Maurice Harkless

Kings Notes: Walton, King, Sunday’s Game, Reserves

Luke Walton says he’s “very confident” he’ll be retained as the Kings’ head coach, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.

Monetary factors may work in Walton’s favor, Anderson notes. He’s reportedly owed $11.5MM over the next two seasons and first-year GM Monte McNair has publicly expressed support for Walton, pointing out the progress made by several key players.

Walton is focused on better results for next season.

“We have an offseason plan put in place from when they’re going to be in Sacramento, and what coaches will be working with them, and what we need them focused on,” Walton said. “Clearly, a big thing for all young players is developing in the weight room as well, but it’s good, after you get a taste of what the NBA is all about, to be able to really fine tune some things in the offseason.”

We have more on the Kings:

Pacific Notes: T. Davis, Kings, Thompson, Craig

Terence Davis hopes last week’s trade to the Kings will give him a fresh start and help him leave off-the-court issues behind, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. After scoring 27 points Saturday in a narrow loss to the Bucks, Davis addressed the legal matters that arose in October when he was still with the Raptors.

Davis was originally charged with seven counts of domestic violence, but all charges relating to an alleged assault were eventually dropped by the New York District Attorney’s office. He still faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief, but those will reportedly dissolve in a year if he avoids further legal trouble.

“When you’re going through something like that, it defines you as a person, as a man, for me, as a father,” Davis said. “I’m just excited to be here, excited to be a part of the Kings. I’m happy man, I’m ready to get to work and continue to work. This is a fresh start for me, man, I just want to take advantage of it.

“As an individual, I’m a tough dude. You know, just having to deal with so much. I haven’t really seen my son in a while. I’m getting kinda teary right now, man, just talking about this situation. I’ve been through a lot. I’m just happy to be here and happy that the Kings welcomed me with open arms.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings‘ new additions were noticeable for the energy they brought to Saturday’s game, while the holdovers didn’t seem to provide as much toughness and competitiveness, observes James Jones of The Athletic. The Kings have lost some of their veteran leaders in recent years and they’re hoping to get those qualities from Davis, Maurice Harkless and Delon Wright, who were all acquired at the deadline. “I’m excited about these guys our front office brought in,” coach Luke Walton said. “I think that will, with some more time, will continue to get us there faster. But when they come in, there’s an intensity level they’re playing with. And that’s how it has to be at the start of games, middle of games.”
  • Klay Thompson delivered a message to his Warriors teammates after a 53-point loss Friday night, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. The injured guard talked about the need to uphold the tradition that the franchise has built. “He was just kind of going off about how he missed the game and how it’s just not acceptable to lose this way,” Kent Bazemore said. “He’s fired up, man. It’s hard watching, regardless if you’re playing or not playing.”
  • The Suns acquired Torrey Craig at the deadline, but they were hoping to add him last offseason, coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Craig said he wanted to sign with Phoenix at the time, but “pretty crazy and pretty wild and unpredictable” things happened and he chose the Bucks instead.

Kings Notes: Wright, Davis, Harkless, Bagley

There was speculation in the weeks leading up to March 25 that the Kings could be major sellers at the trade deadline, with players like Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, and Richaun Holmes frequently mentioned as possible candidates to be on the move.

However, general manager Monte McNair chose another direction, making a series of smaller-scale deals to add talent to the current roster, rather than dealing away established veterans for long-term assets. While Sacramento didn’t go all-in, the team’s deadline deals made clear that the playoffs are still a goal in 2021.

“I think really we saw this year that there were maybe some traditional buy/sell moves, but I think where we categorize ourselves was like, value buyers,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “We kinda explored all opportunities and this is what came to the forefront.”

As Sean Cunningham of ABC10 tweets, McNair said the Kings entered the deadline hoping to add depth and defense, and he felt like they did that by acquiring Delon Wright, Terence Davis, Maurice Harkless, and Chris Silva.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • The Kings’ deadline deals are paying dividends so far, with Wright, Davis, and Harkless helping the team extend its winning streak to five games on Monday night in San Antonio, Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “Delon does a great job of making sure our pace is good. TD adds an aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. Moe is just savvy, smart, knows where to be,” center Richaun Holmes said of his new teammates. “Those guys came in ready to fit in and ready to help the team.”
  • Kings big man Marvin Bagley III has remained away from the team while he recovers from his left hand fracture, but he has remained in constant communication with the Kings and the plan is for him to rejoin the club as he gets closer to returning to action, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
  • In case you missed it, an earlier report indicated that Holmes’ price tag in free agency this summer could be upwards of $20MM per year, with Charlotte among the teams expected to challenge Holmes for free agent center.

Kings Trade Nemanja Bjelica To Heat

8:06pm: The trade for Bjelica is now official, per a Heat press release.


11:46am: The Heat and Kings are finalizing a trade that will send forward Nemanja Bjelica to Miami, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Sacramento will receive Maurice Harkless and Chris Silva in the deal, Woj adds (via Twitter).

The Heat have been linked to the stretch four for several weeks. They could have fit Bjelica’s $7.15MM salary into a $7.5MM trade exception, which expired on Monday. Instead, Heat president Pat Riley opted to send out players in order to stay below the luxury tax line. Harkless has an expiring $3.623MM contract and Silva is making $1.52MM. There’s a $1.78MM team option attached to Silva’s contract for next season.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link), Miami stays $3.3MM below the tax line and also opens up a roster spot in the two-for-one transaction. Sacramento will have to waive or trade a player to accommodate the extra incoming player.

Bjelica’s role was greatly diminished this season as the new front office and coach Luke Walton made Marvin Bagley III the starter at power forward following an injury-plagued season until he fractured his hand this month.

The 32-year-old Serbian has only appeared in 26 games this season, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.8 RPG. He had a career year last season, averaging 11.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 72 games, including 67 starts. He’s a career 38.7% shooter from 3-point range.

Bjelica’s 3-point threat will likely make him a rotation player for the Heat the remainder of this season. They can then decide whether to re-sign the unrestricted free agent or let him walk to create additional cap flexibility. They’ll have his Bird rights and can go over the cap to re-sign him.

Harkless and Silva only appeared in 11 games apiece this season. They’ll get a fresh start in Sacramento, unless the Kings opt to waive one or both of them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Gordon, Nets, Gilbert

Bradley Beal remains content to stay in Washington, and the Wizards don’t appear headed for a major deal before Thursday’s deadline, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. There’s no sense of panic even though the team has dropped to 13th place in the East after losing eight of its past 10 games, with one rival executive saying Washington’s front office is “operating as if they’ve got time on their hands.”

The Wizards aren’t considered a definite buyer or seller heading into the deadline, Wallace adds. Washington is just three-and-a-half games out of the 10th spot, and Davis Bertans is expected to return from a calf strain in about two weeks. The team could use a third scorer and an upgrade on defense, but there’s no urgency to get anything done right away.

“We’ve got some young players that need experience, and when you (also) have some high-level players on your team, it’s a fine line,” coach Scott Brooks said. “You have to find the sweet spot. I think we’re doing a fairly good job. We’d like to have some more wins. A lot of the things that’s happened to us, we can’t control. … (General manager Tommy Sheppard) is going to look. … If there’s something out there, we’re definitely going to look.”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon is very likely to be traded by the deadline, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). Orlando will listen to offers for Gordon and the Celtics will be in the mix, adds Woj, who expects the Magic and Raptors to “set the tone” for this year’s trade deadline.
  • The Nets will try to move injured guard Spencer Dinwiddie, but they don’t want to take on any guaranteed salary past this season, Wojnarowski said in a trade deadline discussion hosted by Rod Perez on Twitter Spaces (hat tip to NetsDaily). The Nets are also focused on Cavaliers center Andre Drummond and Pelicans guard J.J. Redick in the buyout market, according to Woj, along with Heat forward Maurice Harkless.
  • In his podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst indicated that the Nets are interested in acquiring Raptors forward Norman Powell. Windhorst doesn’t expect the Nets to pursue Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge if he gets bought out, suggesting there’s not a need for Aldridge after adding Blake Griffin.
  • With Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert still recovering from a 2019 stroke, his 23-year-old son Grant Gilbert could eventually be in line to run the team, according to Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The younger Gilbert is already in the organization as director of content and brand strategy.

Goodwill’s Latest: Brogdon, Blazers, McGee, Heat, Oubre, More

Multiple teams have indicated that the Pacers are open to listening to pitches on Malcolm Brogdon, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Brogdon is only in the second season of a four-year, $85MM contract, but Goodwill suggests that Indiana is comfortable with the idea of Caris LeVert manning the point if the team gets a deal it likes for Brogdon.

In addition to Brogdon, another Pacers point guard – Aaron Holiday – is thought to be available. A report last week indicated Indiana was seeking a first-round pick for Holiday, which Goodwill confirms. According to Goodwill, Holiday seems to have “fallen out of favor” somewhat in Indiana.

Here’s more from Goodwill:

  • The Trail Blazers are among the teams with interest in Cavaliers center JaVale McGee, per Goodwill. McGee could be had via trade — it remains to be seen whether he and Cleveland would work out a buyout if he stays put at the deadline.
  • The Nets are dangling Spencer Dinwiddie and a second-round pick as they look to bolster their bench, sources tell Yahoo Sports. Brooklyn has discussed players like Avery Bradley, Kendrick Nunn, and Maurice Harkless with the Heat, Goodwill says.
  • Kelly Oubre‘s camp believes the Warriors forward is capable of getting a “top-10 deal” in free agency this offseason, per Goodwill. Presumably, that means one of the top 10 most valuable free agent contracts signed this summer.
  • Goodwill suggests that former Cavaliers executive Brock Aller – who is now the Knicks‘ VP of strategy – is worth keeping an eye on in the event that Cleveland moves on from current general manager Koby Altman at some point. Aller has a long-standing relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Goodwill notes.

Scotto’s Latest: Lowry, Aldridge, Oladipo, Wolves

The Heat are among the teams that have reached out to the Raptors about veteran guard Kyle Lowry, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Some of the players discussed in a possible deal include Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Kendrick Nunn, according to Scotto.

Lowry, who will turn 35 this month, continues to remain productive, averaging 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.5 rebounds through 31 games. He recently pledged his loyalty to the franchise, but didn’t offer a guarantee that he will re-sign with Toronto when he becomes a free agent this summer.

As a one-year Bird player, Dragic has veto power over any trade, Scotto notes. If Dragic agrees to a deal and a new team declines his $19.44MM option for next season, his Bird rights will be reduced to Non-Bird when he enters free agency. Olynyk is headed for unrestricted free agency, while Nunn will be a restricted free agent if he receives a $4.7MM qualifying offer.

Scotto offers a few more tidbits in advance of the March 25 trade deadline:

  • The Heat have also talked to the Spurs about veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who won’t play again until San Antonio can work out a deal. According to Scotto, Miami offered Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard to match salary and would be willing to include a minimum contract such as Chris Silva or KZ Okpala or possibly draft picks. The Spurs will have many suitors for Aldridge, and several league executives expect the Celtics to get involved with their $28.5MM trade exception, Scotto adds. Boston is about $19.9MM below the hard cap and would have to send at least $4.1MM in contracts to San Antonio in return.
  • Rockets guard Victor Oladipo may be the top player available before the deadline, a few executives tell Scotto. The Knicks and Heat are among the teams that are reportedly interested. Scotto adds that Christian Wood is the only player the rebuilding Rockets might consider untouchable.
  • Several teams have inquired about Timberwolves veterans Ed DavisRicky RubioJuan Hernangomez and Jake Layman. Minnesota would like to acquire a young forward such as the Hawks‘ John Collins or the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, Scotto notes, and has future first-rounders to offer starting in 2023.

Heat Notes: FA Signings, Offseason, Nunn, 2020 Finals Run

The free agent role player additions the Heat acquired this summer, Avery Bradley and Maurice Harkless, have underwhelmed in Miami thus far, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Bradley, signed to a two-year, $11.6MM deal (with a team option for year two), is averaging 8.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.4 APG and 0.7 SPG in just 10 games, and will now miss at least 3-4 weeks of action due to a right calf injury. Forward Harkless, signed to a one-year, $3.6MM contract, is out of the Heat’s rotation. He has appeared in just nine games for Miami, averaging a career-low 10.7 MPG.

There’s more out of South Beach:

Eight Heat Players Unavailable Due To COVID-19 Protocols

3:58pm: In addition to Bradley, the Heat will be without the following players for Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Reynolds (Twitter link): Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Maurice Harkless, Udonis Haslem, and KZ Okpala.

That would leave the team with nine available players, assuming everyone else is healthy. Meyers Leonard (shoulder) is currently listed as questionable, while Kelly Olynyk (groin) and Gabe Vincent (knee) are probable, Reynolds notes (via Twitter).


2:14pm: The Heat are preparing to be without “at least five” players for the next several days due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, reports Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

Miami didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available on Sunday due to an inconclusive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. As a result, the team’s scheduled game in Boston was postponed. Subsequently, the Heat spent Sunday and Monday awaiting the results of the NBA’s contact tracing investigation to find out which players may be required to self-isolate for the next week, says Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Heat are arranging for the players who need to self-isolate due to contact tracing to fly back to Miami on a private plane. The player who tested positive for COVID-19 will be sequestered in a hotel, while the rest of the team flies to Philadelphia in anticipation of playing vs. the Sixers.

Based on Winderman’s report, it sounds like the Heat expect to have enough players to resume their schedule on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, though we don’t know yet who will and won’t be available. Avery Bradley‘s absence due to the league’s health and safety protocols was the only one reported on Sunday — all signs point to Bradley being the player who tested positive for the coronavirus, Winderman notes, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Heat Notes: Harkless, Silva, Trades, Butler

New Heat forward Maurice Harkless was impressed by team president Pat Riley‘s recruitment process, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Heat added Harkless on a one-year, $3.6MM deal last month.

Harkless and his fellow new addition, guard Avery Bradley, will be expected to make up for the perimeter defense and three-point shooting of Jae Crowder, who left for the Suns in the offseason. In 62 games played for the Clippers and Knicks last season, Harkless averaged 5.8 PPG and 3.9 RPG across 23.0 MPG. He shot 34.7% from long range last season, and 50.2% from the field.

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • Heat reserve big man Chris Silva could be due to take a leap in his second season, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Silva knows one area in which he can improve: fouling. “The less fouls I have, the more of an option I am for coaches to put me back in, to actually have a choice to use me in different moments,” Silva said. “Of course, the foul trouble thing has been a big emphasis, from learning and watching film on how to play defense the right way, how to make reads on defense so I don’t get in foul trouble.”
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if the Heat should wait out the trade market before making any moves, as the asking price for Rockets superstar guard James Harden is currently fairly steep. There may be mutual interest in a Harden deal.
  • Fresh off a career-best postseason run that saw him lead Miami to its first Finals appearance since 2014, Heat All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler has remained vocal in team training camp, as  Winderman details for the Sun Sentinel.