Ryan Anderson

Salaries For Kenrich Williams, Others To Become Guaranteed

There was never any real doubt that Kenrich Williams would make the Pelicans‘ regular season roster, but doing so will give him some financial security. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), Williams is one of three players who will have his salary for 2019/20 fully guaranteed today, barring any last-minute roster moves.

Williams, 24, emerged as a rotation player for the Pelicans last season, averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 46 games (23.5 MPG). He’ll likely see regular minutes to start this season too, as New Orleans doesn’t have a ton of depth at the forward position now that Darius Miller is out for the season and Zion Williamson will miss six to eight weeks.

Williams’ $1,416,852 salary for ’19/20 had already been partially guaranteed for $200K, per Basketball Insiders’ contract data. After today, he’ll become the 14th Pelican with a fully guaranteed contract for this season, leaving Jahlil Okafor as the only player on a non-guaranteed deal.

[RELATED: 2019/20 Non-Guaranteed Contracts By Team]

Here are the other players who will receive salary guarantees if they remain under contract through today, per Marks:

  • Chris Boucher (Raptors): $125,000 partial guarantee increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231.
  • Malcolm Miller (Raptors): $150,000 partial guarantee increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231.
  • Ryan Anderson (Rockets): $250,000 partial guarantee increases to $500,000 partial guarantee (full salary is $2,564,753 with a $1,620,564 cap hit).

Southwest Notes: Anthony, Harden, Westbrook, Belinelli, Payton

Carmelo Anthony has not been on an NBA roster since last November when his Rockets tenure abruptly ended after a 10-game stint. Ever since then, Anthony has been searching for one more opportunity to prolong his Hall of Fame career — which has yet to arise.

In an in-depth feature, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes examines Anthony’s situation from the day he was cut to the present. Carmelo’s story is one of a declining star who has struggled to adjust from his usual role of a primary scorer to a role player.

Holmes also spoke to several team sources who noted that Anthony’s reputation exceeded his current abilities, which put Houston in a tough situation.

Check out more Southwest Division notes:

  • The Rockets‘ major storyline this season will be the reunion of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, as observers keep a close eye on how the two former MVPs play together. Harden says both superstars will need to rely on each other for the team to succeed, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. “At the end of the day, we need each other,” Harden said. “This thing won’t work without each other.” 
  • In his second tour of duty with the Rockets, Ryan Anderson, primarily known as a long-range shooter, may see significant time at center, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. “It’s definitely a role we talked about here,” Anderson said. “I think it’s something I can be really effective at. This team can play in a lot of different ways. I think center could be a good title now.”
  • Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton said the Pelicans were interested in bringing him back but the situation in New York fit him better, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “They asked me to come back,’’ Payton said. “I just felt this was a better situation. It was a better fit. [The acquisition of Lonzo Ball] had no effect. I’m not afraid of competition.’’
  • Spurs shooting guard Marco Belinelli misses former assistant coach Ettore Messina, who left San Antonio this past summer to become the head coach of Italian team Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “For sure, I miss him. He was very happy here in San Antonio, but I am really happy for him,” Belinelli said.

Rockets Notes: Bennett, Pinckney, Anderson

While outside shooting was always part of Anthony Bennett‘s game, he has spent the past few seasons refining his three-point shot in preparation for his next NBA opportunity. That opportunity has come with the Western Conference contender Houston Rockets.

Bennett will have to wait to showcase the improvements he’s made to his game, however. As Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes, the 26-year-old will begin training camp on the sidelines recovering from left knee tendinitis.

The Rockets currently have just 11 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, which leaves ample room for a player like Bennett to stick with the squad when the regular season begins. If Bennett’s impact when he returns to health is anything like it was in the G League when he shot 45.3% from beyond the arc last season, there’s a good chance that he does just that.

There’s more out of Houston today:

  • The Rockets came up with a creative way of structuring big man Nene‘s contract to increase his potential trade value but the NBA threw a wrench their plans. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, franchise owner Tilman Fertitta respects the league’s decision and doesn’t intend to question it.
  • The Rockets have hired former NBA assistant coach Ed Pinckney as a scout, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.
  • Not only has the offensive system not changed since Ryan Anderson last donned a Rockets jersey, but he still owns the same condo that he used to live in. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes about Anderson’s smooth transition back to Houston.

Rockets Notes: Westbrook, Harden, D’Antoni, More

Speaking today to reporters at the Rockets‘ Media Day, Russell Westbrook and James Harden expressed enthusiasm about teaming up in Houston this season. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com details, Westbrook said the pairing will be “scary” for the rest of the NBA, while Harden suggested the two former MVPs will have no problem sharing the ball on offense.

“If Russ got it going and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do: sit back and watch the show, and vice versa,” Harden said. “It’s just a part of basketball. So you can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the ball for the first half and I’m going to have the ball the second half.’ No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.

“All of us in this locker room and this front office has one goal, and that’s to win it. However that happens, it’s going to happen, and we’re just going to figure it out.”

Westbrook agreed with Harden that the two stars won’t have any trouble co-existing in the Rockets’ backcourt and will focus on what’s best for the team.

“I don’t have to have the ball to impact the game,” Westbrook said, per MacMahon. “I don’t have to score, I don’t have to do anything. I can defend, I can rebound, I can pass, I can lead. Our main goal, main focus, is to win. I can go be scoreless, and if we win, that’s the best thing that ever happened. That’s all I cared about, and that’s all I ever cared about.”

Westbrook, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after the Thunder were eliminated from the postseason in the spring, was only recently cleared for five-on-five work, writes MacMahon. So the Rockets will proceed cautiously with the star point guard, who isn’t expected to participate in all of the club’s practices and preseason games.

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Harden and Westbrook both indicated today that they have interest in representing Team USA in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (Twitter links via MacMahon and Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston).
  • Head coach Mike D’Antoni, GM Daryl Morey, and owner Tilman Fertitta all downplayed concerns about D’Antoni entering the final year of his contract without an extension and expressed confidence that he’ll stick with the Rockets beyond 2019/20, MacMahon notes in a pair of tweets. Everybody tells me that Mike is the right guy for this team. Mike appears to me to be the right guy for this team,” Fertitta said. “I think he’s a great coach. He’s one of the great offensive minds out there. I truly do not see Mike going anywhere.”
  • Ryan Anderson‘s new contract with the Rockets features a $250K partial guarantee, sources tell Alykhan Bijani and Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Anderson would receive another $250K, increasing the partial guarantee to $500K, if he makes the opening-night roster.
  • Jaron Blossomgame‘s non-guaranteed deal with Houston doesn’t feature an Exhibit 10 clause, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com hears. That may be a hint that the Rockets don’t expect Blossomgame to play for their G League team. His NBAGL rights are still held by the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers‘ affiliate.

Rockets Sign Ryan Anderson To Partially Guaranteed Contract

SEPTEMBER 27: The Rockets have officially signed Anderson, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 25: Ryan Anderson is returning to Houston, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the free agent forward has agreed to a new contract with the Rockets. The deal will feature a significant partial guarantee, per Charania.

Anderson is still collecting on the four-year, $80MM deal that Houston gave him in the summer of 2016. He spent two years with the team before being traded to Phoenix last August in a salary dump. In February, the Suns shipped him to Miami, which waived him in July under the stretch provision.

Anderson will earn more from the Heat ($5,214,584) than the Rockets this season, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. That number will be slightly reduced once Anderson’s new contract becomes official, providing a measure of relief to the Miami, which is up against a hard salary cap.

Anderson will be given a chance to earn back-up minutes at power forward, adds Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic (via Twitter). He states that Houston reached out to both Anderson and fellow free agent Luc Mbah a Moute this month about possible returns (Twitter link). Anderson averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 138 games during his first stint in Houston.

The Rockets are at the 20-man limit after reaching a deal yesterday with Jaron Blossomgame, so a move will have to created before he and Anderson can both be added to the roster.

Woj: Heat “Team To Watch” For Russell Westbrook

The Heat are a “team to watch” in the Russell Westbrook situation, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said today during the network’s broadcast of a Summer League game (video clip).

“Russell Westbrook at 30 years old is still a high-level player, but it is a lot of money and he’s going to take up a great deal of your salary cap,” said Wojnarowski, who predicts Miami will be among several to talk to the Thunder about Westbrook’s availability.

A source confirms to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald that Heat officials “absolutely like” Westbrook, but there’s no indication of how hard they plan to pursue him (Twitter link). He adds that the Thunder own Miami’s first-round pick in 2021 and don’t have any incentive to help the Heat.

Westbrook’s availability was made public in the wake of the surprising overnight trade that sent teammate Paul George to the Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard. Westbrook will make $170MM over the next four seasons and the Thunder are interested in cutting costs now that they longer have two stars in place.

There’s more today from Miami:

  • New Heat center Meyers Leonard told Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel that he has gotten over the shock of being traded from the Trail Blazers. Leonard said he was in the middle of a workout when his trainer told him to call his agent after seeing a tweet from Wojnarowski about the deal. “There are numerous things I’m excited for — the culture, the kind of get-in-there-and-work-hard grit mentality,” Leonard said. “I can only say I’m very, very excited for this opportunity, to help the Heat win.”
  • The Heat are risking their ability to surround Butler with more talent in the future with today’s decision to stretch the $15.6MM still owed to Ryan Anderson, Winderman notes in a separate story. They had to cut salary before they could accommodate Butler’s new contract, but the deal will keep Anderson on the payroll for three more years at $5.2MM per season.
  • The Heat expect rookie forward KZ Okpala to make his Summer League debut tomorrow, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. With the moratorium lifted, the 32nd pick in the draft officially traveled the circuitous route that took him from the Pacers to the Suns to the Heat. “The process has been different,” Okpala said of the long wait. “It’s not what I expected, for sure. But I think it’s just all a part of the process. You just have to control the things you can control.”

Heat Acquire Jimmy Butler In Sign-And-Trade

The Heat have officially acquired Jimmy Butler from the Sixers in a sign-and-trade deal that also includes the Trail Blazers and the Clippers, according to press releases from Miami and Philadelphia.

The Heat also acquired big man Meyers Leonard from the Trail Blazers and cash considerations from the Clippers. Miami sent shooting guard Josh Richardson to Philadelphia, center Hassan Whiteside to the Blazers and a conditional first-round pick to the Clippers. The Clippers also received forward Maurice Harkless from Portland and the draft rights to 2017 second-round pick Mathias Lessort from the Sixers.

The Clippers and Blazers have also confirmed the swap.

The 2023 first-rounder that the Heat forwarded to the Clippers, which is lottery-protected through 2025 and unprotected in 2026, was subsequently moved to the Thunder as part of the agreed-upon Paul George blockbuster.

Butler inked a four-year, $141MM contract with the Heat. Miami waived forward Ryan Anderson and stretched his contract in order to stay below the hard cap and complete the sign-and-trade.

“Jimmy’s leadership, tenacity, professionalism, defensive disposition and his ability to create his own shot will improve our roster immediately,” Miami president Pat Riley said in the press release. “Any time you can add a four-time All-Star to your roster, you make that move. Meyers is a versatile big, a great shooter, can play inside and block shots. The addition of both men puts us in a great position to win.”

The disgruntled Butler was dealt by Minnesota to Philadelphia last season. The Sixers wanted to retain Butler but couldn’t convince him to stay and got something for him via the sign-and-trade mechanism. In 65 total games for the Wolves and Sixers last season, Butler averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.9 SPG with a .462/.347/.855 shooting line. Richardson averaged a career-high 16.6 PPG and 4.1 APG last season.

Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey called the acquisition of Whiteside an “impact move for our roster.” The Blazers were looking for a starting center with Jusuf Nurkic on the mend from a serious leg injury.

Heat Waive, Stretch Ryan Anderson’s Contract

2:05pm: The Heat have formally waived Anderson, the team confirmed in a press release.

12:26pm: The Heat will waive Ryan Anderson and use the stretch provision on the remaining year of  the forward’s contract in order to complete the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade with the Sixers, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.

Anderson had a $21,264,635 salary for next season but approximately $15,64MM was guaranteed. By stretching out the guaranteed portion of the contract, the Heat will take cap hits of approximately $5.2MM for the next three seasons. Miami needed to get below the hard cap of $138.9MM that applies to teams that acquire a player via sign-and-trade. Stretching out Anderson’s deal was its simplest means of achieving that goal, as the Heat will drop $1.88MM below that hard cap threshold, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes.

Anderson was one of the hottest free agents on the market in 2016 and signed a four-year, $80MM with the Rockets. That contract became an albatross after Anderson lost playing time in Houston and he was traded to both the Suns and Heat last season, appearing in just 25 games.

The Heat will apparently hold onto Goran Dragic for the time being, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Dragic, who is due $19.2MM for next season, has been the subject of trade rumors.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Heat, Celtics

The Wizards are still looking to make moves with their $8.6MM trade exception and in free agency, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. Washington has already agreed to a sign-and-trade to ship out Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls, agreed to a two-year deal with Ish Smith and come to terms with center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat are still seeking to ship out contracts to ease their cap burden and reduce the need to stretch Ryan Anderson‘s contract, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Miami is hopeful of reducing or eliminating its luxury tax penalty for next summer, Jackson adds. The Heat are trying to hold onto Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. but are open to moving other veterans, Jackson adds in another tweet. The Heat have been extremely active in recent days, most notably piecing together a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and reaching an agreement to trade Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers.
  • The Celtics have reached agreements with free agents Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter but they’re far from done, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The Celtics are still looking at a number of free agents and potential sign-and-trades that could free up money to get another impact player, Bulpett continues. Interior defense is the biggest area of need, he adds.

Heat’s Jimmy Butler Sign-And-Trade Deal To Include Clippers, Blazers

7:58pm: The 2023 first-round pick being sent from the Heat to Clippers will be lottery-protected through 2025, then unprotected in 2026, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

5:00pm: The Clippers will receive a protected 2023 first-round pick from the Heat in the deal, according to ESPN’s full report.

4:17pm: The sign-and-trade deal that will send Jimmy Butler to the Heat and Josh Richardson to the Sixers has been agreed upon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter), the trade between the Trail Blazers and Heat that will send Hassan Whiteside to Portland is becoming part of the transaction, with Maurice Harkless being re-routed to the Clippers to make it a four-team deal.

The Clippers will also receive a future first-round pick from Miami, according to Wojnarowski. Since the Heat have already traded their 2021 first-round selection to the Clippers and can’t give away consecutive future first-rounders, the next one that is trade-eligible would be the 2023 selection, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

As part of the four-team swap, the Sixers will send the draft rights to 2017 second-rounder Mathias Lessort to the Clippers, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

As of now then, this is what the deal would look like:

After acquiring Harkless, the Clippers will still have a maximum-salary slot available in the event that Kawhi Leonard decides to join them, tweets Marks. It would be a tight fit though, notes ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who tweets that the club might have to renounce a couple of small cap holds. Obviously, if Leonard decides to go elsewhere, that wouldn’t be necessary.

As for the Heat, they had let Goran Dragic‘s camp know that they’d likely to need to move the point guard in order to complete the Butler acquisition, but that shouldn’t be necessary after all, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Still, as Marks points out (via Twitter), Miami will have to make an additional move to make sure it gets below the hard cap $138.9MM that applies to teams that acquire a player via sign-and-trade. Waiving and stretching Ryan Anderson‘s contract looks like the most logical path for the Heat.

We have more details in other stories on the Butler/Richardson aspect of this deal, as well as the Blazers’ Whiteside acquisition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.