Nik Stauskas

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Thomas, Stauskas, Knicks, Jordan

Asked on Tuesday whether the Celtics considered signing Isaiah Thomas at any point this season, head coach Ime Udoka said that point guard “was never really a position of need” for his team, as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets.

The Celtics did trade away a point guard – Dennis Schröder – at last month’s deadline, but acquired Derrick White on the same day. The team came out of the trade deadline with five open spots on its 15-man roster and has since filled them all without adding another point guard.

Now a member of the Hornets on a 10-day contract, Thomas will face his old team on Wednesday night in Charlotte. And, as Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe details, the veteran point guard admitted that he’s disappointed a reunion with the Celtics has never materialized since he was traded by the team in 2017.

“I’ve tried to have conversations about that, but it’s hard to speak on because I’ve opened my arms to try to come back in so many ways,” Thomas said on Tuesday. “And it’s not even playing and trying to pick up where I left off. I’m past that moment. I know there’s been times where I can help in that locker room.

“This is from the outside looking in, but I felt like there’s times where (president of basketball operations) Brad (Stevens) could make a call and give me an opportunity, and it hasn’t happened, so that’s very frustrating because of the relationship we have, the friendship we’ve been able to have over the years.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Nik Stauskas, who signed a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Celtics last week, said on Tuesday that he had considered the possibility of walking away from basketball after this season if he didn’t get another NBA opportunity, tweets Forsberg. Stauskas’ salary for 2022/23 is non-guaranteed, but if he impresses the C’s down the stretch, it’s possible he’ll stick around for next season.
  • Fourth-year center Mitchell Robinson has been one of the few bright spots for the Knicks this season, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who notes that Robinson has played some of his best basketball recently as he nears unrestricted free agency. “Mitch is playing really well, really well,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Monday. “I want him to continue on that path. His effort to the board — his execution is much, much improved in terms of what we can do with him in terms of dribble-handoff and pick-and-roll and that sort of thing. He’s growing day by day.” Robinson, who was limited to just two minutes on Monday due to an illness, is questionable to play in Dallas on Wednesday.
  • With the Knicks in need of some reliable backcourt production due to the absences of players like Derrick Rose, Quentin Grimes, and Kemba Walker, Immanuel Quickley has broken out of a season-long shooting slump and strung together a series of impressive offensive performances at just the right time, says Peter Botte of The New York Post. In his last five games (26.5 MPG), Quickley is averaging 18.6 PPG on .528/.520/.960 shooting.
  • DeAndre Jordan didn’t make much of an impact in Los Angeles this season, but he could be the ideal backup for Sixers star Joel Embiid, Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer contends.

Celtics Notes: Stauskas, Tatum, White, Nesmith

The Celtics were among several teams that expressed interest in Nik Stauskas, coach Ime Udoka told reporters before today’s game (Twitter link from Tim Bontemps of ESPN). Stauskas signed a two-year contract with Boston on Friday after scoring a combined 100 points in his last two G League games. Udoka said the C’s reached out to Stauskas because they need more shooting.

Stauskas has a chance to see playing time as a floor spacer for the rest of the season, adds Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Many fans were hoping Isaiah Thomas could be brought back to fill the roster opening, but Thomas has signed with the Hornets and Himmelsbach doesn’t think he would have been a good fit because of his defensive liabilities. He suggests that signing Thomas would have been a distraction and could have ultimately harmed his reputation in Boston.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • When Nets forward Kevin Durant became the all-time leading scorer for Team USA at the Summer Olympics, he speculated that Jayson Tatum may someday break that record, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston recalls in a preview of today’s matchup between the two stars. Forsberg notes that Durant made a strong impression on Tatum during their time as international teammates. “It means a lot [to hear Durant’s praise]. I mean he’s definitely somebody I looked up to growing up,” Tatum said. “Getting to have that matchup with him during the playoffs and then being his teammate and having conversation with him overseas, is something I will always remember.”
  • The Spurs‘ decision to trade Derrick White last month took him completely by surprise, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. White has turned out to be a perfect fit for the defensive-minded Celtics, but he expected to spend more time in San Antonio. “He was sad, it’s hard to say goodbye to some of those guys you’ve had good relationships with,” said Alex Welsh, White’s friend and former college teammate. “But then he was pumped. We got him all fired up. It was a great day for him in Boston to be able to play that next day. But it was a total shock.”
  • Jaylen Brown has been cleared to play today after missing time with a sprained right ankle, but Aaron Nesmith‘s ankle sprain will keep him out for a while, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

Nik Stauskas Signs Two-Year Contract With Celtics

MARCH 4: The Celtics have officially signed Stauskas, the team announced. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MARCH 3: Nik Stauskas is signing a two-year deal with the Celtics, agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The veteran guard has been lighting it up in the G League, scoring a combined 100 points in his last two games for the Grand Rapids Gold, the Nuggets’ G League affiliate. Overall, Stauskas is averaging 26 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.7 APG in G League competition over 14 games this season.

Stauskas, a lottery pick by Sacramento back in 2014, played two games for the Heat this season under the 10-day hardship exemption. Prior to that, Stauskas had not appeared in an NBA game since the 2018/19 season, when he played in a combined 68 contests for Portland and Cleveland.

In 338 career NBA appearances, Stauskas has averaged 6.8 PPG in 19.8 MPG while making 35.4% of his long-range attempts.

Boston has an open roster spot, plus two players with 10-day contracts (Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts) that are near expiration. Jaylen Brown missed Thursday’s game against Memphis with an ankle injury and Aaron Nesmith left the game early with an ankle sprain.

While the exact terms of Stauskas’ deal aren’t yet known, a minimum-salary contract that isn’t guaranteed for next season seems likely.

Heat Officially Sign Chalmers, Silva, Stauskas

The Heat have officially announced three previously-reported hardship signings, confirming in a press release that they’ve finalized 10-day deals with Mario Chalmers, Chris Silva, and Nik Stauskas.

Chalmers, 35, spent the first seven-plus years of his NBA career in Miami from 2008-15 and won a pair of championships with the franchise. The veteran guard appeared in a total of 646 regular season games and 99 postseason contests for the Heat and Grizzlies, but hasn’t played in the NBA since 2018. He recently joined the Grand Rapids Gold, Denver’s G League affiliate, in the hopes of making an NBA comeback.

Silva, who just completed a 10-day contract with the Timberwolves, began the season with the Iowa Wolves, averaging 15.1 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 12 games (25.6 MPG) for Minnesota’ G League affiliate. Like Chalmers, Silva has a history with the Heat — the former South Carolina standout began his career in Miami, appearing in a total of 55 games with the team between 2019-21 before being dealt to Sacramento at the ’21 trade deadline.

Stauskas, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft, appeared in 335 regular season games from 2014-19 for the Kings, Sixers, Nets, Trail Blazers, and Cavaliers. After a brief stint overseas, Stauskas signed in the G League for the 2021 bubble and then returned to the NBAGL this season. In 12 games (38.3 MPG) in 2021/22 for the Grand Rapids Gold, the 28-year-old has recorded 21.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG on .429/.352/.915 shooting.

The Heat now have seven players on 10-day hardship contracts, as Chalmers, Silva, and Stauskas join Kyle Guy, Aric Holman, Haywood Highsmith, and Zylan Cheatham. Cheatham is in the health and safety protocols, but the other six players should be available for Friday’s game in Houston.

Nik Stauskas To Sign 10-Day Contract With Heat

Former lottery pick Nik Stauskas has an agreement in place with the Heat, who intend to sign him to a 10-day contract using a hardship exception, league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).

The Raptors had a deal in place earlier this month to bring Stauskas aboard on a 10-day hardship deal, but it fell through when he didn’t pass the COVID-19 screening process. Now he’ll head to a Miami team that has been hit hard recently by both injuries and the coronavirus — the Heat had 12 players unavailable on Wednesday, resulting in their game in San Antonio being postponed.

Stauskas, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft, appeared in 335 regular season games from 2014-19 for the Kings, Sixers, Nets, Trail Blazers, and Cavaliers. He was a fairly reliable three-point threat (.353 3PT%) during that time, but didn’t show enough other skills to stick in the NBA.

After a brief stint overseas, Stauskas signed in the G League for the 2021 bubble and then returned to the NBAGL this season. In 12 games (38.3 MPG) in 2021/22 for the Grand Rapids Gold, the 28-year-old has recorded 21.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG on .429/.352/.915 shooting.

The Heat have already added Kyle Guy and Aric Holman on hardship contracts today and should be able to finalize their agreements with Stauskas and Haywood Highsmith before their game in Houston on Friday.

Eastern Notes: Raptors, Wright, LeVert, Turner, Bridges

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said on Sunday that two of the replacement players the team had hoped to sign in advance of its game vs. Chicago last Wednesday didn’t pass the COVID-19 screening process, as Michael Grange of tweets. The game was ultimately postponed because Toronto didn’t have enough players available.

The Raptors were said to have deals in place with Brandon Goodwin and Nik Stauskas, but those agreements were reported a week ago and were never finalized, so presumably those are the two players Nurse was referring to.

It’s possible Toronto will circle back to Goodwin and/or Stauskas at some point. However, if they contracted COVID-19, they won’t be short-term options for the Raptors, so we’re no longer counting on those deals to be completed and have removed them from our roster counts page.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Hawks guard Delon Wright has entered the health and safety protocols, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Atlanta’s roster is in rough shape, with 11 players now in the protocols, but – for now at least – the team still has enough bodies available Monday’s game vs. Chicago, including five replacement players (a sixth, Wesley Iwundu, is in the protocols).
  • Caris LeVert has been playing his best basketball this month since joining the Pacers, averaging 22.1 PPG and 5.3 APG with a .392 3PT% in his last 10 games. Myles Turner, meanwhile, had one of his best games of the season last Thursday, putting up 32 points on 14-of-18 shooting. Besides helping out Indiana with their production, LeVert and Turner – both considered trade candidates – are displaying their value for potential suitors, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star (subscribers only).
  • Philadelphia native and former Villanova star Mikal Bridges, who was traded from the Sixers to the Suns on draft night in 2018, doesn’t think often about what could have been if he had remained with his hometown team, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Being (in Phoenix) and knowing the city, the people, and what we’ve been doing these past years, I don’t even think twice about ever being home,” Bridges said. “I’m in a great situation now, and I love it.”

Atlantic Notes: Galloway, Walker, Sixers, Stauskas

New Nets guard Langston Galloway is viewing his 10-day contract with the top team in the East as an audition for a longer-term return to the NBA, writes Shlomo Sprung of Galloway – who was most recently playing with the Hawks’ NBAGL affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks – is averaging 16 MPG across his first two contests with Brooklyn.

Galloway, 30, went undrafted out of Saint Joseph’s in 2014, but eventually latched on with the Knicks in the middle of the 2014/15 season. The 6’1″ combo guard suited up for five NBA teams across seven NBA seasons before landing with Brooklyn this year. In 447 total games played with the Knicks, Pelicans, Kings, Pistons, Suns, and now Nets, he holds averages of 8.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.5 SPG.

Galloway played in just one game with the Skyhawks this year before being scooped up by Brooklyn. He notched 12 points, seven assists, three boards, and one steal.

“It gives guys an opportunity for another look,” Galloway said of his G League experience prior to joining the Nets. “Playing in G League games is great, but it’s nothing like having eyeballs on you at the NBA level and being able to show that I could really still do this. It’s a huge opportunity.“

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau offered measured praise for point guard Kemba Walker, who poured in a season-best 29 points in a 114-107 loss to the Celtics this weekend, Walker’s first game back in the rotation since his unceremonious benching nine games prior, writes Greg Joyce of the New York Post“Well, that’s who he is,” Thibodeau acknowledged about Walker’s solid offensive game. “He’s an accomplished player. I have to do what I think is best for the team. And that’s how I’m gonna make my decisions.” The Knicks went 2-7 in their nine games without Walker. Though Thibodeau was noncommittal after a Monday practice about whether or not Walker would play in further games, it appears fate is forcing his hand. Fred Katz of The Athletic reported (via Twitter) that point guard Derrick Rose would be unavailable for New York’s next game, Tuesday night against the league-worst Pistons, with an ankle injury. With six other Knicks still in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Walker will officially start for New York again this evening, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers reflected this week on just how deeply Philadelphia is feeling the absence of embattled point guard Ben Simmons, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The team was the top seed in the East last year, but at 16-15 is currently the sixth seed in the conference as Simmons continues to sit out. “You see the glaring holes that he leaves us,” Rivers said of the club’s missing All-Defensive First Teamer. “And you know, he may or may not play. If he does, great. If he doesn’t, then whoever we get can help us.” 
  • New Raptors shooting guard Nik Stauskas, a former lottery pick most recently with the Grand Rapids Gold, is delighted to be joining his hometown Toronto team, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). The 28-year-old Michigan alum has logged time with the Kings, Sixers, Nets, Trail Blazers, and Cavaliers, but has not appeared in an NBA game since the 2018/19 NBA season.

Raptors To Sign Nik Stauskas

Nik Stauskas is returning to the NBA, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link), who reports that the veteran shooting guard has agreed to sign with the Raptors. While Stein’s report doesn’t offer additional specifics, it seems relatively safe to assume Stauskas will get a 10-day contract via the hardship exception.

Stauskas, who was born in Mississauga, Ontario, was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft and appeared in 335 regular season games from 2014-19 for the Kings, Sixers, Nets, Trail Blazers, and Cavaliers. He was a fairly reliable three-point threat (.353 3PT%) during that time, but didn’t show enough other skills to stick in the NBA.

After a brief stint overseas, Stauskas signed in the G League for the 2021 bubble and then returned to the NBAGL this season. In 12 games (38.3 MPG) in 2021/22 for the Grand Rapids Gold, the 28-year-old has recorded 21.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG on .429/.352/.915 shooting.

It has been a busy day for Toronto, as the team also reportedly reached deals with Brandon Goodwin and Juwan Morgan while placing Gary Trent Jr. in the health and safety protocols. The Raptors had their Monday night game postponed and won’t resume play until Wednesday in Chicago, so I’d expect them to wait a couple more days to officially finalize their signings in order to maximize each player’s 10 days.

Nuggets Waive Nik Stauskas

The Nuggets have waived Nik Stauskas, who signed with the team earlier today, according to’s transactions log. Stauskas is expect to land with Denver’s new G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold, once he clears waivers.

The well-traveled shooting guard began his career in 2014 when the Kings selected him with the eighth pick in the draft. After one year in Sacramento, Stauskas spent time with the Sixers, Nets, Blazers and Cavaliers. He appeared in 335 games with career averages of 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 38.9% from the field and 35.3% from three-point range.

Stauskas has been out of the NBA since the end of the 2018/19 season, although he was with the Bucks in training camp last year. He spent part of the 2019/20 season in Spain and played for Raptors 905 in the G League last season.

Nuggets Waive Tarik Black, Two Others; Sign Nik Stauskas

10:13am: Black, Reed, and Bezhanishvili have officially been released, per’s transactions log.

9:45am: The Nuggets are trimming their roster by waiving Tarik Black, Davon Reed and Giorgi Bezhanishvili, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. All three were on training camp deals.

Black played four years with the Lakers and Rockets, but has not appeared in a regular season game since the 2017/18 season. He has career averages of 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 220 games.

Reed was a second-round pick by the Suns in 2017 and played 21 games in his rookie season. He spent the following year with the Pacers on a two-way deal and holds career averages of 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 31 games.

Bezhanishvili, who was just signed this week, went undrafted this summer after logging three seasons with the Fighting Illini. The 22-year-old averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 95 contests with the club, including 57 starts.

The trio could wind up on the Nuggets’ new G League team, the Grand Rapids Gold in Michigan, once they clear waivers.

The team has also signed Nik Stauskas to an Exhibit 10 deal, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Stauskas, who holds career averages of 6.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG across 335 games, will likely be waived and join the Gold as well.