And-Ones: Ball Brothers, McDaniels, E. Okafor

Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas made it official this week, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball, and expect Lonzo Ball‘s younger brothers to report to the team in early January. However, it’s not a long-term agreement. As Nicola Lupo details for Sportando, the deal for the two American teenagers includes a team opt-out after the first month, so it could end up being a brief experiment.

Still, Vytautas director Adomas Kubilius admits that he’s intrigued by exposure the Ball brothers will bring to the franchise, not to mention the potential financial benefits (Twitter link via Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas). The club didn’t speak directly with its new players during negotiations, having worked things out with agent Harrison Gaines, but Kubilius suggests that – outside of guaranteed playing time – the Ball brothers didn’t make any major requests (Twitter link via Urbonas). And for what it’s worth, LaVar Ball would also be “warmly welcomed” in Prienai, according to the team (Twitter link).

As we wait to see how LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball adjust to Lithuania, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world….

  • Veteran swingman K.J. McDaniels has signed a G League contract and been claimed off waivers by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons‘ affiliate, tweets Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days. McDaniels, who spent time with the Nets and Rockets in 2016/17 and was in camp this fall with the Raptors, has averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 148 total NBA games.
  • Bobby Marks’ latest piece for ESPN Insider is packed with team-by-team details on trade restrictions and notes that will be relevant as the February deadline approaches. Among the info Marks passes along: Which teams can only send or receive limited amounts of cash, which players can veto trades, and which can’t be traded until certain special dates.
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News examines the job security for head coaches around the NBA, concluding that Frank Vogel (Magic), Mike Budenholzer (Hawks), Dave Joerger (Kings), and Fred Hoiberg (Bulls) are among those whose seats are hottest.
  • Former second overall pick Emeka Okafor continues to try to make it back to the NBA, with Blake Murphy taking an in-depth look at the big man’s comeback efforts in an excellent piece for
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4 thoughts on “And-Ones: Ball Brothers, McDaniels, E. Okafor

  1. x%sure

    There is different styles of coaching for slow-pace and fast-pace. Vogel has the don’t-be-the-one, Parcell-like manner of slow-ball style– in contrast to what he had team actually doing. I think that’s what cooled the team off after the good start. However, I have not seen that spelled out in articles (not that I’m looking very hard).
    But there has has to an explanation of why a coach who is leading a team to a better-than-expected record is #1 on the hot-seat list!

    • x%sure

      PS– “Don’t be the one to screw it up for everyone”– something NY Giants coach Bill Parcell would say. It makes players cautious, less impulsive– smarter, slower.

  2. Thomas Swanson

    Charles Barkley says LaVar is a bad dad. Says he’s not talented enough to do anything ,so he’s exploiting his kids. Says LaVar should stay in Lithuania with LiAngelo and LaMelo, not drop them off. I wonder that too.


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