Wade Baldwin

International Moves: Baldwin, Kilpatrick, Hunter, Liggins

Former NBA guard Wade Baldwin, who was drafted 17th overall in 2016, is poised to spend a second consecutive season in Europe, having reached an agreement with German club Bayern Munich, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

After appearing in 56 games over three seasons with the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers from 2016-19, Baldwin spent this past season with Olympiacos in Greece. He only played a part-time role for the EuroLeague club, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.8 RPG in 16.3 MPG (24 games).

Here are more updates on former NBA players who have agreed to – or signed – new deals overseas:

  • Veteran shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick has agreed to a deal with Tofas Bursa, the Turkish club announced in a press release. The 30-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since he was waived by Chicago during the summer of 2018, having previously logged 157 career appearances with six teams.
  • Former first-round pick R.J. Hunter has signed a one-year contract with Turkish team Galatasaray, per a press release. The 28th overall selection in 2015, Hunter finished the 2018/19 season on a two-way contract with Boston before spending the ’19/20 campaign in Turkey and in the G League.
  • Veteran NBA journeyman DeAndre Liggins has signed with the London Lions of the British Basketball League for the 2020/21 season, the team announced in a press release. Liggins, who played for the Bucks and Pelicans in 2017/18, has appeared in a total of 177 NBA games with seven teams since making his debut in 2012.

International Notes: China, Japan, Greece, Europe

Chinese Basketball Association teams have collectively decided that foreign players who refuse to return to China will be banned for three years, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets.

The CBA season will resume April 15th and will be played without spectators. All foreign players will have to quarantine for 14 days and then get tested for Covid-19, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports.

The games will only be played in two locations, Qingdao and Dongguan, Carchia adds. China considered going to a local-player-only format but ultimately decided to continue in its usual format. Teams will reportedly not be allowed to sign new foreign players to replace those who choose not to return, Givony adds.

We have more international notes:

  • Pro games have resumed without fans in Japan, though not without complications, Givony reports in a separate story. One game was postponed after a referee came down with a fever. Another team didn’t suit up this weekend after three American players were diagnosed with fevers. The league had been on hiatus since mid-February. The South Korean league, the KBL, has games scheduled without spectators at the end of this month after suspending play in late February, Givony adds.
  • Greece’s EuroLeague team Olympiacos allowed its foreign players to leave the country and return home, Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays. Team activities are suspended for the next few weeks, Lupo adds. Dwight Buycks, Wade Baldwin and Willie Reed are among the former NBA players listed on the Olympiacos roster.
  • Most of the Americans playing in Italy have fled the country while others around Europe have taken a wait-and-see approach, according to Jeff Greer of The Athletic. Virtually all of the leagues of Europe have suspended or cancelled their seasons. Guard Peyton Siva, who played 24 games for the Pistons in the 2013/14 season, chose to stay in Germany, where he was playing this season.

Wade Baldwin Signs With Olympiacos

Free agent guard Wade Baldwin has officially joined Greek club Olympiacos, having signed a two-year contract, the team announced today in a press release. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops first reported that Baldwin and the EuroLeague squad were finalizing a two-year deal.

Baldwin, 23, was the 17th overall pick in the 2016 draft. However, he only lasted one season in Memphis before being waived by the Grizzlies. He later signed a two-way contract with Portland and was eventually promoted to the Trail Blazers’ 15-man roster, but was traded from the Blazers to the Cavaliers to the Rockets to the Pacers before last season’s trade deadline. Indiana ultimately waived him.

Baldwin, who averaged 3.1 PPG and 1.4 APG in 56 career NBA games, finished the 2018/19 season in the G League, telling Blake Murphy of The Athletic in March that he hoped to prove he was capable of being an NBA rotation player.

Instead of returning to the NBA though, Baldwin will head overseas for the first time in his professional career. He’ll join other former NBA players like Brandon Paul and Kostas Papanikolaou on the Olympiacos roster.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

And-Ones: J. Jack, W. Baldwin, Japan, CBA

Veteran point guard Jarrett Jack, who signed a G League contract last week, has been claimed off waivers by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat‘s NBAGL affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. The Skyforce aren’t scheduled to play until Saturday, but Jack will be available for that game, according to the club.

Jack, 35, appeared in 62 games for the Knicks last season, starting 56 of them, but has yet to find an NBA home for this season. If he looks good for Sioux Falls down the stretch, it could earn him a look from a playoff club. There aren’t a ton of contenders in need of a point guard at the moment, but Jack could be a fit for a team like the Magic if they’re in position to make the postseason and want a steady veteran as an option off the bench.

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

  • Former first-round pick Wade Baldwin played sparingly this season for the Trail Blazers, then was involved in a flurry of moves at last month’s trade deadline, briefly joining the Cavaliers, Rockets, and Pacers. Now, he’s playing for Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, and tells Blake Murphy of The Athletic that he’s hoping to prove he deserves another NBA shot. “I think in this league you have to show consistency, show what you can do at all times, so it’s another platform for me to show what I can do in order to get back where I belong,” Baldwin said. “I believe I’m an NBA player, rotation guy, talent, all that. It’s opportunity.”
  • The NBA announced this week that the Raptors and Rockets will play a pair of preseason games in Japan this fall. The contests, which are scheduled to take place on October 8 and 10 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City, will represent the first time the NBA has returned to the country in 16 years — the league held 12 regular season games in Japan between 1990 and 2003.
  • The NBA has tweaked the Collective Bargaining Agreement in recent years to make it easier to allow first-round picks to participate in Summer League action a couple weeks later, but Danny Leroux of The Athletic believes there’s one more flaw that needs to be addressed. As Leroux explains, a first-round pick can’t be used for salary-matching purposes in a trade until the player signs his contract, and a player can’t be dealt for one month after signing his contract. So a prospect included in a trade for, say, Anthony Davis this offseason may not get the chance to play Summer League ball.

Wade Baldwin, Devon Hall Sign NBAGL Contracts

Veteran NBA guard Wade Baldwin is headed to the G League, according to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days, who reports (via Twitter) that Baldwin has signed an NBAGL contract and been claimed off waivers by the Raptors 905.

Baldwin, who will turn 23 next month, was the 17th overall pick in the 2016 draft and has spent most of the last three seasons in the NBA, but hasn’t developed into a reliable rotation player. In 56 career contests, he has averaged 3.1 PPG and 1.4 APG in just 10.3 minutes per game.

Baldwin played for the Trail Blazers for the last season and a half before being traded to Cleveland in a deal for Rodney Hood several weeks ago. Baldwin was subsequently flipped to the Rockets and then the Pacers before being waived. Now, he’ll look to earn another shot in the NBA by suiting up for Toronto’s G League affiliate.

Meanwhile, another notable name will join the G League ranks, according to Johnson, who tweets that 2018 second-round pick Devon Hall has signed an NBAGL contract. The Thunder used the 53rd overall pick in last year’s draft to select Hall and still hold both his NBA and G League rights.

Hall’s professional career began when he signed with the Cairns Taipans of the Australian National Basketball League last August. At the time, there was an expectation that he’d join the Thunder for the 2019/20 season, which still looks like a viable possibility — Oklahoma City only has nine players on guaranteed contracts for next season, and will likely be looking to fill out the roster with inexpensive contracts.

Pacers Waive Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin

The Pacers have waived Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, according to a team press release. The pair was acquired from the Rockets at the trade deadline and the move to waive them was expected.

Stauskas and Baldwin spent most of the season in Portland before being traded to the Cavs for Rodney Hood. Cleveland then sent the duo to Houston as part of a three-team agreement that also brought Iman Shumpert to the Rockets. Houston then dealt the two former first-rounders to the Pacers in separate trades.

The move to waive Stauskas and Baldwin opens up two roster spots, one of which will go to new addition Wesley Matthews. GM Kevin Pritchard said the Pacers are unlikely to fill the other spot right away.

Pacers’ Pritchard Talks Rockets Trade, Deadline, Outlook

It wasn’t an overly busy trade deadline for the Pacers, who were involved in a handful of rumors but only ended up making one small deal. Indiana took on Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin from Houston along with a second-round pick, eating some salary in exchange for an asset.

Once Stauskas and Baldwin are officially waived, the Pacers will be in position to sign Wesley Matthews, who was released by the Knicks on Thursday and quickly reached an agreement with Indiana.

Speaking to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard couldn’t directly address the Matthews signing, since the veteran swingman remains on waivers. But Pritchard explained the thinking behind the trade with the Rockets, talked a little about whether the Pacers considered additional moves, and looked ahead to the rest of the season.

Here are the highlights from Pritchard, via Michael:

On why the Pacers were willing to take on Stauskas’ and Baldwin’s contracts:

“I wanted to start getting a little bit more asset-rich. We had the opportunity to pick up a second-round pick. I wanted to get a second-round pick out of this trade deadline for the future. I want to continue to do that so when we get into other trading deadlines we have multiple assets. We haven’t had that. I want to make that a full complement to how we acquire players.”

On whether the Pacers had any other potential deadline activity in the works:

“There were more inbound calls to us than outbound calls. Other executives thought there was a chance that we could blow it up. We cut that down very fast. We want to compete. We’re in third place in the East right now. It’s hard for me to walk into that locker room and say, ‘Guys, we’re going to trade four players and we’re going to look to the future.’ That’s not fair to these guys. … Players send messages in different ways. I know the last two games, at least the one before (a 42-point win over the Lakers) was sending a message.”

On the Pacers’ outlook for the rest of the season:

“When Victor [Oladipo] went down you could easily justify, ‘Let’s take it back, let’s look to the future.’ I don’t like ‘tank.’ I don’t like that word. We could’ve looked at that. That never got off anybody’s tongue. We never thought about that. … I spoke to the team today. I always speak to the team right after a trade deadline. The truth is I couldn’t be more proud of this team. This team is competing their butts off. Maybe we’re not the most talented team in the East but I can see it in their eyes. They feel like that they can compete with anybody.”

On whether the Pacers will make another signing after adding Matthews:

“I don’t think there’ll be another. I’m not opposed to keep looking at that. There’s going to be one and I think we’re going to like the one.”

Rockets Trade Stauskas, Baldwin To Pacers

10:00pm: The Pacers have officially completed their trade with the Rockets, acquiring Stauskas, Baldwin, Milwaukee’s 2021 second-round pick and the rights to Maarty Leunen for cash considerations, the team announced.

Indiana also waived Anigbogu to make the agreement official.

1:05pm: The Pacers are waiving second-year center Ike Anigbogu to make room for their incoming players, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

12:16pm: A day after acquiring Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, the Rockets have reached an agreement to send them to the Pacers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Houston will also ship a second-round pick to Indiana, Woj adds, and the Pacers plan to waive both players (Twitter link).

The Pacers only have one roster opening, so they will have to get rid of someone before they can take on Stauskas and Baldwin, notes Keith Smith of Real GM (Twitter link). The Rockets are making the deal for tax purposes, so it’s unlikely they will be getting anyone in return.

A flurry of trades over the past two days has put Houston $634K under the luxury tax, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The Rockets are down to 12 players, two below the league minimum, but are expected to be active on the buyout market. They will have two weeks to get their roster back to at least 14. Owner Tilman Fertitta has been saying that he wanted to get under the tax this season to avoid repeater penalties in the future, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Indiana will drop down to 13 players once if it follows through with plans to waive Stauskas and Baldwin and will also have two weeks to get back to the 14-player minimum.

The Rockets acquired both players last night in a three-team deal that also brought them Iman Shumpert. Houston had to take both players from the Cavaliers to help Cleveland stay below the luxury tax. This is the third trade in four days for Stauskas and Baldwin, who were also sent from the Trail Blazers to the Cavs in the Rodney Hood swap.

Shumpert To Rockets, Burks to Kings In 3-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 7, 11:33am: The trade is now official, the Cavaliers confirmed in a press release. Here are the full details:

  • Cavaliers acquire Knight, Chriss, the Rockets’ 2019 first-round pick, and the Rockets 2022 second-round pick.
  • Rockets acquire Shumpert, Stauskas, Baldwin, and the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cleveland).
  • Kings acquire Burks and lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ 2020 second-round picks.

FEBRUARY 7, 7:21am: The draft pick the Kings are receiving from Houston in the deal will be the lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ second-rounders in 2020, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California.

FEBRUARY 6, 8:10pm: The Cavaliers will also receive a lottery-protected 2019 first-round pick from the Rockets, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who states that the front office is “thrilled” by what it was able to get in return for Burks.

7:25pm: The Kings, Rockets and Cavaliers have agreed to a three-team deal that will send Iman Shumpert to Houston, Alec Burks and a second-round pick to Sacramento and Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to Cleveland, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The Rockets will also receive Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin from the Cavs, adds ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Both guards were acquired Sunday when Cleveland shipped Rodney Hood to Portland. Houston hasn’t decided whether to keep both players for the rest of the season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Because they were just acquired, Stauskas and Baldwin can’t be aggregated in the same trade, so the Cavaliers and Rockets will have to make two separate deals, tweets Keith Smith of Real GM. Burks will be traded for Knight, while Chriss’ $3.2MM salary will be absorbed with the TPE that Cleveland created by sending Hood to the Trail Blazers.

The Cavaliers had to include both guards to remain below the luxury tax, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. They created a $1.5MM trade exception for each player and are now $1.2MM under the tax. Knight carries cap hits of $14.6MM for this season and $15.6MM for 2019/20, while Chriss has a $3.2MM expiring deal. Cleveland is dangerously close to tax territory for next season, Marks adds, hovering about $10MM below without accounting for a projected top five draft pick.

Houston will save $6.3MM in projected tax payments and bring its bill down to $6.1MM, Marks notes in a separate post. The total could drop even lower depending on what happens with $1.5MM in bonuses for Clint Capela, who is sidelined after thumb surgery. The Rockets will inherit Shumpert’s Bird rights and will sit about $4MM above the tax threshold with the addition of the three players.

The Rockets had been seeking veteran wing help and were hoping to unload the contracts of Knight and Chriss after acquiring them from Phoenix over the summer in a deal to unload Ryan Anderson‘s hefty salary. Shumpert has an $11MM expiring contract. Burks also has an expiring deal worth a little more than $11.5MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.