Shabazz Napier

Trade Details: Napier, Graham, Warriors, Pacers, More

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has provided some additional details on one of the most interesting trade sequences of the offseason, filling in the blanks on the deals that sent Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham from Brooklyn to Golden State to Minnesota.

As previously outlined by cap guru Albert Nahmad (Twitter link), in order to match salaries in their sign-and-trade deal for Kevin Durant ($38,199,000), the Nets had to send out $30,479,200 in salaries of their own, but D’Angelo Russell‘s maximum salary was only worth $27,285,000.

Brooklyn included Napier’s ($1,845,301) and Graham’s ($1,645,357) non-guaranteed contracts to make up that $3,194,200 difference, but had to partially guarantee those salaries in order for them to count for salary-matching purposes. According to Pincus (via Twitter), the Nets did so by giving each player a guarantee worth $1,597,100.

The hard-capped Warriors, who only took on the duo in order to acquire Russell, didn’t want those contracts on their books, so they flipped them to the Timberwolves in a separate trade. According to Pincus (via Twitter), Golden State paid $3.6MM in cash to Minnesota in that deal, more than enough to cover both players’ full salaries and make it worth the Wolves’ while (Napier’s and Graham’s combined salaries total $3.5MM for 2019/20).

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Offseason Trades]

Interestingly, teams are limited to sending out a total of $5,617,000 in cash in trades during the 2019/20 league year, and the Warriors have now sent out $3.6MM to Minnesota and $2MM to Memphis (in the Andre Iguodala deal). In other words, Golden State won’t have the ability to send out additional cash later in the season in another trade.

Here are more details on recent trades:

  • In the three-way trade that landed them T.J. Warren from Phoenix and three future second-round picks from Miami, the Pacers sent $1.1MM in cash to the Suns, per Pincus (Twitter link).
  • The Clippers sent $110K to the Heat in the four-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade deal, says Pincus (Twitter link). That small amount of cash – the minimum allowable in a trade – was the only outgoing piece for the Clips in a swap that landed them Maurice Harkless, the Heat’s lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick (later included in the Paul George package), and the draft rights to 2017 second-rounder Mathias Lessort.
  • In addition to getting $1.1MM from the Wizards in their three-team Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans also received $1MM in cash from the Lakers, tweets Pincus. Pincus also notes that Washington used its trade exception from February’s Markieff Morris trade to take on Bonga’s $1.42MM salary. That exception was originally worth $8.6MM and was also used to acquire Davis Bertans ($7MM), so it has essentially been all used up.

Warriors Trade Graham, Napier To Timberwolves

JULY 8: The trade is official, with the Warriors receiving the draft rights to Lior Eliyahu in the swap, according to a press release from the team.

Because they had to be used for salary-matching purposes in the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade, Graham and Napier both received significant partial guarantees. Graham had about 90% of his $1.65MM salary guaranteed, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

JULY 1: Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier, two of the three players the Warriors are acquiring from the Nets in their sign-and-trade deal for D’Angelo Russell, will be re-routed to the Timberwolves, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Minnesota will also receive cash in the deal, Woj notes.

As part of the agreement, Napier and Graham – who are both on non-guaranteed contracts – will receive partial guarantees, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Both players will have their minimum salaries for 2019/20 becomes guaranteed if they’re not waived by July 10, Marks adds (via Twitter).

It’s a cap-conscious move for the Warriors, for whom every dollar will count, since they face a hard cap of $138.9MM for this season. According to Marks (via Twitter), flipping Graham and Napier will save the team about $250K.

There’s a chance that one or both of Napier and Graham could stick in Minnesota for the season, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). However, that’s far from a certainty.

Nets, Warriors Complete Durant, Russell Sign-And-Trade

JULY 8: The first-round pick going to Brooklyn in the deal is the Warriors’ 2020 pick, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who tweets that it will be top-20 protected. If it falls in that range – and it very well could, given Golden State’s roster changes – the Nets would instead receive the Warriors’ 2025 second-round pick, per Scotto.

JULY 7: The Nets and Warriors have officially completed the sign-and-trade deal that sends Kevin Durant and a protected 2020 first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Treveon Graham, and Shabazz Napier, the two teams announced in a pair of press releases.

“Kevin is a champion, perennial All-Star and one of the great players of this, or any, generation,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “Adding a player of Kevin’s caliber to our organization elevates our ability to compete with the elite teams in this league. His tremendous abilities and dedication to his craft have made him as talented an offensive player our game has ever seen and we, as well as all of Brooklyn, are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family to the Nets.”

Durant initially agreed to sign with the Nets outright using their cap room, but the Warriors engaged them in discussions last Sunday night and eventually agreed to a deal that would include a pair of sign-and-trades — Durant to Brooklyn and D’Angelo Russell to Golden State. Russell, a restricted free agent, became expendable when the Nets finalized agreements with Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“We’re excited to add a player of D’Angelo’s ability to our roster,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said in his team’s announcement. “He’s coming off an All-Star season with the Nets and we feel, at the age of 23, his best basketball is certainly ahead of him in regards to his career trajectory.”

In order to incentivize the Nets to accommodate the Russell sign-and-trade, the Warriors sent a future draft pick to Brooklyn, and will also take on Graham and Napier — those two players will be flipped to Minnesota in a subsequent deal.

Durant, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, isn’t expected to be ready to return until the 2020/21 season, but the Nets have him the long-term — he reportedly agreed to a four-year contract (with a fourth-year player option) that will be worth the maximum salary, or possibly slightly below it to accommodate DeAndre Jordan‘s deal with the club.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will be hard-capped at $138.9MM as a result of acquiring Russell via sign-and-trade, which will limit their ability to make roster moves during the 2019/20 league year. The club already had to send Andre Iguodala and his $17MM+ salary to Memphis in a cost-cutting measure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Agree To Acquire D’Angelo Russell Via Sign-And-Trade

JULY 1: The Warriors will send a future protected first-round pick to the Nets as part of the deal to help incentivize them to acquire Durant via sign-and-trade, tweets Wojnarowski.

JUNE 30: The Warriors are trading for D’Angelo Russell, Treveon Graham, and Shabazz Napier from the Nets, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). The move would be made via sign-and-trade in exchange for Kevin Durant.

Russell will receive a four-year, $117MM maximum salary contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

It was reported earlier today that the Warriors may have an interest in turning Durant’s departure into a sign-and-trade with the Nets. If they hadn’t taken back any salary in the deal, the Dubs could have created a $30MM trade exception. Instead, they’ll land one of the top restricted free agents on the market.

Brooklyn replaced Russell with Kyrie Irving at the point guard position and the franchise was said to be open to helping Russell find a new home of his choosing, even if it meant committing to a sign-and-trade. The Nets wouldn’t look to take salary back in most scenarios, but since they are getting Durant from Golden State, sending Russell there wouldn’t hinder their ability to sign their new stars.

Russell was said to be eyeing a possible move to Minnesota to team up with his close friend Karl-Anthony Towns. Perhaps that was before a deal in Golden State seemed like a feasible option.

The Warriors must stay below the tax apron, which is set at approximately $138.9MM, to remain eligible to accept a sign-and-trade. Doing so with Russell and Klay Thompson receiving maximum-salary deals will be extremely difficult, so another move or two is likely coming for Golden State. As Wojnarowski tweets, Andre Iguodala may have to be moved. Shaun Livingston also appears unlikely to be back.

[UPDATE: Warriors trading Iguodala to Grizzlies]

With Thompson expected to miss most or all of the 2019/20 season with a torn ACL, Russell figures to share the backcourt with Stephen Curry next season in a revamped Warriors lineup. It will be fascinating to see if the club plans to move forward and build around all three guards long-term once Thompson is healthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Napier, A. Davis, Creek

The Nets have a big vacancy to fill until Spencer Dinwiddie gets back from a thumb injury in March and will give third-string point guard Shabazz Napier the opportunity to do so. As Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes, Napier has already seen his role increase.

Napier has scored over 18 points in each of his last three matchups and established himself as a potent downhill threat that Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson plans on utilizing in pick-and-roll situations.

Another option for Atkinson with Dinwiddie sidelined is two-way guard Theo Pinson. Pinson made a splash in his first taste of extensive action but will need to polish his jump shot if he hopes to be more than a glue guy.

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets are quietly confident that they could convince Anthony Davis to re-sign should they end up with him on their roster ahead of his 2020 free agency, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes, but that doesn’t mean going out and acquiring him is the franchise’s best move. The Nets, Lewis says, wouldn’t likely be able to trade for Davis without decimating their young core.
  • After playing professionally in Australia since 2010, Mitch Creek decided to sign a G League contract in hopes of earning himself an an NBA contract. That gamble paid off this week when the 26-year-old made his debut with the Nets after signing a 10-day contract. “If I played this entire G League season and didn’t get a call up then nothing changes. I’d be proud and I could go home with my head held high. Now it’s just the icing on the cake right now,” Creek told Tom Dowd of the Nets’ official site.
  • It’s been a breakout fourth season for Nets guard D’Angelo Russell and much of the credit for that goes to Brooklyn’s head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I give him a lot of credit for the teaching moments,” Russel said, per an Associated Press report. “My knowledge and IQ has really rose to another level just from learning from my mistakes and him breaking it down and us [dissecting] the film together.” Russell is averaging a career best 19.5 points per game and has put himself firmly in the All-Star reserve conversation.

Spencer Dinwiddie Undergoes Thumb Surgery

JANUARY 28th, 6:15pm: Dinwiddie underwent surgery on Monday, according to a team press release.

JANUARY 26th, 4:25pm: Dinwiddie is expected to miss three to six weeks after the operation, Wojnarowski writes in a full story. Shabazz Napier will take over most of the minutes while Dinwiddie is sidelined.

10:30am: Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will undergo surgery on Monday to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. After meeting with a pair of specialists, the surgical route was recommended and Dinwiddie will be sidelined for three to six weeks, per Wojnarowski.

We relayed on Thursday that Dinwiddie suffered the thumb injury and was evaluating the need for surgery. Head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters Friday that Dinwiddie needed surgery but did not rule out the possibility of the veteran guard playing through the injury. However, Atkinson noted the injury occurred two months ago and became progressively worse.

Dinwiddie, 25, had been a prime contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award thus far. In 49 games (four starts), he has averaged 17.2 PPG, 5.0 APG and 2.5 RPG over 28.6 minutes.

Brooklyn signed Dinwiddie to a three-year extension last month amid a torrid stretch for the Nets. After winning their past six games, the Nets (27-23) occupy sixth place in the Eastern Conference are one win shy of tying their total from last season. Barring any setbacks, Dinwiddie should return before the end of the regular season and help Brooklyn solidify a playoff spot.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Northwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Northwest Division:

Isaiah Thomas, Nuggets, 29, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
Thomas hoped to revive his career as a high-scoring sixth man for one of the league’s up-and-coming teams. Instead, Thomas has yet to make his Denver debut. Thomas continues to struggle with hip issues and there’s no timetable for his return. Just a couple of years removed from being a candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, Thomas has a cloudy future. It’s more likely he’ll be forced into early retirement than ever approaching his former level of excellence and that would be a shame.

Derrick Rose, Timberwolves, 30, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.39MM deal in 2018
Seriously, did anyone think Rose would have another 25-point outing in his career, let alone twice as many points? Rose’s 50-point explosion against Utah on Halloween was a shocker and he’s remained a steady offensive threat since that blast from the past. He’s averaging 22.0 PPG and 4.0 APG over his last eight games. Once thought to be on the verge of retirement, Rose clearly still has a lot left in the tank. He’ll be getting a substantial raise in the open market if he keeps this up.

Abdel Nader, Thunder, 25, SF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $4.16MM deal in 2017
The Celtics were about to cut Nader loose this summer until the Thunder came calling with a trade offer. The 2016 second-round pick has a non-guaranteed contract and he hasn’t done anything to convince Oklahoma City to keep him around after this season. Nader hasn’t been able to break into the wing rotation, playing a total of just 15 minutes. Nader will probably be looking for another fresh start in July.

Seth Curry, Trail Blazers, 28, PG (Down) — Signed to a one-year, $2.795MM deal in 2018
Curry left Dallas with the hope of reestablishing his value after missing all of last season with stress fracture in his lower left leg. It hasn’t started off the way Curry envisioned. He wasn’t effective in a backup role (6.09 PER) before missing the last four games with a knee injury. There’s still hope for Curry to turn things around and fill the role that Shabazz Napier played last season. The way it’s going now, he’ll be scrounging for another one-year deal next summer.

Ricky Rubio, Jazz, 28, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $55MM deal in 2015
The Jazz have been one of the league’s most disappointing teams during the first quarter of the season. The team’s starting point guard is partly to blame. Rubio, who is making nearly $15MM in his walk year, is shooting 37.3% from the field and over the last six games he’s averaging four assists while making 2.5 turnovers per game. Rubio needed to adjust his game when the team drafted dynamic creator Donovan Mitchell and right now, their backcourt pairing still seems a bit awkward. It’ll interesting to see if the Jazz look to move Rubio before the trade deadline to shake things up.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Nets, Bamba, Griffin

Joe Harris, who re-signed with the Nets on a two-year, $16MM deal this past offseason, is helping Brooklyn play a better offensive game, Tom Dowd of NBA.com writes. The team’s shooting has helped keep the paint open and entering Tuesday, the Nets led the league in drives per game.

“Just because the spacing that we have, even with Jarrett [Allen] being able to step out and pose a threat at the 3-point line to open stuff up, we’ve just got to do a better job making the correct reads where, the drive is there, obviously we’re taking it,” said Harris. “But if they’re not and they’re contested, especially against these heavy shift teams, we’ve got to get off it and move the ball quicker. Where we’ve gotten ourselves in trouble is getting in there, turning it over versus getting in there, making the right pass, making the simple pass and moving it from good shots to great shots.”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Shabazz Napier is expected to make his debut for the Nets on Wednesday against the Cavs, Dowd relays in the same piece. “[Napier] looked good in practice yesterday, so that’s a good sign,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Don’t expect big minutes from him, but we’ll build him up. I think he’ll be that sparkplug. I think it gives us something defensively. He creates turnovers. He’s a ball-pressure guy. He gets into guys. He’s fast. And offensively he can give you a punch and come off and get 10 points in 10 minutes. His experience, right? NBA experience. He’ll help us.”
  • The Magic envision Mohamed Bamba becoming Orlando’s version of Joel Embiid down the road, Sean Deveney of Sporting News writes. “I said to [team president Jeff Weltman],” Hammond recalled, “‘It’s going to be interesting to see in about five years from now.’ He’s not as naturally big and thick as Joel, but just see who he is five years from now. He’s going to look a lot different. We just have to have a lot of patience.”
  • Blake Griffin has emerged as a leader for the Pistons, Keith Langlois of NBA.com contends. Coach Dwane Casey applauded Griffin’s mental toughness after a recent win, comparing the power forward to Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki. Casey will likely have even kinder words for his star after Griffin put up 50 points on the Sixers on Tuesday, scoring the final bucket to win to the game.

Nets Notes: Napier, Dinwiddie, Faried, Russell

The opportunity to frequently play off the ball was the selling point that convinced Shabazz Napier to sign with the Nets, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.com. Napier would seemingly have a limited role on a team that already has D’Angelo Russell at Spencer Dinwiddie to run the offense but coach Kenny Atkinson plans to give Napier the chance to play both guard spots. Napier was the primary backup guard with the Trail Blazers last season and shot 45% on catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and 37.7% overall from long range, Puccio notes. “I don’t need to be on the ball,” Napier said. “I proved that when I was in Portland.”

In other news concerning the Nets:

  • Speculation that Dinwiddie could be dealt is reasonable, given his modest contract, but the Nets like him a lot and may re-sign him, according to a Net Income post. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard and the chance to acquire Dinwiddie, who will make $1.65MM during the upcoming season, on an expiring contract would be attractive. However, the Nets could also offer Dinwiddie a four-year extension in December or try to re-sign him next summer at a bigger number than others can offer due to owning his Bird rights.
  • Forward Kenneth Faried pled not guilty on Wednesday after being charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree last month, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on the misdemeanor for allegedly possessing more than two ounces of the drug. The Nuggets traded Faried and his expiring $13,76MM contract to Brooklyn in mid-July.
  • Should the Nets give Russell an extension? We examined the pros and cons in our Extension Candidate series. Check it out here.

Nets Notes: Russell, Napier, Faried, Whitehead

Nets GM Sean Marks won’t rule out the possibility of giving guard D’Angelo Russell an extension but it seems unlikely, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post (Twitter links). “For now, we’re going to see how this group plays together, how it all unfolds…I’m not going to rule out anything,” Marks said in a news conference, adding, “As we stand now, this is the group and we have no plans to make any crazy changes, whether that’s an extension or signing or trade anyone else. But things happen quickly.” Russell will make a little over $7MM this season and the team would have to decide whether to extend a qualifying offer of $9.16MM next summer if they don’t sign him to an extension.

In other news regarding the Brooklyn franchise:

  • The Nets will have to figure out how Shabazz Napier will fit into their backcourt but he’s not worried about it, Tom Dowd of the team’s website reports. The team already has Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie to play the point and Caris LeVert can also fill in at that spot. Napier was Damian Lillard‘s primary backup with the Trail Blazers last season. Napier signed a two-year contract on Tuesday. “That’s something I’m going to figure out when training camp starts,” Napier told Dowd about his role. “Right now, I’ll just continue to be who I am and come into training camp with an attitude of competing at the end of the day.”
  • Brooklyn took on Kenneth Faried‘s contract in a Nuggets salary dump but Marks feels Faried can be a major contributor next season, Dowd relays in a separate story. Faried has an expiring $13.76MM contract. “I think he fits with that Brooklyn grit that we talk about in terms of how he plays; he plays with high intensity, obviously at a fast pace,” Marks said. “His game will transition well to Brooklyn and what [coach] Kenny’s [Atkinson] wanting to do here.”
  • No one was more disappointed about the trade with the Nuggets than guard Isaiah Whitehead, the player shipped to Denver in the deal, as Bryan Fonseca of Nets Daily relays. Whitehead appeared in 89 games for his hometown team over the past two seasons. A source close to Whitehead sent a text to Fonseca after the trade that stated, “Being in Brooklyn meant everything to him.”