Jeremy Lamb

And-Ones: Lamb, Thomas, McLemore, Biggest Buyers

Jeremy Lamb suffered a season-ending ankle injury while playing for the Kings’ NBA G League team in Stockton, Sacramento Kings radio reporter Sean Cunningham tweets.

Lamb resurfaced in the G League after the Sacramento waived him during training camp.

A former lottery pick, Lamb has appeared in 573 career regular season games with four teams, including – most recently – the Kings. However, the veteran swingman wasn’t in the league last season following a down year in 2021/22. He averaged 7.3 PPG on .383/.324/.840 shooting in 56 games (16.7 MPG) for Indiana and Sacramento in ’21/22.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Isaiah Thomas made a strong impression in his first game with the Jazz’s G League in Salt Lake City. Thomas, who signed with the Stars less than a week ago, posted 32 points and four assists in a win over the Texas Legends on Thursday. He followed that up with a 30-point, 8-assist outing on Sunday. Thomas is aiming to get back in the NBA. “I’m not going to give it up until nobody calls and they’re like, ‘Just stop.’ This has just been my life. It’s been an amazing run and I’m going to just keep it going,” Thomas told Alex Vejar of the Salt Lake Tribune.
  • Former NBA guard Ben McLemore has issued an apology for a drunken driving incident in Lugo, Spain, according to McLemore is currently playing for CB Rio Breogan. “I have made a mistake that I am not proud of. Now, more than ever, my wish is to continue helping my teammates and the club, learn from this mistake, and set the right example for all those who believe in me, especially for the little ones,” he said via the statement. “For this reason, I sincerely apologize and I ask that no one doubt that I will give my best, personally and professionally, to help achieve the goals that we all want.”
  • Who will be the NBA’s biggest spenders this offseason? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a closer look at that subject, naming 10 teams that could be major players in the free agent market.

Kings Waive Jeremy Lamb

The Kings have waived veteran guard Jeremy Lamb, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports.

Lamb was signed earliler this month on an Exhibit 10 contract. He’s expected to join Sacramento’s G League affiliate in Stockton after clearing waivers, according to Anderson. Lamb would receive a bonus of $75K if he stays with the Stockton franchise at least 60 days.

Lamb saw action in Sacramento’s preseason opener on Sunday, scoring six points in six minutes.

Lamb, 31, is a former lottery pick who has appeared in 573 career regular season games since 2012 for four teams, including – most recently – the Kings. However, the veteran swingman wasn’t in the league last season following a down year in 2021/22. He averaged 7.3 PPG on .383/.324/.840 shooting in 56 games (16.7 MPG) for Indiana and Sacramento in ’21/22.

Sacramento had a full roster of 21 players entering camp, as our roster count shows. They’ll have to shed two more to get down the 15-man limit (not counting their three two-way players) by opening night.

Kings Notes: Lyles, Lamb, Nowell, Vezenkov, Ford

Trey Lyles has played for five teams across his eight seasons in the league, but he feels like he’s found a long-term home with the Kings, according to Hunter Patterson of The Athletic. Lyles arrived in Sacramento in 2022 at the trade deadline and became a key contributor as the team ended its 16-season playoff drought last year.

The two sides agreed to a two-year, $16MM contract extension this offseason after Lyles made returning to Sacramento his No. 1 priority, according to Patterson.

Last season, I felt at home with the team, city and the fans,” Lyles said. “But I think it really set in once I signed back. This is the first time in my going-on-nine-year career that I’ve been able to stay in a city for longer than two years. It felt good. … So, that was really the moment it was — not a weight off my shoulders, but kind of a breath of fresh air.”

The 27-year-old forward didn’t make a start for the first time in his career, but he had a consistent role, averaging 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.9 minutes off the bench in 74 games.

Trey’s such a good guy,” Kings coach Mike Brown said of Lyles. “He understands what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s going to bring it every day, and he gives us a lot of versatility.”

We have more from the Kings:

  • Both Jeremy Lamb and Jaylen Nowell signed Exhibit 10 training camp contracts with the Kings, Spotrac’s Keith Smith tweets. Sacramento has room to carry one more player on a standard contract for its regular season roster, and Lamb and Nowell are both candidates for that spot, though the Kings don’t necessarily have to carry a full 15-man roster. Those Exhibit 10 agreements provide a way for the Kings to keep one or both of the players in their organization if they don’t make the regular season roster. Both players will be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if they are waived before opening night and then spend at least 60 days with Sacramento’s G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings.
  • The Kings are high on forward Sasha Vezenkov‘s outside shooting, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Domantas Sabonis called the former EuroLeague MVP the best shooter on the team, while De’Aaron Fox said he was one of the best shooters on Earth. “Man, he shoots the [heck] out of the ball,” Fox said. “It’s crazy. One of our shooting drills, I think it’s like 150 shots, and I think he missed seven. … We want him to be comfortable and we want him to know he has a green light to shoot the ball.” The 6’9″ forward is embarking on his rookie season in the NBA at 28 years old and is expected to have a role right away.
  • Guard Jordan Ford grew up rooting for the Kings, Anderson details in another story, and he’s now getting the chance to suit up for the team after he signed a two-way contract in September. “It definitely feels special today putting on the uniform for the first time, the actual threads,” Ford said. “It feels great and I think it’s something that is going to be great through the whole season, just getting to know all the fans and getting to know all the great people, so I’m excited.

Kings Sign Jaylen Nowell, Jeremy Lamb

OCTOBER 2: Lamb’s deal is now official as well, according to RealGM.

SEPTEMBER 30: The signing of Nowell is now official, per RealGM’s transaction log. Sacramento’s deal with Lamb hasn’t yet been formally completed.

SEPTEMBER 29: The Kings are expected to add free agent wings Jaylen Nowell and Jeremy Lamb to their roster for training camp, a source tells James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link).

Nowell, 24, spent his first four NBA seasons with the Timberwolves after being selected with the No. 43 overall pick out of Washington in 2019. He set a new career high with 10.8 points per game in 65 games (19.3 MPG) last season, though his three-point percentage dipped to 28.9% in 2022/23 after he made 34.5% of his outside attempts in his first three seasons.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on Thursday that Sacramento recently brought Nowell in for a workout.

Lamb, 31, is a former lottery pick who has appeared in 573 career regular season games since 2012 for four teams, including – most recently – the Kings. However, the veteran swingman wasn’t in the league last season following a down year in 2021/22. He averaged 7.3 PPG on .383/.324/.840 shooting in 56 games (16.7 MPG) for Indiana and Sacramento in ’21/22.

The Kings currently have two open spots on their 21-man preseason roster, so they wouldn’t have to waive anyone to make room for Nowell and Lamb.

Of Sacramento’s 19 current players, 14 have fully guaranteed standard contracts. The Kings’ 15th and final regular season spot appears to be up for grabs after Nerlens Noel and Neemias Queta were waived earlier this month. Nowell and Lamb could end up competing for that spot, though the team also isn’t obligated to carry more than 14 players on standard deals to open the season.

Contract/Cap Notes: Middleton, Lopez, C. Johnson, Watanabe, More

The three-year contract Khris Middleton signed with the Bucks only has a base value of about $93MM, well below the reported figure of $102MM, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).

As Marks explains, the deal features approximately $9MM in total incentives — $2MM are currently considered likely to be earned, while the other $7MM are unlikely (meaning Middleton and/or the Bucks didn’t achieve the criteria last season). For now, the forward’s annual cap hits, which take into account his base salaries and likely incentives, will be $29.3MM, $31.7MM, and $34MM.

Meanwhile, Brook Lopez‘s two-year, $48MM contract with the Bucks has a declining structure, according to Marks. The veteran center will earn $25MM in 2023/24 and $23MM in ’24/25.

Here are a few more contract and cap details from around the NBA:

  • Marks also has the specifics (via Twitter) on Cameron Johnson‘s four-year contract with the Nets, which includes several incentives and declines in years two and three before rising again in year four. Johnson has base salaries of $24.5MM, $22.5MM, $20.5MM, and $22.5MM, with annual bonuses of $4.9MM, $4.5MM, $4.1MM, and $4.5MM. Currently, a total of $4.4MM of those incentives are considered likely, while the other $13.6MM are unlikely.
  • The Sunsdeal with Yuta Watanabe is a two-year, minimum-salary agreement with a second-year player option, confirms Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That was the common structure on the contracts Phoenix offered to free agents — Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop, and Drew Eubanks received similar deals.
  • A pair of two-way contracts that have been signed early in the 2023/24 league year will cover two seasons instead of just one. Craig Porter‘s deal with the Cavaliers and Jaylen Martin‘s agreement with the Knicks are each for two years, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links).
  • A handful of teams using cap room this season have renounced their free agent rights to one or more players in order to maximize their space. According to RealGM’s transaction log, the Pacers (George Hill), Kings (Terence Davis, Jeremy Lamb, Corey Brewer), Pistons (Hamidou Diallo, Rodney McGruder, and Buddy Boeheim), and Thunder (eight players, including Dario Saric, Jared Butler, and Nick Collison) all renounced players. In some cases, those cap holds had been on teams’ books for multiple seasons — they won’t be there going forward.

Lakers Work Out Several Veteran Free Agents

SEPTEMBER 18: Thomas disputed the claim that he participated in the Lakers’ workout, posting a tweet stating that he didn’t work out for the club.

SEPTEMBER 17: Isaiah Thomas was among several free agents who worked out recently for the Lakers, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The 33-year-old guard is looking for his next team after finishing last season with the Hornets.

If Thomas earns a roster spot, it would mark his third stint with the organization. He signed a 10-day contract with L.A. under the hardship provision last December, appearing in four games and averaging 9.3 PPG in 25.3 minutes per night. Thomas also played 17 games with the Lakers during the 2017/18 season.

A report in July indicated that the Hornets still had some interest in bringing back Thomas, who signed a rest-of-the-season contract after joining the team on a pair of 10-day deals in March. Charlotte currently has two openings on its offseason roster.

Armoni Brooks, Sharife Cooper and Mychal Mulder took part in the workout as well, according to Scotto. He also identifies Shabazz Muhammad, Jeremy Lamb, Dwayne Bacon and Miye Oni as participants (Twitter link).

L.A. currently has one opening on its 20-man roster, but it’s a long shot for any of these players to be with the team once the season begins. Luxury tax penalties would cost the Lakers about $7MM to fill their final roster spot, so they will likely operate with 14 players for most of the season. Friday’s signing of Dennis Schröder gives them 12 fully guaranteed contracts, while Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel are on non-guaranteed deals.

Community Shootaround: Top Remaining Free Agents

As the NBA offseason nears its end, several players who ended last season under contract with a team remain available in free agency. Training camps are set to open across the league later this month, so time is running out for those players ahead of the regular season.

Teams are also still rounding out their training camp rosters by signing players to Exhibit 10, two-way and non-guaranteed deals. As shown by our current list of free agents, Dennis Schröder, Isaiah Thomas, Jeremy Lamb, Lou Williams, Lance Stephenson, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard are among the veterans still available.

Of course, many of those players are likely nearing the end of their careers, including Williams (36 next month), Anthony (38) and Howard (36). Iguodala, 38, still hasn’t decided whether he’ll be playing or retiring. The Warriors likely value his leadership and experience more than his production at this point in his career.

The rest of those players are all 33 years old or younger, but several young players are also available. Schröder has a case to be the best option, averaging 13.5 points in 28.7 minutes per game with Boston and Houston last season. Plenty of the others hold All-Star experience.

We want to know what you think. Among the remaining free agents, who do you think is the most valuable one? Who could help a specific team this season, even if they wind up signing later in the year? Which players on our current list of free agents interest you the most? Take to the comments section below and voice your opinions!

Celtics Notes: Gallinari, Free Agents, Brogdon, G. Williams

The Celtics are expected to apply for a disabled player exception in the wake of Danilo Gallinari‘s ACL tear, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. A report Friday indicates that Gallinari hasn’t given up hope of playing toward the end of the upcoming season, but it appears to be a long shot given his age and the severity of the injury.

If the request is approved, Boston’s DPE would be about $3.2MM, which is half of Gallinari’s salary for 2022/23. The team would be able use that amount to sign a free agent, claim a player off waivers or acquire a player through trade, though Himmelsbach views that last option as unlikely because the Celtics already have two trade exceptions that are worth more.

Boston signed Gallinari in July to provide veteran help off the bench and another three-point shooting threat. His contract includes a $6.8MM player option for next season that he seems almost certain to exercise in light of the injury.

There’s more from Boston:

  • With Gallinari likely unavailable for the entire season, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe looks at some options that are still available on the free agent market. He points to Carmelo Anthony, who might welcome the chance to end his career on a title contender, along with DeMarcus Cousins, Jeremy Lamb, Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Washburn notes that Kevin Durant‘s trade demand worked to the Celtics’ advantage because it froze the free agent market for several weeks, leaving a wealth of veteran players available in September.
  • Malcolm Brogdon may used as the primary backup wing to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Brian Robb of MassLive writes in a mailbag column. Brogdon, who was acquired from the Pacers in July, has the size to handle the role at 6’5″ and is probably the team’s best defensive option at that position. Robb notes that it would also provide more backcourt minutes for Derrick White and Payton Pritchard.
  • Grant Williams will likely ask for a starting salary in the mid-teens in his extension negotiations, Robb adds in the same piece. Robb doesn’t believe president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will meet that price, even though Williams becomes more important with Gallinari sidelined.

Otto Porter, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren Among Lakers’ Potential FA Targets

The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.

According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.

Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:

Cavaliers Rumors: Sexton, LeVert, Trade Targets, More

Chris Fedor of recently spoke to Michael Scotto about a number of Cavaliers-related topics for the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

Guard Collin Sexton, whose season ended prematurely after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee just 11 games into the season, will be an interesting player to watch this summer. Sexton will be a restricted free agent once Cleveland tenders him a $7,228,449 qualifying offer. As a restricted free agent, the Cavs will have the ability to match any offer sheet for the 23-year-old, and since he’s coming off an injury and not many teams will have cap space to spend on free agents, a reunion seems likely.

When the Cavs were discussing a rookie scale extension with Sexton’s representatives last summer, the two sides floated a contract similar to the one Bogdan Bogdanovic received from Atlanta, which was four years and $72MM (with a player option in the final season), sources tell Fedor. However, he hears that the Cavs value Sexton in the $15-18MM per year range, while Sexton is seeking something closer to $18-22MM annually.

Although Sexton has undoubtedly been productive on the offense end, averaging 24.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 4.4 APG on .475/.371/.815 shooting in 2020/21, Fedor notes that there were questions about Sexton’s fit entering ’21/22, and his injury and the team’s success without him didn’t help his case. Given that he’s a 6’1″ shooting guard and a subpar defender, some teams view the former No. 8 pick as more of a sixth man than a starter, which could hurt his leverage in contract negotiations.

Scotto wonders if the Knicks or Wizards might be interested in Sexton, noting that both teams are looking for guards, but neither team has cap space. As Fedor previously reported, he hears that Cleveland has been curious if the Pistons might pursue Sexton, but sources tell Fedor that the Cavaliers don’t believe any team will end up offering him $20MM+ per season.

Here’s more from Scotto and Fedor:

  • Both the Cavs and Caris LeVert have expressed interest in reaching an extension this summer, and league executives tell Scotto that a shorter deal in the $19-21MM range might make sense for both sides. However, as Fedor observes, LeVert will be on an expiring $18.8MM contract in ’22/23, so if the Cavs don’t like the types of numbers Levert’s agents are throwing out, they could just wait it out and perhaps use him as trade bait next season.
  • Kevin Love improved his trade stock after a bounce-back, healthy season, and both Scotto and Fedor believe that his $28.9MM contract could be used as a trade chip if the team opts to pursue higher-paid veterans.
  • Noting Cleveland needs two-way wing scorers and a solid backup point guard for Darius Garland, Fedor hears the Cavs are interested in a number of veterans as potential trade targets: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Jerami Grant, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, and Mike Conley.
  • Although there’s mutual interest in a reunion with Ricky Rubio, Fedor says money could become an obstacle to a deal being completed. Rubio is likely to miss at least a portion of next season after suffering a second torn ACL in his left knee in December, and using the mid-level exception to sign him would reduce the club’s flexibility while still leaving a hole on the roster until he returns.
  • Sources tell Fedor that if a deal with Rubio doesn’t come to fruition, the Cavs would be very open to using their full mid-level to sign Grizzlies backup point guard Tyus Jones, assuming Memphis lets him walk in free agency and he’s unable to get more money elsewhere. Other guards Cleveland might look into in free agency are Delon Wright, Goran Dragic, and Raul Neto. If the Cavs pivot to a wing/forward, Kyle Anderson, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. Warren are possibilities, according to Fedor.
  • For potential draft candidates with the No. 14 pick, Fedor hears the Cavs are fans of Malaki Branham, Johnny Davis, Bennedict Mathurin, Tari Eason, TyTy Washington, and Jeremy Sochan. Those players range from Nos. 9-18 on ESPN’s big board, so some might not be available at 14.