A recent piece from Keith Pompey at the Inquirer explores the upbringing of rookie Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Among the interesting details: Carter-Williams’ NBA salary is being deposited into a trust that he can’t touch for three years. The young Syracuse product is currently living off his endorsement deals with Nike and Panini trading cards. Here’s more from the Sixers and the Atlantic Division:
- Evan Turner is having a career year for the Sixers, but Tom Moore of the Intelligencer reminds us that GM Sam Hinkie is willing to deal any of his players for the right price, as evidenced by the draft night deal that sent Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans.
- Speaking of the Holiday deal, Christoper Vito from the Delaware County Daily Times reports that Holiday was surprised when he received the call to find out he had been traded (Twitter links).
- Scott Souza of the MetroWest Daily News reports that Celtics Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, and Kris Humphries understand their roles on the team and don’t expect to see major minutes. Souza notes it’s a difficult situation for the trio of veterans since they can’t display their skills while riding the bench, and each of them figures to be a free agent come the end of the season.
- We found out earlier today that most Hoops Rumors readers believe at least one New York team will make the playoffs, but Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson have yet to prove their 2013/14 squads can live up to preseason expectations. Tommy Beer and Alex Kennedy over at HoopsWorld named Kidd and Woodson, respectively, as the coaches that have disappointed them the most so far in the early going of the season.
- One of the sole bright spots for the struggling Knicks has been the surprisingly effective play of offseason acquisition Andrea Bargnani. The former first overall pick is putting up much better numbers than he did last year in Toronto, but Keith Schlosser from the Knicks Journal suggests his presence might be having a negative impact on J.R. Smith‘s performance.
Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report recaps many of the rumors we’ve heard about the Knicks and Celtics in recent days, and adds plenty more in his latest piece. Let’s dive in.
- Zwerling presents a somewhat different version of an earlier trade rumor, which suggested that the Celtics would take on Amar’e Stoudemire if the Knicks would take back Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee. Zwerling reports that the teams had talks about such a swap over the summer, and that Iman Shumpert was also part of the package. In the latest version of the proposal, Kris Humphries replaces Lee, while Shumpert is not involved.
- The Celtics like the idea of Avery Bradley as their shooting guard going forward, and envision the soon-to-be restricted free agent as a $6MM-a-year player. Bradley’s development is why Shumpert is no longer a part of their talks with the Knicks. The Celtics don’t plan to be competitive in 2014/15, fueling their willingness to take on Stoudemire.
- The Celtics are “desperate” to trade Wallace, Zwerling hears.
- The Knicks continue to have interest in Humphries after having eyed him in the summer. They would have signed him if the Celtics had bought him out, but Boston wasn’t sure how rookie Vitor Faverani would perform and wanted to keep Humphries as insurance. Humphries maintains his interest in the Knicks as well, and he’s also keen on the Rockets as an option.
- Miles Plumlee of the Suns is another young center the Knicks might like, but not if it means parting with Shumpert, Zwerling writes.
- Zwerling points to a clause in Kenyon Martin‘s contract with the Knicks, revealed earlier this month by Mark Deeks of ShamSports, that nullifies his guarantee if he misses 15 games because of arthritis, repair to his patellar tendon, or progressive loss of articular cartilage.
- The Knicks‘ medical staff has OK’d Stoudemire for up to 20 minutes per game, about twice as many as he’s seeing.
- The Knicks are concerned about a lack of vocal leadership that can serve as a check on Carmelo Anthony‘s power among his teammates.
Despite reports that the Knicks called the Celtics about the possibility of acquiring Rajon Rondo, GM Danny Ainge told reporters yesterday that he hadn’t spoken to any other teams about Rondo. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Ainge wasn’t just playing semantic games; the Celtics GM clarified that he hadn’t shot down any clubs attempting to talk about Rondo either.
Whether or not you believe Ainge, his message is clear: Boston’s star point guard isn’t going anywhere. That doesn’t mean there won’t be chatter surrounding Rondo and other C’s over the next several weeks and months though, so let’s check in on the latest:
- Here’s what one rival GM told Bulpett about the possibility of the Celtics trading Rondo: “If you don’t hear of some superstar going back to the Celtics for Rondo, don’t pay any attention to it. They don’t want to trade the guy anyway, but when people are throwing names like Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire out there, you can be sure Rondo’s not involved…. I’m sure they’d have to listen if there was another major star involved, but it would have to be really big. This other stuff just doesn’t make any sense.”
- Bulpett notes that the Celtics have also been linked to Omer Asik, but a source questions whether Houston would receive an offer strong enough to deal him, since he’s limited offensively and has a $15MM balloon payment coming in 2014/15.
- While they may not be interested in moving Rondo, the Celtics are still active on the market, according to Bulpett, who names Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries as two players the team would “love to move.”
- Ainge, on the possibility of swinging a deal: “I think that we don’t have much flexibility, as much as we would like. I wouldn’t say it’s a priority, but we are having conversations.”
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com provides a primer for Celtics fans on how to deal with rumor season.
Kris Humphries isn’t asking the Celtics to trade him, but he’s anxious for more playing time, and would like it come whether it’s with Boston or another team, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. The 28-year-old has only played in six of Boston’s 11 games so far, averaging 11.2 minutes per appearance.
“It’s been tough. I’m here so that’s what I’m focused on,” Humphries told Blakely. “I’m playing some 4 (power forward) now, which I think will help out a little bit. But nothing has ever been easy for me. I’e always had shorter-term deals, always had to prove myself.”
Humphries is in the final season of a two-year, $24MM contract he signed with the Nets in 2012, before Brooklyn traded him to the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce deal. Rival executives had doubts that Humphries would be long for Boston even before this summer’s blockbuster became official, and Blakely heard soon after the deal went through that the C’s might look to flip Humphries to another team. There was mutual interest between Humphries and the Knicks in case the Celtics bought him out over the summer, but Boston never cut him loose.
The nine-year veteran spoke in October about the possibility that the Celtics might trade him, though the focus then was on how the threat of a deal might serve as a distraction. Humphries is still trying to put the idea of his future on the back burner, even though it appears he’s open to heading elsewhere.
“That’s why players have agents,” Humphries said. “We just have to as players, focus on what we can control. If you sit there and say, ‘hey I want a trade,’ it’s going to take away from the team and what you’re trying do to.”
Zach Lowe’s latest piece for Grantland is a lengthy one, as he breaks down all 30 NBA teams by tiers heading into the 2013/14 season. Amidst his evaluations of each club, Lowe also includes several tidbits related to teams’ trade options and cap situations. The entire piece is worth checking out, if only to see where your favorite team lands, but we’ll round up a few of the more interesting notes right here:
- While the Spurs didn’t shake up the roster much this offseason, they’re in good position to make an in-season trade if need be, says Lowe. San Antonio has a couple movable expiring contracts (Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner), as well as a number of prospects stashed overseas.
- Lowe believes Zach Randolph will finish the year with the Grizzlies, but notes that Memphis’ front office is willing to make bold moves and probably recognizes that Randolph’s trade value will be highest this season.
- The Rockets are a a “very strong bet” to make a trade or two during the season.
- Both the Wizards and Pistons are among the candidates to make an in-season panic trade, due to increasing pressure to make the playoffs. However, Detroit may not have a ton of appealing trade bait unless the club is willing to dangle Greg Monroe, according to Lowe.
- With Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay both potentially entering contract years, the Raptors could end up being deadline sellers if they get reasonable offers and aren’t in position to reach the postseason.
- Although they have plenty of assets of value, the Cavaliers‘ trade options will be somewhat limited if they intend to keep their books clean in the hopes of landing LeBron James next summer.
- Moving even one mid-tier salary during the season could create “serious cap flexibility” for the Kings.
- The Sixers figure to gauge the market value for veterans Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young before the deadline.
- While a Rajon Rondo trade isn’t entirely out of the question, it’s much more likely that the Celtics attempt to move players like Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, and Kris Humphries, writes Lowe.
- In Lowe’s view, “everyone is available” on the Suns, except for perhaps Eric Bledsoe and the team’s rookies.
As preseason action gets underway and NBA teams adjust to new-look rosters, a few news items are trickling out of Eastern Conference camps. Let’s round up the latest….
- Kris Humphries recognizes that he’ll be a trade candidate for the Celtics this season, but tells Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald that he won’t let that be a distraction as long as he’s in Boston. “If you worry about the future, then you lose focus on what you have to do today, and that’s basketball,” Humphries said. “Anyone can be traded at any time unless you have a no-trade clause. That’s what it is.”
- In a piece for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Charles F. Gardner speaks to Bucks GM John Hammond about relying so heavily on free agency to build the team’s roster during the offseason.
- With Eric Griffin looking good in camp, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel explores the Heat‘s options for keeping Griffin either on the NBA roster or on their D-League affiliate.
- Chris Copeland didn’t go into free agency this past summer expecting to leave New York, but ended up signing with the Pacers for a handful of reasons, including his potential role, the team’s chance to win a title, and a raise in salary. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News has the details.
Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com has tweeted a string of updates on the Knicks today, as we've noted in a pair of posts. Marc Berman of the New York Post delivered plenty more on the Knicks earlier today, and this evening Zwerling delivers a full story on the latest from New York. We'll hit the highlights from Zwerling's piece here:
- The Knicks and Ivan Johnson are discussing a potential deal. The former Hawks power forward had been holding out for a team to commit its mini mid-level exception to him, but his interest in the Knicks, who can only offer the minimum, indicates that his price may have come down.
- The Knicks' interest in Kris Humphries is mutual, but the Celtics are still unlikely to buy him out.
- Other big men the Knicks are considering include Cole Aldrich, Hamed Haddadi, Jerome Jordan, Gani Lawal, Shavlik Randolph and Henry Sims.
- The Knicks remain interested in Beno Udrih and Bobby Brown, but Zwerling confirms Berman's report that the team is no longer looking at Delonte West.
- Berman wrote that the Knicks are expected to invite Toure Murry to training camp, and Zwerling hears that the team will do the same with "a few young developmental point guards."
Let's round up a few Thursday items from around the Eastern Conference….
- John Wall's five-year extension with the Wizards is fully guaranteed, with no player or team options involved, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Wall spoke to Monumental Sports Network about his new deal, and the additional pressure it will put on him over the next few years.
- According to Grantland's Zach Lowe, the Pistons don't seem overly enthusiastic about signing Greg Monroe to a maximum-salary extension. If the team "falls in love" with a frontline of Josh Smith and Andre Drummond, Monroe could be dangled at some point, Lowe suggests.
- Monroe, Paul George, and Larry Sanders are among the Eastern players who could follow in Wall's footsteps and sign lucrative long-term extensions this offseason, as Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld writes.
- Spurs assistant Brett Brown continues to be a frontrunner for the Sixers' head coaching job, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). A report last month indicated Philadelphia would likely choose between Michael Curry and Brown, who Pompey calls "the preferred candidate."
- The Knicks would be interested in Kris Humphries if he's bought out by the Celtics, but that appears unlikely at this point, says Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).
- The Hawks have yet to make a final decision on where Lucas Nogueira will play next season, but it still looks as if he'll return to Spain, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Brett Koremenos of Grantland speculates that if Gigi Datome has success with the Pistons, it could inspire other NBA teams to look more closely to Europe for inexpensive outside shooters.
Yesterday, the Nets and Celtics officially completed the nine-player swap that will send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the land of the hipsters. However, two of the players shipped to Boston may not be long for the C's. A source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that the club may look to flip Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Humphries, who is coming off of a rough 2012/13 season, makes $12MM in the final year of his deal. Wallace, meanwhile, makes more than $30MM over the next three seasons and moving that contract won't be easy by any means. Here's more out of the Atlantic..
- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni thinks that the recently amnestied Metta World Peace would be a good fit for the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. D'Antoni went on to say that amnestying him was purely about finances and had nothing to do with character.
- Not a huge surprise, but Nets General Manager Billy King confirmed that owner Mikhail Prokhorov reached out to Andrei Kirilenko by telephone before he signed, tweets Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. Kirilenko shocked everyone when he agreed to sign with the Nets for the $3.1MM mini-mid level exception earlier this week.
- With speculation that the Nets made an under-the-table agreement with Kirilenko, they are now the bad guys of the NBA, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
The Celtics and Nets have officially completed the trade that will send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn, the teams announced today in a pair of press releases.
"Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets," said Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov in Brooklyn's statement. "With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against."
The Nets receive Garnett, Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White in the deal, while the Celtics receive Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, and Keith Bogans (signed-and-traded), along with 2014, 2016, and 2018 first-round picks. The '14 pick will be the Hawks' or Nets' selection, whichever is worse. The '16 and '18 picks are unprotected. The Celtics also have the ability to swap first-rounders with Brooklyn in 2017.
The deal couldn't be formally finalized until today because Joseph wasn't eligible to be traded within three months of signing with the Celtics on April 12th.
For more details on the swap, check out our initial post on the agreement.