Month: November 2017

New York Notes: Galloway, LeVert, Porzingis

The Knicks made an effort to re-sign Langston Galloway over the summer, but the lure of returning to his home-state propelled the combo guard to join the Pelicans, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “I didn’t think I would leave [New York],’’ Galloway said. “But I had an opportunity to go home. That definitely was big, important for me and my family and wife. It’s definitely been great playing back home, loving the atmosphere New Orleans has.’’

Here’s more from the Big Apple:

  • Caris LeVert has only played 12 games this season because of a foot injury, but Nets coach Kenny Atkinson likes what he’s seeing from the rookie, Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays. “[LeVert’s play has been] Super positive. I just said that to our coaches, his energy, how hard he plays, how fast he is, his athleticism, how aggressive he is,” Atkinson said. “So that’s the positive we take out of [it], that he’s really starting to grow in front of our eyes. That’s good to see.”
  • Randy Foye is taking advantage of his playing opportunity this season and he credits his experience playing alongside diverse play-makers for his ability to help the Nets run an effective offense, Lewis writes in a separate piece“I played with [Blake Griffin in the past], last year being with [Russell Westbrook] and [Kevin Durant], and seeing the double team and just knowing you’ve got to have the right spacing,” Foye said. The shooting guard signed a one-year deal with Brooklyn during the offseason.
  • Kristaps Porzingis said Anthony Davis‘ game has greatly influenced his own, Berman passes along in a separate piece“Before I got to the NBA, I was watching him a lot — skinny guy coming out of college, how he was able to adjust to the NBA, at this level,” Porzingis said of Davis. “Obviously, I learned from him — even seeing defensively, able to hold guys in the post. His skill set is his, pretty all-around. He can do everything, but it was more seeing how he can adjust with his physicality.

Mavericks Notes: Barnes, Jackson, Draft

Harrison Barnes left the Warriors, a team that sits atop the Western Conference, to join the Mavericks, a team that owns the worst record in the conference, but the lack of success hasn’t made him regret his free agency decision, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Sporting News writes.

“Dallas was the right thing for me from the day I signed here,” Barnes said. “You know, I’m happy to be in this process, in this challenge, every single night — pushed out of my comfort zone to become a better basketball player. And I’m excited for what the future has in store.”

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Barnes has developed into a featured player with the Mavericks, something he would not have been able to do with the Warriors, as Sefko adds in the same piece. Taking on a featured role came with added media attention and Barnes is hoping to emulate Dirk Nowitzki‘s approach to dealing with that aspect of the game. “I’ve talked to Dirk and, in my opinion, for a guy who has been through the ups and downs he’s been through, in all of sports, I think he’s one of the model guys you look to. I just really respect his demeanor, his approach, his ability to accept criticism, own it and get better from it. That’s what I want to try to do,” Barnes said.
  • Pierre Jackson signed with the Mavs earlier in the week, but Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News doesn’t expect the point guard to make a major impact with the team. The 25-year-old has played in two games for Dallas and he’s averaging 5.0 points and 3.5 assists in 11.5 minutes per contest.
  • The Mavs currently reside in fourth place in our reverse standings, meaning they are likely to land one of the top college prospects in the draft. Matt Mosley of the Dallas Morning News examines what the team may do with its first-round pick.

Community Shootaround: Rajon Rondo

The Bulls benched Rajon Rondo for the second half of their game on Friday night and the point guard will remain out of the starting lineup. Michael Carter-Williams will start for the team. against the Bucks tonight and it’s unclear whether or not Rondo will even see back-up minutes.

Coach Fred Hoiberg had a meeting with Rondo this morning and the coach said Rondo “handled it well,” according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Hoiberg added that the decision to take Rondo out of the starting line-up was not done as a disciplinary measure, as Vincent Goodwill of Comcast Sportnet relays (Twitter link).

After Friday’s game, Rondo said the benching was a not big deal, as Goodwill passes along in a full-length piece“Things happen,” Rondo said. “It’s not life and death. Life is too short to be unhappy. It’s part of it, if I start, great. If I don’t, as long as we get the win that’s all that matters.”

Rondo was Chicago’s prized free agent acquisition, but Dwyane Wade‘s decision to come to the team just 12 days later overshadowed Rondo’s signing and created an overlap in skill sets within the backcourt. The point guard hasn’t played well since arriving in the Windy City. He’s only scoring 7.2 points per contest, which is the lowest figure since his rookie season, and he’s sporting a career low 11.2 player efficiency rating.

The down season is partly due to a reduced role, as his 16.6 usage rate is his lowest since his rookie campaign. Playing off the ball is not a strength of Rondo’s; he needs to the ball in his hand to make an impact. A change in scenery may be the best case scenario for the Kentucky product, perhaps to a team that will allow him to utilize his play-making skills.

Do you think the Bulls should trade Rondo? What team would make sense for the point guard and what could Chicago get back in return? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!

Nets Could Target Otto Porter In Free Agency

Otto Porter will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and the feeling within the Wizards’ organization is that he will draw interest from the Nets, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

GM Sean Marks has attempted to land restricted free agents in the past, but he failed on all three of his attempts. The Nets signed Donatas Motiejunas to an offer sheet earlier in the month, but the Rockets decided to match before they released the big man. Allen Crabbe signed an offer sheet with Brooklyn during the offseason, but Portland decided to match the offer and retain its play-maker. The same situation occurred with Tyler Johnson and the Heat over the summer.

Porter is enjoying an excellent fourth season in the league and he reportedly could command a maximum-salary offer in restricted free agency. The small forward is averaging 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while sporting an 18.1 player efficiency rating.

Raptors Notes: DeRozan, Patterson, Valanciunas

DeMar DeRozan became the Raptors‘ all time leading scorer earlier this week and his commitment to the franchise has never been stronger, Mike Ganter of the National Post writes. Back in 2010, Chris Bosh left Toronto and at the time, DeRozan tweeted, “Don’t worry, I got us.” Since that summer, the shooting guard has been the face of franchise and Ganter envisions his new record lasting for quite some time.

Here’s more from Toronto:

  • Patrick Patterson has a strained left knee and if the injury forces him to miss significant time, the Raptors will have a major issues with their rotation, Ganter contends in a separate piece. Jared Sullinger is at least a month away from returning the court, so the team could be hard-pressed to find reliable minutes in Patterson’s absence.
  • Jonas Valanciunas doesn’t fit in with Raptors anymore, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun argues. Wolstat believes the big man needs to play with more energy and if he doesn’t start showing improvement, Lucas Nogueira is a better option at the center position.
  • The Raptors lead the league in offensive efficiency and Ben Alamar of ESPN.com details how the team has found success despite being in the bottom half of the league in 3-point attempts. Alamar finds that Toronto’s ability to avoid turnovers is a major reason why the team is finding success.

 

Pelicans Notes: Asik, Ajinca, Backcourt, Evans

Centers Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have dropped completely out of the Pelicans rotation as the team has found success with small-ball lineups, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com reports. Asik and Ajinca have been glued to the bench the last three games while the club has reeled off four consecutive victories. Forwards Dante Cunningham and  Solomon Hill are the biggest beneficiaries of coach Alvin Gentry’s altered rotation, and their increased minutes have allowed the Pelicans to switch defensively much more easily, Verrier continues. New Orleans has the league’s 12th ­best offensive rating and fourth-best defensive rating since the shakeup earlier this week, Verrier adds. Franchise player Anthony Davis is thrilled with the new look, as he told Verrier. “When we play small it gives us an advantage on both ends of the floor.” he said.

In other developments regarding the Pelicans:

  • Gentry is enjoying the pleasant dilemma of having too many options at the guard spots, Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com writes. Gentry prefers not to have more than four backcourt players in the rotation, Eichenhofer notes. Jrue Holiday and rookie Buddy Hield are the current starters, leaving Gentry to choose from the quartet of Langston Galloway, E’Twaun Moore, Tyreke Evans and Tim Frazier for the remaining minutes. “It’s good to have the depth and have an opportunity that if things aren’t going real well, to stick another guy in and see if he has it for that night,” Gentry told Eichenhofer.
  • Evans, who can also play small forward, will see an uptick in minutes soon, according to John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune. Evans had been on a 15-minute per game restriction since returning from knee surgery and is still not cleared to play both games of back-to-backs, Reid continues. Gentry told Reid and other media members that his minutes would increase to 18 or 20 per game on a regular basis. Evans played 18 minutes against the Knicks on Friday. “I don’t think he’s going to go from 15 to 30,” Gentry said. “I think there’s a possibility that he could play 18 minutes or 20 minutes, that’s the natural progression that’s going to happen.”

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 12/31/16

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.

Hoops Rumors Originals: 12/25/16 – 12/31/16

As we head into 2017, let’s take a look back at this week’s original content published by the Hoops Rumors staff:

  • Luke Adams broke down the roster counts for every team with the non-guaranteed salary deadline of January 10 looming.
  • Teams can start signing free agents to 10-day contracts in January, and 21 players on NBA rosters become trade-eligible on January 15. Luke Adams provides the details on all important January dates.
  • We let you know how you can track all of your favorite players on our Trade Rumors app.
  • Chris Crouse gave out his latest tips on fantasy basketball, including insights on Magic point man Elfrid Payton.
  • Luke Adams explored potential suitors for Kings forward Rudy Gay in our Trade Candidate series.
  • We gave you info on our Reverse Standings tool, which gives you a better idea of the June draft order.
  • Arthur Hill wrote his second installment of the 2017 Free Agent Power Rankings, with Kevin Durant topping the list.
  • We asked readers to weigh in on a couple of topics in our Community Shootaround series.
    • There were a number of big stories in 2016, including the Warriors’ 73-win regular season, the Cavs’ first championship and Durant ditching the Thunder for Golden State. What do you think was the biggest story of the year?
    • Following up the Rudy Gay Trade Candidate piece as rumors continue to swirl, we sought out your opinion on this question: What team would be the best fit for Gay?

Week in Review: 12/24/16 – 12/31/16

Here’s a look back at all the notable news and events from around the NBA this past seven days:


Signings/Agreements


Waivers


News


Rumors

Cavs Notes: Osman, Luxury Tax, James

Cavaliers draft-and-stash prospect Cedi Osman could be dealt in the near future, according to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Vardon hears there is “interest in some corners” for the 6’8” forward, who reportedly wants to play in the NBA next season. Osman, 21, is averaging 8.9 points and shooting 45% from the field for Anadolu Efes Istanbul. What makes him attractive, as Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out, is his 41% shooting from 3-point range. Osman was selected in 2015 with the No. 31 overall pick by the Timberwolves. His draft rights, along with those of forward Rakeem Christmas and a future draft pick, were then shipped to the Cavs in exchange for the draft rights of point guard Tyus Jones.

In other musings involving the club:

  • The Cavs’ ability to make moves is hamstrung by their luxury-tax and draft pick issues, as Pluto details. Chris Andersen and Mo Williams are out for the season and J.R. Smith is out 12-14 weeks after thumb surgery, leaving them with just 12 players. But if they cut Williams to sign a minimum salary player, he would cost about $10MM because of the luxury tax implications, according to Pluto, while cutting Andersen for a minimum player would cost them $7MM.
  • Cleveland cannot move any first-round picks prior to the 2020 draft in a trade, according to Pluto. That’s because it dealt its 2018 pick in the Channing Frye acquisition last season and teams aren’t allowed to deal picks in consecutive years.
  • LeBron James, who turned 32 on Friday, feels strong heading into the New Year and the stats bear that out, Vardon writes in a piece comparing James to Michael Jordan when Jordan was 32. He’s averaging 8.6 assists, equaling his career high, and his 25.4 point average is in line with his output over the last two seasons. His 7.9 rebounding average is his highest since the 2012/13 season with the Heat. “I’ve told you guys, I feel great,” he told Vardon and other reporters. “I’ve conditioned myself and I’m having one of the best statistical categories seasons of my career so far and I just want to try to continue to keep it going.”
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