Nick Minnerath

Free Agent Rumors: Howard, Lee, Waiters

Dwight Howard‘s meeting with the Hawks has concluded and a source tells Chris Broussard of (Twitter link) that Atlanta was “impressive.” Howard will still listen to the Celtics’ pitch, as well as speak with other teams, and a decision is expected to be made within the the next day.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Minnesota GM Scott Layden has reached out to Courtney Lee, but no offer has been made yet, Darren Wolfson of tweets. In addition to the Wolves, Lee has received interest from the Knicks, Kings, Nets and Hawks, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Kennedy adds that Atlanta’s interest in Lee is contingent on Kent Bazemore‘s decision to stay or leave in free agency.
  • Dion Waiters will have a face-to-face meeting with the Kings this weekend, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Pompey adds that the Sixers would like their own meeting with the shooting guard.
  • James Ennis has received calls from the Pelicans, Mavericks, Clippers, Warriors and Hawks, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link).
  • Nick Minnerath is receiving interest from the Nets, Lakers, Wizards, Pelicans and Mavericks, tweets international journalist David Pick.  Minnerath last played in the D-League for the Canton Charge.

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

And-Ones: Love, Knicks, Turner, Butler

If the Cavaliers are going to make a major change this offseason, it’ll be Kevin Love on the trading block, reports Chris Mannix of The Vertical“If they go out like this, I’m betting on a Kevin Love auction,” one league executive tells Mannix. Love had just five points in 21 minutes during Sunday night’s blowout loss to the Warriors.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Knicks are rumored to have interest in Evan Turner and Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears that the interest in mutual (Twitter link). Turner will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Bulls forward Jimmy Butler has a strong desire to play in the Olympics despite hearing about all the players who will sit out, Vincent Goodwill of Comcast Sportsnet tweets.
  • Nick Minnerath has worked out for the Clippers, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. Minnerath, who formerly played for the Canton Charge of the D-League,  will also attend free agent mini-camps with the Pistons and Mavs later this month.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.

Cavs Waive Nick Minnerath

2:01pm: The move is official, the team announced.

1:01pm: The Cavs will waive combo forward Nick Minnerath to make room for Tristan Thompson, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The team is at the 20-man roster maximum and can’t officially re-sign Thompson until it releases someone, and it looks like Minnerath is the one to go. The 26-year-old who went undrafted out of the University of Detroit Mercy in 2013 joined the Cavs last month on a non-guaranteed deal.

Minnerath averaged 2.7 points in 9.8 minutes per game over three preseason appearances for Cleveland. He spent the first two seasons of his pro career playing in France and Spain, though he had brushes with the NBA during summer league in 2013 and 2014. He’ll next play for the D-League affiliate of the Cavs assuming he clears waivers, Haynes writes in a full story, so it looks like the Cavs will make him one of the four camp cuts whose D-League rights they’re allowed to claim.

Cleveland plans to keep its roster at the 20-man preseason maximum as long as possible, as Haynes reported last week, which means the Cavs probably won’t make extensive cuts until Saturday, the last day for teams to waive summer contracts without them counting against the cap. The Cavs had been planning to carry only 14 players on opening night, as Haynes also reported prior to the Thompson deal, so that puts the non-guaranteed contracts of Dionte ChristmasQuinn CookJack CooleyJared CunninghamAustin Daye and D.J. Stephens in jeopardy.

Cavs Notes: Williams, J.R. Smith, Blatt

Mo Williams is a client of Mark Bartelstein but said Monday that he represented himself in free agency, tweets Dave McMenamin of The point guard who simply wanted to return to the Cavaliers signed a two-year deal for nearly $4.295MM after trying and failing to get the team to lift the value of the deal, as McMenamin relays. Williams also said he rooted for the Cavs even when he wasn’t playing for them, as George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal writes.

“I didn’t see me [being] over here because I said they’re pretty good at point guard,” Williams said.  “[Matthew Dellavedova] was coming out of his shell and turning into a player. I didn’t see that then. Obviously once the conversation started with [GM David Griffin], I saw a bigger role for me and listening to him, I thought it was a good place for me to be.”

Williams was coy when asked about his relationship with LeBron James, Thomas notes in the same piece, pointing to tweets Williams made in the past criticizing the four-time MVP. However, James embraced the idea of Williams’ return to the team, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this summer. See more from Cleveland here:

  • J.R. Smith will make $5MM with the Cavs on his new deal this year after declining a player option worth about $6.4MM, but he expressed no regret over that decision Monday, Haynes notes (Twitter link). “I’m a gambler,” Smith said. “I’ll take a gamble on myself any day.”
  • Michael Dunigan was the last of the Cavaliers camp invitees to be reported, but he was the first to sign, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All Twitter links). Cleveland ordered its transactions thusly so that it could sign Jared Cunningham, Chris Johnson, Austin Daye, D.J. Stephens, Quinn Cook and Nick Minnerath to Exhibit 9 contracts that cover one season at the minimum salary with no money guaranteed and limited injury protection, Pincus reports. Teams have to have 14 players signed to non-Exhibit 9 contracts before they can sign anyone to an Exhibit 9, and Dunigan was the 14th player, as Pincus reveals. Dunigan is on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary with standard injury protection, according to Pincus, so the Cavs would be on the hook for his salary for as long as he’s sidelined if he were to get hurt while playing for them.
  • One of the best ways for David Blatt to show he’s learned after his first year in the NBA will be to cut down the minutes for LeBron to keep him fresh, opines Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • We looked at the latest involving Tristan Thompson right here.

Cavs Sign Michael Dunigan, Quinn Cook, Five Others

The Cavaliers have signed center Michael Dunigan, the team revealed on its training camp roster, one that also officially confirmed earlier reports of deals with Jared Cunningham, Austin Daye, Chris Johnson, Nick Minnerath and D.J. Stephens. Quinn Cook also appears on the roster, so it looks like he and the team have worked out a deal, as expected. Cleveland has 20 players, 13 of whom have fully guaranteed contracts, though those totals don’t include Tristan Thompson, who remains in restricted free agency with Thursday looming as the final day for him to sign his qualifying offer before it expires. The Cavs would have to waive a player before signing Thompson, since they’re at the preseason roster limit.

Dunigan, 26, was in camp with the Grizzlies in 2012, but he’s chiefly played overseas since going undrafted in 2011. The Mike Naiditch client came stateside to spend part of last season with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, putting up 11.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game across 24 regular season appearances, so the Cavs are familiar with him. It’s unclear exactly what sort of terms he’s getting, though Cleveland is limited to paying the minimum salary, just as with all the rest of the deals the team confirmed today.

Cook, 22, went undrafted out of Duke this year. Conflicting reports had clouded the matter of whether he and the team had agreed to a deal, but Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the point guard would be on a non-guaranteed pact.

Cunningham and Daye are former first-round picks. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Cunningham’s deal with the team, with Haynes noting that the 24-year-old shooting guard would be on a non-guaranteed contract. Charania also first reported Daye’s deal, and international journalist David Pick added that the pact for the 27-year-old small forward would be non-guaranteed.

Johnson, a 30-year-old center from LSU, is not to be confused with the swingman by the same name. Haynes reported his deal, which is for one year at the minimum salary and non-guaranteed. Haynes also had the story of Minnerath’s one-year deal. The 26-year-old combo forward is on a non-guaranteed pact.

Zach Links of Hoops Rumors first reported the Stephens deal. The terms of the contract for the 24-year-old high-flying swingman are unclear, beyond the fact that he’ll be making the minimum.

Cavaliers To Sign Nick Minnerath

The Cavaliers have agreed to a deal with unrestricted free agent forward Nick Minnerath, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (Twitter link). The pact is for one year and non-guaranteed, Haynes adds. It’ll have to be for the minimum salary, since that’s all the Cavs can offer after spending the taxpayer’s mid-level exception on Mo Williams and Sasha Kaun.

Minnerath, 26, passed up a training camp invitation from the Lakers two seasons ago to play for Obradoiro in Spain. The forward spent the 2014/15 campaign with Cholet Basket of France where he averaged 13.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 32 contests. He played his collegiate ball at the University of Detroit, logging career NCAA averages of 12.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 0.9 APG to go along with a slash line of .493/.369/.814.

The addition of Minnerath will give Cleveland a roster count of 16 players, including 13 possessing fully guaranteed pacts. This number doesn’t include power forward Tristan Thompson, who still remains unsigned.

Western Rumors: Budinger, Lakers, Vasquez

handful of teams were reportedly suitors of Chase Budinger this summer, but after just a single injury-shortened year in Minnesota, the Timberwolves had already won his heart, as he told reporters today, including Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (video link). 

"It was a fairly easy decision." Budinger said of re-signing with the Wolves. "I just fit perfectly in Rick Adelman's system. He trusts me. I know the coaching staff. I know what they expect of me. Just all in all, I was very comfortable here, and that was the main reason why I came back." 

Zgoda's video also shows Budinger and Dante Cunningham talking about the club's offseason additions. Here's more from Minnesota's Western Conference rivals:

  • Dave Murphy of Forum Blue & Gold confirms that Nick Minnerath will pass up a training camp invitation from the Lakers to play for Obradoiro in Spain (hat tip to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). We suspected as much when the Spanish team announced its deal last month with the undrafted former University of Detroit forward. 
  • Greivis Vasquez hasn't yet played a game for the Kings, who acquired him via trade from the Pelicans this summer, but the team already faces a decision about whether to extend his rookie-scale deal. Sacramento GM Pete D'Alessandro is among those who praises the Venezuelan point guard in Alex Kramers' piece for, which chronicles Vasquez's unlikely journey to the team.
  • The Kosta Koufos trade figures to open up the Nuggets starting center job for JaVale McGee, but Timofey Mozgov is also in line for more playing time as the primary backup at the position after inking a new three-year deal in the offseason. The big man recognizes the opportunity before him, as he tells Aaron J. Lopez of

Odds & Ends: Odom, Dentmon, T-Mac, Minnerath

On the heels of reports that Lamar Odom has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, at least one NBA general manager believes the veteran forward's NBA career is over.

"Just going by what he is giving you on the court, he would have been a risk anyway, maybe someone you give a partial guarantee to just to see if he can turn things around," the GM told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. "But with the circus that’s around him off the court now, no way."

As Odom continues to work through his off-court issues, let's check in on a few more odds and ends from around the Association: