Anthony Bennett

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.

Canada Basketball Unveils 18 Training Camp Invites

Canada Basketball has announced its preliminary 18-man roster of players who have been invited to participate in training camp and exhibition play ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers next month, reports Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network.

Among the 18 named individuals, eight played in the NBA last season – Khem Birch (Magic), Chris Boucher (Warriors), Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies), Cory Joseph (Pacers), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Kelly Olynyk (Heat), Dwight Powell (Mavericks), and Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers).

The preliminary roster also includes former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, as well as three other G League players – Aaron BestOlivier Hanlan, and Kaza Kajami-Keane.

The remaining six players are former first-round pick of the Magic, Andrew Nicholsonformer college standouts’ Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, Baylor’s Brady Heslip, and Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos, as well as brothers Phil Scrubb and Tommy Scrubb.

As also highlighted by Lewenberg, notable absences include Trey Lyles (Nuggets), Nik Stauskas (Nets), and most glaringly, Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves). Per Lewenberg, multiple sources indicated that one factor in Wiggins’ decision to decline Canada Basketball’s invitation is his strained relationship with national team head coach Jay Triano, who left Wiggins on the bench during the final moments of a qualifying game for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Cavaliers Notes: Thompson, LeBron, Leonard, Oladipo

Most of Tristan Thompson‘s recent headlines have been for his off-court behavior, but that isn’t why he has fallen out of the Cavaliers’ playoff rotation, writes Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. Thompson, who played just two minutes at the end of the Game 1 loss to Indiana, is coming off his worst statistical season since he was a rookie and may still be hampered by a torn calf muscle he suffered in November.

According to Swartz, Thompson’s playing time has declined because of his inability to handle the two priorities of a modern center: protecting the rim and shooting from long distance. He averaged just 0.3 blocks per game this season and hasn’t made a 3-pointer in his seven-year NBA career.

Kevin Love has taken over as the starting center, with Jeff Green at power forward. The back-up minutes in Game 1 went to Larry Nance Jr., who was acquired from the Lakers in a February trade. Thompson is a huge expense to keep on the roster if he doesn’t play, with two seasons and more than $36MM left on his contract.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • LeBron James believes the Cavaliers’ roster uncertainty throughout the season may have impacted them in the playoff opener, relays Dave McMenamin on ESPN Now. “I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs,” James said. “It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight.”
  • If the Spurs decide to trade Kawhi Leonard, that could affect James’ strategy in free agency, suggests Brian Windhorst of ESPN. In a video posted on Twitter, Windhorst says if the Cavaliers fail to reach the NBA Finals, James and Leonard will have about six weeks to discuss their future and plot a way to end up on the same team. Windhorst names the Sixers and Lakers as teams with the assets to acquire both.
  • With Victor Oladipo shredding the Cavs for 32 points in Game 1, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wanted Oladipo instead of Anthony Bennett with the top pick in the 2013 draft, but decided to listen to the front office. Bennett, who is now out of the NBA, played just one season for the Cavaliers before being traded to Minnesota.

And-Ones: Jackson, Bennett, Williams, Clippers

Maryland sophomore forward Justin Jackson, a projected first-round pick, will miss the reminder of the season with a torn labrum, according to a school press release relayed by Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Jackson first suffered the injury before he joined the Terrapins and aggravated it numerous times this season. He’ll soon undergo surgery. The 6’7” Jackson was ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect by Jonathan Givony of ESPN earlier this month. He was averaging 9.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG.

In other news from around the league:

  • Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, was acquired by the Celtics’ G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, according to the G-League team’s website. He was dealt by the Northern Arizona Suns. Bennett appeared in 14 games with Northern Arizona, averaging 11.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG.
  • Former NBA forward Derrick Williams has signed with the Tianjin Gold Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an ESPN report. Williams, 26, played a combined 50 games for the Cavaliers and Heat last season. The second overall pick in the 2011 draft also played for the Timberwolves, Kings and Knicks. He averaged 8.9 PPG and 4.0 RPG in his NBA career.
  • The Clippers have gotten lost in the shuffle in Los Angeles and it’s not going to get better considering the current state of the team, as Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register examines in a column. Owner Steve Ballmer has threatened to move the team to Inglewood but the Clippers’ lease at the Staples Center runs through 2024, Heisler continues. Seattle would be a natural landing place considering Ballmer’s roots there but he has brushed aside that speculation in the past, Heisler adds.

And-Ones: A. Miller, Bennett, N. Robinson, Rookies

As we outlined earlier today, ASM Sports president Andy Miller has relinquished his certification as an agent after his agency was raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into college basketball corruption. Miller’s roster of NBA clients features a number of notable names, including some All-Stars, so what’s next for them?

According to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter links), Miller’s clients have been told that their contracts with Miller are no longer in effect, allowing them to sign new deals with other certified NBA agents. As Mullen notes, there’s usually a 15-day waiting period when a player changes agents, but that 15-day period is waived when an agent relinquishes his certification. As such, players like Kyle Lowry, Kristaps Porzingis, and Serge Ibaka will be free to hire new representation immediately.

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

  • Although he’s widely viewed as one of the biggest NBA draft busts of the last decade, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett hasn’t given up on his efforts to get back into the league and make an impact. Bennett recently spoke to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders about his career and about playing in the G League.
  • Veteran NBA guard Nate Robinson is looking for an opportunity to return to the NBA, suggesting that a team like the Bulls could use him, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details.
  • While Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz stole most of the pre-draft headlines, many of the stars of this year’s rookie class came off the board a little later. Alex Squadron of The New York Post examines some of the more unsung rookie standouts of the 2017/18 season, including John Collins (Hawks), Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), and OG Anunoby (Raptors).
  • Former Grizzlies guard Xavier Munford, who was in camp with the Bucks in October, has hired agents Happy Walters and George Langberg of Catalyst Sports for representation, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Munford has played well for Milwaukee’s G League affiliate this season, averaging 24.4 PPG and 5.3 APG with a .551/.641/.737 shooting line for the Wisconsin Herd.

And-Ones: Bennett, Evans, P. Jones, Varejao

After being waived by the Suns last month, Anthony Bennett is back in the G League to earn another shot at the NBA, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star-Tribune. The top pick in the 2013 draft, Bennett had a brief and checkered career, spending a year each with the Cavaliers and Timberwolves, then partial seasons with the Raptors and Nets.

At age 24, Bennett is with the Suns’ affiliate in Northern Arizona and believes he can work his way back to the big leagues. “I guess my focus is different,” he said. “I wouldn’t say this is my last chance, but, you know, I just have to prove to everybody that I can play.”

There’s more news from the G League and overseas:

  • Jeremy Evans, best known as the winner of the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest, signed a G League contract and was claimed off waivers by the Reno Bighorns, tweets Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Evans, who played five seasons for the Jazz and one with the Mavericks, was waived by the Hawks before the start of the season. He played in Russia last season.
  • Perry Jones III, a first-round pick in 2012, has signed a G League contract and will join the Iowa Wolves, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Jones, who spent three years in Oklahoma City after the Thunder selected him with the No. 28 pick, has previous experience with the Iowa franchise, along with a one-game stay in Russia.
  • Brazilian center Anderson Varejao may finish his career in his home country, relays Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Varejao, 35, had been hoping to return to the NBA, but is now considering an offer from the Flamengo team in Brazil. He was waived by the Warriors in February.

Suns Waive Anthony Bennett, Peter Jok

The Suns have requested waivers on veteran forward Anthony Bennett and rookie swingman Peter Jok, the team announced today in a press release.

Bennett and Jok joined the Suns for training camp and the preseason, but neither player appeared in any of the club’s preseason contests. They’ll become unrestricted free agents if and when they clear waivers on Friday.

Jok appears to be a good candidate to join Phoenix’s G League team, the Northern Arizona Suns, as an affiliate player, though it’s not clear what the next move will be for Bennett. The former first overall pick has spent time with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Raptors, and Nets since entering the league in 2013, but seems unlikely to begin the 2017/18 season on an NBA roster.

Phoenix now has 18 players under contract, including 14 on guaranteed deals and two on two-way contracts.