Vincent Poirier

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/19

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Knicks have recalled rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, according to a tweet from the team’s PR department. The 6’6″ Michigan forward has appeared in six games for New York.
  • The Celtics have assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. The seven-foot French rookie has seen sparse action in Boston, averaging just 4.6 minutes across seven games.
  • The Hornets have assigned rookie small forward Cody Martin to the Greensboro Swarm, the team tweets. Martin has appeared in 16 games for the Hornets, averaging 11.8 minutes. He is shooting just 35.7% from the floor.
  • The Thunder have assigned center Justin Patton to the Oklahoma City Blue, a team press release reports. The well-traveled Creighton alum is averaging 10.3 points, 7.5 boards, and 2.0 blocks across eight games for the Blue. He has suited up for two games with the Thunder this season.
  • The Pistons have assigned rookie wing Sekou Doumbouya to the Grand Rapids Drive, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports. The 18 year-old Doumbouya, the N0. 15 pick in the 2019 draft, is averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG for the Drive, while shooting 39% on his long-range attempts. He has made four NBA appearances for the Pistons to date.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/12/19

Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • Victor Oladipo was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to practice with the G League squad. He then was recalled by the Pacers and as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link), there remains no timetable for his return. Oladipo has another appointment with his doctor in a few weeks, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears the shooting guard has impressed during drills.
  • The Clippers have assigned two players to the G League. Mfiondu Kabengele and Derrick Walton Jr. will both report to the Agua Caliente Clippers, per the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Knicks have recalled Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, per the team’s Twitter feed. New York’s second-round pick was sent to the G League on Monday.
  • The Celtics have assigned four players to the G League for practice and then recalled each one. Grant Williams, Vincent Poirier, Carsen Edwards and Romeo Langford all practiced with the Maine Red Claws today.
  • The Rockets sent Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein to the G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as Mark Berman of Fox26 tweets.

Eastern Notes: White, Poirier, Knicks, Wizards

Lottery pick Coby White has looked good in the first week of the Bulls‘ training camp, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Coach Jim Boylen said White can play either guard spot and appears to already have him penciled into the rotation. “We’ve added ballers to this team,’’ Boylen said. “Coby White, whether he’s a one, he’s a two, he’s a baller. … That’s what this roster is. We’ve got to do a good job using those guys and give them space and freedom to use what they have.’’

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • French center Vincent Poirier is looking to earn minutes with the Celtics through grit and determination, as he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Poirier signed a two-year contract to compete for a role with one of the East’s top teams after playing in Spain last season. “You have a couple of guys who make all the dirty jobs,” he said. “If not, you cannot win. You have to be great at what you can do, and what I can do is all the dirty jobs.”
  • Knicks coach David Fizdale has a dilemma on his hands regarding the point guard spot, as Barbara Barker of Newsday details. With Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina vying for minutes at the position, choosing a starter may be the toughest decision of the preseason for Fizdale. Utilizing two point guards at the same time will be a serious consideration.
  • Developing good habits with a young roster is the first step toward improvement for the Wizards, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes. Washington is trying to establish a better culture after the front office and roster changes that were made this offseason. “The season’s going to go quick and the bench is going shorten and Coach (Scott Brooks) is going to want guys who know what he wants and get it done,” guard Bradley Beal said. “So, as long as we’re able to keep those good habits up of being on time, being early, getting the work in and then applying it on the court and getting it done, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Celtics Notes: Poirier, Hayward, Training Camp, Walker

Vincent Poirier had an awkward first meeting with four of his new Celtics teammates at the World Cup, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Poirier was part of the French team that gave the U.S. their second loss of the tournament and eliminated them from medal contention.

“After the game I think they were a little bit mad, so I don’t come to them and say, ‘Hey, I’m Vincent,” Poirier said. “But they knew who I was, so that was good.”

Poirier took home a bronze medal from the World Cup and talked extensively to his French teammates about life in the NBA. Poirier has spent the past three seasons in Spain and is ready for the NBA challenge at age 25. Celtics scouts have seen him in person at least 10 times over the past two years and were interested in signing him at the end of last season, but he preferred to wait.

“I told a couple people I think this is the best year for me to go to the NBA because I’ve got 100% confidence in myself,” he said. “I trust my basketball and I think it’s a perfect moment.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Gordon Hayward offered a message to fans on his personal blog, promising “the reins are off” for the upcoming season. Hayward was still recovering from a severe ankle injury last summer and said he has benefited from having a full offseason to work on his game. “Last year, I was in my own head a lot, thinking about a lot of different things—hoping that it was going to be okay, hoping that I was going to be right—because I just hadn’t done it. I hadn’t had a chance to put in the reps,” Hayward wrote. “Going into this season, I’ve put in the reps all summer. I know my body is still just as good and feels 100 percent, and certainly, I know the guys on the team a lot better now than I did last year too. All the unknowns are gone. That’s the biggest difference.”
  • There will be several interesting battles to focus on when training camp opens, writes Jay King of The Athletic. One will occur at the wing position, where Hayward will be competing with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown to join Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum in the starting lineup. The other story lines involve who plays center at the end of games and who can earn reserve minutes at power forward and in the backcourt.
  • Even though Walker had a full summer with his World Cup responsibilities, coach Brad Stevens said the free agent addition will be “ready to roll” when camp begins, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Poirier, Ntilikina, Nets

Veteran NBA center Marc Gasol added to his already impressive year by helping lead Spain to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup today, finishing with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 25 minutes of work against Argentina.

Gasol, who also helped Toronto win the NBA championship in June, joined Lamar Odom as the only players in league history to win both a title and gold medal in the same calendar year.

“It reminded me a lot of the Larry O’Brien trophy,” Gasol said when asked about winning the Naismith Trophy, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the winner of the World Cup. “And hey, you can drink out of it!

“When I saw it, it was pretty shiny as well. Completely different tournament, completely different setup, but the feeling of fulfillment was there, because you invested so much, you risked a lot and you put everything on the line for your guys.”

This year’s World Cup could be the last for Gasol, who turns 35 in January and is set to enter his 12th NBA season this fall. The defensive-minded center has been on top of the basketball world in 2019, something he surely won’t forget when he looks back on his career.

“It feels like I haven’t stopped playing basketball,” Gasol said. “It’s been an amazing year for me and I’m just happy.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Vincent Poirier was a good pick-up for the Celtics this offseason, according to French teammates Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier. Poirier signed a two-year deal to join the franchise back in July. “It’s clear that he’s a center that can block shots and control the paint,” Fournier said, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com. (Twitter links). “He’s a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It’s a good pick-up for Boston, for sure.”
  • Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina is healthy again and motivated for the upcoming season, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times. Ntilikina, according to Stein, also mentioned how the entire group is “very hungry” for next season. New York has several new players on its roster, including the likes of Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett and others.
  • The Nets plan to give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys when the team hosts the Knicks on October 25, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The Knicks were one of several teams interested in signing Irving in July, though Irving was said to have his sights set on joining the Nets well before the start of free agency.

Atlantic Notes: Stevens, Feaster, Donaldson, Ainge

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will have a new-look roster to work with this season, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, and while replacing All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving with fellow All-Star Kemba Walker will be the easy part, replacing defensive stalwarts Al Horford and Aron Baynes should prove a bit more challenging.

Another question is who starts — Gordon Hayward or Jaylen Brown? Do both of them start, with Marcus Smart back on the bench? According to Stevens, it really doesn’t matter, as long as the lineups mesh together.

“We’re obviously going to have to figure out lineups that work best together,” Stevens said. “Everybody is going to make a big deal over who starts, but we all know who the five guys are that are going to play the very most on our team, and everybody can probably write that down right now, and then it’s a matter of who fits best. They’re not all in the same position, but we’ve got to figure out who’s going to play the big spot and with which groups.”

Enes Kanter figures to get most minutes at center starting out, but young big Robert Williams could push for more playing time as the season progresses. The Celtics will also rely on Daniel Theis and Vincent Poirier for frontcourt depth.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, the Celtics have hired Allison Feaster as director of player development. Feaster is a former WNBA player and Harvard graduate who also worked in the G League.
  • Raptors data analyst Brittni Donaldson has been promoted to an assistant coach on the staff of head coach Nick Nurse, per a tweet from Stadium (Twitter link).
  • In a piece for NBC Sports Boston, Blakely writes that Danny Ainge is concerned with Stevens happiness this season, saying “My biggest concern through all of this was, I want my coach to be happy who he’s coaching and that’s the hardest job. I’ve been at this business a long time. It’s…you gotta have fun. You really have to have joy. That doesn’t mean every minute is going to be happy. Everybody is going to face adversity and challenges and trials through the course of a season. But, it still has to be fun.”

World Cup Updates: Lithuania, Joseph, Nigeria, France

The Lithuanian national team has announced its roster for the 2019 World Cup, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that the 12-man squad will include Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas and Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt. Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is also on the roster.

Lithuania is viewed as a contender to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, but it won’t have an easy path to even make it out of the first round. The Lithuanian national team is part of a group that also includes Australia, Canada, and Senegal — only two of those clubs will advance to the round of 16.

Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup, which will tip off in just four days in China:

Eastern Notes: Brooks, Poirier, Beasley, Magic

The Wizards are set to face a number of challenges entering the 2019/20 season, which could ultimately reinvigorate head coach Scott Brooks as the team works through its struggles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports writes.

Brooks, who was hired by Washington in 2016 after eight years with Oklahoma City, is set to coach one of the league’s most underwhelming rosters on paper this season. The matter intensifies when you remember All-Star guard John Wall will likely sit the entire season due to a torn Achilles’ tendon.

“One thing I also want to really pipe in on is the support we have from Coach Brooks and his staff and the ability they have to pivot,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said. “When Coach Brooks got here, we won 49 games and we were one game away from going to the conference finals. That was kind of the team he got coming through the door. Now, this takes him back to his OKC days.”

The Wizards wound up missing the playoffs last season due to an assortment of injuries, and a new roster will certainly test the patience of Brooks this year as the franchise seeks to find a new identity under Sheppard.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

Atlantic Notes: Portis, Nets, Poirier, Knicks

For Bobby Portis, joining the Knicks in free agency didn’t require a promise from the team to name him a starter. Portis agreed to a two-year, $31MM deal with the team earlier in the month, fully prepared to contribute regardless of his role in the rotation.

“I don’t care about starting or coming off the bench,” Portis told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I envision myself being a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Last year I was in the running at the beginning of the season, playing well. That’s in the back of my mind for sure. Naysayers will say I’m crazy. I feel it’s going to come for me one day for sure. I play my role really well.”

With Portis eyeing the Sixth Man of the Year award, it’s worth noting he’s coming off a season that saw him average a career-high 14.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 26 minutes in 50 games with the Wizards, starting in 28 contests. He’s mostly played off the bench during his career, displaying an impressive touch around the rim and willingness to play physical.

In addition to Portis, the Knicks also reached free-agent agreements with Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington, giving head coach David Fizdale plenty of new options for the upcoming season.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype spoke with a number of current and former Nets players about the new look of the team, including fourth-year Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “It shows that our program as a whole took a huge step forward – one that I don’t think many people thought was possible,” Dinwiddie said of the Nets landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. “Even when you and I talked about it previously on the podcast, people were mocking me! I was very upfront and said, ‘Hey, I’d welcome stars with open arms,’ but everybody laughed at it. The reaction was, ‘Alright, that sounds good, but it ain’t going to happen.’ I guess it just makes this experience that much sweeter (laughs).”
  • Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t believe the Knicks will win more than 30 games next season, Marc Berman writes in a separate article for the New York Post. New York is coming off a league-worst 17-65 record from last season.
  • New Celtics center Vincent Poirier impressed the team for a variety of reasons, as detailed by Jacob Carmenker of NBC Sports Boston. The Celtics were intrigued with Poirier’s athleticism, ability to rebound and willingness to sacrifice, reaching a two-year deal with him earlier this month.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lin, Poirier, Erman

Raptors center Marc Gasol is thankful that the Grizzlies didn’t agree to his request not to be traded, relays Alex Madrid of Eurohoops. Gasol had been with Memphis for more than a decade before the team committed to rebuilding and sent him to Toronto in a deadline deal. The move led to Gasol collecting his first NBA championship ring.

“There have been few players that haven’t been traded over the years in the NBA,” Gasol said. “If it had been dependent on me, I wouldn’t have been traded. I always thought I could reverse the situation there (in Memphis) and bring the team to the top. But, thank God, they ignored me.”

Gasol will be part of the remaining foundation as the Raptors try to stay in contention without Kawhi Leonard. The 34-year-old will earn $25.6MM this season in the final year of his contract.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jeremy Lin appears distraught about his free agency situation in a video tweeted by Daily Sports Dosage. “Free agency has been tough,” Lin says. “Because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me.” The Raptors signed Lin in February to provide backcourt depth, but he shot just 37% in 23 games and was barely used during the playoffs.
  • French center Vincent Poirier could have made more money in Europe, but he wanted the challenge of playing in the NBA, tweets Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. Poirier was the EuroLeague’s top rebounder last season, and the Celtics believe his athleticism will translate well.
  • Former Celtics assistant Darren Erman will become head coach of the organization’s G League affiliate in Maine, according to Jay King and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Known as a defensive specialist, Erman has spent the past four seasons with the Pelicans.