DeMarre Carroll

Atlantic Notes: Noah, Carroll, Nets, Anunoby

The Knicks have played three games since Joakim Noah was reinstated from a 20-game drug-related suspension. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year has been inactive for all three contests. With three centers ahead of Noah on the Knicks’ depth chart (Enes Kanter, Kyle O’Quinn, and Willy Hernangomez), he is patiently waiting for an opportunity that may never come, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Noah, 32, signed a four-year, $72MM deal with New York last offseason. That contract has become arguably the most untradeable deal in the NBA, given his declined skillset, recent drug suspension, and high salary. Head coach Jeff Hornacek said he will not change the Knicks’ lineup to insert Noah into the rotation anytime soon. Thus, the former Bulls center has accepted the reality of his predicament.

“Listen, man, you guys understand the situation right now,’’ Noah said. “I’m just trying to be the best that I can be. I don’t know what that is. I’m not playing. I haven’t played in 10 months. I’ve gone through some injuries. I’ve gone through a lot of things. But at the same time this is not — I’m not making an excuse. This is my reality.”

Noah played in 46 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 5.0 PPG, his lowest total in a season where he played at least 30 games. While he does provide some value on defense and he grabbed 8.8 RPG last season, Noah’s best bet to play is if the Knicks cut their losses and stretch him — which we wrote is a possibility earlier this week.

Check out other news across the Atlantic Division:

  • DeMarre Carroll has been a vocal and physical presence for the Nets early this season but his work off-the-court defines his legacy, Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily profiles. Caroll overcame a rare liver disease while he was a college player at Missouri and enjoyed a successful near decade-long NBA career. As Puccio writes, Carroll’s Carroll Family Foundation has been a crucial part of his efforts to help others with his coach and fellow teammates speaking glowingly of the ninth-year forward.
  • Joe Tsai, who purchased a 49% stake in the Nets recently, had reportedly included a unique stipulation in the sale where he refused to cover any losses associated with player contracts. However, a Nets source denied that to NetsDaily and the original report from Bloomberg News has been altered to state that such a provision was discussed but never agreed upon.
  • While P.J. Tucker‘s stint in the Toronto impressed the Raptors, particularly his defensive toughness, head coach Dwane Casey believes the team has another Tucker-type player in OG Anunoby, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes.

Atlantic Notes: Miles, Morris, Covington, Olynyk

C.J. Miles and Norman Powell enter the Raptors’ training camp as the primary contenders for the starting small forward spot, coach Dwane Casey told Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and other media members. The winner in the competition will join guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, power forward Serge Ibaka and center Jonas Valanciunas in the starting five. Miles, the former Pacers swingman, was signed by Toronto as a free agent in July. “It could be either one,” Casey said.Delon Wright may see some minutes at the three because he’s a versatile young man. Bruno (Caboclo) gives you a standstill shooter.” The spot opened up when DeMarre Carroll was dealt to the Nets in July.

In other developments around the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics forward Marcus Morris will miss the start of training camp Tuesday until his trial on an aggravated assault charge in Arizona is resolved, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports. His brother, Wizards forward Markieff Morris, is also on trial on in the felony case. Marcus Morris was acquired by Boston this summer in the deal that sent guard Avery Bradley to the Pistons.  The Morris brothers face possible prison time and discipline from the NBA, including a minimum 10-game suspension if they are found guilty, Forsberg adds.
  • Sixers forward Robert Covington strikes an optimistic note that an agreement will be reached regarding an extension or renegotiation of his current contract, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. Covington, who stands to make less than $1.6MM this season, is in the unusual position of being eligible for an extension or renegotiation. It can’t be finalized until November 15, the three-year anniversary of when Covington signed his current deal.
  • Power forward Kelly Olynyk never wanted to leave the Celtics, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe notes. The Celtics’ brass kept in touch with Olynyk during the Gordon Hayward free agent saga, Washburn adds. When Hayward agreed to join Boston, Olynyk’s rights were renounced to create cap space and he soon signed with the Heat.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Simmons, Carroll

The Raptors have four players on non-guaranteed deals effectively auditioning for the final two guaranteed slots on their roster, Josh Lewenberg of TSN writes. Given the number of veterans the team lost over the offseason, the individuals who end up in the 14th and 15th spots on the squad could actually see meaningful minutes in 2017/18.

Among those battling for one of the final openings on the lone Canadian team’s roster is Canadian national team forward Kyle Wiltjer. Wiltjer didn’t make much of an impact on the playoff-bound Rockets last season but serves as a potent deep ball threat, not unlike outgoing Raptors forward Patrick Patterson.

Wiltjer will face stiff competition making the Raptors, especially from the versatile K.J. McDaniels who failed to stick with the Nets last season but has otherwise shown promise as an incredibly versatile, Swiss army knife of a forward.

Also vying for the final two spots will be Kennedy Meeks and Alfonzo McKinnie, the latter of whom Lewenberg mentions along with McDaniels to be the ones to watch as training camp begins and the Raptors inch closer to finalizing their roster.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Celtics, Knicks, Carroll

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas won’t need surgery to fix the right hip injury that forced him out of the playoffs, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Several hip specialists evaluated Thomas, but no course of action could be determined until the swelling lessened. The injury first struck Thomas in mid-March, then was aggravated in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Wizards. “Isaiah is making good progress,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “He’s out on the court, he’s shooting. He’s full speed ahead on the stationary bike and working in the swimming pool. He’s progressing nicely.” As long as there are no setbacks, Thomas is expected to be ready for training camp.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • For the second straight season, the Celtics appear headed to camp with more than 15 guaranteed contracts, Himmelsbach writes in a separate story. Shane Larkin reached an agreement with Boston last week on a fully guaranteed deal, which brings the total to 16. The roster will have to be trimmed to 15 by the start of the season, not counting a pair of two-way contracts, so the Celtics will either have to make a trade or waive a player with guaranteed money. In the same situation last fall, Boston waived R.J. Hunter and his $1.2MM deal.
  • The Knicks are still hoping to find a veteran point guard to team with Ron Baker and rookie Frank Ntilikina, relays ESPN’s Ian Begley. The team believes its best chance to get one is in a potential Carmelo Anthony trade.
  • The Nets didn’t require DeMarre Carroll to undergo a physical before completing their trade with the Raptors because they received so much compensation, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Brooklyn picked up Carroll, Toronto’s 2018 first-rounder and an additional 2018 second-rounder, while the Raptors got Justin Hamilton, who has since been waived, and an $11.8MM trade exception. Carroll played 72 games last season after having knee surgery in his first year in Toronto and being limited to 26 games.
  • Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov intends to sell up to 49% of the team while keeping ownership of the Barclays Center, writes Mike Ozanian of Forbes. The NBA’s advisory finance committee has approved Prokhorov’s lease terms, but a final OK must come from the league once a seller is found.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Carroll, Nader

The trade kicker built into Carmelo Anthony‘s contract may be a moot point, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes. The veteran forward is apparently willing to waive the potential $8MM if the Knicks can send him to the Rockets.

According to league sources, the Knicks and Anthony have approached trade discussions under the assumption that the kicker would be waived all along, a testament to how willing Anthony is to leave New York.

Of course Anthony wasn’t always so open to leaving the Knicks. As recently as last season the forward seemed intent on remaining in the Big Apple, a famous point of contention between him and then-team president Phil Jackson.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Recently acquired Nets forward DeMarre Carroll took another shot at the Raptors, telling Brian Lewis of the New York Post in so many words that the roster in Toronto just isn’t built to share the ball. “I had my share of iso already, so team-ball is my forte,” Carroll said. “You got two great All-Stars, two great players. That’s how they play. They were playing that way before I came, and they’re going to be playing that way long after I leave. They’re not changing that for me.
  • One of the big strengths that Brad Stevens brings to the Celtics is his impact on recruiting players from around the league, Chris Forsberg of ESPN writes.
  • In his first year with the Celtics, Abdel Nader will make $1.2MM, the 2017/18 deal will then be followed up by two non-guaranteed years and eventually a team option in 2020/21. Basketball Insiders has the full contract details.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Nets, Raptors

The Knicks have, at least for now, pulled Carmelo Anthony from the trading block and are not actively shopping their All-Star scorer. If the Knicks really wanted to trade Anthony, the team could have sent him to the Rockets if taking Ryan Anderson‘s contract in return was not a hurdle. As Frank Isola of the New York Daily News writes, dealing Anthony for a player who does less on the court and guaranteed more money the next three years is not a wise move.

Anthony, 33, has two years, $54MM left on his deal whereas Anderson, 29, has three years, $61MM left. Reports have suggested the Knicks are seeking a third, possibly fourth, team to complete a deal. After naming Steve Mills president and acquiring Scott Perry from the Kings to be the team’s new general manager, it’s clear that New York is going in a new direction. Owner James Dolan said as much in a statement regarding the team’s new hire.

“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we reestablish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Dolan said (via ESPN). “I’m confident that Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams of the NBA. He’s got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork.”

The Knicks still have an abundance of options with Anthony: They can hold onto Anthony and hope he plays well and trade him midseason if the team is out of contention; keep pursuing trades until the team finds a good fit; and, less ideally, buyout Anthony for cap relief. It’s a complicated situation for all and Anthony, with his no-trade clause and trade kicker, has all the power.

Here are additional notes around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have 10 guards in their organization and acquiring additional size this offseason remains a priority, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post. Kerber mentions Shabazz Muhammad and JaMychal Green as possible targets for Brooklyn as the team continues its search for upgrades in the frontcourt.
  • One of the newest Nets, DeMarre Carroll, tells Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun that he expected a trade this offseason. In the candid interview, Caroll discussed why he did not fit into the Raptors’ offense the way he imagined and why it became frustrating playing for the team.

Raptors Trade DeMarre Carroll To Nets

JULY 13: The trade is now official, the Nets and Raptors announced today in a pair of press releases. Brooklyn receives Carroll, the Raptors’ 2018 first-round pick, and the less favorable of the Lakers’ and Magic’s 2018 second-round picks. The Raptors receive Hamilton and create an $11.8MM trade exception.

JULY 8: The Raptors have agreed to trade DeMarre Carroll to the Nets in a salary-dump deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, Brooklyn will receive first- and second-round picks for 2018 from the Raptors, and will send Justin Hamilton to Toronto.DeMarre Caroll horizontal

Even though they lost P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson in free agency, the Raptors’ new agreements with Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka pushed them into luxury-tax territory. Team ownership had expressed a willingness to pay the tax in certain scenarios, but in this case, Toronto was believed to be looking for a way back below that threshold, having also reportedly shopped Cory Joseph and Jonas Valanciunas.

In Carroll, the Nets will be landing a veteran swingman who has battled health issues since leaving the Hawks in 2015. Carroll signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Raptors that summer, but only appeared in 26 games in his first season with the franchise, and never appeared to be back to his old self in 2016/17, despite starting 72 games. In 26.1 minutes per contest last season, Carroll averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG, with a shooting line of .400/.341/.761.

Carroll is owed $14.8MM in 2017/18 and $15.4MM in 2018/19, while Hamilton’s expiring contract is worth just $3MM. However, having had their offer sheet to Otto Porter matched by the Wizards, the Nets will have an excess of cap room to accommodate a salary dump of this nature, and should still have $15MM+ available if they want to pursue another free agent or take on another contract.

Meanwhile, the Raptors project to get out of tax territory by moving Carroll, and should have the flexibility to retain Joseph and Valanciunas, who are key pieces in their rotation. The team also still has its full mid-level exception available, though team salary isn’t very far below the $119.266MM tax line, and using more than the taxpayer MLE would create a hard cap of $125.266MM. As such, the club may not be eager to use that MLE.

Hamilton, 27, will head to Toronto in the swap, coming off a career year for Brooklyn. The veteran center averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 64 games (18.4 MPG) for the Nets. He also made a career-best 0.9 threes per game, albeit at a mediocre 30.6% rate. Hamilton could be an interesting addition to Toronto’s frontcourt, but the Raptors figure to be on the lookout for help on the wing, with big-bodied swingman Carroll and Tucker both moving on this summer.

As for the draft picks changing hands in this deal, the Raptors’ first-round pick heading to the Nets will be lottery-protected, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). Toronto has already traded its own 2018 second-round pick, but holds the rights to the less favorable of the Lakers’ and Magic’s second-rounder, so that figures to be the other selection headed to Brooklyn.

The deal won’t be finalized until the Nets’ cap room for the Porter offer sheet officially opens back up.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Carroll, Free Agents, Aldrich, Draft Pick

Brooklyn GM Sean Marks got Raptors president Masai Ujiri to sweeten the deal involving DeMarre Carroll as they talked during Saturday’s games at the Las Vegas Summer League, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Toronto’s original offer involved just Carroll and a first-round pick, but Marks was able to convince Ujiri to send along a second-rounder and take back the $3MM contract of Justin Hamilton.

The deal provides needed cap relief for the Raptors, while giving the Nets a replacement for Otto Porter after the Wizards announced their intention to match Brooklyn’s four-year, $106.5MM offer sheet. The trade may not be finalized before Thursday while the Nets wait for the Wizards to conduct Porter’s physical and report the results to the league.

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • With nearly $17MM left in cap space along with a $4.3MM room exception, the Nets will move on to other targets in free agency, Lewis adds. They were believed to be interested in Pistons’ guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the Carroll trade prevents them from making a max offer. Caldwell-Pope turned down $80MM over five years from Detroit, but his options may be limited now as fewer teams have cap room to work with. Other possibilities for Brooklyn are C.J. Miles, Dewayne Dedmon, Nikola Mirotic or another restricted free agent in JaMychal Green. Coach Kenny Atkinson sees the value in having an older player around. “I do think [Marks and I] both agree that we don’t want to go in with a totally young roster,” he said. “We do need that veteran support. If it’s the right position where somebody can help us, it’s definitely something [to consider].”
  • Saturday’s deal may end the Timberwolves’ hopes of getting the Nets to take on Cole Aldrich’s salary, Lewis notes in the same piece. Minnesota wants to unload Aldrich, who will make $7.3MM in the upcoming season and nearly $6.9MM in 2018/19, to create enough cap room to sign Miles. However, Marks wouldn’t agree to the deal unless the Wolves threw in Oklahoma City’s 2018 first-rounder.
  • The second-rounder the Nets will receive in the Carroll deal will probably be the lower of the Magic or Lakers picks, according to a tweet from NetsDaily. Brooklyn already has the rights to the Pacers’ 2018 second-rounder if Indiana misses the playoffs.

Ujiri: Not Realistic For Raptors To Re-Sign All FAs

Speaking to local reporters today at his end-of-season press conference, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri admitted that it’s not “realistic” for the team to retain all four of its key free agents this offseason (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN 1050). In addition to Kyle Lowry, who confirmed on Monday that he’ll opt out of his contract, veteran Raptors forwards Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson are all eligible for free agency this offseason.

That admission from Ujiri isn’t surprising. Lowry appears to be in line for a max deal or something close to it, and Ibaka will get a big payday as well. Tucker and Patterson figure to land more reasonable deals, but they’ve positioned themselves for raises of their own. Add it all together, and the Raptors would be going way into tax territory to retain a roster of players who were bounced in the second round of this year’s playoffs.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders examined the Raptors’ free agency situation earlier today, suggesting that Tucker and Patterson may be the odd men out, despite the fact that Toronto would – in theory – like to re-sign them both. According to Kyler, the framework for a multiyear deal for Ibaka that starts around $20MM is “basically done,” though nothing is finalized yet and rival suitors could still attempt to pry away the big man.

Meanwhile, even though Ujiri didn’t sound optimistic about bringing back all the Raptors’ free agents, he had plenty of praise for Lowry, calling the veteran point guard “a huge part of our success here” and asserting that “we want him back” (Twitter link via Eric Koreen of The Athletic).

Ujiri also weighed in on several other subjects during his presser, so let’s dive in and round up some highlights…

  • The Raptors’ performance against the Cavaliers was eye-opening, according to Ujiri, who suggested that the franchise may need a bit of a “culture reset” (Twitter link via Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic). Ujiri also acknowledged that the question of how to evolve from a “good” team to an “elite” team will be at the forefront for him this summer (Twitter link via Koreen).
  • One of Ujiri’s primary talking points today revolved around his desire to evaluate and re-think the Raptors’ style of play. The Raps president said he has told head coach Dwane Casey the team may need to change its approach on the court, rather than continuing to change its players (Twitter links via Lewenberg). Ujiri also hammered home the need to keep thinking progressively rather than getting stagnant. “We’ve tried what we’ve done so many times and it hasn’t worked. That’s the simple answer.” Ujiri said. “It’s easy to defend one-on-one” (Twitter links via Murphy).
  • While Ujiri’s comments on the Raptors’ style of play weren’t necessarily a direct indictment of the club’s head coach, Lewenberg left the presser feeling that Casey’s job may be in jeopardy (Twitter link).
  • Ujiri said today that team ownership is fully on board with whatever direction he and the front office choose to go, whether that means going into the tax, rebuilding, or something in between (Twitter link via Lewenberg).
  • Although he didn’t want to use it as an excuse, Ujiri acknowledged that the Raptors – having acquired Ibaka and Tucker at the deadline – didn’t spend a lot of time together in their current form, which makes it tricky to evaluate how all the players fit together (Twitter link via Murphy).
  • Asked whether the Raptors need more from their small forward spot, Ujiri said they do, but expressed optimism that DeMarre Carroll, who has never really been fully healthy since arriving in Toronto, will have a big summer (Twitter link via Murphy).

Atlantic Rumors: Knicks, Jackson, Raptors, Johnson

The Knicks are focused on trading Carmelo Anthony and becoming a younger team, but scarce financial resources may prevent the team from landing a max free agent, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes. Free agents Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague are potential targets for New York, league sources tell Begley. However, with eight players on guaranteed contracts for next season, team president Phil Jackson said during a recent a press conference that the current team has “a dozen players that we’re very confident can support and be a part of a team. So we feel pretty good about that.”

Upgrading via free agency may be contingent on the Knicks trading Anthony, whom Jackson indicated “would be better off elsewhere” during the aforementioned presser. Begley notes that a hypothetical Melo trade could clear about $5MM in cap room, giving the Knicks $24MM — the team’s current cap space calls for $19MM available for the Knicks to spend.

However, a lot of Begley’s hypothetical offseason spending includes the Knicks not re-signing any of their young players. So if the Knicks intend on upgrading, players such as Jrue’s older brother Justin Holiday, Ron Baker, Maurice Ndour, and Chasson Randle may suit up elsewhere in 2017/18.

In other news around the Atlantic division.

  • The Nets maintain interest in Euroleague guard Edwin Jackson, according to Nets Daily. An earlier report indicated the club’s interest in the 27-year-old guard, who is averaging 21.8 points in 30 games for Movistar Estudiantes of the Liga ACB in Spain. The 6’1″ French guard has never suited up for an NBA team but he was in Nets camp three years ago, per Nets Daily. Jackson has indicated he would come stateside for a guaranteed NBA deal or seek a lucrative offer in Europe.
  • Nets Daily compiled a list of potential European targets for Brooklyn in addition to Jackson. Milos Teodosic, 30, Nicolo Melli, 26, and 2011 second-round NBA draft pick Tyler Honeycutt, 26, — who revived his career in Turkey — are listed as potential free agent options; Latvian-born Rodions Kurucs, 19, and Anzejus Pasecniks, 21, are both listed as possible draft targets.
  • In an attempt to contain the Cavaliers’ offense, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey may start Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll on the bench, SportsNet’s Michael Grange writes. Both men — who were major signings by team president Masai Ujiri — have underperformed this postseason and Casey is “desperate” to jumpstart his team. Norman Powell and rookie Jakob Poeltl are likely to see significant playing time if Casey goes in that direction.
  • As he heads for free agency, Amir Johnson remains positive despite dwindling playing time for the Celtics, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe relays. While Johnson got the start for Boston tonight in Game 2, he has been a liability on both sides of the court for most of the postseason. Johnson led the Celtics in games (80) and starts (77) in the regular season and maintains he’s trying to work out of his slump. “If things aren’t working out for you, you know you’ve got to do the next thing,” Johnson said.
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