The Latest on NBA free agency (all times EDT):
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a conference call with local reporters that he doesn’t regret not trading three-time All-Star Kemba Walker last year when he had a chance — and possibly could have gotten quality players or draft picks in return. Kupchak justified the decision to not move Walker last year by saying the team got point guard Terry Rozier in return in what amounted to be a rare double sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics that was approved by the league Saturday night.
Kupchak said he feels like Rozier is a “lottery pick player” and added that he “doesn’t regret the path we took for one second” in not trading Walker before he became an unrestricted free agent.
“I’m not sure that we could have done better six months or a year ago in a trade,” Kupchak said.
Kupchak said having the All-Star game in Charlotte this past season did not factor into the team’s decision not to trade the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
The Hornets have officially announced they have acquired Terry Rozier and a protected 2020 second-round draft pick from the Boston Celtics in exchange for three-time All-Star Kemba Walker and a 2020 second-round draft pick as part of a sign-and-trade agreement.
General manager Mitch Kupchak thanked Walker, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, for his eight seasons with the team calling him a true competitor in a release.
Kupchak says he’s excited to see what Rozier can do, saying, “he is an up-and-coming player who has shown continued improvement in his four NBA seasons, and we believe he can take that next step as a starting point guard in this league. We’re glad to have him join our team.”
Milwaukee has sent Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana as part of a sign-and-trade that netted the former rookie of the year a four-year, $85 million deal.
The Bucks got three draft picks — one first-rounder and two second-rounders — from the Pacers as part of the deal. Brogdon played in 187 regular-season games with the Bucks, starting 112 of them, and averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Chicago has signed forward Thaddeus Young to a $41 million, three-year contract.
The 31-year-old Young has averaged 13.4 points and 6 rebounds over 12 seasons with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Brooklyn and Indiana. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Pacers last season.
Young figures to be in a backup role with Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. starting in the frontcourt for Chicago. The Bulls missed the playoffs for the third time in four years and finished with one of the worst records in franchise history at 22-60 last season.
The Orlando Magic have signed Nikola Vucevic to a $100 million, four-year contract.
Magic President Jeff Weltman says Vucevic “has been a terrific pro during his time here in Orlando, performed at an All-Star level last season and helped lead us back to the playoffs. We look forward to building off that success for years to come.”
Vucevic is coming off a career year, averaging 20.8 points, 12 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game — all career highs. He had 60 double-doubles, another career best.
A person with knowledge of the situation says Rajon Rondo is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal.
ESPN first reported the agreement.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the Lakers had not yet announced the return of their veteran point guard as part of their burgeoning superteam.
The 33-year-old Rondo will be reunited with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins after they were teammates in New Orleans two seasons ago.
Rondo averaged 9.2 points and 8.0 assists in 46 games last season with Los Angeles. Although he struggled with injuries and didn’t play stellar defense, Rondo’s playmaking and leadership will be even more valuable to the Lakers in the absence of Lonzo Ball.
Although the Lakers have thoroughly revamped their roster over the last month, they will have at least five returning veterans. Rondo and LeBron James are back along with JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Although the Lakers missed out on Kawhi Leonard, Davis and Cousins are joining Los Angeles along with NBA veterans Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels.
— AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham
Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri is wishing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green well.
Leonard told the Raptors that he will be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Green announced subsequently that he will be signing a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Leonard was the NBA Finals MVP and Green was a starter for Toronto last season — the former Spurs helping the Raptors win their first title.
Ujiri says “we are very thankful for the year that Kawhi and Danny played with us here in Toronto, and I know the city and the entire country of Canada are grateful for everything they did to help us to win our first NBA championship.
“On behalf of the Raptors, I say a very heartfelt thank you to Kawhi and to Danny, and we send them and their families nothing but good wishes. As an organization, the Raptors will focus on the future and continue our pursuit of a second championship.”
Jimmy Butler is a member of the Miami Heat.
The Heat got a four-team trade completed Saturday to acquire Butler from Philadelphia on a four-year, $142 million contract. Miami also gets Meyers Leonard from Portland and cash from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hassan Whiteside leaves Miami for Portland, Philadelphia gets Josh Richardson from Miami and the Clippers sent Moe Harkless to Portland as well. The Clippers also got a first-round protected pick from Miami.
Heat President Pat Riley says his team is “thrilled to acquire Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard. They are both players who fit the mold of Heat culture perfectly. Jimmy’s leadership, tenacity, professionalism, defensive disposition and his ability to create his own shot will improve our roster immediately. Any time you can add a four-time All-Star to your roster, you make that move.”
76ers general manager Elton Brand says he thanks “Jimmy for the many contributions he made to our organization. He was integral to our success last season and we wish him the best with the Miami Heat.”
Blazers President Neil Olshey says adding Whiteside “is an impact move for our roster.” He says the Blazers had tried to get Whiteside at other points in his career as well.
Damian Lillard won’t be seeing free agency for a long time.
The Portland Trail Blazers signed their All-Star point guard to a four-year extension on Saturday — one that would be worth $196 million if Lillard exercises the final year of the deal in 2024-25, which will be at his option. He would be guaranteed well over $50 million that season.
Lillard’s extension was the biggest cash deal agreed to this summer in the NBA.
Blazers President Neil Olshey says Lillard “has exemplified every quality an organization could hope for in a franchise player. His perpetual leadership, willingness to embrace responsibility for outcome on the floor and ability to set a cultural standard illustrates what it means to be a Portland Trail Blazer.”
Lillard is a winner of the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and has averaged 23.5 points and 6.3 assists in his first seven seasons with Portland.
A person with knowledge of the situation says DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, a move that will reunite him with his former New Orleans teammate Anthony Davis.
ESPN first reported the agreement.
Cousins agreed to the deal Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the Lakers had not yet announced the signing. The Lakers are expected to close a deal Saturday that will bring them Davis in exchange for players and draft picks.
Cousins averaged 16.3 points in 30 games with Golden State last season, one where he was dealing with recovery from a torn Achilles. He was also slowed in the playoffs by a quadriceps injury.
— AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds
Miami has waived Ryan Anderson and Orlando has waived Timofey Mozgov, both of those moves financially motivated.
Anderson had to be waived by the Heat in a move to get the team in position to swing the trade that will land Jimmy Butler as part of a four-team deal later Saturday. And shedding Mozgov’s contract may keep the Magic under the luxury-tax threshold for next season.
Mozgov did not play for Orlando last year because of knee issues.
Anderson scored seven points in 10 appearances with Miami last season. He was acquired from Phoenix in February in the trade that sent Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Suns.
The Detroit Pistons have a Morris twin again.
The Pistons signed Markieff Morris and Tim Frazier to free-agent deals Saturday. Markieff Morris comes to the Pistons after his twin Marcus Morris spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with Detroit.
Markieff Morris was with Washington and Oklahoma City last season and is joining his fourth NBA club. The well-traveled Frazier is joining his sixth team in six seasons, after playing for New Orleans, Washington, Portland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Al-Farouq Aminu has signed a three-year contract with the Orlando Magic, one that could be worth nearly $30 million.
The third year of the deal is at Aminu’s option. He spent the last four seasons with Portland, and averaged 9.4 points last season. He shot 43 percent last season, his best effort from the floor since he shot 47 percent for New Orleans in 2013-14.
Terrence Ross has signed his four-year, $54 million deal to stay with the Orlando Magic.
The Magic announced the signing Saturday, not long after the league’s moratorium on player movement and signings was lifted. Ross averaged a career-best 15.1 points per game last season in 81 appearances for Orlando, all off the bench.
Orlando is also expected to complete the signing of All-Star forward Nikola Vucevic to a $100 million, four-year deal later Saturday.
The NBA’s moratorium on player movement and signings gets lifted on Saturday, meaning it is finally time for agreed-upon deals to become official.
Trades and free-agent signings can get finalized after 12:01 p.m. Eastern, and there are a slew of moves to get completed. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are likely to sign their new contracts with the Brooklyn Nets. Kawhi Leonard is about to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers to pair up with the soon-to-be-traded Paul George, and a complex four-team deal that sends Jimmy Butler to Miami is set to get done as well.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson got the biggest free-agent deal, a five-year contract worth nearly $190 million. Portland’s Damian Lillard agreed to a $196 million extension, but was not a free agent.
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