Bryn Forbes

Free Agent Stock Watch: Northwest Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents during the 2023 offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Northwest players.


Jerami Grant, F, Trail Blazers

  • 2022/23: $20,955,000
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Up

Grant has proven to be a nice fit in Portland, providing efficient frontcourt scoring (.613 true shooting percentage) for the team’s seventh-ranked offense. He can score in a variety of ways and is one of the team’s better defenders, though the Blazers have fallen off considerably on that end – they’re down to 23rd in defensive rating with a net rating barely above water (+0.4).

Grant will turn 29 in March and is in line for a big payday on his next contract. For what it’s worth, Portland would be limited during the season to offering a four-year, $112.65MM extension, so if he thinks he can get more than that, he’ll have to wait until free agency.

Bruce Brown, G/F, Nuggets

  • 2022/23: $6,479,000
  • 2023/24: $6,802,950 player option
  • Stock: Up

I was surprised Brown’s free agency foray last offseason wasn’t more lucrative after a strong postseason showing with the Nets – he ended up signing a two-year deal with Denver for the taxpayer mid-level exception. It was rumored that he had higher offers and liked the fit with the Nuggets.

Either way, he has been a valuable and consistent role player alongside reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. The versatile Brown is averaging 11.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.3 APG and 1.0 SPG on a rock-solid .492/.413/.800 (.584 TS%) shooting line through 29 games (30.2 MPG).

In addition to being head coach Michael Malone’s go-to replacement starter across multiple positions (he’s up to 17 starts), Brown is attempting – and converting – more three-pointers than ever before, up to 1.3 makes and 3.2 attempts per game, from previous career highs of 0.6 and 1.7, respectively. He has been a relative bargain thus far, but the problem for the Nuggets is if he opts out, they’ll only have his Non-Bird rights, so they’ll be limited to offering him 120% of his current contract – a deal would start at $7.8MM in 2023/24, only a $1MM raise on his player option.

If he opts out, I think Brown could at least land a deal for the non-taxpayer mid-level in free agency, which is projected to be worth $48.9MM over four years. If Denver is where he really wants to be, another option would be picking up his option and then re-signing once the Nuggets have his Early Bird rights after ’23/24 – Nicolas Batum and Bobby Portis took that route in recent years with the Clippers and Bucks, respectively.

Bryn Forbes, G, Timberwolves

  • 2022/23: Minimum salary
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

In five consecutive seasons from 2017-22, Forbes knocked down at least 38.8% of his three-point attempts, and he owns a career rate of 41.3%. However, he has struggled this season in his rare opportunities to play, converting just 25.8% of his looks beyond the arc in 17 games (10.6 MPG).

That’s a major problem for the undersized shooting guard, because his value is almost entirely tied to his ability to make shots — he’s limited in every other area, particularly defensively. The Wolves need shooting – they’re 22nd in 3PT% – so the fact that he hasn’t been playing obviously means head coach Chris Finch doesn’t trust him over other options. For players on minimum deals, one down season could mean they’re on the last legs of their NBA careers.

Justise Winslow, F, Trail Blazers

  • 2022/23: $4,097,561
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Neutral

After dealing with several significant injuries in his eight-year career, Winslow has been relatively healthy thus far for Portland, appearing in 28 of 31 games. You would think that alone would help his stock, but he hasn’t really shown anything different than he’s done in prior seasons from a production standpoint.

Winslow is energetic, strong, a solid rebounder, an above-average play-maker and a solid defender across multiple positions, all desirable traits. He can grab a rebound and start a fast break, or initiate the offense in a half-court setting, acting as a point forward of sorts.

However, he’s very limited as a scorer – his .415/.310/.714 (.470 TS%) shooting line is very close to his career mark – so it’s hard to envision his market being robust, despite his positive attributes.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G/F, Jazz

  • 2022/23: $5,009,633
  • 2023/24: RFA
  • Stock: Up

The No. 17 overall pick of the 2019 draft, Alexander-Walker had a very inconsistent first three seasons. He was traded twice right before last season’s deadline, going from New Orleans to Portland to Utah, and rarely saw the court with the Jazz.

His spot in the rotation is still tenuous – he has appeared in 22 of 33 games for an average of 15.3 minutes per night. Virtually all of his counting stats are similar to his career averages. So why is his stock up?

The answer is simple: he’s posting a .491/.433/.727 (.623 TS%) shooting line and has played key defense at the end of multiple close games. Less simple is the question of whether the Jazz will be inclined give him a $7,073,602 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent – it’s too early to make that call, but if I had to guess, I’d bet they wouldn’t right now.

Still, if he keeps shooting anything close to what he has early on, he’ll likely find a multiyear contract for more than the minimum, which definitely wasn’t a lock entering ‘22/23.

Northwest Notes: Grant, Gobert, Forbes, MPJ

Trail Blazers power forward Jerami Grant has once again elevated his play during his first season in Portland, potentially to an All-Star level, opines Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.

The 6’8″ forward out of Syracuse is averaging 19.7 PPG on .480/.482/.750 shooting, while also contributing 4.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.9 BPG and 0.8 SPG. Beyond the stats, Fentress notes that Grant is a versatile defender, capable of guarding at least four positions.

“Just getting started,” Grant said of his run with the Trail Blazers. “I think it’s going the right way, though. Winning a lot of games… You get less attention [with All-Star point guard Damian Lillard as the focal point of opposing defenses]… You’re able to go one-on-one. You’re able to make plays and pick your spots.”

There’s so many really good players in the league that it’s hard to be an All-Star,” Lillard said. “So, for him it’s like whether he’s actually on an All-Star team or makes the All-Star team, or not, he’s that caliber player. So, I think we definitely got that guy that we were looking for at that position.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The addition of three-time Defensive Player of the Year center Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves seems to have somewhat disrupted the offensive output of talented third-year shooting guard Anthony Edwards, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN in an in-depth piece. Having Gobert manning the middle has cramped Minnesota’s floor spacing, as point guard D’Angelo Russell acknowledged. “It’s our main thing on offense we’re trying to figure out,” Russell told MacMahon. “Obviously, you see us running into each other, trying to back door and might run into a guy. It’s just little things like that that aren’t in sync right now. It’s kind of hard to find rhythm or flow.”
  • Timberwolves backup swingman Bryn Forbes is bringing positive energy to the team despite not being a regular part of the rotation, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “That’s where I see a big role for me,” Forbes said. “Being encouraging, bringing the energy. Giving that off instead of having a bad attitude or this, that or the other.” Minnesota signed the 29-year-old vet in free agency this summer for his floor-spacing abilities, but he’s off to a slow start this season, averaging 3.3 PPG on 31% shooting from the floor, including 28.6% shooting from the three-point line on 1.8 attempts per game.
  • Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr. has been having trouble connecting on his shots over the past two games, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Porter has scored a combined 15 total points on 5-of-23 shooting from the field. “We need Michael,” head coach Michael Malone said. “While [MVP center Nikola Jokic] is not here, we have to find ways to try to get Michael some easy ones, and I think Michael’s gotta help himself at the same time. … Make or miss, continue to play hard, compete and fight.”

Timberwolves Sign Bryn Forbes

JULY 12: The Timberwolves have officially signed Forbes, according to the transactions log at NBA.com.


JULY 1: The Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a deal with free agent shooting guard Bryn Forbes, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). It will be a minimum-salary contract, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News adds (via Twitter) that it will cover just one year.

Forbes, who will turn 29 later this month, began the 2021/22 season in San Antonio and was traded to Denver prior to the deadline. In total, he appeared in 75 games for the two teams, averaging 8.8 PPG on .429/.414/.908 shooting in 17.1 MPG.

It was new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly who traded for Forbes this past season when he was still running the Nuggets’ front office.

Forbes is one of the NBA’s most reliable three-point shooters. Since his rookie year in 2016/17, he has knocked down at least 38.8% of his attempts from beyond the arc in five consecutive seasons, and he owns a career rate of 41.3%. However, he’s undersized for a shooting guard and can be targeted by opposing teams on defense.

The Wolves had been dealing with an apparent roster crunch entering the day, but opened up some roster spots when they agreed to send five players to Utah in a blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert. Forbes projects as a bench piece who will help the club replenish its depth.

Nuggets Notes: Rivers, Forbes, Cousins, Bench

Nuggets guard Austin Rivers, a DNP-CD on Friday, returned to the team’s starting lineup on Sunday with several players sidelined and logged 34 minutes in a six-point win over Detroit.

After the game, head coach Michael Malone said he met with Rivers on Saturday to talk to him about the ever-changing rotation, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post tweets. Malone, stressing that his focus is winning games rather than making sure 17 players are happy about their minutes, said that Rivers is “a pro” who can deal with adjustments to his role.

For his part, Rivers said he’s willing to do what the team asks of him, though he believes he’s capable of providing more than he has.

“I know I can help this team win games,” Rivers said when asked what he discussed with Malone (Twitter link via Singer). “… I’m 29, I’m young, I feel great, I’m in my prime. I know I can be better than what I have played, too. You just have an honest conversation.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Newly-acquired guard Bryn Forbes could eat into Rivers’ playing time, but Rivers said he “didn’t take it personally” when the Nuggets traded for Forbes, pointing out that they do different things on the court (Twitter link via Singer). Rivers is the more natural ball-handler of the two, while Forbes is the stronger shooter.
  • Malone was surprised that the Nuggets were able to sign big man DeMarcus Cousins in free agency after the way he performed for the Bucks earlier in the season, writes Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. “This guy, after playing really well in Milwaukee, was sitting at home waiting for his phone to ring,” Malone said following Cousins’ Denver debut on Sunday. “That’s crazy to me. I don’t know if people are scared of him or what. But I’m not scared of him. I love him.”
  • Rivers said Cousins brings the Nuggets’ second unit a “grit” they need, according to Keeler. “Everybody knows he’s an enforcer,” Rivers said. “… He’s still got to get his legs back, but he’s going to be big for this team. Especially with that second unit. He’s going to be a problem.” Malone agreed that Denver’s bench will benefit from Cousins’ grit: “That’s the mentality that group needs. They’ve got to have toughness. You’re not just going to come out and run your offense and be all pretty. We’ve got to disrupt that, be physical. And if they can do that, (that unit) can help our team a lot.”

Northwest Notes: Forbes, Towns, Wolves, Gasol

The Nuggetsfirst attempt to trade Bol Bol didn’t work out, but they’re happy with the return they got on the second try, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Denver officially completed a three-team deal today that sends out Bol and PJ Dozier in exchange for Bryn Forbes, a dangerous outside shooter who will have a clearly defined role on the team.

“Really for me, it comes down to Bryn Forbes is a career 42% three-point shooter,” coach Michael Malone said. “You go back to last year in their run in winning a world championship in Milwaukee, that first-round series they swept Miami, and Bryn Forbes averaged 15 points a game.”

Currently ranked 18th in three-point shooting percentage, the Nuggets have a need for Forbes, who is expected to make his debut either Friday or Sunday. Malone was disappointed to part with Dozier, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Malone offered to give Dozier a role on his staff if he ever goes into coaching.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been working on personal growth to set a better example for his teammates, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Part of that process included making peace with Tom Thibodeau after their uneasy relationship when they were together in Minnesota. “I remember after we played the Knicks (last season) pulling Thibs to the side,” Towns said. “I said, ‘I just want to let you know I forgive you.’ There’s not bad blood. One day let’s just go get dinner. Let’s just chill. We don’t have to worry about the business side, let’s just work on our relationship.”
  • Timberwolves head of basketball operations Sachin Gupta will work closely with coach Chris Finch heading into the trade deadline, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. They have a working relationship that dates back to their days with the Rockets, and their goal is to make moves that will benefit the team over the next five years.
  • Jazz guard Mike Conley recently reached out to Marc Gasol, his long-time teammate with Grizzlies, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Gasol is playing in Spain this season, but has indicated that he may have interest in returning to the NBA. “I texted him when we had no bigs. I said, ‘If you wanna come back, now’s the time,’” Conley said. “… He’s happy. I don’t know if he’ll return. But I told him the invitation is out there.”

Bryn Forbes Traded To Nuggets In Three-Team Deal

JANUARY 19: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Nuggets. As we relayed earlier today, the 2028 second-round pick acquired by the Spurs is top-33 protected, and San Antonio also received cash from both Boston ($2.15MM) and Denver ($200K).


JANUARY 18: Shooting guard Bryn Forbes is headed from the Spurs to the Nuggets as the headliner of a three-team deal that also involves the Celtics, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Forbes will once again join a playoff team, while Boston power forward Juancho Hernangomez and Denver’s 2028 second-round pick are heading to San Antonio. Two injured players, Nuggets power forward Bol Bol and guard PJ Dozier, will be sent to the Celtics.

As Woj details, the Nuggets, who at 22-20 are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, had been looking to acquire a wing to improve their bench scoring. Forbes, averaging 9.1 PPG on .432/.417/.898 shooting, fits the bill. The Nuggets had been linked to the veteran sharpshooter as a trade target as recently as yesterday.

Denver has been hit hard by injuries this season, so moving a pair of players who are expected to be sidelined for most or all of the season will help improve the team’s depth and will open up a spot on the team’s 15-man roster. A report over a week ago stated that the Nuggets were expected to add free agent center DeMarcus Cousins on a 10-day contract. That deal has yet to materialize, but Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets that there’s still mutual interest between the two sides.

The Nuggets tried to trade Bol to the Pistons last week, only to see the deal rescinded when he failed his team physical. Bol subsequently went under the knife for a foot surgery this week and is expected to miss at least eight-to-12 weeks of game action. Dozier will be out for the rest of the 2021/22 NBA season as he continues to recover from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL.

Wojnarowski reports that, at least at present, the Celtics intend to retain both Dozier and Bol through this season’s trade deadline. Bol could return by March or April and the C’s would have both players’ Bird rights in the offseason — Bol will be eligible for restricted free agency and Dozier will be unrestricted. Those plans could change if Boston needs to open up a roster spot in the coming weeks or months.

Hernangomez failed to crack the 23-22 Celtics’ rotation this season, averaging 1.1 PPG and 1.4 RPG across 5.3 MPG in just 18 contests. As Woj writes, by getting off Hernangomez’s $7MM salary and taking back Bol ($2.2MM) and Dozier ($1.9MM), Boston gets that much closer to ducking the NBA’s punitive luxury tax.

The Celtics won’t need to waive a player to accommodate their one-for-two trade, since they already had an open spot on their 15-man roster.

San Antonio’s decision to acquire a future draft pick and Hernangomez’s pseudo-expiring contract (next season’s salary is non-guaranteed) in exchange for Forbes, a role player on the 2021 championship-winning Bucks, could signal that the team has accepted it should be in asset-accrual mode in the weeks leading up to the league’s trade deadline.

The return for Forbes is modest, but that’s not a major surprise. While he’s a terrific shooter, Forbes is limited on the defensive end and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He also fell out of Milwaukee’s rotation during the NBA Finals last spring.

Bryn Forbes Drawing Interest From Nuggets, Others

Spurs guard Bryn Forbes is considered to be available on the trade market, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

According to Scotto, multiple teams have expressed some interest in Forbes, including the Nuggets.

Forbes, 28, has value as a floor-spacer, having hit 41.7% of his three-point attempts this season in San Antonio, right in line with his 41.3% career rate. He spent last season with the Bucks, knocking down a career-high 45.2% of his threes and averaging 10.0 PPG in 70 regular season games (19.3 MPG) for the eventual NBA champions.

Forbes probably makes more sense as a complementary piece on a playoff team rather than on a rebuilding team like the Spurs. As Scotto observes, moving him could clear a path for rookie Joshua Primo to get more playing time in the second half.

The Nuggets have lost PJ Dozier to a season-ending injury and have been playing without Jamal Murray since last spring, so Forbes would be a good fit at the two guard. However, Denver won’t be the only team in play for the veteran sharpshooter. Forbes $4.5MM expiring contract will make him attainable for just about any club.

Trade Rumors: Schröder, Reddish, Ross, Knox, Forbes, J. Smith

Rival teams anticipate that the Celtics will be willing to discuss Dennis Schröder in trade talks this season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Boston unexpectedly signed Schröder to a one-year, $5.9MM deal in the offseason using the taxpayer mid-level exception after the bottom fell out of the point guard’s market. He has enjoyed a strong season so far, averaging 17.5 PPG and 4.9 APG through his first 26 games (33.4 MPG) with the Celtics, which may ultimately price the club out of being able to re-sign him as a free agent in 2022.

The Celtics won’t have cap room in 2022 and would only be able to offer Schröder a 20% raise using his Non-Bird rights. As such, it might make more sense to recoup some value by getting what they can for him at the trade deadline — especially since the C’s don’t look like a legitimate contender at this point.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA, courtesy of Charania:

  • The Hawks are believed to be seeking a first-round pick in any trade involving Cam Reddish, while the Magic are taking a similar stance with Terrence Ross, says Charania. Neither team should face significant pressure to lower its asking price, since both players are under contract for one more season beyond this one.
  • Sources tell Charania that teams have called the Knicks to ask about former lottery pick Kevin Knox, who is in his fourth season and will be a free agent in 2022. Knox had a nice game on Sunday, with 18 points and five rebounds vs. Milwaukee, but has otherwise barely played this season, prompting teams to wonder what New York’s plan for him is.
  • Spurs guard Bryn Forbes, who is on a one-year, $4.5MM deal, is expected to receive trade interest from contenders, according to Charania. Forbes played a role for Milwaukee’s championship team last season.
  • Suns center Jalen Smith has drawn a little interest and is a candidate to be moved before this season’s trade deadline, per Charania.

Southwest Notes: Forbes, McDermott, Doncic, Valanciunas

Bryn Forbes has been providing instant offense throughout his career, so he’s comfortable handling that role with the Spurs, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. The latest example came Thursday night when Forbes delivered 16 points in the fourth quarter of a victory at Portland. Forbes didn’t play in the first half, but got an opportunity when Devin Vassell was sidelined by pain in his right quadriceps.

“I’ve been pretty good at doing that my whole career, just getting hot,” Forbes said. “I can make shots. I’m 42 (percent from 3-point range) for my career, so pretty good chance the ball is going in.”

After winning a title with the Bucks last season, Forbes returned to San Antonio, where he played the first four years of his NBA career. His playing time is down this year, but his shooting percentages have remained high — 48.1% from the field and 41.8% from three-point range.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs forward Doug McDermott was back on the court Thursday after missing the previous four games with a sore right knee, McDonald adds. The knee has been a persistent issue that has sidelined him for seven games overall. “It’s a very minor injury, but it was just kind of nagging for a while,” McDermott said. “It’s nothing serious at all. I just wanted to be careful with it.”
  • Mavericks star Luka Doncic underwent an MRI on his left ankle today, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic, who is being held out of tonight’s game, has been dealing with discomfort since suffering a sprain November 15. “He’s been sore. It’s just been a busy stretch of games,” coach Jason Kidd said.
  • Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas has been improving his three-point shot in recent years, but he’s never had a night like Monday when he went 7-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half, notes Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Some of his teammates started calling him “Dirk Valanciunas” in honor of former Mavericks sharpshooter Dirk Nowitzki. “Everybody wants to be (Dirk). He’s one of the greatest big guys in the game,” said Valanciunas. “But I still gotta work a lot to be like him. I’m just taking what’s out there. If I have an open shot, I’ll take it. If I’m making it, I’ll keep taking it. It’s as simple as that.”

Texas Notes: Wood, Theis, Forbes, Johnson

Rockets big man Christian Wood has used a perceived Team USA Olympic selection slight and a positional switch from center to power forward as fuel for his own development, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

“(The move to power forward from center) allows me to show what I can do, and it allows the floor to be open, and I can create for other guys and I can create for myself,” said Wood, who connected on 37.4% of his 5.0 three point looks per night during the 2020/21 season. “I wanted to be one of the best bigs in this league, and I have to go out every night and show that.”

“There’s been big-time growth, there’s been big-time maturity, there’s been a lot,” head coach Stephen Silas raved following a 31-point, 14-rebound, three-block performance from Wood in a 124-91 victory over the Thunder on Friday. “I think another part of it is the fact that this is the first time he’s been on the same team for two consecutive years. And you see the growth from year to year, you see the trust that goes back and forth between he and I, the trust that goes back and forth between him and his teammates who know him and know what he can do.”

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Newly-acquired Rockets center Daniel Theis hopes to stick around Houston to watch the club’s exciting young core develop, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “I want to help them grow and get better on court, off court,” Theis said. “I have a good relationship with Jalen (Green). He listens a lot on the court, off the court he’s going to learn a lot. The same with Scoot (Kevin Porter Jr.)… Just help them to grow and get better.” The 6’8″ Theis is starting at center after signing a four-year, $36MM contract with Houston in a sign-and-trade with the Bulls over the summer. The addition of Theis has allowed for the 6’10” Wood to move to the power forward position.
  • On Saturday night, Spurs shooting guard Bryn Forbes reunited with his last club, the Bucks, with whom he won the NBA title this summer. Ahead of the game, he expressed his eagerness to collect his championship ring, per Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m excited to have that in my possession and hold it,” Forbes said. “It’s an accomplishment you dream of your whole life.”
  • Young Spurs small forward Keldon Johnson appears to be developing nicely during this early portion of his third NBA season, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. The 22-year-old Johnson, selected with the No. 29 pick out of Kentucky in 2019, set a career high for points in a half with 18 against the Nuggets Friday, finishing with 27 for the game. “I just keep pressure on the rim,” Johnson said. “That’s what I do.” In recent comments, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offered a frank appraisal of Johnson’s strengths — and weaknesses. “When he catches and makes quick decisions — shoots it or passes it — that works best for him,” Popovich said. “When he’s just dribbling and trying to beat somebody, that doesn’t work out very well.”