Jared Dudley

Southeast Notes: Walker, Heat, Wizards

After Kemba Walker‘s explosive 60-point performance Saturday against the 76ers, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer argues that the Hornets shouldn’t overthink things, and should offer Walker the maximum allowable contract this summer. Walker will be an unrestricted free agent as he enters his age-29 season, and Bonnell makes a case for the importance of keeping the point guard around, despite the team’s struggles in recent years.

Walker is having a career season, averaging 28.7 points and 6.1 assists per game, and is certainly capable of taking over any game with his scoring ability. Walker would certainly be expensive — his full, five-year max projects to be worth $189MM+, unless he makes an All-NBA team this season, in which the deal could be worth up to $221MM. However, Hornets owner Michael Jordan has shown that he isn’t afraid to spend to keep players in Charlotte, and Bonnell argues that this instance should be no exception for the team’s leader.

There’s more from the Southeast division:

Atlantic Rumors: Rozier, Dudley, Chandler, Knicks

Unless Kyrie Irving has a change of heart about staying in Boston, the Knicks won’t have a shot at signing the Celtics’ starting point guard. They might have a chance at Boston’s other talent point man, Marc Berman of New York Post speculates. Terry Rozier would be a good fit for them, since they’re still trying to choose among Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson are some of the young players New York could dangle as trade bait for Rozier, Berman opines. Rozier will be a restricted free agent in July.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran forward Jared Dudley has been a pleasant surprise on and off the court for the Nets, Chris Milholen of Nets Daily writes. Dudley, acquired from the Suns in an offseason deal, has posted modest numbers but he’s started every game and he’s served as a mentor to the team’s younger players. “He’s doing it in the locker room and he’s also doing it with his play, because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Dudley’s $9.53MM salary comes off the books at the end of the season.
  • Sixers forward Wilson Chandler will remain on a minutes restriction as he works his way back from a hamstring injury, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Chandler will play approximately 15 minutes until coach Brett Brown is satisfied that he can handle a back-to-back situation. “I think the minute restriction won’t be long, a couple weeks or so, it’s not long term, I’m not worried about that at all,” Chandler told Todd.
  • The Knicks’ trio of president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale have put a plan into action designed for the long-term health of the franchise, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. They are focused on player development and building through the draft rather than the quick-fix solution that have dragged down the franchise for so long.

New York Notes: Ntilikina, Kanter, Dudley, LeVert

Frank Ntilikina scored a career-high 17 points Friday in his first NBA start at point guard, leaving the Knicks with some decisions to make, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New coach David Fizdale adjusted his lineup, replacing Trey Burke with Ntilikina and starting rookie Mitchell Robinson along with Noah Vonleh up front and Damyean Dotson at the wing.

“He ran the show, picked his spots,’’ Fizdale said of Ntilikina’s performance. “He didn’t pass up much. I really thought he got after it defensively and competed hard. The guy was playing against one of those special, once-in-a-lifetime talents [Warriors guard Stephen Curry]. I thought he really did a solid job against that.”

Burke started the season’s first five games, but prompted the change with a 1-for-10 shooting night Wednesday. The point guard picture should become more crowded next week when Emmanuel Mudiay is expected to make his season debut after recovering from a sprained ankle. Berman suggests that the Knicks may be realizing that they won’t get a top point guard in free agency and are revisiting the idea of developing Ntilikina at that position.

There’s more news out of New York:

  • Enes Kanter doesn’t seem to be on board with the Knicks‘ new lineup, Berman adds in a separate story. Kanter is normally talkative with the media, but he didn’t have much to say after losing his starting job Friday. It marked Kanter’s first appearance in a reserve role since being traded to New York before the start of last season. “Coach said he wants me to lead the second unit,” he told reporters. “I’m just leading the second unit.’’ Kanter had a chance to leave the Knicks over the summer, but elected to opt in for the final year of his contract.
  • The Nets traded for Jared Dudley to help mentor their young players, but coach Kenny Atkinson says he’s learning things from the 12-year veteran as well, relays Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. “And for the coach too, right,” Atkinson responded when asked about Dudley’s impact on the team. “The young coach, he’s been in the league longer than I have. I learn things from him every day … his spirit and his enthusiasm and he’s a positive dude.”
  • Caris LeVert promises better times are ahead for long-suffering Nets fans. In an interview with Steve Serby of The New York Post, LeVert expressed confidence that the team has turned the corner. “I think in years past, a lot of people were kind of mocking Nets fans, and Nets players and things like that, but I think those days are over,” he said. “We’re becoming a good team, somebody that people have to respect.”

New York Notes: Knox, Lee, Kurucs, Dudley

The Knicks will have to adjust their lineup to compensate for the loss of first-round pick Kevin Knox, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Knox went down with an ankle sprain in Saturday’s game and will miss at least two weeks. He will stay behind for rehab work as the team embarks on its upcoming road trip, and his condition will be re-evaluated in another week.

Guard Damyean Dotson took Knox’s rotation spot after the injury, but coach David Fizdale has other options. He played centers Mitchell Robinson and Enes Kanter together at one point and could also give more minutes to Mario Hezonja.

“It’s the ugly thing about the sport,” teammate Trey Burke said. “Kev is going to be a big piece of this team. I talked to him back in the locker room. I told him to keep his head up. We’re going to need him back and get that ankle well. I’m sure he’ll be back out there soon.”

There’s more this morning from New York City:

  • Courtney Lee‘s physical condition continues to be a concern, Berman adds in the same story. Tests are scheduled today to determine the cause of the neck pain he has been experiencing, which has now expanded to his chest. Lee has been dealing with the condition since getting fouled early in training camp. The Knicks reportedly would like to trade Lee, but they need him to get back on the court first.
  • The Nets have been impressed by the early performance of rookie Rodions Kurucs, but it may be difficult for him to find playing time with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson returning to the lineup, notes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Kurucs is averaging 8.7 PPG in about 14 minutes per night while shooting 47% from the floor and 40% from 3-point range. He has put aside any thoughts of sending him to the G League. “Rodi, he plays hard,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “There’s some good and some bad. He does everything full-out and we love his energy.”
  • Jared Dudley was expected to bring a veteran presence when the Nets acquired him this summer, but he has been surprised to find himself in the starting lineup, relays Ben Stinar of AmicoHoops. Dudley didn’t play much with the Suns the past two years, but Atkinson has been using him with the starters while Hollis-Jefferson is out. “Obviously, two years with limited playing time in Phoenix, to get out there and dust the cobwebs off, and something that felt good,” he said.

Atlantic Notes: Hezonja, Miles, Dudley

The Knicks have given offseason addition Mario Hezonja the green light to shoot more, an opportunity the 2015 lottery pick didn’t exactly have throughout three seasons in Orlando.

According to Greg Joyce of the New York Post, head coach David Fizdale plans to “hammer” the swingman about shooting more threes and wishes that he’d be greedier with the ball.

Hezonja understands that he’ll be shouldering some of the offensive load, especially as a potential starter, but wants to make a point of serving as a playmaker for his teammates.

I’m new here, so I want to get used to other guys, which I’m pretty used to right now,” Hezonja said. “I just want to find them more, get them more involved, get them more shots, get them to feel more comfortable in the game. I know my stuff is going to come regardless.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have plenty of depth on the wing which could limit the opportunities that C.J. Miles gets to bounce back after a disappointing 2017/18 season. Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes about Miles’ defensive struggles last season and the competition he’ll be up against to get significant minutes this season.
  • The Nets will pay Jared Dudley $9.5MM this season but the 33-year-old could be more than just an expiring contract. Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes about Dudley’s defensive IQ and ability to provide leadership in the locker room as major assets. The slimmed down veteran could also earn minutes as the lone stretch four on the roster.
  • Well aware of the opportunity that the Celtics have to win the Eastern Conference and compete for a title, potential 2019 free agent Al Horford is focused exclusively on playing basketball this season. “We have such a big opportunity that we can’t allow ourselves to look ahead or look at any of that,” Horford told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I’m really locked in with this season.

Atlantic Notes: Musa, Dudley, Knicks, Bird

Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa has been bulking up since the draft in hopes of being physically prepared for the NBA, relays NetsDaily. In a weekend interview with with Radiosarajevo in Bosnia, Musa said he has been focused on “physical progress” and has gained 15 pounds this summer.

“As far as my physical predisposition is concerned, no one has to worry,” he said. “I have put on seven kilograms in a 25-day period, so I do not have to have any disadvantages by the start of the season, and I will try to give my team immediate input.”

The 29th overall selection has spent most of the summer at the Nets’ training facility, but recently returned home to Bosnia to participate in a pair of FIBA World Cup qualifying games.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Trade restrictions on the NetsJared Dudley will expire September 20, according to a separate story on NetsDaily outlining important upcoming dates for the team. That date will mark the two-month anniversary of the trade that sent Dudley from Phoenix to Brooklyn, and it will lift the restriction that he can only be dealt in one-for-one trades.
  • The Knicks picked up a pair of promising young players on one-year deals while preserving their cap space for next summer, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders in the season preview for New York. The Knicks signed Mario Hezonja for $6.5MM and Noah Vonleh for a non-guaranteed $1.6MM, giving them a year to see how much they can contribute before making long-term decisions. Blancarte also believes David Fizdale was the right choice to take over as coach.
  • Jabari Bird is under guarded watch at a Boston-area hospital following his arrest Friday on a “domestic incident,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Bird is expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow and will be officially charged for his role in the incident.
  • The Raptors have scheduled a press conference for September 21 to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Both were acquired from the Spurs in a mid-July trade.

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Dudley, Green, Celtics

After playing for four teams in eight seasons, newly signed Nets forward Ed Davis feels like he has found a place where he’s wanted, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn was quick to pounce on Davis, offering a one-year, $4.4MM deal minutes after free agency opened.

“The main thing is they definitely came out aggressive when July 1 hit. I definitely wanted to go to where I was wanted, so that had a lot to do with it,” Davis said. “Then, I talked to Allen [Crabbe] and Jeremy [Lin] about the coaching staff and how the organization was run, and it was nothing but great things. Then, this team has potential, definitely. We can try to make this push into the playoffs this year. It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s one of the reasons why I’m here.”

Davis topped all NBA reserves in rebounding last season with 575, but the Trail Blazers decided he was expendable. Portland executive Neil Olshey told reporters he was on the phone when Davis when he received the Nets’ offer and advised him to accept it.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran shooter Jared Dudley, who met the media today following a trade that sent him from the Suns to the Nets, almost came to Brooklyn two years ago, writes Tom Dowd of NBA.com. Dudley said he considered the franchise because of the style of offense that coach Kenny Atkinson runs. “That’s one of my strong suits here in the NBA with reading defenses, moving side-to-side, going to pick-and-rolls,” Dudley explained. “I just think it’s kind of a perfect match.”
  • He may be considered a throw-in from the Kawhi Leonard trade, but Danny Green is exactly the type of player the Raptors need, according to Steven Loung of SportsNet. Green will solve some of the team’s spacing issues with his 3-point accuracy, and he’s an excellent defender to match up against opposing wing players.
  • The Celtics were able to save some money by trading Abdel Nader to the Thunder instead of waiving him, Bobby Marks notes on ESPN Now. The move saves Boston about $675K in tax penalties and another $450K in salary. Getting rid of Nader leaves the Celtics with 14 guaranteed contracts and a tax bill of $3.8MM if they waive Rodney Purvis, whose $1,378,242 salary doesn’t become guaranteed until January 10.

Suns Trade Dudley, Second-Round Pick To Nets For Arthur

2:16pm: The Nets and Suns have officially completed their trade, according to a press release issued by the Nets. Dudley, who told Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link) that he’s not a fan of buyouts, expects to play for Brooklyn. Wojnarowski suggests the Nets may envision Dudley as a stretch four in their lineup.

9:16am: The Nets and Suns have agreed to a trade that will send Jared Dudley to Brooklyn and Darrell Arthur to Phoenix, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Nets will acquire a top-35 protected 2021 second-round pick in the deal, according to Wojnarowski.

The deal appears to be financially motivated, with Wojnarowski indicating that Arthur and his $7.46MM expiring salary will likely be bought out by the Suns. Dudley, who is on a $9.53MM expiring contract, could have a similar conversation with the Nets, Woj adds.

The savings in the trade are minimal for the Suns, but it’s possible they have another move or two up their sleeves. According to Basketball Insiders’ salary data, Phoenix will have a team salary of $98.63MM after the deal, which is good for $3MM+ in cap room.

[UPDATE: Suns to acquire Richaun Holmes from Sixers]

According to John Gambadoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports (Twitter link), the Suns had been trying to buy out Dudley for the last couple weeks. Arthur is a little cheaper and it’s possible he’ll be more amenable to a buyout.

As for the Nets, they remain in asset-collection mode after having acquired a pair of draft picks from the Nuggets in a salary-dump deal that included Arthur earlier this month. Today’s move will ensure that Brooklyn once again has a second-round pick in the 2021 draft — the club traded its own ’21 second-rounder in the Dwight Howard deal with Charlotte.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacific Rumors: Randle, Bradley, Looney, Kokoskov

Lakers power forward Julius Randle could wind up in his hometown of Dallas next season, Frank Urbina of Hoops Hype speculates. Randle would be a nice fit alongside guard Dennis Smith Jr. and the Mavericks have plenty of cap space to sign him. He played very well against them this season, averaging 21.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG and 5.6 APG on 66% shooting, Urbina notes. Randle would also slot in well with the Suns and Pacers, Urbina adds, though it’s more likely he winds up staying with the Lakers. Randle will be a restricted free agent if, as expected, the Lakers extend a $5.564MM qualifying offer by the June 29th deadline.

Also around the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers shooting guard Avery Bradley could wind up with the Sixers if Philadelphia loses J.J. Redick in free agency, Urbina writes in a separate piece. Bradley’s spot-up shooting and man-to-man defense would make him a good fit with their young core, Urbina continues. The Spurs and Thunder, who were involved in trade rumors for Bradley this winter, could be potential landing spots. The Pelicans might also be interested in upgrading the shooting guard spot, which would allow them to move Jrue Holiday back to the point if they lose free agent Rajon Rondo, Urbina adds.
  • Big man Kevon Looney has emerged as a key player for the Warriors and that won’t change throughout the postseason, according to Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury News. The Warriors’ first-round pick in 2015 has battled injuries during his first two seasons. Now healthy, Looney gives the Warriors another quality defender with length who guard all five positions, Kurtenbach adds. Looney could be plying his trade somewhere else next season, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Warriors declined their team option on him last October.
  • Igor Kokoskov has Jared Dudley‘s endorsement as the Suns search for a new head coach, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic reports. Kokoskov, 46, was instrumental in drawing up plays when Lindsey Hunter was Phoenix’s interim coach in 2013, according to Dudley. Kokoskov, who has interviewed for the Suns job, is currently a Jazz assistant. “It’s not like Igor is young,” Dudley said. “He’s had plenty of experience. It’s like Brett Brown in Philadelphia and Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta. They put the right staff around them. That’s the critical part. I think he’s shown he deserves the opportunity.”

Pacific Notes: Gallinari, Shumpert, Deng, Suns

Danilo Gallinari‘s injury-riddled season has been the Clippers’ biggest issue, coach Doc Rivers told Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register and other media members. Gallinari hasn’t played since February 22nd and has only appeared in 19 games. He was acquired in a deal with the Nuggets last summer with the expectation that he’d solidify the small forward spot. “Overall, of the guys we’ve missed [most], it’s ‘Gallo,’” Rivers said. “It’s not even close.” Hand and gluteus maximus injuries have sidelined Gallinari, who has averaged 15.9 PPG when he’s been able to take the court.

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Kings guard Iman Shumpert will likely opt in to the final year of his contract, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. Shumpert has a $11MM player option but has only appeared in 14 games this season due to knee and foot injuries, which would depress his value on the open market, Jones opines. He is unlikely to play again this season since the Kings are evaluating their younger players, Jones adds. Shumpert is recovering from plantar fasciitis. Shumpert was part of the multi-team trade that sent George Hill to the Cavaliers at the February deadline.
  • The Lakers considered tossing veteran forward Luol Deng into the rotation because of injuries but ultimately decided against it, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports. Deng has been in limbo all season, getting benched since a 13-minute appearance on opening night. Deng signed a four-year, $72MM free agent contract two summers ago will probably be waived this offseason under the stretch provision, allowing the Lakers to spread his remaining $36MM cap hit over five seasons.
  • Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley were fined $25K apiece by the league for an dustup against the Jazz last week, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.