Tony Parker

Southeast Notes: Riley, Whiteside, M. Williams, Carter

Heat president Pat Riley told his players just before the season started that he was pulling out of trade talks with the Timberwolves involving Jimmy Butler, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Riley held a team meeting October 14 in which he acknowledged that negotiations had been going on and apologized to players whose names became public in trade rumors. That was just days after the teams nearly completed a deal that would have sent a package that included Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick to Minnesota. However, Riley didn’t guarantee that negotiations with the Wolves wouldn’t resume.

Today’s trade that sent Butler to the Sixers eliminates that as a possibility. With about $130MM in salary, Miami is hovering above the $123.7MM luxury tax threshold and would face a $9.7MM tax payment if the team can’t trim $6.3MM by the end of the season. Riley said Thursday that the team isn’t currently active on the trade market, but tax concerns may change that before the February deadline.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who has reportedly been on the trade block for several months, is “changing his mindset to be great,” teammate Bam Adebayo tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Whiteside posted his best game in a long time Wednesday with 29 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocked shots. “I think a lot of people had written me off,” Whiteside said. “That’s fine. I don’t need anybody’s justification. But I feel like if I do those things for myself, it’ll put me in the conversation of being an All-Star, being defensive player of the year.”
  • Marvin Williams says the players were thrilled this summer when they learned that Tony Parker was leaving the Spurs to join the Hornets as a free agent, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. Parker brought championship experience to Charlotte, having won four titles in San Antonio. “He’s so willing to teach everyone and he’s very patient with all of us,” Williams said. “He’s obviously been in certain situations that a lot of us haven’t been able to experience yet, so that knowledge and that wisdom really helps us.”
  • Williams believes the way the game has changed in recent years has helped the HawksVince Carter stay productive at age 41, relays Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer. Carter still displays his vertical leap on occasion, but he has prolonged his career with a deadly jump shot. “As the league has evolved, he’s almost benefited from it because he still can guard multiple positions, and he can still really shoot the lights out,” Williams said.

Southeast Notes: Parker, Collins, Wizards, Clifford

Hawks power forward John Collins continues to show progress from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle, according to a team press release, but it’s still uncertain when he’ll make his season debut. The 2017 first-round selection has progressed to modified on-court drills and shooting routines with the goal of integrating him into modified team practice this week. Collins averaged 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG in his rookie year.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Tony Parker and Malik Monk head the list of pleasant surprises for the Hornets this season, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines. Parker has stabilized the second unit and Bonnell notes that the veteran point guard averaged 19.9 points and 9.2 assists per 100 possessions last season for the Spurs but is posting 28.2 points and 13.3 assists per 100 possessions in his first 10 games with Charlotte. Monk, a second-year shooting guard, is the team’s second-leading scorer (13.4 PPG) despite also coming off the bench.
  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks shortened his rotation in a victory over the Knicks on Sunday, as Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington points out. Ian Mahinmi was the odd man out even though the Knicks kept a traditional center on the court throughout the game. With Dwight Howard back in action and starting at center, Brooks used forward Markieff Morris at the five spot to make the second unit more mobile.
  • The Magic have gotten off to another slow start but first-year coach Steve Clifford is keeping the team’s spirits up with stories of how other teams he’s coached have gone through similar stretches, John Denton of the team’s website writes. “He was telling us that in his first year in Charlotte they were under (eight) games from .500, but they stuck together, kept fighting, made the playoffs and was a top-10 defensive team,’’ Magic swingman Evan Fournier said. “When a guy like that has seen it all, it gives you confidence and belief.”

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Morris, Whiteside, Parker

The Hawks have provided some detail regarding some of the injuries that have been plaguing their roster to begin the 2018/19 season.

Swingman Justin Anderson, who was traded to the Hawks from the Sixers back in July, is still rehabilitating from a pre-trade surgery to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg. There is still no timetable for his return.

Big man John Collins, who may expect to have a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018/19, is also still rehabilitating from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He is still out, but his return is clearer. His rehab will be reviewed in eleven days with an update from the Hawks to follow.

Fellow big man Dewayne Dedmon is returning after participating in his first full live practice with the team yesterday. He was re-assessed today and is playing for the Hawks in their game against Dallas this evening.

Finally, Hawks swingman Daniel Hamilton has returned to modified practice following rehab for a tear in his right rotator cuff. There is no timetable for his return to game action.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Southeast Notes: Howard, Satoransky, Hornets, Ellington

It appears new Wizards center Dwight Howard may miss all of training camp, head coach Scott Brooks told reporters, including Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Brooks had indicated that Howard would miss time as he deals with an ailing back.

Howard, 32, signed with the Wizards in the offseason after he was acquired by the Nets and subsequently bought out. The eight-time All-Star is with his fifth team in seven seasons as he looks to build on a solid season with the Hornets in 2017/18. Playing in over 80 games for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign, Howard averaged 16.6 PPG and 12.5 RPG for Charlotte.

Check out more Southeast notes below:

  • As he enters his third season in the NBA, Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky knows that nothing is promised as he has seen his role vary each season, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “That’s what these two years have taught me, never be sure of your situation or position,” he said.
  • Tony Parker admitted that it’s weird to don a uniform that isn’t the Spurs’ black and white for the first time in his 17-year NBA career. As Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer writes, Parker will need time to adjust to the Hornets, but this is the role he wanted. “This is a guy who’s a six-time all-star, a four-time NBA champion, been in NBA for 17 years and he’s in a new environment,” head coach James Borrego said. “New head coach. New teammates. New locker room. New city. And now coming off the bench — all that is new for him. … But Tony has bought into this role.”
  • Hornets rookie Devonte’ Graham was acquired by Charlotte from the Hawks after Atlanta selected him in the second round. As he looks to make an impact for the Hornets, he believes that Charlotte is the right place to do that, Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer writes.
  • Wayne Ellington entered free agency this past summer knowing exactly what he wanted and where he wanted to be, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. “I knew what I wanted,” Ellington said. “The Heat have always expressed that they wanted me back.”

Southeast Notes: Parker, Clifford, Carter, Jackson

In a wide-ranging Q&A session with Matt Rochinski of Hornets.com, newly-signed veteran point guard Tony Parker discusses what brought him to Charlotte, his expectations for the upcoming season and more.

In regard to why he chose the Hornets, Parker says that he just wanted to do something different and experience something new. “I’ve been with the Spurs for a long time – 17 years… I know it sounds simple – but I just wanted to see something else – go to the East Coast and go do something else in the NBA.”

Parker also touched upon the close relationship he has with Hornets’ forward Nicolas Batum, a longtime teammate of Parker’s on the French national team, and new head coach James Borrego, who was a longtime Spurs’ assistant coach before taking the head job in Charlotte.

Parker also added that having his idol, Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan, reach out to him factored into his decision. For a more in-depth look into Parker’s mindset heading into the 2018/19 season, make sure to check out the entire interview transcript.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • In a Q&A with John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com, New Magic head coach Steve Clifford seems to be concentrating on returning the franchise to its relative glory days from 2009 and 2010, when Clifford was an assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy on an Orlando squad that reached the NBA Finals in 2009 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010.
  • The Heat have hired former NBA guard Anthony Carter to its coaching staff as a Player Development Coach after he spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the team’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Carter will specifically help with implementing Miami’s player development and mentorship programs within the Skyforce.
  • According to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 DaysMagic 2018 NBA Draft selection Justin Jackson is expected to sign a G League contract with the Lakeland Magic and become a domestic draft-and-stash prospect.

Hornets Notes: Lamb, Kaminsky, Parker, Batum

Jeremy Lamb might be the Hornets’ starter at shooting guard, but he could also be entering his final season with the team, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer in his latest mailbag column. Lamb started 18 times in his 80 games last season and posted the best numbers of his six-year NBA career, averaging 12.9 points per game and shooting 37% from 3-point range.

Bonnell expects new coach James Borrego to use Nicolas Batum at small forward more often, opening a spot in the backcourt that will be filled either by Lamb or Malik Monk. Lamb improved his defense last year and provides more size than Monk, so he’s considered the favorite to win the starting job heading into camp.

Lamb is entering the final year of a contract extension he signed in 2015 and will be seeking a raise from his salary of just under $7.5MM. Charlotte will have a tight cap situation heading into the summer with Kemba Walker also as a free agent. With Batum, Monk and Dwayne Bacon as alternatives as shooting guard, the team may decide not to spend big on Lamb.

Bonnell offers more news on the Hornets in the same piece:

  • Expect Frank Kaminsky to see more minutes at center in the preseason, and that could wind up being his primary position in the future. Kaminsky has been used mainly as a power forward during his first three seasons in the league, but the Hornets may want a better outside shooter in the middle after trading away Dwight Howard. Charlotte’s front office will have to decide soon whether to extend a qualifying offer of roughly $5MM to Kaminsky to make him a restricted free agent next summer.
  • The Hornets plan to use free agent addition Tony Parker as Walker’s primary backup this season. The longtime Spur will play about 15 to 17 minutes a night and could be used in combination with Walker to close out games. Rookie Devonte’ Graham looked good in Summer League, but Bonnell doesn’t expect him to be given a large role this season.
  • Offseason changes may put Batum in position for a bounceback year. The addition of Parker, Batum’s close friend and teammate from the French national squad, should help, as should improved health after Batum missed the entire preseason last year with an elbow injury. Bonnell notes that Batum was an awkward fit with Howard, who liked to dominate the ball in the post and often slowed down the offense.

Southwest Notes: Belinelli, Parker, Doncic, Rockets

Marco Belinelli will focus on the upcoming NBA season instead of playing for Italy’s national team, according to a Sportando report. The veteran shooting guard will skip World Cup qualifiers next month against Poland and Hungary in order to prepare for the Spurs’ training camp, the report continues. Belinelli, who had a previous two-year stint with San Antonio, played a combined 80 regular-season games last season for the Hawks and Sixers and averaged 12.1 PPG. He’ll back up DeMar DeRozan and could also see some action at small forward after signing a two-year, $12MM deal.

In other news from around the Southwest Division:

  • Tony Parker will come back to San Antonio to end his career, he told the Chinese website Hupu.com in an interview that was relayed by AmicoHoops.net. Parker, who signed a two-year deal with the Hornets, intend to sign a one-day contract with the Spurs when he’s ready to call it quits. “Yes, I will retire as a Spur,” Parker said.
  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic should be able to handle the physical grind of the NBA but his athleticism and quickness will be tested in his rookie season, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. He also has to prove he can consistently knock down 3-pointers from behind the NBA arc, Sefko adds. Doncic is expected to jump right into the starting backcourt alongside Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Another trip to the Bahamas is on the docket for Rockets players, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports.  The team will try to build chemistry by holding a bonding experience there in early September, something it also did last season.

Southwest Notes: Conley, Hunter, Parker, Broekhoff

Last month’s signing of Kyle Anderson will enable Mike Conley to adopt a different role for the Grizzlies this season, according to Peter Edmiston of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. A point guard throughout his 11-year career, Conley will be used off the ball more frequently and will be counted on to provide more scoring.

Conley said he talked to former Memphis coach David Fizdale about such a move two years ago. However, any progress was short circuited last year when an injury ended Conley’s season after 12 games and Fizdale was fired in November.

“When Kyle and anybody else on the ball make plays, I don’t have to make plays for myself,” Conley said. “I’m excited about that and I think it bodes well for my season and our team.”

Conley also addressed questions about his injured heel that required season-ended surgery, saying he’s feeling “on track” and expects to be at full strength when the new season starts in October.

There’s more today from the Southwest Division:

  • R.J. Hunter has become a Summer League regular after the Celtics made him a first-round pick in 2015, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Hunter, who has a two-way contract with the Rockets, played for Houston’s entry this year in his fourth consecutive Summer League. He has appeared in just eight NBA games since the Celtics waived him in 2016, but said his time with the Rockets has been a valuable learning experience. “Whenever I’m on the bench, just see what they need on the court,” Hunter said. “I think it’s more of a thinking game. Houston’s old. A lot of their players are vets, so they’ve been teaching me how to think the game and be patient.”
  • Tony Parker, who signed with the Hornets after 17 years with the Spurs, reflects on his time in San Antonio in a letter on The Players’ Tribune. Parker talks about his embarrassing audition with the team, the transition to Dejounte Murray as the starting point guard and the meaning of “Spurs culture.”
  • After losing Doug McDermott in free agency, the Mavericks hope they have found a replacement in sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff. The Dallas Morning News takes a closer look at the Australian star, noting that Matthew Dellavedova lobbied the Bucks to sign him.

Hornets Notes: Howard, Parker, Backcourt

While Dwight Howard joked in his introductory press conference with the Wizards about being “stung” by the Hornets, he admits to Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports that there was some truth behind that remark, since he was confused by Charlotte’s decision to trade him earlier this offseason.

“I didn’t see any signs,” Howard said. “I wouldn’t think after having a really good season a team would be like, ‘OK, let’s trade you.’ That really caught me off-guard. That’s why I said in the press conference, the Hornets stung me.

“I asked [Hornets GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and I asked the coach: ‘What did I do? Was it something in the locker room that I did?'” Howard continued. “And Mitch said, ‘No, it had nothing to do with the locker room. It has nothing to do with you as a person. We just felt like we wanted to go in this direction as a team.’ I asked him, ‘If this is the truth, you need to come out and say this stuff, because people are thinking it’s because I did something in the locker room or acted a certain type of way.’ And I’m like, ‘This is not who I am.'”

As Howard moves from one Southeast team to another, let’s check in on a few other Hornets-related notes…

  • Tony Parker‘s two-year deal with the Hornets, which is now official, is non-guaranteed in year two, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). Sources tell Lowe that the second year – which has a guarantee date of July 4, 2019 – is worth $5.25MM, bringing the overall value of the pact to $10.25MM.
  • As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays, Parker said this week that the opportunity to help former Spurs assistant James Borrego succeed in his first head coaching job was part of what drew him to the Hornets this summer. The veteran point guard also hopes to help his friend Nicolas Batum bounce back from a down year. “He’s been a business partner and my little brother,” Parker said. “I hope we can get the best out of him next season.”
  • In a mailbag for The Observer, Bonnell explores whether a Kemba Walker/Malik Monk backcourt pairing would work, given their size and their defensive limitations. Bonnell also addresses the Hornets’ starting center job, Miles Bridges‘ potential, and Kupchak’s influence on the team culture in Charlotte.

Hornets Sign Tony Parker

JULY 23: The Hornets’ deal with Parker is now official, the team confirmed today in a press release.

“We are thrilled to add a player of Tony’s caliber and experience to our roster,” GM Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “We believe his track record of success and playoff resume will add backcourt depth to our roster and veteran leadership to our group. Parker’s experience with Head Coach James Borrego will be an invaluable asset to us moving forward as well. We are excited to welcome Tony to Charlotte and for him to continue his Hall-of-Fame career with the Hornets.”

JULY 6: After spending 17 seasons in San Antonio, Tony Parker will head to Charlotte for the 2018/19 season. The veteran point guard has reached an agreement to sign with the Hornets, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

Parker will sign a two-year, $10MM contract with the Hornets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). A tweet from Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum first hinted that Parker – Batum’s teammate on the French national team – would join the franchise.

The Hornets had been on the lookout for a backup point guard after struggling to find consistent production behind Kemba Walker in recent years. Parker, 36, will provide a steady presence at that spot, though he’s no longer the impact player he once was. In 2017/18, the longtime Spur lost his starting job to Dejounte Murray and averaged a career-low 7.7 PPG and 3.5 APG in 55 games (21 starts).

As Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News tweets, there were about five or six teams interested in Parker, but he chose the Hornets because the team sold him on more playing time and a significant role.

Parker’s departure is the latest development in what has been an unusually dramatic year in San Antonio. The Spurs will now be without a point guard who first joined the franchise back in 2001 and has appeared in more than 1,400 total regular season and postseason games with the team.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Parker called Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich within the last hour to inform him of his plan to head to Charlotte. Although the Spurs wanted Parker back, the veteran will reunite with former San Antonio assistant James Borrego, who was hired as the Hornets’ head coach this spring.

This is the second time in recent years that a club headed by a former Spurs assistant has made a play for a longtime Spur. The Sixers and Brett Brown were unable to lure Manu Ginobili to Philadelphia in 2016, but Borrego and the Hornets were able to secure Parker’s services this time around.

Parker’s deal figures to be completed using a portion of the Hornets’ mid-level exception, since the team is over the cap. The trade that sent Dwight Howard to Brooklyn helped Charlotte create the flexibility to complete a signing like this one without going into tax territory.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.