Josh Green

Texas Notes: Wall, Thomas, White, Green, Carlisle

With John Wall‘s first season with the Rockets over, Kelly Iko and John Hollinger of The Athletic examined the initial impressions the veteran guard made in Houston, considering whether or not he fits into the team’s future long-term.

Wall was a perennial All-Star with the Wizards early in his career, but a series of injuries cost him significant portions of the past three seasons. As Iko and Hollinger write, Wall has to be commended for the mere fact that he returned to the court and played significant minutes, showing glimpses of his past explosiveness.

However, both scribes also noted that despite those glimpses, Wall appeared to be a fraction of the player he used to be, raising questions about his ability to even remain a starting point guard for the rest of his career. The hefty sum remaining on his contract will make it difficult to trade and therefore, it remains to be seen how the Rockets, or any team, would deploy him moving forward.

Check more news out of the NBA’s Texas squads:

  • Newly-signed Rockets forward Khyri Thomas contributed 16 points in his first game and expressed gratitude for the opportunity, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26. “I’m never gonna take this opportunity for granted, whether it’s 10-day or a whole year,” he said. “I’m not trying to go out and be Michael Jordan. Just trying to fit in.”
  • Having established himself as a long-term keeper for the Spurs, Derrick White is now working on being a more vocal leader, as Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com writes. “The front office and (head coach Gregg Popovich) have been on me (about) trying to be more of a leader,” White said. “It’s something that I’m continuing to develop in. The more confidence you have, the more you’re doing the right things, the more you can hold other people accountable. So it’s a constant thing that I’m developing, and hopefully I just keep getting better and better at it.”
  • The Spurs could conceivably make the play-in tournament without doing much winning as the regular season winds down. However, the team is looking to achieve more than just sneaking into the new postseason format, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes.
  • Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is taking a nuanced view toward the play-in tournament, which Dallas could find itself participating in without a strong finish to the season. Carlisle said the goal should be to avoid the tournament altogether, but if it’s an option, it should be “embraced” and could be a valuable experience to a young team, tweets Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
  • As the Mavericks have shown a willingness to be shifty and open-minded with their lineups, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News wonders if it’s time to give rookie Josh Green more playing time.

Southwest Notes: Silas, Griffin, Mavericks, Zion

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas is trying to maintain a rosy outlook despite Houston’s recent 13-game losing streak, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“It’s encouraging to know when we get back and we’re healthy and we’re whole and we’re in a position [where] we have enough guys to compete, we’re going to be just fine,” Silas said.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • During a recent interview with team broadcaster Todd Graffagnini of ESPN New Orleans, Pelicans team president David Griffin explained the reasoning behind the team prioritizing its veterans over its youth. “So where we’re struggling right now is finding a way to play those guys in a way that makes sense within the framework of a system that doesn’t allow for practice to put them in a position to succeed when they’re on the court,” Griffin said (a transcript is viewable here). “So it’s complicated, and I think the coaches have done a remarkable job of trying to find the balance there. I really take exception to the idea that, well, if you’re losing, you might as well be playing the young kid, that that doesn’t make any sense.”
  • The Mavericks have brought back rookies Josh Green, Tyler Bey and Tyrell Terry from the G League, according to The Dallas Morning News. Green and Bey were playing for the Salt Lake City Stars while in Orlando for the NBAGL “bubble” campus. Terry suited up for the Memphis Hustle.
  • Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will start in place of Sixers center Joel Embiid in the starting lineup for tonight’s All-Star game, Adrian Wojnarowski of EPN tweets. Embiid and his Philadelphia teammate Ben Simmons will be missing the contest as a result of COVID-19 contact tracing. Scott Kushner of The Times-Picayune details how Williamson’s exciting offensive game makes him an ideal fit for the All-Star stage.

Southwest Notes: Green, Tate, Rockets, Grizzlies

The Mavericks announced today (via Twitter) that they are sending rookie shooting guard Josh Green to join the Salt Lake City Stars, the G League affiliate of the Jazz, in the NBAGL’s ongoing Orlando “bubble” campus.

Dallas’s own G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, is not participating in this year’s G League season. Green started in five games for the Mavericks earlier this season, but has been riding the bench recently. He is averaging 12.5 MPG across 17 contests.

There’s more out of the Southwest:

  • Rookie Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate has proven to be Houston’s iron man this season, the only player to suit up for every game after P.J. Tucker sat with a bruised thigh, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Tate has been an important element of the Rockets’ frontcourt given the recent injuries to Christian Wood, Tucker, and Ray Spalding.
  • Long-injured young Grizzlies players Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow have joined their teammates in portions of practice, according to Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson is recovering from a torn left meniscus and Winslow is working his way back from a left hip displacement.
  • Despite severe winter weather in Texas, the Rockets still intend to return to Houston ahead of their scheduled contests on Friday (against the Mavericks) and Saturday (against the Pacers), according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. There is a chance these games are ultimately postponed as a result of continuing water and power trouble in Texas, Feigen notes. “If playing basketball games makes sense we will,” head coach Stephen Silas said about the situation. “If it doesn’t, Houstonians are most important and the thing that we should all be thinking about as we go home.”

And-Ones: Australia, Evans, Masks, Free Agency

Ben Simmons heads the list of players named by Basketball Australia to the country’s preliminary Olympic squad, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Among some of the other NBA notables on the 24-player list are Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Matisse Thybulle, Patty Mills, Josh Green, Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova. The squad will have to be pared to 12 players for the Olympic tournament in Tokyo this summer.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Erie BayHawks waived guard Jacob Evans to make room for forward Jordan Bell, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Bell was released from his 10-day contract with the Wizards over the weekend. Evans played for the Warriors and Timberwolves the past two seasons.
  • The NBA will soon require players to wear KN95 or KF94 masks on the bench and all other areas where masks are necessary, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes. The new rule will go into effect over the next week. Starting with games on Friday, the NBA will more strictly enforce current rules regarding the use of face masks, Bontemps adds.
  • The Athletic trio of James Edwards III (Pistons), Mike Vorkunov (Knicks) and Chris Kirschner (Hawks) take a closer look at their teams’ free agent moves during the offseason, how well those players have worked out so far, and what those franchises could have done differently.

Mavs Sign Josh Green To Rookie Contract

The Mavericks have officially signed No. 18 overall pick Josh Green to his first NBA contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Green, one of multiple Wildcats to declare for this year’s draft, was the first of three Arizona players selected on November 18, ahead of former teammates Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion. In 30 games (30.9 MPG) as a freshman, he averaged 12.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 1.5 SPG with a .424/.361/.780 shooting line.

Assuming he signs for 120% of the standard rookie scale amount, as nearly every first-round pick does, Green will make $2.82MM as a rookie this season. His four-year deal will be worth about $13.64MM in total if his third- and fourth-year options are picked up.

The Mavericks also officially announced their two-way deal with Tyler Bey, which had been previously reported. As our roster counts page shows, Dallas has reached eight other contract agreements that aren’t yet official, so it’s safe to assume the club will be sending out a few more press releases pretty soon.

Draft Notes: Wiseman, Mannion, Stewart, Bulls

James Wiseman has only formally worked out for the Warriors, who hold the No. 2 pick, and the Hornets, who sit at No. 3, he said today in a conference call, per Austin Kent of SlamOnline.com. Wiseman has had little to no contact with the Timberwolves, but said he’d be OK if Minnesota takes him, ESPN’s Nick Friedell relays. “Whatever team that picks me, I’m going to go in there, learn as much as possible, work my tail off, and just want to win,” he said.

We have more news on the draft:

  • The Raptors and Jazz have worked Arizona freshman guard Nico Mannion, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets. As previously reported, Mannion also visited with the Lakers. Mannion, who averaged 14.0 PPG and 5.3 APG as a freshman last season, is ranked No. 25 on ESPN’s Best Available list. The Jazz hold the No. 23 overall selection, while the Raptors have the No. 29 pick in the opening round.
  • University of Washington center Isaiah Stewart is ranked No. 27 by ESPN and his college coach believes his former player is being overlooked, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. “I think he’s the best big man in the draft. … Every head to head matchup, it wasn’t even close,” Mike Hopkins said. “Go watch the film. It doesn’t lie.”
  • With the Bulls allowing Kris Dunn to enter unrestricted free agency, it’s even more likely they’ll target a play-maker in the draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets. Chicago holds the No. 4 pick. The Bulls have also been exploring a trade for an experienced point guard, O’Connor adds.
  • Josh Green worked out for the Jazz, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News reports. He previously visited the Nuggets. The Arizona shooting guard is rated No. 21 by ESPN.

Draft Rumors: Wolves, Edwards, Ball, P. Williams, Hawks, Knicks, More

With the 2020 NBA draft just two days away, several draft experts are publishing their final mocks of the year, nearly five months after the event was initially scheduled to take place. Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Jeremy Woo of SI.com, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, and Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report are among those who published new mock drafts today. Let’s round up a few of the key pieces of intel from those mocks…

  • Sources tell Vecenie that the Timberwolves still haven’t finalized a decision on what they’ll do with their No. 1 pick, as they expect “real” trade offers to start coming in during the next couple days. However, Givony and Woo have both heard that most teams around the NBA are operating as if the Wolves will select Anthony Edwards if they stay put.
  • LaMelo Ball‘s private workouts with teams last week were strong, according to Givony, who suggests that the Warriors were among the teams impressed by what they saw from Ball. Still, Givony and other draft experts view James Wiseman as Golden State’s most likely pick at No. 2.
  • There has been plenty of chatter about Florida State forward Patrick Williams, whose ceiling is as high as No. 4 to the Bulls, according to both Woo and Givony.
  • Opposing front offices say the Hawks (No. 6) have been the most active team in trade talks, according to Givony, who says Atlanta could push for an impact player (such as Jrue Holiday or Victor Oladipo) or trade down and pick up another young player.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that the Knicks (No. 8) appear to be “looking hardest” at Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro, and Kira Lewis Jr. Sources have also linked Obi Toppin to New York for some time, per Woo, though the Dayton forward is less likely to be on the board at No. 8.
  • Assuming the Suns keep the No. 10 pick, sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith is thought to be high on their list, says Wasserman.
  • While the Celtics have looked into packaging their three first-rounders (Nos. 14, 26, and 30) for a mid-lottery pick, interest in that sort of deal appears to be lukewarm, according to Woo, who says Boston may be more likely to make smaller trades with their picks.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that the Trail Blazers (No. 16) have expressed interest in Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski, while Vecenie says Jay Scrubb‘s name is the one he has heard linked most frequently to Portland.
  • The Bucks‘ pick at No. 24 is one to watch in trade talks as Milwaukee tries to upgrade its roster, writes Vecenie. If they keep the pick, Josh Green is among the options the Bucks are eyeing, per Wasserman.

Draft Rumors: Warriors, Vassell, Suns, Spurs, Mavs, More

The Warriors continue to actively discuss trades involving the No. 2 pick, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link), who writes within his latest mock draft that the Bulls, Pistons, and Knicks are among the candidates to make a deal with Golden State.

If the Warriors remain at No. 2, the team seems more likely to select Memphis center James Wiseman than Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman has heard that there are some voices in Golden State’s front office against drafting Edwards, as well as mixed opinions within the front office on LaMelo Ball.

As Wasserman details, the Warriors have also expressed “legitimate” interest in sharpshooting wing Devin Vassell, but the assumption is that the club wouldn’t take the Florida State prospect at No. 2 — he’d be an option in a trade-down scenario. Wasserman adds that Vassell’s camp is confident he’ll go in the middle of the lottery and is unlikely to slip past the Kings at No. 12.

Here are a few more draft-related updates and rumors:

  • According to Givony, the Suns (No. 10) are “looking heavily” at point guards and wing players, especially prospects who can complement Devin Booker, while the Spurs (No. 11) are eyeing both big men and wings in the hopes of bolstering their frontcourt.
  • The Mavericks have expressed some interest in trading up into the lottery, league sources tell Jeremy Woo of SI.com. Dallas currently holds the 18th and 31st overall picks.
  • Teams with picks in the 20s aren’t expecting Precious Achiuwa to be available, according to Wasserman, who says the Memphis forward will likely be picked in the 9-18 range.
  • Multiple teams believe Arizona shooting guard Josh Green could slip a little, with some clubs viewing him as a “fringe first-rounder,” writes Wasserman.
  • Jaden McDaniels, Tyrell Terry, Daniel Oturu, Tyrese Maxey, and RJ Hampton are among the first-round candidates with the widest projected draft ranges, per Wasserman.

Draft Updates: Ball, Nesmith, Green, Nnaji, Hornets, More

With one week to go until the 2020 NBA draft, we’re continuing to get conflicting information on LaMelo Ball‘s outlook. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said that most front office are operating under the assumption that Ball will be the No. 1 pick. Today, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes that league sources have begun speculating that the Timberwolves have decided to draft Ball, assuming they keep the top selection.

However, there’s still plenty of chatter pointing in another direction. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said this week during an appearance on The Jump (video link) that many of the executives he has spoken to think Ball could slide a little on draft night. Jeremy Woo of SI.com has heard similar whispers, writing that there’s an increasing belief that Ball could fall into the 4-6 range of the draft.

As we wait to see which reports pan out, here are several more draft-related updates:

  • Vanderbilt sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith told reporters today that he has worked out for the Pelicans, Suns, Spurs, Heat, and Pistons so far, and has a workout lined up with the Celtics (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington). Nesmith is considered likely to be drafted in the back half of the lottery.
  • Arizona guard Josh Green has worked out for the Nuggets, while his college teammate Zeke Nnaji has had workouts for the Nuggets, Clippers, and Jazz, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Green’s workout with Utah and Nnaji’s workout with Miami – both mentioned by Rankin – were previously reported.
  • Count K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link) among those hearing more and more talk around the NBA linking the Hornets to Onyeka Okongwu. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer previously reported that Charlotte is eyeing Okongwu, but ESPN said the team hasn’t seriously considered picking any prospects outside the top tier of Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards.
  • ESPN draft experts Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton share their mock draft detailing which player each team in the first round should pick.

Draft Notes: Mouaha, Ebeling, Achiuwa, Knicks

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for the 2020 NBA draft has long since passed, but the NBA’s own deadline falls 10 days before the draft. That means that a number of international prospects – for whom the NCAA deadline didn’t apply – face final decisions on whether or not to keep their names in this year’s draft pool.

Cameroonian guard Aristide Mouaha and Italian forward Michele Ebeling are two international early entrants who have decided to pull out of the draft, according to a pair of reports from Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Both prospects are currently playing in Italy. Ebeling will become automatically draft-eligible in 2021, while Mouaha is on track to be draft-eligible in 2022 if he doesn’t re-enter his name next year.

As our tracker shows, we still have 34 international prospects listed as early entrants for 2020. It’s safe to assume that many more will withdraw before the November 8 deadline — I’d expect that list to be cut at least in half within the next couple days.

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • Former Memphis big man Precious Achiuwa worked out for the Wizards earlier this week and is working out for the Celtics on Friday, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link). Achiuwa is the 12th overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, so both Washington at No. 9 and Boston at No. 14 could in play for him.
  • In a pair of Insider articles for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton discuss the best wings and big men of this year’s draft class. All three experts rate Deni Avdija as the top wing in the draft, with Givony and Schmitz placing Isaac Okoro second while Pelton takes Devin Vassell. In a bit of a surprise, both Givony and Schmitz pick Onyeka Okongwu over James Wiseman as the top big man prospect.
  • While the Knicks’ No. 8 pick has been the main focus, the team is working diligently on its options at No. 27 and 38 and is hoping to find a “diamond in the rough,” a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman examines former Arizona shooting guard Josh Green and Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. as a couple potential late-first-round options for New York, citing one talent evaluator who says Green would be a “perfect fit” for the team.