Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Southeast Notes: Carter-Williams, Hornets, McRae

A familiarity with Magic coach Steve Clifford and his staff made signing with Orlando an easy decision for Michael Carter-Williams, relays Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. Carter-Williams, who played for Clifford last season with the Hornets, inked a 10-day deal with the Magic yesterday to provide point guard depth after the loss of Isaiah Briscoe.

“Knowing the coaches and having a relationship with them makes it definitely easy for me to fit in, just to come in right away and already know some of the plays and defensive schemes and be ready to go,” Carter-Williams said.

He had been out of the NBA since being waived by the Bulls on January 7, shortly after being acquired in a trade with the Rockets. He is thrilled to get another shot at the NBA after averaging just 9.1 minutes in 16 games with Houston.

“Orlando was one of my places that I actually wanted to go,” Carter-Williams added. “I felt like it was a good spot for me. I felt like I could come in right away and help. And then having Coach Cliff, I know the system already, so when they called it was kind of a no-brainer.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets fan may have to wait another year before management can drastically remake the team, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bismack Biyombo ($17MM), Marvin Williams ($15MM) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($13MM) all have player options they are expected to exercise this summer. Bonnell expects the team to keep all three for another year rather than trying to seek trades, which would involve giving up other assets.
  • The Hornets will take another look at whether to use a $7,819,725 trade exception in early July, Bonnell adds in the same piece. The exception expires on July 6, and the team will likely know the fate of free agents Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb by then. If both decide to leave Charlotte, the trade exception could be an easy path for the team to acquire a veteran replacement.
  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters before tonight’s game that Jordan McRae could be spending a lot of time with the team through the end of the season, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. McRae is on a two-way contract, but his 45-day NBA limit won’t matter once the G League season ends on March 23.

Marc Gasol Talks Between Hornets, Grizzlies Not Dead

The trade discussions involving Marc Gasol between the Hornets and Grizzlies aren’t completely dead yet, sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). We heard on Tuesday night that Charlotte and Memphis were becoming skeptical that they’d get something done, but according to Fischer, the two teams remain hopeful of completing a deal.

While Gasol doesn’t really have a say in his destination, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer hears from a source close to the veteran center that he expects to ultimately end up with the Hornets (Twitter link).

With talks between the two teams apparently heating up on Tuesday, the Grizzlies held Gasol out of their game against Minnesota. According to Fischer (via Twitter), some people involved in the process believe Memphis may have forfeited some leverage by prematurely sitting Gasol while the Hornets played all their veterans.

There are a number of different player combinations the Hornets could use to match Gasol’s $24MM+ salary, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported today that the Charlotte’s offer would likely include Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick.

According to O’Connor, a difference in opinion over the protections on that first-rounder was the main hold-up, though Fischer suggests that the two sides may also not have agreed on the contracts required for salary-matching purposes. Memphis’ proximity to the luxury tax line could also be an issue — assuming the Grizzlies take on Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist, they’d likely want to attach at least one more player to Gasol to avoid going into tax territory.

The Grizzlies have less than 24 hours to determine whether they’ll move Gasol and/or Mike Conley before this season’s trade deadline. What Memphis does with those two players could have a ripple effect on the rest of the roster, with veterans like JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple, and Justin Holiday also believed to be on the trade block.

Hornets, Grizzlies Skeptical Over Completing Gasol Trade

FEBRUARY 6, 9:54am: The trade the Grizzlies and Hornets have discussed would see Gasol head to Charlotte in exchange for Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. However, the two sides haven’t been able to agree on the protections for the draft pick, according to O’Connor, who confirms that the impasse might be enough to derail the deal entirely.

FEBRUARY 5, 11:06pm: There is “increasing skepticism” that a trade sending Gasol to the Hornets will happen, sources tell Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Deveney notes that a deal has “not progressed” despite Charlotte’s interest in the veteran center.

9:25pm: While the Hornets and Grizzlies have discussed Gasol, no trade has been agreed upon yet, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. Gasol joined his Memphis teammates on the bench for tonight’s game against Minnesota.

5:01pm: The Grizzlies are in “strong talks” to send veteran center Marc Gasol to the Hornets, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). As both sides negotiate the framework of the deal, including Gasol’s $24.1MM salary, the Grizzlies will sit the big man tonight against the Timberwolves, Charania adds.

Gasol, along with longtime Memphis teammate Mike Conley, has been at the forefront of trade rumors since the team put both players on the trade block last month. We relayed earlier today that the Raptors reportedly expressed interest in both Gasol and Conley. The Kings and Pistons have previously expressed interest in Conley.

The 34-year-old has spent his entire 11-year career with the Grizzlies, making three All-Star teams. While injuries have slowed the Spaniard in recent years, he’s still an above average contributor, averaging 15.7 PPG and 8.6 RPG in 53 games this season.

Per Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link), Hornets owner Michael Jordan wants the team to make the playoffs. Therefore, he has let teams know that the team intends to be a buyer approaching Thursday’s trade deadline. At 26-26, Charlotte is currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Nets by half a game.

Southeast Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Hornets, Satoransky, Waiters

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will likely exercise his $13MM player option this summer rather than testing the free agent market, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer opines in his latest mailbag. Kidd-Gilchrist has been moved to a reserve role this season and has an injury history, Bonnell notes. He’s also well-liked in the organization, Bonnell adds. Marvin Williams ($15MM) and Bismack Biyombo ($17MM) also have player options this summer.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have an open roster spot but Bonnell says there’s no rush to fill it. GM Mitch Kupchak likes the flexibility of having 14 players on the regular roster and it hasn’t been an issue from an injury standpoint through the first 30 games, Bonnell continues.  The opportunity to make a two-for-one deal means they probably won’t fill that spot with a free agent in the coming weeks, Bonnell adds.
  • The trade with the Suns for forward Trevor Ariza forced Tomas Satoransky out of the lineup but he now has a more defined role with the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington points out. Satoransky has become the team’s primary backup guard, guaranteeing him steady minutes. Satoransky played 48 minutes in a triple-overtime thriller against Phoenix on Saturday and 20 minutes in a loss to Indiana on Sunday. The Wizards traded Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers for Ariza. “I think definitely it changes the dynamic of the game,” Satoransky told Hughes. “Those two were our first scorers off the bench, so now we have to adjust. Obviously, there is some bigger responsibility that I will have.”
  • Heat guard Dion Waiters has returned to practice but his surgically-repaired left ankle still causes him discomfort, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Waiters, who is signed through the 2020/21 campaign, hasn’t played this season but says he’s ready for action, though the ankle still feels “funny” at times. “Probably a couple of weeks, probably a couple of months,” he said of when he’d be 100%. “It’s how your body adjusts to it. As long as I continue to get treatment every day, take care of my body, and make sure I’m doing the little things, I feel like it’d be OK.”

Eastern Notes: Boylan, Hornets, Saric, Yabusele

Former Cavaliers assistant coach Jim Boylan has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against the franchise, which the team has labelled “frivolous” and a “shameless cash grab,” according to an Associated Press report. Boylan, 63, worked five seasons under former coaches David Blatt and Tyronn Lue but did not have his option picked up this summer. Boylan contends GM Koby Altman told him owner Dan Gilbert wanted a younger coach.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets have used a committee approach at the center spot and that position is likely to remain in flux, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. Starter Cody Zeller, Willy Hernangomez, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminsky and Bismack Biyombo have all taken turns in the middle but first-year coach James Borrego isn’t worried. “We’re still searching (but) I like the dilemma I have,” he told Bonnell.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is allowing forward Dario Saric to work through his shooting slump, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Saric has scored in single digits in each of the last three games while shooting 2-for-13 from long range. Brown has no plans to reduce Saric’s workload. “If he came to me and said, ‘I need some time,’ I would listen,” Brown said. “But I don’t feel like I’m force-feeding anything, I do not feel like I’m hurting him. In fact, I feel like I’m helping him.”
  • Guerschon Yabusele’s option was picked up for next season because his game fits the modern NBA, according to coach Brad Stevens, and the Celtics believe the 22-year-old has high upside, the team’s PR department tweets. Boston’s brass decided to retain Yabusele despite a cap hit of $3,117,240, a figure that could grow if Boston pays the luxury tax. The 6’8” Yabusele has played just 18 minutes this season after seeing action in 33 games in his rookie campaign. But with several players hitting the free agent market next summer, the Celtics felt Yabusele was too valuable to give up, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald notes. “Having Guerschon gives us continuity. He knows our system,” GM Danny Ainge said. “He’s loved by everybody. It’s just not easy to find that type of player.”

Southeast Notes: McGruder, Butler, Kidd-Gilchrist, Ressler

Heat guard Rodney McGruder is boosting his chances for a contract extension with his productive start to the new season, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Through four games, McGruder is putting up numbers that dwarf his career averages, posting 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per night. After missing all but 18 games last season with a leg injury, McGruder is making the most of his newly won spot in the starting lineup.

The 27-year-old is eligible for an extension that could pay him up to $47MM over four seasons. McGruder and the Heat can negotiate an extension through June 30, so there’s no rush to get a deal done. Miami could also opt to make him a restricted free agent by making a $1.9MM qualifying offer.

The Heat’s salary structure could be the main thing standing in the way of a McGruder extension, Winderman notes. If Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Goran Dragic all opt in, the team will have eight players earning at least $10MM next season. A long-term deal for McGruder would also cut into Miami’s cap room for 2020, when the organization hopes to be competitive in the free agent market with those three contracts off the books.

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • Jimmy Butler‘s greatest value to the Heat could be to entice another star to join the team in 2020, Winderman suggests in a separate piece. Even if the organization gives Butler the maximum contract he wants, it would have enough to offer a max deal in free agency.
  • Even though he’s no longer a starter, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is enjoying the changes implemented by new Hornets coach James Borrego, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Kidd-Gilchrist also had his minutes reduced and was moved from small forward to power forward, but he’s thriving in the new system. “A new coach, a new way of playing, a new lifestyle,” he said. “It is easy and simple. It’s me running in transition. All my teammates helped me from Day One about not starting, saying, ‘It’s OK.’”
  • Hawks owner Tony Ressler tells Jeff Schultz of The Athletic that he takes the blame for the team’s recent collapse and describes his former management team of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox as “total dysfunction.” They frequently disagreed on personnel moves, with Budenholzer, who also served as coach, being focused on a win-now approach. “Bud was not the right coach for us,” Ressler said. “He was desperate to coach a superstar. I don’t know where Bud’s head was; you’ll have to ask him. But I do think when some people have a very short life as the decision-maker, and they no longer have it, sometimes they miss it.”

Southeast Notes: MKG, Bamba, Whiteside, Bridges

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is in the NBA’s concussion protocol and will not play in the team’s preseason game on Tuesday, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. This is at least the second time in his career that Kidd-Gilchrist has suffered a concussion. He endured one during his rookie season in 2013. When Kidd-Gilchrist returns, his role will change, Bonnell notes. New coach James Borrego will play him primarily at power forward and he’ll likely be on the second unit.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic’s Steve Clifford has been impressed by how rookie big man Mohamed Bamba has picked up the coach’s schematic concepts, John Denton of the team’s website reports. Bamba, the No. 6 overall pick, made his preseason debut on Monday. “He said, `I’m watching this game and all I’m looking at are what their coverages are like and what they’re running for offense,’” Clifford told Denton. “People can get excited about (Bamba’s) length and that shows his physical talent, but he’s a smart guy. And I do think he has a real affection for the game.”
  • Heat center Hassan Whiteside will struggle to get enough playing time regardless of how well he plays, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines in his latest mailbag. If Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo receive rotation minutes, Whiteside will have to make do with fewer minutes than he’s played in the past. When  James Johnson returns from a sports hernia that has limited him to non-contact drills in practice, getting Whiteside adequate playing time will be even more difficult, Winderman adds.
  • Rookie Miles Bridges has played all three frontcourt positions during the team’s two preseason games, Bonnell notes in a separate story. He is averaging 16.5 PPG while shooting 59% from the field. “He picks things up quicker than I anticipated,” Borrego said. “His feel for the NBA game is much higher than I thought. He’s starting to figure out rhythm, screening action, terminology.”

Southeast Notes: Spoelstra, Kidd-Gilchrist, Wall

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will have a difficult time coming up with a rotation after team president Pat Riley failed to address the logjam at several positions, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes. With Hassan WhitesideKelly OlynykBam Adebayo and James Johnson on the roster, there aren’t enough frontcourt minutes to go around and keep everyone happy, Winderman continues. There’s also an excess of shooting guards options (Rodney McGruderDion WaitersTyler JohnsonWayne Ellington and Josh Richardson) even if Dwyane Wade isn’t re-signed, Winderman adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets are thinking seriously about going with smaller lineups more often, featuring Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at power forward and Frank Kaminsky at center, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. Charlotte has plenty of rotation-worthy options at small forward and shooting guard to allow those position changes to take place, Bonnell continues. If Kidd-Gilchrist logs significant playing time at power forward, Kaminsky could join an unsettled rotation at center and his perimeter defensive shortcomings wouldn’t be as much of an issue, Bonnell adds.
  • This is a pivotal season for Wizards point guard John Wall, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington points out. Following the upcoming season, Wall’s four-year, $170MM-plus extension kicks in and it’s time for him to show he can lead a major contender, Hughes continues. He must improve his field-goal efficiency and mesh well with incoming center Dwight Howard, Hughes adds.
  • Heat summer-league star Derrick Jones will struggle to find playing time, Winderman wrote in another mailbag piece. Get that info, plus other Miami notes, right here.

Hornets Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Howard, Bridges, Jordan

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will likely have a reduced role under new coach James Borrego and may not last the entire season with the Hornets, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer in a question-and-answer column. Since being taken second overall in the 2012 draft, Kidd-Gilchrist has started all but four of the games in which he has appeared during his six seasons in Charlotte, but his position may be in jeopardy.

Bonnell cites “offensive limitations” that will make him less appealing with Borrego in charge. In a league where most forwards are expected to help stretch the defense, Kidd-Gilchrist only attempted two 3-pointers last season and is 7 for 36 from long distance for his career.

With a $13MM contract for this season and a $13MM player option for 2019/20, Kidd-Gilchrist won’t be easy to move. Bonnell speculates that GM Mitch Kupchak might have more success around the trade deadline, but still may have to take on long-term salary in return.

Bonnell passes on more Hornets information in the same piece:

  • Borrego emphasizes quick decision making on offense, which is among the reasons Dwight Howard was traded away after a productive season. The new coach wants constant movement and doesn’t like to see players holding onto the ball while deciding their next move. Howard is often criticized for slowing down the offense with his low-post game.
  • The Hornets may not be in a hurry to make trades before training camp opens next month because Borrego would like some time to evaluate his players to see who best fits his system.
  • First-round pick Miles Bridges will be used primarily at small forward, but Borrego may experiment with him as a stretch four during preseason. Bonnell notes that Bridges dropped about 20 pounds between college and Summer League, where he showed that he can distribute the ball and create mismatches.
  • Team owner Michael Jordan shouldn’t be judged harshly for the Hornets’ failure to attract free agents. The organization is well over the salary cap, and Charlotte doesn’t offer the natural advantages that some other cities do. Bonnell states that if Jordan were running the Lakers, he would have been just as successful as Magic Johnson when it came to luring LeBron James.
  • Jordan can’t circumvent the salary cap to give extra money to impending free agent Kemba Walker through his shoe deal. Walker is a paid endorser of the Jordan Brand, as are some other Hornets, but the league laid out rules against using that to get around the cap way back when Jordan first got a stake in the Wizards.

Kyler’s Latest: Jordan, Gasol, Bazemore, Hornets

The NBA trade deadline is just over seven weeks away, so it’s only a matter of time before teams start discussing potential deals a little more earnestly. In anticipation of trade talks heating up, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders takes a closer look at a handful of players whose names figure to come up frequently in trade rumors in the coming weeks, passing along the latest nuggets of info on each of those guys. Here are a few highlights from Kyler’s piece:

  • Source close to the situation tell Kyler that a Cavaliers offer for DeAndre Jordan would be built around Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick, though Cleveland is only willing to discuss its own pick at this point, rather than the Nets’ first-rounder. It remains to be seen whether the Clippers will be willing to move Jordan, but the big man’s future in L.A. is “anything but clear,” writes Kyler.
  • More and more people around the NBA believe that the Grizzlies would be willing to explore the market for Marc Gasol, but it may require Gasol telling them he wants out, per Kyler.
  • League sources tell Kyler that the Hawks might be open to moving Kent Bazemore for the right combination of expiring contracts and a first-round pick. Even if that pick is “highly protected,” as Kyler suggests, I’d be very surprised if any team is willing to pay that price for Bazemore, who is owed $18MM+ in 2018/19 and $19MM+ in 2019/20.
  • The prevailing belief around the league is that the Hornets would like to move one of their big contracts, such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s. However, Charlotte would likely need to attach a young player to a deal in order to dump salary. Kyler suggests Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon likely aren’t going anywhere, identifying Frank Kaminsky as a possible name to watch.
  • The Magic and Kings are also worth keeping an eye on, according to Kyler, who identifies Nikola Vucevic and George Hill as a pair of potential trade candidates. Orlando isn’t looking to shake things up for the sake of it, but Vucevic figures to draw interest. As for Hill, his significant cap hit limits his trade value, but he’d probably “welcome a move,” says Kyler.