Omri Casspi

Western Notes: Martin, Georges-Hunt, Casspi, Leonard

Jarell Martin is the player most likely to be waived by the Grizzlies despite a lack of depth at power forward, according to Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  The Grizzlies need to pare two players to reach the 15-man limit and Martin is an inconsistent player who’s not really a stretch four or a defensive force, Herrington continues. The final roster decision will likely come down to guards Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin, since it appears Mario Chalmers has re-emerged as a rotation piece, Herrington notes. Harrison is a useful player at the back end of the roster but it would be difficult to give up on Baldwin, a first-round pick last year, Herrington adds. Memphis will likely explore trades involving those players this weekend to facilitate the decision.

In other developments regarding the Western Conference:

  • Marcus Georges-Hunt‘s ability to guard three or four positions makes him the favorite to nab the 14th spot on the Timberwolves’ roster, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The 6’5” swingman has the edge over rookies Amile Jefferson and Melo Trimble, who will likely be sent to the team’s G League affiliate in Iowa, while another swingman, Anthony Brown, has already signed a two-way contract. However, Minnesota wants to keep the 15th spot open and could also pursue a player that’s waived or bought out as teams make their final roster cuts, Zgoda adds.
  • Omri Casspi has taken a clear lead over Nick Young for a spot in the Warriors’ rotation, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Young got a bigger contract than Casspi when signing with the Warriors this summer but came to camp out of shape while Casspi quickly showed he’s a better fit for coach Steve Kerr’s system, Slater adds.
  • There’s still no apparent timetable for Kawhi Leonard‘s return from a right quad injury, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports. The Spurs All-Star forward has spent the entire preseason rehabbing from an injury he originally suffered last season. “We’ve seen him in the gym and in rehab, but he hasn’t scrimmaged, so it’s hard to tell what stage he is in,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili told Orsborn.

And-Ones: J. Thompson, Franklin, G League

Former Kings big man Jason Thompson has signed a contract with EuroLeague champion Fenerbahce S.K., Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The 31-year-old played in China in 2016/17.

Per international basketball reporter David Pick, Thompson’s deal will be worth $1.8MM over one year with potential bonuses that could bring the total up to $2MM.

After an impressive seven-year stint in Sacramento, including a 2009/10 campaign in which he posted 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a 23-year-old, Thompson quickly fell out of the NBA.

His last professional season stateside in 2015/16 included brief stints with the Warriors and Raptors.

There’s more from around the NBA world:

  • After exploring his NBA options, former Grizzlies point guard Jamaal Franklin has opted to sign a two-year, $4MM deal in China, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.
  • While it’s a given the Warriors did well to retain their championship core, the club also nailed their supplemental signings. Inking Nick Young and Omri Casspi, David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders writes, was one of the best coups of the offseason.
  • As of this season, fringe NBA players offered more than $50K in partial guarantees can not play for that team’s G League affiliate, Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days writes. Reichert offers a detailed explanation of how the new contract wrinkle may affect the league in the recent feature article.

Warriors, Omri Casspi Agree To Deal

6:44pm: It’ll be a one-year, minimum salary contract for Casspi, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Casspi’s minimum will be worth about $2.1MM, though it’ll only count against the Warriors’ cap for approximately $1.47MM.

Minimum salary deals can be finalized during the July moratorium, so Golden State doesn’t have to wait until Thursday to make the signing official.

6:23pm: The Warriors have lined up a deal to add another shooter to their roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that free agent forward Omri Casspi has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the team. Sam Amick of USA Today first reported (via Twitter) that Golden State was in talks with Casspi.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

Casspi, 29, opened the 2016/17 season with the Kings, but quickly saw his role in Sacramento’s rotation reduced by new head coach Dave Joerger. Casspi was included in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, and while the Pelicans were excited to get him as part of that deal, his stint with the team was short-lived, as he suffered a broken thumb in his first game as a Pelican. Casspi was subsequently waived by New Orleans and later finished the season with the Timberwolves after getting healthy.

Although the 2016/17 season didn’t really give him a chance to show off his talents, Casspi enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015/16 with the Kings, averaging 11.8 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 69 games (21 starts), making a career-high 40.9% of his three-pointers. If he can regain that form, he should have a very nice year with a Warriors team that will get him plenty of open looks.

Financial terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Warriors could only offer a minimum salary contract unless they’re willing to dip into their $5.2MM taxpayer mid-level exception for Casspi. A minimum deal seems likely.

Free Agent Rumors: Clippers, KCP, Lakers, Casspi

Free agent big man Willie Reed is meeting today with the Clippers, league sources tell Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms the meeting and adds (via Twitter) that Jeff Withey is also sitting down with the club today. Los Angeles doesn’t have a whole lot of financial flexibility left, having used most of its mid-level exception on Milos Teodosic, but the club remains in the market for a backup for DeAndre Jordan, with Marreese Speights having opted out.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • The Pistons‘ best offer to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was worth $80MM over five years, which “wasn’t even close” to what the free agent guard was seeking, a source tells Jake Fischer of (Twitter link). Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) also hears the two sides weren’t at all close, though he doesn’t confirm those specific figures. Caldwell-Pope is now an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Lakers have shown some interest in Rodney Stuckey, but have only had preliminary discussions on that front, writes Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. Alex Kennedy (Twitter link) first reported L.A.’s interest in Stuckey.
  • Before he agreed to sign with the Warriors on a minimum salary deal, Omri Casspi turned down a one-year, $4.5MM offer from a probable lottery team, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who notes that Casspi opted for a chance at a title instead of the bigger payday.
  • The Timberwolves are said to be trying harder to unload Cole Aldrich‘s contract in an effort to land C.J. Miles, but the team remains reluctant to attach a first-round pick, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

And-Ones: Oden, Casspi, One-And-Done, Loyd

Sixty teams have been announced for this summer’s The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team, $2MM, winner-take-all competition, writes Jeff Goodman of While no NBA players will play in the tournament, several ex-NBAers – including Sundiata Gaines, Donte Greene, and former No. 1 pick Greg Oden – will participate, and some current NBA players will be coaches.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the basketball world…

  • Omri Casspi, who was formerly represented by Dan Fegan, has changed agents and signed with CAA Sports, per Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link). Casspi, whose change in representation was reported last month in the wake of Fegan’s legal troubles, will be a free agent this offseason.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer takes a deep dive into the changes the NBA may eventually make to the current one-and-done system for players coming out of high school, noting that many team execs don’t necessarily agree with commissioner Adam Silver on the matter.
  • D-League guard Jordan Loyd is drawing some NBA interest, according to international reporter David Pick, who tweets that Loyd will attend a Nets free agent mini-camp, then will audition for the Clippers and play in Summer League with the Pacers. The 23-year-old averaged 15.1 PPG in 49 games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2016/17.
  • In a pair of pieces for Basketball Insiders, James Blancarte and Spencer Davies identify several potential trade candidates in both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference.

Wolves Notes: Casspi, Tucker, No. 7 Pick

It was an unusual season for veteran forward Omri Casspi, who saw his role significantly reduced by new Kings head coach Dave Joerger before he was packaged with DeMarcus Cousins in a February trade to New Orleans. Dubbed an important part of that trade for the Pelicans, Casspi almost immediately broke his thumb, forcing New Orleans to waive him. Casspi later signed with the Timberwolves when he got healthy, finishing the 2016/17 campaign by appearing in 13 games for Minnesota.

Casspi didn’t play much for the Wolves, and averaged just 3.5 PPG when he saw the court, but Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) doesn’t rule out the possibility of the 28-year-old re-signing with the club. Still, Wolfson expects the Wolves to prioritize other free agents.

Here’s more out of Minnesota, including an additional note on Casspi:

  • Following up on Casspi, Wolfson reports (via Twitter) that the former first-round pick has left agent Dan Fegan. Fegan was fired and sued by his former agency earlier this year, so it’s not a huge surprise that Casspi would be looking for new representation as he enters free agency.
  • Discussing the Timberwolves on 1500 ESPN’s The Scoop podcast, Wolfson said this week that he has heard Minnesota is “very much” on P.J. Tucker‘s radar (hat tip to HoopsHype). Tucker will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and would be a nice fit for the Wolves, providing strong defense and a decent outside shot.
  • An NBA source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that Timberwolves head coach and president Tom Thibodeau has considered the possibility of trading down from No. 7. Berman suggests that the Wolves are leaning toward drafting a wing – rather than a big – if they stay where they are, though many mock drafts have linked Minnesota to power forward Jonathan Isaac.

Northwest Notes: Rubio, Gibson, Westbrook

The decision to not move point guard Ricky Rubio at the trade deadline has proved to be a smart one, Michael Rand of the Star Tribune writes. Since February the Timberwolves veteran has demonstrated an elite ability to contribute across the board.

In March, the guard historically criticized for his inability to shoot the ball, has shot .472 from the field while averaging 17.8 points and 10.4 assists per game. What’s more, his true shooting percentage for the playoff hopeful Timberwolves is an elite .602.

As early as last summer it appeared as though Rubio would be on his way out the door. When the Timberwolves drafted Kris Dunn last June, it seemed inevitable. Lately, however, Rubio’s confidence has forced other teams to honor his jump shot.

  • Though he’s logged time with both the Kings and Timberwolves this season, Omri Casspi says the clubs are considerably far apart in terms of their respective rebuilds, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune writes. “The Timberwolves are well ahead in their rebuilding. They’re putting the right pieces in the right places. I think this team, whether I’m here or not next year, should win 50-plus games. Sacramento, now is starting to rebuild. It will take time,” Casspi said.
  • Consider the Trail Blazers an ideal hypothetical trade destination for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. The veteran has been the subject of rumors for the majority of the season.
  • Veteran forward Taj Gibson returned to the lineup for the Thunder but head coach Billy Donovan thought he lacked a certain something, Erik Horne of the Oklahoman writes. The big man didn’t play with “the same kind of pop”, Donovan told Horne, so his second-half minutes were reduced.
  • Carelessness with the ball could be hurting Russell Westbrook‘s MVP chances, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman writes. The Thunder guard has been turning the ball over more often of late, forcing the issue on passes.

Wolves Sign Omri Casspi

March 20: The Wolves officially announced in a press release on Twitter that they’ve signed Casspi, though the exact terms have not yet been made available.

March 19: The Timberwolves are closing in on a deal with Omri Casspi, according to Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Casspi had been cleared to resume basketball activities last week, after suffering a right thumb injury.

Stein shed further light on the deal, reporting Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau met face-to-face with Casspi over dinner this weekend in New Orleans (article link). According to Stein, the Clippers, Celtics, and Grizzlies also showed interest in Casspi.

The Wolves have a need for Casspi, having lost Nemanja Bjelica for the season with a left foot injury. Like Bjelica, Casspi is known as a long-distance shooting specialist, shooting 36.9% on 3-pointers over the course of his career. While Casspi is playoff-eligible- having been released prior to the March 1 deadline- the Wolves face long odds to make the postseason. Thibodeau’s squad is 28-40, receiving 3% odds of making the playoffs according to Five Thirty Eight.

Casspi’s deal is expected to be finalized Monday, Stein reports.

Pacific Notes: Walton, Buss, Crawford

When Luke Walton shifted from his role as an assistant coach with the Warriors to head coach of the Lakers, an adjustment period was expected. ESPN’s Baxter Holmes recently profiled the transition that Walton has undergone in California, adjusting not only to a new routine and staff but an entirely new culture.

Really, it shifts your entire life because your daily routine is so much different from the stress and the grind and the everything,” Walton told him as the Lakers look back on a 20-49 record, “I do my best to stay in the right frame of mind.”

Walton adds that there have been plenty of sleepless nights but remains optimistic about the young Lakers roster and about coaching in general.

The job itself is still the same,” he says now amid the ongoing Lakers rebuild. “It’s rewarding. It’s exciting. Now we’re competing for different things there and here, but the competition level is right there from the daily practices to the games.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • In an effort to open up communication across all levels of the organization Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and new general manager Rob Pelinka have been meeting with players at practice. “It’s good for us being able to talk to them and pick their brains as well and having that open-door presence,” Jordan Clarkson told Mark Media of the Los Angeles Daily News.
  • Current franchise president Jeanie Buss has asked her brothers for permanent assurances that they’ll vote for her to remain the controlling owner of the Lakers, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, as well as to remain on the board of directors.
  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford recently spoke with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype about the trade rumors that popped up with his name in them prior to the trade deadline. “It was a little bit frustrating. You hate to hear it, and this time was a little bit different since I had just re-signed [with the Clippers on a three-year contract] this past summer. […] For me, I’m just glad it’s over with and we’re just moving forward.
  • The Warriors were left with a lack of depth after signing Kevin Durant in the offseason and Marcus Thompson II of the Mercury News speculates that Omri Casspi, Mario Chalmers and Jimmer Fredette could be options to help bolster the roster as the playoffs near. That, of course, begs the question of who the team would need to cut if they made an addition.

Western Notes: Clippers, Cousins, Harden, Chandler

Clippers coach and team president Doc Rivers indicated there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll bring in another player in the near future, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports. The player could come from the D League or from the buyout market, Oram continues, and would require the club to waive someone from the current 15-man roster. Forward Omri Casspi, who was bought out by the Pelicans, isn’t a likely target despite a recent report that the Clippers had an interest in him, Oram adds.“We’re looking at everything,” Rivers told Oram.

In other developments around the Western Conference:

  • The NBA rescinded the latest technical assessed to Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, sources told’s Justin Verrier. The technical, which he was given during a loss to Miami on Wednesday, would have been his 19th this season. He will receive his third one-game suspension this season from the league if he reaches the 20-technical mark.
  • Rockets guard James Harden said he will hire Diana Day as his agent, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Day previously handled marketing and public relations for his former agent, Rob Pelinka. Day must first receive certification from the players association, Feigen adds. Pelinka relinquished his duties as an agent to become the Lakers’ GM.
  • Veteran center Tyson Chandler could have been dealt to a contender prior to the trade deadline but opted to stay with the Suns, according to Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic. Chandler told team executives in a meeting prior to a deadline he was content to take a reduced role in Phoenix and aid in the development of the team’s younger players. “I didn’t want to go nowhere,” Chandler told Haller. “I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out.”
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy believes the Jazz’s signing of veteran swingman Joe Johnson was one of the most underrated moves of the past offseason. Johnson, who inked a two-year, $22MM contract as a free agent, is averaging 8.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.7 APG while shooting over 40% from long range in 22.9 MPG. “I think they made a great acquisition with Joe Johnson,” Van Gundy said. “A lot of people thought Joe was really on the decline and he’s really bounced back.”