- Pacers power forward Kevin Seraphin thought he might end up in Europe this season because there was so little interest in him during free agency, Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star writes. Seraphin signed a two-year, $3.6MM deal with Indiana after a poor season with the Knicks in which he was overweight, missed games with a knee injury and lost confidence, Ayello continues. Seraphin fired his agent and thought he’d end up in Europe until the Pacers came to the rescue, Ayello adds. “It was tough,” Seraphin told Ayello. “All that waiting. I kept thinking, ‘How the (heck) do I not have an offer?’ I feel like I’m young, and I still have a lot of potential; I still have a lot in the tank.”
- Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo have taken leadership roles in the Bulls’ early practices, Sam Smith of Bulls.com reports. They have already done some on-court counseling to their younger teammates and that’s an encouraging development for a team that suffered through chemistry problems last season, Smith adds. “You just want to cut down all the chatter,” Rondo told Smith. “Only a couple of guys should be talking in practice. As far as disrupting, when they do stop practice coach has the voice, then assistant coach has the voice and then the other players.”
- The Pistons gave journeyman power forward Jon Leuer a surprisingly lucrative four-year, $41MM contract this summer because of his offensive versatility but he’s also making a strong impression defensively in training camp, according to Aaron McMann of MLive.com. “The one thing I would say I’m surprised with is that he’s a lot better defensively than I thought,” coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told McMann. “I thought he was decent – maybe average – defensively. I think he’s got a chance to be a lot better than that.”
German center Tibor Pleiss received an invitation to work out for the Nets, but seems likely to sign overseas, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Pleiss is finalizing a deal with the Galatasaray team in Turkey. He will take the place of former NBA player Nenad Krstic, who has a lingering knee injury and is expected to retire (Twitter link). Pleiss was waived by the Sixers last week after being acquired in a trade with the Jazz. The 7’3″ center appeared in 12 games for Utah last season, but spent most of the year in the D-League.
There’s more news out of the Atlantic Division:
- The Knicks were outbid in their attempt to re-sign reserve center Kevin Seraphin, according to Mark Berman of the New York Post. Seraphin agreed to join the Pacers last week and signed a two-year, $3.6MM contract on Thursday, with the second year as a team option. The deal starts at $2MM for next season, which topped the Knicks’ offer of $1.2MM, the minimum for a player who has been in the league for six years. It will still be a pay cut for Seraphin, who signed for the $2.8MM cap exception last season. The Knicks were hoping to keep Seraphin, who averaged 3.9 points in 48 games in 2015/16, as a backup to Joakim Noah. Berman expects Kyle O’Quinn to get a larger role with Seraphin’s departure, with Willy Hernangomez, Marshall Plumlee and Maurice Ndour as other options.
- Jerry Stackhouse sees his new job as coach of Toronto’s D-League affiliate as the next step toward becoming an NBA head coach, writes Chris O’Leary of The Toronto Star. Stackhouse was named to the position Friday after spending last season as an assistant with the Raptors. With 18 years as an NBA player, Stackhouse hopes to use that experience to help some of the players with Raptors 905. “I spent just about as much of my life on the struggle that you’re watching some of these [D-League players] … making whatever they make, 25, 30 grand, but it’s a destination,” he said. “It’s where you want to get, it’s the sacrifices you have to make. I’m excited about it, I really am.”
- The return of Gerald Green will give the Celtics a prolific scorer off the bench, writes Taylor C. Snow of NBA.com. In a look at Boston’s wing players, Snow notes that Green, who left the Heat for the Celtics this summer, can score the ball in a variety of ways.
SEPTEMBER 8: The Pacers have formally issued a press release announcing their deal with Seraphin. Within the release, Indiana also officially confirmed the previously-reported signing of Nick Zeisloft.
Seraphin held workouts for Indiana officials Monday and Tuesday, and the agreement was finalized late Thursday night. The 6’10” center/power forward is expected to sign it sometime next week.
After five years with the Wizards, Seraphin spent last season with the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per night in 48 games. The Pacers will count on him to provide depth in the front court behind Myles Turner and free agent addition Al Jefferson.
The signing of Seraphin gives Indiana 16 players with guaranteed contracts heading into training camp.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Kevin Seraphin will remain in the NBA for the coming season, after agreeing to a two-year deal with the Pacers this week. However, for most of the offseason, Seraphin had been expecting to play overseas in 2016/17, with FC Barcelona viewed as his likely landing spot. In an interview with Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype, the veteran big man explained why a deal in Spain didn’t materialize.
“Barcelona was my first option,” Seraphin said. “I talked to the GM. He called me. After that, I talked to the coach and they were my first option. But they made us wait. They were like, ‘We have to make room.’ Then they told us they could not do it because they couldn’t make room.”
Last week, a report indicated that Seraphin had switched representation, hiring Bouna Ndiaye after having been previously represented by Klutch Sports. The same report suggested that NBA opportunities were in play for the former 17th overall pick, and that was no coincidence. According to Seraphin, his new agent was calling NBA teams in search of a deal.
“I was looking forward to an opportunity to play a lot and show people what I can do,” Seraphin said. “Since it didn’t happen with Barcelona, we looked at opportunities in the NBA… And then Barcelona came back! But it was too late then because we were in the process of talking to NBA teams, then I tried out for a couple of days and now I’m with the Pacers.”
While Seraphin likely would have had a bigger role on the Spanish team than he will with the Pacers, he got a guaranteed deal worth more than the minimum salary from Indiana, and looks poised to be a part of the team’s regular-season roster. Indiana now has 16 players on guaranteed contracts, meaning someone with a guaranteed salary will have to be waived before the season gets underway.
Dwyane Wade‘s reasons for signing with the Bulls after 13 years in Miami transcend basketball, relays ESPN.com. In an interview with Good Morning America that aired today, Wade said he hopes to serve as a voice to help end the wave of gun violence that has infected Chicago. That violence touched Wade’s family last week when his 32-year-old cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was killed in the city by a stray bullet. Wade, who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, and his mother, Jolina Wade, a former drug dealer, participated in a series of panel discussions on gun violence just before Aldridge was shot. “Now I’m back in the city of Chicago — I’m back for a reason,” Wade said. “I played 13 years in Miami. Now I’m back in the city, let me see what I can do as one person to help lend my voice and help shed light on the tragedy that’s going on and find a solution to start the process of making change.”
There’s more news out of the Central Division:
- The Pacers‘ agreement with Kevin Seraphin should have little effect on a planned long-term extension for Paul George, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Indiana needs to free up just $3.802MM to get George to his maximum salary for this season, Kyler notes. George will become eligible for an extension on September 25th.
- Several European teams, particularly FC Barcelona, had expressed strong interest in Seraphin before he signed with the Pacers, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando.
- Steve Novak was given the power to block a trade when he re-signed with the Bucks on Monday, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The 33-year-old free agent accepted a one-year, $1,551,659 deal to return to Milwaukee, where he played just three games last season before suffering a sprained left MCL.
Kevin Seraphin continues to look for a new NBA home, and is reportedly working out for the Pacers, per Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe, via Twitter (hat tip to HoopsHype). Although Seraphin hasn’t officially confirmed the report, he published an Instagram photo of himself in Indianapolis this afternoon.
We heard last week that Seraphin has been rebuffing contract offers from overseas in the hopes of getting an opportunity with an NBA team. The veteran big man has reportedly received interest from teams in the Chinese Basketball Association, as well as Euroleague clubs, including FC Barcelona.
A former 17th overall pick, Seraphin spent five seasons with the Wizards before playing for the Knicks last season. For his career, he has appeared in 374 regular-season contests, averaging 6.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG to go along with a .483 FG%.
Indiana bolstered its frontcourt this offseason by signing Al Jefferson as a free agent, but the team doesn’t have a ton of depth at center. The Pacers may have interest in Seraphin as a player who could provide some value off the bench on the defensive side of the floor, and as a rebounder.
Unrestricted free agent Kevin Seraphin has rebuffed contract offers from overseas clubs as he awaits a call from an NBA team, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). The center has garnered interest from teams in the Chinese Basketball Association as well as the Euroleague, Pick notes. Pick did not relay which specific clubs have contacted Seraphin, but FC Barcelona of Spain has expressed interest in the big man, according to the Sport.es (h/t HoopsHype).
Seraphin, who recently hired agent Bouna Ndiaye, according to Pick, is in a tough spot if he wants a shot at landing an NBA roster spot to start the campaign. The majority of teams around the league are already at, or close to having, the maximum number of players allowable for the preseason. His best bet in the long run may be to to head over to China to play, which would then allow him the chance to catch on with an NBA team once the CBA season ended in late February.
The Clippers had reportedly viewed Seraphin as an alternative if an affordable deal could not be worked out with Marreese Speights, who agreed to a contract with Los Angeles back in July. There has been virtually no mention of the center since that post from Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.
The 26-year-old appeared in 48 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 3.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 0.8 blocks in 11.0 minutes per outing. His shooting line for 2015/16 was .410/.000/.826.
In a statement that may make some Mavericks fans scoff, Chandler Parsons told the media during his introductory press conference today that he wants to be active in attracting free agents to the Grizzlies, The Associated Press relays. “Being the first big-name free agent to come here, I think that’s special, and I want to be a trendsetter here,” Parsons said. “I’m going to work extremely hard to be the best basketball player I can be. But … next summer you best believe I’m going to be with him [GM Chris Wallace] recruiting more talent to Memphis.”
“Just looking at this core and what they’ve established here over the years, like I said, I wanted to be a part of that,” Parsons continued. “I think my game, my style of play fits perfectly with what they’re doing here.” Here’s more from out West:
- Rudy Gay has requested that the Kings trade him this offseason and the team is trying to find a taker, but are not interested in a potential deal with the Pacers for Monta Ellis, Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee tweets. Sacramento is also potentially looking to trade Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore, Marc Stein of ESPN relays (via Twitter).
- The Mavericks sent $3.2MM in cash to the Pacers as a part of the Jeremy Evans trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter).
- The Clippers viewed former Knicks big man Kevin Seraphin as an alternative if an affordable deal could not be worked out with Marreese Speights, who agreed to a contract with Los Angeles earlier today, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter).
- The Lakers will receive the Nuggets’ 2018 second round pick and the Bulls’ 2019 second-rounder as part of the trade to acquire Jose Calderon, Pincus tweets. Neither selection comes with any protections attached, Pincus adds.
The Knicks officially renounced their rights to free agents Derrick Williams, Kevin Seraphin, Lou Amundson and Cleanthony Early, and as a result, the quartet no longer count against the team’s salary cap figure, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). The team can still re-sign any of the players using cap space, save Williams, who agreed to a one-year pact with the Heat earlier this evening.
Here’s more from the Big Apple:
- Joining the Knicks was a dream of Joakim Noah‘s for a long time, who relishes the challenge of playing in New York, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “I’m not taking this opportunity for granted,’’ said Noah. “This has been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old. We’re proud to be from New York. My parents are divorced, but my father is a proud New Yorker. We all are. Fortunately, his son is playing for the New York Knicks now. This means everything to me. I’m going to do everything to make this special.”
- With Langston Galloway on his way to the Pelicans, the Knicks may turn to a familiar face to bolster their backcourt — Sasha Vujacic, Berman relays in a separate piece. New York can offer little more than the veteran’s minimum to the 32-year-old, who may be able to find more lucrative offers overseas, the scribe adds. Vujacic made 61 appearances for the Knicks in 2015/16 and averaged 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 14.9 minutes per contest.
- You can view the Knicks’ current roster and depth chart here.
Carmelo Anthony wasn’t at the Knicks triangle seminar this week after all, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, despite an earlier report that he was. Some say the seminar was mandatory and others called it voluntary, Isola hears, adding that one player said team president Phil Jackson only invited a few Knicks. Anthony is believed to be receiving therapy on his left knee, Berman writes, and the triangle sessions were mostly review, a source told the Post scribe, who downplays the significance of ‘Melo’s absence. Still, 10 other Knicks took part, Berman hears, including Kristaps Porzingis, who’s recovering from a shoulder strain and recently had a routine visit at the Hospital for Special Surgery, notes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (ESPN Now link). The other attendees, according to Berman, were Jerian Grant, Cleanthony Early, Langston Galloway, Tony Wroten, Sasha Vujacic, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn and Kevin Seraphin.
See more from around the NBA:
- Nicolas Batum isn’t definitively out for the rest of the Hornets‘ first-round series against Miami, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, dispelling an earlier report, but he’s unlikely to return unless it goes at least six games, Bonnell says. Batum is poised for free agency this summer.
- Indiana freshman small forward OG Anunoby won’t enter this year’s draft, the school announced (Twitter link). He was a late second-round prospect for this year, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who ranks him the 50th, but the 6’8″ 18-year-old has first-round potential for next year, as Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slots him 20th in his 2017 mock draft. Anunoby saw limited action this season, putting up 4.9 points in 13.7 minutes per game.
- Long-shot draft prospect Moustapha Diagne will enter this year’s draft, but he’ll do so without an agent so he can retain his college eligibility, a source told Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The 6’8″ 20-year-old from Northwest Florida State, a community college, is a former Syracuse commit, Rothstein notes, and he was 68th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school last year. Neither Ford nor Givony ranks him among the top 100 draft prospects.
- Top-10 prospect and former Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield has signed with agent Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, a source told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link).