Cavs sign EuroLeague vet Kevin Pangos

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Kevin Pangos, the team announced on Friday.

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, it’s a two-year deal worth $3.5 million with the first-year salary of $1.67 million fully guaranteed.

Coming out of Gonzaga, where he won WCC Player of the Year, Pangos went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. He spent the last six years playing professionally in Europe, most recently for Zenit Saint Petersburg of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague.

Last season in EuroLeague play, the 6-2 guard earned All-EuroLeague First Team honors after averaging a career-high 13.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 6.7 assists.

The 28-year-old shot .390 from beyond the arc and made the most three-pointers (89) in EuroLeague play while ranking third in assists per game and 18th in points per game.

With Cleveland, Pangos will probably be the third point guard behind Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland.

Mavericks sign free agent G Frank Ntilikina

The Dallas Mavericks have officially signed free agent guard Frank Ntilikina, the team announced on Thursday.

Ntilikina, 23, was originally the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks and was selected one pick before the Mavs selected Dennis Smith with the ninth pick.

Last season in New York, Ntilikina averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.6 assist per contest.

After four seasons with the Knicks, he holds career averages of 5.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 19.5 minutes in 211 games (55 starts).

Before being drafted by New York, the French native began his professional career in 2015 with SIG Strasbourg of the French Pro A League. Ntilikina was named the league’s Best Young Player in both seasons he competed for Strasbourg.

Ntilikina recently competed with the French national team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, bringing home a silver medal.

With the addition of Ntilikina, the Mavericks training camp roster to 20 players.

 

Cavs re-sign Brodric Thomas to two-way contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed guard Brodric Thomas to a two-way contract, the team announced on Wednesday.

Thomas, 24, signed his first two-way contract with the Cavaliers in February and played in 32 regular season games (one start) for Cleveland and Houston last season, where he averaged 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per contest.

He was apart of Cavaliers summer league team in Las Vegas and averaged 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

The undrafted guard from Truman State also played in the NBA G League in 2020-21 for the Canton Charge and Rio Grande Valley Vipers and was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team and to the NBA G League All-Rookie Team.

Spurs re-sign Bates-Diop, sign Wieskamp to two-way contract

San Antonio Spurs have re-signed forward Keita Bates-Diop and signed guard Joe Wieskamp to a two-way contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

Bates-Diop, 25. spent last season on a two-way contract with the Spurs, averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.2 minutes over 30 games. The Timberwolves originally selected the third-year player in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft (48th overall); Bates-Diop spent the better part of two seasons in Minnesota before being traded to Denver in 2019. 

Wieskamp, 22, was drafted by the Spurs with the 41st overall selection in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft. He played in all eight of San Antonio’s 2021 Summer League games, including five in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.4 minutes. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mavs’ Luka Doncic dedicates two basketball courts in his hometown(VIDEO)

In partnership with the Municipality of Ljubljana and Dallas Mavericks All-Star Guard Luka Doncic, 2K Foundations has refurbished his childhood court.

The refurbishment also includes brand new seating and lighting.

The artwork featured on the court was designed by Doncic, who chose local graphic designer Nejc Prah to bring his design to life. Doncic’s new logo integrates Luka’s initials (LD), his jersey number (77) and arrows that represent his deceptive style of play with negative space revealing an ‘S’ for his home country, Slovenia.

“This is a very exciting day for me.  I have great memories growing up in Ljubljana.  These are my childhood courts where I learned and practiced the game,“ said Doncic. “It’s an honor to be able to give back to my city and to my country that gave me so much and that I love.  The opportunity for kids to play on the same courts and pursue the same dreams I had is something I am excited about.”

As part of the celebration, Luka signed the court, officially dedicating it to the community, and local children were then invited to participate in basketball scrimmages, 3-on-3 games, dribble clinics and skills challenges. MVPs of the challenges were judged by Luka and others while Jordan Brand and BioSteel, who both work with Dončić provided prizes and equipment on the day as well.

Photo Credit: Medimat Agency

Hawks extend C Clint Capela

The Atlanta Hawks signed center Clint Capela to a contract extension, which begins with the 2023-24 season, the team announced on Wednesday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year, $46 million extension. Capela, who had two years left on his deal, will be under contract through the 2024-2025 season.

Last season, Capela, 27, averaged 15.2 points, 14.3 rebounds(Led NBA), and 2.1 blocks. He recorded 48 double-doubles in 2020-21.

“Clint is one of the premier defensive and rebounding big men in the league. His presence in the paint and voice on defense had a tremendous impact on our success last season,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk via a press release. “He is a great teammate who leads by example, and we are excited to have him as a part of our team long-term.”

Entering his eighth NBA season, Capela has appeared in 397 career regular-season games with the Hawks and Houston Rockets, averaging 12.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 26.6 minutes.

Mavs’ Kidd finalizes coaching staff

The Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd finalized his coaching staff on Tuesday.

Here are the members of Kidd’s coaching staff:

-Igor Kokoskov, the head coach of the Serbian National Team, coached in the EuroLeague last season. Kokoskov spent over two decades in the NBA, mainly as an assistant. He was the head coach of the Phoenix Suns in the 2018-19 season.

-Sean Sweeney previously worked with Kidd in Milwaukee and Brooklyn. He most recently spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Pistons and the prior four as an assistant with Milwaukee. 

-Jared Dudley transitions to an assistant coaching role following a 14-season NBA career. Dudley spent the last two seasons of his playing career with the L.A. Lakers, winning the 2020 NBA title.

-Greg St. Jean comes to Dallas after spending two seasons as a player development coach and advance scout with the L.A. Lakers, helping the organization to the 2020 NBA championship alongside Kidd. His father, Garry St. Jean, was head coach of the Kings and the general manager of the Golden State Warriors. 

-Kristi Toliver began her NBA coaching career with the Washington Wizards, where she spent two seasons (2018-20) while concurrently playing for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. 

Kidd retained three members from Rick Carlisle’s staff: 

Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton complete Kidd’s coaching staff. Armstrong will begin his 13th season with the Mavericks, while Shammgod and Patton begin their sixth and fourth seasons, respectively, with the organization.

 

Hardaway Jr. thinks Dallas can compete with anybody with a healthy Porzingis

If there is one player in the NBA that knows Kristaps Porzingis, it’s Tim Hardaway Jr. The eight-year veteran played with Porzingis in New York and was dealt with him by the Knicks to the Mavericks in 2019, and after signing a reported four-year, $72 million deal with Dallas this offseason, Hardaway Jr. will continue to play with Porzingis moving forward.

Last season, Porzingis battled injuries and was in and out of the lineup. He played 43 games in the regular season and averaged 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game, but in the playoffs, his numbers dropped to 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest.  

Ultimately, the Mavericks would lose in the first round for the second straight season to the Clippers.

After GM Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle decided to leave their positions at season’s end, Dallas added GM Nico Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd. 

In the offseason, the Mavericks acquired young center Moses Brown in a trade, signed Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown.

On Friday, the team introduced their new players and Hardaway Jr. at a press conference in Dallas.

According to Hardaway Jr., if the 26-year-old Porzingis is right, Dallas can compete and beat any team in basketball.

“I know KP,” Hardaway Jr. said. “I know he’s back in Latvia, busting his tail right now to get back to where he was before the injury when we were with the Knicks. I know how much he loves the game. I know how much he works, and he’s going to do whatever he can to get back to that level of mentality that he had. Injuries do play a part of the game, and we have to look at that as well. 

“With him not really having his rhythm, or him probably not being that confident out there because of all of the surgeries and everything that he had to go through. I know what type of player he is. I know what he’s capable of, probably more than anybody in here, and once you get that type of KP back, I think we can beat anybody.”

Porzingis must have a more prominent role if Dallas wants to win. It’s incumbent upon Jason Kidd to devise a plan to get Porzingis more involved and Luka Doncic to be less ball-dominant next season. In addition, Porzingis has to stay healthy.

If KP is right, Dallas can compete with the top teams in the NBA. However, they still are probably not a championship team at this point.

Cavs name Sidney Lowe assistant coach

The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach, the team announced on Thursday.

Lowe, 61, has been on the coaching sidelines for nearly three decades and returns to Cleveland, where he was an assistant coach for five seasons under Mike Fratello from 1994-1999.

Over that stretch, he was part of a staff that helped the Cavaliers garner three playoff appearances (1995, 1996, 1998). The Washington, DC, native was most recently an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons for the past three seasons (2018-2021).

“Sidney brings a wealth of coaching experience and familiarity to our staff,” said Bickerstaff. “He is a great teacher of the game, and his ability to build lasting relationships across the board is integral to the growth of our overall culture here in Cleveland. Sidney also brings all of the character traits we value as a human being – loyalty, trust, and integrity. I look forward to working with him and building something special together with our young and talented roster.”

Lowe began his coaching career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1992. Ultimately, he was promoted to head coach midway through the 1992-93 season and retained the position through the 1993-94 season. Lowe was named head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies in 2000 and remained at the helm until 2002-03.

From 2006-2011, Lowe also served as head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State (2006-11).

The former point guard was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft and spent four seasons with Indiana, Detroit, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Minnesota. 

Forbes on return to Spurs: ‘It feels great to be back’

The San Antonio Spurs have officially signed guard Bryn Forbes, the team announced on Wednesday. Terms of the contract are unknown.

Forbes, 28, spent the first four years of his career with the Spurs and returns to San Antonio after helping the Milwaukee Bucks win the 2021 NBA championship last season.

“This is like my second home,” Forbes said about returning to San Antonio. “It feels great to be back.”

In his lone year in Milwaukee, Forbes averaged 10.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 19.3 minutes while shooting .452 from three-point range, which ranked fourth in the NBA. Forbes was one of three players in the league to make over 150 three-pointers while shooting at least 45 percent last season.

After going undrafted in 2016, Forbes made the Spurs roster after spending training camp with San Antonio. In four years with the Spurs, he averaged 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 21.7 minutes over 261 games, including 155 starts.

In five career seasons, Forbes has made 584 three-pointers while shooting .412 from long range. Since Forbes entered the NBA in 2016, only ten players in the league have hit more threes while shooting at least 40 percent from beyond the arc.