Bogdan Bogdanovic

Wolves’ Naz Reid Named Sixth Man Of The Year

Timberwolves big man Naz Reid has been named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 2023/24 season, the league announced on Wednesday evening (via Twitter).

A former undrafted free agent, Reid averaged 13.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 0.9 BPG on .477/.414/.736 shooting in 81 games this season (24.2 MPG).

Reid is the first player in Timberwolves franchise history to win the Sixth Man award, per a team press release.

The 24-year-old was a major reason why Minnesota didn’t skip a beat when Karl-Anthony Towns was sidelined with a knee injury late in the season. The Wolves went 14-6 without Towns and 56-26 overall, good for the No. 3 seed in the West.

The voting was remarkably close (Twitter link via the NBA). In fact, it was the smallest margin between first- and second-place finishers since the current voting format was implemented 21 years ago, according to the league (via Twitter).

Reid finished with 45 first-place votes, 39 second-place votes and 10 third-place votes for a total of 352 points. Runner-up Malik Monk had the exact same number of second- and third-place votes, but finished with two fewer first-place votes for 342 total points.

Kings guard Monk appeared in 72 games this season for Sacramento, all off the bench. He averaged 15.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 5.1 APG on .443/.350/.829 shooting in 26.0 MPG.

Bucks big man Bobby Portis, who finished third in Sixth Man voting last season, finished a distant third again in ’23/24, receiving 81 total points. He averaged 13.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG on .508/.407/.790 shooting without missing a game this season for Milwaukee (24.5 MPG).

Clippers wing Norman Powell (65 points) and Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (40 points) finished fourth and fifth in voting, respectively. No other player received more than three points.

Powell actually received the most third-place votes of any player, but fewer first- and second-place votes than Portis, which is why he finished behind Milwaukee’s forward/center.

Jose Alvarado, Russell Westbrook, T.J. McConnell, Jonathan Isaac, Jaime Jaquez, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Bojan Bogdanovic all received at least one vote.

And-Ones: Kawhi, Team USA, FAs, Musa, Coaches, More

With 11 of 12 roster spots reportedly locked in for USA Basketball’s 2024 Olympic roster, the program could go in a number of different directions with the 12th and final slot. The list of players in contention for that final roster spot includes plenty of big names, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is currently viewed as the leading candidate.

Leonard’s teammate Paul George, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, Magic forward Paolo Banchero, and Nets forward Mikal Bridges are also in the mix, sources tell Charania.

Leonard hasn’t represented Team USA at the Olympics or a World Cup before, but has support from some of the stars on the roster, including Kevin Durant and LeBron James, says Charania. George won gold with Team USA in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, while Brunson, Banchero, and Bridges competed in the 2023 World Cup.

It’s possible that more than one player in that final group of candidates could ultimately make the cut if any of the top 11 have to drop out due to an injury or for personal reasons. Of course, Leonard is currently dealing with a nagging knee issue of his own, though there’s no indication at this point it would prevent him from playing in July.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic takes a look at the NBA’s 2024 free agent class, evaluating what sort of stars, starters, and rotation players will be available. As Leroux observes, a handful of stars are on track for potential free agency, but few – if any – are good bets to change teams. That group includes LeBron James, Paul George, James Harden, Pascal Siakam, and Tyrese Maxey.
  • In an interview with Dean Sinovcic of, former first-round pick Dzanan Musa, who spent two seasons in Brooklyn from 2018-20, didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the NBA as early as this offseason, but said he’s focused for now on trying to win Liga ACB and EuroLeague titles with Real Madrid (hat tip to Sportando).
  • Sam Amick of The Athletic considers what’s at stake for each NBA head coach in the postseason, suggesting that the pressure will be on Joe Mazzulla (Celtics) to at least reach the NBA Finals. Jason Kidd (Mavericks), J.B. Bickerstaff (Cavaliers), and Darvin Ham (Lakers) are among the others who will be motivated to avoid early exits, Amick adds.
  • In a conversation about end-of-season awards, a panel of five ESPN experts weren’t in agreement on who should win Most Improved Player or Sixth Man of the Year. Three different players – Malik Monk, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Naz Reid – earned votes from the five-man panel for Sixth Man honors.
  • Which NBA players were the most underpaid this season? Despite being on a maximum-salary contract, Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tops the list from Frank Urbina of HoopsHype.

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Hornets’ Coaching Search, Bogdanovic, Magic

At a press conference this afternoon, Steve Clifford explained his decision to step down as head coach of the Hornets at the end of the season, write Roderick Boone and Shane Connuck of The Charlotte Observer. Clifford admitted that the team’s lack of success over the past two years, much of which can be attributed to a short-handed roster, played a major role. Charlotte is 45-112 since Clifford returned to the team last summer.

“I’ll just get right to it,” the 62-year-old coach told reporters. “There’s a certain energy level that you need to have a chance to coach effectively in this league. For me, the last couple of years with the losing had been a factor in it. But as we have been meeting and discussing things, I’m just not comfortable that I can — that I’m ready right now to — give the players what they need from a head coach in order to play well every night.”

Clifford is expected to move into a front office job, although the details of that position haven’t been finalized. He also coached the team from 2013-18 and has the most wins in franchise history. Executive vice president Jeff Peterson believes he’ll be an important addition to the management team.

“I think Cliff will become that person who (players) can go to and confide in at times,” Peterson said. “He always shoots it straight, regardless of who you are. You may not like it at the moment, but the players respect that. Having that familiar face and voice — still within the organization — is going to be very valuable.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • In a separate story, Boone evaluates five prominent candidates as the Hornets begin the search for their next head coach. In addition to Celtics assistant Charles Lee and Heat assistant Chris Quinn, who were mentioned earlier, Boone looks at Nuggets assistant David Adelman, Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney and Nets assistant Will Weaver.
  • Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic had a heated exchange with coach Quin Snyder late in Monday’s game with Chicago that was audible on the Bulls’ broadcast, but they both dismissed the incident afterward and said their relationship is fine, per Lauren Williams of the Journal-Constitution. “We are doing this almost every other minute or we are verbally fighting all the time, which is normal,” Bogdanovic said. “That means we both care and everyone cares.”
  • The Magic continue to rely on defense as they fight for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, notes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando posted a 103.1 defensive rating during its just-completed eight-game homestand, which was the best in the league during that time. The Magic limited opponents to 99.4 PPG over those eight games.

Sixers Rumors: Brogdon, Bogdanovic, Hield, Morris, Covington

The Sixers contacted the Trail Blazers about Malcolm Brogdon, but Portland appears reluctant to move him, sources tell Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. Neubeck hears that Philadelphia is attempting to add a combo guard who’s comfortable either running the offense or playing off the ball. That description fits Brogdon, who handled both roles while winning Sixth Man of the Year honors last season in Boston.

An efficient shooter throughout his career, Brogdon is connecting at 44% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range this season. He’s currently making $22.5MM and is owed the same amount for 2024/25, and the Blazers are content to hold onto him unless they’re “bowled over with an offer,” according to Neubeck.

Neubeck reports that the Sixers also made exploratory calls to the Hawks about Bogdan Bogdanovic, but Atlanta is asking for a high price in return. Part of Bogdanovic’s value stems from his team-friendly contract, which pays him $17.3MM next season and $16MM in 2025/26 with a $16MM team option for 2026/27.

Neubeck has more on the Sixers:

  • Philadelphia has interest in Pacers guard Buddy Hield, but Neubeck cites a “gap in valuation” between the teams that makes it unlikely they can agree on a deal. A source tells Neubeck that Indiana wants a first-round pick in exchange for Hield, while the Sixers are limiting their offer to expiring contracts and second-rounders.
  • The front office is hoping to find a starting-caliber center to replace Joel Embiid while he recovers from a knee procedure. Andre Drummond from the Bulls and Kelly Olynyk from the Jazz are widely reported options, but Neubeck hears that the Sixers have explored other possibilities and will likely sign someone if they can’t work out a trade before the deadline.
  • A source tells Neubeck that Marcus Morris and Robert Covington are the most likely Sixers to be traded. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had a similar report on his Hoop Collective podcast.

Fischer’s Latest: Carter, Brogdon, Smart, Hawks, Jones, Hornets

While there will likely be plenty of trades completed between now and next Thursday’s deadline, many of the players whom rival teams had hoped would hit the market aren’t expected to be available this season, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer details, that list of players who are believed to be off-limits includes several current and former All-Stars, such as Lauri Markkanen, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It also features talented forwards Mikal Bridges and Jerami Grant, as well as rising talent Jonathan Kuminga.

Fischer isn’t the first to report that those players likely won’t be on the move at the deadline, so no names in that group come as real surprises. However, Fischer adds a few more players to the list of unlikely trade candidates, writing that Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is no longer considered available and citing league personnel who are skeptical that the Trail Blazers will part with Malcolm Brogdon.

Additionally, while a handful of clubs – including the Bucks and Lakers – have called the Grizzlies to inquire about Marcus Smart, according to Fischer, Memphis has shown no interest in moving the veteran guard, who remains in the team’s plans beyond this season.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from Fischer:

  • The Hawks are viewed by rival executives as the most “active and aggressive” team in the trade market, with Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and AJ Griffin among the players who could be moved. While previous reports have indicated that Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are Atlanta’s only two untouchable players, Fischer says the club values Bogdan Bogdanovic as highly as any player on its roster outside of Young and Johnson.
  • Even though the Wizards are seeking a first-round pick for Tyus Jones, rival executives are confident that Washington will ultimately accept a package consisting of multiple second-rounders for the veteran point guard, per Fischer. Jones is on an expiring contract and wouldn’t be a starter on many teams, so a first-rounder would be a high price to pay.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington and center Nick Richards are generating a good deal of interest from potential trade partners, league sources tell Fischer. Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, and Miles Bridges are among Charlotte’s other trade candidates.
  • We also passed along several of Fischer’s trade rumors related to Western Conference teams in a separate article.

Scotto’s Latest: Jones, Wright, Wizards, Hyland, Tucker, Hawks

Kyle Kuzma, Tyus Jones, Daniel Gafford, Delon Wright, and Landry Shamet are among the Wizards who have generated exploratory trade interest so far this season, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

According to Scotto, the Wizards are seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Jones, and ideally one beyond 2024 that would have a chance to become a top-20 selection down the road. That would be a high price to pay for a player who is on an expiring contract and likely wouldn’t be a starter on a new team, so it will be interesting to see if Washington lowers its demands by next Thursday or plays hardball with potential trade partners.

While the Wizards have also reportedly set high asking prices for Kuzma and Gafford, who are under contract for multiple seasons beyond this one, Wright and Shamet – who aren’t owed guaranteed money beyond this year – appear more attainable. League sources tell Scotto that Wright is expected to generate offers consisting of second-round draft compensation.

The Wizards, who have plenty of room to operate below the luxury tax line, are also open to using their available traded player exceptions to accommodate salary dumps from teams willing to attach young players or draft picks, Scotto writes. As our tracker shows, Washington has six TPEs, including one worth over $12MM and another worth nearly $10MM.

Here are several more items of interest from Scotto’s latest rumor round-up:

  • The Wizards are expected to be “open-minded” and cast a wide net when they launch their search for a permanent head coach this spring, says Scotto, noting that the early expectations around the NBA is that the team will end up hiring a first-time coach for its rebuild.
  • The Clippers are gauging the value of Bones Hyland and P.J. Tucker on the trade market, league sources tell Scotto. If Tucker isn’t moved at the deadline, he’s not expected to discuss a buyout, Scotto adds. Most buyout candidates are on expiring contracts, whereas Tucker’s deal includes an $11.54MM player option for next season.
  • Some of the trade chatter surrounding Hawks guard Dejounte Murray has quieted down as of late, according to Scotto, who says Atlanta’s desire to acquire two first-round picks and to not take on salary beyond this season in a Murray trade has complicated negotiations so far.
  • Elsewhere on the Hawks front, rival executives and league sources who have spoken to Scotto believe that Atlanta wants to hang onto swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic through the trade deadline. Bogdanovic is averaging a career-best 17.1 points per game off the bench this season and is under team control for three more years beyond this one.

Pistons Notes: Bagley, Livers, More Possible Deals, Trade Exception

Ex-Pistons players Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers got news of their trade to Washington in the midst of a Detroit practice. As Mike Curtis of The Detroit News relays (Twitter video link), Bagley and Livers – now members of the Wizards – were filmed bidding their Pistons colleagues farewell.

The duo, along with a pair of second-round draft picks, was shipped out to the Wizards earlier today. Detroit added forwards Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala, while saving considerable coin on Bagley’s contract for 2024/25.

There’s more out of the Motor City:

  • With the trade deadline looming and the Pistons still spiraling at a league-worst 3-36, Omari Sankofa II Detroit Free Press has cooked up several potential trades that could help slightly elevate the club’s dismal 2023/24 season. Sankofa’s piece was published prior to today’s trade, hence the inclusion of Bagley in one of the proposals. Several of the hypothetical moves involve shipping out veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and/or Alec Burks.
  • Today’s trade seems to forecast a change-heavy summer for the Pistons, posits James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Veterans Gallinari and Muscala are both signed to expiring deals, which – along with the expiring salaries of Burks, Joe Harris and Monte Morris – will put Detroit in position to create upwards of $60MM in cap room.
  • Sankofa confirms (via Twitter) that the Pistons generated a $5.7MM trade exception as part of the deal. As Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) observes, that means Detroit continues to operate as an over-the-cap team, despite its player salaries coming in a little below the $136MM cap.

Stein’s Latest: Carter, Jazz, Hawks, Murray, Sixers, More

In his latest Substack article, Marc Stein reports that Magic center Wendell Carter is a “player to monitor” ahead of the February 8 trade deadline.

As Stein explains, Orlando has played above expectations through 34 games (the team is currently 19-15), but it has a deep frontcourt featuring Carter, Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, Goga Bitadze and Jonathan Isaac. Carter has only appeared in 13 games due to hand and knee injuries, and has been coming off the bench of late after he returned.

Those factors, plus needing to eventually re-sign or extend Franz Wagner and Banchero beyond their rookie scale contracts, has led rivals to believe that Carter will be available this winter, Stein writes.

A former lottery pick who is still just 24 years old, Carter has been a productive starter for the Magic the past few seasons and is on a fairly team-friendly contract, which will pay him $35.85MM over the next three seasons (it declines annually, down to $10.85MM in 2025/26). However, he has also missed at least 18 games in every season of his six-year career due to a variety of injuries.

Here are some more trade rumors from Stein:

  • It has been reported multiple times that the Jazz were expected to be sellers ahead of the trade deadline, but they’ve gone 9-3 over their past 12 games and are currently 16-19, a game out of the final play-in spot in the West. That rise up the standings has rival front offices wondering what Utah will do now, per Stein. League sources tell Stein that John Collins is one player the Jazz are continuing to try and move, though it’s unclear how much success they’ll have after acquiring him in the offseason in a salary dump.
  • Stein confirms recent reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports about the Hawks, who are actively involved in trade conversations regarding Dejounte Murray and possibly several players on the roster outside of Trae Young and Jalen Johnson. Bogdan Bogdanovic is expected to be widely coveted by rival teams, according to Stein.
  • Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said in a live stream on Friday that the Sixers and Lakers could be eventual Murray suitors, and the Knicks have been “increasingly” linked to the former All-Star guard, Stein adds.
  • The Sixers are unlikely to pursue Zach LaVine or Pascal Siakam, with the team looking to take a “thoughtful” approach at the deadline, according to Stein, who gets a “strong sense” that Philadelphia will likely make moves around the edges if it makes more in-season trades.
  • Multiple reporters have linked the Lakers to LaVine, but Stein continues to hear they haven’t been interested — at least to this point — in taking on his long-term money. The two-time All-Star is in the second season of a five-year, $215MM contract.

Hawks Announce Several Injury Updates

Hawks forward Jalen Johnson has been cleared to resume practicing in full, the team announced today in a press release, adding that Johnson’s status will be updated “as appropriate.”

Johnson was in the midst of a breakout season before suffering a left distal radius fracture on November 25. In his 14 healthy games this year, the 22-year-old averaged 14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 31.4 minutes per night, with a .590/.421/.774 shooting line.

The Hawks have gone 3-8 without Johnson and have a +4.6 net rating when he’s on the court this season, which is the highest mark for any player on the roster. The fact that he seems to be nearing a return is great news for the slumping club.

Here are a few more injury updates announced today by the Hawks:

  • Hawks rookie guard Kobe Bufkin, who fractured his left thumb on November 2, has also been cleared to practice in full. His recovery timeline was said to be eight-to-10 weeks from the date of his injury, which occurred approximately seven weeks ago, so it sounds like his return isn’t far off.
  • Another rookie, forward Mouhamed Gueye, underwent a CT scan on his right low back stress fracture on Monday and has been given the go-ahead to begin light on-court individual work. Gueye isn’t close to returning, however, with Atlanta announcing he’ll be reevaluated four weeks from now.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has missed the past two games due to right ankle inflammation, received treatment on Tuesday and is questionable to play in Wednesday’s game vs. Houston.
  • Reserve forward AJ Griffin remains unavailable for personal reasons and will miss a fifth consecutive game on Wednesday. The 2022 first-rounder hasn’t been a part of the Hawks’ regular rotation this season, averaging just 9.2 minutes per game in 12 appearances.

Southeast Notes: Carter, Fultz, Herro, Bam, Hawks

Injured Magic starters Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. were partial practice participants on Wednesday, head coach Jamahl Mosley told reporters, including Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required).

It was a great day for them,” Mosley said.

Fultz has been sidelined since November 9 with left knee tendinitis, having missed the past 15 games. Carter has been out even longer, as he sustained his injury — a broken left hand — on November 4.

According to Beede, Carter said his left hand isn’t quite full strength yet, calling it “85-90%.”

It’s like right at the last bit of my recovery.I just kind of look at each day as an opportunity to allow it get better,” he said.

It’s unclear when Fultz, a guard, and Carter, a center, might return to action, but it’s certainly encouraging that they seem to be getting close. Fultz will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024, while Carter is under contract through 2025/26.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • No firm timetable was given, but Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel hears the Heat could be getting a couple key contributors back in the next couple weeks. Guard Tyler Herro (ankle sprain) and center Bam Adebayo (hip contusion) are expected to return prior to Miami’s West Coast trip that begins on December 28, according to Winderman. Herro has been out since November 8, while Adebayo has missed the past four games.
  • Hawks guard Trae Young was ejected during Monday’s loss against Denver for continually complaining about a non-foul call, which Jeff Schultz of The Athletic views as a sign of his immaturity. Young is the team’s best offensive player, but he doesn’t lead in the locker room or by example on the court, according to Schultz. At 9-13, Atlanta is off to a disappointing start, and Schultz says if things don’t turn around, the “unproven” front office and Young will be under the microscope, as head coach Quin Snyder was just hired at the end of last season.
  • At one point in the first quarter on Monday, Atlanta led Denver by 11 points. That lead turned into a 20-point deficit in the third quarter, when Young was ejected. Despite the loss, the Hawks mounted a furious comeback to make it competitive late, led by a huge performance by wing Bogdan Bogdanovic (a career-high 40 points, including 10 three-pointers), who could be trending toward a career year, writes Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscriber link). “Insane,” Clint Capela said. “I love it. Especially for Bogi. Because he’s the guy that I always see it in the weight room with me after games. He’s always the guy that I see after practice get more reps than everyone. … He’s doing everything right. And he deserved that.”