Timberwolves Sign Daishen Nix To Exhibit 10 Deal

SEPTEMBER 18: The signing is official, according to RealGM’s transaction log.

SEPTEMBER 17: Daishen Nix will sign a one-year contract with the Timberwolves, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. It’s an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (Twitter link).

The 21-year-old combo guard averaged 4.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 57 games with the Rockets last season. Shooting has been an issue for Nix, who connected on just 34.2% of his attempts from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in 2022/23.

Nix earned a two-way contract with Houston in 2021 after playing one year with the G League Ignite. He spent most of his rookie season in the G League, where he helped the Rio Grande Valley Vipers capture the championship.

The Rockets decided to waive Nix in late June before his $1,836,096 for next season became guaranteed. Houston had a team option for Nix for 2024/25, but it was also non-guaranteed.

The Exhibit 10 clause in Nix’s new deal with the Wolves will allow him to earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and spends at least 60 days with Minnesota’s G League affiliate in Iowa. Exhibit 10 contracts can also be converted into two-way deals.

Minnesota has 14 players with fully guaranteed standard contracts, plus one two-way spot open, so there’s an opportunity for Nix to make the roster if he’s impressive during training camp. Once Nix’s signing becomes official, the Wolves will have two openings left on their offseason roster.

Rockets Notes: Brooks, Jeff Green, Jalen Green, Porter

Canadian national team head coach Jordi Fernandez was impressed by the professionalism Dillon Brooks showed during the World Cup, writes Ben DuBose of Rockets Wire. Before signing with Houston this summer, Brooks wore out his welcome in Memphis with his abrasive tactics and questionable shot selection, but Fernandez told Toni Canyameras from Mundo Deportivo that he didn’t see any of that with Team Canada.

“(He’s) excellent,” Fernandez said. “He is nothing more than a normal person who comes in and is very professional. He takes good care of himself (and does) all the work to be 100% ready to play. His work in the gym, the things he does on his own — he is a superb professional.

“Inside the locker room, he connects with his teammates, everyone respects him. He is like the rest of the group, he is nothing out of this world. He is one of the best competitors I have ever seen, and on the entire court, not only defensively, where he has superpowers, but he’s shown offensively that he can not only score but also be efficient with the quality of the shots.”

The Rockets are counting on having that version of Brooks after giving him $86MM over four years. They’re hoping he can help establish an identity on defense, where Houston has been among the league’s worst teams during its three years of rebuilding.

There’s more from Houston:

  • There are incentives in the new contracts for Brooks and fellow free agent addition Jeff Green, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN. Brooks will receive $1MM if the Rockets reach the first round of the playoffs, while Green can earn $1.6MM by playing in at least 55 games and averaging 19 minutes per night. Green’s bonuses are considered likely, Marks adds, based on what he did in Denver last season.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner singled out Jalen Green during a recent appearance on Tidal League’s “Run Your Race” podcast, according to a tweet from ClutchFans. Addressing the trend of young players getting overhyped on social media because of their “cutesy handles,” Turner said Green is different. “The one kid who I will say who had a lot of that hype, and I’m actually really impressed with how he’s handling it, is Jalen Green,” Turner stated. “Jalen Green came (into the league) with a LOT of that hype, bro, even before he got to the Ignite with that social media stuff. Watching him develop into the player he is right now … I have to give him a shout out. It’s actually really impressive.”
  • Attorneys for Kevin Porter Jr. are asking the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to drop second-degree assault charges after determining that he didn’t break his girlfriend’s neck during last week’s attack, per Priscilla DeGregory of The New York Post. Documents showed that Kysre Gondrezick‘s fractured vertebra was the result of a congenital defect, according to his defense team. Porter still faces a second-degree strangulation charge, which carries a maximum of seven years in prison, along with a third-degree assault charge.

Jose Alvarado Has Ankle Sprain, Could Miss Camp Time

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado suffered a ankle sprain during a workout this weekend and his availability for training camp is in doubt, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Alvarado is entering his third season in the league. He’s one of the key backcourt reserves for New Orleans, which is looking to bounce back from an injury-marred season.

Alvarado suffered a stress reaction in his right tibia in February and he was still feeling discomfort earlier this summer. His minimum-salary contract for 2023/24 is fully non-guaranteed, though it’s unlikely his roster spot is in danger.

Listed at 6’0″, Alvarado appeared in 61 games last season, including 10 starts. He averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes per game. He saw action in 54 regular season games as a rookie after going undrafted out of Georgia Tech.

Alvarado isn’t a serious three-point threat (32.2%) but he’s a pesky defender and a solid floor leader. He’s only committed an average of 1.1 turnovers in 18.6 minutes during his two seasons.

Training camps will open in a little more than two weeks.

Eastern Notes: Turner, Richardson, Bulls, Nets

Myles Turner was selected by the Pacers with the No. 11 overall pick in 2015. Turner revealed that he expected to go much higher in the lottery, Tidal League tweets.

“I thought I was going number 5 to Orlando. … I’m at the table in the green room. ‘With the number 5 pick the Orlando Magic select Mario Hezonja.’ I’m like, ‘Who the (expletive) is this?'” Turner said, adding that it was a “blessing in disguise” when he ended up going to Indiana at No. 11.

We have more notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Josh Richardson joined the Heat in 2015 after playing four seasons at Tennessee, making him a polished, ready-for-prime-time player.  Entering his second stint with the franchise, Richardson continues to play with an intelligent, measured style that has aged well, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Richardson rejoined Miami as a free agent on a two-year contract.
  • The Bulls remain outside the top six in the Eastern Conference’s pecking order, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. They are not a serious threat as currently constructed, though all the teams above them are flawed, Cowley writes. The Bucks and Celtics take the top two spots in Cowley’s rankings.
  • The Nets earned a B-minus for their offseason moves, according to NetsDaily.com. The team’s two biggest question marks remain unanswered — namely, do they have enough scoring and can they improve their rebounding?

Damyean Dotson Signs With Chinese Team

Former Knicks and Cavaliers guard Damyean Dotson has signed with Ningbo Rockets of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

Dotson spent last season with Gaziantep in Turkey, where he averaged 14.8 points and 3.0 assists.

Dotson has appeared in 213 NBA regular season games, most recently a two-game stint on a 10-day hardship contract with the Knicks in 2021/22. He played 46 games for Cleveland, including seven starts, the previous season. He also had a stint with San Antonio’s G League club that season.

He played for the Knicks in his first three NBA seasons after being drafted in the second round in 2017,

Overall, the 29-year-old shooting guard averaged 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.9 minutes per game.

Community Shootaround: James Harden

The James Harden drama has been one of the big NBA stories this offseason and the latest scuttlebutt suggests it’s not going away any time soon.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that the Clippers, not Sixers, shut down trade talks this summer.

Harden has been disgruntled (even if Kyrie Irving doesn’t like that description) since the Sixers didn’t give him a lucrative extension. Harden opted out last summer in exchange for a lesser salary with a second-year player option.

Harden opted in before free agency this summer to secure that guaranteed money, then demanded a trade. Philadelphia set a high price with some combination of expiring contracts and draft picks. The Clippers were the only team that seemed mildly interested in trading for the 2018 MVP.

Harden has publicly called Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, one of the guard’s biggest supporters over the years, a liar.

Harden has incentive to report to training camp in a couple of weeks under the new CBA. He stands to lose his unrestricted free agent status for next summer if he holds out.

Morey has already seen how an unhappy Harden can disrupt a team. When Harden wanted to get out of Houston, he came to camp out of his shape and only appeared in eight games before he was traded to Brooklyn.

The Clippers could be posturing, waiting for the Sixers to cave and lower their demands. Or they could simply go with what they’ve got. They already have a point guard battle on their hands with Russell Westbrook, Terance Mann and Bones Hyland angling for playing time.

Windhorst indicated that the Clippers aren’t expected to pursue any trades before the regular season.

That leads us to today’s topic: In light of the latest developments, do you think Sixers will be able to trade James Harden prior to the season? If so, will he wind up with the Clippers or do you think he’ll go to another playoff contender?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Heat Notes: Swider, Richardson, Butler, Lowry

Cole Swider is hoping to be the Heat‘s next success story in player development, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami has shown a knack for finding useful players who have gone undrafted, many of whom are coming off opportunities with other teams. Swider wants to put his name on that list with Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Orlando Robinson and others.

“It was a big part of my decision-making process,” Swider said. “There were a lot of teams that were interested. And a lot of ’em were interested in the same thing the Heat were interested in, an Exhibit 10 (tryout contract) and the opportunity to earn a two-way or a roster spot. But the success with the Heat with those guys gave me an easy decision, in terms of they’re going to give you a real opportunity in training camp, they’re going to give you real opportunities to get on the floor and play through mistakes and make the team.”

Swider, a 24-year-old small forward, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers after going undrafted out of Syracuse in 2022. He saw minimal playing time in seven games with L.A., spending most of the season in the G League.

Another reason Swider decided to go to Miami was the team’s need for outside shooting after losing Strus and Vincent in free agency. Swider is a shooting specialist, connecting at 50.6% from the field and 43.6% from beyond the arc in 27 G League games last season.

“Because of the type of guys like me in the past, they know how to use guys like me,” he said. “When I do something in pickup that looks like Duncan or Max or Gabe, they know how to use me in a game. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this only works in pickup.’”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Josh Richardson has aged well throughout his NBA career and should be a reliable rotation player this season, Winderman states in a mailbag column. Richardson, who was drafted by the Heat in 2015, returned to the organization this summer after playing for five teams in the last four years. Winderman notes that he relies on intelligence as much as speed and athleticism and has remained productive at age 30.
  • Jimmy Butler falls just short of the NBA’s exceptions in its new Player Participation Policy, but his medical history may give the Heat more opportunity to rest him, Winderman adds in another piece. Teams can petition the league to sit out players in back-to-back games if they’re at least 35 years old or have logged more than 34,000 career minutes or 1,000 total games in the regular season and playoffs. Butler is 34 with 29,513 minutes in 873 games, but his history of knee issues may qualify him to get approval under the PPP’s injury provision.
  • NBA Twitter was buzzing Saturday night when Heat guard Kyle Lowry was spotted alongside Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups at the Colorado-Colorado State football game (video link). Lowry is among the players who may be headed to Portland if the teams can agree on a Damian Lillard trade.

Clippers Reportedly Ended James Harden Trade Talks

Word leaked last month that the Sixers had taken James Harden off the trade market taken James Harden off the trade market, but it was actually the Clippers that shut down talks between the teams, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the latest edition of his “Hoop Collective” podcast (hat tip to Clippers Fan Nation).

“(The Clippers) tried to trade for James Harden, and that deal didn’t happen,” Windhorst said. “And from what I understand, it was the Clippers who said, ‘Okay, there’s no deal here. We’re gonna move on.’ And while I assume that they could certainly make a deal midseason, I assume that this is what they’re gonna go with.”

L.A. was Harden’s preferred destination when he asked to be traded in late June after his surprise decision to pick up his $35.6MM player option for next season. With the Clippers not pursuing a deal, at least for the time being, there was no viable market for Harden and the Sixers stopped trying to create one.

That decision led to an angry outburst from Harden during an appearance in China, where he called president of basketball operations Daryl Morey “a liar” and blasted team management for the way it has dealt with him over the past two years. Harden also vowed that he will never be part of an organization run by Morey, a statement that will be tested when training camp opens in two weeks.

He received a $100K fine for those comments and the NBA launched an investigation of whether there had been a handshake deal in place when Harden took a pay cut a year ago. However, the league found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the Sixers.

Although Morey shopped Harden around the league, he reportedly set the asking price so high that other teams weren’t willing to meet it, a tactic he also used when Ben Simmons asked to be dealt two years ago. According to multiple reports, the Clippers were unwilling to part with young guard Terance Mann or their best draft assets in a proposed deal.

While the Sixers wait to see if Harden will continue to try to force his way out of Philadelphia, the Clippers appear satisfied with their current roster going into camp. Windhorst doesn’t expect L.A. to pursue any more trades until the season is underway.

Atlantic Notes: Bridges, Simmons, Powell, Uzoh

Mikal Bridges‘ performance in the World Cup should confirm the Nets’ confidence that he can be their team leader, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Bridges already had a major breakthrough after being acquired in the Kevin Durant trade in February, increasing his scoring average from 17.2 PPG in 56 games with Phoenix to 26.1 in 27 games with Brooklyn. He also proved to be effective in international basketball, finishing as Team USA’s second-leading scorer behind Anthony Edwards. Lewis points out that Bridges had the best efficiency rating on the team as a result of his shooting percentages (63.3% from the floor and 55.6% from behind the arc) and his contributions on defense.

U.S. coach Steve Kerr was impressed by what Bridges and Nets teammate Cameron Johnson were able to bring to the team.

“I already knew what kind of players they were from coaching against them,” Kerr said. “But they’re so mature: There’s a calming sense from both guys. And they’re also modern-day basketball players: shoot the three, guard multiple positions, long athletically. They’re huge components to this team.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets will be one of the teams least affected by the NBA’s new Player Participation Policy, Lewis adds. The regulations put restrictions on the amount of rest permissible for star players, but the only Net who currently qualifies is Ben Simmons, who has been dealing with legitimate injuries ever since arriving in Brooklyn. Lewis notes that Bridges could eventually join Simmons if he becomes an All-Star this season, but he hasn’t missed a game in his NBA career.
  • In an interview with Fix Media Network (video link) Clippers guard Norman Powell said it’s much easier to go out in public in Los Angeles without being recognized than it was when he played for the Raptors (hat tip to Fan Nation). “The support is crazy,” Powell said of playing in Canada. “It’s so bad, and it’s one thing that I do like now that I’m in L.A., because no matter where you’re at, eyes are on you in Canada. You can’t even go to restaurants, you can’t go to the mall, like you can’t walk down the street. … Don’t go to Vancouver or somewhere where they don’t have the Raptors, you’re getting mobbed, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Ben Uzoh, who briefly played for the Raptors in 2012, has joined the organization as a scout, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca.

Pistons Notes: Bogdanovic, Morris, Livers, Duren

Bojan Bogdanovic‘s high trade value makes him the Pistons player most likely to be dealt this season, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. Detroit considered several offers for the veteran swingman last season before opting to hold onto him. The Pistons are hoping to contend for a play-in spot, and they view Bogdanovic as an important part of that effort.

Part of Bogdanovic’s appeal is his team-friendly contract, which pays him $20MM for the upcoming season and carries just a $2MM guarantee on his $19MM salary for 2024/25. The deal won’t become fully guaranteed until late June of next year.

Second on Edwards’ list is Monte Morris, who was acquired from the Wizards during the offseason. Morris has a $9.8MM expiring contract, and he’ll be competing for playing time with young guards Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Marcus Sasser, who are all expected to be part of Detroit’s long-term future.

Rounding out the list, in order, are Alec Burks, Joe Harris and Marvin Bagley, but Edwards cautions that things could change if the Pistons are still in contention for a postseason spot around the trade deadline.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Isaiah Livers will head into training camp with the widest range of outcomes, having a chance to be the starting power forward or out of the rotation entirely, Edwards adds. He says Livers has the skills to be a 3-and-D forward, but his playing time will depend on how reliable he becomes from beyond the arc. He connected on 36.5% of his three-point attempts last season.
  • Coming off a strong rookie season, Jalen Duren is the pre-camp favorite to win the starting center job, according to Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Duren was the NBA’s youngest player last season, but he managed to lead all rookies in total rebounds, offensive rebounds and dunks. He continued to impress at Summer League and as a member of the Select Team that scrimmaged against Team USA in Las Vegas. “I just feel good. Coming in last year, trying to figure everything out, trying to get to know the new game, the new league, it was a lot,” he said. “Now, going through my first offseason, coming back into my second year in the NBA, a lot more confidence, a lot more understanding of how it works.”
  • Former Pistons great Richard Hamilton, who’s now a CBS Sports analyst, likes the young roster that general manager Troy Weaver has put together, per Tony Paul of The Detroit News.“It’s gonna take time, you know, I don’t want to rush it, but I just feel as thought we got a great core of young guys,” Hamilton said. “And we’re starting to build around young guys. And the young guys are eventually gonna become veterans.”