Sam Dekker

International Notes: Ennis, Dekker, Macon, Adel, Landale

Veteran guard Tyler Ennis and forward Sam Dekker spent a half-season in 2016/17 as teammates with the Rockets. Now, they’re set to team up again for the 2020/21 season — this time, it’ll happen in Turkey rather than in Houston.

Turk Telekom BK published a pair of tweets this week welcoming Ennis and Dekker to the team, an indication that both players have reached deals with the Turkish club.

Ennis and Dekker were 18th overall picks in back-to-back NBA drafts (2014 and 2015), with Ennis appearing in 186 total games for four clubs, while Dekker logged 200 appearances for four clubs. Neither player was in the NBA in 2019/20, as Ennis spent the season with Raptors 905 in the G League, while Dekker played in Russia for Lokomotiv Kuban.

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

  • Turkish team Galatasaray has signed former Arkansas guard Daryl Macon to a one-year contract, the team announced in a press release. Macon began the 2019/20 season on a two-year deal with Miami, but was waived in January to open up a spot for Gabe Vincent.
  • Former Louisville forward Deng Adel, who was on a two-way contract with Cleveland in 2018/19 and was with the Nets in camp last fall, has signed with the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced in a press release. According to the club, Adel received interest from several others NBL teams before signing with the Hawks.
  • Former Saint Mary’s big man Jock Landale isn’t expected to return to Zalgiris Kaunas for the 2020/21 season, according to Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link). Urbonas previously reported that the Lithuanian team was preparing for Landale to opt out of the final year of his contract and potentially seek an NBA job.

International Notes: Dekker, Kokoskov, Crawford, P. Jones

Panathinaikos is targeting former NBA forward Sam Dekker for next season, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops. The Greek club is under new management and is considering Dekker as a possible replacement for Deshaun Thomas.

Dekker, 26, played for Lokomotiv Kuban this year, averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in the EuroCup and 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in the VTB League. It was the first season outside the NBA for the former first-round pick after spending time with the Rockets, Clippers, Cavaliers and Wizards.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov was introduced today as the new head coach of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, according to EuroHoops. He reportedly received a three-year deal to take over the Turkish team. “I feel obligated to the Fenerbahce fans and the people who brought me here to give them the best of my abilities, experience and knowledge to help this club keep being successful as it is,” he said. “Fenerbahce fans love their basketball team, so we will give our best to keep them happy by winning lots of basketball games and trophies.” Kokoskov, who spent a season as head coach of the Suns, also coaches the Serbian National Team.
  • Jordan Crawford has signed a one-year deal with Lokomotiv Kuban, Barbarousis writes in a separate story. Crawford, 31, played for five teams in eight NBA seasons before moving overseas early last year. He played in Israel and China before spending part of this season with Brose Bamberg in Germany.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Perry Jones III will continue his career with Bursaspor in Turkey, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The 28-year-old spent three seasons with the Thunder.

International Notes: Cole, Dekker, Italian NBA Players

After signing Guerschon Yabusele earlier this week, French team ASVEL Basket is bringing aboard another former NBA player, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed veteran guard Norris Cole to a two-year deal.

A two-time NBA champion with Miami, Cole appeared in 360 career regular season NBA games from 2011-17 for the Heat, Pelicans, and Thunder. He has played in international leagues since then, spending time in Israel, Italy, and Montenegro before joining ASVEL this week.

Here are more international updates from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA first-round pick Sam Dekker, who spent the 2019/20 season playing for Lokomotiv Kuban, has parted ways with the Russian club and is now a free agent, the team announced (Twitter link). Formerly of the Rockets, Clippers, Cavaliers, and Wizards, Dekker was Lokomotiv Kuban’s averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 10 EuroCup games, with 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 19 VTB United League contests.
  • In an interesting story for ESPN.com, Baxter Holmes takes an in-depth look at how the NBA’s international players have handled the last three months, with many of them far removed from their home countries where friends and family members may have been affected by COVID-19. As Holmes details, Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli says he’s become closer with Spurs guard Marco Belinelli, and Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari – the NBA’s other two active Italian players – by staying in frequent contact during the pandemic.
  • In case you missed it, former NBAers Jeremy Pargo and Malcolm Delaney are joining teams in Israel and Italy, respectively.

International Notes: Dekker, Japan, China

Former NBA forward Sam Dekker is headed home after the Russia VTB United League cancelled its season, he tweets. Dekker, who left Moscow on Thursday with a connecting flight in Turkey, was playing for Lokomotiv Kuban. Dekker played for Washington and Cleveland last season.

We have more international news:

  • The Japanese B League has decided to cancel the remainder of its season, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports. The league went on hiatus after the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-February and briefly resumed play for one weekend this month. “We’ve prioritized the mental and physical health of our players, coaches and club officials,” league chairman Masaaki Okawa said in a video statement. “The spread of this coronavirus has been beyond our imagination and we’ve emphasized that we cannot afford to expose our players and others who are associated with our league to the danger.”
  • China is closing its borders to foreigners starting on Saturday, according to NPR.org post, and that could impact players returning to the Chinese Basketball Association. The CBA is planning to resume its season next month and foreign players that have already returned were required to quarantine for two weeks. However, not all foreign players have made it back to China.
  • The NBA is closely monitoring China’s efforts to resume play with an eye toward replicating those measures if the CBA is successful, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. While the CBA hasn’t formally announced a plan, it’s expected to cluster teams in one or two cities and play a round-robin format in empty arenas over several weeks. The CBA’s goal is to play out the remaining schedule in full before moving on to the playoffs. The NBA could look at venues in a centralized location, including Las Vegas.

Sam Dekker Signs With Russian Team

AUGUST 5: Lokomotiv Kuban has officially confirmed its deal with Dekker (Twitter link).

AUGUST 3: Forward Sam Dekker is close to an agreement with Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets.

Like several other NBA veterans, Dekker didn’t attract much interest in the free agent market this summer and was forced to explore overseas options.

Dekker became an unrestricted free agent when the Wizards declined to extend a $3.91MM qualifying offer. Dekker wound up in Washington via a three-team December deal that also involved the Bucks and Cavaliers.

The 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft has struggled to find his footing in the NBA after a stellar college career at Wisconsin. He’s averaged 5.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 15.5 MPG while playing 200 NBA games for Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland as well as the Wizards.

He made just 28.8% of his 3-point attempts during his four NBA seasons and knocked down only 28.6% in 38 games off the bench for Washington. Dekker averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 16.3 MPG after the trade.

Tomas Satoransky, Bobby Portis Receive Qualifying Offers

10:10pm: The Wizards are not tendering qualifying offers to Dekker or Chasson Randle, tweets Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. They’ll become unrestricted free agents.

9:29pm: Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington are reporting that the Wizards have extended qualifying offers to guard Tomas Satoransky and forward Bobby Portis just hours after also tendering a QO to center Thomas Bryant.

The qualifying offers for Satoransky ($3,911,484) and Portis ($3,611,813) are similarly affordable to Bryant’s QO ($3,021,354), so it comes as no surprise that Washington has made all three young players restricted free agents this summer.

Hughes also notes that while forward Sam Dekker has not yet been extended a qualifying offer by the team, they have until June 29 to make a final decision. His QO is similar in amount ($3,916,575) to the three aforementioned players.

Satoransky, 27, took on a larger role later on in the 2018/19 season after starting point guard John Wall went down with injury. He ended up averaging a career-best 8.9 PPG and 5.0 APG while starting 54 games.

Portis, 24 and a former first-round pick of the Bulls, also had a career season in Washington after being traded from Chicago before the trade deadline. He ended up starting 22 of the 28 games he played for the Wizards, and posted 14.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and a .458/.403/.809 shooting line.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Justin Anderson, Hawks, 25, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $7MM deal in 2015
The Hawks can make Anderson a restricted free agent if they extend a $3.62MM qualifying offer. Anderson hasn’t given them much incentive to do so since they acquired him in an offseason trade with Philadelphia. Anderson is getting fewer minutes off the bench than ageless wonder Vince Carter, with under six minutes per game in seven March appearances. A recent report indicated that the Hawks would be aggressive in free agency. Renouncing Anderson’s rights would give them more elbow room to pursue top-tier players.

Shelvin Mack, Hornets, 28, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
It’s rare when NBA players are claimed off waivers. Mack proved to be an exception after the Grizzlies traded him to the Hawks last month, who weren’t interested in retaining his services. The Hornets were looking for some insurance behind backup Tony Parker, but Mack has been mostly a spectator. He’s appeared in just three games since the waiver claim after receiving steady minutes on Memphis’ second unit. Mack will be shopping around for a one-year minimum deal once again this offseason.

Derrick Jones Jr., Heat,, 22, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $3.16MM deal in 2018
The Heat have an August 1 deadline to guarantee Jones’ $1.645MM salary for next season. Considering that Jones is a young rotation player, that would seem to be an easy decision. Jones remains a work in progress offensively but advanced metrics indicate he’s making a defensive impact. His Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating, according to Basketball-Reference is a solid 1.4. Jones is shooting 49% from the field, mainly due to the fact that 54% of his attempts have come within three feet of the basket. He’s averaging 21.5 MPG in March, a sign of trust from coach Erik Spoelstra.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic, 28, C (Up) — Signed to a four-year, $53MM deal in 2015
There have been conflicting reports whether Dallas will make a big push for Orlando’s big man this summer. No doubt, there will be a market for Vucevic’s services. He’s averaging career highs of 20.6 PPG and 12.2 RPG in his walk year and coach Steve Clifford adds that Vucevic essentially gives the team “two point guards” when he’s on the floor. Vucevic isn’t considered a defensive stalwart but his Defensive Box rating this season is a career-high 3.7. Vucevic won’t get a max-level offer but he’ll be making a lot more than $12.75MM next season.

Sam Dekker, Wizards, 24, SF (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $7.9MM deal in 2015
Dekker could be a restricted free agent this summer if the Wizards extend a $3.91MM qualifying offer. That’s not going to happen, as Dekker hasn’t been any better in Washington than he was in three other NBA stops. The 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft has made 33 appearances with the Wizards since he was acquired from Cleveland in early December. He’s averaging 5.9 PPG in 15.4 MPG, but shooting just 29.4% from deep and 51.6% from the foul line. Dekker’s expectations should be modest in the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Notes: Ariza, Oubre, Dekker, Porter

Suns guard Devin Booker referred to Trevor Ariza as a player who was “loved in the locker room” in Phoenix, but the club’s slow start to the season took a toll on the veteran forward — sources tell Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic that Ariza “checked out mentally” early in the 2018/19 campaign. The decision to trade him was a mutual one made by the Suns and Ariza’s camp, Rankin adds.

Ariza, who is joining the Wizards for the second time in his career, will be thrown into the fire right away by his new team — he’ll be in Washington’s starting lineup on Tuesday night, head coach Scott Brooks said today (Twitter link via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post).

As Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington observes, Ariza primarily came off the bench during his first season in D.C. back in 2012/13, but he has started every game since then, so it’s no surprise that he’ll slot right into the starting five for the Wizards. His old teammates are looking forward to playing alongside him again, as Standig relays.

“It’s always great to add a guy like Trevor back, one of the best veterans and teammates I had,” John Wall said. “We know what he brings to the table.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • In an article for NBC Sports Washington, Chase Hughes explores whether the Wizards got enough for Kelly Oubre after spending several years developing him. Within the piece, a source tells Hughes that Oubre and the Wizards never got very close to reaching a deal on a contract extension during the offseason.
  • Sam Dekker is turning out to not just be a throw-in in a trade that saved the Wizards some money — the veteran forward has earned regular minutes in Washington’s rotation during his first week and a half with his new team, as Ben Standig details for NBC Sports Washington. “He cuts to the basket, he moves the ball, he plays hard, he brings energy, he plays with the proper respect for the game,” head coach Scott Brooks said of Dekker. “That is what I love about him, he always seems to be prepared. He doesn’t have to turn the switch on, it’s on.”
  • Otto Porter was diagnosed with a Grade II strain of his right vastus medialis, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who explains that the vastus medialis is part of the quadriceps muscle group. Porter will likely sit out until next week, Buckner reports.
  • Earlier today, the Wizards finalized their signing of Chasson Randle and we took a closer look at the timing of that move.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Wizards, Bamba, Heat

While it may be a little too early to determine with certainty whether the Hornets will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer suggests in his latest mailbag that he expects the team to be more focused on improving this season’s roster than acquiring future assets. However, they’re unlikely to take on much salary in any deal, since they’re only about $3.4MM below the luxury tax threshold, Bonnell notes.

If the Hornets were to fall out of the playoff picture, they could explore the trade market for 2019 free-agents-to-be like Jeremy Lamb and Frank Kaminsky, per Bonnell. However, it would require a major slump to slip out of the playoff race in the East, where the ninth-seeded Heat have an 11-16 record.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • While the Wizards were something of a third wheel in last week’s trade that primarily featured the Cavaliers and Bucks, their involvement shouldn’t be overlooked. Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington explored the impact of Jason Smith‘s departure on the locker room and on Smith himself, while Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington spoke to Sam Dekker about becoming a Wizard.
  • Mohamed Bamba sat out the Magic‘s most recent game on Monday after violating team rules, head coach Steve Clifford said, per ESPN.com. “It’s just bad on my part, and I need to be better. I’ve got to be on time,” Bamba said. He’s expected to return to Orlando’s lineup on Thursday night against Chicago.
  • In a pair of articles for The South Florida Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman explores whether the Heat will be able to continue to find enough minutes and opportunities for both Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones if and when their roster is fully healthy.

Wizards Notes: Wall, Smith, Dekker

John Wall is blaming an injury for his one-point performance in Saturday’s loss at Cleveland, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall has been suffering from a bone spur in his left heel and was treated for the condition after the game.

“It’s just like a bone spur but today it got really hot,” Wall told Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). “Probably shouldn’t have played. That’s my fault. … I’ve had it for a while. It comes and goes from days where it’s hot and today it’s like I really couldn’t run.”

Wall had six assists, but missed all five of his shots from the field and was pulled from the game late in the third quarter. Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton took advantage of the matchup to score a career-high 29 points. More concerning to the Wizards than Saturday’s loss is how the condition will affect Wall for the rest of the season.

“Some days it’s great. Some days it’s bad,” he said. “It come and go. You know what I mean? You just got to monitor when it’s good and when it’s bad, don’t try to force the issue and play with that one because it’s kind of hard. You can’t run. Today it just got real hot. It didn’t get no better.”

There’s more news out of Washington:

  • Concerns about effort and focus have haunted the Wizards throughout their 11-15 start and Cleveland center Tristan Thompson suggested that was an issue again Saturday night, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic“Obviously every team that comes in here is going to feel very relaxed and feel like they don’t have to put their best foot forward,” Thompson said of facing the six-win Cavaliers. “I know how teams come in and approach us because we used to be that team that would approach teams that are in a different stage or got a lot of younger players.”
  • The Wizards lowered their potential tax bill by shipping Jason Smith to the Bucks for Sam Dekker, but the move wasn’t popular in the locker room, Buckner writes in a separate story. Smith was only averaging about 11 minutes per night, but was was well liked by his teammates, who viewed him as a supportive and calming presence. “If you can go through things of ups and downs and sporadic seasons, playing or not playing and still be that happy of an individual and cheer people on and just continue to be an overall good dude, why can’t everybody be that?” Kelly Oubre asked. “He really taught me how to be a good human being, to be honest.”
  • Coach Scott Brooks promises that Dekker will get a chance to earn playing time. In an video clip tweeted by the team, Brooks says he likes Dekker’s “motor” and “athleticism” and calls him a “developing shooter.”