Frank Kaminsky

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Hield, Kaminsky, Suns

Trading Marvin Bagley III might be a prudent move for the Kings, Richard Ivanowski of the Sacramento Bee contends in a piece that looks at a hypothetical trade for each player on the team. While he acknowledges that Sacramento is unlikely to consider such a move, Ivanowski pitches the idea of sending Bagley to the Wizards for their 2020 first-rounder (Washington is currently ninth in our Reverse Standings) and Thomas Bryant.

Bagley, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, hasn’t been able to stay healthy since coming into the league. That, coupled with the presence of Richaun Holmes, could make Sacramento more comfortable with moving on from the 21-year-old, Ivanowski writes.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Buddy Hield has been the subject of some trade speculation, and Ivanowski believes that dealing him to the Magic for Aaron Gordon would be a solid move for the Kings (same piece). Sacramento could pair the 24-year-old with Harrison Barnes as the team’s starting forwards.
  • Suns big man Frank Kaminsky isn’t too concerned with the logistics of the NBA’s return; he just hopes to be able to participate now that he’s healthy, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic passes along. “I’ll go to Saturn to play basketball at this point,” Kaminsky said. “I’ll go pretty much anywhere. You tell me where to be and I’ll be there, ready to play.”
  • The Suns hold a $5MM team option on Kaminsky for 2020/21 and the former No. 9 overall pick said the team hasn’t really discussed it with him, as Mizell adds in the same piece. “Obviously, I really like it here,” Kaminsky said. “I really like this staff. … I’d really like to be back, but that’s something that’s gonna have to be talked about once everything (with the rest of this season is) figured out.”

Injury Updates: Gordon, Kaminsky, Blazers, Isaac

Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon expects to be able to play if the 2019/20 NBA season resumes, per Fox 26 Houston’s Mark Berman (Twitter link). Gordon, who underwent November right knee surgery, has been in and out of the lineup since then. The extra two months off (and counting) provided by the pause in NBA play has been beneficial for Gordon’s health.

“I’ll be ready to roll (if play resumes),” Gordon said. “I can only focus solely on this team and basketball.”

There are further health updates from around the NBA:

  • Suns big man Frank Kaminsky, out since January with a right patella stress fracture, claims that he is now “ready to make a push towards playing again” if the NBA resumes regular season play, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • The Trail Blazers frontcourt will be getting some serious reinforcements if the NBA’s regular season returns, The Athletic’s Jason Quick reports. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic, sidelined since breaking his leg on March 25, 2019, and starting power forward Zach Collins, out of commission since undergoing surgery for a dislocated left shoulder three games into his season, are now both fully healthy. Blazers All-NBA guard Damian Lillard expressed excitement for their return to what had been an injury-ravaged Portland roster. “It’s going to be a completely different situation, and we’ll be close to full strength,” Lillard said.
  • The status of Magic forward Jonathan Isaac for the rest of the 2019/20 season remains up in the air, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). A serious knee injury paused Isaac’s third season on January 1st. Isaac, one of the team’s most promising young players, ran on an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill earlier this week. This marked the first time he had run at all since the injury.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Paul, Draft, Oubre, Kaminsky

The Warriors‘ dynasty almost didn’t happen. Golden State was looking for an All-Star back in 2011 and the franchise offered Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to New Orleans in exchange for Chris Paul, Ethan Strauss writes in The Victory Machine (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports).

Paul, whose contract expired at the end of that season, reportedly told the Warriors that he would not re-sign with them, which nixed the negotiations. Paul was later dealt to the Lakers in a trade that was vetoed. He ultimately ended up on the Clippers via another trade.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • If the NBA doesn’t resume, the Warriors are guaranteed a top-five pick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic examines the team’s options with that selection. As Slater details, trading it away for a proven vet is worth exploring, especially if there are no surefire prospects in the draft, as some believe.
  • Trading down is an option for the Warriors in the draft and Slater (in the same piece) proposes a fun hypothetical deal that sends Kelly Oubre and the Suns‘ pick (projected to be No. 10) to the Warriors for their top-five pick. Oubre would fit in nicely with the team’s core and his salary would fit into the team’s $17.2MM trade exception.
  • Suns GM James Jones said that Oubre, who underwent meniscus surgery back in February, and Frank Kaminsky, who was dealing with a patella stress fracture, have both medically healed, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. Both have “kind of pressed the pause button” though, as they can’t participate in traditional sports rehab.

Western Notes: Mitchell, Kerr, Anthony, Suns

Donovan Mitchell is “extremely frustrated” with Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert after testing positive for the coronavirus, league sources told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. Gobert has apologized for his careless actions earlier in the week, prior to being the first NBA player to test positive. The team has a solid young core but how Mitchell responds when play resumes could make or break their relationship, Mannix continues. The Jazz were rising up the Western Conference standings but if this leads to locker room issues, it could have a major impact on the franchise’s playoff expectations, Mannix adds.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr is upset at himself for not taking the coronavirus more seriously earlier this week and believes social distancing is now paramount, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports. “I was coaching in a basketball game with 15,000 fans like four nights ago. So I feel like a fool,” Kerr said. “But this goes back to our human condition of denial and vulnerability. But we’ve crossed that threshold now and it’s important that everybody understands what they can do.”
  • Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony said on teammate CJ McCollum‘s podcast that he was “embarrassed” that he was a free agent for so long until Portland signed him, according to Casey Holdahl of the team’s website. “I started questioning myself why. Why? What happened? What did I do? Did I do something wrong? Was it me? Am I good? Can I still play? It was like all of these thoughts started to come in and that stuck with me for about four, five months.”
  • The Suns could have all their injured players back in action if and when the season resumes, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic relays. That group includes forward Kelly Oubre Jr., who underwent knee surgery earlier this month, and Frank Kaminsky III, who missed the last 32 games due to a knee injury. “You try to make a positive out of a negative,” GM James Jones said. “It could end up being a really good thing for us and if that’s the case, I know our guys will be excited. I know our coaches, myself, I’ll be excited to have our team full strength or close to it, contending and playing in some meaningful games.”

Cameron Johnson Sidelined With Mononucleosis

Suns rookie Cameron Johnson has mononucleosis and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to Arizona Sports 98.7.

Johnson sat out the last two games, but was a regular part of the rotation before that. The 11th pick in the 2019 draft, he’s averaging 8.1 PPG in 49 games and shooting 39.7% from 3-point range. The illness comes at an unfortunate time as Johnson had a chance to further establish himself with Kelly Oubre possibly missing the rest of the season following meniscus surgery.

The Suns also provided an update on Frank Kaminsky, saying he remains out indefinitely while recovering from a stress fracture in his right patella.

Kaminsky is putting up 11.0 PPG and 4.9 RPG in his first season in Phoenix, but hasn’t been able to play since late December. He has a follow-up consultation with his doctors scheduled for this week.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2020: Pacific Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Pacific Division:

Marquese Chriss, Warriors, 22, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.48MM deal in 2019
The eighth overall pick of the 2016 draft flamed out in Phoenix, Houston and Cleveland, but he’s taken advantage of his opportunity in Golden State. His playing time has gradually increased and so has his production. He averaged 13.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.8 BPG last month; In his first four games this month, he’s posted a stat line of 14.5/10.0/3.8/1.5 in those categories. Golden State has until mid-July to guarantee his $1.824MM salary for next season. That’s a dirt-cheap price for a young rotation big man.

Marcus Morris, Clippers, 30, PF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $15MM deal in 2019
Morris has jumped right into the Clippers’ rotation since the Knicks traded him. He’s started all 11 games since the deal became official, averaging 28.9 MPG. Unfortunately, Morris seemingly left his jump shot in the Big Apple. He’s made just 37.3% of his field-goal attempts and 26.3% of his 3-point tries with his new team. In the big showdown with the Lakers on Sunday, Morris clanked all nine of his shots. His defensive versatility will keep him in the rotation, but he needs to regain his perimeter touch to stay on the court in crunch time. Otherwise, he may have to drop his price tag this summer.

Quinn Cook, Lakers, 26, PG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $6MM deal in 2019
Cook was a steady presence with Golden State last season, as he appeared in 74 regular-season games and 17 more in the postseason. He’s gotten lost in the shuffle with the Lakers. He’s the de facto No. 4 point guard behind Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso, and has only played 22 minutes since the All-Star break. Cook is a solid 3-point shooter — 41.2% for his career — which would make him a valuable reserve on many rosters. The Lakers have until June 29 to guarantee Cook’s $3MM salary for next season. It seems likely he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, despite a $1MM partial guarantee.

Frank Kaminsky, Suns, 26, PF (Down) – Signed to two-year, $9.77MM deal in 2019
Kaminsky was in and out of Charlotte’s rotation last season, but he got a chance to reboot his career in Phoenix. The early returns were promising — he had four 20-point games in December. Shortly after Christmas, Kaminsky suffered a stress fracture in his right knee and he hasn’t seen the court again. The team holds a $5MM option on his contract next season. With Dario Saric and Aron Baynes headed to the open market, the Suns will have tough decision to make regarding Kaminsky, since that option must be exercised before free agency begins.

Alex Len, Kings, 26, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $8.5MM deal in 2018
Len has generally been productive since being dealt to Sacramento. He had a double-double in 21 minutes against Oklahoma City, an 8-point, 13-rebound, 5-block performance against Detroit and a 15-point, 7-rebound outing in 15 minutes against Toronto. His playing time will continue to fluctuate in the Kings’ crowded frontcourt. Sacramento’s motivation to acquire him was his expiring contract, but he definitely hasn’t hurt his value since the deal. He’ll head into unrestricted free agency this summer and should be able to hook on with a team seeking another big body to fortify its bench.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Frank Kaminsky III Out Indefinitely With Patella Stress Fracture

Suns big man Frank Kaminsky III has been sidelined indefinitely with a right patella stress fracture, the team announced via press release on Saturday. There is no timetable for Kaminsky’s return and he will be re-evaluated in four weeks, the release noted.

Kaminsky, 26, had missed Phoenix’s previous three contests due to a right knee injury. Before he went down, the 2015 first-rounder draft pick was enjoying a solid season statistically off the Suns’ bench, averaging 11.0 PPG and 4.9 RPG. However, he had seen his minutes decrease in recent weeks, failing to play 20 or more minutes in a contest since mid-December.

With Kaminsky on the shelf for the foreseeable future, Cameron Johnson and Cheick Diallo are among the players who could see increased playing time, assuming the Suns don’t bring in outside reinforcements.

Hornets Notes: Biyombo, Bacon, Kaminsky

Bismack Biyombo‘s four-year, $68MM contract has been viewed for years as an albatross, but as that deal nears its end, the Hornets aren’t simply waiting for it to expire. In a regular role off the bench this season, the veteran center has played some of the best ball of his career, averaging a career-best 7.8 PPG with 4.0 RPG in just 16.2 MPG.

While Biyombo won’t get another contract like the one he signed in 2016, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer doesn’t believe a new deal with the Hornets is out of the realm of possibility. On a more modest salary, the 27-year-old big man could be a fit as a rim-protecting center off the bench, and it sounds like he’s open to the idea of remaining in Charlotte beyond the 2019/20 season.

“I love it here. This is my home — I started here,” Biymobo said. “Seeing the organization move in the right direction, seeing guys succeed (matters).”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Dwayne Bacon has had an up-and-down season so far, having fallen out of the starting lineup – and the rotation – since the Hornets’ first 10 games. However, the young shooting guard, who can be a restricted free agent at season’s end, is staying positive as he looks to earn another opportunity, Bonnell writes for The Charlotte Observer. “I think I have the perfect mindset to play 15 years in the NBA, because I can accept every obstacle and I’m always going to be ready. I don’t come with ego,” Bacon said. “I’m the same guy every day: I smile like I just scored 30 points. When you have an ego in this sport, you won’t get far. If I came in here all mad, thinking ‘Oh, you guys are playing and I’m not,’ that’s just selfish of me. I know this is going to come around.”
  • In another article for The Charlotte Observer, Bonnell explores what we’ve learned about the Hornets based on the first quarter of the club’s season.
  • After spending his first four NBA seasons with the Hornets, Frank Kaminsky is uncertain about how to feel playing against his old team as a member of the Suns tonight, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The former lottery pick said he would try to treat it like just “another game” but admitted it was a new experience for him.

Pacific Notes: Rondo, Jones, Ayton, Bogdanovic

Rajon Rondo could be available tonight against the Jazz if his sore calf doesn’t flare up again, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet tweets. The veteran Lakers point guard participated in a scrimmage during Thursday’s practice. Rondo, who missed Tuesday’s opener, will start “a lot” at point guard, according to coach Frank Vogel, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Rondo will play 25-30 minutes on a regular basis whether or not he starts, McMenamin writes in a separate post.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns GM James Jones is “disappointed in the actions” of center Deandre Ayton, who was suspended for 25 games by the league on Thursday for using a banned substance, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. Jones added that the franchise remains “committed to his growth and development on and off the court.” Aron Baynes is expected to move into the starting lineup while Frank Kaminsky could see more action at center, Mizell writes in a separate story. Cheick Diallo, who was not part of Wednesday’s opening-night rotation,  could also be in the mix, Mizell adds.
  • The Suns will likely add a center once they’re able to move Ayton to the suspended list, John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Phoenix tweets. Phoenix will be permitted to add a 16th player to their roster after their game against Memphis on November 2.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic isn’t thrilled about the prospect of being a sixth man with the Kings, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Brian Windhorst (hat tip to NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman). There’s no spot for him in the lineup with Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes at the wings and locked into long-term contracts. Bogdanovic, who scored just two points points in 22 minutes during the Kings’ opener, will be a restricted free agent after the season.

Pacific Notes: Kaminsky, Green, Clippers, Holmes

While it’s common for NBA players who changed teams in the offseason to talk in the fall about how much they’re enjoying their new homes, Suns power forward Frank Kaminsky is particularly enthusiastic about his assessment of Phoenix so far, as Bob Young of The Athletic relays. The former No. 9 overall pick signed a two-year contract with the Suns in July after falling out of the rotation in Charlotte for much of the 2018/19 season.

“I can’t tell you how much different I feel just being here,” Kaminsky said. “I’m just so happy. It’s been a great transition, something I was kind of prepared for, something I really wanted to do, just to get a new opportunity, get a fresh start.”

While other newly-added veterans like Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes figure to play important roles for the Suns in 2019/20, Kaminsky could be the team’s X-factor, according to Young, who points to the big man’s lottery pedigree as a reason for optimism. For his part, Kaminsky isn’t expecting a starring role, but believes he’s improving on defense and can be a reliable contributor.

“I just want to come in and have a role with this team. I’m not demanding anything,” Kaminsky said. “I know things go up and things go down, and it’s not always going to be perfect. But I will try to make the right plays.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • In a Q&A with Wosny Lambre of The Athletic, Danny Green discussed the Lakers‘ chemistry, his potential role this season, and why he decided to sign with the club as a free agent. “It’s the best city to thrive in career-wise. Continue to still win, have fun, and live your best type of lifestyle,” Green said. “And also was able to maximize on the contract. Signing with the Los Angeles Lakers covered all the bases for me.”
  • ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks (Insider link) unveiled their annual “future power rankings” for NBA teams today, and the Clippers earned the No. 1 spot on that list after placing 21st a year ago. It’s the largest single-year jump in the decade-long history of the rankings, Pelton writes.
  • Richaun Holmes is the sort of role player the Kings needed to add to complement their up-and-coming young stars, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Jones suggests that Holmes could be one of the team’s most important acquisitions of the summer since the big man knows his job is to be a “rim-runner, rim protector and energy man,” and won’t try to do more than that.