Jeremy Lin

Nets Notes: Lopez, Lin, Dinwiddie, Nicholson, McDaniels

Nets GM Sean Marks spoke to the press about Brooklyn’s trade deadline activity. While the team held onto Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker (each of whom have another year left on their contract), Marks was involved in a few lower-profile transactions.

“We’re very familiar with Andrew [Nicholson]…he’s a system fit for us,” Marks said. “He’s a stellar young man and another guy with high character and that’s exactly we’re trying to do.”

The Nets acquired Nicholson along with a first-round pick and Marcus Thornton (who was subsequently waived) in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. Bogdanovic performed well for the 9-47 Nets, but was a restricted free agent-to-be, and was dealt for an invaluable draft pick. Marks spoke about his team’s position in the upcoming draft.

“Now having two first round picks, it all helps,” Marks said. “It helps give us another vehicle where were can be systematic with the draft and see what happens. We obviously value the draft or we wouldn’t have done it. It’s about being strategic and having two picks now gives us an opportunity to move up with those picks, you can hold them where you are if your players are there at the time.”

More from Brooklyn…

  • One of the reasons Marks held onto Lopez at the deadline was to see how well he played with Jeremy Lin, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Lin has been limited to just 13 games this season due to injury, and hasn’t had an opportunity to be properly assessed by coach Kenny Atkinson. “To have a healthy Jeremy and a healthy Brook out there together with this team, it’ll be nice to evaluate that,” Marks said. “It’s something we started the season off with, and unfortunately, we only got a handful of games under our belt seeing that. We all know what those two bring to the table: They lift everybody else’s play.”
  • Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post profiled Spencer Dinwiddie, a former collegiate star at University of Colorado Boulder. Dinwiddie suffered a torn ACL during his junior year at CU, falling to the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Still just 23 years old, Dinwiddie has averaged more than 20 MPG for the first time in his career with Brooklyn. “He’s steadily getting better,” Atkinson said of Dinwiddie. “He played pretty well before the all-star break, started shooting it better and getting to the rim. We like his defense. He’s been a pleasant surprise, quite honestly.
  • Nicholson and K.J. McDaniels– each acquired at the deadline- are ready to step in right now for the rebuilding Nets. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me,” McDaniels told Greg Logan of Newsday“I’ll be able to show Brooklyn what I do, and play both ends of the court and just try to bring energy.” McDaniels’ acquisition was commended by writers across the league. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post gave the trade an “A” grade, describing the transaction as low-risk, high-reward. “If he doesn’t do anything, the Nets can simply decline his option for next season. If he does something, then it’s found money. For a team with no talent or assets to speak of, it’s a good move to make — and saves them money to boot, as they were below the salary floor.”
  • Dan Favale of Bleacher Report echoed Bontemps’ sentiments, praising Marks for taking a flier on McDaniels. “Getting K.J. McDaniels for absolutely nothing is a great encore to parlaying Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough into Andrew Nicholson and a first-round pick,” Favale wrote. “Although McDaniels is beyond raw, he has the length and lateral gait to be a lockdown defender across all wing positions.”

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Raptors, Oakley, Lin

Sixers center Joel Embiid claims he’s “more surprised than everybody else” how well this season has gone after he was sidelined two seasons by foot injuries. During the interview with ESPN Radio, Embiid admits he entertained thoughts of retiring during those lost seasons. “I was such in a dark place, I wanted to quit basketball,” Embiid said.  “I just wanted to go back home and just leave everything behind.” Embiid pines for the Rookie of the Year award, saying it would be validation for the sacrifices he made to get back on the court. He’s hopeful of returning soon after the All-Star break after missing the last 11 games with what he describes as a left knee bone bruise, though he reportedly has a partial meniscus tear.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The  Raptors do not want to part with young assets now that they’ve made a big move by acquiring power forward Serge Ibaka, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Toronto would prefer to hold onto Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet, Smith continues. They could still package Jared Sullinger‘s expiring contract, a 2017 first-rounder and one of their backup point guards to make another move, Smith adds.
  • Charles Oakley doubts his issues with Knicks owner James Dolan will ever be resolved, Newsday’s Jim Baumbach relays via a Sports Illustrated interview. Despite a meeting with commissioner Adam Silver and Dolan earlier this week, Oakley is still fuming over his forcible removal from Madison Square Garden and arrest on February 8th.  “My life is going to change a lot because it’s just like getting a DUI sometime or going to jail for murder,” he told SI. “It’s something on my record. If you Google my name, it’s going to come up. And that hurts.”
  • Nets point guard Jeremy Lin is expected to return to action immediately after the All-Star break, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Lin practiced on Tuesday without any setbacks, according to NetsDaily.com. Lin’s season has been wrecked by hamstring woes. Signed to a three-year, $36MM contract last summer to be the team’s No. 1 point guard, Lin has appeared in just 12 games.

Nets GM: Lin’s Setback Won’t Alter Plans

GM Sean Marks said Jeremy Lin‘s latest setback won’t change the Nets‘ future plans nor will it increase the chances that the team deals Brook Lopez before the deadline, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Lin will miss an additional three-to-five weeks after re-aggravating his strained hamstring during a rehab assignment.

The point guard signed a three-year, $36MM deal with Brooklyn during the offseason, but he’s only been able to play in 12 games because of his hamstring troubles. He’s averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 assists in 25.0 minutes per game this season.

Lopez has been the subject of trade rumors for practically his entire tenure in Brooklyn. The Nets would obviously like to evaluate how Lopez and Lin – the team’s two highest-paid players – coexist on the floor, but Lin’s injury has made that difficult to accomplish. The Lopez-Lin pairing has played only 179 minutes together this season and the team has been outscored by 14 points while the duo was on the court.

Lopez has one more year remaining on his deal after this season and the Nets are reportedly looking for at least two first-round picks in exchange for the big man. The Stanford product is averaging 20.5 points and a career-high 2.7 assists per game while shooting 47.0% on the season.

Jeremy Lin To Miss 3-5 More Weeks

Jeremy Lin has suffered a setback during the rehabilitation process for his hamstring injury, and will be out three to five more weeks, the Nets announced today in a press release. The veteran point guard had already been sidelined for nearly a month, so this setback could stretch his absence to upwards of two months in total.

“During the course of his rehab, Jeremy re-aggravated his strained left hamstring and will be out approximately three to five weeks as he continues to work towards a full recovery,” Nets GM Sean Marks said in a statement. “We understand and appreciate Jeremy’s competitive desire to get back on the court with his teammates, however, we are going to be cautious with his rehab in order to ensure that he is at full strength once he returns.”

Brooklyn’s top offseason addition, Lin has looked good when he’s been on the court for the Nets, shooting a career-high 46.9% from the field to go along with 13.9 PPG and 5.8 APG. However, nagging hamstring woes have kept Lin out of action for nearly the entire 2016/17 campaign — he has played just 12 games for the Nets so far.

Having signed a three-year contract with the Nets back in July, Lin was never viewed as a trade candidate for the club this season, so his injury won’t have a significant impact on his stock this season like it would for a player such as Rudy Gay. The 28-year-old Lin will remain under contract at a rate of $12MM for Brooklyn in 2017/18, then will face a player option decision in the summer of ’18.

With Lin out of action, the Nets figure to continue relying on players like Spencer Dinwiddie, Randy Foye, and Isaiah Whitehead at the point.

Atlantic Notes: Okafor, Lowry, Lopez

Much has changed over the course of the first two and a half months of the season, writes John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Sixers are now faced with different circumstances than what they began the year with. Part-way through January, it appears as though Jahlil Okafor — and not Nerlens Noel — is the most likely to be traded.

Okafor, Smallwood writes, is an impressive big man and goes on to cite the 21-year-old’s All-Rookie team performance last year as one of the reasons why. Even in some recent performances, the center has shown that he’s a solid young player, perhaps capable of averaging 20 and 10 eventually. The emergence of Embiid as a reliable option at the five for the Sixers, has rendered Okafor’s services less necessary than they would be otherwise.

In order to take advantage of Okafor’s value, the Sixers should look to trade the big man in order to reconfigure the balance of their roster and Smallwood gives several examples of players that could theoretically come back to Philadelphia in a trade. Smallwood offers Jaylen Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Doug McDermott as three perimeters threats that could potentially be had in exchange for Okafor.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • It’s too early to think about free agency, Kyle Lowry tells ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, but for whatever it’s worth, the guard considers Toronto “home”. Currently under contract for $12MM with a player option for $12MM in 2017/18, Lowry could net a significant pay raise over the summer if he opts out. “When the time comes, then I will worry about [free agency],” says Lowry. “[The Raptors] will definitely will be an option.
  • The Nets have a decision on Brook Lopez to make prior to the trade deadline, but an injury to Jeremy Lin has made things more complicated, writes Seth Berkman of the New York Times. The franchise would ideally like to see how Lopez and Lin fare together before making a significant change but the tandem has been limited to just a handful of games healthy at the same time.
  • Desperate for a positive development, the Knicks have considered playing Kristaps Porzingis at the five, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. “Sometimes it’s a chance you have to take, but we continue to look over that,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We just need to mix it up maybe a little more.” Moving Porzingis to the center position would push Joakim Noah to the bench.
  • We discussed the meeting between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony earlier, but it’s worth adding here that Jackson specifically told the veteran forward he did not subscribe to the criticisms in the now infamous Charley Rosen article, says Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

New York Notes: Knicks, Porzingis, Lin

It was a rough night for the NBA’s New York teams on Monday, as both the Nets and Knicks suffered double-digit losses on their home courts. While Brooklyn lost to a strong Utah club that’s in the midst of a winning streak, the Knicks’ defeat came at the hands of an Orlando team that ranks below them in the standings. In the wake of that loss, Jeff Hornacek delivered “his most damning assessment” of his club’s defensive issues, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

“I don’t think our guys aren’t trying — maybe they’re not capable,” said the Knicks head coach. “I don’t know. That’s what we have to figure out. Maybe play some other guys and mix the lineup somehow. … We have to find someone to play some defense. You can’t come out at the beginning and their first three baskets are 3s. You have to have better pride than that. … I think they’re trying — they must not be good enough defensively.”

With Hornacek sounding ready to make some changes to his lineup, let’s round up a few more notes out of New York…

  • Nagged by Achilles pain, Kristaps Porzingis missed his second straight game on Monday, and may see his minutes reduced going forward as the Knicks try to keep him and their other starters fresh and healthy. As Berman details in a piece for The Post, Porzingis isn’t thrilled with the plan, telling reporters with a smile that he wants to play all the minutes he can. However, he deferred to Hornacek and said he’d go along with what’s best for the team.
  • Speaking of Porzingis, he remains on the shelf for now, with Hornacek telling reporters today that the big man is doubtful for the Knicks‘ next game on Wednesday (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).
  • There’s no specific timetable for Jeremy Lin‘s return to the Nets, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Lin admitted that it has been discouraging to have to battle health issues so far this season after he joined a new team on a new long-term deal in the summer.
  • We passed along a few Knicks and Nets notes on Sunday and Monday as well.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Lin, Sixers, Anthony

The Raptors have two very difficult decisions looming in their pursuit of the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post opines. They must decide whether to go all-in this season in their quest to knock off the Cavs, which would mean trading off some young pieces for another impact player, preferable a power forward, Bontemps continues. The Magic’s Serge Ibaka and Hawks’ Paul Millsap — forwards that the Raptors have pursued in the past and will become free agents this summer — would be logical targets, in Bontemps’ view. This summer, they’ll have to decide whether to offer point guard and impending free agent Kyle Lowry a max five-year deal worth over $200MM or risk seeing him walk. Lowry will attract numerous suitors but his age — he turns 31 this spring — could make a long-term commitment a risky investment, Bontemps adds.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets are taking a committee approach with point guard Jeremy Lin sidelined again by a hamstring injury, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports. Coach Kenny Atkinson is rotating Randy Foye, rookie Isaiah Whitehead and Spencer Dinwiddie in Lin’s absence, while shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick is also taking a bigger role in the playmaking duties, Lewis continues. “I think it was ensemble,” Atkinson told Lewis and other media members. “That’s how we’re going to do it.”
  • The Sixers’ frontcourt pairing of Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor has been a colossal failure defensively thus far, as Derek Bodner of Phillymag.com details. In six games since coach Brett Brown paired the two big men in the starting lineup, the Sixers have given up an average of 122.3 points per 100 possessions when they’re on the court. What’s more troubling, as Bodner notes, is that the poor defensive performances have come against sub-par offensive teams.
  • Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t believe Carmelo Anthony should have been ejected on Tuesday for swinging his forearm at the head of Hawks swingman Thabo Sefolosha, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Hornacek asserted that Sefolosha grabbed Anthony around the neck before the forearm swing, though Berman notes that was not apparent on replays while labeling Hornacek’s stance as bizarre. “I don’t blame [Anthony] for what happened, honestly,” Hornacek told Berman. “Watch the replay, watch the action. The guy had his arms wrapped around his neck. … What are you going to do? Just stand there or you going to get the guy off you? It’s a natural reaction.”

Atlantic Notes: Green, Rozier, Lin, Jennings

Gerald Green had his best game of the season for the Celtics in Sunday’s win over the Knicks, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Green hasn’t seen many opportunities since signing with Boston over the summer for his second tour of duty with the franchise. He has played in just 14 games and is averaging 9.9 minutes per night. But he had eight points Sunday, scoring five in the second quarter as the Celtics pulled away. “It’s tough at times,” Green said. “You just have to stay motivated. I give a lot of praise to the coaches and the players keeping me ready, keeping me engaged at all times.”

Green’s opportunity came at the expense of Terry Rozier, who was held out of a game for the first time this season. Coach Brad Stevens refused to say whether Rozier’s benching would last beyond one game, but the second-year guard has been struggling lately, shooting just 27% from the field in his last five contests.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets point guard Jeremy Lin left tonight’s game in the third quarter with a strained left hamstring, according to The Associated Press. He recently returned after missing 17 games with a hamstring problem.
  • Knicks guard Brandon Jennings apparently agrees with the criticism that the team relies too much on one-on-one offense, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jennings liked a tweet suggesting that after New York managed just 11 assists Sunday. He refused to talk to reporters after registering just two assists following a 12-assist outing in his last game. Carmelo Anthony has defended the Knicks’ offensive philosophy, and Courtney Lee says Sunday’s game doesn’t prove there’s a problem. “There’s a couple of things it could be,’’ Lee said. “Guys not making shots. Could be matchup they like, guards going off pick-and-rolls and getting to a certain spot to knock down a shot. The ball will continue to move. We’ll get assists.”
  • Defensive problems are keeping the Knicks from rising very far above .500, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. At 16-14, New York is the only team in the league with a winning record that allows more points per game (107.9) than it scores (105.6).

Nets Notes: Lin, Booker, Kilpatrick, Dinwiddie

The Nets are hoping their problems on offense will be solved when Jeremy Lin‘s minutes restriction is lifted, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin, who joined the team on a three-year, $36MM contract over the summer, missed 17 games with a severe hamstring strain he suffered in early November. He returned for a game Monday in Houston, but was held out of the next contest with a sore back. When he has played, Lin has made an impact on Brooklyn’s offense. The Nets have outscored teams by an average of 6.1 points per 100 possessions with Lin on the court, but are minus 9.3 without him. “We’re really going to look at it from a performance standpoint, from medical, what is the best thing for Jeremy at this point,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of the minutes restriction. “I’ll talk with everybody, talk with the doctors, talk with the medical team, and figure that out. Obviously our wish is — as a coaching staff — to get him into his normal role.”

There’s more this morning out of Brooklyn:

  • Power forward Trevor Booker has done his part to help fill the point guard void with Lin missing, Lewis notes in a separate story. Booker, who signed with the Nets for $18MM over two years this summer, played the position in junior high school and still retains his point guard instincts. He frequently leads the fast break after grabbing a rebound. “It’s become this monster now and we like it,” Atkinson said. “We like what he’s doing, we like when he attacks the basket, we like his assists off it. And it’s incentive [for] him to rebound.”
  • Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick represents a missed opportunity for the Sixers, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kilpatrick has been a nice find for Brooklyn, averaging 16.3 points per game, which is tops in the league among undrafted players. He spent most of last season playing for Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate before being signed by the Nets in late February. “I think [former GM] Sam [Hinkie] with the [front office] group felt like with Isaiah [Canaan] here and other people here … I don’t really remember how it really played out,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. “I do know that Sam thought highly of him, but obviously not highly enough to bring him in.”
  • Spencer Dinwiddie, who signed with the Nets on December 8th, has $100K of his deal guaranteed, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The rest of Dinwiddie’s three-year, minimum salary contract is non-guaranteed.

Atlantic Notes: Lin, Celtics, Noel, Hornacek

The Nets‘ top offseason signee, Jeremy Lin, is finally ready to return to the court on Monday night after missing five weeks with a hamstring injury, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. While Lin should be good to go tonight, it doesn’t sound as if he’ll start, as the club will likely ease him back into action.

“Jeremy is back and will play some minutes,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I think it’s the same strategy we’ve used with other guys, where we’re going to progress. He’s not going to play 40 minutes. It’s going to be a slow progression getting back. So I’ll listen to the medical team.”

As Brooklyn gets ready to welcome Lin back to its lineup, let’s check in on a few more Atlantic notes…

  • As we noted earlier today, Celtics GM Danny Ainge is reportedly focused on landing an impact player in a trade, preferring to be patient before turning his attention to a complementary piece. However, as Chris Mannix of The Vertical suggests in an appearance on CSN’s Toucher & Rich, the only players available on the trade market right now are sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-man types. Teams are unlikely to seriously consider moving a star until much closer to the deadline.
  • Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com examines what Nerlens Noel‘s return to the court means for the Sixers‘ roster balance, trade options, and pace. Noel left Sunday’s game – his first of the season – after just 10 minutes due to an ankle sprain, though that injury isn’t believed to be serious.
  • While Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek has worked aspects of the triangle into his offense, his overall system is “different and modern,” and has been met with enthusiasm from his players, says Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
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