NBA Free Agency Tracker: All the latest signings, news, rumors in one place

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Welcome to the wildest NBA off-season anyone can remember.

Thanks to the new television deal the salary cap is spiking by $24 million. Look at it this way, last season the cap was $70 million, next season the salary FLOOR teams must reach is estimated to be $84.6 million. Throw in some quality free agents and things will be fast and wild.

We will keep this post continually updated for the first 24 hours of free agency so you can keep up with everything.

DEAL REACHED 10:49 PM: Kent Bazemore is staying in Atlanta — which means Al Horford is Not. Bazemore has reached a four-year, $70 million deal with the Hawks to stay in Atlanta.

The real story is with this move and the Dwight Howard move, the Hawks cannot afford to bring back Al Horford. He has been meeting with other teams — Houston and Washington among them — and is now on the move.

DEAL REACHED 10:45 PM: It’s done: Joakim Noah is going to the New York Knicks for four years, $72 million, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN broke the news. This has been expected for days. This is also a huge gamble on a body that has started to break down in recent years — he is not the Defensive Player of the Year Noah from three years ago. If healthy, he can still defend — and quarterback a defense — plus give the Knicks boards. He’ll be great in the locker room and for Kristaps Porzingis. But I fear by the end of this deal the Knicks will regret it. This was a lot of money for a guy who just appears to be in decline.

DEAL REACHED 10:40 PM: The New Orleans Pelicans have signed E'Twaun Moore for four years, $34 million. The Pelicans want shooting and Moore shot 45.2 percent from three last season for the Bulls. He’s not a great defender and can be streaky, but this is an average NBA player price so the Pelicans are not taking too much of a hit here. It’s a decent roll of the dice, and again another guy who can play the way Alvin Gentry wants to play.

DEAL REACHED 10:36 PM: Jared Dudley is headed back to Phoenix on a three-year, $30 million deal. While that is a little more than I might want to pay the veteran who primarily plays as a stretch four, that’s not unreasonable. Expect the Suns to shop that deal around within a year, he’s not part of the long-term future there but he can help a little. Dudley himself confirmed this is done.

9:42 PM: Here is the latest with Dwyane Wade (according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports):

Miami’s first offer to him was $10 million a year, which is half of what he made last year and angered Wade. (Note, the Heat are still in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes and this offer could be tied to that.) Wade told his people to start asking around and saying he wants at least $20 million a year and four teams are interested: The Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, and Milwaukee Bucks. Remember, Wade grew up in Chicago and played his college ball at Marquette not far from Milwaukee. Of those teams, Dallas and Chicago make the most sense on paper, but if Miami comes back to the table with a better offer expect a deal to get done.

9:28 PM: On Friday the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to massive deals for Chandler Parsons and Mike Conley. Now their owner has tweeted this:

9:16 PM: Kevin Durant’s four-hour meeting with the Clippers has ended, and according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (who has overstated things before) Durant was “blown away” by the presentation. So that’s better than the Warriors “it went very well”? Whatever. The core problem for the Clippers’ pitch is that they cannot offer him a max contract without moving one of their core guys – no J.J. Redick, no Jamal Crawford, and on down the line. And even if the Clippers do all that for the “big four” Durant has to take a few million below max.

Remember last year when LaMarcus Aldridge came out of a meeting with the Lakers and word leaked about how bad it was? KD’s people learned a lesson and you will hear nothing but positives. Not to say the Clippers didn’t make a spectacular pitch, it’s just the salary cap math gets ugly fast and I can’t see Durant leaving OKC for that.

DEAL REACHED 8:34 PM: This is not exactly changing the balance of power in the NBA, but good on Justin Hamilton, who spent last season in the Spanish league, reaching a two-year deal with the Nets (no details yet about the guarantees on this contract, very seriously doubt both years are locked in). Hamilton is a center who played at Iowa State then bounced between the NBA and D-League for a couple years before going on his Spanish vacation.

8:18 PM: Multiple reports have Rajon Rondo meeting with the Chicago Bulls. Interesting. I completely understand why the Bulls needed to trade Derrick Rose, but if the plan was to get younger and more athletic, well, this ain’t that. Rondo’s side still trying to keep lines of communication open with Kings about a return, but they don’t seem interested.

7:42 PM: Evan Fournier is in a good mood after agreeing to a five-year, $85 million deal. No kidding.

https://twitter.com/EvanFourmizz/status/749023995102658562/photo/1

DEAL REACHED 7:28 PM: Sorry, this one slipped through from about an hour ago during a rush of deals: Jeff Green has bet on himself and taken a one-year deal in Orlando, reports Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today:

DEAL REACHED 7:23 PM: Dwyane Wade is still trying to get leverage on Miami (I still think it’s as much that as him actually looking around) and may set up meetings with the Knicks and Bucks next week, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The Knicks already have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, plus have talked with Eric Gordon, do they really need another guy with health issues on that roster?

DEAL REACHED 6:55 PM: It’s not yet official, but Mike Conley is on the verge of his expected five-year max contract with the Grizzlies, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Arguably the most underrated player in the NBA, he’s not going to be the most underpaid any longer.

DEAL REACHED 6:36 PM: Dwight Howard is headed to Atlanta, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports, three years at $70.5 million. While he didn’t get max money (which he expected for some reason), he did get more than many thought he would at an average of $23.5 million a season over the course of three years. He just opted out of a $23 million deal.

Atlanta has built a solid team, one based around guys buying into the system, moving the ball, playing their roles, and just fitting in the overall plan. It’s Spursian. Can Dwight Howard really do that? Can he kick the ball to Kyle Korver and not complain? Can he defend and rebound and not demand 15 post touches a night? If so this is a good get, but there are a lot of questions.

DEAL REACHED 6:32 PM: Veteran reserve forward Darrell Arthur is on his way to Denver. The deal is three-years, $23 million.

6:20 PM: It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone — if Memphis offered Mike Conley a full five-year max he was going to take it. Then he helped recruit Chandler Parsons to Memphis. What did you expect was next?

5:46 PM: The Utah Jazz are going to have a second meeting with Jared Dudley. He’s the kind of solid veteran off the bench that can help them, if they can get him at a good price.

5:35 PM: Chandler Parsons makes it official on Instagram:

4:45 PM: The Dallas Mavericks are meeting right now with Mike Conley, trying to convince the last of their big targets to join them. However, after Conley just helped recruit Chandler Parsons to Memphis, it seems a meer formality that Conley is going to re-sign with the Grizzlies. Free agency has been rough on Dallas.

4:43 PM: We said below that the Cavaliers would have three days starting July 10 to match the Matthew Dellavedova offer from the Bucks. But the guy with the most power in Cleveland just basically said the team will not do so.

DEAL REACHED 4:24 PM: I like this move for New Orleans — they have signed Solomon Hill to a four-year contract. He will likely come off the bench, but he can play some stretch four next to Anthony Davis at the five for the Pelicans and make them a much more dangerous team. This is a good get.

DEAL REACHED 4:10 PM: Matthew Dellavedova has signed a four-year, $38.5 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks. Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, meaning come July 7 the Cavaliers will have three days to match that offer, or Delly will be coming off the bench for the Bucks.

DEAL REACHED 3:35 PM: The Orlando Magic were going to have to pay to keep Evan Fournier after his breakout season, and man is that the case.

DEAL REACHED 3:30 PM: This may pass the Mozgov deal as the most stunning of free agency so far: Evan Turner just got four years, $70 million from Portland. Turner is a nice player, Portland has money to spend, but this feels a lot like overpaying.

DEAL REACHED 3:17 PM: It looks like Chandler Parsons is headed to Memphis — which means Mike Conley will stay there and the Grizzlies just got better. Adrian Wojnarowski with the news:

DEAL REACHED 3:10 PM: The Bucks have reached a three-year, $30 million deal with forward Mirza Teletovic, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. I like this for the Bucks — Teletovic averaged 12.2 points a night in 21 minutes off the bench for the Suns, and shot 39.7 percent from three. This is the kind of bench player the Bucks could use.

3:07 PM: Out of virtually every free agent meeting you hear things went “well” (nobody wants to repeat the LaMarcus Aldridge/Lakers PR disaster of a year ago), but the notes that there was a connection between Dwight Howard and the Hawks out of their meeting seems genuine. That could come together.

2:29 PM: Be careful reading much into it, but Andre Iguodala tweeeted this.

DEAL REACHED 2:25 PM: Philadelphia has agreed to terms with Jerryd Bayless, three years and $27 million. That’s a fair price for a backup combo guard who can get them 10 points a night (10.7 a game last season) and will knock down midrange jumpers. This is the kind of deal the Sixers should get while they bring the young core along.

1:53 PM: Austin Rivers has a couple of meetings coming up, with the Knicks and Trail Blazers. Of course, Doc Rivers might yet overpay to keep his son in Clippers’ colors.

1:24 PM: Interesting note on Hassan Whiteside‘s max deal — it’s not a guaranteed max. The two sides negotiated a second plan where Whiteside takes less if the Heat can convince Kevin Durant to come to Miami.

1:07 PM: Wow, this is a shocker — O.J. Mayo has been “dismissed and disqualified from the league for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.” He is kicked out of the league, but he can reapply for reinstatement in two years.  Mayo had a rough season for the Bucks, playing in just 41 games and shooting 37.1 percent last season (he missed the end of the season with a broken ankle). He was a free agent, this is a rough time for this to come down on him (although he brought it upon himself).

The NBA will not say officially why he was booted from the league, but it has to be testing positive for a “drug of abuse,” a list that includes meth, cocaine, heroin, LSD and others. Back in 2011 Mayo served a 10-game suspension for a PED violation, however, this ban cannot be for that under the terms of the CBA (he would have had other suspensions before reaching this threshold). This is not unprecedented, remember Chris Andersen — the Birdman — was suspended back in 2007 but was reinstated two years later and went on to win a ring with the Heat.

12:58 PM: The Hornets have kept Nicolas Batum, but that meant losing Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson via free agency. They are in negotiations right now to keep Marvin Williams.

12:57 PM: In case you were worried Kris Humphries wouldn’t be back in the NBA…

12:50 PM: The Warriors just ended a more than two-hour meeting with Kevin Durant. It takes a lot of time for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steve Kerr all to beg. The Clippers are up Friday night, the Spurs and Heat are on Saturday for KD.

By the way, Andre Iguodala was in the meeting with KD. Interesting. He was rumored to be one of the guys who would be traded if the Warriors land KD, apparently not.

11:53 AM: http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-pacers-nearing-deal-with-al-jefferson/

This is reportedly a three-year, $30 million deal, which adds some front line bench scoring to the Pacers.

11:42 AM: The Sixers have reached a deal to bring in Jim O’Brien as an assistant coach under Brett Brown. Good hire.

DEAL REACHED 11:12 AM: As had been expected, the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal reached terms on a five-year, $128 million max contract. They had been talking since free agency opened.

10:51 AM: When Dwyane Wade put out feelers to other teams about leaving Miami, those other teams were understandably skeptical. We saw this movie last year, he used other teams as leverage against Miami. But this time, he may be serious (although I’ll beleive it when I see it).

10:36 AM: The Sacramento Kings are talking with Dion Waiters, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That is a bit of a risk by the Kings, but they need shooting are in a position where they need to take risks. Dave Joerger is good with challenging personalities.

10:29 AM: Mike Conley has always been most likely to re-sign in Memphis (if they offered the fifth year of a max deal) and he has been talking with Chandler Parsons about joining him there, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Parsons met with the Grizzlies. By the way, there is zero chance they would team up in Dallas.

DEAL REACHED 10:15 AM: Jeremy Lin is going back to New York… Brooklyn that is. As had been rumored, Lin has reached a three-year, $36 million deal with the Nets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is a good fit, the Nets need a point guard and someone who can sell tickets, and with the Nets Lin will get the ball in his hands and be asked to create and attack.

DEALS REACHED 9:53 AM: A lot to catch up on this morning:

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-pistons-andre-drummond-nearing-five-year-max-contract

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/hassan-whiteside-says-hes-re-signing-with-heat

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-nicolas-batum-agrees-to-five-year-120-million-contract-with-hornets

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-lakers-re-signing-jordan-clarkson-to-four-year-50-million-contract

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-pistons-signing-ish-smith-to-three-year-18-million-contract

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/07/01/report-magic-signing-d-j-augustin

2:24 AM: There’s been conflicting reports about who was meeting with Chandler Parsons when, but the Trail Blazers just got done with their meeting and threw a max offer down on the table, according to Sam Amick of the USA Today.

2:12 AM: With Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah the Knicks do not yet apparently have enough players with worrisome injury histories to reach their quota, they are talking to Eric Gordon (most recently of the Pelicans), according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

I’ll need to see the terms of the proposed deal, but the Knicks training staff should get a raise.

DEAL REACHED 2:05 AM: DeMar DeRozan said he was only going to meet with Toronto, that he wanted to stay. Not a shock then that the two sides have reached a deal, something first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today.

1:57 AM: There were fewer deals in the opening hours of free agency Friday than there were a year ago, and on the Vertical’s live show Adrian Wojnarowski had an interesting explanation for why: The league had called around to GM’s Friday asking about all these meetings that were set before players and teams could talk. While a number of deals were reached in the first hours of free agency, teams wanted to hold off on announcing them to avoid the appearance of tampering. That makes a lot of sense.

1:41 AM: The meeting between Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat has ended without a formal deal being reached. Dallas and Portland still will get chances to woo him.

1:21 AM: Chandler Parsons will meet with the Portland Trail Blazers and they will offer him a max contract ($26 million a year for him).

DEAL REACHED 1:13 AM: And it’s done (well except that the papers can’t be signed until July 7), the Lakers got their man in 7-foot Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov for an average of $16 million a year, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

What surprises me most here: How does Mozgov fit in with the up-tempo style Luke Walton wants to play? This is going to play poorly with Lakers fans but it’s a decent short-term fit — with their young, more athletic players they needed a rim protector, a guy who can set screens and do the dirty work. I’m not sure I’d want to give him four years — it basically kills the idea of offering two-max players next summer — and that’s a lot of cash for a big the numerous small-ball teams in the West can marginalize. I don’t think this deal is horrid, but I don’t think it’s good. And it will fall to whoever takes over Lakers basketball operations after Jim Buss to clean it up.

1:11 AM: In addition to Mozgov, the Lakers also have reportedly reached out to Evan Turner, and there is mutual interest.

1:07 AM: Chandler Parsons is going to meet with Memphis and Portland in the next 24 hours, and despite missing more than 60 games the past two seasons with knee injuries, he is expected to be offered a max contract by at least the Blazers ($26 million for him). I’d say that is unprecedented, but Wesley Matthews got nearly the same thing coming off an Achilles injury the season.

12:40 AM: The Brooklyn Nets need a point guard, and while they are going to go after Jeremy Lin they also will take a look at Brandon Jennings, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.

12:32 AM: Did not see this coming — Timofey Mozgov may be the Lakers’ big fish. The Lakers and Mozgov are in “advanced discussions” about a four-year, $65 million deal for the old-school big man, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. My initial reaction is: That is vastly overpaying a guy who doesn’t really fit well in Luke Walton’s preferred up-tempo style. That soft weeping you here is Lakers’ Nation.

12:23 AM The Washington Wizards are nearing a max deal of five years, $128 million with Bradley Beal. While that is a lot of money for a guy who will be battling stress fractures his entire career (and have reduced minutes to prevent issues) if the Wizards didn’t max him out they’d lose him for nothing. The Wizards did what they had to do here. The two sides will reach a deal but he will sign that last, giving the Wizards about $30 million in cap space to chase other free agents.

12:14 AM: The first of many, many signs about how overheated this market will be.

12:08 AM: Who was Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak’s first call at midnight? Timofey Mozgov, the old-school center of the Cavaliers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. Not exactly what Lakers fans were hoping for this summer.

12:06 AM: We knew that the Knicks wanted Joakim Noah and he wanted them, no surprise the two sides are meeting already. But man, this seems like a lot of money and a lot of guaranteed years for a guy battling injuries.

12:02 AM: The Houston Rockets have a midnight meeting with coveted swingman Kent Bazemore (who would be a fantastic fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system). James Harden is reportedly at the meeting.

12:01 AM: The Dallas Mavericks are waiting their turn to meet with Hassan Whiteside, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. The Mavs are one of the favorites, along with the Heat, to land Whiteside, and they will offer him a max contract (Whiteside has said he wants to make a quick decision).

Midnight: IT’S ON!

Magic send Jonathan Isaac to G-League for practice, rehabilitation

2022-2023 Orlando Magic Media Day
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
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There was a time when it was thought Jonathan Isaac might be the Magic’s next big star.

However, he has not stepped on an NBA court since he was in the bubble (Feb. 8, 2020), then he tore his ACL in August of that year (which came on the heels of missing much of that season with an injury to the same knee). Last March he had a setback and another procedure, and at this point he has missed two full seasons plus the start of this one.

Isaac is still working toward recovery and the Magic have assigned him to the Lakeland Magic of the G-League to get in some practice.

Because NBA teams barely practice during the season — the schedule of games nearly every other day plus travel and recovery doesn’t permit more than film sessions and walk-throughs — these kinds of baseball-style minor league rehab assignments are more and more common.

The story from the Magic’s official website notes this will be the first time Isaac will play 5-on-5 with other players during his rehab, which is a significant step forward.

There is no timeline for his return, but the Magic have him under contract this season for $17.4 million and two more fully guaranteed years at the same price. There is no reason for the franchise to walk away, even if some around the league question if his knees will ever let him back on an NBA court again.

The Magic have found their next star in Paolo Banchero and have built a promising young core, something Isaac — an elite defender before his injuries — should fit in well with. If he can get healthy and back on the court.

Antetokounmpo talks about plans for his 28th birthday while holding Simpsons plush

Los Angeles Lakers v Milwaukee Bucks
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
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Happy birthday, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak turns 28 today.

After he dropped a casual (for him) 34-13-5 line in the Bucks’ win over the Magic last night, Antetokounmpo discussed his birthday plans. He’s not going out, maybe just dinner, playing with his kids, and once they are asleep… ya know.

I feel safe saying Antetokounmpo is the first NBA player to talk about birthday sex while holding a Homer J. Simpson plush doll.

If you’re asking, why the Simpson doll… why not? Bucks reserve forward Sandro Mamukelashvili won it at Universal Studios, brought it to the game, left it behind in the locker room and Antetokounmpo appropriated it.

In a world where most postgame press conferences are formulaic and filled with cliches it’s good to see a player willing just to be himself and have some fun behind the mic.

Watch Pacers rookie Nembhard drop 31, outduel Curry, lead Pacers past Warriors

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SAN FRANCSICO — Rookie Andrew Nembhard outshined the Splash Brothers on their home court.

Nembhard scored a season-high 31 points and added 13 assists and eight rebounds to lead the undermanned Indiana Pacers to a 112-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

A second-round draft pick, Nembhard made a key 3-pointer with 4:26 to go and another jumper less than two minutes later.

“He was masterful tonight … 31 and 13, those are high lottery numbers,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Indiana played without starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton for a second straight game as he nurses soreness in his left groin.

Klay Thompson scored 28 points and made eight 3-pointers, moving up the NBA’s career 3-point list on the six-year anniversary of his 60-point masterpiece against the Pacers.

Thompson finished 9 of 23, but Stephen Curry was held to 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting. Jordan Poole scored 23 starting in place of Andrew Wiggins, who sat out with tightness of the adductor muscle in his right leg.

“No matter what we do, it’s going to be hard to guard these guys. We had some good fortune with them missing some shots they may normally make,” Carlisle said. “But our guys played with a lot of presence to start the game. We were switching a lot and everyone was tied together.”

Nembhard hit five 3s while Buddy Hield added 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Indiana snapped a three-game losing streak with just its second win in six games.

Nembhard and the Pacers hardly looked like a team playing the second game of a road back-to-back.

“He was hoopin’ and I think that starts in the first half for us,” Golden State’s Donte DiVincenzo said. “The guards have to get into it a little bit more.”

Golden State had its 10-game home winning streak snapped.

Curry went 1 of 7 in the first half, missing all four of his 3-point tries and was 2 for 10 from deep overall. Curry finally connected from long range with 5:13 left in the third after missing his first five.

The Pacers, missing six players with injuries or illness, jumped out to a 22-12 lead as Golden State started 5 for 17.

Thompson knocked down three straight 3-pointers – all from the right wing – to tie the game at 42 with 4:51 left in the second quarter before a Pacers timeout. Thompson also dished out an assist on Jonathan Kuminga‘s layup before his trio of 3s and nearly had another when Kuminga was fouled and made both free throws to cap a 20-2 run 3:40 before halftime.

Three things to know: On night of returns Harden rusty, Leonard hits game-winner

Philadelphia 76ers v Houston Rockets
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Three Things is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.

1) James Harden was rusty, Joel Embiid fouled out, 76ers fall to Rockets in 2OT

Philadelphia picked a soft landing spot for the return of James Harden, on the road against his young and struggling former Houston team, followed by coming home for seven in a row.

This was not what Doc Rivers and company pictured.

For example, remember Harden was going to be a minutes limit? Rivers had him out there for 38 minutes in a double-overtime game, throwing him back into the fire in the overtimes because he had little choice.

Harden made four 3-pointers but was understandably rusty after missing 14 games with a strained tendon in his right foot, and he was 0-8 inside the arc. He missed an open potential game-winner at the end of the first overtime. Still, he made some passes and a shot or two that reminded everyone what he can do when he gets his legs back under him — and why the 76ers need him.

Combine that with Joel Embiid feasting early on the undersized Rockets inside, and Sixers fans could see a path to a comfortable win.

However, the underlying problem that did them in was looming — Houston was attacking the rim, drawing fouls, and living at the line. The Rockets got 15 free throw attempts in the first quarter, a trend that would continue much of the night.

The Rockets hung around and hung around, getting 27 points from Jalen Green, while Kevin Porter Jr. added 24. And they kept drawing fouls, eventually fouling out Joel Embiid in the first overtime. When the Rockets hit a couple of 3-pointers to open the second OT, they took control and got the win, 132-123.

Harden’s return should eventually boost the 76ers bottom 10 offense, but what this team really needs is to get healthy (Tyrese Maxey remains out with a foot injury) and to string together a few wins. They start a seven-game homestead Friday against the Lakers (not the best time to catch Anthony Davis and company) and that would be a chance to right the ship. And get out of the play-in level they are at right now.

2) Kawhi Leonard looked rusty in his return, until the game was on the line

The Clippers followed the 76ers model for the return of their stars — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both returned to the lineup against an injury-plagued and struggling Hornets team. A nice soft landing spot…

That turned out not to be as soft as imagined.

As expected playing just his sixth game of the year, Leonard looked rusty in his return, starting the night 5-of-13 shooting, 0-3 from beyond the arc.

Then he hit two buckets in the final minute that got the Clippers the win.

The first was set up by an impressive hustle play from Paul George, who saved a ball going out of bounds to Leonard under the basket for a shot that tied the game.

Then, after a stop, the Clippers got the switch they wanted, cleared out the side and let Leonard go to work on the game-winner. That is vintage Leonard, using his strength to get to his spot and then calmly draining the shot.

If you’re looking for positives in Los Angeles, the Clippers showed some resilience and grit in getting the win. Leonard finished with 16 points and George looked sharper with 19 points on 8-of-15 from the floor. Clippers’ role players stepped up.

The Clippers need their stars to stay healthy and on the court, and to build some chemistry. Traditionally 20 games into the season we know who a team is, but this year’s Clippers are the exception to that rule. Their role players and a strong defense have kept the team’s head above water (14-11 on the season), but they need their stars back to turn around their 29th-ranked offense. Then we can see if they have the potential to be a threat in the West or not.

3) Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard outduels Stephen Curry, Pacers win

Yes, you read that right.

While Bennedict Mathurin has been the Pacers’ rookie garnering most of the attention (and some early Rookie of the Year talk), Andrew Nembhard has been showing out of late. Monday night he had 31 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and hit some key shots late to fuel the Pacers’ 112-102 upset win over the Warriors.

With Tyrese Haliburton out (groin injury), Nembhard — the four-year college player from Gonzaga who was taken No.31 in last year’s draft — showed he knows how to run a team and knock down a 3 (he’s shooting 42.9% from deep this season).

The Pacers also won because it was just an off night for Stephen Curry: 12 points on 3-of-17 shooting overall and 2-of-10 from 3. It felt like a night where the Warriors looked at the Pacers’ inactive list for the game — Haliburton, Myles Turner, Chris Duarte, T.J. McConnell, Daniel Theis, James Johnson — and thought they would cruise to a win. Do that against NBA players and you pay the price.

Because guys like Andrew Nembhard can flat-out play.

BONUS THING TO KNOW: Today is Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s 28th birthday. What does he want? What are his plans? And why is he doing his postgame media session with Homer J. Simpson? There are a lot of questions.