NBA Rumors: Christian Wood, Immanuel Quickley, and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Lakers and Heat are Christian Wood’s Two Main Options
It appears that unrestricted free agent Christian Wood has two options in free agency. Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney continues to report that Wood’s main options are the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Deveney adds that the Lakers remain the unquestioned leaders for the 27-year-old big man. However, the Heat could eventually provide a better financial package if they trade for Damian Lillard.
“There is no reason for him to hurry, the roster spots are there, and unless there is a chance the Lakers make a move to sign someone else, why not wait to see if something better becomes available?” a league executive told Heavy. “What if Miami makes the [Lillard] trade and winds up with a little more [luxury-tax] space? They could make a better offer. Not a ton more, but it is not the minimum. That’s the wild card for [Wood].”
The Dallas Mavericks have previously mentioned that they would do a sign-and-trade for Wood to ensure that the 6-10 big man would get more money. But Deveney said that the Mavs had not received an offer they liked.
Los Angeles can only offer the Wood the veteran minimum of around $2.7 million. The Lakers currently have 13 players on standard contracts though they are likely only to keep 14 on their opening-day roster. Wood likely would be Anthony Davis‘ primary backup if he signs with the Lakers. Therefore, he projects to get between 15-20 minutes of playing time. Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt figure to split most minutes at power forward.
But with Davis’ injury history and load management, Wood theoretically could see plenty of action with the team. Devaney noted that the Lakers also want to use a more traditional lineup this year, leaving LeBron James or Hachimura at small forward more often.
Miami has 13 players with a 13 contract. Wood would seemingly get a chance to start for the Heat if he joined the team. Haywood Highsmith, Caleb Martin, and Kevin Love are currently the candidates to start at power forward for Miami.
Giannis Antetomoumpo Won’t Play In FIBA World Ciup
Antetokoumpo announced earlier this morning on Twitter that he will not be playing for Greece in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Everyone knows my passion and love for my National Team has and never will change. Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set.
But after months of work and multiple… pic.twitter.com/1uhTlfNZVE
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 11, 2023
Antetokounmpo is still recovering from a knee procedure to remove loose cartilage in his left knee that he had after the completion of the Milwaukee Bucks season.
With Antetokounmpo not playing, Greece — matched in Team USA’s World Cup Group — will have a hard time earning one of Europe’s two automatic qualifying berths for the 2024 Olympics. If Greece doesn’t get the two berths during World Cup play, they still can make the for the Olympics through the qualifying route. But Antetokounmpo’s availability for those competitions will depend on his NBA commitments.
Antetokoumpo is expected to be completely healthy when Bucks’ training camp opens in about seven weeks.
Deadline for Immanuel Quickley Upcoming
The New York Knicks recently secured the services of Josh Hart through the 2027-28 season. Now, SNY’s Ian Begley believes it is Quickley’s turn to get paid. The Knicks and Quickley, a finalist for 2023 NBA Sixth Man Of the Year, have until the eve of the upcoming season to work out an extension, or the 23-year-old guard will be a restricted free agent next summer.
“It would be odd if the Knicks let Quickley enter the season as a 2024 restricted free agent, Begley wrote. “In that scenario, New York would risk losing Quickley for nothing if he signed an offer sheet that the Knicks declined to match. If the Knicks and Quickley agree to an extension, New York would have seven rotation players under contract through at least 2024-25.”
Quickley developed into a reliable third guard for the Knicks last season. The 6-3 combo guard is a good shooter and an electrifying three-level scorer. He is also a competent ball-handler and defender.
Quickley scored 20 or more points in 12 of his 21 starts last year, including dropping a career-best 40 against the Houston Rockets at the end of March. He finished last season with 20 20-point games and four double-doubles, tying his career-best. Quickley averaged 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists while compiling a slash line of .448/.370/.819 in 2022-23.
In terms of the 2023-24 season, New York has a complete 21-man training camp roster. However, the Knicks only have 14 players with standard contracts, with Isaiah Roby and DaQuan Jeffries holding nonguaranteed deals. The Knicks are hard-capped at the NBA’s first tax apron, meaning they can only spend $6.6 million more on player salaries this year (unless they take less money back in trades). All three Knicks’ two-way slots are spoken for, and they have four players on training camp pacts.