Alize Johnson

Raptors Signing Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, Alize Johnson

The Raptors will be adding big man Henry Ellenson, forward Yuta Watanabe, and forward Alize Johnson to their training camp roster, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (via Twitter).

As Murphy outlines, Ellenson will sign a two-year, minimum-salary contract with a $50K partial guarantee on year one. Details aren’t provided for Watanabe’s deal or Johnson’s, but the safe bet would be a pair of Exhibit 10 contracts, which are essentially non-guaranteed one-year deals.

All three players will have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the regular season roster, though the 15th spot could be up for grabs if the Raptors don’t sign second-round pick Jalen Harris to a standard contract, promote two-way player Paul Watson, or retain two-way RFA Oshae Brissett.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Watanabe, one of just two Japanese-born players currently in the league, spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old didn’t see much playing time at the NBA level, but was solid in the G League, averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .546/.364/.816 shooting in 22 games for the Memphis Hustle in 2019/20.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and has spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests. The Pacers didn’t tender him a qualifying offer last week, so he entered the market as an unrestricted free agent.

The moves will take the Raptors’ unofficial roster count to 19, not including Brissett.

QO Updates: Wanamaker, Hernangomez, Fall, Chiozza, More

The Celtics won’t be making a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The decision will ensure that Wanamaker becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday, rather than an RFA.

The decision is a little surprising, as Wanamaker’s QO would only have been worth about $1.82MM. And he was a fairly reliable bench contributor in Boston in 2019/20, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .448/.363/.926 shooting in 71 games (19.3 MPG). However, with Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard entering the mix, the Celtics don’t have a ton of roster spots to go around.

There’s still a chance that Wanamaker could return to the Celtics, particularly if Gordon Hayward ends up elsewhere, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are several more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves, as expected, tendered a qualifying offer to power forward Juan Hernangomez, making him a restricted free agent, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That QO is worth about $4.6MM. Hernangomez could accept it, but is more likely to try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Minnesota.
  • The Celtics extended qualifying offers to both of their two-way players, Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, the team announced in a press release. Those QOs are for new two-way deals with $50K guarantees.
  • The Pacers won’t extend qualifying offers to big man Alize Johnson or two-way players Brian Bowen and Naz Mitrou-Long, tweets Scotto. All three players will become unrestricted free agents.
  • Among other two-way players, Nets guard Chris Chiozza will receive a qualifying offer, but Pelicans guard Josh Gray won’t, according to Scotto (Twitter links). The Heat also won’t send a QO to two-way player Kyle Alexander, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Eastern Notes: Raptors Draft, Galloway, McConnell, Bulls

With the potential loss of Fred VanVleet in free agency and Kyle Lowry turning 34 this year, the Raptors could be in the market for a point guard in this year’s draft. With that in mind, Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at floor leaders that the club could target with its late first-round pick. Duke’s Tre Jones, Stanford’s Tyrell Terry and Arizona’s Nico Mannion are some of the prospects that Murphy examines.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons guard Langston Galloway, who is headed into unrestricted free agency, has “no regrets” about this season regardless of whether his team gets to play again, he told Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Galloway was the only player on the team to appear in every game and established himself as a solid second-unit shooter. “If we didn’t get to finish, I would say I had a great season and move on to the summer workouts,” he said. “I played in every single game, so I put my work on display every single game and the work I continue to put on display. I have no regrets going into the summer.”
  • Free agents T.J. McConnell, Justin Holiday and Alize Johnson are likely to remain with the Pacers next season, Scott Agness of The Athletic opines. McConnell and Holiday are solid reserves, while Johnson still has some upside. JaKarr Sampson is the only free agent that Indiana probably won’t re-sign, Agness adds.
  • The Bulls’ lottery chances could be jeopardized if they’re included in plans to resume the season, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Chicago is currently seventh in the draft lottery standings, giving the team a 32% chance at a top-four pick and a 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick, Johnson notes. If the Bulls got hot during the resumption of play and even advanced in a revised playoff format, those odds would drop.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/6/20

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Celtics assigned rookie center Vincent Poirier and rookie guard Carsen Edwards to their Maine affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. Poirier has seen action in 21 games with Boston this season, while Edwards has taken the court in 35 games.
  • The Pacers assigned forward Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. Johnson, a 2018 second-round pick, has appeared in 13 games with Indiana this season.
  • The Pistons assigned rookie forwards Sekou Doumbouya and Donta Hall to their Grand Rapids affiliate, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. Doumbouya, the team’s first-round pick, is averaging 6.5 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 19.9 MPG in 35 games this season. Hall is on his second 10-day contract with the NBA club.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/2/20

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from across the NBA G League:

  • The Warriors assigned guard Stephen Curry to its affiliate in Santa Cruz and then recalled the former MVP, according to a team press release and Twitter post. Curry got in a practice with the G League club as he prepares to return from a broken left hand. The team also assigned forward Alen Smailagic to Santa Cruz. Smailagic has appeared in 19 games with Santa Cruz this season, posting averages of 15.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 25.9 MPG.
  • The Pacers recalled center Goga Bitadze and forward Alize Johnson from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. Bitadze, the team’s first-round selection, has averaged 3.0 PPG in 8.5 MPG while making 46 appearances for the Pacers. Johnson, a 2018 second-rounder, has seen action in 12 NBA games this season.
  • The Magic recalled guard Melvin Frazier from Lakeland, the team’s PR department tweets. A 2018 second-round pick, Frazier has appeared in 14 games with Orlando this season.
  • The Bulls assigned and then recalled power forward Lauri Markkanen from the Windy City Bulls, the team tweets. Markkanen participated in a practice as part of his rehab process. He has been sidelined since January 22 with a stress reaction of his right pelvis.
  • The Clippers assigned big man Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Terance Mann to their Agua Caliente affiliate, according to the team’s PR department. A late first-rounder last June, Kabengele has appeared in 12 Clippers games. Mann, a rookie drafted in the second round, has seen action in 35 NBA games.
  • The Jazz assigned forward Juwan Morgan and guard Rayjon Tucker to the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the G League transactions log. A pair of undrafted rookies, Morgan has appeared in 16 Jazz games this season while Tucker has made 14 NBA appearances.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/1/20

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from across the NBA G League:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/26/20

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/24/20

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pistons recalled guard Khyri Thomas from the Grand Rapids Drive, according to a team press release. In two games with the Drive, Thomas averaged 17.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.5 APG in 22.0 MPG. Thomas, a second-round pick in 2018, played two early-season games with the Pistons before undergoing foot surgery.
  • The Warriors assigned big man Alen Smailagic to their Santa Cruz affiliate, the team’s PR department tweets. He has averaged 15.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG in 18 games with the G League club. The rookie has also seen action in 14 Golden State games.
  • The Timberwolves recalled swingman Jacob Evans III and forward Jarred Vanderbilt from their Iowa affiliate, according to a team press release. Evans was acquired from Golden State and Vanderbilt was acquired from Denver earlier this month.
  • The Pacers assigned forward Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. The 2018 second-round pick has appeared in 12 games with the NBA club this season.
  • The Spurs assigned Keldon Johnson and  Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, according to the G League transactions log. Johnson, the team’s first-round pick last June, has played five NBA games. Metu, a second-year forward, has appeared in 16 games for San Antonio this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/1/20

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/18/20

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league: