Leandro Bolmaro

Leandro Bolmaro Signs With Bayern Munich

Free agent guard Leandro Bolmaro, the No. 23 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, officially signed with FC Bayern Munich of Basketball Bundesliga, the club announced in a press release. The pact is a two-year deal that will keep Bolmaro with the team until 2025, according to the release.

Bolmaro was drafted by the Knicks but his draft rights were traded to the Timberwolves in a three-team deal that also involved Jaden McDaniels (No. 28 overall) landing in Minnesota. The 6’6″ guard didn’t come stateside right away and played for FC Barcelona of Liga ACB, where he earned the Most Spectacular Player award in 2020/21.

After the conclusion of the ’20/21 season, Bolmaro signed his rookie scale contract with the Timberwolves. The guard played sparingly his rookie season and averaged 1.4 points in 35 games. Bolmaro played much more in the G League with the Iowa Wolves, averaging 14.8 points and 5.7 assists per night in 2021/22.

Bolmaro was included last summer in the blockbuster trade between the Timberwolves and Jazz that sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota. He again played well in the G League in ’22/23, now for the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 11.2 points and 4.9 assists in 16 appearances, but failed to catch on in Utah. Ultimately, Bolmaro played in just 14 games with the Jazz, averaging 0.4 points in 4.9 minutes per game.

Bolmaro was waived in February of this year and finished the ’22/23 season with Lenovo Tenerife of the Spanish ACB. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich finished the ’22/23 season 15th of 18 teams in the EuroLeague, ending with an 11-23 record.

Leandro Bolmaro Signs With Spanish Team

Former NBA first-round pick Leandro Bolmaro has returned to Spain, signing with Lenovo Tenerife (also known as CB Canarias), according to a press release from the team.

Bolmaro, 22, was the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 draft and signed his NBA rookie contract with the Timerwolves a year later, in 2021. However, he played very sparingly as a rookie in Minnesota, then was dealt to Utah in last summer’s blockbuster Rudy Gobert trade.

Bolmaro was unable to crack the Jazz’s rotation this season and was eventually bought out last month by the team, a move that was made to allow him to head back overseas and get more playing time.

In total, the Argentine guard averaged 1.1 PPG and 1.0 RPG and posted a shooting line of .270/.227/.846 in 49 NBA appearances (6.3 MPG) across two NBA seasons. He was more productive at the G League level, including averaging 12.1 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 6.1 RPG on .478/.382/.556 shooting in seven regular season games (33.1 MPG) for the Salt Lake City Stars this year.

Bolmaro previously played in Spain from 2018-21, when he was a member of FC Barcelona — he won a Spanish League (Liga ACB) title with the club in ’21.

His new team, Lenovo Tenerife, is currently chasing Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Baskonia in the standings, with a 14-5 record in Liga ACB play. Lenovo Tenerife is also the defending champion of FIBA’s Basketball Champions League.

Western Notes: Jazz, Markkanen, Joe, Westbrook

The Jazz will be adding at least two players in the coming days. Now that they’ve bought out and waived Russell Westbrook and Leandro Bolmaro, they’re down to 12 players on the 15-man roster. Teams are only permitted to dip below 14 players on standard contracts for up to two weeks at a time.

The Jazz have a multitude of financial options to expand the roster, including the use of $5.5MM of its midlevel exception available to split up and sign players to multiyear contracts, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • After his All-Star appearance, the Jazz want to see more growth from Lauri Markkanen, Tony Jones of The Athletic writes. Now that they’ve traded Mike Conley and Malik Beasley, they will put the ball in Markkanen’s hands more often during crunch time, seeing how he makes decisions for himself and others. The coaching staff also wants to see him in more isolations.
  • Isaiah Joe‘s perimeter shooting has been a critical factor for the Thunder‘s offense, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The reserve guard has knocked down 45.2% of his 3-point attempts. “Giving a guy like him the freedom to take some tough ones and show the other team that he’ll make some tough ones, it opens things up for the offense and I think we’ve benefited from that,” coach Mark Daigneault said.
  • The Clippers are making a foolish mistake by adding Westbrook, who plans to join them once he clears waivers, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times opines. The issues that Westbrook had with the Lakers — poor shooting, ball hogging, sullenness and selfishness — won’t go away when he joins Los Angeles’ other team, according to Plaschke. Adding him negates the Clippers’ strong trade deadline moves and the fact that their lineup was finally playing together, Plaschke adds.

Jazz Waive Leandro Bolmaro

7:30pm: Bolmaro actually reached a buyout agreement with the Jazz, reports Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter). Bolmaro wanted to return to Europe in order to get playing time and Utah accommodated his request, per Walden.

4:55pm: The Jazz have officially waived Bolmaro, per NBA.com’s transaction log. Utah now has 13 players on standard contracts and will have up to two weeks to add a 14th man.

2:24pm: The Jazz intend to waive Leandro Bolmaro, sources tell Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bolmaro, a 6’6″ guard from Argentina, was the 23rd overall pick of the 2020 draft, but wound up signing his contract a year later, so he’s only in his second NBA season. The Jazz declined their third-year team option on the 22-year-old before the 2022/23 season began, which indicated that he might not be in Utah’s long-term plans.

As Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune notes (via Twitter), the Jazz’s backcourt was shorthanded during Wednesday’s loss to Memphis — Russell Westbrook is away from the team as he explores his options, and Collin Sexton exited the game early with a left hamstring injury (Twitter link via Larsen). The fact that Utah opted not to use Bolmaro in that situation was a pretty ominous sign.

Larsen has heard the Spurs may have been interested in Bolmaro in the past. San Antonio’s 17-man roster is full at this point, however.

Bolmaro spent his rookie season with the Timberwolves, but was sent to Utah as part of the Rudy Gobert trade. In 49 career games, including 14 this season with the Jazz, Bolmaro has averaged just 6.3 minutes per contest.

If he clears waivers, the former first-round pick will receive $2,471,160 from Utah and will become an unrestricted free agent.

Jazz Notes: Sexton, Conley, NAW, Bolmaro, Strong Start

Jazz point guard Mike Conley has taken new teammate Collin Sexton under his wing and is helping him see the game in a new way, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. With 16-year veteran Conley held out of the second game of a back-to-back set, Sexton received his first start of the 2022/23 season in Saturday’s win over Memphis, recording 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four assists in nearly 32 minutes.

We’ll walk through, and he’ll be like, ‘Alright, what are you doing in this situation?’ And I’ll let him know, and then he’ll be like, ‘Well, in this situation, I think you should do this. Just try it,’” Sexton explained. “During the game, he’ll be like, ‘OK, you got to the basket — now let’s see if you can pitch [the ball] behind two or three times.’ And I’ll do it. And then he’s like, ‘Alright, now the next time, try to see if you can get all the way there [to the rim].’ It’s opening my mind to multiple ways of playing, and also multiple ways of seeing the game, too. I know he sees it from a different angle than I do.”

As Walden writes, the Jazz have been cautious not to overextend Sexton after he only played 11 games last season with a torn meniscus, which required surgery. He’s technically not on a minutes restriction, but that’s partly why he’s only averaging 19.0 MPG.

Sexton is eager to prove his worth after inking a four-year, $71MM deal as part of the Donovan Mitchell sign-and-trade with Cleveland, but he recognizes he’ll have more opportunities as the season goes on, per Walden.

Just giving [it all in] the time that I’m out there and just making an impact. And I might play four-minute spurts, so in those four minutes, giving it all I can, whether it’s pressuring the ball or pushing the ball and changing the pace of the game, whether it’s on the defensive side or offensive side,” Sexton said. “Just trying to use the little time that I’m given just to make sure that they know I’m out there, you know what I mean? Because I know once the season continues to go, more minutes, more time [will come].

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • Little-used guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker got an opportunity for extended run with Conley sidelined against the Grizzlies, and he showed that he can be a positive player when given the opportunity, writes Sarah Todd of The Desert News. Alexander-Walker played solid defense against Desmond Bane and Hardy was pleased with his effort, as Todd relays. “He came in with such a fire,” head coach Will Hardy said of Alexander-Walker. “He really got into the ball with Desmond Bane and I think he got two steals on the ball, just taking the dribble. He has really good instincts and really long arms and he did a good job of just trying to speed up their ball handlers, which I thought was great…It’s a difficult situation. He hasn’t played that much and he got thrown into a big game with Mike out, and I thought he handled himself great.”
  • Second-year guard Leandro Bolmaro, who recently had his third-year option declined by Utah, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out for Monday’s game against Memphis, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Rudy Gay and Simone Fontecchio are still in the protocols. Rookie center Walker Kessler (non-COVID illness) has also been ruled out for the contest, according to Jones (Twitter link).
  • How have the Jazz gotten off to a 5-2 start? Tony Jones tackles that topic for The Athletic, concluding that the team’s depth, offensive pressure, floor spacing, and key adjustments from head coach Will Hardy have been instrumental to the surprising seven-game stretch.

Jazz To Decline Rookie Scale Options For Azubuike, Bolmaro

The Jazz won’t pick up the fourth-year option for Udoka Azubuike or the third-year option for Leandro Bolmaro, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Both players will become unrestricted free agents next July.

Azuibuike would have earned $3,923,484 during the 2023/24 season and Bolmaro would have received $2,588,400. The deadline for rookie scale option decisions is Monday, and those are the only two that Utah faces.

Azubuike, a 23-year-old center, was selected by the Jazz with the 27th pick in the 2020 draft. He has dealt with injuries during his brief NBA career and has played a total of 33 games, including one this season. The former Kansas standout is averaging 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

Bolmaro, a 22-year-old swingman, was acquired from the Timberwolves this summer in the Rudy Gobert trade. He appeared in 35 games for Minnesota last season and two so far with Utah, averaging 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per night. He was the 23rd pick in 2020, but didn’t come to the NBA until 2021.

Northwest Notes: Sharpe, Hart, Agbaji, Bolmaro, Towns

With Damian Lillard sidelined due to a calf strain, rookie guard Shaedon Sharpe earned his first career NBA start on Friday and didn’t disappoint, scoring 14 points in the Trail Blazers‘ victory over Houston. Given that Sharpe didn’t play at all at Kentucky and just turned 19 this spring, there was a sense that he may not see much action right away, but head coach Chauncey Billups hasn’t hesitated to throw the youngster into the deep end.

“I look at it as, man, we lost a lot of basketball games to get Shaedon Sharpe; let’s play this kid,” Billups said, per Jason Quick of The Athletic. “Let me see what he’s got.”

While Sharpe wasn’t the reason Portland won on Friday, he was the Blazers’ most electrifying player, throwing down three big dunks over the course of the night and earning praise from coaches and teammates alike, with Billups calling him “must-see TV.” Veteran Blazers center Drew Eubanks is among those already excited about Sharpe’s long-term potential.

“I heard Dame say it earlier this year, he was saying like, Shaedon is the type of talent that could take us over the edge of being a fringe playoff team into a full-blown playoff team fighting for a championship,” Eubanks said. “When he said that, I was like, ‘Damn, I’m gonna kind of take that with a grain of salt.’ Because I hadn’t seen Shaedon play … but after watching him play these first six games, and in preseason, I’m like, he’s super talented. He has the world at his fingertips. I believe what Dame said now, for sure.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart has entered the NBA’s concussion protocol, tweets Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Hart suffered the injury on Friday when he hit his head on the floor after a drive to the basket.
  • Ochai Agbaji and Leandro Bolmaro, two young players acquired in Utah’s blockbuster summer trades, got their first extended run with the Jazz on Friday night, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News details. Agabaji scored nine points in 19 minutes, while Bolmaro flashed promising play-making and defense and was a plus-16 in 15 minutes. The Jazz have until Monday’s deadline to exercise Bolmaro’s $2.59MM option for the 2023/24 season.
  • As the Timberwolves adjust to their new-look frontcourt that now features Karl-Anthony Towns at power forward instead of center, head coach Chris Finch continues to praise his All-Star big man for his willingness to accommodate Rudy Gobert, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “That guy is All-NBA. There’s no other All-NBA player who is being asked to play a completely different position,” Finch said. “One that he’s willing to do and has approached it with an open mind-set, and he’s actually embraced it.”

Jazz Continue To Engage In Trade Discussions

The Jazz have traded three starters from last year’s roster so far this offseason, but even after moving Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale for a boatload of draft picks, the team isn’t necessarily done with its offseason work.

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz continue to engage in trade conversations about a number of their remaining veterans, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson.

In the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms that Bogdanovic, Conley, and Clarkson are “definitely on the trade block.” Fischer says he has also gotten the impression that the Jazz would “love to move off” Rudy Gay and has heard Leandro Bolmaro‘s name come up in some trade rumors.

Even beyond those five players, Utah would likely be willing to listen to inquiries on many others members of their roster, including Malik Beasley, according to Fischer. Jarred Vanderbilt is another player the club could theoretically move, though Fischer says a team might have to “knock Utah’s socks off” to acquire the young forward.

Based on the deals they’ve made so far this summer, it’s safe to assume the Jazz would be prioritizing draft assets as they continue to gauge the trade market.

Among Utah’s veterans, Bogdanovic might be the one with the most trade value. He’s on a reasonable $19.55MM expiring contract and is a talented frontcourt scorer, having averaged 18.4 PPG over the last three seasons (204 games) with the Jazz. The 33-year-old forward is also a major threat from beyond the arc — he has made at least 38.7% of his three-point tries in each of the last five seasons.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported on Thursday that the Suns had inquired on Bogdanovic, but Phoenix is hardly the only team with interest. Gambadoro tweeted late last night that several teams, including the Lakers, are eyeing Bogdanovic.

Any trade sending Bogdanovic to the Lakers would have to involve Russell Westbrook for salary-matching purposes, and would require at least one or two other players to go to Los Angeles — the Jazz would likely try to pry away the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in that scenario, though L.A. has been reluctant to attach more than one first-rounder to Westbrook.

Bogdanovic’s cap hit of nearly $20MM will make it tricky for certain teams to seriously pursue him. For instance, while he might be a good fit in Boston following Danilo Gallinari‘s injury, the Celtics probably can’t make a viable offer for him that doesn’t include at least one key rotation player whose value matches or exceeds Bogdanovic’s.

Northwest Notes: Watford, Walker, K. Johnson, KCP, Bolmaro

Strong showings by Trendon Watford and Jabari Walker in the Las Vegas Summer League may have eased any concerns the Trail Blazers have about front court depth, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.

Watford, who signed a two-way contract with Portland last summer and was converted to a standard deal in February, was outstanding late in the season when injuries to teammates pushed him into a more prominent role. He remained productive in Las Vegas, averaging 13.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game as the Blazers captured the Summer League title.

Walker didn’t have flashy statistics in Vegas, but he showed he can be a valuable role player, Fentress states. Walker rebounded, played defense, set screens and did other things that will be necessary for him to earn consistent minutes in the NBA.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers shooting guard Keon Johnson also stood out during Summer League, Fentress adds. Johnson, who was acquired from the Clippers in February, looked like a former first-round pick, leading Portland’s squad in scoring at 14.2 PPG. Fentress doesn’t expect Johnson to be part of the rotation this season, barring injuries, but said he could see spot duty.
  • Although Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has found a new home with the Nuggets, who gave him a two-year extension last week, he didn’t expect to be traded by the Wizards, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post. It marked the second straight offseason that Caldwell-Pope has been part of a significant trade. “My initial reaction was surprise because what me and my team and the Washington Wizards was talking about and communicating was different,” he said. “It was a surprise.”
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune examines what the Jazz can expect from Leandro Bolmaro, who was part of the return in the Rudy Gobert trade. Bolmero, a 21-year-old swingman, is a 2020 first-round pick who made his NBA debut last season with the Timberwolves. Larsen notes that Bolmaro is an outstanding defender and a capable rebounder and playmaker, but there are questions about his ability to score.

Jazz Trade Rudy Gobert To Timberwolves

JULY 6: Gobert has officially been traded from Utah to Minnesota, the Timberwolves confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 1: The Jazz are trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), the Jazz will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, and four future first-rounders in the deal.

Minnesota will send Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, along with a top-five protected 2029 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders in 2026, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A major shake-up had been expected in Utah this spring and Gobert has been mentioned in trade rumors since the Jazz were eliminated from the postseason. On top of that, the Wolves were rumored to be in the market for a rim-protecting center to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and had been linked to Gobert.

Still, the fact that the two division rivals were able to agree to terms on this blockbuster deal comes as a major surprise. It represents a huge home-run swing by new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, and is the first significant roster move made by Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

The move will cost the Timberwolves a good amount of their depth, but will create a loaded starting five. Towns and Gobert figure to be joined by point guard D’Angelo Russell, rising star Anthony Edwards, and one of Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, or Jaden McDaniels.

The Wolves will have Gobert under contract for several years — he’s owed a guaranteed $123MM over the next three seasons and has a $46.7MM player option for 2025/26.

Minnesota currently projects to be about $9.5MM below this season’s luxury tax line, with 11 players on their books, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Meanwhile, of the players headed to Utah in this trade, only Kessler will have guaranteed money on his contract beyond 2022/23. Beverley is on an expiring contract, while Beasley, Vanderbilt, and Bolmaro all have team options for ’23/24.

The Jazz are currently $11MM below this year’s tax line for 13 players and should have significant cap flexibility in future seasons, says Marks.

Having also acquired a first-round pick from Brooklyn this week in exchange for Royce O’Neale, the Jazz are now loaded with draft assets and plan to retool their roster around Donovan Mitchell going forward, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Tony Jones of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the team has no plans to trade Mitchell.

There could be an opportunity for the Jazz to turn around and immediately flip some of the picks they’ve accumulated for an impact player who will complement Mitchell.

For instance, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reports (via Twitter) that Utah has some interest in exploring a sign-and-trade deal for Suns restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton, and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms (via Twitter) that the Wolves, Jazz, and Suns had discussed some three-team scenarios.

After seeing multiple unprotected first-round picks change hands this week in deals involving Gobert and Dejounte Murray, it’s safe to say the Nets’ asking price for Kevin Durant will be astronomical. Brooklyn is said to be seeking a “historical haul” for the former MVP.