Pablo Prigioni

Pacific Notes: Wilcox, Reed, Looney, Warriors

Neither Pablo Prigioni nor C.J. Wilcox currently has an NBA contract, with Prigioni transitioning to coaching and Wilcox having agreed to a two-way deal with the Trail Blazers. However, before Wilcox reached an agreement with Portland, it appeared he may reunite with Prigioni, who was his teammate with the Clippers during the 2015/16 season.

As international basketball reporter David Pick details (via Twitter), Prigioni – now the head coach of Baskonia in Spain – had been recruiting his former Clippers teammate in the hopes of signing him to a $500K contract. Wilcox will earn less than that on his new two-way deal, so remaining stateside and getting the opportunity to see a little NBA action was likely a key factor in his decision.

Here’s more on the Clips and their Pacific rivals:

  • New Clippers center Willie Reed was charged on Sunday with misdemeanor domestic battery, but his wife has issued a statement through her attorney saying she doesn’t want to press charges against her husband, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “This incident has been totally blown out of proportion. I did not call the police and I did not ask anyone to call the police on my behalf. Willie is a good man and a great father. I have no intention of pressing charges and I have asked the authorities to immediately dismiss all charges against Willie,” Jasmine Reed said in her statement. Willie Reed’s arraignment is currently scheduled for September 8.
  • In a piece for The Athletic, Danny Leroux examines the Warriors‘ options for their 15th man, exploring whether the club should simply keep Kevon Looney or go in another direction with that final roster spot.
  • The Warriors earned the No. 1 spot on David Aldridge’s list of offseason rankings, as he details in a piece for Aldridge’s list is based on each team’s summer roster moves, rather than its overall roster strength, so the Kings and Lakers rank in his top 10 as well.

And-Ones: Russell, Fultz, Chriss

Eleven-time NBA champion Bill Russell will be honored with the NBA’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, an Associated Press report states. The Hall of Fame center will be presented with the award during the NBA’s award show on June 26.

With five NBA MVPs to his name, the Celtics Hall of Famer is a living legend with an endless resume of historic achievements. Not only has Russell remained a visible representative of the Boston franchise and league in general’s sustained success, he lays claim to the title of being the first player to win an NBA title, an NCAA crown and an Olympic gold medal.

Per the Associated Press, Russell was also the first African American to coach a team in one of the major professional sports leagues.

Across 13 NBA seasons as a player, Russell averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

There’s more from around the NBA:

Knicks Part Ways With Assistant Coach Josh Longstaff

Despite the fact that the Knicks’ relationship with Kristaps Porzingis is already tenuous, the organization chose not to renew the contract of an assistant coach that he’s particularly close with, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes.

The second-year big man had bonded with Josh Longstaff through his first two years in the league, the pair even training overseas together last summer.

The Knicks didn’t specify why they decided to part ways with the 34-year-old player development specialist, one of several holdovers from Derek Fisher‘s coaching staff prior to the 2016/17 campaign, but the decision is curious. Per Bondy, the Knicks are said to be moving forward with a heavy focus on the triangle all throughout the organization.

Knicks fans have already seen their front office clash with the 7’2″ budding star this offseason. Porzingis ditched his exit meeting with the team last month to head back to his native Latvia. Just this week, team president Phil Jackson and Porzingis’ brother supposedly connected to discuss the apparently strained relationship but the sit down isn’t said to have been very effective.

All told, the move is the latest questionable one out of a front office that has spent the better part of the past year denigrating Carmelo Anthony, though a top-down effort to more seriously implement the triangle may put things in perspective.

Rumored to be a candidate to fill the vacancy is former Knick Pablo Prigioni. The 40-year-old played in Europe this season but served with the Knicks for three seasons ending in 2014/15.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Fultz, Prigioni

According to Nets guard Jeremy Lin, a total of five of his former teammates across stints with the Knicks, Rockets and Hornets asked him if Brooklyn would be willing to make a trade for them, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes.

Kalbrosky breaks down a Nets Daily report based on a translation of an interview that Lin gave to Chinese website

The combined appeal of the Nets’ willingness to play together, the culture unfolding in Brooklyn and the presence of head coach Kenny Atkinson makes the franchise an intriguing one as the free agency period approaches.

The Nets are projected to have approximately $26MM of cap space this summer to fortify their roster and, yes, several of Lin’s former teammates will be available, including Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Thomas Robinson, Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi.

There’s more out out of the Atlantic Division:

  • It didn’t take long for Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas to reach out to Markelle Fultz, the expected No. 1 draft pick that could suit up in green next season, Chris Forsberg of ESPN writes. The two players currently play the same position but Thomas thinks the pair could thrive together.
  • Managing owner of the Sixers, Josh Harris, is confident in the direction of the franchise, even after this week’s lottery results that didn’t exactly work out in their favor, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “We now are stacked for the future,” Harris said. “We have a young team already. So that leaves some slots for some vets to put around our young guys and teach them about what it’s like to be in the NBA.”
  • The Knicks are said to be interested in hiring former point guard Pablo Prigioni as an assistant coach, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays.
  • The Knicks will hope that Malik Monk is available to the at the No. 8 spot in next summer’s NBA Draft, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. College basketball analyst Wally Szczerbiak sees him as a good fit as a playmaker in Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense.

And-Ones: Seattle, Summer League, Ledo, Prigioni

Ray Allen has been in the news lately for his beef with his former Celtics teammates, stemming from his move to the Heat. Before he played for either of those clubs though, Allen was a four-time All-Star for the Seattle SuperSonics. The longtime marksman was at his best during his time in Seattle, averaging 24.6 PPG in 296 regular season contests, and he still has a fondness for his old home. As Alysha Tsuji of USA Today details, Allen suggested in a recent Instagram post that he wants to see the NBA back in the city.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle!!” Allen wrote on an Instagram post that featured the hashtag #bringbackoursonics. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle. let’s make this happen people!!! The NBA misses traveling to Seattle, I know I certainly do!!!!!”

As we wait to see if Allen follows Russell Wilson‘s lead and officially joins a group trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • The NBA officially announced today that a record 24 teams will compete in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17 this summer. While multiple Summer Leagues take place in July, the event in Vegas continues to be the most popular.
  • As David Pick reports (via Twitter), Spanish team Baskonia made a roster move involving a former NBA player earlier this week, signing Ricky Ledo, a second-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft. According to Pick (via Twitter), the move to add Ledo was made because Baskonia feared that former NBA sharpshooter Chase Budinger would miss the rest of the season with an injury.
  • Pick has another update on Baskonia, tweeting that the Spanish club is considering the possibility of hiring Pablo Prigioni as its future head coach. Although he played four seasons in the NBA, Priginoi spent most of his career in the Euroleague, spending a long stint with Baskonia in the 2000s. He recently retired as a player, and it appears coaching may be the next step for him.

Pablo Prigioni Announces Retirement

Pablo Prigioni announced his retirement via his personal and verified Twitter account in a lengthy note after a stint with his old team in Spain. The 39-year-old, known for his competitive nature, outlined how difficult it was to come to terms that his playing days are now behind him.

The now-former point guard signed with Saski Baskonia nearly two months after the Rockets released him. Prigioni first played with Baskonia before making the jump to the NBA several years ago. Prigioni joined the NBA as a 35-year-old rookie with the Knicks in 2012. He was a solid backup for two and a half seasons with New York, and was then traded to the Rockets. He was then shipped to the Nuggets, waived by Denver, signed by the Clippers, and then signed by the Rockets this past summer before going back overseas.

In 270 career regular-season NBA games, Prigioni averaged 3.5 PPG and 2.8 APG in 16.9 minutes per contest, with a solid shooting line of .425/.379/.872. He also appeared in 33 postseason games, including 17 with the Rockets during the club’s run to the Western Conference Finals in 2015.

Pablo Prigioni To Play In Spain

A month and a half after being released by the Rockets, Pablo Prigioni has caught on with a new team — his old team in Spain. Saski Baskonia announced today that it has signed Prigioni, bringing the veteran point guard back to Europe after he played the last four seasons in the NBA. Prigioni spent time with Baskonia several years ago prior to arriving stateside to play in the NBA.

Prigioni, 39, made his NBA debut for the Knicks back in 2012, and spent two and a half seasons with the team before being traded to Houston. He was subsequently traded to the Nuggets, waived by Denver, signed by the Clippers, and then signed by the Rockets this past summer. Although Prigioni’s two-year, minimum-salary deal was guaranteed for 2016/17, he was the victim of a roster crunch in Houston, with the team opting to waive him rather than Tyler Ennis at the end of the preseason.

In 270 career regular-season NBA games, Prigioni averaged 3.5 PPG and 2.8 APG in 16.9 minutes per contest, with a solid shooting line of .425/.379/.872. He also appeared in 33 postseason games, including 17 with the Rockets during the club’s run to the Western Conference Finals in 2015.

Prigioni, who drew interest from Spanish powerhouse Barcelona as well, will join a Baskonia team that has employed several former Knicks and/or Nets players this season, including Shane Larkin, Andrea Bargnani, and Tornike Shengelia. Baskonia is 7-4 in ACB action so far, and 6-4 in Euroleague play.

And-Ones: Youth Academy, Prigioni, Pelicans

The NBA will team with Basketball Australia to create a youth academy in Canberra, according to A.J. Neuhart-Keusch of USA Today. Known as NBA Global Academy, the facility will be an elite training center for young players. Located at the Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport, the academy is designed to be a “global hub” for international prospects. The NBA has three similar facilities in China. “NBA Global Academy will allow top prospects from around the world to train with and compete against their peers in a structured environment under the supervision of NBA-trained coaches and in collaboration with BA’s internationally recognized coaches,” said Brooks Meek, NBA vice president of international basketball operations.

There’s more basketball news tonight:
  • Barcelona has confirmed its interest in 39-year-old point guard Pablo Prigioni, relays Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Head coach Georgios Bartzokas said the team has its eye on Prigioni, who was waived by the Rockets last month, but cautioned that it’s far from a done deal. “Every guard in the market with European passport interests us,” Bartzokas said. “Prigioni, with his great career and potential is one of them. But the most important thing is to bring a player that fits into our system. It’s not just about the potential, quality or level of the player. It’s about whether he fits with us and whether he’s able to play well with our players.”
  • The Pelicans top a list of teams that should be very worried by their slow starts, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. New Orleans has an 0-8 record and is hampered by injuries to Tyreke Evans, Quincy Pondexter and Lance Stephenson, who was waived over the weekend. The Pelicans are also without starting point guard Jrue Holiday, who remains on a leave of absence to care for his ailing wife. Bontemps says there are whispers that coach Alvin Gentry may be fired if the team doesn’t start winning soon. The other teams on Bontemps’ list are the Wizards, Knicks, Mavericks and Timberwolves.
  • Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is the latest player to incorporate strobe lights into his training, according to Tom Haberstroh of The flashing lights, which simulate photographers’ flashes, were first incorporated by Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

And-Ones: Prigioni, Teague, Evans, Hummel

Pablo Prigioni, who was waived by Houston on Monday, is drawing interest from a team in Spain, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. The 39-year-old point guard has an offer from Barcelona that he is reportedly considering. Prigioni played for the Knicks, Clippers and Rockets in four NBA seasons.

There’s more NBA-related news tonight:

  • Former NBA guard Marquis Teague has been released by his Israeli team, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The younger brother of Pacers guard Jeff Teague, Marquis Teague played 88 games for the Bulls and Nets but has been out of the league for the past two seasons.
  • Ex-NBA players Jeremy Evans and Robbie Hummel have signed with Khimki Moscow, Pick reports (Twitter link). Evans, who was waived by the Pacers last week, had a guaranteed $1,227,286 contract. Hummel had a $150K guarantee from the Nuggets, who released  him last week.
  • Three recently waived players were part of a D-League trade today, reports Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link). The Northern Arizona Suns dealt Xavier Munford, Cory Jefferson and Alec Brown to the Greensboro Swarm in exchange for three draft picks. Munford, a 24-year-old shooting guard, was released by the Clippers, Jefferson was cut by the Cavaliers and Brown was waived by the Suns.

Rockets Waive Pablo Prigioni, Will Keep Tyler Ennis

4:18pm: The Rockets have changed their mind and will keep Ennis and are waiving veteran Pablo Prigioni instead, Charania tweets. As a result, Houston will be on the hook for Prigioni’s fully guaranteed contract for 2016/17 worth $1,050,961, unless the player is claimed off waivers by another club.

1:51pm: Having waived three players earlier today, the Rockets need to make one more cut to get down to 15 players, and it looks like the team might make a surprising move. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter), Houston plans to release Tyler Ennis. Charania cautions that the two sides could end up negotiating a new deal if and when Ennis clears waivers.

[RELATED: Rockets waive Gary Payton II, P.J. Hairston, Le’Bryan Nash]

The 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Ennis was sent from Phoenix to Milwaukee at the 2015 trade deadline, then arrived in Houston last month when the Rockets acquired him in exchange for Michael Beasley. In 71 games for the Bucks, Ennis averaged just 4.1 PPG and 2.1 APG in 13.5 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old is owed a guaranteed $1.734MM salary for 2016/17.

Considering Ennis was on a guaranteed salary for 2016/17, waiving him in order to sign him to a new deal would be an unusual move for Houston. However, if they keep him, the Rockets would need to decide within a week whether or not to exercise Ennis’ $2.667MM option for 2017/18. Signing the former Buck to a new two-year, minimum-salary deal could make him more affordable for next year, even if the Rockets would be paying him more this year.

We’ll wait to see what the Rockets have planned, but if Ennis is cut and isn’t immediately re-signed, it may open the door for both Kyle Wiltjer and Bobby Brown to make the team’s 15-man roster. Before waiving Ennis, Houston’s roster count sits at 16.