Robert Williams

Atlantic Notes: Milton, Halas, Knox, Williams

Sixers rookie guard Shake Milton was recently cleared to resume limited basketball activities, according to an update on the team’s website. Milton was held out of summer-league action due to a stress fracture in his back. Another update on his status will be provided in approximately four weeks. The former SMU standout signed a two-way contract in late July. Another first-year guard, Landry Shamet, has resumed light basketball activities. The 26th overall pick suffered a right ankle sprain during summer league action.

In other developments from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks have a strong interest in former Magic scouting coordinator John Halas, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. Halas worked with current GM Scott Perry in Orlando and would likely be added to the Knicks’ scouting department, Begley adds.
  • Kevin Knox doesn’t have his attention set on being Rookie of the Year, as he told Marc Berman of the New York Post. Knox was one of the most impressive rookies in Las Vegas but the Knicks’ first-round forward more concerned with team wins. “I’m pretty confident I can be one of the top rookies. But one of my goals this year is just to win in New York,” he said. “I’m not really worried about winning the rookie award. I just want to win as a team, take road games, play some of the top teams and beat them to make the playoffs.”
  • Robert Williams says his recovery from a knee injury is going well and the Celtics rookie big man expects to be 100% by training camp, Chris Forsberg of ESPN tweets. Williams’ summer league schedule was cut short by left knee soreness.

Celtics Notes: Thomas, Rivers, Williams, Henry

Isaiah Thomas is on his third team since being traded from the Celtics, but his role in Boston’s quick turnaround shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Thomas, who agreed to sign with the Nuggets this week, helped the Celtics reach the playoffs after coming to the organization in February of 2015, then was part of 48- and 53-win seasons.

That success made Boston an attractive option for free agents Al Horford and Gordon Hayward and put the franchise in a position to trade for Kyrie Irving.

“Isaiah added credibility to our team by making us a legitimate basketball team,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “And on top of that he was very entertaining. But he was all-in. He was all-in for the team. He was recruiting Al Horford to come. He was recruiting Gordon Hayward to come to play with him. He’s earned a lot of respect in my eyes.”

There’s more Celtics news to pass along:

  • With the three stars of the Lob City era all gone from the Clippers, coach Doc Rivers plans to use the Celtics’ experience as a blueprint for rebuilding, Bulpett writes in a separate story. “They’ve done it as well as it’s ever been done,” Rivers said, “because all these other teams, including us now, everybody has a plan, but the plan has to work. And if it doesn’t work, then you have to start over again with another plan. And Danny and them have been able to run their plan.”
  • The Celtics haven’t given up on the possibility of first-round pick Robert Williams playing in the summer league, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Williams is getting constant treatment on his aching left knee and is considered questionable for today’s quarterfinal contest. “If Danny wants him to play, if Robert feels he can, if our training staff feels he’s not at risk of reinjuring it, we’d love to have him,” said assistant coach Jay Larranaga. “… He just keeps getting better and better. Who knows when he’ll be able to play, but he does seem to be getting better.”
  • Pierria Henry has been the best point guard on the Celtics’ summer league team, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Washburn expects him to be considered for a spot with Boston’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t return to Turkey.

Atlantic Notes: Chandler, Williams, Russell, Nets

While he reportedly wasn’t always happy with role in Denver, Wilson Chandler sounds ready to take on whatever role he’s asked to play with his new team After being acquired by the Sixers, Chandler spoke to reporters – including Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com – about how he thinks he’ll fit in Philadelphia.

“Me personally, I don’t worry about coming off the bench or starting – I have had both of them in my career,” said the Sixers’ newest forward. “I have come off the bench before and I’ve started before. I’m not opposed to that at all. I just want to win. I’m just blessed to be back with a playoff team and looking forward to pushing it as far as we can.”

For his part, Sixers head coach Brett Brown is excited to have Chandler in his lineup, citing the veteran’s ability to make three-pointers and guard multiple positions. “The versatility in his game is extremely impressive,” Brown said of Chandler.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Atlantic…

  • Celtics rookie Robert Williams has an artery condition in both of his legs, multiple sources tell Fred Katz of MassLive.com. According to Katz, the condition – known as popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES), is considered “not too serious” for now. NBA teams, including the Celtics, were aware of Williams’ condition heading into the draft, per Katz, who says the team will regular monitor the big man’s PAES.
  • The Nets and D’Angelo Russell‘s camp have yet to discuss a rookie scale extension, but Russell is using his friend Devin Booker‘s new $158MM deal as motivation, writes Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
  • Nets Summer League swingman Yuta Watanabe is making a case for a training camp invite and a chance to become the NBA’s second-ever Japanese-born player, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details.
  • Raptors forward Malcolm Miller, who received a qualifying offer as a two-way player, suffered a dislocated shoulder and will miss the rest of Summer League play, according to the team (Twitter link). It’s not clear how the injury might impact Miller’s free agency.

Celtics Sign Robert Williams To Rookie Contract

The Celtics have officially signed first-round pick Robert Williams to his rookie contract, the team announced today in a press release. It’ll be a four-year deal worth a total of approximately $9.28MM, with third- and fourth-year team options.

Williams, considered a potential lottery pick heading into the draft, slipped further than expected and landed in Boston at No. 27 overall. While one reason for that fall may have been a lack of medical information available to some teams, there were also reported character concerns about the big man coming out of Texas A&M.

Williams didn’t exactly quiet those whispers to start his NBA career. After sleeping through an introductory conference call on the day after the draft, the rookie missed his flight to Boston for the start of Summer League practices over the weekend. Upon eventually arriving, he called it a “real wake-up call” and took responsibility for the mistake.

With Williams under contract, 24 of 30 first-round picks have now formally signed their rookie contracts. No real negotiations are involved for those deals due to the rookie scale, and teams have no reason to wait on them, since they can be finalized during the July moratorium.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Howard, Knicks, Bolden

The Nets could have an extra $8MM in cap space to work with if the Dwight Howard buyout falls in the 30-40% range that many such agreements typically come to, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes.

That, coupled with the $6.6MM in room cap room the Nets had prior to the buyout, would give them close to $15MM in overall space to absorb another bad deal in return for assets or even go out and target their own player.

Lewis writes that Howard wasn’t interested in giving back more than $3-5MM and wasn’t incentivized to agree to the Nets’ buyout proposal until he knew that the Wizards were interested. It remains to be seen what the final numbers on that buyout agreement will look like.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division today:

  • Incoming first-round pick Robert Williams hasn’t made a great impression on the Celtics but an Associated Press report suggests that the big man won’t face any discipline for missing several team commitments less than a week into his NBA career. Not formal discipline, at least. “They discipline you with words,” the 20-year-old said. “More than you may know.
  • While Knicks acquisitions Mario Hezonja and Kevin Knox are a far cry from the future Hall-of-Famers David Fizdale worked with as a member of the Heat‘s coaching staff, the head coach believes that those flexible wings can play similar roles to the ones Dwyane Wade and LeBron James filled in Miami. Marc Berman of The New York Post spoke with Fizdale about his desire to play more positionless basketball.
  • The Sixers expect 2017 draft-and-stash prospect Jonah Bolden to participate in Summer League, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. International basketball reporter David Pick first tweeted that the Sixers had asked Maccabi Tel Aviv to clear Bolden to play in Las Vegas. The 22-year-old forward is a candidate to play in the NBA this season.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Lin, Sixers, Kanter, Celtics

The Nets had legitimate interest in Julius Randle before he agreed to sign with the Pelicans, sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post. With Randle off the board, however, Brooklyn may not look to make a major splash in free agency after reaching deals with Joe Harris and Ed Davis. If the team returns to the free agent market, it will likely be for “under-the-radar types,” according to Lewis, who identifies Davis Bertans as one possible target.

There’s a chance that the Nets could still be active on the trade market as well. While a Monday report suggested the club isn’t actively shopping anyone, including Jeremy Lin, league sources tell Lewis that they’ve heard Lin could be dealt during the offseason. Without a major free agent target in their sights though, the Nets likely won’t be eager to get out from under the point guard’s $12.5MM+ expiring contract to create more spending flexibility.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers have removed the cap hold for 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks from their 2018/19 cap, according to RealGM’s official transactions log. Philadelphia still holds Pasecniks’ NBA rights, but the move ensure that he won’t sign with the club for the coming season.
  • After opting into the final year of his contract, Enes Kanter said in an interview with MSG Network that he wishes he could’ve signed for longer, but is happy to remain with the Knicks (Twitter link via ESPN’s Ian Begley). It sounds like Kanter wanted to opt out of his deal in order to secure a long-term contract with New York, but the club wasn’t interested in adding long-term money to its books this offseason, preferring to maximize its cap flexibility for 2019.
  • Introduced by the Celtics today after signing a minimum-salary deal with the team, Brad Wanamaker said he has been looking for an opportunity to come to the NBA for the last couple years. “It’s a dream come true to play in the NBA and with a team like Boston,” the EuroLeague standout said, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Celtics rookie Robert Williams, who slipped to No. 27 in the draft in part due to reported character concerns, hasn’t exactly been making a great impression to start his NBA career. After sleeping through an introductory conference call on the day after the draft, Williams missed his flight to Boston for the start of Summer League practices over the weekend, tweets ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

Draft Leftovers: Trade Details, R. Williams, More

When he was selected with the 45th overall pick in the draft on Thursday night, Hamidou Diallo technically became a member of the Nets. However, Brooklyn had already agreed to send that pick to the Hornets, who have subsequently agreed to flip it to the Thunder.

Neither of those trade can become official until after the July moratorium ends on July 6, but we now know what the Hornets will receive from the Thunder in exchange for Diallo. Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports (via Twitter) that Oklahoma City will send its 2019 second-round pick and cash considerations to Charlotte as part of the swap.

Here are a few more leftovers from draft night, including more details on trades:

  • In exchange for sending Gary Trent Jr.‘s draft rights to the Trail Blazers, the Kings will receive either the Timberwolves’ or Lakers’ 2019 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), the Heat’s 2021 second-round pick, and cash, according to Sactown Royalty (Twitter link).
  • RealGM’s log of traded draft picks provides specific details on a couple more draft-night trades, indicating that the Sixers received 2021 and 2023 second-round picks in their deal with the Pistons, while the Magic will receive the less favorable of the Nuggets’ and Wizards’ 2019 second-round picks as a result of their swap with the Nuggets.
  • Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com explores how the results of this year’s draft could set up free agency and future trades, touching on the Mavericks‘ need for a center, the Sixers‘ and Lakers‘ quests to clear cap room, and the availability of Dennis Schroder.
  • Robert Williams, who went 27th overall to the Celtics, was one of the big fallers of the night. According to Jeff Goodman (Twitter links), many teams didn’t have Williams’ medical info and there was some concern about a potential knee injury, which may have been one reason why he slipped.

Atlantic Rumors: Saric, Sixers, Celtics, Knicks

The Sixers didn’t move up in the lottery in large part because they refused to trade Dario Saric, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. Philadelphia tried to get into the top five of the draft but multiple teams indicated the Sixers had no interest in giving up a forward who averaged 14.6 PPG 6.7 RPG and 2.6 APG last season, Begley adds. Philadelphia wound up staying put at No. 10 and drafted Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, then dealt his draft rights to the Suns for Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith and a future first-rounder.

In other draft news involving Atlantic Division teams:

  • With coach and GM Brett Brown running the show, the Sixers were very active in the second round. They traded the No. 38 pick to the Pistons and the No. 39 pick to the Lakers, then parlayed two late picks to move into the Mavericks’ No. 54 spot, where they drafted SMU guard Shake Milton. The Sixers picked up three future second-rounders and cash in the first two second-round deals. “I feel like the trades that we made to acquire future picks and to move up closer to somebody that we really like like Shake Milton, I think that the room was fantastic in organizing and allowing us to do that,” Brown said during a press conference.
  • The Celtics decided against trading for a second-round pick after drafting enigmatic Texas A&M big man Robert Williams with the No. 27 pick, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports. “We don’t need more young players, really,” GM Danny Ainge told Bulpett and other media members. “We feel good about adding one positional player that has something that we don’t have, that does something that we don’t have.”
  • Knicks GM Scott Perry doesn’t expect the team to be “highly active” in free agency, Begley reports in a separate tweet. That’s not surprising, considering the team’s salary commitments for next season. Kyle O’Quinn gave them a little more breathing room by deciding to decline his option but unless Enes Kanter also chooses to decline his $18.62MM option, they’ll be operating over the cap.

Givony’s Latest: Kings, Doncic, Porter, Gilgeous-Alexander

ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony posted his latest mock on Thursday morning, along with the updated information regarding what teams are planning to do. Here’s some of the most noteworthy nuggets he passed along:

  • The Kings will target Duke forward Marvin Bagley III if they keep the No. 2 overall pick but they have their eyes on Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. if they trade down in the lottery.
  • Hawks ownership has pushed for Euroleague guard Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick because of star power. The compromise between the front office and ownership could be trading down and then selecting Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.
  • Porter is favored by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at No. 5 but they’re also considering Texas center Mohamed Bamba and Duke center Wendell Carter Jr.
  • Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander appears to be on the rise and Givony has him going at No. 6 to the Magic.
  • If the Clippers don’t trade their picks at No. 12 and No. 13, they’ll draft one of the top three college point guards – Gilgeous-Alexander, Alabama’s Collin Sexton or Young – if any are still on the board.
  • Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, Maryland forward Kevin Huerter and Texas A&M big man Robert Williams are under consideration with the Clippers’ second first-rounder.

Deveney’s Latest: Draft, Raptors, Gilgeous-Alexander

While all five teams at the top of the draft have reportedly been open to the idea of moving down, the odds of any of those teams actually trading a top-five pick may be slim. As Sean Deveney of The Sporting News details, teams that have explored trading up have found the asking price for a top-five selection to be extremely high.

“This is a good draft, a very good draft at the top,” one league source told Deveney. “But the value that teams are placing on these picks is a little unreasonable in some cases.”

The Sixers, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Celtics are among the teams that have looked into trading up. The Clippers, who own the 12th and 13th picks, have also had multiple discussions about that possibility, but if they stay where they are, there’s a sense that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, and Robert Williams will be among their top targets, per Deveney.

Here’s more from Deveney’s latest round-up of draft rumors:

  • While the Raptors were believed to be considering moving into the lottery to land Gilgeous-Alexander, their trade options are limited, according to Deveney. League sources tell Deveney that Toronto’s most likely deal is a salary dump of Norman Powell.
  • Speaking of Gilgeous-Alexander, he has been a mystery man during the pre-draft process. Appearing on Wednesday at media day, he didn’t shed much light on what he has been up to, telling reporters that he “can’t say” how many teams – or which teams – he has worked out for (Twitter link via Deveney).
  • The Warriors will likely to look to buy a second-round pick, but at least one general manager tells Deveney – perhaps half-seriously – that he hopes teams aren’t eager to accommodate the defending champs. “If anyone sells them a pick, they ought to have their head checked,” the GM joked. “Once that first round is over, everyone needs to just not pick up the phone if [Warriors GM Bob] Myers is calling.”
  • Deveney identifies Duke center Wendell Carter Jr. as one of the wild cards near the top of the draft, suggesting that Carter could go as high as No. 4 to the Grizzlies.