Matt Costello

And-Ones: Zion, World Cup, Schedule, Marinkovic

Zion Williamson, one of the top free agents on the shoe endorsement market, has reached a deal with Jordan Brand, he announced today on Instagram. Although terms of the multi-year arrangement were not released, Williamson received offers in excess of $10MM a year from some of Jordan’s competitors, relays Nick DePaula of ESPN.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

The company held an all-employees meeting this morning where the news was disclosed. Digital billboards featuring Williamson are scheduled to be unveiled soon.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • FIBA’s decision to move the World Cup to the summer before the Olympics may be responsible for so many stars deciding to skip the event, tweets Michael Lee of The Athletic. He notes that it’s difficult to find elite players who are willing to commit two straight offseasons to international competition. Many of the players who withdrew are sincere about their desire to prepare for the upcoming season, observes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). With no obvious favorite for the 2019/20 title, many stars are seeking any advantage they can get. Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan are the latest players to pull their names out of consideration for Team USA.
  • A summer filled with blockbuster trades and unprecedented free agent movement presents unique challenges for schedule makers, writes Jacob Feldman of Sports Illustrated. The scheduling process usually starts in mid-June, but the league came to an agreement with ESPN and TNT to push it back because of the expected flurry of transactions. The schedule release is still anticipated for its normal time of early to mid-August.
  • Kings second-round pick Vanja Marinkovic will leave his Partizan Belgrade team to sign with Valencia in Spain, tweets international basketball consultant Vedran Modric. It will be a two-year deal with an option for a third season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link).
  • Center Matt Costello, who played briefly for the Spurs during the 2017/18 season, has reached a deal with Spanish club Herbalife Gran Canaria, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando.

Raptors Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

As the Raptors‘ players and coaches focus on preparing for a potential NBA Finals close-out game in Oakland on Thursday night, the team’s front office will take a closer look at a number of veteran free agents over the next two days in Toronto.

According to a press release, the Raptors will host a free agent mini-camp at its practice facility on Wednesday and Thursday, with 23 players scheduled to attend.

Those players are as follows:

McLemore, Patton, and Payne – all former first-round picks – are perhaps the most well-known players on the list of participants, but they aren’t the only ones with some NBA experience. Artis, Brussino, Costello, Lofton, Thomas, and Weber have each appeared in at least one regular season game as well.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

Matt Costello Signs With Italian Team

Matt Costello, a two-way player with the Spurs last season, has signed with Scandone Avellino in Italy, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

The former Michigan State center played almost exclusively in the G League after signing with San Antonio last summer. He appeared in just four NBA games, averaging 8.0 minutes per night, but put up 8.0 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 30 games with the Austin Spurs in his second season in the G League.

Costello, 24, was San Antonio’s last unrestricted free agent. Darrun Hilliard, who filled the team’s other two-way slot last year, is restricted and remains unsigned.

International Notes: Alexander, Paul, Costello

Former Trail Blazers forward and Kansas standout Cliff Alexander will continue his playing career in Germany. Alexander has signed a two-year contract to join German team Brose Bamberg, the club announced today in a press release.

While Alexander only appeared in a total of eight regular season NBA games for Portland, he has spent time with a handful of teams. The ex-Jayhawk was in camp with the Magic in 2016 and the Pelicans in 2017, and signed a 10-day contract with the Nets near the end of the 2016/17 season.

Here are a few more notes on one-time NBA players who are playing – or may play – in international leagues this season:

  • Having been waived by the Spurs on Tuesday, shooting guard Brandon Paul appears to already be drawing interest from teams in Europe. Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays a report from El Mundo Deportivo suggesting that Barcelona and Baskonia of the Spanish League may have their eye on Paul.
  • Matt Costello, another former Spurs player who spent last season on a two-way contract with the club, is weighing offers from Italy’s Avellino and Turkey’s Galatasaray, a source tells Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Costello intends to take some time to make his decision, per Cauchi.
  • Former second-round pick Tibor Pleiss, who appeared in 12 NBA games for the Jazz back in 2015/16, will continue to play in Europe. The big man signed with Turkish club Anadolu Efes on a one-year deal featuring a second-year option, according to an announcement from the team (Twitter link).

Spurs Issue QOs To Anderson, Forbes, Hilliard

The Spurs have extended qualifying offers to Kyle Anderson, Bryn Forbes, and Darrun Hilliard, according to RealGM’s official transactions log. A previous report indicated that San Antonio also issued a QO to Davis Bertans, so all four players are on track to become restricted free agents on Sunday.

Anderson, 24, stepped into the starting lineup in Kawhi Leonard‘s place in 2017/18, making 67 starts for the Spurs during the regular season. As a result, he met the starter criteria, increasing the value of his qualifying offer to $4,749,591.

The Spurs’ other qualifying offers are more modest. Forbes and Bertans will receive identical QOs worth approximately $1.7MM, while Hilliard – a two-way player – will receive a one-year, two-way contract offer with a $50K guarantee.

Any of those four players could simply sign their one-year qualifying offer, but they’ll have other options, including negotiating a new agreement with the Spurs or seeking out an offer sheet from another team. If any of the four RFAs signs an offer sheet with a rival suitor, San Antonio would have the right of first refusal, and would have to decide within two days whether to match it.

Of the Spurs players eligible for qualifying offers, only one – Matt Costello – hasn’t received one. Assuming Costello doesn’t get a QO, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday, while San Antonio would open up one of its two-way contract slots.

Spurs Sign Matt Costello To Two-Way Deal

July 24: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

July 20: The Spurs are set to sign Summer League standout Matt Costello to a two-way contract, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). It will be the first two-way deal in the franchise’s history.

A Michigan State alum, Costello went undrafted in 2016, but caught on with the Hawks and spent training camp with the club. The big man didn’t make Atlanta’s regular season roster, but was signed – and then waived again – by the Grizzlies at the end of the preseason so that Memphis could gain his G League rights. Costello ultimately spent the season with Iowa, averaging 9.5 PPG and 10.3 RPG in 23 contests.

Costello showed off his rebounding prowess again this summer in Las Vegas, as his 12.0 RPG led all players in Summer League action. The 23-year-old played for the Timberwolves’ squad in Summer League, and according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), Minnesota also had significant interest in locking up Costello to a two-way contract. However, he’ll make the move to San Antonio, and figures to spend much of 2017/18 with the Austin Spurs.

For more information on how two-way contracts work and how much they pay, be sure to check out our FAQ.

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

Cap Details: Sixers, Heat, Pelicans, Warriors

With regular-season rosters now set, Bobby Marks of The Vertical and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders have been working hard to update details for recent signings, cuts, guarantee dates, and other aspects of the salary cap. Listed below are a few of their latest reports, which we’ve included in our latest updates of our own 2016/17 salary cap snapshots. Let’s dive in…

  • Dionte Christmas recently signed a contract with the Sixers that allowed the team to secure his D-League rights. Although he was waived almost immediately after signing that deal, Christmas landed a $50K guarantee from Philadelphia, per Marks and Pincus.
  • Filling in the blanks on a summer trade, Pincus tweets that the Heat sent $400K to the Pelicans in the deal that saw Luke Babbitt land in Miami.
  • According to both Marks and Pincus, the following players received increased guarantees for surviving preseason roster cuts: Dorian Finney-Smith (Mavericks) now has a $150K guarantee, Rodney McGruder (Heat) has a $300K guarantee, and John Jenkins (Suns) has a fully guaranteed $1.051MM salary.
  • Meanwhile, both Marks and Pincus now list Joffrey Lauvergne‘s $1.71MM salary with the Thunder as fully guaranteed. It was previously believed to be partially guaranteed.
  • According to Marks, Matt Costello got $31.5K guaranteed from the Grizzlies, Lamar Patterson received a $100K guarantee from the Kings, and JaVale McGee has a $250K partial guarantee from the Warriors. Marks indicates that McGee’s guarantee will increase to $500K if he’s still under contract through December 1.

Grizzlies Waive Matt Costello

The Grizzlies have officially waived Matt Costello, the team announced via press release. It’s unclear if Costello’s deal included any guaranteed salary that the team will be responsible for, as contract details have not been relayed for the initial signing.

Costello was waived by the Hawks last Monday and inked by the Grizzlies on Thursday. The undrafted rookie out of Michigan State averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.0 minutes during his two preseason appearances with Atlanta.

Memphis also confirmed the previously-reported release of Jordan Adams, so the team’s roster now stands at 15 players, which is the regular season maximum.