Saben Lee

Sixers Sign Saben Lee To Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 23: The Sixers have officially signed Lee and waived Foster, the team confirmed today in a press release.


NOVEMBER 22: The Sixers will sign point guard Saben Lee to a two-way deal, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps tweets.

Philadelphia waive Michael Foster Jr. to clear a spot for Lee, Bontemps adds. The hope is that he’ll clear waivers and join the 76ers’ G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Lee spent the last two seasons with the Pistons after being the 38th pick of the 2020 draft. He appeared in 85 games for Detroit, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

Lee was included in the preseason trade with the Jazz that landed Bojan Bogdanovic in Detroit. He failed to make the Jazz’s opening night roster and was waived. He then signed with Phoenix and was quickly waived; the Raptors signed and waived him in mid-October.

Toronto gave Lee an Exhibit 10 contract and he has played for Raptors 905, their G League team, so far this season. Lee was averaging 21.7 points and 6.0 assists in seven G League appearances.

Foster, a rookie forward, had his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal in mid-October. He made a brief appearance in Tuesday’s win over the Nets. Foster played for the G League Ignite last season.

Lee provides some depth at the point guard spot with Tyrese Maxey sidelined by a foot fracture and James Harden out due to a foot strain.

And-Ones: Media Rights, G League, Bledsoe, Beasley, Franklin

When the NBA negotiates its next television deal, expect the league to sell a separate package of streaming-only games, writes Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. As McCarthy outlines, the NFL and MLB have sold packages of games to Amazon and Apple in recent years, and the NBA is expected to follow suit, with Amazon in particular having made it clear it wants to get into business with the league.

“Amazon is locked and loaded for a shot at the NBA,” a source told Front Office Sports.

According to McCarthy, sports media consultant Patrick Crakes estimated that the bidding for a streaming-only NBA package could start in the neighborhood of $1 billion per year. The league’s current TV deal with ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports pays the league about $2.6 billion annually — the next rights deal is expected to double or triple that figure, McCarthy writes.

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

Raptors Sign, Waive Saben Lee

The Raptors have signed and subsequently waived free agent guard Saben Lee, the team announced today.

The 38th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Lee spent his first two NBA seasons with the Pistons, first on a two-way contract and then on a standard deal. He appeared in 85 total games for the team, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

Lee was traded from Detroit to Utah last month in the Bojan Bogdanovic deal and was subsequently released by the Jazz. After clearing waivers, he signed a training camp contract with the Suns on Tuesday, but his stint in Phoenix was short-lived — he was cut by the team on Thursday.

Despite the fact that he spent time on three rosters leading up to the 2022/23 season, Lee’s G League rights weren’t held by any team until he signed with the Raptors, his fourth club of the last month. Toronto signed Lee to an Exhibit 10 contract that will ensure he receives a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Raptors 905.

The Raptors didn’t have to make a corresponding roster move to make room for Lee, since the 15-man limit still won’t apply until after Monday’s cut-down deadline. Since Lee won’t clear waivers until Tuesday, Toronto will be on the hook for one day’s worth of dead money for him — that portion of prorated salary figures to be worth $10,552.

Suns Waive Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Adonis Arms

The Suns have waived Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Adonis Arms, the team announced in a press release relayed by Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports (Twitter link). Phoenix also confirmed that it has waived Saben Lee, whose release showed up earlier this week on NBA.com’s transactions log.

The moves bring the team’s roster down to 14 players, plus two on two-way deals. The Suns have 13 players with fully guaranteed contracts, along with Jock Landale, who appears to have made the team with a partially guaranteed deal.

Luwawu-Cabarrot has been a journeyman since being selected with the 24th pick in the 2016 draft, playing for five teams in six years. He appeared in 52 games with the Hawks last season and signed with Phoenix shortly before the start of training camp.

Arms signed with the Suns on Tuesday after he was waived by the Nuggets. Phoenix doesn’t have a G League team, so it’s not able to secure Arms’ G League rights.

Suns Waive Saben Lee

Two days after signing to a training camp deal with the Suns, guard Saben Lee has been waived by Phoenix, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

Lee was sent from Detroit to Utah as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic trade. The Jazz waived the 6’2″ point guard this weekend.

Lee was drafted with the No. 38 pick out of Vanderbilt in 2020, and appeared in a total of 85 contests for the Pistons in his first two NBA seasons. He holds career NBA averages of 5.6 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.2 RPG and 0.8 SPG.

The Suns lack an NBAGL affiliate club at present, so Lee won’t report to Phoenix’s G League team. 6’5″ guard Adonis Arms, who was also signed earlier this week along with Lee, remains on the team’s roster as of this writing.

Suns Sign Adonis Arms, Saben Lee

The Suns have signed guards Adonis Arms and Saben Lee, according to a team press release relayed by Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports (Twitter link).

Arms went undrafted this year out of Texas Tech, then played for the Nuggets’ summer league team. He was also on Denver’s training camp roster but was waived on Sunday. In his last college season, he averaged 8.6 PPG on .448/.308/.744 shooting, along with 4.4 RPG, 2.8 APG and 1.0 SPG.

Lee played the past two seasons with the Pistons. He was included in the Bojan Bogdanovic trade with the Jazz, who waived the former second-round pick on Sunday. Lee appeared in 85 total games for Detroit, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

The Suns no longer have a G League team, so the club has no need to sign-and-waive players to secure their NBAGL rights. We’ll see what Phoenix’s plans are for Arms and Lee, who are both eligible to sign two-way contracts.

Jazz Waive Saben Lee, Sign Darryl Morsell

9:09pm: The Jazz have officially waived Lee and have completed their Exhibit 10 deal with Marquette guard Darryl Morsell, the team announced in a press release.

Utah’s agreement with Morsell was reported shortly after he went undrafted in June.


4:40pm: The Jazz are waiving guard Saben Lee, according to Tony Jones and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 38th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Lee spent his first two NBA seasons with the Pistons, first on a two-way contract and then on a standard deal. He appeared in 85 total games for the team, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

Lee was part of the trade that sent Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit, heading to Utah in the deal along with Kelly Olynyk. He was included for salary-matching purposes, with the Pistons sending the Jazz the exact amount of cash necessary to cover his guaranteed salary for 2022/23 ($1,752,638). That was a sign that he might not be in Utah’s plans for the season, and Jones later stated that Lee would likely need to have a “hell of a camp” to stick with the team.

The move is the first of several the Jazz will have to make to clear their roster logjam before the regular season begins later this month. Once Lee is officially waived, Utah will still have 17 players with fully guaranteed salaries, plus Cody Zeller, who is vying for a regular season roster spot on a non-guaranteed deal.

Cutting Lee will open up a spot on Utah’s 20-man roster for the team to officially sign Micah Potter to a two-way contract, Jones notes (via Twitter). Porter’s agreement with the Jazz was reported last month.

Jazz Trade Bojan Bogdanovic To Pistons

SEPTEMBER 26, 9:00pm: The Jazz and Pistons both issued press releases on Monday evening confirming the trade, which signals that all the required physicals have been completed.

As previously reported, Utah received $1,752,638 in cash along with Olynyk and Lee, which is the exact amount of Lee’s 2022/23 salary.


SEPTEMBER 22, 5:00pm: The trade is official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log. In addition to Olynyk and Lee, the Jazz acquired cash in the deal, per RealGM’s transaction log.


SEPTEMBER 22, 8:39am: The Pistons and Jazz are finalizing a trade that will send forward Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit, sources tell Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania and Edwards, Utah will receive big man Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee in the deal.

Bogdanovic is set to earn $19.55MM in the final year of his contract after averaging 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in 69 appearances (30.9 MPG) for the Jazz in 2021/22. A strong frontcourt scorer and shooter, Bogdanovic has made his 39.2% of his career three-point attempts, including 40.3% over the last five seasons.

With the Jazz in the process of tearing down their roster, Bogdanovic was widely viewed as a strong candidate to be moved before the start of the season. On Wednesday, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune cited a source close to Bogdanovic who said the forward expected to be traded soon.

Still, while a trade had been anticipated, Bogdanovic’s destination comes as a surprise. Teams like the Suns, Lakers, Mavericks, and Knicks had been cited as possible suitors for the 33-year-old, but it will be the retooling Pistons who land him. Bogdanovic’s ability to stretch the floor and hit outside shots should help create more room in the paint and play-making opportunities for Detroit’s dynamic young guards, Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

The Pistons will take advantage of their leftover cap room in acquiring Bogdanovic, sending out only Olynyk ($12.8MM) and Lee ($1.75MM) in the deal. The move will also help clear a roster logjam in Detroit — the club had 17 players on fully guaranteed salaries, but will have just 16 after completing the trade for Bogdanovic. Buyout candidate Kemba Walker is expected to be the odd man out.

As for the Jazz, they’re trading yet another productive veteran after having already found takers this offseason for Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale. It appears they won’t continue to add to their collection of future draft assets in the Bogdanovic swap, but they’ll add a much-needed center in Olynyk to their roster, will take a shot on the 23-year-old Lee, and will create some additional breathing room below the luxury tax line.

As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype observes (via Twitter), the trade should move Utah from about $2MM below the luxury tax threshold to $7MM below the tax line. The team also should create a trade exception worth about $6.75MM in the deal.

While they’ll reduce this year’s team salary, the Jazz will now be on the hook for Olynyk’s $3MM partial guarantee in 2023/24. They’d owe the big man that $3MM, instead of his full $12.2MM salary, if they waive him before next year’s free agent period. Lee, meanwhile, has a $1.9MM team option for ’23/24.

The Jazz will now have 18 players on guaranteed contracts, so they’ll have to trade or release three players before opening night to get their roster down to 15.

Jazz Notes: Sexton, Kessler, Azubuike, Conley, Clarkson, Zeller, Lee

New Jazz guard Collin Sexton has been fully cleared following last year’s knee injury that sidelined him for all but 11 games, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Newly acquired rookie big man Walker Kessler has also received clearance from his toe injury, Walden adds.

While Sexton and Kessler should be good to go for training camp, former Jazz first-rounder Udoka Azubuike isn’t quite there yet. According to Walden, Azubuike continues to progress from the ankle surgery that ended his 2021/22 season early, but has yet to be cleared for 5-on-5 work.

Here are a few more updates on the Jazz:

  • Following an offseason fire sale in Utah, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson look like obvious candidates to be traded at some point in the coming weeks or months. But general manager Justin Zanik said today that there has been “nothing but total buy-in from those guys,” so it doesn’t sound as if either Conley or Clarkson is pushing to be dealt (Twitter link via Walden).
  • Conley told reporters today that he’s “10 toes in” with the Jazz, even as he acknowledged the possibility of a trade. He’s conflicted about the idea of being moved, since he could end up with a contending team but would likely have to finish the season away from his family (Twitter links via Walden and Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune).
  • After undergoing eight surgeries in nine years, Cody Zeller wants to show in Utah that he’s finally healthy, telling reporters today that he believes he can bring value to a young roster as an experienced veteran (Twitter link via Walden). The Jazz have a roster logjam to clear in the next few weeks, but Zeller should have a shot at a 15-man roster spot due to the team’s lack of veteran frontcourt depth.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic sounds unconvinced that Saben Lee is part of the Jazz’s plans going forward, tweeting that he believes the newly acquired guard will need to have “a hell of a camp” in order to stick.

Central Notes: Pistons, Middleton, Bucks, Bulls

As had been previously rumored, the Pistons are adding a pair of former NBA players to their coaching staff, announcing today that Keith Bogans and Rashard Lewis are coming aboard as player development assistants, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News.

The Pistons have also hired former Celtics assistant Brandon Bailey as a player development assistant and Brittni Donaldson – formerly of the Raptors – as an assistant coach and director of coaching analytics. The team announced a series of other promotions, including George David to associate general manager and Rob Murphy, Josh Bartelstein, and Tony Leotti to assistant GM.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • As we previously relayed, the Pistons sent the Jazz some cash as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic trade. The exact amount, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), was $1,752,638, which is equal to the amount that Saben Lee is earning in 2022/23. That means, from a financial perspective, Utah essentially swapped Bogdanovic ($19.55MM) for Kelly Olynyk ($12.8MM this season, plus a $3MM partial guarantee in 2023/24) and will get a free look at Lee.
  • Khris Middleton could become a free agent as soon as next summer if he turns down a $40MM+ player option for 2023/24. While he’s not sure how his contract situation will play out, the standout wing tells Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he wants to stay with the Bucks long-term. “I think everybody knows that. Even though I know you’re really not supposed to say it for all the reasons out there, but I think everybody knows deep down that I want to stay,” Middleton said. “But also, you know it’s a business. Things change, things happen. You just never know. For sure I would love to stay, if everything works out.”
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic poses a series of questions for Bucks players to answer this season, including whether Grayson Allen‘s playoff struggles vs. Boston were a fluke or a harbinger of things to come.
  • The Bulls will miss Lonzo Ball, one of their best two-way players, as he recovers from another knee procedure to open the season, but they have enough depth at point guard and don’t need to make a trade to fortify the position, opines Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.