Omri Casspi

Grizzlies Notes: Holiday, Temple, Casspi, Parsons

After attempting to send MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden to Phoenix last month in a three-team trade that would’ve netted them Kelly Oubre, the Grizzlies moved those same players in Thursday’s deal for Justin Holiday. While the deal isn’t as favorable as the one they thought they had for Oubre, that’s why this one was able to get done, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian writes in his breakdown of the swap.

Herrington isn’t overly bullish on the trade, noting that it reduces the Grizzlies’ flexibility to some extent — the team has an open roster spot as a result of the two-for-one deal, but probably won’t have enough breathing room under the luxury tax line to fill it right away. Herrington also isn’t sure that Holiday represents a meaningful upgrade over the younger Selden, and notes that Memphis will now likely be left without a pick in the 2019 draft.

Still, as Herrington observes, it’s possible that Brooks’ and Selden’s inclusion in that failed trade with the Suns and Wizards “poisoned the waters” and left those players unhappy. If that was the case, this new deal may help lift any lingering unease in the locker room, making it more worthwhile.

Here’s more out of Memphis:

  • In the wake of a Wednesday postgame meeting that involved a physical altercation between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi, GM Chris Wallace apologized to Grizzlies fans and said the team would hand out internal discipline, per an Associated Press report. Wallace was also displeased that details of the incident leaked to the media so quickly, adding that the club would handle that internally as well.
  • Within that same AP report, Temple and Casspi both addressed the reported altercation, though neither player went into much detail. “Some things were said and some things happened,” Temple said. “At the end of the day we’re brothers. We’ve known each other since we were rookies. At the end of the day, we came out of that meeting … on the same page and we’re moving on from it.”
  • David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal wonders if the locker room incident speaks to a leadership void for the Grizzlies.
  • Chandler Parsons is healthy and wants to get back on the court, but it’s not clear which Grizzlies player(s) should be sacrificing minutes for the oft-injured forward. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a closer look at the situation.

Grizzlies’ Postgame Meeting Turns Physical

The Grizzlies‘ slide down the Western Conference standings continued on Wednesday, as the team lost its third consecutive game – and 10th of 13 – to slip below .500 for the first time since October. After the game, frustrations with that slump boiled over in Memphis’ locker room, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that veterans Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi were involved in an altercation after a team meeting turned physical.

League sources tell Charania that the meeting began with coaches and players “questioning each other about their effort and what each can do to improve.” However, when the bench unit was accused of a lack of enthusiasm, Casspi “became vocal in his defense.” Temple and Casspi had a verbal exchange which turned physical before the two men were separated, per Charania.

A source tells ESPN.com that the scuffle between Temple and Casspi was “heat-of-the-moment stuff,” and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff didn’t mention it during his post-game comments. At the time that Bickerstaff addressed the media, approximately 30 minutes later than expected, news of the physical altercation hadn’t yet leaked, giving the coach some leeway to downplay what happened in the locker room.

“A conversation that needed to be had that will stay between those of us that were in that locker room,” Bickerstaff said, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. “I think addressing larger issues was the conversation that we needed to have. Right now it’s not X’s and O’s that need to be resolved. I think we resolved some of those issues tonight.”

The Grizzlies, who were 15-9 less than a month ago, now sit at 18-19, tied with the Mavericks for 10th in the West. Memphis is still within striking distance of the top eight, 2.5 games back of the Spurs (No. 7) and Lakers (No. 8), but the club will need to right the ship soon in order to avoid slipping further out of the playoff race in a competitive conference.

Temple and Casspi are both in contract years, on track to become unrestricted free agents this summer, so it wouldn’t be hard to trade one of them before next month’s deadline. However, there’s no indication at this point that that would be necessary. Of the two, Temple is the least expendable — he has started 37 games and averaged 31.8 MPG this season, emerging as a veteran leader for the Grizzlies after arriving from Sacramento in an offseason trade.

Dillon Brooks Out Six To Eight Weeks With MCL Sprain

Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks suffered a grade II MCL sprain in the team’s Saturday victory over the Sixers, the team announced in a press release on Monday. Brooks is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Brooks tripped over the basketball on a bounce pass attempt by Joel Embiid and his knee hyperextended. He left the game and underwent an MRI on Monday, which revealed the severity of the injury.

Brooks, 22, is a key part of Memphis’ second unit. The second-round pick from 2017 NBA draft averaged 6.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG through 11 games (18.9 MPG) this season while providing a spark on defense. In 82 games (74 starts) last season, Brooks averaged 11.0 PPG and 3.1 RPG for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies also provided updates on Omri Casspi, JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons. Casspi (knee) is nearing a full recovery and is expected to return at some point this week. Green (jaw) appeared in two games this season before undergoing surgery for a fractured jaw in late October; he’s expected to return within two weeks. Finally, Parsons (knee) is limited by the injury and another update will be issued in two weeks.

Warriors Notes: Green, Casspi, McKinnie

Draymond Green is eager to win the Defensive Player of the Year award and with good reason — he would be eligible for a super max extension, Nick Friedell of ESPN relays. Citing fellow ESPN contributor Bobby Marks, Friedell notes that Green could receive a five-year, $235MM extension that would start in 2020 if he captured the prize, though Golden State could only sign one more player to a Designated Veteran Contract because Stephen Curry already has that type of deal.

“I need that bad. Real bad,” Green said of the Defensive Player of the Year award. “I made second team All-Defense last year. I’m (ticked) about that still. I’ll be (ticked) until I right that, so that’s a serious goal of mine this year.”

We have more from the Warriors:

  • Forward Omri Casspi didn’t play at all during the Warriors’ postseason run but the franchise will honor him anyway during a ring ceremony on Monday, Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Casspi, now a member of the Grizzlies, was waived just before the playoffs to open up a roster spot for guard Quinn Cook. Casspi appeared in 53 games with the Warriors after signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal but was sidelined by an ankle injury before he was waived.
  • Alfonzo McKinnie acknowledges that the impasse between Patrick McCaw and the Warriors helped him land a standard contract, as he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic in a lengthy Q&A session. McKinnie, a 6’8” forward, is averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.3 RPG off the bench and recorded a double-double against the Bulls last week. McKinnie originally came in on a two-way deal but received a two-year contract in training camp, though his salary for this season won’t fully guaranteed until January 10th. “The McCaw stuff, I guess, was good for my situation,” McKinnie said. “But it’s not something I can control. Just went through training camp, worked my butt off and they liked what they’ve seen.”
  • The Warriors remain hopeful of retaining DeMarcus Cousins beyond this season. Get the details here.

Southwest Notes: Nowitzki, Casspi, Grunwald

Utilizing Dirk Nowitzki as a sixth man might be the best strategy for the Mavericks during the upcoming season, Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News opines. The team seems committed to start rookie guard Luka Doncic, so if Nowitzki also starts, that would thrust Wesley Matthews into a bench role, Sefko notes. Pairing Nowitzki with reserve guard J.J. Barea in pick-and-pop situations might be a more sensible route, Sefko adds.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Omri Casspi‘s offensive skills will provide a different element to the Grizzlies’ rotation than Jarell Martin, the player he essentially replaces, according to Michael Wallace of the team’s website. Casspi, who signed a one-year deal in July, probably won’t play as much as Martin did but Casspi shot 58% from the field and 45.5% from long range for the Warriors last season. His ability to space the floor with his long-range prowess and also cut to the basket will make him an asset, Wallace continues. Martin has more athleticism and defensive versatility than Casspi but never produced as consistently as the Grizzlies had hoped, Wallace adds.
  • Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald has accepted a consultant’s role with the Grizzlies, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports. Grunwald has also held preliminary negotiations with Canada Basketball, the country’s governing body for the sport, concerning its executive director opening, Smith adds. Grunwald left his post as the director of athletics and recreation at Canada’s McMaster University to join the Grizzlies organization.
  • What are the remaining offseason questions for Southwest Division teams? We take a closer look here.

Grizzlies Sign Omri Casspi

JULY 11: The Grizzlies have officially signed Omri Casspi, the club announced in a press release.

JUNE 30: The Grizzlies have agreed to add forward Omri Casspi on a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Memphis would mark the 30-year-old’s seventh NBA stop since 2011.

Casspi’s one-year deal will be a fully guaranteed, minimum-salary contract, tweets Chris Herrington.

In 53 games for the Warriors prior to being cut late in the season, Casspi averaged 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Despite the modest numbers in 2017/18, however, Casspi has carved out a nine-year career as a solid depth piece and should help a Grizzlies team intent on returning to contention for a playoff spot.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Looney, Kerr, Green

As Kevin Durant continues his quest to win a second consecutive NBA Championship during the Western Conference Finals, Darren Rovell of ESPN takes an interesting look into how Durant is using his new home in the Bay Area as a means to grow his financial portfolio.

Durant has invested in Nike, Alaska Airlines and American Family Insurance, among other businesses, while his own media company, Thirty Five Media, is producing original content such as Swagger, which was recently sold to Apple, and two other projects that are currently in development with major TV networks.

Rovell also touched Durant’s endorsement battle between Nike and Under Armour during the summer of 2014 when Durant ultimately signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with Nike. Said Durant:

“I knew I had a supreme skill that needed to be compensated for, and I knew I played my way into having these negotiations. But I didn’t want to start over at Under Armour or Adidas. I knew where I wanted to be, and $300 million was more than enough.”

Finally, Durant spoke about his interest in potentially owning an NBA franchise someday, if possible.

“I wish I had the money. It’s crazy. Obviously, the financial part is definitely going to be the hardest part. (But) I would love to (own a team). All the aspects of owning a team, I would love to be involved in — from the financial and marketing side to the team-building to the camaraderie to the coaching.”

There’s more out of Oakland:

  • Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post says that while the Warriors have four of the top 20 players in the NBA on their roster, the lack of a reliable supporting cast is threatening to derail the team’s run to a third championship in four seasons. Bontemps specifically mentions the signings of Nick Young and Omri Casspi as “spectacular failures.”
  • Head coach Steve Kerr has won the Professional Basketball Writes Associations’ 2017/18 Rudy Tomjanovich Award, which honors the NBA coach who, in addition to exuding excellence on the bench, best cooperates with media and fans, reports Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
  • As we’ve noted before, it’s looking more and more likely that Kevon Looney will be playing basketball somewhere other than Oakland next year as he continues to impress during this year’s playoffs. After the team’s Game 3 win, Kerr specifically remarked on Looney’s ability as a big man to switch out onto talented playmakers such as Chris Paul and James Harden, reports Logan Murdock of the Bay Area News Group.

Omri Casspi Plans To Continue Career In NBA

Having been waived by the Warriors over the weekend to make room on the roster for Quinn Cook, Omri Casspi will officially clear waivers and become a free agent later this week. However, while he isn’t expected to catch on with another NBA team this season, Casspi remains focused on sticking in the NBA next year, per Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

According to Voisin, Casspi intends to spend the next few weeks in his native country of Israel, visiting family in Tel Aviv. Then he’ll return to Los Angeles to continue rehabbing the ankle injury that has sidelined him in recent weeks, and will train in preparation for the 2018 free agency period. While Casspi could technically be scooped up by another NBA team this week, his ankle injury and his lack of eligibility for the playoffs make it far more likely that he’ll return for 2018/19.

“I want to stay in the NBA,” Casspi told Voisin. “I learned so much this year with the Warriors. That’s what makes this so hard. That is an amazing organization, and (Warriors head coach) Steve (Kerr), the way he handles things, the good times and the adversity, is really impressive. He told me he loves what I bring, too, and I could tell it was hard for him to tell me.

“When we met with (Warriors GM) Bob (Myers) last night, Steve kept looking down,” Casspi continued. “I told him, ‘I love you guys. I understand.’ I just feel if I could have ever gotten healthy, I’d be on on the playoff roster. But what are you going to do? This is a hard business sometimes.”

As Marc Stein of The New York Times writes, Casspi chose to sign with the Warriors during the 2017 offseason because he wanted to compete for a championship. That meant turning down interest from the Nets, who would have paid him closer to $5MM rather than the minimum salary he received from the Dubs, says Stein.

Casspi won’t get a chance to compete for a title this season, having become what Kerr referred to as “a victim of circumstance” in Golden State. It will be interesting to see whether the veteran forward prioritizing joining a contending team again during the coming offseason, or if he’ll be more inclined to opt for a bigger offer from a team willing to give him a more significant role.

Warriors Waive Omri Casspi; Quinn Cook Signing Imminent

In a long-anticipated move, the Warriors have waived veteran forward Omri Casspi to create a roster opening for Quinn Cook, writes Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News.

Cook, Golden State’s starting point guard with Stephen Curry sidelined by injury, must have his two-way deal converted to a standard NBA contract by Tuesday to be eligible for the postseason. The Warriors have discussed a two-year arrangement that will run through the 2019/20 season, but don’t plan to officially sign Cook until Tuesday, when playoff rosters must be finalized.

The Warriors were facing a deadline of 5pm Eastern today to waive Casspi because he has a guaranteed contract, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN. The deadline allows 48 hours for Casspi to pass through waivers and is set for today because some teams wrap up the season on Tuesday, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Golden State’s front office was hoping to keep Casspi, but decided the team needed all of its centers — Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, Kevon Looney and Damian Jones — to provide more flexibility for playoff matchups, adds Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). It’s an unfortunate outcome for Casspi, who bypassed a potentially better deal with the Nets last summer to sign for the veteran’s minimum with the Warriors in hopes of winning a title, Stein adds (Twitter link). Even if another team were to claim him, Casspi wouldn’t be eligible for the playoffs because he was on Golden State’s roster past March 1 (Twitter link).

The decision on Casspi was influenced by a sprained right ankle that has kept him out of the past 10 games, Medina notes. A recent MRI showed inflammation in the ankle and he had discomfort when making hard cuts. Casspi appeared in 53 games this season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds and shooting .455 from 3-point range.

Warriors Talking To Quinn Cook About Long-Term Deal

The Warriors are negotiating a long-term contract with two-way player Quinn Cook, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN. It would be fully guaranteed for the rest of this season, along with next season, adds Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link).

Cook has to be signed to a regular NBA contract by April 10 to be eligible for the postseason. The move has been expected based on his outstanding play in the wake of two injuries that sidelined Stephen Curry. Cook is averaging 8.9 points in 29 games and shooting ,429 from 3-point range. He is expected to be the team’s starting point guard for the first round of the playoffs while Curry continues to heal.

It’s a breakthrough performance for the 25-year-old, who has struggled to earn a spot in the league since going undrafted out of Duke in 2015. His only previous NBA experience came last season when he played five games for the Mavericks and nine for the Pelicans.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has begun talking about Cook as though he’ll be on the postseason roster, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link). “This is what we’ve come to expect from Quinn.” Kerr said after Tuesday’s win at Oklahoma City. “He’s probably not going to be a 30-point guy in the playoffs.”

Golden State has a full roster, so a move will have to be made before Cook’s new contract can be finalized. The most likely candidate to be waived is veteran forward Omri Casspi, whose veteran’s minimum contract expires at the end of the season. Casspi is dealing with pain in his right ankle, Haynes tweets, and did not accompany the Warriors on their current road trip.