Paul Zipser

And-Ones: Offseason Questions, Zipser, Ellenson, Henry

In a piece on Monday for ESPN (Insider-only link), Bobby Marks laid out the 10 questions that he believes will define the 2021 off-season.

Some of the questions discussed include how COVID-19 will affect the league’s salary cap, which position has the deepest free agent pool, the next All-Star to get traded, and the futures of stars Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard with their current teams, as well as the Grizzlies‘ ability to be a dark-horse player in free agency.

As a bonus, Marks touches on Joel Embiid‘s looming extension, whether Kevin Love can rediscover his game and improve his trade value with Team USA, John Collins‘ restricted free agency, and more.

We have more from around the world of basketball:

And-Ones: Nets Security, Zipser, Mannion, Mozgov, TBT

A Nets security official who made contact with Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during a Game 3 skirmish has been barred by the NBA from working any more games in Milwaukee for the rest of the series, according to Joe Vardon, Eric Nehm and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The official, Antjuan Lambert, also won’t be allowed at courtside during the games in Brooklyn.

Lambert is employed by the team, but he has also been working for Kevin Durant since the star forward signed with Brooklyn in 2019. When Durant had an altercation with Tucker in the third quarter of Game 3, Lambert intervened and bumped into Tucker.

“In the heat of the moment you know people are coming to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a problem than what we’re trying to address or de-escalate,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “And, in the 24-48 hours since, if it’s a Nets security guy and he’s bumping our player and things like that, that doesn’t seem like that’s the protocol and what we’d expect from any type of security.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser had to undergo emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage this week, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Zipser is now playing for FC Bayern in Germany.
  • Warriors guard Nico Mannion will be part of the Italian team for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade, notes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Duke prospect Paolo Banchero, who received an Italian passport several months ago, hasn’t made a final decision on whether he’ll join Mannion.
  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov is expected to represent Russia in its upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, Borghesan adds in a separate piece. Injuries limited Mozgov to six games this season for his Khimki team, but he recently returned to action.
  • Veteran NBA big man Amir Johnson will participate in The Basketball Tournament this summer, tweets J.D. Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Also playing will be Bruno Caboclo, who appeared in six games for the Rockets this season (Twitter link).

International Updates: Loyd, Liggins, Zipser

After clearing waivers on Sunday, former Raptors two-way player Jordan Loyd has now officially signed with Valencia, the Spanish team announced today in a press release. Toronto’s release of Loyd was classified by the club as a mutual parting of ways, with the defending NBA champions giving the 26-year-old a chance to pursue a new international opportunity.

Loyd will head to the EuroLeague after starring in the G League for Raptors 905 in 2018/19. He averaged 22.5 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 5.8 RPG in 41 games en route to a spot on the All-NBAGL First Team.

Of course, Loyd’s most memorable moment at the NBA level may have come in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, when he was captured in a viral photo next to Kawhi Leonard as the Raptors and Sixers waited to see if Leonard’s series-winning buzzer beater would fall through the net.

Here are a few more updates on former NBA players signing with non-NBA teams:

  • Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser has signed a new two-year contract with German club Bayern Munich, per a press release. Zipser played for Bayern Munich for three seasons before being drafted in 2016. After spending two seasons in Chicago from 2016-18, the German nearly signed a two-way contract with Brooklyn in 2018/19, but ultimately joined Spanish team San Pablo Burgos in January.
  • NBA journeyman DeAndre Liggins has signed with Baloncesto Fuenlabrada in Spain, the team announced today in a press release. Liggins, who has appeared in regular season games for seven NBA clubs, spent time in the G League and in Greece in 2018/19. He last played in the NBA in the spring of 2018, when he finished the season with the Pelicans.
  • As we relayed earlier today, veteran NBA guards Wayne Selden and Jerian Grant both appear to be on track to join teams in China.

Paul Zipser To Play In Spain

Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser has found a new home for the rest of the 2018/19 season, having joined Spanish team San Pablo Burgos, according to a tweet from Spain’s Liga ACB (hat tip to Sportando).

Zipser, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, had a decent rookie year in 2016/17, but averaged just 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 54 games (15.3 MPG) for the Bulls in 2017/18. The 24-year-old German was waived by Chicago last July in order to create the cap room necessary to finalize the signing of Jabari Parker.

A new NBA opportunity appeared to open up for Zipser earlier this month, with the Nets seemingly on the verge of signing him to a two-way contract. However, Alan Williams – who had left Brooklyn in the hopes of signing a deal with a Chinese team – ultimately remained stateside and returned to the Nets, occupying the two-way slot that Zipser would have taken.

As a result, he’ll resume his professional career overseas, playing for a European team for the first time since 2016. Zipser began his career with USC Heidelberg in Germany in 2010 and spent several seasons with Bayern Munich from 2013-16.

Nets Re-Sign Alan Williams

JANUARY 11: The Nets have officially re-signed Williams to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JANUARY 10: After complications arose during his contract talks with a Chinese Basketball Association club, veteran NBA big man Alan Williams has decided to remain stateside, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Williams will re-sign with the Nets on a two-way contract.

The news comes just over a week after Brooklyn ended Williams’ previous two-way deal. At the time, it appeared to be a favor to the 25-year-old and his agent, since he seemingly had an opportunity lined up in China, reportedly with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. With that opportunity no longer on the table, Williams will return to the Nets, with Wojnarowski suggesting he’ll likely be dressed for Friday’s game against Toronto.

After missing most of last season with a knee injury, Williams has bounced back nicely in the G League in 2018/19, averaging 21.0 PPG and a league-high 14.7 RPG in 17 games (26.9 MPG) for the Long Island Nets. The former Sun has yet to appear in a game for Brooklyn at the NBA level though.

Williams’ new deal with the Nets looks like bad news for Paul Zipser, who was said on Tuesday to be in line for a two-way contract from Brooklyn. With Williams back in the mix, there’s no room for Zipser unless the team parts ways with its other two-way player, Theo Pinson. That won’t happen, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who tweets that Zipser will no longer be joining the Nets.

Nets Expected To Sign Paul Zipser To Two-Way Contract

Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser appears to have lined up a deal with the Nets, according to reports from German outlet Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link).

The RNZ story indicates that Zipser has an agreement in place with Brooklyn, while Carchia hears that it’s for a two-way contract. According to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link), the Nets have yet to confirm or deny that they’re adding the 24-year-old.

Zipser, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, had a decent rookie year, but averaged just 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 54 games (15.3 MPG) for the Bulls last season. He was waived by Chicago in July in order to create the cap room necessary to finalize the signing of Jabari Parker.

The Nets are currently one of a handful of teams around the NBA with an open two-way contract slot. The club released one of its two-way players, Alan Williams, last week in order to allow him to pursue an opportunity in China.

Teams have until January 15 to sign players to two-way contracts for the 2018/19 season, so Zipser has a week to finalize his reported deal with Brooklyn.

Bulls Waive Paul Zipser, Julyan Stone

As part of the series of transactions that saw them make their signing of Jabari Parker official, the Bulls have formally waived forward Paul Zipser and guard Julyan Stone, the team announced in a press release.

The moves were necessary in order to clear the cap room necessary to finalize Parker’s two-year, $40MM deal. Having already traded Jerian Grant, waived Sean Kilpatrick, and withdrawn David Nwaba‘s qualifying offer within the last week or so, Chicago was able to create about $20.6MM in cap space by cutting Zipser and Stone and renouncing their other cap holds and exceptions.

In addition to waiving Zipser and Stone, the team also had to renounce Noah Vonleh‘s cap hold of $10MM+ and give up its mid-level and trade exceptions. The Bulls had three trade exceptions available, the largest of which was worth nearly $9MM. The club will now only have access to the $4.449MM room exception.

Zipser ($1.545MM) and Stone ($1.656MM) each had non-guaranteed salaries for 2018/19, so the Bulls are no longer on the hook for any money for either player.

Zipser, 24, averaged 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 54 games (15.3 MPG) for the Bulls last season. He indicated in June that he didn’t expect the team to bring him back.

As for Stone, he was only included in last week’s three-way trade with the Hornets and Magic so that the Bulls technically received something in the deal — he was always expected to be released. The veteran guard had a very limited role for the Hornets last season, averaging just 0.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 23 contests (7.6 MPG)

Bulls Clearing Cap Room For Forthcoming Move?

The Bulls have been cutting costs in a series of minor moves over the last week, having traded Jerian Grant, waived Sean Kilpatrick, and withdrawn David Nwaba‘s qualifying offer. As K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune details, the transactions signal that the Bulls are looking to create the flexibility necessary to complete a more significant move using cap room. A source tells Johnson that there’s a “strong internal belief” that Chicago will finalize another move.

Although the Bulls technically remain an over-the-cap team due to their various exceptions and cap holds, they can create up to about $20.6MM in cap room by waiving Julyan Stone and Paul Zipser, renouncing Noah Vonleh, and renouncing their trade exceptions. All of those moves are expected to happen, according to Johnson.

Johnson suggests that the Bulls’ forthcoming transaction will likely involve either shoring up their wing position or absorbing an unwanted contract with an asset attached. While Chicago has been linked to restricted free agents like Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, and Marcus Smart intermittently within the last few weeks, I’d be very surprised if the club intends to make an offer to any of those players that requires $20MM+ in space. Clint Capela is the only RFA who might warrant such an offer, but he seems like an improbable target for the Bulls, who drafted Wendell Carter just three weeks ago.

Accommodating a salary dump looks like a more logical path for the Bulls. One popular theory that has been making the rounds is a swap that sends Carmelo Anthony ($27.93MM) and draft assets to Chicago for Cristiano Felicio ($8.47MM). This theoretical deal, which we touched on earlier this week, was fleshed out this morning by cap expert Albert Nahmad.

Such a trade may appeal to the Thunder, who could clear about $20MM from their 2018/19 cap and create nearly $100MM in projected luxury-tax savings by replacing Anthony’s salary with Felicio’s. It’d also make sense for the Bulls, who could carve out additional cap room for 2019 and/or 2020 and could perhaps acquire an extra draft pick for taking on Anthony. The Bulls would subsequently buy out Carmelo in this hypothetical scenario.

However, this is all speculation at this point. All we know for now is that the Bulls’ recent series of moves suggests they have something in mind for their cap room. We’ll have to wait to see what exactly that is.

Bulls Notes: LaVine, Grant, Payne, Stone

The Bulls will be investing in an unknown commodity by matching the Kings’ four-year, $78MM offer sheet for Zach LaVine, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Chicago’s most recent offer to LaVine was only about $2MM less per year than the deal with the Kings, so it’s not a great financial burden for the team to take on. The bigger question is what kind of player LaVine will be after an ACL tear limited him to a combined 71 games over the past two seasons.

The 23-year-old got into just 24 contests in his first season with Chicago and wasn’t particularly effective. LaVine averaged 16.7 points per game, but shot a career-low 38.3% from the floor and the Bulls were outscored by 7.2 PPG while he was on the court. Friedell states that LaVine hasn’t progressed beyond what he was when he entered the league, an athletic marvel who lacks efficiency on offense and consistency on defense.

The Bulls may also have to repair their relationship with LaVine, who said he felt more wanted by the Kings in free agency. The front office believes it has to match LaVine’s offer sheet so it won’t lose the centerpiece of the Jimmy Butler trade, Friedell adds, but it isn’t certain that it’s getting a player to build around for the next four seasons.

There’s more news out of Chicago:

  • An escalating salary cap will make LaVine’s new contract look better in future years, notes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Conflicting reports give LaVine a starting salary of either $18.1MM or $19.5MM, which would be either 17.8% or 19.1% of the salary cap, and that percentage will fall in future years as the cap continues to rise. Johnson also notes that the Kings did the Bulls a favor by putting substantial injury protection for themselves in the deal in case LaVine has more problems with his left knee. Chicago’s front office didn’t suggest that in its negotiations out of fear of angering LaVine and his representatives.
  • Tonight’s decision to trade Jerian Grant was a sign of confidence in Cameron Payne as the backup point guard, Johnson adds in a separate story. The Bulls will save about $1MM in swapping Grant for Julyan Stone and another $1,656,092 by waiving Stone before his August 1 guarantee date. Injuries have limited Payne to just 36 games since being acquired from the Thunder at the 2017 trade deadline.
  • The Bulls will create a $2.6MM trade exception in tonight’s deal, tweets salary cap specialist Albert Nahmad. The team can open as much as $29MM before officially matching LaVine’s offer sheet by waiving Paul Zipser and Sean Kilpatrick (Twitter link).

Bulls Forward Paul Zipser Doubts He’ll Return

Forward Paul Zipser doesn’t believe he’ll be back with the Bulls next season, he told a German newspaper in a story that was relayed by

Zipser has a non-guaranteed contract of approximately $1.545MM next season that becomes guaranteed if he remains on the roster through July 18th.

Zipser said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Bulls decide to let him go before the guarantee kicks in. Even if they do guarantee his salary, he doubts they’ll keep him.

The 6’8” Zipser saw his playing time dip in his second NBA season. He averaged 4.0 PPG and shot just 34.6% from the field while playing 15.2 MPG in 54 appearances. In his rookie campaign, he averaged 5.4 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 19.2 MPG while playing 44 games.

Health is also a concern, as Zipser had surgery to repair a broken left foot last month. According to Zipser, the injury was a stress fracture.

Zipser told the Rhein Neckar newspaper that foot pain was a major reason for his dropoff in performance.

“If your foot hurts, you simply can’t play as hard as normally. You don’t want to suffer a serious injury and be out for some time,” Zipser said according to the English translation provided by BlogABull. “It was difficult to focus on the game – I didn’t manage that very well.”

Zipser also said the Bulls’ decision to go into tank mode caused great consternation, though he didn’t have an issue with coach Fred Hoiberg.

“That finally destroyed the morale of the players. But even before you could notice that some decisions didn’t make any sense with regards to having a successful season,” he said. “The conversations with the coach were always very honest, I really appreciate him.”