Marvin Williams

Hornets Notes: Monk, Lamb, Batum, Howard

The Hornets’ choices for backup point guards were influenced by the drafting of Malik Monk in the first round, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. In a mailbag column, Bonnell states that because Monk is an undersized shooting guard with defensive limitations, the team needed larger point guards to pair with him who are better at stopping opponents. That’s why they signed Michael Carter-Williams and Julyan Stone, both 6’6″, when other options were available.

Another factor was cost, as Charlotte was concerned about staying under the luxury tax threshold of about $119MM and was financially limited after trading for Dwight Howard‘s $23.5MM salary. Carter-Williams agreed to a one-year, $2.7MM deal in July, while Stone accepted a minimum-salary contract in August after negotiating a release from his team in Italy.

Bonnell offers more insight into the Hornets:

  • Monk should be fully recovered from a sprained left ankle that caused him to miss the Orlando Summer League. The 11th overall pick suffered the injury during a draft workout and was sidelined for several weeks, which coach Steve Clifford said affected his conditioning. Monk probably won’t see a lot of playing time early in the season, Bonnell writes, but he should be fully healthy for the team’s October 18 opener.
  • Jeremy Lamb has impressed the coaching staff with his work this offseason, but he’s not a threat to take Nicolas Batum‘s starting job. Lamb has been a valuable reserve during his two seasons in Charlotte, and Bonnell says the team needs Batum’s playmaking skills and overall versatility in the starting lineup.
  • The roles of the big men haven’t been firmly established heading into camp. Howard is expected to start at center with Marvin Williams at power forward, but Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky could both make a push for more playing time. Howard’s reputation as a poor free throw shooter could limit his fourth quarter minutes, just as it did in Atlanta, with Zeller getting more use late in games.

Nets Notes: Booker, Dudley, Johnson

Trevor Booker learned early in his career that he didn’t need to be a star to make it in the league. During his rookie year on the Wizards, he realized that he needed to find his niche.

“That’s actually been my approach ever since I came into the league,” Booker said (via Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype). “Coming into Washington, we had John Wall, who had been the No. 1 overall pick. He’s doing great right now, by the way. They were focused on him. You could see that their main focus was on John Wall, which was fine. I understood it. I had to learn then that it wasn’t about me. I wasn’t in college anymore. I realized that I needed to find my niche. I had to earn every minute and whoever I was playing against, whether it was in a game or in a practice, I had to [work hard]. I knew I had to do that to stay in this league.”

Booker found his niche as a locker room leader and when the Nets signed him last offseason, they expected him to be a veteran mentor to his young teammates. He proved to be a valuable addition and he’s enjoying his role in Brooklyn.

“I just try to tell them what I’ve been through and how I’ve stuck around in the league for seven years. I just let them know that you don’t have to be a superstar; you don’t have to go out there and score 30 points a night to make your name known and stick around in the league. You have to find your niche, work at it and do [your job] well. You don’t have to go out there and be a hero. I try to show them, as an example, look at me. I’ve averaged probably 6 points over my career and I’m going into my eighth year and still going strong. That’s the type of the thing that I’d try to instill in them,” Booker added.

Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Booker believes both GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson have done excellent jobs in year one of their tenures, as he tells Kennedy in the same piece. “[Marks] definitely gets it, and he’s an intelligent guy. I think he did a pretty good job this year of trying to change the culture…Then, with Coach Atkinson, he does a great job of developing players. Just watching him throughout the season, he’d be on the court working with players and showing them different things. And that’s the kind of thing that players need, especially young players,” Booker said.
  • The Nets were interested in signing Marvin Williams and Jared Dudley last offseason in part because of their respective reputations as excellent locker room leaders, Charles Maniego of SB Nation notes. Both players signed elsewhere and Brooklyn decided to add Randy Foye and Booker to mentor the young roster. Maniego also relays that adding high character players will again be a priority for the franchise this offseason.
  • Amir Johnson could be an option for the Nets in free agency, Maniego opines in the same piece. The power forward was named “Teammate of the Year” by the Celtics last season.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Green, Millsap, Hornets

If the Magic can’t land one of the candidates they want for team president, they will try to get a big name to fill the GM role, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Interim GM Matt Lloyd remains a candidate to keep his job either way, but would probably be more secure if Orlando can get a high-profile president. The Magic are reportedly interested in Cavaliers GM David Griffin, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie probably won’t be a candidate, as a source told Kyler that Hinkie is looking for an “ideal situation” and isn’t ready to return to the NBA. (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic won’t try to keep free agent forward Jeff Green, writes Kevin P. Smith of Real GM in his offseason preview. Green spent a year in Orlando after signing with the team last July. He averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 69 games, mostly as a reserve. Smith thinks there’s a better chance that Orlando could try to keep fellow free agent Jodie Meeks if he agrees to an affordable price. In the draft, the Magic may take advantage of a field rich in point guards to find a replacement for Elfrid Payton.
  • Re-signing free agent forward Paul Millsap will be an offseason priority for the Hawks, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The 31-year-old has been with Atlanta for the past four seasons, making the All-Star team in each one. He’s coming off a career-best scoring year at 18.1 points per game, along with 7.7 rebounds and a career-high 3.7 assists. “We are going to make every effort imaginable to keep him,” said Hawks owner Tony Ressler.
  • The Hornets face a tough offseason with no available cap room and probably the 11th pick in the draft, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. Charlotte’s best option to improve is through trades, with Greene mentioning Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Miles Plumlee as options because they all have deals that average less than $15MM annually. The Hornets also have a $1.7MM exception from the Troy Daniels deal that expires in mid-July.

And-Ones: Motiejunas, Neal, Jerrett, 2017 FAs

Now an unrestricted free agent, Donatas Motiejunas has more freedom than ever to decide the next step in his basketball career, even if he can no longer sign with the Nets. As he looks for a new NBA home, Motiejunas released a statement today on Twitter, announcing that he has “a lot more to give to the game of basketball, and can’t wait to get back on the court.”

“I invest so much into my craft and have worked extremely hard to stay healthy and prove myself on the basketball court, which was evident last season,” Motiejunas said. “I look forward to immediately contributing to a new team and ultimately winning championships.

“I want to thank the great fans in Houston for all of their support. I really enjoyed my time in the community. The city and people will always hold a special place in my heart as the place where my NBA career began.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

Injury Notes: Beverley, Davis, Williams

Patrick Beverley has missed the past four preseason games with knee irritation and a source tells Calvin Walkins of ESPN.com that he may have surgery on his left knee. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweets that the injury is not severe and Beverley is seeking a second opinion, as team doctors are not exactly sure what is wrong with the knee. Beverley was penciled in as the starter for the Rockets and in his absence, coach Mike D’Antoni has played James Harden at the point guard position.

Here’s more injury news from around the league:

  • The Pelicans believe Anthony Davis will be available to play on opening night and the team is strongly considering letting him play in the team’s final preseason game on Thursday night, Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com pass along. Davis practiced today without any issue with his injured ankle, the pair of ESPN scribes relay.
  • Marvin Williams has a non-displaced fracture in his left middle finger, according to the HornetsTwitter feed. He will remain out until at least next Tuesday, at which time he will be reevaluated.
  • Aron Baynes suffered a broken nose during Tuesday’s practice and he underwent surgery on it shortly after, according to a Pistons‘ press release. Baynes will not play in tonight’s preseason game.

Eastern Notes: Moreland, Schroder, Young

The Cavs waived Eric Moreland earlier today to make room to sign Toney Douglas. The forward isn’t upset with the move since he’s still recovering from a foot injury he suffered last season and isn’t quite ready to return to action, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com notes. “I feel it is in my best interest for me to take my time to make sure I am 100 percent healthy,” Moreland told Goodman. “I feel really good and think I am close to being game ready but with the setback I have already been through, I want be extra cautious with my return and do everything I can to make sure I my foot has completely healed.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder returned to practice on Monday after resting a sore ankle for the past several days, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays. “The trainers told me to relax a little bit and not put pressure on it,” Schroder said. “In training camp it was hurting a little bit. It was bothering me so they said take off. I took off Friday, Saturday and Sunday and today was the first time practicing again. I could run up and down the floor. Now, I’m healthy.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford is thrilled that Marvin Williams re-signed with the team this offseason, because of the forward’s versatile skillset and leadership, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “To me, he’s such a winning player. He totally fits what this league is all about,” Clifford said. “He’s a stretch 4, so he creates space [with his 3-point shooting]. Defensively, he can guard the smaller 4s who shoot 3s and drive the ball, and the bigger 4s who post it. There aren’t many guys who can do that.”
  • Swingman James Young is one of the players on the bubble to make the Celtics‘ roster this season. One of the things making the coaching staff’s decision difficult is the fact that Young hasn’t seen much regular season action, making it difficult to judge his true fit within Boston’s system, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Neal, Anderson, Hawks

Udonis Haslem is returning to the Heat for his 14th season, but for the first time, he won’t be joined by longtime teammate Dwyane Wade. Speaking to reporters today on a conference call, Haslem expressed optimism about the new-look Heat, but also conveyed some disappointment over Wade’s deal with the Bulls, as Anthony Chiang of The Palm Beach Post details. “I don’t know if there’s anything I could have done or should have done,” Haslem said of Wade’s departure. “I felt like it could have been avoided but for whatever reason it just wasn’t.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • There were some players and coaches for the Wizards last season who viewed Gary Neal as “selfish,” and as someone who was most concerned about his own stats, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. On his Facebook page this week, Neal posted some of those stats as he attempted to make a case for why he should be in line for a free-agency payday.
  • Although the Wizards had been expected to meet with Alan Anderson over the weekend, that meeting still hadn’t happened as of Monday afternoon, tweets Michael. However, Anderson remains in the picture for Washington, per the CSN scribe.
  • The Hawks initially didn’t have interest in acquiring Jarrett Jack when the Nets made him available via trade. However, Atlanta eventually signed him as a free agent, and Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains why the team changed its course on Jack.
  • Heading into free agency, Marvin Williams told his agent that he was comfortable in Charlotte, and that if the Hornets made a competitive offer, he was “highly predisposed to re-sign,” writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Williams ultimately struck a four-year, $54.5MM deal with the team.

Hornets Re-Sign Marvin Williams

JULY 10, 11:30am: The signing is official, the team announced.

Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images

Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 2, 4:52pm: The final season is a player option, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports (Twitter link).

4:38pm: The Hornets and Marvin Williams have struck a deal that will see the forward remain in Charlotte, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). It will be a four-year, $54.5MM arrangement, Wojnarowski adds. He joins small forward Nicolas Batum in re-signing with Michael Jordan’s club this offseason.

The 30-year-old former second round pick out of North Carolina wasn’t without alternatives to the Hornets, with Williams turning down offers in the $15MM per year range in order to remain with the team, Wojnarowski tweets. The Nets were reportedly one of the teams in pursuit of Williams, though it is unknown if the team was among those mentioned offering in excess of $15MM per. Brooklyn moved on and inked Trevor Booker to a two-year, $8MM pact once they received word that Williams was leaning toward returning to Charlotte.

Williams had a productive 2015/16 campaign, averaging 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.9 minutes per outing. His shooting numbers on the year were .452/.402/.833.

Nets Ink Trevor Booker

Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images

Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 8th, 4:27pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.

3:24pm: Booker’s deal is for two years and $18MM, per Jones (on Twitter).

JULY 2nd, 3:01pm: The Nets and unrestricted free agent Trevor Booker have reached an agreement on a contract, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune reports (via Twitter). The length and terms of the arrangement are not yet known. Brooklyn apparently pivoted to Booker when negotiations with Marvin Williams fell through, with Williams looking more and more like he will be making his return to the Hornets next season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

Brooklyn continues to add veteran pieces and Booker will join Jeremy Lin and Justin Hamilton, whom GM Sean Marks previously came to agreements with, on a revamped Nets squad.  Booker was reportedly drawing interest from multiple unnamed teams.

Booker, 28, appeared in 79 games for the Jazz last season and averaged 5.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.7 minutes per outing. His slash line was .490/.293/.670.

Lowe’s Latest: Horford, Howard, Noel

The Hawks are reluctant to offer unrestricted free agent Al Horford a fifth year this summer, and if the team maintains that rigid stance it could risk losing him to another suitor, writes Zach Lowe of ESPN.com in his free agency primer. The scribe names the Pistons as a team to watch regarding the center and notes that Detroit is working to set up a meeting with Horford during the first 48 hours of free agency. With veteran point guard Jeff Teague having already been traded, if the Hawks were to lose Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore this summer, it could prompt a full rebuild in Atlanta, Lowe writes. The scribe also notes that coach Mike Budenholzer‘s status as a team executive gives him more security to undertake a re-tooling effort.

Here’s more from Lowe:

  • Hornets unrestricted free agent forward Marvin Williams may be in line for a deal this summer in the range of two years and $38MM, according to Lowe’s estimations.
  • Teams are balking at the notion of paying Dwight Howard a max salary, even if it’s on a short-term deal, Lowe notes. The scribe adds that the center has a free agent meeting set up with the Celtics.
  • The Nets and Sixers have enough cap room to create early havoc in the free agent market and drive up prices around the league if they are aggressive in going after restricted free agents, Lowe writes. Brooklyn has strong interest in adding some high-character veterans, including Jared Dudley, Lowe relays. There are a number of teams that are worried Brooklyn will jump the market on unrestricted free agents with ties to new coach Kenny Atkinson (Jeremy Lin, Bazemore), and some under-the-radar young players, the scribe adds.
  • The Raptors will need to move at least one large contract in order to have a shot at re-signing both DeMar DeRozan and Bismack Biyombo, Lowe notes. To that end, Toronto has approached the Sixers about a trade involving a rotation player and other assets in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could potentially replace Biyombo as backup center. These talks have not gained much traction, according to Lowe.
  • The Magic‘s acquisition of Jodie Meeks from the Pistons will have no bearing on their plans for restricted free agent Evan Fournier, Lowe notes, with Orlando being unsure of Meeks’ health heading into next season.
  • Lowe also speculates that the cap boom may lead to an increase in contract extensions, noting that Paul George (Pacers), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), John Wall (Wizards) and Derrick Favors (Jazz) are all potential extension candidates this year.
  • The Pacers may look to trade shooting guard Monta Ellis this summer in an effort to free up more cap space, Lowe notes. Ellis, who is set to earn $10,763,500 in 2016/17, still has three years remaining on his current pact.
  • The NBPA is encouraging players to sign contracts that decline over time so they can get as much guaranteed money up front as possible, Lowe relays. This push is likely related to a potential lockout next summer when the league and union have the ability to opt out of the current CBA.
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