Harry Giles

Jusuf Nurkic Undergoes Wrist Surgery

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a fracture in his right wrist, according to a team press release.

Nurkic will wear a splint for four weeks and be re-evaluated in six weeks. The timeline offered by the team suggests that the snakebit Portland big man will not return until March at the earliest.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.

Nurkic suffered his latest major injury during the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game against the Pacers while attempting to block a shot.

He missed nearly the entire 2019/20 season due to a major leg injury suffered late in the previous season. Nurkic is averaging 9.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 12 games (23.3 MPG) this season. He enjoyed a career year, averaged 15.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 3.2 APG, in 2018/19 before fracturing his left leg.

Nurkic has a partially guaranteed base salary of $12MM next season. The Trail Blazers will have to decide whether to give him a full guarantee this summer.

Enes Kanter started in his place on Monday against San Antonio with Harry Giles backing him up. The Trail Blazers have a spot open on the 15-man roster as well as a two-way slot to add another big man if they wish. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, they are $1.87MM below the luxury tax line (Twitter link).

Trail Blazers Sign Harry Giles

8:29pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.


11:54am: It’ll be a minimum-salary contract for Giles in Portland, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).


10:53am: Harry Giles will sign a one-year contract with the Trail Blazers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Giles, 22, was originally drafted by Portland in 2017, but was sent to the Kings in a draft night trade. He spent two seasons in Sacramento, but his progress was limited by knee injuries that have plagued him since high school. He was a free agent because Sacramento elected not to pick up his third-season option.

Giles appeared in 46 games last season, starting 17, and averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in about 12 minutes per night. New Kings general manager Monte McNair had been hoping to keep Giles, and several teams were interested in signing him because of his potential.

Cavs Rumors: Thompson, Free Agents, Drummond, No. 5 Pick

The Cavaliers would like to re-sign Tristan Thompson at the right price, but so far, discussions between the two sides have “centered on a number lower than Thompson would want,” according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Thompson had an $18.5MM salary in 2019/20 and presumably won’t want to see that number decrease too significantly going forward. However, that may simply be the veteran’s reality now, Fedor writes.

As Fedor points out, John Hollinger of The Athletic and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst have both recently suggested that Thompson may be no more than a minimum-salary free agent. It sounds like the Cavs will offer him more than that, so the big man may have to decide whether he wants to stay in Cleveland at that higher number or compete for a title elsewhere on a more modest deal. He appears unlikely to get a sizeable offer from a contender, Fedor notes.

If Thompson doesn’t re-sign with the Cavaliers, the team will probably have to dedicate a portion of its mid-level exception to signing a center. Fedor identifies Harry Giles, Aron Baynes, Thon Maker, and Nerlens Noel as some free agents who could be possibilities for Cleveland.

Here’s more from Fedor on the Cavs:

  • Sources tell Fedor that the Cavaliers were hoping to pursue Jerami Grant in free agency, but now expect him to be out of their price range. The team still aims to add athletic, defensive-minded players — Derrick Jones, Maurice Harkless, Kris Dunn, and Pat Connaughton are a few of the potential targets singled out by Fedor.
  • If and when Andre Drummond officially opts in for 2020/21, it’s possible the Cavaliers will view him and his expiring contract as a potential trade chip. However, Fedor’s sources believe Cleveland would have a better chance of moving Drummond at the trade deadline rather than in the offseason, so it sounds like the veteran center will spend at least part of the season in Cleveland.
  • Multiple members of Cleveland’s front office like Tyrese Haliburton, but after using their previous two lottery picks on guards, the Cavs seem unlikely to opt for Haliburton over an “equally-talented” prospect who fills a greater need. Fedor believes Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, Isaac Okoro, and Obi Toppin are – in no particular order – the best bets to be the Cavs’ pick at No. 5.

Kings Rumors: McNair, Fox, Bogdanovic, Giles, More

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has long admired Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, so hiring away one of Morey’s top lieutenants – assistant GM Monte McNair – filled a “certain fixation” for Ranadive, according to Jason Jones and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

There had been a growing sense around the NBA that the Kings would pick Timberwolves executive Sachin Gupta to run their front office – Minnesota was preparing to have to replace Gupta, sources tell The Athletic – but the final selection of McNair was driven by Ranadive.

McNair’s first interview with Sacramento took place over video conference, with Ranadive and consultant Mike Forde running the meeting. The second interview occurred in person on Monday, with Joe Dumars and Ranadive’s son Aneel taking part in that session, according to The Athletic. Aneel Ranadive, a member of the Kings’ executive board, was “very involved in the process,” Jones and Amick report.

Although McNair ultimately beat out fellow finalists Gupta and Wes Wilcox, both Gupta and Wilcox made strong impressions on the franchise too. One source described Wilcox as a “sharp interview,” per The Athletic.

Here’s more on the Kings in the wake of their major front office hire:

  • Former general manager Vlade Divac believed the Kings were on the verge of becoming a playoff team, but that sentiment wasn’t shared by everyone around the league, say Jones and Amick. As such, it’s possible McNair won’t hesitate to break up the core of a roster that hasn’t yet produced a winning season.
  • According to The Athletic, Divac had been expected to offer De’Aaron Fox a maximum-salary rookie scale extension, re-sign restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic – even if meant paying $18MM-ish per year – and attempt to retain free agent big man Harry Giles despite previously turning down his team option for 2020/21. It remains to be seen whether McNair will follow a similar playbook in his first offseason with the organization.
  • The Kings have long faced criticism for not having a well-staffed front office, according to Jones and Amick, who say that McNair is expected to make more hires within the basketball operations department. Assistant GM Ken Catanella will also likely remain in his current position.

Kings Notes: Divac, Walton, Dumars, Hield, Giles

Despite the Kings‘ disappointing season, there’s still no indication that general manager Vlade Divac or head coach Luke Walton are in any danger of losing their jobs, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

As Amick notes, both Divac and Walton have three years remaining on their contracts, so the idea of replacing either of them isn’t particularly appealing from a financial perspective. The Kings have suffered significant losses related to the real estate they control around their arena and have had to make business operations layoffs, sources tell Amick.

Still, the pressure on Divac is increasing, according to Amick, who suggests that advisor Joe Dumars has become a “valued voice” for owner Vivek Ranadive and may have an increased role going forward. Sources tell The Athletic that the Divac/Dumars relationship is good, but Amick says he wouldn’t be surprised to see minor front office changes made this offseason, including perhaps an addition to the current group.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Within his article linked above, Amick writes that a midseason role change – from starter to sixth man – was “known to displease” Buddy Hield. Asked today after the Kings’ final game if he can be content with that role moving forward, Hield didn’t give a direct answer, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links).
  • Over at the The Sacramento Bee, Anderson takes a look at whether former first-round pick Harry Giles may have played his final game for the Kings today.
  • Greg Wissinger, writing for the Sacramento Bee, expresses confusion that the Kings didn’t pivot more strongly to focusing on player development once they were eliminated from the postseason over the weekend, suggesting that they’ve been playing recently with “no clear objective.”
  • James Ham of NBC Sports California previews some key offseason deadlines from a Kings perspective, including Nemanja Bjelica‘s October 17 salary guarantee date.

Central Rumors: Poeltl, Griffin, Porter, Thompson

The Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl and the Kings’ Harry Giles are two of the centers the Pistons could target in free agency, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Poeltl began his NBA career under Pistons coach Dwane Casey in Toronto and his agent, Michael Tellem, is the son of Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem, Edwards notes. Giles, like Poeltl, has the ability to develop into a much greater force than he’s shown with his current club, Edwards adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The 2019/20 season was a wash for Pistons star forward Blake Griffin due to knee and hamstring injuries. However, the oft-injured Griffin believes he has plenty left in the tank, as he told the Detroit Free Press’ Omari Sankofa II (Twitter link) and other media members. Griffin said he doesn’t see his current contract, which lasts through the 2021/22 season, as his last. He also doesn’t view himself as being in decline. Griffin said last month he’s fully recovered from knee surgery in early January.
  • It’s doubtful Otto Porter will remain on the Bulls beyond his current contract, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago speculates. Porter’s expiring contract — provided he opts in for $28.5MM next season — is his main value to the organization. Given Porter’s injury history, Johnson anticipates there are other long-term plans for the wing spot beyond Porter.
  • While many NBA experts believe free agent Tristan Thompson has played his last game with the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has heard otherwise (hat tip to Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy). On the Wine and Gold Talk podcast, Fedor said Thompson is intrigued by the idea of finishing his career in Cleveland. “There’s also a sense that the Cavs recognize the value that Tristan Thompson brings,” Fedor said. “And Tristan being one of the greatest Cavaliers of all-time and eventually having his jersey hung and continuing to climb the ranks of the all-time Cavs is something that’s meaningful to him.”

Central Notes: Oladipo, Respert, Cavs, Pistons

After reporting earlier this week that the Pacers aren’t considering the possibility of shopping Victor Oladipo and that the veteran guard isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star digs a little further into the subject.

A source tells The Star that Oladipo “loves” Indiana, and Michael notes that the two-time All-Star has a good, “open-door” relationship with Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan.

According to Michael, the Pacers have made it clear they’re willing to give Oladipo a maximum-salary contract once his current deal ends in 2021, assuming that’s his market value. The 28-year-old hasn’t fully regained his All-Star form since returning from a serious leg injury, but is willing to roll the dice that he can get there.

Doing so would put him in line to earn a long-term max deal in ’21 rather than settling for an early extension that wouldn’t be as lucrative or as lengthy, due to CBA restrictions — Oladipo is seeking as much security as possible on his next contract, says Michael.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Bulls director of player development Shawn Respert, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season, won’t be retained beyond 2019/20, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Interestingly, Johnson says that decision was made by Jim Boylen, who remains the Bulls’ head coach for now as he continues to be evaluated by the team’s new basketball operations decision-makers.
  • The Cavaliers are unlikely to have any cap room this offseason, but could still be a minor player in free agency, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who speculates in his latest mailbag that Derrick Jones, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Jackson, and Harry Giles could be among Cleveland’s targets.
  • While February’s Andre Drummond trade will help ensure the Cavs don’t have cap room this offseason, moving Drummond’s contract should allow the Pistons to create upwards of $30-35MM in space, depending on where exactly the cap lands. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic explores which players Detroit could look at if the team decides to trade for unwanted contracts rather than using its room on free agents.

Wizards Notes: Draft, Avdiji, Hachimura, Giles

Deni Avdija, who is expected to go in the top 10 of the NBA draft, plays the style of basketball that the Wizards like, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports details. His versatility and passing skills would fit well in Washington’s system, though his lack of shooting and rebounding may force the franchise to look at other options in the draft.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards may see Rui Hachimura as their best young prospect on the roster, but former NBA executive John Hollinger believes that distinction goes to Troy Brown, as he explains on The Athletic. Brown, who is nearly 18 months younger than Hachimura, has play-making skills and Hollinger is curious why the young team didn’t feature the 20-year-old more often.
  • Washington is hoping that Hachimura can improve on defense and be the team’s go-to defender for larger wings, Hollinger passes along in the same piece.
  • The Wizards were terrible on the defensive end in 2019/20, but the franchise is hoping to acquire a rim protector this summer. Hollinger notes that either Thomas Bryant or Moritz Wagner could find themselves on another team as a result of Washington’s pursuit of a big.
  • Harry Giles is a name to watch for the Wizards’ mid-level exception, Hollinger relays in the same piece. JaVale McGee is another name worth monitoring, though the former executive cautions that it may not be feasible for the Wizards to use all of their mid-level, as they don’t want to enter the tax.

Western Notes: Leonard, Giles, Johnson, Blazers

Clippers coach Doc Rivers isn’t worried about his stars getting out of shape during the NBA’s hiatus, he told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and other reporters. “I know (Kawhi Leonard is) overworking. I can guarantee you that,” Rivers said. “And the difference is, during the summer, Kawhi couldn’t work, you know, so now he’s got this break and he’s able to train. The Kawhi we’ll see will be in phenomenal shape. PG (Paul George) is another guy that’s going to be in phenomenal shape.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Kings center Harry Giles is likely to be playing elsewhere next season, according to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. His original coaching and training staff are gone and the franchise didn’t pick up his contract option for next season, Ham notes. Giles, who will be an unrestricted free agent, did enough during his opportunities this season to intrigue plenty of teams, Ham adds.
  • Big man James Johnson is a solid reserve but not the answer as a starter alongside Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic opines. Johnson gave the club a boost in 14 games after being acquired in a three-team deal, averaging 12.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 3.8 APG in 24.1 MPG. Johnson will surely exercise his $16MM player option for next season and the team hopes he can pick up where he left off.
  • Zach Cooper, a video assistant for the Trail Blazers, has died unexpectedly due to undisclosed reasons, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. “I am devastated by the news of Zach’s passing,” head coach Terry Stotts said in a statement. “He was a valued member of our staff, but more importantly, he was an outstanding young man who everyone loved and appreciated.”

Pacific Notes: Bazemore, Kings, Booker, Rivers

Kent Bazemore gave the Kings an unexpected boost after they acquired him from the Trail Blazers, as Zach Lowe of ESPN details. Bazemore made 39% of his 3-point attempts and averaged 16 points per 36 minutes while providing energy and rebounding, Lowe continues. Bazemore, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, also had success on post-ups against smaller guards, Lowe adds.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Re-signing restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic will be the top priority for the Kings this offseason, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. The Kings intend to match any offer sheet, says Jones. Sacramento will look to upgrade its defense, particular on the wing, but it’s unlikely that big man Harry Giles will return after the team declined to pick up his option for next season, Jones notes.
  • Suns guard Devin Booker has been named a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports. As an ambassador, Booker will continue to work with Special Olympics Arizona, communicate with young Special Olympics athletes on social media and participate in international Special Olympic events, Andrews adds.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been hammering home the message to his players to remain focused on winning a championship, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reports. “I’m trying to get my guys to understand two things: that our goals haven’t changed and the second thing is we cannot use whatever happens when we come out of this as the reason we don’t win,” Rivers said. “So we have to be mentally prepared for something different, something strange, (like) an NCAA tournament-style (or) a three-game series —  Those are just dangerous, anybody can win those things – (or) a five-game series. You just got to be prepared for it and you’re in the same boat. We use this phrase: ‘Win the wait.’”