Month: April 2024

And-Ones: Knox, Hoard, Antetokounmpo, Rivers

Overtime Elite has signed five-star recruit Karter Knox, the team tweets. Karter Knox is the younger brother of NBA forward Kevin Knox. He’s entering his senior year of high school after leading Tampa Catholic to state semifinal appearances the last two seasons.

“Karter didn’t really want to leave,” his father Kevin Sr. told “He wanted to try to become the school’s all-time leading scorer and win a state title. If the state offered those (NIL) opportunities, it would have been a much tougher decision. This also gives Karter the ability to have constant training on a daily basis in an IMG type of setup. It is an extremely lucrative opportunity, not just in the money available, but in the value of getting Karter prepared for the next level. It’s just another layer to add to the foundation.”

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Jaylen Hoard has signed a two-year extension with Hapoel Tel Aviv, Sportando relays. Hoard averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game between the Winner League and Eurocup last season. After going undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2019, the 6’8″, French-born swingman joined the Trail Blazers on a two-way deal for the 2019/20 season. He then spent the subsequent two NBA seasons bouncing between the Thunder and their NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.
  • It’s still up in the air whether Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in the FIBA World Cup for the Greek National Team, according to Coach Dimitris Itoudis said Antetokounmpo’s cleanup procedure on his knee in June has led to the uncertainty regarding his availability. “That should be addressed to our doctor and the doctors of the Bucks. The information is that he is making an effort, and he will be reevaluated shortly, and we will have a final decision on whether he will make it or not,” Itoudis said.
  • Austin Rivers said on his recent podcast that he’s not a fan of players like Damian Lillard and James Harden demanding to be traded to a certain team (hat tip to NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin). “If you’re a free agent you can choose where you were gonna go, that’s the business. But when you’re not and you sign a deal, that’s part of the business,” Rivers said. “If you get traded somewhere, you got to go play.”

Eastern Notes: Garland, Adebayo, Love, Beauchamp

Cavaliers guard Darius Garland is using the team’s first-r0und playoff loss to New York as fuel for next season, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“I’ve been watching a lot of film of it this summer. Just trying to find ways to improve for next year. But now we’ve seen the playoffs,” Garland said. “For a lot of guys, it was our first time in the playoffs, so just getting that playoff experience made us better I think and made us hungrier. Even though we had a good year, I think we can trend up another notch this year and see what’s to come.”

One thing that Garland believes is that the Cavs collectively have to be tougher and stronger in their next postseason appearance.

“We have to be more physical,” Garland said. “I think their physicality took a toll on us in that series. They beat us up. We now know how physical the game is in the playoffs and we know how fast the pace is and every possession matters. Just taking little bits and pieces of that series and trying to put it together for the regular season and then also carry that into the playoffs.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Bam Adebayo believes the Heat simply wore down during their long postseason run, he told Leonard Solms in an ESPN story. “I feel like we just came up short because we had [among the most] injuries in the 2022-23 season. [Through] all those ups and downs throughout the season… I feel like fatigue had a toll,” he said of the Finals loss to the Nuggets.
  • Kevin Love‘s role with the Heat could fluctuate next season, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Love could start against bigger front lines with Caleb Martin starting against small-ball lineups, provided Martin isn’t dealt. Love could also see some action as the backup center. However, Winderman notes that coach Erik Spoelstra prefers continuity during the regular season.
  • Bucks guard MarJon Beauchamp had a memorable performance at the Crawsover Pro-Am event in his hometown of Seattle over the weekend, JR Radcliffe of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. Beauchamp scored 83 points in a game at Seattle Pacific University to set an event scoring record. He’s expected to have an expanded role next season with the Bucks after playing 52 regular season games as a rookie.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Wolves, Thunder Roster, OKC Arena

A month after Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Trail Blazers, specifically to the Heat, there’s little movement on a deal with Miami or any other team, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Today (video link).

Lillard’s huge contract, not his desired destination, is the biggest impediment. His contract runs through the 2026/27 season and he’ll make an estimated $58.5MM the previous season before a $63.2MM option in the final year.

“It has simply been – for a lot of teams – his age and the idea of playing him over 60 million dollars at 35 and 36 years old, the last two years of his deal,” Wojnarowski said. “Right not, there’s just not been a lot of engagement among teams on a Lillard trade.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder might be in a position this upcoming season where they start trading assets rather than hoarding them, The Ringer’s Michael Pina writes.  The team may be good enough to warrant some moves that increase its chances of winning in the short term, not just the long term. The Thunder could begin attaching salary to draft capital for more established players, rather than doing the reverse.
  • The Timberwolves’ best chance at improvement is to develop young players like Josh Minott, Wendell Moore, Luka Garza and Leonard Miller, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. The article details Minnesota’s efforts to coach up those reserves. “When you have the roster that we have, we’ve got to be able to develop some of these young guys and turn them into real players,” assistant coach Max Lefevre said. “It’s just huge.”
  • Oklahoma City mayor David Holt is more concerned about square footage than a seating capacity exceeding 20,000 in the Thunder’s proposed new arena, Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman relays. Holt addressed a number of questions about the arena and other Thunder-related topics while answering readers’ questions. “Seating capacity is actually not that big of an issue in modern arena planning. The real issue for teams is square footage because the real revenue drivers for users are happening outside of the bowl,” Holt wrote. “That’s why it is so damaging for sports and concerts that our arena is dead-last of all NBA arenas in square footage. Some arenas are literally twice our size and most are 40-50 percent larger. I can’t tell you what the seating capacity of a new arena will be, but the current capacity is not really an issue and hasn’t really come up.”

And-Ones: D. Rivers, M. Jackson, Bahamas, Shooting Tech, Contracts

After letting go of Jeff Van Gundy last month, ESPN/ABC has also laid off fellow analyst Mark Jackson, sources tell Andrew Marchand of The New York Post. Jackson confirmed the news in an interview with Peter Vecsey, Marchand adds (via Twitter).

As Marchand writes, the new top NBA broadcast team at ESPN/ABC will be comprised of longtime play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers, and Doris Burke, who is being promoted. The hiring of Rivers and promotion of Burke aren’t yet official, but they are “quickly moving in that direction,” according to Marchand.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald confirms Marchand’s reporting (via Twitter).

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • The SunsDeandre Ayton and Eric Gordon, Pacers wing Buddy Hield, and Hornets big man Kai Jones are on the 2024 Olympic qualifying roster for the Bahamas, per Marc J. Spears of Andscape. The Bahamian national team will play its qualifying games in Argentina from August 14-20. “I’m excited to be back playing for Team Bahamas and to see how much the program has grown,” Ayton told Spears. “Can’t wait to play with my guys. It’s truly a special experience to compete with teammates – who are from where you’re from – with Bahamas on your chest.”
  • Tim MacMahon of ESPN details how Breakaway Data — a startup focused on the biomechanics of shooting — has partnered with Overtime Elite and Las Vegas Summer League to provide detailed breakdowns of each player’s shot. “I thought it was very informative,” Overtime Elite product Amen Thompson, drafted fourth overall by the Rockets, told ESPN. “Not everything works for everybody, but that [data] can’t really be a bad thing. It can only help to get as much information as possible. I felt like that’s what it gave us.”
  • Which players have inked the most lucrative contracts in NBA history? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype provides the list. Jaylen Brown‘s new super-max extension with the Celtics is the current largest deal ever, Gozlan notes.

Amir Coffey Arrested For Misdemeanor Gun Possession

Clippers wing Amir Coffey was arrested in Hollywood, California, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning for misdemeanor possession of a firearm, according to TMZ (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports).

Coffey was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding. When police approached the vehicle, they reportedly smelled marijuana and subsequently searched the car. They found a loaded gun, which Coffey conceded was his.

According to TMZ, the 26-year-old was subsequently arrested for the misdemeanor charge, booked into jail, and released four hours later on his own recognizance. Coffey’s court date is scheduled for August.

The Clippers have yet to comment on the matter, Helin notes.

Coffey, who reportedly would have been sent to the Wizards in June in a three-team trade that fell apart at the last minute, has been with the Clippers since he went undrafted in 2019 out of Minnesota.

He had a breakout third season in 2021/22, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.8 APG on .453/.378/.863 shooting in 69 games (30 starts, 22.7 MPG), which led to him being promoted from a two-way deal to a standard contract in March 2022. He signed a three-year, $11MM contract with L.A. last summer — he’ll earn $7.6MM over the next two seasons.

Last season, Coffey struggled to produce at the same level in a limited role. He averaged just 3.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG and 1.1 APG on .386/.275/.778 shooting across 50 contests (nine starts, 12.5 MPG).

Southwest Notes: Eason, Doncic, Hardaway, K. Johnson

Rockets‘ free agent addition Dillon Brooks recently said he’s looking forward to teaming up with Tari Eason, and Eason tells Kelly Iko of The Athletic that the feeling is mutual. Eason gained a reputation as a tough, aggressive defender during his rookie season, and he wants to build on that with help from Brooks.

“He’s one of the best defenders around and I can learn so many things from him,” Eason said. “There are so many other things to defense besides just guarding your man. There are so many things I can get better at in defense. Just being able to be paired with him and his skill, his approach and how he sees things from a defensive standpoint. I’ll be able to pick his brain, learn and become a better defender.”

Eason quickly earned a rotation spot last season as a rookie on one of the worst teams in the league. Houston is expecting to be much better after signing Brooks and three other veteran free agents, and new coach Ime Udoka has emphasized to Eason that defense will be important for him to keep getting regular minutes.

“Just be vocal. Be in the right spots, things like that,” Eason said of Udoka’s message. “As far as my defensive approach, they want me to be locked in. We have an older team now so for me to be on the floor, I have to be one of the best defenders on the floor at all times. So just really being homed in on defense, that’s the biggest thing. Being able to knock down a consistent shot and play defense.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks likely have two more seasons to show Luka Doncic that they can build a contender around him before they have to worry about him leaving, Tim Cato of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. Doncic can opt out of his current deal in 2026, and although Cato is skeptical that the Slovenian star would ask for a trade before then, he acknowledges that the organization is operating under a “Doomsday Clock.” Cato also points out that Dallas has amassed a wealth of young talent, draft assets and tradable contracts to bid for the next big star that becomes available.
  • Cato believes it’s probably a coin flip on whether the Mavericks will trade Tim Hardaway Jr. before training camp, but he says it should become more likely as the season wears on. He points out that the acquisition of Seth Curry makes Hardaway more expendable, and the team needs to find minutes for second-year guard Jaden Hardy.
  • Keldon Johnson has established himself as a starter with the Spurs, but the addition of No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama may push him into a sixth-man role, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “I just want to win,” Johnson said. “Whatever I got to do to win, I am looking forward to that, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Harris, Morris, 2024 Cap Room

The Pistons made a few roster upgrades this summer, but the biggest reason for optimism is the return of Cade Cunningham, who was limited to 12 games last season before deciding to have shin surgery. Anthony L. Schulte of The Detroit Free Press takes a look at how Cunningham’s presence will affect the rest of Detroit’s backcourt.

The biggest influence may involve second-year guard Jaden Ivey, who became one of the team’s top play-makers with Cunningham out of action. They will likely be the starting backcourt, and Schulte expects Ivey to adopt more of a scoring mentality with Cunningham running the offense.

Schulte adds that Cunningham’s return may cause the Pistons to move on from Killian Hayes, who flourished somewhat last season but still faces an uncertain future in Detroit. The Pistons reportedly talked to the Mavericks about a Hayes trade this summer, but weren’t able to make much progress.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • The Pistons may have trouble finding minutes for Joe Harris, who was acquired in a trade with the Nets, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press states in an overview of the roster. Even though there’s a need for more shooting, Bojan Bogdanovic appears locked in as the starting small forward and the team invested a high lottery pick on Ausar Thompson, who was impressive during Summer League.
  • There will also be a competition for playing time in the backcourt, where newly acquired Monte Morris will benefit from his ability to handle either guard position, Sankofa adds. Morris used to play alongside Nikola Jokic in Denver, so he has plenty of experience in moving without the ball. “I ain’t gotta be on the ball all the time, so I’ll be able to play off the ball alongside Cade, kinda like the Jamal Murray role when me and him was in the backcourt together,” Morris said. “Whatever situation they want me to play, I’ve seen it all. I’ve played third, fourth option, second option, all that. I’m just a hooper, bro. I don’t really care.”
  • Instead of signing free agents, the Pistons used most of this year’s cap money to trade for Harris and Morris, who both have expiring contracts, notes Marlowe Alter of The Detroit Free Press. Detroit is projected to have more than $50MM in cap space next summer, and the 2024/25 season will be the final year before Cunningham’s expected extension kicks in.

Players Who Signed July 1 Are Now Eligible To Be Traded

The peak of the NBA’s transactions season has calmed down after an active start to July, but a few more players have become eligible to be traded on the final day of the month, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

The 30-day trade restriction window has expired for draft picks who signed their contracts on July 1, along with six players who inked two-way contracts on that date.

The designation won’t matter for those at the very top of the draft, as the Spurs and Trail Blazers obviously won’t consider trading Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, respectively. However, it could come into play for a few others, especially if more big-name players are on the move as the summer winds down.

In addition to those top-three picks, first-rounders who signed on July 1 are the Magic’s Anthony Black and Jett Howard, the PacersJarace Walker and Ben Sheppard, the Trail BlazersKris Murray and the Heat’s Jaime Jaquez. The No. 18 pick out of UCLA, Jaquez has been mentioned as a potential asset in a trade to bring Damian Lillard to Miami.

Two-way players who signed on July 1, according to’s transactions log, are the SixersTerquavion Smith and Ricky Council, the Heat‘s Dru Smith and Jamaree Bouyea, the Trail Blazers Ibou Badji and the RocketsTrevor Hudgins.

Most veteran free agents who signed this summer won’t become eligible to be traded by their teams until December 15 or January 15, depending on their circumstances. Those signings didn’t become official until July 6 or later because of the NBA’s summer moratorium.

Willie Cauley-Stein Signs With Italian Team

Veteran center Willie Cauley-Stein will continue his career in Italy, according to Eurohoops. The 29-year-old has signed with Pallacanestro Varese, which plays in the LBA (Lega Basket Serie A).

Cauley-Stein didn’t appear in any NBA games last season, even though he signed three contracts with the Rockets, including one that covered just the final day of the regular season. He averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 13 regular season games with Houston’s G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Cauley-Stein was taken by the Kings with the sixth pick in the 2015 draft and earned second team All-Rookie honors. He eventually became Sacramento’s starting center and enjoyed his best NBA seasons with 12.8 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 2017/18 and 11.9 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 2018/19.

He signed with the Warriors as a free agent in 2019, but was traded to the Mavericks midway through the season. He remained with Dallas until being waived in January of 2022, then appeared in two games for the Sixers on a 10-day contract.

Varese will be Cauley-Stein’s first venture into international basketball. His notable teammates will include former Grizzlies forward Sean McDermott and ex-Michigan State and G League forward Gabe Brown.

Southeast Notes: Martin, Butler, Murphy

Caleb Martin, if he’s not included in a potential Damian Lillard blockbuster, could end up on the free agent market next summer, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel explains. The Heat forward can opt out of his $7.1MM salary for the 2024/25 season next summer. If he plays like he did in the postseason, he would obviously make that move. However, as Winderman notes, Martin may not be quite as effective now that he’s more of a known commodity and will be more of a focus in defensive game plans.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat could soon find themselves in the same salary cap crunch as the Celtics in the wake of Jaylen Brown‘s huge extension, Winderman opines. Jimmy Butler is likely to pursue a costly extension whether or not the club acquires Lillard and his huge contract. Butler is entering the first year of three-year, $146.4MM million contract that includes a player option in 2025/26. A payroll that includes a Butler extension, along with contracts of Lillard and Bam Adebayo, would result in tough decisions regarding the remainder of the roster.
  • Dylan Murphy has moved on from an assistant coaching position with the Magic to being the head coach of their G League affiliate, now called the Osceola Magic. The G League team’s GM, Kevin Tiller, said Murphy is ready to show what he can do as a head coach. “Dylan came into the interview overly prepared,” Tiller told the Orlando Sentinel’s Jason Beede. “Knocked it out of the park. Every question we asked, he had a perfect answer. Not that we’re looking for a ‘perfect’ response but just the way he articulated everything, it showed us how much he’s been preparing for this. Longer than just, ‘Hey, you’re going to interview for this next Tuesday.’ This has been years in the making.”
  • In case you missed it, the Wizards signed Jared Butler to a two-way deal this weekend.