Dewayne Dedmon

Dewayne Dedmon Joining Ontario Clippers

Free agent center Dewayne Dedmon is signing a G League contract to play with the Ontario Clippers, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopHype (Twitter link). Ontario is, of course, the Clippers‘ NBAGL affiliate.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Dedmon was unable to find a team as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He appeared in 38 regular season games with the Heat and Sixers in 2022/23, averaging 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per night.

Dedmon, 34, holds career averages of 6.3 points and 5.8 rebounds over 510 regular season contests, including 210 starts (17.3 minutes).

The Clippers reportedly kicked the tires on Kai Jones in their search for a frontcourt help after losing Mason Plumlee to a knee injury. They wound up signing veteran center Daniel Theis as a temporary Plumlee replacement, but perhaps Dedmon is hoping if that move doesn’t work out and he impresses with Ontario, he could sign with the Clippers and serve as the backup center instead.

Either way, a veteran signing a G League deal as a way to audition for NBA jobs is something that occurs multiple times every season, and that’s almost certainly what Dedmon will be aiming for as well.

Dedmon will remain an NBA free agent after joining Ontario, as the Clippers will only hold his G League rights.

Celtics Notes: Pritchard, Kornet, Holiday, Luxury Tax

The Celtics have started extension talks with Payton Pritchard, sources tell Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Although Pritchard’s representatives are talking to the front office about a long-term deal, there’s still “a gap to close” before an agreement can be finalized, Weiss adds.

The 25-year-old guard figures to have a much larger role in a revamped Boston backcourt after offseason trades that sent out Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon and brought in Jrue Holiday. Playing time has been an issue for Pritchard, who expressed a desire to be traded in February because he wasn’t seeing consistent minutes.

That shouldn’t be a problem anymore, as Pritchard’s smooth shooting stroke makes him a welcome backcourt partner for Holiday or Derrick White. Pritchard has connected at 40% from three-point range during his three seasons in Boston.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Coach Joe Mazzulla was preparing to utilize more double-big lineups after Boston traded for Kristaps Porzingis, but those plans have changed with Robert Williams being sent to Portland in the Holiday deal, notes Jay King of The Athletic. Luke Kornet should have a larger role with Williams gone and may see time next to Porzingis, but Mazzulla will likely rely on smaller lineups with the current roster. The Celtics are bringing in Wenyen Gabriel and could look to add more frontcourt help, with King noting that Bismack Biyombo, Dewayne Dedmon and Gorgui Dieng are all free agents, along with Blake Griffin, whom president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said the team would like to bring back if he doesn’t retire.
  • The Celtics had to consider Holiday’s next contract when deciding to acquire him, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. The 33-year-old guard will become eligible for an extension on February 22, but he’ll only be able to add two more years to his current deal, if he declines his $39.4MM option for 2024/25. If he waits until six months after the trade date, he can add four years and will have the choice of extending at a lower starting salary than his player option under changes made in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Gozlan points out that Holiday can also pick up the option and extend on a “team-friendly” deal similar to what Porzingis did.
  • Boston’s team salary will reach $222.6MM once the team signs a 14th player, increasing its tax penalty by $14.4MM for this season, Gozlan adds. With Jaylen Brown‘s super-max deal taking effect next year, team payroll is set to rise into the $260MM range. That figure could increase to $350MM to $400MM in 2025/26, Gozlan notes, when Jayson Tatum‘s expected super-max takes effect, if the club extends Holiday and White.
  • The Celtics have options to improve their roster even after sending two first-round picks to Portland to acquire Holiday, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Boston still has first-rounders to trade in 2024, 2026 and 2031, along with eight second-round picks through 2030. The team also has a $6.2MM TPE from the Grant Williams trade.

Warriors Auditioning Veteran Players

The Warriors are continuing to hold workouts with veteran NBA players as they look to fill out their roster, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

In addition to Kent Bazemore and Juan Toscano-Anderson, who were previously identified as working out for the team, Scotto names Dewayne Dedmon, Will BartonJaylen NowellStanley Johnson and Derrick Favors as others who have been given tryouts.

Scotto notes that three of those players have previous experience with the organization. Bazemore signed with Golden State for the 2020/21 season, Toscano-Anderson was part of the 2021/22 title team, and Dedmon played four games for the Warriors during his rookie season.

Barton also has an upcoming workout with the Pelicans, sources tell Scotto. He was a starter with the Nuggets for several seasons, but saw his role diminish last year after being traded to the Wizards and then joining the Raptors as a free agent.

Favors recently worked out for the Trail Blazers, Scotto adds. The 32-year-old big man didn’t appear in any games last season, although he signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks in January.

Nowell averaged a career-high 10.8 PPG for the Timberwolves last season, but he hasn’t found a new team, even though Minnesota was believed to be open to a sign-and-trade deal. A report this summer indicated that the Mavericks had interest in Nowell, but nothing came of it.

Johnson, who has been with five teams over the past four years, averaged 5.8 PPG while shooting 45% from three-point range in 30 games with the Spurs last season.

Golden State has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and is expected to fill one of its two roster openings before the start of the season. The Warriors also have one two-way slot filled and commitments for three Exhibit 10 deals, so they can sign four more players before training camp opens.

Celtics Notes: Backup Center, Mykhailiuk, Brogdon, Free Agents

The Celtics completed their search for another wing by signing Svi Mykhailiuk this week, so the next priority should be finding a capable big man to provide depth in the frontcourt, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston now has 14 players with standard contracts, one short of the regular season roster limit. Only 11 of those are guaranteed, although Mykhailiuk could become the 12th once the details of his new deal are reported.

Robert Williams and Al Horford will handle most of the minutes at center, but Williams’ injury history and Horford’s age create a need for a quality backup at the position. Washburn suggests Kristaps Porzingis could see some time in the middle, but he’s more effective at power forward and is more comfortable playing away from the basket. Luke Kornet will be in camp, but his contract is non-guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.

Washburn identifies Bismack Biyombo and Dewayne Dedmon as available free agents, but states that neither is significantly better than Blake Griffin, who played for the Celtics last season and has expressed an interest in returning. Washburn also mentions former All-Stars Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins, but says the organization doesn’t want to risk team chemistry by bringing in someone who’s unhappy with his role.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Mykhailiuk’s success against Boston may have sparked the organization’s interest, even though he wasn’t among the players who held workouts last month. Playing for the Knicks and Hornets last season, the 26-year-old swingman hit 24 three-pointers against the Celtics, the most of any opponent, according to Luke Scotchie of The Boston Globe. Overall, Mykhailiuk enjoyed the best shooting season of his career from long distance, connecting at 42.4% and making 1.3 per game.
  • There has been little news about Malcolm Brogdon since he was nearly sent to the Clippers in June in a deal for Porzingis, Brian Robb of MassLive notes in a mailbag column. The team hasn’t provided any updates on Brogdon’s health after he reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow in the Eastern Conference Finals. Playing again should help resolve any bitterness Brogdon might have over the trade situation, Robb states, but he may be less willing to sacrifice for the organization after nearly being moved.
  • The Celtics still may have interest in T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens after bringing them in for tryouts, but they shouldn’t offer more than a partially guaranteed deal to either of them, Robb adds in the same piece.

Final Round-Up Of 2022/23 In-Season Trades

We covered 11 of the significant in-season deals of 2022/23 in our trade breakdown series. Here’s a rundown of the six other trades that occurred in January and February.

Noah Vonleh salary dump

On January 5:

  • The Spurs acquired Noah Vonleh and cash ($1.5MM)
  • The Celtics acquired the Spurs’ 2024 second-round pick (top-54 protected)

Entering 2022/23, the Spurs were one of two teams with a significant amount of cap room available, making them a prime target for salary dumps. That’s all this trade boiled down to for the Celtics.

By trading Vonleh before his salary became guaranteed, the Celtics not only removed his $1.16MM cap hit and saved $7.15MM toward their luxury tax bill, but they also freed up a roster spot. It also minimized the amount of cash they had to send out to make the deal – if they had waited a few more days, Vonleh’s cap hit would have increased to $1,836,090, which is the standard amount for all veterans on one-year, minimum-salary contracts.

The Celtics still technically paid Vonleh all but two days of the prorated minimum salary he received this season — the Spurs paid the final two days after acquiring and waiving him. Removing him from the books was purely about the financial impact, as he was a deep-bench reserve who seldom played (in 23 games, he averaged just 7.4 minutes per contest).

Boston also created a traded player exception equivalent to Vonleh’s salary since it didn’t receive a player in return.

Vonleh did not catch on with another team after the trade and the 27-year-old big man will still be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The pick the Spurs sent out is extremely unlikely to convey — they just had to send something back in return. They also waived – and later re-signed – center Gorgui Dieng as part of this trade, which moved them marginally closer to the salary cap floor.

Essentially, they net gained about $339K in cash as part of the deal and were able to keep Dieng around as a veteran leader after he cleared waivers .

Dewayne Dedmon salary dump

On February 7:

  • The Spurs acquired Dewayne Dedmon and the Heat’s 2028 second-round pick
  • The Heat acquired cash ($110K).

Another salary dump, this time for the Heat. Dedmon had fallen out of Miami’s rotation – he had been dealing with plantar fasciitis, and was suspended one game for a sideline incident that saw him swat a Theragun (a massage device) onto the court out of anger after being subbed out.

Removing Dedmon’s $4.7MM cap hit gave the Heat the financial flexibility to sign a couple of frontcourt reinforcements — Kevin Love and Cody Zeller — while still remaining below the luxury tax line. They already had one open roster spot and removing Dedmon freed up a second, so they didn’t have to release anyone to add the two veterans.

As with Boston, Miami also generated a TPE equal to Dedmon’s salary since the team didn’t acquire a player in return.

As previously mentioned, the Spurs had ample cap room available and used more of it to add and then waive Dedmon (who signed with the Sixers but rarely plays), acquiring a second-round pick in the process. They only sent out $110K to complete the transaction, which is the minimum amount a team can send or receive in a trade in ‘22/23.

Kessler Edwards salary dump

On February 7:

Another minor trade, this time a salary dump for the Nets. The primary difference is the Kings actually kept Edwards instead of immediately waiving him.

Brooklyn saved about $8MM in salary and luxury tax payments by moving Edwards, a 2021 second-round pick out of Pepperdine. He showed some promise as a rookie, but only played 27 minutes for the Nets this season.

As a second-year player on a minimum-salary contract, Edwards is earning $1,637,966 in ‘22/23. That’s the amount of the TPE the Nets created in this deal. Michineau is currently playing in Italy and every year he remains overseas, he’s less likely to ever be brought stateside.

Still just 22 years old, Edwards has been a rotation member over the past month for Sacramento, averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds on .435/.349/.769 shooting in 22 games (13.9 minutes). The Kings will have a $1.93MM team option on Edwards for ‘23/24 if they want to bring him back – considering he was getting rotation minutes down the stretch, I’d be mildly surprised if they don’t exercise it.

Rockets/Hawks four-player deal

On February 9:

This trade (understandably) flew under the radar a bit due to all the blockbusters on deadline day, but it was pretty interesting for both sides because it was more complicated than it appears on the surface.

For example, the Hawks were able to treat this as essentially three separate trades rolled into one. They acquired Mathews with an existing TPE, did a simultaneous trade of Kaminsky for Fernando, and then a non-simultaneous trade of Holiday, which allowed them to create a new mid-sized outstanding trade exception of $6,292,440, equal to Holiday’s outgoing cap charge.

Both Mathews (26) and Fernando (24) are young and have played some solid basketball across their four NBA seasons, and their contracts are affordable. However, neither played much for the Hawks, and their salaries are non-guaranteed for ’23/24, so it’s certainly not a given that they’ll be back next season.

The primary purpose of the deal was to clear enough salary cap space to remain below the luxury tax line. Atlanta used that extra breathing room to acquire Saddiq Bey – a third-year forward who has become a key bench contributor – with a separate trade exception.

The Rockets could not complete this as a straight two-for-two simultaneous trade, as the amount of incoming money from Holiday and Kaminsky was greater than 175% of Mathews’ and Fernando’s salaries (plus $100K). Instead, they treated it as a simultaneous trade for Holiday and used the minimum salary exception to acquire Kaminsky.

Houston’s primary motivation was to acquire the two second-round picks from the Thunder, which Atlanta controlled from a previous trade. OKC is on an upward trajectory, so it’s hard to say where those picks might land, but it was solid value for taking on about $4MM in added salary.

The Rockets reportedly had interest in retaining both veterans, but Holiday wound up seeking a buyout and caught on with the Mavericks. Both Holiday and Kaminsky will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

Mike Muscala to Boston

On February 9:

  • The Celtics acquired Mike Muscala
  • The Thunder acquired Justin Jackson, a 2023 second-round pick and Boston’s 2029 second-round pick

A classic win-now move from a championship contender, which Boston certainly is. A long-range shooting specialist, Muscala has shot a combined 40.8% from deep over the past two seasons, averaging 6.9 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 14.5 MPG over that span (106 games).

Adding another big man shooter allows the Celtics to play a five-out system to maximize floor spacing for drives, kick-outs, and swinging the ball around to find the open man. He’s also on a relatively affordable $3.5MM contract with an identical team option for ‘23/24 – it’s important to find value on the cheap for any team, but particularly taxpayers like Boston.

You could say this deal is sort of connected to the aforementioned salary dump of Vonleh, since the Celtics added about $6.4MM to their tax bill by swapping out Jackson’s minimum-salary contract for Muscala. The Celtics had to use a trade exception left over from last year’s trade deadline to acquire him, as Jackson’s cap hit wasn’t large enough to match his incoming salary (they also created another small trade exception equivalent to Jackson’s salary).

While Muscala is far from a defensive stopper, his teams have actually been better on that end with him on the court in each of the past three seasons. The 31-year-old is not a rim protector nor a great rebounder, so those numbers may be a little noisy due to primarily playing against reserves.

The Thunder added Jackson (and then immediately waived him) using the minimum salary exception, generating a new trade exception equivalent to Muscala’s $3.5MM salary. They also added a couple of second-round picks, which is solid value given Muscala’s modest role — as the youngest team in the league, it’s not like Muscala was in OKC’s long-term plans, even if he was a steady veteran presence who contributed on the court as well.

Interestingly, the 2023 second-rounder heading to OKC is still up in the air and won’t be determined until next month’s draft lottery, because the Rockets finished the season tied with the Spurs for the NBA’s second-worst record – whichever team selects earlier in the lottery will have the less favorable second-round pick.

If Houston’s second-round pick lands at No. 32, the Thunder will receive the Heat’s second-rounder (via Boston), but if it lands at No. 33, OKC will receive Portland’s second-rounder (via Boston).

There’s a substantial difference in value between those two second-rounders – the Blazers’ pick will land at No. 35, while the Heat’s will be between Nos. 48-50 (pending the results of a three-team tiebreaker). Clearly, the Thunder will be hoping that Houston drafts ahead of San Antonio in the first round, though I’m sure they’d rather not see either of their conference rivals land the No. 1 overall pick and the chance to select Victor Wembanyama.

Mason Plumlee to the Clippers

On February 9:

Another relatively modest win-now deal, this time for the Clippers, who had been looking for reliable center depth leading up to the deadline and found it in Plumlee, a 10-year veteran who was surprisingly having the best season of his career for Charlotte at age 32.

In 56 games with the Hornets, all starts, he posted career highs in several categories, including field-goal percentage (66.9%), points (12.2), rebounds (9.7), assists (3.7) and minutes per game (28.5). His playing time has dipped since he joined the Clippers, which is understandable because he’s playing behind Ivica Zubac – he averaged 7.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23 games (four starts, 19.9 minutes).

Plumlee’s expiring salary made him a natural trade candidate, particularly since the Hornets have drafted multiple centers in the past few years and had a disappointing 2022/23 season due in part to off-court issues and injuries. Jackson was reportedly a positive locker-room presence, but he was struggling for the second straight season and the Clippers only had to give up one second-rounder and some cash to complete the deal.

Plumlee has some limitations (he’s a non-shooter and a below-average defender), but he plays hard, sets solid screens, and generally is in the right spots. The Clippers will have his Bird rights if they want to re-sign him this summer.

L.A. also generated a small ($2,134,843) trade exception as part of the deal, which was the difference in Jackson’s ($11,215,260) and Plumlee’s ($9,080,417) salaries. While the Clippers did save some money here, they actually added to their tax bill with their other trades (acquiring Bones Hyland and Eric Gordon in separate deals).

One rumor leading up to the deadline indicated the Hornets were looking for a first-round pick for Plumlee, but I didn’t view that as realistic – he’s mostly been a backup, and while his contract isn’t unreasonable, it’s also expiring, so he could be a rental player. They also received some cash as part of the deal to help offset the aforementioned salary differences.

Jackson subsequently reached a buyout and signed with Denver, so clearly the primary motivation for Charlotte was extracting whatever draft capital it could in return for Plumlee. I’m sure giving the team’s young centers more minutes was a motivating factor as well, but president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said after the deadline that he was concerned about having so many free agents due to the uncertainty of what it will take to re-sign them.

The Hornets gave backup center Nick Richards a three-year, $15MM extension last month, so both he and rookie starter Mark Williams will be under team control for at least three more seasons.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Atlantic Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents during the 2023 offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Atlantic players.

James Harden, G, Sixers

  • 2022/23: $33MM
  • 2023/24: $35.64MM player option
  • Stock: Up

Harden started to look a little old and out of shape in 2021/22, never quite recovering from a reoccurring hamstring injury originally sustained in late ‘20/21.

His counting stats were still excellent (22.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 10.3 APG, 1.3 SPG), but he lacked burst when driving and shot the ball poorly for his standards, posting a .410/.330/.877 shooting line (58.3% true shooting percentage). 33.0% was a career-low from three, and his FG% and TS% were his lowest marks since his rookie year back in ‘09/10.

Harden wound up taking a “pay cut” in free agency last summer to allow the Sixers to sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House. However, the contract was only a one-plus-one, so he can opt out of his player option and become a free agent again this summer.

He seemed to be in great shape to open ‘22/23, but unfortunately sustained a foot injury which caused him to miss 14 games. He has looked very good since he returned.

The 33-year-old may no longer be at his peak form, when he led the league in scoring for three straight years from 2017-20, but he’s not far from it. Harden has acclimated nicely to being more of a distributor alongside Joel Embiid, averaging 21.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, a league-leading 10.8 APG and 1.1 SPG on a .448/.397/.874 shooting line (62.2 TS%) through 49 games (36.9 MPG).

39.7% from deep is a career-high for the former league MVP, as is his 3.19-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Advanced stats say he has been among the top 10 or 15 players in the league.

I know many people think the rumors about Harden potentially going back to Houston in the offseason are a negotiating ploy to increase the value of his next deal. I could very well be wrong, but I’m not in that group.

I realize Harden will be 34 in the summer, and the Rockets have a team full of young players. But I really believe he might opt out and sign a four-year, maximum-salary contract with his former team, regardless of how the Sixers do in the playoffs. He just seemed happier there, and the Rockets are motivated to improve because they don’t control their own pick in 2024. We’ll see what happens.

Dewayne Dedmon, C, Sixers

  • 2022/23: Details below
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

Dedmon’s financial situation is a little complicated. The Pistons used the stretch provision on his contract back in 2020 after acquiring him from Atlanta, so he will continue to be paid $2.87MM each season by Detroit through 2024/25.

The veteran center had a falling out with Miami and was suspended for a game after knocking a piece of medical equipment onto the court following an argument with the coaching staff. He only played one more game for the Heat before he was moved to San Antonio in a salary dump.

The Spurs subsequently waived Dedmon’s $4.7MM contract, and he signed a rest-of-season deal with Philadelphia for the veteran’s minimum. However, he has yet to appear in a game with his new club after initially being sidelined with hip soreness.

Dedmon posted an abysmal minus-10.4 net rating with the Heat, and his effectiveness was clearly diminished in part due to plantar fasciitis in his foot. If he hopes to find a deal for more than the minimum this summer, the 33-year-old will have to prove he’s healthy and can still contribute at a high level — he’s running out of time to do so.

Jakob Poeltl, C, Raptors

  • 2022/23: $9.4MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Up

Acquired in a deadline deal with San Antonio, Poeltl has gotten off to a great start in his second stint with Toronto, looking very motivated in averaging 14.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.8 SPG and 1.7 BPG while shooting 69% from the floor and 56.1% from the free throw line through 12 games (28.4 MPG).

The 7’1” big man has provided a jolt in some much-needed areas. He has been particularly adept at finishing on offense and protecting the paint at the other end. Poeltl is also a strong screener and passer, which helps compensate for his lack of shooting.

The 27-year-old is expected to command a salary in the range of $15-20MM per year in free agency this summer. If Poeltl keeps playing at this level, the high end of that range could be within reach, similar to what Jarrett Allen signed a couple years ago with the Cavs (five years, $100MM).

Seth Curry, G, Nets

  • 2022/23: $8.5MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

The younger Curry brother has been one of the league’s top shooters since he started getting semi-regular minutes back in 2015/16, holding a career slash line of .475/.435/.865 in 426 games (206 starts, 24.7 MPG). However, he got off to a slow start in ‘22/23 following offseason ankle surgery, and is having a down year by his standards.

Curry has appeared in 49 of 67 games for the Nets with averages of 9.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG and 1.9 APG in 21.4 MPG. He’s averaging his fewest points, rebounds and minutes per game since ‘18/19, when he was with Portland.

He’s also shooting a career-worst 39.6% from three. It feels very weird saying that’s a low mark, but Curry had never previously shot below 42.2% from deep.

The 32-year-old has always been a poor defensive player, but this is the first time in several years where it feels like his deficiencies on that end have outweighed what he brings on offense – the Nets have statistically been worse on both ends when he’s on the court, with Curry posting a minus-2.8 net rating. The fit hasn’t been ideal either, as they have a few too many players with similar skill sets.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Curry gets a slight raise on his current deal if it’s only for a year or two, but I would be a little surprised if he gets a raise and a three- or four-year contract. As a very undersized shooting guard (6’1″, 185 pounds), he’s probably best suited for a bench role given his distinct strengths and weaknesses.

Sixers Notes: Harden, Harris, Tucker, Dedmon, Niang

To be serious title contenders, the Sixers will need the version of James Harden that they got Saturday night, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Facing one of the league’s best defenses, Harden turned in a performance reminiscent of his MVP days in Houston. He had 38 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists and led a fourth-quarter comeback as Philadelphia snapped the Bucks’ 16-game winning streak.

“That’s what I do, man,” Harden said. “I’m just very comfortable in those situations whether it’s playmaking, whether it’s scoring. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Harden has been in the news this week for his upcoming free agency and persistent rumors that he will strongly consider a return to the Rockets. Hofmann states that Harden has been playing at an All-Star level throughout the season and his immediate focus is helping Philadelphia get by the other top teams in the East.

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • The team has two injury concerns coming out of Saturday’s game, Hofmann adds. Tobias Harris didn’t finish the game because of tightness in his left calf, while P.J. Tucker suffered back spasms and was moving gingerly in the locker room, according to Hofmann.
  • Even though he didn’t play, Dewayne Dedmon was in uniform on Saturday night, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The veteran center signed with the Sixers on February 14 after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs following a trade from the Heat. Dedmon is ready for a fresh start after the way his time in Miami ended, but hip soreness has delayed his debut with the Sixers. “At the end of the day, it’s not about motivation,” Dedmon said. “I got mental clarity. For myself, that’s the biggest thing that I need moving forward in my life and my career. I need mental clarity and stability. For me to get traded from there was my mental clarity and my stability.”
  • Georges Niang has seen his playing time reduced recently because of a shooting slump, but he drained 5-of-6 shots from beyond the arc Saturday. Before the game, he told Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer that the best cure for a slump is to keep shooting. “I just got to get out there and let it fly,” Niang said. “I don’t know how many games it is now, but I’ve had the feeling of getting out there and being like, ‘Oh, I want to get my elbow tucked. I want to do this.’ But I’ve been shooting my whole life. I’ve just got to go out there and let it rip.”

Injury Notes: Green, Nance Jr., VanVleet, Dedmon, Gordon

Warriors forward Draymond Green missed his second consecutive game on Sunday due to a right knee contusion, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Green suffered the injury on Thursday when he bumped knees with the Lakers’ Jarred Vanderbilt. Green’s knee unexpectedly flared up Sunday afternoon, something coach Steve Kerr categorized as a “setback.” He may undergo an MRI.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. will miss Monday’s game against Orlando due to a left ankle sprain, the team’s PR department tweets.
  • Raptors guard Fred VanVleet missed both of the team’s games this weekend for personal reasons, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet tweets. VanVleet is away from the club due to the birth of his third child.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said before Saturday’s contest that backup center Dewayne Dedmon is expected to miss a couple more games but doesn’t have a long-term injury, Kyle Neubeck of tweets. Dedmon has yet to make his Philadelphia debut due to a hip issue.
  • Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon returned to the lineup on Sunday night after missing the previous five games due to a left rib contusion, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes.

Sixers Notes: Niang, Simmons, Embiid, Harden, Dedmon

Sixers players have been careful in their comments about how Ben Simmons‘ holdout affected the team, but Georges Niang addressed the issue Friday in a radio appearance, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. As a guest on The John Kincaid Show, Niang said the atmosphere has been much better this year without the distractions that Simmons caused.

“When you … are building rosters. I’m talking from a general manager standpoint, I don’t know how much he makes but it’s a max contract, so you immediately take that off the books (when Simmons says), ‘I’m not playing,’” Niang said. “Now, you have to figure out where other role players have to set up and replace passing, dribbling, rebounding, defense.”

Simmons’ dispute with Sixers management began during the 2021 offseason and lasted until he was shipped to the Nets at last year’s trade deadline. In addition to not having one of their supposed team leaders on the court, Niang said players were concerned about who else might be included in a potential Simmons deal.

“Then the trade deadline is coming up, and everybody is walking in like, ‘Who’s being attached to him that’s going (into a trade)?’ So you had that uneasy feeling,” Niang said. “So now (this season) it’s like we did trade Matisse (Thybulle in a four-team deal). We got Jalen (McDaniels). But you know who you’re going to war with every single night.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers carry a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s game with the Celtics, but Joel Embiid says they shouldn’t be focused on trying to prove anything to the team with the NBA’s best record, Pompey writes in another Inquirer story. “We’re not worried about Boston or Milwaukee,” Embiid said. “We are worried about ourselves. We can get better every single night.”
  • President of basketball operations Daryl Morey didn’t provide a direct answer when he was asked about James Harden‘s future during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter (video link). Harden is expected to turn down his player option this summer, and there have been rumors that he is considering a return to the Rockets. “I know he’s just focused on this season and not the offseason, but I know that he’s focused on winning the championship,” Morey said. “He’s going to be wherever he feels like he has the best chance. Obviously his pairing with Embiid is very, very good and we feel like it’s the best pairing for the long term.”
  • Backup center Dewayne Dedmon has been ruled out for Saturday’s game with soreness in his left hip, tweets Sixers reporter Derek Bodner. Dedmon hasn’t played since signing with Philadelphia 11 days ago.

Sixers Notes: Barton, Dedmon, Embiid, McClung

The Sixers have inquired about veteran guard Will Barton, a source tells Jason Dumas of KRON4 News (Twitter link). Barton, who is now a free agent after clearing waivers on Thursday, continues to weigh his options after being bought out by the Wizards, Dumas adds.

The 76ers currently have a full 15-man roster, so if the team wants to sign Barton or another free agent, someone would have to be waived to open up a spot.

Furkan Korkmaz, who requested a trade prior to this month’s deadline and remains out of Philadelphia’s rotation, would theoretically be a candidate to be cut, but his contract includes a $5.37MM guaranteed salary for next season. The only Sixers whose contracts don’t feature a guarantee or a player option for 2023/24 are Georges Niang, Shake Milton, Jalen McDaniels, Paul Reed, and recently signed big man Dewayne Dedmon.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Dedmon’s debut with the Sixers was pushed back by at least one game, as he was ruled out of Thursday’s matchup vs. Memphis due to left hip tightness, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s unclear whether or not the veteran center will be good to go on Saturday vs. Boston.
  • Joel Embiid wasn’t on the Sixers’ injury report on Thursday for the first time in several weeks, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, who notes that the Sixers star was being listed as questionable due to left foot soreness for a while. After racking up 27 points, 19 rebounds, and six blocks in a dramatic win over Memphis, Embiid said he benefited from some time off over the All-Star break. “Like I said before the (break), whatever it is is all about rest, and I’ve had a couple (days off),” he said. “There’s a reason why I wasn’t part of (All-Star) Saturday, because I wanted to make sure I could get more rest.”
  • One Sixer who was a big part of All-Star Saturday was Mac McClung, who remains in the G League with the Delaware Blue Coats on his two-way deal. According to Jaylon Thompson of USA Today, Delaware’s ticket revenue has been five times higher than its usual rate since McClung won the dunk contest in Salt Lake City. “It means a lot to this community to have somebody that they can say, ‘Hey, he’s our guy’ and they can take pride in that,” said Blue Coats president of business operations Larry Meli.