Ashton Hagans

Timberwolves Waive Ashton Hagans

The Timberwolves have waived two-way player Ashton Hagans, according to a team press release.

Hagans was signed to a two-way contract in late November. The undrafted rookie out of Kentucky made two very brief appearances with the Timberwolves before joining the team’s G League squad, the Iowa Wolves, at the Orlando bubble.

Hagans was one of several Iowa players suspended two games without pay this week for violating the league’s health and safety protocols. That incident contributed to the team’s decision to cut ties with the 21-year-old point guard, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets.

Hagans started two seasons for the Wildcats. As a sophomore, Hagans averaged 11.5 PPG and 6.4 APG in 30 regular-season games.

Jordan McLaughlin is Minnesota’s other two-way player. Along with the vacated two-way slot, the Timberwolves also have an opening on their 15-man roster, giving the team some flexibility to make moves.

Wolves Notes: Towns, Edwards, G League Bubble

After suiting up and taking the court for the first time in nearly a month on Wednesday, Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns admitted he endured a “rough journey” during his absence as he battled COVID-19.

“I am a high-risk case,” Towns said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights. One of the things that I told my sister when I got COVID was that, ‘Hey, I got it, and I don’t got a good version of it. I got a lot of COVID in me, but I am going to fight and beat it.'”

While Towns acknowledged that many players around the NBA have experienced few symptoms – or none at all – after testing positive for the coronavirus, he noted that everyone’s experience is “totally different.” Several of Towns’ family members have died of complications from COVID-19, including his mother, to whom Towns said he is most “genetically connected.”

“You hear those stories where people get COVID,” Towns said, according to Youngmisuk. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, for four days, five days, I didn’t feel well, and then I turned the corner magically one day and I was feeling great.’ That did not happen with me.”

Towns was solid in his return to action, putting up 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, but he admitted to reporters that he didn’t feel mentally ready for the game. It may take a little more time before the 25-year-old back to his usual dominant self.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • As Youngmisuk relays, Towns also became the latest star player to question the logic of holding an All-Star Game in 2021. “I personally don’t believe there should be an All-Star Game, but what the hell do I know?” Towns said, sarcastically adding: “S–t, I obviously haven’t dealt with COVID, probably a guy who has some insight into that. What should I know about COVID, right?”
  • Anthony Edwards got off to a slow start during his rookie year, shooting just 34.4% from the floor and 27.4% from beyond the arc through his first 16 games. However, he has come on lately, averaging 16.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 3.1 APG on .435/.400/.800 shooting in his last nine, and entering Minnesota’s starting lineup during that time. The No. 1 overall pick is just getting started, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, who says the Wolves drafted Edwards knowing he was raw and not expecting him to dominate right out of the gate.
  • The Iowa Wolves – Minnesota’s G League affiliate – have been penalized for violating the health and safety protocols at the NBAGL bubble at Walt Disney World. As Adam Zagoria of Forbes tweets, the club was fined $10K, while Charlie Brown, Ashton Hagans, Jaylen Johnson, Ade Murkey, and Dakarai Tucker were all suspended without pay for two games. Iowa added Isaiah Briscoe and Jaylen Morris from the bubble’s available player pool to temporarily fill the holes on its roster, tweets Adam Johnson.

Hagans Signs Two-Way Contract With Timberwolves

NOVEMBER 28: The signing is official, the Wolves announced in a press release.


NOVEMBER 18: The Timberwolves have agreed to a two-way contract with undrafted Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets

Hagans started two seasons for the Wildcats. As a sophomore, Hagans averaged 11.5 PPG and 6.4 APG in 30 regular-season games. He also averaged 1.9 SPG but will need to improve his perimeter shooting to stick in the NBA. He made just 25.8% of his long-range attempts last season.

Hagans can be active for up to 50 games on his two-way deal but he’ll have to scrap for minutes behind Ricky Rubio, who was acquired by Minnesota earlier on Wednesday, as well as D’Angelo Russell and possibly first-round selection Leandro Bolmaro.

Heat Notes: Ramsey, Quickley, Draft, Crowder, More

Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey and Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley are among the prospects whom the Heat have reached out to about potential in-person workouts, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

The club only holds the No. 20 pick in this month’s draft, but is doing plenty of homework on the players who could be options in that range — Ramsey is the 35th prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Quickley – who has interviewed with Miami twice, per Jackson – ranks 42nd.

As Jackson details, the Heat have also “taken a look” at Washington forwards Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, who are 23rd and 27th on ESPN’s board. Additionally, Miami has called to speak to Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans, who is ranked just 68th by ESPN. Hagans would likely only be an option for the Heat if they acquire a second-round pick or if he goes undrafted, Jackson notes.

The Heat were also expected to view group workouts for Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu (No. 37 on ESPN) and Arizona guard Nico Mannion (No. 25), writes Jackson. And as our JD Shaw reported on Monday, College of Charleston guard Grant Riller has interviewed with Miami as well.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Jae Crowder is a Georgia native, he has made Miami his adopted hometown, having prepared for the 2012 draft in South Florida and having bought a house in Miami in 2017. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, Crowder’s fondness for both Miami and the Heat should put the team in a good position to re-sign him this fall, even if he doesn’t give the club an “adopted-hometown discount.”
  • While the Heat are accustomed to getting the most out of players who might not have thrived in other environments, Derrick Jones may be a candidate to become a more complete player and have more success with a new team if he departs in free agency, Winderman says in a Sun Sentinel mailbag.
  • Ultimate Software, the company that has an advertisement patch on Heat uniforms, has merged with The Kronos Group to form the Ultimate Kronos Group, resulting in a new jersey patch for the Heat. Darren Rovell of The Action Network (Twitter link) has the details.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Draft Notes: Perry, Hagans, Ball, Wiseman

Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry has signed with CAA Sports and will remain in the draft, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports reports (Twitter link). Perry is No. 46 on ESPN’s Big Board and ranks No. 7 among centers.

Here’s more from the upcoming draft:

  • Ashton Hagans will also sign with CAA Sports and will remain in the draft, Daniels tweets. The Kentucky guard is No. 48 on ESPN’s Big Board.
  • LaMelo Ball would be a nice selection for Detroit if the Pistons climb into the top three in the NBA draft, James L. Edwards of The Athletic writes. The Pistons have not drafted a point guard in the first round since they selected Brandon Knight, who was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
  • One rival scout believes James Wiseman would be in consideration for the Pistons with their No. 1 pick, as Edwards adds in the same piece. “I think they need a little bit of everything, right? He’s an athletic center with the ability to step out a little bit,” the scout said.

Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans Enters 2020 NBA Draft

Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans is entering the 2020 NBA draft, he announced on Twitter on Sunday. Although the sophomore could test the waters while retaining his college eligibility, the wording of his statement suggests he’s ready to go pro.

“I just wanted to let you all know that even though I love Kentucky with all of my heart and really wish I could have played for a (championship), it’s time for me to live out my life-long dream and declare for the NBA draft,” he wrote. “It’s been my No. 1 goal since I first picked up a ball to take this step and I know my time is now. It’s so hard for me to say goodbye to the best fans in the world, because these last two years have been some of the best of my life.”

In 2019/20, Hagans averaged 11.5 PPG, 6.4 APG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 30 games (33.1 MPG) as the Wildcats’ starting point guard.

Although Hagans is a strong candidate to be drafted, ranking 49th on ESPN’s big board, his inconsistent shooting may give some NBA teams pause. As a sophomore, he made just 40.4% of his attempts from the field, including 25.8% from beyond the arc.

P.J. Washington, Grant Williams, Others Entering 2019 Draft

Kentucky forward P.J. Washington has opted to enter the 2019 NBA draft and will hire an agent, according to a press release from the program. Washington, who considered going pro after his freshman year, returned to the Wildcats for his sophomore season and had a strong year. Now, he plans to keep his name in the draft pool, forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility.

“When I decided to come back to school a year ago, I knew there were things I still wanted to accomplish so I challenged myself to become a better all-around player, to develop more consistency and to become a leader for this team,” Washington said in a statement. “Although we fell a couple games short of our ultimate goal, I’ll never forget the season we had with my brothers. We did some special things this season and made memories that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Washington increased his numbers across the board in his second year at Kentucky, averaging 15.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 1.2 BPG on .522/.423/.663 shooting. He’s currently ranked 15th on ESPN’s big board, with Jonathan Givony praising his “enviable physical tools.”

Here are more updates on players declaring for the 2019 NBA draft:

  • Another one of the top 25 players on Givony’s board – Tennessee junior forward Grant Williams – has announced his intention to test the draft waters. Williams, the No. 24 prospect per ESPN, averaged 18.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.2 APG for the Vols. He indicated that he’ll go through the pre-draft process, leaving the door open to return for his senior season.
  • Florida State’s Mfiondu Kabengele is entering the draft and intends to keep his name in this year’s pool, he tells Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com. “My decision is I’m going to put my name in the draft this year,” the sophomore center said. “Just because of the season I had, the growth, I feel like I did as much as I could at Florida State. I learned a lot. My next challenge is going to be to expand my game.” Kabengele is the No. 30 prospect on ESPN’s top 100.
  • Three Michigan underclassmen on ESPN’s big board – freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis (No. 48), sophomore guard Jordan Poole (No. 68), and junior guard Charles Matthews (No. 69) – will go through the draft process, the school announced today in a press release. All three players will hire agents, though they’ll still have until May 29 to withdraw if they so choose.
  • Auburn junior guard Jared Harper is leaving school and declaring for the 2019 NBA draft, per a press release. “I have always been a believer in Jared,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said of the No. 61 prospect on ESPN’s big board. “He is a special player with speed, quickness, power and a skill level that is unmatched by virtually any player his size. He will make it in the NBA.”
  • Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans, a candidate to be drafted this year, will instead return to the Wildcats for his sophomore season, he confirmed today. As ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets, Hagans will focus on improving his shooting and play-making in his second season at Kentucky.
  • Here are a few more early entrants who don’t rank in ESPN’s top 100, but who are entering the draft: