Davon Reed

Davon Reed To Join Grizzlies’ G League Affiliate

Free agent guard/forward Davon Reed is signing an NBA G League contract to play with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies‘ affiliate, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The 32nd overall pick of the 2017 draft, Reed spent his first two seasons with the Suns and Pacers before spending time in the NBAGL and playing professionally in Taiwan. He returned to the NBA in 2021/22 with the Nuggets and re-signed with Denver as a free agent last summer.

Reed was traded to the Lakers in February in a multi-team deal that sent Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets. The 28-year-old wing was waived by Los Angeles on the last day of the regular season to create roster space.

Reed, who averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game while shooting 40.9% from deep over the past two seasons (91 games, 11.1 minutes), signed with Ukrainian team Prometey BC as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

His stint with Prometey — which is currently in the EuroCup tournament and competes in the Estonian-Latvian Basketball League due to the ongoing war in Ukraine — was short-lived, however, as he’ll reportedly be returning stateside in an effort to make it back to the NBA.

It’s worth noting that Reed holds four seasons of NBA experience and is thus ineligible for a two-way contract. In order to return to the league, he’ll have to be offered a standard deal.

It’s possible Reed could be competing for a chance at a 10-day contract with Memphis — the Grizzlies currently have guards Shaquille Harrison and Jaylen Nowell on 10-day deals after qualifying for a couple extra roster spots via the hardship provision. Those contracts expire on December 3.

Davon Reed Signs With Ukrainian Team

Free agent wing Davon Reed has signed with Prometey BC, the team announced on Instagram (hat tip to Dario Skerletic of Sportando). Former Hornets forward Arnoldas Kulboka will also be joining the Ukrainian club, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com (Twitter link).

The 32nd pick of the 2017 draft out of Miami, Reed spend his rookie season with the Suns, who released him prior to the 2018/19 season. He caught on with the Pacers on a two-way deal before spending the next couple seasons in the G League and playing international ball in Taiwan.

Reed returned to the NBA in ’21/22 on a two-way deal with the Nuggets, having a solid season as a 3-and-D bench member, averaging 4.4 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .503/.430/.667 shooting in 48 games (13.9 MPG). Last summer, he signed a two-year contract for the veteran’s minimum to return to Denver, but only the first year was guaranteed.

The 28-year-old saw his minutes reduced in ’22/23 with the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown and Christian Braun, as Reed averaged just 9.0 MPG in 35 games for the Nuggets. He was sent to the Lakers at the February trade deadline, and was subsequently waived on the last day of the regular season.

According to Prometey BC, Nuggets players insisted that Reed be given a championship ring after Denver won its first title last month. The Ukrainian side also said Reed drew EuroLeague interest this summer, but no deals came to fruition due to his lack of experience in Europe.

Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Prometey BC, also known as Prometey Slobozhanske, spent last season playing in the Latvian-Estonian Basketball League, which will continue in ’23/24. The team finished first in its group during the ’22/23 EuroCup competition, ultimately losing in the semifinal.

Kulboka, another former second-round pick who has spent most of his career in Europe, appeared in two games with Charlotte in ’21/22 on a two-way deal. The Hornets didn’t give him a qualifying offer last summer, making him an unrestricted free agent, and he signed a one-year deal with Greece’s Promitheas Patras.

The Lithuanian guard/forward averaged 14.9 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .453/.426/.800 shooting in 18 EuroCup games last season.

Trade Breakdown: Clippers/Nuggets/Lakers/Magic Deal

This is the 11th entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2022/23 season. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into a four-team deal between the Clippers, Nuggets, Lakers and Magic.

Trade details

On February 9:

  • The Clippers acquired Bones Hyland.
  • The Nuggets acquired Thomas Bryant.
  • The Lakers acquired Mohamed Bamba, Davon Reed, the Clippers’ 2024 second-round pick, and the Clippers’ 2025 second-round pick.
  • The Magic acquired Patrick Beverley, the Nuggets’ 2024 second-round pick, and cash ($2MM; from Lakers).
  • Note: Both the Nuggets and the Lakers created a couple of small traded player exceptions as part of this deal, which can be found right here.

The Clippers’ perspective:

February’s trade deadline was unusual in that it featured several transactions that were originally reported as being between two teams, but were eventually folded into four-team deals.

For the Clippers, this transaction was very straightforward. They dealt away their 2024 and 2025 second-round picks to Denver and used a traded player exception to acquire Hyland, a second-year guard. That was the end of it for them.

The Nuggets flipped those two second-rounders — plus Reed and their own ’24 second — to the Lakers for Bryant. The Lakers then rerouted Denver’s second and Beverley to Orlando for Bamba. Three separate trades were folded into one because it made sense to do so.

The Clippers finished the regular season ranked 17th in the league on offense, and Hyland is a talented microwave-type offensive player – he can get hot in a hurry. He provides some flair and unpredictability to an offense that can be a little bland and stagnant at times.

When the deal was made, I was skeptical that the second-year guard would actually receive meaningful minutes, and that turned out to be accurate, at least initially. He only appeared in five of his first 14 games with the Clippers, averaging 7.0 PPG and 3.6 RPG on .297/.278/.800 shooting in 14.2 MPG.

The primary reason for that is Hyland is a combo guard whose size (he’s listed at 6’2″ and 169 pounds) makes it difficult to play him as anything but a point defensively. No matter where you play him on that end, he’s prone to making mistakes both on and off the ball.

However, injuries to Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) and Paul George (knee sprain) created an opening for Hyland, and he finished the season as a regular contributor off the bench, averaging 12.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 4.3 APG on .440/.375/.700 shooting in nine games (21.6 MPG).

Hyland’s immaturity (he left Denver’s bench out of frustration in the fourth quarter of a Jan. 22 game against the Thunder), defensive lapses, and displeasure with his role were reportedly factors in the Nuggets looking to move the former first-round pick. I’m sure Hyland shoving Mason Plumlee in the regular season finale raised a few eyebrows within the Clippers organization, even if it was a relatively minor incident.

Still, despite his flaws, adding a 22-year-old with some real offensive talent on a cheap, controllable contract through at least 2024/25 for just a couple of second-round picks was a worthwhile gamble for the Clippers. Even if it doesn’t work out in the long run, the cost was relatively low.

The Nuggets’ perspective:

When I write these trade breakdown articles, I treat it as a thought exercise where I try to put myself in the position of the respective teams’ front office. Of course I rely on reports and public statements as well, but NBA decision-makers aren’t always forthcoming with the media, which is understandable.

I try to be as objective as I can, which is challenging — I don’t necessarily personally agree with what I’m writing at times, and it’s hard to prevent my opinions from slipping through.

The reason I waited so long to write about this particular trade is I really didn’t like it from Denver’s perspective, and I still don’t.

Moving on from Hyland for a couple of second-round picks was reasonable enough; I’m sure the Nuggets did their due diligence, and that’s what his market value was. All the trade rumors coming out about how motivated they were to move him certainly did not help on that front.

My issue was that they rerouted those second-rounders and included one of their own to add a player on an expiring minimum-salary contract who doesn’t fit well on the roster. It’s not that Bryant is a bad player, he just doesn’t make sense on the Nuggets.

Part of the reason Denver’s bench has struggled so much all season long is because of the team’s reliance on Nikola Jokic. What he does on the court is impossible to replicate, particularly offensively – he’s the most efficient high-volume scorer in the league, unguardable one-on-one in the post, and one of the best passers in league history.

That reliance has proven to be a double-edged sword, as they lack an identity without him. His on/off numbers are staggering: plus-12.5 with him, and minus-10.4 without, a net difference of 22.9 points per 100 possessions. Every reserve has very poor on/off numbers.

Bryant has a lot of positive qualities. He hustles for loose balls, competes, sprints down the floor and is a skilled offensive player who can really shoot for a center, though his three-point percentages are somewhat misleading, as it’s low volume.

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook were very good at setting him up quality looks, and Bryant was highly efficient at converting them. He averaged 12.1 PPG and 6.8 RPG on .654/.440/.741 shooting in 41 games with the Lakers (25 starts, 21.4 MPG).

However, he is much more of a finisher as opposed to someone who can create for himself and others, and the Nuggets don’t really have anyone who can reliably feed him in the pick-and-roll. Head coach Michael Malone has been playing Jamal Murray with the second unit lately after abandoning the Reggie Jackson experiment, but they’re both score-first point guards. Bruce Brown isn’t a natural point either.

Bryant is a limited defensive player who – like Jokic – doesn’t protect the rim, and he also doesn’t possess Jokic’s basketball IQ or quick hands to be disruptive. He tries, but Bryant doesn’t move very well laterally and he’s on the small side for a center.

Long story short, Bryant’s skill set doesn’t fit well with Denver because he doesn’t have anyone who can reliably set him up on offense, and while he is a solid rebounder, he is an overall poor defensive player. It’s just a bad mix.

At the end of March, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports asked Malone (Twitter video link) why he thought Bryant hasn’t been able to find a rhythm with the Nuggets.

No idea. I can’t answer it. Maybe ask him that,” Malone replied.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. It was also a little strange considering Bryant isn’t the first backup center who has been productive on other teams and struggled in Denver over the past few seasons, joining JaVale McGee and Isaiah Hartenstein. That tells me the coaches deserve some blame for failing to utilize those players as well.

In 18 games with Denver, Bryant has averaged 4.6 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .485/.444/.722 shooting in just 11.4 MPG. He has been buried on the depth chart behind Zeke Nnaji and DeAndre Jordan since Malone made those comments.

I really liked some of the moves the Nuggets made over the past year, including trading for (and extending) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, signing Brown, and drafting Christian Braun and Peyton Watson. All are players who filled roster needs.

As I said, I understand trading Hyland if he was causing problems in the locker room, and if that was the end of it, that would have been fine. But flipping those two second-rounders and including an additional one to acquire Bryant – who almost certainly won’t be retained – was a poor decision, in my opinion.

The Magic’s perspective:

It’s hard to say that Bamba’s tenure with the Magic was anything but a disappointment. He was selected No. 6 overall in the 2018 draft, ahead of players like Wendell Carter Jr., Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michael Porter Jr., Kevin Huerter, Robert Williams and Jalen Brunson, among several others.

Bamba dealt with injuries and never seemed to gain former coach Steve Clifford’s trust in his first three seasons, as he averaged just 15.3 minutes per game in 155 games from 2018-2001. He averaged 6.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 1.3 BPG on .471/.325/.646 shooting over that same span.

You could say being behind All-Star center Nikola Vucevic was partly to blame, but there were times when Bamba was outplayed by Khem Birch and Moritz Wagner as well. Draft status doesn’t mean much if you aren’t contributing at a high level.

After Orlando traded Vucevic and hired Jamahl Mosley to be the new head coach, Bamba emerged as the team’s starting center in 2021/22, which was the fourth and final season of his rookie scale contract. He averaged 10.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG and 1.7 BPG on .480/.381/.781 shooting in 71 games (25.7 MPG), re-signing with the Magic on a two-year, $20.6MM deal, though only his ’22/23 salary is guaranteed.

Bamba played alongside Carter in the frontcourt last season after Orlando acquired the former Duke big man as part of the Vucevic deal. However, the Magic landed the No. 1 overall pick last June and selected Paolo Banchero, a skilled power forward, which moved Carter up to center and put Bamba back on the bench.

The 24-year-old was mostly outplayed by Wagner again this season once the German big man returned from injury, burying Bamba further on the depth chart. The short-lived return of Jonathan Isaac, who later went down with season-ending adductor surgery, also likely played a factor in Orlando’s willingness to move Bamba.

The Magic gave Bamba opportunities — things just didn’t work out. He’s on a pseudo-expiring contract (non-guaranteed $10.3MM salary for ‘23/24), essentially making him a rental player.

It turns out he didn’t have a ton of league-wide value, which is why Orlando only got a second-round pick back. Taking on some additional salary in the form of Beverley didn’t affect the Magic’s cap situation, as they’re well below the luxury tax (they also received $2MM in cash from the Lakers). Beverley was later bought out and signed with the Bulls.

The Lakers’ perspective:

You can’t really look at this trade in isolation for the Lakers, as they completely revamped the roster with a series of moves in January and February.

The Lakers have gone 18-8 over their last 26 games despite missing LeBron James for 13 of those contests, so clearly the moves were beneficial in the short term.

They also recently signed Tristan Thompson and Shaquille Harrison to fortify their depth ahead of the postseason. They had one open roster spot and waived Reed to accommodate the second addition (he only played 27 garbage-time minutes across eight games with Los Angeles).

Bryant reportedly requested a trade after Anthony Davis returned from his foot injury. He played well as a fill-in starter for the Lakers, but wanted a bigger opportunity. Obviously, things have not worked out with Denver.

As for Beverley, moving him saved money toward the tax and created more playing time for the new additions as well as Austin Reaves, who has excelled over the past few months. Beverley had a rough start with the Lakers and although he eventually turned things around, he’s still a limited offensive player who is much older than Russell, Beasley, Reaves and Dennis Schröder.

Unfortunately, Bamba sustained a high left ankle sprain that sidelined him for a month not long after the Lakers acquired him, so it’s hard to get much of a read on how the team views him. He does bring a different skill set than Wenyen Gabriel, who has been the primary backup center following Bryant’s exit.

Bamba is listed at 7’0″ and 231 pounds with an enormous 7’10” wingspan, making him one of the longest recorded players in NBA history. He’s also shot 38.3% on threes over the past two seasons – an above-average mark, particularly for a center.

Gabriel, meanwhile, is 6’9″ and 205 pounds. He makes up for his lack of size by relentlessly going after rebounds and being a solid, versatile defensive player. He has outperformed his minimum-salary contract, but he’s still limited offensively and rough around the edges at times.

Bamba is more of a pick-and-pop threat, and obviously he has the size and length to be a deterrent in the paint – opponents shot 57.9% at the rim against Bamba, a solid mark.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Bamba is an overall positive defensively, however, as he’s prone to attempting blocks he has no chance of reaching, leaving the weak side open for offensive rebounds and easy put-backs. Still, his physical tools are enviable, and he won’t turn 25 until May.

Bamba’s $10.3MM salary for ‘23/24 will become guaranteed if the Lakers don’t waive him by the end of June. If they do release him and want to bring him back, they’ll have to re-sign him using something besides his Bird rights, which would be lost if he’s cut (he would regain his Bird rights for 2024 and beyond if he did re-sign with the Lakers in that scenario).

Lakers Sign Tristan Thompson, Shaquille Harrison

12:45pm: The Lakers have officially signed Thompson and Harrison while waiving Reed, the team confirmed in a press release.

10:43am: The Lakers are making a pair of roster additions to fortify their depth ahead of the postseason, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who reports (via Twitter) that center Tristan Thompson and guard Shaquille Harrison are joining the team.

Los Angeles had an open spot on its 15-man standard roster, so only one cut will be necessary to make room for the two incoming veterans. Davon Reed will be the odd man out and will be placed on waivers today, per McMenamin.

Thompson, 32, has been out of the NBA for the entire 2022/23 season but worked out for the Lakers last month and played alongside Lakers star LeBron James for several years in Cleveland.

The big man averaged 6.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 57 games (15.7 MPG) for the Kings, Pacers, and Bulls last season and has career averages of 9.0 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 730 games. Thompson also has no shortage of postseason experience, having appeared in 88 career playoff contests for the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Bulls.

Harrison has made 180 regular season appearances for six NBA teams since making his debut in 2018. Like Thompson, the 29-year-old guard hasn’t been in the league for most of this season, though he did play five games while on a 10-day contract with the Trail Blazers. That deal expired overnight on Saturday, freeing him up to join a new team.

Harrison was actually in training camp with the Lakers last fall, but was cut at the end of the preseason and ended up playing for the South Bay Lakers, L.A.’s G League affiliate. Known as a stout perimeter defender, he finished third in NBAGL Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Reed, who will turn 28 in June, joined the Lakers along with Mohamed Bamba as part of the four-team February trade that sent Thomas Bryant to Denver. He never cracked L.A.’s regular rotation though, logging just 27 total minutes across eight games with his new team. His minimum salary for 2023/24 is fully non-guaranteed, so the Lakers won’t be on the hook for any money for him beyond this season.

Both Thompson and Harrison will be eligible to play in the postseason for the Lakers because neither one has been waived since March 1.

Lakers Notes: LeBron, AD, Russell, Bamba, Offseason

Lakers stars LeBron James (right foot soreness) and Anthony Davis (right foot stress injury) are both active for Wednesday’s game against the Clippers, tweets Mark Medina of NBA.com. Both players had previously been considered game-time decisions, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes, the availability of the team’s two best players was up in the air leading into tonight’s game after going to overtime to defeat the Jazz in Utah on Tuesday night. James played in 38 minutes, while Davis played 42 — both high marks since returning from their respective foot injuries in March and January.

The extra five minutes definitely didn’t help,” James said. “It definitely didn’t help but we needed to get the win.”

Wednesday will also mark the first time Davis has played in back-to-back games for several months, McMenamin notes, with the Lakers’ medical staff concerned about a possible re-injury due to overuse. Head coach Darvin Ham said the team wouldn’t risk jeopardizing anyone’s long-term health for a short-term situation — the Lakers and Clippers are tied with identical 41-38 records.

If we see that they won’t have any issues, in terms of their health, and we’re not putting them at risk, then we’ll proceed,” Ham said. “If there’s any kind of question marks, we’ll walk through them, talk through them, and go from there.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Guard D’Angelo Russell (left foot soreness) was ruled out of Tuesday’s game for precautionary reasons, tweets McMenamin. Ham said Russell has been dealing with the issue for over a year and called it “bad timing” that it started to bother him recently. However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on Get Up (YouTube link) that there was optimism Russell would be able to return on Wednesday and that was indeed the case — he started at point guard.
  • Backup center Mohamed Bamba, who has been out for a month with a high left ankle sprain, was initially probable for Wednesday’s game (Twitter link via McMenamin) and was later upgraded to available. It will be interesting to see if Bamba gets minutes over Wenyen Gabriel, who has played well this season off the bench.
  • In another story for ESPN, McMenamin explores how the Lakers can retain six players who helped reshape the roster. The six are Russell, Bamba, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura and Davon Reed, all of whom could be free agents in the offseason, though the Lakers are extremely unlikely to release Vanderbilt, who only has a small partial guarantee ($300K) on his team-friendly $4.7MM salary for 2023/24 (it becomes fully guaranteed if they don’t waive him by the end of June).

Lakers Notes: Roster Shakeup, Westbrook, Irving, Buyout Market

The Lakers are still hoping to climb out of 13th place and reach the playoffs, but the recent roster overhaul was made with an eye on the future, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. In a conference call with media members on Saturday, general manager Rob Pelinka said the front office focused on adding shooting, floor spacing, size and wing depth.

L.A. made four deals dating back to January 23, adding Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mohamed Bamba and Davon Reed. All six players are 27 or younger, and they’re under some form of team control beyond this season.

The Lakers can make Hachimura a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer expected to be worth $7.7MM. Russell will be unrestricted, but he’s eligible for an extension through June 30. L.A. holds a $16.5MM team option on Beasley for next season, while Vanderbilt has a partial guarantee on his contract and Bamba and Reed have non-guaranteed deals.

“I think a deep dive into this, you can almost look at it as ‘pre-agency,’” Pelinka said. “… We very intentionally planned these moves to provide optionality in July. Some of these players have team options or team-controlled years on their contracts, which again gives us the ability to see how these last 26 regular-season games and how potential postseason games go. And then we can go into this offseason with a higher collection of data points, and sort of a real-time analysis of how the pieces fit and make decisions for the future.”

Buha has more on the Lakers:

  • Pelinka admitted on the conference call that trading Russell Westbrook was probably the best move for both sides. He said the Lakers originally acquired Westbrook in hopes of returning to title contention, adding that the polarizing guard shouldn’t be blamed for the team’s disappointing performance. “I think it’s really unfair to put the last year and a half, or whatever period of time that is, on one player,” Pelinka said. “I think the whole roster has to come together and fit. And part of sports sometimes is if things aren’t working, you have to fix them.” 
  • Pelinka didn’t specifically address the Lakers’ rumored pursuit of Kyrie Irving, but he did indicate that the front office was aggressive with its 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in its effort to upgrade the roster. L.A. wound up parting with its 2027 first-rounder (top-four protected) in the deal that sent Westbrook to Utah.
  • The Lakers still have a roster opening, but Pelinka hasn’t decided how aggressively he will pursue buyout candidates. “If we see the right opportunity to fill a need in the buyout market, we will take a look at that,” he said. “But I don’t want to definitively say that we’ll sign another player. We feel like these 14 players fill a need that (head coach Darvin Ham) was looking to fill, and he was excited about these 26 games we have to coach these 14 guys.”

Lakers, Nuggets, Magic, Clippers Roll Three Trade Agreements Into Single Deal

5:35pm: The four-team trade is now official, according to a press release from the Magic.

4:46pm: The Lakers, Nuggets, Magic, and Clippers will combine three separately reported trade agreements into a single four-team trade, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).

As Price explains, the Patrick Beverley/Mohamed Bamba swap between the Lakers and Magic, the deal sending Bones Hyland from the Nuggets to the Clippers, and the Nuggets’ acquisition of Thomas Bryant from the Lakers are the trades affected. The new-look deal is as follows:

  • Lakers to acquire Bamba, Davon Reed, the Clippers’ 2024 second-round pick, and the Clippers’ 2025 second-round pick.
  • Magic to acquire Beverley, the Nuggets’ 2024 second-round pick, and cash.
  • Clippers to acquire Hyland.
  • Nuggets to acquire Bryant.

The original terms of the trades called for the Clippers to send their 2024 and 2025 second-round picks to Denver for Hyland, with the Nuggets sending their own 2025, 2026, and 2029 second-rounders to the Lakers for Bryant and the Lakers sending an unspecified second-round pick to the Magic in the Beverley/Bamba swap.

Under the new terms of the deal, the two Clippers picks will be rerouted from the Nuggets (for Hyland) to the Lakers (for Bryant). Denver will keep its 2025, 2028, and 2029 second-rounders. The third pick the Nuggets are sending out for Bryant is now Denver’s 2024 second-rounder — it will be flipped from the Lakers to the Magic for Bamba.

The Magic won’t require Beverley to report to the team, according to Price, which is a strong signal they intend to buy him out or simply waive him.

Lakers To Trade Thomas Bryant To Nuggets

The Lakers and Nuggets have agreed to a trade that will send center Thomas Bryant to Denver in exchange for swingman Davon Reed and three second-round picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the second-round picks are Denver’s own in 2025, 2026, and 2029. The Nuggets have now traded away all their second-rounders between 2025 and 2029.

Bryant, who signed a minimum-salary contract with the Lakers in the offseason, has filled in admirably as the Lakers’ starting center during Anthony Davis‘ injury absences this season, but has only played a modest backup role when Davis is healthy.

In 41 games (25 starts), Bryant has averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per contest. His .654% FG% is a career high, as is his .440 3PT% (albeit on limited volume).

Still, as long as Davis stays healthy, Bryant’s value to the Lakers wasn’t substantial, especially with newly acquired forward Jarred Vanderbilt expected to spend some time playing as a small-ball five. Los Angeles also has veteran big man Wenyen Gabriel for depth purposes up front and would have been limited in its ability to give Bryant a raise as a free agent this summer since the team only controlled his Non-Bird rights.

On top of all that, Bryant hadn’t been thrilled with his reduced role following Davis’ return, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, who tweets that he asked the Lakers to look for a better situation for him.

It’s unclear if Reed will be in the Lakers’ plans going forward. He’s on a minimum-salary contract with a non-guaranteed salary in 2023/24 and hasn’t played much in Denver this season, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.6 RPG on .313/.364/.750 shooting in 35 appearances (9.0 MPG). The second-round picks are the primary return for L.A. in the deal, essentially replacing the three second-rounders the club gave up for Rui Hachimura last month.

As for the Nuggets, they’ve been in the market for a reliable backup center behind two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, since offseason signee DeAndre Jordan hasn’t been a regular part of the rotation. Bryant should fill that role nicely, giving the team some extra frontcourt depth as it focuses on making a deep playoff run this spring.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, both teams will create small trade exceptions equivalent to the salaries of their outgoing players ($1.9MM for Denver; $1.84MM for L.A.). Neither the Nuggets nor the Lakers have to worry about salary-matching in the deal, since both players can be absorbed using the minimum salary exception.

Northwest Notes: Green, Jazz, Wallace

Nuggets forward Jeff Green put together a voluntary minicamp for himself and some of his Denver teammates this week in Miami, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). Davon Reed, Zeke Nnaji, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson and Jack White joined Green for the workouts. Wind adds that additional players hoped to join them but were unable to carve out the time in their schedules.

The Nuggets are preparing for an exciting 2022/23 NBA season, with reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic set to be rejoined by point guard Jamal Murray, who missed all of 2021/22 due to a left ACL tear, and small forward Michael Porter Jr., who appeared in just nine games before back surgery waylaid him for the rest of the year. The team’s starting lineup will be rounded out by power forward Aaron Gordon and newly-acquired 3-and-D specialist Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Nuggets role players like Green, Reed, and Nanji, plus the three rookies joining them in Miami this week, could prove to be important contributors during what Denver hopes will be an extended postseason run.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • After the Jazz appeared to signal the beginning of a rebuild with their trade of All-Star center Rudy Gobert for a package comprising young players, movable veterans and draft compensation, they seem set for a lackluster 2022/23 season. Brandon Judd of the Deseret News notes that Kendra Andrews, Andrew Lopez and Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link) projects the club to finish with a 26-56 record next season.
  • Former Nuggets scouting coordinator Jon Wallace is departing his post in Denver to join the Timberwolves as both Minnesota’s director of player personnel and the general manager of the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, reports Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Wallace tweets that Wallace was especially valued with the Nuggets for his impact on their guards. Wallace is joining a revamped Minnesota front office led by Tim Connelly, himself the former Denver team president.
  • In case you missed it, Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor recently sat for a long-ranging discussion about the new-look team’s personnel and expectations.

Nuggets’ Booth Talks Offseason Moves, Murray, MPJ, Jokic

Following Tim Connelly‘s departure for Minnesota, Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth was thrust into the lead role of Denver’s front office just weeks before the 2022 draft and wasn’t shy about immediately shaking up the roster this offseason.

Of the 17 players who currently have standard guaranteed contracts or two-way deals with the Nuggets for 2022/23, eight have joined the team since the ’21/22 season ended. That group includes wings Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown and rookies Christian Braun and Peyton Watson, among others.

Speaking to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, Booth said that last year’s team was “a little bit smaller” than the front office had envisioned, so it was a priority this summer to add some size, especially on the perimeter. Upgrading the defense was also a goal, according to Booth, who discussed a few specific roster moves in his conversation with Vorkunov.

Here are a few of the most noteworthy comments from the Nuggets’ new head of basketball operations:

On the motivation for the trade that sent JaMychal Green to Oklahoma City:

“It helped us open up another roster spot to get a more regarded or better defender on the perimeter. JaMychal brought a lot of toughness and explosion around the rim and he’s a great shooter, but (defending) in space wasn’t his strength. So, it allowed us to open up a roster spot where we can get somebody that could be more versatile and switch and do something like that.”

On whether Booth thinks the defense will be better in 2022/23, particularly on the perimeter:

“Yeah, definitely do. I think, again, with the injuries, and Jamal (Murray), I think, is an underrated defender. Obviously, it’s gonna take a while to get back into tip-top form for him coming back off the injury, but I fully expect him to be a two-way guy once he’s back feeling like himself.

“But Aaron Gordon had to cover a lot of holes last year; he had to go into the backcourt a lot more probably than Coach (Michael) Malone or himself would have liked to. So, hopefully with the addition of KCP and Bruce Brown and Christian Braun and some of the guys of this nature — Davon Reed, he’s back, he does some good things for us — Aaron won’t have to go into the backcourt quite as much.”

On the plan for Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. as they return from injuries this fall:

“I definitely think they’ll both be healthy (to start the season). Especially with the nature of Mike’s injury, and even Jamal, we’ll probably have to be wary about back-to-backs and things of that nature. As we get close to the season Coach Malone and I will sit down with performance staff and map out a plan for what that looks like during the regular season.”

On attempting to maximize Nikola Jokic‘s prime years:

“That’s just a priority. That’s the No. 1 focus. Maximize the timeline. Put personnel around him that allows him to play his best and get the most out of his teammates. So, that’s the No. 1 priority in our organization right now.”