Kevin Knox

New York Notes: Knox, Harris, Brunson, Nash

Kevin Knox takes responsibility for his failure to establish himself with the Knicks, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

“I had my fair opportunity; didn’t make the best of it, unfortunately,” Knox said.

The ninth pick of the 2018 draft was traded to Atlanta last season, then signed a two-year contract in free agency with the Pistons.

“Got to move on, got to play harder, learn from it,” he said. “Learned a lot playing under (Tom Thibodeau), playing here in New York. I have to take it to my next chapter.”

We have more from the New York teams:

  • Joe Harris made his season debut on Friday for the Nets, posting modest stats: three points, two rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes. He hadn’t appeared in a game since November 14 of last season due to an ankle injury. Harris was thrilled to be back, Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays. “Oh, yeah, it was amazing. The fun atmosphere, great team win. So I think it was a perfect, perfect game to come back,” he said. “Yeah, everything felt great. I was definitely a little winded, the lungs were burning. But you know, that’s to be expected.”
  • Jalen Brunson hasn’t made a turnover in his first two Knicks games, Braziller notes. “He has a great understanding of the game, and I think that’s probably the most important thing,” Thibodeau said of his new point guard. “And I think how you manage and control the game is another strength. But usually, when you analyze turnovers, they fall into one of two categories. They’re either risky passes that you’re trying to thread the needle, or you’re going too much one-on-one. And he has a great feel for when to go and when to pass.”
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said it wasn’t all that difficult for him to move on from this summer’s drama, which included a Kevin Durant request to the team owner that he be fired, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweets. “It was just that we needed to sit down at some point,” Nash said. “That was it. That’s kind of what happened. I would say our environment has been outstanding.”

Central Notes: Okoro, Bucks, Giannis, Stewart, Knox

The Cavaliers clearly have four of their starting roles set, with All-Star guards Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell sharing the backcourt alongside Evan Mobley and All-Star center Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt. For the small forward gig, it appears that Isaac Okoro is making a case for himself, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

The 6’5″ wing was selected by Cleveland with the fifth pick out of Auburn in 2020. Okoro has started 128 of his 134 career NBA games thus far. Through two seasons, he is averaging a fairly modest 9.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 0.9 SPG, but the Cavaliers will be looking for defense more than offense at the three.

The competition has boiled down to Okoro and Caris LeVert, writes Fedor, noting that LeVert – who has earned praise from head coach J.B. Bickerstaff in camp – has started most of the team’s 2022 preseason games.

“I’m always being myself,” Okoro said. “I know what the coaches want me to do. I’m gonna do that and it’s ultimately up to J.B. to see who starts. I’m fine either way. I’m gonna go in and play my role.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks had a relatively quietly offseason that saw them sign veteran small forward Joe Ingles and draft wing MarJon Beauchamp. They’re betting that continuity on a roster that won a title in 2021 will help the club return to the NBA Finals in 2023. John Hollinger of The Athletic takes a look at how the 2022/23 season could play out for Milwaukee, predicting a 53-29 finish.
  • All-NBA superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is not concerned that the Bucks just wrapped up their preseason with a 0-5 record, though he would like to see more from the team, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. “It doesn’t worry me,” Antetokounmpo said after a 107-97 defeat Wednesday to the Brooklyn Nets. “What worries me is our habits and building good habits…. Right now, we’re not vocal enough. We’re not urgent enough. We’re not hungry enough. But at the end of the day, it’s the preseason. We have the whole regular season to find ourselves.”
  • Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart has been given the green light to launch three-pointers, and Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes that Stewart has appeared fearless during the team’s preseason. He connected on 4-of-10 shooting from long range during a 126-111 preseason loss Thursday to the Grizzlies. Langlois notes that, should this trend continue into the regular season, it could affect how Dwane Casey opts to use Stewart as a stretch four option in Detroit’s frontcourt. Langlois also discusses new forward Kevin Knox, a Knicks lottery pick in 2018. Langlois thinks Knox’s size and shooting touch could eventually help him crack the team’s rotation.

Central Notes: Pistons, Haliburton, Dosunmu, Lopez

Marvin Bagley III‘s knee injury is the latest mishap for a Pistons team that will start the season with a diminished frontcourt, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News.

Nerlens Noel, who was acquired from the Knicks in an offseason trade, is reconditioning after plantar fasciitis and hasn’t played during the preseason. Rookie center Jalen Duren hurt his shoulder last week, but was able to return Tuesday. Newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic sat out Tuesday’s game with a strained calf, and Alec Burks, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo are all dealing with injuries as well.

“It’s part of the NBA,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s one reason (general manager Troy Weaver) has done a good job of bringing multiple guys in. Unfortunately, the multiple guys are (sitting out, injured) behind the bench. I think it’s a freak thing. I do know that some of the guys that were behind the bench — Kevin, (Diallo) — if it was a regular season game, they’d be able to go. That’s refreshing to know that.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers seem headed for a rebuilding year, but that’s not how the players are approaching the new season, according to Michael Marot of The Associated Press. Trade deadline deals for Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith have added some youthful enthusiasm to the team. “I think we’ve just got a lot of guys who love basketball, who love to compete and that’s a great place to start,” Haliburton said. “There are so many young guys and they have a lot to prove not only to the media or the naysayers but to themselves.”
  • Ayo Dosunmu will take over as the Bulls‘ starting point guard while Lonzo Ball is sidelined, per Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan confirmed that Dosunmu won the role with his performance since camp opened. “Ayo right now is going to be the guy back there for us,” Donovan said. “He’s done a really good job this training camp and preseason.”
  • The Bucks are counting on better health from Brook Lopez to improve their defense, notes Jamal Collier of ESPN. The veteran center was limited to 13 games last season because of back issues, but he came to camp noticeably leaner and motivated to prove he deserves a contract extension. “He’s in the best physical condition I’ve seen,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He seems hungry. … I feel like he’s moving well at both ends of the court. His aggressiveness is in a good place.”

Central Notes: Osman, Hill, Pistons Rotation

Cedi Osman has heard his name mentioned in trade rumors, including a potential deal involving Suns forward Jae Crowder. He’s trying to block out those distractions during training camp, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.

“I’ve been hearing those things,” the Cavaliers forward said. “But I’m just focused on my basketball because you cannot control that. That’s why whenever I stepped on a court I was just working on my game and trying to get better. It’s been six years since coming over, six years in Cleveland. I’m happy here and this is my home.”

Those rumors persist and the franchise would like to upgrade at small forward, if possible, though the fact that Cleveland is close to the luxury tax line complicates the issue, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • George Hill admits that enduring an injury-plagued season actually encouraged him to keep playing, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The Bucks guard had seriously considered retiring after last season. “I felt like I let the city of Milwaukee down last year not being able to perform the way I normally perform,” he said. “I let my teammates down being injured. And I thought about retiring. … but as a competitor I didn’t want to go out like that. So, had a great offseason for the summer, decided to come back and try to redeem myself and make myself better.” Hill signed a two-year, $8MM contract prior to last season.
  • With the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, how will the Pistons’ frontcourt rotation shake out? James Edwards III of The Athletic projects the former Jazz forward to start alongside Saddiq Bey, with Isaiah Stewart at center. Edwards projects Marvin Bagley and Isaiah Livers as part of the second unit ahead of Jalen Duren, Nerlens Noel and Kevin Knox.
  • Will the Pistons’ drought without a playoff win extend to 15 seasons? That’s what John Hollinger of The Athletic anticipates. He sees this as a 28-win season in Detroit with the caveat that the team’s fortunes should improve sharply in the near future.

Pistons Finalize Camp Roster, Announce Injury Updates

The Pistons officially announced their training camp roster on Monday, and it includes two new names. According to the team, guards Jules Bernard and Stanley Umude have signed Exhibit 10 contracts, filling out the 20-man roster.

Bernard, a 6’7″ swingman, went undrafted out of UCLA earlier this year. As a senior in 2021/22, he averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a shooting line of .419/.337/.818 in 35 games (30.1 MPG). He subsequently played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Umude, whose agreement with the Pistons was previously reported, spent his first four college seasons at South Dakota from 2017-21, averaging 21.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG as a senior in 2020/21. He transferred to Arkansas for his “super-senior” season last year and played more of a complementary role for the Razorbacks, putting up 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .460/.371/.724 shooting in 37 games (27.8 MPG).

Like Bernard, Umude went undrafted and then played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in July. Both players will likely end up playing for the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate.

Here are a few more updates from the Pistons today:

  • While Kemba Walker is listed on Detroit’s training camp roster, he’s marked as “not with team,” which had been expected. Bojan Bogdanovic is the lone Piston missing from the team’s camp roster — while NBA.com’s transaction log indicates the trade sending him to Detroit was completed last Thursday, he may still need to conduct a physical with his new team before it’s officially official.
  • In a separate press release, the Pistons announced that guard Alec Burks will miss the start of training camp as he continues his rehab following a navicular fracture. Burks will be reevaluated in three weeks, according to the team.
  • Kevin Knox (right gastroc strain) and Nerlens Noel (reconditioning / plantar fasciitis) will be limited participants to open training camp, the Pistons announced.

Central Notes: Bagley, Knox, Hayes, Pacers, Ball, Pistons

Breakout seasons from Marvin Bagley III, Kevin Knox and Killian Hayes would go a long way toward a much improved season for the Pistons, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. All three lottery picks have yet to fulfill their promise but could become part of the team’s core group if they establish a firm foothold in the NBA this season.

Bagley was re-signed on a three-year, $37MM deal this summer, while Knox received a two-year, $6MM contract after passing through two organizations. Hayes is entering his third year with the Pistons and projects as the second-unit floor leader.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers announced the signing of forwards James Johnson and Bennie Boatwright and guards David Stockton and Gabe York on Friday. Hoops Rumors has learned Johnson was signed to an Exhibit 9 contract while Boatwright, Stockton and York signed Exhibit 10 deals. An Exhibit 9 contract must be for one season and for a minimum salary. Generally speaking, if a player only receives an Exhibit 9 clause and not an Exhibit 10, it signals he won’t be joining the team’s G League affiliate if he’s waived before the season begins. Johnson spent most of last season in Brooklyn, averaging 5.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 62 appearances (19.2 MPG).
  • Lonzo Ball‘s recovery from his persistent knee issues remains fluid, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. The reason the Bulls haven’t officially put a timeline on Ball’s return is that they don’t really know when he’ll be back. Some days when Ball works out, everything seems fine. Other times, the knee flares up again. Ball, who hasn’t played since January, is doubtful for the start of the season.
  • The Athletic’s Zach Harper gives the Pistons a B-plus grade for their offseason maneuvers. Adding point guard Jaden Ivey with their lottery pick, then trading for another to snare center Jalen Duren were the highlights of their offseason moves, with only the Knox addition ranking as a head-scratcher, according to Harper.

Contract Details: Dellavedova, McGruder, Knox

Matthew Dellavedova‘s new one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Kings, originally reported as partially guaranteed, is actually non-guaranteed for the time being, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Dellavedova will receive a partial guarantee of $250K if he’s not waived before Sacramento’s first game of the regular season, then would lock in his full $2.63MM guarantee if he remains under contract through the NBA’s league-wide guarantee deadline of January 7.

Here are a few more details on recently signed NBA contracts:

  • Rodney McGruder‘s one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Pistons is fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. That gives Detroit 17 players on guaranteed contracts, though one of those players (Kemba Walker) is very likely to be bought out. The Pistons would still have to trade or release one more player with a guaranteed salary in order to get to the 15-man regular season limit.
  • Kevin Knox‘s two-year, $6MM contract with the Pistons is worth a flat $3MM in each of the two seasons. While the first year is guaranteed, the deal includes a team option for the 2023/24 season.
  • As expected, Goran Dragic‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bulls and JaMychal Green‘s with the Warriors are both fully guaranteed.

Pistons Sign Rodney McGruder, Kevin Knox

The Pistons have re-signed swingman Rodney McGruder, per the NBA transactions log. The team has also officially signed free agent forward Kevin Knox.

McGruder received a one-year deal, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets, though the contractual terms are unclear. Detroit already had 15 players with guaranteed contracts on its roster before both signings, along with filling both of its two-way spots.

Knox reportedly received a two-year, $6MM deal. Detroit will have to clear roster space via a trade or eat some guaranteed money to get down to 15 by training camp — the most logical odd man out is Kemba Walker, who is still expected to be bought out by the Pistons, but if McGruder got a guaranteed contract, another move will be required.

McGruder, 31, has been on the Pistons’ roster for the last two seasons. He appeared in 51 games in 2021/22, including two starts, and averaged 5.4 PPG in 14.8 MPG. He’s a career 35.2% 3-point shooter but made 39.7% of his attempts last season.

Knox, the ninth pick of the 2018 draft, is a reclamation project. He had a productive first season with the Knicks but fell out of favor under coach Tom Thibodeau. He appeared in just 13 games with the Knicks last season before being dealt to Atlanta. In 17 games with the Hawks, Knox averaged just 6.5 MPG.

The Hawks did not tender a qualifying offer to Knox this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Pistons, Kevin Knox Agree To Two-Year Contract

Unrestricted free agent forward Kevin Knox will sign a two-year, $6MM deal with the Pistons, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

After being selected by the Knicks with the ninth pick in the 2018 draft out of Kentucky, Knox enjoyed a productive rookie season for a rebuilding 17-65 New York club. The 6’7″ forward averaged a career-best 12.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.1 APG and 0.6 SPG in a career-most 28.8 MPG, starting in 57 of his 75 healthy games.

Knox has never scaled those heights again in his successive three NBA seasons of action. The 22-year-old has yet to average better than half of that scoring mark across three unproductive seasons with New York and the Hawks, to whom he was traded in January.

After head coach Tom Thibodeau took over in 2020, Knox found himself a fringe rotation player, averaging 11.0 MPG in just 42 games during the team’s playoff-bound 2020/21 season.

Last year, Knox cameoed in just 13 games with the Knicks before being dealt to Atlanta. In 17 games with the Hawks, Knox averaged just 6.5 MPG. The Hawks did not tender a qualifying offer to Knox this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Considering the Pistons’ youth movement, it makes sense for the team to take flyers on young lottery selections like Knox and Marvin Bagley III, as Detroit builds around star point guard Cade Cunningham and 2022 lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.

Lonnie Walker, Anfernee Simons Get QOs; Kevin Knox Doesn’t

The Spurs have issued a qualifying offer to guard Lonnie Walker, making him a restricted free agent, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). The qualifying offer will be worth $6,311,564.

Unlike some of this summer’s top restricted free agents, Walker wasn’t a lock to receive that qualifying offer, given the up-and-down season the 23-year-old had in 2021/22. He averaged a career-high 12.1 PPG and 2.2 APG, but saw his shooting percentages dip to 40.7% from the floor and 31.4% on threes, well below his career rates. Furthermore, a report earlier today stated that Walker was unlikely to remain in San Antonio.

By issuing the qualifying offer, the Spurs are at least opening up a path for Walker to return, either by accepting the one-year QO or by negotiating a new deal with the team. However, McDonald says there’s an expectation that Walker will “fully” test the market.

Spurs swingman Joe Wieskamp also received a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent, tweets McDonald. Because Wieskamp was promoted from his two-way deal to a standard contract last season, his qualifying offer will be worth approximately $1.8MM ($200K more than his minimum salary).

Here are a few more qualifying offer updates from around the NBA:

  • The Trail Blazers have formally issued a qualifying offer to guard Anfernee Simons, making him a restricted free agent, the team announced in a press release. Simons’ QO is worth $5,758,552, but the 23-year-old is expected to negotiate a far more lucrative long-term deal. Multiple reports have suggested a four-year contract worth in the neighborhood of $80MM is possible.
  • Hawks forward Kevin Knox isn’t getting a qualifying offer and will become an unrestricted free agent, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Knox didn’t get regular minutes last season and his qualifying offer would have been worth $7,228,448, so it comes as no surprise that Atlanta is passing.
  • The Warriors aren’t giving qualifying offers to either Juan Toscano-Anderson ($2,126,991) or Chris Chiozza ($1,968,175), according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Both players will be unrestricted free agents and are unlikely to remain in Golden State, Slater adds.
  • The Celtics have tendered a two-way qualifying offer to guard Brodric Thomas, making him a restricted free agent, a source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Boston hasn’t reached a deal to fill either of its two-way slots for next season yet, so Thomas could end up taking one of them.
  • Two-way players Jay Scrubb (Clippers) and Trevelin Queen (Rockets) won’t receive qualifying offers and will become unrestricted free agents, according to reports from Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Queen, the 2021/22 NBA G League MVP, is expected to receive interest on the open market, per Haynes.