Doug McDermott

Southwest Notes: Evans, McDermott, Randle, Rockets

The Grizzlies‘ desire for a first-round pick and their insistence on not taking back unwanted salary were behind the failure to trade Tyreke Evans before the deadline, according to Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis is counting on using its $8.6MM mid-level exception to sign a free agent this summer and doesn’t want to get close to the luxury tax threshold. The team already has more than $101MM in committed salary for next season.

Herrington adds that GM Chris Wallace wanted a quality first-rounder in exchange for Evans, rather than multiple second-rounders, because the roster is already stuffed with young players. The Grizzlies were disappointed that the offers they got for Evans were no better than what they received for Courtney Lee two years ago.

Memphis won’t be able to offer Evans more than the MLE this offseason, but he may find that enticing as a way to build up Bird rights, which allow teams to exceed the cap to re-sign their own players. He doesn’t have them now because he joined the Grizzlies on a one-year contract, but he can get Early Bird rights if signs with Memphis for one more season or full Bird rights if he stays two more.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks see plenty of potential in Doug McDermott, who was acquired from the Knicks in a three-team trade Thursday, relays Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Coach Rick Carlisle wants to give McDermott more time at power forward, which was his position in college, rather than small forward, where he has mostly been used in the NBA. “I like what he was doing,” Carlisle said. “Offensively, he really is a guy you’ve got to pay attention to. Moves great off the ball. Really one of the quickest releases on his shot I’ve seen. There’s just a few guys who get rid of it that quick. I think he’s just a good mix with the guys that we have here.”
  • Lakers forward Julius Randle impressed Dallas fans with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Saturday’s game, Townsend notes in the same story. Randle, a Dallas native, will be a restricted free agent this summer and is reportedly on the Mavericks‘ radar. “I don’t care where it is,” Randle said about playing well in Dallas. “I’m just going to try to bring it every night, just be as consistent as possible.”
  • Carlisle is impressed with the collection of talent in Houston, where the Rockets are about to add Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright once they clear waivers, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “Two really potent signings this time of year,” Carlisle said. “Houston, they’re loading up. They’re right there. It’s an exciting time for them.

Southwest Notes: Spurs, McDermott, Rockets

It was a quiet trade deadline in San Antonio, which is nothing new for the Spurs, who rarely shake up their roster in February. The team’s inactivity on Thursday was just fine with veterans like Tony Parker, who said prior to this year’s deadline that they’d be happy if the team stood pat, counting on Kawhi Leonard to be the major late-season addition.

“I think it is always good to stay intact,” Parker said of the Spurs’ roster, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “We went to the conference finals last year, so the biggest thing for us is not a trade but to get Kawhi back.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Having acquired Doug McDermott from the Knicks on Thursday, the Mavericks plan to re-sign the fourth-year sharpshooter in restricted free agency this summer, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post. Dallas will have the right of first refusal on McDermott, allowing the team to match any offer sheet he signs.
  • For the first time since he became the Rockets‘ general manager, Daryl Morey didn’t make a deadline deal this season, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details. Morey explained that Houston simply didn’t have much to give up, with very few expendable players and no first-round pick for 2018. Still, the Rockets are likely to be active in the buyout market, according to Feigen, who says point guard figures to be an area of focus for the club.
  • Spurs swingman Danny Green has new representation, per Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News, who tweets that Green has left BDA Sports and signed with Roc Nation. Green could reach unrestricted free agency as early as this summer if he turns down his $10MM player option for 2018/19.
  • Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal explores why the Grizzlies chose not to trade Tyreke Evans at Thursday’s deadline.

Knicks Acquire Emmanuel Mudiay In Three-Team Trade

7:51pm: The three-way trade is now official, according to press releases issued by the Knicks and Nuggets.Emmanuel Mudiay vertical

1:09pm: Denver, New York and Dallas have reached agreement on a three-team trade that will send Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks, Devin Harris to the Nuggets and Doug McDermott to the Mavericks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The deal also includes a swap of second-round picks, Woj adds, with Denver receiving the Clippers’ 2018 second-rounder from the Knicks. The Mavericks will be getting the Trail Blazers’ 2018 second-round pick from the Nuggets.

The Knicks are adding to their options at point guard by taking on Mudiay, who was the seventh player selected in the 2015 draft. He was given the starting spot as a rookie, but has drifted into a reserve role as shooting problems have slowed his progress. He joins 2017 first-rounder Frank Ntilikina in New York’s backcourt, along with veteran Jarrett Jack and Trey Burke. Mudiay is owed nearly $4.3MM for next season and is eligible for a rookie contract extension in the summer of 2019.

Harris, who will turn 35 later this month, brings a veteran presence to Denver’s backcourt for the rest of the season. He is averaging 8.5 points in 44 games and has an expiring contract worth a little more than $4.4MM.

McDermott, part of the package the Knicks received in exchange for Carmelo Anthony, averaged 7.2 points and shot .387 from 3-point range in 55 games for New York. This is the third trade in the past 12 months for McDermott, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: New York Knicks

The Knicks may not end up in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but there’s no denying that the franchise is headed in a better direction than it was this time last year. Addition by subtraction in the organization has given the rest of the franchise room to grow.

Although the Knicks have shown that they’re capable of winning ball games this year, it would be foolish for the team to abandon what has morphed into an organic rebuild to chase short-term gains.

This summer, the Knicks would be wise to stick to their plan and manage their growth responsibly. While they’ll have their hands tied financially where it matters most, how they handle their few free agents could shed light on their mentality heading forward.

Ron Baker, PG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $8.9MM deal in 2017
Baker endeared himself to head coach Jeff Hornacek last season and immediately became the wealthiest third-or-fourth-string point guard in the NBA. The Knicks may envision Baker as Frank Ntilikina‘s eventual primary backup, hence their paying more than they needed to re-sign him, but that doesn’t even matter. As much as we all love Ron Burgundy, he won’t find more than the $4.5MM 2018/19 player option he has with the Knicks anywhere else in the NBA.

Michael Beasley, PF, 29 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.1MM deal in 2017
There’s simply no denying that Beasley is capable of filling the stat sheet when given an opportunity. He’s done it sporadically throughout his career but most recently last month while Tim Hardaway Jr. nursed a leg injury. Beasley signed a one-year, “prove it” deal with the Knicks last summer, but the only thing up for debate is whether or not he can dutifully transition back out of the Madison Square Garden limelight and become a consistent producer off the bench for a team trending in the right direction. Beasley’s likely too old to attract attention from a team amid a traditional rebuild, so he’ll have to establish himself as an emotionally mature, volume scorer off the bench if he wants to get paid. If he does, I’d buy in.

Jarrett Jack, PG, 34 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.4MM deal in 2017
The Knicks brought a face familiar to New Yorkers in to keep the starting point guard position warm until Ntilikina is ready to take over. By all accounts, the former Nets guard has done everything one could expect from a 34-year-old journeyman who had played just 34 games across the previous two seasons. The Knicks will presumably have the option to bring him back on the cheap next season if they’d like to extend their current backcourt arrangement, but he’ll have more interest from contenders now that he’s shown he can stay on the court.

Enes Kanter, C, 26 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015Enes Kanter vertical
A move to the spotlight in New York City has brought Kanter’s value close to where it was in 2016 when he signed a substantial contract extension in the wake of an excellent half-season stint with the Thunder. Kanter has deficiencies, no doubt, but the basketball collective seemed to overreact slightly when he didn’t immediately live up to his lofty contract in the first few years of the NBA’s Small Ball Era. I expect Kanter back in New York with his 2018/19 player option because the city seems to suit him and I can’t envision a situation in which he’d be more immediately valuable than the one he lucked into thanks to the Carmelo Anthony deal.

Doug McDermott, SF, 26 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $10.4MM deal in 2014
While McDermott has done a fine job providing solid minutes off the bench in his first Knicks season, the biggest takeaway from his 2017/18 campaign so far is that his ceiling is right about where people thought it was after a ho-hum career start in Chicago. McDermott could be a low-key valuable add for a team seeking a minor piece, though the Knicks may be better off letting him walk and freeing up the space for a more ambitious signing.

Kyle O’Quinn, C, 28 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $16MM deal in 2015
O’Quinn is a consistently efficient big man who has bulldozed his way into New York’s frontcourt logjam because he’s simply too effective to keep on the sidelines. Despite his production, however, the Knicks would benefit from flipping him for something, because it would clear more minutes for players like Kanter and Willy Hernangomez. Wherever O’Quinn ends up, he would hit free agency this summer as a lumbering big man in a bear market. For that reason, expect him back on his $4.3MM player option with an eye on 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Northwest Notes: Mitchell, Crawford, Thunder

The NBA’s highest-scoring rookie is open to the idea of competing in the NBA Dunk Contest, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News writes. First-year Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is a an obvious candidate to compete in the Rising Stars Game and has a growing portfolio of highlight-reel dunks.

It would be great, but I haven’t paid any attention to that whatsoever,” the 21-year-old sensation averaging 18.1 points per game for the Jazz said. “Not even the whole weekend. That’s not even been on my head at all. People bring it up, but I don’t even like to entertain it, I just focus on the task at hand.

As the February festivities grow closer, and participants formally get offered opportunities to strut their stuff, the Jazz rookie may call upon his own background competing in dunk contests. Woodyard writes that Mitchell once competed in the BallIsLife All-American Game dunk contest and won the Derby Basketball Classic dunk contest in 2015.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford has found adjusting to his role with the Timberwolves challenging, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune writes, noting that he didn’t expect to play the fewest minutes per game since his rookie campaign in 2000/01. “You want to actually do it the right way, and play within the framework of the game. But then, if you’re not out there that much, you kind of have to make something happen. So it’s a balance I’m trying to figure out,” Crawford said.
  • The three stars leading the Thunder may still need to figure out how to play effectively with one another but Paul George denies there being any chemistry issues, Royce Young of ESPN writes. “We’ve never had chemistry problems. We like, and enjoy, playing with one another. It’s never been a chemistry problem,” George said.
  • The Thunder got a good look at two former teammates when the club traveled to New York City for battle with the Knicks. Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, who went east in the Carmelo Anthony trade, were eager to match up against their former team and particularly proud to walk away with the victory, Fred Keber of the New York Post writes. “It feels really good,” McDermott said. “This game was kind of about [Anthony] and I thought we did a great job of not letting that distract us and focus on winning the game. And it felt great especially being part of the trade with Enes.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Celtics, Embiid

Two months into the 2017/18 NBA season, the Knicks are one of the most impressive turnaround stories. One of the major reasons why is that the club is learning to trust one another, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes.

Consider Doug McDermott, a fourth-year forward who didn’t make a lasting impression during his first two stints in the NBA. This year the Creighton product is shooting threes at a .415 clip and commanding the respect of his new teammates.

It means a lot. It feels good,” McDermott said. “Everyone feels like we all trust each other now. We’re almost 30 games into the season. We’re clicking. We have a good vibe going. We’ve just to continue to do it.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics‘ second unit has made a name for itself because of its defense but sooner or later they’re going to have to start improving on the offensive end, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Currently, he says, the bench lacks consistent shot-makers.
  • The Sixers seem to be well ahead of schedule in their infamous rebuild and that can be attributed to a number of things, namely the emergence of Joel Embiid as a legitimate – and healthy – star, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • The Knicks and Nets, with rosters jam-packed with promising young players, have set about rebuilding the right way, no small feat in the superteam era, a Nets Daily report opines.

Knicks Notes: Perry, Kanter, McDermott, Hardaway

Knicks GM Scott Perry doesn’t want to try to duplicate “The Process” that has worked for the Sixers, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Philadelphia endured several years of on-court failure while collecting prime lottery picks and other assets. Perry said his franchise shouldn’t “institutionalize losing” and prefers to compete for a playoff spot.

“I think it’s very important if you’re playing meaningful basketball late in the season because of the culture you’re trying to build here,” he explained. “I’ll also say wherever we wind up in the draft, whether on the playoff side or lottery side, I have extreme confidence in the scouting and front-office staff we’re going to add some talented players to the mix here.”

The Knicks are off to a 12-13 start after finishing last season 31-51 and are tied with the Heat for ninth place in the East.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • The team’s early-season success is a result of “winning” the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, Berman writes in the same story. Enes Kanter immediately took over as the starting center and is averaging 13.6 and 10.5 rebounds per game. Doug McDermott has been productive off the bench, scoring 7.9 points in 23.5 minutes. New York also picked up Chicago’s second-round pick, which will be 31st overall if the Bulls continue to hold the league’s worst record. “Enes has come in and quickly become a crowd favorite,” Perry said. “He brings a toughness. He brings commitment to team. He’s complemented [Kristaps Porzingis] very well. He’s relentless on the boards and adds a little edge and toughness to our team. Doug is the consummate professional, can stretch the defense because he can shoot 3-point shots and done even better on the defensive end than most people thought. Both those guys have been about enhancing the culture we want to have here.”
  • Being around the .500 mark early in the season is nothing new for the Knicks, but Porzingis told Al Iannazzone of Newsday that there’s a different feeling this year. New York got off to a 14-10 start last season and was 22-22 in 2015/16 before collapsing both times. Porzingis believes the organization is in a better position now with the drama of the Phil Jackson era gone and endorses the team’s offseason moves. “That’s the right direction to go: rebuild, have young guys and play hard and build a new team,” he said. “But not at any moment in my mind has there been a thought that maybe we can lose this game so we can get a better draft pick. I’m not about that. I want to win every game.”
  • Injured guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who is sidelined with a stress injury to his left leg, was in a walking boot Saturday as he joined his teammates in Chicago, Berman tweets.

Bulls Notes: Payne, McDermott, Mirotic, Hoiberg

Doug McDermott‘s return to Chicago tonight as a member of the Knicks gave Bulls fans an unpleasant reminder of the Cameron Payne trade, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Payne appeared in just 11 games after being acquired from the Thunder in that five-player deal and hasn’t played at all this season as he recovers from offseason foot surgery.

Coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters tonight that an X-ray on Payne last week showed improvement, but he still isn’t able to run or cut and probably can’t play full-court games for at least six weeks. Cowley suggests it will take Payne at least a couple of weeks to get in shape after that, which pushes his return date back to sometime in mid-February.

“He came at a very difficult time last year with a veteran team, and just had his struggles,” Hoiberg said. “At the same time we’re competing for a playoff spot and it’s a tough time to come in and make an impact. For Cam, the big thing is to stay positive through this stretch, and to get him back and have some positive moments for us when we’re going down the stretch.’’

There’s more tonight from Chicago:

  • McDermott was surprised by the trade that sent him to Oklahoma City at last season’s deadline, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. He was in the middle of his most productive season, averaging 10.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, when the deal occurred. “It was hard leaving because of all the people I liked here,” he said. “But I wish them the best. It was a great organization to play for.”
  • Now that Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis have put aside hard feelings over their preseason altercation, they should expect to remain teammates for the rest the season, Johnson writes in a mailbag column. The Bulls found a “non-existent” trade market for both players after Mirotic threatened not to return to the team unless Portis was dealt. The Bulls also found no interest in Mirotic when they shopped him prior to last year’s deadline, and no other organization offered him a significant deal as a restricted free agent this summer.
  • Rumors about Hoiberg’s firing have persisted almost from the time he became the Bulls’ head coach, but he is safe for this season, Johnson adds in the same piece. The front office likes how he has handled a collection of young talent, and he has done better with assigning roles and holding players accountable for their performance. Hoiberg has two more seasons left on his contract.

Knicks Notes: Sessions, Porzingis, McDermott

The Knicks will have to make a roster move within the next few days, with Joakim Noah set to come off the suspended list, and that fact isn’t lost on Scott Perry. The Knicks general manager confirms that the club continues to explore its trade options with that roster deadline fast approaching, per Marc Berman of The New York Post.

“We know that is looming,” Perry said. “We’re going to have to address the roster. We’ve been working through the process for a few weeks. By Sunday at 5:00 pm., there’ll be a resolution one way or another. Whether it’s a trade or waive an individual.”

Perry referred to veteran point guard Ramon Sessions as a “true professional” who helps to set a “fine example” in the Knicks’ locker room, but it’s widely believed that the 11-year veteran would be on the chopping block if the team has to waive a player. As Berman details in a separate piece, Sessions is staying positive, but admits he hasn’t been in this position – fully removed from his team’s rotation – since entering the league. That doesn’t bode well for his spot on the roster.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Kristaps Porzingis‘s brother and co-agent Janis Porzingis recently made a few somewhat incendiary comments to an international outlet about his brother’s future in New York. However, Perry declined to go into detail on those comments when asked about them this week, as Berman relays in a piece for The New York Post. “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” Perry said. “The time to talk about contract extensions, that’s far. We’re living in today. KP is playing some very good basketball right now. He’s playing well and happy with this team. We’ll deal with all that stuff later. But no comment in terms of what was said because I really don’t know (what it meant).”
  • Perry also discussed the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, pointing out that the team wanted to find a deal that benefited both Anthony and the Knicks. “We made the trade because we believed in the two guys we got back in [Enes] Kanter and Doug McDermott,” Perry said. “Thus far those guys have proven to really come in and fit. They’re hard workers, they’re pros. They’re about the things that we want [for] this team.”
  • Of the players acquired in the Anthony trade, Kanter has been having the bigger impact early in 2017/18, but McDermott showed on Tuesday that he shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Doug’s a beast,” Lance Thomas said after the sharpshooting forward scored 20 points on just eight shots. “He was doing this in practice. We know what he’s capable of doing, and he’s doing it.” McDermott will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and a few more games like that one should improve his stock.

Knicks Rumors: Jack, Porzingis, McDermott

Knicks starting point guard Jarrett Jack feels pressure to remain productive because he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports. New York has won five of its last six, coinciding with Jack replacing Ramon Sessions in the lineup. Jack’s $2.33MM contract doesn’t become guaranteed until January 10th, so he can’t become complacent, as he told Bondy. “It keeps you on your toes, forces you to stay sharp – knowing you can’t take any day or any situation for granted,” Jack said. “I know a lot of the owners would love to have it that way in the collective bargaining agreement.” The Knicks will have to make a roster move when Joakim Noah‘s PED suspension ends on November 13th in order to retain Jack in the short run. Trading Kyle O’Quinn or Willy Hernangomez is a possibility, according to Bondy. They could also eat a guaranteed contract, with Sessions, Michael Beasley and Mindaugas Kuzminskas as the likely candidates in that scenario, Bondy adds.

In other news concerning the Knicks:

  • Kristaps Porzingis admits that former team president Phil Jackson’s comments about his readiness to be a franchise player motivates him, as he told ESPN’s Ian Begley and other media members. Jackson said in his postseason press conference last spring that Porzingis wasn’t ready for that role or to be the featured player on offense. Porzingis is currently the league’s second-leading scorer at 30.2 PPG. “The challenge is never too big for me,” Porzingis said. “I always accept the challenge and that’s why I knew coming into this season [if Carmelo Anthony] was not going to be here, then I’m going to have to be that guy and that’s why I was just [spending] 24 hours in the gym. I was preparing for this, preparing myself physically, and I’m just happy that I’m capable of playing at this level right now.”
  • Doug McDermott anticipated he would fit into coach Jeff Hornacek’s up-tempo offense when the team acquired him from the Thunder in the Anthony trade, Alex Squadron of the New York Post writes. McDermott has settled into his role as an offensive sparkplug, averaging 7.0 PPG and 1.6 APG in 20.0 MPG while shooting 49% from the field. “I’m just accepting it right now, coming off the bench,” McDermott told Squadron. “Playing that 20 minutes per game. Just coming in, being aggressive. They want me to be aggressive scoring the ball.”