Trey Burke

Knicks Notes: Knox, Ntilikina, Porzingis, Ujiri

Knicks head coach David Fizdale is using the term “tough love” to describe his decision to bench second-year forward Kevin Knox, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Knox was held out of Friday’s loss to the Sixers and had only been averaging 12.1 minutes per night in the previous four games. It’s been a trend for the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, whose minutes have fallen from 28.8 per game in 2018/19 to 19.8 this season.

“Sometimes they’ve got to go through some tough love to find themselves and watch the game from 25,000 feet, see it, and see the things that I’m emphasizing,” Fizdale said after Saturday’s practice. “I was tough on Frank (Ntilikina) last year and I just feel like Frank has come back with a whole different mindset about how he’s going to go about this season. I’ve been so happy with the way he’s played and produced. But I do think a little bit of tough love on some of these young guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Knox will be “a consideration, for sure” to return to the lineup today, Fizdale added. Marcus Morris is listed as questionable for the game because of cervical spasms in his neck.

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • Ntilikina tells Botte that he benefited from last year’s experience and encourages Knox to find ways to help the team when he’s not on the court. Ntilikina began this season out of the rotation, but has made 14 consecutive starts at point guard. He said an offseason meeting with Fizdale gave him a new perspective. “There’s a lot of noise with this team, a lot of expectations,” Ntilikina explained. “Around this city, a lot of expectations. Obviously, those expectations are for us to get better. But what we have to understand, too, is we have expectations, and [Fizdale] wants us to get better, and he wants us to be the best team possible. He wants us to be the best possible, that’s the same for every player.”
  • Former Knicks guard Trey Burke, who was part of the package sent to Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, offered some insight into Porzingis’ perspective on the deal and his falling out with management in New York, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. “A lot of things the press said, he felt like wasn’t true,’’ Burke said. “He feels like there was a narrative that got out about him, he couldn’t defend himself. I don’t know if (Dallas) told him not to talk that much, but he wasn’t talking. I do think he has his side.’’
  • The Knicks may try to lure Raptors executive Masai Ujiri after the season ends, and there are fears in Toronto that he might accept their offer, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Ujiri may view New York City as a larger platform to help expand his Giants of Africa foundation, which aids children in his home continent.

Atlantic Notes: Siakam, OG, Burke, Sixers

With the Raptors facing a bevy of injuries, Pascal Siakam will get an opportunity to showcase his point guard skills, as Doug Smith of The Toronto Star relays.

“Depending on what the matchup is, you can do it,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “We’ve got to be careful on it and stuff like that, but it’s good to get a lot of reps of it and see what kind of offense we can run from it. I think we found a few things he can run up there at the point.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • OG Anunoby saw an eye specialist today and has been diagnosed with an eye contusion, the Raptors announced (Twitter link). The forward will miss at least Toronto’s next game on Wednesday in Portland.
  • Trey Burke is capitalizing on the opportunity he’s receiving with Ben Simmons sidelined, Lauren Rosen of NBA.com writes. Burke, who joined the Sixers on a one-year deal this offseason, credits his preparedness for his ability to step into a larger role with the club.“This is a new situation for me – a championship-type organization,” Burke said. “I know I was going to have to be patient.”
  • Quinn Davis of Basketball Insiders breaks down the Sixers‘ point guard situation behind Simmons. In addition to Burke, the team has Raul Neto, and Josh Richardson has been running some point recently.

And-Ones: Wade, China, Stoudemire, Contracts

Six months after retiring as a player, Dwyane Wade is employed in a new capacity. According to an official press release (via NBA.com), Wade has reached a multiyear, multi-platform agreement with WarnerMedia, and will become a basketball commentator for TNT this season.

In addition to appearing on the network’s NBA broadcasts, Wade will make studio appearances during Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ NCAA tournament coverage later in the season.

“I’m thrilled and grateful to be joining the WarnerMedia family with many exciting opportunities ahead,” Wade said in a statement. “I have great respect for TNT’s team of analysts and their longstanding commitment to quality sports coverage. After sixteen seasons in the NBA, I look forward to connecting with my fans in this new role and bringing my own perspective to the game I love.”

Here’s more from around the NBA and the rest of the basketball world:

  • Chinese state television didn’t air the NBA’s opening-night games on Tuesday, while Chinese streaming partner Tencent only showed the Lakers/Clippers game, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst. CCTV typically shows the league’s opening-night doubleheader, but Tuesday’s decision is a signal that the ongoing NBA/China controversy is far from settled. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that the league has “no choice but to engage” China, as Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal details.
  • Speaking of China, former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has signed the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Assocation, according to reports from Roi Cohen of Sport5 and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter links).
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides some financial details on the rookie scale extensions signed on Monday, outlining (via Twitter) exactly how much bonus money is included in five of those deals. Marks also identifies four players who will receive increased partial guarantees as a result of remaining under contract with their respective teams through Wednesday (Twitter link). Those players are Christian Wood (Pistons), Jordan McRae (Wizards), Kendrick Nunn (Heat), and Trey Burke (Sixers).
  • In a conversation with Max Resetar of SLAM, good friends Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, and D’Angelo Russell joked about eventually teaming up. “When we’re all on the same team—I ain’t gonna tell you which team because I don’t know—we’re gonna do this again,” Russell said of the joint interview. While we probably shouldn’t assume the trio is destined to form a Big Three down the road, it’s worth noting that both Towns and Booker tried to recruit Russell to their respective teams when he was a free agent this summer.

Sixers Waive Miles, Koumadje, Highsmith

The Sixers are waiving Isaiah Miles, Christ Koumadje and Haywood Highsmith, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

That will reduce their roster to 17 players. There are no surprises with these moves, as all three had non-guaranteed contracts. Trey Burke has a partially guaranteed deal, while 14 others have full guarantees to go along with Philadelphia’s two-way players.

The Sixers hold the G League rights to the trio and they’re expected to play for the Delaware Blue Coats.

Miles, who went undrafted out of St. Joe’s in 2016, has played professionally overseas during the last three years. The 6’7” forward has spent time with teams in France and Turkey, having played for Limoges CSP in 2018/19.

The 7’4″ Koumadje, a Florida State alum, played for Philadelphia’s summer league team after going undrafted. He played four seasons with the Seminoles and started all 37 games as a senior.

Highsmith, a small forward who went undrafted out of Wheeling Jesuit in 2018, signed a two-way contract with Philadelphia in January and spent the remainder of his rookie season with the 76ers and the Blue Coats.

Sixers Notes: Thybulle, Horford, Richardson, Milton

Ben Simmons has seen enough of Matisse Thybulle in practice to be glad he won’t have to face him in the regular season, writes Rich Hoffman of The Athletic. “I hate him on defense,” Simmons said of the rookie guard, who displayed his defensive prowess in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage. He forced turnovers throughout the afternoon and had an impressive block on a shot by Josh Richardson.

“I’m just chasing the ball every chance I get,” Thybulle said. “Deflections are just a side effect of hustle for me. … It’s fun to get out there and get a little feel, wreak a little havoc.”

It’s not clear how much the Sixers are planning to use the 20th overall pick, but he provides a disruptive force that can be useful to shut down perimeter scorers. Hoffman notes that Thybulle comes into the league with both a “high motor” and a quick recognition of what opponents are doing, two things that usually take time for rookies to develop.

There’s more Sixers news to pass along:

  • Players recognize the commitment that Philadelphia’s front office has made by handing out so many long-term contracts, Al Horford told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. In addition to adding Horford as a free agent for $109MM for four years, the organization re-signed Tobias Harris this summer and gave a five-year extension to Simmons. “It helps tremendously because we can focus on playing and doing some special things,” Horford said. “Knowing the organization believes in this core and this group. They’ve showed it by giving us all long-term deals.”
  • Richardson is quickly emerging as a team leader, notes Lauren Rosen of NBA.com. Acquired from the Heat in the Jimmy Butler trade, Richardson has been working with younger players, particularly Zhaire Smith. The fifth-year swingman sees it as part of his overall responsibilities to help make the team better. “I’m kind of a guy that can morph into any role that I need to on any nightly basis to give us the best chance to win,” he said.
  • The battle for the backup point guard slot remains competitive, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. New additions Raul Neto and Trey Burke are vying for the position, but coach Brett Brown suggested Shake Milton may be considered as well.

Atlantic Notes: Burke, N. Young, Kanter, Raptors

Addressing the backup point guard battle this week, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said that he wants to see the candidates for that spot “making shots and just guarding,” per Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

As Bodner points out, those criteria would seem to favor Raul Neto over Trey Burke, since Neto has historically been a more efficient shooter than Burke and is also considered a stronger on-ball defender. However, Burke has made a strong impression early in camp for the Sixers, earning rave reviews from teammates Al Horford and Ben Simmons.

“I was really impressed with a guy like Trey Burke,” Horford said after the Sixers’ first day of practice. “(He) came in with a lot of energy, really scoring the ball at will, just being very active.” Simmons added that Burke “played amazing” on Tuesday.

Unlike the 14 other players who are expected to make the Sixers’ regular season roster, Burke doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary for 2019/20, so his hold on a roster spot is somewhat tenuous. If he continues to play like he did on day one though, he may not be considered the club’s 15th man for long.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic:

  • Nick Young was among the veteran free agents who joined the Knicks for offseason workouts and scrimmages, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv. That doesn’t mean that the Knicks necessarily have any interest in Young — Lance Thomas and Carmelo Anthony also participated in some of those scrimmages, and Thomas signed with Brooklyn while Anthony remains a free agent.
  • Asked this week about his stint with the Knicks, Enes Kanter took a shot at his old team, as Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald tweets. That’s why I chose [the] Celtics,” Kanter said. “They don’t tank.”
  • After starting just 28 games in his first three seasons with the Raptors, Fred VanVleet is hoping to crack the starting five with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green no longer in the picture, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. “I wouldn’t say it’s the end-all, be-all, [but] I’ve been vocal in saying that it’s something I would like to do in my career,” VanVleet said. “If I end up being a bench player my whole career, then so be it. But that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m reaching for the stars, I don’t put limits on myself.”
  • Elsewhere at Sportsnet.ca, Steven Loung explores what the Raptors should do with their big expiring contracts for Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and VanVleet.

12 NBA Salary Guarantees To Watch In October

The majority of the NBA players who are currently on non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their salaries for 2019/20 become fully guaranteed until January 10. That’s the league-wide salary guarantee date and the default deadline that applies to players who haven’t negotiated an earlier salary guarantee date.

Still, some players did negotiate an earlier trigger date, and the majority of those deadlines will arrive in October. At least a dozen players around the NBA are believed to have partial or full guarantees that will go into effect in October.

Now, it’s worth noting that salary guarantee dates are somewhat malleable. If the player’s camp agrees, a team can quietly move that deadline back, giving the club more time to make a decision on whether or not to fully invest in its player for the 2019/20 season. The player doesn’t necessarily have to agree, but he may be on board with postponing that deadline if the alternative is being waived and receiving none of his salary.

Most of our information related to salary guarantee dates is coming from the salary database at Basketball Insiders, and BI hasn’t published all the details on the latest signings from around the NBA yet. In other words, there could be a few more recently-signed players who have October salary guarantee dates.

For now though, these are the 12 players believed to have salary guarantee dates coming up next month:

Full guarantees:

  1. Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies): Partial guarantee of $371,758 increases to full guarantee of $1,618,520 salary if not waived by October 19.
  2. Chris Boucher (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $125,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  3. Malcolm Miller (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  4. Duncan Robinson (Heat): Partial guarantee of $1,000,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  5. Kenrich Williams (Pelicans): Partial guarantee of $200,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.

Partial guarantees:

  1. Christian Wood (Pistons): $1,645,357 salary becomes partially guaranteed ($822,679) if not waived before first day of regular season.
  2. Trey Burke (Sixers): Partial guarantee of $405,000 increases to $810,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  3. Jordan McRae (Wizards): Partial guarantee of $400,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,645,357).
  4. Dragan Bender (Bucks): Partial guarantee of $300,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,678,854).
  5. Ben McLemore (Rockets): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $500,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  6. Kendrick Nunn (Heat): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to $450,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,416,852).
  7. William Howard (Jazz): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $250,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $898,310).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Burke, Kanter, Carmelo, M. Richardson

Trey Burke may have just a partially guaranteed training camp contract with the Sixers, but he’s overflowing with confidence that he can win a roster spot, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 26-year-old guard is expected to battle fellow free agent addition Raul Neto for playing time behind Ben Simmons and possibly a place on the team. However, Burke envisions a much larger role for himself.

“I think throughout stretches of the game we (Burke and Simmons) can play together and I can be out there with the starting lineup at times,” he told reporters. “That is the competitor in Trey Burke. That is who I am and what I bring to Philadelphia.”

Burke – whose minimum-salary contract reportedly has a $405K partial guarantee – hasn’t enjoyed a consistent role like that since his second season in the league. He was been with four teams in the past four years, splitting last season between the Knicks and Mavericks.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics signed Enes Kanter with the expectation that he will shoot more from the perimeter, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Kanter’s first step was to get together with Gordon Hayward, whom he played with in Utah, and a few more of his new teammates. “When I was in Boston, I played with (Hayward) in two-on-two action and I feel like he’s gained more confidence,” Kanter said. “When he played, he wasn’t scared of anything. It was me, Gordon, Jaylen Brown and Tacko (Fall). I was guarding Tacko. He’s good, man, and I love him. His personality is amazing, real good character. He’s a hard worker. I’m definitely really excited to play with him.”
  • Kanter made an appeal for someone to sign Carmelo Anthony during an appearance Wednesday morning on FOX Sports 1’s “First Things First” (Twitter link). “So you’re telling me a guy like ‘Melo can’t make a 15-man roster on 30 teams? It’s definitely crazy,” Kanter said. “Melo belongs in the NBA and he can still get 15-20 points.”
  • Malachi Richardson will play in Israel this season, but he tells Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops that he hasn’t given up on his NBA dream. “I think I just have to show teams who I am,” he said. “Just being able to go and play and just showing, ‘OK, this is why he was a first-round pick.’” Richardson played 22 games for the Raptors last season before being traded at the deadline to the Sixers, who waived him the next day.

Spencer Hawes To Work Out For Sixers

The Sixers will welcome center Spencer Hawes for a workout tomorrow, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 31-year-old played 10 NBA seasons, but hasn’t been in the league since 2016/17 when he appeared in a combined 54 games with the Hornets and Bucks. In March, he signed with the G League’s South Bay Lakers and averaged 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in nine games.

The 10th pick in the 2007 draft, Hawes played for six teams during his career, but spent most of his time with Philadelphia, amassing 253 games from 2010 to 2014. His best year came in 2013/14 when he averaged 13.2 PPG and 8.3 RPG, but he was traded to the Cavaliers midway through the season.

Joe Johnson will also be working out Thursday for the Sixers, who currently have just one available opening for training camp, so the two veterans appear to be competing for an invitation. Philadelphia has 14 guaranteed contracts, with the 15th roster spot tentatively belonging to Trey Burke, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Burke has a $405K guarantee that rises to $810K if he makes the opening-night roster.

2019 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its 2019 expansion draft on Wednesday, allowing the latest iteration of the Erie BayHawks to acquire the rights to up to 14 players.

Erie has been a G League mainstay in recent years. However, after serving as the affiliate for the Atlanta Hawks last season, the BayHawks were relocated to College Park and renamed the Skyhawks. As such, the Erie BayHawks team that participated in today’s expansion draft is technically a new G League franchise — it’ll be the affiliate for the Pelicans in 2019/20.

[RELATED: NBA G League Affiliations For 2019/20 Season]

As Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days recently outlined, each of the G League’s other 27 teams were permitted to protect the rights for up to 12 players. Although the BayHawks could select up to 14 players in the expansion draft, they weren’t permitted to acquire more than two players from any one team.

Here are the 14 players whose rights were acquired by New Orleans’ G League affiliate, with each player’s previous NBAGL team noted in parentheses:

  1. Taylor Braun (South Bay Lakers)
  2. Trey Burke (Westchester Knicks)
  3. Quinton Chievous (Capital City Go-Go)
  4. Xavier Gibson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Isaac Hamilton (Canton Charge)
  6. Isaiah Hartenstein (Grande Valley Vipers)
  7. Derrick Jones Jr. (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Scottie Lindsey (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Erik McCree (Lakeland Magic)
  10. Codi Miller-McIntyre (College Park Skyhawks)
  11. Xavier Silas (Iowa Wolves)
  12. Matt Williams Jr. (Grand Rapids Drive)
  13. Kyle Wiltjer (Canton Charge)
  14. Michael Young (Northern Arizona Suns)

Not all of the players whose rights the BayHawks acquired today will actually suit up for the team. In fact, many won’t.

Multiple players selected by Erie – Burke, Hartenstein, and Jones – are currently under contract with NBA teams and won’t be available to the BayHawks as long as they remain on those NBA deals. Other players will spend the 2019/20 season playing overseas.

However, if any of the players selected in today’s expansion draft sign contracts to play in the G League in ’19/20, the BayHawks will have their rights. Erie will hold each of these 14 players’ NBAGL rights for the next two seasons.