Lakers Waive Matt Ryan

3:38pm: The Lakers have officially waived Ryan, the team confirmed (Twitter link).

7:05am: The Lakers are waiving sharpshooter Matt Ryan, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The move will open up a spot on Los Angeles’ standard 15-man roster and the team has no plans to immediately fill it.

Ryan, who has talked about working as a DoorDash driver after going undrafted out of Chattanooga in 2020, eventually landed with the Grand Rapids Gold in the G League in 2021/22, then made his NBA debut with the Celtics this past spring. He joined the Lakers on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract in September and earned a spot on the regular season roster.

Although Ryan has exhibited the ability to knock down three-pointers, having made 13-of-35 attempts (37.1%) for L.A. this season, he only converted 2-of-14 two-pointers. In total, he averaged 3.9 PPG in 12 appearances (10.8 MPG).

Both Charania and Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link) frame the decision to waive Ryan as one the Lakers made to give themselves extra roster flexibility when several of their players become trade-eligible on December 15 and they start to seriously consider potential deals.

However, as Bobby Marks of ESPN and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) note, Ryan’s full-season salary wouldn’t have become guaranteed for another six weeks, so the Lakers could’ve waived him anytime before January 7 if they needed his roster spot to accommodate a trade.

Marks points out (via Twitter) that the Lakers, given their tax position, will save $61K per day without Ryan on the roster. Pincus, meanwhile, suggests that the decision to release the 25-year-old now may be partly logistical, since the team is about to embark upon a six-game road trip and likely determined it didn’t make sense to bring Ryan on that trip if he was already on the chopping block.

Assuming Ryan is officially cut on Thursday, he’ll have earned $442,439 for the 45 days he spent on the Lakers’ roster and the two he’ll spend on waivers.

Celtics Sign Al Horford To Two-Year Extension

3:00pm: Horford’s two-year extension is now official, the Celtics announced in a press release.

“Al is such an important part of our team,” president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a statement. “He’s a high-level player who enhances everyone around him on both ends of the court. His work ethic, commitment to his body and craft, and his unselfishness set a daily example on how to win big in the NBA. His leadership has had a big impact on the coaches and players he’s competed alongside here in Boston, and we’re excited that he and his family are choosing to remain Celtics for years to come.”

8:31am: Horford’s two-year, $20MM extension will be fully guaranteed and will include a trade kicker, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).

8:02am: The Celtics and center Al Horford have agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $20MM, agent Jason Glushon tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The new deal will begin in 2023/24 and will keep Horford under team control until 2025.

Horford is currently earning $26.5MM in the final season season of the four-year, $109MM contract he signed with the Sixers in 2019, the last time he reached free agency. The veteran big man left Boston for Philadelphia that offseason despite a widespread expectation that he and the Celtics would work out a new deal.

This time around, he and the C’s have finalized an agreement well ahead of his free agency to avoid a repeat of that situation. Horford had stated last month that he wanted to play for two or three more seasons and finish his career in Boston.

Horford is 36 years old and his new contract will expire when he’s 39. However, he has remained extremely effective into his mid-30s and the Celtics’ commitment to him reflects a confidence that his solid play will continue for at least a couple more years.

In 18 games (all starts) this season, Horford has averaged 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 31.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .555/.488/.625. As Wojnarowski observes within his report, the five-time All-Star is also highly respected within the locker room and in the wider Boston community.

Prior to this agreement, only $19.5MM of Horford’s $26.5MM salary for 2022/23 was guaranteed, but it was always a safe bet that he’d earn that full amount — this deal will formalize that, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

The extension signals that Boston is comfortable remaining a taxpayer beyond this season. Prior to signing Horford, the club had already committed $145MM+ in guaranteed money to eight players for 2023/24 (including Danilo Gallinari‘s player option). Barring cost-cutting moves, the Celtics’ team salary is now on track to comfortably surpass the projected $162MM luxury tax line for next season, especially if they re-sign Grant Williams.

As our tracker shows, Horford will become the 17th player to sign a veteran extension during the 2022/23 league year.

Knicks Waive Feron Hunt, Sign DaQuan Jeffries To Two-Way Deal

4:57pm: The signing of Jeffries to a two-way deal is official, the team announced in a tweet.

3:14pm: The Knicks have waived forward Feron Hunt, the team announced today (via Twitter). Hunt had been on a two-way contract with the team.

New York will fill its newly opened two-way contract slot by signing free agent wing DaQuan Jeffries, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Hunt signed a two-way deal with the Knicks last March and appeared in two games for the club down the stretch. Because his contract included a second year, he continued to occupy one of New York’s two-way spots into 2022/23, though he had yet to see any playing time at the NBA level this season.

In eight G League games (34.5 MPG) for the Westchester Knicks this fall, Hunt filled up the box score with 16.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks per contest. He made 53.8% of his field goal attempts, albeit just 28.6% of his three-pointers and 63.6% of his free throws.

Jeffries, who was in training camp with the Knicks this fall, has also been a mainstay in the Westchester lineup in the early part of the NBAGL season, averaging 14.6 PPG and 4.2 RPG in five appearances (30.2 MPG). Like Hunt, he has made more than half his shots from the floor (50.8%), but has been less efficient from beyond the arc (21.4%) and at the foul line (60.0%).

Jeffries, 25, has appeared in a total of 47 NBA games for Sacramento, Houston, and Memphis since going undrafted out of Tulsa in 2019. He has also represented Team USA in several qualifying games for the 2023 World Cup.

Assuming he signs within the next couple days, Jeffries will be eligible to appear in up to 38 regular season games for the Knicks as a two-way player. That’s a prorated portion of the 50 games that players on full-season two-way deals can play.

Hunt, meanwhile, will become an unrestricted NBA free agent if he clears waivers on Thursday. Westchester would still hold his G League rights if he chooses to remain with the team.

Mavericks Sign Kemba Walker, Waive Facundo Campazzo

NOVEMBER 29, 4:02pm: The Mavericks have officially signed Walker, the team announced (via Twitter).

Walker’s prorated minimum-salary cap hit will be $1,392,895. He’ll earn $2,204,438 if his salary becomes guaranteed for the season.

NOVEMBER 29, 9:01am: Walker’s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Mavericks will be non-guaranteed, Stein reports (via Twitter). The veteran point guard isn’t expected to play immediately after having sat out for nine-plus months, Stein adds.

NOVEMBER 28, 12:43pm: The Mavericks have officially waived Campazzo, the team announced (via Twitter).

Dallas’ cap hit for Campazzo will be $464,299, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That’s 44/174th of his $1,836,090 salary, since he spent 42 regular season days on the Mavs’ roster and will be on waivers for two more.

NOVEMBER 28, 7:12am: The Mavericks are in “advanced talks” with veteran guard Kemba Walker, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack story. Dallas plans to sign Walker and waive Facundo Campazzo, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Mavs are hoping that Walker can provide another long-distance shooter and ball-handler off their bench, Stein adds. Dallas, which reached the Western Conference finals last season, has lost four straight games and dropped into 11th place in the West at 9-10.

Walker, 32, has been searching for another team since the summer, when the Knicks agreed to a deal to send him to the Pistons on draft night. Walker was expected to reach a buyout agreement with Detroit right away, but he was unable to find a guaranteed offer from another team. He was ultimately waived on October 17, shortly before the start of the regular season, and is being paid his full $9.17MM salary for this year.

Aa four-time All-Star, Walker was thrilled about the chance to play for his hometown Knicks after signing with New York in free agency last summer. However, lingering knee issues and a drop in production soured the relationship, and Walker wound up playing just 37 games and averaging 11.6 points and 3.5 assists per night.

Stein points out that Dallas planned to pursue Walker as a backcourt partner for Luka Doncic when he became a free agent in 2019. The Mavericks were originally viewed as the top threat to sign Walker away from the Hornets before the Celtics entered the bidding and ultimately landed him.

Walker was an All-Star during his first season in Boston, but the knee problems limited his effectiveness and he was traded to the Thunder in a salary dump in the summer of 2021. He reached a buyout with Oklahoma City two months later.

Campazzo, 31, signed a non-guaranteed deal with Dallas in mid-October after spending his first two seasons with Denver. He got into just eight games and averaged 1.3 points in 6.5 minutes per night.

Spurs Sign Alize Johnson, Waive Jordan Hall

10:19am: The Spurs have officially signed Johnson and waived Hall, the team announced in a press release.

8:07am: The Spurs are making a change to the 15th spot on their roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links), who reports that the team is signing forward/center Alize Johnson and waiving guard Jordan Hall. Johnson will receive a one-year deal, agent George Langberg tells Wojnarowski.

A 2018 second-round pick, Johnson is a well-traveled NBA veteran who has appeared in regular season games for the Pacers, Nets, Bulls, Wizards, and Pelicans since entering the league out of Missouri State. He was in camp with the Spurs this fall, but was waived at the end of the preseason and ended up joining the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate.

Although Johnson’s career NBA numbers – 2.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 72 games (7.5 MPG) – are modest, he has excelled at the NBAGL level. In six games for Austin this fall, the 26-year-old put up 22.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG on .598/.407/.800 shooting.

While Wojnarowski’s report doesn’t specify Johnson’s contract terms, it will likely be a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract, like the one Hall was on. That would give the Spurs to make another change to their 15th roster spot before the league-wide salary guarantee date in early January, if they so choose.

Hall, a 20-year-old rookie out of Saint Joseph’s, appeared in nine games for San Antonio, averaging 3.1 PPG and 1.3 RPG on .321/.200/.778 shooting in 9.2 MPG. Assuming he’s cut today, the Spurs will be on the hook for a $175,479 cap hit for Hall for the 28 days he spent on the roster and the two he’ll spend on waivers. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent, assuming he goes unclaimed.

With the Spurs in the midst of three consecutive off days, it’s unclear whether they expect to have forward Keita Bates-Diop (ankle), center Jakob Poeltl (quad), and forward Jeremy Sochan (quad) available when they resume play on Wednesday. If not, there could be an immediate path for playing time for Johnson.

Heat Waive Orlando Robinson, Sign Dru Smith To Two-Way Deal

The Heat have waived two-way center Orlando Robinson and signed guard Dru Smith to fill his two-way spot, the team announced (via Twitter).

Just a couple of weeks ago, those roles were reversed, as Smith had made the opening night roster on a two-way deal but then was waived in favor of Robinson when the team’s frontcourt was hit hard by injuries.

According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link), head coach Erik Spoelstra said the team still likes Robinson, but the Heat currently need wing depth, so that’s why Smith was promoted from their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

In three games (34.0 MPG) with the Skyforce during the G League’s ongoing Showcase Cup tournament, the 6’3″ Smith has filled up the stat sheet, averaging 17.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 3.0 SPG and 1.3 BPG on .488/.421/.800 shooting. He made one cameo appearance for the Heat on October 26 for his NBA debut, recording two points and one rebound in less than six minutes of action.

Robinson, an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State, averaged 7.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 1.0 SPG in two games (20.0 MPG) with the Heat. If he goes unclaimed on waivers, he could be headed back to Sioux Falls.

Sixers Sign Saben Lee To Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 23: The Sixers have officially signed Lee and waived Foster, the team confirmed today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 22: The Sixers will sign point guard Saben Lee to a two-way deal, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps tweets.

Philadelphia waive Michael Foster Jr. to clear a spot for Lee, Bontemps adds. The hope is that he’ll clear waivers and join the 76ers’ G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Lee spent the last two seasons with the Pistons after being the 38th pick of the 2020 draft. He appeared in 85 games for Detroit, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, with a shooting line of .434/.265/.731.

Lee was included in the preseason trade with the Jazz that landed Bojan Bogdanovic in Detroit. He failed to make the Jazz’s opening night roster and was waived. He then signed with Phoenix and was quickly waived; the Raptors signed and waived him in mid-October.

Toronto gave Lee an Exhibit 10 contract and he has played for Raptors 905, their G League team, so far this season. Lee was averaging 21.7 points and 6.0 assists in seven G League appearances.

Foster, a rookie forward, had his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal in mid-October. He made a brief appearance in Tuesday’s win over the Nets. Foster played for the G League Ignite last season.

Lee provides some depth at the point guard spot with Tyrese Maxey sidelined by a foot fracture and James Harden out due to a foot strain.

Wizards Sign Devon Dotson To Two-Way Deal, Waive Jordan Schakel

3:45PM: The moves are now official, the Wizards have announced in a press release.

1:18PM: Point guard Devon Dotson, currently with the Wizards‘ NBA G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, will be promoted to Washington on a two-way contract, his agent Kevin Bradbury informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Woj adds that the Wizards will waive current two-way player Jordan Schakel, a 6’6″ wing out of San Diego State, to make room for Dotson. Two-way player Jordan Goodwin, a 6’3″ combo guard who has already appeared in nine games for the Wizards and put up solid numbers, will be unaffected by the minor roster shake-up.

The 6’2″ Dotson, an athletic guard, went undrafted out of Kansas in 2020. He then signed two-way deals with his hometown Bulls for the 2020/21 and ’21/22 seasons. Across 22 NBA games for Chicago, Dotson averaged 2.4 PPG on 50% shooting from the floor in 6.1 MPG. In seven contests with the Capital City Go-Go this year, Dotson is averaging 12.1 PPG, 6.9 APG, 4.1 RPG and 0.9 SPG.

Schakel has played sparingly for the Wizards over parts of two NBA seasons. After going undrafted in 2021, he joined the Go-Go as an affiliate player for the 2021/22 season and signed a 10-day deal with Washington later that year before returning to the Go-Go when that deal expired. Schakel joined Washington this season on a two-way deal. He appeared in just two games for the club this season, playing 3.0 minutes per night

As Ava Wallace of The Washington Post notes (Twitter link), Dotson will provide some depth in a banged-up Wizards backcourt and could see immediate playing time. Reserves Delon Wright and Monte Morris have both been ruled out for the Wizards today, tweets The Athletic’s Josh Robbins.

Blazers Waive Olivier Sarr, Sign Ibou Badji To Two-Way Deal

2:52pm: The Blazers have officially waived Sarr and signed Badji, the team confirmed today in a press release.

12:47pm: The Trail Blazers are waiving one of their two-way players, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), who reports that center Olivier Sarr is being released. In Sarr’s place, Portland will sign big man Ibou Badji to a two-way contract, per Wojnarowski.

Sarr, who was in training camp with the Blazers on an Exhibit 10 contract, had that deal converted to a two-way after impressing the team in the preseason. Around the same time, he was diagnosed with a high-grade partial tear of the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist and was ruled out for six weeks, so he has yet to make his season debut in either the NBA or the G League. It appears he’ll have to seek out a new opportunity once he gets healthy.

As for Badji, he has been playing in the G League for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s affiliate. Through seven games for the Herd, the 20-year-old from Senegal has averaged a modest 7.3 points in 35.0 minutes per contest. However, as Wojnarowski observes, Badji – who is 7’1″ with a 7’9″ wingspan – has been one of the G League’s best rim protectors, averaging 2.4 blocked shots per game.

The Blazers don’t have an NBAGL club of their own, so if they opt to keep Badji in the G League for now, he’ll have to either remain in Wisconsin or join another team’s affiliate.

Badij will be eligible to be active for up to 42 NBA games if he officially signs his contract on Friday. A player on a full-season two-way contract can be active for as many as 50 NBA games, but that limit is prorated when the player signs after the regular season has started.

Timberwolves Sign A.J. Lawson To Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 16: The Timberwolves have officially signed Lawson to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 14: The Timberwolves are signing forward A.J. Lawson on a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Lawson has averaged 22.3 points for the G League’s College Park Skyhawks, the Hawks’ affiliate. He is expected to join Minnesota for Wednesday’s game against Orlando.

Minnesota has an empty two-way slot and won’t have to make a corresponding roster move.

The Timberwolves previously signed Lawson on a two-way deal in July. However, they waived him to add Luka Garza in mid-October. At the time, Eric Paschall occupied the other two-way slot but Minnesota soon waived him as well.

Lawson excelled during the Las Vegas Summer League for the Mavericks, averaging 15.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in five games.

Lawson, a 6’6” guard, was waived by the Hawks during training camp in 2021. He then averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.8 APG in 31.8 MPG for the Skyhawks while appearing in 33 games.

Lawson went undrafted that summer despite putting up 16.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .351 3PT% in 21 games (31.3 MPG) as a junior for South Carolina.