Golden State Warriors – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-15T23:39:27Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Luke Adams <![CDATA[Two-Way Players Making Bids For Promotions]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147273 2019-12-13T19:31:27Z 2019-12-13T19:31:27Z Players on two-way contracts are free to appear in NBA games, but there are limitations on the amount of time they can spend with their respective NBA teams. Each two-way player can spend up to 45 days with his NBA club, assuming he signed his two-way deal before the season began.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Two-Way Contracts]

With some creative transferring back and forth between an NBA team and its G League affiliate, a franchise can make the most of those 45 days. Still, with the clock having started on October 28, the first day of G League training camp, it’s just a matter of time before some players use up their 45-day allotment.

Teams can sign players to two-way contracts through mid-January, so in past seasons some clubs have simply moved onto a new player once their original two-way players neared that 45-day limit. However, many players who have used up their 45 days subsequently received a promotion – signing a standard NBA contract and taking a spot on the 15-man roster – to ensure that their teams didn’t lose them.

It’s a little early in the 2019/20 season to determine which two-way players will ultimately end up being promoted to 15-man rosters, but a handful of players on two-way deals have made strong cases for standard contracts in the early going.

Here are the top candidates to receive promotions among this year’s two-way players:

Chris Silva, PF (Heat)

Silva has flown somewhat under the radar in Miami, since the Heat have two other rookies (Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn) making an even greater impact. But Silva has already appeared in 22 games for the NBA club, averaging 3.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and a .644 FG% in 9.7 minutes per contest.

Miami is hard-capped and can’t sign Silva to a standard contract before January 14. Even at that point, it’s not clear if getting him on the 15-man roster right away will be a top priority for the Heat, who may want to retain a modicum of flexibility leading up to the trade deadline. The club has a deep bench and could probably get by without him for a few weeks once he uses up his 45 NBA days, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see Silva eventually sign a multiyear, minimum-salary deal like the one Nunn received last spring.

Chris Clemons, G (Rockets)

Although he has appeared in 17 games so far this season, Clemons isn’t exactly a rotation fixture for the Rockets, having played double-digit minutes in just five of those games. Still, in limited playing time, he has shown the ability to create instant offense off the bench, scoring at least 16 points three times and shooting 38.8% on threes.

After waiving Ryan Anderson earlier this fall, Houston has an open spot on its 15-man roster, but the team’s proximity to the tax line may work against a promotion for Clemons in the near future. We’ll see if the club can trade Nene within the next couple months, or if it needs to keep that final roster open for a potential addition on the trade market or buyout market.

Ky Bowman, PG (Warriors)
Damion Lee, SG (Warriors)

No player on the 5-21 Warriors this season has a positive net rating, but Lee (-2.9) is the closest and Bowman (-4.4) isn’t far behind.

Bowman has been especially impressive, stepping into the starting lineup several times when D’Angelo Russell missed time and posting a .454/.415/.909 shooting line through 26 games. Lee, who has appeared in just 12 games, hasn’t been as reliable from beyond the arc this year (31.6%) as he was last year (39.7%), but he had some productive nights early in the season, including a 23-point, 11-rebound showing in a win over New Orleans.

Like the Heat, the Warriors are hard-capped, limiting their ability to add anyone to their 15-man roster right now, despite having an open spot. But if they were to trade, say, Alec Burks without taking any salary back, the Dubs would be in position to promote a two-way player to their roster, potentially signing him to a team-friendly three- or four-year deal with their mid-level exception. In that scenario, Bowman would almost certainly be the priority over Lee.

The full list of players on two-way contracts can be found right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Hollinger Speculates Warriors May Try To Get Out Of Tax]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147212 2019-12-12T21:11:41Z 2019-12-12T21:11:41Z
  • Within his article, Hollinger makes a case for why the Warriors may push hard to get out of luxury-tax territory before the end of the season, noting that doing so would allow the team to avoid repeater penalties in 2020/21. It won’t be easy for Golden State to sneak below the tax line, but if the team is willing to discuss a Kevon Looney trade, that could open up one path, Hollinger observes.
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    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Warriors Recall Smailagic]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147147 2019-12-12T07:56:30Z 2019-12-12T04:15:07Z
  • The Warriors have recalled rookie forward Alen Smailagic from Santa Cruz, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).
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    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Warriors Want Poole To Spend Time In Santa Cruz]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147096 2019-12-12T08:01:26Z 2019-12-12T01:10:03Z The Warriors want rookie shooting guard Jordan Poole, the No. 28 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, to spend time in the G League, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole (Jordan, not Monte) is currently averaging 7.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 24 minutes per game.

    The 20-year-old Michigan alum is shooting just 25.8% from the floor for the Warriors. According to Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area, Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters that there is not a definitive timeline yet for Poole’s trip to Santa Cruz.

    “There’s nothing set in stone yet,” Kerr said after the Warriors finished their practice Tuesday. “He’ll eventually be there. That’s a big part of our development process. Santa Cruz has been a big asset over the years. A lot of players go back and forth, so it’ll happen for Jordan at some point.”

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Details On Wolves’ FA Offer To D’Angelo Russell]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147045 2019-12-11T17:10:56Z 2019-12-11T16:53:19Z While D’Angelo Russell ultimately landed with the Warriors in free agency as part of a complicated sign-and-trade deal involving Kevin Durant, reports at the time indicated that the Timberwolves made the All-Star point guard their top offseason priority. Anthony Slater of The Athletic confirms as much in an in-depth piece on Russell, citing sources who say Minnesota’s initial offer to Russell was worth about $107MM over four years.

    The Wolves and Warriors were two of three serious bidders in the mix for Russell, according to Slater. The Lakers were also in play and would potentially have been willing to make an offer in the $100MM range, but were in a holding pattern as they pursued Kawhi Leonard.

    Minnesota “desperately wanted” to pair Russell with Karl-Anthony Towns and had spent much of June planning their recruiting pitch for the 23-year-old, Slater writes. However, when the Warriors put a maximum-salary ($117MM) offer on the table for D-Lo near the start of free agency, it didn’t take him long to choose Golden State.

    As Slater details, word of Russell’s tentative agreement with the Dubs broke when D-Lo was being transported back via helicopter from his meeting with the Wolves. “The mood in the cabin changed” when that news came out, Slater writes.

    “An awkward goodbye on the tarmac,” a source told The Athletic.

    In addition to the fact that the Warriors’ offer was more lucrative financially, Russell was intrigued by the idea of teaming up with two potential Hall-of-Famers like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Speaking to Slater, Russell said he was excited about the idea of getting to “take a year and just learn from all these guys” — he caught himself when he realized he was talking as if expecting a trade.

    “Well, we signed a four-year deal,” Russell said. “Hopefully, four years.”

    According to Slater, Russell would like to remain with the Warriors for the entirety of his contract, but recognizes the team faces certain roster and cap constraints and knows nothing is guaranteed.

    “Yeah, you know, that’s what sucks more than anything,” Russell said of not being able to settle in for the long-term. “Like, it sucks more than anything. That’s kind of what I’m doing now though. I’m kind of just putting two feet into the house that I’m in now.

    “… I can’t control if (Warriors president of basketball operations) Bob Myers is like, yo, let’s go get such and such for this and make this pick,” D-Lo added. “That’s his job. I can’t control it or say anything about it, especially if I’m a part of it. So I don’t waste energy worrying about it.”

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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Latest On Knicks’ Potential Front Office Search]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147002 2019-12-11T01:56:00Z 2019-12-11T00:36:12Z The Knicks are planning to make a run at top Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via his latest newsletter) that there are many around the league who believe Ujiri can be lured to New York.

    Even though the Knicks have been laughable on the court, the prestige of the franchise and of winning it all in the arguably the greatest city in the world carries weight with top executives in the NBA. Entering Madison Square Garden’s latest rehabilitation project and coming out with a championship remains a unique and coveted prize.

    Regardless of whom New York lands, the franchise’s next architect will face his share of challenges. It’s not certain if owner James Dolan is finally ready to give his top executive something that resembles “real autonomy,” Stein writes. Even Phil Jackson, who was relieved of his duties before his contract was up, didn’t get nearly enough freedom to make internal moves that could have impacted the culture. Stein adds that Dolan has given zero indication that he will sell the team.

    In addition to Ujiri, Stein mentions R.C. Buford (Spurs), Bob Myers (Warriors) and Donnie Nelson (Mavericks) as names to keep an eye on when it comes to a potential top executive search in New York.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Evans Back In Action After 21-Game Absence]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146919 2019-12-10T05:30:57Z 2019-12-10T01:30:11Z
  • Warriors guard Jacob Evans is available to play on Monday after missing 21 games with an adductor strain, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Evans appeared in three games this season prior to the injury, averaging 6.0 PPG in 14.3 MPG. The former Cincinnati standout had his 2020/21 option picked up by Golden State in late October.
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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Warriors Notes: Kerr, Ellis, Robinson]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146624 2019-12-08T11:45:40Z 2019-12-07T17:12:51Z After dominating the NBA for half the decade, the Warriors are enduring a trying season in 2019/20. At 5-19, Golden State has the worst record in the Western Conference and is mere percentage points away from the Knicks (4-18) for the worst record in the league.

    Key departures in free agency (Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala) and injuries to their superstars (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) dampened the Warriors’ hopes to reach a sixth straight NBA Finals. For head coach Steve Kerr, who has presided over that success, the challenge of developing the younger stars on the roster has been invigorating.

    “I’m enjoying coaching the young guys and going through the details of what they need to learn and helping them develop,” Kerr said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. “I basically survived my whole career. I was never really in a position where I felt like, ‘OK, I’ve made it.’ From year to year, it was just survival. So I can relate to a lot of these young guys and I can relate a lot of experiences to them. That’s a satisfying process when you see them do well.”

    Check out more Warriors notes below:

    • Among the standout parts of the Warriors’ reshaped roster has been the performance of Glenn Robinson III. Anthony Slater of The Athletic examined Robinson’s play, specifically him reprising elements from Iguodala’s play and how he’s trying to incorporate it into the current system.
    • In a lengthy, in-depth feature, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes that Monta Ellis is proud of his tenure with the Warriors. Ellis spent six-and-a-half seasons with the Warriors and was part of the team’s unexpected success in the late 2000s.  “Everything, even through my bad times, I still enjoyed it,” Ellis said. “Because at the end of the day, they gave me my shot.”
    • As we relayed earlier, the Warriors are in no rush to trade D’Angelo Russell, who is considered a candidate to be dealt at some point this season.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Warriors In No Rush To Deal D’Angelo Russell]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146613 2019-12-08T11:32:54Z 2019-12-07T05:03:57Z From the time the Warriors acquired D’Angelo Russell in the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade, many around the league have been operating under the assumption that the Dubs would deal Russell once they were eligible to do so.

    “It’s just going to come down to when they want to do it,” one executive tells Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. “Could do it now. Could do it later. But they’ll do it.”

    The majority of offseason signings will be eligible for a trade on December 15 (sign-and-trades like the acquisition of Russell count as a signing) and leading up to that date, one might suspect the Warriors to already be in the process of parsing the market.

    However, Deveney hears that Golden State has been quiet with regard to Russell negotiations with other clubs. One rival GM doesn’t believe the Warriors are pushing for a deal.

    “If it is something that they’re going to do quickly, like before the end of this month, I wouldn’t say they’re pushing for it,” one general manager said. “Maybe they have a deal in mind, maybe they’re sitting on something and laying low. But I’d be surprised. That’s not how they’d approach it, I’d think. You want to create a market if you are going to trade a player like him, you want to pit teams against each other, drive up the price. You don’t want to lock into one deal. But the market thing, that’s not really happening yet. They’re not pushing the market for him.”

    Russell has struggled to stay on the court, as various injuries have limited him to just 11 games. When he has been able to suit up, he’s impressed. Russell is averaging 23.7 points per game, he’s sporting a career-high 21.6 player efficiency rating, and he leads the Warriors in NBA Math’s Total Points Added despite many of his teammates playing twice as many games as him.

    It’s likely that the lack of trade talks between the Warriors and other teams doesn’t reflect a lack of interest from rivals. The franchise, which is expected to land a top pick in the 2020 draft, could be planning to keep Russell for the season and then package the point guard with the likely top-five selection for a star via trade since adding a rookie to the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green wouldn’t exactly mesh timeline-wise.

    Then again, the team could keep Russell and head into next season with a three-guard rotation that is unmatched by any around the league. Deveney writes that the Warriors have let it slip that this could be their approach in talks with rival teams, though one GM says that is likely a “smokescreen” intended to make the Warriors look less eager to trade Russell.

    The Wolves are among the teams expected to pursue a Russell trade. Minnesota went after him in free agency. Perhaps a package that includes Robert Covington could entice Bob Myers and Golden State’s front office.

    Russell is in the first year of the four-year, max deal he inked this past offseason. Where he finishes that contract is anyone’s guess.

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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Fizdale Fallout, Potential Long-Term Replacements]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146588 2019-12-08T11:15:07Z 2019-12-07T00:53:18Z The Knicks fired David Fizdale earlier today while also relieving Keith Smart of his duties as assistant coach. The move comes after a 4-18 start, which ties a record for worst in franchise history.

    While Fizdale repeatedly told reporters that he had owner James Dolan’s backing, Jabari Young of CNBC.com hears from an agent who represents coaches around the league that the firing was “inevitable.” Assistant coach Mike Miller will now take over as the interim head coach with 60 games to go in the season.

    Former Warriors coach and Knicks guard Mark Jackson has been linked to the team as a long-term candidate for the role (any major hire is likely to come in the offseason) and Young reports that Spurs assistant Becky Hammon would be interested in the job should the team be willing to offer her a long-term deal. Young mentions four or five years as the necessary length of the contract.

    Young also mentions former Coach of the Year (2007) Sam Mitchell as a good candidate for the short-term, as Mitchell has a reputation for getting top effort out of players.

    Here’s more on the Knicks:

    • Jeff Van Gundy, Jason Kidd, and Tyronn Lue are among the former NBA coaches that Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic names as options for the Knicks. Vorkunov also lists several potential candidates without former head coaching experience, such as Jarron Collins, Stephen Silas, and Ettore Messina.
    • The firing of Fizdale won’t clean up the Knicks’ issues, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today explains. Zillgitt believes that the front office should shoulder the blame for putting together this roster and simply expecting Fizdale to produce results with it.
    • Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post argues that the Knicks should fire team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry. The regime put together a plan of signing big-name free agents and failed to deliver.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[The Latest On Stephen Curry]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146568 2019-12-06T23:55:52Z 2019-12-06T23:31:04Z Stephen Curry has undergone another surgery on his broken left hand, Scott Cacciola of the New York Times reports. The latest surgery is to remove the pins that were inserted in his hand during the first procedure earlier this year.

    Curry is still expected to be re-evaluated in February. There were whispers that Curry would not play again this season. The Warriors have refuted such reports and Curry told the media last that month that he “definitely” expected to play again during the 2019/20 season.

    “I definitely expect to be ready to play — I don’t know when … I’m excited that the rest of the season isn’t lost,” Curry said.

    The Warriors are 4-19 on the season, so even if Curry returns, it’s not a given that he plays big minutes for the rest of the year. The team may be better off resting the point guard and gearing up for a 2020/21 campaign where he and Klay Thompson are both expected to be healthy.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Southeast Notes: Smith, Young, Adebayo, Magic]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146316 2019-12-05T23:23:30Z 2019-12-05T04:56:02Z Big man Jason Smith said he’s interested in returning to the Wizards if they want him, Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington relays. Smith made the comment on a Wizards Postgame Live broadcast. Washington’s frontcourt has been depleted by injuries, including a foot ailment to starting center Thomas Bryant that will sideline him for at least three weeks. The 33-year-old seven-footer played 20 games last season, including 12 with the Wizards.

    We have more from the Southeast Division:

    • Luka Doncic and Trae Young were essentially traded for each other on draft night 2018 but the Hawks guard doesn’t mind the comparisons, he said in an ESPN interview“We’re going to be compared throughout our whole careers,” Young said. “That’s fine, that’s what it’s going to be — it happened on draft night, and I don’t think it’ll stop until we’re both retired.”
    • The Heat want center Bam Adebayo to be more aggressive offensively, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Adebayo is averaging 14.2 PPG while averaging nine shot attempts and 5.7 free throw attempts.
    • Trading for DeMar DeRozan doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Magic, Josh Robbins of The Athletic opines. The Magic are reportedly interested in DeRozan but he can become an unrestricted free agent by declining his $27.7MM player option this summer, Robbins notes. Giving up a good young player like Aaron Gordon for DeRozan would be too risky unless the veteran guard made a commitment to stay with Orlando. A trade with the Warriors for guard D’Angelo Russell would be more feasible, though the Magic’s interest level in doing that is unknown, Robbins adds.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Injury Updates: Jackson, Oladipo, Irving, Bogdanovic, Russell]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146312 2019-12-05T23:17:29Z 2019-12-05T03:35:09Z Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is showing progress on his stress reaction in his lower back but he’ll be out at least a few more weeks, according to a team press release. Jackson’s rehabilitation process will continue for another two weeks and he’ll be re-evaluated at the end of that period, the release adds. Jackson, the team’s starting point guard, hasn’t played since the first two games of the season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

    We have more injury updates:

    • Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo has practiced three times in five days with their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, but there’s no still word on when he might return to action, Akeem Glaspie of the Indianapolis Star reports. “Just trying to get the feel back,” he said. “Coming out here just playing, taking it easy. Not trying to do anything spectacular. When injuries come around you try to rush things. When you rush your body, that’s when things kinda go south. Just gotta be smart about it.”
    • Nets guard Kyrie Irving missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with a shoulder impingement and he’s likely to be out a few more weeks, sources told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Irving has already been ruled out for Brooklyn’s game on Friday. The max player hasn’t spoken to the press since November 14th, further adding to the mystery of Irving’s ailment.
    • Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has a right knee contusion to go along with left hamstring tightness and will miss at least one game on the team’s upcoming road trip, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee relays.
    • Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, according to an ESPN report. Russell scored 18 points in 25 minutes in the 106-91 loss to the Hornets.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146296 2019-12-10T18:58:02Z 2019-12-04T23:33:56Z 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:

    Montrezl Harrell, Clippers, 25, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $12MM deal in 2018
    The Rockets had no idea what they were giving up when they tossed Harrell into the Chris Paul blockbuster. Harrell doesn’t have a three-point shot but otherwise, he’s a terror. He was a prime candidate for Sixth Man of the Year last season and will be once again. He’s averaging 19.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 2.2 APG despite starting just two of 22 games. Harrell will be a hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent and the Clippers will be pushed into luxury tax territory if they want to retain him. It would be worth the cost.

    Glenn Robinson III, Warriors, 25, SF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.9MM deal in 2019
    Robinson’s last season in Indiana was a washout due to an ankle injury. His one season in Detroit was a washout due to a lack of production. With an expanded role on a bad team, Robinson is upgrading his resume. He’s averaging 32.1 MPG as a starter and averaging 11.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 2.0 APG while making 38.9% of his 3-point tries. Stats compiled under these circumstances can be deceiving but Robinson has at least regained his confidence and shown he’s worthy of a rotation spot on most teams.

    Avery Bradley, Lakers, 29, SG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9.8MM deal in 2019
    Bradley started 10 games for the streaking Lakers this season, though he didn’t shoot well (28.6% from deep) playing alongside two of the league’s biggest stars. The big issue for Bradley in recent seasons has been staying on the court and once again, the injury bug has bitten him. He’s out at least another week with a lower leg issue. Bradley’s contract includes a $5MM player option and he needs to show he can stay healthy and productive for a long stretch in order to decline that option and test the free agent waters.

    Aron Baynes, Suns, 32, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10.6MM deal in 2018
    The popular Australian big man has gotten off to a terrific start in Phoenix with Deandre Ayton serving his 25-game league-imposed suspension. Baynes is averaging 14.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.9 APG in 24.0 MPG through 13 games. He’s also turned into a solid three-point shooter (43.9%), adding a new element to his game. He’s been slowed recently by a calf injury but with a dearth of quality centers around the league, Baynes will get some multi-year offers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

    Harry Giles, Kings, 21, PF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $6.6MM deal in 2017
    The 20th pick of the 2017 draft, Giles has battling injuries since entering the league. He didn’t make his NBA debut until last season, then appeared in 58 games off the bench. The Kings declined their fourth-year option on him prior to this season, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. He doesn’t have a rotation spot under new coach Luke Walton, averaging just 7.4 MPG in seven appearances this season. The same age as a college senior, Giles will get a second chance somewhere but his offers will be modest.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[And-Ones: LaMelo, MVP Votes, Warriors, Fratello]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146279 2019-12-05T23:10:27Z 2019-12-04T20:02:40Z LaMelo Ball doesn’t mind a little campaigning in his effort to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, writes Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The buzz around Ball continues to grow as he strings together impressive performances in Australia’s National Basketball League. Over the weekend, he became the first NBL player since 2005 to post back-to-back triple doubles.

    “Most definitely,” Ball responded when asked whether he thinks he should be the first pick. “I believe in myself and I’ve worked hard to get here. The other guys at the top of the draft, James [Wiseman] and Anthony [Edwards], are very talented too. But just in the way I believe in myself, I think I’m the top pick.”

    Several scouts were in New Zealand recently to watch Ball go up against another projected lottery pick in R.J. Hampton. Many came away impressed, with one scout saying, “The fact that he’s putting up numbers like this in a league full of former NBA players is forcing every team to look at him as a potential No. 1 pick.” 

    Ball addressed rumors that he might end his season early to protect his health for the draft. He insists he’s “committed to the whole season,” even though his team is off to a 3-9 start.

    Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

    • Roughly a quarter of the way into the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is in good position to repeat as MVP, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. In a poll of 101 media members, Antetokounmpo received 48 first-place votes and was the only player listed on all the ballots. LeBron James (29 first-place votes), Luka Doncic (14) and James Harden (nine) were next in line.
    • Declining ratings continue to be a concern, and the NBA has started taking action to address the problem. One solution is fewer national TV games for the Warriors, who have the NBA’s worst record after five years as its marquee team. Golden State’s next two scheduled ESPN games have been replaced, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who speculates that more are likely to be removed.
    • Former NBA coach and long-time broadcaster Mike Fratello will be back on the sidelines soon, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Fratello will serve as head coach for USA Basketball in February’s qualifying games for the FIBA AmeriCup.
    • Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the China controversy today, saying a “culture clash” was almost inevitable, tweets Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. NBA games haven’t returned to China Central Television, the main broadcaster in Mainland China, but they are back on Tencent, which Silver called a “thawing” in tensions (Twitter link).
    • Sources tell Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that March 20 has been set for the debut of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League (Twitter link). The first game will take place in Dakar, Senegal.
    • The NBA will consider allowing corporate investors to hold passive minority stakes in more than one team, tweets Alex M. Silverman of MorningConsult. The measure will be part of the agenda at April’s Board of Governors meeting.
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