Kaiser Gates

Pelicans Sign Jeremiah Robinson-Earl To Two-Way Contract

NOVEMBER 3: The Pelicans have officially signed Robinson-Earl to a two-way contract and waived Gates, the team announced today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 2: The Pelicans are signing forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Robinson-Earl, 22, was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in two seasons with the Thunder. Robinson-Earl appeared in 92 games (56 starts) with Oklahoma City. With the Thunder facing a roster crunch this season, they sent him in a trade to the Rockets, who waived him before the season.

According to Charania, the former Oklahoma City forward had standard contract offers elsewhere but chose to sign with the Pelicans for a potential better opportunity.

The Pelicans had all three of their two-way contract spots filled, with Dereon Seabron, Kaiser Gates and Matt Ryan under contract. New Orleans is waiving Gates to make room for Robinson-Earl, according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link).

Gates signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Pelicans this offseason after averaging 14.0 points per game in the G League with the Long Island Nets last season. He shot 55.4% from beyond the arc on 5.0 attempts per game last year.

While the Pelicans have an opening on their 15-man standard roster, their proximity to the tax meant they were unlikely to convert one of their two-way guys to a standard deal.

In signing Robinson-Earl, the Pelicans are adding more depth to a frontcourt that has been affected by injuries. As a player with extensive NBA experience, it’s possible Robinson-Earl gets playing time right away, much like two-way player Ryan is.

Once Robinson-Earl officially joins the team, the Pelicans will still have three players on two-way deals and 14 players signed to standard contracts.

Pelicans Notes: Medical Staff, Zion, Ingram, Gates

Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin, who spoke last month about having made player health a priority this offseason, said on Monday that the changes to the team’s player care and performance department were made after consulting with players, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com.

As Clark details, Aaron Nelson has been relegated to an advisory role, while physical therapist Amy Atmore was hired as New Orleans’ director of rehabilitation. Director of performance and sports science Daniel Bove and head athletic trainer Tom Maystadt will join Atmore in leading the medical staff, while general manager Trajan Langdon will replace Griffin as the front office executive with the most responsibilities in that department.

“I think we have been humble enough as an organization to make a lot of changes in the areas we needed to,” Griffin said, according to Clark. “One of those areas is Trajan is actually going to be the one on a day-to-day basis who is the key component to the medical team from our front office staff. He’ll be the one handling that.

“I’m already excited by the changes that have been made here because of it. I think when you have a former player, they bring a certain level of passion to it. A big part of that is listening a whole lot more and being less dogmatic and willing to be flexible.”

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Zion Williamson, of course, has been the Pelicans player most impacted by injuries in recent years, but the former No. 1 overall pick earned praise on Monday from Griffin for the adjustment he made to his approach this offseason. As Andrew Lopez of ESPN writes, Williamson heavily invested in his personal training staff, according to Griffin. “Zion is obviously in good condition,” Griffin said. “The thing I think is important is CJ (McCollum) and Brandon (Ingram), throughout their careers, have always employed people to take care of their body, to take care of their nutrition. They are really invested in their profession. This was the first summer where we’ve seen Zion take his profession seriously like that and invest in it off the court on his own in a way that I think is meaningful.”
  • Speaking to reporters on Monday, Ingram essentially confirmed a September report stating that he won’t pursue a contract extension prior to the season. Ingram could land a bigger payday by waiting until next year to extend his deal, especially if he makes an All-NBA team in 2024. “They handing a lot of people big money,” Ingram said, per Clark (Twitter link). “I’m trying to get some big money.”
  • Kaiser Gates‘ two-way contract with the Pelicans covers two seasons, running through 2024/25, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) first reported the terms of Gates’ deal.
  • The Pelicans issued a press release announcing a series of promotions and new additions to their coaching staff and front office. In addition to confirming the hiring of James Borrego as associate head coach and Aaron Miles as an assistant coach, the club announced several changes to its video team and named Dominic Samangy its basketball analytics coordinator. In the front office, Adam Barnes has been named the general manager of basketball operations for the Birmingham Squadron, New Orleans’ G League team, while Alex Kaufman has been named the Pelicans’ manager of player evaluation and basketball operations.

Pelicans Sign, Waive Devin Cannady

The Pelicans signed and then waived free agent guard Devin Cannady, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions.

Will Guillory of The Athletic first reported that New Orleans would be signing Cannady, noting (via Twitter) that the 27-year-old wouldn’t be participating in training camp due to a previous commitment to USA Basketball.

Cannady, 27, appeared in 13 NBA regular season games as a member of the Magic from 2021-22, averaging 6.5 points in 16.8 minutes per night with a shooting line of .361/.396/.786.

Since going undrafted out of Princeton in 2019, he has primarily played in the G League, spending time with the Long Island Nets, Lakeland Magic, and South Bay Lakers. He helped lead Lakeland to an NBAGL title in 2021, earning a G League Finals MVP award.

Appearing in a total of 48 regular season and Showcase Cup contests for South Bay last season, Cannady averaged 12.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. His shooting line was .412/.360/.881.

The fact that New Orleans cut Cannady so quickly after signing him signals that he likely received an Exhibit 10 contract, which will make him eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he spends at least 60 days with the Pelicans’ G League team, the Birmingham Squadron. However, his returning rights are still held by South Bay for now, so the Squadron will need to make a trade to acquire them.

The Pelicans also officially signed Kaiser Gates to his two-way contract, per RealGM’s transaction log. Gates’ agreement with the club was reported last week.

Pelicans To Sign Kaiser Gates To Two-Way Contract

The Pelicans have reached an agreement to sign free agent forward Kaiser Gates to a two-way contract, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Gates, who went undrafted out of Xavier in 2018, spent one season (2021/22) in Israel with Hapoel Jerusalem but has otherwise been playing in the G League since going pro, enjoying stints with Windy City, Maine, and Long Island.

In 40 total appearances in the NBAGL regular season and Showcase Cup for the Long Island Nets last season, the 26-year-old averaged 12.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .473/.468/.674.

The Pelicans still have several openings on their 21-man offseason roster and had been the only NBA team with multiple two-way slots available, so they won’t need to make a corresponding move to clear room for Gates.

Once Gates’ deal is official, New Orleans will be able to add one more two-way player to join him and Dereon Seabron. Christian Clark of NOLA.com (Twitter link) says he’d be surprised if rookie big man Liam Robbins – who reached a deal with the Pelicans in June – doesn’t end up filling that opening.

Contract Details: Fernando, Herro, Nance, Adams

The Rockets used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Bruno Fernando a four-year deal and a guaranteed salary of $2,717,391 for the 2022/23 season, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Fernando’s salary will dip to $2,581,522 for 2023/24 before rising back up to $2,717,391 for ’24/25 and increasing to $2,853,260 for ’25/26. As Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets, the second and third years of Fernando’s deal are non-guaranteed, while the fourth year is a team option.

Here are some details on a few more new contracts from around the NBA:

  • Tyler Herro‘s four-year extension with the Heat will pay him annual salaries of $27MM, $29MM, $31MM, and $33MM beginning in 2023/24, for a base value of exactly $120MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The deal also includes $2.5MM in annual incentives that are currently considered unlikely.
  • Larry Nance Jr.‘s two-year extension with the Pelicans will pay him $10,375,000 in 2023/24 and $11,205,000 in ’24/25, tweets Anil Gogna of NoTradeClause.com. Because Nance’s second-year raise exceeds 5%, he’ll be ineligible to be traded during the 2022/23 season.
  • Steven Adams‘ two-year extension with the Grizzlies features a flat base salary of $12.6MM in both 2023/24 and ’24/25, with no options or incentives, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Adams’ new deal doesn’t exceed the extend-and-trade limits, so he’ll remain trade-eligible this season.
  • As expected, the recent contracts signed by Kaiser Gates (Nets), Brandon Rachal (Nets), and Sacha Killeya-Jones (Thunder) all included Exhibit 10 language.

Nets Waive Kaiser Gates, Sign Brandon Rachal

The Nets have waived forward Kaiser Gates and signed forward Brandon Rachal, the team announced today.

Brooklyn still has 20 players under contract, including two-way players Alondes Williams and David Duke, plus Exhibit 10 talents Chris Chiozza and RaiQuan Gray.

Gates, 25, was also signed to an Exhibit 10 contract. It’s reasonable to expect he’ll play for the Nets’ G League affiliate in Long Island. He appeared in 12 games with Long Island last season, averaging 9.1 points per contest on 41% shooting from the floor.

Rachal, 6’6″, turned 23 years old on Friday. He also played for Long Island last season, holding per-game averages of 13.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 28 outings. He shot 54% from the floor and 23% from behind-the-arc (31 three-pointers attempted).

Excluding two-way players, the Nets must trim their roster to 15 by 5:00 pm ET on October 17. The team is looking to rebound after a tumultuous offseason and compete for a title in 2023.

Kaiser Gates Signs With Nets

Free agent forward Kaiser Gates has signed with the Nets, according to the team (Twitter link via JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors). The 6’7″ Gates last played for Brooklyn’s Summer League club in Las Vegas.

After going undrafted out of Xavier in 2018, Gates latched on with the G League affiliates of the Bulls and Celtics from 2018-20. He subsequently signed a training camp deal with Brooklyn, but was waived before the start of the 2020/21 regular season and reported to the Nets’ NBAGL team, the Long Island Nets.

Across 12 contests for the Long Island Nets, Gates averaged 9.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG, and 1.1 APG. He posted shooting splits of .409/.356/1.000, though that free-throw percentage came on just six total attempts.

The 25-year-old next spent the 2021/22 season with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem.

Brooklyn has 12 players inked to guaranteed deals and three on non-guaranteed standard contracts. Both of the team’s two-way slots are occupied. Gates appears likely to join point guards Chris Chiozza and power forward RaiQuan Gray on Exhibit 10 contracts, replacing Marcus Zegarowski on the 20-man roster.

Nets Cut Kaiser Gates

A day after signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Nets, forward Kaiser Gates has been waived by the team, according to a press release.

Gates, who went undrafted out of Xavier in 2018, has spent most of the last two seasons in the G League, first with the Windy City Bulls, then last season with the Maine Red Claws. He recorded 12.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG on .403/.331/.694 shooting in 36 games (32.6 MPG) for Boston’s NBAGL squad in 2019/20.

Signing a player and then almost immediately waiving him is a common move during the preseason for NBA teams looking to either secure a player’s G League rights or to ensure he gets a $50K Exhibit 10 bonus if he plays for their NBAGL affiliate. Since Maine controls Gates’ returning rights, the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn’s affiliate) would need to acquire those rights in a trade.

The Nets how have 19 players on their preseason roster, with at least a couple more cuts still to come.

Nets Sign Elie Okobo, Kaiser Gates To Exhibit 10 Deals

The Nets have filled the two open spots on their 20-man training camp roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed free agent guard Elie Okobo and forward Kaiser Gates. Both players received Exhibit 10 deals, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).

Okobo’s agreement with Brooklyn was previously reported. The 31st overall pick in the 2018 draft, he spent two years in Phoenix, appearing in a total of 108 games. He averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.2 APG in 15.5 minutes per contest during those two seasons, but became expendable this offseason. The Suns released him last month before his 2020/21 salary became guaranteed.

Gates, meanwhile, has spent most of the last two seasons in the G League, first with the Windy City Bulls, then last season with the Maine Red Claws. He recorded 12.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG on .403/.331/.694 shooting in 36 games (32.6 MPG) for Boston’s NBAGL affiliate in 2019/20. If the Nets want him to play for their G League team this season, Long Island will need to acquire his rights.

Brooklyn’s 20-man roster now consists of 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus two-way player Jeremiah Martin and five players without guarantees (Okobo, Gates, Chris Chiozza, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Reggie Perry). Okobo and Gates will likely be among the players cut when the Nets set their roster for the regular season in the coming days.

And-Ones: WNBA, Wade, Two-Way Candidates

The WNBA and its players union have reached a landmark labor deal, announcing the tentative eight-year agreement today, as Doug Feinberg of The Associated Press outlines.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will increase the average and maximum salaries for players while enhancing standards and benefits related to travel and maternity leave. The deal, which has been approved by players and still must be ratified by owners, includes a 50-50 revenue sharing split beginning in 2021.

“I call it historic,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “The CBA guarantees substantial (financial) increases. The way we are paying these players is different than the past. … The top couple players are tripling (in pay) where they were. Other players are making $200-300K. The average will be over $130K. Everyone gets an increase here.”

The WNBA is also introducing a mid-season competition called the Commissioner’s Cup, per Mechelle Voepel of ESPNW. The event could be a mini-preview of what’s to come in the NBA, where commissioner Adam Silver has pushed the idea of an in-season tournament.

“We will designate Cup games the first half of the season leading into the Olympic break this year,” Engelbert said. “And then [for] the two teams with the best records, we will have a final in August as our first game back to re-launch the season. In 2020, the cash prizes will be more moderate, but in 2021, we’re going to step them up as we seek sponsors.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world: