Jarvis Varnado

Western Notes: Okafor, Suns, Jazz

The Lakers are looking at more than just basketball ability in their evaluations of draft prospects, and one of the most important intangibles to Los Angeles’ front office is overall character, Kevin Ding of BleacherReport writes. Duke big man Jahlil Okafor has impressed the Lakers in this regard, Ding notes. Mike Krzyzewski, Okafor’s coach with the Blue Devils, sings the praises of his former player’s off the court demeanor, saying, “He’s going to be a franchise player. And he’s going to be a franchise person.”

Here’s what else is happening around the Western Conference:

  • The Suns held pre-draft workouts for Treveon Graham (VCU), Ryan Harrow (Georgia State), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Corey Hawkins (UC-Davis), Yanick Moreira (SMU), and Gabriel Olaseni (Iowa), Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic relays (Twitter links).
  • The Jazz will host a free agent minicamp on Thursday for 27 players, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes. Attendees will include Brock Motum, Jarvis Varnado, Fuquan Edwin, and former Bulls first-rounder Marquis Teague, Genessy notes.
  • Former Kansas swingman Kelly Oubre may be too tempting for the Thunder to pass up with the No. 14 overall pick, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman opines. One aspect of Oubre’s physique that is garnering him attention is his 7’2″ wingspan, Mayberry adds. “Bringing length to a team is definitely something that can be one of my strong suits,” Oubre said. “And just being able to lock in on defense. My lateral movement is pretty good.” You can check out Hoops Rumors’ full prospect profile for Oubre here.

Atlantic Notes: Williams, Bogdanovic, Varnado

Lou Williams paid dividends for the Raptors, and it seems he believes the trade that brought him to Toronto this year was mutually beneficial. The guard reiterated Monday after winning the Sixth Man of the Year award that he wants to re-sign with the Raptors in free agency, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca observes.

“[Staying in Toronto] would be ideal for me,” he said. “Just the culture that they’re building here, just the identity that this team and this town has, I really want to be a part of it. I look forward to it. I don’t want to say hopefully we get something done, I’m really positive that we will get something done. I don’t see why not, at this point. So I just look forward to the future here.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Bojan Bogdanovic struggled in his NBA playoff debut, but a player who has European postseason experience, as Bogdanovic does, has a measure of added value, notes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Bogdanovic is in his first NBA season after signing with the Nets for the taxpayer’s mid-level exception in the summer.
  • Jarvis Varnado, who was in camp with the Sixers this past fall, has signed to play in Puerto Rico with Piratas de Quebradillas, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports. Varnado also spent time with the Lakers D-League affiliate this season.
  • The Sixers, who’ll pay Furkan Aldemir nearly $2.837MM in guaranteed salary next season, didn’t invest much in the former draft-and-stash prospect, but it still seems like too much for a player who showed limited skills, as John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com examines.

Western Notes: Wolves, Warriors, Varnado

The teams at the top of the Eastern Conference have begun to close the gap on the West, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal observes in his latest “Pick and Pop” column. There are as many teams with winning percentages of .700 or better in the East as there are in the West, and the top four Eastern teams have all won at least eight of their last 10 games. The Blazers are the only Western team that can boast that. Imbalance still exists farther down the standings, where the 18-14 Suns cling to the last Western playoff spot while the 14-18 Heat lay claim to eighth place in the East. Here’s the latest from around the conference that still reigns supreme:

  • Flip Saunders said the Timberwolves are looking at “all kinds of options” and said the team hasn’t reached a deal with anyone amid conflicting reports of an agreement with Miroslav Raduljica, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). Still, Saunders acknowledged there’s “no question” that the team needs to add size, as Zgoda tweets.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect his team will make significant changes anytime soon, as he said on NBA TV, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). “I don’t anticipate us doing a whole lot,” Kerr said. “We’re doing well. We like our team. We’ve got good versatility and depth.”
  • The D-League affiliate of the Lakers acquired the rights to Jarvis Varnado in a trade with the Grizzlies D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders announced (on Twitter). That sort of move usually coincides with or precedes a signing, though it doesn’t appear as though Varnado has a contract with the D-Fenders just yet. Varnado, who was in camp with the Sixers this past fall, was one of a half-dozen players without a deal to play pro basketball after inking an NBA 10-day contract last season, as I noted earlier.
  • Former Jazz camp invitee Kevin Murphy has left Utah’s D-League affiliate to pursue a deal overseas, reports Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). The swingman was briefly with the Jazz during the preseason before the team cut him October 10th.

Sixers Sign Lee, Gordon, Cut Bogans, Varnado

The Sixers have signed Malcolm Lee and Drew Gordon, and they waived Keith Bogans and Jarvis Varnado to make room on the 20-man preseason roster, the team announced (Twitter link). The team reportedly came to agreements with both Lee and Gordon prior to camp, but they were left off the team’s roster when training camp began. The dismissal of Varnado is somewhat surprising, since he had a $75K partial guarantee and the team had been carrying eight players with non-guaranteed contracts. Bogans was one of those eight, and his nearly $5.3MM salary was the largest by far, so it’s certainly not a shock to see Philadelphia part ways with him. The Sixers have plenty of capacity to exceed the minimum salary in their new arrangements with Lee and Gordon, but the terms aren’t immediately clear.

Lee was one of a handful of players to work out for the Lakers in late August, and he also worked out for the Nets earlier in the summer, though that audition seemed to be geared mostly toward summer league. The 24-year-old guard appeared in summer league with the Raptors, but the two-year NBA veteran will attempt to officially return to the league with the Sixers after sitting out 2013/14, in part because of injury. Gordon, a 24-year-old power forward, was with the Sixers in summer league after splitting this past season between Italy and Turkey. He also had a stop in Serbia after going undrafted out of New Mexico in 2012, and this will be his first NBA preseason experience.

Bogans joined the Sixers after a pair of trades brought him from the Celtics through Cleveland. He sat out much of last season as Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge sought to use his sizable non-guaranteed deal in a trade. Varnado hooked on with both the Bulls and the Sixers via 10-day contracts last season, and Philadelphia elected to keep him for the balance of 2013/14 when its short-term deal with the power forward ran out, tacking the partially guaranteed 2014/15 season onto his contract.

The moves leave the Sixers with a full 20-man preseason roster. Only nine of their players known to have fully guaranteed deals, and the release of Varnado makes it an even more wide open race for the final regular season roster spots.

Contract Details: Knicks, Pelicans, Heat, Bulls

August 1st will be a key date for many teams and players in the NBA, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports details in the latest update to his salary database. Knicks guard Shannon Brown and Melvin Ely of the Pelicans have their minimum-salary contracts fully guaranteed if their respective teams don’t waive them by the end of that day, Deeks reports. It’s also the day when Justin Hamilton of the Heat earns a partial guarantee of $408,241 and Bulls big man Lou Amundson has his deal partially guaranteed for $300K if they’re not waived, according to Deeks. The salary data guru has a few more revelations, as we note below:

  • Hamilton’s partial guarantee increases to $612,362 should the Heat elect not to waive by the end of December 1st.
  • Lamar Odom‘s deal becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the Knicks roster past September 10th.
  • The Knicks have another deadline to consider on September 15th, the final day they can waive Jeremy Tyler without owing him a $100K partial guarantee.
  • Jorge Gutierrez receives a $25K partial guarantee if he sticks with the Nets past September 26th.
  • Jarvis Varnado‘s deal with the Sixers is already partially guaranteed for $75K.

Contract Details: Butler, World Peace, Suns

Mark Deeks has updated his salary databases at ShamSports, and, as usual, he’s revealed several nuances about the latest contracts signed around the NBA. We’ll pass along the details we hadn’t previously heard about here:

  • Caron Butler gave up $1MM in his buyout deal with the Bucks. He signed for that same amount for the remainder of this season with the Thunder, who dipped into their mid-level exception to accommodate Butler’s $1MM salary.
  • Metta World Peace gave up $305,166 of this season’s $1.59MM salary in his buyout deal with the Knicks. All contracts with player options include a clause indicating whether or not the player receives the money for his option year in the event that he’s waived before deciding on the option. It looks as if the clause in World Peace’s deal stated that he would not receive the option-year pay, since Deeks doesn’t list any of World Peace’s $1,931,550 salary for 2014/15 on New York’s books.
  • Shavlik Randolph‘s contract with the Suns includes a non-guaranteed year for 2014/15, rather than a team option, as we suspected.
  • If the Hawks exercise their team option on the fourth season of Mike Muscala‘s deal, the contract will nonetheless remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date. It’s similar to the structure of the contracts a handful of Sixers have, including recent signee Jarvis Varnado.
  • Chris Johnson also has such a deal with the Celtics, although there are a pair of guarantee dates attached to the third and fourth seasons. The third year becomes fully guaranteed providing he’s not waived on or before September 1st, 2015, and the fourth year becomes fully guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before September 1st, 2016.
  • The Celtics also arranged for a couple of guarantee dates on Phil Pressey‘s three-year contract. Next season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before July 15th, but if the Celtics keep him beyond that date, it’s fully guaranteed. The same happens for the third year of the deal on July 15, 2015.
  • The Rockets have a team option on Troy Daniels worth the minimum salary for next season.
  • Luke Babbitt‘s two-year deal with the Pelicans is for the minimum salary. Next season isn’t guaranteed, but it becomes partially guaranteed for $100K if he isn’t waived on or before July 22nd.
  • The Magic used cap room to sign Dewayne Dedmon to a three-year contract that gives him $300K for the rest of this season, slightly more than what he would have made on a prorated minimum-salary deal. Dedmon is set to make the minimum salary in the other two seasons covered in the pact. Next season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before opening night, when it becomes partially guaranteed for $250K. The final season is non-guaranteed if he’s waived on or before August 1st, 2015, when it becomes fully guaranteed.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Varnado, Sims, Mirotic

If new commissioner Adam Silver gets his wish and changes the NBA draft’s age minimum from 19 to 20, he will have two dissenters in the PistonsBrandon Jennings and Josh Smith, both of whom would have been affected had such a rule been in place when they entered the league. “I just feel like if a kid’s ready, he’s ready to – why two years?” Jennings told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. “Then if I’m a kid that’s talented and you expect me to go to college and eat McDonald’s all the time. I’m not rolling.”

Let’s take a look at what else is going on in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night:

  • Mississippi State product Jarvis Varnado, who inked a multiyear deal with the Sixers earlier this month, was adamant he’d stick in the NBA earlier this season despite being on a 10-day contract, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who talked with Varnado in his time with the Bulls.
  • Henry Sims has been a bright spot for the Sixers since coming over from Cleveland in the Spencer Hawes deal, and may have a future in Philadelphia, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders breaks down the salary cap implications of Chicago bringing over Nikola Mirotic this offseason from Real Madrid, who the Bulls took with the 23rd pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. The move would involve a buyout of over $3MM as well as enough money to entice Mirotic to want to leave Europe.
  • Al Jefferson signed with the Bobcats just eight months ago, but he’s already prepared to recruit others to Charlotte, as he tells Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated“It’s on me to let other free agents know, ‘Why not Charlotte?’,” Jefferson said.

Sixers Sign Jarvis Varnado To Multiyear Deal

5:05pm: Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link) reports that it’s a three-year deal. The rest of this season is guaranteed, but the next two seasons are not.

WEDNESDAY, 9:17am: The Sixers have formally announced their new deal with Varnado, via press release. The team doesn’t specify the terms of the agreement, as is usually the case, but the release doesn’t refer to the agreement as a 10-day deal, so it appears that it covers at least the rest of the season.

TUESDAY, 11:19am: The Sixers will re-sign Jarvis Varnado to a multiyear contract with guaranteed money for 2014/15, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The team had workouts lined up for today with at least four players who were presumably vying for Varnado’s roster spot, but the team has apparently decided the incumbent is the best choice. Varnado had been with the club on a 10-day deal that expired Monday night. Wojnarowski’s tweet indicates that Varnado has already signed his new contract, but the team has yet to make a formal announcement.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said Monday that he’s “thrilled” with Varnado, who nonetheless saw short minutes on his 10-day contract. He averaged 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game over five appearances. Varnado’s strengths are rebounding and shot-blocking, and his per-36 minute numbers with the team suggest fairly strong production, albeit over a minuscule sample size. He’s notched 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per 36 minutes for Philadelphia.

The 6’9″ 26-year-old has played in just 19 career NBA games, but he’s been well-traveled, splitting them among four teams. He signed a 10-day contract earlier this season with the Bulls and spent parts of last season with the Heat and Celtics. The Impact Sports Basketball client is probably receiving a minimum-salary arrangement, though Philadelphia has the cap room necessary to give him more. There’s a decent chance it calls for non-guaranteed seasons in 2015/16 and 2016/17, as Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has locked up several players on four-year contracts with little guaranteed money. Wojnarowski says that next year is a team option, but that would preclude the guaranteed money he refers to, and team options are rare in free agent contracts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “option” Wojnarowski is referring to is actually a partial guarantee.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Sixers To Audition Scott Suggs, Johnson-Odom

2:32pm: Sixers coach Brett Brown is “thrilled” with Varnado and would like to keep him around, notes Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com, suggesting that it’s no certainty that anyone set to work out for the team will receive a contract. Brown has had a say in each of the moves the team has made since the start of the season, according to Lynam.

8:08am: The Sixers will bring in Scott Suggs and Darius Johnson-Odom on Tuesday to audition for the team, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. They also have workouts lined up for James Nunnally and Kevin Murphy, as we passed along Sunday night. Philadelphia has 14 guaranteed contracts and Jarvis Varnado on a 10-day deal, so their pursuit of another signee indicates that Varnado’s time in Philadelphia will be short. His deal expires at the end of the day today.

Suggs is a 6’6″ shooting guard who went undrafted out of Washington this past June. He’s been playing for the D-League affiliate of the Knicks, averaging 17.6 points and 41.4% three-point shooting in 36.0 minutes per game. He saw summer league action with the Bucks, but the 24-year-old wasn’t in camp with any NBA team. Johnson-Odom is a more familiar name, having seen four games of NBA action with the Lakers last season. He joined the Lakers again for camp in the fall and split the season between China and the Nets D-League affiliate. Jorge Gutierrez recently edged out Johnson-Odom for a 10-day contract with Brooklyn.

Sixers coach Brett Brown suggested late last month that the team would be cycling through several players at the end of the season, and it appears they’re indeed planning on giving at least a handful of guys a look. Varnado has scored 2.5 points and 3.8 rebounds on 12.5 minutes per game in his time with Philadelphia. If no one impresses during the workouts, it seems reasonable to think that the team would consider signing Varnado to a second 10-day contract.

Sixers Sign Jarvis Varnado To 10-Day Contract

The Sixers have signed Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day deal, per a team release. Varnado is coming off a 10-day contract with the Bulls that just expired. The power forward joins Philadelphia on his 26th birthday, and will hope to see more minutes on a Sixers roster depleted of much NBA talent.

The shot-blocking specialist only played two minutes in a single game with Chicago, his only NBA action this season. He played in 13 games last year with the Heat and Celtics, averaging just in 0.6 points and 0.6 rebounds in 4.3 minutes per game. Varnado was a D-League All-Star selection this year, averaging 14.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks with the Iowa Energy.

Varnado is a represented by Impact Sports Basketball, according to our Agency Database. While the Bulls had room on the roster to sign Varanado to either a second 10-day contract or a deal for the rest of the year, their recent agreement with Jimmer Fredette likely precluded that possibility. The Bulls are doing their best to stay under the luxury tax line.