Reggie Jackson

Nuggets Notes: Malone, Jackson, Bryant, Nnaji, Murray

The Nuggets remain atop the Western Conference despite losing five of their last seven games. Coach Mike Malone says it’s time for his team to start playing at a championship level as the postseason approaches, he told Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

“That’s not up to our standards,” he said of the team’s recent stretch. “This is gonna sound weird for most people, but more important than the wins and losses, is how we’re playing. Yeah, we want to win every night, but as I told our players yesterday, with 10 games to go now, it’s all about getting back to playing and developing championship habits. We got away from that.”

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • Reggie Jackson has shot 31.4 percent since he signed as a free agent. Thomas Bryant has averaged just 9.9 minutes since being acquired from the Lakers. Malone says he’s closer to deciding whether they’ll be part of the postseason rotation. “You have to give them an honest look. Can’t just be one or two games. You have to give them an extended look to see what you have,” Malone told Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. “But now with 10 games to go, we’ve gotta find a group and a rhythm and give them some opportunities to formulate that on-court chemistry moving forward. And I have a pretty good idea of who that is.”
  • Zeke Nnaji is also getting a look late in the season after returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six weeks, according to Singer. In his first game back, the 22-year-old power forward played 12 minutes and contributed four points, five rebounds and a block against Brooklyn. Malone said Nnaji made the second unit more athletic and versatile defensively.
  • Jamal Murray has averaged 35.8 minutes per game this month despite dealing with right knee inflammation and occasional left knee soreness. Malone said Murray’s health is being monitored on a regular basis, Singer writes.  “It’s a daily conversation with Jamal, the training staff,” Malone said. “See where he’s at, not just physically, but mentally as well.”

Western Notes: Gilgeous-Alexander, Jones, Cancar, Nuggets’ Bench

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pumped in 35 points against New Orleans on Saturday but the Thunder are still playing it cautious with his recent injury. He sat out the second game of a back-to-back against San Antonio on Sunday due to what the team described as abdominal strain injury management, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. The Thunder star guard has exceeded the 30-point mark in his last four outings.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Tre Jones missed the Spurs‘ game against Oklahoma City on Sunday with a non-COVID illness, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News tweets. Jones averaged 13 points and six assists in his last two appearances.
  • Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar was available to play against Brooklyn on Sunday, coach Michael Malone told Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Cancar missed three games with a wrist sprain and also didn’t play against San Antonio on Friday.
  • The Nuggets’ second unit has been unsettled after changes were made during and after the trade deadline, Singer writes. Reggie Jackson has struggled with his shooting (29%) since becoming the backup point guard and Thomas Bryant has been relatively quiet since he was brought in to back up Nikola Jokic. “We’re still trying to figure stuff out,” swingman Bruce Brown said.

Los Angeles Notes: Jackson, Hyland, Westbrook, Vanderbilt, Russell

Reggie Jackson anticipated he’d get traded by the Clippers, he told Law Murray of The Athletic. Jackson was dealt to the Hornets, who waived him. He then signed with another Western Conference contender, the Nuggets.

“I’ve been in the game for 12 years,” Jackson said. “I was the only expiring contract (the Clippers had). Got to get better. Can’t really move anything. … So, the writing was on the wall for me. Being a pretty smart guy, I kind of knew. Either we were going to stay put, play small-ball, or, if anything was going to happen, I was ready to be the one that would probably be moved.”

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • In the same story, Bones Hyland told Murray that he’s glad Russell Westbrook signed with the Clippers, even though his playing time might be cut. “I always was a fan of Russ’ game,” Hyland said. “Fan of Russ off the court as well. Great human being, great to be around. Great to talk to. Was the MVP of this league. Going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. … So, I’m glad we got him. He brings a lot to the team.”
  • Jarred Vanderbilt lifted the Lakers during their comeback from a 27-point deficit against Dallas with 15 points. 17 rebounds and four steals. The deadline addition from Utah has already impacted the team’s season, Anthony Davis told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “His value for our team, you can’t even put it into words what he brings and does for us,” Davis said. Vanderbilt looks like a steal in the three-way trade with Minnesota and the Jazz, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, because he addresses the Lakers’ need for a long, athletic, dirty-work forward.
  • D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful for the Lakers’ game against Memphis on Tuesday, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (Twitter link).
  • In case you missed it, LeBron James is expected to miss multiple weeks due to a foot injury. Get the details here.

Northwest Notes: Gordon, Jackson, Dunn, Timberwolves

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters, including Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link), that there’s no firm timeline for Aaron Gordon to return from his rib injury.

Based on Malone’s wording, the team is taking Gordon’s injury one day at a time, but he was ruled out for the sixth consecutive game on Sunday, tweets Singer. Reserve big man Zeke Nnaji was also listed as out with a shoulder injury.

Gordon is having a career year for the Nuggets, averaging 17.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 2.9 APG on .587/.397/.623 shooting through 49 games (30.3 MPG). Denver has a five-game lead on Memphis for the No. 1 seed in the West, so the team will likely be cautious with Gordon in an effort to get him back to full strength for the playoffs.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • The Nuggets signed guard Reggie Jackson after he was bought out by the Hornets. Typically players acquired on the buyout market don’t have much of an impact on their new teams, but Jackson could be critical for a Nuggets team whose bench unit has struggled all season long, Singer writes for The Denver Post (subscriber link). “You just want to play well,” Jackson said. “They brought me here for a reason. Part of me is like, ‘I don’t want to mess it up. Let’s keep it rolling.’”
  • Kris Dunn is making an immediate impact for the Jazz after they signed him to a 10-day contract, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune (subscriber link). After notching 11 points, one rebound, one assist and two steals in 16 minutes in his Jazz debut versus Oklahoma City, Dunn followed that up with 15 points, eight assists, seven boards, one steal and one block in 23 minutes versus San Antonio. Utah was victorious in both efforts, with Larsen saying the veteran guard was arguably the team’s second-best player against the Spurs on Saturday.
  • In the Timberwolves‘ latest injury report (Twitter link), three key rotation players are questionable for tonight’s game in Golden State. Center Rudy Gobert is sick, guard Jaylen Nowell has left knee tendinopathy, and forward Taurean Prince is dealing with a personal matter.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Wolves, Hyland, Jackson, Sexton

The Trail Blazers continued to deal with a number of injury absences as the second half of their season got underway on Thursday night. As Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian writes, Jusuf Nurkic (calf), Justise Winslow (ankle), and Anfernee Simons (ankle) are still on the shelf for Portland.

Nurkic hasn’t returned to practice yet, though Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said the veteran center is “getting better.” Winslow, meanwhile, has begun taking part in non-contact drills, while Simons is doing weight-bearing activities but no on-court work.

The Trail Blazers opted to give Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant the night off on Thursday following a series of weather-related travel days that saw Portland players spend several hours on the team plane on both Wednesday and Thursday. The club’s resulting starting lineup in Sacramento was an odd one that featured three trade-deadline additions (Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Ryan Arcidiacono) along with two reserves (Drew Eubanks and Nassir Little).

While the Blazers lost in Sacramento, Billups liked what he saw from Little, whose 26 points were easily a season high (story via Fentress). Reddish also continued his solid play following the trade that sent him from New York to Portland, scoring 24 points of his own.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Timberwolves came close to acquiring Bones Hyland from the Nuggets at this month’s trade deadline, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North said in his podcast The Scoop (hat tip to HoopsHype). According to Wolfson, Minnesota “would have done what the Clippers did” (given up two second-round picks) or even more than that. However, Wolfson believes Denver’s ownership group was reluctant to do any favors for former Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who now runs Minnesota’s front office.
  • Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports spoke to Ish Smith, who previously played with Reggie Jackson in Oklahoma City and Detroit, about what the Nuggets‘ newest point guard can bring to the team. Jackson played 18 minutes in his Denver debut on Thursday, scoring seven points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of assists.
  • Jazz guard Collin Sexton, who strained his left hamstring in the team’s final game before the All-Star break, remains sidelined as a result of that injury. The expectation it that Sexton will be reevaluated on Monday, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News.

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Williams, Hyland, Nuggets Bench

Tony Jones of The Athletic believes it’s “very, very unlikely” that Russell Westbrook will ever play a game for the Jazz, noting that the veteran guard wouldn’t receive much playing time as the team prioritizes its younger players (Twitter links).

According to Jones, the two most likely scenarios for Westbrook are securing a buyout if he finds a situation he likes, or remaining on Utah’s roster but away from the team.

While that’s hardly surprising news, it’s still noteworthy that Westbrook might finish the season not actively playing. On the other hand, if he joins another team and things go awry, that could hurt his value ahead of free agency.

The 2016/17 MVP has made over $300MM in his career, so it’s not like he needs more money, but it’s a lot easier for a team to move on from a player who isn’t making much money than one who is. It’s a tricky balance to strike for a decorated player who was often criticized (sometimes unfairly) on his last team.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Thunder swingman Jalen Williams has flown under the radar a bit in ’22/23, but he’s having an outstanding rookie season, averaging 12.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.2 SPG on .508/.324/.759 shooting. He recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about a number of topics, sharing an amusing story about how he first met head coach Mark Daigneault.
  • Bones Hyland was traded to the Clippers last week after a rocky end to his Nuggets tenure. The second-year guard explained that he had “great communication” with Denver’s front office, but not so much with the coaching staff. “Yeah, I feel like it could’ve been done better on both ends,” Hyland said, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscriber link). “Just more communication. I’ve got so much love for Denver, but I just feel like the communication was just so low. I had a lot of mixed emotions, and we didn’t come together and just make it better.”
  • Nuggets head coach Michael Malone suggested he’s going to run a five-man bench lineup of Reggie Jackson, Bruce Brown, Christian Braun, Vlatko Cancar and Thomas Bryant once Jackson is activated after the All-Star break, tweets Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. A notable omission from that group is veteran forward Jeff Green, who has consistently been in the rotation when healthy and scored a season-high 24 points in Wednesday’s victory over Dallas. Malone has tweaked the bench rotation multiple times this season, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising if that five-man group changes over time.

Nuggets Notes: KCP, Jackson, Murray

Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was disappointed that he wasn’t selected for the three-point contest at All-Star weekend, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscriber link).

I really tried to get out there and show them, it’s a lot of great shooters in this league, and if we’re going to put in the work to be the best, we should be at least rewarded or have an opportunity to showcase it,” Caldwell-Pope said. “That didn’t happen. It’s all good. I’m gonna come back and bring home another trophy.”

Caldwell-Pope is shooting a career-high 45% from deep, which ranks third in the NBA. He said he thought he may have been passed over due to his lack of attempts (he averages 4.3 per game), per Singer.

Head coach Michael Malone raved about Caldwell-Pope’s professionalism and defense, Singer adds.

The reality is, honestly, KCP could get (the Defensive Player of the Game chain) every night,” Malone said. “No, really. We should actually name it the KCP-DPOG and give it to everybody else.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Malone believes Reggie Jackson‘s playoff experience will be big for the Nuggets, according to Sean Keeler of The Denver Post. “When I think about Reggie, what gives me confidence is, this guy has been there and done that,” Malone said. “(The) 2021 Western Conference finals, where he was phenomenal — just go back and look at the game logs and the productivity and the efficiency. So you’re getting a veteran who understands he’s coming to a really good team. (There’s) role acceptance, role definition.” The veteran guard, who played high school ball in Colorado Springs, was recently signed by Denver after being traded by the Clippers and bought out by the Hornets.
  • At his introductory press conference, Jackson explained why he chose the Nuggets over other suitors. “Great team at the right age right now. They’re playing really good ball. The backup point guard role was kind of open. I figured that, and coming home, was definitely appealing,” Jackson said, per Vinny Benedetto of “It just all matched up once I sat down and thought about it. I’m just very blessed to be able to go from the sixth team in the West to the best team in the West.”
  • Jamal Murray missed his sixth straight game Wednesday against Dallas due to right knee inflammation, notes Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (via Twitter). The team is being cautious with Murray, Malone said, adding that the guard isn’t confident enough in the knee to play yet. Malone didn’t sound overly concerned about it, but the Nuggets aren’t taking it lightly either, according to Wind. “You’re always concerned when a guy misses five-to-six games in a row,” Malone said. The Nuggets don’t play again until next Thursday, so we’ll see if another week of rest will aid Murray’s recovery. The 25-year-old missed all of last season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

Reggie Jackson Signs With Nuggets

FEBRUARY 14: Jackson has signed with the Nuggets, the team tweets.

FEBRUARY 11: Former Clippers guard Reggie Jackson is finalizing a buyout agreement with the Hornets and intends to sign with the Nuggets after clearing waivers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Denver had been hoping to land the 32-year-old guard, who was traded to Charlotte on Thursday, but wasn’t required to report to the team. The Nuggets have an opening in their backcourt after sending Bones Hyland to the Clippers in a four-team deal. The Suns also were reported to be heavily interested in Jackson as a buyout candidate.

Denver has an open roster spot, so Jackson can be added without making another move.

Jackson has strong ties to Colorado, notes Harrison Wind of DNVR (Twitter link). He was named Mr. Colorado Basketball as a high school player in 2008 and always has a large cheering section of family and friends whenever he plays in Denver.

Jackson spent the past four years with the Clippers and was the team’s starter at point guard last season. He was taken out of that role this year and saw his playing time cut to 25.7 minutes per night in 52 games.

Assuming Jackson winds up in Denver, other teams in need of a point guard will have to look elsewhere. Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and John Wall are among the players traded this week who are considered strong candidates to become free agents soon.

Those players – and any other buyout candidates – must be waived by March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs with their new teams.

Hornets’ Reggie Jackson, Rockets’ John Wall Officially Waived

Veteran guards Reggie Jackson and John Wall were among several players who were officially waived on Sunday, according to press releases from their respective teams. The Hornets cut Jackson, while the Rockets let go of Wall.

Both players had spent most of the season with the Clippers, who completed a series of deadline deals on Thursday. Jackson was sent from Los Angeles to Charlotte in trade for Mason Plumlee, while Wall was moved to Houston in a deal for Eric Gordon.

Since they were both essentially just salary-matching pieces in those trades, Jackson and Wall were widely expected to be waived. Jackson was said to be negotiating a buyout with the Hornets, while Rockets general manager Rafael Stone confirmed in his post-deadline presser than Houston would simply release Wall, whose last stint with the team didn’t end well.

Jackson is reportedly on track to sign with the Nuggets once he clears waivers; Wall doesn’t yet have his next NBA home lined up, as far as we know.

Jackson and Wall were among several veterans who were officially cut on Sunday. The Rockets also waived Danny Green, while the Magic parted ways with Patrick Beverley and Terrence Ross and San Antonio released Stanley Johnson.

Southeast Notes: Bey, R. Jackson, Mykhailiuk, Bamba

The Hawks believe they improved their rotation at the deadline, assuming one of their deals goes through, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team is still waiting to find out if it will add Saddiq Bey, who was acquired from the Pistons in a four-team trade that’s still pending after Gary Payton II failed his physical with the Warriors. Golden State has until Sunday night to make a final decision.

Atlanta, which also added Bruno Fernando and Garrison Mathews in a separate trade with Houston, believes Bey can be part of its long-term future. The 23-year-old can play either forward spot and would add another dimension to the offense with his outside shooting.

“He was a starter for Detroit a couple years ago and this season, and some of last season he started to come off the bench,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. “But he’s a guy who can put the ball in the basket, who can help spread the floor for you.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Reggie Jackson and the Hornets have reached an agreement that he doesn’t have to report to the team, tweets Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Boone adds that buyout talks are ongoing with Jackson, who was acquired from the Clippers on Thursday. The Suns and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams with the greatest interest in Jackson once he hits the open market.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk, whom the Hornets landed from the Knicks in a four-team trade, told reporters before Saturday’s game that he originally believed he was heading to the Trail Blazers in the deal, Boone relays (via Twitter). Mykhailiuk’s agent informed him about an hour before the deadline that he was going to Charlotte.
  • The Magic have more roster and salary cap flexibility after sending center Mohamed Bamba to the Lakers on Thursday, notes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando selected Bamba with the sixth pick in the 2018 draft, but he fell out of the rotation and didn’t appear to have a future with the team. Bamba began the season as the primary backup to Wendell Carter Jr., but Moritz Wagner has taken over that role. The Magic wanted to ship Bamba to a team where he’s likely to play more often and were happy to get a future second-round pick in return, according to Price, who hears from league sources that the Clippers, Raptors and Celtics also expressed interest.