Matisse Thybulle

World Cup Notes: Australia, Africa, Clarkson, Vucevic

Australia is facing a must-win situation to stay alive for a World Cup medal, writes Olgun Uluc of ESPN. Sunday’s loss to Germany means the Boomers will have to get by host Japan on Tuesday to advance past the first round of pool play. It’s an unexpected position for a nation with numerous NBA players on its roster, and coach Brian Goorjian called out his team for a lack of focus.

“When I’m hard like that, is when the effort, the controllable stuff is off,” Goorjian said. “I just thought the first five minutes of the game, we had two or three guys on the floor asleep. Off defensively, rebounds, the schemes were a step off. I just needed that timeout to use my voice. Again, that’s really the only time I go off. It’s been very rare; I think that’s the first time since I’ve had them this year that I’ve had to do that.”

Goorjian may need to consider a lineup change to boost the team, Uluc adds. Josh Giddey has taken over as the play-maker, but he needs to be surrounded by outside shooters. Matisse Thybulle and Nick Kay haven’t been able to fill that role, allowing opponents to pack the paint. Uluc notes that Goorjian has considered starting Josh Green at forward, which may be necessary to change Australia’s fortunes.

There’s more from the World Cup:

  • Monday was a historic day for African basketball as two nations picked up their first-ever World Cup victories, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. South Sudan defeated China and Cape Verde topped Venezuela, leaving both teams in contention for second-round berths and a possible spot in next year’s Olympics. “I’m still speechless,” Cape Verde’s Will Tavares said. “I feel like I’m in a dream right now, but the win was so big for us and our country and our families. We made a statement. Even though we’re the smallest country, we have so much heart.”
  • The Philippines is 0-2 with losses to the Dominican Republic and Angola, but Jordan Clarkson tells Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops that he’s grateful for the enthusiastic response from the Manila crowd. “It was fun, it was definitely amazing,” he said. “The turnout and the support were great. For us, being the host city is definitely felt. A lot of our games will be loud and packed out: we looking forward to those.”
  • In a Sportando interview, Nikola Vucevic says Montenegro feels like a legitimate contender after defeating Mexico and Egypt in its first two games.

Mavs Acquire Grant Williams In Three-Team Sign-And-Trade

JULY 12: The Mavericks, Celtics, and Spurs have put out press releases officially confirming that their three-team deal is official. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Mavericks acquire Williams (via sign-and-trade), the Spurs’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Spurs’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • Spurs acquire Bullock and the right to swap 2030 first-round picks with the Mavericks.
  • Celtics acquire either the Pelicans’ or Bulls’ 2024 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable; from Spurs), the Mavericks’ 2030 second-round pick, and the right to swap the most favorable of the Wizards’, Warriors’, and Pistons’ 2025 second-round picks with the Mavericks’ 2025 second-round pick.

JULY 5: The Mavericks, Celtics and Spurs are finalizing a three-team trade that will send restricted free agent forward Grant Williams to Dallas, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

According to Charania, the Spurs will receive Reggie Bullock and an unprotected 2030 pick swap from the Mavs, while the Celtics will receive multiple second-round picks.

Charania hears Williams will receive a four-year, $54MM contract as part of the transaction, while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has heard (via Twitter) it’s $53MM. The deal is fully guaranteed and does not feature any options, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The Celtics and Mavericks will each receive two second-rounders as part of the trade, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). According to Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe, the Celtics will also receive a 2025 second-round pick swap (Twitter link).

Interestingly, the reported figure Williams will receive is the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which will be worth $53.34MM over four years. However, since the Mavs are acquiring him via sign-and-trade, they will preserve their MLE and still have “strong interest” in using it to sign restricted free agent Matisse Thybulle to an offer sheet, per Marc Stein (Twitter links). Dallas will be hard-capped at the first luxury tax apron due to the sign-and-trade, Stein notes.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks has a detailed list of the cap complications from the deal (via Twitter). The Mavs are approximately $9MM below the first apron, so they’ll have to clear some additional cap space to have access to the full MLE, which starts at $12.4MM in 2023/24.

They could open up an additional $3.4MM — the exact difference between those two figures — by releasing JaVale McGee and using the stretch provision on his contract, Marks adds. Dallas will also generate a $10.5MM trade exception, equivalent to Bullock’s outgoing salary.

The Celtics, meanwhile, will create a $6.2MM trade exception of their own, which is half of Williams’ projected salary. It would have cost Boston $40MM against the luxury tax to pay Williams’ salary, per Marks.

As for the Spurs, they’ll use some of their cap room to accommodate Bullocks’ $10.5MM salary, according to Marks, who notes they’ll have about $12.5MM in space remaining after the deal.

Himmelsbach was the first to point out (via Twitter) that Williams’ contract is right in the ballpark of what he was rumored to be seeking in an extension before the ’22/23 season started. Jared Weiss of The Athletic hears (Twitter link) the Celtics were willing to meet Williams’ asking price in the fall, but only if the deal included incentives.

Williams, 24, just completed his rookie scale contract and hit restricted free agency after four seasons with Boston. He turned himself into a valuable 3-and-D player in recent years, playing an important role in helping the Celtics make the Finals and Eastern Conference finals the past two seasons.

Since the start of ’21/22, Williams averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG on .464/.403/.829 shooting in 156 games (44 starts, 25.1 MPG). His versatile defense was particularly essential in the postseason, and he could be a nice complementary fit next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who aren’t known for their play on that end. It’s also worth noting that Williams is from Houston, about 240 miles from Dallas.

Veteran wing Bullock, 32, is another 3-and-D player who often guards top perimeter players, though his defense slipped a bit last season to my eyes (Bullock’s 116.5 defensive rating was 0.4 worse than the team’s 25th-ranked D at 116.1). He has been a rotation regular over the past two seasons for Dallas and is a career 38.4% shooter from behind the arc.

As Marks noted, paying Williams would have been exorbitantly expensive, but he will be missed. His departure seemed likely after the Celtics acquired Kristaps Porzingis and his $36MM deal in a trade. They’ll reportedly receive some draft compensation to try and recoup some value in the sign-and-trade (they were rumored to be looking for a first-round pick).

Mavs Notes: G. Williams, Kyrie, Holmes, Thybulle

The Mavericks entered this offseason aiming to get younger, more athletic, and stronger defensively, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that swapping out Reggie Bullock for Grant Williams could help achieve a couple of those goals. Dallas pivoted to Williams in free agency after missing out on Bruce Brown and will land the restricted free agent in a sign-and-trade deal with Boston.

As Cato outlines, Williams will essentially be playing the role that players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Bullock had in Dallas last season, guarding opposing perimeter threats on defense and stretching the floor on offense.

However, Cato believes that Williams has more to offer on offense than the players he’s replacing, writing that the Mavs’ newest forward isn’t as “static” and could get an opportunity to be a secondary creator when Luka Doncic and/or Kyrie Irving are double-teamed.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Irving’s new three-year contract, originally reported to be worth $126MM, actually has a guaranteed base value of $120MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The remaining $6MM is made up incentives that are tied to games played and team success — Kyrie can earn $1MM per year by playing at least 65 games and $1MM each year the Mavs get to 50 wins (and Irving plays at least 58 games), reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Richaun Holmes waived his $1.8MM trade kicker as part of the deal that sent him from Sacramento to Dallas, per MacMahon (Twitter link). That gave the Mavericks a little extra flexibility under their hard cap for their offer sheet to Matisse Thybulle, which was matched by Portland. The Mavs’ team salary remains $10.9MM below that hard cap, according to MacMahon and Marks.
  • Thybulle will be returning to the Trail Blazers after they matched his offer sheet, but it doesn’t sound like that was his preferred outcome. On the #thisleague UNCUT podcast, Marc Stein said that ending up in Dallas was something Thybulle had “been wanting even before this summer,” and Chris Haynes agreed. “Matisse desperately wanted to be a member of the Dallas Mavericks,” Haynes said (hat tip to Ashish Mathur of

Blazers Match Mavericks’ Offer For Matisse Thybulle

JULY 8: NBA teams were notified on Friday night that the Blazers officially matched the Mavs’ offer sheet for Thybulle, reports Marc Stein (via Twitter).

JULY 6: The Trail Blazers have elected to match the three-year, $33MM offer sheet that Matisse Thybulle received from the Mavericks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The offer sheet was signed and submitted to Portland Thursday morning, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The new Collective Bargaining Agreement gives teams just one day to decide whether to match offer sheets if they’re received before noon.

Thybulle’s new deal contains an $11.5MM player option for the third season, per Wojnarowski. It also features a 15% trade kicker, tweets Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

The Blazers will keep the 26-year-old swingman, who was acquired in a February trade with the Sixers. Thybulle was a restricted free agent after not working out a contract extension with Philadelphia last summer.

Thybulle is a defensive standout, with two appearances on the All-Defensive team in his first four seasons. He struggled to score with the Sixers, although his numbers improved after coming to Portland, where he became a full-time starter and averaged 7.4 PPG in 22 games while shooting 43.8% from the field and 38.8% from three-point range.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks details (via Twitter), Thybulle will have the right to veto any trade for the next year and cannot be dealt to the Mavs during that time. He will become trade-eligible on January 15.

According to Marks, the Blazers are $3.4MM below the luxury tax line with 13 players under standard contract, while the Mavs are $9MM below the tax and still have access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which starts at $12.4MM in 2023/24.

The move is a setback for Dallas, which is hoping to remake its supporting cast around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The Mavericks are acquiring Grant Williams from the Celtics in a sign-and-trade deal and may search for another defensive-minded wing on the free agent market now that Thybulle is unavailable.

Mavs To Sign Thybulle To Offer Sheet; Blazers Will Have Right To Match

8:30pm: Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report believes there’s a “strong chance” the Blazers will match the offer sheet (Twitter link).

8:20pm: Thybulle will sign the offer sheet on Thursday, Haynes reports (via Twitter). Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that it will be a three-year, $33MM deal (Twitter link). Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was first to report that the Mavs would likely pay the 26-year-old slightly below the full mid-level exception.

With the Mavs poised to land Grant Williams in a sign-and-trade deal involving Reggie Bullock, team salary projects to be above the $172.3MM hard cap based on the salary figures reported for Thybulle and Williams, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Either some of Dallas’ signings will come in lower than reported or the team would have to shed some salary if it lands Thybulle.

11:18am: Restricted free agent forward Matisse Thybulle intends to sign an offer sheet with the Mavericks, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter link). The Trail Blazers will have the right the match the offer to retain Thybulle.

One of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, Thybulle has earned two All-Defensive nods during his first four years in the league. However, he has struggled to make an impact on the other side of the ball.

In 245 games with the Sixers during his first three-and-a-half seasons in the league, Thybulle averaged just 4.4 points per game on .448/.325/.667 shooting. He bumped those numbers to 7.4 PPG on .438/.388/.625 shooting in 22 contests with the Blazers following a February trade that sent him to Portland.

The Mavericks don’t have any cap room available, but they haven’t used any of their $12.4MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception, so their offer sheet for Thybulle will presumably come out of that figure. While the terms of the offer aren’t yet known, it will have to cover at least two seasons.

Marc Stein, who previously reported Dallas’ interest in Thybulle, said at the time that Portland has sent “behind-the-scenes signals” that it will match any reasonable offer sheet on the restricted free agent wing. It appears the Mavs are prepared to test the Blazers’ commitment to the 26-year-old, perhaps hoping that the uncertainty surrounding Damian Lillard‘s future will cause the team to waver on locking in Thybulle.

The two teams could theoretically still negotiate a sign-and-trade agreement, but that won’t be possible once Thybulle officially signs his offer sheet. At that time, the Blazers would simply have to decide whether to match it or whether to let him go to Dallas.

If Thybulle formally signs an offer sheet and Portland receives it before the July moratorium ends on Thursday at 12:00 pm Eastern time, the Blazers will have until 11:59 pm on Friday to make their decision. Players can sign offer sheets during the moratorium, but the clock on the matching team doesn’t start ticking until the moratorium is over.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams have one full day to match an offer sheet received before noon and two full days to match an offer sheet that comes in after noon. For example, if the Blazers were to receive Thybulle’s signed offer sheet at 3:00 pm ET on Thursday, they’d have until 11:59 pm on Saturday to make their decision.

The Mavericks were also said to have interest in restricted free agent forward Grant Williams.

Stein’s Latest: RFAs, Washington, Mavs, Bol, JVG, Bojan

There has been more buzz in recent days about restricted free agents Grant Williams and Matisse Thybulle – who reportedly intends to sign an offer sheet with Dallas – than Hornets RFA P.J. Washington, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. As Stein explains, there are a couple reasons for that.

For one, the Hornets are in a better position to a match a rival offer sheet than Boston or Portland. The Celtics project to be well over the luxury tax line, while the Trail Blazers still aren’t certain what their books will look like after they finalize a Damian Lillard trade.

Additionally, while the Celtics and Trail Blazers would both have to weigh whether or not to match offer sheets signed using the mid-level exception, such a deal would presumably be an automatic match for the Hornets with Washington. According to Stein, Washington is believed to be seeking a deal in the range of $18MM per year.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Following up on a report that the Magic and Mavericks discussed a trade involving Bol Bol around the time of the draft, Stein explains that Dallas pitched the idea of taking on Bol as a salary dump along with Orlando’s No. 36 overall pick. The Magic turned down that proposal and ended up moving No. 36 for a 2030 second-round pick and cash.
  • Jeff Van Gundy, who was recently let go by ESPN, told the Mavericks he wasn’t interested in a job as an assistant on Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff, according to Stein, who says that it’s not yet known whether Van Gundy will attempt to return to coaching in some form or seek another broadcasting opportunity.
  • While teams around the league remain interested in acquiring forward Bojan Bogdanovic, the Pistons have held firm on their stance that they plan to keep the sharpshooting veteran, says Stein. There seems to be little concern about the Achilles issue that sidelined Bogdanovic for Detroit’s final 18 games, Stein adds, noting that the general sense is that the Pistons were just being “extra cautious,” with little to play for.

Washington, Williams, Thybulle Among RFAs Still Available

Of the eight free players on our list of top 50 free agents who have yet to reach new deals, five are restricted free agents. Those five restricted free agents are also the only ones still available at all (not including those coming off on two-way deals). Those players are as follows:

While I’m sure these five players would’ve preferred to agree to lucrative new contracts in the opening hours of free agency, it’s not necessarily an ominous sign that they’ve yet to line up new deals four days later. It can sometimes take a little longer for the market for restricted free agents to develop, but it doesn’t mean they won’t get paid.

A year ago, for instance, Deandre Ayton didn’t sign his maximum-salary offer sheet with the Pacers (which was quickly matched by the Suns) until July 14, two weeks after the start of free agency. Collin Sexton, who received a four-year, $71MM in a sign-and-trade deal that sent him to Utah as part of the Donovan Mitchell blockbuster, didn’t resolve his restricted free agency until September.

The same thing happens with a few restricted free agents just about every year. In 2021, RFAs like Josh Hart (three years, $38MM) and Lauri Markkanen (four years, $67MM) took multiple weeks to reach new contract agreements.

In other words, there’s still plenty of time for Washington, Williams, Thybulle, Dosunmu, and Reed to find deals they like.

Washington, Williams, and Thybulle, in particular, seem like good bets to cash in sooner or later. A report over the weekend indicated that Washington was drawing interest from multiple teams besides the Hornets. Williams has reportedly received interest from Charlotte and Dallas, with the Mavericks also said to be keeping an eye on Thybulle.

It would be a surprise if any of them had to settle for a below-market deal. It sounds like teams are still in the process of figuring out if an offer sheet will be an exercise in futility or if there’s a legitimate chance to pry away one of those players from his current club — and if so, what the price point would be.

There hasn’t been as much chatter about Dosunmu or Reed, but there haven’t been any red flags on either front. Their qualifying offers ($5.2MM for Dosunmu; $2.3MM for Reed) remain in place as one-year fallback options.

The Spurs are the one team that still has enough cap room to make a strong play for any of those top RFAs, if they so choose. The Rockets may also be able to offer more than the full mid-level, depending on how all their moves shake out, and teams below the tax apron are free to try to negotiate sign-and-trades.

It has become pretty rare for restricted free agents to change teams via offer sheets, but sign-and-trade deals aren’t uncommon — they get the player to his preferred landing spot while ensuring that his old team picks up an asset or two.

There are still several unrestricted free agents whose landing spots will be worth watching too, including Christian Wood, Kelly Oubre, Hamidou Diallo, Jaylen Nowell, and Dario Saric. But at this point in free agency, it’s the RFA market that looks more intriguing.

Stein’s Latest: Mavs, Thybulle, J. Allen, Maxey, D. Powell

In addition to their previously reported interest in Grant Williams, the Mavericks have their eye on another restricted free agent, Matisse Thybulle of the Trail Blazers, league sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Substack story).

It’s unclear if Dallas has a real shot at either player — according to Stein, the Celtics and Blazers have been sending “behind-the-scenes signals” that they plan to match any offer sheet on their respective RFAs, and the over-the-cap Mavericks will be limited to the mid-level exception.

Besides pursuing another wing, the Mavericks would still like to upgrade their center spot. They explored trades for Clint Capela and Deandre Ayton and would have been interested in Naz Reid if he had reached free agency, Stein writes. For now, Dwight Powell and Richaun Holmes appears poised to vie for the starting job as lottery pick Dereck Lively adjusts to the NBA.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest look around the league:

  • There have been some “whispers” this week that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen may be more available via trade than the team is letting on, says Stein. Allen was an All-Star in 2021/22 and had another solid season in ’22/23, but struggled to make an impact during Cleveland’s first-round playoff loss to New York.
  • Stein, like some other reporters, has heard that the Sixers have essentially made Tyrese Maxey untouchable in trade discussions. A team source tells Stein that Philadelphia views Maxey as an integral part of the club’s future and is adamant that he won’t be available in any trade.
  • According to Stein, Dwight Powell received “serious” interest from the Rockets before deciding to remain with the Mavericks. Houston pivoted to Jock Landale after Powell chose Dallas, Stein explains.

Blazers Issue Qualifying Offer To Matisse Thybulle

2:39pm: The Blazers aren’t expected to tender a qualifying offer to Reddish, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

2:12pm: The Trail Blazers have issued a qualifying offer to Matisse Thybulle, making him a restricted free agent, the team announced today in a press release.

Thybulle’s qualifying offer is a one-year, $6,275,862 contract offer that he has the option of accepting. If he wants to negotiate a more lucrative and/or multiyear deal, Portland will control the process as long as that QO remains on the table. Thybulle could sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Blazers would have the right of first refusal, giving them the ability to match it.

Thybulle opened last season by averaging a career-low 12.1 minutes and 2.7 points per game in 49 appearances for the Sixers. As talented a perimeter defender as he is, the 26-year-old didn’t appear to be a lock to receive a qualifying offer at that point due to his offensive shortcomings.

However, Thybulle finished the season strong after a February trade sent him to Portland. In 22 games (all starts) as a Blazer, he bumped his scoring average to a career-best 7.4 PPG and grabbed 3.4 RPG while making 38.8% of his three-pointers. A two-time All-Defensive player during his first four NBA seasons, Thybulle could be a valuable rotation player if he can continue to develop his offensive game.

Notably, today’s Portland press release doesn’t include any mention of Cam Reddish, another Blazers player who is eligible for restricted free agency. The team has until Thursday to issue a qualifying offer to Reddish, but clubs typically announce their QOs at the same time. If Reddish doesn’t get a $7.7MM QO from the Blazers, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Blazers Rumors: Grant, Thybulle, Reddish, No. 3 Pick, Sharpe, More

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant still appears on track to become a free agent this offseason rather than accepting the maximum four-year, $113MM extension he can sign until June 30. Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report said he doesn’t expect the annual salary on Grant’s next deal to be worth more than about $30MM, but suggests that the forward may be waiting until free agency in order to get a fifth year from Portland.

“I think it’s going to come out around five years, $150 million, with probably a player option,” Highkin said. “I know he gets talked about as one of the top free agents on the market, but I’d expect that gets done pretty quickly. It might even be a (6:01 pm) on June 30th type of signing.”

As for restricted free agents Matisse Thybulle and Cam Reddish, Highkin views Thybulle as the player who is more likely to re-sign with the Blazers, suggesting that the former Sixer will be a priority for the front office. Highkin is less certain about Portland’s appetite for a new deal with Reddish, telling Scotto that the team would probably have interest in bringing back the former lottery pick if the price is right.

Here are more highlights from the conversation between Scotto and Highkin:

  • Scotto has gotten the sense that the Trail Blazers are comfortable keeping the No. 3 overall pick and drafting either Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson, even as they plan to continue building around Damian Lillard. However, Highkin believes Portland is far more likely to trade the pick for an established veteran, mentioning two-way forwards like Jaylen Brown and Pascal Siakam as potential targets while downplaying the likelihood of the club pursuing offensive-minded players like Zach LaVine. Another Raptors forward, OG Anunoby, has also been linked to the Blazers and would be a good fit on the roster, but Highkin doesn’t expect Portland to give up the No. 3 pick for Anunoby.
  • There are some people in Portland who believe Shaedon Sharpe has All-Star potential, according to Scotto. Highkin agrees that the Blazers are high on Sharpe and expects he’ll be kept out of any trade that doesn’t return a superstar (Joel Embiid or something like that”). Anfernee Simons is the more likely trade candidate, Highkin explains, given his larger cap hit and his fit next to Lillard. Sharpe, who has more size and defensive upside than Simons, is the more logical long-term backcourt partner for Dame.
  • The Blazers may make some changes to their coaching staff this summer to give Chauncey Billups some more experienced assistants, Highkin notes. The organization remains optimistic about Billups’ potential as a head coach and wants to give him an opportunity to lead a more competitive roster, Highkin adds.
  • When the Blazers signed Jusuf Nurkic to a four-year, $70MM contract last offseason, that didn’t necessarily mean they thought he was their center of the future, according to Highkin, who believes the team is “very open” to moving Nurkic and will explore trade possibilities this summer. Highkin suggests that Nurkic’s willingness to be shut down with a leg injury in 2021/22 when Portland went into tank mode played a part in Portland’s decision to “take care” of him in free agency last summer.