Marcus Paige

Dragan Bender Signs With Obradoiro

Former NBA lottery pick Dragan Bender will resume his playing career in Spain, having signed a one-year contract with Obradoiro, the team announced today in a press release.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Bender spent his first three NBA seasons in Phoenix, then played for the Bucks and Warriors in 2019/20. In 187 career NBA regular season appearances (20.1 MPG), the forward/center averaged 5.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.3 APG on .399/.323/.654 shooting.

Having failed to develop into a reliable rotation player in the NBA, Bender returned overseas in 2020, signing with Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv. The 24-year-old tore his ACL during the 2021 playoffs and missed the entire 2021/22 season, but appears poised to return to the court for the ’22/23 campaign.

“Dragan is a power forward who can form a pair with any of the inside players we already have on the team thanks to his size, versatility and outside shooting,” Obradoiro GM José Luis Mateo said in a statement. “He has just been a year without playing, but we are confident in his talent, work ethic, and enthusiasm to return to the highest level.”

Obradoiro, which competes in Spain’s top league (Liga ACB), also signed another former NBA player, point guard Marcus Paige, this offseason.

And-Ones: CBA Negotiations, Williams, Paige, First-Round Picks

With new Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations likely around the corner, the NBA is unquestionably in a good situation, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. NBA owners and the NBPA could opt out of their current labor contract in December. The league made $10 billion in revenue last season, which is more than what was expected.

“The numbers did surprise me to a certain degree because they exceeded our projections,” commissioner Adam Silver said. “So to the extent our projections represent where we think our business was going, surpassing $10 billion in revenue clearly is a record for this league.

“I think it’s quite remarkable from where we came only two-and-a-half years ago when the future of this industry was in question, in part because of the pandemic and also people questioning whether people would want to continue to assemble in arenas and stadiums the way they are.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball universe:

  • Former NBA player C.J. Williams has penned a deal in Israel with Ironi Ness Ziona, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). Williams most recently played in Turkey. He appeared in 53 games with the Clippers and Timberwolves from 2017-19.
  • Free agent guard Marcus Paige has signed in Spain with Obradoiro, the team announced (via Twitter). Paige holds NBA experience with the Hornets and played in France last year, averaging 9.9 points and 3.4 assists per game.
  • Zach Lowe of (Insider-only link) examines why potential Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trades could expand an unprecedented trend in the NBA. Teams appear more willing than they have been in years to include unprotected first-round picks in trade packages for impact players — deals involving Durant and Mitchell will likely involve several first-rounders, just as the Jazz-Timberwolves trade involving Rudy Gobert did.

Qualifying Offer Decisions: Caboclo, M. Brown, Paige

The Kings won’t tender a qualifying offer to former first-round pick Bruno Caboclo, league sources tell ESPN’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Caboclo will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday.

A qualifying offer, which would have been worth $3.5MM+, was never expected for Caboclo, who has appeared in just 35 games in his NBA career since being picked 20th overall in the 2014 draft.

At the time the Raptors selected him, draft guru Fran Fraschilla infamously referred to Caboclo as “two years away from being two years away,” but after four NBA seasons, the 6’9″ forward doesn’t appear to be on the verge of breaking through. In 10 games (10.0 MPG) with the Kings after being included in a midseason trade, the 22-year-old averaged 2.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG with a .310/.200/.833 shooting line.

Here are a couple more updates on qualifying offer decisions:

  • The Rockets have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Markel Brown, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. The one-year, two-way contract offer, which includes a $50K guarantee, will give Houston the opportunity to match an offer sheet for Brown.
  • Former UNC guard Marcus Paige, who was on a two-way contract with the Hornets, won’t be receiving a qualifying offer from the team, according to a press release. The decision ensures that Paige will become an unrestricted free agent.

And-Ones: G League Expansion, Mayo, Van Gundy

The G League held its expansion draft to accommodate for the association’s four new franchises and Chris Reichert of 2 Ways, 10 Days has broken down the results, recapping the nuances of the developmental league’s various processes.

As Reichert lays out, teams made their bids for each player’s returning rights for a period of two seasons. What that means is that the G League clubs will effectively reserve those players should they ever find themselves back in the league. Many currently ply their trade either for NBA squads or for teams overseas.

The current NBA crop selected in the G League expansion draft is headlined by Sean Kilpatrick and Okaro White. The big league rotation players, however, are unlikely to return to the G League, at least in 2017/18, rendering them ineffective selections.

There’s more from around the NBA:

  • Speaking of G League peculiarities, the Oklahoma City Blue (the G League affiliate of the Thunder) made a trade with the SLC Stars (Jazz affiliate) for the rights to Marcus Paige but, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer explains, Paige will actually suit up for the Greensboro Swarm (Hornets affiliate). Earlier this month the Hornets signed Paige to a two-way deal and that supersedes whichever team owns his G League rights.
  • With one more year left on his suspension, former Bucks guard O.J. Mayo could consider a gig in the G League, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways, 10 Days opines. There is, however, no guarantee that he would be permitted to do so.
  • It’s been a decade since he coached the Rockets, which makes Jeff Van Gundy‘s return to the bench with Team USA all that much more exciting. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently spoke with Van Gundy about his role with the USA Basketball World Cup qualifying team.

Hornets Sign Paige, Mathiang To Two-Way Deals

AUGUST 2: The two-way deals for Paige and Mathiang are now official, the Hornets announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 1: The Hornets will sign Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang to two-way contracts, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

Paige, 23, spent four seasons at UNC, where he averaged 13.1 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 2.8 RPG in 141 games. The Nets drafted Paige with the 55th overall pick in last year’s draft but traded him to the Jazz as part of the deal that sent Isaiah Whitehead to his native Brooklyn squad.

After he was waived in early October 2016, Paige latched on with the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. In 46 games, he averaged 12.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.2 APG in 32.7 minutes. Most recently, Paige was part of the Timberwolves‘ summer league team in Las Vegas.

As for Mathiang, the Lousiville product averaged 7.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.1 BPG in his senior year at the college. The 24-year-old appeared for Charlotte in five games during the summer league where posted 4.4 PPG, five boards and 53.3% from the field.

As a side note, the Hornets also guaranteed forward Johnny O’Bryant‘s $1.5MM salary for the 2017/18 season, per Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Today was the deadline for Charlotte to fully guarantee O’Bryant’s contract.

For more details on what two-way contracts are and how they work, be sure to check out our FAQ.

Hornets Work Out Free Agent Guards

JULY 25, 11:03am: Michael Scotto (via Twitter) fills out the list of free agent guards who worked out today for the Hornets — Demetrius Jackson, Marcus Paige, Jared Cunningham, and Nick Johnson were also part of the group.

JULY 25, 8:16am: The Hornets will also work out free agent point guard Isaiah Canaan, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN, who tweets that the group session will take place on Tuesday.

JULY 24, 2:47pm: Former Georgia guard J.J. Frazier will also take part in the Hornets’ workout this week, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.

JULY 24, 11:48am: The Hornets are bringing in free agent guard Donald Sloan for a workout, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Another free agent point guard, Norris Cole, will also work out for the club, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

While Charlotte’s starting backcourt figures to look the same heading into the 2017/18 season, the team is making some changes on the bench. Backup point guards Ramon Sessions and Brian Roberts aren’t returning, and Marco Belinelli was traded to Atlanta. Belinelli’s roster spot has been claimed by lottery pick Malik Monk, and the Hornets signed Michael Carter-Williams as the probable backup for Kemba Walker at the point, but the club may add one more point guard to its roster for depth purposes.

Currently, Briante Weber holds that third point guard spot on the roster, but his deal is non-guaranteed. Per Basketball Insiders, Weber’s salary is believed to become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through August 1, so the fact that the Hornets are taking a closer look at veteran point guards now may not bode well for Weber’s hold on a roster spot.

Sloan, 29, has more than 200 NBA regular season games under his belt, but spent the 2016/17 season in China with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. His team-high 23.6 PPG and 6.5 APG helped buoy the club to an appearance in the CBA Finals.

As for Cole, the 28-year-old played sparingly for the Thunder last season, but has extensive NBA experience with the Heat and Pelicans, having appeared in 360 total regular season contests since 2011.

Northwest Notes: G. Hill, Nuggets, Thunder, Paige

George Hill was involved in one of the offseason’s biggest trades, a three-way deal that sent him to the Jazz in exchange for the 12th overall pick. So far, he’s thrived in what he describes as a great situation in Utah, telling Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders that he has the ball in his hands much more than he did in Indiana.

“I have the coach’s green light to be aggressive and take shots,” said the Jazz’s starting point guard. “Not saying I didn’t have the green light in Indy, so no disrespect to the coach there, but it’s a little different. When I have the ball in my hands a lot more, I’m not in the corner a lot, just taking advantage of the opportunity that’s given to me.”

Hill is eligible for an extension this season, and for unrestricted free agency in 2017, but even with his stock seemingly on the rise, he tells Scotto that he’s not thinking about his next contract right now: “I’m going to let [Jazz GM] Dennis Lindsey and the front office handle that and my agents. My focus is just to play basketball and try to get us to the playoffs.”

Here’s more from out of the Northwest:

  • The Nuggets have resisted multiple trade overtures for Danilo Gallinari over the last two years, sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who suggests that Denver is well positioned to package a handful of players and/or picks for an All-Star. O’Connor envisions John Wall as an ideal target for the Nuggets, though he acknowledges that there are no indications the Wizards point guard is available.
  • Although the Thunder are off to a good start after a tumultuous offseason, the team isn’t sitting back and relaxing, content with its current roster, writes Royce Young of As Young observes, the Oklahoma City roster will likely undergo some additional changes during and after this season, as the club continues to retool around Russell Westbrook.
  • Former Jazz point guard Marcus Paige, who is one of just three 2016 draft picks who was waived by the team that selected them, admits that he wasn’t surprised about landing in the D-League and discusses his goals for his time with the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link via Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune).

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

Read more

Jazz Waive Eric Dawson, Quincy Ford, Marcus Paige

The Jazz have begun paring down their roster in advance of the regular season, announcing today in a press release that Eric Dawson, Quincy Ford, and Marcus Paige have been placed on waivers. The team’s roster now stands at 17 players, so two more cuts will be necessary before opening night.

[RELATED: Offseason In Review: Utah Jazz]

Dawson and Ford both signed free agent contracts with the Jazz this offseason, but were always viewed as long shots to make the club’s regular-season roster. While Dawson’s deal was fully non-guaranteed, Ford got a modest $75K guarantee, which will remain on Utah’s cap unless he’s claimed on waivers.

As for Paige, the rookie guard was the 55th overall pick in this year’s draft, and received a $125K guarantee from the Jazz. By waiving him, the team forfeits its NBA rights to Paige, so he’ll be free to join another NBA team if he clears waivers. If he goes unclaimed and unsigned, the 23-year-old is probably a good bet to join the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s D-League affiliate.

The Jazz now have 14 players on fully guaranteed salaries, plus Henry Sims on a partially guaranteed deal ($75K) and Chris Johnson and Jeff Withey on non-guaranteed pacts. Withey is expected to earn the club’s final roster opening.

Contract Details: E. Williams, Christon, Paige

We’ve already published one contract details round-up today, passing along some specifics on deals for Jason Terry (Bucks), Joel Bolomboy (Jazz), and Yi Jianlian (Lakers). However, several more details on recently-signed contracts have surfaced since then, so let’s dive in and round up the newest updates…

  • As expected, the one-year deal signed by Elliot Williams with the Warriors earlier this month is a minimum-salary pact. The contract was initially reported as having a “strong” partial guarantee — the amount of that guarantee is $250K, per Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). If Williams earns a spot on Golden State’s opening-night roster, his full salary will become guaranteed.
  • Draft-and-stash signee Semaj Christon got a three-year, minimum-salary deal from the Thunder, according to Pincus (via Twitter). Christon’s 2016/17 salary is guaranteed for $200K, so he’s no lock to make the roster, particularly since Oklahoma City already has 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts.
  • D.J. Kennedy‘s three-year contract with the Nuggets is a minimum-salary pact that features a modest $50K guarantee in year one, tweets Pincus.
  • The Celtics‘ deal with Marcus Georges-Hunt is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that includes a $25K guarantee, says Pincus (via Twitter). Despite the guarantee, Georges-Hunt is a long shot to make Boston’s regular-season roster.
  • By re-signing with the Grizzlies, Tony Wroten received a $25K guarantee and a second non-guaranteed year, tweets Pincus. Wroten’s previous contract included several guarantee dates, but those have been removed — the point guard will get his full 2016/17 salary if he remains under contract through January 10.
  • According to Bobby Marks of The Vertical, Marcus Paige‘s new deal with the Jazz is a two-year, minimum-salary pact with $125K guaranteed in year one.