Brandon Knight

Hassan Whiteside, Brandon Knight Join Puerto Rican Team

Longtime NBA players Hassan Whiteside and Brandon Knight have signed with Puerto Rico’s Piratas de Quebradillas, La Guerra del BSN tweets. The tweet shows the two players standing near a plane holding Puerto Rican flags.

The Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN) is the top level professional league in Puerto Rico.

Whiteside, 33, played 65 regular season games for the Jazz last season, backing up Rudy Gobert. He’s averaged 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in his 511-game NBA career. He also played for Sacramento, Miami and Portland.

Whiteside became a free agent after last season but didn’t generate much buzz on the open market. Traditional veteran centers have found it increasingly difficult to find suitors due to the way the game is currently played.

Knight, 31, has averaged 14.0 points and 3.9 assists in his 451-game NBA career. He had a five-game stint with the Mavericks last season on a pair of 10-day contracts. He has also played for Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Houston and Cleveland.

Southwest Notes: McCollum, Collins, Landale, Knight, Alvarado

CJ McCollum sees tonight’s game against the Trail Blazers as the “final closure” on the trade that sent him to the Pelicans, writes Andrew Lopez of ESPN. McCollum’s family joined him in New Orleans recently, but this week marks his first time back at his Portland house since the February 8 deal.

“I had conversations and was able to talk to some of my teammates and obviously I still talk to them to this day,” said McCollum, who spent his first eight and a half NBA seasons with the Blazers. “I talked with the staff. It’ll be good to see (coach Chauncey Billups), talk about our teams. Talk about our football teams. Just kind of catch up and get back to business. Get the win and get outta here. This is the final step. You know this is going to happen at some point. But it’s good that it’s happy emotions opposed to the opposite. I like to call it a happy breakup. One where you’re not bitter at your ex.”

Although McCollum was a fan favorite in Portland and loved playing there, it was clear by the trade deadline that it was time to move on. He has quickly become a team leader with the Pelicans, averaging career-best numbers with 25.9 points, 6.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 19 games.

“It was a team I kind of zeroed in on and they obviously zeroed in on me,” McCollum said. “I knew what I signed up for and what I was going to be asked to do, and I’m doing it. They held up their end of the bargain as well. I’m happy to be in this situation.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Zach Collins‘ return from injury and Jock Landale‘s emergence late in his first NBA season have stabilized the Spurs‘ frontcourt rotation, per Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio is especially happy with Collins, who is delivering on the three-year, $22MM gamble the organization took on him after missing nearly two full seasons and undergoing three ankle surgeries. Landale is giving the team a reason to consider guaranteeing his $1.56MM contract for next season.
  • Brandon Knight was on the court tonight, one day after rejoining the Mavericks on a 10-day contract, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Knight flew to Cleveland to meet the team, which needed backcourt help with Spencer Dinwiddie, Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina all missing the game.
  • The four-year deal the Pelicans gave rookie guard Jose Alvarado when they converted his two-way contract carries a $1.1MM guarantee for next season, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Years three and four are non-guaranteed, and the team holds an option on the final season.

Brandon Knight Signs Second 10-Day Deal With Mavericks

Free agent combo guard Brandon Knight has signed his second 10-day contract with the Mavericks, the team has announced in a press release (via Twitter). The Mavs, who have a full 15-man roster, completed the signing via the COVID-related hardship exception.

The 6’2″ veteran first inked a 10-day hardship exception deal with the Mavericks in December. In three appearances for Dallas, Knight averaged 10.0 PPG, 2.7 APG and 2.3 RPG across 18.2 MPG.

Across eight NBA seasons, the 30-year-old has averaged 14.0 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.1 RPG in 449 contests. Knight was first selected by the Pistons out of Kentucky in 2011. The well-traveled Knight has also suited up for the Bucks, Suns, Cavaliers and Rockets.

In the short term, Knight could pick up some minutes with reserve guards Sterling Brown and Trey Burke both currently in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Dallas is in the midst of a concerted push up the Western Conference standings. The team has gone 6-4 across its last ten games and is currently the No. 4 seed in the West with a 46-29 record, just 1.5 games behind the Warriors, who could be without All-Star point guard Stephen Curry for several more games. Knight will add veteran leadership and scoring off the bench without Brown and Burke.

Since his first 10-day deal with Dallas expired, Knight has been suiting up for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBAGL, averaging 15.1 PPG, 4.4 APG and 3.5 RPG in 14 games.

Florida Notes: Chalmers, Knight, Bam, Lowry, Magic

Veteran point guard Mario Chalmers, fresh off a 10-day hardship exception contract with the Heat, has joined the club’s NBAGL affiliate club, the Sioux Fall Skyforce, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Chalmers will be able to sign his next NBA contract with any team. Winderman adds that veteran point guard Brandon Knight, who enjoyed a more active 10-day hardship exception stint while with the Mavericks, has also rejoined the Skyforce.

Chalmers, 35, did not appear in an actual game during his Heat return stint. He has not played in an NBA contest since appearing in 66 games during the 2017/18 season while on the Grizzlies. The 6’2″ vet served as the starting point guard for Miami’s two most recent championship teams, during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. In three games with Dallas, Knight, who went to high school in Fort Lauderdale, averaged 10.0 PPG on 45% field goal shooting, along with 2.7 APG and 2.3 RPG.

There’s more out of the Sunshine State:

  • Sixth Man of the Year candidate Tyler Herro could get fairly pricey should the Heat want to offer him a contract extension when he becomes eligible this summer, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson examines the impact a lucrative Herro deal would have on the club’s long-term payroll, and what it could mean for the team’s future tax payments. The 6’5″ reserve shooting guard, 22, is enjoying his best season as a pro during his third year with Miami, averaging a career-best 20.6 PPG and 4.1 APG, along with 4.9 RPG and 0.6 SPG. He boasts shooting splits of .428/.388/.870.
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo‘s teammates are excited for the big man to possibly make his return this week, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. The 6’9″ big man, an All-Star in 2020, continues to recuperate from a thumb injury and is on track to play on Monday vs. Toronto. He has played in just 18 games this year, having last suited up on November 29. Chiang adds that veteran starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who has played at a borderline All-Star level with his new team, is ready to face off against his last NBA club, the Raptors, for the first time since departing in a sign-and-trade deal this summer. Lowry, 35, was a six-time All-Star with Toronto.
  • Healthy young Magic players were encouraged by the recent bench presence of several injured teammates, who traveled with the club during a recent 1-2 three-game road stint, writes Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. “Once we get everybody healthy, we’re going to build something special over here,” second-year point guard Cole Anthony noted, a somewhat optimistic projection for the team with the worst record in the NBA (8-36). Pricey power forward Jonathan Isaac, who has been out with a torn ACL since August 2020, traveled with the team for the first time since his injury. The 24-year-old recently took part in a team shootaround, along with injured guards Markelle Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams and E’Twaun Moore, but has yet to take contact. Rookie guard Jalen Suggs, the fifth pick in the 2021 draft, was available for two games during the road swing, his first contests with the club since being sidelined by a thumb fracture on November 29.

And-Ones: P. Jones, Mac, Clark, Opportunities, Hardship Deals

Perry Jones and Sheldon Mac are the latest players attempting NBA comebacks, agent Harrison Gaines tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter). The two players will be entering the G League player pool.

Jones was the 28th overall pick of the 2012 draft for the Thunder and played three seasons with the team, last appearing in 2014/15. In 143 career games, Jones holds averages of 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.7 minutes.

The 29-year-old Mac appeared in 30 games for the Wizards in 2016/17, holding modest averages of 3.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran forward Earl Clark has joined Miami’s G League squad, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It was reported last week that Clark had signed a G League deal.
  • The opportunities for players caused by COVID-19 absences are no laughing matter, write Jon Krawczynski and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Krawczynski and Weiss note that Timberwolves players who’d been out of the team’s rotation (Jake Layman, Nathan Knight, Jaylen Nowell) or out of the NBA (Greg Monroe) are trying to make the most of their newfound minutes. “I’m not quitting,” Monroe said. “I believe I belong in the NBA. So I’ll just come out and play wherever it is, as hard as I can.”
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype takes a behind the scenes look at what it’s like for players on hardship deals. Scotto spoke to Brandon Knight, Lance Stephenson and Joe Johnson about their new NBA opportunities.
  • There was a slight change to the NBA’s COVID-19 isolation rules for players outside of a team environment, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The change has no bearing on a return to team activities, so players who enter the health and safety protocols will still be required to remain away from the team for six days, unless they return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

COVID-19 Updates: Mavs, B. Boston, Cacok, Lakers, C. Thomas

The Mavericks have placed center Boban Marjanovic and guard Brandon Knight – who signed a hardship deal last week – in the health and safety protocols, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Marjanovic and Knight are the sixth and seventh Dallas players currently in the protocols.

As we noted earlier today, the Mavericks reportedly reached an agreement to sign Isaiah Thomas, who will be the team’s seventh replacement player. If Dallas had just five players in the protocols, the team wouldn’t be able to make another hardship signing, so the fact that Marjanovic and Knight are now in the protocols helps explain the Thomas deal.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates from around the league:

  • Clippers rookie Brandon Boston Jr. has entered the health and safety protocols, the team announced today. Boston had been playing an increased role as of late with the Clippers shorthanded, averaging 19.6 MPG in 13 games this month.
  • Spurs two-way big man Devontae Cacok has joined teammate Dejounte Murray in the COVID-19 protocols, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). They’re the only two San Antonio players affected for now.
  • Lakers guards Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore have cleared the protocols, tweets Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group. They won’t be with the team in Memphis tonight, but should be available by Friday’s home game vs. Portland.
  • Nets rookie guard Cam Thomas has exited the protocols and is available, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Heat Notes: Martin, Knight, Okpala, Yurtseven

Heat two-way forward Caleb Martin, who had been in the health and safety protocols since December 11, was back with the team on Thursday night, seated behind the bench, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.

A short-ramp up period may be necessary for Martin, who will have to pass cardiac tests before being cleared to return to the court. But it’s good news for both him and the Heat that he’s no longer quarantining and appears to be on the verge of reentering the rotation.

While Miami has had to deal with several injuries in recent weeks, Martin is the only player the team has had to place in the COVID-19 protocols so far this month.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • The new roster rules that eliminate the 50-game limit for players on two-way contracts is welcome news for the Heat, since Martin has been among the NBA’s most productive two-way players so far this season and has already appeared in 23 games. However, as Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald write, the Heat still may have to make a decision on Martin later in the season, since two-way players remain ineligible for the playoffs. The team has an open spot on its 15-man roster for now, but figures to explore the buyout market in February.
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed to reporters on Thursday that the Heat couldn’t have signed Brandon Knight via a hardship exception when Martin was in the protocols, since a replacement for a two-way player can’t have more than three years of NBA service (Twitter link via Chiang). Knight had been playing for Miami’s G League affiliate, but was called up by Dallas while the Heat signed forward Zylan Cheatham to a 10-day deal.
  • Although the Heat would obviously prefer to have a fully healthy roster, the silver lining is that little-used players like KZ Okpala and Omer Yurtseven are gaining valuable experience by being thrust into rotation roles, Chiang writes for The Miami Herald. “I know it’s a tough time of the season right now,” Udonis Haslem said. “We got a lot of injuries, but we’re banking a lot of equity right now with our younger guys getting experience. I think when we get back healthy, it’s only going to help us.”

Mavericks Sign Brandon Knight Via Hardship Provision

DECEMBER 23: The Mavericks have officially signed Knight to a 10-day deal, the team announced today (via Twitter). Dallas has now added six players via hardship exceptions, as our tracker shows.

DECEMBER 22: Another NBA veteran is making a comeback, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the Mavericks plan to sign guard Brandon Knight to a 10-day contract via a hardship exception.

Knight, who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2019/20 season, has 446 regular season appearances on his career résumé, having spent time with the Pistons, Bucks, Suns, Rockets, and Cavaliers from 2011-20. The 30-year-old has averaged 14.1 PPG over the course of his career, though he has been well below that mark since the ’15/16 season.

Knight signed a G League contract earlier this year in the hopes of earning a shot with an NBA team. He has put up 21.3 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 4.6 RPG in 11 games (38.0 MPG) for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s NBAGL affiliate, making 3.2 three-pointers per game at a 35.7% rate.

As we noted earlier when word broke that the Mavs had reached a 10-day deal with Carlik Jones, the club’s number of reported hardship signings has now exceeded the number of players they have in the health and safety protocols, which suggests a couple more Dallas players could end up entering the protocols today.

Heat Notes: Kidd, Herro, Knight

The Heat are off to a 6-1 start to the new season, including wins over four playoff teams from last season: Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Memphis and Dallas.

Count Mavericks coach Jason Kidd among several Hall of Famers who like the Heat’s chances this season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The Heat, I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Kidd said following the Heat’s 125-110 win over the Mavs Tuesday night.

TNT analyst and Pacers legend Reggie Miller thinks the Heat’s top-ranked defense has made them an East favorite.

I like Miami’s chances of winning the East because of their defense,” Miller said.

Fellow TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley says the Heat are “for real,” and Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Heat should be a top-four seed in the playoffs, per Jackson.

You bring in two players that have championship mentalities and championships in Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker. Then you bring in Markieff Morris and Victor Oladipo. We all know the culture of Miami, how they play and how they win. They are going to go really, really far. They’re going to have home-court advantage in the first round,” O’Neal said.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Tyler Herro has settled into his role as sixth man and thinks he can win some hardware this season, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “I just want to win a championship,” Herro said to Chiang when asked to list his goals for the season. “Obviously, Sixth Man of the Year, for sure. Most Improved. I feel like I can compete for those two, for sure.
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sentinel thinks that Herro might be the most irreplaceable member of the Heat rotation at the moment. Herro set a record for most points off the bench through seven games in NBA history (157), breaking a mark held by Jason Terry. Herro’s hot start has made it so defenses can’t key in on any one player, Winderman relays. “We got a bunch of guys who are really unselfish, a bunch of guys who can go off in any quarter, whether it’s 10 to 20 points in a quarter,” Herro said. “We’ve got multiple guys that can do that. One quarter it may be me, one Jimmy. I think every quarter and every possession teams are on their heels, because they’re game planning for a lot.
  • In a separate story, Chiang spoke to NBA veteran and Miami native Brandon Knight, who is grateful for the opportunity to join the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. “Me growing up in South Florida, it’s a dream even to play here in Sioux Falls,” said Knight. “I don’t take it for granted. This opportunity means the most to me, just growing up watching Tim Hardaway, [Alonzo Mourning], Dan Majerle, [Jamal] Mashburn. Being from down here and having this opportunity, I’m thankful for all the staff, all the management, the owner to allow me this opportunity to come to Sioux Falls and continue playing. It’s a blessing.”

Southeast Notes: Knight, Lowry, Ball, Heat

Veteran NBA guard Brandon Knight was selected by the Heat‘s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, with the No. 4 pick in the G League draft on Saturday. Knight is hoping to make a comeback, as the 29-year-old last appeared in a game in March of 2020.

“I think it’s great. We’ve been a fan of his for a long time,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter links). “I’ve just enjoyed my conversations with him, just talking hoops, talking about trying to get back in the league. And then the last six weeks or so, it shifted to this possibility.”

Knight most recently played Summer League with the Nets. He holds eight years of NBA experience, making past stops with the Pistons, Bucks, Suns, Rockets and Cavaliers during his career.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Speaking of the Heat, Miami doesn’t have a Plan B at point guard without Kyle Lowry, Winderman writes for the Sun Sentinel. Lowry missed Saturday’s contest against the Pacers with a sprained ankle, giving Gabe Vincent the opportunity to start. Vincent struggled, recording just three points (1-for-3 shooting), three assists and three turnovers in nearly 25 minutes. Spoelstra has also used Tyler Herro at point guard when Lowry sits.
  • LaMelo Ball‘s jump shot looks improved this season, Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. Ball shot 8-of-12 from deep during the Hornets‘ first two games, though the 20-year-old made just 1-of-6 threes in the club’s win on Sunday.
  • Ira Winderman examines a number of Heat-related notes for The Sun Sentinel, including a prominent voice joining Pat Riley in labeling the team as a contender. Miami has started the season 1-1 and will host the Magic on Tuesday.