Jeremy Lin

Southeast Notes: Lin, Young, Gordon, T. Brown

While opening night is thrilling for everyone, that’s especially true for new Hawks guard Jeremy Lin, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin is coming off two frustrating years in Brooklyn, where injuries limited to a total of 37 games. He suffered a torn right patellar tendon in the first game of last season and hasn’t played since.

“I think I’m just going to be really excited, really grateful,” Lin said before tonight’s game. “I’m going to be like, ‘Dang, in a lot of ways I made it. I made it back.’ The rehab process — not just the knee, the hamstring and all the other stuff — those were tough, to watch all those games. For me, to just get back on the court, I’m going to be super happy.”

Lin remains disappointed that he couldn’t contribute more to the Nets after signing a three-year, $36MM contract in 2016. His focus now is on putting together a healthy season in Atlanta and rebuilding his value for another shot at free agency next summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks‘ decision to trade down and draft Trae Young was the result of a compromise between the team’s ownership group and the front office, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The owners wanted to keep the No. 3 pick and take Luka Doncic, while the front office preferred Jaren Jackson Jr., who wound up in Memphis with the fourth selection. The parties elected to swap picks with Dallas and take Young, whom everyone in the organization agreed on.
  • The Magic showed their faith in Aaron Gordon with a new four-year, $76MM contract this summer, and president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic that Gordon’s intangibles factored into the decision. Gordon is coming off a breakthrough season in which he raised his stats to 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. “Organizationally, we wouldn’t have done what we did if we didn’t have the utmost confidence that he’s going to be able to not just become a good player in his own right, but a player that lifts others,” Weltman said.
  • Wizards rookie Troy Brown can expect to spend at least part of the season in the G League, tweets Doug McKinney of NBC Sports. The additions of Jeff Green and Austin Rivers over the summer will limit Brown’s opportunities for playing time at the NBA level.

Injury Updates: Porzingis, Booker, Cousins, Neto

Kristaps Porzingis offered an update on his condition at the Knicks‘ Media Day, but there’s still no timetable for him to start playing again, relays the Associated Press.

Porzingis has been doing some light running, but not sprinting, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL he suffered in February. The Knicks are being cautious with the rehab process and don’t want him to return to action until they are sure he is fully ready.

Porzingis adds that he isn’t concerned about getting a contract extension done quickly. He will have to wait until next summer for an extension if a deal isn’t reached before the start of the season.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Devin Booker got sutures removed from his right hand last week and is using a splint during workouts, Suns GM Ryan McDonough said today, per Gina Mizell of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team is still hoping Booker can be ready for opening night.
  • The Warriors plan to re-evaluate free agent addition DeMarcus Cousins again in four weeks, tweets Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Team president Bob Myers is happy with the progress Cousins has made, saying, “We won’t rush him. But we also won’t hold him back.”
  • Jazz guard Raul Neto has been diagnosed with a right hamstring injury and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to a tweet from the team.
  • Hawks guard Justin Anderson is still recovering from surgery in late June to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg and won’t be ready for the start of training camp, the team announced on its website. Dewayne Dedmon will also be held out as he recovers from an avulsion fracture in his left ankle. He is in his second week of weight-bearing rehab work. Daniel Hamilton is taking a non-surgical approach to a torn rotator cuff and his progress will be reviewed in a week. Jeremy Lin has recovered from the ruptured patella tendon that caused him to miss nearly all of last season and will start camp with limited restrictions. Rookie Omari Spellman has soft tissue inflammation in his left shin and will be held out for the next seven to 10 days.

New York Notes: Frazier, Anthony, Lin, Dinwiddie

Carmelo Anthony spent six and a half years in New York and ranks seventh on the team’s career scoring list, but Knicks legend Walt Frazier doesn’t believe that’s enough for Anthony to have his number retired. In comments made during an interview this week with Sirius XM and relayed by The New York Post, Frazier says several other former Knicks are more deserving of the honor.

“Probably not because he didn’t win a title,” Frazier said in response to a question about Anthony. “I’m surprised they didn’t put Allan Houston up there. I’m surprised Bernard King, who is in the Hall of Fame, they haven’t put Bernard up there. So those two guys I think are deserving. Perhaps maybe John Starks. Even the Oak Man, Charles Oakley, but that probably won’t happen with all the stuff he’s done at the Garden. So he’s not held in high esteem right now, but I don’t see them putting Melo in there because of that.”

The Knicks have retired nine numbers, including Frazier’s, but any sort of ceremony for Anthony seems like a long way off. He’s not in high esteem either after a string of non-playoff seasons, followed by a trade demand in response to a long feud with former team president Phil Jackson.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski believes the Knicks will be successful in their pursuit of a high-level free agent next summer. Speaking on his Woj Pod, the NBA insider predicts New York “will get somebody next year.” The team should have enough cap space to offer at least one max contract and could open more room by using the stretch provision on Joakim Noah.
  • Former Nets guard Jeremy Lin apologized to coach Kenny Atkinson for being injured so often after he learned he had been traded to the Hawks, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin was sidelined for the season after being hurt on opening night last year and played just 37 games in two seasons with Brooklyn. “Jeremy said to me, ‘I feel bad I wasn’t healthy for you guys,’” Atkinson said. “… That’s the kind of guy he was. He wasn’t bitter, he was frustrated we never got to see him over a stretch of time. Above all he was frustrated, as the organization was frustrated we didn’t have him on the court. I believe in the player to the utmost. … It’s frustrating and sad he had bad luck during his time with us.”
  • Working out an extension with Spencer Dinwiddie could be complicated for the Nets, explains Jeff Siegel of Forbes. Dinwiddie will be eligible for an extension from December 8, the second anniversary of his current contract, through June 30. He could make up to $47.5MM over four seasons, beginning with a $10.6MM salary in 2019/20. However, Siegel notes that Brooklyn is committed to D’Angelo Russell as its primary ballhandler and will take time to see how Dinwiddie fits alongside him before beginning extension talks.

Southeast Notes: Anderson, Young, Go-Go, Magic Big Men

The Heat aren’t particularly interested in acquiring Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. A rumored trade that would involve the Houston power forward and a draft pick in exchange for either Tyler Johnson or James Johnson doesn’t appeal to Miami’s front office, Jackson continues. Anderson has a higher salary than both of those players, so bringing him in would worsen the team’s luxury-tax issues. Additionally, even though James Johnson has three years left on his deal compared to Anderson’s two remaining seasons, Miami values his versatility, Jackson adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Rookie Trae Young realizes the commitment the Hawks made to him by trading starting point guard Dennis Schroder to the Thunder, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. While Young was non-committal about whether he or Jeremy Lin should start, Young knows he’ll get ample playing time. “Obviously when they move the point guard they’ve had for a while, their starting point guard, it definitely opened my eyes,” Young told Vivlamore. “It shows how much they are committed to me. Bringing Jeremy in as well is a good fit for us. I know there is a lot on my plate.”
  • The Wizards’ new G League team, the Capital City Go-Go, will share the same practice facility as the NBA team. The G League team’s GM, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, sees that as an incentive for his players, as he explained to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington“I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do,” Mensah-Bonsu said. “I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level.”
  • The Magic are bucking the league trend by building around big men, as Nick Zappulla of RealGM details. The trio of rookie Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon provide versatility and game-changing ability on both ends of the floor, Zappulla adds.

Atlantic Notes: Lin, J. Parker, DeRozan, Hayward

Jeremy Lin was denying rumors of a possible trade the night before the Nets shipped him to Atlanta, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Fans of the veteran guard have been bombarding Brooklyn GM Sean Marks with message of disapproval, but Lewis states that the trade shouldn’t be considered a surprise. Lin, who is about to turn 30 and is coming off a major injury, doesn’t fit the Nets’ rebuilding timeline. Still, he was blindsided by the deal with the Hawks.

“These things can happen pretty quickly,” Marks explained. “Summer league, Vegas, maybe it’s a little like the winter meetings for baseball where everybody is there and it gives everybody an opportunity to continue to talk and hash some things out.”

Lin spent two seasons in Brooklyn, but missed 127 of 164 games with hamstring and knee injuries. He has a $12.5MM expiring contract, which gives him one season in Atlanta to try to revive his career before becoming a free agent next summer.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets considered making an offer to free agent Jabari Parker before he signed with the Bulls, Lewis adds in the same story. They decided against it because of the price tag and a recent comment Parker made in a radio interview that “They don’t pay players to play defense.” Brooklyn opted for a pair of trades with the Nuggets and Suns that brought in Kenneth Faried and Jared Dudley.
  • Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas reached out to former Raptor DeMar DeRozan on social media after Toronto’s deal to acquire Kawhi Leonard was announced, relays Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “Learn from my story,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “Loyalty is just a word.” Their experiences are similar as both were very popular and successful with their teams, but were dealt away when better players became available.
  • The Celtics opened a roster spot today by waiving Abdel Nader, but they may take their time in filling it, Washburn notes in the same piece. Restricted free agent Jabari Bird, the leading scorer for Boston’s summer league entry, would like to take it, but the Celtics prefer to keep him on a two-way contract. The team hasn’t used its $5.3MM mid-level exception and will likely wait to see if a bigger-name free agent becomes interested.
  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward showed fans the progress he has made with his fractured ankle in a workout video he posted today on his Instagram account.

Hawks Rumors: Lin, Schroder, Delaney

The Hawks traded for Jeremy Lin last week in a deal that cleared a path for the Nets to create the cap room necessary to take on a pair of unwanted contracts – and a pair of draft picks – in a trade of their own with the Nuggets.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), based on the conversations he had in Las Vegas, there was some confusion about why Atlanta used a chunk of its cap room on Lin rather than making a deal like the one Brooklyn did to add long-term assets.

As Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, a source familiar with trade discussions said that the Hawks could have made a deal with Denver similar to the one the Nets made. However, Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk sounds high on Lin, Cunningham relays.

“We had the opportunity to add a veteran point guard to the locker room,” Schlenk said. “We’ve said all along that it takes high-character, good guys to help a young team grow. Jeremy fits the bill. We had two point guards on the roster, and we needed a third.”

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • While Schlenk won’t come out and say it, acquiring Lin would also provide some insurance in the event of a Dennis Schroder trade, according to Cunningham, who says it’s “obvious” that the Hawks want to move on from their starting point guard. A source tell Cunningham that Atlanta has been trying to trade Schroder for weeks, but hasn’t found much of a market for him.
  • Schroder’s below-average shooting and defense limit his appeal to some extent, but his legal troubles are the primary deterrent for potential trade partners, says Cunningham. Two people with knowledge of Schroder’s battery case tell Cunningham that the player and his lawyer have discussed a settlement with the alleged victim, and Hawks officials have expressed confidence internally that Schroder won’t spend any time in jail. However, other teams “apparently aren’t so sure,” Cunningham writes.
  • Speaking of Hawks point guards, last year’s backup Malcolm Delaney hasn’t technically had his free agent rights renounced by Atlanta, but he looks like a good bet to head elsewhere. According to a report from Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net, Delaney – who played overseas before joining the Hawks in 2016 – has received a contract offer from Turkish club Anadolu Efes.

Nets Notes: Lin, Faried, Napier, Vezenkov

The Nets weren’t convinced that point guard Jeremy Lin will be physically ready for training camp, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin, who was traded to the Hawks on Thursday, is coming off a ruptured patellar tendon that he suffered in last season’s opener.

The 29-year-old point guard hasn’t been medically cleared for three-on-three contact games and may take a while to get ready for five-on-five. He played just 37 games over two years after signing with Brooklyn in 2016 and carried a $12.5MM salary that the team needed to unload before completing a deal with Denver.

“I love Jeremy Lin because he represents the underdog in all of us — truly first class on and off the court,” tweeted co-owner Joe Tsai after the deal was completed. “Jeremy is not only exciting to watch, he sets an example for perseverance and leadership. We are great friends, and I will follow his progress no matter where he is.”

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets had been trying for months to acquire Kenneth Faried from the Nuggets, Lewis adds in the same story. Brooklyn officials hoped to make a deal before last month’s draft, but Denver was unwilling to give up this year’s first-rounder, which it used to get Michael Porter Jr. Nets GM Sean Marks improved his bargaining position by unloading Timofey Mozgov to the Hornets and Lin to the Hawks, giving him enough cap room to take on Faried and Darrell Arthur while getting a future first-rounder and second-rounder.
  • Today’s agreement with Shabazz Napier will use up the last of the Nets’ remaining cap room, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Brooklyn has 14 players under contract, 13 with guaranteed money, and can now exceed the cap by finalizing deals with Joe Harris under the Early Bird exception and Ed Davis under the room mid-level exception.
  • Aleksandar Vezenkov, a second-round pick from 2016, will get a better chance to develop his skills after signing with Olympiacos in Greece this week, according to NetsDaily.com. A stretch four, Vezenkov spent last season with F.C. Barcelona, which allotted more minutes to players who weren’t likely to eventually leave for the NBA. That shouldn’t be a concern with Olympiacos, where Vezenkov will play for former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

Nets Trade Jeremy Lin To Hawks

JULY 13: The trade is now official, according to a pair of press releases issued by the Nets and Hawks. Atlanta receives Lin, Brooklyn’s 2025 second-round pick, and the right to swap 2023 second-rounders with the Nets in exchange for Cordinier and a heavily-protected 2020 second-rounder, as detailed below.

[RELATED: Cap implications of the trade for Nets, Hawks]

JULY 12: The Nets have agreed to a trade that will send Jeremy Lin to the Hawks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will allow Brooklyn to clear the cap space necessary to take on a pair of expiring contracts from the Nuggets in another deal.

According to Wojnarowski, the Nets will receive Portland 2020’s second-round pick (top-55 protected) and the rights to 2016 draft-and-stash second-rounder Isaia Cordinier in the trade.

In addition to Lin, the Hawks will acquire a 2025 second-round pick and the right to swap picks with the Nets in 2023, Woj adds. His report doesn’t mention anything about first-round picks, so we’ll assume for now that the ’23 pick swap applies to second-rounders.

For the Hawks, adding Lin will mean further bolstering a point guard depth chart that already features leading scorer Dennis Schroder and fifth overall pick Trae Young. Schroder has been frequently cited as a potential trade candidate and Young’s performance in Summer League action has been up and down, so Lin could provide some added stability at the position. His presence also could expedite a Schroder trade, as Wojnarowski reports.

Of course, it may be premature to pencil in Lin for 25-30 minutes per game for the upcoming season, since he’s coming off a major knee injury. The veteran point guard admitted recently that he has yet to play 5-on-5 ball, but fully expects to be ready for training camp. The Hawks plan to keep him, tweets David Aldridge of TNT.

As we detailed earlier today, the Hawks had upwards of $18MM in cap room available, with the flexibility to increase that number to nearly $24MM by renouncing free agents and waiving non-guaranteed players. No additional moves will be required in order to absorb Lin’s $12.5MM expiring contract using their current cap space.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), Lin also had a 10% trade kicker, so if he doesn’t waive it as part of the deal, the Nets would pay that $1.25MM bonus and the 29-year-old’s cap hit would increase to $13.75MM.

General manager Travis Schlenk had said that the Hawks didn’t expect to pursue major free agents, noting that the team’s “free agency is going to be trades.” The acquisition of Lin reflects that plan, though it’s still a somewhat surprising move. Given where the Hawks are in their rebuilding process, it would have made more sense to me if Atlanta had used its cap room to take on the Nuggets’ unwanted contracts and acquired a pair of picks in the process.

That’s exactly what the Nets will do with their newly-created cap room after moving Lin. As we detail in a separate story, shedding Lin’s salary will allow Brooklyn to take on Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur from Denver. The Nets will receive a first-round pick and a second-round pick from the Nuggets for their troubles.

Meanwhile, the Nets should still have plenty of depth in their backcourt heading into the 2018/19 season, with Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell capable of handling point guard duties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Examining How A Carmelo Anthony Trade Could Work

The Thunder have talked to the Nets about a possible trade involving Carmelo Anthony, according to Mitch Lawrence of Forbes and The Sporting News, who reports (via Twitter) that Brooklyn would be looking to move Jeremy Lin in such a deal. The Nets, who would want draft picks, would buy out or waive Anthony if they acquired him, Lawrence adds.

While it may be true that the Thunder and Nets have explored a potential trade, it’s hard to see how it would work with Lin as the primary outgoing piece. After buying out Dwight Howard, the Nets reportedly have a little less than $11MM in cap room available, so they wouldn’t necessarily have to match Anthony’s $27.93MM salary, since salary-matching rules only apply to over-the-cap teams. Still, they’d have to send out more than Lin’s $12.5MM expiring contract in order to remain under the cap after completing a deal.

The Nets could create a little extra space by waiving Isaiah Whitehead, who has a non-guaranteed $1.54MM salary, but they’d still be about $4MM short of having enough outgoing salary to complete a Lin-for-Anthony swap while remaining under the cap.

The Nets players who earn less than Lin are youngsters with positive value, so the team wouldn’t simply throw them into an offer to make the money work. Adding a highly-paid vet like Allen Crabbe or DeMarre Carroll wouldn’t make much sense from the Thunder’s perspective, since their goal is to cut costs.

On top of all the cap-related roadblocks in the way of a potential swap, Brian Lewis of The New York Post notes (via Twitter) that Lin has been told the Nets will tell him if they plan to trade him. As Lewis relays, Lin hasn’t gotten a call at this point, so if there have been trade discussions, they likely haven’t gotten serious.

“My agent called me just to clarify,” Lin told Lewis. “But no, I don’t think there’s any… I don’t think that has any truth to it.”

While a Thunder/Nets swap seems like a long shot, we know that Oklahoma City is exploring potential trade options involving Anthony before simply buying him out or waiving him. The Lin example is instructive for laying out how a potential deal could work.

Although no team has the cap space necessary to absorb Anthony’s contract outright, the Nets and three other teams – the Kings, Bulls, and Hawks – have enough room to send out significantly less salary than they receive. That makes them potential trade partners for the Thunder, who are looking for ways to reduce a potential record-breaking tax bill.

For instance, the Kings are currently about $19MM below the cap. That means they could trade a player like Iman Shumpert ($11MM salary) to Oklahoma City and take back Anthony without going over the cap. That would be ideal for the Thunder, who could waive and stretch Shumpert across three seasons and create an annual cap hit of about $3.67MM instead of the $9.31MM annual cap charge that waiving Anthony would create (assuming neither player gives back money in a buyout). The tax savings for OKC in 2018/19 would be massive, and the smaller annual cap charges would help reduce the team’s tax bills in future seasons too.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Stretch Provision]

So what would be in it for the Thunder’s trade partners? They wouldn’t be hanging onto Anthony, who has a no-trade clause and almost certainly wouldn’t approve a trade to a non-contender unless he knew he’d be waived shortly thereafter. So presumably any team willing to talk trade with the Thunder would be seeking draft picks and/or young players along with Carmelo.

The problem is that Oklahoma City isn’t exactly asset-rich on either front. Terrance Ferguson is really the only intriguing young prospect on the Thunder’s roster, and the team’s 2020 first-round pick (top-20 protected) is committed to Orlando.

The Stepien rule prevents teams from trading back-to-back future first-round picks, so the Thunder wouldn’t be able to trade their 2019 first-rounder outright, and would have to get creative with conditions in order to trade any other first-rounder before 2022.

It’s possible that 2022 and 2024 first-round picks would entice one of those teams with cap room to use up the rest of their space on Anthony, only to subsequently waive him. But the further in the future those picks are, the less they’ll appeal to current general managers, who have no assurances they’ll even still hold their jobs by 2022 or 2024.

One intriguing option would be for one of those teams with cap room to trade a multiyear contract to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony. That way there would be a little more incentive for OKC’s trade partner to make a deal, since that club would be clearing cap room for future free agent periods. It also wouldn’t necessarily hurt the Thunder, who could spread the player’s money across more than three seasons using the stretch provision if he’s on a multiyear deal.

Omer Asik of the Bulls would be a perfect target for the Thunder in this scenario. Asik is earning $11.29MM in 2018/19, then has a $3MM guarantee on his 2019/20 salary. If the Thunder acquire him, they could stretch his remaining guaranteed money ($14.29MM) across five seasons for an annual cap hit of just $2.86MM.

The Bulls, meanwhile, would be able to clear $3MM from their books for the summer of 2019 — that’s not a huge amount, but if the team wants to be players in free agency next year, that added flexibility could come in handy. Of course, from Chicago’s perspective, including a contract like Cristiano Felicio‘s ($24MM over three years) in such a deal would probably be preferable to moving Asik’s.

Another way for the Thunder to increase trade interest in Anthony would be to attach its 2020 first-round pick with reverse protection. The 2020 selection traded to the Magic will only change hands if it falls between 21 and 30, so OKC could theoretically send that pick to another team if it lands in the top 20.

Given the lack of teams with cap room around the NBA and the dearth of appealing assets the Thunder could attach to Anthony, a trade ultimately seems unlikely. Simply waiving and stretching Carmelo would create upwards of $90-100MM in tax savings for Oklahoma City, and that number could increase if the veteran forward accepts a buyout. That’s probably where we’re headed, as interesting as the trade scenarios are to consider.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Robinson, Lin, Nets, Noah

Despite some speculation that he may be a first-rounder, the Knicks were able to nab Mitchell Robinson with the 36th overall pick in last month’s draft. That was never a lock though, and a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that the Knicks mulled the possibility of trading up a few spots in the draft to make sure they’d be able to grab the young center.

Robinson, who signed his first NBA contract on Sunday, looked good in Summer League play later in the day, putting up 12 points and 11 rebounds with a pair of blocks against Utah. As Berman writes in a separate article for The Post, the rookie big man still wants to get in better shape, but is optimistic that he’ll be able to make an impact for the Knicks.

“I feel I really can play in the NBA,” Robinson said. “Nowadays you got the 7-footer who can jump out of the gym. I’m one of them. It will work out great for me.”

Here’s more from out of New York on the Knicks and Nets:

  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post checks in on Jeremy Lin‘s recovery from a torn patellar tendon. While the Nets point guard hasn’t played five-on-five ball yet, he anticipates being ready to go for training camp.
  • In another story for The Post, Lewis explores what’s next for the Nets now that Dwight Howard‘s buyout has been finalized. That agreement opened up more cap room, but GM Sean Marks doesn’t sound like he’s in a hurry to spend it. “I wouldn’t rule anything out. I’d just say we’re constantly weighing our options,” Marks said. “We’re going to be strategic and see how [free agency] comes. The longer the process is drawn out and going into July, there will probably be better deals out there.”
  • Joakim Noah‘s future with the Knicks remains a question mark, but the big man sounds enthusiastic about the idea of staying in New York and playing for new head coach David Fizdale, as he told TMZ this weekend.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post takes a closer look at Juwan Howard Jr., who is playing for the Knicks in Summer League and hopes to get an invite to join the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate. Fizdale, of course, has a good relationship with Howard’s father from their days in Miami.