DeMarre Carroll

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Carroll, Bulls, Cavs, Howard

Trey Burke will be the Knicks‘ starting point guard to open the season, but Frank Ntilikina also earned a job in the starting five, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Head coach David Fizdale, who indicated in camp that starting jobs would be based on merit, rewarded Ntilikina for his strong fall, and hopes the decision to bring Kevin Knox off the bench will motivate the rookie (Twitter link via Begley).

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • DeMarre Carroll will undergo a surgical procedure on his injured ankle, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters today (Twitter link via Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily). Atkinson downplayed the seriousness of that procedure, but didn’t offer a timetable for Carroll’s return (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).
  • The Bulls joined the ever-growing list of NBA teams that wear a sponsored advertisement on their jerseys, announcing on Tuesday that they’ve partnered with eyewear company Zenni Optical, as Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times details. The Bulls and Zenni Optical reached an agreement on a five-year partnership, which will involve various market elements in addition to the new ad patch on Chicago’s uniforms.
  • A pair of Cavaliers trade exceptions expired when they went unused on Monday. The exceptions were modest — one created by trading Richard Jefferson last October was worth $2.5MM, while the other, created by trading Kay Felder, was worth approximately $1.3MM.
  • Although Dwight Howard‘s status for opening night remains unclear, the new Wizards center practiced in full on Monday for the first time, per Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link).

Nets Notes: Graham, Carroll, Davis, Allen

After two years with the Hornets, Treveon Graham signed with the Nets during the offseason because he wanted a chance to compete for serious playing time, relays Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily. Graham appeared in just 27 games as a rookie, but worked his way into Charlotte’s rotation last year, averaging 16.7 minutes in 63 games. He accepted a one-year deal with a team option to come to Brooklyn in hopes of showing that he’s worthy of a larger role.

“What I told them as they were recruiting me was I wanted to go somewhere that I can compete for a job,” Graham said. “I understand nothing is going to be guaranteed to me. I’m going to fight for my minutes. That’s something they liked about me; how I am and how hard I work.”

Getting minutes won’t be easy to get as the Nets are stocked at the wing with DeMarre CarrollAllen Crabbe, Joe HarrisCaris LeVertDzanan MusaJared Dudley and Theo Pinson. However, Graham is eager for the competition.

“I feel like it’s up to me,” he said. “If I play and how much I play is up to me. It’s up to me to get in the gym and work. It’s up to me to show that I deserve to be on the court. I don’t want anything handed to me and that’s why I came here.”

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • Entering his second year with the Nets, Carroll is grateful that the team brought in more veterans this summer to help with leadership roles, Fonseca writes in a separate story. In addition to Davis, Brooklyn signed 30-year old free agent Ed Davis and traded for the 33-year-old Dudley. “It’s just great to have another person who’s been through the fire and understands what it takes to win,” Carroll said.
  • Davis has become a valuable teacher for 20-year-old center Jarrett Allen, according to Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Davis, who has been in the league for eight years, has been sharing his knowledge of the finer points of post play and challenging Allen in practice. “It’s been helpful,” Allen said. “Ed Davis is amazing at rebounding. It’s helping me get ready for the season. … If he gets an offensive rebound, Coach is going to be yelling, and you don’t want Coach yelling. It’s my job to keep him off the glass.”
  • This year’s draft picks, Musa and Rodions Kurucs, won’t object if they are asked to spend some time in the G League, relays Net Income on NetsDaily

New York Notes: Randle, Stauskas, Knicks, Turner

The Nets are among the teams interested in signing Lakers forward Julius Randle to an offer sheet, according to an article on NetsDaily. Brooklyn would like to reunite D’Angelo Russell with Randle, who is a close friend and one of the few Lakers who showed support for Russell when Magic Johnson publicly questioned his leadership abilities. They also share the same agent in Aaron Mintz.

A few things will have to break the Nets’ way for them to have a shot at Randle. The Lakers will have to land both LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, limiting what they would be willing to spend on their restricted free agent, and the Mavericks, who are also known to covet Randle, would have to use most of their cap room to sign DeAndre Jordan.

Even if those dominoes fall into place, the Nets still have to trim some salary to come up with an offer sheet that starts in the $12MM to $15MM range. The article states that sweeteners such as up-front money and trade bonuses could be included to make it more difficult for the Lakers to match. To create cap room, the author adds, the Nets would have to get Dwight Howard to accept a buyout in the next few days and trade either Jeremy Lin or DeMarre Carroll.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Even though the Nets decided against a qualifying offer for Nik Stauskas, that doesn’t mean he’ll be in a different uniform next season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn views Stauskas as a lower-cost alternative if Joe Harris leaves in free agency, where he is expected to get a deal three to four times higher than his $1.5MM salary for 2017/18. Mark Bartelstein, who serves as the agent for both players, isn’t sure the decision will come down to one or the other. “We’ll see how things play out over the next two days,” he said. “We’ll be keeping the lines of communication open for the next few days. I know the Nets like Nik a lot. We’ll see how the roster shapes up.”
  • Pacers center Myles Turner could be the Knicks‘ top free agent target next summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Turner will be a restricted free agent if he doesn’t sign an extension with Indiana this summer. His family lives in New York, and he and Kristaps Porzingis are friends. Begley lists Terry Rozier and Malcolm Brogdon as other names to watch in 2019.
  • James Dolan has denied rumors that he is thinking about putting the Knicks up for sale, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Madison Square Garden Company released a statement Friday night saying, “There are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers.”

Nets, Clippers, Sixers Exploring Draft Trades?

The Nets, who currently hold the 29th, 40th, and 45th overall picks in the 2018 NBA draft, would like to move up into the teens if possible, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

Scotto identifies the Nuggets (No. 14), Wizards (No. 15), and Bucks (No. 17) as three teams picking in the middle of the first round who are currently in win-now mode, making them potential trade partners for Brooklyn. The Nets could dangle modestly-priced point guard Spencer Dinwiddie in trade talks, according to Scotto, who notes that veteran forward DeMarre Carroll may appeal to some teams too. Carroll played for new Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta.

Scotto suggests that the Nets would rather not compromise their 2019 cap flexibility, so if they take on any salary in a trade, they’d prefer expiring contracts. That could make them a match with the Denver or Washington — both teams will probably be looking to shed some salary this offseason and are carrying pricey veterans entering contract years.

According to Scotto, the Nets aren’t the only team mulling the possibility of a move up. As Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported earlier this week, the Clippers have weighed trading up in the lottery too.

Per Scotto, the Clips have made calls to multiple teams in the top 10 to inquire on how much it would cost to make a deal. In addition to holding the 12th and 13th overall picks, Los Angeles has some veterans entering contract years. Tobias Harris would be a particularly appealing trade chip if the team is willing to move him.

The Sixers are one more team to keep an eye on when it comes to draft-related trades, Scotto observes, pointing out that Philadelphia currently owns two first-round picks and four second-rounders. The club figures to move at least one or two of those selections, and may target draft-and-stash prospects with some others, says Scotto.

Injury Notes: F. Jackson, Butler, Harris, Barea

Pelicans rookie Frank Jackson is making progress after having his third surgical procedure in 11 months, relays Christian Boutwell of The Advocate. The most recent operation, performed March 19, was follow-up surgery on his right foot to take out scar tissue left over from previous surgeries. Jackson was in New Orleans for tonight’s game and offered an update on his condition.

“Feels great. I’m already walking,” he said. “I’m like two weeks out of surgery. I’m walking. I’m in a boot for another week and then I’ll be out of that. My pain’s completely gone. That’s why I did it. Just taking care of it now.”

A second-round pick out of Duke, Jackson had a stress reaction in his foot that caused him to miss the summer league, then fractured it in late August. Jackson said he is hoping to be ready for summer league this year.

There’s more injury news from around the league:

  • It appears the Timberwolves and Nuggets will both be missing key players for tomorrow night’s showdown in Denver. Jimmy Butler is listed as doubtful for Minnesota as he tries to come back after surgery to fix a torn meniscus, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague are both questionable. Denver guard Gary Harris will miss the game as he continues to rehab a right knee injury, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune (Twitter link).
  • Mavericks guard J.J. Barea left tonight’s game after suffering a left oblique strain, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. With just three games remaining, it’s possible that Barea’s season is over.
  • Nets forward DeMarre Carroll has a strained left hip and will be day-to-day for the rest of the season, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
  • Magic forward Jonathon Simmons may miss the rest of the season with a badly bruised right wrist, according to John Denton of NBA.com. Simmons sat out his eighth straight game tonight and is upset about not being able to play after signing a three-year, $18MM contract last summer. “My disappointment is about my love for the game and not wanting to let these guys down under the circumstances,” he said. “I’d love to be out there fighting with these guys, and the most disappointing part is not being able to be out there with my teammates.’’

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Carroll, Russell, Horford, Noah

In an opinion piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer, David Murphy writes that the Sixers should play Markelle Fultz this season if and when he is healthy enough to return, even though there is an argument to be made for shutting Fultz down for the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign.

Murphy opines that the Sixers often struggle to find an offensive dimension that allows opportunities for guys to create their own shots, the need for which increases during playoff time as defenses more readily prepare for the opposition. As veteran Ersan Ilyasova put it, “In the playoffs, when you play a seven-game series, you have to execute and kind of always bring something unique, because everybody’s studied each other.”

The Sixers had scored just 251 points on isolation plays this season, the fewest in the NBA, and they also rate poorly in pick-and-roll efficiency, scoring on drives, and getting fouled on drives.

Enter Fultz, who could be the type of player to possibly add this needed dimension to the Sixers’ rotation. “He can make us better,” head coach Brett Brown said. “… Just what he does in open court, what he does with a live ball. I think he can be different from any player that we already have. What I see in practice sometimes, you understand completely why he was the first player chosen in the NBA draft.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • In his first season with the Nets, veteran forward DeMarre Carroll has done everything asked of him and more, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Carroll has started at power forward and even played center, all while keeping an upbeat attitude through the team’s rebuilding. “I’m feeling good,” said Carroll. “This is the best I’ve felt in my career. I feel like playing with these young guys is rejuvenating me and making me feel even younger. I’ve just got to keep trying to show these guys by example, rather than doing the talking.”
  • In another article for the New York Post, Lewis reports that Nets guard D’Angelo Russell is finally learning to work on his defense. Always a gifted scorer, Russell will continue to improve defensively as he gets older, bigger, and stronger, per head coach Kenny Atkinson.
  • Current Thunder head coach Billy Donovan still speaks highly of his former player at Florida – Celtics big man Al Horford, reports Taylor Snow of Celtics.com. “What I’ve always respected about (Al) is that it’s always about winning; he’ll do whatever he has to do to win and sacrifice whatever he has to to win.”
  • Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t have much news to report on the Joakim Noah front, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. Asked how the whole situation would resolve, Hornacek punted to general manager Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills.

Atlantic Rumors: Miller, Sixers, Dinwiddie, Irving

The small forward spot continues to be a nagging problem for the Raptors, as Michael Grange of SportsNet details. Two-way player Malcolm Miller got a chance to start on Sunday with OG Anunoby sidelined by a sprained ankle, though he only played 14 minutes. Norman Powell has struggled for most of the season, Grange adds. “That position is probably going to be fluid,” coach Dwane Casey told Grange and other media members. “We’ll keep looking at different people. It’s a situation where we’ve got to get a lot of people ready and this is an opportunity to do that.”

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The owner of the Sixers’ Wells Fargo Center will pump $250MM into the building for renovations, Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Comcast Spectacor will make those upgrades over the next three summers, with about 21,500 seats being replaced without affecting any Sixers games. The company chose that plan over tearing it down and building a new facility on the same lot, Fernandez adds.
  • Nets forward DeMarre Carroll has challenged point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to figure out how to coexist with D’Angelo Russell, he revealed to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Dinwiddie hasn’t come close to matching the numbers he put up with Russell sidelined by a knee injury and Carroll is trying to shake Dinwiddie out of his funk. “What toes are you going to step on if you’re helping the team?” Carroll told Lewis. “That Spence was helping our team win a lot of games, so it’s not stepping on toes. … That’s why all of y’all have grown to love Spence, because of the way he’s been playing, attacking the goal, playing with a chip on his shoulder. He’s just got to get back to that Spence, playing like he’s got a chip on his shoulder.”
  • Kyrie Irving has emerged as a stable, consistent leader since he was traded to the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBCSports.com opines. Irving has embraced the concept of doing whatever coach Brad Stevens asks of him even if it adversely affects his statistics, Blakely concludes.

Trade Deadline Rumors: Carroll, Kings, Lakers, C’s

The Nets and Pacers have considered a deal that would send DeMarre Carroll to Indiana in exchange for Al Jefferson, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The deal would be a way for Brooklyn to clear money for next season, as Carroll is owed $15.4MM, while Jefferson has a $10MM salary that’s only partially guaranteed.

Carroll, who was traded to the Nets over the summer, is averaging career highs in scoring (13.2), rebounds (6.4) and assists (1.9). Jefferson has settled into a reserve role since coming to Indiana two years ago and is averaging 6.7 points and 3.9 assists in 26 games.

There’s more to report as the trade deadline draws closer:

  • The Kings are willing to move second-year center Georgios Papagiannis if they need to open a roster spot to complete a larger trade, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (Twitter link). However, Sacramento has since agreed to trade Malachi Richardson in a deal that seems designed to open up a roster spot.
  • With Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis both battling injuries, the Suns may be interested in a minor deal for point guard help, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Josh Gray is the only healthy option currently on the roster.
  • The Lakers appear to be done with major deals after acquiring Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye from the Cavaliers, relays Bill Oram of the SoCalNewsGroup (Twitter link). Oram adds that a minor trade could still be in the works.
  • The Celtics remain engaged on several trade fronts, but continue to be reluctant to include a first-round pick in a deal, sources tell Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers weren’t able to gain any traction with the Hornets on a Kemba Walker trade before pulling the trigger on a series of separate deals, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Hornets Michael Jordan places a high value on Walker and won’t move him cheaply, Woj adds. Jordan said in a recent interview that he wouldn’t part with Walker “for anything but an All-Star player.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Heat Exploring Deals For Wing Help

The Heat are exploring the trade market for help on the wing, and they’re among the teams that have expressed interest in Hawks swingman Marco Belinelli, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. While Miami has interest in Belinelli, he’s one of several wings that the team has done due diligence on, Jackson notes.

Here’s more on the Heat, as they consider their trade options:

  • Although the Heat want to add a wing player, they’re not desperate to make a deal before Thursday’s trade deadline, according to Jackson, who says he’d be surprised if the team parts with Justise Winslow for a rental.
  • Despite having signed Joe Johnson when he was bought out by Brooklyn two years ago, the Heat wouldn’t be the favorites to land the veteran forward if he’s waived by the Jazz this month, says Jackson.
  • The Heat were identified this week as a team that has expressed interest in DeMarre Carroll, prompting Jackson to explore whether Miami might be interested in trading Winslow and Tyler Johnson to the Nets in exchange for Carroll. It’s an interesting idea, since the Nets originally signed Johnson to his current contract, which will get much more expensive in 2018/19. Such a deal would allow the Heat to save some long-term money and would net Brooklyn another former lottery pick. However, Brian Lewis of The New York Post says the Nets have no plans to make that swap.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Embiid, Carroll, Raptors

The Sixers need to decide whether they’re willing to part with an asset to speed up the rebuilding process, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The physical and shot-related problems affecting first-round pick Markelle Fultz have left Philadelphia without a guard who can provide a scoring boost off the bench. There are two obvious targets in the Grizzlies’ Tyreke Evans and the Clippers’ Lou Williams, but neither will come cheap.

A league source tells Pompey the Sixers are interested in Evans, while reports have also linked them to Williams, who started his career in Philadelphia. The Celtics and other teams are targeting the same players, which may increase the asking price. The Hawks’ Marco Belinelli is a lower-cost option who could also provide bench scoring, and all three have expiring contracts, so they won’t affect future cap space.

Pompey says the Sixers shouldn’t be willing to give up a first-rounder for any of the three players because of their position in the standings. Stuck at .500 through the first 50 games of the season, Philadelphia is unlikely to be a title contender, and Evans, Williams or Belinelli won’t change that. He suggests holding onto first-rounders in case they’re needed for a larger trade in the future.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers center Joel Embiid is showing no ill effects after playing in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, according to an ESPN report. Embiid played 34 minutes Saturday after logging 31 minutes Friday, marking a significant milestone in a career defined by injuries. “I felt great,” Embiid said. “My legs weren’t tired. My body was fine. I could feel it just a little bit. But I was fine.” Embiid has already played 39 games, surpassing the total of 31 from last year in what was technically his rookie season.
  • Nets forward DeMarre Carroll has been mentioned as a trade target, but he wants to stay in Brooklyn, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Carroll’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told him several teams have expressed interest in a deal, but nothing is definite. “He talked to [GM] Sean [Marks] and they value me a lot here,” Carroll said. “You really don’t know what’ll happen. He just told me stay focused and continue to keep on doing well. I’m old enough I understand rumors are rumors. Until somebody calls and I’m shipping up out of here, continue to keep playing great basketball for the Brooklyn Nets.”
  • The Raptors should wait until after the trade deadline to upgrade their roster, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Toronto has been carrying an open roster spot all season and has the chance to do well in the buyout market without giving up an asset.