Kevin Knox

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.

Hawks Notes: Offseason Priorities, Draft Workouts, More

Appearing on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said, unprompted, that the front office is committed this offseason to making roster changes in an attempt to improve the team after standing relatively pat a year ago.

“We made the decision last year to kind of run the same group back and we probably should’ve tried to upgrade as opposed to stay status quo,” Schlenk said. “This year, the way the season ended and played out, we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.”

Asked specifically about how much turnover the Hawks’ roster could experience, Schlenk suggested the club won’t be looking to re-sign all of its free agents.

“We have some guys that are free agents, we have some guys that have contract situations. We’ve got a guy eligible for a contract extension,” Schlenk said. “All that stuff plays into it. Every year, the only thing that’s really consistent in this league is change, so we anticipate that there will be some change, certainly with some of our free agents as we look to upgrade our roster.”

Delon Wright, Lou Williams, Gorgui Dieng, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Kevin Knox, and Skylar Mays will be free agents this offseason, while Danilo Gallinari has a small partial guarantee on his salary for 2022/23 and De’Andre Hunter will be eligible for a rookie scale extension.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Schlenk said during his appearance on 92.9 The Game that the Hawks’ defense was a “big letdown” in 2021/22 and will be an area the club looks to address in the offseason. Schlenk added that having another reliable secondary ball-handler and shot creator to relieve the pressure on Trae Young will be a priority.
  • The Hawks announced in a press release that they’ve brought in 12 prospects this week, hosting six for a group workout on Monday and another half-dozen on Wednesday. Justin Bean (Utah State), Darius Days (LSU), Michael Devoe (Georgia Tech), Gaige Prim (Missouri State), Will Richardson (Oregon), and Cole Swider (Syracuse) were in earlier this week, while Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Jamal Cain (Oakland), Keon Ellis (Alabama), Allen Flanigan (Auburn), and Jaden Shackelford (Alabama) were part of today’s pre-draft workout.
  • Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines 10 offseason questions facing the Hawks, including whether team owner Tony Ressler is willing to go into luxury-tax territory, whether the team can attract a second star, and what level of pressure head coach Nate McMillan is under.

Potential 2022 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s rookie scale, which determines how much first-round picks earn during their first four NBA seasons, also dictates how much the qualifying offers will be worth for those players when they reach restricted free agency after year four. However, the value of those qualifying offers can fluctuate depending on whether or not a player has met the “starter criteria.”

Here’s how the starter criteria works in a typical year:

  • A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency.
  • A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games one year and 32 the next, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons is 41.

The thresholds for the starter criteria this year are a little different due to the truncated nature of the 2020/21 season. We outlined those tweaks at the start of the season.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player eligible for restricted free agency officially makes that player an RFA, ensuring that his team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another club. It also gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO.

Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. There are exceptions though.

Last offseason, for instance, Bruce Brown met the starter criteria heading into restricted free agency, increasing the value of his qualifying offer to $4,736,102. The Nets decided to issue that qualifying offer and he accepted it. Had he fallen short of the starter criteria, Brown only would have been eligible for a qualifying offer worth around $2MM and his free agency could have played out very differently.


Top-14 picks who failed to meet starter criteria:

With all that in mind, let’s check in on how this year’s RFAs-to-be will be impacted by the starter criteria. Listed below are the former top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who did not meet the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $7,228,448.

Seven of the 14 players selected with lottery picks in the 2018 draft signed rookie scale extensions in 2021, meaning they won’t have to worry about the value of their qualifying offers this offseason.

Of the other seven, the three players listed above failed to meet the criteria. Bagley is the biggest loser in the trio — his qualifying offer would’ve been worth approximately $14.76MM if he had met the starter criteria. Sexton’s would’ve been about $8.56MM, while Knox’s would’ve been $7.92MM.

Even with the amount of his qualifying offer lowered a little, Knox likely won’t receive a QO at all, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bagley and Sexton are much safer bets for QOs.

Top-14 picks Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Mohamed Bamba (Magic), each met the starter criteria, locking in their QO amounts at $16.42MM and $10.1MM, respectively. Miles Bridges (Hornets) also met the starter criteria, as detailed in the next section.

Jerome Robinson was the only top-14 pick from ’18 who was waived before completing his rookie contract — he’s no longer on an NBA roster and won’t be eligible for a qualifying offer this summer.


First-round picks between 10-30 who met starter criteria:

A player who fell into this category would see the amount of his qualifying offer increase to $7,921,300. Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick, was the only player to qualify.

As a result of meeting the starter criteria, Bridges’ qualifying offer will increase from about $7.46MM to $7.92MM, a modest bump. It shouldn’t change the outlook of his free agency, since he’ll almost certainly receive a lucrative long-term offer.

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons looked like one of the best candidates to join Bridges in this group. He needed to make 41 starts this season for Portland, but only got to 30 before he was shut down for the season with a left knee injury. His qualifying offer will remain at $5.76MM, but that shouldn’t have a major impact on his free agency, since he’ll likely work out a multiyear deal with the Blazers.

Meanwhile, because Kings wing Donte DiVincenzo was a full-time starter for the Bucks in 2020/21, he only needed to make seven starts this season to meet the starter criteria. However, he ultimately started just once for Milwaukee and Sacramento, even when he was playing heavy minutes down the stretch for the Kings.

DiVincenzo’s qualifying offer will remain at $6.6MM, which actually could have a tangible effect on his free agency — if he doesn’t get a multiyear offer with a starting salary much higher than his qualifying offer, accepting the QO and reaching unrestricted free agency in 2023 may be DiVincenzo’s best option. Presumably, that’s why his camp reportedly wasn’t thrilled that he was still coming off the bench at the end of the season.


Second-round picks and UDFAs who met starter criteria:

The players listed below signed as second-round picks or undrafted free agents, but met the starter criteria and are now eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,869,012.

Of course, it’s very possible neither Dort nor Tate will even become a free agent this summer, since their contracts both include team options for 2022/23.

The Thunder could decide to turn down Dort’s minimum-salary option for next season in order to make him a restricted free agent this year instead of an unrestricted free agent next year, but there’s no guarantee they’ll go that route. If they do, his QO would be worth $4.87MM instead of $2.22MM.

Meanwhile, there’s no incentive for the Rockets to decline Tate’s option, since he’ll still be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023, so the amount of his potential qualifying offer this summer will be rendered moot.

Among other second-round picks and undrafted free agents, Hornets wing Cody Martin (1,866 minutes), Clippers swingman Amir Coffey (30 starts), and Trail Blazers forward CJ Elleby (28 starts) are a few who were in the ballpark of the starter criteria, but none got there. Martin, Coffey, Elleby, and the rest of this year’s restricted free agents won’t have their projected qualifying offers impacted by the starter criteria.

Southeast Notes: Reddish, Knox, Suggs, Kuzma

The reduced role that Cam Reddish had with the Hawks before being traded to New York came about because he expressed a desire to be dealt over the offseason, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters, including Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), before tonight’s game. Even though the team was beset by injuries and players in the league’s health and safety protocols, Reddish averaged a career-low 23.4 minutes per night in 34 games.

“This year, he made the decision during the summer that he wanted to go elsewhere and play somewhere else,” McMillan said. “So it was tough. It was tough for him to come in and he was a professional. He was a pro. He didn’t do anything through the media, he came in, he tried to work.

“A lot of you guys were asking why he wasn’t in the rotation or why we weren’t doing certain things, and it was we knew that this was something that wasn’t going to, he wasn’t probably going to end the season with us. Unfortunate. I think he has a lot of talent, great kid, and I wish him well. We had a conversation when it happened and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Kevin Knox, who was part of the Hawks‘ return for Reddish, has passed his physical and is eligible to play in tonight’s game against the Knicks, Spencer tweets.
  • Rookie guard Jalen Suggs returned to the Magic’s lineup Friday night for the first time since fracturing his right thumb on November 29, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Suggs, who got off to a slow start, called the injury “a blessing in disguise” after putting up 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a win at Charlotte. “It gave me time to sit back and reevaluate the things I was doing, the habits I had, change those to better ones and grow. I needed that,” Suggs said.
  • Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is firmly entrenched as a starter in Washington after coming off the bench for the Lakers the past two seasons, notes Jackson Filyo of NBA.com. Kuzma, who narrowly missed his first career triple-double this week, said he benefited from the lessons he learned in L.A. “I credit a lot of my success this season to the last two years, taking a seat and watching some great players play basketball and learning from them,” Kuzma said. “I just knew once I got traded, it was a golden opportunity for me to enhance my game and show everything I’ve learned and what I’m capable of with opportunity. I’m just showing that right now.”

Southeast Rumors: Harris, Ross, Bamba, Washington, Knox, More

The Magic are believed to be asking for a first-round pick in exchange for each of Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, and Mohamed Bamba, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. That asking price is more justifiable for some of those players than others, but I’m skeptical that Orlando will be able to get a first-rounder for any of the three unless the pick is heavily protected or the Magic take back some bad money.

Fischer says rival teams with interest in those players believe Orlando’s asking price may drop as the trade deadline nears. In some cases, the Magic could end up seeking two second-rounders, which was what they accepted in return for Evan Fournier at last season’s deadline.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • According to Fischer, Hornets forward P.J. Washington is a candidate to be moved at the February 10 trade deadline. Fischer suggests Charlotte may be facing a bit of a roster crunch this summer with team salary on the rise, and Washington could be the odd man out. The third-year forward is extension-eligible in the 2022 offseason and would reached restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign a new deal this year.
  • The protected first-round pick the Hawks received in exchange for Cam Reddish was the primary motivator to make the trade, but Kevin Knox may not have just been a salary throw-in. Sources tell Fred Katz and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that Atlanta has no plans to trade or release Knox right now.
  • According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), The Hawks sent the Knicks $834,589 in cash in the Reddish trade. That amount covers the salary still owed to Solomon Hill, so Atlanta didn’t save any money as a result of including Hill in the deal — the team did open up a roster spot though.
  • Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been cleared to play in both ends of back-to-backs after not doing so during the first half, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Dinwiddie, coming off an ACL tear in 2020/21, played on both Tuesday and Wednesday for Washington.