Raptors Rumors

Hollis-Jefferson To Sign With Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have reached an agreement with free agent forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

It’s a non-guaranteed, training-camp deal for one season, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets.

He played for the Raptors last season, appearing in 60 games. He averaged 7.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 1.8 APG in 18.7 MPG. He also saw action in five playoff games but averaged just 7.8 MPG in those appearances.

Hollis-Jefferson, 25, played his first four seasons with the Nets. He could add defensive versatility to Minnesota if he makes the roster.

Oshae Brissett Has $300K Partial Guarantee

  • Oshae Brissett‘s new multiyear deal with the Raptors features a $300K guarantee for year one, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That guarantee signals that Brissett probably has a leg up in battle for Toronto’s 15th regular season roster spot.

Raptors Sign Jalen Harris To Two-Way Deal, Re-Sign Oshae Brissett

The Raptors have officially filled out their training camp roster, having signed second-round pick Jalen Harris to a two-way contract and restricted free agent forward Oshae Brissett to a multiyear deal, per RealGM’s official log of NBA transactions.

Harris, who began his college career at Louisiana Tech, transferred to Nevada and had a huge year in 2019/20 as a junior, averaging 21.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.9 APG with a .446/.362/.823 shooting line in 30 games (33.0 MPG). The 22-year-old guard declared for the draft and was selected by the Raptors with the 59th overall pick. He’ll occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, while Paul Watson holds the other.

As for Brissett, he appeared in 19 games for the Raptors on a two-way contract as a rookie last season, playing mostly garbage-time minutes. The former Syracuse standout averaged 1.9 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 7.1 minutes per contest. In 30 G League games for the Raptors 905, he bumped those numbers to 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 27.8 MPG.

Brissett received a two-way qualifying offer from Toronto, but the two sides ended up negotiating a new standard contract instead — it’ll probably be a two-year deal worth the minimum salary. He’ll likely get a small partial guarantee in year one and will compete in training camp for a regular season roster spot, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

Brissett’s competitors for the 15th roster spot will be Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, and Alize Johnson. Their deals, which were reported on Friday, are all official now too, per RealGM.

Atlantic Notes: Howard, Milton, Raptors, Konate

Dwight Howard took a major step toward repairing his reputation last season with the Lakers, and now the Sixers are giving him a chance to move even further in that direction, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. After a brilliant start to his career that included eight consecutive All-Star appearances, Howard devolved into a journeyman who is now on his sixth team in six years.

He became known as a player who was more interested in joking around than winning and had disputes with teammates and coaches along the way. But Howard showed he could still be serious by earning a roster spot after signing a non-guaranteed deal with L.A. and contributing to the team’s title run as a big man off the bench. Philadelphia is counting on a similar performance as he becomes a back-up and mentor to Joel Embiid.

“Showing him some of the things that I learned over the years, the pitfalls, the things that bring you down,” Howard said of his expected relationship with Embiid, “and also that really (elevate) you up. Not just doing that through words, really through my actions.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
  • The Sixers have high expectations for Shake Milton, who moved into the starting lineup midway through last season. During a Reddit chat with fans Friday night, new team president Daryl Morey talked about the potential of the second-year guard (Twitter link from Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire). “I think the league hasn’t caught up to how good Shake can be,” Morey said. “It was one of the first things (new head coach Doc Rivers) and I spoke about after I joined — we are excited to see what he can do this year.”
  • The signing of Aron Baynes should improve the Raptors’ defensive rebounding, states Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Assessing areas where the team got better and worse during the offseason, Murphy notes that Baynes has the greatest defensive rebounding impact in the league since the 2015/16 season. Alex Len, another free agent addition, grabbed 25.2% of defensive rebounds last year, which would have been the best rate on the Raptors.
  • Sagaba Konate, who played for the Raptors‘ G League affiliate last year, has signed with PAOK Thessaloniki of the Greek A1 league for the rest of the season, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Konate began the season with Casademont Zaragoza in Spain.

Raptors Sign Malachi Flynn To Rookie Contract

The Raptors have officially signed first-round pick Malachi Flynn to his rookie contract, according to the NBA’s transactions log.

Flynn, who transferred to San Diego State after starting his college career at Washington State, had a breakout season in 2019/20 a junior. The 6’1″ point guard averaged 17.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.8 SPG with a .441/.373/.857 shooting line in 32 games (33.4 MPG) for the Aztecs. He was named the Mountain West Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

On draft night on November 18, Flynn was the 29th player off the board, going to Toronto with the second-last pick of the first round. As a Raptors rookie, he’ll get to learn from All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and the newly re-signed Fred VanVleet.

Assuming he signs for the full 120% of the rookie scale amount – as nearly every player does – Flynn will earn $1.95MM in 2020/21. If he plays out his full four-year rookie deal, its total value will exceed $10MM. The full breakdown on those numbers can be found right here.

Terence Davis Likely To Receive Contract Guarantee

Terence Davis is likely to have to his contract guaranteed despite domestic abuse allegations, Michael Grange of Rogers SportsNet reports.

The Raptors’ second-year shooting guard has a $1,517,981 salary for the upcoming season that becomes guaranteed on Sunday. He had a solid rookie campaign after going undrafted, appearing in 72 regular-season games and averaging 7.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 1.6 APG in 16.8 MPG. Davis, 23, also saw action in six postseason games.

In terms of on-court production, Davis easily earned the second-year guarantee. However, the assault case has endangered his future with the franchise, even though the Raptors have little choice but to guarantee his contract, as Grange describes in detail.

Davis participated in the team’s mini-camp in Los Angeles last week and is expected to be with the team for training camp next week, according to Grange.

Davis was arrested in New York City in late October and faces seven charges. Davis allegedly hit his girlfriend in the face, then grabbed the victim’s phone and broke it during the incident. The woman’s son also allegedly got knocked down during the altercation. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 11.

The league is conducting its own investigation into the incident and could eventually take disciplinary action. For now, the Raptors don’t have the option of disciplining Davis. If the Raptors waived Davis prior to the contract being guaranteed, the Players Association would likely file a grievance, since the case remains unresolved.

The Raptors thus has to wait until the league takes action to decide what to do with Davis. If they waive him after Sunday, they’ll be on the hook for his salary.

Raptors To Bring Oshae Brissett To Camp

Free agent forward Oshae Brissett has yet to sign a new deal yet, but the Raptors intend to bring him to training camp next week, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Brissett was on a two-way contract with Toronto in 2019/20 and the team issued him a qualifying offer at season’s end, making him a restricted free agent. As Murphy explains, it’s not clear whether Brissett will accept that QO (putting him on another two-way deal) or work out a new standard contract with the club, but the expectation is that he’ll be sticking around.

As a rookie in 2019/20, Brissett appeared in 19 games for the Raptors, playing mostly garbage-time minutes. The former Syracuse standout averaged 1.9 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 7.1 minutes per contest. In 30 G League games for the Raptors 905, he bumped those numbers to 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 27.8 MPG.

With Brissett back in the mix, the Raptors – who will also reportedly add Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, and Alize Johnson to their training camp roster – project to have a full 20-man squad.

Raptors Signing Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, Alize Johnson

The Raptors will be adding big man Henry Ellenson, forward Yuta Watanabe, and forward Alize Johnson to their training camp roster, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (via Twitter).

As Murphy outlines, Ellenson will sign a two-year, minimum-salary contract with a $50K partial guarantee on year one. Details aren’t provided for Watanabe’s deal or Johnson’s, but the safe bet would be a pair of Exhibit 10 contracts, which are essentially non-guaranteed one-year deals.

All three players will have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the regular season roster, though the 15th spot could be up for grabs if the Raptors don’t sign second-round pick Jalen Harris to a standard contract, promote two-way player Paul Watson, or retain two-way RFA Oshae Brissett.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Watanabe, one of just two Japanese-born players currently in the league, spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old didn’t see much playing time at the NBA level, but was solid in the G League, averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .546/.364/.816 shooting in 22 games for the Memphis Hustle in 2019/20.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and has spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests. The Pacers didn’t tender him a qualifying offer last week, so he entered the market as an unrestricted free agent.

The moves will take the Raptors’ unofficial roster count to 19, not including Brissett.

NBA Teams With Hard Caps For 2020/21

The NBA salary cap is somewhat malleable, with various exceptions allowing every team to surpass the $109,140,000 threshold once their room is used up. In some cases, teams blow past not only the cap limit, but the luxury-tax limit of $132,627,000 as well — the Warriors project to have a nine-figure tax bill this season as a result of their spending.

The NBA doesn’t have a “hard cap” by default, which allows a club like Golden State to build a significant payroll without violating CBA rules. However, there are certain scenarios in which teams can be hard-capped, as we explain in a glossary entry.

When a club uses the bi-annual exception, acquires a player via sign-and-trade, or uses more than the taxpayer portion ($5,718,000) of the mid-level exception, that club will face a hard cap for the remainder of the league year.

When a team becomes hard-capped, it cannot exceed the “tax apron” at any point during the rest of the league year. The tax apron was set $6MM above the luxury tax line in 2017/18 (the first year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement) and creeps up a little higher each time the cap increases. For the 2020/21 league year, the tax apron – and hard cap for certain clubs – is set at $138,928,000.

More than half the teams in the NBA have been willing to hard-cap themselves this offseason, and in some cases, it will significantly impact a team’s ability to add further reinforcements later in the league year. The Bucks and Lakers are among the teams right up against the hard cap, which may prevent them from being players in free agency during the season unless they can shed salary.

For other clubs, the hard cap is just a technicality that won’t affect their plans. The Hawks and Thunder are among the hard-capped clubs that will have zero practical concerns about reaching that threshold in 2020/21.

Listed below are the hard-capped teams for the 2020/21 league year, along with how they created a hard cap.

Atlanta Hawks

Boston Celtics

Charlotte Hornets

Dallas Mavericks

Denver Nuggets

Detroit Pistons

  • Acquired Jerami Grant from the Nuggets via sign-and-trade.

Houston Rockets

Los Angeles Clippers

  • Using non-taxpayer mid-level exception on Serge Ibaka.

Los Angeles Lakers

Miami Heat

Milwaukee Bucks

New York Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder

Phoenix Suns

  • Using non-taxpayer mid-level exception on Jae Crowder.

Portland Trail Blazers

Toronto Raptors

Utah Jazz

Washington Wizards

  • Using non-taxpayer mid-level exception on Robin Lopez.

This list could continue to grow during the offseason if other teams acquire a player via sign-and-trade, use more than the taxpayer portion of their mid-level exception, or use their bi-annual exception.

Raptors Waive Dewan Hernandez

The Raptors have waived 2019 second-round pick Dewan Hernandez, the team announced today.

The 59th overall pick in 2019, Hernandez appeared in just six games for Toronto as a rookie, recording 14 points and 14 rebounds in 28 total minutes. The former University of Miami standout also appeared in nine G League games for the Raptors 905, averaging 13.4 PPG and 9.6 RPG. However, we he was sidelined for much of the season by an ankle injury.

Hernandez’s 2020/21 salary was set to become guaranteed this Sunday if he had remained under contract. By letting him go, the Raptors will avoid remaining on the hook for that $1.52MM cap hit.

As Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), the move also opens up an extra spot on Toronto’s 15-man regular season roster. That could open the door for two-way free agent Oshae Brissett or second-round pick Jalen Harris to sign a standard contract or for the team to add another player in free agency, Murphy observes.