Kevin Knox

Trail Blazers To Re-Sign Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox will return to the Trail Blazers on a one-year contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. It’s likely a minimum-salary deal, and there are no details yet on whether it includes any guaranteed money.

The 24-year-old forward became an unrestricted free agent after Portland declined to pick up his $3MM option for the upcoming season. With the start of training camp about three weeks away and most teams close to having complete rosters, he decided to join the Blazers for another year.

Knox began last season with the Pistons, but was sent to Portland in a four-team deal at the trade deadline. He appeared in 21 games with the Blazers, averaging 8.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per night.

Knox was a lottery selection in 2018, going to the Knicks with the eighth pick in the draft. He spent more than three seasons in New York, but was never able to establish himself as a rotation player and was traded to the Hawks in 2022.

Knox will have one more season to try to build his value before re-entering free agency next summer.

Once the Knox signing and their other reported deals are official, the Blazers will have 19 players under contract, two short of the offseason minimum. Portland currently has 12 players with fully guaranteed deals, Moses Brown with a partial guarantee, and a pair of two-way players. They’ve reportedly reached Exhibit 10 agreements with three other free agents.

Options Declined For Blazers’ Knox, Thunder’s Waters, Wolves’ Knight

Trail Blazers forward Kevin Knox, Thunder wing Lindy Waters, and Timberwolves big man Nathan Knight have all had their team options for the 2023/24 season declined by their respective clubs, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) reported the three option decisions.

The deadline to exercise a player or team option for ’23/24 was Thursday at 4:00 pm Central time, so the fact that there had been no word on these three options was a strong indication that they weren’t picked up. They were the last three we were waiting for confirmation on — the rest of this year’s team and player option decision had been made.

Knox’s team option with the Trail Blazers would have been worth $3MM. The former No. 9 overall pick finished the 2022/23 season in Portland after being traded from Detroit at February’s deadline. In 63 total appearances for the Pistons and Blazers, he averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per night.

Knox will become an unrestricted free agent after having his option turned down. Waters and Knight, who would’ve earned $1.93MM apiece if their options had been exercised, were eligible for qualifying offers to make them restricted free agents, but there’s no indication that either player received one. We’ll be able to confirm that on Friday before free agency officially opens.

Waters averaged 5.2 PPG on .393/.358/.800 shooting in 41 games (13.0 MPG) for the Thunder, while Knight registered 3.7 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 38 contests (7.7 MPG) for Minnesota.

Trade Breakdown: James Wiseman To The Pistons (Four-Team Deal)

This is the 10th entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2022/23 season. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into the most controversial trade of the deadline, a four-team deal between the Pistons, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Hawks.

Trade details

On February 9:

  • The Hawks acquired Saddiq Bey.
  • The Pistons acquired James Wiseman.
  • The Warriors acquired Gary Payton II, the Hawks’ 2026 second-round pick, and the Hawks’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • The Trail Blazers acquired Kevin Knox, either the Hawks’ or Nets’ 2023 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable; from Hawks), the Hawks’ 2024 second-round pick, the Hawks’ 2025 second-round pick (protected 41-60), the Grizzlies’ 2026 second-round pick (top-42 protected; from Warriors), and the Warriors’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • Notes: The Hawks previously traded their 2024 second-round pick to the Trail Blazers with top-55 protection. Those protections were removed as part of this deal. This trade technically wasn’t finalized until February 12, which we’ll cover below.

The Pistons’ perspective:

Wiseman was reportedly atop Detroit’s draft board in 2020, when he was selected No. 2 overall by Golden State. The Pistons wouldn’t have traded for him if they didn’t believe in his talent and potential.

Interestingly, Wiseman is the second former No. 2 overall pick that general manager Troy Weaver has traded for in the past two years, joining Marvin Bagley III. They have several similarities, including being left-handed big men who have struggled with inconsistency and injuries since entering the NBA.

Wiseman was something of a mystery prospect, as he only played three college games at Memphis before being ruled ineligible. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the truncated offseason, he didn’t have a full training camp entering his rookie season, which certainly wasn’t ideal for a player who already was lacking in high-level experience.

He showed some flashes of upside in 2020/21, averaging 11.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 0.9 BPG while shooting 51.9% from the floor and 62.8% from the free throw line in 39 games (27 starts, 21.4 MPG). He also shot 31.6% from three-point range on one attempt per night.

Unfortunately, he sustained a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery in April 2021. Wiseman had a lengthy recovery process, which included multiple setbacks and a second surgery – an arthroscopic procedure – in December 2021. He ultimately missed the entire ‘21/22 season.

Prior to the trade, Wiseman had appeared in just 60 NBA contests. In 21 games (12.5 MPG) this season with the Warriors, he averaged 6.9 PPG and 3.5 RPG while shooting 62.8% from the field and 68.4% from the line.

Wiseman, who turns 22 at the end of the month, needed more reps. Weaver said as much after the trade. There’s a lot of pressure on top draft picks like Wiseman, but he’s still early in the learning process, as head coach Dwane Casey noted earlier this month. It’s not something that can be rushed.

The Warriors didn’t have time to be patient with Wiseman. They won the title without him contributing last season, and he was struggling when he played for them in ’22/23. The Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild and can afford to be patient, at least in the short term.

At 7’0″ and 240 pounds with a 7’6″ wingspan, Wiseman has an inherent edge in two areas that can’t be taught: size and length. Those factors, combined with his plus leaping ability, make him a natural lob threat, and he has posted above average rebounding numbers with Detroit. He also has long strides and runs the floor well for a center.

Through 15 games (13 starts, 26.3 MPG) with Detroit, Wiseman is averaging 13.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG and 0.9 BPG while shooting 55.1% from the field and 68.8% from the line. He’s just 3-of-14 from deep.

It was a risky trade, to be sure. Bey had been a solid contributor for the Pistons and rarely missed games. But they’re in a position where they need to acquire star-level talent if they want to be competitive in the future, and they think Wiseman has the upside to reach that level.

The fit is a bit clunky and will be interesting to monitor going forward. The Pistons seem intent on running a two-big lineup, as they also have Isaiah Stewart (likely out for the season with a shoulder injury) and Jalen Duren, a couple of recent first-round picks. Wiseman, Bagley, Stewart and Duren will all have to improve in multiple areas for it to work.

That frontcourt will be even more crowded if Detroit wins the lottery again and drafts Victor Wembanyama. Still, that would be a good problem to have and would be one the team can figure out later if it happens.

Wiseman will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason. Given how rough around the edges he is, I would think the Pistons will wait on that decision until after ‘23/24, when he could be a restricted free agent if Detroit gives him a qualifying offer.

Ultimately, this trade was a home run swing on Wiseman’s talent. The Pistons had a long look at Bey, but they think Wiseman can be a real difference-maker while viewing Bey as having relatively less upside.

The Warriors’ perspective:

Did Golden State sell low on Wiseman? I don’t think so. Just because he was a top pick a few years ago doesn’t mean he’s still valued as such – if he was, the Warriors would have received more in return.

Golden State’s motion offense requires bigs who can set solid (sometimes illegal) screens and make quick decisions with the ball. Neither of those things are strengths of Wiseman’s at the moment.

The Warriors initially tried to cater to Wiseman as a rookie by clearing out the side and giving him isolation post-up touches. That’s never been their style though, and it totally disrupted the flow of their offense (he also was largely ineffective in those situations, often struggling with getting pushed off his spot, which is something he’s still working on).

After he returned from injury this season, they were using him the same way they’ve used their other centers over the years. He just wasn’t playing well.

Even more troubling than the poor offensive fit was how much he struggled defensively. Wiseman runs the floor well in the open court, but he doesn’t have good body control in tight spaces, especially when backpedaling.

Opponents are shooting 70.3% at the rim against Wiseman, which is the worst mark in the league among centers who contest at least four rim attempts per game, according to‘s data.‘s defensive estimated plus-minus ranks him as the third-worst defender in the NBA. It’s really tough to have the backbone of your defense be that much of a negative.

It’s a small sample size (only 262 minutes), but Wiseman’s net rating with the Warriors in ’22/23 was minus-19.3, with the equivalent of the worst offense and defense in the league (he’s at minus-11.1 with the Pistons). Golden State was plus-2.3 in 2,403 minutes with him off the court.

It just wasn’t working for either side. Wiseman looked confused and was visibly losing confidence, and the Warriors had a healthy player making $9.6MM this season who was detrimental to the team’s success when he played.

Payton, meanwhile, was an excellent fit with the Warriors, helping them win their fourth title in eight seasons in ’21/22. A tremendous athlete, the 6’3″ Payton fit well as a pseudo-big man offensively, recording 55 dunks out of 212 made field goals last season, a remarkably high percentage for a guard.

The 30-year-old had a great understanding of the team’s schemes on both ends, with many of those dunks coming off scripted plays on slipped screens. When healthy, he is a top-tier defensive player often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player.

The problem was, according to the Warriors’ doctors and Payton himself, he wasn’t healthy. He failed his physical, which held up this four-team deal for three days after the deadline, at which point Golden State ultimately decided to go through with it. He had just started against the Warriors night before the trade, so there’s no way they could’ve known he was going to be sidelined as long as he has.

Payton only played 15 games with the Trail Blazers after signing a three-year contract with them last summer. He was slow to recover from abdominal surgery, which is the same injury that was flagged on his physical. Owner Joe Lacob said Portland was “disingenuous” and broke an “honor code” by not disclosing the extent of Payton’s injury.

This is an unfortunate example of why it’s risky to make a deal at the last minute just before the deadline. If it had been made a few days earlier, the Warriors could have asked to amend the terms of the trade, but they didn’t have that option once the deadline passed.

It’s true the Warriors could have re-signed Payton in the offseason without giving anything up. But due to the way the repeater tax works, his $8.3MM contract would have added about $60MM to their already record-breaking luxury tax bill — an exorbitant amount for a role player.

This trade saved them money both this season and next, as Wiseman is scheduled to make $12.12MM next season in the final year of his rookie deal, while Payton will earn $8.72MM in ‘23/24.

Hopefully Payton is able to return and contribute to close the season, as he has been sidelined since the Warriors approved the deal. He’s an exciting player to watch and played a key role in last season’s title run.

The Trail Blazers’ perspective:

Was it a red flag that Portland was willing to trade Payton so soon after signing him? The Blazers need defensive help and he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league when active.

Still, I highly doubt there was anything nefarious going on. Differences of opinion happen all the time when it comes to medical issues, which is why players often seek out multiple doctors before undergoing surgery.

If it turns out the Blazers intentionally withheld information about Payton’s injury, then it would rightfully impact their reputation around the league and they might lose a second-round pick. I don’t see why they would risk that just to add a handful of second-rounders and move off Payton’s salary.

The Blazers created an $8.3MM traded player exception as part of the deal, which is what Payton makes this season. They will have until next February to use it.

Portland also added Knox, who makes $3MM this season. The former lottery pick is now on his fourth team in 14 months. His $3MM team option for next season is reasonable enough if the Blazers want to bring him back, but he’s only played 55 minutes in 10 games thus far with Portland.

The Hawks’ perspective:

This trade could be viewed in three parts for the Hawks. First, they sent out five second-rounders to acquire Bey (and Knox, who was then flipped to Portland).

Second, they created about $3MM in salary cap relief by making a four-player trade with Houston at the deadline, dealing away two second-rounders (via the Thunder) in the process. That allowed them to take on Bey’s salary while remaining under the luxury tax line.

Finally, they were able to absorb Bey’s $2.96MM contract with a trade exception they generated last summer when they moved Kevin Huerter to Sacramento.

If you want to look at it in total, they basically shuffled around some end-of-bench players and dealt away seven second-rounders to add Bey, a third-year forward.

You could certainly make the case that Bey was the best player involved in this deal at the time it was made, even if he isn’t a household name. He appeared in 204 of a possible 210 games with Detroit (30.0 MPG), averaging 14.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.0 APG and 0.9 SPG on .400/.357/.843 shooting in two-plus seasons.

From watching him play with the Pistons, I always felt that Bey could really shoot, but he was forced to take difficult shots because they had a team full of young players trying to figure things out, and he was one of the only real threats from deep. I think that experience will make him better in the long run because it helped him develop his off-the-bounce game, and he’s a solid passer who very rarely turns it over. He’s below average on defense, but not a liability or anything.

Frankly, I’m not sure why the Warriors didn’t just take Bey in this deal. He may not have been familiar with the system, and he certainly isn’t nearly the defensive player that Payton is, but I thought they could use another forward instead of another guard, and he seemed like a good fit. He’s also much cheaper than Payton, earning $4.56MM next season in the final year of his rookie contract.

Either way, obviously the Hawks wanted him. Through 15 games (25.1 MPG) in a reduced role with Atlanta, Bey is averaging 10.4 PPG and 4.3 RPG on a strong .466/.456/.789 shooting line.

As with Wiseman, Bey was a first-round pick in 2020 (No. 19 overall) so he will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer. The former Villanova product will turn 24 years old on the last day of the regular season (April 9).

Blazers Notes: Grant, Deadline, Offseason, Lillard, Reddish

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant sustained a right eye contusion during Friday’s loss to Oklahoma City. Although he was cleared to return at the time, he started experiencing “concussive symptoms” on Saturday morning and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol, Portland announced in a press release.

The impending free agent was initially questionable for Monday’s game against the Lakers, but he has been downgraded to out, per the Blazers (Twitter links). Forward Kevin Knox, who was acquired in a four-team trade that also involved Golden State, Detroit and Atlanta, will be active for his first game with Portland.

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • Grant has switched agents ahead of free agency. He is now represented by Klutch Sports Group, he confirmed to Danny Marang of 1080 The FAN (Twitter link).
  • GM Joe Cronin says he was disappointed to not add a major impact player at the trade deadline, so he instead pivoted to “asset acquisition mode,” as Jason Quick of The Athletic relays. “We want to be championship level as soon as possible. So for us, it was disappointing. We want to get out there, and we would love to have a team out here tonight that is ready to rock. We are borderline anxious to push all of our chips in. We can’t wait for that moment to happen. It just hasn’t come up yet,” he said.
  • Cronin went on to say the Blazers will aggressively build around Damian Lillard in the offseason, according to Quick. “We are going to be ridiculously aggressive, to the point where once we push our chips all the way in, like, deal-to-deal you might say ‘Wow, they lost that deal. They gave a lot for that guy.’ But no, that’s just us pushing our chips in. We feel extremely obligated to put a great roster around Damian Lillard. And when I say we, that’s from the top. Jody (Allen) and I have had a lot of conversations about how important it is for us to do right by Damian. And we plan to do that,” Cronin said.
  • Lillard believes Cam Reddish has untapped upside and hopes the Blazers can bring out the best in the fourth-year wing. “You know he has all the tools…He hasn’t found a home yet…If we can change his life and get that potential out of him, create opportunity for him to blossom, then it could be a great thing…that’s our job, to try to get it out of him,” Lillard said (Twitter video link via New York Basketball).

Warriors Won’t Nix Four-Team Deal

6:00pm: A formal league inquiry into the Trail Blazers ‘ alleged failure to provide sufficient medical information is expected to be opened, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. That could result in the Warriors receiving further compensation.

5:07pm: The Warriors have decided to go through with the four-team deal despite Payton’s injury, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweets. Golden State will not pass Payton’s physical exam but they’ve decided to move forward with the trade anyway.

All the players involved can now suit up for their teams.

4:45pm: The trade is tracking toward becoming official, Wojnarowski tweets.

1:00pm: The NBA is working with Golden State to help the Warriors finalize their four-team trade without losing their ability to pursue recourse for the way the Trail Blazers shared Gary Payton II‘s health information, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As we previously relayed, the Warriors have filed an official complaint with the league office, arguing that Portland withheld key medical information about Payton.

The reserve guard, shipped out to Golden State from Portland at the trade deadline last week, flunked a physical exam when the Warriors’ medical staff discovered that his core muscle injury, which he had been playing through for a month, was severe enough it could sideline him for three additional months this season.

Reports from The Athletic and ESPN have indicated that Payton was using Toradol to relieve his pain, which the Warriors didn’t know before agreeing to the trade. Agent Aaron Goodwin told Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link) that “despite of what’s being reported, my client never took Toradol shots to be available for games during his time in Portland.”

[Note: The Athletic has since clarified that Payton received Toradol doses orally, rather than via injection.]

Should the Warriors ultimately decide not to move forward with their trade, it would have a ripple effect on four clubs. Their deadline to do so is 9:30 pm ET tonight.

According to Wojnarowski, Golden State will likely move forward with the deal as long as doing so doesn’t cost the team its ability to further pursue the matter. As Woj explains, an NBA investigation could result in a fine and/or lost draft picks for the Blazers if the league discovers “a failure to disclose relevant information.”

The Warriors shipped out 2020 No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman to the Pistons and two second-round draft picks to the Blazers in the trade. Meanwhile, the Pistons sent out small forward Saddiq Bey to the Hawks and combo forward Kevin Knox to the Trail Blazers. The Hawks traded three second-round picks to Portland and two seconds to Golden State.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Wiseman To Pistons, Bey To Hawks, Payton To Warriors In Four-Team Deal

9:01pm: The trade is now official, the Hawks announced in a press release. According to Atlanta’s announcement, three of the five second-round picks the team is sending out in the deal are going to Portland, while the other two are going to Golden State. Here’s the breakdown:

To the Blazers:

  • Either the Hawks’, Nets’, or Hornets’ 2023 second-round pick (whichever is second-most favorable).
  • The Hawks’ 2024 second-round pick (the Hawks previously traded this pick to Portland with top-55 protection; those protections are now removed).
  • The Hawks’ 2025 second-round pick (protected 41-60).
    • Note: Portland will receive this pick if it’s between 31-40 and Oklahoma City will receive it if it’s between 41-60 (based on a prior trade).

To the Warriors:

  • The Hawks’ 2026 second-round pick.
  • The Hawks’ 2028 second-round pick.

The Blazers are still receiving five second-rounders in total, however. According to the Warriors’ own press release announcing the deal, they’ve sent two other second-round picks to Portland. Those picks are the Grizzlies’ 2026 second-rounder (top-42 protected) and the Warriors’ own 2028 second-rounder.

1:55pm: The trade is being expanded further, according to Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the Warriors are sending five second-round picks and Knox to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Gary Payton II.

It’s unclear if those are the same five second-rounders Golden State is getting from the Hawks, but the Warriors are essentially trading out Wiseman and getting back Payton, who was a key rotation player on last season’s championship team.

Interestingly, the Warriors just faced the Blazers last night, getting an up-close look at the defensive stalwart, who will now rejoin Golden State. Payton signed a three-year, $26.1MM deal with Portland in the offseason, but has only appeared in 15 games in 2022/23 — he was slow to recover from abdominal surgery.

In addition to getting back a player they’re very familiar with, the Warriors will also save a good chunk of money toward the luxury tax over the next two seasons, as Payton’s cap hit is smaller than Wiseman’s.

1:34pm: Kevin Knox is headed from Detroit to Golden State in the trade for salary-matching purposes, reports Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Knox isn’t a lock to remain with the Warriors, Woj notes.

1:04pm: The Pistons will acquire James Wiseman from the Warriors in a three-team trade that will send Saddiq Bey to the Hawks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Golden State will get five second-round picks from Atlanta in the deal, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter link).

Detroit needs to send out another $2.5MM to match salaries, so at least one more player will be involved in the deal, tweets Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), the Warriors also had Wiseman discussions with the Trail Blazers and Spurs. The Pistons and Hawks discussed a separate deal involving John Collins, but sources tell Fischer that those talks have stalled.

Reports that the Pistons and Warriors were discussing a deal involving Wiseman broke earlier this afternoon. Detroit has been interested in the 21-year-old center since the 2020 draft, and Golden State was willing to move on from a player who never lived up to expectations after being the second overall pick.

He has appeared in just 21 games this season after sitting out all of 2021/22 with injuries and has spent a significant portion of the season in the G League. The Warriors picked up Wiseman’s fourth-year option, so he will be under contract for $12.1MM next season. He will be eligible for an extension this summer, but it’s extremely unlikely that the Pistons will want to make that type of commitment.

Bey has been a productive forward for Detroit since being selected 19th overall in 2019. Through 52 games (30 starts, 28.8 MPG) in ’22/23, he’s averaging 14.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG and 1.0 SPG on .404/.345/.861 shooting.

The 23-year-old is still on his rookie contract, which is very affordable considering he’s been a regular contributor in each of his first three seasons. He’s making $2.96MM this season and will make $4.56MM in ’23/24. Like Wiseman, he will eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Raptors’ Anunoby, Pistons’ Bogdanovic Among Trade Candidates Staying Put

While there was quite a bit of activity at the trade deadline, numerous players who were expected to be moved wound up staying put.

At or near the top of that list is the Raptors’ OG Anunoby. He generated plenty of interest around the league, with the Grizzlies, Pelicans, Knicks and Trail Blazers reportedly all in the bidding. Even the Warriors made a substantial run at Anunoby, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (video link).

Toronto, rather than going into sell mode, brought back center Jakob Poeltl in a deal with the Spurs and kept Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam, all of whom were mentioned in trade rumors. They’ll now have some hard decisions to make this summer with VanVleet, Trent, and Poeltl expected to hit the free agent market, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN notes (Twitter link).

Here are some of the notable teams who retained key players:

  • Perhaps no team surprised the league more by not making a move than the Bulls, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic tweets. It was anticipated the Bulls might blow up an underperforming roster and ship out some combination of Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and Coby White. Vucevic will be a free agent this summer and White will also enter the market, though Chicago could make him a restricted free agent by extending a qualifying offer.
  • The Pistons made a splash in a three-team swap, shipping out Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox and bringing in former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman from the Warriors. However, Detroit decided to hold onto Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Bogdanovic, in particular, drew a lot of interest around the league but the team’s front office repeatedly made it clear in recent weeks it wanted to keep Bogdanovic and Burks to blend in with an otherwise young team next season.
  • Another surprise was that Heat president Pat Riley failed to make a big move. Miami was unable to find a taker for some of its unpalatable contracts (Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry). However, the Heat will actively explore the buyout market, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). The Heat have two available roster spots (and need to fill at least one) and have their $4.1MM bi-annual exception and a portion of their mid-level exception still available to entice free agents.
  • The Cavaliers were the rare contender that decided to stand pat, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Cleveland had long been considered a prime candidate to acquire another wing. Thus, the Cavs will ride with Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman. LeVert will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
  • The Mavericks didn’t move big man Christian Wood, Marc Stein notes (Twitter link), even though it doesn’t appear the two parties are close to an extension agreement. Wood had said he didn’t want to be traded.
  • The Sixers failed to deal disgruntled wing Furkan Korkmaz, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Korkmaz, who has fallen out of Doc Rivers’ rotation, had requested a trade.

New York Notes: Knox, Harris, Brunson, Nash

Kevin Knox takes responsibility for his failure to establish himself with the Knicks, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

“I had my fair opportunity; didn’t make the best of it, unfortunately,” Knox said.

The ninth pick of the 2018 draft was traded to Atlanta last season, then signed a two-year contract in free agency with the Pistons.

“Got to move on, got to play harder, learn from it,” he said. “Learned a lot playing under (Tom Thibodeau), playing here in New York. I have to take it to my next chapter.”

We have more from the New York teams:

  • Joe Harris made his season debut on Friday for the Nets, posting modest stats: three points, two rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes. He hadn’t appeared in a game since November 14 of last season due to an ankle injury. Harris was thrilled to be back, Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays. “Oh, yeah, it was amazing. The fun atmosphere, great team win. So I think it was a perfect, perfect game to come back,” he said. “Yeah, everything felt great. I was definitely a little winded, the lungs were burning. But you know, that’s to be expected.”
  • Jalen Brunson hasn’t made a turnover in his first two Knicks games, Braziller notes. “He has a great understanding of the game, and I think that’s probably the most important thing,” Thibodeau said of his new point guard. “And I think how you manage and control the game is another strength. But usually, when you analyze turnovers, they fall into one of two categories. They’re either risky passes that you’re trying to thread the needle, or you’re going too much one-on-one. And he has a great feel for when to go and when to pass.”
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said it wasn’t all that difficult for him to move on from this summer’s drama, which included a Kevin Durant request to the team owner that he be fired, Michael Grange of tweets. “It was just that we needed to sit down at some point,” Nash said. “That was it. That’s kind of what happened. I would say our environment has been outstanding.”

Central Notes: Okoro, Bucks, Giannis, Stewart, Knox

The Cavaliers clearly have four of their starting roles set, with All-Star guards Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell sharing the backcourt alongside Evan Mobley and All-Star center Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt. For the small forward gig, it appears that Isaac Okoro is making a case for himself, writes Chris Fedor of

The 6’5″ wing was selected by Cleveland with the fifth pick out of Auburn in 2020. Okoro has started 128 of his 134 career NBA games thus far. Through two seasons, he is averaging a fairly modest 9.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 0.9 SPG, but the Cavaliers will be looking for defense more than offense at the three.

The competition has boiled down to Okoro and Caris LeVert, writes Fedor, noting that LeVert – who has earned praise from head coach J.B. Bickerstaff in camp – has started most of the team’s 2022 preseason games.

“I’m always being myself,” Okoro said. “I know what the coaches want me to do. I’m gonna do that and it’s ultimately up to J.B. to see who starts. I’m fine either way. I’m gonna go in and play my role.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks had a relatively quietly offseason that saw them sign veteran small forward Joe Ingles and draft wing MarJon Beauchamp. They’re betting that continuity on a roster that won a title in 2021 will help the club return to the NBA Finals in 2023. John Hollinger of The Athletic takes a look at how the 2022/23 season could play out for Milwaukee, predicting a 53-29 finish.
  • All-NBA superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is not concerned that the Bucks just wrapped up their preseason with a 0-5 record, though he would like to see more from the team, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. “It doesn’t worry me,” Antetokounmpo said after a 107-97 defeat Wednesday to the Brooklyn Nets. “What worries me is our habits and building good habits…. Right now, we’re not vocal enough. We’re not urgent enough. We’re not hungry enough. But at the end of the day, it’s the preseason. We have the whole regular season to find ourselves.”
  • Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart has been given the green light to launch three-pointers, and Keith Langlois of writes that Stewart has appeared fearless during the team’s preseason. He connected on 4-of-10 shooting from long range during a 126-111 preseason loss Thursday to the Grizzlies. Langlois notes that, should this trend continue into the regular season, it could affect how Dwane Casey opts to use Stewart as a stretch four option in Detroit’s frontcourt. Langlois also discusses new forward Kevin Knox, a Knicks lottery pick in 2018. Langlois thinks Knox’s size and shooting touch could eventually help him crack the team’s rotation.

Central Notes: Pistons, Haliburton, Dosunmu, Lopez

Marvin Bagley III‘s knee injury is the latest mishap for a Pistons team that will start the season with a diminished frontcourt, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News.

Nerlens Noel, who was acquired from the Knicks in an offseason trade, is reconditioning after plantar fasciitis and hasn’t played during the preseason. Rookie center Jalen Duren hurt his shoulder last week, but was able to return Tuesday. Newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic sat out Tuesday’s game with a strained calf, and Alec Burks, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo are all dealing with injuries as well.

“It’s part of the NBA,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s one reason (general manager Troy Weaver) has done a good job of bringing multiple guys in. Unfortunately, the multiple guys are (sitting out, injured) behind the bench. I think it’s a freak thing. I do know that some of the guys that were behind the bench — Kevin, (Diallo) — if it was a regular season game, they’d be able to go. That’s refreshing to know that.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers seem headed for a rebuilding year, but that’s not how the players are approaching the new season, according to Michael Marot of The Associated Press. Trade deadline deals for Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith have added some youthful enthusiasm to the team. “I think we’ve just got a lot of guys who love basketball, who love to compete and that’s a great place to start,” Haliburton said. “There are so many young guys and they have a lot to prove not only to the media or the naysayers but to themselves.”
  • Ayo Dosunmu will take over as the Bulls‘ starting point guard while Lonzo Ball is sidelined, per Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan confirmed that Dosunmu won the role with his performance since camp opened. “Ayo right now is going to be the guy back there for us,” Donovan said. “He’s done a really good job this training camp and preseason.”
  • The Bucks are counting on better health from Brook Lopez to improve their defense, notes Jamal Collier of ESPN. The veteran center was limited to 13 games last season because of back issues, but he came to camp noticeably leaner and motivated to prove he deserves a contract extension. “He’s in the best physical condition I’ve seen,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He seems hungry. … I feel like he’s moving well at both ends of the court. His aggressiveness is in a good place.”