Ray Spalding

Armoni Brooks, Kelan Martin Among FAs Working Out For Cavs

The Cavaliers have nine free agents in town this week for workouts, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who reports that guard Armoni Brooks and swingman Kelan Martin are among the players in attendance.

Sources tell Fedor that the first workout took place on Tuesday, with another scheduled for Wednesday. Big men Mamadi Diakite and Ray Spalding are a couple of the other free agents who are participating, Fedor adds.

Following the blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland has 16 players under contract — 14 on standard deals and a pair on two-way contracts. That leaves four openings on the team’s 20-man training camp roster and one possible open spot on the projected regular season roster. As Fedor notes, the Cavaliers are still about $2.5MM below the luxury tax line, so they could comfortably carry a 15th man on a minimum-salary deal if they so choose.

While there’s no guarantee that any of the players working out for the Cavs will receive training camp invites, Fedor points out that Denzel Valentine earned a roster spot a year ago after impressing the team during a September workout.

Brooks, Martin, Diakite, and Spalding all have multiple seasons of NBA experience under their belts, and all but Spalding saw action during the 2021/22 season. Brooks averaged 5.3 points per game in 54 appearances for the Rockets and Raptors; Martin posted 5.7 PPG in 30 contests for the Pacers and Celtics; and Diakite put up 4.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 13 games for the Thunder.

Rockets Waive Ray Spalding

The Rockets are waiving forward Ray Spalding, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

Spalding suffered an Achilles injury in his second game with the team on Monday, when he logged 10 minutes against Washington.

The Rockets signed Spalding to a two-way contract on Friday.

Spalding, the 56th overall pick in the 2018 draft, spent time with the Mavericks and Suns as a rookie in 2018/19, then joined the Hawks for training camp in 2019 before being waived and claimed by Houston. After being cut again, he later signed a two-way contract with the Hornets.

He got off to a strong start with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBAGL bubble last week, averaging 18.5 PPG and 13.0 RPG in his first two games (27.5 MPG).

Rockets Sign Ray Spalding To Two-Way Deal

9:50pm: Spalding’s deal is official, as is Thomas’ release, according to an announcement from the team.

3:03pm: The Rockets will waive Thomas to make room for Spalding, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle confirms.

2:30pm: The Rockets are signing free agent power forward Ray Spalding to a two-way contract, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Spalding, the 56th overall pick in the 2018 draft, spent time with the Mavericks and Suns as a rookie in 2018/19, then joined the Hawks for training camp in 2019 before being waived and claimed by Houston. After being cut again, he later signed a two-way contract with the Hornets.

Between stints with NBA teams, the 23-year-old has played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate. He was off to a strong start in the NBAGL bubble this week, averaging 18.5 PPG and 13.0 RPG in his first two games (27.5 MPG).

The Rockets are currently carrying Mason Jones and Brodric Thomas on two-way deals, so one of those players will have to be cut in order to make room for Spalding. Jones has been a more regular part of Houston’s rotation so far this season, appearing in 15 games, so Thomas – who has played in just four games – may be the odd man out.

The full list of players on two-way contracts can be found right here.

Western Notes: Valanciunas, Lee, Porter Jr., Huestis, Spalding

Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas missed Monday’s game against the Suns due to the league’s health and safety protocols, the team’s PR department tweets. It’s uncertain how long Valanciunas will be sidelined. He was instructed to leave the bench area 10 days ago due to COVID-19 contact tracing but it turned out to be a “false alarm,” as Valanciunas described it. Rookie Xavier Tillman started in his place.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors might take a longer look at Damion Lee with Kelly Oubre Jr. off to a slow start, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic writes. Lee’s skills mesh more seamlessly with Stephen Curry, so Golden State could even try Lee in a starting role. He had a pair of double-digit scoring outings last week and has shot the ball well from deep (44.7%) with a low turnover rate. Oubre has shot an icy 19.7% on his 3-point tries but the Warriors dipped deeper into the luxury tax by acquiring him, so they’ll likely exercise plenty of patience and hope he returns to last season’s form.
  • Michael Porter Jr.‘s starting spot is safe, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said on Monday, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Porter hasn’t played since December 29 after being placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list. “Bottom line is, he’s the starting small forward at 6’10”, averaging close to 20 points a game and seven rebounds,” Malone said. “Not only are you whole, but you have a really talented player who’s a big part of your current team and also your future.”
  • NBA veterans Josh Huestis and Ray Spalding are among the players on the Rockets’ G League roster, according to a tweet from the Rio Grande Vipers. Huestis played in Germany last season after appearing in 76 career games with the Thunder, including 69 during the 2017/18 season. Spalding was waived by the Hornets in November. He played 13 games with the Suns in 2018/19.

Forward Ray Spalding Waived By Hornets

Forward Ray Spalding was waived by the Hornets, the team announced on its official site. Spalding was on a two-way deal with the club for the 2019/20 season. The team now has a second available slot to add a two-way player who can join new addition Nate Darling.

The former Louisville power forward played 14 games for the Mavericks and Suns during his inaugural 2018/19 NBA season. He was drafted by the Sixers before being dealt to Dallas on draft night. He spent 2019/20 in the G League, averaging 13.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.3 SPG across 36 G League games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ G League affiliate, and Charlotte’s affiliate club, the Greensboro Swarm.

The Hornets selected three second-round picks this season who could be candidates for that open two-way slot. 6’3″ shooting guard Grant Riller, taken with the No. 56 pick out of Charleston, seems to be the most likely option.

Hornets’ Ray Spalding Undergoes Knee Surgery

Two-way Hornets forward Ray Spalding went under the knife for left knee surgery today, per the team’s official PR department (Twitter link). Spalding inked a deal with Charlotte in January.

Spalding was drafted with the No. 56 pick out of Louisville in 2018, and logged time with the Mavericks and Suns during the 2018/19 season. In the 2019 offseason, the 6’10”, 210-pound power forward signed limited agreements with the Hawks and Rockets, but did not make their fall rosters. He played with Houston’s G League squad, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, before latching on with the Hornets.

Spalding holds career averages of 3.9 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 10.6 MPG, plus a 53.2% conversion percentage from the floor. The 23-year-old most recently averaged 17.5 PPG and 12.7 RPG in his 16 games with the Hornets’ G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.

The Hornets’ two-way agreement with Spalding includes a second year for 2020/21, so he’ll be back with the team next season if he’s not traded or waived.

Mavs Notes: Porzingis, Noah, Powell Replacements, Trade Options

Kristaps Porzingis could see a lot more action at center the remainder of the season, according to Eddie Sefko of the team’s website. The Mavericks need to replace the minutes of Dwight Powell, who is out for the season with a ruptured right Achilles. When paired with Maxi Kleber, Porzingis can play either center or power forward. Porzingis can utilize his playmaking skills from the middle, as he did for a stretch against the Clippers on Tuesday.

“We’ve done it some,” coach Rick Carlisle said while adding, “The bind you get in is with rebounding and that was obvious in the second half. We were really up against it on the boards. … But in terms of the lineup and everything else, there’s a lot of things we’ve got to keep on the table.”

We have more on the Mavericks:

  • The Mavs’ front office has made contact with free agent center Joakim Noah, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. However, the team has concerns about Noah’s health and is also looking at overseas and G League options, MacMahon adds. Noah, 34, appeared in 34 games with the Grizzlies last season. Dallas would have to open up a roster spot to bring in a free agent.
  • Washington’s Ian Mahinmi, Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng and Golden State’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson are some of the trade options the team could pursue in the wake of Powell’s injury, Sefko writes in a separate piece.  Rookie Isaiah Roby and Justin Jackson could also pick up some of those minutes, Sefko adds, and the Mavs might pursue another G League option, Ray Spalding, of the Greensboro Swarm, who was on Dallas’ roster for part of last season.
  • Even before Powell’s injury, the team was perusing the trade market for players with size who can score 15 points a game, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link). “They have assets. They have a trade exception, they have Courtney Lee, who’s a contract that can be traded. Watch out for them,” Windhorst said.
  • The Mavs have two trade exceptions available to utilize prior to February’s deadline, including one worth over $11.8MM. Check out the list of all trade exceptions here.

Ray Spalding Joins Hornets On Two-Way Deal

8:05pm: Spalding’s two-way deal is now official, the team confirmed in a press release.

6:21pm: The Hornets will sign Ray Spalding to a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 23-year-old forward was in training camp with the Rockets and joined their G League affiliate after being waived just before the start of the season. He was averaging 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in 20 games with Rio Grande Valley.

Spalding got 14 games of NBA experience last year as a rookie. Thirteen of those were with Mavericks and the other one came after joining the Suns on a 10-day contract last February.

By signing today, Spalding will be eligible to spend up to 24 days in the NBA between now and the end of the G League regular season in March.

The Hornets opened a two-way slot by waiving Robert Franks earlier today, which marks the deadline for issuing two-way contracts this season.

Rockets Waive Ray Spalding, Two Others

The Rockets have waived three players in advance of the regular season, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston, who tweets that the team has parted ways with forward Ray Spalding, forward Matur Maker, and guard Shamorie Ponds.

Spalding was recently claimed off waivers by Houston, while Maker – the brother of Pistons big man Thon Maker – signed with the team on Friday. Ponds, an undrafted rookie out of St. John’s, spent a little more time with the franchise, appearing in five games for the Rockets’ Summer League team and three games for the club this preseason.

All three players had non-guaranteed contracts, so the Rockets’ cap won’t be affected by today’s moves.

Houston now has 16 players under contract, including one (Chris Clemons) on a two-way deal. Four of the 15 Rockets players on standard contracts don’t have fully guaranteed contracts, but all four of those players – Ryan Anderson, Gary Clark, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Ben McLemore – are ineligible for two-way contracts due to their partial guarantees or years of NBA experience. So if Houston intends to fill its second two-way slot, the team will have to look elsewhere.

Rockets Claim Ray Spalding Off Waivers

Two days after being released by the Hawks, power forward Ray Spalding has been claimed off waivers by the Rockets, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston had opened up a roster spot on Wednesday by cutting injured forward Anthony Bennett.

Spalding, 22, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Atlanta in July after having his 2019/20 team option turned down by the Suns in June. The No. 56 overall pick in the 2018 draft, he appeared in 14 total NBA games for the Mavericks and Suns in his rookie season, averaging 3.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 10.6 minutes per contest.

The Rockets are currently carrying just 11 players with fully guaranteed salaries and both of their two-way contract slots are open, so there’s a potential path for Spalding to stick with the team into the regular season.

Currently, Isaiah Hartenstein, Gary Clark, Ryan Anderson, and Ben McLemore, all of whom have partial guarantees, are the favorites to fill out the 15-man roster. Shamorie Ponds, Chris Clemons, and Jaron Blossomgame are among those vying for the two-way slots.