Let’s take a look at today’s D-League moves from around the NBA:
- Charlie Westbrook has been claimed by the Heat‘s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. We heard Wednesday night that Westbrook had entered the D-League’s waiver process.
- Kings center Hamady N’Diaye has been assigned to the club’s D-League affiliate in Reno, the team announced today in an official press release. Ndiaye has played 52 minutes in nine games for Sacramento his season.
- The Hawks have swapped out two shooting guards today, assigning John Jenkins to the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League while subsequently recalling Jared Cunningham. A press release earlier today revealed the pair of moves.
Six Eastern Conference teams have 2-3 records, and all of them had playoff aspirations coming into the season. The Bulls, Nets and Knicks had even loftier expectations, but they’re among the clubs that find themselves below .500 five games into the season. It might not seem like it’s time for a drastic move yet, but tell that to Mike Brown, whom the Lakers fired five games into last season. Our look across the East has the latest on a team that could make a change soon:
The Hawks have announced via press release that they’ve exercised the 2014/15 option on second-year guard John Jenkins, who will make $1.31MM next season. Meanwhile, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the team will not pick up their third-year option on Jared Cunningham.
Atlanta selected the sharp shooting Jenkins out of Vanderbilt with the 23rd pick in the 2012 draft. He averaged 6.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game as a rookie, starting twice in 61 games. He also spent a brief amount of time in the D-League in December. The Hawks acquired Cunningham, taken the pick after Jenkins, in a draft day deal with Dallas. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
11:25pm: The Mavs confirmed this deal via press release, as it was reported: Cunningham, the 16th pick (Nogueira), and the 44th pick (Mike Muscala) in exchange for the 18th pick (Shane Larkin).
9:05pm: This deal is "still evolving," according to Broussard (via Twitter), so we'll have to wait and see if any of the previously reported details change, or if any new pieces are added.
8:46pm: Pick No. 44 is actually heading from Dallas to Atlanta in the deal, tweets ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.
8:13pm: Minutes after acquiring the No. 16 pick from the Celtics, the Mavericks will flip it to the Hawks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Jared Cunningham will also go to Atlanta in the deal, with the 18th and 44th picks headed to Dallas, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter). Atlanta doesn't have the 44th pick, so perhaps Woj means No. 47 or 50.
The move clears a little more money from the Mavericks' books, as Cunningham's $1,208,400 salary will be assumed by the Hawks. That'll give Dallas a little more room to squeeze in a maximum-salary offer for Dwight Howard.
The Hawks will use the 16th pick to draft international big man Lucas Nogueira.
We'll keep track of today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top:
- The Mavs have recalled Jared Cunningham from the D-League, the team announced via press release. Cunningham had been with the Texas Legends ever since his January 28th assignment, and he's produced 15.3 points in 34.5 minutes per game over 15 D-League contests in two stints with the Legends this season. The 24th overall pick last June has barely seen action for the big club in Dallas, appearing in eight games for a total of 26 minutes.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Saturday evening:
Here are today's D-League assignments and recalls, with the latest moves at the top of the page:
- Jeremy Lamb and Daniel Orton, who have been shuttled back and forth between the Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers all season, were recalled from the D-League, the club announced today in a press release.
- The Mavericks have re-assigned Jared Cunningham to the D-League, according to a team release. The move will give Cunningham a chance to play more minutes, as he'd only appeared briefly in one game for the Mavs since being recalled from the Texas Legends on December 31st.
- The Rockets have recalled rookie big man Donatas Motiejunas from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team announced in a press release. Motiejunas had been on his third assignment to the D-League, where he has averaged 20.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG for the Vipers in seven games this season.
- Diante Garrett has been recalled from the D-League by the Suns, the team announced today (Twitter link). In seven games for the Bakersfield Jam since being assigned to the team earlier this month, Garrett averaged 15.1 PPG and 7.4 APG, shooting a blistering 62.5% on three-pointers.
- The Nets have recalled Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor from the Springfield Armor, the team announced today in a press release. Both players have played extremely well in their two D-League stints this season, with Shengelia averaging 28.3 PPG, 13.7 RPG, and 7.0 APG in three games, while Taylor has recorded 26.5 PPG and 7.5 APG in four contests. However, Shengelia is currently out indefinitely with concussion symptoms.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com discussed the Mavericks in a radio interview with a Dallas station and touched on a number of topics concerning the Mavs' present and future rosters. SportsDayDFW.com has the transcript. Here are the highlights:
Stein suggested the Mavericks should think about tanking to position themselves for the draft lottery:
“The playoffs are out of reach. … There’s just too much ground to make up, and to me, what’s the point anyway? To me, it’s going to come to a point where it’s time to play the young guys, it’s time to focus on development and the reality is, even if this isn’t a good draft, the highest possible lottery pick will benefit this team the most.”
He also suggested that part of the Mavs' planning for the future should involve giving more time to rookies Bernard James, Jared Cunningham, and Jae Crowder:
“It’s time to play James. it’s time to play Cunningham. it’s time to feature Crowder more. I mean, nobody wants to hear that but that’s the reality.”
Stein also dismisses talk that the Mavs may look to trade Dirk Nowitzki:
“It’s just so hard to get players at Dirk’s level that I just don’t see any way the Mavs want to give up their one known, and especially because of the relationship he and Cuban have, what he’s meant to this community. Dirk’s frustrated right now. That’s clear with the stuff he’s been saying all week, but he does not want to go anywhere. He wants to finish his career here. He’s saying all this stuff clearly because he wants to see a fix. He wants the team fixed. It’s not because he wants to leave."
The Clippers saw their 17-game winning streak finally come to an end last night in Denver, and now sit percentage points behind the Thunder in the Western Conference standings. Still, ESPN.com's Chad Ford gives the Clips the slight edge over OKC as the best team in the West at the moment. Here are a few more Western Conference notes from Ford's chat and from a variety of other writers:
- Responding to questions about trade candidates like DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Love, Ford suggests the Timberwolves should trade Love sooner rather than later (though there's no indication they will), and says the Jazz wouldn't be a logical suitor for Cousins, since Utah isn't the sort of team that would take that risk.
- Elsewhere in his chat, Ford questions whether it's a lock that Dwight Howard will sign a long-term deal with the Lakers, noting that D12 "still pines for Brooklyn." Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld also wrote last night (via Sulia) that it's hard to see a long-term marriage between Howard and the Lakers working. I still think L.A. is the overwhelming favorite to sign Howard, but it's not necessarily the sure thing it seemed to be at one point.
- J.J. Hickson is an early candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, according to Alex Raskin of HoopsWorld. Hickson, who is playing on a one-year deal and could be a coveted free agent next summer, tells Raskin that he's not sure exactly what his future holds: "I don’t know. All I can do is control what I can control and that’s play the game of basketball and the rest will work itself out."
- When Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors examined some of long-term deals signed last offseason that haven't worked out so far, he didn't mention Michael Beasley's three-year, $18MM contract with the Suns. But as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic writes, Beasley has "bottomed out" in Phoenix.
- Newly-signed James Anderson talks to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle about what he hopes to bring to the Rockets.
- Having been recalled by the Mavericks from the D-League earlier this week, Jared Cunningham tells Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News that his time with the Texas Legends was "good for me."
Today's D-League assignments and recalls:
- Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Tyler continue to bounce back and forth between Golden State and Santa Cruz, having been re-assigned to the D-League by the Warriors. The team announced the move in a press release.
- The Grizzlies have recalled Tony Wroten from their D-League affiliate, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (via Twitter). The rookie guard had just been sent to the Reno Bighorns last Wednesday.
- The Cavs announced that they have recalled Samardo Samuels from the D-League's Canton Charge. Samuels, who turns 24 in January, has seen time in 18 games for Cleveland so far this year.
- The Mavericks announced today that they have recalled Jared Cunningham from the Texas Legends of the D-League. During his seven game stint with the Legends he averaged 18.1 points, 3.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 37 minutes per contest.
- The Hornets announced that they have assigned forward Darius Miller to the D-League's Iowa Energy. Miller has appeared in 23 games this season for the Hornets, averaging 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. New Orleans drafted the 6'8" Kentucky product with the 46th overall pick in the 2012 draft.