Admiral Schofield

Magic Waive Four Players

The Magic have waived Admiral Schofield, B.J. Johnson, Jeff Dowtin and Hassani Gravett, the team announced in a press release today. All four players are likely to play for the team’s G League affiliate in Lakeland this season.

Orlando currently has 16 players on its roster, including one two-way contract. It’s unclear whether the team will fill its second two-way spot before the season begins.

The Magic committed to rebuilding last season, trading away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier before the deadline. The team has a strong young core entering the 2021/22 campaign, headlined by Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs.

That core also includes third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. — who signed a four-year contract extension with the organization this week.

Magic Add Admiral Schofield

The Magic have finalized a deal with free agent forward Admiral Schofield, according to an official team press release.

Orlando currently has 15 guaranteed rosters, so the addition of Schofield appears most likely to be an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, though official terms of the contract have not been revealed. Schofield is the 20th player on the Magic’s 2021/22 roster ahead of the September 28 start of the team’s training camp.

This is not the first time Orlando has been interested in adding Schofield. Near the end of the 2021 season, with the Magic firmly ensconced in a full-on tank, chatter emerged about Schofield potentially getting a look with the club via a hardship exception. The Magic later moved on from the deal as a result of “inconsistencies” in Schofield’s COVID-19 testing, but clearly the team’s interest hasn’t waned.

Schofield could be competing for the Magic’s available two-way player slot. The undersized (6’5″) power forward out of Tennessee was originally drafted with the No. 42 pick in 2019 by the Sixers, before being sent to the Wizards in a draft-night trade. Schofield enjoyed a decorated NCAA run. He was named to the All-SEC First Team and the All-SEC Second Team during his four-year collegiate tenure.

Across 33 career NBA appearances (all during his rookie 2019/20 season), the 23-year-old Schofield holds averages of 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 11.2 MPG.

Schofield has also suited up for the NBAGL affiliates of both the Wizards and Hornets, the Capital City Go-Go and the Greensboro Swarm, respectively. In 47 G League contests, Schofield holds averages of 14.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 2.1 APG across 29.5 MPG.

Most recently, Schofield played for the Hawks’ 2021 Summer League roster.

Eastern Notes: Schofield, Magic, Cavs, Heat, Pacers

Word broke last Thursday that the Magic intended to sign Admiral Schofield to a 10-day contract using a hardship exception, but two days later, we learned that the deal had fallen through.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN explains (via Twitter), there were “inconsistencies” in Schofield’s COVID-19 testing that held up his signing and forced the Magic to move on. Orlando ended up bringing back Donta Hall, while Schofield was eventually confirmed to be negative for the coronavirus, per Wojnarowski.

It’s a tough break in what has been a difficult season for Schofield. After spending his rookie season with the Wizards, the 24-year-old was traded and waived in November, struggled in the G League after being selected first overall in the NBAGL draft, and – barring a last-minute signing – ultimately won’t end up playing any NBA games in his second professional season.

Here are a few more notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Joe Vardon of The Athletic argued on Monday that the Cavaliers made a mistake by signing Anderson Varejao to a ceremonial contract rather than trying to develop a young prospect using that roster spot, but Evan Dammarell of Forbes says the Cavs have already proven this season that they’re capable of developing young talent, based on the growth of youngsters like Dean Wade, Lamar Stevens, and Mfiondu Kabengele. While I’m not sure that’s a convincing case to not try to develop another player, it’s worth noting that Varejao was signed using a short-term hardship exception — if the Cavs had opted for a prospect instead, they wouldn’t have been able to sign that player to a multiyear contract.
  • Victor Oladipo (knee) still isn’t traveling with the Heat on their current road trip, but the recent return of Tyler Herro to the backcourt has given the team a boost, writes Khobi Price of The Sun Sentinel.
  • Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files makes the case for why letting veteran assistant coach Dan Burke go was the worst move of the Pacers‘ 2020 offseason, while J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star suggests that Pacers swingman Kelan Martin – who began the season on a partially guaranteed contract – has earned more playing time.

Magic No Longer Signing Admiral Schofield

Although a report several days ago stated that the Magic intended to sign forward Admiral Schofield via the hardship exception, Orlando’s plans have hit a glitch and the signing will no longer happen, tweets The Athletic’s Josh Robbins.

It’s unclear what exactly changed in the Magic’s plans, as the team has experienced a series of injuries and appeared to be on the verge of a deal with Schofield. Teams can use the hardship exception if at least four players miss three or more games and are expected to miss at least another two weeks.

Orlando currently has five players that could miss the remainder of the regular season, in addition to Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, so the team would seemingly qualify for a hardship exception. We’ll have to wait to see if the Magic end up signing a different player or just stick with their current roster.

Schofield, 24, was the first player selected in January’s NBAGL draft but produced modest results. He averaged just 10.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 14 games for Charlotte’s G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. He also shot below 40% from the field and a paltry 22.7% from beyond the arc.

The UK native was selected 42nd overall in the 2019 NBA Draft but has appeared in just 33 games during the 2019/20 campaign with the Wizards.

Magic To Sign Admiral Schofield Via Hardship Exception

The Magic intend to sign free agent forward Admiral Schofield, according to Josh Robbins and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Orlando has been granted a hardship exception, so the team won’t have to waive anyone to open up a spot on its 15-man roster for Schofield.

A team can receive a hardship exception when it has at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury/illness and those players are expected to remain sidelined for another two weeks (or, in this case, through the end of the regular season). Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz have long been ruled out for the season, and the Magic have five other players who have missed at least three games and may not return before season’s end.

Schofield, 24, was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 draft, but lasted just one year with the Wizards. He was traded during the 2020 offseason to the Thunder, who subsequently waived him.

The former Tennessee standout signed a G League contract and was the first player selected in January’s NBAGL draft. He averaged a modest 10.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 14 games (26.2 MPG) for the Greensboro Swarm – Charlotte’s G League affiliate – and struggled with his shot, making only 38.2% of his attempts from the floor and 22.7% from beyond the three-point line.

Despite his inconsistent play at the Walt Disney World bubble, the Magic will take a flier on Schofield down the stretch. Robbins and Charania indicate he”ll receive a 10-day contract, which suggests the deal will be completed today — as of tomorrow, there will only be 10 days left in the regular season, so any standard contract signed after today would just be a rest-of-season arrangement.

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Lance Stephenson Among NBA Vets Eligible For G League Draft

As previously reported, the NBA G League’s 2020/21 draft will take place on Monday, January 11. And according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links), there will be some interesting names on the list of players eligible to be selected in that draft.

Veteran swingman Lance Stephenson, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor, and other recent NBA players like Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and Admiral Schofield will be part of the draft pool, per Givony. Former first-round picks Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will be draft-eligible as well.

According to Givony, the following players who have been on NBA rosters in the past are also among the G League’s other draft-eligible veterans: Kenny Wooten, Antonio Blakeney, Tyler Ulis, Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Hollis Thompson, Cat Barber, Isaiah Briscoe, Phil Booth, Dusty Hannahs, Jemerrio Jones, Cory Jefferson, and Freddie Gillespie.

These, presumably, are players who have signed G League contracts but whose rights aren’t currently held by any teams. A player whose returning rights are controlled by a club participating in the G League’s bubble season wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted.

For instance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that LiAngelo Ball has signed a contract to play in the bubble. Since the Oklahoma City Blue hold his returning rights and are playing in the bubble, Ball shouldn’t be in the general draft pool.

The Blue are one of 18 teams set to participate in the shortened bubble season, which is expected to take place at Walt Disney World. That list of teams can be found right here.

Givony previously reported that the G League is adjusting its roster rules for this season to make it easier for NBA teams to recruit and sign veterans with five or more years of NBA experience. Each NBAGL team will be able to designate an “NBA Vet Selection” who fits that bill and can sign that player directly without navigating the league’s complicated waiver process. My understanding is that those designated won’t be in the draft pool.

Thunder Waive T.J. Leaf, Admiral Schofield

The Thunder have made a pair of roster cuts, announcing in a press release that they’ve waived forwards T.J. Leaf and Admiral Schofield.

Leaf and Schofield were acquired by Oklahoma City in offseason trades. The Thunder took on Schofield’s contract as part of a deal that saw them move up from No. 53 to No. 37 in this year’s draft to select Vit Krejci. The club received Leaf and a future second-round pick in a deal for Jalen Lecque, who is on a cheaper contract.

The fact that neither Leaf nor Schofield made the Thunder’s regular season roster suggests those two trades were motivated by the opportunities to land Krejci and a future second-rounder.

Leaf, the 18th overall pick in the 2017 draft, failed to carve out a role as a regular, reliable rotation player during three seasons in Indiana. The former UCLA standout averaged just 3.0 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 28 games (7.9 MPG) for the Pacers in 2019/20.

Schofield, meanwhile, spent his rookie season in 2019/20 with the Wizards after being drafted 42nd overall a year ago. He played limited minutes in D.C., averaging 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG).

Both Leaf and Schofield will become unrestricted free agents, assuming they clear waivers. They’ll also be paid their 2020/21 salaries, since they were fully guaranteed. Leaf will earn $4.33MM, while Schofield makes $1.52MM. Schofield will also receive a partial guarantee of $300K on next season’s salary.

As for the Thunder, they now have 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts and Frank Jackson on a partially guaranteed contract. They’ll have to make at least one more cut before the regular season roster deadline on Monday.

Thunder Acquire Schofield, Second-Rounder Krejci From Wizards

NOVEMBER 19: The Thunder also acquired Admiral Schofield from Washington in the deal, which is now official, according to a tweet from the Wizards.

NOVEMBER 18: The Wizards selected guard Vit Krejci with the No. 37 but they’re trading him to the Thunder, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Washington will receive the No. 53 pick in this draft plus additional compensation, Ben Standig of The Athletic tweets.

The Wizards used that pick on Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston. Winston led the Spartans to the Final Four as a junior and averaged 18.6 PPG and 5.9 APG as a senior.

The additional competition will be a future second-rounder, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.

Krejci of the Czech Republic won’t be able to play in the NBA in the near future. While playing for the Spanish team Casademont Zaragoza, the 20-year-old Krejci suffered an ACL injury that required surgery in early October. He’s a member of the Czech Republic national team and projects as a 6’8” combo guard.

Wizards Notes: Restart, Schofield, Wall, Wade

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard vows that the team is focused on making the playoffs despite key players missing the restart in Orlando, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets.

“Certainly, we’re going there to win games,” he said. “We’re trying to make the playoffs. That’s 100 percent our goal.”

There has been speculation that Wizards would treat their eight “seeding” games as a de facto Summer League. Forward Davis Bertans, a free agent after the season, has chosen to sit out. Star guard John Wall will wait until next season to return from his Achilles injury. Washington trails Brooklyn by six games and Orlando by 5.5 games and needs to pull within four games of one of those teams to force a play-in round for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • Rookie Admiral Schofield is expected to have an expanded role in Orlando with Bertans choosing not to play, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets“There’s going to be an opportunity at some point for Admiral to show what he can do,” Sheppard said. Schofield has appeared in 27 games, averaging 3.1 PPG in 10.9 MPG.
  • Wall will stay in Miami while the Wizards are in Orlando to work with some coaches that won’t be in the bubble, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. The lack of practices during the stoppage of play cost Wall the basketball ramp-up timing he’d been gaining in workouts, according to Sheppard.
  • Washington had some interest in signing power forward Dean Wade, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Wade agreed to a four-year contract with Cleveland on Monday.