T.J. Warren

Free Agent Rumors: Bryant, Bridges, Cavs, Paschall, Suns

Veteran center Thomas Bryant, who will be an unrestricted free agent this week, is likely to leave the Wizards and sign with a new team, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who tweets that Bryant is expected to have multiple suitors.

While Hughes’ report doesn’t name any specific teams that will pursue Bryant, a number of clubs around the NBA are believed to be in the market for a backup center, including the Bulls, Raptors, Knicks, and Lakers, among others.

Assuming Bryant departs, the Wizards would likely be in the market for a third center to join Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford on their depth chart, Hughes notes.

Here are a few more free agency updates from around the NBA:

  • Following Miles Bridgesarrest on domestic violence charges, the Hornets have put out a press release indicating that they’re aware of the situation. “We are in the process of gathering additional information,” the team said in its statement (Twitter link). “We will have no further comment at this time.”
  • In a lengthy look at the free agents the Cavaliers could consider this offseason, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com cites sources who say the team has been in touch with forward T.J. Warren‘s camp and remains interested in point guard Tyus Jones.
  • Confirming that Jazz forward Eric Paschall didn’t receive a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, Tony Jones of The Athletic cites sources who say Paschall is expected to draw interest on the open market as an unrestricted FA.
  • Free agent big man Frank Kaminsky appears unlikely to return to the Suns, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Kaminsky, who was waived by Phoenix in April, missed most of the season due to a stress reaction in his right knee, which required surgery.
  • Gambadoro also tweets that he expects the Suns to have interest in unrestricted free agent wing Donte DiVincenzo.

Heat Rumors: Tucker, Portis, Lowry, Crowder

Heat players are reportedly lobbying free agent forward P.J. Tucker to remain with the team, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, who says All-Star wing Jimmy Butler, in particular, is “very much hoping” Tucker returns to Miami.

However, James Harden‘s decision to opt out of a $47MM+ salary for next season and likely sign a new deal starting at a lower number is the latest indication that the Sixers are a serious threat to lure Tucker to Philadelphia. Harden’s move clears a path for Philadelphia to offer its full mid-level exception to Tucker.

If Tucker does leave, the Heat will be in the market for a power forward, and T.J. Warren, Kyle Anderson, Thaddeus Young, and Nicolas Batum will be among the free agents on their radar, Jackson writes. A Wednesday report indicated the club would likely also have interest in Danilo Gallinari if he’s waived after being traded by San Antonio.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Jackson hears from a source that Miami would be a team that appeals to Bobby Portis if he decides to leave Milwaukee. But Portis is considered likely to stick with the Bucks, while the Heat are reluctant to hard-cap themselves for the season by giving their full mid-level exception to a free agent, so it’s an unlikely match.
  • Jackson also hears that Kyle Lowry wasn’t upset by Pat Riley‘s end-of-season comments about how his conditioning must improve. The Heat have assured Lowry they have no intention of trading him in a deal for Kyrie Irving, Jackson adds.
  • After saying that the Heat had emerged as the frontrunners to trade for Suns forward Jae Crowder, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter links) walked back that report. As Gambadoro explains, he can’t see Phoenix taking on Duncan Robinson‘s contract, and the Heat don’t have any other obvious salary-matching pieces they’d include in an offer for Crowder.

Otto Porter, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren Among Lakers’ Potential FA Targets

The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.

According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.

Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:

Heat Rumors: Herro, Crowder, Warren, Cap Situation

“Early indications” are that a potential Tyler Herro extension with the Heat this offseason would land in the range of $25MM per year, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Herro will become eligible for a rookie scale extension when the NBA’s 2022/23 league year begins later this week. He boosted his stock during the regular season by averaging 20.7 points per game and making a career-high 39.9% of his three-point attempts, but a mediocre playoff run (12.9 PPG with a .229 3PT%) clouded his value entering the summer.

The Heat and Herro are under no obligation to reach an extension this offseason, but doing so would keep him off the restricted free agent market in 2023. Typically, rookie scale extensions worth less than the maximum aren’t agreed to at or near the start of free agency, so the team and the 22-year-old may take a few weeks or months to negotiate a new deal. The extension deadline is the day before the ’22/23 season begins.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • If the Heat can’t retain P.J. Tucker in free agency, they’ll consider attempting to trade for Suns forward Jae Crowder or potentially signing free agent forward T.J. Warren, a source tells Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Winderman stresses that those would be fallback options for the team, which is willing to offer Tucker three fully guaranteed years. Crowder played in Miami briefly in 2019/20 before leaving for Phoenix in free agency.
  • In a separate story for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman explores how the Heat’s reluctance to impose a hard cap on themselves this offseason may impact their roster moves. It would mean the bi-annual exception can’t be used on a player like Caleb Martin and would mean the Heat’s best offer for P.J. Tucker would start at $8.4MM (via the Non-Bird exception) rather than $10.35MM (the full mid-level).
  • In case you missed it, a report earlier today suggested that Victor Oladipo is considered likely to leave the Heat in free agency.

Celtics Interested In Danilo Gallinari, T.J. Warren

The Celtics are targeting “high-scoring, small-ball forwards” with their mid-level exception, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Fischer mentions the Hawks‘ Danilo Gallinari and the PacersT.J. Warren as possibilities, but adds that others are also under consideration.

Boston can only offer the taxpayer mid-level exception (projected to be worth about $6.4MM) unless it unloads some salary.

Gallinari, who is also rumored to be part of trade talks with the Spurs, could wind up on the free agent market because his contract currently only carries a $5MM guarantee for next season. The 33-year-old averaged 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds for Atlanta this season while shooting 38.1% from three-point range, but seems unlikely to be retained at his full $21.5MM salary, whether or not he’s traded.

The Heat may also consider Gallinari if they can’t re-sign P.J. Tucker, Fischer says.

Warren has only played four combined games over the past two seasons, but he was a dangerous scorer before being injured and was one of the stars of the Orlando bubble. Warren, 28, is averaging 15.5 points and 4.1 rebounds for his career, including a career-best 19.8 PPG during the 2019/20 season.

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Hornets, Davis, Heat

Steve Clifford, who is now embarking on a second stint with the Hornets, signed a three-year contract with a team option in the final year, sources tell Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Clifford will earn $4MM in each of the next two seasons, Boone adds.

In case you missed it, you can find our full story on Clifford’s hiring right here.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Hiring Clifford for a second time is just wild enough to work, argues Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer. The Hornets made the playoffs twice in Clifford’s first five-year stint with the team, and in 10 years prior and four years since, the team has only made the postseason one time, says Fowler, who notes that Clifford’s work ethic, professionalism and honesty are all admirable traits. According to Fowler, Clifford “always had a good relationship” with owner Michael Jordan, and he didn’t burn any bridges when he was fired in 2018, leading to the unexpected possibility of bringing him back.
  • Johnny Davis, the 10th pick of the draft by the Wizards, hopes to make a lasting impact in the NBA, writes Austen Tealer of WashingtonWizards.com. “I want to leave a legacy of being a great teammate and a winner, that’s the main goal,” Davis said. “I want to win an NBA championship whenever I can.” For his short-term goals, Davis hopes to become a regular part of the rotation and help the club make the playoffs, per Tealer.
  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald considers possible fallback options if the Heat can’t re-sign forward P.J. Tucker. Taurean Prince, Thaddeus Young and T.J. Warren are a few free agents on Jackson’s list, among others. Tucker is declining his $7.35MM player option to be come an unrestricted free agent, and he’s said to have several suitors outside of Miami.

Pacers Notes: Warren, Taylor, Sharpe, Keels

T.J. Warren has only appeared in four games over the past two seasons but he could still bring value to the Pacers, even if he’s not on the team next season, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Warren will be an unrestricted free agent this summer but Indiana could sign-and-trade him to a team coveting his services. Warren has averaged 15.5 PPG in his career.

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Pacers assistant Bryce Taylor has been named an assistant coach for EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Germany, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files reports. Taylor, 35, played in Germany and Italy before retiring prior to this past season.
  • Projected lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe worked out for the Pacers on Monday and feels he could be a difference-maker if they use the No. 6 selection on him, James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star tweets. “I know that (the Pacers are) a great organization, love to develop their players,” he said. “I feel like I could come in and be that go-to guy.”
  • Duke’s Trevor Keels will work out for the team on Tuesday, Boyd adds in another tweet. Keels is a candidate for the Pacers’ second-round selection at No. 31. That’s exactly where the Blue Devils’ wing is rated on ESPN’s Best Available list. As previously reported, center Kai Sotto is also visiting on Tuesday.

Sixers Notes: Harris, Draft Plans, Warren, Riller, J. Williams

Tobias Harris‘ large contract makes his future with the Sixers uncertain, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, who takes a deep dive into what the team should do with the veteran forward.

Neubeck notes that Harris, who will make $37.63MM in 2022/23 and $39.27MM in ’23/24, has roughly twice the salary of other productive NBA starters, limiting the team’s financial flexibility. Harris also saw his offensive role reduced following the trade for James Harden, becoming more of a complementary spot-up shooter.

In 73 regular season games, Harris averaged 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 3.5 APG on .482/.367/.842 shooting. He had a nice postseason run, playing improved defense while averaging 16.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.1 SPG on .500/.386/.864 shooting in 12 games.

As Neubeck writes, Harris is paid like a star, but produces more like a high-end starter. Ultimately, Neubeck believes the most likely outcome is that the Sixers will hold onto Harris through next season, at which point his expiring contract in ’23/24 could make him more valuable.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • In a separate article for PhillyVoice, Neubeck thinks the Sixers will stand pat on draft night and select a player who can step into an immediate rotation role with the No. 23 pick. However, he notes that things change quickly in the NBA, so that outcome isn’t set in stone by any means. Neubeck states that Danny Green, whose name has been floated in trade rumors, underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL roughly two weeks ago.
  • Within the same piece, Neubeck says that “talk has picked up some” that forward T.J. Warren, an unrestricted free agent this summer, could receive a relatively large, one-year, $10+MM “prove-it” deal from a rebuilding club. Warren has played just four games over the past two seasons, so the injury concerns are obvious. If he’s unable to land such a deal, Neubeck thinks the Sixers and other contending clubs will likely pursue Warren and try to sell him on rebuilding his value on a short-term deal, similar to what happened with Victor Oladipo in Miami.
  • Free agent point guard Grant Riller has a workout scheduled with the Sixers later this week, a source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Riller spent time on two-way contracts with Philadelphia and Charlotte the past couple seasons. The 25-year-old was waived by the Sixers in December when he injured his shoulder, which required surgery, but he’s fully recovered now.
  • Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams could be an intriguing option if he’s still available at No. 23, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He’s ranked No. 21 on ESPN’s big board and averaged 18 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .513/.396/.809 shooting for the Broncos in ’21/22.

Cavaliers Rumors: Sexton, LeVert, Trade Targets, More

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com recently spoke to Michael Scotto about a number of Cavaliers-related topics for the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

Guard Collin Sexton, whose season ended prematurely after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee just 11 games into the season, will be an interesting player to watch this summer. Sexton will be a restricted free agent once Cleveland tenders him a $7,228,449 qualifying offer. As a restricted free agent, the Cavs will have the ability to match any offer sheet for the 23-year-old, and since he’s coming off an injury and not many teams will have cap space to spend on free agents, a reunion seems likely.

When the Cavs were discussing a rookie scale extension with Sexton’s representatives last summer, the two sides floated a contract similar to the one Bogdan Bogdanovic received from Atlanta, which was four years and $72MM (with a player option in the final season), sources tell Fedor. However, he hears that the Cavs value Sexton in the $15-18MM per year range, while Sexton is seeking something closer to $18-22MM annually.

Although Sexton has undoubtedly been productive on the offense end, averaging 24.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 4.4 APG on .475/.371/.815 shooting in 2020/21, Fedor notes that there were questions about Sexton’s fit entering ’21/22, and his injury and the team’s success without him didn’t help his case. Given that he’s a 6’1″ shooting guard and a subpar defender, some teams view the former No. 8 pick as more of a sixth man than a starter, which could hurt his leverage in contract negotiations.

Scotto wonders if the Knicks or Wizards might be interested in Sexton, noting that both teams are looking for guards, but neither team has cap space. As Fedor previously reported, he hears that Cleveland has been curious if the Pistons might pursue Sexton, but sources tell Fedor that the Cavaliers don’t believe any team will end up offering him $20MM+ per season.

Here’s more from Scotto and Fedor:

  • Both the Cavs and Caris LeVert have expressed interest in reaching an extension this summer, and league executives tell Scotto that a shorter deal in the $19-21MM range might make sense for both sides. However, as Fedor observes, LeVert will be on an expiring $18.8MM contract in ’22/23, so if the Cavs don’t like the types of numbers Levert’s agents are throwing out, they could just wait it out and perhaps use him as trade bait next season.
  • Kevin Love improved his trade stock after a bounce-back, healthy season, and both Scotto and Fedor believe that his $28.9MM contract could be used as a trade chip if the team opts to pursue higher-paid veterans.
  • Noting Cleveland needs two-way wing scorers and a solid backup point guard for Darius Garland, Fedor hears the Cavs are interested in a number of veterans as potential trade targets: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., Jerami Grant, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, and Mike Conley.
  • Although there’s mutual interest in a reunion with Ricky Rubio, Fedor says money could become an obstacle to a deal being completed. Rubio is likely to miss at least a portion of next season after suffering a second torn ACL in his left knee in December, and using the mid-level exception to sign him would reduce the club’s flexibility while still leaving a hole on the roster until he returns.
  • Sources tell Fedor that if a deal with Rubio doesn’t come to fruition, the Cavs would be very open to using their full mid-level to sign Grizzlies backup point guard Tyus Jones, assuming Memphis lets him walk in free agency and he’s unable to get more money elsewhere. Other guards Cleveland might look into in free agency are Delon Wright, Goran Dragic, and Raul Neto. If the Cavs pivot to a wing/forward, Kyle Anderson, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. Warren are possibilities, according to Fedor.
  • For potential draft candidates with the No. 14 pick, Fedor hears the Cavs are fans of Malaki Branham, Johnny Davis, Bennedict Mathurin, Tari Eason, TyTy Washington, and Jeremy Sochan. Those players range from Nos. 9-18 on ESPN’s big board, so some might not be available at 14.

New York Notes: Dragic, Brown, Porter Jr., Randle

Nets guard Goran Dragic has entered the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team tweets. Dragic has been a rotation piece since signing with the Nets as a free agent, averaging 7.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 25.5 MPG through 16 games.

Bruce Brown has a non-COVID illness and will also miss Saturday’s contest against the Hawks.

We have more on the New York teams: