Tony Parker

Texas Notes: Nowitzki, Cuban, Parker, J. Johnson

The workplace misconduct scandal surrounding the Mavericks hasn’t changed Dirk Nowitzki‘s plans to play another season, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. As the organization prepares for an independent investigation, Nowitzki said Friday that he still expects to return for a 21st season.

“I signed up last summer for two years,” he told reporters. “I would love to play next year again. But we’ll kind of see how the rest of the season plays out and how I feel in the summer. But as of now, I want to play again next year. I feel OK. I only missed one game. So the body is holding up OK. I only missed one game and that one I could have played, too. Obviously, I didn’t have any major, major issues.” 

There’s more new tonight out of Texas:

  • Of the possible penalties facing owner Mark Cuban in the wake of the workplace scandal, the NBA isn’t likely to take away the franchise, Sefko adds. That happened to Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell the Clippers in 2014 after several of his racially charged statements became public. Sefko believes it’s more likely Cuban will be suspended or draft picks will be forfeited.
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tells Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News that he likes the way veteran point guard Tony Parker has adapted to a reserve role since Dejounte Murray was named the starter last month. Now 35 and in the final year of his contract, Parker has adopted a new routine to keep him ready to come off the bench. “Tony has handled it fantastically well,” Popovich said. “He’s been a really mature, high-character guy. He understands what’s best for a basketball team.”
  • Joe Johnson will continue to get playing time in a crowded Rockets rotation, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Johnson logged 22 minutes Friday night in his second game since joining the team and is making a quick impression. “Joe Johnson played really well,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s getting more comfortable, especially in the second half. I’ve known Joe forever and he’s a machine. He just keeps playing, doesn’t get tired, he’s strong, and just really understands his game. If you watch it, he’s really good.” The addition of Johnson may mean a lighter workload for Trevor Ariza, Feigen adds in a separate story. Ariza, who had been averaging 34.8 minutes per night, returned to the lineup Friday after missing nine games with a strained hamstring.

Southwest Notes: Parker, Pelicans, Conley

Recently relegated reserve guard Tony Parker will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the veteran is eager to remain with the Spurs if they’ll have him, Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express News writes.

My priority is to stay here. I want to stay here for sure,” Parker said before pausing and adding that it’s ultimately Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich‘s decision.

In 28 games for the Spurs this season, Parker has averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 assists. Recently, however, Parker has ceded his starting role to 21-year-old Dejounte Murray. As a starter, Parker averaged 23.8 minutes per game. In seven games off the bench, that’s dropped to 17.4 and his other stat totals have predictably dropped too.

As Young writes, when Parker’s three-year, $43MM deal expires, the 35-year-old could attract the attention of other teams potentially looking to add veteran support. In 2016, the Sixers made a hefty offer to Manu Ginobili.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Veteran Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley made the decision to undergo season-ending heel surgery to correct an issue that he’s been struggling with for some time now, Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. “I’ve had this for three years. All the way back three years ago one of the doctors said eventually you’ll need to have this heel shaved down,” Conley said “I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to exhaust every option before going to that extent.”
  • Teams around the league have realized that Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis isn’t available, but that doesn’t mean circumstances won’t change if the franchise eventually shakes up its front office, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes.
  • Don’t tell Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry how to manage his team’s minutes. Gentry, in his third-year at the helm of the franchise, told William Guillory of The Times-Picayune that he plays his stars big minutes out of necessity.

Tony Parker Cedes Starting Role To Dejounte Murray

The time has come for Spurs guard Tony Parker, as the 17-year vet has officially lost his starting role in San Antonio. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes that Parker has ceded his spot in the first-unit to second-year point guard Dejounte Murray.

Gregg Popovich told me he thought it was time,” Parker said. “Just like Manu Ginobili, just like Pau Gasol, you know that day is going to come. If Pop sees something that is good for the team, I will try to do my best… I will support Pop’s decision.

Parker has started 1,151 regular season games over the course of his career, with career averages of 16.1 points and 5.8 assists per game. This year, in 21.7 minutes per game, he has posted averages of 8.0 points and 4.0 assists.

In 14 starts for the Spurs already this season, the 21-year-old Murray has averaged 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest.

Despite the lingering absence of star forward Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have managed to stay competitive in the West. Even after having lost six of their last 10 games, San Antonio sits tied for third in the conference.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Hernangomez, Ntilikina, Holiday

Knicks center Enes Kanter isn’t sure if he will opt in for the final year of his contract, as he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. It was generally assumed that Kanter would not leave $18.4MM on the table but he’s having such a strong season, it’s no longer a given. “It’s always on your mind,” Kanter told Bondy. “But the season is going really well right now. It’s just a contract. I think people worry about it too much and it gets into their head.” If he opts in, the Knicks will head into next summer with virtually no cap space, Bondy notes. If he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Knicks will try to re-sign him or pursue an athletic wing defender, Bondy adds.

In other developments concerning the Knicks:

  • Backup center Willy Hernangomez has not played in 10 of the last 11 games and he anticipates that something will be done about the logjam at the position, as he relayed to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I want to play,” he said. “I really want to be here. I love New York. KP (Kristaps Porzingis) is here. But I want to play.” League sources informed Berman that Hernangomez still has trade value but the situation could sort itself out in a different way. Berman speculates that the club will ramp up its efforts to deal Kyle O’Quinn if it nosedives in January.
  • The team’s matchup against the Spurs on Thursday will have special meaning to rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, Berman writes in a separate piece. He idolizes longtime San Antonio point guard Tony Parker“I’m playing against the best French player in history,’’ Ntilikina revealed to the media. “It will be a challenge playing against him. I never met him but talked to him a bit [after the draft] about the transition and defense in the NBA, a little bit about everything.’’
  • Bulls swingman Justin Holiday believes the Knicks would have taken him back if he had waited longer in free agency last summer, according to another Bondy story. Holiday’s former agent pushed hard for a substantial offer from the Knicks and even tried to make it a package deal with his brother, Jrue Holiday, a source told Bondy. New York wound up signing Tim Hardaway Jr. “It’s not like I hate the Knicks now,” Justin told Bondy. “I mean, I honestly believe if I waited something would’ve happened. But at the same time you never know.”

Southwest Notes: Parker, Tucker, Powell

After seven months of inactivity, Tony Parker made his return to the Spurs lineup this week and the veteran’s presence was quickly felt. As ESPN’s Michael Wright reports, Parker’s return boosted the squad on an emotional level.

Big lift, especially emotionally more than anything,” Spurs shooting guard Danny Green said. “Just to see him warming up with us. I think everybody’s just happy for him, just to see him go through that process — the injury first, then taking that process of six to seven months of being out and not being able to play — and what he’s meant to us and this organization.”

Parker followed up his debut in the Spurs’ Monday night victory over Dallas with a 10-point, five-assist showing on Wednesday.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets can use P.J. Tucker in the starting lineup or off the bench. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes that the versatile veteran will fill the same role regardless of how he’s utilized. “I’m going to go out and do my job,” Tucker said. “It doesn’t make a big deal. You’re going to play the same amount of minutes. And the way we play, it doesn’t really matter.
  • With an increased commitment to contributing in ways other than just scoring, Dwight Powell has found a way to ramp up his production for the Mavericks. As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, the 26-year-old’s rebounds, steals and blocks are all up this season despite playing a similar amount of minutes.
  • If the Mavericks are to ever become a coveted free agency destination, they’ll need to build themselves a young core, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News writes. With Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes, they’re off to a good start.

Western Notes: Len, Gobert, Leonard, Rockets

Alex Len has become the odd man out in the Suns’ center rotation and he cannot hide his displeasure, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic reports. Len signed a one-year, $4.2MM qualifying offer with Phoenix after failing to receive an offer sheet that he found acceptable as a restricted free agent over the summer. Len has not played in two of the three last games, as interim coach Jay Triano has decided to ride veterans Tyson Chandler and recently-acquired Greg Monroe“I put in the work hoping to show my skills on the court,” Len told Bordow. “So when you’re not able to help your team, it’s frustrating.” Len’s lack of playing time won’t help his cause when he enters the market again next summer, this time as an unrestricted free agent.

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Jazz center Rudy Gobert is participating in on-court individual drills at practice, Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News tweets. This could be a sign that Gobert, who is recovering from a right knee injury, will return to action sooner than the four- to six-week timetable given on November 12th. Gobert injured the knee in a collision with Heat guard Dion Waiters.
  • Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard is making significant progress from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of action all season, coach Gregg Popovich told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News and other media members. Popovich, who jokingly scoffed at “Doctor” Tony Parker‘s estimation that Leonard could return in two or three weeks, said Leonard would soon participate in 5-on-5 practice drills. “He’s getting very close and making progress,” Popovich said. “He’s having contact now and hopefully we will get him back shortly.”
  • The Rockets are not experiencing chemistry issues because the veterans they acquired know how to blend in, according to Hunter Atkins of The Houston Chronicle. Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute know what it takes to work well with others and it shows now that the team is playing at full strength, Atkins adds.

Tony Parker Plans To Return Monday

Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who hasn’t played since the Western Conference semifinals, plans to make his season debut Monday against the Mavericks, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

Parker ruptured a left quadriceps tendon in last year’s playoffs and was projected to be out of action until January. He has been ahead of schedule with his rehab and recently made a couple of trips to the G League to help with the process.

The 35-year-old is in his 17th NBA season after coming to San Antonio as a second-round pick in 2001. He has remained a productive player late in his career, averaging 10.1 points and 4.5 assists in 63 games last season.

Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray have been sharing point guard duties for the Spurs while Parker was sidelined.

Texas Notes: Noel, Leonard, Anderson, Weber

Nerlens Noel will regret turning down the Mavericks‘ four-year, $72MM offer this summer, states Newy Scruggs in a chat for The Dallas Morning News. Scruggs contends Noel is not viewed as a hard worker by the organization, which has lowered his standing with coach Rick Carlisle. Noel has slipped into a reserve role, starting just six of the 17 games he has played this season.

Noel was hoping for a maximum offer, either from the Mavs or another team, when he entered restricted free agency in July. But nothing in that neighborhood materialized and Noel opted to accept Dallas’ $4,187,598 qualifying offer and try his luck as an unrestricted free agent next year. Scruggs said he expects Noel to be traded before the February deadline.

There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:

  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters he has never seen an injury like the one that is keeping Kawhi Leonard out of action, relays Michael C. Wright of ESPN. Leonard is dealing with quadriceps tendinopathy, which has prevented him from taking the court all season, even in practice, and there’s still no definitive timetable for his return. Popovich had better news about Tony Parker, who also has a quadriceps injury that dates back to last season’s Western Conference semifinals. Parker has said he hopes to return in November, and it sounds like that may be possible. “For real, sooner than later,” Popovich said tonight. “And I’m serious. I’m being honest.” 
  • Leonard’s injury has created an opportunity for fourth-year swingman Kyle Anderson, who is getting serious minutes for the first time in his career. Anderson has started all 18 games, and Popovich plans to keep him in the rotation even when Leonard returns, tweets Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “When Kawhi does come back, I’ve got some figuring out to do,” Popovich said. “[Anderson] should still be on the court, somehow or another.”
  • After signing a two-way deal with the Rockets last month, Briante Weber is eager to make the most of his latest shot at the NBA, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Weber, the leading scorer for Houston’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, was called up to the Rockets today for the first time since joining the organization. He previously played for the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors and Hornets, but never spent more than 13 games with any of those teams. “I’ve been prepared,” Weber said. “It’s just about the opportunity. That’s all it’s about, me taking advantage of the opportunity when I get in. I’ve always been prepared. It’s just basketball.”

Southwest Notes: Rondo, Allen, McLemore, Parker

The Pelicans won’t have to wait much longer for Rajon Rondo‘s season debut, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Coach Alvin Gentry told reporters tonight that he expects Rondo to be ready in about a week to 10 days. Rondo underwent surgery for a sports hernia on October 10 and was projected to be sidelined four to six weeks. He was expected to take over at point guard after signing with New Orleans in July.

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • Tony Allen was held out of tonight’s game with left knee inflammation, but the Pelicans were prepared for occasional absences when they signed the 35-year-old guard, writes William Guillory of The Times-Picayune. Gentry called the condition minor and said it shouldn’t be a long-term concern for Allen. “It’s going to be that way throughout the season,” Gentry said. “He’s got a lot of years and a lot of miles on him. There’s going to be little hurts and pains that may keep him out a game or so, but it’s not anything that I’d spend any time worrying about.” Allen has been a valuable reserve for New Orleans, averaging 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 12 games.
  • Ben McLemore saw his first action for the Grizzlies tonight after signing with the team in July. McLemore had to undergo surgery in August after suffering a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his right foot during a summer pick-up game. He is expected to add more scoring punch to an already deep Memphis team after averaging 9.4 points per game during four seasons in Sacramento. “I’ve been working really hard on rehab and things like that to get back into game shape and being able to play my first game this season, so I’m excited,” McLemore said in an interview tweeted by the team.
  • The Spurs will have Tony Parker back soon, according to a post by Michael C. Wright on ESPN Now. Coach Gregg Popovich said his point guard continues to make progress in rehab, and Parker has expressed hope that he will be cleared to play by the end of November. He was originally expected to be out of action until January after rupturing a left quadriceps tendon during the Western Conference semifinals.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/7/17

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:



  • The Spurs have recalled Tony Parker from the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Parker has been bouncing back and forth between San Antonio and the Austin Spurs as he recovers from surgery on his quadriceps.


  • The Raptors have assigned Bruno Caboclo to the G League, the team announced today (via Twitter). Because this is Caboclo’s fourth NBA season, the move required his approval.
  • Second-year forward Derrick Jones has been sent to the Northern Arizona Suns, according to a press release issued today by Phoenix. The Suns’ affiliate doesn’t play its next game until Thursday, so we’ll see if Jones’ assignment lasts that long.
  • The Jazz have assigned a pair of rookies, Tony Bradley and Royce O’Neale, to their G League affiliate, according to a press release.
  • A day after sending him to the G League, the Rockets have recalled rookie big man Zhou Qi, the team announced (via Twitter). Zhou scored 15 points on Monday for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
  • The Nets have recalled Isaiah Whitehead from the G League, the club announced in a press release. Whitehead last played for the Long Island Nets on Saturday, when he racked up 26 points and grabbed seven boards.