Michael Carter-Williams

Celtics Trade Bol Bol, PJ Dozier To Magic

1:16pm: The deal is official, according to a press release from the Magic. As expected, the team has waived Moore and Carter-Williams.


1:00pm: The Magic will acquire the Celtics’ 2028 second-round pick (top-45 protected) in the deal, while Boston will get the Magic’s 2023 second-rounder (top-55 protected), reports Price (via Twitter).


12:12pm: The Magic will waive veteran guard E’Twaun Moore as part of the deal, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Orlando is also cutting Michael Carter-Williams, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Both players have been out all season due to injuries.

Brian Robb of MassLive.com confirms (via Twitter) that the second-round pick headed to Boston in the deal will be heavily protected and likely won’t convey.


11:34am: The Celtics have reached an agreement to trade injured players Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to the Magic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). It’s a cost-cutting move for the Celtics, who will dip below the luxury tax line as a result of the deal.

Boston is sending a second-round pick and cash to Orlando and will get a second-round pick in return, Wojnarowski reports. I’d expect the second-rounder headed to the Celtics to be heavily protected, but we’ll await further details.

Bol and Dozier were sent from Denver to Boston earlier this season in a three-team trade, but neither player was part of the Celtics’ short- or long-term plans. Bol underwent foot surgery that is expected to sideline him for most or all of the season, while Dozier is recovering from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL and won’t play until 2022/23.

Both players are on expiring deals, with Bol earning $2.2MM this season and Dozier making $1.9MM. Orlando will acquire both players using trade exceptions, while Boston will create a pair of new trade exceptions equivalent to their salaries.

The Celtics now have a pair of open roster spots and will remain out of tax territory even in the unlikely event that Jaylen Brown is named an All-Star replacement and earns a bonus. As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the C’s would’ve had a small tax bill of about $2MM if they hadn’t made a move, but they’re now in line to receive a potential eight-figure payout.

While Boston doesn’t have to make any more moves today, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) hears that there are still three or four teams in the mix for Dennis Schröder, with one source estimating there’s a 50/50 chance of a deal.

The Magic have a full 15-man roster, so they’ll have to make at least one more move in order to accommodate the incoming players.

Florida Notes: Chalmers, Knight, Bam, Lowry, Magic

Veteran point guard Mario Chalmers, fresh off a 10-day hardship exception contract with the Heat, has joined the club’s NBAGL affiliate club, the Sioux Fall Skyforce, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Chalmers will be able to sign his next NBA contract with any team. Winderman adds that veteran point guard Brandon Knight, who enjoyed a more active 10-day hardship exception stint while with the Mavericks, has also rejoined the Skyforce.

Chalmers, 35, did not appear in an actual game during his Heat return stint. He has not played in an NBA contest since appearing in 66 games during the 2017/18 season while on the Grizzlies. The 6’2″ vet served as the starting point guard for Miami’s two most recent championship teams, during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. In three games with Dallas, Knight, who went to high school in Fort Lauderdale, averaged 10.0 PPG on 45% field goal shooting, along with 2.7 APG and 2.3 RPG.

There’s more out of the Sunshine State:

  • Sixth Man of the Year candidate Tyler Herro could get fairly pricey should the Heat want to offer him a contract extension when he becomes eligible this summer, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson examines the impact a lucrative Herro deal would have on the club’s long-term payroll, and what it could mean for the team’s future tax payments. The 6’5″ reserve shooting guard, 22, is enjoying his best season as a pro during his third year with Miami, averaging a career-best 20.6 PPG and 4.1 APG, along with 4.9 RPG and 0.6 SPG. He boasts shooting splits of .428/.388/.870.
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo‘s teammates are excited for the big man to possibly make his return this week, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. The 6’9″ big man, an All-Star in 2020, continues to recuperate from a thumb injury and is on track to play on Monday vs. Toronto. He has played in just 18 games this year, having last suited up on November 29. Chiang adds that veteran starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who has played at a borderline All-Star level with his new team, is ready to face off against his last NBA club, the Raptors, for the first time since departing in a sign-and-trade deal this summer. Lowry, 35, was a six-time All-Star with Toronto.
  • Healthy young Magic players were encouraged by the recent bench presence of several injured teammates, who traveled with the club during a recent 1-2 three-game road stint, writes Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. “Once we get everybody healthy, we’re going to build something special over here,” second-year point guard Cole Anthony noted, a somewhat optimistic projection for the team with the worst record in the NBA (8-36). Pricey power forward Jonathan Isaac, who has been out with a torn ACL since August 2020, traveled with the team for the first time since his injury. The 24-year-old recently took part in a team shootaround, along with injured guards Markelle Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams and E’Twaun Moore, but has yet to take contact. Rookie guard Jalen Suggs, the fifth pick in the 2021 draft, was available for two games during the road swing, his first contests with the club since being sidelined by a thumb fracture on November 29.

Magic’s Isaac, Fultz Won’t Be Ready For Opening Night

Young Magic cornerstones Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, who are both coming off ACL tears, won’t be ready to play in the team’s regular season opener next month, sources tell Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

As Robbins explains, the Magic’s organizational policy is to avoid setting specific timelines or return dates for players who are recovering from injuries. However, Robbins has heard that the team will exercise significant caution with both Isaac and Fultz. The front office views getting the two players back into games and getting them through the 2021/22 season without any new health issues as two of its top organizational priorities, Robbins adds.

“Both of those guys have been, as you would expect if you cover our team, relentless in their approach,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said of Isaac and Fultz. “They’ve been working daily grinding. They both look really good. I will not elaborate on timelines. To me as a layman, this is where I just don’t want any setbacks. … But right now, they continue to progress through their rehab right on course and they’re making progress.”

As Robbins observes, Isaac is about 14 months removed from his ACL injury, while Fultz underwent surgery on his ACL only about nine months ago, so the forward may be on track to return a little sooner than the former No. 1 overall pick.

The Magic will also be missing veteran guard Michael Carter-Williams to start the regular season, putting point guard duties in the hands of youngsters Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony.

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Isaac confirmed on Monday that he has yet to take the COVID-19 vaccine, but suggested that a recent Rolling Stone report misrepresented his views. “I am not anti-vax,” Isaac told reporters, including Robbins. “I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences. … But with that being said, it is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice, and completely up to them without bullying, without being pressured, without being forced into doing so. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m uncomfortable with taking the vaccine at this time.”
  • Suggs and fellow lottery pick Franz Wagner are both candidates to begin the season in the Magic’s starting lineups, but new head coach Jamahl Mosley isn’t prepared to speculate about the makeup of his starting five quite yet, according to Robbins. “I think it’s a little early to tell which way we’re going to go with lineups and the roster and rotations,” Mosley said on Monday. “We want to get that first part of training camp started just so we can see what the different combinations look like.”
  • Chuma Okeke won’t be participating in full-contact drills at the start of training camp, since he recently sustained a right hip bruise during a voluntary workout, per Weltman (via Robbins).
  • The Magic are expected to have “thorough” discussions with Wendell Carter Jr.‘s reps about a possible rookie scale extension before opening night, says Robbins. “I would love to be here for a long time,” Carter said. “I love Orlando. I love the city. I love my teammates. I love the people here, the weather, everything. So I would love to be here, but right now, I’m just focused on training camp.”

Michael Carter-Williams Has Ankle Surgery, Will Miss Start Of Season

Michael Carter-Williams underwent surgery on his left ankle Monday and won’t be available for the beginning of the 2021/22 season, the Magic announced today (via Twitter).

Doctors removed a bone fragment and repaired a ligament in the ankle, according to president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman. No timetable has been set for the veteran guard to return, with the team stating that it will depend how the ankle responds to treatment and rehabilitation.

Carter-Williams, 29, averaged 8.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists last season, starting 25 of the 31 games he played. He missed the first half of the season with an injured foot, then took over as a starter in mid-February when both Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony were sidelined by injuries.

Carter-Williams, who joined the Magic as a free agent in March of 2019, re-signed with the team last November on a two-year, $6MM contract. His $3.3MM salary for the upcoming season is fully guaranteed.

Magic Notes: MCW, Ennis, Fultz, Coach Search

Veteran Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams provided helpful on-court production and off-court leadership during the first season of his two-year, $6MM deal with the club, writes Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel.

After missing the first half of the year due to a foot injury, Carter-Williams stepped in as the starting point guard on February 12 with Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony both injured for much of the season. He started in 25 of his 31 games for the club, averaging 8.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 4.2 APG.

Carter-Williams’ 2021/22 salary is guaranteed, though it remains to be seen what sort of role he’ll have with a team that has shifted into rebuilding mode.

There’s more out of Orlando:

  • Veteran Magic wing James Ennis helped supply 3-and-D contributions when healthy during a difficult 2020/21 season in Orlando, per Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. Ennis is a free agent, having signed a one-year, $3.3MM contract with Orlando in the offseason after the team traded for him while he was finishing up his prior contract with the Sixers in February 2020. Various injuries (most persistently, a calf ailment) limited Ennis to just 41 total games (37 starts) with the Magic, averaging 8.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG and 0.8 BPG. He boasted a solid shooting line of .473/.433/.805. Parry notes that the Magic currently do not have a small forward signed for the 2021/22 season, and may look to the 30-year-old Ennis to fulfill that position in the immediate future.
  • Magic point guard Markelle Fultz was frustrated by yet another injury-abbreviated season, the final under his rookie-scale contract, reports Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. Fultz, who underwent surgery for a torn ACL in January, signed a three-year, $50MM extension with Orlando in the 2020 offseason. He helped power the team to a 5-2 start to kick off the 2020/21 season before suffering his injury. A solid finisher and defender, Fultz has yet to develop his outside shooting. Parry notes that rookies Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton could compete for the long-term starting point guard position in the years ahead, and cautions that an exact timeline for Fultz’s anticipated return next season remains unclear. A standard 12-month ACL recovery would push Fultz’s return to January 2022.
  • The Magic’s newly-opened head coaching job should appeal to candidates eager to develop young players, writes Josh Cohen of Magic.com. The Magic have an intriguing core of under-24 youth, and will add to that tally in a hurry, with possibly two lottery selections and one early first-rounder (the No. 33 selection) in next month’s draft. “This job has tremendous growth potential, which is very attractive,” team president Jeff Weltman said. “It has organizational strength and ownership behind it. We are moving into a new practice facility next year. There are a lot of good things happening here. Most importantly, we have a lot of bright young talented players.”

Injury Notes: Ingram, Vucevic, LeBron, Magic

An MRI has revealed that Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram suffered a left low-ankle sprain during the team’s 108-103 victory over the Warriors on Tuesday, the team has announced via Twitter. Ingram is set to miss Friday night’s contest against the Sixers and is considered day-to-day with the injury beyond that.

Losing Ingram, the club’s second-leading scorer behind All-Star forward Zion Williamson, could be a major blow for New Orleans as the team strives to qualify for the play-in tournament in a crowded Western Conference field. With a 30-36 record, the Pelicans currently sit just two games behind the Spurs for a shot at the play-in tournament in the West this season.

There’s more injury news from around the league:

  • Bulls All-Star center Nikola Vučević (adductor) was able to fully participate in a team practice today, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Head coach Billy Donovan commented that the sharp-shooting big man, who has missed the club’s last two games, “looked fine.”
  • Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James will miss at least the next two games and potentially more as he grapples with fresh, sharp pain in his sprained ankle, Dave McMenamin told Rachel Nichols and Richard Jefferson on ESPN’s The Jump (Twitter video link). A source informed McMenamin that James is “focusing on the big picture” right now. “Does ‘big picture’ mean two more games missed? I’m not so sure,” McMenamin said. “He is clearly prioritizing using every bit of time he can to… get back for the playoffs.”
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford has indicated that five injured players could miss the rest of the 2020/21 NBA season, tweets Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams and power forward Chuma Okeke are both sidelined with ankle sprains. Wing James Ennis is unavailable with a sore calf. Injury-prone forward Otto Porter Jr., who has played in just 28 games this season for the Magic and Bulls, is struggling with foot pain. Swingman Terrence Ross has been felled by back spasms. “I don’t even know what the time frame [is],” Clifford conceded. “If you look at the schedule now, it’s seven games, I think it’d be 12 days, and I’m not sure even if any of those guys are that close, to be honest with you.”

Cole Anthony Set To Return For Magic

Magic point guard Cole Anthony will return to action on Wednesday after missing nearly two months, the team announced today (Twitter link). Anthony had been sidelined since February 9 due to a fractured rib.

Anthony, the son of former NBA player and current broadcaster Greg Anthony, was drafted out of University of North Carolina by the Magic with the 15th overall pick last fall.

On the season, the rookie has appeared in 25 games, averaging 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest. He hit a game-winning buzzer beater to beat the Timberwolves on January 20.

Khem Birch (illness) and Michael Carter-Williams (illness) will also return tonight after multiple missing multiple games, per Orlando’s announcement.

The Magic are currently 17-33 and hold the 14th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Southeast Notes: Haslem, Brooks, Carter-Williams, Snell

Udonis Haslem – who is in his 18th NBA season, all with the Heat – has not played a single minute this season. And while the 41-year-old would welcome the chance to see some action, he has embraced his increasingly off-court role within the organization, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I’m always ready,” Haslem said. “And that’s my job, is to stay ready so I don’t got to get ready. And I’m always ready if Spo (head coach Erik Spoelstra) needs to put me out there and contribute to winning basketball games. But I understand that the bigger impact that I have is off the basketball court, before the clock starts.”

Last season, Haslem only played in four regular-season games, but he helped the Heat make their sixth NBA Finals appearance since 2005. The role on the team he plays is deeper than actually going out there to set screens and rebound the basketball, according to Spoelstra, who says the big man is “moving mountains with his leadership.” However, the Heat coach said the team would have no qualms about using Haslem on the court if needed.

“I always have the ultimate confidence in UD,” Spoelstra said. “And he and I have been through so many pressure-packed moments that I feel I can throw him in at any time, even in the fourth quarter if he hadn’t played before that.”

More from the Southeast Division:

  • After some uncertainty, presumably related to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks received clearance to coach Thursday’s game against the Grizzlies, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported (Twitter link). Brooks and the Wizards got off to a slow start but are creeping up in the standings (two games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference). 
  • Magic point guard Michael Carter-Williams spoke to Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com about feeling as if his NBA career was in jeopardy during the 2018/19 season, just a few years removed from winning Rookie of the Year. “I didn’t know where my future was gonna go,” said Carter-Williams, who has rejuvenated his career in Orlando. “I kept thinking, ‘Am I gonna go the G League route? Am I gonna go overseas? Do I even want to play at all anymore?’ There was a lot of things that went through my head at the time.”
  • Veteran wing Tony Snell looked like a salary throw-in when the Hawks acquired him from Detroit in the offseason, but he has played a meaningful role for the team, as Chris Kirschner of The Athletic details. The 29-year-old, a free agent at season’s end, is knocking down a scorching 56.9% of his three-point attempts, including a last-second, game-winning buzzer beater on Thursday. Atlanta has now won its first three games since Nate McMillan took over as head coach for Lloyd Pierce.

MCW, Ross Fined $15K After Arguing With Refs

The NBA has fined Magic guards Michael Carter-Williams and Terrence Ross $15K apiece after altercations with referees in their 115-112 Wednesday home loss to the Hawks, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter) shared an official NBA press statement on the penalties. The league listed the charges as “verbal abuse of game officials and failing to leave the court in a timely manner.”

Ross, who scored 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting in the loss, and Carter-Williams, who logged 20 points, six assists and six rebounds, were upset about two late-game referee decisions. Carter-Williams was irked over a foul call that went against him while defending a Trae Young layup attempt with 18 seconds left in regulation.

Carter-Williams was called for hitting Young in the head. Magic head coach Steve Clifford debated the foul in postgame remarks (video link), saying in part, “In my opinion that’s not a foul, particularly at that point in the game. I’ll tell you with 100% certainty there was no contact to the head.” 

On the other end of the floor, Ross was upset over not receiving a foul call in his favor while being guarded by Solomon Hill with eight seconds remaining in regulation.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Carter-Williams, Collins, Heat

The Hawks could benefit from addressing a problem related to accountability, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes. Atlanta has opened the season with a 11-15 record, albeit with various injuries, but Kirschner contends the team’s underwhelming start shouldn’t just be attributed to that.

“We just really have to find a way to win,” Trae Young said. “It’s hard as hell to win in this league. We’re not fine with excuses with guys being out. We still have to find a way to dig in and make some shots and get some stops and find a way to win. That’s pretty much the bottom of the line.”

Atlanta has upcoming road games against New York on Monday, along with Boston on Wednesday and Friday. The team will then return home on Sunday to host the Nuggets. The Hawks currently hold the 10th-best record in the Eastern Conference.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Michael Carter-Williams provided the Magic with a boost at point guard in Friday’s victory over Sacramento, Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Despite missing the previous 19 games due to injury, Carter-Williams finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 27 minutes of work. “I’m always ready to go play the point. I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Carter-Williams said. “Coach has me do it in practice sometimes. I’m always staying sharp in that area for moments like this, so we can go out there and not skip a beat and still be successful.”
  • Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel examines whether the Heat should go all-in for Hawks star John Collins. Miami has struggled offensively and could benefit from acquiring a starting power forward this season, though Collins would certainly come with a somewhat-hefty price tag. The 23-year-old has averaged 18.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 31.8 minutes per game in 26 contests, starting over free-agent acquisition Danilo Gallinari.
  • Winderman examines in a separate story how the Heat’s flexibility is being limited by roster constraints. Miami has dealt with a series of injuries and COVID-19 issues this season, often leaving the team short-handed or leading to inconsistency during games.