Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Nets Won’t Make Qualifying Offer To Hollis-Jefferson

The Nets will not make a qualifying offer to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who will become an unrestricted free agent, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. By letting Hollis-Jefferson walk, the Nets will have approximately $46MM in cap space this summer, Wojnarowski adds.

Brooklyn would have needed to extend a $3,594,369 qualifying offer to Hollis-Jefferson to make him a restricted free agent. The Nets are looking to open up as much as cap space as possible to bring in two high-level free agents.

A 2015 first-round selection, Hollis-Jefferson has spent all four of his seasons with Brooklyn. He averaged 8.9 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 20.9 MPG last season after posting career bests of 13.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 28.3 MPG during the 2017/18 campaign. Adductor and groin injuries limited him to 59 games this past season.

In 234 career games, he’s averaged 9.9 PPG and 5.9 RPG.

The 24-year-old Hollis-Jefferson is well-regarded for his defensive versatility and should attract interest from multiple teams on the open market.

Poll: Nets’ Playoff Chances

Heading into the 2018/19 season, many expected the Nets to make another jump in the standings as a result of their players developing and the quality depth they added in the offseason. However, there were no expectations that at the halfway point of the season, the Nets would be sitting in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference despite not having their best player available for the past two months.

The Nets are 21-23, which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they were 8-18 in early December. Instead of focusing on getting the best draft pick possible, Kenny Atkinson continued to believe that his team could turn it around, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Since December 6, the Nets own the league’s 12th-ranked offense and 15th-best defense.

D’Angelo Russell has made strides as a playmaker and scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie is a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and Joe Harris has provided elite shooting and floor-spacing.

Keep in mind that a lot of this recent run by the Nets has come without Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, not to mention Caris LeVert. The Nets use their depth and bench to their advantage on a nightly basis, which allows them to stay afloat when injuries strike.

With that being said, many still expect teams like the Pistons and Hornets to improve moving forward, while the Wizards have found new life since John Wall went down for the season. Do the Nets have enough top-end talent to lead them to the playoffs? Or will their strong bench and depth be enough for them to sneak in? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote

Atlantic Notes: Hollis-Jefferson, Embiid, Smart, Burke

Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson suffered another groin injury on Saturday, but the severity of the issue isn’t worse than his strained right adductor from this past summer, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

Hollis-Jefferson sustained the injury as the team played Milwaukee, with the 23-year-old heading to the locker room for examination and being ruled out of the game early.

“Yeah,” he said, “I felt a little strange feeling on a crossover going baseline. It just felt weird to me so I just wanted to be cautious and talk to our training staff, see what was going on.”

Hollis-Jefferson missed the entire preseason following his adductor injury on Aug. 4, making his debut nearly 12 weeks after the injury on Oct. 24. News of his Saturday’s injury not being worse than the problem in August comes as a relief for Brooklyn, a team already playing without talented wing Caris LeVert.

Hollis-Jefferson has started in 19 of 34 games this season, averaging 9.9 points per contest while playing his usual stellar defense. He’ll undergo further examination on Sunday with hopes of making a return in the near future.

“You know where your groin is, so I knew it was my groin,” Hollis-Jefferson said, according to Lewis. “But I’m no doctor, so I didn’t know “Oh, it’s this severe” or whatever the case may be. I knew it was my groin. A little sore. But we’ll go see [Sunday], check and see how it feels, how everything is.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division today:

  • Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid is quietly building a case for Defensive Player of the Year this season, Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com writes. Philadelphia sports an impressive 101.9 defensive rating when Embiid is on the court, turning into a different team when he’s protecting the rim. “I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again, he is the Defensive Player of the Year,” coach Brett Brown said. “When I look at our metrics, his impact on this team is overwhelming.”
  • Before the Celtics‘ game against the Rockets last week, coaches from both teams praised Marcus Smart for the intensity he brings on defense. Smart notched 11 points, three assists and a steal in the game, defending players such as James Harden and Eric Gordon“Just his ability to stick his nose into everything and stamina, strength, and then being willing to do all the dirty work,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of Smart, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s one of the better defenders in the league. He’s like P.J. [Tucker] for us. They do what’s needed. And some people have noses for the ball, situations they can think they’re way out of defensively. He does that.”
  • Knicks guard Trey Burke has regained his love for basketball while playing in New York, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News writes. Burke started his career with the Jazz, a tumultuous time period he still reflects on today. “I’ve had to figure the league out,” Burke said. “I think individually it helped me kind of look myself in the mirror and re-evaluate what I needed to get better at and the areas I needed to grow in.”

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Butler, Embiid, Fultz

The Nets made news last week when they agreed to a contract extension with point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The three-year deal totals $34MM+ and includes a player option on the final year, which would allow Dinwiddie to re-enter the free agency market at age 28 to secure another contract.

The decision to give Dinwiddie the extension might have appeared simple on the surface, but Michael Scotto of The Athletic analyzes how it may impact the decisions the Nets have to make on upcoming restricted free agents D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Russell will very likely be looking for more money on his next contract, while the Nets also have 2019 free agency aspirations as they look to make the next step and become a playoff team. For now, they have locked up a quality point guard for the foreseeable future on a very reasonable contract as they look to navigate the waters without Caris LeVert moving forward this season.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

  • In his running column on the Sixers for The Athletic, Derek Bodner explored the fit between Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid, especially in light of the comments Embiid made about the questionable fit and role he has had since the trade.
  • The Sixers have struggled recently as a result of Butler’s injury, which, as Tim Bontemps writes for ESPN, exposes the team’s lack of depth on a nightly basis. Bontemps also discusses the notion that subsequent roster moves that would help solve the 76ers’ depth issues moving forward.
  • According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Ben Uzoh, a former point guard that also dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome during his playing career, has reached out to Markelle Fultz to provide him with advice on how to navigate the diagnosis and properly recover as the Sixers‘ young point guard looks to get his career back on track.

Nets Notes: Dinwiddie, Davis, RHJ, Carroll

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie became eligible for an extension on Saturday but there doesn’t seem to be much progress between the two parties. Dinwiddie’s agent, Raymond Brothers, indicated that to the New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “No news. Nothing to report,” Brothers said.

Dinwiddie can receive as much as $47.5MM on a four-year extension and has said he’d be willing to sign for that amount. Several NBA sources told Lewis that Dinwiddie could get more as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Dinwiddie is currently making just $1.65MM this season, a huge bargain for a productive rotation player. He scored a career-high 39 points on Wednesday.

We have more on the Nets:

  • Big man Ed Davis knows changes could be on the horizon if the team doesn’t start winning games in bunches soon, as he told Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “It’s not just a coaching job that can change, they start trading people. It gets crazy when you lose and how you’re losing,” Davis said. Dinwiddie is also aware that the pressure is building on the current roster to start producing. “I’d venture to guess that if we continued to lose trades would happen, as they should. That’s (GM) Sean (Marks’) job,” he said.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s return to the lineup has helped the Nets crack down defensively, Lewis writes in a separate story. Wins over the Raptors and Knicks this past weekend were facilitated by Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility. He recently returned from an adductor injury. “He can guard a 2, a 3, a 4, a 1. Its just huge for us. And he wants that responsibility. He’s embracing it more now that he’s feeling better physically,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Hollis-Jefferson will be a restricted free agent in the summer if the team extends a $3,594,369 qualifying offer.
  • DeMarre Carroll has struggled since returning from ankle surgery last month but Atkinson will remain patient with him, Lewis details in another story. The small forward becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. “It’s a little bit him, it’s a little bit me trying to get that confidence back in him that he’s fully healthy and can contribute,” Atkinson said. “He’s not near where he was last year, that’s my estimation. But DeMarre’s DeMarre: That guy’s the ultimate professional, great team guy. We have an understanding where he is.”

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Knicks, Hollis-Jefferson, Sixers

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the team on December 8, and the 25-year-old took time Thursday to address the situation with reporters. Dinwiddie, in his third season with the team, assured he would love to stay long-term.

“I would love to have an extension,” Dinwiddie said, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “I would love to be here for a long time. If I don’t get an extension, then I’ll be looking forward to unrestricted free agency and going through the season and trying to help the Nets win games as much as possible.”

Dinwiddie’s “official statement” came as part of a larger quote posted by Scotto, with Dinwiddie acknowledging that the decision is largely in general manager Sean Marks‘ hands.

“The ball is very much in Sean Marks’ and the Nets’ court,” Dinwiddie said. “Everybody knows my extension number is four (years) for $47.5 million.”

The Nets are projected to have $50-70MM in cap space next summer, and it remains to be seen whether the team is interested in keeping Dinwiddie long-term and cutting into the space. He’s averaged 16 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 22 games off the bench this season, shooting 48% from the floor and 38% from downtown.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Knicks have to make a roster cut in the next couple of weeks, with Allonzo Trier‘s 45-day limit on a two-way deal set to end around December 15, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Ron Baker and Luke Kornet are two possible candidates to be waived. Trier has averaged 11.8 points per contest in 23 games this season, shooting 49% from the field.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been given the starting nod at power forward this week, leaving some to wonder if the change will become permanent again, writes Tim Dowd of Nets.com. The Nets enjoy using Hollis-Jefferson’s defensive capabilities against players at each position, primarily at the four spot. “We can put him on a point guard, we can put him on a four, we can put him on a five,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s just a huge advantage, his defensive versatility.”
  • The Sixers‘ next moves are even more important now that they’ve acquired a third All-Star in Jimmy Butler, Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes. Philadelphia must convince Butler that this should be his long-term home before he reaches free agency in July, and the team could package Markelle Fultz in a trade for talent that can help the club compete now.

Nets Rumors: Butler, LeVert, Allen, Russell, RHJ

Although the Nets internally view Jimmy Butler as a top-10 or top-15 player in the NBA, the team resolved not to give up any of its prime assets for him once he became available, writes Michael Scotto of The Athletic. When Brooklyn briefly discussed the possibility of acquiring Butler in a trade, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and the team’s first-round pick were off-limits.

As Scotto details, general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson have talked throughout their tenures about not “skipping steps” in the Nets’ rebuilding process. Sacrificing one or two of the club’s top young players or draft picks would have meant going for a quick fix, with no assurances that Butler would have stuck around beyond 2019.

Here’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets did kick the tires on Butler before the Timberwolves sent him to Philadelphia, having discussed a deal involving D’Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and salary filler, league sources tell Scotto. However, those talks didn’t gain any traction.
  • Scotto identifies Nikola Mirotic and Tobias Harris as two veteran forwards who may receive interest from the Nets during the summer of 2019. Brooklyn has long coveted a reliable stretch four, and Mirotic and Harris, who will both be unrestricted free agents next year, are capable of playing that role.
  • As he approaches restricted free agency, D’Angelo Russell is showing a little more consistency, particularly on the defensive end, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “His maturity, his consistency, that’s what we’re starting to see,” Kenny Atkinson said. “That’s the challenge for him. It’s not on-again, off-again. We need more on from him, and I think he’s starting to get over that hurdle. He looked really good physically, too, against Denver (on Friday). He really got after it.”

Nets’ Treveon Graham Expected To Miss Two Months

Treveon Graham‘s first season in Brooklyn is off to an unfortunate start. After leaving Friday’s game with a leg injury, Graham has been diagnosed with a torn left hamstring and is expected to be sidelined for the next two months, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Graham, who signed a two-year minimum salary contract with the Nets over the summer, was set to provide some depth on the wing on the club, playing 17 minutes in the first game of the season on Wednesday. However, with his hamstring injury expected to keep him out of action for at least a couple months, the soon-to-be 25-year-old may have to wait until the new year to reclaim a regular role in Brooklyn’s rotation.

Graham’s injury won’t create any spending flexibility or open up an extra roster spot for the Nets, since it’s not a season-ending ailment and the club doesn’t have enough injured players to apply for a hardship exception.

Although Graham won’t be available, the Nets will get a boost at the small forward spot this Wednesday, with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson set to make his 2018/19 debut after missing the club’s first three games due to an adductor strain and the birth of his son. Tom Dowd of BrooklynNets.com has the details on Hollis-Jefferson’s return.

Extension Roundup: Rozier, Portis, Jones, Russell

 Celtics point guard Terry Rozier turned down a rookie scale extension offer prior to Monday’s deadline and will become a restricted free agent next summer, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston reports. Boston offered Rozier approximately $12MM annually, according to Blakely, but chose to take his chances in free agency. Talks were cordial and the two parties will revisit each other when Rozier hits the market, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.
“I’m in a great situation,” Rozier told Blakely. “My team (representatives) felt it wasn’t good for me to sign an extension right now. It opens my options a little bit, but I’m focused on what’s happening right now.”
Rozier is expected to have multiple suitors even as a restricted free agent, since Kyrie Irving recently announced that he plans to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, Blakely notes. Rozier broke out last season, particularly after Irving went down with a knee injury. He was especially potent in the playoffs, averaging 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG.
We have more extension decisions:
  • The Timberwolves and point guard Tyus Jones did not reach a rookie scale extension agreement. Jones will be a restricted free agent, and that’s been the expectation all along, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Minnesota would have to make a $3,573,205 qualifying offer before free agency next summer, otherwise Jones would be unrestricted. Jones saw action in all 82 regular-season games last season, including 11 starts, and averaged 5.1 PPG and 2.8 APG in 17.9 MPG.
  • The Bulls and forward Bobby Portis couldn’t come to an extension agreement before Monday’s deadline, Wojnarowski tweets. Agent Mark Bartelstein and Chicago GM Gar Forman had lengthy negotiations as the deadline approached, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets, but couldn’t close the financial gap. “We had very positive talks,” Bartelstein told Johnson. “These are hard extensions to get done.” (Twitter link). Portis will be a restricted free agent if Chicago gives him a $3,611,813 qualifying offer. He averaged 13.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 73 regular season games after returning from his eight-game team suspension following his well-publicized dust-up with former teammate Nikola Mirotic.
  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson did not receive extensions, Michael Scotto of The Athetic tweets. Neither player was aware of Monday’s deadline, according to Scotto, suggesting that the Nets never made a serious pitch to lock them up before free agency. The Nets would have extend a $9,160,706 qualifying offer to Russell to make him a restricted free agent. Hollis-Jefferson’s qualifying offer would be $3,594,369.

New York Notes: Lee, Porzingis, RHJ, Kurucs

While Courtney Lee would prefer to have the Knicks enter the season with serious playoff – or championship – aspirations, he’s willing to play the role of the veteran mentor on a young, rebuilding club, as Howie Kussoy of The New York Post details.

“When I first came in, I had guys like Mickael Pietrus, Keith Bogans, J.J. Redick, they did what I’m doing right now, they helped me a lot, they passed the torch to me, and it’s only right for me to do the same thing,” Lee said. “If that’s what’s asked of me, I gotta do that. Would I want to win right now? Of course. Everybody wants to win, but you gotta go through something to get to something, and that’s where we’re at right now.”

Lee also acknowledged that, at 33 years old, he’s not really a part of the Knicks’ young core and won’t have a guaranteed role if the team focuses on developing its young players. However, he believes he can still make an impact by being a “vocal leader” and a “player’s coach on the court.”

Here’s more on the two New York clubs:

  • Echoing what we heard in September, Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets that the Knicks are not expected to reach a rookie scale extension agreement with Kristaps Porzingis in advance of today’s 5:00pm CT deadline. Assuming that doesn’t change at the 11th hour, Porzingis will be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.
  • Although the Nets didn’t gain traction in Jimmy Butler talks with Minnesota, they’ve already been “active in their pursuits of trades” this fall, as Shams Charania of Stadium details (link via NetsDaily).
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s status for the Nets‘ first game of the season on Wednesday has been up in the air, but the forward is “trending in the right direction,” head coach Kenny Atkinson said on Sunday, per Greg Joyce of The New York Post. “I’ll definitely listen to the medical team and the performance team,” Atkinson said. “We can’t play him 40 minutes that first night, obviously.”
  • In a separate piece for The New York Post, Joyce takes a closer look at Nets second-rounder Rodions Kurucs, who is making a case for regular minutes to start his rookie season.