Jaylen Brown

2023 NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

The league has announced its 2023 All-Star reserves during a pregame broadcast on TNT, as voted on by NBA head coaches. As usual, the list of 14 selections featured some interesting surprises.

For the Eastern Conference, coaches voted in Sixers center Joel Embiid (the reigning Player of the Month in the East), Heat center Bam Adebayo, Bulls wing DeMar DeRozan, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton, and Knicks forward Julius Randle.

Holiday, who is making his second overall All-star appearance this year, last earned an All-Star nod a decade ago while playing for Philadelphia.

Randle will receive a $1.2MM salary bonus as a result of being named an All-Star this season, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Marks adds (via Twitter) that Holiday will get a $324K bonus. And as long as he appears in at least 65 contests this year, Brown will earn a $1.55MM bonus after having qualified for the All-Star game, Marks tweets.

Among the most notable omissions in the East were a handful of point guards: the Knicks’ Jalen Brunson, the Hawks’ Trae Young, the Cavaliers’ Darius Garland, and the Sixers’ James Harden. Miami swingman Jimmy Butler also missed out. Young, Harden and Butler all made the cut last season.

In the Western Conference, Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, Kings center Domantas Sabonis, Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers forward Paul George, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, and Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. were selected as reserves.

Being named to the All-Star team again this year will earn Sabonis a $1.3MM bonus, per Marks (Twitter link).

Lakers center Anthony Davis, Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Suns guard Devin Booker, and Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon were among the Western Conference snubs.

Gilgeous-Alexander, Markkanen and Jackson are the lone first-time All-Stars among these 14 picks.

All-Star weekend tips off on February 17 in Salt Lake City. Los Angeles power forward LeBron James and Milwaukee power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the captains of their respective conferences, will draft their teams ahead of the 2023 All-Star Game on Sunday, February 19.

And-Ones: Napier, All-Star Bonuses, Trade Proposals, Biggest Needs

Former NBA guard Shabazz Napier has signed with Olimpia Milano for the remainder of the season, according to a team press release. Coach Ettore Messina said Napier will be thrown into the fray immediately against Baskonia, Allesandro Maggi of Sportando relays.

“Shabazz Napier had just one team practice, but we will use him, hoping for some minutes in a position where we need them badly,” he said.

Napier last appeared in the NBA during the 2019/20 season, when he played a combined 56 games for Minnesota and Washington.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Several NBA players could cash in if they’re selected as All-Star reserves, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. Among that group, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown will earn a $1.5MM bonus if he’s chosen and also appears in 65 regular season games (he has missed six games so far). The Bucks’ Jrue Holiday will collect $324K if he’s chosen, while the Kings’ Domantas Sabonis will receive $1.3MM if he’s selected. The Knicks’ Julius Randle will get an additional $1.2MM if he gets the nod.
  • What are some of the bold moves that playoff contenders could make to improve their chances of success? The Ringer’s Michael Pina explores potential trades that could make the Suns, Clippers, Thunder, Lakers and Pelicans better.
  • The Bulls and Hawks need 3-point shooting.  The Nuggets need defensive help and the Warriors require a stretch wing. The Athletic’s staff runs down the biggest need for every team as the trade deadline approaches.

Celtics Notes: Poeltl, Brown, Pritchard, Ford

The Celtics, as previously reported, are interested in Spurs center Jakob Poeltl and have actually maintained that interest for several seasons, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. However, there are some roadblocks that would complicate a Celtics trade for Poeltl.

As Weiss writes, the Spurs’ asking price is one of those obstacles. San Antonio is seeking two first-round picks in exchange for Poeltl (as previously reported), which is the same price the team set for Derrick White a year ago.

The Celtics ultimately acquired White in exchange for a lightly protected first-round pick and a very lightly protected future first-round pick swap, and perhaps the Spurs would accept a similar return for Poeltl, but that would still be a substantial price to pay for a free-agent-to-be who may require a $20MM annual commitment this summer, Weiss observes. Especially when re-signing Grant Williams may also be a priority in Boston.

Additionally, while Poeltl would be an ideal insurance policy in the event of a Robert Williams injury, his role likely wouldn’t be all that significant as long as Williams and Al Horford are both healthy, which is an argument against Boston giving up multiple valuable assets for him.

Ultimately, Weiss thinks the most likely Celtics move at the trade deadline might just involve a second-round pick for a solid bench piece, rather than another major splash involving a first-rounder.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Like Weiss, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston considers whether the Celtics really need to make a trade deadline move and outlines why a deal for someone like Poeltl would be complicated.
  • Having missed the Celtics’ last three games due to a right adductor injury, Jaylen Brown went through a full practice on Wednesday and could be on the verge of returning to action (Twitter link via team). Brown’s official status for Thursday’s Finals rematch vs. Golden State is TBD, but he hopes to play. “Feeling good. We’ll see how I feel after this (workout) today,” Brown said (Twitter link via Forsberg). “… I think I’m good. So I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow … If I can go, I’m going.”
  • The Warriors are among the teams that have inquired about the availability of Celtics guard Payton Pritchard, league sources tell Brian Robb of MassLive.com. However, Pritchard’s ability to capably fill a rotation spot in the event of an injury like Brown’s makes Boston somewhat reluctant to move him, Robb notes.
  • The Celtics have announced the death of former player and coach Chris Ford, who played for the team from 1978-82 and coached in Boston from 1983-95, first as an assistant, then as the head coach. Ford won titles with the team as a player (1981) and as an assistant coach (1984 and 1986), and is also known for making the first three-point shot in NBA history.

Jaylen Brown Out “A Week Or Two” With Adductor Strain

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a right adductor strain, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Brown has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn, and seems likely to miss additional time.

When asked about just how long Brown might be on the shelf, head coach Joe Mazzulla was optimistic.

“I anticipate [his absence] being pretty short,” Mazzulla offered. “Probably a week or two.”

Mazzulla added that Brown had wanted to suit up for the Nets matchup before being ultimately ruled out.

“I’m not sure what the timeline is,” Mazzulla said. “I know he tried to give it a go today, and wasn’t able to do it. We’ll know more the next couple days, see how he responds.”

The 6’6″ swingman seems poised to be named to his second All-Star team this season, as he and fellow forward Jayson Tatum have led Boston to an East-best 30-12 record. Across 40 healthy games, Brown is averaging 27.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 1.1 SPG. He is also posting a shooting line of .498/.329/.795.

Celtics Notes: Mazzulla, Brown, Pritchard, Vonleh

Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla was back on the Celtics‘ bench Sunday night after missing two games with corneal abrasions, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Mazzulla was scratched in the eye while fighting for a rebound during a pickup game Tuesday at TD Garden.

It was difficult for him to see during a pre-game session with reporters that night, and he turned over the team to assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who also handled Thursday’s win over the Clippers. Mazzulla called the injury a “freak accident” and said it won’t stop him from playing pickup basketball.

“I wasn’t getting any better,” Mazzulla said about his condition Tuesday. “In that situation I thought it was a good opportunity to empower and entrust the staff and I didn’t feel like I was at my best and I didn’t want to be a distraction. It was a great opportunity (for Damon). It says a lot about the culture we have in place. It ran itself. Our staff really stepped up. (Damon) did a great job. I’m really happy for him.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Sunday’s loss at Denver included a 40-minute delay in the fourth quarter after Robert Williams bent the rim on a dunk (video link). Jaylen Brown was critical of how the incident was handled, saying there was “no communication” with players, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. “Spent all that time trying to fix it. But when we came back, it still looked like it wasn’t even level, in my opinion,” Brown said. “So we just wasted all that time that has an effect on the game. That’s how injuries and stuff happen. Luckily, they didn’t. But that wasn’t good. That whole process was handled poorly, in my opinion, and that had an effect on the game as well. Luckily, nobody got hurt.”
  • Brown brushed aside a fourth quarter altercation with Nuggets guard Bones Hyland, according to Brian Robb of MassLive. The players got tangled up when Brown fouled Hyland on a drive to the basket, and Hyland responded by pushing Brown to the floor. Brown got up and challenged Hyland before officials and teammates separated them. Both players received technical fouls, but they shook hands afterward. “It was just two guys being competitive,” Brown said. “Wasn’t no smoke behind it.”
  • The Celtics aren’t likely to trade Payton Pritchard before the February 9 deadline, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe states in a prediction column for the new year. He says Pritchard still has value to the team because he’s only 24 and would be needed in the event of a backcourt injury. Himmelsbach predicts a quiet deadline for Boston, which already parted with next year’s first-round pick in the Malcolm Brogdon trade. He also expects Noah Vonleh to be waived this week before his salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Atlantic Notes: Randle, Tatum, Brown, O’Neale, Maxey

After being hit with 12 technical fouls and $130K in fines last season, Knicks forward Julius Randle came into 2022/23 hoping to keep his temper in check and to not be at odds with the referees nearly as often, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Randle, who made a bet with a member of the Knicks organization that he wouldn’t get more than three technical fouls this season, received a pair on Sunday to push his season total to four. He referred to Sunday’s game as a “relapse” and said it was “selfish” of him to get those two techs that resulted in his ejection.

“Hopefully, that last one gets rescinded,” Randle said, per Bondy. “… I’m really trying my best. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me. But that’s just kind of what comes with it.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown spoke to Sam Amick and Jared Weiss of The Athletic about the heartbreak of losing the NBA Finals, the Ime Udoka controversy, and a handful of other topics. Tatum described the Udoka situation as “extremely frustrating,” noting that there’s still a lot that the team hasn’t explained, presumably for legal reasons.
  • After missing Brooklyn’s last two games for personal reasons, forward Royce O’Neale is expected to return for Friday’s game in Toronto, a source tells Brian Lewis of The New York Post. As Lewis observes, with O’Neale back, the Nets will be as healthy as they’ve been all season, putting them in position to build some chemistry and perhaps extend their four-game winning streak.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said on Tuesday that he hopes Tyrese Maxey is able to practice with the club later this week, though it’s not trending that way for now, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com. Maxey, recovering from a left foot fracture, has been doing some running and shooting, but hasn’t yet been able to fully practice.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Griffin, Brown, Mazzulla

Early-season MVP talk hasn’t been a distraction, Celtics star Jayson Tatum told reporters, including Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic, in a media session before tonight’s game in Phoenix. Boston has the best record in the league at 20-5 and Tatum ranks fourth in scoring at 30.8 PPG, so he’s a natural candidate for the award but he’s not focused on it.

“It’s something that I’m aware of, but I think a lot of it has to do with our team’s success,” Tatum said. “I think I keep playing the way I am and everybody individually, and we keep complementing each other the way we are, and continue to win, then everybody’s going to get individually what they deserve. So I guess the main focus is to keep trying to be one of the best teams and keep trying to win and just get closer to our ultimate goal of getting back to the finals.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Blake Griffin isn’t playing regularly, but he has been effective whenever Boston has needed him, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. With Robert Williams injured, Griffin has been sharing center duties with Luke Kornet as backups to Al Horford. Griffin is only averaging 14.7 minutes in nine games, but his teammates rave about what he provides whenever he’s on the court. “To be able to see him come out and give the energy he’s been giving us, that’s all you can ask for,” Marcus Smart said. “It’s no wonder why everyone loves Blake. It’s no wonder why he’s on this team and he’s still here in this league. He understands what it takes to be a vet.”
  • Jaylen Brown, who was left out of the All-Star Game last season, questioned the league’s system for choosing reserves in an interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports. “I think it should be more exclusive in regards to the decision-making that goes into the process because, to be honest, we have no idea how we make it,” Brown said. “We make it and then they say that there’s this large process, but the (players) union isn’t involved at all. So, as players and representatives of the organizations, I think that definitely we should have some say so.”
  • Joe Mazzulla talked to Marc J. Spears of Andscape about the challenges of being thrown unexpectedly into a head coaching role with one of the league’s best teams, offering an interesting perspective when asked about the possibility of having his interim label removed. “Whether you’re the interim or not, you’re always the interim,” Mazzulla said. “It goes back to what is the truth. The truth of the matter is it’s just a name. And whether I have a five-year deal or a one-year deal, I can be gone at any time.”

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Irving, Griffin, Warren

Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving were often at odds when they were teammates with the Celtics, but their relationship has improved since Irving left for the Nets, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Brown was among Irving’s most vocal defenders during his eight-game suspension last month for promoting an antisemitic film on social media.

“He’s a brother of mine,” Irving said. “I’m grateful to have a relationship off the court. True warriors when we go against each other. When I was in Boston, we didn’t really get a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level. So again, I’m just grateful that we’ve been able to build on top of a great foundation of relying on how we live our lives and how we treat people, so he’s a brother of mine.”

Brown stopped short of calling their relationship brotherly, Washburn adds, noting that they didn’t talk with each other before their teams met Sunday. Brown admitted they had problems when they were together, but said things are better now.

“Being a teammate of Kyrie, we got into it a lot,” he said. “We didn’t see eye to eye a majority of the time he was here. And since then it seems like our relationship (has improved). We’ve been able to have conversations. We’ve been able to talk to each other. We’ve been able to understand where he’s coming from.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Brown has a shot to earn All-NBA honors this season, which would qualify him for a super-max extension, notes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Brown’s current contract runs through 2024, and that extension would pay him an estimated $290MM over five years based on current cap estimates, according to Forsberg. We took a closer look during the summer at Brown and other potential super-max candidates to watch in 2022/23.
  • A Nike spokesperson tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that the company has parted ways with Irving (Twitter link). Charania points out that Irving has one of the NBA’s most popular signature shoes.
  • Celtics forward Blake Griffin was surprised to receive a tribute video in his return to Brooklyn, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Griffin spent a year and a half with the Nets before signing with Boston during the preseason. “True professional. I think he’s added to their group, to their locker room,” Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Having guys like that (being) a part of your team that have been in playoff games and in meaningful games, there’s something to it. … That’s the kind of guy you want in your locker room.”
  • Nets forward T.J. Warren played 17:53 Sunday in his second game after returning from foot injuries that sidelined him for nearly two years, and Vaughn expects him to remain on that minutes limit for a while, Lewis adds. “I don’t have a lockstep number, but seems like that 17 around there felt pretty good for him,” Vaughn said. “Maybe we start inching that up a little bit, hopefully. We want him to feel good for a little bit of a stretch before we do.”

Atlantic Notes: Harris, Grimes, Tatum, Brown, Raptors

Though Sixers starting power forward Tobias Harris may be a trade candidate down the line, Philadelphia needs his two-way contributions while weathering injuries to the team’s three leading scorers, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harris, the Sixers’ fourth-leading scorer, has two years and $76.9MM remaining on his current maximum-salary contract with the club. In his last two contests – with James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey out – Harris is averaging 21.5 PPG while taking 20.5 field goals a night. For the 2022/23 season, the 6’8″ vet is averaging 15.6 PPG, on 13.1 field goal tries.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes has been logging significant minutes of late, having been promoted to a starting role in the absence of injured wing Cam Reddish, per Peter Botte of The New York Post. “I feel great,” Grimes said of the opportunity. “I feel like I’m kind of back to my old game shape, really.Zach Braziller of The New York Post scouts how Grimes can help New York though his shooting, perimeter defense, and passing.
  • Ahead of his Mavericks’ 125-112 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, All-Star guard Luka Doncic praised Boston as “probably” the league’s best team, adding that All-Star swingmen Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum could be the team’s best tandem, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Tatum and Brown combined for 68 points in Boston’s win over the Mavs.
  • The Raptors front office does not yet have enough information about the team’s roster to have made a determination about how best it can approach this season’s trade deadline, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Injuries and illnesses have affected several key players, including forward Pascal Siakam and shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. have impeded the team’s appraisals.

Celtics Notes: Horford, G. Williams, Brown, Mazzulla

Al Horford has already left the Celtics once for more money and there’s a chance it might happen again next summer, writes Sean Deveney of Heavy. The 37-year-old Horford said this week that he’d like to play another two or three seasons, so he’ll be looking for a contract that covers that time. Whether that keeps him in Boston will depend on the salary he’s willing to accept.

Deveney talked to a Western Conference executive who points out that most of the teams that will have cap room in 2023 are young and aren’t likely to have interest in a player nearing 40. The unidentified executive expects Horford to land a two-year contract worth between $20-25MM, while another league source tells Deveney that Horford may get a three-year deal in the $40-42MM range with the final year as a partial guarantee or a player option.

An Eastern Conference executive believes the Celtics’ offer to Horford will depend on how much they have to pay to keep Grant Williams, who is headed for restricted free agency.

“Right now, you’re paying those guys $30MM,” the executive said. “They don’t want to add a bunch of salary, so if you can keep them below $30MM in starting money next year, it is not a bad situation. Other guys are going up, so you’d like to save where you can. If you start Williams at $16-17MM or so, you can go to $11-12MM for Al and still keep yourself around $180MM in payroll. They want both of those guys around so they have to think about them as a sliding scale.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Boston has the league’s best record at 13-3 and has figured out how to win with limited production from Jayson Tatum, notes Souichi Terada of MassLive. The Celtics posted back-to-back wins over the Hawks and Pelicans this week with Tatum limited to 19 points in each game on subpar shooting. Derrick White and Payton Pritchard have filled in with Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Smart hurt, and the team is also getting valuable bench minutes from Williams, Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet.
  • Jaylen Brown credits the success to trust from new head coach Joe Mazzulla, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Whenever the Celtics hit a rough patch, Mazzulla usually prefers to let the players work through it rather than calling a timeout. “It challenges us for not only the situation at hand in front of us but to be better down the line,” Brown said. “We’ve been in the NBA long enough to know how to get to our spots and how to correct some of our mistakes. We have a poised team so that’s a lot of trust from our head coach that he instills in our players and us to figure it out. To be honest, that’s what you want as a player. You want that relationship with your head coach that he’ll trust you out there that you’ll figure it out.”
  • With nine straight wins, the Celtics appear to have solved their crunch-time rotation questions, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Tatum’s ability to fill multiple roles makes the team hard to defend with the game on the line, Weiss adds.