Tuomas Iisalo

Southwest Notes: Ingram, Grizzlies, Barnes, Spurs

The Hawks were considered a possible trade suitor for Brandon Ingram this offseason, but they ended up not having much interest in giving the forward his next contract or surrendering either Clint Capela or Onyeka Okongwu in a trade with the Pelicans, league sources tell William Guillory of The Athletic.

As a result, the Pelicans and Hawks instead made a deal involving Dejounte Murray that didn’t include Ingram or either of Atlanta’ centers. Now it’s unclear whether New Orleans will be able to find a trade partner for Ingram, who will be on an expiring contract in 2024/25.

According to Guillory, both the Pelicans and Ingram would prefer not to go into training camp without an extension, since it may become a distraction. That could mean New Orleans will be looking to complete a trade by late September, but it also doesn’t sound like a new contract for the former All-Star is out of the question. Guillory cites “some optimism within the building” that Ingram and the Pelicans could work out an extension below the max that leaves both sides happy.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Grizzlies have officially announced Taylor Jenkins‘ new-look coaching staff for the 2024/25 season (Twitter link). Anthony Carter and Patrick St. Andrews are the only returning assistants, though one newcomer (Jason March) had been coaching the Memphis Hustle, while another (Erik Schmidt) was the Grizzlies’ head video coordinator. Joe Boylan (formerly of the Timberwolves), Patrick Mutombo (from the Bucks), Tuomas Iisalo (Paris Basketball), and Noah LaRoche are the other additions. Former assistants Blake Ahearn, Brad Jones, Scoonie Penn, Sonia Raman, and Vitaly Potapenko have all been replaced, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • LJ Ellis of SpursTalk shares his thoughts on the Spurs‘ impending acquisition of Harrison Barnes, explains why he likes the fit and why he expects the veteran forward to be a starter in San Antonio. As Ellis notes, more minor roster moves will be necessary to open up enough cap room to accommodate Barnes’ incoming salary, so he’s reluctant to give his final assessment of the deal until it’s clear what those moves will be.
  • As Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News points out (via Twitter), the Spurs wouldn’t have been in position to add both Barnes and Chris Paul if they had kept the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, which carried a cap hit of $6.26MM.

Southeast Notes: Bridges, Ball, Highsmith, Wizards

The Hornets shouldn’t expect any type of “hometown discount” in their negotiations with free agent forward Miles Bridges, Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer writes in a mailbag column. Even though Bridges has stated several times that he would like to re-sign with Charlotte, Boone expects him to take the best available offer regardless of which team it comes from.

Boone points out that Bridges is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who encourages his clients to get the maximum possible value in contract talks. Paul advised Bridges to sign his qualifying offer from the Hornets last summer, which has made him unrestricted as he hits the open market after averaging career highs with 21.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.

Boone points to the Pistons, who will have the most cap space of any team this summer, as a potential suitor for Bridges, meaning the Hornets will have to make a significant offer to bring him back.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets‘ new owners aren’t ready to explore trade opportunities involving LaMelo Ball, Boone adds in the same piece. Injuries have prevented Ball from playing a full NBA season, and the new regime wants to give him a chance to see if he can stay healthy. Boone also points out that Ball’s trade value is low because of his repeated ankle issues, so it’s unlikely that other teams would give up multiple first-rounders in return. Boone doesn’t expect Ball to be traded within the next year.
  • Free agent forward Haywood Highsmith prefers to remain in Miami, but he understands that the Heat’s finances might limit their offer, per Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Highsmith, who earned just $1.9MM this season, compared his situation to that of Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, who both signed elsewhere last summer after leading Miami to the NBA Finals. “I can’t make my decision based off of what I like and don’t like. I have to make the decision that’s best for me,” Highsmith said. “Gabe and Max loved it here; I love it here, too. They didn’t end up staying here, so I don’t know what’s to come for me. Nothing’s on the table, so we’ll see. Obviously, I would love to stay in Miami. That’s where my  daughter’s at, that’s where my family is at, so I would love to be here, too.”
  • The Wizards may have interest in adding Finnish coach Tuomas Iisalo to Brian Keefe’s staff, according to Eurohoops.