Amar'e Stoudemire

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Frazier, Oladipo, Stoudemire

Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is excited about the new players his team brought in this offseason, and he hopes that the additions of veterans Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky alongside rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford will allow him to deploy a deeper roster during the 2019/20 season, writes Sean Highkin of NBC Sports Chicago.

“What we (the Bulls) talked about is we wanted to bring in high character depth that could support our current roster,” Boylen said. “I also wanted a team that was duplicit and redundant so we could play the same way (when we go to our bench).”

Specifically, Boylen spoke on how the last couple years’ lack of depth caused the Bulls to rely on G League level players whenever stars like Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen were out with injury or sickness.

“We’ve struggled the last couple years to play on a night when we had injury or illness, where we had to change our style of play before the game. I don’t want that (for the Bulls). The good teams don’t have that.”

There’s more news out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Veteran point guard Tim Frazier is eager for the opportunity that awaits him with the Pistons, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. While Frazier may see limited minutes behind Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose, Detroit sees value in having a young and experienced option in case Jackson or Rose get hurt.
  • As Jackie MacMullan of ESPN explains, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has seen his appreciation for basketball grow as he’s been sidelined with a ruptured right quadriceps tendon. Regarding watching his team’s performance during the playoffs last season, Oladipo said “It was so hard. It makes you appreciate the game more, your teammates more, even yourself more… Sometimes we don’t realize our own impact. You take it for granted. I won’t ever do that again.”
  • The Knicks do not plan on signing former NBA All-Star big man Amar’e Stoudemire to a contract for the 2019/20 season, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Stoudemire worked out for the Knicks and 14 other teams in Las Vegas on Monday. He last played in the NBA for the Heat during the 2015/16 season.

And-Ones: Durant, Westbrook, Stoudemire

Many assume that Kevin Durant will miss the entire 2019/20 season, but it appears that’s not a given quite yet. GM Sean Marks said it’s “too early” to make a definitive timeline on Durant’s Nets debut.

 “A timeline will be given in due time, but as of now, we’re certainly not going to comment on when or if and make any sort of hypotheticals. It’s too early,” Marks said (via Nets Daily).

Durant is familiar with the medical staff in Brooklyn. Dr. Martin O’Malley, a foot and ankle specialist who is the team’s orthopaedic surgeon, performed the surgery to repair Durant’s Achilles. Despite the connection, the former MVP’s decision to join the Nets caught many in the basketball world by surprise, including some within Brooklyn’s front office.

“The Instagram post that he put up [announcing he’d sign with the Nets], we were all sitting in the office. We all got that in real time with you guys. We weren’t even sure if we were getting a meeting that night or if it was going to be a telephone conversation,” Marks said of finding out about Durant’s decision. The GM added that he hadn’t even spoken to Durant’s business partner Rich Kleiman yet.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Magic are unlikely to have interest in Russell Westbrook, Josh Robbins of The Athletic relays (Twitter link). The long-time Thunder point guard is reportedly open to a trade.
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer believes Marvin Williams is the veteran on the Hornets‘ roster most likely to be traded. Williams is making $15MM next season and Bonnell thinks the power forward’s game would mesh well with nearly every roster in the league.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire, who worked out in front of a number of teams this week, is serious about returning to the NBA. “I was never really done,’’ Stoudemire said, as Marc Berman of the New York Post relays. “I took kind of a sabbatical leave and I went to go learn over in Israel for two and a half years or so. So I went there and when I was still learning, I was able to also play basketball and keep myself in shape. I always stayed in top shape. I didn’t really remove myself too far from being in basketball shape.”

Free Agent Notes: Ellis, Green, Speights

Representatives from nearly half of the league’s teams were in attendance for a workout that included former NBA stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

The Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Knicks, Thunder, Bucks, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets, Blazers, Magic, Hawks, Wolves and Wizards were all in attendance. Haynes adds that 15 international teams from Europe and Asia also had representatives in Las Vegas for the workout.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Spurs, Nuggets, and Knicks were all interested in JaMychal Green before the forward re-signed with the Clippers, Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes. Those teams were offering him a more lucrative offer than the one he signed with Los Angeles. The Clippers put on a “full-court press” to retain Green, Buha adds, and the 29-year-old ended up inking a two-year deal worth slightly under $10MM.
  • Green has the ability to be a free agent next summer, having secured a player option as part of his deal with the Clippers. Buha (in the same piece) speculates that Green could have commanded a deal in the $10MM+ range this offseason and that the forward should have the opportunity for a similar contract next summer.
  • Mo Speights, who played in China last season, is working out for teams in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated tweets. Speights last played in the NBA for the Magic during the 2017/18 season.

Free Agency Notes: Cap Holds, Williams, Magic, Wizards

Nearly half the teams in the NBA renounced their rights to multiple free agents this week as they prepared to make new roster moves official, per RealGM’s transactions log. In some cases, like when the Clippers renounced the rights to Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler, those free agents already new homes lined up, and removing their cap holds was simply a formality to create cap room for incoming additions.

In other cases, the housekeeping moves were a bit more noteworthy. The Pacers, for instance, renounced Darren Collison‘s Bird rights, so if the 31-year-old – who announced his retirement before the start of free agency – ever attempts an NBA comeback, Indiana will no longer have a leg up to re-acquire him.

Besides those two teams, the Hawks, Bucks, Nets, Jazz, Sixers, Clippers, Pelicans, Lakers, Kings, Celtics, Wizards, and Bulls also renounced various free agents, according to RealGM’s log.

Here are a few more notes related to free agency:

  • The Lakers have withdrawn their qualifying offer to two-way player Johnathan Williams and renounced his rights, according to RealGM. That doesn’t preclude the Lakers from bringing back Williams on a new two-way deal, but he’ll be able to sign outright with a new team if he so chooses.
  • At least nine teams are now confirmed to attend the Amar’e Stoudemire/Monta Ellis workout taking place in Las Vegas on Monday, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. We previously relayed word of Stoudemire’s and Ellis’ attempts to make NBA comebacks.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides salary cap updates on a pair of Southeast teams, tweeting that the Magic and Wizards are both safely out of luxury tax territory for now. According to Marks (Twitter links), Orlando has $3.5MM in breathing room under the tax line, counting Khem Birch‘s $1.8MM cap hold, while Washington is about $4MM below that threshold after cutting Jonathon Simmons.

Amar’e Stoudemire, Monta Ellis To Work Out For NBA Teams

Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis will hold a private workout for at least five NBA teams next week, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. He states that both players have overcome past injuries and are hoping to catch the attention of a contender, such as the Lakers, that has several roster spots to fill. The session is set for Monday evening in Las Vegas.

Stoudemire, 36, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015/16 season when he got into 52 games for the Heat. He has been playing for Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns in the Israeli Premier Basketball League. He briefly retired in 2017, but decided to return to the game after spending time in the BIG3 League last summer.

The last NBA experience for the 33-year-old Ellis came with the Pacers during the 2016/17 season. He was a regular part of Indiana’s rotation, playing 74 games and averaging 8.5 points per night. However, the team opted to use the stretch provision on him that summer to unload his contract. He will receive $2,245,400 a year from the Pacers through the 2021/22 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Sports Images.

And-Ones: Stoudemire, Bennett, Gambling

After playing in Israel during the 2016/17 season, former Suns and Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire announced his retirement last September. Stoudemire has since reversed course though, with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem confirming this week that the six-time NBA All-Star will play for them again in 2018/19. Stoudemire, who co-owns Hapoel Jerusalem, helped lead the team to an Israeli League title in 2017 and said on Instagram that he’s aiming to do the same this season.

“I am looking forward to returning to Hapoel Jerusalem and bringing home titles,” Stoudemire wrote. “I have a great love for all the people of Israel: past, present and future, and it’s humbling to represent the city of Jerusalem, which has inspired so many around the world.”

Here are a few more basketball odds and ends:

  • The representatives for former first overall pick Anthony Bennett have offered the big man to Italian clubs Reggio Emilia and Virus Bologna, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. For now though, the 25-year-old – who played for the Cavaliers, Raptors, Timberwolves, and Nets – is without a home for the 2018/19 season.
  • In the wake of the investigation into workplace misconduct within the Mavericks‘ organization, the NBA sent out a memo to all 30 teams encouraging them to hire more women – particularly in leadership roles – and to improve their policies for reporting workplace harassment. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has the details.
  • Professional sports leagues – including the NBA – are largely taking a wait-and-see approach to the legalization of sports gambling, as Mike Fish and David Purdum write for ESPN.com. The ESPN report looks extensively at the lack of information surrounding LeBron James‘ reported hand injury in last year’s Finals and how that would have impacted betting odds if it had been public.

Heat Notes: Vaughn, Stoudemire, Whiteside, Robinson

At age 21, former first-round pick Rashad Vaughn is trying to salvage his NBA career, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Vaughn was part of the Heat’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, hoping to earn another shot after being traded twice and waived twice last season.

Vaughn was taken by the Bucks with the 17th pick in the 2015 draft, but his career tailed off quickly after a promising rookie season. In February, Milwaukee dealt him to the Nets, who sent him to the Pelicans two days later. After being waived by New Orleans, Vaughn signed two 10-day contracts with the Magic, but wasn’t kept when the second one expired.

“This is kind of my journey,” Vaughn said. “I’ve got to take a look at it and see what I did wrong and go from there and continue to try to just persevere from there.”

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire, who will be back in Miami this week with the Big3 League, is also hoping for another NBA opportunity, Winderman writes in a separate story. Stoudemire, 35, sat out last season after winning a championship in Israel the year before. He said he would be interested in a return to the Heat, but hasn’t spoken to anyone from the team. “As of right now, I’m showing my athletic ability and the way I move,” Stoudemire said. “I think a lot of teams haven’t really seen me play since the last time I played in Israel, so I just want them to see I have great heath and am able to be on that level. Once they see how healthy I am and how good I feel, I think teams will be able to sign me at that point.”
  • The Heat have been open about their desire to trade Hassan Whiteside, but Stoudemire believes his former teammate can succeed in Miami, Winderman adds in the same story. Stoudemire said Whiteside needs to work on his post skills this summer and become a more effective inside scorer. “You can’t be satisfied with the money and the fame; you have to be able to work to become great,” Stoudemire said. “And that’s one thing that a lot players don’t understand. You can have amazing potential, but you’re never going to reach that potential unless you put in that work.”
  • Duncan Robinson was among the biggest winners in summer league, earning a two-way contract with the Heat. Robinson quickly impressed the team with his outside shot, summer league coach Eric Glass tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “He came in and really played well and shot it like we thought and showed us that he can do a couple other things on the court that we liked,” Glass said. “And obviously a two-way came out of that, which he really earned.”

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In Israel?

3:17pm: In response to Hapoel Jerusalem’s announcement that Stoudemire would play for the team if he doesn’t sign an NBA contract, the veteran NBA big man issued a strong denial, as Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops relays.

The club followed up on Stoudemire’s denial by apologizing to him for the timing of the announcement, but indicating that they still believe he’ll join the squad if he doesn’t get an NBA deal.

“During the last week Amare informed the club’s ownership unambiguously that should he not sign with an NBA team he will play join Hapoel Jerusalem,” the team’s statement read, per Aravantinos. “As a result, the club made an official announcement.”

8:39am: Amar’e Stoudemire will play another season in Israel if he doesn’t receive an NBA offer, tweets international writer David Pick.

Stoudemire, 35, has agreed to re-sign with Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Stoudemire announced his retirement in September, but has decided his playing days aren’t over.

He is part of the BIG 3 league this summer and recently said he would like another shot at the NBA. A five-time all-league selection, Stoudemire’s last NBA appearance was with the Heat in 2015/16.

Amar’e Stoudemire Planning NBA Comeback?

Six-time All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire said today that he’s considering a return to the NBA, reports Ian Begley of ESPN. Stoudemire last played professionally in Israel after retiring from the NBA in the summer of 2016.

Stoudemire, 35, who spoke of his desire to potentially return during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 98.7 FM, said – for what’s it worth – that he’s in great shape and training as if he were returning to the NBA. He’ll participate in the BIG3’s second season this summer.

Stoudemire is perhaps best known for his tenure with the Suns for eight seasons from 2002 to 2010, where he teamed up with two-time MVP Steve Nash to form a dynamic duo that made the Western Conference Finals three times – in 2005, 2006, and 2010.

Individually, Stoudemire was named to an All-NBA team five times in his career, earning first team honors in 2007 after averaging 20.4 PPG and a career-high 9.6 RPG.

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In BIG3

Ice Cube’s three-on-three league has added another notable NBA veteran to its ranks, announcing today that former Suns and Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire will join the BIG3 for the 2018 season. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Stoudemire will become a co-captain for the BIG3’s Tri-State squad, teaming with fellow former NBAers Jermaine O’Neal and Nate Robinson. While O’Neal participated in the BIG3’s inaugural season in 2017, Stoudemire and Robinson are new additions to the league, joining offseason signees like Carlos Boozer, Glen Davis, Baron Davis, Ron Artest, and many more.

[RELATED: Greg Oden joins BIG3 draft pool]

Stoudemire, the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, was a six-time All-Star over the course of 14 NBA seasons. In 846 career regular season games, he averaged an impressive 18.9 PPG and 7.8 RPG with a .537 FG%. He nearly replicated those averages (18.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG) in 78 postseason contests.

Although he’s still only 35 years old, Stoudemire hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015/16 season. The big man spent the 2016/17 campaign playing in Israel before formally announcing his retirement as a player this past September.