Marques Bolden

Contract Details: Omoruyi, Wilson, Freeman-Liberty, Bolden

Eugene Omoruyi‘s new two-year standard contract with the Wizards will pay him $900K for the rest of this season, Hoops Rumors has learned. Washington dipped into its mid-level exception in order to give Omoruyi that $900K, since using the minimum salary exception would have resulted in a rest-of-season salary worth approximately $522K.

Omoryui’s 2024/25 salary is worth the minimum and is non-guaranteed for the time being. If he remains under contract until the start of the ’24/25 regular season in the fall, he’ll earn a partial guarantee of $1MM. He’d receive his full guarantee for next season if he’s not cut on or before January 7, 2025.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • Jalen Wilson‘s three-year contract with the Nets is worth approximately $4.96MM in total, with a $850K rest-of-season salary for 2023/24 and minimum salaries for the following two years. Brooklyn used its mid-level exception to give him a contract that covers three seasons and a starting salary well above the prorated rookie minimum. Wilson is also assured of a $75K partial guarantee next season, which will increase to $325K if he makes the opening-night roster.
  • The standard contract that Javon Freeman-Liberty received from the Raptors is a two-year, minimum-salary deal that includes a $100K partial guarantee for next season and multiple trigger dates for his 2024/25 salary. Freeman-Liberty’s partial guarantee would increase to $150K if he’s not waived by July 23 and to $800K if he’s still under contract at the start of the ’24/25 regular season.
  • Marques Bolden‘s two-way contract with the Hornets is a two-year agreement, so it will cover next season in addition to the rest of 2023/24.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Bridges, Fultz, Coulibaly

Injuries and losses continue to pile up for the Hornets after a brief upturn last month, but head coach Steve Clifford won’t consider tanking over the final 21 games, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

With five rotation members sidelined, Charlotte dropped a close game at Toronto on Sunday night for its fifth loss in the last six games. At 15-46, the Hornets have the league’s fourth-worst record and are two games ahead of San Antonio for a chance to become one of three teams with the best odds at the No. 1 pick, but Clifford doesn’t want to approach the rest of the season that way.

“Look, we’re shorthanded and there’s a big difference between in some of the games you play, there’s going to be a real challenge to win,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean you play losing basketball. And there’s a big difference between teams that just pack it in and teams that play the right way and win. And I think as an organization, I think trying to win every game is a big thing.”

Seth Curry, Cody Martin and Nick Richards are the latest additions to Charlotte’s injured list, and they were on the bench in street clothes Sunday along with LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams. Boone notes that two-way players Amari Bailey and Leaky Black have been called up to provide some depth, and Marques Bolden was re-signed to a two-way contract last week two days after being waived.

Clifford points out that the remainder of the season will be crucial for those inexperienced players as they try to establish themselves in the NBA, and he doesn’t want to expose them to a culture that’s focused on losing.

“With younger players, to me, it’s absolutely critical that they understand the importance of getting better every day,” Clifford said. “I’m a firm believer, especially for younger guys, that their first experience is the way they view the league, the way they have to be taught how to be a good NBA player. I think they have to gain an understanding of how to win.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Miles Bridges didn’t experience any customs issues during this trip to Canada, Boone tweets. The Hornets forward was denied access to the country during the team’s December 18 visit because of his legal issues.
  • Markelle Fultz was the only Magic reserve to score in double figures Sunday night as he continues to come off the bench after missing three games due to an aching left knee. Fultz told Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel that he isn’t concerned about not starting (Twitter link). “If I’m in the game, [I’m] playing as hard as I can,” Fultz said. “But I don’t really care about that, man. I care about winning any way possible.”
  • After missing three games with a pelvic contusion, rookie Bilal Coulibaly isn’t on the Wizards‘ injury report for tonight’s game at Utah, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Hornets Sign Bolden To Two-Way Contract, Waive Mensah

The Hornets have signed center Marques Bolden to a two-way contract, according to a release from the team. To create a roster spot for Bolden, Charlotte waived two-way center Nathan Mensah.

Bolden recently spent time with the Hornets on a 10-day contract, which was ended early to make room for Aleksej Pokusevski on the 15-man roster. He appeared in one game with Charlotte. The 25-year-old has also had NBA stops in Cleveland and Milwaukee. He spent part of this season on a two-way deal with the Bucks, but only appeared in two games.

Bolden played three seasons at Duke, averaging 3.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 88 career collegiate games (24 starts). He has been the most productive in the G League, where he’s averaged 13.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 55.6% from the floor and 39.7% from deep in 31 regular season and Showcase Cup games with the Wisconsin Herd.

Mensah signed with the Hornets on a two-way contract in December after joining the team in training camp. He immediately carved out a small role, playing about 40 combined minutes in his first two career games and averaging 16.1 minutes from early to late January. However, his role diminished as time went on and he was nearing his active-game limit, prompting Charlotte to make the move to Bolden. In 25 games with the Hornets, Mensah averaged 1.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks.

The Hornets have 15 players on standard contracts and all three of their two-way spots are filled. Bolden joins Amari Bailey and Leaky Black as the Hornets’ two-way players.

Hornets Sign Aleksej Pokusevski

FEBRUARY 28: The Hornets have officially signed Pokusevski, the team announced today in a press release. Charlotte terminated Bolden’s 10-day contract early in order to open up a roster spot (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 27: The Hornets are expected to sign forward Aleksej Pokusevski, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Pokusevski became a free agent after being cut by the Thunder last Friday and clearing waivers on Sunday.

The No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Pokusevski showed plenty of promise in his first three-and-a-half NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, but his development was hindered by health issues. He was limited to just 34 games (25 starts) in 2022/23 due largely to a leg fracture that sidelined him for about three months, then broke his arm during a workout in the spring of 2023 and sprained his ankle this past September.

Pokusevski got off to a strong start in ’22/23, averaging 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 20.6 minutes per game across his 34 appearances, with career-best shooting rates of 43.4% from the field and 36.5% from the three-point line. But those injuries ended the seven-footer’s season early and he only saw garbage-time action in 10 games this season for the Thunder, logging 60 total minutes.

While Pokusevski theoretically could’ve been included in the trade that sent Gordon Hayward to Oklahoma City earlier this month, the Hornets instead acquired Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic, and Davis Bertans in that deal. The Thunder subsequently waived the 22-year-old, who was on an expiring $5MM contract and was no longer part of their future plans.

Now the Hornets are in position to add Pokusevski at a lower cost, though the exact details of his new deal have yet to be reported, so it’s unclear if he’ll earn more than the minimum or if the team will get any control beyond this season.

Charlotte currently has a full 15-man standard roster. However, one of the team’s 15 players – Marques Bolden – is on a 10-day contract that will expire this Thursday night. Pokusevski figures to take Bolden’s roster spot, either after that 10-day deal expires or perhaps earlier, if the Hornets terminate it before the 10-day mark.

Despite a recent hot streak, the Hornets remain well out of the Eastern Conference play-in picture at 15-42, so they’ll be able to use the final month-and-a-half of the season to get a look at Pokusevski in relatively low-stakes games.

Hornets Sign Marques Bolden To 10-Day Deal

11:05am: The Hornets have made it official, announcing in a press release that Bolden has signed his 10-day contract. It will run through February 29.

7:36am: The Hornets are set to sign big man Marques Bolden to a 10-day contract, agent Michael Johnson Jr. tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bolden, 25, has past NBA experience with the Cavaliers and was on a two-way contract with Milwaukee earlier this season. However, he only appeared briefly in two games with the Bucks before being waived on January 7 before his full-season salary could become guaranteed.

Bolden has spent most of the season in the G League playing for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s affiliate. In 31 Showcase Cup and regular season contests, he has averaged 13.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game, with a shooting line of .554/.404/.743.

As Charania observes, the center has played some of his best basketball of the season as of late, averaging 17.0 points and 13.8 rebounds during the Herd’s current six-game winning streak, with double-doubles in all six of those victories.

Bolden will provide some depth in a frontcourt that has been impacted by Mark Williams‘ lengthy absence due to a back injury. Nick Richards has been starting in Williams’ place, but the Hornets don’t have a ton of options at the five beyond that, especially with P.J. Washington no longer around to occasionally act as a small-ball center. That means there could be a path for Bolden to earn playing time.

No roster move will be necessary for the Hornets, who have been carrying 14 players since buying out Kyle Lowry last week.

Central Notes: Bulls Fans, Carter, Nesmith, Bolden

The Bulls intended to honor their history Friday night as they welcomed the inaugural class for their new Ring of Honor, but the ceremony was overshadowed by the fans’ reaction toward late general manager Jerry Krause, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. Many fans at the United Center loudly booed at the mention of Krause, sparking an emotional reaction from his widow, Thelma, who was there to represent him.

“I’m telling you what, Chicago is a sports town, and what we witnessed today when Jerry Krause’s name was called and the people that booed Jerry Krause and his widow, who was accepting this honor for him, it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said former Bulls player Stacey King, who is now an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago. “I hurt for that lady. Brought her to tears, and whoever booed her in this arena should be ashamed of themselves.”

The first Ring of Honor class included 13 former players, coaches and executives, along with the entire 1995/96 team. Ex-coach Phil Jackson received the loudest cheers of the night, while franchise legend Michael Jordan didn’t attend the event but submitted a video message. Krause is blamed for breaking up the 1990s Bulls, who won six titles during the decade, a point that was emphasized in “The Last Dance” documentary.

“I’m devastated for Thelma and for the Krause family,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was part of those title teams. “I cannot believe that the fans — and you have to understand, when you hear boos, it’s not all of them. The fans who booed, they know who they are. To me, it’s absolutely shameful, and I’m devastated by that. Whether people liked Jerry or not … we’re here to celebrate that team. Jerry did an amazing job building that team. … And I’m so disappointed in the fans — and I want to be specific because there were lots of fans who I’m sure did not boo. But those who booed, they should be ashamed.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Jevon Carter, a free agent addition last summer, appears to have fallen out of the Bulls‘ rotation, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Carter got his second straight DNP-CD against Golden State on Friday as second-year guard Dalen Terry was used ahead of him.
  • Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith was able to play after being listed as questionable Friday night, but he will miss Sunday’s game at Denver due to bilateral shin soreness, according to Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Nesmith has started the last 10 games at small forward, and Dopirak notes that Indiana’s defense has improved since his move into the starting lineup.
  • After waiving Marques Bolden from their NBA roster last weekend, the Bucks have acquired his G League rights in a trade, the Wisconsin Herd announced (via Twitter). The Herd sent the rights to Gary Clark and a pair of 2024 G League draft picks to Salt Lake City in exchange for the 25-year-old center.

Bucks Waive Marques Bolden, Lindell Wigginton

1:50pm: The two Bucks cuts are official, the team confirmed in a press release.

10:16am: The Bucks have waived a pair of two-way players, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears from a league source that big man Marques Bolden and guard Lindell Wigginton have been cut by the team.

A player on a two-way contract who remains on his team’s roster through Sunday is assured of his full-season salary of $559,782, but it seems that won’t be the case for Bolden or Wigginton, who will receive only a prorated portion of that figure.

Bolden had his Exhibit 10 contract converted to a two-way deal in October, prior to the start of regular season. The 25-year-old appeared briefly in just two games for Milwaukee, having spent most of the season with the Wisconsin Herd in the G League. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 24.6 minutes per game across 16 Showcase Cup and regular season appearances for the Herd, with an impressive shooting line of .566/.515/.722.

Like Bolden, Wigginton didn’t have a role for the NBA team during his time with the Bucks, logging eight total minutes in three appearances. The Canadian, who also spent parts of the previous two seasons with Milwaukee, averaged 19.8 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 3.3 RPG on .490/.421/.769 shooting in 10 games (30.2 MPG) for the Herd in 2023/24.

The Bucks now have a pair of two-way slots open next to TyTy Washington Jr. They’ll have nearly two months to fill those spots — the deadline to sign a player to a two-way deal is March 4.

Bucks Convert Marques Bolden To Two-Way Contract

3:24pm: Bolden has officially had his deal converted to a two-way contract, per’s transaction log.

1:51pm: The Bucks are converting center Marques Bolden‘s Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way deal, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bolden, 25, appeared in seven NBA games for the Cavaliers in 2020 and 2021, but has spent the majority of his professional career in the G League, including the last two seasons with the Salt Lake City Stars. Although he was a regular starter for Utah’s G League affiliate in 2021/22, averaging 11.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG in 21 regular season NBAGL games (30.1 MPG), the former Duke Blue Devil was limited to six total appearances for the Stars last season due to a shoulder injury.

Bolden made just 1-of-7 shots from the field in three preseason appearances for Milwaukee and had nearly as many turnovers (4) as points (5), but it seems the team wants to keep him around to provide additional frontcourt depth.

We speculated earlier today that his move might be coming, since Milwaukee had a two-way slot open, waived its other players on camp deals, and was carrying 16 players on standard contracts: Bolden and 15 whose salaries are fully guaranteed.

Once the conversion is official, the Bucks’ roster will be ready for the regular season, though the club could still make more moves between now and Monday’s deadline.

Bucks Sign Marques Bolden To Camp Deal

The Bucks have agreed to sign free agent center Marques Bolden to a training camp contract, reports Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move is official, per RealGM’s transaction log.

Bolden, 25, appeared in seven NBA games for Cleveland in 2020 and 2021, but has spent the majority of his professional career in the G League, including the last two seasons with the Salt Lake City Stars. Although he was a regular starter for Utah’s G League affiliate in 2021/22, averaging 11.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG in 21 regular season NBAGL games (30.1 MPG), the former Duke Blue Devil was limited to six total appearances for the Stars last season due to a shoulder injury.

The Bucks have 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, so they likely don’t envision Bolden having a spot on their regular season roster. Assuming his contract includes Exhibit 10 language, it could be converted to a two-way deal before the regular season begins, though Milwaukee doesn’t currently have a two-way opening either.

Exhibit 10 signees often end up being waived and then reporting to their team’s G League affiliate, earning a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with the NBAGL club. But assuming the Stars still hold Bolden’s returning rights, which appears to be the case, then the Wisconsin Herd – Milwaukee’s affiliate – would need to trade for those rights in order for the big man to receive a bonus from the Bucks.

Milwaukee had been carrying 20 players on its offseason roster, leaving one open spot, so no cut is necessary to make room for Bolden.

Bucks Cut Lindell Wigginton, Marques Bolden

The Bucks have waived guard Lindell Wigginton and center Marques Bolden as they prepare for the regular season, per’s transaction log.

Wigginton, 24, played 19 games (10.5 MPG) as a rookie for Milwaukee last season while on a two-way contract, averaging 4.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 1.2 APG. The Canadian point guard spent most of last season with the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 16.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 4.9 APG in 25 total games.

Bolden, 24, has spent most of his professional career in the G League since going undrafted out of Duke in 2019. In 69 career appearances for the Cavaliers’ and Jazz’s NBAGL affiliates, he has averaged 10.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 23.1 minutes per contest. The big man also spent time in the NBA with Cleveland from 2019-21, first on a 10-day contract and later on a two-way deal, playing a very limited role in seven games for the Cavs.

The Bucks also signed and waived former second-round pick Elijah Hughes today, per That move will secure Hughes’ G League rights for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s affiliate.

Hughes spent most of his first two NBA seasons in Utah, playing sparingly for the Jazz, then was traded to Portland along with Joe Ingles at the 2022 deadline. He averaged 3.8 PPG and 1.9 RPG with a dismal .296/.224/.667 shooting line in 22 games (14.6 MPG) for the Blazers down the stretch.

The Bucks now have 15 players on standard guaranteed contracts and a pair on two-way deals, so they’re set for the regular season.