Gary Clark

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Spurs recalled rookie forward Chimezie Metu from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 19 games with Austin, Metu has averaged 13.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 1.53 BPG in 28.4 MPG. He has appeared in 26 games for San Antonio and will be available when the NBA Spurs face Memphis on Tuesday.
  • The Rockets recalled 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein and forward Gary Clark from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Hartenstein has averaged 18.8 PPG, 14.8 RPG and 2.2 BPG in 32.4 MPG in 19 G League appearances. Clark has averaged 13.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 3.5 APG in 29.7 MPG over four games with the Vipers.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/4/19

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from the G League:

  • The Nets assigned forward Mitch Creek to the Long Island Nets, then recalled him and rookie Dzanan Musa in time for tonight’s game against Milwaukee, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Musa scored 26 points and Creek added 15 in Long Island’s loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Monday afternoon. Creek signed a second 10-day contract on Monday morning.
  • The Celtics recalled rookie big man Robert Williams from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. The first-round pick has appeared in 22 games with Boston this season.
  • The Rockets assigned forward Gary Clark to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Clark has appeared in 36 games with the Rockets, including one start, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 14.6 MPG.

Rockets Notes: Rivers, Paul, Gordon, MCW Trade

The Rockets and Austin Rivers seemed like an unlikely match, given his up-and-down history with former Clippers teammate Chris Paul. However, Rivers is thriving so far in Houston, with coach Mike D’Antoni calling him a “godsend” (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston) and Rivers telling Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he’s “the happiest I’ve been in my career.” The veteran guard also clarified that he “never had a problem” with CP3, and took the blame for the perception that there was a rift between the two ex-Clippers.

“Everything that happened was so silly and so stupid,” Rivers said. “A lot of it was on my part in terms of I let a lot of things that were said in the media about me and Chris affect me and his relationship. I accepted it like as if Chris was saying that s—, when he wasn’t doing [anything]. It ended up kind of messing us up at the time, because there was all this stuff about how we were interacting that wasn’t true.

“Me and Chris haven’t even had to say [anything] about it because we both moved on. I was just with [him] at an event at his house. It’s just crazy how in today’s age everything does revolve around social media. Social media is so powerful.”

Rivers’ conversation with Spears is worth reading in full, as the 26-year-old also discussed how being Doc Rivers‘ son affects the perception of him, why it’s a good thing that he and Doc are in separate organizations, and why he decided to sign with Houston.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Speaking today to reporters, Mike D’Antoni said that Eric Gordon might be able to return in about a week, while Chris Paul will likely miss another two or three weeks, according to Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The Rockets have been playing well without Gordon and Paul, but would surely welcome the opportunity to get their roster back to full strength.
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders provides some specific details on the Rockets’ Michael Carter-Williams trade, reporting (via Twitter) that Houston received the Grizzlies’ top-55 protected 2020 second-round pick in the deal and sent $1,065,966 to the Bulls. Chicago will receive that money in five installments of approximately $73K apiece, followed by a final payment of $700K next July.
  • Pincus also recently shared the unusual salary guarantee details on Gary Clark‘s contract (all Twitter links). As Pincus explains, the following things must be true for Clark’s 2019/20 salary to become guaranteed before next January 10:
    • He appears in at least 37 games for the Rockets during the 2018/19 regular season.
    • The Rockets miss the playoffs OR Clark appears in at least two postseason games OR Clark is cut by April 10, 2019.

Rockets Reach Three-Year Deal With Clark, Re-Sign House

The Rockets have reached a new deal with forward Gary Clark, converting his two-way contract into a three-year, $3.7MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team confirmed the move in a press release.

Clark’s deal is fully guaranteed this season and half guaranteed during the 2019/20 season with incentives to make it fully guaranteed, Charania reports. The 2020/21 salary would become guaranteed on August 1, 2020, provided Clark is still on the roster.

Houston used part of its mid-level exception in the agreement with Clark, who has emerged as a solid two-way player in 21 games this season.

“It felt kind of unreal, all I’ve been through to get to this point,” Clark said about signing his contract, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26. “From injuries to everyone on the outside not believing in me. Nothing is secure in this business. You have to perform every day.”

The team is also bringing back swingman Danuel House on a two-way contract, according to Charania. House was waived Tuesday after playing just five games, and signed his new contract with the team in time to play against the Jazz on Thursday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Clark has averaged 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest, guarding multiple positions when called upon and playing inspired basketball in his first NBA season. He’s struggled shooting the ball (30% from the floor and 27% from deep), but has impressed teammates and coaches alike with his aggressive mentality and positive attitude.

The Rockets have dealt with several key injuries and have a 11-12 record this season, which includes losing five of 10 games at home. After playing Utah on Thursday, the team has contests against the Mavericks, Blazers and Lakers.

The Rockets have 15 roster spots and both two-way contract slots filled, but could open another roster spot once they move on from Carmelo Anthony.

Rockets Rumors: Clark, Canaan, Carmelo

Gary Clark Jr. has become a fixture in the Rockets‘ rotation, putting the team under some pressure to renegotiate his contract in the coming weeks. As Kelly Iko of The Athletic observes, Clark is expected to reach the 45-day NBA limit on his two-way deal by mid-December or so. At that point, he’ll have to either be promoted to the 15-man roster or sent to the G League.

While nothing is set in stone yet, the Rockets want Clark on their roster and have had “positive” initial discussions with his camp about a new deal, a source tells Iko. Houston could unilaterally convert his two-way contract to a standard deal, but that would result in a basic one-year, minimum-salary deal. If Houston wants to lock up Clark for more than just one year, both sides would have to agree to the terms.

Here’s more from Iko on the Rockets:

  • There was some speculation that Houston might be interested in veteran point guard Isaiah Canaan, who was waived last week by the Suns. However, a source tells Iko that Canaan’s name didn’t move the needle for the Rockets, and they didn’t have serious interest in him.
  • The Rockets continue to work with Carmelo Anthony and his representatives to determine whether it makes sense to trade or release him, according to Iko. Anthony won’t become trade-eligible until December 15, but could be waived anytime before or after that date.
  • While the Rockets were hit hard by injuries in recent weeks, the front office has preached “calculated patience,” writes Iko. The team understood that most of those injuries wouldn’t be long-term, and didn’t want to rush into the trade market to find immediate help. “Having five guys hurt at once is unusual,” one team source told Iko.

Texas Notes: Clark, Carter, DeRozan

The emergence of Gary Clark has allowed the Rockets to move on from Carmelo Anthony as the 24-year-old has established himself as a key reserve on the Houston roster.

Clark has averaged 4.2 PPG and 3.4 RPG for the Rockets in 13 games as his defense and athleticism has paid dividends. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes, Clark did not allow himself to be swept up by the celebrity of the NBA, instead focusing on making an impact. And after cheering for Anthony growing up, Clark ended up cutting into the veteran’s playing time in Houston.

“Crap, that was my favorite player at one point,” Clark said. “But it literally didn’t matter who was there. I was going to make sure I got on the court, because I know what I bring to the table.”

It remains unclear if Clark’s long-range shooting will become consistent, but the early results have been promising.

Check out more notes surrounding Texas’ NBA teams:

  • The Carmelo experiment did not work out in Houston and now the Rockets need to find a third key piece next to Chris Paul and James Harden to make a run, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer writes. Massive extensions to Paul and Clint Capela zapped the Rockets of financial flexibility, but the team will need to find a player who can space the floor and play defense.
  • Had the Mavericks not traded up to end up Luka Doncic, the team would have selected Wendell Carter, who went seventh overall to the Bulls, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. “If we’d have stayed at No. 5, he’d have been the guy, if he was still there,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He had a great workout for us. I see him as another coming of an Al Horford type player, a guy that’s both a force on the inside and he’s going to be a force shooting the ball from midrange and the 3. He affects the game in many ways.”
  • Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Abrams has an in-depth feature on the Spurs‘ newest star DeMar DeRozan. The story focuses on DeRozan’s adjustment from being the star for the Raptors to his new team in San Antonio. Abrams also noted that DeRozan learned of the trade while he was in a Jack in The Box parking lot.

Multiple Rockets Players, Coaches Believe Carmelo’s Time In Houston Is Ending

After Marc Stein of The New York Times reported on Sunday evening that Carmelo Anthony had been informed that his time with the Rockets is coming to end, Houston GM Daryl Morey spoke to reporters, calling that report “inaccurate.” However, even after Morey’s denial, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon writes that multiple Rockets players and coaches believe that Anthony has played his final game with the franchise.

Anthony, who has missed the Rockets’ last two games with an illness, didn’t accompany the team on its flight to Denver for Tuesday’s game against the Nuggets, sources tell MacMahon.

While Morey called speculation about Anthony’s future “unfair” and said he would expect Carmelo to play when he’s healthy, MacMahon suggests the Rockets are simply treading “delicately” out of respect for Anthony and his relationships within the team. For his part, Morey didn’t entirely shut the door on the possibility of making roster changes, acknowledging that the Rockets are evaluating everyone, as Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press relays.

“I know that we’re talking about everything,” Morey said before Sunday’s win over Indiana. “We’re a team trying to win the championship and we’re 4-7 and we’re not in a good place so we’re looking at everything. We’re looking at all aspects right now.”

One source tells MacMahon that both the Rockets and Anthony entered their offseason agreement “with eyes wide open,” recognizing that if things didn’t work out, they could pull the plug. Things haven’t exactly worked out so far — Houston has a -9.0 net rating with Carmelo on the court, compared to +2.1 when he sits.

If the Rockets do officially release Anthony, expect two-way player Gary Clark to fill his spot on the 15-man roster, says MacMahon. The undrafted rookie has become a Mike D’Antoni favorite, earning an increased role as of late (25.7 MPG in his last five games). The Rockets have a +1.1 net rating when Clark plays, compared to -5.8 when he’s on the bench.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Anthony, Jordan

With the Rockets dealing with several injuries and the suspension of Chris Paul, the team’s rookies have received playing time to start the season. As Jonathan Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle, Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein have been the two beneficiaries from the injuries to James Harden and James Ennis III.

Hartenstein has filled in as a backup center in recent games, as both Nene and Marquese Chriss continue to miss time due to injuries. Meanwhile, Clark has filled in minutes on the wing and power forward positions as Mike D’Antoni looks to limit P.J. Tucker‘s workload.

As Feigen notes, this playing time isn’t truly about developing the rookies. D’Antoni understands that player development isn’t the priority at the moment and admits that “the leash is awful short.”

With Ennis and Harden both expected to miss at least one more game and Nene weeks away from returning, Clark and Hartenstein should have more opportunities to show they can contribute right away. Once the Rockets are a healthy team, the rookies will be back to the end of the bench on a nightly basis.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

  • Amid several offseason changes, the Rockets are beginning to realize that the personnel isn’t perfectly suited to their defensive style of play. Chelsea Howard points out for The Sporting News that Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul have been vocal in calling the team to go back to the drawing board and figure out the scheme that works best for this roster.
  • As one of the Mavericks’ key offseason additions, DeAndre Jordan has been exactly what the team needed, Eddie Sefko writes for The Dallas Morning News. Jordan is off to a strong start, averaging 16 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game while hitting 84.6% of his free throws.

Rockets Set Roster For Regular Season

OCTOBER 15: The two-way contracts for Edwards and Clark are official, the Rockets confirmed today. Houston’s roster is now set for the regular season.

OCTOBER 13: The Rockets have waived Bruno Caboclo, and forward Tim Bond, along with guards Angel Rodriguez and Brandon Sampson and forward , sources tell Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Additionally, Houston plans to convert Vince Edwards and Gary Clark to two-way players, Feigen adds.

Edwards, 22, was the Jazz’s second-round pick in this year’s draft but was immediately traded to Houston. He saw limited action in the preseason, playing double digits in minutes just once as he posted six points, four rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes on Tuesday against China’s Shanghai Sharks.

As for Clark, the undrafted forward out of Cincinnati signed with the Rockets and made a case for the team’s final roster spot. Instead, both he and Edwards appears set to split the year between the G League and NBA. Two-way deals permit players to spend up to 45 days in the NBA with the rest coming with the G League affiliate.

Houston elected to keep its 15th roster spot vacant for the time being to allow for both roster and financial flexibility.

Of the four waived players, Caboclo has the most significant NBA experience, appearing in 37 games with the Raptors over the past four seasons. The Rockets signed Rodriguez, Sampson and Bond to Exhibit 10 contracts, so the club will have the opportunity to make them affiliate players with the G League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, assuming they go unclaimed on waivers.

Southwest Notes: Voulgaris, Mavs, Parsons, Rockets Bench

The Mavericks will hire former professional sports gambler Bob Voulgaris to a front office role, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN report. Voulgaris will be the team’s director of quantitative research and development, another example of how the league is embracing the betting community and gambling after previously shunning it. As a gambler, Voulgaris used analytics and expertise on coaching strategy and tendencies of individual referees. He will now serve as a strategic thinker to help examine on-court strategies.

In other developments from around the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks are facing a new round of sexual harassment allegations in the workplace, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. Several former female employees allege that team photographer Danny Bollinger has a history of propositioning female co-workers and making lewd comments. The allegations were not part of the recently-concluded investigation into workplace misconduct within the organization. Owner Mark Cuban agreed to donate $10MM to organizations that “promote women in leadership roles and combat domestic violence” following that investigation.
  • Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons received PRP injections in both knees a week before training camp, Mark Giannotto of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Parsons flew to Germany for the second time this year for a five-day injection process in the hopes of regaining his previous form. Knee injuries have marred his first two seasons with Memphis after he signed a four-year, $94MM contract. “At this point in my career, I’ll try anything,” Parsons told Giannotto. “After the last two years, sign me up to do anything just to have some relief and not feel the way I have.”
  • Offseason additions Michael Carter-Williams, James Ennis, Gary Clark, Marquese Chriss and Bruno Caboclo — along with Carmelo Anthony — have made a strong impression on the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Most of those players will contribute off the bench for Houston this season. “That second unit, they’ve been whupping on us,” reigning MVP James Harden said.