Anthony Bennett

International Notes: Satoransky, Motiejunas, Bennett

A report earlier today from IsraelHayom.co.il (hat tip to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando) indicated that Czech guard Tomas Satoransky would miss the upcoming EuroBasket tournament after suffering ligament damage to his right ankle in a warmup tournament against Germany. However, Eurohoops hears differently, stating that while Satoransky does indeed have a “severe” ankle sprain, he hasn’t been ruled out for the tournament.

The Czech Republic team’s opening game takes place on September 2 versus Poland, and even if Satoransky isn’t ready by that point, he’s expected to remain on the roster to try and play when he’s able to, according to Eurohoops.

The magnetic resonance examination was the same as the other examination. Tomas remains in Prague to rehabilitate intensively. We will know the results of rehabilitation and treatment in a week after the next resonance, which will indicate further progress towards EuroBasket,” said national team manager Michal Sob while talking to the local press.

Satoransky’s mentality is set in such a way that he wants to do what’s 100% possible to participate in the championship,” he added.

The 30-year-old spent the last six seasons in the NBA, but he’s heading back to Spain next season, having agreed to a four-year deal to reunite with FC Barcelona.

Here are a couple more international notes:

  • Former NBA big man Donatas Motiejunas has re-signed with AS Monaco Basket, the team announced. Motiejunas played parts of six NBA seasons with Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio, last suiting up for the Spurs for three games in 2018/19. He averaged 10.4 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 33 EuroLeague games (19.3 MPG) with Monaco last season.
  • Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 draft, has signed in Taiwan with the Hsinchu Lioneers, per Dario Skerletic of Sporando. Bennett had a disappointing and brief NBA run, appearing in 151 games (12.6 MPG) with Cleveland, Minnesota, Toronto and Brooklyn from 2013-17, with averages of 4.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG on .392/.261/.670 shooting. The 29-year-old forward spent last season in Israel with Hapoel Jerusalem before heading to Taiwan to play for the Kaohsiung Steelers, Skerletic notes.

And-Ones: Team USA, Faried, Bennett, All-Star Voting

New Team USA coach Steve Kerr may not hold a training camp involving players during the summer, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Kerr, who officially took over the position earlier this week, has talked to managing director Grant Hill about conducting a coaches camp instead, which would represent a new approach for the national team.

The next World Cup won’t take place until the 2023 offseason, and the next Olympics are two-and-a-half years away. Team USA will be hoping to get a two-year commitment from its players to participate in both events. The Americans have won the last four Olympic gold medals, but finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup.

“I’m in touch with Grant all the time and we’re discussing those things,” Kerr said. “Obviously there is COVID complications as well, but with the World Cup not being until the following summer, there’s not a huge sense of urgency to get a bunch of players together. It’s more about getting the coaches together and really starting to put a foundation together.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Kenneth Faried has received an offer to play in the G League, tweets Marc Stein of Substack. The 32-year-old big man played eight NBA seasons, but hasn’t been in the league since finishing the 2018/19 season with the Rockets. Faried has played overseas since then, but ended his arrangement with CSKA Moscow last week.
  • Anthony Bennett has parted ways with Hapoel Jerusalem, tweets Israeli basketball writer Roi Cohen. Bennett, the first selection in the 2013 draft, averaged 7.0 points per game while playing in the Winner League and the Basketball Champions League. Bennett has been out of the NBA since the 2016/17 season and has played both in the G League and overseas.
  • Fan voting for the NBA’s All-Star Game began today and will continue through January 22, the league announced (via Twitter). Votes can be submitted at NBA.com, through the NBA app or on Twitter. Votes will count double today, as well as January 13, 17 and 20.

And-Ones: Kilpatrick, Bennett, Bates, Mahmoud, 2022 Draft, Baker

Israel’s Hapoel Jerusalem continued its push to sign former NBA players, adding Sean Kilpatrick and Anthony Bennett to its roster, according to the team’s social media feed (Twitter links). Kilpatrick played in Turkey last season and hasn’t appeared in an NBA contest since 2018. Bennett, a former No. 1 overall pick, had his contract with a Puerto Rican franchise terminated last month. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season. As previously noted, Hapoel Jerusalem also announced the signing of Pistons and Cavaliers big man Thon Maker.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Emoni Bates, considered the best high school prospect in the country, has committed to the University of Memphis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. He reclassified into the Class of 2021  but still won’t be eligible for the NBA draft until 2023 because his 19th birthday isn’t until January 2023. A 6’9″ small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bates committed to Michigan State last summer, but he de-committed in April.
  • Anas Mahmoud played with the Raptors in the Las Vegas summer league and is looking to become the first homegrown Egyptian player to make the NBA. Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a closer look at the 7-footer, who could be ticketed to the G League if he doesn’t gain a spot on the Toronto roster. “I’ll probably be the first Egyptian coming out of the Egyptian league,” Mahmoud said. “I was a little different (from other Egyptians who have made the NBA) because I only got here right (before) college and went back to play in the (Egyptian) league. It’s a pleasure and it’s an honor.”
  • Gonzaga power forward Chet Holmgren, Duke power forward Paolo Banchero and G League Ignite shooting guard Jaden Hardy top ESPN Jonathan Givony’s initial top-100 list for the 2022 draft. Givony also explores a number of storylines surrounding next year’s projected draft class, including the lack of point guard depth.
  • Former NBA guard Ron Baker quietly retired last year and he’s got a new job, according to Shelby Kellerman of the Wichita Business Journal. Baker has been hired as a project manager in Ascension Via Christi’s strategy and business development department. Baker, 28, appeared in 96 games during his NBA career, including a combined 15 with the Knicks and Wizards during the 2018/19 season.

And-Ones: Teodosic, Bennett, Cunningham, Macon, Brown

Former NBA guard Milos Teodosic has reached a contract extension agreement with Virtus Bologna through the 2022/23 season, according to a team press release. Teodosic played 60 games with the Clippers from 2017-19. He was waived in February of his final season and signed with the Italian club during the summer of 2019.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rico has terminated Anthony Bennett’s contract and replaced him with Dante Cunningham, Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. Cunningham had a stint in China after appearing in 715 NBA games from 2009-19. Bennett, the top pick of the 2013 draft, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season.
  • Former NBA guard Daryl Macon is expected to sign with Panathinaikos BC, Greek journalist George Zakkas tweets. Macon played for Galatasaray Istanbul and AEK Athens this past season. He began the 2019/20 season on a two-way deal with the Heat and was waived that January. He also played for Dallas.
  • Larry Brown has been named the recipient of this year’s Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association announced on Thursday via a league press release. Brown was a head coach for 42 years at the college and pro level, winning the NBA title with the Pistons in 2004 and NCAA championship with Kansas in 1988. He’s the only coach to lead eight different NBA teams to the playoffs.

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

Anthony Bennett, Thomas Robinson Sign With Puerto Rican Team

Former NBA lottery selections Anthony Bennett and Thomas Robinson have both reached deals with Puerto Rican team Cangrejeros de Santurce, according to agent Christian Santaella (link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

Bennett, the top pick in the 2013 draft out of UNLV, is a 6’8″ power forward who spent parts of his four NBA seasons with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Raptors (as well as their NBAGL club, Raptors 905) and Nets (as well as their G League club, the Long Island Nets). The 28-year-old holds career NBA averages of 4.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG across 151 games.

Bennett joined Turkish Basketball Super League club Fenerbahçe in 2017, winning the EuroLeague title with the team in a limited role. He next played with several G League clubs, including the Northern Arizona Suns in 2017 (now the Motor City Cruise), the Maine Red Claws, and the Agua Caliente Clippers. He’s part of Team Canada’s preliminary roster for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

Robinson, 30, was picked fifth in the 2012 draft by Sacramento out of Kansas. The 6’10” big man spent parts of five seasons with the Kings, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Sixers, Nets and Lakers. Across 313 NBA games, Robinson averaged 4.9 PPG (on 47% shooting from the field) and 4.8 RPG. Following his NBA career, Robinson played for teams in Russia, China and Turkey.

14 NBA Players On Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Qualifying Roster

Team Canada has yet to secure a place in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the club should have a loaded roster as it looks to lock up a spot in a qualifying tournament next month.

Canada Basketball issued a press release today announcing its 21-player preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifier, and the group includes 14 players who finished the season on NBA contracts. Here’s the full list:

Of the seven players who didn’t play in the NBA this season, one (Bennett) is a former first overall pick, another (Nicholson) was also a first-round selection, and a third (Alexander) has NBA experience. Bell-Haynes has played in the G League, while Doornekamp, Ejim, and Nembhard all have extensive experience representing Canada in past international competitions.

Still, a few noteworthy names are missing from the list. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be able to participate. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also dealing with an injury, announcing on Instagram that rehabbing the plantar fasciitis in his right foot will prevent him from representing Team Canada.

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is a third notable omission. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Boucher is focused on rehabbing a knee sprain and wants to make sure he’s 100% healthy heading into 2021/22. He also has a somewhat uncertain contract situation — his $7MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, though I’d be shocked if he’s not retained.

Even without Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Boucher, Canada Basketball is in position to run out a roster stacked with NBA talent and led by former NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse.

While the final roster will depend in part on which players are available, none of the 21 players on the preliminary are on teams expected to still be alive for the conference finals. However, a club like Powell’s Mavericks or Barrett’s Knicks could surprise.

Team Canada will compete against Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic in a qualifying tournament in Victoria, British Columbia between June 29 and July 4. If the club wins that six-team qualifier, it will be part of the 12-team field in Tokyo and would be a legit contender for a medal.

And-Ones: Newly-Scheduled Games, AmeriCup, All-Star Game

In the wake of a series of postponements related to both COVID-19 and severe weather in Texas, the NBA is adding a pair of new games to its schedule for this week. The Nuggets and Cavaliers will play in Cleveland on Friday, according to an official announcement. Meanwhile, the Bulls will host the Pistons on Wednesday in Chicago, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Bulls were initially scheduled to play in Charlotte on Wednesday, while the Pistons were supposed to play in Dallas. However, the Hornets were affected by coronavirus contact tracing and the Mavs are dealing with a weather-related state of emergency in the area, so Chicago and Detroit will instead play each other.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets had been scheduled to play in Charlotte on Friday night, but that Hornets game has been postponed as well due to contact tracing. The Cavaliers, whose Wednesday contest vs. San Antonio was postponed, were scheduled to be inactive until Sunday, so a Friday game easily fits into their schedule.

Neither new game is a makeup of an earlier postponement, but playing those games this week will allow the NBA to avoid having to schedule them in the second half.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran NBA forward Brandon Bass has joined Team USA’s roster for the upcoming FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games in Puerto Rico, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Canada’s roster for those qualifiers is headlined by former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic relays (via Twitter).
  • In the wake of Jalen Johnson‘s decision to forgo the rest of the NCAA season and enter the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) and Sam Vecenie and Brendan Marks of The Athletic examine the implications of the Duke freshman’s opt-out. Givony hears from sources that a foot injury Johnson suffered in mid-December never fully healed and still isn’t 100% — sitting the rest of the season should give the projected lottery pick an opportunity to get healthy.
  • Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued a statement asking fans not to travel to Atlanta for this year’s All-Star Game, which won’t be a ticketed event, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Although the game won’t be open to the general public, some family members of All-Stars, local health-care workers, and students and staff members from local HBCUs are expected to be in the arena, according to Spencer, who estimates an attendance of about 1,200 to 1,500 people.

Rockets Waive Anthony Bennett

The Rockets have parted with former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Bennett’s fate was sealed with the announcement last week that he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his sore left knee, but today’s move makes it official.

The first player selected in the 2013 draft, Bennett was hoping to revive his career in Houston after four failed stops with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Raptors and Nets. He was coming off a promising G League season and appeared to have a legitimate chance to win a roster spot as a back-up power forward before the knee flared up  and the Rockets brought back Ryan Anderson.

Cutting Bennett leaves Houston with 19 players, one below the league limit for the preseason. The Rockets are free to make another addition ahead of the October 21 cutdown date, when all rosters must be trimmed to a maximum of 15 players.

Anthony Bennett To Undergo Knee Surgery

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston ChronicleRockets forward Anthony Bennett will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his sore left knee that is expected to prevent him from earning a roster spot during training camp this month.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, who had been hoping for a successful NBA comeback after spending the past two seasons in the G League following a disappointing start to his professional career.

Last season, Bennett averaged 12.2 points on 54.6 percent shooting and 4.5 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game with the Clippers’ G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds that Bennett’s non-guaranteed contract has an Exhibit 9 provision in it that protects Houston in case of an injury. As such, the Rockets will only be on the hook for $6K after Bennett is waived.