Bones Hyland

Los Angeles Notes: Jackson, Hyland, Westbrook, Vanderbilt, Russell

Reggie Jackson anticipated he’d get traded by the Clippers, he told Law Murray of The Athletic. Jackson was dealt to the Hornets, who waived him. He then signed with another Western Conference contender, the Nuggets.

“I’ve been in the game for 12 years,” Jackson said. “I was the only expiring contract (the Clippers had). Got to get better. Can’t really move anything. … So, the writing was on the wall for me. Being a pretty smart guy, I kind of knew. Either we were going to stay put, play small-ball, or, if anything was going to happen, I was ready to be the one that would probably be moved.”

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • In the same story, Bones Hyland told Murray that he’s glad Russell Westbrook signed with the Clippers, even though his playing time might be cut. “I always was a fan of Russ’ game,” Hyland said. “Fan of Russ off the court as well. Great human being, great to be around. Great to talk to. Was the MVP of this league. Going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. … So, I’m glad we got him. He brings a lot to the team.”
  • Jarred Vanderbilt lifted the Lakers during their comeback from a 27-point deficit against Dallas with 15 points. 17 rebounds and four steals. The deadline addition from Utah has already impacted the team’s season, Anthony Davis told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “His value for our team, you can’t even put it into words what he brings and does for us,” Davis said. Vanderbilt looks like a steal in the three-way trade with Minnesota and the Jazz, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, because he addresses the Lakers’ need for a long, athletic, dirty-work forward.
  • D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful for the Lakers’ game against Memphis on Tuesday, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (Twitter link).
  • In case you missed it, LeBron James is expected to miss multiple weeks due to a foot injury. Get the details here.

Clippers Notes: Westbrook, George, Zubac, Hyland

The day after the trade deadline, star forward Paul George told reporters that he wanted Russell Westbrook to end up with the Clippers. Two weeks later, with Westbrook on the verge of making his Clippers debut, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggested on his Hoop Collective podcast that George’s advocacy for the former MVP was the driving force behind the team’s decision to sign him.

“From what I understand, they were internally against (signing Westbrook) at the start,” Windhorst said, per RealGM. “Paul pushed for it publicly and privately. Kawhi (Leonard) supported it. And they looked more into it and they were like ‘Well, you know, there are some things he can potentially help us with. One of the things that’s a factor for us is we tend to kind of get a little loaf-y.’ They talked themselves into it, is the long story short.”

Windhorst’s reporting doesn’t come as a real surprise — comments made by president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank after the trade deadline indicated he wasn’t initially targeting a player like Westbrook. Frank spoke about wanting a point guard who wouldn’t be very ball dominant and who has “got to be able to shoot.” Westbrook, a 29.6% three-point shooter this season, is at his best with the ball in his hands.

Still, as Windhorst alluded to, and as ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in an Insider-only story, the Clippers only rank 20th in the NBA in drives this season and are tied for 23rd in shots at the rim. Plus, they have more shooting around Westbrook than the Lakers did, so there are reasons to believe the veteran’s fit could be better with L.A. other’s team.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • Ahead of Westbrook’s debut with the Clippers, Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, and Jovan Buha and Law Murray of The Athletic all evaluated the 34-year-old’s potential fit and discussed whether or not they think the match will be a good one.
  • The Westbrook signing should be viewed as an endorsement for head coach Tyronn Lue and the Clippers’ stars, Murray writes for The Athletic. As Murray explains, the move signals that the front office is willing to listen to its players and trusts Lue to make the best decisions for the team.
  • The Clippers will be without starting center Ivica Zubac in their first game after the All-Star break on Friday due to a right calf strain, tweets Greif. The injury should open the door for recently acquired big man Mason Plumlee, who played 17 and 18 minutes in his first two games with the Clippers, to take on a bigger role.
  • Former Nuggets and current Clippers guard Bones Hyland repeatedly cited “miscommunication” as an issue that led to his exit from Denver, where he felt “kicked to the curb,” according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. So far though, communication hasn’t been a problem for Hyland with the Clippers, even though his playing time may take a hit following the addition of Westbrook. “I understand (Lue) has a good plan for me,” Hyland said. “I know he’s not just going to leave me in a desert, man, just by myself. … The first thing he did (after the Westbrook signing) was call me over and talk to me one-on-one. That’s something I respect about Ty Lue.”

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Wolves, Hyland, Jackson, Sexton

The Trail Blazers continued to deal with a number of injury absences as the second half of their season got underway on Thursday night. As Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian writes, Jusuf Nurkic (calf), Justise Winslow (ankle), and Anfernee Simons (ankle) are still on the shelf for Portland.

Nurkic hasn’t returned to practice yet, though Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said the veteran center is “getting better.” Winslow, meanwhile, has begun taking part in non-contact drills, while Simons is doing weight-bearing activities but no on-court work.

The Trail Blazers opted to give Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant the night off on Thursday following a series of weather-related travel days that saw Portland players spend several hours on the team plane on both Wednesday and Thursday. The club’s resulting starting lineup in Sacramento was an odd one that featured three trade-deadline additions (Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Ryan Arcidiacono) along with two reserves (Drew Eubanks and Nassir Little).

While the Blazers lost in Sacramento, Billups liked what he saw from Little, whose 26 points were easily a season high (story via Fentress). Reddish also continued his solid play following the trade that sent him from New York to Portland, scoring 24 points of his own.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Timberwolves came close to acquiring Bones Hyland from the Nuggets at this month’s trade deadline, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North said in his podcast The Scoop (hat tip to HoopsHype). According to Wolfson, Minnesota “would have done what the Clippers did” (given up two second-round picks) or even more than that. However, Wolfson believes Denver’s ownership group was reluctant to do any favors for former Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who now runs Minnesota’s front office.
  • Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports spoke to Ish Smith, who previously played with Reggie Jackson in Oklahoma City and Detroit, about what the Nuggets‘ newest point guard can bring to the team. Jackson played 18 minutes in his Denver debut on Thursday, scoring seven points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of assists.
  • Jazz guard Collin Sexton, who strained his left hamstring in the team’s final game before the All-Star break, remains sidelined as a result of that injury. The expectation it that Sexton will be reevaluated on Monday, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News.

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Williams, Hyland, Nuggets Bench

Tony Jones of The Athletic believes it’s “very, very unlikely” that Russell Westbrook will ever play a game for the Jazz, noting that the veteran guard wouldn’t receive much playing time as the team prioritizes its younger players (Twitter links).

According to Jones, the two most likely scenarios for Westbrook are securing a buyout if he finds a situation he likes, or remaining on Utah’s roster but away from the team.

While that’s hardly surprising news, it’s still noteworthy that Westbrook might finish the season not actively playing. On the other hand, if he joins another team and things go awry, that could hurt his value ahead of free agency.

The 2016/17 MVP has made over $300MM in his career, so it’s not like he needs more money, but it’s a lot easier for a team to move on from a player who isn’t making much money than one who is. It’s a tricky balance to strike for a decorated player who was often criticized (sometimes unfairly) on his last team.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Thunder swingman Jalen Williams has flown under the radar a bit in ’22/23, but he’s having an outstanding rookie season, averaging 12.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.2 SPG on .508/.324/.759 shooting. He recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about a number of topics, sharing an amusing story about how he first met head coach Mark Daigneault.
  • Bones Hyland was traded to the Clippers last week after a rocky end to his Nuggets tenure. The second-year guard explained that he had “great communication” with Denver’s front office, but not so much with the coaching staff. “Yeah, I feel like it could’ve been done better on both ends,” Hyland said, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscriber link). “Just more communication. I’ve got so much love for Denver, but I just feel like the communication was just so low. I had a lot of mixed emotions, and we didn’t come together and just make it better.”
  • Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suggested he’s going to run a five-man bench lineup of Reggie Jackson, Bruce Brown, Christian Braun, Vlatko Cancar and Thomas Bryant once Jackson is activated after the All-Star break, tweets Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. A notable omission from that group is veteran forward Jeff Green, who has consistently been in the rotation when healthy and scored a season-high 24 points in Wednesday’s victory over Dallas. Malone has tweaked the bench rotation multiple times this season, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising if that five-man group changes over time.

Los Angeles Notes: Hyland, Gordon, Westbrook, James

Bones Hyland believes he’s the answer at the point for the Clippers, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes. The Nuggets dealt the disgruntled young guard, who fell out of their rotation, and Hyland is thrilled with opportunity.

“For me, I feel like I never had that opportunity to showcase my playmaking ability and be able to play that point guard role a lot and show that I’m just more than just a scorer,” he said. “I’m actually a point guard, you know? And I offer that at a high level and if you put me in that position, I’m going to thrive in that position as well.”

Hyland was routed to the Clippers as part of a four-team deal. He’ll battle current starter Terance Mann for minutes.

We have more from the Los Angeles teams:

  • In the same press conference, the Clippers also introduced two veterans they added before the trade deadline, guard Eric Gordon and center Mason Plumlee. Gordon believes he can take some of the scoring load off Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Youngmisuk relays in the same story. “I can space the floor for them. And I can create my own shot,” Gordon said. “And I see that they switch a lot on defense. I’ve been doing that the past seven, eight years. And I guard bigs, too. You got to have a two-way mindset playing offense and defense. And I think I’m able to bring that.”
  • While Hyland fortifies the point guard spot, George reiterated that he wouldn’t mind if his former Oklahoma City teammate, Russell Westbrook, chose to take a buyout from the Jazz and join the Clippers, according to Janis Carr of the Orange County Register. “I’m a big believer in him and a fan of what Russ’ work is, having had one of my best seasons in my career alongside of him,” George said. “I’ve seen what he can do, night in, night out and I think he’s still got a lot of game there.”
  • LeBron James hasn’t played since breaking the league’s scoring record on Tuesday. The Lakers superstar will miss his third consecutive game on Monday due to left ankle soreness, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. He was spotted icing his feet after the team’s shootaround in Portland, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. The Lakers have one more game — at home vs. New Orleans — before the All-Star break.
  • Speaking of Westbrook, Goon takes a deep dive on the veteran guard’s two-season stint with the Lakers.

Timberwolves Notes: Conley, Trade Targets, Reid, Edwards

The Timberwolves brought in veteran Mike Conley to run the point and dealt impending free agent D’Angelo Russell. Coach Chris Finch believes Conley will be a better fit to initiate their offense, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes.

“(Russell has) grown to have a lot of fans around the league and we were able to make a move that we felt matched us up a little bit better as we grow into this roster, get a little bit healthier,” Finch said. “We get KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) back, Ant’s (Anthony Edwards‘) ascendancy — we just kind of needed a connector. I felt we needed a guy who was a connector there. When you have a chance to get a guy like Mike, you don’t think too much about it.”

We have more from the Timberwolves:

  • Minnesota was looking to make more deals, particularly for shooters, before the deadline passed on Thursday, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. Among the players the Wolves pursued were Denver’s Bones Hyland, Phoenix’s Jae Crowder, Detroit’s Saddiq Bey and Miami’s Max Strus. All of those players except Strus got traded elsewhere.
  • In the same story, Krawczynski reports that the Timberwolves fielded many inquiries regarding center Naz Reid. More than a dozen teams asked about his availability but the Wolves didn’t come close to moving him. He’ll be an unrestricted free agency after the season.
  • Conley is not only busy meshing his on-court skills with his new teammates — he’s also quickly establishing himself in the locker room, Krawczynski writes in a separate story. “Leadership. Just being that veteran in the locker room that we needed,” Edwards said. “He can shoot the ball really good. Pass the ball. Him and Rudy (Gobert) got a really good connection, so I think it should be pretty good.”
  • The fact that Conley is signed through next season also added to the appeal of acquiring his services, GM Tim Connelly told Hine. “There was some appeal of the contract of Mike as well,” Connelly said. “You’re always trying to think for the here and now and think of next year and beyond. It was not done lightly, and (Russell) was not a guy we were looking to move just to move.” Conley’s $24.36MM salary for next season is partially guaranteed for $14.32MM.

Scotto’s Latest: McDaniels, Hornets, G. Williams, Nuggets

Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels drew significant trade interest around the NBA ahead of Thursday’s deadline, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who reports that about half of the league’s teams reached out to express interest in the 22-year-old.

However, after keeping him out of the Rudy Gobert blockbuster last summer, the Timberwolves continued to turn away inquiries on McDaniels. The front office views the third-year forward, who becomes extension-eligible during the coming offseason, as a member of the team’s core, Scotto writes.

McDaniels’ brother Jalen McDaniels was on the move this week, as the Hornets sent him to the Sixers in a four-team deal that also involved New York and Portland. According to Scotto, Charlotte was anticipating a strong free agent market for Jalen this offseason and was concerned about being outbid for the 25-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

After trading for him at the deadline, the Sixers are hoping to use their Bird rights on the older McDaniels brother to retain him, but they’ll face competition. League sources tell HoopsHype that the Jazz, Pacers, and Spurs are among the clubs expected to show interest in McDaniels in the summer.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • With McDaniels no longer on the roster, the Hornets are prioritizing re-signing P.J. Washington this summer, as well as potentially negotiating a new deal with Miles Bridges, says Scotto.
  • The Celtics turned away multiple teams who expressed interest in trading for forward Grant Williams, Scotto reports. Clubs were interested in acquiring Williams ahead of his restricted free agency to secure his Bird rights, Scotto writes, adding that some executives around the NBA believe Boston will be hesitant to match an offer sheet exceeding $15MM+ per year for the forward this summer. The C’s never offered more than $50MM in guaranteed money over four years last fall when the two sides discussed an extension, Scotto notes.
  • Before sending him to the Clippers, the Nuggets discussed possible deals involving Bones Hyland with the Hornets (Jalen McDaniels), Timberwolves (Taurean Prince), and Knicks (Cam Reddish), according to Scotto.
  • In case you missed it, Scotto’s latest story for HoopsHype also included an interesting item on the Grizzlies’ offer for Mikal Bridges and some info on potential suitors for veteran wing Terrence Ross.

Northwest Notes: Payton, Blazers, Hyland, Clarkson, Conley, Gobert

It got a bit lost in the shuffle of Thursday’s trade deadline activity, but one of the more interesting moves at the deadline was the Trail Blazers trading away guard Gary Payton II after he had appeared in just 15 games with the team. Payton was dealt just seven months after Portland beat out rival suitors to sign him to a three-year contract as a free agent.

One source tells Jason Quick of The Athletic that one key reason for the move was that Payton had indicated he didn’t want to be in Portland anymore — he was “ecstatic” to be sent back to the Warriors, according to that source.

It’s a worrying sign that so many players the Blazers trade seem so enthusiastic about leaving Portland, Quick writes, pointing to Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr., and Josh Hart as other recent examples.

Quick also questions how Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant (who has been offered an extension) might view the Blazers’ deadline moves, which included trading Payton and Hart and acquiring flawed or unproven young players like Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Kevin Knox.

Head coach Chauncey Billups had been hoping to add size and experience to the roster, but Portland’s deals this week accomplished neither and may result in the team taking a step back in the short term. As Quick writes, the Blazers will have to hope that Lillard and Grant still believe in the team’s long-term plan.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • When Bones Hyland left the Nuggets‘ bench out of frustration in the fourth quarter of a Jan. 22 game against Oklahoma City, it represented a tipping point, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who says that incident didn’t sit well with a number of Denver’s veterans and led to the team exploring Hyland’s trade market in earnest. According to Singer, Hyland’s poor fit alongside Jamal Murray, his defensive lapses, and his displeasure with his role were all factors that led to him being dealt. Still, trading the second-year guard was a difficult decision that went up to ownership, sources tell The Denver Post.
  • The Jazz and guard Jordan Clarkson aren’t expected to reach an agreement on an in-season extension, but sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic that Utah remains very open to continuing its relationship with Clarkson beyond this year. The 30-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer by turning down a $14.3MM player option for 2023/24.
  • The Timberwolves‘ acquisition of Mike Conley signals the team’s commitment to improving the fit for Rudy Gobert, who developed chemistry with Conley in Utah, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “I love Mike,” Gobert said on Wednesday. “I just love the way he plays the game — the way he makes people around him better, his professionalism, the way he plays to win and his selflessness, and I love him as a person too, so obviously I’m happy.”

Lakers, Nuggets, Magic, Clippers Roll Three Trade Agreements Into Single Deal

5:35pm: The four-team trade is now official, according to a press release from the Magic.

4:46pm: The Lakers, Nuggets, Magic, and Clippers will combine three separately reported trade agreements into a single four-team trade, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).

As Price explains, the Patrick Beverley/Mohamed Bamba swap between the Lakers and Magic, the deal sending Bones Hyland from the Nuggets to the Clippers, and the Nuggets’ acquisition of Thomas Bryant from the Lakers are the trades affected. The new-look deal is as follows:

  • Lakers to acquire Bamba, Davon Reed, the Clippers’ 2024 second-round pick, and the Clippers’ 2025 second-round pick.
  • Magic to acquire Beverley, the Nuggets’ 2024 second-round pick, and cash.
  • Clippers to acquire Hyland.
  • Nuggets to acquire Bryant.

The original terms of the trades called for the Clippers to send their 2024 and 2025 second-round picks to Denver for Hyland, with the Nuggets sending their own 2025, 2026, and 2029 second-rounders to the Lakers for Bryant and the Lakers sending an unspecified second-round pick to the Magic in the Beverley/Bamba swap.

Under the new terms of the deal, the two Clippers picks will be rerouted from the Nuggets (for Hyland) to the Lakers (for Bryant). Denver will keep its 2025, 2028, and 2029 second-rounders. The third pick the Nuggets are sending out for Bryant is now Denver’s 2024 second-rounder — it will be flipped from the Lakers to the Magic for Bamba.

The Magic won’t require Beverley to report to the team, according to Price, which is a strong signal they intend to buy him out or simply waive him.

Nuggets To Trade Bones Hyland To Clippers

The Nuggets have agreed to trade second-year guard Bones Hyland to the Clippers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Denver will receive L.A.’s 2024 and 2025 second-round picks in the swap, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Hyland had been on the trade block in Denver in recent weeks due in part to tension between the 22-year-old and the Nuggets’ coaching staff about his playing time. Multiple reports indicated that Hyland would welcome a change of scenery if it gave him the opportunity to take on a more significant role elsewhere.

He’ll get his change of scenery, though it’s unclear whether Hyland will get a significant bump in minutes on a deep Clippers team that has championship aspirations. Still, L.A. had been in the market for another play-maker in the backcourt and will acquire a promising one in Hyland, who averaged 12.1 PPG and 3.0 APG on .399/.378/.866 shooting in 41 games (19.5 MPG) for the Nuggets this season.

Because he’s only in the second year of his rookie contract, Hyland will remain under team control for two seasons beyond this one at a very reasonable rate ($2.3MM in 2023/24; $4.2MM in ’24/25). He’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2024 offseason and would be a restricted free agent in 2025 if he hasn’t signed a new deal by that point.

The Nuggets had been hoping to acquire a first-round pick or a defensive-minded wing in exchange for Hyland, but will have to settle for a pair of second-rounders for an asset whose value may have dipped as of late. Hyland was a DNP-CD in Denver’s last four games leading up to the trade deadline.

The Clippers have an open spot on their roster and have a trade exception available to absorb Hyland’s $2.2MM salary, so they won’t have to send a player to the Nuggets to complete this deal. That means Denver should open up a spot on their own 15-man squad.