Rayvonte Rice

Rayvonte Rice Turns Down Suns’ Offer

JULY 19: Rice won’t sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Suns after all, according to Carchia, who hears from Rice himself that he wants to keep his overseas options open (Twitter link).

JULY 18: After participating in Summer League play with the team earlier this month, free agent guard Rayvonte Rice is expected to sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Suns, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia notes that the news was first reported by Italian outlet La Prealpina.

Rice, who went undrafted out of Illinois in 2015, has played professionally in a handful of international leagues since then, spending time with clubs in Italy, France, and Mexico.

The 27-year-old joined the Suns for Las Vegas Summer League this year and appeared in three games for the team, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG in 19.7 minutes per contest. Much of his production came in a single game against the Knicks, when he scored 19 points in 22 minutes.

Assuming the Suns and Rice do finalize an Exhibit 10 deal, he’d be a long shot to make the regular season roster, but could end up playing for the Norther Arizona Suns, Phoenix’s G League affiliate.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

Central Notes: Boylen, Bucks, Pistons

The Bulls have officially named Jim Boylen as associate head coach on Fred Hoiberg’s staff, the team announced. “I am very excited to add Jim to our staff as our associate head coach. His track record speaks for itself with nearly 30 years of coaching experience and three NBA championships on his resume,” said Hoiberg. “His work ethic and attention to detail will help our team every day, and I look forward to working with him as we prepare for next season.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Also being considered for a spot on Hoiberg’s staff with the Bulls is Pete Myers, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tweets. Myers had previously been an assistant in Chicago, but was let go when Tom Thibodeau was named head coach. Myers last served as an assistant for the Warriors, but he was not retained when Steve Kerr took over for Mark Jackson as coach.
  • The Bucks held pre-draft workouts today for Ziga Dimec (Slovenia), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Terry Rozier (Louisville), and Brad Waldow (St. Mary’s), the team announced.
  • The Pistons will work out Cady Lalanne (Massachusetts) and Kendall Gray (Delaware State) today, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops relays (Twitter link). Detroit will also host Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Levi Randolph (Alabama), Aaron White (Iowa), and Rayvonte Rice (Illinois), Keith Langlois of NBA.com adds (via Twitter).
  • Cavs coach David Blatt credits his players with continuing to fight even as injuries continued to mount during the playoffs, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. “This is a process,” Blatt said. “You don’t wake up one morning and fall out of bed and expect to win the NBA Championship. You hope that you can, but it doesn’t always work that way, and our guys did more than anyone could expect to put themselves and put our organization in this situation.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is breathing easier now that his starting lineup for 2015/16 is beginning to take shape with the acquisition of Ersan Ilyasova, Shawn Windsor of The Detroit Free Press writes. “It was a little scary thinking about going into the summer and saying you might have to go get two starters,” Van Gundy said. “Now we feel like we’ve got four starters that we are really happy with.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Clippers, Draft

While Stephen Curry won’t be worrying about how he will afford to put food on his table anytime soon, his contract with the Warriors is one of the biggest values in the NBA, and the MVP can be considered one of the most underpaid athletes in all of professional sports, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. There were a total of 50 NBA players who earned more than the $10,629,213 that Curry did last season, including 11 point guards, Kennedy notes. On his way to winning the MVP award the 27-year-old appeared in 80 contests, averaging 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in 32.7 minutes per game.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers need to make changes to their existing roster but won’t be able to add any big ticket free agents this offseason thanks to their difficult salary cap situation. Arash Markazi and Ben Alamar of ESPN.com run down some hypothetical blockbuster trades that Los Angeles could potentially make if it wished to shake up its roster this summer.
  • University of Illinois shooting guard Rayvonte Rice has a workout scheduled with the Suns, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Lakers held workouts today for Alan Williams (UC Santa Barbara), Norman Powell (UCLA), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Mitch McCarron (Metropolitan State College), Byron Wesley (Gonzaga), Matt Stainbrook (Xavier), and Josh Smith (Georgetown), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Kings forward Carl Landry underwent surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist, the team announced. Landry will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to be out of action for approximately four to five months.

And-Ones: Booker, Clippers, Sanders

Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker will work out for the Thunder on Tuesday, Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman tweets. Oklahoma City owns the No. 14 overall pick. The Suns, who have the No. 13 pick, brought in Booker for a workout on Monday. according to a tweet from Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.com. Dez WellsJosh Richardson, Derek Cooke, Vince Hunter and Jarvis Summers also participated in Phoenix’s workout, according to Scotto.

In other news around the league:

  • The Clippers, who don’t have a pick in the draft, nonetheless brought in several prospects for workouts on Monday, including Chris WalkerDwayne PoleeRalston TurnerKeifer SykesShannon Scott and Richaun Holmes, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reports.
  • Trevor Lacey, Dakari Johnson, Rayvonte Rice, Corey Hawkins, Kenneth Smith and Alpha Kaba worked out for the Lakers on Monday, according to the Lakers’ Twitter feed.
  • Jerian Grant and Delon Wright participated in the Wizards’ first pre-draft workout, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports.
  • Larry Sanders has no regrets walking away from the Bucks and the NBA, he tells Gus Turner of Complex.com in a lengthy feature article. Sanders left approximately $27MM but has found peace and happiness outside of basketball, Turner adds. “I couldn’t function outside of the gym and my studio,” he told Turner. “I couldn’t be around my family; I couldn’t be around anybody else. I was creating from a place of anxiety and fear, suffering. I wasn’t creating from a place of joy or happiness or freedom. Everything I did was pure avoidance.”
  • Alvin Gentry’s four-year deal to coach the Pelicans is worth a total of $13.75MM, and that includes a team option of $4MM for the final season, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Pacific Notes: D’Alessandro, Draft, Clippers

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers denies that there is any rift between teammates Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com relays. “I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told Fred Roggin of The Beast 980. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way. I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake [Griffin] in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

Here’s the latest out of the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers held workouts today for Phil Greene, Rayvonte Rice, Cady Lalanne, Maurice Walker, Bryce Dejean-Jones, and Matt Carlino, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reports (Twitter link).
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro is a “significant candidate” for the now vacant athletic director post at St. John’s University, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). D’Alessandro lost a significant amount of his authority when the team hired new president of basketball and franchise operations, Vlade Divac.
  • The Suns worked out Quinn Cook, Marcus Thornton (Georgia), D.J. Newbill, Tyler Haws, Matt Stainbrook, and Aaron Thomas, Scotto tweets.
  • When speaking about potential 2015 draftees Aaron Harrison and Kevin Pangos, both of whom recently worked out for the team, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek noted that both players may not get selected this June, but could have a shot at making an NBA roster because of the changes in how guards are used today, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “There are probably more guys that are the combo guards because they’re not really true point guards,” Hornacek said. “They’re all scoring guys. They all come up with the scoring mentality. You try to find those guys that can do both those things. But especially in today’s game, the point guard, he may be a scorer but he’s still got to lead the team. He’s still got to have that ability to direct guys and not be afraid.

Northwest Notes: Singler, Donovan, Draft, Gee

Thunder GM Sam Presti reiterated that the Thunder are committed to re-signing Enes Kanter and hope to do so with Kyle Singler as well, pointing to Singler’s shooting, versatility and height in an email interview with Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Presti also told Mayberry that he sought input from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and other Thunder players about the qualities they’d like to see in a coach even though he found it unwise to discuss specific candidates for the team’s coaching vacancy, which he filled with Billy Donovan. Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Incarnate Word combo guard Denzel Livingston, Ohio power forward Maurice Ndour, Penn State shooting guard D.J. Newbill, Illinois shooting guard Rayvonte Rice and TCU shooting guard Trey Zeigler are scheduled to work out for the Jazz today, the team announced (Twitter link). Michigan State swingman Russell Byrd will join them, as Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops reported Tuesday.
  • It’s not out of the question that the Trail Blazers will re-sign Alonzo Gee this summer, but it’s doubtful, writes Jabari Young of CSNNW.com, speculating that the Hawks, Spurs and Jazz might be decent bets to sign him instead. Gee remained on an NBA roster all season after signing a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract the Nuggets, who traded him to the Blazers in the Arron Afflalo deal.
  • The Timberwolves made a “colossal blunder” not once but twice in the 2009 draft when they passed over MVP Stephen Curry for point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, as Michael Rand of the Star Tribune examines.