Donte DiVincenzo

Free Agent Stock Watch: Pacific Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents during the 2023 offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Pacific players.

Austin Reaves, G/F, Lakers

  • 2022/23: $1.56MM
  • 2023/24: RFA
  • Stock: Up

After going undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2021, Reaves initially caught on with the Lakers on a two-way deal, but received a promotion to a standard contract before his rookie season started. He was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season in Los Angeles, averaging 7.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 1.8 APG on .459/.317/.839 shooting (.600 true shooting percentage) in 61 games (23.2 MPG).

He has been even better in year two – you could easily make the case that he’s been the Lakers’ third-best player in 2022/23. Through 52 games (27.6 MPG), he’s averaging 11.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 2.8 APG on an elite .511/.385/.860 shooting line (.667 TS%).

The 24-year-old has a really nice pump fake-and-drive game, which he uses to throw defenders off balance and draw fouls – he’s averaging 3.4 free throw attempts per night, which is quite high considering his usage rate is only 14.7%. Reaves has a feathery soft touch when throwing lobs, has good chemistry with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and has drastically improved defensively in his second season.

Reaves will be a restricted free agent in the offseason. The Lakers were only able to give him a two-year rookie contract after using most of their taxpayer mid-level exception on Kendrick Nunn a couple years ago, so they will hold his Early Bird rights, with a maximum offer of $50.77MM over four years.

Could he get a higher offer than that in free agency? Quite possibly. Rival suitors who want to pry him away would be subject to the Arenas provision, which limits the amount they can offer in years one and two but allows them to include big bump in salary in years three and four. Unless it’s a crazy overpay, I would expect the Lakers to match.

Lonnie Walker IV, G/F, Lakers

  • 2022/23: $6.48MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

Walker opened the season as a starter in his first year in Los Angeles, averaging 14.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 1.4 APG on .455/.384/.875 shooting (.578 TS%) in 32 games (29.8 MPG). Left knee tendinitis sidelined him for 14 consecutive games from late December to late January.

Walker has not started a game since he returned and has averaged just 15.5 MPG in 19 games, recording 8.2 PPG and 1.5 RPG on .417/.292/.867 shooting (.534 TS%). He has received a couple healthy scratches in that span.

Still just 24 years old, Walker is an explosive athlete but he’s just an OK shooter and doesn’t provide much in terms of rebounding, passing or defense. When he’s been on the court, he has a minus-7.2 net rating, the worst among the team’s rotation regulars. When he’s off, the Lakers are plus-3.3.

I’d be pretty surprised if he receives a starting salary at the taxpayer mid-level exception again next season.

Donte DiVincenzo, G, Warriors

  • 2022/23: $4.5MM
  • 2023/24: $4.73MM player option
  • Stock: Up

I was very surprised at how relatively little money DiVincenzo received in his first free agency foray last summer. I know he was coming off a down season in ’21/22 following left ankle surgery and had particularly struggled with his shot – he posted a .351/.339/.843 shooting line in 42 combined games (24.0 MPG) with Milwaukee and Sacramento (.510 TS%).

Still, he started to play better as the year went on, and he was still solid in other areas (4.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.1 SPG). The Kings initially gave him a qualifying offer and then pulled it, with the former No. 17 overall pick receiving part of the taxpayer mid-level from Golden State – he’s actually making less this season than he did in the final year of his rookie contract.

The 26-year-old has certainly earned a raise. He has been invaluable to the Warriors, averaging 9.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.4 APG and 1.3 SPG in 60 games (25 starts, 26.6 MPG).

On top of being a strong defensive player, DiVincenzo has a high basketball IQ, hustles, and is shooting a career-high 40.4% from three-point range to go along with a rock solid 58.8 TS%. The Warriors only have his Non-Bird rights, so it will be very difficult to bring him back unless he really loves playing for them and is willing to accept a team-friendly deal.

Alex Len, C, Kings

  • 2022/23: $3.92MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

Len signed a two-year, $7.65MM contract with the Kings as a free agent in 2021. He didn’t play all that well last season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG while shooting 53.4% from the floor and 65.1% from the line in 39 games (15.9 MPG).

He has barely played at all in ’22/23, appearing in 17 games for a total of 53 minutes. He is the definition of being buried on the depth chart.

It’s hard to see the former No. 5 overall pick getting anything more than the veteran’s minimum as a free agent this summer, assuming he finds a team.

Josh Okogie, G/F, Suns

  • 2022/23: $1.84MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Up

Okogie spent his first four seasons with Minnesota, the team that drafted him 20th overall in 2018. They let him walk after his rookie deal expired, and the 24-year-old was only able to find a veteran’s minimum deal with Phoenix.

The primary reason for that modest deal was Okogie’s limited offensive production. He averaged 6.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.0 SPG on .403/.275/.758 shooting (.521 TS%) in 244 games (20.6 MPG) with the Wolves.

His stats this season in Phoenix – 7.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 0.8 SPG on .399/.329/.728 shooting (53.5 TS%) in 60 games (17.6 MPG) – aren’t all that different. So why is his stock up?

Since the start of the new year, Okogie is averaging 10.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 1.0 SPG on .398/.369/.725 shooting (.547 TS%) in 28 games (24.1 MPG). He has been even better over the past 14 contests, of which he’s started 13 straight (32.4 MPG), averaging 14.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 1.6 SPG on .423/.378/.780 shooting (.580 TS%).

Okogie is a ferocious offensive rebounder and pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in the NBA, which enables him to switch across multiple positions. He is an outstanding defender.

The Nigerian swingman brings a relentless energy and physicality every time he steps on the court, which complements a team that relies heavily on jump shots. I don’t have a good feel for how much he might get on his next contract, but he’s certainly trending in a positive direction.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Iguodala, Buyout Market

Stephen Curry‘s return could be imminent. Curry participated in Monday’s practice and scrimmages, according to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews, and he’s listed as questionable to play against Phoenix on Tuesday. Curry hasn’t played since Dec. 14 due to a shoulder injury.

Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were also full participants while Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and JaMychal Green sat out.

Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole did not participate in the scrimmages because they’ve played heavy minutes in recent games (Twitter links here).

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Wiggins missed 15 games due to an adductor strain and illness. In his return against Orlando on Saturday, he scored 12 points in 19 minutes but shot just 4-for-12 from the field. He told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that he’ll need some time to regain his best form. “It just felt a little rusty out there just trying to get my feet right, get back in rhythm,” Wiggins said. “But I know it’s going to take a little time.”
  • Andre Iguodala made his season debut in the same game and also needs to scrape off some rust. He wasn’t much of a factor in 12 minutes. However, Iguodala isn’t a crucial rotation piece like Wiggins, Slater notes in the same piece.
  • The trade deadline is a month away, followed by the buyout market. The Warriors, who have an open roster spot, need to add another piece, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic opines. What do they need the most? In Thompson’s estimation, an athletic big would be ideal. They could also pursue a wing capable of stressing defenses off the dribble.

Warriors Notes: Two-Way Players, Curry, Wiggins, Iguodala

The Warriors have been forced to rely more than they expected on two-way players Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome, and both are starting to get close to their game limits for the season, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area.

NBA rules state that two-way players can’t be on the active roster for more than 50 games and they’re not eligible for the playoffs. With the season not quite at the halfway point, Lamb has already appeared in 31 games, while Jerome has played 25 and had two more in which he was active but didn’t get on the court.

“We have to navigate that,” coach Steve Kerr admitted. “There will be some games where those guys will not suit up.” 

Lamb, who is on his third team in three years, signed with the Warriors in October shortly before the start of the regular season. He has earned a consistent role off the bench, averaging 6.6 PPG in 19.3 minutes per game. Jerome also came to Golden State in October, after being traded and waived during the offseason, and is putting up 7.5 PPG in 18 minutes per night.

“It says a lot about the culture,” Andre Iguodala said, “just with them looking for guys like that who will make the most of their time here and even extend their time because of their work ethics.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry felt good after taking part in Friday’s practice, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. He was able to play 5-on-5 with contact and said his conditioning is fine after missing nearly four weeks with a left shoulder subluxation. President of basketball operations Bob Myers indicated this week that Curry might be able to return January 13, but the former MVP wouldn’t commit to that, saying he plans “to be ready when I’m ready.” (Twitter link)
  • The Warriors confirmed that Andrew Wiggins will be in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Magic, ending a 15-game absence due to an adductor strain and an illness, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Donte DiVincenzo will return to his role off the bench. Wiggins will be on a minutes restriction, although Kerr wasn’t specific about how long he will play, according to Andrews (Twitter link).
  • Iguodala, who will make his season debut tonight, will also play restricted minutes, Andrews tweets. Kerr didn’t reveal how long that will be, saying the team is working out a long-term plan for Iguodala, including whether he will be available for back-to-back games.

Warriors Notes: DiVincenzo, Poole, Payton, Jerome, Wiggins

In Friday’s win over Portland, Donte DiVincenzo had his most impactful performance since signing with the Warriors during the offseason, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. With 45 seconds left and Golden State leading by two points, DiVincenzo stole the ball from Damian Lillard and followed that with a three-pointer to put the game out of reach.

DiVincenzo got off to an uneven start with his new team, but he has moved into the starting lineup in the wake of injuries to Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. He has helped to stabilize the team’s perimeter defense and recorded four steals on Friday night.

“He’s a winner,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I mean, two-time NCAA champion. NBA champion with the Bucks. Competes every second of every play. Great rebounds. Just constantly moving toward the ball. Plays with so much energy and activity, and then he’s fearless. He knocks down that big 3. He was 0-for-3 from 3 going into that shot, and it didn’t phase him at all.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Jordan Poole had a game-high 41 points Friday as he continues to fill the scoring void left by Curry’s absence, Slater adds. Poole has produced hefty point totals in the team’s last five wins, and Slater believes his ability to fill in for Curry influenced Warriors management to give him a contract extension.
  • Gary Payton II still hasn’t played this season, but the Trail Blazers guard picked up his championship ring during Friday’s visit to Golden State, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Draymond Green was excited to make the official presentation to his former teammate. “To understand GP’s journey, to see him go and get his money, but most importantly to see what he was able to contribute to a championship — I’m extremely excited and honored to be the person that’s presenting him something that will matter and that nobody can take for the rest of your life,” Green said.
  • Ty Jerome was flattered to be called “a poor man’s Steve Nash” during an interview on Warriors Postgame Live (video link). Jerome signed with Golden State after being waived by the Rockets in October, and he says the team’s style of play is a perfect fit for his skills.
  • Wiggins was able to take part in a 3-on-3 session Friday morning and Kerr is “hopeful” that he’ll be able to play Monday, Johnson tweets.

Pacific Notes: Reaves, Booker, DiVincenzo, Fernandez

Because Lakers guard Austin Reaves only received a two-year contract when he had his two-way deal converted in September 2021, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency after the 2022/23 season. During an episode of the Late Night Lake Show podcast, Jovan Buha of The Athletic suggested that Reaves will be in line for a substantial raise on his current minimum-salary contract.

“From what I’ve heard on that, it’s going to be more than (Alex) Caruso money, that’s for sure,” Buha said, according to Jacob Rude of Silver Screen and Roll. “It’s going to be double digits.”

When Caruso left the Lakers for Chicago last summer, he signed a four-year deal worth just shy of $37MM. Buha’s comments indicate he expects Reaves to receive at least $10MM annually on his second NBA contract.

While the Lakers haven’t been in position to make competitive offers to certain standout role players, including Malik Monk this past offseason, they’ll hold Reaves’ Early Bird rights in the summer of 2023, giving them more flexibility to make a strong bid. As Rude points out, the Gilbert Arenas provision will also apply to Reaves, so rival suitors won’t have the ability to make an offer the Lakers can’t match.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Asked before Wednesday’s game if Devin Booker‘s return from a groin injury on Christmas Day felt rushed, Suns head coach Monty Williams pushed back against that notion, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “In this case with Book, every box, to my knowledge, was checked,” Williams said. “Before you put a guy back on the floor, you have to do that.” Booker, who suffered a setback four minutes into his return, is now expected to miss at least four weeks.
  • Donte DiVincenzo has a championship ring, is in his fifth NBA season, and is respected by the Warriors‘ young players, but he’s also just 25 years old and feels like he’s still developing, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. As Thompson writes, that makes DiVincenzo something like a “middle child” in Golden State, falling between the team’s older veteran generation and its younger prospects.
  • Before becoming the Kings‘ associate head coach under Mike Brown this season, Jordi Fernandez spent six years in Denver on Michael Malone‘s staff. As Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee relays, Malone still thinks highly of his former assistant, who is coaching the Kings while Brown is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. “I think one day Jordi will be a head coach in this league,” Malone said. “He’s been a head coach in the G League. He’s got great international experience. This team is on the right path with the right coaches, so I’m really happy for them.”

Pacific Notes: Baldwin, Wiseman, Sabonis, LeBron, Bryant

As the Warriors‘ nightmarish road trip wrapped up Wednesday in Brooklyn, there were encouraging signs from two players who spent much of the season in the G League, writes C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle. Given extended minutes in the blowout loss, rookie forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. posted career highs with 17 points and five three-pointers and he got to experience his first matchup with Kevin Durant.

“I mean, KD is going to be KD,” Baldwin said. “He’s going to hit his tough shots. He’s going to get to his spots and I thought a lot of guys stepped up and accepted that challenge.”

Also setting a career high was third-year center James Wiseman, who made 12-of-14 shots from the field and scored 30 points. Holmes notes that he showed a soft touch around the basket and sank his first three-pointer of the season.

“James did a great job tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s fun to kind of see him let loose and get some minutes and make the most of it. He did a lot of good things offensively.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After missing two games with an illness, Donte DiVincenzo should be able to return for the Warriors on Sunday against Memphis, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. However, Andrew Wiggins (right adductor strain) and JaMychal Green (health and safety protocols) have both been ruled out.
  • X-rays confirmed that Kings big man Domantas Sabonis suffered an injury to his right hand Friday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Further testing will determine the extent of the damage, and Sabonis’ pain tolerance could factor into how much time he will miss. Sabonis leads the NBA with 23 double-doubles, and is one of three players averaging 10 rebounds and five assists per game, along with Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  • With Anthony Davis injured, the Lakers need more from LeBron James than he’s capable of providing at nearly age 38, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill points out that James is taking the second-most shots of his career, while his efficiency is at the lowest point since 2015. He’s also attempting more three-pointers and fewer free throws this season and doesn’t appear capable of leading L.A. to the playoffs without another star on the court.
  • Thomas Bryant, who left Friday’s game with a shoulder injury, isn’t on the Lakers’ injury report for Sunday, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

Pacific Notes: DiVincenzo, Garvin, Crowder, Booker, Monk

Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo says that the Bucks and Milwaukee will always hold a special place in his heart, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. DiVincenzo won a championship with the Bucks two seasons ago before being traded to Sacramento in a deadline deal last season.

DiVincenzo, who signed a two-year contract with the Warriors as a free agent over the summer, is looking forward to tonight’s game at Milwaukee: “They opened the door to the NBA for me. I can play for every team in the NBA. No matter what, I’m still always going to have that special love for the organization, for that front office for giving me my first shot in the NBA. That goes with the fans as well.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns interim governor Sam Garvin is confident the front office will get a solid offer for Jae Crowder, who is sitting out while he awaits a trade.  “(GM James Jones and his staff have) had a lot of discussions with a lot of teams that are interested in Jae. As James said, there’s no magic wand of a timeline,” Garvin told Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic (subscription required). “It’s going to happen when it’s going to happen, but I think Jae is going to go somewhere and do well and I think we’re going to get value for Jae.” Garvin addresses other topics in the Q&A, including Jones’ extension and the team’s inability to sign Cameron Johnson to an extension.
  • Suns star guard Devin Booker will sit out for the second straight game on Tuesday due to left hamstring tightness, Rankin writes in a separate story. Booker also missed Phoenix’s overtime loss to New Orleans on Sunday. Booker has a history of hamstring issues, Rankin notes.
  • Malik Monk has a reputation of being a scorer but the Kings are also using him more as a play-maker, according to Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Monk is not only averaging a career-best 14.4 points per game but also 3.8 assists. His 2.9 APG with the Lakers last season represented a career high. “We’re just try to move it, move the defense as much as possible,” Monk said. “But they can’t help off me as much ’cause I can shoot. They can’t help off of (Domantas Sabonis) that much because he’s a big threat rolling. So whatever they do is going to be wrong, and I’ve just been making the right reads this year.” Monk signed a two-year, $19.4MM contract with Sacramento as a free agent.

Warriors Notes: Young Players, J. Green, DiVincenzo, Thompson

The Warriors‘ two-timeline plan of mixing young players with their established stars isn’t working, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. The latest example came Sunday against the Kings when coach Steve Kerr had to pull his reserves midway through the fourth quarter and reinsert Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

“We’re not a team right now where we can afford to let guys make mistakes,” Kerr said after the loss, which dropped Golden State to 0-7 on the road. “We’re not good enough to withstand a lot of mistakes.”

Third-year center James Wiseman, whom the Warriors valued highly enough to take with the second pick in the 2020 draft, has already fallen out of the rotation. Moses Moody hasn’t played at all the past two games, and his fellow 2021 lottery pick, Jonathan Kuminga, is seeing minimal time, usually early in the game. Even Jordan Poole, who received a lucrative long-term contract extension last month, sat out nearly the entire fourth quarter against Sacramento.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Another problem for Golden State is that offseason additions JaMychal Green and Donte DiVincenzo haven’t replaced the production lost when Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica all departed, Thompson adds. Green has lost his rotation spot, while DiVincenzo is coming off an injury and hasn’t been as productive as the front office was hoping. Thompson notes that Damion Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson would both be seeing regular playing time if they hadn’t also left in free agency.
  • Draymond Green believes the Warriors are still adjusting to their reserves (video link from Anthony Slater of The Athletic). The second unit used to present opponents with a different look on offense, Green said, but now the first man off the bench is usually Poole, who is similar to Stephen Curry in his style of play.
  • Klay Thompson has been struggling with his shot so far, but he promises things are going to change, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. After Sunday’s loss, Thompson posted a message on Instagram that read, “My belief is stronger than your doubt. I PROMISE you it’s coming. And when it does, the floodgates will open.” His shooting percentage currently sits at a career-low 35.1%.

Pacific Notes: DiVincenzo, Kuminga, George, Johnson, Craig

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said on Sunday that injured wing Donte DiVincenzo practiced with the club today, but is not set to return to the floor just yet, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link). Golden State is targeting its Friday game for a DiVincenzo return, Andrews reports.

Andrews adds (via Twitter) that second-year swingman Jonathan Kuminga is going to join the Warriors’ revised rotation as the defending champs look to rebound from a five-game losing streak that has sunk their early record to 3-7. Andrews notes that Kerr has indicated he will be making other tweaks to the club’s lineups, but did not expound on that.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • With starting Suns power forward Cameron Johnson now out for a while following meniscus surgery, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports examines how his extended absence could impact the rest of the club’s roster. With Phoenix reserve Torrey Craig shifted into the starting lineup, Bourguet contends that the Suns could struggle thanks to a shortened bench and the loss of three-point shooting that arrives in the transition from Johnson to Craig. While Craig is connecting on 40.9% of his triples, he is taking just 2.4 attempts a game. Johnson was nailing 43.1% of his treys on a much more robust 6.4 looks a night.
  • Craig performed well as head coach Monty Williams‘s choice to replace Johnson in the Suns‘ starting lineup, and appears to be in line for a big uptick in the weeks to come with Johnson out, according to Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic. “It’s been good,” Williams said of Craig’s performance. “He’s been thrown into a number of situations with us and I thought his energy [in the team’s 102-82 blowout of the Trail Blazers Saturday] was great.”
  • Clippers All-Star forward Paul George has stepped up in the absence of injured fellow All-Star Kawhi Leonard, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Leonard has only been able to suit up for two games thus far as he deals with right knee stiffness. In three straight Leonard-less wins, George has averaged 31.2 PPG, 6.1 APG and 5.0 RPG.

Injury Updates: GPII, DiVincenzo, LaVine, Middleton, Suggs, Grimes

Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II, who continues to recover from offseason abdominal surgery, could will be out for at least two more weeks, reports Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Payton’s earliest possible return date will be November 15 vs. San Antonio. That will be Portland’s first home game following a six-game road trip that begins this Friday.

The Blazers issued a press release confirming the timeline reported by Haynes and noting that Payton has been cleared to increase his conditioning and on-court activity.

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

  • The Warriors announced today (via Twitter) that guard Donte DiVincenzo is “making good progress” as he recovers from a strained left hamstring, but isn’t ready to return quite yet. DiVincenzo will be reevaluated when the Warriors return home this weekend, per the team. That means he’ll miss at least three more games, since the Dubs will be in Miami on Tuesday, Orlando on Thursday, and New Orleans on Friday.
  • Bulls star Zach LaVine, listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Brooklyn, is expected to play, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, LaVine will likely sit Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte, the second half of a back-to-back set, as the team continues to manage his return from knee surgery.
  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton, who underwent offseason wrist surgery, has been assigned to the G League to practice with the Wisconsin Herd as he advances to the next stage of his rehab, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A previous report indicated the Bucks hope to have Middleton back at some point in November.
  • Magic guard Jalen Suggs, out since October 21 with an ankle injury, has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s game in Oklahoma City, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, Knicks wing Quentin Grimes, who hasn’t played yet this season due to a foot injury, has been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Atlanta, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.