D.J. Augustin

Rockets Notes: Wall, Augustin, Sengun, Simmons, Theis, Gordon

As we previously detailed, John Wall met with Rockets management on Sunday, including general manager Rafael Stone and head coach Stephen Silas. Wall informed his bosses he would like to return to the court and be a starter again. Since the Rockets would prefer to have him play a limited role off the bench, the two sides reached an impasse.

However, the situation remains fluid, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Silas said the Rockets will continue to have conversations with Wall while he works himself into game shape over the next couple weeks.

Rafael and I did meet with John (on Sunday) and he had indicated that he wants to play and work towards that so right now we’re in that phase as far as getting him back in game shape,” Silas said. “He’s been doing a lot of one-on-oh type stuff and one-on-one type stuff but nothing up and down, nothing four-on-four, five-on-five.

Right now is the ramp-up time. That’ll probably take a couple weeks. We’ll continue our conversations and try to determine what it looks like.”

Here’s more from Houston:

  • Silas said backup point guard D.J. Augustin is in the health and safety protocols, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. It’s unclear how long Augustin will be sidelined.
  • In his latest mailbag, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tackles a number of topics. He believes rookie Alperen Sengun will stay in his current bench role, especially since the Rockets have finally found some success (winning three straight after starting 1-16). He thinks Sengun will eventually get more minutes as the season progresses, but writes that Christian Wood is playing too well right now as the lone big man to disrupt his rhythm.
  • Within the same column, Iko says he doesn’t think the Rockets have any interest in Ben Simmons, but they could potentially help facilitate a deal involving multiple teams. He says Houston is committed to Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green as its backcourt of the future.
  • Iko also believes that offseason addition Daniel Theis and shooting guard Eric Gordon will be available if the price is right. Theis has fallen out of the rotation recently, but he’s a veteran with a proven defensive presence, and his contract (four years, $35MM, with $26MM guaranteed) will likely be easier to move than Gordon’s (two years, $37MM guaranteed).

Health Updates: Rockets, Nance, Cavs, Hachimura, Clifford

After missing the Rockets‘ last three games while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, second-year wing Kevin Porter Jr. has rejoined the team and will be ready to play on Tuesday, head coach Stephen Silas said today (Twitter link via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston).

Rockets big man Christian Wood, who missed Saturday’s game with a minor ankle injury, is also in position to return on Tuesday, Silas said (Twitter link via Berman). The team should get further reinforcements prior to the end of the season, according to Silas, who expressed optimism that D.J. Augustin (ankle), Sterling Brown (knee), and Eric Gordon (groin) will also be back in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., who injured his right thumb on Sunday, has been diagnosed with a fracture in that thumb, according to a team press release. Nance has been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. Toronto and will be re-evaluated daily as he undergoes treatment and rehab. Sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that Nance will probably miss at least a week or two. With less than three weeks left in the regular season, there’s no guarantee we’ll see him again in 2020/21.
  • Within the same release, the Cavaliers provided updates on several more players, announcing that Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion symptoms), and Lamar Stevens (concussion symptoms) have also hit the injured list and will miss tonight’s game.
  • Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (knee) is set to return on Monday after missing the last four games, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford, who registered a positive COVID-19 test, will remain out for Monday’s game vs. the Lakers, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who tweets that Tyrone Corbin will once again act as the club’s interim head coach. Clifford continues to be asymptomatic, Robbins notes.

Injury Notes: Holmes, Bagley, Butler, Augustin, Hayward, SGA

Kings center Richaun Holmes will miss at least three games with a strained right hamstring, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. After suffering the injury in Monday’s game, Holmes underwent an MRI that revealed the extent of the damage.

He will be held out of tonight’s game against the Wizards and won’t accompany the team on a two-game road trip to face the Suns and Mavericks. Holmes is averaging 14.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season.

“We’ll see how he’s doing as we get back into town,” coach Luke Walton said. “Clearly, we’ll miss him. He’s had an incredible year for us so far and he’s a big part of what we’re trying to do.”

There are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Kings got good news about Marvin Bagley III, who will rejoin the team Thursday in Phoenix, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bagley has been away from his teammates while rehabbing a fracture in his left hand, and there were plans for him to return to the club when he was close to being able to play again.
  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler had an injury scare involving his ankle in Tuesday’s game, but he will be in the starting lineup tonight in Denver, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. “There’s no doubt about it, that Jimmy will always want to go,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But we evaluated him today and he passed all the tests with the trainers and that allowed him to where we all feel comfortable, him going tonight.”
  • Rockets guard D.J. Augustin had an MRI today on his sprained left ankle, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. Coach Stephen Silas said Augustin is using crutches and a walking boot and has been ruled out at least through Monday. Danuel House, who hasn’t played since April 4 due to a sprained ankle, and Eric Gordon, who has been sidelined since March 11 with a groin strain, are also both expected to miss another week or so.
  • Hornets forward Gordon Hayward still has a protective boot on his strained right foot, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). He is expected to be re-evaluated early next month.
  • Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was projected to be out through at least mid-April with plantar fasciitis, but his condition hasn’t been re-evaluated yet, coach Mark Daigneault told Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link).

Rockets Notes: Augustin, Draft Picks, Losing Streak, Oladipo

D.J. Augustin went from one of the league’s best teams to one of the worst this week, but he’s excited to suit up for his adopted hometown, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Augustin was part of the return in the deal that sent P.J. Tucker from the Rockets to the Bucks, and he’s ready to assume a leadership role as the oldest player on his new team.

“Coming in being in this position with a team that lost a lot of games, losing seasons, I’ve been a part of that,” Augustin said. “I’ve also been a part of winning teams and teams that won a lot of games. Knowing what I’ve been through, trying to bring that leadership here, try to keep guys together through these rough times. Hopefully, we can turn things around before the season ends.”

“That’s one of those guys I always wanted to play with and also tried to get him as a backup a couple times in Washington,” Wall said. “It’s funny how we ended up on the same team now. I always respected him, his play and how he carries himself on and off the court.”

There’s more from Houston:

Rockets Trade P.J. Tucker To Bucks

MARCH 19: The Rockets and Bucks have officially completed their trade, per a press release.


MARCH 17: Milwaukee is making some roster adjustments ahead of a playoff push.

The Bucks are acquiring forwards P.J. Tucker and Rodions Kurucs and reacquiring their own 2022 first-round pick from the Rockets in exchange for veteran point guard D.J. Augustin, forward D.J. Wilson, the Bucks’ 2023 unprotected first-round draft pick, and the right to swap the Rockets’ 2021 second-round pick for Milwaukee’s first-round draft pick (top-nine protected), reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal will add Tucker to the Bucks’ frontcourt, giving the team a strong, versatile defender to match up with opposing forwards and big men in the second half and in the postseason. After three-and-a-half seasons in Houston, the 35-year-old reached an agreement with the team last week that allowed him to remain away from the Rockets while they sought a trade for him.

Tucker hasn’t contributed much on offense this season, averaging a career-low 4.4 PPG with a .314 3PT% in 32 games (30.0 MPG), but he’s still a solid defender and could be rejuvenated by a change of scenery that gets him to a contender.

The Rockets, losers of 17 straight games, clearly appear to be in asset acquisition mode now. The deal should allow them to move up at least a few spots in the 2021 draft, as they’ll swap their second-round pick for Milwaukee’s first-rounder. By reacquiring their 2022 first-round pick from Houston, the Bucks are able to surrender both their 2021 and 2023 first-rounders in this deal without violating the Stepien rule.

While the Rockets were rumored to be seeking a young impact player in exchange for Tucker, that was always considered an ambitious goal, given the forward’s recent decline. But the club will get a chance to look at a former first-rounder in Wilson before he becomes eligible for restricted free agency in the summer.

It’s not yet clear what Houston’s plan for Augustin is, but he’s the one player in the deal who is owed guaranteed money beyond this season, with a $7MM guaranteed salary for 2021/22 and a non-guaranteed $7.3MM salary in ’22/23. He could provide depth at the point guard spot for the Rockets or be rerouted to a new team at some point.

The Bucks have also reportedly agreed to send Torrey Craig to the Suns and will now have two open roster spots. They’ll go from about $442K below the hard cap to $3.5MM below, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), so they’ll have a little more breathing room to fill out their 15-man roster via trade or on the buyout market.

Luke Adams contributed to this story. 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: Drummond, Holiday, Augustin, Gores

A nearly empty arena took away some of the excitement of Andre Drummond‘s return to Detroit on Saturday night, but the experience was still memorable for the Cavaliers‘ center, who spent the first seven and a half years of his career with the Pistons, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“Overwhelming amount of feelings rushed through my body,” Drummond said. “Just being back in this building again, but on the other side, it was a lot of memories that just rushed through my head, hearing my name again in this arena. After that, the moment was over. Came out in the starting lineup, got ready to play and we came out with a great win.”

Drummond was a franchise cornerstone from the time he was taken in the 2012 draft, but he became expendable at the February trade deadline when Detroit decided to shed salary and embrace rebuilding. Pistons coach Dwane Casey has watched Drummond a few times since the trade and has noticed his growth on offense since arriving in Cleveland.

“Different seeing him on the other side,” Casey said. “I loved him. I got close to Andre and I took it as a project to try to work with him and develop him and put him in position to be successful. It was a business decision for us — the direction we were going in and the direction he needed to go in from an individual standpoint. Hated to see him go. (Owner) Tom (Gores) loved Andre. The whole organization loved Andre. He’s the Dennis Rodman of our game as far as rebounding. He has a knack and timing. Tried to develop some other skills and just didn’t have enough time to get there with him. He has a bright future.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Jrue Holiday is having the impact the Bucks hoped for when they made him the focal point of their offseason, notes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Holiday was a difference maker in the Christmas Day win over the Warriors, contributing to 30% of the offense through the first three quarters and holding Stephen Curry to 6-of-17 from the field. “I just think our spacing we have, the athleticism that we have opens up everything,” Holiday said.Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Khris (Middleton) demand so much attention, so just to be able to run in space, to correct spacing and really just go from there.”
  • Veteran guard D.J. Augustin made his Bucks debut Friday after suffering a calf strain during the preseason, Owczarski adds in the same story. Augustin credits the medical staff for making him take his time to recover.
  • Gores is rejecting a call to sell the Pistons because of his ownership of a prison telecom company that is accused of charging inmates up to $15 for a 15-minute phone call, according to Eric Woodyard of ESPN.

Bucks, D.J. Augustin Agree To Three-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 22, 12:51pm: The third year of Augustin’s new contract won’t be guaranteed, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).


NOVEMBER 21, 11:19am: The Bucks and free agent point guard D.J. Augustin have agreed to a deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Augustin will sign a three-year, $21MM contract.

Augustin, 33, averaged 10.5 PPG and 4.6 APG on .399/.348/.890 shooting in 57 games (24.9 MPG) as the Magic’s primary backup point guard in 2019/20. Those shooting rates were off his usual marks — in the two previous seasons, he had made 46.2% of his shots from the field and 42.0% of his three-pointers.

In Milwaukee, Augustin will get the opportunity to play alongside impact players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton, so the Bucks are presumably hoping that – with plenty of open looks – the veteran point guard will improve upon last year’s shooting numbers.

Augustin will also be able to take on some ball-handling and play-making duties in Milwaukee’s rotation, playing a similar role to the one that Bogdan Bogdanovic might have if his reported sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks hadn’t fallen apart earlier in the week.

The Bucks will sign Augustin using a portion of their mid-level exception. Milwaukee is also reportedly using its bi-annual exception to sign Bobby Portis, meaning the team will be hard-capped at $138.93MM for the 2020/21 league year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Ariza, Raptors, Hornets, Magic

When the Pistons eventually officially acquire forward Trevor Ariza, who is being dealt from Portland to Houston to Detroit, the expectation is that he’ll have his full $12.8MM salary guaranteed, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM.

Ariza’s salary was initially only partially guaranteed for $1.8MM, but as cap expert Albert Nahmad explains (via Twitter), his salary guarantee deadline will come and go before the Pistons are able to officially acquire him. As a result, the Rockets will create a $12.8MM traded player exception in the transaction.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Nashville was in the mix for the Raptors as a temporary home late into the decision process, but the team opted for Florida for a few reasons, including the lack of a state income tax, per Blake Murphy and Eric Koreen of The Athletic. There’s also a brand-new hotel next to Amalie Arena in Tampa with ballrooms that could be used as makeshift practice spaces, according to The Athletic’s duo.
  • Undrafted Kentucky forward Kahlil Whitney is considering signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Hornets, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link). Whitney declared for the draft this year after a single season of college ball.
  • Amid rumors that point guard D.J. Augustin is drawing interest from Phoenix and Milwaukee, Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel says (via Twitter) that a return to the Magic is very unlikely for Augustin, given the team’s cap constraints and Wednesday’s Cole Anthony pick.

Free Agent Rumors: Bogdanovic, VanVleet, Augustin, Thompson

Now that Bogdan Bogdanovic has re-emerged as a free agent option for teams outside of Milwaukee, the RFA swingman and his representatives are expected to take meetings when free agency opens, according to Sam Amick and Eric Nehm of The Athletic, who say that the Hawks and Lakers are known to have interest.

Amick and Nehm suggest it’s “widely known” that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo had been recruiting Bogdanovic to Milwaukee. Since it seems that union won’t happen, teams hoping to eventually lure Giannis away from the Bucks will probably become a little more interested in Bogdanovic, according to The Athletic’s duo, who mention the Mavericks and Heat as a couple of those clubs.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News tweets that he has consistently heard the Raptors‘ goal is to re-sign Fred VanVleet on a Malcolm Brogdon-type contract. Brogdon’s four-year, $85MM deal was cited way back in August as a probable market-setter for VanVleet’s new contract.
  • The Suns have reached out to D.J. Augustin, who is also drawing real interest from the Bucks, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link). Gambadoro adds that the veteran point guard is likely to accept the best offer he receives.
  • Even after winning a championship, the Lakers aren’t content to be passive in free agency, says general manager Rob Pelinka. As Dave McMenamin of ESPN relays, Pelinka vows his club will be “aggressive” as it looks to continue making upgrades. “We’re not going to just sit back and not expect others who are in position to try to better their roster or better their teams,” Pelinka said. “So we have to stay aggressive. I think the danger of winning is complacency, and I won’t — we won’t allow that to creep in here. We’re going to try to improve our team and put Coach (Frank) Vogel and his staff in the best possible position to defend.”
  • The Lakers would love to land Tristan Thompson in free agency, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com. Mannix says the Raptors are also expected to express interest in Thompson, though Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) hears Toronto hasn’t reached out to the Canadian center yet.