Terance Mann

Pacific Notes: Payton, Westbrook, Lue, M. Brown

Gary Payton II‘s long wait to get back on the court with the Warriors will end Sunday, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Payton has been listed as probable to play against the Timberwolves, and sources tell Haynes that he’ll be ready to go.

Payton was able to scrimmage Friday and participated fully in Saturday’s light practice, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. An official decision may not be made until after warm-ups, but it appears the intention is for Payton to play.

“I’m starting to feel like myself,” he said. “I missed a lot of games this year, so I’m just ready to get back out on the court with the guys and wrap this up for the homestretch.”

After being an important part of Golden State’s title team last season, Payton signed with the Trail Blazers over the summer. The Warriors reached an agreement to bring him back at the trade deadline, but the deal was delayed four days because Payton had an adductor injury that Golden State claimed the Blazers didn’t disclose. Payton, who hasn’t played since February 8, says he feels good now and he’s ready to contribute.

“Every day getting my body right, a little maintenance, fine-tuning, we had a little extra time to do all of that and get (my body) where it needs to be,” he said.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Russell Westbrook has taken on a mentorship role since signing with the Clippers, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Westbrook’s main students are young guards Terance Mann and Bones Hyland, who are eager to learn from a future Hall of Famer. “I got so much love and just, just everything for Russ, man. I love watching him play, his energy,” Hyland said. “… He gives it his all. So just being alongside Russ, I learned so much and he’s always in my ear telling me the good things, what he sees out there for me. I’m glad to be a teammate alongside Russ.”
  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue could “remove himself” from the team if things don’t go well in the playoffs, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports suggested in the first episode of his “No Cap Room” podcast. However, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that Lue, who has multiple years left on his contract, hasn’t engaged in any discussions with management about an early exit.
  • Mike Brown, who’s among the favorites for Coach of the Year honors, said the award would be important because of the recognition it would bring to the Kings and the city of Sacramento (video link).

L.A. Notes: Russell, SGA, AD, George, Clippers

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell will miss Friday’s key matchup against the Thunder due to a right hip injury. Dennis Schröder will start in his place.

It’s not too serious, but serious enough where we need to manage him,” Ham said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). Ham added that Russell is considered day-to-day.

The Thunder, meanwhile, will have their best player available, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is active after previously being listed as questionable with a nagging abdominal strain (Twitter links via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman).

The Mavericks, Lakers, Thunder and Pelicans are all currently tied at 36-37 in the Nos. 8-11 spots in the West. The Wolves (No. 7) sit at 37-37, while the Jazz (No. 12) are 35-37.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • In a lengthy interview with McMenamin, Lakers star Anthony Davis expressed confidence in the team’s retooled roster, and it sounds as though he would like to see the group stick together beyond this season. “If we actually have a full summer, full training camp, go through an entire season, who knows the position we’ll be in,” Davis said. ” … The team we have now, we feel like not only can we make noise this year, and I like our chance against anybody to be honest. You put anybody against us, I like our chances. … Who knows what we could be, what threat we could be next year and then years to come if they work it out and are able to keep this group together.” As McMenamin notes, beyond Davis, LeBron James and Max Christie, no other player has a fully guaranteed contract for 2023/24, so the Lakers will have a lot of decisions to make this summer.
  • The Clippers were glad that Paul George avoided a major injury when he sprained his knee. He’s expected to be reevaluated in two-to-three weeks, but if the Clippers clinch a top-six seed and a berth in the playoffs, George potentially returning in a first-round series is considered “optimistic,” according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Eric Gordon will start in George’s stead for the rest of the season, Youngmisuk writes.
  • It’s impossible to replace a player of George’s caliber, so multiple players will have to step up to make up for his lost production on both ends of the court. Law Murray of The Athletic believes Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Gordon, Terance Mann and Norman Powell are the top candidates for more responsibilities with George sidelined. Powell has been out with a shoulder injury, but he has been getting on-court work in and is close to a return, per Murray.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Crowder, Westbrook, Mann, Clippers

Lakers star Anthony Davis led the team to a huge victory in New Orleans on Tuesday, piling up 35 points and 17 rebounds against his old club. However, the Lakers still aren’t comfortable having Davis play in both ends of back-to-back sets, so he’ll be held out of action on Wednesday in Houston, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN relays.

“He’s not going to play,” head coach Darvin Ham said. “He hasn’t been cleared. Even though he’s been playing pain-free, we made an organizational decision, starting with our team doctors, to hold him out of back-to-backs.”

According to McMenamin, Davis – who missed 20 games earlier in the season due a stress reaction and bone spur in his right foot – was reevaluated about two weeks ago, at which time the foot hadn’t shown significant healing. Lakers medical personnel has recommended holding him out of back-to-backs to reduce the risk of a setback.

“It’s just one of those things where even though he’s playing pain-free, it’s still an active injury,” Ham said. “So we have to monitor it and stick to the plan, as we always have done. And just go out there with our other guys and try to get a W and finish the trip the right way.”

While the Lakers are still favored to beat Houston even without Davis and LeBron James available, they certainly can’t take the game for granted in the midst of a competitive playoff race, especially given that the Rockets are coming off a Monday victory over Boston.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Bucks forward Jae Crowder derived some satisfaction from defeating his old team in Phoenix on Tuesday and was pleased with the reception he got from the Suns faithful, who gave him a resounding ovation in his first game back in the city. “Things ended in a bad way, on a bad note,” Crowder said after Milwaukee’s win, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I appreciate the love and I appreciate the applause I got.”
  • Russell Westbrook‘s arrival has resulted in a role reduction for Clippers guard Terance Mann, but there’s no animosity between the two players, who have become friends in recent weeks, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. “It’s been amazing to be on a team with Russell Westbrook,” Mann said. “I’ve been a big fan of his since he’s been in the NBA. Last night, we were joking, he’s in Year 15 or something, and he’s 34. I was like, ‘Man, you look 23. You look younger than me.’ It’s crazy. So just being able to watch him lead and be great is cool.”
  • With the Clippers‘ championship window starting to shrink in year four of the Kawhi Leonard/Paul George partnership, there’s an increased sense of urgency and a feeling that the stakes are higher as the playoffs near, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes within a closer look at where things stand for the franchise.

California Notes: Mann, Kawhi, PG, Green, Russell

Clippers reserve guard Terance Mann is adjusting to his new gig behind starting point guard Russell Westbrook, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Having replaced Reggie Jackson, Mann had been the team’s starter at the point until Westbrook joined the club.

“It’s all right,” Mann said of the change. “Kind of reminds me of the position I had (before). I think I’ve been here before earlier in the year. Same sort of role if I can recall. But it’s been going all right. Just figuring it out. New unit. New voices out there. Different looks. So just sifting it out, sifting through it.

“… You know, they just want me to go out there and bring energy,” Mann continued. “I think I can do a way better job defensively than I had been doing. But just bring energy on the offensive. Make shots and play defense. And I think that’s going to be my role on this team, from here on out.”

There’s more out of California:

  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is counting on star wings Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to help the team hone its defense in the home stretch of the season, says Law Murray of The Athletic. “The last two days, we challenged our team to be better defensively, and I thought tonight with [George] setting the tone early, I just thought our defense tonight was really good,” Lue said. “I thought we really got into the ball. We were physical… I thought PG and Kawhi really set the tone early, and everyone else I thought was really good defensively.”
  • Ahead of Wednesday’s Golden State/Memphis game, Warriors forward Draymond Green took to his podcast via The Volume and launched into a lengthy tirade against Grizzlies small forward Dillon Brooks, who had previously talked derisively about Green, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “This idiot said, ‘I don’t know what Draymond does out there, I just don’t like Golden State,'”  Green said said. “I, quite frankly, wouldn’t like a team that beats me all the time, either.”
  • Lakers starting point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to return to action on Friday for the team’s game against the Raptors, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). McMenamin adds that Russell will immediately move ahead of Dennis Schröder, who had been starting while D-Lo was hurt.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Lakers, Fox, Clippers

With LeBron James expected to be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Lakers need the version of Anthony Davis they got in the bubble in 2020, who can “single-handedly change games on the defensive end,” writes Chris Mannix of SI.com.

Although the Lakers lost in Memphis on Tuesday, they got Davis at his best in that game, according to Mannix, who points to the big man’s stat line (28 points, 19 rebounds, and five blocks) as one he’ll have to replicate a few more times if Los Angeles is going to move up the standings and clinch a play-in or playoff spot.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, Davis won’t be available in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. As Mannix relays (via Twitter), the team announced today that Davis (right foot stress injury) will join James and D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) on the sidelines, leaving L.A. shorthanded in a crucial game. The Thunder will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols this week.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • The Lakers certainly aren’t throwing in the towel following James’ injury diagnosis. Head coach Darvin Ham said on Tuesday that the team remains focused on winning enough games to claim at least a play-in spot and ideally a top-six seed in the West. “The mission hasn’t changed for us, so the goal of securing a playoff spot is still very much alive,” Ham said, per Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. “It’s unfortunate that ‘Bron went down, but injuries are a real part of our sport and it’s next man up. You got to step up and hold down the fort until he returns.”
  • The Kings got good news on Tuesday night, as the MRI on De’Aaron Fox‘s sore left wrist revealed no significant damage, according to Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Fox, who was out for Tuesday’s game, is day-to-day and Sacramento is optimistic that he won’t miss much – if any – more time.
  • The Clippers have lost three consecutive games since the All-Star break and are still trying to figure out how to best use their recently added veterans, including point guard Russell Westbrook, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. As Greif outlines, Eric Gordon, Norman Powell, and Terance Mann are among the players whose roles still need to be sorted out, and head coach Tyronn Lue will have to determine whether to continue starting Marcus Morris, who has struggled as of late and played just 21 minutes in Tuesday’s loss. “We definitely do feel that we have the deepest team,” Gordon said, “but … the chemistry has to be there.”

Clippers Notes: Westbrook, Mann, Zubac, George

Scoring 175 points wasn’t enough for the Clippers to win Friday night, but their newly signed point guard looked right at home during the offensive display, writes Jim Alexander of The Orange County Register. Russell Westbrook posted 17 points and 14 assists in his first game with the team and received a standing ovation when he fouled out in the second overtime of the second-highest scoring game in NBA history.

Westbrook didn’t officially become a Clipper until after he cleared waivers on Wednesday following a buyout with the Jazz, so he had limited practice time to get familiar with his new teammates. Coach Tyronn Lue said Westbrook learned the basics of the team’s offense quickly and “he knew enough” to handle a starting role.

“Knowing (Paul George)’s plays, knowing Kawhi (Leonard)’s plays, that’s the most important thing,” Lue said. “So he picked those things up right away. There’s still a lot more that we can still incorporate and learn on the fly. But I thought he did a good job knowing the plays and knowing the play calls, and he did a good job with it.”

Westbrook welcomes the chance for a new opportunity after a frustrating season and a half with the Lakers. He didn’t mention his former team by name after Friday’s contest, but he alluded to having the Clippers’ veteran stars as advocates for signing him, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

“Just the ability to be able to go out and compete,” Westbrook said when asked about his debut. “I think that’s something I don’t take for granted, being somewhere (and) given an opportunity to go play. Not just that, but the support of the organization, my teammates, the fans, overall, it’s a great debut but just didn’t get the win.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • Lue said the first game with Westbrook was a “learning” experience for him in regard to setting rotations, Youngmisuk tweets. Terance Mann only played 18 minutes, and Lue admitted that Mann wasn’t used enough.
  • Although the Clippers set a few scoring records Friday, they sometimes looked like a team whose key players haven’t played together very much, observes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. L.A. committed 25 turnovers, including four straight during a crucial fourth quarter stretch that allowed the Kings to tie the game.
  • Ivica Zubac missed Friday’s game with a strained right calf and is considered day-to-day, Greif tweets. Lue said George is on a minutes restriction, but there are no restrictions for Leonard or Westbrook.

Pacific Notes: Westbrook, Suns Rotation, Durant, Paul

Russell Westbrook only started three games with the Lakers this season but that could change when he signs with the other Los Angeles team. Westbrook, who intends to join the Clippers after clearing waivers, will have an opportunity to start, according to Law Murray of The Athletic.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms in an appearance on NBA Today that Westbrook could be the starter (video link). Terance Mann has been starting for the Clippers, but may be moved to the second unit.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Westbrook could clear waivers in time to practice with the Clippers on Thursday and possibly make his debut on Friday, when the team faces Sacramento, according to Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. Clippers players lobbied for the addition of Westbrook and feel he’ll be a better fit with them than he was with the Lakers. The Clippers have seven rotation players shooting 37% or better on 3-point attempts, which should help mask Westbrook’s struggles from the perimeter.
  • Suns guard Damion Lee notes that the rotation will be greatly altered in the coming weeks, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Along with trading for Kevin Durant, they have also added T.J. Warren, Darius Bazley and Terrence Ross. Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet are expected back soon from injuries. “If your minutes are reduced, if your minutes are increased, whatever it is, just doing what you do and try to do it at a high level because even when we get Landry back and C-Payne back as well, guys are just going to have to understand that in order for us to be great and accomplish what we look to achieve and look to accomplish, there has to be sacrifices,” Lee said.
  • Durant is thrilled that he’ll have Chris Paul feeding him the ball with the Suns, Sam Amick of The Athletic relays. Durant says Paul’s passion hasn’t waned over the years. “I think (it’s) his IQ for the game,” Durant said. “I think his enthusiasm for the game. I think that goes underrated. CP really loves ball. He just likes watching the game, like analyzing. Like going through strategy and stuff. It’s been a week there now (in Phoenix). A couple of practices, a few games, and he is always pulling me to the side, and we’re just talking hoop. So I love that about him. Obviously, on the floor, he can create so much for his teammates and for himself.”

Lowe’s Latest: Durant, Grizzlies, Anunoby, Pelicans, Warriors, Clippers

In the wake of the NetsKevin Durant trade agreement with the Suns, reports indicated that Brooklyn only really negotiated with Phoenix rather than canvassing the NBA to generate a bidding war. The Nets likely already knew what teams were willing to offer after discussing Durant deals for nearly two months in the offseason, and liked the combination of players and picks the Suns were willing to offer.

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Insider link), another team that was prepared to put a strong package of draft picks on the table for Durant was the Grizzlies. Sources tell Lowe that the Nets were aware since July that Memphis was willing to trade every available draft pick and swap of its own for Durant (it’s unclear if that offer would’ve included Golden State’s lightly protected 2024 first-round pick or just the Grizzlies’ own first-rounders).

However, the Suns’ inclusion of Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson helped tip the scales in their favor. Sources around the league have said that the Grizzlies have kept Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. entirely off-limits in any trade talks, according to Lowe, so the players in Memphis’ offer wouldn’t have been as valuable as the ones in the deal Brooklyn ultimately accepted.

Here’s more from Lowe:

  • After mentioning on his podcast that the Grizzlies and Pacers each offered three first-round picks for Raptors forward OG Anunoby, Lowe says the Pelicans – another presumed suitor – didn’t hold any serious talks with Toronto about him. As Lowe reiterates, the Raptors were seeking a high-level player or prospect in an Anunoby deal; Will Guillory of The Athletic says New Orleans didn’t show much interest in discussing Dyson Daniels or Trey Murphy in trade talks.
  • The Warriors also engaged with the Raptors about Anunoby, Lowe confirms, but he says the two teams don’t appear to have gotten all that close to an agreement. Golden State likely would have had to include Jonathan Kuminga as the centerpiece of its offer, sources tell ESPN.
  • The Clippers never ended up having any serious trade talks for D’Angelo Russell or Kyle Lowry, and the Mike Conley bidding was out of their price range, Lowe says. They also got nowhere close on Fred VanVleet, since the Raptors would have wanted Terance Mann and possibly more draft equity than L.A. could’ve offered, Lowe adds.

Fischer’s Latest: Anunoby, VanVleet, Clippers, Hornets, McGee, Bogdanovic

The Raptors remain the team to watch ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Pascal Siakam doesn’t appear likely to be moved, although numerous teams have expressed interest, but sources point to OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. as more realistic trade candidates.

Fischer cites the Pelicans, Grizzlies, Knicks, Pacers, Trail Blazers, Lakers, Suns and Nets as teams that have recently been linked to Anunoby, although he states that there is “varying interest” around the league. Fischer’s sources confirm that Toronto is placing a premium price on the 24-year-old wing, which other front offices are calling “quite steep.”

Fischer also raises the possibility that offers for Anunoby will be lessened because of the chance that Kevin Durant might be available this summer in the wake of the Kyrie Irving trade. Although Durant hasn’t indicated to the Nets that he plans to issue another trade request, league insiders tell Fischer that several teams are planning to stockpile their resources in case it happens.

Fischer passes along a few more rumors heading into the deadline:

  • Multiple executives from other teams see VanVleet as the most likely Raptor to be moved this week. Fischer notes that the Clippers and Suns have been linked to VanVleet in trade rumors, and hears that the Lakers, Magic and Timberwolves have expressed interest as well.
  • The Clippers started looking for point guard help before John Wall was sidelined with an abdominal strain, sources tell Fischer. Numerous teams have expressed interest in Terance Mann, and the Clippers have several affordable contracts to help get a deal done. Fischer states that L.A. and Phoenix have both mentioned as possible landing spots for Kyle Lowry, Terry Rozier and D’Angelo Russell as well as VanVleet, with the Suns seeking an experienced playmaker who can eventually take over for Chris Paul.
  • Rozier has also been mentioned as a possibility for the Lakers and Timberwolves, Fischer adds, and the Heat are among the teams interested in Charlottte’s P.J. Washington, who wasn’t able to reach an extension agreement before the October deadline. Fischer notes that the Hornets typically aren’t a major player at the deadline, but he identifies Mason Plumlee as a potential trade piece, with the Kings expressing interest and having a desire to move backup center Richaun Holmes.
  • Another veteran center on the market is the MavericksJaVale McGee, according to Fischer. Dallas signed McGee to a three-year, $17MM deal last summer in anticipation of making him a starter, but he’s no longer part of the rotation.
  • Teams are becoming convinced that the Pistons plan to keep Bojan Bogdanovic. Fischer states that the Bucks recently inquired about the veteran sharpshooter after failing to close a deal with the Suns for Jae Crowder, but Detroit wants at least one unprotected first-round pick in return and Milwaukee can’t offer a first-rounder until 2029.

Moore’s Latest: Pelicans, Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets, VanVleet, Vanderbilt, More

The latest trade intel column from Matt Moore of Action Network is packed full of tidbits about the upcoming deadline, including some details on which players a handful of Western Conference teams have made available.

According to Moore, the Pelicans – in the market for another shooter – have made players like Jaxson Hayes, Devonte’ Graham, and Naji Marshall available, while the Spurs are discussing Isaiah Roby in addition to previously reported trade candidates like Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Perhaps most interestingly, Moore says the Warriors consider Jonathan Kuminga “off limits,” but have been willing to discuss youngsters James Wiseman and Moses Moody.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets – who have put second-year guard Bones Hyland on the trade block – are seeking another wing and have their eye on players like Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Pacers swingman Chris Duarte, Moore writes.

Here’s more:

  • The Magic, who have previously been cited as a possible free agency suitor for Fred VanVleet, have “real” interest in the Raptors point guard, reports Moore. While VanVleet is thought to be available at the trade deadline due to his uncertain contract status beyond this season, one executive told Moore that trying to get a deal done with Toronto is “like blood from stone.”
  • There’s a growing belief that forward Jarred Vanderbilt will be on the move this week even if the Jazz don’t get the first-round pick they’re seeking for him, according to Moore, who suggest the Trail Blazers may be the frontrunner to land Vanderbilt.
  • Two league sources tell Moore that the Cavaliers have contacted the Hawks to inquire about Bogdan Bogdanovic. While there’s no indication those talks went anywhere, it’s worth noting Caris LeVert‘s $18.8MM salary is a near-perfect match for Bogdanovic’s $18MM cap hit.
  • Recent strong play from Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein has reduced the odds that he’ll be traded before Thursday’s deadline — the belief is that he’ll remain in New York, per Moore.