Desmond Bane

Southwest Notes: KPJ, Bane, McCollum, Nance

Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. appears to have earned a long-term look with the franchise. Houston and Porter have had initial discussions about the future of the extension-eligible 22-year-old, prompting Kelly Iko and Danny Leroux of The Athletic take a deep dive into what a new deal might look like for the fourth-year guard.

Leroux projects an annual number in the range of $10-15MM for Porter. Should the Rockets opt to not extend Porter and instead let him reach restricted free agency in the summer of 2023, Leroux notes that the market for the 6’4″ guard’s services could be dampened. Currently, just seven NBA clubs, including the Rockets, project to have cap space available to sign Porter for more than the mid-level exception.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Third-year Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane has evolved into a reliable locker-room leader, despite his relative greenness, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal“I’ve always been a vet [in terms of personal comportment], but now I’m a vet for real,” Bane said. “I don’t really think that too much has to change. I’ve always been the guy to lead by example, put my best foot in front of the other. That’s half of leadership right there.”
  • Pelicans veteran players CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., new additions to the team at the 2022 trade deadline, are extension-eligible this summer. Will Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic consider potential extension contracts for both New Orleans players. Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes that McCollum contributed as a versatile scorer and consistent ball-handler, while Nance helped the team in the less-glamorous role of flexible bench big. Clark notes that both players have shown interest in sticking around long term with an exciting young Pelicans club hot off its first playoff appearance in four years.
  • In case you missed it, the lucrative new extension inked by Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson includes a caveat that requires him to get consistent weigh-ins by New Orleans. Should the total of his body fat percentage and weight exceed 295, the team will be able to reduce the guaranteed portion of his salary.

2021/2022 All-NBA Teams Announced

The 2021/22 All-NBA teams have officially been announced by the NBA. For the fourth straight season, Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was unanimously selected to the All-NBA First Team by a voter panel of 100 media members. Antetokounmpo, 27, is making his sixth All-NBA team overall.

Antetokounmpo, reigning MVP Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, and Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic received the most votes. Suns All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker and Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid rounded out the list of top five vote-getters. Because the All-NBA teams, unlike the All-Star squads, require just one center per team, Embiid was relegated to an All-NBA Second Team placing.

Below is a list of the three All-NBA teams. Vote tallies are listed in parentheses next to player names. Five points were awarded to players for a First Team Vote, three points netted for a Second Team vote, and one for a Third Team vote. Antetokounmpo earned a perfect 500 points.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Jazz center Rudy Gobert and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, Heat center Bam Adebayo and small forward Jimmy Butler, Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, Bucks guards Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges, Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray, and Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet all received All-NBA votes. Surprisingly, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who played in just 29 games this season, also received a single vote.

As we previously outlined, the All-NBA selections come with significant financial ramifications. As a result of being named to All-NBA teams, Booker and Towns have become eligible for super-max extensions that would begin in 2024/25. If they’re signed this offseason, those deals would be for four years and would start at 35% of the ’24/25 cap. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter), they currently project to be worth $211MM apiece.

Young’s five-year contract extension, which was signed last August and will go into effect in 2022/23, will now be worth 30% of next season’s cap instead of 25% by virtue of his All-NBA selection. Based on a projected $122MM cap, that means it’ll be worth about $212MM instead of $177MM.

Jokic had already met the super-max requirements prior to this announcement, since he won last year’s MVP award — he’s eligible to sign a five-year, super-max extension this offseason and has said he plans to do so. Doncic, who signed a maximum-salary contract extension last summer, also previously met the super-max criteria by earning All-NBA nods in 2020 and 2021.

Notable players who are not eligible this offseason for super-max deals include Morant and Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine. As Marks tweets, Morant needs to make the All-NBA team again in 2023 to qualify for a starting salary worth 30% of the cap (instead of 25%) on his next deal.

LaVine, a free agent this offseason, would have been eligible to earn up to 35% of next season’s cap from the Bulls if he had made an All-NBA team, but will instead be able to earn no more than 30% of the ’22/23 cap on his next contract.

With their inclusions, Morant, Booker, and Young are making their All-NBA team debuts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the NBA aging curve, two 37-year-old veterans further cemented their Hall of Fame credentials during the 2021/22 season. James made his 18th All-NBA team, while Paul was named to his 11th All-NBA team.

Grizzlies Notes: Green, Curry, Bane, Morant, Offseason

The Warriors are moving on to the Western Conference finals but they anticipate the Grizzlies will be making plenty of deep playoff runs in the future. Draymond Green and Stephen Curry offered high praise to their vanquished opponent after Friday’s decisive Game 6, Sam Amick of The Athletic relays.

“That’s a group of young guys who — obviously, you get to the business side of things, and you’ve got to keep that together — but that’s a group of young guys that are hungry,” Green said. “They are talented. They are athletic. They got it. You know, it will be good to see their progression over these next few years and where they can take it, because that’s an incredible young team. You know, they can be special. They can be really special.”

“There’s definitely an understanding that they made us better. I’m sure we made them better,” Curry said. “And who knows what happens down the road, but they will be here for a long time just because they have a lot going for them. So, definitely respect.”

We have more on the Grizzlies:

  • Desmond Bane, who scored 25 points in Game 6, battled lower back soreness during the postseason. He put the blame on himself, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal tweets“I pride myself on being healthy, and getting hurt, kind of tweaking my back at a time like this kind of shows me that I probably got to do more in the offseason to be able to withstand the long minutes and long season,” he said.
  • After Game 5, there was a sense that the ball moved better without Ja Morant on the floor. Games 4 and 6 showed how much the Grizzlies missed their All-Star point guard in crunch time, Cole writes. It all suggests there’s another level they can reach when he’s to the floor, if they find more outside shooting.
  • Signing Morant to a max rookie scale extension will be the highlight of the summer, Bobby Marks of ESPN writes in his Grizzlies offseason guide. Morant’s backup, Tyus Jones, is eligible to sign a four-year $55.8MM extension until June 30 and bringing him back should be another offseason priority, either on an extension or a new free agent deal. The Grizzlies also have two first-round picks in the upcoming draft.
  • The Grizzlies might also look for an upgrade at center. Rudy Gobert, Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl could be potential targets, HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan speculates in his offseason preview.

Southwest Notes: Tillman, Jackson Jr., Bane, Alvarado, Ivey

As Michigan State graduates, the Grizzlies’ Xavier Tillman and Jaren Jackson Jr. have a tight bond with the Warriors’ Draymond Green, but those feelings are put on hold during the playoffs, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Green and Jackson have sniped at each other through the first two games of their series, and Tillman hit Green in the eye with an elbow as they chased a loose ball, causing him to need stitches.

“They’re going to try to take your head off. I’m going to try to take their head off. That’s just the reality of it,” Green said. “You’re competing for something that you put your heart into … you dedicate a lot of time to this, you sacrifice a lot of things for this. So ultimately, they stand in the way of what I want, I stand in the way of what they want.”

Tillman and Jackson both view Green as a mentor, Barnes adds. Spartans coach Tom Izzo frequently compared Tillman to Green when he was in college, and Tillman incorporated aspects of Green’s game into his own.

“I’ve watched his career every step of the way, trying to figure out how I can mold mine like his and stay in this league for a long time and be productive on the things I’m most comfortable at,” Tillman said.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, who was listed as questionable before Game 2 because of back soreness, is feeling better, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. “I don’t think he’s at full strength like he was in the regular season, but he’s the ultimate competitor,” coach Taylor Jenkins said.
  • Coming off an impressive playoff performance, Pelicans rookie Jose Alvarado announced this week that he wants to eventually win Defensive Player of the Year honors. “One day I’m going win DPOY,” he tweeted Thursday. “Mark my word!”
  • Purdue’s Jaden Ivey may be the most talented guard in the draft, but he might be an awkward fit with the Rockets, who already have Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green in their backcourt, observes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. If Houston ends up taking Ivey, who is consistently projected as a top four pick, Iko believes Porter would move from lead guard to playmaking forward, which was his original position when he entered the NBA.

Western Notes: Adams, Bane, Gobert, Bullock, Green, Clarke

A day before Game 2 of his team’s second-round series against the Warriors, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said that center Steven Adams remains in the league’s health and safety protocols, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN tweets. Adams, who was placed in the protocols on Thursday, is listed as out for Tuesday’s game, the team’s PR department tweets. Starting guard Desmond Bane is listed as questionable due to lower back soreness. Bane was limited to nine points in 32 minutes in Game 1 on Sunday.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Rudy Gobert and his agent are still awaiting their annual exit meeting with the Jazz, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. That meeting will likely determine how the two sides proceed going forward into the offseason, Jones adds. Utah is expected to shake things up after another early playoff exit. Gobert has four years remaining on his five-year, $205MM contract.
  • Reggie Bullock‘s defensive importance was so profound against the Jazz that the Mavericks played him 254 of a possible 288 minutes in the series. Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes an in-depth piece on Bullock and how personal tragedies have shaped his career. Bullock is in the first year of a three-year deal, though the final season isn’t fully guaranteed.
  • The NBA upheld Draymond Green‘s Flagrant Foul 2 ruling in Game 1 of the Warriors’ series against the Grizzlies. The player who was fouled, Brandon Clarke, wasn’t surprised that Green committed such an infraction (ESPN video link). “He’s been known for flagrant fouls in his career. I’ve watched him on TV my whole life, it feels like, so I wasn’t really shocked,” Clarke said.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Mitchell, Wolves, Nuggets

After evening their first-round playoff matchup with a gutty 100-99 Game 4 win over the Mavericks in Utah, the Jazz proceeded to get blown out in a blistering 102-77 Game 5 loss on the road. Tony Jones of The Athletic considers the listless loss to be just the newest indignity for a solid squad with a patchy postseason record.

“Our mindset, it was disappointing,” All-Star center Rudy Gobert said. “I felt like we didn’t respond to their energy and their intensity. I felt like we didn’t respond to their focus. They just outplayed us.”

Jones notes that the Jazz have struggled all year through erratic performances and an easy susceptibility to tougher teams. Though Jones considers Utah talented enough to win at least its next home contest, Game 6, he wonders if the team will be able to overcome its issues to defeat a hungry Dallas club.

“We have to do a better job of moving the basketball and playing the right way,” said Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic. “I thought we played well enough offensively. I just thought we had to do a better job of moving the basketball.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Should they lose early in these playoffs, the Jazz face an uncertain summer, and could move on some of their top players. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, all signs points to Utah owner Ryan Smith, in his second season with the team, wanting to hold onto All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell over any other core team personnel.
  • The Timberwolves have struggled to defend second-year Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, who has been shooting lights-out from long range during the two teams’ first-round series, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Hine notes that Minnesota’s priority on defense has been stopping All-Star point guard Ja Morant, leaving Bane open. “Sometimes you can’t cover it all,” Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said following the team’s 119-118 victory in Game 4. “We got to just find him a little quicker. He does a really good job of moving into the right space when you’re in rotation. He’s got a quick release and deep range. I think sometimes his range catches our guys off guard a little bit.” Bane has shot 18-of-35 from long range across the last three games in the series. After tonight, Memphis leads Minnesota 3-2 in their series.
  • The Nuggets, with their backs against the wall down 3-1 to the Warriors, hope to extend their first-round series employing the same chippy fight they had during their recent two-game home stand, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “We’re not backing down from anybody,” Denver forward Aaron Gordon said at a team practice this week. The club amped up the contact against Golden State in two physical contests at Ball Arena. “I would say our physicality definitely improved from Games 1 and 2 to 3 and 4,” reserve Nuggets center DeMarcus Cousins said of the team’s tactical shift. “One thing we did know about ourselves was we were the reason we were losing those (first three) games.”

Western Notes: Bane, Grizzlies, Wolves, Nance Jr., Gordon

Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane believes his team needs to play more physical against the Timberwolves in Game 2, according to Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis lost 130-117 in Game 1 on Saturday, allowing Minnesota to shoot 50% from the field and win the rebound battle 46-35.

That rebounding clash included 11 offensive rebounds from the Wolves. Minnesota was led by Anthony Edwards (36 points and six assists), along with Karl-Anthony Towns (29 points and 13 rebounds). Game 2 of the series is on Tuesday.

“Physicality is something that we felt like we addressed coming into the series, and I didn’t think that it was there tonight,” Bane said of the Game 1 loss. “At least at the level it needed to be to win. We’re going to have to get grimy out there to win a playoff series.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The young Timberwolves are establishing themselves as a problem this year, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Minnesota has gained confidence as the campaign moves on, showing potential by defeating Memphis (30-11 home record) on the road in Game 1.
  • Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. is a key part of the team’s culture change, Christian Clark of NOLA.com opines. Nance finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds off the bench in the club’s play-in tournament win over the Clippers. The seven-year veteran is well-respected by his teammates and coaches. “Look at what we got,” Nance said. “This is a situation anybody can look at from the outside. When I was in Portland, I knew it. Then when I got here, I really knew it. We have Brandon Ingram, who is an All-Star at 25 years old. We have CJ, who is playing like an All-Star. And a freak (Zion Williamson) on ice right now. Who wouldn’t be thrilled about coming to the situation? This summer, I left Cleveland and wanted to go to a playoff team. Now, look, here we sit. I’m thrilled to be here.”
  • In order to beat the Warriors, Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon must have a good series, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports writes. “Aaron Gordon is at his best when he’s attacking,” head coach Michael Malone said. “We don’t want to just settle for 3s as a team.” Gordon finished with just eight points and five rebounds in 26 minutes on Saturday. Denver lost the first game of the series 123-107, shooting 11-of-35 from three-point range (31%).

Grizzlies Notes: Bane, Morant, Rajakovic, Harmony

Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane recently spoke to Sam Amick of The Athletic about a number of topics, including his upbringing, his breakout second season, the team’s success (56-26, the No. 2 seed in the West), and more. Here are a couple highlights:

On the pride he feels to find success despite unstable parents (he was raised by his great-grandparents):

“I’m super proud. I mean, it’s hard for me to even put into words. From a young age, from the very beginning, I didn’t really have any stability. My great-grandparents gave me that. My mom was in and out of jail, and I never met my dad.

“… So to be able to accomplish what I’ve accomplished and have a career and, like you said, be able to affect so many people, it’s hard to put into words. When (my great-grandparents) passed last year during my first season, there was a lot of change there too. I mean, that’s kind of been the story of my life. I moved to Memphis, a place I’d never been, (my great-grandparents) pass, I get a new house and I’ve got my girl over there, but you know, just a lot of moving parts. But I feel stable now. And like I said, Memphis has wrapped their arms around me, and I love it here.”

On the Grizzlies’ belief that they can win a title this season:

“We definitely think that we’re more than capable of doing it. I mean, we’re a young team. But like you said, we carry that chip on our shoulder and we move around like a team that has been here before. So we’re definitely excited and looking forward to the opportunity.”

As a former first-round pick (No. 30 overall in 2020), Bane will be eligible for a rookie scale extension after his third season in 2022/23 and is sure to receive a significant raise. The 23-year-old averaged 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals on .461/.436/.903 shooting in 76 games (29.8 minutes) this season.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times spoke to an aerial artist, a skateboarder, a BMX rider and a skateboarding instructor about Ja Morant‘s gravity-defying dunks. All of the aforementioned interviewees see parallels between Morant’s acrobatics and their own.
  • Assistant coach Darko Rajakovic has been instrumental to the team’s player development, according to Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Darko just doesn’t care who you are, what your role is on the team,” Ziaire Williams said. “He just wants you to be the best you possibly can be. That’s what I love him about the most.” The Grizzlies went 4-1 under Rajakovic this season when head coach Taylor Jenkins was in the league’s health and safety protocols.
  • Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details how the team has found organizational harmony under the leadership of GM Zach Kleiman and Jenkins. “The synergy is unbelievable,” Jenkins said. “The trust that (team owner) Robert (Pera) has for Zach, myself, in obviously building the team and coaching the team. The trust that Zach has in me. We do a great job of pushing each other because if we want to elevate this organization, this team to do great things and win championships, we’ve got to push each other.”

Southwest Notes: Brooks, Bane, Murray, Zion

Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks aimed some critical comments toward former teammate Andre Iguodala, following Memphis’s blowout 123-95 victory over Iguodala’s Warriors on Monday, as Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area relays.

“We all had the vision,” Brooks said in press conference remarks following the contest. “He didn’t, which is perfect. Send him back to the Warriors and let him do his thing over there.”

Iguodala famously opted against joining the Grizzlies upon being traded from Golden State to Memphis in 2019. Instead, the veteran practiced away from the club in anticipation of a trade or buy-out. The Heat would eventually trade for a package top-lined by Iguodala and Jae Crowder ahead of a 2020 NBA Finals run. Iguodala would remain with Miami until the summer of 2021, during which the three-time champion signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal to return to the Warriors.

“From the beginning, we were growing a base, we had a base and we kept building and building and building and more guys got on the train and we were able to create something like this and keep building this dynasty and this program up to new heights,” Brooks said of the Grizzlies, currently the West’s No. 2 seed thanks to a 53-23 record. “Just an amazing feeling to see guys grow every single year. I’ve been here the longest so I’m just happy to see each player grow in their role and to try to exceed their role, which is amazing to see.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, who has enjoyed a breakout year in Memphis, is relishing his tenure as a reserve point guard in the absence of injured All-Star Ja Morant, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Morant’s backup, Tyus Jones, has moved into a starting role. “It’s growing on me a little bit,” Bane said of running point. “At first I liked playing off the ball, but I’m starting to get more comfortable kind of figuring out my spots and where I can attack with the ball in my hands.” For the first time ever at the NBA level, the second-year guard recently notched four straight games with five assists or more.
  • At 2.1 steals per game, Spurs All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray is the first San Antonio player to lead the league in steals since former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard did so during the 2014/15 NBA season, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “He’s got a natural ability in that area,” raved head coach Gregg Popovich said. “He reads things and sees the spatial relationships. That’s all him.” Murray himself cites his speed for this defensive skill. “I think that’s just me having quick hands, the vision of it, knowing how to time it,” Murray said. “I’m not in it to be the league leader. That’s just Dejounte trying to be active on both ends of the floor. If that helps us get wins, I’m going to continue to try and get better at it.” Thanks in large part to the play of Murray, the 31-44 Spurs have climbed their way into the Western Conference’s play-in tournament bracket as the present No. 10 seed, though they are tied by record with the Lakers.
  • 2021 All-Star Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, who has missed the entire 2021/22 NBA season thus far due to a foot fracture, traveled with his teammates on a multi-game road trip for the first time this year, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, though Williamson is still indefinitely sidelined, he appears to be approving in his rehab. The 32-43 Pelicans are the West’s ninth seed even sans Williamson, and appear poised to make a play-in tournament appearance.

Grizzlies Notes: Jackson Jr., Bane, Contender, Morant

In an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Countdown prior to Wednesday’s game against Brooklyn (video link), Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. said he believes he should win the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Jackson leads the league in blocked shots per game with 2.2; he also averages 1.0 SPG and 5.9 RPG in 27.3 MPG.

Of course I think I’m Defensive Player of the Year,” Jackson said. “I just think what I’m able to do, I mean the blocks are cool, but you get blocks from contesting shots. I’m able to do a lot more than most people who get a lot of blocks. I’m able to switch out on guards, I’m able to talk.

You’ve gotta be a quarterback on defense and I think that’s what people miss. It’s a mind game. You’re really playing chess. I think Draymond [Green] might have said that one time, you’re playing chess with the offensive team coming down. So, I’m just able to read and I’m able to use my length to my advantage when I can.”

After appearing in just 11 games last season as he recovered from a torn meniscus, Jackson has played a career-high 72 contests to this point, only missing one game for the 50-23 Grizzlies.

Here’s more from Memphis:

  • With his fifth three-pointer in Wednesday’s 132-120 win over the Nets, Desmond Bane broke Mike Miller‘s single-season franchise record for threes made, the team announced (via Twitter). Bane finished the game 8-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-10 from deep, for a total of 23 points. He also chipped in four rebounds, five assists, a steal, and was plus-20 in 32 minutes of action. Bane has now converted 204 three-pointers this season.
  • The Grizzlies are way ahead of schedule in their rebuild, according to Tim MacMahon and Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Many expected the Grizzlies to be in the mix for the play-in tournament again after making their way to the No. 8 seed last season, but they’ve made a major leap and currently hold the second-best record in the NBA, only trailing the 59-14 Suns.
  • Nets star Kevin Durant thinks Ja Morant is bound for Springfield (Massachusetts) when his career is finished, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “When you got a future Hall of Famer at the head of the snake, it just makes everybody better,” Durant said on Monday. “He’s a combination of players, I feel. I think the greatest players in our game can transform into anybody at any given point. And I think Ja’s on the way to that. When he’s playing, I see like two or three, four different Hall of Famers in his game. From [Allen] Iverson, to he might make a [Michael] Jordan-like layup, or he might run down the court like a [Russell] Westbrook or a [Derrick Rose].”
  • In case you missed it, Morant underwent an MRI and X-ray on his sore right knee on Wednesday.