Lindy Waters

Northwest Notes: Hendricks, Jazz’s Trades, Biyombo, Waters

The Jazz‘s deadline trades will thrust lottery pick Taylor Hendricks into a larger role, according to Sarah Todd of The Deseret News.

With Kelly Olynyk, Simone Fontecchio, and Ochai Agbaji no longer on the roster, the Jazz will take a longer look at their young players. Hendricks, who has appeared in 14 games off the bench, tops the list. He played 18 minutes against Phoenix on Thursday.

“Taylor’s life is very different now,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Taylor is going to be a part of our rotation. He’s going to be playing every night. How much he plays every night will be determined by how well he plays.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Jazz general manager Justin Zanik went into detail about the team’s future plans and why they made those trades during a post-deadline press conference. Zanik laid out his reasoning for dealing the above-mentioned trio. “Two of those guys were going to be free agents. Maybe we bring them back, maybe not,” he said, per Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake City Tribune. “We didn’t trade anybody of our core. We traded one starter who has started during our run that started basically half the year. The other two were rotation players. Last year, we traded three starters. This is the second kind of calibration around our core, and sometimes that takes time. I wish that it was quick and then all of a sudden we have a long and prosperous run right now. We’ll do that in a second. It’s just not available.”
  • The Thunder added veteran big man Bismack Biyombo after the Grizzlies waived him. He’ll play a situational role, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Biyombo will basically be used as insurance and add some size and rebounding when needed.
  • The Thunder also made another personnel move after the deadline, promoting Lindy Waters from two-way status to a standard deal. According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype (Twitter link), Waters inked a two-year deal, which is fully guaranteed for the rest of this season and includes a team option for next season.

Thunder Sign Lindy Waters To Multiyear Standard Contract

The Thunder have filled one of their two standard roster openings by converting Lindy Waters to a multiyear contract, the team announced in a press release. Waters had been playing on a two-way deal.

The 26-year-old wing must be having a bit of déjà vu, as he was also promoted from a two-way deal to a two-year standard contract in February 2023. However, his team option for 2023/24 was declined last June, making him an unrestricted free agent before he re-signed with Oklahoma City on a two-way deal in August 2023.

Waters, who grew up in Norman and played college ball at Oklahoma State, has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Thunder, averaging 5.4 PPG and 1.9 RPG while shooting 36.8% from three-point range in 87 career games (13.2 MPG). He has made 21 appearances thus far in ’23/24, with a modest average of 7.3 MPG.

Waters has also played six Showcase Cup and regular season games for the Thunder’s NBA G League affiliate (the Oklahoma City Blue) this season, filling the stat sheet with impressive averages of 22.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.8 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .484/.455/1.000 shooting in 33.3 MPG.

The Thunder had two standard roster spots open because they sent three players — Davis Bertans, Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic — to Charlotte yesterday in a trade for veteran forward Gordon Hayward. After converting Waters, OKC now has one standard roster opening, plus an open two-way slot.

Northwest Notes: Edwards, Sarr, Waters, Brown, Watson, Key

Anthony Edwards has become the breakout star for USA Basketball this summer. For the Timberwolves to take the next step, Edwards needs to be their unquestioned leader, Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune opines. While he has remained deferential to Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, Edwards will be the player the Timberwolves turn to when they need a basket or a lift this upcoming season.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The two-way contracts signed by Thunder big man Olivier Sarr and wing Lindy Waters both cover only the 2023/24 season, Hoops Rumors has learned. Sarr and Waters will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2024, assuming they finish the season on those deals.
  • Moses Brown has a partial guarantee of $250K in the one-year contract he signed with the Trail Blazers this week, Spotrac contributor Keith Smith tweets. Brown’s guarantee increases to $500K if he’s on the opening night roster and would become fully guaranteed on the league-wide date in January. Brown’s contract is for the veteran’s minimum, so he’ll receive $2.165MM as a four-year veteran if he remains on the roster after the January deadline.
  • Forward Peyton Watson‘s development will be a key component to the Nuggets’ season, Harrison Wind of opines. Watson needs to emerge as a reliable reserve with the free agent loss of Jeff Green to the Rockets. Another potential factor for the second unit is two-way player Braxton Key, a defense-oriented wing that the organization believes could emerge as a reliable option.

Thunder Sign Lindy Waters III To Two-Way Deal

5:57pm: Waters’ two-way deal is now official, the Thunder announced.

5:08pm: Lindy Waters III is rejoining the Thunder on a two-way contract, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Waters, who grew up in Norman and played college ball at Oklahoma State, initially signed a two-way deal with Oklahoma City in February 2022. He was promoted to a multiyear standard contract in February of this year, but his team option for 2023/24 was declined at the end of June, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The 26-year-old has split the past two seasons playing for the Thunder and the team’s G League affiliate, the OKC Blue. In 66 NBA games (15.1 MPG), the 6’6″ wing holds career averages of 6.3 PPG and 2.2 RPG with a .399/.360/.800 shooting line. He has averaged 13.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.7 SPG on .498/.427/.929 shooting in 29 regular season games (29.8 MPG) with the Blue since 2021.

Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman previously identified Waters as a “strong candidate” to fill one of the team’s two-way slots. As our tracker shows, the Thunder currently have a pair of two-way openings.

However, they were prevented from signing Waters because they had 21 players — the offseason maximum — under contract, including 20 on standard deals. That changed this afternoon, as the Thunder decided to waive TyTy Washington Jr.

Northwest Notes: Anderson, Yurtseven, Williams, Waters

Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is set to play for Team China at next month’s FIBA World Cup after becoming a naturalized Chinese citizen, per Reuters.

Anderson represents the first American basketball player to acquire Chinese citizenship via naturalization, though plenty of other athletes in other disciplines have obtained it that way recently. He would also be able to compete for China in next year’s Olympics.

“I’m so happy to announce that I will be representing China at the World Cup,” Anderson said through a Weibo video. “Really proud and honored to wear the Team China jersey.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • New reserve Jazz center Omer Yurtseven has yet to talk the team about his role for the 2023/24 season, he tells Alex Vejar of The Salt Lake Tribune. “Not yet,” Yurtseven said. “But I met with coach [Will] Hardy and talked with [CEO] Danny Ainge as well. We haven’t talked, but we have some time during the summer. We’ll stay in contact and kind of go from there where I’ll be able to understand exactly what they want from me and execute.”
  • Trail Blazers shooting guard Jeenathan Williams is likely to be released before his contract can become guaranteed on August 1, reports Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (Twitter link). Williams, 24, went undrafted out of Buffalo last summer, and spent most of the 2022/23 season with the Jazz’s NBAGL affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. The 6’6″ wing latched on with Portland in April. In his five contests with the Trail Blazers last year, he averaged 10.6 PPG on .615/.375/.667 shooting splits, along with 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG and 0.6 SPG.
  • Lindy Waters III is a “strong candidate” to return to the Thunder on a two-way contract, opines Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Oklahoma City converted his 2022/23 two-way deal to a standard roster contract, but declined his $1.9MM team option for this season earlier this summer.

Options Declined For Blazers’ Knox, Thunder’s Waters, Wolves’ Knight

Trail Blazers forward Kevin Knox, Thunder wing Lindy Waters, and Timberwolves big man Nathan Knight have all had their team options for the 2023/24 season declined by their respective clubs, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) reported the three option decisions.

The deadline to exercise a player or team option for ’23/24 was Thursday at 4:00 pm Central time, so the fact that there had been no word on these three options was a strong indication that they weren’t picked up. They were the last three we were waiting for confirmation on — the rest of this year’s team and player option decision had been made.

Knox’s team option with the Trail Blazers would have been worth $3MM. The former No. 9 overall pick finished the 2022/23 season in Portland after being traded from Detroit at February’s deadline. In 63 total appearances for the Pistons and Blazers, he averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per night.

Knox will become an unrestricted free agent after having his option turned down. Waters and Knight, who would’ve earned $1.93MM apiece if their options had been exercised, were eligible for qualifying offers to make them restricted free agents, but there’s no indication that either player received one. We’ll be able to confirm that on Friday before free agency officially opens.

Waters averaged 5.2 PPG on .393/.358/.800 shooting in 41 games (13.0 MPG) for the Thunder, while Knight registered 3.7 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 38 contests (7.7 MPG) for Minnesota.

Western Notes: Brooks, Holmes, Clippers, Waters

An in-depth feature on Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks by Tim Keown of ESPN includes several interesting tidbits, including a detailed look at how Brooks thrives on defense and comments from head coach Taylor Jenkins about how important the 27-year-old is to the team’s culture. However, the spiciest part of the story comes when Brooks discusses one of Memphis’ chief rivals in the Western Conference.

“I don’t like Draymond at all,” Brooks said of Warriors forward Draymond Green. “I just don’t like Golden State. I don’t like anything to do with them. Draymond talks a lot. Gets away with a lot, too. His game is cool — with Golden State — but if you put him anywhere else, you’re not going to know who Draymond is. He plays with heart, plays hard, knows the ins and outs of their defense. I guess that’s why they like him over there.”

According to Keown, Green laughed and declined to comment when asked for the opportunity to respond, but Brooks’ expression of his views on Golden State and the former Defensive Player of the Year figure to add a fun new wrinkle to the next Grizzlies/Warriors matchup.

On a related note, Brooks will have to make an effort to keep his emotions in check on the court during the final weeks of the season. As Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal tweets, the Grizzlies forward received his 15th technical foul of 2022/23 on Wednesday — a 16th would trigger an automatic one-game suspension.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Kings big man Richaun Holmes is suing the Sacramento Bee for defamation, according to Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link). The lawsuit alleges that The Bee, in a series of five articles, “intentionally, and maliciously, published claims of child and domestic abuse by Holmes despite easily accessible evidence to the contrary via public court filings.” Oddly, The Bee’s initial story on the domestic abuse accusations – which surfaced during a custody battle that Holmes eventually won – was presented as an opinion column rather than a news report.
  • After the team’s fourth consecutive loss on Thursday, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said his club needs to be mentally “tougher,” per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The Clips have blown double-digit leads in three of their four losses since the All-Star break. “I don’t care about missed shots, it’s going to happen,” Lue said. “You’re going to turn the ball over some, but you can’t give in, and my thing is just having that toughness and that mindset that, ‘OK, things are not going well, then let’s do something about it.'”
  • Thunder wing Lindy Waters, who grew up in Norman and played his college ball at Oklahoma State, is thrilled to have signed a standard NBA contract with his hometown team, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. “Thankful for a lot of people along the way that helped me to get to where I am,” Waters said. “Very thankful for the organization for giving me a shot, letting me come in and work out and showing they care. But yeah, it’s just been a wild ride.”

Lindy Waters III Signs Two-Year Deal With Thunder

2:23pm: Waters’ promotion to a standard deal is now official, the Thunder announced in a press release.

11:17am: Two-way guard Lindy Waters III will receive a standard contract with the Thunder, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The two-year deal will be worth $3.8MM and will include a team option for 2023/24.

Waters, 25, has been playing on a two-way contract since last February. The former Oklahoma State standout has appeared in 25 games this season, averaging 4.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per night.

Waters is coming off one of his best games, scoring 12 points in 17 minutes on Sunday against the Kings. That came after he played in a G League contest with the Oklahoma City Blue earlier in the day, notes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.

Based on the contract terms reported by Charania, it sounds like the Thunder will use a portion of their mid-level exception to give Waters a salary worth more than the minimum for the rest of this season.

The Thunder opened a roster spot late last night by waiving Eugene Omoruyi.

Thunder Sign Lindy Waters III To Two-Way Deal

The Thunder have signed Lindy Waters III to a two-way deal, the team announced. To make room for Waters, OKC waived Paul Watson.

Waters is a native of Norman, Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State in college. He went undrafted after his senior season in 2020. Through 25 games with the Blue this season, OKC’s G League affiliate, Waters has averaged 11.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG on .548/.513/.941 shooting.

Watson, 27, has bounced around the past few years. He signed a 10-day contract with Atlanta in 2019/20 before catching on with the Raptors for a two-way deal. That deal was converted into a standard contract last season after Watson had a strong performance with the club, but he was waived in August 2021.

Through nine games with the Thunder this season, Watson averaged 3.4 PPG and 3.0 RPG. He struggled mightily with his shot, putting up a .343/.231/.500 shooting line in just 17.3 MPG.