There are a few surprise first-place teams in divisions around the NBA in the early going, but that’s not the case in the Central, where the 3-0 Pacers lead the way. In David Aldridge’s latest Morning Tip column at NBA.com, which also features an extended look at the Bulls, the Pacers sit atop Aldridge’s power rankings.
Here are a few more Monday morning Central items:
- Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks conceded that a player’s contract situation is “always a topic of conversation for someone,” but suggested that it’s not necessarily a distraction for the player himself. As Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press details, if Cheeks is aware that players like Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, and Charlie Villanueva are on expiring contracts, he didn’t let on.
- Michael Lee, Kevin Jones, and Tyrell Biggs are on the Canton Charge’s camp roster, a source tells Bob Finnan of the News-Herald (Twitter link). Lee was in camp with the Cavs last month, while Jones was released by the team back in July. Both Jones and Biggs last played for Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, so the Charge still held their rights.
- As our Free Agent Tracker shows, outside of returning free agent David West, Chris Copeland was the most significant signing for the Pacers this offseason. So why can’t the ex-Knick crack the rotation? Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star discusses that question with Copeland, who isn’t complaining about his lack of minutes.
The Cavaliers have shed two non-guaranteed contracts from their books, waiving Kevin Jones and Chris Quinn, according to a team release. The moves coincide with the team's introduction of Andrew Bynum, so it appears a little extra cap space was required to squeeze in Bynum's salary.
Jones, 23, appeared in 32 contests with the Cavs last season, averaging 3.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG. He also played 12 games for the team's D-League affiliate, recording an impressive 22.4 PPG and 11.2 RPG for the Canton Charge. Quinn's stint with the Cavs was briefer, as he appeared in just seven games for the club. Both players' contracts were fully non-guaranteed, and weren't set to become guaranteed until January.
Jones' impressive D-League numbers could result in him drawing some interest around the NBA, at least as a training camp invitee. Meanwhile, Quinn is reportedly receiving some attention from foreign teams, according to a Thursday report. Both Jones and Quinn suffered concussions during Summer League action, so they may need to get healthy first before signing new deals anywhere.
We'll round up today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top of the page:
- The Thunder have recalled Jeremy Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and Daniel Orton from the D-League, the team announced via press release. All three, along with Perry Jones III and Reggie Jackson, have frequently shuttled back and forth between Oklahoma City and the Tulsa 66ers this season, as the Thunder have taken advantage of their nearby single-affliate D-League club. Among the players returning to the Thunder today, Lamb has put up the most impressive numbers with the 66ers, averaging 21.4 points in 20 games.
- The Cavs have recalled Kevin Jones from the D-League's Canton Charge, according to the Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The power forward had been on his sixth D-League assignment this season after Cleveland signed him in late November. Jones is averaging 22.4 points and 11.2 rebounds in a dozen games for the Charge. He's appeared in 19 games for the Cavs, but has seen just 8.9 minutes per contest.
- The Nets have assigned Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor to the D-League for the second time in the past week, the team announced via press release. The pair are headed down to the Springfield Armor again after a one-day stint on Friday. Taylor delivered 21 points and eight assists while Shengelia had 15 points and five rebounds for the Armor that night in a win against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, though both players struggled with turnovers. Taylor gave the ball away nine times and Shengelia committed five giveaways. Both players will be in uniform for the Armor's game Tuesday, so their D-League stays should be at least slightly longer this time around.
In addition to the usual assignments and recalls, we've got a couple more D-League links of note to share. Let's round them up….
- Perry Jones III has been recalled from the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder announced today in a press release. The 2012 first-round pick will be available for tonight's game in Oklahoma City vs. the Jazz.
- The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired former first-round pick Craig Brackins, the D-League squad formally announced today (Twitter link). Brackins, who played in Italy earlier this season, was the 21st overall pick in 2010, but only appeared in 17 games over two season for the Sixers before failing to find an NBA job last summer.
- The Warriors have recalled Kent Bazemore and Malcolm Thomas from the D-League, a day after their respective assignments, the team announced today in a press release. Bazemore and Thomas combined for 24 points and 26 rebounds in Santa Cruz's 110-103 win over Reno last night.
- Kevin Jones has been re-assigned once again to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers announced today in a press release. Jones' D-League assignments this season have typically just lasted one game, so I imagine he'll return to the Cavs after playing for the Charge in tonight's game against the Bakersfield Jam.
- With Andrea Bargnani officially ruled out for the season by the Raptors, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun anticipates that the team will recall Quincy Acy from the D-League (Twitter link).
- Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob, who is also the GM of the team's D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, spoke to Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside about developing players and the relationship between the organization's D-League and NBA teams.
- Ken Rodriguez of Spurs.com takes a look at Cory Joseph's journey to the D-League and back to the Spurs.
We'll keep track of today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top:
- The Cavs have recalled Kevin Jones from the D-League after a one-day stint, the team announced on its website. Jones has bounced back and forth between the Cavs and the Canton Charge this week, as it's the fourth straight day the team has either assigned or recalled the power forward. Jones put up 17 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes for Canton last night, and is averaging 22.4 PPG and 12.1 RPG in nine games for the Charge this season. The Cavs, sole owners of the Charge, have taken advantage of the geographic proximity of their affiliate, sending Jones down on five occasions this season after signing him November 29th.
Today's NBA D-League assignments and recalls all in one place:
- Veteran guard Delonte West, who remains unsigned by any NBA team, will report to the Texas Legends on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned rookie forward Kevin Jones to the Canton Charge of the D-League, the team announced in a press release. Jones has appeared in 19 games for the Cavs and is averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.7 RPG. He was recalled from the D-League on Friday.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Jarvis Varnado has been sent to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat announced today in a press release. Varnado averaged a double-double in the D-League earlier this season, recording 14.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 3.9 BPG for Sioux Falls.
- The Hawks have assigned rookie Mike Scott to the D-League, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Consitution. Scott will join the Bakersfield Jam, who have a home-and-home set against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
- The Cavaliers have recalled Kevin Jones from the D-League just a day after re-assigning him, the team announced in a press release. Jones led the Canton Charge with 24 points and nine rebounds in last night's game, helping the team defeat the Idaho Stampede, 115-109. The rookie forward will be available for the Cavs tonight against the Clippers.
- Aron Baynes also led his D-League team to victory last night during his one-game assignment. The Spurs announced today in a press release that Baynes had been recalled from the Austin Toros after recording 16 points and nine boards in the club's Thursday win.
- The Celtics have assigned Fab Melo to the Maine Red Claws, according to a team press release. With D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph expected to be ready to play tonight, the C's didn't need Melo on the bench in Boston.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves listed at the top of the page:
- The Spurs have assigned Aron Baynes to the Austin Toros and recalled Cory Joseph, the team announced today in a press release. Joseph has been the Toros' leading scorer this year, averaging 19.4 PPG in 26 games, while Baynes is right behind him with 18.0 PPG in his two D-League games.
- The Nets have re-assigned Tornike Shengelia to the D-League, according to a team press release. It's the third assignment of the year for the rookie, who excelled in his three games with the Springfield Armor, averaging 28.3 PPG and 13.7 RPG.
- Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb, and DeAndre Liggins have been sent to the Tulsa 66ers by the Thunder, the club announced today in a press release. All three players have spent time in the D-League this season, with Lamb standing out most in his 14 games with the 66ers, averaging 21.1 PPG.
- The Cavaliers have assigned Kevin Jones to their D-League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. Jones has been with Cleveland for all of February, though he's only appeared in three games for the club this month. For the season, the 23-year-old has seen limited minutes in 18 games for the Cavs, but has been dominant in seven contests with the Canton Charge, averaging 23.0 PPG and 12.6 RPG.
Here are Thursday's D-League assignments and recalls, with the latest moves at the top of the page:
- The Pacers have re-assigned Miles Plumlee to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team announced today in a press release. Plumlee has averaged a double-double for Indiana's D-League affiliate in 11 games with the Mad Ants this year, posting 12.8 PPG and 11.2 RPG.
- A day after assigning him to the D-League, the Cavaliers have recalled Kevin Jones, the team announced in a press release. Jones recorded 18 points and 14 rebounds in the Canton Charge's loss to the Erie BayHawks last night, and will rejoin the Cavs for their game tomorrow in Detroit.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls right here, with any further moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Rookie forward Kevin Jones has been re-assigned to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers announced today in a press release. Jones didn't see any action during his recent stint with Cleveland, but has appeared in 15 NBA games so far. He has also excelled in his six contests with the Charge, averaging 23.8 PPG and 12.3 RPG.
- The Nuggets have assigned Julyan Stone to their D-League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. Stone, who missed more than two months of the season while recovering from right hip surgery, will join Quincy Miller, the other Nugget currently playing for the D-League's Iowa Energy.