Jaylon Tyson

Jaylon Tyson Signs Rookie Contract With Cavaliers

Former Cal wing Jaylon Tyson has signed his rookie scale contract with the Cavaliers, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

Tyson, who spent his three college seasons at three different schools – Texas, Texas Tech, and Cal – had a breakout year in 2023/24 for the Golden Bears. He declared for the draft following a junior season in which he averaged 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 34.3 minutes per contest (31 games), with a shooting line of .509/.360/.796.

As the 20th overall pick in the 2024 draft, Tyson should be in line for a contract that pays him about $3.3MM in his rookie year and $16.1MM for four seasons, assuming his third- and fourth-year team options are picked up down the road.

[RELATED: Rookie Scale Salaries For 2024 NBA First-Round Picks]

With Tyson signed, the Cavaliers are now carrying 12 players on standard contracts, including 10 fully guaranteed salaries (Craig Porter has a partial guarantee, while Sam Merrill‘s salary is non-guaranteed).

Northwest Notes: Giddey, Malone, Nuggets’ Draft, Wolves

The Wizards could have interest in Josh Giddey if the Thunder decide to move him this summer, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic suggests on his Game Theory Podcast (hat tip to Rylan Stiles of Inside the Thunder). Vecenie notes that Washington general manager Will Dawkins, a former Oklahoma City executive, was heavily involved in the process when the Thunder drafted Giddey with the sixth pick in 2021.

Vecenie doesn’t place a high price tag on Giddey, theorizing that OKC could get the Wizards’ No. 26 pick and a future second-rounder in return: “That feels like it is about the price point, to be honest with you, for where Giddey is right now and where the playoffs ended with him, this feels like a reasonable offer for Giddey.”

The third-year swingman has been a starter since his rookie season, but he was ineffective in the second-round series against Dallas. Giddey averaged just 12.6 minutes per game and connected at 43.2% from the field and 18.8% from three-point range as the Mavericks dared him to shoot. Giddey will be extension-eligible this summer, but the Thunder may opt to trade him rather than committing to another long-term salary with so much young talent on the roster.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • During an appearance on the Jim Rome show, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said there have been discussions about trading the 28th pick (video link from Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports). Malone responded, “You can never have enough shooting” when asked about team needs, and although he said Denver has the league’s best starting five, he expressed concern about that group being overworked again.
  • Bennett Durando of The Denver Post offers his insight into players the Nuggets are projected to take in various mock drafts if they hold onto their first-round pick. ESPN and Yahoo Sports both have Denver selecting Dayton center DaRon Holmes II, whom Durando describes as a versatile big man capable of protecting the rim and spacing the floor. Other mock drafts give the Nuggets Duke center Kyle Filipowski, Indiana forward Kel’el Ware, Creighton wing Baylor Scheierman and California wing Jaylon Tyson.
  • Michael Rand of the Star Tribune examines the debate over whether the Timberwolves should keep the core of their current roster together or try to shake things up with an offseason trade.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Gobert, Turner, Thunder, Blazers

It was a “rough” film session for the Timberwolves on Thursday following their Game 1 loss to Dallas, head coach Chris Finch told reporters, including Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Finch, who spoke post-game about the team’s lack of composure and disappointing performance in clutch moments, was even harsher when he revisited the Game 1 loss a day later.

“I told the guys, ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve been this disappointed in your effort. Your performance, your attitude, your application and attention to detail just wasn’t there,'” Finch said. “The Western Conference finals started. Not sure if they got the memo. But they got it this afternoon.”

According to McMenamin, one team source said Thursday’s session was “about as fired up as he’s ever seen Finch.” The coach’s goal, the source explained, was to encourage his team to recognize what a rare opportunity it is to play in the conference finals and to urge them to increase their urgency and capitalize on that opportunity.

Finch also pointed out that the team’s three home losses in the postseason – Games 3 and 4 vs. Denver and Game 1 vs. Dallas – came after longer-than-usual layoffs, and with the Wolves coming off of big wins.

“I said to our guys, ‘We’re 3-3 at home, and we’ve had two kind of similar performances coming off stints of success,'” Finch said. “There’s a lot of ways immaturity kind of rears its head, and this might be one of them. But they’ve got our attention now, so there’s no reason for us to be feeling ourselves.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • While four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert gets much of the credit for leading the Timberwolves‘ top-ranked defense, assistant coach Elston Turner is a key under-the-radar contributor as the coordinator of that unit, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Describing the dynamic between Gobert and Turner, Finch took a moment to come up with an appropriate analogy. “Like divorced parents trying to co-parent,” the head coach said with a laugh. “A healthy co-parent. My only caveat to that is they’re not divorced. They’re on the same team.”
  • While there are still holes on the roster, Rylan Stiles of SI.com contends that the Thunder can afford to use the No. 12 overall pick in next month’s draft to take a shot on a higher-upside prospect who may be a year or two away from contributing rather than trying to find a win-now player who addresses a current need on the roster.
  • In a separate story for SI.com, Stiles wonders if the Thunder should take advantage of their window before paying Chet Holmgren and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander big raises by taking a swing on a veteran star who is owed significant money for the next couple seasons but who may not stay on the books beyond that.
  • Raequan Battle (West Virginia), Adem Bona (UCLA), Arthur Kaluma (Kansas State), Ugonna Onyenso (Kentucky), Will Richard (Florida), and Jaylon Tyson (California) participated in a pre-draft workout for the Trail Blazers on Thursday, tweets Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. None of those prospects is likely to receive consideration with Portland’s lottery picks (No. 7 and No. 14), but some could end up as second-round or undrafted free agent targets.

NBA Announces 78 Invitees For 2024 Draft Combine

The NBA announced today (via Twitter) that 78 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s draft combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 12-19.

In addition to those 78 players, a handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which is also held in Chicago just before the combine begins, are expected to receive invites to stick around for the main event.

Not all of the prospects invited to the combine will end up remaining in the 2024 draft pool, since some are early entrants who are testing the waters while retaining their NCAA eligibility. College players must withdraw from the draft by the end of the day on May 29 if they wish to preserve that eligibility, while non-college players face a decision deadline of June 16. The feedback they receive from NBA teams at the combine may be a deciding factor for players who are on the fence.

Here’s the list of players who have been invited to the 2024 draft combine:

(Note: For players in international leagues, the country listed is where they had been playing, not necessarily where they’re from.)

  1. Michael Ajayi, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  2. Melvin Ajinca, G/F, France (born 2004)
  3. Trey Alexander, G, Creighton (junior)
  4. Izan Almansa, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  5. Reece Beekman, G, Virginia (senior)
  6. Adem Bona, F/C, UCLA (sophomore)
  7. Trevon Brazile, F, Arkansas (sophomore)
  8. Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor (senior)
  9. Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  10. Carlton Carrington, G, Pitt (freshman)
  11. Devin Carter, G, Providence (junior)
  12. Stephon Castle, G, UConn (freshman)
  13. Ulrich Chomche, C, NBA Academy Africa (born 2005)
  14. Cam Christie, G, Minnesota (freshman)
  15. Nique Clifford, G, Colorado State (senior)
  16. Donovan Clingan, C, UConn (sophomore)
  17. Isaiah Collier, G, USC (freshman)
  18. Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado (senior)
  19. Pacome Dadiet, G/F, Germany (born 2005)
  20. N’Faly Dante, C, Oregon (super-senior)
  21. Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  22. Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  23. Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  24. Zach Edey, C, Purdue (senior)
  25. Justin Edwards, G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  26. Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke (sophomore)
  27. Trentyn Flowers, G/F, Australia (born 2005)
  28. Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas (freshman)
  29. Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL) (freshman)
  30. Tyon Grant-Foster, G, Grand Canyon (senior)
  31. PJ Hall, C, Clemson (senior)
  32. Coleman Hawkins, F, Illinois (senior)
  33. Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  34. DaRon Holmes II, F, Dayton (junior)
  35. Ariel Hukporti, C, Germany (born 2002)
  36. Oso Ighodaro, F, Marquette (senior)
  37. Harrison Ingram, F, UNC (junior)
  38. Bronny James, G, USC (freshman)
  39. A.J. Johnson, G, Australia (born 2004)
  40. Keshad Johnson, F, Arizona (super-senior)
  41. David Jones, F, Memphis (senior)
  42. Dillon Jones, F, Weber State (senior)
  43. Ryan Kalkbrenner, C, Creighton (senior)
    • Note: Kalkbrenner indicated this week that he intends to return to school, so it’s unclear if he’ll continue to go through the pre-draft process.
  44. Alex Karaban, F, UConn (sophomore)
  45. Bobi Klintman, F, Australia (born 2003)
  46. Dalton Knecht, G, Tennessee (super-senior)
  47. Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette (senior)
  48. Pelle Larsson, G, Arizona (senior)
  49. Jared McCain, G, Duke (freshman)
  50. Kevin McCullar, G, Kansas (super-senior)
  51. Yves Missi, C, Baylor (freshman)
  52. Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara (junior)
  53. Jonathan Mogbo, F/C, San Francisco (senior)
  54. Tristen Newton, G, UConn (super-senior)
  55. Juan Nunez, G, Germany (born 2004)
  56. Quinten Post, F/C, Boston College (super-senior)
  57. Antonio Reeves, G, Kentucky (super-senior)
  58. Zaccharie Risacher, F, France (born 2005)
  59. Jaxson Robinson, G/F, BYU (senior)
  60. Tidjane Salaun, F, France (born 2005)
  61. Hunter Sallis, G, Wake Forest (junior)
  62. Payton Sandfort, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  63. Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Australia (born 2005)
  64. Baylor Scheierman, G/F, Creighton (super-senior)
  65. Mark Sears, G, Alabama (senior)
  66. Terrence Shannon, G, Illinois (super-senior)
  67. Jamal Shead, G, Houston (senior)
  68. Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. KJ Simpson, G, Colorado (junior)
  70. Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  71. Cam Spencer, G, UConn (super-senior)
  72. Nikola Topic, G, Serbia (born 2005)
  73. JT Toppin, F, New Mexico (freshman)
  74. Jaylon Tyson, G, California (junior)
  75. Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor (freshman)
  76. Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana (sophomore)
  77. Jamir Watkins, G/F, Florida State (junior)
  78. Cody Williams, F, Colorado (freshman)

It’s worth noting that the NBA and the NBPA agreed to a few combine-related changes in their latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Here are a few of those changes:

  • A player who is invited to the draft combine and declines to attend without an excused absence will be ineligible to be drafted. He would become eligible the following year by attending the combine. There will be exceptions made for a player whose FIBA season is ongoing, who is injured, or who is dealing with a family matter (such as a tragedy or the birth of a child).
  • Players who attend the draft combine will be required to undergo physical exams, share medical history, participate in strength, agility, and performance testing, take part in shooting drills, receive anthropometric measurements, and conduct interviews with teams and the media. Scrimmages won’t be mandatory.
  • Medical results from the combine will be distributed to select teams based on where the player is projected to be drafted. Only teams drafting in the top 10 would get access to medical info for the projected No. 1 pick; teams in the top 15 would receive medical info for players in the 2-6 range, while teams in the top 25 would get access to info for the players in the 7-10 range.

Regarding that last point, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) has the details on the top 10 played out this year, noting that the composite ranking was generated based on a combination of publicly available rankings and feedback from a panel of experts, as well as a retained-scouting service.

Sarr is considered the No. 1 overall prospect, per Givony, so only teams drafting in the top 10 will get access to his medicals. Buzelis, Castle, Clingan, Risacher, and Topic are in the 2-6 range, while Dillingham, Holland, Knecht, and Sheppard round out the top 10.

Cal’s Jaylon Tyson Declaring For 2024 Draft

Cal guard Jaylon Tyson, seen as a possible first-round pick, is declaring for the 2024 NBA draft, he has informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The No. 32 player on ESPN’s big board, the 6’7″ guard enjoyed an All-Pac-12 season in 2023/24 for the Golden Bears, posting averages of 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game on .465/.360/.796 shooting splits.

Cal was Tyson’s third NCAA stop, following stints with Texas as a freshman in 2021/22 and Texas Tech in ’22/23. His shooting acumen and multifaceted defensive upside make him an intriguing addition for many NBA clubs.

“I am going to forgo my remaining eligibility and enter the draft,” Tyson informed Givony. “I am in Las Vegas getting ready right now.

“… I had a great season, statistically speaking, even though we didn’t make the end goal,” Tyson added. “It was great to build some momentum for Cal going into next year. … NBA teams saw that I’m a versatile guard. I can play a lot of different positions on the court. I can be a ‘3-and-D’ player or a secondary ball handler. I even showed I can play point guard in spurts down the line.”