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Shams Charania: Sources: Blake Griffin gave back $13.3 million in his buyout with the Pistons. He had $75M on his deal for this season and 2021-22. The six-time All-Star will clear waivers on Sunday and the Brooklyn Nets are the leaders to sign him.
James Edwards III: Per sources, the #Pistons will not stretch the money owed to Blake Griffin, will eat this year and next. Detroit is in rebuild mode and has three draft picks as of now in 2021.
Marc Stein: The Pistons have announced their buyout agreement with Blake Griffin, which will make him an unrestricted free agent Sunday at 5 PM when he clears waivers.
Rod Beard: Blake Griffin in statement announcing his buyout: “I thank the #Pistons organization for working together on an outcome that benefits all involved and I wish the franchise success in the future.”
James Edwards III: Statements from Troy Weaver and Dwane Casey on BG news
Finding a trade for Griffin — who was owed a remaining $36.6 million this season, and $39 million in 2021-2022 prior to the buyout — was an insurmountable challenge for the Pistons. Detroit finalized a reduction in his remaining salary to gain free agency with Griffin’s agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, since the sides mutually agreed he would leave the active roster on February 15 awaiting a trade or a buyout.
The two teams have been pegged by rival teams as sellers. Sources tell me and The Athletic’s James Edwards III that the Pistons are expected to work toward a contract buyout with forward Blake Griffin, and sharpshooter Wayne Ellington is expected to receive interest from contending teams.
It’ll be a buyout. This is a given. It’ll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he’s a free agent, he’s still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
Soon enough, Detroit will come to accept that and will more than likely buy the veteran forward out. If and when that becomes the case, Griffin’s market is expected to flourish. According to Sports Illustrated’s own Howard Beck, the Philadelphia 76ers are one of a handful of teams who could look into getting Griffin in a Sixers uniform on a minimum deal after a buyout.
“If Blake is bought out, there would be significant interest, but how much of a savings is Blake willing to take?” as an executive for a current Eastern Conference playoff team told HoopsHype. “He could provide a spark off of the bench. If he’s healthy, he could start if the team had a need, but he’s probably more of a rotation player right now.”
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April 19, 2021 | 8:10 am EDT Update
Chema de Lucas: Mike James will play with the Brooklyn Nets until the end of the season. Immediate incorporation. Nets interest in the CSKA Moscow player was first reported by @Eurohoopsnet.
Reigning EuroLeague scoring champion Mike James has emerged as a candidate to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Eurohoops has learned via a source. James was suspended indefinitely by CSKA Moscow in late March following an incident with team head coach Dimitris Itoudis and has headed back to his native United States. UPDATE: He will join the Nets, according to Chema de Lucas.
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward Yuta Watanabe (YOU-tuh wah-tuh-NAH-bay) to a standard NBA contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Watanabe, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, is averaging 4.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 13.4 minutes in 39 games (one start) as a two-way player with the Raptors this season. He is shooting .448 (56-125) from the field, including .400 (24-40) from three-point range, and has scored in double figures six times. Watanabe recorded a career-high 21 points Apr. 16 vs. Orlando.
Hasheem Thabeet is looking to make an NBA comeback, his agent Jerry Dianis told me on Saturday. The 7’3″ big-man just won MVP honors while playing in Taiwan for the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers. “Bottom line Hasheem Thabeet was given a opportunity, and he killed it,” Dianis told me. “MVP performance with career highs in points, rebounds, minutes played, assists and steals. Thabeet averaged 18.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
To gauge who are the top international players, HoopsHype polled 15 NBA talent evaluators, including 10executives and five scouts. Each talent evaluator was asked to list his top five international players. The criteria included any player pro player not in the NBA right now. Some of the talent evaluators prioritized former NBA players and older veterans who are having an immediate impact on their team overseas. Others placed a higher value on younger prospects who are likely to come to the NBA in upcoming drafts. 1. Nikola Mirotic (Barcelona): The 30-year-old forward is shooting an astounding 59.7 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from beyond the arc while scoring 15.9 points per game. “He’s the guy that’s been most productive in the NBA, and someone you can put in an NBA game right now if you had to,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype.
2. Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers): “He has great size and excellent court vision,” an NBAexecutive told HoopsHype. “He sees the floor so well, and he’s probably too unselfish at times. His shooting will need a lot of work. He needs to become a consistent threat from three and he needs to improve at the line, but he’s playing in a tough league at a young age and he’s having success.”
3. Vasilije Micic (Anadolu Efes): The 6-foot-5 Serbian guard has his draft rights retained currently by the Thunder. While some have speculated he could make the jump to the NBA, his agent, Misko Raznatovic, denied having talks with any clubs for next season at this time. Still, Micic has drawn the attention of NBA teams with his play. “He’s almost an elite passer,” one NBAscout told HoopsHype. “He’s a good shooter, both on and off the dribble. He’s not athletic but has enough strength after his first step to get at the rim once he gets a runway. He’s very smart. His basketball IQ is off the charts.”