Jalen McDaniels

Raptors Notes: Boucher, Brown, Trade Deadline, Temple

Chris Boucher has fallen out of the Raptors rotation and he’d be “cool” with a change of scenery, he told Michael Grange of Sportnet.

“I mean, everything has to end, right? So if that’s what’s gonna happen, then cool,” Boucher said. “Hopefully it will [put me] in a better position. But … you never know what could happen. With what’s been going on this year, obviously, I just got to wait my turn, I guess. If a better situation shows up and they decide to send me somewhere else, so be it.”

Boucher has another year left on his contract. Bruce Brown, recently acquired from Indiana, is more likely to be moved. He’s trying to ignore the trade rumors.

“Not even thinking about it, to be honest,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to control what I can control, and I can’t control that end of it.”

We have more on the Raptors:

  • Speaking of the trade deadline, Blake Murphy of Sportnet believes Brown is the player most likely to be dealt. He speculates that Toronto would take a decent second round pick to shed Boucher’s contract. Murphy also evaluates the potential market for Dennis Schröder, Gary Trent Jr, Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young.
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic argues the Raptors should take whatever they can get for the above-mentioned players, as well as Kira Lewis Jr, Jalen McDaniels and Garrett Temple.
  • In a separate story, Koreen emphasizes the need for the organization to avoid a lengthy rebuild and developing a loser’s mentality.
  • Temple would like to keep playing beyond this year but knows that at age 37, he may have difficulty getting another contract. “I know people around the team understand how important veterans are, and I think teams (across the league) do honestly. But at the end of the day, it’s still a numbers game, and I learned that part of the business in my first year,” he told Grange.

Sixers Notes: Nurse, McDaniels, Maxey, Embiid, Melton

Making his return to Toronto tonight, Sixers coach Nick Nurse explained why he decided to leave after five years with the Raptors, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Nurse’s time with the organization included a championship in his first season, a Coach of the Year award and a 227-163 record. However, he hadn’t won a playoff series since 2020 and the team’s progress was stagnating.

“It felt like it was time from both sides,” Nurse told reporters before Saturday’s game. “It still feels that way to me, just looking around. I look at them play and they look like they’re playing great and I’m really enjoying coaching this team. So everybody is where they’re supposed to be.”

There were complaints in Toronto that Nurse was overplaying his starters and neglecting player development while pursuing every possible win, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Players were also unhappy with the level of communication, Grange adds, with some saying they learned about changes to their roles through the media instead of directly from Nurse.

Nurse was complimentary toward his former team at tonight’s press gathering, saying, “They look good to me. It’s a new coach, a new system and they’re going to need some growth time. But I think in general they seem like they’re playing really hard, they’re playing really well together, they seem really focused and they’re doing a lot of good things.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • Jalen McDaniels got a much better offer when he decided to leave the Sixers and sign with the Raptors this summer, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). McDaniels landed a two-year, $9.2MM contract in Toronto, while Philadelphia was only offering a minimum-salary deal. “Yeah, I couldn’t do that, you know?” McDaniels said.
  • Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid have shown off a much crisper two-man game early in the season, observes Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. With James Harden still out of action, the Maxey-Embiid connection has become the focus of Philadelphia’s offense, and Neubeck states that Maxey has become a noticeably better passer over the summer. Neubeck also wonders how much the Sixers’ front office really wants Harden to return, since it would bring a ball-dominant guard into an equation that’s working well without him.
  • P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton appear “lost in the shuffle” in Nurse’s offense, Neubeck adds. While Tucker was expected to decline without Harden creating shots for him, Neubeck sees Melton’s slow start as a greater concern. He believes Melton has been miscast as a lead guard when Maxey is on the bench and suggests he would be more comfortable off the ball if the Sixers can sign a backup point guard.

Raptors Notes: Dowtin, Boucher, Trent, Flynn

The status of Raptors guard Jeff Dowtin is a curious case to watch as teams begin cutting down rosters ahead of the official October 23 deadline, Sportsnet.ca’s Blake Murphy writes. Dowtin has an uncertain future with the organization, given he doesn’t own a guaranteed contract and Toronto has 15 others who do.

As Murphy details, the guard had an impressive run at the end of the 2022/23 season, making a case to have his prior contract converted to a standard deal last season. He was on a two-way deal last year before being re-signed to a separate, non-guaranteed standard contract in July. Even though he was a rotation piece at times, Dowtin wasn’t converted to a standard deal last season, and he was thus ineligible for postseason play.

It was presumed that Toronto would quickly re-sign Dowtin to a standard deal in free agency this year, according to Murphy, but that didn’t happen as the Raptors fleshed out the rest of the roster.

Murphy notes the Raptors could theoretically waive or trade another player in order to keep Dowtin, but he has limited time to prove he’s worth doing so in the preseason. If he’s cut, the Raptors don’t own his G League rights, which were acquired by the Sixers’ affiliate, so funneling him to their developmental system isn’t an option.

Dowtin is also a candidate to be claimed by another team if he were to be waived, which makes waiving him and then signing him back to a two-way (after waiving an incumbent two-way player) an unappealing option, and it’s unclear if he’d be willing to do that, Murphy adds.

If Dowtin makes the opening-night roster, his contract is guaranteed for $900K. It becomes guaranteed for $2.02MM if he remains on the roster through January 10.

We have more from the Raptors:

  • Forward Chris Boucher is drawing rave reviews for his play during preseason, Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes in a piece evaluating the stocks of Raptors players. Boucher is expected to be a regular part of the rotation, having impressed as a cutter. Koreen writes that Jalen McDaniels, Precious Achiuwa and Thaddeus Young have improved their standing with the team while Dowtin, Garrett Temple and Otto Porter have failed to stand out.
  • It appears that Dennis Schröder has supplanted Gary Trent Jr. as a starter for the Raptors. Trent had been a starter almost exclusively since arriving in Toronto in 2021/22, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Trent has expressed a desire to be a member of the starting lineup but said he wanted to help the team in whatever way possible (Twitter link). “Obviously the first two games I’ve been coming off the bench; practices I’ve been with the second unit … so the writing’s on the wall,” Trent said.
  • Malachi Flynn appears to be breaking into the rotation, according to Grange. Head coach Darko Rajakovic is committed to using a 10-man rotation and it appears Flynn will be a part of that. Josh Lewenberg of TSN relays (Twitter link) that the point guard dedicated extra time in the weight room this offseason, having put on five-to-seven pounds. According to Lewenberg (Twitter link), Flynn knows he has a big season ahead in the final year of his rookie deal and thinks the coaching change could be a “reset” for him.

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.

Scotto’s Latest: Beasley, Bucks, Plumlee, Spurs, McDaniels, McLemore

Before he agreed to join the Bucks on a minimum-salary deal, free agent swingman Malik Beasley received interest from several teams, including the Mavericks, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. According to Scotto, Dallas considered the possibility of acquiring Beasley from the Lakers via sign-and-trade, but it didn’t work out.

New Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin was a factor in getting Beasley to Milwaukee, having spoken to the veteran wing during the team’s recruiting pitch, sources tell Scotto.

The Bucks currently have 12 players pencil in for standard contracts in 2023/24. Scotto hears that Thanasis Antetokounmpo and No. 36 pick Andre Jackson are candidates to end up on the 15-man roster. The team also needs to decide what type of contract No. 58 pick Chris Livingston will sign, Scotto notes. Currently, Lindell Wigginton and Omari Moore are on two-way contracts with Milwaukee, leaving one open two-way slot.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Veteran center Mason Plumlee drew interest in free agency from a number of playoff teams, including the Warriors and Hawks, before deciding to remain with the Clippers, league sources tell Scotto.
  • The Spurs, having already agreed to get involved in deals that will land them Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, and Reggie Bullock, remain open to taking on unwanted contracts in order to add more draft assets, reports Scotto.
  • Before signing forward Jalen McDaniels as a free agent, the Raptors tried to trade for him multiple times, including at the 2023 deadline, according to Scotto, who says Toronto has been closely monitoring McDaniels since he was at San Diego State.
  • Veteran guard Ben McLemore, who was out of the NBA last season, will work out for multiple NBA teams during the Las Vegas Summer League, per Scotto. McLemore played in China last season after averaging 10.2 PPG in 64 games for Portland in 2021/22.
  • In case you missed it, we also rounded up several Knicks-related rumors from Scotto.

Raptors Sign Jalen McDaniels To Two-Year Deal

JULY 6: The Raptors have officially signed McDaniels, per a team press release.

“Jalen is a hard-working, defensive-minded player who we believe has tremendous potential for growth,” team president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “He brings versatility to both ends of the floor, and we’re excited to see him develop as a member of the Raptors.”

JULY 1: The Raptors have reached an agreement on a deal with free agent forward Jalen McDaniels, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania, McDaniels will sign a two-year, $9.3MM contract with Toronto. Those figures suggest the team will complete the signing using its bi-annual exception, which starts at about $4.5MM.

A former second-round pick, McDaniels spent his first three-and-a-half seasons in the NBA with the Hornets before being traded to the Sixers at the February deadline. The 6’9″ forward is a 34.5% career three-point shooter and has the length and athleticism to guard multiple positions, so he should fit right in with the Raptors and their collection of rangy wings.

The No. 34 free agent on our top-50 list, McDaniels averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steal in 23.9 minutes per game (80 appearances) for Charlotte and Philadelphia in 2022/23.

The Raptors suffered a major loss on the first day of free agency when Fred VanVleet opted to leave Toronto for Houston. That generated some spending flexibility below the luxury tax line for the Raps, who committed their full mid-level exception to point guard Dennis Schröder.

With their bi-annual exception ticketed for McDaniels, the Raptors will be limited to minimum-salary signings and/or trades for the rest of the offseason.

Eastern FA Rumors: Kuzma, Kyrie, Bridges, Crowder, Sixers

Free agent forward Kyle Kuzma is seeking a contract “well above the mid-level exception,” according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, but it’s unclear which cap-room team might give him that sort of offer, especially if the Rockets and Pacers use their space on other players.

As Fischer writes, the Jazz were viewed as a legitimate suitor for Kuzma, but that option is almost certainly off the table following Utah’s deal for John Collins. People around the league have begun to consider it increasingly likely that Kuzma could re-sign with the Wizards, according to Fischer. While the Wizards are in the process of reshaping their roster, they’ll have Kuzma’s Bird rights and could view him as a future tradable asset as long as they don’t overpay him.

Here are more free agent rumors from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Following up on a report stating that Kyrie Irving had the Heat on his list of teams to meet with in free agency, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) cites a source who says the Heat have no meeting scheduled with the star point guard. Irving will, however, meet with the Rockets, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Interestingly, Fischer writes that the Hornets “don’t appear to have a straightforward path to re-sign” restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges. According to Fischer, Bridges and his representatives have broached the idea of Charlotte pulling its qualifying offer to make him unrestricted. Based on Fischer’s report, it sounds like Bridges’ camp may not feel confident about its leverage in talks with the Hornets entering the summer. The forward isn’t eligible to be signed-and-traded because he wasn’t on Charlotte’s roster last season.
  • Although Jae Crowder is considered likely to re-sign with the Bucks, the veteran forward has also drawn interest from the Heat, league sources tell Fischer.
  • While the Sixers may be fairly quiet at the start of free agency, it’s possible it won’t take the team long to come to an agreement with restricted free agent Paul Reed, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com. The team’s odds of bringing back Georges Niang, Jalen McDaniels, or Shake Milton don’t appear as strong. A source tell Neubeck that Niang may get “a nice chunk of money” from a rival suitor on the first day of free agency. Milton is unlikely to return to Philadelphia, while McDaniels’ free agency could take some time to play out, Neubeck adds.

Central Notes: Pacers, Pistons, Duren, Cavs

Indiana will be hosting six prospects on Friday for the team’s first pre-draft workout, the Pacers announced in a press release.

The six players are UConn’s Andre Jackson, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, Missouri’s Kobe Brown, Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma, North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson, and Liutauras Lelevicius, a Lithuanian prospect who played for Zalgris II this past season.

Jackson (30), Jaquez (32), Brown (43), Kaluma (90), and Nelson (94) all appear on ESPN’s top-100 prospects list, while Lelevicius is unranked. The Pacers control their own lottery pick, two late first-rounders (26th and 29th), and two second-round picks (either 50th or 32nd, plus 55th).

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Hiring the right head coach, having a successful draft, and acquiring forward depth in free agency are among the top offseason priorities for the Pistons, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link), who thinks the team should pursue Nets restricted free agent Cameron Johnson.
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren, who was recently named to the All-Rookie Second Team, was mostly pleased with his debut season, but he’s going to work on his conditioning and consistency in year two, Curtis writes in another subscriber-only story. “Consistency is a huge word,” Duren said. “To be great, you have to be consistent. For me, it’s honestly just being locked in and trying to understand what’s going on. ‘Being where my feet are,’ I like to say, and try to take over games, dominate games and affect games in any way possible. … I feel like that will come. I’m excited about what I can be in this league.”
  • Josh Richardson, Kelly Oubre, Max Strus, Gary Trent Jr. and Jalen McDaniels could be the types of wings the Cavaliers choose to go after in free agency with their mid-level exception, Kelsey Russo states in a mailbag for The Athletic. I don’t see Trent falling to that price point, especially since he could just opt in to his $18.8MM player option if he isn’t confident about getting a better payday, but the other four might be attainable (whether or not they’d be a good fit is another story).

Cavs Notes: Mitchell, Next Season, LeVert, Garland, Wing Upgrades

The Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell to make them a true contender. Mitchell felt personally responsible for the team’s 4-1 series loss to the Knicks, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

“I don’t feel like I was the player I needed to be for this group,” Mitchell said. “That’s what’s gonna keep me up at night. I’ve done it all year. You know what I mean? So I just didn’t deliver like I expected myself to, my teammates and everybody expects me to. And like I said, I take that upon myself, man, like I gotta be better.”

Mitchell averaged 23.2 points — five below his season average — and shot 43.3 percent and 28.9 on 3-point attempts in the series.

We have more on the Cavs:

  • This year’s playoff flop puts immense pressure on the team to get deeper into the postseason next year, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic opines. Even though Mitchell is signed through the 2025/26 season, he can opt out in the summer of 2025. If the Cavs can’t get a long-term commitment from Mitchell after next season, they may need to trade him, Lloyd writes. They also don’t have many assets to upgrade the roster.
  • Caris LeVert is headed to free agency but he “absolutely” wants to re-sign, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. LeVert averaged 18 points in the last four games of the series.
  • Darius Garland learned some lessons during the series, Fedor writes at Cleveland.com. Garland’s eyes were opened by the different tempo and intensity in the playoffs. “The pace is just so fast, it’s just coming to you really quick,” Garland said. “It’s a lot to process. Go back and watch this film, see what we did wrong. Trying to learn from it as much as I can. It hurts, but we know what it feels like. We know how playoff basketball is. We know the physicality of it. We know the mental aspect of it. It’s going to make us work hard and we’re going to remember this feeling.”
  • How can the Cavs upgrade at the wing? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores that topic in his offseason primer. They could target Josh RichardsonJalen McDaniels or Kelly Oubre with their mid-level exception. They could also try to trade for a forward with the MLE since the new CBA allows it to be used as a trade exception. Potential targets in that case could include Royce O’NealeReggie Bullock or Alec Burks.

Sixers Notes: McDaniels, Embiid, Tucker, Reed

While Sixers forward Jalen McDaniels is enjoying his first playoff experience, he’s also working to improve his prospects in free agency, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. McDaniels reached the play-in tournament a couple of times during his three-and-a-half years with the Hornets, but he got his first opportunity with a contender when Philadelphia traded for him in February.

“That shows I can play at the highest level,” he said. “That I can compete with the best guys. I can stop them. I can get to my spots (on offense and) make plays. … If you play the right way, which I feel I always do, you’re going to stand out in some type of way. Someone’s going to want you, just because you play the right way. Philly came and got me from Charlotte, because they saw I was playing the right way and needed a little piece. … Now I’m on a playoff team. Now I can showcase my game in front of everybody that’s watching. Now everybody can see what’s up.”

That includes teams with cap space this summer who can use an athletic, 25-year-old three-and-D wing. McDaniels likes his new situation in Philadelphia, but he understands that he has the chance to land a big contract when he hits the free agent market.

“It just all depends on what (the Sixers) see from me,” McDaniels said, “and what I see for myself.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers should find out more about Joel Embiid‘s availability for the start of their second-round series in the next day or so, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid is scheduled to meet with his doctors to get an update on the sprained LCL in his right knee, and the team is being cautious as it awaits its next opponent. “He shot a little bit on the side, but not much movement,” coach Doc Rivers said following Wednesday’s practice. “No practice really.”
  • P.J. Tucker‘s leadership qualities don’t ease up between games, Pompey adds. The Sixers took a gamble by giving a three-year contract to the 37-year-old forward, but he has provided a level of toughness that the team needed. “Today he got angry in practice because it was sloppy and he went off when nobody else did,” Rivers said. “Those are the things that people don’t (see). He just does so many things that are visible only to his team. And that’s why you brought him here.”
  • The Sixers have engaged in extension talks with backup center Paul Reed, but he’s likely to test the market as a restricted free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic states on FanDuel TV (video link).
  • Philadelphia will be among the participants in the Salt Lake City Summer League, along with the Jazz, Grizzlies and Thunder, Pompey tweets. Games are set for July 3, 5 and 6.