Reggie Bullock

COVID Updates: Schroder, Richardson, Bullock, Konchar, Ilyasova

Here are the latest developments on players entering or exiting the league’s health and safety protocols:

  • The Celtics got some good news, as Dennis Schröder and Josh Richardson have exited the COVID-19 protocols, Jared Weiss tweets. Schroder last played on Wednesday, while Richardson has been sidelined since Dec. 18. Boston plays the Clippers tomorrow.
  • Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock has cleared the protocols, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Mavs still have a handful of players in the protocols, including franchise player Luka Doncic. That group will miss Wednesday’s game against Sacramento.
  • Grizzlies guard John Konchar has entered the protocols, the team’s PR department tweets. Konchar contributed a combined 18 points and 23 rebounds in a back-to-back over the past two nights.
  • Forward Ersan Ilyasova, signed to a 10-day deal by the Bulls on Wednesday, has entered the protocols, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets.
  • Heat guard Max Strus entered the protocols shortly before the team’s game against Washington on Tuesday, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets.

Reggie Bullock Placed In Protocols

Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, the team announced on social media (Twitter link).

Bullock becomes the sixth player to be placed in protocols today, joining Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Miles McBride, Evan Mobley and Marcus Morris. According to our tracker, a total of 59 players are currently waiting to exit the protocols.

Dallas will be without Bullock, along with Willie Cauley-Stein (personal), Luka Doncic (ankle soreness), Josh Green (illness), Frank Ntilikina (illness) and Eugene Omoruyi (right foot) for its game against the Timberwolves on Saturday.

Bullock signed a three-year, $30.5MM contract to join the team in free agency. In 27 games this season, he’s averaged just 5.6 points per contest, shooting 35% from the floor and 27% from three-point range.

Knicks Notes: Walker, Barrett, Randle, Fournier

It sounds like Knicks guard Kemba Walker won’t see regular playing time unless he reclaims his starting job, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Walker, who was pulled from the rotation earlier this week, didn’t leave the bench in this afternoon’s loss to the Nuggets, even as New York fell behind by 30 points.

“As I mentioned before when I made that decision, I view Kemba as a starter,” coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. “… I do have respect for him, he’s part of the team. And right now we have a rotation, he’s not in the rotation but he’s working in practice, he’s doing all the things he should be doing.”

Walker, who hasn’t talked to the media since his demotion, has been a disappointment this season, even at the discount price of $18MM over two years. He’s scoring 11.7 points per game, down from 19.3 PPG last season with the Celtics, and his arthritic left knee limits his effectiveness on defense.

Neither Walker nor backcourt partner Evan Fournier has lived up to what the Knicks expected when they pursued them in free agency. Multiple sources tell Bondy that Thibodeau urged the front office to keep Reggie Bullock, who signed with Dallas for $30.5MM over three years.

There’s more from New York:

  • Thibodeau believes RJ Barrett needs more repetition to fix his three-point shot, Bondy adds. After connecting at 40.1% from beyond the arc last season, Barrett has slumped to 32.1%. “You get rhythm when you work and last year he got going when he started coming in every night to shoot,” Thibodeau said. “So there’s no notion of, ‘OK, I’ll do it sometimes.’ No, you got to do it all the time. When you did it, you shot 40 from 3. So get back in the gym, get back to improving your shot.”
  • At 11-12, the Knicks are now under .500 for the first time this season, and Julius Randle believes the team has lost the defensive identity that it relied on last year, per Marc Berman of The New York Post“It’s who we are as a team, how we built this team and this culture is just fighting defensively, the togetherness, just the effort, the hustle plays,” Randle said. “I feel like that’s what the city of New York loves. That’s what the fans love — when they know we’re out there giving it our all. And I think sometimes we’re too lax.’’ 
  • Fournier talks about Thibodeau, some of his new teammates and several other subjects in a wide-ranging interview with Steve Serby of The New York Post.

Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Finney-Smith, Green, Kleber

Jakob Poeltl has been out since November 1 due to the league’s health and safety protocols and the Spurs have missed his inside presence, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Poeltl is the team’s top rebounder at 9.7 per game.

“We are a small team,” Spurs forward Thaddeus Young said. “We are shorthanded most nights as far as getting rebounds and being physical under the basket.”

Poeltl is back with the Spurs, but won’t play on Tuesday due to reconditioning.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Some Mavericks fans are lobbying for Reggie Bullock to be inserted in the lineup, but Dorian Finney-Smith has stepped up his game as of late, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Finney-Smith had a season-high 15 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists against San Antonio on Friday. “When you take your mind off the shooting, it kind of takes the pressure away,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there with a lot of energy and shoot the ball with confidence — and worry about [shooting percentage] less.” Finney-Smith, who added eight points against Denver on Monday, will be a free agent after the season.
  • Pelicans first-year Willie Green has kept a consistent message despite the team’s struggles, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. Green has emphasized effort, relentlessness and competitiveness, and the players have remained in his corner. “Willie has the ultimate trust in me to go out there and play my game and play with confidence,” Josh Hart said.
  • Maxi Kleber is “progressing” from his left oblique strain, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) and other media members. He has begun doing on-court drills but he’s not doing any contact yet. He suffered the injury on October 31.

New York Notes: Harden, Irving, Korver, Knicks, Bullock

Speaking to Malika Andrews of ESPN (video link), Nets guard James Harden reiterated a stance he expressed on Media Day, indicating that he’s willing to be patient in his contract extension talks with the team. Even though he has said he has no desire to go anywhere else, Harden hinted that he may end up waiting another year before locking in a long-term deal with Brooklyn.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve never been a free agent before. I’ve always just been loyal, just signing contract extensions, just being there, being there, being there,” Harden said. “I just want to take my time with it. It’d be a very, very difficult thing to leave here, or to leave Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But I think this season I just want to focus on winning a championship and everything else will work itself out.”

Based on the structure of his contract and the rules surrounding veteran extensions, Harden is eligible to sign a three-year contract extension up until October 18. Once the season begins, he wouldn’t become eligible to sign a new deal until next offseason, when he could either pick up his 2022/23 player option and sign a four-year extension or turn down the option and sign a five-year contract as a free agent. The opportunity to receive a more lucrative deal a year from now will be a factor Harden considers as he weighs his options.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Some team executives around the NBA have wondered if Kyrie Irving might be placed on the trade block if he refuses to be vaccinated and becomes ineligible to play in the Nets‘ home games this season, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. However, Fischer says several sources with knowledge of the situation “strongly” disputed the idea that either the Nets or Irving will seek a trade. “I’m sure (general manager) Sean Marks and (head coach) Steve Nash aren’t thrilled with the situation, but despite all the s–t that goes on, they still treat him really well there,” one source said to Fischer. “They hear him out. They make the effort to try and communicate with him. That’s why Brooklyn is a special place.”
  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic takes a look at the role Kyle Korver will play as a player development coach for the Nets this season.
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau “lobbied hard” for the team to re-sign Reggie Bullock, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. Bullock and Elfrid Payton were big parts of New York’s top-five defense last season, so Thibodeau will be hoping to avoid a significant drop-off with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier taking their spots.
  • Following a second consecutive shortened offseason, the Knicks may benefit from their increased depth, especially if their rookies are ready to contribute right away, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Atlantic Notes: Bullock, Knicks, Wainright, Sixers

Despite enjoying one of the best years of his career in New York in 2020/21, Reggie Bullock called it an easy decision to leave the Knicks for the Mavericks in free agency, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. Bullock received a three-year deal worth a little over $30MM from Dallas.

“When I played against the Mavericks last year, I liked the way that they competed as a team,” Bullock said. “They got great players, so it was an easy, no-brainer for me. Being with the Knicks last year, we made it to the playoffs but I see (the Mavericks) as a team that’s taking that next step to be in the postseason.”

New York re-signed Alec Burks, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, and Taj Gibson this month, making Bullock the only key free agent who got away. A source tells Berman that Bullock would’ve been open to returning to the Knicks if they’d been willing to get something done quickly, but the team asked him to wait. The veteran wing wasn’t interested in waiting — his deal with the Mavericks was reported about 75 minutes into free agency.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at Raptors camp invitee Ishmail Wainright, a selfless, hard-working player whom Murphy describes as a “walking culture-builder.” Wainright, who has played in Europe since 2018, has a partial guarantee and is vying for a spot on Toronto’s regular season roster. As Murphy writes, the 6’6″ forward is determined to stick in the NBA. “I’m here to stay,” he said. “I don’t plan on going back overseas. Ever.”
  • The $8.1MM trade exception the Sixers generated in last offseason’s Al Horford trade is set to expire on September 7, Derek Bodner of The Athletic observes. Bodner also explores how much of the mid-level exception Philadelphia still has available and the team’s current roster breakdown, which includes 14 players on standard NBA contracts.
  • In case you missed it on Sunday, we relayed some details on new contracts signed by the Celtics and Knicks, and examined the impact the Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk signing will have on the Raptors‘ roster battles.

Western Contract Details: Gay, Conley, Graham, Nunn, SGA

Originally reported as a two-year deal with a second-year player option, Rudy Gay‘s new contract with the Jazz actually covers three years, with a third-year player option, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). The full three-year value of the contract, which was officially announced on Friday, comes in at about $18.55MM.

Smith has details on several other newly-signed contracts from around the Western Conference, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights (all links are courtesy of Smith)…

  • Mike Conley‘s three-year deal with the Jazz includes some unlikely bonuses and has a partial guarantee on year three (Twitter link). The 2023/24 salary of $24.36MM is only guaranteed for $14.32MM.
  • Devonte’ Graham‘s four-year contract with the Pelicans starts at $11MM and features 5% annual raises (Twitter link). The fourth year salary of $12.65MM is only partially guaranteed for $2.85MM.
  • The Lakers used most of their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Kendrick Nunn (Twitter link). His deal is worth $5MM in 2021/22, with a $5.25MM second-year player option.
  • The Mavericks used the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Reggie Bullock to a three-year deal worth slightly over $30MM (Twitter link). The contract, which includes a 5% trade bonus, is only guaranteed for $5.45MM (of $10.49MM) in the final year.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Thunder includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).

Knicks Notes: Fournier, Sims, Gibson, Bullock, Guarantees, Point Guards

In a story for The New York Post, Marc Berman describes how the Knicks came to terms with free agent Evan Fournier while the veteran wingman is in the midst of an Olympic run with the French national team. Berman writes that Fournier’s relationship with former Magic head coach Steve Clifford, a close friend of Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, likely played a part in the Knicks’ decision to pursue the 6’7″ wing.

I’d bet the Knicks signed him because Clifford raved to Thibs about how much Fournier wants to win and is about all the right things,’’ a source from Orlando told Berman. “Cliff says that Fournier is one of the toughest players — mentally and physically — that he’s ever coached.’’

We have more news from the Knicks:

  • In a separate article, Berman writes that Jericho Sims, the athletic center out of Texas taken with the 58th pick, is likely to receive a two-way contract, thereby limiting him to a maximum of 50 games with the Knicks. Sims is set to play for the Knicks in Summer League.
  • According to Ian Begley of SNY, Taj Gibson – who agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary contract to stay in New York – had significant interest around the league, but the Knicks sold him on his importance to their culture and the team’s development going forward.
  • Begley also writes that the Knicks and Mavericks were interested in exploring a sign-and-trade for wing Reggie Bullock earlier in free agency, but that it’s unclear if such a deal has been pursued since Bullock committed to the Mavs.
  • All of the contracts the Knicks agreed to on Monday — Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Evan Fournier — will be not fully guaranteed in their final year, Begley reports. Rose, Burks, and Noel will sign for three years apiece, while Fournier agreed to a four-year deal. Begley erroneously reported on Monday that Burks’ three-year deal was fully guaranteed.
  • Finally, Begley writes that with the Knicks are interested in pursuing another point guard with their remaining cap space. Dennis Schroder and Reggie Jackson remain the two most prominent names on the point guard market.

Mavericks Sign Reggie Bullock

AUGUST 6: The Mavericks have officially signed Bullock, the team announced in a press release. There had been whispers that the Knicks and Mavs might explore a sign-and-trade arrangement, but Dallas ended up signing the veteran wing outright.

AUGUST 2: The Mavericks and free agent swingman Reggie Bullock have agree to a deal, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Marc Stein (Twitter link) first reported that the two sides were nearing an agreement, while Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link) says it’ll be a three-year contract.

Agent David Bauman tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Bullock’s three-year deal with Dallas will be worth $30.5MM. Based on that value, it sounds like the Mavs will give Bullock their full mid-level exception if they operate over the cap.

The Mavs appear to be prioritizing adding shooting around star Luka Doncic, and Bullock certainly fits that bill. The 30-year-old is a career 39.2% shooter from beyond the arc and knocked down 41.0% of his three-point attempts for the Knicks this past season.

After an injury-plagued 2019/20 campaign, the former UNC standout bounced back with one of the best years of his career, averaging 10.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG while starting 64 games and averaging 30.0 minutes a night for the East’s No. 4 seed.

Dallas has been busy on the first day of free agency, having also agreed to terms with Tim Hardaway Jr., Boban Marjanovic, and Sterling Brown.

Free Agency Rumors: Bulls, Galloway, Bullock, Caruso, Dinwiddie, Theis

The Bulls appear to be aware that they need to upgrade their playmaking. Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports (Twitter video link) that Chicago could be looking to add Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan to their roster.

Windhorst notes that the Bulls may be able to extract Ball from the Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal, provided the Pelicans can add a point guard replacement for Ball either in the trade or elsewhere. The notion of DeRozan joining the Chicago backcourt as well is intriguing. “From what I am told, [the Bulls] are also interested in DeMar DeRozan, and are interested in pulling off a possible double sign-and-trade where they would send [Chicago’s restricted free agent power forward] Lauri Markkanen to San Antonio,” Windhorst said in an ESPN segment.

Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA, with the official start of the signing season just moments away:

  • After averaging a career-low 4.8 PPG in a career-low 40 games as essentially a part-time player for the eventual 2021 championship runner-up Suns, Langston Galloway appears ready to move on. “I was on a team that made it to the finals, but my biggest thing is getting an opportunity to play,” Galloway told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “Being on a team like that, I learned a lot, and all I need is someone that’s going to believe in me. That’s going to go a long way, and it’s going to pay dividends for whatever team I get the chance to play for next year.”
  • Free agent Knicks shooting guard Reggie Bullock may have suitors offering him new deals in the range of a three-year mid-level contract, tweets Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks still hope to bring Bullock back. Berman adds that the Knicks are also rumored to have interest in free agent shooting guard Evan Fournier, and if they were to add him and Bullock, the incumbent Bullock would be demoted to the New York bench.
  • Unrestricted free agent Lakers reserve point guard Alex Caruso will speak with several clubs and is intent on picking a free agent destination expediently, writes Marks Medina of USA Today (Twitter link). Medina writes that the Lakers, who hold Caruso’s Bird rights, could look to retain him, especially since he could provide their suddenly top-heavy roster with some much-needed shooting and defense in the backcourt.
  • Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie apparently will decide between the Pelicans, Knicks and Wizards, though the Celtics could also a candidate, reports Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link). Sources inform Schultz that the Pelicans at least are prepared to offer Dinwiddie a long-term deal that could pay $20MM or more annually. Shams Charania reports (Twitter video link) that Dinwiddie will meet with the Wizards at the start of free agency. “They have made him an ultimate target early in this free agency process,” Charania said.
  • Free agent Bulls center/power forward Daniel Theis could be a target for several clubs looking for a big man upgrade, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto lists teams like the Rockets, Spurs, Raptors, Pistons and the playoff-contending Heat as candidates for Theis this summer.