Trevor Booker

Nets Notes: Ownership, Crabbe, Outlook, Booker

Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of The New York Post are back with another update on the potential Nets sale, reporting that prospective bidders for the franchise have been pushing owner Mikhail Prokhorov to sell a controlling interest in the team. Prokhorov is reportedly interested in selling a 49% stake with a path for a new minority owner to purchase a controlling interest within three years, but potential buyers are hoping to gain control of the club immediately.

“They’re asking, but I don’t think he’s giving in,” one source close to the discussions tells Kosman and Lewis. However, another source suggested that he wouldn’t be shocked if Prokhorov surrenders full control immediately.

While it remains to be seen what a sale will look like, a deal could be announced in the coming days or weeks, sources tell The Post. According to Kosman and Lewis, at least two “New York financial titans” are believed to be among the potential suitors, along with a Texas-based group that lost the bidding for the Rockets. Former Knicks and MSG president Dave Checketts is also rumored to be involved in a group of prospective buyers, sources tell The Post.

Here’s more on the Nets, as we wait to see how the sale process will play out:

Nets Notes: Booker, Dudley, Johnson

Trevor Booker learned early in his career that he didn’t need to be a star to make it in the league. During his rookie year on the Wizards, he realized that he needed to find his niche.

“That’s actually been my approach ever since I came into the league,” Booker said (via Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype). “Coming into Washington, we had John Wall, who had been the No. 1 overall pick. He’s doing great right now, by the way. They were focused on him. You could see that their main focus was on John Wall, which was fine. I understood it. I had to learn then that it wasn’t about me. I wasn’t in college anymore. I realized that I needed to find my niche. I had to earn every minute and whoever I was playing against, whether it was in a game or in a practice, I had to [work hard]. I knew I had to do that to stay in this league.”

Booker found his niche as a locker room leader and when the Nets signed him last offseason, they expected him to be a veteran mentor to his young teammates. He proved to be a valuable addition and he’s enjoying his role in Brooklyn.

“I just try to tell them what I’ve been through and how I’ve stuck around in the league for seven years. I just let them know that you don’t have to be a superstar; you don’t have to go out there and score 30 points a night to make your name known and stick around in the league. You have to find your niche, work at it and do [your job] well. You don’t have to go out there and be a hero. I try to show them, as an example, look at me. I’ve averaged probably 6 points over my career and I’m going into my eighth year and still going strong. That’s the type of the thing that I’d try to instill in them,” Booker added.

Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Booker believes both GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson have done excellent jobs in year one of their tenures, as he tells Kennedy in the same piece. “[Marks] definitely gets it, and he’s an intelligent guy. I think he did a pretty good job this year of trying to change the culture…Then, with Coach Atkinson, he does a great job of developing players. Just watching him throughout the season, he’d be on the court working with players and showing them different things. And that’s the kind of thing that players need, especially young players,” Booker said.
  • The Nets were interested in signing Marvin Williams and Jared Dudley last offseason in part because of their respective reputations as excellent locker room leaders, Charles Maniego of SB Nation notes. Both players signed elsewhere and Brooklyn decided to add Randy Foye and Booker to mentor the young roster. Maniego also relays that adding high character players will again be a priority for the franchise this offseason.
  • Amir Johnson could be an option for the Nets in free agency, Maniego opines in the same piece. The power forward was named “Teammate of the Year” by the Celtics last season.

Nets Notes: Lopez, Lin, Dinwiddie, Nicholson, McDaniels

Nets GM Sean Marks spoke to the press about Brooklyn’s trade deadline activity. While the team held onto Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker (each of whom have another year left on their contract), Marks was involved in a few lower-profile transactions.

“We’re very familiar with Andrew [Nicholson]…he’s a system fit for us,” Marks said. “He’s a stellar young man and another guy with high character and that’s exactly we’re trying to do.”

The Nets acquired Nicholson along with a first-round pick and Marcus Thornton (who was subsequently waived) in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. Bogdanovic performed well for the 9-47 Nets, but was a restricted free agent-to-be, and was dealt for an invaluable draft pick. Marks spoke about his team’s position in the upcoming draft.

“Now having two first round picks, it all helps,” Marks said. “It helps give us another vehicle where were can be systematic with the draft and see what happens. We obviously value the draft or we wouldn’t have done it. It’s about being strategic and having two picks now gives us an opportunity to move up with those picks, you can hold them where you are if your players are there at the time.”

More from Brooklyn…

  • One of the reasons Marks held onto Lopez at the deadline was to see how well he played with Jeremy Lin, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Lin has been limited to just 13 games this season due to injury, and hasn’t had an opportunity to be properly assessed by coach Kenny Atkinson. “To have a healthy Jeremy and a healthy Brook out there together with this team, it’ll be nice to evaluate that,” Marks said. “It’s something we started the season off with, and unfortunately, we only got a handful of games under our belt seeing that. We all know what those two bring to the table: They lift everybody else’s play.”
  • Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post profiled Spencer Dinwiddie, a former collegiate star at University of Colorado Boulder. Dinwiddie suffered a torn ACL during his junior year at CU, falling to the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Still just 23 years old, Dinwiddie has averaged more than 20 MPG for the first time in his career with Brooklyn. “He’s steadily getting better,” Atkinson said of Dinwiddie. “He played pretty well before the all-star break, started shooting it better and getting to the rim. We like his defense. He’s been a pleasant surprise, quite honestly.
  • Nicholson and K.J. McDaniels– each acquired at the deadline- are ready to step in right now for the rebuilding Nets. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me,” McDaniels told Greg Logan of Newsday“I’ll be able to show Brooklyn what I do, and play both ends of the court and just try to bring energy.” McDaniels’ acquisition was commended by writers across the league. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post gave the trade an “A” grade, describing the transaction as low-risk, high-reward. “If he doesn’t do anything, the Nets can simply decline his option for next season. If he does something, then it’s found money. For a team with no talent or assets to speak of, it’s a good move to make — and saves them money to boot, as they were below the salary floor.”
  • Dan Favale of Bleacher Report echoed Bontemps’ sentiments, praising Marks for taking a flier on McDaniels. “Getting K.J. McDaniels for absolutely nothing is a great encore to parlaying Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough into Andrew Nicholson and a first-round pick,” Favale wrote. “Although McDaniels is beyond raw, he has the length and lateral gait to be a lockdown defender across all wing positions.”

Southeast Notes: Porter, Heat, Plumlee, Magic

The Wizards may not be finished dealing after a multi-player trade with the Nets this afternoon, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Washington will continue to look for help through Thursday’s trade deadline at 3 p.m. Eastern. Today’s deal, which sent Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and this year’s first-rounder to Brooklyn in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, clears cap space to help the Wizards re-sign Otto Porter this summer, notes David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link). Nicholson, who had fallen out of the rotation in Washington, still has three seasons and nearly $20MM left on his contract.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bogdanovic has a 15% trade kicker, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link). That amounts to $157K, which Brooklyn will pay, but his cap hit for the Wizards is now $3.73MM.
  • The Heat will avoid any deadline moves that would tie up their future cap space, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That makes them unlikely to pursue the Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler or the Nets’ Trevor Booker, who both have contracts that extend beyond this season. Jackson cites a rival GM who has spoken to Miami about a deal and believes “they seem content to stand pat.”
  • Miami expects to have Josh Richardson back in the lineup for Friday’s game, according to a tweet from the team. A foot injury has kept him out of the lineup since January 8th. “He’s had a healthy approach the last 4-5 weeks to prepare,” said coach Erik Spoelstra. Justise Winslow won’t be back this season, but he is making progress from shoulder surgery, the Heat noted (Twitter link), as his sling has been removed.
  • Hornets center Miles Plumlee will be out of action for at least two weeks with a right calf strain, the team posted on its website. An MRI revealed the second-degree strain, and Plumlee will be re-evaluated in 14 days. He has played just five games for Charlotte since being acquired from the Bucks in a February 2nd trade.
  • Despite a 21-37 record, the Magic have no plans to tank the rest of the season, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando is currently fourth in our Reverse Standings and would have an 11.9% chance of winning the lottery. Coach Frank Vogel believes it would be a mistake to try to improve those odds by losing on purpose. “As a coach, you worry about one thing, and that’s getting a group of guys that haven’t won in five years to learn how to win,” Vogel said. “That’s more important than any one player you can add.”

Eastern Notes: Gibson, Embiid, Booker

With the exception of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson is the Bulls‘ most valuable trade asset, Bobby Marks of The Vertical writes. Gibson is making $8.95MM in the final year of his contract and Marks cites the power forward’s contract along with his tremendous durability as the reasons why his value is so high.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo said that he doesn’t expect Joel Embiid‘s knee injury to linger long-term, though he added that the team’s medical staff will ultimately make the call on when he returns to the court, as Brian Seltzer of relays. “If the injury presents as asymptomatic, and he can show he’s healthy and able to play basketball, there’s no reason he shouldn’t play,” Colangelo said. “I don’t think there’s any potential long-term effects. This is not thought to be a severe injury. It’s thought to be a complicated injury.”
  • Trevor Booker was recently moved to the bench and he’s handled coach’s decision extremely well, Zach Braziller of The New York Post writes. Booker felt it was important to show his younger teammates how to act in the face of adversity. “We got some younger guys that’s new to it,” Booker said. “For me, being that leader, showing them different things, that’s what the young guys need.” The Nets brought in the power forward to mentor the team’s youth and to help build a winning culture, as I detailed in the inaugural edition of Fantasy Hoops.

And-Ones: Christmas, Calderon, Fultz, Parker, Dolan

A right Achilles tendon rupture has brought an end to Dionte Christmas‘ season, Jonathan Tannenwald of reports. It’s an unfortunate development for the 30-year-old, as Christmas had averaged 14.9 points with 3.2 assists in 31 games with the Delaware 87ers. Delaware’s GM, Brandon Williams, lauded Christmas’ efforts in a team statement:

“[Christmas] has been a consummate professional, positive influence on the development of our young roster, and vital to our energy and drive. We will certainly miss his leadership on the court, but are inspired by his confidence as he attacks the next steps on the road to recovery.”

Other stories from around the league-

  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical profiled the Lakers, Nets, and Heat in his trade deadline series; three teams “in the rebuilding process that have limited assets.” Marks cites Jose Calderon as a buyout candidate for GM Mitch Kupchak; Calderon has previously been reported as a target for the Cavs. Trevor Booker and Brook Lopez, who are each under contract for the 2017/18 season, would provide “good value” for contending teams. While Miami’s front office have made deals in three straight trade deadlines, the Heat may be quiet come February 23. Miami has “depleted draft assets,” and appear unlikely to trade Goran Dragic or Hassan Whiteside.
  • The Vertical’s writing staff released their 2017 NBA Mock Draft, with Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson going to the Celtics, Suns, and Lakers, respectively. The Vertical has Malik Monk of Kentucky falling to the Knicks at #10, calling him a good fit “under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.”
  • Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker‘s ACL injuries will create “tricky” rookie extension negotiations, Kevin Pelton of ESPN writes. While Parker’s value has been better established than LaVine’s entering contract discussions, Milwaukee GM John Hammond could limit risk by adding “guarantees based on games played” in Parker’s next contract.
  • James Dolan and Knicks management were subject to a scathing write-up from Michael Powell of the New York Times, who criticized Dolan’s lack of accountability in their confrontation. Phil Jackson, too, was targeted by Powell: “He [Jackson] fires off obscure Twitter posts poking Anthony in one rib or another, suggesting his skills are eroding and his hoop IQ low.”

Who Should The Raptors Target At The Trade Deadline?

The current owners of the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s every reason to believe the Raptors will be active buyers at the trade deadline. But who will team president Masai Ujiri and GM Jeff Weltman target? As things currently stand, the Raptors will enter the second half with their 2015/16 rotation in place, sans Bismack Biyombo.

DeMar DeRozan has been vocal in his push for Toronto’s front office to acquire help; telling Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star “help is a great word with any team. Anybody could take help any day if it makes you better, a team better, anything.” DeMarre Carroll echoed DeRozan’s sentiments, noting that the team’s starting unit has been stretched thin amid a playoff run.

One form of help (albeit a flashy one) could come in the form of Serge Ibaka. This past week, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders indicated the Raptors as a potential “long-term fit” for Ibaka’s services. Ibaka’s in the final year of a four-year, $49MM contract, but the Magic’s asking price is believed to be high. Provided Dwane Casey and the Raptors don’t need to sell off rotation players to acquire him, Ibaka would be a considerable upgrade over Patrick Patterson and Pascal Siakam in Toronto’s frontcourt.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN doubled-down on the team’s need to pursue a trade, citing the team’s recent struggles (Toronto has gone 4-6 over their last 10 games). While the team had offseason acquisition Jared Sullinger tabbed for a starting role, the former Celtic is still working to get in shape after suffering a fractured right foot in October. The Raptors have long admired Paul Millsap‘s game, Lewenberg writes, but the Hawks appear unlikely to deal him amidst their pursuit of a four-seed.

Ryan Wolstat of the National Post cited Ibaka and Millsap as ideal fits, while throwing Taj Gibson, Trevor Booker, and Wilson Chandler in the mix as potential trade targets. While Booker isn’t a “sexy name,” compared to Ibaka or Millsap, he has quietly enjoyed a productive for the 9-44 Nets. Averaging 10 points with 8.7 rebounds, the 29-year-old Booker is in the first year of a two-year, $18.375MM pact. Booker’s “doggedness,” on each end of the court is a trait the Raptors could use, Wolstat notes.

What do you think? Which target makes the most sense for Ujiri and Weltman to pursue? What’s Toronto’s ceiling for a 2016/17 playoff run?

And-Ones: Booker, Embiid, Karl

The Nets landed Trevor Booker during the offseason by selling him on the opportunity to expand his role, as he tells Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (video link). Booker said the Hornets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks and Wolves were among the teams to reach out to him, but his relationship with GM Sean Marks made him feel comfortable joining Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Joe Harris is enjoying the opportunity to play for the Nets, as he tells Scotto in a separate piece (video link). Harris, who signed with Brooklyn on a two-year deal during the offseason, is seeing a career-high 23.5 minutes per game this season.
  • Joel Embiid is the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, but it’s partly due to the struggles of the 2016 rookie class, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. Kennedy notes that there isn’t a single 2016 draft pick who is averaging at least 10.0 points per game.
  • In his book, George Karl claims that the NBA has a steroid issue, suggesting that performance-enhancers are the reason that players have longer careers in today’s NBA, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. It’s worth noting that in the book, Karl doesn’t present specific evidence of any particular player using PEDs nor does the former coach even acknowledge the advances in league-approved medicine or the increased awareness in players’ dietary needs, both of which have been proven to increase the length of an average career.

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Knicks, Booker

No matter how you want to look at the frontcourt logjam in Philadelphia, the Sixers will almost inevitably have to make a move eventually. Today, TNT analyst David Aldridge broke down several scenarios that he thinks could play out involving notably disgruntled big man Nerlens Noel.

In 2013, Noel was drafted by the Pelicans and immediately shipped to Philly in exchange for Jrue Holiday. It was one of then general manager Sam Hinkie’s first big splashes in the executive driver’s seat. A reversal of such a deal, Aldridge posits, could help both teams in 2016. While the Sixers’ need for a point guard is no secret, Noel’s presence as a stopper could take some of the defensive load off of Anthony Davis.

Aldridge also discusses packages that would hypothetically send Noel from the Sixers to the Trail Blazers, Raptors or Thunder.

That’s not all to trickle in from the Atlantic Division today:

  • The Celtics could be a top-three team in the Eastern Conference and their solid, come-from-behind showing on Christmas Day served as a perfect reminder of it. According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, Al Horford‘s contributions both tangible and otherwise, will play a major role in how the rest of the 2016/17 campaign pans out.
  • After another disappointing loss at the hands of a plus-.500 opponent, Marc Berman of the New York Post suggests that the Knicks‘ record is hollow. After Sunday’s defeat, New York is just 3-10 against teams sitting .500 or better.
  • The Nets are a rebuilding team and veterans like Trevor Booker could be just what the franchise needs to make sure that its young core develops the right way. Zach Lowe of ESPN suggests that Booker’s bully style of play will benefit young assets like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert.

Nets Notes: Lin, Booker, Kilpatrick, Dinwiddie

The Nets are hoping their problems on offense will be solved when Jeremy Lin‘s minutes restriction is lifted, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin, who joined the team on a three-year, $36MM contract over the summer, missed 17 games with a severe hamstring strain he suffered in early November. He returned for a game Monday in Houston, but was held out of the next contest with a sore back. When he has played, Lin has made an impact on Brooklyn’s offense. The Nets have outscored teams by an average of 6.1 points per 100 possessions with Lin on the court, but are minus 9.3 without him. “We’re really going to look at it from a performance standpoint, from medical, what is the best thing for Jeremy at this point,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of the minutes restriction. “I’ll talk with everybody, talk with the doctors, talk with the medical team, and figure that out. Obviously our wish is — as a coaching staff — to get him into his normal role.”

There’s more this morning out of Brooklyn:

  • Power forward Trevor Booker has done his part to help fill the point guard void with Lin missing, Lewis notes in a separate story. Booker, who signed with the Nets for $18MM over two years this summer, played the position in junior high school and still retains his point guard instincts. He frequently leads the fast break after grabbing a rebound. “It’s become this monster now and we like it,” Atkinson said. “We like what he’s doing, we like when he attacks the basket, we like his assists off it. And it’s incentive [for] him to rebound.”
  • Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick represents a missed opportunity for the Sixers, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kilpatrick has been a nice find for Brooklyn, averaging 16.3 points per game, which is tops in the league among undrafted players. He spent most of last season playing for Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate before being signed by the Nets in late February. “I think [former GM] Sam [Hinkie] with the [front office] group felt like with Isaiah [Canaan] here and other people here … I don’t really remember how it really played out,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. “I do know that Sam thought highly of him, but obviously not highly enough to bring him in.”
  • Spencer Dinwiddie, who signed with the Nets on December 8th, has $100K of his deal guaranteed, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The rest of Dinwiddie’s three-year, minimum salary contract is non-guaranteed.
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