Avery Bradley

Pacific Rumors: Randle, Bradley, Looney, Kokoskov

Lakers power forward Julius Randle could wind up in his hometown of Dallas next season, Frank Urbina of Hoops Hype speculates. Randle would be a nice fit alongside guard Dennis Smith Jr. and the Mavericks have plenty of cap space to sign him. He played very well against them this season, averaging 21.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG and 5.6 APG on 66% shooting, Urbina notes. Randle would also slot in well with the Suns and Pacers, Urbina adds, though it’s more likely he winds up staying with the Lakers. Randle will be a restricted free agent if, as expected, the Lakers extend a $5.564MM qualifying offer by the June 29th deadline.

Also around the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers shooting guard Avery Bradley could wind up with the Sixers if Philadelphia loses J.J. Redick in free agency, Urbina writes in a separate piece. Bradley’s spot-up shooting and man-to-man defense would make him a good fit with their young core, Urbina continues. The Spurs and Thunder, who were involved in trade rumors for Bradley this winter, could be potential landing spots. The Pelicans might also be interested in upgrading the shooting guard spot, which would allow them to move Jrue Holiday back to the point if they lose free agent Rajon Rondo, Urbina adds.
  • Big man Kevon Looney has emerged as a key player for the Warriors and that won’t change throughout the postseason, according to Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury News. The Warriors’ first-round pick in 2015 has battled injuries during his first two seasons. Now healthy, Looney gives the Warriors another quality defender with length who guard all five positions, Kurtenbach adds. Looney could be plying his trade somewhere else next season, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Warriors declined their team option on him last October.
  • Igor Kokoskov has Jared Dudley‘s endorsement as the Suns search for a new head coach, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic reports. Kokoskov, 46, was instrumental in drawing up plays when Lindsey Hunter was Phoenix’s interim coach in 2013, according to Dudley. Kokoskov, who has interviewed for the Suns job, is currently a Jazz assistant. “It’s not like Igor is young,” Dudley said. “He’s had plenty of experience. It’s like Brett Brown in Philadelphia and Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta. They put the right staff around them. That’s the critical part. I think he’s shown he deserves the opportunity.”

Avery Bradley Undergoes Surgery, Out For Season

The Clippers will be without midseason acquisition Avery Bradley for the remainder of the season Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The guard has undergone surgery to repair muscles related to the sports hernia that has plagued him for much of the season.

Bradley had the procedure to repair adductor and rectus abdominis muscles on Tuesday and will take six to eight weeks to recover. That timetable could put the 27-year-old back on the court in late April, should the Clippers make the playoffs, but there’s no indication that he’ll be looking to suit up for the squad before the end of the campaign.

Bradley wasn’t all that effective in six games with the Clippers after heading over from the Pistons in the Blake Griffin trade and will now get the opportunity to address an issue that Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois writes has troubled him since his half-season stint in Detroit.

Bradley will hit the market this summer as an unrestricted free agent and was expected to draw significant interest prior to his down year in 2017/18.

L.A. Notes: Bradley, Wallace, Randle, Fizdale

Avery Bradley, part of the return the Clippers got in the Blake Griffin trade, isn’t sure if he’ll play again this season, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Bradley discussed the sports hernia injury that has sidelined him for the past four games, saying surgery before the end of the season is a possibility.

“We’re just … day by day and trying to strengthen up all the muscles around the injury,” Bradley said. “After that, we’re going to make the best decision, if that’s me playing or me getting surgery.” He added that rest has only made the injury worse, saying there’s no way to gauge when he might return.

The news could mean Bradley has played his last game as a Clipper. One of the NBA’s top wing defenders, he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will be seeking a hefty raise from his $8.8MM salary.

There’s more this morning out of Los Angeles:

  • Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace will remain in the G League after reaching the 45-day NBA limit on his two-way contract, according to Elliot Teaford of The Orange County Register. Wallace was transferred to the team’s Agua Caliente affiliate after playing in Tuesday’s game and cannot return until the G League season is over unless the Clippers give him a 10-day deal or sign him for the rest of the season. The rookie has averaged 10.1 points in 21 games for L.A.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines whether the Lakers can achieve their dream of adding two elite free agents without giving up Julius Randle. Though he is making less than $4.15MM this season, Randle will enter restricted free agency with a cap hold of $12.4MM. That leaves the team short of the cap room needed to offer two maximum deals unless it can find a taker for Luol Deng, who still has two years and $36.81MM left on his contract. Pincus identifies the Mavericks as the greatest threat to sign Randle this summer.
  • Even though rumors about Luke Walton’s job security have calmed down, former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale still has his eyes on the Lakers job, according to Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News. As a former assistant in Miami, Fizdale has a close relationship with LeBron James, and the front office might consider a coaching change if it believes Fizdale could deliver James to L.A.

Pacific Notes: Bradley, Evans, Caldwell-Pope, Payton

Clippers guards Avery Bradley and Jawun Evans are both suffering from ailments that could result in offseason surgery, writes Elliott Teaford of The Orange County Register. For the first time today, coach Doc Rivers brought up surgery as an option for Bradley, who has a sports hernia. The organization is hoping the 27-year-old, who was acquired from the Pistons late last month, can return in a week or two, but they’re being careful with him. He has played six games for L.A. since the trade and hasn’t been on the court since February 14.

“He’s one of the, if not the best, he’s one of the top five defensive guys on the ball in the league,” Rivers said. “And that’s all movement there [in a players’ core muscles]. So it’s tough blow.”

Evans, who has been diagnosed with a “sore lower abdominal ailment,” hasn’t been able to play since January 20.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has played much better since resolving his legal issues last month, notes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. With free agency looming, Caldwell-Pope has been showing off his scoring ability, hitting eight 3-pointers in a 34-point performance Saturday night. “It was kind of hard with that situation I had, but now that’s behind me,” he said. “I can focus on just one thing — that’s basketball. It’s been good just to be able to get my work when I need it and just be ready for games.”
  • The Suns have the rest of the season to determine if they want to team Elfrid Payton with Devin Booker as their backcourt of the future, relays Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Payton has solidified the point guard position since coming to Phoenix in a trade at the deadline, but the front office has to decide if Payton’s abilities are the best complement for Booker and if he is worth the estimated $10MM annually it will cost to keep him when he hits restricted free agency this summer. The Suns will also consider whether they want to draft a new point guard or keep Payton and use their pick on a center.
  • Shooting guard Danuel House has reached the 45-day NBA limit under his two-way contract, Bordow tweets. House has returned to the Suns‘ Northern Arizona affiliate and can’t come back to Phoenix until the G League season is over unless his contract is converted to a regular NBA deal.

L.A. Notes: Bradley, Clippers, Thomas, Ball

As the Clippers headed to Phoenix for Friday night’s game against the Suns, Avery Bradley stayed behind in Los Angeles to receive treatment on a sports hernia injury that has nagged at him for much of the season, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The Clippers, who could have used Bradley on defense during Thursday’s 134-127 loss to Golden State, aren’t sure exactly when the veteran guard will return to action.

“We are concerned,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “We’ve got to go through the right stuff and make sure he’s in a good place with his health. I think we’re going to send him to a doctor and let him check and see.”

Here’s more out of Los Angles on both the Clippers and Lakers:

  • The Clippers currently have one opening on their 15-man roster, which would allow the team to give a full-fledged roster spot to one of its two-way players. However, it’s not clear whether Tyrone Wallace or C.J. Williams would be first in line for that spot, as both players are expected to receive consideration, according to Turner. “Hopefully we can get something resolved pretty soon,” Rivers said. “We just got to figure out what we’re going to do. We may be able to sign one.”
  • With the Lakers focusing on developing younger players and Isaiah Thomas in need of a showcase before he hits free agency, the union between the two doesn’t exactly look like a marriage made in heaven, writes Rob Mahoney of SI.com. Still, Lonzo Ball is looking forward to playing with Thomas, suggesting that his pass-first style and Thomas’ score-first mentality should mesh well together, as Bill Oram of The Orange County Register details.
  • In a conversation with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma addressed several topics, including the team’s recent trades of Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson, his friendship with Ball, and the possibility of the Lakers landing a star in free agency.

Pacific Rumors: Ball, Bradley, Warren, Payton

Lonzo Ball went through a full-contact practice on Tuesday but won’t return until after the All-Star break, Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register reports. The Lakers rookie point guard has been sidelined since spraining his left knee on January 13th. Coach Luke Walton remained vague on when Ball would suit up. “When his body is ready, then he’ll play again,” Walton told Teaford and other reporters. “I can’t tell you whether that’s going to be the first game [after the All-Star break], the second game or the third game.”

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers shooting guard Avery Bradley admits he’s having trouble finding his place in the team’s offensive scheme, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports. Bradley is averaging just 9.0 PPG in 28.6 MPG since he was dealt by the Pistons to Los Angeles as part of the Blake Griffin blockbuster. “I think it’s a mix of me trying to find my rhythm and my game and trying to learn how to play off these guys,” Bradley told Turner. “They have a lot of offensive-minded guys on this team. So I have to figure out, and not only myself, but (coach Doc Rivers) has to figure out how he wants to use me.”
  • Forward T.J. Warren is making the four-year, $50MM contract extension the Suns gave him look like a bargain, according to Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. He’s averaging 19.7 PPG and making over 50% of his field-goal attempts. “Coming into the league, I was known for being a scorer,” Warren told Bordow. “Just getting the opportunity and staying consistent is big for me. I’m just trying to get better, make my way in this league and earn the respect of my peers.”
  • It’s no sure thing that the Suns will try to re-sign restricted free agent point guard Elfrid Payton this summer, as Bordow explains in a separate story. Phoenix, which acquired Payton for a second-round pick from the Magic, could free up $10MM in salary-cap space by renouncing Payton’s rights, Bordow continues. With Brandon Knight expected to return next season from a knee injury, the Suns could then draft a point guard as Knight’s eventual replacement and pursue a center in free agency. Bordow adds.

Windhorst/Lowe On Cavs, Clips, Dinwiddie, Hood

The Cavaliers had an eventful trade deadline, trading away six players and taking back four new ones in three Thursday trades. However, it sounds as if the team was somewhat close to making an even bigger splash. Appearing today on Zach Lowe’s Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that there were people around the NBA who believed on Thursday morning that the Cavs and Clippers were gaining traction on a DeAndre Jordan deal.

“The reason people thought that was because there were other teams that were engaged in trade talks with pieces that would have spun off from that trade,” Windhorst explained. “So it got to the point where the Cavs and Clippers felt like they were close enough to some sort of agreement with each other that they could begin looking to bring in third teams and that’s why I know about it.”

According to Lowe, who says that the Cavaliers were never willing to send the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder to the Clippers in exchange for Jordan, talks between Clevleand and L.A. never got into “the red zone.” Still, Windhorst says that the two teams got at least “some distance down the road” before the Cavs opted to make other deals and the Clippers decided to keep Jordan.

Here’s more from Windhorst and Lowe:

  • The Nets were asking for “a lot” in return for Spencer Dinwiddie, according to Lowe, who says the Cavaliers explored a trade for Dinwiddie that involved Cleveland’s own 2018 first-rounder. Such a deal would have had the added benefit of improving the value of Brooklyn’s first-rounder for the Cavs, the Nets’ asking price was too high for Cleveland.
  • According to Lowe, Avery Bradley‘s asking price for his upcoming free agency is “gargantuan.” Lowe expects the Clippers guard to have to recalibrate his expectations at some point.
  • Lowe doesn’t think Rodney Hood‘s deal in restricted free agency this summer will be exorbitant, speculating that the Cavaliers might be able to lock him up for something in the neighborhood of $10-12MM per year.
  • Windhorst, who said last week that the Cavaliers had explored whether George Hill would be open to a buyout next year if they were to acquire him, clarified some details on that report. Since Hill was believed to be “miserable” with the Kings, per Windhorst, the Cavs looked into whether he’d be willing to reduce the guarantee on his $19MM salary for 2018/19 in order to facilitate a trade. That didn’t end up happening though.
  • Windhorst and Lowe said today there has been a lot of chatter around the NBA about the Grizzlies‘ approach to the deadline. For about 36 to 48 hours, Memphis was giving the teams the impression that they were on the verge of moving Tyreke Evans, presumably in an effort to get clubs to increase their offers, according to Lowe, who says the Grizzlies may have “out-thought themselves.”

Cavaliers Notes: Deadline Deals, Wade, LeBron

No NBA team overhauled its roster at the trade deadline more drastically than the Cavaliers, who shipped out six current or former rotation players: Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye.

According to general manager Koby Altman, all those deadline deals were as much about repairing the culture in Cleveland as they were about seeking better on-court results. “We were really worried that what was going on on the floor and sort of our culture in the building that we were marching a slow death and we didn’t want to be a part of that,” Altman said on Thursday, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Acknowledging that the veteran players acquired in last summer’s Kyrie Irving trade never really fit in Cleveland, Altman said that those pieces still had enough value to allow the team to go out and acquire players it liked. Altman also hopes Thursday’s deals will re-energize his star player, LeBron James, who has been visibly frustrated this season.

“I don’t want to say he didn’t believe in this group and want to be careful in saying that because he’s going to compete every night and try to get whatever teams he’s on to the Finals,” Altman said of James, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “But I wanted to see a renewed sense of joy in him, and being around him the last 24 hours has been great.”

Here’s more from out of Cleveland:

  • Here’s Altman on the motivation behind the Wade trade with the Heat, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com: “As I started to get closer to deals to bring back youthful wings that I wanted to see play right away, I realized that this was going to be a role for Wade where minutes are going to be reduced, and reduced, and reduced. … I said, ‘Is this fair for Dwyane? Is this something that he signed up for?’ And so, we explored that with Miami. I wanted to make sure that I talked to LeBron about that. Because Dwyane did come in large part because of LeBron, and because of the situation here. And we wanted to give Dwyane the option. ‘Do you want to be a part of this? No one’s telling you that you have to go by any means, but, we want to give you a chance to go home.’ I think he and his representation were very, very appreciative of that.”
  • While LeBron hasn’t spoken publicly about the Cavs’ deadline deals, multiple reports suggest that he’s on board with the moves. One league source called the moves “win-win” in terms of competing now and constructing a roster built for long-term success, per Vardon. Meanwhile, Sam Amick of USA Today writes that the “behind-the-scenes reaction from James’ inner circle was a resounding thumbs-up.”
  • LeBron didn’t commit to the Cavs beyond this year before the team completed its series of moves, according to Vardon, who adds that Altman and owner Dan Gilbert didn’t ask the four-time MVP for that sort of commitment.
  • One league executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes the Cavs significantly improved their chances of re-signing James this offseason as a result of their deadline-day trades. “Even if they don’t win this year, they’ve given themselves room to grow,” that exec told Deveney.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe takes an in-depth look at the Cavaliers’ deadline, and is generally in favor of the team’s moves, questioning only the decision to give up a first-round pick while taking on Jordan Clarkson in the swap with the Lakers. Citing league sources, Lowe also notes that the Cavs wouldn’t have been able to acquire Avery Bradley from the Clippers without surrendering a first-round pick.

Spurs Interested In Trading For Avery Bradley

FEBRUARY 8, 8:23am: According to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), the Pistons discussed the possibility of trading Bradley or Stanley Johnson to San Antonio for Danny Green before including him in the Blake Griffin trade, so it makes sense that the Spurs would still have interest.

One potential deal the Spurs and Clippers have discussed is Green and a first-round pick in exchange for Bradley, league sources tell Stein (Twitter link). However, San Antonio would prefer not to part with a first-rounder, Stein adds (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 7, 10:31pm: The Spurs have become a “trade suitor” for Clippers guard Avery Bradley, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Bradley was acquired from the Pistons last week in the deal that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit. He has an $8.8MM expiring contract and reportedly isn’t in the Clippers’ long-term plans. He has been productive in two games for L.A., playing 30 minutes per night and averaging 10.0 points.

The Spurs have been shorthanded on the wing with both Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay sidelined by injuries. It would take Gay, Danny Green or a combination of smaller salaries to match up with Bradley’s, and the Clippers will probably want some draft assets in return.

O’Connor’s Latest: Thunder, Bradley, Simmons

When we relayed the latest rumors on the Thunder‘s search for wing help on Tuesday, Avery Bradley was one player we mentioned, with a report suggesting Oklahoma City has done its due diligence on the Clippers guard. It wasn’t the first time Bradley’s name has surfaced as a potential OKC target, and multiple league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that Bradley’s name “keeps popping up” as a player of major interest to the Thunder.

As O’Connor observes, one deal that would make sense on paper and would work financially is Bradley for Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson. However, the Thunder are reportedly very reluctant to part with Ferguson, recognizing that they’ll need inexpensive role players for the next few years if they hope to keep their current core together.

Still, some sort of deal involving Abrines could be possible. O’Connor hears from a league executive that Clippers director of pro player personnel Johnny Rogers – who played and broadcasted in Spain – “loves” Abrines, a former Barcelona standout.

O’Connor shares a few more items of interest in his latest piece for The Ringer, so let’s round them up…

  • Although the Thunder have kicked the tires on Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons, multiple sources tell O’Connor that Simmons isn’t expected to be available — at least not for what Oklahoma City would offer.
  • Two front office sources have informed O’Connor that the Thunder would be among the frontrunners to sign Joe Johnson if he’s bought out by the Jazz this month.
  • The Hawks have had some trouble gaining traction on deals for some of their veterans, according to O’Connor, who says that the Thunder and Pacers are among Atlanta’s potential trade partners for players like Marco Belinelli, Dewayne Dedmon, or Ersan Ilyasova. O’Connor notes that the Hawks had interest in T.J. Leaf prior to last year’s draft, but he’s skeptical that the Pacers would surrender the rookie forward for a veteran rental.