Hornets Rumors

Frank Kaminsky Seeking Buyout From Hornets

A trade candidate at this month’s deadline, Frank Kaminsky stayed put in Charlotte. Now, he’s hoping that he and the Hornets can work out an agreement on a buyout, but those efforts have stalled, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. According to Deveney, a source described Kaminsky as “very frustrated” with the situation.

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Buyout Market Watch]

The ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Kaminsky played a regular role in Charlotte’s rotation over the last two seasons, averaging 11.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG on .413/.350/.780 shooting during that two-year stretch. In 2018/19, however, he has been limited to 26 games and a career-low 10.8 MPG, and hasn’t played more than 10 minutes in a game since January 2.

According to Deveney, Kaminsky generated some interest at the trade deadline, but the Hornets passed on all offers. The 25-year-old was under the impression that Charlotte would be willing to negotiate a buyout and give him a chance to play more regularly somewhere else, but the team is somewhat nervous about its frontcourt depth, Deveney writes.

With Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, and Willy Hernangomez up front, the Hornets seem to be well stocked at center, but Hernangomez has also fallen out of the rotation lately and there are some concerns about Biyombo’s knee holding up for the rest of the season, sources tell Deveney. Having Kaminsky on the roster gives the Hornets a strong insurance policy in case he’s needed.

While Kaminsky may be frustrated by his current role – or lack thereof – in Charlotte, he should soon have the opportunity to seek out a new NBA home even if he’s not bought out this season. He’s eligible for restricted free agency this summer, but the Hornets currently seem unlikely to tender him the $4.5MM qualifying offer necessary to make him an RFA. If the club passes on that QO, Kaminsky would become an unrestricted free agent.

And-Ones: Iguodala, Gupta, Vesely, Williamson

Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala was elected First Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association, according to an NBPA press release. Iguodala has been on the Executive Committee since February 2013. He replaces LeBron James, whose four-year term has expired.

The BucksMalcolm Brogdon, the CelticsJaylen Brown and the HornetsBismack Biyombo were elected to serve as VPs on the Executive Committee. They replace Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry and Iguodala.

Chris Paul remains President of the committee with Anthony Tolliver, Pau Gasol, C.J. McCollum and Garrett Temple also serving on it.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Pistons assistant GM Sachin Gupta never knew ESPN’s Trade Machine would become so popular when he created it in 2006, Rod Beard of the Detroit News reports. Gupta called it a “fun project” and took about a month to write the code for the Trade Machine when he worked for the network, Beard adds. “It’s not meant to replace common sense. It’s not meant to replace any GM’s job,” Gupta said. “It’s simply based on the rules and whether it works or not.”
  • Former NBA player Jan Vesely has signed an extension with Fenerbahce that keep him under contract until 2022, the Turkish team tweets. The 7-foot power forward was drafted by the Wizards with the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft but only lasted three NBA seasons.
  • Stephen Curry is a fan of Duke’s Zion Williamson, considered the top prospect in this year’s draft, he said in an interview with The Undefeated and relayed by E. Jay Zarett of the Sporting News. “He’s unreal. We were talking about him the other day in our team room,” Curry said, via Justin Tinsley of the Undefeated. “He has a lot of hype around him and he’s unbelievably talented, but you can’t teach his passion and the way that … he plays. He plays hard every possession, and that’s an underrated skill that kids can kind of emulate.”

Walker Wouldn't Mind Staying In One Place

  • Kemba Walker dropped a hint during All-Star weekend that he’ll stay in Charlotte if the money’s right, according to Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The Hornets point guard, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, says the thought of playing in the same place throughout his career holds a lot of appeal to him. “There’s something to be said for being on a team for your whole career,” he said. “Not many players have done that. Only a select few. That’s a goal to accomplish.”

Southeast Notes: Walker, Dragic, Fultz, Bryant

It’s not a guarantee that he’ll stay with the Hornets, but Kemba Walker is serving as Charlotte’s unofficial host for All-Star Weekend, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “Welcome everyone to my city!” Walker tweeted today as a greeting to the thousands of visitors headed to Charlotte for three days of festivities.

“This city has embraced me so much over the years,” Walker said. “Allowed me to be who I am. Allowed me to play through my mistakes early in my career, to become the player I am today. The fans have just been top notch, and I respect that because we haven’t been a top organization, haven’t gone to the playoffs every year. … Through that, they still embrace us, still embrace me. You have to respect that.”

Walker, who holds nearly every franchise scoring record, will be one of the hottest names on this year’s free agent market. A three-time All-Star, he is in the middle of his most productive season, averaging career highs with 25.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists per night. Despite Walker’s affection for Charlotte, Bonnell states that it’s hard to predict what will happen this summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Goran Dragic is “making a lot of progress” after having knee surgery in December, but coach Erik Spoelstra tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald there’s still no timetable for his return. Miami has been expecting him to be ready soon after the All-Star break. In the same story, Spoelstra says Ryan Anderson, who has only played two minutes since being acquired from the Suns, is ready for a larger role if needed.
  • Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac, both top six selections in the 2017 draft, have a chance to prove themselves with the Magic after battling injuries early in their careers, notes Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando’s front office believes Fultz, who was acquired from the Sixers last week, can become a standout point guard because of his strength, explosiveness, court vision and playmaking.
  • Wizards center Thomas Bryant reached starter criteria this week by starting his 41st game of the season, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The qualifying offer for the upcoming free agent has been increased to $3MM and Washington’s cap hold has been raised as well. Dwight Howard was supposed to be the starting center after signing with the Wizards last summer, but Bryant seized the opportunity when Howard was injured.

Hornets Notes: Jordan, Kemba, Quiet Deadline

Michael Jordan‘s successes as a player and as a Nike ambassador outshine his track record as an NBA team owner, but the transaction that allowed Jordan to buy a majority stake in the Hornets was one of the best deals the six-time NBA champion ever made, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.

As Windhorst details, despite a reported sale price of $275MM, Jordan put up just $30MM in cash to buy the then-Bobcats in 2010, in an arrangement the league likely wouldn’t approve today. Since then, Jordan has continued to purchase more shares in the franchise and now owns about 90% of the team. Forbes’ franchise valuations, released last Wednesday, suggest the Hornets are currently worth $1.25 billion.

While Charlotte isn’t a huge market and the Hornets haven’t had much postseason success since their inception, the NBA’s revenue sharing model has paid off in a big way for the club. According to Windhorst, league documents show that the organization received more than $130MM in revenue sharing money between 2012 and 2017.

Windhorst’s piece, which includes a look at how LeBron James wants to follow in Jordan’s footsteps when it comes to owning an NBA franchise, is worth checking out in full.

Here are a few more Hornets-related notes:

  • In an interesting piece for USA Today, Jeff Zillgitt spoke to Hornets players and head coach James Borrego about what it’s like to have Jordan as the team’s owner. “It’s actually really cool,” Marvin Williams said of playing for Jordan. “It’s not like people think. For the most part from what I hear, most people think it’s a lot tougher playing for him than it really is. He’s the total opposite. … He just wants you to compete. That’s not a lot to ask. If you compete, he’s going to live with the wins and the losses.”
  • After a fairly quiet trade deadline, Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak looked ahead to the rest of the season and the upcoming offseason in his comments to reporters, including Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Kupchak believes Charlotte can make the playoffs and spoke in positive terms about the odds of re-signing Kemba Walker in the summer. “I’m optimistic and I’m hopeful, as I always have been, that Kemba starts his career in a Hornets uniform and ends it in one,” Kupchak said.
  • In a post-trade-deadline mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell answered questions on whether a quiet trade deadline would have an impact on Walker’s free agent decision, why the Hornets elected to claim Shelvin Mack off waivers using their open roster spot, and why Kupchak didn’t make any deals at the deadline.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast 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 turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks, 29, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $14.1MM deal in 2017
Dedmon seems like a prime candidate to hit the buyout market, but incentive clauses in his contract may motivate him to stick out the season in Atlanta. As long as Dedmon stays in the rotation, spending the season with the lottery-bound Hawks shouldn’t hurt his value when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Dedmon has evolved into a ‘stretch five’ in the sixth year of his career. Lately, he’s taken a majority of his shots from beyond the arc and he’s getting pretty good at it. He’s shooting 46.4% from long range this month and 38.6% for the season, which will serve as a nice selling point.

Kemba Walker, Hornets, 28, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $48MM deal in 2015
Walker will be the second-best point guard on the market after Kyrie Irving but he’ll hardly be a consolation prize. Walker has been terrific throughout the season and he’s off to a blazing start this month. In his last four games, he’s averaging 34.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds. Walker is averaging a career-high 25.1 PPG this season and has missed just six games since the 2015/16 campaign. Walker has been working on a team-friendly contract paying him $12MM annually. He’ll get a gargantuan raise whether he decides to stick with the Hornets or join one of the many teams with significant cap space seeking a top-flight free agent.

Rodney McGruder, Heat, 27, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
McGruder lost his rotation spot, then got it back when Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson were traded last week. In the last two games, McGruder has scored a total of four points on 2-for-10 shooting. He’s lacking in confidence, as evidenced by the fact he’s missed his last 17 3-point attempts. Coming off an injury-marred 2017/18 campaign, McGruder got off to a strong start and contributed as a play-maker as well as a scorer. Miami can make him a restricted free agent by extending a modest $3MM qualifying offer this summer, but even that’s no longer a sure thing.

Jerian Grant, Magic, 26, PG (Down) — Signed to a four-year, $7.57MM deal in 2015
Grant had a golden opportunity to enhance his value after getting traded to Orlando in July via a three-team swap. He entered one of the sketchiest point guard situations in the league but after failing to beat out journeyman D.J. Augustin for the starting job, he has also fallen behind Isaiah Briscoe on the depth chart. Grant has played a total of six garbage-time minutes over the last six games. It’s hard to imagine Orlando extending a $3.76MM qualifying offer to make Grant a restricted free agent, so he’ll be scrounging for a fresh start elsewhere.

Tomas Satoransky, Wizards, 27, PG (Up)– Signed to a three-year, $9MM deal in 2016
John Wall‘s pain has led to Satorsansky’s gain and he could cash in before he becomes a restricted free agent. Reports surfaced early last month that the team has engaged with Satoransky’s representatives regarding an extension. With Wall likely out all of next year after tearing his Achilles, Satoransky becomes even more valuable to the franchise. He could sign for as much as $47.5MM over a four-year period on an extension and he hasn’t hurt his cause since taking over as the primary point man. He’s racked up eight or more assists in nine games since January 9th.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hornets Claim Shelvin Mack Off Waivers

While the Hornets didn’t make a move at the trade deadline, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium is reporting (via Twitter) that they will be adding more depth by claiming Shelvin Mack off of waivers after the veteran point guard was released by the Hawks.

Before being traded by the Grizzlies and subsequently released by Atlanta, Mack was averaging 7.9 points and 3.4 assists per game in a prominent role for Memphis. Mack appeared in 53 games and played 22.7 minutes per game, the second-highest average of his career.

The Hornets have received quality play at point guard with Tony Parker backing up All-Star Kemba Walker, so it will be interesting to see how much playing time Mack receives down the stretch of the regular season.

Because the Hornets have claimed Mack off of waivers, the Hawks are no longer responsible for the remainder of Mack’s contract, which is now off of their salary cap. Because the veteran point guard was on a minimum salary deal, Charlotte was able to claim him using the minimum salary exception.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/8/19

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Nuggets briefly assigned Isaiah Thomas to the G League today before recalling him. We have the full story on that here.
  • Jarred Vanderbilt has been assigned to the NBAGL by the Nuggets, according to the official G League transaction log. Denver does not have its own G League affiliate, so Vanderbilt is spending time with the Delaware Blue Coats.
  • The Hornets have recalled Dwayne Bacon and Devonte’ Graham from the Greensboro Swarm, according to the team’s website. Bacon has had 10 assignments in the G League this season. Graham has had seven.
  • The Warriors have recalled Jacob Evans from their G League affiliate, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Evans has played 16 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors so far this season.
  • The Grizzlies have assigned Tyler Dorsey to the Memphis Hustle, per the team’s Twitter feed. The Hawks traded Dorsey to the Grizzlies at the trade deadline.

The Deadline Deals That Didn’t Happen

The Raptors were close to acquiring Nikola Mirotic, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports on his podcast. The power forward would have been part of a three-team trade with the Pelicans and Magic in the proposed framework. Toronto didn’t have the expiring contracts that New Orleans was seeking and Mirotic was instead sent to the Bucks.

Toronto shifted its focus back to Marc Gasol and acquired the big man from Memphis in exchange for Jonas ValanciunasDelon WrightC.J. Miles, and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Hornets came close to acquiring Gasol before some “last-minute haggling,”  ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes. Charlotte had a lottery-protected first-round pick on the table for most of the week leading up to the deadline. Lowe passes along more deals that were discussed behind the scenes. Here are the highlights from his latest piece:

  • The Sixers offered two second-rounders to the Pelicans for Mirotic and prior to trading for Tobias Harris, Philadelphia and New Orleans discussed a Markelle Fultz-Mirotic swap. Fultz was dealt to the Magic for Jonathon Simmons and a pair of picks.
  • The Hornets pursued a deal for Harrison Barnes, dangling a first-round pick to the Mavericks, Lowe adds in the same piece. Dallas would have had to take back long-term money in the potential deal, something that it wasn’t willing to do.
  • The Nets and Grizzlies briefly discussed sending Allen Crabbe to Memphis along with a first-round pick (Denver’s 2019 selection) in exchange for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green, sources tell Lowe. Tax concerns led Memphis to shy away from acquiring Crabbe, who will take home approximately $19MM next season.
  • Several teams attempted to pry Andrew Wiggins from the Wolves without giving up much in return. Minnesota was uninterested in giving Wiggins away.
  • Kris Dunn was available at the deadline but the Bulls weren’t looking to deal Zach LaVine. Lowe writes that Chicago may have only considered trading LaVine if it received an overwhelming offer, something that was unlikely to occur.

Every NBA Team’s Post-Deadline Roster Situation

The NBA confirmed today that 2019’s trade deadline set and matched some records. The 14 trades completed on Thursday were the most made on a deadline day in the last 30 years, and the 19 teams involved in those swaps was tied for the most over that same period.

In total, 34 players were involved in those 14 trades — and that doesn’t even count the eight deals completed during the week leading up to the deadline, as we detailed last night.

Needless to say, there has been plenty of roster upheaval around the NBA, so we’re going to use this space to take a look at all 30 teams’ roster situations to see exactly where they stand. Does your favorite team have a full roster? Or is their roster somehow only two-thirds full? Looking at you, Raptors.

Here’s a breakdown of all 30 clubs’ roster situations at the time of this post’s publication (more moves will be made in the coming days or even hours that won’t be noted here, so keep that in mind):


Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks entered the week with 15 players, but had to waive Daniel Hamilton to clear a spot to acquire Jabari Bird. They subsequently traded Tyler Dorsey for Shelvin Mack, then waived both Bird and Mack.

They currently have 13 players on their roster, leaving two open spots. They’ll have two weeks to get back to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players.

Boston Celtics

After carrying 15 players all season, the Celtics traded Jabari Bird to create an open roster spot. They’ll explore the buyout market for candidates to fill that opening.

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets entered the week with 14 players on standard contracts and one (Mitch Creek) on a 10-day deal. Creek’s contract was terminated a few days early to make room for Greg Monroe, who was waived after being acquired from Toronto.

Brooklyn now has 14 players under contract and could opt to re-add Creek (albeit on a full-season contract), sign another player, or leave that spot empty for now.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had a quiet week and continue to carry 14 players, leaving one open roster spot.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls created an open spot on their roster by trading Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker for Otto Porter, and are now carrying 14 players.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers acquired two players – Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin – for Rodney Hood, which required them to terminate Kobi Simmons‘ 10-day contract early to stay at 15 players.

Subsequently, Cleveland flipped Stauskas and Baldwin to Houston in exchange for Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight, with Alec Burks heading to Sacramento in that three-team deal. The 3-for-2 move left the Cavs with 14 players and an open roster spot.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks, already at 15 players, acquired two veterans – Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson – in exchange for Harrison Barnes, and had to waive Salah Mejri to make the deal work.

They’re currently at 15 players, but will be releasing Randolph very soon to create an open roster spot.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets didn’t make any moves this week and continue to carry a full 15-man roster.

Detroit Pistons

Both of the Pistons‘ trades this week were 1-for-1 swaps in terms of players, with Thon Maker and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk replacing Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson.

However, with the team closing in on a deal for Wayne Ellington, someone will need to be waived to stay at the 15-man limit. That player will reportedly be Henry Ellenson.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors didn’t make any moves this week and still have 14 players under contract, leaving an opening for potential buyout targets.

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