Yam Madar

Celtics Notes: Roster, Two-Way Slot, Tax, Begarin

Speaking today to reporters, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens suggested the team has completed its major offseason moves.

Stevens pointed out that Boston has 16 players on standard contracts (15 guaranteed salaries, plus Jabari Parker‘s non-guaranteed deal) and said he’s comfortable bringing this group to training camp, noting that any additional moves will likely be “tweaks around the edge” (Twitter links via Keith Smith of Spotrac).

The Celtics do still have one open two-way slot, and Stevens said the team is still considering how to fill it. There’s no rush to do so, since Boston could end up targeting a player who gets waived by another team this fall, according to Stevens (Twitter link via Smith).

Here’s more from the Celtics’ new president:

  • Discussing Boston’s key offseason additions, Stevens said the team likes Josh Richardson‘s toughness and ability to play multiple positions, and added that the Celtics were “very fortunate” to land Dennis Schröder and Enes Kanter for the taxpayer mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum, respectively (all Twitter links via Smith).
  • Stevens has the green light to go into luxury-tax territory in 2021/22, which is why he didn’t want to trigger a hard cap this offseason by acquiring a player via sign-and-trade or using more than the taxpayer portion of the MLE, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
  • Stevens confirmed that second-round pick Juhann Begarin will remain overseas for at least the 2021/22 season (Twitter link via Weiss). Stevens added that the team will be monitoring Begarin and 2020 second-rounder Yam Madar “quite a bit” in Europe this year (Twitter link via Smith).

Eastern Notes: Fournier, C. Smith, Windler, Madar

Originally reported as being a four-year deal that could be worth up to $78MM, Evan Fournier‘s new contract with the Knicks could actually max out at $79MM, but only has a base value of $73MM, according to breakdowns from Bobby Marks of ESPN and Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). The deal, which has a fourth-year team option, includes $1.5MM in annual unlikely incentives that account for that $6MM difference.

The exact value of Fournier’s first-year salary is $17,142,857, according to Smith. That figure is important because the traded player exception created by the Celtics in their sign-and-trade of Fournier to the Knicks is equivalent to that amount. Boston will have until the 2022 offseason to use that $17.14MM trade exception.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The two-way contract that undrafted rookie Chris Smith signed with the Pistons will cover two seasons, according to Keith Smith (Twitter link).
  • A first-round pick in 2019, Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that his NBA career has been a “really bumpy and rough road” so far. Windler, who is recovering from left knee surgery, has been limited to 31 NBA games in two seasons due to various health issues and acknowledges that he may be facing a make-or-break season. “I don’t really want to put that much pressure on myself, but in reality, yeah it is,” Windler said to Fedor. “The league is a hard place to stick around. Not a lot of guys last. I’m just hoping this season I can be fully healthy and pain free and then I will be able to show people what I can do when I’m at 100 percent. If that isn’t enough, then at the end of the day, you have to live with that.”
  • KK Partizan officially announced the signing of Celtics draft-and-stash guard Yam Madar to a three-year contract. While the Serbian team’s press release doesn’t mention NBA outs, Madar’s new deal will likely give him the opportunity to come stateside if and when Boston is ready to add the 2020 second-rounder to its roster, but it appears that won’t happen in 2021/22.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Embiid, Madar

Marcus Smart‘s extension with the Celtics puts him at the intersection of being a franchise cornerstone and on the trade block, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

As Weiss observes, the timing of Smart’s deal – during Summer League as opposed to right before the regular season – points to the possibility of his inclusion in a superstar deal, as the usual moratorium on trading players off an extension has been changed from six to five months due to the shortened offeason. As a result, Smart will be trade-eligible before the 2022 deadline.

Weiss adds that the Celtics wouldn’t make this deal strictly for trade purposes, noting that it’s also an indication of their belief in the gritty guard and that Smart and new head coach Ime Udoka are a match made in heaven.

He has that edge and toughness about him,” Udoka said of Smart soon after being hired. “The things he brings to your team are the things you’d love every player to bring.”

Udoka also called Smart the heart and soul of the team. The four-year, $77.1MM extension is a bet that that’s still true even if he’s given the added responsibility of leading the team’s offense.

We have more news from the Celtics:

  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston has similar thoughts, writing that – rather than preventing the Celtics from adding another big name – the Smart extension actually opens up multiple pathways for a deal to be made. Forsberg adds that despite the Celtics signing Dennis Schroder, Smart should be considered the best bet to be the team’s starting point guard entering the season, and that much of the Celtics’ ceiling as a team will revolve around how the trio of Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown is able to function together with Smart at the helm.
  • Joel Embiid‘s super-max extension does more than just lock up the Sixers’ All-NBA center through 2027, writes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. It also sends a message of stability and desirability to stars around the league as president Daryl Morey continues to shop Ben Simmons and hunt for a second superstar to pair with Embiid. Neubeck adds there were rumors the Knicks hoped to pair Embiid and Damian Lillard once Embiid’s contract ended in 2023, which is now off the table.
  • Partizan Belgrade is “very close” to a deal with Celtics stash pick Yam Madar to a two-year deal, according to a MozzartSport report (hat tip to Sportando). The Serbian team would pay $250K for Madar’s buyout with current team Hapoel Tel Aviv. It was previously reported that Madar was likely to sign with Ratiopharm Ulm.

International Notes: Petrusev, Madar, Giedraitis, Jokubaitis

Turkish club Anadolu Efes, the reigning EuroLeague champion, is expected to sign 6’11” forward/center Filip Petrusev for the coming season, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Petrusev was the 50th player selected in the 2021 draft, and while he spoke earlier this month of wanting to join his new NBA team – the Sixers – as soon as possible, the plan was always to stash him overseas for at least one more seasons.

The 21-year-old is coming off a big year (23.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG) for Mega Basket in the Adriatic League and will get an opportunity to face a higher level of competition in EuroLeague play in 2021/22.

Here are a few more notes from around the international basketball world:

  • If the Celtics opt not to sign 2020 second-rounder Yam Madar for the 2021/22 season, the expectation is that he’ll play for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, according to reports out of Israel (hat tip to Sportando). Madar remains a candidate to come stateside, but Boston already has 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts (plus Jabari Parker on a non-guaranteed deal) for ’21/22, so it may be another year before the Israeli guard signs his first NBA contract.
  • Lithuanian wing Rokas Giedraitis has turned down a one-year, minimum-salary offer from an NBA team and will remain with Baskonia in Spain, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com. Giedraitis averaged 12.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 1.6 APG on .485/.405/.824 shooting in 33 EuroLeague games (28.7 MPG) last season. It’s unclear which NBA team attempted to sign him.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post explores the roles that the Knicks‘ European scouts, Adam Tatalovich and Kevin Wilson, played in the team’s decision to draft Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis. As Berman notes, Wilson is based in Barcelona, so he’ll get an opportunity to continue scouting Jokubaitis in 2021/22 — the No. 34 pick is set to spend the season with FC Barcelona in Spain.

Celtics Sign Dennis Schröder To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 13: The Celtics have officially signed Schroder, according to a team press release.

“We are really excited to welcome Dennis and his family to Boston,” president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a statement. “Dennis is a high-level player and competitor, who has consistently impacted winning with his play on both ends of the court.” 


AUGUST 10: The Celtics and free agent point guard Dennis Schröder are in agreement on a one-year contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the deal will be worth the $5.89MM taxpayer mid-level exception.

Schröder has officially confirmed in an Instagram story that he’s joining the Celtics.

“This is one of the best franchises in NBA history and it will be a honour to put on the green and white and do what I love!” Schröder wrote. “I’m going out there every night and leaving it all on the floor for the city!! Who’s ready?!”

We first heard last week that the Celtics and Schröder were engaged in contract discussions, with a report earlier today indicating the team had offered him a one-year, $5.9MM deal.

Today’s report suggested Schröder was seeking a second-year player option and the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception (worth about $9.5MM), but the C’s wanted to maintain cap flexibility in 2022 and avoid hard-capping themselves this season. It appears Schröder relented.

Schröder had an up-and-down season for the Lakers in 2020/21 after being acquired from the Thunder last fall. His scoring average dipped to 15.4 PPG, his lowest mark since 2015/16, and his shooting numbers (.437 FG%, .335 3PT%) also fell off a little following a career year in Oklahoma City.

The 27-year-old struggled in the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to Phoenix, putting up just 14.3 PPG and 2.8 APG on .400/.308/.846 shooting in six games (32.7 MPG), though he was coming off a case of COVID-19 near the end of the regular season.

Despite Schröder’s inconsistent play in Los Angeles, the extent to which his market collapsed is still surprising. He reportedly turned down a four-year extension offer worth in excess of $80MM during the season. When the Lakers agreed to trade for Russell Westbrook, it closed one door for Schröder, and the teams seeking a point guard in free agency didn’t have the German atop their lists of targets.

As a result, the Celtics – who traded away starting point guard Kemba Walker in June – will get a bargain for the 2021/22 season, while Schröder will look to rebuild his value in Boston before re-entering the free agent market in 2022.

As Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston notes (via Twitter), if the Celtics remain committed to not using more than the taxpayer portion of their mid-level exception, they’ll be limited to one- or two-year minimum-salary deals for any other signings, including draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Knicks, Madar, Nets, Wizards

While it’s not out of the question that the Pacers will make a major trade this offseason, the team isn’t any rush to move Myles Turner or Malcolm Brogdon, the two names that pop up most frequently in Pacers-related trade rumors, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

Of those two players, Turner is less likely to be dealt, according to Michael, who suggests that new head coach Rick Carlisle would like to try to figure out the best way to maximize the Turner/Domantas Sabonis duo. It’s possible Carlisle will split up the two Pacers bigs and have Turner come off the bench to start the season, Michael adds.

As for Brogdon, the Pacers have been trying to determine whether he’s the right long-term fit as the team’s point guard and leader, according to Michael. As Michael details, Indiana had some locker room issues in 2020/21 and president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard suggested at the end of the season that the club lacked vocal leadership. The Pacers may expect more in that regard from Brogdon going forward.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The Knicks, who remain on the lookout for another point guard, have some interest in Dennis Schröder, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman also says New York contacted Elfrid Payton at the start of free agency, though it’s unclear if the club views him as a viable fallback option.
  • Yam Madar, the 47th overall pick in the 2020 draft, hopes to play for the Celtics this season, he told reporters on Tuesday. As Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets, Boston’s plan is to see how Madar’s Summer League stint goes and to evaluate its options from there.
  • Nets star Kevin Durant is thrilled that Blake Griffin is set to return to the team for another season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “To have Blake back, I’m so excited,” Durant said from Tokyo. “I mean, as soon as the season was over, I was telling him that we want him back and telling him that, you know, we should try to do it again. And I was glad to see it get done.” In a separate story, Lewis confirms that James Johnson‘s new deal with Brooklyn is worth the veteran’s minimum.
  • After recently announcing a new deal for NHL star Alex Ovechkin, the centerpiece of his other franchise, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis discussed the contrast between how things played out with Ovechkin and Russell Westbrook, per Emily Kaplan of ESPN. “We had a superstar player with the Wizards, he had an opportunity and wanted to be traded to the Lakers,” Leonsis said. “And I was dealing with that as we were announcing Alex. I couldn’t help but self-reflect on what a difference it is. Here’s a great player in Russell Westbrook, played in OKC, wanted to be traded, went to Houston, wanted to be traded, came to D.C., wanted to be traded and is now in L.A. He’s an unbelievably great person and an unbelievably great player. But that’s the difference between the NBA and the NHL, I suppose.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Miles, Madar, Sixers, Raptors

The Celtics are set to hire former guard Aaron Miles to their coaching staff, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Miles’ NBA career was brief – he appeared in just 19 games with Golden State back in 2005 – but he spent nearly a decade playing in international leagues before transitioning to coaching in 2015. He was the head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors from 2017-19 and has spent the last two seasons as a player development coach in Golden State.

New Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is putting together an interesting group of assistants in Boston. His staff will also reportedly include former Spurs assistant Will Hardy and another former NBA guard, Damon Stoudamire.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Israeli guard Yam Madar, who will play for the Celtics‘ Summer League team after being selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, is determined to show Boston he deserves a spot on the club’s regular season roster, as he tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Madar technically remains under contract with Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel for another season, so he and the Celtics would have to work out a buyout if he’s going to come stateside for 2021/22.
  • Rich Hofmann and Derek Bodner of The Athletic take a closer look at the Sixers‘ roster, determining which players are likely to stay and which may be gone by opening night in the fall. Hofmann and Bodner believe the odds of a Ben Simmons offseason trade are higher than 50/50.
  • In another story for The Athletic, John Hollinger and Eric Koreen discuss the Raptors‘ offseason, exploring the team’s options with the No. 4 pick, whether it makes sense to trade Pascal Siakam, and what free agency will look like for Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr. While Hollinger would have no issue with Toronto drafting Jalen Suggs at No. 4, he suggests the team should look hard at Scottie Barnes and Alperen Sengun and consider the possibility of trading down.

Yam Madar To Play On Celtics’ Summer League Team

Draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar will play on the Celtics’ summer league team, Chris Grenham of Forbes Sports tweets.

The 20-year-old Israeli guard has been working out at the Players Association headquarters in Manhattan, Grenham adds.

The 6’3” Madar was selected by Boston with the No. 47 pick in the 2020 draft. He posted solid numbers for Hapoel Tel Aviv this past season, averaging 17.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.0 RPG and 1.3 SPG in 33.2 MPG. He shot 46.9% from the field, made 40.9% of his 3-point tries, and drained 82.8% of his free throws.

If Madar performs well in summer league action and decides to make the jump to the NBA, he could figure into Boston’s backcourt mix. The Celtics dealt Kemba Walker to the Thunder last month, which could open up a spot depending on Boston’s offseason moves.

Marcus Smart, Payton PritchardJaylen Brown, Carsen EdwardsRomeo Langford and Tremont Waters (two-way FA) are the remaining backcourt options on the roster.

Draft Notes: International Prospects, Wolves, Suns, Lewis, Terry

The NBA’s deadline for early entrants to withdraw from this year’s draft has now passed, which means it should just be a matter of time before we get an updated official list from the league of the early entrants who have kept their names in this year’s pool.

In the meantime, updates on a handful of international prospects continue to trickle in. According to Nicola Lupo of Sportando, Estonian forward Henri Drell – who is currently playing for Pesaro in Italy – has withdrawn his name from the 2020 draft.

On the other hand, Isralie point guard Yam Madar, a member of Hapoel Tel Aviv, has elected to keep his name in the draft, per Barak Haklai of ynetsport (Twitter link). And after initially announcing that his client Marko Simonovic would be pulling out of the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic has clarified (via Twitter) that Simonovic will remain in the draft after all.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • An NBA general manager who spoke to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) this morning said he doesn’t envy the Timberwolves and their efforts to maximize the value of the No. 1 pick. The teams at the top are desperate to try and trade down, but there just isn’t much value with the top few picks this year,” the GM said.
  • Within a piece on Kira Lewis Jr., Mike Mazzeo of Forbes says the Timberwolves and Suns are among the teams that have watched the Alabama guard work out in person. Lewis also worked out in person for Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Orlando, as previously reported.
  • Few prospects have increased their stock in recent months as substantially as Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who notes within a profile of Terry that the 20-year-old has interviewed virtually with all 30 NBA teams.
  • In an Insider-only article, Kevin Pelton of ESPN uses advanced stats to break down this year’s prospects into tiers. Pelton has LaMelo Ball on his own in tier one, followed by Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton in tier two, with Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, and James Wiseman in tier three.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Madar, Hayes

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz examines the unusual path LaMelo Ball has taken to become a potential No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. Ball first gained notice when he skipped eighth grade so he could play a season in high school with his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo. Since then, he has grown from 5’11” to 6’7″ and has taken a circuitous route through Lithuania, his father’s basketball league (JBA) and Illawarra in the NBL.

Several NBA general managers and executives told Schmitz they consider Ball to have the most star power in the draft and expect him to be selected in the top two or three. However, questions remain about the quality of competition he has faced and whether LaVar Ball will provide a distraction like he did when Lonzo was with the Lakers.

There’s more draft news ahead of tomorrow’s lottery:

  • This year’s draft class is among the most balanced in recent memory, and many teams would privately prefer to pick second or third to avoid the spotlight that comes with the top choice, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. He previews what’s at stake for all 14 teams involved in tomorrow’s drawing and cites the Warriors as the most intriguing. Woo suggests that if Golden State decides to keep its pick, it may prefer someone with more of a fully developed game, such as Obi Toppin or Tyrese Haliburton, rather than a talented project like Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman or Ball.
  • Edwards remains at the top of the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He states that Edwards, Ball and Wiseman have become a consensus top three, but a shortage of information resulting from the postponement of the draft combine and a ban on in-person interviews continue to make this year’s draft unpredictable. Rounding out Givony’s top five, in order, are Wiseman, Ball, Israeli forward Deni Avdija, and USC big man Onyeka Okongwu.
  • Israeli point guard Yam Madar confirmed his signing with CAA Sports, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Sources tell Urbonas that the 19-year-old has received “strong interest” from NBA teams after a good performance in the Israeli League playoffs. Madar, who projects as a possible late second-round pick, is training in Las Vegas.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic posted a video chat with French point guard Killian Hayes, a possible lottery selection.