Glenn Robinson III

Atlantic Notes: Crawford, Walker, Robinson, VanVleet

On Wednesday night, Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters that guard Jamal Crawford will miss a few games with a strained hamstring, per Nick Friedell of ESPN (Twitter link).

Crawford suffered the injury in the second quarter of Tuesday’s afternoon game against the Bucks. It was the 40-year-old’s first game with Brooklyn after not playing in the team’s previous games and scrimmages.

Crawford only played six minutes off the bench, scoring five points and dishing out three assists. Without Crawford for the foreseeable future, the Nets could turn to Tyler Johnson and Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot, who started in place of Joe Harris and Caris LeVert.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • According to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, point guard Kemba Walker is expected to receive more minutes on Friday night, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). The veteran point guard played 27 minutes on Tuesday against the Heat, scoring 15 points. Stevens also added that Walker isn’t expected to be on a minutes restriction when the playoffs start later this month.
  • In an interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III talked at length about his experience being a veteran inside the bubble. Robinson, who was traded from the Warriors in February, believes he was acquired not only for his shooting and defense, but also for his leadership. “I think I was brought on this team for some of that. I feel like they know how I am in the locker room,” Robinson said. “I get the respect of every teammate I’ve had a chance to play with. I may not say a lot. But I get the respect because you’ve got my respect and I have your best interest as my teammate.” Robinson has not played in any of Philadelphia’s seeding games due to a left hip pointer injury that he suffered during the scrimmages.
  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star explains why the Raptors must re-sign Fred VanVleet, who is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason. Smith mentions veteran starting point guard Kyle Lowry going into the final year of his contract as one of the main reasons why Toronto needs to keep VanVleet. He also brings up VanVleet’s ability to make big plays and his on-court awareness.

Injury Notes: Embiid, Robinson, Harris, Barton, Mills

Joel Embiid missed the Sixers’ last two scrimmage games due to right calf tightness. However, he’s expected to play on Saturday in the team’s seeding opener against the Pacers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Embiid suffered the calf injury during a July 24 scrimmage against the Grizzlies and played just 13 minutes. He also battled injuries prior to the stoppage of play in March. He missed nine games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and sat out five others with a left shoulder sprain, Pompey notes.

The Sixers can improve their playoff seeding during the next eight games. They are tied for fifth place in the East with Indiana at 39-26.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III is doubtful to play on Saturday, Pompey notes in the same story. He has a left hip pointer, which he suffered during a scrimmage against the Thunder on Sunday.
  • The Nuggets will go without at least two key players in their seeding opener on Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. Guard Gary Harris has a right hip muscle strain while Will Barton is dealing with right knee soreness. Reserve big man Vlatko Cancar (left foot fracture) will also miss the game. Starting point guard Jamal Murray is questionable duo to left hamstring tightness.
  • Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills didn’t play in the team’s first game in Orlando but it wasn’t injury-related, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk tweets. Coach Gregg Popovich simply wanted to use his younger guards more extensively. Shooting guard Bryn Forbes‘ absence was injury-related — he’s dealing with a sore right quad.

Sixers Notes: Broekhoff, Simmons, Robinson

After signing with the Sixers during the last week of June, sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff has yet to report to the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World. In a Twitter statement on Sunday, Broekhoff explained the delay.

“I am not with the 76ers right now in Orlando because my wife who is high risk tested positive for COVID,” he wrote. “We have a young son and my focus needs to be with my family at this time. I appreciate the 76ers for their support.”

As the team waits to see whether Broekhoff will be able to report to Orlando, here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Speaking to reporters on Monday, 76ers head coach Brett Brown said he has been playing Ben Simmons “exclusively” at power forward during the first few Florida practices and has been impressed by what he has seen. “He’s so dynamic,” Brown said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Let’s just talk about running. There’s nobody faster in the NBA. So to always have the ball and dribble it up against five guys … to do that dilutes some of his potent weapons. So, watching him fly up the floor, watching him and Joel (Embiid) play off each other, has been a really good look. I think they’ve been fantastic together.” As Bontemps notes, if Brown intends to play Simmons at the four, it would likely mean having Shake Milton in the starting five, with Al Horford coming off the bench.
  • Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III is experiencing some upper back discomfort and received treatment today, but was still able to participate fully in practice, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The club doesn’t consider it a serious issue, Pompey adds.
  • In case you missed it, we also rounded up a series of Sixers-related notes on Saturday.

Sixers Notes: Horford, Milton, Robinson, Thybulle

The Sixers may arrive in Orlando with more lineup questions than any other contender. The most significant involves what to do with Al Horford, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The veteran big man was pulled from the starting lineup Feburary 11, but was reinserted three games later after Ben Simmons suffered a back injury.

Horford looked good in eight straight starts before the hiatus, but may be headed back to the bench now that Simmons is fully recovered. Horford seemed like a valuable addition when he left the Celtics for the Sixers last summer. But he hasn’t found a way to be effective playing alongside center Joel Embiid, particularly when Simmons is on the floor at the same time, which results in spacing issues.

“I just want us to be playing well and to be playing at a high level,” Horford said. “I’m going to continue to work and be an assistance to a team any way I can. I do know for us to be successful I have to play with different lineups. I have to play with Joel sometimes. I have to play with different people. It really doesn’t matter.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Coach Brett Brown wants to use Simmons in more of an off-the-ball role, which could mean additional playing time for Shake Milton, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Milton averaged 17.8 points and 4.1 assists in the last nine games before the break and moved into the starting lineup after Simmons’ injury.  However, Brown is wary about expecting too much from the 23-year-old in the postseason. “I always get nervous about relying on young guys for the NBA playoffs. Shake is no different,” Brown said. “… But I’m going into this excited. I think some of the performances that he had on a consistent basis (earlier in the season) can’t be that far out of reach where maybe he can produce a large portion of that again.”
  • In the same piece, Bodner examines which role players the team can count on when the season resumes. He suggests Glenn Robinson III, who was acquired from the Warriors at the trade deadline, may move up in the rotation.
  • Rookie Matisse Thybulle has embraced Brown’s message for players to keep their conditioning at a B level and raise it to an A in Orlando, writes Lauren Rosen of NBA.com“In a matter of two weeks, I feel like I’ve gotten back into really good shape,” Thybulle said. “I think it’s going to be easier to build on after this. Like Coach said, being at a B, I feel like I’m definitely there, and once we start playing, it’s going to fall into place.”

Warriors Notes: Myers, Durant, Cook, Free Agents

“The Last Dance” documentary series is making an impression around the NBA, particularly with the Warriors, who can identify with the challenges of trying to string together championships, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. One of those challenges is attempting to maintain camaraderie, which became an issue on the way to the 2017/18 title, admits general manager Bob Myers.

“The second time with Kevin (Durant) it felt like, ‘Well, we just did what we were supposed to do, and great job,'” Myers said. “It wasn’t joy. I’m sure a lot of people felt differently. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I think there’s just a weight to everything. And so I’m sure (the Bulls) felt that weight of everything, weight of relationships.”

Golden State posted 67-15 and 58-24 records and won back-to-back championships during its first two seasons with Durant. But before the quest for a three-peat was derailed by injuries in last year’s Finals, there were frequent reports that Durant was looking to leave the organization and an infamous on-court incident with Draymond Green.

“To be honest, (the documentary) is just confirmation of what I was saying to our team all of last year and 2018,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The whole messaging for the year was based on my experience with Chicago and feeling that level of fatigue (and) emotional toll that had been over the previous four years. … And so watching this now is just a reminder of how difficult it is to sustain that kind of run.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle talked to a few Warriors players who are too young to remember the Michael Jordan era. Several took note of Jordan’s intense leadership style in the documentary, saying it was reminiscent of Green. “When (Jordan) just said he never asked anybody to do anything that he wouldn’t do, that really stuck with me,” Marquese Chriss said. “You want your leader to lead by example, but also be vocal at the same time. It honestly reminded me a bit of Draymond.”
  • Even though the Warriors dropped to the bottom of the West this season, the team’s culture continues to be a strong selling point with players, observes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay AreaAlec Burks and Glenn Robinson III both expressed disappointment over being traded in February, and Quinn Cook said it was important to him to sign with the Warriors in 2017. “When Golden State called, I told my agent, ‘I didn’t care if I never play,” said Cook, now with the Lakers. “I don’t have to play. I just want to be a part of the organization. I want to learn every single day from those guys.’”
  • Grant Liffman of NBC Sports Bay Area identifies 11 free agents that the Warriors should target, even though they will be over the cap and can only offer minimum contracts and the taxpayer mid-level exception.

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Horford, GRIII

While Sixers center Joel Embiid has a chance to return from his shoulder injury within the next week, sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Ben Simmons‘ recovery timeline is harder to pin down. Simmons, who is dealing with a nerve impingement in his lower back, will be re-evaluated next week.

As Shelburne explains, the Sixers are waiting for the inflammation around Simmons’ nerve to subside. The club is hoping to get him back before the end of the season so he can get his feet under him again before the playoffs. But at this point, that’s “just a hope,” given the uncertainty surrounding the injury, Shelburne writes.

Here’s more on the 76ers:

  • Shelburne’s ESPN article on the Sixers’ up-and-down season is worth reading in full, with head coach Brett Brown, GM Elton Brand, and big man Al Horford among those providing quotes. Brown, notably, expressed plenty of confidence that Embiid and Simmons are capable of not just co-existing and thriving, but of winning a title together. “I know these guys,” Brown said. “It’s like how my wife knows when my kids are going to get sick about two days before they get sick. When you’re a parent, you know your kids. And so I look at these two guys and I know they can win together. They can and they will.”
  • In the wake of a report suggesting the 76ers may explore trading Horford in the offseason, Chris Mannix of SI.com asked a veteran NBA executive about the possibility. “I would be shocked if he has value,” the exec said of Horford. “They might have to include an asset for someone to take him off their books. He has not looked good this year. His movement, it just seems a step slow, on both ends. I think they have to try to trade him. He obviously can’t play with Embiid. The goal should be to divide that salary over a couple of players and make them deeper. But I don’t know how they are going to do that.”
  • Glenn Robinson III, who expressed some confusion last week about what role the Sixers wanted him to play, is feeling a little better about his place in the rotation these days. As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, Robinson showed on Tuesday why the 76ers traded for him, scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting. He said after the game that he’s continuing to “get a feel for my teammates.”

Eastern Notes: Lamb, Robinson, Boylen, Robinson

The Pacers aren’t interested in re-signing swingman Lance Stephenson despite Jeremy Lamb‘s season-ending injury, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic. Stephenson is seeking to return to the league and would welcome a reunion, Agness adds. Aaron Holiday, Justin Holiday, Edmond Sumner and Doug McDermott could all see additional playing time to make up for Lamb’s absence.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Glenn Robinson III isn’t quite sure why the Sixers wanted him, as he told Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. Robinson was acquired from the Warriors in a deadline deal. “When you come here and your role’s not really explained or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade — it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact,” Robinson said. “It’s a little different, so… this team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it.” Robinson has an expiring contract after signing for the veteran’s minimum with Golden State last summer.
  • Jim Boylen’s chances of remaining head coach of the Bulls beyond this season rest upon whom the front office hires, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports explains. The Bulls plan to restructure the front office and there will be at least one new prominent hire in basketball operations, Johnson continues. While it’s unknown whether the newcomer would determine Boylen’s future, the ability to make that decision would likely be a priority for most attractive candidates, Johnson adds.
  • Shooting guard Jerome Robinson hit a big 3-point shot for the Wizards against the Nets this week as he continues to take advantage of his opportunities, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Acquired in a three-team deadline deal from the Clippers, Robinson is averaging 5.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 1.3 APG in 17.6 MPG in seven games with Washington. Robinson, the 13th pick of the 2018 draft, has a $3.7MM guaranteed salary for next season with a $5.3MM team option for the 2021/22 campaign.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, B. Brown, Sixers, Kyrie

Celtics guard Kemba Walker, who was teammates with Marvin Williams for five seasons in Charlotte, said he spent several weeks trying to convince the veteran forward to join him in Boston when he was eventually bought out by the Hornets, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. After Williams joined the rival Bucks instead, Walker called up his longtime teammate to congratulate him on his new deal.

He said that he wished he could have gotten to Boston with me, but I’m just happy for him,” the Celtics’ All-Star point guard said, per Himmelsbach. “That’s my guy, man. That’s one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever been around. That’s my vet. I was upset that we didn’t get the chance to get him, but I’m happy for him. He deserves it. He’s been in the league for a very long time. He works hard. He deserves to be on a winning team.”

The Celtics figure to keep a close eye on the buyout market in the coming weeks, though they’ll have to waive a player from their 15-man roster if they want to bring anyone in.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Following last week’s trade deadline, Sixers general manager Elton Brand said he believes in Brett Brown‘s ability to lead the team. However, as Malika Andrews of ESPN writes, the 76ers’ GM stopped short of guaranteeing Brown would keep his job for the rest of the 2019/20 season. “I’m not going to play what-ifs,” Brand said. For what it’s worth, the team was mired in a four-game losing streak at the time of Brand’s comments and is 2-0 since then.
  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer explores what sort of roles newly-acquired bench pieces Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III will play for the Sixers, suggesting that Robinson may end up with a more defined role.
  • Kyrie Irving‘s right knee sprain will sideline him through the All-Star break, according to Malika Andrew (Twitter link), who says the Nets have ruled out the star point guard for Wednesday’s game vs. Toronto.

Western Notes: Wiggins, Collison, Warriors

While Andrew Wiggins‘ contract, which has over $94MM left on it after this season, may seem like it is a negative mark on his trade value, that perception is no longer the reality around the league.

The Timberwolves knew they likely had to move Wiggins (for salary-matching purposes) and reached out to other teams about taking on the 24-year-old prior to agreeing to terms with the Warriors.

The former No. 1 pick has improved his value considerably since last season — part of that is him buying into the plan set forth by Minnesota’s player development staff. Wiggins is finding better looks and taking a more cerebral approach to the game this year after putting in substantial work during the offseason.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves had spoken to the Mavericks about a Wiggins deal prior to trading him to the Warriors, per a source. It’s unclear how far those talks went.
  • Former NBA wing Matt Barnes remains close with Darren Collison and says the point guard is “50/50” on returning to the league, as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols tweets. It was previously reported that if Collison returns, he’d prefer to go to the Lakers or Clippers.
  • The Warriors trading Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III caught the locker room by surprise. “So this was a blindside,” one member of the team told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Prior to the team’s matchup on Wednesday night, the front office pulled Burks and Robinson from pre-game shootaround, signaling that the duo was going to be traded.

Warriors Trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III To Sixers

FEBRUARY 6: The trade is now official, according to press releases from the Warriors and Sixers. Philadelphia waived Trey Burke in a corresponding move, as we noted earlier. The team created the other roster opening by sending James Ennis to Orlando.

FEBRUARY 5: The Warriors and Sixers have agreed to a trade that will send Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to Philadelphia, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania (Twitter link), the 76ers will send Golden State a trio of second-round picks in the deal. Those three picks are Dallas’ 2020 second-rounder, Denver’s 2021 second-rounder, and Toronto’s 2022 second-rounder, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The 76ers have a full 15-man roster, so they’ll have to move a pair of players to accommodate the new additions. They’re working on possible trades to clear those roster spots, but will waive two players at the deadline if necessary, tweets Wojnarowski.

No salary-matching is required in the deal, since both Burks and Robinson are on one-year, minimum-salary contracts and can be taken on using the minimum salary exception.

Sixers general manager Elton Brand had been on the lookout for players who could provide the team with reliable depth and outside shooting, and Burks and Robinson should fit nicely. Both wings have played increased roles for the injury-plagued Warriors this season, with Burks averaging a career-best 16.1 PPG with 3.1 APG and a .375 3PT% in 48 games (29.0 MPG), while Robinson has put up a career-high 12.9 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .481/.400/.851 shooting in 48 games (31.6 MPG).

Philadelphia didn’t have expendable players on mid-level-type salaries to make a run at higher-priced trade candidates, so the team made use of its cache of second-round selections to acquire a pair of low-cost veterans. Even after surrendering three future picks in this deal, the Sixers still control a handful of valuable second-round selections, including the Hawks’ and Knicks’ 2020 second-rounders.

As for the Warriors, they’ve rebuilt their own collection of future draft picks in recent weeks, having now acquired a total of four second-rounders for role players Burks, Robinson, and Willie Cauley-Stein. The moves have also helped Golden State inch closer to the tax line for the 2019/20 season.

As Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights details (Twitter link), the Dubs are still slightly over the luxury tax threshold, and will move further into tax territory once they sign replacement players. But they’re at the point where they’ve greatly reduced their projected end-of-season bill and could even sneak out of the tax if they move another player or two on Thursday.

The Warriors will have just 11 players under contract once this trade goes through. The team will have to sign at least one player by Saturday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), who suggests Marquese Chriss is a strong candidate to be promoted to the 15-man roster. Golden State will subsequently have to add two more players to get to the NBA-mandated minimum of 14 later this month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.