Bryn Forbes

Central Notes: Love, DiVincenzo, Pistons, Gottlieb

Kevin Love‘s season was marred by injury and declining production, but Cavaliers GM Koby Altman says the veteran forward is still part of the team’s plans, according to an ESPN report. Love appeared in just 25 games due to a calf injury.

“We want him to be here,” Altman said. “We signed him to an extension for that reason, to be here when we want to make that next step. And so we’re going to hopefully rely on him heavily next year after a significant summer.”

There are still two years and $60.2MM remaining on Love’s extension, which would make it difficult for Altman to trade him.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks have lost a key member of their backcourt, Donte DiVincenzo, due to a torn ligament in his left ankle. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm takes a look at which players might absorb DiVincenzo’s minutes. Bryn Forbes, Pat Connaughton and P.J. Tucker could pick up the slack offensively with Forbes moving into the starting lineup. But it will be difficult to replace DiVincenzo on the defensive end. Coach Mike Budenholzer may give more playing time to Jeff Teague, though he could also opt to slice his rotation to eight players.
  • Nearly half of the players on the Pistons’ roster could become free agents this summer. The Detroit News’ Rod Beard takes a look at who’s likely to stay and who will go.
  • Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb got a head coaching offer from USC that was too good financially for her to pass up, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com details. “I said, ʻI didn’t come to the NBA to turn right around. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I feel like I’m part of something,’” Gottlieb said of her initial reaction when USC came calling. “ʻHowever, I do feel I want to be a head coach again whether that’s men’s college basketball, women’s college basketball, the WNBA. I understand what USC can be and it’s intriguing to me to have a conversation. I got off the phone after 25 minutes and I didn’t feel too strong either way.” The school’s hard sell convinced her to take that job.

Central Notes: Altman, Pacers, Forbes, Draft

The 2021 Cavaliers offseason could include front office changes, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Current GM Koby Altman has been leading the front office since the 2017 offseason.

Fedor reflects that former Cavs general manager Danny Ferry enjoyed the lengthiest run (five years) in power for Cleveland since Dan Gilbert became the team’s majority owner. Alhough the team remains in the midst of a multi-year rebuild, there is a chance that Gilbert’s impatience compels him to make a change and let Altman go, following a 22-50 season, Fedor notes.

Fedor also mentions that Knicks executive Brock Aller, who kicked off his NBA career as Gilbert’s personal assistant before moving up the ranks in the Cavaliers’ front office, could be a potential replacement for Altman. Fedor adds, however, that Aller recently sold his Ohio home, an indication that the exec expects to remain with the Knicks for the immediate future.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Though current Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren may not be long for Indiana, Bob Kravitz of The Athletic predicts that Indiana’s front office will not be making many significant changes to the team’s on-court personnel. Key players T.J. Warren, Caris LeVert, Jeremy Lamb, Malcolm Brogdon, and Myles Turner all missed significant time for Indiana this season. Kravtiz anticipates that team president Kevin Pritchard will want to assess what a healthy iteration of this lineup looks like before making major moves.
  • Bucks reserve shooting guard Bryn Forbes proved his value with a stellar shooting night in the second game of Milwaukee’s first round matchup against the Heat, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Forbes scored 22 points and connected on six of his nine long-range attempts. Forbes has a $2.45MM player option for the 2021/22 NBA season, and may command a raise on the open market should he opt out of his current deal.
  • The Pacers are returning to the NBA draft lottery for the first time in six seasons. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files examines the team’s (slight) odds at landing a top-four pick this season. Ahead of the lottery, the Pacers possess the No. 13 pick in the 2021 draft, with a 1% chance of landing the top pick.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Central Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Central Division:

Frank Jackson, Pistons, 22, SG/PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, two-way ($449K) deal in 2020

An early second-round pick in 2017, Jackson was a rotation player with the Pelicans for two seasons after missing his first year with a foot injury. New Orleans let him walk in the offseason and the Thunder cut him in training camp, but Jackson has revived his career on a two-way contract with the Pistons.

Rather than playing the point, Jackson has thrived in an off-the-ball role under Dwane Casey. He has scored 14 or more points in six of the last eight games, including a go-ahead basket in the final minute against Cleveland on Monday.

It seems a good bet that Jackson, who has dramatically improved his 3-point shooting, will receive a qualifying offer from Detroit’s front office and become a restricted free agent this summer.

Denzel Valentine, Bulls, 27, SF/SG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $4.64MM deal in 2020

Valentine is one of those low-turnover, glue guys that coaches feel comfortable putting on the floor but who doesn’t dent the stat sheet. He has been in Billy Donovan’s rotation most of the season but his shooting numbers remain subpar (38.4% overall, 33.0% from deep). Valentine signed his qualifying offer to stay in Chicago after an unspectacular 2019/20 season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will likely be looking at offers below the QO he inked in the fall. Chicago’s late lottery pick in 2016 might benefit from a change of scenery.

Doug McDermott, Pacers, 29, SF/PF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $22MM deal in 2018

Dougie McBuckets is one of the cooler nicknames in the league and for much of the season, he’s lived up to it. Currently dealing with an ankle sprain, McDermott is averaging a career-high 12.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG. He’s been more than just a long-range gunner, as 56% of his shot attempts have come from inside the arc. A career 40.7% shooter from deep, McDermott has been a solid rotation player for Indiana since the club signed him to a three-year deal three years ago. He’ll return to unrestricted free agency this summer and could be looking at similar offers.

Bryn Forbes, Bucks, 27, SG, (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $4.79MM deal in 2020

Forbes started the past two seasons in San Antonio but he’s probably best suited in his current role as a second-unit scorer with Milwaukee. Forbes is averaging 9.6 PPG in 19.3 MPG while making a career-best 43.7% of his 3-point attempts. He’ll have an interesting decision this summer, as he holds a $2.45MM option on his contract for next season. If Forbes remains in the rotation and performs well in the postseason, the undrafted guard out of Michigan State will position himself to nix that option in order to pursue multiyear offers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Forbes, Holiday, Nwora, Stewart, Plumlee

Shooting guard Bryn Forbes has moved into the Bucks’ starting lineup in place of Jrue Holiday, who has been sidelined by the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Holiday will miss his third consecutive game on Friday and it’s unknown how long he’ll be out.

In the Bucks’ first two games without Holiday, Forbes averaged 16 PPG. Forbes holds a $2.45MM option on his contract for next season. Backup point guard D.J. Augustin has remained in that role.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks have recalled rookie Jordan Nwora from the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars, according to a team press release. Nwora appeared in one game with Salt Lake City and scored a game-high 26 points against the Erie BayHawks. The second-round pick has appeared in 10 NBA games, averaging 5.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 8.2 MPG.
  • Rookie center Isaiah Stewart made his first start for the Pistons on Thursday in place of injured Mason Plumlee and scored a season-high 17 points. Stewart, one of three first-rounders from the 2020 draft on Detroit’s roster, has to learn the nuances of the game but coach Dwane Casey loves Stewart’s energy, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “I wouldn’t trade his intensity, his disposition, his earnest approach for anything in the world,” Casey said. “That kid, he’s going to be OK.”
  • The Pistons were severely shorthanded up front against the Celtics on Friday, Langlois tweets. Plumlee missed his second straight game with right elbow bursitis and Sekou Doumbouya was sidelined by a concussion. Another backup big man, Jahlil Okafor, is out 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

Central Notes: Warren, Hayes, Rose, Giannis/Forbes

Starting Pacers small forward T.J. Warren went under the knife on Tuesday, January 5, to repair a small navicular stress fracture in his left foot, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Agness added that there is no timeline for Warren’s return to the floor following his surgery.

In his four healthy games this season, Warren averaged 15.5 PPG (on 52.9% shooting from the field), 3.5 RPG, and 1.3 APG for the Pacers.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Central Division:

  • After starting Pistons point guard Killian Hayes suffered a labral tear in his right hip, Detroit remains open to multiple possibilities with regard to his recovery, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Hayes could try to rehabilitate without undergoing surgery, and potentially return this season in 4-6 weeks if he responds well to non-surgical treatment, or he could go the surgical route, and face a longer-term rehab process that could finish his rookie season. Sources tell James Edwards III of The Athletic that there does not appear to be structural damage in the hip.
  • Luckily for the Pistons, whose point guard corps has thinned out thanks to Hayes’ torn labrum, his backup Derrick Rose is not expected to miss any time with a minor right knee contusion suffered yesterday, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
  • Reigning two-time Bucks MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed a strong on-court rapport with new reserve guard Bryn Forbes, highlighted by a flashy inverted pick-and-roll action, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It’s a play that works,” Antetokounmpo said. “If you don’t stay in front of me, I’m going to try to go downhill and if somebody else comes, the corner is wide-open.”

Bucks Sign Bryn Forbes To Two-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 25: The Bucks’ deal with Forbes is now official, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that it’s worth about $4.79MM over two years, having been completed using a portion of Milwaukee’s mid-level exception.


NOVEMBER 22: The Bucks have agreed to sign free agent shooting guard Bryn Forbes to a two-year deal, his agent Mike Lindeman tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Forbes’ contract will feature a second-year player option, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Forbes, 27, has spent the first four years of his NBA career in San Antonio after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Over those four years, he emerged as a reliable rotation player for the Spurs, having started 143 games over the last two seasons.

A career 40.0% three-point shooter, Forbes averaged 11.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 25.1 minutes per contest in 2019/20. He’ll help the Bucks space the floor around reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, joining Jrue Holiday and D.J. Augustin among Milwaukee’s new backcourt players.

As for the Spurs, they may be in the market for some outside shooting help after losing Forbes in free agency. The team ranked just 26th in the NBA last season with 10.7 made threes per game — Forbes contributed 2.3 of those.

Injury Notes: Embiid, Robinson, Harris, Barton, Mills

Joel Embiid missed the Sixers’ last two scrimmage games due to right calf tightness. However, he’s expected to play on Saturday in the team’s seeding opener against the Pacers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Embiid suffered the calf injury during a July 24 scrimmage against the Grizzlies and played just 13 minutes. He also battled injuries prior to the stoppage of play in March. He missed nine games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and sat out five others with a left shoulder sprain, Pompey notes.

The Sixers can improve their playoff seeding during the next eight games. They are tied for fifth place in the East with Indiana at 39-26.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III is doubtful to play on Saturday, Pompey notes in the same story. He has a left hip pointer, which he suffered during a scrimmage against the Thunder on Sunday.
  • The Nuggets will go without at least two key players in their seeding opener on Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. Guard Gary Harris has a right hip muscle strain while Will Barton is dealing with right knee soreness. Reserve big man Vlatko Cancar (left foot fracture) will also miss the game. Starting point guard Jamal Murray is questionable duo to left hamstring tightness.
  • Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills didn’t play in the team’s first game in Orlando but it wasn’t injury-related, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk tweets. Coach Gregg Popovich simply wanted to use his younger guards more extensively. Shooting guard Bryn Forbes‘ absence was injury-related — he’s dealing with a sore right quad.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Mavericks, Forbes, DeRozan, Pop

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is among the top stars to watch in the NBA’s Orlando season restart, according to Scott Kushner of NOLA.com. Kushner notes that the league’s unique eight-game seeding play-in approach was clearly designed to imbue value to the Pelicans’ eight contests, and to allow a debut Williamson playoff appearance to be possible.

This play-in option, which equips the teams in the West seeded ninth to 13th with a theoretical chance of making the playoffs in a knockout two-game wildcard bout with that No. 8 seed, would benefit a team like the eleventh-seeded Pelicans, who fall to a 28-37 record after their loss to the Jazz tonight.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks director of player personnel Tony Ronzone has been accused of sexual assault by another Mavericks employee, according to Jessica Luther and Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated. After the Sports Illustrated investigation was published, the Mavericks issued a response, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. The Mavericks called the article a “one-sided, incomplete and sensational form of journalism, with its inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and omissions.”
  • Spurs starting shooting guard Bryn Forbes will miss the team’s first seeding game in the league’s Disney World restart as he battles a sore right quad, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).
  • Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News wonders if, thanks in part to the Spurs‘ inclusion in the Orlando restart, star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and longtime head coach Gregg Popovich might remain with the team beyond this season. DeRozan, 30, can opt out of the 2020/21 season, the last season in the five-year, $139MM contract he signed with the team that drafted him, the Raptors, in 2016. Popovich, 71, has coached the Spurs since 1996. The team has made six Finals appearances during his tenure, winning five.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2020: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Southwest Division:

Ben McLemore, Rockets, 27, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $4.3MM deal in 2019
If you’re in the same backcourt as James Harden and Russell Westbrook, you’re not going to have many opportunities to shoot. And when you do, you’d better make them. McLemore is making them. In his last three games, McLemore has averaged 13.3 PPG and knocked down 11 of 18 3-point attempts. Houston has shuffled its roster over the past month but as long as McLemore remains a perimeter threat, he’ll remain in the rotation. Houston needs to guarantee his modest $2.28MM salary for next season prior to free agency. It will be a surprise if the Rockets turn down that bargain.

Jordan Bell, Grizzlies, 25, PF/C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $1.62MM deal in 2019
Bell wasn’t much of a factor with Minnesota this season, even when Karl-Anthony Towns missed some games due to injury or suspension. He got traded to Houston, which quickly flipped him to Memphis for Bruno Caboclo. Bell has only appeared in two games with the Grizzlies but there is a glimmer of hope. With injuries to Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke depleting the frontcourt, Bell could get an extended look in the next couple of weeks. He’ll have to show a lot more than he did in Minnesota in order for Memphis to extend a qualifying offer, which would make him a restricted free agent.

Jahlil Okafor, Pelicans, 24, PF/C (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $3.27MM deal in 2018
When the Pelicans were shorthanded last month in Detroit, Okafor erupted for 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. He never left the bench the next four games, which shows how little he figures in the organization’s plans. Okafor has played a total of 25 minutes since that game against the Pistons. Once Zion Williamson got healthy, Okafor’s already spotty playing time virtually evaporated. His ability to score in the low post has lost much of its value since he was taken with the third pick in the 2015 draft. He’ll be seeking another second-unit opportunity this summer.

Bryn Forbes, Spurs, 26, PG (Up) – Signed to two-year, $6MM deal in 2018
Undrafted despite playing for a major college (Michigan State), Forbes has fit well with the blue-collar Spurs. After Danny Green was traded during the 2018 offseason, Forbes became a starter in his third year in the league. He’s held onto that role this season and continues to provide a perimeter option on a team lacking in that area. Forbes has been on fire this month, draining 47.4% of his 3-point attempts. Forbes will enter unrestricted free agency this summer and should get a nice raise and a multiyear deal, perhaps without changing uniforms.

Willie Cauley-Stein, 27, PF/C (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $4.46MM deal in 2019
When Dwight Powell suffered a season-ending Achilles tear late last month, the Mavericks opted to trade with Golden State for Cauley-Stein. It seemed like a great opportunity for Cauley-Stein to pump up his value on a playoff contender. It hasn’t worked out that way. Cauley-Stein’s role has been limited since joining the Mavericks and he hasn’t played since the All-Star break due to undisclosed personal reasons. It’s a good thing for WCS that he has a $2.29MM option on his contract for next season. It should come in handy the way things are trending.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Forbes, Porzingis, Rivers, Zion

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News wonders if Spurs shooting guard Bryn Forbes can retain the deft stroke he employed in the team’s recent 135-133 double overtime defeat of the Rockets. Forbes racked up 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including a sparkling five-of-six from deep.

If Forbes can shoot well enough, he should remain entrenched as the Spurs’ starting two guard, McDonald writes. Forbes himself expressed confidence that he could: “I’ve put in a lot of work, and I don’t do it to miss shots.” 

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks‘ 7’3″ sharp-shooting, shot-blocking “Unicorn,” has adapted his game since being traded from the Knicks. The explosive offensive fire power of his triple-doubling teammate Luka Doncic has impacted how KP can best help in Dallas. The Athletic’s Shams Charania unpacks how the 24 year-old has adapted his shot profile and playmaking in Dallas, upon signing a five-year, $158MM extension in July. “Some nights I get more opportunities and some nights I don’t get as many opportunities,” Porzingis told Charania. “But most nights, we give Luka the ball and let him f***ing go.”
  • Ahead of what would become a 115-109 Rockets victory last night, guard Austin Rivers had high praise for current Suns coach Monty Williams. Williams served as Rivers’ first head coach when both were with the Pelicans (then the Hornets). “I’ll tell you, in terms of on-the-ball defense, I think I’m as good as anybody,” Rivers said, per The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. “I really do give credit to Monty. He was so on me about defense, it’s all I thought about.” Rivers re-signed with the Rockets this summer on a two-year,$4.5MM veteran’s minimum contract.
  • Much-ballyhooed Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, the 2019 No. 1 pick, has started partaking in light on-court team work recently, but he had yet to begin on-court work as of December 4. Williamson will not make the original six-to-eight-week knee surgery recovery window projected by Pelicans brass. William Guillory of The Athletic opines that New Orleans’ cardinal sin, though, is a lack of defensive effort or hustle, and Zion won’t be able to solve that issue on his own.