Report: 76ers second-rounder J.P. Tokoto won’t sign with Philadelphia


J.P. Tokoto entered the NBA draft knowing he wasn’t a first-round pick. He just wanted to turn pro.

But, even after the 76ers drafted him with the No. 58 pick, he won’t necessarily get an NBA contract.

John Finger of CSN Philly:

An NBA source said Tokoto likely will not sign this year and will opt to play overseas or in the D-League

I’m a bit surprised Tokoto would agree to this.

The 76ers must offer him a one-year contract to retain his rights. Tokoto could force their hand by accepting that deal, which is surely at the league minimum and unguaranteed. Then, Philadelphia would either keep him for the year or waive him before the regular season.

If Tokoto sticks for the league minimum, that’s probably more than he’d make overseas. It’s definitely more than he’d make in the D-League. Plus, he’d gain a year of service, which would increase his minimum salary in future seasons and move him closer to unrestricted free agency.

If the 76ers cut him, that’d be preferable in many ways, too. Tokoto would no longer be stuck negotiating with a single team. He could leverage all NBA teams against each other as a free agent. That might not produce an NBA offer, but at worst, he’d be right where he is now – headed overseas or to the D-League.

That’s the cold outlook. In reality, there could be other factors.

Perhaps, Tokoto agreed to delay signing on condition the 76ers draft him. I’d be a bit surprised, given No. 58 seemed to be on the low end of his draft range. But maybe Tokoto made that bargain on draft night as he saw himself falling.

Maybe the 76ers promised Tokoto a better contract next summer if he waited. That’s not exactly legal, but those under-the-table deals happen. As long as nothing is in writing – which means Tokoto would be putting his trust in Philadelphia – the league doesn’t crack down. The 76ers’ roster is filling up, and they’d surely prefer to maximize the number of young players they’re betting on. If Tokoto signs elsewhere, he wouldn’t count toward Philadelphia’s 15-man roster limit.

The least-sinister and best-for-Tokoto scenario is the 76ers setting him up with an overseas deal he couldn’t get without their help. Philadelphia has connections Tokoto and his agent might not.

So, it’s possible this is in Tokoto’s best interest. It’s also very possible it’s not.

Minnesota signs undrafted rookie Naz Reid to multiyear deal

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed rookie center Naz Reid to a multiyear contract, upgrading the two-way deal they initially gave him before a strong performance for the team’s entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The new contract, completed Thursday, all but ensures that Reid will be on the regular-season roster, after going undrafted out of LSU.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic broke the story.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Reid averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.6 minutes over seven summer league games against other clubs largely composed of rookies and second-year players. The Timberwolves’ team reached the championship game.

Reid averaged 13.6 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds in his lone season at LSU, which reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Bulls bring back Shaquille Harrison on one-year contract

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Shaquille Harrison started last season as an afterthought at the end of the Chicago Bulls’ bench. Then, because Cameron Payne was not good and Kris Dunn got injured (and was really not that good, either), Harrison got his chance — and took it. He was a defender Fred Hoiberg and then Jim Boylen could trust, and he played in the final 72 Bulls games last season at almost 20 minutes a night.

He will be back with the Bulls next season, the team announced.

While not announced, this is a one-year minimum contract. The Bulls waived Harrison back on July 6 as they remade the roster, but Harrison played one game at Summer League for the Bulls and they decided to bring him back.

Harrison is a Boylen favorite — he plays hard and defends well — and while minutes will be harder to come by behind Tomas Satoransky and Coby White, Harrison is a guy Boylen wants on the bench.

Dunn is on the roster at point guard, too, but the Bulls are rumored to be looking to trade him and his $5.4 million salary. Chicago will likely have to throw in a sweetener, like a decent second-round pick, to make that happen.

Nike countersues Kawhi Leonard over ‘Klaw’ logo

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“My mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
—Snoop Dogg

Nike and Kawhi Leonard are going to court over control of his “Klaw” logo, and it’s all about money and brand.

Leonard left Nike last season, eventually signing with New Balance, and he wants to be able to market his Klaw logo as part of his line with his new company. Leonard and his representatives sued Nike for control of the logo, saying Leonard came up with it in his own drawings.

Nike has countersued and said Leonard did not design the logo. Tim Bontemps of ESPN had these quotes from the countersuit itself.

“In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to re-write history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo. The ‘Claw Design’ was created by a talented team of NIKE designers, as Leonard, himself, has previously admitted…

“In his Complaint, Leonard alleges he provided a design to NIKE. That is true. What is false is that the design he provided was the Claw Design. Not once in his Complaint does Leonard display or attach either the design that he provided or the Claw Design. Instead, he conflates the two, making it appear as though those discrete works are one and the same. They are not.”

TMZ posted the designs.

I’m not about to guess what a judge would decide in this case. Most likely, this gets settled one way or another.

Meanwhile, New Balance is trying to come up with a new slogan for Leonard and his gear. King of the North is now out after his move to the Los Angeles Clippers this summer.

J.R. Smith reportedly meets with Bucks to talk contract

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After five seasons in Cleveland, the Cavaliers waived J.R. Smith. The 34-year-old veteran wing is not part of the Cavaliers future, and by waiving him before the guarantee date they only had to pay him $4.4 million of this $15.7 million salary.

That makes Smith a free agent.

He sat down with the Bucks on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Bucks can only offer minimum contracts at this point.

Smith will turn 34 before next season starts and his skills are in decline, he shot just 30.8 percent from three last season. The Bucks will likely start Khris Middleton and Wesley Matthews on the wing with Sterling Brown, Pat Connaughton, and Donte DiVincenzo behind them. They have the roster spot to make the addition. The questions are does Smith fit, does he want the small role that’s really available, and how often will he wear a shirt around the facility?