Ersan Ilyasova

Batum, Green, Ilyasova Returning From Injuries

A trio of players who have been sidelined for most or all of the 2017/18 season due to injuries are set to return to action for their respective clubs on Wednesday night, per various reports. JaMychal Green will play for the Grizzlies, Ersan Ilyasova will return for the Hawks, and Nicolas Batum will make his season debut for the Hornets.

Batum’s return may be the most notable of the three, as he has been sidelined since early in the preseason with a torn ligament in his elbow. Reports on Batum’s injury initially suggested he’d be out for eight to 12 weeks, with the Hornets confirming that they expected the veteran swingman to miss at least six weeks. Thursday will mark six weeks since the team made that announcement, so Batum made a speedy recovery. He’ll start tonight against the Cavs, according to the Hornets (Twitter link).

Green, the Grizzlies’ primary power forward, will return to action tonight after missing all but one game this season with an ankle injury, writes Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jarell Martin, who appeared to be on the verge of losing his roster spot in training camp, stepped into Memphis’ starting lineup in Green’s absence. Martin figures to return to the bench tonight against the Pacers, while Green looks to begin making good on the two-year contract he signed with Memphis in September.

As for Ilyasova, the Hawks’ power forward, who signed a new two-year deal of his own in the offseason, has been on the shelf since October 27 with a bone bruise in his knee. However, after participating in today’s shootaround, he said he’s ready to go, per Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ilyasova opened the season in the starting lineup, but will come off the bench against the Kings tonight, according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Players Who Can Veto Trades In 2017/18

No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, but one such provision has been the subject of much discussion so far in 2017, as Carmelo Anthony made use of his NTC to block the Knicks from sending him to an undesirable destination. For much of the offseason, Anthony was focused on joining the Rockets, but he eventually agreed to a deal that sent him to Oklahoma City.

Anthony is one of just two NBA players whose contract includes an explicit no-trade clause, but there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals, though no restricted free agents have signed their QOs so far this year.

Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2017/18 league year:

No-trade clauses

Players whose offer sheets were matched

  • Otto Porter (Wizards)
    • Note: Even with his consent, Porter cannot be traded to the Nets during the 2017/18 league year.

Players accepting qualifying offers

Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)

In addition to the players listed above who can veto trades through the 2017/18 league year, there’s another small handful of players who can’t be dealt under any circumstance until at least next July. The following players signed a Designated Veteran Extension this season, which precludes them from being traded for a full calendar year:

Information from Basketball Insiders and ESPN was used in the creation of this post.

Hawks Re-Sign Ersan Ilyasova

July 21: The Hawks have officially re-signed Ilyasova, the team announced via a press release on its website.

July 12: The Hawks have reached an agreement to bring back free agent power forward Ersan Ilyasova, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). According to Charania, Ilyasova will sign a one-year deal worth $6MM to return to Atlanta.

[RELATED: Notable remaining NBA free agents by position]

Few players have bounced around the NBA more in the last two years than Ilyasova, who has appeared in multiple regular season games for the Pistons, Magic, Thunder, Sixers, and Hawks since the 2015/16 season began. Last season, he was traded from Oklahoma City to Philadelphia early on, then flipped to Atlanta prior to the trade deadline.

Although he hasn’t found a permanent NBA home since leaving Milwaukee in 2015, Ilyasova continues to be an effective stretch four. For his career, the 6’10” big man has averaged 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG, converting 36.6% of his three-point attempts.

The Hawks renounced Ilyasova last week in the process of creating cap space, but they still have plenty of room to bring him back without using any form of Bird rights. Their deal with Ilyasova is the third move the Hawks have made to address their lack of frontcourt depth in recent days. The team also agreed to bring back Mike Muscala, and struck a deal with Dewayne Dedmon.

Hornets Targeting Jordan Hill

The Hornets could be the next team for journeyman center Jordan Hill, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

Hill, who has played for five franchises in his eight-year career, was waived by the Timberwolves in late June before his 2017/18 contract became guaranteed. A free agent addition last summer, Hill played in just seven games for Minnesota.

Charlotte is a little more than $2MM below the luxury-tax line with 14 players under contract. A source told The Sporting News the team would like to add one more low-cost, veteran big man to its roster. Deveney lists Ersan Ilyasova, Terrence Jones and Willie Reed as other possibilities.

Hill played for Hornets coach Steve Clifford in 2012/13 when Clifford was an assistant with the Lakers. The eighth pick of the 2009 draft by the Knicks, Hill has also spent time with the Rockets and Pacers. If he does sign with Charlotte, Hill will serve as a backup to Dwight Howard, who was acquired from the Hawks in a trade last month.

Jazz Target Free Agents, Hope To Trade Boris Diaw

After signing Thabo Sefolosha earlier today, the Jazz are looking at more moves to beef up their front line, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah would like to add another forward and a center to back up Rudy Gobert, Jones relays. The Jazz are trying to trade veteran big man Boris Diaw, whose $7.5MM salary for the upcoming season doesn’t become fully guaranteed until Saturday. If they can’t find a trade partner, they are expected to waive Diaw before the end of the week.

Jones mentions three free agents that Utah is targeting: small forward Dante Cunningham, who spent last season with the Pelicans, power forward Ersan Ilyasova, who was traded from the Sixers to the Hawks at the February deadline, and center Willie Reed, who is coming off a breakthrough season as a backup with the Heat.

Jazz management is especially fond of Cunningham and Reed because they bring toughness and atleticism on defense. Cunningham is also coming off a career-best year from 3-point range, connecting on 39% from long distance.

Sefolosha, who also has a strong reputation as a defender, chose the Jazz because they utilize an international style of offense similar to what he experienced in Atlanta, Jones writes. He started 42 games for Atlanta last season, but Utah may view him as a backup to Joe Ingles.

The Jazz have two options for signing Sefolosha, who will receive $10.5MM over two years, according to a post from Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. They could remain over the cap and use part of their mid-level exception, which would allow them to keep a $3.3MM bi-annual exception and $3.2MM of the MLE. The other option is to waive Diaw and sign Sefolosha with cap room, leaving them with $6MM to spend, along with a $4.3MM room MLE.

Hawks Renounce Rights To Ilyasova

The Hawks have renounced the free agent rights to Ersan Ilyasova, Keith Smart of RealGM tweets. Ilyasova’s cap hold had been set at $12.6MM.

Atlanta’s front office has been busy today, already signing big man Mike Muscala to a deal, so it appears as though they could be hard at work mapping out their approach to the post-Paul Millsap era.

Having renounced Ilyasova’s Bird rights, they’ll no longer be able to bring him back without using an exception or their cap room.

The oft-underutilized 29-year-old played 26 games with Atlanta last year, his fifth club in two seasons, and will now find his way onto yet another roster in time for 2017/18.

 

Atlantic Notes: Hayward, Ilyasova, Lowry, Sixers

Gordon Hayward‘s outside shooting and overall offensive skills would blend well with Isaiah Thomas game if the Jazz forward chooses the Celtics in free agency, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald opines. The fact that the Celtics protected their salary-cap space in order to make a run at a top free agent indicates that Hayward would at least take a close look at Boston and a potential reunion with his college coach Brad Stevens, Bulpett continues. If Hayward signs a three-year deal with the Celtics that includes an opt-out clause, he could sign for the 10-year veteran’s maximum in 2020, Bulpett notes. The Celtics could alternatively put together a big package to trade with the Pacers for Paul George if George is willing to stay in Boston after he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, Bulpett adds.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • It’s unlikely that the Sixers will make a run at veteran power forward Ersan Ilyasova in free agency, according to Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. While Ilyasova lifted their offense and aided in Dario Saric‘s development before he was traded to the Hawks this season, the Sixers want to maintain flexibility with their frontcourt group. Ilyasova will be seeking a multi-year commitment and security after being traded around the league in recent years, Camerato adds.
  • Free agent point guard Kyle Lowry could wind up with the Clippers if the Raptors don’t re-sign him and Chris Paul heads elsewhere in free agency, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun opines. Lowry could also be a fit with the Spurs if Paul declines to play there, Simmons continues. On a separate note, Toronto could wind up signing a veteran shooting guard such as Kyle Korver or Vince Carter because of their ability to make 3-pointers, Simmons adds.
  • Forbes magazine estimates the value of the Sixers’ franchise has jumped to $800MM, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. That’s an increase of over $500MM than the purchase price for the franchise in 2011, Pompey notes. The team’s value could continue to rise if Ben Simmons becomes a star player, according to the magazine.

Eastern Notes: Stephenson, Sixers, Pistons

Coach Nate McMillan admits that Lance Stephenson can sometimes become a distraction on the court, as Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star passes along.

“I don’t want to take his passion from the game,” McMillan said of Stephenson. “We always have to control ourselves, that’s including myself on the sidelines. Sometimes that can become a distraction. We talk about that all the time. You can’t be drunk on emotions out there. We got to be able to get back, get to the next play. That’s for me, too.”

The combo guard knows he needs to control his emotions, adding that he doesn’t want to give the opposition anything they can use as an advantage.

“Sometimes I tend to get out of control,” Stephenson said. “I was getting frustrated with Kevin Love scoring on me. But that’s the passion I have for the game. I need to stop showing it. If somebody’s scoring on you and you show frustration, they’re going to keep going to it. I felt like I showed that. That’s what Paul [George] was talking about. Don’t show them no weakness.”

Clifton envisions McMillan shortening his bench for Game 3, which could mean more time for Stephenson in the Pacers‘ first home playoff game of 2017.

Here’s more from

  • GM Bryan Colangelo said the Sixers will address the power forward position this offseason, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News relays. “I think the stretch-four position is something, backing up Dario [Saric] or starting in front of Dario, whichever it is if we can find someone that’s better. We’ve got to probably address that four position,” Colangelo said.
  • The Sixers need to sign Ersan Ilyasova in free agency, Cooney contends in the same piece. The scribe pegs the power forward’s market value at $10-12MM per year, which he considers a reasonable rate for a player who fits in well next to Joel Embiid in the frontcourt.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines five players the Pistons could take if they stay at No. 12. The team has a 2.5% chance at climbing into the top-3, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors notes.

Southeast Notes: Mahinmi, Ibaka, Ross, Ilyasova

Ian Mahinmi‘s return from injury has brought a defensive presence to the Wizards‘ bench, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. He controlled the lane in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s comeback win over the Lakers, as L.A. shot just 5-of-21 in the final 12 minutes. Problems with both knees limited Mahinmi to just five games before the All-Star break, but he has played 19 since then and has shown why Washington was willing to give him a four-year, $64MM contract last summer. “He’s a great defender,” said teammate Kelly Oubre. “He’s what we’ve been missing in the paint. I can’t wait until he’s dunking on people like he used to.” 

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • Serge Ibaka wanted to be used more often at center during his time with the Magic, relays Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Ibaka, who was acquired from Oklahoma City last summer and dealt to Toronto after 57 games, said he approached coach Frank Vogel about using him at the five spot in a small-ball lineup. The problem was that the Magic already had centers Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo in their rotation. Even though he’s with a playoff team now, Ibaka is disappointed that things didn’t work out better in Orlando. “I remember in the beginning, I was so excited,” he said. “Even mentally I was so fresh and excited about the season. But in life sometimes the way we try to do things, or the way we think things can go, may not happen. That’s the case out there in Orlando. But I had good moments there.”
  • Terrence Ross, who was sent to the Magic in that deal, got a friendly reception from the fans Monday in his return to Toronto, according to Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun. The 26-year-old swingman spent four and a half seasons with the Raptors.
  • Ersan Ilyasova was both surprised and not surprised to be traded from the Sixers to the Hawks at the deadline, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. He thought he fit well in Philadelphia, but adds that he understands the business side of basketball. Ilyasova has been with six teams since the 2014/15 season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Sixers Notes: Okafor, Splitter, Brown, Silver

Despite a lingering knee injury, Jahlil Okafor hasn’t considered shutting down his season, Jessica Camerato of CSN reports (Twitter link). Okafor’s been experiencing soreness ever since a March 2016 surgery, but the former No. 3 overall pick will be relied upon in Nerlens Noel‘s and Joel Embiid‘s absence.

“We just rest and do treatment whenever we think is necessary, and just go from there.” Okafor told Keith Pompey of Philly.com.

More from Philadelphia…

  • Tiago Splitter could spend part of his rehabilitation process with the Delaware 87ers, as Keith Pompey relayed in the article linked above. Splitter, who has been sidelined with a calf injury all season, was acquired in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova at the trade deadline. “We are discussing his return to play. Some of it could look like involvement with D-League stuff, practicing, maybe playing,” coach Brett Brown said. “It’s a vehicle to return to play. He hasn’t played basketball for a year. I think the path to return to play can take different looks. That’s one of them that I just suggested.”
  • Commissioner Adam Silver told Brian Seltzer of NBA.com that he is excited about the Sixers’ progress this season. “It’s fun coming to games here. Just as I was walking through the tunnel pre-game, I ran into Allen Iverson and Julius Erving. [It’s] nice to see that they’re back, they’re believers, and I am, too,” Silver said. “This is a great sports town. Understandably, the fans are very demanding here. They expect to see a great product on the floor. I know the ownership is committed to that. It takes time to build a great franchise.”
  • The Sixers have shifted their focus toward acquiring a top lottery draft pick, Keith Pompey of Philly.com writes. After shipping out Ilyasova and Noel at the deadline, they’ve recently given playing opportunities to Justin Harper and Shawn Long“The realities of our roster are very clear to everybody. There’s no mystery to what our roster is right now,” coach Brown said. “It’s going to take some extra effort and extra luck in finding ways to compete.”
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