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Suns Agree To Trade Ariza To Wizards For Oubre, Rivers

After a hectic Friday night in which a three-team deal was scrapped, the Suns have agreed to deal Trevor Ariza to the Wizards in exchange for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reports (Twitter link). The trade call with the league is scheduled for later today, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Last night’s nearly completed deal would have sent Ariza to the Wizards, Rivers to the Suns and allowed the Grizzlies to acquire Oubre for Wayne Selden, two second-round picks, and one other player. The confusion came over the identity of that other player as the Grizzlies believed they were dealing MarShon Brooks while the Suns thought Dillon Brooks was headed their way.

As we relayed in a separate story, despite the nixed deal, Phoenix and Washington remained in touch to see if an Ariza trade could be completed.

This version of an Ariza trade includes three players in the final year of their respective deals.  For Ariza, the trade means the end of a brief 26-game stint in Phoenix as he signed a one-year, $15MM deal with the Suns during the 2018 offseason. Ariza averaged 9.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and a .379/.360/.837 shooting line for the Suns.

This marks a homecoming of sorts for Ariza as he spent two seasons with the Wizards, including perhaps his best season as a pro in 2013/14, when he averaged 14.4 PPG and 6.2 RPG with a .456/.407/.772 shooting line. Prior to this trade, we had relayed at least eight teams had expressed interest in Ariza, including the Lakers and Rockets — two teams he had previously suited up for.

During his stint in the nation’s capital, Ariza was reportedly a respected presence who, among other things, had a good impact on the team’s All-Star point guard, John Wall. At 11-18, the Wizards are 2.5 games back of the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed and will hope Ariza’s 3-and-D ability can narrow the gap.

For the NBA-worst Suns, they acquired a pair of useful assets that could possibly be used as trade chips later in the season. Rivers, 26, has been a mainstay off the Wizards’ bench, averaging 7.2 PPG and 2.4 RPG for Washington. Rivers’ shooting has taken a hit this season as his field-goal percentage (39.2%) and three-point shooting (31.1%) are his worst in several seasons.

As for Oubre, 23, he averaged a career-high 12.9 PPG in 29 games (seven starts) for the Wizards. By trading Oubre, the Wizards will create a traded player exception worth his salary ($3,208,630). Washington already had four trade exceptions, including one worth $5.45MM, as our list of outstanding TPEs shows.

Oubre is set to hit restricted free agency this upcoming summer, at which point the Suns could tender him a $4.5MM qualifying offer, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes. Phoenix could flip Oubre before the trade deadline but cannot aggregate him with another player for salary-matching purposes.

Once the deal is completed, the Wizards’ roster will dip below the requirement of 14. Washington will need to sign another player within two weeks to get their roster count back up to the minimum.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Sign Spencer Dinwiddie To Three-Year Extension

DECEMBER 14: The Nets have officially signed Dinwiddie to his new extension, according to a press release from the team.

DECEMBER 13: The Nets have reached a contract extension with Spencer Dinwiddie, the team announced on social media today. The deal is a three-year, $34MM agreement and contains a player option in the third season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Dinwiddie was eligible to receive a four-year extension in the range of $47MM, but opted to sign a shorter deal to reach free agency sooner, Wojnarowski adds.

Dinwiddie can decline his player option to test free agency in 2021. He’ll make approximately $10.6MM next season, $11.4MM in the 2020/2021 season and $12.3MM during the 2021/22 season, according to Wojnarowski.

That $10.6MM starting salary is equivalent to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary for this season, and is the maximum amount Dinwiddie could have received on an extension.

“The journey is just beginning. I’m thankful that the Brooklyn Nets believe in me enough to give me a home,” Dinwiddie wrote on social media.

Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points off the Nets’ bench in a win over the Sixers Wednesday, adding to his successful week with the team. He’s averaged 16.9 points, 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 29 games this season.

His new deal with the Nets will cut into their cap space for free agency next summer, greatly reducing their chances at opening two maximum-salary roster spots. Brooklyn originally signed Dinwiddie to a free-agent contract in 2016 after he spent two years in the G League. He was a finalist for the Most Improved Player award last season, and could be in consideration for Sixth Man of the Year this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Knicks Sign Trier To New Deal, Waive Baker

1:26pm: The Knicks’ new agreement with Trier is now official as well, the club confirmed in a press release. We went into more detail on Trier’s deal earlier today.

9:52am: The Knicks have officially waived Baker, the team announced in a press release.

8:55am: The Knicks and two-way player Allonzo Trier have reached an agreement on a new two-year contract that will give Trier a spot on the team’s 15-man roster, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). To create an opening on their roster, New York is expected to waive veteran guard Ron Baker, Charania adds.

A promotion to the 15-man squad had long been expected for Trier, who signed his two-way deal with the Knicks in early July after going undrafted out of Arizona. In 27 games (23.3 MPG), the rookie guard has averaged 11.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.9 APG with an impressive .470/.391/.816 shooting line. With his 45-day NBA limit fast approaching, Trier would have been relegated to the G League for the rest of the season if he had remained on his two-way contract.

The Knicks could have unilaterally converted Trier’s two-way deal into a standard NBA contract, but doing so would have made him a restricted free agent in 2019. Instead, New York will use its bi-annual exception to lock up the 22-year-old through the 2019/20 season, according to Charania (Twitter link).

[RELATED: How Teams Are Using 2018/19 Bi-Annual Exceptions]

The Knicks can offer a starting salary worth up to $3.382MM using the bi-annual exception, and it sounds like they did just that. Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that Trier will receive $7MM on his two-year contract, with a team option on the second season. Technically, a two-year BAE deal this year can have a maximum value of $6.93MM, so it appears that’ll be the exact amount of Trier’s new pact.

New York now won’t have its bi-annual exception available during the 2019 offseason, since it can only be used once in a two-year stretch. That shouldn’t be a big deal though, since the Knicks would lose it next summer anyway if they use cap room. That appears to be the plan, with Trier’s new salary for ’19/20 potentially cutting into that room a little.

Meanwhile, it looks like this will be the end of Baker’s time in New York. The former Wichita State standout joined the club back in 2016 and impressed the old regime enough in his rookie season to earn a two-year contract worth $8.87MM in 2017. That deal came as a shock at the time and doesn’t look any better in hindsight, as Baker has appeared in just 40 games for the Knicks since re-signing, averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.5 APG on .320/.286/.781 shooting in 12.3 minutes per contest.

Baker’s $4.54MM salary for 2018/19 is fully guaranteed, so it will remain on the Knicks’ cap. The team won’t have to carry any dead money in future seasons for the third-year guard.

New York will also create an open two-way contract slot as a result of Trier making the jump to the 15-man roster. Two-way players can be signed up until January 15, so there’s no rush to fill that opening immediately.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Suns Sign Eric Moreland

8:15pm: The Suns have officially announced their new deal with Moreland.

12:26pm: The Suns are in the process of finalizing a contract agreement with free agent big man Eric Moreland, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Suns have been carrying just 13 players on their NBA roster after buying out Tyson Chandler and waiving Isaiah Canaan earlier this season. As I noted last week, the team has until this Wednesday (December 12) to get back to 14 players, the league-mandated minimum.

Assuming Moreland and the Suns finalize their agreement, he’ll be the second player to join the club in recent days — Phoenix signed Jawun Evans to a two-way contract on Friday.

Moreland, who will turn 27 later this month, was leaned on as a rotation piece in Detroit last season after only playing sparingly for the Kings in two seasons earlier in his NBA career. In 2017/18, the forward/center averaged 2.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 67 contests (12.0 MPG) for the Pistons, emerging as a solid frontcourt option after Jon Leuer went down with an injury.

Waived by the Pistons in July before his salary for 2018/19 could become fully guaranteed, Moreland caught on with the Raptors for training camp, but didn’t earn a spot on Toronto’s regular season roster. He participated in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, helping Team USA clinch a berth in next year’s event, but has otherwise been a free agent this fall.

Nuggets Sign Nick Young

The Nuggets have added some scoring punch to their roster, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed veteran swingman Nick Young to a contract. Brandon Goodwin has been waived in a corresponding move, according to the full press release from the club.

Having previously been granted a hardship exception to sign a 16th player due to their injury woes, the Nuggets used that exception on Goodwin, but will now slot Young in as their 16th man. The NBA can give a team a hardship exception, which allows for an extra roster spot, when that team has at least four players who have missed three or more games and are expected to miss at least two more weeks.

In Denver’s case, Will Barton, Isaiah Thomas, Michael Porter, and Jarred Vanderbilt have all been on the shelf for most or all of the season, but the club’s injury issues don’t stop there. Gary Harris is now expected to miss multiple weeks, while Paul Millsap suffered a broken toe and will likely sidelined for the foreseeable future as well.

Down six players, the Nuggets will add some veteran help by signing Young, who had yet to find an NBA home for the 2018/19 season after winning a title with the Warriors in the spring. An 11-year veteran, Young has averaged 11.4 PPG on .418/.376/.836 shooting in 716 career regular season games. In Golden State last season, the 33-year-old posted 7.3 PPG in 80 games (17.4 MPG).

Young will receive a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who notes (via Twitter) that it will count against the cap for about $1.04MM. Once the Nuggets starts getting healthier, they will lose access to their exception and will have to either trade or release Young or another player to get back down to 15 players.

As for Goodwin, he’ll count for $66,319 against Denver’s cap for his 14 days of service.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks Acquire George Hill From Cavs

DECEMBER 8, 9:00am: As part of the deal, the Wizards also removed the protections on the 2020 second-round pick they owe the Bucks, reports Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In summation, the trade looks like this, as Smith tweets:

  • Bucks receive George Hill, Jason Smith, cash considerations (from Wizards), the Wizards’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cavaliers), and the protections removed on the Wizards’ 2020 second-round pick.
  • Cavaliers receive John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, the Bucks’ 2021 first-round pick (protections detailed below), the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick, and the Wizards’ 2022 second-round pick.
  • Wizards receive Sam Dekker.

DECEMBER 7, 9:25pm: The trade is official, according to a Cavaliers press release. as relayed by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.

6:20pm: The Wizards have agreed to make it a three-team deal by acquiring Dekker for big man Jason Smith and a second-round pick, Wojnarowski tweets. The Cavs will swap a 2021 second-rounder with Washington for a 2022 second-rounder, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

5:05pm: The Bucks have agreed to acquire veteran guard George Hill from the Cavaliers in exchange for guard Matthew Dellavedova, injured center John Henson and first- and second-round picks in 2021, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Cleveland is also sending forward Sam Dekker to Milwaukee, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

As always, the deal is contingent on the players passing physicals.

The Bucks will save approximately $18MM for the 2019/20 season with this move, which will increase their flexibility to make more moves next summer, Wojnarowski notes in a separate tweet. With Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both on track to become free agents in July, that extra flexibility could be crucial.

The Cavs are showing a continued willingness to take on salary in order to acquire future assets, Wojnarowski adds.

There was a sense of urgency in getting this deal done on Friday. These players are now eligible to be aggregated on the February 7th trade deadline, Wojnarowski points out in another tweet. Thus, these players can be combined with other contracts in a deadline deal.

While Cleveland is technically acquiring Milwaukee’s 2021 first-rounder in the deal, it’s likely to get pushed back to 2022. That’s because the first-rounder that Milwaukee owes Phoenix next summer almost certainly won’t change hands until 2020, as it’s protected 1-3 and 17-30 for 2019. Since teams can’t trade future first-round picks in back-to-back seasons, the Cavs would have to wait an extra year to get their pick from Milwaukee.

There are protections on the first-round pick going to Cleveland, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link). The first-rounder is protected 1-14 in 2021; 1-10 in 2022; 1-10 and 25-30 in 2023; and 1-8 in 2024. If still not conveyed by then, it converts to two second-rounders in 2025.

Hill is making $19MM this season but his $18MM salary for next season doesn’t become fully guaranteed until July 1. Only $1MM is guaranteed, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Milwaukee will almost assuredly cut him loose before then, eating his $1MM partial guarantee. However, Hill can be a contributor this season on a playoff contender.

He joins a guard rotation that includes Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell. The addition of Hill would seemingly reduce Donte DiVincenzo‘s minutes.

Henson is making $11.3MM this season and has a $10.5MM guarantee for next season in the final year of his deal. He recently underwent wrist surgery and could miss the rest of the season.

Dellavedova, who will begin his second stint in Cleveland, is making $9.6MM this season and the same amount next season.

Dekker is making $2.76MM and Milwaukee would have to extend a $3.9MM qualifying offer after the season to make him a restricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Suns Sign Jawun Evans To Two-Way Deal

5:55pm: The Suns have officially signed Evans, the team announced in a press release.

5:00pm: The Suns will sign guard Jawun Evans to a two-way contract, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets.

Evans has been playing for the team’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. The 6-foot Evans, 22, has appeared in 14 G League games this season, averaging 18.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.6 SPG in 30.4 MPG.

The Suns have been searching for a short-term solution at point guard with Devin Booker, who had been moved to the point in the starting lineup, nursing a hamstring injury.

Phoenix had an open two-way slot. George King, a shooting guard, has the other two-way deal.

The Clippers waived Evans in mid-October despite having a guaranteed contract worth approximately $1.378MM after they acquired swingman Wesley Johnson. Evans underwent sports hernia surgery last spring after appearing in 48 games with the Clippers as a rookie. He averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.1 APG in 16.2 MPG.

The Oklahoma State product was the 39th pick of the 2017 draft and was traded by the Sixers to the Clippers in a draft-night swap.

Rockets Reach Three-Year Deal With Clark, Re-Sign House

The Rockets have reached a new deal with forward Gary Clark, converting his two-way contract into a three-year, $3.7MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team confirmed the move in a press release.

Clark’s deal is fully guaranteed this season and half guaranteed during the 2019/20 season with incentives to make it fully guaranteed, Charania reports. The 2020/21 salary would become guaranteed on August 1, 2020, provided Clark is still on the roster.

Houston used part of its mid-level exception in the agreement with Clark, who has emerged as a solid two-way player in 21 games this season.

“It felt kind of unreal, all I’ve been through to get to this point,” Clark said about signing his contract, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26. “From injuries to everyone on the outside not believing in me. Nothing is secure in this business. You have to perform every day.”

The team is also bringing back swingman Danuel House on a two-way contract, according to Charania. House was waived Tuesday after playing just five games, and signed his new contract with the team in time to play against the Jazz on Thursday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Clark has averaged 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest, guarding multiple positions when called upon and playing inspired basketball in his first NBA season. He’s struggled shooting the ball (30% from the floor and 27% from deep), but has impressed teammates and coaches alike with his aggressive mentality and positive attitude.

The Rockets have dealt with several key injuries and have a 11-12 record this season, which includes losing five of 10 games at home. After playing Utah on Thursday, the team has contests against the Mavericks, Blazers and Lakers.

The Rockets have 15 roster spots and both two-way contract slots filled, but could open another roster spot once they move on from Carmelo Anthony.

Pelicans Sign Andrew Harrison To Two-Way Deal

DECEMBER 5: The Pelicans have officially signed Harrison to his two-way contract, per a press release from the team.

DECEMBER 4: The Pelicans will sign Andrew Harrison to a two-way deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The combo guard began the season in Memphis before the team waived him. He then caught on with the Cavaliers on a two-way deal, only to be waived again after Cleveland acquired Alec Burks.

Harrison has played in 139 NBA games to date. He’s averaging 7.2 points and 2.8 assists per contest while shooting 37.5% from the field.

Rockets Waive Danuel House

The Rockets have waived swingman Danuel House, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Houston added House to its roster in late November after he showcased his ability in the G League. The signing came when the Rockets had a bevy of injuries but it appears the team is confident in its depth now that several of its players have come back from injury.

House has played in five games for Houston this season. He averaged 8.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Because House was on a non-guaranteed contract, the Rockets will only be on the hook for a small portion of his minimum salary. Assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, the cap charge for House should be about $94K.