NBA Rumor: Marquese Chriss Free Agency

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Monte Poole: The Marquese Chriss re-signing is indeed imminent, as first reported by @Marc J. Spears. Was the plan all along, per league sources. Warriors were relieved Chriss went unclaimed on waivers and are very interested in keeping him beyond this season.

They liked Chriss, for sure. A part of the front office hopes he doesn’t get claimed off of waivers, so the team can bring him back in March. The Warriors would definitely be interested in signing him in the offseason, which for Chriss is a sign of how impressive he was during this make-good opportunity. But they weren’t just going to dump other assets. The only asset they could actually just dump, the one the Warriors were least invested in, was Chriss.

Do you think this stint changed the league-wide perception of you? Marquese Chriss: “Absolutely. I texted Bob [Myers] yesterday and I just told him I appreciated him because pretty much the whole summer, I was on the outside looking in. I had certain opportunities and certain places I could go to try and do the same things I did here, but I felt like coming here was the best opportunity for me and they put me in an opportunity to succeed from day one. I think just being here, it created a different narrative for myself.”

The Warriors signed veteran forward Marquese Chriss to a non-guaranteed one-year deal, as first reported by Yahoo on Tuesday. Chriss is unlikely to make the roster. Because of the hard cap, the Warriors don’t currently have the necessary wiggle room to add a 15th and final guy to their roster. If they did, Damion Lee, currently on a two-way deal, would likely get that spot. But if Chriss can impress in camp, the Warriors could shed a piece to find a spot for him. Alfonzo McKinnie is the easiest to lose. He’s the only of the 14 current roster guys on a non-guaranteed deal. They could cut him at any point before the Jan. 10 deadline.

And yet, that’s a big reason why Chriss is in Cleveland. He has the reputation of not playing hard and not listening to his coaches. He was banished in Phoenix for throwing fits at coaches, and then the Rockets quickly moved on from him. One league source outside of the Cavs wondered whether his career is in jeopardy, even at this young of an age, because of his reputation and habits. If he can’t make it here, on one of the worst teams in the league where playing time is plentiful, where exactly can he fit? “I don’t think it’s even close to being over,” Chriss said of his career. “Obviously I haven’t been in the best position for myself and I think this is a better position for me to grow and develop as a player.”
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Wolves to pursue PJ Tucker again?

The Timberwolves have been monitoring P.J. Tucker’s situation in Houston since before the draft, and there now is reason to believe that the Rockets’ rugged frontcourt fire hydrant is finally available. The Rockets finally relented to James Harden’s trade demand, and that should open the door for them to move the 35-year-old Tucker. The Wolves have maintained contact with the Rockets on Tucker and were expected to re-engage now that Harden is gone, sources told The Athletic.
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In his first game after ultimately not being included in a trade for James Harden, All-Star Ben Simmons had a triple-double — 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists — in 34 minutes Thursday to lead the 76ers to a 125-108 victory over the Miami Heat in Philadelphia. Afterward, he called trade talks just part of life as an NBA player. “I mean, this a business,” Simmons said, when asked if he was happy the Harden discussions are behind him after the 2018 NBA MVP was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that was made official Thursday. “Things like that happen. Only thing I can control is, you know, how I approach my workouts, the games and my day-to-day thing. So, you know, I’m just trying to be professional and to do the right thing and help my team get wins.”
The Rockets on Wednesday agreed to trade Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Shortly thereafter, the following conversation took place on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast” between Russillo, Bill Simmons and Jackie MacMullan: Simmons: “The sleeping giant of this whole Harden sweepstakes was Golden State. And I don’t think they were in it. But if they had decided to get into it …” Russillo: “I heard he, um … he was not … he and [Kevin] Durant are close, and Durant wanted him to leave (Houston). So I think there was some communication …” Simmons: “There was some Steve Kerr stuff.”