Amir Johnson

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Perry, Wiley

While much of the credit for “the process” can be attributed to Sam Hinkie, current general manager Bryan Colangelo has made a series of moves to keep the Sixers headed in the right direction, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes.

This summer Colangelo opted to bring a pair of veterans aboard and the impact they’ll have on the Sixers is clear.

Now we have guys that can help grow the program with leadership, mentorship, and professionalism,” Colangelo said of the newest Sixers, Amir Johnson and J.J. Redick.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • That’s enough optimism for one week, Knicks fans. Marc Berman of the New York Post devoted a column to recently appointed general manager Scott Perry‘s involvement in the front office that gave Bismack Biyombo a four-year, $71MM contract.
  • After growing as a player, Tim Hardaway Jr. believes that Knicks fans skeptical of his lofty contract will see that the controversial move wasn’t a mistake. The shooting guard opened up to Steve Serby of New York Post about his return to the team that drafted him.
  • The 7-11 nickname for Celtics wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum was never meant to be, D.J. Bean of CSN New England writes. Following the trade that sent Avery Bradley to the Pistons, Tatum has decided to re-adopt the jersey number he wore during his one season at Duke: 0.
  • Now signed to a two-way contract with the Nets, recently acquired Jacob Wiley has an opportunity he never envisioned as recently as six months ago. Brian Lewis of the New York Post has penned an excellent feature on the forward’s tumultuous path.

Sixers Notes: Fultz, Redick, Johnson, Korkmaz

Rookie point guard Markelle Fultz has been diagnosed with a sprained left ankle after being helped off the court in Saturday’s summer league game, tweets Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com. Fultz will be held out of today’s contest and may not play again during summer league. “We will treat him accordingly and be as cautious as we can, making sure he is healthy,” Sixers summer league coach Lloyd Pierce told ESPN Saturday night. “We will know [more] once we get some treatment on him. I haven’t heard anything [more].” Phliadelphia has experienced terrible injury luck with high draft picks in recent years as Ben Simmons missed all of last season and Joel Embiid has played just 31 games in three years. “I’m a little bit punch-drunk with the injuries that we’ve had with our first players selected over the years,” said head coach Brett Brown.

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers officially added two veteran leaders Saturday with the signings of J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer“I think I can speak for Amir as well,” Redick said. “We are in the second phase of our career. We’ve been through enough now and have enough wisdom that we can be an effective elder.” The new additions will have important roles on the court as well. Redick, who averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 44% from 3-point range during his four years with the Clippers, is expected to provide a boost to the team’s outside shooting. Johnson will be counted on to solidify the interior defense.
  • Furkan Korkmaz is getting his first taste of NBA play in the summer league, writes Benjamin Mehic of The Deseret News. The Sixers believe the 19-year-old Turkish guard, who signed with the team this week, has the talent to eventually become an important contributor. “I think the thing people should zoom in on is how he moves,” said assistant coach Billy Lange. “If you watch his fluidity, his pace, skill and feel for the game, you can see the package. The results will come. The guy just flew across the country. Hopefully he gets more comfortable so we can get him in our gym and get back to work.”
  • The Sixers are also high on Jonah Bolden, a second-round pick from 2016, Mehic adds. Being groomed as a stretch four, Bolden spent last season in Serbia trying to improve as a shooter.
  • Embiid was fined $10,000 by the league on Saturday for “using inappropriate language on social media,” tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. Embiid’s message was directed at Lonzo Ball‘s father, LaVar.

Sixers Sign Amir Johnson

JULY 8, 6:57pm: Johnson’s signing is official, the Sixers announced in an email.

JULY 1, 6:25pm: The Sixers and Celtics discussed a sign-and-trade involving Jahlil Okafor for Johnson, but the deal never materialized, Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s televised coverage of free agency.

5:09pm: Amir Johnson will join the Sixers on a one-year, $11MM deal contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.

The 11-year veteran started 77 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per night. He made $12MM this year in the final season of a two-year contract.

There had been rumors that the Celtics were interested in a sign-and-trade with the Sixers involving Johnson, but this appears to be a straight free-agent signing.

The Bulls, Raptors and Rockets also expressed interest in Johnson, and all three teams had meetings with him scheduled for today.

Free Agent Rumors: Young, Miles, Porter

Unrestricted free agent Nick Young plans to “meet with a bunch of teams” this weekend after a number of undisclosed franchises expressed interest when free agency began on Friday, league sources tell Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Despite the Lakers being among those contacting Young’s representatives, both the team and player have conflicting agendas that suggest that this may be the end of their four-year tenure together, Medina adds.

Young, 32, is hoping to maximize his earnings on a multi-year contract for a playoff team, but the Lakers want to sign players to one-year deals to save cap space for the 2018 offseason when LeBron James, Paul George and Russell Westbrook might be available, the scribe notes.

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Pacers free agent C.J. Miles may have to wait for J.J. Redick to sign an agreement before his market comes into focus, Tim MacMahon of ESPN relays (ESPN Now link). Miles is Plan B for multiple teams who have made Redick a priority, the scribe adds. The Thunder are one of the teams that have expressed interest in the 30-year-old, per a tweet from Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz.
  • With Otto Porter having completed his meeting with the Wizards, the team is now in a holding pattern as it awaits the forward to seek offer sheets on the open market, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post relays (via Twitter). The Nets are potentially one team who appear willing to offer the max of four years and $100MM. Philadelphia may also get involved in the bidding, but the Sixers reportedly seem reluctant to make long-term offers. Washington has promised to match any offer for the restricted free agent.
  • Despite the significant bump in player salaries the new CBA has ushered in, not all players are satisfied with the league capping their earnings. LeBron James, responding to a tweet noting how the value of the Warriors has increased from $450MM to upwards of $2.6 billion since Joe Lacob purchased the franchise, noted that Stephen Curry should have gotten a pact worth $400MM over five years this summer (Twitter link). James has a vested interest, of course, with him in line to hit free agency once again next summer.
  • There is a possibility that the Celtics may be willing to facilitate a sign-and-trade deal for unrestricted free agent Amir Johnson, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays (on Twitter). The forward is reportedly garnering significant interest around the league.
  • The Magic‘s reported interest in free agent forward Joe Ingles has been “wildly overstated,” per Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). It was relayed Friday night that Orlando was set to offer Ingles a four-year deal in the $60MM range.

Free Agent Rumors: Porter, Randolph, Millsap, Holiday

The Wizards‘ session with Otto Porter ended without an agreement, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. Porter plans to start meeting with other teams this weekend (Twitter link). That creates a potential opening for the Nets, who appear willing to offer the max of four years and $100MM, according to a post on NetsDaily. Philadelphia may also get involved, but the Sixers seem reluctant to make long-term offers. Washington has promised to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

There’s more late-night free agency news:

  • Aldridge has two more tidbits to pass along. The Cavaliers are interested in Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph and plan to call him today (Twitter link). Also, Blake Griffin‘s decision to re-sign with the Clippers means the Suns will intensify their pursuit of  Hawks forward Paul Millsap (Twitter link).
  • Jrue Holiday met with the Pelicans tonight, but no deal was reached, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The two sides are expected to get together again in the morning.
  • The new $201MM supermax contract that the Warriors gave to Stephen Curry doesn’t include a no-trade clause or a player option, according to Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).
  • Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons has gotten calls from the Kings, Clippers and Timberwolves and is ready to start holding meetings, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • In addition to Simmons, the Clippers plan to meet with Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari on Sunday and Jazz forward Joe Ingles this weekend, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • There’s a strong chance that Celtics‘ power forward Amir Johnson will sign with the Sixers, a source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johnson has a history with Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who traded for him in 2009 as GM of the Raptors.
  • The Kings met tonight with Andre Iguodala and Patrick Patterson, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves have put in a call to Ty Lawson as a possible backup for Jeff Teague, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. The Pelicans, Thunder and Kings have also been in contact with Lawson.
  • The Grizzlies are the latest team to show interest in Kings guard Ben McLemore, relays Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks contacted Suns power forward Alan Williams tonight, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Williams fits New York’s goal of finding players who can contribute on both ends of the floor, Begley notes.

Market Heating Up For Amir Johnson

Unrestricted free agent Amir Johnson isn’t likely to be re-signed by the Celtics, but the forward isn’t lacking for suitors. Per a report by Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, Johnson already has three meetings scheduled for tomorrow in Los Angeles. On Saturday’s agenda for Johnson will be sit-downs with the Bulls, Raptors and Rockets, per the scribe.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds a fourth team, the Sixers, to the mix. Johnson, a  12-year veteran, would provide a huge locker room presence and the veteran leadership Philly lost after waiving Gerald Henderson earlier today, Pompey notes.

The big man previously was a member of the Raptors from 2009/10 through 2014/15, and could be viewed as a cheaper alternative to Toronto re-signing Patrick Patterson. An earlier report by Deveney noted that their was “mutual interest” in a reunion between the two parties.

Johnson, 30, appeared in 80 games (77 starts) for the Celtics in 2016/17, averaging 6.5 PPG and 4.6 RPG with a .576/.409/.670 shooting line. The forward earned $12MM for his efforts last season in Beantown.

Mutual Interest Between Amir Johnson, Raptors

Two years after leaving Toronto, Amir Johnson will be back on the free agent market this summer, and a reunion with his old team isn’t out of the question. According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, there’s mutual interest between the Raptors and Johnson, as the big man nears free agency.

Johnson, 30, appeared in 80 games (77 starts) for the Celtics in 2016/17, averaging 6.5 PPG and 4.6 RPG with a .576/.409/.670 shooting line. While the veteran power forward was a solid role player for Boston, he likely won’t be back with the club next season. The Celtics figure to bring draft-and-stash prospects Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele stateside and use the savings created on Johnson’s $12MM expiring contract to pursue an impact player.

Although a handful of teams have already expressed interest in Johnson, according to a source who spoke to Deveney, the idea of a reunion with the Raptors is an interesting one. Toronto will likely attempt to retain Serge Ibaka, who is headed for unrestricted free agency next month. But doing so may mean parting ways with Patrick Patterson, another free agent — Johnson could be a cheaper alternative to Patterson.

Assuming the Raptors stay over the cap as they attempt to re-sign players from a free agent group that also includes Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker, they’d have the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception to spend on outside additions. Those exceptions will be worth about $8.41MM and $3.29MM, respectively.

Celtics Notes: Free Agents, Thomas, Green, George

Next season’s Celtics may have little resemblance to the group that earned the East’s top seed and reached the conference finals, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Free agents Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko are both very unlikely to be-resigned, according to Deveney. Johnson started 77 games this season, but his role was cut severely in the playoffs. Fellow free agents Gerald Green and James Young will also probably be let go. Kelly Olynyk may be a tougher call as a restricted free agent. The Celtics would like to keep him, Deveney notes, but they aren’t certain to match a large offer. The team would also like to trade center Tyler Zeller, who has one year left on his contract at $8MM, which won’t be guaranteed until July 2nd.

There’s more today out of Boston:

  • Isaiah Thomas is eligible for an extension this summer, but it’s unlikely to happen, Deveney states in the same story. Thomas has one year left on his deal at the extreme bargain price of about $6.26MM. The most likely scenario, according to Deveney, is that Thomas will play out his current contract, then pursue a max deal starting at more than $30MM per season in 2018, either from the Celtics or another organization. There has been speculation about a possible Thomas trade this summer, but Deveney says the Celtics haven’t talked to anyone about dealing him. Other offseason decisions include possible extensions for Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, and Deveney notes that Boston can’t afford to invest big money in all three guards.
  • Executives around the league believe the Celtics will hold on to the No. 1 draft pick and select Markelle Fultz, Deveney adds in the same piece. They will take a year to see how he meshes with Thomas, Bradley and Smart before making any long-term decisions. Kansas forward Josh Jackson is probably the most likely choice if they pass on Fultz, according to Deveney.
  • At today’s exit interview, Green said he wants to return to the Celtics and help them win a title, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. The 31-year-old played just 47 games during the season, but started seven times in the playoffs.
  • Al Horford, who signed with the Celtics last summer, believes Boston will be a popular destination for free agents, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “I think it’s gonna be very attractive,” he said. “If you look at our team, the upside and everything, it’s a good time to be a Celtic.”
  • Boston has the assets to land Paul George in a trade if he refuses to sign a long-term deal with the Pacers, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Marks and Chris Mannix discuss the Celtics’ offseason options in a video on the Vertical website, with Marks saying a trade with Indiana is feasible without including the Nets’ pick for this year or 2018. He suggests a package of Jae Crowder, Terry Rozier, Zeller and the Grizzlies’ 2019 first-rounder may be enough to get a deal done.

Eastern Rumors: Griffin, Yabusele, Teodosic, Magic

The Cavaliers did not grant GM David Griffin permission to interview for front office jobs with the Magic and Hawks, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The Magic were interested in hiring Griffin as President of Basketball Operations and had discussions with him but were not allowed to formally interview him and ultimately decided to hire Raptors GM Jeff Weltman, Windhorst continues. The Hawks are looking for an new GM. Griffin’s contract expires at the end of July and has been negotiating with team owner Dan Gilbert, Windhorst adds.

In other developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics forward Amir Johnson is questionable for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals because of a shoulder injury, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. Johnson played only nine minutes in Game 3. Jonas Jerebko, who scored 10 points in 12 minutes in Boston’s victory at Cleveland, could replace him in the starting lineup, ESPN’s Chris Forsberg tweets.
  • Celtics first-rounder Guerschon Yabusele recently had surgery to remove bone spurs in both feet and will not be available for summer-league games, a source told Forsberg. The 6’8” draft-and-stash prospect, who was chosen with the No. 16 pick last June, spent much of last season in China before joining the Celtics’ D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, in March. Yabusele appeared in seven D-League games and averaged 12.8 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 27.3 MPG.
  • The Nets will have stiff competition from the Nuggets and Jazz for the services of Euroleague point guard Milos Teodosic, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets are among several teams scouting Teodosic, who plays for CSKA Moscow, and he’s their top free-agent priority, Lewis continues. The Nuggets already have a Serbian connection to Teodosic in Nikola Jokic, his national teammate. The Jazz will have a point guard need if George Hill leaves in free agency and coach Quin Snyder is a former CSKA assistant, Lewis adds.
  • The Magic parted ways with several front office members, including Director of Pro Scouting Harold Ellis, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Atlantic Rumors: Knicks, Jackson, Raptors, Johnson

The Knicks are focused on trading Carmelo Anthony and becoming a younger team, but scarce financial resources may prevent the team from landing a max free agent, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes. Free agents Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague are potential targets for New York, league sources tell Begley. However, with eight players on guaranteed contracts for next season, team president Phil Jackson said during a recent a press conference that the current team has “a dozen players that we’re very confident can support and be a part of a team. So we feel pretty good about that.”

Upgrading via free agency may be contingent on the Knicks trading Anthony, whom Jackson indicated “would be better off elsewhere” during the aforementioned presser. Begley notes that a hypothetical Melo trade could clear about $5MM in cap room, giving the Knicks $24MM — the team’s current cap space calls for $19MM available for the Knicks to spend.

However, a lot of Begley’s hypothetical offseason spending includes the Knicks not re-signing any of their young players. So if the Knicks intend on upgrading, players such as Jrue’s older brother Justin Holiday, Ron Baker, Maurice Ndour, and Chasson Randle may suit up elsewhere in 2017/18.

In other news around the Atlantic division.

  • The Nets maintain interest in Euroleague guard Edwin Jackson, according to Nets Daily. An earlier report indicated the club’s interest in the 27-year-old guard, who is averaging 21.8 points in 30 games for Movistar Estudiantes of the Liga ACB in Spain. The 6’1″ French guard has never suited up for an NBA team but he was in Nets camp three years ago, per Nets Daily. Jackson has indicated he would come stateside for a guaranteed NBA deal or seek a lucrative offer in Europe.
  • Nets Daily compiled a list of potential European targets for Brooklyn in addition to Jackson. Milos Teodosic, 30, Nicolo Melli, 26, and 2011 second-round NBA draft pick Tyler Honeycutt, 26, — who revived his career in Turkey — are listed as potential free agent options; Latvian-born Rodions Kurucs, 19, and Anzejus Pasecniks, 21, are both listed as possible draft targets.
  • In an attempt to contain the Cavaliers’ offense, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey may start Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll on the bench, SportsNet’s Michael Grange writes. Both men — who were major signings by team president Masai Ujiri — have underperformed this postseason and Casey is “desperate” to jumpstart his team. Norman Powell and rookie Jakob Poeltl are likely to see significant playing time if Casey goes in that direction.
  • As he heads for free agency, Amir Johnson remains positive despite dwindling playing time for the Celtics, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe relays. While Johnson got the start for Boston tonight in Game 2, he has been a liability on both sides of the court for most of the postseason. Johnson led the Celtics in games (80) and starts (77) in the regular season and maintains he’s trying to work out of his slump. “If things aren’t working out for you, you know you’ve got to do the next thing,” Johnson said.
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