Kenrich Williams

Southwest Notes: Harden, Westbrook, K. Williams, Barea

Rockets star James Harden made his first public comments on a reported rift with former teammate Chris Paul, relays Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle. After Houston was knocked out of the playoffs, stories emerged that Harden and Paul had a toxic relationship and could no longer exist in the same environment. Harden admits on-court arguments with Paul, who was traded to Oklahoma City last week, but insists the reports were exaggerated.

“It was just pretty funny how guys can speculate or make up false stories on the TV and then you’ve got people believing it,” he said. “That’s where guys have to make sure their facts are true before they put stuff in the media or on national television. But for me personally, and I’m sure for Chris as well, we never paid any attention to it. And Chris has been unbelievable these last two years. He’s helped me as a leader, as a mentor, just all that good stuff. I guess it’s life. It’s the business, how things don’t work out. But he’s a great dude. I have nothing negative to say about him.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Harden told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle that he has no concerns about meshing his talents with Russell Westbrook‘s, citing their previous experience playing together in Oklahoma City and with the 2012 Olympic team. “When you have talent like that, it works itself out,” Harden said. “You communicate. You go out there and compete possession by possession. You figure things out. Throughout the course of the season, you figure things out. That’s just what it is. When you have talent, you have guys with IQ, you have guys willing to sacrifice, it always works itself out.”
  • Pelicans small forward Kenrich Williams received a $200K guarantee on his contract for 2019/20 by remaining on the roster yesterday, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. Williams’ $1,416,852 salary will become fully guaranteed on opening night.
  • Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has decided not to play for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Cup tournament, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. It has been less than eight months since Barea had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles, and although he is encouraged by his progress, he believes it’s too soon to risk playing competitively.

Salary Guarantee Updates: Robinson, Nader, Dotson

The Heat don’t intend to waive Duncan Robinson today, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops. Keeping Robinson on the roster will ensure that the partial guarantee on his minimum-salary contract increases from $250K to $1MM. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald confirms the news, noting (via Twitter) that Robinson now appears very likely to make Miami’s regular season roster for 2019/20, barring a trade.

The Heat have more contract decisions to make starting on August 1, when the partial guarantees for Kendrick Nunn and Yante Maten are both set to increase. Those decisions will be important, given Miami’s hard-cap constraints for the ’19/20 league year.

For now though, there are a handful of other teams carrying players with July 15 guarantee deadlines in their contracts. Let’s check in on them…

  • All signs point to the Thunder keeping Abdel Nader under contract through today and guaranteeing his 2019/20 salary ($1,618,520), tweets ESPN’s Royce Young.
  • As we relayed earlier, J.R. Smith is expected to be waived by the Cavaliers today before the amount of his partial guarantee increases, while the Pacers will retain Alize Johnson and fully guarantee his ’19/20 salary.
  • The other players with guarantee dates today, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), are Damyean Dotson (Knicks) and Kenrich Williams (Pelicans). A report in early July indicated that the Knicks will hang onto Dotson and guarantee his $1,618,520 salary. There have been no updates one way or the other on Williams, who would get a $200K partial guarantee if he’s not released today.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/16/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Warriors have recalled rookie guard Jacob Evans from their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced in a press release. Evans has appeared in 18 games for the Warriors this season.
  • The Pelicans announced in a press release that they have recalled Kenrich Williams from the Texas Legends. Williams has averaged 13.9 points per game across seven G League games this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/14/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans have assigned Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Since New Orleans doesn’t have an NBAGL affiliate of its own, Jackson and Williams will join the Texas Legends, Dallas’ affiliate, and are suiting up for the Legends tonight against Austin.
  • Rookie forward Jonah Bolden has been recalled to the NBA by the Sixers, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bolden posted 19 points, nine rebounds, and four assists on Thursday for the Delaware Blue Coats.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/6/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/1/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Hornets sent forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced on its website. This is the first G League assignment of the season for Bacon, who has appeared in 13 games for Charlotte and is averaging 6.4 points per night. It’s the third time for Graham, who has gotten into eight NBA games.
  • The Spurs assigned Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, according to the team website. He has appeared in 12 games with San Antonio.
  • The Pistons have recalled Luke Kennard from Auburn Hills, the team announced in an email. Kennard is recovering from an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder that has sidelined him for the past 15 games.
  • The Pelicans sent rookie Kenrich Williams to the G League, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. New Orleans doesn’t have a direct affiliate, so Williams has been assigned to the Westchester Knicks.
  • The Knicks called up center Luke Kornet from Westchester and placed him on the active list for tonight’s game, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets recalled guard Brandon Knight from their Rio Grande affiliate, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/26/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards recalled rookie swingman Troy Brown Jr. from the Capital City Go Go, the team’s PR department tweets. Brown Jr. recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in a victory over Canton on Sunday. Brown was the 15th overall pick in the draft.
  • The Clippers assigned second-year shooting guard Sindarius Thornwell to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s PR department tweets. Thornwell averaged 17.5 PPG in two G League games this season and has also made six brief appearances with the NBA club. He started against the Santa Cruz Warriors on Monday.
  • The Pelicans recalled rookie forward Kenrich Williams from the Westchester Knicks, according to a team press release. Williams appeared in two games for the Knicks under the G League’s flex system, averaging 14.5 PPG, 14.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in 29.4 MPG. He’s also appeared in five games for New Orleans.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/22/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans have assigned undrafted rookie forward Kenrich Williams to the G League, the team announced today (via Twitter). New Orleans is one of just three NBA clubs that doesn’t have its own G League squad, so Williams will join New York’s affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

Pelicans Notes: Davis, K. Williams, Payton

During a recent Q&A with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Pelicans big man Anthony Davis said he believes he’s the NBA’s best player. His head coach, Alvin Gentry, agreed with that assessment, telling reporters this week that there’s no one in the NBA that New Orleans would trade Davis for, as Andrew Lopez of writes.

“If you don’t want to call him the best, I call him the most valuable. Because if you can trade him for anybody then he is the most valuable guy in the league,” Gentry said, according to Lopez. “There’s no one in the league we would trade him for. … Not even Beyoncé. [If] we wouldn’t trade him for her, then he’s probably untouchable.”

Davis won’t be eligible for free agency in 2020, but this is crucial year for the franchise, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, who argues that the outcome of the 2018/19 season will be viewed “entirely through the lens of Davis’ future.” As of July 2019, the Pelicans will have the opportunity to lock up Davis to a long-term contract that could make him the highest-paid player in NBA history, and New Orleans’ top priority over the next year will be to sell him on that extension, Kushner says.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • The Pelicans aren’t panicking after their 0-5 preseason, but there are a few issues – particularly on defense – that need to be addressed as the regular season gets underway, Kushner writes in a separate piece for The Advocate.
  • Most undrafted free agents who sign with NBA teams during the summer end up on two-way contracts or playing for G League affiliates. That makes Kenrich Williams a rarity, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Williams’ contract won’t be fully guaranteed until January 10, so his grip on a roster spot isn’t totally secure, but he’s on the Pelicans’ 15-man squad to start the season.
  • The Pelicans will be expecting a lot out of Elfrid Payton this season, as the young point guard will takes over Rajon Rondo‘s role as the starting point guard. However, the Louisiana native is happy to be home and is downplaying the pressure that comes with filling Rondo’s shoes, per Rod Walker of The Advocate. “The only pressure is the pressure I put on myself to be better than I was last year, to be better than I was yesterday,” Payton said. “Just doing my best to get the best out of everybody in here is the only pressure I put on myself.”

Pelicans Waive Jarrett Jack, Garlon Green

The Pelicans have made two moves to get themselves to the required roster limit in anticipation of the upcoming regular season, officially announcing that they have waived veteran point guard Jarrett Jack and rookie forward Garlon Green.

With the moves, New Orleans’ roster now stands at 16, including two-way player Trevon Bluiett. As Will Guillory of The Athletic notes, these cuts likely mean that both Kenrich Williams and Troy Williams will make the final roster, although it’s possible one of those player’s contracts will get converted to the team’s other two-way deal alongside Bluiett.

Jack, who we indicated yesterday would probably make the team after the front office decided to part ways with Darius Morris, will likely draw some interest from other teams around the league looking for veteran leadership. He has averaged 10.8 points and 4.6 assists per game in his 13 NBA seasons.

Green, meanwhile, who signed with the Pelicans back in July after playing on the club’s summer league team in Las Vegas, averaged 4.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in four preseason games. The team will incur a $50K cap hit for him, which amounts to the amount of money guaranteed to Green in his contract.