Tim Reynolds: Erik Spoelstra: “I want to thank Meyers. I know it’s been a long week for him. … We appreciate his time with us.”
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Miami Heat: “Meyers was a key part of our team that made a run to the NBA Finals and we will always be grateful for his contributions and leadership last season. His recent comments were very hurtful and disappointing, but, we are encouraged that he has spent this last week meeting with community leaders, Rabbis and Holocaust survivors to greater understand the impact of his words and we hope that his education will continue. We wish Meyers and Elle the best of luck in the future.”
StatMuse: OKC now have 19 first round picks/swaps and 16 second round picks in the next 7 drafts. pic.twitter.com/M7wFIFxSnI
Tim Reynolds: Heat and Thunder are working to schedule a trade call later today and finalizing Meyers Leonard and a second-rounder to Oklahoma City for Trevor Ariza, per source.
The consensus of TrueHoop sources is that the eight games between the All-Star break and the trade deadline will mean a lot in assessing how good the Heat are,” Haberstroh wrote. “They play the Magic twice, Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Pacers twice, and Suns. If the Heat decide to make a deal, rival executives wonder if a package centered on Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Rising Star rookie Precious Achiuwa could net another star. Heat brass have shrewdly signed Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard to mid-tier contracts ($12.6 and $9.4 million respectively). Those are big enough that the Heat can likely satisfy the league’s salary-matching rules should they bring in a high-salaried star. John Wall and Kyle Lowry are potential targets.
With the news that Miami’s Meyers Leonard will be out for the season due to shoulder surgery, expect Miami to apply for and (eventually) receive a disabled player exception. It would be worth $4.7 million. The Heat are likely to keep Leonard at least through the trade deadline, as his contract ($9.4 million with a team option for next season) can be a valuable trade chip as a de facto expiring deal.
Ira Winderman: Pat Riley on Meyers Leonard: “They are both players who fit the mold of Heat culture perfectly. Meyers is a versatile big, a great shooter, can play inside and block shots.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Miami is finalizing a trade to send center Hassan Whiteside to Portland for Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland gets a starting caliber center on an expiring deal as it awaits Jusuf Nurkic’s return from a serious leg injury. Blazers offseason: Whiteside, Kent Bazemore, retain Rodney Hood and draft Nassir Little. Another Western contender loading up.
The Blazers have just shy of $133 million in guaranteed contracts on the books for the 2017-18 season. That puts the Blazers about $11 million over the tax threshold for next season, bringing a tax bill of roughly $20 million before filling out the final three roster spots. Evan Turner ($17.1 million due next season) and Allen Crabbe ($19.3 million) could potentially be included in a trade as well as Meyers Leonard ($9.9 million) and Moe Harkless ($9.7 million).
It remains to be seen whether Portland proves to be as active in the trade market as many league observers expected coming into the season, but here’s a pertinent bookkeeping note: Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard all finally become eligible to be traded Sunday after the big new deals all three signed over the summer.
The trade restrictions for Turner and Ezeli expire Dec. 15, and the restrictions for Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless will not be lifted until Jan. 15. Crabbe also would need to approve of any trade for one year because the Trail Blazers matched the Nets’ offer sheet for him this past summer.
The Blazers have an aggressive front office and more wings (Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, Moe Harkless) and bigs (Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard and Festus Ezeli) than they need. So keep an eye on them. The suspicion among numerous league observers is that the Blazers’ non-stop spending this past offseason was asset collection as much as anything. Scan through all those names again and it’s clear Portland has no shortage of options to thrust itself into all kinds of trade talks as GM Neil Olshey continues to shape the roster around backcourt bedrocks Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
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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.”