Theo Pinson

Celtics To Sign Theo Pinson To Camp Deal

Free agent wing Theo Pinson will sign with the Celtics for training camp, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Pinson, who will turn 26 in November, appeared in 31 games for the Nets from 2018-20, then spent last season on a two-way contract with the Knicks. He appeared in 17 games for New York, but only played a total of 34 minutes in those games, putting up just two points and five rebounds on 1-of-9 shooting (0-for-8 on threes).

While his NBA numbers have been underwhelming, Pinson has played well at the G League level, averaging 19.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 5.5 APG on .441/.382/.841 shooting in 44 games (34.0 MPG) across two seasons for the Long Island Nets.

Pinson will join Juwan Morgan and Luke Kornet as players attending Boston’s training camp without any guaranteed salary. Earning a spot on the 15-man roster will be an uphill battle, since the Celtics have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Jabari Parker on a partial guarantee. However, the club does have one open two-way slot, so Pinson could be a candidate to fill it.

New York Notes: DSJ, Brazdeikis, Harper, Harden, Shumpert

The Knicks have granted Dennis Smith Jr.‘s request to be sent to the G League bubble, announcing today (via Twitter) that the former lottery pick is among the players being assigned to the Westchester Knicks. Smith reportedly asked to be sent to Westchester in order to get some regular minutes, since he hasn’t been part of the rotation in New York this season.

In addition to Smith, the Knicks have assigned second-year forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the G League and transferred two-way player Jared Harper there as well. Those three members of New York’s 17-man NBA roster will join a Westchester squad that also features former NBA first-round picks like Skal Labissiere and James Young.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams:

  • Unlike Harper, Theo Pinson – the Knicks‘ other two-way player – will remain with the NBA team rather than heading to the G League. As Marc Berman of The New York Post explains (via Twitter), Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, who formerly represented Pinson at CAA, loves the 25-year-old as a locker-room presence.
  • James Harden missed Sunday’s game vs. Washington due to a left thigh contusion, but it’s not expected to be an injury that lingers or keeps the Nets star sidelined for much longer, according to head coach Steve Nash. “I think it’s pretty manageable, but just a precautionary measure not to get it banged again and make it severe,” Nash said on Sunday, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “… Hopefully, it’s just this game.”
  • In a separate story for The New York Post, Lewis examines how offseason acquisition Bruce Brown has established himself as a regular part of the Nets‘ rotation.
  • Barring a setback in the health and safety protocols, Iman Shumpert – who signed with the Nets over the weekend – should be available by Saturday’s game vs. Philadelphia, says Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. As Schiffer notes, besides playing for the Nets last season, Shumpert has also played alongside Harden and for Mike D’Antoni in the past, giving him a level of comfort in Brooklyn.

Theo Pinson Returning To Knicks On Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 29: Pinson’s two-way deal with the Knicks is now official, the team tweets.

NOVEMBER 22: The Knicks will sign Theo Pinson to a two-way contract, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

New York claimed Pinson off waivers in June, but he became a free agent on Thursday when the Knicks turned down their team option for 2020/21.

The 25-year-old shooting guard spent the past two years with the Nets. He got into 33 games last season, averaging 3.6 PPG in about 11 minutes per night.

The Knicks created a two-way opening by waiving Kenny Wooten earlier this week. They made a qualifying offer to Jared Harper, who could return to fill the other two-way slot.

Knicks Waive Four Players, Decline Options For Portis, Pinson

12:40pm: The Knicks have confirmed all the roster moves detailed below and added that they’ve turned down their team option on Theo Pinson, whom they claimed off waivers in June. Pinson’s option had been worth $1.7MM, but he’ll become an unrestricted free agent instead of remaining with New York.

The team projects to enter free agency with upwards of $38-40MM in cap room.

12:06pm: The Knicks will waive Elfrid Payton and Kenny Wooten and have decided not to pick up Bobby Portis‘ option for next season, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday. In addition, the team won’t make a qualifying offer to Damyean Dotson, who becomes an unrestricted free agent.

New York will also waive veteran forward Taj Gibson, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Wayne Ellington, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post.

The decisions are designed to create cap flexibility, Popper adds (Twitter link). He notes that the team could opt to re-sign some of the players, but at lesser salaries than what they were scheduled to make (Twitter link).

Payton had a $1MM guarantee on his $8MM deal for next season. He started 36 of the 45 games he played last season, but the Knicks have indicated they want to find a new starting point guard. Gibson also had a $1MM guarantee on his $9.45MM contract, while Ellington receives $1MM of his $8MM deal. Wooten was on a two-way contract and didn’t appear in any NBA games.

The Knicks held a $15.75MM option for Portis, who averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 66 games last season, mostly as a reserve. Dotson, who got into 48 games off the bench and averaged 6.7 PPG, would have required a $2,023,150 QO.

Knicks Notes: Mosley, Jones, Rose, Trier

Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, a head coaching candidate for New York, has a keen ability to connect with players, longtime coach George Karl told The New York Post’s Marc Berman. “He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities,” Karl said. “He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Arkansas guard Mason Jones could be a wise choice for the Knicks with their second-round pick in the draft, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic opines. Jones’ ability to get to the foul line could make him a valuable asset, Vorkunov notes. Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe and Alabama wing John Petty are among the other underrated prospects the team should consider, Vorkunov adds.
  • Leon Rose has been the team’s president for nearly four months and the early returns have been promising, according to Berman. Rose has made wide-ranging, diverse front office hires while keeping Scott Perry as GM, Berman notes. He’s also conducting a patient, thorough search for a head coach, even though Tom Thibodeau is widely considered the favorite to get the job, Berman adds.
  • Waiving Allonzo Trier in order to add Theo Pinson was a telling move by Rose, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. Trier, who was signed by the previous regime, showed talent but also drew criticism for his lackadaisical defensive effort and refusal to play his role offensively, Popper continues. That shows that Rose will value character and work ethic in future roster moves, Popper adds.

Knicks Claim Theo Pinson, Waive Allonzo Trier

The Knicks have claimed swingman Theo Pinson off waivers, waiving guard Allonzo Trier to clear a spot on their roster, the team announced today in a press release. Ian Begley of (Twitter link) first reported the pair of moves.

Pinson, 24, spent his rookie season in 2018/19 on a two-way contract with the Nets, then got a guaranteed contract from the team this season. However, he struggled to produce, averaging 3.6 PPG on 2.90/.188/.938 shooting in 33 games (11.1 MPG).

The former UNC wing, who was waived earlier this week when Brooklyn signed Tyler Johnson, was on a minimum-salary contract, so the Knicks didn’t need to use cap room or a trade exception to claim him. Pinson has a team option for 2020/21, which New York will have to make a decision on this October.

As for Trier, he was a two-way success story in 2018/19, having his deal converted into a two-year contract worth nearly $7MM. But after averaging 10.9 PPG in 64 games (22.8 MPG) as a rookie, the 24-year-old fell mostly out of the rotation in his second year in New York, posting just 6.5 PPG in 24 games (12.1 MPG). There were whispers at the end of his first season that some of Trier’s teammates were put off by his ball-dominant style.

Trier was facing potential restricted free agency this offseason and it appears the Knicks’ new front office – led by Leon Rose – didn’t see him as part of the club’s future. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if he clears waivers, which seems like a safe bet.

The Pinson/Trier swap represents the second roster change made by the Knicks this week. The team also claimed Jared Harper and waived Kadeem Allen on Thursday.

Nets Sign Tyler Johnson, Waive Theo Pinson

JUNE 24: The Nets’ deal with Johnson is now official, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

JUNE 23: The Nets have agreed to a deal with free agent guard Tyler Johnson, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). The club is waiving Theo Pinson to clear a spot on the roster for Johnson, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Johnson, 28, was sent from Miami to Phoenix at the 2019 trade deadline and appeared in 44 total games for the Suns, including 31 this season. Formerly a solid rotation player with the Heat, Johnson had a down year in Phoenix in 2019/20, averaging just 5.7 PPG and 1.6 APG on .380/.289/.750 shooting in 16.6 minutes per contest.

After not finding a deal that used his expiring contract at the trade deadline in February, the Suns waived Johnson a few days later. He has been a free agent since then, though he reportedly drew some interest from the Rockets as well before reaching an agreement with Brooklyn.

As Wojnarowski points out (via Twitter), the Nets were the team that signed Johnson in 2016 to his four-year, $50MM offer sheet (which Miami matched), so they’ve had their eye on him for a while. He’ll help provide depth in a backcourt that will be missing Kyrie Irving when play resumes this summer.

Because injured players aren’t eligible to be replaced by “substitute players” this summer, the Nets had to open up a spot on their 15-man roster in order to add any reinforcements to a roster that will also be without Kevin Durant. They’ll open up that spot by cutting Pinson, a move they confirmed in a press release on Tuesday night.

Pinson, 24, got a guaranteed contract from the Nets this season, but struggled to produce, averaging 3.6 PPG on 2.90/.188/.938 shooting in 33 games (11.1 MPG). The former UNC shooting guard had a minimum-salary team option for 2020/21, so Brooklyn won’t be on the hook for any guaranteed money beyond this season.

Atlantic Notes: Calipari, Knicks, Brown, Nets

Kentucky’s John Calipari doesn’t seem like a realistic option to be the next coach of the Knicks because of the money it would take to land him, Ian Begley of writes. Calipari has a strong relationship with team president Leon Rose, so nothing can be ruled out. However, many other names, such as coach Tom Thibodeau and Kenny Atkinson, appear to be more realistic fits.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the Sixers should give Brett Brown at least one more year. Ford argues that Brown has held this team together and is not the problem in Philadelphia.
  • Chris Chiozza, who is on a two-way contract, joined the Nets earlier in the season and the franchise is impressed with the point guard. Yet, if he is going to join the team for a playoff run, Brooklyn will need to waive somebody — Theo Pinson could be the odd man out, as Brian Lewis of the New York Post explains.
  • The Nets haven’t fully realized Taurean Prince‘s potential, Lewis contends in a separate piece. Brooklyn acquired and extended Prince last offseason and he has spent most of his time playing the four, which is not his natural position.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Gasol, Raptors, Nets, C’s

As Sixers general manager Elton Brand weighs possible trade scenarios this week, the final pre-deadline look he got at his roster came on Monday, when Philadelphia was run off the court by Miami in a 137-106 blowout. The Heat’s dominant win extended the 76ers’ losing streak to three games and drew some criticism from All-Star guard Ben Simmons.

“We were soft,” Simmons said of the Sixers, per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. “… The physicality side of things, we gotta step that up. That comes with experience, also just comes with personality. Don’t get bullied.”

While Simmons’ comments likely won’t have any direct impact on what Brand does at the deadline, Wolfe points out that the former No. 1 pick also called the Sixers “soft” last January. The club’s deal for Tobias Harris came a few weeks later.

This time around, the Sixers aren’t as well-equipped to make a blockbuster trade, so a move around the edges – possibly for a shooter – is more realistic. For the most part, it’ll be up to the current group to get out of its latest slump, which has dropped Philadelphia’s road record to 9-18 for the season.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • It sounds like Raptors center Marc Gasol, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, will likely be sidelined through the All-Star break, tweets Michael Grange of Gasol’s hamstring isn’t viewed as a serious issue, but the club wants to be cautious.
  • There are several reasons why the Raptors are unlikely to make a major trade at this season’s deadline, including the way their roster is constructed and their intrigue with the pieces they already have, writes Josh Lewenberg of
  • The Nets also look like a long shot to make a splash on the trade market this week, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Everything that Lewis is hearing from team and league sources points toward Brooklyn doing something relatively minor if the team makes a move at all. Rodions Kurucs, Dzanan Musa, Theo Pinson, and Wilson Chandler are among the Nets’ trade candidates, in Lewis’ view.
  • The Celtics‘ trade deadline plans could be affected to some extent by what they expect Gordon Hayward to do with his $34MM player option this summer, says Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Boston has a few different paths this offseason depending on whether Hayward opts in, leaves in free agency, or signs a new long-term deal with the C’s. As Bulpett relays, the veteran forward isn’t ready to make a decision on that option. “I haven’t thought about it at all,” Hayward said.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/31/20

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Nets assigned forward Dzanan Musa and guard Theo Pinson to their Long Island affiliate, according to the G League transactions log. Pinson, a second-year guard, has appeared in 27 games with Brooklyn this season, averaging 4.4 PPG in 12.3 MPG. Musa, a second-year swingman, is averaging 4.2 PPG in 11.9 MPG through 33 appearances with the NBA club.
  • The Jazz assigned point guard Nigel Williams-Goss to the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the G League log. Williams-Goss has made nine abbreviated appearances with the NBA team this season.
  • The Wizards assigned rookie swingman Admiral Schofield to the Capital City Go-Go, according to the G League log. Schofield has played 26 games with the Wizards this season, averaging 3.2 PPG in 11.2 MPG.