Cole Anthony

Southeast Notes: Jovic, Anthony, Mosley, Bridges

Despite a promising summer that saw him play a key role for Serbia’s national team at the World Cup, Nikola Jovic has been unable to crack the Heat‘s regular rotation so far this season, appearing in just two games for the club. Noting that the former first-round pick “needs to play,” head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed on Saturday that Jovic will be sent to the G League for “a few games,” according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Jovic doesn’t see the assignment to the Sioux Falls Skyforce as a step back, explaining that he welcomes the opportunity to get on the court.

“I just want to play. That’s it,” the 20-year-old said. “I just want to get some playing time, stay in a rhythm, you never know what’s going to happen [with the Heat]. Maybe they’ll need more help from me, you never know. I just want to improve and these guys do a great job at it. Even being in the G League, I feel like it’s going to be great for me.”

As Chiang explains, while Jovic has flashed an intriguing combination of ball-handling, facilitating, and shooting for his size (6’10”), his defense is still very much a “work in progress,” which is a key reason why he hasn’t been able to establish a consistent role in Miami.

Here are a few more items from around the Southeast:

  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Magic guard Cole Anthony suggested that competing in the World Cup helped teammates Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner become “more complete players” and said that making the playoffs is Orlando’s goal this season. Anthony also reiterated a point he made last month, telling Scotto that he’s happy to have resolved his contract situation by signing a rookie scale contract extension due to the security it provides. “It allowed me to play the game without the stress of worrying if I play badly that shoot, that’s my career,” Anthony said.
  • In that same conversation, Anthony lauded Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley for the role he has played in the team’s growth, telling Scotto that Mosley is “up front” and “candid” with his players. “I can tell why people in Dallas spoke highly of him,” Anthony said of the former Mavericks assistant. “He’s a really good dude who cares about his players about all of us beyond basketball. It’s been fun to play for him. He allows us to play through a lot of our mistakes. He’s also grown as a coach. This is his first head coaching gig. He’s doing a great job. He’s gotten better as a coach, and we’ve gotten better as players. It’s been fun.”
  • In an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (Twitter video link), NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the status of Miles Bridges, who returned on Friday from a suspension related to domestic violence charges, despite the fact that the Hornets forward faces newer allegations. As Silver explained, the league intends to let the legal process play out before deciding whether to assess an additional punishment related to those allegations.

14 Players Affected By Poison Pill Provision In 2023/24

The term “poison pill” doesn’t actually show up in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s used colloquially to refer to a provision in the CBA that affects players who recently signed rookie scale contract extensions.

As we explain in our glossary entry, the so-called poison pill provision applies when a player who signed a rookie scale extension is traded before the extension takes effect.

In that scenario, the player’s incoming value for the receiving team for matching purposes is determined by averaging his current-year salary and the salaries in each year of his new extension. His current team, on the other hand, simply treats his current-year salary as the outgoing figure for matching purposes.

For instance, Spurs wing Devin Vassell is earning a $5,887,899 salary in 2023/24, but signed a five-year, $135MM extension that will begin in ’24/25.

Therefore, if San Antonio wanted to trade Vassell this season, his outgoing value for salary-matching purposes would be $5,887,899 (this year’s salary), while his incoming value for the team acquiring him would be $23,481,317 (this year’s salary, plus the $135MM extension, divided by six years).

[RELATED: 2023 NBA Rookie Scale Extension Recap]

Most of the players who signed rookie scale extensions aren’t realistic candidates to be traded anytime soon. But even in the event that a team does want to look into trading one of these recently extended players, the gap between the player’s incoming trade value and outgoing trade value could make it a real challenge to find a deal that works for both sides.

The “poison pill” provision applies to 14 players who signed rookie scale extensions in 2023. Here are those players, along with their outgoing salaries and incoming salaries for trade purposes:

Player Team Outgoing trade value Incoming trade value
Anthony Edwards MIN $13,534,817 $36,573,920
LaMelo Ball CHA $10,900,635 $36,134,889
Tyrese Haliburton IND $5,808,435 $35,286,189
Desmond Bane MEM $3,845,083 $33,512,589
Devin Vassell SAS $5,887,899 $23,481,317
Jaden McDaniels MIN $3,901,399 $22,483,567
Onyeka Okongwu ATL $8,109,063 $14,021,813
Isaiah Stewart DET $5,266,713 $13,053,343
Deni Avdija WSH $6,263,188 $12,252,638
Josh Green DAL $4,765,339 $11,441,335
Cole Anthony ORL $5,539,771 $11,159,943
Aaron Nesmith IND $5,634,257 $9,658,564
Zeke Nnaji DEN $4,306,281 $7,261,256
Payton Pritchard BOS $4,037,278 $6,807,456

Once the 2024/25 league year begins next July, the poison pill provision will no longer apply to these players. At that time, the player’s ’24/25 salary would represent both his outgoing and incoming value.

Until then though, the gap between those outgoing and incoming figures will make it tricky for several of these players to be moved, though it affects some more significantly than others.

The small difference between Pritchard’s incoming and outgoing trade figures, for instance, likely wouldn’t be very problematic if the Celtics decide to trade him. But the much larger divide between Bane’s incoming and outgoing numbers means there’s virtually no chance he could be dealt to an over-the-cap team in 2023/24 — given that the Grizzlies have no desire to move Bane, that’ll be a moot point, but it’s still worth noting.

Southeast Notes: Butler, Richardson, Anthony, Magic, Hornets

After an injury-riddled 2022/23 season that surprisingly saw Miami reach the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in the East, the Heat once again have dealt with several injuries to start ’23/24, with starters and rotation players missing time. That has played a factor in the team’s 1-3 start, which includes three consecutive road losses, as Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes.

According to Chiang, Jimmy Butler — who already missed a game due to rest — is the latest player to pop up on the injury report, having been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s matchup with Brooklyn due to right knee tendinitis. While there’s optimism the injury isn’t serious, it’s still a bit concerning that Butler is less than 100%, particularly since that knee has given him problems over the past few seasons, Chiang reports (via Twitter).

After three home games this week, the Heat will play nine of their following ten games on the road, and they are fully aware that this is a key stretch of the schedule, despite being very early in the season.

This is an important week for us coming up at home,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We have a lot of work to do. We’ve had a lot of moving parts early on in the season. That’s not an excuse. We need to just have a productive week. We have three games at home and we have some time with shootarounds, practices. We just need to move the needle this week.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • One bit of good news for the Heat is that Josh Richardson was able to make his season debut in Monday’s loss at Milwaukee, notching six points, three rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes. He says he’s still working his way back into shape after his preseason was cut short due to a foot injury. “Hopefully I can bring something positive to their mix, just a little ball-handling, a little pace,” Richardson said, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Defensively, I think I can do some things for us. But it’s really about getting my feet wet, because I really didn’t have a preseason. So just trying to get back into the swing of things.”
  • Magic guard Cole Anthony, who signed a three-year, $39MM rookie scale extension before the season started, recently had an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda that covers a number of topics, including his new deal, how he’s been able to improve throughout his career, and the team’s goals.
  • Speaking to Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel, head coach Jamahl Mosley credited the Magic‘s depth and health for the team’s 2-1 start. “It helps out so much because someone’s number can always be called,” Mosley said. “The work that our coaches put in with these guys is so detailed and they’ll be ready no matter when their number is called.” As Beede notes, instead of going with set rotations, Mosley has improvised and gone with who has been playing the best from game-to-game.
  • With the NFL’s Panthers struggling, the Hornets have a chance to become Charlotte’s premier sports team, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. However, that will only transpire if the Hornets — who are currently mired in the NBA’s longest playoff drought — can show fans they’re worth following, Boone opines.

Southeast Notes: Okongwu, Anthony, Hawks, Coulibaly, Poole

Although a handful of players who didn’t sign rookie scale extensions prior to Monday’s deadline have insisted they won’t let their contract situations be a distraction during the 2023/24 season, Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu admitted on Tuesday that he’s happy to have gotten a deal done, since he didn’t want to have 2024 restricted free agency hanging over his head.

Okongwu signed a four-year, $62MM contract extension with the Hawks that doesn’t include any incentives or options.

“Definitely a stress relief because you know, you don’t want to have to go through all that next year,” Okongwu said, per Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Awesome. I love the guys here, coaching staff, my teammates. I wanted to stay here and do it with the guys. So I didn’t even want to do all that but now I can play basketball freely.”

Okongwu’s new deal will have a starting salary of $14MM in 2024/25, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), and will gradually increase from there, albeit not at the maximum rate of 8% per year.

The big man will eventually earn $16,880,000 in 2027/28, according to Marks, who notes that the deal is never projected to be worth more than 10.3% of the cap. That may turn out to be a team-friendly rate for a player who could eventually become Atlanta’s starting center.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Magic guard Cole Anthony offered a similar line of thinking to Okongwu’s in explaining why he was happy to sign a rookie scale extension of his own prior to Monday’s deadline (Twitter video link via Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel). “The main reason I really wanted to get this deal done is one, I obviously love it here and I really think we have a chance to build something,” Anthony said. “But for me… (to be able to) play the game stress-free. Do what I love, have fun, and just not have to worry about a looming contract. Just go out there and know I’m cool for a few more years and just hoop and have fun.”
  • The Hawks are under pressure to take a step forward this season, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, who notes that – after replacing Nate McMillan with Quin Snyder in February – another underwhelming year would result in changes that go beyond the head coach.
  • While Bilal Coulibaly started four of the Wizards‘ preseason games, the team will take a more patient approach with its rookie forward in the regular season, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who observes that Coulibaly’s workload in Wednesday’s opener (23 minutes) is an indication of what’s to come for the 19-year-old — and may even be inflated due to garbage-time minutes. “He’s going to get some minutes,” head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said after the game. “We’re going to progress him slowly, yes. We’re not going to heap too much on him too soon. But his minutes will vary.”
  • Wizards guard Tyus Jones is impressed with what he has seen so far from new teammate Jordan Poole, suggesting that the former Warrior is determined to take his game to new heights even after averaging 20+ points per game last season. “He’s just a worker. A worker, daily; he’s dedicated,” Jones said, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. “I don’t want to say he’s not happy, but he’s not happy with where he’s at in his development. He’s not satisfied.”

Cole Anthony Signs Three-Year Extension With Magic

3:43pm: Anthony’s extension is official, the Magic announced (Twitter link via Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel). Bobby Marks of ESPN shares the structure of the contract, tweeting that it’s technically worth $39.1MM and features a third-year team option.

2:34pm: The flurry of rookie scale extensions ahead of Monday’s deadline continues, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), who reports that the Magic and guard Cole Anthony have reached an agreement on a three-year deal. The extension will be worth $39MM, agents Jeff Schwartz and Javon Phillips tell Wojnarowski.

Anthony, the 15th overall pick in the 2020 draft, has spent his first three years in the NBA in Orlando, appearing in 172 total regular season games during that time.

While he started 99 of 112 games in his first two seasons, Anthony came off the bench almost exclusively in 2022/23 and enjoyed his best year in terms of shooting effiency, boosting his rates to a career-best .454/.364/.894. In 60 games (25.9 MPG) last season, he averaged 13.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 3.9 APG.

The Magic project to have a crowded backcourt in 2023/24, with other recent lottery picks like Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Anthony Black, and Jett Howard all vying for minutes. However, this investment in Anthony suggests Orlando envisions him continuing to play a substantial role in the rotation going forward.

Anthony’s deal is right in the range of the deal signed by another young guard, Coby White, who was a restricted free agent this summer. The Bulls guard received a three-year, $36MM contract that can be worth up to $40MM with incentives. It remains to be seen whether Anthony’s extension features any incentives or options.

Based on the reported terms of Anthony’s deal, Orlando still projects to have at least $30MM in cap room in 2024, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Anthony is the 12th players to agree to terms on a rookie scale extension so far in 2023, with the deadline just hours away. The previous record for most rookie scale extensions in a single season was 11, set in 2021 and matched in 2022, so that record is on track to be broken today.

The full list of rookie scale extension recipients can be viewed right here, while the remaining candidates are listed here.

And-Ones: Extension Predictions, Overtime Elite, Hines, Streaming

Of the players eligible for rookie scale extensions in 2023, five have signed new contracts. What will happen with the remaining group?

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explored that topic today, making predictions on which players will sign extensions and which won’t. The players who don’t sign extensions before the start of the 2023/24 regular season will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2024.

Let’s start with former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, who is now on the Pistons after being traded in February.

No deal to be done,” sources told Pincus. “He has too much to prove unless he wants an extremely team-friendly extension. This one will wait.”

How about Magic guard Cole Anthony, who is a member of a crowded backcourt in Orlando?

I think they move Anthony, maybe even before the season. But I don’t think they extend him,” one player agent said.

Ultimately, Pincus believes most of the rookie scale candidates will hit restricted free agency next summer, but a handful could get extensions and a few more have situations worth monitoring.

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

  • The Overtime Elite league has finalized its rosters for the ’23/24 season, tweets Adam Zagoria of A total of 31 players on three teams will compete in OTE during the upcoming campaign. A number of prospects have been drafted from the upstart league over the past couple seasons, including Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, twin brothers who were back-to-back lottery picks in June (Nos. 4 and 5, respectively).
  • ESPN’s Dave McMenamin takes an in-depth look at the competitive summer pickup games at UCLA’s student center, which are run by former Bruins guard and current Sixers assistant Rico Hines. Multiple NBA players and teams are in attendance every year, McMenamin writes, including Warriors star Stephen Curry last offseason. “For me, it’s how can somebody get from being a two-way player or just a subpar player to then getting, ‘Man, he’s made it. He’s a real NBA player,'” Hines said. “That’s what it’s about for me.”
  • Some NBA games will be streamed on Max this season, according to Richard Deitsch and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The games will be part of an add-on package in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, and will cost $9.99 per month.

Draft Rumors: Miller, Hornets, Blazers, Pacers, Magic, More

The Hornets appear to be leaning toward selecting Alabama’s Brandon Miller with the second overall pick in tomorrow night’s draft, according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link via ClutchPoints), Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link), Jeremy Woo of ESPN (Insider link) and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Wojnarowski, Givony, and Woo have all heard from sources who say Miller performed much better in his second workout on Monday in front of Hornets brass, including owner Michael Jordan. Wojnarowski goes so far as to say Miller “further solidified his standing as Charlotte’s choice at No. 2.”

For his part, Miller said in a SiriusXM NBA Radio interview (Twitter video link) that he didn’t feel intimidated by working out in front of Jordan, noting that he didn’t grow up watching the Hall of Famer. He also said he had a “fun time” exchanging verbal jabs with Jordan.

Here are more rumors on the draft, which is less than 24 hours away:

  • It would take a “significant return” for the Trail Blazers to part with the No. 3 pick in a draft that many view as having a consensus top-three prospects, but they’ll continue to listen to offers up until it’s time to make a selection, Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s NBA Today (YouTube link). “Certainly, they want to build around Damian Lillard, Wojnarowski said, per RealGM. “That’s been their focus. Damian Lillard says he wants to continue to be in Portland. So I think they’ll go right up to the clock on Thursday night. Offers and outreach from teams tend to get more serious the closer you get to the deadline…Portland may not have gotten the best offers that will come to them, but they will here in the next 24 hours or so. This is a significant decision for this organization, for Damian Lillard’s future in Portland.” If Miller gets picked No. 2, the Blazers would almost certainly select Scoot Henderson, Woj added.
  • Fischer confirms a recent report that the Spurs are inquiring about adding a second lottery pick and have been linked to French wing Bilal Coulibaly, who played with projected No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama on Metropolitans 92. Interestingly, sources tell Woo that Coulibaly hasn’t unilaterally granted access to his medical details, indicating he may have a preferred destination in mind.
  • Cam Whitmore‘s stock may be falling due to medical concerns, sources tell Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, who has Whitmore going No. 9 to the Jazz in his latest mock draft. Whitmore had been viewed as an option for the Rockets (No. 4) or Pistons (No. 5).
  • Although Ausar Thompson canceled a workout with the Pacers (No. 7) last week, he still had a meeting with team officials, he told Fischer. Indiana sent a “select group” of personnel to Atlanta to meet with Thompson over the weekend, Fischer writes.
  • Anthony Black‘s camp “initially showed resistance” to the idea of working out for Orlando due to the Magic‘s guard depth, sources tell Fischer. However, he wound up leaving a strong impression on the team and now thinks he could be picked No. 6 overall, he told Fischer. If the Magic do pick a guard, they’ve given rivals the impression they’d consider trading Cole Anthony, who has a “great relationship” with the front office, or Jalen Suggs. “They didn’t tell me that,” Black said, “but that’s what I figured they’d do if they picked me.”
  • The Lakers have been exploring all kinds of options with their first-round pick (No. 17), including possibly moving up a few slots, Fischer writes. Keyonte George could be a target — the guard has also been linked to the Raptors at No. 13, per Fischer.
  • According to Fischer, Jarace Walker believes he could go as high as No. 5 (Pistons), with a floor possibly being Indiana (No. 7); Taylor Hendricks believes he could go anywhere from No. 5 to No. 12 (Thunder); and Dereck Lively II has been told he could be picked anywhere from No. 10 (Dallas) to No. 20 (Houston).

Southeast Notes: Magic, Trent, Hawks, Sanogo, Wizards

The Magic hold a pair of lottery picks and an early second-round selection in this month’s draft. What picks would be ideal at those spots? Jeremy Woo of ESPN weighs in on that subject and believes Overtime Elite shooting guard Ausar Thompson and Kansas shooting guard Gradey Dick would make nice fits at No. 6 and No. 11, respectively. Belmont small forward Ben Sheppard would give the Magic another shooting option if they chose him at No. 36, Woo adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

NBA Suspends Two Pistons Players, Nine Magic Players For Roles In Fracas

The NBA has suspended two Pistons players and nine Magic players for their roles in an altercation during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game, the league has announced (Twitter link).

Pistons guard Killian Hayes was given the harshest punishment, a three-game suspension without pay. Magic center Moritz Wagner has been suspended for two games, while Detroit guard Hamidou Diallo was also dinged for a one-game suspension. Both Hayes and Diallo will be held out of the team’s road game against the Bulls Friday.

Hayes, Wagner and Diallo were all ejected from the game Wednesday night, which Detroit won 121-101, for their roles in the on-court confrontation that began when Wagner hip-checked Hayes out of bounds into the Pistons’ bench while the two were scrambling for a loose ball. Diallo subsequently shoved Wagner in the back, but Hayes then escalated the conflict when he punched Wagner in the back of the head. Wagner appeared to lose consciousness after the hit. Several Magic players left the bench to support Wagner and all have been penalized for doing so.

The NBA is additionally suspending eight additional Orlando players after they left the bench to support Wagner during the scuffle: guards Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris and Kevon Harris, swingmen Franz Wagner and Admiral Schofield, and big men Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba. All eight players will receive one-game bans.

The NBA’s press release indicates that the absences of the Magic players will be staggered to ensure the team has enough available bodies for its ensuing two contests. Anthony, Gary Harris, Hampton, Bamba, and Carter will miss Orlando’s next game on Friday against the Wizards. Wagner will also begin his two-game suspension on Friday. The others will miss the club’s January 4 matchup with the Thunder.

Magic Rumors: Bamba, Ross, Harris, Hampton, Anthony

The Magic lost by a single point in Atlanta on Monday night, but prior to that game, Orlando had reeled off six straight wins, with many of them coming against tough opponents. The Magic won home games against the Clippers, Hawks, and Raptors (twice), then capped off the streak with a pair of victories in Boston.

Orlando is still just 11-21 on the season, but the team seems to be taking the sort of positive step forward that management wanted to see in 2022/23, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

“They have two of the premier positions in the league — play-making forwards — on rookie scale contracts, intriguing young talent around them on solid contracts, no bad money moving forward, and some veterans who could get them back even more draft capital should they choose to trade them,” an Eastern Conference team strategist told Fischer.

While the Magic haven’t been big spenders in free agency during their rebuilding process, league figures familiar with the club’s thinking tell Fischer that ownership will be prepared to open its check book when the time comes to invest in complementary pieces around those two young forwards, Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Among potential Orlando trade chips this season, Mohamed Bamba may have the most value, according to Fischer, who says league sources believe the Magic will likely be seeking a first-round pick for Bamba and would settle for a protected or late first-rounder. Fischer notes that the Magic pursued Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency this past summer, which is perhaps an indication that Bamba was a fallback option and isn’t in the team’s long-term plans.
  • Although it’s unclear which teams might have interest in Bamba specifically, front office personnel expect teams like the Clippers, Lakers, Raptors, Kings, and Nets to explore the trade market for big men, Fischer writes.
  • Veteran wings Terrence Ross and R.J. Hampton, both in contract years, are also considered potential trade candidates, as is Gary Harris, who has a non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24. However, their appeal will probably be limited, given their modest production relative to their respective cap hits. Ross has previously drawn interest from the Lakers and Knicks, and the Magic have sought a first-round pick for him in the past, but it’s hard to envision them getting more than a second-rounder if they move him, says Fischer.
  • League personnel think there may be a “sizable gap” between Cole Anthony‘s asking price and what the Magic are willing to offer when the third-year guard becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension next offseason, per Fischer.