Kyrie Irving

And-Ones: Colangelo, Love, Irving, 2022 Draft, Bleijenbergh

Jerry Colangelo, managing director of USA Basketball, admitted that adding Cavaliers big man Kevin Love to the 12-man roster was a mistake, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports. Speaking to reporters this week, Colangelo was blunt in his assessment of Love, stating that the 2012 gold medalist was not in shape when he showed up to camp. Love eventually withdrew from Team USA before the squad headed to Tokyo.

“I didn’t think Kevin Love was going to play. I wasn’t even sure he had much left to play,” Colangelo said. “He reached out to us and said he was in shape and said he felt he owed us. And on the basis of that, we’re looking at someone with international experience who at one time was a heck of a rebounder and could still shoot the ball. You know, being like a 12th man on a roster. Well, it didn’t work out. He wasn’t in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out. So you move on. Call it a mistake.”

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving has fired Roc Nation as his representative, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. It’s unclear why Irving, who can opt out of his contract after next season, made the move. He did rip Nike on social media for its shoe design and marketing of the upcoming Kyrie8 brand.
  • Just hours after the completion of this year’s draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN released his 2022 mock draft. Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren heads the list, followed by Duke’s Paolo Banchero and the G League Ignite’s Jaden Hardy.
  • Belgian guard Vrenz Bleijenbergh was a candidate to be a second-round pick, but went undrafted on Thursday. Bleijenbergh explained on Twitter that none of the teams interested in selecting him were willing to offer a guaranteed contract and thus, he couldn’t get out of his European deal. “I had multiple teams offering me two-way deals. But because of my contract in Europe, I wasn’t be able to sign them, it was against the rules,” he wrote. “The only option was a guaranteed contract, I didn’t receive it. It really hurts, I was really close.”

Woj’s Latest: Kawhi, Simmons, Schröder, Kings, Lowry, Nets, More

There’s no indication that Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard wants to leave Los Angeles as a free agent this offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in Sunday’s televised Woj & Lowe special (video link). However, there is a belief that Leonard is at risk of missing the entire 2021/22 season following his ACL surgery earlier this month, says Wojnarowski.

That nugget was one of several that Wojnarowski and fellow ESPN reporter Zach Lowe shared during their half-hour special and the bonus YouTube segments that followed. We’ve already passed along several of their other insights, including some draft-related rumors, the latest updates on Bradley Beal‘s status, and the fact that the Lakers have shopped Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to many teams around the NBA.

However, the ESPN duo dropped several more notes and rumors during their special. We’re using the space below to round up a few of the most interesting ones:

  • The Sixers have engaged in Ben Simmons trade talks and are making and receiving offers, says Wojnarowski (video link). However, Woj thinks Philadelphia will be patient, noting that Simmons is under contract for four more years, which “opens up the landscape” for possible trade partners. The 76ers are looking for the best possible player they could get back in a Simmons deal, Woj adds.
  • Despite the fact that the Lakers have been linked to so many other point guards in advance of free agency, Wojnarowski believes there’s still a deal to be made with Dennis Schröder (video link).
  • The Kings have talked to teams in both the West and East about Buddy Hield, according to Wojnarowski (video link), who says the club has also received plenty of trade interest in Harrison Barnes. Woj would be surprised if Barnes is dealt though.
  • In a discussion of free agent point guards, Wojnarowski (video link) said that he anticipates a “big market” for Raptors star Kyle Lowry, who could receive offers in the neighborhood of $25-30MM per year, and that the Bulls and Lonzo Ball would be an ideal match in a perfect world, but his restricted FA status could complicate matters. Woj also thinks luxury tax concerns will prevent the Jazz from simply re-signing Mike Conley and keeping everyone else on their roster (video link).
  • The Nets hope to lock up Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to contract extensions and are optimistic that Blake Griffin will want to return, per Wojnarowski (video link). Jeff Green may be trickier to re-sign, however, as he’ll likely seek more than the veteran’s minimum. Woj and Lowe both identify the Bucks as a possible suitor for Green if he leaves Brooklyn.

Nets Notes: Marks Presser, Dinwiddie, Harris, Offseason

The Nets‘ first season with their Big Three is over, and they now enter a period of reflection and planning. As BrooklynNets.com’s Chris Dowd details, GM Sean Marks held his end-of-season press conference on Monday, addressing the team’s Game Seven overtime loss to the Bucks and looking towards the future.

It hurts. It should hurt, but life moves on,” Marks said of the series loss. “Nobody is feeling sorry for the Nets, and we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. That’s pro sports.”

Marks touched on the fact that all three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are extension-eligible this summer for deals that could run through the 2025/26 season and be worth a combined $540.4MM. While Marks declared it too early to discuss such matters, he reiterated the team’s commitment to building a sustainable winner around them.

He also addressed the question of Nets players participating in this summer’s Olympics, saying: “That’s a collective decision where we’ll sit down with the player and also with the performance team and map out, this is what it looks like.”

Finally, he addressed guard Spencer Dinwiddie‘s free agency: “We’ll deal with Spencer when the time comes. And, obviously Spencer has put himself in a position to secure his future long-term. We’d obviously love to play a role in that, whether that’s here or whether we can help them. But you know, we’ll focus on that at a later date.

We have more from the Nets:

  • Dinwiddie has been cleared to participate in all basketball activities, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The 28-year-old guard tore his ACL in December, and – before the Nets were eliminated – had been hoping to return for the Finals. Charania reports that Dinwiddie’s surgeon, Dr. Riley Williams, said that Dinwiddie “looks and feels and moves like the pre-injury Spencer Dinwiddie.” Dinwiddie will be a free agent this summer, and is one of the higher-profile point guards on the market.
  • Joe Harris had a nightmare end to the Nets’ series with the Bucks, averaging 7.0 PPG on 24.2% shooting from three in almost 40 minutes a night over the final five games, but the Nets reaffirmed their support for the three-point champion, writes The New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “We have to be careful with what-have-you-done-for-me-lately,” Marks said. “He’s a huge part of this culture and driving it, and we owe a lot of that just to who Joe is as a person both on and off the court, how he’s developed, how he’s sacrificed, the work he’s put in.” However, Marks stopped short of confirming that Harris would be with the team long-term. “In terms of his future on the team, there’s no comment: Joe is a Brooklyn Net until otherwise, whether that’s his decision or mine.” Harris called the experience a motivating factor for him moving forward.
  • Marks and head coach Steve Nash are optimistic about the future, but they have plenty of decisions to make, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. One such decision will be how to handle the team’s many free agents — Brooklyn has nine of them, including Dinwiddie, breakout guard Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin, who started at center throughout the playoffs, and Jeff Green, another key contributor. With cap space so tight, the Nets may look at trades for center DeAndre Jordan, who is owed nearly $20MM over the next two seasons and lost his place in the rotation during the playoffs. The team also expects to lose one or more of its assistant coaches, as Mike D’Antoni, Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka are all candidates for head coaching positions.

Kyrie Irving Unavailable For Game 7, Return Possible Later In Playoffs

All-Star Nets point guard Kyrie Irving will officially miss Game 7 of Brooklyn’s second-round playoff series against the Bucks on Saturday, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.

Nets head coach Steve Nash said that Irving still has “some miles to make up” as he continues to treat a sprained right ankle that he incurred in the Nets’ Game 4 loss to Milwaukee.

Nash seemed hopeful that Irving would be able to return later in the playoffs, should the Nets move on, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN. “It is not a season-threatening situation,” Nash said. Since Irving went down, the Nets are 1-2 in the series.

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie also remains sidelined, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Dinwiddie remains optimistic that his surgically-repaired ACL will be ready in time for him to also return in these playoffs, should the Nets advance. But James Harden, playing through hamstring tightness, was not listed on the club’s on official injury report.

Woj’s Latest: Irving, Harden, Leonard, Paul

There’s “no expectation” that injured point guard Kyrie Irving will return during the Nets‘ series with the Bucks, even if it goes to a seventh game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said this morning on “Get Up” (video link).

Irving, who is dealing with a a sprained right ankle he suffered Sunday, has already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 6. He didn’t travel to Milwaukee with his teammates, opting to stay in Brooklyn to get treatment on the ankle.

The Nets remain hopeful that Irving will be available for the Eastern Conference finals if they able are to advance, but Woj said they “don’t have a real timetable” on a possible return.

Wojnarowski shared a few more items during the ESPN segment:

  • Nets guard James Harden may not be fully recovered from a hamstring injury, but he will definitely be in the lineup for Game 6. Harden played 46 minutes in Game 5 and should be available for the rest of the series if he doesn’t aggravate the hamstring.
  • The Clippers don’t expect to have Kawhi Leonard back for Game 6 or 7 against Utah, and his return at any time during the playoffs is uncertain. The team will learn more about Leonard’s status in “the next 24 to 48 hours,” Wojnarowski adds, saying the Clippers are hopeful that it’s not a severe injury that will impact Leonard beyond this season.
  • The Suns are optimistic that Chris Paul won’t miss significant time after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. However, Wojnarowski adds that Phoenix is hoping the Jazz-Clippers series gets extended to a seventh game so the Suns won’t have to play again until Tuesday. He cautions that Paul and the team are “at the mercy of the testing” and have no control over what those results will show.

Kyrie Irving Ruled Out For Game 6

Nets guard Kyrie Irving won’t play in Game 6 of the team’s series vs. the Bucks on Thursday, head coach Steve Nash told reporters today. According to Nash, Irving likely won’t even travel to Milwaukee with the team. The plan is for him to remain in Brooklyn for treatment (Twitter link via Malika Andrews of ESPN).

Irving suffered a sprained right ankle in Brooklyn’s Game 4 loss on Sunday and missed Game 5 on Tuesday. Even without the star guard available, the Nets pulled out a victory to take a 3-2 series lead.

James Harden, who logged 46 minutes on Tuesday in his return from a hamstring strain, played a key role in that Game 5 victory and seems to be feeling alright today, despite the massive workload. He’ll be available for Game 6, Nash said today (Twitter link via Adam Zagoria).

Landry Shamet saw a greater role in Game 5 with Irving out, playing a total of 28 minutes. Bruce Brown and Mike James are also candidates for a bump in playing time, but on Tuesday they saw just 13 and three minutes of action, respectively.

NBA Announces 2020/2021 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced the All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams for the 2020/21 season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way as the lone unanimous selection for the First Team.

Antetokounmpo and Nuggets‘ MVP Nikola Jokic were the two top vote-getters, combining for 998 out of a possible 1,000 points, with Warriors guard Stephen Curry following shortly behind. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounding out the top five.

The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Giannis scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Among the players who just missed the cut were Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (69), Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (44), Nets guard James Harden (41), Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (37) and Heat center Bam Adebayo (32). A total of 12 other players received votes. The full results can be found here.

Today’s announcement has major financial implications across the league. Tatum, who received more votes than Kyrie Irving but still fell 20 votes short of a final forward spot, will lose out on a projected $32.6MM on his rookie scale extension, as his next deal will start at 25% of the cap instead of the 30% he would have received if he’d been named to an All-NBA team. Likewise, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Adebayo will all receive starting salaries worth 25% of the cap on their respective extensions as a result of missing out on All-NBA honors.

Doncic, having been named to his second consecutive All-NBA First Team, will be eligible for a 30% extension that would be worth a projected $201MM+ and is almost certain to be offered this summer. Doncic has previously made clear his intentions to sign the extension when offered. It will go into effect for the 2022/23 season.

Embiid is now eligible for a super-max contract extension, which would run for four years, starting in 2023/24, and would be worth a projected $191MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. It’s unclear whether the Sixers will immediately put this extension on the table this offseason.

Bradley Beal‘s deal will not change with his first career All-NBA selection, as he is already eligible for a 35% contract extension on his next deal. Jokic, having been named MVP previously this week, also sees no change in his possible future super-max extension, which will be worth approximately $241MM.

Hoops Rumors readers accurately picked 12 of this season’s 15 All-NBA players in our poll. Devin Booker, Adebayo, and Tatum were your picks who didn’t make the official list.

Kyrie Irving To Miss Game 5 Due To Ankle Sprain

The Nets will be without point guard Kyrie Irving for Game 5 vs. the Bucks on Tuesday, head coach Steve Nash told reporters today. Irving suffered a sprained right ankle in Brooklyn’s Game 4 loss on Sunday.

Irving underwent an MRI on his injured ankle today, but the Nets aren’t prepared to offer an exact recovery timeline, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN, who tweets that Nash said today he has “no idea” whether Kyrie will be able to return before the end of the series.

The Nets have already been playing since the first quarter of Game 1 without their other All-Star guard, James Harden, who suffered a right hamstring strain. Nash had no concrete update on Harden’s status, telling reporters that he was “working out” today, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).

[UPDATE: James Harden ruled out for Game 5]

If Harden remains unavailable for Game 5, the pressure will be on the Nets’ lone remaining star, Kevin Durant, to carry the scoring load, with the help of Joe Harris and Blake Griffin, among others. The club will also lean more heavily on guards Bruce Brown, Mike James, and possibly Landry Shamet.

The series is currently tied at two games apiece. Irving’s absence opens the door for the Bucks to potentially steal Game 5 in Brooklyn and set themselves up for a close-out Game 6 at home.

Nets Notes: Irving, Harden, Durant, Green, More

Although he’s not ruling out the possibility that Nets guard Kyrie Irving will be available for Game 5 vs. the Bucks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) suggested during a KJZ appearance on Monday morning that the team is bracing for Irving to miss at least that game, if not more, after spraining his ankle on Sunday.

With Irving and James Harden (hamstring) both potentially sidelined, the alarm bells are blaring for the Nets, who now find themselves in a 2-2 tie with Milwaukee, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. As Vaccaro notes, even if Irving and Harden are able to play again in this series, there’s no guarantee they’d be 100%, and ankle and hamstring injuries are easy to tweak.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • If Irving and Harden are out, Kevin Durant will bear the burden of trying to carry the Nets into the next round, as Ian O’Connor of The New York Post and Joe Vardon of The Athletic write in separate stories. Vardon compares the situation to LeBron James having to shoulder the load for the 2015 Cavaliers after Irving and Kevin Love went down with injuries.
  • The Nets at least got some good injury news prior to Game 4 on Sunday when forward Jeff Green was cleared to return. However, head coach Steve Nash admitted after the game that he ended up having to play Green more than he anticipated — and more than he would’ve liked. “I think (with) Kyrie going down, we used his versatility to try different things,” Nash said of Green, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. “I’m proud of him for playing. He wasn’t supposed to play today — a couple days ago. For him to ratchet it up and get out there was great.”
  • In a span of days, the Nets went from overwhelming title favorites to being in real danger of elimination in the second round, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who says that Brooklyn is the latest club to “ram home” the point that winning a title in the NBA is extremely difficult.
  • The Nets and Bucks had differing views on P.J. Tucker‘s defense on Durant after Game 4, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. Nash referred to Tucker’s approach as “borderline non-basketball physical at times,” prompting Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer to respond, “He’s just guarding him. If that’s not basketball, I don’t know what is.”

Eastern Notes: Harris, Irving, Harden, Bucks, Martin

Sixers forward Tobias Harris has become a reliable secondary option on offense for the franchise, Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times writes.

Harris, a respected leader in the team’s locker room, is averaging 23.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 34.6 minutes per game during the playoffs. He’s shot 54% from the floor during those contests, trailing only Joel Embiid in points per game.

“I would list him right now as one of my favorite teammates ever,” teammate George Hill said. “He has a great sense of awareness of how things are going. He’s very open-minded, he listens (and is) just a great guy to be around. I think he’s a big leader for us and we’re going to continue to lean on him as we go through this journey.”

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets won’t allow Kyrie Irving‘s ankle sprain to impact James Harden‘s return from a hamstring injury, head coach Steve Nash said, as relayed by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Harden missed most of Game 1 and hasn’t played since, with Brooklyn now missing two of its top three players due to injuries. “I think it’s an independent case. I don’t want James to be rushed back,” Nash said. “If he’s able to play next game and the game after, that’s fantastic.” As of Sunday night, no return timeline has been issued for either player.
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic examined how the Bucks can improve their offense prior to Game 4 on Sunday. Milwaukee bounced back with a much better offensive effort in the contest, winning 107-96 while shooting 44% from the floor. The team also recorded 27 assists in the outing.
  • Brendan Rourke of Pacers.com reviews the season from Kelan Martin, who appeared in a total of 35 games. The 25-year-old Martin joined the Pacers last November after playing 31 games with the Timberwolves in 2019/20.