Jeremy Lin

Atlantic Notes: Lin, Nets, Valanciunas, Miller, Raptors, Jackson, Celtics

Jeremy Lin boldly stated that his Nets will make the playoffs this upcoming season while answering questions from fans in an Instagram Live video, relays A.J. Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today Sports.

“We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says to me,” said Lin. He went on to say, “We’re gonna do some serious damage next year… I’m pretty sure he’ll (D’Angelo Russell) start (at shooting guard), but it will be pretty interchangeable. And then when one of us is out of the game, the other person most likely will have the ball in their hands. It will probably be a little bit combo guard-esque.”

This offseason the Nets have added Russell, as well as DeMarre Carroll and Timofey Mozgov. Brooklyn will be coming off a season in which it finished 20-62, dead last in the NBA standings. Lin played in just 36 games due to injury, but averaged a furtive 14.5 PPG to go with 5.1 APG and 3.8 RPG. Furthermore, Lin managed to put up those strong numbers in a mere 24.5 minutes per contest.

  • Raptors president Masai Ujiri addressed rumors that the team is trying to unload center Jonas Valanciunas, via Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network. Ujiri said that he believes in Valanciunas’ talent and values his offensive rebounding. While admitting that the team looked at trading Valanciunas when they were in the tax, the team is now “very comfortable” keeping JV.
  • Raptors guard Malcolm Miller underwent right ankle surgery, the team announced via press release (link via Twitter). Miller is expected to miss the next 12 weeks. He signed the team’s first two-way contract on July 9.
  • Also via Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network, the Raptors president says the team will “add a couple of different players. Maybe they’re non-guarantees, I don’t know.”
  • The Celtics employed a creative use of the stretch provision on the contract of Demetrius Jackson, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN. A day prior to waiving the former Notre Dame guard, Boston exercised the 2019/20 non-guaranteed team option on Jackson. This allowed Boston to stretch the contract over seven years rather than five, lowering the cap hit per year to $92,857 instead of $130,000.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Fultz, Prigioni

According to Nets guard Jeremy Lin, a total of five of his former teammates across stints with the Knicks, Rockets and Hornets asked him if Brooklyn would be willing to make a trade for them, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes.

Kalbrosky breaks down a Nets Daily report based on a translation of an interview that Lin gave to Chinese website JD.com.

The combined appeal of the Nets’ willingness to play together, the culture unfolding in Brooklyn and the presence of head coach Kenny Atkinson makes the franchise an intriguing one as the free agency period approaches.

The Nets are projected to have approximately $26MM of cap space this summer to fortify their roster and, yes, several of Lin’s former teammates will be available, including Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Thomas Robinson, Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi.

There’s more out out of the Atlantic Division:

  • It didn’t take long for Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas to reach out to Markelle Fultz, the expected No. 1 draft pick that could suit up in green next season, Chris Forsberg of ESPN writes. The two players currently play the same position but Thomas thinks the pair could thrive together.
  • Managing owner of the Sixers, Josh Harris, is confident in the direction of the franchise, even after this week’s lottery results that didn’t exactly work out in their favor, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “We now are stacked for the future,” Harris said. “We have a young team already. So that leaves some slots for some vets to put around our young guys and teach them about what it’s like to be in the NBA.”
  • The Knicks are said to be interested in hiring former point guard Pablo Prigioni as an assistant coach, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays.
  • The Knicks will hope that Malik Monk is available to the at the No. 8 spot in next summer’s NBA Draft, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. College basketball analyst Wally Szczerbiak sees him as a good fit as a playmaker in Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense.

Nets Notes: Free Agents, Lin, Dinwiddie, Goodwin

The Nets are optimistic that they can improve in free agency this summer, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn will enter the July bidding with the ability to clear enough cap space to offer two max deals, along with a feeling of momentum after going 11-13 in its last 24 games. Jeremy Lin, who signed with the team as a free agent last summer, said several players have already contacted him about coming to Brooklyn. “Players are asking about us because they saw the way that Kenny [Atkinson] coached,” he said. “They saw how hard these guys played night-in and night-out, how unselfish we played. They want to be a part of that, so there’s already been a lot of interest. People are already asking questions, whether it’s to me or Brook [Lopez] or other players.”

There’s more news out of Brooklyn:

  • One of the Nets’ offseason objectives will be finding a backup for Lin, Lewis writes in a separate story. Lin played well in his first season in Brooklyn, averaging 14.5 points and 5.1 assists per night, but a lingering hamstring problem limited him to 36 games. The Nets had the league’s worst record at 20-62, but they were 13-20 with him as a starter and 10-12 after the All-Star break with their preferred starting lineup. Brooklyn added Greivis Vasquez as a backup point guard last summer, but he played just 39 minutes before ankle problems led to his buyout. “When we started the season, I thought we had Jeremy and the backup settled,’’ Atkinson said. “Now with Spencer [Dinwiddie], Archie [Goodwin] and Isaiah Whitehead], we have to answer, ‘Do we have the solution in-house now?’ I think we do, as the backups have played well. [But] we’ll have to look and see what offseason and next year moves we need to make.”
  • Dinwiddie, who played 59 games after signing with the Nets in December, hopes his long-term future is in Brooklyn, relays NetsDaily.com. Dinwiddie’s contract calls for him to make $1.05MM next season and $1.125MM in 2018/19, but both years are non-guaranteed. “You never know in this business how anything can happen or how it will all shake out,” he said, “but I’ve loved my time here and hopefully look forward to being here for a long time. The organization is great. The staff is great and hopefully we can turn this thing around and just make the playoffs next year. That’d be nice.”
  • Goodwin, who joined the team in mid-March, also has a non-guaranteed deal for next season, tweets NetsDaily. He will receive a $200K guarantee on his $1.58MM salary if he is still with the team October 31st.

New York Notes: Rose, Jackson, Lin, McDaniels

NBA agents are forecasting a disappointing free agent market for Knicks guard Derrick Rose, with one calling him “the next [Rajon] Rondo,” relays Fred Kerber of The New York Post. New York is considered unlikely to try to re-sign Rose, who has been a disappointment since being acquired in a trade with the Bulls last summer. The unidentified agent who compared him to Rondo said Rose will probably get a short-term deal from a bad team worth about $15MM per year. Another expects him to take less money to join a better organization, probably $8MM to $10MM or $10MM to $12MM annually.

One positive for Rose this season has been health, as he has appeared in 60 of the Knicks’ 69 games and is on track for the most he has played since a devastating ACL tear in 2012. “I really believe I worked my butt off this summer to hold up,” Rose said. “I had aches and nagging injuries [in the past]. This year I didn’t have that. Every game, it’s a fatigue factor, but as far as how my body’s feeling, my body’s holding up pretty well.”

There’s more today out of the Big Apple:

  • Most of the current Knicks aren’t comfortable in the triangle offense and would like to see the team abandon it, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. They believe the tight spacing makes it difficult to drive to the basket and say the offense results in a lot of contested shots. If team president Phil Jackson insists on running the triangle, he might have to overhaul the roster to make it work. There are also concerns that the young players who are learning the triangle will have to make a huge adjustment when Jackson leaves.
  • The Nets are finally enjoying the benefits of teaming Jeremy Lin with Brook Lopez, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn was expecting the combination to be the core of the team after signing Lin last July, but injuries wiped out a major part of his season. The Nets are 7-11 with Lopez and Lin in the lineup together, but just 6-44 otherwise. “That growth is absolutely there, and I think it’s going to get exponentially better,’’ Lopez said. “That’s team-wise as well. When you really look at our situation, I don’t think we’ve all been out there at the same time. We’ve got some new guys who are coming in. They don’t know all the plays, they’re just getting thrown in the fire in the heat of the moment, but they’re producing. That bodes well for our future.”
  • Nets coach Kenny Atkinson has been happy with the play of K.J. McDaniels, who was acquired from Houston at the deadline, tweets NetsDaily.com. “He’s given us some quality minutes,” Atkinson said. “He’s a smart player, he can stretch the floor. I like his IQ and spirit.”

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.
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