Marquese Chriss

Hollinger’s Latest: Blazers, Warriors, Load Management

There hasn’t been an NBA trade since mid-July but the Trail Blazers appear to be a prime candidate to make a deal, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Zach Collins‘ shoulder injury, which is expected to cost him most of the season, creates an even bigger need at an already thin position. Journeyman Anthony Tolliver is the only true power forward remaining on the roster, Hollinger notes. The Blazers could also use another small forward in their rotation.

Portland has some desirable assets, including expiring contracts, young players and draft picks, in order to upgrade its forward spots. One offshoot of the Collins injury that the Blazers are playing with smaller, faster lineups and that could prove beneficial.

There’s more from Hollinger:

  • The Warriors may trade one of their free agent additions on expiring contracts in order to add one of their two-way players to the 15-man roster. Golden State is pushed up against the hard cap and could free some money by dealing center Willie Cauley-Stein or guard Alec Burks. Any potential deal involving a free agent signed this summer can’t happen until mid-December.
  • Waiving Marquese Chriss‘ non-guaranteed deal is also a strong possibility for Golden State, considering Chriss has already had his role reduced after a strong preseason. The Warriors have already used up eight of the 45 days on the service clock of two-way players Damion Lee and Ky Bowman and can’t convert either to a standard contract unless they make another move.
  • People who criticize load management fail to realize that the modern game is much more taxing on players’ bodies than in past decades, Hollinger writes. The goal is to maximize the number of high-quality games the player can play and that makes it a sound strategy.

Warriors Waive Alfonzo McKinnie

OCTOBER 19: The Warriors have now officially waived McKinnie, a source tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll be on waivers until Monday at 5:00pm eastern time and could be claimed by any team. However, a club would need an open roster spot to make a claim, and McKinnie’s contract can’t be converted into a two-way deal.

OCTOBER 18: The Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that the move will clear the way for Marquese Chriss to earn a spot on the team’s regular season roster.

McKinnie, 27, emerged as a rotation player for Golden State last season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG with a .487/.356/.563 shooting line in 72 regular season games (13.9 MPG). He also appeared in 22 playoff games for the club.

Because the Warriors are right up against a hard cap, the team can only carry 14 players on its roster to start the regular season. Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed salaries.

McKinnie – who has a non-guaranteed contract – was widely considered the favorite to claim the 14th and final spot. However, an impressive training camp and preseason by Chriss, a former lottery pick, forced the Warriors’ hand.

Chriss is technically eligible to sign a two-way deal, but because his non-guaranteed contract didn’t feature an Exhibit 10 clause, it can’t be converted into a two-way contract, so the Dubs would’ve had to put him through waivers for that to be a possibility. Instead, they’ll just keep him on their standard roster, releasing McKinnie instead.

The NBA’s waiver order is currently based on 2018/19 records, with last year’s worst teams at the top of the priority list. Any team can place a claim for McKinnie using the minimum salary exception.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Looney, Chriss, Hard Cap

Stephen Curry hasn’t given up on the championship dream with the Warriors this season despite the loss of Kevin Durant and long-term injury to Klay Thompson, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“A championship is still the goal,” Curry said. “It’s always been. We’ve experienced it all and we’re going to keep pushing to get back there. That’s the goal. It’s the North Star. The narrative might have changed internally, but we’re still chasing the same goal.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Frontcourt injuries have made for a difficult preseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes. The Warriors have gone most of the preseason without Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney and their absences have shown in preseason losses to the Lakers. “We need to get healthy,” coach Steve Kerr said. “You have to have rim protection in this league.” Kerr is hopeful that Looney, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, can return for the season opener, Slater tweets.
  • The team is now technically $375K under the hard cap after deciding to waive Alfonzo McKinnie and retaining Marquese Chriss, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. However, since Chriss’ contract doesn’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th, the Warriors are essentially $2MM below the hard cap with Chriss’ deal counting $9,485 daily until that deadline, Nahmad adds.
  • Draymond Green ripped the Suns’ organization for mishandling Chriss during his time there, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Chriss was the eighth overall pick in 2016 but lasted just two seasons in Phoenix. “No one ever blames these (lousy) franchises. They always want to blame the kid. It’s not always the kid’s fault,” Green said.

Charania’s Latest: Kings, J. Brown, Rockets, China, More

One complicating factor in the Kings‘ contract extension negotiations with Buddy Hield is the four-year, $85MM deal the team did with Harrison Barnes earlier this offseason, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, Sacramento has already expressed some remorse over that deal, since it has set a precedent in talks for Hield and may impact the Kings’ ability to complete extensions for other key players.

Meanwhile, in other rookie scale extension news, Charania says several teams around the NBA are monitoring the negotiations between the Celtics and Jaylen Brown. Sources tell Charania that those teams are waiting to see if they’ll get a chance to “make Boston and GM Danny Ainge pay” with a big offer sheet for Brown next summer.

Here’s more from Charania:

  • The NBA/China controversy appears to be at an impasse for now, with teams around the league waiting to see how Chinese TV networks handle opening night on Tuesday. It’s not clear if China will lift its suspension of NBA broadcasts at that point or if it will continue to blackball telecasts, according to Charania.
  • With Gerald Green potentially out for the season due to a foot injury, the Rockets are “scouring the market” for help on the wing, says Charania. Houston discussed some Andre Iguodala trade scenarios with the Grizzlies, but is reluctant to go way into luxury-tax territory by trading for Iguodala, Charania adds.
  • Charania provides updates on a pair of roster battles, writing that Javonte Green is the favorite to become the Celtics‘ 15th man over Max Strus, while Marquese Chriss is “moving closer” to claiming a regular season roster spot with the Warriors.
  • Free agent swingman Iman Shumpert has spoken to a few teams, including the Bulls and Grizzlies, Charania reports.
  • Charania suggests that Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison has suffered a hamstring strain in “recent days.” His wording makes it sound like it’s either a different injury than the strain Hutchison suffered in early September or a re-aggravation of that injury. The second-year Bull is expected to miss more time, league sources tell Charania.

Warriors Notes: Chriss, McKinnie, Hard Cap, Curry

A few Warriors players have asked general manager Bob Myers to find a spot for Marquese Chriss on the roster, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Chriss made an immediate impact Saturday in Golden State’s first preseason game with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes. He also fills a need for a team that’s dealing with injuries to big men Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein.

But keeping Chriss won’t be easy. The Warriors are severely limited because of a hard cap that came along with the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell. To hold onto Chriss, they will have to either trade one of their 13 guaranteed salaries or waive Alfonzo McKinnie, whose $1,588,231 contract is non-guaranteed. A two-way deal is theoretically possible, but Chriss didn’t sign an Exhibit 10 contract, so he’d have to clear waivers for that to happen.

“I’ve heard good things, positive things from the coaches,” Chriss said. “I’m just trying to stay open-minded and keep being coached. Whether or not it works out here, I was able to come here and learn some things that I would be able to take other places. I think at the end of the day, my goal was to show them that this was where I should be and put the pressure on them.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • McKinnie is engaged in a three-way competition for the starting small forward slot, notes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. He’s battling Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, who both signed as free agents over the summer. Poole suggests that McKinnie has the edge because of his experience with the team, but he may have slipped with a poor first preseason game in which he made just one of four 3-pointers and finished at minus-23.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the hard cap and the effects it will have on the Warriors throughout the season. The team is already within $407,257 of the $138,928,000 figure, which means they can’t add a 15th player to the roster until March 3, when a pro-rated minimum salary will become small enough to fit. Slater notes that once that date arrives, Golden State could reach out to Andrew Bogut again when his Australian season is complete.
  • Stephen Curry told reporters today that he hasn’t determined how the NBA’s standoff with China will affect his Under Armour tours of the nation going forward, tweets Logan Murdock of NBC Sports.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Mann, Leonard, Giles

The Warriors worked out several centers Friday and may add one to their training camp roster soon, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who adds that the team isn’t able to offer any guaranteed money because of hard cap issues. Golden State is short-handed in the middle due to a strained left foot suffered by Willie Cauley-Stein that will force him to miss all of camp. Cauley-Stein is off crutches and attended tonight’s game, but remains in a walking boot.

The frontcourt situation is creating a greater opportunity for Marquese Chriss, who signed with the team Monday. Chriss’ contract also contains no guaranteed salary, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN, but he is receiving a virtual “open audition” for any teams that might need big men. The Warriors are his fourth team in the past 13 months.

There’s more tonight from the Pacific Division:

  • Second-round pick Terance Mann had plenty of Clippers connections before the team drafted him with the 48th pick in June, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Team scout Leo Papile served as a mentor to Mann and has known him since age 13, while Mann’s mother used to coach at Northeastern and frequently took her sons to watch the Celtics when Doc Rivers was running the team.
  • The Clippers aren’t sure if Kawhi Leonard will play in any preseason games, but Rivers doesn’t believe it matters, Greif tweets. “You can make the case no, because you’re getting your reps in practice, you are playing live,” Rivers said. “He played the whole practice today that was live. But will he not play one [preseason game]? I don’t know that, he probably will play one, but I would say I’m not that concerned, either way.”
  • Kings big man Harry Giles didn’t join the team on its trip to India because of knee soreness, but he received some good medical news this week, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. An MRI didn’t reveal any new issues with Giles’ surgically repaired left knee.

Marquese Chriss Signs With Warriors

SEPTEMBER 30, 9:35pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

SEPTEMBER 24, 5:40pm: The Warriors and Marquese Chriss have reached an agreement on a one-year deal, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter). Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears that the contract is non-guaranteed.

Chriss is unlikely to make the Warriors’ open day roster, as the team is hard-capped and doesn’t have the room for a 15th contract. However, if Chriss shows promise during camp, the franchise could make a corresponding move to keep Chriss on the squad.

The big man was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2016 draft, though he never lived up to his lofty draft status. Phoenix traded him to Houston in the Ryan Anderson deal back in 2018 and the Rockets declined to pick up his fourth-year option last fall. Chriss also spent time with the Cavaliers, playing in 27 games for Cleveland last season.

NBA Suspends Ibaka Three Games, Chriss One Game

Raptors center Serge Ibaka has been suspended for three games for his involvement in an on-court altercation on Monday night, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Cavaliers big man Marquese Chriss, who was also involved in the incident, will get a one-game suspension, according to Charania. The NBA has confirmed the news in a press release.

The incident in question occurred at the end of the third quarter in Monday’s Raptors/Cavs matchup. After Ibaka and Chriss got tied up going for an inbounds pass, Ibaka fell to the floor and Chriss said something to him as he walked away. Ibaka immediately got to his feet and went after Chriss, grabbing him by the neck and pushing him into the basket stanchion. Both players threw punches – though none really connected – before the fight was broken up.

According to the NBA’s announcement, Chriss received a one-game ban for throwing a punch, while Ibaka received the longer suspension because he instigated the fight and has a history of similar incidents. Ibaka has received a pair of one-game suspensions in the past for separate altercations with Heat forward James Johnson and Bulls center Robin Lopez.

Ibaka, who will begin serving his suspension on Thursday night vs. the Lakers, will also miss Sunday’s game at Detroit and next Monday’s game vs. New York. His suspension will cost him approximately $448K – 3/145ths of his $21,666,667 salary – and will save the Raptors about $560K in luxury-tax penalties at season’s end, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).

As for Chriss, he’ll serve his one-game suspension tonight when the Cavs play in Philadelphia. His lost wages will equal $22,111 — 1/145th of his $3,206,160 salary.

Shumpert To Rockets, Burks to Kings In 3-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 7, 11:33am: The trade is now official, the Cavaliers confirmed in a press release. Here are the full details:

  • Cavaliers acquire Knight, Chriss, the Rockets’ 2019 first-round pick, and the Rockets 2022 second-round pick.
  • Rockets acquire Shumpert, Stauskas, Baldwin, and the Bucks’ 2021 second-round pick (from Cleveland).
  • Kings acquire Burks and lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ 2020 second-round picks.

FEBRUARY 7, 7:21am: The draft pick the Kings are receiving from Houston in the deal will be the lesser of the Rockets’ and Warriors’ second-rounders in 2020, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California.

FEBRUARY 6, 8:10pm: The Cavaliers will also receive a lottery-protected 2019 first-round pick from the Rockets, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who states that the front office is “thrilled” by what it was able to get in return for Burks.

7:25pm: The Kings, Rockets and Cavaliers have agreed to a three-team deal that will send Iman Shumpert to Houston, Alec Burks and a second-round pick to Sacramento and Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to Cleveland, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The Rockets will also receive Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin from the Cavs, adds ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Both guards were acquired Sunday when Cleveland shipped Rodney Hood to Portland. Houston hasn’t decided whether to keep both players for the rest of the season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Because they were just acquired, Stauskas and Baldwin can’t be aggregated in the same trade, so the Cavaliers and Rockets will have to make two separate deals, tweets Keith Smith of Real GM. Burks will be traded for Knight, while Chriss’ $3.2MM salary will be absorbed with the TPE that Cleveland created by sending Hood to the Trail Blazers.

The Cavaliers had to include both guards to remain below the luxury tax, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. They created a $1.5MM trade exception for each player and are now $1.2MM under the tax. Knight carries cap hits of $14.6MM for this season and $15.6MM for 2019/20, while Chriss has a $3.2MM expiring deal. Cleveland is dangerously close to tax territory for next season, Marks adds, hovering about $10MM below without accounting for a projected top five draft pick.

Houston will save $6.3MM in projected tax payments and bring its bill down to $6.1MM, Marks notes in a separate post. The total could drop even lower depending on what happens with $1.5MM in bonuses for Clint Capela, who is sidelined after thumb surgery. The Rockets will inherit Shumpert’s Bird rights and will sit about $4MM above the tax threshold with the addition of the three players.

The Rockets had been seeking veteran wing help and were hoping to unload the contracts of Knight and Chriss after acquiring them from Phoenix over the summer in a deal to unload Ryan Anderson‘s hefty salary. Shumpert has an $11MM expiring contract. Burks also has an expiring deal worth a little more than $11.5MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

O’Connor’s Latest: Gasol, Conley, OKC, Prince, More

As we relayed earlier today, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears that the Hornets‘ offer for Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick. That would be an underwhelming return for Gasol, but there hasn’t been much league-wide interest in the 34-year-old, O’Connor writes.

The Kings and Pistons were among the teams potentially in the mix for Gasol, according to O’Connor, but Memphis didn’t have any interest in Detroit center Andre Drummond and Sacramento was unwilling to part with promising young wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Grizzlies wanted.

The Raptors reportedly explored a potential Gasol deal, initially attempting to come up with an individual trade for one Grizzlies veteran before turning it into a package for both Gasol and Mike Conley, O’Connor writes. However, those talks didn’t advance and league sources tell The Ringer that it’s unlikely Toronto ends up with Gasol or Conley.

Elsewhere on the Conley front, the Jazz continue to make a strong push, with an offer that includes Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors, and a first-round pick, per O’Connor. The sense around the NBA is that the Grizzlies won’t settle for a modest return for Conley, which is something we heard in relation to the Pistons’ offer earlier today.

O’Connor’s latest piece for The Ringer features several more trade-related tidbits, so we’ll round them up here…

  • The Thunder are believed to be among the teams with interest in Cavaliers guard Alec Burks, league sources tell O’Connor. However, Burks wouldn’t fit into OKC’s $10.88MM trade exception. The Thunder, along with the Sixers and Trail Blazers, have expressed interest in Hawks wing Taurean Prince, O’Connor adds.
  • Following up on his report from last week about the Rockets and Grizzlies discussing a Brandon Knight trade, O’Connor suggests that Marquese Chriss and a first-round pick would also go to Memphis in that proposed deal. Houston would be targeting JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple in the swap, though it remains in the discussion stage for now.
  • The Kings have made calls about veteran forwards Harrison Barnes (Mavericks) and Otto Porter (Wizards) but have found no traction on a Porter deal, writes O’Connor.
  • While DeAndre Jordan looks like an obvious trade candidate, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the Knicks keep him around as a potential recruiter for Kevin Durant, according to O’Connor, who notes that Durant and Jordan are good friends. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News wrote about this subject on Tuesday.
  • League sources don’t expect the Celtics to do anything at the deadline with Terry Rozier, since he could serve as potential Kyrie Irving insurance or a sign-and-trade sweetener for Anthony Davis in the offseason, says O’Connor.
  • According to O’Connor, the Pacers remain open to moving one of their two veteran point guards, Cory Joseph or Darren Collison. Both players are on expiring contracts.