Jeremiah Martin

Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Martin, Thibodeau, Milton

Following individual workouts in Boston ahead of traveling to the Orlando campus for the NBA’s season restart, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens noted that All-Star point guard Kemba Walker‘s knee gave him “a little discomfort” and he was subsequently held out of practice Monday, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

Though Walker is expected to have an increased role in practice tomorrow, these early reports on the 30-year-old ahead of the season restart on July 30 in Orlando raise obvious red flags. Restrictions will be placed on Walker’s minutes in team scrimmages and any upcoming seeding games ahead of the NBA playoffs in mid-August.

Losing Walker for any amount of time would be a huge blow for Boston’s playoff hopes. Superstar forward Jayson Tatum and two-way force Jaylen Brown have clearly benefitted from Walker’s veteran leadership. In 50 games for the Celtics during the 2019/20 season, Walker is averaging 21.2 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.1 RPG, while shooting 37.7% from three-point range and 86.7% from the free throw line. The 43-21 Celtics are the No. 3 seed in the East.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Rookie Nets point guard Jeremiah Martin, who went undrafted out of Memphis in 2019, has been proving himself a valuable asset to the team, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post“I’d say Jeremiah Martin has been a surprise for us, his ability to compete,” interim head coach Jacque Vaughn. “That’s all we ask at this beginning stage, is to compete. Whether that’s knowing the plays, knowing different implementation, or having yourself ready every day.”
  • Head coach interviews for the Knicks are heating up, according to The New York Post’s Marc Berman. Tom Thibodeau remains the leader in the clubhouse for the gig, though Jason Kidd is nipping at his heels following a strong second interview. Kenny Atkinson also remains in the running for the position. The team conducted at least 11 three-hour second interviews that wrapped up yesterday.
  • Second-year Sixers guard Shake Milton has taken over starting point guard duties in team practices, moving All-Star Ben Simmons to the power forward slot and big man Al Horford to the bench, the significance of which has been unpacked by The Athletic’s Derek Bodner. Horford, 34, signed a splashy four-year, $97MM contract (worth up to $109MM with incentives) in 2019 free agency, but has underwhelmed during his first season of that deal. “I think [Milton] has a huge opportunity to help us accomplish what we believe we can, and he’s been doing an amazing job just running the team,” All-Star center Joel Embiid said of the move.

 

Nets Notes: Lue, Kidd, Durant, Martin

Many around the league believe Tyronn Lue, who is rumored to be in the running to coach the Nets next season, would be the best fit for Brooklyn, as Eric Pincus writes for Bleacher Report. Lue previously coached Irving in Cleveland and the Lakers’ guard has a reputation for managing top talent well.

“He can handle egos,” one former executive told Pincus. “[They] need a guy with rings … Ty all day.”

Jason Kidd would be another choice, as he has won a ring in the past and has the respect of players.

“I think Kyrie and KD would need a championship coach (Lue) or a Hall-of-Famer (Kidd),” said another executive. “I think both (players) have personalities that are mercurial and require different aspects from their coaches.

“I like Kidd. He’s very charming … LeBron speaks highly of him…Some people around the league say that’s his game: Be very nice, then get in while your guard is down.”

Kidd previously coached the Nets, where he reportedly lobbied for a title that would place him above the team’s GM in the organization’s hierarchy. The franchise opted not to allow this to happen and Kidd ultimately moved to Milwaukee to coach the Bucks. However, it’s worth noting that ownership has changed in Brooklyn since Kidd’s most recent stint. Still, even if there are no leftover issues within the club, some believe the former point guard isn’t made out for the position.

“Kidd can’t coach,” a different Western Conference executive told Pincus.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets‘ new head coach could come down to Kevin Durant‘s preference, Pincus adds in the same piece. Durant and his manager, Rich Kleiman, are expected to have influence on the selection.
  • Durant and Irving might be “too new-school” for the team to bring in Mark Jackson as the coach, an executive tells Pincus (same piece). Regardless of who the Nets choose, a decision isn’t expected for quite some time.
  • Ajayi Brown of NetsDaily breaks down the game of Jeremiah Martin, 6’2″ scoring guard who had just received a two-way contract with the Nets prior to the league’s hiatus. Martin only played 16 minutes for the Nets but was making strides while playing for the franchise’s G League affiliate.

Atlantic Notes: DSJ, Raptors, Allen, Nets

Dennis Smith Jr., who will miss his 13th consecutive game on Monday night due to an oblique strain, is due to be re-evaluated on Tuesday, at which point the Knicks may have a clearer idea of when he might be able to return, says Greg Joyce of The New York Post.

“He is progressing well,” Knicks head coach Mike Miller said of Smith. “He has been practicing some. With games every day, we haven’t practiced anything steady. So he’s been able to get some practices in, but not a lot of contact and not much full court.”

It has been a disappointing first full season in New York for Smith, who is averaging just 5.2 PPG on .325/.293/.500 shooting in 21 games (16.1 MPG). The former lottery pick will also have to compete with fellow Knicks point guards Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina for minutes when he’s ready to return.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic:

  • The Raptors will approach the trade deadline viewing themselves as buyers, but a significant deal is unlikely, writes Eric Koreen of The Athletic.
  • As Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily details, Jarrett Allen isn’t holding any sort of grudge toward Kyrie Irving after the Nets‘ point guard failed to mention the big man when he listed several of the team’s core players. “What do I expect him to do, name the whole team? That’s really the only comment I have on that,” Allen said. “… We talked about it. He ended up saying everything is fine, so no bad blood.”
  • In a pair of stories for NetsDaily, Chris Milholen checks in on Nets youngsters Chris Chiozza and Jeremiah Martin. The two point guards are aiming to earn a longer look from the NBA club after recently replacing Henry Ellenson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot as Brooklyn’s two-way players.

Nets Sign Jeremiah Martin To Two-Way Contract

G League guard Jeremiah Martin has signed a two-way contract with the Nets, the team announced on Twitter, barely beating the deadline for this season.

An opening was created earlier tonight when Brooklyn gave a 10-day contract to two-way player Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot after letting Justin Anderson‘s 10-day deal expire.

Martin, 23, signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Heat over the summer after going undrafted out of Memphis. He was waived before the season began and joined Miami’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, where he averaged 18.5 PPG in 21 games.

Hollinger’s Latest: Bertans, 2020 Draft, Celtics, G League

While Tommy Sheppard‘s claim that the Wizards intend to retain Davis Bertans through the trade deadline and beyond this season could be viewed as a leverage play, John Hollinger of The Athletic sounds inclined to believe the first-year general manager. As Hollinger writes in his round-up of chatter from the G League Showcase in Las Vegas, all signals indicate the Wizards are serious about keeping Bertans.

Hollinger points to the Wizards’ recent promotion of center Anzejs Pasecniks as one more sign that the Wizards are committed to Bertans. Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with Washington, is a Latvian like Bertans, and the two big men share an agent, per Hollinger.

Hollinger passed along several more tidbits from Las Vegas, so let’s round up some of the most notable items from the former Grizzlies executive…

  • Teams around the NBA aren’t particularly high on the 2020 NBA draft class, leading Hollinger to surmise that contenders won’t be averse to including 2020 first-round picks in trades this winter.
  • While center is widely viewed as the Celtics‘ biggest need, most logical trade targets at that position earn $20MM+ and would be difficult for Boston to acquire. As such, one source who spoke to Hollinger thinks the C’s might actually pursue another perimeter player, perhaps a wing or forward. The thinking is that the Celtics often play four of their top five perimeter players – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward – together and could benefit from adding another reliable contributor to that group.
  • Rayjon Tucker, a guard for the Wisconsin Herd, looks like a prime candidate for an NBA call-up, according to Hollinger, who notes that Tucker was getting buzz even before his 34-point game at the G League Showcase. Hollinger’s other top candidates for potential call-ups include DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (Oklahoma City Blue), Jeremiah Martin (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Dedric Lawson (Austin Spurs), and Simisola Shittu (Windy City Bulls).

Heat Waive Jeremiah Martin, Mychal Mulder

The Heat have waived a pair of camp invitees, announcing in a press release that they’ve released guards Jeremiah Martin and Mychal Mulder.

Martin signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat in July, while Mulder did so in September. Miami is up against a hard cap and can’t afford to carry a 15th man, so neither player was considered a candidate to end up on the regular season roster. However, they were believed to be in the running for one of the Heat’s two-way contract slots. Instead, they may be on track to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League.

With Martin and Mulder on waivers, the Heat are now carrying 18 players, including four non-guaranteed camp invitees: Kyle Alexander, Daryl Macon, Davon Reed, and Chris Silva. Miami is expected to convert the contracts for two players from that group into two-way deals.

Heat Notes: Salary Guarantees, Two-Way Players, Westbrook, Adebayo

The Heat face three roster decisions this week that will determine how much flexibility they will have heading into training camp, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Thursday is a salary guarantee date for Derrick Jones Jr., Kendrick Nunn and Yante Maten, and with Miami operating under a hard salary cap, every dollar the team spends will be important.

Jones’ $1.6MM salary will become fully guaranteed August 1, and the Heat are almost certain to keep him, according to Winderman. Jones, 22, has made great strides since joining the organization as a two-way player in December of 2017. He was a rotation player last season, averaging 7.0 PPG in 60 games, and his promising future and low salary appear to make this an easy decision.

Nunn also seems likely to be retained, Winderman adds. He was signed on the final day of the regular season and played well in Summer League in both Sacramento and Las Vegas. He cashed in a $50K guarantee on his $1.4MM salary on July 1 and will have that guaranteed bumped to $150K on Thursday, then to $450K if he makes the opening-night roster.

Maten has already received a $100K guarantee and is due for another $50K on Thursday ($150K in total). Because he is already guaranteed more than $50K, he is ineligible for two-way status, and a shaky Summer League performance may make him expendable.

There’s more this morning from South Florida:

  • The Heat are one of just two teams that haven’t filled any two-way slots yet, and Winderman suggests they could go to two of the three players who will come to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts — Chris Silva, Jeremiah Martin and Kyle Alexander. All three were signed at the end of Summer League.
  • Even if the Heat had increased their offer for Russell Westbrook, it may not have been enough, Winderman observes in a separate story. The Thunder were willing to give Westbrook his first choice, which was to play alongside his long-time friend James Harden in Houston. Also, the Rockets parted with a generous package of draft picks that was better than what Miami had available.
  • The invitation to Team USA’s World Cup camp gives more exposure to Bam Adebayo, which should boost his trade value at least slightly, Winderman writes in another story. Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will both have the chance to improve through this summer’s international competition.

Heat Sign Chris Silva To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Heat have signed Chris Silva to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to a team press release. The forward has been playing for the franchise’s Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Silva was not selected in the 2019 draft out of South Carolina, though he did work out for the team during the pre-draft process. He spent four years at the University, earning All-SEC First Team honors as a senior.

Miami also announced that it has signed Jeremiah Martin to a similar deal. It was reported after the draft that the guard would join the Heat on an Exhibit 10 pact.

Heat Signing Jeremiah Martin To Exhibit 10 Deal

Jeremiah Martin of Memphis will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The 6’3″ guard averaged 19.7 points and 4.4 assists per game as a senior and helped the Tigers reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years.

Under an Exhibit 10 deal, Martin will receive a bonus ranging from $5K to $50K if he attends training camp with Miami and spends at least 60 days with the Heat’s G League affiliate.

Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State has committed to play for Miami during Summer League and may also receive an Exhibit 10 contract, Givony adds (Twitter link). The 6’5″ guard posted a 9.1/5.0/4.0 line as a senior.

Draft Notes: Wolves, Kings, Pistons

We’re continuing to pass along workout schedules for NBA teams in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. See below for some additional workout notes from Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Detroit.