NBA notebook: Lillard, DeRozan join Team USA exodus - Metro US

NBA notebook: Lillard, DeRozan join Team USA exodus

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan became the seventh and eighth players to withdraw from the Team USA roster ahead of this summer’s FIBA World Cup, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal pulled out on Monday, joining Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Eric Gordon.

Lillard, 29, made his fourth All-Star team in 2018-19 and averaged 25.8 points, a career-high 6.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. DeRozan, 29, is a four-time All-Star who averaged 21.2 points and set career highs in assists (6.2) and rebounds (6.0) in his first season with the Spurs in 2018-19.

The Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown and the New York Knicks’ Julius Randle have been added to Team USA’s training camp roster, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

–The Spurs promoted general manager R.C. Buford to CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment and assistant general manager Brian Wright to GM, the team announced.

A two-time NBA Executive of the Year (2014, 2016), Buford was hired as GM in 2002, then promoted to president of sports franchises in 2008. The Spurs won NBA titles in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014 during his regime.

Wright, who was named assistant GM of the Spurs in 2016, will manage the Spurs’ day-to-day basketball operations.

–New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft, has signed a multi-year shoe deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand, with financial terms not announced.

Williamson is the most coveted endorser in this rookie class after his All-America freshman season at Duke, when he suffered a late-season right knee sprain after his Nike sneaker ripped apart as he planted his left foot in a game against North Carolina.

Other NBA stars who have a partnership with Jordan Brand include Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler.

–The Phoenix Suns officially signed backup power forward Cheick Diallo to a multi-year free agent contract, the team announced.

Though the Suns did not reveal official contract terms, Yahoo Sports had reported a week earlier that Diallo would join the Suns on a deal that would pay him more than $1.6 million in 2019-20 and $1.8 million the following season.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Diallo, who turns 23 in September, recorded a career-high 6.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game last season in his third campaign with the New Orleans Pelicans. He started just once in 64 appearances in 2018-19, also posting a career-best 14.1 minutes per contest.

–The Houston Rockets agreed to a deal with free agent guard Ben McLemore, the team announced.

The 26-year-old St. Louis native received a two-year contract that is partially guaranteed, The Athletic reported.

Taken seventh overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, McLemore has averaged 8.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in six NBA seasons while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor. He has had two stints with the Kings, including last season, when he averaged only 3.9 in 19 games as a reserve.

–A deal that has been in the works since the first week of July became official when free agent center Boban Marjanovic and the Dallas Mavericks agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract.

On Tuesday, the Mavericks wrote on Twitter: “Ink. Dry. Let’s all officially welcome @BobanMarjanovic to Dallas! Everything IS bigger in Texas”

The 7-foot-3 Marjanovic began the 2018-19 season with the Los Angeles Clippers and was traded to Philadelphia in February as part of the deal that also sent guard Tobias Harris to the 76ers. In 58 total games on the season, Marjanovic averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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