Joe Ingles

Northwest Notes: Thunder, Presti, Nuggets, Ingles

Players who spent time with the Thunder this season will receive bonus checks because the team’s total salary is so low, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The current league-wide salary cap is $112.4MM and the minimum salary floor is 90% of the cap, which is roughly $101.2MM. Oklahoma City’s total salary was about $79MM, and the remaining $22MM will be distributed to the players.

The Players Association will vote on how the money will be divvied up, but Mussatto says players who were on the roster for at least 41 games are likely to receive full shares, while others will get half or quarter shares. The final determination is kept private.

“We lay a lot out on the floor and we work hard all year,” Luguentz Dort said, “and we’ve got to thank the organization for doing that for us, just all the players.”

General manager Sam Presti considered taking on extra salary at the trade deadline in exchange for draft assets, but ultimately decided to hold onto the team’s cap space.

“When we were sitting there at the deadline, we just didn’t like anything that was being thrown at us to use that space compared to the opportunity to roll it over to the draft,” Presti said. “Now, it doesn’t roll over to July 1, but we will have that room at the draft. I would put the odds of using that room pretty low. But I’d still rather have those odds than the things that were being presented to us (at the trade deadline).”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Presti is a strong supporter of an in-season tournament, Mussatto adds in a separate story. The proposal didn’t have enough support to receive an official vote last year, but it’s likely the Thunder would have voted yes. “I think it’s very future-oriented,” Presti said, “and it takes courage to put something out there that is going to probably be maligned a little bit, maybe won’t get the immediate love, but they’re thinking bigger picture.”
  • The Nuggets only got one playoff victory, but they consider this season a success because of all they had to overcome, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. In addition to playing almost the entire season without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., Denver was missing PJ Dozier, who suffered an ACL tear in November. “I say we beat adversity a lot of the times,” Monte Morris said. “Without Mike and Jamal, two great players, we still found ways in tough, hostile situations to win. That shows the character and how good we can be.”
  • Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian examines whether Joe Ingles will have any value to the Trail Blazers beyond his expiring contract. The 34-year-old had a torn ACL when Portland traded for him in February, and he may not be ready to return until midway through next season.

Joe Ingles: “Very Mixed Emotions” About Trade From Jazz To Blazers

In the days leading up to the February 10 trade deadline, veteran forward Joe Ingles confirmed he was prepared for the possibility that the Jazz could trade him. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, however, he admitted he was still “a little shocked” when he learned of the trade sending him to the Trail Blazers.

Still, after spending a month with the franchise, Ingles said it has been a “very, very good experience so far,” as Casey Holdahl of relays.

The Blazers have made it clear they weren’t just trading for Ingles’ expiring contract, indicating they have interest in him once he recovers from his ACL surgery. And while Ingles – who is still recovering in Utah for now – has previously talked about the possibility of returning to the Jazz after he becomes a free agent this summer, he’s not ruling out the possibility of a longer-term stay in Portland.

“Just talking to Renae, my wife, over the last few weeks about it, I almost feel like I owe Portland my best,” Ingles said on Wednesday. “They’ve bought in on me, obviously, being here now with everything off the court they’ve set up and helped with, head athletic trainer Jess (Cohen) coming to Chicago to do my surgery with me, make sure everything was good and spending a few days to make sure I got out.

“From top to bottom, I haven’t been around much, I’ve obviously been (in Salt Lake City) but I honestly feel like I’ve got to give them a chance. It would be very unfair of me, I think, for them to kind of buy in on me for now and then for me to walk away at the end of the year like ‘Thanks for getting my surgery and my (physical therapy) sorted, I’m going to leave you here!'”

Here are a few more of the most noteworthy comments Ingles made during his media session:

On his first impressions of the Blazers’ roster and situation:

“Just an exciting, young group that they’ve got now. But obviously a lot of flexibility in the summer as well. Excited to kind of see how it plays out.”

On his plan to eventually move his rehab from Utah to Portland:

“My rehab this whole summer is going to be in Portland. … I’ll head out to Portland for that home stretch of five or six games, whatever it is, at the end of March, I think it is. So I’ll go out there then, spend some time with everybody in Portland, which I think will be good for me, I think it will be good for them. … Excited about the future, I haven’t been a free agent since my second year really.”

On being traded after spending his first seven-and-a-half NBA seasons in Utah:

“I understand the business side of it, I understand the relationships. Eight years is a long time and I’ve built some pretty strong relationships here. And not even just (with the team), in the community, with my wife and what she does as well.

“… Regardless of if I’m injured or not, I still think I could have been an asset down there to help these guys. Knowing (Jazz head coach) Quin (Snyder), knowing the players, knowing what their goals are, I think I definitely could have still been important.

I have mixed emotions about it, obviously. … Very mixed emotions. I still get mad and frustrated some days with it. I’m living like 10 minutes up the road, so it’s annoying that I can’t go hang out — I guess I can hang out with the guys — go to the facility and do all that. It is what it is, like I said, I understand it. Do I necessarily agree with it or not? That could be up for debate… Just an interesting few months for me.”

Blazers GM Joe Cronin: Josh Hart “A Keeper”

When Portland sent CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr. to New Orleans earlier this month in a package headlined by Josh Hart and draft assets, it wasn’t clear if the Trail Blazers actually coveted Hart or if he was a candidate to be flipped to another team by the retooling Blazers.

Speaking to Jason Quick of The Athletic, Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin made it clear he’s a big fan of Hart and views the veteran wing as a long-term fit with the franchise.

“He’s a keeper,” Cronin said. “Josh embodies what we are trying to build here. The talent level, the skill set, the competitiveness, the IQ, the defensive-minded, guard-anyone approach. His ability to make others better, to make shots, push the ball. … We targeted him, and it’s that type of player who we want. We want to find more Josh Harts at different positions.”

Hart, who will turn 27 on Sunday, has averaged 19.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 4.2 APG on 54.0% shooting in five games (33.6 MPG) since being traded to Portland. He’s under contract for two more years beyond this one, though the structure of his deal is somewhat unusual.

Hart’s $12.96MM salary for 2022/23 is non-guaranteed, so if the Blazers want to maximize their cap room this summer, they could theoretically waive him to create an additional $12MM+ in space, but that appears extremely unlikely. Hart’s $12.96MM salary for 2023/24 is also non-guaranteed. However, he holds a player option for that season, so he could opt out in 2023 to seek a new deal if he has outperformed his current contract.

Here are a few more noteworthy comments from Cronin, via The Athletic:

  • Cronin tells Quick that he has also been extremely impressed with Justise Winslow, whom the Blazers acquired from the Clippers in their Robert Covington/Norman Powell trade. According to Cronin, Winslow – like Hart – fits “the style and the mentality” the team wants to play with. “Those type of players are not easy to find,” Cronin said. “The Josh Harts of the world, the Justise Winslows of the world, they are not easily attainable. That’s where we are trying to create as many tools and ammunition to be able to go and find those types of players.”
  • Cronin identified Joe Ingles as a player who “has the unique mix of talent, skillset and mentality we are looking for” and suggested that acquiring him from Utah was “about the player” rather than the expiring contract. I’m a little skeptical of that statement, since I’d be surprised if the Blazers push very hard to re-sign a 34-year-old who will spend a chunk of next season recovering from an ACL tear and who has previously expressed a desire to return to a division rival.
  • While the Blazers’ deadline deals cleared out a backcourt logjam to a certain extent, Cronin said the team still has to “balance the roster.” However, he’s more concerned about continuing to stockpile talent. “If there is a two guard (in the draft) that is head-and-shoulders above the other positions, we are taking the two guard, then figure it out,” Cronin said. “We can’t dismiss the talent part to be able to compete at the level we want to compete at.”

Joe Ingles Undergoes Successful ACL Surgery

Trail Blazers forward Joe Ingles underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the team announced. Ingles will begin rehabbing the knee this week and is expected to make a full recovery.

Ingles suffered the injury on January 30 while with the Jazz. He was later traded to Portland in a deal that sent Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez to Utah.

Ingles, the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award to former Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson in 2020/21, was having a down year this season, averaging just 7.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .404/.347/.773 shooting in 45 games (24.9 MPG). However, he’s a savvy veteran with a high basketball IQ and was a locker-room leader for Utah.

Ingles expressed confidence in his ability to recover from the torn ACL to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon earlier this month. Ingles noted that his game has never relied on quickness or leaping ability, so it may not affect him as significantly as a player who does.

“Then the other part of it — and we joke about it — is my game,” Ingles told ESPN. “My game has never been based on athleticism, above the rim, or anything like that. I’m not writing off what this surgery is and what the rehab looks like, but everyone around the league knows how I play and what I can do.”

Portland recently promoted Trendon Watford from a two-way to a standard contract and chose to waive Dennis Smith Jr. instead of Ingles, which suggests that the team may still see value in Ingles’ Bird rights. However, with the 34-year-old out for the rest of the season, he remains a candidate to be cut in the coming weeks if the Blazers want to make another signing.

Jazz Acquire Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Juan Hernangomez In Three-Team Trade

7:54pm: The three-team trade is now official, the Jazz, Blazers and Spurs announced.

2:24pm: The Jazz are sending Memphis’ 2022 second-round pick to Portland in the trade and will send a 2027 second-rounder to San Antonio, reports Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Utah has already traded away its own 2027 second-rounder, so the pick going to San Antonio will likely be the least favorable of Oklahoma City’s, Houston’s, Indiana’s, and Miami’s ’27 second-rounders. The Jazz previously acquired that pick from the Thunder in the 2021 offseason.

1:13pm: The Jazz, Spurs, and Trail Blazers have reached an agreement on a three-team trade, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, Utah will acquire Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Portland and Juan Hernangomez from San Antonio. The Spurs will receive Tomas Satoransky and a second-round pick, while the Blazers will get Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, and a second-round pick. Both second-rounders will be coming from the Jazz, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Even before Ingles went down with a season-ending ACL tear, the Jazz had been exploring the market to see if they could find an upgrade on the wing using his expiring contract and a draft pick. Following the injury, Ingles’ value dipped, and Utah apparently decided none of the options available for the forward’s expiring deal and a first-round pick were worth moving forward on.

Instead, the Jazz will make a move that sees them sacrifice a pair of future second-round selections – rather than a first-rounder – for two healthy players, while reducing their projected tax bill in the process. Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link) estimates $11MM in tax savings. Utah should also create a new trade exception worth nearly $10MM by taking Hernangomez into an existing TPE.

Alexander-Walker, a third-year guard, had a promising sophomore season in 2020/21, but has struggled to score efficiently this season, averaging 12.8 PPG on .375/.311/.722 shooting in 50 games (26.3 MPG). He has spent most of the season in New Orleans, having been sent to Portland on Monday in the CJ McCollum trade. The 23-year-old has a $3.3MM salary this season and will make $5MM next season before becoming eligible for restricted free agency.

Hernangomez has had some success in the past as a stretch four, but has played poorly in limited minutes this season, putting up 1.1 PPG and 1.7 RPG on 21.2% shooting in 23 games (6.4 MPG). He was traded from Boston to San Antonio in last month’s three-team Bryn Forbes deal. Hernangomez is essentially on an expiring contract, since his $7.4MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed.

From San Antonio’s perspective, the deal is about picking up an extra draft asset. Neither Hernangomez nor Satoransky is in the team’s long-term plans, so the Spurs were rewarded for their willingness to add to this season’s payroll by taking on a slightly bigger contract (Satoransky has a $10MM expiring salary).

The Blazers, meanwhile, continue to wheel and deal, agreeing to their third trade in the last week. It appears they weren’t particularly high on Alexander-Walker, choosing to flip him right away in a deal that clears another $5MM off their books for 2022/23 and nets them another second-round pick.

Both Ingles and Hughes will be free agents this offseason. Ingles spoke last week about remaining in Utah to rehab his knee injury even if he were traded and said he’d be interested in eventually re-signing with the Jazz (Twitter links via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune).

[RELATED: Joe Ingles Has “No Doubt” He’ll Come Back From ACL Tear]

Despite the fact that Satoransky, Alexander-Walker, and Hernangomez were recently traded, the NBA’s rules don’t prevent them from being moved again right away, since they’re not being aggregated with a second player for salary-matching purposes in this deal.

From Portland’s perspective, Satoransky’s salary is being used to match Ingles’ $13MM cap charge, with Alexander-Walker’s salary not required for matching purposes (the Blazers will create a trade exception worth his $3.3MM cap hit), since Hughes can be acquired using a minimum salary exception. San Antonio is trading Hernangomez on his own for Satoransky.

Trade Rumors: Kings, Barnes, Jazz, Gordon, Nets, Sixers

The Kings have made on major trade already this week, sending three players, including Tyrese Haliburton, to Indiana in exchange for a three-player package headlined by Domantas Sabonis. However, they may not be done dealing yet. A front office source who spoke to Steve Bulpett of believes there’s another Sacramento move on the way before Thursday’s deadline.

“That one (the Sabonis trade) is just Part One,” the source told Bulpett.

Kings forward Harrison Barnes remains a candidate to be moved, according to Chris Mannix of, who hears from sources that the team is expected to “aggressively” explore the market for Barnes.

There should be no shortage of suitors for Barnes, a solid defender who is knocking down 40.5% of his three-point attempts this season and has a reasonable contract ($20.3MM this season, $18.4MM next year). Marc Berman of The New York Post, who hears from multiple sources that the Kings would be open to moving Barnes, reports that the Knicks are one team that has inquired on the veteran forward.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz have expressed interest in trading for Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. As Scotto writes, Utah has been dangling Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick in the hopes of adding a wing, while Houston has sought a first-rounder in any deal involving Gordon.
  • While ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link) thinks there’s a real chance of the Nets and Sixers completing a James Harden/Ben Simmons trade this week, Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash said on Tuesday that he expects his roster to be the same after Thursday’s trade deadline as it is now, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).
  • Whether or not they trade Simmons, the Sixers are in the market for another backcourt player, head coach Doc Rivers said on Tuesday (Twitter link via Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer). “We have no choice. We have to get another guard,” Rivers said. “We just do. Even if Furk (Furkan Korkmaz) and Shake (Milton handle the ball), we need a point guard, and we’re looking. But they don’t grow on trees, as you know.”

Lakers, Wolves, Jazz Eyeing Josh Richardson

The Lakers are the latest team to be linked to Celtics wing Josh Richardson, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

There are conflicting reports on what the Lakers are willing to offer for Richardson. Keith Smith of hears from a source that talks between Los Angeles and Boston went nowhere because the Celtics don’t have much interest in Talen Horton-Tucker and the Lakers weren’t eager to add a draft pick to their trade offer.

However, Brian Robb of reports that L.A. offered Horton-Tucker and a draft pick for Richardson. The details on that pick are unclear, but the Lakers’ first-rounders are tied up for the next few years, so a 2027 pick is the earliest one they could unconditionally offer. A first-rounder may be necessary to entice Boston — Horton-Tucker’s trade value has “significantly cooled” since last season, per Bill Oram and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

The Timberwolves are another potential suitor for Richardson. Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who previously reported that Minnesota hadn’t shown much interest in a possible deal that would’ve sent Richardson and either Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith to the Wolves in exchange for Malik Beasley, says those discussions are once again gaining some momentum.

According to Weiss, the Wolves are “warming up” to the idea of a deal involving Beasley and Richardson, since it seems increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to land an impact player such as Ben Simmons.

However, it’s unclear whether the Wolves and Celtics agree on Beasley’s value. Smith has heard that the C’s want more than just Beasley from Minnesota in a swap for Richardson, due to his past legal issues and the fact that he’s earning a higher salary ($14.5MM) than Richardson ($11.6MM). Adding Langford ($3.8MM) or Nesmith ($3.6MM) would close that salary gap.

Meanwhile, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says rival executives believe Minnesota wants a first-round pick for Beasley. That seems like an unrealistic asking price, given Beasley’s underwhelming performance this season, but it suggests the Wolves still value him — it’s unclear if they’d be willing to move him for a package like Richardson and Nesmith.

Finally, the Jazz also remain in the hunt for Richardson, according to Robb. A report last week indicated that the veteran swingman is on Utah’s radar.

Any offer from the Jazz would likely have to be centered around Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick, says Robb. Given the Celtics’ recent hot streak, that sort of framework may not appeal to the team, since Ingles is out with a torn ACL and wouldn’t be able to contribute this season.

Joe Ingles Has “No Doubt” He’ll Come Back From ACL Tear

Veteran Jazz forward Joe Ingles will turn 35 later this year and is preparing to undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, but he’s not contemplating the possibility of retirement. Ingles told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that there’s “literally no doubt” that he’ll make an NBA comeback after recovering from his ACL tear.

“I know probably everybody says that when they’re going through this,” Ingles said. “A few days post-injury, people might think I’m a little bit crazy. But you look at people who have been through this. The MRI was a little bit of a win, I guess, with it just being my ACL.”

As Ingles notes, while a torn ACL isn’t an easy injury to come back from, he didn’t suffer further structural damage in that knee, such as an MCL tear. The 34-year-old also pointed out that the injury may not affect him as significantly as it would if he were a player who relied more on quickness and explosiveness.

“Then the other part of it — and we joke about it — is my game,” Ingles told ESPN. “My game has never been based on athleticism, above the rim, or anything like that. I’m not writing off what this surgery is and what the rehab looks like, but everyone around the league knows how I play and what I can do.”

Ingles joked that the reactions to his injury on social media made it sound like he was “dead” or “dying.” He told MacMahon that he remains “very, very confident” in his ability to continue playing in the NBA.

Although Ingles is optimistic about eventually returning to the court, there’s no guarantee it will happen for the Jazz. His contract with the team expires this offseason, and his $13MM+ cap hit will make him a candidate to be traded as a salary-matching piece if Utah makes a deadline deal.

“If I’m able to get someone back that would help them make a push for the end of the year, I understand that,” Ingles told MacMahon. “I’m not going to sit here and be sour and upset. I’ve built my eight years here of hard work and in the community and all that stuff, but I’m very well aware of the business side and all that.”

Theoretically, Ingles could return to the Jazz as a free agent next season even if he’s traded at this year’s deadline. His injury recovery will likely extend into the 2022/23 season, complicating his free agency, but he tells ESPN he has “good relationships” with the franchise and will see what happens after his contract expires.

Northwest Notes: Ingles, Edwards, Beverley, Reed

Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, recently ruled out for the season with an ACL tear, seems likely to either see his expiring $14MM contract traded or waived by Utah, writes Sarah Todd of the Deseret News.

Todd writes that wing Danuel House appears likely to ink a guaranteed deal with Utah, but that the team may need more help than that. The Jazz also have a $7.4MM trade exception they could use to their advantage. Until the team makes another addition to its roster, Todd projects Eric Paschall to see more run in the absence of Ingles.

Tony Jones of The Athletic concurs that it seems probable House will get a guaranteed deal in the wake of the Ingles injury. Jones opines that Ingles will be tough to replace as a reliable wing shooter and ball-handler, particularly in the pick-and-roll. Jones notes that the Jazz, hopeful to make a championship push this season, will most likely look to shore up their roster beyond just keeping House around.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves second-year swingman Anthony Edwards is confident he can reach All-Star levels, possibly even this season, writes Marc Spears of the Undefeated. “My main goal is to get into the All-Star Game,” Edwards said ahead of the NBA revealing coaches’ picks tonight for the 2022 game in Cleveland next month. “I know I am going to get in the Rising Stars Game [this season]. I want to be in [the] All-Star Game.” The 20-year-old is averaging 22.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.7 APG, with shooting splits of .443/.363/.807 across 40 games for the 26-25 Timberwolves this year. Responding to a question about his ceiling as a player, Edwards was optimistic. “I don’t think I got one,” he said. “I think I can be as good as anyone.”
  • When asked about the possibility of being dealt at or before the impending trade deadline this season, Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley indicated that he hopes to stick around in Minnesota, both for the rest of this season and perhaps past it, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). “It’s been great here,” Beverley said of his tenure in Minnesota. “Especially trying to establish a culture, a winning culture here … They allowed me to be myself here. Allowed me to do my thing, and that’s affected on and off the court on the team.”
  • Nuggets shooting guard Davon Reed expressed confidence that he has shown he can be more than a “fringe” player in the league, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “I can defend multiple positions, I can make open shots and, given the opportunity, I can make plays for my team as well,” Reed said. He has certainly earned rave reviews from head coach Michael Malone. “Every time that kid gets a chance to play, he goes out there and plays at a high level,” Malone said. Reed’s shooting numbers, albeit across a fairly modest 14.4 MPG while taking just 3.4 field goal attempts and 0.2 free throw looks a night, have been encouraging: .500/.476/.800.

Josh Richardson, Josh Okogie Among Players On Jazz’s Radar

Celtics swingman Josh Richardson and Timberwolves swingman Josh Okogie are among the wing options the Jazz have discussed as they weigh their trade options, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on HoopsHype’s latest podcast.

Utah also continues to keep an eye on Kings forward Harrison Barnes and Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, according to Scotto. Barnes – whom new Jazz executive Danny Ainge pursued during his time in Boston – and Covington have previously been identified as potential targets for the club.

Barnes and Covington would certainly come at a higher cost in a trade than Richardson or Okogie. Scotto has heard from executives around the NBA that the Kings are seeking at least a first-round pick in any deal involving Barnes. Utah has a future first-rounder to offer along with Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract, but Scotto thinks Sacramento might push for a player like Bojan Bogdanovic, who could contribute right away, over Ingles, who will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL.

If the Jazz are unable to use Ingles and draft assets to land a player like Barnes or Covington, they could shift their focus to a target like Richardson. In his latest roundup of leaguewide trade rumors, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says that Utah has been “consistently mentioned” as a possible destination for Richardson.

A January report indicated Boston has been “surprisingly open” to discussing Richardson after trading for him and signing him to a one-year extension during the 2021 offseason. Richardson’s scoring average has dipped to 9.8 PPG, his lowest mark since his rookie season in 2015/16, but he’s hitting 39.1% of his three-point attempts and is a versatile defender.

Okogie, who is shooting a career-worst 35.6% from the floor in just 12.7 minutes per contest (32 games) in 2021/22, will be a free agent at season’s end and is likely viewed as a fallback option for Utah. The former first-round pick is earning just $4.1MM and is a solid defender, but won’t contribute much on offense and probably can’t be counted on to play a significant role on a contending team. He has been in and out of Minnesota’s rotation this season.