Isaiah Briscoe

Southeast Notes: Connelly, Walker, Lamb, Briscoe

Asked about the possibility that he might leave to run the Wizards‘ front office, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly passed on the chance to issue a denial, relays Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Washington has reportedly targeted Connelly as its top candidate after firing Ernie Grunfeld this week.

“To be honest with you, I was hoping not to have to answer that question on a night when we win the Northwest Division,” Connelly responded Friday as the team celebrated its title.

Connelly grew up in Baltimore and had his first NBA job as an intern with the Wizards. He signed an extension with the Nuggets in February, but Kiszla notes that the organization doesn’t have a history of paying executives especially well, which led to the departure of Masai Ujiri in 2013. Kiszla suggests that Josh Kroenke, vice chairman of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, should refuse any request from the Wizards to interview Connelly.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With the Hornets as a long shot to reach the playoffs, Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders examines some situations that might be better for free agent guard Kemba Walker. Rhodes states that the Suns are intriguing with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton already in place and a high lottery pick about to join them. Rhodes names the Bulls, Knicks, Lakers and Mavericks as other possibilities.
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer examines whether the Hornets can afford to bring back Jeremy Lamb if they re-sign Walker. Lamb has established himself as a legitimate scorer and another crunch-time option, but the team would be well into luxury tax territory if it brings back both free agents. Bonnell speculates that it will probably take a max offer to keep Walker ($190MM over five seasons or up to $221MM if he makes an All-NBA team and qualifies for a super-max contract), plus something in the range of $10-$13MM annually for Lamb.
  • The Magic are interested in working out a new deal with Isaiah Briscoe this summer, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. Briscoe, who is sidelined by a torn meniscus, was waived this week to open a roster spot for Michael Carter-Williams. He cleared waivers yesterday and is an unrestricted free agent.

Magic Waive Isaiah Briscoe

The Magic have officially released injured point guard Isaiah Briscoe, the team announced today in a press release. The move opens a spot on Michael Carter-Williams, who has been re-signed for the rest of the season and will now be playoff-eligible if Orlando makes the postseason.

It’s a tough break for Briscoe, who had assumed backup point guard duties for the Magic and had been holding his own before undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus last month. For the season, the 22-year-old out of Kentucky averaged 3.5 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 39 games (14.3 MPG).

Carter-Williams had spent 20 days (two 10-day contracts) on the Magic’s roster as a 16th man — the injury-plagued club was allowed to add an extra player because it qualified for a hardship provision. However, MCW wouldn’t have been able to participate in the playoffs if he were re-signed with the hardship provision and Orlando didn’t waive another player.

The Magic’s decision was believed to come down to Briscoe vs. Jerian Grant. While Briscoe had supplanted Grant as the team’s backup point guard prior to his injury, the fact that Grant is healthy now probably gave him the upper hand. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Magic would like to re-sign Briscoe this summer if possible.

Briscoe’s contract with Orlando includes non-guaranteed salaries for 2019/20 and 2020/21, so he could be an attractive target for teams interested in placing a waiver claim. Because he signed a three-year contract instead of a two-year deal though, he’s ineligible to be claimed using the minimum salary exception. A team would need to use a trade exception or cap room to put in a claim. If he clears waivers, he’ll become a free agent on Saturday.

Isaiah Briscoe Undergoing Surgery To Repair Torn Meniscus

Magic backup point guard Isaiah Briscoe will undergo arthroscopic surgery this Wednesday to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee, the team announced today (via Twitter). According to the club, there’s no set timeline for Briscoe’s recovery — his return to basketball activities will hinge on how he responds to rehab after the surgery.

While it’s good news that the Magic aren’t ruling out Briscoe for the rest of the season, his chances of playing again in 2018/19 may not be great, especially if Orlando doesn’t clinch a playoff spot. The regular season ends in less than a month, and players who have undergone similar procedures in recent years typically miss more time than that.

This past fall, for example, Russell Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus on September 12 and returned to game action on October 21. Last season, Jimmy Butler underwent a similar procedure on his torn meniscus on February 25 and played his next game on April 6, returning just in time to help Minnesota clinch a playoff spot.

Every player’s injuries and recoveries are a little different, but it seems safe to assume that the Magic will be preparing for life without Briscoe for at least the next few weeks. In his absence, Jerian Grant will be first in line to assume backup point guard duties behind D.J. Augustin.

Grant, who held that primary backup role earlier in the season before Briscoe surpassed him on the depth chart, has averaged 4.2 PPG and 2.8 APG in 53 games (16.6 MPG) in 2018/19, with a shooting line of .414/.357/.684. The Magic have a -8.1 net rating with Grant on the court this season, compared to a +1.5 rating when he sits.

The Magic currently rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Miami for the No. 8 seed.

Southeast Notes: Briscoe, Magic, Wizards, Hawks

An MRI on Isaiah Briscoe‘s injured right knee revealed a small meniscus tear, the Magic announced today (via Twitter). According to the club, Briscoe has been ruled out for tonight’s game against Dallas and treatment options are being evaluated.

It’s a tough break for the Magic, as Briscoe had recently taken the reins from Jerian Grant as the club’s backup point guard behind D.J. Augustin. Depending on how the Magic and Briscoe decide to treat his meniscus tear, he could miss significant time, which would put pressure on Grant to re-assume a key role during Orlando’s playoff push.

If the Magic decide to look outside of the organization for veteran help at the point guard position, there are plenty of options available, including Tim Frazier and Jarrett Jack. For now though, Grant appears set to become Augustin’s primary backup once more.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • In an extensive Q&A with Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman discusses Markelle Fultz‘s rehab process, what it would mean to the franchise to make the playoffs, and 2019’s free agent period, particularly as it relates to Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross. Weltman was extremely noncommittal when asked about a recovery timetable for Fultz, whom head coach Steve Clifford is not expecting back this season.
  • Fred Katz of The Athletic explores what could be a logjam at center for the Wizards in 2019/20. While the club would like to retain restricted free agents Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant, Ian Mahinmi remains under contract and Dwight Howard appears increasingly likely to exercise his player option.
  • Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides injury updates on a trio of Hawks bigs, most notably tweeting that Omari Spellman looks like a long shot to return before the ennd of the 2018/19 season. Vivlamore also tweets that Alex Poythress is in a walking boot and will be out for “a while” after spraining his ankle, and adds (via Twitter) that Miles Plumlee has begun to take contact in his one-on-one work.

Southeast Notes: Portis, Walker, Briscoe, Vucevic

The Wizards and Bobby Portis will decide this summer if they want their relationship to be long-term, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Acquired from the Bulls at the trade deadline, the 24-year-old power forward will be a restricted free agent in July. Portis is posting career highs with 15.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG in his nine games with Washington and is enjoying his new surroundings.

“Everything is pretty good, man. I like being a Wizard. I love being here,” he said. “I think this is a good fit for me through and through.”

However, Portis’ return next season isn’t a sure thing. Thomas Bryant will also be a restricted free agent, and Hughes doesn’t expect the front office to invest heavily in both. Washington will also have decisions to make on free agents Trevor Ariza, Wesley Johnson and Jeff Green, who will all be unrestricted.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Even if the Hornets can re-sign star guard Kemba Walker, there’s no guarantee they can ever surround him with enough talent to become a contender, observes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. GM Mitch Kupchak made inquiries about Bradley Beal, Marc Gasol and Harrison Barnes prior to the trade deadline, but wasn’t able to acquire any of them. Bonnell notes that if Charlotte commits about $200MM to Walker over the next five years, it will become tougher than ever for the team to add a second star.
  • Isaiah Briscoe‘s journey to the NBA took a detour through Estonia, but that experience has given him a toughness that benefits the Magic, writes John Denton of NBA.com. Briscoe was passed over in the 2017 draft and had to spend a year in Europe before receiving an NBA opportunity. “Isaiah is a tough-minded kid, undrafted and went overseas to get to the league, so he has a chip on his shoulder, and he has that mindset,’’ said teammate D.J. Augustin. “He’s a big, physical body for a point guard and he uses it out there well.’’
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic hasn’t decided if World Cup basketball will be part of his summer plans, he said in an interview with TrendBasket (translated by Sportando). Vucevic indicated that Orlando’s postseason fate could determine whether he suits up for Montenegro. “I have not decided yet,” he said. “First we have to finish the season where we are trying to make the playoffs. We are focused on making the playoffs now. I will be free agent when the season ends. I am going to be busy for a while. I hope my situation will be clearer in July.”

Southeast Notes: Wizards, McGruder, Bamba, Briscoe

Even if the Wizards are granted an $8.6MM disabled player exception, they’re more likely to sign players to 10-day contracts than use that exception, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Washington applied for the exception due to John Wall‘s season-ending heel surgery.

The Wizards’ cap issues make it unlikely they’d find a free agent enticing enough to sign for the remainder of the season by using a portion of the exception. The Wizards inked point guard Ramon Sessions to a pair of 10-day contracts last season before signing him for the rest of the season, Hughes notes.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Shooting guard Rodney McGruder could lose his rotation spot if Heat coach Erik Spoelstra decides to expand Tyler Johnson‘s minutes, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his latest mailbag. In that instance, Dion Waiters would start ahead of McGruder and Johnson would receive second unit minutes. Waiters returned from ankle surgery three games ago. McGruder has played fewer than 20 minutes in three of the last four games.
  • An MRI on rookie center Mohamed Bamba‘s sore foot showed no structural damage, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Magic coach Steve Clifford said Bamba is unlikely to play this weekend, Robbins adds. The sixth overall pick sat out against Utah on Wednesday.
  • Clifford is inclined to keep rookie Isaiah Briscoe in the Magic’s rotation as the backup point guard, Robbins reports in another tweet. Briscoe has averaged 17.5 MPG in the last two games, contributing 5.5 PPG and 3.5 APG. The undrafted Kentucky product has displaced Jerian Grant, who had been backing up D.J. Augustin. Briscoe’s salary is non-guaranteed after this season, while Grant could be an unrestricted free agent if the club doesn’t extend a $3.76MM qualifying offer.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/16/18

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

  • The Pistons have assigned third-year forward Henry Ellenson and rookie guards Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown to the Grand Rapids Drive, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. That will allow the trio to play in two Drive home games this weekend, Langlois notes. The Pistons are in the midst of a rare four-day layoff and there’s no need for any of them to remain with the NBA club during that stretch.
  • The Celtics have recalled center Rob Williams, forward Guerschon Yabusele and guard Brad Wanamaker from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. All three started in the Red Claws’ loss to Raptors 905 on Thursday, combining for 52 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
  • The Magic have assigned guards Isaiah Briscoe and Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland, allowing them to get some game action against Greensboro on Friday, the Magic’s PR department tweets. Briscoe, an undrafted point guard, has played five games with Orlando this season. Frazier, a second-round pick in June, has seen action in two NBA games.
  • The Grizzles recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter for the team’s morning shootaround, re-assigned him to the Memphis Hustle for afternoon practice, then recalled him once again in time for the team’s game against the Kings on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Carter, an early second-rounder, is still looking to make his NBA debut.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/15/18

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

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/11/18

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

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/10/18

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

  • Grizzlies rookie Jevon Carter was on the move today, being recalled from the Memphis Hustle, reassigned for the G League team’s practice, then recalled again for tonight’s NBA game, according to a tweet from the Grizzlies.
  • The Thunder recalled Abdel Nader from Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in an email.
  • The Magic sent rookies Isaiah Briscoe and Melvin Frazier to their Lakeland affiliate for tonight’s home opener, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • The Pistons recalled Henry Ellenson and Khyri Thomas from their Grand Rapids affiliate, according to an email from the team.
  • The Suns recalled rookie De’Anthony Melton from their affiliate in Northern Arizona, the team announced on its website.
  • Jacob Evans has been recalled from Santa Cruz, according to a story on the Warriorswebsite.