- The Spurs have waived big man Ryan Richards, according to the team’s website. They signed the 2010 second-round draft choice to a training camp contract earlier this month. He played with teams in Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain last season.
- The Rockets have high expectations for center Clint Capela as Dwight Howard‘s replacement, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com writes. The team signed Nene Hilario to back up and mentor Capela, who is expected to move into the starting lineup, Watkins continues. GM Daryl Morey told Watkins that Capela must become an impact player. “Clint is someone for us, to have the season we want to have — to get home court in the Western Conference and to make a deep playoff run and hopefully to go deeper than we’ve ever been in my career — Clint is going to have to take a big step forward,” Morey said. “It’s not an easy step, from playing 15 to 20 minutes against … often, but not always, the starting center to playing 25-plus minutes against front-line guys.”
- New Grizzlies coach David Fizdale has big plans for small forward James Ennis, Ron Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Ennis was re-signed by the club this offseason on a two-year, $6MM contract and Fizdale sees him as a valuable rotation piece, Tillery continues. “He’s what today’s NBA is. He’s a Swiss Army knife,” Fizdale told Tillery. “He can guard a lot of different people. I’ve got him in a good place and he’s taking advantage of that.”
Pau Gasol may not be the best replacement for the retired Tim Duncan, cautions Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. In the site’s season preview of the Spurs, Blancarte notes that while Gasol remains an effective passer and all-around player, most of his scoring comes from the midrange area, where San Antonio already produces much of its offense. Gasol left the Bulls to sign a two-year, $30MM deal with the Spurs in July. Although Blancarte picks San Antonio to repeat as Southwest Division champions, he expresses concern about the age of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and states that Kyle Anderson and Jonathon Simmons will have to be ready to take on larger roles.
There’s more news out of San Antonio:
- The Spurs have 14 players with guaranteed contracts and a four-way battle is shaping up for the final roster spot, Eric Pincus writes in the same story. Patricio Garino, Ryan Arcidiacono, Bryn Forbes and Ryan Richards are expected to compete for the 15th position, with the D-League looming as a consolation prize.
- San Antonio has waived its rights to Marcus Denmon, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The Spurs made the former Missouri combo guard the 59th pick in the 2012 draft. He has spent his professional career overseas and played last season in the Turkish Basketball League.
- An Austin Spurs tryout Saturday attracted 110 players hoping to duplicate Simmons’ unlikely path to the NBA, writes Lorne Chen of NBA.com. Simmons was a semi-pro player who was thinking about giving up basketball when he came to the 2013 tryout. He impressed coaches enough to earn a contract with the D-League team, then graduated to the NBA two seasons later. “Jonathon came from this spot and has been a part of our group ever since,” said Austin GM Andy Birdsong. “And the thing is there are many stories like his coming out of the D-League. It’s a real story. It’s one that’s tangible. And it gives the guys here a lot of hope.”
The Spurs will sign 2010 second-round draft choice Ryan Richards to a training camp deal, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The 7’0″ British native played with teams in Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain last season.
Richards, a forward, was the 49th player drafted in 2010. He has also played in Poland, Austria, China and several other countries.
The Spurs are already above the salary cap for the upcoming season, so Richards will probably receive a minimum deal.
Davis Bertans has signed a three-year contract worth just under €2MM with Spanish team Baskonia, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The deal has an NBA-out clause in each season that the Spurs, who own Bertans’ rights and have eyed the Latvian for the near future, could pay for without it counting against the cap, presuming it is at or below the $600,000 maximum allowed. Here’s more from around the world:
- Ryan Richards, the Spurs 2010 second-round draft pick, has signed with an Austrian club, the Zepter Vienna team website announced (transcription via Trapani).
- Russian team Lokomotiv Kuban is looking to add Justin Hamilton and Milan Macvan next season, reports Enea Trapani of Sportando. Hamilton has a non-guaranteed salary that the Heat can fully waive prior to August 1st, and partially waive before December 1st. Macvan was drafted by the Cavs in 2011, and has been cool to Cleveland’s interest in bringing him to the NBA.
- Spanish team Unicaja Malaga has offered Luke Babbitt a $980,000 contract if the Pelicans don’t retain him, notes Trapani in a separate report. That amount is nearly identical to Babbitt’s fully non-guaranteed salary in New Orleans, which becomes partially guaranteed at $100,000 if the Pelicans don’t waive him before July 22nd.
Just as the NBA's free agent frenzy is largely behind us, most significant international signings have already taken place as well. Still, there are a few players and teams making news overseas, and Mark Porcaro of Secret Rival has the latest:
- Spurs "draft-and-stash" player Ryan Richards has signed to play for Al Nasr Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Porcaro tweets. San Antonio retains the British-born forward/center's NBA rights should he come stateside at some point.
- Zeke Marshall played for the Sixers in summer league after going undrafted this June, but he'll be headed overseas for the season. He's joining Slask Wroclaw of Poland, which released Derrick Caracter just a week or so after finalizing a deal with the former Lakers big man (Twitter link). Caracter's knee and shoulder issues prompted the team to cut ties, according to Porcaro.
- Julian Wright was a lottery pick in 2007, but he hasn't played in the NBA since 2010/11, and it looks like a return to the Association isn't in the cards right now. He's signed with Krasnye Krylya in Russia (Twitter link).