Romeo Langford

Injury Updates: Tatum, Herro, Barnes, Langford, More

The Celtics will have star forward Jayson Tatum on the court for tonight’s showdown with the Mavericks, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive.

Tatum was listed as questionable after hurting his left ankle in Monday’s game at Chicago, but coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters that he’ll be able to play without any limitations. Tatum appeared to be moving normally during shootaround, Terada observes.

Tatum is among the early favorites in the MVP race, averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists while playing 37.2 minutes per game, the most in his career. He has led Boston to the best start in the league at 13-4.

There’s more injury-related news to pass along:

  • Tyler Herro will return for the Heat tonight after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle, the team announced (via Twitter). Max Strus was downgraded to out due to a shoulder injury, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).
  • Raptors forward Scottie Barnes will miss tonight’s game with a sprained left knee, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Fred VanVleet is sidelined with an illness, so Toronto is down to 10 available players.
  • Spurs guard Romeo Langford has been cleared to return tonight after missing five games while in the health and safety protocols. Josh Richardson will miss the game after suffering a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s practice (Twitter link), and Zach Collins has been downgraded from probable to out as he recovers from a non-displaced fracture of his fibula (Twitter link). Coach Gregg Popovich sounded optimistic when asked if Collins is close to returning. “Yes, I guess is the answer,” he replied. “He’s just not ready yet. We thought he might be, but he’s not.” Popovich also refused to provide any details about the illness that forced him to miss Sunday’s game, telling reporters, “I’m fine,” Orsborn tweets.
  • Dean Wade, who missed the past six games with knee soreness, will come off the Cavaliers‘ bench tonight and will be on a minutes restriction, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
  • Nets forward Yuta Watanabe will be sidelined through at least Friday with a hamstring issue, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. An MRI taken Tuesday night confirmed the injury (Twitter link), but Watanabe doesn’t seem concerned. “It’s not that serious,” he said. “… It’s day to day. We’ll see how long it takes.” (Twitter link)
  • Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is optimistic that Maxi Kleber, who’s dealing with a lower back contusion, will be available Saturday or Sunday, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Southwest Injury Notes: Morant, Jackson Jr., Wesley, Langford, Tate, Bertans

Ja Morant missed Sunday’s game against Washington with an ankle injury but it apparently will only be a one-game absence. The Grizzlies’ star guard is not on the injury report for Tuesday’s game against New Orleans, the team’s PR department tweets.

Meanwhile, Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. could make his season debut on Tuesday, as the forward is listed as questionable. Jackson has been rehabbing from offseason right foot surgery. Morant’s backcourt partner, Desmond Bane, is doubtful due to toe soreness.

We have more injury updates regarding the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs rookie guard Blake Wesley has begun his rehab from a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News reports. Wesley is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks of action. “It’s going good,” he said. “I’ve started jogging, lifting and getting my routine back. I’m on the court, not moving, but getting up shots and taking it day by day.”
  • Spurs guard Romeo Langford has been placed in the league’s health and safety protocols and will miss Monday’s game against Golden State, Orsborn tweets.
  • Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate has appeared in just three games due to an ankle injury and he’ll miss several more games. Coach Stephen Silas said Tate will be reevaluated in two or three weeks, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Mavericks forward Davis Bertans, who has been sidelined with a right knee injury, participated in his first full practice on Monday since early in training camp, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Bertans is still listed out for the team’s game against the Clippers on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets.

Spurs Notes: Langford, Primo, Johnson, Poeltl

Romeo Langford beat out Joe Wieskamp for the final roster spot during the Spurs‘ training camp. Due to injuries and the release of Joshua Primo, Langford found himself in the starting lineup on Sunday, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News writes. Langford played 34 minutes in the victory over Minnesota.

“He might be our best on-ball defender,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He has a knack for it. He enjoys it. It was good to find that out.”

Langford is headed for free agency next summer, though San Antonio can make him a restricted free agent if the team extends a qualifying offer.

We have more on the Spurs:

  • Despite the troubling circumstances surrounding the franchise’s decision to cut ties with Primo, the Spurs have stuck together and continued to play inspired basketball, McDonald reports in a separate story. “They’re young enough they don’t know any better,” Popovich said. “They just keep playing hard. They enjoy playing with each other, and they’re pretty much obeying the basketball gods and doing all the simple things that help win games.”
  • Keldon Johnson signed a four-year, $80MM this summer and that deal is looking better every game. Johnson is averaging career highs in scoring (23.9 points), assists (4.1) and steals (1.3) per game while making 43.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, McDonald notes. “He’s been unreal to me,” center Zach Collins said. “It seems like every time he shoots the ball, it’s going in.”
  • It’s unlikely that Jakob Poeltl will sign an extension, since he could probably do better in the open market, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip to RealGM). That also makes Poeltl a trade candidate. The veteran center, who is pulling in just under $9.4MM this season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. “From what I’m told, the Spurs discussed a contract extension with him, but he’s limited by how much he can sign for,” Windhorst said. “It’s the same reason they traded Dejounte Murray. They did such a good job on the contract that it almost works against you because when you want to sign a player, the player wants more than you can give him because you’re limited on how much of a raise you can give in an extension.”

Spurs Notes: Bassey, Jones, Langford

Charles Bassey‘s representatives spoke to 22 teams after the big man was waived by Philadelphia on October 13, including the Pistons, Cavaliers, Suns, and Raptors, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, according to Pompey, most of the teams that reached out to Pompey wanted to sign him to an Exhibit 10 contract and have him play on their G League affiliate this season.

Some of those G League offers might’ve resulted in a promotion to the NBA later this season or in 2023/24, but Bassey didn’t want to settle — he ultimately signed a two-way contract with the Spurs earlier today.

“I didn’t want to wait for the next year for a roster spot,” Bassey said, per Pompey. “That’s too long. The Spurs came hard … Some of the teams wanted to give me a roster spot, but they couldn’t give me one right now. I just didn’t want to go through that (Exhibit 10/G League) route. San Antonio said, ‘We can give you a two-way this year and we’ll see where it goes from there.'”

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Bassey, who lived in San Antonio when he first moved to America from Nigeria in 2015 and still has some family in the city. He also believes the franchise is an ideal fit for him.

“It’s a young organization,” Bassey said. “They are rebuilding. I feel like I’m going to have a great chance to play in a pretty good organization. And it’s a character organization. Everybody does stuff the same. … I feel like I’m going to fit right in.”

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • In an in-depth story for The San Antonio Express-News, Tom Orsborn takes a look at how Tre Jones is embracing what he calls a “big opportunity” to start at point guard for the Spurs this season. Jones is averaging 16.3 PPG on 53.1% shooting in his first three games this season, a significant step up from last season’s 6.0 PPG on 49.0% shooting. “When we find guys we think have that potential (to be leaders), we try to help it grow,” head coach Gregg Popovich. “Tre has just got it. Some people don’t, some people do. I remember Coach K (former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski) telling me about what I would like about Tre, and that was one of the major things. He is just a born leader.”
  • The battle for the Spurs’ 15th regular season spot entering the season was believed to come down to Romeo Langford vs. Joe Wieskamp, with Langford ultimately making the team. Asked what he wants to see from Langford this season, Popovich said he believes the former Indiana standout has the potential to be a “hell of a defender,” per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link).
  • Here’s more from Popovich on Langford: “He’s got quick feet, he’s really long, he anticipates well, and he’s got a real bounce to him. Offensively, I think confidence is what he needs right now. I think he an become a two-way player. He can score at one end and really shake it up at the defensive end. That’s what I’ve seen from him in the short time I’ve been around him and that’s why we kept him.”

Texas Notes: Langford, Sengun, Doncic, Campazzo

Romeo Langford beat out Joe Wieskamp for the last spot on the Spurs’ roster and Langford is looking to establish a career foothold, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News writes.

“I feel like I have a new start with an organization that believes in me and wants to see me succeed and will do everything they can to help me be better off and on the court,” Langford said.

Langford appeared in just four games for San Antonio last season after being included in the Derrick White deal with Boston. He has a $5,634,257 salary this season and could be a restricted free agent next summer if San Antonio extends a qualifying offer.

We have more on the Texas teams:

  • Rockets second-year center Alperen Sengun might be more effective coming off the bench, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle explains. Sengun could showcase more of his offensive moves if he’s on the second unit, while Bruno Fernando is more suited for the rebounding and pick-and-roll responsibilities with the starting unit. “It’s always important for (Sengun) to touch the ball when he’s on the floor because that’s his strength,” coach Stephen Silas said. “I’m intentional about making sure that he gets the ball when it’s necessary and sometimes when he hasn’t had a touch.”
  • Mavericks coach Jason Kidd believes Luka Doncic could turn another corner during the fifth season of his career, Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com writes. “He will understand the league better,” Kidd said. “With his talent, he’s always going to make his teammates better. He’s (one of) if not the best player in the world. It could be where things are a little clearer where he can see things a lot better and understand what teams are trying to do.”
  • Facundo Campazzo was officially added to the Mavericks roster on Tuesday via a one-year contract and the former Nuggets guard is grateful to get another NBA job, as he told Sefko. “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity,” he said. “I was training hard, as much as I could in Argentina. I just tried to be ready for any chance in the NBA. The opportunity came now and I love it.”

Spurs Waive Alize Johnson

The Spurs have placed Alize Johnson on waivers, tweets Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype.

The move was confirmed by Tom Orsborne of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link), who adds that the team still has one roster cut to make before Monday afternoon’s deadline. He points to Joe Wieskamp and Romeo Langford as being “on the bubble.”

Johnson joined the Spurs in August on a training camp deal. It was non-guaranteed and included an Exhibit 9 clause, which carries fewer protections than the more common Exhibit 10.

The 26-year-old power forward started last season with the Bulls before being waived in mid-December. He signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards later that month, then inked a pair of 10-day deals with the Pelicans in March. He played 23 combined games with the three teams, averaging 1.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per night.

Johnson broke into the league with the Pacers, who made him the 50th pick in the 2018 draft. He also spent time with the Nets.

Wolves Notes: Harrell, Trade Deadline, Gupta, Simmons, Roster Spot

The Timberwolves wanted to add size to their front line, but the closest they came to making a trade at the deadline was a proposed swap with the Wizards involving Montrezl Harrell, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Harrell could have helped a Minnesota team that has been near the bottom of the league in defensive rebounding all season, but Krawczynski states that there was internal debate about how he would have fit in. He’s only 6’7″ and isn’t a good outside shooter or an outstanding defender, so the Wolves passed on the deal and Harrell wound up in Charlotte.

Minnesota talked to the Celtics about acquiring Marcus Smart, but never made much traction, Krawczynski adds. Boston offered Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford in exchange for Malik Beasley, but the Wolves turned it down, feeling that Beasley’s outside shooting is too valuable to part with.

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta had plenty of incentive to make a huge trade by the deadline, but he didn’t feel like the right offer was available, Krawczynski writes in the same piece. Gupta, who took over his position when Gersson Rosas was fired before the start of training camp, could have felt pressure to shake up the roster before the new ownership group decides on his future with the organization. “I could imagine the perception that I would want to put my stamp on things and make a move just for the sake of it. But that’s just not how I operate,” Gupta said. “I’m going to operate from a position of what is best for this franchise, not for me.”
  • The Timberwolves had been mentioned frequently as Ben Simmons suitors since last summer, but the package the Nets got from the Sixers on Thursday is far better than anything Minnesota could have offered, contends Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. The Wolves didn’t have the star that Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was seeking, and they weren’t able to convince a third team to get involved. Rand also suggests that Minnesota may have benefited from keeping its young core together, rather than breaking it up for a shot at Simmons.
  • The Wolves have an open roster spot, but they won’t address it right away, at least not on a permanent basis, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Gupta said the team doesn’t expect to fill that spot with more than a 10-day contract until at least March due to luxury tax concerns.

Celtics Trade Richardson, Langford, First-Round Pick To Spurs For Derrick White

10:11pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Celtics. White heads to Boston, while the Spurs acquire Richardson, Langford, the Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick (top-four protected), and the conditional right to swap first-round picks with Boston in 2028.


12:40pm: The Celtics are trading Josh Richardson to the Spurs in a deal for Derrick White, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) that the Celtics are including a first-round pick in the trade. That pick will be Boston’s top-four protected 2022 first-rounder, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Himmelsbach tweets that Romeo Langford will also be headed to San Antonio. In addition, the Spurs will have the ability swap 2028 first-round picks with Boston, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link).

White, now in his fifth season, is averaging 14.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.9 BPG through 49 games (30.3 MPG). The 27-year-old is also one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders. White’s big weakness is an inconsistent outside shot, shooting just 31.4% from three-point range.

However, he’s a good finisher inside the arc, making 51.9% of his two-pointers and 86.9% of his free throws, both very respectable for a guard. He’s also a heady passer and driver on top of being a premier defender. White’s addition further bolster’s Boston’s third-ranked defense, and the team will become an absolute menace on that end of the court.

White makes $15.2MM this season and is under contract through 2024/25, making him a potentially long-term addition as president Brad Stevens builds the roster around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Boston currently sits at 30-25 after winning six straight, No. 7 in the East.

As Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets, the Celtics plan to absorb White’s contract into their Evan Fournier traded player exception, which is worth $17.1MM. Doing so will create a new TPE worth $11.2MM for Richardson. Smith notes that could change, pending other moves, but that’s the plan for now. John Hollinger of The Athletic first reported that creating a new TPE for Richardson was a possibility (via Twitter).

San Antonio obtains a stunning array of assets for White. I value him highly and think the Celtics have improved significantly in the short-term, but they gave up an awful lot to get him. The first-round pick this season is almost certain to convey, and depending on how the rest of this season plays out, there’s even a chance it could be a late lottery pick, although Boston has played outstanding basketball since the start of January. The 2028 pick swap could also be very valuable, but that’s far down the line and foolish to speculate about at this juncture.

Richardson, 28, was in his first season with Boston after being acquired via trade in the offseason. The 40th overall pick of the 2015 draft by Miami, Richardson had been a valuable two-way contributor for the Heat before being traded multiple times the past few years, spending the 2019/20 season with the Sixers and last season with the Mavs. He’d been a bit disappointing for both of those clubs, but is performing well this season, averaging 9.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .443/.397/.859 shooting in a reserve role (44 games, 24.7 MPG).

San Antonio also gets a buy-low candidate in Langford, the 14th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Still just 22, Langford was a highly touted prospect who struggled to break Boston’s rotation. Now in his third season, he’s averaging 4.7 PPG and 2.4 RPG through 44 games (16.5 MPG). As a third-year former first-round pick, Langford is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs take a wait-and-see approach, as they’d still hold his rights as a restricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

Lakers, Wolves, Jazz Eyeing Josh Richardson

The Lakers are the latest team to be linked to Celtics wing Josh Richardson, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

There are conflicting reports on what the Lakers are willing to offer for Richardson. Keith Smith of CelticsBlog.com hears from a source that talks between Los Angeles and Boston went nowhere because the Celtics don’t have much interest in Talen Horton-Tucker and the Lakers weren’t eager to add a draft pick to their trade offer.

However, Brian Robb of MassLive.com reports that L.A. offered Horton-Tucker and a draft pick for Richardson. The details on that pick are unclear, but the Lakers’ first-rounders are tied up for the next few years, so a 2027 pick is the earliest one they could unconditionally offer. A first-rounder may be necessary to entice Boston — Horton-Tucker’s trade value has “significantly cooled” since last season, per Bill Oram and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

The Timberwolves are another potential suitor for Richardson. Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who previously reported that Minnesota hadn’t shown much interest in a possible deal that would’ve sent Richardson and either Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith to the Wolves in exchange for Malik Beasley, says those discussions are once again gaining some momentum.

According to Weiss, the Wolves are “warming up” to the idea of a deal involving Beasley and Richardson, since it seems increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to land an impact player such as Ben Simmons.

However, it’s unclear whether the Wolves and Celtics agree on Beasley’s value. Smith has heard that the C’s want more than just Beasley from Minnesota in a swap for Richardson, due to his past legal issues and the fact that he’s earning a higher salary ($14.5MM) than Richardson ($11.6MM). Adding Langford ($3.8MM) or Nesmith ($3.6MM) would close that salary gap.

Meanwhile, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says rival executives believe Minnesota wants a first-round pick for Beasley. That seems like an unrealistic asking price, given Beasley’s underwhelming performance this season, but it suggests the Wolves still value him — it’s unclear if they’d be willing to move him for a package like Richardson and Nesmith.

Finally, the Jazz also remain in the hunt for Richardson, according to Robb. A report last week indicated that the veteran swingman is on Utah’s radar.

Any offer from the Jazz would likely have to be centered around Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick, says Robb. Given the Celtics’ recent hot streak, that sort of framework may not appeal to the team, since Ingles is out with a torn ACL and wouldn’t be able to contribute this season.

Celtics Rumors: Schröder, Richardson, Smart, Williams

There appears to be “a wave of momentum” toward the Celtics completing a Dennis Schröder trade in advance of the February 10 trade deadline, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

In the latest HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto singled out the Bulls as a team to watch for Schröder, noting that Chicago could use some backcourt help with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso sidelined.

Both Scotto and Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report mentioned a possible package of Troy Brown Jr. and a second-round pick in exchange for Schröder, with Fischer suggesting that framework has been circulating around the league.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • The Celtics explored a possible deal that would’ve sent Josh Richardson and either Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith to the Timberwolves in exchange for Malik Beasley, according to Jared Weiss and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota, right up against the tax and hoping to maintain roster flexibility for bigger deadline moves, wasn’t interested at the time, The Athletic’s duo says.
  • Marcus Smart‘s name has come up recently as a possible target for the Timberwolves, especially if they move Patrick Beverley in another deal, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Weiss suggests the Celtics could probably move Smart for an expiring contract and a first-round pick right now if they wanted to, but adds that “there’s a lot more that goes into moving him beyond finding matching value.”
  • Celtics big man Robert Williams is believed to be on the Raptors‘ list of potential targets as they explore the market for a center, per Fischer. According to Weiss, Boston appears to be rebuffing interest in Williams for now, but anyone on the roster outside of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could theoretically be had.
  • As we relayed earlier this morning, Richardson is considered a possible trade target for Utah.