Mitchell Watt

Pacific Notes: Kings, Thomas, McLemore, Karl

It’s been a busy Monday in the NBA, with teams lining up to capitalize on the Pistons’ bold decision to cut ties with Josh Smith. Three of those teams — the Clippers, Kings and Lakers — reside in the league’s Pacific Division. For what it’s worth, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets that one Raptors player that remains in contact with the KingsRudy Gay predicts that Smith will land in Sacramento (Twitter link). While we continue to amass the Smith rumors, let’s take a look at what else is going on in the Pacific:

  • The idea of three first-rate point guards all fitting into the same system “didn’t make sense” to Isaiah Thomas at first, as he tells TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for Thomas still believes it might not work, but the Suns were nonetheless convincing and “genuine” when they made their case that it would, the former Kings guard said.
  • Playoff-bound teams are making numerous calls to the Kings about Ben McLemore, but Sacramento has no intention of relinquishing the second-year shooting guard, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes as part of his weekly power rankings.
  • There has been no shortage of reports linking George Karl to the Kings’ inevitable head coaching vacancy, though where he stands among other candidates is hard to pin down at the moment. Appearing today on 95.7 The Game, a Bay Area station, Karl indicated he is “interested in any job,” as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group passes along (via Twitter).
  • Mitchell Watt has left the Santa Cruz Warriors to pursue other career opportunities, the D-League team announced via its Twitter feed (Twitter link). He’s heading to Ironi Nes Ziona of the Israeli league, reports David Pick of (on Twitter). Watt signed a deal with the Golden State Warriors in September that contained a small guarantee, but the Buffalo product was released by the team prior to the regular season.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Warriors Waive Five Players

The Warriors have waived Aaron Craft, Jason Kapono, Sean Kilpatrick, James Michael McAdoo, and Mitchell Watt, the team announced in a press release. These moves will reduce Golden State’s preseason roster count to 15, which is the regular season maximum. None of these moves come as a surprise as all were longshots to make the regular season roster. All of the players except for Kapono had partial guarantees for $35K. Kapono’s deal was non-guaranteed, so the Warriors aren’t on the hook for any money for him.

Craft averaged 8.9 PPG and 4.7 APG during his four seasons at Ohio State. He put up 7.4 points in 22.0 minutes per contest in July during Las Vegas summer league play for the Warriors after going undrafted in June. The 22-year-old also joined the Sixers for the Orlando summer league, though he didn’t see nearly as much playing time. Craft appeared in four preseason games, averaging 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.00 steal in 14.7 minutes per contest.

The veteran Kapono appeared in five preseason games, averaging 3.2 and 1.6 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game. The 6’8″, 33 year-old swingman last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season when he appeared in 27 games for the Lakers. Kapono’s career numbers over nine seasons are 6.7 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 0.8 APG. His career slash line is .442/.434/.835. He had officially announced his retirement back in May of this year, but decided to give making the Warriors a shot.

The undrafted Kilpatrick signed with the Warriors on October 20th but did not see any action in the preseason. McAdoo appeared in five preseason games, averaging 5.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 1.2 SPG in 13.0 minutes per contest. Watt appeared in two preseason games, averaging 3.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and a team-leading 1.5 blocks while logging 9.5 minutes per game.

Western Notes: Faried, Warriors, Andersen

Kenneth Faried‘s stellar play with Team USA is going to raise his asking price during his upcoming extension talks with the Nuggets, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. A few months ago a GM told Deveney that Faried was going to be paid in the Paul Millsap ($9.5MM) or Taj Gibson ($8MM) range, but now he’ll most likely command a salary more comparable to Al Jefferson‘s ($13.7MM), the GM opines.

Here’s more from the west:

  • Such a deal for Faried would carry a risk for Denver, according to what one Western Conference assistant coach told Deveney. The assistant said, “I guess you don’t know what kind of production he would give you over a long period of time. What happens if they get Danilo Gallinari back and healthy? Now they have Arron Afflalo back. Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee were not healthy last year. How much will having those guys affect his numbers?
  • The Warriors gave partial guarantees of $35K apiece to Aaron Craft, James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt and Justin Holiday, all of whom are on one-year deals for the minimum salary, as Pincus reports in a pair of tweets and on the Basketball Insiders Warriors salary page.
  • David Andersen has signed with ASVEL Villeurbanne of the French League, the team announced via Twitter (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). Earlier this summer he was eying a possible return to the NBA. Andersen played two seasons in the league, and made his last appearance in the association during the 2010/11 campaign with the Pelicans.  His NBA career averages are 4.9 PPG and 2.8 RPG. His career slash line is .440/.347/.674.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

California Notes: Warriors, Crawford, Nash

The NBA landscape in California has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. In the past, there have been long stretches with the Kings near the top of the division, while the Warriors and Clippers have often scraped the bottom. Currently, Golden State and the formerly hapless Los Angeles franchise have established themselves as perennial playoff teams, while Sacramento underwhelms at the bottom of the division. The Lakers’ decline might turn out to be the most startling development, especially if the purple and gold don’t emerge from their downturn in the next couple seasons. Here’s a rundown of California rumblings this evening:

  • Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle confirms that the contracts of Warriors camp invites James McAdoo and Mitchell Watt are partially guaranteed.
  • Agent Andy Miller has already signaled Jamal Crawford‘s interest in signing an extension when he becomes eligible next summer, and it sounds like the reigning Sixth Man of the Year will have a friendly face on the other side of the negotiating table. Crawford has a longstanding relationship with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer based on their Seattle connections, as Crawford details to Jeff Caplan of“We’ve done a lot of [charity] events together in Seattle, so I’ve known him before he was actually the owner,” Crawford said. “We were texting throughout the year and emailing each other and staying in contact and continuing to work together with charities around Seattle. It’s exciting. I don’t know how many people have actually known their owner before they actually played for the team they were on. So it’s pretty cool.”
  • Despite some thought given by the Lakers to use the stretch provision on Steve Nash, the deadline to execute the maneuver came and went without Los Angeles doing so. Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports that the team was still considering stretching Nash’s deal before its top free agent targets of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh decided to sign elsewhere, eliminating the team’s need to gain cap flexibility from such a move.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Warriors Sign Mitchell Watt

The Warriors have signed former University of Buffalo power forward and Israeli league veteran Mitchell Watt, the team announced via press release. The terms are unclear, but it’s most likely a non-guaranteed training camp invitation for the minimum salary.

The 6’9″ Watt spent summer league with Golden State’s team, averaging 6.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game. He put up 13.4 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 30.3 MPG for Ironi Nes Ziona in Israel this past season, numbers similar to his production in his senior season at Buffalo.

The inking of Watt, which came at the same time Golden State formally announced its signings of Aaron Craft and James Michael McAdoo, gives the club 17 players. That’s three shy of the 20-man preseason roster limit, so more moves are probably in the offing.

Draft Updates: Thursday

The countdown until the 2012 draft is down to two weeks, and this week has been heavy on workouts and trade speculation. We'll track the latest news and rumors on both fronts, along with a handful of other draft-related items, right here. New updates will be added to the top of the page throughout the day….

  • According to their official website, the Pacers will work out Evan Fournier, Ashton Gibbs, Travis Hyman, John Jenkins, Josh Owens, and Tony Wroten Jr. on Friday. 

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