Tre Mann

Southeast Notes: Mann, Ball, Fultz, Heat, Wizards

There wasn’t much playing time available for Tre Mann on a talented Oklahoma City team, but he moved into a starting role after being traded to the Hornets, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. With LaMelo Ball still injured, Mann has been tasked with running Charlotte’s offense and he’s averaging 13.7 points and 7.3 assists in his first three games.

“I think I’m fitting in pretty well,” Mann said. “I’m just coming out, trying to play hard around a bunch of talented guys. We’ve all got really good IQ, so it’s easy playing with guys like that. I think I’m playing well. I’m just trying to show off my playmaking ability as much as I can and it’s been fun.”

Ball will miss his 12th straight game tonight in Utah, but he’s making progress toward returning from a sprained right ankle. A source tells Boone that Ball has resumed on-court activities and is steadily increasing his workload. Mann believes the two guards can form an effective combination whenever Ball comes back.

“I think he can play a little bit off ball and I can do the same,” Mann said. “So, It’s his team and I’m going to adjust to whatever is better for him. For right now, I’m just trying to go out there and play team ball.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic will be without Markelle Fultz for their first game after the All-Star break, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. The seventh-year guard continues to deal with a nagging left knee injury, which has limited him to just 21 games thus far in 2023/24. It’s unclear how much more time Fultz will miss beyond Thursday’s contest in Cleveland, but it’s a situation worth monitoring down the stretch, as the 25-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Star forward Jimmy Butler missed the Heat‘s final three games leading into the break due to the death of a family member, but he was back at practice on Thursday and will be available for Friday’s game in New Orleans, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Josh Richardson (right shoulder dislocation) and Terry Rozier (right knee sprain) will both be out Friday, but they’re traveling on the team’s four-game road trip, Jackson adds. Veteran big man Kevin Love said Rozier was moving well at Thursday’s practice, though he did not do any live drills (Twitter link via Jackson). Richardson, meanwhile, was in street clothes and wearing a sling. Head coach Erik Spoelstra indicated Rozier had a chance to suit up during the road trip, but the prognosis for Richardson was less optimistic, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Guard Tyler Herro is questionable for Friday’s contest due to right foot soreness.
  • Key labor unions in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., publicly announced on Tuesday that they are opposed to Monumental Sports’ plan to move the Wizards from D.C. to Alexandria, Virginia, according to The Associated Press (link via The Northern Virginia AFL-CIO and member unions cited in part an inability to reach a deal for union members to work on construction projects. It’s the latest obstacle in the proposed move, which has drawn opposition from several key figures in the region.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Southeast Notes: Young, Banchero, Hornets, Leonsis

Trade rumors are a reality of life for most NBA players, Hawks guard Trae Young told reporters following Sunday’s All-Star Game (video link). Speculation has been growing that Young could be on the move this summer, especially after Atlanta decided to hold onto his backcourt partner, Dejounte Murray, at the deadline.

“The best players in the game have all been traded,” Young said. “Some of the few lucky ones have been blessed to be drafted in situations where they can win championships and it will all be perfect for them. They can stay in that one situation forever. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what I want to do with Atlanta. But who knows? This is the type of league where things change, but obviously my mindset is staying in Atlanta right now. I don’t get caught up in all the rumors and stuff. My contract is locked in for a couple years. I don’t have very much say in it right now.”

As Young notes, he’s under contract for the next two seasons and has a nearly $49MM early termination option for 2026/27. His contract also includes a 15% trade kicker, which would factor into the price of any deal unless he chooses to waive it. Young is in his sixth year with the Hawks after being taken with the fifth pick in the 2018 draft, but the organization may be ready for massive changes following another disappointing season.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Now that his first All-Star Game is over, Paolo Banchero will return his focus to getting the Magic into the postseason, tweets Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Banchero said the playoff race was a topic of conversation among Eastern Conference players. “In the locker room, we were talking about the standings and stuff,” he said. “… How intense it’s going to be after the break.”
  • The new-look Hornets entered the All-Star break with three straight wins as the shakeup at the trade deadline has brought a new energy to the team, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The organization opted to part with veterans Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and P.J. Washington while bringing more young talent onto the roster. “It feels good. Guys are happy, coaches are happy,” said Tre Mann, who was acquired in a deal with Oklahoma City. “We know it’s a lot more work to do. We can get better and it’s a small sample size. And we’ve got to build on it.”
  • The Washington Post (subscription required) takes an inside look at the secret negotiations that led to Ted Leonsis’ plan to move the Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals to Arlington, Virginia.

Thunder Acquire Gordon Hayward From Hornets

9:57pm: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Hornets. Charlotte received Bertans, Mann, Micic, and second-round picks in 2024 and 2025 in exchange for Hayward.

The Thunder announced in their own press release confirming the deal that the 2024 second-rounder is Houston’s and the 2025 second-rounder is Philadelphia’s. Oklahoma City also said it sent cash to Charlotte in the swap.

The Hornets waived guards Ish Smith and Frank Ntilikina to make room on their roster for the incoming players.

1:04pm: The Hornets will receive a pair of second-round picks from the Thunder in the deal, reports ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link).

11:17am: Oklahoma City will include Vasilije Micic in the deal for salary-matching purposes, Charania tweets. The 30-year-old point guard makes $7.7MM this season and next year, with an $8.1 team option for 2025/26. Charlotte will also receive draft compensation, Charania adds.

The trade will leave the Thunder $6.9MM below the tax threshold with two open roster spots, Gozlan notes (Twitter link).

9:54am: The Thunder are nearing a deal for Hornets forward Gordon Hayward, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Tre Mann and Davis Bertans will be sent to Charlotte in return, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Hayward’s contract includes a 15% trade bonus that will adjust his salary from $31.5MM to about $33.3MM tweets Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. That would move Oklahoma City into luxury tax territory unless Hayward opts to waive part of the bonus, but there’s been no indication yet that he will agree to that. Gozlan notes that Hayward is eligible for an extension of up to two seasons through the end of June.

The Thunder will have to take back more money for the deal to be finalized, points out Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Bertans is making $17MM this season and Mann is at $3.2MM, which isn’t enough to match Hayward’s salary.

The 33-year-old Hayward brings a veteran presence to a young OKC team that has exceeded expectations this year. Injuries have limited him to 25 games, but he has been productive when he’s been able to play, averaging 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 46.8% from the field and 36.1% from three-point range.

Bertans, a 31-year-old power forward, is headed for his fourth team in the last three years. The veteran sharpshooter has been out of the Thunder’s rotation all season, with minimal playing time in 15 games. He holds a $5.25MM guarantee on his $16MM salary for 2024/25.

Mann, a third-year point guard, has seen limited action in 13 games this season. He was selected with the 18th pick in the 2021 draft and is under contract for one more season at $4.9MM.

Western Rumors: Markkanen, Giddey, Mann, Kings, Lofton

After Marc Stein reported that teams around the NBA are keeping an eye on Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports says that several clubs have already contacted Utah to inquire on Markkanen.

Fischer stresses that the Jazz are “by no means expected” to trade Markkanen, who is a favorite of team officials. However, opposing executives have gotten the sense that the All-Star forward is no longer quite as untouchable as he was in the past.

“Do I expect Utah to trade Lauri? No,” one general manager told Fischer. “But they are saying they’re willing to listen. They are willing to listen to calls on everyone, but it’s a matter of meeting their price like Minnesota did for Rudy [Gobert].”

As Fischer notes, even if a deal is unlikely, the fact that the Jazz are open to listening on Markkanen means that there will continue to be plenty of buzz around him as the trade deadline nears. League personnel believe that the Kings, Hawks, and Thunder are among the teams that would have the most interest in the Finnish star, Fischer adds.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Rival teams had begun to zero in on Thunder guard Josh Giddey as a possible trade target before the NBA and California police began looking into allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor, per Fischer. Depending on the outcome of those investigations, Giddey may still draw interest ahead of the trade deadline. Oklahoma City also explored moving Tre Mann prior to the start of the season, Fischer adds.
  • If the Kings pursue either Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby, the Raptors are expected to ask for Keegan Murray in return, which may be a non-starter for Sacramento, Fischer writes, since the Kings view Murray as an important piece in both the present and the future. However, another former lottery pick, Davion Mitchell, is considered a “strong” trade candidate, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
  • The Grizzlies have made calls to potential trade partners to gauge those teams’ interest in some of Memphis’ reserves, but if a deal doesn’t materialize in the coming days, the expectation is that the team will probably waive Kenneth Lofton Jr. to open up a roster spot to activate Ja Morant next week, says Fischer. We took a closer look at Memphis’ looming roster decisions earlier in the week.

Northwest Notes: KCP, Porter Jr., Jazz, Thunder

Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has set a goal of making the All-Defensive Team, The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando writes.

“I feel like I’ve been snubbed a couple years from that. Or even just being mentioned,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve even been mentioned in that category, and now it’s a goal this year. I’ll make some noise, so they can’t ignore me.”

Coach Michael Malone typically assigns KCP to guard the opponent’s top guard. He already held Desmond Bane and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to poor shooting performances this season.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Speaking of the Nuggets and defense, Malone awarded Michael Porter Jr. with the team’s defensive player of the game “chain” for the way he blanketed Luka Doncic on Friday, Harrison Wind of relays. “Part of it is experience,” he said. “Playing against certain players, just being out there on the floor more over the years, you naturally get better. Part of it has to do with how I feel physically. My ankle doesn’t feel 100%, but I’ve kind of figured out how I should be playing guys on defense in ISO situations. And that’s not crowding them. It’s using my length. I think it’s just something you get better with over time.”
  • The Jazz have the league’s worst half-court defense in the early going and the Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen opines that the players simply aren’t taking enough pride at that end of the floor. The Jazz allowed 123 points in just 95 Minnesota possessions on Saturday. “We’ve got way too many moments where we’re not doing a good job on the ball. We’re not doing a very good job with secondary defenders. The activity has been pretty lackluster in general,” coach Will Hardy said.
  • The Thunder assigned Ousmane Dieng, Aleksej Pokusevski and Tre Mann to the G League’s Oklahoma City Blue. According to Thunder beat writer Brett Dawson (Twitter link), the Blue held a scrimmage on Sunday and it allowed that trio to get in some five-on-five work.

Thunder Exercise 2024/25 Team Options On Five Players

The Thunder have exercised their rookie scale team options for the 2024/25 season on five players, the team announced today in a press release. Those options are as follows:

Most of these decisions were no-brainers. Holmgren, Giddey, and Williams project as long-term building blocks for the franchise. Dieng didn’t have a major role as a rookie but is only a year removed from being selected 11th overall in the 2022 draft.

The most noteworthy option pick-up of the bunch is Mann’s. The 22-year-old guard had a promising rookie season in 2021/22, averaging 10.4 points per game with a .360 3PT%, but saw his scoring average (7.7 PPG) and 3PT% (.315) dip last season as his playing time was cut back, from 22.8 minutes per game to 17.7 MPG.

Given the Thunder’s roster crunch this offseason, Mann looked like a candidate to be one of the odd men out, but today’s decision signals that the club has no plans to waive him. That leaves Jack White, whose 2023/24 salary is only partially guaranteed for $600K, as perhaps the most likely release candidate on the roster, though the club could go in another direction. Oklahoma City previously traded Victor Oladipo and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to get down from 18 players on standard contracts to 16.

Giddey and Mann will now become eligible for rookie scale extensions next July, while the Thunder will have to decide by next October 31 whether to exercise their fourth-year options on Holmgren, Dieng, and Williams.

Thunder Notes: Holmgren, Mann, Williams, Presti

No matter what else happened for the Thunder, the highlight of Summer League was seeing Chet Holmgren back on the court, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. After missing all of last season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft showed off his potential in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in four games.

While he looked rusty in some areas, such as committing 15 turnovers and shooting 1-of-9 from three-point range, Mussatto notes that the most encouraging part of Holmgren’s game was watching him protect the basket. He averaged 3.5 blocks per game and used his 7’1″ frame to alter numerous other shots.

“Conditioning wise, there’s millions of hurdles you have to go through in the process of returning to play,” Holmgren said after his Summer League return. “Not being able to play a game for a year, it’s really hard to test and see where you are. … It’s definitely something I have to continue to work on, and I’ll be ready by the time training camp starts. I feel like I’ll have myself prepared to be in in-season shape.”

There’s more on the Thunder:

  • Tre Mann was shut down in Las Vegas due to an avulsion fracture in his right middle finger, but it’s not believed to be a long-term concern, Mussatto adds. The Thunder expect the backup point guard to resume basketball activities by the end of July.
  • The selection of Jaylin Williams in the second round of last year’s draft will allow Holmgren to spend more time at power forward and avoid the physical contact that comes with playing center, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Williams is a rugged 6’10” big man who led the NBA in drawing charges last season and shot 40.7% from beyond the arc. “It’s good because it allows my length to be found in the game in different ways,” Holmgren said of playing alongside Williams. “When he’s at the five, he’s in (screen) coverage more, and I’m able to kind of move around and roam the court a little more on defense, be the low man in help and be able to come over for blocks if somebody gets beat or use my length in the passing lanes and as an on-ball defender.”
  • General manager Sam Presti didn’t add anyone this summer who projects as a long-term keeper, Slater observes in the same piece. Presti opted to use his cap room to collect more draft assets while taking on the contracts of Davis Bertans, Victor Oladipo and Rudy Gay. Slater views Oladipo and Gay as buyout options, while Bertans may reach that status eventually with just $5MM guaranteed for 2024/25. Presti also traded for former first-round picks Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington, but Slater doubts that they’ll see much playing time considering the talent that’s already in place.

Northwest Notes: Jokic, Mitchell, Joe, Mann

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic put up numbers reminiscent of Wilt Chamberlain on Sunday night, but it’s concerning that Denver needed that type of production to get by the Hornets, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Jokic had one of the best games of his career with 40 points, 27 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals, a line that hasn’t been seen since Chamberlain did it in 1968.

Singer notes that Jokic’s efforts were needed because of the continued struggles of the team’s bench. Denver’s reserves were outscored by Charlotte’s, 46-18, and Jokic had to cut short his rest in both halves.

“Our bench wasn’t giving us anything,” coach Michael Malone said. “… When you’re coming off the bench, you have an obligation. Guys get pissed off when they come out of a game. Well, if you’re playing better, you’re not coming out of a game. Simply stated.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Donovan Mitchell is ready to face the Jazz Monday night for the first time since his trade to the Cavaliers, notes Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Although Mitchell’s recent comments about “having fun again” angered some Utah fans, his former teammates aren’t taking offense. “I don’t really interpret it in any bad way at all,” Mike Conley said. “I think when you’re winning and you’re successful, when you have a career year and you’re playing well, you’re having fun. And I’m sure he had that same fun when we were playing really well, like we all did. So, you know, we’re all having fun now. I think everybody who’s been moving around and in different locations or the same location, we’re all having a good time, we’re all enjoying basketball.”
  • The Thunder picked up a three-point specialist when they signed Isaiah Joe after the Sixers waived him in training camp, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Joe has claimed a rotation spot by shooting 46% from beyond the arc, and he was 5-of-8 in a career-high 23-point game Saturday night. “I’m definitely more than just a shooter,” Joe said, “and that’s gonna come out over time, but right now I just feel like this is what the team needs, and I’m going to aspire to be the best at it.”
  • Thunder point guard Tre Mann is taking a positive approach toward his G League assignment, Mussatto tweets. Mann plans to focus on his catch-and-shoot game while he’s with the Oklahoma City Blue. “My mindset is do whatever I’ve gotta do to be the best player I can be,” he said. “That’s what we feel is best for me — me and the coaches. I understand it. I’m gonna go down there and get better.”

Thunder Exercise Options For Giddey, Mann, Pokusevski

The Thunder have picked up third-year options for guards Josh Giddey and Tre Mann and a fourth-year option for forward Aleksej Pokusevski, the team announced in a press release.

Giddey, the sixth pick in last year’s draft, is now locked into a $6,587,040 salary for the 2023/24 season. He was a member of the All-Rookie Second Team last season and was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times. He averaged 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 54 games before a hip issue ended his season in February.

Mann, a part-time starter last season, will earn $3,191,400 in 2023/24. He averaged 10.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists and ranked among the top 10 rookies in three-point percentage, free throw percentage and points scored.

Pokusevski will make $5,009,633 for the 2023/24 season and will be eligible for restricted free agency that summer. The 17th pick in the 2020 draft, Pokusevski averaged 7.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season.

Thunder First-Rounder Ousmane Dieng Suffers Wrist Injury

Ousmane Dieng, the No. 11 overall pick of last month’s draft, has suffered a “slight chip fracture” in his right wrist, the Thunder announced (via Twitter).

The 19-year-old French forward will miss the rest of Summer League action, but he should be healed and ready to go by training camp, per the team.

Dieng was the first top European prospect to take advantage of the National Basketball League’s Next Stars program. He spent the 2021/22 season with the New Zealand Breakers in Australia’s NBL, averaging 8.9 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 23 games (20.3 MPG) against professional competition.

The Thunder sent three protected future first-round picks to the Knicks in order to land the No. 11 pick and select Dieng on draft night.

Second-year guard Tre Mann will also miss Friday’s contest against Golden State due to a sprained left ankle, Oklahoma City said. The No. 18 pick of last year’s draft, Mann appeared in 60 games (26 starts, 22.8 MPG) as a rookie for the Thunder in ’21/22, with averages of 10.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.7 APG on .393/.360/.793 shooting.