JaMychal Green

Southwest Notes: J. Green, J. Jackson, Bickerstaff, Payton

Trading JaMychal Green is the easiest way to open more playing time for rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., writes David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson has played well in his first season, but his fourth-quarter minutes have been limited. Green, whose broken jaw early in the season opened the way for Jackson to enter the starting lineup, has quietly accepted a reserve role since returning and is among the most respected veterans in the Grizzlies‘ locker room.

However, Green has an expiring $7.87MM contract and doesn’t seem likely to stay in Memphis as a free agent, Cobb states. With Jackson clearly the team’s power forward of the future, the Grizzlies could pick up at least a draft pick in exchange for Green before the February 7 trade deadline.

Cobb offers a few other suggestions for expanding Jackson’s minutes if they decide to keep Green, including cutting back on playing time for Joakim Noah, who has a negative plus-minus rating in seven of his last eight games, and giving more rest to Marc Gasol, who is averaging 34.6 minutes per night.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The GrizzliesJ.B. Bickerstaff came to Houston as a head coach tonight for the first time since serving as the Rockets‘ interim coach in 2015/16, notes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Bickerstaff led the team to a 37-34 record that season, but wasn’t retained. “I was here for five years, was a part of some really good teams, got to work with a great coach and friend in Kevin McHale, learned from him every single day, was thrown in the fire a little bit at the interim,” Bickerstaff said. “There’s no experience like the experience of being in that seat. My time here, though it ended kind of bumpy, was great for my career, great for me as a coach in learning. And I had some really good times with the people here as well.”
  • The Pelicans had Elfrid Payton in their starting lineup tonight for the first time in more than six weeks. The free agent addition broke his left pinky finger last month and hasn’t played since November 16. Coach Alvin Gentry plans to limit his minutes until he gets back into game shape, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com.
  • Jordan Greer of The Sporting News looks at six potential targets for the Rockets in their pursuit of wing depth.

Southwest Rumors: Nowitzki, Noah, Gordon, Anthony

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will not make his season debut Saturday against the Rockets but he is inching closer to his return, Dwain Price of the team’s website reports. Nowitzki, who underwent ankle surgery during the spring and suffered a setback in September, participated in practice on Friday. “He’s doing well. You see him down there. He’s playing 3-on-3 and getting better all the time,” said coach Rick Carlisle, who assured the media he won’t play this weekend.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • The addition of Joakim Noah has impacted several other Grizzlies players, as Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian notes in his latest mailbag. JaMychal Green, who becomes an unrestricted free agent, might be shopped if the franchise decides it won’t try to re-sign him. It also clouds the future of Ivan Rabb, a second-round pick in 2017, within the organization. Rabb has thrived in the G League but isn’t skilled enough or physical enough at the NBA level, Herrington opines. Noah’s presence should also reduce Marc Gasol‘s workload, Herrington adds.
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon admits this season has been a shock to the system for him and his teammates, as he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. He also insinuated that coach Mike D’Antoni has made some mistakes with his personnel. “I’m just not having fun man,” Gordon said. “I’m just not. This (stinks). Even the times where I have good games. We’re just not using some guys the right way. Are we gonna make the right sacrifices? Do we have the right attitude? Last year was the best year I’ve ever had being a part of a team. We just never had a bad moment.”
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey blames himself for the Carmelo Anthony signing. Morey made the remarks during a Tom Haberstroh podcast (hat tip to Sportando). “It really is mostly on me, honestly,” Morey said. “I saw the fit there and really didn’t go the way I thought it would. He can still really help a team.”

Southwest Notes: Anderson, Green, Knight, Hill

Returning to San Antonio on Wednesday for the first time since signing a four-year offer sheet with the Grizzlies during the offseason, Kyle Anderson downplayed the significance of the matchup, suggesting it would be just another game, writes David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. However, as Cobb details, Anderson’s teammates weren’t buying that.

“He really wanted this one,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said. “He told me before coming in here, he said, ‘Man, go off for me so we can get this win.’ You could tell it meant a whole lot to him. We were really just playing for one another, and it showed down the stretch.”

Before the Grizzlies’ win over the Spurs, Anderson expressed appreciation for how head coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford handled his departure from San Antonio, admitting that he wasn’t sure when he signed his offer sheet whether it’d be matched. Popovich praised Anderson this week, but said that Memphis’ offer sheet was “beyond the pale for us,” according to Cobb.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • In a separate story for The Commercial Appeal, Cobb examines how the recent return of JaMychal Green to the Grizzlies‘ rotation affects the team. Green, who is in a contract year, hasn’t reclaimed his starting spot from rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., but he’s been solid off the bench in his first three games back, all Memphis wins.
  • The Rockets have been very cautious with Brandon Knight as he returns from last year’s ACL tear, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic, who hears from a source that the veteran guard could be ready to play at some point in December. While we haven’t seen Knight in action since the 2016/17 season, Houston views him as a player who could help back up Chris Paul and James Harden, says Bijani.
  • Solomon Hill is one of the Pelicans‘ highest-paid players, but he isn’t seeing many minutes this season for the club, despite being healthy. Scott Kushner of The Advocate explores Hill’s role in New Orleans – or lack thereof – and what’s in store for him going forward.

Dillon Brooks Out Six To Eight Weeks With MCL Sprain

Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks suffered a grade II MCL sprain in the team’s Saturday victory over the Sixers, the team announced in a press release on Monday. Brooks is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Brooks tripped over the basketball on a bounce pass attempt by Joel Embiid and his knee hyperextended. He left the game and underwent an MRI on Monday, which revealed the severity of the injury.

Brooks, 22, is a key part of Memphis’ second unit. The second-round pick from 2017 NBA draft averaged 6.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG through 11 games (18.9 MPG) this season while providing a spark on defense. In 82 games (74 starts) last season, Brooks averaged 11.0 PPG and 3.1 RPG for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies also provided updates on Omri Casspi, JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons. Casspi (knee) is nearing a full recovery and is expected to return at some point this week. Green (jaw) appeared in two games this season before undergoing surgery for a fractured jaw in late October; he’s expected to return within two weeks. Finally, Parsons (knee) is limited by the injury and another update will be issued in two weeks.

JaMychal Green Has Surgery For Broken Jaw

Grizzlies power forward JaMychal Green is recovering from a broken jaw he suffered in Friday’s game, the team announced on Twitter. Green had a surgical stabilization procedure today, and a full recovery is expected.

The injury occurred when Green took an elbow to the face in the third quarter, the team added. No timetable was given for a possible return for Green, who was listed as day-to-day with a knee issue coming into Friday.

For comparison, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian notes that former Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic had his jaw broken by Bobby Portis on October 17 of last year and returned to action on December 8 (Twitter link). A source tells Herrington the team is hoping Green can resume basketball activities in four weeks (Twitter link).

Green started both of the Grizzlies’ games this season and is averaging 7.5 PPG and 6.0 RPG. His absence will provide a greater opportunity for first-round pick Jaren Jackson Jr.

Southwest Notes: Chriss, Okafor, Grizzlies, Mavs

The Rockets hope Marquese Chriss will develop into the type of backup center they thought they acquired when they signed Brandan Wright late last season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Wright got hurt quickly and only played one game for Houston, but the team sees Chriss as the same style of player, a mobile big man who can attack the rim on pick-and-rolls.

Chriss was acquired from the Suns at the end of August in the trade that sent Ryan Anderson to Phoenix. The former eighth overall pick had a solid debut for the Rockets on Tuesday with 11 points and four rebounds and welcomes a more defined role.

“The difference is they know what they want me to do,” Chriss said of the Rockets. “They’re asking me to do a specific job. I’m trying to do it to the best of my ability. There really is no question about what they want my role to be. They made it straightforward to me when I first got traded here. I embraced it, and I’m working to do it as best as I can. Being on the Suns, it was kind of touch and go what we were capable of doing or I was able to show.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Jahlil Okafor‘s ankle injury won’t prevent him from making the Pelicans‘ roster, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Okafor is expected to miss a week or two after spraining his right ankle late in Sunday’s game, but coach Alvin Gentry said that won’t affect his decision on Okafor’s status.
  • The Grizzlies should have plenty of minutes for both rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and JaMychal Green, the returning starter at power forward, writes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. Jackson attracted more attention at media day, but Green is entering the final year of his contract at nearly $7.7MM and has incentive to put up big numbers heading into free agency.
  • Mavericks‘ forward Ding Yanyuhang hasn’t practiced yet because of knee tendinitis, but may be able to make his preseason debut in his home nation of China, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Coach Rick Carlisle said Ding has been ruled out for the team’s game in Shanghai, but he may practice and play in Shenzhen. Carlisle also said the next update on Dirk Nowitzki‘s condition will come October 12 (Twitter link).

Grizzlies Notes: Shooting Guards, Green, Defense

Having traded Ben McLemore to the Kings in a deal for Garrett Temple, the Grizzlies were able to transform their shooting guard spot from an area of concern into a potential strength, contends Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com.

As Wallace notes, eight different players started at the shooting guard position for the Grizzlies last season, but there should be more stability in 2018/19. While the team may still take a committee approach to the two spot, Temple, Dillon Brooks, MarShon Brooks, and Wayne Selden provide a handful of solid options who possess different sets of skills.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • After an unsettled contract situation and an ankle injury hindered JaMychal Green‘s development last fall, he’s healthy entering a contract year in 2018/19. However, it remains to be seen what sort of role he’ll have in a crowded Grizzlies frontcourt, according to Peter Edmiston of The Commercial Appeal, who speculates that trade whispers may follow Green throughout the season.
  • The Grizzlies have made a conscious effort this offseason to make roster moves that will help the club recapture its old grit ‘n’ grind mentality. In a separate article for The Commercial Appeal, Edmiston explores whether or not it’s reasonable to expect a defensive-first roster to have on-court success in the modern NBA.
  • Former Grizzlies two-way player Kobi Simmons, who was waived by Memphis on Tuesday, is on track to clear waivers today, assuming he goes unclaimed.
  • For more notes on the Grizzlies, be sure to check out our team page for the club.

Southwest Notes: Leonard, Spurs, Grizzlies, Green

The future regarding Kawhi Leonard and his tenure with the Spurs is tenuous at the moment. The Spurs have commented very little on the apparent discord, while Leonard has failed to provide any explanation whatsoever. Reportedly, team doctors have cleared Leonard to play, while Leonard’s independent doctors have evidently not.

And while his Spurs teammates appear to be perplexed by his decision not to play, Vincent Goodwill of Bleacher Report opines that Leonard is making an intelligent business decision by waiting until he feels completely ready to step on the court. Per Goodwill, one need not look any further back than to last season, when Isaiah Thomas courageously played through a significant hip injury and the death of his sister, only to see his opportunity for a maximum contract become a pipe dream, at best.

As one anonymous Western Conference executive put it, “Look at Isaiah’s situation. Are you kidding me? Cost that guy a whole bunch of money by coming out trying to play.” Reportedly, long-tenured medical personnel for the Celtics who treated Thomas advised him his hip couldn’t get worse by playing, creating an atmosphere where players aren’t simply taking the word of team doctors anymore (e.g. Leonard and the Spurs). “A lot of these guys are starting to have their own workout people, medical people,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “They’re paying these guys, and a lot of times these guys have a different opinion than the team.” 

As has been well-documented, Leonard can be offered a Designated Veteran Extension this summer, but given the state of the relationship between him and the Spurs right now, it remains to be seen whether an extension is still likely.

There is more news out of the Southwest Division:

  • In a related story, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press opines that the Spurs are at least partly to blame for the Leonard situation, writing that secrecy and unwillingness to answer certain questions has long been a characteristic of the Spurs’ organization, meaning it’s hard to blame Leonard, having never played for another franchise, for remaining so tight-lipped throughout the entire ordeal.
  • While neither the Grizzlies nor any other team – outside of Dallas – was ever formally punished by the league office for apparent tanking, several franchises, including Memphis, received a direct message from the NBA against tanking, reports Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Per NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, “We had conversations with several teams with what the product was they were putting on the floor. I’ll leave it at that.”
  • Michael Wallace of Grind City Media delves into the Grizzlies offseason outlook, starting with power forward JaMychal Green. Green, due $7.87MM next season, averaged career highs in points (10.3), rebounds (8.4) and assists (1.4) per game this season. Per Wallace, Green remains a bargain for Memphis, but he must continue to develop his ability to make plays and operate in space moving forward.

Nikola Mirotic, 15 Others Become Trade-Eligible

Today is January 15, which means that trade restrictions have lifted for most of the rest of the NBA’s 2017 offseason signees. While the majority of those ’17 free agents became trade-eligible on December 15, there was a small subset of free agent signees whose trade ineligibility lasted for another month.

The 16 players whose trade restrictions lift today meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous teams this offseason, but they received raises of at least 20%, their salaries are worth more than the minimum, and their teams were over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.

The most notable name in this group is Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic. He’s not the best player on the list — Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry would be among those vying for that honor. But Mirotic is the most likely player to be dealt out of the 16 guys becoming trade-eligible today. He has been linked to a handful of teams already, including the Jazz, Pistons, and Trail Blazers.

Here are the 16 players becoming trade-eligible today:

With three and a half weeks left until this season’s February 8 trade deadline, nearly all of the NBA’s players are now eligible to be dealt. The only players still ineligible to be moved are those who signed free agent contracts later than October 15, plus certain players who signed contract extensions in the offseason.

Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (January 17), Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson (January 19), and Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (January 22) are now the only remaining players who will become trade-eligible between today and February 8. For the full list of players who won’t become trade-eligible before this year’s deadline, click here.

Southwest Notes: Smith Jr., Green, Bickerstaff

The Mavericks were without rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. tonight and will likely be without him through the weekend, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes.

According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, the 20-year-old injured his hip after getting tangle up with a baseline camera man. While the injury doesn’t appear to be serious, Dallas has been particularly cautious with Smith Jr.’s health this season.

Through 23 games with the Mavericks this season, Smith Jr. has averaged 14.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He missed two contests already this season back in October.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Grizzlies don’t have a permanent head coach yet but just hired former NBA player Greg Buckner to serve as an assistant, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes. Buckner worked alongside interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff in Houston and played for the Grizz in 2008/09.
  • The Grizzlies don’t need JaMychal Green to be a star but they do need him to establish himself as a plus defender, Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal writes. Green looked particularly impressive on that side of the ball in the team’s streak-busting win over the Timberwolves this week.
  • In the same article for The Commercial Appeal, Chris Herrington writes that the Grizzlies have been slower on offense than before J.B. Bickerstaff took over as head coach. Another difference than under David Fizdale‘s watch is that the Grizz are shooting fewer threes but at a higher clip.