Ike Diogu Rumors

Knicks Mull Signing Ike Diogu

April 16 at 2:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Knicks are considering a deal with Ike Diogu today that would extend into next season, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). Presumably, such a move would be instead of signing Lamar Odom. The team is still in talks with Odom, according to Begley, but apparently he’s not the only one on the Knicks’ radar as they look to fill their open roster spot.

Diogu was with the Knicks during the preseason, but apparently they never intended to keep him into the regular season before cutting him prior to opening night. Still, he remained on the team’s short list, and a report in late February indicated the team was thinking about re-signing him. The Bobcats also reportedly auditioned the 30-year-old big man about a month ago before signing DJ White instead.

The veteran of parts of six NBA seasons has spent most of 2013/14 with the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League, appearing in 42 games and averaging 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. He hasn’t appeared in official NBA games since 2011/12, when he made a two-game cameo with the Spurs. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, last saw significant NBA action with the Clippers in 2010/11.

Diogu’s salary for next season would almost certainly be non-guaranteed. The motivation to sign a player today is so that the Knicks could use that non-guaranteed salary as trade ballast to help salaries match if they make a swap before July. Still, Odom, a 14-year veteran, would be more valuable in that regard than Diogu, whose minimum salary wouldn’t be quite as high.

Bobcats To Work Out Players For Possible 10-Day

March 13 at 3:40pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

THURSDAY, 3:40pm: NBA free agent Chris Johnson is part of the workout session today, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 7:19pm: The Bobcats plan to work out Ike Diogu, Mickell Gladness, and Denzel Bowles on Thursday for a possible 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link). The Bobcats currently have 15 players on the roster, so someone would need to be released. It’s possible they could let go of Justin Hamilton to make space when his 10-day contract expires tomorrow.

Diogu has been playing with Bakersfield in the NBA D-League. In 30 games he is averaging 16.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 30.2 MPG. The 6’8″ forward was taken in the first-round of the 2005 draft by the Warriors. He last saw NBA action during the 2011/12 season with the Spurs. His career numbers are 6.0 PPG, and 3.1 RPG over 12.4 MPG.

Gladness went undrafted in 2008 and has been playing for Reno in the D-League this season. His numbers in 30 games are 8.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 0.5 APG in 24.2 MPG. The 6’11″ center saw limited NBA action during the 2011/2012 season with the Heat and the Warriors.

Bowles, a 6’10″ center who averaged 26.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, is seen as a talented project, according to Charania. Bowles also has received interest from the Heat per Charania’s sources.

Knicks Considering Ike Diogu

February 23 at 9:37pm CDT By Zach Links

The Knicks are mulling whether to use one of two soon-to-be-open roster spots on power forward Ike Diogu, an NBA source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post.  The former lottery pick impressed the team during training camp, but was ultimately released.

The Knicks will have two open spots when Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih’s buyouts become official tomorrow.  The undersized forward, who is in the D-League with the Bakersfield Jam and averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, could be an option for the club.  It should come as no surprise that the Knicks would have interest in Danny Granger if he is bought out by the Sixers but they’ve also got interest in Earl Clark, Ben Gordon (if his buyout is completed), and Antawn Jamison.

Because the club is well into luxury tax territory and owner James Dolan is already paying 17 players this season, the Knicks may only sign one player.  With solid rebounding ability and a decent mid-range game, New York may make Diogu their pick.

Possible 10-Day Contracts From The D-League

January 7 at 7:52pm CDT By Jonathan Nehring

With the D-League Showcase under way in Reno, more league attention has been turned the direction of the young players outside the NBA. The Showcase alone is not the reason for the shift in focus. All of the players on NBA rosters are now guaranteed salaries for the remainder of the season, and teams are now able to sign players to 10-day contracts. Below are a few of the players that have already drawn attention around the league.

  • Ike Diogu is playing well at the D-League Showcase and league sources say he could draw interest from Lakers, Clippers, Thunder and Pelicans, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter links).
  • James Nunnally of the Bakersfield Jam is a D-League call-up candidate and has had meetings with the Cavs, Bulls, and Thunder at the D-League showcase in Reno, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick later tweeted the Hawks are also a team interested in Nunnally.
  • James Southerland has met with at least three teams this week, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com. He has played one game with the Bobcats and spent the summer with the 76ers and Warriors.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Knicks, Salmons, Bobcats

December 12 2013 at 4:58pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Knicks were bent on injecting youth into their team, and they brought Josh Powell and Ike Diogu to camp with no intention of retaining them for opening night, no matter how well the two veterans played in preseason, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. For now, New York seems engaged in a pursuit of Kyle Lowry as it tries to unload Raymond Felton, who made Ben Golliver of SI.com‘s “All-Atrocious Team.” Here’s more from around the league:

  • New Raptors small forward John Salmons is a “prime candidate” to be dealt again before the trade deadline, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, pointing to his de-facto expiring contract. No Raptors appear off-limits for a trade.
  • The Bobcats released James Southerland on Wednesday, but not because the organization was disappointed with him, notes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer“He was brought in as a developmental player. We like him a lot,” coach Steve Clifford said. “Nothing he did he could have done better. We just needed someone more ready to play.” Charlotte signed veteran Chris Douglas-Roberts to replace Southerland.
  • Pau Gasol hinted that there’s a chance he could sign an extension with the Lakers, during his recent interview with Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The possibility of an in-season agreement has seemed like a long shot.
  • A Prim Capital investor was found guilty of obstructing a grand jury investigation into the firm’s ties to the players union, reports Nate Raymond of Reuters. The son of former union executive director Billy Hunter has served as a Prim executive.
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports profiles freelance trainer Rob McClanaghan, who works with some of the NBA’s top players and has exerted influence on front office decision-making.
  • Mark Deeks of ShamSports examines several free agents and D-Leaguers who could be on the radar of NBA teams in a piece for the Score, calling Drew Gooden perhaps the most talented among available big men. Deeks looked at guards on Wednesday.

D-League Updates: Gladness, Marshall, Diogu

December 10 2013 at 9:55pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here is a look at a few D-League moves that went down on Tuesday:

  • The Reno Big Horns have acquired Mickell Gladness in a three-team trade with the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Maine Red Claws, the D-League announced. The Red Claws will receive Zeke Marshall from Reno and a second round pick from Santa Cruz. The Warriors will receive a first round pick from Maine. Gladness averaged 6.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 49 games with the Warriors last year.
  • The deal is pending physicals for Gladness and Marshall. As the Red Claws website indicates, Marshall is a rookie out of Akron who most recently averaged 12.7 points and four rebounds in the Taiwanese Super Basketball League. The center is the all-time leading shot blocker in the history of the Mid-American Conference.
  • Forward Ike Diogu has been claimed by the Bakersfield Jam, tweets ESPN New York’s Ian Begley. We heard the Arizona State project, who was in camp with the Knicks this offseason, was D-League bound earlier today.

Minor Moves: Diogu, Nogueira, Kennedy

December 10 2013 at 2:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

It’s been an active past couple of days in the Association, and there are plenty of rumblings on other circuits, too. Here’s the latest on players with NBA ties:

  • Knicks training camp invitee Ike Diogu will join the D-League, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, last appeared in an NBA regular season game with the Spurs in 2011/12, though the Knicks reportedly considered bringing him back last month after Tyson Chandler‘s injury.
  • Lucas Nogueira has exercised a provision in his contract with Spanish club Estudiantes to suspend the deal while he seeks outside medical opinion on his ailing knees, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The Hawks retain the NBA rights to Nogueira, the 16th pick in the draft this June.
  • D.J. Kennedy has left Gravelines of France and is on the radar of Italy’s Reggio Emilia, reports Prima Pagina (translation via Carchia). The Italian team may view him as a replacement for Coby Karl, who appears to be on the outs with the club. Kennedy was in camp with the Mavs this fall.
  • Kevin Murphy and French team SIG Strasbourg are in negotiations about a split, according to a L’Équipe report passed along by Catch-and-Shoot (translation via Carchia). Murphy signed with the club in August, shortly after the Warriors let him go.

Knicks To Stand Pat, Won’t Add Big Man

November 8 2013 at 9:51am CDT By Luke Adams

9:51am: Head coach Mike Woodson confirmed today to reporters, including Newsday’s Al Iannazzone (Twitter link), that the Knicks won’t sign or acquire anyone for now.

8:19am: A week and a half into the NBA season, the Knicks are the first team under pressure to make changes to their opening night roster. Following Tyson Chandler‘s right fibula injury, which will sideline the center for four to six weeks, the Knicks are thin in the frontcourt, but according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the club appears likely to stand pat, at least for the short term.

Berman reports that “if things become a disaster,” the Knicks will seriously consider signing Ike Diogu, who had an impressive showing in camp with the team last month. However, for now, the front office is content to see how the club fares with a shortened frontcourt rotation and a few more small-ball lineups.

We heard yesterday that the Knicks have spoken to Louis Amundson, and Berman cites a source who says the team has been in touch with Jason Collins‘ reps as well. Berman notes that Collins, a 12-year veteran, would qualify for a minimum salary of about $1.4MM and suggests James Dolan doesn’t want to spend the money.

It’s unclear if Berman is referring to spending specifically on Collins, but either way, mentioning his potential $1.4MM salary is a bit disingenuous. Any player who has two or more years of NBA experience would cost an equal amount to the Knicks on a one-year deal: A pro-rated portion of about $884K, with the league picking up the rest of the tab. That means most of New York’s likely targets, including Collins, Amundson, Diogu, and Jeremy Tyler, would have identical cap and tax hits for the club, though perhaps some of those players are more willing to sign non-guaranteed contracts than others.

Berman also reiterates that Chris Smith is the strongest candidate to be cut if the Knicks change their stance and sign a big man. Nonetheless, New York wants to keep J.R. Smith‘s younger brother as a practice player until the D-League starts, according to Berman. D-League camps are set to open today, while the regular season will get underway in two weeks.

Potential Options For The Knicks’ Frontcourt

November 6 2013 at 1:10pm CDT By Luke Adams

The Knicks announced today that former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler suffered a small non-displaced fracture of the right fibula during last night’s game against the Bobcats. Chandler won’t require surgery, but is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, according to the team (Twitter links). A six-week timetable would force Chandler out of action for about 20 games, and the Knicks’ frontcourt may not be built to ride out that stretch.

Andrea Bargnani has struggled mightily during his first few games with the team and isn’t a strong rebounder even when he’s playing well. Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin are playing under minute restrictions, and would have to be considered strong injury risks if they exceeded those limits, given their respective ages and health histories. New York is also carrying Cole Aldrich, but he has yet to play a single minute for the club, so leaning on him heavily probably isn’t realistic.

The Knicks acquired Jeremy Tyler‘s D-League rights yesterday, and it’s clear the team has a fondness for him. But according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Tyler, who is recovering from a knee injury, is probably another three or four weeks away from game action himself, so he’s not a short-term solution.

The predicament provides a pretty clear example of why the Knicks’ decision to keep Chris Smith on the roster over a player like Ike Diogu or Josh Powell was so widely questioned. Like Aldrich, Smith has yet to appear in a game for the Knicks, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever carve out a role in a crowded backcourt that will welcome back his older brother J.R. Smith this weekend. Nonetheless, Chris’ non-guaranteed contract became fully guaranteed when he made the team’s opening night roster, so it’s not clear if the team would cut him to sign a big man.

As Ian Begley of ESPN New York notes (via Twitter), coach Mike Woodson indicated today on ESPN Radio that he’ll rely more on small ball while Chandler is out. But Begley also suggests (via Twitter) that he expects the Knicks to sign a free agent, singling out Diogu as a player the club liked in the preseason. New York would have to release a player from its 15-man roster to clear a spot, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the younger Smith. Toure Murry, who also looked impressive in October, is on a non-guaranteed contract, so the team would only have to eat a small fraction of his salary if he were released now.

While the Knicks may prefer to sign a player they’re familiar with, like Diogu, a veteran free agent is also a possibility. Louis Amundson recently hit the open market after being cut by the Clippers, while July amnesty victims like Tyrus Thomas and Drew Gooden are also available. The most interesting name on the free agent market might be Jason Collins, who reportedly drew some interest from the Knicks in the offseason and is said to be in excellent shape. Collins is the type of experienced veteran who could immediately contribute and wouldn’t expect or require major minutes when Chandler returns.

The Knicks are off to a slow start this season, sitting with a 1-3 record despite playing three of their first four games at Madison Square Garden. You can make the case that, outside of Carmelo Anthony, no player is more indispensable to New York than Chandler, so the next several weeks will be pivotal. If the Knicks can tread water without their starting center, a top-five seed in the East is still within their sights. If not, the team could find itself fighting for a playoff spot in the second half.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Diogu, Knicks, Nets

October 30 2013 at 3:54pm CDT By Luke Adams

No Atlantic teams were in action on the NBA’s opening night, but all five are ready to go tonight, including three preparing to host their home openers. While the Nets play in Cleveland, the Celtics will visit the Raptors, the Sixers will host the Heat, and the Knicks will be in action at MSG against the Bucks.

As we look forward to all five Atlantic teams getting their seasons underway, let’s check out a few notes from out of the division:

  • According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, new Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and CEO Tim Leiweke don’t share Bryan Colangelo‘s belief that Toronto is just a piece or two away from being a legit contender, and would prefer to blow things up to move forward. However, as the season gets underway, Ujiri has “a whole lot of houses for sale, not that many viewings, and almost no buyers,” writes Simmons.
  • Knicks camp invitee Josh Powell will head to China to play with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, but according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, that opportunity arose after fellow Knick invitee Ike Diogu turned down an offer from the team. Diogu, who played for Guangdong last season, didn’t want to return due to poor management, but is considering other options in China, says Iannazzone (Twitter links).
  • While many of their Eastern Conference rivals made bigger offseason splashes, the Knicks‘ notable moves included acquiring Andrea Bargnani and signing Metta World Peace. Nonetheless, James Dolan’s expectations are high — he believes the team has enough talent to win an NBA title this year, says Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Despite being one of the highest-paid players in the NBA, Joe Johnson is happy to fly under the radar on the new-look Nets, as Fred Kerber of the New York Post details.