Taze Moore

And-Ones: NBA Media Rights, T. Moore, Splitter, I. Austin

The NBA’s exclusive media rights negotiating window with Disney (ESPN/ABC) and Warner Bros. Discovery (TNT) is expected to expire on Monday without a new deal in place, reports Alex Sherman of CNBC Sports.

After Monday, the league will be able to continue to negotiate with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery while also having conversations with other potential media rights partners, including streamers like Apple, Netflix, and Amazon. A league spokesperson told CNBC that talks with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery have been “productive” and are ongoing.

As both Sherman and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic explain, the NBA’s next media rights deal will likely be more complex and wide-ranging than the current agreement, with the league expected to put together a package that includes three or four partners rather than just two. That current deal with ESPN/ABC and TNT will expire after the 2024/25 season.

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

  • Shooting guard Taze Moore – who signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Trail Blazers this season, including one on the final day of the season – has joined the Vancouver Bandits in the Canadian Elite Basketball League, per a press release (hat tip to Sean Highkin on Twitter). A former Houston Cougar, Moore didn’t see much action in his first 10 days with Portland, but played 30 minutes in last Sunday’s blowout loss, compiling 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
  • Tiago Splitter, an assistant coach on Ime Udoka‘s Rockets staff, will join the Brazilian national team’s staff as an assistant this summer, according to an announcement from the program (hat tip to Eurohoops). Brazil hasn’t secured a spot in the Olympics but will be looking to claim one of the four remaining openings by winning a six-team qualifying tournament in Latvia.
  • Isaiah Austin, the former Baylor standout whose plans of playing in the NBA were derailed when he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, has been hired an assistant coach by Florida Atlantic, reports Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. As Reynolds details, Austin has spent the last several years working for the NBA and playing in the BIG3.

Taze Moore Signs Rest-Of-Season Hardship Deal With Blazers

Free agent guard Taze Moore has inked a rest-of-season deal on the final day of the 2023/24 regular season in order to play for the Trail Blazers in their season finale, the team has announced (Twitter link).

The Blazers previously announced (via Twitter) that they will be missing 10 players today as they wrap up their year at the Golden 1 Center against the Kings. Portland currently occupies the bottom seed in the Western Conference at 21-60, while the 45-36 Kings are fighting for play-in tournament seeding.

Portland has all 15 of its standard roster spots filled, meaning that this Moore contract will be a hardship exception deal. Moore had previously signed a 10-day contract with the Trail Blazers in January — this will technically be considered his second 10-day with the club, though it’ll only cover a single day before expiring.

Across his three games with Portland, the 6’5″ shooting guard averaged a scant 3.3 MPG, posting 2.0 PPG on 60% field goal shooting.

The Houston product, 25, has primarily been in the G League this season, splitting his time between Portland’s NBAGL affiliate, the Rip City Remix, and the Mavericks’ squad, the Texas Legends. All told, he logged averages of 14.7 PPG on .487/.328/.727 shooting, along with 6.4 APG, 4.9 RPG and 1.4 SPG.

Trail Blazers Sign Taze Moore To 10-Day Contract

11:54am: Moore’s 10-day deal with the Blazers is official, according to a release from the team (Twitter link).

10:17am: The Trail Blazers are signing guard Taze Moore to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Moore spent most of this season with the Texas Legends before being traded from Dallas’ G League affiliate to Portland’s, the Rip City Remix. In 21 regular season and Showcase Cup games in the G League, Moore has averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per contest.

Moore, 25, played his first five collegiate seasons at Cal State Bakersfield before transferring to Houston for his final season, playing under coach Kelvin Sampson. After going undrafted in 2022, he spent time with the Nets in Summer League before landing with the Legends for the 2022/23 season. In his first professional season in the G League, he averaged 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds.

The Mavericks signed Moore to an Exhibit 10 deal in the offseason before waiving him and having him rejoin the Legends. Texas traded him to the Remix last week in exchange for a first-round pick and a second-round pick in the 2024 G League draft, according to a release from the team.

Adding Moore will give the Blazers 14 players on standard contracts and three players on two-way deals.

As we explained last week, Portland was facing a deadline to add a 14th player, since NBA teams are not permitted to carry fewer than 14 players for more than two weeks at a time (or 28 total days over the course of the season). Today marked that deadline for the Blazers, since they dropped to 13 players by waiving Ish Wainright and Skylar Mays on January 6.

Mavericks Sign, Waive Taze Moore

OCTOBER 17: The Mavericks have waived Moore, the team’s PR department tweets. It’s likely he’ll end up with the Legends after clearing waivers.

OCTOBER 16: The Mavericks have signed former University of Houston forward Taze Moore, the team announced (via Twitter).

The 6’5″ Moore joined Dallas’ G League team after going undrafted in 2022 and averaged 13.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24 regular season games with the Texas Legends. He also played for the Mavericks’ Summer League squad, posting 7.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in five games.

In an interview this summer with Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated, Moore said the Mavs asked him to concentrate on defense in Las Vegas, but he feels he can handle any role that he’s assigned.

“I’m not really a well-known guy like that, and I’m kind of cool with that,” Moore said. “I’m a defensive guy, but when I was at (Cal) Bakersfield, I kind of had a team where I had to be an offensive threat and things like that. So I can just be anything you want me to be when you want me to be that. I can score. If you need me to score, I score. If you don’t, I won’t.”

Moore is a long shot to make the Mavericks’ roster, but assuming he signed an Exhibit 10 contract, he’ll be able to earn a bonus of up to $75K if he’s waived and spends at least 60 days with the Legends.

Dallas had room to sign Moore after waiving three players over the weekend. There are still two openings on the 21-man roster.

Evaluating NBA’s Open Two-Way Contract Slots

As our two-way contract tracker shows, 81 of the 90 available two-way slots available around the NBA are currently occupied, with nine still open as of Friday afternoon.

With the start of the season rapidly approaching, teams will begin cutting down their rosters en masse around October 21, which ensures players clear waivers before the start of the season on October 24. One way teams will manage their rosters before the season is by converting certain Exhibit 10 players to two-way contracts.

[Related: Checking In On NBA’s Two-Way Contract Slots]

Let’s take a look at each open two-way spot on a team-by-team basis and consider who could potentially fill those spots.

Brooklyn Nets

Open two-way spots: 1

The Nets are an interesting case because they don’t currently have anyone signed to the roster that makes sense as a two-way option.

They are reportedly signing Patrick Gardner to an Exhibit 10 deal, though that has yet to happen. Harry Giles, while technically eligible for a two-way deal, is not an option because he is signed to only an Exhibit 9 contract, which are ineligible to be converted if they don’t also include Exhibit 10 language.

For now, it seems as though Brooklyn will either keep the slot open to begin the year, claim someone on waivers from another team, or sign an outside option.

Dallas Mavericks

Open two-way spots: 2

Dallas waived Mike Miles on Saturday, giving them two open two-way contract spots. Two logical options to fill those spots, as we wrote, are training camp invitees Greg Brown and Dexter Dennis. Brown is still just 22 with two NBA seasons under his belt and was a consensus five-star prospect out of high school. Dennis averaged 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds with Texas A&M in his final collegiate season.

The Mavericks also signed Taze Moore to a camp deal on Monday, who averaged 10.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in his final collegiate season with Houston. All three appear to be in play for those final spots, though outside options are always possible.

Detroit Pistons

Open two-way spots: 1

The Pistons have one open standard spot, as well as their open two-way slot. It’s unclear what their plans are with those spots, but it’s possible they give both to players currently on their training camp roster. Stanley Umude, Tosan Evbuomwan, Buddy Boeheim, Zavier Simpson and Jontay Porter are signed to Exhibit 10 deals with Detroit.

Umude appears to have the inside track to a roster spot, whether standard or a two-way deal, given his play in the preseason. However, the Pistons are in a good position to claim a young player on waivers from another team if they chose to, so I’d expect them to at least explore that option.

New Orleans Pelicans

Open two-way spots: 1

The Pelicans also have one open standard spot in addition to their open two-way spot, but given their proximity to the tax, I’d expect them to keep their 15th standard spot open.

That leaves one two-way spot, and they have five players currently signed to Exhibit 10 deals in Jalen Crutcher, Izaiah Brockington, Trey Jemison, Tevian Jones and Malcolm Hill. Jemison, who was once reportedly eyed for a two-way with Phoenix, has been impressive in the preseason and a promotion to a two-way deal wouldn’t be surprising.

Orlando Magic

Open two-way spots: 1

Orlando has a talented crop of players signed to Exhibit 10 deals, including last year’s dunk contest champion Mac McClung. Joining McClung are Trevelin Queen, Brandon Williams and Miye Oni, all of whom have NBA experience.

The Magic traded for the G League rights to McClung and Williams earlier this offseason, which could indicate they don’t plan to convert either given that they have secured their potential G League services However, I expect both to have a chance to make the roster.

Phoenix Suns

Open two-way spots: 1

The Suns don’t have any players currently signed to training camp deals, so it’s hard to predict what they’ll do with these slots. Historically, Phoenix has used their two-way spots to sign players who are older and/or have NBA experience. Ish Wainright and Duane Washington are two such examples and they have Udoka Azubuike and Saben Lee already on board who both fit that bill.

Given that Phoenix is the only team without a G League affiliate for the upcoming season, it’d track that whoever they sign to fill that spot, if any player, would also fulfill that criteria.

San Antonio Spurs

Open two-way spots: 1

Charles Bediako is the only player the Spurs have signed to an Exhibit 10 deal as of Friday afternoon, so he could be a logical option to fill San Antonio’s last two-way contract. Bediako was ESPN’s fifth-best ranked undrafted free agent after the 2023 draft and eight of the top 10 signed two-way deals following the draft (Miles was later waived).

Washington Wizards

Open two-way spots: 1

The Wizards are in the process of cycling through Exhibit 10 players, so I’m not 100% convinced they move either Jules Bernard or Michael Foster Jr., their two current Exhibit 10 signees, to two-way slots. Bernard isn’t a bad bet though — he averaged 15.3 points for Washington’s affiliate Capital City Go-Go last season.

It’s also important to note that every player currently signed to a two-way deal isn’t necessarily a lock to make their team. With a modest contract guarantee, teams often swap out two-way players either before the season or during the course of the year. For example, Miles was waived earlier this week by the Mavericks despite holding a two-way deal.

Potential situations to monitor include Jay Scrubb of the Celtics, who is on a one-year two-way deal but is out for the season with a torn ACL; and Dru Smith of the Heat, whom Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel identified as a possible odd man out, though head coach Erik Spoelstra has spoken highly of him.

2022/23 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2022/23 season on Saturday afternoon.

The 28 G League teams affiliated with NBA franchises participated in the event, as did – for the first time – the Mexico City Capitanes. The G League Ignite, which is made up of top prospects and veteran mentors, doesn’t take part in the draft.

[RELATED: NBA G League Announces Schedule, Format For 2022/23 Season]

The first player selected in today’s G League draft was 2020 second-round pick Sam Merrill, a swingman who was in camp with the Kings this fall but missed out on earning a regular season roster spot.

Merrill’s contract with Sacramento included a partial guarantee of $150K, making him ineligible to suit up for the Kings’ G League affiliate in Stockton this season. The Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers‘ affiliate, snared him with the No. 1 overall pick.

The No. 2 pick was another player who was under contract with an NBA team up until last week. Joe Wieskamp was the odd man out in San Antonio, having been waived by the Spurs (despite having a guaranteed 2022/23 salary) to help the team get down to 15 players for the start of the season. The Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks‘ affiliate, grabbed him with the second overall selection today.

Among the other notable picks was No. 4 overall Jared Rhoden, who was selected by the Hawks‘ affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks. Atlanta claimed Rhoden off waivers near the end of the preseason in the hopes of securing his affiliate rights, but it appears he didn’t meet the criteria — the Skyhawks instead secured his G League rights in today’s draft.

The player with the most NBA experience selected in today’s draft was Norris Cole. The veteran guard, with 360 NBA regular season appearances under his belt, went 48th overall to the Grand Rapids Gold, the Nuggets‘ affiliate. Cole, who turned 34 this month, will be looking to take the same path Isaiah Thomas and Lance Stephenson did last season, making an NBA comeback after impressing in Grand Rapids.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that today’s No. 10 overall pick, Amauri Hardy, is the older brother of Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy. Dallas’ affiliate, the Texas Legends, picked him.

Here are the full 2022/23 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Sam Merrill
  2. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Joe Wieskamp
  3. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Aaron Wheeler
  4. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Jared Rhoden
  5. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Jericole Hellems
  6. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Kadeem Jack
  7. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Terrell Brown Jr.
  8. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Michael Weathers
  9. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Taze Moore
  10. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Amauri Hardy
  11. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Ty Gordon
  12. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Mamoudou Diarra
  13. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Abu Kigab
  14. Ontario Clippers (Clippers): Warith Alatishe
  15. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Mayan Kiir
  16. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Theo John
  17. South Bay Lakers (Lakers): Nate Roberts
  18. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Keith Williams
  19. Long Island Nets (Nets): Taz Sherman
  20. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Devon Daniels
  21. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Jai Smith (Overtime Elite)
  22. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Adrian Delph
  23. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Tyrn Flowers
  24. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Nick King
  25. Ontario Clippers (Clippers): David Collins
  26. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Derek Culver
  27. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Ryan Turell (Yeshiva — Division III)
  28. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Tom Digbeu
  29. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Kendall Smith

Round Two:

  1. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Rashad Vaughn
  2. Mexico City Capitanes (N/A): Jassel Perez (Dominican Republic)
  3. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Tyson Jolly
  4. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Hasahn French
  5. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): No pick
  6. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Landon Kirkwood
  7. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Justin Kier
  8. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Jayce Johnson
  10. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  11. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Remy Martin
  12. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Noah Starkey (Southern Nazarene – Division II)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Philip Flory
  14. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Zak Irvin
  15. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Jahvon Blair
  16. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Brandon McCoy
  17. South Bay Lakers (Lakers): John Meeks
  18. Stockton Kings (Kings): Seth Allen
  19. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Norris Cole
  20. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): No pick
  21. Stockton Kings (Kings): Austin Trice
  22. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): No pick
  23. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): No pick
  24. Stockton Kings (Kings): Isaac Johnson
  25. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Elijah Lufile
  26. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  27. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Eron Gordon
  28. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Jack Nolan (Washington University in St. Louis – Division III)
  29. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Armon Fletcher

Round Three:

  1. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): J.J. Moore
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): No pick
  3. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): No pick
  4. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Jachai Taylor
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic): No pick
  6. Birmingham Squadron (Pelicans): Trey McGowens
  7. Austin Spurs (Spurs): No pick
  8. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Kevin Kangu
  9. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Wayne Stewart Jr. (Texas A&M-Commerce – Division II)
  10. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): No pick
  11. Maine Celtics (Celtics): No pick
  12. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): No pick
  13. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): No pick
  14. Maine Celtics (Celtics): No pick
  15. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Dazon Ingram
  16. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): No pick
  17. Mexico City Capitanes (N/A): No pick
  18. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): No pick
  19. Long Island Nets (Nets): Alan Griffin
  20. Austin Spurs (Spurs): No pick
  21. Austin Spurs (Spurs): No pick
  22. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): No pick
  23. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): No pick
  24. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): No pick
  25. Ontario Clippers (Clippers): No pick
  26. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  27. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): No pick
  28. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Nick Hornsby
  29. Raptors 905 (Raptors): No pick

Teams will fill out their rosters with affiliate players, returning-rights players, tryout players, and players who are assigned to the G League from the NBA roster (including those on two-way contracts).

G League training camps open on Monday, with this year’s NBAGL Showcase Cup tournament tipping off on November 4.