Amir Hinton

Knicks Release Amir Hinton

The Knicks have waived guard Amir Hinton, according to a release from the club. Hinton was signed to a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deal, so the Knicks won’t be on the hook for any dead money.

Hinton, 22, declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after his junior season at Division II school Shaw University, where he led all Division II players with 29.4 points per game and earned CIAA Player of the Year honors.

Shortly after going undrafted, Hinton agreed to a training camp deal with the Knicks, which became official last month. Now that he’s been cut, it’s likely he’ll become an affiliate player for New York’s G League team, the Westchester Knicks.

The Knicks now have 19 players under contract, including one two-way player. Of the 18 guys on standard contracts, 15 have guaranteed deals, meaning it looks like it’ll be an uphill climb for V.J. King, Kenny Wooten, or Lamar Peters to earn a roster spot.

Atlantic Notes: Marks, Robinson, Hinton

Nets general manager Sean Marks will look to bring in a 16th player during Wilson Chandler‘s suspension, Ian Begley of SNY.tv tweets. Brooklyn will have the ability to move Chandler to the suspended list after he serves the first five games of the 25-game suspension, opening up a roster spot for the final 20 games of the ban.

Marks said the franchise will do its due diligence on the available players, though Begley notes that the Nets GM did not mention Carmelo Anthony (or any player) directly.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Mitchell Robinson is back to full health, as Marc Berman of the New York Post relays (Twitter link). The center’s knee woes forced him out of Team USA’s camp last month, but he’s now participating in activities with the Knicks.
  • Amir Hinton, who’s heading to camp with the Knicks on an Exhibit 10 deal, is a long-shot to make the opening day roster, but the combo guard will look to develop his game during his time with the team, as Berman relays in a full-length piece. “As time goes on, I’ll develop into a point guard knowing my spots and get teammates more involved,’’ Hinton said. “I can do that. But all my life, I’ve been a combo in a scoring role. I’m trying not to think too hard and have fun playing basketball, not make the game too hard.’’
  • Chemistry could be a concern for the Nets but Spencer Dinwiddie believes winning will solve any potential issues, as he tells Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “That’s always the trouble. That’s always the elephant in the room, right?…Last year we were able to come together even with injuries and in some cases galvanizing the group,” Dinwiddie said. “We’re a more talented team, but if we don’t come together then it doesn’t really matter.”

Knicks Officially Sign Four Undrafted Rookies

The Knicks have officially signed four players who previously reached contract agreements with the team, according to RealGM’s transactions log. All four players are believed to have received non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deals.

Here are the players who have now officially joined the Knicks:

Word of New York’s deals with Hinton and King broke shortly after the draft concluded in June. The Knicks also struck a tentative agreement on a two-way contract for Kris Wilkes at that time, but it fell through for health reasons. Hinton, a former Division II standout, and King both went undrafted this year.

Like Hinton and King, Peters and Wooten are rookies who went undrafted after declaring as early entrants in the spring. Both players were members of the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July, with Wooten’s 2.5 blocks per game in just 13.3 MPG turning heads. Peters struggled with his shot (2-for-17 from the floor), but still apparently showed enough to earn a deal with New York.

The Knicks now have a full 20-man roster, including 15 players on guaranteed contracts and one (Kadeem Allen) on a two-way contract. One of the players from this new group could end up in that second two-way slot, but most of them are good bets to eventually land with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Knicks Agree To Sign Kris Wilkes, Amir Hinton, V.J. King

The Knicks will sign UCLA forward Kris Wilkes to a two-way contract, league sources tell Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal can become official after the new league year begins.

Wilkes, who was the 23rd-best prospect to go undrafted on Thursday night, per ESPN’s big board, averaged 17.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 33 games during his sophomore season with the Bruins. He has a wingspan of nearly 7’0″ and has potential as a slasher and multi-postional defender, according to ESPN’s scouting report.

Kadeem Allen‘s two-way deal with the Knicks runs for another season, while Isaiah Hicks‘ is expiring, so it appears likely that Wilkes will replace Hicks, though it’s possible the team will turn over both two-way spots.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have also agreed to free agent deals with two more undrafted rookies. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links) that Louisville wing V.J. King and Shaw point guard Amir Hinton will sign with the team.

King didn’t play much of a role during his final year at Louisville, averaging just 3.9 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 13.7 minutes per contest, but NBA teams are still intrigued by his potential. As for Hinton, he led all Division II players in 2018/19 with 29.4 points per game and earned CIAA Player of the Year honors. He had hoped to become the first D-II since 2005 to be drafted.

Hinton will get an Exhibit 10 deal from the Knicks, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who adds (via Twitter) that the Pistons showed a lot of interest in the Division II star. Specific details on King’s agreement aren’t known.

Atlantic Notes: Grousbeck, Leonard, Durant, Workouts

The feeling that the Celtics were done in by selfishness goes all the way to the top of the organization, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck admits to being “frustrated and disappointed” with this season, which began with Boston as a heavy favorite to reach the NBA Finals and ended with a loss in the conference semifinals.

“We had free agents who wanted minutes, and players who wanted to be All-Stars,” Grousbeck said. “I don’t know. There was a lot of ‘I want this, I want that,’ I guess. I’m not in the huddles or the locker room on a daily basis, but it’s frustrating.”

The most prominent name among those free agents is Kyrie Irving, who is rumored to be headed to Brooklyn when free agency kicks off at the end of the month. Grousbeck said management has discussed some “exotic scenarios” if the Celtics lose Irving and can’t trade for Anthony Davis. He adds that he hasn’t directly asked Irving to remain in Boston.

“I haven’t talked to Kyrie in those terms,” Grousbeck said. “Our two free agent negotiators are (coach) Brad (Stevens) and president of basketball operations Danny (Ainge). But Kyrie knows how we feel about him, that we feel very positive about him, and the discussions will go on over the next few weeks.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • No one should regret not making a strong play for Kawhi Leonard last summer more than the Celtics, argues Zach Lowe of ESPN. Boston had plenty of assets to offer when the Spurs put Leonard on the market, but wasn’t willing to part with Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown unless there were more assurances about Leonard’s health and willingness to re-sign with the organization. Lowe notes that the Celtics thought they already had a championship team in place and that adding another maximum-salary player to go with Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford wouldn’t have been sustainable for long.
  • A max deal for Kevin Durant would be too risky unless another star is joining him on the Knicks, contends Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The concerns lie beyond just missing all of next season, Bondy adds. With load management likely in effect, it’s hard to see how Durant plays more than 65 games in 2020/21 or beyond. He will be 32 when he returns and could plunge New York into a repeat of Kristaps Porzingis situation.
  • Miami center Dewan Hernandez is working out for the Knicks today, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Shaw guard Amir Hinton had a session for New York.
  • The Sixers are hosting six players for a workout today, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. On the schedule are Kyle Alexander (Tennessee), Daulton Holmes (Point Loma Nazarene), Mahir Johnson (Goldey-Beacom), Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky), Jordan Poole (Michigan) and Isaiah Roby (Nebraska).

Southeast Notes: Frazier, Washington, Langford

Melvin Frazier underwent successful surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right tibia, the Magic announced on their Twitter feed. The No. 35 overall pick from the 2018 draft played in just 10 games for Orlando during his rookie season.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Heat, Magic, Hawks

The Hornets have looked into the possibility of moving up in the draft from their current spot in the lottery at No. 12, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bonnell acknowledges that it may be difficult for Charlotte to put together the sort of trade capital necessary to make a deal happen, but says GM Mitch Kupchak is active.

Meanwhile, the Hornets will continue to explore their draft options by bringing in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow, according to the team. Marques Bolden (Duke), Tacko Fall (UCF), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest), Jalen Hudson (Florida), and Luka Asceric (Mega Bemax) are among the players set to participate.

Here are a few more draft-related items from around the Southeast:

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Barrett, Knicks, Pistons

With six of the top 44 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Hawks have been understandably busy when it comes to bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. While Atlanta is unlikely to keep all six of its selections, the club is doing its due diligence on players who might be available at each spot — or as undrafted free agents.

On Sunday, the Hawks worked out Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Robert Franks (Washington State), Matur Maker (Zlatorog Lasko), William McDowell-White (Baunach), Miye Oni (Yale), and Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), according to the team.

The Hawks conducted another workout on Monday, bringing in Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Brian Bowen (Sydney), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), and Dean Wade (Kansas State) in for a look.

On Tuesday, the Hawks will host yet another workout, with Charlie Brown Jr. (St. Joe’s), Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Nassir Little (UNC), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) set to participate.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference:

Central Draft Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

Holding the 18th and 50th overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pacers should have a wide variety of options available to them in both the first and second rounds, so they’re doing plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the draft.

On Wednesday, the Pacers held a pre-draft workout that featured Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Tacko Fall (UCF), Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State), Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and Elijah Thomas (Clemson), according to the team. Fall’s ability to participate in that session was limited after he rolled an ankle, as we noted yesterday.

Today, the Pacers are working out six more prospects, announcing that Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Kyle Guy (Virginia), Amir Hinton (Shaw), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Cody Martin (Nevada), and Josh Reaves (Penn State) are in town.

The Pacers will audition six more prospects on Friday, per the club’s latest press release. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Jon Elmore (Marshall), Aric Holman (Mississippi State), Luke Maye (UNC), Miye Oni (Yale), and Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) will attend that session.

Here are more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Central:

Trail Blazers Notes: Kanter, Aminu, Workout, Durant

Enes Kanter received a hero’s welcome Saturday as he returned to Oklahoma City for his annual youth basketball camp, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The former Thunder center remains popular with local fans, many of whom encouraged him to return to OKC in free agency. While Kanter might be too pricey for the Thunder to consider, he can count on receiving a lot of offers after rebuilding his stock in Portland following his release by the Knicks.

The Trail Blazers were aggressive in recruiting Kanter, who also received interest from the Thunder and Lakers. Repeated calls and texts from coach Terry Stotts, GM Neil Olshey and Damian Lillard were enough to tip the scales in Portland’s favor, which became fortunate when starting center Jusuf Nurkic was lost for the season with a broken leg.

“I’m glad that Portland happened,” Kanter said. “I love Portland, I love the people there, I love the fans there. I just want to go – and Portland counts, too – somewhere I can win games. I’m going into my ninth year. I just want to go somewhere where I have a good situation, have some playing time and just win.”

There’s more Trail Blazers news to pass along:

  • Al-Farouq Aminu‘s agent is open to negotiating an extension with Portland before his client hits free agency, but the Blazers may not be able to afford a substantial raise, relays Jason Quick of The Athletic. “He wants to be there,” Raymond Brothers said. “He’s still committed to the Blazers. He likes the city, the team, the coach, he likes Neil. He’s happy. He just wants to win.” Any extension would be limited to $48MM over four years. Aminu made $6.96MM this season.
  • The Trail Blazers brought in six players Friday for their first pre-draft workout, notes Casey Holdahl of NBA.com. The session featured Wake Forest’s Jaylen Hoard, Memphis’ Jeremiah Martin, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort, Wichita State’s Markis McDuffie, St. John’s Shamorie Ponds and Shaw University’s Amir Hinton. Portland enters the draft with just one pick, its first-rounder at No. 25.
  • Lillard is asking an Oakland-based rapper to help convince Kevin Durant to come to Portland, relays Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Mistah F.A.B. joined Lillard on Instagram Live following Game 1 of the NBA Finals and asked him which free agent the Blazers should pursue. “Just go in there and tell KD, say ‘KD, just go to Portland, bruh. I’m a Portland fan,'” Lillard responded. “You a Portland fan now, so just be like, ‘Bruh they left Oakland anyways, so just go to Portland.'”