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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets

Bulls officially sign Andre Drummond, re-sign Derrick Jones Jr.

July 7, 2022, 3:29 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls officially signed veteran center Andre Drummond and re-signed athletic forward Derrick Jones Jr. on Wednesday.

The Bulls did not disclose terms of the deals, although both moves previously were reported as two-year, $6.6 million contracts with a player option in year two. ESPN originally reported Drummond's contract terms, while The Athletic reported the terms of Jones' pact.

After opening the 2021-22 season with the 76ers, Drummond was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets along with Ben Simmons in the February deal that sent James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia.

The 28-year-old veteran averaged 7.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in a combined 73 games (36 starts) for Philadelphia and Brooklyn last season. In 718 career NBA games (630 starts), the two-time All-Star is averaging 13.8 points and 13.3 rebounds.

He led the NBA in rebounding four times in a five-season span from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

Jones, 25, played in 51 games (eight starts) in his first season with Chicago in 2021-22 and averaged 5.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 17.6 minutes per game.

Undrafted in 2016 out of UNLV, Jones has career averages of 6.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 280 games (97 starts) with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers

Thunder officially sign Luguentz Dort to lucrative extension

July 7, 2022, 3:05 AM

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Guard Luguentz Dort signed a multiyear contract on Wednesday to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Terms were not disclosed, although multiple reports last week cited the pact as a five-year, $87.5 million deal.

Last month, the club declined to pick up Dort's $1.93 million option, which helped set the stage for a richer extension.

Dort, 23, is one of the building blocks of a young roster that includes standout guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and rookie big man Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 draft.

Dort averaged a career-best 17.2 points in 51 games last season, his third year in the NBA. He also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Overall, Dort has averages of 13.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 139 games (131 starts).

Dort began his tenure with Oklahoma City as undrafted player out of Arizona State.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Heat officially re-sign C Dewayne Dedmon

July 7, 2022, 12:44 AM

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The Miami Heat officially re-signed center Dewayne Dedmon on Wednesday, with multiple media outlets reporting the deal to be worth $9 million over two years.

Dedmon appeared in 67 games (15 starts) last season for Miami, averaging 6.3 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 56.6 percent from the field. He also shot a career-high 40.4 percent from 3-point range.

The 7-footer will be entering his 10th season in the league. He spent time with the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings before joining the Heat during the 2020-21 season.

Dedmon, 32, is averaging 6.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks across 477 career games (209 starts).

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson 'locked in' with Pelicans after signing big deal

July 7, 2022, 12:30 AM

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Zion Williamson put pen to paper on Wednesday, signed his name, looked up and said "I'm locked in, baby."

That's the phrase the New Orleans Pelicans have been waiting to hear. Williamson firmed up his commitment to the team on his 22nd birthday by signing a five-year deal that could be worth up to $231 million.

Asked where this ranks among birthdays, Williamson said, "Number one."

The deal is worth at least $193 million with escalators for winning MVP honors, being named Defensive Player of Year or making an All-NBA team.

There are no player options in the contract so Williamson will be part of the Pelicans for five seasons, barring a trade.

Williamson missed all of last season due to a broken right foot and has played in just 85 games over his first three seasons. He said he is eager to return to the floor healthy.

"Thank y'all for believing in me," Williamson said. "Just giving a kid like me a chance to showcase my abilities and hopefully help bring the team multiple championships. Thank y'all for sticking with me the past year.

"On my birthday last year, I found out I broke my foot. I was out the whole year. It was a tough year. For the Pelicans to come give me this birthday gift, I'm not going to let them down. I'm not going to let my family down. I'm not going to let the city down. And most importantly, I'm not going to let myself down."

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft from Duke has been productive when healthy. He has averaged 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 60.4 percent from the field.

Williamson was an All-Star in the 2020-21 season, when he averaged 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in 61 contests.

On June 11, Williamson expressed to reporters that he wanted to remain with the club.

Less than a month later, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was happy to lock up the young star.

"We are building a foundation of sustained success. We have a wonderful mix of young talent and veteran leadership and adding Zion long-term to this roster is something that I know our fans are very excited to see come together on the floor this season and for many seasons to come," Benson said in a statement. "Zion's talents are not only transformative on the court, but his commitment to our community, our city and region will also be transformative. What a wonderful birthday for him and his family."

New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the best is still to come for Williamson.

"Zion is an astounding 22-year old talent, who we believe is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of, both on and off the floor," Griffin said. "We are extremely pleased to take this next step of our collective journey together."

There was heavy speculation last season that Williamson didn't want to be with the Pelicans long-term. He addressed that type of talk on Wednesday, saying it was a "roller coaster of emotions" for him and his family.

"In the beginning of the season, I told the world, 'If y'all ever want to know if I want to be here.' Instead of asking me, the world just ran with narratives," Williamson said. "So when my family was going out in public on why we don't like New Orleans, why we don't want to be here when that's not the case at all. I wasn't able to play because my foot was broke. So that sucked.

"Every time I checked my phone, it was always negative. Even when you're trying to make a positive of the situation, it was very tough."

Williamson resumed basketball activities on May 26 and will enter training camp fully healthy.

The Pelicans made the playoffs without him as Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum led the way. New Orleans also has promising young players such as Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado.

"I want to prove that I'm a winner," Williamson said. "It's as simple as that. I want to win with coach (Willie Green) as well as with my teammates. The ultimate goal is to win the championship. I feel like that's what we're all striving for."

--Field Level Media

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks

Clippers re-sign F Nicolas Batum, G Amir Coffey

July 6, 2022, 10:26 PM

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The Los Angeles Clippers re-signed a pair of key role players Wednesday, bringing back forward Nicolas Batum and guard Amir Coffey.

Batum, 33, averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 59 games (54 starts) for the Clippers last season. In 14 career seasons, the former first-round draft pick has averaged 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 915 career games (806 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers (2008-15), Charlotte Hornets (2015-20) and Clippers.

Coffey, 25, played well enough last season to convert a two-way contract into a regular deal in March. The Minnesota product averaged 9.0 points with 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 69 games (30 starts) last season.

Batum will come back to Los Angeles on a reported two-year, $22 million contract, according to Yahoo. Coffey will return on a three-year, $11 million deal, ESPN reported.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies

Beal Deal: Wizards sign All-Star to $251M pact with rare no-trade clause

July 6, 2022, 9:14 PM

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Bradley Beal got everything he wanted from the Washington Wizards.

Beal declined his option for 2022-23 season and officially signed a new five-year deal on Wednesday valued at a maximum $251 million with another unique element: the NBA's first true no-trade clause.

The fifth year of the contract is a player option.

ESPN reported Beal's deal has the only full no-trade clause in the league, whereas multiple players have a limited no-trade clause or must approve a trade.

Per the report, only 10 NBA player contracts have included a true no-trade clause: David Robinson, John Stockton, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James (Miami Heat), Carmelo Anthony and Beal.

The 29-year-old has spent his entire career with the Wizards and had a chance to leave for another team on a maximum four-year deal as a free agent.

Beal declined his $36.4 million player option, which paved the way to a massive payday.

Beal is entering his 11th season with Washington.

Beal is a three-time All-Star who has twice averaged more than 30 points per game in a season.

Last season, Beal averaged 23.2 points, 6.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds in just 40 games. He underwent season-ending surgery on his left wrist in February.

Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft, has career averages of 22.1 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 645 games (611 starts) with Washington.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

Reports: Heat agree to 3-year deal with Caleb Martin

July 6, 2022, 8:40 PM

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The Miami Heat have reached a three-year deal to retain swingman Caleb Martin, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

The Miami Herald pegged the deal as worth $20.5 million for Martin, who played on a two-way contract last season.

Martin, 26, made the most of his opportunities in Miami by establishing career highs in scoring average (9.2) and minutes per game (22.9). He started 12 of 60 games played and made 41.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Martin spent his first two NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets. He has career averages of 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 131 games (16 starts).

Martin entered the NBA as an undrafted free agent in 2019 after averaging 19.1 points over two seasons at Nevada.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets

Sun setting on KD sweepstakes? Nets, Raptors closing on Phoenix

July 6, 2022, 7:42 PM

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Kevin Durant might prefer to land with the Suns, but oddsmakers are not convinced the Brooklyn Nets All-Star is going anywhere at all.

Durant requested a trade from the Nets hours before free agency began on July 1, and reportedly identified Phoenix as his hopeful next stop.

PointsBet still sees Phoenix as the most likely destination for Durant. The Suns were initially offered at -110 to be the next team he plays for at PointsBet and -200 at DraftKings.

That was ahead of Miami (+125), New Orleans (+400), Chicago (+550) and Dallas (+600).

At DraftKings as of July 3, the Suns were -130, Toronto was second at +300 and the Nets and Heat even at +1000.

But as of Wednesday, DraftKings reset its Durant market, moving the Nets near the favorite role.

The Suns are still favored to work a deal for Durant but dropped to +150 with the Nets at +250 and the Raptors at +350.

Durant joined the Nets as a free agent in 2019 but did not play that first season as he recovered from an Achilles injury. He played in 90 total games over the past two seasons with the Nets, who fell in the second round of the playoffs in 2021 and bowed out in the first round this past season.

As Kyrie Irving's future with the Nets remains in question, he did activate a one-year $36.5 million option with the team, citing his pledge to the Durant pairing.

The Nets have made the playoffs in seven of the past 10 seasons, but never advanced past the second round.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers

Blazers finalize acquisition of F Jerami Grant from Pistons

July 6, 2022, 6:08 PM

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The Portland Trail Blazers acquired forward Jerami Grant and the draft rights to Ismael Kamagate from the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Detroit will receive the draft rights to Gabriele Procida, a 2025 first-round draft pick (via Milwaukee), a 2025 second-round pick and a 2026 second-round pick.

"Jerami Grant is a dynamic two-way forward that can impact winning at a high level," Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said in a news release. "He fits seamlessly into Coach (Chauncey) Billups' system on both sides of the ball. We could not be happier to have him in Portland."

The 6-foot-8 Grant is entering the final year of a three-year, $60 million deal he inked as part of a sign-and-trade between the Denver Nuggets and Pistons in November 2020.

Grant, 28, emerged as an offensive threat in his two seasons in Detroit. He averaged 20.9 points in 101 starts for the Pistons, though a calf injury ended his 2021-22 season in March. He also missed six weeks with a thumb injury earlier in the season.

Kamagate, 21, is a 6-11 center from France who was selected No. 46 overall in the 2022 draft.

Procida, a 6-7 guard from Italy, also was a second-round pick.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

Report: Pacers looking to trade C Myles Turner

July 6, 2022, 5:55 PM

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Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner is back on the trade block, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Per the report, Turner could be involved in a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton. ESPN also said another suitor could be in play for Turner, whose name routinely is discussed in potential trades through the years.

Turner, 26, averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over 42 games in 2021-22 before seeing his season come to an end because of a stress reaction in his left foot.

He is entering the final season of a four-year, $80 million deal.

Turner has led the NBA in blocks on two occasions. He averaged 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 431 career games (398 starts) since being selected by the Pacers with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

Nuggets, Wizards complete four-player trade

July 6, 2022, 5:10 PM

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The Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards finalized a four-player trade on Wednesday.

The Nuggets are sending guard Monte Morris and swingman Will Barton to the Wizards in exchange for guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith.

With the move, Smith will be playing for his 13th team -- an NBA record.

"We're very excited to add Monte and Will as proven players at the point guard and shooting guard positions, two areas that were top priorities for us to address during this offseason," Wizards president and general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a news release announcing the trade. "Monte has steadily improved his all-around game and is coming off a career year while Will has been a consistent scorer and three-point threat during his time in Denver."

Morris, 27, averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 75 games (74 starts) during his fifth season with Denver in 2021-22.

Barton, 31, averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 71 games (all starts) in his 10th NBA campaign. He had been with the Nuggets since February 2015.

Caldwell-Pope, 29, averaged 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds and shot 39.0 percent from 3-point range in 77 games (all starts) in his first season with the Wizards in 2021-22.

Smith, 34, averaged 6.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 65 games (one start) between Washington and the Charlotte Hornets last season.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics

Nets re-sign F Kessler Edwards

July 6, 2022, 4:48 PM

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The Brooklyn Nets re-signed forward Kessler Edwards to a multi-year contract on Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team.

Edwards, 21, averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 48 games (23 starts) during his rookie season in 2021-22.

The Nets selected the 6-foot-8 Edwards, who played at Pepperdine, with the No. 44 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns

Hawks sign G Aaron Holiday

July 6, 2022, 4:43 PM

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Free agent guard Aaron Holiday signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Hawks.

Holiday, 25, averaged 6.3 points, 2.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 63 games (15 starts) last season split between the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns. He was acquired by the Suns on Feb. 10 in exchange for cash considerations.

Holiday has averaged 7.3 points, 2.4 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 245 career games (56 starts) with the Indiana Pacers, Wizards and Suns. He was selected by the Pacers with the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Hawks acquired his older brother, Justin Holiday, last Friday as part of the trade that sent Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings. Another brother, Jrue Holiday, plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

Report: Eric Bledsoe to be waived by Blazers

July 6, 2022, 3:28 PM

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Eric Bledsoe's 13th NBA season will not be played with the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to The Athletic and ESPN, Bledsoe was informed he will be waived before his contract becomes guaranteed for the 2022-23 season, making the 32-year-old a free agent if he's not first claimed by another team.

Acquired by the Blazers from the Los Angeles Clippers in February, Bledsoe was owed $19.38 million for 2022-23 as part of the four-year, $70 million contract he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019. He never played for the Blazers because of an Achilles injury.

Portland drafted another guard, Shaedon Sharpe, with the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft.

The contract guarantee date for Bledsoe was moved back from June 30 to July 10, but barring a last-minute trade, Bledsoe will be placed on waivers before the $3.9 million payment is due.

Bledsoe's next team will be his fifth since November 2017 season as he jumped from the Bucks to New Orleans Pelicans and Clippers before his current stop in Portland.

He averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 54 games last season.

Bledsoe has played 756 career games, averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder-Press Conference

Bet on Chet: Thunder rookie Holmgren creates odds shift

July 6, 2022, 2:35 PM

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Oddsmakers are more than ready to bet on Chet.

Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren made his debut in the NBA Summer League on Tuesday and turned in a performance that caused a shift in Rookie of the Year futures markets.

Holmgren scored 23 points, blocked six shots, pulled down seven rebounds, sank four 3-pointers and dished out four assists for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City selected the versatile 7-footer out of Gonzaga with the second overall pick in last month's draft. Duke's Paolo Banchero went No. 1 overall to the Orlando Magic.

Holmgren was +600 -- fifth behind favorite Banchero, No. 3 pick Jabari Smith (Houston Rockets), Keegan Murray (Sacramento Kings) and Jaden Ivey (Detroit Pistons) -- on draft night.

By the end of Tuesday's game in Salt Lake City, Holmgren had been moved to the second-best odds at +500 via BetMGM behind on Banchero (+360) and was +400 at DraftKings behind only Banchero (+350).

A $10 bet on Holmgren for ROY at +400 would have a total payout of $50.

--Field Level Media