Minor Moves: Covington, Mekel, Heat, Warriors

Robert Covington nearly had a deal with the Sixers this week shortly after the Rockets waived him, but talks broke down over contract length and the 23-year-old forward is expected to sign with the D-League instead, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. Philadelphia offered a four-year arrangement with a “high” amount of guaranteed salary, Charania writes, but Covington apparently passed on that. The sides were unable to forge a deal on a shorter contract, Charania notes. Covington joins K.J. McDaniels, the 32nd pick in this year’s draft who inked with the Sixers for just one year, among those resisting Philly’s efforts to tie up young players on long-term deals. The deluge of players hitting waivers in the past week has led to news around the D-League and international circuits, and we’ll pass along the latest here:

  • Gal Mekel isn’t thinking of heading overseas to play in the wake of the Mavs‘ decision to waive him Wednesday, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com, so he’ll remain free to sign with another NBA team providing he clears waivers.
  • Khem Birch, Larry Drew II, Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones have agreed to join the Heat‘s D-League affiliate, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Miami is using its ability to reserve the D-League rights to up to four of its preseason cuts to keep Birch, Johnson and Jones out of the D-League draft, but Drew played with the Heat’s D-League affiliate last year, so he wouldn’t have been subject to the draft. That allows the Heat to preserve their ability to retain the D-League rights to one player they waive during the regular season. Andre Dawkins seems a likely candidate for that sort of maneuver, Winderman suggests (on Twitter).
  • Sean Kilpatrick will play for the Warriors D-League affiliate, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who confirms an earlier report that Aaron Craft will do the same. That means Golden State retained the D-League rights to both after waiving them last week.
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