Bryn Forbes

Timberwolves To Sign Bryn Forbes

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.”

How Players Who Declined Options Fared In Free Agency

Of the 16 veterans who had player options on their contracts for the 2021/22 season, seven picked up those options, forgoing free agency for another year of security. However, that leaves nine players who opted out and reached the free agent market.

For some players, that decision was an easy one. For instance, Norman Powell was long believed to be in line for a multiyear deal in the range of $15-20MM per year, so exercising his $11.6MM player option never would’ve made any sense.

The decision wasn’t so easy for every player who opted out though. Now that we’re five weeks into free agency, we want to look back on those decisions to see if they paid off for the nine players who opted out.

Let’s dive in…


The biggest wins:

  • Kawhi Leonard
    • Option: $36,016,200 (Clippers)
    • New contract: Four years, $176,265,152 (Clippers)
  • Norman Powell
    • Option: $11,615,328 (Trail Blazers)
    • New contract: Five years, $90,000,000 (Trail Blazers)
  • Spencer Dinwiddie
    • Option: $12,302,496 (Nets)
    • New contract: Three years, $54,000,000 (Wizards)
      • Note: Deal includes $8MM in incentives; third year partially guaranteed.

Leonard, Powell, and Dinwiddie all secured raises for the 2021/22 season and increased their overall guarantees exponentially. Leonard tacked on an extra $140MM in guaranteed money, while Powell’s new overall guarantee is nearly eight times more than his option salary.

Dinwiddie’s new contract isn’t quite as favorable as the other two, but it’s still a major win for a player who missed nearly the entire 2020/21 season due to an ACL tear. Even in a worst-case scenario, Dinwiddie will earn $45MM in guaranteed money. He can ensure his third-year salary becomes fully guaranteed by appearing in at least 50 games in each of the next two seasons, and he has the ability to earn even more in incentives.

A solid win:

  • Chris Paul
    • Option: $44,211,146 (Suns)
    • New contract: Four years, $120,000,000 (Suns)
      • Note: Deal includes $75MM in guaranteed money. Third year is partially guaranteed; fourth year is non-guaranteed.

If you want to move Paul to the “biggest wins” group, I wouldn’t argue with that. After all, he increased his overall guarantee by more than $30MM, which is no small feat for a player hitting free agency at age 36.

I’m separating him into his own group because his 2021/22 salary was reduced by more than $13MM as part of his new deal, and I think it’s possible he could’ve gotten more than $30MM in guaranteed money on his next deal if he had simply picked up his option and hit free agency next year.

I certainly don’t blame him for going this route though, given his injury history. And if he continues to play at a high level, the Suns will probably want to keep him for the third year of the deal, which would increase his overall guarantee on this contract to $90MM.

Minor wins:

  • Will Barton
    • Option: $14,669,642 (Nuggets)
    • New contract: Two years, $30,000,000 (Nuggets)
      • Note: Deal includes $2MM in incentives.
  • JaMychal Green
    • Option: $7,559,748 (Nuggets)
    • New contract: Two years, $16,400,000 (Nuggets)
      • Note: Deal includes $400K in incentives.
  • Bobby Portis
    • Option: $3,804,150 (Bucks)
    • New contract: Two years, $8,912,580 (Bucks)
  • Bryn Forbes
    • Option: $2,454,002 (Bucks)
    • New contract: One year, $4,500,000 (Spurs)

The Nuggets took a similar approach to their negotiations with Barton and Green — Denver gave each player a small raise this year, plus a second guaranteed season (Green’s second year is a player option).

The Bucks went that route with Portis too, giving him the biggest raise they could offer using his Non-Bird rights and including a second-year player option on his new deal.

You could make a case that Forbes is a big winner for nearly doubling his 2021/22 salary, but without any future years tacked onto that deal (and given the relatively small salaries involved), I’m classifying it as a modest victory.

The jury’s still out:

Hartenstein is the only one of these nine players who remains unsigned. Based on his solid play with the Cavs down the stretch, turning down his minimum-salary player option seemed like a reasonable bet at the time, but it now looks like he might’ve been better off taking the guaranteed money.

While he’ll probably be signed at some point in the coming weeks, Hartenstein isn’t a lock for a fully guaranteed deal. And even if he gets a guaranteed one-year, minimum-salary contract, it’ll be worth slightly less ($1,729,217) than the option he declined, due to the league’s minimum-salary rules.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Kidd, Forbes, Celtics, Grizzlies

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic recently praised new head coach Jason Kidd, calling the chance to play for the 12-time All-Star an “excellent opportunity,” as relayed by BasketNews.com.

“I think he’s an excellent coach who also knows a lot about how to play basketball and how to lead a team,” Doncic said. “It is an excellent opportunity for me to grow and I think it will help me a lot.”

The 22-year-old Doncic is coming off yet another impressive season, averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. Doncic also expressed confidence that the Mavericks, led by the likes of himself, Kristaps Porzingis, and Tim Hardaway Jr., have an opportunity to compete for a championship in 2021/22.

“As I say, that is my goal and I believe that you can always fight,” he explained. “We’ll see how the season goes, but in my opinion we can be there, fighting for everything. I do not know if we need one or two players. We first have to start playing and then we will see what happens.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division tonight:

  • Spurs guard Bryn Forbes has hired Octagon for his new representation, the agency announced on social media (Twitter link). Forbes signed with San Antonio last month after spending the 2020/21 season with the NBA champion Bucks. Prior to joining Milwaukee, the 28-year-old sharpshooter played his first four seasons with San Antonio, appearing in 261 games. He was previously represented by Excel Sports Management.
  • Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider link) rates the CelticsGrizzlies trade featuring Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards and Juan Hernangomez, giving Boston a grade of B and Memphis a C. As we previously relayed, Boston is set to trade Dunn, Edwards and a 2026 second-round pick swap to Memphis in exchange for Hernangomez.
  • In case you missed it, the Spurs decided to waive 25-year-old forward Chandler Hutchison this weekend. San Antonio acquired Hutchison as part of a five-team August trade. He appeared in 25 contests with the Bulls and Wizards last season, averaging 5.7 points and 18.2 minutes per contest.