Arron Afflalo Rumors

Western Notes: Jokic, Afflalo, Aminu

May 7 at 6:45pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Mavs forward Al-Farouq Aminu has indicated that he’ll turn down his minimum-salary player option with the team for next season, but both sides have indicated a willingness to rekindle their relationship next season. When discussing his feelings regarding returning to Dallas in a radio interview with KRLD-FM 105.3 (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News), Aminu said, “People are still playing now, so it’s hard to tell, but I really want to. … Nobody likes moving and different things like that. I’ve been in L.A. then I went to New Orleans and now here. It’s always better to stay where you’re at but things happen. But it would be nice.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Western Conference:

  • When asked what positives he would pitch about playing in Dallas to prospective free agent targets, Aminu said, “I guess it’s what I went through last year when I was coming to play here. It’s a great city. It doesn’t get that cold, which is nice. Also, the practice facility is in the arena is close, as well as the airport, so it’s not a lot of long hours you have to drive back and forth to places. It does become a drag. You’re going to play with great players. Obviously you’re probably going to win and then you’re going to have a chance at a championship.
  • Nuggets 2014 second-round pick Nikola Jokic is seeking a long-term deal from Denver or else he’ll remain overseas, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (via Twitter). There are reports that the Nuggets intend to ink the big man prior to the NBA summer league commencing.
  • Blazers guard Arron Afflalo has to make a decision this offseason regarding his player option worth $7,750,000, and Sean Meagher of The Oregonian examines the pros and cons of the 29-year-old returning to Rip City in 2015/16.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today looks at the path Warriors star Stephen Curry has taken from being the No. 7 overall selection in the 2009 NBA draft to winning the league’s MVP award this season.

Arron Afflalo Plans To Opt Out?

May 7 at 2:48pm CDT By Chuck Myron

MAY 7TH: It’s still too early to say definitively that Afflalo will opt out, sources tell The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, who writes in a roundtable report that examines the shooting guard’s brief time with the Blazers and whether the team should bring him back for next season.

MAY 1ST: Arron Afflalo intends to turn down a $7.75MM player option for next season and become a free agent this summer, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That’s even though a shoulder injury forced him to miss the initial two games of Portland’s first-round series against the Grizzlies and seemed to limit him the rest of the way. Afflalo went scoreless over about 29 minutes of play across the final two games of that series, which the Blazers lost 4-1. As the end of the regular season neared, he was reportedly ready to let his postseason performance dictate what he would do with the option, with the plan seemingly having been to opt in if he didn’t play well, so it appears the Sam Goldfeder client has changed course.

The Blazers gave up a first-round pick, among other assets, to acquire Afflalo from the Nuggets at the deadline, but it looks like yet another key member of their team will hit free agency. Fellow shooting guard Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez are also among the Blazers who can choose to leave this summer. GM Neil Olshey said Thursday that he has contingency plans for each in case they don’t re-sign, and it seems increasingly likely that he’ll have to employ his plan for Aldridge, who no longer appears the safe bet to re-sign that he once was. Portland only has about $23MM in guaranteed salary for next season against a projected $67.1MM cap, so the Blazers have no shortage of flexibility.

Portland has Afflalo’s Bird rights, though unless the Blazers are willing to insert a fifth year in the 29-year-old’s next contract, that will matter little, since he’s not a contender for a maximum salary. The Blazers can offer 7.5% raises instead of 4.5% raises, but another team can offset that with a higher salary in the first year of the deal. Afflalo was the Magic’s leading scorer in 2013/14 with 18.2 points per game, but his scoring was off significantly, from 18.2 points per game last year to 13.3 this season, despite a much less profound dip in the number of his field goal attempts. He was better defensively this season, as Basketball-Reference’s Defensive Box Plus/Minus shows, but he had a woeful 8.2 PER in his 25 regular season games as a Blazer.

And-Ones: Drummond, Price, Afflalo

April 15 at 10:35pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Pistons owner Tom Gores gave Andre Drummond a vote of confidence during tonight’s contest against the Knicks, calling the big man a “max player,” David Mayo of MLive.com relays (Twitter link). Drummond, who is set to earn $3,272,091 next season, is eligible to ink an extension this summer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the Pistons will offer him one, since the team would have the right to match any offer sheet the big man were to sign as a restricted free agent in 2016. Detroit could be wary of taking that chance given how the team is likely to lose Greg Monroe, who reportedly declined to ink an extension of his own with the club, as a free agent this summer, though that is merely my speculation.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Arron Afflalo will let his playoff performance dictate whether he picks up his $7.75MM player option for next season with the Blazers, as a source close to the swingman tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops that he’ll opt out if he plays well.
  • One executive who spoke with Scotto for the same piece pegged Danny Green‘s value at $6MM a year. The Spurs swingman is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Ronnie Price indicated that his desire is to remain with the Lakers, even if it is as a third-string guard, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. “I enjoyed being a voice in the locker room. I enjoyed being able to help younger guys. I helped great veterans that can help me. I’d be selfish not to extend that knowledge to players that are younger than me,” Price said. “Of course you want to play. That’s why we do what we do. You want to play. You never know what’s ahead. Whatever role is my role, I’ll embrace it whether it’s being here or the third guard.” Price will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • Suns forward Markieff Morris believes that the team needs to add players with more experience to its roster, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic tweets. “Veteran leadership for sure,” Morris responded when asked about Phoenix’s needs. “We have to have more older guys around so we can keep this thing intact.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Afflalo, McAdoo, Abrines

April 10 at 8:15pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

An MRI performed on Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo confirmed that he has suffered a right shoulder strain, the team announced. Afflalo is expected to be out of action for one to two weeks, and if that timetable holds, the injury will likely cause the guard to miss Portland’s opening round playoff series. With the team already without Wesley Matthews, who is out for the season with a torn left Achilles, losing Afflalo puts a major dent in the team’s postseason hopes. In 25 games for the Blazers since being acquired from Denver the 29-year-old has averaged 10.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors have assigned James Michael McAdoo to the Santa Cruz Warriors, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. McAdoo has appeared in 33 games for Santa Cruz this season, averaging 19.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 32.8 minutes per contest.
  • Alex Abrines, a draft-and-stash prospect for the Thunder, in an interview with Gigantes.com (translation by HoopsHype.com) said that he isn’t ready to make the jump to the NBA just yet. The 21-year-old swingman was the No. 32 overall selection in the 2013 NBA draft, and he is under contract with Barcelona through 2016.
  • Timberwolves‘ rookies Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins have learned much about what it takes to make it through the rigors of an NBA season, and the pair hope to take the momentum that they have gained into the summer to continue their development as players, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes.

Western Notes: Afflalo, Lee, Robinson

March 6 at 8:58pm CDT By Will Joseph

Arron Afflalo should fill a lot of the void for the Blazers that was created after soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Wesley Matthews‘s season ending injury, Joe Freeman of the Oregonian writes. Afflalo, who has a player option for next season worth $7.75MM, was acquired in a February deal. His skill-set and unselfishness make him a solid replacement for Matthews, Freeman wrote. “I’ll be me,” Afflalo said. “Even before Wes went down, the goal wasn’t for me to come in here and try to be somebody that I wasn’t. Obviously adjusting to a new role is difficult and takes time, but the way I lead, be it vocally or by example, I’ll continue to do that.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Clippers continue to show interest in free agent guard Nate Robinson, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link). It was first reported back in January that the Clippers were Robinson’s preferred team, and Los Angeles possessed some level of interest in the diminutive guard.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens says that the Spurs have thrived, in part, because of their roster continuity, according to Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com (Twitter links). “Obviously, there’s going to continue to be some change but I think a lot of these guys are going to be in Celtics uniforms for a while coming, and that’s encouraging,” the coach said.
  • The Jazz had serious discussions with the Warriors at the trade deadline about acquiring David Lee, according to Spencer Checketts of 1280 The Zone (via Twitter).  The Warriors were said to be willing to trade Lee, but they were looking to get assets of value in return.
  • David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John Stockton, in his return to the D-League’s Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s affiliate, scored a season-high 44 points in what Erika Marmolejo of NBA.com called a “statement game.” The Kings previously decided against signing Stockton to another 10-day contract. Stockton was unable to find decent time behind starting guard Ray McCallum and newly acquired veteran Andre Miller, Marmolejo notes.

Zach Links and Eddie Scarito contributed to this post

Northwest Notes: Garnett, Barton, Nelson

February 25 at 1:31pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Garnett called the Timberwolves the only team for which he would have waived his no-trade clause this year, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes amid his story on Garnett’s welcome-home press conference Tuesday. The 20th-year veteran also indicated his belief that he can overcome any hard feelings toward Wolves owner Glen Taylor that stem from Garnett’s parting with the franchise in 2007.

“You know what, throughout time, I’ve understood that you have to forgive and forget,” Garnett said. “I obviously won’t forget certain things, but it’s time to move on. … Glen and I always had an understanding. I wouldn’t have come back if the relationship was to the point where it’s not reachable. I’m looking forward to this opportunity and I’m embracing this change.

Taylor was absent from the press conference, but it was a simple scheduling conflict, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Here’s more on a few Northwest Division players who recently relocated:

  • Will Barton relishes his increased minutes since the deadline trade that sent him from Portland to Denver, and Brian Shaw is impressed with the shooting guard who reminds the Nuggets coach of Corey Brewer, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relays. Barton is poised for restricted free agency this summer.
  • Jameer Nelson likes being in Denver and playing for a Nuggets team that he believes wants him around after he was part of two trades in less than a month, as he tells Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders. Several teams had reportedly hoped that he and Denver would do a buyout deal, but Denver would apparently like to keep him not just for this season but for next year, too. Nelson has a player option worth nearly $2.855MM.
  • Arron Afflalo‘s relationship with Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey predates last week’s trade that sent Afflalo to Portland, and the shooting guard already had ties to some of his new Blazer teammates, too, as fellow Basketball Insiders scribe Alex Kennedy points out. Afflalo also has a player option for next season, worth $7.75MM.

Aldridge’s Latest: Thunder, Lopez, Jackson

February 23 at 2:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Thunder aren’t making moves simply out of fear that Kevin Durant will jump ship in 2016 and Russell Westbrook will follow suit the next year, a league source tells TNT’s David Aldridge for his Morning Tip column on NBA.com. Still, it’s been an active season for GM Sam Presti, who went over the tax line to acquire Dion Waiters and stayed above it after Thursday’s swap that sent out Reggie Jackson and brought in Enes Kanter. Aldridge has much more in his column, and we’ll hit the highlights, many of which are Thunder-related:

  • The Thunder let the Nets know they wouldn’t do the proposed Jackson/Brook Lopez trade just 15 minutes before the deadline, Aldridge reports. The Nets likely would have dealt Jarrett Jack to the Wizards if they’d done that deal, Aldridge adds.
  • The concern that Arron Afflalo would turn down his player option and hit the open market dissuaded the Thunder from trading for him, as Aldridge explains.
  • The Rockets preferred Goran Dragic to Jackson and the Celtics weren’t willing to trade young players for the then-Thunder guard, Aldridge writes.
  • The Thunder didn’t have plans to re-sign Kendrick Perkins in the summer even before they traded him at the deadline, according to Aldridge.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Afflalo, Jackson

February 20 at 2:21pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Blazers GM Neil Olshey made it clear that Thursday’s trade for Arron Afflalo was a product of the team’s emphasis on the present, as he told reporters and as The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman transcribes.

“It’s one of the things about our league; you can’t be a development team and a winning team,” Olshey said. “They’re not always independent of one another, but they’re more independent than people would like to admit.”

All five Northwest Division teams made trades Thursday, and that included two deals in which Northwest teams hooked up with each other. We rounded up the latest on the Wolves, the lone team that didn’t make an intradivision trade, earlier today, and now here’s what’s happening in the rest of the division:

  • The Nuggets expected that Afflalo would command $9-10MM a year in a new contract this summer, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com, who writes in his Open Floor column. The new Blazers shooting guard has a player option likely worth $7.75MM for next season, up from his base salary of $7.5MM. That’s because playing with Portland means he’ll probably trigger the bonus for making the playoffs that’s part of his contract, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • There were strong feelings in the Nuggets organization that the presence of JaVale McGee negatively influenced a “winning culture,” Mannix also writes in the same piece.
  • Reggie Jackson sat out a game at the beginning of the season because he was disappointed the Thunder didn’t trade him, a source tells Royce Young of ESPN.com, who delves into the frayed relationship between Jackson and his now former Thunder teammates.
  • The development of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors and the desire for cap flexibility motivated the Jazz’s decision to trade Enes Kanter, not Kanter’s trade request, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey insists, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune relays.
  • Dorell Wright, a free agent at season’s end, would prefer re-signing with the Blazers over a deal with any other NBA team, as he tells Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders.
  • There’s a decent chance Tibor Pleiss, the draft-and-stash prospect whom the Jazz acquired Thursday from the Thunder, leaves his Spanish team soon, making him available to sign with Utah, a source indicated to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Pleiss, a center, is currently under contract through 2016, as our draft rights held database shows.

Blazers Acquire Arron Afflalo

February 19 at 1:17pm CDT By Chuck Myron

1:17pm: Denver has followed with a press release announcing the deal, too. There’s no mention of a separate second-rounder changing hands, apart from the two second-rounders that would go to the Nuggets if the protected first-rounder doesn’t convey.

1:05pm: The Blazers announced that the deal is now official.

“Arron is a proven winner with playoff experience who will be easily integrated into our culture,” Blazers GM Neil Olshey said. “He possesses a skill set that compliments our style of play on both ends of the floor and will make an immediate impact as we continue our playoff push. Alonzo is an elite athlete and defender who adds a unique element to our perimeter. We thank Thomas, Will and Victor for their contributions to the team and wish them all the best for the future.”

10:33am: The Nuggets and Blazers have struck a deal that will send Arron Afflalo to Portland, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, a future lottery-protected first-round pick and a second-round pick go to the Nuggets, who also give up Alonzo Gee, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links). The first-rounder headed Denver’s way is for 2016, and is again lottery protected in 2017 if it doesn’t convey that year, Wojnarowski tweets, adding that if it doesn’t get to Denver in 2017, it becomes two future second-round picks.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported this week that the Blazers appeared the front-runners for Afflalo and that the Nuggets appeared poised to receive the first-rounder they sought for him. It appeared some other teams tried to make a late run at him but fell short.

Afflalo, 29, has been averaging 14.5 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 33 minutes per contest this season.  Meanwhile, the guard’s below average 11.7 PER rating is his worst in several years.  However, Afflalo is only a year and change removed from his time in Orlando where he was regarded as one of the league’s brighter two guards under the age of 30.  For his career, Afflalo has averaged 11.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG for the Pistons, Magic, and Nuggets.  In total, he has shot 38.4% from downtown.

The Blazers, at 36-17, are currently tied for third place in the Western Conference with the Rockets.

And-Ones: Holiday, Hibbert, Lawson

February 18 at 11:34pm CDT By Dana Gauruder

Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday could be sidelined for more than another month after reaggravating the stress reaction injury in his lower right leg on Monday, John Reid of NOLA.com reports. The Pelicans announced on Wednesday that he will be re-evaluated in three weeks by the team’s medical staff but New Orleans offered no timetable for his return. Holiday, who suffered the setback while doing light drills, has been sidelined since January 14th. He was averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists prior to the injury.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pacers are open to trading Roy Hibbert, rival executives told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). There is nothing imminent regarding a potential trade of Indiana’s starting center, Kennedy adds.
  • Gal Mekel is being hotly pursued by Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israel Premier League, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. Mekel, a point guard, appeared in four games with the Pelicans in December this season.
  • Trade chatter around the Raptors is unusually low, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets. The Raptors are looking toward the offseason to make any big moves, Wolstat adds.
  • Jermaine O’Neal, who has opted not to play this season, hinted that the Warriors and Trail Blazers as well as the Mavs were interested in his services, according to quotes posted by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com from a Dallas radio interview. The Mavs were expected to sign O’Neal but the veteran delayed his comeback because he felt that the timing wasn’t right, O’Neal explained in the interview on 103.3 FM’s “Friedo and Fitzsimmons” show.
  • The Nuggets are still considering offers for Arron Afflalo, and some “late charging” teams have expressed interest in the guard, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The Blazers are still strongly in the mix to acquire Afflalo, Wojnarowski adds.
  • Ty Lawson‘s no-show at Nuggets practice on Wednesday might be a ploy on Lawson’s part to force a trade, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders opines. Lawson’s absence was unexcused by Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.
  • The Timberwolves had checked in on free agent Jamaal Tinsley but never offered him a 10-day contract, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. It was reported earlier that Minnesota and two other teams had offered Tinsley 10-day deals that he had declined.