- The Grizzlies had a quiet trade deadline, forgoing any trades in favor of re-signing Toney Douglas to a two-year deal. That’s fine with head coach David Fizdale, who told Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link) before the signing was official that locking up Douglas “is like a trade.”
Douglas’ second 10-day contract expired over All-Star weekend and it was expected that, barring a major trade, he would return to Memphis. Memphis didn’t swing a deal today, so it shifted its focus back on Douglas.
Having already signed him to two 10-day deals, the team needed to sign him through at least the remainder of the season. The point guard saw regular minutes in Memphis over the last few weeks. He averaged 5.3 points and 2.2 assists in 16.8 minutes per games during 13 contests with the Grizz this season.
Assuming the deal is a minimum salary arrangement, Douglas will make slightly under $350K for the remainder of the season. He’ll make approximately $1.36MM next season should the team pick up his option.
The Celtics remain hopeful of acquiring either Jimmy Butler or Paul George before the trade deadline but it’s more likely they’ll hold onto their main assets, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports.
One sticking point is that GM Danny Ainge is reluctant to part with the first-round pick the Net owe them this summer via a swap of positions, Bulpett continues. An agent with connections to the potential deal between the Bulls and Boston informed Bulpett that Ainge’s unwillingness to deal the pick scuttled preliminary discussions. The Pacers would likely want that same pick as part of any deal involving George, Bulpett speculates.
Unless a blockbuster deal is worked out that would give them a serious chance of supplanting the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics have no real incentive to move their most prized assets, the thinking goes in the Boston front office. According to another league executive, teams have offered solid veterans to Boston but Ainge only wants to a “real star” for those assets, Bulpett writes in a separate column.
Other nuggets involving the Celtics possible moves:
- Andrew Bogut, whom the Mavs agreed to trade to the Sixers today, could be re-routed to the Celtics, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. However, ESPN’s Chris Haynes tweets that Philadelphia is expected to engage in buyout talks with the veteran center.
- Ainge wants to remain a player in this summer’s free agent market unless he can obtain a franchise cornerstone today or via the draft, according to Bulpett. If the Celtics end up holding onto the Nets pick, Washington freshman Markelle Fultz could be the player they’re coveting.
- A lesser trade involving a forward such as the Grizzlies’ JaMychal Green or Suns’ P.J. Tucker remains a possibility, Bulpett adds.
Here are Wednesday’s D-League assignments and recalls:
- The Grizzlies have assigned Wade Baldwin and Jarell Martin to the team’s D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, according to a team’s website.
- The Mavericks have recalled A.J. Hammons from the Texas Legends, according to a team press release.
- The Jazz have assigned Joel Bolomboy to the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the team’s website.
- The Suns have assigned Derrick Jones to their D-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, per the team’s Twitter feed.
- The Spurs have assigned Bryn Forbes to the Austin Spurs, according to the team’s website.
- Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee have been assigned to the Westchester Knicks, per New York’s Twitter feed.
In the days leading up to the February 23 trade deadline, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. We’ll be identifying each team as a buyer, seller, or something in between, and discussing which teams and players are most likely to be involved in deals this month. We’ve already covered the Atlantic, Northwest, Southeast, Pacific, and Central. Today, we’re examining the Southwest.
The Spurs (43-13) lead the way among the Southwest’s group of buyers, but R.C. Buford typically isn’t all that active around the deadline. Even though San Antonio has been a perennial title contender in recent years, the team’s only in-season trade since 2013 came three years ago, when the Spurs sent Nando De Colo to Toronto in exchange for Austin Daye. It wasn’t exactly a franchise-altering move. While it’s possible the Spurs do something small at this year’s deadline, there’s a strong chance they’ll simply stand pat.
The Rockets (40-18) have also expressed reluctance to make major changes and upset team chemistry, but Daryl Morey is always exploring potential upgrades, and has a long history of making deadline deals. Houston technically didn’t make a move at the deadline a year ago, trading for Josh Smith in January rather than February. But before 2016, Morey had made at least one deadline deal every year since taking over as the club’s GM in 2007. This year, the club has been linked to veterans like Wilson Chandler, and reportedly has some interest in adding a ball-handler.
It may be a quiet deadline for the Grizzlies (34-24), who had been on the lookout for a backup point guard and an athletic big man. Toney Douglas has been solid in the backcourt since rejoining the club, and Brandan Wright has been effective in the frontcourt since getting healthy, so those needs may not be quite as pressing now. Memphis has already traded away its 2017 and 2019 first-round picks, which doesn’t leave a lot of ammo for the club to go after a legitimate impact player this week.
Speaking of legitimate impact players, the Pelicans (23-34) already made their big move this week, swinging a deal with Sacramento for All-NBA center DeMarcus Cousins. That trade signaled that New Orleans is a strong buyer this month, despite being 11 games below .500, and the club may not be done yet. Having sent out three guards in the Cousins swap, the Pelicans are in the market for backcourt help, and have reportedly Terrence Jones available as they search for deals.
The Kings are in position to be players at the trade deadline, but first they must decide which direction they want to pursue, writes James Ham of CSNBayArea. Sacramento entered tonight just a game and a half out of a playoff spot, but a 24-32 record suggests a lot of improvement is still needed. The Kings can’t offer a draft pick before 2021, but they have several expiring contracts to deal, including Ty Lawson, Darren Collison and Omri Casspi. Kosta Koufos has been the subject of trade rumors, and Olympics star Bogdan Bogdanovic, currently playing in Turkey, could be a valuable trade chip.
There’s more tonight from the Western Conference:
- Veteran forward Anthony Tolliver is hoping his stay in Sacramento won’t get cut short, relays Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. A rash of injuries has created more playing time for the 31-year-old, and he has responded by shooting a career-best 45% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. Tolliver signed a two-year, $16MM deal over the summer, but only $2MM of his $8MM salary for next season is guaranteed before June 1st. That might make him attractive on the trade market for a team looking to cut salary, or the Kings could decide to save money by not bringing him back next season.
- Thunder backup center Enes Kanter had the cast removed from his fractured right forearm, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Kanter had surgery January 27th and is scheduled to be re-evaluated February 24th. His recovery time was originally projected at four to eight weeks. Kanter says he knows when he should be able to play again, but doesn’t want to release it publicly, fearing it might put pressure on him or the organization to hit the target date.
- Bobby Marks of The Vertical examines trade possibilities for the Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder as next week’s deadline approaches. All three teams have dealt with major injuries this season.
After a quiet Tuesday in terms of D-League moves, we have a few assignments and recalls to pass along for Wednesday. Here’s the latest:
- The Raptors have recalled Bruno Caboclo from Raptors 905, the team announced in a tweet. The third-year forward has played just eight NBA games this season.
- The Grizzlies have recalled guard Wade Baldwin, center Deyonta Davis and forward Jarell Martin from their affiliate in Iowa.
- The Heat are sending Okaro White to their Sioux Falls affiliate so he will be eligible for the D-League All-Star Game, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.
- The Pelicans have recalled rookie forward Cheick Diallo from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. Diallo had been playing for Charlotte’s D-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, since New Orleans doesn’t have an affiliate of its own. He averaged 17. 0 PPG and 11.3 RPG in six games with the Swarm.
- Rookies Chinanu Onuaku and Kyle Wiltjer have been recalled from the D-League by the Rockets, according to the team (Twitter link). The duo helped lead the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a dramatic win on Tuesday, totaling 55 points and 16 rebounds between them.
- The Pacers have recalled Rakeem Christmas from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team announced today in a press release. The D-League’s All-Star break is now underway, which is why Christmas and others are being recalled to their NBA teams today.
The Knicks have been one of the NBA’s most dysfunctional teams this season. On the court, the team has gone just 23-33, with $72MM man Joakim Noah failing to make a significant impact, and Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson not always on the same page when it came to the use of the triangle. Off the court, things have been even worse, with Jackson criticizing star forward Carmelo Anthony, and owner James Dolan at odds with former Knicks star Charles Oakley.
On the west coast, the Lakers haven’t been much better, racking up a 19-38 record, good for the No. 14 seed in the West. The team hasn’t made as many off-court headlines, but the structure of the front office is currently up in the air, with new advisor Magic Johnson publicly declaring that he wants to be the one calling the shots on roster decisions.
Despite the problems in New York and Los Angeles, the Knicks and Lakers remain the NBA’s two most valuable franchises, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Knicks and Lakers are the only teams valued at more than $3 billion by Forbes.
Team valuations are up around the league, with the Warriors leading the way among this year’s increases — according to Forbes, the Dubs are 37% more valuable that they were at this time in 2016. In total, 18 teams have a valuation exceeding $1 billion, which is up from 13 teams last year and just three teams in 2015. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion, according to the report.
Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:
- New York Knicks: $3.3 billion
- Los Angeles Lakers: $3 billion
- Golden State Warriors: $2.6 billion
- Chicago Bulls: $2.5 billion
- Boston Celtics: $2.2 billion
- Los Angeles Clippers; $2 billion
- Brooklyn Nets: $1.8 billion
- Houston Rockets: $1.65 billion
- Dallas Mavericks: $1.45 billion
- Miami Heat: $1.35 billion
- Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.2 billion
- San Antonio Spurs: $1.175 billion
- Toronto Raptors: $1.125 billion
- Phoenix Suns: $1.1 billion
- Sacramento Kings: $1.075 billion
- Portland Trail Blazers: $1.05 billion
- Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.025 billion
- Washington Wizards: $1 billion
- Orlando Magic: $920MM
- Utah Jazz: $910MM
- Detroit Pistons: $900MM
- Denver Nuggets: $890MM
- Atlanta Hawks: $885MM
- Indiana Pacers: $880MM
- Philadelphia 76ers: $800MM
- Memphis Grizzlies: $790MM
- Milwaukee Bucks: $785MM
- Charlotte Hornets: $780MM
- Minnesota Timberwolves: $770MM
- New Orleans Pelicans: $750MM
For comparison’s sake, Forbes’ 2016 valuations can be found right here.
Toney Douglas‘ second 10-day contract with the Grizzlies is set to expire this weekend during the NBA’s All-Star break, so the team won’t have to make an immediate decision on whether or not to retain him. Nonetheless, all indications suggest that – barring a trade – Memphis intends to sign Douglas for the rest of the season when his current deal expires, according to Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com.
Many 10-day signees don’t see much playing time for their respective teams, but Douglas has been a regular part of the Grizzlies’ rotation since rejoining the club at the end of January. The veteran point guard, who turns 31 next month, has averaged 5.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 2.2 APG in 13 games (16.8 MPG) this season, which includes a December stint with the team. Although Douglas’ numbers, including a career-worst .359 FG%, aren’t overly impressive, Memphis has played very well with him in the lineup — the club has a 11-2 record when Douglas sees the floor.
As Wallace notes, a few weeks ago, the Grizzlies were in need of a reliable backup point guard and an athletic rim protector off the bench. If Memphis were to make a deadline deal, it would likely to be address one of those two areas, but the team likes what it has seen recently from Douglas and Brandan Wright. If the club decides it’s comfortable moving forward with Douglas and Wright filling those roles, it will likely be a quiet trade deadline in Memphis.
Douglas, whose 10-day deals have cost the Grizzlies just under $58K apiece, would count for approximately $350K on a rest-of-season contract, depending on when he officially signs it.
The Grizzlies have re-signed Toney Douglas to a second 10-day contract after his original 10-day deal with the club expired last night, the team announced today in a press release. The new agreement will keep Douglas locked up through February 18.
After appearing in six games for the Grizzlies earlier this season, Douglas was cut in mid-December as the team started getting a little healthier. Memphis opted to bring back the veteran point guard in late January on a 10-day deal — since then, he has appeared in five more games for the team, including last night’s win over Phoenix, in which he scored 11 points in 25 minutes.
While Douglas’ overall numbers this season for the Grizzlies (5.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, .377 FG%) are modest, the club has played well when he has been in the lineup. In Douglas’ 11 games, the Grizzlies are 10-1, with the lone loss coming on the road in Cleveland in December.
Like Douglas’ previous 10-day contract, his new deal will count for $57,672 toward Memphis’ cap, though the FSU product will earn a salary worth a little more than $77K. When that contract expires, the Grizzlies will either have to let Douglas return to the free agent market or sign him to a rest-of-season contract, since teams can’t sign players to three 10-day contracts in the same year.