Justin Holiday

Bulls Notes: Parker, Boylen, Portis, Holiday

After getting a rare chance to play Saturday night, Jabari Parker told Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News that he has thought about coming to Utah as a way out of his current situation in Chicago. Parker already has strong ties to the area, owning a house near Salt Lake City. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and considered playing at BYU before going to Duke.

“Yeah, I have. I already have a home here, and I visit here frequently,” Parker responded when asked if he has thought of joining the Jazz.

There’s been no recent indication that Utah is interested in acquiring Parker and his $20MM salary, though a mid-December report linked the two sides. Parker was sent to the end of the Bulls’ bench when coach Jim Boylen took over, reportedly because of poor defense and attitude issues. Injuries gave him a chance on Saturday and he responded with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

“It’s nothing that can be explained, just his gut feeling,” Parker said of Boylen’s decision to bench him. “I’ve just got to respect that. He’s the head coach, but I also want to do what’s best for me. Hopefully I can get somewhere where I can show my talent, and I can be treated accordingly, too.”

There’s more this morning from Chicago:

  • Boylen only has a $1MM guarantee for next year on his new contract, according to an ESPN report, giving the organization some flexibility if it decides to go in a different direction. The new arrangement, which Boylen negotiated himself, will pay him $1.6MM this season, twice what he was getting as associate head coach under Fred Hoiberg. He will receive another $1.6MM if he lasts all of next season. “The Bulls have been very gracious to me and very supportive,” Boylen told Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “… They’re fair and honest and direct, and I respond to that well.” (Twitter link)
  • Bobby Portis believes he has a reputation as a villain after last year’s fight with Nikola Mirotic, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Portis claims referees have treated him differently since the skirmish, citing a play on Friday in which he alleges that the Warriors’ Kevin Durant grabbed his arm in an attempt to injure him. “I have that negative put on me like I’m a bad guy,’’ Portis said. “Obviously, everything is officiated differently towards me. You don’t care about that but it’s just what I made it cause of that incident last year. Everybody thinks I’m this bad guy when really I’m a really good dude. Image is everything, and I guess that’s what my image is.”
  • Last week’s trade of Justin Holiday left a vacancy on the Bulls’ new leadership committee, Cowley tweets, adding that Kris Dunn is most likely to be appointed.

Grizzlies Notes: Leaks, Holiday, PGs, Parsons

After Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Dillon Brooks would likely miss the remainder of the 2018/19 season due to a toe injury, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was put on the spot during his usual media availability. As David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details, Bickerstaff was frustrated by the fact that he was asked about the report on Brooks before the team was able to put out an official update.

“I think the bigger issue [than Brooks’ status] is we need to be concerned with how information is getting out,” Bickerstaff said. “There are things that should remain in-house until, as an organization, we decide to put out a statement with everyone on the same page. I think first and foremost, we need to address that and make sure the people with information are the people who need to have information.”

While the news on Brooks’ injury would have been announced a few hours later anyway, there have been a number of other instances within the last month where leaks impacted the Grizzlies more significantly. The most obvious cases involved the failed three-team trade with the Suns and Wizards, as well as a locker room altercation between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi.

After word of that Temple/Casspi incident broke, GM Chris Wallace said his team would deal internally with the leak.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Justin Holiday is off to a slow start with the Grizzlies, averaging 4.0 PPG on 22.2% shooting in his first three games, but he’s excited to be in Memphis after spending most of the first half with the lowly Bulls. “To be right there in the mix, it’s exciting to be here,” Holiday said, per Cobb. “I know we’re struggling right now, but there’s been a lot of changes, a lot of adjustments and sometimes it’s just that time of the year. … Hopefully we can turn it around and do some big things and get back on track.”
  • In another recent article for The Commercial Appeal, Cobb explored whether rookie Jevon Carter will take over for Shelvin Mack as the Grizzlies’ regular backup point guard. Carter appeared poised to claim that role, but struggled on Monday in New Orleans, prompting the club to turn back to Mack on Wednesday vs. San Antonio.
  • Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian took a deep dive into the Chandler Parsons situation in Memphis, exploring whether the Grizzlies should have known better than to give Parsons a big contract in 2016, whether the team has handled recent developments correctly, and what’s next for the forward.

Grizzlies GM Talks Draft Pick, Holiday, Parsons

After a 12-5 start, the Grizzlies‘ season has taken an unfortunate turn, with the team having lost 17 of its last 23 games, including the last six in a row. Memphis is now tied for 13th in the West, 3.5 games back of the eighth seed, which creates an interesting dilemma for the organization as next month’s trade deadline nears.

The Grizzlies owe their 2019 first-round pick to the Celtics, but that pick is top-eight protected, meaning Memphis will hang onto it if it ends up at No. 8 or better. Currently, the Grizzlies are tied for the ninth-worst record in the NBA, as our reverse standings show. If Memphis’ struggles continue, it might be in the franchise’s best long-term interests to prioritize keeping its draft pick for next season rather than attempting to push for the No. 8 seed.

As David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal relays, general manager Chris Wallace was noncommittal when asked if the Grizzlies expect to convey that first-round pick to Boston this year or potentially keep it: “We’ll see where the season takes us at this point in time. We still have half a season to go. We’ll be prepared for either eventuality.”

Memphis is in a tough spot, since bottoming out and hanging onto that 2019 first-round pick wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that the team eventually sends the Celtics a less favorable pick. That first-rounder will become top-six protected in 2020 and unprotected in 2021 if it’s not conveyed in ’19, Cobb notes.

Here’s more from Wallace on some of the issues facing the Grizzlies, via Cobb:

On whether acquiring Justin Holiday signals that the team remains in win-now mode:

“Absolutely. We paid the price of a couple second-round draft picks to do so, and we think Justin is going to be a very productive player for us on both ends of the floor. He can shoot the three, he can score in addition to shooting the three. He can handle the ball, and he can guard on the other end. He’s someone also who our research tells us is a very high-character, winning individual.”

On whether the Grizzlies are prioritizing winning in the short term or focusing on the long term:

“We’re trying to strike a middle ground of being as good as we can in the here and now and also preparing for the future and not sacrificing anything for the future as well. That’s how you would characterize us, as a team that’s got a foot on both sides of that conundrum. Trying to be good right now and also have an outstanding future as well. I think, obviously, with Jaren [Jackson Jr.] here, that gives us a bridge to the future.”

On his assertion that the Grizzlies “definitely had good information” when they signed Chandler Parsons to a four-year, maximum-salary contract in 2016:

“Obviously, Chandler had done some interesting things as a player during his time in Houston and Dallas, and his skill-set fit what we needed. He was by far the best option at that time, so we took him. Unfortunately, he’s been injured since then, and it’s where we are today after those injuries.”

Paxson Talks Holiday Trade, Parker, Payne, Future

The Bulls (10-29) are tied with the Knicks for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, and are focused on the future. That was signaled by this week’s trade that sent veteran swingman Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies for Wayne SeldenMarShon Brooks and two second-round picks. Chicago also subsequently waived Cameron Payne to created a roster spot.

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson spoke to reporters, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Mark Strotman, on Friday and said the Holiday trade came together “in a couple of hours.” Paxson also addressed Jabari Parker‘s future with the team, Chicago’s plan leading up to the trade deadline and expectations of new head coach Jim Boylen.

On potentially making more trades before the deadline…

“That’s what has to happen. Things have to align. You can’t just force it. Again, if we can acquire young players, draft assets, we can maybe look at our roster and think there’s a better fit, we’ll go that route.”

On Parker’s future in Chicago…

“The one thing [Boylen] has been really consistent with is the accountability aspect. I believe you can hold players to a certain standard of what you want as a coach. Jabari is a really good guy. You guys have been around him. He’s a terrific person. If we can acclimate him back into things, he’s going to get a chance. This league is about getting chances, even for players who have been through what Jabari has been through.”

The decision to part with Payne…

“You make decisions and hope for the best. The reality is both (Ryan Arcidiacono) and (Shaq Harrison) have outplayed him. They fit what we want to do. Cam had some struggles with his foot and trying to get him back. We wish him well.”

On the Bulls’ future and player development…

“Very important. It’s really important. We need to see growth. We need to see how they play. We’re a month into [Boylen]’s tenure now, and I think they understand what’s expected. So we’re going to go out on the road here after these next two games. That’s a good time for a young team to get together. They’re going to be hard games. We just need to see development. That’s going to be a big key.”

Leftover Cap Details On Bulls/Grizzlies Trade

On Thursday, the Grizzlies and Bulls completed the fifth in-season trade of the NBA’s 2018/19 campaign, with Chicago sending Justin Holiday to Memphis in exchange for two players and two second-round draft picks.

While this deal was hardly a blockbuster, it features a few salary cap related details worth noting, so we’ll round those up in this space…

The Bulls create a modest traded player exception:

The Grizzlies had no traded player exceptions large enough to absorb Holiday’s $4,384,616 salary, so they had to aggregate MarShon Brooks ($1,656,092) and Wayne Selden ($1,544,951) for matching purposes. As a result, they didn’t create a TPE as a result of the deal.

On the other hand, the Bulls were able to take on Selden using the minimum salary exception, since he’s earning his minimum. As such, Chicago essentially traded Holiday straight up for Brooks for salary-matching purposes, leaving the Bulls with a trade exception worth the difference between the two players’ salaries: $2,728,524.

Why flipping MarShon Brooks may not be as easy as it seems:

Brooks is earning more than Selden this season because he has more years of NBA experience, but he’s also making the minimum salary. So why were the Bulls able to use the minimum salary exception to absorb Selden, but not Brooks?

Well, even though Brooks is earning his minimum this season, the first season of his deal wasn’t worth the minimum, as cap expert Albert Nahmad notes (via Twitter). The Grizzlies signed Brooks to a two-year pact last April, with just six days left in the 2017/18 campaign. A minimum salary contract would have paid him just $49,877 for those six days, but because Brooks was drawing interest from other suitors, Memphis upped its offer using a portion of its mid-level exception, giving him $249,348. That’s five times the amount of his prorated minimum.

As such, Brooks’ contract isn’t technically considered a minimum salary deal, which is why the Bulls had to account for that $1,656,092 for matching purposes.

Now, with the Bulls reportedly looking to flip Brooks to another team, those same rules apply. Like Chicago, a new trade partner wouldn’t be able to use the minimum salary exception to acquire Brooks. That trade partner would need a trade exception big enough to absorb his salary or would have to send back a contract in return.

That could eliminate a number of potential landing spots for the veteran guard and make it a little more challenging for the Bulls to make a second deal.

The Grizzlies still have a small amount of breathing room below the tax line:

The Grizzlies were pretty close to the luxury tax threshold before this trade. Having taken on a little money in acquiring Holiday, they’re even closer now. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Memphis has approximately $463K in breathing room before becoming a taxpayer.

While the Grizzlies opened up a roster spot by making a two-for-one deal, using that roster spot on a rest-of-season contract right now would take them into the tax. A veteran player (at least two years of experience) signed to a minimum salary deal today would have a cap hit of $829K.

Teams can begin signing 10-day contracts as of Saturday, and the Grizzlies could fit one of those under the tax line — a veteran on a 10-day deal would cost about $85K. So Memphis could afford five 10-day contracts for the rest of the season. A sixth would take the team into tax territory.

The Grizzlies could make a separate cost-cutting move before the February 7 trade deadline to create a little more wiggle room to sign a player. If they don’t reduce their team salary, however, that 15th roster spot is probably a good bet to remain open for a good chunk of the second half.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Grizzlies Notes: Holiday, Temple, Casspi, Parsons

After attempting to send MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden to Phoenix last month in a three-team trade that would’ve netted them Kelly Oubre, the Grizzlies moved those same players in Thursday’s deal for Justin Holiday. While the deal isn’t as favorable as the one they thought they had for Oubre, that’s why this one was able to get done, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian writes in his breakdown of the swap.

Herrington isn’t overly bullish on the trade, noting that it reduces the Grizzlies’ flexibility to some extent — the team has an open roster spot as a result of the two-for-one deal, but probably won’t have enough breathing room under the luxury tax line to fill it right away. Herrington also isn’t sure that Holiday represents a meaningful upgrade over the younger Selden, and notes that Memphis will now likely be left without a pick in the 2019 draft.

Still, as Herrington observes, it’s possible that Brooks’ and Selden’s inclusion in that failed trade with the Suns and Wizards “poisoned the waters” and left those players unhappy. If that was the case, this new deal may help lift any lingering unease in the locker room, making it more worthwhile.

Here’s more out of Memphis:

  • In the wake of a Wednesday postgame meeting that involved a physical altercation between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi, GM Chris Wallace apologized to Grizzlies fans and said the team would hand out internal discipline, per an Associated Press report. Wallace was also displeased that details of the incident leaked to the media so quickly, adding that the club would handle that internally as well.
  • Within that same AP report, Temple and Casspi both addressed the reported altercation, though neither player went into much detail. “Some things were said and some things happened,” Temple said. “At the end of the day we’re brothers. We’ve known each other since we were rookies. At the end of the day, we came out of that meeting … on the same page and we’re moving on from it.”
  • David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal wonders if the locker room incident speaks to a leadership void for the Grizzlies.
  • Chandler Parsons is healthy and wants to get back on the court, but it’s not clear which Grizzlies player(s) should be sacrificing minutes for the oft-injured forward. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a closer look at the situation.

Bulls Trade Holiday To Grizzlies For Selden, Brooks, Picks

10:43pm: The trade between the Bulls and Grizzlies is now official, with both teams announcing the agreement in press releases. As expected, Chicago waived Payne to reduce its roster count to 15 players.

6:43pm: The Bulls are trading Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies in exchange for Wayne Selden, MarShon Brooks and two second-round picks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Memphis will send its own 2019 and 2020 second-round selections.

Chicago is likely to waive guard Cameron Payne following the trade, Wojnarowski reports.

The trade comes less than 24 hours after the Grizzlies held a postgame meeting that lasted roughly 30 minutes, a conversation which also reportedly included a physical altercation between veterans Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple. Memphis holds just a 18-19 record and is 6-14 since November 22, struggling to gain a strong rhythm on both ends of the floor.

Holiday, 29, has averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 38 starts with the Bulls this season. He’ll provide the Grizzlies with backcourt depth as they seek to turnaround an underwhelming last month of action, capable of playing both shooting guard and small forward.

Brooks, 30, earned a spot on the Grizzlies’ roster this season after averaging 20.1 PPG in seven games down the stretch in 2017/18. However, he didn’t play a major role in Memphis in 2018/19, posting 6.6 PPG in 13.3 MPG (29 games). The Bulls are expected to work with his agent and find a new destination for him after the trade, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Selden, an intriguing third-year player who has also seen his production slip a little in a part-time role for the Grizzlies this season, will report to Chicago as a young asset off the bench.

Interestingly, the package of Brooks, Selden, and a pair of second-round picks is exactly what the Grizzlies believed they were giving up for Kelly Oubre in a failed three-team trade with the Suns and Wizards last month. That deal fell apart because the Suns were under the impression they was getting Dillon Brooks rather than MarShon.

The Bulls received interest from multiple teams on Holiday, according to Charania (Twitter link), but ultimately settled on this trade with the Grizzlies. Chicago has the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference at 10-28 and has lost six of its past 10 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Love, Hutchison, Ilyasova, Parker

Trade talks involving Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will heat up in the coming weeks, Marc Stein of the New York Times predicts in his latest newsletter. Love, who signed a four-year, $120MM extension over the summer, becomes trade eligible on January 24th. Love is still sidelined after undergoing toe surgery but could return to action sometime this month. Love is still regarded by some NBA executives as a difference-maker who could be available despite the Cavaliers’ insistence they don’t want to deal him, according to Stein. The Nuggets might be a team to watch, since they have coveted Love for years and may be in a win-now mode, Stein adds.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls first-round pick Chandler Hutchison has embraced the role of defensive stopper, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. Hutchison is averaging a modest 4.2 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 17.2 MPG but he has heeded coach Jim Boylen’s urging to become a defensive presence. “For me right away that was the first thing I noticed was I can help the team,’’ Hutchison told Cowley. “Then one thing leads to the next if you can help the team. Coaches are going to find a way to get you on the floor, which is a reward for me, but also if I can help the team in areas that we need help, it’s going to help us win.’’
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer plans to keep power forward Ersan Ilyasova in the rotation when he returns from a fractured nose that required surgery, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Ilyasova, who suffered the injury during a December 16th practice, could return to action this weekend. Second-year man D.J. Wilson has played well in his absence. “Ersan’s somebody that we think we’ll find minutes for and then (with) those young guys, keep trying to figure out how we can keep them involved and growing and developing, but I guess for me it’s a couple days away,” Budenholzer said.
  • The Bulls have tried to package forward Jabari Parker with the expiring contracts of either swingman Justin Holiday or center Robin Lopez in preliminary trade talks, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports. Parker, who has been benched by Boylen, has a $20MM team option on his contract for next season. Holiday is making approximately $4.4MM, while Lopez is pulling in $14.35MM this season.

Scotto’s Latest: Bazemore, Porter, Holiday, Dieng

Any team that trades for Hawks forward Kent Bazemore should prepare to pay him beyond this season, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Scotto shares a few rumors in a column on New Year’s resolutions for all 30 teams, including a report that Bazemore is leaning toward exercising his $19.27MM player option for next year.

That would represent a modest raise for the 29-year-old, who is making a little more than $18MM this season. Bazemore, who is sidelined with a right ankle sprain that will keep him out for at least two weeks, is one of the most popular names on the trade market, with the Rockets among the teams already expressing interest in acquiring him.

Scotto offers a few more interesting tidbits sprinkled among his advice for 2019:

  • The Mavericks have expressed interest in trading for Wizards forward Otto Porter. Washington faces luxury tax concerns this season and beyond and will owe Porter nearly $56MM over the next two years if he exercises his player option for 2020/21. Porter’s production has declined in his sixth season, and the Wizards may concentrate on fixing their long-term salary structure after John Wall elected to have heel surgery that will sideline him for six to eight months.
  • After losing out on the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes, the Rockets have continued to search for a defensive-minded wing who can hit 3-pointers. Among the players they called about is Justin Holiday, who is averaging 11.8 PPG with the Bulls and ranks eighth in the league in made threes with 96. Holiday has an expiring $4.4MM deal, so he would be a low-cost option for any contender. Houston is also looking for a rim protector to back up Clint Capela.
  • The Timberwolves tried again to find a taker for center Gorgui Dieng, who has become a little-used reserve, playing just 13.7 minutes per night. Minnesota attempted to unload Dieng, who is owed about $33.5MM over the next two seasons, in Butler trade talks but couldn’t find anyone willing to take on that salary.
  • D’Angelo Russell‘s friendship with Suns star Devin Booker may make him an option for Phoenix. Russell is headed for restricted free agency this summer and the Suns need a long-term solution at point guard. The extension the Nets gave to Spencer Dinwiddie could make them reluctant to invest heavily in Russell.

Charania’s Latest: Kings, Mavs, Simmons, Celtics

The Kings were identified earlier this month as a probable buyer on the trade market, but rival executives don’t sense any urgency to make major changes in Sacramento, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic. At 18-16 so far this season, the Kings are ahead of schedule in their rebuilding process and are essentially “playing with house money” at this point, Charania notes.

With a handful of veterans on expiring contracts and about $11MM in cap room available immediately, the Kings are in a good position to make a move if they so choose. However, it sounds unlikely that Iman Shumpert – one of those veterans on an expiring contract – will be going anywhere. De’Aaron Fox has credited Shumpert for bringing leadership and championship experience to Sacramento, writes Charania.

Here’s more from Charania:

  • The Mavericks want to improve their roster and are “open for business,” according to Charania, who reiterates that teams around the NBA are monitoring Dennis Smith Jr. We heard earlier this week that Dallas has gauged the market on Smith.
  • Rival teams believe Magic swingman Jonathon Simmons will be among the players available on the trade market this season, per Charania. A previous report indicated that Orlando would probably prefer to move Simmons instead of Terrence Ross.
  • Major in-season changes are unlikely in Boston, since trading a player like Terry Rozier or Jaylen Brown for a draft pick wouldn’t help the Celtics win now. As Charania details, the C’s may re-evaluate their roster closer to the deadline, but the club is unlikely to cash in any major assets until at least the 2019 offseason.
  • The Rockets have had discussions about Hawks wing Kent Bazemore, who is expected to draw interest from multiple contending teams, according to Charania.
  • Several teams have inquired with the Bulls about Justin Holiday, league sources tell Charania.
  • Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is known to be on the trade block, but clubs with interest in Smith are monitoring the situation to see whether he’ll end up on the buyout market, Charania writes.
  • Charania wonders if the Grizzliesdecision to make Chandler Parsons a healthy inactive will eventually lead to a standoff between the player and the team.