Omari Spellman

Knicks Trade Ed Davis To Wolves For Spellman, Evans, Pick

NOVEMBER 24: The Timberwolves have officially acquired Davis from the Knicks in exchange for Spellman, Evans, and a future draft pick, the team confirmed today in a press release. According to the Wolves, the pick going to the Knicks is Minnesota’s 2026 second-rounder.


NOVEMBER 22: The Knicks will trade big man Ed Davis to the Timberwolves for big man Omari Spellman, shooting guard Jacob Evans and the rights to a future second-round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

Evans and Spellman, sent by the Warriors to Minnesota at the 2020 deadline as part of the D’Angelo RussellAndrew Wiggins deal, will earn a combined $4MM in 2020/21. Davis, meanwhile, is set to make $5MM this season.

Given the added money and the fact that the Timberwolves are surrendering a draft asset in the deal, it looks as if the Wolves like Davis and intend to retain him. At just 31 years old, the athletic journeyman could help spell sharpshooting star center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Davis had career-lows in minutes (10.8 MPG in just 28 games), points (1.8 PPG) and rebounds (3.8 RPG) during his 2019/20 season with the Jazz. Utah agreed to send him to New York earlier this week in a salary-dump deal.

Considering that the Knicks acquired two 2023 second-round draft picks for taking on Davis’ salary originally, it is impressive that the club has now added a third second-round draft pick in moving off his salary.

With these new additions, the Knicks now have 16 players on their roster, aside from their two-way players. Marc Berman of the New York Post has said the Knicks like Spellman, but it’s not clear whether or not Evans will be retained.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Atlantic Notes: Rose, Hayward, Brown, Spellman

New Knicks president Leon Rose has exuded patience during free agency with an eye toward next offseason’s potentially star-studded free agent class, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Though the Knicks had some interest in Fred VanVleet and Gordon Hayward, they were not going to shell out the money and multi-year contracts that those top-level free agents received. New York could still trade for Russell Westbrook if the Rockets’ asking price drops but Rose isn’t inclined to make any panic moves, Popper adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Hayward posted a message on Twitter, thanking Celtics fans for their support during his three seasons there.I know there were some ups and downs, but I will always cherish my experience in Boston. I am forever grateful that I was given the opportunity to wear a Celtics uniform and play in front of the Garden faithful,” said Hayward, who also posted a tweet about his excitement to play for the Hornets.
  • The Nets are looking at Bruce Brown as a defensive stopper, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Brown was acquired from the Pistons in a three-team deal and slots in as a combo guard. “Bruce, we’ve talked about adding some defensive players,” Nets GM Sean Marks said. “A toughness, a mindset, that’s what we’ll certainly be looking for in Bruce.”
  • The Knicks will retain big man Omari Spellman and he’s got a pretty good shot to make the opening-night roster, Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets. New York has an agreement to acquire Spellman, shooting guard Jacob Evans and the rights to a future second-round pick from the Timberwolves in exchange for Ed Davis. Berman’s note indicates Spellman’s salary wasn’t simply thrown in to make a trade work.

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/19/20

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Also on the transactions log:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/20

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Pacers assigned rookie center Goga Bitadze to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to the team’s transactions log. The first-round pick has appeared in 42 games with Indiana this season, averaging 3.0 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 8.6 MPG.
  • The Timberwolves assigned power forward Omari Spellman to their Iowa affiliate, according to the G League transactions log. Spellman, a 2018 first-round pick by Atlanta, was acquired from Golden State last week.

Timberwolves Notes: Spellman, Russell, Johnson

The Timberwolves are not planning to waive big man Omari Spellman, though it’s a possibility, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. After discussions between his reps and the front office, Spellman is headed to G League affiliate Iowa to get some playing time and will likely finish the season with the organization (Twitter links).

Spellman was included in the deal that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota. He was averaging 7.6 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 49 games with Golden State this season. His contract for next season is guaranteed but the club holds an option on the 2021/22 season.

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • Russell doesn’t foresee a long transition before he develops chemistry with the team’s franchise player, Karl-Anthony Towns, John Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. “We know what we bring to the table,” Russell said. “It’s just about dissecting the film and bringing it together and seeing how we can take the weight off each other’s shoulders down the stretch, whenever we need him to make a play and vice versa.”
  • Forward James Johnson has embraced an elder statesman role with the team, according to Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Johnson, who turns 33 this month, had 15 points and five assists in his Minnesota debut. He was surrounded by a group of young players and provided a lot of instruction for them. “I loved the confidence he was instilling in those guys,” coach Ryan Saunders said. Johnson, who holds a $16MM option on his contract for next season, was acquired from Miami in a three-team trade last week.
  • Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner are the Timberwolves’ candidates to receive a buyout. Check out the latest on the buyout market here.

Warriors Trade D’Angelo Russell To Timberwolves

The Warriors have officially traded star guard D’Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves, the teams announced in a pair of press releases. Minnesota has also acquired big man Omari Spellman and guard Jacob Evans along with Russell.

In exchange, Golden State receives swingman Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The 2021 first-rounder headed to Golden State will be Minnesota’s own top-three protected pick. It would become unprotected in 2022 if it doesn’t convey next year.

The Wolves’ acquisition of Russell represents the culmination of a pursuit that dates back at least to the 2019 free agent period, when the team made D-Lo its top target and offered him a lucrative four-year contract. Minnesota had hoped to pair the All-Star guard with his good friend Karl-Anthony Towns, but were passed over when the Warriors swooped in with a four-year, max-salary offer. Seven months later, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas got his man.

The blockbuster deal comes at a good time for the Wolves, who have struggled mightily since their 10-8 start, and for Towns, who – after Wednesday’s game – publicly expressed his frustration with all that losing. Towns was also believed to be disappointed by the departure of Robert Covington, who was one of his best friends on the team, so Minnesota will hope that the arrival of Russell can help rejuvenate the big man’s enthusiasm — and get the Wolves a few more wins down the stretch.

The Timberwolves will now enter the summer with a pair of 24-year-old cornerstones on long-term contracts, as Russell is locked up through 2023 and Towns through 2024. They also still have their own 2020 first-round pick, as well as Brooklyn’s lottery-protected first-rounder. So they’ll have the opportunity to bring in a pair of promising prospects or use those picks in trades to further upgrade the roster.

The deal does put the Wolves slightly into tax territory, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports (via Twitter), so another move could be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, it’s a fascinating pivot for the Warriors, who were said to be seeking a first-round selection in 2021 rather than 2020, since next year’s draft class is expected to be stronger than this year’s. The Wolves reportedly put their own 2020 protected pick and Brooklyn’s lottery-protected pick on the table in a previous offer, but it appears Golden State was willing to accept just a single first-rounder now that it’s a lightly-protected 2021 pick.

Besides the first-round pick and accompanying second-rounder, the Warriors get two things out of the deal: The first is Wiggins, whose max-salary contract had been widely considered a negative. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), however, there’s a contingent within the Warriors who believe that Wiggins is a “salvageable project.” Slater believes the deal will ultimately be judged on whether Golden State can turn Wiggins into the team’s long-term starting small forward or eventually flip him for positive value.

The second perk for the Warriors is that the deal should allow them to sneak out of the tax for this season, which will help them avoid current and future repeater penalties. Marks tweets that the team will be $3.1MM below the tax threshold and should be able to stay below that line even after filling out its roster. Golden State will have six open roster spots, necessitating at least five eventual additions, but the club will be able to stagger those signings to some extent.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news and reported the terms of the trade (all Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacific Notes: GRIII, Warriors, Kings, Hield

The 2019/20 Warriors haven’t been the contender that Glenn Robinson III may have thought he was joining when he signed with the franchise last summer. However, the injuries that have derailed the team’s season have cleared a path to a major role for Robinson, who has started 44 games and averaged 31.8 minutes per game this season — both are easily career highs. The veteran tells Scott Agness of The Athletic that he’s appreciative of the opportunity he has received in Golden State.

“That 25- to 30-minute range a night, to be able to show what I can do and to showcase my skills and to do it with an organization as great as the Warriors, I think it’s everything I wanted in free agency,” Robinson said.

Robinson, whose 12.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, .470 FG%, and 1.3 3PG are also career bests, signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Warriors during the 2019 offseason. That modest deal makes him a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline, but even if he remains in Golden State this season, he’ll have the opportunity to consider offers from other teams this July. As he tells Agness, he wouldn’t mind sticking around beyond this season.

“Hopefully, it can be another great free agency for me and I would love to be back here,” the Warriors’ swingman said. “So we’ll see what happens.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After trading Willie Cauley-Stein to Dallas, the Warriors have a chance to take an extended look at Omari Spellman and Marquese Chriss up front, writes Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Neither player is really a natural center, but they’re embracing the challenge of handling minutes at the five. “I’ve tried making a role off playing hard and doing the dirty work,” Chriss said. “I’m not the guy who is going to shoot 20 shots and get you 40 points. I’m gonna try and be that guy that is down low and banging, getting rebounds and setting screens.”
  • For the first time since the 2017/18 season, the Kings removed Buddy Hield from their starting lineup over the last two games, starting Bogdan Bogdanovic in his place. It seems safe to assume that experiment will continue for the time being, as Hield scored 63 points and made 14-of-23 three-point attempts in those two games, both Sacramento wins. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic explores how grief from Kobe Bryant‘s death fueled a historic night for Hield on Monday.
  • Replacing Hield with Bogdanovic in the starting lineup gives the Kings‘ first unit stronger ball-handling, play-making, and defense, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. As Anderson points out, head coach Luke Walton said that Hield’s move to the bench isn’t necessarily permanent, but it’s working for now.
  • In case you missed it on Monday evening, the NBA announced that Tuesday’s Lakers/Clippers game has been postponed in the wake of Kobe Bryant‘s death.

Warriors Willing To Trade Alec Burks, Other Veterans

Shooting guard Alec Burks is among several players the Warriors are willing to part with before the February 6 trade deadline, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole suggests Golden State could be one of the most active teams on the trade market after virtually ignoring it during the past five years.

He identifies Burks as the most coveted of the Warriors’ assets because he can stretch defenses and has an affordable contract at $2.3MM. Burks is averaging 15.5 PPG through 30 games and shooting 34.9% from 3-point range.

Poole names the Lakers, Mavericks, Clippers, Pacers and Raptors as teams that could use another wing player who can shoot from the outside. He states that the Warriors will be looking for future assets such as draft picks and young players.

Although Golden State’s front office likes Burks, they need to open up roster spots soon to keep two-way players Damion Lee and Ky Bowman, who are both nearing their 45-day NBA limit. Lee has 12 days remaining and Bowman has 11. After that, they will have to have their contracts converted to NBA deals or remain in the G League until that season is over.

“It’s an awkward situation for us, because Ky and Damion are coming up on their limit,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Friday’s game. “And they’re two of our top seven players in our rotation. And yet the rules are that we only have them for another nine or 10 days each. Everybody is aware of that. We don’t know how it’s going to play out.”

Several league sources told Poole that the Warriors are ready to move into serious trade discussions. They added several veterans over the summer on contracts that they believed would be easy to move when the time came.

Those include Glenn Robinson III at $1.9MM, Marquese Chriss at a non-guaranteed $1.7MM and Willie Cauley-Stein at $2.2MM with a $2.3MM player option for next season. They also traded for Omari Spellman, who makes $1.9MM this year, and picked up his option for 2020/21 at nearly $2MM.

Omari Spellman Revisits Failed Stint With Hawks

After being selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Omari Spellman lasted just a single season in Atlanta, having been sent to Golden State in a trade this past offseason. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic details, Spellman dealt with depression and weight issues during his failed stint with the Hawks, getting up to 315 pounds by the end of his stint with the team.

Having received a second chance with the Warriors, Spellman has enjoyed a more promising 2019/20 campaign so far, slimming down to about 260 pounds and earning a regular role for an injury-plagued Dubs squad.

Speaking to Slater, Spellman took a clear-eyed look back on his time with Atlanta, insisting that his problems as a rookie were more about self-sabotage rather than anything the Hawks did wrong.

If you have an Athletic subscription, the entire conversation is worth checking out, but here are a few highlights from the unusually forthcoming 22-year-old:

On how he missed the NCAA structure during his first season in the NBA:

“When you’re in college, they kind of — you got class, which blocks out parts of your day, practice, hot yoga, all these things I was doing. Team dinner. Then on the night of home games, we’re in a hotel anyway. … Then you get on your own and I equate it to what a normal teenager, when they first get to college, what that’s like. They have all this freedom, no structure and they kind of f–k up.

“I was f–king up, but the difference is, this time, when I f–ked up, no one was helping me. No one was saying nothing to me. It was just, I was living by myself, so can’t nobody really tell me nothing, at that time.”

On when he realized things were heading in the wrong direction with the Hawks:

“To be honest, man, I knew for a pretty long time. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But I knew for a fact that, at some point, the relationship had gotten so toxic in Atlanta — organizational to player. They had tried a lot of stuff, they really did and I could never say they didn’t. They tried a lot of stuff to help me and I was just not in a place to accept that help yet.

“I could tell they were frustrated. I won’t say I knew I was going to get traded, but I knew something was going to happen. Either this year I was going to start in the G League or this season, I don’t touch the court. Or I knew I wasn’t going to be in Atlanta anymore.”

On why things have turned around with the Warriors:

“Well, one, getting traded as a first-round pick after your first season lets you know that you’re about to be out of the league. For certain people. Now, for Landry Shamet, totally different. But for me? The way it happened to me? Yo, bro, you’re on your way out. … So to me, it was like if I’m going to go out, I’m going to go out putting my best foot forward. Because I know last year was not my best foot, at all.

On how his mentality has changed since last season:

“I was like: ‘I’m a slob. I’m f–king fat. I’m f–king useless in the league.’ Then you have to consciously decide that I’m going to shift that mentality. I’m none of those things. I work hard. I play hard. I leave it all out there. I’m a great teammate. You have to view yourself like that. It’s not a cocky thing. That’s who you are. To take that fight, take that challenge, I was proud of myself. Because I easily could’ve just gave up. Just said: ‘F–k it, man. It is what it is. I’m not supposed to be in the league.’ Some people stay in that mindset forever and it’s hard to escape it.”