DeAndre Jordan

Eastern Draft Notes: Nets, Cavs, Heat, Raptors, Pacers

The Nets own a first-rounder at No. 27 and three second-rounders, so expect them to be very active this evening, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Multiple teams are interested in guard Landry Shamet and the Nets would love to dump DeAndre Jordan‘s salary. Some of those picks could be dealt in one or more deals involving those players. General manager Sean Marks has developed a reputation of making deals on draft night, Lewis notes.

We have more draft-related news involving Eastern Conference teams:

  • The Cavaliers continue to field calls with the No. 3 pick, but they’ll keep it unless they get an overwhelming offer, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. If they hold onto it, the Cavs will take USC big man Evan Mobley, assuming Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green are off the board. Cleveland also believes it can put together a package for another lottery pick in the top 10 by dangling some combination of Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. and its 2022 first-rounder.
  • The Heat do not own a draft pick but that could change, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Miami could not only make a trade, it could also buy a pick with the $5.6MM it has at its disposal for 2020/21 transactions before the NBA calendar flips on Monday.
  • There’s growing speculation among lottery teams picking after the Raptors at No. 4 that they’ll pull a surprise and take Florida State forward Scottie Barnes, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets.  However, Jonathan Givony of ESPN claims in his latest mock draft that the league overwhelmingly expects them to select Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, so the Raptors could be playing mind games with their competitors.
  • The Pacers brought in Alex Antetokounmpo (Murcia CB in Spain) and Jaquori McLaughlin (UC Santa Barbara) for workouts on Tuesday, according to a team press release.

Mavs, Lakers, Pelicans Have Interest In Landry Shamet

The Mavericks, Lakers, and Pelicans are among the teams with interest in Nets shooting guard Landry Shamet, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

An earlier report indicated that Brooklyn has been willing to discuss Shamet in trade talks. Begley confirms as much, writing that several teams have been in touch with the Nets about a possible Shamet trade. Most of those scenarios would involve Brooklyn receiving a first-round pick, Begley adds.

Shamet, 24, averaged 9.3 PPG on .408/.387/.846 shooting in 61 games (23.0 MPG) for the Nets in 2020/21. He’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason and would reach restricted free agency in 2022 if he’s not extended, so if Brooklyn isn’t prepared to give him a raise, it makes sense that the team would gauge his value on the trade market. If he’s traded, he’d be joining his fourth team in four seasons.

The Mavs don’t have a first-round selection in 2021, but both the Pelicans (No. 17) and Lakers (No. 22) pick ahead of the Nets (No. 27) and could be in the market for low-cost veteran help on the wing. Begley notes that the Knicks, who hold the 19th and 21st overall picks, have had interest in Shamet in the past.

The Nets have also discussed DeAndre Jordan with potential trade partners, according to Begley, who hears from sources that one of those conversations was about a possible three-team deal.

Jordan, who has two years and $19.7MM left on his contract, probably doesn’t have positive trade value, so Brooklyn could use Shamet or the No. 27 pick as a sweetener to try to move his salary. However, it’s not clear if any of the talks involving Jordan have gained any traction, says Begley.

Spencer Dinwiddie To Decline Player Option

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie plans to decline his $12.3MM player option for next season and become a free agent, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. His deadline to make an official decision is Monday.

Dinwiddie suffered a partially torn ACL early this season that limited him to three games. The 28-year-old has spent the past five seasons with Brooklyn and posted his best career numbers in 2019/20, averaging 20.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists per night.

Keeping Dinwiddie may not be in the Nets’ plans because of their huge financial commitment to Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Brooklyn also has five other free agents to address this summer, including Bruce Brown, Jeff Green and Blake Griffin, who all played important roles during the postseason.

There should be a strong demand for Dinwiddie on the free agent market, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks suggests his future could depend on what fellow free agents Kyle Lowry and Dennis Schroder decide to do. With the Heat, Bulls and Knicks all needing point guard help, at least one of those teams could make an offer to Dinwiddie.

Brooklyn could consider a sign-and-trade deal involving Dinwiddie, but that may require the team to take back salary, which would inflate its luxury tax payment, Marks adds. He notes that the Nets already have a projected $53.4MM tax bill for next season, which would double if they add another $12MM to their payroll.

However, the team is also limited is what it can do to acquire new talent, so it may not want to let Dinwiddie leave without getting something in return. Marks notes that tax-paying teams received a break this season because of the decline in BRI (basketball-related income) caused by the pandemic. A similar tax break next season could influence the Nets’ thinking with Dinwiddie.

Another possibility Marks raises is to find a team this summer that’s willing to trade for veteran center DeAndre Jordan without sending any salary back to Brooklyn. That would likely cost the Nets their first-round pick in this year’s draft. Jordan wasn’t used in the postseason and still has two years and nearly $20MM left on his contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Harden, Dinwiddie, Bigs, Jordan, Durant, Irving

James Harden has missed five games due to a hamstring strain, but Nets general manager Sean Marks said the All-Star guard should be back soon, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “James is progressing well,” Marks said. “He’s looking forward to having at least one or two more play days, which means he’ll play 4-on-4, 5-on-5 with the group in practice. And then hopefully if things go smoothly, he’ll be out and joining the guys in a game.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • While it seems doubtful Spencer Dinwiddie could return from a partially torn ACL for the playoffs, Marks would not rule it out, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. “I would never bet against Spencer Dinwiddie,” he said. “We saw four years ago with him. He has a chip on his shoulder. He loves to prove people wrong.”
  • Coach Steve Nash plans to mix and match DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton, Blake Griffin and Jeff Green at center in the aftermath of LaMarcus Aldridge‘s retirement, Lewis relays in a separate story. “I don’t think it makes sense to just pencil something in if the matchups aren’t more favorable for us,” he said. “They all bring something different. They all have a different profile.”
  • Jordan’s role was reduced dramatically prior to Aldridge’s departure. He’s back in that mix now but he was never going to be a distraction, Lewis tweets. “Selfishly, individually, it’s obviously not ideal for me,” Jordan said. “But being on a team, you have to be able to sacrifice and put the team first, and I’ve done that night-in, night-out. And I’ll continue to do that.”
  • Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving started in the 130-115 win over Charlotte on Friday and Marks is confident his big three will be ready to go for the postseason, he said in a Sirius XM NBA Radio interview (Twitter link).

Nets Notes: Jordan, Griffin, Durant, Big Three

Two big-name additions on the buyout market have cut into DeAndre Jordan‘s playing time, but the Nets aren’t considering buyout talks with the veteran center, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Jordan has played just 12 minutes in each of the last two games, with much of his time going to Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. Even though Jordan has fallen down the rotation, Brooklyn appears content to keep him on the roster.

“It’s never been discussed,” one source told Lewis about the possibility of a buyout. “Nothing going on there,” another source added.

The 32-year-old center was part of the Nets’ 2019 free agent bonanza, joining the organization at the same time as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He averaged 8.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game during his first season and was putting up similar numbers this year before Brooklyn added Griffin and Aldridge. Today marks the deadline that players must be waived to preserve their playoff eligibility with a new team.

“(Jordan’s) got to stay ready. Who knows when it might be? It might be Sunday. It might be in two weeks. But everyone’s got to continue to prepare and stay ready and see what happens,” coach Steve Nash said. “We’ve got a lot of centers. We’re going to work through it and see what our rotation is going to be come playoff time.”

There’s more on the Nets:

  • Griffin believes he benefited physically from the time he spent preparing to return to the court after signing with Brooklyn, Lewis adds in the same story. The Nets had him work his way back into condition before he began playing again, and he has looked more like his old self, with five dunks in his seven games with the team. “From top to bottom this organization does an unbelievable job of taking care of their guys and thinking of everything,” Griffin said. “Just being able to come here and take a couple of weeks and get with the performance staff and work on the things they wanted me to work on was huge.”
  • Durant was in top form Wednesday as he returned after a 23-game absence with a strained hamstring, notes Nick Friedell of ESPN. In 19 minutes, Durant made all five of his shots from the field and posted 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot. “I expected to come out here and play the way I played,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to ease into the game. I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action.”
  • Injuries to Durant, Irving and James Harden have limited their time playing together, which Nash admits is “not ideal” heading into the postseason, Lewis writes in a separate story. The three stars have only been available at the same time for seven games since Harden was acquired in January.

Atlantic Notes: Aldridge, Durant, Drummond, Williams

LaMarcus Aldridge will get the opportunity to start for the Nets, according to coach Steve Nash, ESPN’s Malika Andrews tweets. Aldridge signed with the Nets after reaching a buyout with the Spurs and clearing waivers. Aldridge is expected to sit out for two to four games as he ramps up his on-court activity after not playing since March 1. Aldridge would presumably challenge DeAndre Jordan for the starting center spot.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets continue to take a very cautious approach with Kevin Durant, Andrews writes. Nash said he doubts Durant will play this week as he continues to recover from a left hamstring strain. He hasn’t played since February 13. Reserve guard Landry Shamet, who’s dealing with an ankle sprain, is also unlikely to play this week, Andrews adds.
  • Andre Drummond might have received ample playing time with the Knicks but he had already decided to join the Lakers before Mitchell Robinson broke his foot on Saturday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks didn’t make a strong run at Drummond, even after Robinson was injured, because Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t lobby hard for the former Cavaliers center. There was a general sense that Drummond would be unhappy in New York unless he started.
  • The biggest winner in the aftermath of the Celtics’ moves prior to the trade deadline is young center Robert Williams, A. Sherrod Blakely of the Boston Sports Journal writes. Fans have been clamoring to see more of Williams and they’ll get their wish now that Daniel Theis has been dealt to Chicago. Williams played 32 minutes against New Orleans on Monday.

Atlantic Notes: Perry, Robinson, Ainge, Powell

During a conversation on the Glue Guys Podcast, do-everything Nets guard Bruce Brown expressed his excitement about rookie power forward Reggie Perry, freshly returned to Brooklyn after logging time in the G League “bubble” for the Long Island Nets. As relayed by Net Income of Nets Daily, Brown raved about Perry.

“The person I hadn’t seen a lot that was killing it in training camp was Reggie Perry,” Brown said. “He looked like he could be in the rotation. He was doing a little bit of everything, hitting threes, jump hooks, killing people, killing (center DeAndre Jordan) low key. He literally was killing training camp.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Though the Knicks have yet to supply a recovery timeline for the fourth metacarpal fracture incurred by center Mitchell Robinson on February 12, a Northwestern University-based orthopedic hand surgeon indicated to Marc Berman of the New York Post that Robinson could be out for a total of six to eight weeks.
  • During a conversation with Brian Robb of Mass Live, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge discussed a variety of topics, including just how active Boston will be in the week leading up to the trade deadline. “I always go into the trading deadline, thinking that there’s something that we can do to help our team,” Ainge said. “I’m not talking about a big talent swing, I’m talking about just incremental positional changes you know one position in place of another, that we could use.”
  • Raptors guard Norman Powell, on a tear of late, has emerged as perhaps Toronto’s top trade asset ahead of the deadline next week, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Powell has an $11.6MM player option for the 2021/22 season.

USA Basketball Expands Finalist List for Olympic Roster

Fifteen players have been added to the list of finalists for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. The group will eventually be pared down to 12 players who will participate in the Olympic Games, which are set for July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will serve as coach for the U.S. team, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce as his assistants.

No tryouts will be held this year. Instead, USA Basketball will choose the final roster by early summer. Training camp is scheduled to being in early July before the conclusion of the NBA playoffs.

“With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, it’s important that we continue to remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to field the best USA team possible,” USA Basketball men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “These additions we are announcing today will help ensure that we are doing that. Having a larger player pool than what we normally have is critical because of all of the uncertainties we face about availability. But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”

The new names under consideration are:

  1. Jarrett Allen (Cavaliers)
  2. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  3. Jerami Grant (Pistons)
  4. Blake Griffin (Nets)
  5. Jrue Holiday (Bucks)
  6. DeAndre Jordan (Nets)
  7. Zach LaVine (Bulls)
  8. Julius Randle (Knicks)
  9. Duncan Robinson (Heat)
  10. Mitchell Robinson (Knicks)
  11. Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
  12. John Wall (Rockets)
  13. Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
  14. Christian Wood (Rockets)
  15. Trae Young (Hawks)

Forty-two players remain from the original list, which was announced in February 2020:

  1. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  3. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  4. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  5. Devin Booker (Suns)
  6. Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  7. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  8. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  9. Mike Conley (Jazz)
  10. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  11. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  12. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  13. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  14. Kevin Durant (Nets)
  15. Paul George (Clippers)
  16. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  17. James Harden (Nets)
  18. Montrezl Harrell (Lakers)
  19. Joe Harris (Nets)
  20. Tobias Harris (76ers)
  21. Gordon Hayward (Hornets)
  22. Dwight Howard (Sixers)
  23. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  24. Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  25. LeBron James (Lakers)
  26. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  27. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  28. Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  29. Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  30. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  31. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  32. JaVale McGee (Cavaliers)
  33. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  34. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  35. Victor Oladipo (Rockets)
  36. Chris Paul (Suns)
  37. Mason Plumlee (Pistons)
  38. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  39. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  40. Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  41. Russell Westbrook (Wizards)
  42. Derrick White (Spurs)

Two players removed from that list are Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and Celtics guard Marcus Smart. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Smart turned down an invitation because of injury concerns due to having a short offseason and playing late into consecutive seasons (Twitter link).

Kevin Durant Out At Least Two Games With Hamstring Strain

Nets star Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain and will miss at least the next two games, the team announced (via Twitter).

Brooklyn’s next two games are in Sacramento on Monday and in Phoenix on Tuesday. If Durant’s absence doesn’t extend beyond those two contests, he’d be able to return for a Thursday showdown in Los Angeles against the Lakers on TNT.

It has been a stop-and-start year so far for Durant, who missed the entire 2019/20 season as he recovered from an Achilles tear. The Nets have played it safe with the former MVP in the early going, holding him out of half of some back-to-back sets to manage his return from that injury. Durant has also been sidelined for several games due to two separate week-long stints in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Since James Harden made his Nets debut on January 16, the team’s Big Three – Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving – has been active for just seven of 15 games, and Durant was forced to exit one of those games early due to COVID-19 protocols.

On the plus side for Brooklyn, DeAndre Jordan, who missed Saturday’s game vs. Golden State for personal reasons, is listed as probable to play on Monday against Sacramento.

Kevin Durant Cleared To Return

After missing three full games – and parts of a fourth – due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Nets star Kevin Durant has been cleared to return. Head coach Steve Nash confirmed that Durant was able to practice today and said he’ll be a “full go” for Saturday’s game against the Warriors, per Malika Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link).

Durant was placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocols last Friday after being in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. The two-time Finals MVP has continued to test negative for the coronavirus during the last week, allowing him to get back in Brooklyn’s lineup on Saturday. It will be his first time playing in Golden State since he left the Warriors as a free agent in 2019.

While the Nets will have Durant back, they’ll be without DeAndre Jordan, who will miss the game for personal reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, according to Nash (Twitter link via Andrews). The expectation is that Jordan will continue to be tested for COVID-19 during his absence and will be able to rejoin Brooklyn during its West Coast road trip, which runs through February 21.

With Jordan out, both the Nets and Warriors will be extremely shorthanded at the center position, so we could see plenty of small-ball when the two teams take the court tomorrow.