- The Hornets are going through a rough stretch right now and there may not be a quick fix available, but the team’s front office generally does well in trades, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, who argues that there’s “certainly incentive to shake something up on this roster.”
Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Magic have recalled guard C.J. Wilcox, the team announced via press release. Wilcox has appeared in four games with the Erie BayHawks this season, averaging 12.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
- The Rockets have sent Kyle Wiltjer to their D-League affiliate, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Wiltjer has seen action in nine games for Houston this season, most recently on December 30.
- The Hawks have recalled Taurean Prince and Mike Scott, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the pair will join the team in Dallas.
- The Hornets have reassigned Christian Wood to their D-League affiliate, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Wood as played just one game with the big league club, back on November 7.
- The Knicks assigned Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee to their D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Both players will be able for tonight’s game.
- The Bulls have assigned Bobby Portis and Paul Zipser to the Windy City Bulls, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
- The Spurs have assigned Dejounte Murray to their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, according to the team’s website. Murray is averaging 15.8 points and 6.8 assists in 34.2 minutes per contest during 11 games Austin this season.
12:40pm: The Hornets have made it official, issuing a press release this afternoon to announce that they’ve waived Harrison.
10:40am: The Hornets are opening up on a spot on their roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports that Aaron Harrison will be waived today by the team. It’s not clear if Charlotte is eyeing a replacement or if the club will move forward with an opening on its 15-man squad for now.
Harrison, who joined the Hornets as an undrafted free agent last season, has only appeared in 26 total games for the franchise, despite being in Charlotte for the last year and a half. In those 26 games, he averaged a measly 4.2 minutes per contest. The Kentucky product has been solid in D-League action, averaging 20.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG this season in 14 games for the Greensboro Swarm.
Harrison had been playing on a non-guaranteed contract this season, and his salary for 2016/17 would have become fully guaranteed if the Hornets hadn’t cut him by this Saturday, so the timing of the move doesn’t come as a real surprise. Treveon Graham, who has also played sparingly in Charlotte, is the team’s other non-guaranteed player — a decision will be required on him this week as well.
Assuming Harrison’s release becomes official today and he goes unclaimed on waivers, he’ll become a free agent on Thursday, at which point he’ll be a candidate for a 10-day NBA deal or a D-League contract. Meanwhile, the Hornets will carry a cap hit of about $376K on their books after cutting Harrison, per Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link).
Here are Saturday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Magic assigned center Stephen Zimmerman to the Erie BayHawks, the team tweets. The 7’0” center has appeared in eight games this season with the Magic, averaging 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 4.0 minutes. This is his third assignment to the BayHawks. He’s averaged 17.3 points, 13.5 rebounds 1.5 blocks in 34.2 minutes over six games with them.
- The Suns recalled forward Derrick Jones Jr. from the Northern Arizona Suns, eight days after he was assigned to the D-League for the third time, the team tweets (Twitter link). He has averaged 14.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 32.1 minutes over 14 games with Northern Arizona.
- The Knicks recalled guard Ron Baker and center Marshall Plumlee and they will rejoin the team in Houston, according to their Twitter feed. They were assigned to the Westchester Knicks on Friday and started their game against Fort Wayne. Baker had nine points, four assists and four steals in 30 minutes, while Plumlee posted 16 points and six rebounds in the same amount of action.
- The Hornets recalled guard Aaron Harrison and forward Christian Wood from the Greensboro Swarm, they announced in a press release. Harrison has appeared in 13 Swarm games over three assignments, recording averages of 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 36.5 minutes per game. Wood has appeared in 11 Swarm games during two D-League stints, averaging 17.2 points, 9.3 boards and 2.1 blocks in 29.3 minutes.
- The Lakers recalled Ivica Zubac from the D-Fenders, one day after assigning him to the D-League, Harrison Faigen of SB Nation tweets. The 7’1” center had 17 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes against Northern Arizona on Friday.
- The Jazz recalled forward Joel Bolomboy after he appeared in one game with the Salt Lake City Stars during his latest assignment. the team announced in a press release. He recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes against Sioux Falls on Friday.
The Nets landed Trevor Booker during the offseason by selling him on the opportunity to expand his role, as he tells Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (video link). Booker said the Hornets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks and Wolves were among the teams to reach out to him, but his relationship with GM Sean Marks made him feel comfortable joining Brooklyn.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Joe Harris is enjoying the opportunity to play for the Nets, as he tells Scotto in a separate piece (video link). Harris, who signed with Brooklyn on a two-year deal during the offseason, is seeing a career-high 23.5 minutes per game this season.
- Joel Embiid is the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, but it’s partly due to the struggles of the 2016 rookie class, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. Kennedy notes that there isn’t a single 2016 draft pick who is averaging at least 10.0 points per game.
- In his book, George Karl claims that the NBA has a steroid issue, suggesting that performance-enhancers are the reason that players have longer careers in today’s NBA, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. It’s worth noting that in the book, Karl doesn’t present specific evidence of any particular player using PEDs nor does the former coach even acknowledge the advances in league-approved medicine or the increased awareness in players’ dietary needs, both of which have been proven to increase the length of an average career.
- Roy Hibbert is enjoying his time playing for the Hornets and he doesn’t have an issue with coming off the bench for the team, as he tells Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. “Everything has been going well,” Hibbert said. “It’s a really good group of guys who want to win. It’s a good organization. Everybody is all about winning.”
- A disparity in free throws is helping the Hornets overcome otherwise poor offensive numbers, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte ranks third in the league with 26.6 attempted foul shots per game and surrenders a league-best 18. That has helped to give the Hornets the league’s 11th best offense despite ranking 20th in field-goal percentage, 24th in free-throw percentage and 16th in 3-point percentage. “We’ve been good at not fouling every year,” said head coach Steve Clifford, “but this year we have more guys who are good at driving the ball.”