Brad Wanamaker

Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

Sixers coach Brett Brown is defending Jimmy Butler, saying he wasn’t disrespectful when he questioned the way he’s being used in the offense, according to an Associated Press story. ESPN reported Friday that Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brown since being acquired from the Timberwolves in November and has “tenuous” chemistry with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Brown tried to calm the situation.

“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” he said of Butler’s comments. “He’s vocal. He’s all in and he has opinions, but it’s instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He’s got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard.”

Butler missed the game with a respiratory infection and wasn’t available for comment. He reportedly wants to be utilized more often in pick-and-roll situations, which aren’t a standard part of Brown’s offense.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has improved significantly during his second season in Brooklyn, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Russell, who is averaging career highs with 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, is headed for restricted free agency this summer but indicated a desire to stay with the Nets. “We’re winning,” he said. “I haven’t won a lot in this league, so for me to get that type of success, I’m going to stick with it.”
  • As Kyle Lowry missed his sixth straight game tonight with back trouble, the Raptors are looking for another playmaker before next month’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He states the best target would be the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, who isn’t being shopped but has become more expendable with productive seasons from Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones. Other possibilities include the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea or Devin Harris and the Hawks’ Jeremy Lin.
  • Brad Wanamaker was as surprised as anyone when Celtics coach Brad Stevens told him to check in during the first quarter last night, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. It was the 15th game of the season for the 29-year-old rookie, but most of his time has come late in games that were already decided. He responded with a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston build a lead. “The key word is challenging,” Wanamaker said. “I’m just trying to stay mentally prepared. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my family, friends, just saying, ‘Stay ready.’”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/30/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Rockets assigned veteran point guard Brandon Knight to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Knight is close to making his Houston debut after sitting out since April 2017 with a torn ACL. He’ll play for the Vipers on Friday when they host the Salt Lake City Stars. We have more details here.
  • The Celtics recalled Brad Wanamaker from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. Boston wanted a little more backcourt depth with Jaylen Brown declared out for Friday’s game against the Cavaliers. Wanamaker has appeared in five games with the Celtics, averaging 3.2 PPG in 6.2 MPG.
  • The Bucks recalled big man Christian Wood from the Wisconsin Herd, according to a team press release. Wood has appeared in three games for the Herd, averaging 23.0 PPG, 10.7 RPG and 1.7 BPG in 33.4 MPG. He’s seen action in five Bucks games, averaging 3.8 PPG in 6.8 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/29/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Pistons assigned guard Luke Kennard to the Grand Rapids Drive as he continues his rehab from a shoulder injury, announcing the news in an email. Kennard will play with the Drive in the team’s game on Friday.
  • The Grizzlies recalled then later assigned Jevon Carter to the Memphis Hustle, according to a tweet from the team. The move was made so Carter could practice with the Grizzlies Thursday morning.
  • The Suns have recalled guard De’Anthony Melton from Northern Arizona, the team announced. Melton is averaging 17 points, 6.6 assists and seven rebounds in five G League games this season.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate, announcing the news on Twitter. Bates-Diop has seen action in two games with the Timberwolves this season.
  • The Celtics assigned guard Brad Wanamaker to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, according to a tweet from the team. Wanamaker has scored 16 points in five games with Boston on the season.
  • The Knicks recalled Luke Kornet from the Westchester Knicks, the team announced. Kornet has played in four games with the Knicks.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/16/18

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have assigned third-year forward Henry Ellenson and rookie guards Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown to the Grand Rapids Drive, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. That will allow the trio to play in two Drive home games this weekend, Langlois notes. The Pistons are in the midst of a rare four-day layoff and there’s no need for any of them to remain with the NBA club during that stretch.
  • The Celtics have recalled center Rob Williams, forward Guerschon Yabusele and guard Brad Wanamaker from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. All three started in the Red Claws’ loss to Raptors 905 on Thursday, combining for 52 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
  • The Magic have assigned guards Isaiah Briscoe and Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland, allowing them to get some game action against Greensboro on Friday, the Magic’s PR department tweets. Briscoe, an undrafted point guard, has played five games with Orlando this season. Frazier, a second-round pick in June, has seen action in two NBA games.
  • The Grizzles recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter for the team’s morning shootaround, re-assigned him to the Memphis Hustle for afternoon practice, then recalled him once again in time for the team’s game against the Kings on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Carter, an early second-rounder, is still looking to make his NBA debut.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/15/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Hayward, Brand, Fultz

Kyrie Irving is calming any concerns the Celtics may have about his condition heading into training camp, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Irving sat out the postseason after an operation to relieve an infection in his left knee, but has looked fully healthy in pickup games with teammates this month.

“He’s worked really hard,” coach Brad Stevens said after watching Irving. “I think he’s excited … it’s good to see that.”

Boston has two All-Stars returning from injury, with Gordon Hayward trying to complete his comeback from ankle surgery. Stevens, who plans a light workload for both players in terms of preseason minutes, said Hayward’s progress has been encouraging to watch.

“He’s been really diligent all the way through his rehab and progressing to each step,” Stevens said. “I watched him go all the way through the steps of working out to 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and now he can play some of the open gyms some of the guys are having.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Twenty-nine-year-old Celtics rookie Brad Wanamaker is trying to earn a spot on one of the deepest teams in the league, Blakely writes in a player profile. Wanamaker comes to Boston with a history of success, capturing all-league honors in the EuroLeague and Turkey and playing on championship teams in Germany, Turkey and the G League.
  • Elton Brand’s meteoric rise through the Sixers‘ front office may convince more franchises to take chances on former players in management roles, suggests Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. After Brand’s 17-year playing career ended in 2016, he joined Philadelphia’s front office later that year as a player development consultant. He was named GM of the organization’s G League affiliate in Delaware in August of 2017, then was promoted to Sixers’ GM this week. Philadelphia will also continue its unique front office structure, with Brand and coach Brett Brown serving as partners on personnel decisions, which is an approach Walton believes may be adopted by other teams if it is successful.
  • Sixers guard Markelle Fultz talks about the mechanics of his jump shot and a frustrating rookie season in a Players Tribune video that was posted this morning. Fultz, who demonstrates his new shooting form, is joined on the video by Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas, who is also coming off a difficult season.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Lin, Sixers, Kanter, Celtics

The Nets had legitimate interest in Julius Randle before he agreed to sign with the Pelicans, sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post. With Randle off the board, however, Brooklyn may not look to make a major splash in free agency after reaching deals with Joe Harris and Ed Davis. If the team returns to the free agent market, it will likely be for “under-the-radar types,” according to Lewis, who identifies Davis Bertans as one possible target.

There’s a chance that the Nets could still be active on the trade market as well. While a Monday report suggested the club isn’t actively shopping anyone, including Jeremy Lin, league sources tell Lewis that they’ve heard Lin could be dealt during the offseason. Without a major free agent target in their sights though, the Nets likely won’t be eager to get out from under the point guard’s $12.5MM+ expiring contract to create more spending flexibility.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers have removed the cap hold for 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks from their 2018/19 cap, according to RealGM’s official transactions log. Philadelphia still holds Pasecniks’ NBA rights, but the move ensure that he won’t sign with the club for the coming season.
  • After opting into the final year of his contract, Enes Kanter said in an interview with MSG Network that he wishes he could’ve signed for longer, but is happy to remain with the Knicks (Twitter link via ESPN’s Ian Begley). It sounds like Kanter wanted to opt out of his deal in order to secure a long-term contract with New York, but the club wasn’t interested in adding long-term money to its books this offseason, preferring to maximize its cap flexibility for 2019.
  • Introduced by the Celtics today after signing a minimum-salary deal with the team, Brad Wanamaker said he has been looking for an opportunity to come to the NBA for the last couple years. “It’s a dream come true to play in the NBA and with a team like Boston,” the EuroLeague standout said, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Celtics rookie Robert Williams, who slipped to No. 27 in the draft in part due to reported character concerns, hasn’t exactly been making a great impression to start his NBA career. After sleeping through an introductory conference call on the day after the draft, Williams missed his flight to Boston for the start of Summer League practices over the weekend, tweets ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

Celtics Sign Brad Wanamaker

JULY 2, 4:03pm: The Celtics have officially signed Wanamaker, the team announced today in a press release. Because it’s a minimum salary contract, it can be finalized during the July moratorium.

JUNE 26, 5:59pm: Wanamaker and the Celtics have agreed on a guaranteed one-year, minimum salary deal worth approximately $831K, per international basketball journalist David Pick.

Per Pick, Wanamaker left $3.8MM on the table in Europe to get his shot in the NBA.

JUNE 25, 3:04pm: The Celtics are in the process of finalizing a deal with EuroLeague guard Brad Wanamaker, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (via Twitter), Boston would like to sign Wanamaker to a two-year contract, while Wanamaker would prefer one year, but it appears the two sides will work out an agreement. The Celtics would be able to officially finalize the signing once the new NBA league year begins in July.

Wanamaker, who played his college ball at Pittsburgh, went undrafted in 2011 and has bounced around various leagues since then, playing in the G League and overseas. The 6’4″ combo guard has emerged as one of the more effective players in Europe, earning an All-EuroLeague Second Team nod in 2017 and winning the MVP award for the Turkish League Finals this year. In 2017/18, he averaged a team-high 11.8 PPG and made 40.2% of his three-pointers in 31 Turkish League games for EuroLeague powerhouse Fenerbahce.

This will be the second straight offseason that the Celtics have dipped into the international ranks to fill out their roster. A year ago, the club brought Shane Larkin back from Europe and also signed Daniel Theis out of the German League. Wanamaker and Theis played together for Brose Bamberg in Germany from 2014 to 2016.

International basketball journalist David Pick first reported earlier this month that the Celtics were giving “strong consideration” to signing Wanamaker. The Magic, Nets, Sixers, and Heat were also said to have interest.

And-Ones: Wanamaker, Jeanne, Crawford, G League

The Celtics are giving strong consideration to signing Euroleague star Brad Wanamaker, international basketball journalist David Pick tweets. Wanamaker, the MVP of the Turkish finals with Fenerbahce, is a 28-year-old, 6’4” shooting guard who went undrafted in 2011. He has spent most of his pro career overseas, though he had a stint in 2012 with the G League’s Austin Toros. The Magic, Nets, Sixers and Heat have also expressed interest in him, according to Pick. However, Wanamaker has a $3.8MM contract with Barcelona that runs through 2020, so he may stay in Europe, Pick adds in another tweet.

In other news on the domestic and international front:

  • Jonathan Jeanne, who was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, has been cleared by his doctor to play, his agent told Sportando. Jeanne, a 7’1” center from France, was considered a potential first-round prospect before the diagnosis was made last June. He went undrafted and now will explore all international possibilities, Sportando adds.
  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford is looking for the best fit in free agency after deciding to opt out, he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Crawford insisted he wasn’t unhappy with the Timberwolves, despite leaving $4.5MM on the table. “For me, it’s just fit. I don’t think anything’s wrong (in Minnesota),” Crawford told Krawczynski. “There’s nothing wrong that’s not wrong anywhere else. It’s the NBA. Everybody’s not going to get along every second. That’s not realistic.”
  • The G League Expansion Draft will be held August 22, tweets 2 Ways & 10 Days. The only team utilizing the draft is the Capital City Go-Go, the new affiliate of the Wizards.
  • How does a swap of Chander Parsons and the Grizzlies’ picks at No. 4 and No. 32 for the Clippers’ lottery picks at No. 12 and No. 13 plus Danilo Gallinari sound? ESPN’s Insiders throws out a number of trade scenarios heading into the draft.
  • Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown officially signed his contract to coach Fiat Torino in Italy, Sportando relays.

And-Ones: Early, Wanamaker, Munford, Bond

An apparent dispute over his diet has led to Cleanthony Early being stripped of his $150K deal with AEK Athens. International writer David Pick cited “disciplinary reasons” for the Greek club terminating the contract that Early agreed to last week (Twitter link). The Knicks fan site, Posting and Toasting, part of SB Nation, fleshed out the story with a few now-deleted screen shots of messages between Early and a team official. Early is a vegan and claims he couldn’t find the food he needs close to Athens. He added that he lost seven pounds since coming to Greece and told the team to release him if there wasn’t a way to solve the problem.

There’s more basketball news from around the world:

  • Brad Wanamaker, who was hoping to get an offer this summer from the Pelicans or Celtics, has accepted a deal with Fenerbahce in Turkey, according to Sportando (Twitter link).
  • After two successful G League seasons, Xavier Munford is hoping a team will give him an invitation to training camp, writes Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. The 25-year-old point guard, who was part of the gold-medal-winning Team USA squad at AmeriCup, played briefly for the Grizzlies at the end of the 2015/16 season and was in training camp with the Clippers last year.
  • Jaylen Bond, who spent last season with the Westchester Knicks in the G League, has signed with Flexx Pistoia in Italy, Reichert relays (Twitter link).
  • Kevin Jones, who has spent the past three seasons overseas but was involved in a G League trade in March, is in advanced talks with Crvena Zvezda in Serbia, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Jones’ only NBA experience came in 2012/13 with the Cavaliers.