May 21, 2019, 11:59 pm
A year after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers for their first playoff series win since 2008, the New Orleans Pelicans came into this season hoping to take another step toward becoming a perennial playoff team. Anthony Davis had other ideas. Our latest Post-Mortem looks at how the Pelicans got to this point and why they are positioned to rebound quickly from the disappointing Davis trade demand.
2018-19 Record: 33-49 | 13th in Western Conference
A roller-coaster season for the Pelicans started on a high note as the team reeled off four straight victories en route to a 10-7 record – the team’s best 17-game start since the 2010-11 season. Offseason free agent acquisition Julius Randle fit seamlessly into head coach Alvin Gentry’s fast-paced system as the team ranked third in both pace and offensive rating through the first month of the season.
Everything was working around Anthony Davis, who was the number one fantasy player through 14 games. Despite only having Elfrid Payton for six games, the Pels got a surprising run of top-85 fantasy value from E’Twaun Moore, helping them stay on track for a playoff berth.
Unfortunately, Moore’s red-hot shooting – and the Pelicans’ run of success – proved unsustainable.
As is often the case in New Orleans, injuries began to pile up quickly. Aside from Payton, Nikola Mirotic missed time and the brilliance of Davis wasn’t enough to keep them from tumbling down the standings. After Davis suffered a left index finger sprain in the fourth quarter of a game in Portland on January 18, it didn’t look like things could get any worse for the Pelicans.
With their playoff hopes dwindling and star player hurt, things actually did manage to get worse when Davis infamously demanded a trade through his agent, effectively ending any hope the franchise had to build on the positive momentum from the prior season’s playoff success. The decision to demand a trade cast a shadow of uncertainty on the Pelicans.
After a very public and awkward round of trade discussions, the Pelicans were unable to find a deal for Davis suitable to their demands and decided to limit Davis’ minutes even after he was healthy in an attempt to improve their potential draft position. The result? A bottom-ten finish in defensive rating, net rating and turnover percentage:
NETRTG: -1.3 (20th)
Offensive Rating: 110.6 (12th)
Defensive Rating: 111.9 (23rd)
Pace: 103.92 (2nd)
REB%: 50.9 (9th)
AST%: 61.9 (11th)
EFG%: 52.9 (11th)
TOV%: 14.2 (22nd)
The season did have its bright spots, as Jrue Holiday enjoyed a career season in which he solidified himself as one of the top two-way guards in the NBA. Randle also set himself up for a nice payday with some solid averages across the board, though it’s unsure if that payday comes in New Orleans as he is likely to opt out of his player option and seek a larger deal in free agency. The Pelicans were also able to use some of the extra minutes that opened up in their rotation to develop younger players like Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor and Cheick Diallo as well as discover some diamonds in the rough like Christian Wood and Kenrich Williams.
Another positive to come from this season was the firing of Dell Demps, who was largely inept since being hired as the Pelicans General Manager in 2010, and replacing him with the more experienced and respected David Griffin as their President of Basketball Operations. The front-office overhaul didn’t stop there as Griffin has since hired Trajan Langdon as GM and Aaron Nelson as the Vice President of Player Care and Performance.
These changes alone should give Pelicans fans reasons to be optimistic that the franchise is using the Davis trade demand as a wake-up call and righting the ship. Oh, and of course there’s also ZION!
It is a pivotal point in the history of this franchise as they are on the doorstep of what could be an exciting new era. After a season filled with disappointment, the Pels struck gold when they won the first pick – and the rights to draft generational prospect Zion Williamson – in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. The re-tooled front office may try to keep Davis, but even if they don’t the package of assets they receive for him should pair nicely with a core that includes Holiday and (likely) Williamson, giving them quite the head start on the next era of Pelicans hoops.
With all the changing of the guard in the New Orleans front office, it was logical to speculate about how secure Alvin Gentry was in his position as head coach. With only one winning season in four years in New Orleans, his record (145-183) is hardly above reproach and the franchise seems as ripe for change as it ever has been.
That may be an oversimplification however, as a closer inspection reveals the team had consistent improvement in wins each season under Gentry before this season. With the plethora of challenges and adversity they dealt with on and off the court this season, it’s more than understandable. Furthermore, Gentry acted as a stabilizing voice for the Pelicans in the wake of the Davis controversy, frequently defending the city and its fans. It seems Griffin is willing to keep Gentry around for now.
An offensive-minded coach, Gentry loves to push the pace and create highly efficient opportunities in transition. This is the reason the Pelicans were second in pace as well as near the top third in offensive rating, assist percentage, effective field goal percentage and assist percentage. Players tend to enjoy this style of play and you saw players like Randle and Holiday have career-type years.
It also seems like an ideal coaching style to develop young athletic players – just the type of players the Pelicans are likely to be stockpiling this offseason.
In order for Gentry to take his team to the level he wants, New Orleans will have to commit to playing defense with consistency. That should be much easier after some stability that may come to the team after this offseason. The mental effect of the Davis trade demand and the ensuing minutes restriction certainly impacted this team’s focus on the defensive side of the ball, as evidenced by its poor defensive rating. If Gentry can prove to energize a young group and get enough buy-in for at least a league-average defense, he may even have an extension in his future.
The PlayersAnthony Davis
ADP: 3/2 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 16/11 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 2/2 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 56
2018-19 averages: 56 G | 33.0 MP | 25.9 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 12.0 REB | 3.9 AST | 1.6 STL | 2.4 BLK | 2.0 TOV | .517 FG% | .794 FT%
It was an unusual season for Anthony Davis, who remained among the top two options in all of fantasy basketball when he was actually on the court. A career-low 56 games played of course meant he was on the court less than ever. While he did deal with a finger injury for a few weeks, it is quite obvious the Pelicans didn’t have much interest in riding their horse – healthy or not – after his intentions to leave them became clear.
It’s a shame how much went wrong for Davis off the court, because on the court he was as good as ever – averaging career-highs in rebounds and steals despite his lowest minutes per game since his rookie season. At this point in his career, Davis is a proven commodity. At 26 years old, he is still improving.
His per-minute production is almost unprecedented. Look no further than his ability to still rank in the top-16 for total value despite limited minutes and only 56 games for proof. Not only is his ceiling as high as anyone’s but his floor is still an elite level of production that makes him a no-brainer at the top of fantasy drafts moving forward.Jrue Holiday
ADP: 29/23 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 20/25 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 17/22 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 67
2018-19 averages: 67 G | 35.9 MP | 21.2 PTS | 1.8 3PM | 5.0 REB | 7.7 AST | 1.6 STL | 0.8 BLK | 3.2 TOV | .472 FG% | .768 FT%
If there is any silver lining to come from the Anthony Davis trade demand, Jrue Holiday seizing the moment to become the leader of this team must rank among the top. With his “Karate Kid” style headband flopping about, Holiday set the tone night in and night out for a team that felt betrayed by their best player.
Holiday always enjoyed a reputation as a creative and productive offensive guard. He continues to get better in that aspect as the 21.2 points per game he averaged this season were a career-high. He also set a career-high in threes per game with 1.8 while still managing to get his teammates involved regularly in the offense.
Offensive progression aside, Holiday enjoyed an even bigger improvement on the defensive side of the basketball. The 6-foot-4 combo guard harassed the opposing team’s best perimeter player on a regular basis and fared quite well against the best of the best. A great example of this new defensive gear is the six blocks he had against James Harden and the Rockets on January 29.
Holiday did miss the last 14 games of the year and while many dismissed this as the Pelicans tanking, he did have surgery to repair a core muscle in late March. That’s not ideal but he is expected to make a full recovery before camp hits. It’s a situation worth monitoring but nothing to panic about at this time.
There was some speculation that Holiday might get traded if Davis forces his way out but he appears to be sticking in the Crescent City for the time being. He is only 28 and just hitting his prime, which could be a nice balance to all the young talent the Pelicans are likely to be adding in the coming months through the draft, trades and free agency. With all that responsibility headed his way, don’t hesitate to grab him inside the top-20 in drafts.Julius Randle
ADP: 48/71 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 52/76 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 55/78 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 73
2018-19 averages: 73 G | 30.6 MP | 21.4 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 8.7 REB | 3.1 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.6 BLK | 2.8 TOV | .525 FG% | .731 FT%
After failing to get the kind of contract he was hoping for in free agency, Julius Randle bet on himself by signing a 2-year $17.7 million deal with the Pelicans in July 2018. By negotiating a player option for his second year, Randle gave himself a chance to turn some heads before opting out and heading back to the negotiating table – his likeliest course of action.
Randle picked the perfect team to play out a “prove-it” deal on. He flourished under Alvin Gentry’s run-and-gun scheme as a bruising small-ball center who excelled in transition. Averaging a career-high 30.6 minutes per game, Randle cruised his way to a career-high 21.4 points per game.
He is also developing a nice track record of consistency — despite missing six games with a minor ankle sprain — this was his fourth season playing 73 or more games. The rest of his missed games were due to rest. Other than a freak accident in his first career game that robbed him of his first season, Randle has been a steady points, rebounds and field goal percentage contributor worth taking in the top-75.Elfrid Payton
ADP: 195/120 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 195/218 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 90/134 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 42
2018-19 averages: 42 G | 29.8 MP | 10.6 PTS | 0.8 3PM | 5.2 REB | 7.6 AST | 1.0 STL | 0.4 BLK | 2.7 TOV | .434 FG% | .743 FT%
When he signed in New Orleans, Elfrid Payton was in need of some positive momentum after an underwhelming four seasons with the Orlando Magic that ended up with him being traded to Phoenix. A Louisiana native, he was an excellent fit on paper for Alvin Gentry’s offensive approach.
Unfortunately, Payton only played 42 games which completely derailed his homecoming. It was a plethora of nagging injuries like a couple of ankle sprains and a broken pinky finger that needed surgery and caused him to miss six weeks. Still, he was able to be very productive when he had his chances and put up several big performances for New Orleans throughout the season. Payton proved to be a capable triple-double threat every night, notching six on the season.
Depending on how his free agency shakes out, that well-rounded statistical profile is what makes him worth a look in the top-120 of drafts. If he can stay on the court he might prove to be a nice return on investment.E’Twaun Moore
ADP: NA/146 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 223/216 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 160/182 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 53
2018-19 averages: 53 G | 27.6 MP | 11.9 PTS | 1.4 3PM | 2.4 REB | 1.9 AST | 0.8 STL | 0.2 BLK | 1.1 TOV | .481 FG% | .763 FT%
At his best, E’Twaun Moore is an excellent source of efficient points and threes. For the first month or so of the season he was just that as he flirted with top 85-100 value as the Pelicans got off to a surprisingly strong start.
As was the case with many on this team, the injury bug bit Moore hard and he ended up logging less than 60 games for the fourth time in his eight-year career as he suffered several leg injuries, including a recurrent left quad contusion. It’s fair to be concerned about Moore from an injury standpoint as well as a lack of consistency.
He is an example of someone whose value comes and goes with their hot streaks, frequently relying on unsustainably high shooting percentages to buoy his stretches of value.
Leave Moore off your draft list except for deep leagues where you need some cheap 3-point shooting.Darius Miller
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 203/198 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 240/233 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 69
2018-19 averages: 69 G | 25.5 MP | 8.2 PTS | 1.9 3PM | 1.8 REB | 2.1 AST | 0.6 STL | 0.3 BLK | 0.9 TOV | .390 FG% | .789 FT%
Darius Miller filled a role for the Pelicans all season long as a shooting wing off the bench for a team sorely lacking depth in that area. While his consistency in appearing in 69 games and averaging a career-high 25.5 minutes per game was noteworthy, his overall production left much to be desired.
Averaging under 40% shooting on over seven field goal attempts per game is quite a drain on your efficiency. The 1.9 threes don’t do a whole lot to justify that cost either.
At the end of the day, Miller was seeing an inflated workload due to the Pelicans’ lack of wings (no pun intended) and still failed to make a big impact.Cheick Diallo
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 226/208 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 241/226 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 64
2018-19 averages: 64 G | 14.0 MP | 6.0 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 5.2 REB | 0.5 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.5 BLK | 0.8 TOV | .620 FG% | .746 FT%
Appearing in a career-high 64 games and averaging a career-high 14 minutes per game made the 2018-2019 season a memorable one for Cheick Diallo. The 22-year-old big man shows a lot of promise as an efficient scoring, rebounding and defensive fantasy big man who won’t kill you from the charity stripe.
It would’ve been nice to see Diallo take the starting power forward or center position when Anthony Davis began missing significant time due to injuries and trade demands, but it’s important to remember how young he is despite being in the league for three seasons now. Diallo figures to be in the mix for minutes in the frontcourt in New Orleans next season, but if he’s worth drafting for fantasy will depend on what direction the Pelicans decide to go over the summer.Stanley Johnson
ADP: NA/NA(ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 234/246 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 262/284 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 66
2018-19 averages: 66 G | 18.3 MP | 6.9 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 3.3 REB | 1.3 AST | 0.9 STL | 0.2 BLK | 1.2 TOV | .389 FG% | .781 FT%
Stanley Johnson came into the league with high expectations as the eighth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Four seasons later, he was included in a three-team deal to New Orleans as a means to get some extra draft picks to the Pelicans in exchange for shipping out the expiring Nikola Mirotic.
Johnson only appeared in 18 games for the Pelicans, failing to make much of an impact. He shows potential on the defensive end of the court, specifically in the steals category, but will need to learn how to become a consistent scoring threat before he can even sniff fantasy relevance. It will be interesting to see which team is willing to gamble on their ability to develop Johnson into a good NBA role player as he heads into restricted free agency.Jahlil Okafor
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 250/243 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 249/246 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 59
2018-19 averages: 59 G | 15.8 MP | 8.2 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 4.7 REB | 0.7 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.7 BLK | 0.9 TOV | .586 FG% | .663 FT%
Jahlil Okafor deserves credit for staying persistent. After being drafted third overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, he watched the NBA move away from the post-up style of play he thrived with in college toward a perimeter-focused attack. After battling injuries and ineffectiveness for most of his career, Okafor went back to the drawing board last offseason and transformed his body to be leaner, quicker and more streamlined.
His season numbers won’t jump off the page at you, but there was a stretch in late January/early February where Okafor averaged 18.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. It should also be mentioned that this surge came during the direct aftermath of the drama surrounding Davis and his trade demand. Okafor deserves extra credit for stepping up for his team in a time of extreme need.
The Pelicans could certainly bring Okafor and his team-friendly contract back for another year as they enjoy the security of a quality backup big man with upside. Keep an eye on the playing time situation and if he’s ever getting 25 or more minutes per game he could be effective in a few categories for you.Kenrich Williams
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 264/249 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 208/196 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 46
2018-19 averages: 46 G | 23.5 MP | 6.1 PTS | 1.1 3PM | 4.8 REB | 1.8 AST | 1.0 STL | 0.4 BLK | 0.8 TOV | .384 FG% | .684 FT%
One of the main beneficiaries of the void left by Anthony Davis, Kenrich Williams posted top-120 numbers from January 24 through the end of the season. Playing nearly 30 minutes per game during that stretch, he proved to be a great source of rebounds and defensive stats with complementary levels of threes and points.
The question for Williams is will the playing time be there on a team that’s competing to make the playoffs instead of one playing for ping pong balls like the Pelicans last season.Frank Jackson
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 303/307 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 365/373 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 61
2018-19 averages: 61 G | 19.2 MP | 8.1 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 2.2 REB | 1.1 AST | 0.4 STL | 0.0 BLK | 0.8 TOV | .433 FG% | .740 FT%
Frank Jackson was thrust into a much larger role than expected in his rookie season, with the Elfird Payton injury offering him the opportunity to average 19.2 minutes per game across 61 games. Before being shut down for the season because of a concussion, Jackson enjoyed a ten-game streak of averaging over 17 points per game from March 6 – March 26.
The young point guard has plenty of untapped potential but isn’t yet a factor in fantasy redraft leagues. Still, this season marked major progress after he sat out his entire rookie season with a foot injury.Ian Clark
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 305/316 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 359/381 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 60
2018-19 averages: 60 G | 16.2 MP | 6.7 PTS | 1.1 3PM | 1.5 REB | 1.6 AST | 0.4 STL | 0.1 BLK | 1.0 TOV | .394 FG% | .892 FT%
Despite the injury to Elfrid Payton, Ian Clark was never able to really break through this season often being outplayed by rookie Frank Jackson. Now entering his seventh season at 28 years old, it appears Clark offers little to a fantasy roster beyond some 3-point streaming.
Clark is a free agent this offseason and unless he goes to a team with virtually no guard depth it’s hard to imagine him being a fantasy factor next season.Solomon Hill
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 330/328 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 342/350 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 44
2018-19 averages: 44 G | 20.0 MP | 4.3 PTS | 0.7 3PM | 3.0 REB | 1.3 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.3 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .382 FG% | .719 FT%
The best thing about the four-year, $48 million contract that Solomon Hill signed in the summer of 2016 is that it only has one year left. Maybe the Pelicans can include him in a larger trade as an expiring contract, because the sad truth is Hill provides almost nothing of value to either a real-life NBA team or a fantasy basketball team.Christian Wood
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 388/386 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 288/283 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 21
2018-19 averages: 21 G | 11.9 MP | 8.2 PTS | 0.4 3PM | 4.0 REB | 0.4 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.5 BLK | 0.8 TOV | .521 FG% | .732 FT%
After spending much of the season toiling away on the Milwaukee bench before eventually being waived, Christian Wood was claimed off waivers by the Pelicans on March 20 and proceeded to average 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on 53% shooting. He quickly earned an allotment of 23.6 minutes per game during this stretch, almost instantly gaining Alvin Gentry’s trust.
Wood’s dominant run in the G-League suggests that he’s ready for minutes at the next level, and he’s a name worth filing away in deep leagues on the off chance that he lands with a team that will give him playing time.Dairis Bertans
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 485/481 (8/9-cat) | Per-
Game Value: 502/492 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 12
2018-19 averages: 12 G | 13.9 MP | 2.8 PTS | 0.8 3PM | 0.8 REB | 0.8 AST | 0.1 STL | 0.0 BLK | 0.2 TOV | .255 FG% | .000 FT%
Dairis Bertans was essentially a lotto ticket for the 2019 Pels. In desperate need of some wing depth and shooting, New Orleans signed the 29-year-old swingman from Olimpia Milano in Italy. Predictably, Bertans didn’t make much of an impression and it appears unlikely he will have his option picked up next season.
The doctor’s orders became a lot more obvious after the Pelicans won the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery – PICK ZION. It is not very often that a prospect with this level of hype and fan intrigue comes through the draft and David Griffin and the new Pelicans regime don’t need to overthink this one. The timing of their lottery luck couldn’t be better as the team is also preparing to move on from the Anthony Davis era on the heels of his trade demand.
While there have been whispers of an attempt to make peace with Davis, the Pelicans need to be decisive if there are no immediate indications that he will be changing his mind. The potential stakes of a Davis trade are high and the importance of that return and how it will mesh with the pieces already in place is the reason Griffin was hired. It will serve as his first true test as the Pelicans’ President of Basketball Operations.
Besides the organizational overhaul – which is also just what the doctor ordered – this team could use some more talent and shooting on the wings and a long-term replacement at the PF/C spot in the void left by Davis.
June 19, 2019, 2:44 pmDavid Vanterpool - Team - Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have hired David Vanterpool as an assistant coach.
Vanterpool was a popular name on the interview circuit this summer but ultimately did not land a head coaching job. An assistant with Portland for the last seven seasons, one would expect that Vanterpool's responsibilities will increase in Minnesota.
Source: Timberwolves PR on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 2:41 pmAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer is reporting that the Mavs, Lakers and Clippers have all shown interest in Al Horford, with some of O'Connor's sources indicating that the Mavs are the frontrunners.
Horford was expected to re-sign with the Celtics but the two didn't appear to be aligned in what they wanted moving forward, and rumors have Horford set to cash in on a four-year deal worth more than $100 million. He is an extremely malleable player who does almost everything at a high level, and his availability drastically changes the open market. Horford is a fit on just about any team build and should have no problem commanding a big offer come June 30. He'd be a fantastic pickup for any of the three teams mentioned, and his fit in Dallas next to two young, do-it-all stars would be great entertainment.
Source: The Ringer
June 19, 2019, 1:59 pmJa Morant - G - College
Ja Morant says he’s pain-free after undergoing a surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee, and also expects to play in Summer League.
Morant is widely expected to be taken by the Grizzlies at No. 2 overall in Thursday’s draft, and Wednesday’s trade of Mike Conley completely clears the runway for Morant to play a ton right out of the gates. Delon Wright will also be around and is good enough to push Morant for minutes to an extent, but the Grizzlies figure to spend most of the season exploring a Morant – Jaren Jackson Jr. pairing and figuring out what works around that. Barring a draft night surprise, Morant looks like one of the safer rookies to project in terms of sheer opportunity. There was some worry that his knee procedure would put him behind the eight ball but it no longer seems like that will be the case.
Source: Ben Golliver on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 1:33 pmKyle Korver - G/F - Memphis Grizzlies
Kyle Korver, who will be traded to the Grizzlies when they complete Wednesday's Mike Conley deal, is expected to play one more season, and possibly another beyond that per Marc Stein.
Korver, 38, was said to be mulling retirement but it looks as though he's going to give it another crack. A notorious fitness nut, Korver keeps himself in great shape and relies on a skill that hasn't degraded at all with age. His place on a rebuilding team is questionable, however, and it would be surprising if he spent the entire season in Memphis. Consider him the same 3-point specialist he always is.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 1:29 pmJae Crowder - F - Memphis Grizzlies
Jae Crowder is headed to the Grizzlies as soon as Wednesday's Mike Conley trade is officially completed.
Crowder reasserted himself as a quality stretch four last season after he struggled in his pit stop with Cleveland. He might not hold much utility on a squad that's rebuilding, and Crowder's best shot at fantasy value might be getting re-routed to another team. Regardless, Crowder would only be a late-round guy in 9-cat leagues at best, and he'll likely settle in as a streamer for threes, rebounds and the occasional steal. If he does play out the year in Memphis, he figures to impact the minutes of Kyle Anderson and Avery Bradley.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 1:24 pmGrayson Allen - G - Memphis Grizzlies
Grayson Allen is part of Wednesday's Mike Conley trade and will be headed to the Grizzlies when the deal is completed.
Allen only appeared in 37 games for the Jazz, though he did end up dropping 40 points in the season finale when Utah rested most of its players. On a rebuilding team, Allen is a lock to play more, but whether he becomes more than a deep-league points and threes guy is up for debate.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 11:56 amMike Conley - G - Utah Jazz
The Grizzlies are trading franchise star Mike Conley Jr. to the Jazz for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, the 23rd pick in Thursday's Draft and a future protected first-round pick.
The Jazz were considered the frontrunner to trade for Conley in the last few days and they are able to execute a deal that upgrades their point guard position without selling the farm. It’s now obvious that the Grizzlies will be entering a rebuilding period and Ja Morant seems the obvious choice to replace Conley.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 11:39 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
ESPN’s Jay Williams, a Kevin Durant friend and a partner with KD’s manager, Rich Kleiman, told the NY Post that it’s too early for the Warriors superstar to figure out what the injury means for his free-agent future.
Williams has spoken with Durant since the devastating injury as he is still trying to deal with the post-surgery period. KD has until June 29th, the day before free-agency courting period, to opt out of the final season of his pact. Even though he will miss next season, he is likely to get a max deal either with the Warriors or elsewhere. The Knicks are still interested, believing that if there’s any player who can come back from this debilitating injury, it is Durant, who will be 32 to start the 2020-21 campaign.
Source: NY Post
June 19, 2019, 11:33 amMichael Kidd-Gilchrist - F - Charlotte Hornets
Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has opted into his $13M player option for the 2019-20 season.
Ugh! This comes a week after Marvin Williams exercised his $15 million player option putting the Hornets in a tough financial situation with at least $98 million already on the books for next year. It’s highly unlikely that MKG would have commanded a salary anywhere close to $10 million per year in an open market so this was a no brainer for him. Kidd-Gilchrist is only 25 years old and is coming off a couple seasons where he struggled with injuries while the lack of a reliable jumper makes it hard for him to have value in today’s space and pace offense.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
June 19, 2019, 11:16 amKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks All-Star forward Khris Middleton is declining his $13M player option and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Middleton is expected to command a five-year max contract but he and the Bucks are planning to work together toward a new long-term deal. Middleton recently bought a new property in Milwaukee and Giannis has openly vouched for his teammate so we’d be shocked if the two parties don’t end up agreeing on a new deal. There will be plenty of suitors that can only offer him a four-year max deal, with the Lakers rumored to be one of them.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter