Jeff Green

Nuggets Notes: Porter Jr., Vaccine, Green, Hyland

After news broke Monday of a max extension for Michael Porter Jr., he thought of the difficult journey it took to reach this point, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. There were serious questions about Porter’s long-term health heading into the 2018 draft after he injured his back in college. After being in consideration for the top pick when the season began, Porter slipped all the way to No. 14, where the Nuggets nabbed him as a long-term investment.

“I think it’s a lot more gratifying,” Porter said. “I’m one of those dudes, that even growing up, I didn’t think of it like, ‘Dang, I’m going to be making millions of dollars when I go to the NBA.’ I thought of it as, ‘Dang, I’m going to get to play against LeBron (James), (Kevin Durant).’ It was never about the money for me. … The road that I took made it so much more gratifying.”

After sitting out his first NBA season, Porter showed signs of stardom in 2019/20 and followed that with a breakthrough year, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season. He said that after learning of his extension, he called Jamal Murray and texted Nikola Jokic. They are the core that Nuggets management hopes will bring the franchise its first NBA title.

“We’re good to go,” Porter said. “Us three right there, when you’ve got (Aaron Gordon), you’ve got Will (Barton), Monte (Morris), we’re locked in. We know we’re going to be good. We know we’re going to be nice for years to come. … They didn’t pay us all this money to not win a championship.”

There’s more from Denver:

  • Porter, one of a handful of high-profile NBA players who haven’t been vaccinated, talked about his decision with Singer in a separate story“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter said. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable.”
  • Jeff Green, who signed with Denver in the offseason, is already making an impact at training camp, according to Eric Spyropoulos of NBA.com. The veteran big man brings a new element to the Nuggets’ offense and can guard a variety of players on the other end of the court. “His feel for the game, his versatility, even at his age his athleticism, it really felt like a seamless fit in that regard,” coach Michael Malone said. “So, I’ve been really impressed with Jeff.”
  • First-round pick Bones Hyland has found there’s quite a bit to learn in his first training camp, Spyropoulos adds in the same story. “It’s a lot (to adjust to), you know, and that’s not lost on me,” Malone said. “It’s not lost on any of the coaches, because here’s a guy that just finished up his sophomore season at VCU, and he’s out here with 17 other NBA players, (learning) terminology, drills, (and a) new system.”

Nuggets Notes: JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Jones

JaMychal Green doesn’t anticipate his role changing after re-signing with the Nuggets, according to the Denver Post’s Mike Singer. Green, who signed a two-year, $17MM contract last week, says he’ll be a “glue guy” for one of the Western Conference’s top teams. Across 58 contests last season,

Green averaged 8.1 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 19.3 MPG, with a shooting line of .463/.399/.807. He averaged 5.4 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 19 MPG during the postseason.

Green added that Denver “felt like home” and he stayed in touch during free agency with Will Barton, who also re-signed with the club (Twitter links here).

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • Forward Jeff Green left the Nets in unrestricted free agency and signed a two-year, $10MM deal with Denver. Green called it was an easy decision, Singer writes. “It was a no-brainer,” he said. “I felt like it could be a special season.” The journeyman added the two-year commitment played a role in his selection, saying it was a relief to “finally lock in something more than one year.”
  • Popeye Jones has officially joined Michael Malone’s staff, according to a press release. Jones’ decision to leave Philadelphia’s staff to become an assistant in Denver came to light late last month.
  • In case you missed it, Barton said he never really considered leaving the Nuggets despite opting out of his contract. Get the details here.

Northwest Notes: Barton, Green, Robinson-Earl, Muscala, Brown

In an Instagram video, ESPN’s Bobby Marks broke down two of the Nuggets’ contracts, clarifying that Will Barton is on a descending two-year deal, with $30MM fully guaranteed. He’ll receive $15.6MM in year one and $14.37MM in year two. Keith Smith of Spotrac adds that Barton’s deal includes $1MM in unlikely bonuses in each of the two years.

Marks also outlined Nuggets’ forward Jeff Green‘s new contract, which is a two-year, $9MM pact with $1MM in bonuses. Green will have a player option in year two, as had been previously reported. Marks notes that Green had been on minimum-salary contracts for several seasons, so this contract represents a big win for him and his agent.

We have more news from around the Northwest Division:

  • While the general terms of the Thunder’s No. 32 pick Jeremiah Robinson-Earl have been previously reported, Keith Smith provides a breakdown of the exact amount of Robinson-Earl’s four-year deal. The ex-Villanova Wildcat will receive two years at $2MM, fully guaranteed, followed by $1.9MM non-guaranteed in year three, and a non-guaranteed team option of $1.98MM in year four. OKC signed Robinson-Earl using part of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype confirms via tweet that Mike Muscala‘s contract with the Thunder is for $7MM over two years, and adds that the second year is a team option. This will be the third straight season in OKC for the 30-year-old center
  • Scotto also clarifies the terms of Greg Brown III’s deal with the Trail Blazers. The 43rd pick, for whom the Blazers traded a 2026 second-round pick and cash considerations, will receive a three-year, $4.3MM (minimum-salary) deal, with the first two years fully guaranteed. The final year of the contract will be non-guaranteed. The signing used Portland’s mid-level exception.

Western Notes: Azubuike, Jackson, Wright, Green

Jazz 2020 first-round selection, big man Udoka Azubuike, was hampered by a severe ankle sprain in his rookie campaign, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. Azubuike suffered the injury during the Salt Lake City Stars’ first game in the G League bubble last season. “It was tough, it was really tough for me going through that injury, that process,” Azubuike said. “Not being out on the court practicing or learning, doing what a regular rookie like me would do.” He’ll likely compete for backup center minutes this season with veteran acquisition Hassan Whiteside.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The King’s young players are not the only ones going through a learning process during summer league action. Bobby Jackson, the team’s summer league coach, is also gaining valuable experience, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. “I can get better in late-game situations, understanding who to have on the floor, the substitutions, all the stuff that comes with it,” Jackson said. “But me and my stuff, just like the players have to do a better job, we’ve got to do a better job of making sure we have the right personnel on the floor. But it’s a growing experience for me, I love it.” Jackson was also recently named the head coach of the G League’s Stockton Kings.
  • McKinley Wright IV received a two-way deal from the Timberwolves last week. The former Colorado standout grew up in Minnesota and is thrilled to play in his home state, according to Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I didn’t know that I was going to be coming home,” Wright said. “I didn’t know that Minnesota was this interested in me. … I told my family, ‘We didn’t hear my name called how we initially planned, but this is better for me, going undrafted, betting on myself, and I continue to look forward to proving people wrong.”
  • Jeff Green’s versatile offensive game, which is built around 3-point shooting and elite finishing around the rim, should be a major boost for the Nuggets’ second unit, Eric Spyropoulos of the team’s website writes. The veteran big man signed a two-year deal with Denver in free agency.

Jeff Green Signs Two-Year Deal With Nuggets

AUGUST 12: Ten days after agreeing to terms with the Nuggets, Green has officially signed his new contract, the club announced in a press release.

“We are very excited to welcome Jeff and his family to Denver,” Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience to our team; his impact will be felt both on the court and in the locker room.”


AUGUST 2: Free agent big man Jeff Green is leaving the Nets and joining another contender. He’s agreed to a two-year, $10MM deal with the Nuggets, agent Jason Glushon informed ESPN’s Malika Andrews (Twitter link).

The deal will include a player option in the second year, Andrews adds. The Nuggets will likely use a portion of their $9.536MM mid-level exception to sign Green.

The well-traveled Green has passed through 10 organizations in a career that began in 2007 with the Seattle SuperSonics. Green, who will turn 35 this month, has revived his career after Utah waived him during the 2019/20 season.

He had a successful run with Houston the remainder of that season, including several productive playoff performances. In his lone season with Brooklyn, he averaged 11.0 PPG and 3.9 RPG while making a career-high 41.2% of his 3-point tries in 68 regular-season games, including 38 starts.

Denver also agreed to re-sign JaMychal Green on Monday. That increases the possibility that another one of its free agent big men, Paul Millsap, will sign elsewhere.

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, DeRozan, Knicks, Graham, Jackson, More

Now considered to be favorites to land Kyle Lowry in free agency, the Heat may try to bring in DeMar DeRozan as well, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN, confirming a series of reports from the last 24 hours.

Lowry and DeRozan were backcourt partners in Toronto for many years and have remained close friends. Miami is looking at a sign-and-trade as the best way to add Lowry, and is hoping that DeRozan might be available for the mid-level exception. That represents a big pay cut, but sources tell Schultz he might be interested if it means a chance to play alongside Lowry again.

If DeRozan turns down the MLE, the Heat will focus on finding a stretch four, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). There is support among the front office for Jeff Green, according to Jackson, who mentions Bobby Portis, Rudy Gay and Otto Porter as other options.

Meanwhile, Goran Dragic is expected to be part of a sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry, but the Raptors are unlikely to keep him. The Mavericks will be among the teams with interest in Dragic, according to Jackson (Twitter link).

Miami would also like to bring back reserve center Dewayne Dedmon, but he may get better offers, says Jackson (Twitter link). The Heat, who only hold Non-Bird rights on Dedmon, may have to offer part of their $3.6MM biannual exception to be competitive.

There’s more as the start of free agency draws closer:

  • The Knicks have some mutual interest with DeRozan, as well as Celtics shooting guard Evan Fournier, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley also hears that Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky would be part of the potential return in a sign-and-trade if Chicago lands Pelicans RFA Lonzo Ball, while rival teams expect Duncan Robinson to re-sign with the Heat.
  • While he isn’t necessarily their Plan A or B, Cameron Payne is one of the free agent point guards on the Knicks‘ radar, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York has considered a Payne/Derrick Rose tandem at point guard for next season, Berman adds.
  • The Thunder are seen by rival executives as a possible suitor for Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Graham is a restricted free agent, so Charlotte can match any offer, but Oklahoma City has the cap flexibility necessary to put pressure on the Hornets.
  • The Pelicans, Knicks, Celtics, and Nuggets are among the teams expected to express interest in point guard Reggie Jackson, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • EuroLeague standout Tyler Dorsey, who previously played for Atlanta and Memphis, is positioned for a return to the NBA and is drawing interest from several teams, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Celtics Rumors: Green, Gay, Bradley, Olynyk, Dunn, Fournier

The Celtics prefer to use their mid-level exception to go after an experienced veteran player who can bring size and shooting to the team, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Former Celtic Jeff Green is thought to be one of Boston’s primary targets, Himmelsbach reports.

The Celtics aren’t far from the tax line and may be limited to the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception this offseason, since using the non-taxpayer version would hard-cap the club for the rest of the 2021/22 league year. The taxpayer MLE is expected to be worth about $5.9MM, which should be enough to make a competitive offer for Green.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Rudy Gay, Avery Bradley, and Kelly Olynyk are among the other free agents the Celtics may pursue, a league source tells Himmelsbach. Himmelsbach also confirms the club’s previously-reported interest in Patty Mills.
  • League sources tell Himmelsbach that the Celtics will likely try to flip Kris Dunn, who is being sent from Atlanta to Boston in a not-yet-official trade.
  • Himmelsbach also confirms that the Celtics are losing confidence in their ability to re-sign Evan Fournier in free agency. The acquisition of Josh Richardson was viewed as a contingency for the possibility of Fournier landing elsewhere.
  • Former UConn star Jalen Adams worked out for the Celtics earlier this week, according to Jay King of The Athletic (Twitter link). Adams has played in the G League and in France since going undrafted in 2019.

Free Agency Rumors: Lowry, Dragic, Ball, Lakers, DeRozan, McGee

Miami is a legitimate option for Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in free agency, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. A source tells Reynolds that the Heat “have his attention and have had it for a while.”

Lowry will be among the top point guards on the market when free agency begins Monday, with the Pelicans, Mavericks and Sixers all likely to be heavily involved. Toronto may also make a strong bid to hang onto Lowry, who has been with the organization since 2012.

There are plenty of rumors on the eve of free agency:

  • Many teams are expected to be interested in veteran guard Goran Dragic if the Heat turn down their $19.4MM team option and make him a free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Charania doesn’t identify any of the potential suitors, but says they include “several NBA title and postseason contenders.” Miami has a deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time today to reach a decision on Dragic, along with a $15MM option on Andre Iguodala.
  • William Guillory and John Hollinger of The Athletic break down sign-and-trade possibilities for the Pelicans involving Lonzo Ball. The Bulls, Pacers, Clippers, Celtics and Wizards are all mentioned as potential sign-and-trade partners.
  • Dwight Howard could return to the Lakers to provide help at center, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times suggests in a free agent roundtable on both L.A. teams. Howard helped the Lakers win a title in 2020 before signing with the Sixers last offseason. Turner names Patty Mills, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, Iguodala, and Dragic as other possible targets. The Clippers may pursue DeMar DeRozan if he’s willing to take a pay cut, Andrew Greif states in the same piece.
  • JaVale McGee would “definitely” consider returning to the Nuggets, stating that a chance to win will be his priority in free agency, as Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post details.

Woj’s Latest: Kawhi, Simmons, Schröder, Kings, Lowry, Nets, More

There’s no indication that Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard wants to leave Los Angeles as a free agent this offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in Sunday’s televised Woj & Lowe special (video link). However, there is a belief that Leonard is at risk of missing the entire 2021/22 season following his ACL surgery earlier this month, says Wojnarowski.

That nugget was one of several that Wojnarowski and fellow ESPN reporter Zach Lowe shared during their half-hour special and the bonus YouTube segments that followed. We’ve already passed along several of their other insights, including some draft-related rumors, the latest updates on Bradley Beal‘s status, and the fact that the Lakers have shopped Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to many teams around the NBA.

However, the ESPN duo dropped several more notes and rumors during their special. We’re using the space below to round up a few of the most interesting ones:

  • The Sixers have engaged in Ben Simmons trade talks and are making and receiving offers, says Wojnarowski (video link). However, Woj thinks Philadelphia will be patient, noting that Simmons is under contract for four more years, which “opens up the landscape” for possible trade partners. The 76ers are looking for the best possible player they could get back in a Simmons deal, Woj adds.
  • Despite the fact that the Lakers have been linked to so many other point guards in advance of free agency, Wojnarowski believes there’s still a deal to be made with Dennis Schröder (video link).
  • The Kings have talked to teams in both the West and East about Buddy Hield, according to Wojnarowski (video link), who says the club has also received plenty of trade interest in Harrison Barnes. Woj would be surprised if Barnes is dealt though.
  • In a discussion of free agent point guards, Wojnarowski (video link) said that he anticipates a “big market” for Raptors star Kyle Lowry, who could receive offers in the neighborhood of $25-30MM per year, and that the Bulls and Lonzo Ball would be an ideal match in a perfect world, but his restricted FA status could complicate matters. Woj also thinks luxury tax concerns will prevent the Jazz from simply re-signing Mike Conley and keeping everyone else on their roster (video link).
  • The Nets hope to lock up Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to contract extensions and are optimistic that Blake Griffin will want to return, per Wojnarowski (video link). Jeff Green may be trickier to re-sign, however, as he’ll likely seek more than the veteran’s minimum. Woj and Lowe both identify the Bucks as a possible suitor for Green if he leaves Brooklyn.

Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Nets Free Agents, Nets Assistants, Stevens

After the Sixers suffered through a seven-game second-round playoff exit as the top seed, head coach Doc Rivers has stated that the club will address the shooting struggles of All-Star Ben Simmons during the offseason, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“I believe, without going into detail with what we’re doing, I believe we know what the right work is, and the right type of work, and the right way to do it,” Rivers said of the Sixers’ plan for Simmons. “We’re not hiding that Ben has to become a better free throw shooter and a more confident free throw shooter.”

During the playoffs this season, Simmons connected on just 34.2% of his 6.1 free throw attempts per game, and attempted one total three-pointer. The Sixers guard was timid in looking to score late in games. He had just three fourth-quarter field goal attempts in the entire series, fewer than role players Dwight Howard, Matisse Thybulle, George Hill, Tyrese Maxey, and Furkan Korkmaz.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Several key Nets players will be free agents during the 2021 offseason, prompting Michael Scotto of HoopsHype to project the market value for the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown and Jeff Green. The league executives Scotto spoke with speculated that Dinwiddie is looking to leave Brooklyn and will hope to command an annual salary in the “high teens.” Rival NBA executives peg the value of both Griffin and Green as ranging anywhere from the bi-annual exception to the taxpayer mid-level exception. Because Brown is a restricted free agent, the Nets will be able to match any offer sent his way. Executives project Brown to net a yearly salary between $4-7MM.
  • The Nets might not just be undergoing some changes on the hardwood. Their sideline may look a bit different for the 2021/22 season too, as many assistants are in the running for the seven currently available NBA head coaching jobs, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman writes that assistant coach Mike D’Antoni appears to be a finalist for the Trail Blazers head coaching gig, while fellow assistant coach Ime Udoka is in the running for the Celtics’ vacancy.
  • For the first time, Celtics team president Brad Stevens has discussed his decision to trade point guard Kemba Walker and two picks to the Thunder in exchange for Moses Brown, old friend Al Horford, and a 2023 second-round draft pick, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN“The ability to make our wings (All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) better is going to be a huge part of the people that will be around them,” Stevens said Monday in explaining the thinking behind the deal. Stevens, of course, coached Walker for two injury-plagued seasons before moving into the front office earlier this month. Stevens also cited future finances as a consideration in his decision.