San Antonio Spurs – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-03T20:31:59Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Embiid, Robinson, Harris, Barton, Mills]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167367 2020-08-01T13:07:52Z 2020-08-01T01:41:06Z Joel Embiid missed the Sixers’ last two scrimmage games due to right calf tightness. However, he’s expected to play on Saturday in the team’s seeding opener against the Pacers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Embiid suffered the calf injury during a July 24 scrimmage against the Grizzlies and played just 13 minutes. He also battled injuries prior to the stoppage of play in March. He missed nine games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and sat out five others with a left shoulder sprain, Pompey notes.

The Sixers can improve their playoff seeding during the next eight games. They are tied for fifth place in the East with Indiana at 39-26.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III is doubtful to play on Saturday, Pompey notes in the same story. He has a left hip pointer, which he suffered during a scrimmage against the Thunder on Sunday.
  • The Nuggets will go without at least two key players in their seeding opener on Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. Guard Gary Harris has a right hip muscle strain while Will Barton is dealing with right knee soreness. Reserve big man Vlatko Cancar (left foot fracture) will also miss the game. Starting point guard Jamal Murray is questionable duo to left hamstring tightness.
  • Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills didn’t play in the team’s first game in Orlando but it wasn’t injury-related, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk tweets. Coach Gregg Popovich simply wanted to use his younger guards more extensively. Shooting guard Bryn Forbes‘ absence was injury-related — he’s dealing with a sore right quad.
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Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Forbes To Miss First Game Of Restart; DeRozan, Pop May Return To Spurs]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167268 2020-07-31T03:04:52Z 2020-07-31T02:13:23Z
  • Spurs starting shooting guard Bryn Forbes will miss the team’s first seeding game in the league’s Disney World restart as he battles a sore right quad, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).
  • Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News wonders if, thanks in part to the Spurs‘ inclusion in the Orlando restart, star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and longtime head coach Gregg Popovich might remain with the team beyond this season. DeRozan, 30, can opt out of the 2020/21 season, the last season in the five-year, $139MM contract he signed with the team that drafted him, the Raptors, in 2016. Popovich, 71, has coached the Spurs since 1996. The team has made six Finals appearances during his tenure, winning five.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Spurs Previewing Backcourt Of Future?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166879 2020-07-27T19:42:36Z 2020-07-27T19:42:36Z
  • With LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles sidelined for the summer, the Spurs are experimenting with some guard-heavy lineups, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. One unit, which features recent first-rounders Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker playing alongside each other, could be a preview of the club’s future backcourt, McDonald notes.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Popovich Rotates Assistants At Scrimmages]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166593 2020-07-25T12:37:06Z 2020-07-24T23:47:56Z
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is rotating his assistants to run the team during scrimmages against other clubs, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press tweets. Becky Hammon was the head coach for their Thursday scrimmage, Mitch Johnson will run the show on Saturday and Will Hardy will guide the team on Tuesday.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Keldon Johnson Eager To Show What He Can Do]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166169 2020-07-21T18:40:32Z 2020-07-21T01:41:55Z
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has stated he’s more interested in player development than securing a playoff spot in Orlando. That will benefit a player like 20-year-old rookie swingman Keldon Johnson, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News writes. “I just love the chance to get out there and show what I can do,” he said. The late first-round pick in the June 2019 draft averaged 7.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.3 SPG in the last four games before the hiatus.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[DeRozan Isn’t Dwelling On Potential Free Agency]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166175 2020-07-21T01:59:34Z 2020-07-20T23:41:05Z DeMar DeRozan could be one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market this offseason if he opts out of the final year of his contract. The veteran Spurs shooting guard didn’t tip his hand on Monday during a video press conference, saying he hasn’t been thinking about his situation, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News reports.

    DeRozan would have to leave approximately $27.7MM on the table to opt out. A report surfaced during the week play was halted in March that DeRozan intended to opt out unless he was able to reach an extension agreement.

    DeRozan said from the Orlando campus that he’s only focused on the league restart.

    “I haven’t thought about it,” DeRozan said. “With everything that’s going on, it’s hard to even know what tomorrow is going to bring, honestly. So, you’ve got to worry about the moment that you are in. I told myself that throughout this whole process, through everything, I am going to take it day by day.”

    Due to the financial issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s fair to assume that DeRozan might more inclined to stay put. Only a handful of teams will have significant salary cap space and most of those teams are in rebuilding mode.

    DeRozan, who turns 31 next month, is averaging 22.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 5.6 APG. He’s also shooting a career-high 52.6% from the field, though his impact beyond the arc is minimal — he’s only attempted 30 3-pointers, making eight of them.

    He signed a five-year, $139MM contract with Toronto in 2016 before being traded to San Antonio in 2018.

    The Spurs enter the seeding round four games behind Memphis, which currently holds the final Western Conference playoff spot. San Antonio won’t have its other star, LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder), in action in Orlando. Trey Lyles (appendectomy) is also out for the remainder of the season.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Popovich Focused On Developing Young Players]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165929 2020-07-18T15:56:49Z 2020-07-17T23:45:49Z The Spurs enter the NBA’s restart in 12th place in the Western Conference and coach Gregg Popovich has made it clear he’s more concerned with player development than a playoff run, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News reports. “For us in our specific situation, development is more important than anything,” Popovich said. “I’m not too concerned with trying to figure out how to match up with the Lakers or Clippers or Celtics or Raptors or Rockets or Nuggets or anybody else.” San Antonio’s postseason chances have already been dimmed by the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder) and Trey Lyles (appendicitis).

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Spurs’ Trey Lyles Out For Summer Due To Appendectomy]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165635 2020-07-16T00:03:29Z 2020-07-15T23:51:32Z The Spurs‘ frontcourt depth has taken another hit, with head coach Gregg Popovich announcing on Wednesday that power forward Trey Lyles will be sidelined for the summer due to appendicitis (link via Paul Garcia of Project Spurs). The club confirmed in a press release that Lyles underwent an appendectomy earlier today.

    San Antonio had already been missing its go-to big man, having ruled out LaMarcus Aldridge for the rest of the season after he underwent shoulder surgery. Lyles had been expected to take on a larger role with Aldridge on the shelf.

    Lyles, who signed with the Spurs last summer, averaged 6.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG on .446/.387/.733 shooting in 63 games (53 starts) this season. He played 20.2 minutes per game, while Aldridge averaged 33.1 MPG, so San Antonio will have plenty of minutes to make up in its frontcourt.

    As Garcia notes, the Spurs will now have to rely on the likes of Jakob Poeltl, Rudy Gay, Luka Samanic, Drew Eubanks, Chimezie Metu, and recently-signed big man Tyler Zeller up front. They’ll enter the restart four games back of the eighth-seeded Grizzlies. They’ll need to pass the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Kings in the standings to force a play-in tournament for the No. 8 spot.

    Meanwhile, Lyles is under contract for the 2020/21 season, but only $1MM of his $5.5MM salary is guaranteed. Although he isn’t necessarily a lock to be retained, that looks like a reasonably team-friendly price for a regular rotation player.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Tim Duncan Not With Spurs In Orlando]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165611 2020-07-15T18:51:08Z 2020-07-15T18:51:08Z
  • Spurs assistant coach Tim Duncan won’t be with the team in Orlando, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who tweets that Duncan is staying in San Antonio to help oversee LaMarcus Aldridge‘s rehab from shoulder surgery.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Community Shootaround: Western Conference Seeding]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165310 2020-07-13T18:10:24Z 2020-07-13T18:10:24Z As we detailed on Friday when we discussed the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, there will be an opportunity for teams to move up – or down – in the standings when play resumes on July 30.

    With eight “seeding games” on tap, teams are unlikely to make up five- or six-game deficits on the clubs ahead of them in the standings, but there’s a strong likelihood of a shake-up in instances where teams are only separated by a game or two.

    That’s even more true in the Western Conference than it is in the East, albeit not necessarily at the very top of the standings, where the 49-14 Lakers hold a fairly comfortable lead on the 44-20 Clippers. The Lakers’ magic number to clinch the conference is just three, so they’re a safe bet to hang onto the No. 1 seed.

    After that though, there’s some congestion in the standings. The Clippers’ lead on the Nuggets (43-22) is just 1.5 games. Denver holds an identical lead over the Jazz (41-23). Utah, meanwhile, is just a couple losses away from slipping down to the No. 6 seed, as the Thunder (40-24) and Rockets (40-24) are right on their heels. The 40-27 Mavericks round out this group of six teams, a game-and-a-half behind OKC and Houston and just 5.5 games behind the second-seeded Clippers.

    A number of those six clubs bunched up in the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture will face one another when play resumes. For instance, the Thunder – who have the potential to move up or down a couple spots in the standings – will open the restart against the Jazz and Nuggets and eventually finish their season against the Clippers. The Clips will face the Mavericks and Nuggets in addition to OKC. Dallas opens its eight seeding games by playing the Rockets.

    Given the strength of competition in the West, seeding could be paramount in the postseason. The Nuggets, for example, could conceivably face the Jazz, Thunder, Rockets, or Mavs in the first round and would likely prefer some opponents to others in that group. The Jazz, currently at No. 4, could be motivated to avoid the No. 6 Rockets in the first round, since they’ve been eliminated by Houston in each of the previous two postseasons.

    At the bottom of the playoff picture, the No. 8 Grizzlies (32-33) have essentially no chance to move up, since they’re seven games back of Dallas. But they’ll be looking to increase their lead over the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, and Suns — if they can finish with more than a four-game lead on all those clubs, they’ll avoid a play-in tournament. If the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds finish within four games of one another, a play-in tournament will be necessary to determine that final playoff spot.

    A newly-healthy Blazers squad will be a major threat to the Grizzlies, as will a Pelicans team that faces one of the league’s weakest schedules over the course of the eight seeding games.

    What do you think? Do you think we’ll see much movement in the Western Conference’s top eight? Will the Grizzlies be knocked out by one of the challengers behind them in the standings? What do you expect the West’s top eight seeds to look like by the time the playoffs begin?

    Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your predictions!

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[And-Ones: Maker, Lawson, Mills, Zion]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165058 2020-07-11T12:17:25Z 2020-07-10T23:50:31Z Makur Maker spurned traditional college powerhouses to attend Howard University, but he may not be there long, Adam Zagoria of Forbes.com relays. The 6’11” Maker, cousin of Pistons center Thon Maker, admitted on ESPN’s First Take talk show that he may only be there one season.

    “We’ll see how the future goes but if you’re a one-and-done talent, why not leave? That’s how I look at,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to play in the NBA and if that’s going to take me a year, I’m definitely all for it. If it’s going to take me two years, I’m definitely all for it. I know I’m an NBA lottery talent.”

    We have more from around the basketball world:

    • Duke is closing in on Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson as its new women’s basketball head coach, according to The News & Observer’s Steve Wiseman. Lawson, a former WNBA star and ESPN analyst, traveled with the Celtics to the Orlando campus this week. She would replace Joanne P. McCallie, who resigned this month after 13 years with the Blue Devils.
    • Spurs guard Patty Mills plans to donate his game checks during the league’s restart to social justice organizations, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “I’m playing in Orlando because I don’t want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities,” Mills said.
    • According to a federal court filing, Zion Williamson‘s stepfather allegedly solicited and accepted a $400K payment from a marketing agent in October 2018 prior to his season at Duke, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. If true, Williamson would have been ineligible to play for the Blue Devils. The court motion and sworn affidavit was filed by his former marketing representative’s attorneys. Prime Sports Marketing sued Williamson and Creative Artists Agency for $100MM in state court in Florida for Williamson’s alleged breaching of their marketing agreement and signing with CAA.
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    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Southwest Notes: Williamson, Mavs, Spurs, Miller]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164486 2020-07-06T03:10:54Z 2020-07-05T22:15:47Z Pelicans star Zion Williamson is ready to continue his impressive rookie season when the NBA resumes in Orlando this month, explaining his thoughts on the team’s mindset in a media availability posted on NBA.com.

    “That’s a simple answer – we’re trying to make a playoff push, and we’re trying to get back into our full game condition within those eight [seeding] games,” Williamson said.

    Williamson played just 19 games before the NBA suspended its season in mid-March, averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 29.7 minutes per contest. He’s since taken a leadership role with the club, recognizing the importance of being successful both on the court and off.

    “I’m preparing by bonding with my teammates once again,” Williamson said. “Talking to them, saying ‘We’re going to get through this,’ and we’re just going to battle the [mental challenges surrounding this]. As far as me also getting ready for that, it’s just conditioning and honing my skills.”

    New Orleans is tied for the 10th best record in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 28-36, trailing the No. 8 seed Grizzlies by 3.5 games. The team’s first game in Orlando will commence on July 30 against Utah.

    Here are some other notes from the Southwest Division today:

    • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is confident the team can surprise people during the NBA’s resumed season, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News writes. Porzingis is holding per-game averages of 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds after taking a full year off to rehab from a torn ACL.
    • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News explores how the Spurs are mentally preparing themselves for the rest of the season. San Antonio owns the third-worst record of all 22 teams heading to Orlando, going 27-36 through 63 games on the season. “I think we’re all aware of the risk [of resuming play],” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “Everybody individually had to really think about the situation. From what I’m hearing, the NBA is going above and beyond to create the safest possible environment for us. I’m hearing that possibly it’s going to be safer for us to be in that bubble than maybe even being at home. But it’s definitely still a risk.”
    • Pelicans forward Darius Miller is unsure if he’ll be able to play in Orlando due to COVID-19, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Miller has been unable to play 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 due to the virus. He suffered an Achilles tear in the summer of 2019, last appearing in an NBA game during the 2018/19 season.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Pelicans-Jazz Begins NBA Restart On July 30]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=163679 2020-06-28T16:27:21Z 2020-06-26T23:33:26Z The Pelicans and rookie star Zion Williamson will face the Jazz on July 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET in the first game of the NBA’s restart, the league announced on Friday.

    There will be 88 “seeding” games from July 30 to August 14 prior to the postseason.

    The Clippers will square off against the Lakers in the second game on July 30 at 9 p.m. ET. The first two games will be broadcast by TNT.

    It will get very busy the next day with six games scheduled, highlighted by Celtics vs. Bucks and Rockets vs. Mavericks. There will be a maximum of seven games per day, with start times ranging from 12-9 p.m.

    At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-season games and seeding games will be the first through seventh seeds for the conference playoffs.  If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage (regular-season games and seeding games) in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then the team with the eighth-best winning percentage would be the No. 8 seed.

    If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then those two teams would compete in a play-in tournament to determine the No. 8 playoff seed in the conference.  The play-in tournament will be double elimination for the eighth-place team and single elimination for the ninth-place team.

    Much of the intrigue regarding the seeding games concerns the final Western Conference spot. The Grizzlies, currently eighth, hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings, a four-game lead over the Spurs and a six-game advantage on the Suns.

    Memphis will face the Blazers, Spurs, Pelicans, Jazz, Thunder, Raptors, Celtics and Bucks during the seeding round. Among the Grizzlies’ pursuers, the Pelicans appear to have the weakest schedule. After opening against the Jazz, they’ll face the Clippers, Grizzlies, Kings (twice), Wizards, Spurs and Magic.

    The Nets and Magic need only to hold off the Wizards in the East to claim the final two spots in their conference. Washington trails Brooklyn by six games and Orlando by 5 1/2 games.

    The breakdown of each team’s seeding schedule can be found here. The day-by-day schedule and national TV schedule can be found here.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Batum, DeRozan Among Players With Earlier Option Decision Deadlines]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=163648 2020-06-26T20:37:41Z 2020-06-26T20:37:41Z Most veterans who have player options in their contracts for the 2020/21 season will have an October 17 deadline to either exercise or decline that option. That Saturday represents the second-last day of the 2019/20 league year under the NBA’s new calendar, meaning it would coincide in a normal year with June 29, the usual player option decision deadline.

    However, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, some of the players who have to make option decisions for 2020/21 have slightly earlier deadlines. For instance, if the Spurs don’t make the postseason, DeMar DeRozan will be required to make his decision within seven days of the team’s last game, per Marks.

    The full list of player options for ’20/21 can be found on our free agents page, but here are the options which must be exercised or declined before October 17, according to Marks:

    The rest of this season’s player option decisions must be made by October 17, a deadline that applies to nearly every team option for 2020/21 as well. The only team options with earlier decision dates are minimum-salary ones for Deonte Burton (Thunder) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pistons), which are due by October 15, per Marks.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Spurs Sign Tyler Zeller]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=163424 2020-06-25T02:39:31Z 2020-06-24T22:40:43Z 5:40pm: Zeller has officially signed with the Spurs, the team announced in a press release.

    12:49pm: Zeller’s new deal will include a non-guaranteed second year for 2020/21, sources tell Charania (Twitter link).

    11:36am: The Spurs have reached an agreement to sign free agent center Tyler Zeller for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    Zeller, 30, has appeared in more than 400 career regular season NBA games, but hasn’t seen much action in recent years. He played just six total games for the Hawks and Grizzlies in 2018/19 and hasn’t been on a roster this season since being waived by the Nuggets in October.

    In his last full season, Zeller averaged 6.7 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 66 games (16.8 MPG) for the Nets and Bucks in ’17/18.

    The Spurs had been in need of some frontcourt depth after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to a shoulder injury that will sideline him for the rest of the 2019/20 season. The club still has some options up front, including Jakob Poeltl and Trey Lyles, but could end up using Zeller as insurance off the bench.

    The Spurs have an open spot on their 15-man roster, so no corresponding roster move will be required to sign Zeller. Assuming he inks a minimum-salary deal, as expected, the veteran big man will earn $245,686, with San Antonio taking on a $183,115 cap hit.

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