Harry Giles

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.’”

Pacific Notes: James, Holmes, Mulder, Davis

Kings rookie guard Justin James received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection on Tuesday to treat patellar tendinitis in his right knee, according to a team press release. An update regarding his status will be provided in 1-2 weeks. A second-round pick out of Wyoming, James has appeared in 34 NBA games, averaging 2.5 PPG in 6.4 MPG. His most recent appearance was a two-minute stint on Saturday.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With the return of Richaun Holmes from a shoulder injury, the Kings now have three viable options to center, Akis Yerocostas of the Sacramento Bee points out. Harry Giles and Alex Len performed well in his absence and have also earned playing time. It’s likely Holmes will see the majority of the minutes barring injury or foul trouble, Yerocostas continues, with Len and Giles splitting the bench minutes depending upon whether the Kings need more size and defense (Len) or more offense (Giles).
  • The Warriors used a remaining portion of their mid-level exception to sign shooting guard Mychal Mulder to a three-year contract, John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets. The last two years of the contract are not fully guaranteed. Mulder will receive a partial guarantee of $200K if he’s on the opening-night roster next season, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. His contract for the 2021/22 campaign has no guarantees. Golden State is now $310K below the luxury-tax line, Marks adds.
  • Lakers star forward Anthony Davis has struck a balance between basketball and new business ventures, as Mark Medina of USA Today details. Thus far, his off-court ventures haven’t been a distraction. “For the most part,” Davis said, “I’m focusing on playing and doing great things.”

Western Notes: Giles, Looney, J. Green, Spurs

Harry Giles has played some of the best ball of his career as of late for the Kings, but his contract situation raises uncertainty about whether the team will be able to keep him this offseason, Greg Wissinger writes for The Sacramento Bee.

Giles, who missed his entire rookie season due to knee issues, had a part-time role for the Kings a year ago, averaging 7.0 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 58 games (14.1 MPG). However, despite flashing some potential, Giles had his fourth-year option for 2020/21 turned down by Sacramento last fall, ensuring that he’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer. When he does, the Kings won’t be able to offer him a starting salary worth more than $3,976,510, the value of the declined ’20/21 option.

It remains to be seen whether Giles will actually generate enough interest to receive an offer larger than that from a rival suitor, but he has been boosting his stock in recent weeks. The third-year big man has started 14 of 16 games for the Kings since the start of February, averaging 10.4 PPG and 6.3 RPG with a .624 FG% in 21.0 MPG during that stretch.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Although Kevon Looney just recently turned 24 years old, his health is becoming an ongoing concern for the Warriors, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, who notes that Looney’s diagnosis of neuropathy is a chronic condition that can only be managed, not fixed.
  • Jeff Green, the newest addition to Houston’s roster, has seen an increased role over the Rockets‘ last two games, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. Green was a +28 in the team’s nine-point loss to Charlotte on Saturday and went 8-for-8 from the floor on Sunday, making a strong case to continue playing extra minutes going forward.
  • Earlier this season, amidst chatter that he may be a candidate to become the Spurs‘ next head coach, Kansas coach Bill Self said there was “zero truth” to those rumors. Recently, Self reiterated that he has no plans to leave the Jayhawks to become Gregg Popovich‘s successor, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News relays. “People may say whatever because (Spurs CEO R.C. Buford and I) are buddies, which we are, and proud of that,” Self said. “But I am not going to be the next coach of the San Antonio Spurs, nor would he want me to be. I mean, they got arguably the greatest coach of all time that still has got a lot of gas in the tank. So, that is a rumor I know some people have said, but that is a pretty ridiculous one right there.”

Pacific Notes: Giles, Len, Lakers, Clippers, Bazemore

Kings big man Harry Giles III recorded his first double-double on Saturday, helping his team pull off an improbable 112-103 victory over the Clippers at Staples Center.

Giles posted 14 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes, proving his worth on both ends of the floor as starting center. He started the 2019/20 season with very limited playing time, but his recent surge has caught the attention of Sacramento’s coaches.

“He’s moving much better now,” head coach Luke Walton said, as relayed by Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “He’s out there calling coverages. He’s out there at the level, backing up, rebounding the ball. He’s doing all the things that we love about Harry. He looks like, physically, he’s in the best place I’ve seen him since I’ve been the coach here, and his skill set, as far as his passing and rebounding and toughness, that’s something we need.”

Giles has an injury-riddled history, particularly with his knees, but it hasn’t stopped the 21-year-old from continuing to persevere and improve. Instead, it’s motivated him to play better.

“I think with time and reps I’m going to get better,” Giles said. “I’m going to keep getting better. You know how the fouls go. It varies depending on how you’re going to play and depending on how the refs are going to let you play, too, so I’m going to keep getting better at that and just playing hard.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Luke Walton also spoke highly of Alex Len, who made his debut with the Kings on Saturday and recorded eight rebounds in 16 minutes. “It was nice to have a big body out there like that,” Walton said, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). “He did a good job of clogging up that paint. We’ve got to get him a little more familiar with what we’re doing so we can open up the playbook, but he knows some of the basic sets and he helped us win.”
  • The Lakers and Clippers are set to play their rescheduled game on April 9 at Staples Center, forcing the Lakers to play three consecutive home games from April 7-9, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. The game was originally scheduled to be played on January 28 but was later postponed due to the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.
  • The union of Kent Bazemore and the Kings has been a perfect fit for both sides, Jason Jones writes in a different story for The Athletic. Sacramento traded for Bazemore last month, acquiring a proven two-way player at the wing position.“Sometimes fresh blood does help,” Bazemore said. “I hadn’t been having the best year, so it was kind of a match made in heaven. A guy coming over desperate and team in a desperate situation. We’re kind of making it work right now.”

Lowe’s Latest: Redick, Bertans, Collins, Drummond, OKC, More

A number of players who have been mentioned as trade candidates this season may not be moved – or may not be available at all – at Thursday’s deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in an article jam-packed with trade-related rumors and speculation.

For instance, teams who have called the Pelicans asking about J.J. Redick have been “shooed away,” sources tell Lowe. The Wizards have taken a similar approach to clubs inquiring on Davis Bertans, though Lowe notes that could change if Washington is offered something concrete that moves the needle more than a future first-round pick.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last week, teams have been monitoring John Collins in case the Hawks think about trading him, but there’s no indication Atlanta has interest in moving Collins “on any of the general terms being bandied about,” Lowe writes.

The Pistons‘ talks involving Andre Drummond aren’t entirely dormant, but it’s “far from a sure thing” that he’ll be moved, according to Lowe, who suggests that even if Detroit does make a deal, the return will likely be less than the team envisioned.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have been mentioned all season long as a potential seller, given their offseason moves and their veteran trade candidates. But the safest bet is that they stand pat with guys like Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams, per Lowe.

As Lowe points out, the Thunder could still have leverage to make deals after the season, when Schroder and Adams will be entering contract years and Gallinari will be a prime sign-and-trade candidate. The Heat are among the teams to inquire on Gallinari this season, sources tell Lowe.

As noted above, Lowe’s latest ESPN piece is filled with many more trade rumors and notes. Here are several of the highlights:

  • Lowe confirms a previous report that the Nuggets and Heat are among the teams to express interest in Jrue Holiday. Lowe also names the Raptors as a club that would be an ideal fit for the Pelicans guard, but he has a hard time envisioning a deal involving any of those teams unless they’re willing to part with young players like Michael Porter Jr., Tyler Herro, or OG Anunoby, which seems unlikely.
  • The Pacers could probably net a first-round pick for backup guard Aaron Holiday, but haven’t shown any real interest in moving him, says Lowe.
  • The chatter about the Trail Blazers making a major win-now move has died down, sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, the Lakers have explored the Kyle Kuzma market and are eyeing several ball-handlers, including Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has also received interest from the Hornets.
  • The Sixers don’t intend to include Matisse Thybulle in any deal and seem most likely to “tinker” around the edges of their roster, per Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies have asked for a first-round pick from teams inquiring on Jae Crowder, according to Lowe. However, he’d “bet heavily” against any potential trade partner meeting that price.
  • Lowe provides updates on both Morris brothers, suggesting that the Knicks “seem hell-bent” on keeping and re-signing Marcus Morris, and citing sources who say the Pistons could probably get a second-round pick for Markieff Morris.
  • A lot of teams have asked the Bucks about Sterling Brown, while Pistons youngsters Christian Wood and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have also generated interest, according to Lowe, who thinks that Detroit is more likely to engage in talks on Wood than Mykhailiuk. Lowe also hears that a few clubs have “poked around” on Kings big man Harry Giles, and identifies Denzel Valentine (Bulls), Jakob Poeltl (Spurs), Marvin Williams (Hornets), and Malik Monk (Hornets) as other under-the-radar trade candidates to watch.

Pacific Notes: Dedmon, Giles, AD, Kerr, Clippers

Kings head coach Luke Walton said earlier this week that making Dewayne Dedmon inactive for three consecutive games wasn’t related to the big man’s desire to be traded and wouldn’t necessarily be permanent, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes. Sure enough, an injury to Richaun Holmes gave Dedmon an opportunity to get back on the court on Tuesday.

In fact, Holmes’ absence paved the way for two big men who had been out of the rotation earlier in the season to play significant roles. Harry Giles got his first career NBA start, while Dedmon played 32 minutes off the bench. The duo combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds, helping to lead the Kings to a comeback road win over Phoenix.

According to James Ham of NBC Sports California, both centers received praise from Walton after the game, with the Kings head coach telling reporters that Giles gave the club some “good minutes” and Dedmon “took full advantage” of his opportunity.

With Giles facing unrestricted free agency at season’s end and Dedmon hoping to be dealt, it’s possible neither center has a place in the Kings’ future. But having both players perform well could open some doors for Sacramento at the trade deadline — at the very least, it will help keep the team in the playoff race while Holmes recovers.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • While Anthony Davis will be eligible to earn a projected $202MM over five years with the Lakers on his next contract, he may be more inclined to sign a three-year deal with a player option, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. That would give Davis the chance to opt out and sign a more lucrative long-term contract in 2022, when he has 10 years of NBA experience.
  • The NBA has fined Warriors head coach Steve Kerr $25K for “verbally abusing” a game official and failing to leave the court immediately after being ejected, the league announced today in a press release. Kerr expressed his displeasure with a call in the second quarter of Monday’s game vs. Sacramento, yelling “Wake your a– up!” at referee Jason Goldenberg.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic explores the likelihood of the Clippers adding a veteran like Darren Collison, Aron Baynes, or Thaddeus Young. Buha views a trade for Baynes or Young as a long shot, but believes the Clips shouldn’t hesitate to open a roster spot for Collison if he’s willing to sign with them.