  • There’s still a Toppin on the Knicks, though he’s a long shot to make the roster. While the front office traded away his brother Obi to Indiana, Jacob Toppin is trying to prove he’s an NBA player, Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News writes. “He’s my brother, but he has his own path and I have my own path, and this whole process, I’ve been trying to focus on myself and be better every single day and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Jacob said. “This whole summer is just working to be a better version of myself everyday. So, that’s what I’ve been focused on.” The younger Toppin signed an Exhibit 10 deal after going undrafted out of Kentucky. He’s likely to wind up with the G League’s Westchester Knicks.

Knicks Sign Jacob Toppin To Exhibit 10 Deal

JULY 6: Toppin has officially signed with the Knicks, the team announced today (via Twitter).

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link), Toppin ended up signing an Exhibit 10 contract instead of a two-way deal. He’ll receive up to $75K if he’s waived before the start of the season and spends at least two months with the Westchester Knicks in the G League.

JUNE 23: The Knicks have reached an agreement to sign former Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin to a two-way contract, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Toppin, who went undrafted on Thursday, is the younger brother of Obi Toppin.

Jacob averaged a career-best 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game for the Wildcats as a senior in 2022/23, earning a starting role and averaging 31.4 MPG in 33 appearances. Obi, meanwhile, is entering a potential contract year in ’23/24 and his future in New York appears somewhat up in the air.

Trevor Keels and Duane Washington finished this past season as the Knicks’ two-way players, but neither one is under contract for ’23/24, so it’s possible the club could bring in two new players in addition to Toppin to fill its two-way slots for next season. Teams will be permitted to carry three two way players instead of just two for the first time this offseason.

Draft Notes: Ausar Thompson, Nnaji, Hornets, Hawks, Wizards

Ausar Thompson pulled out of a scheduled workout with the Pacers on Friday, according to an Indianapolis Star story. No official reason was given, but it’s possible that the Overtime Elite star has received information that he’s likely to be selected before Indiana picks at No. 7. The article also suggests that Thompson may prefer to be drafted by a team picking later in the lottery.

The canceled workout doesn’t mean the Pacers wouldn’t consider Thompson if he’s still on the board, as he would provide a defensive boost to a team that ranked 29th in that category this season. The Star story notes that president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard is looking for a player with a “high ceiling” in the draft, and Thompson appears to fit that description.

Indiana holds five picks and has brought in more than 60 players during the pre-draft process. Most have been in group sessions, but projected lottery picks such as Thompson have been given individual workouts. The Pacers have already hosted Villanova’s Cam Whitmore, Houston’s Jarace Walker, Central Florida’s Taylor Hendricks and Kansas’ Gradey Dick.

There’s more on the draft: