Rajon Rondo

Southeast Notes: Adebayo, Bertans, Rondo, Mane

Heat president Pat Riley said signing Bam Adebayo to an extension was an easy decision, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. At age 23, Adebayo has already become one of the league’s best big men, averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season while making his first All-Star appearance.

“One of the most important things a franchise can do is to make sure that your best, youngest, cornerstone players sign on the dotted line,” Riley said. “Getting Bam his extension was a no-brainer for us because we know he will be around for years to come. That’s great for the Heat, great for the fans and great for Bam.”

Adebayo will only receive a full super-max deal, paying him 30% of the salary cap, if he earns MVP honors, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic. That figure is 28.5% if he is a first-team All-NBA selection and 27.5% if he wins Defensive Player of the Year. If none of those things happen, Adebayo will be paid 25% of the cap. Those figures are confirmed by Chiang, who adds that Adebayo’s new contract doesn’t contain any player or team options (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Re-signing Davis Bertans gives the Wizards one sure thing on a roster filled with uncertainty, states Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Bertans developed into one of the NBA’s most dangerous three-point shooters during his first season in Washington and was rewarded with a five-year, $80MM contract. “There’d been talk from (general manager Tommy Sheppard) and the Wizards that they wanted me to stay,” Bertans said. “But until it comes to free agency, you actually get the call that the team wants you, you can’t be sure. I was happy that it wasn’t just some talk from Tommy and the whole team, that they really, really wanted me to come back.”
  • Rajon Rondo‘s new contract with the Hawks includes a $750K incentive if he plays at least 33 games and the team reaches the playoffs, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • Karim Mane, who signed a two-way contract with the Magic on Friday, has similarities in his game to Victor Oladipo and Jrue Holiday, observes Josh Cohen of NBA.com. Mane is relentless on defense, excelling in traps, and is hard for defenders to stay in front of when he drives to the basket.

Eastern Contract Details: Heat, Rondo, Harris, Clark, Raptors

Although Maurice Harkless‘ one-year, $3.623MM deal is exactly the same amount as the bi-annual exception, the Heat completed the signing using a portion of their mid-level exception, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Avery Bradley received the remaining portion of the $9.258MM MLE, for a first-year salary of $5.635MM, Smith adds (via Twitter).

The Heat will still be hard-capped as a result of using the full mid-level exception, but they now retain their bi-annual exception to use either this season or next year, if they remain over the cap in 2021/22.

Smith (Twitter link) also passes along the exact details on Meyers Leonard‘s new contract with the Heat, which has a $9.4MM first-year salary and a team option for 2021/22 worth $10.152MM.

Here are a few more specific details on some of the new free agent contracts signed in the last couple days, via Smith unless otherwise indicated:

  • Rajon Rondo‘s two-year, $15MM deal with the Hawks has matching cap hits of $7.5MM this season and next year. It also includes $750K in annual bonuses – tied to games played and playoff appearances – that could increase the annual value to $8.25MM (Twitter link).
  • Joe Harris‘ new four-year contract with the Nets technically has a base value of $72MM, with $500K in annual bonuses tied to games played, playoff games played, and team performance (Twitter link).
  • The Magic used part of their mid-level exception to sign Gary Clark to a contract starting at $2MM. His $2.1MM second-year salary won’t become guaranteed until seven days after the 2021 moratorium (Twitter link).
  • The Raptors‘ deals for Aron Baynes, Chris Boucher, and DeAndre’ Bembry will all be non-guaranteed in year two rather than technically featuring team options, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. That means they’ll have to be waived next summer if Toronto doesn’t want to retain them for two years.

Hawks Sign Rajon Rondo To Two-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 23: Rondo has officially signed his contract with the Hawks, the team announced in a press release.

“Rajon is an intense competitor, a proven winner and a true student of the game,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “His resume and experience speak for themselves. We’re excited to add him to our group.”

NOVEMBER 21: The Hawks are signing free agent point guard Rajon Rondo to a two-year, $15MM deal, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The contract won’t feature any team or player options, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today.

The Lakers and Clippers were both reportedly interested in signing Rondo as a free agent, but he’ll return to the Eastern Conference with a Hawks team that values his leadership and locker room presence and will be pushing hard to make it back to the playoffs in 2020/21.

Rondo is the third veteran free agent that has agreed to sign with Atlanta since free agency opened nearly 24 hours ago, joining Danilo Gallinari and Kris Dunn. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the Hawks entered free agency determined to improve defensively in the backcourt, and will do so by adding Dunn and Rondo to the mix.

Rondo played an important role in helping the Lakers capture the NBA title in Orlando this past season. He suffered a fractured right thumb shortly after arriving at the Disney World complex, but was able to return in time for the playoffs, averaging 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists off the bench in 16 games. He turned down a minimum-salary player option in order to reach free agency.

Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio first reported earlier in the week that the Hawks were expected to offer two years and $15MM to Rondo. As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, the club still projects to have upwards of $20MM in cap room available, so another splash – such as a potential offer sheet for Bogdan Bogdanovic – remains possible.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Lakers, Gasol, KCP, Hawks, More

Having lost Dwight Howard in free agency, the Lakers may be eyeing another former Defensive Player of the Year. Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via Twitter) that Marc Gasol has emerged as a free agent target for the Lakers. Gasol was drafted by L.A. way back in 2007 but was traded to Memphis in a package for his brother Pau Gasol and never appeared in a game for the Lakers.

As we wait to see if the two sides attempt to work toward a deal, let’s round up a few more free agency rumors…

Hawks Confident About Chances In Free Agency

Former Hawks forward Vince Carter said on ESPN’s The Jump that he has heard Atlanta is confident it will be able to land two free agents from a group that includes Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Joe Harris, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Chris Kirschner of The Athletic echoes that sentiment (via Twitter).

While Harris and Bogdanovic may still be in play for the Hawks, it sounds as if Gallinari and Rondo are the more likely candidates to end up in Atlanta.

Reports earlier in the week suggested that the Hawks are viewed as the frontrunners for both veteran free agents, with Gallinari perhaps in line for a three-year deal and Rondo expected to receive a two-year offer.

Atlanta is the only team set to enter free agency with more than $40MM in cap room available, so even if the team lands Gallinari and Rondo, it still should have money left over to spend.

Clippers Interested In Terry Rozier?

The Clippers want to add another guard to their roster and have talked to the Hornets about Terry Rozier, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Rozier, 26, still has two years and nearly $37MM left on the contract he signed with Charlotte last summer. He averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists during his first season with the team.

The Clippers remain interested in free agent Rajon Rondo, Mannix adds, but there are concerns that he will get a larger offer from someone else. L.A. is down a guard after trading Landry Shamet this week in a three-team deal.

Hawks A Strong Contender For Danilo Gallinari

4:44pm: The Hawks remain in the lead for Gallinari and are apparently prepared to tender him a three-year contract, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets.

4:00pm: There’s a growing belief among rival teams that the Hawks will be in “pole position” to land both Gallinari and Rajon Rondo when free agency opens later this week, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Atlanta is reportedly preparing an offer in the range of $15MM over two years for Rondo.

3:20pm: As one of the few teams entering the offseason with significant cap room, the Hawks have been linked to most of the top free agents on the market, and we can add another name to that list. During a live stream on Instagram today, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggested that Danilo Gallinari is a serious target for Atlanta in free agency (hat tip to Sportando).

“I’ve heard they’re going after Danilo Gallinari,” O’Connor said of the Hawks (at around the 16:08 mark). “I’ve heard they very well may be signing Gallinari as soon as free agency opens on Friday.”

Gallinari, 32, had a strong season in Oklahoma City in 2019/20, averaging 18.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG on .438/.405/.893 shooting in 62 games (29.6 MPG). If he were to join the Hawks, he’d become one of the team’s go-to scoring threats alongside Trae Young and John Collins, stretching the floor in the frontcourt.

The Hawks are believed to be targeting shooting in free agency, having also been linked to marksmen like Davis Bertans and Joe Harris.

Gallinari spoke last month about potentially prioritizing the chance to win a title over finding the most lucrative contract possible. While Atlanta is a team on the rise and hopes to make the postseason in 2021, joining the Hawks certainly wouldn’t represent the veteran forward’s best chance at a championship. Still, it’d be hard to fault him if he opts for a lucrative long-term deal, since this may be his last, best opportunity to secure a big multiyear payday.

Rondo Anticipating Offer From Hawks, Remains Focused On Clippers

2:04pm: Isola has clarified (via Twitter) that the Hawks’ offer to Rondo is expected to be worth $7.5MM annually — $15MM in total over two years.

1:30pm: Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who will become a free agent this Friday, is expecting to receive a significant offer from the Hawks, according to Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio, who tweets that Atlanta’s offer is expected to be worth $15MM for two years.

It’s not 100% clear based on Isola’s wording if that hypothetical offer would be worth $15MM annually or in total — Atlanta does have the cap room necessary to comfortably put $15MM per year on the table for Rondo and that would certainly qualify as a “significant” offer. Rondo has also never made that much in a single season in his career though, so a total guarantee of $15MM over two years is probably more in line with his current value.

Either way, a source tells Isola that Rondo “remains focused” on the possibility of joining the Clippers. The 34-year-old could potentially receive a deal worth the mid-level from the Clips, per Isola, though it remains to be seen if the club will have the full mid-level ($9.3MM) or just the taxpayer portion ($5.7MM) available.

A reunion with the Lakers isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Rondo, but it sounds like the defending champions are preparing to lose him in free agency. The Lakers have reached an agreement to acquire Dennis Schröder from Oklahoma City to fortify their backcourt.

Rondo played an important role in helping the Lakers capture the NBA title in Orlando. He suffered a fractured right thumb shortly after arriving at the Disney World complex, but was able to return in time for the playoffs, averaging 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists off the bench in 16 games. He’s turning down a minimum-salary player option in order to reach free agency.

Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Opting Out

As expected, Lakers veterans Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Rajon Rondo are officially opting out of their contracts in order to reach free agency, according to reports from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Shams Charania of The Athletic, and Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (all Twitter links).

Those decisions had been considered formalities at this point, as reports a month ago indicated that Davis, Caldwell-Pope, and Rondo all planned to turn down their player options for 2020/21. Those plans have now been confirmed.

[RELATED: NBA Player Option Decisions For 2020/21]

Davis will technically be the No. 1 free agent on the open market this fall, but he’s not expected to consider any pitches from rival teams. The plan is to re-sign with the Lakers for the maximum salary ($32.74MM), which is higher than his option salary ($28.75MM) would have been.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers intend to present several different contract options to Davis and agent Rich Paul and will work with him on the deal that makes him feel most comfortable. A five-year contract is considered unlikely — the two sides are more likely to agree to a two- or three-year deal that features a player option in its final season.

Rondo and Caldwell-Pope, meanwhile, are expected to receive plenty of interest from rival suitors. Turner cites the Clippers and Hawks as two clubs expected to pursue Rondo, whom the Lakers are reportedly bracing to lose.

As for Caldwell-Pope, teams are under the impression that he’s open to offers, and he’s expected to have several suitors, according to Charania, who previously identified Atlanta as one team likely to “emerge with interest.” The Lakers and KCP are believed to have strong mutual interest — after having agreed to trade Danny Green, the Lakers will likely make it a priority to re-sign their free agent three-and-D wing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Knicks, Rondo, Hawks, Magic

The Pacers are adding Calbert Cheaney to Nate Bjorkgren‘s coaching staff as an assistant, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). An Indiana native who played his college ball for the Hoosiers, Cheaney spent 13 years in the NBA as a player. He has been an assistant for Atlanta’s G League affiliate for the last two seasons.

Cheaney is the latest addition to a new-look coaching staff that will also feature Kaleb Canales and Greg Foster, in addition to returning Pacers assistant Bill Bayno. Indiana recently issued a press release confirming that all three of those coaches will be part of Bjorkgren’s staff in 2021.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference: