Week in Review

Five Key Stories: 4/6/19 – 4/13/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Magic Johnson abruptly announced that he was stepping down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. The Tuesday announcement was one of the most surprising developments of the year, particularly since Johnson hadn’t informed owner Jeanie Buss – or anyone else – of his decision before he announced it to the press.

The Lakers announced that they’d “mutually” agreed to part ways with head coach Luke Walton. While Johnson’s departure initially looked like it might give Walton unexpected life in Los Angeles, the team confirmed late in the week that it would be in the market for a new head coach. Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams are said to be frontrunners.

Future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement. Unlike Dwyane Wade, who confirmed at the beginning of the season that this year would be his last, Nowitzki had been considering playing one more season. He ultimately decided to call it a career after an incredible 21 years with the Mavericks, which included 12 All-NBA nods and a championship in 2011.

The Grizzlies shook up their organization, firing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and demoting GM Chris Wallace. The news broke just hours after Wallace had addressed the media in his end-of-season press conference, telling reporters that Bickerstaff would return and that he wasn’t concerned about his job security.

The Kings fired head coach Dave Joerger shortly after signing GM Vlade Divac to an extension. Despite posting a 39-43 record, their best mark since 2006, the Kings decided Joerger wasn’t the right man for the job, and have reached an agreement with Luke Walton to take over the position. Assistant GM Brandon Williams was also dismissed.

Here are 10 more headlines worth passing along in what was a busy week for the NBA:

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Five Key Stories: 3/30/19 – 4/6/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Ernie Grunfeld’s long tenure as GM of the Wizards came to an end Tuesday night. Washington got an early jump on the offseason by dismissing Grunfeld, who had been running the team since 2003. The Wizards will be among several organizations looking for a new GM this offseason.

A rape allegation against Kristaps Porzingis was made public. The incident allegedly occurred in New York City on the same day that Porzinigis suffered the ACL tear that ended his season last February. Mavericks officials said they were aware of the accusation when they traded for him in January.

The Lakers shut down LeBron James for the rest of the season to prevent any more damage to the injured groin that has been bothering him. James played just 55 games in his first year in L.A. and wasn’t able to end the team’s streak of non-playoff seasons that now stands at six.

Ja Morant of Murray State, one of the top prospects in college basketball, officially entered this year’s draft. The sophomore guard, who has been grabbing the attention of scouts all season, has been projected as high as No. 2 on many draft boards.

The status of another potential first-rounder is uncertain as Auburn’s Chuma Okeke suffered a torn left ACL in the NCAA Tournament. Okeke had been projected as a possible late first-round pick.

Here are more headlines from the past week:

  • The Sixers added a big man for the postseason by signing Greg Monroe. He became available when his 10-day contract with the division rival Celtics expired.
  • Michael Carter-Williams signed with the Magic for the rest of the season after impressing the organization with his performance on a pair of 10-day contracts. Isaiah Briscoe was waived to make room on the roster.
  • Free agent center Tyler Zeller found a new home with the Grizzlies. He had been searching for an opportunity since being waived by the Bucks in the preseason and had spent 10 days with the Hawks.
  • The Wizards decided to waive Wesley Johnson, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the Pelicans. The move allows Washington to get rid of his $9.2MM cap hold.
  • The Nets gave extensions to GM Sean Marks, along with coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff. This has been a turnaround season for Brooklyn, which is in the midst of a battle for the playoffs after years of losing.
  • The Pelicans started interviews for their open GM position, bringing in former Cavaliers GM David GriffinDanny Ferry, currently serving as interim GM in New Orleans, is also among the candidates, along with Warriors assistant GM Larry Harris, Nets assistant GM Trajan LangdonRockets VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and Wizards interim GM Tommy Sheppard.
  • Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse accepted a job as the new head coach at Vanderbilt. Stackhouse was in his first season with Memphis and interviewed for three NBA head coaching positions last year.
  • The NBA reduced its projected salary cap for the 2020/21 season. The new projections of a $116MM cap and a $141MM tax level are $2MM less than the original figures.
  • Chris Boucher of Raptors 905 was named Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in the G League. Boucher collected the awards despite playing in just 28 of his team’s 50 games.

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Five Key Stories: 3/16/19 – 3/23/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

After nearly three years away from the NBA, Jimmer Fredette has returned with the Phoenix Suns. Fredette developed into a star in China, leading the CBA in scoring this season at 36.9 PPG. He will be trying to revive his NBA career after being the 10th player taken in the 2011 draft.

The Suns’ search for a new GM heated up this week with a couple of prominent names rumored to be candidates. Phoenix has reportedly spoken to TNT analyst Kevin McHale and has interest in Bulls consultant Jim Paxson. The Suns have been operating without a full-fledged GM since firing Ryan McDonough in October.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers pledged his loyalty to the franchise, saying he plans to remain in his position for a “long time.” Rivers shot down rumors that he might consider joining the Lakers, saying he still has work left to do with the Clippers.

The Bucks were hit with three significant injuries this week as they try to hold on to the top spot in the East. Malcolm Brogdon is expected to be sidelined through at least the first round of the playoffs with a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot, Nikola Mirotic will miss 2-4 weeks with a fractured thumb and Pau Gasol is out for about a month with an injured ankle.

The Trail Blazers may have sidestepped a major injury when C.J. McCollum was diagnosed with a popliteus strain in his left knee. McCollum will be re-evaluated this week to determine how much time he will miss.

Here are 10 more headlines from the past week:

  • The Lakers got good news about Brandon Ingram, who underwent surgery on his right arm for a blood clot condition. Surgeons removed the clot and he is expected to recover within 3-4 months.
  • Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Rose stayed healthy for most of this season and averaged 18.0 PPG, putting him in the race for Sixth Man of the Year.
  • In addition to Rose, the Timberwolves declared Robert Covington and Jeff Teague out for the season. Covington hasn’t played since December 31 due to a right knee bone bruise, while Teague is dealing with an injured left foot.
  • Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will miss the rest of the season because of a stress reaction in his left tibia. He played just 19 games for Dallas after being acquired from the Knicks.
  • The Grizzlies will finish the season without C.J. Miles, who has a stress reaction in his left foot. Miles appeared in 13 games for Memphis after being acquired from the Raptors in the Marc Gasol trade last month.
  • The Pelicans claimed Christian Wood off waivers and parted ways with veteran forward Jason Smith. The Bucks waived Wood to make room for Tim Frazier, who was cut by New Orleans last month.
  • A report suggested that the Jazz and Grizzlies may revisit trade talks this summer involving Mike Conley. Utah was considered among the front-runners to land Conley, but the teams couldn’t work out a deal before the deadline.
  • The Spurs are close to bringing Donatas Motiejunas back to the NBA after two seasons in China. The 28-year-old is reportedly nearing a deal with San Antonio.
  • Sophomore center Daniel Gafford of Arkansas will enter the NBA draft and hire an agent. He was considered a possible first-round pick last year, but now projects at the top of the second round.
  • Jason Terry is the latest former NBA star to join the BIG3. The 41-year-old had hoped to play another NBA season, but never received an offer.

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Five Key Stories: 3/9/19 – 3/16/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Jazz guard Dante Exum was diagnosed with a partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee. The oft-injured Exum had just returned from an ankle sprain and bone bruise that sidelined him for 25 games. He could miss the remainder of the season.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle received an extension and raise prior to the season. Carlisle, who has patrolled the sidelines for Dallas since 2008, had his contract extended through the 2022/23 season.

The Lakers shut down second-year point guard Lonzo Ball. Knee and ankle ailments limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft to 47 games this season.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agreed to a five-year contract extension. Morey has turned the Rockets into a championship contender since taking over his current position in 2007. He was in the final year of his deal.

Isaiah Thomas dropped out of the Nuggets’ rotation. The former MVP candidate suffered another setback when coach Michael Malone informed the point guard his minutes would be greatly reduced. Thomas will return to the free agent market this summer.

Here are 10 more headlines from the last week:

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Five Key Stories: 3/2/19 – 3/9/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Warriors officially re-signed veteran center Andrew Bogut for the rest of the season. Bogut technically remains under a two-year contract with the Sydney Kings and is expected to return to Australia in 2019/20, but the Kings allowed him to finish out the ’18/19 season in Golden State.

The Lakers will monitor LeBron James‘ minutes going forward as the team slips out of playoff contention. While there won’t be a hard limit, the club will reportedly try to keep James in the range of 28-32 minutes per game, and there’s no guarantee he’ll play both ends of back-to-backs.

Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf said that the team will “absolutely” retain executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson and GM Gar Forman. Head coach Jim Boylen is also on track to return to the Bulls next season, as Reinsdorf reiterated.

The Lakers and Carmelo Anthony pressed pause on their contract discussions. Los Angeles had reportedly been considering bringing Anthony aboard to fill the 15th spot on the roster, but the two sides have backed away from a potential union with the club falling out of postseason contention.

Magic head coach Steve Clifford confirmed that the team doesn’t expect Markelle Fultz to make his Orlando debut this season. Fultz continues to rehab his shoulder injury, according to Clifford, who suggests we won’t probably won’t see the former No. 1 pick suit up for the Magic until 2019/20.

Here are 10 more headlines from the last week:

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Five Key Stories: 2/23/19 – 3/2/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Bucks and Eric Bledsoe agreed to a four-year, $70MM contract extension. The deal, which will keep Bledsoe under contract through 2023, will also keep him off the 2019 free agent market, allowing Milwaukee to focus on retaining other key FAs this summer.

Pau Gasol and the Spurs reached a buyout agreement, clearing a path for him to sign with the Bucks. The 38-year-old had fallen out of the rotation in San Antonio and gave back $2.5MM to get the opportunity to join the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Veteran big man Channing Frye announced that he’ll retire at season’s end. The 35-year-old has appeared in 883 total regular season games in his 13-year NBA career, playing in another 49 postseason games and winning a title with Cleveland in 2016.

The qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup came to an end and the 32-team field has been set. Head coach Jeff Van Gundy led Team USA through the qualifiers, but Gregg Popovich will take over the World Cup itself, which will take place this September in China.

Dirk Nowitzki suggested that he’s not closing the door on playing one more season. The basketball world has been treating the longtime Mavericks big man as if he’ll retire this year, but he pointed out that he has yet to actually make that decision or announce his intentions.

Here are 10 more headlines from the last week:

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Five Key Stories: 2/16/19 – 2/23/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Below are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

MSG Co. released a statement denying that James Dolan has considered selling the Knicks. A report this week from Bill Simmons of The Ringer said Dolan was “courting offers” for the team, according to sources that Simmons talked to at All-Star Weekend. The MSG statement called the story “100% false.”

Projected No. 1 pick Zion Williamson of Duke was diagnosed with a Grade 1 knee sprain after suffering an injury that looked like it could have been much worse. Williamson’s left shoe tore open in the first minute of Wednesday’s game against North Carolina. He left the floor under his own power, but didn’t return.

The NBA submitted a proposal to its players union that would lower the draft age from 19 to 18. Any changes aren’t expected to be implemented before the 2022 draft.

Pelicans interim GM Danny Ferry explained the team’s plans for Anthony Davis for the remainder of the season. Davis will continue to play a regular schedule, but his nightly minutes will be reduced to lessen the chance of injury. The league has threatened to fine New Orleans $100K per game if Davis sits out while he’s healthy.

The Hawks unveiled plans for their new G League affiliate, which will begin play next season. The team will be known as the College Park Skyhawks and will replace the Erie Bayhawks, who will be taken over by the Pelicans.

Here are 10 more notable NBA headlines from the past week:

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Five Key Stories: 2/9/19 – 2/16/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Below are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

Ahead of a summer that’s expected to include the trading of franchise cornerstone Anthony Davis, the Pelicans fired GM Dell Demps. Demps spent nearly nine years running the team, but was never able to build a consistent contender around Davis. Danny Ferry was named interim GM until New Orleans can find a replacement.

Enes Kanter, who spent much of the season complaining about a lack of playing time with the Knicks, found a new home with the Trail Blazers after being released. Kanter had fallen to fourth-string center in New York despite productive numbers, as coach David Fizdale opted for a younger lineup and a switching philosophy on defense that Kanter wasn’t equipped for. Multiple teams, including the Lakers, expressed interest in signing Kanter.

The Pacers turned to the buyout market to fill the void left by Victor Oladipo‘s season-ending injury, signing Wesley Matthews. The former Maverick was traded to the Knicks at the end of January, but only played two games there before reaching a buyout agreement.

The Thunder landed one of the top prizes in the buyout market when Markieff Morris agreed to a contract. Morris spent most of the season with the Wizards, but reached a buyout agreement with the Pelicans after a deadline-day trade. He recently received medical clearance after recovering from a neck injury.

The Raptors signed former Hawks guard Jeremy Lin for the rest of the season. The move took place shortly after Toronto lost back-up point guard Fred VanVleet for about five weeks due to thumb surgery.

Here are 10 more notable NBA headlines from the past week:

  • Luke Walton’s job will remain safe for the rest of the season, according to a report out of Los Angeles. There had been speculation that the Lakers‘ disappointing season and recent clashes with veteran players might have Walton on the hot seat, but he still has the support of team management.
  • The Lakers won’t be hit with tampering penalties for team president Magic Johnson’s statements about Ben Simmons when revealing that the Sixers guard has asked to be tutored over the summer. Johnson had indicated an interest in the arrangement before both teams decided against it.
  • Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry was fined $25K for comments he made about Davis. Lasry was responded to a report that Davis listed Milwaukee as one of his four preferred destinations.
  • Veteran forward Marcus Morris ripped his Celtics teammates after the team let a big lead get away in a loss to the Clippers. Morris said the season “hasn’t been fun for a long time” and called the team “a bunch of individuals.”
  • Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas made his season debut this week after recovering from his latest hip surgery. The former All-Star signed a one-year deal with the Nuggets.
  • Former Heat star Chris Bosh is ready to make his retirement official. Bosh’s hasn’t played since the 2015/16 season because of health issues stemming from blood clots.
  • After a tour of the league that saw him go from Portland to Cleveland to Houston to Indiana in less than a week, Nik Stauskas re-signed with the Cavaliers. The 25-year-old guard inked a contract for the rest of the season.
  • Commissioner Adam Silver admitted he has received offers to run the NFL, but added that he hasn’t considered changing leagues. Silver said some Fortune 500 companies have also approached him with job opportunities.
  • Former No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet worked out for several teams at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. Thabeet hasn’t played in the NBA since the since the 2013/14 season.
  • Gilbert Arenas is the latest former NBA star to commit to the BIG3 league. The 37-year-old was a high-scoring guard who had his best seasons with the Wizards.

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Five Key Stories: 2/2/19 – 2/9/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Below are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

In a week dominated by the trade deadline, the most significant story is a deal that wasn’t made. The Lakers made numerous attempts to get Anthony Davis from the Pelicans, but New Orleans decided to wait until summer to see if better offers emerge. The Celtics reportedly promised an “explosive” offer, while the Knicks and several other teams are expected to get involved.

The week’s most surprising trade came in the early hours Wednesday with most of the nation sleeping. The Clippers sent Tobias Harris to the Sixers, shaking up their lineup and giving Philadelphia possibly the best starting five in the East. L.A. wasn’t sold on giving Harris a max offer this summer and wanted to open up more cap room to be aggressive in free agency.

The Grizzlies said goodbye to another veteran from their Grit ‘n Grind glory days when they traded Marc Gasol to the Raptors. The former Defensive Player of the Year is still a presence in the middle, averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per night. However, he has a $25.6MM player option for next season and Memphis had luxury tax concerns.

The Wizards did an about-face on their promise to compete for a playoff spot by sending Otto Porter to the Bulls. Owner Ted Leonsis had vowed that the organization would do all it could to reach the postseason, but its deals at the deadline were focused on escaping the luxury tax. Porter is owed nearly $56MM over the next two seasons.

The Sixers decided to give up on 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, trading him to Orlando for Jonathon Simmons and a pair of draft picks. After making aggressive trades this season to acquire Harris and Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia has decided to take a win-now approach and no longer wanted the distraction of Fultz’s physical problems and shooting woes.

Here are 10 more notable NBA headlines from the past week:

  • The All-Star draft was televised for the first time, with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo making their selections for the February 17 game in Charlotte. The proceedings ended with an unexpected trade, as James sent Russell Westbrook to Antetokounmpo in exchange for Ben Simmons.
  • Participants were also announced for the All-Star weekend 3-Point, Skills and Dunk contests. The 3-point competition may have the most drama as hometown favorite Kemba Walker faces off against veteran Dirk Nowitzki and a pair of brothers in Stephen Curry and Seth Curry.
  • Enes Kanter didn’t get either part of the play-me-or-trade-me request he made, but he did get to become a free agent when the Knicks waived him Thursday. After beginning the year as the starting center, Kanter saw his minutes steadily reduced.
  • Wesley Matthews, who was also waived by the Knicks this week, has committed to joining the Pacers.
  • Nets guard Caris LeVert made a much faster than expected return from a severe right foot injury he suffered in November. Originally feared to be out for the season, the 24-year-old returned to action last night.
  • Already sidelined for the season because of heel surgery, Wizards guard John Wall fell in his home and suffered a rupture of his left Achilles tendon that is expected to sideline him for an additional 12 months.
  • Kevin Durant lashed out at the media for what he considers to be excessive speculation about his free agent future. The Knicks and Clippers both cleared cap room this week and are expected to aggressively pursue the Warriors star.
  • There was an angry exchange in the Lakers‘ locker room after last Saturday’s loss to the Warriors with coach Luke Walton singling out players for a selfish approach to the game and veterans Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee lashing back over their inconsistent roles. Beasley was traded to the Clippers before the week ended.
  • The Knicks remain the NBA’s highest-valued franchise, topping $4 billion for the first time.
  • Lamar Odom is the latest former NBA star to sign up for the BIG3 league this summer.

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Five Key Stories: 1/26/19 – 2/2/19

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Below are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks in a move that unloaded two long-term contracts and opened up cap room for free agency this summer. New York sent Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to Dallas in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and a pair of future first-round picks. The deal gives the Knicks a second chance at Smith, whom they passed over in 2017 to draft Frank Ntilikina.

Anthony Davis shook up the NBA early this week when he submitted a trade request to the Pelicans, telling them he won’t sign a long-term extension. The reaction was immense, with many teams expressing an interest in Davis, but he and his agent have reportedly made it clear that the Lakers are his first choice. If no deal can be reached by Thursday’s deadline, things should heat up even more this summer when the Celtics can get involved.

Boston got a jolt of its own on Friday when Kyrie Irving indicated that he might change his mind about a verbal commitment to re-sign with the Celtics. “Ask me July 1,” he said in response to a question about his future, adding that his career will come first in any decision. Irving is a friend of Davis and is believed to be necessary for Davis to consider a long-term future in Boston.

Carmelo Anthony continues his search for his next team, but he won’t be doing it as part of the Bulls’ roster. Chicago waived him on Friday in order to complete a trade with the Thunder for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

The All-Star reserves were announced this week ahead of Thursday’s draft that will determine who is on which team. Selected were Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris MiddletonNikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo in the East and Anthony DavisRussell Westbrook, Nikola Jokic, Klay Thompson, Damian LillardLaMarcus Aldridge and Karl-Anthony Towns in the West. D’Angelo Russell was chosen to replace Oladipo, who is out for the rest of the season.

Here are 10 more notable NBA headlines from the past week:

  • Davis was fined $50K by the league because his desire to be traded was made public by his agent, Rich Paul. The fine is the largest the NBA can issue without a player being permitted to file a grievance.
  • Rockets backup center Marquese Chriss also made a trade request this week, but it didn’t get much notice outside of Houston. Acquired from the Suns in the offseason, Chriss hasn’t seen much playing time, even with an injury to starting center Clint Capela.
  • Two longtime veterans were given a chance to play in what could be the final All-Star Game for both. Dwyane Wade, who will retire at the end of the season, and Dirk Nowitzki, who may be in his final year, were added to the game as “special team roster additions.”
  • The Porzingis trade was bad news for Ray Spalding, who was waived to enable the deal to be completed. Dallas sent out four players and only took back three, so it needed to open a roster spot.
  • The Sixers will be without a key piece for the next two to three weeks as Wilson Chandler was sidelined with a right quadriceps strain.
  • Grizzlies forward Omri Casspi will have surgery on his right knee to fix a meniscus tear.
  • The Jazz reportedly have “very real” interest in trading for Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. Memphis may also move center Marc Gasol, but teams are waiting for the asking price to go down.
  • The Sixers are looking at Atlanta’s Dwayne Dedmon in their search for a backup center.
  • The Mavericks are targeting Magic center Nikola Vucevic as a possible free agent addition this summer.
  • Isaiah Canaan is back in the NBA after suffering a severely dislocated ankle last season. He signed a 10-day contract with the Timberwolves.

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