Damian Jones

Hawks Notes: Jones, Roster, Parker, Minutes

Former first-round pick and newly-acquired Hawks big man Damian Jones is looking to show off his talent in a way he wasn’t able to on a loaded Warriors’ roster, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jones, who says he is 100 percent recovered from last season’s injury, sees himself being able to provide Atlanta with rim protection, defense and a lob option around the basket.

“I haven’t really gotten a chance to show what I can do,” Jones said Friday at his introductory news conference. “… I still have more to prove.”

There’s more news out of Atlanta this afternoon from Vivlamore:

  • After waiving point guard Jaylen Adams, the Hawks now have a roster of 13 players and will look to sign another veteran to the roster and a second two-way player alongside Charlie Brown, per Vivlamore (link). Because Trae Young is now the lone point guard on the team, one of those signings will almost certainly be a point guard. As for the final standard roster spot, Atlanta plans to leave that vacant for the start of the season.
  • One of those 13 players is former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker. Parker, who saw his $20MM team option declined by the Wizards earlier this summer before signing with the Hawks on a two-year, $13MM deal earlier this week, says one the reasons he signed with Atlanta is because of the team’s medical staff and Parker’s confidence in them working with his twice surgically repaired left knee (Twitter link from Vivlamore).
  • As we relayed earlier this weekend, Young, big man John Collins , and rookie lottery selections De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will all see “a lot” of playing time during the 2019/20 season, per general manager Travis Schlenk.

Warriors Trade Jones, Second-Rounder To Hawks For Spellman

3:36pm: The trade is now official, according to press releases issued by both teams. The second-round pick going to Atlanta in the deal is the Warriors’ 2026 second-rounder.

1:49pm: The Warriors and Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send big man Omari Spellman to Golden State, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania, Atlanta will receive center Damian Jones and a second-round pick in the swap.

Spellman, who will turn 22 later this month, was the 30th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He appeared in 46 games during his rookie season in Atlanta, averaging 5.9 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 46 games (17.5 MPG). The former Villanova standout also showed an ability to hit outside shots, making 1.0 three-pointer per game at a 34.4% rate.

As for Jones, he was the 30th overall pick two years earlier, in 2016, so he’ll be up for restricted free agency next summer. The 24-year-old opened the 2018/19 campaign as Golden State’s starting center, averaging 5.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 24 games (17.1 MPG), before a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the rest of the regular season.

The financial aspect of the deal is important for the Warriors, who are facing a $138.9MM hard cap. Spellman will earn about $1.9MM this season, while Jones is set to make $2.31MM. That difference may appear modest, but Golden State doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room, so the added flexibility will help the team fill out its roster.

Cousins, Jones Could Return For Warriors

Centers DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Jones may be available later in the playoffs if the Warriors keep winning, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Coach Steve Kerr offered health updates on both players today, saying they are making progress and Jones could be cleared for contact next week.

Cousins was feared to be lost for the season after suffering a torn left quad in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Clippers. He was ruled out indefinitely, although there was some hope that he could return if he responded well to treatment.

Jones, who is already able to participate in three-on-three drills, hasn’t played since undergoing surgery for a torn left pectoral muscle in December. He began the season as the Warriors’ starting center, but appeared in just 24 games before the injury.

Golden State would welcome some help at center after being decisively out-rebounded in Game 3 against the Rockets. The Warriors have been getting by with Kevon Looney and Andrew Bogut in the middle, but have mainly been using a small lineup with no true center on the court.

Warriors Notes: Bogut, Jones, Looney, Cousins

Andrew Bogut could return to the Warriors for their March 16 game at Oklahoma City, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Circumstances are setting up for Bogut to make his debut in an ABC prime time game against one of Golden State’s top challengers, featuring a matchup against New Zealand rival Steven Adams.

After receiving clearance from his Australian team to rejoin the NBA, the next step for Bogut is to obtain a U.S. work visa, Medina continues. Bogut must decide whether to have a visa sent to the American consulate in Sydney or to obtain a tourist visa that would enable him to travel to Oakland. If he picks the second option, he will have to fly to Vancouver during the week to obtain a work visa.

“Maybe at the end of next week would be the hope,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said yesterday in his weekly interview on 95.7 The Game.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Coach Steve Kerr hasn’t given up on the possibility that Damian Jones might return for the playoffs, even though it appears unlikely, Medina adds in the same piece. Jones hasn’t played since undergoing surgery in December on a torn left pectoral muscle. Kerr said the third-year center has done on-court work “in the last week or two,” but still hasn’t participated in “anything live,” such as a full-court scrimmage. The Warriors are already well stocked at center, with Bogut joining DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko. Golden State has Jones under contract for $2.3MM next season.
  • The right pelvic soreness that Looney has been experiencing isn’t related to hip injuries that limited him to 58 games over his first two seasons, Medina relays in a separate story. Looney has missed the past two games and said the training staff told him to rest until the problem was resolved. “I know what real pain feels like. I know when it’s really serious,” he said. “I feel all ends of the injuries in that area. I knew it wasn’t serious and knew I could clean it up in a couple of days. It was best for me to take care of it now.”
  • Cousins credits assistant coach Jarron Collins for making his comeback from a ruptured Achilles successful, Medina writes in another piece. Cousins calls the 10-year NBA veteran and fifth-year coach “the biggest help for me this entire season.”

Warriors Notes: Durant, Jones, Cousins, Bogut

Some members of the Warriors organization are concerned that Kevin Durant‘s recent behavior could be a sign that he already has one foot out the door, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The Warriors are coming off a deflating 128-95 home loss to the Celtics on Tuesday, with several figures around the team expressing their displeasure after the game. Among them was Durant, who appeared to be ticked off from the start of his postgame presser, Haynes notes.

“It starts with a passion, and an anger and an intensity, and it wasn’t there tonight,” head coach Steve Kerr said.

Durant was quick to disagree with this when a media member informed him of Kerr’s comment, curiously about his coach’s declaration.

“I thought we move off of joy?” Durant asked, fully knowing “joy” is a phrase Kerr often uses when discussing their style of play. “Now it’s anger? OK. I disagree with that one. I think all around, top to bottom, coaches, players, we just gotta be better.”

Durant tallied 18 points on just 5-of-16 shooting on Tuesday, also recording five turnovers with a minus-20 net rating. Haynes also noted in the same story how some members of the Warriors are not concerned with Durant’s behavior, labeling it as just a common rigor of the regular season.

Durant, a consensus top-three player in the NBA, has the option to decline a $31.5MM player option and become a free agent on July 1.

There’s more out of Golden State today:

  • Damian Jones is unlikely to return this season or during the playoffs despite conducting an on-court workout Thursday, Steve Kerr said, as relayed by Anthony Slater of the The Athletic (Twitter link). Jones underwent surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle in December.
  • Draymond Green defended DeMarcus Cousins after the loss to Boston, explaining why fans shouldn’t blame Cousins for the team’s defensive woes in recent weeks. “I think so many people are kind of looking at the starting lineup and saying, ‘Oh, DeMarcus is in there and the defense is worse,'” Green said, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “But our defense has been horses— no matter who’s in there. It’s easy to look at the numbers and think the numbers tell a story, but the fact of the matter is we haven’t been competing.”
  • Kerr discussed the team’s decision to sign Andrew Bogut on a rest-of-season contract, as relayed by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “We looked at this as an insurance policy in the frontcourt,” Kerr said. “A guy who obviously knows our system, knows our players. He’s great for our offense — his dribble hand-offs, passing ability, lob threat — and defensively he’s been one of the best in the game for a long time. He had a great season in Sydney. He’s healthy, he’s fresh. He was the best player available for us. We have to look ahead to the playoffs for different match-ups, and we felt vulnerable particularly in case of injury and against certain match-ups.” Bogut isn’t expected to make his debut with the team for at least another week.

Warriors Notes: Bogut, Lee, Evans, Looney

Just a couple days after one report suggested that two-way player Damion Lee appeared to have the inside track on the Warriors’ final roster spot, word broke today that the club will instead fill that opening by bringing back veteran center Andrew Bogut, whose season in Australia is now over.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic explores that decision, explaining that Golden State sent a representative to watch Bogut in Australia in recent weeks. The club came away feeling as if he looked rejuvenated after a year removed from the NBA.

“[It] seems like he’s in a really good place,” one team source told The Athletic. “Physically and mentally. [The] shorter, less demanding season did wonders for him.”

Additionally, as Slater details, the Warriors stars who played with Bogut in previous seasons – including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – have remained on friendly terms with the 34-year-old. When they were approached about the idea of a reunion, they all gave the go-ahead, sources tell Slater.

While it remains to be seen if Bogut will be the perfect on-court fit for the Warriors, the team wanted a bigger-bodied, defensively-minded center, according to Slater, who notes that the Dubs lost a pair of those players – and a ton of postseason experience – when both David West and Zaza Pachulia left the club last summer.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Although Bogut will fill that 15th roster spot for now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Warriors won’t make another roster move before the playoffs, Slater writes. Depending on how the rotation looks in the coming weeks, Lee – or another player – could still earn a place on the 15-man squad. “Everything is an option until the last day,” a team source said to Slater.
  • Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News echoes that sentiment, but notes (via Twitter) that the Warriors are unlikely to waive little-used rookie Jacob Evans to make room for anyone this season. Evans and injured big man Damian Jones are both under contract for 2019/20, and Golden State will want to avoid creating dead money on next year’s cap, says Slater.
  • Shams Charania of The Vertical provides an injury update on Kevon Looney, tweeting that an MRI revealed a pelvic strain. Looney will be considered day-to-day, with a return date dependent on his strengthening and rehab.
  • Klay Thompson is also day-to-day for the Warriors, as we detailed earlier today.

Warriors Notes: Cousins, Durant, Cook, Roster Spot

For the first time since returning from an Achilles injury, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins will be playing without a minutes restriction, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Cousins is averaging 23.4 minutes per night in 11 games and has rarely played more than 25 minutes. Coach Steve Kerr said game flow will determine how long Cousins is actually on the court, but there are no more medical restrictions.

“We’ll see how the games go,” Kerr said after today’s practice. “I don’t think we’ll change the plan too much in terms of how we’re going to play him in the rotations and all that, but I think once we get back into the rhythm we can absolutely play him for longer stretches, play him down the stretch if we like.”

He added that the plan was always to ease Cousins back into action for a month or so before unleashing him for full-time duty. The upcoming free agent has posted 13.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG in his limited playing time.

“He did a great job, DeMarcus did,” Kerr said. “So now we’re entering a different phase of the season. We’ll see how it goes, but nothing’s set in stone.”

There’s more Warriors news tonight:

  • Golden State officials are as uncertain as anyone about Kevin Durant‘s plans for free agency, writes Frank Isola of The Athletic“We have no idea what he’s going to do,” a team source said. “Everyone wants him to stay. There’s not much more we can sell him on. If he leaves, we’ll think of it as being lucky to have him for three great years.”
  • No matter where Durant winds up, teammate Quinn Cook could be with him, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. Cook and Durant have been friends since their AAU days and may be a package deal in free agency. “Any time you get to play with one of your best friends at the highest level is obviously a great thing,’’ Cook said. “He helps me so much off the floor and even more on the floor. He gets me so many open shots. We have a great connection out there. We know each other. We’ve been playing together the past 10-plus years.”
  • Two-way player Damion Lee appears to be the favorite to fill the 15th roster spot before the playoffs, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors haven’t given up on Bulls center Robin Lopez, but he won’t be playoff eligible if he’s not bought out before March 1. Another center, such as ex-Clipper Marcin Gortat, is possible, but Slater states that Damian Jones could recover from a pectoral tear by May, which would provide backup help in the middle.

Warriors Rumors: Jones, Cousins, Green, Livingston

The Warriors provided a handful of injury updates on their big men today, starting with the official announcement that Damian Jones has undergone pectoral surgery. While Jones will be able to start rehabbing in six weeks, he’s likely to be sidelined for five or six months, head coach Steve Kerr said today (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN.com). That could put him on track to return during the postseason.

Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins is expected to head to Santa Cruz sometime this month to practice with the Warriors’ G League affiliate, according to Kerr (Twitter link via Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle). Cousins could even play in a couple games for the Santa Cruz Warriors before making his debut for Golden State, which is expected to happen after Christmas.

In the short term, Draymond Green went through shootaround and is pushing to play for the Warriors tonight against Milwaukee, per Kerr (Twitter link via Friedell). While they’ll see how he looks in warmups before making a decision, it sounds like the Dubs will continue playing it safe with Green, who is coming back from a toe injury. He’ll likely sit out at least one more game.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr said today that the Warriors won’t use their open roster spot to add anyone for now, since they want to see how the club looks when healthy – Cousins included – before making any decisions (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
  • Veteran guard Shaun Livingston isn’t sure exactly when he’ll call it a career, but tells Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders that his retirement probably isn’t too far down the road. “I mean, honestly who knows?” Livingston said. “A year, couple years? But I mean, it’s coming sooner than later. Handwriting is on the wall.” Andre Iguodala recently expressed a similar sentiment on his own career, though he’s nearly two years older than his longtime teammate.
  • In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, David West admitted that he has second-guessed his decision to retire once. It happened when he was watching Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have their shouting match at the end of that infamous game against the Clippers last month — West felt that his presence in that moment would have prevented the incident from escalating.
  • Speaking of the Green/Durant dynamic, Warriors general manager Bob Myers weighed in on that subject during a radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, as Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “I really think it’s behind us. I really do,” Myers said of the friction between the two All-Stars. “You have to flush it out, you have to get it all out there — get all your emotions out. There’s a healing part of it — you don’t get over it in 30 seconds — but you do get over it. And I honestly think they have.”

Damian Jones Undergoes Pectoral Surgery

Warriors center Damian Jones, who suffered a torn left pectoral muscle last weekend, has undergone surgery to repair the injury, the club announced today in a press release.

When Jones was first diagnosed, the Warriors indicated that he would be out indefinitely. There’s still no specific timetable for his return, but the team provided a little more clarity today, announcing that the 23-year-old will be able to begin his rehabilitation process in about six weeks. Golden State will have a better sense at that point of whether Jones will be able to get back on the court before the end of the season.

If Jones is ruled out for 2018/19, the Warriors could apply for a disabled player exception, but it wouldn’t do much for them, given Jones’ modest $1,544,951 salary. If granted, a DPE allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, assuming that amount is below the value of the mid-level exception.

Jones, a first-round pick in 2016, earned starting duties at center for the Warriors this season, averaging 5.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 24 games (17.1 MPG) before he went down.

While the Warriors have an open spot on their 15-man roster and could make a move to add depth in their frontcourt, they’ve seemed content to let Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell handle the five for now. Draymond Green is expected to return to the lineup next week and can play center in some smaller lineups, as can Jonas Jerebko.

Of course, the Warriors are also preparing for one of the NBA’s very best centers to make his debut for the team within the next several weeks. DeMarcus Cousins, who signed with Golden State in the offseason, is reportedly targeting a post-Christmas return.

Pacific Rumors: Booker, Warriors, Jones, Joerger

Suns star guard Devin Booker will take a cautious approach after re-aggravating a hamstring injury against the Lakers on Sunday, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. There’s no timetable for Booker’s return, Mizell adds. Booker, who missed the team’s previous game against Orlando, departed after 17 minutes. He is averaging 23.5 PPG and 6.7 APG. Booker has been starting at the point and rookie Elie Okobo could pick up some of Booker’s minutes.

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors dealt with a meningitis scare last March, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. An outside vendor who handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease. Extensive precautionary measures were taken to ensure the meningitis didn’t spread to the team, Amick continues. A majority of the Warriors’ players and some members of the basketball operations staff took vaccination shots and a team practice was relocated to Oracle Arena while the team’s practice facility in downtown Oakland was sanitized, Amick adds. The health scare appears to be what David West was referring to when he made cryptic comments in the spring about the private challenges the team had dealt with.
  • With Damian Jones likely out for the season, the Warriors are evaluating whether to make a roster move, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic details. Jones tore a pectoral muscle in Detroit on Saturday. Willie Reed, currently posting big numbers in the G League, could be a candidate. Robin Lopez and Enes Kanter could be options if they’re bought out after the trade deadline, Slater opines. But the Dubs have Marcus Derrickson on a two-way deal and DeMarcus Cousins should return soon from his Achilles injury, so they may elect to stand pat, Slater adds.
  • The issues between Kings coach Dave Joerger and assistant GM Brandon Williams is par for the course in a dysfunctional organization, Jason Jones of The Athletic notes. Details of Joerger’s increasingly uncomfortable situation became public last week. With the perception of a divided front office, it wouldn’t be a shock if Joerger seeks another coaching job, Jones adds.