Luke Ridnour

Southwest Notes: Brewer, Barnes, Williams

More than two dozen players became eligible to be traded today, and among them is Corey Brewer, about whom the Rockets and Suns reportedly had serious discussions as they entertained a swap that would also include Terrence Jones going to Phoenix for Markieff Morris. Still, Suns GM Ryan McDonough denied that any deal was prearranged or pending as he spoke Wednesday on the “Burns & Gambo” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, as Kellan Olson of transcribes. McDonough predicted lots of activity between now and the February 18th trade deadline and promised he’ll take an aggressive approach, though he said he can envision Morris remaining with Phoenix through the end of the season, adding that the Suns are “under no pressure to do anything immediately.” While we wait to see what happens on that front, there’s more on the Rockets and other Southwest Division teams:

  • Improved defense, better 3-point shooting and the presence of Patrick Beverley in the starting lineup instead of Ty Lawson have sparked the Rockets to improved play, as Calvin Watkins of details, but GM Daryl Morey isn’t satisfied. “I’m worried given our goals,” Morey said, according to Watkins. “We still have a lot of improvement to do and we’re working towards that.”
  • The performance Matt Barnes has put on for the Grizzlies lately makes it clear his controversial October encounter with Knicks coach Derek Fisher isn’t a distraction to the team and that he’s been one of the most valuable Grizzlies on the court, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. The 35-year-old has maintained his high level of defensive play all season, and more recently he’s begun to regain his usual shooting touch, Tillery notes. Barnes delivered pithy comments to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, saying, “I don’t talk to snakes” when asked if he’ll speak to Fisher while the Knicks are in Memphis for Saturday’s game. Barnes sent threatening text messages to Fisher in the weeks preceding Barnes’ alleged physical attack on Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife, a source told Marc Berman of the New York Post.
  • A pair of small trade exceptions expired for Southwest Division teams this week, vestiges of the three-team trade that sent Jeff Green to the Grizzlies. The Pelicans allowed their $507,336 Russ Smith trade exception to lapse, while the Grizzlies didn’t find a use for the $396,068 leftover scrap of the Quincy Pondexter trade exception. Memphis used most of that Pondexter exception, originally valued at $3,146,068, to take in Luke Ridnour, whom the Grizzlies promptly flipped for Barnes.
  • Chris Herrington of The Commericial Appeal doesn’t think the Grizzlies will issue a second 10-day contract to Elliot Williams, whose existing 10-day deal expires at the end of Sunday (Twitter link).

Luke Ridnour To Sit Out 2015/16 Season

Luke Ridnour will sit out this season and it’s likely he won’t play in the league again, reports Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, who cites a source.

The 34-year-old free agent was traded four times in one week during the summer. The Raptors waived the point guard in July.

Ridnour received interest in free agency, but it wasn’t reciprocated, Spears adds. The 12-year veteran has not announced his retirement, but a return appears doubtful, according to Spears.

Ridnour had career lows in points, assists and minutes per game this past season. He is only two years removed from having started all 82 games for the Timberwolves in 2012/13.

Raptors Waive Luke Ridnour

The Raptors have waived Luke Ridnour, the team announced, ending the odyssey that saw him traded four times in one week. The point guard had been expecting the move, as his $2.75MM non-guaranteed salary was to become fully guaranteed if he didn’t hit waivers by Friday.

Ridnour, who told TNT’s David Aldridge this week that he’s still thinking of retiring, finished this past season with the Magic, who traded him to the Grizzlies last month. Memphis flipped him to the Hornets, who in turn sent him to the Thunder. Oklahoma City sent him to Toronto, the final destination for his contract, barring the unlikely event a team claims him off waivers.

The 34-year-old had career lows in points, assists and minutes per game this past season. Still, he’s just two years removed from having started all 82 games for the Timberwolves in 2012/13.

And-Ones: Matthews, Stoudemire, Kanter

As the drama regarding DeAndre Jordan‘s free agency decision seemingly concludes, the Mavericks can breathe easier knowing that Wesley Matthews still intends to sign with the team regardless of Jordan’s choice, Jason Quick of The Oregonian writes. Matthews reached a verbal agreement with Dallas on a sign a four-year deal worth approximately $13MM per season, and he is expected to officially sign the agreement and be introduced to the Dallas media on Thursday, the first day the NBA moratorium ends, Quick adds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Jordan deciding to remain with the Clippers, signing unrestricted free agent Amar’e Stoudemire will be an option for the Mavericks, Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report relays (Twitter links). Stoudemire is also strongly considering the Heat, Zwerling adds.
  • There is growing speculation around the league that the Pacers will approach the Mavs about a trade for Roy Hibbert now that Dallas has missed out on Jordan, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers tweets. That’s apparently even though Indiana has committed to trade Hibbert to the Lakers.
  • With the free agent moratorium set to end on Thursday, league sources believe that restricted free agent Enes Kanter will either re-sign with the Thunder or sign an offer sheet that the team would then match, Royce Young of relays (Twitter link).
  • Forward Livio Jean-Charles, the No. 28 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, won’t be joining the Spurs for the 2015/16 campaign, according to Tony Parker, Dan McCarney of The San Antonio Express-News relays. Parker is not only a potential future teammate of Jean-Charles’, but he is also the president and owner of ASVEL Basket, the French team Jean-Charles currently plays for.
  • The Thunder sent the Raptors $250k as part of the trade that landed Luke Ridnour in Toronto, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Celtics have a vested interest in where Jordan ends up, A. Sherrod Blakely of tweets. Boston owns the rights to the Dallas 2016 first-rounder from the Rajon Rondo trade, which is top seven protected. With the Mavs whiffing on signing Jordan, a blow to the team’s chances of winning this coming season, the pick becomes more valuable, as long as the Mavs don’t sink too far and end up keeping it.

Atlantic Notes: Williams, Ridnour, Sixers

 Lou Williams was surprised the Raptors did not make him an offer, he revealed in a Q&A session with Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy. Williams, who agreed to a three-year, $21MM contract with the Lakers on Sunday, thought the Raptors would make a spirited attempt to re-sign him. Instead, they chose to shake up with their roster by reaching agreements with DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo. “Just to speak candidly, it caught me by surprise that we didn’t get something done. I made it clear that I wanted to be there and I thought, with the type of year that I had, the feeling would be mutual,” Williams told Kennedy. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I think they wanted to go in a different direction and become more of a defensive-minded team. With the way that the playoffs ended, I think it left a sour taste in management’s mouth and they went out and picked up defensive players.”
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
  • While Joseph will be the second Canadian, along with retired Jamaal Magloire, to play for the Raptors during the regular season, that wasn’t the reason why they were so enamored with him, Doug Smith of the Toronto Sun writes. Joseph, who agreed on a four-year, $30MM contract to leave the Spurs, has impressed the Raptors’ brass for years with his toughness and defensive prowess, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise the club targeted him, Smith adds.
  • Luke Ridnour said that he expects the Raptors to waive him before his $2.75MM salary becomes guaranteed Friday and confirmed that he’s still contemplating retirement as he spoke with TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for The 34-year-old point guard also dished to Aldridge about what it was like to have his contract traded four times in one week.
  • The Sixers fleeced the Kings in the unofficial but agreed upon trade that sent Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry to Philadelphia, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Stauskas fills a backcourt need and the team can eventually decline a team option on his contract if the second-year shooting guard doesn’t pan out, Pompey continues. Landry and Thompson can become role models and mentors for their young frontcourt lottery picks — Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, Pompey adds. With that trade, the Sixers will likely have less roster movement than the past two seasons when 48 players saw action, Pompey concludes.

Raptors Acquire Luke Ridnour

10:45am: The Raptors say (on Twitter) they’ve also acquired cash in the transaction.

10:15am: The deal is official, the Thunder announced via press release.

9:47am: The Raptors and Thunder have agreed to a trade that sends Luke Ridnour to Toronto, reports Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (Twitter links). The rights to draft-and-stash prospect Tomislav Zubcic go to Oklahoma City, Mayberry adds. The Thunder will also get to create a trade exception worth $2.75MM that they can use to acquire a player who makes up to $100K more than that amount, as Mayberry notes. Ridnour’s salary is non-guaranteed if he’s waived before the end of July 10th, and it appears as though the Raptors intend to release him unless they, too, can find a taker for him, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star (on Twitter).

It’ll be the fourth time in a week that Ridnour will be involved in a trade, once the deal becomes official. The Magic sent him to the Grizzlies, who shipped him to the Hornets, who conveyed him to the Thunder.

Zubic, whom the Raptors drafted 56th overall in 2012, is a 6’10” center who averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game for Croatia’s KK Cedevita.

Hornets Acquire Jeremy Lamb

THURSDAY, 12:18pm: The Thunder issued a press release confirming that they have acquired Ridnour and a conditional 2016 second round pick from the Hornets in exchange for Lamb.

11:41am: The deal involves OKC trading Lamb to the Hornets for Luke Ridnour and a 2016 second-round choice, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Hornets acquired Ridnour when they agreed to move Barnes to Memphis.

WEDNESDAY, 6:36pm: The Hornets continue to be active prior to the NBA Draft, and the team is set to acquire guard Jeremy Lamb from the Thunder, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter link). The transaction will involve the contract of Matt Barnes, who was acquired by Charlotte from the Clippers in the Spencer Hawes for Lance Stephenson trade, though Barnes isn’t expected to end up in Oklahoma City, Bonnell adds. It’s unclear if that means a third team is involved, or if Barnes will be waived by the Thunder. Charlotte, who was reported earlier to be seeking a wing player, is also set to acquire Nicolas Batum from the Blazers in a separate deal.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

In Lamb, the Hornets acquire a 23-year-old shooting guard with upside, who never quite lived up to his status as a lottery pick with the Thunder. Lamb is under contract for 2015/16 at a salary of $3,034,356, and would be eligible to become a restricted free agent next summer. In 47 appearances last season he averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists. His career numbers through 148 games are 7.0 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.1 APG, with a slash line of .422/.348/.857.

Barnes, 35, was a candidate to be waived if he remained in Charlotte. His salary is partially guaranteed for $1MM through July 1st, but is fully guaranteed for almost $3.543MM after. The veteran appeared in 76 games for the Clippers last season, notching 10.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 1.5 APG in 29.9 minutes per night.

Grizzlies, Hornets Swap Ridnour For Barnes

12:00pm: The Grizzlies confirmed the completion of the deal via press release.

8:57am: The Grizzlies have agreed to flip Luke Ridnour to the Hornets for Matt Barnes, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Hornets may waive Ridnour as his pact is non-guaranteed for 2015/16, but the Grizzlies plan to keep Barnes in the final year of his pact (link).

Ridnour didn’t get a chance to even take off his coat as the Grizzlies acquired him less than 24 hours ago.  The 34-year-old was reportedly considering retirement as of March, and he hasn’t publicly said whether or not he intends to play next season. His $2.75MM salary is non-guaranteed, but if Charlotte intends on waiving him, they must do so before July 10th when it becomes fully guaranteed.  Ridnour is a backup point guard who’s also seen time at the two, so the Hornets could theoretically hang on to him to bolster their backcourt depth.

Barnes, who came to Charlotte in the Lance Stephenson deal earlier this month, was a candidate to be waived if he remained in Charlotte.  His salary is partially guaranteed for $1MM through July 1st, but is fully guaranteed for almost $3.543MM after. The veteran appeared in 76 games for the Clippers last season, notching 10.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 1.5 APG in 29.9 minutes per night.

Grizzlies Acquire Luke Ridnour

2:33pm: The trade is official, the Magic and Grizzlies announced via press releases.

10:21am: The Grizzlies and Magic have agreed to a trade that will send Luke Ridnour to Memphis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The Magic will get the rights to 2013 second-round pick Janis Timma, Wojnarowski adds (on Twitter).

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The 34-year-old Ridnour was reportedly considering retirement as of March, and he hasn’t publicly said whether or not he intends to play next season. His $2.75MM salary is non-guaranteed, though it becomes fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through July 10th. So, the move doesn’t immediately add to the roughly $47MM the Grizzlies have in guaranteed salary for next season, nor does it reduce the Magic’s nearly $39MM in commitments. Orlando was almost certainly going to waive Ridnour before his salary locked in, tweets Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

The Grizzlies have a trade exception worth more than $3MM as a vestige of having sent Quincy Pondexter to the Pelicans in January’s Jeff Green trade, so the Grizzlies could use that to officially acquire Ridnour before July 1st. They could open cap space to make the move if they wait until next month to formalize it, though they’re unlikely to go under the cap unless Marc Gasol bolts, so it would seem the trade exception will go to use. Orlando, which is already under the cap, doesn’t have the chance to create a trade exception of its own for Ridnour.

Memphis is gaining a backup point guard who’s also seen time at the two, so his acquisition would seemingly create competition for Beno Udrih, whose salary of nearly $2.175MM is partially guaranteed for $923K, and Nick Calathes, who’s entering free agency. The Grizzlies can make Calathes a restricted free agent if they tender a qualifying offer $1,147,276 by month’s end, though perhaps today’s news is a signal that they’re prepared to move on from him. It’s also possible that the Grizzlies will try to flip Ridnour in another trade, Wojnarowski suggests.

Timma, a small forward who turns 23 next month, averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 28.9 minutes per game this past season for VEF Riga of Latvia. It’s assumed that his contract with that team expires this year, as Mark Porcaro notes in our Draft Rights Held Players database.

Luke Ridnour Considering Retirement

Luke Ridnour is under contract with the Magic through next season, but the 34-year-old says he isn’t sure he’ll play after the conclusion of this season, according to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link). He’s due a non-guaranteed salary of $2.75MM in 2015/16 on the two-year, $5.5MM deal he signed with Orlando this past summer, and he’s played a career-low 13.6 minutes per game in 38 appearances this year.

There was a “sense” shortly before the trade deadline that the Magic were making the 12th-year veteran available for a trade, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, and the news wasn’t surprising considering his marginal role. The combo guard saw 16.2 minutes per contest in November, but his playing time has gone down as the team has given more burn to rookie point guard Elfrid Payton.

The Magic would be able to simply release Ridnour without obligation should he retire this summer, since his salary is non-guaranteed. The Jim Tanner client was the 14th overall pick in the 2003 draft, and, according to Basketball-Reference data, he’s racked up more than $45MM in NBA salary over the course of his career, including this season’s pay. His career high in points per game was in 2011/12, when he put up 12.1 PPG for the Timberwolves, while his best year in assists per contest was 2005/06, a season in which he averaged 7.0 APG for the SuperSonics, his original NBA team.