Shawn Dawson

Jazz Host 32 Free Agents At Veteran Mini-Camp

The Jazz are hosting a veteran mini-camp on Friday and Saturday, with 32 players set to participate in the event, the team announced in a press release.

While the list of participants isn’t exactly star-studded, there are a handful of intriguing names, including several players who have spent time in NBA training camps and some who have played in regular season games. Lavoy Allen, K.J. McDaniels, Diamond Stone, Jarrod Uthoff, and Mike Tobey are among the free agents at Utah’s mini-camp who have logged NBA minutes.

While many of the participants in this weekend’s mini-camp won’t ever play in an NBA game, the event has paid dividends for the Jazz in the past. As Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News writes, Royce O’Neale made a strong impression on the franchise during a free agent mini-camp in 2016, which eventually led to O’Neale signing a contract with Utah last summer and becoming a key part of the rotation in 2017/18.

“We tried to get him that summer (2016), tried to sign him but he decided to go to Spain and made the right choice for him because he got better over there and it ended up working out in the long run for him,” Jazz director of scouting Bart Taylor said. “Royce is a great story and we like to say it puts pressure on us to find another one.”

Taylor is optimistic about identifying another future contributor among this year’s group.

“There’s some good talent out here,” Taylor said. “I like to joke with all our guys and say there’s three or four guys out here that’ll play in the NBA, but you’ve got to find them. So there’s definitely a few guys out here that we like, a lot of guys actually that we really like but we’re just trying to see how they do over the course of the three practices and hopefully one of them does turn into Royce.”

Here’s the full list of participants for Utah’s free agent mini-camp:

Pelicans Waive Shawn Dawson, Robert Sacre

The Pelicans have begun making their preseason roster cuts, announcing today in a press release that guard Shawn Dawson and center Robert Sacre have been waived by the team. New Orleans’ roster now sits at 18 players, so three more cuts will be required before opening night.

Dawson, an Israeli native, signed a non-guaranteed summer contract with the Pelicans and appeared in three preseason contests for the team, totaling just 10 minutes in those games. Sacre, a former Laker who was also on a non-guaranteed deal, played even less, appearing in just one exhibition contest for New Orleans. Both players were viewed as long shots to make the Pelicans’ 15-man roster, and will now become free agents if and when they clear waivers.

Quinn Cook and Quincy Ford are the other two players on non-guaranteed contracts on the Pelicans’ roster, so they’re good bets to be waived by Monday. The final roster decision will be a little tougher, and will likely come down to Alonzo Gee, who has a fully guaranteed salary, vs. Lance Stephenson, who doesn’t.

Southwest Notes: Moore, Dawson, Harden, Mavs

E’Twaun Moore, who was one of the first players to commit when free agency began July 1st, chose the Pelicans because he wanted a team where he could make a difference, relays Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. After being with three teams in his first five seasons, the combo guard now has the security of a four-year, $34MM contract with New Orleans. “I definitely wanted to play more minutes and make an impact, helping my team win,” Moore said. “And they’re a team that is, of course, going in a positive direction. They’re a team that’s trying to win. They have a good group of guys; they made the playoffs two years ago and I think they would have made it last year if it weren’t for all the injuries. I think we can get back into playoff contention and that’s another reason I signed.” Moore has a chance to compete for a starting job in the Pelicans’ backcourt with Eric Gordon gone to Houston.

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • Shawn Dawson understands the odds as he competes for a roster spot with the Pelicans, tweets Brett Dawson of The New Orleans Advocate. The Israeli swingman accepted a camp invitation from New Orleans earlier this month. “They explained the whole situation,” he said. “I know that it’s a tough situation to get a contract when there’s 15 guaranteed already, but things happen. I believe in myself and I feel they like me. I know that they like me.”
  • After signing a $118MM extension with the Rockets this summer, James Harden has organized a players-only minicamp for next week, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. It’s the second year for the camp, and teammate Corey Brewer said it’s a sign that Harden has accepted the role of team leader. “He’s the franchise player,” Brewer said. “He signed the extension. So it’s his team, and he’s doing all the right things to do what we need to do to have a chance to win championships.”
  • The Mavericks concentrated on youth during the offseason, notes The Vertical’s Bobby Marks. After age seemed to be a problem in the playoff loss to the Thunder, Dallas brought in Harrison Barnes [24], Seth Curry [25], Quincy Acy [25] and A.J. Hammons [23] to join Dwight Powell [25] and Justin Anderson [22].

Contract Notes: Sacre, Sabonis, Jerrett

Here are the latest free agent and 2016 draft pick contract details, courtesy of Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus:

  • Grant Jerrett‘s training camp deal with the Trail Blazers is a one-year, non-guaranteed pact worth $980,431, Pincus tweets. If the forward makes Portland’s regular season roster, his deal won’t be guaranteed until the January 10th, 2017, which is the leaguewide date for contracts this season. The Blazers currently have $112,354,979 in guaranteed salary on the books for 2016/17.
  • The summer contracts the Raptors inked Drew Crawford and Yanick Moreira to are both non-guaranteed deals worth $543,471 apiece, per Pincus (Twitter link). Each deal would become fully guaranteed on December 15th, 2016, provided they made the regular season roster. Toronto currently has $106,077,999 in guaranteed salary already on the books for this campaign.
  • In keeping with the non-guaranteed summer contract trend we have going here, the Pelicans agreements with Robert Sacre and Chris Copeland will count as $980,431 against the cap each, with both players actual salaries set at $1,050,961, Pincus relays (on Twitter). Shawn Dawson‘s non-guaranteed deal will pay him $543,471, should he make the team, the scribe adds. All three deals would become fully guaranteed if they remain on the roster past January 10th, 2017. The Pelicans’ fully guaranteed commitments currently stand at $97,799,631 for the coming season.
  • Domantas Sabonis‘ rookie-scale deal with the Thunder will pay him $2,440,200 this season, $2,550,000 in 2017/18, $2,659,800 in 2018/19 and $3,529,555 the final season, Pincus tweets. Ronnie Price‘s two-year pact, which is fully guaranteed, will see him earn $2,557,545 this year and $2,442,445 in 2017/18, Pincus adds. OKC’s guaranteed commitments currently total up to $91,860,496 for 2016/17.

Pelicans To Sign Shawn Dawson

FRIDAY, 2:12pm: The signing is official, the team announced today.

THURSDAY, 8:47am: Israeli wing Shawn Dawson will be heading stateside this fall, according to Maccabi Rishon, his team overseas. The Israeli club announced (via Twitter) that Dawson has accepted a camp invite from the Pelicans. Roey Gladstone of Channel 5 TV confirms (via Twitter) that Dawson is joining New Orleans on a non-guaranteed contract.

Dawson, 22, averaged 15.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.8 APG, and 1.1 BPG in 39 Israeli League contests last season, shooting 58.7% from the floor and helping lead Maccabi Rishon to a title. Dawson is the second player from the club to reach an agreement with an NBA team this month — we heard yesterday that former Dayton forward Chris Wright, who played in Israel last season, has a deal with the Thunder.

According to one recent report, Dawson turned down a camp invite from the Wizards after playing for Washington in Summer League action last month. If the Pelicans’ offer doesn’t include any guaranteed money, then that decision seems a little curious. It’s possible that Dawson felt he’d have a better chance at earning a regular-season roster spot in New Orleans than he would have in Washington, but the Pelicans are currently carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts, while the Wizards have just 12.

Southeast Notes: Millsap, Wizards, Billups

It has been a Southeast-themed day so far at Hoops Rumors — we rounded up a few items out of the Southeast this morning, then examined the division’s free agent spending earlier this afternoon. Now, we have another handful of Southeast notes to pass along, so let’s dive right in…

  • Paul Millsap was the subject of trade rumors this summer, but speaking to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks big man said that dealing with that talk is just part of the business.
  • Israeli wing Shawn Dawson, who helped Maccabi Rishon win a title in Israel last season, received an invite from the Wizards to attend training camp, but has decided to turn it down, sources tell J. Michael of (Twitter link). Dawson appeared in four Summer League games for Washington last month.
  • A report in June indicated that the Magic were prepared to make Chauncey Billups one of the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coaches, but the former guard turned down the offer to join Frank Vogel‘s staff. Appearing on The Vertical’s podcast recently, Billups explained that he declined the job primarily for family reasons. “My second daughter has a couple more years of high school, so I didn’t really want to move away,” Billups said, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. “It became more of a personal thing than just a coaching job. But it was a great opportunity.”

Draft Rumors: Lakers, Okafor, Russell

The Lakers are leaning towards taking Jahlil Okafor with the No. 2 overall pick, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  However, Ramona Shelburne of (on Twitter) hears that the Lakers are undecided with both Okafor and D’Angelo Russell in play.  Of course, the only word that counts will come from commissioner Adam Silver later tonight. Here’s the latest draft news..

  • Frank Kaminsky is moving up draft boards in the final hours, league sources tell David Aldridge of (on Twitter).  He could very well go higher than No. 9, which is where the Hornets would like him.
  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was known to be very high on Willie Cauley-Stein but Sam Amick of USA Today Sports (on Twitter) isn’t hearing much of that today.
  • Several league sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter) that they expect Cauley-Stein to slip.   The big man didn’t shine in workouts or interviews and his ankle is a concern.
  • The Jazz are targeting Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow at No. 12 and they’re willing to trade up if they feel it’s necessary, according to Spencer Checketts of 1280 The Zone (via Twitter links).  If those trade-up scenarios don’t pan out, Utah could instead move down.  If they do move down, Checketts lists the Celtics (No. 16), Bucks (17) and, Rockets (No. 18) as possible partners.
  • Marcin Gortat during a press conference in Poland said the Pistons asked him about prospect Mateusz Ponitka, according to Sportando (on Twitter). Ponitka worked out for Detroit earlier this week.   The shooting guard looks to be a second round (or, undrafted) prospect.
  • The Bucks like UNLV forward Christian Wood, but feel that he’ll be chosen later in the first round, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times tweets.  Milwaukee owns the No. 17 pick in the first round and the No 46 pick in the second.
  • David Pick of (on Twitter) hears that projected second-round pick Shawn Dawson hopes to slide under the radar and go undrafted.  Dawson is currently ranked as the No. 66 prospect in the draft by DraftExpress.