Anthony Morrow

Southwest Notes: Gentry, Morrow, Gasol, White

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry weighed in on the comments made by former NBA commissioner David Stern, labeling the importance of staying focused on the current team instead of outside noise. Stern ripped Pelicans GM Dell Demps this week, calling him a “lousy general manager.”

“For us, we worry about our team,” Gentry said, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We worry about our franchise. I’ve got a great working relationship with Dell. I think we’ve got a good team that we put out on the floor because of he and (president) Mickey (Loomis). That’s all I need to say. I think what has happened here is our franchise has a really bright future and that’s all that needs to be said.”

The Pelicans have started the 2018/19 season on a red-hot note, winning each of their three games in impressive fashion. Led by Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and a nice collection of young assets, New Orleans has designed its roster to compete for many years to come.

The Pelicans also released a statement on Stern’s comments, backing their general manager and claiming their excitement for playing under current NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Here are other notes from the Southwest Division:

  • Free agent Anthony Morrow is interested in joining the Rockets if the team looks for additional shooting, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. “Absolutely,” Morrow said. Mike (D’Antoni) knows I love him, tell him to give me a call.”
  • Marc Gasol is dealing with neck soreness and is considered day-to-day, the Grizzlies said (Twitter link). Gasol suffered the injury on Wednesday against the Kings, with fears that he could miss extended time.
  • Despite having no timetable for a return, Spurs guard Derrick White continues to progress in his recovery from left heel pain that’s sidelined him since the preseason, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). “He’s progressing as they hoped,” coach Gregg Popovich said.

Trail Blazers Waive Anthony Morrow, Two Others

The Trail Blazers have made their roster cuts in advance of the regular season, according to beat reporter Casey Holdahl, who tweets that Anthony Morrow, Archie Goodwin, and Isaiah Briscoe have been waived by the team.

The cuts of Briscoe and Goodwin were anticipated. Although they received training camp invitations from the Blazers, Briscoe and Goodwin were viewed as long shots to make the team’s regular season roster, with 14 players on guaranteed salaries already under contract.

Morrow, however, was the favorite to earn the 15th and final spot on Portland’s regular season roster. The veteran sharpshooter has a career .417 3PT%, and was viewed as a good fit to become an outside threat off the bench for a team that lost Allen Crabbe over the summer. Still, Morrow struggled last season, shooting just 30.8% from three-point range, and with the exception of a 12-point game against Toronto last week, didn’t do much in the preseason.

Rather than carrying Morrow on the regular season roster, it appears Portland will open the season with a 14-man squad. That makes some sense, considering the Blazers are currently over the tax line; any extra contract would increase the club’s projected year-end tax bill.

Portland is now carrying 15 total players — 14 on NBA deals and one on a two-way contract.

Trail Blazers Notes: Turner, Morrow, McCollum

If preseason is any indication thus far, the Trail Blazers may benefit more from Evan Turner‘s versatility this year, Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes.. The point forward brought the ball up the court off the jump in the club’s first exhibition game of the year.

One of the things is to take advantage of his ball handling and make it a little less taxing for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum,” head coach Terry Stotts said. “That’s something we want to do better this year than we did last year.”

Turner was heralded for his versatility and ability to handle the ball coming out of Ohio State but has settled into a role as an NBA swingman. If he can get comfortable initiating the team’s offense as a playmaker, it frees the club’s star backcourt up to work off the ball.

When it comes down to it you got two sharpshooters,” Turner said. “When I have to run the offense I’m passing to two of the better shooters in the world. So, of course, it makes it a tad bit easier and opens things up.

There’s more Trail Blazers news:

Northwest Division: George, Morrow, Plumlee, Burks

Russell Westbrook‘s decision to sign an extension with the Thunder is making it easier for Paul George to decide whether to stay put when he becomes a free agent next summer, as he told ESPN’s Royce Young and other media members (Twitter link). George is impressed by the commitment between the reigning Most Valuable Player and the franchise, as Westbrook decided this week to sign a five-year, $205MM extension. George’s overt desire to leave the Pacers after this season, specifically for the Lakers, led Indiana to trade him to Oklahoma City. It appears George is now seriously interested in re-signing. “Not only in us pairing together but just knowing what type of dude Russ is and his values and his beliefs and him being committed to this organization says a lot,” George said. “And I’m one person that’s enjoying it here, so I think when that time comes the decision will be easier to make for myself.”

In other developments around the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Morrow has apparently taken an early lead in the fight for the Blazers’ 15th roster spot, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports. Morrow received a one-year, non-guaranteed contract prior to training camp and is battling Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Briscoe for a spot on the opening-night roster, Freeman continues. After four days of training camp, he’s already impressed coaches and teammates with his shooting, leadership and positive attitude, Freeman adds.
  • Center Mason Plumlee will be Nikola Jokic‘s backup but he’ll have a big role with the Nuggets, coach Michael Malone told Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. Plumlee was re-signed by Denver to a three-year, $41MM deal this summer after being acquired from the Blazers in February. “He brings us a physicality and presence that, really, none of the other guys really have,” Malone said. “He is a lob threat on offense and he’s a rim protector on defense. On top of that, he’s a very skilled and capable playmaker.”
  • Jazz guard Alec Burks believes he’s finally fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered in December 2015, according to Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. Burks is looking for a bounce-back season, even though coach Quin Snyder isn’t sure what role Burks will have this season, Sorensen adds. “This summer I felt like I was before I got hurt on that December day two years ago,” Burks told Sorensen. “I felt more explosive, more like myself. As you could tell, last year I wasn’t myself athletically, I wasn’t at all.”

Trail Blazers Sign Anthony Morrow

SEPTEMBER 18: The Blazers have issued a press release formally announcing their deal with Morrow.

SEPTEMBER 15: The Trail Blazers have reached an agreement to sign free agent shooting guard Anthony Morrow, agent Wallace Prather tells Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). According to Charania, Morrow will receive a one-year, non-guaranteed deal from Portland.

Morrow, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday later this month, began the 2016/17 campaign with the Thunder, but finished the season with the Bulls after being included in the trade that sent Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City. In 49 total games, the Georgia Tech alum averaged a very modest 5.5 PPG with a disappointing .389/.308/.919 shooting line.

While Morrow wasn’t particularly effective last season, with his FG% and 3PT% both representing career lows, he has historically been a much better shooter — he entered last season having made 42.5% of his career three-point attempts. In 2012/13, Morrow had a similarly subpar showing as he split time between the Hawks and Mavericks, but he played well for the Pelicans the following season, so there’s a precedent for him bouncing back from a down year.

Still, Morrow won’t be a lock to make Portland’s roster out of training camp. The Blazers have 14 players on guaranteed contracts and are into luxury-tax territory, meaning the team may not want to carry a 15th player to start the season. Even if the Blazers do open the year with 15 players, Morrow could face competition for that final spot from younger guards like Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Briscoe, though he’d probably enter camp as the favorite.

Free Agency Notes: Bogut, Morrow, Marbury

With Tony Allen, Shabazz Muhammad, and Jarrett Jack among the veteran free agents officially coming off the market this week, the list of available NBA unrestricted free agents continues to dwindle. While the restricted market still features several interesting names – Nikola Mirotic, Mason Plumlee, Alex Len, and JaMychal Green – there aren’t many UFAs out there with those players’ combination of youth and NBA experience.

For teams in need of backcourt help, Deron Williams, Monta Ellis, and Jason Terry are among the options that could hold some appeal, while clubs searching for frontcourt depth may zero in on Andrew Bogut, Spencer Hawes, David Lee, or Thomas Robinson. On the wing, Alan Anderson, Mike Dunleavy, Matt Barnes, Dante Cunningham, and Gerald Green are available. You can check out our full list of NBA free agents who remain unsigned right here.

As we wait to see if those veterans find new homes, let’s round up a few more free agency notes…

  • Agent David Bauman tells David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter links) that a CT scan on Andrew Bogut‘s tibia shows “complete healing,” and a radiology report shows that Bogut’s leg is “solidly united.” According to Aldridge, Bogut will be back in America early next week, and if NBA teams agree with his agent’s outlook on his health, the veteran center seems like a good bet to land a new deal soon. We heard earlier this week that four NBA clubs have expressed interest.
  • Anthony Morrow will officially come off the market shortly, having reached an agreement with the Trail Blazers. Before striking a deal with Portland though, Morrow also received interest from several teams, including the Timberwolves, Bucks, Pelicans, and Bulls, reports Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.
  • Former NBA guard Stephon Marbury, who has expressed a desire to return to the league once more before calling it a career, told The Associated Press this week that he has spoken to at least one NBA team (link via New York Post). “It’s still premature right now, but I’m open to coming back and trying to play that veteran leadership role,” Marbury said. “For myself it’s a perfect ending being able to mend ties. It will be a team that I will be able to help and I’m looking forward to it.”

And-Ones: Free Agents, Antic, Bagley, Heat

The addition of two-way contracts has impacted the ability of veteran free agents to find new homes this offseason, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com in his latest Morning Tip column. Gerald Green, David Lee, Anthony Morrow and Shabazz Muhammad are among the notable free agents who remain on the market and Aldridge points out that many teams are leaving their 15th roster spot open, rather than signing another player. That’s in part due to the ability of teams to sign two players to low-cost two-way deals, Aldridge continues. The increase in veteran minimum salaries under the new CBA has also depressed the free agent market, especially for teams close to or over the luxury tax threshold, Aldridge adds.

In other notable developments around the league:

  • Former NBA big man Pero Antic will play in Serbia for KK Crvena Zvezda during the upcoming season, according to a Sportando report. Antic, who signed a one-year contract, spent the last two seasons in Turkey with Fenerbahce. Antic played 113 games over two seasons for the Hawks, averaging 6.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 17.4 MPG.
  • Russell Westbrook‘s ability to coexist with another star player in Paul George and Kemba Walker‘s impact on Dwight Howard in Charlotte are two of the five big NBA questions heading into training camp, according to Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders. The league’s proposal to change the draft lottery has much more to do with access to star players rather than concerns about tanking, Grizzard argues in another of the hot topics he addresses.
  • The potential No. 1 overall pick in the next draft, Marvin Bagley, has been officially cleared to play for Duke, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets. The 6’11” power forward was reclassified into the class of 2017 last month.
  • Roof damage to the Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena by Hurricane Irma was superficial, Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The team’s practice court also sustained minor damage, Winderman adds.

Morrow, Burke, Other FAs Work Out For Wolves

2:26pm: Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders has added several names to the list of players working out for Minnesota, tweeting that the Wolves also auditioned Thomas Robinson, Alan Anderson, Trey Burke, Isaiah Canaan, and Perry Jones III. John Jenkins is expected to come in to work out for the club next week, tweets Wolfson.

10:12am: Veteran sharpshooter Anthony Morrow is one of a handful of free agents working out this week for the Timberwolves, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Minnesota remains on the lookout for veteran wings, in addition to a backup point guard.

Morrow, who will turn 32 later this month, is a career 41.7% shooter from beyond the arc, which should make him a tantalizing target for teams in need of shooting like the Timberwolves. However, Morrow’s accuracy on three-pointers dipped last season — his 30.8% success rate in 2016/17 was easily the worst mark of his career.

Although Morrow struggled in 49 games for the Thunder and Bulls last season, he’s only a year removed from a .387 3PT%, and has been a reliable option on the wing for most of his career. Minnesota, of course, has a pair of talented scorers on the wing in Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins, but neither player is a particularly strong outside shooter, so the Wolves continue to seek three-point threats, with Morrow having been linked to the club for much of the offseason.

When we examined five noteworthy wings still on the market in late July, Morrow was one of the players we singled out, along with Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Rush, Gerald Green, and Tony Allen. All of those players remain unsigned, and a few could be fits in Minnesota.

With 11 players on guaranteed contracts, the Wolves have been looking to add a couple wings and a point guard to their roster — Wolfson tweets that those positions are the focus of this week’s workouts. Minnesota is reportedly getting antsy waiting on decisions from notable free agents like Muhammad and Dante Cunningham, which may prompt the team to look closer at free agents a tier or two below the top available players.

Five Notable Wings Still Available In Free Agency

While the Grit and Grind Era will always represent a special time in Memphis, the Grizzlies have moved on and Tony Allen appears to be a casualty of the transition. Fellow grinder Zach Randolph was able to secure a two-year, $24MM with the Kings, but Allen hasn’t been able to land a lucrative deal of his own.

Early in free agency, the Clippers were reportedly interested in working out a sign-and-trade deal for Allen, but after making several additions, Los Angeles isn’t in a position to offer much more than a minimum salary arrangement. The Wolves also had interested in the swingman, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported several weeks ago, though we haven’t heard much on Allen joining either of those clubs since.

Allen previously indicated that he wasn’t looking to break the bank in free agency. He also said he’ll be a Memphian for life. It’s possible he returns to the Grizzlies on a minimum salary deal, something they may have planned for him. However, it remains to be seen whether taking a hometown discount and taking the minimum are the same in Allen’s eyes.

At age 35, Allen isn’t going to learn how to shoot at a league-average level, something that becomes more of an issue during the NBA’s second season. He remains one of the better perimeter defenders in the league and he was a useful rotation player last season.

The Grizzlies could use a swingman to help solidify their rotation; so could the Wolves, Clippers, Mavericks, and Pacers. Allen should be able to help out a team in need of wing depth, though he’s not the only option on the market. Here are some other notable options available:

  • Anthony Morrow— Shooting is as important as its ever been in the NBA, which bodes well for Morrow should he find his three-point shot again. He’s a career 41.7% shooter from behind the arc, but he shot under 31% last season. Morrow, who turns 32 in September, will likely see another opportunity in the league. However, his flaws on the defensive end may force him to wait until closer to training camp to find a home.
  • Gerald Green — Green saw some minutes for the Celtics on the backend of their rotation last season before seeing a slightly larger role in the postseason. It’s plausible to think that his work in the NBA’s second season would boost his stock, but we haven’t heard much about him garnering much interest on the market. The 31-year-old has enough left in the tank to help a team in need of wing depth, though he’s another athlete who will likely have to play the waiting game.
  • Brandon Rush — Several teams have reportedly checked in with Rush, including the Mavericks, Heat, and Pacers. Dallas makes the most sense for the 32-year-old, as I recently detailed.
  • Shabazz Muhammad — Muhammad may be the most talented wing left on the free agent market. The Wolves pulled his qualifying offer earlier in the month, which rendered him to unrestricted free agency and the Hawks, Nets, Bucks, Knicks, Bulls, and Magic all were reportedly interested in the swingman. Yet, the UCLA product remains unsigned. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal and what kind of role Muhammad lands. It’ll also be interesting to see if the 24-year-old can expand his game beyond scoring, as he took 598 shots last season but dished out just 35 assists.

Northwest Notes: Ferguson, Morrow, Irving, Ingles

Newly signed first-round pick Terrance Ferguson should benefit from the Thunder’s philosophy of giving rookies playing time in the G League, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. On Saturday, the 19-year-old Australian became the final first-rounder to sign a contract, with the process being delayed while he waited for FIBA clearance. Ferguson brings a reputation as an effective shooter and defender, but played limited minutes in Australia last season and needs to bulk up his 185-pound frame.

The Thunder have used the G League more than any other franchise in their nine years since coming to Oklahoma City, sending players there 120 times. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, an authority on international basketball, sees Ferguson as an ideal candidate. “That’s exactly where I think Terrance is gonna benefit,” he said. “He’ll have the benefit of practicing a lot with the NBA team, but when he needs minutes and experience, he’ll get it in the G League.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Nearly a month into free agency, former Thunder shooting guard Anthony Morrow is still trying to find a team, notes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Morrow, who will turn 32 in September, was shipped to Chicago at the February trade deadline after spending two and a half years in Oklahoma City. He was expected to get more playing time with the Bulls, but appeared in just nine games and averaged 9.7 minutes after the deal. OKC already has 16 players on its roster, so a return to the Thunder seems unlikely.
  • The Nuggets‘ trade of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in 2011 set the standard for what teams expect in return for a star like Kyrie Irving, writes Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post. He believes Denver is among the reported 20 teams that have reached out to the Cavaliers since the news broke that Irving wanted to be dealt. However, Kosmider suggests the Nuggets would have to part with Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and several other pieces to make a deal work, which he states is too high a price for Irving.
  • Signing an extension with the Jazz was an easy decision for Joe Ingles, relays Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune. After receiving $52MM for the next four years, the third-year small forward said he is happy to continue his career in Utah. “I wanted to be in Utah no matter what,” he said. “It’s the place that got me to where I am. Whether we have all the All-Stars in the world or no All-Stars. Whether we were going to be a 10-win team or an 80-win team. I feel like Utah is the place for me to be and really help the team.”