Trey Burke

Southwest Notes: Zion, Burke, Doncic, Harden

Zion Williamson played just 14 minutes in Saturday’s blowout loss to the Clippers, and his time is expected to remain limited in Monday’s showdown with the Grizzlies, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Williamson was barely a factor yesterday, making 3-of-7 shots and committing three turnovers in the 23-point defeat. The Pelicans came to Orlando with hopes of reaching the playoffs, but have now dropped to 12th place with six games remaining.

The team was heavily criticized for not using Williamson down the stretch of its opening loss to the Jazz, but vice president David Griffin explained yesterday that the star rookie didn’t have much practice time to get back into game shape after the four-month hiatus. Williamson briefly left the Walt Disney World campus to tend to a family matter and was quarantined upon returning.

“It makes sense to me that there’s so much attention — obviously, he’s a phenom,” Griffin said. “The league office itself takes as much interest in this as the fans do, and I’m grateful, frankly, that the fans take as much interest as they do. What I’m frustrated by is that there has to be a conspiracy theory involved when literally there’s not one thing different that’s being done with him than was done for every player on this roster when we got here, and he missed 13 days of what those guys got. Now all of the sudden, because the stakes are raised and because, unfortunately, we were selected for seven national (television) games, we’re supposed to reinvent the wheel.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Trey Burke had a memorable debut with the Mavericks, scoring 31 points and hitting eight 3-pointers Friday night, but barely played in the fourth quarter as Dallas saw a big lead slip away, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “I think some of the guys on the side were wondering the same thing,” Burke said, referring to his teammates. “I just got here. I know Coach has a lineup at the end of the game that he trusts at this point.” Coach Rick Carlisle explained that Burke, who was signed as a replacement player for Willie Cauley-Stein and has only been in Orlando for about a week, was tired late in the game.
  • The Mavericks feature an offense that statistically ranks as the NBA’s best ever, but they have trouble holding onto leads, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Luka Doncic believes that will eventually change with experience. “We’re a young team. We’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “We’ll get better for sure. I know we’re going to get together when it matters most in the playoffs, so I’m not worried about that.”
  • Ahead of their meeting tonight, McMahon examines the history of the feud between Rockets star James Harden and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, which began with last year’s MVP race.

Southwest Notes: Mbah A Moute, Rivers, Porzingis, Spurs

Speaking today to reporters for the first time since reporting to the NBA’s campus and clearing quarantine, Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute confirmed that his arrival was delayed because he had contracted the coronavirus, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Mbah a Moute signed with the Rockets on July 7 as a substitute player replacing Thabo Sefolosha, but didn’t arrive in Orlando until last Wednesday. According to Feigen, Mbah a Moute said today that he dealt with “chills (and) body ache” while battling COVID-19, adding that the recovery was “tough.”

Meanwhile, Mbah a Moute’s teammate Austin Rivers hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus, but remains quarantined in his hotel room after briefly leaving the Orlando campus last week. Rivers, who returned on Saturday, is scheduled to complete his four-day quarantine period on Tuesday and should be ready to go for the Rockets’ first seeding game this Friday vs. Dallas, Feigen writes for The Chronicle.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was held out of Sunday’s scrimmage because he missed a mandatory coronavirus test on Saturday, though head coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t overly upset by the mistake, per Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “This situation was one where he just took his eye off the ball a little bit in terms of the day-to-day protocols and procedures,” Carlisle said. “It can be challenging on off days to keep track of the schedule. I almost missed testing on our first off day. … It’s an innocent mistake, but it’s significant.”
  • Trey Burke just signed with the Mavericks on July 1 and was late arriving to the NBA’s campus in Orlando, but he believes his experience playing for Carlisle in 2018/19 will help him quickly adjust, Sefko writes at Mavs.com. “I feel comfortable, rather than other places coming into a new place and it’s a brand new system and a brand new coaching staff,” Burke said. “I pretty much know the pace that coach likes to play with, I know how hard he can be on guys and I’m ready for that.”
  • With LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles sidelined for the summer, the Spurs are experimenting with some guard-heavy lineups, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. One unit, which features recent first-rounders Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker playing alongside each other, could be a preview of the club’s future backcourt, McDonald notes.

Western Notes: Burke, Spurs, Fox, Barnes

Mavericks guard Trey Burke worked out at the Orlando campus for the first time on Friday, Tim McMahon of ESPN tweets. He wasn’t a full go but did some conditioning work and ran through sets, coach Rick Carlisle told MacMahon. Burke was signed as a substitute player but didn’t arrive at the campus until Wednesday.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is rotating his assistants to run the team during scrimmages against other clubs, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press tweets. Becky Hammon was the head coach for their Thursday scrimmage, Mitch Johnson will run the show on Saturday and Will Hardy will guide the team on Tuesday.
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox had no restrictions during Friday’s practice, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Fox sprained his ankle after the team arrived from Sacramento. He took part in non-contact drills earlier this week.
  • Kings forward Harrison Barnes passed his COVID-19 tests in Sacramento and headed to Orlando on Friday, Ham reports. “He’ll have to start his two-day quarantine once he gets here and pass that protocol before he can join us on the court,” coach Luke Walton told Ham and other media members. Barnes tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month but Sacramento held his roster spot in anticipation he would recover in time.

Southwest Notes: Mbah A Moute, Burke, Mavs, Winslow

Another Rockets veteran has reported to the NBA’s campus, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears from a source that forward Luc Mbah a Moute arrived in Orlando on Wednesday.

James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Mbah a Moute didn’t initially travel with the Rockets to Orlando, but Harden and Westbrook have since arrived and started practicing with the club. Mbah a Moute will have to go through a brief quarantine period and return a pair of negative COVID-19 tests, but after that, Houston should be at relatively full strength.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

Southwest Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Grizzlies, Curry, Johnson

Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finally joined the Mavericks at the Orlando campus on Saturday, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend, and explained that his late arrival was due to personal reasons, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “I had some personal things I had to handle in my family,” he said. “I’m just happy to be here.” Guard Trey Burke still hasn’t joined the team but he should arrive soon, Townsend adds.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The extended layoff will result in a new look for the Grizzlies’ rotation, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes. Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen are healthy again and the first three will play major roles in Memphis’ aim to make the playoffs.
    [UPDATE: Grizzlies’ Winslow Out For Season With Hip Injury]
  • Seth Curry said his success with the Mavericks is due in large part to coach Rick Carlisle’s faith in him, he told Dwain Price of the team’s website. Curry, who signed a four-year, $32MM deal last summer, is averaging 12.6 PPG in 24.5 MPG while making 45.3% of his 3-pointers this season. “He allows me to play on and off the ball, and he just gives me a lot of opportunities and a lot of minutes,” Curry said. “He’s given me the most minutes of my career so far and it allows me to get better as the season goes along, so it’s been a great fit for both of us.”
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has stated he’s more interested in player development than securing a playoff spot in Orlando. That will benefit a player like 20-year-old rookie swingman Keldon Johnson, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News writes. “I just love the chance to get out there and show what I can do,” he said. The late first-round pick in the June 2019 draft averaged 7.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.3 SPG in the last four games before the hiatus.

Western Notes: Mitchell, Thunder, Williamson, Burke

Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert appear to be patching up their relationship, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. “Right now we’re good,” Mitchell said in a Zoom conference with the media. “We’re going out there ready to hoop.” In the wake of his positive test for COVID-19 in March, Mitchell was said to be frustrated with Gobert. the first NBA player to test positive. The situation reportedly remained tense even after Mitchell recovered from the virus.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • While 25 players around the NBA have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since June 23, there have been no positive tests among Thunder players and staff members, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman reports. All players have returned to Oklahoma City for mandatory individual workouts and the team will fly to Orlando next week.
  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is confident rookie star Zion Williamson will continue to make a big impact once plays resumes, he indicated in a interview with William Guillory of The Athletic. “I think he’s worked extremely hard during the time away,” Gentry said. “I think, to some degree, you’ll see everybody a little rusty when we come back because we’ve been away for so long. But he’ll get himself right, and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t pick up right where he left off. “
  • The Mavericks felt they had enough depth up front to replace Willie Cauley-Stein, which is why they signed point guard Trey Burke as a substitute player, according to Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Dallas also had a need in the backcourt with Jalen Brunson and Courtney Lee injured. “As we looked at the profile of the team, we felt there was more of a need at that backup (guard spot), scoring off the bench,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. Cauley-Stein was one of the players who opted out of the restart.

Cauley-Stein Opting Out Of Restart; Mavs Sign Burke

JULY 1, 12:53pm: Burke has officially signed a contract, according to his Twitter feed.

JUNE 25, 12:32pm: Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein has opted to sit out of the NBA’s restart this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who notes (via Twitter) that Cauley-Stein and his partner are expecting a newborn child in July.

Free agent guard Trey Burke has agreed to a rest-of-season deal with Dallas and will take Cauley-Stein’s place on the summer roster, per Charania (via Twitter). Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) first reported that the Mavs had interest in signing Burke.

Burke, 27, was waived by the Sixers at this year’s trade deadline when Philadelphia needed a roster spot to accommodate incoming additions Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. Up until that point, the former lottery pick had been a solid offensive option off the bench for the 76ers, averaging 5.9 PPG and 2.1 APG on .465/.421/.722 shooting in 25 games (13.2 MPG).

Burke has some history with the Mavericks, having spent a portion of the 2018/19 season in Dallas after being traded by the Knicks. He recorded 9.7 PPG and 2.6 APG in 25 games (17.4 MPG) for the Mavs last season, and will help replace injured guard Jalen Brunson in the team’s backcourt this season. He’ll get a minimum-salary, rest-of-season deal and will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The Mavericks have a full 15-man roster and weren’t eligible to add a substitute player to replace any of their injured players (Dwight Powell, Courtney Lee, and Brunson). However, they don’t need an open roster spot to sign a replacement for a player who is voluntarily opting out, such as Cauley-Stein.

Cauley-Stein, who holds a $2.29MM player option for 2020/21, won’t be fined or suspended for deciding not to participate in the summer restart. However, he’ll forfeit some ’19/20 pay for sitting out, giving up 1/92.6th of his salary for each Mavs game he misses, up to a maximum of 14 contests. Cauley-Stein is the fourth player known to be opting out of the NBA’s return, joining Avery Bradley, Trevor Ariza, and Davis Bertans.

If the Mavericks want to make another addition to their roster to help fill the holes created by injuries, waiving Lee – who is on an expiring contract – would be an option. However, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweeted earlier this week that the Mavs aren’t eager to release Lee, since they value his locker room impact and would like to have him in Orlando this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III To Sixers

FEBRUARY 6: The trade is now official, according to press releases from the Warriors and Sixers. Philadelphia waived Trey Burke in a corresponding move, as we noted earlier. The team created the other roster opening by sending James Ennis to Orlando.

FEBRUARY 5: The Warriors and Sixers have agreed to a trade that will send Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to Philadelphia, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania (Twitter link), the 76ers will send Golden State a trio of second-round picks in the deal. Those three picks are Dallas’ 2020 second-rounder, Denver’s 2021 second-rounder, and Toronto’s 2022 second-rounder, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The 76ers have a full 15-man roster, so they’ll have to move a pair of players to accommodate the new additions. They’re working on possible trades to clear those roster spots, but will waive two players at the deadline if necessary, tweets Wojnarowski.

No salary-matching is required in the deal, since both Burks and Robinson are on one-year, minimum-salary contracts and can be taken on using the minimum salary exception.

Sixers general manager Elton Brand had been on the lookout for players who could provide the team with reliable depth and outside shooting, and Burks and Robinson should fit nicely. Both wings have played increased roles for the injury-plagued Warriors this season, with Burks averaging a career-best 16.1 PPG with 3.1 APG and a .375 3PT% in 48 games (29.0 MPG), while Robinson has put up a career-high 12.9 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .481/.400/.851 shooting in 48 games (31.6 MPG).

Philadelphia didn’t have expendable players on mid-level-type salaries to make a run at higher-priced trade candidates, so the team made use of its cache of second-round selections to acquire a pair of low-cost veterans. Even after surrendering three future picks in this deal, the Sixers still control a handful of valuable second-round selections, including the Hawks’ and Knicks’ 2020 second-rounders.

As for the Warriors, they’ve rebuilt their own collection of future draft picks in recent weeks, having now acquired a total of four second-rounders for role players Burks, Robinson, and Willie Cauley-Stein. The moves have also helped Golden State inch closer to the tax line for the 2019/20 season.

As Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights details (Twitter link), the Dubs are still slightly over the luxury tax threshold, and will move further into tax territory once they sign replacement players. But they’re at the point where they’ve greatly reduced their projected end-of-season bill and could even sneak out of the tax if they move another player or two on Thursday.

The Warriors will have just 11 players under contract once this trade goes through. The team will have to sign at least one player by Saturday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), who suggests Marquese Chriss is a strong candidate to be promoted to the 15-man roster. Golden State will subsequently have to add two more players to get to the NBA-mandated minimum of 14 later this month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers To Waive Trey Burke

The Sixers will waive back-up point guard Trey Burke so they can complete a trade with the Warriors, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philadelphia agreed last night to send three second-round picks to Golden State in exchange for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. Because the Sixers had a full roster, two spots had to be opened before the deal could be finalized. In addition to cutting Burke, Philly is trading James Ennis to the Magic for a second-rounder.

Burke, 27, appeared in 25 games for the Sixers after signing as a free agent last summer. He averaged 5.9 points and 2.1 assists per game while sharing reserve point guard duties with Raul Neto.

Eastern Conference Notes: Thompson, Sixers, Horford, Knicks

Kevin Love doesn’t want to see long-time teammate Tristan Thompson get traded, but he understands it might be the best move for both him and the organization, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavaliers are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in return for Thompson, who will be a free agent this summer. If Cleveland can’t find an acceptable deal, management still has interest in re-signing the 28-year-old center or possibly working out a sign-and-trade.

“That’s my brother, man,” Love said. “I would always go to war with him. I would run through a wall for him. He’s the best. Just the type of guy he is, he’s a lifelong friend of mine, so it would be tough to see him go. I would like to have him around selfishly, but if there’s a better situation out there for him, going to make him happier, have a chance to win a championship, then so be it. I only know Tristan Thompson as a Cavalier and I like it that way.”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference as the trade deadline draws nearer:

  • Trey Burke, Kyle O’Quinn and Jonah Bolden were all absent from the Sixers‘ shootaround this morning, tweets Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Philadelphia has to trim two players from its roster by 3pm Eastern to complete a trade that will bring Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III from the Warriors in exchange for three second-round draft picks.
  • Al Horford hinted at trouble in the Sixers‘ locker room in comments after Wednesday’s practice, relays Jon Johnson of KYW Radio (Twitter link). “There’s some stuff going on in our locker room,” Horford said, “and we’ll keep that internal.”
  • A pair of Knicks youngsters have signed with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports for representation. Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports (via Twitter) that Mitchell Robinson is one of Paul’s newest clients, while Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) says Allonzo Trier has joined Klutch Sports too.