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.
Here’s the latest coming out of Lakerland tonight:
- After acknowledging that he won’t be making his season debut against the Kings tomorrow night in Sacramento, Kobe Bryant is tentatively targeting Sunday’s game against the Raptors, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA: “We (have) to see how it feels tonight. I’m going to try to get another hard session in and then [Friday] morning try to push it again and the same thing tomorrow evening. Continue to just keep on measuring it.”
- More from Kobe, who added that he was “pleased” with how he’s feeling after three straight days of practice: “I’m not jumping through the gym by any means, but I don’t need to be able to do that in order to be a great player…It just takes awhile, no matter how much running and conditioning you do, to get out there and play is different. So, I’m sure I’ll be limited in some capacity.”
- Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus reports that the Lakers have re-assigned Ryan Kelly to their D-League affilate, the D-Fenders (Twitter link).
- While Elias Harris had been signed to a partially-guaranteed rookie minimum of $490K, Pincus – in a piece for the L.A. Times – explains how waiving Harris saved the Lakers a total of nearly $1.1MM.
- Mike D’Antoni may not be the most ideal man for the Lakers’ head coaching job for some, but Kevin Ding of the Bleacher Report argues that at least he’s no Mike Brown. Citing Cleveland’s slow start as well as Brown’s indecisiveness with his rotation, Ding characterizes it as the “same tortoise pace of progress” that the former Lakers coach tried to sell in Los Angeles before getting the boot last season.
Here’s today’s look at the Cavs..
- The Cavs announced that they have assigned center Henry Sims and guard/forward Carrick Felix to their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. Sims has appeared in six games for the Cavs this season, averaging 1.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game and Felix has appeared in three games, averaging 1.3 points in 5.0 minutes per game. To keep up on all of this year’s D-League assignments, take a look at Hoops Rumors’ running list.
- Bob Finnan of the Plain Dealer look at how Nuggets coach Brian Shaw nearly became Cleveland’s head man.
- Former Cavalier J.J. Hickson can empathize with struggling No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and has some advice for him, writes Sam Amico of FOX Sports.
Guard Charlie Westbrook has agreed to sign a deal in the NBA Development League, a league source told Shams Charania of RealGM. Westbrook was in training camp with the Heat this summer and was said to impress, but the logjam of talented veterans was too much for him to overcome.
Westbrook had been deciding on his next professional team and he joined the D-League’s waiver process tonight to determine his franchise. The 24-year-old played four games with the Heat in preseason, with averages of 5.7 minutes and 2.5 points before being released on October 21st.
Undrafted in 2012 out of the University of South Dakota, Westbrook was on the second team all-conference as a senior, scoring over 18 points per game. He spent last season in Italy, where he averaged 16.2 points per contest.
The Rockets were upset by the Jazz on Monday, but had won eight of their previous nine games before that, and are comfortably in the playoff picture in a competitive Western Conference. So far though, Houston’s D-League affiliate is off to an even better start. Led by Rockets camp invitee Troy Daniels, as well as assignees Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers sit atop the D-League standings with a 5-0 record, and have averaged an incredible 133.4 points per game so far.
Here are a few more Wednesday notes from around the D-League:
- Bulls GM Gar Forman indicated yesterday that Marquis Teague wouldn’t have a long-term stay in the D-League, but Forman probably didn’t expect to recall Teague quite so early. The Bulls guard has been recalled from the Iowa Energy due to Mike James‘ knee injury, according to the team. “As soon as I landed they told me to come right back,” Teague told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
- The Hawks have assigned rookie guard Dennis Schröder to the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. The 20-year-old has appeared in just 11 of 19 games for Atlanta this season, so he should see more playing time in the D-League. Schröder will join Hawks teammate Jared Cunningham on the Bakersfield Jam.
- The Delaware 87ers made their acquisition of Kendall Marshall official today, sending out a press release to formally announce the addition of last year’s 13th overall pick.
Divergent coaching styles and philosophies ultimately prompted Jason Kidd to demote Nets assistant coach Lawrence Frank, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com, but that doesn’t appear to be the only reason for the move. Frank has been badmouthing Kidd around the league, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has additional details on the troubled relationship between the two coaches. Here’s more on the Nets soap opera and the rest of the NBA:
- The Nets maintain their strong support of Kidd, and they still believe he’ll develop into an effective head coach, Mannix writes. Brian Shaw, whom the Nets passed on when they hired Kidd, has “thrilled” Nuggets brass so far, Mannix notes via Twitter.
- Lamar Odom isn’t yet performing basketball drills in workouts, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The earliest he could be ready to play is mid-January, Berger hears. The Clippers appear in no rush to sign him, even with other teams in the mix.
- Tyler Hansbrough wasn’t pleased with his limited role on the Pacers last season, and while he signed with the Raptors hoping to be a more integral part of his team, he never expected to become the starter he is now, as Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun details.
- A short-term injury to Mike James will force the Bulls to cut Marquis Teague‘s D-League assignment short, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. The Bulls are down to 10 healthy players, but they don’t plan on signing anyone, Johnson says.
- Amid a rough week for the top four college prospects, Kansas center Joel Embiid‘s performance made him a legitimate candidate to become the No. 1 overall pick in June, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his latest Insider piece on the draft landscape.
8:07pm: The signing is official, according to a press release from the Spurs. The team didn’t announce the terms of the deal, but it’s likely a minimum-salary contract without a guarantee. The addition of the Aaron Mintz client brings San Antonio’s roster to the 15-player limit, as our updated roster counts show.
TUESDAY, 7:43pm: The Spurs have finalized their deal with Thomas, tweets Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, though there remains no official announcement from the team. Thomas is set to join the team after it returns from Wednesday’s game against the Timberwolves in Mexico City.
SUNDAY, 7:29pm: The Spurs are set to sign power forward Malcolm Thomas, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Thomas, who has been with the D-League’s L.A. D-Fenders, was pulled from tonight’s game against the Bakersfield Jam.
The Spurs and Thomas are quite familiar at this point as Thomas has suited up for both the Spurs and their D-League affiliate in Austin. The 25-year-old has 15 career NBA games to his credit, including three with San Antonio in 2011/12. In 27 D-League contests, Thomas has averaged 13.2 PPG and 9.6 RPG in 32.7 minutes per contest. Thomas was in summer league and training camp with the Bulls this summer, but Chicago didn’t have the room to keep him despite some impressive play.
DECEMBER 3RD: Marshall has been claimed by the Delaware 87ers in the D-League’s waiver process, tweets Wojnarowski. The 87ers are the Sixers’ affiliate, so they’ll hold Marshall’s D-League rights, but he’ll still be free to sign with any NBA team, if he gets an offer.
NOVEMBER 27TH: About a month after being traded by the Suns and subsequently released by the Wizards, Kendall Marshall will join the NBA D-League, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski reports that Marshall has entered his name into the D-League’s pool of players, and will land on a team next week following the league’s waiver process.
Marshall, 22, received offers from teams in China and Europe, says Wojnarowski. However, it seems the young point guard believes his best route back to the NBA involves remaining stateside. Wojnarowski reported earlier in the month that Marshall was drawing some NBA interest, and we heard this week from Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that sources expected him to sign somewhere by the New Year. A strong showing for Marshall in the D-League may motivate an NBA team to take a flier on the 2012 lottery pick.
After being selected 13th overall a year ago by the Suns, Marshall had a disappointing rookie campaign, averaging just 3.0 PPG in 48 contests, to go along with a .371 FG% and 7.8 PER. The UNC product was included in the trade that sent Marcin Gortat to Washington, but was quickly waived by the Wizards, who didn’t have space on the roster to carry him into the regular season.
Derrick Rose‘s season-ending knee injury was expected to result in an increased role for Bulls point guard Marquis Teague. However, for at least the short term, Teague will play for the D-League’s Iowa Energy rather than for the Bulls. Chicago announced today that the team has assigned Teague to its D-League affiliate.
Teague, 20, received a bump in minutes for the Bulls in the three games following Rose’s injury, but failed to score a single point in about 45 minutes of action in those contests, missing all 11 shots he attempted from the field. While the Bulls don’t use their D-League affiliate often, they’ll take advantage of the opportunity to get the 2012 first-round pick more developmental time, as Kirk Hinrich and Mike James handle point guard duties in Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Thunder have also made their first D-League assignment of the year, announcing that Andre Roberson will join the Tulsa 66ers. Oklahoma City used its D-League affiliate more than any other NBA team in 2012/13, so this likely won’t be the last time we see Roberson assigned to the 66ers. The 22-year-old rookie out of Colorado has appeared briefly in six games for the Thunder so far this season.
To keep tabs on all of this season’s D-League assignments, be sure to check out our full list.
Let’s round up a few afternoon updates from around the Western Conference….
- Jordan Farmar was diagnosed with a torn left hamstring today and is expected to be sidelined for about four weeks, according to the Lakers. Steve Nash is on the mend, but if Nash misses more time, the Lakers will be very shorthanded at the point, perhaps necessitating a roster move.
- Another team that finds itself shorthanded is the Pelicans, who will be without Anthony Davis for the next few weeks. As Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes, New Orleans is in trouble and almost certainly headed for the lottery if Davis misses significant time. With a full 15-man roster and no obvious help available via free agency or trades, the Pelicans may have to make do with their current roster while Davis recovers.
- A day after assigning them to the Austin Toros, the Spurs have recalled Aron Baynes and Nando De Colo from the D-League, the team announced today. The duo combined for 53 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists in the Toros’ win over the Delaware 87ers last night.
- Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman passes along a handful of interesting quotes from Thunder GM Sam Presti on the evolving identity of the Oklahoma City franchise.