DeAndre Jordan

New York Notes: McCall, White, Dinwiddie, Jordan

Tahjere McCall, who had been on a 10-day contract with the Nets, had that deal expire overnight on Thursday, and has returned to Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island, the club announced today in a press release. That means that, for now, the Nets will have an open spot on their 15-man roster.

G League forward Okaro White, who has been playing well for the Long Island Nets, might have been a candidate for that final roster spot, but White recently sustained a season-ending ankle injury, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. McCall will take White’s place on Long Island’s roster, and Brooklyn will have to look elsewhere for a potential 10-day signee.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Speaking to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (audio link), Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie said he’d be happy to get involved in recruiting free agents this summer. “I would love to do anything that’s within the rules and not considered tampering to get guys to come to Brooklyn,” Dinwiddie said, adding that the club should appeal to star players because it’s a “players-first” organization.
  • It may seem like 11-year NBA veteran DeAndre Jordan has been around forever, but the Knicks center is still only 30 years old. As he prepares to re-enter unrestricted free agency, Jordan wants to push back on the idea that he’s getting old, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “People think you’re 30 and think you’re old,” Jordan said this week. “I hate that. When I do something athletic, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, he’s so athletic and especially because he’s so old.’ I’ll take that.”
  • After securing one of the most lucrative rookie contracts ever for a second-round pick last summer, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson has continued to cash in off the court, lining up endorsement deals with Nike and several other companies, writes Tommy Beer of Forbes.com.

Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Mudiay, Middleton, Kanter

The Knicks are about to have an overcrowded situation at point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Frank Ntilikina is close to returning from a groin strain and Emmanuel Mudiay has nearly recovered from a strained left shoulder. Mudiay practiced today, tweets ESPN’s Ian Begley, while Ntilikina was held out of practice and will be re-evaluated Friday.

When they’re cleared to play, both guards will be sharing time with Dennis Smith Jr., who took over the starting role after being acquired from the Mavericks in late January, and possibly Kadeem Allen, who has impressed coaches since being signed to a two-way contract last month.

Allen could be sent to the G League once everyone is healthy, Berman notes, or the Knicks may want to see more of what he can do at the NBA level. Mudiay could be the odd man out as he’s headed toward free agency and seemingly has little prospect of re-signing in New York now that the organization has committed to Smith.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • If Kyrie Irving is unavailable, New York might target Bucks swingman Khris Middleton in hopes of pairing him with Kevin Durant, Berman speculates in a separate story. Middleton had a 20-point performance in his first All-Star game, then sidestepped questions about free agency. “I’m having a great career so far — that’s all I’m worrying about,” Middleton said. “I’ll think about the summertime in the summertime. We have a lot more work to do, hopefully. We’re playing great basketball. That’s all I’m worrying about.” Because Middleton doesn’t necessarily project as a full max player, Berman suggests the Knicks could sign him and have money left over to keep DeAndre Jordan, who is a friend of Durant’s.
  • The Knicks might find it more difficult to lure Durant as long as James Dolan remains the team’s owner, states Frank Isola of The Athletic. A rumor that Dolan might have interest in selling the team was dismissed as “100% false” by MSG Co. on Monday. Isola notes that the organization’s long history of failure under Dolan could make Durant think twice about coming to New York.
  • Although his time with the Knicks didn’t end well, Enes Kanter would still endorse the franchise to any free agents who ask him, tweets New York sportswriter Brian Heyman. “It’s a very good organization. Good people. … Amazing city,” Kanter said. “So I think that they have a really good chance to get good superstars.”

Kevin Durant: Porzingis Trade “Has Nothing To Do With Me”

Speculation that Kevin Durant might join the Knicks this summer shifted into high gear once New York opened a second max salary spot with the trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. However, in an All-Star Weekend interview, Durant said his decision in free agency won’t be affected by outside influences, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Durant has been trying to quell free agent talk, lashing out at the media recently over repeated rumors about his intentions. When asked about the Porzingis deal, Durant was careful not to say anything that might indicate he’s headed to New York.

“I play basketball for the Warriors,” Durant said. “My main concern is being the best basketball player I can be. I have no concerns about trades or transactions throughout the season with other teams. Has nothing to do with me. I’m glad Porzingis is in a better spot for him. I look forward to Luka [Doncic] and him playing together for years to come.”

Another player involved in that trade could give the Knicks some help in their pursuit of Durant, Berman adds. DeAndre Jordan is a close friend of Durant’s and might be a valuable part of the recruiting effort. Jordan has an expiring contract, but Knicks management has indicated a desire to re-sign him and may be willing to offer its entire $5MM room exception if the rest of free agency goes as planned.

“It’s my friend, he got traded and I think he’s in a good place,’’ Durant said of Jordan. “He understands what the business is like. We talk about life more so than the NBA. He’ll be fine [in New York].’’

Another advantage for the Knicks could be Durant’s agent/manager Rich Kleiman, a New York native who has a business relationship with team president Steve Mills. Berman cites rumors that Kleiman could get a front office position in New York if Durant decides to go there.

Durant is having his most productive season since coming to Golden State, posting a 27.6/7.0/5.9 line in 57 games. He figures to attract numerous max offers, but the Warriors will have his Bird Rights for the first time, meaning they can offer a five-year contract with larger raises, while everyone else will be limited to four years.

Durant may not enjoy the free agent speculation, but he hasn’t done anything to stop it, Berman notes. Unlike teammate Klay Thompson, who has said he hopes to spend the rest of his career with the Warriors, Durant hasn’t made any concrete statements about his plans beyond this season.

Wesley Matthews Bought Out By Knicks, Plans To Sign With Pacers

4:14pm: The Knicks have officially waived Wesley Matthews, the team announced on social media.

2:28pm: Matthews will be bought out by the Knicks later today and intends to sign with the Pacers once he clears waivers, tweets Charania.

2:03pm: Shooting guard Wesley Matthews is expected to reach a buyout agreement with the Knicks, and the Pacers are the frontrunners to sign Matthews once he clears waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Matthews is also expected to draw interest from the Warriors and Rockets and possibly other contenders, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).

The Knicks are expected to retain veteran enter DeAndre Jordan, rather than buy him out. Stein adds. Jordan, who like Matthews will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, was also acquired in the blockbuster deal that shipped star big man Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks.

The Knicks have already been working on a buyout with disgruntled center Enes Kanter and that could be finalized as early as today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Matthews and Kanter both have expiring $18.6MM contracts. Jordan is making $22.9MM.

Matthews, who is averaging 13.1 PPG and shooting 38% on his 3-point attempts, would be a natural fit for Indiana as it seeks to replenish its backcourt in the wake of Victor Oladipo‘s season-ending injury.

New York’s desire to keep Jordan is mainly due to his willingness to mentor their young bigs, especially rookie center Mitchell Robinson.

Wesley Matthews Headed For Buyout; Warriors May Be Next Stop

We noted earlier tonight that the Knicks plans to begin buyout talks with Enes Kanter if he’s not traded before tomorrow’s deadline. It appears Wesley Matthews is in the same situation and may wind up with the Warriors, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Matthews was acquired from Dallas last week as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but he has an $18.6MM expiring contract and there’s little reason to keep him on one of the league’s worst teams. The Knicks are still hoping to work out a trade and had some interest from the Sixers before they acquired Tobias Harris, Berman adds.

Matthews was just 2 of 11 Tuesday in what the Knicks hoped would be a showcase game, but that won’t affect his popularity on the buyout market. Several teams are expected to make a run at Matthews if he becomes available, including Golden State, which a source says is “intrigued” by the 32-year-old swingman. “The biggest thing is winning,’’ Matthews said Sunday at his introductory press conference in New York, so the interest should be mutual.

Berman adds a few notes on other players:

  • The trade market for Kanter remains light and a buyout appears to be the most likely resolution. “[Knicks GM] Scott [Perry] and I are working together, collaborating and seeing if something makes sense,” said Kanter’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. “If nothing happens [Thursday], we’ll put our heads together.’’
  • DeAndre Jordan, who was also acquired in the Porzingis deal, doesn’t expect to be traded again. He would be happy to stay in New York and serve as a mentor to rookie center Mitchell Robinson. The Knicks have told Jordan they will consider keeping him past this season and may offer him their $5MM room exception if they use all their cap space as planned.
  • Several teams have inquired about Damyean Dotson, with the Kings being the latest to call.
  • New York could have three roster spots to fill with 10-day contracts by the end of the week. The team is watching John Jenkins, whose 10-day deal with the Wizards will expire on Saturday, to see if he becomes available. Jenkins had been playing with the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester before his NBA call-up.

O’Connor’s Latest: Gasol, Conley, OKC, Prince, More

As we relayed earlier today, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears that the Hornets‘ offer for Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick. That would be an underwhelming return for Gasol, but there hasn’t been much league-wide interest in the 34-year-old, O’Connor writes.

The Kings and Pistons were among the teams potentially in the mix for Gasol, according to O’Connor, but Memphis didn’t have any interest in Detroit center Andre Drummond and Sacramento was unwilling to part with promising young wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Grizzlies wanted.

The Raptors reportedly explored a potential Gasol deal, initially attempting to come up with an individual trade for one Grizzlies veteran before turning it into a package for both Gasol and Mike Conley, O’Connor writes. However, those talks didn’t advance and league sources tell The Ringer that it’s unlikely Toronto ends up with Gasol or Conley.

Elsewhere on the Conley front, the Jazz continue to make a strong push, with an offer that includes Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors, and a first-round pick, per O’Connor. The sense around the NBA is that the Grizzlies won’t settle for a modest return for Conley, which is something we heard in relation to the Pistons’ offer earlier today.

O’Connor’s latest piece for The Ringer features several more trade-related tidbits, so we’ll round them up here…

  • The Thunder are believed to be among the teams with interest in Cavaliers guard Alec Burks, league sources tell O’Connor. However, Burks wouldn’t fit into OKC’s $10.88MM trade exception. The Thunder, along with the Sixers and Trail Blazers, have expressed interest in Hawks wing Taurean Prince, O’Connor adds.
  • Following up on his report from last week about the Rockets and Grizzlies discussing a Brandon Knight trade, O’Connor suggests that Marquese Chriss and a first-round pick would also go to Memphis in that proposed deal. Houston would be targeting JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple in the swap, though it remains in the discussion stage for now.
  • The Kings have made calls about veteran forwards Harrison Barnes (Mavericks) and Otto Porter (Wizards) but have found no traction on a Porter deal, writes O’Connor.
  • While DeAndre Jordan looks like an obvious trade candidate, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the Knicks keep him around as a potential recruiter for Kevin Durant, according to O’Connor, who notes that Durant and Jordan are good friends. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News wrote about this subject on Tuesday.
  • League sources don’t expect the Celtics to do anything at the deadline with Terry Rozier, since he could serve as potential Kyrie Irving insurance or a sign-and-trade sweetener for Anthony Davis in the offseason, says O’Connor.
  • According to O’Connor, the Pacers remain open to moving one of their two veteran point guards, Cory Joseph or Darren Collison. Both players are on expiring contracts.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Kawhi, Rivers, Suns

Of the teams on Anthony Davis‘ reported wish list, the Bucks and Knicks likely don’t have the necessary assets to make a viable offer for the All-Star big man at this time. That leaves the Clippers as the biggest threat to the Lakers among those four preferred destinations. And while the Clips reportedly haven’t made an offer, Johan Buva of The Athletic argues that going all-in for Davis should be the franchise’s new Plan A.

[RELATED: Latest Anthony Davis Trade Rumors]

As Buva outlines, the Clippers have a plethora of assets that could interest the Pelicans, including young prospects with upside (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Montrezl Harrell), productive veterans (Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley), and all but one of their own future first-round picks. The team has had its eye on the 2019 free agent market as it considers how to take advantage of its cap flexibility, but acquiring Davis would perhaps be a more worthwhile gamble than rolling the dice in free agency, Buva writes.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • One of the Clippers‘ offseason free agent targets, Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, didn’t notice that Clips owner Steve Ballmer was sitting courtside for the club’s game in Toronto on Sunday, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. The Clippers have sent representatives to Raptors games throughout the season as they prepare to make a summer pitch to Leonard. “I’m not thinking about it right now. I’m just focused on the season,” Leonard said. “I didn’t know [Ballmer] was at the game until you guys told me. I’m focused and when that time comes we’ll have to talk and sit down with everyone and have meetings.”
  • Last week’s Kristaps Porzingis trade could have a ripple effect on teams like the Lakers and Clippers, as Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times explains. In addition to making the Knicks a more significant offseason threat for the same top free agents those L.A. teams will be chasing, the deal also turns a veteran like DeAndre Jordan into a buyout candidate. If Jordan is bought out, a reunion with the Clips would be a “definite possibility,” says Woike.
  • When he was traded from Washington to Phoenix earlier this season, Austin Rivers had a very brief stay with the Suns before being bought out. As Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic relays, Rivers explained this week that he and the lottery-bound Suns were on the same page when they acquired him. “They understood where I was at,” Rivers said. “I’m not old. I’m only 26, but where I’ve been. I’ve been on playoff teams the past five years. That’s kind of the route I wanted and I felt like was best for me, especially in a contract year. I want to be in the playoffs. I want to compete for something.”
  • Bob Young of The Athletic recently took a look at the Suns‘ trade-deadline plans and their approach to finding a long-term answer at point guard.

Western Notes: Davis, Warriors, Durant, Jordan, Bluiett

Amid all the trade talk, Anthony Davis has been on the sidelines due to a finger injury. That could change in the near future, whether or not he’s dealt by the Pelicans. Davis has been cleared to practice, ESPN’s Michael C. Wright reports. Davis has missed the last seven games with a sprained left index finger. However, it’s uncertain when Davis will return to action as coach Alvin Gentry was evasive on that topic.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors will take a hard look at the buyout market after the trade deadline but won’t necessarily add another piece, ESPN’s Nick Friedell reports. GM Bob Myers feels comfortable with his roster at the moment. “We’ll see who’s bought out, first of all,” Myers said. “And then if it’s a player we think makes sense that can help us win a championship, then we’ll look at it. … We’re still probably a week or so away from those things happening.”
  • Speculation over Kevin Durant‘s future hasn’t impacted Golden State’s locker room, Myers claimed in the same report. “I don’t necessarily feel that in the locker room personally,” Myers said. “I don’t feel like it’s become part of our fabric.”
  • DeAndre Jordan is unlikely to return to the Mavericks as a free agent this summer, Matt Mosley of the Dallas Morning News speculates. Jordan was included in the blockbuster deal with the Knicks that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. The only way Jordan would consider re-signing with Dallas for the second straight summer is if he fails to land a multi-year deal elsewhere. The Mavericks wouldn’t view Jordan as part of their long-term plan, Mosley adds.
  • Pelicans two-way guard Trevon Bluiett underwent surgery last week to repair an ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, according to a team press release. No timetable for his return has been announced. Bluiett has appeared in 24 G League games with the Salt Lake City Stars but has yet to make his NBA debut.

Wesley Matthews Would Be Popular Target On Buyout Market

Veteran swingman Wesley Matthews made his Knicks debut on Sunday, but it’s unclear how many more games he’ll play for the club. New York has received “multiple inquiries” about Matthews, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who hears from a source that the Sixers are expected to have some interest in a deal.

Berman writes that a buyout “won’t happen,” but that could be posturing from the Knicks’ side, as opening the door for that possibility would diminish Matthews’ value on the trade market. If the 32-year-old ends up being bought out, he’d be a popular free agent target, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Stein identifies the Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, 76ers, and Warriors as teams hoping Matthews makes it to free agency. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com had previously reported (via Twitter) that Houston would have interest in Matthews on the buyout market.

While the Knicks appear to be resisting the buyout route, it might be tricky for the club to find a taker for Matthews by Thursday’s deadline. The franchise has zero interest in taking on 2019/20 salary, and there aren’t a ton of expiring contracts around the NBA that make sense as salary-matching pieces for Matthews’ own $18.6MM expiring deal.

A team like the Kings might make sense as a trade partner for the Knicks, since they have $11MM in cap room and multiple non-rotation veterans on expiring deals, including Zach Randolph ($11.7MM). Clubs like the Rockets, Thunder, and Raptors, however, wouldn’t have a clear path to a trade, given their current cap situations, which is why they’re hoping Matthews is ultimately bought out.

As the Knicks consider their options with Matthews, it’s worth noting that head coach David Fizdale has said that he believes both Matthews and DeAndre Jordan could have a future in New York, as Berman relays. The Knicks are hoping that Jordan will be a “big influence” on rookie center Mitchell Robinson, Berman adds.

“Both of those guys have played some [playoff] series on some really good basketball teams,” Fizdale said. “And who knows what the future holds for these guys? They’re ours now, free agents at the end of the year, but who knows? I want them to come here and enjoy the process with us and really help the young guys.”

Knicks Notes: Jordan, Matthews, Zion, Davis

DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews may not be with the Knicks very long, but coach David Fizdale is preparing to use them, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. Acquired in the trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, both players are veterans with expiring contracts who will be buyout candidates if they aren’t traded by Thursday’s deadline.

“What I want to try to do with them is get them minutes where they can start helping our guys understand defense,” Fizdale said. “DeAndre is going to be a guy that really helps Mitchell (Robinson) and I think having him be able to do it with demonstration and not just words, I think, is going to be important.

“Because DeAndre, he’s a veteran version of what Mitchell is hoping to become. And the same with Wesley. I think Wes is really going to be able to help Dot (Damyean Dotson) and Zo (Allonzo Trier), especially when it comes to defending. So I want to be able to find him some minutes out there so that he can demonstrate it while he’s doing it.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • Knicks fans aren’t the only ones dreaming about the possibility of having Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson in their lineup next season. The expected No. 1 pick told Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv he has considered it as well. “It would be dope to play with KD and Kyrie, but like I said I’m enjoying college and whichever team drafts me I’m going to be ready to play hard and work,” Williamson said Saturday after Duke defeated St. John’s. The Knicks hold the top spot in our latest Reverse Standings.
  • The prospect of bringing two elite free agents to New York suddenly seems feasible now that the Knicks project to have about $70MM in cap space, writes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Fans welcomed Irving to Madison Square Garden Friday night with a rousing ovation, followed by chants of “We want Kyrie.” However, if the Knicks don’t get their top targets, Vorkunov wonders if they will be content with another year of rebuilding or if they’ll throw that money at players such as Tobias Harris and Kemba Walker.
  • The Knicks may have a path to team up Durant, Irving and Anthony Davis, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. He explains that New York could agree to a deal with the Pelicans before the draft involving its lottery pick, young players and future selections. The Knicks would then take whomever New Orleans wants, add Durant and Irving with cap space and finalize the Davis trade 30 days after the draftee signs his contract (Twitter link).