Tag: Eric Moreland

Report: Kings signing Eric Moreland

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The Kings waived Eric Moreland in late July rather than guaranteeing his full salary.

They haven’t signed anyone since.

So – after Moreland explored contracts with the Pistons and Lakers – Sacramento will bring him back.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Kings still have the $2,814,000 room exception available, so it’s possible they’ll pay him more than they would have simply by guaranteeing his previous contract. But – unless they went overboard on this new deal – the flexibility provided by having him off the books for a month would justify the deal. Even though they didn’t sign anybody else, process trumps results (a test Sacramento has too often failed lately).

Moreland, an intriguing shot-blocker and rebounder, will likely compete with point guard David Stockton (unguaranteed) for the final roster spot behind the 14 Kings with guaranteed salaries. Moreland’s guarantee, ability and position give him the edge.

Sacramento doesn’t exactly need another big man behind DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein. But Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry seem to have point guard covered.

The Kings can always bring more players to training camp, but at this point, Moreland appears likely to make the regular-season roster.

Report: Pistons signing Eric Griffin

Indiana Pacers v Dallas Mavericks
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The Pistons have 17 players with guaranteed contracts plus Adonis Thomas ($60,000 guaranteed), and they might sign Eric Moreland.

But they clearly value training-camp competition.

So, they’ll also add Eric Griffin.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Griffin’s leverage has fallen. He got $150,000 guaranteed last season from the Mavericks, who cut him before the regular season.

Why couldn’t Griffin get more this year? Dallas assigned his rights to its D-League affiliate. Because the Texas Legends now hold Griffin’s rights, the Pistons can’t assign Griffin to their affiliate if they waive him.

So – unless they just want another practice body, which is possible – that indicates the Pistons really like him. He’s not in camp just to funnel him to the Grand Rapids Drive.

Griffin is an explosive leaper who’s trying to develop NBA-level skill before his athleticism slips. The 25-year-old has played overseas and in the D-League since going undrafted out of Campbell in 2012.

It’ll be tough for him to make the Pistons’ regular-season roster. Griffin will have to best at least three players with guaranteed salaries. Danny Granger, Cartier Martin and Reggie Bullock are all candidates to be dropped. If Brandon Jennings is healthier than expected, Detroit might even consider waiving Steve Blake, despite trading for him this summer.

So, there’s a path for Griffin to make the team. It’s just extremely narrow.

Report: Eric Moreland leaning toward Pistons contract; Lakers, Kings still in mix

Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets
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Eric Moreland played all of two minutes total across three games for the Kings’ last season before suffering a labral tear in his shoulder that ended his season (he did get paid his full $507,336 salary because of that, though). Then this summer, with a pretty full roster, the Kings waived the undrafted 6’10” forward rather than guarantee his deal.

So where does he land now? Maybe Detroit, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.

Free agent Eric Moreland has multiple deals to compete for a roster spot in NBA training camp, with the Detroit Pistons as frontrunners, league sources told RealGM. The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are strong under consideration for Moreland, sources said, and their front offices expect the 6-foot-10 forward to settle upon a destination once the final offers are presented.

This would be a camp invite, make-good contract with maybe a little guarantee. Could he make the roster in any of those places? That’s an uphill climb.

Detroit has 17 guaranteed contracts and already is going to have to cut a couple of them. They also have a front line with Ersan Ilyasova and Anthony Tolliver at the four, then three centers in Andre Drummond, Aron Baynes, and Joel Anthony. Not sure where Moreland fits in there.

The Lakers have 12 guaranteed deals but a pretty stacked frontcourt, Mooreland would need to beat out someone like Tarik Black (whom the Lakers like). The Kings have 14 guaranteed contracts and already waived him this summer so he wouldn’t be a guaranteed deal on their books, plus they have Willie Cauley-Stein in his young, shot blocker role.

Mooreland likely chooses whoever gives him the biggest guarantee. It’s about the money.

Report: Kings waiving Eric Moreland

Sacramento Kings v Utah Jazz

The Kings signed undrafted Eric Moreland last summer, and he got his salary guaranteed because he suffered a season-ending injury.

Now faced again with whether or not to pay him – Moreland has an Aug. 1 guarantee date – Sacramento is cutting him loose.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Kings will have 15 players – the regular-season limit – including David Stockton, whose deal is unguaranteed with no guarantee date. Everyone else – including recently signed James Anderson, Quincy Acy, Seth Curry and Duje Dukan – have fully guaranteed salaries for next season.

I’m a bit surprised Sacramento didn’t keep Moreland with the intention of waiving Stockton later. But the Kings still have the $2,814,000 room exception, and they had to act on Moreland now. If they sign another veteran, they might wind up waiving both Moreland and Stockton.

Sacramento’s big-man rotation just became too crowded with DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos and Willie-Cauley Stein ahead of Moreland.

Moreland – a good shot-blocker and rebounder – could benefit from this move. Because he’s on a minimum contract, any team can claim him on waivers (preference given to the worst team last season among claimants). Presumably, that team would offer a clearer path to playing time for Moreland, who has another unguaranteed year on his contract after this one.

Darren Collison, who went from hot-shot rookie to journeyman, may have found niche with Kings

Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings

BOSTON – Darren Collison lost a job because he played well. He lost a job because he got hurt. And he lost a job because he played poorly.

The point guard has moved around the NBA at nearly an unprecedented rate for someone with his early career credentials, but maybe, just maybe, he has found a place he can stay for a while.

The Kings gave Collison a three-year, $16 million contract in free agency last summer – even though that meant casting aside incumbent starter Isaiah Thomas, a player many (myself included) thought was superior to Collison. Collison has rewarded their faith, posting career highs in points per game (16.4), assists per game (5.9) and PER (18.7).

There’s little stability in Sacramento – where the coach just got fired despite exceeding all reasonable expectations, the owner has his own crazy ideas and the franchise player is brooding – but Collison has potential to stick. His speed equips him to run the up-tempo, jazzy system Vivek Ranadivé wants, and Collison’s bond with DeMarcus Cousins gives him a powerful ally.

“The opportunity is definitely here,” Collison said last week. “It just seems like everything is all coming together. I’m more confident.”

Collison has long had reason to be confident in himself, though not always his fit with his team.

He broke in with the 2009-10 New Orleans Hornets, getting a huge opportunity when Chris Paul got hurt. In 37 starts, Collison averaged 18.8 points, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.9 percent on 3-pointers, and 9.1 assists per game – All-Star-caliber numbers. Of course, no matter how well Collison played, the Hornets weren’t going to choose him over Paul.

They dealt him to Indiana, where he became a full-time starter and helped the Pacers end their longest playoff drought of his lifetime (four seasons). Reggie Miller comparisons didn’t seem outlandish. But Collison got hurt during his second season in Indiana, and George Hill Wally Pipped him in the starting lineup.

The Pacers sold low on Collison, trading him to the Mavericks. Dallas initially started Collison, but he lost the role to Dominique Jones, then Derek Fisher, then Mike James after Rick Carlisle expressed frustration with Collison’s defense. By the time the 2012-13 season ended, the Mavericks didn’t even extend Collison a qualifying offer.

He signed with the Clippers, taking a pay cut from his rookie-scale contract. Full circle, he was once again backing up and sometimes playing with Chris Paul. After the season, he opted out seeking a raise.

That’s when the Kings came calling, becoming Collison’s fifth team six seasons.

Just two other players have made an All-Rookie first team since the NBA-ABA merger and played for so many teams in their first six seasons:

  • Marc Jackson, 2001 (Warriors, Timberwolves, 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets)
  • Ron Mercer, 1998 (Celtics, Nuggets, Magic, Bulls, Pacers)

Jackson was out of the league one year later, and Mercer lasted only one more than that. The 27-year-old Collison certainly hopes he won’t suffer a similar fate.

That’s why Collison appreciates his opportunity in Sacramento.

“That’s all it is, really,” Collison said. “There’s a lot of good players in this league, but they don’t necessarily have the opportunity. Sometimes, they’re with a team, and they still don’t have an opportunity. They’re not going out there playing their games. I think, this year, I have a chance to do that.

“When I was with previous teams, it was hard to fit in. I couldn’t play my game, necessarily. So, this year, has been good for me.”

And good for the Kings’ offense.

They’re posting their best offensive rating relative to league average in a decade, and Collison is steering the ship.

Prior to this season, Collison has never had a dramatic effect on his teams’ offensive outputs. They’d all scored within two points per 100 possessions with him on the court as they did with him off.

But Sacramento’s offensive rating jumps from 95.6 with him off to 107.8 with him on.


Some of that success can be chalked up to Collison spending most of his minutes with Cousins, Sacramento’s top player. But credit Collison for quickly learning how to play with the star center. Cousins scores better by volume (26.8 to 24.2 points per 36 minutes) and efficiency (51.7 to 46.4 field-goal percentage) when Collison is on the court rather than off.

The key to meshing with Cousins?

“Give him the ball, and let him work,” Collison said. “…It’s that easy.”

Collison’s deferential attitude aside, he’s not merely riding Cousins’ coattails. When the center missed 10 straight games with viral meningitis, the Kings still scored much better with Collison on the court than off (103.7 to 94.7 points per 100 possessions).

In fact, pair Collison with any teammate, and the Kings score better with Collison on the court. Here’s Sacramento’s offensive rating with each player and Collison on the court (purple) and off the court (black), sorted by minutes played with Collison:


(Eric Moreland, who barely played before suffering a season-ending injury, is excluded from the visualization.)

Player Min. with Collison Min. without Collison Off. rating with Collison Off. rating without Collison Diff.
Rudy Gay 966 200 109.1 99.0 +10.1
Ben McLemore 874 254 108.5 95.5 +13.0
Jason Thompson 682 157 105.1 91.9 +13.2
DeMarcus Cousins 550 195 111.9 98.6 +13.3
Carl Landry 263 358 103.7 92.8 10.9
Reggie Evans 238 185 105.7 96.0 +9.7
Derrick Williams 206 243 111.3 98.4 +12.9
Omri Casspi 155 300 108.6 96.0 +12.6
Ryan Hollins 144 58 98.1 83.6 +14.5
Nik Stauskas 141 330 105.4 96.1 +9.3
Ray McCallum 71 205 110.7 91.7 +19
Ramon Sessions 33 394 107.4 97.4 +10
Eric Moreland 1 1 200.0 166.7 +33.3

At some point, the common denominator becomes clear: Collison.

He knocks down pull-up jumpers from mid-range, not exactly an analytical hotbed, but a part of the floor that opens thanks to his pick-and-roll probing. He has improved working off the ball, spotting up for corner 3s. And he keeps the ball moving.

In a conference where half the Kings’ opponents start a former All-Star at point guard, Collison doesn’t exactly stand out. But he’s brining credibility to the position in Sacramento.

“He’s comfortable,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He’s gotten his confidence back. His speed, pushing the ball down the floor. He knows he’s going to be on the floor for a certain amount of minutes, so he’s relaxed and just playing at a pace that’s favorable to his style of play.”

It’d be foolish to say Collison, just 31 games into his Sacramento tenure, has found a home. His previous teams have struggled to determine whether he should start or come off the bench for fair reasons, and toeing that line has made him expendable.

But this season, Collison is showing he’s a quality starter.

“This year, I definitely proved that,” Collison said. “So, now, it’s not even about proving to be a good starter. It’s about leading the team now.”