Recent NBA Player News

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.

What It Means:

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.

Source: HoopsHype

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.

What It Means:

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.

Source: ESPN

Cavaliers targeting Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis a "primary target", according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

What It Means:

As Cleveland looks to unload a disgruntled Kyrie Irving, the Knicks have emerged as a possible destination. However, it appears that the Cavaliers are more interested in bringing on Porzingis than they are Carmelo Anthony. After all, the 22-year-old is set to make just $4.5 million compared to Anthony's $26.2 salary for 2017-18.

With averages of 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, Porzingis' 0.3 nERD ranked third on the Knicks and was much better than Anthony's mark of -0.7. On the other hand, it is far worse than Irving's 8.2 nERD this past season.

Pistons willing to go into tax for Avery Bradley

The Detroit Pistons are willing to go into the luxury tax to retain guard Avery Bradley, per head coach Stan Van Gundy.

What It Means:

As Detroit's coach and President of Basketball Operations, you have to think that Van Gundy is entirely in tune with what ownership is looking to do moving forward. Assuming that's the case, the Pistons would likely offer Bradley a max deal in free agency next season. Such a deal would presumably put the Pistons over the projected tax line ($123 million) if they were to retain all their current assets.

In 2016-17, Bradley averaged a career-high 16.3 points per game on 46.3% shooting and 39% from deep. His -1.4 nERD represented the third-best season of his career but ranked 133rd of all NBA guards a year ago.

Source: NBA.com

Pistons' Andre Drummond has lost 20 pounds this offseason

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has lost 20 pounds since the end of the 2016-17 season, according to The Vertical's Michael Lee.

What It Means:

Just a week ago, Drummond acknowledged that he did not live up to the expectations of his new contract extension. However, it looks like the big man's doing all he can do better himself this offseason. He's undergone surgery to repair a sinus issue that has prevented him from playing for longer periods of time and keeping weight off. Now that the problem has been rectified, Drummond says that he's in better shape and will look to improve his range in 2017-18.

Drummond's 29.7 minutes per game were the lowest since his rookie year. In addition, he shot just 38.6% from the free throw line and 2-of-7 from three in 2016-17. Nonetheless, his 3.5 nERD was second-best on the team and 29th among all centers.

Pistons' Boban Marjanovic to see more run in 2017-18

Detroit Pistons center Boban Marjanovic is expected to see expanded minutes in the 2017-18 season, according to head coach Stan Van Gundy.

What It Means:

Speaking to the media on Friday, Van Gundy said that he envisions Marjanovic and Jon Leuer as a "two-headed monster" behind starting center Andre Drummond. While Leuer is expected to play most of his minutes from the four spot, Marjanovic will stay in the lineup for longer periods of time, as Van Gundy vows to leave him compete against smaller lineups.

With Aron Baynes gone, Marjanovic should exceed 293 minutes and the 8.4 per game he averaged a year ago. In that limited time, the 7'3" Serbian put together a 2.4 nERD, which ranked 40th of 119 center-eligible players in numberFire's database.

Source: NBA.com

Knicks pick up Kristaps Porzingis' 2018-19 team option

The New York Knicks have officially picked up forward Kristaps Porzingis' team option for the 2018-19 season, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

What It Means:

After two productive seasons in New York, the 22-year-old Porzingis has become the face of the Knicks' franchise moving forward. He is now under contract for 2017 and 2018, in which he'll make $4.5 million and $5.7 million in consecutive seasons. It's very important that the Knicks keep him locked down with Carmelo Anthony likely playing elsewhere by the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

This past season, in 66 games, Porzingis averaged 18.1 points per game on 45% shooting from the floor and 35.7% from three-point land. His 0.3 nERD was third on the team and 80th of 275 NBA forwards.

Knicks ask Carmelo Anthony to expand "wish list"

The New York Knicks have asked forward Carmelo Anthony to expand his "wish list" of team's he'd be willing to join in a trade, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

What It Means:

It's become quite apparent that Anthony would like to be moved to the Houston Rockets, but the Knicks aren't keen on the idea of adding Ryan Anderson, who would need to go to New York to ensure enough cap space for Anthony in Houston. The reports suggests that the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers are among those teams waiting for Anthony to expand his list.

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.

Oklahoma City's Patrick Patterson (knee) undergoes successful surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Patrick Patterson has undergone successful surgery on his left knee.

What It Means:

Patterson's status for training camp seems to be up in the air, and he will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks, but it looks like he should be ready to go well before the season starts, barring any significant setbacks.

Patterson averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 triples in 24.6 minutes per game for Toronto last season. His 0.1 nERD on the year fell just inside the NBA's top-150 players.

Spurs' Tony Parker (quad) looking to return in four-to-five months

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is targeting a four-to-five month return as he makes his way back from a ruptured left quadriceps tendon.

What It Means:

According to News 4 SA's Jeff Garcia, Parker said that his injury is getting better and better. His new timetable would still land him around January, which was his initial target for a return to the floor. For the first two-plus months, look for Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills to pick up the slack for the Spurs.

In 2016-17, Parker's -0.6 nERD ranked just 12th on the team and 99th among all NBA guards while averaging 10.1 points and 4.5 assists in 25.2 minutes per game.

Knicks sign Michael Beasley to one-year deal

The New York Knicks have signed forward Michael Beasley to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

What It Means:

Beasley was the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, but has jumped around with five different teams since. He figures to spend some time at the three and four spots as he projects for a bench role in New York.

Last year, with the Milwaukee Bucks, Beasley averaged 9.4 points (on 53.2% shooting) in 16.7 minutes per game. His -0.2 nERD was seventh on the team and ranked 129th of 275 forwards in our database.

Grizzlies' Ben McLemore breaks bone in right foot

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ben McLemore underwent surgery to repair a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and will be sidelined for an estimated 12 weeks.

What It Means:

McLemore was playing in a pick-up game in Los Angeles when he landed on another player's foot and suffered the injury. He signed a two-year $10.7 million contract with the Grizzlies this summer in what could be his last chance at making a place for himself in the NBA. The former seventh overall pick should be back in action sometime in the first few weeks of the regular season.

McLemore had another poor season in 2016-17, averaging 8.1 points and 2.1 rebounds with a .507 effective field goal percentage. His nERD of -4.5 ranked him 460th in the league.

Clippers' Danilo Gallinari is expected back in September

Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari (thumb) is expected back on the court in 4-6 weeks.

What It Means:

Gallinari was originally ruled out 3-4 weeks, but this new timetable will get him back sometime in the month of September. That should him put his return right around the start of Clippers' training camp.

Gallinari's 6.1 nERD ranked 29th in the NBA in 2016-17, as he averaged 18.2 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field and 38.9% from three.

Free agent Gerald Henderson (hip) could miss entire 2017-18 season

Free agent guard Gerald Henderson is set to undergo hip surgery and could miss the entirety of the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

What It Means:

Henderson, who last played for the Philadelphia 76ers a year ago, has been bothered by a hip injury for quite some time. He has not ruled out a late-season return, but Henderson is more worried about landing a roster spot for the 2018-19 season. However, a team is unlikely to sign him until he proves his health is sustainable.

Last season, the now 30-year-old averaged 9.2 points on 42.4% shooting a year ago. His -3.0 nERD ranked 192nd of 245 NBA guards in our database.

Pelicans sign Ian Clark to one-year deal

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed Ian Clark to a one-year deal, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

What It Means:

A former member of the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors, Clark was originally seeking $8 million in free agency, but was forced to sign for just $1.6 million as the market dried up. Still, he brings outside shooting to a team ranked 19th in three-point percentage a year ago.

With a true shooting percentage of 57.5% in 2016-17, Clark would have ranked third on the Pelicans' team among players with at least 20 games played. His 0.1 nERD ranked 49th among all NBA guards.

Mavericks' Yogi Ferrell could play alongside Dennis Smith Jr.

Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell believes he and rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. could share the floor in the upcoming season.

What It Means:

Ferrell and Smith spent a lot of time on the floor together in the Las Vegas Summer League and had much success in doing so. As the team went 5-1 for the tournament, the team's backcourt duo averaged a combined 30.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.4 steals per game.

Ferrell, an undrafted free agent out of Indiana, averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in 36 contests with Dallas a year ago. And, of Mavericks to average a three per game, he ranked second on the team in knocking down 40.3% of his attempts from long range.

Source: NBA.com

Justise Winslow expects to be ready for Heat training camp

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow (torn rotator cuff) said that he's already been cleared for full contact and remains on track to be 100 percent for camp.

What It Means:

Winslow isn't scrimmaging just yet, but he is taking contact and says he has little to no pain in his shoulder. Even though the Heat have said they aren't committed to Winslow as the starting small forward, he is easily their most talented player at that position. If he can develop his offense and outside shooting more, Winslow has the ability to be a very good two-way player. He should return mid-round fantasy value in 2017-18 if he stays healthy.

Winslow was having a down year before the injury knocked him out. He averaged 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 35.6% from the field and posting a -19 net rating. His nERD of -3.0 ranked 418th in the league.

Clippers' Danilo Gallinari fractured thumb in EuroBasket scuffle

Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari suffered a fractured right hand after punching an opponent during a friendly EuroBasket contest on Sunday.

What It Means:

Although initial reports suggested a five-week absence, the LA Times is now reporting a three-to-four week timetable. There should be no concern about Gallinari's availability for training camp.

Gallinari's 6.1 nERD ranked 29th in the NBA in 2016-17, as he averaged 18.2 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field and 38.9% from three.

Ramon Sessions signs one-year deal with Knicks

The New York Knicks and point guard Ramon Sessions have agreed to a one-year, $2.3 deal, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

What It Means:

With the departure of Derrick Rose in free agency, the Knicks needed a veteran presence at the point guard spot. Sessions should fill that role nicely as he splits minutes with Ron Baker and helps with the development of rookie Frank Ntilikina.

In 2016-17, Sessions averaged 6.2 points and 2.6 assists in 16.2 minutes per game with the Charlotte Hornets. His -1.7 nERD ranked 147th of 245 NBA guards.

Heat offer Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow to Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving

The Miami Heat "are willing to part with (guard) Goran Dragic and (forward) Justise Winslow as centerpieces" in a trade for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

Wojnarowski cautions that, due to recent history between the two teams, a deal is unlikely "unless the Heat offered an overwhelming package." This deal will likely hinge on how the Cavaliers feel about Winslow, who played just 18 games due to injury during his sophomore campaign last season. In addition to Miami, Woj says the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks have also submitted formal offers for Irving.

Out of 486 players last season, Irving finished 23rd in numberFire's NBA Player Power Rankings with an 8.2 nERD, while Dragic was 43rd (5.1 nERD) and Winslow tied for 418th (-3.0 nERD).

Source: ESPN.com

JaVale McGee to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee has agreed to re-sign with the team, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com.

What It Means:

The Warriors keep another piece from their 2017 championship team for the title defense in 2018. McGee played productive minutes as a rim protector during the playoffs and will likely fill the same role he had last year, backing up Zaza Pachulia for the Dubs.

McGee averaged 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 9.6 minutes per game last season. He posted a 4.6 nERD rating, ranking him 46th out of 486 NBA players in 2016-17.

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas (hip) will not require surgery

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas will not have to undergo hip surgery this offseason, per Celtics' GM Danny Ainge.

What It Means:

Thomas aggravated his right hip injury in the Eastern Conference Finals, which cut his playoff run short, but after evaluations by multiple specialists it has been determined that he won't need to go under the knife.

Thomas averaged a career-high 28.9 points to go with 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per game while shooting a career-high .546 effective field goal percentage last season. His 16.3 nERD was good for first among Celtics players and sixth in the NBA.

Knicks' Carmelo Anthony still prefers Rockets as landing spot

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony still prefers to be moved to the Houston Rockets in a trade, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

What It Means:

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers head a list of other teams linked to Anthony and the Knicks in recent weeks. The thing is Anthony holds a no-trade clause, so unless he gives the go-ahead for a deal he's not going anywhere. With Houston being his top choice, it's likely that he ends up there or back in New York for the 2017-18 campaign.

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, averaged 22.4 points on 43.3% from the field in 2016-17. His -0.7 nERD ranked him 269th of 486 NBA players this past season.

Magic sign Arron Afflalo to one-year deal

The Orlando Magic and free agent guard Arron Afflalo have agreed to a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

What It Means:

Afflalo will return to Orlando, where he played two seasons in 2012-13 and 2013-14. At 31, Afflalo figures to bring a veteran presence to a young team full of players at his same position. Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross and Jonathan Simmons are all likely to play ahead of Afflalo while Mario Hezonja could be in for even less minutes in the upcoming season.

Last year in Sacramento, Afflalo produced 8.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game. He played just 61 games and earned a -3.9 nERD, which ranked 444th of 486 players in 2016-17.

Suns' Brandon Knight (torn ACL) likely out for season

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight suffered a torn ACL last week and is expected to miss the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

What It Means:

Knight suffered the injury in a pickup game last week in Miami. After undergoing surgery, a timetable will be set, but it looks like Knight could be out for the year. In his stead, Tyler Ulis figures to see more minutes while Devin Booker will be asked to shoulder more of the ball-handling and scoring load from the off-guard position.

In 2016-17, Knight averaged 11.0 points per game on 39.8% shooting from the field. His -4.4 nERD ranked just 220th of 245 NBA guards.

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