Justin Anderson

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Morris, Whiteside, Parker

The Hawks have provided some detail regarding some of the injuries that have been plaguing their roster to begin the 2018/19 season.

Swingman Justin Anderson, who was traded to the Hawks from the Sixers back in July, is still rehabilitating from a pre-trade surgery to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg. There is still no timetable for his return.

Big man John Collins, who may expect to have a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018/19, is also still rehabilitating from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He is still out, but his return is clearer. His rehab will be reviewed in eleven days with an update from the Hawks to follow.

Fellow big man Dewayne Dedmon is returning after participating in his first full live practice with the team yesterday. He was re-assessed today and is playing for the Hawks in their game against Dallas this evening.

Finally, Hawks swingman Daniel Hamilton has returned to modified practice following rehab for a tear in his right rotator cuff. There is no timetable for his return to game action.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Injury Updates: Porzingis, Booker, Cousins, Neto

Kristaps Porzingis offered an update on his condition at the Knicks‘ Media Day, but there’s still no timetable for him to start playing again, relays the Associated Press.

Porzingis has been doing some light running, but not sprinting, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL he suffered in February. The Knicks are being cautious with the rehab process and don’t want him to return to action until they are sure he is fully ready.

Porzingis adds that he isn’t concerned about getting a contract extension done quickly. He will have to wait until next summer for an extension if a deal isn’t reached before the start of the season.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Devin Booker got sutures removed from his right hand last week and is using a splint during workouts, Suns GM Ryan McDonough said today, per Gina Mizell of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team is still hoping Booker can be ready for opening night.
  • The Warriors plan to re-evaluate free agent addition DeMarcus Cousins again in four weeks, tweets Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Team president Bob Myers is happy with the progress Cousins has made, saying, “We won’t rush him. But we also won’t hold him back.”
  • Jazz guard Raul Neto has been diagnosed with a right hamstring injury and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to a tweet from the team.
  • Hawks guard Justin Anderson is still recovering from surgery in late June to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg and won’t be ready for the start of training camp, the team announced on its website. Dewayne Dedmon will also be held out as he recovers from an avulsion fracture in his left ankle. He is in his second week of weight-bearing rehab work. Daniel Hamilton is taking a non-surgical approach to a torn rotator cuff and his progress will be reviewed in a week. Jeremy Lin has recovered from the ruptured patella tendon that caused him to miss nearly all of last season and will start camp with limited restrictions. Rookie Omari Spellman has soft tissue inflammation in his left shin and will be held out for the next seven to 10 days.

Southeast Notes: Dedmon, Anderson, Wade, Pope, Hornets

Center Dewayne Dedmon and swingman Justin Anderson will not be cleared for Hawks training camp, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. Dedmon suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle earlier this month and shed his walking boot last week. Dedmon, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, will be reevaluated next week, Vivlamore continues.  Anderson had surgery June 29th on his left leg due to recurring tibial stress syndrome. Anderson, who was acquired from the Sixers in a three-team deal in July, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, Vivlamore adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

Anthony To Hawks, Schroder To Thunder In Three-Team Trade

JULY 25: The three-team trade involving the Thunder, Hawks, and Sixers is now official, according to a series of press releases. The deal took several days to finalize because the clubs had to complete a few other roster moves first, including Philadelphia signing Jonah Bolden earlier today.

Upon being released by the Hawks, Anthony intends to sign with the Rockets.

JULY 19: The Thunder and Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Oklahoma City will receive Dennis Schroder in the deal. Royce Young of ESPN adds (via Twitter) that the 2022 first-rounder will have 1-14 protection, and will turn into two second-rounders if it doesn’t convey in ’22.

The Sixers will also be involved in the trade, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who tweets that Philadelphia will acquire Mike Muscala from Atlanta and will send Justin Anderson to the Hawks. The 76ers will also deal Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Oklahoma City, Vivlamore adds (via Twitter).

Upon acquiring him, the Hawks will waive Anthony, Wojnarowski adds. That will free up the veteran forward to join whatever a new team when he clears waivers, and the Rockets remain the strong frontrunners to land him.

We heard rumblings earlier this week about discussions between the Hawks and Thunder involving Anthony, Schroder, and Muscala, so it seems those two teams were able to find common ground, with the Sixers entering the mix as well. Here’s how the deal looks for each of the three teams involved:

Oklahoma City Thunder:

It has been nearly two weeks since word broke that the Thunder intended to part ways with Anthony, but the team resisted waiving him outright. Doing so would have reduced his $27.93MM cap charge to just $9.31MM, significantly reducing the club’s luxury-tax bill for 2018/19, but it would have added dead-money cap hits worth $9.31MM for the next two years as well.

By trading Anthony and a future protected pick and taking back Schroder and Luwawu-Cabarrot, the Thunder will reduce their 2018/19 team salary and projected tax bill substantially while also adding a productive point guard in Schroder. The 24-year-old, who averaged 19.4 PPG and 6.2 APG last season, figures to assume a role similar to the one Reggie Jackson previously had in Oklahoma City.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Thunder GM Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were granted permission to speak to Schroder before the deal was agreed upon, and both Presti and Donovan are “enthusiastic” about the fit. Oklahoma City had been seeking more speed and another ball-handler, Woj notes.

Still, there’s a reason Schroder was available. There are on-court questions about his shooting and defense, and off-court concerns about his character and his legal issues. Schroder was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge last September, with Georgia officials recommending in March that he be prosecuted for felony aggravated battery. He’ll face discipline from his team and/or the league when that case is resolved, but the Thunder appear to be banking him avoiding a more serious sentence.

As for the specific tax figures, by my count, the Thunder will now have a team salary of about $148.74MM with a projected tax bill just over $88.75MM. Prior to the deal, those numbers sat at about $160.97MM and $157.75MM, respectively. While Oklahoma City’s tax outlook for 2018/19 has improved, the Thunder will have to be wary about increased penalties in future seasons after adding Schroder’s $15.5MM annual salary through 2020/21. They’ll likely deal with that when the time comes though.

It’s worth noting that a lengthy suspension without pay for Schroder could further reduce the Thunder’s team salary and tax hit in 2018/19. A suspension would also reduce the likelihood of the point guard earning the $2MM in unlikely incentives included in his contract, though not all of those bonuses are tied to individual performance, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes.

Finally, the Thunder will create a traded player exception worth $10,883,189 in the deal. They’ll have a year to use it.

Atlanta Hawks:

The Hawks had been determined to move Schroder for much of the offseason, and drafting Trae Young and acquiring Jeremy Lin made Atlanta’s former starting point guard even more expendable. Despite his solid production, Schroder had a slew of on- and off-court question marks, as detailed above, and he was drafted and extended by Atlanta’s previous front office — general manager Travis Schlenk never seemed particularly attached to him.

By moving Schroder ($15.5MM) and Muscala ($5MM) for Anthony ($27.93MM) and Anderson ($2.52MM), the Hawks take advantage of their remaining cap room — they’re able to take back significantly more salary than they sent out as a result of that space.

Atlanta won’t get any real immediate help out of the deal, but the club will create future cap flexibility by clearing Schroder’s three remaining years from its books — both Anthony and Anderson are on expiring deals, and Carmelo will be waived shortly. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), he’ll get his full $27.93MM salary from the Hawks. That was certainly agreed upon prior to the completion of the deal, since Anthony had a no-trade clause and could’ve vetoed the move if he thought Atlanta would ask him to give back money in a buyout.

The Hawks will also acquire a 2022 first-round pick, which they’ll receive as long as Oklahoma City is a playoff team in ’22 — otherwise, it will become two second-rounders. The Stepien rule, which prevents teams from trading consecutive future first-rounders, meant that the Thunder would have had a hard time dealing an earlier first-round pick, since they’d already sent their top-20 protected 2020 first-rounder to Orlando.

Philadelphia 76ers:

While the Sixers’ involvement in this deal may seem extraneous, it’s a nice bit of business for Philadelphia. In Muscala, the team will acquire a big man capable of knocking down outside shots — he’s a career 37.8% three-point shooter and made a career-best 1.2 threes per game in 2017/18.

The Sixers thought they’d acquired a player who fit that role earlier in the offseason when they reached an agreement to sign Nemanja Bjelica, but Bjelica backed out of his deal with the team, leaving Philadelphia seeking a replacement. Muscala is a solid fallback plan, and is on an expiring contract, meaning he won’t compromise the team’s future cap flexibility.

In order to acquire Muscala, the Sixers only had to surrender Anderson and Luwawu-Cabarrot, a pair of players who seemed unlikely to have regular rotation roles for the team in 2018/19. The move will also help the 76ers clear out a roster logjam, as the team had 16 players under contract and was still believed to be considering bringing over draft-and-stash prospect Jonah Bolden. Following the deal, the Sixers are back down to 15 players on NBA contracts, not including Bolden or 2018 second-rounder Shake Milton.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers Notes: Ennis, Ilyasova, Bird, Milton

The Sixers have their eyes on free agent forward James Ennis, tweets ESPN’s Ian Begley, but landing him won’t be easy. Detroit owns Early Bird rights on Ennis and has made re-signing him a priority.

Ennis, 28, came to the Pistons at the trade deadline after beginning the season in Memphis. He was a part-time starter in Detroit and averaged 7.5 points per game. He earned a little more than $3MM this season.

The Rockets and Nets have also expressed interest in Ennis, according to Begley. The Pelicans would also like to sign him, but the growing interest may push him outside their price range, adds Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link). Ennis played nine games in New Orleans at the end of the 2015/16 season.

There’s more from Philadelphia on the first day of free agency:

  • The Sixers talked to veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova about a return before he signed a three-year, $21MM deal with the Bucks, according to Gery Woelful of The Racine Journal Times (Twitter link). The Lakers, Timberwolves and Raptors were other options for Ilyasova.
  • The Sixers are among the teams showing interest in Celtics shooting guard Jabari Bird, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who adds that the Wolves are also considering an offer. Bird was a two-way player for Boston this season, appearing in 13 NBA games and averaging 3.0 points in 8.0 minutes per night. He was a big scorer for the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine, posting a 19.3/5.8/2.7 line in 20 games. Boston submitted a qualifying offer this week, making Bird a restricted free agent.
  • Second-round pick Shake Milton will be held out of summer league play because of a stress fracture in his back, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The team plans to re-evaluate him in three weeks. His injury occurred during pre-draft workouts.
  • Justin Anderson had surgery on his left leg due to recurring tibial stress syndrome, the team announced on its website. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, then again in six to eight weeks. Anderson has spent the past season and a half in Philadelphia and appeared in 38 games this year.

Atlantic Notes: Monroe, Nets, Porzingis, Injuries

Despite having an opportunity for more minutes and a chance to play in his hometown of New Orleans, newly-signed Celtics big man Greg Monroe chose Boston. Why? Because he wants to compete for a title, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Although still only 27 years old, Monroe, who got his first taste of the playoffs last season with Milwaukee – and averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game – is at a point in his career where being on a club with the potential to go deep into the playoffs is of the utmost importance. “It’s exciting,” Monroe said of being in the playoffs. “Last year I was able to play in it. The atmosphere was great. So, I’m looking forward to getting back there again.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have lost six games in a row and nine of their last 10, and are now only one game ahead of the last-place Hawks, who are tied with Dallas and Phoenix for the worst record in the NBA. Despite the losing streak, head coach Kenny Atkinson is working hard to build a winning culture in the locker room, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
  • According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis is ready to begin his rehab after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. “I’m attacking my rehab right away,” Porzingis wrote. “I truly believe that with consistent hard work, patience and positive attitude I’ll come back stronger, better, and sharper than ever.” And Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek took the enthusiasm one step further, telling Marc Berman of the New York Post that Porzingis will ultimately “be glad he went through it.”
  • Sixers role players Justin Anderson and Furkan Korkmaz have each suffered injuries this season, and Derek Bodner of The Athletic has updates on both players. Anderson, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Monday’s win over New York, will be out at least 7 to 10 days before being reevaluated, and Korkmaz, who has been out since December with a Lisfranc injury, has been cleared for controlled basketball activities.

Justin Anderson Sidelined By Shin Splints

Sixers forward Justin Anderson will miss at least three weeks because of shin splints in his left leg, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Anderson has appeared in 10 games this season, all off the bench, and is averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.6 minutes. He played nearly 22 minutes per night and started eight games at the end of last season after being acquired in a February deal with the Mavericks.

The injury should mean more playing time for second-year forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Pompey notes (Twitter link). The small forward out of France has played 13 games this season, producing 6.8 points in 16 minutes per night.

Sixers Pick Up Four Options; Okafor In Limbo

The Sixers have exercised their 2018/19 rookie scale team options on four players, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions. Philadelphia has picked up third-year options for Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, along with the fourth-year option for Justin Anderson.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2018/19 Rookie Scale Team Options]

That leaves Jahlil Okafor as the only player with a 2018/19 team option that has yet to be exercised. The Sixers could still pick up Okafor’s fourth-year option – which has a cap hit of about $6.3MM – at some point today. However, the club continues to explore potential trades involving the former third overall pick, and those trade talks could determine whether or not Okafor’s option gets exercised, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

Outside of Simmons’ option, which will count for about $6.4MM against the 76ers’ cap, the 2018/19 options picked up by the team so far are modest. Saric and and Anderson will have cap charges of about $2.5MM apiece, while Luwawu-Cabarrot’s will be a little over $1.5MM.

The decisions lock all four players in for the ’18/19 season, and Anderson will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019, assuming he’s not extended during the 2018 offseason. Philadelphia will face fourth-year option decisions on Simmons, Saric, and Luwawu-Cabarrot a year from now.

Sixers Notes: Okafor, Johnson, Holmes, Anderson

Jahlil Okafor was a bad fit for the Sixers from the beginning, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia picked Okafor third in the 2015 draft despite already having centers Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel on the roster. There was never going to be enough playing time for all three big men, so Noel was traded to Dallas in February, and now Okafor appears to be on the way out.

The Sixers front office is working with representatives for the 21-year-old center to find a trade. He has put up two disappointing years in Philadelphia, playing a combined 101 games, and now has fallen out of the rotation. He has gotten into just one game this season.

Okafor’s injury history and poor defensive reputation are limiting the trade market. Coach Brett Brown can’t give him playing time to improve, Pompey notes, because the Sixers are under pressure to start winning and can’t afford to have a glaring liability on defense. That leaves Okafor glued to  the bench while he waits for a deal.

There’s more tonight out of Philadelphia:

  • Brown seems committed to free agent addition Amir Johnson as the backup center, relays Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports. The 30-year-old, who signed with Philadelphia over the summer after spending the last two years in Boston, is averaging 15 minutes per night. “I think it’s going to be Amir’s spot to lose,” Brown said. “… It’s always competitive, but the competitive nature has shifted toward Amir’s performance.”
  • Richaun Holmes will make his season debut Friday, cutting further into the playing time at center, Pompey tweets. The third-year big man has been sidelined since the preseason with a fractured bone in his left wrist.
  • Sixers swingman Justin Anderson is making his first return to Dallas tonight since the Mavericks shipped him out in the February trade for Noel, notes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Anderson got more minutes after arriving in Philadelphia and posted career-best numbers in scoring (8.5 points per game) and rebounds (4.0) over the final two months of last season. “Coming back to the place that drafted me, that kind of took me in, coddled me like a little baby of theirs, I grew a lot here,” Anderson said of the return to Dallas. “It was tough with the trade, but I think everything worked out for a reason. I’m in a great place. We’re onto something big.”

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Fultz, Pullen, Anderson

The Sixers expect to have Joel Embiid ready for Wednesday’s opener at Washington, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. The fourth-year center, who signed a rookie-scale extension last week, sat out practice today, but coach Brett Brown told reporters he expects Embiid to practice on Monday and be ready for the first game.

Brown also said rookie point guard Markelle Fultz, the top pick in this year’s draft, will start the season as a reserve (Twitter link). Fultz was limited by knee and shoulder injuries in the preseason and didn’t see much playing time.

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • Converting his contract to a two-way deal was fine with Jacob Pullen, who was looking for any way to get on an NBA roster, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers made the move Saturday, which will keep Pullen with the Delaware 87ers for most of the season. Players on two-way contracts are limited to 45 days in the NBA and salaries that top out at about $275K. But at age 27, Pullen found that preferable to spending another season overseas. “Knowing what I know now and knowing what my dreams are, where I want to be, you have to take this,” said Pullen, who spent last year in Russia and has also played in Italy, Israel, Spain and Croatia. “I tell people all the time, there are three ways to the top — the escalator, elevator, stairs. Some people get the elevator. Some get the escalator. Some walk up all of the flights of stairs. The NBA is an important thing to me now. It’s a dream that I want to come true. So I’ll take the stairs.”
  • Justin Anderson may compete with Jahlil Okafor to be the Sixers’ most improved player, Pompey writes in a separate piece. The 23-year-old swingman, who was traded to Philadelphia in February, dropped weight over the offseason and worked to improve his outside shot.
  • Although Ben Simmons still has some flaws him his game, he impressed opposing coaches with his potential during preseason, Pompey adds in another story. Simmons is preparing for his official rookie season after sitting out all of last year while recovering from a broken foot. “That kid, they are not talking about him enough – the way he moves with the ball, his ability to see the floor, the way he can get places on the floor,” said Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. “I think once he gets confidence in the shot, where you really have to close out on him to the three, wow, he is a big-time talent.”