The 2016 NBA offseason has been one of the league's more memorable summers, not only because of superstar Kevin Durant's jump to the Golden State Warriors, but also because of the huge spending spree on everyday role players that has been sparked by the salary cap increase. For the latest NBA news, read below:
NBA Salary Cap takes huge jump to $94 million
The reason for the massive increase in free agent spending this offseason has been because the National Basketball Association announced that the Salary Cap has been set at $94.143 million for the 2016-17 season -- an increase of more than twenty million from last year's mark. The tax level for the 2016-17 season is $113.287 million.
The Salary Cap and tax level went into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 7, when the league’s “moratorium period” ended and teams could begin signing free agents and making trades.
The minimum team salary, which is set at 90% of the Salary Cap, is $84.729 million for the 2016-17 season.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for three different mid-level exceptions depending on a team’s salary level. The non-taxpayer mid-level for this season is $5.628 million, the taxpayer mid-level is $3.477 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the Salary Cap is $2.898 million.
Lakers sign Mozgov
Exhibit A for either the new reality of NBA economics or just a classic bad signing, is the Los Angeles Lakers acquisition of free agent center Timofey Mozgov.
Other outlets have reported the deal is worth a whopping $64 million over four years.
“Timofey is a player who has shown the ability to change the game at the defensive end, and fills an area of need for us at the center position,” said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. “We are very pleased to add him to our team.”
In six NBA seasons with the Cavs, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knicks, the 7-1 Mozgov has a career field goal percentage of 53.7% and holds averages of 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game over 369 contests (208 starts).
Not exactly eye-popping numbers.
In Mozgov, the Lakers are getting a role player, pure and simple. Mozgov does have some positive attributes -- he is active, will crash the glass, can finish at the rim, and is a good weakside shotblocker. With young players on the roster who will likely carry the scoring burden, Mozgov's lack of overall offensive game will not necessarily be seen as a liability.
Although he played limited minutes in the 2016 playoffs, Mozgov started all 20 games of Cleveland’s run to the 2015 NBA Finals, averaging 10.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 26.5 minutes while shooting 50.0% from the field.
Still, he comes at what would be viewed as an abnormally high salary for a mere rotation player. One who could barely crack Cleveland's postseason rotation during their playoff run, no less.
The Mozgov signing shows that Lakers executive Jim Buss again remains in over his head when it comes to to his new NBA gig.
Buss personally commands so little respect from NBA free agents that the top players, such as Durant, have now neglected to even meet with him.
In the recent past, we have heard the excuse that nobody signed because Kobe Bryant's presence was a deterrent. Now we hear that the roster is too young and inexperienced to contend for a title immediately, and that because of this fact, no free agent star is interested in a rebuild.
There is truth in both of those statements, but neither are the real problem.
The true disincentive for top notch free agents to come to the Lakers is the fact that they have no confidence in Buss' ability to build a contender. Nor does he have the personal charisma to at least fool free agents into thinking he actually could do the job. No star wants to waste his prime years on a squad with incompetent management.
Such a problem used to be the stuff of bungling small market teams. The Lakers had Jerry West running things or Jerry Buss leaving things to the basketball people, and as a result, everyone wanted to play for the Lakers even if it meant less money, less playing time, and no guarantee of a ring.
From Bob McAdoo, to Mo Lucas, to Orlando Woolridge, to Rick Fox, to Sam Perkins, to a second go 'round Byron Scott, to Karl Malone and GP, the franchise's history is peppered with excellent players who made sacrifices because they trusted in the Lakers as an organization. The small market teams in comparison often had to overpay for the scraps.
Now the Lakers, under Buss, are acting just like those small market teams they used to mock.
Unable to acquire the big names for three years, and desperate to show their fans that they can get at least somebody (or perhaps needing to make the NBA's minimum team salary level), the Lakers decided to make a hefty, long term deal to the ho-hum Mozgov.
If they want to overpay for him, that's fine. It's their money after all. But what happens when they get capped out?
When a top notch free agent becomes available in the future, do they go after him and dip into the luxury tax, as they should?
Or do they avoid him on the grounds of being "capped out" due to overpaying for Mozgov and another role player, Luol Deng? If it's the latter, then this signing is an unmitigated disaster.
Not too long ago, under a different CBA, the Detroit Pistons had cap room, but couldn't sign a star. So instead they overpaid for two young role players with potential -- Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The Pistons hoped that they were ahead of the curve, and that their new signings would emerge into stars over the life of their contracts. That assessment turned out to be a gross miscalculation that hamstrung the Pistons financially.
This Lakers deal could be worse.
Mozgov, unlike that Pistons duo, has less upside due to his age. At this point, he sort of is what he is. The problem with that is that until the Lakers kids actually arrive from "developing" to "developed," the franchise could use more than just a serviceable big who blocks shots and rebounds. Instead, they could use a big who commands double teams on the low block and opens things up for the youngsters. Unfortunately, Mozgov isn't that guy.
Apparently, $64 million doesn't buy you much nowadays.
Mavericks sign Harrison Barnes
The Dallas Mavericks announced that they have signed restricted free agent forward Harrison Barnes. Barnes was the prime "get" for Dallas this offseason, as Chandler Parsons left the team to sign elsewhere.
Barnes, an improving young small forward and former lottery pick, became expendable for his former team, Golden State, after the Warriors signed Kevin Durant.
Barnes (6-8, 225) played his first four NBA seasons with the Golden State Warriors (2012-16). He holds career averages of 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 28.1 minutes in 307 games (246 starts) while shooting 44.6 percent (295-of-633) from the field, 37.6 percent (287-of-764) from 3-point range and 73.9 percent (484-of-655) from the line. He was a member of the Warriors’ 2015 NBA championship team.
The Warriors selected Barnes with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. As a rookie in 2012-13, he appeared in 81 games (all starts) and averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds en route to earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.
In 2014-15, Barnes started all 82 regular-season games for the eventual NBA champion Warriors. He averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while posting career highs in field goal percentage (.482) and 3-point field goal percentage (.405). The following season (2015-16), Barnes averaged 11.7 and 4.9 rebounds while helping the Warriors win an NBA-record 73 games.
Barnes increased his scoring average in each of his first four seasons. After drafting Barnes in 2012, Golden State went on to reach the playoffs in each of the next four years. What’s more, when Barnes helped the Warriors reach the playoffs as a rookie in 2012-13, it was just their second playoff appearance in the last 19 years and their first since 2006-07.
The Ames, Iowa, native played two seasons at the University of North Carolina, earning First Team All-ACC honors as a sophomore in 2011-12. He declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore season.
Barnes was recently selected to play for Team USA at the Rio Olympic Games this summer.
Clippers sign big man Marreese Speights
One fallout of the big Kevin Durant deal is that the Warriors have had to cut ties with several of their contributing role players, in part due to fiscal considerations. One such player is versatile free agent center/power forward Marreese Speights, whom the Los Angeles Clippers announced that they have signed.
Speights, 28, averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.6 minutes of play over 72 games for the Golden State Warriors while connecting on a career-high 24 three-pointers last season.
Speights was a key member of the Warriors' 2014-15 NBA Championship team, averaging a career-high 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. The former 16th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers has career averages of 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds over 571 games (73 starts) with Philadelphia, Memphis, Cleveland and Golden State.
Speights, 6-foot-10 inches, spent two years at the University of Florida, helping lead the Gators to the 2007-08 NCAA Championship. The St. Petersburg, Florida native is one of 42 players in basketball history to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA Championship.
O.J. Mayo dismissed from NBA for two years for drug violation
The NBA announced that free agent guard and former USC Trojan O.J. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the league for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.
The NBA, NBA teams, and the Players Association are prohibited from publicly disclosing information regarding the testing or treatment of any NBA player under the Anti-Drug Program, other than to announce a player's suspension or dismissal from the league.
Under the Anti-Drug Program, Mayo is eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years.
Lakers sign Luol Deng, Jordan Clarkson, and Ivica Zubac
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Jordan Clarkson, forward Luol Deng, and center Ivica Zubac, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Other outlets have reported the Deng deal is for $72 million over four years, while the Clarkson deal is worth $50 million over four years.
Clarkson remains the team's best player, and given the contracts handed out across the league this summer, a considerable bargain for the price.
“Jordan is an important piece of our young core and resigning him was a priority of our offseason,” said Kupchak. “He has displayed a tremendous work ethic over the last two seasons, and we expect him to continue to develop."
Clarkson was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2015 and was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2016. In two seasons with the Lakers, Clarkson has averaged 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steals over 138 games (117 starts), and finished second on the team in scoring last year, averaging 15.5 points per game.
Acquired from the Washington Wizards on the night of the 2014 NBA Draft, the 24-year-old scored double-figures in a career-best 27 consecutive games in 2015-16, and scored 20+ points on 20 occasions. He led the Lakers in scoring 16 times last season, and tied his career-high with a 30-point performance 11/3 vs. DEN.
Meanwhile, Deng is the team's biggest free agent signing of the last few seasons, which shows just how ineffective the front office has been in free agency.
A respected veteran with a variety of skills, Deng in the past has been a borderline All-Star, but now is on the downside of his career.
"Luol is a versatile defender as well as offensively talented and is a high character individual who will be invaluable mentoring our young players on the court and in the locker room," said Kupchak.
That mentoring better be transformative because Deng's on-the-court impact likely will be marginal. Last season, Deng contributed to a mediocre Miami playoff team, but had an inconsistent postseason.
A two-time NBA All-Star, 2012 NBA All-Defensive Second Team Selection, and member of the 2005 All-Rookie First Team, Deng comes to the Lakers after spending 12 seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Miami Heat.
In 823 games (776 starts), Deng has averaged 15.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steals in 35.3 minutes per game, and has made the playoffs seven times. After spending one season at Duke University, Deng was drafted seventh overall in the 2004 NBA Draft.
Off the court, the South Sudan native was honored with the NBA’s 2014 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, given to the player who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community, and was the 2007 winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award, selected by his peers as the player who best exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
Zubac (pronounced EE-vits-uh ZOO-bahtz) was selected by the Lakers with the 32nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, one of a record-setting 26 international players drafted. The 19-year-old played in the Adriatic League and FIBA Euro Cup for Cibona Zagreb last season before joining Mega Leks, where he averaged 10.9 points and 5.1 rebounds as the team made the Serbian League semi-finals.
He also had a productive Summer League effort for the Lakers entry.
"Ivica is a player we feel has a bright future in this league and we are excited to see him grow alongside our group of young players," said Kupchak.
Born in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but a naturalized Croatian, the 7’1’’ center helped the Croatian U-19 team capture the silver medal at the 2015 World Championships, finishing third in the tournament in scoring with 17.9 points per game and seventh in rebounding (7.9). That same summer, he participated with the Croatian U-18 team at the 2015 European Championships, leading the tournament in rebounds per game (12.9), blocks (3.0), and double-doubles (six), and finished eighth in scoring (15.8).
Warriors sign Pachulia
The Kevin Durant signing caused the Warriors to cut ties with big man Andrew Bogut, but at least they have found a fairly comparable replacement in the middle, as Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Zaza Pachulia, the team announced.
Pachulia may be a lesser shot blocker than Bogut, but he is a hard-nosed veteran who will bring toughness to the roster.
Pachulia, 32, averaged 8.6 points and a career-high 9.4 rebounds to go with 1.7 assists and 26.4 minutes in 76 regular-season games (69 starts) with the Dallas Mavericks in 2015-16.
The 6-11 center ranked 14th in the league in rebounding and posted a career-high 26 double-doubles in his lone season with the Mavericks. In five playoff games (four starts), Pachulia averaged 6.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 22.4 minutes.
A 13-year NBA veteran, Pachulia owns career averages of 7.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 21.5 minutes in 891 regular-season games (386 starts) with the Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks.
Originally selected by the Magic in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, the Georgian-born center spent a season with the Magic before being selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 NBA Expansion Draft and subsequently traded to Milwaukee. After a year with the Bucks, Pachulia enjoyed an eight-year run with the Hawks that included four postseason appearances. Pachulia has appeared in the postseason six times in his career, tallying averages of 5.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 18.9 minutes in 51 career playoff games (11 starts) with the Hawks, Bucks and Mavericks.
Warriors sign David West
In an overlooked move that could really help their team, the Golden State Warriors have signed free agent forward David West, the team announced. West will wear #3 for the Warriors.
West, 35, averaged 7.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 18.0 minutes in 78 regular-season games (19 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs in 2015-16. The 6-9 forward shot 54.5 percent from the field and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. In 10 playoff games during his lone season with the Spurs, he averaged 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 17.6 minutes.
West will likely fill the role of a scoring big off the bench for Golden State. He can score in the post with a nice jump hook and can hit the open jumper if used in pick-and-pop situations. He is also a team guy who has been willing to shun big money contracts and instead take less to play on championship-contending teams.
A 13-year NBA veteran, West owns career averages of 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 30.6 minutes in 893 regular-season games with the New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.
Originally drafted by the Hornets with the 18th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, West spent the first eight years of his career with the Hornets and was a Western Conference All-Star in 2007 and 2008. After leaving the Hornets, he played four seasons in Indiana before joining the Spurs last season. In 83 career playoff games, West has averaged 14.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
A native of Teaneck, New Jersey, West played collegiately for four seasons at Xavier, earning the Associated Press Player of the Year Award as a senior in 2002-03.
Mavs re-sign point guard Deron Williams
The Dallas Mavericks announced that they have re-signed free agent guard Deron Williams.
Last season with Dallas, Williams averaged 14.1 points, a team-high 5.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 32.4 minutes in 65 games (63 starts). He shot .414 from the field (321-775 FGs), .344 (97-282 3FGs) from three-point range and a career-high .869 (179-206 FTs) from the free throw line. Among league leaders, he ranked 19th in assists and 15th in free throw percentage.
Williams (6-3, 200) is a 11-year NBA veteran with career averages of 16.8 points, 8.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 34.8 minutes in 781 games (727 starts) for three teams (Utah, New Jersey/Brooklyn and Dallas). Overall, he has shot .445 (4,611-10,364 FGs) from the field, .357 (1,093-3,062 3FGs) from three-point range and .822 (2,788-3,393 FTs) from the free throw line.
Williams was a member of three All-Star Teams (2010, 2011 and 2012), made the All-NBA Second Team in 2008 and 2010 and won gold medals as part of Team USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He also was a member of the All-Rookie First Team in 2006 and became only the third player in NBA history to have 1500+ points and 800+ assists while shooting .500+ from the field in a single season in 2007-08 (also Magic Johnson-1986-87 and 1988-89 and Kevin Johnson-1988-89).
A familiar face to Dallas/Fort Worth, Williams played high school basketball for The Colony before attending the University of Illinois. He was selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft. On February 23, 2011, he was traded to New Jersey in exchange for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two first round draft picks (Nets 2011, Golden State 2012) and cash considerations. He re-signed with Brooklyn on July 11, 2012.
Spurs trade Boris Diaw to Utah
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have traded veteran forward Boris Diaw and a future second round draft pick to the Utah Jazz in exchange for the rights to guard Olivier Hanlan.
Diaw spent the last four-plus seasons in San Antonio, where he helped the Spurs capture the 2014 NBA Championship by averaging 6.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists in The Finals. The 13-year veteran was a valuable part of San Antonio's rotation, and played a total of 331 regular season games with the team, averaging 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.5 minutes while shooting .508 (1,014-1,995) and .743 (248-334) from the free throw line.
Diaw also appeared in 69 postseason contests with the Spurs, averaging 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 22.9 minutes.
Hanlan, 6-4/190, was selected by Utah in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft and spent last season with BC Zalgiris in Kaunas, Lithuania. The Canada native averaged 7.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 20.7 minutes over 38 games, helping Zalgiris win the Lithuanian Basketball League title. Hanlan played three years (2012-15) at Boston College, where he averaged 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 36.0 minutes. The 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year, Hanlan was named to the All-ACC First Team in 2014-15.
Lakers acquire point guard Jose Calderon
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired José Calderón and two future second round draft picks from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the draft rights to Ater Majok, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“Not only is José an elite shooter, he is also an established and versatile player whose skill and professionalism will supplement the talent on our roster,” said Kupchak.
In 11 seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and New York Knicks, Calderón has averaged 9.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game while shooting 41.2% from three-point range, 47.4% from the field, and 87.5% from the free throw line over 748 games (546 starts). He led the league in three-point shooting percentage (46.1%) during the 2012-13 season and free throw shooting (98.1%) in 2008-09, making 151 of his 154 attempts.
Calderon can shoot and run an offense competently, but is not overly athletic. He is also a mediocre defender. Still, on this weak Lakers squad, that should be more than enough for him to see minutes at the point, most likely backing up the inconsistent (some might say overrated) D'Angelo Russell.
The 6’3’’ native of Spain played domestically in his home country prior to coming to the NBA, and is one of the most decorated international players in his country’s history. He was a member of the gold medal-winning teams at the 2006 World Championships and 2011 European Championships, and owns two Olympic silver medals from the 2012 games in London and 2008 games in Beijing. Calderón was honored with the responsibilities of team captaincy at the 2004 Olympic Games, and also owns medals from the 2013, 2007, and 2003 European Championships.
FIBA 2016 Olympic Basketball field set
Crowning Croatia, France and Serbia champions of FIBA's three men's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, the 12-nation field is now complete for the 2016 Olympic Games men’s basketball competition the will be held Aug. 6-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Defending Olympic champion United States (2014 FIBA World Cup gold medalist) was previously drawn into Group A, along with 2015 FIBA Oceania gold medalist Australia, 2015 FIBA Asia gold medalist China and 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela. Added to Group A were France, winner of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila, Philippines, and Serbia, winner of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.
The field for Group B contains 2015 FIBA Americas silver medalist Argentina, host country Brazil, 2015 FIBA Europe silver medalist Lithuania, 2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist Nigeria, 2015 FIBA Europe gold medalist Spain and Croatia, winner of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turin, Italy.
The American men will open 2016 Olympic preliminary round play on Saturday, Aug. 6 facing China (6 p.m. EDT), then will meet Venezuela on Aug. 8 (6 p.m. EDT), Australia on August 10 (6 p.m. EDT), Serbia on Aug. 12 (6 p.m. EDT) and France on Aug.14 (1:15 p.m. EDT).
The top four finishing teams from each of the two preliminary round groups will advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 17, with the quarterfinals winners playing in the semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games being held on Aug. 21.
Members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, which is seeking a third consecutive Olympic title, include: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse); Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks/North Carolina); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls/Marquette); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan(Toronto Raptors/USC); Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors/Texas); Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors/Michigan State); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers/Texas A&M); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors/Villanova); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State).
The 2016 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski, who since being named in 2005 head mentor of the USA National Team program has compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and led the USA to 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medals and 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup titles. He will be assisted by Syracuse University Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams.
Lakers hire Brian Shaw as assistant coach
The Los Angeles Lakers announced the hiring of Associate Head Coach Brian Shaw and Assistant Coach Jesse Mermuys to Head Coach Luke Walton’s coaching staff. In addition, Mark Madsen has been retained as an Assistant Coach.
Shaw returns to the Lakers organization after winning five championships with the franchise; three as a player (2000-02) and two as an assistant coach (2009 and 2010). The Oakland native brings a wealth of coaching experience to the bench after serving as Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets for two seasons (2013-15), Associate Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers for two years (2011-13), and seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Lakers (2004-11).
In Indiana, Shaw helped lead the Pacers to the postseason both years, including a run to the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. Before joining the Lakers bench, the 50-year-old served as a scout for the team for the 2003-04 campaign after concluding his playing career as a Laker following the 2002-03 season.
Credited with the development of young players at each of his coaching stops, Shaw also played for the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Portland Trail Blazers during his NBA career, and spent the 1989-90 season playing professionally in Italy.
Madsen has served as an assistant coach with the Lakers for the past two seasons, and spent the 2013-14 season behind the bench as a player development coach for the organization. The Danville, CA native won two NBA Championships with the Lakers in 2001 and 2002, and played a total of nine seasons with Los Angeles and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Following his playing career, Madsen served as an assistant coach during the 2009-10 season with the Utah Flash of the NBA D-League before returning to his alma mater, Stanford University, where he earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2012. That same year, he was named an assistant coach on Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins’ staff and spent the 2012-13 season working in recruiting, opponent game planning, and player skill development.
Mermuys comes to the Lakers from the Toronto Raptors organization, where he most recently served as Head Coach of their NBA D-League affiliate, Raptors 905. Under Mermuys’ watch as the first coach in the history of the franchise, Norman Powell developed and played a crucial role in the 2016 postseason, Greg Smith earned a call-up and was signed for the remainder of the season by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Axel Toupane was named the D-League’s Most Improved Player in addition to earning a multi-year contract with the Denver Nuggets.
Cavs acquire Mike Dunleavy
The 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard/forward Mike Dunleavy and the draft rights to forward Vladimir Veremeenko from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the rights to forward Albert Miralles. Dunleavy will be accepted into the trade exception that was created in the Cavs trade earlier today with Milwaukee, that also included the draft rights to Miralles, General Manager David Griffin announced.
Dunleavy will give the Cavs an excellent floor-spacing outside shooter to use off the bench.
“We are very pleased to be able to welcome Mike to our Cavaliers family,” said Griffin. “His size, shooting, basketball IQ, and versatility make him a great fit for our group on the floor. While his experience, professionalism, grit, and team first character will be key for us in the locker room.”
Dunleavy (6-9, 220) has spent the last three years with Chicago. He played in 31 games (30 starts) for the Bulls in the 2015-16 regular season after missing the first 49 games due to a back injury. The 6-9 forward finished the campaign with averages of 7.2 points, a .394 mark from beyond the arc, and 2.7 rebounds in 22.7 minutes.
An NCAA champion out of Duke (2001), Dunleavy was originally selected by Golden State with the third overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft. Over his 14-year NBA career, he has averaged 11.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.4 minutes over 933 games (583 starts) with the Warriors, Indiana, Milwaukee and Chicago. He also holds career shooting percentages of .441 from the field, .376 from the three-point line and .803 from the foul line. In his 26 postseason appearances (17 starts), he has averaged 10.4 points on .482 shooting from the field, .453 from beyond the arc, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.5 minutes.
Veremeenko (6-10, 236) was selected with the 48th overall pick in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He has recently played for the Italian professional basketball club Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia.
Cavs trade Dellavedova
The 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the rights to forward Albert Miralles from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for scrappy guard and fan favorite Matthew Dellavedova and cash considerations. The trade also creates a $4.8 million trade exception for the Cavaliers.
“We wish Delly the best as he continues his career in Milwaukee,” said Griffin. “Delly is a special person on and off the court and was a very dedicated, hard worker that grew as part of our team and made significant contributions to our success. Our coaches and his teammates will always appreciate his 'all in' approach to the game, as he was ready to contribute whenever his number was called. We know he will continue to grow and succeed as he takes the next steps of his NBA journey with the Bucks.”
Miralles (6-9, 240) has spent his entire professional career playing overseas, mostly in Spain. Most recently, he has competed for FIATC Joventut, a Spanish professional basketball club based in Badalona, Spain, since 2013. Miralles was originally drafted by Toronto with as the 39th overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft.
Dellavedova (6-4, 200), who went undrafted out of St. Mary’s in 2013, played his first three NBA seasons with the Cavaliers. In 215 career games (31 starts) with the Cavs, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 assists in 21.0 minutes. Dellavedova was a member of Cleveland’s 2016 championship team and averaged career highs of 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 24.6 minutes in the 2015-16 regular season.
Wizards acquire Trey Burke from Jazz
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced that the team has acquired point guard Trey Burke from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick.
“Trey is a former lottery pick that has had a very good start to his career as a point guard,” said Grunfeld. “We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to add him as our primary backup and feel he will flourish in that role as he continues to develop.”
Burke (6-1, 191) holds career averages of 12.1 points, 4.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 210 career games (111 starts) in three seasons with the Jazz. Last season, the former Michigan standout averaged 10.6 points, 2.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds while shooting a career-high .344 from three-point range in 64 games (no starts). He also added 40 double-digit scoring outputs off the bench for the Jazz, including five games of 20 points or more. During the 2014-15 season, Burke made the third-most threes in a single season (124) in Jazz history.
Burke was originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of Michigan, where he was the consensus 2013 National College Player of the Year and led the Wolverines to the NCAA Championship Game.
Magic sign Jeff Green
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Jeff Green, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced. A former lottery pick, Green was an important part of the Clippers rotation last season.
“Jeff (Green) is a veteran that brings versatility and depth to our frontcourt,” said Hennigan. “He will provide tremendous leadership to our team, both on and off the floor, and we are extremely excited to welcome him into the Magic family.”
Green (6’9”, 235) played in 80 regular season games with both Memphis and the L.A. Clippers last season (41 starts), averaging 11.7 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 28.2 minpg. He scored in double figures 47 times and had 20+ points 11 times, including a season-high 30 points on Jan. 25 vs. Orlando. Green became the first player in Grizzlies franchise history to record 20+ points off the bench in three consecutive games. He also appeared in six playoff contests (one start), averaging 10.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 26.4 minpg.
Originally selected by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Green has appeared in 636 career NBA regular season games (473 starts) with Seattle, Oklahoma City, Boston, Memphis and the L.A. Clippers, averaging 14.0 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 32.0 minpg. He has also played in 38 career NBA playoff contests (15 starts), averaging 11.0 ppg., 4.1 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 29.3 minpg.
Wizards sign free agents Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, and Jason Smith
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced that the team has signed center Ian Mahinmi, forward Andrew Nicholson, and forward/center Jason Smith.
“Ian will give us defense, rebounding and rim protection at the backup center position,” said Grunfeld. “He is a physical, experienced player who proved himself last season as a starter and will provide great depth for our frontcourt.”
Mahinmi (6-11, 262) is coming off a career year with Indiana. During his 2015-16 campaign, he averaged career-highs of 9.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting .589 from the floor in 71 games (all starts), helping the Pacers return to the playoffs. His .589 field goal percentage set a Pacers NBA franchise record. Mahinmi has appeared in 438 games (92 starts) with has averages of 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting .536 from the field over eight seasons with San Antonio, Dallas and Indiana. He was also a member of the French National Team from 2006-11.
“Andrew is a very intriguing young talent who has shown the ability to score from both inside and outside as he has developed throughout his career,” said Grunfeld. “His skill set will help bolster our frontcourt depth and we feel he has good potential to continue to improve.”
Nicholson (6-9, 250) holds career averages of 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .473 from the field and .336 from three-point range in 247 career games (36 starts) over four seasons with Orlando. In 56 games last season, the St. Bonaventure alum averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .471 from the field and a career-high .360 (41-114) from three-point range. The Mississaugua, Ontario, native was originally selected by Orlando with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Nicholson has also played with the Canadian National Team.
“Jason’s ability to play both forward and center increases our depth and his outside touch will allow us to use different looks off the bench,” said Grunfeld. “He also provides us with toughness and more size in the frontcourt.”
Smith (7-0, 245) holds career averages of 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting .466 from the field in 489 career games (98 starts) over nine seasons with Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York and Orlando. Last season with the Magic, he averaged 7.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 76 games. Over the last five seasons, Smith has averaged 8.6 points and during the 2011-12 campaign, he tallied a career-high 9.9 points per game with New Orleans. With the Pelicans in 2013-14, he averaged 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 31 games (27 starts). The former Colorado State Ram was originally selected by Miami with the 20th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Magic signs Bismack Biyombo
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent center Bismack Biyombo (bis-MOCK bee-OM-bo), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced. Although not a great scorer, Biyombo played his way into a big free agent deal during the playoffs after displaying intensity, shotblocking, and relentless effort on the glass.
“Bismack (Biyombo) is a tremendous competitor and athlete who excels on the defensive end of the floor,” said Hennigan. “He proved during the playoffs that he can rebound and protect the rim at an elite level, and he will bring toughness and winning fiber to our frontcourt. We are confident that his best basketball is ahead of him and we’re extremely excited to welcome him to the Orlando Magic family.”
During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Biyombo appeared in all 20 games (10 starts), averaging 6.2 ppg., 9.4 rpg. and a team-high 1.35 blkpg. in 25.3 minpg., helping the Raptors reach the Eastern Conference Finals. He scored in double figures five times and had 10-plus rebounds eight times during the postseason, including a franchise-playoff-record and career-playoff-high 26 rebounds in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Cleveland on May 19.
Biyombo (6’9”, 255) played in all 82 regular season games with Toronto last season (22 starts), averaging 5.5 ppg., a career-high 8.0 rpg. and a team-high 1.62 blkpg. in 22.0 minpg., while shooting .542 (156-288) from the floor. He ranked 13th in the NBA in blocked shots. Biyombo led (or tied) the Raptors in rebounding 32 times.
Warriors trade center Andrew Bogut
Due to the fiscal reality of the Kevin Durant signing, the Golden State Warriors have traded starting center Andrew Bogut to the Dallas Mavericks, the team announced. As part of the deal, both teams will receive future draft considerations.
“Andrew played a vital role in our success as a team the last several seasons,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “His unique skill set on both ends of the floor enabled our team -- and his teammates in particular -- to thrive. We thank him for his contributions and wish him the best of luck in Dallas.”
Bogut, 31, appeared in 236 regular-season games (230 starts) over four seasons with the Warriors, averaging 6.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.71 blocks in 23.7 minutes. Bogut helped the Warriors capture their first NBA title in 40 years in 2014-15, earning Second Team All-Defensive honors for Golden State during its championship season. The Australian-born center averaged 5.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.63 blocks in 20.7 minutes over 70 games (66 starts) in the Warriors’ NBA-record 73-win campaign in 2015-16.
Bogut ranks tied for second on the franchise’s all-time field goal percentage list (.581) while ranking 10th in blocked shots (403) and seventh in blocks per game (1.71). The former No. 1 overall draft pick posted averages of 5.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.64 blocks over 53 postseason games (52 starts) with the Warriors, ranking as the team’s all-time leader in playoff field goal percentage (.589).
In his 11-year career with Milwaukee and Golden State, Bogut owns career marks of 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.63 blocks in 29.4 minutes over 644 games (630 starts). He tallied a career-best 15.9 points to go with 10.2 rebounds and 2.54 blocks in 32.3 minutes in 2009-10, earning Third Team All-NBA Third accolades. Originally selected by the Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Bogut was acquired by the Warriors along with Stephen Jackson in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown on March 13, 2012.
Magic sign D.J. Augustin
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard D.J. Augustin (August-teen), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced.
“D.J. (Augustin) is a proven veteran that will add leadership, toughness and depth to our backcourt,” said Hennigan. “He is a premier perimeter shooter and we are extremely excited to welcome him to the Magic family.”
Augustin (6’0”, 183) played in 62 games with both Oklahoma City and Denver last season, averaging 7.5 ppg., 3.2 apg. and 1.5 rpg. in 19.0 minpg., while shooting .405 (68-168) from three-point range and .805 (103-128) from the free throw line. He led (or tied) the Nuggets in scoring five times and in assists 13 times. Augustin scored in double figures 21 times and had 20+ points four times, including a season-high 26 points on Mar. 2 vs. L.A. Lakers.
Originally selected by Charlotte in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Augustin has appeared in 573 career NBA regular season games (170 starts) with Charlotte, Indiana, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Denver, averaging 9.8 ppg., 4.0 apg. and 1.8 rpg. in 24.2 minpg., while shooting .374 (701-1,872) from three-point range and .867 (1,249-1,440) from the free throw line. He has also played in 28 career NBA playoff contests (one start), averaging 6.5 ppg., 1.6 apg. and 1.0 rpg. in 18.9 minpg.
Former Lakers coach Mike Brown to become assistant coach with Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have named Mike Brown an assistant coach on Steve Kerr’s coaching staff, the team announced. Brown, who was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008-09, replaces Luke Walton on the team’s coaching staff.
“We’re fortunate to add someone with the pedigree and track record of Mike Brown to our coaching staff,” said Kerr. “I had the good opportunity to play under him and Coach Popovich in San Antonio at the end of my career. The wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings will be invaluable to our staff and our players. He’s a terrific fit and we’re thrilled to have him.”
Brown, 46, joins the Warriors after previously holding head coaching duties with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005-10, 2013-14) and Los Angeles Lakers (2011-12). He owns a career record of 347-216 (.616) over eight seasons, which ranks as the 10th best winning percentage in NBA history among coaches who have registered at least 500 games at the helm.
In his first stint with Cleveland, Brown led the Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance in 2007 and was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2008-09 after guiding the Cavaliers to a franchise-record 66 wins. Cleveland won at least 50 games in four of Brown’s first five seasons with the club, including back-to-back 60-win campaigns in 2008-09 and 2009-10 (61).
Following a five-year run with the Cavs, Brown spent the 2010-11 season as an analyst for ESPN before returning to the bench as head coach of the Lakers in 2011-12, leading the club to a Pacific Division title and a 41-25 (.621) record during the lockout shortened season.
Brown returned as head coach of the Cavaliers for the 2013-14 season, where he eclipsed Lenny Wilkins’ mark for most combined regular season and playoff victories in the franchise’s history (347). As a head coach, Brown’s teams qualified for the playoffs in six of his seven full seasons, advancing past the First Round in each appearance.
Clippers name Lawrence Frank VP of Basketball Operations
The Los Angeles Clippers announced that assistant coach Lawrence Frank has been named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.
A long-time NBA coaching veteran and a favorite of Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers, Frank has served the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the Clippers.
In his new role, Frank will lead and oversee the Basketball Operations Department on a daily basis and report directly to Rivers.
“Lawrence is driven, dedicated and committed to the Clippers and has enjoyed success in the game in so many different capacities,” Rivers said. “He has a great basketball mind, and while we will miss his expertise on the bench, our organization will benefit from his energy, skills and leadership in the Basketball Operations Department.”
The New Jersey native has over 26 years of coaching experience and served as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 2003-2010, leading them to the playoffs four times. Frank, 45, also served as head coach of the Detroit Pistons for two seasons (2011-2013). He has been an assistant coach for Vancouver, New Jersey, Boston, Brooklyn and L.A.
Orlando acquires shooter Jodie Meeks in trade with Pistons
The Orlando Magic have acquired guard Jodie Meeks from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a 2019 conditional second round draft pick, Orlando General Manager Rob Hennigan announced.
“We are excited to welcome Jodie (Meeks) to the Orlando Magic family,” said Hennigan. “Jodie adds perimeter shooting and is another veteran presence. He adds depth to our backcourt and we look forward to his contributions.”
Meeks (6’4”, 210) played in only three games with Detroit last season, averaging 7.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg. and 1.0 apg. in 14.5 minpg. He suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Oct. 28 vs. Utah and missed 63 games due to the injury. Meeks also missed four games following his foot rehabilitation due to a sore left shoulder.
Meeks, 28, has also appeared in 19 career NBA playoff outings, averaging 4.1 ppg. in 12.9 minpg.
Pistons sign fan favorite Boban Marjanovic
The Detroit Pistons announced that the team has signed free agent center Boban Marjanovic (BO-bahn Mar-YAWN-oh-vich) to a multi-year contract. Marjanovic played for the Spurs last season and is a surprisingly skilled player as well as a willing passer. He is expected to backup starter Andre Drummond.
Marjanovic, 27, appeared in 54 games as a rookie last season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 5.5 points (60.3% FG, 76.3% FT) and 3.5 rebounds in 9.4 minutes. He scored in double-figures 12 times, including a career-high 22 points (7-9 FG, 8-8 FT) at Dallas (4/13).
Marjanovic also notched three double-doubles, grabbed 10-plus rebounds four times and became the first Spurs player in franchise history to record at least 12 rebounds in 15 minutes-or-less when he grabbed 12 rebounds in 15 minutes vs. Phoenix (12/30).
The 7-3, 290-pound center began playing professionally in Europe in 2006 and most recently played with Crvena Zvezda Telekom Beograd of the Adriatic League from 2013-15. Marjanovic helped Crvena Zvezda win both the Adriatic League and Serbian League Championships in 2015, was named to the 2015 All-Euroleague First Team and was named the All-Serbian League and All-Adriatic League Player of the Year.
A native of Zajecar, Serbia, Marjanovic has also played professionally for Hemo-farm Vrsac (2006-10), CSKA Moskow (2010-11), Nizhny Novgorod (2011-12) and Mega Vizura (2012-13).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services