Roy Hibbert

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Tatum, Simmons, Dinwiddie

According to Ian Begley of, discussions between the Nets and veteran forward Lance Thomas have centered around Thomas having a regular season roster spot.

The Nets have 15 players on guaranteed deals and can add an extra player to their roster during the last 20 games of Wilson Chandler‘s 25-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. When that suspension is over, however, the Nets would have to waive Thomas or someone else to get back to 15 players.

Begley adds that Thomas has a good relationship with Kevin Durant from their days together in Oklahoma City, so that will only help Thomas’ chances of staying on with the Nets should he be signed.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says that Jayson Tatum is ready to go for the opening of camp next Tuesday, telling Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that Tatum is “fine” after suffering an ankle sprain while playing for the U.S. national team. “He’s ready to go from what I’ve been told… I don’t know if he will do anything 5-on-5 this week, but we anticipate no issues when camp starts next week. At least, that’s the latest that I got.”
  • The Sixers have officially announced several new hires and promotions for the 2019/20 season, including the addition of former NBA big man Roy Hibbert as the team’s new player development specialist, which was reported back in August.
  • Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons tells Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press that he found his love of the game again this summer. “I kind of got back to who I was and having fun with the game. I felt like the past season I lost that enjoyment side of it but I feel like this summer has been huge for me. Just the work I’ve been putting in, I kinda fell in love with putting that work in again and I’ve been in the gym every day working and the results have been paying off so I’m excited for the season to start.”
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic sat down with Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to get some more details on how the 26-year-old is turning his contract into a digital investment vehicle.

Sixers Hire Roy Hibbert As Player Development Coach

Former NBA big man Roy Hibbert is transitioning into coaching, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the Sixers have hired Hibbert in a player development coaching role.

A two-time All-Star as a player, Hibbert looked like a franchise cornerstone for the Pacers in the early 2010s, but his production and effectiveness fell off a cliff several years ago. After making stops with the Lakers, Hornets, and Nuggets during his final two NBA seasons, the 7’2″ center hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2016/17 season.

Although he’s still only 32 years old, Hibbert has seemingly given up on the idea of making an NBA comeback, and is now looking to begin his coaching career. He’ll get his start on Brett Brown‘s staff in Philadelphia, which is headlined by assistants Ime Udoka and Jim O’Brien.

The O’Brien connection is worth noting — the current 76ers assistant was Hibbert’s head coach in Indiana during the center’s first three years in the league.

And-Ones: Age Limit, Summer League, Hibbert, Toupane

As we’ve relayed previously, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced during an NBA Board of Governors meetings in Las Vegas last week that the NBA is ready to make changes to its age limit, thereby potentially allowing high school seniors the opportunity to jump straight to the NBA once again.

However, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, teams have been told privately by league officials not to expect a change to the age limit until the 2022 NBA Draft at the earliest.

Assuming the 2022 NBA Draft allows high school players to jump directly to the NBA, players entering their freshman year of high school this fall will be the first ones to benefit from this potential rule change.

As for any trades that could be affected by this, no team has as yet traded an unprotected 2022 first-rounder, and the only one that could potentially change hands at this point was sent by the Mavericks to the Hawks in order to move up in this year’s draft and select Luka Doncic.

It will be interesting to see whether teams will be wary of trading draft picks in 2022 and beyond before a final ruling is made on this issue.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • In a Q&A piece for ESPN, several different writers spoke about who they believed to be the standouts and disappointments from this year’s NBA Summer League. Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Deandre Ayton were among the rookies recognized, while John Collins and Josh Hart were two players who were mentioned as probably too good to have even played in this year’s summer league.
  • In an interview with TMZ Sports, former NBA player Roy Hibbert says that he is done playing professional basketball, explaining that “It’s just time to move on.” Hibbert, 31, was named an All-Star as recently as 2014, but saw his impact dwindle over his last few years in the league as he got older and the game got smaller and quicker.
  • French forward Axel Toupane, who appeared in 25 total NBA regular season games in 2016 and 2017, has signed with EuroLeague club Olympiacos B.C. after helping lead Zalgiris Kaunas to the EuroLeague Final Four last season, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Bucks Interested In Malik Monk

In addition to looking for help at center, the Bucks are reportedly interested in potentially acquiring a shooting guard before next week’s trade deadline.

According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, one possible candidate is Hornets‘ rookie Malik Monk, who has fallen out of Charlotte’s rotation while working to improve his defense and adjust to the NBA game. League sources tell Woelfel that the Bucks have contacted Charlotte about Monk.

Woelfel adds that there is apparently a split in the Hornets’ hierarchy as to whether the team should hold on to Monk or move him. As highlighted before and mentioned above, the 19-year-old Monk has struggled for much of his rookie season, averaging a lowly 5.2 points per game on 33% shooting from the floor.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Monk’s best game of the season came against Milwaukee on November 1, when he poured in 25 points on five of eight from long range.

The Bucks are currently over the salary cap, but possess a $5MM trade exception that was created when they traded Roy Hibbert to Denver last season. The team also has some non-essential players that could be included in trades for salary-matching purposes.

Chinese Team Considers Long, Humphries, Hibbert

The Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association are looking at three players with recent NBA experience, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

With an injury to former Wizard and Net Andray Blatche, the team reportedly has interest in Shawn LongKris Humphries and Roy Hibbert.

Long, 24, was waived by the Rockets in late September before his salary for next season became guaranteed. He showed promise during 18 games with the Sixers last season, but was traded to Houston in late June when the Rockets were collecting non-guaranteed contracts for use in possible trades.

Humphries, 32, is still in camp with the Sixers, although he’s not certain to earn a roster spot. He signed a non-guaranteed deal with Philadelphia just before the start of training camp. A 13-year veteran, Humphries had a limited role with the Hawks last season, averaging 4.6 points per night in 56 games. A wrist injury to Richaun Holmes may improve Humphries’ chances of staying on the Sixers’ roster, at least in the short term.

Hibbert, 30, split last season between the Hornets and Nuggets, although he played just six games in Denver after a February trade. An All-Star as recently as 2014, he was unable to get a camp invitation.

Five Notable Big Men Still Available In Free Agency

Andrew Bogut is a former No. 1 pick with NBA Finals experience, and he probably would have had more if not for a fractured tibia he suffered in his first game with the Cavaliers. He’s among several free agent big men remaining on the market who could become bargains as teams fill out their rosters.

Bogut was able to recover without surgery and has been cleared for full basketball workouts. The 12-year veteran is only 32 and believes he has a lot of productive basketball left.

“Rehab’s been good,” he told Steve Aschburner of late last month. “I feel strong, everything feels good. But the full explosive stuff will be about another three weeks.”

Bogut was a fixture in Golden State until the Warriors got the opportunity to sign Kevin Durant. They needed to shed salary, so Bogut and his $11MM deal were sent to Dallas. He was traded to the Sixers at the February deadline, then agreed to a buyout before his ill-fated stint in Cleveland.

Bogut doesn’t fear any long-term effects from the injury, saying the bone will “heal stronger than it was before.” He and his agent have sent copies of the medical report to several teams that expressed interest in signing him.

Bogut isn’t the only notable unsigned veteran big man on the market. Here are four others:

  • David Lee — The 34-year-old declined his player option after one year in San Antonio. He was a productive part of the Spurs’ rotation, averaging 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 79 games, and thought he could do better than the $2.33MM he was due to make next season. He could still return to San Antonio, although the signing of Joffrey Lauvergne may make him expendable.
  • Kris Humphries — The 32-year-old saw his role decline last season with the Hawks, as his minutes dropped to 12.3 per night. Still, he was productive when he played, averaging 4.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 56 games. The Hawks have launched a youth movement and renounced their rights to Humphries three weeks ago, so the veteran forward is searching for a new team.
  • Lavoy Allen — The Pacers declined their $4.3MM team option on the 28-year-old last month, leaving him on the open market. The power forward/center has been part of the rotation in Indiana since arriving in a 2014 trade, but saw his playing time decline late in the season. He averaged 2.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 61 games last year.
  • Roy Hibbert — An All-Star as recently as 2014, Hibbert has been with four teams over the past two seasons and is looking for someone to give him another shot. Hibbert signed with the Hornets last summer and was traded in February to the Bucks, who later sent him to the Nuggets. He played just six games in Denver, wrapping up an overall forgettable year. However, Hibbert is only 30 and will probably get an opportunity from a team in need of veteran help.

Note: Restricted free agents aren’t noted here, since they’re not free to sign with any team, but Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, and Mason Plumlee are among the noteworthy RFA bigs still on the market.

Nuggets Notes: Mudiay, Hibbert, Roberson

The Nuggets like what they see out of Emmanuel Mudiay since he’s re-entered the rotation, Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post writes. “He’s worked very hard since he’s been taken out of that rotation. He has a lot of confidence and he should. He’s played good basketball for us at times,” coach Mike Malone said. Mudiay, who was the No.7 overall pick in the 2015 draft, was rumored to be available at the trade deadline.

In a separate piece, Kosmider answers numerous questions about the Nuggets’ future. Here are the highlights from that piece:

  • Kosmider explains why the Nuggets traded for Roy Hibbert. Denver was under the salary floor and Hibbert’s $5MM deal moved the team closer to it. The scribe adds that if the franchise somehow makes the playoffs, Hibbert could be useful in certain situations.
  • The Nuggets’ biggest needs are perimeter defense and rim protection, Kosmider writes. The scribe believes Andre Roberson, who will be a restricted free agent, could be a player to watch.
  • While Portland appears to have won the Jusuf NurkicMason Plumlee swap, it doesn’t mean the Nuggets made a bad trade, Kosmider argues. Nurkic wouldn’t have started with Nikola Jokic on the team and he wouldn’t have been happy coming off the bench. Plumlee is more a facilitator and he’s better suited to run with the second unit.
  • Denver won’t move veterans for the sake of opening up playing time for its younger players, Kosmider cautions. The Nuggets will enter next season expecting to make the playoffs, though they are expected to listen to offers on their older players this summer.

Nuggets Acquire Roy Hibbert From Bucks

4:09pm: The Nuggets have officially acquired Hibbert in exchange for a protected 2019 second-round pick, the team announced in a press release.

1:49pm: The Nuggets will acquire Roy Hibbert from the Bucks, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link). Denver will be sending a heavily protected second round pick to Milwaukee in exchange for Hibbert, Brian Windhorst of ESPN adds (Twitter link). According to Charles Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), it’s a 2019 second-rounder.

The Nuggets have the cap space to accommodate Hibbert. Denver entered the day $7,147,064 below the salary floor, and Hibbert’s one-year, $5MM contract will help them reach that mark. Hibbert was acquired by Milwaukee on February 2, but never appeared in a game for the Bucks.

Denver was close to acquiring Festus Ezeli of the Trail Blazers, Chris Haynes of ESPN reports, but the team opted to trade for a healthy big man instead. (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Sessions, Hibbert, Mahinmi, Hardaway

Hornets guard Ramon Sessions hopes he can avoid surgery on the knee injury he suffered this week, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Sessions was diagnosed with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee after landing awkwardly while jumping Wednesday. He has been ruled out for tonight’s game in Utah and will be re-evaluated after the team returns home Sunday. “It’s not automatic surgery,” Sessions said. “From what the doctor in Utah saw, it wasn’t the worst tear. It was a little tear. Surgery or not, we don’t know. But it already feels better than it did the first night.” Sessions has been in the NBA for 10 years without surgery. The Hornets have a $6.27MM option on his contract for next season.

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • Charlotte traded for Miles Plumlee because GM Rich Cho believed the team needed more “physicality” and “athleticism,” he said in a conference call with reporters. The Hornets sent Spencer Hawes to the Bucks in the deal, along with Roy Hibbert, who just signed with the team in July. Cho blamed injuries for the difficulties Hibbert had in Charlotte. “I think that we had pretty high expectations when we signed Roy and, as you know, he had a really good first game,” the GM said, “but then he had some injuries and it’s kind of tough to get in a rhythm, into a groove when you’re up and down with the injuries. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for Roy here, but one thing that you have to do when you’re a team, when you feel like something’s not working, [you have to] try and move on quickly.”
  • Wizards center Ian Mahinmi feels “really close” to being ready for game action, relays J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Washington signed Mahinmi to a four-year, $64MM deal, but knee problems have limited him to just a brief appearance in one game. “The reaction to everything I’ve done is much better,” Mahinmi said. “I felt like seeing Dr. [James] Andrews was great. It was obviously the right move. I feel like I’m fixed.” The Wizards have only a brief time to evaluate Mahinmi before deciding if they need to pick up another center for the postseason. Their final game before the trade deadline is February 16th.
  • Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is increasing his value with the best stretch of his career, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

What’s The Next Move For The Bucks?

The Bucks dealt Miles Plumlee to Charlotte this week, getting out from under Plumlee’s $50MM contract while acquiring inexpensive big men Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert. Milwaukee GM John Hammond was widely lauded for the move, creating additional payroll while finding a willing trade partner for Plumlee, who had been relegated to 9.7 MPG through 32 games this season.

With the newfound future cap space, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical suggests Milwaukee may pursue a new deal for Tony Snell, who has averaged 8.1 points on 45.8% shooting in Khris Middleton‘s absence. A restricted free agent after 2016/17, Snell would command a significantly higher salary than the $2,368,327 he earned this season.

In the meantime, however, the Bucks have some roster configuring to do following this week’s trade. As Kevin Pelton pointed out for ESPN, Milwaukee’s depth chart at the five is suddenly loaded, with Hawes, Hibbert, John Henson, Greg Monroe, and Thon Maker all vying for court time.

At first glance, Hibbert appears the most likely to be traded or bought out by the trade deadline. The 30-year-old isn’t on the books for next season, and – if it’s any indication of his role on the team – has already been ruled a healthy inactive for Milwaukee’s game against Phoenix on Saturday. The Bucks have been linked to Hawes in the past, and the 28-year-old has a $6,021,175 player option for next season; a reasonable salary for a competent backup center, though there’s a good chance he’ll opt out.

If Monroe or Henson yield a more significant return on the trade market than the team’s newly-acquired veterans, it may not be a bad idea to trade one of them for a combo guard. As of right now, the Bucks are relying on a combination of Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jason Terry behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. Monroe has been subject to trade rumors throughout his two-year run in Milwaukee; last month, Monroe claimed to be undecided regarding his $17.8MM player option following the 2016/17 season.

The Bucks have already waived Steve Novak to accommodate Thursday’s trade, creating a center-heavy roster during a vital stretch of their playoff pursuit. In a league over-saturated with centers, Hammond’s challenge may involve finding a new home for one his five big men.

What do you think? Are the Bucks done dealing for now, or will they continue to be active before the trade deadline?