NBA Rumors: Serge Ibaka, Knicks, and Nets Roster Moves
Serge Ibaka Wants To Play In NBA Again
Ibaka remains hopeful of playing in the NBA in 2023-24, the 14-year NBA vet told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
14-year NBA vet Serge Ibaka sits down with @Stadium: “A lot of things that I can bring to a team…basketball, experience of winning, playing with great players.” On split with Bucks: “I couldn’t take what was happening anymore…no communications”, getting most from stars, more. pic.twitter.com/20rGdzHJA4
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2023
Ibaka had a difficult season in 2022-23. Ibaka re-signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, who acquired the 34-year-old big man at the trade deadline in 2022, last July on a one-year deal. He said the Bucks told him he would be used as an injury replacement.
“[Then-head coach Mike Budenholzer] told me to my face: Listen, you’re coming here, I promise you nothing — but you never know, it’s a long season, guys can have injuries, you have to stay ready.”
However, Ibaka only appeared in 16 contests, with his last game being on November 21.
“When I go talk to the front office, they tell me different things, Ibaka added. “They love me. They want me to be there, they want me to stay. And when I go back on the court, it’s different. It got to some point where I cannot take this anymore. I love this game so much, but if this is going to take my peace of mind, my joy, it’s not worth it. I earned my respect in this league. At least communicate. I’m not asking about playing, I’m just asking for communication.”
Ibaka is clearly not the player he used to be. But the 6-10 Congo national has proven he is still a high-level finisher at the rim, a solid rebounder, and a capable floor-stretcher.
In 35 games with the Bucks over the past two seasons, Ibaka averaged 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15 minutes. He also shot 50.6% from the field and 34.5% from the 3-point line.
Will another NBA team give him an opportunity?
Knicks Sign Pair Of Youngsters to Exhibit 10 Contracts
New York inked two former G-Leaguers to training camp deals yesterday. The Knicks first announced the signing of Obediah Noel, who spent time with the Westchester Knicks last year after previously being a member of the Raptors 905. This is the first NBA contract for the undrafted 6-4 guard out of UMass-Lowell.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) August 3, 2023
Not long after the Noel deal, the Knicks announced the addition of Dmytro Skapintsev to an exhibit-10 training camp pact. After beginning his pro career in Ukraine and Lithuania, the 25-year-old, 7-1 center played for the Westchester last season. Skapintev also suited up the Knicks during the 2K24 Las Vegas Summer League, compiling 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. 2.6 assists and 1.8 blocks in five contests.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) August 3, 2023
Noel and Skaptinev will likely start the season in Westchester. With the addition of the two players, the Knicks now have a full training camp roster. The Knicks have 14 players with standard contracts, and all three two-way slots are filled. Jacob Toppin and Duane Washington Jr. are also on training camp deals.
In other Knicks news, Josh Hart, currently in training camp for USA Basketball, is extension-eligible starting August 9. Hart exercised his $12.9 million player option on June 29. Hart can sign a contract for a maximum of four years and $81.3 million with the Knicks.
Nets Sign Trendon Watford
Brooklyn signed free agent Trendon Watford to a nonguaranteed deal yesterday, according to Nets Daily.
Like Darius Bazley, Trendan Watford is a non-guaranteed standard NBA contract. That gives Nets 13 guaranteed standard deals, two non-guaranteed standard deals for a total of 15 (the max) and two two-ways. They can still sign another two-way and two more Exhibit 10s.
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) August 3, 2023
Watford is a solid end-of-the-rotation-type player who is efficient offensively as he is an above-average shooter who can stretch the floor. He is a physical player who is a decent rebounder and passer.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 3, 2023
Watford averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 62 appearances for the Portland Trail Blazers last year. He was waived by the Blazers at the end of June before his minimum contract became guaranteed.
As Nets Daily mentioned, Brooklyn has 17 of their 21 training camp spots allocated. Fifteen players are on standard contracts, 13 on guaranteed deals, and two have two-way pacts. Darius Bazley, who the Nets signed on July 16, has a nonguaranteed deal.