Joe Harris

Atlantic Notes: Bullock, Harris, Richardson, Horford, Raptors

Knicks guard Reggie Bullock has a team-friendly, non-guaranteed $4.2MM contract for next season and there are good reasons to retain him, including his friendship with Chris Paul, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Bullock provides a veteran presence along with his reputation for being a 3-and-D wing. New York would still take a cap hit of $1MM if it doesn’t guarantee Bullock’s contract prior to free agency. Bullock’s close friendship with Paul, a potential trade target for his former agent and current Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, also works in his favor.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets can’t afford to let wing Joe Harris in free agency, Mike Mazzeo of Forbes.com opines. The Nets own Harris’ Bird rights, so they can make him a substantial offer even if it pushes them deeper into luxury tax territory. If they let him walk, they’d only have the taxpayers’ mid-level exception to replace him. Brooklyn is expected to have competition for Harris’ services with estimates that it would need to offer Harris a $15MM starting salary to retain him.
  • Josh Richardson and Al Horford will be traded this offseason, The Athletic duo of Rich Hofmann and Derek Bodner project in an examination of the Sixers‘ roster. In other predictions, they believe young defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle could be added a trade sweetener in a deal involving Richardson or Horford, while Alec Burks will leave in free agency.
  • San Diego State guard Malachi Flynn and Kansas guard Devon Dotson worked out for the Raptors on Sunday, Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated tweets. Colorado forward Tyler Bey also worked out for Toronto, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News tweets. In ESPN’s ranking of best available prospects, Bey is slotted at No. 28 with Dotson at No. 33 and Flynn at No. 38. The Raptors own the No. 29 pick.

New York Notes: Durant, Harris, Oladipo, Knicks

Medical experts are optimistic about Kevin Durant‘s chances to bounce back from his torn Achilles tendon, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The Nets‘ star forward hasn’t played since suffering the injury in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, but he showed some signs of progress in workouts before before the hiatus.

Durant will be in the second season of a four-year, $164MM contract with Brooklyn, and the franchise is hoping that he and Kyrie Irving will turn it into an instant contender. Durant was only 30 when the injury occurred and turned 32 last month, so that gives him an advantage over players such as Patrick Ewing, Isiah Thomas and Kobe Bryant, who had similar injuries later in their careers.

“That’s better for him, so I don’t see anything holding him back,” said Dr. Laith Jazrawi, chief of the division of sports medicine at NYU Langone Sports Health. “The only thing is he hasn’t played for a year-and-a-half, so it’ll take time to get back into the rhythm. Some people are going to say ‘Oh, it’s because he had his Achilles (injury).’ That’s not true. It’s that when anyone doesn’t play for a year-and-a-half, it’s just going to take time to get back into the flow. But he should do fine.”

Durant said his love for the game has increased as he tries to work his way back. He recently appeared on the Stewie’s World podcast with Breanna Stewart of the WNBA, who was able to overcome a torn Achilles and return to stardom.

“I just appreciate being in the gym. I appreciate the workouts and the one-on-one sessions and just being in there with the other guys, just the whole routine,” Durant said. “I just have a newfound evolved level of joy for it.”

There’s more from New York City this morning:

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Hayes, Nets, Harris, Sixers

Killian Hayes has a “narrow edge” as the second point guard on the Knicks‘ draft board, behind LaMelo Ball, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post.

As Berman writes, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Knicks would select Hayes if he’s available at No. 8. The team likes some non-point guards near the top of the draft, including Obi Toppin and Isaac Okoro, and has also mulled the possibility of trading down. However, Berman’s report suggests the Knicks would favor Hayes over other point guards such as Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, and Kira Lewis, among others.

Hayes, who spent the 2019/20 season in Germany, has agreed to do a limited number of private, in-person workouts with teams, according to Berman, who adds that the Knicks will probably be one of those teams.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Nets should expect to receive a good deal of competition when they attempt to re-sign Joe Harris this offseason, Zach Lowe said this week on his Lowe Post podcast. “These teams with cap room all view Joe as a potential very good fit on the floor and a good culture guy,” Lowe said, per RealGM. “I think Harris may have even more of an market because teams trust their defense more. He’s more sort of positionally fluid on defense. I think the Nets are going to have to pay (around) $15MM per year to keep Joe Harris.”
  • In the wake of a report that indicated the Nets looked into a Jrue Holiday trade at last season’s deadline, Brian Lewis of The New York Post examines Brooklyn’s potential interest in the Pelicans guard and weighs the possibility of an offseason deal.
  • Rich Hofmann of The Athletic evaluates a number of hypothetical trade proposals involving the Sixers. Besides considering popular subjects of trade speculation such as Chris Paul and Buddy Hield, Hofmann also explores trade ideas involving under-the-radar targets like Tomas Satoransky and Delon Wright.

Bontemps’ Latest: Antetokounmpo, Oladipo, VanVleet, Hawks

Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s decision on a supermax extension will have a wide-ranging effect on this offseason and the summer of 2021, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Several teams that are saving cap space to make a run at the two-time MVP next year would be more likely to spend right away if he accepts an offer from the Bucks. The Raptors would be more willing to spend big to keep free agent guard Fred VanVleet, while the Heat and Mavericks might look to make significant moves right away.

Bontemps has heard from multiple sources that Milwaukee won’t panic if Antetokoumpo turns down the extension. Instead of trying to trade him before he reaches free agency, the Bucks will look for roster upgrades to give him a better chance to compete for a title before he hits the open market. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Milwaukee’s ownership won’t mind adding payroll to improve, so the team could be actively seeking trades before the start of next season.

There’s more on potential offseason moves, all courtesy of Bontemps:

  • Victor Oladipo is also eligible for an extension, but it might be tricky for him and the Pacers to arrive at a mutually acceptable figure. The team can offer a new deal that starts at around $26MM — 120% of his salary for next season. However, Oladipo could potentially make much more as an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and may use the upcoming season to show that he’s fully recovered from a torn quadriceps tendon. As a small market team, Indiana might decide to seek a deal now involving Oladipo rather than risk losing him for no return, Bontemps notes. The Pacers already have Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis under long-term deals and may be wary of giving another one to Oladipo.
  • VanVleet will be the top free agent this offseason, and the Raptors are hoping to keep him without compromising any chance they have at Antetokounmpo. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that Toronto would like to reach a new deal that doesn’t exceed four years at $80MM. The Pistons, Knicks, and Hawks all appear to be options to maximize his value if VanVleet doesn’t mind leaving a contender for a rebuilding team.
  • Atlanta goes into free agency with the most money to spend ($42MM), giving general manager Travis Schlenk an advantage as he looks to add to his core of young talent. There aren’t any franchise players on this year’s market, but Bontemps mentions Davis Bertans, Danilo Gallinari and Joe Harris as possibilities, along with VanVleet.
  • In the wake of playoff disappointments and coaching changes, the Clippers and Sixers could both be looking for roster shakeups. According to Bontemps, L.A. may try to move Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Ivica Zubac or find sign-and trade deals involving Marcus Morris or Montrezl Harrell, while Philadelphia’s top priority is to unload Al Horford‘s contract.

Eastern Notes: Craig, Harris, Raptors, Hawks

Heat assistant Dan Craig impressed in his interview for the Pacers’ head coaching job on Friday, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets.

Pelicans associate head coach Chris Finch still remains the favorite for the Indiana job, Jackson notes, with Miami assistant Chris Quinn also interviewing for the position. In addition, former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is reportedly in the mix as well.

The Pacers fired Nate McMillan in August after being swept by the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. The team accrued a 45-28 record this season, good for fourth-best in the East, but hasn’t won a playoff series since 2014.

Craig has been an assistant with the Heat for eight years. He started with the franchise in 2003 as a video intern, working his way up through the organization over time — much like current Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Nolan Jensen of Nets Daily examines how Joe Harris free agency could play out with the team. Harris is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and would provide an off-ball threat around Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant next season, though it’s unclear how much money the team is willing to spend to retain him. “Joe is a guy who is always in the gym,” teammate Caris LeVert said this season. “He’s always trying to get better. He’s always watching film. His maturation and his development obviously hasn’t been a huge surprise, especially for a lot of us who see him work each and every single day,” he said. “It’s especially good to see in games, but we know what Joe is capable of. We know how hard he works. It’s great to see that pay off, especially down the stretch of a game like that.”
  • The Raptors could target a number of free-agent wings this offseason, Blake Murphy of The Athletic writes. Toronto has multiple high-level free agents of its own, including Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka, but the team could show interest in players such as Harris, Jae Crowder and Kent Bazemore.
  • Chris Kirschner of The Athletic interviewed Hawks assistant general manager Landry Fields, touching on subjects such as scouting, his job with the team and more. Atlanta named Fields as assistant GM earlier this month, with the former NBA player previously serving as GM of the Austin Spurs.

Central Notes: Harris, Crowder, Pistons, Avdija, Bulls

Forwards Joe Harris and Jae Crowder are free agents the Bucks might pursue with their mid-level exception, Eric Nehm of The Athletic speculates. Harris would provide another offensive threat, while Crowder is a defensive stalwart. If the Bucks pursue cheaper options, Josh JacksonWesley Iwundu, Gary Clark and Glenn Robinson are considerations with their biannual exception or minimum deals.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • The Pistons are putting a premium on conditioning and weight training but they’ll look to balance that with offensive improvements, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Coach Dwane Casey looks at the Heat as a model of a team with toughness and shooting. “You’ve got to have a good mixture of hard-hat guys and shooters – guys who can put the ball in the hole,” he said. “The game is leaning that way. We all have to evolve from that standpoint.”
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija could be an ideal complement to last year’s first-round pick, Sekou Doumbouya, Langlois writes in a separate story. Avdija has similar size and positional flexibility as Doumbouya, which could allow the Pistons to exploit mismatches. His offensive skills would add another playmaker at Casey’s disposal. However, Avdija would have to slide to the Pistons’ pick at No. 7 or they’d have to trade up to land him.
  • The Bulls won’t be making major roster changes this offseason but they could pursue a wing in free agency, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago opines. They would be wise not to hand out a long-term contract, as future cap space should be preserved until they show real improvement, Schaefer adds.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Thibodeau, Bane, Nets

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra believes his assistants rightfully deserve consideration for head coaching vacancies around the league, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

Both Dan Craig and Chris Quinn have seen their names linked to various teams this year, with Spoelstra backing the idea as a whole.

“I think on our staff we have several future head coaches,” Spoelstra said, as relayed by Winderman. “I don’t want them to just be assistant coaches their whole career. I want them to be able to grow and have opportunities to be head coaches at some point.”

The Heat have previously lost coaches such as Juwan Howard, who left for Michigan, and David Fizdale, who left to become head coach of the Grizzlies and Knicks. Spoelstra credits the coaching tree to team president Pat Riley, a former coach himself.

“I think it’s just the whole Heat program, and that started with Pat,” Spoelstra said. “I think he’s taught us all how to become basketball coaches, at all levels, where you have to learn scouting, offense, defense, tendencies in the league, learning how to coach on the floor and teach.

“That was all demanded from Pat. And then growing, that culture of growing you.”

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • For the Knicks, it won’t be business as usual with Tom Thibodeau now at the helm, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. Thibodeau is looking to ramp up the team’s offseason workload and work closely with the players, though he’ll have to adhere to the league’s COVID-19 guidelines first. “Obviously, we’d have to follow the protocol that’s set forth by the league, but we will have an opportunity to do the individual stuff with guys that are in the bubble up until October 6,” Thibodeau said. “Then we’re waiting on what we’ll be able to do with the guys that are out of the market. So whatever the league tells us we can do, we will certainly do. And if not we’ll find other ways to get to our development piece whether it’s through film, communications with the players. But we‘re planning on spending a lot of time with our players this offseason.”
  • TCU forward Desmond Bane could be the perfect 3-and-D player for the Nets to draft, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Bane credits current Nets forward Joe Harris for a key part of his game, explaining how he’s studied Harris’ ability to work off screens and make shots off different movements. The Nets have the No. 19 pick in this year’s draft, while Harris is set to reach unrestricted free agency.
  • NetsDaily.com examines the Nets‘ draft situation and which player could be selected, suggesting that Bane, Maryland big man Jalen Smith and others could fit nicely with Brooklyn, a team that’s expected to be at the forefront of contention next season. The draft will take place on Wednesday, November 18.

Atlantic Notes: Powell, Knicks, Harris, Brown

Raptors shooting guard Norman Powell had his best year ever in 2019/20 at age 26, prompting Eric Koreen of The Athletic to wonder whether or not this offseason may be the perfect time to trade Powell. He is set to earn $10.9MM in 2020/21, and has an $11.6MM player option for 2021/22.

Koreen posits that Powell may be able to command more money on the open market were he to opt out of the final year of his deal. If the Raptors re-sign guard Fred VanVleet, who figures to be one of the premiere free agents in 2020, Koreen opines that flipping Powell’s contract ahead of a free agent-heavy 2021 offseason may make the most sense for Toronto’s future team-building.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Following a two-day hotel quarantine, the Knicks started their first in-market group workouts under new head coach Tom Thibodeau today at their Westchester Country training facility, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Popper reports that nearly all Knicks players, including everyone on a team option for next season, participated in individual workouts last week.
  • Unrestricted Nets free agent wing Joe Harris, one of the best three-point shooters in the league, will not be wanting for suitors during the offseason, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports. Teams with cap space Lewis anticipates having interest include the Knicks, Hawks, Hornets and Timberwolves, though Harris might also be targeted as part of a sign-and-trade deal for an over-the-cap club, such as the Warriors or Sixers. Both Golden State and Philadelphia project to be taxpayers, which would complicate any sign-and-trade deal.
  • Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown has quietly ascended during the NBA’s Disney World restart to become one of the key leaders for Boston, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic writes in an extensive profile.

Nets Notes: Coaching Staff, KG, Durant, Harris

New Nets head coach Steve Nash and the team’s front office are seeking out assistants to join the former two-time MVP’s coaching staff, including Lakers assistant Phil Handy, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

2019/20 interim Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn will stay on staff as the team’s lead assistant during the 2020/21 season. Nash, an eight-time All-Star, joined the Nets staff last week in a surprising hire.

Here are more notes out of Brooklyn:

  • Former Nets forward (and Hall of Famer) Kevin Garnett, a 15-time All-Star, has said that he believes Brooklyn should look to trade for a high-level scoring wing like Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine or Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal to join current Brooklyn All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, according to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
  • Kevin Durant expressed his enthusiasm for new coach Steve Nash‘s addition to the Brooklyn sideline, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “His insight for the game, his communication, how he communicates the game of basketball is definitely going to help me as a player develop and it’s going to help the rest of the team,” Durant said in a new episode of Pelicans swingman J.J. Redick‘s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast.
  • The addition of Nash may help convince Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris to stick around as he enters unrestricted free agency this summer, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I met with him the other day, grabbed a coffee with him and [team president] Sean [Marks],” Harris said during a recent conversation with “The JWilly Show” podcast. “And he just talked about how he felt about me as a player and wanted me to come back and be in Brooklyn.”

Nets Rumors: Popovich, KD, Kyrie, Vaughn, TLC

Now that the Nets‘ season is over, the team’s long-anticipated search for a permanent new head coach can get underway. And as we learned earlier this month, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is expected to be atop Brooklyn’s wish list.

Popovich has given no indication that he wants to continue his career anywhere besides San Antonio, but the Nets will explore the possibility of luring the Spurs legend to Brooklyn, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As Charania details, the Nets have a number of connections to Popovich and the Spurs, with general manager Sean Marks, assistant GM Andy Birdsong, and assistant coach Tiago Splitter among those who previously worked with or played for Popovich. Additionally, sources tell The Athletic that Popovich has long been a favorite of Kevin Durant, dating back to Oklahoma City’s 2015 head coaching search.

According to Charania, the Nets’ interest in Popovich is widely considered a pipe dream, but the team will still exhaust the possibility. They’d need to be granted permission to speak to him and would almost certainly need to send the Spurs some sort of compensation if talks became serious.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • While Jacque Vaughn continues to receive consideration for the Nets’ permanent head coaching position, Durant and Kyrie Irving are interested in a “higher profile head coach,” according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, who cites Popovich and Tyronn Lue as possibilities in that vein.
  • Vaughn expressed confidence following the end of the Nets’ season that he’s the right person for the club’s permanent head coaching role, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “What I am confident in is my skill set as a coach, my ability to communicate and have relationship with guys, my ability to adjust on the fly, adjust with individuals,” Vaughn said. “Those things I’m very comfortable with, comfortable at this stage of my career of having a voice and choice with my players.”
  • Veteran swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who emerged as one of the Nets’ more reliable contributors during the summer restart, told a French outlet that he enjoys playing in Brooklyn and wants to remain with the team, as NetsDaily relays. The former first-round pick has a non-guaranteed $1.82MM salary for 2020/21, which looks like a pretty solid value based on TLC’s play this summer.
  • In an Insider-only ESPN.com article, Bobby Marks previews the Nets’ offseason, exploring Joe Harris‘ potential cost in free agency, what it would take to trade for a third star, and much more.