Joe Ingles

Western Notes: Ingles, Bogdanovic, O’Neale, Conley, Gay, Adelman, Doncic

The Jazz are well above the luxury tax line after re-signing Mike Conley and adding Rudy Gay in free agency but they don’t plan on dumping any of their mid-salaried players to ease the burden, Zach Lowe of ESPN reports. Lowe names Joe Ingles ($12.4MM), Bojan Bogdanovic ($18.7MM) and Royce O’Neale ($8.8MM) as the type of players that the Jazz could look to dump if they wanted to get below the tax line or reduce the bill. There’s no indication any of them are going anywhere anytime soon.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Conley played a role in convincing Gay to leave the Spurs for the Jazz in free agency, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes. Conley said the front office urged him to recruit his former Memphis teammate. “I’ve done it little bit (before) but not at this capacity,” Conley said. “I was like putting babies down for bed and having to drop them and go take a call because I’m trying to make sure we lock up a guy like Rudy. … I was really locked in on that and it was fun.”
  • David Adelman will be the lead assistant for the Nuggets, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Jordi Fernandez will be the second assistant under Michael Malone while Popeye Jones, whose addition to the staff was previously reported, will be the third assistant on Malone’s bench.
  • Luka Doncic‘s new contract extension includes a 15% trade kicker, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. However, the trade bonus would only kick in if the cap rose significantly in the future, since a trade bonus can’t increase a player’s salary beyond the maximum and the All-NBA guard has already qualified for a higher max salary than he’d typically be eligible for. Doncic’s five-year, $207MM extension with the Mavericks became official on Tuesday.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Lillard, Jazz, Butler

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is urging fans to be patient after the team’s slow start to free agency, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota hasn’t made any significant additions since the signing period began on Monday, but Rosas said the plan is to keep the core of the team intact and try to build on the momentum from late last season. The Wolves had a .500 record over their final 22 games.

“We just want to see this team come together,” he said. “As well as this team played down the stretch last year, we didn’t have Malik Beasley available because of injury. This group, the value of continuity, the value of growth together and just repetition together as a team, we’re excited about what that growth might mean.”

The immediate concern will be keeping restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin, Krawczynski adds. Both are facing a market where teams are left with limited resources and limited roster spots. Rosas spoke to them and their agents shortly after the signing period began.

Head coach Chris Finch foresees an expanded role for both players if they return. McLaughlin may become the primary backup at point guard now that Ricky Rubio is on the way to Cleveland, while Vanderbilt is one of the team’s most versatile defenders.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard helped Team USA capture a gold medal despite playing with an abdominal injury, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He will require further testing once he returns from Tokyo. Lillard, who was determined to keep playing despite the injury, logged 27 minutes and scored 11 points in Friday’s gold medal game.
  • The Jazz were shopping for versatility in this year’s free agent market, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. General manager Justin Zanik said that’s what the team was lacking in the playoffs, which is why it pursued Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside, while trading for Eric Paschall and rookie Jared Butler. Zanik added that he’s likely done with significant moves for the offseason, and Walden points out that means Joe Ingles will probably remain with the team.
  • The Jazz won’t have Butler as part of their Summer League squad, Walden adds. The rookie had a health issue during the pre-draft process and hasn’t been in a contact setting for a long time. Zanik said management might have let him play if the games were “10 days later,” but they opted to be safe.

Trade Rumors: Dinwiddie, Hornets, Ingles, T. Young

Spencer Dinwiddie is close to a deal with the Wizards, but it may take some complex maneuvering to get him there, Fred Katz writes in The Athletic’s free agency recap. The two sides are reportedly hammering out a three-year contract worth $60MM, but Washington is over the cap, so a sign-and-trade will have to be arranged involving the Nets and maybe more teams.

Katz points out that Brooklyn is already over the luxury tax threshold for next season and isn’t interested in adding salary. He suggests the teams may try to tie this deal to the trade sending Russell Westbrook to the Lakers. Katz is confident that Dinwiddie will eventually join the Wizards, but it won’t be easy to work through the details.

In the same piece, Alex Schiffer notes that Brooklyn has been trying to unload DeAndre Jordan‘s contract, which is worth nearly $20MM over the next two years. John Hollinger says the Lakers could send Kyle Kuzma directly to the Nets instead of the Wizards, which would enable Brooklyn to include Jordan and avoid a huge rise in its tax bill.

There’s more on potential trades to watch for:

  • The Hornets are one of the few teams that still has flexibility after an active first night of free agency, Hollinger adds. A sign-and-trade of Devonte’ Graham allows Charlotte to have $15MM in cap room or to expand the deal and bring another player, possibly Lauri Markkanen. Hollinger states that the Hornets still need one more guard and another big man.
  • The Warriors would be interested in trading for Joe Ingles if the Jazz make him available, sources tell Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Ingles will turn 34 soon, but his passing and shooting would be valuable in Golden State’s system, though Thompson cautions that actually acquiring him would be tricky from a cap perspective. The Warriors still have hope of signing longtime Spurs guard Patty Mills, Thompson adds.
  • Several contending teams and younger teams are interested in getting Thaddeus Young from the Bulls, tweets Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago is hoping to resolve the situation with Markkanen before making a decision on Young.
  • There’s still a chance the Raptors could keep Goran Dragic– who is being acquired from the Heat in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade – rather than flipping him to another team, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Duarte, Warriors, Hornets, Mavs, Stashes

The Pacers ended up with Oregon’s Chris Duarte on draft night, using the No. 13 pick to select him. However, Duarte drew plenty of interest from other teams before Indiana snatched him up late in the lottery, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Results]

According to Michael, a Warriors official told Duarte on the way to the draft that he’d be their choice at No. 14. Golden State subsequently tried to make a trade with the Pacers after Indiana picked Duarte, says Michael. Meanwhile, the Knicks‘ “furious” attempts to move into the top 10 or the late lottery were believed to be focused on Duarte, according to Michael, who adds that the Jazz offered the No. 30 pick and Joe Ingles in a deal to get in position to draft the Oregon wing.

A Warriors source denied to Michael that Golden State tried to trade for Duarte even after selecting Moses Moody at No. 14, but Michael says two independent sources confirmed his report, and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) corroborated it.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft, the day after:

  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said there was huge demand for the No. 11 pick, which Charlotte used to draft James Bouknight.There was as much demand for that pick this year as I’ve ever seen for a pick in my years,” the veteran executive said, per Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks entered draft night without any picks, but president of basketball operations Nico Harrison said the team got “lots of calls” about getting into the first or second round. The price was ultimately “too rich for our blood,” according to Harrison (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • A pair of second-round picks by Atlantic teams are expected to be draft-and-stash prospects. The Celtics‘ No. 45 pick, Juhann Begarin, will likely remain in France for another season, per president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (Twitter link via Jared Weiss of The Athletic). And the Sixers’ No. 50 pick, Filip Petrusev, also isn’t expected to come over right away, as first reported by Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (Twitter link) and later confirmed by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).

Fischer’s Latest: Simmons, Beal, J. Richardson, Jazz, Kemba

Having claimed earlier in the week that the Sixers hadn’t really been able to get in touch with Ben Simmons this offseason, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report clarifies in his latest article that the team’s brass has maintained contact with Simmons and his representatives. However, the 76ers have been “unable to collaborate” so far on a summer development plan for the former No. 1 pick.

Although league executives who have spoken to Fischer speculate that the Sixers may try to hang onto Simmons in the hopes that Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will eventually ask out of Portland, the “overwhelming” expectation is that Simmons will be dealt before the start of the 2021/22 season. Of the early discussions Philadelphia has had about the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, talks with the Raptors are thought to be the most advanced, Fischer adds.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • As Bradley Beal continues to weigh his future with the Wizards, there’s a growing expectation around the league that the All-Star guard might still decide he wants to stay in D.C., says Fischer.
  • The Mavericks have explored trade scenarios involving Josh Richardson, according to Fischer. Richardson still has to make a decision on his $11.6MM player option for 2021/22, but if he opts in, his expiring contract represents a logical trade chip if Dallas wants the flexibility to make a run at a top free agent.
  • After previously identifying Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Royce O’Neale as potential trade candidates if the Jazz look to trim team salary, Fischer now says O’Neale is likely to stick around, but Bogdanovic and/or Ingles could still be moved. Utah has also explored the possibility of trading Derrick Favors along with the No. 30 pick, Fischer adds.
  • The Thunder‘s front office believes it should be able to flip Kemba Walker for assets this summer if his medicals are good, according to Fischer (Twitter link). Walker’s contract, which has two years and $73.7MM left on it, isn’t favorable, so Oklahoma City would likely need to take on an equally bad deal – or multiple unwanted contracts – in order to acquire assets with positive value.

Fischer’s Latest: Simmons, Lillard, Warriors, Ingles, Draft Deals, More

There has been little movement on the Ben Simmons situation, as none of the interested teams are offering an All-Star level player to the Sixers in return, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. He adds that many observers believe president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is waiting for Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard to return from the Olympics to see if he makes a trade request.

The Cavaliers, Pacers, Timberwolves, Kings and Raptors have all shown interest in trading for Simmons, sources tell Fischer. Executives from several of those teams said they view him as a play-making forward, rather than a point guard as he has been used in Philadelphia.

Simmons remains under contract for four more seasons, so there’s no urgency for the Sixers to make a move right away. Still, the “overwhelming expectation” across the league is that he will be traded during the offseason after struggling with his shot during the playoffs.

Fischer shares more inside information from around the NBA:

  • The Warriors would like to swap their two lottery picks for veteran help, but president of basketball operations Bob Myers isn’t finding many impact players available on the trade market. The Jazz could emerge as a possibility, Fischer adds, as Utah is hoping to shed some salary before re-signing point guard Mike Conley. Joe Ingles might be moved in such a deal, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale are also possibilities.
  • The Kings, who hold the No. 9 pick in Thursday’s draft, may be the highest option for teams hoping to trade into the lottery. Sacramento and the Pelicans, who have the 10th selection, have been active in trade talks involving those picks, sources tell Fischer, as both teams are looking for veterans who will give them a better chance to make the playoffs next season. New Orleans, which is hoping to unload Eric Bledsoe‘s salary, has talked to the Grizzlies about a deal that would send the veteran guard and the No. 10 pick to Memphis in exchange for the 17th choice.
  • The Hornets at No. 11 and the Pacers at No. 13 may also make their picks available. Fischer confirms that Indiana has talked to the Rockets about a deal involving Eric Gordon and the 23rd pick, and Myles Turner is believed to be on the trade market as well.

And-Ones: Australian Olympic Team, James, Missia-Dio, Spurs

Numerous current NBA players were named to the Australian national team’s final 12-man roster for the Olympics, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc tweets. The team is headlined by Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum and Josh Green.

Projected lottery pick Josh Giddey is not on the 12-man roster but has been named as one of three replacement players, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Giddey will travel to Las Vegas for Australia’s exhibition games, Givony adds. He’s currently rated No. 9 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • LeBron James passed on the Olympics this year and it’s unlikely he’ll play for Team USA again, managing director Jerry Colangelo said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin radio show (video link). “LeBron made choices these last couple of Olympics not to participate because he’s got a lot of things going on in his life,” Colangelo said. “So he put in his time, he made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over.” James’ last Olympic appearance came during the 2012 London Games.
  • Belgian forward Nathan Missia-Dio became the ninth player to sign with Overtime Elite, according to a league press release. The new development league will begin play in September. Missia-Dio, a 6’6” forward, played two seasons for Espoirs Limoges in France’s Elite U21 League. He is ranked 13th by Eurospects.com among international prospects born in 2004.
  • The Spurs are seeking a new naming-rights sponsor for their arena, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Longtime sponsor AT&T won’t renew its current deal, which expires in the fall of 2022. AT&T has also sold off its 7.23% share of the team. Front Office Sports first reported the news.

Jazz Notes: Lindsey, Conley, Ingles, Niang

In the wake of Friday’s season-ending loss to the Clippers, Jazz executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey promises to be “brutally honest” about the steps the team needs to take to reach the next level, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Speaking today at a media session, Lindsey said the organization has the ability to be “honest with ourselves” and will examine why it did and didn’t have opportunities to make a longer playoff run.

Utah posted the league’s best regular season record at 52-20 and coasted past Memphis in five games in the first round. The Jazz beat L.A. in the first two games of the conference semifinals, but then dropped four straight.

“The blueprint of trying to go from good to great is hard and complicated, but that’s what we strive for,” general manager Justin Zanik told reporters. “… You have to have some good fortune, too. For the large part of six to seven months, we were healthy. It caught up to us.” (Twitter link)

There’s more on the Jazz:

  • Lindsey said the organization appreciates Mike Conley‘s return to the court Friday after missing the first five games of the series with a strained right hamstring (Twitter link). He added that the team never puts pressure on anyone to try to play through injuries. Conley estimated he was about 50-60% for Friday’s game and said he had difficulty moving (Twitter link). He will be a free agent this summer and expressed an interest in returning to Utah, according to John Coon of The Associated Press.“(This is) actually my first time being a real free agent, so it will be interesting,” Conley said. “But I did love it here. We’ll see what happens.”
  • Entering the final year of his contract, Joe Ingles could be a trade chip for the Jazz to improve their perimeter defense, Coon adds. Ingles, who is preparing to represent Australia in the Olympics, doesn’t believe the team has to make major changes. “I don’t think we need to blow the whole roster up and start from scratch,” he said. “But maybe a few key pieces.” (Twitter link)
  • Forward Georges Niang will also be a free agent this summer, and like Conley, he said he would like to remain with the Jazz. (Twitter link). “My heart is in Utah, they helped me be a man,” he said. “I’ll be a free agent for the first time, so we’ll see what happens.”

Olympic Notes: Butler, Olynyk, Birch, Bjorkgren, Jokic, Australia

Jimmy Butler will not play for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Butler had an invite but he battled through a variety of ailments this season and had a short turnaround between seasons after Miami surprisingly reached the NBA Finals last summer.

We have more info on this year’s Olympics:

  • The Rockets’ Kelly Olynyk and Raptors’ Khem Birch are among the prominent players not listed among the 24 players Team Canada submitted to FIBA in advance of its Olympic qualifier, Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet tweets. They’re both unrestricted free agents. The Grizzlies’ Brandon Clarke is also not on the preliminary list, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. The 24-man roster can be found here.
  • Nate Bjorkgren, who was let go by the Pacers after one season as head coach, will join Nick Nurse’s Team Canada staff, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Bjorkgren was one of Nurse’s top assistants before his stint with Indiana.
  • MVP Nikola Jokic won’t play for the Serbian team at the Olympic qualifier due to an exhausting NBA campaign, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Jokic told Serbian news agency Tanjug, “Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court for recovery.” The Denver Post story asserts Jokic won’t play in the Olympics even if his national team qualifies, while an ESPN story says it’s unclear if Jokic would participate in Tokyo.
  • The Australian national team will play exhibitions against Team USA, Nigeria and Argentina in Las Vegas before departing for Tokyo, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. The 19-man preliminary roster, which will be trimmed to 12, is expected to be loaded with NBA players, including Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles.

Jazz Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Ingles, Clippers

Jazz guard Mike Conley is listed as questionable to play in Game 2 of the team’s second-round series against the Clippers on Thursday night, per the NBA’s official injury report. Conley, who suffered a mild right hamstring strain in Game 5 of the first round against Memphis, was also listed as questionable leading up to Game 1 vs. the Clippers on Tuesday before being ruled out.

The Jazz have a reputation for being careful with injuries. The team held Donovan Mitchell out of the first game of the postseason last month, much to Mitchell’s dismay. So while it seems like Conley is getting closer to returning to action, we shouldn’t expect to see him on the court until the club is confident he’s 100% or close to it.

Here’s more out of Utah:

  • The contributions of Bojan Bogdanovic are crucial to Utah’s title hopes, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Bogdanovic’s decision to sign a four-year contract with the Jazz as a free agent in 2019 represented a big win for the franchise both from a basketball perspective and a symbolic one, as Jones details. “We were glad that he chose us because he had options,” Jazz executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey told Jones. “Him choosing us was a sign that we could be a destination market, and it’s just been an excellent marriage. He’s met our level defensively. He’s such a versatile scorer and he’s a huge weapon for us because of how many ways he can score and shoot the ball.”
  • Even if the Jazz advance to the NBA Finals and don’t finish their season until July 22, don’t expect Joe Ingles to skip the Olympics this summer, tweets Joe Vardon of The Athletic. I’ll get on a plane the next day and I’ll make my way over to Japan,” said Ingles, who will represent Australia at the Tokyo games.
  • The Jazz haven’t forgotten the way the Clippers seemingly tanked at the end of the regular season to get into the No. 4 seed, avoiding a possible matchup with the Lakers in the Western Semifinals and lining one a series with Utah instead. Entering the second round, it sounded like Utah was using that as motivation, as Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes. “Obviously, we’re a matchup that the Clippers felt like was an advantageous matchup for them,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder told reporters on Tuesday.