B.J. Johnson

Jordan Bell, Shaq Harrison Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its roster for a pair of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The squad, which will be coached by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, is comprised of G-Leaguers, nearly all of whom have prior NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 have appeared in at least one NBA regular season game, led by Harrison (173 career games) and Bell (160 games). Simpson is the only player without any NBA experience under his belt.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place later this month. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Although NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so USA Basketball generally opts to build a roster made up of G League veterans. A group led by Jeff Van Gundy put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup from 2017-19. Mason and Randle participated in a handful of those contests.

Magic Waive Four Players

The Magic have waived Admiral Schofield, B.J. Johnson, Jeff Dowtin and Hassani Gravett, the team announced in a press release today. All four players are likely to play for the team’s G League affiliate in Lakeland this season.

Orlando currently has 16 players on its roster, including one two-way contract. It’s unclear whether the team will fill its second two-way spot before the season begins.

The Magic committed to rebuilding last season, trading away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier before the deadline. The team has a strong young core entering the 2021/22 campaign, headlined by Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs.

That core also includes third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. — who signed a four-year contract extension with the organization this week.

Magic Sign B.J. Johnson, Waive Devin Cannady

The Magic have waived guard Devin Cannady and filled the newly-opened roster spot by signing free agent wing B.J. Johnson, the team announced today in a press release.

Johnson, who went undrafted out of La Salle in 2018, has appeared in 17 total NBA games with three teams – Atlanta, Sacramento, and Orlando – since going pro, but he has spent most of his career so far in the G League.

Johnson appeared in 67 games for the Lakeland Magic in his first two seasons, averaging an impressive 22.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.0 SPG on .458/.417/.786 shooting in 28 NBAGL games (35.9 MPG) in 2019/20. He played for the Long Island Nets in the 2021 G League bubble, then signed with the Brisbane Bullets in April.

Lakeland just acquired Johnson’s G League returning rights from Long Island today in a five-team trade, so it’s a safe bet he’ll be returning to Orlando’s NBAGL affiliate this season. Cannady figures to join him there.

And-Ones: Wright-Foreman, B. Johnson, Canada, Banchero

A pair of former NBA players who were on two-way contracts during the 2019/20 season have signed new contracts overseas.

Point guard Justin Wright-Foreman, the 53rd overall pick in the 2019 draft, has joined Chorale Roanne Basket in France for the remainder of the season, the team said in a press release. Wright-Foreman spent all of ’19/20 on a two-way deal with the Jazz, but appeared in just four games and wasn’t retained in the fall. He played for the Erie BayHawks in the G League bubble this winter.

Meanwhile, small forward B.J. Johnson, who appeared in 10 games last season while on a two-way contract with Orlando, has inked a rest-of-season contract with the Brisbane Bullets, the Australian team announced. Like Wright-Foreman, Johnson hasn’t played in the NBA at all in 2020/21, but participated in the NBAGL bubble, averaging 18.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 14 games (31.1 MPG) for the Long Island Nets.

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

Heat Convert Max Strus To Two-Way Deal, Waive B.J. Johnson

11:14am: As expected, the Heat have waived Johnson, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

10:50am: The Heat have converted guard/forward Max Strus‘ Exhibit 10 deal into a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release on Saturday. Miami had an open two-way slot alongside point guard Gabe Vincent.

Strus appeared in two preseason contests with the Heat, averaging a team-best 16.5 PPG along with 5.0 RPG and 2.5 APG while shooting 50% from the field. In Miami’s 117-105 win last night over the Raptors, Strus came off the bench to add 22 points while shooting 6-of-8 from three-point range.

Two-way contracts allow NBA teams to carry two extra players in addition to the 15 on their regular season roster. Those deals will likely be more important than ever this season, since two-way players will be permitted to appear in up to 50 regular season games at the NBA level. With the G League season expected to take place in a bubble, two-way players figure to spend most or all of the season with their respective NBA clubs.

Strus’ converted deal means that he beat out swingman B.J. Johnson, who was signed by the Heat in early December. Johnson appeared in just two preseason games with the Heat, averaging 1.5 PPG. It is a near-lock that he’ll be waived, given his non-guaranteed deal, along with the fact that Miami is carrying 15 players with guaranteed contracts.

B.J. Johnson Signs With Heat

Swingman B.J. Johnson has signed a contract with the Heat, according to a team press release.

It’s believed to be an Exhibit 10 contract. Johnson will compete with several other players for Miami’s remaining two-way contract, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Point guard Gabe Vincent has already signed a two-way deal. The Heat now have a full 20-man camp roster.

Miami’s latest transaction comes as a surprise. Johnson was reported to be signing with the Suns, so either there was never an agreement in place with Phoenix or that deal fell through.

Johnson, 24, was on a two-way contract with Magic last season but entered unrestricted free agency after he did not receive a qualifying offer last month. He appeared in just 10 games for Orlando, averaging 8.3 MPG.

He also appeared in 28 games (all starts) with the Magic’s G League team, Lakeland, and averaged 22.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 SPG and 35.9 MPG while shooting 42.3% from 3-point range. The 6’7″ wing went undrafted out of La Salle in 2018.

In his rookie year, Johnson spent time with the Hawks, Kings and Magic.

B.J. Johnson To Sign With Suns

Small forward B.J. Johnson is set to sign a deal with the Suns, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter).

Johnson, 24, was on a two-way contract with Magic for the 2019/20 season but did not receive a qualifying offer from Orlando. Details of Johnson’s agreement with the Suns are unknown as of this writing, but it’s unlikely to be a fully guaranteed deal.

The 6’7″ wing went undrafted out of La Salle in 2018. After a stop with the Magic’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, at the start of the 2018/19 season, he logged limited time for the Hawks and Kings before landing back in Orlando in the fall of 2019. He appeared in just 10 games for Orlando, averaging 8.3 MPG.

In 28 games (all starts) for the Lakeland Magic during the 2019/20 season, however, Johnson averaged 22.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.1 SPG. He had a shooting line of .461/.414/.784. For his efforts, Johnson was rewarded with a 2020 All-NBA G League Second Team inclusion.

NBA G League Announces 2019/20 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, Wisconsin Herd guard Frank Mason III – who is on a two-way contract with the Bucks – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Mason was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jaylen Adams, as well as Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley, South Bay Lakers big man Devontae Cacok, and Memphis Hustle forward Jarrod Uthoff. Mason, Brantley, and Cacok are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently on two-way contracts or have had NBA experience in the past.

The complete list of the 2019/20 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd)
  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Frank Mason III (Wisconsin Herd) ^
  • Jarrod Uthoff (Memphis Hustle)

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Donta Hall (Grand Rapids Drive)
  • Marial Shayok (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tremont Waters (Maine Red Claws) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

Of the 20 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Adams, Jones, Koumadje, and Hollins – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’19/20 season began.

Adams and Jones have previous NBA experience, while Koumadje and Hollins have yet to make their regular-season NBA debuts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Magic Sign B.J. Johnson To Two-Way Contract

After promoting Amile Jefferson to their standard roster on Friday, the Magic have filled their newly-opened two-way slot by signing B.J. Johnson to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

An undrafted guard of La Salle, Johnson was with the Magic for training camp and the preseason in 2018, then spent most of his rookie year playing for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s G League affiliate. He averaged 15.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.4 SPG with a shooting line of .476/.444/.841 in 39 NBAGL games.

Johnson also had brief NBA auditions in 2018/19 with the Hawks, who signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts in March, and the Kings, who signed him for the final week of the regular season. The 23-year-old appeared in seven total regular season games for the two clubs, with Sacramento waiving him in July. He then signed another Exhibit 10 contract with Orlando in September and spent the preseason with the organization in preparation for reporting back to Lakeland this fall.

While Johnson still figures to spend most of his time with Lakeland this season, his two-way deal will give him more of an opportunity to shuttle back and forth between the NBA and G League as needed. He’ll be eligible to spend up to 42 days in the NBA until the NBAGL season ends in March.

The Magic now have 14 players on standard contracts and two on two-way contracts, leaving just one open spot on their roster.

Magic Waive Five Players

The Magic have cut down their roster in advance of opening night, announcing today in a press release that they’ve released guard Jon Davis, swingmen DaQuan Jeffries and B.J. Johnson, forward Vic Law, and big man Isaac Humphries.

All five players were training camp invitees on non-guaranteed contracts, so it’s not surprising that they’ve been cut. Still, the series of moves leaves Orlando with just 13 players on guaranteed standard contracts.

NBA rules require teams to carry at least 14 players on standard contracts, though teams can dip below that minimum for two weeks at a time.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote earlier today that the Magic, who don’t have a ton of room below the luxury-tax threshold or hard cap, may alternate between carrying 13 and 14 players to start the regular season to meet those roster requirements while limiting their financial commitments.

In addition to their 13 players on standard contracts, Orlando is also carrying two players on two-way deals.