Nets Rumors

Kenneth Faried Arrested For Marijuana Possession

As first reported by Valerie Gordon of 27East.com, new Nets power forward Kenneth Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on Sunday morning and was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor for those allegedly possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. The Nets know about the situation, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, who confirmed the initial report.

“We are aware of the situation involving Kenneth Faried and are in the process of gathering more information at this time,” the Nets said in a statement.

While it’s possible the arrest could eventually lead to a modest fine or suspension for Faried, it’s fairly minor as far as criminal incidents go. It’s unlikely to have a major impact on the veteran’s on-court availability during his first season with the Nets.

NBA Teams With Open Two-Way Contract Slots

Only a small handful of two-way players from 2017/18 had their contracts carried over to the 2018/19 season, while a few more signed new two-way deals. For the most part though, NBA teams have filled their two-way contract slots for the coming season with new faces, including several rookies who went undrafted in 2018.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Two-Way Contracts]

At the moment, 44 of 60 league-wide two-way contract slots are occupied, with a 45th set to be filled once the Wizards finalize their reported agreement with Jordan McRae. That leaves just 15 two-way deals available across the NBA as training camps approach.

Some clubs may not fill these slots before camps get underway, preferring to sign players to non-guaranteed NBA contracts and then convert those deals to two-way pacts later, depending on how players perform in camp and in the preseason. By the time the 2018/19 regular season begins though, I don’t expect many two-way slots to still be open.

With the help of our two-way contract tracker, which lists all the players currently on two-way deals, here are the teams who can still offer two-way contracts without waiving anyone:

Two open slots:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Houston Rockets
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • San Antonio Spurs

One open slot:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Golden State Warriors
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Toronto Raptors

Nets Sign Australian Wing Mitch Creek

The Nets have officially signed Australian swingman Mitch Creek to an NBA contract, the team announced today in a press release. The terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but it’ll almost certainly be a minimum salary deal that is non-guaranteed or includes a modest partial guarantee.

In addition to announcing their new deal with Creek, the Nets also confirmed the previously-reported signing of former USC guard Jordan McLaughlin, who is said to have signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the club.

Creek, a longtime standout wing for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia, eyed a deal with the Nets earlier this summer, but had to work through some contract-related roadblocks in order to free himself up to sign with Brooklyn.

Late in July, reports out of Australia began to surface suggesting that Creek was opting out of his contract with German club Wuerzburg in order to attend training camp with the Nets, as NetsDaily relayed at the time. However, the 36ers reportedly filed an injunction to prevent him from making the leap to the NBA without receiving compensation.

Creek had previously been under contract with Adelaide through the 2018/19 season, but exercised an out clause in that deal to play in Germany. As such, the 36ers believed they should be entitled to some sort of compensation, particularly in the event that he earns a spot on the Nets’ regular season roster. It’s not clear what sort of agreement the 36ers, Nets, and Creek reached, but Adelaide made an announcement earlier this month indicating that the 26-year-old was free to head to the NBA.

In 31 games in Australia last season, Creek averaged 14.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG. He was named to the All-NBL Second Team. He also played for the Mavericks’ Summer League team last month, recording 6.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG in five games in Las Vegas.

Brooklyn now has 18 players under contract, including 15 on guaranteed salaries.

Caris LeVert Says Fewer Practices Helped With Injuries

  • Nets forward Caris LeVert believes a relaxed practice schedule in the NBA has helped him overcome the injuries he had in college, relays Ethan Sears of The New York Post. Foot issues forced him to miss a large part of his junior and senior seasons at Michigan and caused him to slide to 20th in the 2016 draft. “I think that a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, he only — he got hurt in the college season, where they only played 40 games. How is he gonna play 82 games in the NBA season?’” LeVert said. “They don’t really look at the fact that in college, you practice way harder than in the NBA. Cause in the NBA, you can’t necessarily practice that hard, ’cause there’s a game basically every other day.”

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Hardaway, Noah, Raptors

The Nets guaranteed Spencer Dinwiddie‘s contract for the 2018/19 season earlier this week as the guard looks to build off a career season in 2017/18. Dinwiddie recently returned to Brooklyn after spending the summer in California and China and he’s ready to get started, Tom Dowd of NBA.com writes.

“Scoring efficiency is the main area of improvement,” Dinwiddie said. “Overall development. I’m 25 years old, still got a lot of juice in the tank. I want to continue to push the limits of who I can be as a player and see how far we as a group, a collective, can take this thing. A lot of that comes from every individual being one percent better. Trying to do a lot of that.”

 In 80 games last season, Dinwiddie enjoyed his best year to date, averaging 12.6 PPG and 6.6 APG for Brooklyn. Entering this season, with the roster shaken up and without Jeremy Lin, Dinwiddie figures to have a shot to retain his spot. As Dinwiddie and his teammates prepare for the preseason, he acknowledged that workouts have ramped up.
“It’s all ramping up and we’re getting to a place where the season is coming up,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s about to be around the corner. We’re putting in some of those final touches, some of that final preparation to get ready.”
Check out more Atlantic Division notes:
  • After the Knicks parted ways with Jeff Hornacek, guard Tim Hardaway Jr. was unsure of the front office’s thought process. With David Fizdale on board, Hardaway loves what the new coach brings to the team, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “He’s respected around the league,’’ Hardaway said. “He does bring that type of vibe and character around the team that makes you want to go out there and compete each and every day for him. That’s what we love about him.”
  • A lot has been made of Joakim Noah and his role — or lack thereof — on this upcoming year’s Knicks team. While his contract is an albatross, utilizing the stretch provision is one way New York can rid itself of the injured center. Danny Leroux of The Athletic (subscription required) explains why the Knicks should hold onto Noah for now.
  • The Raptors announced the coaching staff for their G League affiliate, Raptors 905.

Nets Notes: Harris, Russell, Walker, Musa

Joe Harris, who re-signed with Brooklyn on a two-year, $16MM deal, believes the Nets‘ young players can make “significant jumps” this season, as NetsDaily relays.

“We definitely have some new pieces to the team, but I think just being around everybody so far this offseason — although it’s relatively young — I think we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic,” said Harris. “If anything, we have an extremely competitive group and I think a lot of our younger players are gonna make significant jumps.”

Harris previously has said that he’s seen D’Angelo Russell take “considerable strides.”

“All I know is I’m really excited for the season to get going and I know everyone else is,” Harris said. “I’m not gonna go out here guaranteeing anything that’s gonna happen. I know we are gonna go out and compete every single night.”

Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • How much success the Nets have this season will depend on the health of Russell, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “As he moves forward, he needs to create those habits and take care of his body,” GM Sean Marks said. “And I think people will be pretty surprised when they see what he’s done. He’s worked extremely hard on purely that, strengthening up his body and so forth.”
  • Kemba Walker spoke about his love for Brooklyn during a youth summer basketball camp appearance recently. “That’s one thing about people from Brooklyn, they’re very loyal, they’re die-hard, they believe in their team,” Walker said (via NetsDaily). “I love Brooklyn. I love going there. I love playing there. It always gives me a chance to come back home, too, so that’s why I love it as well. I like the organization, too. It’s cool.” The point guard is expected to be a free agent in the summer of 2019.
  • No. 29 overall pick Dzanan Musa believes he can play point guard among other positions for the Nets. “I can handle the ball like a lot,” the 6’9″ rookie said (via NetsDaily). “So, point guard, shooting guard, three, whatever. I’m ready to do it.”

Nets Guarantee Spencer Dinwiddie’s Contract

The Nets have guaranteed the contract of point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Dinwiddie will make $1,656,092 during the upcoming season.

Brooklyn didn’t have to fully guarantee Dinwiddie’s deal until January 10, so if nothing else this gives Dinwiddie some peace of mind when he heads to training camp.

The Nets have a muddled point guard situation with D’Angelo Russell and Shabazz Napier, a rotation player with the Trail Blazers last season, also in the mix.

The Nets could also sign Dinwiddie to an extension during the season, though not until December 8, the two-year anniversary of inking his current deal, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

Dinwiddie had a breakout season in his second year with the franchise, averaging 12.6 PPG and 6.6 APG in 28.8 MPG while appearing in 80 games. The 6’6” Dinwiddie also played two seasons with the Pistons.

Remaining Offseason Questions: Atlantic Division

NBA teams have now completed the brunt of their offseason work, with the draft and free agency practically distant memories. Still, with training camps more than a month away, most clubs around the league have at least one or two outstanding issues they’ve yet to address.

Over the next week, we’ll be looking at all 30 NBA teams, separating them by division and checking in on the key outstanding question that each club still needs to answer before the 2018/19 regular season begins.

We’re starting today with the Atlantic division, so let’s dive right in…

Boston Celtics
Will Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving be fully recovered and ready for the season?

Outside of continuing to work with both Hayward and Irving during their rehab processes, the Celtics don’t have a ton of agency when it comes to answering this question — they can only hope for the best for their two injured stars.

While Hayward and Irving are both expected to be ready to go for the 2018/19 season, that’s not an absolute lock, as neither player has participated in 5-on-5 action to date.

Given the constant speculation about the health of other key Eastern players returning from injuries (think Kawhi Leonard), it only seems fair to take a similar view on the Celtics — they’ll be title contenders if Hayward and Irving get healthy and stay healthy. With just over two months until opening night arrives, that’s the key issue facing a Celtics team that otherwise seems all set for the season.

Brooklyn Nets
Will D’Angelo Russell or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson receive rookie scale extensions from the Nets?

Much has been made about the Nets‘ projected 2019 cap space, particularly after the team was able to ditch Timofey Mozgov‘s pricey multiyear contract earlier this summer. While we expect the Nets to pursue multiple top free agents from other clubs, it’s also worth noting that they could be faced with decisions on a couple key restricted free agents of their own.

Russell and Hollis-Jefferson are eligible for rookie scale extensions right up until October 15, but if they don’t sign new deals by that point, they’ll be on track for restricted free agency next summer. While the Nets would still have the right of first refusal on both players at that point, they’d have less control over each player’s future — if another team comes in with an aggressive offer sheet for either RFA, it could complicate Brooklyn’s own free agency plans.

Even if the Nets view Russell and Hollis-Jefferson as key parts of their core, I wouldn’t be surprised if neither player is extended this year. Letting those contracts expire will allow Brooklyn to maximize its flexibility in the free agent market in 2019.

New York Knicks
Will the Knicks sign Kristaps Porzingis to a rookie scale extension?

Like their crosstown rivals, the Knicks have a rookie scale extension of their own to worry about. Porzingis is a lock to be extended by New York at some point, likely on a maximum-salary deal. But the timing of his next contract remains up in the air.

The Knicks don’t project to have as much cap room next offseason as the Nets and other clubs, but they can still create enough space to potentially make a splash on the free agent market. That would become much more difficult with a new extension for Porzingis already on their cap.

If the Knicks sign KP to a max extension now, he’d count for approximately $27.25MM in 2019/20 when the new league year begins. If they wait until next year to give him a new deal, his cap hold would be about $17.1MM until he officially signs, creating about $10MM in extra space for the Knicks to use before going over the cap to lock up Porzingis.

Between the extra cap flexibility and Porzingis’ ongoing ACL recovery, I expect New York to pass on a rookie scale extension this year. If they take that route though, the Knicks will have to be ready to put a huge, player-friendly offer on the table next year to avoid having Porzingis accept an offer sheet from another team that would allow him to reach free agency sooner.

Philadelphia 76ers
Who will the Sixers hire as their new head of basketball operations?

Since Bryan Colangelo‘s dismissal in early June, the Sixers have operated without a permanent general manager. Head coach Brett Brown has technically served as the interim GM over the last couple months, though several members of Philadelphia’s front office have been involved in roster decisions.

With the Sixers’ roster for 2018/19 all but set, there’s no longer a rush to get a permanent replacement for Colangelo installed right away, but it’s still an issue the organization should look to address before the regular season begins.

The 76ers reportedly made a run at Rockets GM Daryl Morey, and have been rumored to be targeting other big names too. However, outside of the Morey report, we haven’t heard a whole lot of specifics on the team’s search as of late.

Although the top candidates for the job and the timeline for a hire remain uncertain, it’s important that the Sixers get this right — next summer will be the last time that the club projects to have significant cap room before extensions for Ben Simmons and Dario Saric are due, so it’ll be a big year for Philadelphia’s front office.

Toronto Raptors
Will the Raptors look to shed salary before the season begins?

The Raptors‘ offseason player movement has been fairly clear-cut — Kawhi Leonard replaces DeMar DeRozan as the team’s on-court leader, and Greg Monroe and Danny Green figure to step in for Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira in the rotation. However, those roster moves didn’t cut costs at all for a Raptors squad whose team salary is now well beyond the tax line.

With approximately $140MM in guaranteed money on Toronto’s books after the signing of Monroe, it will be interesting to see whether the club still hopes to shed salary in a salary-dump deal, or if team ownership is prepared to pay a sizable tax bill for a roster with the potential to contend for a title.

While Green or C.J. Miles would probably be easier to trade, the Raptors may prefer to move someone like Norman Powell, assuming they’re still looking to make a deal. Powell no longer has a clear role in a crowded wing rotation and his four-year, $42MM extension represents one of the only commitments on Toronto’s books beyond 2019/20.

I’d be surprised if the Raptors haven’t talked to the Kings, who could use some help at small forward and still have the cap room necessary to take on Powell. But there’s not necessarily a huge rush for the Raps to move a contract or two immediately — they could always wait until the trade deadline to try again to trim salary.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Projecting The Depth Chart At Each Position