Dewayne Dedmon

Knicks’ Robinson Among Players Not Participating In Bubble Mini-Camps

The NBA’s bottom eight teams are finally participating in group workouts this week as part of the second phase of the league’s in-market bubble plan to get those clubs some organized offseason activities to tide them over to the 2020/21 season. However, those activities are voluntary and not every player on the bottom eight rosters is in attendance.

One of the more notable absences is in New York, where Knicks center Mitchell Robinson isn’t taking part in the team’s mini-camp, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv. As Begley details, Robinson participated in individual workouts last week but will be absent from the group portion of the camp for personal reasons. The big man doesn’t have COVID-19, sources tell Begley.

Robinson’s absence from the mini-camp is unfortunate for the Knicks because he’s under contract for multiple seasons and these sessions are mostly aimed at getting teams’ young, core players some extra reps in practices and scrimmages. Participation from established veteran players is less crucial, so it’s no surprise that Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have been excused from Golden State’s in-market bubble camp for family reasons, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“A lot of guys are going to get a lot better and really thrive in this environment,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I’m not worried about Steph and Draymond; I know how hard they work and I know they’ll be prepared for next season.”

Impending free agency is another logical reason why certain players would opt to forgo these offseason team activities. In Atlanta, for example, Jeff Teague, DeAndre’ Bembry, Treveon Graham, and Damian Jones – all of whom are on expired contracts – aren’t with the Hawks in their bubble, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dewayne Dedmon also isn’t participating in the team’s group activities, Spencer adds.

We’ve previously passed along details on players from the other five teams who aren’t taking part in these in-market camps. That list includes Kris Dunn for the Bulls; Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner, and Omari Spellman for the Timberwolves; Bismack Biyombo and Nicolas Batum for the Hornets; Andre Drummond, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, and Cedi Osman for the Cavaliers; and Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway for the Pistons.

Alex Len Talks Hawks Experience, Confusion Over Being Traded

Alex Len, who inked a two-year deal with Hawks back in 2018, was traded to the Kings at this year’s deadline. Prior to getting dealt, Len expressed his interest in re-signing with Atlanta, telling Chris Kirschner of The Athletic this week that he cherished his time with the club.

“One-hundred percent — I wanted to stay,” Len told Kirschner. “I like the coaching staff. I liked my teammates. Everyone was cool. It really had a family feel to it. Last year, you could see the trajectory was going up…This season didn’t work out as planned, so they had to make changes. It’s a business, so I understood they had to do it.”

In the trade with the Kings, which also sent Jabari Parker to Sacramento, the Hawks received a pair of second-round picks and Dewayne Dedmon, who had left the team in free agency prior to the season. That, coupled with the team bringing in Clint Capela, left Len puzzled as to why Atlanta would trade him for another center.

“They didn’t want to pay [Dedmon] in the first place, so it didn’t make sense to me,” Len said. “If they wanted him, they could have just paid him. So they get him as a backup now and end up paying him anyway.”

Len admitted that he didn’t know what to expect when he was on his way to Sacramento. He called the experience of playing with the Kings this season a “pleasant surprise,” while adding that dynamics of the two franchises were different.

“There was a whole different mood and vibe around the team because we were going for the eighth spot,” Len said. “When I was (in Atlanta), it’s tough to play knowing you’re not making the playoffs. You go into the game, and guys are thinking about their points and themselves. (In Sacramento), it’s all about team and winning. Guys don’t care how many points they score; it’s all about winning. Everybody was playing a lot harder. We were playing all five guys on a string. It makes your job easier because everybody else is a lot better.”

Injury Updates: Dunn, LaVine, Curry, Oubre, Dedmon

The Bulls‘ frontcourt has been getting a little healthier lately, with Otto Porter and Wendell Carter returning to action within the last few days and Lauri Markkanen making good progress as well. However, the team isn’t in the clear yet when it comes to injuries, especially in the backcourt.

Speaking today to reporters, including K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), Bulls head coach Jim Boylen confirmed that Kris Dunn will miss the rest of the 2019/20 season. That update doesn’t come as a surprise — we heard nearly two weeks ago that Dunn’s season was in jeopardy as a result of his right MCL sprain. He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency this summer and won’t meet the starter criteria, which will reduce the value of his qualifying offer, as we detailed in that February story.

Meanwhile, the Bulls’ leading scorer, Zach LaVine, confirmed that he’ll remain on the shelf for Wednesday’s game in Minnesota after missing Monday’s contest vs. Dallas (video link via Tony Gill of NBC Sports Chicago). LaVine added that his quad strain will probably sideline him for about a week.

Here are more injury updates from across the NBA:

  • A Thursday return vs. Toronto is a possibility for Warriors star Stephen Curry, head coach Steve Kerr said today (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Curry’s return date was pushed back after he originally targeted March 1, but it sounds like he’s pretty close.
  • Suns forward Kelly Oubre will undergo surgery on his torn right meniscus, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Oubre’s recovery timetable remains unclear — an update is expected to be provided on Wednesday, per Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • The Hawks announced in a press release today that injured center Dewayne Dedmon (elbow) has been cleared to practice on Wednesday. GM Travis Schlenk said in an appearance on 92.9 FM in Atlanta that the Hawks “fully expect” Dedmon to be available on Friday (Twitter link via Kevin Chouinard).
  • Asked today if Derrick Rose will return this season, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey was noncommittal, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “We’ll just see how he feels. I wouldn’t put that in concrete,” Casey said. “… I don’t know what he would gain from it by coming back (for the final weeks). We haven’t made that decision yet.” Rose, who is recovering from a sprained ankle, will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Injury Notes: Dedmon, Simmons, Powell, Williams

New Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon underwent a non-surgical procedure to address pain in his right elbow today, as Chris Kirschner of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). Atlanta has ruled out Dedmon for its next three games, but he’ll be re-evaluated on Monday, with his status updated at that point, Kirschner adds.

The Hawks are also without another newly-acquired center, Clint Capela, who continues to deal with a foot issue. However, the club has no shortage of options in the middle. With Dedmon and Capela sidelined, Atlanta figures to take a longer look at Damian Jones and Bruno Fernando.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers haven’t provided many details or a specific recovery timeline for Ben Simmons‘ back injury, so Rich Hofmann of The Athletic spoke to a pair of outside medical experts to try to get a sense of what may be causing the nerve impingement in Simmons’ back. Both doctors suggested that the most common cause would be a disc injury.
  • Raptors swingman Norman Powell (finger) has been cleared to practice and will be listed as questionable for Friday’s game vs. Charlotte, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Head coach Nick Nurse had said on Tuesday that Powell was scheduled for a check-up next week, but it sounds like the 26-year-old could make it back this weekend.
  • Appearing today on Toucher and Rich in Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said big man Robert Williams (hip) remains on track to return to action as early as this weekend, or shortly thereafter (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).
  • Pelicans forward Kenrich Williams, who hasn’t played since January 6 due to a back injury, had his first full-contact practice today and has a chance to play on Friday, per head coach Alvin Gentry (Twitter link via ESPN’s Andrew Lopez).

Hawks Notes: Dedmon, Labissiere, Collins, Goodwin

After engaging with the Kings earlier in the season about a possible Dewayne Dedmon trade, the Hawks didn’t necessarily expect to circle back to those discussions at last week’s trade deadline, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who says the team felt no real pressure to acquire another center following the Clint Capela trade.

However, Sacramento got back in touch and general manager Travis Schlenk saw an opportunity to land a player he liked, along with a couple second-round draft picks.

“They came in last minute,” Schlenk said of the Kings, per Kirschner. “The way the deal came together was we anticipated Jabari (Parker) was going to probably opt in (to his $6.5MM player option for 2020/21), so we weren’t going to be taking on that much money (by adding Dedmon’s $13.3MM salary for ’20/21).

“Now you’re taking on only $6MM, and we got two seconds. That’s really what drove us. I don’t want to say that we weren’t looking to do it when it came around, but we jumped at the opportunity because it was a small value money-wise, and we got two assets in it.”

Dedmon, who played well for the Hawks before signing with the Kings during the 2019 offseason, struggled in Sacramento and lost his starting role early in the season. According to Kirschner, there’s a belief in Atlanta that the big man was so unhappy with the Kings that it affected him on the court. Atlanta will rely on Dedmon and Capela to help improve an interior defense that has struggled this season.

Let’s round up a few more Hawks notes…

  • Schlenk had been eyeing Skal Labissiere since his days working as an assistant GM in Golden State, says Kirschner. The Hawks were able to acquire Labissiere from Portland on deadline day in what was essentially a salary dump, but it sounds as if the team will have interest in keeping him beyond this season if he looks good down the stretch. The big man can become a restricted free agent this summer.
  • John Collins‘ name popped up in trade rumors leading up to the deadline and there was speculation that the Hawks may start looking to move on from the former first-rounder if they acquired an impact center. However, Schlenk downplayed that notion, as Kirschner details. “John has been playing with Damian (Jones) all year,” Schlenk said. “His skill set is the same (as Clint’s). John has been playing with Bruno (Fernando) all year long. This isn’t the first time that John has played with another center. I think the public is making a lot more out of it than we are.”
  • Asked directly if Collins is considered is still considered a priority for the Hawks’ long-term future, Schlenk responded, “Yeah. John is one of our best players.”
  • The Hawks’ deadline moves left them with an open spot on their 15-man roster. According to Kirschner (via Twitter), one option being considered is promoting two-way player Brandon Goodwin to a standard contract. Goodwin has averaged 6.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 24 games (13.9 MPG) for Atlanta this season.

Kings Notes: Bagley, Dedmon, Parker, Bazemore

Marvin Bagley‘s status for the rest of the season remains uncertain as he recovers from a sprained left foot, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. The second-year forward has barely played since suffering the injury December 26, and the Kings announced last week that he will be re-examined after the All-Star break.

Bagley was wearing a walking boot as he visited the team in the locker room following last night’s game. He talked to the media for the first time since the injury, but wasn’t able to add much clarity to his situation.

“I’m definitely going to try to come back this year, but that’s too far ahead at this point,” Bagley said. “The most important thing for me right now is to make sure I’m healthy. Honestly, who knows, I’m just going one day at a time with this, I’m trying not to think too far ahead. I obviously want to play, I want to be out there. … I’ve only played however many games I’ve played this season over things I can’t control.”

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • General manager Vlade Divac admitted the Kings didn’t get what they hoped for from Dewayne Dedmon when they signed him to a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, Ham relays in a separate story. Sacramento granted Dedmon’s trade request this week, sending him back to Atlanta. “Definitely disappointed for me, for the organization and I’m sure from Dedmon’s side that things didn’t work,” Divac said. “We had good intentions. He didn’t work out. We’re happy to move on and wish Dedmon all the best. Definitely, he wasn’t what we expected.”
  • The players the Kings received in the deal with the Hawks are both close to returning from injuries, Ham adds. Jabari Parker may play tomorrow after missing most of the past month with a shoulder impingement, while Alex Len is making progress in his recovery from a hip flexor. In a video posted by Sean Cunningham of KXTV, Parker said he wasn’t surprised to be traded. “I’ve always had a perspective I’m not employed by individual teams; I’m employed by the NBA,” he said.
  • The Kings began to turn their season around when they acquired Kent Bazemore from the Trail Blazers, observes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Bazemore has brought energy and attention to detail to the Sacramento defense. “He goes out there and does a lot of the dirty work,” De’Aaron Fox said. “… He does a lot of things for us, and the chemistry we’ve had since he’s been here has been great. It feels like we’ve been playing with him a lot longer than two weeks.”

Kings Trade Dewayne Dedmon To Hawks

FEBRUARY 6: Nearly 24 hours after it was agreed upon, the Kings and Hawks have officially announced their trade sending Dedmon and a pair of second-round picks to Atlanta in exchange for Parker and Len. Sacramento also confirmed that the team has released Eric Mika, as we relayed in a separate story.

FEBRUARY 5: Dewayne Dedmon will return to Atlanta, as the Kings have reached a deal to send their unhappy center to the Hawks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.  Sacramento will receive Jabari Parker and Alex Len in return, while Atlanta will get a pair of second-round picks.

The two second-round selections aren’t Sacramento’s own picks, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link), who reports that the Hawks will receive Houston’s 2020 second-rounder and Miami’s 2021 second-rounder. The Kings had been owed seven extra second-round selections through the 2025 draft, so they’ll still have a surplus of picks going forward.

Because the Kings have a full roster, they’ll have to open a spot before the deal can be completed. One possibility is an early release for Eric Mika, who signed a 10-day contract on February 1.

Dedmon was the Hawks’ starting center for the past two seasons before joining the Kings in free agency last summer on a three-year, $41MM contract. Things quickly went south in Sacramento as he lost his starting job to Richaun Holmes. He became outspoken about his lack of playing time and was fined $50K in early January for making a public trade request. Dedmon averaged 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 34 games with the Kings.

Sacramento adds Parker, who holds a $6.5MM player option for next season, along with Len, who has a $4.16MM expiring contract. Both are former top-five draft picks who are trying to revive their careers after disappointing starts.

Parker averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 32 games after signing with the Hawks as a free agent last summer. He was also traded at last year’s deadline, making the Kings his fourth team in the past two seasons. Len was averaging 8.7 PPG and 5.8 RPG through 40 games in his second season with Atlanta.

The deal didn’t catch Len by surprise, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. (Twitter link). When asked before tonight’s game about the trade that will bring Clint Capela to Atlanta, Len responded, “We have what like 24 hours left (until the trade deadline)? It’s going to be really interesting because we have four bigs. Something is probably going to happen now.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Clippers, Herro, LaVine, Poeltl, More

Chris Mannix of SI.com is among the latest reporters to weigh in this week on the Clippers‘ search for a center. According to Mannix, Los Angeles’ coaching staff has some concerns about the team’s rebounding. We heard on Monday that the Clips are also wary of facing star centers like Rudy Gobert or Nikola Jokic in the postseason.

Sources tell Mannix that there’s some interest within the Clippers’ front office in Tristan Thompson, whom the Cavaliers have put on the trade block. Mannix also names disgruntled Kings big man Dewayne Dedmon as a possible target, though he cautions that Dedmon wouldn’t be a preferred option for L.A.

The Clippers have Maurice Harkless‘ $11MM+ expiring contract available to use as a salary-matching piece for a trade target earning an eight-figure salary, but the team will have to be careful about how it fires that bullet. Acquiring a pricey center like Thompson or Dedmon using Harkless’ deal could take the team out of the market for a wing in the same salary range, such as Marcus Morris or Robert Covington.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Heat have told teams that Tyler Herro is unavailable at this time, according to Mannix. If Miami wants to do something major, Herro would likely be the first player a potential trade partner asks about, but the Heat have no interest in moving him.
  • The Bulls have received some trade feelers for Zach LaVine, but a source tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) that the 24-year-old is “off-limits.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe said essentially the same thing on a podcast this week.
  • Teams are calling the Spurs to ask about Jakob Poeltl, but the asking price is believed to be too high, tweets Jabari Young of CNBC. Poeltl will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, so it’s possible San Antonio will lower its price by Thursday if the big man isn’t in the team’s long-term plans.
  • Nuggets power forward Juan Hernangomez is among the players of interest for the Rockets, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Denver is reportedly seeking a second-round pick for Hernangomez.

Kings Willing To Reconcile With Dedmon

The Kings are willing to retain and mend their relationship with center Dewayne Dedmon, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

Dedmon was fined $50K by the league after publicly requesting a trade late last month.

“I would like to be traded,” Dedmon said at the time. “I haven’t been playing, so I would like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated.”

The Kings are willing to deal Dedmon but only if they get a fair return, Anderson adds. The Kings signed Dedmon to a three-year, $40MM contract during free agency over the summer, but when Richaun Holmes emerged as a starter, he fell out of the rotation.

With Holmes (shoulder) and Marvin Bagley III (foot) dealing with injuries, Dedmon has received an increase in playing time lately. He had a 13-point, 10-rebound outing against the Pistons last Wednesday and saw 19 minutes of court time against Chicago on Friday.

Overall, Dedmon hasn’t been able to duplicate the success he had in Atlanta last season, when he averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG while shooting 38.2% on 3-point attempts in 25.1 MPG. He is shooting 21.3% from 3-point range this season with averages of 6.4 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 14.5 MPG.

Reactions To Kings-Trail Blazers Trade

Today’s five-player trade with Portland is the start of an in-season reboot for the Kings, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Sacramento was willing to provide financial relief for the Trail Blazers by taking on the remainder of Kent Bazemore‘s $19.3MM expiring contract in the deal, which also netted Anthony Tolliver and a pair of future second-round picks.

By sending out three players in return, the Kings create roster flexibility that could be important in a potential trade of Dewayne Dedmon, Jones adds. The center, who signed a three-year, $40MM contract in free agency, lost his starting job after four games and has been vocal in his displeasure over a reduced role.

Jones notes that the deal is an admission that the summer’s free agency haul was a disappointment. Dedmon appears on the way out, and sending Trevor Ariza to Portland probably had to be done to make that happen. Jones relays that coach Luke Walton was fond of Ariza, but his contract is only partially guaranteed for next season so he may not have been part of the Kings’ future.

Jones believes anyone on Sacramento’s roster — apart from De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield — is a candidate to be traded by the February 6 deadline, even Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

There’s more reaction to today’s trade announcement:

  • The Kings have been collecting second-rounders and were happy to add two more, observes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. With the addition of Portland’s picks in 2024 and 2025, Sacramento now has 13 second-round selections over the next six seasons. Ham adds that the value of those picks could increase once the league lowers the age requirement for the draft to 18, which is expected by 2022.
  • The trade is a signal that the Blazers have decided to “punt” the rest of the season, claims John Canzano of The Oregonian. He calls it understandable considering Portland had the highest payroll in the league and no playoff hopes other than possibly snatching the eighth seed. He also questions why president of basketball operations Neil Olshey decided to blow up a roster that reached the Western Conference finals last year, trading Evan Turner to the Hawks for Bazemore and sending Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless to the Heat for Hassan Whiteside.
  • Jason Quick of the Athletic talked to Bazemore on Friday night about the possibility of being traded. Bazemore had been hoping for a long stay in Portland, but he took a wait-and-see approach after several weeks of hearing his name in trade rumors. “I’ve been around long enough now, man, another day in the life, bro,” he said. “I ain’t even thought about it, honestly. Been traded before … I just go out and ready to go and continue to get better and be my best when the time is right.”