Otto Porter Jr.

NBA Notes: Jamal Crawford chooses Timberwolves over Warriors, Cavaliers

NBA Notes: Jamal Crawford chooses Timberwolves over Warriors, Cavaliers

MINNEAPOLIS -- At 37 years old and having never played in the NBA Finals, Jamal Crawford certainly could have gone ring chasing when he received a buyout from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, who have met in the last three finals, were both interested in the veteran scorer. LeBron James was calling Crawford personally to recruit him to Cleveland.

So naturally, Crawford chose ... the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The Wolves have missed the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. But after Minnesota added Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague this summer, Crawford decided to join Tom Thibodeau's team in hopes of being an integral part of a team trying to break through as opposed to the latest hired gun on an established contender.

"I want to experience it with these guys and go through the wars and the struggles and just really embrace the journey with these guys," Crawford said Wednesday. "To me, that can be even more gratifying than just going to a team that's already made and ready to win a championship. Hopefully, we'll get there, but we'll all go through it together" (see full story).

Spurs: Ginobili indicates he’ll return for 16th season
SAN ANTONIO -- As the clock ticked down on the Spurs' season and Manu Ginobili was pulled from the game, a thunderous roar from the home crowd guided him to the bench.

Ginobili wore an appreciative but quizzical look on his face as he put a warmup shirt back on and prepared to head off into the summer. Clearly, the fans were saying goodbye to one of the most popular players in Spurs history.

Ginobili was not ready to do the same: The Argentinian posted a message on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he is re-signing with San Antonio for another season, which will be his 16th with the Spurs.

"It felt like they wanted me to retire," Ginobili said with a smile after the Spurs were swept out of the Western Conference finals by the Golden State Warriors. "Like they were giving me sort of a celebration night. And of course, I'm getting closer and closer."

Save those goodbyes for at least another year (see full story).

Clippers: Griffin calls decision to stay a ’no-brainer’ 
LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin was back in his usual place, front and center on a Clippers stage.

After opting out of his contract, Griffin didn't spend the offseason toiling over whether to sign with another team -- like his teammate DeAndre Jordan famously did. For Griffin, it was an easy decision to sign a max five-year deal to stay with the only NBA team he's played for in his seven-year career.

"I want to say how excited I am to be back. This has been my home since I was drafted. A lot went into this decision," Griffin said Wednesday. "In the end, I realized this was a no-brainer for me. This is the place where I want to start and finish my career. . This next chapter and next season for the Clippers and myself, I've never been more excited about an opportunity."

Griffin, 28, is undoubtedly the star of the Clippers with Chris Paul gone in the trade with the Rockets that sent Pat Beverley to Los Angeles.

Griffin said he and Paul talked about his decision to want to leave the Clippers.

"No hard feelings," said Griffin, a five-time All-Star. "I think we're all professional enough to know and we've all been in the situation now to know sometimes you have to do what's right and what's best for yourself and your family. I've never had hard feelings with any of my teammates who decided to leave or felt like it was best to leave. I wouldn't start now" (see full story).

Wizards: With Porter deal done, team keeps core intact
WASHINGTON -- Otto Porter is a quiet, complementary piece to the Wizards' talented young core. He is also now Washington's highest-paid player.

At least temporarily.

Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal garner most of the attention as Washington has made it to the second round of the NBA playoffs three of the last four seasons. But for now, Porter makes the most money after the Wizards matched a four-year, $106.5 million max-contract offer sheet the forward signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

There might be questions if the 24-year-old Porter is worth that money. But the Wizards believe he is a good fit alongside Wall, 26, a four-time All-Star, and Beal, 24, one of the league's top shooting guards.

"You just use that as motivation just like John and Brad did," Porter said at a news conference Wednesday. "They set the bar high. I'm going to set my bar, high, too" (see full story).

Grizzlies: PG Chalmers signs contract
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Mario Chalmers, nearly 1 1/2 years after he ruptured his right Achilles tendon playing for the team.

The Grizzlies announced the deal Wednesday. Terms of the contract weren't disclosed.

The 31-year-old Chalmers was injured in March 2016. During the 2015-16 season, Chalmers played 61 games for the Grizzlies and Miami Heat, averaging 10.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds.

Chalmers played for Miami from 2008-15 and was part of the Heat's 2012 and 2013 NBA championship teams.

NBA Notes: Knicks-Rockets still talking Carmelo Anthony trade, but no deal imminent

NBA Notes: Knicks-Rockets still talking Carmelo Anthony trade, but no deal imminent

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets are still trying to work out a deal involving Carmelo Anthony, though it may take some time -- if it happens.

The teams continue to talk about a trade but no deal is imminent, said a person familiar with the situation. The person said Anthony has told the Knicks he would accept a move to the Rockets but the teams are still trying to find a trade that works for both sides. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the talks between the teams remain private.

Anthony has a no-trade clause and would have to agree to any deal. He has told the Knicks he would waive it to go to Houston or Cleveland.

The Knicks have been trying to trade the All-Star forward but finding a deal is difficult. Anthony is 33 and still has two years and $54 million remaining on his contract, and teams have been hesitant to engage New York on talks knowing Anthony could block a deal.

He had long maintained he wanted to remain in New York, but Houston became attractive to him after acquiring his close friend Chris Paul from the Clippers in a trade. The Rockets are scheduled to introduce Paul at a press conference Friday (see full story).

Nuggets: Team officially announces Millsap signing
DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets announced the signing of four-time All-Star Paul Millsap.

A highly coveted free agent, the former Atlanta forward agreed to a three-year deal worth $90 million. He will hold a news conference Thursday in a suburb of Denver where he spent a dozen years as a kid before returning to Louisiana for high school and college.

The 32-year-old Millsap gives the youthful Nuggets a proven veteran to pair with budding star Nikola Jokic. Millsap averaged a career-high 18.1 points last season with 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Denver (40-42) improved by seven games this year but still missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Millsap's presence helps the Nuggets remain in the playoff conversation even in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Wizards: Team matches Nets’ offer sheet for Porter
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards have matched the Brooklyn Nets' $106 million, four-year offer sheet to keep forward Otto Porter.

General manager Ernie Grunfeld announced the move Thursday. Under NBA rules, the Wizards had two days to match Brooklyn's offer sheet for the 24-year-old restricted free agent.

Porter becomes Washington's highest-paid player for the time being, ahead of guards Bradley Beal and John Wall. He set career highs with 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and shooting and 3-point percentages of .516 and .434 last season, his fourth as a professional.

The Wizards drafted Porter third overall in 2013 out of Georgetown. Grunfeld said Porter, who has averaged 9.3 points a game in his career, has developed into a vital part of the team's young core (see full story).

Jazz: 3 free agents added, Diaw released
SALT LAKE CITY -- A person with direct knowledge of the deals says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements to sign free agents Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. The Jazz also released Boris Diaw, whose 2017-18 salary would have been guaranteed Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the moves had not been officially announced.

Sefolosha heads to Utah after three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The 2006 No. 13 overall pick averaged 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and shot 34.2 percent from 3-point range last season.

Jerebko spent the last two seasons with the Celtics and averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds last year.

Udoh spent the last two seasons in Turkey, where he won a Euroleague championship with Fenerbahce. Udoh was the No. 6 overall NBA pick in 2010.

NBA Notes: Nick Young to remain out west, join reigning champs Golden State

NBA Notes: Nick Young to remain out west, join reigning champs Golden State

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Veteran guard Nick Young is getting a new start with Golden State, agreeing to a $5.2 million, one-year contract Wednesday with the champion Warriors.

Young's agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the deal in a message to The Associated Press. Warriors general manager Bob Myers also said the team would finalize a contract with Young once the free agency moratorium period concludes Thursday.

In addition, forward Omri Casspi is joining the Warriors on a $2,106,470, one-year contract, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been announced. This will be the 29-year-old Casspi's sixth team as he enters his ninth NBA season, including two separate stints in Northern California with the Sacramento Kings. He played for Sacramento, New Orleans and Minnesota last season, averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.9 minutes.

Golden State's familiar-looking roster is taking shape. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is back on a record $201 million, five-year contract; NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant agreed Monday to a deal for approximately $53 million over the next two years; 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala got a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed; fellow key reserves Shaun Livingston for $24 million and three years, and David West on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum $2.3 million.

The 32-year-old Young last month declined the player option in his contract for next season with the Los Angeles Lakers, which would have paid him more than $5.6 million, and became a free agent. He had said in April that it was "60/40" he would leave the Lakers -- preferring to be part of a playoff team (see full story).

Heat: Waiters agrees on new deal to stay with team
MIAMI -- A person with knowledge of the situation says Dion Waiters is staying in Miami and has agreed on a new four-year, $52 million contract with the Heat.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be finalized before Thursday, under league rules.

Waiters averaged 15.8 points in 46 games last season for the Heat. He was a significant part of how Miami turned its season around after an 11-30 start, going 30-11 in the second half.

The Heat were 27-19 when Waiters played, 14-22 when he did not.

Waiters missed Miami's last 13 games with a badly sprained ankle, and the Heat wound up losing a tiebreaker for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. He played for $2.9 million last season.

Nets: Porter agrees to sign offer sheet, which Wizards can match
NEW YORK -- Following his best NBA season, Otto Porter Jr. has a big offer to join the Brooklyn Nets. It appears he'll be staying right where he is in Washington.

Porter has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Nets, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Wizards plan to match the offer and keep Porter, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because contracts can't be signed until Thursday.

The Vertical first reported that Porter had agreed to sign a four-year, $106 million offer sheet with the Nets. Under NBA rules, the Wizards would then have two days to match the offer since Porter is a restricted free agent.

Porter finished fourth in voting for Most Improved Player last season after averaging 13.4 points and shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range, fourth-best in the league. The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft from Georgetown was one of the keys to a Washington team that reached the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets tried the restricted offer route twice last summer and fell short both times. Portland matched the Nets' offer to Allen Crabbe and Miami did the same with Tyler Johnson (see full story).

Knicks: 1st-round pick Ntilikina signs rookie contract
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have signed first-round draft pick Frank Ntilikina.

The Knicks announced the deal Thursday with the No. 8 overall selection.

The 6-foot-5 French guard is playing for New York's summer league team in Orlando, Florida.

Born in Belgium, the 18-year-old Ntilikina averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 18.5 minutes in 31 games last season for Strasbourg in the French Pro A league.