Juan Hernangomez

Celtics Notes: Brown, Udoka, Schröder, Hernangomez

The Celtics dealt with lots of turmoil last season: injuries, a short turnaround from the Orlando bubble, and COVID-19 outbreaks affecting several players, including star Jayson Tatum. The team is hoping to turn the page entering training camp, and Jaylen Brown appears optimistic, particularly about new head coach Ime Udoka.

“I’m completely bought in,” Brown said of Udoka. “I’m looking forward to this season and being an extension of him on the court.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).

President of basketball operations Brad Stevens, the former head coach, says that Brown has been cleared by the team’s doctors after recovering from wrist surgery, and will be a full participant in practice, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Udoka participated in media day virtually through Zoom, instead of in person, because the first-year head coach is in the last day of quarantine after contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19, per ESPN News Services. Udoka is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, according to team spokesperson Christian Megliola. He’s expected to join the team tomorrow for the start of training camp.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Dennis Schröder mentioned yesterday that Tatum and Brown both called to recruit him to the Celtics, but they weren’t the only ones. He told reporters today that Stevens, Udoka, and former Hawks teammate Al Horford called him as well, adding, “I know Al Horford will have the locker room under control.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).
  • Schröder also consulted with Thunder general manager Sam Presti prior to signing with Boston, and Presti endorsed the Celtics organization, per Smith (Twitter link).
  • Juan Hernangomez, who dislocated his left shoulder over the summer in an exhibition game prior to the Olympics, says the shoulder is 100 percent now, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Grizzlies Trade Hernangomez To Celtics For Dunn, Edwards, Pick Swap

SEPTEMBER 15: The trade is now complete, according to press releases from the Grizzlies and Celtics.

The Grizzlies, who completed another trade since agreeing to this one, officially waived Marc Gasol in order to create room on the roster to finalize this deal.


SEPTEMBER 3: The Grizzlies and Celtics have agreed to a trade that will send forward Juan Hernangomez to Boston, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Sources tell Wojnarowski that the deal will send Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and a 2026 second-round pick swap to Memphis.

The trade can’t be completed until September 15, when the aggregation restriction on Dunn lifts, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Dunn was traded from Atlanta to Boston on August 7.

By trading two players for one, the Celtics will clear a minor roster crunch. The team had been carrying 16 players, including 15 on fully guaranteed deals. This move will give the team the flexibility to keep Jabari Parker on its regular-season roster or leave its 15th spot open to start the season. Dunn, acquired last month, wasn’t in the team’s plans, and Edwards hadn’t evolved into a reliable rotation player since being selected 33rd overall in the 2019 draft.

Hernangomez, meanwhile, will give Boston another frontcourt option. The 25-year-old stretch four had a mediocre year in 2020/21, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.9 RPG on .435/.327/.619 shooting in 52 games (17.3 MPG). However, he has flashed some potential in the past, making 35.9% of his career three-pointers prior to last season.

As for the Grizzlies, they appeared to be moving closer to setting a 15-man regular season roster last week when they bought out Rajon Rondo, but this deal has them heading in the other direction once again. When it’s complete, Memphis will have a full 20-man roster, with 18 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts.

While it’s possible Dunn or Edwards is in the Grizzlies’ plans for 2021/22, that’s probably not a safe assumption, given the way Memphis has been moving on from recently-acquired players in recent weeks (Hernangomez, Rondo, and Patrick Beverley). As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, this trade saves Memphis a tiny bit of money and earns the team a 2026 second-round pick swap — those small gains may have been all the motivation the Grizzlies needed to pull the trigger.

The Grizzlies have traded away their own 2026 second-round pick, but control the rights to either Indiana’s or Miami’s pick (whichever is most favorable). The swap with Boston will likely allow them to trade that pick for the Celtics’ 2026 second-rounder if they so choose.

Hernangomez, Dunn, and Edwards are essentially all on expiring contracts. Hernangomez has a non-guaranteed salary for 2022/23, Edwards has a team option, and Dunn will be an unrestricted free agent.

No team has completed more trades this offseason than the Grizzlies — this will be their sixth deal since the regular season ended. It will be the Celtics’ fifth offseason trade.

Atlantic Notes: Dragic, Christian, Hernangomez, Jordan

The Raptors and Goran Dragic have not engaged in buyout talks, according to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz (Twitter link), who says a report stating the point guard is on track to sign with the Mavericks is inaccurate. Dragic, who was acquired in the sign-and-trade with Miami that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, still has trade value, which gives Toronto less incentive to explore a possible buyout.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have hired Jarell Christian as the head coach of their G League affiliate in Maine, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. Clevis Murray was the first to report that Christian was expected to fill that position (Twitter link). Christian, 35, has been in the Wizards’ organization since 2019. He spent one season as head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s NBA G League affiliate, before becoming an assistant coach last season.
  • The pending acquisition of Juan Hernangomez by the Celtics from the Grizzlies is a low-risk move, Jay King of The Athletic writes. Boston gave up two guards who probably wouldn’t have been in the rotation and the pick swap wasn’t a huge sweetener, King continues. Hernangomez could help them space the floor with his perimeter shooting and if he doesn’t pan out, his 2022/23 salary of $7.4MM can be cast off, since it’s not guaranteed.
  • By trading DeAndre Jordan rather than waiving him and using the stretch provision over five years, the Nets made a wise financial move, as Bobby Marks of ESPN’s explains (Twitter link). The agreed-upon trade with the Pistons allows Brooklyn to avoid have dead money on the cap, which is essential for a luxury tax team. They also shed his salary over the next two seasons and acquired players on smaller contracts, which will reduce their tax liability in the short run.

Southwest Notes: Tate, Hernangomez, Hayes, Pelicans

Jae’Sean Tate wants to reward the Rockets‘ faith in him after they decided to guarantee his contract for the upcoming season, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26. Tate, who played two years overseas before coming to the NBA, will make about $1.52MM.

Tate was an All-Rookie First Team selection, averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 70 games. He quickly established himself as a starter and was one of the few bright spots in a difficult season for Houston. The Rockets will have a $1.78MM team option on Tate for 2022/23.

“I’ve been working really hard this summer and my whole goal is just to prove (general manager) Rafael (Stone), (executive) Patrick and (owner) Tillman (Fertitta) right,” Tate said. “That they did the right thing guaranteeing those contracts. I think that’ll show this year.” (Twitter link)

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • It doesn’t appear that Juan Hernangomez, who was acquired from the Timberwolves this week, will have a future with the Grizzlies. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeted on Saturday that Hernangomez wasn’t asked to report to the team or take a physical, just like Rajon Rondo, who is now a free agent after reaching a buyout agreement with Memphis. Hernangomez has two years and $14.3MM left on his contract, although the final year doesn’t become guaranteed until June 20, 2022, notes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • Body camera footage has been released from the arrest of Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes in Los Angeles last month, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Hayes had an altercation with police after the incident, which he said stemmed from a fight with a girlfriend. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and charged with resisting arrest.
  • The Pelicans received $1.2MM in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Lonzo Ball to the Bulls, tweets Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Rajon Rondo Bought Out By Grizzlies, Likely To Join Lakers

Rajon Rondo and the Grizzlies have agreed to a contract buyout, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Rondo was traded to Memphis in a three-way deal that sent Eric Bledsoe to the Clippers.

According to Charania (via Twitter), the 35-year-old two-time NBA champion could be on his way back to Los Angeles, though not to the Clippers. Charania reports that the Lakers are the frontrunner to sign Rondo. If the point guard does return to the Lakers, it would be his third season with the team — he won a title with the team in the 2020 bubble.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) confirms the Lakers’ interest. Rondo will clear waivers on Monday, and Wojnarowski says he will likely be signed into one of the Lakers’ final roster spots.

While the Lakers did an impressive job filling out their roster following the trade for Russell Westbrook, the backup point guard spot was one notable hole. Rondo was unable to replicate his success with the Lakers in this year’s playoffs run with the Clippers, but should provide a solid, competent play-maker off the bench, especially as young guards Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn are both more likely to see time at the shooting guard spot.

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (via Twitter) that Rondo was never asked to report to the Grizzlies or take a physical, calling it as sure a sign as you can get that a subsequent move would be made. In a separate tweet, he says that the same is true for Spanish forward Juan Hernangomez.

Grizzlies Trade Beverley To Wolves For Culver, Hernangomez

AUGUST 25: Over a week after agreeing to terms, the Grizzlies and Timberwolves have completed their trade, according to press releases sent out by both teams. Memphis waived Sean McDermott in order to make room on the 20-man roster for the extra incoming player.


AUGUST 17: A day after acquiring him from the Clippers, the Grizzlies have lined up a deal to flip veteran guard Patrick Beverley to the Timberwolves, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, Memphis will receive wing Jarrett Culver and forward Juan Hernangomez from Minnesota in the trade.

As Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas worked in the Rockets’ front office when Beverley was in Houston and appreciates the toughness and leadership he can bring to a young team. Minnesota lost some point guard depth when the team shipped Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, so Beverley will help fortify that position.

Beverley, 33, averaged 7.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.1 APG on .423/.397/.800 shooting in 37 games (22.5 MPG) for the Clippers in 2020/21 and is considered a strong perimeter defender.

Moving Hernangomez will reduce the Wolves’ options at an already-thin power forward spot, but it may have been a necessary move. There was reportedly tension between the player and the team after Minnesota’s medical staff prevented the 25-year-old from representing Spain at the Tokyo Olympics last month due to a shoulder injury.

Culver, meanwhile, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft. One of Rosas’ first moves after being hired by the Wolves was to trade Dario Saric and the No. 11 pick (Cameron Johnson) in order to move up for Culver, but he struggled during his first two years in the NBA, putting up a modest 7.8 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .406/.288/.503 shooting in 97 total games (20.7 MPG).

After taking on some extra 2021/22 money in their trade with the Clippers, the Grizzlies will reduce this year’s team salary a little in this deal — the combined salaries for Culver ($6.4MM) and Hernangomez ($6.9MM) come in slightly lower than Beverley’s cap hit ($14.32MM). Neither player is owed any guaranteed money in 2022/23 yet either, though Culver has an $8.11MM team option and Hernangomez has a $7.42MM non-guaranteed salary.

It’s unclear how Culver and Hernangomez fit into Memphis’ plans. The deal certainly doesn’t help the Grizzlies’ roster crunch — they already had 17 players on guaranteed contracts before swapping out Beverley for two new players, and will actually have to waive someone from their 20-man roster in order to complete the one-for-two trade.

There are likely more moves to come for the Grizzlies, so we’ll have to wait to see what they have in mind for Culver and Hernangomez, but it’s worth noting that Culver is still just 22 years old — the club may seem some untapped potential there. Memphis will have to make a decision on his $8.1MM option for 2022/23 this fall.

Northwest Notes: Hernangomez, McCollum, Barton, Jazz

Timberwolves officials will have to work to repair the damage with Juan Hernangomez after denying permission for him to represent Spain in the Olympics, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The 25-year-old forward, who has been participating in international competitions since 2013, was “deeply disappointed and hurt” by the decision, according to Krawczynski.

Hernangomez suffered a dislocated left shoulder in a July 8 exhibition against France. The Spanish team originally said Hernangomez might need surgery and would require several weeks to recover. Minnesota’s front office believed that meant he was out of the Olympics, but Spain included him on the official roster that was announced Monday, saying his condition improved rapidly.

President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said the Wolves’ medical staff never cleared Hernangomez to resume playing.

“We support our international players’ decisions to play with their national teams and appreciate the passion of Juancho and the Spanish Federation to represent their country. Unfortunately, we are dealing with an active injury,” Rosas said in a prepared statement. “Based on our team physician’s recommendation, Juancho needs time to recover from and rehabilitate his injury, and that timeline restricts Juancho’s availability to participate in the Tokyo Olympics. The determined recovery plan is the best path forward to allow Juancho to heal properly.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • In two meetings with president of basketball operations Neil Olshey since the Trail Blazers were knocked out of the playoffs, Damian Lillard has emphasized the need to add more talent, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Portland doesn’t have any picks in this year’s draft and re-signing Norman Powell will be the priority in free agency, so Olshey will likely have to be aggressive on the trade market. Teams have offered picks in the top half of the draft in exchange for CJ McCollum, Quick adds, but the Blazers have been refusing because that wouldn’t help with their urgency to improve right away. They are expected to try to purchase a pick in the second round.
  • Will Barton declined his player option, but he and the Nuggets are optimistic about reaching a new deal, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post. JaMychal Green also opted out of his contract for next season, though Singer believes that it makes more sense for the team to prioritize a new deal with Green than with frontcourt free agents Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee.
  • The Jazz aren’t likely to use their biannual exception this summer, states Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Utah hopes to re-sign point guard Mike Conley, which would put its team salary above the tax apron and remove any chance to use the roughly $3.7MM BAE. Even if Conley goes elsewhere, Todd doesn’t believe the Jazz would be willing to take on the hard cap that comes with using the exception.

Olympic Notes: LaVine, NBA Participants, Hernangomez, Finals Trio

Zach LaVine was placed in protocols due to contact tracing before he was allowed to go to Tokyo. That development came as a big surprise to the Team USA wing. LaVine was sidelined for 11 Bulls games in April when he tested positive for COVID-19, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. “Well I was a little shocked,’’ LaVine said. “Obviously, I didn’t think I could get [the virus]. Obviously, I didn’t. I’m going to have to be careful with everybody including the team and everybody coming over here, so it made sense, and I pretty much had to do my time, jump through a couple hoops to get here.’’

We have more Olympic-related notes:

  • If there are a lot of familiar faces in the Olympic tournament, it’s because there are a record number of current and former NBA participants. According to an NBA press release, there are 49 current players and 16 former players dotting Olympic rosters. The Heat lead the way with four players in the competition.
  • Spain’s basketball federation president claims that Juan Hernangomez won’t play in the Olympics because Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas nixed it, according to a Eurohoops story relayed by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Hernangomez dislocated his left shoulder this summer but Jorge Garbajosa says the big man has been cleared by Spain’s medical staff. “Juancho wants to play in the Olympic Games, but Juancho won’t be able to play,” Garbajosa said. “We’ve had countless medical meetings and we’ve never received a ‘no.’ We have a received a ‘yes’. … It’s a problem of people – not medical personnel – who have personally decided that Juancho couldn’t play. I’m talking about their president of basketball operations.”
  • Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday arrived in Tokyo on Saturday and their Team USA teammates are impressed by the commitment of the three players who participated in the Finals, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. “I have a lot of respect for those guys for not only committing to do this but actually keeping their word,” Draymond Green said. “You’re talking about three true professionals, three extremely competitive guys that wouldn’t be on their way here if this didn’t mean something.”

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Blazers, Hernangomez, Nuggets

While it doesn’t look at this point like the Trail Blazers will seriously explore Damian Lillard trades this offseason, that doesn’t mean they’re not getting calls about their All-NBA point guard. Front office sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have been the most aggressive suitors for Lillard as of late.

With no Lillard trade request imminent, the Blazers are more likely to pursue upgrades around the star guard, though O’Connor notes that the team’s trade assets are somewhat limited. Portland doesn’t have any draft picks this year and rival teams aren’t particularly high on young players like Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little, according to O’Connor. The club’s best bet for a deal that reshapes the roster and increases its ceiling might involve CJ McCollum and Ben Simmons, O’Connor adds.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

Timberwolves Notes: Draft, Simmons, Sikka

The Timberwolves have traded away their picks in this month’s draft but they’re still preparing as if they’ll wind up participating, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. They’re co-hosting pre-draft workouts this weekend with the Jazz.

“Just because we don’t have a pick on whatever day today is doesn’t mean we’re not going to have a pick on draft night,” team president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “The worst thing you can do is be caught unprepared and we’re fortunate we have players on our roster that are valued by other teams. We have opportunities to jump in the draft at very strategic levels and that’s a testament to our players, the value they have around the league.”

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • Rumors surfaced late last month that the team would explore a trade with the Sixers for Ben Simmons. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic explores how Simmons might fit in and what it would take to bring him to Minnesota. The Timberwolves could match up salaries by including Ricky Rubio and Malik Beasley in a deal, but it’s likely Philadelphia would ask for D’Angelo Russell and/or future first-rounders, Krawczynski notes.
  • Robby Sikka has resigned from his position as the Wolves’ VP of basketball operations and wellness, Krawczynski writes in a separate story. Rosas hired Sikka two years ago to improve the team’s ability to stay healthy, revamp its player nutrition program and work with head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam to oversee the rehabilitation of injuries.
  • Forward Juan Hernangomez, who had been preparing to represent Spain in the Olympics, dislocated his left shoulder during an exhibition game and will miss the Tokyo games. Get the details here.