Victor Claver

International Notes: Hall, Claver, SGA, Murray, Almansa, FIBA Rosters

Former NBA big man Donta Hall could have an opportunity to return to the league, Aris Barkas of Eurohoops reports. The American big man has an opt-out clause in his contract with his current team, Monaco, and is believed to be receiving NBA interest. Hall averaged 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.4 minutes over 38 games in EuroLeague action with Monaco last season. Hall has appeared in 22 NBA games with Detroit, Brooklyn and Orlando.

We have more from around the international basketball world:

  • Former NBA forward Victor Claver has announced his retirement, according to release from Valencia Basket. Claver, 35, played 18 years professionally, beginning and ending his career with Valencia, Eurohoops notes. Claver appeared in 82 games with the Trail Blazers from 2012-15. He was also a longtime member of the Spanish national team.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray will be playing together on the Canadian national team for the first time. Murray couldn’t play the last two summers while recovering from injuries and long playoff runs. Michael Grange of Sportsnet and Eric Koreen of The Athletic examine how the two star guards will mesh together as they prepare for the Olympics. SGA doesn’t seem worried. “I drive, he shoots,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Simple as that.”
  • Izan Almansa, considered a first-round prospect in next year’s draft, has chosen to spend next season in the NBL Next Stars program with the Perth Wildcats, according to an NBL post. It’s the same path taken by this year’s No. 2 pick, Alex Sarr. Almansa, 19, participated in the NBA draft combine but decided to withdraw from this year’s draft and improve his stock for 2025. The 6’10″ big man, who hails from Spain, possesses a 7’1″ wingspan and was named MVP of the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup, 2022 FIBA U18 European Championships and 2023 FIBA U19 World Cup.
  • The rosters for the 24 participating teams in the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments have been confirmed. They can be viewed at this Eurohoops post. Those tournaments, which will determine the final four qualifiers for the Paris Olympics, tip off on Tuesday.

And-Ones: Howard, Summer League, Spain, BIG3

Having been sent from Washington to Memphis in a trade for C.J. Miles, veteran center Dwight Howard is a member of the Grizzlies for now. However, the club is expected to waive or trade him at some point. After he was limited to just nine games in 2018/19 for health reasons, it’s not clear what the next step will be for Howard, but the eight-time All-Star tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that he has adjusted his mindset and is prepared to do whatever it takes to help his next team win.

“I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am. Sometimes when you want to become who you want to be, you have to die within yourself. Once you learn that you have to give up yourself for the team, that’s when things flourish.”

According to Charania, several NBA teams have said that they’re intrigued by Howard, who says he has been fully cleared after last year’s injury issues. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year claims he has lost 25 pounds since the end of the season, and one executive who saw him recently said he appears to be in his best shape in years, per Charania.

It remains to be seen whether Howard will get an opportunity to choose his next team on the free agent market, but if he does, he has one clear priority, he tells Charania: “Winning. Winning. Winning. I want to win. Nothing else. Just win.”

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

  • According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), there has been talk in Las Vegas about the possibility of moving back the start of Summer League in future years. Postponing the start date until after the end of the July moratorium would help address the problem of having traded 2019 draftees tied up in deals that can’t be made official until after Summer League is underway.
  • Spain announced its preliminary roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup this week, as Sportando relays, and the group includes a number of familiar names. The 16-man list, which will be cut down to 12 for the competition, features Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangomez, Juan Hernangomez, and former NBA players like Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver.
  • The BIG3 announced on Wednesday that Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal are being “deactivated” for the 2019 season. The league cited the need to “maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3.”

International Notes: Beaubois, Maynor, Claver

Former Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois, who appeared in 182 games for Dallas between 2009 and 2013, has been linked back to the Mavs multiple times this offseason. However, Beaubois continues to draw international interest as well. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Baskonia, a Spanish team, has interest in the 28-year-old free agent, as reported by multiple international outlets. It sounds as if Beaubois would like to return to the NBA, but he’s no lock for a roster spot in Dallas, so he’ll have to decide whether he wants to fight for an NBA job or continue to play a major role for an overseas club.

Here are a few more international items of interest:

  • Former Thunder point guard Eric Maynor is in “advanced talks” for a return to Italy’s Pallacanestro Varese, a team he played for in 2015, per Carchia. Maynor, who also spent time with the Jazz, Blazers, Wizards, and Sixers during his time in the NBA, is coming off a major knee injury.
  • Serbia’s KK Crvena Zvezda has officially announced the signing of former Warriors big man Ognjen Kuzmic to a three-year deal, as Carchia details. A second-round pick in 2012, Kuzmic previously appeared in 37 games for Golden State and had “solid interest” from the Warriors this offseason, per international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link)
  • Former Iona guard A.J. English, who worked out for at least a dozen NBA teams this spring, has signed with Enel Brindisi in Italy, as Carchia passes along. English went undrafted last month after averaging 22.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.0 RPG in his senior season at Iona.
  • A source tells Pick (Twitter link) that ex-Blazers forward Victor Claver is finalizing a deal with Barcelona that will lock him up through 2019. The Spaniard was a first-round pick in 2009, but never carved out a significant role with Portland after the team brought him stateside in 2012.

Northwest Notes: Rubio, Harkless, Claver

Ricky Rubio answered affirmatively when asked whether he wanted to remain with the Timberwolves and praised the team’s offseason additions in an interview with Jamie Goodwin of the Gulf News in Dubai, where the point guard had traveled for a basketball camp. Reports conflicted this spring on the subject of whether Rubio’s camp was pushing for a trade, though comments since that time from Rubio and Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders have downplayed the notion that a trade is forthcoming. See more on Minnesota’s Northwest Division rivals here:

  • The Trail Blazers were eyeing Maurice Harkless long before they traded with the Magic this summer to acquire him, as GM Neil Olshey tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe“Mo was very high on our board a few years ago in the [2012] draft,” Portland general manager Neil Olshey said. “We were excited about him. He has a lot of potential. He fits our model right now; he’s an emerging young player. He’s got a lot of talent. We have a lot of faith in our player development staff and our coaches that guys hit their ceilings, and we know Mo’s not even close to his ceiling at this point. He’s going to get a great opportunity with us to be the player we loved coming out of the draft.”
  • Former Blazers small forward Victor Claver has officially signed with Lokomotiv Kuban of Russia, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). International journalist David Pick first reported the deal this weekend. It had appeared that Claver would return to his native Spain to play, but he’s instead headed to Russia, where he finished up this past season with Khimki Moscow after hitting NBA waivers. The Blazers traded him to the Nuggets in the Arron Afflalo deal, and Denver released him a few days later.
  • The Jazz have hired Jordan Brady as an assistant coach for their D-League affiliate, the team announced. He spent last season as a Lakers D-League assistant coach. He’ll work under D-League head coach Dean Cooper and replace Andrae Patterson, who moved into a front office role with the Jazz this summer.

Western Notes: Upshaw, Claver, Franklin

The Lakers hope to have Robert Upshaw in training camp, but he has some private things he needs to take care of first, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays in a series of tweets. As Pincus points out, Upshaw has battled personal issues that plagued him in college. Pincus adds that Upshaw has the Lakers’ support. The undrafted center reportedly reached an agreement with the Lakers a month ago, but Pincus later clarified that he was merely a possibility for the team.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Victor Claver, who played in 10 games last season with the Blazers, is finalizing an agreement with Russia’s PBC Lokomotiv Kuban, international reporter David Pick tweets. Claver, whom Portland chose with the 22nd overall pick in 2009, averaged only 3.2 points per game in his three seasons in the league. The big man finished up this past season playing in Russia after the Nuggets waived him following his inclusion in the Arron Afflalo trade.
  • China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers are considering signing Jamaal Franklin, Enea Trapani of Sportando reports. Franklin was waived by the Nuggets in July. Franklin is just two years removed from having been the 41st overall pick in 2013. The Grizzlies waived him using the stretch provision last summer, so the Brian Elfus client will continue to pick up NBA paychecks through 2018/19. The shooting guard spent time playing in China and for the Lakers D-League affiliate last season before the Nuggets picked him up.

Northwest Notes: Henderson, Wolves, Claver

No player has been with a Northwest Division team longer than Nick Collison, who carved out a long-term stay with the SuperSonics/Thunder franchise even though he’s never played a starring role. He’ll make $3.75MM this season and next on the extension he signed in February. We listed the longest-tenured member of every team earlier today, and we’re sharing more from the Northwest Division here:

  • Trail Blazers trade acquisition Gerald Henderson wasn’t surprised the Hornets dealt him away, though the timing of the move caught him off guard, since it came the week after he opted in, as he tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. He maintains ties to the Charlotte area, but he’s enthusiastic about his new team. “It was not so much about being traded as where I was going. This is a contract year,” said Henderson, who’s set for free agency next summer. “I wanted to be at a place with opportunity, a good organization and potentially a chance to win. I got all those things in Portland.”
  • The Timberwolves allowed the $6,308,194 trade exception they picked up in the Kevin Love trade to expire unused Sunday, though that wasn’t a surprise, as I suggested earlier this month. They still have five other trade exceptions, the largest of which is worth $5MM and doesn’t expire until next July.
  • Victor Claver officially joined Valencia of Spain after the team matched the offer sheet he signed with Baskonia, the Spanish ACB league announced (Twitter link; translation via Austin Green of LosCrossovers). Valencia had held his Spanish rights from the time he spent with the team before his jump to the Trail Blazers in 2012. He finished up this past season playing in Russia after the Nuggets waived him following his inclusion in the Arron Afflalo trade.

Western Notes: Claver, Lucas, Jazz

Forward Victor Claver, who spent the last three seasons as a member of the Trail Blazers, officially has an offer on the table from the Spanish club Baskonia, the team announced (translation courtesy of Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Valencia currently owns Claver’s rights in Spain and the team has five days to match the contract offer made by Baskonia to Claver, Carchia notes. Claver has appeared in 80 NBA contests and has averages of 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.7 assists, and he owns a slash line of .398/.293/.585.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Kalin Lucas, who appeared in one game for the Grizzlies last season, auditioned for the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association, but was not offered a contract by the team, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter).
  • The Jazz announced today that the team promoted Mark McKown to director of sports science/assistant coach and Isaiah Wright to head strength and conditioning coach.
  • The Blazers aren’t quite starting over as a franchise, but the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency to the Spurs has forced executive Neil Olshey to invest in intriguing but unproven talent this offseason, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. “That’s one of things I’m looking forward to, is what this team is going to become,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “The way Neil has constructed the roster, it’s a strong plan with a lot of young players that have a lot of room to grow. I think it’s a plan that is going to be challenging, fun and very rewarding.

Victor Claver To Play In Russia

SUNDAY, 8:45am: Khimki Moscow confirms that it has signed Claver through the end of the season.

FRIDAY, 10:45am: Former Trail Blazers forward Victor Claver will sign with Russia’s Khimki Moscow, agent Arn Tellem tells David Pick of (Twitter link). Chema de Lucas of Gigantes Del Basket reported earlier today that the deal was close. He’ll replace Joffrey Lauvergne, who left the club a few weeks ago to sign a three-year deal with the Nuggets, Lucas writes. Coincidentally, Claver passed through the hands of the Nuggets last week, having gone to Denver in the Arron Afflalo trade before Denver released him this past weekend. Claver’s new deal runs until season’s end, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, though it’s unclear if it includes an NBA escape clause (Twitter link).

It’s somewhat surprising to see the 26-year-old head to Moscow, since he was reportedly prioritizing an NBA deal, even if it had to be a 10-day contract, and it appeared too late in the season for him to head back to Europe, where he’d made his mark before joining Portland in 2012. Still, there were rumors dating back to last season that a return overseas was a distinct possibility, though Claver said in late 2013 that he wasn’t thinking about going back to Europe. Earlier this season, he denied a report that he had requested a trade from the Blazers. Portland cut his playing time from 16.6 minutes per game as a rookie to 7.6 MPG this season.

The Blazers made Claver the 22nd overall pick of the 2009 draft, but he remained overseas for three years before signing. He’s drawing an NBA salary of $1.37MM this season, a figure that sticks on Denver’s books, though the Nuggets could recoup some of that through set-off rights if by chance Claver’s Russian deal gives him more than $816,482.

And-Ones: Rondo, Towns, Rivers

Rajon Rondo was suspended for one game by the Mavs for conduct detrimental to the team, Marc Stein of tweets. The point guard and coach Rick Carlisle had a verbal altercation on the court that led to Rondo being benched in Dallas’ game against Toronto on Tuesday. The argument continued inside the Mavs’ locker room after that game, according to Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link).  Rondo becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and it’s unknown if his friction with Carlisle will impact the veteran’s decision on possibly re-signing with Dallas.

In other news around the league:

  • University of Kentucky forward Karl-Anthony Towns is threatening to surpass Duke big man Jahlil Okafor as the No. 1 pick in the June draft, according to draft expert Chad Ford of (Insider subscription required). Towns is more athletic, a better defender and a superior shot-blocker compared to Okafor, in Ford’s evaluation, and some NBA GMs that Ford interviewed believe that Towns is the better long-term prospect.
  • Doc Rivers, who is the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, has been a failure as an executive, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. Rivers has not found an adequate backup at small forward behind Matt Barnes, secured a rotation player in the draft or fortified his bench, Bolch contends. Rivers’ inability to re-sign Darren Collison and his commitment to Spencer Hawes, whom he signed to a four-year contract during the off-season, are examples of his shortcomings as an executive, Bolch adds. Hawes is averaging 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds this season, a reflection of his minimal impact.
  • The Heat sent $369K to the Pelicans to complete the Norris Cole side of the deal which brought Goran Dragic to Miami, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The Heat also gave the Suns $2.2MM in that same trade.
  • Victor Claver could wind up with Spanish power Real Madrid, David Pick of reports (Twitter link). Any Liga ACB team seeking his services must negotiate with Valencia, which owns his rights, Pick added in a separate tweet. The 26-year-old forward played in 10 games with the Trail Blazers this season before he was acquired by the Nuggets last week. Claver was subsequently waived by Denver.

Nuggets Waive Victor Claver

SUNDAY, 3:40pm: The Nuggets announced that they have waived Claver.

FRIDAY, 8:37pm: The Nuggets intend to waive forward Victor Claver, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Claver was acquired from the Trail Blazers on Thursday along with Will Barton and Thomas Robinson in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

The 26-year-old from Spain is earning $1.37MM this season, and was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the campaign. Denver currently has the league maximum 15 players on its roster, so releasing Claver would allow the team some roster flexibility moving forward.

Claver has appeared in 10 games this season, all with Portland, and he is averaging 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per game. His career numbers through 80 contests are 3.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG. Claver’s career slash line is .398/.293/.585.