Norman Powell

Atlantic Notes: Bridges, Simmons, Powell, Uzoh

Mikal Bridges‘ performance in the World Cup should confirm the Nets’ confidence that he can be their team leader, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Bridges already had a major breakthrough after being acquired in the Kevin Durant trade in February, increasing his scoring average from 17.2 PPG in 56 games with Phoenix to 26.1 in 27 games with Brooklyn. He also proved to be effective in international basketball, finishing as Team USA’s second-leading scorer behind Anthony Edwards. Lewis points out that Bridges had the best efficiency rating on the team as a result of his shooting percentages (63.3% from the floor and 55.6% from behind the arc) and his contributions on defense.

U.S. coach Steve Kerr was impressed by what Bridges and Nets teammate Cameron Johnson were able to bring to the team.

“I already knew what kind of players they were from coaching against them,” Kerr said. “But they’re so mature: There’s a calming sense from both guys. And they’re also modern-day basketball players: shoot the three, guard multiple positions, long athletically. They’re huge components to this team.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets will be one of the teams least affected by the NBA’s new Player Participation Policy, Lewis adds. The regulations put restrictions on the amount of rest permissible for star players, but the only Net who currently qualifies is Ben Simmons, who has been dealing with legitimate injuries ever since arriving in Brooklyn. Lewis notes that Bridges could eventually join Simmons if he becomes an All-Star this season, but he hasn’t missed a game in his NBA career.
  • In an interview with Fix Media Network (video link) Clippers guard Norman Powell said it’s much easier to go out in public in Los Angeles without being recognized than it was when he played for the Raptors (hat tip to Fan Nation). “The support is crazy,” Powell said of playing in Canada. “It’s so bad, and it’s one thing that I do like now that I’m in L.A., because no matter where you’re at, eyes are on you in Canada. You can’t even go to restaurants, you can’t go to the mall, like you can’t walk down the street. … Don’t go to Vancouver or somewhere where they don’t have the Raptors, you’re getting mobbed, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Ben Uzoh, who briefly played for the Raptors in 2012, has joined the organization as a scout, tweets Blake Murphy of

Eastern Notes: DeRozan, Turner, Simmons, Powell

All-Star Bulls small forward DeMar DeRozan is eligible for a four-year contract extension worth up to $179MM, prompting K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago to consider the case for Chicago’s retention of the 34-year-old wing.

Across his two seasons with the Bulls, DeRozan has posted impressive regular season averages of 26.2 PPG, 5.0 APG and 4.9 RPG. Chicago returned to the playoffs in one of those two seasons, falling in five quick games to the Bucks in 2022.

Johnson believes that the Bulls might want to consider keeping DeRozan on a deal closer to Khris Middleton‘s new three-year, $102MM agreement with Milwaukee, and wonders if the three-time All-NBA honoree and Chicago could come to terms on a new contract that would make both sides happy.

There’s more out of the East:

  • Three-and-D Pacers center Myles Turner is hoping to elevate his shooting to an elite level this season. The 6’11” big man indicated in a new conversation with hosts Alex Golden and Michael Facci on their Setting The Pace podcast (h/t to Tony East of All Pacers for the transcription) that he wants to join the 50/40/90 shooting club, something few players in league history have ever done. “Working on multiple things,” Turner said. “Obviously, still improving my shot. Get my numbers up there. I really strive to be like a 50/40/90 guy… I think it’s possible… a lofty goal at that, but something I know I’m capable of doing.” In 2022/23, Turner averaged 18.0 PPG on .548/.373/.783 shooting splits, along with 7.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.4 APG and 0.6 SPG. He has never shot better than 80.9% from the charity stripe in a single season, or better than 38.8% on three-pointers.
  • The revamped Nets are hoping that former All-Star point guard Ben Simmons can return to his winning ways. Simmons was out of the team’s rotation by the end of the year. Per Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, a recent site survey shows that a majority of fans (62%) are optimistic Simmons will be the club’s starting point guard in April. 87% of Brooklyn fans are also convinced that the team will win more than 38 contests in 2023/24.
  • Clippers reserve guard Norman Powell recently looked back on the 2021 trade that sent him from the Raptors to the Trail Blazers (Twitter video link via Basketball On X). “I didn’t want to leave Toronto,” Powell revealed. “I wanted to stay. The core that we had with Fred [VanVleet], Pascal [Siakam], OG [Anunoby], me, could’ve been what Boston Celtics are today.”

Fischer’s Latest: Lillard, Harden, Saric, Christopher, N. Powell

After a busy first two days of free agency on Friday and Saturday, the pace has slowed down on Sunday and Monday, with minimum-salary deals, rookie agreements, and two-way signings dominating headlines at Hoops Rumors.

While that shift is partly due to the fact that most of this year’s top free agents have come off the board, it’s also related to the trade requests submitted by Damian Lillard and James Harden, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who suggests that neither the Trail Blazers nor the Sixers are in a rush to make a deal. Some areas of the free agency market may be on hold until those situations are resolved, Fischer explains.

For instance, the Heat – who are Lillard’s top suitor – have told several free agents, including Malik Beasley, that they won’t be moving forward with veteran’s minimum signings until they have more clarity on the Lillard situation. Miami would presumably be a more attractive destination for veteran free agents with Lillard on the roster — and would have more roster openings to fill.

According to Fischer, Dario Saric and Josh Christopher are among the players who “could be involved” with the Heat depending on what happens with Lillard. Saric is a free agent, while Christopher is reportedly being traded from Houston to Memphis, so perhaps there are scenarios in which he’d be re-routed to Miami. Beasley apparently decided not to wait on the Heat, having agreed to sign with Milwaukee.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • Like Lillard with the Heat, Harden has conveyed a strong preference that he end up with the Clippers, according to Fischer. The fact that the two stars are each focused on a single destination is one reason why the Trail Blazers and Sixers are moving so deliberately, Fischer notes, since they don’t want to be “backed into a corner” and accept pennies on the dollar. It will be a challenge for Portland and Philadelphia to extract the best possible package they can for their respective stars without opening up the market to other teams, either as potential Lillard/Harden destinations or as third or fourth clubs in multi-team deals that get the star guards to their desired landing spots.
  • The Clippers appear better positioned to work out a deal with the Sixers for Harden than the Heat are with the Trail Blazers for Lillard, in part because Philadelphia is prioritizing expiring contracts and Los Angeles has plenty of those to offer, Fischer says. Still, he wonders if Clippers swingman Norman Powell – who has three years left on his contract – might hold some appeal for the Sixers, whose new head coach Nick Nurse had Powell on his 2019 title team in Toronto.
  • The fact that Harden has just one year left on his contract – compared to Lillard’s four – may make a dark-horse suitor more comfortable about rolling the dice on the Sixers guard, knowing that if it doesn’t go well, he’ll be off the books in a year and it won’t be a long-term problem, Fischer writes. On the other hand, team executives around the NBA aren’t necessarily convinced that Lillard, who has a reputation for being a consummate professional and can’t reach free agency until at least 2026, would play hardball and refuse to report to camp if he’s sent to a non-Heat team, Fischer adds.

Trade Rumors: Harden, Bulls, Zubac, Brogdon, Osman, Morris

There’s no urgency for the Sixers to complete a James Harden trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Friday in an appearance on “Get Up” (video link). Even though Harden has asked to be dealt and seems to prefer the Clippers, Wojnarowski notes that the track record of president of basketball operations Daryl Morey suggests he’ll explore all available possibilities before committing to a deal.

“You may let free agency settle,” Wojnarowski said, “see where players land, see where needs arise for different teams that might not be interested today but could be in a few days. I don’t anticipate necessarily that this is going to be quick because it doesn’t have to.”

Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times also hears that a Harden trade may not happen right away. He cites league sources who said they’ll be watching how patient the Sixers decide to be and what they’ll be seeking in return. Greif names Terance Mann as a player the Clippers might be reluctant to include in a Harden deal.

There are more trade rumors to pass along:

  • The Bulls may be an option for Harden, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Chicago has already explored trade scenarios regarding Zach LaVine and might be willing to part with DeMar DeRozan to acquire Harden. Fischer also cautions that Morey has a lot of options to consider before deciding how to handle Harden’s trade request.
  • The Clippers, who would like to re-sign Mason Plumlee have let teams know that Ivica Zubac is available in a trade, Fischer adds. L.A. may also have interest in acquiring P.J. Tucker in a Harden deal, as Fischer notes that the Clippers previously reached out to him when he was a free agent.
  • The Clippers pulled out of an original version of the three-team Kristaps Porzingis trade because of medical concerns regarding Malcolm Brogdon, but they recently contacted the Celtics about Brogdon again, according to Fischer. L.A. was also willing to offer Norman Powell to the Wizards for Chris Paul before the Warriors landed him in exchange for Jordan Poole, Fischer states.
  • Fischer hears that the Cavaliers are engaged in trade talks regarding Cedi Osman and offered him to the Nets in a deal for Dorian Finney-Smith or Royce O’Neale.
  • Numerous teams have reached out to the Wizards about point guard Monte Morris, Fischer adds. The Timberwolves, Bulls, Pelicans, Jazz and Nets are all considered possibilities for Morris, and Fischer believes the Heat could be added to the list if they lose Gabe Vincent in free agency.

Trade Rumors: LaVine, Garland, Rockets, Clippers, Blazers, Bucks

The Bulls have engaged with “several” teams about the possibility of a Zach LaVine trade this offseason, but haven’t gotten serious about moving the high-scoring guard, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer explains, LaVine’s pricey long-term contract will make potential trade partners wary about giving up a substantial package of players and draft picks, but the Bulls would be seeking a return that far outweighs what Washington got for Bradley Beal last week.

Fischer names the Knicks and Mavericks as possible teams to watch for LaVine, but immediately throws cold water on the likelihood of either club emerging as a legitimate suitor in the near future. New York seems to be taking a more patient approach to building its roster, according to Fischer, who adds that Dallas was viewed as a more serious threat for LaVine before acquiring Kyrie Irving as a co-star for Luka Doncic.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • Despite some speculation to the contrary, the Cavaliers haven’t had any discussions about trading Darius Garland and have no intention to move the All-Star point guard, sources tell Chris Fedor of (Twitter link). The Cavs appear focused on pursuing roster moves that don’t involve trading any of their four cornerstone players (Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen).
  • In addition to Kenyon Martin Jr., the Rockets have gauged potential trade interest in young players like Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher, sources tell Fischer.
  • Norman Powell and Marcus Morris have both been mentioned in recent days as trade candidates. According to Fischer, the Clippers have been canvassing the league to see what a package of both players might return.
  • No clear suitors have emerged for guard Anfernee Simons, who looks like the Trail Blazers‘ most obvious trade chip, says Fischer. According to Fischer, the Blazers and Cavaliers had some brief talks about Nassir Little prior to the draft, but didn’t gain any real traction toward a deal.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the latest episode of his Lowe Post podcast that the Bucks had some “relatively serious” internal conversations about John Collins before he was dealt to Utah. “I do think Milwaukee is looking around for, like, ‘Can we get a little injection of randomness? (An) injection of, like, bounce and athleticism, and just change?'” Lowe said. “Maybe just change more than anything else. But I don’t think (the Collins interest) went anywhere serious.”

Trade Rumors: Lillard, Valanciunas, N. Powell, Wizards, K. Martin

Following Monday’s meeting with Damian Lillard and his agent, Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin put out a brief statement indicating that the team remains committed to building around its star point guard. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday morning (YouTube link), Brian Windhorst provided some additional information on how that meeting went.

“This was the meeting that a lot of the league was watching to see if Damian Lillard requested a trade, and he absolutely did not,” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM). “From what I understand, the tenor of the meeting was that he doesn’t want to put pressure on the Blazers, that he wants to see what they do in free agency, and he’s going to give them that time do that.

“This is an interesting strategy move. He said at the end of the season ‘Get me veterans.’ The draft came and went, no veterans. He’s still not pressing, from what I have been told. He’s still going to give the Blazers every opportunity to work through this free agency process this week, whether it’s through trades or signing players.”

As Windhorst points out, given that no trade request from Lillard seems imminent, teams like the Heat – who were reportedly preparing to make a trade offer for the Blazers star – might have to move forward with their other offseason moves rather than hoping that Lillard’s situation will change.

“This is going to potentially cause some teams that were going to make offers for him to have move on with business,” Windhorst said. “They were waiting to see whether Dame Lillard was going to be on the market before they started to make moves this week. Now, some teams are going to have to make a decision either go forward or wait around. Lillard is going to wait around.”

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans have made center Jonas Valanciunas available in trade talks as they seek out a big man who is more mobile and more of a rim protector, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says New Orleans inquired with the Cavaliers about Jarrett Allen‘s availability. Cleveland has reportedly rebuffed all inquiries for Allen.
  • Clippers swingman Norman Powell is another veteran who is considered available on the trade market, Fischer reports, adding that Powell’s name popped up in rumors when L.A. was trying to acquire Chris Paul from Washington.
  • Speaking of the Wizards, even after flipping Paul to Golden State, they’re still looking to move on from one or two more of their veteran point guards. Sources tell Fischer that Washington is seeking draft assets for Monte Morris and/or Delon Wright.
  • The Rockets have been engaging in more trade talks involving Kenyon Martin Jr. since last week’s draft, Fischer writes. While it’s not clear exactly which teams Houston has talked to recently, Fischer says the Hawks, Suns, and Nets have been cited as possible suitors for Martin dating back to the trade deadline in February.

Trade Rumors: T. Jones, Hawks, Spurs, Wolves, Jazz, Sexton

The Grizzlies are exploring the possibility of trading reserve point guard Tyus Jones, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

It’s an interesting rumor, given that starting point guard Ja Morant is expected to miss at least the first 25 games of the 2023/24 season due to a suspension. Jones, one of the league’s top backups, would presumably be promoted to the starting five if he remains in Memphis through the offseason, but apparently that’s not a given.

According to Fischer, with Dillon Brooks expected to move on in free agency, the Grizzlies are making it a priority to upgrade their wing depth. Fischer notes that the Spurs talked to Jones last summer before he re-signed with Memphis, but are probably unlikely to pursue him again this offseason after his brother Tre Jones emerged as San Antonio’s starter.

The Raptors (OG Anunoby) and the Clippers (several wings) are among the other teams that could make sense as destinations for Jones, Fischer writes, though Toronto may re-sign Fred VanVleet and has set a high asking price for Anunoby. Eric Gordon, Norman Powell, and Marcus Morris are among the veterans the Clippers could offer in a deal for Jones, according to Fischer, adding that Morris has been viewed as a trade candidate by rival teams since he fell out of the rotation near the end of last season.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, league sources have linked the Hawks to several teams in trade discussions, including the Celtics, Raptors, and Mavericks. O’Connor reiterates that Pascal Siakam is a player of interest for Atlanta, which Fischer previously reported.
  • There are rumblings that the Spurs are looking to acquire a second lottery selection in addition to their No. 1 pick, according to O’Connor, who wonders if the team might package its second-round picks (Nos. 33 and 44) with a “rising player” to try to move up. For what it’s worth, Spurs GM Brian Wright was asked if the team would consider moving Devin Vassell or Keldon Johnson in a deal for a first-round pick and said no, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “With this team we want to see what we have,” Wright said. “We have a group that has worked really hard. Where they were last year may not be what they are in the future. We want to see how things blend together.”
  • The Timberwolves, who currently hold only the No. 53 pick in Thursday’s draft, have been making inquiries to see if they could get into the first round, but haven’t gained traction on a deal, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • As ESPN suggested earlier today, the Jazz have contacted the Pistons about the possibility of trading up to No. 5 in the draft using the Nos. 9 and 16 picks, according to Fischer. However, while ESPN’s report indicated that Jarace Walker may be Utah’s target, Fischer suggests rival teams think the Jazz are after Anthony Black.
  • The Jazz have made veteran guard Collin Sexton available in trade talks, sources tell Fischer. Sexton has three years and $54.5MM left on the contract he signed a year ago.

Clippers Notes: Powell, Leonard, Current Era

Clippers guard Norman Powell is not backing down from the challenge of replacing injured star’s Kawhi Leonard‘s output in L.A.’s series with the Suns, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Powell started with Leonard out on Thursday, and poured in 42 points in a narrow defeat to Phoenix. Though he couldn’t hope to replicate Leonard’s defensive contributions, he played his role as a scorer admirably. Head coach Tyronn Lue noted that Powell’s work ethic has prepared him for moments like this.

“When you put that kind of work in, every single day, just grinding every single day, you’re going to play well,” Lue said.

There’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • Leonard’s impact on both sides of the hardwood is hard to replace, Greif notes in a separate piece. Leonard scored or assisted on 45% of L.A.’s offense across the series’ first two games, and had guarded Suns All-Star forward Kevin Durant a team-most 53 possessions through those two bouts.
  • Although he has already been ruled out for today’s matinee against Phoenix, Leonard has merely been considered day-to-day for Los Angeles. However, it now sounds like his knee sprain injury could keep him out longer than initially anticipated, per Chris Haynes of NBA TV (Twitter video link). “The Clippers are still ruling him day-to-day with a right knee sprain, and what we know is that this injury is not connected to the ACL tear that he suffered two years ago, but it is the same knee,” Haynes said. “So that is worrisome right there. But there is no timetable as of right now, we don’t know when Kawhi is going to return, they’re still putting… hope out there that he could at some point, but it’s not looking good.”
  • This mid-series Leonard injury represents just the newest impediment to what has been an incredibly disappointing Clippers era, opines Law Murray of The Athletic. Leonard and All-Star Clippers forward Paul George have been beset by injuries at inopportune times for years, and the team has never lived up to the championship expectations it had when the two stars joined forces in the 2019 offseason.

Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon Named Sixth Man Of The Year

Celtics reserve combo guard Malcolm Brogdon has been named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for 2022/23, the league announced on Thursday (Twitter link).

In his first season with the Celtics following a 2022 trade from Indiana, Brogdon averaged 14.9 PPG on .484/.444/.870 shooting splits. Across 67 games, the 6’5″ guard also chipped in 4.2 RPG, 3.7 APG and 0.7 SPG, and was a critical component on both sides of the ball during Boston’s 57-25 season.

Brogdon is the first Celtic to win the honor since eventual Hall of Fame center Bill Walton did so for the 1986 title team, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Brogdon’s Celtics are currently leading the Hawks 2-0 in their ongoing first-round playoff series.

As the NBA announced last week, the three finalists for the honor were Brogdon, Bucks backup big man Bobby Portis, and Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley. Each would have been a first-time winner.

According to the NBA, Quickley was the runner-up in Sixth Man voting over Portis, Clippers guard Norman Powell and Kings guard Malik Monk. Brogdon received 60 first-place votes and 408 overall points, while Quickley got 34 first-place votes and 326 points. Portis earned the remaining six first-place votes and 97 points.

A total of 10 players earned at least one vote.

Earlier this week, All-Star Grizzlies power forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox was honored as the NBA’s first-ever Clutch Player of the Year, and his Sacramento head coach Mike Brown won his second Coach of the Year award.

A global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted on all of this season’s awards recipients. The Rookie of the Year, MVP and Executive of the Year have yet to be named.

California Notes: Powell, Thompson, Kings, Lakers

Clippers reserve guard Norman Powell appears to be rediscovering his fighting form of late. In his most recent contest, a 125-118 win over the Lakers Wednesday, Powell notched a team-high 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.

“I think it’s like my fourth game back coming off injury after missing 11 games so it was just being prepared and just staying mentally locked in and as (head coach Tyronn) Lue says, not playing so angry,” Powell said. “It just shows how much I love the game and how much I commit to it, and my preparation every single day.”

Playing in his first full season with the Clippers, the 6’3″ swingman is averaging 16.7 PPG on .476/.404/.815 shooting splits. All but eight of his 58 healthy contests have come off the team’s bench.

There’s more out of California:

  • Starting Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been dealing with a sore back of late, but head coach Steve Kerr said on Friday that the 6’7″ vet is feeling better and was a full practice participant today, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets.
  • The 48-32 Kings could be without several notable players against the Warriors tonight, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee tweets. All-Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are both questionable with ankle injuries. Shooting guard Kevin Huerter is managing his own injury, while rookie power forward Keegan Murray has a foot ailment. The statuses of forward Trey Lyles and guards Davion Mitchell and Malik Monk are also up-in-the-air. If Sacramento wins out and the Grizzlies lose out, the Kings would be able to secure the West’s second seed by benefit of a tiebreaker, but it appears the team is happy with its current No. 3 seed.
  • Despite a clean injury sheet, the healthy Lakers‘ loss against a Clippers team missing All-Star forward Paul George exposes the club as being less than title-caliber, opines Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times. Plaschke notes that stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James were clearly playing through ailments, and the rest of the team failed to step up to meet the moment.