Lamar Stevens

Three Players On Exhibit 9 Contracts Make Opening Night Rosters

As we explain in a glossary entry, Exhibit 9 contracts are generally handed out by NBA teams to players who will only be with the team during training camp and/or the preseason.

The Exhibit 9 clause protects the team in case the player suffers an injury before the season begins. In that scenario, the club wouldn’t have to pay him his full salary until he gets healthy enough to play — it would only have to pay a maximum lump sum of $15K when it waives the player.

While most Exhibit 9 signees were released in advance of the regular season, three NBA veterans who signed Exhibit 9 contracts survived the cut and made their respective teams’ regular season rosters. Here are those three players:

Note: Hornets guard Edmond Sumner was initially included in this list, but Charlotte waived him on Tuesday ahead of its season opener.

These three players will now be on one-year, minimum-salary contracts that will remain non-guaranteed until January 10. In order to secure their full-season salaries, they’ll have to stay under contract beyond January 7 (a player cut on Jan. 8 or 9 wouldn’t clear waivers prior to the league-wide salary guarantee date of Jan. 10).

As our list of non-guaranteed contracts by team shows, Arcidiacono, Giles, and Stevens are three of the 31 players on standard deals whose salaries for the 2023/24 season aren’t fully guaranteed.

Several of these players will receive partial guarantees by remaining on rosters through the start of the regular season, and a few more have November or December trigger dates that will increase their guarantees. However, none of those 31 players will lock in their full salary until Jan. 10.

Here are a few more items of interest about the NBA’s opening night rosters for ’23/24, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link):

  • The Spurs have the NBA’s youngest roster, while the Clippers have the oldest.
  • Players are earning a combined total salary of $4.8 billion for the 2023/24 season. The Celtics, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Pelicans, Sixers, and Suns are the biggest contributors to that pool, as they’re all currently over the luxury tax line.
  • As our roster counts page shows, there are 12 open spots on standard 15-man rosters around the NBA. Those openings belong to the Celtics, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Warriors (two), Lakers, Heat, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, and Kings.
  • The Nets and the Suns are the only two teams that haven’t filled all three of their two-way slots, as our tracker shows. They’re each carrying a pair of two-way players, meaning 88 of the 90 spots around the league are occupied.

Celtics Sign Lamar Stevens To Non-Guaranteed Deal

SEPTEMBER 26: The Celtics have officially signed Stevens, per RealGM’s transaction log. He received a non-guaranteed Exhibit 9 contract, Hoops Rumors has learned.

SEPTEMBER 22: The Celtics have reached an agreement with free agent forward Lamar Stevens, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Stevens spent the last three seasons in Cleveland after going undrafted out of Penn State in 2020. He appeared in 62 games last season, starting 25 of them and averaging 18.1 minutes per night. The 26-year-old recorded 5.3 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .448/.316/.702 shooting and was one of Cavaliers’ most reliable perimeter defenders.

After having his non-guaranteed team option picked up by the Cavs, Stevens was included as an outgoing piece in the three-team deal that sent Max Strus to Cleveland via sign-and-trade. He received a $400K partial guarantee and landed in San Antonio in that transaction, but was waived later in July by the Spurs before his $1.9MM+ salary for 2023/24 became fully guaranteed.

Stevens was said last week to be drawing interest from a handful of teams, including Houston, Miami, and Minnesota, but he ended up agreeing to sign with the Celtics after working out for the club in August.

The details of Stevens’ agreement with the Celtics aren’t yet known. Boston is currently carrying just 11 players on fully guaranteed salaries, with Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Luke Kornet on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed minimum-salary deals. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Stevens signs a similar contract, perhaps with a partial guarantee in the ballpark of the ones Banton and Mykhailiuk received ($200K apiece).

Atlantic Notes: Raptors Front Office, Stevens, Hield, Harden

The Raptors issued a press release on Friday announcing several front office changes, including the promotions of Chad Sanders to director of scouting, Luke Winn to Raptors 905 general manager and Rayhan Malik to head athletic trainer, as well as the hiring of Ben Uzoh as a pro scout. We previously wrote about the hiring of Uzoh, which is now official.

Sanders was the Raptors 905 general manager before his promotion, earning 2020/21 G League Executive of the Year honors. Winn is entering his seventh year with the organization and is continuing his role with Toronto as director, prospect strategy. Malik began with the organization as the head athletic trainer for the Raptors 905 before moving to an assistant athletic trainer with Toronto in ’21/22.

Uzoh appeared in 60 NBA games from 2010-12 with the Nets, Cavaliers and Raptors. The former NBA guard joined the Raptors organization prior to last season as part of the NBA’s Future Basketball Operations Stars (FBOS) program.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • In agreeing to a deal with Lamar Stevens, the Celtics are hoping he can bring “grit and toughness” that was lost following the offseason departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams, tweets The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. Stevens has 165 NBA appearances over the past three seasons, averaging 5.3 points per game across that span.
  • The Sixers are among the teams mentioned by The Athletic’s Shams Charania who are displaying a level of interest in acquiring sharpshooter Buddy Hield from the Pacers, prompting PHLY Sports’ Kyle Neubeck to consider how Hield would fit in Philadelphia’s system. From an offensive standpoint, the fit is obviously seamless, as Hield is a career 43.4% shooter from deep, but Neubeck assesses his defense as a red flag for a team trying to contend. Neubeck also breaks down what a trade might look like, with Tobias Harris or P.J. Tucker among the pieces that could potentially be used in a swap.
  • If James Harden were to hold out from Philadelphia, the Sixers would have an obvious hole to fill at the point guard position. Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required) breaks down possible options to take over for Harden in the rotation if the Sixers were to be without the 10-time All-Star. Tyrese Maxey and Patrick Beverley are among the obvious in-house options named by Mizell.

Lamar Stevens Drawing Interest From Several Teams

Numerous teams have expressed interest in free agent Lamar Stevens, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto lists the Celtics, Rockets, Timberwolves and Heat among Stevens’ potential destinations.

The 26-year-old swingman had a workout last month with Boston, which decided to sign Svi Mykhailiuk to a one-year contract after auditioning several wing players. Scotto notes that the Celtics have an open roster spot remaining and may still be considering Stevens.

Scotto calls Houston “a team to keep an eye on” considering that Kevin Porter Jr.’s NBA future is in jeopardy after his domestic violence arrest. The Rockets will have an unexpected need for help at the wing if Porter is suspended for all or part of the upcoming season.

Miami will be searching for rotation players if it’s able to acquire Damian Lillard from the Trail Blazers before the start of the season, Scotto adds, while Minnesota also has a roster opening.

Stevens spent his first three NBA seasons with the Cavaliers after joining the team as a two-way player in 2020, but he was never able to earn rotation minutes. He appeared in 62 games last season and made 25 starts, but only averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per night.

Cleveland traded Stevens to the Spurs as part of a three-team deal in July, and he was waived a few days later. The partial guarantee on his minimum salary for 2023/24 was increased to $400K as a condition of the deal.

Celtics Notes: Backup Center, Mykhailiuk, Brogdon, Free Agents

The Celtics completed their search for another wing by signing Svi Mykhailiuk this week, so the next priority should be finding a capable big man to provide depth in the frontcourt, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston now has 14 players with standard contracts, one short of the regular season roster limit. Only 11 of those are guaranteed, although Mykhailiuk could become the 12th once the details of his new deal are reported.

Robert Williams and Al Horford will handle most of the minutes at center, but Williams’ injury history and Horford’s age create a need for a quality backup at the position. Washburn suggests Kristaps Porzingis could see some time in the middle, but he’s more effective at power forward and is more comfortable playing away from the basket. Luke Kornet will be in camp, but his contract is non-guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.

Washburn identifies Bismack Biyombo and Dewayne Dedmon as available free agents, but states that neither is significantly better than Blake Griffin, who played for the Celtics last season and has expressed an interest in returning. Washburn also mentions former All-Stars Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins, but says the organization doesn’t want to risk team chemistry by bringing in someone who’s unhappy with his role.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Mykhailiuk’s success against Boston may have sparked the organization’s interest, even though he wasn’t among the players who held workouts last month. Playing for the Knicks and Hornets last season, the 26-year-old swingman hit 24 three-pointers against the Celtics, the most of any opponent, according to Luke Scotchie of The Boston Globe. Overall, Mykhailiuk enjoyed the best shooting season of his career from long distance, connecting at 42.4% and making 1.3 per game.
  • There has been little news about Malcolm Brogdon since he was nearly sent to the Clippers in June in a deal for Porzingis, Brian Robb of MassLive notes in a mailbag column. The team hasn’t provided any updates on Brogdon’s health after he reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow in the Eastern Conference Finals. Playing again should help resolve any bitterness Brogdon might have over the trade situation, Robb states, but he may be less willing to sacrifice for the organization after nearly being moved.
  • The Celtics still may have interest in T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens after bringing them in for tryouts, but they shouldn’t offer more than a partially guaranteed deal to either of them, Robb adds in the same piece.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Wing Options, Pritchard, Frontcourt

Jaylen Brown‘s first game since signing a record contract with the Celtics came in an unlikely setting — the Big3 All-Star contest, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Brown, who became the first active NBA player to participate in a Big3 game, agreed to play because the event, which was held in England, helps to support the London Youth charity.

The decision is also part of Brown’s effort to promote Black-owned businesses, Jones adds. League co-founder Ice Cube told a CBS interviewer that he was “blown away” to have an NBA All-Star on hand.

“I asked him if he was sure he wanted to make this move,” Cube said. “And he was like ‘I want to do this for the game, for the players and it’s a big move for the league’ … This guy is my hero right now.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Of the four wings the team is working out this month, Lamar Stevens and T.J. Warren are probably looking for guaranteed money, while Louis King and Glenn Robinson III are more likely to agree to non-guaranteed camp deals, Brian Robb of Mass Live states in a mailbag column. Robb is skeptical about Warren because the Suns opted to let him leave in free agency rather than try to keep him on a minimum-salary deal. He sees Stevens as the best option because he would bring a defensive presence at the wing that rookie Jordan Walsh may not be ready to provide.
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens may have erred last year by trading for Malcolm Brogdon when the team had more pressing needs in its frontcourt, Robb adds. Payton Pritchard appeared ready for rotation minutes, but he was frequently kept on the bench because of the logjam in the backcourt. That should be less of a concern this season with Marcus Smart sent to Memphis in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but Robb still doesn’t foresee Pritchard playing more than 25 minutes per game unless Brogdon gets injured. Pritchard is eligible for an extension until the start of the season, so the Celtics will have to figure out how he fits into their future.
  • Robb also believes Boston should focus on finding another big man before camp rather than relying on Luke Kornet or bringing back Blake Griffin. Oshae Brissett could fill some minutes in the frontcourt, but Robb sees a need for more depth considering the age and injury history of Porzingis, Robert Williams and Al Horford.

Atlantic Notes: Lawsuit, Knicks, Raptors, Warren, Stevens

While the Knicks made some bold claims in their lawsuit against the Raptors, people around the NBA aren’t convinced it’s as big of a scandal as it might seem on paper, according to Michael Grange of

I’m not being dismissive of this,” a league executive told Grange. “But people take stuff all the time (when they change jobs). Yes, it’s proprietary, but it’s usually their own product; work that they’ve done over time. So, without knowing the sensitivity level or what was taken or how egregious it was, it’s not something I’d care about that much.

“And timing matters, too. If it was mid-season and he was taking stuff for the current year, or the upcoming season, I might be more upset about it, but if it’s from the previous year, I don’t know if I’d be all that mad.”

As Grange writes, the NBA is a copycat league, so proving that the “confidential Knicks information” that was allegedly taken by former employee Ikechukwu Azotam was truly invaluable might be difficult. There’s a reason the Knicks left the damages they’re seeking as “TBD” — they probably don’t know what exactly was taken and if it will materially impact their business, a lawyer told Grange.

Ultimately, Grange thinks the lawsuit is unlikely to go to court and will probably be handled by the NBA. He suggests Toronto might face a six-figure fine and perhaps the loss of a second-round pick.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Head coach Tom Thibodeau will likely gripe about the Knicks‘ schedule for the 2023/24 season, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscriber link). After being tied with the Hornets for the fewest games (five) with “rest advantage” last season, the Knicks have eight such games during the upcoming campaign — tied for fifth-fewest in the league, per Braziller. Rest advantage is exactly what it implies — games in which a team will be more rested than the opponent. The Celtics lead the league with 16 rest advantage games, Braziller notes.
  • The Celtics are working out — or have worked out — a number of veteran free agent wings, including T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens. Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston considers whether Warren and/or Stevens would be good fits for the back end of the roster.
  • In case you missed it, the NBA fined Sixers star James Harden $100K for recent comments he made, but the Players Association disagreed with Harden’s fine and is filing a grievance on his behalf.

Celtics To Work Out T.J. Warren, Lamar Stevens

The Celtics will work out free agent forwards T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens this week in Boston, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link).

Boston has 11 players with guaranteed contracts and two others with partial guarantees, so it has the roster space to make an addition or two if Warren and/or Stevens make a favorable impression.

The Celtics will also take a look at free agent wing Louis King, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.

Warren, 29, appeared in a combined 42 games with Brooklyn and Phoenix last season, all as a reserve. He also came off the bench for the Suns in six postseason contests. He appeared in just four games the previous two seasons due to foot injuries.

Warren, who signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Nets last summer, was a consistent scorer for Phoenix and Indiana earlier in his career. He has averaged 14.6 points in 27.4 minutes per game in 374 career regular season contests.

Stevens was waived last month by the Spurs. The 26-year-old’s contract for 2023/24 was partially guaranteed at $400K and San Antonio cut him loose before his full $1.93MM salary becomes guaranteed. He had been sent to the Spurs by Cleveland as part of the Max Strus sign-and-trade.

The combo forward went undrafted in 2020 after four college seasons at Penn State, later signing a two-way deal with the Cavaliers. He was promoted to a multiyear standard contract in April 2021, the end of his rookie season.

Overall, Stevens averaged 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in three seasons with the Cavs (165 games, 16.0 MPG).

King, 24, was on a two-way contract with the Sixers for most of last season but appeared in only one NBA game. He became an unrestricted free agent when Philadelphia didn’t give him a qualifying offer.

Spurs Waive Lamar Stevens

The Spurs have waived forward Lamar Stevens, the team announced in a press release.

Stevens’ contract for 2023/24 was partially guaranteed at $400K. San Antonio is waiving him before his full $1.93MM salary becomes guaranteed today.

Stevens, who turned 26 last week, was sent to the Spurs by Cleveland as part of the Max Strus sign-and-trade. His contract for next season was previously non-guaranteed, but he received $400K as part of the deal to adhere to the NBA’s salary-matching rules.

The combo forward went undrafted in 2020 after four college seasons at Penn State, later signing a two-way deal with the Cavaliers. He was promoted to a multiyear standard contract in April 2021, the end of his rookie season.

Overall, Stevens averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .467/.281/.710 shooting in three seasons with the Cavs (165 games, 16.0 MPG). He’s an energetic, athletic and physical player who is known as a tenacious defender, though he struggles with scoring efficiency.

The Spurs have a roster crunch, and evidently Stevens wasn’t part of their long-term plans, so they decided to release him. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent in a couple days if he clears waivers, but won’t be eligible to sign with Cleveland for a year after the team traded him.

Contract Details: Exum, Vezenkov, Stevens

Dante Exum‘s new deal with the Mavericks was initially reported to be a one-year, minimum-salary agreement, but the terms were adjusted between July 1 – when the two sides struck a deal – and today, when it was made official.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), Exum ended up signing a two-year, $6.15MM contract that is non-guaranteed for the second season. It will be worth $3MM in 2023/24 and $3.15MM in ’24/25, with this year’s salary coming out of the Mavericks’ mid-level exception.

Giving Exum a portion of the MLE wouldn’t have been possible if the Mavericks’ offer sheet for Matisse Thybulle had been successful, since Thybulle would have received $10.5MM of the $12.4MM mid-level. Once Portland matched Dallas’ offer for Thybulle, the Mavs’ MLE fully freed up, allowing the team to renegotiate its deal with Exum.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Mavs also use a chunk of the mid-level to complete their reported agreement with Seth Curry, who was initially expected to be signed using the bi-annual exception. Signing Curry with the MLE would preserve the BAE for 2024/25.

Here are a couple more contract-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Sasha Vezenkov‘s three-year contract with the Kings comes in just below $20MM, Hoops Rumors has learned — its exact value is $19,975,609, including a $6,341,464 starting salary in 2023/24. As Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets, the first two years of Vezenkov’s deal are guaranteed, while the third is a team option (worth $6,975,609).
  • As part of the trade that sent him from Cleveland to the Spurs, Lamar Stevens had his minimum salary partially guaranteed for $400K, tweets Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Stevens also had his salary guarantee deadline moved up from January 7 to July 17, so San Antonio will have to decide in the coming days whether or not to fully guarantee the forward’s 2023/24 cap hit.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along contract details on a few other recently reported deals on Thursday.