Louis Amundson

Atlantic Notes: Amundson, Thomas, Holmes

Here’s a look at the latest contract news from the Atlantic Division:

Knicks Re-Sign Louis Amundson

JULY 30TH: The Knicks announced that they have officially re-signed Amundson, Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets.

JULY 11TH: The Knicks have reached an agreement with unrestricted free agent Louis Amundson, Al Iannazzone of Newsday reports (Twitter link). It is a one-year, $1.65MM arrangement, adds the Newsday scribe.

Amundson appeared in 41 games for New York last season, averaging 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 20.9 minutes per contest, with a slash line of .432/.000/.463. His career numbers through nine NBA campaigns are 3.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.4 assists, with a shooting line of .478/.000/.441.

The 32-year-old had previously indicated that he would consider playing in Europe if he wasn’t re-signed by New York. “I would like to play. I’ve been in this league, so I know what that’s like,” Amundson said. “So, I think going overseas would be a new experience for me I think I’d enjoy. I’d get an opportunity to play. So yeah, everything’s on the table.’’

Atlantic Notes: Amundson, Porzingis, Biyombo

Veteran journeyman Louis Amundson was determined to re-sign with the Knicks if they extended an offer, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday. Amundson agreed to a one-year, $1.65MM deal early in free agency, giving him the type of stability he has rarely enjoyed in a decade-long NBA career that has seen him pass through 10 franchises. “We obviously prioritized having Lou back,” said coach Derek Fisher, “and we feel like from the time he joined our team during the season last year to finish the season, he was just very impactful and he picked up on a lot of things that we are trying to do. He’s a worker and so we felt good about investing in him because of what he invested in us when he showed up last year.” 

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks would like rookie Kristaps Porzingis to add 10 to 15 pounds by the start of training camp in October, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York expects Porzingis to play primarily power forward with some time at center, hence the need for the extra bulk. “I got confirmation he’s not afraid,’’ Fisher said after watching the rookie in summer league. “He isn’t afraid to be in New York. He’s not afraid of competition.”
  • The Raptors are excited to add Bismack Biyombo, who officially signed Friday, according to The Associated Press. An unrestricted free agent and former Hornet, Biyombo received a two-year, $6MM deal from Toronto. GM Masai Ujiri said the center is an “exceptional rim protector and his physicality will be a great asset to us defensively.”
  • Jordan McRae, whose draft rights belong to the Sixers, is getting interest from Elan Chalon of the French League, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. A Tennessee alum, McRae was the 58th pick of the 2014 draft. He spent last season in Australia and played for the Sixers’ summer league team in Salt Lake City.

Eastern Rumors: Williams, Knicks, Dragic

Lionel Hollins denies that his sometimes stormy relationship with Deron Williams led to the Nets waiving the veteran guard in a buyout deal, according to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Though sources confirmed to Bontemps that the head coach and Williams had a heated meeting in Memphis earlier this year, Hollins said the Nets didn’t part ways with Williams because of their disagreements. “Everything is not peaches and cream, but there’s not one shred of evidence that our relationship is the reason that he had to go,” Hollins told the team’s beat writers. “I would have coached Deron this upcoming year just like I coached him last year, and we would have went forward just like everybody else on the team.” The Nets saved more than $50MM this season in payroll and luxury-tax payments by agreeing to give Williams $27.5MM of the $43.5MM he was owed over the next two years, Bontemps adds. The Nets used the stretch provision on the buyout.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:
  • Carmelo Anthony‘s decision to take slightly less than the max last summer helped the Knicks to re-sign Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas to more than the league minimum this month, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Anthony’s deal opened up $1.4MM in cap space this summer and that, combined with the NBA’s cap increase to $70MM, allowed the Knicks to secure Amundson for $1.65MM and Thomas for $1.63MM instead of the roughly $1MM minimum, Berman continues. If Anthony didn’t take less, the Knicks could have re-signed only one of them above the league minimum, Berman adds.
  • Goran Dragic‘s deal with the Heat is only worth a total of $85MM and has a starting salary of $14.783MM, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter). Earlier reports estimated the deal at $90MM.
  • Paul George is pleased with the backcourt moves the Pacers have made this offseason, he told Scott Agness of the VigilantSports.com in a Q&A session. The pending addition of Monta Ellis and re-signing of Rodney Stuckey gives the team numerous playmakers, George told Agness. “One of the biggest things we needed to get better at was pushing the tempo and playing a little faster,” George said. “I didn’t know it was going to be a drastic roster change but I knew that was the direction this team needed to go to give ourselves a better chance of winning.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Hackett, Nets

The Celtics‘ primary goal this season will be to make he franchise as attractive as possible to free agents hitting the market during next Summer, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. With the team expected to have approximately $40MM to spend on free agents in 2016, the team has to develop its young core enough to convince big names like Kevin Durant that they can win in Beantown, Blakely adds.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Euro guard Daniel Hackett will work out for the Knicks in Las Vegas, David Pick of Eurobasket relays (Twitter links). Hackett, who is also on the radar of the Mavs and Rockets, was offered a contract by the Greek club Olympiacos, but the 27-year-old wants to explore his NBA opportunities before heading back overseas, Pick adds.
  • Nets GM Billy King‘s first two calls when the free agent signing period began were to Shane Larkin and Thomas Robinson, Rod Boone of Newsday tweets. Both players officially signed with Brooklyn today.
  • When King was asked if he expected Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to remain on the Nets‘ roster, he responded, “at this point, yes,” Boone tweets. King also indicated that the reports of the team trying to deal Johnson have been exaggerated, Boone adds.
  • The Knicks are still in contact with the representatives for Alexey Shved, Cole Aldrich and Louis Amundson, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com tweets.
  • The Nets will still look to add another big man to the roster, King indicated, but the team wants to get as close to, if not under, the luxury tax line as it can, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com relays (via Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Knicks, Datome

While the Celtics didn’t land the premier free agents in this year’s class, they did agree with Amir Johnson 0n a deal that brings him in from the Raptors.  Coach Brad Stevens believes that, in general, the team’s positive environment will help attract players to Boston, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes.

I think the biggest thing is that I feel really good about our environment. I think people will really enjoy playing with this group of people. I don’t think there’s any question about it. We’ve got guys that like the game, they work at the game, they want to be good. And we have to focus our attention on those guys and helping them become the best they can be,” Stevens said.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills are still talking with Jason Smith‘s representatives about bringing him back for the 2015/16 season, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).
  • The Knicks have also been in constant contact with Louis Amundson‘s representatives about bringing him back for next season, sources tell Begley (on Twitter).  Amundson appeared in 41 games for New York last season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 20.9 minutes per contest.
  • When asked about reports that he has been approached by reps from Olimpia Milano about signing with them, Celtics free agent big man Gigi Datome dismissed the talk as premature. “It’s very early because [NBA] free agency is so [early],” Datome told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald via phone. “My agent told me that first the big players will sign, and then you have to wait. I’ve waited more than two months to get here, so I can wait two more. My agent is listening to proposals from European teams, and right now we’re not saying no to anyone. But I still want to see if anyone in the NBA wants to sign me.”
  • The development of newly-signed forward Derrick Williams will be a good litmus test for Knicks coach Derek Fisher, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes.  Williams’ talent led to him being selected No. 2 overall in the 2011 draft, but he has yet to put it all together at the NBA level.

Knicks Rumors: Free Agents, O’Quinn, Anthony

This year’s top free agents had no interest in the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman reports that team president Phil Jackson canceled a meeting last week with LaMarcus Aldridge — not the other way around, as widely reported — after he was informed that Aldridge wouldn’t be signing with New York. With roughly $28MM in cap space heading into free agency, the Knicks wound up with Robin LopezDerrick Williams, Arron Afflalo and Kyle O’Quinn, but didn’t come close to landing a star. Berman notes that New York still has a $2.814MM room exception available and has inquired about Caron Butler and Willie Green. The team is hoping to keep Jason Smith and Alexey Shved, but that may not happen if they get offers from other teams that exceed the room exception. Jackson also would like to re-sign Louis Amundson and Lance Thomas for the veterans’ minimum, according to Berman.

There’s more this morning from the Big Apple:

  • O’Quinn, whom the Knicks are obtaining through a sign-and-trade with the Magic, should bring some needed toughness, Berman writes in a separate story. O’Quinn’s numbers in Orlando weren’t impressive — averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 51 games — but Berman believes he may contend for the starting power forward slot in New York. “He’s a very underrated player, solid,” said Tobias Harris, O’Quinn’s former teammate. “He’s a tough player who doesn’t back down, good individual off the court. He is a very good pickup for the Knicks.”
  • O’Quinn’s passing abilities could be a good fit in the triangle offense, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Begley said the Knicks’ latest free agent addition came at a “reasonable” price of $16MM over four years and could be a major bargain when the salary cap soars next summer. He adds that New York is hoping to keep Langston Galloway, who has a partially guaranteed contract, on its roster for next season. Galloway, due to make more than $845K next year, is already guaranteed $220K and will receive $440K if he is waived after September 15th [salary guarantee dates]. Ricky Ledo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo also have a shot at earning roster spots.
  • The Knicks’ free agent failings make Carmelo Anthony more important to the franchise than ever, writes Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. New York needs Anthony to play at an All-Star level so it will be more attractive to free agents like Kevin Durant next summer.

Atlantic Notes: Amundson, Clark, Celtics

Louis Amundson plans to play in Europe if the Knicks do not re-sign him, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. The 32-year-old power forward, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, has played on 10 NBA teams and doesn’t want to look for another if New York declines to make him an offer, Berman continues. “I would like to play. I’ve been in this league, so I know what that’s like,” Amundson told Berman. “So, I think going overseas would be a new experience for me I think I’d enjoy. I’d get an opportunity to play. So yeah, everything’s on the table.’’  Knicks GM Steve Mills told season ticket holders last week that the team was interested in bringing Amundson back, Berman adds.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks should also consider offering Andrea Bargnani a veteran’s minimum contract, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com opines. While Bargnani has generally been a disappointment in his two years with the Knicks, his play since the All-Star break has made coach Derek Fisher take notice, Begley adds. Bargnani becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season and the club has indicated it would consider making a minimum-salary offer to him. “I think the way he’s finishing this season is not only showing us, but also showing other teams as well, that he’s a very capable player still at this point in his career,” Fisher said to New York reporters. “I think he’s trying to prove that to everyone, including us.”
  • Earl Clark’s new contract with the Nets is non-guaranteed for next year, with a partial guarantee if he makes the opening-day roster, a source told Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game (Twitter link), The team announced on Monday that it had reached a two-year agreement with the 27-year-old forward. Clark has appeared in six of the team’s last seven games, including Monday night’s victory over Portland.
  • The Celtics, who made several trades this season with an eye toward the future, are now scoreboard watching as they fight for a playoff spot, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports. Boston controls its playoff destiny and the players want to experience the postseason, Forsberg adds. “Even when we’re playing, I’m trying to look at the [out-of-town] scores throughout our game,”  Isaiah Thomas said to Boston beat reporters. “And then, after the games, I’m looking at the standings. It’s fun, but it’s hectic a little bit.”

Atlantic Notes: Sullinger, Crowder, Amundson

The Celtics received an unexpected boost to their playoff hopes today, as the stress fracture in Jared Sullinger‘s left foot that was to have kept him out for the rest of the season has healed so that he can return to game action, at least on a limited basis, beginning tonight, the team announced. The surprising news helps Sullinger, who’s up for a rookie scale extension this coming offseason, as well as his team, which is tied with the Heat for the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Jae Crowder is grateful to the Celtics for giving him a more prominent role than he had in Dallas before the Mavs sent him out in the Rajon Rondo trade, as he tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The swingman is content in Boston as restricted free agency looms this summer, Bulpett details, arguing that the swingman has done enough to warrant as long of a commitment as possible from the Celtics.
  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson praised Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas on Thursday amid his comments about the future to season ticket holders, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com points out (Twitter link). The pair will be free agents this summer, and Amundson has said he’d like to re-sign.
  • Trading for Thaddeus Young and putting rookie Markel Brown in the starting lineup have combined to help Deron Williams play better since the All-Star break, Nets coach Lionel Hollins asserted in an appearance with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN-AM (transcription via NetsDaily).

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Knicks, Amundson

Nerlens Noel raised some eyebrows Monday when he complimented Ish Smith seemingly at the expense of former teammate Michael Carter-Williams. The Sixers big man appeared to double down on that Tuesday when Tom Moore of Calkins Media asked him whether he thought the departure of Carter-Williams helped him develop.

“I think there’€™s a lot more fluidity in the game,”€ Noel said. “€œI think there’€™s more balance. Guys are getting more shots. The ball’s not sticking and guys are having fun playing. When you’€™re out there having fun, you feel like you can do anything on both ends of the court. … Even when we need a basket, guys know they can get a shot because the ball’s not going to stick,€ he said. If they’€™re wide open, it’™s going to be given [to them]. When you know you have an opportunity to be a part of the offense and just all-around, it’€™s just a lot more fun.

Noel has called for the Sixers to re-sign Smith, but while he may have cemented a role as a backup, Smith is an unrealistic option as the team’s point guard of the future, writes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Members of the Knicks front office expect team president Phil Jackson to make changes among their ranks as soon as the coming offseason, and that feeling predates the team’s D-League coaching move, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears.
  • Journeyman Louis Amundson had started seven games in his career before he joined the Knicks, who’ve given him 31 starts in 33 appearances. Unsurprisingly, Amundson tells Jonah Ballow of Knicks.com (video link) that he wants to re-sign with the team when his contract expires this summer. “I think Phil knows, we’ve talked a bit about it, I really appreciate the opportunity they gave me here, and I would love to be here,” Amundson said. “I would love to be a Knick next season. I know they have a lot of decision-making to do, so I’m going to leave that to them, but I think they know that I would love to be here.”
  • The lack of a one-to-one D-League affiliate for the Raptors has, at least to a degree, slowed the development of Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira, argues Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Still, GM Masai Ujiri is working on establishing one that he’d prefer to be close to Toronto, Smith notes, adding that it would cost the Raptors about $6MM to set up the arrangement.