Delon Wright

Southeast Notes: Bertans, Wright, Dieng, Ball, Heat

The Wizards have plenty of options at the forward spots and that makes it difficult to project what will happen with Davis Bertans, Fred Katz of The Athletic notes. Bertans had a disappointing season after being re-signed on a five-year, $80MM contract. If Bertans drains 3-pointers at a prolific rate, he’ll play regularly. But if he gets off to a slow start, Washington will have a difficult decision to make regarding the highly-paid stretch four.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Summertime acquisitions Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng project to play on the Hawks’ second unit, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic says in his look at the team’s likely depth chart. De’Andre Hunter is tentatively penciled in as the starting small forward, though his meniscus surgery in June could alter that.
  • LaMelo Ball took an unusual path to the NBA, leaving high school to play professionally in Lithuania and Australia before he was drafted. He has no regrets about that strategy, Scott Gleeson of USA Today relays from a GQ interview with the Hornets point guard. “You want go to the league, so school’s not your priority,” he said. “We not trippin’ off school. … We don’t need school.”
  • The Heat have a reputation for developing unheralded and undrafted players, prompting Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald to take a closer look at their program.

Kings Acquire Tristan Thompson In Three-Way Deal

AUGUST 7: The three-team trade is now official, the Kings, Celtics, and Hawks all announced today in press releases.

The 2023 second-round pick that the Hawks are sending to Boston originally belonged to the Trail Blazers and was shipped to Atlanta by the Clippers in the Lou Williams trade in March, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).


JULY 30: The Celtics are trading veteran big man Tristan Thompson to the Hawks for guard Kris Dunn, forward Bruno Fernando and a 2023 second-rounder, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

However, Thompson isn’t staying with the Hawks. He’s being forwarded to the Kings, with guard Delon Wright going to Atlanta.

All the players in the three-way deal have expiring contracts. Thompson will make $9.7MM next season, while Dunn will secure just over $5MM and Fernando will collect $1.8MM. Wright will make approximately $8.5MM next season.

The move pushes the Celtics another $3MM below the luxury tax threshold, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Dunn had a player option on his contract and opted in earlier this week, which made the trade viable.

After nine seasons in Cleveland, Thompson played in 54 regular-season games with the Celtics, including 43 starts. He averaged 7.6 PPG and 8.1 RPG.

Dunn’s lone season in Atlanta was a washout due to an ankle injury.  He only appeared in four regular-season games, but does give the Celtics another option for their backcourt rotation with Kemba Walker getting traded this offseason.

Fernando, an early second-round pick in 2019, appeared in 89 regular-season games during his first two years in the league.

Thompson gives the Kings some frontcourt insurance with Richaun Holmes entering free agency.

Wright averaged 10.0 PPG and 3.6 APG in 27 games with Sacramento after being acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline. Wright can play either guard spot and will likely slide into a backup role with Atlanta.

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:

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Fox, Toscano-Anderson, Jackson

Marvin Bagley III may be on the move after this season, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (video link). The second overall pick in the 2018 draft is averaging 13.9 PPG and 7.4 RPG but the Kings‘ power forward hasn’t played since mid-March due to a hand injury.

“His name came up at the trade deadline,” Ham said. “It’s very possible he will not be with this team after this summer. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.”

Bagley is eligible for a rookie scale extension before next season but Ham is skeptical the Kings will pursue a new deal. “I don’t think there’s any way he’s getting his extension,” Ham said.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox will be sidelined up to two weeks after entering the league’s health and safety protocols. That means Tyrese Haliburton will be in the lineup, going against top perimeter defenders, and Delon Wright will see his minutes expand, Jason Jones of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Warriors’ Juan Toscano-Anderson considers himself a “fringe” player until he receives some contractual security, Steve Berman of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. “Until I sign my name on that dotted line with a guaranteed contract, I’m still going to treat myself as a fringe NBA player,” he said. “My back’s always against the wall.” Toscano-Anderson is on a two-way contract with Golden State.
  • Reggie Jackson is enjoying a bounce-back season after re-signing with the Clippers for the veteran’s minimum and he’s having fun again, he told Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times“Just be ready for anything and be appreciative of what’s going on and really just re-fall in love with the game,” he said. Jackson is averaging 10.5 PPG and 3.2 APG and shooting a career-high 44.1% from deep.

Pacific Notes: CP3, Suns, Oubre, Kings, Metu

The Suns, who last made the NBA postseason 11 years ago, remain very much in the hunt for the top seed in the Western Conference, as their 41-16 mark puts them just a game-and-a-half behind the 43-15 Jazz. While the ongoing development of several young Phoenix players has been a major factor in the team’s improvement, the offseason arrival of Chris Paul was arguably the key turning point in making the Suns a legitimate contender.

“I don’t have enough time to talk about everything he’s done,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said of Paul, per Royce Young of ESPN. “He’s brought such a — he’s improved the winning mentality. All of our guys want to win. But when you see a guy that has done it from afar and then you look at how he does it, from his diet to the exercise routine he has every day, and then in game when he’s able to be in those situations and really lift the level of our team, it’s pretty cool to watch.”

In addition to impressing Williams, who said he has “story after story” about the impact Paul has had in Phoenix, the veteran point guard has made a lasting impression on his young teammates, including fellow All-Star guard Devin Booker.

“I’m inspired every day. I tell Chris that every day. It’s not something I’m going to take for granted,” Booker said of his Suns’ backcourt mate. “I pick his brain. I listen to him — closely. I watch how he moves, and even when he’s not talking or leading us, I just watch how he goes about his business. There’s so much respect for him and not just from me, but leaguewide and worldwide.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Warriors forward Kelly Oubre made some comments in March suggesting he wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea of coming off the bench, but he accepted a reserve role in stride upon his return to action on Monday, head coach Steve Kerr told reporters (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Oubre’s role as a sixth man gives the second unit a boost this season and could be a preview of next season’s rotation if the 25-year-old re-signs with Golden State, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • The Kings have been in a brutal slump this month, but their deadline additions continue to look good, as Delon Wright and Terence Davis played key role in a Sunday win that snapped a nine-game losing streak, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic.
  • Kings big man Chimezie Metu, who missed nearly a month-and-a-half earlier this season due to broken wrist he suffered when he was thrown to the court by Jonas Valanciunas, said he’s not holding a grudge toward the Grizzlies center, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee relays. “It is frustrating looking back on it at times because who knows what could have happened in those six weeks for myself and what that could have meant for my career or for the team, for the team’s success,” Metu said. “… It’s tough looking back at it. It was tough in the moment, but I hold no hate in my heart for Valanciunas.”

Pacific Notes: T. Davis, Kings, Thompson, Craig

Terence Davis hopes last week’s trade to the Kings will give him a fresh start and help him leave off-the-court issues behind, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. After scoring 27 points Saturday in a narrow loss to the Bucks, Davis addressed the legal matters that arose in October when he was still with the Raptors.

Davis was originally charged with seven counts of domestic violence, but all charges relating to an alleged assault were eventually dropped by the New York District Attorney’s office. He still faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief, but those will reportedly dissolve in a year if he avoids further legal trouble.

“When you’re going through something like that, it defines you as a person, as a man, for me, as a father,” Davis said. “I’m just excited to be here, excited to be a part of the Kings. I’m happy man, I’m ready to get to work and continue to work. This is a fresh start for me, man, I just want to take advantage of it.

“As an individual, I’m a tough dude. You know, just having to deal with so much. I haven’t really seen my son in a while. I’m getting kinda teary right now, man, just talking about this situation. I’ve been through a lot. I’m just happy to be here and happy that the Kings welcomed me with open arms.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings‘ new additions were noticeable for the energy they brought to Saturday’s game, while the holdovers didn’t seem to provide as much toughness and competitiveness, observes James Jones of The Athletic. The Kings have lost some of their veteran leaders in recent years and they’re hoping to get those qualities from Davis, Maurice Harkless and Delon Wright, who were all acquired at the deadline. “I’m excited about these guys our front office brought in,” coach Luke Walton said. “I think that will, with some more time, will continue to get us there faster. But when they come in, there’s an intensity level they’re playing with. And that’s how it has to be at the start of games, middle of games.”
  • Klay Thompson delivered a message to his Warriors teammates after a 53-point loss Friday night, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. The injured guard talked about the need to uphold the tradition that the franchise has built. “He was just kind of going off about how he missed the game and how it’s just not acceptable to lose this way,” Kent Bazemore said. “He’s fired up, man. It’s hard watching, regardless if you’re playing or not playing.”
  • The Suns acquired Torrey Craig at the deadline, but they were hoping to add him last offseason, coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Craig said he wanted to sign with Phoenix at the time, but “pretty crazy and pretty wild and unpredictable” things happened and he chose the Bucks instead.

Kings Notes: Wright, Davis, Harkless, Bagley

There was speculation in the weeks leading up to March 25 that the Kings could be major sellers at the trade deadline, with players like Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, and Richaun Holmes frequently mentioned as possible candidates to be on the move.

However, general manager Monte McNair chose another direction, making a series of smaller-scale deals to add talent to the current roster, rather than dealing away established veterans for long-term assets. While Sacramento didn’t go all-in, the team’s deadline deals made clear that the playoffs are still a goal in 2021.

“I think really we saw this year that there were maybe some traditional buy/sell moves, but I think where we categorize ourselves was like, value buyers,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “We kinda explored all opportunities and this is what came to the forefront.”

As Sean Cunningham of ABC10 tweets, McNair said the Kings entered the deadline hoping to add depth and defense, and he felt like they did that by acquiring Delon Wright, Terence Davis, Maurice Harkless, and Chris Silva.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • The Kings’ deadline deals are paying dividends so far, with Wright, Davis, and Harkless helping the team extend its winning streak to five games on Monday night in San Antonio, Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “Delon does a great job of making sure our pace is good. TD adds an aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. Moe is just savvy, smart, knows where to be,” center Richaun Holmes said of his new teammates. “Those guys came in ready to fit in and ready to help the team.”
  • Kings big man Marvin Bagley III has remained away from the team while he recovers from his left hand fracture, but he has remained in constant communication with the Kings and the plan is for him to rejoin the club as he gets closer to returning to action, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
  • In case you missed it, an earlier report indicated that Holmes’ price tag in free agency this summer could be upwards of $20MM per year, with Charlotte among the teams expected to challenge Holmes for free agent center.

Central Notes: Pistons, Karnišovas, Drummond, Portis

In trading away Delon Wright to the Kings (and receiving veteran point guard Cory Joseph and two second-rounders in return), the Pistons have opened up playing time for their still-developing collective of young guards, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit News.

“We like our young pieces and we’re getting guys back healthy here soon, so it’s going to be a lot of opportunities for guys to come out and compete — and that’s what we’re doing; we’re not just rolling the ball out there,” head coach Dwane Casey said of the post-deadline Pistons. “Guys have to do their job on the offensive end and the defensive end develop winning habits.”

The 12-33 Pistons are currently the bottom seed in the Eastern Conference, and in moving on from established veterans like Wright, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin this season, they have clearly exhibited their commitment to developing the youth around star forward Jerami Grant.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Bulls team president Artūras Karnišovas discussed Chicago’s very active trade deadline that saw the team add All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and others, and his hopes for the team to become a free agent destination, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “We’re not done (improving the team),” Karnišovas said. “We’re going to keep improving our quality of play. And then keep adding pieces to what this team is going to look like in the future.”
  • Before ultimately agreeing to a buyout with veteran center Andre Drummond, the Cavaliers talked to the Mavericks and Raptors about potential trades for the former two-time All-Star’s expiring $28.7MM contract, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavs were ultimately unable to find a deal that made sense.
  • Bucks reserve big man Bobby Portis has been sidelined since Milwaukee’s game Friday against the Celtics as a result of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Pistons, Kings Swap Delon Wright, Cory Joseph

MARCH 25: The Kings have announced that their trade to acquire Wright is now official.


MARCH 24: The Pistons will send guard Delon Wright to the Kings in exchange for guard Cory Joseph and a pair of second-round picks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The second-rounders in the deal are this year’s selection from the Lakers and Sacramento’s choice in 2024.

Wright, 28, was traded to Detroit in November. He took over as the Pistons’ starting point guard after an early-season injury to Killian Hayes and is averaging 10.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games. Wright is under contract for one more year at $8.5MM before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2022. The Kings will be his fifth team in the last three seasons.

In Sacramento, Wright will join a backcourt rotation headed by De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. As Bobby Marks of ESPN explains (via Twitter), the Kings had hoped to improve their depth during the coming offseason, so the acquisition of Wright gives them a jump-start on that process. They’ll also create a modest $3.6MM trade exception in the deal.

Joseph, 29, was in his second season with Sacramento. He’s averaging 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 43 games, mostly as a reserve. Joseph is set to earn $12.6MM in 2021/22, but the contract is only partially guaranteed ($2.4MM) until August 1, so the Pistons may opt to waive him before next season to save some money.

“All I’ll say is that I really, really enjoy coaching Cory, and his spirit, his professionalism has been great to coach and great for this group,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “He is a pleasure to coach and I’ll leave it at that” (Twitter link from Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee).

The pair of second-round picks headed the Pistons’ way look  like the prime motivator for the club to complete the deal. Detroit had traded away several of its own second-rounders, including three of them in last November’s deal for Saddiq Bey, so this helps restock the team’s stash of picks to some extent. The Pistons now own three second-rounders in 2021 — while they’ve traded away their own pick, they’ll control the Lakers’ selection, as well as Charlotte’s and Toronto’s.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Rumors: Turner, Pistons, Plumlee, Diallo, Bulls

The Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Hornets, and Pelicans are among the teams to explore whether the Pacers are willing to trade big man Myles Turner, league sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

The Pacers were willing to discuss Turner in trade talks during the 2020 offseason and have lost 17 of their last 26 games after an 8-4 start this season, so it’s no surprise that teams are inquiring on the NBA’s leading shot-blocker.

However, Michael says that if Indiana does look to make a move at the trade deadline, it’s unlikely to involve Turner, who has developed into a crucial part of the team’s success. The Pacers have been better both offensively and defensively when he’s on the court.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Within his look at some hypothetical trades for the Pistons, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that the team is seriously discussing trades involving Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, and Mason Plumlee, adding that there have been some “whispers” about the Nets potentially being interested in Plumlee.
  • Hamidou Diallo‘s Pistons debut will be delayed a little longer due to his groin strain, head coach Dwane Casey said on Monday (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press). Diallo missed his last several games with Oklahoma City as a result of the injury, which he suffered on February 24.
  • The Bulls‘ new-look rotation got off to a good start on Sunday, as the team comfortably defeated Toronto with Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young replacing Coby White and Wendell Carter in the starting lineup. Head coach Billy Donovan cautioned after the game that the new starting five isn’t “set in stone” (Twitter link via Eric Woodyard of ESPN). However, the affected players sounded fully on board with the changes, with Carter stating that he would’ve benched himself too, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic explores what the lineup changes might say about the Bulls‘ approach to the trade deadline, suggesting that the team seems unlikely to be a seller.