Hoops World's Alex Kennedy wrote about the young core Rob Hennigan has acquired since his term as Magic general manager started in 2012. The Magic's roster has been growing closer this offseason, akin to the young Thunder team Hennigan worked for before joining the Magic.
The youthful Magic players mentioned in the piece, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, rookie Victor Oladipo, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, and Doron Lamb only took a couple weeks off after the season concluded in April before returning to Orlando.
Once in town, they all work out, lift weights and scrimmage five-on-five together before hanging out off the court to grab food, play cards or watch TV at someone's house at night.
Said Harkless of all the time spent together, “I think it’s really important. We pretty much spend all of our time together, whether it’s in the gym or just hanging out at a guy’s house playing video games, watching TV or playing Spades. We just spend a lot of time together. I think it’s really good. It’s going to help us build chemistry, on the court and off of the court.”
It's that same chemistry Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Jeff Green, James Harden and Eric Maynor developed while they were all growing together in Oklahoma City with Hennigan looking on. Whether the Magic go on to reach the upper-tier as one of the NBA's true title-contenders, remains to be seen, but Magic fans have to like the growing bond between their young players.
- This summer, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic were going to pick up the options on four of the players mentioned in Kennedy's piece who are all on their rookie-scale deals: Harris, Vucevic, Harkless and Nicholson.
- Picking up the options on all four – they have until October 31st, but Robbins believed the options could be picked before the 1st of October – means they'll be under contract in Orlando through the 2014/15 season. Next summer, the Magic will decide on fourth-year options for Harkless and Nicholson and an extension for Vucevic.
- Nicholson played well for team Canada tonight during their 81-74 loss to the Dominican Republic at the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament, tweets the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat. Nicolson's play was one of the only bright spots in the game for Canada (Twitter).
- According to another Wolstat tweet, Canada needs Puerto Rico to beat Venezuela tonight and Mexico tomorrow while Canada also needs to defeat Argentina tomorrow to grab a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain next summer.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has a new column in which he touches on a variety of topics from around the NBA and elsewhere in the basketball world. Here are the highlights:
- Wizards head coach Randy Wittman talks to Zillgitt about the difficulty of keeping the locker room engaged as Washington heads towards another losing season.
- Zillgitt takes a look at the Rockets' offense, which has vaulted them into the thick of the playoff race behind the explosive play of James Harden.
- Zillgitt also gives an update on the status of Royce White, who has struggled in the D-League but does not concern the Rockets organization.
- The Magic received excellent value in return for J.J. Redick, Zillgitt writes. He praises the aquisition of cheap, young assets in Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris, as well as a capable veteran with an expiring contract in Beno Udrih.
- Many international players in the NBA are looking ahead to FIBA's Eurobasket tournament this summer, Zillgitt writes.
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
- The Houston Rockets traded Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns and Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a future second-round pick.
- The Miami Heat traded Dexter Pittman and a future second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Ricky Sanchez and cash considerations.
- The Washington Wizards traded Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exception and the rights to Georgios Printezis. The Blazers waived Ronnie Price to clear a roster spot for Maynor.
- The Thunder also acquired Ronnie Brewer from the New York Knicks for a future second-round pick.
- The Atlanta Hawks traded Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dahntay Jones.
- The Suns traded Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a future second-round pick.
- The Orlando Magic traded J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ishmael Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and Doron Lamb.
- In a separate deal, the Magic traded Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for Hakim Warrick.
- The Golden State Warriors traded Jeremy Tyler to the Hawks for a second-round pick. They also traded Charles Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers for an additional second-round pick.
The Magic have agreed to trade J.J. Redick to the Bucks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Milwaukee will send Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih, and Tobias Harris to Orlando in the deal (Twitter link). Along with Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith are heading to Milwaukee, tweets Wojnarowski.
After a flurry of Redick rumors leading up to the deadline, the Bucks emerged as the frontrunners in the hours leading up to 2:00pm, as the Spurs, Pacers, and other suitors fell out of the running. While it initially appeared that Milwaukee was targeting Redick to replace Monta Ellis if Ellis was part of a Josh Smith trade, the club ultimately pulled the trigger on Redick anyway, meaning the sharpshooter will join a backcourt that features Ellis and Brandon Jennings.
Meanwhile, the Magic had been seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Redick, but will instead acquire a pair of young prospects in Lamb and Harris, along with Udrih's $7.37MM expiring contract, which will come off the books this summer. According to various reports, the only first-round picks Orlando was offered for Redick would have been very late in the first round. Given the value of draft picks and rookie-scale contracts in the new CBA, teams seemed reluctant to give up any picks better than that.
We'll round up today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with the latest movement on top of the page.
- Two days after re-assigning him to the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics have recalled Fab Melo, the team announced today in a press release. The rookie big man had six points and five rebounds in his lone game for the Red Claws this weekend.
- Rockets center Greg Smith has been sent to the D-League, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Smith will join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for the first time this season after spending 26 games with the Vipers last year. The 6'10" Smith is averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.9 minutes with the Rockets this season, but lost his spot in the rotation to Cole Aldrich over the past two games.
- The Bucks have recalled rookie Doron Lamb from the D-League, the team announced via Twitter. Milwaukee sent him down to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants a week ago, and the 6'4" shooting guard has had mixed results in four games since, going scoreless on Wednesday against Sioux Falls and hitting for 24 points last night versus Iowa. In six D-League games over two separate stints, Lamb is averaging 10.3 points in 25.5 minutes per game. He's put up 3.4 PPG in 12.2 MPG with the Bucks, but hasn't seen action in an NBA contest since January 5th, the final game before Jim Boylan took over for Scott Skiles as coach.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional movement at the top of the page:
- The Heat announced they've re-assigned center Dexter Pittman to the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce. The 6'11" third-year man has seen the vast majority of his playing time with Sioux Falls instead of Miami this season, as he's appeared in 12 D-League games but has logged just 12 NBA minutes. Pittman is averaging 13.3 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Skyforce this year.
- The Bucks are sending rookie Doron Lamb to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, Milwaukee announced via Twitter. Lamb, the 42nd overall pick this past June, has seen a fair amount of playing time with the big club this year, averaging 3.4 points in 12.2 minutes per contest in 23 games this season. He's fallen out of favor since Jim Boylan took over as coach for Scott Skiles, however, and hasn't appeared in a game for the Bucks since January 5th. The 6'4" shooting guard took part in two games for the Mad Ants last month, averaging 7.5 points in 24.5 minutes.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls right here, with additional moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- The Thunder have re-assigned Jeremy Lamb and Daniel Orton to the Tulsa 66ers, tweets Adam Zagoria.
- The Cavaliers have re-assigned Kevin Jones to the Canton Charge, the team announced today in a press release. Jones has seen limited action in Cleveland this season, but was very productive in five games for the Charge, averaging 23.6 PPG and 12.6 RPG.
- Jeremy Tyler has been recalled from the D-League, the Warriors announced today in a press release. Tyler was sent to Santa Cruz yesterday and helped the Warriors' affiliate pull out a 96-95 win over the Erie BayHawks.
- The Bucks have recalled Doron Lamb from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the club announced today (Twitter link). After being assigned to the D-League for the first time on January 12th, the rookie appeared in two games, averaging just 7.5 PPG while shooting 22.7% from the floor.
The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned rookie guard Doron Lamb to the NBA D-League's Fort Wayne Mad Ants, reports Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Lamb, drafted by the Bucks in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, has played in 23 games and averaged 3.4 PPG for Milwaukee this season.
While most players' contracts include annual raises, or at the very least, identical annual salaries, Steve Novak's new contract with the Knicks is a little different, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports explains (Twitter link). Novak's deal starts at a little over $4MM, dips to below $3.5MM by 2014/15, then rises back up to $3.75MM for 2015/16. The unusual structure of the deal provides the Knicks a small amount of savings in the years when the rest of the team's roster will get extremely expensive.
Deeks shared a number of other contract details from around the league, via Twitter, so let's round them up….
- The Spurs' deal with Danny Green is for three fully-guaranteed years and $11,287,500, with no options.
- Andre Miller will earn $5MM in each of the next two seasons with the Nuggets. The third year of his deal is partially guaranteed for $2MM of $4.625MM.
- Jason Thompson's five-year deal with the Kings is worth $30,187,500, though year five is only partially guaranteed for $2.65MM.
- According to Deeks, the previously reported figures for Ersan Ilyasova are a little high — his deal with the Bucks is worth $40MM over five years. The first four years are guaranteed at $7.9MM each, then year five is partially guaranteed for just $400K of $8.4MM.
- Jamal Crawford received the full mid-level for four years from the Clippers, but the final two years of the contract are only guaranteed for $1.5MM each.
- Marcus Camby's contract with the Knicks, $13,151,319 over three years, descends in value, with just $1,025,890 of $4,177,208 guaranteed in the third season.
- Every first-round pick to sign so far has received the full 120% of the rookie scale.
- DeShawn Stevenson will earn $2,240,450 in each year of his three-year deal with the Hawks, though only the first season is guaranteed.
- Kyle Singler's fully-guaranteed deal with the Pistons is worth $3,135,000 over three years, with no options, while Victor Claver's deal with the Trail Blazers is also fully guaranteed and will pay him $4MM over three years.
- Jason Kidd (Knicks; three years, $9.09MM), Ian Mahinmi (Pacers; four years, $16MM), and Gerald Green (Pacers; three years, $10.5MM) all received fully-guaranteed contracts with no option years.
- The Nets' agreement with Reggie Evans is worth $5,086,905 over three years, and is fully guaranteed.
- Hasheem Thabeet's contract with the Thunder appears to be for more than the minimum salary. Deeks pegs the value at three years and $3.65MM, though only the first year and $500K of year two are guaranteed. Oklahoma City will be using either a portion of their mid-level or bi-annual exception for that deal.
- I would guess Thabeet's deal will come out of the MLE, since the Thunder are also using a portion of the mid-level on Hollis Thompson, who signed a three-year minimum-salary contract. Only $75K is guaranteed, however.
- Doron Lamb received a three-year, minimum-salary deal from the Bucks, with the third year nonguaranteed.
The Bucks have signed second-round pick Doron Lamb, according to the Bucks' PR Twitter feed, which attached of Lamb signing his contract.
Lamb was the 42nd-overall pick in the 2012 draft, and will likely receive the rookie minimum from Milwaukee. According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), the deal is for three years, though I would guess it's mostly non-guaranteed.