Sam Dekker

Free Agency Notes: Anunoby, Negotiations, Sixers, Sirvydis

Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Monday (YouTube link), Brian Windhorst said that while there’s a widespread expectation that veteran forward OG Anunoby will ultimately end up back with the Knicks, it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on now that teams are permitted to negotiate with their own free agents.

“Most people believe that Anunoby will stay with New York, but there have been indications that he may want to test the market because he’s not thrilled with what the Knicks (may offer),” Windhorst said.

As Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports points out (via Twitter), Anunoby is a CAA Sports client, so it’s worth noting that ESPN’s Jay Williams – who is also represented by CAA – responded to Windhorst’s comment by stating, “I’ve heard that internally as well.”

A report on Monday suggested that the floor for Anunoby’s next contract is $35MM per year, meaning his non-Knicks suitors would be limited to teams that could create significant cap room or who are in position to pull off a sign-and-trade. That list isn’t extensive, but the Sixers are among the cap-room clubs that could have interest, especially if they miss out on top target Paul George.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic considers which high-profile free agents might end up with agreements in place before the league-wide free agent period begins on June 30, naming Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey, Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, and a handful of others as candidates to strike deals early. Since Hollinger’s story was published, a report came out indicating that Siakam and the Pacers are nearing a long-term agreement.
  • In an Insider-only story for, Bobby Marks shares the contract offers he’d make to the top free agents of 2024, including three-year, $90MM deals for James Harden and DeMar DeRozan and a two-year, $50MM contract to try to lure Isaiah Hartenstein away from the Knicks.
  • The Sixers recently held a free agent workout that featured a handful of former NBA players, including Sam Dekker, Stanley Johnson, Jarrett Culver, and Tony Bradley, according to John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links). The 76ers will have significant cap room this offseason, but if they use that room to sign just two or three players, they’ll have plenty of minimum-salary roster slots to fill.
  • Former Pistons wing Deividas Sirvydis, who appeared in 23 games across two seasons from 2020-22, has signed a new deal with Zalgiris Kaunas that includes two guaranteed years and a third-year option, the Lithuanian club announced in a press release. According to Donatas Urbonas of (Twitter link), the contract will feature an NBA opt-out clause, leaving the door open for the 24-year-old to potentially return stateside before the term expires.

And-Ones: Thompson Twins, Dekker, In-Season Tournament, More

Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, twin brothers who bypassed college to compete in the Overtime Elite program, are projected lottery picks in the upcoming 2023 NBA draft. Israel Gutierrez of ESPN recently caught up with the brothers during Game 3 of the first-round series between Atlanta and Boston.

While much of the hype leading up to June’s draft has centered on French phenom Victor Wembanyama, the projected top overall pick, and G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson, a projected top-three pick, Amen says he’s confident he’s one of the top players in the world.

They always bring up those names, ‘How you going to pass Victor and Scoot, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” Amen said. “And it’s just like, I’m going to do my thing. I’m going to run my race. And I think if I run my race, I’m one of the best players there is.”

The biggest question marks surrounding Amen and Ausar are the level of competition they faced at OTE and their jump shots, writes Gutierrez. Both players worked extensively on their jumpers over their two years at OTE, but it’s still a focus for improvement going forward.

I’m improving on shooting, working on pick and roll reads, just reads in general,” Ausar said, per Gutierrez. “My ability to get paint touches, collapse the defense and kick it out for others. Then for myself, just getting open and being able to rise up over defenders and hit a jump shot, or get to the cup.”

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

  • Former NBA forward Sam Dekker, a 2015 first-round pick, has signed a long-term extension with the London Lions of the British Basketball League, the team announced in a press release. The team captain averaged 18.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 2.9 APG during the 7Days EuroCup last fall and is under contract through 2026, per the Lions.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic spoke to four NBA players who are Premier League fans about the NBA’s new in-season tournament, which will begin next season and was roughly modeled on European soccer tournaments. All four like the idea and believe it could be an interesting way for younger teams to get experience in a more competitive environment. “It’s gonna be really good for our league,” Pacers guard T.J. McConnell said. “Seasons can — not necessarily drag on — but adding an in-season tournament there just to like reinvigorate fan interest and give something that the players are playing for, another competitive type of environment, I think it’s going to be really good.”
  • Although the majority of the moves didn’t draw as much attention as the blockbusters over the past year, five guards acquired via trades have made a significant impact in their respective teams’ playoff runs, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic. The five players Hollinger points to are the NuggetsKentavious Caldwell-Pope (a trade he says he wasn’t a fan of at the time, but has been proven very wrong), the KnicksJosh Hart, the CelticsMalcolm Brogdon, the SixersDe’Anthony Melton, and the LakersD’Angelo Russell.

Sam Dekker Signs With London Team

Sam Dekker, who made a brief NBA comeback last season, has signed a one-year deal with the London Lions, the team announced (via Twitter).

The 28-year-old forward earned a roster spot with the Raptors in training camp, but was waived before his $1.79MM contract became fully guaranteed in early November. He played just one game for Toronto before being released. Dekker finished the season with Bahçeşehir Koleji of Turkey, which went on to win the FIBA Europe Cup.

Dekker was selected by the Rockets with the 18th pick in the 2015 draft and spent two seasons in Houston before being shipped to the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade. He also had brief stints with the Cavaliers and Wizards, and averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 201 total NBA games.

The former Wisconsin star headed overseas after the 2018/19 season, signing with Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia and then Turk Telekom in Turkey.

Dekker will join former NBA center Kosta Koufos, who signed with the London team last month.

International Notes: Patton, Holman, Dekker, Krejci

Veteran NBA center Justin Patton, who spent last season in Israel, is off to France for the 2022/23 campaign, having finalized a one-year deal with Cholet Basket, the team announced today in a press release.

The 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Patton only ended up playing in 22 NBA games for the Timberwolves, Sixers, Thunder, and Rockets between 2017-21 before heading overseas. A series of foot injuries derailed the early part of Patton’s professional career, but the 25-year-old was able to suit up for 21 games in 2021/22 for Hapoel Eilat, averaging 11.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.9 BPG in 27.5 minutes per contest.

Here are a few more items from around the international basketball world:

  • Former Mississipi State big man Aric Holman has signed with Tezenis Verona, the Italian club announced today in a press release. While Holman is a G League veteran and inked a 10-day hardship contract with the Heat last December, he has yet to make his NBA regular season debut.
  • The London Lions of the British Basketball League are in talks with veteran NBA forward Sam Dekker, according to Dario Skerletic and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. A former first-round pick, Dekker began last season with the Raptors, but appeared in just one regular season contest and was waived early in the season, before his full salary became guaranteed.
  • Although Vit Krejci of the Thunder is the only current NBA player on the Czech Republic’s initial 15-man roster for EuroBasket 2022, there are other notable names on the list, including Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely, as Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops details.

Turkey May Be Next Stop For Sam Dekker

Sam Dekker, who began the season with the Raptors, is expected to sign with Bahcesehir in the Turkish League, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

The 27-year-old forward was on Toronto’s opening night roster, but he was waived in early November before his contract became fully guaranteed. He got into one game and played just one minute during his time with the Raptors.

The move would mark a return to Turkey for Dekker, who played for Turk Telecom during the 2020/21 season. He also spent a season in Russia during his time away from the NBA.

Dekker was selected by the Rockets with the 18th pick in the 2015 draft. After two years in Houston, he was traded to the Clippers in the Chris Paul deal, then had short stays with the Cavaliers and Wizards. He appeared in 201 NBA games, averaging 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per night.

Raptors Notes: Dekker, Bonga, Siakam, Barnes

The Raptors‘ decision to waive Sam Dekker came down to Isaac Bonga having more of the qualities that the organization values, writes Blake Murphy of Both players were signed to partially guaranteed deals and had agreed to delay their guarantee dates until today, but keeping both would have inhibited Toronto’s ability to get below the luxury tax threshold.

Dekker improved his outside shot while playing in Turkey last season, but Bonga is 6’8″ with a 7-foot wingspan and can play several positions. At 21, he’s five-and-a-half years younger than Dekker and may be a better investment for the future. Even though Dekker only got into one game for the Raptors, coach Nick Nurse said it wasn’t an easy choice on which player to keep.

“It was pretty close all the way,” Nurse said. “Isaac probably just kind of filled the role that we want. He’s got size, he’s kind of a versatile defender, he’s on the offensive glass. He’s kind of a real role-playing guy that we think we can throw in there at any time. He’s good enough to get into games right now, to be honest with you, but we can’t play everybody. … We were real close on it. Sam was awesome. He spent a lot of time with us from the moment, all the way back from when we first looked at him in the sort-of open run situation, and he spent a lot of time working the job. But it’s the tough side of it, man. Tough side. Sorry to see him go.”

There’s more from Toronto:

  • Bonga has only played seven total minutes this season, but the Raptors believe he can handle a rotation spot, Murphy adds. He got consistent playing time during his two years with the Wizards, and Toronto identified him as a low-cost target in free agency. Murphy believes the best move for Bonga is to get consistent playing time in the G League, but he and the players union would have to sign off on the move because he’s in his fourth NBA season.
  • Pascal Siakam is ready for his season debut Sunday after recovering from shoulder surgery and he likes what he has seen from the Raptors in their 6-4 start, per Michael Grange of “I wanted to be out there throughout the whole process,” he said, “but I’m excited to be back out there and just be with your teammates and do whatever I can to help.”
  • Friday’s game with the Cavaliers featured a matchup between two early favorites for Rookie of the Year, and both Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley looked like worthy candidates, according to Steven Loung of While scoring has a major effect on the voting, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff notes that Barnes and Mobley are special because of what they provide on defense. “Both of those guys are uniquely framed,” he said, “they’re mobile and agile and it gives them an opportunity to be impactful defensively.”

Raptors Waive Sam Dekker

NOVEMBER 6: The team has officially waived Dekker, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Bonga’s $1.67MM contract has been fully guaranteed, Lewenberg adds.

NOVEMBER 5: The Raptors are waiving forward Sam Dekker, tweets Blake Murphy of Dekker was on a partially guaranteed deal, so he will still earn $350K, the guaranteed portion of his contract.

Dekker had been in a battle with Isaac Bonga for the 14th spot on the roster. Both players previously agreed to push back their guarantee date to November 6.

Dekker only appeared in one regular season game for the Raptors, logging one minute, though he had some nice performances in the preseason. He last played in the NBA in 2018/19, having spent the past two seasons playing in Europe.

The move allows the Raptors to stay under the luxury tax threshold, as was mentioned in our previous articles.

Assuming he clears waivers, Dekker will become an unrestricted free agent.

As for Bonga, it’s unclear if the Raptors intend to guarantee his minimum salary for 2021/22. It’s possible the two sides could agree to push his guarantee date back. He could even be waived too, though the team would have to get back up to 14 players within two weeks in that scenario. For now, his spot on the roster at least appears safer than Dekker’s.

Atlantic Notes: Thybulle, Walker, Noel, Dekker, Birch, Trent

Matisse Thybulle is the latest Sixers player placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. Tobias Harris was placed under the protocols on Monday and Isaiah Joe was added to the list on Thursday. The entire team was tested for the virus before Thursday’s game against the Pistons and everyone else produced a negative test.

Thybulle, whose locker is next to Joe’s, was placed in protocols for contact tracing. That could leave the Sixers will just eight available players for Saturday’s game against Chicago due to protocols, injuries and Ben Simmons‘ situation.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks point guard Kemba Walker has scored a total of nine points over the last two games and admits he needs to step up his play, particularly at the start of games, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Walker has shot 4-for-19 from the field in those games. “I have to get my guys going. I take ownership of that,” he said. “That’s who I can be. I have to do a better job at that. I have to be ready to start the game better.’’
  • With Nerlens Noel back in action for the Knicks, he notes that there’s always a shot-blocking presence when he shares the center spot with Mitchell Robinson, Berman relays in a separate story. “Me and Mitch do similar things but we do it different ways,” Noel said. “So I bring what I bring — being aggressive on the pick-and-rolls, hedging out and getting guys uncomfortable, as well as protecting the rim. Mitch brings what he brings with his size and physicality. … We want to get to the level of having two Twin Towers back and holding down the paint.’’ Noel returned this week after recovering from knee and hamstring injuries.
  • The Raptors decided to waive Sam Dekker before his $1.7MM contract became fully guaranteed on Saturday. That leaves the club $618,540 below the luxury tax, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. That has an added benefit, since tax distribution for teams below the line projects to be $13MM, Marks adds. That estimate figures to change by the end of the season as more projected taxpayers look to duck below the tax line or reduce their bills.
  • During the offseason, the Raptors re-signed Khem Birch on a three-year contract and did the same with Gary Trent. Thus far, both players are living up their deals, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports writes. “I always told myself if I ever got the opportunity, I would take advantage of it,” Birch said. “So now that I got a contract, I don’t think it’s time to rest. I think it’s time to take advantage of that and also prove myself.”

Early NBA Salary Guarantee Dates For 2021/22

There are currently 30 players on standard NBA contracts whose 2021/22 salaries aren’t yet fully guaranteed. In most cases, those players will receive their full guarantees if they remain under contract through January 7. Because the league-wide salary guarantee date is January 10, a player must clear waivers before that date if a team wants to avoid being on the hook for his full salary.

A handful of players have earlier trigger dates, however. Those players will receive either full guarantees or an increased partial guarantee on certain dates before January 7.

These dates are fairly malleable — if a player and team reach an agreement, they can be pushed back. The Raptors took that route with Isaac Bonga and Sam Dekker, for example. Both players were originally on track to have their full minimum-salary contracts for 2021/22 become guaranteed if they made the team’s opening-night roster. However, they agreed to push their guarantee dates back a few weeks, to November 6.

Those agreements between a player and team aren’t always reported right away, so our list of early salary guarantee dates is a tentative one, based on information from Basketball Insiders, Spotrac, and HoopsHype, as well as our own data.

Here are the salary guarantee dates to watch prior to January 7:

November 6:

  • Isaac Bonga (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($250,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,729,217).
  • Sam Dekker (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($350,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,789,256).

December 1:

  • Chimezie Metu (Kings): Partial guarantee ($881,398) increases to full guarantee ($1,762,796).

December 11:

  • PJ Dozier (Nuggets): Partial guarantee ($400,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,910,860).

December 15:

  • DeAndre’ Bembry (Nets): Partial guarantee ($750,000) increases to larger partial guarantee ($1,250,000).
  • Kenrich Williams (Thunder): Partial guarantee increases to full guarantee ($2,000,000).
    • Note: Williams’ partial guarantee is based on a salary of about $11,494 per day. For instance, 30 days into the regular season, he’ll have earned $344,828.

Raptors Notes: Dragic, Dekker, Bonga, Achiuwa, Barnes

The Raptors are on a four-game winning streak, but Goran Dragic has been a DNP-CD in all four games, raising questions about his place on the roster. While the veteran point guard clearly isn’t a long-term keeper for the Raptors, there’s no indication that he’ll be traded or bought out anytime soon, writes Michael Grange of

As Grange explains, it’s too early in the season for any real trade market to develop for Dragic, and it’s unlikely that either the player or the team wants to make significant concessions in a buyout arrangement.

For now then, the two sides remain in an “amicable” holding pattern, says Grange — Dragic will remain on the roster as a respected veteran and talented backup, and his situation will be revisited closer to the February trade deadline.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Within the same story, Grange says the Raptors seem likely to cut either Sam Dekker or Isaac Bonga in the coming days. Both players’ salaries for 2021/22 will become guaranteed if they remain on the roster through November 6 and Toronto can duck under the luxury tax line by waiving one or the other. Dekker and Bonga have played a combined eight total minutes this season, and would be pushed further down the depth chart once Pascal Siakam and Yuta Watanabe return from their respective injuries.
  • Precious Achiuwa was one of the Raptors’ key offseason acquisitions, but the young center has experienced some growing pains so far this season. As Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes, head coach Nick Nurse benched Achiuwa in favor of backup center Khem Birch to open the second half of the team’s win over the Knicks on Monday. Although Birch doesn’t have Achiuwa’s upside, the veteran has exhibited better fundamentals, playing solid team defense, setting screens, and rebounding.
  • Rookie forward Scottie Barnes will miss a second straight game on Wednesday vs. Washington due to a right thumb sprain, tweets Josh Lewenberg of