Nick Young

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Young, Livingston, Cauley-Stein, Booker

The Lakers are in the midst of another losing season and it has taken a toll on the young team. Head coach Luke Walton held a meeting for the team instead of practice on Thursday to give players a chance to air their grievances, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. 

Last week, Lakers veteran Andrew Bogut agreed that certain players on the team are frustrated and it has impacted their performance. A lot of L.A.’s focus is on the impending free agent market, where the team is expected to pursue top-notch talent. That has left some players on the roster with less playing time and the impression that they are mere placeholders.

“There’s some frustration,” Walton said. “But there’s frustration on every team unless you win every game. Whenever you lose games, there’s frustration, people want to play more as everyone in the league should want to play more.”

Entering play on Friday, the Lakers are 11-22, 13th place in the Western Conference. Much has been made of rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma this season, and left others, such as Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, in a bind. There is a likelihood that several players on the current roster will not be there after the trade deadline, thus making the team’s future clearer.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston spoke to Logan Murdock of the Mercury News to discuss his role on the team, adjusting with Stephen Curry injured, and dealing with his own injury. Livingston said that Golden State expects to win even if one of their All-Star’s is out. “I think what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s been expected to be honest with you. For us, as players, we believe in ourselves, we believe in our game,” he said.
  • In a wide-ranging interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Atheltic (subscription required and recommended), Warriors sharpshooter Nick Young discussed his adjustment to the Warriors and appreciation for life in Oakland.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein has played so well recently, the Kings are starting to see the development of the supreme talent they thought they drafted three years ago, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee relays. “These last games, I’m seeing what I was hoping for when I drafted Willie,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. “He runs, he scores, he blocks shots, he scores in the post. He does everything. And we noticed last summer how much harder he was working. There were questions, but I don’t think so anymore. If he keeps developing like this, he will be an elite center in this league.”
  • Devin Booker, who is just 21 years old, will be a key piece of the Suns‘ future and he will have input into all of the team’s decisions, including coaching and free agency signings. Scott Bordow of the Arizona Central Sports writes that Suns general manager Ryan McDonough views Booker an important “partner in the process” of competing over the next decade.

Pacific Notes: Bogdanovic, McCaw, James

Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic may not know the ins and outs of the NBA but he hasn’t struggled to keep up in his first taste of action in the big league, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Through fives games with the Kings, the relatively seasoned 25-year-old first-year swingman has averaged 10.0 points per contest.

Bogdanovic missed the first three games of the season with a sprained ankle but has since earned his way into the starting lineup as the club’s first-unit small forward. While he may slot in as a two-guard eventually, Bogdanovic has gotten by thanks to his basketball IQ and broad shoulders.

He may not know the ins-and-outs of the NBA game, but he’s a guy that’s really meshed and transitioned well,” teammate Garrett Temple said. “He’s a guy that can really create, he’s a workhorse. You’ve got to kick him out of the gym to get some rest.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division tonight:

  • The Clippers have employed the power of the long ball of late and, thanks to guards like Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers, looked particularly proficient doing so. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes that the franchise is doing its diligence to  keep up with a changing league.
  • The Warriors aren’t afraid to mix up their rotation, as evidenced by Steve Kerr‘s decision to run Patrick McCaw as the first shooting guard off the bench as opposed to Nick Young, Mark Medina of The Mercury News writes. McCaw’s stat line leaves much to be desired but he’s a versatile threat on both ends of the ball and the club likes his work ethic.
  • After breaking into the Suns rotation and carving out a role as the team’s starting point guard, 27-year-old rookie Mike James could see his two-way contract converted into a standard deal, Benny Nadeau of Basketball Insiders writes. The two-way contract that he signed over the offseason, of course, limits James’ NBA service to 45 days.

Western Notes: Martin, Georges-Hunt, Casspi, Leonard

Jarell Martin is the player most likely to be waived by the Grizzlies despite a lack of depth at power forward, according to Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  The Grizzlies need to pare two players to reach the 15-man limit and Martin is an inconsistent player who’s not really a stretch four or a defensive force, Herrington continues. The final roster decision will likely come down to guards Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin, since it appears Mario Chalmers has re-emerged as a rotation piece, Herrington notes. Harrison is a useful player at the back end of the roster but it would be difficult to give up on Baldwin, a first-round pick last year, Herrington adds. Memphis will likely explore trades involving those players this weekend to facilitate the decision.

In other developments regarding the Western Conference:

  • Marcus Georges-Hunt‘s ability to guard three or four positions makes him the favorite to nab the 14th spot on the Timberwolves’ roster, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The 6’5” swingman has the edge over rookies Amile Jefferson and Melo Trimble, who will likely be sent to the team’s G League affiliate in Iowa, while another swingman, Anthony Brown, has already signed a two-way contract. However, Minnesota wants to keep the 15th spot open and could also pursue a player that’s waived or bought out as teams make their final roster cuts, Zgoda adds.
  • Omri Casspi has taken a clear lead over Nick Young for a spot in the Warriors’ rotation, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Young got a bigger contract than Casspi when signing with the Warriors this summer but came to camp out of shape while Casspi quickly showed he’s a better fit for coach Steve Kerr’s system, Slater adds.
  • There’s still no apparent timetable for Kawhi Leonard‘s return from a right quad injury, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports. The Spurs All-Star forward has spent the entire preseason rehabbing from an injury he originally suffered last season. “We’ve seen him in the gym and in rehab, but he hasn’t scrimmaged, so it’s hard to tell what stage he is in,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili told Orsborn.

Warriors Notes: Young, Bell, Jones, Green

The Warriors became the first team to make a roster move after a preseason game, waiving guards Antonius Cleveland and Alex Hamilton. Anthony Slater of The Athletic shares a few more observations about Saturday’s loss to the Nuggets:

  • Free agent addition Nick Young has a lot of rust to shake off after not playing since March 17. Golden State is counting on Young to provide scoring off the bench, but he has a new offense to learn and didn’t report to camp in top condition. Slater called Young’s performance “sluggish” in the preseason opener as he sometimes seemed lost in transition and was short of breath as play went on for several possessions without a stoppage. “He’s not shot the ball well in camp,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “He came in a little bit heavy. As he rounds into shape, he’s going to shoot it better.” Young said earlier this week that he “feels like I’m in everyone’s way,” and that was evident Saturday as Kerr, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala all took time to explain principles of the offense to him during the game.
  • Kerr gave Jordan Bell some unexpected minutes in the third quarter, letting him play alongside the Warriors’ All-Stars. Bell looked like a rookie at times, but also showed promise on the defensive end. Bell gave himself a C grade for his first NBA experience, saying, “Couple people scored on me that shouldn’t have.”
  • Damian Jones missed last year’s training camp and preseason while recovering from a torn pectoral muscle. The second-year center was never able to catch up, playing just 10 games with the Warriors, so he says this feels like his rookie season. Slater notes that Jones might be the team’s best athlete but tends to be overly aggressive on defense, which showed Saturday with three fouls in 11 minutes. “His ability to play vertically defensively without fouling should be a real strength,” Kerr said. “But he came down and swiped down. Little things like that, he has to work on.”
  • Green received a surprise Saturday when former Pistons star Ben Wallace showed up to present his Defensive Player of the Year Award. “That was a good one,” said Green, who grew up in Michigan and was a big fan of Wallace as a child. “That was a great feeling. A guy I looked up to growing up.”

And-Ones: J. Thompson, Franklin, G League

Former Kings big man Jason Thompson has signed a contract with EuroLeague champion Fenerbahce S.K., Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The 31-year-old played in China in 2016/17.

Per international basketball reporter David Pick, Thompson’s deal will be worth $1.8MM over one year with potential bonuses that could bring the total up to $2MM.

After an impressive seven-year stint in Sacramento, including a 2009/10 campaign in which he posted 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a 23-year-old, Thompson quickly fell out of the NBA.

His last professional season stateside in 2015/16 included brief stints with the Warriors and Raptors.

There’s more from around the NBA world:

  • After exploring his NBA options, former Grizzlies point guard Jamaal Franklin has opted to sign a two-year, $4MM deal in China, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.
  • While it’s a given the Warriors did well to retain their championship core, the club also nailed their supplemental signings. Inking Nick Young and Omri Casspi, David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders writes, was one of the best coups of the offseason.
  • As of this season, fringe NBA players offered more than $50K in partial guarantees can not play for that team’s G League affiliate, Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days writes. Reichert offers a detailed explanation of how the new contract wrinkle may affect the league in the recent feature article.

Warriors Sign Nick Young To One-Year Deal

JULY 8: Young’s deal with the Warriors is now official, the team announced in a press release.NickYoung horizontal

JULY 5: Nick Young will be joining the defending champions for the 2017/18 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Agent Mark Bartelstein tells Wojnarowski that his client has agreed to sign a one-year, $5.2MM deal with the Warriors.

[RELATED: Warriors’ 2017 offseason contract agreements]

Young turned down a $5.67MM player option to remain with the Lakers for ’17/18, so he’ll be taking a slight pay cut and will be leaving him hometown of Los Angeles in order to join the Warriors. However, his odds of earning his first championship ring increase significantly with the move.

Golden State has no cap room available, but hadn’t yet used its mid-level exception. Because the Warriors will be above the tax apron this season, their MLE is worth just $5.192MM — Young will receive that entire amount, leaving the Dubs with just the minimum salary exception available as they look for big men to fill out their roster. The team’s own free agents like Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee could receive slightly more than the minimum if they were to return, since Golden State holds their Non-Bird rights.

Last offseason, Young was viewed as a potential release candidate for the Lakers. At the time, he was coming off a season in which he averaged career-worst marks in PPG (7.3) and FG% (.339). However, he enjoyed a solid bounce-back season in 2016/17, starting 60 games for Los Angeles, averaging 13.2 PPG and posting a shooting line of .430/.404/.856.

After reaching the open market on Saturday, Young reportedly drew interest from the Timberwolves, Pelicans, and Thunder in addition to the Warriors. Minnesota was believed to have made him a two-year offer, though it likely would have only been worth the room exception, which starts at $4.328MM.

The Warriors’ total commitments for 2017/18 now appear to be in the neighborhood of $133MM, with more to come, as cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. The tax line for this year is just over $119MM, so Golden State’s roster is starting to get expensive. By the time the team is done filling out its roster, its projected tax penalties may exceed $40MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Rumors: Gasol, Faried, T-Wolves, Young

While a handful of Western Conference teams have made major roster moves so far this offseason, the Grizzlies have been fairly quiet. The team reached an agreement to sign Ben McLemore, but also lost Zach Randolph and has yet to lock up its other free agents like JaMychal Green and Tony Allen.

With their window of contention potentially closing, would the Grizzlies consider moving Marc Gasol? Two league executives suggest to Chris Mannix of The Vertical that Gasol is a player worth keeping an eye on as a possible trade candidate. Mannix’s note is tucked away in a larger piece about the Celtics‘ next moves, and as he points out, Gasol would make a lot of sense as a target for Boston. However, there’s no indication that any talks have happened or that Memphis is even considering such a roster shake-up, so it sounds like speculation at this point.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Teams are calling the Nuggets to inquire about Kenneth Faried, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. With Paul Millsap arriving in Denver, the Nuggets’ frontcourt is getting crowded, and the team probably wouldn’t mind getting out from under Faried’s contract, so a trade remains a possibility.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who reported on Tuesday that the Pacers might be interested in working out a sign-and-trade deal with the Timberwolves for C.J. Miles, suggests that Indiana is further along on a Miles sign-and-trade scenario with another team (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Minnesota is waiting on Nick Young, having made him a two-year offer that is likely worth the room exception, tweets Wolfson.
  • In other Timberwolves news, first-round pick Justin Patton won’t be participating in Summer League with the club, having suffered a foot fracture during a workout, the team announced on Tuesday. Patton underwent surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot and will be sidelined indefinitely, per the team.

Free Agent Rumors: Wolves, Knicks, Waiters, Jazz

The Timberwolves were linked to free agent swingman C.J. Miles earlier today, but weren’t necessarily considered a probable landing spot for Miles due to the team’s lack of cap flexibility. However, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), who passed along the initial report on Miles, the Pacers are open to the idea of a sign-and-trade which would net them Cole Aldrich‘s contract and OKC’s 2018 first-round pick from Minnesota.

Both teams would have to agree on that sign-and-trade scenario, and of course Miles would also have to be on board, so there may be some snags along the way. But as Wolfson points out, there are ways for the Wolves to get creative if they really want to land Miles or another free agent.

Wolfson has more on the Wolves, tweeting that he has heard the team made an offer to Nick Young. That offer would likely be worth the $4.3MM room exception, and Young turned down a $5.67MM player option with the Lakers last month, so I’d be surprised if Minnesota’s offer is enough to land him, but the club clearly remains on the lookout for shooting help.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • The Knicks continue to stay in touch with free agent guard Dion Waiters, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Waiters and Rajon Rondo remain on the Lakers‘ radar.
  • With Gordon Hayward and Otto Porter off the board, the Jazz have expressed interest in Rudy Gay, says Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). As Royce Young of ESPN tweets, Patrick Patterson essentially took the deal that Gay was unwilling to with the Thunder, so OKC may be out, leaving the Heat and Jazz as the top contenders for Gay.
  • Having already brought back nearly all of their key free agents, the Warriors are also considered likely to re-sign Zaza Pachulia, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • After a strong showing for the Pistons in Summer League play, Eric Moreland is believed to have received a multiyear contract offer from Detroit, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

Pacific Notes: Hill, Young, Collison, Clippers

The Lakers believe George Hill could provide backcourt depth, improve their outside shooting and serve as a locker room veteran, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. The 31-year-old free agent met with L.A. officials on Monday, although no deal was reached. Hill could be used as a backup to rookie point guard Lonzo Ball or could be shifted to shooting guard. He averaged a career-high 16.9 points with the Jazz last season and shot .403 from 3-point range.

In their quest for backcourt help, the Lakers also met with Dion Waiters on Sunday and have had several phone conversations with Rajon Rondo. L.A. has spoken to several coaches and players who have worked with Rondo to see how he might handle a mentor’s role with Ball.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • The Timberwolves are the latest team to reach out to Lakers guard Nick Young, Medina notes in the same story. They join the Warriors, Thunder and Pelicans, who have also been linked to the 10-year veteran. Young revived his career this season, becoming a full-time starter and averaging 13.2 points per game.
  • The Clippers, Knicks and Magic all contacted Darren Collison before he agreed to a two-year deal with the Pacers Monday night, tweets Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 in Sacramento. The Kings made no effort to keep Collison, he adds.
  • A proposed three-team trade that would bring Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers would push the team closer to the repeater tax, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. Adding Gallinari would give L.A. 10 players under contract with $110.4MM in guaranteed salary. The Clippers would hit the repeater tax if their salary tops $119M, so they will have to be careful in assembling the rest of their roster.
  • Gary Sacks has resigned as Clippers assistant GM, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Sacks’ contract expired Friday.

Warriors Considered Front-Runners For Jamal Crawford

11:15am: The Cavaliers and Spurs are also interested in Crawford if the buyout goes through, Haynes tweets, although Atlanta would prefer to trade him. Crawford has more than $17.2MM in guaranteed money over the next two seasons, and the Hawks would want him to give up a significant portion of that before agreeing to a buyout, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

9:24am: Once Jamal Crawford gets bought out by the Hawks, there’s a good chance he will sign with the Warriors, according to Chris Haynes and Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com.

Crawford is part of a proposed three-team trade that would send Paul Millsap to the Nuggets and Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers. Crawford would be shipped to the Hawks, along with Diamond Stone, and will petition Atlanta for a buyout, sources told ESPN.

Once he hits the market, Golden State would be favored to sign him with its $5.2MM taxpayer mid-level exception.

Crawford, 37, played for the Warriors during the 2008/09 season and often talks about how much he enjoys the Bay Area, according to Haynes and Spears. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year appeared in all 82 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 12.3 points per night. He has said he will only consider playing for contenders once the buyout is complete.

The Warriors are also pursuing Nick Young, the authors add, with Draymond Green and Kevin Durant playing a part in the recruiting. The 10-year veteran is also in talks with the Pelicans, who can offer more playing time, but Golden State could give Young his first chance to win a title.

The Warriors probably don’t have the resources to add both Crawford and Young, but the ESPN story says there is a “strong possibility” they will land one of them.

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