Tyler Honeycutt

Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

Rumors are swirling that LeBron James will look to leave Cleveland for a second time after next season and potentially head out west. If he is not on the Cavaliers after 2017/18, James’ departure would have a domino effect across the league. A. Sherrod Blakely joined Mike Felger and Gary Tanguay at CSN New England to discuss Celtics general manager Danny Ainge‘s potential moves if James heads out West and weakens the Eastern Conference.

Blakely believes that no matter James’ future, Ainge should not focus on what’s going around the league, focusing instead on his own team. The Celtics have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and are coming off a year where they were the first seed in the East. The Celtics have their own issues to address, including the impending free agency of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and others.

In any case, the Celtics are in the best position of any Eastern Conference team to unseat the Cavaliers as the class of division and a James departure after next season only strengthens that.

Here are other notes from around the Atlantic Division:

And-Ones: Union, Celtics, Blatche, Diawara

The players union is worried that teams like the Heat are trying to strong-arm players into making financial sacrifices by triggering hard caps with the use of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe explains. Clubs can’t exceed the tax apron, the line $4MM above the tax threshold, if they use either the larger mid-level or the bi-annual. Ron Klempner, the interim executive director for the union, argues that such teams can eschew those exceptions and find ways that don’t trigger a hard cap to accommodate contracts for the players they want.

“Teams are being exposed for what they are doing,” Klempner told Lowe. “It has been laid bare. They are hiding behind the rules. Teams like the Heat have the ability to bring back all their players, and give them raises, but they are choosing to go in another direction.”

Here’s more from around the league:

Western Notes: Lakers, Parsons, Honeycutt

If they are unable to land Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, the Lakers are also expected to have a strong interest in Wizards free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Pistons center Greg Monroe, and Suns forward Channing Frye, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

More from out west:

  • Potential suitors are beginning to line up now that the Rockets have declined their team option on Chandler Parsons. Teams that are potentially interested in pursuing Parsons are the Timberwolves, Bulls, Mavericks, and Lakers, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Houston will have the opportunity to match any offer sheet that Parsons signs.
  • Spears also notes that if the Timberwolves aren’t able to work out a trade that sends Kevin Love to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, then Minnesota might attempt to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets for Parsons.
  • Former NBA player, Tyler Honeycutt is weighing overseas offers versus making an NBA comeback, reports David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link). He has already auditioned for the Jazz, Rockets and Warriors.

Western Notes: LeBron, Gentry, Honeycutt

If LeBron James opts out of his contract with the Heat, the Rockets will have as an enticing a situation to offer him as any team in the league, writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Beck lays out what options Houston has to fit James’ salary in, plus notes the team views Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh as secondary options if they fail to land James, provided Bosh and Anthony also exercise their ETO’s.

More from the wild west:

  • Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman hands out the grades for Andre Roberson’s 2013/14 season with the Thunder.
  • Alvin Gentry will make more than $800K as a Warriors assistant this season, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). That’s a raise on his salary from the Clippers this season but not nearly as much as he would have made if he’d become head coach for the Cavs or Lakers, two jobs for which he was a leading candidate.
  • Free agent small forward Tyler Honeycutt will be auditioning for the Rockets and Warriors, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Honeycutt last saw NBA action with the Kings during the 2012/13 season when he averaged 0.9 PPG and 1.1 RPG in nine appearances.
  • The Lakers will bring in Shabazz Napier on Sunday for a workout, reports Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link).
  • The Grizzlies have a workout scheduled on Saturday for Walter Tavares, reports Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Jazz Show Interest In Tyler Honeycutt

It appears that former Kings small forward Tyler Honeycutt will have a chance to make the Jazz next season, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Pick says the 23-year-old will audition for Utah during training camp, but since it would be highly unusual for NBA teams to make training camp invitations at this time of year, it seems more likely that he’ll work out for the club in a summer mini-camp setting. That was the context of Honeycutt’s last brush with the NBA, when he was part of a Bucks mini-camp nearly a year ago.

The 35th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft spent this past season playing with Ironi Nes-Ziona in Israel. Honeycutt averaged 15.6 points and 9.1 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per contest and made the Israeli All-Star Game this year, a season removed from his brief NBA tenure. He played 15 games as a rookie for the Kings and just nine games in his sophomore campaign before Sacramento shipped him to Houston in the Thomas Robinson trade. He never appeared in a game for the Rockets before they waived him to make room for Aaron Brooks a couple of weeks after the swap.

The 6’8″ Honeycutt’s rebounding prowess overseas mimics his work on the boards at UCLA, where he averaged 7.2 RPG in 35.0 MPG during his final season as a Bruin. He grabbed 5.6 RPG in just 19.7 MPG in 25 D-League games, mostly while on assignment from the Kings and Rockets, but he didn’t get much of a chance to show what he could do in the NBA, playing a grand total of 120 minutes.

Overseas Rumors: Varnado, Smith, Martin, Leslie

The international free agent market is still hot, and plenty of players with NBA ties are doing business with clubs from overseas. Here's the latest:

  • Sidigas Avellino is close to an agreement with Heat big man Jarvis Varnado, the print edition of the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport reports, according to Sportando's Enea Trapani. Varnado is on a non-guaranteed contract with Miami, and with rumors that the Heat will only carry 13 players this year, he appears to be on shaky ground.

Earlier updates:

  • Nolan Smith was expected to join the Celtics in training camp, but he's signed to play with Cedevita Zagreb, the Croatian team announced on its website (translation via Sportando's Emiliano Carchia).
  • Cartier Martin is mulling the idea of playing in China, agent Andy Miller tells J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Martin has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Wizards, but it doesn't look like the team plans to re-sign him.
  • Former second-round draft pick Travis Leslie has signed with JSF Nanterre of France, the team announced (Twitter link; hat tip to Carchia). Leslie played 10 games with the Clippers in 2011/12. He signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz last season, but he didn't appear in a game for Utah. This week Nanterre also signed Deshaun Thomas, whom the Spurs drafted 58th overall in June).
  • One-time Kings and Rockets small forward Tyler Honeycutt has officially signed his deal with Ironi Nes Ziona of Israel, Carchia tweets. Sportando contributor David Pick reported a few days ago that the two sides had agreed to a deal.

International Notes: Brown, Honeycutt, Arroyo

Today's round of international notes includes the latest news and rumors on a Knicks target, a 2011 second-rounder, and a longtime NBA veteran. Let's dive in….

  • Bobby Brown, who was linked to the Knicks several times this summer, reached a tentative agreement with China's Dongguan Leopards two weeks ago, but had an out if he found an NBA deal he liked before August 15th. After New York landed Beno Udrih, the team didn't really have a spot for Brown, so it looks like he'll head to China after all. He posted a photo today on Instagram that shows him officially signing his contract with the Leopards.
  • Former King Tyler Honeycutt has agreed to sign with Israel's Ironi Nes-Ziona, according to Sportando contributor David Pick. After being selected 35th overall by Sacramento in the 2011 draft, Honeycutt appeared in 24 NBA games over two seasons, then was dealt to Houston in Ferbruary along with Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia. The Rockets waived Honeycutt shortly thereafter.
  • Veteran guard Carlos Arroyo tells Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (Twitter link) that he has received NBA offers, but loves playing in Turkey, in part because he has a larger role there than he would an NBA team.

Odds & Ends: Bucks, Mavs, Nuggets, Jones

As we all wait with bated breath for game seven tomorrow night between the Heat and the Spurs, let's round up some odds and ends from around the NBA on this Wednesday night:

Rockets Waive Tyler Honeycutt

The Rockets have released Tyler Honeycutt in order to clear room on the roster for Aaron Brooks, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. Honeycutt had come to Houston along with Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia as part of the team's six-player deadline deal with the Kings.

Honeycutt, 22, was drafted 35th overall by the Kings in 2011, but played in just 24 games in a season and a half with the club. Upon joining the Rockets, the 6'8" forward was assigned to the team's D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In two games with the club, Honeycutt averaged 19.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG.

The Rockets will be on the hook for the rest of Honeycutt's salary this season, but his minimum-salary contract for 2013/14 was mostly non-guaranteed, so the team will only have to pay $100K of that amount.

Rockets Sign Tim Ohlbrecht

The Rockets announced that they have signed center Tim Ohlbrecht to a multi-year deal.  Ohlbrecht's deal is for three years with team options for the final two, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).  Our own Luke Adams predicted earlier today that the center would get that type of deal, similar to the structure of Greg Smith's contract.

Houston is one of 14 NBA teams with at least one open roster spot, so they will not have to waive a player to make space for the big man.  Ohlbrecht has spent the season playing for the Rockets' D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  

In 32 games for the Vipers this season, the 6'11" German averaged 13.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 26.6 minutes per contest.  He also earned a spot in the D-League's All-Star Game earlier this month.

Agent Tyler Glass told Emiliano Carchia of Sportando last week that Ohlbrecht had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Celtics, which makes sense given the multi-year opportunity being presented to him by the Rockets.  

In a related move, the Rockets announced that they have assigned Tyler Honeycutt to the Vipers.  The forward was acquired by the Rockets from the Kings prior to the deadline in the Patrick Patterson deal.