De'Aaron Fox

Western Notes: Bozic, Gordon, Ntilikina, Fox

The Spurs have a new G League coach in Petar Bozic, according to a press release from the Austin Spurs. Bozic spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach for the G League franchise. Before coming to Austin, he served as head coach of Partizan in his home country of Serbia from 2015-16.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The agreed-upon four-year, $92MM extension between the Nuggets and forward Aaron Gordon is a sign that the franchise is going all out win a title in the next three seasons, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post opines. It’s a declaration that Nikola Jokic and the core group is good enough to capture the championship, regardless of the moves made by the Lakers and other contenders.
  • The two-year contract that guard Frank Ntilikina has signed with the Mavericks includes a team option in the second season, Marc Stein of Substack tweets. It’s still unclear whether the former Knick received a full guarantee for the upcoming season.
  • Kings guard De’Aaron Fox explained why he’s faster than anyone else in the league in an interview with The Reel’s Kenny Beecham, relayed on the team’s website. “The way I move is so much different than everybody else,” Fox said. “Everybody’s not able to make the cuts and just stop and do what I do, especially going at full speed.”

Kings Aren’t Active In Ben Simmons Trade Talks

The Kings haven’t talked to the Sixers about a possible deal for Ben Simmons for several weeks, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

During their initial conversation, Sacramento made it clear that De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton wouldn’t be made available, which has also been reported by other outlets. A source tells Amick that the Kings will stick to that position and consider their roster virtually set heading into training camp.

There are no ongoing trade talks involving the two teams, Amick adds, and Sacramento shouldn’t be considered a realistic possibility for Simmons unless Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey lowers his asking price.

If a deal is eventually reached with the Kings, it’s more likely to involve Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, according to Amick.

Trade rumors involving Simmons have heated up again after a report on Tuesday that he plans to hold out of training camp if the Sixers don’t ship him elsewhere. The Kings, Timberwolves, Clippers and Warriors have been the most frequently-mentioned possibilities.

Ben Simmons Rumors: Embiid, Kings, Warriors, More

Within a Tuesday column on the SixersBen Simmons dilemma, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today cited a person with knowledge of the situation who said there’s a rift between Simmons and star center Joel Embiid that had been “escalating” leading up to this summer. However, in a tweet published on Wednesday, Embiid pushed back on that claim.

Stop using my name to push people’s agendas,” Embiid wrote. “I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done. It’s on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win.”

In the wake of Tuesday’s report that Simmons has told the Sixers he wants to be traded and doesn’t plan to report to training camp, we’ve got several more Simmons-related items to pass along today. Let’s dive in…

  • A trade sending Simmons to the Kings might be a long shot, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who hears that the Sixers would only be willing to consider a package that includes either De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. As we detailed on Tuesday, Sacramento is unlikely to part with either player.
  • Any interest the Warriors might have in Simmons is “conditional,” according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, who suggests Golden State is hesitant to pair the three-time All-Star with Draymond Green, another strong defender who isn’t much of a scorer. Sources tell Poole that the Warriors are “divided” on the Simmons/Green fit, and that some people in the organization see potential in the pairing, while others believe having two non-shooters on the court would hamstring the offense too significantly. It’s also extremely unlikely that the team would move Green in a Simmons deal, Poole adds.
  • Unlike other teams that have traded star players in recent years, such as the Pelicans with Anthony Davis or the Rockets with James Harden, the Sixers have no intention of landing in the lottery after trading Simmons, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic, noting that Philadelphia finds itself in an unusual spot. New Orleans and Houston were willing to wait out ugly situations for months before trading their respective stars, and it will be interesting to see if the 76ers are willing to do the same with Simmons, who isn’t quite at the same level as a Davis or a Harden, Bodner observes.
  • The time for “mutually beneficial maneuvering” seems to have passed for the Sixers and Simmons, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, who says it’s now just a matter of seeing which side wins the stare-down.

Pacific Notes: Simmons, Kings, Rondo, Lakers’ Big Men

The Kings still need to re-balance their roster, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area, and the Sixers still need to find a graceful exit from the debacle they find themselves in with Ben Simmons.

While it’s unlikely the Kings have what Sixers president Daryl Morey might consider the Godfather offer he’s been waiting for, Ham writes that Sacramento has been all in on Simmons since he became potentially available, and the three-time All-Star could represent the franchise-changing move GM Monte McNair has been looking for.

We have more news from around the Pacific Division:

  • In a similar vein, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes that sports betting site MyBookie.ag recently gave the Kings the best odds at landing Simmons of any team (+275). Anderson doesn’t believes that the Kings are fully “all-in” on Simmons though, adding that Sacramento is unlikely to include either De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton in a potential trade.
  • Rajon Rondo isn’t worried about the Lakers’ age as a team, writes Royce Young of ESPN. In fact, he considers it an advantage. “Wisdom is definitely key to winning a championship,” Rondo said after officially rejoining the club. “We have a lot of that, obviously, with the age and experience on the court. I’m most excited about not being the oldest guy on the team anymore.” Rondo adds that it’s tough to last to the age many of the Lakers’ players have without discipline, which will be key for the team in its title hunt.
  • While not naming DeAndre Jordan specifically, Marc Stein confirms that – according to his league sources – the Lakers have been exploring the center market, despite Marc Gasol having one more year on his deal.

Kings Notes: Fox, Mitchell, G League Staff, Schedule

The Kings have been identified as one of the teams with trade interest in Ben Simmons, but a July report indicated the team likely won’t include point guard De’Aaron Fox in any offer for the Sixers’ three-time All-Star.

Revisiting that subject, Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer says he has heard from a league source that Fox in “content” in Sacramento. Given the recent history of the franchise, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, having a rising young star who is happy to stick around may be too valuable for the Kings to mess with, Uggetti writes.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • In a subscriber-only article for The Sacramento Bee, Jason Anderson identifies some of the key takeaways from the Kings’ championship victory at the Las Vegas Summer League, writing that rookie Davion Mitchell wants to help change the identity of a defense that ranked last in the NBA in 2020/21.
  • Coming off his Summer League title, Stockton Kings head coach Bobby Jackson has made several additions to his staff, including Will Scott as associate head coach, the team announced in a press release. The G League club also announced that Sydney Haydel will serve as Stockton’s director of basketball operations and Sacramento’s player development coordinator.
  • Despite having exciting up-and-comers like Fox, Mitchell, and Tyrese Haliburton on their roster, the Kings won’t get much national television exposure in 2021/22, as James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area details. Sacramento will play five games on NBA TV, but none on TNT, ESPN, or ABC.

Kings Unlikely To Include De’Aaron Fox In A Ben Simmons Offer

The Kings are among the “known suitors” who would like to get Ben Simmons from the Sixers, but they aren’t likely to part with De’Aaron Fox, sources tell Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Numerous reports have stated that Philadelphia is putting a high asking price on Simmons and is hoping to get an All-Star player in return. Fox hasn’t been an All-Star yet, but he has been extremely productive in his first four NBA seasons and is part of the young foundation in Sacramento. He averaged 25.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists in 58 games this year while shooting 47.7% from the field and 32.2% from three-point range. He’s also under contract for the next five years.

Anderson states that the Kings are more likely to offer a package that includes shooting guard Buddy Hield, power forward Marvin Bagley III, and multiple future first-round picks. A league source told Anderson that Sacramento would have to give up at least three first-rounders to make the deal work, while another source said the Sixers wouldn’t have any interest unless Fox or rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton is part of the offer.

Hield would fill a need for the Sixers, who ranked 23rd in the league in made three-pointers this season, Anderson notes. He’s a career 40.6% shooter from beyond the arc and holds the league record for most three-pointers made in his first five seasons.

Bagley is a talented young player who so far is best known for being selected ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young in the 2018 draft. He has missed a combined 108 games due to injury in first three NBA seasons and has been part of public disputes with the Kings about playing time and his future with the organization.

NBA Announces 2020/2021 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced the All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams for the 2020/21 season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way as the lone unanimous selection for the First Team.

Antetokounmpo and Nuggets‘ MVP Nikola Jokic were the two top vote-getters, combining for 998 out of a possible 1,000 points, with Warriors guard Stephen Curry following shortly behind. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounding out the top five.

The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Giannis scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Among the players who just missed the cut were Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (69), Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (44), Nets guard James Harden (41), Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (37) and Heat center Bam Adebayo (32). A total of 12 other players received votes. The full results can be found here.

Today’s announcement has major financial implications across the league. Tatum, who received more votes than Kyrie Irving but still fell 20 votes short of a final forward spot, will lose out on a projected $32.6MM on his rookie scale extension, as his next deal will start at 25% of the cap instead of the 30% he would have received if he’d been named to an All-NBA team. Likewise, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Adebayo will all receive starting salaries worth 25% of the cap on their respective extensions as a result of missing out on All-NBA honors.

Doncic, having been named to his second consecutive All-NBA First Team, will be eligible for a 30% extension that would be worth a projected $201MM+ and is almost certain to be offered this summer. Doncic has previously made clear his intentions to sign the extension when offered. It will go into effect for the 2022/23 season.

Embiid is now eligible for a super-max contract extension, which would run for four years, starting in 2023/24, and would be worth a projected $191MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. It’s unclear whether the Sixers will immediately put this extension on the table this offseason.

Bradley Beal‘s deal will not change with his first career All-NBA selection, as he is already eligible for a 35% contract extension on his next deal. Jokic, having been named MVP previously this week, also sees no change in his possible future super-max extension, which will be worth approximately $241MM.

Hoops Rumors readers accurately picked 12 of this season’s 15 All-NBA players in our poll. Devin Booker, Adebayo, and Tatum were your picks who didn’t make the official list.

Pacific Notes: Morris Twins, Fox, KCP, CP3

Lakers power forward Markieff Morris and his twin brother, Clippers power forward Marcus Morris, are hoping to meet in the playoffs in a Western Conference Finals for the ages, writes J. Brady McCollough of the Los Angeles Times. Marcus’ club is currently down 2-1 to the ascendant, lower-seeded Mavericks. Markieff’s Los Angeles team, the 2020 champion, is up 2-1 against the higher-seeded Suns.

“That matchup wasn’t supposed to happen in the bubble,” Marcus said of the Lakers-Clippers all-Staples Center showdown that fans were denied in the Orlando restart season “bubble” in 2020. “That was supposed to happen in Staples Center.”

McCollough reveals that the Morris brothers and their families live just 10 minutes apart on the west side of Los Angeles County (near their clubs’ practice facilities), with Markieff in Playa del Rey and Marcus in nearby Manhattan Beach.

“[W]e know the importance of having your family around for your success in life, just having that backbone and that stability,” Marcus said. “Being in the same city has been amazing.”

How long the brothers will remain in the same city remains to be seen. Markieff inked a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Lakers for this season and has remained a valuable stretch-four option off the bench for L.A. Clippers starter Marcus signed a four-year, $64MM extension ahead of the 2020/21 season, though McCollough acknowledges that the Clips may make roster changes if the team continues to underperform in the postseason.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Recently-extended Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox exhibited significant growth in his play and leadership, even amidst an otherwise-disappointing Sacramento season, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area“Just trying to get to that level of consistency, where night in and night out you’re playing really good and if you’re not playing great, you’re still playing really good basketball and I don’t think I was there just yet,” Fox said. He averaged a career-best 25.2 PPG, to go along with 7.2 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 SPG. Ham observes that Fox’s driving ability and his stroke on jumpers from 10-16 feet away from the bucket are high-level, though the rest of his shot chart is a bit more erratic.
  • Lakers starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been ruled out for this afternoon’s Game 4 matchup against the Suns due to a left knee contusion, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. Veteran Wesley Matthews would make the most positional sense as a replacement starter, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Lakers All-Star power forward/center Anthony Davis, however, will be suiting up today as he plays through a knee injury, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times.
  • Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul remains a game-time decision for today’s pivotal Game 4 against the Lakers, tweets Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Paul has been battling a shoulder injury since Game 1. The Suns are currently down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Paul’s output has taken a turn with reduced minutes since the injury. He is averaging 6.7 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 4.0 RPG for the series.

Kings Notes: Walton, King, Sunday’s Game, Reserves

Luke Walton says he’s “very confident” he’ll be retained as the Kings’ head coach, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.

Monetary factors may work in Walton’s favor, Anderson notes. He’s reportedly owed $11.5MM over the next two seasons and first-year GM Monte McNair has publicly expressed support for Walton, pointing out the progress made by several key players.

Walton is focused on better results for next season.

“We have an offseason plan put in place from when they’re going to be in Sacramento, and what coaches will be working with them, and what we need them focused on,” Walton said. “Clearly, a big thing for all young players is developing in the weight room as well, but it’s good, after you get a taste of what the NBA is all about, to be able to really fine tune some things in the offseason.”

We have more on the Kings:

Crowded All-NBA Field Will Impact Several Contract Situations

When Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer shared his early All-NBA picks this week, he rightly pointed out that limiting the field to 15 players will leave a number of worthy candidates on the outside looking in. O’Connor had to exclude worthy contenders such as Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Jaylen Brown, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, Trae Young, Jrue Holiday, and Kyrie Irving from his three All-NBA teams.

Among the other players left off the top 15 by O’Connor were Donovan Mitchell, Zach LaVine, Bam Adebayo, and De’Aaron Fox. Those players are especially notable because an All-NBA spot this season would either substantially increase the value of the contract extensions they signed last offseason or would put them in line for a significantly more lucrative extension this summer.

Jayson Tatum, who earned a spot on O’Connor’s All-NBA Third Team, is in the same boat. Like Mitchell, Adebayo, and Fox, he signed a rookie scale extension that includes Rose Rule language, which could bump his starting salary from 25% of the cap to 30% of the cap.

Here are how those players, who signed five-year, maximum-salary contract extensions last offseason, will be affected by whether or not they earn All-NBA honors. These are projected values based on a 3% salary cap increase.

Player No All-NBA All-NBA
Donovan Mitchell $163,000,590 $195,600,710
Jayson Tatum $163,000,590 $195,600,710
Bam Adebayo $163,000,590 $185,820,675 (First Team only)
De’Aaron Fox $163,000,590 $169,522,180 (Third Team) *

* Fox’s deal would be worth $182,560,660 if he makes the All-NBA Second Team and $195,600,710 if he makes the First Team.

Fox probably has no chance at making an All-NBA team, given the competition at guard and the Kings’ spot in the standings. The other three players here have better cases, but Adebayo is likely a long shot, making Mitchell and Tatum the most realistic candidates. They’d only need to sneak onto the Third Team to increase the projected value of their new five-year deals by more than $32MM.

As O’Connor writes, Tatum has a clearer path to an All-NBA spot than Mitchell based on his position. The guard spot is absolutely stacked this season — Mitchell would have to beat out at least one of Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, and James Harden, as well as all the guards mentioned at the top of this story. As good as he’s been, he may be left out.


While Tatum, Mitchell, Adebayo, and Fox have already negotiated “super-max” language into their contracts and are now trying to guarantee a salary increase by earning All-NBA honors, a handful of players will become eligible for a higher maximum salary on a new extension if they make an All-NBA team this year. An All-NBA spot would either make them eligible for a Rose Rule extension or a Designated Veteran Extension.

Here are those players, along with the projected contract extension they’d become eligible for with an All-NBA nod. These projections are on the conservative side, since they’re based on annual salary cap increases of just 3%.

Player Max extension with All-NBA spot
Year it would begin
Nikola Jokic
Five years, $242,098,25 2023/24 *
Joel Embiid
Four years, $187,000,032 2023/24
Zach LaVine
Five years, $235,046,855 2022/23
Luka Doncic Five years, $201,468,730 2022/23

* Jokic would have to wait until the 2022 offseason to sign a super-max extension. The others could sign extensions during the 2021 offseason.

Embiid is still under contract for two more years beyond 2020/21, which is why he’d only be able to tack on four new years to his current deal instead of five. Jokic is in a similar spot, but because he’ll only have six years of NBA service at the end of this season, he’d have to wait until 2022 to officially sign an extension, at which point he’d be eligible for five new years instead of just four.

Doncic’s potential extension has the lowest average value of any of these hypothetical deals because he’d only be eligible for a starting salary worth 30% of the cap, instead of 35%, due to his limited years of NBA service.

MVP candidates Jokic, Embiid, and Doncic all look like pretty safe bets to make an All-NBA team this spring, and I imagine the Nuggets, Sixers, and Mavericks will be ready to put super-max extension offers on the table for their respective stars as soon as they’re eligible to sign them.

As for LaVine, he likely won’t make an All-NBA team, which may be a relief for the Bulls — deciding whether or not to offer LaVine a standard maximum contract could be a difficult decision in its own right. If he were eligible for a super-max, that would make negotiations even more challenging.

Assuming LaVine doesn’t earn All-NBA honors, he’d only be eligible for a four-year, $104.83MM extension this offseason. However, the Bulls could go higher than that if they renegotiate his 2021/22 salary using their cap room, or if they wait until the 2022 offseason — as a free agent, LaVine would be eligible for a five-year contract worth up to $201.47MM (projection based on 3% annual cap increases) if he re-signs with Chicago, even without All-NBA honors.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.