Jakob Poeltl

Contract Details: Poeltl, Strus, Love, Robinson, Walsh, R. Lopez

Jakob Poeltl‘s four-year contract with the Raptors has a flat base value of $19.5MM per year, for a total of $78MM, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. There are $500K in annual incentives currently considered unlikely to be earned — if Poeltl maxes out those bonuses, it’ll be worth $80MM. As previously reported, the fourth year is a player option.

Murphy adds that Jalen McDaniels‘ two-year deal is, as expected, worth the full amount of the bi-annual exception and is fully guaranteed, with no options on the second year.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts that Hoops Rumors can confirm:

  • Max Strus‘ four-year contract with the Cavaliers, which has a total value of $62.3MM, has a first-year salary of $14,487,684. That means the trade exception created by the Heat in the sign-and-trade deal is worth $7,243,842, half of Strus’ salary, due to base year compensation rules.
  • Kevin Love‘s two-year deal with the Heat is worth the full Non-Bird amount — $3.84MM in year one and $4.03MM in year two (with a player option). That represents 120% of his minimum salary.
  • Orlando Robinson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Heat is only partially guaranteed for $75K in 2023/24. That guarantee will increase to $425K if he remains under contract through the start of the regular season and to $850K if he’s not waived on or before December 1. Because Robinson’s current guarantee is only $75K, he’d be eligible for a two-way deal if he’s waived before the regular season.
  • Jordan Walsh‘s four-year deal with the Celtics is worth the minimum in all four seasons. It’s fully guaranteed in the first two years, with a $200K partial guarantee in year three.
  • Robin Lopez‘s minimum-salary contract with the Bucks is for one year.
  • We’re continuing to update our free agent tracker and our list of draft pick signings with contract details as we learn them.

Raptors Notes: VanVleet, Schroder, Anunoby, Coaching Staff

The Raptors and Rockets both increased their offers to Fred VanVleet Friday night before he decided to sign with Houston, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.

Toronto had been hesitant to exceed $90MM over three years, with one source describing it to Grange as a “glass ceiling.” Although VanVleet is one of the most accomplished players in franchise history, he has missed 30 combined games due to injury over the last two years and he shot career lows both from the field and from three-point range last season. There were also concerns that going beyond that limit would inhibit the team’s ability to make other moves, such as re-signing center Jakob Poeltl.

The situation changed when rumors of James Harden returning to Houston died down and the Raptors realized that VanVleet had become the Rockets’ number one target. During a meeting with VanVleet shortly after the start of free agency, Raptors officials presented him with an expanded offer that brought it to $120MM for four seasons.

Sources tell Grange that VanVleet next met with the Rockets, who also added a year to their offer, increasing it to three years at nearly $129MM. After nearly three hours of waiting, the Raptors learned that they were losing their starting point guard.

There’s more from Toronto:

  • Lakers players will miss Dennis Schröder, whom the Raptors quickly signed as VanVleet’s replacement, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Austin Reaves called Schroder “one of the best teammates I’ve met” and said his commitment to winning over everything else made him stand out.
  • Before OG Anunoby finalized a change in his representation, he told prospective agents that he wants a situation with more ball-handling and playmaking responsibilities when he signs his next contract, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. VanVleet’s departure and the addition of Darko Rajakovic as head coach might provide that opportunity for Anunoby in Toronto, Fischer suggests.
  • James Wade is the latest addition to Rajakovic’s coaching staff, tweets James Kay of TheNextHoops. Wade had been the general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.

Raptors Re-Sign Jakob Poeltl To Four-Year Contract

JULY 6: The Raptors have officially re-signed Poeltl, the team announced today in a press release.

“Jakob brought an immediate presence on the floor when he returned to us last season. He’s a smart, hard-nosed rim protector,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “We have been strong believers in Jakob as a player and as an individual since day one, and we are thrilled that he will be a Raptor for years to come.”

JUNE 30: The Raptors accomplished one of their offseason priorities, as they reached a four-year agreement with center Jakob Poeltl, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The contract is worth $80MM and includes a player option in the fourth year.

Toronto was intent on retaining Poeltl after re-acquiring him from the Spurs last season. Poeltl, who played his first two seasons with Toronto before a 4 1/2-year stint with San Antonio, averaged 13.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals in 26 games with the Raptors last season.

Poeltl stabilized a position that had been in flux for several seasons. The Rockets and Spurs were reported to have interest in Poeltl, 27, but he obviously felt comfortable staying with the Raptors in the prime of his career.

Rockets Rumors: Free Agents, Martin, Clarkson, Capela

Rockets officials hope to meet with several of their top targets in Los Angeles when free agency begins in a few hours, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Sources tell Iko that Houston has already set up meetings with Dillon Brooks and Brook Lopez and will try to arrange sessions with Fred VanVleet, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown, Dwight PowellJakob Poeltl and possibly Kyle Kuzma.

Brown is of particular interest because the Rockets would be willing to go above the $12.4MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him, according to Iko’s sources. Head coach Ime Udoka was an assistant in Brooklyn when Brown played there and they have maintained a good relationship, Iko adds.

With more than $60MM in cap space, Houston officials are confident about signing their main targets, according to Iko, although some may prefer teams with more recent success. He confirms that the Rockets are hoping to avoid long-term contracts and will compensate by offering players more money up front than they’re likely to get elsewhere. Shooting, defense and rim protection will be the main focus, Iko states.

There’s more on the Rockets, all courtesy of Iko:

  • Houston is hoping to land a veteran point guard in free agency, but there’s a back-up plan if they can’t sign VanVleet, Irving or someone of that stature. Sources tell Iko that the Rockets would pursue someone like Brown, a strong perimeter defender who can handle the ball, and give Jalen Green and first-round pick Amen Thompson a greater share of the playmaking duties.
  • Iko hears that a Kenyon Martin Jr. trade is increasingly likely, as talks with other teams have increased throughout the week. Martin may not have a place on the revamped roster, and the team could add cap room by unloading his $1.93MM contract for next season.
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson and Hawks center Clint Capela are two names to watch if the Rockets opt to use their cap space through trades rather than free agency. Iko notes that Utah executive Danny Ainge is reported to have interest in acquiring Martin and suggests that Houston might be willing to include second-year point guard TyTy Washington and maybe a second-round pick in a potential deal. Iko points out that Clarkson is eligible for an extension after picking up his $14.26MM option for next season and says the Rockets may offer something along the lines of $32MM over two years. Iko adds that Capela could be available straight up for Martin as Atlanta tries to shed salary.

Scotto’s Latest: DiVincenzo, VanVleet, Poeltl, Lakers, Niang, Gallinari, More

Donte DiVincenzo is expected to be a popular target on the free agent market, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who identifies the Knicks, Timberwolves, Pistons, Pelicans, Rockets, Magic, and Bulls as teams that have interest in the veteran swingman. After settling for a $4.5MM salary in his last foray into free agency a year ago, DiVincenzo could get offers in the neighborhood of the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($12.4MM) this time around, says Scotto.

Here are a few more highlights from Scotto’s latest round-up of news and rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Raptors are hoping to re-sign Fred VanVleet on a three-year deal in the range of $90-100MM, says Scotto. The team is also looking to bring back center Jakob Poeltl, but may face serious competition from the Rockets on both players. Although Brook Lopez has been considered Houston’s primary target at center, there’s a belief that Lopez would prefer to return to the Bucks as long as their offer is in the same ballpark as Houston’s, Scotto explains. That could prompt Houston to pivot to Poeltl, who is also expected to receive from the Spurs, as previously reported.
  • While the Lakers would like to re-sign Dennis Schröder, they’re keeping an eye on several other free agent point guards, including Shake Milton, Cory Joseph, and Jevon Carter, says Scotto. In addition to the Bucks and Lakers, Carter is expected to receive interest from the Timberwolves and Suns, among others, Scotto adds.
  • Scotto is the second reporter to link Georges Niang to the Cavaliers today, noting that Cleveland offered a pair of second-round picks for him at the trade deadline. The Sixers, Bulls, and Spurs are a few of the other clubs expected to express interest in Niang, league sources tell HoopsHype.
  • Despite a report indicating that the Wizards are likely to buy out Danilo Gallinari, the two sides haven’t had any discussions about that possibility yet, per Scotto, who writes that the veteran forward is comfortable with the idea of opening the season in D.C.
  • According to Scotto, former NBA wing Glenn Robinson III is attempting a comeback, having signed with agent Keith Kreiter and scheduled workouts with a handful of NBA teams in Las Vegas last month. A career 37.3% three-point shooter, Robinson has been out of the league for the last two seasons.
  • Vin Bhavnani and Mike Batiste are expected to join the Raptors as assistants on Darko Rajakovic‘s new coaching staff, Scotto reports. Bhavnani is a former Thunder assistant, while Batiste was on Stephen Silas‘ staff in Houston last season.

Raptors Notes: VanVleet, Poeltl, Siakam, Anunoby, Wieskamp

In a look at where the Raptors stand heading into free agency, Eric Koreen of The Athletic expects the team to re-sign both Fred VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl, although it will be expensive to do so. Koreen projects a four-year, $130MM contract for VanVleet and a three-year, $63MM deal for Poeltl. That would give Toronto $164.8MM committed to 12 players for the upcoming season, leaving no way to fill out the roster without exceeding the projected luxury-tax threshold of $165MM.

The Rockets may be ready to offer VanVleet a maximum-salary contract, but they reportedly want to limit it to two years. Toronto’s willingness to commit to a longer deal could be enough to convince him to stay, although Koreen also explores sign-and-trade possibilities with the Bulls, Timberwolves and Nets.

The Thunder and Spurs appear to be the best options for Poeltl, Koreen states, although he’s not sure if either franchise will offer a big-money deal to a center with limited shooting range. Koreen also cites the Bucks, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks as teams that might pursue a sign-and-trade.

There’s more on the Raptors:

  • Draft night was probably the best time to work out a trade involving Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby, Koreen adds. A recent report that Siakam may not be open to re-signing with any team that trades for him should cool off his market, but Koreen expects Toronto to still get offers for Anunoby. He also believes it’s likely that both players will start next season with the Raptors, but they probably won’t agree to extensions this summer.
  • Anunoby has selected CAA Basketball as his new representative, the agency announced (via Twitter). If Anunoby doesn’t sign an extension, he could become a free agent in 2024 by turning down a $19.9MM player option.
  • Joe Wieskamp and the Raptors have reached an agreement to extend the guarantee date for next season’s contract to July 18, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. The front office wants to see how he performs during Summer League before committing to another season, adds Murphy, who believes Wieskamp may get a small partial guarantee on the deal for agreeing to the change.

Raptors Rumors: VanVleet, Poeltl, Siakam, Trent, Anunoby, Poole

The Raptors believe that they can be “a factor” in the East next season by bringing back the same core, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Although Toronto missed the playoffs in 2022/23, the team is apparently confident that a coaching change and a full offseason for this group will help make a difference in ’23/24.

Returning the same core would mean re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet and center Jakob Poeltl, two of the top free agents on the 2023 market. According to Grange, the Raptors are expected to meet with VanVleet in Los Angeles on Friday when free agency opens and are working out plans to link up with Poeltl as well.

Like other reporters, Grange has heard that Houston may be preparing a two-year contract offer in excess of $80MM for VanVleet, which would probably be more than Toronto is willing to pay on an annual basis. However, the Raptors – who might be open to a three- or four-year deal – believe the veteran guard wants to remain in Toronto and is still confident about their ability to bring him back.

As for Poeltl, there has been a belief that the big man will be back in the fold if the Raptors make a four-year offer in the neighborhood of $80MM, Grange says. However, multiple league sources tell Sportsnet.ca that the Spurs – keen on pairing Victor Wembanyama with a veteran center – have inquired about the possibility of reuniting with Poeltl. The Spurs will have the cap room necessary to make life difficult for Toronto if they choose to pursue the 27-year-old, who was dealt from San Antonio to Toronto in February.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Multiple teams have inquired about Pascal Siakam‘s availability, Grange reports. Besides the Hawks, Grange identifies the Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, Pelicans, and Kings as clubs that have made calls about the two-time All-NBA forward. The Raptors have been open to listening, but not many of the conversations they’ve had about Siakam even qualify as “preliminary” trade discussions, according to Grange.
  • While Gary Trent Jr.‘s camp has conveyed interest in working out an extension after he picked up his 2023/24 player option, the Raptors are taking a wait-and-see approach and haven’t made plans to formally discuss a new deal with Trent in the near future, Grange writes.
  • Before agreeing to trade Jordan Poole to Washington, the Warriors reached out to the Raptors to see if they’d be interested in a deal centered around Poole and forward OG Anunoby, reports Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Toronto didn’t have interest in exploring the idea further.

Stein’s Latest: Middleton, Lopez, Crowder, VanVleet, Harden, Poeltl, Suns, Morris

The Bucks appear to be in a good position to re-sign several of their key free agents, Marc Stein writes at Substack. Stein gets the sense that Khris Middleton‘s return to Milwaukee is “all but assured,” and says Brook Lopez seems to be leaning toward remaining with the Bucks too, despite the fact that he’ll draw interest from rival suitors like the Rockets.

Interestingly, Stein hears that Milwaukee is considered increasingly likely to re-sign forward Jae Crowder as well. A trade deadline acquisition, Crowder had a forgettable postseason, scoring just seven points and missing all six of his 3-point attempts in 41 total minutes of action. However, he was effective in 18 regular season appearances for the Bucks, who gave up several second-round picks to land him.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • After he wrote earlier this week about the Rockets‘ interest in Fred VanVleet, Stein has been told by a “flurry of informants” that Houston is believed to be looking to sign the point guard to a two-year, maximum-salary contract. Such a deal would be worth just shy of $84MM based on the NBA’s latest cap projections.
  • The latest rumblings Stein has heard suggest that James Harden will likely return to the Sixers on a two- or three- year deal and that Jakob Poeltl is expected to re-sign with the Raptors for about $20MM per year, whether or not VanVleet remains in Toronto.
  • Veteran forward Yuta Watanabe and former NBA guard Mike James have been mentioned as potential targets for the Suns as they look to fill out their roster around their stars, says Stein. James, who has spent the past two seasons with AS Monaco, last played in the NBA in Brooklyn in 2021 and is close with Durant.
  • Clippers forward Marcus Morris remains on the trade block after a proposed three-team deal that would have sent him to Washington fell through last week, Stein says.

Free Agent Rumors: G. Williams, LeVert, Harden, VanVleet, Barnes

Even after the acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis, the door hasn’t been closed on a possible new contract for the Celtics and restricted free agent forward Grant Williams, sources tell Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com.

According to Bulpett, the Celtics and Williams have a good relationship and are interested in beginning negotiations with one another to see if a deal is financially feasible. If those discussions aren’t fruitful, the two sides could pivot to exploring sign-and-trade scenarios that would land Williams elsewhere and get Boston some sort of asset, even if it’s only a trade exception.

For his part, Williams said on Tuesday that he “absolutely” would be interested in re-signing with the Celtics while also acknowledging that the team’s payroll and the realities of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could make it challenging, per Jay King of The Athletic.

“Cap-wise, with the new CBA, I think all these teams, as we see, are trying to get the trades in and the contracts done prior to the CBA truly being enacted,” Williams said. “So you’re going to see a lot of all-in pushes. So if the Celtics decide to do that, I think that’s kind of how it will work out (with him re-signing in free agency). If not, it helps them financially a little bit, but it definitely changes the numbers as you look around.”

Here are a few more notes and rumors on free agency from around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers will likely offer free agent swingman Caris LeVert a deal in the range of $15-18MM per year, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscription required). As Fedor explains, the Cavs’ goal is to find the sweet spot where they’ll be able to outbid rival mid-level offers for LeVert while leaving themselves with enough breathing room below the tax line to use their own full mid-level exception.
  • Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday, Brian Windhorst reiterated that James Harden seems more likely to sign with the Sixers than the Rockets as a free agent, according to Adam Zagoria of NJ.com. “(The Rockets) are out there aggressively chasing other free agents,” Windhorst said. “They are not acting as if they think they are getting James Harden.”
  • Despite reports that Fred VanVleet will be a top target for the Rockets in free agency, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter link) has spoken to several people around the league who are skeptical that the point guard will end up in Houston. The Raptors remain confident that they’ll be able to re-sign VanVleet, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link), who says the team’s plan is retain both VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl.
  • After reporting earlier this week that the Kings‘ contract extension talks with Harrison Barnes had “gone quiet,”  James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link) hears from a league source that the two sides have reopened those discussions. Barnes is eligible for an extension until June 30. If he doesn’t have a new deal in place by then, the veteran forward would become an unrestricted free agent.

Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks Atop Rockets’ FA Wish List?

The Rockets have been connected to several notable players in the weeks leading up to free agency, but league sources are increasingly identifying point guard Fred VanVleet and wing Dillon Brooks as the team’s top targets, according to Marc Stein at Substack.

While James Harden was once viewed as Houston’s number one free agent priority, there has been a sense in recent weeks that a return to Philadelphia has become the more likely outcome for Harden, which would require the Rockets to pivot to other targets. According to Stein, there have been “compelling signals” that the team will be a strong candidate to land both VanVleet and Brooks.

The Rockets may have an easier path to signing Brooks, given that his former team – the Grizzlies – has conveyed no desire to bring him back. Houston will likely face competition from rival suitors for the controversial forward, but it doesn’t sound like Memphis will be among them.

That won’t be the case with VanVleet, whom the Raptors are expected to attempt to retain. According to Stein, Toronto recognizes that it will likely need to offer the veteran point guard at least $30MM per year on a multiyear contract to keep him. With Gary Trent Jr. having picked up his $18MM+ player option and Jakob Poeltl considered a good bet to re-sign with the Raptors for a salary in the range of $20MM annually, per Stein, a lucrative new contract for VanVleet might push Toronto into luxury tax territory.

While it remains to be seen whether the Rockets will be able to pry VanVleet away from the Raptors, Stein says one league source considers Houston the favorite for Brooks. There’s a belief around the NBA that the Rockets are willing to make Brooks an offer that would exceed the $12.4MM mid-level exception, Stein adds.

Besides VanVleet, Brooks, and Harden, the Rockets also have interest in Poeltl, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Bruce Brown, Jordan Clarkson, Donte DiVincenzo, Dwight Powell, Rui Hachimura (RFA), Austin Reaves (RFA), and Cameron Johnson (RFA), a person with knowledge of the situation tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).

That’s a long list, but the Rockets project to have more than $60MM in cap room and will want to have several fallback options in place in case they’re unable to sign their top targets.