Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook Working Out For Warriors

The Warriors continue to work out free agent guards, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, who reports (via Twitter) that Avery Bradley and Quinn Cook are among the veterans getting a look from the team this week.

Isaiah Thomas, whose workout with the team was reported last Thursday, will also be among the players auditioning for Golden State this week, and Spears says (via Twitter) the Warriors’ interest in Thomas is “sincere.” Spears adds that the sessions this week will include 5-on-5 games, with other free agents in attendance.

According to Spears, the Warriors – who currently have three openings on their 20-man roster – would ideally like to add one big man and two guards to their roster for training camp.

Golden State has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Damion Lee also expected to make the regular season roster. Barring additional roster moves, that would leave just one opening on the 15-man squad, with Gary Payton II and Mychal Mulder among the players vying for that spot.

The Warriors are well over the luxury tax line and could theoretically keep the 15th spot open to save some money, but they aren’t particularly deep at point guard and aren’t acting like a team that plans to carrying just 14 players. Darren Collison and Ryan Arcidiacono are among the other guards who have worked out for the club.

Bradley, considered a three-and-D guard, appeared in a total of 27 games for the Heat and Rockets in 2020/21. His scoring average dipped to 6.4 PPG on .374/.327/.800 shooting, his worst numbers since his rookie season.

A two-time champion with the Warriors and Lakers, Cook appeared in 107 games for the Warriors from 2017-19. He played in 23 games last season for the Lakers and Cavs, and has career averages of 6.4 PPG and 1.6 APG on .461/.408/.795 shooting.

Pacific Notes: Williams, Rondo, Warriors, Bradley

The level of intensive game preparation that Suns head coach Monty Williams prefers appealed to All-Star point guard Chris Paul even prior to the team trading for him, writes Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic. Williams and Paul led the club to its first NBA Finals appearance in 28 years during the 2020/21 season, Paul’s first with the team.

“When I thought about going to Phoenix, see, people didn’t even know that was in my mind, right, to go to Phoenix,” Paul said of his thinking before being traded to the Suns by the Thunder during the 2020 offseason. “I knew Monty already, and regardless of how our relationship has been in the past, or even that year when I played for him, I know his mindset, so I know he prepares, right? It’s a preparation thing, too. You want to know when you in the last minute, two minutes in the game that coach, that coach can give you X’s and O’s.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, expected to return to the Lakers on a veteran’s minimum deal this week, will be an obvious locker room boon, but Bill Oram of The Athletic wonders how Rondo will contribute on the court. Oram notes that Rondo, who won his second NBA title as a key role player for Los Angeles in 2020, was not nearly as valued a rotation player in a 2021 postseason spent with the Lakers’ cross-town rivals, the Clippers.
  • The Warriors are not believed to be considering adding veteran guard Avery Bradley, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. An 11-year vet, Bradley began the 2020/21 season with the Heat before being traded to the Rockets. He averaged 6.4 PPG on 37.4% field goal shooting, to go along with 2.1 RPG and 1.7 APG, in 27 games. The Rockets declined their $5.9MM team option on Bradley before the start of free agency this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
  • In case you missed it, 34-year-old former NBA point guard Darren Collison is set to work out for the Warriors this week. Collison last suited up for the Pacers during the 2018/19 season, before surprisingly announcing his retirement during free agency in the summer of 2019.

Pacers Rumors: Turner, Lamb, Brogdon, Ball, FAs

Plenty of trade speculation has swirled around the Pacers heading into the 2021 offseason, but a league source tells J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) that a “seismic” change to Indiana’s roster is unlikely.

One player whose name has popped up frequently in trade rumors during the last year or two is Myles Turner, and teams haven’t slowed their efforts to land the rim-protecting big man. According to Michael, the Knicks have gotten more aggressive lately in their pursuit of Turner — they aren’t the only club trying to trade for Turner, but they appear to be making the strongest push as of late, Michael says.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • With lottery pick Chris Duarte expected to step into a role on the wing, the Pacers are interested in moving Jeremy Lamb, reports Michael. Lamb, who was limited to 36 games last season due to injuries, is on a $10.5MM expiring contract.
  • The Pacers have had discussions about whether Malcolm Brogdon is the answer at point guard, according to Michael, who writes that the team also talked about possibly pursuing Lonzo Ball. However, Ball doesn’t seem to be a serious option for Indiana at this point, Michael adds.
  • T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott both have interest in returning to the Pacers, but McConnell wants security (ie. a multiyear deal) and McDermott may get too pricey for the team. As he’s previously reported, Michael notes that McConnell is more likely than McDermott to re-sign with the Pacers.
  • Michael points to Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Will Barton, and Garrett Temple as some free agents who may appeal to Indiana.

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, Caruso, Cavs, Trent, Batum, Bradley

The Pelicans are viewed as the most likely of Kyle Lowry‘s prospective suitors to guarantee a third year in their offer to the veteran point guard, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. However, it’s the Heat that are considered the current frontrunners to land Lowry.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms as much in his latest report, suggesting that the Heat are ready and willing to attach assets to Goran Dragic to entice the Raptors to accept a sign-and-trade offer, with Precious Achiuwa and draft picks among the pieces that could be in play. According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans and Mavericks – rumored to be two of Lowry’s most aggressive suitors – are beginning to consider other options as they look for a starting point guard.

Here are a few more updates on free agents, with the start of the 2021 free agent period less than 24 hours away:

Celtics Rumors: Green, Gay, Bradley, Olynyk, Dunn, Fournier

The Celtics prefer to use their mid-level exception to go after an experienced veteran player who can bring size and shooting to the team, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Former Celtic Jeff Green is thought to be one of Boston’s primary targets, Himmelsbach reports.

The Celtics aren’t far from the tax line and may be limited to the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception this offseason, since using the non-taxpayer version would hard-cap the club for the rest of the 2021/22 league year. The taxpayer MLE is expected to be worth about $5.9MM, which should be enough to make a competitive offer for Green.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Rudy Gay, Avery Bradley, and Kelly Olynyk are among the other free agents the Celtics may pursue, a league source tells Himmelsbach. Himmelsbach also confirms the club’s previously-reported interest in Patty Mills.
  • League sources tell Himmelsbach that the Celtics will likely try to flip Kris Dunn, who is being sent from Atlanta to Boston in a not-yet-official trade.
  • Himmelsbach also confirms that the Celtics are losing confidence in their ability to re-sign Evan Fournier in free agency. The acquisition of Josh Richardson was viewed as a contingency for the possibility of Fournier landing elsewhere.
  • Former UConn star Jalen Adams worked out for the Celtics earlier this week, according to Jay King of The Athletic (Twitter link). Adams has played in the G League and in France since going undrafted in 2019.

Rockets Make Avery Bradley Unrestricted Free Agent

The Rockets will not pick up their $5.9MM option on Avery Bradley, making the veteran guard an unrestricted free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The move was expected, as Houston is in full rebuild mode. Bradley is expected to draw interest from multiple playoff contenders once he hits the open market on Monday.

Bradley wound up in Houston as a result of a deadline deal with the Heat during an injury-riddled season. Following the trade, Bradley averaged 5.2 PPG (while shooting 31.4% from the field and 27.0% from deep), 2.3 RPG and 1.9 APG across 23.0 MPG in 17 contests with the team.

Bradley, 30, has also played for Boston, Detroit, Memphis and both Los Angeles teams. He was on the Lakers’ roster in 2019/20 but opted not to play in the Orlando bubble when the Lakers won the NBA title.

Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Lowry, Kawhi, Knicks, Dinwiddie, More

While the Mavericks are expected to show interest in free agent point guard Mike Conley, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein says Dallas’ focus in free agency will be on pursuing Kyle Lowry and attempting to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Reports to date have suggested that Conley is more likely than Lowry to return to his current team, so it makes sense that the Mavs would prioritize Lowry.

According to Stein, the Mavericks were initially expected to wait to see if Kawhi Leonard gave any indication that he was thinking about leaving the Clippers. However, the team has moved off of those plans, says Stein. That’s probably a signal that Leonard is unlikely to depart Los Angeles.

Here are a few more updates related to free agency:

  • At least one key decision-maker in the Knicks‘ front office has “embraced” the idea of signing Spencer Dinwiddie this offseason, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who hears that at least one other club plans to make the point guard a strong offer. Begley also confirms that DeMar DeRozan is among the other free agent guards on New York’s radar, though he says teams monitoring the situation view the Knicks as more likely to go after DeRozan if they’re able to acquire Damian Lillard in a trade.
  • The Suns are among the teams eyeing sharpshooter Reggie Bullock as a possible free agent target, Begley writes in a separate SNY.tv story. The Knicks have “significant” interest in re-signing Bullock, Begley adds.
  • Despite playing a modest role with the Nuggets down the stretch of the season, JaVale McGee is interested in re-signing with the team, two league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Singer cautions that the veteran center figures to have multiple suitors on the open market.
  • Rockets guard Avery Bradley is expected to draw interest from multiple playoff contenders if he becomes a free agent, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston will have to make a decision soon on Bradley’s $5.9MM team option for 2021/22.

Southeast Notes: Bradley, Robinson, Weltman, Hawks

After Tim MacMahon of ESPN noted in a Hoop Collective Podcast appearance that the Rockets are expected to decline their $5.9MM second-year team option on the contract of guard Avery Bradley, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel said he believes the 30-year-old guard could be a nice cost-effective fit with the Heat.

Given that the Heat dealt him to the league-worst Rockets at the deadline this season, and that Bradley’s availability (and efficacy) was significantly hampered by injuries, Winderman acknowledges that the guard may look elsewhere first. Following the trade, Bradley averaged 5.2 PPG (while shooting 31.4% from the field and 27.0% from deep), 2.3 RPG and 1.9 APG across 23.0 MPG in 17 contests with the team.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Restricted Heat free agent Duncan Robinson has teased that he may provide his own scoop regarding his future with the franchise on his podcast The Long Shot, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The sharpshooting swingman, 27, just completed his third NBA season with Miami, who signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2018 out of Michigan. He has emerged as one of the top shooters in the NBA. In 2019/20, Robinson connected on 44.6% of his 8.3 three-point attempts a night. During the ’20/21 season, Robinson made 40.8% of his 8.5 three-point tries.
  • Magic team president Jeff Weltman spoke with Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com about the upcoming draft lottery, among other topics. “We’re already in deep preparation mode in ranking players, trying to gain an understanding of how we see each guy fitting into our team, and watching a lot of video, having spirited debates, (and) start(ing) to establish tiers and ranking systems,” Weltman said. “So, it really from that end of things doesn’t change. What it will do is it will inform us of how we can more efficiently begin to work. Once we know how many picks we’ll have, where we’re picking, we can kind of put a finer point on that work. And our work will kind of turn a corner after the lottery.” 
  • The Hawks are hoping to win a game in Philadelphia for the third time in their seven-game second-round series against the Sixers, writes Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Should the Hawks advance today, they will face off against the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday. “You have to look at that, the fact that we have won there twice in this series,” head coach Nate McMillan said. “So you should feel confident that you can win in that building. We’ve done well, I would say, in the playoffs on the road (the Hawks are 4-2 in playoff road games this season]) And I think we feel we have to play with confidence on the road, and as (star point guard Trae Young) mentioned, it’s a one-game series now.” McMillan is currently an interim head coach with the club, having replaced Lloyd Pierce during the season. His playoff run with the Hawks should bode well for a long-term future with the team.

Heath Updates: Porzingis, Kleber, J. Brown, R. Williams, Hunter, Carter, Bradley

The Mavericks are in good shape to avoid a play-in game, but they may have to finish the regular season without big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Porzingis has already been declared out for today’s game against the Cavaliers, marking the sixth straight game he will miss and the ninth in the last 10 games. He suffered a sprained left ankle on March 22, then returned three games later and had to leave with soreness in his right knee. He tested the knee before Friday’s game, shooting for about 15 minutes.

Kleber has sat out the past three games with pain in his right Achilles. He is officially listed as questionable for today, but coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect him to play.

“Not having Kleber or Porzingis puts us in a more precarious situation,” Carlisle said. “But we’ve just got to figure it out. Five games left. Every game is super meaningful. We understand it. We’re just going to stay in the present, stick to the process and keep working.”

Here are some more injury-related updates:

  • Celtics forward Jaylen Brown will miss today’s showdown with the Heat because of a sprained right ankle, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The team had hoped Brown could be ready, but he will sit out his third straight game. Robert Williams is considered probable for today with turf toe, but coach Brad Stevens said there will be a lot of game-time decisions for him for the rest of the season, Murphy adds (via Twitter).
  • Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter will be a game-time decision at best on Monday, according to Kevin Chouinard of NBA.com (Twitter link). Coach Nate McMillan indicated that a final decision will be made after today’s practice and Monday’s walkthrough. Hunter has missed the past 24 games and has only played twice since January 29.
  • Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is dealing with blurry vision and slightly impaired depth perception, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. He will miss tonight’s game with a left eye abrasion (Twitter link).
  • Rockets coach Stephen Silas said there’s no timetable for a return by guard Avery Bradley, who is out for personal reasons, relays Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (Twitter link).

Health Updates: A. Davis, J. Brown, Rockets, Tate

Already playing without primary ball-handlers LeBron James and Dennis Schröder, the Lakers lost another one of their top scorers during Thursday’s loss to the Clippers, when Anthony Davis exited due to back spasms.

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN details, Davis left Thursday’s game in the first quarter and didn’t return. The Lakers’ All-Star big man also tweaked his right ankle, though he said his back injury was the issue that knocked him out of the game.

The Lakers have a crucial game on tap for Friday night in Portland — the two teams are tied in the standings for No. 6 in the West, and have split their two games so far this season. The winner of tonight’s game will earn the end-of-season tiebreaker and will be in great position to avoid the play-in tournament, so L.A. would love to have Davis available.

According to McMenamin, Davis said late on Thursday night that he anticipates being able to suit up against the Blazers in what he called “probably the biggest game” left on the schedule. He’s listed on the latest injury report as probable.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, who missed Wednesday’s game with a right ankle sprain, will also be out on Friday. However, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said during a radio appearance that he thinks Brown will be back for Sunday’s game vs. Miami (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).
  • The Rockets have a whopping 13 players on their injury report for Friday’s contest in Milwaukee, writes Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) and Avery Bradley (personal) are among nine players who have been ruled out. And, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle points out (via Twitter), the four players not on the injury report have made 10 combined NBA starts.
  • The Rockets did get one piece of good news today, as Feigen tweets that Jae’Sean Tate has cleared the health and safety protocols. Tate registered a false positive for COVID-19, followed by three negative tests. However, he’s still listed as questionable for Friday’s game due to a left knee contusion.