Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Knicks Waive Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Two Others

8:36pm: The Knicks have confirmed that Kidd-Gilchrist has been waived, along with guards Bryce Brown and Myles Powell (Twitter link). Brown and Powell both had Exhibit 10 contracts and are likely to play for the team’s G League affiliate in Westchester.

New York is now at the roster limit for the season, with 15 guaranteed contracts and a pair of two-way players.

7:29pm: The Knicks will place veteran forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on waivers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Kidd-Gilchrist was in a difficult position because New York had 15 other players with guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. An illness slowed him throughout training camp, and he didn’t appear in any preseason games. Kidd-Gilchrist had an Exhibit 10 deal, which would have paid him the minimum salary for one year if he had made the team.

The Knicks believed it was worth gambling on the 27-year-old, who was the second overall choice in the 2012 draft. His career has sputtered in recent years, and he played a combined 25 games last season for the Hornets and Mavericks.

New York still has to trim two more players off its roster before Monday’s deadline.

Atlantic Notes: MKG, Spellman, Sixers, Nets, Durant

The Knicks have 15 players with guaranteed salaries for the 2020/21 season, which means that – on paper – their roster for the regular season appears set. However, if the team wants to hang onto veteran forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, whose deal isn’t guaranteed, one of those 15 others will have to be traded or released.

“You know who (Kidd-Gilchrist) is and he’s trying to find a way onto the roster,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said over the weekend, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “Michael’s always been a terrific competitor. Health comes first, we want him healthy and then we’ll go from there.”

It’s not clear yet whether the Knicks are committed to getting Kidd-Gilchrist – who has missed the first two preseason games with an illness – onto the regular season roster. But if he makes the team, Omari Spellman appears to be a candidate to be waived to make room, sources tell Bondy.

Spellman was dealt to New York last month along with Jacob Evans and a second-round pick in exchange for Ed Davis. That trade appeared to be mostly about the future draft pick for the Knicks, who have already cut Evans.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic liked the Sixers‘ offseason moves, which created better fits on the roster while giving the team more long-term cap flexibility. However, he still wants to see proof that the team can be more than the sum of its parts rather than less, as it was last season.
  • With a left knee contusion sidelining Caris LeVert for the Nets‘ preseason opener on Sunday, Spencer Dinwiddie got the start in his place. Head coach Steve Nash isn’t sure whether or not that arrangement might become permanent, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “Caris is a starter. Will he start for us? I’m not sure,” Nash said. “He’s so good with the ball in his hands. There’s a case to be made that he plays that (Manu) Ginobili role, where he’s clearly a starter. Manu played in All-Star games, started on the bench, ran the second unit and closed games.”
  • Kyrie Irving‘s return and Kevin Durant‘s debut for the Nets on Sunday couldn’t have gone much better, says Lewis in a separate New York Post story. While Durant didn’t quite look like peak KD, he score 15 points in 24 minutes and said after the game that he felt healthy, calling it a “good first step.”

Knicks Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Jackson Sr., G League, Playoffs

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is fighting for a roster spot with the Knicks and he hopes that his experience will help him make the 15-man opening day roster, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“It’s a talented group — young, active, lots of energy,’’ the former Hornets and Mavericks forward said. “And I’m the vet of the locker room — which is crazy. It’s my ninth year in the NBA. Just being a leader, man, on and off the court.”

Kidd-Gilchrist signed an Exhibit 10 contract after appearing in just 25 games last season.

We have more on the Knicks;

  • The Knicks are expected to hire Jaren Jackson Sr. for a role with the G League team in Westchester, N.Y., Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Jackson played 12 seasons in the NBA and is the father of Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr.
  • Westchester is expected to participate in the proposed G League bubble in Atlanta, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. NBA teams will have to pay in excess of $500K to enter their G League affiliate. The Atlanta “bubble” season would last for one month, likely starting in late January, with a minimum of 12 games that may increase to 15-16 games, plus a potential playoff schedule.
  • Coach Tom Thibodeau believes this season’s 10-team postseason format for both conferences gives his team a fighting chance to end its playoff drought, Berman writes in a separate story. “I think it makes it interesting,’’ Thibodeau said. “Obviously, where we are, hopefully we’ll have a shot at that. It’s something that we have to work towards.” 

Knicks Sign Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

1:04pm: The signing is official, according to the team’s PR department (Twitter link).

9:16am: The Knicks have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The deal is expected to be an Exhibit 10 contract for Kidd-Gilchrist, per Newsday’s Steve Popper (Twitter link), which is essentially a non-guaranteed, one-year minimum-salary deal.

Regarded as a solid defender, Kidd-Gilchrist has ties to the current Knicks organization as current president Leon Rose represented him at CAA and is longtime friends with executive vice president and senior basketball adviser William Wesley. The 27-year-old appeared in just 25 games between the Hornets and Mavericks last season after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Charlotte organization.

The Kentucky product was taken second overall by the then-Charlotte Bobcats in the 2012 NBA Draft and subsequently developed into a solid starter for the team. After three solid seasons, the Hornets rewarded Kidd-Gilchrist with a four-year, $52MM contract extension in August 2015.

Right shoulder injuries limited him to just seven games in his first season post-extension in 2015/16 but Kidd-Gilchrist returned to start 81 games and then 74 games in the two campaigns proceeding it. However, starting in 2018, Kidd-Gilchrist lost his starting role whilst battling a barrage of injuries.

Ultimately, Kidd-Gilchrist fell out of the rotation and was waived by the Hornets earlier this year before latching on with Dallas for 13 games down the stretch.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist On Knicks’ Radar

Veteran forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is on the Knicks‘ radar as a potential free agent target, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

As Berman explains, there are a handful of reasons why Kidd-Gilchrist appeals to New York — he’s a defensive-minded player who would fit in under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, and the Knicks view him as a “solid locker room guy.”

Additionally, Kidd-Gilchrist has ties to coaches and executives who have joined the Knicks organization over the course of the year. The former No. 2 overall pick played his college ball at Kentucky under new Knicks assistant Kenny Payne, and is a client of CAA, the agency Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose ran before joining the franchise.

While Kidd-Gilchrist may draw some interest from teams in need of another wing defender, he’s not expected to command a significant salary. The Knicks view him as someone who could help shore up their defense off the bench at a modest price, according to Berman, who notes that the team is unlikely to re-sign free agent forward Maurice Harkless.

Kidd-Gilchrist spent the first seven-and-a-half years of his career in Charlotte, averaging 8.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 433 total games (25.1 MPG) for the club. He was bought out after last season’s trade deadline and joined the Mavericks for the stretch run, but played sparingly for Dallas. Having made just 27.2% of his 103 career three-point attempts, Kidd-Gilchrist can’t be relied upon as a floor spacer.

Injury Updates: Crawford, Muscala, Baynes, MKG, Len

The last time Jamal Crawford appeared in an NBA game, on April 9, 2019, he poured in 51 points. His return to action today for the Nets wasn’t quite as successful.

After being cleared to play for the shorthanded Nets against Milwaukee, Crawford came off the bench and racked up five points and three assists in six minutes, but the veteran guard was forced to leave the game early after suffering a left hamstring injury (Twitter link via team).

It’s not clear yet whether the injury is a minor one that Crawford could return from soon, or if it may jeopardize his availability for the remainder of the season. We’re hoping for the former, but we’ll have to wait for an update from the Nets, who have had some awful health luck this summer.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Thunder big man Mike Muscala suffered a concussion during Monday’s loss to Denver and has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol, the club announced today in a press release. Muscala has played limited minutes (12.6 MPG) for Oklahoma City this season, so his absence won’t have a major impact on the team’s rotation.
  • Suns center Aron Baynes, who joined the team late after recovering from the coronavirus, remains unavailable for Tuesday’s game vs. the Clippers, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “(He) had a really light practice yesterday,” head coach Monty Williams said. “Didn’t do much on the court at all. 3-on-3, 4-on-4, 5-on-5. So (he won’t play) at this point.”
  • A pair of players were active for the first time this summer in Tuesday afternoon’s Mavericks/Kings game. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was cleared to play for the Mavs (Twitter link via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News), while Alex Len was available for Sacramento (Twitter link via team). Both players arrived late to the Orlando campus — Kidd-Gilchrist for personal reasons and Len due to COVID-19.

Southwest Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Grizzlies, Curry, Johnson

Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finally joined the Mavericks at the Orlando campus on Saturday, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend, and explained that his late arrival was due to personal reasons, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “I had some personal things I had to handle in my family,” he said. “I’m just happy to be here.” Guard Trey Burke still hasn’t joined the team but he should arrive soon, Townsend adds.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The extended layoff will result in a new look for the Grizzlies’ rotation, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes. Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen are healthy again and the first three will play major roles in Memphis’ aim to make the playoffs.
    [UPDATE: Grizzlies’ Winslow Out For Season With Hip Injury]
  • Seth Curry said his success with the Mavericks is due in large part to coach Rick Carlisle’s faith in him, he told Dwain Price of the team’s website. Curry, who signed a four-year, $32MM deal last summer, is averaging 12.6 PPG in 24.5 MPG while making 45.3% of his 3-pointers this season. “He allows me to play on and off the ball, and he just gives me a lot of opportunities and a lot of minutes,” Curry said. “He’s given me the most minutes of my career so far and it allows me to get better as the season goes along, so it’s been a great fit for both of us.”
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has stated he’s more interested in player development than securing a playoff spot in Orlando. That will benefit a player like 20-year-old rookie swingman Keldon Johnson, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News writes. “I just love the chance to get out there and show what I can do,” he said. The late first-round pick in the June 2019 draft averaged 7.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.3 SPG in the last four games before the hiatus.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Harden, Howard, MKG, Brunson

The Grizzlies will enter the NBA’s restart with a healthier roster than they’ve had all season, creating what Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com refers to as a “welcome dilemma” for Taylor Jenkins. Memphis has already exceeded expectations this year despite dealing with some injuries — now the team will have added depth to allow Jenkins to try to find even more effective lineup combinations.

“We’re sorting through different combinations, but not trying to lose the lineups that were successful for us to this point,” the Grizzlies’ head coach said. “We’re going to have some really tough decisions to make, but that only means you have some great depth. We’re built on competing. We’re always prepared to have 17 guys ready to go at any given moment.”

Besides having Justise Winslow – acquired at the trade deadline – available for the first time this summer, the Grizzlies will also have Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke back in their lineup. Jackson had missed the team’s nine games leading up to the hiatus in March, while Clarke had been out for eight games.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • James Harden, whose arrival at the Walt Disney World campus was delayed, is expected to practice with the Rockets for the first time on Thursday, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The club is still waiting on Russell Westbrook and Luc Mbah a Moute.
  • French club ASVEL Basket announced today in a press release that it has finalized a two-year deal with swingman William Howard. It’s an unusual update, since Howard technically remains on a two-way contract with the Rockets — at least for now. Presumably, Howard is on track to join ASVEL Basket when his current deal expires.
  • Mavericks forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had yet to join the team at the Disney campus as of Wednesday evening, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Head coach Rick Carlisle didn’t offer any specifics on Kidd-Gilchrist’s absence: We’re working to get him here logistically and we hope that it happens soon.”
  • With injuries to Jalen Brunson and Courtney Lee affecting the Mavericks‘ backcourt rotation, the team may lean more heavily on Delon Wright when play resumes, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Speaking of Brunson, he isn’t with the club in Orlando and won’t play this summer, having remained in Dallas for rehab purposes, Carlisle confirmed today (Twitter links via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).

Hornets Notes: Hernangomez, MKG, Point Guard

Willy Hernangomez played just 72 total minutes in the Hornets‘ first 40 games, but he has seen fairly regular playing time off the bench for the team over the last month. As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes, head coach James Borrego attributes Hernangomez’s increased role in large part to his improved effort on the defensive end.

“The video and the numbers demonstrate to me that he’s making a bigger impact at that end of the floor than he has in the past,” Borrego said. “(He’s) challenging more shots at the rim.”

Hernangomez will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and while his modest overall role may suggest he’s not in the Hornets’ future plans, he still has an opportunity to make a good final impression on the team over the last 20 games or so this season. Charlotte will also have plenty of cap flexibility moving forward if the club wants to re-sign him. For his part, the 25-year-old big man says he’s just happy to be getting the opportunity to show what he can do.

“You always want to play a lot of minutes, you always want to play in all the games, you want to help your team win,” Hernangomez said. “So in the beginning, it was a very disappointing season because we were losing and I could not help the team. But I think after the trade deadline, I got a new, fresh start.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who spent seven-and-a-half seasons in Charlotte before being bought out last month, wrote a farewell letter to the city and Hornets fans at The Players’ Tribune. Kidd-Gilchrist, who said that “a true love affair developed between me and the city of Charlotte” after he was drafted second overall by the team in 2012, wrote that he’ll “always remember how good you all were to me” despite the Hornets’ lack of playoff success.
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer argues that the Hornets should seriously consider signing a veteran point guard to help ease the workload on Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier down the stretch. Joe Chealey, on a 10-day contract, is currently filling a backup role, but Bonnell makes the case that Charlotte could use a more experienced option — Chealey has appeared in just four career games.
  • In case you missed it, Bismack Biyombo said earlier this week that he could have gotten a buyout from the Hornets after the deadline, but opted not to. Here’s our full story on that.

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Bryant, Kidd-Gilchrist, Sonju

Luka Doncic is a little bit starstruck as prepares for his first experience in the All-Star Game, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic will start for Team LeBron in tonight’s game, but first came a weekend that included the Rising Stars Challenge, practice sessions with a more experienced group of All-Stars and a chance to interact with legends of the game, including a Jordan Brand party Friday night where he met Michael Jordan for the first time.

“It was something amazing,” Doncic said. “I was too nervous. I forgot to ask him for a picture.”

A few days shy of his 21st birthday, Doncic will become the youngest European to ever play in the All-Star Game, Townsend notes. He’s the sixth-youngest starter in the game’s history and the youngest since LeBron James was a starter 15 years ago. His coaches will include former Mavericks guard and current Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, who will help run Team LeBron as part of Frank Vogel’s staff.

“I told [Doncic] we’re going to play him 40 of the 48 minutes,” Kidd joked. “When you’re young, you can play all the minutes in the world. So there won’t be any load management.”

There’s more Mavericks news to pass along:

  • One of the most memorable moments of Doncic’s second NBA season was the night in Staples Center when Kobe Bryant trash talked him in Slovenian. The encounter took on added significance with Bryant’s death a few weeks later. Marc Stein of The New York Times says Bryant picked up the off-color phrases from former teammate Sasha Vujacic. “It’s going to be one moment that I remember for the rest of my life,” Doncic said. “Obviously I was hoping there would be more times with him, maybe even practice with him some day, but a terrible thing happened.”
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is grateful for the opportunity to restart his career in Dallas after reaching a buyout with the Hornets, relays Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, and the Mavs believe he can be a valuable contributor as the games become more important. “The guy has a reputation for being a gamer and a hell of a competitor,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • Mavericks co-founder Norm Sonju received the Jerry Colangelo Award at Saturday’s All-Star breakfast, according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com. The award recognizes someone in management who lives an exemplary life on and off the court and while expressing high character, leadership and faith. Sonju served as team president and general manager before retiring in 1996.