Deni Avdija

Southeast Notes: Hornets Roster, Spoelstra, Jovic, Avdija, Gafford

The Hornets are unlikely to add more players on guaranteed contracts before the season begins, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer tweets.

After coming to terms with restricted free agent P.J. Washington, the Hornets have 13 players on fully guaranteed deals, plus another (Frank Ntilikina) on a partial guarantee. JT Thor has a non-guaranteed contract for the upcoming season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • It’s possible that Erik Spoelstra, an assistant to Steve Kerr for Team USA, will be game-planning against Nikola Jovic and Serbia in the World Cup championship game. Heat assistant GM Adam Simon is rooting for that outcome, according to  Spoeltra already got a chance to talk to the Heat forward during the tournament. “It’s great that the two of them had a chat for a while in Manila. I hope they will meet again in the final,” Simon told Meridian Sport.
  • Scouts that spoke to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins regarding Wizards forward Deni Avdija believe the Israeli can carve out a lengthy NBA career. However, the consensus opinion is that Avdija hasn’t shown enough offensively to live up to his draft status and become a difference-maker for a contender. Avdija was selected ninth overall in 2020. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer if Washington’s front office extends him a qualifying offer.
  • With Kristaps Porzingis in Boston, Daniel Gafford is the only proven shot-blocker on the Wizards’ roster. That’s one reason why he could see more playing time, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Gafford is also comfortable playing at a faster pace, which the Wizards’ staff wants to implement, and ranks as their best screen-setter.

Extension Candidate: Deni Avdija

This is the second 2023 installment in our series examining players who are prime candidates for contract extensions. This series will explore the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and will evaluate what a fair deal between the player and his team might look like.


The ninth overall pick of the 2020 draft, Deni Avdija received regular playing time as a rookie in 2020/21, averaging 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists on .417/.315/.644 shooting in 54 games (32 starts, 23.3 minutes).

Avdija was one of a select handful of players to appear in all 82 games (eight starts, 24.2 minutes) in ‘21/22 during his second season, averaging 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists on .432/.317/.757 shooting.

Last season, the combo forward once again increased his counting stats and showed more aggression offensively, averaging 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists on .437/.297/.739 shooting in 76 games (40 starts, 26.6 minutes). He averaged 10.2 points, 7.3 boards and 2.9 assists on .443/.310/.708 shooting in 37 games (27.4 minutes) after Washington traded Rui Hachimura to the Lakers in January.

Both of Avdija’s parents are former athletes. His Serbian-born father was a professional player and is now the president of basketball operations of Bnei Herzliya of the Israeli Premier League, while his mother is another former basketball player who also participated in track and field.

As with Jaden McDaniels, whose candidacy we previously examined, Avdija is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which makes him eligible for a rookie scale extension until the start of the ’23/24 regular season.


The first thing that immediately comes to mind with Avdija is that he has a strong feel for the game. He has above-average vision, timing and touch as a passer, and is a plus play-maker.

He can bring the ball up the court, initiate the offense, navigate pick-and-rolls – things you’d normally expect from a guard. But he can also be the roll man and is a strong slasher with good timing on cuts to the basket.

Due to his guard-like skills, Avdija can serve as an offensive hub from several areas on the court. His spontaneity and instinctual ability to make correct reads make him difficult to game-plan against.

Avdija is not someone who should be hidden in the corner waiting for open threes – in order to take advantage of his strengths, he needs to be directly involved in the offense.

When he’s at his best, he’s a solid, switchable defender across multiple positions. He can be stifling one-on-one at times and is a respectable rebounder for a forward, pulling down 8.7 boards per 36 minutes in ‘22/23 (8.0 for his career).

At 6’9” and 210 pounds, Avdija has above-average size for his position. He’s not a top-flight athlete or the strongest player, but he’s tough and doesn’t get pushed around.

Effort in general is a strength for Avdija. He runs the floor hard and has good intangibles when it comes to making winning plays, such as hustling after loose balls and being unselfish.

Just 22 years old, Avdija is still developing and has shown signs of progress in becoming a more confident and aggressive offensive player, which will need to continue in order for him to unlock his potential.


There’s a reason I mentioned that Avdija should not be utilized strictly as a spot-up shooter: He has converted just 31.0% of his threes in 212 NBA games, with his attempts decreasing slightly over time (which is likely by design).

He’s not a total non-shooter from deep, but he lacks confidence in the shot. Having a forward who can’t space the floor effectively isn’t ideal, because there aren’t many centers who can both shoot and protect the rim (the Wizards just traded one in Kristaps Porzingis). Having two subpar shooters in the game mucks up most offenses unless the players around them are supremely talented.

While Avdija is a solid driver and timely cutter, he has not been an efficient scorer inside the arc either, only converting 53% of his twos in ‘22/23, which is right in line with his career average (52.9%). His 53.5% true shooting percentage is subpar, especially for a forward.

He’s just an OK finisher at the rim and has no real semblance of a floater game or touch on short-range bank shots. His feel as a passer doesn’t translate to his touch as a scorer.

That makes Avdija a tricky player to have on your roster. His blend of skills are atypical for someone who spends a lot of time on the wing and is often tasked with defending star wings.

The young forward can get down on himself when he isn’t making open shots, which can bleed into other aspects of his game. He reminds me of Cedi Osman a bit in that regard — his defense and decision-making can be affected by how he’s shooting.

Because he’s not an incredible athlete by NBA standards, Avdija lacks a degree of burst and isn’t a great weak-side rim protector. He can be undisciplined at times on defense and a little bit stiff and upright in his stance, which are normal mistakes for young players. Becoming more consistent from night to night is definitely a goal to work toward.


Avdija’s mix of skills makes him a difficult player to evaluate at the best of times. Ideally, he would be used in a sort of poor man’s Draymond Green-type role offensively, where his passing and play-making can enhance scorers who don’t necessarily need to have the ball in their hands to be effective. He can also leverage that to drive.

Improving his jump shot would change that trajectory. 31% from deep just isn’t good enough to be treated like a threat right now though, which limits Avdija’s appeal as a plug-and-play starter.

Complicating matters further is the fact that Washington’s new front office just took over last month, so it’s impossible to know how they might view Avdija. The prior regime dealt Hachimura last season in part to give Avdija more of an opportunity, but that might be irrelevant now.

In theory, moving Porzingis should open additional minutes for Avdija, and the Wizards don’t really have any proven scorers on the roster beyond Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole. That means the young Israeli has a chance to claim a major rotation role entering his contract year.

It’s hard to come up with contract comparisons for Avdija on a potential extension. He certainly has upside on both ends of the court, and if he gains confidence and consistency, he could blossom. As with many role players, he could also look overpaid if the situation he’s in doesn’t suit his skill set.

Perhaps Kyle Anderson’s two-year, $18MM deal with the Wolves last year sort of works as a reference. There are some similarities between the two players, though Avdija is seven-plus years younger.

I doubt Avdija would receive more than the full mid-level exception right now if he were a free agent on the open market. The MLE starts at $12.4MM in ‘23/24 and maxes out at $53.4MM over four years, or about $13.6MM annually.

Trying to sign him to a deal in the $10-12MM per year range could be reasonable for the Wizards if they like him going forward. Something like Matisse Thybulle’s recent three-year, $33MM offer sheet from Dallas (which Portland matched) could be another reference point. They’re very different players, but it’s in the range of what I think he could get. Locking Avdija into that type of salary could look like a bargain if he improves as a scorer, and a possible larger role in ‘23/24 could boost his numbers ahead of restricted free agency next year if he doesn’t get an extension before the season starts.

On the other hand, waiting a year would give management more time to evaluate him both personally and professionally, and unless he really turns the corner as a shooter and/or finisher, it seems unlikely that his value will drastically change. He might also want to bet on himself.

Avdija is one of many young players on the Wizards roster worth keeping an eye on going forward with new management on board. Since he was drafted by the prior regime, he could also be a trade candidate.

Southeast Notes: Oladipo, Beal, Avdija, Hornets, Magic

Former All-Star Victor Oladipo wasn’t a regular part of the Heat‘s rotation down the stretch and was a DNP-CD in the team’s Game 1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. However, with Tyler Herro unavailable, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald wonders whether the club will turn back to Oladipo.

The Heat’s front office doesn’t tell head coach Erik Spoelstra who or who not to play, but Spoelstra’s rotation decision on Oladipo could have a real impact on the guard’s own player option decision in the offseason, Jackson points out. The 30-year-old holds a $9.45MM option for 2023/24.

If Oladipo exercises his option, the Heat’s team salary projects to be well above the luxury tax line, which may reduce their flexibility due to new CBA rules aimed at teams above one or both tax aprons. If Oladipo opts out, Miami would likely still be a taxpayer, but would be in better position to sneak below those aprons.

Based on his role and production this season, Oladipo seems unlikely to decline his option and hit the open market, but if he’s inserted into the rotation and plays well, perhaps that would change, Jackson writes. Jackson also suggests that remaining on the bench even after Herro’s injury could make Oladipo unhappy enough to opt out in search of a new situation, but that seems unlikely, since it would almost certainly mean taking a pay cut.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • One of the fans involved in a postgame altercation with Bradley Beal in Orlando last month has filed a lawsuit against the Wizards guard, alleging battery and assault and seeking damages exceeding $50,000, reports David Purdum of We provided more details on that incident in a pair of previous stories.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explores what lies ahead this offseason for Wizards forward Deni Avdija, who will be extension-eligible and who plans to work out with teammate Kristaps Porzingis. “I think it needs to be more consistent,” Avdija said of his priorities going forward. “I showed how I can help the team in a variety of ways, but also on bad nights I need to find a way to get back into the game.”
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer, Roderick Boone tackles a number of Hornets-related topics, including Miles Bridges‘ ongoing free agency, LaMelo Ball‘s ankle recovery, and whether or not James Bouknight has a future with the team.
  • The Magic have hired Arnie Kander as a vice president of player performance and wellness, the team announced in a press release. Kander was with the Pistons from 1992-2015, serving as the franchise’s first strength and conditioning coach. He subsequently spent a season with the Timberwolves as VP of sports performance, then consulted for the Pistons and Cavaliers.

Injury Notes: Zion, Luka, Sexton, Markkanen, Avdija, Barrett

As the Pelicans move closer toward securing a place in the postseason, forward Zion Williamson is still pushing to return to action before his team’s season ends. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Williamson – who has been sidelined since January 2 due to a right hamstring strain – has progressed to participating in some “low-intensity” 3-on-3 with coaches, but hasn’t yet been cleared for 5-on-5 scrimmages or full contact.

Sources tell Charania that New Orleans, unsurprisingly, will take a cautious approach with Williamson’s ramp-up process and won’t rush him just because the playoffs are around the corner. Based on Charania’s reporting, it sounds like the Pelicans would have a chance to get Williamson back on the court if they play a full first-round series, but shouldn’t necessarily count on having him available for any play-in games.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Despite a report stating that the slumping Mavericks are seriously considering shutting down Luka Doncic for the season, the star guard told reporters that he intends to suit up on Wednesday vs. Sacramento, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. When there’s still a chance (to make the playoffs), I’m going to play,” Doncic said. The Mavs have officially listed both Doncic ((left thigh injury recovery) and Kyrie Irving (right foot injury recovery) as probable for Wednesday (Twitter link).
  • With the Jazz‘s play-in hopes still on life support, guard Collin Sexton (left hamstring strain) will be available on Tuesday for the first time since February 15, according to the team (Twitter link). However, star forward Lauri Markkanen has been ruled out for the game vs. the Lakers due to his left hand contusion.
  • The Wizards‘ injury list continues to grow, with the team announcing today in a press release that forward Deni Avdija will miss at least the next two games due to left elbow bursitis. The team isn’t yet ruling out Avdija for its final two games of the season.
  • Knicks forward RJ Barrett has been cleared to return in Indiana on Wednesday after missing Sunday’s game due to a non-COVID illness, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Wizards Notes: Avdija, Porzingis, Kuzma, Dinwiddie

The Wizards‘ decision to trade Rui Hachimura this week was partly motivated by a desire to create a larger role for Deni Avdija, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Avdija was a lottery pick in 2020, and Hughes notes that his importance to the team is greater than ever now that Hachimura is gone.

“When we really looked at what we needed was to get Deni more responsibility, more opportunity to play,” general manager Tommy Sheppard explained in an interview with NBC (Twitter link).

Avdija has started 30 of the 45 games he has played this season, but his numbers aren’t spectacular at 8.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per night. Hughes suggests that Avdija may handle the ball more often with Hachimura gone, and he might see more time at power forward than small forward, which could be beneficial given his 27.5% shooting percentage from three-point range. Hughes notes that Avdija attempted just one three-pointer in Tuesday’s win at Dallas, but attacked the basket more frequently and shot a career-high 11 free throws.

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • The ankle injury that has Kristaps Porzingis out of action for at least the next two weeks comes at a crucial point of the season for the Wizards, Hughes states in a separate story. Porzingis is unlikely to play again before the February 9 trade deadline, and the team is running out of time to determine whether the current roster is good enough to earn a spot in the play-in tournament.
  • With free agency and the trade deadline both looming, Kyle Kuzma‘s future in Washington is uncertain, but he says in an interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic that he’d gladly re-sign with the team this summer if he gets the right offer. “They showed me love,” Kuzma said of the Wizards. “They have allowed me to have a platform to show my game and show the league I’m not just a role player. I’m someone that’s arriving right now. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
  • Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who was notably unhappy with the locker room chemistry during his time with the Wizards, took a shot at his former team after Wednesday’s game. “For them, it’s a showcase,” Dinwiddie told Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “They’re over there trying to get paid, not trying to play winning basketball. For a team that has real aspirations and has an MVP, went to the conference finals last year, we have to be better to a man.” Kuzma took to social media to answer Dinwiddie’s claim after the Wizards narrowly beat the Mavs, tweeting, “The funny thing is they don’t play winning basketball.”

Wizards Notes: Avdija, Wright, Goodwin, Hachimura

Wizards forward Deni Avdija practiced on a limited basis on Monday after missing the last two games with lower back soreness, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Avdija is the only player on the injury report and he’s listed as questionable, the team tweets. Will Barton, who has also battled back soreness, practiced on a limited basis as well.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • With Rui Hachimura and guard Delon Wright back in the rotation after missing significant time due to injuries, the team’s defense should be on the improve, Ava Wallace of The Washington Post notes. Wright could be the team’s best perimeter defender. “We’ve talked about at length his ability to contain one-on-one,” head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Hopefully, that helps minimize some of the points in the paint. He’s got great size, hand activity.”
  • Two-way player Jordan Goodwin is expected to remain with the team for the time being despite the return of Wright, Wallace reports in the same story. The Wizards want to avoid overloading Wright, starter Monte Morris and the other guards. Goodwin has a solid grip on the third-string point guard spot over No. 10 pick Johnny Davis, who has appeared in 14 games with the G League’s Capital City Go-Go.
  • Hachimura has been indispensable to the Wizards’ second unit this season because of his ability to provide instant offense, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Despite missing 16 games, Hachimura leads the Wizards in double-digit scoring games off the bench with 14. It’s a pivotal season for Hachimura, who’s headed for restricted free agency next summer with a current qualifying offer of $8,486,620.

Eastern Notes: Avdija, Westbrook, Koloko, Taylor, Knicks

Wizards forward Deni Avdija credits former teammate Russell Westbrook for mentoring him during his rookie season, as he told Josh Robbins and Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

The current Lakers guard continues to have an impact on Avdija, who is averaging 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Wizards this season. “He really took care of me,” Avdija said. “He really cared about my success, and he wanted me to be mentally tough. When he sees me now, every time he sees me, he gives me advice after the game or something that I need to do better, and I love it. He always has a lot of effect (on me) because he was my first veteran that I met when I came to the league.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Rookie Christian Koloko leads the Raptors in games played this season due to rash of injuries throughout the roster but he’s not yet the answer at center, Josh Lewenberg of TSN writes. Koloko’s growing pains are showing during the team’s current slide and he may need more seasoning in the G League. “He’s got to play through those mistakes,” Fred VanVleet said. “It’s not necessarily his fault that we need him at his mature self right this second.”
  • Pacers forward Terry Taylor will play with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in their two games this week at the G League Showcase, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Taylor will get some much-needed playing time. The second-year player hasn’t appeared at all in the past five games for Indiana and has only seen seven total minutes of action in December.
  • The Knicks open a four-game homestand this week but they’ve been better on the road, Peter Botte of the New York Post notes. They’ve won seven consecutive games overall and six straight outside of Madison Square Garden. “How do I say this? I don’t know what the word I’m supposed to use is, but on the road we’re locked in. At home we’re comfortable,” Jalen Brunson said. “It’s something we’ve got to get better at and continue to do that. I just like the way we’re playing.”

Southeast Notes: Heat, Wizards, Hornets, Oubre

Heat guard Victor Oladipo made his season debut on Tuesday night, taking the court for the first time since May and scoring nine points in 19 minutes off the bench. However, it will take more than Oladipo’s return to fix Miami’s second unit, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

As Winderman outlines, with Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin promoted to the starting lineup, injuries affecting a handful of players, and the club unwilling to fill its 15th roster spot due to luxury tax ramifications, depth no longer seems to be one of the Heat’s strengths. Miami ranks 29th in the NBA in both bench scoring (26.6 PPG) and bench shooting (.420 FG%) so far this season.

Here are a few more notes from around the Southeast:

  • While Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma have thrived as the Wizards‘ “Big Three,” the team needs more offensive production from its role players, especially with Beal out due to a hamstring injury, says Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Wallace singles out Monte Morris, Will Barton, and Deni Avdija as a few rotation players who “haven’t been operating at their full potential.”
  • Injuries have prevented the Hornets from getting a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “We haven’t played enough lineups together,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “We have individual goals for the guys. But in terms of our group, we’ve had no continuity. So, it’s been hard to figure out. Usually by 15 games, you can say, ‘When we defensive rebound, we win.’ ‘When we don’t turn the ball over, we’re good.’ And we’ve been all over the place. So that’s a good question, but we are not there yet.”
  • In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer (subscriber link), Boone says Hornets forward Kelly Oubre is a player worth keeping an eye on this season. As Boone outlines, Oubre would be a movable asset if the team decides to sell, but he appears to have interest in remaining in Charlotte if the club is interested in keeping him.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Porzingis, Gafford, Hachimura

Appearing on the No Chill with Gilbert Arenas podcast, Wizards star Bradley Beal was asked by Arenas’ co-host Josiah Johnson about why he decided to sign a long-term contract to remain in D.C. this past summer. Beal responded by explaining that he appreciates the influence he has earned within the organization and believes in the talent on the roster.

“Not everybody gives you a voice in the organization. I have a voice here,” Beal said (hat tip to Paul Terrazzano Jr. of TalkBasket). “I never had a chance to fully play a year with (Kristaps Porzingis). That enticed me. He’s probably the best big I’ve played with. I like (Kyle Kuzma)’s ability to be able to spread his wings a little bit more, develop into the player that we think he can be. And then I think I like the young core that we were developing. Rui (Hachimura) is really good, had an awesome summer. Deni (Avdija)‘s just gonna continue to get better. And then Corey (Kispert)‘s a knockdown shooter, who is a pro’s pro.

“We still need to get better. I’m not sitting here saying, ‘We’re gonna hold up the Larry (O’Brien trophy). We’re going to beat Milwaukee (in the playoffs) tomorrow.’ No. But to have the pieces we have, we have enough to know that we can compete on a nightly basis with no BS. We know that we got a job, everybody’s able to be a star in their role, and we can go do that.”

It would have been hard for Beal to turn down the Wizards’ five-year, $251MM+ offer, which included a no-trade clause, in any scenario. But the star guard admitted that he didn’t actually have a ton of viable alternatives on the free agent market, alluding to the fact that many contending teams were in the tax, or at least well over the cap. The teams operating with cap space this summer were virtually all retooling or rebuilding clubs.

“On the flip side of it, the business side of it. There were no teams in the market, free agency-wise. I’m just being frank,” Beal said. “There was nowhere else for me to go where I can be like, ‘Oh, I can go win.’ It was teams that strategically wasn’t what I wanted. So realistically, I won’t say my hand was forced, but this was my best decision and best option on the table at the time.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • While you could gripe about some of his poorly timed late-game turnovers, Beal is otherwise off to a strong start in the first season of his mega-deal, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. As Hughes observes, Beal’s current streak of 11 consecutive 20-point games is already better than any run he had last season, and his shooting percentages (.520 FG%, .352 3PT%) have rebounded in a major way after a down year in 2021/22 (.451 FG%, .300 3PT%).
  • As Hughes notes in another story for NBC Sports Washington, Unseld used centers Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford together in the frontcourt on Friday for the first time all season. The move, an attempt to counter the impact that Charlotte’s duo of Mason Plumlee and Nick Richards was having on the boards and in the paint, was a success, with the Wizards outscoring the Hornets by 18 points during Porzingis’ and Gafford’s 12 minutes together. According to Hughes, the combination looks like an “in case of emergency” option for Unseld, but it could be worth trying more, given its effectiveness on Friday.
  • Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said on Friday that there’s no real timeline for Rui Hachimura‘s return from a bone bruise in his right ankle, referring to the fourth-year forward as “week-to-week,” according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link). Hachimura has missed the Wizards’ last seven games.

Wizards Among Potential Suitors For Jae Crowder

The Wizards appear to be among the trade suitors for Suns forward Jae Crowder, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast. Crowder has sat out the entire 2022/23 season as Phoenix has looked to move him, and Washington is in the market for a three-and-D type player.

“There’s been some chatter about them looking at a guy like Jae Crowder,” Windhorst said of the Wizards (hat tip to RealGM). “I’m pretty confident there’s been some discussions between the Wizards and Suns. We’ve been talking about Jae Crowder now for about two months. It’s obvious it’s a hard trade to pull off. The Wizards have a bunch of guys who make decent salaries on their roster that they can use in trades.”

A number of Eastern Conference playoff contenders have already been linked to Crowder, with the Heat, Hawks, and Bucks among the teams said to have interest. There was a sense a couple weeks ago that Phoenix might be on the verge of completing a deal involving the 32-year-old, but nothing has come of those rumors to date.

The Suns are one of the NBA’s best teams and will be looking for win-now pieces – rather than draft picks or prospects – in any Crowder trade, which has made it challenging for them to make a straight-up trade with another contending club. They’ve reportedly explored multi-team scenarios in an effort to get the sort of player(s) they’re targeting.

According to Windhorst, Phoenix would like to acquire a power forward in a Crowder trade. A previous report indicated the Suns have interest in Kyle Kuzma, but the Wizards are presumably looking to supplement Kuzma in their frontcourt rather than give him up, given the year he’s having. Former lottery picks Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija could be trade candidates, as Windhorst observes.

“What Phoenix has been looking for in return for Jae Crowder is a power forward,” Windhorst said. “So you can look at the (Wizards’) roster and you can identify that maybe Hachimura would be a guy. But they haven’t made the deal yet, so there hasn’t been a connection there.

“… To be honest with you, if I was Phoenix – now again, this is me speaking, this is not what I’ve heard, to be clear – I’d be interested in Avdija. I am interested in what he can do defensively. But I haven’t heard that. I’ve just heard that those two sides have talked.”

Crowder ($10.18MM) and Hachimura ($6.26MM) are on expiring contracts, while Avdija ($4.92MM) has one more year left on his rookie deal after this one.