Jamel Artis

Southeast Notes: J. Johnson, Hezonja, G League, Batum

James Johnson may be the latest addition to the Heat’s long list of injured players, writes Ira Winderman of The-Sun Sentinel. Johnson will have an MRI today to determine the extent of a lower-leg issue that forced him to leave Saturday’s game. He is in the midst of another productive season, averaging 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 28 games, and an extended absence would be a significant blow to a team already reeling from injuries.

Miami is without center Hassan Whiteside, who has missed two weeks with a bone bruise on his left knee and won’t join the team for a two-game road trip, along with Justise Winslow [strained knee], Okaro White [foot surgery] and Rodney McGruder [leg surgery]. The injuries have created more playing time for rookie Bam Adebayo and free agent additions Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Mickey.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with J.J. He’s talked to me a lot,” Mickey said. “He’s always said, ‘Eventually your number will get called.’ I’m not happy in this particular position [with Johnson out], but I’ll be ready, Coach needs me and I’m already ready.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Injuries are also creating an opportunity for Magic small forward Mario Hezonja, notes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. With Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon and Arron Afflalo all sidelined, Hezonja has started the past three games with uneven results, Robbins notes. The fifth player taken in the 2015 draft, Hezonja may be looking at his last chance to prove himself before unrestricted free agency next summer. Orlando declined to pick up his fourth-year option in October. “You’ve just got to find your own rhythm but still be in the system,” Hezonja said. “If I go out [and try to excel] individually, I’m going to look good, but we’re going to lose. We’re not going to win a lot of games like that. Everybody has to step up like that, has to have that mindset.”
  • The Magic are enjoying the benefits of having a G League affiliate close to home, relays John Denton of NBA.com. The organization moved its affiliate from Erie, Pa., to Lakeland, Fla., over the summer, which is paying off with the recent rash of injuries. Jamel Artis and Adreian Payne were able to attend practice with the Magic Tuesday morning, even though they had a G League game that night, then were available for Wednesday’s NBA contest.
  • Nicolas Batum offered a reminder of why the Hornets gave him a five-year, $120MM contract with with a season-high 23-point performance Saturday, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. For most of this season, Batum has been deferring to other players on offense after returning from a torn ligament in his left elbow that he suffered in the preseason. “I was trying to adjust myself to the other guys way too much,” he said, “when sometimes I have to let them adjust to me.”

Jamel Artis Signs Two-Way Deal With Magic

OCTOBER 16th, 7:34pm: The signing is official, per team press release.

OCTOBER 15th, 8:37am: Jamel Artis, who was waived by the Knicks in early October, has agreed to a two-way contract with the Magic, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.

The 6’7″ swingman signed a partially guaranteed deal with New York in June after going undrafted out of Pitt. He played for the Knicks’ entry in the Orlando Summer League, averaging 8.8 points per game.
The move fills Orlando’s allotment of two-way contracts, with Adreian Payne holding the other one. The Magic trimmed their roster to the league limit on Friday by waiving Damjan Rudez and Kalin Lucas.

Knicks Waive Jamel Artis

The Knicks have begun trimming their roster in advance of the regular season, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve waived forward Jamel Artis. The club is now carrying 19 players.

Artis, a 6’7″ swingman out of Pitt, signed with the Knicks this summer as an undrafted free agent. He made his debut for the club on Tuesday night against the Nets, and was reasonably productive in limited action, scoring five points in seven minutes.

Assuming Artis clears waivers and doesn’t sign with another NBA team, he’ll be eligible to join the Westchester Knicks, the Knicks’ G League team, as an affiliate player. The Knicks also have an open two-way slot and could sign Artis to a two-way contract. However, if that was the plan, the club likely would’ve kept him on the roster a little longer and simply converted his deal to a two-way pact, rather than waiving him.

With Artis out of the picture, the Knicks are now carrying three players on non-guaranteed contracts — Jarrett Jack, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and Nigel Hayes. With 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries, it will be an uphill battle for any of those camp invitees to make the regular season roster.

Knicks Notes: Houston, Hardaway, Anthony, Contract Details, Artis

Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston feels that New York is on the right track, relays Bob Herzog of Newsday. Although he would not comment on whether Carmelo Anthony would be playing for the Knicks next season, Houston was effusive in his praise of his new bosses, president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

“Steve and Scott have been intentional in their language about what we want to be,” said Houston. “It starts with identifying what you want to be and then going out and doing it. When I was here playing, it was very exciting and we had an identity. It’s about establishing that identity again. From what I’ve seen, the players are buying into it. I think it’s the first time in a long time that’s been the case.”

Houston also spoke enthusiastically about Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks’ notable free agent signing this offseason: “I’m excited for him. People tend to forget he was 20 years old coming into this environment [as a rookie]. Everybody has to grow. Everybody has to mature. He’s developed all the way around and he’s prepared himself for this. That’s the mindset I took. You want to be valuable to your family, your community, your franchise.”

Here are other relevant details regarding the Knicks:

  •  Anthony is headed for an awkward preseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The star small forward has told the Knicks that he is only willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal with the Rockets, but the two sides have not been close on a trade. Berman writes that there is a chance that Melo will be forced to attend training camp, which will begin September 25. If Anthony holds out, it will cost him money. If he attends training camp, expect a great deal of awkwardness.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN reports that both Knicks free agent signees Jamel Artis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have an Exhibit 10 in their contract. This means that each player would receive a $50K bonus if he is waived and would pend 60 days with the Knicks G-League team. Unlike the protection for Nigel Hayes, the Exhibit 10 bonus doesn’t impact the Knicks cap.
  • In another story penned by Marc Berman, the writer explains how the Knicks ensured that the undrafted Artis would not get away after his impressive Summer League performance. After a forgettable first game, Artis averaged 10.1 points, while shooting over 50% in his last four contests. “I feel great about making the team,’’ Artis said. “It’s just my competitiveness. I feel I bring a lot to the game and am better than a lot of people, but I want to keep being humble. I feel I’m better than some guys that got drafted.’’

Knicks Sign Jamel Artis To Partially Guaranteed Deal

AUGUST 21: The Knicks have officially signed Artis, the team announced in a press release. It’ll be a one-year deal, and will likely end up with Artis joining the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

JUNE 24: The Knicks have agreed to a partially guaranteed contract with undrafted free agent Jamel Artis out of Pitt, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now.

The 6’7″ senior swingman will be part of the Knicks’ summer league team and will be given a chance to earn a place on the roster in training camp. He averaged 18.2 points per game with the Panthers this year and had a season-high 43 against Louisville.

New York has already promised training camp deals to Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes and Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet, so the competition for the final roster spots will be intense. In addition, Florida’s Canyon Barry will be auditioned during summer league for a possible training camp invitation.

Knicks Notes: Hardaway, Beasley, Artis, Porzingis

The Knicks made a sizable commitment to Tim Hardaway Jr. this offseason, bringing the former Knick back home after inking him to a four-year, $71MM deal. While there’s a lot of apprehensions about Hardaway’s deal, Knicks’ assistant general manager and former guard Allan Houston cannot wait to see how the team’s draft pick from 2013 establishes himself, Thomas Lipe of the New York Post writes.

Speaking at Hofstra University with his youth program, Houston said the current version of Hardaway is more seasoned and talented than several years ago.

“I’m excited for [Hardaway],” Houston said. “When you’re 20 years old and you’re coming into this environment, everybody has to grow and everybody has to mature. He’s developed all the way around and he’s prepared himself for this. So he’s prepared for it.” 

Houston himself is no stranger to large contracts with the Knicks as he signed a six-year, $100MM pact with the team in 2001. While Houston was more established at the time of his deal, he was also older and injuries prevented him from playing out the entirety of the contract. Hardaway, still just 25 years old, brings youth and upside to a rebuilding Knicks team. Houston feels that Hardaway can live up to expectations by not just strong on-court performance but strong off court work as well.

“The mindset I took is: you come in, you put your work in, you treat your whole being, your whole life, like you want to make the most out of it,” Houston said. “You want to be valuable, not in terms of money, but you want to be valuable to your family, your community, to the franchise. That’s where [Hardaway’s] mindset is.”

Read additional notes surrounding the Knicks below:

  • In a resounding interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, free agent signing Michael Beasley referred to himself as a “walking bucket” who has not received the respect he deserves. The former second overall pick says he’s long past his prior marijuana suspension and said that people still dwelling on his past issues need to emulate him by growing up. For his career. Beasley has averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG across nine NBA seasons with five different teams.
  • Just prior to signing with the Knicks, Jamel Artis spoke to Adam Zagoria of FanRag Sports. The former Pittsburgh forward expressed his excitement to join the New York squad and said his offensive skill set would mesh well with the current core.
  • A recent report indicated the Cavaliers‘ interest to acquire a budding young star in a trade for Kyrie Irving with Kristaps Porzingis topping the list. Fred Kerber of the New York Post cites league source who claim “no proposal exists” in which the Knicks part with Porzingis for Irving. Kerber adds that while the New Jersey native Irving would like a homecoming to New York, it will not come at the expense of the team’s Latvian standout.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Artis, Porzingis

After impressing the Knicks in his exit interview, Derrick Rose may have secured himself a spot with the franchise next season, Charley Rosen of FanRag Sports writes. The free agent guard will, however, have to make some adjustments should the team re-sign him.

Rosen notes that Rose will have to learn to make quicker decisions with the ball and limit the amount of times he penetrates without a plan, something he was able to do with ease during the early stages of his career.

Should the veteran enthusiastically buy into the triangle and hone up his defense in a follow up season with the franchise, he could be the team’s short-term answer at point guard until rookie Frank Ntilikina is ready to take on a larger role.

There’s more out of New York:

  • When the Knicks signed undrafted rookie Jamel Artis to a partially guaranteed deal this week, they landed a player who is eager to fill a role in the triangle offense, Adam Zagoria of FanRag Sports writes. “I’ll fit in that system very well. I’m a versatile player and I’m a shooter, so I can space the floor in the triangle,” he said.
  • Count Malik Monk‘s poor fit within the triangle as one of the major reasons why the Knicks didn’t select him with their eighth overall pick, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes. Frank Ntilikina, on the other hand, is precisely the type of player Phil Jackson prefers as his lead guard.
  • Team president Phil Jackson is wary of building a future together with Kristaps Porzingis after the 21-year-old famously blew off his exit meeting with the franchise, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. The worry, Berman notes, is to what extent Porzingis could damage the organization with future acts of rebellion.

Draft Notes: Briscoe, Fox, Ferguson, Artis

Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe had to cancel his remaining workouts because of an ankle injury, according to Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports. The scheduled sessions were with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers. Briscoe had reportedly been impressive in workouts with the Knicks, Sixers and a few other teams. DraftExpress lists Briscoe 71st in its list of top 100 prospects.

There’s more draft-related news as the clock winds down toward Thursday:

  • De’Aaron Fox, Briscoe’s backcourt partner at Kentucky, is intrigued by the prospect of joining former Wildcats Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker in Phoenix, writes Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated. The Suns hold the No. 4 pick, but seem unlikely to take another guard unless they make a trade to clear out their already overcrowded backcourt. Fox, who is considered a top five pick, sees the Lakers at No. 2 as another possibility. “I’ve heard they’re trying to move D’Angelo [Russell] to the 2,” he says. “Even if he does play point, I feel like we could play together. A lot of teams play two point guards anyway.” Fox touches on several other subjects, including his rivalry with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, in a wide-ranging piece.
  • Regardless of the order, the first five picks in the draft appear to be set, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Turner talked to several league executives and found a consensus. After Washington’s Markelle Fultz is taken at No. 1, Ball, Fox, Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Duke’s Jayson Tatum will round out the top five. However, some believe Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac has a shot at being the fifth pick.
  • Terrance Ferguson, who is projected as the Nets‘ pick at No. 27 in the latest mock drafts from DraftExpress and Chad Ford of ESPN.com, will work out for Brooklyn today, according to NetsDaily.com (Twitter link).
  • Pitt’s Jamel Artis has scheduled workouts today with the Pistons and Monday with the Thunder, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Jazz held a workout Saturday that could be their last one before the draft, relays Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News. Baylor’s Johnathan Motley was the highest-ranked prospect on hand, joined by Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss, Houston’s Damyean Dotson, North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks, La Salle’s Jordan Price and Southeast Missouri State’s Antonius Cleveland. “It was great,” Motley said. “Played with a lot of energy, played good defensively and shot the ball well during the workout. I think I did pretty good.”

Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

Rumors are swirling that LeBron James will look to leave Cleveland for a second time after next season and potentially head out west. If he is not on the Cavaliers after 2017/18, James’ departure would have a domino effect across the league. A. Sherrod Blakely joined Mike Felger and Gary Tanguay at CSN New England to discuss Celtics general manager Danny Ainge‘s potential moves if James heads out West and weakens the Eastern Conference.

Blakely believes that no matter James’ future, Ainge should not focus on what’s going around the league, focusing instead on his own team. The Celtics have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and are coming off a year where they were the first seed in the East. The Celtics have their own issues to address, including the impending free agency of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and others.

In any case, the Celtics are in the best position of any Eastern Conference team to unseat the Cavaliers as the class of division and a James departure after next season only strengthens that.

Here are other notes from around the Atlantic Division:

Southeast Notes: J. Johnson, Heat, Hawks, Hornets

When James Johnson was asked about whether his affection for the Heat could translate into a team-friendly contract in free agency this offseason, the forward took a measured stance Sunday, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Johnson reiterated his love the organization, while maintaining that a business decision must be made:

I love this place so much and the opportunity they gave me. I couldn’t thank them enough. Down the line, it’s hard in this phase of my career to try to find somewhere that you call home or you want it to be home and things like that. So you know the love I have for this team is up there. But it’s just something I got to let the agent and Pat [Riley] discuss and try to figure out, and then just give my last say so at the end.”

Johnson enjoyed a career season in 2016/17, averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 3.6 APG.

Here’s what else you should know from the Southeast division: