Jonah Bolden

Atlantic Notes: Tatum, LeVert, Harris, Bolden

Jayson Tatum rolled his left ankle in the final seconds of Team USA’s nail-biter of a win over Turkey today, but the injury – diagnosed as an ankle sprain – doesn’t appear to be serious. The Celtics forward texted head coach Brad Stevens and told him as much about 20 minutes after suffering the injury, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Tatum later addressed reporters in China, including Joe Vardon of The Athletic and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Twitter links), and said he was already feeling better. The 21-year-old was walking under his own power and didn’t have much of a limp, according to reports, which is great news for the Celtics.

It remains to be seen whether Tatum’s World Cup run is over. We should know more by Wednesday, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if USA Basketball plays it safe with the young forward, sending him back stateside to focus on getting healthy for his upcoming season with the Celtics.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights (Twitter link) passes along the official numbers for Caris LeVert‘s new rookie scale extension, which starts at about $16.2MM in 2020/21. As initially reported, the three-year deal with the Nets is worth exactly $52.5MM and is fully guaranteed, with no options.
  • Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris, who put up 11 points and five rebounds today for Team USA, is relishing an opportunity to represent his country at the 2019 World Cup, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details. ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter) that Harris should be one of the very best UFA shooting guards on what figures to be a weak NBA free agent market in 2020.
  • Within his latest mailbag for The Athletic, Derek Bodner writes that while the Sixers don’t appear ready to trust Jonah Bolden as their primary backup center, he also doesn’t believe the club views Bolden as trade bait.

World Cup Notes: Bolden, Wagner, Luwawu-Cabarrot, Popovich

Team USA isn’t the only FIBA World Cup nation dealing with last-minute withdrawals. Sixers forward Jonah Bolden has informed the Australian squad that he won’t be participating in the tournament, which starts in 13 days, according to Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia. He cited “personal reasons” for the decision.

Bolden looked good in exhibition play, posting 12 points and five rebounds in Saturday’s win over Canada. His place could be taken by Deng Adel, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Nets last month, or Brock Motum, according to Uluc. The Australians are already playing without Ben Simmons, Thon Maker, Ryan Broekhoff and Dante Exum.

“My first thought is always with the player in these situations — having to withdraw from the national team is tough for anyone,” Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis said. “From a team perspective, the timing is sub-optimal, but again, we are very fortunate to have the depth of talent we have in this country available to take up this opportunity. Whilst it can feel like we need to make a quick decision, the most important thing is to bring in the player that best complements the other skill sets we have on the team.”

There’s more World Cup news to pass along:

  • Germany has cut Wizards center Moritz Wagner, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando. The Germans, whose preliminary roster includes Maxi KleberDennis SchroderDaniel Theis and Isaac Bonga, still have to get rid of one more player before the tournament begins. Wagner was sent to Washington last month as part of the Anthony Davis trade.
  • France trimmed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from its World Cup squad, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The free agent forward played for the Thunder and Bulls last season.
  • Gregg Popovich only has one cut to make from Team USA, but he expects it to be very difficult, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The Americans headed to Australia yesterday for a pair of exhibition games with 13 players still on their roster. The final decision is expected to come around August 27. “When you cut people from your regular NBA team, it’s difficult,” Popovich said. “We’re going to have to do that. And it’s going to be even more so. I’m dreading having to do that. But it’s got to get done.”

Six NBA Players On Australia’s World Cup Roster

Team Australia has formally announced its 12-man roster for the 2019 World Cup, and the group features six NBA players.

Aron Baynes (Suns), Joe Ingles (Jazz), Patty Mills (Spurs), Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers), and Jonah Bolden (Sixers) are part of the 12-man squad. So is former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut, who is technically back under contract with the NBL’s Sydney Kings, but was part of the Warriors team that appeared in the NBA Finals this spring.

Australia’s roster is rounded out by NBL players Cameron Gliddon, Chris Goulding, Nathan Sobey, and Nicholas Kay, along with Jock Landale and Xavier Cooks. Landale currently plays for Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, while Cooks is a member of SIG Strasbourg in France.

Although Team Australia has a strong roster, there are no guarantees that the squad will make a deep run in next month’s event. The Boomers finds themselves in Group H, which features a handful of tough competitors — Lithuania, Canada, and Senegal. Only the top two teams will advance to the second round.

Sixers Notes: Butler, O’Brien, Embiid, Bolden

Jimmy Butler returned to Minnesota on Saturday for the first time since being traded from the Timberwolves, helping the Sixers take a 118-109 victory in a hostile environment.

Butler’s departure from the Wolves was a shock for both the team and its fans this season. The 29-year-old being vigorously booed during pre-game intros and every time he touched the ball during Saturday’s contest.

“I don’t care about being loved all the time,” Butler said postgame, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN. “It’s no fun that way.”

Butler has thrived in situations like these during his career, raising his effort level and becoming a fiercer competitor. Although he struggled shooting the ball (just 4-of-17 from the floor), he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals to help seal the Sixers’ victory.

“He thrives under blankets of controversy,” coach Brett Brown said before the game. “I greatly respect it, and I think when you look at the high-level competitors, it is part of their DNA. It is certainly part of his DNA.”

Butler has carried this gene throughout his eight-year career, and it’s that competitive nature he’ll bring to the table with the Sixers as they look to make a deep playoff run this spring. He’s scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency on July 1.

There’s more out of Philadelphia today:

  • Brett Brown will bring in senior advisor Jim O’Brien to replace assistant Billy Lange on his coaching staff, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lange left the Sixers this week to become the next head coach at Saint Joseph’s. O’Brien served as an NBA head coach for nine seasons, including one campaign with the Sixers in 2004-05.
  • Resting Joel Embiid for three games is a smart decision for the Sixers as they prepare for the playoffs, Brown said Saturday night, as relayed by ESPN.com. “This is not sort of a reaction to symptoms,” Brown said. “It’s just load management. Again, we’re just trying to be smart and deliver him to play in the playoffs ready to go.” Embiid sat out of Saturday’s game and has already been ruled out of Monday’s game against Dallas and Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. He’ll be re-evaluated before the team’s home contest against the Bucks on Thursday.
  • Jonah Bolden will look to seize his opportunity as the postseason nears, writes Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. Bolden started in place of Embiid on Saturday, recording 19 points, 8 rebounds, three blocks and a game-high plus-22 net rating. “When it comes down to playoff time, the rotation does shorten up,” Bolden said. “The opportunity is now, whether the opportunity is now or in the playoffs, just making the most of it whenever it comes.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/22/19

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Sixers assigned big man Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s PR department tweets. Bolden is averaging 16 PPG and 12 RPG in 33.3 MPG over six appearances with the Blue Coats, who play a back-to-back this weekend.
  • The Spurs recalled rookie guard and first-round pick Lonnie Walker IV from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 28 games with Austin, Walker IV is averaging 16.7 PPG in 27.5 MPG.
  • The Magic assigned guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland ahead of the G League’s team back-to-back games this weekend, the team’s PR department tweets. Frazier is averaging 12.1 PPG in 29.8 MPG over 16 games with Lakeland.
  • The Knicks recalled center Luke Kornet from Westchester, the team’s PR department tweets. Kornet is averaging 18.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 32.5 MPG over 11 games with Westchester.
  • The Jazz assigned first-round pick and guard Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. Allen is averaging 17.5 PPG in 31.8 MPG while starting 11 games for the Stars.
  • The Warriors assigned rookie guard and first-round pick Jacob Evans III to Santa Cruz, according to a team press release. In 20 games with Santa Cruz, he’s averaging 11.5 PPG and 2.5 APG in 26.4 MPG.

Sixers Notes: Buyout Candidates, Milton, Roster Spot, Bolden

The Sixers are in position to be among the league’s most active teams once the trade deadline passes and buyout season begins, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Philadelphia still has its entire $4.449MM room exception available and can offer players the chance for a significant role on a title contender.

Last year, the Sixers improved their shooting in the buyout market by adding both Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Bodner admits it’s hard to pinpoint who this year’s candidates will be, as much depends on how the playoff races develop between now and the deadline date of February 7.

He speculates Trevor Ariza could be a possibility if the Wizards aren’t in contention next month and can’t find a team willing to trade for his $15MM salary. Bodner mentions the Timberwolves’ Anthony Tolliver as another possibility, along with Knicks’ center Enes Kanter and Bulls’ center Robin Lopez, although neither is an ideal fit as a backup to Joel Embiid. The Knicks’ Courtney Lee and the Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith could both provide outside shooting, but Bodner believes the team has a greater need for perimeter defenders.

There’s more Sixers news to pass along, all courtesy of Bodner:

  • Shake Milton is approaching the 45-day limit on his two-way contract and is likely to receive a standard deal soon. However, Bodner cautions that the new arrangement might be temporary if Philadelphia finds a couple of players to add through trades or buyouts. The Sixers acquired Milton’s rights on draft night after he was taken 54th overall by the Mavericks. He has appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 3.4PPG in 7.7 minutes per night.
  • Bodner questions why GM Elton Brand has kept a roster spot open throughout the season when the team is already shorthanded because of injuries to Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith and Justin Patton. Brand has claimed it’s to preserve flexibility for future moves, but Bodner notes it would have been easy to add someone to the roster and cut them before salaries became guaranteed for the rest of the season last week.
  • Jonah Bolden has played well, but his shooting issues make it risky to insert him into the starting lineup. Bodner states that Bolden makes the Sixers a better defensive team and provides offensive rebounding in addition to energy and athleticism, but he is hitting just 16.7% on 3-pointers, something opposing teams will exploit, especially in the playoffs.

Atlantic Notes: Kurucs, Celtics, Bolden, Ntilikina

As the Nets have played well in recent weeks, one of the bright spots has been the play and development of Rodions Kurucs, the 20-year-old rookie selected in the second round of the 2018 draft. As Greg Joyce writes for The New York Post, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson believes that there is more to come for Kurucs.

Kurucs is coming off a career-high 24 points against the Pacers, a game in which he often spent his time on the floor guarding Victor Oladipo. As Joyce points out, Atkinson thinks that his recent play isn’t a flash in the pan situation, as he has been impressed with the rookie’s awareness on the floor.

Kurucs received his opportunity to start when Allen Crabbe went down with an injury, but with the way Kurucs is playing, it will be tough for the Nets, winners of eight of the past nine games, to take Kurucs out of the starting lineup.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/21/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers recalled Jonah Bolden from their Delaware affiliate, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. Bolden has bounced between the two teams since the G League season started. The big man has appeared in nine games with Philadelphia and six with Delaware, where he’s averaged 16.0 PPG, 12.2 RPG and 3.7 APG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignment and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have assigned Brandon Ingram to the G League for a rehab assignment and since recalled him, according to the team’s website. The former No.2 overall pick is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • The Lakers have recalled Rajon Rondo from the South Bay Lakers, according to team’s website. The assignment was part of Rondo’s rehab from a broken right hand.
  • The Sixers have assigned Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. This is Bolden’s seventh assignment in the G League this season.
  • The Wizards assigned Okaro White to the Capital City Go-Go, according to the team’s website. White scored a season-high 31 points in a game during his last stint in the G League.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/14/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans have assigned Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Since New Orleans doesn’t have an NBAGL affiliate of its own, Jackson and Williams will join the Texas Legends, Dallas’ affiliate, and are suiting up for the Legends tonight against Austin.
  • Rookie forward Jonah Bolden has been recalled to the NBA by the Sixers, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bolden posted 19 points, nine rebounds, and four assists on Thursday for the Delaware Blue Coats.