Keita Bates-Diop

Nets’ Bates-Diop Out For Season Due To Leg Injury

Nets forward Keita Bates-Diop will be out for the rest of the regular season due to a leg injury, according to a statement from the team (Twitter link).

The Nets announced that Bates-Diop underwent a procedure on Wednesday to address a stress fracture of his right tibia (shin bone). He’s expected to resume on-court activities in about one month.

With Brooklyn currently 5.5 games out of the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, it’s a safe bet we won’t be seeing the 28-year-old back in action before next season.

Following a career year with the Spurs in 2022/23, Bates-Diop signed a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Suns last summer. He appeared in 39 games for Phoenix and started eight of them, but put up modest numbers – including 4.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG on .427/.313/.722 shooting – before being traded to Brooklyn in the deadline deal that sent Royce O’Neale to the Suns.

Bates-Diop didn’t crack the Nets’ regular rotation after arriving in Brooklyn, playing just 68 total minutes in 14 games for the club before being diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture.

Given how his season played out, Bates-Diop seems likely to exercise the minimum-salary player option he holds for 2024/25, which would guarantee his $2,654,644 cap hit for next season. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’d be on Brooklyn’s ’24/25 roster, but the Nets would be on the hook for his full salary unless he’s traded or bought out.

Nets Notes: Schroder, Bates-Diop, Smith Jr., Future

Dennis Schröder had a splashy Nets debut on Saturday. The veteran point guard racked up 15 points and 12 assists in a 20-point win over San Antonio after he was acquired in a trade with the Raptors.

“He was able to show his ability to be a point guard on the floor,” coach Jacque Vaughn said, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Whether that was getting plays from me on the fly, organizing and getting our group into good sets, and just the overall feel of understanding the flow of the game, what’s needed. You saw his ability to have a toughness about him, whether that was guarding [Victor Wembanyama] or guarding other perimeter guys.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • Forward Keita Bates-Diop saw four minutes of action on his Nets debut on Saturday, Lewis notes in a separate story. He was acquired from the Suns in the Royce O’Neale trade. “Keita brings high IQ, intellect guy that’s still getting better. We’ll be able to see how he can impact on both ends of the floor,” Vaughn said. “We got a chance to play against him the first time in Phoenix, so knowing he’s been able to fit into systems and be able to space the floor but also be a traditional big, just because he does have a high IQ.”
  • Dennis Smith Jr. got a scare on deadline day when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted he would be going to Toronto in a trade. That tweet was quickly corrected but Smith’s phone blew up with messages afterward, James Herbert of CBS Sports writes. Smith didn’t want to be on the move. “I ain’t even get no pregame nap that day. You know what I’m saying? I ain’t even take no nap. I was sick,” Smith said. “I went outside, took a little walk, just tried to decompress real quick. But it was crazy. It was crazy.” Nets assistant GM Andy Birdsong called Smith to assure him he was staying put.
  • In the aftermath of the Nets’ moves, Lewis took a deep dive on what the future approach might be. They have seven tradable first-round picks to find another high-impact player to pair up with Mikal Bridges and should be in position to re-sign Nic Claxton while also having the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception at their disposal this offseason.

Suns Acquire Royce O’Neale In Three-Way Deal

7:22pm: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Grizzlies, who classified the draft asset they’re getting from the Suns as a “future first-round pick swap.”

Memphis will be able to swap its own 2026 first-round pick for the least favorable of the Suns’, Wizards’, and Magic’s first-rounders that year, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian.

As previously reported, Brooklyn waived Thaddeus Young and Memphis cut Victor Oladipo to make room on their respective rosters for the incoming players.

4:58pm: The Suns hung onto Boston’s 2028 second-round pick, tweets Gambadoro, which means the three future second-rounders they’re sending Brooklyn are as follows:

  • Either the Pistons’, Bucks,’ or Magic’s 2026 second-round pick (whichever is least favorable).
  • The Grizzlies’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • The Grizzlies’ 2029 second-round pick.

12:18pm: The Nets are finalized a trade to send forward Royce O’Neale to the Suns for matching salaries and three second-round picks, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Phoenix is also acquiring forward David Roddy from the Grizzlies in exchange for a pick swap, Charania adds. (Twitter link).

The Suns are sending out Keita Bates-Diop, Yuta Watanabe, Jordan Goodwin and Chimezie Metu, John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Phoenix tweets. They are all on minimum salary deals.

Watanabe and Metu will head to the Grizzlies, while Brooklyn will acquire Bates-Diop and Goodwin, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link).

O’Neale is in the final year of a four-year, $36MM contract and could enter unrestricted free agency this summer with full Bird rights. He’s making $9.5MM this season.

He’ll be extension eligible with the Suns for a maximum of two-years and $20.5MM, Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype tweets.

Roddy is making $2.72MM this season and already had $4.83MM option for next season picked up by Memphis. Phoenix can use the $4,975,371 traded player exception it generated in the Dario Saric trade with Oklahoma City last season to absorb Roddy’s salary. That exception expires on Friday.

The Suns were considered the top suitor for the Hornets’ Miles Bridges. However, Bridges reportedly told Charlotte’s front office he wouldn’t approve any trade. Phoenix pivoted to O’Neale, who will immediately jump into its rotation.

O’Neale gives Phoenix a playoff-tested, defensive-minded veteran. He has been coming off the bench most of this season but could slot into Phoenix’s star-laden lineup if the Suns want to use Grayson Allen in a sixth-man role.

O’Neale is averaging 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 24.5 minutes per game this season. He’s a career 38.1% 3-point shooter and should get plenty of open looks playing with Phoenix’s stars.

Phoenix will see its luxury tax bill rise by $13.5MM, Gozlan tweets. Overall, the Suns will have a payroll and luxury tax penalty adding up to more than $254.5MM this season, Gozlan notes in another tweet.

By swapping out four players for a pair, Phoenix will also have to add another player to reach the league minimum or 14. That will also increase their tax bill.

Watanabe and Bates-Diop are signed through next year. Metu has an expiring contract and Goodwin’s contract includes a team option for next season.

Suns Notes: Beal, Booker, Bates-Diop, Goodwin

The Suns didn’t consider exceeding Bradley Beal‘s minutes restriction when Wednesday’s game at Chicago went into overtime, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. Beal was making his season debut after missing the team’s first seven games with a back injury, so there was no chance he was going to play more than 24 minutes, even with the game in doubt.

“I can be hard-headed and go play 30 minutes when I know I’m not supposed to,” Beal said. “But how will I feel after that? Probably not the greatest. So that’s why I lean on our staff and our doctors to be the voice for me. Because I’ll be hard-headed and go out there and play.”

Beal posted 13 points, four rebounds and four assists in his first regular season contest since being acquired from Washington in an offseason trade. Even on a subpar shooting night that saw him go 3-of-12 from the field, he showed the benefits he can provide for Phoenix’s offense.

“Just somebody else the defense is scared of,” Kevin Durant said. “Somebody who can score at all three levels. Brad going downhill is a problem. So, as much as we can get him going downhill and also just setting him up in iso so he can beat his man will be great for us. Tonight, he just got his feet wet. He’s on a restriction minute-wise, but as he comes off of that he’s going to be more and more confident. We’ve just got to give him the ball more.”

There’s more on the Suns:

  • Devin Booker worked out before Wednesday’s game, but there’s no indication of when he might play again, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. A report on Wednesday suggested that Booker may be able return from his right calf strain as soon as Friday, but coach Frank Vogel said he’s “making progress, but no firm timetable.”
  • Keita Bates-Diop‘s overtime heroics showed why Vogel has been trusting him as a starter for the past three games, Rankin adds in a full story. The 27-year-old forward, who was added in free agency this summer, sparked the Suns’ late comeback by drilling a three-pointer with 1:06 left in overtime to cut the Bulls’ lead to one point. He also forced DeMar DeRozan to take a difficult shot on Chicago’s final possession.
  • Jordan Goodwin wore a mask in Wednesday’s game after suffering a jaw contusion Sunday in Detroit, Rankin tweets.

Pacific Notes: James, Bates-Diop, Curry, Mann

The Lakers were unhappy enough about the officiating in their one-point loss to Miami on Monday that they complained to the league office, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

They were particularly upset about non-calls involving LeBron James, believing Heat defenders were allowed to get away with illegal contact. He only shot four free throws. Coach Darvin Ham spoke about it after the game.

“I see Bron shooting four free throws and the amount of times he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day, for that not to be called, man … he’s not flopping,” Ham said.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Keita Bates-Diop is providing the Suns’ starting lineup with a little more size, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic notes. Bates-Diop’s presence at power forward allows Kevin Durant to slide to the small forward spot. “He’s giving good length and defense and rebounding,” coach Frank Vogel said. Bates-Diop was signed to a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract this summer that includes a player option.
  • Stephen Curry will turn 36 in March and he could become the oldest player to win the Most Valuable Player award if he keeps up his current pace, Kendra Andrews of ESPN notes. Curry is averaging 30.9 points on 55.1% shooting from the field, 46.5% from beyond the arc and 94.4% from the free throw line. “The sky is the limit,” Klay Thompson said. “He might change the narrative of what it looks like to be elite till you’re 40. LeBron is doing the same and Steph is following suit.”
  • Terance Mann is listed as questionable to play against Brooklyn on Wednesday due to an ankle injury. When Mann is available, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer believes the Clippers wing should start ahead of Russell Westbrook. He would provide better defense, spot-up shooting, and cutting in a starting unit in need of those qualities, O’Connor opines.

Suns Notes: Beal, Nurkic, Bates-Diop, Wall

Suns guard Bradley Beal missed his sixth straight game on Saturday, but there was an encouraging sign that his debut with the team may not be far off, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Beal, who has been sidelined with lower back spasms, went through a 20-minute workout of dribbling, moving and shooting and was able to end it by repeatedly sprinting from one sideline to the other.

Beal isn’t expected to play in Sunday’s game at Detroit, but the team’s medical staff will see how his back responds to today’s exertion. With two off days to follow, it’s possible that Beal’s first game in a Phoenix uniform could take place Wednesday in Chicago.

“I’m just excited for him. I know how much these dudes love to play,” Kevin Durant said, referring to Beal and Devin Booker, who sat out today’s game with ankle soreness. “They hate just being on the sidelines. We don’t want them to rush. We don’t want them to feel like it’s pressure to come back because we lose a couple of games. We want them to be 100% healthy for the rest of the season. So it’s important now to continue to ramp yourself up however you need to.”

There’s more on the Suns:

  • Jusuf Nurkic, who was acquired in a trade just before the start of training camp, continues to have trouble finishing at the rim, Rankin observes in a separate story. He shot 4-of-14 in today’s loss at Philadelphia and is connecting at just 41.7% from the field this season. Nurkic has started shooting more from the outside, with 14 three-point attempts in the last three games after just six in the first three.
  • Keita Bates-Diop made his first start of the season as coach Frank Vogel tinkers with his starting lineup, Rankin adds. Bates-Diop, who replaced Josh Okogie in the starting five, delivered eight points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. Vogel won’t be able to establish a regular rotation until Booker and Beal are playing full time, and it’s possible the fifth slot will keep changing throughout the season.
  • In an interview with Shams Charania on “Run It Back” (video link), John Wall said he would welcome the chance to reunite with Beal, his former backcourt partner in Washington. “Me and Brad are still brothers, we still talk a lot,” Wall said. “… If I could join their team, for sure, I would love that.” Wall, 33, has been out of the league since being traded to Houston and subsequently waived in February.

Pacific Notes: Vincent, Primo, Gay, McGruder, Suns

In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, Gabe Vincent said he isn’t upset that Lakers coach Darvin Ham has already chosen D’Angelo Russell as his starting point guard. Vincent is only a few months removed from starting for the Heat in the NBA Finals, but he’s willing to accept a reserve role with his new team.

“That’s something for D-Ham to worry about,” Vincent said. “I’m not the coach. I don’t set lineups. I just go out there and do my job. I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win games and help this organization win games. As I’ve seen in the past, every night doesn’t always look the same. With that big picture in mind with trying to help us win, I’ll wear whatever hat is needed.”

L.A. signed Vincent to a three-year contract worth $33MM, so he’s obviously in the team’s plans even if he won’t start right away. Vincent had several options in free agency, but he liked the idea of playing for Ham because they have similar backgrounds.

“I think it’s just in general his route,” Vincent said. “I think there are some similarities between me and him in that regard and his journey. He spent some time in the G League as did I. There are some similarities that we have naturally, even when we sit down and talk the game and catch up. It’s seamless. We get along well. D Ham has been great. He’s been very real. So I definitely have appreciated him early in this process.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

Pacific Notes: Durant, Bates-Diop, Curry, Joseph

Kevin Durant takes credit for helping to lift the NBA’s ban on marijuana and talks about his desire to eventually get into ownership in an interview with CNBC, relays Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic.

The Suns star, who’s involved in cannabis business ventures, said he reached out to commissioner Adam Silver about removing the drug prohibitions from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players were previously required to enter the league’s treatment and counseling program after a first offense and faced fines and suspensions for multiple violations.

“I actually called him and advocated for him to take marijuana off the banned substance list,” Durant said. “I just felt like it was becoming a thing around the country, around the world that it was the stigma behind it wasn’t as negative as it was before. It doesn’t affect you in any negative way.”

Durant talked about his numerous business interests, which he said were starting to take up too much of his time. He and his agent, Rich Kleiman, agreed that he’ll take a step back from those commitments to focus more on basketball. Durant also discussed his longtime dream of becoming an NBA team owner, preferably with a new franchise in Seattle, where he debuted in the league.

“That would be cool for sure in a perfect world,” Durant said. “Whatever opportunity comes up, hopefully I can be a part of something special. But yeah, Seattle would be the ideal spot. They deserve to have a team there again, and I would love to be a part of the NBA in that fashion. But we’ll see.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Keita Bates-Diop is a defensive specialist, but he can help the Suns‘ offense as well, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports writes in an examination of what the free agent forward will bring to the team. “I think you’re gonna be surprised at some of the stuff he’s able to do around the rim with his length,” said Doug McDermott, who played alongside Bates-Diop in San Antonio. “Like, he can finish layups I’ve never seen just ’cause how long his arms are.”
  • In a new PBS documentary, Warriors guard Stephen Curry says he still feels like he’s in “the prime of my career, in a sense of what I’m able to accomplish.” The project, titled ‘Stephen Curry: Underrated,’ traces his journey from unproven prospect to the top three-point shooter in NBA history.
  • Veteran guard Cory Joseph is thrilled to have the chance to back up Curry and Chris Paul after signing a one-year deal with the Warriors, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Joseph called it an “unbelievable opportunity” during an introductory press conference via Zoom. “I get to learn from two of the greats to ever do it at their position,” he said. “I’m extremely excited. I’m sure I’ll get there and learn a lot from them.”

Suns’ James Jones Talks About Rebuilding Roster

In an interview with Duane Rankin of The Arizona RepublicSuns president of basketball operations James Jones gives himself an “eight out of 10” for how he was able to construct the team’s roster around its new Big Four. Jones was limited in the moves he could make after trading for Bradley Beal to team with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton, but he found an intriguing mix of veterans and young talent.

Eric Gordon turned down better offers and accepted a veteran’s minimum deal for the chance to win a title. Yuta Watanabe, Chimezie Metu, Drew EubanksKeita Bates-Diop and Bol Bol also agreed to sign for the minimum.

“We knew going into it who our four top players were,” Jones said. “The guys who were going to lean on heavily to reach our goals. I think that gave us more clarity and I think it gave the players more clarity around how we would play and how they could fit with our team.

“So when it comes to minimums, I think it’s that label or contract value that people look at, but I look at it more from a perspective of identifying the guys who have the attributes and skills that would complement our group and finding players that believe that this environment will increase their productivity and give them a boost for their careers going forward. This was more forward looking than backwards looking for us and for the players that we targeted.

“I think that clarity allowed us to move quickly and efficiently through the free agency process because we knew exactly who we wanted and we knew exactly who wanted us.”

Jones addresses several other topics in the discussion with Rankin:

On the decisions to re-sign Josh Okogie and trade Cameron Payne to the Spurs:

“Just balancing versatility, and I’m not just talking about from a player skill set and roster construction perspective, but it just gives us options. It gives us options from a roster perspective. It also gives us options going forward. JO is someone who had a tremendous impact on our team last year in a specific role that we think can grow and Cam was someone who had an impact on our team, but he was part of a team that was a different team that played differently. Those two moves allowed us to create balance and gave us some versatility and options to continue to build a more complete team.”

On Bol’s potential after a promising season with Orlando:

“He’s going to get a chance to compete. He fits the profile of the team we’re trying to build. Long, athletic, skilled. Has played some high-level basketball. Has dealt with high expectations and has bounced back from some tough setbacks. The mental grit, the resilience and adaptability that he’s displayed is something that I think will help improve our team and if he can play the way he envisions himself playing, it just gives us another high-level player that we can count on and rely on as we try to march toward a championship.”

On new owner Mat Ishbia’s input during his first offseason with the team:

“He talked about speed, focus and understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish and get after it. Don’t second-guess it, don’t overthink it. Trust your instincts, trust your team and then go out there, find the best options for us and then make those options work. For me, it’s clear focus. He’s given me clear direction that allows me to focus on the things I enjoy the most, which is figuring out how to maximize the environment for our players and coaches and get a win.”

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

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

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

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

We have more from the Pacific Division:

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