Troy Daniels

Western Notes: Smith, Cuban, Fertitta, Daniels, Clarke

The Lakers are unlikely to sign shooting guard J.R. Smith once he clears waivers, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The Cavaliers cut Smith loose on Monday after failing to find a trade partner. The lack of interest shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the Lakers have signed shooting guards Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Troy Daniels in free agency.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $50K by the league for leaking information from the Board of Governors meeting, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports. Cuban revealed the vote to allow coaches to challenge an official’s ruling next season.
  • The league has also fined Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta $25K for making public comments about the Russell WestbrookChris Paul swap before it was officially completed, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
  • Troy Daniels chose the Lakers over the Warriors and Thunder, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Daniels was wooed by Anthony Davis during the decision-making process. Daniels signed a one-year, minimum salary contract.
  • Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, the 21st player selected in the draft, has been named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP, David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal relays. Clarke averaged 14.7 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 22.0 MPG over six games.

Lakers Sign Troy Daniels To One-Year Deal

JULY 7: Daniels’ one-year, minimum-salary contract is now official, the Lakers announced today (via Twitter). The team confirmed most of its other signings – as well as the Anthony Davis trade – on Saturday.

JULY 1: The Lakers and free agent shooting guard Troy Daniels have agreed to a one-year contract, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). David Aldridge of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that the two sides were closing in on an agreement.

Charania pegs the value of the deal at $2.1MM, which suggests it’s a minimum-salary contract. As such, it won’t have an impact on Los Angeles’ projected cap room.

Daniels, who will turn 28 later this month, averaged 6.2 PPG on .411/.381/.783 shooting in a part-time role (14.9 MPG) for the Suns last season. He’s a career 40.0% shooter from beyond the arc, so he’ll add some floor spacing to the Lakers’ roster without breaking the bank.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Pacific Division:

DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors, 28, C (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $5.3MM deal in 2018
Everyone was curious to see how healthy Cousins would look after returning from the Achilles injury and whether he’d fit in with the star-laden Warriors. So far, so good. Other than getting a couple nights off on back-to-backs, Cousins hasn’t had any physical setbacks. He’s settling in as a third or fourth option in the attack, averaging 23.3 PPG over the last three games. He’s also given the Dubs a defensive presence in the middle. Cousins may not find a max deal this summer but he’ll get something close to it from one of the teams with ample cap space.

Garrett Temple, Clippers, 32, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $24MM deal in 2016
The defensive specialist didn’t move the needle as a starter with the Grizzlies and he was dealt to the Clippers just before the trade deadline. Temple is the No. 5 option when he’s on the court but he hasn’t made the most of his limited opportunities, shooting 33.9% from deep after knocking down a career-high 39.2% of his long-distance shots last season in Sacramento. Temple’s age will work against him in the open market. Forget about an $8MM average in his next contract. He’ll be shopping for the veteran’s minimum this time around.

Rajon Rondo, Lakers, 33, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $9MM deal in 2018
A strong argument can be made that Rondo’s decision to sign with the Lakers ruined the season for two franchises. With Rondo at the point, the Pelicans reached the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season. They wanted him back but he jilted them to join Los Angeles. New Orleans’ season went sour, leading to Anthony Davis‘ trade demand. Rondo has been a poor fit with the Lakers and his PER is a well-below-average 11.7. He’s played heavy minutes during the Lakers’ recent slide, including a 1-for-10, four-assists, two-turnover stinker against Phoenix on Saturday.

Troy Daniels, Suns, 27, SG (Down) — Signed to a three-year, $10MM deal in 2016
Daniels is essentially a one-trick pony and he hasn’t been allowed to perform it as often as he did last season. Daniels, who is playing for his fifth team, has seen his minutes drop to an average of 13.3 per game under first-year coach Igor Kokoskov with quite a few DNPs mixed in. His 3-point shooting hasn’t suffered — his 40% average mirrors what he did last season when he appeared in 79 games and averaged 20.5 MPG. Daniels’ shooting ability should keep him in the league a few more years but he may have to settle for one-year deal or a partially guaranteed two-year contract this summer.

Alec Burks, Kings, 27, SG (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $42MM deal in 2015
Burks was better off playing regularly on a bad team than spot minutes on an improving club in the playoff hunt. Burks flourished with Cleveland after getting dealt by Utah early in the season. He posted averages of 11.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 2.9 APG in 28.8 MPG with the Cavs, who then shipped him to the West Coast in a three-team swap. Burks has done next to nothing with Sacramento, scoring 2.6 PPG in 12.1 MPG through seven games. Burks has only attempted five 3-pointers since the deal and missed all of them. Burks needs a strong finish to reestablish his value in unrestricted free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacific Notes: Kokoskov, Daniels, Brewer, J. Green

Suns coach Igor Kokoskov won’t have to worry about being dismissed before the season ends, co-interim GM James Jones said in an interview today with Arizona’s Sports Station. Kokoskov has guided Phoenix to a league worst 12-50 record in his first year as an NBA head coach, but the front office hasn’t discussed making a change, even in the midst of a 17-game losing streak.

“We’re committed to Igor, and we’re committed to finishing the season out on a high note,” Jones said. “We have room for improvement. That’s the challenge across the organization for us to improve upstairs as well as downstairs, on the court, off the court. So we’re going to push it. But Igor, it’s a tough job but he’s up to the challenge.”

Kokoskov received a three-year contract when he was hired last May, so the Suns would be on the hook for two more years of payments if they were to replace him. He had spent 18 years as an assistant coach, including five with Phoenix, before taking the job.
There’s more tonight from the Pacific Division:
  • Suns guard Troy Daniels hasn’t played much this season, but he reminded teams on Monday that he still has his shooting touch, relays Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Daniels came off the bench for 14 points, including 11 in the third quarter, as Phoenix snapped its long losing skid. The 27-year old will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and is ready if a new opportunity presents itself. “It’s 29 other teams out here,” Daniels said. “I would love to stay with the Suns and play for the Suns, but I’ve got to do what’s best for me. I just want to go out there and play as hard as I can and help this team as much as I can this year and hope for the best next year.”
  • Corey Brewer still isn’t sure what’s going to happen when his second 10-day contract with the Kings expires tonight, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. His preference is to remain with Sacramento, but the Kings would have to sign him for the rest of the season. Brewer, who has played in three games during his time with the team, plans to talk to his agent tomorrow to see what Sacramento’s front office has planned. He has already gone through two 10-day contracts with the Sixers this season.
  • JaMychal Green was surprised to be traded for the first time in his career, but he has turned out to be a good fit for the Clippers, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. L.A. now has Green, ex-Grizzlies teammate Garrett Temple and Patrick Beverley to take turns guarding the opponent’s best scorer.

Suns Notes: Arena, Bender, Trade Candidates, Kokoskov

The Phoenix City Council approved a $230MM deal tonight for improvements to Talking Stick Resort Arena that will ensure the Suns remain in the downtown facility through 2037, writes Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic. Under the agreement, the city will cover $150MM in renovations, while the team will be responsible for $80MM, plus any overruns.

Council also agreed to put $2MM per year into a renewal and replacement fund over the next 12 1/2 years to cover future renovation needs. The Suns will contribute $1MM each year over that same time frame. The franchise will continue to be in charge of operations and maintenance for the arena and will pay rent to the city based on annual proceeds.

The Suns will also build a practice facility with an estimated cost of $25-$50MM. The team pledges to remain at Talking Stick Resort Arena for the next 18 years with an option to extend the lease through 2042. The Suns could be fined up to $200MM if they break that lease.

There’s more Suns news to pass along:

  • With Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes both injured, Dragan Bender may be looking at his last chance to prove he can be a contributor in Phoenix, notes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Bender posted double-doubles in back-to-back starts and is showing glimpses of why Phoenix made him the fourth overall pick in 2016. He’s still averaging just 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per night in 16 games. “You have to (be) really, really hard mentally on yourself,” Bender said, “and be able to tell yourself each and every day to push through it. It’s a rough business. You can sit for 45 games, and then two guys went down with injuries — which is unfortunate — but it’s time to get in the game and show what you can do.”
  • Troy Daniels, Josh Jackson, Elie Okobo and T.J. Warren are the most likely Suns to be traded before the deadline, Mizell adds in a separate story. Daniels has only appeared in 22 games, playing mostly when others are injured; the acquisition of Kelly Oubre has lessened the need for Jackson; Okobo may be shipped out in the search for a point guard; and Warren might fetch a nice return in the middle of his career-best season. She adds that Bender, Holmes and Jamal Crawford may be enticing because they have expiring contracts.
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic examines the performance of Igor Kokoskov in his first season as an NBA head coach.

Pacific Notes: Harrell, Kings, Daniels, Temple

The Clippers are 11-4 since the beginning of February, have moved into the eight place spot in the Western Conference, and are only 2.0 games back of fourth place New Orleans and a first-round home playoff series. Part of the improved play for the Clippers has been the emergence of pleasant surprise Montrezl Harrell, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

“You just learn more and more about him as you coach him,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “You never know a guy until you coach a guy. When we got him, we looked at him as an energy guy, a guy that can play defense. That’s what he did everywhere he’s been. And then every practice he gets in, he keeps scoring. And scoring. And then we started thinking, ‘Maybe he can score a little bit.’ He’s been better than that. He’s been great.”

Harrell is averaging a career-high 10.3 points and shooting 63.1% from the field for the Clippers while only playing 16.2 minutes per game, and has improved upon those numbers lately, averaging 17.8 PPG in his last five games.

There is more news out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings have officially been eliminated from playoff contention, leading Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee to analyze the team’s plan of attack in free agency this summer. Jones opines that while certain restricted free agents like Aaron Gordon, Rodney Hood, Julius Randle, and Clint Capela may be appealing, their current teams will all but assuredly match any reasonable offers the Kings may put on the table.
  • Despite the season the Suns are battling through, veteran guard Troy Daniels believes that it’s still important to put in the work and stay professional, writes Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Daniels also hopes to rub off on some of the younger guys on the team, saying, “It’s hard to stay motivated for games sometimes going through a season like this. (But) I think it’s something these young guys will learn. To survive in this league, even if you’re a lottery pick, you always have to be working on your game, tuning it up.”
  • In another piece for The Sacramento Bee, Jones notes that he doubts a scenario where Garrett Temple leaves the Kings this offseason. Temple, who has an $8MM player option for next season, is unlikely to find more money on the open market, and has become an important locker room voice for a young Sacramento team.

Trade Rumors: Suns, Smart, Pistons, Ferguson

While Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is working the phones, one source tells Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic that there hasn’t been a whole lot of Suns-related chatter this week. The odds of Phoenix completing a major deal in advance of the deadline appear slim, according to Bordow.

Still, as Bordow details, there are a few Suns players who make some sense as trade candidates. The team would like to shed Tyson Chandler‘s contract, which includes a $13.6MM guaranteed salary for 2018/19, a source tells Bordow. Alex Len, who wants to be a starter – or at least a backup on a contender – next season, is another trade candidate. As is Troy Daniels, who says he’s prepared to move if necessary, but would rather stay in Phoenix for now.

“I’m prepared for whatever. I’ll be prepared to play wherever it is,” the fifth-year Suns guard told Bordow. “Everything is smooth running right now. If I was going to get traded I would like it to happen in the summertime.”

Here are a few more trade notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Marcus Smart trade rumors may be somewhat overblown, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, who writes that the Celtics will likely only move Smart if they can land a player who helps the team more this season — or if they can acquire a draft pick that can be flipped to secure a player who fits that bill. Bulpett also expressed skepticism that Boston will surrender Smart solely for a rental player.
  • Based on the Pistons‘ cap situation, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press believes it’s “highly unlikely” that either Luke Kennard or Stanley Johnson gets moved before Thursday’s deadline. Both players will attract interest from other teams, but their affordable contracts are valuable to the Pistons, who are on the hook for a few big contracts, including Blake Griffin‘s.
  • Several teams have expressed interest in Thunder rookie Terrance Ferguson, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. However, those teams came away with the impression that Oklahoma City has no desire to move Ferguson, as we heard earlier this week.

Western Notes: Daniels, Booker, Nuggets, Paul

Shooting guard Troy Daniels is one of the players the Suns could move before the trade deadline, according to Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Daniels is averaging 8.3 PPG off the bench this season while shooting 42.5% from long range. He is signed through next season for a very affordable $3.25MM but if rookie Davon Reed comes on strong this month, Daniels becomes expendable, Bordow continues. Veterans Tyson Chandler, Greg Monroe and Jared Dudley could also be moved during the next five weeks, Bordow adds.

In other Western Conference developments:

  • The Suns have been using Devin Booker at the point during crunch times situations, Bordow notes in the same piece. Interim coach Jay Triano believes Booker could eventually become a playmaker in the mold of James Harden.
  • A friendly schedule could boost the Nuggets over the two next months, as Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website points out. They play 17 of their next 25 games at home, where they have gone 12-4 this season. “Hopefully we can use January, which is a lot of home games, to kind of build and get ahead and not be two games over .500,” coach Michael Malone told Dempsey. “I’m pretty satisfied with where we are, but we have a lot of work to do.”
  • Gerald Green was surprised how much he was able to contribute after signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Rockets last week, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Green scored 18 points in 27 minutes off the bench on Friday in Washington, his first NBA game since a preseason stint with the Bucks. “I am very surprised about my wind,” he told Feigen. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’m actually happy with myself about the work I’ve been putting in. That’s really been paying off.”

Suns Acquire Troy Daniels In Trade

The Grizzlies have traded shooting guard Troy Daniels to the Suns in exchange for a second-round pick, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, also privy to the deal, adds that the Suns will also acquire a second-round pick in the deal and that the pick the Grizzlies will acquire is heavily protected.

As details emerged, Charania has summarized the deal as follows: Phoenix receives Daniels and the middle of Memphis’ second-rounders (they hold their own, Charlotte’s and Miami’s). The Grizz, in contrast, who free up nearly $4MM in cap room this season by pulling the trigger here, acquire the top-55 protected second-rounder.

Shipping Daniels to Phoenix drops Memphis down to 19 players (15 guaranteed), freeing up a roster spot and creating a little extra spending flexibility as they pursue a deal with restricted free agent JaMychal Green.

Having spent time with four franchises over the course of his four-year career, Daniels’ impact on the court is negligible. He hasn’t, however, been given a significant chance to showcase his abilities.

Daniels’ best season in the NBA thus far was his first. As a rookie with the Rockets, he posted 8.4 points in 17.7 minutes per game.

Southwest Notes: Capela, Gordon, Daniels

After two long months, Clint Capela is set to make his return for the Rockets. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Capela could return as early as Tuesday, depending on how he feels after Monday’s practice.

On December 17, Capela fractured his left tibula and has been sidelined ever since. Though the Rockets have continued to win ball games in his absence, they’ll welcome the 22-year-old center back with open arms. Before going down with the injury, Capela had been averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Halfway through the 2016/17 campaign, it appears as though the Rockets found themselves a bargain in Eric Gordon. Scott Cacciola of the New York Times writes that the shooting guard has thrived in head coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system. “I think he knew, more or less, the type of basketball we’d be playing, with the free rein on 3-pointers and all that,” D’Antoni said. “But I don’t think I could even articulate in the summertime exactly what we’d be doing, because I didn’t know we’d be doing this.”
  • Unheralded offseason addition Troy Daniels has given the Grizzlies little choice but to expand his role with the organization, writes Blake Meyer of FanSided’s Beale St. Blues. Through 31 games, Daniels has given Memphis 10.1 points in less than 20 minutes per game and, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN, has had a dramatic impact on the team’s plus-minus.
  • It’s been nearly two years since Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles and over a year since he returned, but Zach Lowe of ESPN thinks the Mavs veteran is continuing to make progress.