DaQuan Jeffries

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Jeffries, Diakite, Walker, Dinwiddie

The Celtics’ bench has turned into a strength during their current hot streak, Jay King of The Athletic writes.

Over the last nine games, Payton Pritchard has averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 47.0% from the field. Meanwhile, Sam Hauser has made 21 three-pointers over his past three games entering Monday’s action. Al Horford, Luke Kornet, Xavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett have also delivered impactful performances.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • DaQuan Jeffries’ contract with the Knicks, which he signed on Monday, runs through the end of this season with a team option for 2024/25, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. Mamadi Diakite’s contract with the Knicks, also signed on Monday, runs through next season too, but the 2024/25 salary is non-guaranteed rather than a team option, Katz adds (Twitter link).
  • Lonnie Walker‘s minutes have dropped since Kevin Ollie was named the Nets’ interim coach but he’s trying to keep a positive attitude, according to NetsDaily.com. “I don’t think it negatively affects me. You might have your ups and downs, your days where you might not feel as much,” Walker said. “But for the most part, I got a great family around me that really supports me and I understand that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.” Walker will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie was given very little leeway by former Nets coach Jacque Vaughn before he was dealt and later joined the Lakers, according to Shams Charania. Speaking on the Run It Back program (video link), Charania said Dinwiddie “was essentially told in Brooklyn: No pick and rolls, no isolations.”

Knicks Re-Sign DaQuan Jeffries, Mamadi Diakite

3:21pm: Both deals run through the end of the season, confirms Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link).

2:59pm: The Knicks have re-signed swingman DaQuan Jeffries and forward Mamadi Diakite, according to a pair of press releases from the club (Twitter links).

Jeffries and Diakite had been on 10-day contracts with New York, which expired over the weekend. Today’s announcements don’t provide any details on their new agreements, but Jeffries wasn’t eligible to sign another 10-day pact with the Knicks, and there’s no indication in the release that Diakite’s new deal is another 10-day.

Unless we hear otherwise, we’re assuming both players received rest-of-season commitments, filling New York’s two open roster spots and giving the team a full 15-man squad.

Jeffries spent much of the past two seasons under contract with the Knicks on various two-way, 10-day, and non-guaranteed deals. He didn’t play at all at the NBA level last season, but has seen a little action in 13 games in 2023/24, registering 11 points and five rebounds in 34 total minutes.

Diakite, meanwhile, appeared in three NBA games earlier this season while on a two-way deal with San Antonio and has also suited up for the Bucks, Thunder, and Cavaliers since making his NBA debut in 2021. He was waived by the Spurs on March 2, so he wouldn’t be eligible to play for the Knicks in the postseason if he signed a rest-of-season deal.

It’s possible one or both contracts include a non-guaranteed minimum salary for next season, giving New York some offseason roster flexibility, but that has yet to be confirmed one way or the other.

Assuming they both signed for the minimum, Jeffries will earn $261,293 for the rest of this season, while Diakite would make $252,525.

Knicks Notes: Sims, Achiuwa, Anunoby, McBride, Hartenstein, Roster Openings

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau made a change to his frontcourt rotation on Saturday, using Jericho Sims as his primary backup center ahead of Precious Achiuwa, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Thibodeau expressed a need for more “physicality” after his team got pushed around in Thursday’s loss at Denver.

“Whoever’s got it going, that’s where we’re going,” Thibodeau said. “Some nights it’s not your night, it’s someone else’s night and then you put the team first. Everyone sacrifices. And that’s really what we’ve done all year.” 

Sims didn’t score, but he boosted the defense and grabbed seven rebounds in his 18 minutes of action. Achiuwa played just eight minutes, his fewest since January 17. Bondy notes that Achiuwa was used as the starting power forward the last time OG Anunoby was injured. Over the past three games, Thibodeau has moved Josh Hart to that position and inserted Miles McBride into the starting lineup. Thibodeau told reporters that he still has “a lot of confidence” in Achiuwa and indicated that the reduction in playing time may be temporary.

“He’s done a great job for us,” Thibodeau said. “I love the fact that he can play two positions. I think he can guard multiple positions. It allows you to do a lot of switching. So it was more the matchup of, OK, who are we looking at in the Golden State game? We’re looking at (Stephen) Curry (necessitating McBride to be in the lineup to chase him around). And then with Brooklyn, you’re looking at Cam Thomas, who has been rolling.” 

There’s more from New York:

  • Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle both worked out before the game, but Anunoby wasn’t seen on the court or in the locker room after reporters were granted access, Bondy adds. There’s no word on whether the soreness in his surgically repaired elbow has eased enough to allow him to practice. “It’s hard to say,” Thibodeau said. “I haven’t seen him. He’s doing better so just let it calm down and go from there.”
  • McBride’s 48-minute marathon on Saturday marked the sixth time he has topped the 40-minute mark since signing an extension in late December, per Bridget Reilly of The New York Post. McBride said he tried not to look at the Knicks’ bench during Saturday’s game so he wouldn’t give any indication that he wanted to come out. “Honestly, it’s mental,” he said. “Just telling myself to keep pushing through, give everything I’ve got in order to get the win.” 
  • Isaiah Hartenstein credits Thibodeau and the Knicks’ medical staff for helping him ease back into the lineup while dealing with Achilles soreness, per Ian Begley of SNY (video link).
  • New York has two roster openings after 10-day contracts expired on Saturday for Mamadi Diakite and DaQuan Jeffries, notes Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). Diakite is eligible for another 10-day deal, but Jeffries would have to be signed for the rest of the season if the Knicks want to keep him.

Knicks Sign Diakite To 10-Day Deal, Officially Re-Sign Jeffries

The Knicks have signed forward Mamadi Diakite to a 10-day contract, the team’s PR department tweets. New York also officially signed DaQuan Jeffries to a second 10-day deal, the club announced in a separate tweet.

Diakite became a free agent after the Spurs waived him on March 2. San Antonio had signed Diakite to a two-way deal on New Year’s Day.

Diakite is back in the Knicks’ organization after participating in their training camp last fall and playing for their G League team in Westchester earlier this season. He averaged 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30.3 minutes while playing six games for the G League club.

Diakite, 27, went undrafted in 2020 out of Virginia after winning the national championship with the Cavaliers in 2018/19. This is his fourth NBA season — he has played a total of 52 games with Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Cleveland and San Antonio. He holds career averages of 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per contest.

The Knicks have a roster opening to accommodate Diakite.

New York’s intention to re-sign Jeffries was reported on Wednesday. This is the third separate time Jeffries has been on the Knicks’ roster in 2023/24. He was initially on a standard non-guaranteed contract, but was waived as part of a trade back in late December. Jeffries signed his first 10-day deal with New York this season on February 22.

Knicks To Sign DaQuan Jeffries To Second 10-Day Deal

The Knicks are signing guard/forward DaQuan Jeffries to a second 10-day contract, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports (via Twitter).

Jeffries signed his first 10-day deal with New York this season on February 22 and was eligible for a second 10-day contract at the beginning of March. Instead, he’ll be returning a couple weeks later, according to Scotto.

This is actually the third separate time Jeffries has been on the Knicks’ roster in 2023/24. He was initially on a standard non-guaranteed contract, but was waived as part of a trade back in late December.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, Jeffries will officially sign his new deal on Thursday, when New York faces Portland (Twitter link).

Once his second 10-day deal expires, Jeffries will be ineligible to sign a third. To retain him at that point, the Knicks would have to sign him for the rest of the season.

Jeffries, 26, went undrafted out of Tulsa in 2019. He has played in 60 NBA games for the Kings, Rockets, Grizzlies and Knicks over the past five seasons, including 13 brief cameos (34 total minutes) with New York in ’23/24.

Jeffries didn’t play in any games in 2022/23 with New York, but he was under contract the whole campaign — initially on a two-way deal, and then a pair of 10-day contracts, before finally signing a multiyear deal.

While he hasn’t played much for the NBA club, Jeffries has been a standout for the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester the past two seasons, averaging 22.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.8 APG and 1.1 BPG on .484/.385/.758 shooting in 13 regular season games in ’23/24.

As our tracker shows, New York only has 13 players on standard contracts at the moment, and was required to fill the 14th spot within two weeks of Jeffries’ last 10-day deal. The Knicks are currently 38-27, the No. 4 seed in the East, though only 2.5 games separate them from the No. 8 Heat.

Knicks Sign DaQuan Jeffries To 10-Day Deal

9:15am: Jeffries’ 10-day deal with the Knicks is now official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

8:16am: DaQuan Jeffries, who was waived by the Knicks in late December, will return to the team on a 10-day contract, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The 26-year-old shooting guard was let go when New York needed to open a roster spot to complete the OG Anunoby trade with Toronto. He saw limited action in 10 games this season before being released.

New York is Jeffries’ fourth team since he entered the NBA in 2019. He also spent time with Sacramento, Houston and Memphis, holding career averages of 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 57 career games while shooting 43.7% from the field and 28.6% from three-point range.

If Jeffries signs today, he can appear in tonight’s game at Philadelphia and then four more before the contract expires. He’ll be eligible to sign a second 10-day deal next weekend.

Raptors Trade OG Anunoby To Knicks For Barrett, Quickley

2:48pm: The trade is official, the Knicks confirmed in a press release (Twitter link).

“We’re ecstatic to welcome OG, Malachi, and Precious to the Knicks family,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. “OG’s complete offensive game and ability to defend multiple positions will enhance our team on both ends of the court. Malachi and Precious are well-rounded players that will complement the hardworking and talented nature of our group. OG, Malachi, and Precious are perfect additions to the type of team and culture we are building in New York.”

The Raptors also announced the deal in a press release of their own.

“We’re excited about welcoming Immanuel and RJ to our team,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said. “Immanuel is a young, talented playmaker who we believe will provide a spark on both ends of the court. RJ is a versatile wing who is, of course, well-known in his hometown, and seeing him in a Raptors uniform will be a special moment for our fans and for all Canadians.”

11:27am: The Raptors are finalizing a trade that will send OG Anunoby to the Knicks in exchange for a package consisting of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn are also headed to New York along with Anunoby in the deal, according to Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

The 2024 pick the Raptors are acquiring originally belonged to the Pistons, Wojnarowski tweets, so it currently projects to be atop the second round.

The deal will see the Knicks land one of the most coveted two-way players in the league in Anunoby, who has been viewed as a prime trade candidate for much of 2023. New York has been pursuing him for “a significant period of time,” according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), having reportedly offered multiple first-rounders for him at last season’s deadline.

The Knicks will now get a head-start on trying to retain Anunoby ahead of his potential 2024 free agency. The 26-year-old has a player option next season worth $19.9MM, which he’s expected to decline to secure a more lucrative contract.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, Anunoby will technically be extension-eligible after being acquired by the Knicks, but for the next six months, he’ll only be permitted to sign for up to two years and $40MM. On June 30, those limits will increase to four years and $117MM.

In all likelihood, whether or not he intends to re-sign with the Knicks, the seventh-year forward will opt to become a free agent, since his elite three-and-D skill set should put him in line for an even more substantial payday than he could get on an extension. Anunoby was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team last season and has averaged 16.4 points per game with a .381 3PT% since the start of the 2020/21 season.

Moving Barrett and Quickley should help clear up a logjam and clarify the rotation in New York’s backcourt, with wings like Donte DiVincenzo and Quentin Grimes primed to take on larger roles alongside star point guard Jalen Brunson. Flynn likely won’t play regular minutes for his new team, but he’ll provide some depth at guard, while Achiuwa will give the Knicks another option up front with Mitchell Robinson out for the season.

Toronto, meanwhile, won’t get a first-round pick back for Anunoby but will instead bring in Quickley, who finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last year, and Barrett, a Canadian and former No. 3 overall pick. Quickley will be a restricted free agent in 2024, while Barrett is under contract through 2026/27.

Barrett loved New York and enjoyed playing for the Knicks, but if he was going to be dealt, he viewed his hometown of Toronto as a great option, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The 23-year-old played for the Canadian national team in the FIBA World Cup this past summer.

Both Barrett and Quickley had seen their playing time with the Knicks dip a little in the first half of this season. Barrett averaged 18.2 points per game on .423/.331/.831 shooting in 26 starts (29.5 MPG), while Quickley posted a career-best 15.0 PPG on .454/.395/.872 shooting in 30 appearances off the bench (24.0 MPG).

The lack of first-round draft capital heading to Toronto indicates the Raptors are content with retooling, rather than outright rebuilding — that aligns with a report earlier this week, which indicated that the organization has “no appetite for a reset, teardown, or rebuild.”

It remains to be seen what Toronto does with Pascal Siakam, whose name has also come up in trade rumors in recent weeks and who is also a candidate for an extension. Depending on their plans for Siakam, the Raptors could generate a significant chunk of cap room in the 2024 offseason while still being able to re-sign Quickley, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (via Twitter).

In the shorter term, the move will open up a spot on Toronto’s roster and will keep team salary slightly below the luxury tax due to the inclusions of Achiuwa and Flynn, both of whom will be restricted free agents in 2024.

The Knicks will have to waive someone to complete the deal. According to Charania (via Twitter), that roster casualty will be DaQuan Jeffries, who was on a non-guaranteed contract and had seen limited action in just 10 games for the team this season.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the two Atlantic rivals came together to make this deal despite being engaged in a bitter legal feud off the court.

The Knicks filed a lawsuit against the Raptors in August, alleging that former employee Ikechukwu Azotam illegally took confidential files with him when he was hired by Toronto. The two teams have gone back and forth in court filings in the months since then, but it seems their front offices had no problem working with one another.

Luke Adams contributed to this story.

Knicks Release Diakite, Goodwin, Roby, Washington

The Knicks have waived Mamadi Diakite, Brandon Goodwin, Isaiah Roby and Duane Washington Jr., the team announced (via Twitter).

Diakite, Goodwin and Roby were all signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, which means they could receive a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days the Knicks’ NBA G League affiliate in Westchester.

Washington, on the other hand, was signed to an Exhibit 9 contract. That means he would not be eligible for a bonus if he clears waivers and plays for the Westchester Knicks in 2023/24.

All four players have NBA experience, but were unable to make the Knicks’ regular season roster. Diakite, a 6’9″ forward/center who was born in Guinea, has appeared in 49 NBA games with the Bucks, Thunder and Cavs over the past three seasons.

Goodwin, 28, is a 6’0″ point guard who played 133 regular season games with the Nuggets, Hawks and Cavs from 2018-22. He was out of the league last season.

Roby, 25, spent most of last season with the Spurs, appearing in 42 games and averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per night before being released in early March. He spent his first three NBA seasons with Oklahoma City.

Roby signed a multiyear contract with the Knicks on the final day of the 2022/23 regular season that was non-guaranteed for ’23/24. He was recently cut, cleared waivers, and re-signed; now he has been waived again to secure his Exhibit 10 bonus.

A 6’3″ guard who went undrafted out of Ohio State in 2021, Washington spent the past two seasons with the Pacers, Suns and Knicks on two-way deals. He never actually played a game for New York, which waived him in July before re-signing him to a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

By waiving the four players and converting Charlie Brown Jr. and Jacob Toppin to two-way deals, it appears as though DaQuan Jeffries and Ryan Arcidiacono may have made the Knicks’ opening-night roster. Both players were on non-guaranteed camp contracts.

New York is now down to 17 players under contract, with all three two-way slots filled.

New York Notes: Sharpe, Bridges, Randle, Jeffries

The Nets fortified their frontcourt depth this month by signing a pair of big men to 10-day contracts — Nerlens Noel got one, then the team brought in Moses Brown following the expiration of Noel’s deal. However, Noel wasn’t re-signed and Brown only played four minutes during his 10 days with Brooklyn, which concluded on Sunday night.

Rather than using Brown, the Nets have leaned recently on Day’Ron Sharpe as their backup center behind Nic Claxton, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Sharpe has responded admirably, averaging 10.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in just 15.8 minutes per game over his last four appearances.

“Sometimes you have to tap into that competitive nature,” Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Sometimes you can not appreciate the situation that you’re in. It might not look like the way you want it to look on your timing. Sometimes you need a little nudge, and Day’Ron has responded extremely well by having another big on the roster.”

Following the expiration of Brown’s 10-day deal, the Nets have an open spot on their 15-man roster, so they’re in position to bring back Noel or Brown or to add someone new before the end of the regular season. Noel would be playoff-eligible but Brown wouldn’t be, since he has been waived since March 1.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • After attempting 1.9 free throws per game during his four-and-a-half years in Phoenix, Nets forward Mikal Bridges is getting to the foul line 6.7 times per game in Brooklyn. He credited Suns stars Devin Booker and Chris Paul for helping him grow and expand that part of his game during his first few years in the NBA, Lewis writes for The New York Post. “Just trying to get to the line, just trying to be aggressive. That’s just a big thing,” Bridges said. “Coming from Phoenix, watching a lot of and being right there with a lot of Book and CP3 and how they draw fouls, I’ve learned a lot.”
  • Prior to Monday’s blowout win over Houston, Knicks forward Julius Randle had received technical fouls in three consecutive games, all losses. While Randle acknowledged he needs to do a better job of keeping his frustration in check, he doesn’t believe his outbursts adversely impact his standing as a team leader, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “Name a perfect leader,” Randle said. “Name a perfect human being.”
  • The Knicks used a portion of their room exception when they signed DaQuan Jeffries to a two-year contract, Hoops Rumors has learned. A rest-of-season minimum salary for Jeffries would have paid him $163,977, but New York opted to give him $300K for the remainder of the season using the room exception. The swingman’s new deal includes a non-guaranteed minimum salary ($2.07MM) for 2023/24.

Knicks Sign DaQuan Jeffries To Multiyear Deal

1:32pm: The Knicks have confirmed the signing of Jeffries, announcing the move in a press release (via Twitter).

11:22am: Following the expiration of his second 10-day contract, swingman DaQuan Jeffries has agreed to sign a multiyear deal with the Knicks, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Jeffries signed a pair of 10-day pacts with the Knicks this month in order to ensure that the team was carrying the NBA-mandated minimum of 14 players on standard contracts. He completed the second of those deals on March 16, so it expired overnight on Saturday.

Jeffries didn’t actually play at all for New York during his 20 days on the NBA roster, but the 25-year-old has been a standout performer for the Westchester Knicks in the G League this season.

He started 15 games for Westchester in the fall’s Showcase Cup, averaging 18.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.3 APG on .482/.280/.769 shooting in 33.1 minutes per night. Since the NBAGL’s regular season began, he has appeared in 21 more games, putting up 21.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG with a shooting line of .492/.390/.683.

Jeffries’ new contract will presumably only run through the 2023/24 season, since the Knicks will have to sign him using either the minimum salary exception or room exception — neither exception can be used to sign a player for more than two years.

Once the signing is official, New York will once again be carrying 14 players on standard contracts, leaving one roster spot still open. Both of their two-way slots are full.