Armoni Brooks

Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Embiid, A. Brooks, R. Williams

Nets guard Ben Simmons is unlikely to be ready for the start of the playoffs, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Although Simmons has been at practice more since receiving an injection last month to address a recurring back issue, he’s still not close to being ready, Vardon adds.

Moke Hamilton of wonders if it’s just a matter of time before the Nets formally rule out Simmons for the season. The team continues to talk about the possibility of a return, but if Simmons can’t play during the regular season, throwing him out there to make his Nets debut during the postseason may not be a great idea — especially given the nature of his exit from Philadelphia and the playoff disappointment that led to it.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Speaking to Chris Mannix of, Sixers star Joel Embiid shared some insight into what he was thinking in the weeks and months leading up to February’s trade of Simmons. If Simmons was going to be dealt, Embiid wanted it to be for a win-now return. “If he comes back, we got to take him back and try to go win a championship. If he still wants to get traded, we got to do whatever is necessary to make sure that we don’t go and trade for, I don’t know, a first-round pick, or a second-round pick, or whatever, because what does that do for me?” Embiid said. “I’m not going to be able to work with a bunch of first-round picks or second-round picks. So, to me, I always looked at the bigger picture.”
  • When they signed him last weekend, the Raptors used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Armoni Brooks at $250K salary for the rest of 2021/22, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. A minimum-salary deal for Brooks only would’ve paid him about $137K for the remainder of this season. Brooks has a $50K partial guarantee on his minimum salary for next season — that guarantee would increase to $250K on August 1, and the deal would become fully guaranteed if he makes the opening-night roster.
  • After undergoing meniscus surgery on Wednesday, Celtics big man Robert Williams didn’t require much recovery time at home — he was back at the team’s facility on Thursday, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. He’s in the meetings, in the gym, in good spirits,” head coach Ime Udoka said. “And so getting him around and just getting that flexibility back in, off top. And then we can kind of build up pretty quickly from there.”

Atlantic Notes: Randle, Quickley, Curry, Brooks, Celtics

Some people around the league have likened Julius Randle‘s recent behavior and body language to the way James Harden was acting during his final weeks in Brooklyn, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Harden’s discontent ultimately led to a trade request, which the Nets granted, and multiple sources have speculated the Knicks could take a similar path with Randle this offseason, possibly in a deal for a center, says Berman.

One person connected to the Knicks recently described Randle’s behavior this season as “incorrigible,” according to Berman, who hears from a source that the veteran forward sometimes dresses by himself in another area of the locker room. Sources believe a lack of leadership from Randle has hurt the team this season, Berman adds.

Randle also lost a strong ally in the organization this month when assistant coach Kenny Payne left the Knicks to take a job as Louisville’s head coach, as Berman observes.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • After a slow start this season, Immanuel Quickley is showing the potential to be a solid point guard at the NBA level, Berman writes in a separate New York Post story. “I come in with an open mindset to get better,” the Knicks guard said. “Guys around me are helping me and so are the coaches. It’s a great system we got.”
  • Nets guard Seth Curry expects to have to play through left ankle pain for the rest of the season, but doesn’t believe he’ll need to undergo surgery to address the issue in the offseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “(The ankle) just (needs) more of an extended amount of rest period. Probably a month or so just rest,” Curry said. “But obviously not going to get that now.”
  • Josh Lewenberg of takes a look at how Armoni Brooks earned a two-year contract from the Raptors and the role he has taken on since arriving in Toronto. “I’m excited because I know the team has a really good development staff,” Brooks said. “I’m excited to be with the team, work out and get better everyday, just embrace the grind. Hopefully we get some good results and we can keep this going.”
  • Breaking down some film, Jared Weiss of The Athletic explores how the Celtics‘ defense can survive and adapt in the coming weeks without injured big man Robert Williams available.

Raptors Sign Armoni Brooks To Two-Year Deal

10:44am: Toronto has officially signed Brooks, the team announced in a press release.

9:12am: The Raptors intend to sign Armoni Brooks to two-year contract, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The deal will include a partial guarantee for 2022/23.

Brooks will receive more than the minimum salary for the remainder of this season because the Raptors still have part of their mid-level exception to spend, according to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link), who adds that Brooks’ partial guarantee for next season is $250K.

In a separate tweet, Murphy notes that Brooks likely moved ahead of Justin Champagnie for the 15th and final standard roster spot — Champagnie is currently on a two-way deal and won’t be eligible for the playoffs, barring another roster move.

Brooks was previously signed to a couple of 10-day contracts by Toronto, and the team clearly liked what it saw out of the young guard. His second 10-day deal expired overnight on Friday, so the Raptors had to either sign him for the rest of the season or let him walk, since players can’t sign more than two standard 10-day contracts with the same club in a single season.

Coach Nick Nurse had said on Friday that he expected Brooks to be brought back (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports).

Through eight games with the Raptors, Brooks has averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per night in a limited role. However, he’s been a regular part of the team’s rotation of late, averaging 6.7 points and a steal on 40% shooting from deep over the past three games.

Eric Koreen of The Athletic explored Brooks’ fit with the Raptors a few days ago, stating that while the young guard might not fit the mold of the rest of the team, Toronto can use his long-range shooting ability — as long as he’s hitting those shots.

It’s just trusting your work. Your shots are not gonna fall every single night. Even the best shooters have slumps. It’s just part of the game. You can have good looks and they won’t fall, but you have just got to trust that you put in the work and eventually results will turn in your favor,” Brooks said.

Brooks, 23, signed with Houston as a two-way player last year and was converted to a standard contract in October of 2021. He had a nice run with the Rockets last season, averaging 11.2 points and 3.4 rebounds on 38.2% from deep in 20 games. He was waived by Houston last month to accommodate a three-for-one deal with the Celtics at the trade deadline.

Raptors Sign Armoni Brooks To Second 10-Day Deal

6:32pm: Brooks has signed his contract, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.

12:46pm: The Raptors will bring back guard Armoni Brooks on a second 10-day contract, reports Blake Murphy of (Twitter link). Brooks’ first 10-day deal with the team ran through Tuesday before expiring overnight.

Brooks, 23, appeared in four games during his first 10 days with Toronto, averaging 8.3 minutes per contest. His impact was limited — he scored just three points on 1-of-6 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 33 total minutes.

Still, the Raptors apparently liked what they saw enough to commit to Brooks for at least 10 more days. Once Brooks’ second 10-day deal expires, the team will have to either sign him for the rest of the season or let him walk, since players can’t sign more than two standard 10-day contracts with the same club in a single season.

A former Rocket who was waived by Houston in February, Brooks will once again occupy the 15th spot on Toronto’s standard roster, so no corresponding roster move or hardship exception is necessary to complete the signing. He’ll earn $85,578 on the deal.

Assuming the Raptors re-sign Brooks prior to Wednesday’s game vs. the Clippers, his new contract will run through March 25, covering the club’s next five games.

Raptors Sign Armoni Brooks To 10-Day Deal

10:14am: Toronto has signed Brooks and released Wilson, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. The Raptors will likely continue to fill that 15th roster spot – which Brooks now occupies – with 10-day signings unless they decide to convert Justin Champagnie‘s two-way contract, Lewenberg adds (Twitter link).

9:16am: Former Rockets guard Armoni Brooks will sign a 10-day deal with the Raptors, tweets Blake Murphy of

Murphy adds that D.J. Wilson might be let go early from his 10-day contract to make room for Brooks. Wilson hurt his knee on Monday in the only game he played after signing his third 10-day agreement with Toronto. That deal is set to expire on Wednesday.

Brooks, 23, was waived by Houston last month to accommodate a three-for-one deal with the Celtics at the trade deadline. A long-distance shooting specialist, he averaged 6.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Rockets this season, but connected at just 30% from three-point range. He signed with Houston as a two-way player last year and was converted to a standard contract in October.

Brooks had been playing for the College Park Skyhawks in the G League, and there was a report last week that the Rockets had interest in bringing him back.

If Brooks signs before tonight’s contest at Cleveland, he will be eligible for five games during the 10-day deal. Toronto’s next game after that isn’t until Wednesday.

Rockets Notes: Porter, Silas, Christopher, Brooks

The Rockets‘ young backcourt hasn’t produced many wins this season, but Kevin Porter Jr. believes he and Jalen Green have a bright future, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Porter is in his first full season as a point guard after learning the position after being acquired from the Cavaliers last year. Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, has endured an up-and-down rookie season, but has been producing points lately at a much more efficient rate.

“We need momentum going into next year,” Porter said. “Finishing off the season — not even (for) next year — finishing off the season, we want to finish the right way. … We want to take it real serious and try to win each and every game. We’re going to try to jell, me and J’s chemistry on the court, because next year we’ve got to be scary. We’re going to be scary.”

Porter had to leave Friday’s game at Orlando after rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, but coach Stephen Silas said it’s just a routine sprain, according to Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. Porter was held out of practice today to receive treatment and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.

There’s more on the Rockets:

  • With his team well out of the playoff race, Silas will focus on improving the defense over the rest of the regular season, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. The Rockets rank 29th in the league in points allowed in the paint and are the worst in the league by far in that statistic since the start of January. “I might try a few new things,” Silas said. “But it has been the rim, the restricted area, where teams are getting to the restricted area and shooting 60-something percent at the rim. So our rim protection has to be better, which means our bigger guys are lower and closer to the rim. That’s something that I’m going to be be toying around with.”
  • One pleasant surprise this season has been the emergence of rookie guard Josh Christopher, Iko adds. Even though Christopher only plays 16.5 minutes per night, the Rockets have been 5.8 points better when he’s on the court. Iko sees him developing into a valuable role player in Houston, possibly as a smaller version of Danuel House.
  • Armoni Brooks, who was waived to accommodate a three-for-one trade with the Celtics at the deadline, has joined the College Park Skyhawks in the G League, Iko tweets. He adds that Brooks declined several two-way contract offers and may still have a future with the Rockets.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Rockets, Brooks, McCollum, Murray

The Mavericks project to go well into the luxury tax in 2022/23 if they re-sign point guard Jalen Brunson, but team owner Mark Cuban sounds prepared for that scenario.

“We’re going to be in luxury tax hell next year, but that’s OK; it frees up the year after that,” Cuban said after the trade deadline, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

The Mavericks have several contracts on their books that expire in 2023, including Dwight Powell‘s and Maxi Kleber‘s. Additionally, Spencer Dinwiddie and Reggie Bullock only have partial guarantees for 2023/24 on their respective deals.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Rockets general manager Rafael Stone explained after the trade deadline that the decision to move Daniel Theis was related in part to the emergence of rookie Alperen Sengun. “Positionally, it makes sense for us,” Stone said, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “It’s not a secret that Alperen has been really good, really early. It has been since his first practice a priority to play him. That made it challenging to play Daniel Theis the amount we wanted, he wanted, that he should be playing. He’s a really, really good established NBA player.” Stone added that the team is excited about acquiring Dennis Schröder and has liked him for “a long time,” suggesting a buyout probably isn’t in the cards for the veteran point guard.
  • A handful of teams have inquired on Armoni Brooks, who cleared waivers over the weekend after being waived by the Rockets, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Iko adds that the door remains open for Brooks to return to Houston. The team will have an open spot on its 15-man roster once Enes Freedom is officially waived.
  • CJ McCollum did plenty of research on the Pelicans before signing off on the trade sending him to New Orleans. According to Will Guillory of The Athletic, McCollum spoke to Chris Paul about Pelicans head coach Willie Green, talked to J.J. Redick about his experience with the franchise, and got intel about the roster from current Pelicans wing Garrett Temple. McCollum didn’t have a no-trade clause, but told reporters last week that Portland involved him in the trade process.
  • Spurs guard Dejounte Murray was initially shocked that the team traded away his backcourt partner, but by the time he spoke to reporters about the Derrick White trade, he had come to terms with it, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “You start to realize you’re a player and not the GM or the front office,” Murray said. “You realize, just be a player and focus on that.”

Rockets Trade Daniel Theis To Celtics For Schröder, Two Others

8:27pm: The trade is official, according to press releases from both the Celtics and Rockets. As expected, Houston has officially waived guards D.J. Augustin and Armoni Brooks in order to complete the deal.

2:03pm: The Rockets are sending Daniel Theis back to the Celtics, Kelly Iko of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets that it will be for a package including Dennis Schröder.

Sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) that Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando are also be headed to Houston in the deal. Woj reports that the Rockets will waive Freedom (via Twitter).

After sending Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to Orlando, agreeing to trade Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford to San Antonio in exchange for Derrick White, and now dealing three players for one, the Celtics have opened five roster spots today and figure to be aggressive on the buyout market.

Theis, 29, started his NBA career in Boston, appearing in parts of four season with the club prior to being traded to Chicago at last season’s deadline.

He signed a four-year, $35.6MM contract with Houston as a free agent last summer, with the 2024/25 season being a team option. It was a strange signing for a rebuilding Rockets team that had just used two first-round picks on young big men Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba. Theis had fallen out of the team’s rotation as it prioritized youth, averaging 8.4 points and 5.0 rebounds through 26 games (22.5 minutes).

Theis will provide a major defensive upgrade over Freedom and should see some backup center minutes for his old team. Obviously, the Celtics have a high level of familiarity with the German big man, and he’s been teammates with the majority of the roster after just being dealt away last year.

For the Rockets, the move is mostly about clearing their books. Schröder is having another decent year, averaging 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists through 49 games (29.2 minutes), but he’s on an expiring $5.9MM contract, which was the main appeal. Freedom and Fernando are also in the final year of their respective deals.

Fernando can become a restricted free agent this summer if Houston tenders him a qualifying offer, but that seems unlikely given the limited contributions he’s provided this point in his career. Still, the Rockets get a look at 23-year-old big man to see if they want to keep him around beyond this season.

It will be interesting to see if a market develops for Schröder this summer after he failed to secure the large contract he was hoping for in 2021. I suspect he’ll still fall in the mid-level exception range, as not many teams will have cash to spend on free agents in 2022.

Rockets To Cut D.J. Augustin, Armoni Brooks

To carve out roster room to complete their one-for-three trade with Boston, the Rockets will waive reserve guards D.J. Augustin and Armoni Brooks, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Earlier this week, aware that his days in Houston might be limited, Augustin expressed an interest in remaining on the Rockets roster through the trade deadline, despite his awareness that the Rockets would be prioritizing the development of their younger players. The 5’11” point guard, a 14-year NBA veteran, averaged 5.4 PPG, 2.2 APG and 1.2 RPG across 15.0 in 34 contests with Houston this season.

The 23-year-old Brooks, a second-year player out of the University of Houston, also never carved out major minutes with the Rockets this year. The 6’3″ shooting guard averaged 16.8 MPG in 41 games this year. He scored 6.2 PPG on 34.7% field goal shooting, and also chipped in 2.0 RPG and 1.2 APG.

Brooks saw a far more robust role with the Rockets during his rookie season, albeit in just 20 games as a two-way contract signing. He averaged 11.2 PPG on 40.6% field goal shooting for the Rockets, along with 3.4 RPG and 1.5 APG.

Augustin’s $7.33MM salary for next season was partially guaranteed, but only for $333K. None of the remaining three years on Brooks’ contract beyond this season included guaranteed money.

Augustin and Brooks will become free agents on Saturday if they’re not claimed on waivers. Augustin could be a popular target for playoff teams looking to add backcourt depth.

COVID-19 Updates: Whiteside, Adams, Barton, Hornets, Spurs, More

Jazz center Hassan Whiteside has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter). Utah’s frontcourt depth is extremely depleted; in addition to Whiteside, Rudy Gobert, Rudy Gay, and Udoka Azubuike are all in the protocols, while 10-day hardship signee Norvel Pelle is out Wednesday against Cleveland with a non-COVID illness, Walden tweets. Whiteside is now the sixth Jazz player currently in the protocols.

Here are more COVID-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Grizzlies center Steven Adams is listed as questionable with a non-COVID illness for Thursday’s contest against Minnesota, Memphis’ PR department tweets, so he has cleared the protocols.
  • The Nuggets received two pieces of good news, as Will Barton has exited the COVID-19 protocols and Markus Howard, who was supposed to be sidelined at least six weeks with a sprained knee, is listed as questionable for Thursday’s contest against Portland, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). Howard has missed the past four weeks.
  • The news out of Charlotte is a mixed bag, as Vernon Carey Jr. has cleared the protocols, but rookie big man Kai Jones has entered for the Hornets, per the team’s PR department (Twitter links).
  • Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell have cleared the protocols for the Spurs and are available Wednesday night against Houston, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News tweets.
  • Bucks guard Grayson Allen said he was fortunate to have an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 and will be available Thursday against the Warriors, according to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Allen also mentioned that the time away helped him recover from the flu.
  • Rockets guard Armoni Brooks has cleared the health and safety protocols and is available Wednesday against the Spurs, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.