The latest on various moves and happenings from around the D-League on Sunday afternoon:
The annual NBA D-League draft takes place tonight, as the league's 16 teams look to stock up their rosters for the coming season. Former first-round pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, but there are plenty of familiar names among the list of players eligible to be drafted. Let's round up a few D-League updates as the draft approaches....
After foreshadowing the moves via Twitter, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports the Hawks have waived training camp invitees Keith Benson and Isma'il Muhammad, bringing the team's roster down to 17 players. Both were on non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts.
Benson, a 6'11" big man, got into three games for the Warriors last season, but didn't score in nine minutes and wasn't retained after his 10-day contract expired. The 6'6" Muhammad was a college star in Atlanta with Georgia Tech, but went undrafted in 2005 and is still seeking his first official NBA action.
The Hawks have 14 players under partially or fully guaranteed deals, so today's moves seem to narrow the competition for the final roster spot to James Anderson, Damion James and Carldell Johnson, none of whom are big men. The lone partial guarantee belongs to Kyle Korver. The Hawks could buy out his $5MM deal for $500K, but it seems unlikely they'd do so.
The Hawks have officially announced their training camp roster, and as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, there are some new names on the list. In additions to signings we'd heard about before, such as James Anderson, Anthony Tolliver, and Damion James, the team has also added Keith Benson and Carldell Johnson to its camp roster.
Benson, 24, was the 48th overall pick in the 2011 draft, but didn't earn a spot on the Hawks' roster. The 6'11" big man ended up playing 20 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 15.2 PPG and 7.8 RPG, and also signed a 10-day contract with the Warriors late in the season. He appeared in just three games for Golden State, playing limited minutes.
Johnson, 29, has played over 200 D-League games for the Austin Toros since going undrafted in 2006. The 5'10" point guard known as Squeaky finally made his NBA debut last season for the Hornets, appearing in 15 contests for New Orleans.
Benson and Johnson both figure to be on non-guaranteed deals, and it's unlikely either player will end up on Atlanta's regular season roster. While the team does have at least one open roster spot, with 14 players on fully or partially guaranteed contracts, I'd expect Anderson and James to have a leg up on Benson and Johnson for that final spot.
Keith Benson's 10-day contract with the Warriors is set to expire at the end of the day, and the big man won't be re-signed to a second 10-day deal, according to Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).
The Warriors signed Mickell Gladness to a rest-of-season deal when his 10-day contract expired, but it appears they'll keep their 15th roster spot open for the time being. As our 10-day contract tracker shows, Benson and Gladness are the only two players to receive 10-day deals from Golden State so far this year, but the team could bring in another player or two for a brief audition before the season ends.
Though the Warriors had six games on their schedule during his time with the club, the 6'11" Benson only appeared in three of them, playing for less than 10 total minutes. He was held scoreless in the first three NBA contests of his career, grabbing three rebounds.
The Warriors, in need of big-man help, have signed 6'11" Keith Benson from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League to a 10-day contract, the team announced today. The news was first reported via Twitter by Skyforce broadcaster Daniel Peters and passed along by Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside.
Benson was a second-round pick last June by the Hawks, but didn't make the team. He averaged 15.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game. The Warriors signed Mickell Gladness earlier this week, but still have an open roster spot to bring Benson on board.