Friday, July 7, 2017

2017 NBA Offseason Running Blog, Part 2

Now that the moratorium ended yesterday and the first week of signings and trades produced such a large page already, I decided it's time to start a new post. Again, I'll be including outside links to the reports, adding to it with new moves and my thoughts on them within the day (and usually the hour) of what occurred, and noting whenever any updates came out on previous sections. Free agent salaries are my estimates based on reports and standard 5% or 8% raises while current salaries are from with the colors indicating player optionteam option, or not fully guaranteed.

Celtics and Pistons swap Bradley and Morris (Shams)

Boston gets:
Marcus Morris$5,000,000$5,375,000

Detroit gets:
Avery Bradley$8,808,989
2019 2nd round pick

At long last, there is the required move by Danny Ainge to have enough cap space to sign Gordon Hayward to a max contract after Jordan Mickey's non-guaranteed deal is waived. That would be the easiest corresponding move compared to keeping Guerschon Yabusele stashed or trading Demetrius Jackson's partial guarantee somewhere, especially since Mickey hasn't shown much in just 198 minutes through two years. It is disappointing that Ainge didn't have this contingency trade lined up ahead of Hayward's decision so that he wouldn't be operating out of a desperate position, and he's paying for it now with a 2nd (I would guess they're sending back the Detroit pick they own) attached as a sweetener in a salary dump. Although I'm not surprised that Bradley's the one sent out because he's about to become a lot more expensive next year, I did think that they'd get a better deal out of it. Morris does come with an extra year of control at a cheap price and brings some needed size to a roster lacking power forwards, but his poor defensive rebounding will only make Boston's struggles in that area worse. At least his solid outside shot and passing will fit in with Brad Stevens' offense, and he's only going to be 28 this season.
It's funny, when I looked at the numbers the other day and tweeted what the Celtics could take back in salary to create the required room, the cheap deal for Morris did jump out at me, but I didn't really mention it for a couple of reasons. First, my concerns above about the fit in Boston, but I didn't think Detroit would add an asset to Morris in order to replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, whom they could just re-sign. Turns out I was wrong about which direction the extra throw-in would be going! It would seem that Bradley was in fact brought in to replace KCP, though, since they play similar roles as lockdown defenders of either guard spot who can do a bit more offensively than typical 3-and-D players. Between trading for Bradley, signing Langston Galloway, and drafting Luke Kennard, the writing seems to be on the wall, so this year might be a trial run to evaluate what they have before deciding to pay up for Bradley next summer. Furthermore, any match of a large offer sheet for Caldwell-Pope is even more unlikely with them now only around $15 million away from the hard cap that they put on themselves by using the majority of the full Mid-Level Exception on Galloway.

Hawks re-sign Muscala: 2 years, $10 million (Shams)
Mike Muscala$4,807,692$5,192,308

I like this deal for both sides after Muscala emerged as a useful contributor shooting a career high 41.8% on 3's. He still has some work to do defensively, especially on the glass, but Atlanta doesn't have many bodies up front right now. With the second year being a player option, he can re-enter free agency again next summer with hopes of a bigger offer after an expanded role or opt in if things don't go well. With his full Bird rights in hand, his minimum cap hold can stay on the books before he's officially signed in order to preserve cap space, which could be up to $19.6 million if they don't match Tim Hardaway Jr.'s egregious offer sheet and renounce the rights to Ersan Ilyasova, Thabo Sefolosha, and Kris Humphries.

Grizzlies sign Evans: 1 year, ~$3.3 million (Woj)
Tyreke Evans$3,290,000

The exchange of Kings and Grizzlies continue, and if Ben McLemore hadn't already signed his contract, I would have thought about combined sign-and-trades for these two, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter. Evans is getting the Bi-Annual Exception instead it looks like, so they will have a hard cap at $6 million past the Luxury Tax line, which they are about $16.7 million away from right now before any deal for restricted free agent JaMychal Green. With that now in place, they could use the rest of the MLE that didn't go to McLemore -- $3,214,000 if he got the equivalent of the Taxpayer MLE -- to fill out their roster as long as Green doesn't get too high of an offer sheet. Perhaps they can get another bargain like Evans, who has been limited to just 65 games the last two seasons due to injuries but can still be a valuable player. He'll still be just 28 years old this season, can slide between any of the perimeter positions if needed, and has displayed an improved outside shot (36.9% the last two years, albeit in that small sample size) to go along with his penetration and passing skills.

Pacers sign Bogdanovic: 2 years, $21 million (Woj)
Bojan Bogdanovic$10,243,902$10,756,098

This didn't take long after the Wizards withdrew his qualifying offer to let him become an unrestricted free agent, (a strong side that they will match the Otto Porter Jr. offer sheet), and it's a fair deal with the edge to Indiana, depending on how much of the second year if guaranteed. As a 36.9% career 3 point shooter, the 28 year old Bogdanovic can provide some reliable floor spacing on the wing for Victor Oladipo to operate, and they can get creative with defensive matchups since those two, Glen Robinson III, and Lance Stephenson are all similarly sized. Checking the math, I would guess that they renounced the cap hold of Lavoy Allen, which makes sense considering they declined the reasonable team option on him, but the size of this deal still allows them to hold onto the Bird rights of C.J. Miles and the Non-Bird rights of Aaron Brooks.

Heat dump McRoberts on Mavericks (Miami Heat)

Miami gets:
A.J. Hammons$1,312,611$1,544,951

Dallas gets:
Josh McRoberts$6,021,175
Miami's 2023 2nd round pick
Cash considerations

I missed the fact that the trade became official this morning after the general framework was worked out yesterday without any word on the draft pick. The only 2nd Miami has to trade now is the one in 2022 as they clearly don't value holding onto them ahead of time, and they still owe two future 1st round picks to Phoenix. For now though, $4.7 million is freed up in cap space for the James Johnson deal they've agreed upon, so that puts them around $11.8 million. Unless they waive Wayne Ellington today, that amount would still leave them short based on reported salaries for Johnson, Dion Waiters, and Kelly Olynyk, but they're at least within range now to get creative. Then they'll have the Room MLE of $4,328,000 with two spots remaining and somewhat of a need at backup point guard since Tyler Johnson often plays out of position there. I wouldn't be shocked if Beno Udrih came back again on the minimum to be an emergency veteran option there.

9:27 AM 7/9 UPDATE: As usual, Albert Nahmad knocked it out of the ballpark with his overview of how the Heat work and the way they leveraged unlikely to be received bonuses to fit their new contracts under the cap. Basically, the reported numbers for Waiters, Olynyk, and Johnson weren't completely accurate because their bonuses are probably reachable while technically being "unlikely" due to the players not accomplishing the required performance last year. Hats off to Miami for their expert knowledge of the cap to use every last dollar and to Nahmad for being onto their plans.

Dallas thought highly enough of Hammons to give him over $3.5 million guaranteed after picking him at #46 just last year, but I guess they didn't like his 163 NBA minutes or what they saw in practice. Renting out the cap space they gained from Dirk Nowitzki's discount to pick up an extra pick and cash while also dumping salary for next year is a nice transaction that still leaves around $7 million in room before re-signing restricted free agent Nerlens Noel. If McRoberts will ever stay healthy (he only played 81 games in three years with the Heat), that's just an added bonus with his passing and occasional 3 point shooting as a backup power forward.

Thunder sign Felton: 1 year, minimum contract (Haynes)
Raymond Felton$1,471,382

Chris Haynes didn't provide the details, but it has to be the one year minimum since Oklahoma City already used the TP MLE on Patrick Patterson and Andre Roberson's deal take them over the hard cap Apron. An average backup point guard like Felton likely can only command around the minimum anyway, and the NBA pays the difference between what he counts as against salary wise and the $2,328,652 he'll actually earn as a 12 year veteran. There might not be much left in the tank for him at 33, but he just has to avoid disaster in the minutes Russell Westbrook is out (with Paul George's time hopefully staggered) to be an improvement on Semaj Christon's disappointing rookie season.

Warriors re-sign Pachulia: 1 year, $3,477,600 (Amick)
Zaza Pachulia$3,477,600

Looks like almost the whole band is back together for the champs now that Pachulia is getting the maximum 20% raise through Non-Bird rights on another one year deal. There was some consideration that Golden State would only bring him back at the minimum given their Luxury Tax situation, but they did right by him considering he took a discount of just the Room MLE last year. His inconsistency in finishing at the room and occasional head-scratching fouls frustrate fans, but he's a Steve Kerr favorite due to the little things that go unnoticed to casual viewers like positional defense, boxing out, and hard screens. I wouldn't expect more than the 18 minutes a game he got last year, with David West anchoring the 2nd and 4th quarters in 6 minute stints, Draymond Green closing games in the Death Lineup, and Damian Jones possibly bringing energy off the bench in the JaVale McGee role as he develops. Once rookie Jordan Bell, who I've already suggested is the James McAdoo replacement, signs for the rookie minimum, they'll have one more roster spot to fill with the minimum, and assuming it's someone with more than one year of experience, their payroll will be at $136.5 million with an additional $36.1 million in Tax payments. If they front-load Andre Iguodala's new contract like I originally suggested due to concerns around the 2019/2020 budget, then they would be around $138.9 million in salary with a $43.8 million Tax bill.

Magic sign Mack: 2 years, $12 million (Woj)
Shelvin Mack$5,853,659$6,146,341

Even though I've always liked Mack's game, this is more than I would have expected for him after an uneven year. The Orlando side of this is also strange because even with C.J. Watson likely to be cut to save $4 million, they just overpaid D.J. Augustin last year with a deal that still has three seasons on it. This contract isn't that bad by any means, but it just feels like an unnecessary way to bring their max possible cap space down to $9.5 million.

3:00 PM 7/11 UPDATE: Eric Pincus has provided further details on Mack's contract: it will be $6 million flat with only $1 million guaranteed in the second year, which isn't a bad deal at all.

Cavaliers sign Green: 1 year, minimum contract (Windhorst)
Jeff Green$1,471,382

Speaking of inexplicable Magic signings, Green is probably just fine settling for the veteran minimum after his  $15 million pay day in Orlando last year. Cleveland's perspective is pretty straightforward here: they're getting a known commodity for depth at the cheapest possible price. Green can theoretically swing between either forward position, knock down some shots, and generally make the right play. That's why teams keep picking him up, but there's also a reason he keeps becoming available. He rebounds like a wing player, is only a 33.3% career shooter from deep, and defends at just an average level when at the top of his game. It's not a bad signing; just an underwhelming one.

Rockets extend Harden: 4 years, ~$169 million (Woj)
James Harden$28,299,399$30,421,854$37,800,000$40,824,000$43,848,000$46,872,000

The final numbers won't be officially set until the 2019 offseason, but Harden will make 35% of the salary cap in that year -- current projections are at $108 million -- while locking in extra guaranteed years thanks to the new Designated Veteran Extension rule. Thus, Houston is able to give him a contract that totals six years as opposed to the usual five year limit thanks to him making an All-NBA team, and although Harden would already be eligible for the 35% max as a free agent when he'd have 10 years of experience, this ensures him the contract now. It may not have been completely necessary to give him the record extension now with two years left before he could hit the open market, especially since this covers his age 30-33 seasons, but the Rockets' proactive tendencies often work out.

Timberwolves sign Crawford: 2 years, ~$8.9 million (Shams)
Jamal Crawford$4,328,000$4,544,400

Crawford is slowing down at 37, but he can still provide some much needed shooting and wing depth at the cost of the Room MLE. It's somewhat ironic that I had been campaigning for Zach LaVine to become Minnesota's sixth man, and now that he's been traded, the player he was often compared to as a flashy Seattle combo guard is taking on that role. The minutes might be limited due to his age, poor defense, and playing time competition, but it's a nice paycheck after already getting paid the money owed by Atlanta in his buyout. The second year player option could allow him to hit the market again next year at the beginning of free agency and seek a new role with a contender if things don't work out.

Raptors dump Carroll on Nets (Woj)

Toronto gets:
Justin Hamilton$3,000,000

Brooklyn gets:
DeMarre Carroll$14,800,000$15,400,000
Toronto's 2018 1st round pick (top-14 protected)
The lesser of LA Lakers or Orlando's 2018 2nd round pick

Shedding the last two years of Carroll's contract isn't unexpected, but it is still a tough price to pay after he was a big free agent signing a couple of summers ago. It gets Toronto out of the Luxury Tax, and they're now little over $1 million below that threshold with one roster spot to fill. Jeff Zillgitt added that the 1st is lottery protected, which is nice in case disaster strikes, but given their hopes of being contenders for the Eastern title, the protection shouldn't make a difference. Although Norman Powell is more of a shooting guard in size like DeMar DeRozan, him getting a chance at a consistent starting role on the wing will be fun, and I've already made it clear I'm a fan of OG Anunoby as another forward option, as well. With that in mind, it's an understandable trade, but pure cost-cutting moves that lose assets are a tough sell unless this is preceding the use of the $11.8 million trade exception it generates or the TP MLE that would take them deep into the Tax.

On the other hand, I love this move for Brooklyn just like the D'Angelo Russell/Timofey Mozgov trade since they didn't have any picks in next year's draft and won't be using all of their cap room anyway. They acted quickly once the Wizards matched the Porter offer sheet, and although the trade can't become official until he passes his physical to return to Washington and frees their space back up, it will still leave them with $16.5-$21.3 million to work with depending on their non-guaranteed contracts. Carroll can bring a veteran presence to one of the forward spots in a rotation with Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and as Woj noted, coach Kenny Atkinson knows him from their Atlanta days when the soon to be 31 year old was at his best. Even with him eating into next year's cap space, they'll still have at least $29 million in room, and it could be even more if Jeremy Lin opts out of his $12.5 million. They can't take without control of their draft pick, but they're starting to build towards something while accumulating assets like Philly did.

Raptors sign-and-trade Joseph for Miles: 3 years, $25 million (Woj)

Toronto gets:
C.J. Miles$7,936,508$8,333,333$8,730,159

Indiana gets:
Cory Joseph$7,630,000$7,945,000

I should have known better than to doubt Masai Ujiri after yesterday's salary dump. If you look at the two transactions together, Toronto basically gave up Joseph and a 1st in order to add Miles and shed Carroll's salary to get out of the Tax, which is a fair sequence that also didn't put the close to the hard-cap them like using the full MLE to sign Miles that would have done. They have Delon Wright to take on CoJo's role and Fred VanVleet to fill in for any leftover guard minutes in his place, so flipping a backup point guard for a starting caliber 3-and-D wing at the same price is a great move. I'm surprised Miles was so undervalued after shooting 41.3% on 3's last year to bring his career average to 36.1%, making him one of the best free agents still available in my eyes. He's probably in line to start over Powell, but both should get similar minutes in a rotation on the wing with DeRozan. Miles could even get some time as a stretch four like P.J. Tucker did since they have some similarities beyond their two letter nicknames, so there's a lot of versatility available in their lineups.

3:31 PM 7/9 UPDATE: Nahmad brought up a good point that sign-and-trades can't contain any options in the first three years, so there might be some more details coming here.

This is also a nice move by the Pacers to make use of their departing veteran free agent to add a potential starting point guard that's not yet 26. Joseph might not be a star, but if he can maintain his improved outside shot (39.4% on catch and shoot 3's per's shot tracking, 35.6% overall), there isn't a clear weakness in his game. The Toronto native was probably going to opt out next year to look for a chance to start somewhere away from home, which couldn't happen with Kyle Lowry there, and this is his chance to pump up his value. He should have the advantage over borderline starter Darren Collison, and he has the size to hold up okay defensively when the two of them play together at times like he did with Lowry. Besides the Room MLE, Indiana can still make some more mid-sized moves with around $5.5 million in cap space left now, and that could go up $8.7 million if they cut Kevin Seraphin and Georges Niang since their contracts aren't fully guaranteed.

9:40 AM 7/14 UPDATE: Apparently this won't be a sign-and-trade after all as the Raptors have announced the trade of Joseph for just the rights to 2009 second round pick Emir Preldzic, a non-prospect. I guess it was just a straight salary dump for Toronto to get under the luxury tax/far enough away from the hard-cap to use the full MLE on Miles, thereby allowing him to have a player option on the third year. It's somewhat disappointing that they didn't actually get an asset back for Joseph, but they do gain a trade exception for his salary to replace the MLE in a certain sense.

Raptors sign McKinnie: "multi-year" deal (Murphy)

Alfonzo McKinnie played for the Windy City Bulls in the D-League last season, averaging 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds in 50 games with 34 starts. He'll be 25 this fall and is only getting a partial guarantee as a camp invite trying to earn one of the last spots on the roster.

Celtics sign Baynes: 1 years, $4.3 million (Shams)
Aron Baynes$4,328,000

Baynes misreading the market and opting out of his $6.5 million in Detroit is Boston's gain as they're getting him for just the Room Exception here. He's a better rebounder than the departed Amir Johnson, and he can finish inside at a solid rate, as well. He could start at one of the big man spots with decent defense next to Al Horford instead of Morris if cleaning the glass is a problem for the team again, or he could be the first center one off the bench since rookie Ante Zizic probably won't be ready for a heavy load right away despite his potential.

Suns re-sign Williams: 3 years, $17 million (Shams)
Alan Williams$5,246,914$5,666,667$6,086,420

Like I've mentioned with other free agents re-signing that have small cap holds, the team could wait before making the deal official, but since Phoenix isn't likely to use all of their room, it probably won't be necessary. I'll add that they might have the contract decline to preserve some future room a bit, but this is such a cheap deal anyway for their underrated beast inside. It's hard for me to be unbiased as a fellow UCSB Gaucho, but Williams going undrafted two years ago was somewhat surprising because he's always put up great numbers with his obviously great rebounding being supplanted by impressive block and steal rates. Those stats have translated for the most part through his short 57 game career up to this point, and if he continues to get an opportunity as an undersized center (6'8", 261 lbs with a 7'2" wingspan), he should outperform this contract. It's unclear what the market is like for the Suns' other restricted free agent center, Alex Len, but with Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss entering their second seasons, they have multiple combinations of intriguing pieces in the front court.

6:01 PM 7/26 UPDATE: Zach Lowe has further details that the last two years are non-guaranteed, which is a surprisingly good deal for Phoenix.

Spurs sign Lauvergne: 2 years (Shams)
Joffrey Lauvergne$3,290,000$3,454,500

There aren't too many details in the report from Shams other than that it is a two year deal, but since San Antonio is apparently operating as an over the cap team giving Rudy Gay the full MLE, the only options for this signing are the BAE or the minimum. I'm estimating it's the former for now since Lauvergne apparently "received immediate interest" once Chicago made him an unrestricted free agent by withdrawing his qualifying offer, which he could've accepted before that at $3,248,466. Although his defense isn't a strong suit, he's decent on the glass and should fit in offensively with some shooting and passing ability. The Spurs likely have solid intel on what kind of player they're getting thanks to some of Lauvergne's past teammates: Tony Parker and former Spurs Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo on the French national team and Davis Bertans and Spurs draft pick Nikola Milutinov on Partizan Belgrade.

Pistons re-sign Bullock: 2 years, $5 million (Shams)
Reggie Bullock$2,403,846$2,596,154

I like Bullock coming back at this price as something of a compromise in lieu of his $3.3 million qualifying offer, especially since his five game drug suspension didn't do him any favors in this market. He has shot 39.7% on 3's during his two years in Detroit and is a credible defender on the wing, so if he can carve out consistent playing time now that Morris is in Boston and Caldwell-Pope was renounced, this could be a potential bargain. Stanley Johnson will probably get the first crack at starting with Tobias Harris at forward, but given his shooting struggles, Bullock should get his fair share of opportunities.

Knicks re-sign Baker: 2 years, ~$8.9 million (Woj)
Ron Baker$4,328,000$4,544,400

New York's handling of Baker strikes me as odd, but I guess that's par for the course after they "parted ways" with Phil Jackson just weeks after picking up his option, overpaid Hardaway Jr. after trading him away, and waived Marshall Plumlee after his contract guaranteed for $100,000. They only signed Baker to a one year minimum contract last year after he was undrafted, which allowed him to hit restricted free agency early, and now they agreed to bringing him back early on free agency with what is now revealed as the Room MLE. Not only does that feel higher than a potential offer sheet for him, but allowing him a player option on the second year could let him hit restricted free agency again next summer. They still don't have a proven point guard on the roster, and now that they lack any other means of adding one at more than the minimum, it looks like they'll be relying on him and raw rookie Frank Ntilikina.

Pistons sign Toliver: 1 year, ~$3.3 million (Shams)
Anthony Tolliver$3,290,000

Tolliver returning to Detroit for just the BAE a year after getting $10 million from Sacramento is a solid deal. He adds to their forward depth with minutes replacing Morris potentially available as I mentioned with Bullock, and although he might not be the best defender at age 32, his floor spacing is valuable for second units. The short commitment can help them now as they assess what they have with their young players and how everyone fits on what should be a borderline playoff team.

Hawks sign Dedmon: 2 years, $14 million (Amick)
Dewayne Dedmon$7,000,000$7,000,000

I'm using a flat estimate for Dedmon here since that's how these 1+1 deals tend to work so that he can get more in year one before opting out than a standard deal with a 5% raise, and before officially signing Muscala's deal, Atlanta has almost exactly $7 million left in space while still keeping Ersan Ilyasova's cap hold on the books just in case. I've always thought Dedmon was underrated with his defense and rebounding, so this is a fair deal with both sides as he continues to build up his value in the Spurs system that Coach Bud has brought over with him. The Hawks were one of the few teams left with something a need for bigs, so guys like Noel and Mason Plumlee are running out of suitors for a big deal, as are any teams trying to make a trade like the 76ers with Jahlil Okafor.

Lakers sign Caldwell-Pope: 1 year, ~$18 million (Windhorst)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope$17,745,894

Los Angeles only had about $17.2 million in cap space, so I'm guessing that they're going to waive the non-guaranteed contract of David Nwaba to free up $500,000 to total the number above (as you might've noticed in this tracker, reporters often get rounded up numbers from agents). It's tough luck for Nwaba after having his non-guaranteed option picked up thanks to his tough defense and opportunistic offense, but he could likely just re-sign through the minimum exception once they go over the cap. Caldwell-Pope is also a bit unfortunate to have to settle for a one year deal to try to build up his value further after being stuck in restricted free agency as a lot of the money dried up, but he should get plenty of opportunities as a starter over Jordan Clarkson due to his vastly superior defense. Lonzo Ball will get him a lot more easy chances than Reggie Jackson did, and KCP can return the favor by guarding the tougher opponent in what should be an effective back court pairing.

It's quite the coup for the Lakers to get this risk free look at a 24 year old with such athletic potential to become more than a typical 3-and-D specialist, and they're building their relationship with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports aka LeBron James' best bud. They did this while also sticking to their plan of preserving next summer's cap space that currently projects to be right around the $36 million needed for a max free agent with Ball, Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Luol Deng (who they'll of course try to dump), and Julius Randle's cap hold on the books. Signing 2nd round pick Thomas Bryant to a three or four year deal at the minimum with their current remaining space from the empty roster charge wouldn't affect that, and I'd expect that a deal with Rajon Rondo or anyone else for the Room MLE will only run for a single year as King James looms on the horizon.

Cavaliers sign Osman: 3 years, $8.3 million (Windhorst)
Cedi Osman$2,634,921$2,766,667$2,898,413

After Osman was drafted as a Euro-stash with the first pick of the 2nd round in 2015, I called him a potentially great glue guy as a do-it-all wing, and his improved outside shot (39.6% and 36.5% on 3's the past two years) helps his case even further. With listing him now at 6'8", 215 lbs, he appears to have filled out a bit at age 22, and he's not afraid to be aggressive on the wings defensively. While Kyle Korver was re-signed for his offense and Iman Shumpert hasn't been traded thanks to his defense, Osman offers potential as a two-way player that's well worth part of their TP MLE and $675,000 towards his buyout. I'm curious as to whether they'll use the rest of the exception for the last roster spot since the Repeater penalty is so costly: this small deal adding about $12 million to their Tax bill means they could be the most expensive team in NBA history with their payroll and payment exceeding $140 million and over a $70 million, respectively.

Jazz sign Sefolosha: 2 years, $10.5 million (Shams)
Thabo Sefolosha$5,121,951$5,378,049

I expected Utah to try and go for some more scoring oomph now that Hayward is gone, but this is a decent deal for a versatile defender like Sefolosha. It's not too long to burden them, and although the 33 year old needs to be basically completely wide open to hit open shots now, he can hit just enough to be effective. Perhaps the more interesting part of this signing is that it's kind of forcing a roster decision: are they staying over the cap and using part of the full MLE on him, are they waiving Diaw's non-guaranteed contract to make room, or are they waiving Raul Neto and renouncing Jeff Withey's cap hold to make room? If they are cutting loose all three of Diaw, Neto, and Withey, they could still have over $8 million in cap space before officially signing Joe Ingles' contract, and they'd still have the Room MLE to use after that.

Grizzlies sign Zagorac: 3 years, $3.9 million (Pincus)
Rade Zagorac$950,000$1,378,242$1,618,520

Although I saw that Zagorac had come over as another Mega Leks Eurostash the other day on's transactions page, I had not seen any reporting on it until Pincus had some minor details yesterday before today's full deal. He's an interesting forward prospect that was drafted 35th in last year's draft as a part of the trade that also landed Deyonta Davis in Memphis, and as part of the MLE, he's getting more than the rookie minimum this year with guaranteed salary for next season, as a result. His defensive potential is the main question mark because offensively he's shown the ability to create for both himself and others while putting up decent shooting numbers.

Jazz sign Jerebko: 2 years, $8.2 million (Woj)
Jonas Jerebko$4,000,000$4,200,000

This would seem to answer my previous question about Utah's intentions with Diaw because they can't fit both Sefolosha and Jerebko into the MLE based on reported numbers. The "Swedish Larry Bird" can bring a bit of a spark off the bench at times as a stretch four who isn't afraid to battle a bit inside, and this may possibly be a sign that Joe Johnson may move back to some more minutes at small forward in traditional lineups. Keeping the deal to two years like Sefolosha's means it won't hamper much of their future flexibility, so this addition is solid if not spectacular as they try to stay afloat.

Hawks re-sign Ilyasova: 1 year, $6 million (Shams)
Ersan Ilyasova$6,000,000

I guess Ilyasova's short time in Atlanta made an impression on him because I thought he would be leaving their rebuilding situation for a much larger deal elsewhere. A 36.6% career 3 point shooting big who can hold up alright defensively and on the glass should have been more in demand, and the fact that he's been traded for five times in the past two years is somewhat of an indication that teams are interested in that skill set. Settling for a mid-sized one year deal might mean that he is a trade candidate again later this season once the Hawks become sellers, and then he could try hitting the market again next year after perhaps getting more minutes as a starter.

Jazz sign Udoh: 2 years, $6.5 million (Shams)
Ekpe Udoh$3,170,732$3,329,268

The parade of two year deals in Utah continues with the former disappointing #6 pick in the 2010 draft who became MVP of the Euroleague Final Four this year. Udoh has always had a ton of length and mobility on defense for a big man, so it's just a matter of whether he got tougher in the paint while playing for Fenerbahce Ulker. Although his raw rebounding numbers (5.84 and 6.93 per game the past two seasons) wouldn't indicate that he has, his rebounding rate (14.46% and 16.24%) show some more promise. He's at least worth a look on this cheap deal, and if he's paired with either Rudy Gobert or Derrick Favors for his minutes, than those behemoths can cover for him on the glass. Depening on the final numbers for today's three signings, it looks like they'll be renouncing the cap hold for Withey, whom Udoh is replacing anyway, but they might be able to squeeze in Neto still. If he is out, though, they'll still have one open roster spot with the Room MLE left to fill it, assuming that Jerebko or Udoh aren't a part of the $4.3 million exception.

Spurs sign Paul: "guaranteed deal" (Woj)

This is likely for the rookie minimum since Brandon Paul has been on the radar for a while but never picked up actual NBA experience as he's had to improve in the D-League and overseas. He's always flashed impressive athleticism and even drew some poor man's Dwyane Wade comparisons while at Illinois due to their home state and similar stature at 6'4" with a wingspan over 6'10". Paul appears to have improved his jumper since his collegiate days, and San Antonio's famous shot doctor Chip Engelland will help make sure it sticks, which should help the 26 year old guard stick in the league.

Thunder re-sign Collison: 1 year deal (Shams)
Nick Collison$1,471,382

Although Oklahoma City could give more to their longest tenured player through Bird rights, I'm guessing they're just filling out their roster with the minimum since that will already bring their Tax bill to $14 million. Collison only played 128 total minutes last season, so he'll basically be serving as a coach on the bench before retiring as the last connection to the Sonics on the roster.

Celtics sign Nader: 4 years, $6 million (Shams)
Abdel Nader$1,167,333$1,378,242$1,618,520$1,752,950

Nader appears to have been a steal as the 58th pick in 2016 after averaging 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1 steal, and 0.8 blocks per game on 44.7%/34.9%/79.4% shooting in the D-League to be named Rookie of the Year. The 23 year old wing's patience for the wait is being rewarded with what I'm guessing is the very last bit of their cap room after waiving Mickey and signing Hayward, which is about $300,000 more than the rookie minimum. As a 2nd round pick in 2015, Mickey got two years guaranteed at a bit more than the minimum before this year's non-guarantee and a team option while Jackson got a lot more than the minimum as a 2nd round pick last year with a partial guarantee this year before the same non-guaranteed third year and team option fourth year, so that's the basis for my estimate. With the Daniel Theis signing likely for the minimum after this as their 15th player, it looks like this year's three 2nd round picks -- Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen, and Jabari Bird -- will have to wait a year to get similar deals unless Yabusele doesn't sign this year for whatever reason.
Magic sign Simmons: 3 years, $20 million (Shams)
Jonathon Simmons$6,349,206$6,666,667$6,984,127

As I was literally just going through what remaining free agents could fit where, I thought Shabazz Muhmmad could be a nice scoring option at small forward for Orlando, but then this news broke that they're adding the more well-rounded Simmons instead. Right now, the biggest possible deal I can see them giving is about $26.3 million, but that could go up to $29.5 million if they waive the non-guaranteed deals of Marcus Georges-Hunt and Patricio Garino. I still have no idea why San Antonio withdrew Simmons' qualifying offer that would have allowed them the option to match because there was no risk to him signing the one year tender at just $1,671,382. Even if negotiations weren't going well, the only benefit I could see of letting him hit unrestricted free agency is building goodwill with him and his agent, Cervando Tejeda. In any case, it should be a nice move for the Magic to add a strong perimeter defender that has shown flashes of offensive punch on the wing with his athleticism and some shooting. They weren't likely to have much if any cap room next year anyway, and now they could have switchable lineups with Simmons, Aaron Gordon, and Jonathan Isaac to get stops and hopefully run in transition for offense.

2:13 PM 7/14 UPDATE: Jabari Young has reported that the deal is just 3 years, $20 million, so it's baffling that San Antonio couldn't come to an agreement with Simmons. I've added an estimation above, and even if Orlando was going to give a front-loaded offer sheet, the Spurs would still be around $11 million shy of the Luxury Tax before re-signing Pau Gasol. Perhaps it's a signal that Manu Ginobli will be coming back at a decent price instead of retiring, but this is a relatively cheap deal for the Magic.

10:33 AM 7/15 UPDATE: Now Woj reports that it's only $18 million contract that decreases each year with only $13.3 million guaranteed, so the deal just gets better and better for the Magic.

Rockets sign Black: 1 year, ~$3.3 million (Shams)
Tarik Black$3,290,000

It's something of a homecoming for Black since he started his career in Houston as an undrafted free agent in 2014 before being picked up on waivers by the LA, where he established himself with solid rebounding and block rates. Although terms of the deal aren't available yet, I'd wager that it's just for the minimum since another big wasn't a huge need for them, and that would take them close to the Tax line with the BAE taking them right to it if they cut their non-guarantees. They're likely willing to pay up for the right move such as trading for Carmelo Anthony, but for now they can be frugal.

4:13 PM 7/14 UPDATE: My wager would have lost apparently because Jonathan Feigen has reported that Black is getting the BAE for just one year, which I'm a little surprised by since they re-signed Nene and added two intriguing rookies in Zhou Qi and Cameron Oliver behind Clint Capela.

Mavericks sign Kleber: 2 years, minimum contract (MacMahon)
Maxi Kleber$815,615$1,378,242

Now that we have the details of the German forward Dallas signed on Wednesday, I'm somewhat surprised that he got a fully guaranteed season. Kleber is a 25 year old who stands 6'10", 220 lbs, and despite a wingspan under 6'11", he blocked over a shot a game the last two years while maintaining a good defensive rebound rate. Last year's 38.6% on 3's is the first time he's hit them with any regularity, though, so that will have become the norm rather than the outlier if he's going to make it as a stretch four.

Pelicans sign Rondo: 1 year, ~$3.3 million (Shams)
Rajon Rondo$3,290,000

New Orleans is going to be quite the experiment to watch with their two star big men and two point guards now. DeMarcus Cousins landing his old Kings pal and fellow former Kentucky Wildcat adds an extra passer to get him and Anthony Davis the ball, but Rondo will also crowd the paint with his defender collapsing inside for double teams. Although he's improved his 3P% since leaving Boston (36.7% in 187 games), the fact that he attempts under two a game and is still a career 30.4% shooter results in defenses ignoring him to help elsewhere, and he hasn't been the same defender since tearing his ACL as a Celtic, either. Jrue Holiday is capable of playing some off guard or even starting in that spot with his size and shooting, but after giving him $126 million, using part of the MLE on another point guard rather than a wing seems like a poor use of resources, even on a low risk one year deal. Since financial details aren't out yet, I'm curious how much Rondo is getting after talking to the Lakers about the $4.3 million Room MLE to mentor Ball, and any much more than that could put the Pelicans perilously close to the Luxury Tax before deciding on their non-guaranteed contracts.

3:07 PM 7/19 UPDATE: Shams finally got the value of the contract, and it's just $3.3 million. That means he can just be signed with the BAE, which leaves their full MLE available still for a wing after accounting for the minimal amount going to Frank Jackson. I may have been a bit harsh in my initial judgment of this addition then, but it remains to be see if they would go into the Tax and be close to a hard-cap to use that maximum amount. For Rondo, I guess this means that the Lakers didn't actually make him the offer of the Room MLE yet before he decided since they were rumored to be split on him, but at least he's still getting $3 million from his Bulls contract on top of this.

Rockets sign Mbah a Moute: one year, minimum contract (Haynes)
Luc Mbah a Moute$1,471,382

Since Houston apparently used the BAE on Black after Tucker and Qi got the MLE, this would have to be for the minimum, which is quite the bargain for a forward with Mbah a Moute's defensive talent. The additions of him and Tucker with Trevor Ariza will allow all sorts of lineup options around their arsenal of guards, and if they pull off the expected trade for Melo, than this will alow him to guard the less imposing front court opponent. With 9 years of experience, the minimum salary is $2,116,955, but if it's only a one year deal, then he'll only count at the number above, so there's still a good chance that the Rockets will stay under the Tax line if they only cut their non-guaranteed contracts. I have them at a little over $113 million committed to 12 players after this, and I'd expect intriguing third point guard Isaiah Taylor and the surprisingly undrafted Oliver to make it $115 million, leaving $4 million worth of a cushion for now. If a trade falls through, then restricted free agent Troy Williams could be brought back for that last roster spot unless he gets a surprising offer sheet for someone with such a short track record.

Clipper sign Reed: one year, minimum contract (Haynes)
Willie Reed$1,471,382

Despite all of the Roc Divers jokes about the management side of things that head coach/president of basketball operations Doc Rivers falls short on, the thing he's best at is recruiting free agents on minimum contracts. I thought that Reed has shown enough in the last two years to at least earn the BAE over a couple of years from someone as a backup center with the potential to start with his strong rebounding and block rates, but now he'll have to battle with Montrezl Harrell for limited minutes behind iron man DeAndre Jordan. After having talks with the Warriors for what would've likely been the same deal, I'm surprised he didn't go to the defending champs who could've offered a higher profile role that he could try and parlay into a payday next year since he's already 27 with just two years of minimum earnings.

Grizzlies re-sign Chalmers: one year, minimum contract (Woj)
Mario Chalmers$1,471,382

Chalmers missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles in March of 2016, but he was solid for Memphis as Mike Conley's backup for 55 games. He'll give them a more experienced option than second year players Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin, and since it's only partially guaranteed at what I'm assuming is the minimum, that limits the risk after his devastating injury. They do still have over $2 million of their MLE that they could technically offer, but as they're still negotiating Green's return with less than a $15 million gap between them and the Luxury Tax, I wouldn't count on it.

Pacers sign Wilkins: one year, minimum contract (Scotto)
Damien Wilkins$1,471,382

Wilkins is 37 and has spent time overseas and in the D-League a bit after his last NBA game in 2013, so for Indiana's sake, I hope it wasn't a fully guaranteed contract. You could argue that it's nice to have a veteran wing in the locker room who could hit a three here or there, but it's not like they did a complete tear down and only have youth. Although he currently brings their roster to 15, they could still sign an actual prospect with around $5.7 million in space before going over the cap with minimums.

Rockets re-sign Williams: 3 year deal (Woj)
Troy Williams$1,512,611$1,544,951$1,676,735

The minimum for Williams would be $200K less in the first year, but I'm going with the amount that his qualifying offer was worth while we wait for details since he could have just accepted that at any time rather than give up two free agency years. This could prove to be another great move around the margins by Darryl Morey to lock up a cheap bench option on the wing after Williams' strong D-League and Summer League performances at just 22. He's not a star prospect by any means, but other teams should have offered more than the minimum and at least make the Rockets match an offer sheet for someone who plays a position that's in demand.
Heat re-sign Haslem: one year, minimum contract (Shams)
Udonis Haslem$1,471,382

The Miami Mafia are really trying to prove that they take care of their own, as evidenced by continuing to pay Heat lifer Haslem when he's basically an assistant coach at this point. He's only played 130 and 345 total minutes the past two seasons, including the playoffs, so that should tell you all you need to know.

Thunder sign Johnson: 2 years, minimum contract (Shams)
Dakari Johnson$815,615$1,378,242

Johnson was the 48th pick in 2015 after being a part of Kentucky teams that went to back to back Final Fours and will still be just 22 come September. Although he's a bit lumbering at 7', 265 lbs with a 7'2" wingspan, he's put up solid numbers in the D-League these last couple of seasons: starting 96 of 99 games, he put up 15.4 points on 54.5% shooting, 8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 28.3 minutes. Guaranteeing the second season is a little surprising given their Luxury Tax issues, but his patience has been rewarded with a chance to earn backup center minutes that could eventually prove important once Enes Kanter is no longer on the team, possibly as soon as next year. With Collison back, though, this does put the roster at 15 guaranteed contracts before officially adding the last non-Eurostash 1st rounder yet to sign, Terrance Ferguson. Perhaps they have an agreement with his agent that he'll stay in the G-League or overseas this year, or they'll have to try to trade away or stretch the first domestically stashed 1st, Josh Huestis, who has shown some improvement in the D-League but has yet to make an impact with just 86 NBA minutes over two seasons.

Spurs re-sign Gasol: 3 years, $48 million (Woj)
Pau Gasol$15,238,095$16,000,000$16,761,905

The only question about Gasol re-signing in San Antonio was always going to be how the contract is structured...which we still don't really know aside from him having the third year only partially guaranteed. He opted out of $16.2 million this season to sign for more years, so you'd have to guess the total guarantee is for a decent bit more than that.

2:47 PM 7/24 UPDATE: Woj now has the update that the new deal is for 3 years and $48 million with the last year partially guaranteed, which works out surprisingly well for Gasol. He's likely only taking less than a million less for this season in order to get over $16 million guaranteed just after turning 37 earlier this month. I don't love it for San Antonio since it severely limits their flexibility next summer, but it's understandably a part of their culture taking care of their guy.

6:48 pm 7/26 UPDATE: Lowe has the guarantee amount of the last year as $6.7 million, and I am quite surprised by ho much San Antonio is committing to him. Adding a deadly 3-point shot to his arsenal on a consistent basis helps means he should age well offensively, but I would expect his defensive limitations

Wizards extend Wall: 4 years, ~$169 million (Aldridge)
John Wall$18,063,850$19,169,800$37,800,000$40,824,000$43,848,000$46,872,000

You can basically copy and paste what I wrote about Harden's extension above since this will be for the same value and years once the cap is set in July of 2019. The difference is that as the first pick of the 2010 draft, Wall was only going to be a 30% max player with 9 years of experience, so the Designated Veteran Extension worked as intended for him after making his first All-NBA team this year. You could understand if he waited to see how Washington does this season before committing the prime years of his career, but this is monster money on the table now after his first max contract was locked in before the salary cap exploded. He could have gotten another year secured for around $50 million if he signed this next July when he'd only had one season left on his current deal (even these extensions can still only cover six years total), but that would come with the risk of not making another All-NBA team in addition to the usual chance of injuries. Good deal for both sides to just finalize it now. The Wizards will now be right at the $108 million projected cap for the summer of 2019 with just Wall, Bradley Beal, Porter, and Ian Mahinmi on the books as Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris hit free agency, but they had to make sure they have control of their franchise player going forward.

Magic sign Speights: one year, minimum contract (Zillgitt)
Marreese Speights$1,471,382

For the second year in a row, I'm a little surprised that Speights had to settle for the minimum, and this time he's not even getting a player option for a second season. He's never been a great defender, but being able to hit outside jumpers and rebounding well enough should have created more of a market for him after contributing to playoff teams. Orlando has enough bodies in front of him that they won't have to play him too many minutes if he's not helping the team, and at this price, the floor spacing he can provide is a great addition.

Cavaliers sign Rose: one year, minimum contract (Shams)
Derrick Rose$1,471,382

Even those of us who have viewed Rose as overrated for a while now can agree that this is a bargain. They could be offering around $2.6 million as the remainder of their TP MLE, but it's most likely going to be for the minimum since he's a nine year vet who will make $2,116,955 while counting as just the above number for Cleveland. It's not the cleanest fit since he is not a threatening 3 point shooter and won't have the ball in his hands playing next to LeBron and/or Kyrie Irving, but playing him as a scorer off the bench could help limit minutes to keep him healthy while also minimizing the impact of his porous defense. There is the possibility that he could be pressed into action as a starter if Irving ends up being traded, which would likely be pushing things, but as things stand now, he's a solid bench signing.

Nets trade for Crabbe (Woj)

Brooklyn gets:
Andrew Nicholson$6,362,998$6,637,002$6,911,007

Portland gets:
Allen Crabbe$19,332,500$18,500,000$18,500,000

Even though it's hard to get behind pure cost-cutting moves, this one is understandable since the subsequent stretching of Nicholson's contract drops Portland's Luxury Tax bill from over $43 million to around $4.4 million. In total, this trade will save Paul Allen over $55 million in salary and the Tax at cost of a $2,844,430 cap hit for the following six seasons. I guess they had some buyer's remorse after matching Brooklyn's over the top offer shoot for Crabbe last summer despite him shooting 44.4% on 3's last season. His sweet shooting will be missed, but they still have Moe Harkless, Evan Turner, and Al-Farouq Aminu as better defensive options next to their star guards.

For Brooklyn, this is another nice move by Sean Marks to leverage their cap space and take on extra money for a young talent. They clearly identified Crabbe as a valuable player when they tried prying him away a year ago, and although his one-way contributions might limit him to a sixth man role, he is an impressive 25 year old shooter. When you factor in that they got out of the dead money owed Nicholson, who netted them the pick that became Jarrett Allen, they didn't really add bad salary to their books. With Crabbe joining Lin, Russell, LeVert, Hollis-Jefferson, Isaiah Whitehead, Sean Kilpatrick, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Archie Goodwin, they have some interesting perimeter options to choose from. I've been of the view that Boston should have made the 2018 Brooklyn 1st available in trades for PG13 or Jimmy Buckets because I think this team will surprise some folks and be much further from the bottom of the standings than people think.

Lakers re-sign Ennis: 2 years, minimum contract (Shelburne)
Tyler Ennis$1,524,305$1,600,520

I realize that we're at the point of the summer that most deals will be minimums, but I thought Ennis might get more than that since he's only turning 23 next month and impressed once he got a chance at more minutes in LA. He had 45.1%/38.9%/86.4% shooting numbers, a 2.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio, and a +5.4 net rating that far outpaced Nwaba's +2.2 for best on the team. Getting the second year to be a team option is an added bonus to maintain their flexibility to star chase next year, and they'll certainly have an idea of whether he deserves to be kept since he's currently the only point guard on the roster behind Ball.

Magic sign Afflalo: one year, minimum contract (Woj)
Arron Afflalo$1,471,382

Afflalo isn't the same player as when he had a couple of the best years of his career in Orlando, but you can't complain about the value here. He got $1.5 million on his partial guarantee from Sacramento after making $12.5 million last year, so with the $2,328,652 he's getting paid as a 10 year vet, he's making out okay this year. I'm not sure he'll be any more than a depth piece there, though, with Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, Simmons, Mario Hezonja, and potentially Gordon on the wing. At the very least, he can be a nice mentor around their youth.

Warriors re-sign McGee: one year, minimum contract (Haynes)
JaVale McGee$1,471,382

And with that, the defending champs are returning 80% of their roster with likely upgrades in the three new additions. I thought they would just rely on the youngsters Jones and Bell to step into the minutes left behind if McGee got more than the $2,116,955 he'll net as a 9 year veteran, but it looks like he either couldn't find the right deal in this tough market, didn't want to leave the best team he's ever been on, or both. Half the roster basically consists of bigs again, and with 15 guaranteed contracts, it looks like any young guards they want to develop will have to settle for a two-way contract and the Santa Cruz Warriors. That includes today's earlier camp signing: late-blooming wing Antonius Cleveland, who had impressive steal and block numbers as he grew into a featured scoring role. The veteran minimum McGee is getting might not be substantially more expensive against the cap than the $815,615 for rookies, but he brings their guaranteed salary to $135,356,914, which will carry a $32,295,470 Tax bill.

Knicks sign Sessions: one year, minimum contract (Shams)
Ramon Sessions$1,471,382

This could end up being New York's best signing of the summer given the cost and need for an experienced point guard. At 31 years old, Sessions isn't the same kind of scorer he once was, but he can still provide a steady hand to run the offense. Adding someone on a short term deal to bridge the gap until young Ntilikina is ready was what they needed to do, and this should accomplish that just fine.

Lakers sign Blue: one year, minimum contract (Shams)
Vander Blue$1,471,382
Going back to his Marquette days, I've always felt that there is a place in the league for Blue, and his performance these last few years in the D-League has affirmed that view, especially since it culminated in MVP honors last season. It would help if his outside shot could be truly relied upon (35.1% last year, 35.5% in 171 career D-League games) to space the floor since he won't be a go-to scorer at this level, but he has solid size and athleticism to get by defensively on the wing. The other young perimeter players on the Lakers might make it tough to guarantee the rest of his contract, but hopefully this will help him earn another look elsewhere.
Pelicans sign Clark: one year, minimum contract (Shams)
Ian Clark$1,471,382

Settling for the minimum a second year in a row after playing for historic Warriors teams must be a tough pill to swallow for Clark since it will only pay him $1,577,230, but at least he should continue to get a lot of open looks in New Orleans. Although they made upgrades, I'm surprised to a certain extent that Golden State didn't offer him this same deal after seeing his development these last couple of seasons. His defense will limit the amount of minutes you can really trust him with, especially since he's another small guard on a team who will be giving heavy minutes to Holiday, Rondo, and E'Twaun Moore, but being able to convert open looks when defenses focus on Davis and Cousins should give Clark a solid role.

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