Ben McLemore

Southwest Notes: Rondo, Allen, McLemore, Parker

The Pelicans won’t have to wait much longer for Rajon Rondo‘s season debut, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Coach Alvin Gentry told reporters tonight that he expects Rondo to be ready in about a week to 10 days. Rondo underwent surgery for a sports hernia on October 10 and was projected to be sidelined four to six weeks. He was expected to take over at point guard after signing with New Orleans in July.

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • Tony Allen was held out of tonight’s game with left knee inflammation, but the Pelicans were prepared for occasional absences when they signed the 35-year-old guard, writes William Guillory of The Times-Picayune. Gentry called the condition minor and said it shouldn’t be a long-term concern for Allen. “It’s going to be that way throughout the season,” Gentry said. “He’s got a lot of years and a lot of miles on him. There’s going to be little hurts and pains that may keep him out a game or so, but it’s not anything that I’d spend any time worrying about.” Allen has been a valuable reserve for New Orleans, averaging 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 12 games.
  • Ben McLemore saw his first action for the Grizzlies tonight after signing with the team in July. McLemore had to undergo surgery in August after suffering a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his right foot during a summer pick-up game. He is expected to add more scoring punch to an already deep Memphis team after averaging 9.4 points per game during four seasons in Sacramento. “I’ve been working really hard on rehab and things like that to get back into game shape and being able to play my first game this season, so I’m excited,” McLemore said in an interview tweeted by the team.
  • The Spurs will have Tony Parker back soon, according to a post by Michael C. Wright on ESPN Now. Coach Gregg Popovich said his point guard continues to make progress in rehab, and Parker has expressed hope that he will be cleared to play by the end of November. He was originally expected to be out of action until January after rupturing a left quadriceps tendon during the Western Conference semifinals.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/9/17

Here are the G League transactions for Thursday:

Grizzlies’ Ben McLemore To Return This Weekend

One of the Grizzlies’ most noteworthy offseason additions, Ben McLemore, is set to make his debut with the team this Saturday in Houston, writes Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commerical Appeal. As Tillery notes, Ben’s brother Kevin McLemore confirmed the news on Twitter.

McLemore, who signed a two-year, $10.66MM contract with the Grizzlies in July, injured his right foot during a pick-up game in Los Angeles over the summer. The 24-year-old was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal and underwent surgery in early August, at which point the team announced he’d be out for about 12 weeks.

With McLemore set to return, it will be interesting to see how head coach David Fizdale juggles minutes and manages Memphis’ rotation. Other offseason acquisitions, such as Tyreke Evans and Dillon Brooks, may see their roles impacted by McLemore’s return, though Fizdale was noncommittal when asked whether the former seventh overall pick will start or come off the bench.

“He’s coming off a broken foot. We’ll get his feet wet. We’ll see what works and take it day by day,” Fizdale said, per Tillery.

The Grizzlies assigned McLemore to the G League last week as part of his rehab process, and he played 16 minutes for the Memphis Hustle on Sunday, scoring eight points and picking up a couple steals. The 24-year-old will need to be officially recalled in order for the Grizz to activate him for Saturday’s game against the Rockets.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/1/17

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

11:21pm:

  • The Lakers sent center Thomas Bryant to their South Bay affiliate for the fourth time this season, the team announced on its website.

4:57pm:

  • The Grizzlies are sending Ben McLemore to the G League as he continues to recover from offseason foot surgery, reports ESPN’s Chris Haynes (via Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies also made a series of moves with rookie forward Ivan Rabb today, recalling him from the Memphis Hustle this morning, only to re-assign him to the G League and recall him again later in the day (all Twitter links). After participating in the Grizzlies’ shootaround and the Hustle’s practice, Rabb is with the Grizz for tonight’s game.
  • Point guard Michael Carter-Williams has been recalled from the G League by the Hornets, the team announced today in a press release. GM Rich Cho said that Carter-Williams scrimmaged with the Greensboro Swarm to test his knees — MCW may play on Charlotte’s upcoming four-game road trip, as Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets.
  • The Spurs have recalled Tony Parker, Davis Bertans, and Derrick White from the G League, according to a pair of press releases from the team. Parker continues to rehab his injured left quadriceps, so he’s not ready to play for San Antonio yet.

Ben McLemore Expected To Miss 12 Weeks With Foot Injury

Newly-signed Grizzlies guard Ben McLemore may not be ready for his new team’s regular season opener. According to Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com (via Twitter), McLemore underwent surgery on his right foot on Tuesday, and is expected to be sidelined for approximately 12 weeks. The Grizzlies confirmed the news in a press release.

According to the Grizzlies’ announcement, McLemore has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. The injury occurred during a pick-up game in Los Angeles, when McLemore landed on another player’s foot following a drive to the basket.

If McLemore is able to return 12 weeks from today, he’d get back on the court on October 31. While regular season schedules for the 2017/18 campaign haven’t yet been announced, the season will begin on October 17, so the former seventh overall pick would miss the entire preseason and two weeks of the regular season in that scenario.

It’s unfortunate news for a Grizzlies team that has been hit hard by injuries to key players over the last couple seasons. While it remains to be seen what sort of role McLemore will play in Memphis, he represents the club’s top free agent investment of the summer so far — the 24-year-old signed a two-year, $10.66MM contract with the Grizzlies last month.

Grizzlies Sign Ben McLemore To Two-Year Deal

JULY 6: The Grizzlies have officially signed McLemore, according to the NBA’s transactions log.

JULY 2: The Grizzlies are finalizing a deal with Ben McLemore, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The pact, Chris Haynes of ESPN adds, is said to be for two years at $10.7MM.ben mclemore vertical

The 24-year-old shooting guard has strung together four underwhelming seasons with the Kings after getting picked seventh-overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. In 2016/17, however, he posted 8.1 points per game in just 19.3 minutes of action.

There isn’t much standing between McLemore and a larger role in Memphis, USA Today’s Jeff Zilgitt suggests, noting that he’ll likely see significant minutes with his new ball club. The swingman does, after all, boast the physical tools to be a decent perimeter defender and is a capable three-point shooter.

McLemore was eligible to be a restricted free agent this summer, but didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Kings, allowing him to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent.

Based on the terms of the agreement, it appears the Grizzlies will use the full taxpayer mid-level exception on McLemore — a deal with that MLE would top out at $10,643,600 over two years, and would allow the Grizzlies to avoid being hard-capped.

I doubt Memphis will go too far into the tax, if they even exceed that tax line at all. But if the team wants to try to bring back JaMychal Green, Zach Randolph, and Tony Allen, it will get expensive. The Grizzlies are projected to have more than $98MM in guaranteed salary on their 2017/18 cap after taking McLemore’s deal into account. That doesn’t include Green, Randolph, Allen, or the team’s other free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Free Agent Rumors: Iguodala, Noel, Roberson, Ingles

The Heat are one of three teams scheduled to meet with free agent Gordon Hayward, which could put several free agency plans on hold. For Miami free agent James Johnson, being patient is not a problem, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.

“I’m a patient guy,” Johnson said to Jackson at a recent golf tournament. “They can take as long as they want. My mindset is winning. I think Hayward can help us win and I’m all for it. They brought me here for a reason and I know they’re going after Hayward for a reason and I think his statistics and his numbers that he [produces], he fits in the best here.”

Johnson, 30, developed into a solid two-way player last season, averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and shot nearly 48% from the floor. However, if Miami does lure Hayward to South Beach, retaining both Johnson and Dion Waiters would be problematic from a financial standpoint. Stretching Josh McRoberts‘ salary and several other moves would have to be made to re-sign both players. However, Johnson has reiterated he does not mind waiting to see how the Heat’s plan develop.

Here are some other free agency rumors circulating around the NBA:

  • The Rockets‘ meeting with two-time NBA champion and free agent Andre Iguodala is scheduled for this morning, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • In a separate tweet, Haynes reports that the Knicks and Bucks have inquired on free agent swingman Ben McLemore.
  • Restricted free agent Nerlens Noel can speak to other teams, but appears very likely to remain in Dallas. It’s likely a matter of “how much and when” the Mavericks get a deal done with the swingman, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (via Twitter).
  • With Paul George headed to Oklahoma City, the Thunder are more likely to retain restricted free agent Andre Roberson, according to ESPN’s Royce Young (via Twitter).
  • The Nets have secured a meeting with free agent Joe Ingles, sources tell Adam Joseph of 16WingsARing (via Twitter).
  • We heard on Friday night that the Cavaliers have interest in Zach Randolph. That interest is mutual, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

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.

Free Agent Rumors: Redick, Ingles, Hayward, Gay

The first meeting for Clippers guard J.J. Redick was with the Sixers, posts Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN Now. On ESPN’s television coverage, Wojnarowski said Philadelphia would like to convince Redick to accept a short-term contract, “a one-year deal at a very big number, $20 million-plus, potentially.” The Timberwolves and Nets are also expected to be contenders for Redick, and he has expressed interest in joining former Clippers teammate Chris Paul with the Rockets. Wojnarowski adds that there is no chance of Redick returning to L.A.

There’s more from the early hours of free agency:

  • Jazz forward Joe Ingles has received “serious interest” from the Magic and has three meetings scheduled for Saturday, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Ingles will meet with the Utah delegation this weekend, according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).
  • Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been actively recruiting Gordon Hayward to Miami, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. Whiteside will attend Hayward’s meeting with Heat officials on Saturday.
  • Kings forward Rudy Gay has four meetings set up over the next few days, Kennedy adds (Twitter link).
  • The Nuggets reached out to Utah’s George Hill during the first hour of free agency, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Denver could create cap room to sign Hill by letting Danilo Gallinari leave, Begley notes.
  • The Mavericks had a “great call” with Nerlens Noel, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Noel expressed a desire to re-sign with the team, but nothing has been finalized.
  • The Lakers made calls tonight to Andre Iguodala, Rajon Rondo and Ben McLemore., tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The Knicks and Bucks have also inquired about McLemore, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Kings Won’t Tender QO To Ben McLemore

The Kings won’t tender a qualifying offer to free agent guard Ben McLemore, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The move ensures that McLemore will become an unrestricted free agent, rather than a restricted free agent.

McLemore, 24, was the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, but has been inconsistent during his four years in Sacramento. The subject of trade rumors earlier in his career, McLemore was rumored to be making a strong impression on the Kings’ new coaching staff last fall, but he ultimately received a career-low 19.3 minutes in 61 games this season. Although McLemore’s numbers (8.1 PPG, .382 3PT%) were decent, he doesn’t appear to be a part of Sacramento’s future plans.

Because McLemore didn’t meet the starter criteria, his qualifying offer would have been worth $4,187,598. That would have given the Kings the right of first refusal if another team attempted to sign the former Kansas Jayhawk. Instead, McLemore will be free to sign outright with any club.

McLemore joins Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke as 2013 lottery picks whose teams won’t be tendering them a qualifying offer this week.

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