DeMarre Carroll

Pacific Notes: Suns, Warriors, Saric, Lakers’ Moves, Carroll

The Suns’ willingness to give numerous free agents a two-year deal with a player option has helped them trump the Warriors in the free agent market, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains.

Golden State has been unwilling to provide minimum-salary offers with a second optional year due to luxury tax implications and the risk of committing a 2024/25 roster spot to a signee who didn’t work out. The Suns also had more playing time available and those factors helped sway Eric Gordon, who was the Warriors’ top backcourt target in free agency.

The Warriors are planning to go with a 14-man roster and have two slots open, which they intend to use on bigs, Slater writes. Power forward Dario Saric remains their top target still on the board.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Athletic’s John Hollinger gives the Suns high marks for their free agent catches, including a couple of underrated players in Keita Bates-Diop and Drew Eubanks. Bates-Diop, who previously played for the Spurs, could emerge as a key role player in the postseason, since he can guard multiple positions and shoots reasonably well from long distance. Eubanks is an energetic backup center who’s a superior rim protector and defender than Jock Landale, whom the Suns let go.
  • The Lakers‘ front office made a series of shrewd moves this summer, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times opines. The Lakers’ didn’t chase another star, as they have in the past. Instead, they re-signed Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and signed two other solid players in Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince, rather than trying to sign Kyrie Irving or trade for Bradley Beal.
  • DeMarre Carroll is joining the Lakers as an assistant coach, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. Carroll was an assistant on Mike Budenholzer‘s staff with the Bucks last season and now will join Darvin Ham‘s staff. Carroll played for the Hawks when Budenholzer was the head coach there and Ham was one of the assistants.

Bucks Hiring DeMarre Carroll As Assistant Coach

Veteran NBA forward DeMarre Carroll is transitioning to coaching, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), who reports that Carroll will join Mike Budenholzer‘s staff in Milwaukee.

The Bucks have yet to formally announce Carroll’s hiring, so it’s unclear whether he’ll be on the front of the team’s bench or if he’ll start with a more modest player development role. However, Carroll’s agency Priority Sports posted a tweet congratulating him for becoming an assistant coach, which suggests that will be his title.

The 27th overall pick in 2009 out of Missouri, Carroll spent the next 11 seasons in the NBA, appearing in a total of 578 regular season games and 64 playoff contests for the Grizzlies, Rockets, Nuggets, Jazz, Hawks, Raptors, Nets, and Spurs.

Now 36 years old, Carroll last played in the NBA during the 2019/20 season, when he appeared in 24 total games for San Antonio and Houston. The 6’6″ forward has career averages of 8.9 PPG and 4.2 RPG on .430/.358/.741 shooting in 23.7 minutes per contest.

Two of Carroll’s best seasons came from 2013-15, when he was a full-time starter for a Hawks team coached by Budenholzer. During Carroll’s two years in Atlanta, the club earned a pair of playoff berths and won 60 regular season games in 2014/15, making the Eastern Conference Finals that spring.

Carroll published a tweet referring to Budenholzer as a mentor and thanking him and the Bucks for the new opportunity. “Excited to be shadowing one of the best coaches in the league!” Carroll wrote.

Rockets Notes: Harden, Tucker, Van Gundy, Bench

James Harden believes he’s taken for granted around the basketball world, as he told Rachel Nichols of ESPN (Twitter link). “I feel like I’m the best player,” said the former Most Valuable Player, who once again leads the league in scoring. “Throughout the course of the year, I don’t see double teams for anybody else. Usually, you’ll see a double team after a 50-point night or a 60-point night. I have an 18-point night, the next game I’m seeing a double-team.”

Harden also took a dig at Giannis Antetokounmpo, who joked while choosing his All-Star squad that he didn’t want Harden because he preferred someone who passed the ball. “I wish I could just go to the rim at 7-feet and just dunk,” Harden said. “That takes no skill at all.”

We have more on the Rockets:

  • P.J. Tucker has accepted his new role as the team’s middle man in its Microball lineup, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. Tucker says it’s just part of the job description of a team player. “It’s not a choice,” he said. “It’s like when people ask me why I play so hard. Like, it’s not a choice to play hard. I don’t have a choice. That’s what you’ve got to do. Period.”
  • Broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy doled out praise to coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Daryl Morey for their willingness to take criticism by embracing unconventional lineups, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. “I admire their basketball courage,” Van Gundy said. “They have true conviction. They don’t waffle. They believe in what they believe. And they are unafraid of the consequences or the criticism. That’s when you can coach freely and manage freely.”
  • The recent additions of Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll have made the team’s bench much more formidable, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes. Forward Danuel House is noticing the difference. “It makes your team a very dangerous team,” House said. “Especially with your starting five. If your starting five is capable of putting up points and your bench is capable of putting up points, the team can stay consistent. There are no highs or lows, so that’s really good for our team.”

Texas Notes: J. Green, Carroll, Cousins, Doncic

Jeff Green looked right at home in his debut with the Rockets, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. In his first game since being waived by the Jazz on December 24, Green scored 17 points in 24 minutes as Houston won big Thursday night at Golden State.

“I just came ready to play,” he said. “I mean, I’m in shape, so I just tried to do whatever I needed to do to help the team win. I have a beautiful wife who allowed me to do what I needed to do and that’s all I need to say about that. I have great trainers at home and when I was home for this time, my wife allowed to me to really focus on what I needed to do.”

The Rockets are Green’s ninth NBA team since entering the league in 2007, making him one of seven active players to be with that many organizations, Feigen adds. Ish Smith is the active leader with 11 teams.

There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:

  • DeMarre Carroll, another new Rocket, had a disappointing stay with the Spurs, but his presence on the team will be missed, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express News (Twitter link). “I’ve known DeMarre since college, we came in together, played with him in Toronto,” DeMar DeRozan said. “Just a great guy. It’s part of the league. Everyone comes and goes, but friendships and memories last forever.”  Carroll appeared in just 15 games after signing with the Spurs last summer.
  • The Mavericks might have been willing to gamble on DeMarcus Cousins, but they don’t want to part with anyone on their current roster, owner Mark Cuban tells Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The veteran center has missed the entire season with a torn ACL in his left knee, but recently offered hope that he might be ready for the playoffs. The Lakers plan to waive Cousins and add Markieff Morris once he clears waivers tomorrow. “We don’t have any roster spots,” Cuban said. “If we had a roster spot, we would probably do something, but we don’t. And there’s nobody we want to release.”
  • Mavericks star Luka Doncic sat out tonight’s game with a sore ankle, but coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect it to be a long-term issue, Townsend tweets.

Rockets Sign DeMarre Carroll

The Rockets have officially signed DeMarre Carroll, according to a team press release. It was reported earlier in the week that he would join Houston.

The Spurs agreed to a buyout with Carroll after not moving him at the trade deadline, waving the white flag on one of the worst offseason acquisitions in the league. It wasn’t necessarily Carroll’s play that was the issue; it was what the Spurs were forced to give up for the wing.

San Antonio had initially agreed to sign Carroll and planned to use their mid-level exception, but when Marcus Morris agreed to a deal with the team, the Spurs pivoted to acquiring Carroll via trade instead (and giving up Davis Bertans to the Wizards). Morris backed out of the agreement, which made giving up Bertans for Carroll an unnecessary move.

Carroll will join the Rockets as they embark on a unique, strange journey of playing no traditional big men most of the time. The 33-year-old will likely spend time at both forward spots with the club, though it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he sees minutes at the five in some funky lineups.

Carroll’s rest-of-season contract with Houston will pay him $811,447, which is the exact amount he gave up in his buyout agreement with the Spurs, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). The Rockets, who now have a full 15-man roster, will carry a cap hit of $512,721.

Spurs Officially Waive DeMarre Carroll

The Spurs have officially waived DeMarre Carroll, the team announced today in a press release. The move opens up a spot on the team’s 15-man roster.

As we outlined on Monday, Carroll’s agent Mark Bartelstein successfully negotiated a buyout with the Spurs, despite the fact that the veteran forward still had two years on his contract beyond 2019/20, including a fully guaranteed salary for next season. The exact terms of that buyout haven’t yet been reported.

Carroll intends to sign with the Rockets once he becomes a free agent. Now that his release from San Antonio is official, the 33-year-old is on track to clear waivers on Thursday afternoon, so he could theoretically be in uniform for Houston by the time the club faces Golden State on Thursday evening.

Coming off a couple solid seasons in Brooklyn, Carroll signed a three-year, $21MM deal with the Spurs during the 2019 offseason. However, he barely played at all in San Antonio and wasn’t effective in the limited minutes he did see. In 15 games (9.0 MPG), he averaged 2.2 PPG and 2.1 RPG with a .310/.231/.600 shooting line.

It’s not clear yet what the Spurs plan to do with their newly-opened roster spot. The team isn’t required to carry a 15th man, but figures to fill that opening at some point before the end of the regular season.

DeMarre Carroll Reaches Buyout, Looks To Join Rockets

Forward DeMarre Carroll has reached a buyout with the Spurs, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. He intends to sign with the Rockets once he clears waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The news is not surprising, considering that Carroll had racked up 15 straight DNP-CDs and publicly expressed frustration with his lack of playing time. However, it’s still unusual for a team to agree to buy out a player with multiple years left on his contract.

Carroll agreed to a three-year, $21MM contract with the Spurs in a sign-and-trade from Brooklyn last summer.

Carroll is owed $2.3MM for the remainder of the season, $6.65MM next season and $1.35MM in guaranteed money for 2021/22, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Even with the buyout, San Antonio will incur a cap hit through the life of the contract.

The 33-year-old did not join the Spurs when they began their eight-game rodeo trip on February 2, as the club looked into moving him by the February 6 trade deadline.

Carroll holds career averages of 9.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG, while shooting 35.9% from deep. With the Spurs, he averaged just 9.0 MPG and appeared in only 15 games. Carroll appeared in 67 games with the Nets last season and averaged 11.1 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 25.4 MPG.

Carroll’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, negotiated the buyout.

Carroll could play both forward positions in Houston’s small ball lineup. The Rockets have two open roster spots and need to add at least one player, so Carroll could fulfill that obligation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DeMarre Carroll, Frustrated In San Antonio, Hopeful For New Opportunity

Spurs forward DeMarre Carroll is making no secret of his frustration with his role in San Antonio, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Carroll has 15 straight DNP-CDs and counting,

Carroll agreed to a three-year, $21MM contract with the club in a sign-and-trade from Brooklyn this summer. The Spurs are only on the hook for $1.35MM in the final season of his deal (2021/22).

The 33-year-old was not with the Spurs when they started their eight-game rodeo trip on February 2, as the club looked into moving him by the February 6 trade deadline, per Orsborn. Before things had reached this point, Carroll was already vocal about his reduced role.

Carroll, known as a prototypical three-and-D forward who can play either position, holds career averages of 9.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG, while shooting 35.9% from deep on 3.2 attempts a night. Those numbers have cratered this season with the Spurs, where he is averaging just nine minutes a night and has appeared in only 15 games.

“I felt like San Antonio was going to be a great place for me, for my talents,” Carroll said of his frustrating tenure with the Spurs this season. “But it didn’t work out.”

Due to the length of Carroll’s current contract, a buyout that satisfies both sides may be difficult to achieve — an offseason trade may be more realistic. Carroll was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of his buyout, suggesting his agent Mark Bartelstein is at least exploring the idea.

“He is handling that,” Carroll said. “[He] and [Spurs general manager] Brian (Wright) and all of them. I don’t know what direction we are going to go. But at the end of the day, at 33, I don’t want to waste my talents just sitting at the end of the bench, knowing I could help a team produce.”

Jazz Rumors: Trade Market, Davis, Carroll, Conley

The Jazz probably won’t do anything too drastic at this week’s trade deadline, but they’d like to “upgrade around the margins” if possible, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Having already dealt Dante Exum and a pair of second-round picks for Jordan Clarkson, Utah no longer has as many expendable assets that could be included in a trade, but would “jump” at any opportunity to improve its roster, says Jones.

One player who could be on the block is Ed Davis. As Jones points out, things haven’t worked out for Davis in Utah so far — he’s averaged a career-worst 1.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 25 games (10.7 MPG). The veteran center would like to play more and the Jazz are open to moving him, according to Jones. However, if they can’t find a trade they like, the two sides figure to move forward together, since a buyout isn’t a realistic option due to the big man’s guaranteed $5MM+ salary for 2020/21.

Here’s more from Jones on the Jazz:

  • Utah’s front office has at least “superficially” discussed the idea of targeting veteran forward DeMarre Carroll, who is on the trade block in San Antonio. Jones notes that there’s uncertainty about how much Carroll has left in the tank, given his down year with the Spurs.
  • Sources tell The Athletic that the Jazz don’t want to move any “core” players. That group includes Mike Conley, who is unlikely to be discussed at all in trade talks this week, according to Jones.
  • If the Jazz don’t end up doing anything by the trade deadline, they’d like to be active on the buyout market, Jones writes.

Spurs Rumors: Gay, Carroll, Belinelli, Bertans

The Spurs are “looking at everything” and weighing a variety of potential paths at the trade deadline, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on a Sunday podcast with Bobby Marks. At 22-26, San Antonio is 1.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Grizzlies and is at risk of missing the postseason for the first time since the turn of the century. The club will have to decide whether to push to continue that streak, take a step back and retool, or simply stand pat.

Having spoken with executives around the NBA, Jabari Young of CNBC Sports says there’s a belief the Spurs want to push for the playoffs. “They are 100% obsessed with getting that eighth seed,” one executive told Young.

If that’s the case, it wouldn’t make sense for San Antonio to trade DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge. However, moving Rudy Gay is a scenario that rival executives consider more realistic, Young suggests.

“If they get a nice asset back, I think they would do something with Rudy Gay, but I think their asking price is too high,” an exec told Young.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • In his conversation with Marks, Wojnarowski speculated that the Spurs may view the idea of trading veterans like DeRozan, Aldridge, and Gay as an “all-or-nothing” proposition. In other words, in the unlikely event that the team could move all three players and get good value back, it could be worth rebooting the roster. Otherwise, it might not make sense to move just one or two of them.
  • The Spurs are working with agent Mark Bartelstein in an effort to find a new home for little-used veteran forward DeMarre Carroll, according to Jabari Young. After signing a three-year deal with San Antonio last summer, Carroll has appeared in just 15 total games this season, including two since Christmas. He has admitted that his reduced role has been “difficult.”
  • According to Young, the Spurs are also shopping Marco Belinelli, a 37.5% career three-point shooter who is on a $5.85MM expiring contract. No serious suitors have emerged for Belinelli, who is considered a liability on defense, Young adds.
  • If Davis Bertans hadn’t been traded last summer, he would’ve seriously considered re-signing with the Spurs in the summer of 2020, a league source tells Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report. That ship has probably sailed now though, according to Scotto, who revisits the saga that saw Marcus Morris renege on a free agent agreement with San Antonio. Morris didn’t tell the franchise directly that he was backing out of his commitment and the Spurs learned of his intentions after he failed to show up for his physical, says Scotto.