Trevor Booker

Central Notes: Nance, Parker, Booker

Larry Nance Jr. has never been a prolific three-pointer shooter, evidenced by his 12 career treys, but he is not scared to shoot the ball from the perimeter, Chris Fedor of writes. Nance has made just one triple in seven attempts this season but he has impressed the Cavaliers in practice with his range.

Primarily known for his athleticism and defense, Nance did not bring a known mid-range game to Cleveland. Head coach Tyronn Lue admitted that he was not aware that Nance could shoot threes. With Tristan Thompson out for a while, Nance will see time at center and he is comfortable shooting from beyond the arc if he is given space.

“If they sag off me I will shoot it,” Nance told this past Monday. “Obviously I’m not going to be K-Love with it or anything. But if they sag off me and don’t respect me as a shooter I feel completely comfortable (making them pay) and shooting it now.”

In a separate story, Joe Vardon of writes that Nance will start until Thompson is healthy. Lue was encouraged by Nance’s contributions off the bench after he traded from the Lakers.

“I was just letting (Nance) get a chance to figure out our offense, our defense and what we want to do,” Lue said. “I liked what he did off the bench because we need that spark and that energy.”

Check out other Central Division notes below:

  • Jabari Parker‘s career has hit two major snags, both of them being torn ACLs that cost him significant playing time. He was reportedly close to an extension with the Bucks that would have paid him $18MM annually — while recovering from the second ACL injury — but it didn’t happen. As he approaches free agency, Parker’s future with the Bucks remains a dilemma in the short- and long-term, NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman writes.
  • Trevor Booker was waived by the Sixers and while he had other options, he chose to sign with the Pacers. Booker’s defense and rebounding is something the Pacers have been looking to add, Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star writes. “I had a few other choices,” Booker said. “I factored in everything. I thought I could come to this team and bring something positive.”
  • The Pistons have been hampered by injuries all season, primarily in the backcourt. Those injuries have impacted the team’s perimeter shooting, but head coach Stan Van Gundy does not want to use injuries as an excuse, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes.  “I’m not going to make an excuse on that. We’ve got good players and we should be playing better. We’re capable of playing better and I think we will play better,” Van Gundy said. “Nobody wants to be without guys for long periods of time, but injuries are a fact of life in the NBA and you have to play through them.”

Trevor Booker Signs With Pacers

9:13pm: The signing of Booker is official, the Pacers announced on their website“As we head into this final stretch of the season Trevor will add to the depth of our roster,” said president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard. “Not only is he a solid player and a solid team player, his character fits with our team and what we are trying to accomplish.”

MARCH 3, 2:52pm: The Pacers will not sign Trey McKinney-Jones to a second 10-day contract after his first deal expired last night, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic. The roster spot now open will almost assuredly go to Booker, who has cleared waivers, per RealGM’s official transactions log.

FEBRUARY 28: The Sixers have yet to officially announce Trevor Booker‘s release, but it sounds like Booker’s camp has already lined up the veteran forward’s next deal. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link), Booker is expected to sign with the Pacers once he clears waivers. He’ll get a minimum salary contract with Indiana, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

As we relayed earlier this afternoon, Booker was the odd man out in Philadelphia, where the Sixers had a full 15-man roster and needed to create room to sign Ersan Ilyasova. Assuming Booker is formally waived by the 76ers today, he’ll clear waivers on Friday, and will hang onto his playoff eligibility for his new team in Indiana.

Booker, 30, had been averaging a career-low 15.0 minutes per game with the Sixers, but played well for the Nets in 89 total games in 2016 and 2017. In 24.1 MPG with Brooklyn, Booker posted 10.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.0 APG, shooting 51.6% from the field.

Thaddeus Young is currently the Pacers’ primary power forward, with Bojan Bogdanovic occasionally seeing time at the four in small lineups and Domantas Sabonis playing there in some bigger lineups. Indiana’s other backups at the position are youngsters like T.J. Leaf and Alex Poythress, so Booker will provide some veteran depth.

As we noted earlier today, the Pacers are one of seven teams that doesn’t technically have an open roster spot, but has a player on a 10-day contract filling their 15th slot. That player – Trey McKinney-Jones – will see his 10-day deal expire Friday night, creating an open roster spot on Saturday for Indiana.

The Pacers’ cap charge for Booker will depend on what day his deal is finalized, but if he’s signed on Saturday, it will be worth approximately $333K. The Sixers, meanwhile, will continue to carry Booker’s old $9.125MM cap hit, minus whatever amount he gave up as part of his buyout.

Corey Brewer Signs With Thunder

MARCH 3: Brewer’s signing with the Thunder is official, per the NBA’s official transactions log.

MARCH 1, 10:39am: Brewer has committed to sign with the Thunder once he clears waivers, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Brewer talked to Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan and GM Sam Presti and considered three Eastern Conference teams before deciding.

FEBRUARY 28, 6:50pm: Brewer is likely to sign with the Thunder after all, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Lakers officially waived Brewer earlier today, meaning the veteran swingman will be free to sign a contract with Oklahoma City as early as Friday.

3:03pm: One source tells David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link) that while the Thunder are definitely in the mix for Brewer, the veteran is more likely to land with an Eastern Conference team.

10:44am: Amick (via Twitter) adds the Jazz and Pelicans to the list of teams that could also be in the mix for Brewer, noting that several of the teams he has mentioned are also keeping an eye on the Trevor Booker situation in Philadelphia.

10:28am: The Lakers and veteran swingman Corey Brewer have reportedly reached an agreement on a buyout, which means he could become a free agent as soon as Friday. When Brewer does hit the open market, a deal with the Thunder is a “serious possibility,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski notes, the ex-Gator is likely to be drawn to Oklahoma City by the presence of his former coach at Florida, Billy Donovan, who is now the Thunder’s head coach. Even aside from the Donovan connection, Brewer would be a logical fit for OKC, since the team has been on the lookout for one more option on the wing since Andre Roberson‘s injury, tweets ESPN’s Royce Young.

While the Thunder may be the frontrunners for Brewer, he’ll talk to other teams too, per Wojnarowski. The 31-year-old is unlikely to rush his decision, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who tweets that the Cavaliers, Wizards, Trail Blazers, and Bucks have also shown interest. Amick adds that Brewer – averaging a career-low 12.9 minutes per game this season – will be seeking a “legit role,” which figures to impact his decision.

Although several playoff teams have already been linked to Brewer, his mediocre outside shot (.280 career 3PT%) will limit his appeal to some contenders. For instance, he’s not likely to be a fit for the Raptors, notes Josh Lewenberg of TSN (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Minnesota has “kicked the tires” on the former Timberwolf, but says not to count on a reunion.

Sixers Waive Trevor Booker

8:30pm: The Sixers have officially waived Booker, according to a press release from the club.

1:15pm: The Sixers intend to waive veteran forward Trevor Booker in order to open up a spot on their roster, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). That roster opening is required in order for Philadelphia to finalize its deal with Ersan Ilyasova, who will clear waivers later today. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Booker agreed to a buyout.

Booker had been viewed as the most likely candidate to be waived by the 76ers since word of the team’s agreement with Ilyasova broke. Although there are other players on the roster who play fewer minutes and/or earn smaller salaries, Booker’s situation made him expendable — he is one of the few Sixers on an expiring contract, and he plays the same position as Ilyasova, meaning his already-modest role would have been further reduced if he’d stuck around.

Booker, acquired earlier this season in a trade that sent a second-round pick, Jahlil Okafor, and Nik Stauskas to the Nets, has been solid since arriving in Philadelphia. In 33 games (15.0 MPG), Booker has averaged 4.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG with a career-high .560 FG%.

The 30-year-old’s ability to contribute as a role player should make him an appealing target for playoff-bound teams, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweeted earlier this week. Sam Amick of USA Today noted today (via Twitter) that several teams were monitoring the Booker situation in Philadelphia, and the big man himself sounds confident that he’ll find a new home quickly.

“If I do get waived or bought out, whatever it is, I have a lot of teams interested in me,” Booker said on Tuesday, acknowledging that he knew he may be the odd man out for the Sixers.

If the 76ers officially waive Booker today, he’ll clear waivers on Friday, at which point he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Central Notes: LeBron, Clarkson, Portis, Booker

Despite never playing college basketball himself, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has a pretty strong opinion of the sport’s governing body, the NCAA, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Asked recently about the federal investigation into college basketball recruiting, James called the NCAA a “corrupt” organization and said the NBA needs to further develop a minor league-type system.

“I don’t know if there’s any fixing the NCAA. I don’t think there is,” James said. “It’s what’s been going on for many, many, many, many years. I don’t know how you can fix it. I don’t see how you can fix it… The NCAA is corrupt, we know that. Sorry, it’s going to make headlines, but it’s corrupt.

“We have to shore up our G League, continue to expand our G League… I just looked at it like the farm league, like in baseball. Or you look at pros overseas; some of those guys get signed at 14, but they get put into this farm system where they’re able to grow and be around other professionals for three or four years. Then, when they’re ready, they hit the national team, or when they’re ready, they become a pro. So I think us, we have to kind of really figure that out, how we can do that.”

Here’s more from out of the Central:

 There’s more from the Central Division:
  • Jordan Clarkson was largely seen as a price the Cavaliers had to pay to rid themselves of Isaiah Thomas while simultaneously obtaining the young, reasonably priced Larry Nance Jr. Yet, Clarkson has performed admirably thus far in Cleveland, and as relayed by Chris Fedor of, the Cavs believe three-point shooting could actually become a strength for the career 33% shooter from deep.
  • The Bulls have Bobby Portis under contract through next season and can make him a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019. Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago takes an in-depth look at whether Portis fits into Chicago’s rebuilding plans.
  • We found out earlier today that Trevor Booker plans to sign with the Pacers after his release from the Sixers is finalized. Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype opines that Booker will be a great fit with Indiana’s offense, immediately providing a new threat to score in transition and when cutting to the basket.

Trevor Booker Acknowledges Buyout Possibility

Ersan Ilyasova won’t clear waivers until Wednesday, but Trevor Booker is already bracing for the possibility that the Sixers’ agreement with Ilyasova could bring his time in Philadelphia to an end. Booker said today that he has “heard from a couple different people” that he could be bought out, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

[RELATED: Hawks, Ersan Ilyasova finalize buyout; Ilyasova to sign with Sixers]

“I’ve talked to my agent,” Booker said. “It’s a possibility. But I’m not worried about anything. … At the end of the day, everything is going to work out the best for me.”

While Pompey refers to the possibility of a buyout, Booker is more likely to be released outright by the Sixers, who don’t have much leverage to ask for money back. Having already reached a tentative agreement with Ilyasova, who was bought out by the Hawks on Monday, the Sixers have a full 15-man roster and will need to waive a player to make room for their new power forward.

Booker, acquired earlier this season in a trade that sent a second-round pick and Jahlil Okafor to the Nets, has been solid since arriving in Philadelphia. In 33 games (15.0 MPG), the veteran has averaged 4.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG with a career-high .560 FG%. However, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic detailed on Monday, Booker’s contract and his positional overlap with Ilyasova make him the player most likely to be waived, if only by the process of elimination.

If the Sixers cut Booker, he shouldn’t have trouble finding a new NBA home, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. The 30-year-old forward agreed with that assessment, as Pompey writes. “If I do get waived or bought out, whatever it is, I have a lot of teams interested in me,” Booker said on Tuesday. If he’s released on Wednesday or Thursday, Booker would retain his eligibility for the playoffs.

And-Ones: Free Agent Market, Payne, Perkins, Booker

The bull market for free agents has ended and there will be few free-spending teams this summer, according to Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks of ESPN. Many organizations are paying the price for the huge contracts that were handed out in 2016 as cap issues are forcing much of the league to take a more frugal approach.

This season, five teams are on pace to pay the luxury tax, which kicks in with a payroll topping $119MM. Twelve teams are projected to be in tax territory for 2018/19 and several more are in danger of getting there just by re-signing their own free agents. The authors list the Bucks as one team that will cross the line if they hold onto Jabari Parker.

“The luxury tax was not designed for this many teams to pay it,” a league executive told Windhorst and Marks. “Many of those owners probably didn’t think they’d be paying it. Quite a few of those teams are probably going to take steps to get out of the tax or limit new spending.”

When teams were handing out big contracts in the summer of 2016, they were expecting a salary cap in the range of $108MM for next season. That projection has been revised down to $101MM, leaving many in an unexpected dilemma. Only seven teams — the Lakers, Sixers, Bulls, Hawks, Mavericks, Suns and Nets — will have more than $10MM available to chase free agents, and virtually all of those teams are in rebuilding mode.

NBA agent Mark Bartelstein expects the situation to improve in 2019 and 2020 when those 2016 contracts start to expire.

There’s more NBA-related news this morning:

  • Max and “supermax” deals are the reason more stars seem to be on the trade market, writes Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer. Clippers consultant Jerry West had been urging owner Steve Ballmer to trade Blake Griffin ever since Chris Paul let the team know he wouldn’t be re-signing. Ballmer was convinced after Griffin’s latest injury, recognizing the risks of paying him $171MM over five years, including nearly $39MM in the 2021/22 season when he will be 32. Teams are taking stock of their future and weighing whether maxing out a star is worth giving up financial flexibility. O’Connor predicts fewer mid-sized deals, like the approximately $17MM the Magic are giving to Bismack Biyombo and Evan Fournier, in favor of more non-taxpayer midlevel exceptions, which are valued at $8.4MM an will rise to about $10MM before the current CBA expires.
  • Adreian Payne, who was waived by the Magic last month in the wake of the Michigan State scandal, had signed to play in Greece, relays the Associated Press. Payne had a two-way contract and played just four games for Orlando.
  • Veteran center Kendrick Perkins has decided to leave the G League Canton Charge, tweets Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. Several teams have contacted him about signing after the deadline, and he may consider playing in China or Japan next year, depending how the rest of this season turns out, adds Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Perkins officially “retired” from the G League so the Charge can receive compensation, according to 2 Ways & 10 Days.
  • Sixers forward Trevor Booker has changed agents in advance of his upcoming free agency, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Booker has signed with Jim Tanner’s Tandem Sports + Entertainment.
  • Lavoy Allen, who played 61 games for the Pacers last season, has joined the Northern Arizona Suns of the G League, the team tweeted.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Hardaway, Theis, Holmes, Booker

After both Frank Ntilikina and Jarrett Jack were upstaged by T.J. McConnell in the Knicks‘ Christmas loss to the Sixers, head coach Jeff Hornacek wants both players to be more aggressive, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes.

“We always tell our point guards, if someone is pressuring you, just drive right around them. Don’t wait for them to get into your body and try to make a move,” Hornacek said. “You see when he comes up to get you. That’s that change of pace, that change of speeds, when you go one way then slow down, then speed up. And that’s something that Frank will learn.”

Ntilikina and Jack combined to shoot just 2-for-13 from the field in the loss. Also, the 20-year-old Ntilikina had a rare off night on defense, a part of the young Frenchman’s game that has been lauded thus far. With Jack the incumbent starter, the Knicks do not have much depth at the position, meaning the Knicks will need consistency from both players as the team battles for playoff contention.

Check out other Atlantic Division stories below:

  • Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s timetable to return from a stress injury to his left shin remains a mystery, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes. The Knicks announced on Wednesday that Hardaway has made progress — which includes on-court activities such as jumping — and that he will be evaluated weekly. The exact severity of Hardaway’s injury remains unclear but the team hopes to have their prized offseason signee back at some point in January.
  • Celtics big man Daniel Theis does not like playing with a protective mask on his face but his recent performance was not impacted by the facial inconvenience, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Theis grabbed 15 rebounds in the Celtics’ win over the Bulls last Saturday. While he maintains that the mask is bothersome, he said the current one he uses has improved his vision on the court. Theis hopes to play without the mask in three weeks.
  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) examined the Sixers’ recent loss to the Raptors. Bodner also highlights the disappearance of Trevor Booker and Richaun Holmes in Philadelphia’s recent skid.

Atlantic Notes: VanVleet, Nets, Booker

The Raptors will have a welcomed dilemma on their hands when Delon Wright returns from a shoulder injury. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes that initial third-string point guard Fred VanVleet has made a strong case for regular minutes.

VanVleet has become an integral part of the lineup the Raptors have been closing games with during their current five-game streak. The gritty, undrafted guard has been providing skills that Dwane Casey loves while shooting an impressive 8-17 from beyond the arc.

I think we have the opportunity with Delon, Fred, Norman Powell,” starting Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said of the fluctuating lineups. “We’ve got guys who can play basketball and guys who are very talented and play extremely hard. You never know, whoever has it going is going to finish the game.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets opted to take a flyer on Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas this week but the aspect of the trade that they’re most excited for could very well be the second round pick, Zach Lowe of ESPN says (via Nets Daily). General manager Sean Marks has been busy the last few years, acquiring second-rounders to replenish those that his predecessor traded away.
  • The latest addition to the Sixers considers himself to be a bigger version of a current fan favorite. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype recently caught up with Trevor Booker and asked him what he thinks he’ll be able to contribute to his new team. “I’ll bring a lot of passion; I’m a passionate player. I’m a guy that’s going to be aggressive, provide energy and be a pest on defense. I’m pretty much a bigger T.J. McConnell.

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Booker, Fultz, Brown

Although the NBA adopted new restrictions about teams resting star players, the Sixers still have incredible freedom in deciding when to play Joel Embiid, notes Joe Vardon of The star center sat out Saturday’s game in Cleveland and probably won’t play back-to-back nights all season. Philadelphia has a game tonight in New Orleans and elected to use Embiid then.

Under rules imposed this summer, teams can be fined if they rest healthy players in road games or nationally televised contests. However, Embiid’s physical history, which includes missing his first two seasons because of foot surgeries and appearing in just 31 games last year, allows the Sixers to utilize a “back-to-back medical restriction.”

“This is a collaborative thing,” explained Sixers coach Brett Brown. “Sometimes it’s tilted towards he wanted to play, and we wanted him to play in front of our home fans. Other times there are situations that we listen to but ultimately, sort of the holy grail of the decision rests on health. How do we feel we can manage is health the best? And often times that’s rest in between and in this case that sort of led the way and dictated the decision. It’s disappointing that Cleveland fans aren’t going to be able to see a very unique player.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Trevor Booker is excited about his new role after being acquired in Thursday’s trade with the Nets, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers picked up Booker to strengthen their bench and serve as a mentor to their younger players. “Coming to a young, up-and-coming team, I think it’s a new opportunity for me,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. And I’m just looking forward to playing with the fellas and coach Brown.” Booker is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • The Sixers plan to re-evaluate rookie Markelle Fultz in three weeks after issuing a positive medical report Saturday, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Fultz no longer has soreness in his right shoulder, and doctors found that a scapular muscle imbalance has healed. Plans for the first overall pick include “increased strength and conditioning training and elevated on-court basketball activities.”
  • Brown used an NFL analogy to describe the education Fultz is getting while he recovers, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Brown called it a “Jon Gruden quarterbacks school” as he tries to teach the rookie the finer points of NBA guard play. “It’s like, ‘What do you see? What do you think? Why do you think that?’ And you treat it like it’s a college classroom,” Brown said. “Then you get him on the court, and you do things that can improve his skill but not beat up on his shoulder.”