Pacers, Oshae Brissett Agree To Three-Year Deal

The Pacers and forward Oshae Brissett have agreed to a three-year contract, a league source tells J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).

Brissett initially inked a 10-day contract with Indiana on April 1, then was re-signed to a second 10-day pact on April 11. That second deal is set to expire tonight. Because teams can only sign a player to two 10-day contracts in a season, Brissett would have become an unrestricted free agent tomorrow if the Pacers hadn’t been willing to sign him to a standard deal.

Brissett spent the 2019/20 season on a two-way contract with the Raptors, appearing in 19 games with the team last season after going undrafted out of Syracuse.

He reunited with former Toronto assistant Nate Bjorkgren in Indiana earlier this month and has made a positive impression on the Pacers in a limited role, averaging 4.8 points per game on .688/.571/.750 shooting in six games (8.2 MPG). His best game came last night, when he put up 13 points and six rebounds in a loss to San Antonio.

Because the Pacers haven’t yet used any of their mid-level exception yet this season, they were able to use a portion of it to go beyond a two-year deal for Brissett. While we don’t know the exact terms of the contract yet, the rest of this season’s salary will be fully guaranteed — years two and three will almost certainly be worth the minimum and are unlikely to be guaranteed.

Once they officially re-sign Brissett, the Pacers will have a full roster of 15 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals.

Nuggets Sign Austin Rivers To 10-Day Contract

APRIL 20: The Nuggets have signed Rivers to a 10-day contract, according to Singer. Denver has announced in a press release that it’s official, so it will run through April 29, covering the team’s next six games. The deal will pay Rivers $158,907, with the Nuggets taking on a $110,998 cap hit.

APRIL 14: The Nuggets are negotiating with free agent guard Austin Rivers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic, who adds that they are in “serious talks” toward a deal, pending health and safety protocols. The team’s interest in Rivers was first reported on Monday.

Rivers is currently in Denver and is expected to sign within the next few days, a source tells Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). It will likely be a 10-day contract, Singer adds (Twitter link).

The Nuggets are need of backcourt help after losing star guard Jamal Murray for the rest of the season with a torn left ACL. Denver has a roster opening and can add Rivers without a corresponding move.

Rivers, 28, signed with the Knicks during the offseason, but was never able to establish himself in the rotation, averaging 7.3 points and 2.0 assists in 21 games. He was traded to the Thunder at last month’s deadline and was waived a few days later.

Rivers would be eligible for the postseason because he wasn’t on an NBA roster beyond April 9, Singer notes (Twitter link). He offers plenty of playoff experience, having reached the postseason five times, including the past two years with the Rockets.

Warriors Give Gary Payton II Another 10-Day Contract

APRIL 19: The Warriors have officially re-signed Payton, per a team tweet.

APRIL 18: Gary Payton II will sign a second 10-day contract with the Warriors, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

The versatile guard appeared in five games during his first 10-day deal, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 3.6 minutes per night. He was effective in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics, Slater notes, displaying his defensive skills in seven minutes of action.

Payton, 28, has logged brief stays with four teams in a five-year NBA career. He has also spent extensive time in the G League and was named Defensive Player of the Year during the league’s abbreviated season in Orlando.

Payton will earn $118,983 during his second 10-day contract. If it’s finalized today, it will expire April 27, and the Warriors would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they want to keep him on the roster beyond that.

Nets Likely To Sign Mike James

The Nets are in advanced talks with veteran guard Mike James, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who tweets that a deal between the two sides could be completed as soon as Tuesday.

Antonis Stroggylakis and Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops initially reported that the Nets were eyeing James, who has also drawn interest from the Knicks. Chema de Lucas subsequently reported (via Twitter) that the 30-year-old was expected to sign a rest-of-season contract with Brooklyn, though Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link) heard that James was one of a couple players the team was interested in.

James, who averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 assists in 36 total games for Phoenix and New Orleans during the NBA’s 2017/18 season, has been playing in Europe since then. He was having a big year for CSKA Moscow this season, racking up 19.3 PPG and 5.7 APG in 27 EuroLeague contests (31.2 MPG), but was suspended indefinitely by the club following an altercation with head coach Dimitris Itoudis in late March.

James is under contract with CSKA Moscow through 2023, but Eurohoops’ report indicates that the club is willing to accommodate him if he finds an NBA opportunity, while Stein suggests that James has already been released from his contract overseas.

Further clarity on James’ situation should come soon. Assuming he does officially complete a deal with the Nets, he’ll take the roster spot previously held by LaMarcus Aldridge. While Aldridge technically remains under contract with Brooklyn for the time being, he announced his retirement last week and is expected to be waived in a procedural move.

Clippers Sign Yogi Ferrell To 10-Day Deal

APRIL 19: The Clippers have officially signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract, the team announced today. The club opened up a spot on its roster when Malik Fitts‘ 10-day deal expired overnight.

APRIL 11: The Clippers intend to ink free agent combo guard Yogi Ferrell to a 10-day deal next week, provided he clears the league’s COVID-19 health and protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times cautions (Twitter link) that Ferrell is one of a few options the Clippers are eyeing to shore up their guard depth, and a signing of Ferrell is not a lock due to the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

If he does sign, Ferrell may be able to help spell veteran point guards Reggie Jackson and Rajon Rondo, both of whom have seen a minutes increase (with Jackson starting) necessitated by another long-term injury absence for starting guard Patrick Beverley, out indefinitely with a fractured bone in his left hand. Beverley will be reassessed by the club in three-to-four weeks.

This marks Ferrell’s second 10-day deal of the season, as he previously signed such a contract with the Cavaliers in January. The 27-year-old appeared in two games with Cleveland this season. He averaged 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG across 20.0 MPG.

After his stint with the Cavaliers, Ferrell joined the Jazz’s NBAGL affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, for the G League’s truncated Orlando “bubble” campus season. He started in all 14 of his games with Salt Lake City, averaging 15.4 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.3 SPG, and boasted stellar shooting splits of .451/.388/1.000.

Ferrell went undrafted in 2016 out of Indiana. Prior to this season, he logged stints with the Nets, Mavericks, and Kings. A career 36.7% three-point shooter, Ferrell could potentially see time off the ball in limited minutes for L.A. At 36-18, the Clippers are currently the No. 3 seed in the West. The Nuggets, riding high on an eight-game win streak, are within a single game of tying LA.

Raptors Promote Yuta Watanabe To 15-Man Roster

7:20am: Watanabe’s second-year salary is non-guaranteed, but would become partially guaranteed for $375K if he remains under contract for three days beyond the free agency moratorium in August, reports Murphy (Twitter link). If he makes next season’s regular season roster, Watanabe would receive his full ’21/22 guarantee.

6:38am: The Raptors have elevated Yuta Watanabe to their 15-man roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed the third-year forward to a standard contract.

Watanabe had spent the season on a two-way deal with Toronto, having had his Exhibit 10 contract converted before the regular season began in December. Originally considered a depth piece, the 26-year-old has become a more regular rotation fixture, appearing in 39 games for the club.

While he is valued more for his defense and his energy off the bench than his offense, Watanabe has shot the ball well this season too, averaging 4.0 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .448/.400/.826 shooting in 13.4 minutes per contest. Those numbers all exceed the ones he put up in two seasons in Memphis from 2018-20.

The exact details of Watanabe weren’t announced in the Raptors’ press release, but the team used its full mid-level exception prior to the season signing Aron Baynes and Alex Len, and didn’t have its bi-annual exception available this season. As such, we can safely assume it’s a minimum-salary deal, and Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link) confirms it covers next season as well, though it’s unclear if the 2021/22 salary is partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed.

Watanabe’s rest-of-season salary, at least, will be fully guaranteed — he’ll make $321,893 the rest of the way, in addition to what he has already earned on his two-way contract.

The Raptors now have a full 15-man roster, with 14 players on standard contracts and Freddie Gillespie on a 10-day deal. Jalen Harris is Toronto’s lone two-way player, so the club could fill its other two-way slot at some point before the regular season ends on May 16.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pelicans Finalizing Multiyear Deal With Didi Louzada

The Pelicans are finalizing a multiyear agreement with draft-and-stash guard/forward Didi Louzada, according to a report from ESPN’s Olgun Uluc and Andrew Lopez.

Louzada, who most recently played in Australia with the Sydney Kings, was acquired by New Orleans with the No. 35 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 24.1 minutes in 20 contests with Sydney this season, shooting 39% from the field and 26% from behind the arc.

The 21-year-old Louzada stands at 6’5″ and can play the shooting guard and small forward positions. The Pelicans have until April 27 to sign another player after allowing Isaiah Thomas‘ 10-day contract expire on Monday, Uluc and Lopez note — teams are permitted to dip below the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players (not counting two-ways), but only for up to two weeks at a time.

The Pelicans haven’t touched their mid-level exception this year, so they’ll be able to use it to sign Louzada to a contract longer than two years. His cap hit for 2020/21 can be as low as the prorated rookie minimum, which is good news for a club looking to stay below the tax line.

New Orleans holds a 25-32 record, having put forth inconsistent defensive efforts this season. The club trails the No. 10 place Spurs by three games with roughly one month left in the season, losing a disappointing 122-112 game to New York on Sunday.

Raptors Sign Freddie Gillespie To Second 10-Day Deal

APRIL 18: The signing is official, the Raptors announced in a press release.

APRIL 17: Rookie power forward Freddie Gillespie will sign a second 10-day contract with the Raptors on Sunday, a source tells Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Gillespie is averaging 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in five games since inking his first 10-day deal on April 8. He has been a regular member of the rotation for the short-handed team, playing 16 minutes per night.

Murphy expects Toronto to make a longer investment in Gillespie once the second deal expires, likely signing him for the rest of the season with a partial guarantee for 2021/22.

Gillespie, 23, went undrafted out of Baylor in November, but established himself with a strong performance in the G League. In 15 games for the Memphis Hustle, he posted 10.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per night.

He will earn $61,528 during the second contract, which will also be the cap hit for the Raptors.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Signs Second 10-Day Deal With Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have given Rondae Hollis-Jefferson a second 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release.

The 26-year-old forward got into two games during his first 10-day deal, scoring four points in 12 total minutes. He joined the team on April 8 as Portland faced a league deadline to fill one of its two roster openings.

A first-round draft pick in 2015, Hollis-Jefferson spent his first four seasons with the Nets before signing with the Raptors as a free agent last year. He was with the Timberwolves in training camp, but failed to win a roster spot.

Players can only sign two 10-day contracts with a team during the season, so the Blazers will have to either part with Hollis-Jefferson or sign him for the rest of the season when this deal expires April 27. He will earn $128,963 over the next 10 days.

Kings Sign Damian Jones To Second 10-Day Deal

APRIL 17: The Kings have made it official, announcing Jones’ second 10-day deal in a press release.

APRIL 16: The Kings are signing center Damian Jones to a second 10-day contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Jones’ first 10-day contract with Sacramento is set to expire on Friday night.

Jones began the season with the Suns before being waived in February, then signed a pair of 10-day deals with the Lakers. He played 14 games with Phoenix and eight with L.A., averaging a combined 3.0 PPG and 2.0 RPG. Since his arrival in Sacramento, Jones has started three games and averaged 2.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.3 MPG.

Sacramento will have another decision to make on Jones later this month, since teams can only sign players to two 10 days in a season.

The Kings’ usual starting center, Richaun Holmes, is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.