Kent Bazemore

Injury Notes: Bazemore, Smart, A. Williams, MCW

Although Kent Bazemore‘s season has ended early due to a bone bruise in his right knee, the Hawks swingman still felt like 2017/18 was a better overall year for him than the 2016/17 campaign, writes Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’m in a great place,” Bazemore said on Tuesday. “Solid bounce-back season after last year’s efforts. I grew as a player and a leader. I’ve learned a new train of thought for an NBA season. Now it’s up to me to take it to the next level and be able to play all season. … I felt great all year. The injury was kind of a freak accident, in my opinion. I was available every night up to that point. It was a good year overall.”

According to Bazemore, the injury will take him about six to eight weeks to fully recover from, which is why the Hawks are shutting him down for the season — there are only about four weeks left in the regular season, and Atlanta obviously isn’t playoff-bound. Bazemore, who will look to enter the 2018/19 season fully healthy, will be entering the third season of his lucrative four-year contract with the Hawks.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • A league source tells Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) that the Celtics sure aren’t sure what the odds are that Marcus Smart returns to the court this season. Smart, officially diagnosed with a sprained thumb, reportedly tore a tendon in that thumb. “(They’re) waiting for that second opinion,” the source told Murphy. “Don’t know if it’s a 50% chance or a 30% chance (that he can get back on the court this season). Just don’t know.”
  • Although it initially looked like he might play for the Suns tonight, Alan Williams is now targeting Thursday or Saturday for his 2017/18 debut, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Williams has been sidelined all season with a right knee injury.
  • The Hornets confirmed today in a press release that Michael Carter-Williams underwent successful surgery to address the torn labrum in his left shoulder. As initially reported last week, the former Rookie of the Year will miss the rest of the season before reaching unrestricted free agency this summer.

Hawks’ Kent Bazemore Out For Season

2:46pm: The Hawks have issued a press release confirming the injuries to Bazemore and Morris. According to the team, Bazemore will miss the rest of the season and Morris will be out for approximately two to four weeks.

2:20pm: After leaving Sunday’s game with a knee injury, Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore isn’t expected to return to action anytime soon. A source tells Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Bazemore will likely miss “several weeks” due to a right knee bone bruise.

A three-and-D wing, Bazemore has started 65 of the Hawks’ 67 games this year, averaging 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG with a career-best .394 3PT%. He still has two seasons left on the lucrative four-year deal he signed back in 2016, and is owed an $18MM+ guaranteed salary for 2018/19, plus a $19MM+ player option for 2019/20.

The tanking Hawks are currently tied for the third-worst record in the NBA at 20-47, so the club likely won’t be too devastated to lose one of its more productive rotation players. While the recovery timeline on Bazemore suggests he could be back before season’s end, it’s very possible that Atlanta will play it safe and hold him out for the club’s final 15 games.

Meanwhile, the Hawks will also be without rookie Jaylen Morris, who suffered a left ankle sprain and is expected to be out for two weeks, according to Cunningham. Morris just signed his second 10-day contract with the club on Sunday, but it sounds like he won’t be healthy before that deal expires on March 20.

If Morris remains a part of Atlanta’s plans, the team figures to keep him around during his recovery and then sign him to a rest-of-season contract later this month. If not, the Hawks could end up terminating his 10-day deal early.

Cavs Willing To Surrender Nets Pick

Despite rumors to the contrary, Terry Pluto of the The Plain Dealer hears that the Cavaliers have indeed entertained the idea or trading the Nets‘ 2018 first-round pick (currently 8th in our 2017/18 NBA Reverse Standings), but only for the right return.

Pluto reports that the Cavs will only trade the all-but-assured lottery selection in exchange for a younger player who is under contract for a couple of seasons. A short-term answer who can become a free agent this summer, like Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, will not entice the team to surrender Brooklyn’s pick.

On the other hand, an expiring contract like Jordan’s would make sense in exchange for the Cavs’ own 2018 first-rounder opines Pluto, who suggests a deal that would send Iman ShumpertChanning Frye, and their own first-round pick to Los Angeles in exchange for Jordan would work within the salary cap. Whether the Cavs or Clippers would be interested in such a deal remains to be seen.

As for the Brooklyn pick, a previously mentioned trade candidates from a rebuilding team who is relatively young, under contract through this offseason, and has already been linked to the Cavs is Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore. However, it’s hard to believe the Cavs giving up a potential lottery pick for Bazemore at this point.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Birch, Bembry

After months of lingering ankle issues, Heat guard Dion Waiters underwent successful surgery to repair instability in the area, including a pre-existing fracture, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes.

The recovery process for the shooting guard is expected to take six to nine months, a timeline that could encroach upon Heat training camp next season. The ankle issues have bothered Waiters since the tail end of the 2016/17 campaign in which he earned his four-year, $52MM deal.

In 30 compromised games for the Heat this season, Waiters averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Magic have experimented with undrafted rookie Khem Birch in their rotation and the results have been positive, John Denton of Orlando’s official team site writes. “He’s remarkably quick off the floor and he does surprise guys [with his shot-blocking abilities],” said coach Frank Vogel, “He continues to prove himself and we’ll continue to use him.
  • An adductor strain revealed in an MRI will sideline second-year Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry for one-to-three more weeks, the team announced in a press release. Bembry hasn’t seen action since December 22.
  • Despite his name coming up in trade rumors, Kent Bazemore is content playing through adversity with the Hawks, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “I came here four years ago. We had some success right off the bat. I love what this organization has done, what this city has done for me and my family,” he said.

Cavaliers Interested In Kent Bazemore

The Cavaliers have inquired into the availability of the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore,’s David Aldridge reports in his weekly Morning Tip column. League sources informed Aldridge of Cleveland’s interest in the 28-year-old shooting guard, who is averaging 12.6 PPG and 4.3 RPG as well as career highs in assists (3.7) and steals (1.8) this season.

Swapping Bazemore, the team’s highest-paid player, would make plenty of sense for the rebuilding Hawks. He’s making $16.9MM this season and $18.1MM next season. He also holds a player option of $19.3MM for the 2019/20 season.

Bazemore isn’t a lockdown wing, according to Aldridge, though he has posted positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus ratings for four consecutive seasons, according to Basketball Reference. He’s also an above-average 3-point shooter, connecting on a career-high 37.6% this season and 35.4% for his career.

The question then becomes what kind of package the Cavs could piece together to interest the Hawks. Channing Frye‘s expiring $7.4MM contract would be the best asset from a salary standpoint that they could dangle. Atlanta reportedly wants expiring contracts and a first-rounder for Bazemore. The Pistons and Pelicans are two other teams that have been linked to Bazemore.

Southwest Notes: McLemore, Ennis, Randle

The Grizzlies are gauging trade interest in swingmen Ben McLemore and James Ennis, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders writes.

The Grizzlies signed McLemore over the offseason to a two-year, $10.7MM deal, presumably hoping that they would be able to tap into something in the former Kansas product that the Kings hoped to find when they drafted him seventh overall in 2013.

McLemore has played just 17.2 points per game this season, adding just 6.5 points per contest in what’s been his least effective NBA campaign since his rookie year.

Scotto adds that the Grizzlies are also dangling Ennis and his expiring $3MM deal, hoping to yield at least one second-round pick.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans are said to be interested in upgrades on the wing, but finding a logical trade scenario is easier said than done. William Guillory of the Times-Picayune writes that it may prove difficult to make the salaries match in a deal for supposedly available perimeter players like Kent Bazemore or Evan Fournier.
  • Rumors that the Mavs could be in pursuit of Texas native Julius Randle were shot down by Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News. His reason? Acquiring a good player ahead of the trade deadline this season is the last thing the presumably lottery-bound club should be doing.
  • Offseason Grizzlies addition Tyreke Evans has thrived this season, proving that, for now at least, he’s healthy and capable of being a prominent producer. As a result, his name has been floated as a possible trade piece, including in a recent media scrum with Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.

Pistons Notes: Van Gundy, Jackson, Leuer, Moreland

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy addressed trade rumors surrounding his team during a session with reporters today. Detroit is among several teams linked to Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic as the Pistons try to remain in the playoff race with a roster weakened by injuries.

“We have a roster spot available and there’s people calling,” Van Gundy said in comments tweeted by Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “We’re just seeing if there’s anything that makes sense for us. When you’re down a starting point guard, there’s not a lot of people shopping their starting point guard to you.” (Twitter link).

Reggie Jackson is out until at least the All-Star break with a sprained right ankle. Forward Jon Leuer hasn’t played since October 31 because of a sprained left ankle and may be headed for surgery. After a fast start, the Pistons have fallen into a sixth-place tie in the East at 21-18 and are barely holding on to a playoff spot.

“We’ve got [Leuer] down and [Jackson] down,” Van Gundy added. “There’s a lot of need and we’re looking around. We don’t have anything going on right now, but we’re looking around for people to fill holes.”

There’s more today out of Detroit:

  • The Pistons have plenty of options to target before the February 8 deadline, writes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. He lists Orlando’s Evan Fournier, Brooklyn’s Joe Harris, Miami’s Wayne Ellington, Dallas’ Wesley Matthews and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore as players to watch.
  • Pistons center Eric Moreland has a bit of security for the first time in his career, notes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Moreland had his $1,739,333 contract guaranteed this week, providing him with some stability after four years of trying to earn a steady NBA job. Moreland went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014 and signed with the Kings, but played just 11 games at the NBA level in two seasons. He signed a partially guaranteed three-year deal with the Pistons over the offseason, but says he hasn’t been focused on this week’s guarantee deadline. “I play the same way, money or no money,” he said. “I don’t even play basketball for money. I just want to go out there and keep learning. This is my first year playing. I can’t get involved in that. That’s just not my mentality. I’m not trying to survive like that.”

Woj’s Latest: Pistons, Fournier, Lakers, Hawks

Shooting guards and small forwards are in high demand as the trade deadline approaches, and there simply aren’t that many quality wings expected to be available, Adrian Wojnarowski writes in his latest report for As Wojnarowski details, the Pistons, Knicks, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers are just a few of the many teams looking for upgrades on the wing.

DeMarre Carroll (Nets), Alec Burks (Jazz), Kent Bazemore (Hawks), and Evan Fournier (Magic) are among the veterans attracting some interest on the trade market, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that the Pistons pursued a deal for Fournier. Such a trade would be hard to pull off without including Reggie Jackson‘s contract, so nothing’s imminent at this point, but the Pistons continue to be aggressive on the trade market, a reflection of Stan Van Gundy‘s desire to win now, says Wojnarowski.

As for the Pelicans, they also remain active in trade talks despite their limited assets, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have negative value and won’t be movable without New Orleans attaching a draft pick or two. If the Pelicans can’t trade for a wing, they’ll have to count on getting Solomon Hill back healthy for the home stretch of the season.

Here’s more from Woj:

  • The Lakers have “made it clear” that Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. are available in trades, reports Wojnarowski. The club had been planning on waiting until after the season to try to move Clarkson, but there may be a mutual desire to get something done on that front sooner rather than later.
  • Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marco Belinelli are expendable in Atlanta, where the Hawks are focused on unloading veterans and stockpiling more young players and draft picks, per Wojnarowski.
  • The Bulls still plan to trade Nikola Mirotic after January 15, assuming he OK’s a deal. According to Wojnarowski, Mirotic is somewhat intrigued by the Jazz and their head coach Quin Snyder, who has a reputation for maximizing offensive talent.
  • It’s possible their outlooks could change by the trade deadline, but the Thunder and Pelicans currently have no plans to trade Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins, respectively. Both players can become unrestricted free agents this July.
  • We passed along more rumors from Woj in full stories earlier today, providing the latest on DeAndre Jordan and examining the Grizzliesasking price for Tyreke Evans.

Kyler’s Latest: Lakers, Mavs, Grizzlies, Magic

The Lakers and Mavericks both currently sit comfortably in the lottery, with little chance of making a run at a playoff spot this season. Still, there’s a sense in NBA circles that the two teams could be logical trade partners, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

Kyler cautions that there have been zero talks between the Lakers and Mavericks about a potential Luol Deng trade, but he suggests that if any team is willing to roll the dice on Deng and his exorbitant contract, Dallas might be that team. The Mavericks have some expiring contracts that would appeal to L.A., and if the Lakers attached Julius Randle and a future draft pick to Deng, that could pique the Mavs’ interest, Kyler writes.

Of course, within the last month, we’ve heard that the Lakers aren’t interested in parting with future first-round picks in order to move Deng, and a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested that the club had essentially given up hope of another team taking on the veteran forward’s unwieldy contract. So even if the Mavericks represent the best potential fit, the odds of a deal remain slim.

Kyler’s latest piece for Basketball Insiders includes several other items of interest on a handful of lottery teams, so let’s round up a few highlights…

  • The Grizzlies are unlikely to make any franchise-altering moves before next month’s trade deadline, which means Marc Gasol probably isn’t going anywhere. Still, they’re a team worth watching, according to Kyler, who points to Tyreke Evans as a potential Memphis trade candidate.
  • The “dream scenario” for the Magic would be to move Bismack Biyombo before the deadline, but they’re highly unlikely to find a taker for that contract. Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier may also emerge as trade chips, but Aaron Gordon almost certainly isn’t going anywhere — the “prevailing thought” is that he’ll be retained by Orlando as a restricted free agent this summer, says Kyler.
  • The Hawks appear open to listening to inquiries on Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore, but their current asking prices are probably too high to work anything out, reports Kyler.

Kyler’s Latest: Jordan, Gasol, Bazemore, Hornets

The NBA trade deadline is just over seven weeks away, so it’s only a matter of time before teams start discussing potential deals a little more earnestly. In anticipation of trade talks heating up, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders takes a closer look at a handful of players whose names figure to come up frequently in trade rumors in the coming weeks, passing along the latest nuggets of info on each of those guys. Here are a few highlights from Kyler’s piece:

  • Source close to the situation tell Kyler that a Cavaliers offer for DeAndre Jordan would be built around Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick, though Cleveland is only willing to discuss its own pick at this point, rather than the Nets’ first-rounder. It remains to be seen whether the Clippers will be willing to move Jordan, but the big man’s future in L.A. is “anything but clear,” writes Kyler.
  • More and more people around the NBA believe that the Grizzlies would be willing to explore the market for Marc Gasol, but it may require Gasol telling them he wants out, per Kyler.
  • League sources tell Kyler that the Hawks might be open to moving Kent Bazemore for the right combination of expiring contracts and a first-round pick. Even if that pick is “highly protected,” as Kyler suggests, I’d be very surprised if any team is willing to pay that price for Bazemore, who is owed $18MM+ in 2018/19 and $19MM+ in 2019/20.
  • The prevailing belief around the league is that the Hornets would like to move one of their big contracts, such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s. However, Charlotte would likely need to attach a young player to a deal in order to dump salary. Kyler suggests Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon likely aren’t going anywhere, identifying Frank Kaminsky as a possible name to watch.
  • The Magic and Kings are also worth keeping an eye on, according to Kyler, who identifies Nikola Vucevic and George Hill as a pair of potential trade candidates. Orlando isn’t looking to shake things up for the sake of it, but Vucevic figures to draw interest. As for Hill, his significant cap hit limits his trade value, but he’d probably “welcome a move,” says Kyler.