Kevin Knox is returning to the Portland Trailblazers, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.
Free agent forward Kevin Knox is signing a one-year deal to return to the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Knox, the No. 9 pick in the 2018 Draft, averaged 8.9 points and 17.1 minutes in 21 games for Portland last season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 9, 2023
NBA Rumors: Kevin Knox, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul & Teams Who Need To Fill Out Roster
Knox’s deal is for one year, though the terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 24-year-old forward signed a two-year deal, $6 million contract with the Detroit Pistons last August. Detroit traded Knox to Portland as part of a four-team deal involving Saddiq Bey, James Wiseman, and Gary Payton II at the trade deadline. The Trail Blazers declined their $3 million on Knox at the end of June.
A former lottery, Knox saw his most significant action last year since his second season in the league. Knox averaged 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds while compiling a shooting slash line of .458/.349/.767 in 2022-23. He produced two double-doubles in 65 appearances.
Knox is a streaky shooter who can put bunches of points on the board when he gets hot. He is still a high-flyer but settles for the three too much. Knox is also a decent defensive rebounder but is not very good defensively overall.
Knox is the 14th Trail Blazer player on a standard contract. The Blazers also have two of their three two-way slots.
Luka Doncic Still Dealing With Leg Injury
Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic told reporters that he played through a thigh injury at the World Cup, he told reporters following Thursday’s loss to Lithuania.
“I do not know what to say,” Doncic said, according to Eurhoops. “It’s not okay. At the same time, I have to prepare for one more game, and then for a whole season in the NBA.”
“It is an old injury, which caused me problems in March in the NBA. Therefore, we performed an MRI. Everything is okay. Nothing worse.”
So, not even injury can slow Doncic down — only turnovers. Doncic tossed in 29 points on 8 of 15 shooting from the field, including 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, in Slovenia’s 89-85 victory over Italy. The 24-year-old added 10 rebounds and eight assists, though he did commit nine turnovers versus the Italians on Saturday.
Doncic led the World Cup with 27 points a game as he tallied 19 or more in his eight games. He topped the 20-point mark twice and had at least 29 on four occassions. Doncic, who produced two double-doubles, also finished the tournament with 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.5 steals, and 4.3 turnovers.
It is unknown how much the injury will affect Doncic during the NBA season. But he will have a few weeks to rest. The Mavericks begin training camp at the end of September, with their media day slated for September 29. The Mavs played three of their four preseason contests across the pond.
Dallas will play two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Abu Dhabi on October 5 and 7. The Mavericks then face Real Madrid in Spain on Oct. 10. They close out the preseason against the Detroit Pistons on October 20.
Chris Paul Expected To Start For Warriors
ESPN NBA insider Marc J. Spears said that he expects Chris Paul will be in the starting lineup when the Golden State Warriors host the Phoenix Suns on October 24 when he recently appeared on the Good Word With Goodwill podcast. However, Spears did add a caveat.
“I do expect him to start. And I think it’s like five-minute spurts.” “I don’t know that they want his minutes to be high, but I think they’re gonna try it. I could be wrong, but that’s the gist I’m getting. This isn’t an opinion that he’s expected to start; it’s what I’m hearing. He’s never not started in his career.”
There is one problem with Spears’ proclamation about Paul starting. Who will the Warriors decide not to start? Why start Paul if he is only going to play five minute stretches? Plus, Paul hasn’t played 60 games a season in the past four years.
If what Spears says is true, will Kevon Looney, Andrew Wiggins, or Klay Thompson come off the bench? The Warriors will be really small if Looney doesn’t start, particularly against the Suns. Other than Looney not starting, Wiggins is the most likely candidate to come off the bench as he can provide instant offense and play either the two, three, or four.
JaVale McGee and Alex Len Expected To Compete For Final Roster Spot
The Sacramento Kings have a handful of options to back up Domantas Sabonis after they signed Nerlens Noel, Neemais Queta, and JaVale McGee in the offseason. The Kings already had Trey Lyles and Alex Len on the roster. Kings Insider James Ham tweeted that, according to a league source, both McGee and Len will be on the team’s opening night roster and compete for backup minutes at center.
According to a league source, barring something unforeseen, both JaVale McGee and Alex Len are expected to make the Kings’ final roster and compete for backup center minutes.
— James Ham (@James_HamNBA) September 9, 2023
This is not really surprising news. Sacramento has 16 players on standard contracts, and the Kings gave McGee a fully guaranteed deal. While McGee didn’t play well for the Mavs last season, Len has only appeared in 65 games the previous two seasons, including seeing less than seven minutes over 26 games a year ago.
With this news, it appears that Noel and Queta are in line for the Kings’ final roster spot if they decide to keep 15 players. Both players have small guarantees.
Teams That Need to Complete Their Rosters By Opening Night
With Portland having signed Knox, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State are the only teams with fewer than 14 players on standard contracts.
Cleveland has 16 players under contract, with 13 on standard deals and three with two-way pacts. The Cavaliers are also in limbo, with Ricky Rubio being away from the team for mental health reasons. It is unknown when or if Rubio will return this season. That said, the Cavs have some options, with their biggest need being help on the wing and upfront.
One option for Cleveland is to convert Isaiah Mobley’s two-way deal to a standard contract. If the Cavs decide to go the free-agent route, Kelly Oubre or Rudy Gay would be great fits. As HoopsRumors.com Tristan Tucker mentioned, a couple of other options are Javonte Green or T.J. Warren.
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ biggest issues remains their lack of size upfront. Golden State missed out on landing several free-agent bigs recently. However, as Tucker suggested, Bismack Biyombo and JaMychal Green are logical fits. Both would be emergency fill-ins, so they would only play if necessary. I do like Biyombo better for the Warriors rather than them bringing back Green.