Jarrett Allen

Nets Shopped Shamet Before Harden Swap

The Nets shopped guard Landry Shamet for a first-round pick prior to the James Harden blockbuster deal, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his podcast (hat tip to RealGM).

The motivation for Brooklyn was to forward another first-rounder to the Rockets and hold onto young center Jarrett Allen. Brooklyn gave up three first-rounders to Houston in the deal and a fourth one might have allowed them to retain Allen.

The Cavaliers were motivated to acquire Allen, a restricted free agent after the season, and gave up an unprotected 2022 first-round pick that Milwaukee owed them as part of the complex four-team swap. Cleveland also took on Taurean Prince‘s multiyear salary.

“I talked to two different teams that the Nets offered Landry Shamet to in the last week, attempting to get a first-round pick,” Windhorst said. “They were trying to keep Jarrett Allen, as you can imagine. To get the fourth first-round pick, they were trying to find a team that would give them anything. And so they shopped Landry Shamet pretty hard from what I understand.”

Without Allen, the Nets are left with DeAndre Jordan as the only true center on the roster and it will be difficult for them to trade for another of consequence.

“I just don’t see a lot of assets on the roster. And of course they have no first-round picks they can trade,” Windhorst said.

Shamet was acquired from the Clippers in a three-team trade during the offseason. Brooklyn exercised its $3.77MM 2021/22 option on Shamet prior to this season. He’s making roughly $2.1MM this season.

Shamet will have difficulty getting minutes behind Harden and Kyrie Irving, who is expected to return as early as Wednesday from his personal absence. He played 11 minutes off the bench in the Nets’ two-point win over Milwaukee on Monday. Shamet is shooting just 34.3% from the field in a reserve role this season.

Central Notes: Donovan, Weaver, Drummond, LeVert

The frustration for the Bulls and new head coach Billy Donovan is mounting over their penchant for blowing big leads. Chicago squandered a 10-point cushion in the final two minutes of regulation and lost in overtime on Friday to the Thunder, prompting Donovan to make some pointed comments about his team’s psyche.

“This is a hard-working group. It’s a good group of guys. They want to win,” the Bulls’ coach said, per Royce Young of ESPN. “They don’t know how to. They are learning how to.

The Bulls have committed a league-worst 18.3 turnovers per game and Donovan believes that’s the crux of their problem. “We’ve gotten destroyed in the turnover battle the whole entire year,” he said.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • New Pistons GM Troy Weaver engineered a number of draft-night trades and wound up with four rookies on the roster. He’s thrilled with all of them, even though lottery pick Killian Hayes struggled as a starter before suffering a hip injury, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have jumped into the rotation and second-rounder Saben Lee is getting some spot time with Hayes sidelined. “We can debate the player all day long, but we’re not going to debate the person,” Weaver said. “These are high-character guys who work and are selfless. Extremely excited about them.”
  • Jarrett Allen appears to be the Cavaliers’ main man in the middle after they acquired the restricted free agent from the Nets this week, but they shouldn’t be so quick to give away Andre Drummond, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. Drummond has been highly productive this season, as his 33-point, 23-rebound outing against the Knicks demonstrates. Trading Drummond, an unrestricted free agent after the season, could wind up making the team less competitive.
  • The Pacers are replacing Victor Oladipo with Caris LeVert in their impending trade with the Rockets. While those guards have similar stats, their skill sets vary greatly. J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star provides a breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.

Cavaliers Notes: Allen, Prince, Drummond, McGee, Porter Jr.

The acquisitions of Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince from the Nets in the multi-trade trade that sent James Harden to Brooklyn accelerated the Cavaliers’ rebuild, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes. Acquiring Allen, a restricted free agency, gives the Cavs a long-term answer in the middle if they re-sign him. Prince provides the team with a 3-and-D wing who could also see minutes at power forward.

We have more on the Cavaliers:

  • Once Allen is in uniform, coach J.B. Bickerstaff will have a pleasant dilemma of finding time at center for him as well as Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes. However, that dilemma may not stretch beyond March’s trade deadline. According to Fedor, shortly after the blockbuster trade, the team received calls on Drummond and McGee, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents after the season. Drummond erupted for 33 points and 23 rebounds against the Knicks on Friday.
  • Second-year swingman Kevin Porter Jr. rejoined his teammates on the bench for the first time this season on Friday, according to Fedor. Porter hasn’t played or practiced since the season started due to personal reasons. In November, he was arrested after flipping his Mercedes SUV. He was charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, a felony, in addition to misdemeanors for driving without a license and marijuana possession. All charges were dropped in December by a grand jury.
  • After facing the Knicks on Friday, the Cavaliers don’t play again until they host the Nets on Wednesday. Their two games in-between against the Wizards were postponed due to COVID-19 issues within Washington’s team.

Central Notes: Jackson, Bulls, Doumbouya, Cavaliers

Following injuries to rookie Killian Hayes and veteran reserve Derrick Rose, two-way Pistons point guard Frank Jackson, a late addition to Detroit’s roster last month, has stepped up in an expanded role, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey commended the 22-year-old. “I really like Frank,” Casey said. “He’s a quick-twitch kid, an offensive player who’s tough on the ball and he has a lot of toughness about him.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr., recovering from a lower back strain incurred on January 8, returned to team practice today, according to Rob Schaeffer of NBC Sports Chicago. Reserves Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison, having tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month, are in different stages of their recovery. Coach Billy Donovan noted that Hutchison, who had symptoms while ill with the virus, can return to Chicago’s practice facility. Satoransky remains in isolation, though Donovan said he was “a day or two away” from being permitted to use the Advocate Center.
  • Pistons are playing the long game with 20-year-old second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Doumbouya has yet to earn rotation minutes behind veteran starters Jerami Grant and Blake Griffin. “It’s a process,” head coach Dwane Casey said of Doumbouya’s minutes. Doumbouya is also slotted behind young forwards Saddiq Bey and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
  • Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic posit that the Cavaliers have been winning their recent trades. They suggest that, following the acquisition of former Nets center Jarrett Allen yesterday, veteran center Andre Drummond, on an expiring deal, will now become a candidate for a trade or buyout. The team also added small forward Taurean Prince from Brooklyn. Russo and Vardon applaud the team’s various acquisitions of draft picks, young talent, and solid veterans.

Duncan Robinson First 2021 RFA To Meet Starter Criteria

Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson became the first potential restricted free agent in the 2021 class to meet the “starter criteria” earlier this week, increasing the value of his qualifying offer.

As we explain in our glossary entry, a restricted free-agent-to-be is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency, or if he averages 2,000 minutes or 41 starts per season in the two years before his free agency. If a non-lottery pick reaches the starter criteria, the value of his qualifying offer increases; if a lottery pick fails to meet it, the value of his QO decreases.

Because the NBA was unable to play a full season in 2019/20 and only has a 72-game schedule on tap for ’20/21, the thresholds for the starter criteria have been prorated downward. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the criteria will vary from player to player, since it’s now based on games played by his team prior to the hiatus in ’19/20, as well as the 72-game schedule for this season.

For instance, the Heat played 65 games before the coronavirus stoppage last season and will play 72 games this season, for a total of 137 contests. Robinson needed to start at least half of those games (68.5) to meet the starter criteria.

Having started the first nine games of this season, Robinson is technically up to 77 starts over the last two years, but eight of those came in Miami’s summer seeding games and don’t count toward the starter criteria. As such, his 69th start of the last two seasons – which pushed him above the starter criteria threshold – came on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia.

Having met the starter criteria, Robinson – who came into the league as an undrafted free agent – will now be in line for a qualifying offer worth $4,736,102 (equivalent to what the 21st pick would receive if he signed for 100% of his rookie scale amount) instead of $2,122,822.

That bump likely won’t be all that important for Robinson, who figures to sign a lucrative multiyear deal that far exceeds that amount. However, the difference between a standard QO and the starter criteria QO could have a major impact on certain players.

Last season, for example, Kris Dunn met the starter criteria, ensuring that his qualifying offer remained at $7.09MM instead of falling to $4.64MM. The Bulls subsequently opted not to extend him that QO, making him an unrestricted free agent, and he left for the Hawks, signing a new contract with a per-year value ($5MM) in between those two figures. If Dunn hadn’t met the starter criteria, the Bulls may have been more comfortable issuing that QO and his free agency could have played out a whole lot differently.

While Robinson is the first player to reach the starter criteria this season, he won’t be the last. RFAs-to-be like Devonte’ Graham, Jarrett Allen, Lonzo Ball, Lauri Markkanen, and John Collins are in position to get there soon if they stay healthy and remain in their teams’ respective starting lineups. Kendrick Nunn isn’t far off either, having started 62 games for Miami before last season’s hiatus, but he isn’t currently a starter for the Heat.

Rockets Trade James Harden To Nets

JANUARY 16: The Pacers/Rockets part of the trade is now official and has been folded back into the initial deal, formally making it a four-team trade once again. Details can be found right here.


JANUARY 14: The trade is now official, the Nets announced in a press release.

“Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,” Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said. “James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.

“While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing. Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team’s success and have made an enormous impact on our organization. It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future.”

In their press release announcing the deal, the Cavs noted that they also acquired the draft rights to 2017 second-round pick Aleksandar Vezenkov from the Nets. Vezenkov has remained overseas since being drafted.

Interestingly, the Nets, Cavs, and Rockets opted to complete this trade as a three-team deal, meaning the trade sending LeVert and a second-round pick to Indiana for Oladipo will be a separate move.

Separating the two trades will allow the Rockets to generate a larger trade exception in this initial deal — that exception will be worth $15,451,216.


JANUARY 13: The Nets will acquire star guard James Harden in a trade with the Rockets, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that Harden will head to Brooklyn.

According to Wojnarowski and Shelburne (via Twitter) and Charania (Twitter link), it will be a multi-team trade that also involves the Cavaliers and Pacers, with the Rockets receiving Indiana guard Victor Oladipo in the deal.

The Rockets will acquire Oladipo from the Pacers; Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks, and four pick swaps from the Nets; and Dante Exum and the Bucks’ unprotected 2022 first-round selection from the Cavs, per ESPN and The Athletic.

Cleveland will receive Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince from Brooklyn, while the Pacers acquire Caris LeVert.

Charania reports (via Twitter) that the Pacers will also receive a second-round pick in the trade. That second-rounder is a 2023 selection from the Rockets, tweets Wojnarowski.

In addition to Harden, the Nets will receive a 2024 second-round pick from Cleveland, says Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Cavaliers have traded away the more favorable of their own second-rounder and the Jazz’s second-rounder, so Brooklyn will presumably get the less favorable of those two picks.

This is a massive trade with a ton of moving parts to break down. Let’s start with the Nets’ side of the deal.

Nets’ perspective:

The draft picks the Nets are sending to Houston are their unprotected first-rounders in 2022, 2024, and 2026, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the Rockets will have the ability to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027 (without protections, tweets Zach Lowe of ESPN).

That means the Nets won’t control any of their own first-round picks through 2027, making this a massive bet on the star trio of Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. Irving is currently away from the team on personal leave and is something of a question mark for the time being, but with Durant and Harden leading the offense, the Nets should have more than enough offensive firepower to get by until he returns.

The move, which makes Brooklyn an immediate championship contender, reunites Harden with his former Thunder teammate and fellow former MVP Durant. Harden will also team up once again with ex-Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who is now a Nets assistant.

As a result of trading four players for one, the Nets will have three open roster spots to fill, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Minimum-salary signings seem likely, since Brooklyn’s projected luxury tax bill will further increase as a result of taking on Harden’s $41MM+ salary.

However, the team also still has its $5.72MM taxpayer mid-level exception available and will likely be granted a disabled player exception worth about the same amount following Spencer Dinwiddie‘s ACL tear. As such, Brooklyn has the flexibility to sign players to deals worth more than the minimum.

Harden had a 15% trade kicker in his contract, but it will be voided since he’s already making the maximum salary.

While this blockbuster trade is probably a safe bet to work out better than the last time the Nets mortgaged their future by surrendering a series of first-round selections and pick swaps (for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce), it’s worth noting that Harden is 31 years old and Durant is 32 — the Nets’ picks for the next couple years figure to fall near the end of the first round, but there’s no guarantee that will still be the case by 2025, 2026, or 2027.

Rockets’ perspective:

The Rockets are clearly betting that some of those draft assets will become valuable, opting for a package heavy on picks rather than pushing to complete a trade with the Sixers for Ben Simmons, as was rumored earlier today. Although Simmons was said to be on the table in talks with Philadelphia, it’s not clear what the rest of that deal might have looked like.

By choosing to trade with the Nets and Pacers, the Rockets landed a two-time All-Star (Oladipo) in addition to four draft picks and four draft swaps. Oladipo will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be a long-term Rocket. Houston will hold his Bird rights and could re-sign him in the offseason, but acquiring him this early in the season also gives the club the option of extracting further value by flipping him at the March 25 trade deadline.

Today’s trade agreement marks the end of a saga that began in November, when word first broke that Harden had turned down a two-year, $103MM extension offer and had requested a trade out of Houston. The Rockets didn’t move him in the offseason, prompting the superstar guard to express his displeasure by reporting late to training camp.

On Tuesday night, he accelerated his departure by telling reporters after a blowout loss that the Rockets were “just not good enough” and that he didn’t believe the situation could be fixed. Houston decided to keep Harden away from the team until a trade agreement could be reached, and ultimately took less than 24 hours to finalize a deal.

[RELATED: Rockets’ Players, Silas Discuss Harden Situation]

Barring any additional imminent changes, the Rockets will have a fascinating roster in the short term, headlined by a trio of former stars who are coming back from major injuries. Oladipo, who missed a year from 2019-20 with a quad issue, joins John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, who have looked good this season after long-term injury absences of their own.

With Christian Wood and P.J. Tucker in the frontcourt, Houston should be a competitive team this season, albeit probably not a legit contender. Today’s trade is more about the future. Having previously traded away a handful of their own future first-round picks and given up a pair of pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, the Rockets have replenished their stash of draft picks in recent months, first by trading Robert Covington and Russell Westbrook and now by moving Harden.

Houston, which had one open roster spot entering the day, will have to waive a player to complete the trade. The club will also generate an eight-figure trade exception in the deal.

All three of the players acquired in today’s trade by the Rockets – Oladipo, Kurucs, and Exum – can become free agents at season’s end (Kurucs has a team option for 2021/22).

It also shouldn’t be overlooked that moving Harden for three less expensive players will take the Rockets $3.65MM below the luxury tax line and $9.95MM below their hard cap, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Entering the day, Houston was over the tax and only about $1MM from the hard cap — the club should now have added financial and cap flexibility for the rest of the season.

Pacers’ perspective:

Oladipo has been the subject of trade rumors for the last year, since he has at times seemed lukewarm about the idea of remaining in Indiana after his current contract expires in 2021. While the Pacers had insisted they were comfortable hanging onto him and addressing his contract situation when free agency arrived, moving him for LeVert makes sense for the franchise.

While Oladipo is a stronger defender, LeVert is a talented scorer who is two years younger than Oladipo and is on a more favorable contract. LeVert is earning $16.2MM this season and is under contract for two additional years beyond 2020/21, at an affordable rate of $18.1MM per year.

As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report observes (via Twitter), re-signing Oladipo at the price he was seeking would’ve been a challenge for the Pacers, who are already on the hook for lucrative multiyear contracts for Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner. Locking in LeVert through 2022/23 should be much more financially manageable for Indiana.

In the short term, the Pacers will also slip under the luxury tax line as a result of swapping Oladipo ($21MM) for LeVert, tweets Marks.

Cavaliers’ perspective:

The Cavs are acquiring Prince and will send out Exum and a future second-round pick, but this trade is mostly about sending out the Bucks’ 2022 first-rounder in exchange for Allen, a promising young center who will be a restricted free agent during the coming offseason.

Cleveland already has a number of veteran options at the four and five, including Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and JaVale McGee, so acquiring Allen will create more of a logjam in the short term.

In the long term though, you could make the case that none of the Cavs’ incumbent big men have more upside than Allen, who is averaging a double-double (11.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG) in a part-time role (26.7 MPG) so far this season.

If Allen starts at least five games for the Cavs during the rest of the 2020/21 season, he’ll meet the starter criteria and his qualifying offer in restricted free agency will be worth $7.7MM. He’d have the option of accepting that one-year offer, negotiating a longer-term deal with Cleveland, or signing an offer sheet with another team, which the Cavs could match.

In a pair of corresponding roster moves, the Cavs will waive Thon Maker and will end Yogi Ferrell‘s 10-day contract early, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Irving, Durant, Fertitta, Shumpert

Now that a new Big Three is together in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving will likely be asked to sacrifice to make it work, two NBA scouts told Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Today’s trade that reunites James Harden with Kevin Durant gives the Nets three elite offensive players, but they may not fit together smoothly.

“On paper obviously that team wins the East and probably the whole thing,” said Bryan Oringher, a former scout with the Raptors, Hawks and Wizards. “But it all depends if they’re willing to do a Warriors-type thing and all sacrifice. (Harden’s) obviously incredible, but none of them seem super happy without the ball.”

Irving missed a fifth straight game tonight for personal reasons, and his absence could be extended if the NBA decides he has to quarantine when he returns to the team, Lewis adds. Coach Steve Nash refused to address specifics about Irving during a session with the media.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to know any new details about Kyrie’s situation,” Nash said. “So I’ll just rely on the front office to learn more as we go. They’re the ones that are going to do the messaging on that front.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Durant couldn’t talk directly about the Harden deal after tonight’s game because it’s still not official, but he did speak briefly about his previous experience with Harden in Oklahoma City, saying, “It was fun,” Lewis tweets. “I’ve heard that that’s not even finalized yet, so I’ll talk about it another time,” Durant added (Twitter link).
  • Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta wasn’t impressed by the players the Nets were offering, such as Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, who is sidelined with a torn ACL, Lewis adds in a separate story. That explains why Allen wound up in Cleveland and LeVert was sent to Indiana, while Houston acquired Victor Oladipo and a parcel of draft picks.
  • Today’s trade leaves the Nets with three open roster spots, and free agent Iman Shumpert could be worth considering, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. Shumpert played 13 games for Brooklyn last season and brought a strong defensive presence to the team. He briefly played alongside Harden in Houston, and was a teammate of Irving and Joe Harris in Cleveland.

Cavaliers Jumped At Chance To Acquire Jarrett Allen

With an uncertain future at center beyond this season, the Cavaliers were thrilled when the Nets called to see if they were interested in Jarrett Allen, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Allen will be a restricted free agent this summer, and Brooklyn was looking for another team to get involved in the James Harden deal.

The Cavs acquired a promising 22-year-old big man, along with swingman Taurean Prince, for the bargain price of Dante Exum, the Bucks’ first-round pick in 2022, and a second-rounder in 2024. Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s decision to accept an extension in Milwaukee deflated the value of the Bucks’ pick, Fedor notes.

Cleveland was able to add Allen’s $3.9MM salary with the trade exception it had from the Jordan Clarkson deal last season, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

A source close to the team told Fedor the Cavaliers were “delighted” to pick up Allen.

“You get a guy who is 22 years old and just about to go into the prime of his career with our growing young core,” the source said. “To acquire a player of that magnitude, of that age, that’s why we acquired those assets, to have these opportunities.”

Andre Drummond is the current starting center in Cleveland, but he’s headed for free agency and was already a candidate to be moved before the trade deadline. Backup JaVale McGee is also in the final year of his contract and isn’t a good long-term fit at age 32. Fedor states that teams have already contacted the Cavs to see if McGee is available.

Allen can be the type of rim protector that Cleveland was seeking when it tried to acquire Myles Turner from the Pacers last February, Fedor notes. Instead, the organization surrendered cap room in free agency to trade for Drummond with the understanding that he was likely to opt into his $28.75MM salary for this season.

The Cavaliers have been interested in Allen since the 2017 draft and talked to the Nets about a potential deal during the offseason, according to Fedor. Brooklyn didn’t want to part with Allen at the time because of his low salary and his exceptional performance at Disney World, but that changed with the opportunity to acquire Harden. Allen is off to another strong start, averaging 11.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks through 12 games while shooting 67.7% from the field.

Cleveland is optimistic about its chances of keeping Allen beyond this season, Fedor adds. The Cavs inherit his Bird rights, and because he’s restricted they can match any offer he gets on the open market.

Eastern Notes: Jordan, Allen, Bey, Okeke, Vucevic

Nets coach Steve Nash is trying to avert a controversy over his decision to keep DeAndre Jordan as the starting center, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Nash gave Jarrett Allen more playing time off the bench on Friday but didn’t tinker with the lineup. Allen will be a restricted free agent in the summer. “I want to be very careful not to make it like a mini-drama because it’s not,” Nash said. “They both play. JA has been outstanding and will play plenty, if not the bulk of the minutes, but for right now, he’s just playing those minutes from the second unit.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons veteran point man Derrick Rose is highly impressed with the maturity of rookie forward Saddiq Bey‘s game, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Bey started in place of injured Blake Griffin, who is in the league’s concussion protocol, and fired in five 3-pointers against Boston on Friday. “Right when we picked him, I knew we had an asset,” Rose said. “He’s a shooter. Whenever I’m out there with him, I always keep an eye on him and see where he is on the floor.”
  • Gary Clark will likely fill Chuma Okeke’s bench role with the Magic until Okeke returns, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Clark is a solid defender but does not bring much to the table offensively, Robbins notes. Okeke will miss several weeks due to a left knee bone bruise. Clark re-signed with the Magic on a two-year contract, though the second year isn’t guaranteed.
  • Nikola Vucevic has become the Magic’s all-time leader in field goals made and he’s achieved that feat without having a lot of plays drawn up for him, as Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel explains. Coach Steve Clifford says Vucevic gets his points within the flow of the offense. “There’s no guy here that I’ve done less to help than him,” Clifford said. “If there’s any guy in the locker room who would have a complaint that Steve doesn’t get him the ball, it would be him.” Vucevic, the team’s highest-paid player, is signed through the 2022/23 season.

New York Notes: Allen, Jordan, Quickley, DSJ

Jarrett Allen is one of the NBA’s top rebounders and he could force Nets coach Steve Nash to consider a change in his starting lineup, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Allen is only playing 22.6 minutes per night off the bench, but he’s leading the league in offensive rebounds, offensive rebound percentage, and total rebound percentage.

Nash has been using DeAndre Jordan as his starting center, but the 32-year-old hasn’t been impressive. Lewis notes that Jordan’s plus-minus rating has declined in each game this season, hitting minus-8 on Wednesday as he managed just five points and one rebound against the Hawks.

“That’s a good debate. It’s a small sample, one, and I’m not sure if plus-minus is the best barometer,” Nash said. “But that was a tough matchup for DJ. Those guys are good, dynamic rollers, (Clint) Capela, but even more so (John) Collins’ speed is exceptional getting out of the screen and it poses a unique problem.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • The Nets are still adjusting to life without Spencer Dinwiddie, who may be lost for the season with a partially torn ACL, Lewis adds in a separate storyTimothe Luwawu-Cabarrot replaced Dinwiddie in the starting lineup Wednesday, but that new unit had never practiced together. They wound up with a minus-10 in 13 minutes. “It’s a big loss because of (Dinwiddie’s) versatility, skill set, size, speed, defensive ability. We’ll miss him dearly,” Nash said. “We’re going to see a lot of different lineups, different combinations.”
  • The Knicks should be getting a couple of injured guards back soon, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tvImmanuel Quickley, who’s been dealing with a sore left hip, could return Saturday or Monday. Dennis Smith Jr., who has a left quad issue, will rejoin the team during its road trip but will have to work on conditioning before being cleared to practice.
  • Austin Rivers, who played his first game with the Knicks Thursday night, posted an Instagram message afterward asking fans to be patient, Begley tweets. “Trust us. We’re getting better,” Rivers wrote. “We have a new great coach, all new players, really young, learning to play with each other and get chemistry right still, and we still getting all the way healthy. It’s a process but I promise we getting there step by step.”