Keith Bogans

Knicks Reportedly “Obsessed” With Masai Ujiri

The Knicks are “obsessed” and “enamored” with Raptors executive Masai Ujiri as the next man to run the franchise, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. A front office shakeup is expected in the wake of yesterday’s firing of head coach David Fizdale, especially considering the poor track record of team president Steve Mills.

Begley speculates it would take “significant money and full autonomy” to land Ujiri, who is already in a comfortable spot after building a championship team. Even if the Knicks are willing to grant that, Ujiri may not want to work for a controversial figure like James Dolan, and he is signed with Toronto until 2021, a contract he said in October that he plans to honor.

Echoing a report we shared last week, Begley states that the Knicks believe Ujiri could be drawn to New York City to provide a larger platform for his charitable work with the Giants of Africa Foundation. However, there was similar speculation about Washington, D.C., a few months ago when the Wizards were restructuring their front office, and Ujiri opted to stay in Toronto.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • Despite a 4-18 start and six straight losing seasons, the Knicks’ front office job is still viewed as appealing around the league, Begley adds in the same story. The team has drafted well under general manager Scott Perry and has held on to its first-round picks. The Knicks also retained cap flexibility by signing seven players to short-term contracts this summer after failing to land their top targets in free agency.
  • A few players got to say goodbye to Fizdale before he left the team, Taj Gibson tells Begley (Twitter link). Gibson said Fizdale was emotional during the departure, adding, “Guys loved him.”
  • Mark Jackson, a former Knicks guard and ex-head coach of the Warriors, is a 5-1 favorite to be the next head coach, relays Adam Zagoria for Forbes. The oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag have Kenny Smith second at 6-1 and Italian coach Ettore Messina at 7-1. Next in line are three college coaches, Michigan’s Juwan Howard, Vanderbilt’s Jerry Stackhouse and Villanova’s Jay Wright.
  • Interim coach Mike Miller thanked Fizdale and the Knicks organization during today’s pre-game press conference (video link from Vorkunov). Neither Mills nor Perry has addressed the media since the firing became official, and nobody from management has commented apart from an unattributed statement that was released Friday.
  • Former NBA player Keith Bogans has been named to Miller’s staff, the Knicks announced on Twitter.

Mike Miller To Become Knicks’ Interim Coach

In the wake of David Fizdale’s firing, the Knicks have made a decision on who will lead the team for the remainder of the season. Mike Miller will be promoted to interim coach, as Shams Charania of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

[RELATED: Knicks fire head coach David Fizdale]

Miller (not to be confused with former NBA player Mike Miller) was the G League Coach of the Year back in the 2017/18 season. He spent four seasons leading the Westchester Knicks before being promoted to the NBA’s bench as an assistant on Fizdale’s staff. Miller has 60 games left in the season to make his mark on the Knicks.

Charania also reports that former NBA player Keith Bogans will become an assistant on Miller’s staff. Bogans had been on the team’s coaching staff in Westchester.

And-Ones: Trade Rules, BIG3, Georges-Hunt

New NBA rules allow teams to place protections on draft picks that they’re in line to acquire if they want to flip them to another team, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. As Lowe explains, if the Celtics wanted to trade the rights to the Nets‘ 2017 first-rounder, they wouldn’t necessarily have to make it unprotected — the club could, for instance, trade the Nets pick to another team with top-two protection, then if Boston keeps the selection, that team could get Brooklyn’s unprotected pick from the C’s in 2018.

As we wait to see if the Celtics or another team takes advantage of that rule, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • The BIG3 has formally announced a new group of 10 players who will be eligible for the upcoming draft. Keith Bogans, Rashad McCants, Voshon Lenard, and Mike James are among the former NBA players set to participate in the three-on-three league.
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt‘s recent 10-day contract with the Heat has expired, but the rookie is drawing interest from multiple NBA teams, a league source tells Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link).
  • After previously playing a game in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the NBA will be returning to the city this summer, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Team Africa will take on Team World at Johannesburg’s Ticketpro Dome on August 5, the league confirmed.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical continues to publish his team-by-team trade guides this week, focusing more recently on playoff teams. Marks takes a closer look at the Celtics and Rockets, as well as the Raptors and Jazz.

Keith Bogans Joins Knicks D-League Team

JANUARY 29TH, 11:30am: The Knicks affiliate has added Bogans, the team announced (Twitter link). Bogans signed with the club after he went unclaimed via D-League waivers, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

JANUARY 27TH, 4:35pm: Bogans has signed with the D-League and is now subject to its waiver process, Reichert tweets.

JANUARY 14TH, 5:02pm: Veteran shooting guard Keith Bogans intends to sign with the NBA D-League in the near future, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (on Twitter). Bogans, once he officially signs, will be subject to the league’s waiver process to determine which team he will play for.

The 35-year-old last appeared in an NBA regular season game during the 2013/14 campaign when he made six appearances for the Celtics, averaging 2.0 points in 9.2 minutes of action per contest. Bogans’ career numbers through 11 NBA campaigns are 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists to accompany a slash line of .394/.353/.716.

Bogans was on the Blazers’ summer league roster this past offseason, though he failed to impress, averaging just 0.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting an abysmal 11.1% from the field, which likely explains why he didn’t secure a training camp invite. Joining the D-League is likely the best course for the veteran if he hopes to land a 10-day contract in the NBA this season, though he will certainly need to perform better than he did over the summer if he hopes to garner any NBA interest.

Central Rumors: Granger, Rose, Bucks

Small forward Danny Granger will not join the Pistons for the start of training camp, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Granger, who was traded to Detroit from the Suns as part of the Marcus Morris deal, will remain in Arizona to continue knee rehab under a mutual agreement with Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy, Ellis continues. “I think it’s better for him and for us if he stays right there in Arizona and does his rehab and when he gets to a point that he’s ready to play and compete, then we will bring him in,” Van Gundy said during the team’s media day on Monday. Granger is one of 17 Detroit players with guaranteed contracts so he remains a waiver or trade candidate, Ellis adds.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings isn’t close to being game-ready, Ellis writes in the same notebook piece. Jennings, who tore his Achilles tendon in January, is limited to light shooting, jogging in the pool and weight-controlled treadmill work. “We’re hoping sometime in mid-October that he’s be able to start doing drill work out on the floor and then hopefully by mid-November he starts ramping up, actually getting in some five-on-five stuff,” Van Gundy said.
  • Derrick Rose made a splash during the Bulls’ media day, saying that he’s already looking toward his next foray into free agency, according to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago (Twitter links). Rose, who is signed through the 2016/17 season, expects to remain in Chicago for the long term, Goodwill adds. “€œYou see the way all this money will be passed around in this league. My day [free agency] is coming,” Rose said. But while Rose prefers to stay with the Bulls, the notion of leaguewide increased salaries “makes one pause,” Sam Smith of Bulls.com tweets.
  • The Bucks hired longtime NBA executive Rod Thorn as a special consultant, the team announced Monday morning via press release. He will work closely with GM John Hammond, the release adds. Thorn most recently served as the NBA’€™s president of basketball operations, where he oversaw the league’s day-to-day business under commissioner Adam Silver.
  • The Cavaliers allowed the remaining $635,816 portion of their trade exception for Keith Bogans to expire on Sunday, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Cleveland dealt Bogans to the Sixers last September and used part of the exception to acquire Timofey Mozgov in January.

Sixers Notes: Wroten, Bogans, Embiid

The Sixers didn’t approach this summer with any more urgency to improve than in previous offseasons, as GM Sam Hinkie tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.

“Not a lot,” Hinkie said when asked if he felt an immediacy to win more games this season. “We try to be opportunistic year-round, not just summer-to-summer, but year-round. We try to predict what opportunities might come our way and think ahead of time about what opportunities we might be interested in and what ones we would clearly let pass. The flow of those opportunities is uncertain. We don’t ever know when they’ll come but we try to be out in a lot of those situations to understand what might happen.”

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Tony Wroten is expected to return from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at the start of the upcoming regular season, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Wroten had season-ending surgery last February.
  • Keith Bogans said Philadelphia never called him when he was traded to the Sixers prior to last season, Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com tweets. Two weeks later, Bogans was waived and didn’t receive a call from the franchise about that either.
  • Tom Moore of the Calkins Media examines the news of Joel Embiid‘s latest setback from an optimistic point of view. Moore argues that Embiid’s missed time will allow the Sixers to see if Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor can co-exist on the floor together.

Sixers Sign Lee, Gordon, Cut Bogans, Varnado

The Sixers have signed Malcolm Lee and Drew Gordon, and they waived Keith Bogans and Jarvis Varnado to make room on the 20-man preseason roster, the team announced (Twitter link). The team reportedly came to agreements with both Lee and Gordon prior to camp, but they were left off the team’s roster when training camp began. The dismissal of Varnado is somewhat surprising, since he had a $75K partial guarantee and the team had been carrying eight players with non-guaranteed contracts. Bogans was one of those eight, and his nearly $5.3MM salary was the largest by far, so it’s certainly not a shock to see Philadelphia part ways with him. The Sixers have plenty of capacity to exceed the minimum salary in their new arrangements with Lee and Gordon, but the terms aren’t immediately clear.

Lee was one of a handful of players to work out for the Lakers in late August, and he also worked out for the Nets earlier in the summer, though that audition seemed to be geared mostly toward summer league. The 24-year-old guard appeared in summer league with the Raptors, but the two-year NBA veteran will attempt to officially return to the league with the Sixers after sitting out 2013/14, in part because of injury. Gordon, a 24-year-old power forward, was with the Sixers in summer league after splitting this past season between Italy and Turkey. He also had a stop in Serbia after going undrafted out of New Mexico in 2012, and this will be his first NBA preseason experience.

Bogans joined the Sixers after a pair of trades brought him from the Celtics through Cleveland. He sat out much of last season as Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge sought to use his sizable non-guaranteed deal in a trade. Varnado hooked on with both the Bulls and the Sixers via 10-day contracts last season, and Philadelphia elected to keep him for the balance of 2013/14 when its short-term deal with the power forward ran out, tacking the partially guaranteed 2014/15 season onto his contract.

The moves leave the Sixers with a full 20-man preseason roster. Only nine of their players known to have fully guaranteed deals, and the release of Varnado makes it an even more wide open race for the final regular season roster spots.

Atlantic Notes: Bogans, Garnett, Grant, ‘Melo

There’s no guarantee that Keith Bogans will play a game for the Sixers this season, as Philly GM Sam Hinkie suggested to reporters, including Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link), that the Sixers might choose to waive Bogans’ recently acquired non-guaranteed contract rather than keep him around to mentor the club’s young talent. There’s more on the Sixers below amid tonight’s look at the Atlantic:

  • The contract that Jerami Grant signed with the Sixers is a multi-year pact, according to the RealGM transactions log. Financial terms still haven’t been disclosed, but Grant is likely in line to receive the minimum salary.
  • Kevin Garnett admitted that while he considered retirement two summers ago, the idea of hanging it up didn’t cross his mind this offseason, as Robert Windrem of Nets Daily passes along. Garnett will enter his second campaign with the Nets, and his 20th season in the NBA.
  • Although Carmelo Anthony admits that he would have had a better shot to win a title this season if he had signed with another team, he says that leaving the Knicks would have left a bad taste in his mouth, notes Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press“From a basketball standpoint it probably would’ve been maybe the greatest thing to do, but for me personally I wouldn’t have felt right with myself,” ‘Melo said, “knowing that I wanted to come here, I kind of forced my way here to New York and I have some unfinished business to take care of.”

Cavs Notes: LeBron, Irving, Deng, Crawford

LeBron James reiterated his intentions to stay in Cleveland beyond his current contract during an interview that ran Friday on CNN’s “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols“I plan on finishing my career back home,” James said, as Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group transcribes.
James called the two-year length of his contract a “business decision.” There’s more on the four-time MVP amid the latest on his new team:

  • James based 95% of his decision to return to Cleveland on his desire to return to his Northeast Ohio roots, but the chance to play with Kyrie Irving was “a huge part” of the other 5%, James said to reporters, including Michael Lee of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
  • James and Luol Deng traded places this summer, but Deng knows the Cavs got the better end of the de facto swap, as he told reporters, including Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald“I’ve been in the league 11 years and I’m still improving,” Deng said. “I would never try to replace anybody no matter if they’re better than me or I’m better than somebody. We all bring different things. The biggest mistake I would make is try to be LeBron. I’m not LeBron.”
  • The Cavs intended to re-sign Chris Crawford even as they waived him Thursday, according to Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer. That suggests the Cavs also intended from the time they traded for Bogans that they would flip him to the Sixers or another club, and indeed, a league source told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal that Cleveland was never keen on keeping the veteran guard.
  • Cleveland’s brass had wanted to use Kevin Murphy, John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas to create a trade exception ever since acquiring the trio, even though it took two moves for the Cavs to come up with the $5,285,817 trade exception they extracted from today’s Bogans trade, as Lloyd writes in the same piece.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Cavs Trade Keith Bogans To Sixers

2:07pm: The trade is official, the Cavs announced. The terms of the deal are that the Cavs send Bogans and their 2018 second round pick to the Sixers for Philly’s 2015 second-rounder (protected for picks 31-50 and 56-60), though Cleveland won’t see the pick if the Sixers have to give it to the Celtics to satisfy an existing debt from previous trades. Cleveland also announced the creation of a traded player exception worth approximately $5.3MM. It’ll be precisely $5,285,817, equivalent to the value of Bogans’ salary.

1:52pm: The second-rounder headed to Philadelphia is Cleveland’s 2018 pick, Lloyd writes. There is no mention of any protections being attached, though the second round pick headed the Cavs most likely will have heavy enough protections that Cleveland is unlikely to ever make that pick.

1:11pm: The Cavs will receive a future second-rounder from the Sixers with protections attached, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports (Twitter link).

12:50pm: The Cavaliers have reached an agreement to trade newly acquired Keith Bogans to the Sixers, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. The deal will send Bogans along with a future second-rounder to Philly and create a $5.3MM trade exception for the Cavs in the process. It’s unclear what Cleveland will receive in return, and it may just be the exception that they essentially net from this deal.

Cavs GM David Griffin had said yesterday that acquiring Bogans was about “contract flexibility,” and it didn’t take long for him to cash in the chip that Bogans’ non-guaranteed deal provided him. On Thursday Cleveland had traded the non-guaranteed contracts of Erik Murphy, John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas, along with Cavs’ 2016 and 2017 second round picks, for Bogans and the Kings’ 2015 and 2017 second-rounders, both of which are top-55 protected.

Assuming the Cavs don’t have to take back a player from the Sixers in order to close the deal, this will leave Cleveland with 15 players on their roster, with 11 carrying full guarantees, and two with partials. Ray Allen is still a possibility to end up with the Cavaliers, though he has numerous other opportunities for work, and hasn’t stated whether or not he intends to play this coming season yet.

As for the Sixers, they get a veteran shooting guard who is capable of starting for them, along with more draft picks, something Philly places high value on. Since Bogans is on a non-guaranteed deal there is little to no risk at giving him a shot at a rotation spot this season. He shouldn’t complicate the Sixers’ quest to nab the top pick in next year’s draft. This move will max out Philadelphia’s roster count at 20.