Orlando Sanchez

Atlantic Notes: D-League, Lopez, Noel

Despite the Nets’ reported attempts to trade Brook Lopez prior to the February deadline, the big man is keeping the team in the playoff hunt, Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com writes. Over his past four games, Lopez is averaging 30.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in 36.8 minutes while shooting 65.8% from the field. Lopez has a player option worth $16,744,218 for 2015/16, and while he may want to opt out and try to secure a long-term deal given his injury history, the center might be wise to wait until the salary cap increases in 2016 to test the free agent market, Mazzeo opines.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The switch to the triangle offense has also been a difficult one for the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Westchester owns the second-worst record of the 18 teams D-League teams with a mark of 10-35. There are also rumblings that coach Kevin Whitted hasn’t been on the same page as assistant Craig Hodges all season, a league source tells Berman. There’s speculation Hodges could be Westchester’s head coach next season, according to Berman’s source.
  • Westchester has also failed to develop its younger players, Berman’s source relayed. That opinion also included that the team has filled out its roster with too many veterans. Knicks second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo was not considered not ready to play for a woeful New York squad after a season in Westchester, Berman notes. In addition, prospect Orlando Sanchez left the squad recently because of financial reasons when told he wasn’t going to be signed to an NBA deal, according to Berman.
  • Nerlens Noel has begun to prove that he can remain healthy and become a force for the Sixers, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes. Coach Brett Brown has been particularly impressed with how well the 216 pound rookie has held up this season, Howard-Cooper adds. “He’s 216 pounds and an NBA center right now,” Brown said of Noel. “We’re trying to play him as a four or a five. The fact that he’s got through it with no knee problem and only missed four games, one because of another injury and a few because of sickness, to only miss four games as a rookie, that is a hell of an effort. To take it further and zoom in on the knee, I just feel like he is heading in the right direction on all levels.”

Eastern Notes: Sanchez, Hornets, Anthony

Orlando Sanchez remains with the D-League affiliate of the Knicks and continues to seek an NBA contract, agent Brian J. Bass tells Hoops Rumors (Twitter link), even though the owner of Cangrejeros de Santurce, a Puerto Rican team, says Sanchez has signed with his club, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia relays in a pair of tweets.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The Celtics have recalled guard Andre Dawkins from the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. Dawkins has appeared in seven games for the Red Claws this season, and he is averaging 16.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 36.3 minutes per game.
  • Hawks coach and acting GM Mike Budenholzer indicated that dealing Adreian Payne to the Wolves was about creating roster flexibility, and that the trade should be taken on its own merit, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter links). Budenholzer also said that no other trades are imminent, Vivlamore adds.
  • Hornets GM Rich Cho said that he doesn’t think that Charlotte “gave up a ton” to acquire Troy Daniels and Mo Williams from the Timberwolves, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets. The Hornets shipped Gary Neal and the Heat’s 2019 second-round pick to Minnesota to complete the trade.
  • Cho also indicated that the Hornets would continue to be active up until the trade deadline, but that there was no specific need that the team would try and address, Bonnell adds (Twitter link).
  • Carmelo Anthony said that the chances of him undergoing surgery during the season on his injured knee are growing increasingly likely, Keith Schlosser of SNY.tv writes. The Knicks’ star also relayed that the procedure would keep him out a minimum of two months, which would likely sideline ‘Melo for the remainder of the season, Schlosser adds.

Atlantic Notes: Sanchez, Grant, Stevens

Orlando Sanchez remains on the Knicks‘ radar as a player worth grooming for the future, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. The 26-year-old forward currently plays for New York’s D-League affiliate in Westchester, and the Knicks envision Sanchez making their roster out of training camp next season, Berman notes. Sanchez looks at the success that Langston Galloway has had turning a 10-day deal into a new contract as a source of inspiration, Berman adds.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite Celtics coach Brad Stevens owning a career NBA record of 41-86, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insists that Stevens’ job is secure, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald writes. “When I was going through things at Butler and we were having all kinds of success, I just kept learning how important it was to just keep coaching your team,” Stevens said. “Here we’re experiencing our fair share of growing pains and it’s the same answer. Here the biggest thing is our ownership and our leadership team. They’ve been very good with me and very supportive. As I said, at the end of the day you’re just coaching your team as best as you can every day.
  • The Celtics‘ challenge of trying to field a playoff-caliber team while trying to acquire talent and draft picks for the future is one that Ainge embraces, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “I would love to see our team in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see us back into the playoffs with a really bad record and not even have a fighting chance,” Ainge said. “If our team can keep getting better by developing, if we can make some deals at the trade deadline that put us in position to actually get into the playoffs and have a chance to win a playoff series, I think that would be a lot of fun.
  • The Knicks have spoken with Horace Grant regarding a position within the organization, Andy Adler of PIX 11 News reports (Twitter link). Adler adds that the former NBA player has met with coach Derek Fisher, and that the discussions could have been about a position on Fisher’s coaching staff. Grant has ties to team president Phil Jackson, who coached Grant in Chicago and with the Lakers, and he is familiar with the triangle offense as well.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Sanchez, Nets

The Celtics versatile roster offers coach Brad Stevens a wealth of rotation possibilities, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com notes. “If you go through it, like really go through it, there’s about 150 variations of this you can go with. And more so than last year,” said Stevens. “I thought last year we were pretty hard to figure out. It’s been a fun puzzle to think about. But it’s a puzzle that’s going to figure itself out once we start practice.” The Celtics used 24 different starting lineups last season, which isn’t a great recipe for success in the NBA.

Here’s what else is happening in the Atlantic Division:

  • If Orlando Sanchez doesn’t make the Knicks opening night roster, one possibility is for him to join the New York’s D-League affiliate in Westchester, Keith Schlosser of SNY.tv writes.
  • Sanchez is loving the triangle offense that the Knicks are implementing this season, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Sanchez said, “I think my game fits the triangle very well. I’ve picked it up quickly so far. My ability to shoot, handle and pass shows in this offense. I would like to make the Knicks roster out of camp, but I also understand going to Westchester is a possibility. I think it would be a positive situation, because the team will practice at the Knicks facility and I can develop with the coaching staff.’’
  • The Nets are bringing 17 players to training camp this year. Reed Wallach of SB Nation runs down the names of the recent invitees and what they bring to the court.

And-Ones: Blazers, Payton, Amundson

The Blazers made it to the second round of the playoffs last season, which was the first time in the last 14 years that the franchise has accomplished that feat. In their season preview, the crew over at Basketball Insiders predicts that Portland will finish second in the Northwest Division, and the Blazers stronger bench may help them advance deeper in the playoffs this season.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Gary Payton is joining the Bucks coaching staff as a special advisor with the express purpose of helping Giannis Antetokounmpo make the transition to point guard, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. Antetokounmpo played the point during the Las Vegas Summer League, and the intent is for him and Milwaukee to continue with the experiment during the regular season, notes Kenendy.
  • The Cavs impending signing of Lou Amundson brings to Cleveland a player who isn’t interested in scoring, and who understands the value of a rebound, taking a charge and overall defense, all things the suddenly talent-laden Cavs need, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes.
  • Recent Knicks camp invitee Orlando Sanchez could play a big role for the team this season, Keith Schlosser of SB Nation writes in his profile of the player. With the injury history of New York’s current big men, Sanchez could prove valuable as a mid-season D-League call up, notes Schlosser.

Eastern Notes: Budenholzer, Moore, Sanchez

The recent trend in the NBA of coaches doubling as GM’s has made its way to Atlanta where Mike Budenholzer is handling both positions for the Hawks, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes. Budenholzer’s circumstances do differ from the ClippersDoc Rivers, Stan Van Gundy‘s in Detroit, and the WolvesFlip Saunders, in that he took over the extra duties due to GM Danny Ferry being forced to take a leave of absence after his racist remarks were made public, and not by design.

Here’s more out of the east:

  • E’Twaun Moore‘s minimum salary deal with the Bulls comes with a guarantee of $425K for the first year, with the second being non-guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks have guaranteed $15K of Orlando Sanchez‘s minimum salary contract, Pincus notes (Twitter link).
  • JaKarr Sampson‘s four-year, minimum salary deal with the Sixers includes a $50K guarantee for the first season according to Pincus (Twitter link). The remaining three years of the deal come with no guaranteed money.

Knicks Sign Orlando Sanchez

4:42pm: Sanchez has officially signed with the team, the Knicks announced.

2:01pm: The deal is partially guaranteed, as Zagoria reports.

1:36pm: The Knicks have a deal with undrafted St. John’s power forward Orlando Sanchez, agent Brian J. Bass tweets. Bass indicates that Sanchez has a signed contract with the team, though the Knicks have yet to make any formal announcement. The terms aren’t immediately clear, but it’ll have to be a minimum-salary contract, since that’s all the Knicks can offer, and perhaps there’s a partial guarantee attached. It’s a one-year deal, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.

Sanchez, 26, played just one season of college ball, having put up 7.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game. He didn’t stand much chance of hearing his name called on draft night, but he had predraft workouts with the Kings, Pacers and Sixers. The 6’8″ Sanchez averaged 2.2 PPG and 2.5 RPG in nearly 11 minutes per game with the Dominican Republic team in the recent FIBA World Cup.

The Knicks had been carrying 14 fully guaranteed deals and three more with partial guarantees. Samuel Dalembert has one of those partial guarantees, so there will be little opportunity for Sanchez to make the opening-night roster.

Draft Notes: McRae, Hood, Young, Suns, Smart

Earlier today, our own Zach Links (Twitter links) spoke with Tennesee guard Jordan McRae who told Hoops Rumors that he has worked out for the HeatPistons, and 76ers in addition to his previously reported audition with the Bulls.  Still on the docket for McRae are workouts with the Bucks, Raptors, Mavericks, Wizards, Pacers, and Rockets.  In total, McRae says he has “about nine” workouts to go, so there should be even more clubs on the horizon for him (link).  DraftExpress currently has McRae pegged to go to Toronto at No. 59 in their mock draft.  Here’s the latest draft news from around the league..

  • Rodney Hood, James Young, Zach LaVine, and Clint Capela are among those working out for the Suns today whom we hadn’t previously heard about. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details (Twitter links).
  • Marcus Smart says he’ll work out a second time for the Magic, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
  • The Knicks will audition Patric Young, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears (Twitter link). They brought Markel Starks in for a look this weekend, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • Orlando Sanchez has already shown off for Kings, and he’ll also do so for Pacers, as Josh Newman of SNY.tv chronicles.
  • The Bucks brought Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Cameron Clark, Josh Huestis, Melvin Johnson, Ovie Soko, and Fuquan Edwin in for auditions today, the team announced.  Our own Zach Links interviewed Huestis in April as a part of our Prospect Profile series.
  • Edwin also has the Suns on his agenda, and he’s already worked out for the Spurs, Sixers, Kings and Clippers, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel adds the Knicks and Sixers to the list of teams for which Antetokounmpo auditioned (Twitter link).
  • Bryce Cotton is headed for a workout with the Mavs on Wednesday, tweets Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.
  • DeAndre Kane, Jake Odum, Jakarr Sampson, and Okaro White are among those performing for the Grizzlies today, as Michael Cohen of The Commercial Appeal details in a subscription-only piece.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Sanchez, McRea, Williams

Here’s the latest information regarding the rapidly approaching NBA Draft:

  • Javon McRea has scheduled workouts with the Bulls, Sixers, Grizzlies, Raptors, and Magic, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). McRea is projected as a second round pick.
  • Chaz Williams is scheduled to work out for Celtics on Monday, tweets Josh Newman of SNY.tv.
  • Jerrelle Benimon will work out on Friday for the Sixers, and has workouts scheduled next week with the Knicks and Bulls, and the following week with the Hawks, Hornets, and Mavericks, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal looks at the draft prospects and workout schedule of former University of Memphis guard Joe Jackson. Smith adds the Knicks, Rockets and Mavs to the list of teams auditioning Jackson. Jackson’s college teammate Tarik Black will work out for the Grizzlies, and Geron Johnson, another ex-Tiger, will show off for the Knicks and Rockets.
  • Jordan Bachynski tweeted that he worked out for the Bulls today. The 7’2″ center is projected as a possible late second-round pick.
  • Former Nevada point guard Deonte Burton will work out for the Bucks on Thursday, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link).
  • Former St. John’s forward Orlando Sanchez is scheduled to work out with the Sixers on Friday, tweets Zagoria. Sanchez averaged 7.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.4 APG last season.
  • Daniel Leroux of RealGM breaks down the best and worst fits for each projected lottery pick in this year’s draft.

Draft Rumors: Saric, McDaniels, Agents

Now that March Madness is over, buzz surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft will no longer be generated by recent performances in the spotlight, but by workouts, interviews, game film, and team needs. Here’s the latest on the draft:

  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com updated his Insider-only Big Board today, noting that Dario Saric would be higher than No. 14 if there were more clarity on whether he intends to play in the NBA next season. Multiple sources tell Ford that he won’t, even though he’s reportedly leaning toward declaring for the draft. That seems to suggest that Saric may enter the draft, be selected, and still sign overseas.
  • Several GMs tell Ford that K.J. McDaniels is the “real sleeper” in the draft, as Ford writes in the same piece.
  • Cory Jefferson of Baylor has signed agents Mike Silverman and Brandon Grier to represent him heading into the draft, per Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Jefferson is currently projected as a second round pick.
  • Kentucky’s Julius Randle selected agent George Bass to represent him, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox will be represented by Aaron Mintz of Creative Artists Agency, per a tweet from Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Randle is projected as a high lottery pick; Wilcox is projected to be taken in the second round.
  • St. John’s Orlando Sanchez has signed with agent B.J. Bass of RBA Sports, per a tweet from Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.