Bryce Cotton

And-Ones: Wembanyama, CBA, NBA Ball, Cotton

Potential 2023 No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama is leaving his French team Nanterre, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. The 7’2” Wembanyama has been recruited by the G League’s Ignite team and Overtime Elite, along with many pro teams around the globe, but the 17-year-old’s destination remains a mystery.

We have more news from the basketball world:

  • The Chinese Basketball Association could start its season without foreign players, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia relays. Part or all of the CBA season could be be played without foreigners, according to a Chinese journalist, as a cost-cutting measure.
  • The NBA and Wilson will unveil at the draft combine later this month the new ball that will be used next season in league games, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. has entered a multi-year partnership with the NBA, which has used a Spalding ball for 37 seasons.
  • Former NBA player Bryce Cotton was chosen as the NBL Most Valuable Player for the third time, according to a press release from the Australian league.  Cotton averaged 23.5 PPG and 5.6 APG for the Perth Wildcats. Cotton played for Phoenix and Memphis during the 2015/16 season.

And-Ones: Cotton, A. Williams, Super-Maxes

Reigning NBL MVP Bryce Cotton is sticking with the Perth Wildcats in Australia after opting out of his contract last month. The Wildcats issued a press release announcing that Cotton has signed a new three-year deal with the team. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported that the 27-year-old had decided to remain in Perth.

Cotton was one of five NBL players to opt out of their contracts following the league’s salary-cutting measures. He generated international interest and considered a pair of “serious offers” before deciding to re-sign with the Wildcats, per Olgun Uluc of ESPN Australia.

Cotton has won three NBL titles since joining the Wildcats and was named the league’s MVP in 2018 as well. In 27 games in 2019/20, he averaged 22.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 3.7 APG with a .426/.385/.830 shooting line, en route to his second MVP trophy.

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

  • Former NBA big man Alan Williams, who spent time with the Suns and Nets from 2015-19, is in advanced talks with Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban about a contract extension, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. In his first season with the squad, Williams averaged 11.2 PPG and 10.1 RPG in 19 VTB United League games, with 9.4 PPG and 9.4 RPG in 10 EuroCup contests.
  • The super-max contract – introduced in the NBA’s most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement – has had some unintended side-effects and consequences. Danny Leroux of The Athletic examines those issues and digs into how to fix them.
  • Bleacher Report’s NBA writers recently took a look back at some of the biggest “what-if” trades in NBA history — deals that were discussed and/or came close to happening, but ultimately didn’t.

And-Ones: Batiste, Hall Of Fame, Cotton, Gatwech

Magic assistant coach Mike Batiste shot down a rumor that he’s returning to Europe to coach Greece’s Panathinaikos, Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. Batiste, who was a star player for the EuroLeague team, said on Greek radio’s ERA Sport he’s staying in Orlando. “No one has contacted me, these are rumors. I have a two-year contract and I will honor it, when I’m done with that I don’t know what will happen,” Batiste said.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Basketball Hall of Fame remains hopeful in can hold the induction ceremony for this year’s class as scheduled in late August, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. This year’s class has nine inductees, including the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
  • Australia NBL MVP and former NBA player Bryce Cotton has opted out of his deal with the Perth Wildcats, Olgun Uluc of ESPN reports. The NBL and its players agreed to a tiered system of pay cuts and the highest-salaried players are having their pay cut in half.  The agreement allowed players to opt out of their contracts before May 4, with the Wildcats holding Cotton’s domestic rights. Cotton, who appeared in 23 NBA games before heading to Australia, is being pursued by European teams Panathinaikos and Asvel, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Jimma Gatwech had his name pulled from the NBA draft, but will pursue other pro opportunities in 2020/21, Evan Daniels of 247Sports tweets. Gatwech, 19, spend the past year at CORE4 Academy in Atlanta.

International Notes: EuroLeague, China, Spain, Australia

Ergin Ataman, coach of Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the EuroLeague, is confident the league will resume play in July, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Ataman believes all the teams will be brought to one city because of the risks of traveling, and games will take place behind closed doors.

“EuroLeague’s foresight is to gather all the teams in the most risk-free city and play the six regular season rounds remaining there, and then organize a Final Eight: this is the most likely scenario for me,” Ataman said in a teleconference with fans. “The city’s announcement will be made in May. But I think it will not be in Istanbul. My guess is that it can be played in a city in Germany. There were already some preparations for the Final Four. In summary, I think the Final Eight will be held in the city where the Final Four was scheduled (Colonia). I think it would be a big problem if the remaining games of this season are not played.”

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • The Chinese Basketball Association may try to finish its season without foreign players, Borghesan relays in a separate story. That’s the recommendation of Liaoning’s general manager, whose roster includes Lance Stephenson, Brandon Bass and O.J. Mayo. The original report came from Chinese journalist Zhang Duo. Borghesan notes that several U.S. players left China after the CBA delayed the resumption of its season last month.
  • Liga ACB, the top professional league in Spain, will consider a 12-team tournament played in a single location, Borghesan adds in another piece. The proposed tournament, which will be discussed in a teleconference Monday, would start June 15. Teams would be divided into two groups of six and the winners of each group would meet in a best-of-five final.
  • The National Basketball League in Australia has reached an agreement with its players union calling for salary reductions for 2020/21, Borghesian writes. The deal involves tiered cuts ranging from 27.5% for players making between $80K and $99K and 50% for those receiving more than $200K. Players will be given a two-week window to opt out of their current deals, which could affect the status of former NBA guard Bryce Cotton, who has become one of Australia’s top players.

International Notes: Australia, China, Turkey, EuroLeague

After canceling the remainder of their best-of-five Grand Final series earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s National Basketball League announced today that the Perth Wildcats have been crowned champions for 2019/20. Perth was leading the Sydney Kings 2-1 in the series when it was canceled.

In a statement, NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman and commissioner Jeremy Loeliger explained the decision and announced that former standout Providence guard Bryce Cotton has been named the Grand Final MVP.

The NBL’s press releases this week have made it clear that the league’s decision to cancel the rest of the Grand Final series was made in large part because the Kings expressed they weren’t comfortable with continuing to play those games. Bogut, who said Sydney’s decision was made after “almost three hours of back and forth (and plenty of tears),” registered his displeasure with the way the NBL handled things.

“I want to go on record to say I am beyond embarrassed and disappointed in regards to how this was handled by our league from the week leading up to the Grand Final series. More to come at a later date re: that,” Bogut wrote in a Twitter note.This has nothing to do with the result announced today and I wish to congratulate the Perth Wildcats on being crowned Champions.”

Here’s more international news from basketball leagues around the world:

  • Jeremy Lin, Ekpe Udoh, and Antonio Blakeney are among the players who have now returned to China and will begin a two-week quarantine before returning to their respective CBA teams, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter links).
  • The Turkish government has made the decision to suspend all sports in the country, including basketball, Carchia writes in a story at Sportando. Players in Turkey expressed dismay last week that games were continuing amid the coronavirus outbreak, as we noted at the time.
  • The EuroLeague issued an update on the postponement of its season, addressing whether or not players are allowed to leave their respective cities, what will happen with this year’s EuroLeague Final Four, and much more. Carchia has the full memo at Sportando.

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Cotton, Auguste, Williams-Goss

The Hornets expect their lottery pick to jump right into the rotation, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. GM Rich Cho told Bonnell that the second unit needs more answers and the No. 11 overall pick should provide one of them. “One thing we feel like we were really lacking last year, where we took a step back, was the bench,” Cho said. “We need a backup point guard, we need another big, we could use another wing to do some more shooting.” A backup point behind Kemba Walker is a high priority and will be filled by the draft or free agency, Bonnell continues. The club holds a $6.27MM option on reserve guard Ramon Sessions but it’s uncertain whether they will exercise it, given that Sessions is coming off a subpar, injury-marred season, Bonnell continues. Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell would be a strong consideration if the Hornets decide to fill that need via the draft, Bonnell adds.

In other news around the Southeast Division:

  • Point guard Bryce Cotton will play on the Hawks’ summer-league team, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets. Cotton played for the Perth Wildcats in the Australian League last season. The 6’1” Cotton played a total of 23 games for the Jazz, Suns and Grizzlies during the previous two seasons.
  • Forwards Zach Auguste and Norvel Pelle will play on the Heat’s summer league team, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. The 6’10” Auguste played in the Turkish league last season after the Lakers cut him during training camp. The former Notre Dame forward also played on the Lakers’ summer league team. The 6’11’ Pelle played on the Heat’s summer league squad last season.
  • Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss could be a nice fit for the Wizards with their second-round pick, Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com opines. The Wizards, who hold the No. 52 overall selection, need another point guard behind John Wall and Williams-Goss could make an instant impact, according to Hughes.

And-Ones: Sanders, Brown, All-Star Game

Former Bucks big man Larry Sanders caused a stir Thursday night when he tweeted that he was ready to return to the NBA. In 2015, the center walked away from the game at 26 years of age, ultimately citing personal struggles with mental health in a video essay for the Players Tribune.

Sanders last saw consistent action in 2012/13, before playing 23 games in an injury-compromised 2013/14 season and 27 games in a 2014/15 season beset by drug-related suspensions absences for personal reasons.

Sanders has reportedly worked out for the Celtics and, while reports that he’s had a meeting with the Wizards are said to be false, he has been training at the team’s facility.

Sanders averaged 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the Bucks during that 2012/13 campaign.

  • Former NBA head coach Larry Brown is open to coaching in EuroLeague, writes E. Carchia of Sportando via Italian newspaper La Gazetta. Brown had reportedly been in touch with Maccabi Tel Aviv but was scared off when they quickly cycled through three head coaches already this season.
  • The Windy City Bulls of the NBA D-League have acquired forward Duje Dukan in a trade for a 2017 fifth-round pick, tweets Chris Reichert of The Step Back. Dukan’s last taste of NBA action was with Kings at the start of the 2015/16 season. Earlier this year he had been under contract in Croatia, but the parties mutually split.
  • Journeyman point guard Bryce Cotton has reportedly received a 10-day contract offer from an NBA team, writes O. Cauchi of Sportando. The 24-year-old, however, has elected to stay with the Perth Wildcats for the time being. The report originated from Australian journalist Boti Nagy.
  • The NBA All-Star Game reserves have been announced. Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated looks at the biggest snubs that didn’t make the roster, including rookie Joel Embiid and injured Chris Paul.

Bryce Cotton To Play In Australia

Former Providence guard Bryce Cotton, who spent parts of the last two seasons in the NBA, is headed back overseas, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. A source tells Carchia that Cotton has agreed to a deal with the Perth Wildcats, and will play in Australia.

Cotton, 24, went undrafted out of college in 2014, but caught on with the Jazz for 15 games in 2014/15, and had brief stints with both the Suns and the Grizzlies last season. In 23 total NBA games, the 6’1″ point guard has averaged a modest 3.8 PPG on .418/.304/.833 shooting.

In addition to his NBA experience, Cotton has also logged some D-League action and played for multiple teams overseas, including the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China last season. Earlier this year, he signed with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes. However, the team – based out of Istanbul – decided about two weeks ago to replace him with Sixers camp invitee Brandon Paul.

Cotton will be joining a Perth club that currently sits in last place in Australia’s NBL, but most of the league’s teams are bunched together in the standings. At 7-9, the Wildcats could still make a run, with the help of Cotton.

And-Ones: I. Austin, Sims, B. Paul, 2017 Draft

Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin was recently cleared to play basketball again, after having his NBA hopes initially derailed when he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Still, although Austin is free to sign anywhere, executives are generally taking a “relaxed approach” to his planned comeback, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Austin was viewed as a borderline first-round prospect back in 2014, and some executives around the NBA are approaching his reported medical clearance with caution.

“What reversed the decision?” one NBA general manager said to Howard-Cooper. “How did it come to be that now he can play? We don’t even know how. Yeah, that’s what I’d be curious about. I’m not saying [Austin found a single doctor willing to clear him], but I’ve seen this before. You can find someone to tell you that you can play. Somebody will.”

As Howard-Cooper details, another GM suggested that teams wouldn’t rush to look into Austin’s situation, but added that those teams may be intrigued: “I’ve never heard anybody (in the NBA) talk about any skepticism on that because I don’t think he’s on people’s radar like that. I don’t think there’s a buzz like, ‘Whoa, now he’s been declared healthy. Is he really healthy?’ I don’t think people are looking at it that way. I think people are more ‘OK, that’s interesting.’ I can see maybe someone trying to do a feel-good story, liking a little bump from a PR standpoint. Maybe someone does a short-term contract with him and brings him in.”

As we wait to see Austin can land a basketball contract, perhaps in the D-League or elsewhere, let’s check in on a few other odds and ends…

  • The NBA D-League has accepted a buyout of Henry Sims‘ contract, as well as Quincy Douby‘s deal, reports Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter links). It’s not yet clear what the next step is for either former NBA player, but they may end up heading overseas.
  • One player heading overseas is swingman Brandon Paul, who was in camp with the Sixers this fall. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes, Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul has agreed to a deal with Paul to replace Bryce Cotton on its roster.
  • In a piece for Basketball Insiders, Michael Scotto takes an early look at next year’s potential draft class, exploring whether we might see three Kentucky freshman come of the board as 2017 lottery picks. As Scotto outlines, Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Edrice Adebayo could become the Wildcats’ third trio since 2010 to achieve that feat.