Terrence Ross

Southeast Notes: Ross, Gortat, Adebayo, Aminu

Magic forward Terrence Ross has ramped up his production in recent weeks, John Denton of the team’s website details. Ross is averaging 20.3 PPG over his last 12 games. He’s settled in comfortably as a sixth man after re-signing with the team on a four-year, $54MM contract. “I just have a better understanding of how things go over a long season and I feel like now I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Ross. “I just think I have really found my niche now.”

We have more Southeast Division news:

  • Former Wizards center Marcin Gortat regrets his rift with John Wall during his latter years in Washington, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. Gortat expressed that in an NBC Sports podcast. “Playing with John was extremely great. I wish I could sacrifice more time to be a better leader back then, during the fourth and fifth year in the locker room,” said Gortat, who has retired. “Now I can just say ‘I wish.’ But again, five years was extremely great and amazing to me.”
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo believes the next step for him is to become a 3-point threat, he told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Adebayo has made just one 3-pointer this season and four in his young career. “That will become a conversation [with coach Erik Spoelstra] because at the end of the day, he wants me to get better,” Adebayo said. “He wants me to be unguardable. He wants me to help this team win. In the future, it will be a conversation we will have.”
  • Magic forward Al-Farouq Aminu endured a rough first season with the club, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic details. The highly-regarded defender signed a three-year, $29.2MM contract with Orlando during the off-season but he only played 18 games before injuring his right knee, which eventually required surgery“You have a lot of disappointments throughout life, and you learn how to deal with it,” Aminu said. “I’ve been just been finding the silver lining and finding other things in order to keep myself entertained and keep myself busy and keep myself being productive.”

Southeast Notes: Capela, Fournier, Wall, Crowder

Clint Capela still hasn’t made his Hawks debut due to plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise in his heel. Capela. who is expected to be re-evaluated on March 18, says he’s still dealing with pain but the center is seeing improvement, as Chris Kirschner of The Athletic relays. The Rockets traded him in a four-team deal. “It’s way better now,” Capela said. “Before (with Houston), it was an 8, 9 or 10. Now, it’s coming back down slowly. It’s like a 7 to 5 somedays. There are still a lot of ups and downs, but it’s really progressing.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic swingman Evan Fournier will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time with an elbow injury, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. He underwent an MRI which revealed a UCL sprain in his right (shooting) elbow. Wesley Iwundu will likely soak up a good portion of Fournier’s minutes since the team will likely leave Terrence Ross in his sixth man role, John Denton of the team’s website writes.
  • With John Wall‘s max extension kicking in, the Wizards franchise can’t afford to let him play this season, as David Aldridge of The Athletic explains. Wall has recovered from his Achilles injury to the point where he’s been taking part in controlled scrimmages twice a week with the Go-Go, Washington’s G-League affiliate, and working out three times a week. However, if Wall suffered a setback in an actual game, it would be devastating to the organization, Aldridge opines.
  • Forward Jae Crowder has settled into a crucial role with the Heat, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Crowder is averaging 13.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 11 games since he was acquired in a three-team swap. Moreover, he played 108 of a possible 120 fourth-quarter minutes during his first 10 games with the club, Chiang notes.

And-Ones: Dinwiddie, Ross, Rising Stars, Zion

There hasn’t yet been a league-wide push to retire Kobe Bryant‘s No. 8 or No. 24, but some players around the NBA have begun informally retiring those numbers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania tweets, the first of those players is Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who had worn No. 8 and will be switching to No. 26. Magic sharpshooter Terrence Ross is changing from No. 8 back to his old No. 31, Charania adds (via Twitter).

It’s not yet clear which other players will follow suit and make changes of their own. The NBA generally doesn’t allow players to change jersey numbers during the season, but Dinwiddie and Ross were granted permission, a source tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Given the special circumstances, it seems safe to assume the league would approve similar requests from others. However, Stein hears that they’ll be reviewed on a case-to-case basis (Twitter link).

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

  • The NBA’s announcement of the rosters for this year’s Rising Stars game has been pushed back to this Friday at noon eastern, the league announced today in a press release. A source tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) that Pelicans forward Zion Williamson would be interested in participating now that he’s healthy, which would certainly add some extra excitement to the All-Star event.
  • Former Trail Blazers and Rockets guard Tim Quarterman has signed a G League contract and has been acquired off waivers by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, per the NBAGL’s transactions log. Quarterman, who appeared in 19 total games for Portland and Houston from 2016-18, spent last season playing in Israel and New Zealand.
  • A pair of former NBA guards have reached deals with international teams, according to reports from Sportando. Emiliano Carchia relays word of ex-Thunder guard Semaj Christon signing with Spanish team Baskonia, while Nicola Lupo has the details on former Pelicans guard Charles Cooke agreeing to sign with Atleticos de San German in Puerto Rico.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Chalmers, Isaac, Wall

The Heat will need to use Justise Winslow at either point guard or power forward to optimize their other main wing options, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines in his latest mailbag. Putting Winslow at the ‘one’ or ‘four’ would allow coach Erik Spoelstra to play rookie Tyler Herro and Dion Waiters more often with the team’s top player, Jimmy Butler. If Winslow ends up playing regularly at small forward, Spoelstra would have to choose between Herro and Waiters as a mainstay in the rotation, Winderman adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • A reunion between the Heat and point guard Mario Chalmers is unlikely at this point, Winderman writes in another mailbag post. Chalmers, 33, is aiming for an NBA comeback after playing in Italy last season. However, even if the Heat are interested, they’d have to release Kendrick Nunn in order to create a roster spot for Chalmers since the team is hard-capped, Winderman notes.
  • Entering his third season, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is brimming with optimism over his team’s future after it reached the playoffs last season. Isaac likes the team’s continuity after it re-signed key free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, as he told John Denton of the team’s website. “We’re all hyped up for the season,’” he said. “And I’m sure as guys get together and start playing again, we’ll have more of those talks about, ‘Hey, we can go even farther than we did last (season).'”
  • The Wizards are closely monitoring John Wall‘s rehab process as he works his way back from a ruptured Achilles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. They are even providing owner Ted Leonsis with daily progress reports. “I used to start my day reading the Washington Post. Now I start my day reading [and watching] my daily John Wall exercise video,” Leonsis told Hughes.

Southeast Notes: Gordon, Wizards, Miller

Aaron Gordon jumped on Sirius XM NBA Radio to talk about the Magic‘s NBA offseason and he portrayed optimism about Markelle Fultz‘s future with the club.

“[Fultz] is a sleeper. If he wakes up and if he’s awake and woken up, he’s a monster,” Gordon said.

Fultz, whose return to the court has yet to be determined, will have a chance to win the team’s starting point guard spot. Incumbent starter D.J. Augustin, who has one season left on his deal, and Michael Carter-Williams, who re-signed with Orlando on a one-year deal, will be the former No. 1 overall pick’s top competition for the role.

Orlando didn’t make major additions in the backcourt this offseason. The team re-signed a few members of its core (Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross) and brought in Al-Farouq Aminu with its mid-level exception. Gordon is excited about the addition of Aminu, as well as the continuity the team will experience next season.

“We got Al-Farouq, which is dope,” Gordon said. “[He’s] another 3-and-D guy. Tenacious, hard noise, long-defender and that’s the most beautiful thing. Nothing has changed from this year to last year.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington examines whether the Wizards can make a quick turnaround. Hughes argues that if Washington is going to contend sooner than later, the team needs its young talent to show improvement. That would increase each players’ trade value and give the Wizards an avenue to place an immediate difference maker next to Bradley Beal.
  • The Hawks have promoted Tori Miller to assistant GM of the College Park Skyhawks, according to the G League affiliate’s website. Miller spent the last two seasons as the Skyhawks’ Manager of Basketball Operations. She broke into the NBA as an intern with the Suns from 2014-16.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel envisions Pat Riley remaining with the Heat for the foreseeable future, as the scribe details in his latest mailbag. Winderman adds that Miami’s team president remains determined to get the team back to contention and the franchise’s young players are suited to help them achieve that goal.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Thomas, Wizards, Young

Veteran swingman Terrence Ross was one of the first players to come off the board after the free agent period officially opened on the evening of June 30, opting to return to the Magic on a four-year deal that will pay him a reported $54MM. However, remaining in Orlando was hardly Ross’ only option.

As John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com details, Ross said he received either serious interest or a contract offer from the Lakers, Jazz, Mavericks, Pacers, and Kings while he was a free agent. Like teammate Nikola Vucevic though, Ross preferred to stick with the Magic.

“I felt like for us, we both had a lot of other suitors, but our main focus all along was here (with the Magic),” Ross said. “It was one of those things where we were like, ‘Hey bro, wanna go and run it back?’ And we both were like, ‘Yeah.’ It worked out pretty quick because we were on the same page and it worked out perfectly.”

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Southeast…

  • Speaking to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, new Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas said his free agency this time around was all about “opportunity,” since he wanted to join a team that would give him a chance to play a regular role. “When the Wizards called and showed interest, with John Wall being out possibly the whole year, that seemed like a big opportunity for me to be able to showcase that I’m 100 percent healthy and that I can still play at the high level that I’m used to playing at,” Thomas said.
  • The Wizards are interviewing candidates in an effort to hire a new assistant to Scott Brooks‘ coaching staff, reports Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. While it’s not clear what kind of coach the team is seeking, Hughes notes that there has been talk within the franchise about finding someone with a “strong defensive track record.”
  • According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), Hawks guard Trae Young is expected to be among the players invited to join the USA Basketball Select Team, which will participate in training camp with the Team USA squad in Las Vegas next month prior to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Contract Details: Magic, Lakers, Pistons, Bulls, More

The free agency deals began a week ago, but the details of those arrangements are slowly trickling in as they become official. Let’s take a look at some contract notes from players around the league:

  • Nikola Vucevic’s four-year, $100MM deal with the Magic will decline by 8% annually, Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights tweets. Vucevic will make roughly $28.4MM in the first year of his front-loaded contract.
  • Terrence Ross‘ four-year, $52MM contract with the Magic will start at $12.5MM, per Siegel. Ross will make $13.5MM during the 2020/21 season, followed by $12.5MM and $11.5MM in the two ensuing years.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu will take home the full non-taxpayer’s mid-level on his deal with the Magic. He’ll make approximately $9.3MM during his first season and approximately $9.7MM and $10.2MM, respectively, over the ensuing two campaigns.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s two year deal with the Lakers is worth approximately $16.6MM in total value. KCP can make roughly $1.2MM in annual incentives on top of that amount, a source tells Siegel (Twitter link). The shooting guard has a player option on the second year of the pact, which also has a 15% trade bonus. Since his deal could be a one-year contract (if he chooses to turn down the player option), Caldwell-Pope has a default no-trade clause.
  • JaVale McGee also has a player option on the final year of his two-year deal with the Lakers, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. McGee, who will make $8.2MM over the length of his contract, also has the ability to veto a trade.
  • Markieff Morris‘ two-year deal with the Pistons contains a second-year player option, Smith tweets. Morris was signed via the bi-annual exception.
  • Bruno Fernando‘s three-year deal with the Hawks is worth $4.7MM, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. It appears Atlanta will be using cap space to sign the rookie.
  • Tomas Satoransky final season of the three-year, $30MM deal with the Bulls is only guaranteed for $5MM, Fred Katz of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). Chicago brought the point guard to town via sign-and-trade.

Magic Re-Sign Terrence Ross

JULY 6: The Magic have officially re-signed Ross, the team announced today in a press release.

JUNE 30: The Magic will re-sign Terrence Ross to a four-year, $54MM deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Orlando appears content to run it back with the team that made the playoffs this past season for the first time since it traded away Dwight Howard. The Magic also agreed to re-sign Nikola Vucevic, one of the pieces they received in that 2012 Howard deal.

The Magic acquired Ross in the Serge Ibaka deal during the 2016/17 campaign. He started 81 games for the club last season, posting 15.1 PPG in just 26.5 minutes per game as Orlando’s sixth man. He also knocked down 38.3% of his attempts from beyond the arc while jacking up 7.0 per game.

Because the Magic held Ross’ Bird rights, no other exception will be required to make the signing official.

We ranked Ross 19th in our list of this year’s top 50 free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lakers Trading Wagner, Bonga, Jones To Wizards; AD Waiving Trade Kicker

The Lakers have found a way to maximize their projected cap room for free agency, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is sending Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Wizards as part of the Anthony Davis trade. Additionally, Davis has agreed to waive his $4MM trade kicker, per Wojnarowski.

As a result of those developments, the Lakers will be able to generate just over $32MM in cap room based on the projected $109MM cap. That’s more than enough space for a maximum salary for a player with less than seven years of NBA experience ($27.25MM), and puts them in the ballpark of the max for a player in the 7-9 year range ($32.7MM).

[RELATED: NBA Maximum Salary Projections For 2019/20]

Here’s how the Lakers’ moves will work once the July moratorium lifts on July 6:

Prior to completing the Davis deal, the Lakers will have approximately $32MM in cap room after accounting for eight players, the cap hold for the No. 4 pick, and three empty roster charges. The team will use that room in free agency, with ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeting that L.A. is still considering whether it will commit all that money to a single star or split it up among two or three players.

If the Lakers go after a single star, D’Angelo Russell and Kawhi Leonard are among the presumed targets. According to Wojnarowski, players like Danny Green, Terrence Ross, and Seth Curry could be among the club’s targets if it breaks up its cap space.

Once that space is used up, the Lakers will complete its agreements with the Pelicans and Wizards as part of a single three-way trade. In order to acquire Davis, whose salary is $27,093,018, the Lakers will have to send out at least $21,594,415 in total to meet salary-matching requirements as an over-the-cap team. They’ll do so with the following contracts:

Jones’ salary is non-guaranteed, which means it currently counts for $0 for salary-matching purposes. Without it, the Lakers would fall just under $200K shy of the salary they need, since the unsigned No. 4 pick would also count for $0 for matching purposes (draftees who sign rookie contracts can be used for salary matching, but can’t be traded for 30 days). As such, according to Marks (via Twitter), Jones’ salary will be partially guaranteed for $199K, allowing the Lakers to meet the necessary outgoing-salary threshold.

The Wizards, who will use trade exceptions to take on the incoming players, will also receive the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. In order to officially make it a three-team deal – and to incentivize the Pelicans to sign off – Washington will send $1.1MM in cash to New Orleans, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. That’s the minimum amount necessary to satisfy the “touch” rules in a three-team trade, tweets Marks.

While the Lakers’ motivation for the deal is obvious, it’s not a bad arrangement for the Wizards either. As an over-the-cap team, Washington didn’t have many other avenues to add talent this offseason, and have several rotation players facing free agency.

The Wizards will now get a chance to take fliers on Wagner and Bonga while also picking up a future second-round pick. They had interest in Wagner leading up to the 2018 draft, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the big man will get an opportunity in D.C.

In other Davis-related news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that LeBron James has agreed to give up his uniform number (No. 23) to AD in an effort to make the big man as comfortable as possible in Los Angeles. Davis is “extremely grateful,” Haynes adds. It’s not clear yet which number James will wear in 2019/20, but he was No. 6 during his years with the Heat.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Brogdon, Lakers, Favors, Ross

With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford expected to sign elsewhere and Aron Baynes having been re-routed to Phoenix, the Celtics have the ability to create about $25.8MM — or up to $34MM-ish if they renounce Terry Rozier.

As Chris Mannix of SI.com notes in his latest look at free agency, Kemba Walker has been linked to the Celtics this week, but he’s not the only free agent the club is considering. According to Mannix, Boston has internally discussed the possibility of pursuing Bucks RFA-to-be Malcolm Brogdon.

There has also been speculation about Bradley Beal as a potential trade target for the Celtics, but that probably won’t be an option, according to Mannix, who notes that Beal (a favorite of team owner Ted Leonsis) has been told by the Wizards that he won’t be dealt. Even if Beal were available, there’s a feeling in Boston that it might take Jayson Tatum to acquire him, Mannix adds.

Here’s more from Mannix:

  • The Lakers have shopped their “spare parts” in trade discussions, but talks have gone nowhere so far, league sources tell Mannix. Presumably, Mannix is referring to Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, who would have to be rolled into the Lakers’ Anthony Davis blockbuster for the club to maximize its cap room.
  • While it seems likely that he’ll be back, the Jazz haven’t necessarily locked in on retaining Derrick Favors, who has a non-guaranteed $17.65MM contract. Mannix suggests that Nikola Mirotic could be a name worth keeping an eye for Utah on if Favors is released to create cap room.
  • The Magic have been “steadfast” in their desire to re-sign top free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, and some within the organization are anxious to see what their market value will be, writes Mannix. Ross may be a candidate to receive a big contract offer from a team in need of a three-and-D wing, according to Mannix, who speculates that the sharpshooter could command $15MM per year.