Trayce Jackson-Davis

Warriors Not Expected To Add Veteran Center Before Camp

Despite having scoured the free agent market in recent weeks, the Warriors aren’t expected to add a veteran center to their roster before training camp gets underway, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter video link).

Dwight Howard met with the Warriors this week and was believed to be receiving legitimate consideration from the team, which has also reportedly taken a look at vets such as Dewayne Dedmon, Derrick Favors, and Tony Bradley. However, Charania says Golden State has decided to put off a frontcourt addition for now and will maintain the flexibility to sign a big man later in camp or during the regular season.

The Warriors are carrying just 13 players on standard contracts and will need to add at least one more to meet the opening-night minimum of 14. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), the club is prioritizing an extra wing for that 14th slot.

Golden State’s roster is short on traditional centers, but the club has several players it believes can capably handle the position. Besides Kevon Looney and Draymond Green, players like Dario Saric, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Usman Garuba may see time at the five. Jackson-Davis has impressed the team since he was drafted in June, per Slater, who adds that Garuba is viewed by the organization as a player with real upside.

With the Warriors not planning to sign another center in the short term, Howard is expected to consider other options and see if there’s another NBA team interested in bringing him in, says Charania.

Pacific Notes: Paul, Labissiere, Warriors Rookies, Lakers

The Warriors made one of the splashiest moves of the offseason when they acquired Chris Paul from Washington after he was sent to the Wizards by Phoenix in the Bradley Beal trade. Even though the Warriors sent out Jordan Poole in the deal, lineup questions arose for Golden State, who return 2022/23 starters Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney — that could leave CP3 as the odd man out in the starting five.

However, appearing on a recent episode of Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill’s “Good Word With Goodwill” podcast (Podcast link), Andscape’s Marc J. Spears said he expects the Warriors to start Paul.

I do expect him to start. And I think it’s like five-minute spurts,” Spears said on the podcast. “I don’t know that they really want his minutes to be high, but I think they’re gonna try it. I could be wrong, but that’s the gist I’m getting. This isn’t an opinion that he’s expected to start; it’s what I’m hearing. He’s never not started in his career.

As Spears notes, Paul has started in all 1,214 of his NBA appearances. If that streak continues, it means one of the Warriors’ entrenched starters would have to move to the bench. Looney is a natural candidate, but the Warriors are lacking size and going that route would put them at a disadvantage in that regard, since it would make 6’6″ Green and 6’7″ Wiggins the tallest players in the lineup.

We have more notes from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings plan to sign and then waive Skal Labissiere on the same day, meaning he won’t report to the team’s training camp The Kings Beat’s James Ham tweets. This was always the expected outcome for Labissiere, especially after the team secured his G League rights in a trade on Friday. Labissiere, 27, played for the Kings from 2016-19 after being drafted by the team with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He holds career averages of 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 148 NBA appearances between the Kings and the Trail Blazers.
  • Warriors rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis are becoming closer throughout the offseason, recently touring several attractions in San Francisco, Shayna Rubin of The Mercury News writes. Podziemski and Jackson-Davis, who could both play rotational roles for a Warriors team seeking to contend, are becoming acclimated to the city and the franchise, according to Rubin. Rubin reports that the two were part of a players-only mini-camp hosted by Curry at the end of August, and the entire team grew closer as a result of the event.
  • Signing Christian Wood is the latest in a series of flashy Lakers moves this offseason, but Heavy’s Sean Deveney writes that rival executives believe coach Darvin Ham is going to have his hands full with developing and sticking to a rotation. “They’re deep,” the executive said, per Deveney. “They’re 12 deep. That’s great when you look at it on paper. But when happens when the ball goes up and you’re playing nine guys, and one of those guys is playing eight minutes? That gets sticky for a coach. [Ham] is as good as anyone at relating to players, but a depth chart like that can be a coach’s nightmare.” Deveney suggests that Wood wouldn’t have joined the Lakers if his role wasn’t going to be big. Los Angeles also brought in a handful of players in free agency, including Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince, while retaining Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell. Second-year player Max Christie is also in line for more playing time.

Pacific Notes: Vincent, Gordon, Vezenkov, Jackson-Davis

Discussing his move from Miami to Los Angeles, Gabe Vincent said that he was “honored (the Lakers) reached out to me” when he became a free agent, as Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group (subscription required) writes.

After earning the minimum salary during his first four seasons in the NBA, Vincent received a considerable raise as a free agent this summer and will make $11MM annually on his new three-year deal with the Lakers. Despite the substantial pay bump, the 27-year-old is ready to accept whatever role the team he wants him to play, big or small.

“I’m just here to add on,” Vincent said. “They have a great core, a great situation, and hopefully I can just add to it and help us bring home a championship.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After falling short of an NBA title during his time in Houston, Suns guard Eric Gordon is bullish about his chances of contending for a championship with his new team, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Gordon took a significant pay cut, agreeing to a minimum-salary deal with Phoenix. “I’m older in my career so I’ve played for a long time and money is not always such an issue,” Gordon said. “Of course, I want a lot more, don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day, I want to do well here every year that I’m here and we’ll just see what happens down the line, but that’s why I want to come here, win a championship.”
  • Although Sasha Vezenkov has officially signed his contract with the Kings, who submitted it to the NBA’s league office, the forward is still awaiting a letter of clearance from FIBA in order for that contract to become legally binding, a source tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. That’s expected to happen soon, at which point the Kings will officially announce the signing.
  • After missing the Warriors‘ first three Las Vegas Summer League games due to a right hamstring injury, second-round pick Trayce Jackson-Davis made his debut on Thursday, scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 20 minutes. C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at what Golden State is getting in Jackson-Davis, a mature 23-year-old rookie who may nonetheless find minutes hard to come by in his first NBA season.

Warriors Sign Trayce Jackson-Davis To Four-Year Deal

JULY 6: The Warriors have officially signed Jackson-Davis, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 5: The Warriors are signing second-round pick Trayce Jackson-Davis to a four-year contract, agents James Dunleavy and Max Lipsett tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The first two years will be guaranteed, according to Wojnarowski.

The 57th overall pick in last month’s draft, Jackson-Davis is coming off an impressive four-year college career at Indiana. As a senior in 2022/23, the 6’9″ forward averaged a double-double (20.9 PPG, 10.8 RPG) with 4.0 APG and 2.9 BPG in 32 contests (34.5 MPG).

Jackson-Davis was a consensus first team All-American and an All-Big Ten player in 2023, earning the Karl Malone award as college basketball’s top power forward.

Golden State acquired Jackson-Davis’ draft rights from the Wizards in exchange for cash considerations.

The Warriors have no cap room and no mid-level exception available this offseason, so they would’ve been limited to offering Jackson-Davis a two-year, minimum-salary contract if not for the NBA’s new second-round pick exception, which allows them to go up to four years. The final year of the deal will be a team option.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Curry, Jackson-Davis, Baldwin

Chris Paul‘s deliberate, often ball-dominant style seems like a strange fit with how the Warriors operate offensively, but it could be just strange enough to work, opines Seerat Sohi of The Ringer.

As Sohi details, the contrasting styles between Paul and Golden State were on display multiple times in the Western Conference playoffs, with the Warriors prevailing on two of those three occasions (Paul’s Clippers defeated the upstart Warriors in the first round in 2013/14).

However, the Warriors have also had success with high IQ veterans who can control the tempo, Sohi notes, particularly former swingman Shaun Livingston. Paul may be able to help get Golden State’s young players easy shots on the second unit, according to Sohi, and allow Stephen Curry to play more off the ball when they’re paired.

Obviously it’s a risk since Paul is 38 years old and he could be backing up another older player who has been injured a lot the past few seasons in Curry. But the Warriors might be better next season with Paul instead of Jordan Poole, and shedding Poole’s long-term contract while picking up Paul’s non-guaranteed deal for ’24/25 gives the team financial savings in the future, Sohi writes.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Paul and Curry are excited to be teammates, with the two-time MVP blessing the blockbuster trade, sources tell Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Thompson takes a look at the shared history between the two former rivals.
  • New general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. says the team plans to have Trayce Jackson-Davis on the 15-man roster, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter video link). The Warriors traded cash considerations to Washington to land the No. 57 pick in last night’s draft, which they used on the Indiana big man. “We’re not overly loaded in the frontcourt,” Dunleavy said, adding the Warriors had him much higher on their draft board.
  • As Slater writes for The Athletic, agreeing to include 2022 first-rounder Patrick Baldwin in the Poole/Paul trade created considerable tax savings, but it was also a bet on Jackson-Davis being more ready to contribute next season. Dunleavy’s brother, James Dunleavy, is Jackson-Davis’ agent, and the sides worked together to ensure he wouldn’t get picked until the Warriors could select him. Getting a guaranteed minimum-salary contract is rare for a player chosen late in the second round, Slater notes, but that’s the intention for the forward/center.

Wizards Trade No. 57 Pick Trayce Jackson-Davis To Warriors

JUNE 23: The Warriors and Wizards have completed the Jackson-Davis trade separately from their larger Paul/Poole deal. According to a press release, Golden State acquired Jackson-Davis’ rights in exchange for cash considerations.

As noted below, Baldwin will be included in the Paul/Poole trade rather than this one.

JUNE 22: The Warriors are acquiring the No. 57 pick from the Wizards and drafting Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The same two teams agreed to a much bigger trade on Thursday, with the Warriors trading Jordan Poole and future draft picks to the Wizards for Chris Paul. The Wizards are also acquiring Patrick Baldwin as part of that deal, according to Charania (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether Golden State’s acquisition of the No. 57 pick will be folded into the larger trade as well.

Jackson-Davis, a 6’9” forward, was one of the most productive college players in the nation last season, averaging  20.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Hoosiers.

Baldwin Jr. was Golden State’s first-round pick last season and appeared in 31 regular-season games.

Trade Rumors: G. Williams, Hunter, Nuggets, Wizards, Ayton, More

The Mavericks are among the teams that have spoken to the Celtics about the idea of a Grant Williams sign-and-trade, a league source tells Tim Cato of The Athletic. While it’s not easy to envision a deal that gets Williams to Dallas and appeals to both teams, the Mavs are just one of many potential suitors for the restricted free agent forward.

According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, there have been more than a half-dozen teams to inquire with the Celtics about the possibility of signing-and-trading for Williams. At this point, Boston is conveying that it wants to retain Williams, per Weiss, who notes that new Celtics assistant coach Charles Lee is a fan of the forward and could help get more out of him in 2023/24 and beyond.

Within his story, Weiss also notes that veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon, who is optimistic he can avoid surgery on a torn tendon in his left elbow, would like to remain in Boston. Brogdon’s name has come up in trade rumors early in the offseason as the Celtics reportedly explore ways to clear a backcourt logjam.

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

  • Within his latest mock draft, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report cites league sources who say the Hawks have explored the trade market for forward De’Andre Hunter. One motivating factor, Wasserman explains, would be opening up more playing time for promising young wing AJ Griffin.
  • The Nuggets, who worked out Trayce Jackson-Davis, Andre Jackson, Jordan Walsh, Kobe Brown, Drew Timme, and Tyree Appleby on Tuesday, continue to actively explore deals that would get them into the first round of Thursday’s draft, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required), who says Denver is talking to multiple teams.
  • The Wizards asked for Suns center Deandre Ayton when the two teams were negotiating their Bradley Beal trade, but Phoenix was unwilling to include him, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • Gambadoro said this week during an appearance on the HoopsHype podcast that he has been told the Heat weren’t all that interested in pushing for Beal. Reports have indicated that Beal would have approved a move to Miami, and it seems as though the Heat could’ve put a stronger package on the table than the one the Wizards got from the Suns if they’d been so inclined.
  • While it comes as no surprise, the heads of basketball operations for the Hornets (Mitch Kupchak) and Pacers (Kevin Pritchard) both said they don’t anticipate keeping and using all of the 2023 draft picks they own, per Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) and Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. The two teams, who each figure to make at least one draft-night trade, control five picks apiece — Indiana has three in the first round and two in the second, while Charlotte has a pair of first-rounders and three early seconds.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hornets, Butler

The Wizards have been taking a thorough look at a wealth of NBA prospects in recent days. Washington possesses three picks in this year’s draft: the eighth selection in the lottery and the Nos. 42 and 57 picks in the second round.

The team announced (Twitter link) that it was auditioning six prospects in a pre-draft workout on Friday: Texas forward Timmy Allen, North Carolina forward Leaky Black, San Diego State forward Nathan Mensah, Connecticut forward Adama Sanogo, Ohio State forward Justice Sueing, and Indiana forward Race Thompson.

According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (via Twitter) another five league hopefuls participated in a a pre-draft workout Saturday. Virginia guard Kihei Clark, Missouri guard D’Moi Hodge, North Carolina State guard Jarkel Joiner, University of North Carolina at Greensboro swingman Keondre Kennedy, and Princeton forward Tosan Evbuomwan comprised that group.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets possess a whopping five selections in this year’s draft, headlined by the second pick in the lottery. Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) builds out the club’s ideal draft, suggesting Charlotte should select Alabama swingman Brandon Miller over G League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson with the No. 2 pick. The club also has the No. 27 pick in the first round at its disposal, as well as three second-round selections. Givony suggests those picks would be best used on Santa Clara’s Brandin Podziemski, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Missouri’s Kobe Brown.
  • The Hornets brought in six NBA hopefuls for their latest pre-draft workout Saturday. Per Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), G League Ignite wing Sidy Cissoko, Detroit Mercy combo guard Antoine Davis, guard Jazian Gortman of Overtime Elite, Oklahoma big man Tanner Groves, Jackson-Davis, and Jaquez participated in the audition.
  • Even if Jimmy Butler‘s Heat fall short of a championship, his legendary playoff run deserves to be remembered forever, opines John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger notes that Butler’s regular season accolades pale in comparison to his postseason impact, especially when it comes to clutch scoring and play-making.

Pacers Notes: Walker, Hendricks, Clowney, Jackson-Davis, Forwards

The Pacers hold the No. 7 pick in the lottery and they’ll host two high-level prospects for solo workouts on Wednesday. Houston Cougars forward Jarace Walker and UCF forward Taylor Hendricks will visit separately, the team’s PR department tweets (Twitter links). Walker is listed right at No. 7 on ESPN’s Best Available list; Hendricks sits at No. 9.

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Alabama’s Noah Clowney, who visited the Pacers in a six-player workout on Tuesday, said he can be a defensive force in the NBA, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star writes. “I can guard, but I want people to know I can guard multiple ways,” Clowney said. “I can contain people, but I can also push people a certain way, guard multiple people, guard multiple positions. … I’d imagine when I first start practicing, I’m going to struggle guarding smaller guys. … As far as protecting the rim, that doesn’t really change.” Clowney is ranked No. 20 by ESPN; the Pacers also own picks No. 26, No. 29, No. 32 and No. 55.
  • Marcus Bagley (Arizona State), Josh Bannan (Montana), Alex Gross (Morehead State), G.G. Jackson (South Carolina), and JT Shumate (Toledo) also visited the Pacers on Tuesday, according to a team press release.
  • Indiana University star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis visited on Monday and said he’s been working on his perimeter shooting, according to Dopirak. “I’ve been in Los Angeles working on my game, working on my 3-point shot,” Jackson-Davis said. “It’s something that I’ve showcased in these workouts. The hard work that I’ve put in is paying off. I’ve been able to shoot 3s and hit them in live settings and that’s something I’m going to have to do at the next level. … They’ve never seen me do it. No one could know if I could shoot the ball.” He’s ranked No. 28 by ESPN.
  • The Pacers will likely look to upgrade at forward via either free agency or trade this offseason. Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype believes they could target either Jerami Grant or Kyle Kuzma in unrestricted free agency or put together an offer sheet for either Cameron Johnson and Rui Hachimura. On the trade front, they could make a run at either of the Raptors’ starters, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.

Central Notes: LeVert, Mitchell, Pacers’ Workouts, Vucevic

A short-term contract might work for both the Cavaliers and one of their free agents, Caris LeVert, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. LeVert settled into the role of sixth man as the season went along and he wants to re-sign.

Cleveland won’t find a better player with its $12.2MM mid-level exception, according to Fedor, so it makes sense for the Cavs to bring back LeVert and then use the exception to add another rotation piece.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Donovan Mitchell recently expressed on social media his frustration at not being All-NBA First Team. In an “Sideline Stroll w/Ros” interview (video link), Mitchell spoke about the perceived snub in greater detail. “I just felt I should have been First Team,” he said. “So that’s one of my goals next year, is to be First Team. And I felt like I was good enough. But obviously the media members did not.” Mitchell did make the Second Team.
  • The Pacers will host six draft prospects on Monday, including Indiana University star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, according ot a team press release. Emmanuel Akot (Western Kentucky), Tyree Appleby (Wake Forest), Chris Livingston (Kentucky), Terquavion Smith (NC State) and Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona) will join him at the Pacers’ practice facility.
  • The Bulls are looking to lock up Nikola Vucevic for the next three seasons, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. A report that an extension was being discussed with the center, who will otherwise be a free agent next month, surfaced on Wednesday. The Bulls are apparently not looking to take “big swings” this summer and Cowley disagrees with that strategy for a franchise wallowing in mediocrity.