PJ Dozier

Magic Waive PJ Dozier

The Magic have waived combo guard PJ Dozier, who was acquired from the Celtics earlier today, the team announced (via Twitter).

Dozier, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL he suffered in November, was traded along with Bol Bol as a way for Boston to trim salary. Dozier has a $1.9MM expiring contract and will be a free agent this summer.

Dozier played 18 games this season, all with the Nuggets before being traded to the Celtics in January, and averaged 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per night. He spent the past two and a half seasons in Denver after starting his career with short stays with Oklahoma City and Boston.

Celtics Trade Bol Bol, PJ Dozier To Magic

1:16pm: The deal is official, according to a press release from the Magic. As expected, the team has waived Moore and Carter-Williams.


1:00pm: The Magic will acquire the Celtics’ 2028 second-round pick (top-45 protected) in the deal, while Boston will get the Magic’s 2023 second-rounder (top-55 protected), reports Price (via Twitter).


12:12pm: The Magic will waive veteran guard E’Twaun Moore as part of the deal, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Orlando is also cutting Michael Carter-Williams, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Both players have been out all season due to injuries.

Brian Robb of MassLive.com confirms (via Twitter) that the second-round pick headed to Boston in the deal will be heavily protected and likely won’t convey.


11:34am: The Celtics have reached an agreement to trade injured players Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to the Magic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). It’s a cost-cutting move for the Celtics, who will dip below the luxury tax line as a result of the deal.

Boston is sending a second-round pick and cash to Orlando and will get a second-round pick in return, Wojnarowski reports. I’d expect the second-rounder headed to the Celtics to be heavily protected, but we’ll await further details.

Bol and Dozier were sent from Denver to Boston earlier this season in a three-team trade, but neither player was part of the Celtics’ short- or long-term plans. Bol underwent foot surgery that is expected to sideline him for most or all of the season, while Dozier is recovering from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL and won’t play until 2022/23.

Both players are on expiring deals, with Bol earning $2.2MM this season and Dozier making $1.9MM. Orlando will acquire both players using trade exceptions, while Boston will create a pair of new trade exceptions equivalent to their salaries.

The Celtics now have a pair of open roster spots and will remain out of tax territory even in the unlikely event that Jaylen Brown is named an All-Star replacement and earns a bonus. As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the C’s would’ve had a small tax bill of about $2MM if they hadn’t made a move, but they’re now in line to receive a potential eight-figure payout.

While Boston doesn’t have to make any more moves today, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) hears that there are still three or four teams in the mix for Dennis Schröder, with one source estimating there’s a 50/50 chance of a deal.

The Magic have a full 15-man roster, so they’ll have to make at least one more move in order to accommodate the incoming players.

Bryn Forbes Traded To Nuggets In Three-Team Deal

JANUARY 19: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Nuggets. As we relayed earlier today, the 2028 second-round pick acquired by the Spurs is top-33 protected, and San Antonio also received cash from both Boston ($2.15MM) and Denver ($200K).


JANUARY 18: Shooting guard Bryn Forbes is headed from the Spurs to the Nuggets as the headliner of a three-team deal that also involves the Celtics, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Forbes will once again join a playoff team, while Boston power forward Juancho Hernangomez and Denver’s 2028 second-round pick are heading to San Antonio. Two injured players, Nuggets power forward Bol Bol and guard PJ Dozier, will be sent to the Celtics.

As Woj details, the Nuggets, who at 22-20 are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, had been looking to acquire a wing to improve their bench scoring. Forbes, averaging 9.1 PPG on .432/.417/.898 shooting, fits the bill. The Nuggets had been linked to the veteran sharpshooter as a trade target as recently as yesterday.

Denver has been hit hard by injuries this season, so moving a pair of players who are expected to be sidelined for most or all of the season will help improve the team’s depth and will open up a spot on the team’s 15-man roster. A report over a week ago stated that the Nuggets were expected to add free agent center DeMarcus Cousins on a 10-day contract. That deal has yet to materialize, but Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets that there’s still mutual interest between the two sides.

The Nuggets tried to trade Bol to the Pistons last week, only to see the deal rescinded when he failed his team physical. Bol subsequently went under the knife for a foot surgery this week and is expected to miss at least eight-to-12 weeks of game action. Dozier will be out for the rest of the 2021/22 NBA season as he continues to recover from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL.

Wojnarowski reports that, at least at present, the Celtics intend to retain both Dozier and Bol through this season’s trade deadline. Bol could return by March or April and the C’s would have both players’ Bird rights in the offseason — Bol will be eligible for restricted free agency and Dozier will be unrestricted. Those plans could change if Boston needs to open up a roster spot in the coming weeks or months.

Hernangomez failed to crack the 23-22 Celtics’ rotation this season, averaging 1.1 PPG and 1.4 RPG across 5.3 MPG in just 18 contests. As Woj writes, by getting off Hernangomez’s $7MM salary and taking back Bol ($2.2MM) and Dozier ($1.9MM), Boston gets that much closer to ducking the NBA’s punitive luxury tax.

The Celtics won’t need to waive a player to accommodate their one-for-two trade, since they already had an open spot on their 15-man roster.

San Antonio’s decision to acquire a future draft pick and Hernangomez’s pseudo-expiring contract (next season’s salary is non-guaranteed) in exchange for Forbes, a role player on the 2021 championship-winning Bucks, could signal that the team has accepted it should be in asset-accrual mode in the weeks leading up to the league’s trade deadline.

The return for Forbes is modest, but that’s not a major surprise. While he’s a terrific shooter, Forbes is limited on the defensive end and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He also fell out of Milwaukee’s rotation during the NBA Finals last spring.

Northwest Notes: Campazzo, Hyland, Bol, Dozier, Dort, Gobert

Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo, who played professionally in Argentina and Spain from 2008-20 before arriving in the NBA, will be a free agent at the end of the 2021/22 season. However, Campazzo said this week that he has no intention of returning to Europe or to his home country to continue his career next year — his goal is to remain in the NBA beyond his current deal, despite playing a lesser role than he did internationally.

“My mind is 100 percent set on this, in the NBA,” Campazzo said, per David Fernandez Novo of AS.com (hat tip to RealGM). “This league demands the most out of you both physically and mentally.”

Campazzo, 30, has averaged 21.1 minutes per contest in 88 games for Denver since the start of the 2020/21 campaign and has moved up on the depth chart since Jamal Murray tore his ACL in the spring. So far this season, he’s averaging 5.7 PPG and 2.6 APG on .409/.362/.810 shooting in 23 games (19.0 MPG).

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Nuggets had Bones Hyland and Bol Bol available on Wednesday after the two players cleared their quarantine and exited the health and safety protocols, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post tweets.
  • Nuggets swingman PJ Dozier underwent surgery to repair his torn left ACL this week, the team confirmed (via Twitter). Dozier, who has been ruled out indefinitely, is expected to miss the rest of the season.
  • Thunder wing Luguentz Dort met the starter criteria when he made his 23rd start of the season on Wednesday night, based on the NBA’s adjusted rules for 2021/22. Dort has a $1,930,681 team option for ’22/23, but if Oklahoma City picks up that option, he’d be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023. Turning down the option would allow the team to re-sign Dort as a restricted free agent in 2022. In that scenario, his qualifying offer would be worth about $4.87MM.
  • Despite losing to the Jazz by 32 points on Wednesday, Timberwolves guards Patrick Beverley and Anthony Edwards didn’t exactly heap praise on their opponents after the game. As Sarah Todd of The Deseret News relays, Beverley suggested that three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert isn’t guarding the best players on the court, while Edwards said that Kristaps Porzingis is a better rim protector than Gobert. “I don’t get why we couldn’t finish on Rudy Gobert,” Edwards said. “He don’t put no fear in my heart.” The Wolves and Jazz will face each other three more times this season, including twice more in December, Todd notes.

Nuggets’ PJ Dozier Out For Season With Torn ACL

5:51pm: Dozier suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.


6:48am: Nuggets wing PJ Dozier had to be carried off the court on Tuesday after landing awkwardly late in the first quarter of Denver’s loss to Portland. The team hasn’t yet provided an official update on what was diagnosed as a left knee injury, but there’s concern that Dozier’s season is in jeopardy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Sources tell Wojnarowski that, after conducting initial imaging on Tuesday night, the Nuggets fear Dozier tore his left ACL. The injury will be evaluated further on Wednesday to determine the severity.

If today’s testing confirms that Dozier tore his ACL, it would be a brutal blow for both him and the team, which had relied on the 25-year-old as one of its go-to players off the bench. In 18 games so far this season, Dozier has averaged 5.4 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 18.9 minutes per contest.

The banged-up Nuggets are already dealing with a series of injuries to star players. Jamal Murray is recovering from an ACL tear of his own and will be out until the spring; Michael Porter Jr. is out indefinitely due to a nerve issue in his back; and Nikola Jokic has missed the team’s last three games due to a right wrist sprain.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter), Dozier’s $1.91MM salary for 2021/22 isn’t yet fully guaranteed, but it would become guaranteed if he’s ruled out for the season. Denver could also apply for a disabled player exception in that scenario, though such an exception – which would be worth half of Dozier’s salary – would have little practical value.

A team can apply for a hardship exception, opening up a temporary 16th roster spot, if it has at least four players who have missed at least three games due to injury or illness and are expected to be sidelined for at least two more weeks. However, while Murray, Porter, and Dozier appear likely to be out for the long term, Jokic should be back as soon as Friday and it’s unclear if Bones Hyland (right ankle sprain) is at risk of missing multiple weeks.

Early NBA Salary Guarantee Dates For 2021/22

There are currently 30 players on standard NBA contracts whose 2021/22 salaries aren’t yet fully guaranteed. In most cases, those players will receive their full guarantees if they remain under contract through January 7. Because the league-wide salary guarantee date is January 10, a player must clear waivers before that date if a team wants to avoid being on the hook for his full salary.

A handful of players have earlier trigger dates, however. Those players will receive either full guarantees or an increased partial guarantee on certain dates before January 7.

These dates are fairly malleable — if a player and team reach an agreement, they can be pushed back. The Raptors took that route with Isaac Bonga and Sam Dekker, for example. Both players were originally on track to have their full minimum-salary contracts for 2021/22 become guaranteed if they made the team’s opening-night roster. However, they agreed to push their guarantee dates back a few weeks, to November 6.

Those agreements between a player and team aren’t always reported right away, so our list of early salary guarantee dates is a tentative one, based on information from Basketball Insiders, Spotrac, and HoopsHype, as well as our own data.

Here are the salary guarantee dates to watch prior to January 7:

November 6:

  • Isaac Bonga (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($250,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,729,217).
  • Sam Dekker (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($350,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,789,256).

December 1:

  • Chimezie Metu (Kings): Partial guarantee ($881,398) increases to full guarantee ($1,762,796).

December 11:

  • PJ Dozier (Nuggets): Partial guarantee ($400,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,910,860).

December 15:

  • DeAndre’ Bembry (Nets): Partial guarantee ($750,000) increases to larger partial guarantee ($1,250,000).
  • Kenrich Williams (Thunder): Partial guarantee increases to full guarantee ($2,000,000).
    • Note: Williams’ partial guarantee is based on a salary of about $11,494 per day. For instance, 30 days into the regular season, he’ll have earned $344,828.

Northwest Notes: Little, Zeller, Nuggets, Bol

Nassir Little is working to shake off a rough preseason game with the Blazers last Monday, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian writes. Little finished with just three points in 24 minutes, shooting 1-of-9 from the floor with five turnovers. He also registered a team-worst minus-16 net rating.

“I was a little anxious,” Little admitted. “I was super excited to play.”

Portland next plays on Monday against Sacramento, giving Little and the team a full week to re-focus. The 21-year-old is one of the youngest players on the team’s preseason roster, having been drafted No. 25 overall by the club in 2019.

“There’s a lot of stuff that we’re all learning,” he said. “A lot of new stuff is being put in, so just being able to take advantage of this time to practice is going to be huge for me and the entire team.”

Here are some other notes from the Northwest Division tonight:

  • Speaking of the Trail Blazers, center Cody Zeller underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair a broken nose, according to Fentress (Twitter link). The team has yet to offer a timeline for Zeller’s return.
  • Mike Singer of The Denver Post examines multiple Nuggets-related topics in his latest mailbag, including a possible extension for PJ Dozier. Dozier, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, is coming off the best season of his four-year career, having averaged 7.7 points per game in 50 contests.
  • In a separate article for the Denver Post, Singer also examined the development of Bol Bol, who was acquired by the Nuggets on the night of the 2019 NBA Draft. Singer notes that Bol appears to be more engaged with the team during the preseason. The big man has only appeared in 39 NBA games to date.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Lillard, Conley, Barton, Dozier

The Trail Blazers are compiling a list of candidates to replace coach Terry Stotts and the first round of virtual interviews could begin this week, according to Anne Peterson of The Associated Press.

“We’re running a very expansive, diverse search,” Portland GM Neil Olshey said. “We’ll probably have anywhere from 20 to 25 candidates in there with biographical data, background, intel, impact studies, coaching records, playing records, etc., so that we all are speaking the same language as we vet these candidates.”

Olshey won’t reach out to teams or agents requesting permission to conduct formal interviews until he reviews all of that information.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Damian Lillard is expected to have a major say in the Trail Blazers’ coaching search and even went public with his affinity for Jason Kidd, who has since pulled himself out of consideration, and Chauncey Billups. However, Lillard is not making demands of any kind when it comes to the coaching hire, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. He’ll let the front office and ownership handle the search and they’ll communicate with their franchise player during the process.
  • Jazz point guard Mike Conley participated in parts of Monday’s practice, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Conley suffered a mild right hamstring strain during Game 5 of the first round against Memphis. The team has listed him as questionable for Game 1 against the Clippers on Tuesday (Twitter link). He averaged 20 PPG and 10.25 APG during the first four games of the playoffs.
  • Not only did the Nuggets eliminate the Trail Blazers without Jamal Murray, they were also missing Will Barton (hamstring) and PJ Dozier (adductor). That could change for the second-round matchup with the Suns, coach Michael Malone said to Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. They won’t play in Game 1 on Monday but they have returned to practice. “There is definitely hope and optimism that they will be available at some point during the series,” Malone said.

Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Morris, Porter, Barton, Dozier

In an interview with Serbian television that aired this week, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic expressed a desire to spend his entire career in Denver (Twitter link). The interview was filmed before the start of the season, but Jokic’s connection to the city and the team have likely gotten stronger in the wake of his MVP-caliber season.

Jokic has two more years on his current contract, paying him $31.58MM next season and $33.62MM in 2022/23. He will be 28 when he reaches free agency, and the Nuggets will almost certainly make a max extension offer before then, especially with Jamal Murray having the only significant salary beyond those years.

“When I came to Denver I said that I would love to be Denver’s Tim Duncan, because he played his whole career in San Antonio,” Jokic told RTS. “God willing, I would love to play my whole career in Denver.”

There’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Damian Lillard is putting up historic numbers, but the Nuggets hold the lead in their series with the Trail Blazers because Austin Rivers and Monte Morris have been able to neutralize CJ McCollum, writes Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. Morris, who got a three-year, $27MM extension in December after starting his career as a two-way player, said he has come a long way since his first postseason experience in 2019.“I had nightmares before every playoff game, my first playoffs,” he said. “That’s why I bust my (backside) and work hard, whether I’m here or off the Ball Arena premises. Just because I don’t ever want that feeling again. It was a hard feeling. A hard pill to swallow.”
  • With Murray unavailable for the playoffs, Denver needs more production from Michael Porter Jr., and he able to deliver in Game 5, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Using his size advantage over the Portland wings, Porter shook off two sub-par games and posted 26 points and 12 rebounds in the double-overtime victory. “Michael’s way too talented of a player to have two games like that, back-to-back,” coach Michael Malone said. “I just told him how proud I was of him, and he goes, ‘Hey coach, I gotta do that every night.’ And he’s right, he does. And he understands that.”
  • Will Barton and PJ Dozier will both miss Thursday’s Game 6, Singer tweets. Barton is dealing with a strained right hamstring and hasn’t played since April 23. Dozier is sidelined with a right adductor strain.

Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Millsap, Rivers, Barton

Part of Nikola Jokic‘s rise to being an MVP finalist has been his ability to adjust to different teammates, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. A string of roster moves and injuries, most notably to Jamal Murray, have shaken up the Nuggets‘ lineup throughout the season, but Jokic’s production hasn’t fallen.

Singer notes that Denver’s starters for tonight’s Game 1 of the playoff series with Portland will likely be Jokic, Michael Porter Jr.Facundo CampazzoAaron Gordon, and Austin Rivers. Porter is in his first year as a full-time starter, Campazzo is a rookie who has made 19 NBA starts, Gordon has been with the team for 25 games following a midseason trade, and Rivers has played 15 games after signing with the Nuggets last month.

“The attention that (Jokic) draws, being able to do so many things, not just score the ball, but pass and the way he passes and makes plays so easy for his teammates, makes him so unique to play with,” two-way guard Markus Howard said. “… Just the attention that he brings from opposing defenses, and his ability to be creative with the pass, is unlike anybody I’ve ever played with.”

There’s more on the Nuggets:

  • After a decade as an NBA starter, Paul Millsap has adjusted to a reserve role since the trade for Gordon, as Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post writes. The 36-year-old power forward is trying to lead by example and make the best of his new responsibilities. “There are challenges that come with it,” Millsap said. “I want to compete. I want to play every single minute during a game. But that’s not possible and that’s what you have a team for. I’ve always been a guy (to do) whatever the team needs.”
  • Rivers is suffering from a non-COVID related illness, but the Nuggets are optimistic he will be able to play tonight, Singer tweets. He is officially listed as questionable.
  • Will Barton is hoping to be able to play in this series, but it won’t happen in Game 1, according to Clevis Murray of NBC Sports Northwest. Barton has been ruled out for tonight because of the strained hamstring that has sidelined him since April 23. PJ Dozier also remains out with a right adductor strain. “I think Will is definitely closer (to returning) than PJ,” coach Michael Malone said.