Yuki Togashi

Mavs Waive Yuki Togashi

The Mavs have released point guard Yuki Togashi, the team announced via press release. The move was expected, as GM Donnie Nelson admitted last week that Togashi’s immediate future was with the team’s D-League affiliate. Dallas will presumably retain the D-League rights to the 21-year-old Japanese native, which would allow him to sign directly with the Mavs affiliate rather than enter the D-League draft, providing he clears NBA waivers first. Togashi’s NBA contract was non-guaranteed, so Dallas isn’t on the hook for any dead money.

Togashi, 21, attended the same high school as Kevin Durant before returning to his native Japan to play professionally. Still, he caught the eye of the Mavs, who brought him stateside for summer league this year. He totaled 16 points in more than 36 total minutes of play in four summer league games, grabbing six rebounds, too, in spite of his 5’7″ height.

Dallas still has more cuts to make before Monday’s deadline to set its opening-night roster, and the team would reportedly like to carry fewer than 15 players to start the regular season. The team has 15 fully guaranteed pacts, and a partial guarantee with Ivan Johnson, while Charlie Villanueva has impressed on his non-guaranteed contract. Doron Lamb is with Dallas on a non-guaranteed deal, too.

Western Notes: Mavs, Warriors, Thunder

Dallas GM Donnie Nelson admits 5’7” point guard Yuki Togashi’s immediate future isn’t likely with the Mavs but rather with the team’s D-League affiliate, writes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Nelson explains, “I’d say it’s a long shot at best for him to make [an NBA regular season] roster right now. But it’s an opportunity for him to make his dream come true in reality to play for the Legends and, like so many guys before him, to use this as a springboard to get in the league.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Golden State’s decision to not include Klay Thompson in a Kevin Love trade will determine the fate of the Warriors, Cavs and Wolves, opines Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Golden State never wavered from its original stance of not breaking up its talented backcourt despite the appeal of bringing Love to the Bay Area, notes Bontemps.
  • Mavs big man Brandan Wright faces a pivotal year in his NBA career, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Wright, who is in the final season of a two year, $10MM contract, has carved out a nice niche as a role-player in Dallas.
  • Reggie Jackson is the biggest “winner” from Kevin Durant‘s injury, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. Jackson, who the Thunder have until October 31st to offer an extension, will have an opportunity to showcase himself on the offensive end in Durant’s absence.
  • Durant underwent successful surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, the Thunder announced in a press release. According to the release, Durant will be re-evaluated in six weeks to determine his next step toward returning to action
  • The Wolves currently have a logjam at the small forward position and the team is rumored to be fielding offers for Chase Budinger to help pare down the roster to 15. One player who is looking likely to make the regular season roster is Glenn Robinson III, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities notes (Twitter link). According to Wolfson, Robinson, who is signed to a partially guaranteed deal,  has impressed the team during training camp.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Mavs Sign Yuki Togashi

OCTOBER 15TH: Dallas has followed up with a formal announcement of the signing, via press release.

OCTOBER 7TH: The Mavs have signed undrafted point guard Yuki Togashi, according to the RealGM transactions log. The team has yet to make an official announcement, but Togashi’s agents with Cloud9 confirmed the deal to Ed Odeven of The Japan Times. Dallas is limited to handing out minimum-salary deals, but it’s unclear if there’s any guaranteed money involved for the 21-year-old.

The 5’7″ Togashi had been playing professionally in Japan for the Akita Northern Happinets since February 2013. He joined the Mavs summer league team in July, and Dallas apparently remains intrigued by the Japanese native who came to the U.S. and attended the same Maryland high school where Kevin Durant matriculated. Dean Murray, an assistant for the Mavs D-League affiliate, praised Togashi’s on-court decision-making but expressed concerns about his defense to Odeven after summer league ended in July.

It would seem the Mavs signed Togashi with the D-League in mind, since they’d already been carrying 15 fully guaranteed contracts. The move brings Dallas to the 20-man preseason roster limit, but the Mavs can retain the D-League rights to up to four of the players they cut before opening night, and it seems likely they’ll do so with Togashi.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Togashi, Mavs, Asik

With Tyreke Evans‘ spot as a starter for the Pelicans all but assured, Darius Miller, Luke Babbitt, and John Salmons are all essentially competing to make the roster and land the reserve small forward role, observes Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune. Given that Salmons is the only member of the trio with a fully guaranteed deal, he might be the early favorite to secure the backup spot. Still, it’s too early dismiss Miller and Babbitt’s chances to make the team, since both players have contracts featuring partial guarantees on a New Orleans roster carrying just 12 completely guaranteed pacts. It wouldn’t be surprising if all three of the wings in question find themselves on the club past opening night. As we wait to see how the Pelicans’ roster shapes up, let’s look at more from the Southwest:

  • The Mavs  will officially sign Yuki Togashi after he passes his physical today, reveals Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, who adds that Togashi will be waived before the regular season begins, allowing Dallas to retain his D-League rights going forward. We passed along that the two sides were set on a deal last week and suspected that Togashi was a long-shot to make the opening night roster.
  • Charlie Villanueva‘s strong play in camp means one of the 15 guaranteed contracts on the Mavs’ roster might be waived in order to make room for the big man. Sefko takes a look at the players who seemingly have the greatest chance of being cut before opening night rolls around.
  • The Pelicans and Rockets squared off in a preseason matchup tonight, marking the first time Omer Asik faced his old team since being traded away in July. Although the big man was involved in trade rumors for much of the season and summer, Rockets coach Kevin McHale confessed he’ll miss having big man around this season, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders examines the pros and cons of locking up Kawhi Leonard to a rookie scale extension versus waiting until restricted free agency to work out a new deal. The Basketball Insiders scribe concludes that it would be the in San Antonio’s best interest to wait until the summer of 2015 to re-sign the reigning Finals MVP.

And-Ones: Butler, Caven, Jefferson, Macklin

Jimmy Butler is focusing on basketball rather than becoming a restricted free agent next summer, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. Friedell adds that Butler may seek more than the $9.7MM annual salary that former Bulls teammate Luol Deng received this offseason from the Heat. When the topic of the new TV deal was broached, Butler deflected the question, saying, “I don’t know nothing about a TV deal. I just know that it’s my contract year, and I got to play well and I want to help us win. That’s all that I know.” Butler will be one of the first players to sign a deal in the new cap era, Friedell notes.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The contracts of D.J. Mbenga (Knicks), Jason Kapono (Warriors), and Yuki Togashi (Mavs) are all non-guaranteed, minimum salary camp deals, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Kapono’s deal is for one season, Pincus notes on Golden State’s salary page.
  • One of Europe’s top prospects, Joonas Caven, a 6’11” big man from Finland, will enter the NBA D-League Draft this year, according to his agent K.C. Callero, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress reports (Twitter link). Caven is targeting the 2015 NBA Draft and the D-League will act as a showcase for his talents, notes Carchia.
  • The Pelicans waived Vernon Macklin so that he could pursue an opportunity to play in Europe, John Reid of The Times-Picayune reports (Twitter link).
  • One of the newest members of the Mavs, Richard Jefferson, accepted a veteran’s minimum deal this offseason, but that doesn’t mean he is willing to settle for a minimal role, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. MacMahon adds that Jefferson understands that he won’t be a starter but he is determined to find his niche on the team. “I like to believe myself to be an everyday contributor,” said Jefferson. “Whether it works out that way remains to be seen, but my job is just to stay ready.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Spurs, Lowe, Togashi

With the Spurs core of stars nearing retirement the team will need to look ahead to the future, writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. That future will begin with Kawhi Leonard, as well as having a wealth of cap room in 2015, when only Tiago Splitter is under contract, notes Beck. The franchise also has Livio Jean-Charles, a 6’9″ forward from French Guiana, who was drafted 28th in 2013, and Davis Bertans, a 6’10″ forward from Latvia, a 2011 second-round pick who was acquired from the Pacers, to help jump start the team’s next phase, according to the article.

More from the west:

  • The Wolves hiring of Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach could be announced as early as tomorrow, reports Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks are going to take a look at Japanese point guard Yuki Togashi, with the hope that he could be developed as a potential NBA player with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The 5’8″ Togashi is expected to attend the D-league draft camp next week, and isn’t expected to be selected in this year’s draft, notes Sefko.
  • Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman hands out grades for Reggie Jackson’s season with the Thunder. Jackson averaged 11.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG this season.