Marko Todorovic

International Notes: Lin, Todorovic, Withey, Phillip

Former Raptors guard Jeremy Lin is in advanced talks with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The news was first reported by journalist Sonx Xiang of China.

We passed along a story earlier this week that several CBA teams were interested in adding Lin if he didn’t receive an invitation to an NBA training camp. He admitted that playing in China is an option he’s considering.

Lin, who will turn 31 on Friday, won his first championship ring after coming to Toronto in February. He was part of the rotation during the regular season, averaging 7.0 points and 18.8 minutes per night. However, his role was greatly reduced in the postseason, as he appeared in just eight games and averaged 3.4 minutes. He has played for eight teams in a nine-year NBA career.

There’s more international news this morning:

  • Marko Todorovic, who had his draft rights renounced by the Rockets earlier this month, has reached an agreement with the Tianjin Pioneers of the CBA, Carchia writes in a separate story. The 27-year-old center played in Spain last season for Joventut Badalona. The Trail Blazers selected him with the 45th pick in the 2013 draft and traded his rights to Houston.
  • Former NBA center Jeff Withey will play in Israel this season for Ironi Nes-Ziona, Carchia adds in another piece. Withey spent time in Turkey and Greece last year. He played for three teams during his five years in the NBA, most recently for the Mavericks in 2017/18.
  • Tarik Phillip, who was waived by the Wizards on Thursday, will play for Tofaş Spor Kulübü in Turkey, according to a tweet from the team. The 26-year-old guard signed with Washington at the end of the 2018/19 season, but didn’t see any game action. He spent most of the year with the Memphis Hustle in the G League, averaging 13.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 3.8 APG in 48 games.

Western Notes: Kuzma, Carmelo, Daniels, Rockets, Rosas

With Carmelo Anthony still unsigned nearly six weeks after the start of free agency, Anthony has received strong support from a rather surprising source this week: Kyle Kuzma.

Kuzma, who is entering his third season with the Lakers, a team that’s been linked to Anthony for several months, firmly believes that Anthony belongs on an NBA roster and is better than many players who currently hold roster spots.

“Melo is easily better than half the league right now,” Kuzma said, according to Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no question about it. He should be on a team right now. He’s still one of the best players. The slander people throw at him is something I don’t really understand. Maybe that’s just the way today’s society is right now.

“It would be great to see him in L.A., but I don’t make those decisions. That’s up to [Lakers GM] Rob [Pelinka] to make those decisions as far as what he thinks is best for the Lakers. He’s done a great job so far putting this team together.”

The Lakers expressed exploratory interest in Anthony last season, but ultimately decided against signing the 35-year-old to a contract. Anthony last played in an NBA game during November of 2018.

“I love the game too much to be away from it,” he said on ESPN’s First Take last week. “I just love the game. I train the young guys, I’m training myself, I’m in it. I got a new life to me.”

There’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:

  • New Lakers guard Troy Daniels discussed his decision to sign with the team in an interview with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. “I think we have the correct balance of veterans and young guys,” Daniels said of his team. “We have the guys who have been in the league a while and won championships, but we also have the young guys who are still developing like Kyle Kuzma, who is coming along really well and has tremendous upside. We have go-to stars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James. I think we have the right combination of guys on this team and I think we can go really far. Our goal is to win a championship, but first and foremost, we must make the playoffs. And once we make the playoffs, we’ll go from there. But this team could go really far and I’m really looking forward to working with all of these guys.”
  • The Rockets renounced their draft rights to Marko Todorovic, making the 27-year-old center an unrestricted free agent, according to RealGM’s transactions page. Todorovic was the 45th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
  • Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski recently praised Wolves president Gersson Rosas, who accepted his new job with the organization back in May. “He’s a completely trustworthy guy,” Krzyzewski said of Rosas, according to Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. “When you’re building a winning culture, one of the main things you need is trust,” Krzyzewski said recently. “You have to believe a person. You can believe him in an instant. If he says it, it is going to happen.” Rosas was the international player personnel scout on Team USA in 2016, with Krzyzewski serving as head coach at the time.

Southwest Notes: Carmelo, Cousins, Faried, DSJ

The Carmelo Anthony trade between the Rockets and Bulls is still expected to get done at some point soon, but the trade call has yet to take place, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. According to Stein, the deal may have to be amended due to a discrepancy involving the rights to a draft-and-stash player.

In addition to receiving Anthony and cash in the trade, the Bulls are also expected to receive the rights to Marko Todorovic, while the Rockets receive Tadija Dragicevic‘s rights, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), the NBA has made an effort to crack down on swaps that include a player who aren’t expected to ever come stateside. It’s not clear if those efforts will impact what the Rockets/Bulls swap ultimately looks like.

Let’s round up a few more items from out of the Southwest…

  • Within an article about DeMarcus Cousins‘ free agency and his debut with Golden State, the big man admits to Shams Charania of The Athletic that he hasn’t forgotten about how his time with the Pelicans playing alongside Anthony Davis ended. “I think about our pairing all the time,” Cousins said. “Me and A.D. talk about it. It’s f—ed up. It could’ve been something great, something special, but other people had different things in mind. That’s out of our control, and you never know what’ll happen later on down the line.”
  • After sitting on the bench in Denver and Brooklyn, Kenneth Faried is happy to have an opportunity to play an actual role for the Rockets, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details. “The coaches and team believe in me,” Faried said. “They want me to come out and do what I do. I’m excited to be here.”
  • The Mavericks are listing Dennis Smith Jr. as a probable starter for his return game tonight, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who tweets that the club never discussed a possible move to the bench with Smith before his sabbatical.
  • Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic has been fined $10K for kicking the game ball into the stands during Saturday’s game, the NBA announced today in a press release.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Williams, Calathes

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke Tuesday with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and “it started off more than a little frigid,” as Cuban recounted via Cyber Dust, his social media app, and as the Dallas Morning News relays. That’s not surprising, given the DeAndre Jordan saga, but Cuban said he and Ballmer cleared the air.

“I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player,” Cuban wrote. “I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.”

Cuban said he doesn’t have a problem with the July Moratorium, which seemingly helped facilitate Jordan’s reversal, but even if he did, the moratorium doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Deron Williams‘ two-year deal with the Mavs is worth $10MM and includes a player option, according to Marc Stein of (Twitter link).
  • The clock appears to be ticking on an NBA future for Grizzlies restricted free agent Nick Calathes. The point guard denied to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that he has signed with Panathinaikos of Greece, but he’ll commit to that team if he doesn’t find an NBA deal today, according to David Pick of (Twitter link). Calathes is drawing NBA interest, but he’s hesitant to continue as a backup, Pick hears. The Mavericks have reportedly contacted him, though that was two weeks ago. Memphis has the power to match all competing bids from NBA teams, but not from overseas clubs.
  • Panathinaikos is close to a deal with center Nikola Milutinov, this year’s 26th overall pick, Sportando’s Enea Trapani writes. Regardless, Milutinov won’t soon be joining the Spurs, the team that drafted him, as San Antonio has informed the NBA that it won’t sign him or 2013 No. 28 pick Livio Jean-Charles during 2015/16, allowing San Antonio to remove their cap hits, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links).
  • The Rockets reportedly had hopes of signing draft-and-stash prospect Marko Todorovic this summer, but that won’t be happening, as the big man has signed a three-year deal with Khimki Moscow, the Russian club announced (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Spurs GM R.C. Buford said he and the front office didn’t think that they would have been able to snag Ray McCallum if he’d have been a free agent on the open market, so they were pleased to pull off the trade with the Kings that brought him in, as Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News chronicles. McCallum, who’s excited about the deal, earned a $200K partial guarantee on his salary when the Spurs didn’t waive him Sunday.
  • A $390,089 sliver of Houston’s Jeremy Lin trade exception expired Monday, though it was essentially too small to use. The Rockets had already used the majority of the exception, once worth $8,374,646, to trade for Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in December.
  • Brewer’s new three-year deal with the Rockets is worth precisely $23,420,913, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows.

Southwest Notes: Ellis, Llull, Duncan, Collins

The Mavs won’t prioritize re-signing Monta Ellis if he opts out in search of a raise, as expected, reports Tim MacMahon of Ellis, who made $8.36MM this season, had a negative effect on team chemistry this past season because of his moodiness and selfish behavior, a source told MacMahon. The Mavs prefer to spend on either a combination of LaMarcus Aldridge and Tyson Chandler or DeAndre Jordan and a three-and-D wing player, MacMahon adds. That’s in part because the Mavs believe Chandler Parsons will be better off without Ellis’ on-court and off-court influence, as MacMahon details. Still, the Mavs are liable to change their minds based on unforeseen scenarios, just as they did when they decided to up their offer when they signed Ellis two years ago, MacMahon cautions. I looked further into Ellis scenarios when I examined the offseason ahead for the Mavs. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets have let Sergio Llull know that they’re willing to offer him a three-year deal worth $15-18MM, sources tell Nikos Varlas of Houston GM Daryl Morey batted down a similar report from Javier Maestro of in March, but coach Kevin McHale recently made it clear that the team would like to sign the draft-and-stash point guard. Still, there’s a pricey $4MM buyout attached to Llull’s contract with Real Madrid, Varlas writes, adding that if Llull doesn’t end up in Houston for next season, the team would push to sign draft-and-stash center Marko Todorovic.
  • Attorneys for Tim Duncan today requested that a trial in his lawsuit against a former financial adviser of his take place next summer so that he won’t miss playing time, tweets Guillermo Contreras of the San Antonio Express-News. That doesn’t necessarily signal that the Spurs star intends to play next season, only that he isn’t ruling it out, writes Express-News scribe Jeff McDonald, though it’s an interesting tidbit nonetheless.
  • Chris Mannix of has heard Jarron Collins‘ name bandied about as a possible assistant coach for new Pelicans head man Alvin Gentry (Twitter link). Collins, like Gentry, has spent this past season as a Warriors assistant coach.

Rockets Hope To Sign Marko Todorovic

The Rockets are pushing to sign big man Marko Todorovic this summer, according to the player who spoke with Catalan newspaper L’Esportiu (translation via Aris Barkas of  Todorovic, whose draft rights are owned by Houston, is in the midst of a strong season for Bilbao Basket of the Spanish ACB League while on loan from Barcelona.

The Rockets want me and in the summer I will [make] my decision. I believed that my style of play doesn’t fit the NBA, but the interest of the Rockets made [me] change my mind,” Todorovic said.

Barkas also hears from sources that Houston intends to make an offer to the 6’11” forward/center.  Todorovic was originally drafted by the Blazers with the No. 45 overall pick in the 2013 draft.  Just a couple of weeks later, he was sent to the Rockets in a deal that brought Thomas Robinson to Portland while giving Houston enough cap space to sign Dwight Howard.

Barkas also hears that the buyout on Todorovic’s deal is fairly close to the maximum allowed by the NBA’s CBA before it would count against the salary cap.  That figure is $625K for 2015/16 but, if necessary, a team could exceed that amount by using cap room or an exception.

Todorovic is currently averaging a career high 11.5 PPG with 4.4 RPG in 27.3 minutes per contest. In March, Todorovic was named the ACB league’s player of the month (Spanish link).

Blazers Acquire Thomas Robinson

JULY 10TH: The Blazers have formally finalized their acquisition of Robinson from the Rockets, according to team owner Paul Allen (via Twitter). The picks being sent to Houston will be a 2015 second-rounder from the Wolves or Nuggets (whichever pick is higher) and a 2017 second-rounder from the Blazers, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

JUNE 30TH: The Trail Blazers have agreed to acquire forward Thomas Robinson from the Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  The deal allows Houston to clear enough cap space in order to offer a maximum contract to Dwight Howard.

Portland will send the Rockets the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic and two future second-round picks, league sources said.  With the forward's salary now off of the books, the Rockets can offer Howard a four-year deal worth roughly $88MM in their meeting later tonight.

Robinson earns $3.5MM next season — not an unreasonable amount for a player with his potential, but too much for the Rockets as they need to squeeze in a max contract for this summer's top available big man.  Houston also cut Aaron Brooks and Carlos Delfino loose last week in order to carve out space for D12.

The fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft averaged 4.8 PPG and 4.5 RPG in limited playing time last season.  This is his second trade with the first coming at the deadline earlier this year, sending him from Sacramento to Houston.

International Prospects’ Draft Decisions

The deadline for international early entrants to withdraw from the 2013 draft arrives today at 4:00pm central time, so plenty of updates are trickling in on players deciding whether they're in or out. We'll track all of those decisions in this post throughout the day, with new updates being added to the top of each list:


  • Lucas Nogueira and Raul Neto are staying in the draft, agent Aylton Tesch tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (on Twitter).
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo will remain eligible to be drafted, his agent announced today on Twitter.
  • German power forward Daniel Theis will be keeping his name in the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of
  • Sergey Karasev will remain in the draft, agent Justin Zanik tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Givony reports (via Twitter) that Alex Abrines and Marko Todorovic are staying in the draft, with agent Igor Crespo saying, "That was the plan all along."
  • French forward Livio Jean-Charles will remain in the draft, tweets Chad Ford of
  • Rudy Gobert will also remain in the draft, according to Ford (Twitter link), which is no surprise, considering he projects as a potential lottery pick.


  • Mouhammadou Jaiteh has decided to withdraw his name from the 2013 NBA Draft, his agent tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (Twitter link).  He'll return to France for the season.
  • French prospects Louis Labeyrie and Axel Toupane have withdrawn their names from the draft, their agent told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (on Twitter).
  • Greek small forward Linos Chrysikopoulos has removed his name from the draft pool, agent Mike Main tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Big man Walter Tavares has withdrawn his name, agent Guillermo Bermejo tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Adin Vrabac, Artem Pustovyi and Bogdan Bogdanovic have also pulled out of the draft, reports Givony (via Twitter).
  • Philipp Neumann has withdrawn his name from consideration, tweets Givony.
  • Francois Affia Ambadiang has pulled out of the draft, agent Alex Saratsis tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Givony adds four more names to the list of players exiting the draft: Nemanja Besovic, Matias Bortolin, Djordje Drenovac, and Marko Ramljak (Twitter link).

Draft Updates: Neto, Fair, Dedmon, Early Entrants

The NBA's deadline for NCAA underclassmen to withdraw is coming up this Sunday, so within the next few days, we should have a better idea of what this year's list of early entrants will look like. As we look forward to some clarity on that front, we'll check out the latest updates on early entrants, both stateside and overseas….

  • Brazilian point guard Raul Neto will enter the 2013 NBA draft, according to a tweet from Fabio Balassiano, as passed along by Sportando. Neto is ranked ninth among 1992-born international prospects by Jonathan Givony of
  • Junior forward C.J. Fair will return to Syracuse for his senior year rather than going pro, the school officially announced today. "After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I decided another year at Syracuse was best for me," Fair said in a statement.
  • USC junior center DeWayne Dedmon has declared his intent to enter the draft, according to a press release from the school. "It's just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA," said Dedmon, who ranks 81st on's top 100 and 122nd on Chad Ford's list.
  • Givony's list of early entrants at has been updated with agent info for a number of this year's prospects. His list also includes a handful of international early entrants that we didn't have yet on our list, including Rudy Gobert (France), Giannis Adetokunbo (Greece), Marko Todorovic (Montenegro), Louis Labeyrie (France), and Walter Tavares (Cape Verde).