Brice Johnson

Hornets Notes: Monk, FA Targets, Coaching Staff

A disappointing 2017/18 put the Hornets in an awkward position, staffed with enough talent to compete for one of the East’s final playoff spots, yet financially compelled to blow things up and start fresh. This season stands to be different. In a recent interview with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, newly appointed head coach James Borrego discusses his vision for the club heading forward.

The biggest change heading into 2018/19 is Borrego’s willingness to incorporate 2017 pick Malik Monk heavily in the team’s rotation. Whereas previous head coach Steve Clifford opted to play veterans over youth, Borrego sees Monk as “major player for the team” with the potential to be an elite shooter.

Borrego also notes that it’s a priority of the Hornets to add a ballhandler that can serve as the primary backup point guard to Kemba Walker.

There’s more out of Charlotte tonight:

Nets Notes: FA Mini-Camp, RFA Market, LeVert

The Nets hosted a three-day mini-camp this week for veteran free agents, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link), who identifies former Thunder guard Semaj Christon and 2016 first-round pick Brice Johnson as a pair of the participants.

Per Kennedy (Twitter link), other players with previous NBA experience who took part in Brooklyn’s mini-camp include Xavier Silas, Josh Gray, Naz Mitrou-Long, Jarrod Uthoff, and Byron Mullens. Walt Lemon Jr., who saw a little action with the Pelicans this season, was also in attendance, tweets NetsDaily.

While the Nets may not end up adding any of those players to their roster for next season, the mini-camp gives the club a chance to get a closer look at some players who might have flown under-the-radar, and perhaps some candidates for two-way contracts next season.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • The Nets have been the NBA’s most active club in restricted free agency over the past two years, with little success. The club signed Allen Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, Donatas Motiejunas, and Otto Porter to offer sheets, but saw all four of those offers matched at the time (Crabbe was later traded to Brooklyn). With that recent history in mind, NetsDaily explores whether the club will foray into the RFA market again in 2018, with Aaron Gordon looming as a possible target.
  • The first draft pick of the Sean Marks era in Brooklyn, Caris LeVert showed impressive potential and versatility during his second NBA season in 2017/18, writes Michael Scotto of The Athletic. LeVert, who could become a long-term starter for the Nets, won’t be eligible for restricted free agency until 2020.
  • Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is on the wrong end of a lawsuit in New York State Court, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details. Prokhorov is being counter-sued by Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistle-blower who exposed Russian cheating in the 2014 Olympics, for backing a libel lawsuit that Rodchenkov viewed as an intimidation tactic.

Grizzlies Sign MarShon Brooks, Cut Brice Johnson

12:39pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Brooks to a 10-day deal, the team announced in a press release. To open up a roster spot, Memphis has waived Brice Johnson.

Johnson, acquired from Detroit in a deadline trade last month, appeared in nine games for the Grizzlies. Like Brooks, he’s a former 25th overall pick.

11:33am: The Grizzlies intend to sign guard MarShon Brooks to a 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

Brooks, a first-round pick in 2011, had a decent rookie season with the Nets, averaging 12.6 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 56 contests. However, his minutes were cut back the following year, and Brooklyn traded him in 2013. Brooks bounced around the NBA during the 2013/14 season, appearing in games for the Celtics, Warriors, and Lakers.

Since the end of the ’13/14 campaign, Brooks has played international ball, primarily in China with the Jiangsu Dragons. This season, the 29-year-old filled up the box score with 36.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 5.7 APG in 36 Chinese League games for Jiangsu.

The Grizzlies currently have a full 15-man roster, so there are three possibilities for the team to open up a roster spot and finalize Brooks’ reported signing. Memphis could terminate Marquis Teague‘s 10-day contract, wait until after Teague’s deal expires on April 2, or waive another player with a guaranteed contract.

L.A. Notes: LeBron, Lakers, Gallinari, Thornwell

James’ recent purchase of a house in the Los Angeles area won’t affect his decision, Heisler claims, and neither will the chance to play with a young core made up of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle and Lonzo Ball. Unless the Lakers can convince James that his presence would make them an instant contender, they’ll be a long shot to bring him to L.A.
There’s more NBA news out of Los Angeles:
  • With the playoffs slipping out of reach, the Lakers will spend the rest of this season deciding which free agents they want to keep, states Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. With only five players under contract for 2018/19, Brook Lopez, Isaiah Thomas and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be among those auditioning for jobs, as will Channing Frye if he returns after an appendectomy.
  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari will have his right hand examined next week to determine if he needs surgery, tweets Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. Gallinari added that swelling and discoloration in the hand have subsided since he suffered a non-displaced fracture late last month. Gallinari is averaging 15.9 points per night, but has been limited to 19 games by a variety of injuries.
  • Rookie Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell made his first start in nearly three months Friday and responded with a career-high 14 points in a win over the Cavaliers, notes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Thornwell’s playing time had slipped as the team tried out two-way guards C.J. Williams and Tyrone Wallace, but he was ready when coach Doc Rivers called on him to match up with James. “I guess it’s just Doc’s way of seeing if I’m ready to play,” Thornwell said. “He just wants to see if I’m focused and locked in. But my starts are always on somebody tough.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/14/18

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

  • The Grizzlies recalled forward Brice Johnson from the Memphis Hustle, the team’s NBA G League affiliate. Johnson, who was acquired in a trade from Detroit on Feb. 8, has seen action in nine NBA games this season, but has yet to appear in a contest for the Grizzlies.
  • The Jazz have recalled center Tony Bradley and guard Naz Mitrou-Long from its G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. Bradley has appeared in eight games for the Jazz so far this season, recording a career-high four points and three rebounds at Oklahoma City on Dec. 20. Mitrou-Long, who was just signed to a 10-day contract less than a week ago, has appeared in 33 games for the Stars this season, averaging 16.8 points per game.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

10:04pm: 

  • The Warriors have assigned Patrick McCaw to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced (Twitter link).

2:52pm:

  • The Grizzlies have assigned forward Brice Johnson to their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced in a press release. Johnson was acquired by the Grizzlies prior to the trade deadline on Thursday. In 24 G League games this season, Johnson has averaged 13.4 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
  • The Thunder have recalled guard Terrance Ferguson and center Dakari Johnson from their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Ferguson has appeared in 41 games with the Thunder this season while Johnson has racked up 24 appearances.
  • The Pacers recalled center Ike Anigbogu from their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, the team announced on its website. While the rookie has played sparingly with the big league club, he’s averaged 6.3 PPG, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 12 games with the Mad Ants this season.

Pistons Acquire James Ennis From Grizzlies

8:05pm: The Pistons have officially acquired Ennis, the team announced tonight in a press release.

11:44am: The pick included in the deal is for 2022, according to Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link), who adds that the Pistons will use their Disabled Player Exception to accommodate Ennis.

11:29am: The Pistons have acquired James Ennis from the Grizzlies in exchange for Brice Johnson and a second-round pick, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It’s the same package that Detroit had been rumored to send to New Orleans in exchange for Dante Cunningham.

After a couple of years as a journeyman, Ennis found a home in Memphis over the past two seasons, developing into a regular part of the rotation. The 27-year-old is averaging 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds through 45 games this season. He has an expiring contract worth a little more than $3MM.

Johnson, 23, was acquired from the Clippers last week in the deal that brought Blake Griffin to Detroit. A first-round pick in 2016, Johnson had yet to suit up for the Pistons and played just nine games in L.A. this season. He is still on his rookie contract and is making a little more than $1.33MM.

Because of the salary discrepancy, the Pistons will have to use either the Disabled Player Exception of $5.2MM they were awarded earlier this week or a $7MM trade exception to take on Ennis’s contract.

Pistons In Serious Talks To Acquire Dante Cunningham

The Pelicans and Pistons are engaged in discussions on a deal that would send Dante Cunningham to Detroit in exchange for Brice Johnson and a second-round pick, reports Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) classifies those talks as “serious.”

As I noted earlier today when Scott Kushner of The Advocate described Cunningham as a trade candidate for the Pelicans, the veteran forward has the ability to veto a deal that involves him. However, league sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link) that Cunningham has requested a trade, so he seems unlikely to take advantage of his ability to block a move.

The Pistons have already reportedly struck a deal with the Bulls to acquire point guard Jameer Nelson in exchange for Willie Reed. Johnson, like Reed, arrived in Detroit as a result of last week’s Blake Griffin trade. If the Pistons can complete a deal with the Pelicans, they’ll end up flipping both of those non-Griffin pieces from the Clippers to new teams in order to fortify their rotation with some additional veteran help.

Cunningham, 30, has spent the last three and a half seasons in New Orleans, appearing in 263 total games for the club during that time and starting almost exactly half (132) of them. Although he has been a reliable rotation piece for most of that time, Cunningham’s 2017/18 marks of 5.0 PPG and .440 FG% are his lowest since he joined the Pelicans, and he was benched for the entirety of the club’s most recent game.

For the Pelicans, Johnson – who has appeared in just 12 NBA games – would offer little upside, but a trade would allow the team to pick up an extra second-rounder and move a little further away from the luxury tax threshold. If the two teams can complete a deal, New Orleans could also absorb Johnson using one of their existing trade exceptions, creating a new trade exception worth Cunningham’s $2,300,000 salary.

If the Pistons and Pelicans don’t get anything done, the Timberwolves would be another team to watch for a Cunningham trade, tweets TNT’s David Aldridge.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/6/18

Here are the G League moves from around the Association today:

  • The Pistons sent recently acquired forward Brice Johnson to their G League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. Johnson had previously played 23 games of action with Agua Caliente, the Clippers’ affiliate.
  • The Lakers have recalled center Ivica Zubac from South Bay, the team announced in a press release. He has averaged 21.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during his stints with the affiliate.
  • The Cavaliers have brought Ante Zizic back up from a stint with the club’s G League affiliate in Canton, the team announced in a press release. Zizic has seen action in just 12 games with the big league club this year.
  • The Bulls assigned Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen to their G League affiliate today, with the intention of recalling them after practice, the team announced in a pair of tweets.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/17

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

3:10pm:

  • After assigning him to the G League for today’s Raptors 905 game, as detailed below, Toronto has recalled Alfonzo McKinnie to the NBA, according to the team (Twitter link).

2:03pm:

  • The Raptors assigned Alfonzo McKinnie to the G League this morning, per the team (Twitter link). Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, played a day game today, and McKinnie was excellent, racking up 23 points and 16 rebounds (nine offensive).
  • The Jazz have recalled rookie big man Tony Bradley from their G League squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). Bradley had a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) in a win for the Salt Lake City Stars on Monday.
  • After practicing with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario on Monday, Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic, and Brice Johnson were recalled by the Clippers, as Robert Flom of Clips Nation details. Gallinari and Teodosic are close to returning from their respective injuries, with Gallinari hoping to play on Wednesday.
  • The Bulls have sent second-year guard Kay Felder back to the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Felder will soon be joined by Zach LaVine, who will continue rehabbing his ACL injury with the Windy City Bulls.
  • Rookie center Ike Anigbogu has been recalled from the G League by the Pacers, the club announced in a press release. The 19-year-old struggled in his most recent game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, recording just two points and two rebounds in 22 minutes on Monday.
  • The Sixers have recalled Furkan Korkmaz from the Delaware 87ers, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Korkmaz has yo-yo’d back and forth between Philadelphia and Delaware all season — his most recent G League assignment was his seventh.
  • The Kings have made a pair of G League moves, assigning Skal Labissiere to the Reno Bighorns and recalling Georgios Papagiannis, according to the team. Of the two 2016 first-rounders, Labissiere has been the more regular fixture in Sacramento’s rotation this season, averaging 17.1 MPG in 23 contests.