Month: April 2024

Tony Snell Joins Celtics’ G League Affiliate

The Maine Celtics have acquired veteran swingman Tony Snell from the G League’s player pool, the team announced in a press release.

Snell has been a free agent since finishing last season with the Pelicans. He had a workout in November with the Lakers and now turns to the G League in his effort to get back to the NBA.

The 31-year-old has appeared in 601 games in his nine-year NBA career, with averages of 6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per night. He’s a career 39.4% shooter from three-point range and hopes to show teams that he’s still an effective marksman from long distance.

Snell spent three seasons with the Bulls after being selected with the 20th pick in the 2013 draft. He was traded to the Bucks in 2016, to the Pistons in 2019 and to the Hawks in 2020. After signing with the Trail Blazers as a free agent in 2021, he was traded again last season, being sent to New Orleans at the deadline.

Raptors Rumors: Trent, VanVleet, Siakam, Anunoby, Achiuwa

Most executives who have spoken to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype believe that Raptors wing Gary Trent Jr. will be able to at least match – and likely exceed – the value of his $18.8MM player option on a new contract, which is why he’s considered a strong bet to opt out and become a free agent this summer.

Scotto said during a podcast with Blake Murphy of Sportsnet that there are people around the league who think Trent will surpass $20MM annually on his next contract. Although Murphy mentioned the possibility of a deal in the neighborhood of $25MM per year for Trent, Scotto is skeptical that he’ll get that much — if he does, it would be based on his age and potential for further growth (he just turned 24 years old).

As for Fred VanVleet, Scotto has heard that the Raptors’ point guard could be seeking a contract in the range of $30-35MM per year when he’s eligible for free agency this summer. That would put him in the same ballpark as a fellow guard like Jrue Holiday, for instance, Scotto observes.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Executives around the NBA don’t expect Pascal Siakam to be on the move by February 9 unless the Raptors are blown away with a “crazy” offer, Scotto says.
  • According to Scotto, a number of rival executives have speculated about the possibility of the Grizzlies making a run at Raptors forward OG Anunoby. Memphis has exhibited plenty of patience in building its roster in recent years and hasn’t seemed eager to sacrifice future draft capital to take a big swing — still, Anunoby would be an ideal fit on the roster, and the team has an extra first-round pick (Golden State’s top-four protected 2024 selection).
  • Anunoby tells Michael Grange of that there’s no truth to the rumblings that he wants out of Toronto. Within the same story, Grange examines the recent emergence of Precious Achiuwa and considers whether the ascendant big man could help ease the loss if the Raptors trade Anunoby.

Mavericks Sign Chris Silva To 10-Day Contract

11:18am: The Mavericks have officially signed Silva, the team announced (via Twitter).

The timing is a little surprising, since the deal will only run through February 9, covering Dallas’ next four games. Silva would have to sign a second 10-day contract to remain eligible for the Mavs’ games on Feb. 10 and 11 (and beyond).

8:24am: The Mavericks are set to sign forward Chris Silva to a 10-day contract, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Silva signed a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract with the Hawks in August and was waived during the preseason. He reported to the team’s G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, and has spent the season with the club.

Silva averaged 13.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game in 18 Showcase Cup appearances (26.0 MPG) for the Skyhawks. Since the regular season began, he has recorded 14.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 0.9 BPG in 11 contests (22.4 MPG).

Dallas will be the fourth NBA team Silva has played for during the regular season. He appeared in a total of 69 games from 2019-22, primarily for Miami, but also with Sacramento and Minnesota. The 26-year-old holds career averages of 2.8 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 7.7 MPG.

Because the Mavericks have an open spot on their 15-man roster, no corresponding move will be required to make room for Silva. I’d expect Dallas to wait a couple days to sign him, since the team doesn’t play again until Thursday — signing him on Thursday would make him eligible for the Mavs’ next six games, whereas signing him today would only make him eligible for four.

Silva will earn $109,318 over the course of his 10-day deal, while Dallas will carry a cap hit of $105,522. With the trade deadline just 10 days away, Silva would presumably be the odd man out if the Mavs take on an extra player in any deadline deals.

Jerami Grant Confirms Blazers Offered Four-Year Extension

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant confirmed on Monday that the team has offered him a four-year, $112MM+ contract extension, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic (Twitter link). Grant said he’ll likely wait until sometime in the spring to make a decision on the offer.

“I’m kind of focused on the season at hand right now,” Grant said (Twitter link). “Probably will wait until after the season and talk to (general manager) Joe (Cronin). Everything is good. I like it here. Really enjoying it. So, yeah … we will discuss it when it’s time.”

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports first reported last week that the Blazers had offered Grant an extension.

During the season, the Blazers can offer Grant up to approximately $112.65MM over four years. That’s a 20% raise on this season’s $20.96MM salary for year one of the extension, then 8% annual raises after that. If he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the 28-year-old would be eligible for a deal worth up to a projected $233MM+ over five years from Portland.

Grant is unlikely to receive a maximum-salary offer from the Blazers or another team, but if he believes he can exceed the $28MM-per-year proposal currently on the table, it would make sense for him to opt for free agency instead. He’ll have until June 30 to decide whether to accept Portland’s current offer, so there’s no rush to get anything done during the season.

A year ago, a handful of free-agents-to-be, including Ivica Zubac, Gary Harris, and Thaddeus Young, agreed to extensions during the final week before July 1, so it’s not unprecedented for extension candidates to take their decisions down to the wire. Of course, none of those players’ deals were nearly as lucrative as the offer on the table for Grant, and none of them were expected to have the sort of market value that Grant will.

In his first season in Portland after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Pistons, Grant is averaging 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on .488/.422/.797 shooting through 48 contests (35.8 MPG). He has also provided the Blazers with a big, versatile defender on the wing. While he may be leaning toward staying in Portland, the ninth-year forward would certainly draw interest from rival suitors if he reaches the open market.

Stein’s Latest: Thybulle, Kings, Hyland, Raptors, Kyrie

The Kings are believed to be keeping an eye on Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle, according to Marc Stein, who reports in his latest Substack story that Sacramento is mulling the possibility of pursuing a defensive-minded player on the perimeter.

Thybulle certainly fits that bill — he has made the All-Defensive Second Team twice in his first three NBA seasons. However, his offensive game is extremely limited. He’s averaging just 2.7 points in 12.1 minutes per night (45 games) for Philadelphia this season. The 25-year-old is also on an expiring contract and will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Bones Hyland‘s name has popped up in an increasing number of trade rumors as of late, and Stein suggests that the Nuggets guard has emerged as one of the players most likely to be dealt on or before the February 9 deadline. League sources tell Stein that concerns about Hyland’s defensive limitations and some recent “tensions” about his playing time are factors in Denver’s decision to make him available.
  • Stein’s podcast partner Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said on the first episode of their #thisleague UNCUT podcast that he has heard rumblings all season about certain Raptors players being unhappy with their situations or roles. Stein has heard those same rumblings and says that’s why there has been some curiosity around the NBA about the status of head coach Nick Nurse going forward.
  • Some league observers believe the fact that the Nets haven’t had any substantive extension talks with Kyrie Irving is because they’re not feeling much pressure to lock him up early, according to Stein. The thinking is that Irving may need Brooklyn’s help to go to a desired location via sign-and-trade in the offseason, since the teams with significant cap room will be non-contenders.

Injury Updates: Anunoby, Simmons, Warren, James, Doncic, Young, Butler

OG Anunoby is one of the bigger names churning through the trade rumor mill, so the latest injury news regarding the Raptors forward could complicate those discussions.

The team has ruled out Anunoby for the remainder of its road trip, a seven-game journey which concludes with stops in Utah, Houston and Memphis this week, Michael Grange of tweets. He sprained his left wrist against Golden State on Friday.

We have more notable injury updates:

  • The Nets’ Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) sat out Monday’s win over the Lakers, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Coach Jacque Vaughn is hopeful both will be “ready to go” for Wednesday’s matchup against Boston, Adam Zagoria tweets.
  • LeBron James sat out that game with what Lakers coach Darvin Ham describes as “some really significant soreness” in his left foot, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. The Lakers play against the Knicks on Tuesday.
  • Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic returned to action after a one-game absence due to an ankle sprain and continued his scoring rampage. He notched 53 points against Detroit, his league-best fourth 50-point game this season, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press notes (Twitter link).
  • Hawks guard Trae Young sat out Monday’s game against Portland due to right ankle soreness, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. He had 31 points in 36 minutes against the Clippers on Saturday.
  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler (right quad contusion) is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against Cleveland, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Butler scored 28 points against Charlotte on Sunday.

Eastern Notes: Antetokounmpo, Banchero, Yurtseven, Caruso

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has full faith in general manager Jon Horst’s decision-making as the trade deadline approaches, he told Eric Nehm of The Athletic in a wide-ranging interview.

“I feel really good about this team,” Antetokounmpo said. “I feel this team has a chance to win a championship and that’s all you can ask for. Now, what Jon’s going to do, that’s in his hands. He’s really good at his job. GM of the Year in 2019. He’s made incredible trades, some of those trades helped us win a championship. We’ve just got to trust him. We’ve got to trust his judgment and what he sees and what he feels.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Top pick Paolo Banchero says he’s appreciates the tough love approach of his Magic coaches and veteran players, he told Alex Kennedy of Basketball News. “Everyone is here to help me — all of the coaches and a lot of the guys on the team, they all hold me accountable,” Banchero said. “They don’t just let me [do what I want]. If I’m out there making mistakes or not playing up to my abilities, they’re going to let me know about it.  They’re going to challenge me, and that’s why I love them. They don’t hand anything to me.”
  • Heat center Omer Yurtseven‘s surgically repaired ankle has fully healed, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Yurtseven is preparing for his season debut, which is expected to come shortly after the All-Star break. He’s been cleared for high impact work and is rehabbing in Miami while the team is on a road trip this week.
  • The Bulls have put such a high price tag on Alex Caruso that he’s virtually untouchable. His value goes far beyond the stat sheet, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “He’s one of those classic guys that if you’re watching the game and you really understand the game, then you look at the stat sheet, you’re like, ‘You know what, don’t tell me about the stat sheet. That guy impacts the game, he impacts winning,’” coach Billy Donovan said. “To me, the stat sheet never really tells the story about the guys that are really impacting the outcome of the game with different things they do.’’

New York Notes: Knicks’ Second Unit, Knicks Defense, Nets Offense

There may be more pressure on the Knicks’ front office than coach Tom Thibodeau, Steve Popper of Newsday speculates.

The Knicks had to attach draft picks to trade three veterans during the offseason and now have three more — Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish — glued to the bench. They could use some help on the second unit, with Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen rumored as potential trade targets. Meanwhile, Thibodeau is leaning on younger players to produce.

“We know that a big part of learning is trial and error, so our young guys are getting better day by day, and that’s what I’m excited about,” the head coach said. “I know there’s a tremendous amount of growth they’ve already had, and I think there’s more to come.”

We have more on the New York City teams:

  • With the jumbled standings and most teams at least in contention for the play-in tournament, there are more buyers than sellers in the trade market. That could make it more difficult for the Knicks to do anything, Fred Katz of The Athletic notes. The Knicks are hoping that more teams will go into sell mode prior to the trade deadline — Katz breaks down which clubs might fall into that category.
  • The Knicks were disappointed with their defensive coverages in their loss to the Kevin Durant-less Nets, Peter Botte of the New York Post writes. The Nets knocked down 22 3-pointers. “Closing out, sense of urgency, none of that. We have to be better,” Julius Randle said. “We didn’t play well enough to win. We definitely didn’t deserve to win the game. We didn’t pick up our sense of urgency until the game went on, the fourth quarter. We have to be better from the start.”
  • On the flip side, the Nets might need to continue firing away from deep to make up for Durant’s absence, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. They attempted 40 3-pointers against the Knicks and head coach Jacque Vaughn wasn’t sure it was enough. “I wouldn’t mind having 10 more,” Vaughn said. “I say that in the huddle, let’s get 50 up. We have a good enough squad who can shoot the basketball and they have to be respected. [Kyrie Irving’s] ability, that’s why it’s so great to have the basketball in his hands. … If we can shoot 50 [3-pointers], we’ll shoot 50 and be OK with that as long as they’re good ones.”

Pacific Notes: Booker, Saric, Wiseman, Moody, Jackson

Suns guard Devin Booker is scheduled for a second reevaluation Wednesday for a left groin strain he suffered on Christmas Day, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Booker missed his 18th consecutive game with the left groin strain Monday against Toronto but there’s optimism he’ll play this week. The Suns have a home game on Wednesday, then embark on a five-game road trip.

“Everybody is excited,” Suns forward Dario Saric said. “He’s our best player.”

However, Suns head coach Monty Williams said Booker still hasn’t participated in any 5-on-5 scrimmages, Gerald Bourguet of tweets.

We have more Pacific Division news:

  • Speaking of Saric, he’s thrilled to be getting steady minutes, Rankin tweets. “I’m feeling great being back in the rotation. Serious minutes,” he said. “Feeling great about that. I think I deserve that. I work hard for that. Played a couple of good games. I hope I’m going to continue like that.” Saric, who is averaging 7.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 18.3 minutes this month, needs to pump up his value since he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr met with James Wiseman over the weekend to give the young center some encouraging words, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Wiseman has struggled to establish a rotation spot this season. “One of the things I told James is that in this league things change quickly,” Kerr said. “You just don’t know. … I would love to get him out there, but right now, JaMychal (Green) is playing really well. Obviously, we’ve gone to a smaller lineup, so that … creates a little bit of a logjam at that position. James just has to stay ready.”
  • The Warriors have recalled second-year guard Moses Moody from their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team’s PR department tweets. Moody played two games with the G League team after being assigned last week, averaging 23 points in those games. Moody has appeared in 39 games with Golden State this season but recently fell out of the rotation.
  • The G League’s Stockton Kings released former lottery pick Josh Jackson over the weekend, the team tweets. Jackson appeared in a combined 51 NBA games with Detroit and Sacramento last season. He joined the G League team last week, but appeared in one game.