Kaleb Tarczewski

And-Ones: Tarczewski, Green, Fegan, MVP Race

Center Kaleb Tarczewski is leaving the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, to play for Italy’s Olimpia Milano. He is signing a three-month contract to join the Italian champions with an option for next year, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia relays via La Gazzetta dello Sport. As Chris Reichert for The Step Back tweets, this is a big loss for the Blue with the D-League playoffs on the horizon. He was averaging 10.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG for the Blue. Tarczewski went undrafted last June after he averaged 9.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG in his senior year at Arizona.

In other news around the NBA:

  • Former Nuggets and Jazz guard Erick Green, who is playing for the Euroleague’s Olympiacos, could get another shot with an NBA team this offseason as a backup point, Trevor Magnotti of FanSided.com reports. Backup point guards will be at a premium this summer, Magnotti continues, and Green is a solid defender who has improved his offensive play. Green is also believed to have an opt-out clause if an NBA club comes calling, Magnotti adds. Green played in a combined nine games for the Nuggets and Jazz last season and 43 with Denver in 2014/15.
  • Agent Dan Fegan has been sued by his former employer, Independent Sports & Entertainment, for alleged unfair business practices, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Daily. One of the claims in the suit filed in Los Angeles by Independent Sports & Entertainment is that Fegan operated a side business which steered business away from ISE, Mullen continues. Howard Weitzman, Fegan’s attorney, called the side business claim  “a total fabrication,” Mullen tweets.
  • A survey of NBA executives puts James Harden ahead of the pack for the MVP race but it’s close, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. The newspaper polled 32 executives, including 20 GMs or team presidents, and 12 voted for Harden. Russell Westbrook received eight votes, Kawhi Leonard garnered seven and LeBron James picked up five.

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Thunder Waive Mitch McGary, Ronnie Price, Others

1:25pm: The Thunder have issued a press release confirming their four cuts: McGary and Price, as reported, along with Wright and Tarczewski, as speculated below. OKC’s roster is now at 15 players, ready for the regular season.

1:20pm: The Thunder intend to waive a pair of players with guaranteed salaries, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Mitch McGary and Ronnie Price will receive their walking papers from the team. With Price no longer in the mix, Oklahoma City will keep rookie Semaj Christon to provide depth at point guard, per Charania.

The decision to waive McGary doesn’t come as a shock. In addition to failing to produce much on the court during his first two seasons in OKC, McGary also got into more trouble off the court this offseason. The NBA suspended the former Michigan big man twice – first for five games and then for an additional 10 – for violations of the league’s drug policy.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets, that suspension will begin if and when McGary signs with a new NBA team. For now though, McGary is hoping to resume his career in China or somewhere in Europe, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

The Thunder will still have to pay McGary’s guaranteed salary, but that figure is fairly modest compared to Price’s guaranteed money. The veteran point guard signed a two-year, fully-guaranteed deal worth $5MM this summer, so Oklahoma City will be on the hook for about $2.558MM in 2016/17, with the remainder coming later. The Thunder could choose to stretch out Price’s 2017/18 cap hit across multiple years.

With McGary and Price headed for the waiver wire, and Christon apparently safe, the Thunder will have to make two more cuts this afternoon. Chris Wright and Kaleb Tarczewski look like the clear candidates to be waived, perhaps with an eye toward a D-League assignment to OKC’s affiliate.

Contract Details: Brand, Rockets, Thunder, Pacers

With training camps underway, teams have now officially finalized the contract agreements with various camp invitees that had been reported over the past several weeks, meaning we have plenty of contract details to round up. As usual, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has been busy reporting those details, updating his salary pages for teams around the NBA.

Because we have so many updates to pass along from Pincus, we’ll divide them up by players who received some guaranteed money from their teams, and those who didn’t. All of the links below point to the Basketball Insiders team salary pages, so be sure to click through for additional information.

Here are the latest salary updates from across the league, via Pincus:

Players receiving guaranteed money:

These players aren’t necessarily assured of regular-season roster spots. In fact, many of them likely received guarantees as an incentive to accept a D-League assignment. Still, for some players, larger guarantees should increase their odds of making 15-man rosters.

  • Thomas Walkup (Bulls): One year, minimum salary. $69.5K guaranteed.
  • Keith Benson (Heat): Two years, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Henry Sims (Jazz): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Alex Poythress (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $35,381 guaranteed.
  • Kevin Seraphin (Pacers): Two years, $3.681MM. First year ($1.8MM) guaranteed.
  • Julyan Stone (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Gary Payton II (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. First year ($543,471) guaranteed.
  • Isaiah Taylor (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $275K guaranteed.
  • Cat Barber (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Elton Brand (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $1MM guaranteed.
  • Derrick Jones (Suns): Three years, minimum salary. $42.5K guaranteed.
  • Alex Caruso (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Chris Wright (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $100K guaranteed.

Players receiving no guaranteed money:

The following players all signed one-year, minimum salary contracts with no guaranteed money. Many of these deals are “summer contracts,” which won’t count against a team’s cap unless the player earns a spot on the 15-man roster.

Thunder Sign Three Players, Finalize Camp Roster

The Thunder have officially finalized their roster for training camp, bringing their roster count to the maximum allowable 20 players. The team announced today in a press release that it has signed guard Alex Caruso, center Kaleb Tarczewski, and forward Chris Wright. Tarczewski’s and Wright’s camp invites had been previously reported.

[RELATED: Oklahoma City Thunder roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com]

Caruso, who went undrafted in June, played his college ball at Texas A&M, averaging 8.1 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.1 SPG in his senior year, while shooting 36.8% from three-point range. The 22-year-old was also named to the SEC’s All-Defensive Team.

Tarczewski, meanwhile, also wasn’t selected in this year’s draft, following a senior year at Arizona in which he averaged 9.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Like Caruso, the seven-foot center is a strong defender, having been named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Wright, who turns 28 next Friday, previously appeared in a total of 32 NBA games for the Warriors and Bucks, but has spent most of his time during the past few years overseas. Most recently, Wright appeared in 34 Israeli League games last season for Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion, averaging 12.2 PPG and 5.1 RPG while shooting 61.5% from the floor and playing solid defense.

The Thunder are currently carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Joffrey Lauvergne on a partially-guaranteed pact and Semaj Christon on a non-guaranteed deal. Caruso, Tarczewski, and Wright likely won’t get more than small guarantees, if they get any guaranteed money at all, which means they’re long shots to make the team’s 15-man roster. An assignment to the D-League’s Oklahoma City Blue is possible for all three players.

Western Notes: Thompson, Tarczewski, Faried

Klay Thompson, whose shot attempts are likely to decrease now that Kevin Durant is a member of the Warriors, disagrees with the notion that Golden State’s players will need sacrifice their individual games for the team to be successful, Shams Charania of The Vertical writes. “I feel kind of disrespected that people keep using the term sacrifice to describe me and describe us,” Thompson told Charania. “We all want to see each other do well. But I’m not sacrificing [expletive], because my game isn’t changing. I’m still going to try to get buckets, hit shots, come off screens. I want to win and have a fun time every game we play.”

Thompson also relishes that the Warriors will be viewed as villains by opposing fans, Charania adds. “The NBA season can get mundane; 82 games are so long and there can be some boredom,” Thompson said. “Now, we can embrace being the hated team and getting everyone’s best, and adding some tension every night. It’ll be a fun experience going into arenas on the road, with opposing fans hating what we’ve built.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Undrafted free agent center Kaleb Tarczewski has been invited to attend training camp with the Thunder with an eye on him joining their D-League affiliate, international journalist David Pick relays (on Twitter).
  • The Timberwolves have hired Noah Croom as their new assistant GM, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (via Twitter). Croom previously served as the Grizzlies assistant GM when the franchise was still located in Vancouver.
  • The Nuggets are still open to trading power forward Kenneth Faried, with the Thunder and Pelicans among the teams that have expressed interest, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops relays.

Wizards To Sign Sheldon McClellan

Shortly after the completion of Thursday night’s draft, the Wizards struck a deal to sign former University of Miami shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (via Twitter). Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com reports (via Twitter) that McClellan’s deal with the Wizards will be partially guaranteed, adding that the 23-year-old turned down teams that wanted to draft-and-stash him with a second-round pick.

McClellan wasn’t the only undrafted prospect to reach a deal with the Wizards. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter) that Texas A&M’s Danuel House agreed to a deal with Washington, while Aldridge tweets that the team will sign former Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski. Finally, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post says (via Twitter) that Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu will sign with the Wizards.

While McClellan has some guaranteed money in his contract, the terms of the other deals aren’t known, so it’s not entirely clear whether Washington will bring all those players to camp in the fall, or if they’ll just play for the Wizards in Summer League games next month.

As for McClellan, he ranked 60th on Jonathan Givony’s big board at DraftExpress.com. He’s coming off a senior season in which he averaged 16.3 points per game and made 40.6% of his three-pointers for the Hurricanes.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Draft, Sixers

The Raptors own the No. 9 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, but the team doesn’t expect to land a player who can provide immediate help at that slot, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “I don’t know if it’s a draft where we can go and get somebody who will impact our team right away,” GM Masai Ujiri said. “And we have to take that . . . and look at it a different way. Is it a player that’s three, four years down the road and that player has a high upside? We have to look out for the organization that way.

The team also holds the No. 27 overall pick and Ujiri is pleased with the opportunities owning two first-rounders will provide, Smith adds. “You continue to narrow and narrow [list of possible suggestions] and when you have a bunch of guys you have different options,” Ujiri said. “You can look at trading the pick, you can look at drafting a guy who doesn’t come right away, you can look at a player you can draft and develop slowly. We just feel it’s a great position for us to be in.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers have a group workout scheduled for Wednesday with Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Quenton DeCosey (Temple), Alex Hamilton (Louisiana Tech), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Devonta Pollard (Houston) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced via press release.
  • Former Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski will work out for the Celtics on Wednesday, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter).
  • The Raptors held a group workout on Friday that included potential lottery picks Jakob Poeltl and Skal Labissiere, the team announced.
  • While many have suggested that the Sixers trade away a number of their big men, Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer argues that Philly should instead look to build around Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. The scribe cites the small sample size of pairing Noel alongside Okafor, as well as Embiid’s in jury history as reason for his stance.

Western Notes: Welch, Davis, Ellis, Selden

Here’s the latest news and notes from the Western Conference:

  • Former Sacramento assistant coach John Welch and the Clippers are in the process of finalizing a deal that will see him join Doc Rivers‘ coaching staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link).
  • The Kings held a pre-draft workout today for Zachary Auguste (Notre Dame), Egidijus Mockevicius (Evansville), Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Antwan Scott (Colorado State), Eric McClellan (Gonzaga) and Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Kings on Thursday will be Elgin Cook (Oregon), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), Shaquille Harrison (Tulsa) and Derrick Jones (UNLV), Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 tweets.
  • The Jazz have a private workout scheduled on Thursday for former Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis, the team announced. Davis is the No. 10 overall prospect according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
  • The Clippers have workouts set for Thursday with Wayne Selden (Kansas), Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall), Brandon Austin (NW Florida State), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Kaleb Tarczewski and Tonye Jekiri (Miami), Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets.

Western Draft Notes: Pelicans, Nuggets, Wolves

The Pelicans had a large workout group in on Monday, with a dozen players earning a look from the club. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players participated in the workout: Isaia Cordinier (France), Troy Williams (Indiana), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Jake Layman (Maryland), Guerschon Yabusele (France), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), Prince Ibeh (Texas), and Perry Ellis (Kansas).

While none of those prospects figures to come off the board at No. 6, when the Pelicans make their first selection, many of them could be in play in the second round — New Orleans currently holds the 39th and 40th overall picks, and is doing its due diligence on potential second-round prospects.

Let’s check in on a few more draft updates from around the Western Conference…

  • The Nuggets, armed with three top-20 picks, will work out former Michigan State forward Deyonta Davis on Wednesday morning, the team announced today in a press release. We profiled Davis, the 10th prospect on DraftExpress.com’s big board, in April, noting that Denver could be a fit. The Nuggets are also expected to bring in Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono for a workout later this week, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.
  • The Timberwolves, who have the fifth overall pick in the draft, had Jamal Murray in for an individual workout on Monday, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).
  • Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops passes along a pair of updates, reporting (via Twitter) that Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga) worked out with the Jazz on Monday, and that Xavier’s James Farr participated in a group workout with the Thunder today.
  • The Clippers will work out Dayton’s Dyshawn Pierre, according to Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link) adds former Kansas forward Cheick Diallo to the list of prospects that will work out with the Clips.
  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a workout lined up with the Warriors, tweets Camerato.