Luka Mitrovic

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Young, White, Mitrovic

The Warriors have largely the same roster they did when they won the title in June, but with a handful of players entering the final season of their contracts and Steve Kerr on a health-related leave of absence, this year’s team has a different feel, as TNT’s David Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for Stephen Curry says it’s “weird” not having Kerr around and acknowledges the challenges of everyone coalescing once more, as Aldridge relays.

“We are, technically, the same team,” Curry said. “We have everybody minus David Lee back, and Jason Thompson. But we’re different in that regard. Because everybody’s in a different place in their careers. Maybe stuff’s going on off the court. You’ve got to kind of separate what we did last year from this year, even though it’s the same personalities in the locker room. Support each other, encourage each other, figure out how we can mesh all the different storylines together into one goal, which is doing what we did last year.”

See more from the Pacific Division:

  • Nick Young calls the trade rumors that surrounded him this summer “confusing” and “motivating,” but the Lakers didn’t find a taker, and Young and coach Byron Scott are entering this season preaching optimism about their continued partnership, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News details. “Me and Byron are good, but I’m using it as motivation,” Young said. “I’m just trying to do my part and stay alive. I’m trying to do everything he tells me to do. Anything I got to do to stay out there on the court.”
  • Suns camp cut Terrico White will play for Phoenix’s D-League affiliate, a source tells Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter link). White cleared waivers this weekend after the Suns released him Thursday. NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four players they waive, so White appears to be one of Phoenix’s four.
  • Kings draft-and-stash prospect Luka Mitrovic is expected to miss several months because of a left knee injury, Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi tweets. Mitrovic, the last pick of this year’s draft, signed an extension with Crvena Zvezda of Serbia this summer. Sacramento holds his NBA rights as a result of the cap-clearing trade with the Sixers this summer.

No. 60 Pick Luka Mitrovic Extends Overseas Deal

Luka Mitrovic, the 60th pick in this year’s draft, has reached an extension with Crvena Zvezda of Serbia that runs through the 2016/17 season, according to the Euroleague’s website (hat tip to Sportando’s Enea Trapani). It’s unclear if the deal includes an NBA out that would allow him to sign with the Kings, who acquired his NBA rights from the Sixers last month as part of the Nik Stauskas trade.

It’s no surprise to see Mitrovic remain overseas, as Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi reported shortly after Philadelphia made him the final pick in June that he would do so. The 22-year-old’s contract had been set to run through this coming season, as Mark Porcaro shows in our register of Draft Rights Held Players, so the extension tacks on another year.

The Mark Fleisher client is well-regarded, having been the 39th overall prospect in this year’s draft according to Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider rankings. Mitrovic, a 6’8″ power forward, averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game this past season for Crvena Zvezda. He just gained a new teammate with NBA experience, as Gal Mekel has signed to play with the club.

The Sixers also sent the rights to No. 47 overall pick Arturas Gudaitis to Sacramento in that swap. Gudaitis signed for at least two years with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania before the trade became official.

Sixers Acquire Stauskas, Landry, Thompson

6:35pm: The Sixers and Kings have issued press releases announcing the trade is official. Philly gets Stauskas, Landry, Thompson, Sacramento’s 2018 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders in 2016 and 2017. Sacramento gets the rights to Gudaitis and Mitrovic.

“Jason, Carl and Nik are all tremendous professionals and we’re grateful for their contributions,” Kings president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac said in Sacramento’s statement. “Jason leaves an indelible mark in Sacramento as the team’s alltime leader in games played, but he was also a champion in the community. Carl and Nik were well regarded as teammates and respected stewards of the organization during their time as Kings. We wish them all great success in the future.”

JULY 10TH, 11:48am: Neither team has made an official announcement, though the RealGM transactions log and salary cap expert Larry Coon (Twitter links) indicate the trade has indeed taken place. Sacramento creates trade exceptions equivalent to the salaries of Stauskas, Landry and Thompson, but those are poised to disappear once the team formalizes its free agent signings.

JULY 3RD, 11:35am: Executives around the league are talking about the notion that the Kings might back out of the deal now that they’ve missed on Ellis and Matthews, though none of those execs truly expect Sacramento to pull out, reports Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link).

JULY 2ND, 8:54am: A future second-round pick is also going to Sacramento, Wojnarowski writes in his full story. The Sixers receive Sacramento’s 2018 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders with the Kings in 2016 and 2017, a league source tells USA Today’s Derek Bodner (Twitter link). The overseas assets that the Kings receive are the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic, the 47th and 60th picks, respectively, in last week’s draft, ESPN’s Pablo Torre tweets. Gudaitis just signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania, the team announced (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). The Sixers are interested in keeping Landry, Thompson and Stauskas rather than waiving any of them, a source said to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (on Twitter).

10:56pm: The Sixers will receive a protected first round pick from the Kings, and swap rights with Sacramento in the first round of two other drafts, Zach Lowe of Grantland tweets.

JULY 1ST, 10:17pm: The Sixers and Kings have agreed to a deal that would send Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, and Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). Philadelphia is expected to send Sacramento the rights to overseas players in return, notes Wojnarowski (on Twitter), though it is unclear which players will be involved.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The deal is a salary dump for Sacramento, tweets Wojnarowski, with the Kings clearing room for pursuing free agents. Thompson is set to earn $6,431,250 in 2015/16, Landry $6.5MM, and Stauskas $2,869,440. Sacramento is clearing the decks for a pursuit of point guard Rajon Rondo, swingman Wesley Matthews, and possibly Monta Ellis, the Yahoo! scribe adds (via Twitter).

Stauskas, 21, is the prize here for the Sixers, who were willing to absorb the contracts of Thompson and Landry to acquire him, Wojnarowski tweets. The young shooting guard failed to impress in Sacramento after being selected with the No. 8 overall pick back in the 2014 NBA Draft. In 73 appearances during his rookie campaign, Stauskas averaged 4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists, with a slash line of .365/.322/.859. He should have every opportunity to develop on a young Sixers team badly in need of shooters.

Thompson still has two years remaining on his deal, though his salary of $6,825,000 for the 2016/17 campaign is partially guaranteed for just $2.65MM. In 81 contests last season, the 28-year-old averaged 6.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 24.6 minutes per game. Landry, 31, also has two years remaining on his contract, though both seasons are fully guaranteed. He logged 70 appearances last season for the Kings, posting 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 0.4 APG in 15.0 minutes per night.

And-Ones: Crowder, Gasol, Knicks

The Celtics made a qualifying offer to Jae Crowder worth $1.2MM, making the forward a restricted free agent, which means the Celtics can match any offer he receives from another team, A. Sherrod Blakely of reports. Crowder has expressed an interest to return to the Celtics, but also plans to test the market.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Marc Gasol has no interest in joining the Lakers because of the shaky final few years his brother spent with the team, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who cites sources familiar with the situation.
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson is interested in re-signing Jason Smith as a backup center and combo guard Alexey Shved, who played well late in the season, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.
  • The Jazz are expected to make a significant attempt to bring draft-and-stash center Tibor Pleiss, who is from Germany, to the team next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Pleiss traveled to Utah to discuss the possibility of joining the team this upcoming season, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes, adding that the Jazz are in need of a solid backup at center for Rudy Gobert.
  • Luka Mitrovic, a forward from Serbia who the Sixers took with the final pick of the draft, will stay overseas next season, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando tweets.