Month: October 2019

Community Shootaround: Overseas Players Who Could Help NBA Teams

Anyone who wants to catch the next chapter of “Linsanity” will need a plane ticket to China. Along with Jeremy Lin, they can also watch Lance Stephenson play the air guitar and get a look at Jerian Grant, Chasson Randle and more as a dozen former NBA players are heading to the Far East.

Luke Adams recently chronicled the number of players who were in the NBA last season and have signed overseas contracts this summer. While China leads the way, a significant amount of talent is also headed to Israel, Russia, Spain, Turkey and other locations.

The significant thing about these overseas migrations is that all the seasons are done before the NBA’s. So every March, a new crop of players becomes available, and many of them find roles with contenders who are eager to add depth before the start of the playoffs.

Here are a few players who should attract attention in roughly six months:

  • Lin didn’t see much playoff action with the Raptors, but his regular season numbers were pretty good. He averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 assists in 51 games with the Hawks, followed by 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG in 23 games with Toronto. Even though he didn’t receive a training camp invitation, Lin showed he still has plenty to contribute after two seasons lost to injury in Brooklyn.
  • With the Lakers in turmoil seemingly all season, L.A. may not have been the best place for the already-volatile Stephenson. Still, he was part of the rotation for 68 games and posted a 7.2/3.2/2.1 line. He’s only 28 years old and should have a few productive years left.
  • Greg Monroe, who’s headed to Germany, didn’t provide the spark that either the Celtics or Sixers were hoping for when they each signed him late in the season. However, he’s only 29 and was a valuable bench presence for Boston in 2018/19.
  • Isaiah Canaan, who will play in China, was the Suns‘ starting point guard at the beginning of last season before being waived in late November. Even though he has bounced around the league and has dealt with injuries, the 28-year-old remains an explosive scorer who can provide instant offense.
  • Ian Clark, who also signed in China, played in two NBA Finals with the Warriors and has spent the past two seasons as a valuable reserve for the Pelicans.
  • Omri Casspi, who will play in Israel, spent almost the entire 2017/18 season with the champion Warriors before being waived just before the playoffs. At 31, he’s a little older than the other candidates on this list, but he’s a stretch four with a nice touch from 3-point range.

We want to get your input. Which overseas players do you think might make a difference in the NBA come springtime? Please leave your answers in the space below.

Kings Notes: Joseph, Ferrell, Barnes, Bagley

Cory Joseph‘s uncertain relationship with Team Canada has drawn most of the headlines this summer, but the eight-year veteran will have a new role once the World Cup is over, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Joseph joined the Kings on a three-year, $37MM contract last month, and he’ll be counted on to back up burgeoning star De’Aaron Fox.

Joseph is among several experienced players that GM Vlade Divac added in an effort to fix a defense that ranked 26th last season in points allowed and 20th in defensive rating. Joseph, among the league’s best perimeter defenders at point guard, posted a 6.5/3.4/3.9 line last season, but Ham expects those numbers to increase as he leaves the methodical Pacers for the faster-paced Kings.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • Yogi Ferrell will also be competing for minutes in a now-crowded Kings backcourt, Ham adds in a separate story. Ferrell won the back-up point guard spot after signing with Sacramento last summer, but the addition of Joseph seems to leave him without a clear role. He can play either backcourt position, but the team is also deep at shooting guard with Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Even though the Kings picked up his $3.2MM option for this season, Ferrell’s playing time may be reduced.
  • It didn’t take long for Harrison Barnes to win the confidence of his World Cup coaches, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Barnes is the only player on Team USA with a championship ring, which he collected with the Warriors in 2015, and the only one with a gold medal, which came in the 2016 Olympics. “Pop (head coach Gregg Popovich) trusts him,” said USA assistant Steve Kerr, who coached Barnes for two seasons with Golden State. “Pop talks about it all the time with our staff. He knows he can count on him to make the right play and to execute under pressure.”
  • Marvin Bagley and Hield are getting some experience with a well-respected tutor, notes Jordan Ramirez of NBA.com. They are spending part of the summer at UCLA with Rico Hines, who has worked with James Harden, Kevin Durant and many other star players. “Getting on the court, being around him, he’s an unbelievable person, first and foremost,” said Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Kings last month. “He’s a gym rat as well. He’s always in the gym. We’re always in the gym. We’re always looking to get better.”

Pistons Notes: Snell, Griffin, Morris, Mykhailiuk

The addition of Tony Snell in a trade with the Bucks cleared the way for the rest of the Pistons‘ offseason moves, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Milwaukee made Snell available in June to free up money to re-sign other players. Detroit, which was in the market for a small forward after moving Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson at the trade deadline, was happy to accept, getting the final first-round pick of this year’s draft as well in exchange for Jon Leuer.

Snell, who has played three seasons each with the Bulls and Bucks, comes to Detroit in the prime of his career. He’s a 3-and-D wing player who has taken 57% of his career shots from behind the arc. He’s in line for a starting role after averaging 6.0 PPG in 74 games last season.

Getting Snell in a trade enabled the Pistons to use their cap-exception money to address other areas. They added depth at point guard by signing Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier, then upgraded their frontcourt with the addition of veteran power forward Markieff Morris.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Signing Morris may help reduce the workload on Blake Griffin, Langlois adds in a separate story. With no effective back-up at power forward, Griffin averaged 35.0 minutes in 75 games last season, a risky burden for someone with a long injury history. Morris’ numbers dipped last year because of a neck injury that sidelined him for six weeks, but before that he had five straight seasons of averaging at least 25 minutes per night.
  • The Pistons didn’t see much of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk after acquiring him from the Lakers in February, but his shooting could make him part of the rotation, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. The 22-year-old played just three games for Detroit before suffering a broken left index finger that required surgery. The Pistons need 3-point shooters, and Mykhailiuk was lethal from long range in college. He had a strong showing in the Summer League, and coach Dwane Casey has praised his athleticism and toughness, as well as his shot. “I think everybody knows I’m a pretty good shooter, so definitely spacing the floor, creating my own shot and just help whatever they need me to do and just play hard and make the right plays,” Mykhailiuk said.
  • Are the Pistons headed for the playoffs? Vote in our poll.

Warriors Never Considered Not Re-Signing Klay Thompson

The torn ACL that Klay Thompson suffered in the NBA Finals didn’t give Golden State any second thoughts about keeping him in free agency, CEO Joe Lacob said on the Warriors Insider Podcast (relayed by Dustin Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area).

An agreement on Thompson’s new five-year, $190MM max contract was announced shortly after the start of free agency on July 1. He will miss most of the first season of that deal, as his injury is projected to sideline him until February or March.

“There was no doubt in my mind, whatsoever,” Lacob said. “I, and we, want Klay to be here for a long time. He’s one of my favorite players in the world.”

Thompson suffered the injury late in Game 6 as the Warriors were clinging to a three-point lead. He landed awkwardly on a dunk attempt and grabbed his knee. Golden State wound up losing the game and the series.

“ACLs … not good, OK we know that,” Lacob said. “But stuff happens and that’s an injury that now people know how to manage. Plenty of people have come back from ACLs and done pretty well. Honestly, (not re-signing him) didn’t even remotely cross my mind.” 

This is the first serious injury that Thompson has experienced since joining the Warriors as the 11th pick in the 2011 draft. He has appeared in at least 73 games every season and contributes on both ends of the court, averaging 19.5 PPG over his career and frequently taking the toughest defensive matchup.

“Personally, I think he’s the greatest two-guard — I’m old school. I know it’s positionless basketball, but I go by positions. To me, he’s the greatest two-guard on the planet,” Lacob said. “… He’s a two-way player. He’s got great size and he’s an incredible shooter and he plays hard. What more can you ask for than Klay Thompson? Why would you not want Klay Thompson?” 

Ben Moore To Play In Turkey

Ben Moore, who recently worked out for the Suns, will play in Istanbul this upcoming season, with Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reporting that the 24-year-old forward has signed with Galatasaray S.K. of the Turkish Basketball Super League.

Moore, who reportedly performed admirably for the USA Basketball Select Team in several scrimmages against the Team USA 2019 FIBA World Cup Squad, has spent most of his young career in the G League, averaging 12.5 PPG and 8.0 RPG in two seasons (90 games) with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (2017/18) and Austin Spurs (2018/19).

Moore has also appeared in two NBA games, both with the Pacers as a rookie during the 2017/18 season. He played a total of nine minutes and posted a rebound and an assist but did not score any points.

Five Key Stories: 8/24/19 – 8/31/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

After an ex-girlfriend/mother of DeMarcus Cousins’ child accused the injured Lakers’ center of threatening her life, an arrest warrant was issued for the 29-year-old former All-NBA performer. Cousins, who allegedly made the threat after the woman refused to allow the former couple’s seven-year-old son to attend Cousins’ wedding, is accused of telling Christy West that he would “put a bullet through [her] f—ing head.” Both the Lakers and the NBA are currently performing investigations of the matter.

Nets swingman Caris LeVert signed a rookie scale extension worth $52.5MM over three years. The deal, which will go into effect during the 2020/21 season, will pay the 25-year-old LeVert $16.2MM, $17.5MM, and $18.8MM through the 2022/23 season. The deal will essentially use up all of Brooklyn’s cap space for next summer, but with an expected weak free agent class of 2020, that shouldn’t be an issue for a team that just signed Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan this summer.

The Rockets and shooting guard Eric Gordon have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $75.6MM. The deal, which will go into effect during the 2020/21 season, will pay the 30-year-old Gordon $16.9MM, $18.2MM, $19.6MM, and $20.9MM through the 2023/24 season. Gordon’s 2023/24 salary is non-guaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed if the Rockets win a championship or Gordon is named an All-Star. As a result of the deal, Gordon can’t be traded during the 2019/20 season.

Nets forward Wilson Chandler has been hit with a 25-game suspension after testing positive for Ipamorelin, a banned performance-enhancing drug. Wilson released a statement accepting responsibility, claiming that he was prescribed the drug during an injury rehabilitation process and that at the time, he was not aware that it was a banned substance. The suspension will cost Chandler nearly $600K in salary.

Pelicans forward Darius Miller underwent surgery earlier this week to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon. No recovery timetable was provided by New Orleans, but it’s certainly possible that the 29-year-old veteran will miss the entire 2019/20 campaign. The earliest conceivable return date is probably late March to early April 2020.

Here are 10 more noteworthy headlines from the past week:

Photo courtesy of USA Sports Images.

Hoops Rumors Originals: 8/24/19 – 8/31/19

Every week, the Hoops Rumors writing team creates original content to complement our news feed. Here are our original segments and features from the past seven days:

  • This week in our Community Shootaround discussions, we focused on:
  • Luke Adams analyzed the amount of “dead money” each NBA franchise is carrying for the 2019/20 season.
  • In this week’s Polls, we asked:
    • Will the Pistons make the playoffs? 60% of you said that they will.
    • Will Team USA win the 2019 FIBA World Cup? Over 60% of you said yes, but over 41% of you said that Team USA will lose at least one game.
  • We began a breakdown of the status of every team’s second-round picks for the 2020 NBA Draft.
  • This year’s Remaining Offseason Questions series began with the Eastern Conference:
  • Luke Adams took a look at the NBA players who are headed overseas for the 2019/20 season.
  • We provided an up-to-date list of all NBA players who will or could become free agents in the summer of 2021.
  • Who are the NBA’s highest-paid players for the 2019/20 season? Find out right here. What about by team? We also have that list, here.
  • October 31 is the last day for teams to exercise team options on the rookie scale contracts of former first-round picks. Check out the decisions on tap for Halloween 2019.

Frank Vogel On Dwight Howard’s Lakers Role

An ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins created an opening for a big man on the Lakers‘ roster which has been — at least temporarily — filled by Dwight Howard.

The veteran center, who has bounced around the league, returned to the Lakers on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal after he was waived by the Grizzlies. At 33 years old, coming off an injury-riddled season that saw him appear in just nine games, it’s clear that Howard is no longer the player who once made eight straight All-Star teams.

However, after meeting with the Lakers and striking an emotional chord, the mercurial center could aid L.A.’s quest for a championship, something he wasn’t able to do in his first stint with the purple and gold.

“I’m definitely confident he can the play we’ve laid out for him. He’s coming to the Lakers at a very different time in his career,” new Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said on Access SportsNet (Twitter link). “[The] first time he was here, he was on top of the NBA mountain and was a bonafide superstar. Things have changed, he’s later in his career now, he’s a different person [and] has a different mindset.”

Over the last four seasons, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year has suited up for four different teams (Rockets, Hawks, Hornets and Wizards). That does not include him being waived by both the Nets and Grizzlies following trades.

As Vogel mentioned, Howard is no longer the player who averaged 22.1 PPG and 14.1 RPG while anchoring the Magic’s defense. However, Vogel is confident that Howard can adjust to being a role player who helps the organization reach its ultimate goal.

“We feel really good about where he’s at as a person,” Vogel said. “He’s gonna serve a different role. It’s gonna be more of a role player type of role as opposed to being the lead and he understands that.”

Joe Johnson Talks BIG3, Possible NBA Future

Joe Johnson, a 17-year NBA veteran, last suited up in the league for the Rockets during the 2017/18 campaign. Since then, the 38-year-old has grieved the passing of his mother, which cast doubt on his future as a professional basketball player.

In an exclusive interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, this year’s BIG3 Most Valuable Player opened up about his decision to join the league and how it’s helped him cope. Johnson, who is reportedly set to work out with several NBA teams, could become the second BIG3 player ever to land an NBA deal.

Check out some highlights below:

On why he chose to join the BIG3:

“I use it as therapy. My mom passed away in February, and being an only child, it was tough on me, so I just needed something to do to keep me busy. And the BIG3 was it.”

How Ice Cube helped facilitate his BIG3 jump:

“Cube knew my whole situation before I committed to it. I was telling him, ‘Man, I don’t know if I am going to do it, Cube, because I am going through this with my mom’s [death]. And he gave me as much time as I needed.”

On the BIG3 being a potential way to get back to the NBA:

“I am hopeful to get back, but I did not get in the BIG3 to get back to the ‘league.’ I had a great career. I enjoyed the process. The only thing that keeps the NBA fire in the belly is how it ended in Houston. That just does not sit well with me. So if an opportunity comes along and I feel that it is worth it, yeah, I take that chance.”

Cavaliers Agree To Deal With Daniel Hamilton

The Cavaliers have bolstered their training camp competition after agreeing to a one-year deal with swingman Daniel Hamilton, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. Hamilton’s pact is an Exhibit 10 contract,

Hamilton, 24, was a second-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and has seen action in the past two seasons. In 19 games with the Hawks last season, Hamilton averaged 3.0 PPG on 38.3% shooting from the field. He was waived in early February.

On a two-way pact with the Thunder during the 2017/18 season, the UConn product saw action in six NBA contests while spending the rest of his time in the G League.

Cleveland intends to invite 20 players to training camp and the agreement with Hamilton makes him the 19th, per Fedor. Hamilton is poised to compete for one of the Cavs’ final roster spots with recent signees Sindarius Thornwell, Jarell Martin, Marques Bolden and J.P. Macura.

Bolden and Macura will also be on Exhibit 10 pacts, therefore Cleveland can deploy them to the G League if they do not crack the NBA roster out of training camp.