Sergey Karasev

Eastern Notes: Gay, Ellington, Walker, Karasev

The Heat are among the preferred destinations for Kings small forward Rudy Gay, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Gay, who can opt out of his current deal next summer, denies asking Sacramento to trade him, but he made comments last month that show a clear unhappiness with the direction the team is taking. While it’s understandable why he might prefer Miami, the Heat are low on tradable assets after a flurry of moves this summer. The free agents the team added this summer are not eligible to be traded until December 15th.

There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat’s signing of Dion Waiters may push Wayne Ellington to the back of the rotation, Jackson writes in the same story. Ellington had a shot to start at shooting guard before the move, but now may be fighting for playing time in a crowded backcourt with Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson. Ellington could see minutes at small forward if Chris Bosh remains sidelined with health problems and Justise Winslow is needed at power forward.
  • Kemba Walker is optimistic about the new-look Hornets, but he hated to see Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee and Jeremy Lin leave in free agency, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “But that’s the business: You’re always going to play with some new guys every year,” Walker said. “You think about Big Al, who I wish we could have kept. He helped change this franchise around big time from the day he got here.” Charlotte tried to replace them by adding Ramon Sessions, Marco Belinelli and Roy Hibbert.
  • Sergey Karasev will play in Russia next season, but he hasn’t ruled out the NBA, according to Eurohoops. Karasev, who spent the past two seasons with the Nets, says first he hopes to prove that he can lead a team. “Ι want to be one of the key persons in a team, not just go in for 10 minutes,” he said. “I hope that Zenit [in St. Petersburg] will be successful in VTB League and then it will be possible for me to go back to the NBA.”

And-Ones: Parsons, Humphries, Bass, Howard

Unrestricted free agent Kris Humphries, who split time last season between the Wizards, Suns and Hawks, is one of the players the Celtics are considering making a run at this offseason, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com relays (on Twitter). The Hawks, Nets, Wolves, Spurs and Hornets are also interested in the big man, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

With free agency now underway, here’s the latest happening from around the league:

  • The Trail Blazers intend to make a strong push to ink both Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard this offseason, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com tweets. Parsons and Howard were former teammates with the Rockets and have remained friends, the scribe notes.
  • The Hawks made a strong impression on Howard during their meeting with him today, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. The scribe adds that the possibility of D12 joining Atlanta is gaining traction.
  • The Warriors are looking to bolster their bench and have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Andrew Nicholson, who spent the past four seasons with the Magic, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • Former Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt is joining Rick Carlisle‘s staff with the Mavericks, Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com tweets.
  • Former Nets forward Sergey Karasev signed a three-year deal with the Russian club BC Zenit Saint Petersburg, the team announced (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 22-year-old made 40 appearances for Brooklyn this season and averaged 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.0 per contest while shooting .405/.297/.929 from the field.
  • Former Wizards forward Chris Singleton has signed with the Greek club Panathinaikos, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). Singleton last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 season.
  • The Wolves have reached out to free agent power forward Brandon Bass to gauge interest, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN tweets.
  • With the Pacers reportedly reaching an agreement with Al Jefferson, unrestricted free agent big man Ian Mahinmi won’t be returning to the team next season, Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star relays (via Twitter).
  • The Mavericks have no immediate plans to target Bismack Biyombo or Howard after missing out on Hassan Whiteside, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link).

Atlantic Rumors: Rambis, DeRozan, Karasev, C’s

New Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek has said he’ll have final say on his assistant coaches, but it certainly sounds as if Phil Jackson expects to see former interim coach Kurt Rambis on Hornacek’s staff, as Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News details.

“Kurt fits, he fits in a number of ways,” Jackson told SNY.tv during a Knicks event in Chelsea. “He was a teammate of Jeff’s in Phoenix at one point in their careers. He’s also a team guy. He has a great idea of what we’re trying to get accomplished and I think he can help Jeff feel his way through this club and find a best way for them to play.”

In addition to speaking positively about Rambis, Jackson noted that while his Knicks don’t currently have a draft pick, “we think subsequently we might” (link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post). That comes as no surprise, considering multiple reports have indicated New York is pushing hard to land a pick in a trade.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • As Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders explains, Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan earned $850K in incentives in 2015/16 based on his free throw attempts, assists per game, and Toronto reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. Now that certain bonuses in his contract are considered “likely,” DeRozan’s cap number for his player option next season has increased to $10.35MM. However, that point ultimately figures to be moot, since DeRozan will turn down his option by next Wednesday’s deadline.
  • NetsDaily.com (Twitter link) is hearing from an overseas source that Sergey Karasev is expected to return to Russia to play for his father Vasily Karasev in St. Petersburg. The coach of the year in the Russian league, Vasily was adamant last month that his son won’t be back with the Nets next season.
  • Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge believes it’s “still too early” to get a real sense of how the trade market during the draft might play out, writes Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com. However, that doesn’t stop ESPN’s Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) from exploring potential trade options for Boston’s No. 3 overall pick and the team’s other seven selections.
  • Meanwhile, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said the team has “seven or eight guys” targeted as potential options at No. 3, assuming Boston keeps the pick. Petraglia has the details and the quotes at WEEI.com.

Eastern Rumors: Karasev, Maker, Raps, Pistons

In a conversation with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, Sergey Karasev‘s father Vasily Karasev – the coach of the year in the Russian league – was asked about his son’s future. According to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, the elder Karsev replied that it’s too early to say where his son will land, but they intend to consider all options in both the NBA and Europe. He then added an interesting kicker: “One thing is for sure, Sergey won’t play for the Nets next season.”

As Nets Daily observes, Sergey Karasev previously contradicted comments from his father when Vasily suggested that his son wanted to be traded by the Nets. So the elder Karsev’s comments this time around don’t necessarily guarantee anything. But it certainly sounds as if the 22-year-old, who had his team option declined by Brooklyn, will thoroughly explore outside opportunities this summer, and there’s a good chance he’ll be wearing a different uniform in the fall.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • After working out for Utah, seven-foot prospect Thon Maker has workouts lined up with the Hawks (Friday), Pistons, and Pacers, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Maker has received some first-round buzz following a recent audition in New York City.
  • Former Toledo power forward Nathan Boothe will work out for the Raptors next Tuesday, sources tell Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). Boothe has had workouts with Brooklyn, Detroit, and Utah so far in the pre-draft process.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical previews the offseason for the Heat, who will need to find talent outside of the draft this year since they don’t have either of their two picks.
  • If the Pistons keep the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft, there’s a good chance they use it on a point guard, according to David Mayo of MLive.com, who identifies a few possible targets at the position. However, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details, Detroit should have no shortage of options with the pick.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Draft Pick, Patterson, Williams

The Nets are using what’s left of this season to determine who they want back next season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Interim coach Tony Brown has been juggling his lineups, as Thomas Robinson, Sergey KarasevHenry Sims and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson all made starts this week. “It’s an opportunity for you to show people what you can do,” Brown said. “As far as I know, we don’t have a bunch of long-term-contract guys, so this is an opportunity for them to show themselves to the organization and possibly to the league. So use your time wisely and help yourself when you play.”

Two players who have made the most of their late-season chances are shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick, who was signed out of the D-League and is averaging 13.9 points over his last 15 games, and point guard Shane Larkin, who has put up 10.8 points and six assists per night in his last six games as a starter. Larkin has a $1.5MM player option for next season.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics could benefit from Brooklyn’s decision to shut down Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the rest of the season, according to NetsDaily. Boston owns the Nets‘ unprotected first rounder, and Brooklyn is currently fourth in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, one game behind Phoenix. If the Nets move past the Suns, Boston’s chance at the No. 1 pick improves from 11.9% to 15.6%.
  • Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse picks Patrick Patterson as the team’s most improved player this season, relays Mike Ganter of The National Post. The sixth-year power forward only averages 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, but Nurse said the improvement shows up in his overall play. “I would say he has made more strides defensively, but I would also say he has made strides consistently producing the same thing night in and night out,” Nurse said. “I think there were a little more extreme peaks and valleys with him [before].” Patterson is signed for one more season at slightly more than $6MM.
  • Derrick Williams has finally put aside the pressure of being the second player drafted in 2011 and has found a home with the Knicks, writes Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com. “This league is about opportunity, situation and timing – those three things right there,” Williams said. “And if you have good opportunity, situation is right, and the time is right on point, you can’t be stopped.”

Atlantic Rumors: Calderon, Rondo, Embiid, Karasev

Jose Calderon would like to return to the Knicks next season, even if it means giving up his role as starting point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. If he comes back, Calderon will earn $7.6MM in the final year of his contract. However, the Knicks have made no secret of their desire to find a new point guard, and it’s possible that Calderon could be traded or even waived through the stretch provision, which would allow the team to open about $5MM in extra cap space for this summer. That would leave the Knicks with less cap flexibility for 2017 and 2018, however. “I’ll figure it out when the season is over,” Calderon said. “There’s still a few games left, still a year left on my contract. I always say you’re one call away. You never know what’s going to happen. We’ll figure it out after the season.”

There’s more news tonight regarding the Knicks and the Atlantic Division:

  • Interim Knicks coach Kurt Rambis believes Kings point guard Rajon Rondo could be successful in the triangle offense, Berman writes in the same piece, citing an unidentified source. Rondo signed a one-year deal with Sacramento in free agency last offseason and is expected to be highly sought after this summer.
  • Injured Sixers center Joel Embiid is making a second trip to the Aspetar medical facility in Qatar, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Several team officials accompanied him on this visit, as Embiid undergoes more treatment for his surgically repaired right foot.
  • The twice-delayed right knee surgery for Sixers rookie center Jahlil Okafor has been scheduled for Tuesday, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports.
  • The Nets are apparently taking a long look at Sergey Karasev before the season ends, according to NetsDaily. The fourth-year swingman made his first start of the season Thursday and his minutes have been increasing this month. It’s possible that new GM Sean Marks is auditioning Karasev after Brooklyn elected to decline the option for next season on his rookie contract. The option would have eaten up $2,463,754 in cap flexibility this summer, when the Nets are hoping to make a strong push for free agents.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Karasev, Karnisovas, Rosas

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck doubts the team will make a major move at the trade deadline, as he said in a recent radio appearance on the “Felger and Mazz” show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (video link). Boston is clinging fast to draft assets that include two likely first-round picks for this June in addition to its own.

“I think we’ll do something. Will it be transformative? I don’t know,” Grousbeck said. “There are only a few players we’d be willing to make a transformative move for because the picks could be good. I think the odds are pretty slim you do a transformative trade.”

See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sergey Karasev is supportive of David Blatt‘s reported candidacy for the Nets coaching vacancy, as he said on the “Sports interest” show on Russia’s Match TV, NetsDaily notes. Karasev, who played for Blatt on the Russian national team, also indicated a desire to stay in Brooklyn, according to NetsDaily. The team declined its $2,463,754 option on his rookie scale contract for next season and can’t re-sign him to a deal with a starting salary greater than that amount.
  • NetsDaily, in a pair of pieces, examines reported Nets GM candidates Arturas Karnisovas and Gersson Rosas. Both shared time in the Rockets front office and stand as relatively unknown quantities compared to former NBA GMs Bryan Colangelo and Danny Ferry, who are also reportedly up for the job.
  • Questions surround just how the Sixers view the progress of Joel Embiid‘s recovery and their internal projections for Dario Saric, but the central issue at play as the trade deadline approaches is what the team wants to do with Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, as Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines.

Atlantic Notes: Bradley, Wright, Nurse

Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley says switching agents from Mitchell Butler of the Vanguard Sports Group and Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports to Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports was a “private matter,” adding that it wasn’t about trying to improve his brand or add endorsements, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes. “At the time I just felt like it was best for me,” Bradley told Washburn. “I play because God blessed me to play this game and that’s what I enjoy doing. Hopefully I can continue to keep playing at this high level and hopefully I can continue to be a better basketball player.”

The 25-year-old also told Washburn that he’s trying to lead the team’s younger players by setting the right example and hopes that they are taking notice. “It’s a blessing to be here and part of an organization like this. I just try to come in every single day and be professional and work as hard as I can,” Bradley said. “I feel like you can’t replace that. I try to let everyone know we’re all a team together from the strength and conditioning [coach] to trainer, I try to respect everybody. When I do little things like that it helps them see the importance of a team. Not just the players, but everybody.

Here’s more regarding the Atlantic Division:

  • The two players on the Nets who can benefit the most by the addition of shooting coach David Nurse are Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Markel Brown, opines Reed Wallach of NetsDaily. Other players whose outside shooting Brooklyn hopes the addition of Nurse will improve in the future are Chris McCullough, Sergey Karasev and draft-and-stash prospect Juan Pablo Vaulet, Wallach adds.
  • The Raptors have recalled combo guard Delon Wright from their D-League affiliate, the team announced. In 12 games for the Raptors 905 this season Wright is averaging 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists while connecting on 52.7% of his field goal attempts.

Sergey Karasev Wants Nets To Trade Him?

FRIDAY, 10:22am: Karasev said today that he doesn’t want a trade and hasn’t asked for one, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post. He added that he “loves” the Nets, that he respects the opinion of his father but doesn’t share it, and that he’s spoken to Hollins about his father’s criticism of the coach, Lewis also notes (Twitter links). Hollins told Karasev not to worry about it.

THURSDAY, 12:49pm: Sergey Karasev wants the Nets to trade him, as his father said in an interview with Russia’s SovSport and as a league source confirms to NetsDaily. The Nets declined their team option on the fourth year of his rookie scale contract earlier this month, setting him up for unrestricted free agency in the summer ahead. His father said the swingman has begun to talk about trade scenarios, as NetsDaily relays from its translation of the SovSport report, but it’s unclear if he or agent Andy Miller has discussed the issue with Nets management.

Karasev, 22, has played just six total minutes across three games so far this season. His father blasted the Nets and coach Lionel Hollins for his scant playing time, pointing to his full recovery from a right knee injury that prematurely ended last season and wondering if “political” issues are at play, NetsDaily notes. Karasev and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov are both Russian.

Any team that trades for Karasev this year wouldn’t be able to re-sign him to a contract that gives him more than $2,463,754 next season, the value of the option that the Nets declined. His father acknowledged the possibility that Karasev will play in his native Russia come 2016/17, following in the footsteps of Russia’s Alexey Shved, who signed a deal worth $10.2MM over three years with Khimki Moscow this past summer that made him the highest-paid player in Europe, NetsDaily adds.

The Cavs originally drafted Karasev in 2013, and he played sparingly as a rookie, averaging 1.7 points in 7.1 minutes per game across 22 appearances. Cleveland shipped him to the Nets in a three-team trade that cleared the cap space necessary for the team to sign LeBron James in the summer of 2014. Hollins gave Karasev the starting nod in 16 of the 33 games he played last season, a year in which he posted 4.6 points in 16.8 minutes per contest with just 29.6% shooting from behind the arc.

It would be tough for the Nets to pull off a trade any time in the next four weeks, since most of the players who signed new contracts in the offseason won’t be eligible for inclusion in trades until December 15th. That doesn’t directly apply to Karasev, since he didn’t sign a deal this past summer, but finding other components for a swap prior to the middle of next month would likely prove troublesome. So, that ostensibly gives the Nets some time to try to repair their relationship with Karasev if they’re interested in doing so.

Which team do you think should try to swing a deal for Karasev? Leave a comment to let us know.

Nets To Decline 2016/17 Option On Sergey Karasev

The Nets will not pick up Sergey Karasev‘s $2.5MM team option for the 2016/17 season, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops reports (Twitter link).

Karasev underwent season-ending surgery on his right knee in March, but he entered the regular season at full health. Karasev, 22, is not an integral part of the Nets’ rotation. He played only two minutes in Friday’s game and did not play in Brooklyn’s other two contests. We noted that it was generally likely for Brooklyn to pick up the option, considering the cost, but as Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com points out (on Twitter), the decision indicates the Nets likely do not think too highly of Karasev. Brooklyn does not have any other pending rookie scale team options for this year. The Nets have $45,379,214 in guaranteed salary for 2016/17.

Karasev appeared in 33 games for Brooklyn last season season, averaging 4.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 16.8 minutes per contest. The swingman was originally drafted by the Cavs with the No. 19 pick in the 2013 draft.