Frank Kaminsky

Rockets Notes: Harden, Green, Porter, Kaminsky

The possibility that Sixers guard James Harden might return to Houston in free agency this summer remains as strong as ever, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. League sources expect the Rockets, who will have ample cap space, to aggressively pursue Harden once he turns down his $35.64MM player option. Sources close to Harden confirm to Iko that he’s considering the move.

Harden forced his way out of Houston two years ago after the loss of coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. His relationship with the organization appeared confrontational — he reported late and out of shape to training camp and having numerous clashes with coaches and teammates — but sources tell Iko that it never became acrimonious. Harden was disappointed that the Rockets were no longer contenders, and management was unhappy with how he handled the situation.

Harden still has a good relationship with team owner Tilman Fertitta and has maintained strong ties in the Houston area, Iko adds. Also, former Sixers minority owner Michael Rubin, a good friend of Harden’s who played a role in his desire to come to Philadelphia, sold his stake in the team last June.

Money will be an important factor in Harden’s decision, Iko notes, which gives the Sixers an advantage. Holding his Bird rights, they can offer up to a projected $272MM over five years, while Houston and any other potential suitor will be limited to four years at about $202MM. Iko states that if he stays in Philadelphia, Harden will expect to be compensated for taking a deal below his market value last summer to help the team sign several free agents.

There’s more from Houston:

  • After returning Tuesday from a groin injury, Jalen Green is thankful that the damage wasn’t worse, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The injury sidelined the second-year guard for two weeks and forced him to miss the Rising Stars event at All-Star Weekend. “I actually called Coach the other day and was just telling him, ‘The last 24 games, I’m with you,’” Green said. “’I’m ready to lock in. Whatever we’ve got to do, we’ve got to string together some wins.’”
  • Coach Stephen Silas is optimistic that Kevin Porter Jr., Green’s backcourt partner, will be able to return Wednesday night, Feigen tweets. Porter has been out of action since January 11 with a foot contusion.
  • Today is the last day that players can agree to a buyout and still be eligible for the postseason with their new team, which makes it significant for Frank Kaminsky, notes Ben DuBose of RocketsWire. Of the four veteran players the Rockets acquired at the trade deadline, Kaminsky is the only one left on the roster — John Wall, Danny Green, and Justin Holiday were all released.

Rockets Notes: Kaminsky, Deadline Moves, Silas, Green

The Rockets acquired three veteran players at the trade deadline, but have already bought out two of them, placing Danny Green and Justin Holiday on waivers on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

As Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes, Houston didn’t necessarily acquire those players expecting to let them go, since the team likes the idea of having some veteran leaders to complement its young core. Head coach Stephen Silas addressed that issue when he discussed Holiday’s exit from the team, tacitly acknowledging that it’s hard to blame those vets for not wanting to stick around and be part of a 13-44 squad.

“Ideally you want a few guys who have more than three years of experience on the floor and he had 10,” Silas said. “But that’s the business of the game and where we are as an organization as far as rebuilding. Ideally, you don’t want to roll out 10 guys who are first-, second- and third-year guys but these are guys who play hard, try and learn and are improving. That’s where we’re at.”

Frank Kaminsky is the lone veteran acquired at the deadline who is still a Rocket, though there’s no guarantee that’ll be the case for the rest of the season. Team and league sources tell Iko that Kaminsky’s situation is “fluid,” with some teams expressing interest in signing the big man if he’s waived by Houston. While the two sides continue to talk, Kaminsky plans to make the most of his time with the team, even if it’s brief.

“This is the team that wanted me,” he said. “They want me to be here, so I’m going to do whatever I can to help as much as I possibly can. Whether that’s playing or me being a vocal leader in the locker room, practice, shootarounds, whatever.”

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Asked about the deadline-day trades that sent out Eric Gordon, Garrison Mathews, and Bruno Fernando, general manager Rafael Stone told reporters, including Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle that he’s confident the cap flexibility and draft assets generated by those moves will make the Rockets a better team in the long run. “We are going to have the most cap space this summer of any team in the NBA, I believe,” Stone said. “We’re going to have a lot of room to sign free agents to make trades into that space to really transform the team. And we decided that we’re really, really valuing that flexibility. And so, within that context, we think that we improved the team.”
  • Stone said he’s not necessarily “satisfied” with the development of young players like Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, and Jabari Smith, but remains confident in the upside of Houston’s young core. “We want them to be great players, and they’re not, yet,” Stone said, per Feigen. “The goal is not to be OK. It’s not to be improving; it’s to be great. And we’re realistic. We knew that they wouldn’t be great in this time frame. But that’s the goal. So, until we get to the goal, we’re not going be satisfied. We like them. We liked their work ethic. We’re excited about their future. But we all have a lot of work to do.”
  • Stone declined to comment about the future of head coach Stephen Silas beyond this season. According to Feigen, Silas is under contract for 2023/24, but his salary is not yet guaranteed.
  • Danny Green gave up $289,472 as part of his buyout agreement with the Rockets, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link). That reduces his cap hit from $10MM to $9,710,528. Green is expected to receive $2MM from Cleveland on a rest-of-season deal.

Southwest Notes: Wood, Hardaway, Poeltl, Rockets, Pelicans

Despite being the subjects of trade rumors for weeks, Mavericks veterans Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. remained with Dallas beyond this year’s trade deadline. Still, Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News notes that their futures with the club are somewhat unclear.

As Caplan writes, Hardaway’s inefficient play has made him and his remaining contract money tough to trade. Including this season, the veteran wing still has three years and $53.7MM left on his current deal.

Wood, meanwhile, is eligible for a four-year contract extension worth up to $77MM through the rest of the season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent. A source tells Caplan that the Mavericks’ front office has not offered Wood an extension yet, in an effort to maximize the team’s flexibility this summer.

There’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Spurs opted to ship center Jakob Poeltl to the Raptors, rather than have to pay him in free agency this summer, in part because the team reportedly was not comfortable paying the rim-protecting center more than $65MM over four years, per LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk. Ellis says San Antonio believes the bidding price for Poeltl will go well north of that sum.
  • New veteran Rockets additions Danny Green, Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky could ultimately be retained by Houston, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The Rockets are set to assess if Green would like to remain on their roster, which has been their general policy with the veterans they’ve traded for in the recent past. Houston likes the possible fit of Holiday even past 2022/23, and Kaminsky has a connection with head coach Stephen Silas, thanks to their shared time on the Hornets.
  • The Pelicans made just one trade deadline deal, acquiring swingman Josh Richardson from the Spurs. William Guillory of The Athletic reveals that New Orleans hopes to bring Richardson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, back into the fold next season as well.

Hawks, Rockets Finalize Four-Player Swap

7:04pm: The trade is now official, the Rockets and Hawks formally confirmed in a pair of press releases.

1:33pm: The Hawks are trading Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky to the Rockets for Garrison Mathews and Bruno Fernando, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The Rockets are also acquiring two second-round picks that the Thunder owed the Hawks in 2024 and 2025, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tweets.

The trade provides some salary cap relief for Atlanta. Holiday is making approximately $6.3MM and Kaminsky is on a veteran’s minimum deal (approximately $2.46MM). Fernando ($2.7MM) and Mathews ($2MM) have non-guaranteed contracts for next season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. There’s also a team option on Matthews’ contract for 2024/25.

None of the players in the deal were playing significant minutes. Holiday has played in 28 game this season, averaging 4.5 points in 14.7 minutes. Kaminsky has seen spot duty in 26 games.

Fernando has played 30 games (four starts) this season, averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 11.7 minutes. Mathews has appeared in 45 games off the bench this season, averaging 4.8 points in 13.4 minutes.

The 34th overall pick in 2019, Fernando spent his first two seasons in Atlanta, so the Hawks are familiar with him as a person and player.

Frank Kaminsky Signs One-Year Deal With Hawks

JULY 12: The signing is official, the Hawks announced in a press release.

JULY 8: Free agent big man Frank Kaminsky has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Hawks, agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). It’ll be worth the veteran’s minimum, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Kaminsky began the 2021/22 season with the Suns and had a regular role in the team’s frontcourt rotation, averaging 10.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.4 APG on .545/.333/.900 shooting through his first nine games (20.1 MPG).

However, Kaminsky’s season came to an early end due to a stress reaction in his right knee, which required surgery. The Suns waived him in April, making him an unrestricted free agent, and a report last week indicated the 29-year-old was unlikely to return to Phoenix after spending the last three seasons with the team.

Kaminsky is fully recovered from that right knee procedure, tweets Wojnarowski.

Entering the day, the Hawks had only been carrying 12 players on guaranteed contracts for 2022/23 — it appears Kaminsky will become the 13th, filling one of the team’s remaining roster openings. The former lottery pick will join a frontcourt rotation headed by Clint Capela, John Collins, and Onyeka Okongwu.

Free Agent Rumors: Bryant, Bridges, Cavs, Paschall, Suns

Veteran center Thomas Bryant, who will be an unrestricted free agent this week, is likely to leave the Wizards and sign with a new team, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who tweets that Bryant is expected to have multiple suitors.

While Hughes’ report doesn’t name any specific teams that will pursue Bryant, a number of clubs around the NBA are believed to be in the market for a backup center, including the Bulls, Raptors, Knicks, and Lakers, among others.

Assuming Bryant departs, the Wizards would likely be in the market for a third center to join Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford on their depth chart, Hughes notes.

Here are a few more free agency updates from around the NBA:

  • Following Miles Bridgesarrest on domestic violence charges, the Hornets have put out a press release indicating that they’re aware of the situation. “We are in the process of gathering additional information,” the team said in its statement (Twitter link). “We will have no further comment at this time.”
  • In a lengthy look at the free agents the Cavaliers could consider this offseason, Chris Fedor of cites sources who say the team has been in touch with forward T.J. Warren‘s camp and remains interested in point guard Tyus Jones.
  • Confirming that Jazz forward Eric Paschall didn’t receive a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, Tony Jones of The Athletic cites sources who say Paschall is expected to draw interest on the open market as an unrestricted FA.
  • Free agent big man Frank Kaminsky appears unlikely to return to the Suns, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Kaminsky, who was waived by Phoenix in April, missed most of the season due to a stress reaction in his right knee, which required surgery.
  • Gambadoro also tweets that he expects the Suns to have interest in unrestricted free agent wing Donte DiVincenzo.

Pacific Notes: Poole, Thompson, S. Johnson, Kawhi, Kaminsky

Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala recently compared two third-year players, former teammate Tyler Herro and current teammate Jordan Poole, and thinks both players could be in for big paydays on their next contracts.

It’s funny. I’m hearing Tyler is looking at a max contract. I’m laughing at Jordan, like, it’s the same thing,” Iguodala said (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).

As third-year former first-round pick, Poole is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, though Golden State might opt to wait until after the 2022/23 season to offer him a new deal in order to maintain financial flexibility. He’d be a restricted free agent at that point.

Poole is having a breakout season for the Warriors, averaging 18.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists on .454/.368/.920 shooting (.602 true) through 74 games (30 minutes per night). He’s been outstanding since the beginning of March, averaging 25.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists on .492/.437/.910 shooting in the past 19 games.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson will miss Saturday’s game at San Antonio for precautionary reasons, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Thompson has typically been held out of the second game of back-to-backs, but coach Steve Kerr decided to switch things up and rest him on the first night this time instead. Thompson has been red-hot lately, scoring a combined 69 points over his past two games.
  • After Friday’s win over the Thunder, forward Stanley Johnson said he hopes the Lakers exercise their team option to retain him for next season, according to team beat reporter Mike Trudell (Twitter link). “Hopefully I’ve played well enough that they would take me back,” Johnson said.
  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said on Friday that Kawhi Leonard hasn’t advanced past individual workouts yet, as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter). Leonard has missed the entire season after suffering a torn ACL last June.
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams said “it was tough decision for us” to part with Frank Kaminsky, who was released on Thursday. “He meant a lot to us, and me personally, I’m grateful for everything he did for us. I just wish he could’ve gone on with us, but these are tough decisions that we have to make. The cool part was, he totally understood and it just says a lot about who he is as a person,” Williams said (video link from Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic).

Suns Waive Frank Kaminsky

6:02pm: The Suns have officially waived Kaminsky, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets.

4:28pm: As the playoffs approach, the Suns are waiving veteran forward Frank Kaminsky, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Kaminsky hasn’t played since November 15. He suffered a stress reaction in his right knee, which later required surgery.

The defending Western Conference champions, who own the league’s best record, can now add a free agent or promote one of their two-way players to the 15-man roster, making Kaminsky’s replacement eligible for the postseason.

Kaminsky was headed to unrestricted free agency this summer even before he was let go. He re-signed with the Suns on a minimum contract last offseason.

Kaminsky appeared in 96 regular-season games with Phoenix in a three-season span after spending four years with Charlotte.

Injury Notes: VanVleet, Grimes, Kaminsky, C. Martin, B. Lopez

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told Kayla Grey of TSN Sports (Twitter link) that he would return Wednesday at San Antonio, saying he’s feeling good. Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports later confirmed VanVleet’s return to action (via Twitter). He finished with 26 points and six boards in Toronto’s 119-104 win.

The All-Star point guard had missed the past five games with a right knee contusion, which he’s been dealing with since before the All-Star break. VanVleet is averaging 21.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.9 APG and 1.6 SPG on .415/.398/.876 (.568 true) shooting this season. He leads the league in minutes played at 38.2 per contest.

The Raptors have gone 5-7 in VanVleet’s absence this season, including 2-3 over the past five games. Toronto is currently 35-30, the No. 7 seed in the East.

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

  • Knicks rookie Quentin Grimes suffered a partially dislocated right knee on February 25, but he’s staring to ramp up towards a return to the court, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “He’s moving around, he’s getting closer, coming along nicely,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s a phenomenal worker, and you gotta give him a lot of credit. He’s a fierce competitor. [Contact] will be the next step, but [he is] doing everything else. So far there’s no issues.” A source tells Berman the Knicks will be cautious with Grimes, but Berman speculates the guard could return in about 10 days given his progress.
  • Appearing on the Burns and Gambo radio show, Suns general manager James Jones said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Frank Kaminsky return before the regular season ends, John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Phoenix tweets. Kaminsky suffered a stress reaction in his right knee in November which later required surgery. He was set to be reevaluated at the beginning of March, so presumably that evaluation yielded positive results. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Heat swingman Caleb Martin suffered a left knee injury in Wednesday’s 111-90 loss to Phoenix, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter links). Martin left the game early alongside Miami’s orthopedic specialist and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. Martin is having a nice season for the Heat, averaging 9.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.0 SPG on .520/.396/.756 shooting through 51 games (23.1 MPG). He was promoted from a two-way contract to a standard deal last month.
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Brook Lopez will travel with the team for the upcoming West Coast road trip. Lopez was cleared for full contact five-on-five practices last Friday. “We’ll just continue to evaluate and see how he’s doing with the 5-on-5 and he’s making good progress and just hope that continues,” Budenholzer said, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lopez has played just one game this season after suffering a bulging disc in his lower back which required surgery, but it appears he’s getting close to returning for the defending champs.

Suns’ Frank Kaminsky Has Surgery, Out At Least Eight More Weeks

Suns big man Frank Kaminsky had successful surgery for the stress reaction he suffered in his right knee, per our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Kaminsky will be reevaluated in eight weeks, which would be the beginning of March.

Kaminsky was diagnosed with the stress reaction on November 21, nearly seven weeks ago. The Suns are expected to sign Bismack Biyombo for the rest of the season as a replacement to Kaminsky and Dario Saric, who suffered a torn ACL last July, during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Through nine games, Kaminsky was averaging 10.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks, and just 0.6 turnovers in 20.1 minutes per night. He was also shooting a career high 54.5% from the field and 90.0% from the free throw line (small sample size). Against Portland on Nov. 10, he had a huge game, putting up 31 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on 12-of-18 from the field, 2-of-5 from deep, and 5-for-5 from the line.

Kaminsky will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He re-signed with the Suns on a minimum contract last offseason.