Breein Tyree

G League Notes: Ezeli, Lin, Tyree, Postseason

Veteran NBA center Festus Ezeli, whose playing career was jeopardized by health issues, is joining the Westchester Knicks for the home stretch of the NBA G League season, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Ezeli, who appeared in 170 regular season games and 55 more playoff contests for the Warriors from 2012-16, hasn’t appeared in a game since the 2016 NBA Finals, as major knee and leg problems threatened to end his career. As Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle recently detailed, Ezeli hasn’t given up on making it back to the court — he’ll apparently get a chance to do so in the G League.

“I’ve put so much into this process, but this is my dream,” Ezeli told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link), confirming that he’s joining Westchester. “Chasing your dreams is worth every inch of the cost.”

Here’s more on the G League:

  • The G League is investigating a claim from Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin that he was called “coronavirus” during a game, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes. In the Facebook post in which he made the allegation, Lin wrote that his generation of Asian Americans “is tired of being told that we don’t experience racism.”
  • Former Mississippi guard Breein Tyree, who was in camp with the Heat in December and was playing for the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble, suffered a torn ACL that will prematurely end his season, per Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link). Although he’s unable to play, Tyree is sticking with Toronto’s G League affiliate for the rest of the NBAGL bubble.
  • While it may seem like the NBA G League season just began, it’s already entering the final week of the regular season. The season will wrap up on March 6, with an eight-team, single-elimination tournament to follow from March 8-11. The G League Ignite, at 7-4, are currently tied for the No. 6 seed and will look to clinch a postseason spot this week.

Raptors Sign, Waive Breein Tyree, Tres Tinkle, Dewan Hernandez

The Raptors signed and waived guard Breein Tyree, forward Tres Tinkle, and big man Dewan Hernandez earlier today, according to Blake Murphy and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Those moves were all made with an eye toward securing G League rights for the Raptors 905 and have no impact on Toronto’s regular season roster, Murphy confirms. The Raptors’ G League affiliate is expected to participate in the proposed NBAGL bubble, and it sounds like Tyree, Tinkle, and Hernandez will suit up for the team.

Tyree, who spent all four years of his college career at Mississippi, averaged 19.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG on .427/.360/.822 shooting in 31 games (34.6 MPG) as a senior in 2019/20. He competed in training camp for a two-way deal with the Heat, but was released on Wednesday.

Tinkle, 24, averaged 18.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 3.2 APG in 31 games (34.5 MPG) as a redshirt senior for Oregon State last season. He signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Lakers (and was subsequently waived) after going undrafted, but L.A.’s G League team isn’t expected to take part in the G League bubble, so joining the Raptors 905 will give Tinkle a chance to play — and to potentially earn a $50K bonus.

Hernandez, meanwhile, was drafted 59th overall by the Raptors in 2019 and spent his rookie season with the club, recording 14 points and 14 rebounds in 28 total minutes across six NBA games. The former University of Miami standout also appeared in nine G League games for the Raptors 905, averaging 13.4 PPG and 9.6 RPG. However, he was sidelined for much of the season by an ankle injury and was cut last month.

Heat Waive Breein Tyree, Paul Eboua

The Heat have parted with a pair of training camp invitees, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve waived guard Breein Tyree and forward Paul Eboua. Both players, who were on non-guaranteed contracts, will become unrestricted free agents on Friday, assuming they clear waivers.

Tyree, who spent all four years of his college career at Mississippi, averaged 19.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG on .427/.360/.822 shooting in 31 games (34.6 MPG) as a senior in 2019/20.

Eboua, previously a member of Italian club Victoria Libertas, declared for the draft as an early entrant in the spring. Agent Rade Filipovich, who referred to Eboua as “the best athlete in the draft,” told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald last month that a number of teams expressed interest in his client before he chose the Heat.

Tyree and Eboua had been in the running for one of Miami’s two-way contracts. Now that they’re out of the mix, Max Strus and B.J. Johnson are the remaining candidates to fill the club’s second two-way slot alongside Gabe Vincent. One of those players will have to be cut before next Monday to get the Heat down to 17 players (15 standard contracts and two two-way deals) for the regular season.

In a normal season, Tyree and Eboua would be candidates to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce as G League affiliate players. However, the Skyforce are among the teams expected to opt out of the NBAGL’s proposed Atlanta bubble, as our JD Shaw reported earlier this month.

Heat Sign Breein Tyree, Paul Eboua

NOVEMBER 25: The Heat have issued a pair of press releases officially announcing their deals with Tyree and Eboua. Both players signed Exhibit 10 contracts, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).


NOVEMBER 23: The Heat are adding a pair of undrafted free agent rookies to their roster, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald details. The team has signed former Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree and has also received a commitment from Cameroonian forward Paul Eboua, per Jackson.

Tyree, who spent all four years of his college career at Mississippi, averaged 19.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG on .427/.360/.822 shooting in 31 games (34.6 MPG) as a senior.

Eboua, who had been playing for Victoria Libertas in Italy, declared for the draft as an early entrant earlier this year. Agent Rade Filipovich, who referred to Eboua as “the best athlete in the draft,” told Jackson that a number of teams expressed interest in his client. Eboua chose the Heat due in large part to the organization’s player development track record.

Tyree and Eboua both figure to attend the Heat’s training camp on non-guaranteed deals and compete for the Heat’s open two-way slot, Jackson writes. Gabe Vincent currently occupies the club’s other two-way slot.

233 Early Entrants Declare For 2019 NBA Draft

The NBA has released the official list of early entrants for the 2019 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 233 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 175 are from colleges, while 58 are international early entrants.

That number falls just short of the previous record for early entrants, established in 2018. Last year, 236 early entrants declared for the draft, though ultimately only 91 of those prospects remained in the draft by the final deadline.

This year’s total of 233 early entrants also figures to shrink significantly by May 29 and again by June 10, the two key deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like that pool will remain crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants almost certainly exceeding 60, the number of picks in the draft.

Our list of early entrants is now up to date and can be found right here. Here are today’s updates:

College underclassmen:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our own list.

The following players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

International players:

The following players were listed on the NBA’s official breakdown today, but weren’t yet noted on our list.

The following international players reportedly declared for the draft or planned to, but weren’t named in the NBA’s official announcement today. As such, we’ve removed them from our list.

Draft Notes: T. Jones, J. Smith, Dawkins, Tyree

Duke guard Tre Jones published an Instagram post this weekend in which he strongly hinted that he’s leaning toward returning to school for at least one more year. Nothing is official yet, but if Jones does elect to stick with the Blue Devils for his sophomore season, it would be big news for the program.

Currently, Jones ranks 29th on Jonathan Givony’s 2019 NBA draft big board at ESPN.com, including fourth among point guards. According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter), the Knicks, Grizzlies, Hornets, Pelicans, Hawks, and Thunder have all done a “great amount” of background work on Jones.

As we wait for official word from the Duke guard, here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Maryland freshman forward Jalen Smith, a potential draft candidate, has elected to return to the Terrapins for his sophomore season, the school announced today in a press release. “I’m excited to return to Maryland for my sophomore year and advance my education as I continue to develop both on and off the court with my teammates and coaching staff,” said Smith, who averaged an impressive 17.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 3.0 BPG in two NCAA tournament games.
  • UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins has submitted the paperwork necessary to declare for the 2019 draft, according to a press release. The 6’6″ junior left a strong final impression, having racked up 32 points against Duke in UCF’s second-round NCAA tournament loss.
  • Ole Miss junior guard Breein Tyree has announced that he’ll test the draft waters, maintaining his college eligibility during the process (Twitter link). Tyree averaged a team-high 17.9 PPG on .459/.375/.831 shooting in 33 games in 2018/19.