Recent NBA Player News
Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter heading to the Knicks in Melo deal
The New York Knicks have acquired center Enes Kanter as part of a deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, per Arian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Knicks also acquired Doug McDermott and an undisclosed draft pick in the deal, which Anthony has waived his no-trade clause for and is expected to be made official on Monday.
Kanter had a strong 2016-17 season, averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in only 21.3 minutes per game. His 5.9 nERD was tied for 33rd in the NBA.
Thunder acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks
The Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed on a deal that sends Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Knicks will receive Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick in exchange for Melo, who has agreed to waive his no-trade clause for this one.
Anthony averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 34.3 minutes per game in the 2016-17 season. His -0.7 nERD ranked only 163rd among 275 forwards. The Thunder finished 8th in the NBA with a 56.1 nERD as a team.
Knicks hope to trade Carmelo Anthony by Monday
The New York Knicks are hoping to trade Carmelo Anthony to either the Oklahoma City Thunder or Cleveland Cavaliers by Monday, per NBA.com's David Aldridge.
The Knicks have reportedly expressed interest in Tristan Thompson, though the Cvas are not interested in moving him. A deal with the Thunder is expected to include Enes Kanter and his large contract.
In 74 starts, Anthony managed averages of 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists across 34.3 minutes per game. However, his -0.7 nERD wasn't all that awe-inspiring as he ranked 163rd of 275 forwards in the 2016-17 season.
76ers' Ben Simmons (foot) expected to be without restrictions in rookie season
Philadelphia 76ers president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said that he does not expect forward Ben Simmons to be limited this season, reports 94WIP's Jon Johnson.
Simmons said out all of last season after suffering a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot back in late September. The former number-one overall pick recently said that he's "feeling great" while Colangelo adds that he's been "dominating the gym" in 5-on-5 drills. It was a possibility that Simmons would see a restriction similar to the one we saw for Joel Embiid to begin last season, but it's been nearly a full year now since Simmons' season-ending injury. He's poised to be the team's primary creator, whether he's labeled a point guard or not.
Now 21 years old, Simmons, in his one year at LSU, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists across 34.9 minutes a game. He'll be a welcome sight for 76ers fans, who saw their team 23rd in our power rankings a year ago.
Wizards' Markieff Morris (sports hernia) to undergo surgery on Friday
Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris is expected to undergo sports hernia surgery on Friday, according to the Washington Post's Candace Buckner.
Morris likely developed the injury late in the summer after going through his offseason program, but due to the birth of his daughter and a trial for felony assault charges, Morris delayed the surgery until this week. Morris' timetable is unknown, but his recovery will probably keep him out of training camp and maybe even prevent him from getting any playing time in the preseason.
In 2017, Morris averaged 14.0 points and a career-high 6.5 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game. His -1.6 nERD was a big improvement from the previous season yet ranked him just 206th of 275 forwards in our NBA database.
Andrew Bogut agrees to one-year deal with Lakers
Free agent center Andrew Bogut has agreed to a one-year deal $2.3 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, per Shams Charania of The Vertical.
The one-year deal keeps the Lakers flexible for the 2018 offseason when LeBron James and Paul George will be available. Bogut will assumingly be Brook Lopez's backup in the upcoming season if he stays healthy. The 32-year-old big man played only 27 games between the Dallas MAvericks and Cleveland Cavaliers last season.
Bogut averaged 2.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 21.6 minutes per game last season.
Brandon Rush signs deal with Bucks
Guard Brandon Rush's agent announced that his client has signed a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
There were no numbers released in the tweet, but it's likely for one year and close to the veteran minimum. He will serve as wing depth behind Khris Middleton and Tony Snell, and will only have fantasy relevance if one or both of those guys miss time.
Rush posted averages of 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists over 21.9 minutes per game. He owned a -3.7 nERD, which ranked him 440th in the NBA in 2016-17'.
Mason Plumlee agrees to three-year deal with Nuggets
Denver Nuggets have re-signed forward/center Mason Plumlee to a three-year, $41 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Nuggets fully intended to bring back Plumlee after trading a first-round pick and Jusuf Nurkic for him at the deadline this year, but many are surprised at the dollar amount. After acquiring Paul Millsap in free agency, Plumlee will be limited to a backup role, seeing most of his minutes behind Nikola Jokic.
Plumlee averaged 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 23.4 minutes per game while in a Nuggets uniform last season.
Tony Allen signing a one-year deal with New Orleans
Free agent guard/forward Tony Allen is finalizing a one-year deal to join the New Orleans Pelicans, per Shams Charania ot The Vertical.
With the Pelicans in desperate need for wings, due to injuries, Allen may be the team's starting forward on opening day. A defensive specialist, the 35-year-old will likely play around 25 minutes per game in 2017-18.
Allen averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 27.0 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies last season.
Chicago Bulls finalizing deal for Quincy Pondexter
The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal to receive a second-round draft pick along with forward Quincy Pondexter from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.
With the Bulls tanking and the Pelicans looking to free up their roster and some cap room, the deal is a win-win for both sides. Pondexter last saw NBA action in April of 2015 as he has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. He is scheduled to make 3.8 million in 2017-18, the last year of a 4-year contract he signed with the Pels in 2014.
Pondexter has career averages of 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 18.1 minutes per game during his five-year NBA career.
Pelicans' Frank Jackson suffers broken right foot
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Frank Jackson broke his right foot and will undergo surgery on Friday.
Jackson had a stress fracture in his right foot earlier this year and had surgery in May. The rookie will now undergo his second surgery in less than four months and will miss most, if not all of training camp, and likely a good portion of the first month or two of the season.
Jackson averaged 10.9 points, 25 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 24.9 minutes per game in his one-and-only college season with the Duke Blue Devils in 2016-17. He was selected with the first pick of the second round (31 overall) in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Kings' Zach Randolph charged with two misdemeanors following arrest
Sacramento Kings power forward Zach Randolph was charged with misdemeanor possession and misdemeanor resisting arrest after an August 9th arrest in Los Angeles.
Randolph was initially arrested for felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell, but prosecutors have reduced the charges down to the two misdemeanors. If convicted, Randolph could face a maximum of one year in prison but he's unlikely to see a jail cell with it being his first offense. It's more likely that Z-Bo is put on probation and ordered to do some type of community service. That's not the look the front office wanted the veteran to bring to a rebuilding Kings team. If Randolph faces any type of suspension for his actions, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein should see an increase in minutes to start the season.
Randolph signed a 2-year deal worth $24 million this summer. At 36 years old, he brings his 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game to a team that finished 25th in our power rankings a year ago.
Lakers fined $500,000 for violating NBA's anti-tampering rules
The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rules, per The Vertical's Shams Charania.
According to the NBA's statement on the matter, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka expressed his interest in the (then) Indiana Pacers' Paul George to George's agent while he was still under contract with Indiana. It didn't help that Magic Johnson, the team's new President of Basketball Operations, also hinted toward a pursuit of George in a TV appearance back in April. However, ESPN's Bobby Marks says that the investigation did not reveal that there was any agreement between George and the Lakers that would lead to George signing with the team in 2018.
The $500,000 penalty is the 2nd-largest tampering fine in league history and is in the top-15 all-time in NBA history.
Heat's Justise Winslow says shoulder is 100%
Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow said that his shoulder is "100 percent" after undergoing surgery on his torn rotator cuff back in January.
Having already started full-contact drills, let this serve as confirmation that Winslow will be ready for training camp next month. And while the Heat insist that Winslow must earn his starting job back, he should be the team's starting small forward over Rodney McGruder this season.
In a shortened 2016-17 season, Winslow averaged 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in 18 contests. His -3.0 nERD was a marginal improvement on his 2015-16 mark and the 21-year-old will look to do the same now that he's returned to health.
Bulls' Cameron Payne (foot) to undergo surgery next week
Chicago Bulls point guard Cameron Payne is set to undergo surgery to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his right foot, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.
The surgery is to correct the same bone that Payne broke in the 2015-16 when with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He will go under the knife on September 6th and could be sidelined for more than two months. The injury happened back on July 18 but the Bulls hoped that six weeks of rest would resolve the issue. With Payne out until late-November or maybe even December, Kris Dunn and Jerian Grant will get a lot of run in the Chicago backcourt.
In just 31 games a year ago, Payne averaged just 5.2 points per game on 33.2% shooting. His -2.8 nERD ranked 188th of all NBA guards.
Celtics to throw in second-round pick to finalize Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade with Cavs
After Isaiah Thomas' physical held up the blockbuster deal sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, the two teams have agreed to a final version of the trade, as Boston will send an additional 2020 second-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The original deal agreed upon was Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick via the Brooklyn Nets. After some hesitation about Thomas' hip, the Cavs will pick up an extra second-rounder via the Miami Heat to seal the deal.
Irving scored a career-high 25.2 points in 2016-17 while posting a 30.8% usage rate for Cleveland. He ranked 23rd, out of 486 NBA players last season, with an 8.2 nERD rating.
Bucks set to offer trade package in exchange for Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving
The Milwaukee Bucks could reportedly offer a trade package for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving if the Cavaliers' proposed trade with the Boston Celtics falls through.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Bucks would offer guards Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon for the Cavaliers' star point guard. While that's a respectable package, it would definitely be a downgrade from Cleveland's haul in their pending deal with Boston.
While Irving posted an 8.2 nERD with 25.2 points per game a year ago, Middleton and Brogdon earned nERD scores of -0.6 and -0.2, respectively, with 24.9 points per game between them. Brogdon earned the league's Rookie of the Year award in his first NBA season.
Cavaliers' Derrick Rose (knee) says 'no doubt' he'll be ready for regular season
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose said that there is no doubt that he'll be ready for the start of the 2017-18 season.
In April, Rose underwent an arthroscopy for a meniscus tear in his left knee. His timetable was set at three-to-six weeks, so Rose is confirming what many already expected. That's about all the certainty there is with Cleveland's point guard situation, though. If the Kyrie Irving trade goes through, Rose might be asked to log heavy minutes to start the season if Isaiah Thomas (hip) isn't ready for the start of the season.
In 2016-17, Rose's -2.9 nERD was his best since 2013-14 but still ranked 416th in the league and 190th of the 245 guards in our NBA database. If he's forced to start any games, that's a negative for the Cavaliers.
Ante Zizic part of the package going to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Ante Zizic, guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick in exchange for point guard Kyrie Irving.
The 20-year-old Croatian big man was likely included in the blockbuster trade to make the numbers work. Zizic struggled in summer league and probably will spend the entire 2017-18 season in the G-league.
Zizic was a 2016 first-round pick (23rd overall) but has yet to appear in an NBA game.
Jae Crowder sent to Cleveland as part of Kyrie Irving deal
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Jae Crowder, along with guard Isaiah Thomas, center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick from the Boston Celtics in exchange for point guard Kyrie Irving.
Crowder is a nice get in the package for Cleveland as he has a team-friendly contract over the next three seasons and is one of the best young defensive wings in the NBA. His ability to play multiple positions will help the Cavs' flexibility as they make one more run at a championship before LeBron James' expected departure in the summer of 2018.
Crowder scored 13.9 points with 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and 2.2 three-pointers per game in 2016-17. He posted a 4.3 nERD rating, ranking him 50th among the 486 NBA players last season.
Isaiah Thomas traded from Boston to the Cavaliers
Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas is heading the the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a four-player trade on Tuesday.
Thomas has been packaged with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first round pick in exchange for Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving.
Thomas turned in the sixth-most nERD among NBA players this year, with 16.3. The six-year veteran had career-highs in Effective Field Goal rate (.546) and points per game (28.9) while playing 33.8 minutes per game
Cleveland's Kyrie Irving traded to the Boston Celtics
The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick.
Irving finally gets his wish to be out from under LeBron James' shadow in Cleveland as he joins the Cavs' biggest competition in the Eastern Conference in Boston. Now Kyrie will get to be the leading man with the Celtics while maintaining a solid supporting cast with former All-Stars Gordon Heyward and Al Horford remaining in Boston.
Irving scored a career-high 25.2 points in 2016-17 while posting a 30.8% usage rate for Cleveland. He ranked 23rd, out of 486 NBA players last season, with an 8.2 nERD rating.
Cavaliers, Celtics in 'serious talks' about a Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly nearing completion on a deal that would send point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and draft picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Wojnarowski says there are still some details to work out, but with their surplus of draft picks, the Celtics can offer the Cavaliers the most attractive package that allows them to remain competitive in 2017 while also preparing for a likely rebuild next summer. Irving's fantasy value figures to remain relatively constant in Boston, while Thomas' outlook takes a significant hit playing alongside James in Cleveland.
Out of 486 players last season, Irving finished 23rd in numberFire's NBA Player Power Rankings with an 8.2 nERD while Thomas was 6th (16.3 nERD).
Utah's Rudy Gobert focused on offensive improvement this offseason
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is focused on improving his post and mid-range games during the offseason.
In addition to being more efficient in those areas, Gobert has been improving his lower body strength and quickness. This all comes after Gordon Hayward's departure in free agency, which will force the Jazz to replace his offensive production one way or another.
In 2016-17, 14.4% of Gobert's shot attempts came from 3-to-10 feet while he made just 27.8% of those shots. Still, his 17.8 nERD ranked second in the NBA and first among centers, so will be interesting to see if Gobert's improvements can make him even better next season.
Bulls, Dwyane Wade expected to reach buyout
The Chicago Bulls and guard Dwyane Wade are expected to reach a buyout agreement in the next few months.
Coach Fred Hoiberg previously said that he doesn't expect Wade to be bought out during the summer, but that doesn't prevent the two sides from reaching an agreement early on this season. It would make sense given the Bulls' move toward a rebuild.
In 2016-17, Wade's -0.7 nERD ranked 8th on the team despite averaging 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for Chicago.
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