Josh Hart

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Giannis, Hart, Harden

For the first time in years, the Nets will report to training camp without a superstar on their roster, but they have plenty of assets ready for when the next one becomes available, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn is in a transition phase after shipping out Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in separate deals last February. Those trades gave the team a foundation built around Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, along with a parcel of draft assets that can match any team in the league.

The Nets have seven tradable first-round picks through 2030, along with four others that could be involved in swaps. They own unprotected firsts from the Suns in 2027 and 2029 and one from the Mavericks in 2029. Lewis points out that those picks could greatly increase in value as the core in Phoenix becomes older and especially if Irving and Luka Doncic decide to leave Dallas.

Lewis doesn’t expect Brooklyn to use any of its assets to chase players who are currently on the market such as Damian Lillard, Tyler Herro or James Harden. The front office wants to be fully stocked in case a major star such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell or Doncic eventually becomes available.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks risk missing out on other opportunities if they decide to wait for the possibility of an Antetokounmpo trade, Ian Begley of states in a mailbag column. He points to Raptors forward OG Anunoby as an example of a useful talent who might be available through trade, but New York can’t make a bid for him if the front office is determined to preserve its assets for a run at Antetokounmpo. Begley also notes that Antetokounmpo could ultimately decide to stay in Milwaukee or force his way to another team.
  • The Knicks appear to have Josh Hart penciled in as their backup power forward, Begley adds. New York hasn’t signed anyone to replace Obi Toppin after trading him to Indiana, and using Hart in that role could open up playing time for free agent addition Ryan Arcidiacono.
  • The attention being focused on a potential Lillard deal is holding up any progress the Sixers could be making on a Harden trade, Derek Bodner states on the latest PHLY Sports podcast. Philadelphia talked to the Trail Blazers about a Lillard deal this summer, Kyle Neubeck adds, but he cautions that doesn’t mean the teams were ever close to a deal.

Atlantic Notes: World Cup Effects, Knicks, Schröder, Porzingis

The Knicks and Nets may benefit from having star players involved in the World Cup this summer, writes Ian Begley of New York’s Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart were both starters for Team USA, while RJ Barrett was an important member of the Canadian squad that captured the bronze medal. Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges also started for the Americans and Cameron Johnson was on the team, although he didn’t play as much.

Begley cites research from ESPN’s Kevin Pelton (subscription required), who studied the NBA performance of players from 2010 to 2021 after they took part in international competitions. Pelton found they averaged 2.1 points per 100 possessions above the league average.

At last year’s training camp, Begley talked to Evan Fournier, a veteran of international basketball with the French team, about what it’s like to go straight from a tournament to an NBA season with almost no rest in between.

“It really hits you in December; you have the first wave of fatigue,” Fournier said. “It’s not my first time dealing with it, so I know how to manage myself. I know being in the weight room is going to be very important. Sleep is going to be very important, but … I’ll be all right.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks are optimistic after advancing to the conference semifinals last season, but a lack of height at the wings could be a concern, observes Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscription required). Apart from Barrett, New York has to rely on undersized options such as Hart, Quentin Grimes and Donte DiVincenzo.
  • Dennis Schröder told “NBA Today” that new head coach Darko Rajakovic played an important role in his decision to sign with the Raptors (Twitter link from ClutchPoints). “I think Darko, the head coach,” Schröder said. “… I met him five years ago in OKC. We became friends. … I definitely said to my agent, ‘I want be there.’ … I think it’s a great fit.”
  • The Celtics‘ trade for Kristaps Porzingis was the best offseason move in the Atlantic Division, David Aldridge of The Athletic contends in a discussion of the division with other Athletic writers. However, Aldridge, Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss all agree that Boston took a risk regarding team culture by parting with Marcus Smart in the deal and not keeping Grant Williams. Robbins and Weiss cite the Sixers‘ coaching change, replacing Doc Rivers with Nick Nurse, as the most impactful move.

Atlantic Notes: Giles, Adams, Knicks Roster, Hart, Quickley

The Nets are signing Harry Giles to a contract and, according to SNY’s Ian Begley and Garrett Stepien, Giles picked Brooklyn over two other suitors who had strong interest in the big man. It’s unclear who those two suitors were, but his agent Daniel Hazan of Hazan Sports Management said the Nets showed interest in his client all offseason.

Brooklyn’s persistent interest has been a factor in free agent decisions this summer, with Dennis Smith Jr. also picking the Nets over other offers because the team made him a priority.

Giles, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2017 draft, hasn’t played in the NBA since 2021. Still just 25 years old, he joins a rotation of centers that include Nic Claxton, Day’Ron Sharpe and Noah Clowney.

As SNY points out, and we wrote Friday, Giles is eligible for a two-way deal this season due to a change to the Collective Bargaining Agreement despite the fact that he has four years of NBA service, since he missed a full year to injury. It’s still unclear whether his deal includes Exhibit 10 language, but if it does, Giles could have the deal converted to a two-way contract. Currently, Brooklyn has no spots open on its 15-man standard roster but has one two-way spot available.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Former Sixers assistant Brian Adams is leaving Philadelphia to accept a head coaching job with the Taipei Taishin Mars of Taiwan’s T1 league, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Wojnarowski notes that Adams had a storied history with former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers, with whom he coached for each of the past nine seasons with the Clippers and Sixers. Adams was also the head coach of the Agua Caliente Clippers, L.A.’s G League affiliate, from 2018 to 2020, before he joined Rivers in Philly.
  • While the Knicks have just 14 players on standard contracts and room under their hard cap of $172.34MM to add a 15th, Begley doesn’t see New York signing another rotation-level player. Begley writes that prior to the World Cup, Knicks decision-makers wanted Josh Hart to play more of the power forward position next season. While it wouldn’t surprise Begley to see the Knicks add someone who can have a positive impact on team culture (he mentions Taj Gibson and Ryan Arcidiacono), Begley writes New York could look to keep the roster flexible for someone who interests them mid-season.
  • The deadline to sign a rookie scale extension is one day before the regular season, or Oct. 24, and Immanuel Quickley is in line for a new deal. Begley writes that he would be surprised if Quickley and New York don’t reach an agreement before opening night. However, Begley notes that if the Knicks sign Quickley to an extension, it would make the Sixth Man of the Year runner-up difficult to trade in 2023/24 due to the poison pill provision. If the former Kentucky guard and New York don’t agree to a deal this year, he’ll reach restricted free agency in 2024.

World Cup Notes: Quarterfinals, USA, Canada, Fontecchio

Four teams at the 2023 World Cup punched their tickets to the quarterfinals with victories on Friday, as the U.S., Lithuania, Germany, and Slovenia all pushed their records to 4-0 and secured their spots in the eight-team knockout round, eliminating Montenegro, Greece, Australia, and Georgia.

As Armando Caporaso of Sportando tweets, that leaves four win-or-go-home games set for Sunday to determine the other four World Cup quarterfinalists. Those matchups will be Italy vs. Puerto Rico, Brazil vs. Latvia, Serbia vs. the Dominican Republic, and – perhaps most intriguingly – Canada vs. Spain.

Any European team that doesn’t advance to at least the quarterfinals will fail to clinch a spot at the 2024 Olympics in this event and would have to win a qualifying tournament next year in order to try to claim one of the last four Olympic berths.

Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Canada would keep themselves in the running for an Olympic spot with a win on Sunday. If just one of those four teams makes the quarterfinals, that club would join Team USA as the two Americas clubs that will qualify for the Olympics through the World Cup.

As we wait to see how the second round of the World Cup plays out, here are a few more notes on the tournament:

  • Team USA earned its spot in the quarterfinals by defeating Montenegro in what was its toughest test yet. Montenegro led at halftime and kept the game close until the final minutes, but a closing lineup that included reserve guards Tyrese Haliburton and Austin Reaves helped the U.S. put the game away, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Haliburton and Reaves took the place of starters Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart while Anthony Edwards scored all 17 of his points in the second half to help lock up the victory.
  • Team Canada head coach Jordi Fernandez had harsh words for his players after Friday’s upset loss to Brazil, tweets Oren Weisfeld.Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) has to score the ball and play-make and he didn’t,” Fernandez said. “And I can go down the line. Kelly (Olynyk) has to play-make, rebound and score efficiently – he didn’t. RJ (Barrett) has to run the floor and score efficiently and defend and he didn’t.”
  • As Blake Murphy of notes (via Twitter), a loss on Sunday for Canada would ensure that Brazil finishes ahead of them in their group standings, regardless of whether the Brazilians win or lose on Sunday. So the Canadians will need a victory if they want to hang onto a chance to clinch an Olympic berth this year.
  • Italian forward Simone Fontecchio played a limited role for the Jazz in his first NBA season in 2022/23, but he showed in Friday’s upset victory over Serbia what he’s capable of. As Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops details, Fontecchio led the charge in Italy’s comeback win over the Serbians, pouring in 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting.

Team USA Notes: Hart, Ingram, Naturalized Players, Banchero

Team USA coach Steve Kerr plans to stick with the lineup change he made against Jordan, keeping Josh Hart in the starting five in place of Brandon Ingram, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Kerr wants to maximize his starters’ rebounding as the Americans prepare to face two NBA centers — Montenegro’s Nikola Vucevic on Friday and Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas on Sunday. Hart is shorter than Ingram, but he has made a greater impact on the boards, picking up 12 rebounds Wednesday.

“Josh has a strength and a tenacity to him that sometimes overcomes a height disadvantage. He’s used to guarding bigger guys with all the switching that happens in the NBA,” Kerr said. “I really liked the lineup shift for (Ingram). The game was much smoother. … I know he enjoyed it.”

Kerr has used the same starting lineup since training camp, but Hart’s performance and Ingram’s inability to find scoring opportunities with the starting unit led to the change. Ingram is on board with the move as he got to handle the ball more often Wednesday, picking up five assists in 15 minutes.

“I felt good out there. It was different coming off the bench. I hadn’t done that since my rookie season,” Ingram said. “I was able to get prepared for it. It was just a different lineup, and I was excited for the opportunity.”

There’s more on the World Cup:

  • With pool play over, the U.S. can significantly help its positioning with two wins in the second round, Windhorst adds. Victories over Montenegro and Lithuania would make Team USA the equivalent of the number one seed in the medal round, providing more rest between the quarterfinals and semifinals. “We went over the format today with the team in the film session,” Kerr said. “And yeah, we want to win both games to put us in great position. The guys are aware.”
  • Kerr and his team are supportive of American players who get the opportunity to represent other countries, per Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. Team USA has already squared off against U.S. natives Thomas Walkup with Greece and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with Jordan, and it will face Kendrick Perry when it meets Montenegro. “I think that’s cool because those are guys that you’d probably not see making the U.S. team,” Tyrese Haliburton said. “… It’s cool when Americans get this kind of opportunity and figure out how to show their talents internationally.”
  • Paolo Banchero is wearing a wrap on his right thumb after spraining it in a recent game, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Banchero said the injury is minor and won’t keep him out of action.

World Cup Notes: Edwards, RHJ, Hart, Ingram, Thanasis, Canada

Even though Team USA’s 48-point win over Jordan on Wednesday wasn’t exactly a tightly contested affair, former Timberwolves teammates Anthony Edwards and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson enjoyed going back and forth at each other in the third and final first-round game at the World Cup, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Edwards had a game-high 22 points, edging out Hollis-Jefferson, who scored 20. The two were on Minnesota’s roster together for a brief period during the 2020 preseason, when RHJ served as a veteran mentor ahead of Edwards’ rookie year. Hollis-Jefferson didn’t end up making the Wolves’ regular season roster.

“We haven’t seen each other since then, so it was fun,” Edwards said. “And yeah, we was talking with smack out there for sure.”

U.S. head coach Steve Kerr made one lineup change ahead of the game vs. Jordan, replacing Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram in the starting five with Knicks forward Josh Hart. As Windhorst observes, Ingram had struggled as spot-up shooter with the first unit and was able to have the ball in his hands more as a reserve. It sounds like the change could stick.

“We just felt like it was important to take a look at Josh with the starting group and Brandon with the next group to see if the combinations fit,” Kerr said after the victory. “I liked what I saw. The game wasn’t competitive, but there was good flow with both groups.”

“They thought it was a better fit for me playing with Tyrese [Haliburton] and playing with some guys that are a little less ball dominant than Jalen [Brunson] and Ant,” Ingram told Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. “They just talked about it being a better fit, and I agreed with them.”

Here are a few more World Cup notes:

  • Hollis-Jefferson is one of nine non-U.S. players identified by Alberto De Roa of HoopsHype as breakout performers through three World Cup games. Bulls guard Carlik Jones (South Sudan), Wizards forward Xavier Cooks (Australia), and Heat forward Nikola Jovic (Serbia) are among the NBAers who have impressed, as De Roa details.
  • Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who injured his left adductor in Monday’s loss to the U.S., returned to action for Greece on Wednesday. However, Antetokounmpo played a limited role in the win over New Zealand that clinched the Greeks a spot in the second round, recording more fouls (4) than points (2) in his 14 minutes.
  • The Canadian national team – which had the best point differential (+111) of any club in the first round – is finally realizing its potential on the international stage, says Michael Grange of Canada has had no shortage of players in the NBA over the last decade, but those players haven’t always participated in international competitions and have struggled to quickly establish chemistry in the events they’ve played.

Team USA Notes: Portis, Hart, Jackson, Kerr

Team USA continues to look comfortable in the favorite’s role in this year’s World Cup. After going undefeated in five exhibition games, the Americans routed Greece on Tuesday for their second straight double-digit victory in pool play. Austin Reaves, a favorite of the Manila crowd because of his ties to the Lakers, led the way with 15 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Bobby Portis told reporters, including Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops, that the U.S. team quickly formed a bond despite not playing together before training camp began early this month.

“We stand together, obviously, it’s a journey, a long road ahead for us,” Portis said. “Two more weeks left with this team, and hopefully, we can get to the final round. We’ve been together for three and a half weeks now. Nobody complains about playing time, everybody plays for each other, playing for the name you find on this jersey. That’s what this brand is about: playing for each other, going out here, winning and having fun.”

There’s more on Team USA:

  • Head coach Steve Kerr was especially impressed by Josh Hart, who came off the bench to grab 11 rebounds in 20 minutes against Greece, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Hart missed the first exhibition game while waiting to finalize his extension with the Knicks, but he has become one of the team’s primary reserves. “People ask, what position does he play? He plays winner,” Kerr said. “I don’t know what position he plays, but he gets loose balls. He guards anybody. At one point, Spo (Erik Spoelstra) turned to me and said, ‘Some people get 50-50 balls. He gets to 30-70 balls,’ and I thought that was really well said.”
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. found himself in foul trouble in the opener against New Zealand, much like he often has with the Grizzlies, observes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year believes he needs to challenge as many shots as he can, but Kerr is encouraging him to be more discerning. “He’s foul-prone in the NBA,” Kerr said. “So, there’s always one or two plays where you just want him to let it go, because he’s too important to us. So we share those clips and just remind him sometimes the best play is to just let the guy go and don’t pick up the foul.”
  • The American players quickly learned that the international game is officiated differently than the NBA, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Defenders tend to be more aggressive and are allowed to get away with more contact. “Everybody is going to try to beat the crap out of us because that’s their best chance to beat us,” Kerr said.

Contract Details: Hart, T. Taylor, Mavericks

Josh Hart‘s four-year extension with the Knicks, previously reported to include a fourth-year team option, has very straightforward terms, as Ian Begley of writes.

The deal, which begins at $18,144,000 (the maximum 40% raise on Hart’s $12.96MM salary for 2023/24) is fully guaranteed for the first three seasons and doesn’t include any performances bonuses.

The only detail slightly different than anticipated is that the annual raise between years one and two isn’t quite for the full 8%, so Hart’s four-year total is approximately $80.9MM instead of $81.3MM. The guaranteed portion of the contract extension comes in at $58.54MM.

Begley believes the contract will ultimately be judged based on how healthy Hart stays over the next few years and how much success the Knicks have during that time, since the forward seems unlikely to significantly improve his production in any specific area. The average annual value of Hart’s deal lands between the new contracts signed by Dillon Brooks and Caris LeVert, Begley notes.

Here are a few more details on recently completed NBA contracts:

  • Terry Taylor‘s new deal with the Bulls is a two-year, minimum-salary contract, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. It’s currently non-guaranteed, but Taylor would receive a partial guarantee worth $350K if he lasts through the first day of the regular season. That partial guarantee would increase to $700K if he remains under contract through December 15, Hoops Rumors has learned. Taylor would be assured of his full salary for 2023/24 if he isn’t waived by the league-wide guarantee date in January and would receive his full ’24/25 salary if he isn’t waived on or before July 7, 2024.
  • The trio of players signed by the Mavericks on Monday – Greg Brown, Joe Wieskamp, and Jordan Walker – all received Exhibit 10 contracts, Hoops Rumors has learned. All three will receive bonuses worth $75K if they’re waived before the season and then spend at least 60 days with Dallas’ G League affiliate.
  • In case you missed it, Jordan Miller‘s two-way contract with the Clippers covers two seasons, as we relayed on Tuesday evening. Miller is one of seven players to sign a two-year two-way deal this summer, as our tracker shows.

New York Notes: Knicks Future, Hart, Quickley, Nets Picks

With Josh Hart under contract well into the future, the Knicks could turn to extending another core member of their rotation, SNY’s Ian Begley writes. An Immanuel Quickley extension is the logical next step for the Knicks to take before he becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Begley notes that if Quickley and the Knicks are able to come to an agreement on an extension, it would give the Knicks seven players under contract through at least 2024/25, all of which are rotation pieces.

The deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement on an extension is on the eve of the ’23/24 season.

Signing Quickley would put the Knicks on track to surpass the luxury tax line, according to Begley, but owner James Dolan has never shied away from spending luxury tax money in the past.

The Knicks are hard-capped at the first tax apron this season, meaning they can’t spend more than a total of roughly $172MM in team salary. The Knicks are roughly $6.6MM shy of that apron at the moment, according to Begley, which they could use to augment the roster further. If Quickley signs an extension, it would be difficult to trade him until his extension kicks in. Hart is ineligible to be traded until the 2024 offseason.

Begley notes that while Hart’s $81MM of total salary appears large, it won’t account for more than 14% of the team’s salary cap in any year of his deal, which Begley argues is fair value for a starting-level rotation piece.

We have more from the state of New York:

  • Peter Botte of the New York Post also writes that the Knicks should sign Quickley to a new deal before he becomes a restricted free agent. Quickley, a Sixth Man of the Year finalist, is in the final year of his rookie contract, which is worth approximately $4.17MM. The 6’3″ guard averaged 14.9 points and 3.4 assists per game last season while knocking down 37% of his 5.6 attempts from downtown per game.
  • Hart’s new four-year, $81MM extension with the Knicks includes a team option on the fourth and final year, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). That means just $58MM of the contract is guaranteed, with the option being worth $22.3MM in 2027/28. Hart’s extension kicks in during the 2024/25 season.
  • In a recent article, CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn ranked every traded future NBA first round draft pick. In total, Quinn ranks 56 picks that have shifted hands via various trades. The 2029 Suns first round pick grades out as the most valuable in Quinn’s eyes and that pick belongs to the Nets by virtue of the Kevin Durant trade at last season’s deadline. Quinn argues that it’s hard for teams to win championships and that Phoenix doesn’t have much room to improve beyond the next couple of years since the franchise traded virtually every pick it owned in exchange for Durant and Bradley Beal. In total, Quinn ranked two incoming Nets picks in the top three, and Brooklyn controls four of the top six picks Quinn ranks. The 2029 Mavericks first round pick that now belongs to the Nets via the Kyrie Irving trade comes in at No. 3, while the Suns also owe Brooklyn their unprotected 2027 first round pick and a 2028 first round pick swap, which rank No. 5 and No. 6 in Quinn’s list.

Knicks Sign Josh Hart To Four-Year Extension

AUGUST 10: Hart’s extension is official, the Knicks announced (via Twitter).

“Josh’s immediate impact on our team last season — both on and off the court — cannot be understated. … The leadership and competitiveness Josh brings fits perfectly with the culture we are building,” president Leon Rose said.

AUGUST 9: The Knicks and forward Josh Hart are finalizing a four-year contract extension worth $81MM, his agents at CAA Basketball tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Hart, who was traded from Portland to New York on February 9, was ineligible to sign an extension that tacked on more than two years to his expiring contract until at least six months after he was dealt. He and the Knicks are wasting no time in getting something done.

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the two sides are working through the final details of an agreement, which can be officially completed as soon as Thursday.

Hart had the opportunity to reach unrestricted free agency this summer by turning down a $12.96MM player option but decided to pick up that option, creating some extra short-term spending flexibility for the Knicks, who took advantage by signing Hart’s former Villanova teammate Donte DiVincenzo in free agency.

While the Knicks and Hart may not have had a formal agreement in place at the time he exercised his option, there was likely an understanding that they’d work out a longer-term contract once he became eligible to sign one.

The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement allows Hart to receive a raise of up to 40% on his current salary, with subsequent 8% annual increases. That would work out to a maximum starting salary of $18,144,000 and a four-year total of $81,285,120, which lines up with Wojnarowski’s reporting. We’ll have to wait to see whether the deal is fully guaranteed or includes any options.

Hart averaged 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in 30.0 minutes per game across 25 regular season appearances after being acquired by the Knicks at February’s trade deadline. He was also an important part of the club’s playoff rotation, starting five of 11 games and averaging 32.1 minutes per night.

The 51.9% three-point percentage that Hart posted after the trade is unsustainable, but he’s capable of knocking down an outside shot (.350 career 3PT%) and is a talented, versatile defender who is a strong rebounder for his position and size (6’5″). The 28-year-old is considered a good fit for head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s system, so it’s no surprise that the team was eager to lock him up for the long term.

Hart was the only member of Team USA’s 12-man roster that didn’t play in Monday’s exhibition game against Puerto Rico, but he’ll likely see some action once he officially signs his new contract. The U.S. team has tune-ups against Slovenia and Spain on tap this weekend, followed by exhibition contests vs. Greece and Germany next week before the World Cup officially tips off later in the month.

Hart’s extension will make him ineligible to be traded for six months. That trade restriction won’t expire until after this season’s deadline, as we detailed on Tuesday.