- Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has cleared the concussion protocol and is probable for Monday’s game, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Davis was diagnosed with a contusion of the orbit bone above his right eye after a collision the third quarter of Friday night’s contest. He was removed from the game and didn’t re-enter.
- Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas participated in some five-on-zero drills and worked on his shot today in practice, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
- Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has swelling in his elbow caused by bursitis, but says it isn’t the reason for his recent shooting problems, according to Ian Begley of ESPN (Twitter link). “At the end of last season, it was really swollen; it was really, really big,” he said of the elbow. “But it was never really bothering me. Now this season, kind of fell on it a couple of times. It wasn’t bothering me either. In Sacramento, I fell kind of on the side. It was a new spot. It was much more sensitive. Now I’m doing treatment. Today’s the day I’m almost back to normal. I almost don’t feel it at all anymore.”
- Wizards guard John Wall will miss today’s game with soreness in his left knee, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
- Warriors forward Kevin Durant suffered a sprained ankle last night and will sit out today’s game in Brooklyn, tweets Warriors PR.
Tests conducted today on John Wall‘s injured left shoulder showed no structural damage, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. The star guard is reporting soreness and is questionable for Sunday’s game with the Raptors.
Wall was diagnosed with a sprained shoulder after Friday’s game with the Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst on ESPN Now. X-rays taken Friday night were negative, but Wall had his arm in a sling as he left Capital One Arena.
Wall said the damage was done when he ran into the Cavs’ Channing Frye on a play in the fourth quarter. He told reporters he should have left the game after that happened.
The Wizards are relieved that they won’t be without their leader for an extended time. The four-time All-Star is averaging 20.5 points and 10.4 assists through eight games.
Five years ago, Stephen Curry signed a four-year, $44MM extension with the Warriors. Two NBA Most Valuable Player awards and two NBA championships later, that contract turned out to be a mammoth bargain. However, when Curry originally signed the deal on Halloween 2012, the risk was all on the Warriors, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes.
Before Curry’s mantle was stuffed with MVP trophies and NBA championship rings, he was known as a potentially prolific shooter with troublesome ankles. He missed 56 games with ankle injuries in 2011/12 and tweaked his ankle once again during the 2012/13 preseason. However, before Curry and his representation agreed to the $44MM extension, the Warriors told Curry’s agent Jeff Austin that the team would be willing to offer a max deal in free agency that summer.
“They said if he was healthy at the end of the season, they set aside the max money for him,” Austin said. “The Warriors were terrific the whole process. They told him if he could stay healthy, he would get the max.”
Curry’s team-friendly deal paved the way for Golden State to add players such as Andre Iguodala and last season, Kevin Durant. It also allowed the team the financial flexibility to retain Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors signed Curry to a supermax deal worth over $201MM this offseason and the team is primed to reach their fourth consecutive NBA Finals.
Below you can find other news from the Pacific Division:
- Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is not a fan of the NBA’s advanced statistics, most notably pace, Elliot Teaford of The Orange County Register writes. There seems to be a discrepancy in Rivers’ interpretation of pace (having players move efficiently on the court) versus the NBA’s definition (number of possessions per game).
- John Wall understands the predicament his former Kentucky teammate, Eric Bledsoe, is in with the Suns, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “Eric’s situation was that they had some great pieces and some great teams. [Markieff Morris] was with him over there. They had a season where they almost made the playoffs with 48 wins and they didn’t make it.” Wall said. “He’s going into his eighth year and he hasn’t made the playoffs [since 2013]. The team is getting younger and younger and he wants to get out of there and get to a team where he can make the playoffs.”
Given Pat Riley‘s history as a coach and executive overseeing star-studded rosters, it’s somewhat unusual that the Heat don’t currently have any players that have made an All-Star team. However, as he said this week during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Riley believes Miami has players that qualify as “stars,” even if they’ve never been recognized as All-Stars.
“I was asked this question earlier and I was a little bit taken aback by it, that, ‘How do you think you can win when you don’t have any All-Stars?'” the Heat president said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “And when you think about All-Stars, there were 12 All-Stars last year in the Eastern Conference and there are 225 players in the Eastern Conference. So we had a lot of stars on our team last year, we had All-Stars on our team last year, they simply weren’t selected.”
Although Riley is happy with his current roster, he also made it clear that the Heat won’t hesitate to pursue superstar-caliber players should they become available: “When it comes to ‘one step away,’ where are we in the rebuilding process, we’re going to always chase the most talented players that we can that are superstars, that we feel have the ability to be a superstar, and to really carry a team when a team can’t carry itself.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast division:
- After bouncing around from Denver to Portland to New York to Sacramento over the last several seasons, Arron Afflalo is happy to be back in Orlando. And, as Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes, his Magic teammates are happy to have him on the roster. “He’s a really great vet to have around,” Aaron Gordon said of Afflalo. “Not only is he extremely talented and a skilled basketball player . . . he’s very good in the locker room. He’s always positive. He’s always encouraging. He’s looking to get everybody involved.”
- John Denton of NBA.com takes a closer look at new Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons, the club’s biggest free agent signing of the offseason.
- Wizards head coach Scott Brooks believes John Wall can be in the MVP conversation this season, and Wall admits that he’s set the same goal for himself, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
- Wall and the Wizards are looking forward to getting Markieff Morris back with the team, though the veteran forward won’t be healthy to start the season. Hughes has the details in a separate article for NBC Sports Washington.
“He’s definitely going to get an opportunity to make the team here. I like his professionalism, I like his toughness, I like his serious approach to the game. Those are all qualities that every team will want players to have on their rosters,” Coach Scott Brook said.
Having a reliable backup to John Wall has been an issue for the club since the team drafted him back in 2010. Sloan hopes he can help the team in that area, although the front office addressed the spot this summer with the addition of Tim Frazier. Frazier’s arrival, along with the addition of Jodie Meeks, added to a crowded guard rotation, something that Sloan was aware of before he agreed to join the Wizards in training camp.
“I knew what they had on the roster already. You wonder why. Why would you come in?” Sloan said. “I just didn’t come here to make the team … I came to be a part of what they’re trying to do here. I came to be that guy off the bench to give them what they need. I came to be that guy with backup minutes.”
“If coach has something set in his mind already about what he thinks it’s going to be. I’m going to put pressure on him to think otherwise.”
Here’s more from Washington:
- Sloan turned down several international offers to come to the Wizards’ training camp, Buckner adds in the same piece. The point guard’s goal is to play in the NBA, specifically for Washington, and he worried that continuing to play overseas will cause NBA teams to typecast him as a non-league level player. Sloan spent last season in China where he led the Guangdong Southern Tigers to the Chinese Basketball Association Finals.
- The Wizards believe John Wall, who signed a four-year, $170MM extension this offseason, is one of the best players in the league and Brooks can envision him winning the MVP award this season. Wall loves having his coach’s support and hopes to achieve that lofty goal, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. “[Winning MVP is] a goal that I have for myself, also,” Wall said. “It’s not more pressure. It’s an opportunity knowing how much I worked on my game. It shows how much coach believes in me. He wants me to run the team. He’s put me in different positions to excel. That’s my ultimate goal, to be MVP one day, why not have it have an MVP season this year?”
- Markieff Morris, who was found not guilty of assault earlier today, will be cleared to join the Wizards without punishment from the league, Buckner reports in a separate piece.
Expect the Heat to make roster moves well into training camp to maximize their flexibility, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. The team will probably follow the same pattern it did last year when Keith Benson and Stefan Jankovic stayed with the team for most of camp before being replaced by Vashil Fernandez and Luis Montero. All four players wound up with the team’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls.
Heat GM Andy Elisburg explains that teams have to be aware of building a 10-man G League team at the same time as the 15-man NBA roster. That process is complicated this year by the creation of two-way contracts for players who remain under team control in the G League and are limited to 45 days with the NBA club. “I think you’re going to see signings up to training camp,” Elisburg said. “You’re going to see signings throughout training camp. You’re going to see signings the last week or two of training camp, maybe last day or two of the preseason, of players who will be joining the roster, who will be probably working their way to various developmental-league teams.”
There’s more news from the Southeast Division:
- The Heat might be reluctant to pursue any of the veteran free agents still on the market, Winderman writes in a separate piece. In response to a reader’s letter suggesting Tony Allen, Beno Udrih, Deron Williams, David Lee, Mike Dunleavy or Boris Diaw, Winderman explains that Miami already has a full complement of players with guaranteed contracts, and adding another would likely lead to getting rid of Okaro White, who has a partial guarantee, or A.J. Hammons, who is fully guaranteed at the minimum salary.
- The Wizards are confident John Wall will give them fair value for the full life of his contract extension, writes Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. The four-year, $170MM extension he agreed to in July takes effect in 2019 and includes a player option for the final season. It will keep the 27-year-old in Washington until he turns 31 or 32. “Thirty is still very young in the NBA nowadays,” said team president Ernie Grunfeld. “But we’ve seen John grow every single year. He’s improved every year he’s been in the league. The last four years he’s been an All-Star. This past year he was an elite-level player making the All-NBA team.”
- Former NBA head coach Eddie Jordan is close to joining the Hornets‘ staff, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The team is finalizing a contract for Jordan to replace Bob Weiss, who recently accepted a job as an assistant with the Nuggets. Jordan has a 257-343 record as coach of the Kings, Wizards and Sixers.
For the first time in over a decade the Knicks appear to be embarking on a genuine rebuild. It’s a changing of the guard, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes, that extends beyond the literal fact that Derrick Rose is out and Frank Ntilikina is in.
After years of seeming to prioritize headlines over wins, the Knicks have a young core in place and a respected general manager that may just be up to the task of gradually building a winner.
While the Knicks’ decision to take Ntilikina eighth overall in the June NBA Draft will forever be tied to how well Dennis Smith Jr. (ninth overall) and Malik Monk (12th) fare throughout their careers, the 19-year-old represents the long developmental process inherent with a genuine rebuild.
It may be some time before the Knicks end up back in the postseason but the fact that the franchise may, for now at least, be committed to rebuilding authentically as opposed to chasing shortcut solutions is a step in the right direction.
There’s more from the East:
- Figuring to make the Celtics–Wizards rivalry slightly more interesting in 2017/18 is the fact that Marcus Morris, brother of Wiz forward Markieff Morris, will suit up for Boston. “I think we’ll still have that rivalry because we don’t like those guys and they don’t like us,” Markieff told Ben Standig of FanRag Sports. “I don’t think that should change with my brother on the team.“
- The Wizards came up short against the Celtics in their second-round playoff series but John Wall isn’t letting the fact that he went cold down the stretch. “Game 7 was not the way we wanted it to end, but I definitely went out swinging,” the guard told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I didn’t go 0-for-0. I went 0-for-11. I shot the ball and played the game I wanted to play. At least I wasn’t being passive. I was aggressive like I was the whole playoffs. I can deal with losing that way and use that as motivation for this season coming up.“
- Despite going third overall versus Josh Jackson‘s fourth, Jayson Tatum‘s NBA 2K18 rating is one point lower, D.J. Bean of CSN New England writes. Bean reminds readers that the Celtics were unable to secure a pre-draft workout with Jackson, who ultimately ended up with the Suns.
After agreeing to a four-year extension worth $170 million with the Wizards, which kicks in during the 2019 season, John Wall will be the face that runs the place for the foreseeable future. The super-max deal puts Wall in an elite class among his NBA peers and now he will have to be a leader for a talented team that has been on the cusp of an extended playoff run the last few years.
In a new in-depth feature, Michael Lee of The Vertical speaks to Wall and breaks down his future in the nation’s capital. While pursuing a deal to play in a large media market is enticing to many NBA players, Wall says he’s comfortable staying with the only team he’s ever suited up for.
“I think a lot of players want to be in a certain place. Who wouldn’t want to be in L.A.? Who wouldn’t want to be in Miami? Those are amazing cities. Well, I’m in one of the best cities you want to be, in D.C. So I’m fine,” Wall said.
While the entirety of Lee’s piece is worth the read, the fact that Wall’s role with the Wizards and expectations have soared into the forefront.
Below you can read additional tidbits of news surrounding the Southeast Division:
- In a pair of Ask Ira columns on Monday and Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel addressed several Heat-related topics. Winderman discusses how the Heat roster would look if Willie Reed had been re-signed, the team’s 2017/18 lineup, A.J. Hammons‘ possible G League stint, and Josh Richardson‘s future.
- The Magic announced on Tuesday that the team’s new G League affiliate – the Lakeland Magic – has named Anthony Parker the general manager and Stan Heath the head coach. Parker has served as a scout in Orlando for the last half decade, while Heath sports an accomplished record as a college head coach.
The Wizards have made no secret their plan to double down on their current core and a recent blog post from franchise owner Ted Leonsis only further documents how Washington plans to craft a winner.
The Wizards boast the youngest core of long-term signed max players, a testament to their willingness to commit to their guys, and they’re not afraid to dip into the luxury tax in order to preserve what they think is going to work eventually.
Further, Leonsis writes, the Wizards plan to invest in basketball development at all levels, citing the team’s acquisition of a G League club and plans for a new arena to house the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- The Hornets are said to be interested in signing Julyan Stone to a two-year contract but the 28-year-old is unable to opt out of his current deal with his Italian club, Emilio Carchia of Sportando writes. Per Stone’s Instagram account, the club hasn’t exactly made pursuing a buyout easy.
- Having recently extended his contract, John Wall is in no rush to leave the Wizards, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press writes. “There’s no point in testing free agency if I know where I want to be,” the guard said.
- After re-signing with the Hawks, big man Mike Muscala will look to continue his impressive development under the tutelage of the franchise’s staff, K.L. Chouinard of the team’s official website writes.
- Big man Ian Mahinmi had a minor procedure on his knee this summer, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes. Mahinmi missed 51 games for the Wizards with a knee injury last season. “He’s down to like 238, he’s in the best shape he’s ever been. He’s working hard and looking forward to coming back,” head coach Scott Brooks said.
No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, but one such provision has been the subject of much discussion so far in 2017, as Carmelo Anthony made use of his NTC to block the Knicks from sending him to an undesirable destination. For much of the offseason, Anthony was focused on joining the Rockets, but he eventually agreed to a deal that sent him to Oklahoma City.
Anthony is one of just two NBA players whose contract includes an explicit no-trade clause, but there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals, though no restricted free agents have signed their QOs so far this year.
Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2017/18 league year:
Players whose offer sheets were matched
- Otto Porter (Wizards)
- Note: Even with his consent, Porter cannot be traded to the Nets during the 2017/18 league year.
Players accepting qualifying offers
Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)
- Bobby Brown (Rockets)
- Nick Collison (Thunder)
- Dante Cunningham (Pelicans)
- Kevin Durant (Warriors)
- Udonis Haslem (Heat)
- Ersan Ilyasova (Hawks)
- JaVale McGee (Warriors)
- Nikola Mirotic (Bulls)
- Shabazz Muhammad (Timberwolves)
- Mike Muscala (Hawks)
- Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)
- Zaza Pachulia (Warriors)
- Jason Terry (Bucks)
- David West (Warriors)
In addition to the players listed above who can veto trades through the 2017/18 league year, there’s another small handful of players who can’t be dealt under any circumstance until at least next July. The following players signed a Designated Veteran Extension this season, which precludes them from being traded for a full calendar year: