PJ Dozier

PJ Dozier Signing With Partizan In Serbia

Former Kings wing PJ Dozier is signing with KK Partizan in Serbia, according to Eurohoops. It’s a one-year deal for Dozier, who is heading out of the U.S. for the first time in his professional career.

Dozier spent part of last season with Sacramento, first inking a pair of 10-day deals with the team and then signing for the rest of the season. The 6’6″ wing played a modest role for the team, averaging 1.4 points in 4.9 minutes per game across 16 appearances. The Kings waived Dozier on July 8.

Before landing in Sacramento, Dozier had stops with the Thunder, Celtics and Nuggets. He went undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft out of South Carolina. Dozier played on two-way contracts with the Thunder and Celtics, appearing in just eight games from 2017 to 2019, his first two seasons in the league. He broke onto the scene with the Nuggets, where he spent the majority of his career. Dozier signed with the Nuggets for the 2019/20 season and impressed enough to stick around onto the ’20/21 roster.

In ’20/21, Dozier averaged 7.7 points for the Nuggets in 50 appearances in six starts. He was on track for another productive season in ’21/22 but his campaign was cut short due to a torn ACL. Later in the season, the Nuggets traded Dozier to the Celtics, where he was re-routed to the Magic and then waived. Dozier caught on with the Timberwolves for training camp last season and his stint with their G League team, the Iowa Wolves, impressed the Kings into signing him.

Now, Dozier takes over for a Partizan club that lost Dante Exum, who signed with the Mavericks earlier this offseason.

This deal has seemingly been in the works for several days. Before being confirmed by Eurohoops today, a report from Sportal.rs suggested Dozier and Partizan were close to an agreement, and Eurohoops cited an earlier report from Mozzart Sport.

Kings Waive PJ Dozier

The Kings have waived guard PJ Dozier, the team announced today in a press release.

The move doesn’t come as a real surprise, given that Dozier played a limited role for Sacramento last season and would have had his $2.41MM salary for 2023/24 become guaranteed if he remained under contract beyond Monday, July 10. By cutting him today, the club won’t be on the hook for any of that money.

Dozier, 26, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Kings in January before reaching a rest-of-season deal with the team in February. He appeared in 16 games, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in just 4.9 minutes per night.

With Dozier off the roster, the Kings now have 13 players on standard contracts (once Sasha Vezenkov and Alex Len officially sign) and a pair on two-way deals, so they’re presumably not done making moves.

Contract Details: Hampton, Dozier, Goodwin, McGowens, Wainright

The new minimum-salary contracts signed by R.J. Hampton with the Pistons and PJ Dozier with the Kings are both two-year deals that are fully guaranteed for the rest of this season but don’t include any guaranteed money in year two, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter links).

The agreements will allow the Pistons and Kings to assess their new players’ fits for the rest of this season before making a decision in the summer on whether or not to retain them for another season.

Hampton’s 2023/24 salary with the Pistons (approximately $2MM) would become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through July 6, Hoops Rumors has learned. As for Dozier, he’d have to be waived by July 10 if the Kings want to avoid his full $2.4MM salary for next season becoming guaranteed.

Here are a few more details on some of the contracts recently signed by NBA players:

  • Jordan Goodwin‘s new three-year deal with the Wizards includes a $900K rest-of-season salary for 2022/23, which the team gave him using a portion of its mid-level exception, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Goodwin’s second-year salary in 2023/24 is currently partially guaranteed for $300K. That guarantee would increase to $963,948 (50% of his total salary) if he remains under contract through September 1, Hoops Rumors has learned. The Wizards hold a minimum-salary team option on Goodwin for 2024/25.
  • The Hornets‘ mid-level exception allowed them to give four years to Bryce McGowens on his new standard contract. It also let the team pay him a salary higher than the minimum for the rest of this season — he’ll earn $1,075,000 on his new deal in 2022/23, according to Smith (Twitter link). McGowens’ remaining three years are worth the minimum, but his $1.72MM salary for ’23/24 is fully guaranteed. The final two years are non-guaranteed, including a ’25/26 team option.
  • The Suns used a portion of their taxpayer mid-level exception to give Ish Wainright a slightly larger salary than he would have received on a minimum-salary contract, tweets Smith. Wainright will earn $474,851 for the rest of this season instead of the $423,612 he would’ve gotten on a minimum deal. As previously reported, the second year of Wainright’s contract is a team option.

Kings Waive KZ Okpala, Bring Back PJ Dozier

7:55pm: The Kings have officially signed Dozier and waived Okpala, the team confirmed in a press release.

8:30am: The Kings will waive forward KZ Okpala and sign veteran wing PJ Dozier for the rest of the season, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

Okpala, who has been dealing with bilateral knee soreness, plans to undergo surgery that will end his season. The 23-year-old power forward has appeared in 35 games, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per night, and hasn’t played since January 28.

After spending his first three seasons in Miami, Okpala signed a two-year deal with Sacramento last summer that carried a partial guarantee. His $1.9MM salary for this season became fully guaranteed when he remained on the roster through early January, and his $2MM salary for 2023/24 was non-guaranteed.

Dozier returns to the Kings after signing two 10-day contracts in January. He saw limited playing time in four games and wasn’t immediately re-signed when the second deal expired at the end of the month. The 26-year-old guard has also played for the Thunder, Celtics and Nuggets.

Kings Part With PJ Dozier, Give 10-Day Deal To Deonte Burton

JANUARY 30: Burton’s signing is official, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

JANUARY 28: The Kings won’t re-sign guard PJ Dozier, whose second 10-day contract expired on Saturday night, tweets Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee.

The open roster spot will go to Deonte Burton, who is currently with the team’s G League affiliate in Stockton. Burton will receive a 10-day contract that will begin Monday to make him eligible for that night’s game at Minnesota.

A 28-year-old swingman, Burton spent two seasons with the Thunder before becoming a free agent in 2020. The former Iowa State standout has been in the G League since then, playing last year with the Maine Celtics before joining Stockton prior to the start of this season. Burton appeared in 71 total games for Oklahoma City, averaging 2.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per night.

Dozier got into four games during his time with Sacramento and played 10 total minutes. Because players are limited to two 10-day contracts with one team, the Kings would have needed to sign him for the rest of the season to keep him on the roster.

Kings Sign PJ Dozier To Second 10-Day Contract

3:30pm: Dozier’s second 10-day deal is now official, the Kings announced in a press release.

6:49am: The Kings will sign guard PJ Dozier to a second 10-day contract, agent Kevin Bradbury tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Dozier’s first 10-day deal expired on Wednesday night following Sacramento’s win over the Lakers.

Dozier didn’t play much during his first 10 days with Sacramento. He logged just under seven total garbage-time minutes in three blowout victories last week, then didn’t play on Sunday or Wednesday. Still, the Kings – who had lost three of four games before signing Dozier – won all five games with him on the roster, so perhaps the team just doesn’t want to change what seems to be working.

Dozier, 26, appeared in 105 games across five seasons for the Thunder, Celtics, and Nuggets from 2017-21, recording averages of 6.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per night during that time. He’s just returning from an ACL tear that he suffered in December 2021.

The Kings will take on another $105,522 cap hit for Dozier’s second 10-day contract, while he’ll earn $122,602. Sacramento could officially complete the signing later today or wait until Friday — in either scenario, he’d be available for the team’s next five contests.

PJ Dozier Signs 10-Day Deal With Kings

JANUARY 9: Dozier’s 10-day contract with the Kings is now official, per Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 News (Twitter link).

JANUARY 8: Veteran shooting guard PJ Dozier is signing a 10-day deal with the Kings, Dozier’s agent Kevin Bradbury informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Dozier signed a training camp deal with the Timberwolves this summer, but did not make the team’s opening night standard roster. Most recently, the 6’6″ swingman had been playing with Minnesota’s NBAGL affiliate, the Iowa Wolves.

During Iowa’s Showcase Cup run this fall, Dozier averaged 14.4 PPG on .444/.353/.722 shooting splits. He also contributed 6.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.2 SPG and 0.8 BPG across 13 contests, including seven starts.

Across five NBA seasons with the Thunder, Celtics, and Nuggets, the 26-year-old out of South Carolina holds career averages of 6.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.8 APG and 0.6 SPG. He tore his ACL in December 2021 while with Denver, and indicated in June of 2022 that he had been cleared to resume all basketball activities.

James Ham of ESPN 1320 Sacramento tweets that Dozier has an ally on the Kings bench. Current Sacramento associate head coach Jordi Fernandez was previously an assistant coach with the Nuggets, with whom Dozier also spent the past three NBA seasons.

Ham adds that the Kings view Dozier as an intriguing two-way option. Sacramento could especially use Dozier’s help on the defensive side of the ball, where the team has been struggling.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, R. Jackson, Ayton, Dozier

LeBron James is disputing the nature of a weekend report by Sam Amick of The Athletic that he’s becoming impatient for Lakers management to upgrade the roster. The story suggests that James was sending a message to the front office with his comments after Saturday’s game, but in a response on Twitter, James said that wasn’t his intention.

“Hey Sam actually my patience isn’t waning,” he wrote. “You make it sound like I’m frustrated when I’m really not. I told you over and over, my job is focused on the guys in the locker room, my job isn’t the roster. That’s the reality of that conversation. And I said what I said with the Upmost respect and calmness cause that’s the mood I’m in! Your welcome! 5 game winning streak.”

While L.A. has climbed back into the playoff race with its recent hot streak, speculation is starting to build around the league that James may want to finish his career somewhere else, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. Executives have told Deveney that multiple teams are preparing for the possibility that James will try to force a trade this summer, if only so they don’t get caught off guard like they did with Kevin Durant‘s trade request last year.

One executive tells Deveney that the Lakers are hoping to get through this season without trading their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 and then use their cap room, which could top $30MM, to acquire free agents who would appeal to James, such as Kyrie Irving or Draymond Green. If that doesn’t happen, league executives see the Cavaliers, Heat and Suns as the most likely destinations if James does force his way out.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue tinkered with the lineup as the Clippers dropped their sixth straight game on Sunday night, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Reggie Jackson, who has been the starting point guard for the past two-plus seasons, played just eight minutes, all in the first half, as Lue turned to Terance Mann to improve the team’s defense. Lue explained that the change isn’t necessarily permanent. “No, I just think tonight it was Reggie,” he said. “Then tomorrow, it could be somebody else. Just kind of experimenting with different things. When you lose five games in a row, you want to try some different things.”
  • The Suns were missing four rotation players due to injuries as they fell below .500 Sunday night, so Deandre Ayton is determined to keep playing despite tweaking his left ankle late in the game, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I finished the jump hook and my left leg just drifted off behind me and twisted it. So it feels like it’s a day-by-day thing,” Ayton said. “No ankle is stopping me right now. I’m on a mission so I’m going to be up on my feet. No worries about that.”
  • Coach Mike Brown was upset about the Kings‘ defense in Saturday’s loss to the Lakers, and the team sees potential help in PJ Dozier, who’s expected to sign a 10-day contract, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Northwest Notes: Dozier, Murray, McCollum, Lillard, Sexton, Gobert

PJ Dozier will start the season with the Timberwolves’ NBA G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Minnesota waived Dozier, who was on an Exhibit 10 contract, on Saturday as the team pared its roster to the 15-man limit. The former Denver wing tore his ACL last December and didn’t appear in any preseason games prior to being waived. Iowa’s opener is in two weeks.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets lost in their opener and Jamal Murray had only 12 points and one assist in 26 minutes but he was just thrilled to be in action again after missing all of last season while rehabbing an ACL tear, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. “I know I’m smiling,” he said. “We lost. I’ve never smiled in a loss before.”
  • Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard signed a two-year, super max extension over the summer and former teammate CJ McCollum believes Lillard wants to establish a lasting legacy in Portland, as he told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s been so committed to being in Portland to break all the records, show his loyalty to win, and to continue to try and build a lasting legacy,” McCollum said. “I think he’s done all those things. People will say what they want about him, but he really works on his game, and he really cares about the game of basketball.”
  • Collin Sexton had 20 points in his Jazz debut after his final season in Cleveland was cut short by a knee injury. Utah surprised Denver in the opener and Sexton feels his new teammates will continue to open some eyes, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic. “We’ve heard a lot about what we are supposed to be,” said Sexton, who received a four-year, $72MM contract in the sign-and-trade transaction. “But, we all have a lot to prove and we all want to embrace the role of being the underdog. We want to come out and surprise some people.”
  • Rudy Gobert said it will be “weird” to face his former Jazz teammates on Friday, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. “It’s all love for me,” the Timberwolves center said. “You know, I want to see these guys succeed and I’m sure they want to see me succeed, too.”

Timberwolves Waive Dozier, Elleby, Lawson

The Timberwolves reached the 15-man roster limit by waiving guard PJ Dozier, forward CJ Elleby and guard A.J. Lawson, according to a team press release.

Dozier was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract last month. He spent the last three seasons with the Nuggets, where he averaged 6.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 97 games (six starts).

Elleby received an Exhibit 10 contract in early August and appeared in two preseason games. He spent the last two seasons with the  Trail Blazers. Last season, he averaged 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in 58 games.

Lawson held one of the team’s two-way contracts but Minnesota chose to give big man Luka Garza his two-way spot. Lawson signed his two-way deal in July. The Garza signing was officially announced in a press release on Saturday.

Lawson saw action in three preseason games for the Wolves and also played for the Mavericks’ summer league squad, for which he averaged 15.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in five games.

Given Dozier and Elleby’s NBA experience, it wouldn’t be a surprise if either gets claimed. Dozier returned to basketball activities this summer after tearing his ACL last December.