Anthony Bennett

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.

Rockets Notes: Bennett, Pinckney, Anderson

While outside shooting was always part of Anthony Bennett‘s game, he has spent the past few seasons refining his three-point shot in preparation for his next NBA opportunity. That opportunity has come with the Western Conference contender Houston Rockets.

Bennett will have to wait to showcase the improvements he’s made to his game, however. As Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes, the 26-year-old will begin training camp on the sidelines recovering from left knee tendinitis.

The Rockets currently have just 11 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, which leaves ample room for a player like Bennett to stick with the squad when the regular season begins. If Bennett’s impact when he returns to health is anything like it was in the G League when he shot 45.3% from beyond the arc last season, there’s a good chance that he does just that.

There’s more out of Houston today:

  • The Rockets came up with a creative way of structuring big man Nene‘s contract to increase his potential trade value but the NBA threw a wrench their plans. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, franchise owner Tilman Fertitta respects the league’s decision and doesn’t intend to question it.
  • The Rockets have hired former NBA assistant coach Ed Pinckney as a scout, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.
  • Not only has the offensive system not changed since Ryan Anderson last donned a Rockets jersey, but he still owns the same condo that he used to live in. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes about Anderson’s smooth transition back to Houston.

Anthony Bennett Signs With Rockets

JULY 25: The Rockets have officially signed Bennett, per RealGM’s log of NBA transactions.

JULY 12: Forward Anthony Bennett has agreed to a non-guaranteed contract with the Rockets, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Bennett would appear to be a long shot to make the 15-man roster.

The No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 draft bided his time in the G League last season with the Agua Caliente Clippers. He appeared in 25 games last season and averaged 12.2 PPG in 20.9 MPG. He played in 35 G League games the previous season.

After the Cavaliers gave up on him, Bennett played for the Timberwolves, Raptors and Nets. He also played in Turkey for part of the 2017 season. In 151 NBA games, Bennett has averaged 4.4 PPG in 12.6 MPG.

And-Ones: Team USA, McAdoo, Bennett, Drafts

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Pacers coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright have been named assistant coaches of the 2019-20 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, USA Basketball announced in a press release. The three assistants will join Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to round out the coaching staff of the Olympic team.

“Led by coach Popovich, we have assembled an incredible coaching staff for the USA National Team, and we are excited to have Steve Kerr, Nate McMillan and Jay Wright join the team as assistant coaches,” said Jerry Colangelo, managing director of USA Basketball Men’s National Team. “It’s special that each coach has prior USA Basketball experience as either a player or coach, and each coach has compiled a successful and impressive resume. I’m very confident that the USA Basketball National Team is in excellent hands the next two years.”

Popovich, Kerr, McMillan and Wright share decades of combined coaching and playing experience, with each coach highly respected by their peers and by players across the NBA.

“I am honored and fortunate to have such gifted coaches share this USA Basketball responsibility with me,” Popovich said. “Steve Kerr, Nate McMillan and Jay Wright are not just knowledgeable, dedicated individuals, but they exhibit the creativity, tenacity and respect for the game needed to compete in the international arena.

“I look forward to joining them as USA Basketball attempts to extend the stellar success they’ve enjoyed over the past 12 years.”

The USA National Team has won 76 straight games, including three straight gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The impressive coaching staff – followed by an expected All-Star team of talent in 2020 – puts Team USA in a good position to win a fourth straight gold medal.

There’s more news around the basketball world:

  • The Maine Red Claws completed a trade today in the G League, sending the returning player rights of Anthony Bennett to the Agua Caliente Clippers in exchange for the returning player rights to James McAdoo and a 2018 third-round pick in the upcoming G League Draft. The Maine Red Claws are the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Celtics, while the Agua Caliente Clippers are the Clippers‘ affiliate.
  • ESPN.com writers Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz published a detailed story on young prospects, focusing on players from the 2019 recruiting class who could become draft-eligible in 2020. Class of 2019 center James Wiseman remains an intriguing talent, with the 7-footer still considering offers from a handful of schools.
  • We discussed several more basketball odds and ends in our last And-Ones roundup, including an update on the NBA’s new international plans for the 2019 preseason.

And-Ones: Bennett, D. Johnson, G. Davis, Montreal

Former first overall pick Anthony Bennett appears set to continue his comeback attempt in the G League. According to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link), Bennett has signed an NBAGL contract for the coming season.

Bennett, who was drafted first overall by the Cavaliers in 2013, appeared in 35 G League games last season for the Northern Arizona Suns and Maine Red Claws, averaging 14.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 26.9 minutes per contest. As Johnson notes, the Red Claws still hold his G League rights, so they’ll have the option of bringing him back if they want to.

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

  • A pair of former NBA big men are leaving their international teams, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia reports that Dakari Johnson is parting ways with Chinese team Qingdao, while Glen Davis is no longer playing for Croatian club KK Zadar (Twitter link).
  • In advance of the Raptors‘ preseason game in Montreal, a group of Quebec business people announced that they’ve begun the process of convincing the NBA that the city is a viable location for expansion or relocation, reports Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun (Twitter links). The group believes the league will expand eventually, and would like to at least be considered as a “Plan B,” according to Wolstat, who says the plan would be to have the team play at Montreal’s Bell Centre (Twitter links).
  • Veteran NBA agent Calvin Andrews, who represents players like Aaron Gordon (Magic) and Josh Okogie (Timberwolves) has left BDA Sports to form his own agency called Serving Athletes with Integrity, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal.
  • The NBA will play additional preseason games overseas next year, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, who tweets that the league is adding trips to Japan and Dubai/India to its preseason schedule.

And-Ones: Stoudemire, Bennett, Gambling

After playing in Israel during the 2016/17 season, former Suns and Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire announced his retirement last September. Stoudemire has since reversed course though, with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem confirming this week that the six-time NBA All-Star will play for them again in 2018/19. Stoudemire, who co-owns Hapoel Jerusalem, helped lead the team to an Israeli League title in 2017 and said on Instagram that he’s aiming to do the same this season.

“I am looking forward to returning to Hapoel Jerusalem and bringing home titles,” Stoudemire wrote. “I have a great love for all the people of Israel: past, present and future, and it’s humbling to represent the city of Jerusalem, which has inspired so many around the world.”

Here are a few more basketball odds and ends:

  • The representatives for former first overall pick Anthony Bennett have offered the big man to Italian clubs Reggio Emilia and Virus Bologna, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. For now though, the 25-year-old – who played for the Cavaliers, Raptors, Timberwolves, and Nets – is without a home for the 2018/19 season.
  • In the wake of the investigation into workplace misconduct within the Mavericks‘ organization, the NBA sent out a memo to all 30 teams encouraging them to hire more women – particularly in leadership roles – and to improve their policies for reporting workplace harassment. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has the details.
  • Professional sports leagues – including the NBA – are largely taking a wait-and-see approach to the legalization of sports gambling, as Mike Fish and David Purdum write for ESPN.com. The ESPN report looks extensively at the lack of information surrounding LeBron James‘ reported hand injury in last year’s Finals and how that would have impacted betting odds if it had been public.