Canyon Barry

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

NBA’s Bottom Eight Teams Gearing Up For Group Workouts

Monday, September 14 marks the first day of the three-week offseason workout window for the NBA’s bottom eight teams. The first phase of these de facto training camps will last for one week, through next Monday. During that time, activities will continue to be limited to individual workouts, as participants begin being tested daily for the coronavirus.

After one week, once participating players have returned multiple negative COVID-19 tests – or have been quarantined if they test positive – the second phase of the camps will take place in bubble-type environments. Group workouts, including practices and intra-squad scrimmages, will be permitted during the next two weeks as coronavirus testing continues.

The eight teams not invited to Orlando – the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, and Hornets – won’t congregate at a single site like the top 22 teams did at Walt Disney World. Their “bubbles” will be created in their respective markets.

[RELATED: Eight Teams Left Out Of Restart To Conduct Workouts At Home Sites]

For instance, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, the Bulls will stay at a downtown hotel and will be transported back and forth between there and the Advocate Center. The Hawks, meanwhile, are working to secure their players a hotel that has not yet opened to help avoid any outside contact, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The other clubs will make similar arrangements.

These workouts – both the individual sessions this week and the group activities beginning next week – are entirely voluntary. However, since these players have been unable to take part in organized basketball activities with teammates since March and are likely itching to get back on the court, there’s an expectation that attendance will be robust for most clubs.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports, for example, that the Hawks anticipate all their core players – including Clint Capela – will take part in the camp. Jeff Teague is one of the only players not expected to participate, per Spencer, who notes that the veteran point guard is ticketed for free agency.

The Pistons are in a similar situation — James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that free-agent-to-be Langston Galloway isn’t expected to be in attendance, but most of the rest of the team’s players will participate.

There are some cases where players who could reach free agency in the coming months will take part in workouts. For instance, Marc Berman of The New York Post says that Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson will likely be in attendance for the Knicks. Portis has a pricey team option for 2020/21, while only $1MM of Gibson’s $9.45MM salary is guaranteed, so both vets could be let go by the team this fall.

Berman does caution that some veteran Knicks players intend to participate in individual workouts but won’t join the rest of the club in the “bubble.”

Teams that want to fill gaps on their roster and make sure they have enough players to hold intra-squad scrimmages will be able to invite players who suited up for their G League affiliates this past season. For example, Lindell Wigginton and Canyon Barry of the Iowa Wolves will join Minnesota for the team’s mini-camp at Mayo Clinic Square, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

With these offseason camps set to end on October 6 and the NBA Finals likely to wrap up shortly thereafter, the next time clubs meet for organized activities will presumably be for training camps at the start of the 2020/21 season.

Timberwolves Waive Four Players

The Timberwolves have parted ways with four players, the team announced on Twitter. Gone are Darius Johnson-Odom and Jonathan Stark, along with Canyon Barry and William Lee, who were both signed earlier today.

The moves trim Minnesota’s roster to 16, including a pair of two-way players. The Wolves may keep one spot open on the regular roster for luxury tax purposes.

Johnson-Odom is 29 but hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013/14, when he spent three games with the Sixers. He has extensive international experience, playing in Italy, Turkey and Greece.

Stark is a rookie from Murray State who was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year last season. After going undrafted, he played for Minnesota in the Las Vegas Summer League. Barry played in Finland and the Czech Republic after going undrafted out of Florida in 2017. Lee is a rookie out of Alabama-Birmingham.

All four players may be given opportunities to join the Wolves’ G League team if they clear waivers.

Wolves Rumors: Noah, Butler, Jones, Towns

The Knicks’ long-awaited roster move involving Joakim Noah finally happened on Saturday, resulting in a flurry of speculation about the Timberwolves‘ interest in the veteran center. However, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) that Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has shown no interest in adding Noah to his roster.

Thibodeau hasn’t hesitated to stack his Minnesota squad with several of his former Bulls players, including Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, and Luol Deng, and reports earlier in the offseason indicated that he might be interest in Noah as well. Apparently that’s not the case though. For now, Thibodeau has his hands full with another one of those ex-Bulls, as he attempts to determine what to do with Butler.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Asked on Friday for the first time about Butler’s now-infamous performance in practice on Wednesday, Thibodeau downplayed its importance, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “It’s not uncommon when players scrimmage that there will be some talk,” Thibodeau said. “It was competitive.”
  • Thibodeau also offered this assessment on confrontations during practices and scrimmages, per Hine: “It’s OK to confront. That’s not an issue. The way you confront that’s important. But if you do confront, don’t beat down. The big thing is to lift people up. You make other people better.”
  • We haven’t heard much else on the Butler front since reports indicated he was likely to start the season with the Wolves and that the Heat weren’t making an effort to re-engage the Wolves in trade talks.
  • There have still been no rookie scale extension discussions between Tyus Jones and the Timberwolves, Jones confirmed on Friday (link via Hine). “I’d like to be here, but I know it’s a business,” said Jones, who will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019 if he doesn’t get an extension. The deadline is Monday.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns expressed plenty of frustration following another bad preseason loss on Friday, calling the team’s recent showings “unacceptable.” Chris Herring of ESPN.com has the details and the quotes from Towns.
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN confirms (via Twitter) that Canyon Barry and William Lee received Exhibit 10 deals today and are expected to join the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate, after they’re waived.

Timberwolves Sign Canyon Barry, William Lee

The Timberwolves have signed a pair of players, issuing a press release to announce their deals with free agent guard Canyon Barry and rookie forward William Lee.

Barry, who finished his college career in Florida, joined the Knicks for Summer League action in 2017 after going undrafted, then played for teams in Finland and the Czech Republic. As for Lee, the former Alabama-Birmingham forward averaged 10.4 PPG and 6.8 RPG in his senior year in 2017/18 before going undrafted this spring.

Neither player figures to stick with the Timberwolves once the team sets its roster for the regular season — I imagine we’ll hear very shortly that both players have been waived. However, signing Barry and Lee to Exhibit 10 contracts will allow the Timberwolves to award them bonuses worth up to $50K apiece if they play for the Iowa Wolves – Minnesota’s G League affiliate – for at least two months this season.

And-Ones: M. Robinson, Mayo, Eurobasket

Five-star recruit Mitchell Robinson, who initially enrolled at Western Kentucky, has left the program and is not expected to play college ball in 2017/18, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports had reported several days ago that Robinson was considering sitting out the season in order to prepare for the 2018 NBA draft.

Robinson, a seven-footer who is considered a likely first-round pick next summer, had been considering transferring to Kansas or another school, but would probably have had to sit out the 2017/18 season anyway in that scenario, Forde notes. Robinson could opt to go the Terrance Ferguson route and play in another professional league for one year, but a high-level European club is unlikely to rent the young center for a single season, tweets ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla.

As we wait to see what the future holds for Robinson, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • As we detailed earlier in the week, O.J. Mayo‘s two-year ban from the NBA ensures that he’ll sit out at least one more season. However, that ban doesn’t preclude him from playing in the G League. Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days looks into whether it makes sense for Mayo to suit up for a G League club this season in an effort to rehabilitate his image and stay on the radar of NBA teams.
  • This week’s Kyrie Irving mega-deal is the latest signal that the NBA is becoming a year-round league, Sam Amick writes in an interesting piece for USA Today. As Amick observes, the non-stop drama of the NBA offseason is good news for commissioner Adam Silver, who has expressed a desire to rival the NFL in terms of popularity.
  • With the 2017 Eurobasket tournament around the corner, several teams are finalizing and announcing their rosters. Via Sportando, here are the 12-man squads for Spain and Lithuania, each of which feature multiple NBA players.
  • After playing Summer League ball for the Knicks, undrafted rookie Canyon Barry will begin his professional career in Finland. The son of Rick Barry spoke to Ian Begley of ESPN.com about his father’s influence on his game, including his free-throw shooting style.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Kerr, Draft, Warriors, Kings

Stephen Curry was more valuable to the Warriors offensively this season than Kevin Durant, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. In a fascinating piece about the relative value of the pair, Pelton points to Curry’s passing ability and the game-changing effect his lethal three-point shooting has on drawing defenders. As a result, ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) views Curry as having been far more valuable than Durant this season. However, the writer does allow for Durant’s already high value improving next season and beyond. Adjustments were constantly being made during KD’s first year on the team.

Here’s more from the Pacific division:

  • Although the Warriors presently lack a pick in this week’s draft, the team held a pre-draft workout on Tuesday, tweets Jeremy Woo. According to Woo, the participants were Canyon Barry (Florida), Sterling Brown (SMU), Chance Comanche (Arizona), Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Ben Moore (SMU), and Tai Webster (Nebraska).
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be given time off throughout the summer to explore options for alleviating his back problems, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press“I think at the point we’re at now, it’s what makes you 5-10-15 percent better? And that’s what he’s going to pursue and explore with our blessing,” GM Bob Myers said.
  • In the wake of Chris Granger‘s resignation Monday as president of the Kings, Ailene Voison of The Sacramento Bee explains why the departure signifies a major loss to both the franchise and the community. Golden 1 Center stands as Granger’s crowning achievement as Kings president. About Granger, team owner Vivek Ranadive said, “I’m really sad Chris is leaving, but when I recruited him, I also knew it wasn’t going to be forever. He built the arena. He stayed a year (afterward). I told him, ‘I’d like to keep you, but I also understand you don’t want to be selling sponsorships your whole life.’ He’s a big time guy.”
  • The Kings‘ top priority should be to find a point guard to grow their nucleus around, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Each team in the Pacific division is stacked at point guard, except for the Kings, who have Darren Collison and Ty Lawson, both free agents. Jones suggests that the team draft its point guard of the future, with many talented floor generals available, even if De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky) is drafted before the Kings pick at No. 5.

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Mason, Clippers, Reed

A Lakers backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Lonzo Ball might be potent offensively but a liability defensively, as Eric Pincus examines in a Bleacher Report piece. Russell could run pick-and-rolls, while Ball would excel in transition and ball movement, though neither tends to attack off the dribble, Pincus continues. The biggest concern would be on the defensive end because of quickness issues, which would require the Lakers to have a speedy, defensive-minded guard to rotate with both players, Pincus adds.

In other developments around the Pacific Division:
  • Kansas point guard Frank Mason III will work out for the Kings for a second time on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Mason is considered a second-round prospect — he’s currently ranked No. 45 on Chad Ford’s Big Board. Sacramento, which has the No. 34 overall pick in the second round, will also bring in Kentucky point guard Isaiah Briscoe, UCLA shooting guard Isaac Hamilton, Florida shooting guard Canyon Barry, Indiana center Thomas Bryant and Miami forward Kamari Murphy.
  • The Clippers will bring in FIBA small forward Howard Sant-Roos for workouts later this week, international journalist David Pick tweets. The Cuban-born Sant-Roos, 26, has been playing for CEZ Nymburk in the Czech league, where he averaged 13.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.4 APG in 40 games this season.
  • Kansas State shooting guard Wesley Iwundu and Vanderbilt big man Luke Kornet headed the list of six draft hopeful that the Lakers brought in on Monday, the team’s website reported. Iwundu is ranked No. 53 overall by Draft Express, while Kornet comes in at No. 67. The Lakers do not have a second-round pick.
  • Miami shooting guard Davon Reed headlined a group of six players that the Clippers worked out on Monday, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets. Reed is pegged as the No. 76 prospect by Draft Express. Murphy also participated in the workout.

Draft Notes: Fox, Ball, Mitchell, Workouts

In a draft expected to be dominated by point guards, John Wall thinks De’Aaron Fox will be the best of the bunch, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. Wall insists his opinion stems from watching Fox play and isn’t because they went to the same school. “A lot of people say it’s bias because he’s from Kentucky, but I think De’Aaron Fox might end up being the best point guard out of that class,” Wall said. “He reminds me of myself a lot, just a lefty.” Wall was the first player picked in 2010 and has been a four-time All-Star. Fox is widely projected to be taken early in the lottery, but after point guards Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.

There’s more news as the draft looms three weeks away:

  • Fox is the latest rookie to get a shoe deal before being drafted, tweets Nick DePaula of The Vertical. Fox, who was highly sought after by shoe companies, agreed to a multi-year deal with Nike.
  • Ball may need an exceptional workout with the Lakers to be the No. 2 pick, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who notes that L.A.’s interest is growing in Fox and Kansas forward Josh Jackson. Ball’s camp, which once said he would only meet with the Lakers, is now willing to hold meetings, but probably not workouts, with the Sixers and Kings.
  • Donovan Mitchell is a non-traditional point guard who may be a steal for somebody in the middle of the draft, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. The Louisville product is celebrated for his defense, but doesn’t possess great passing skills.
  • Oregon guard Dylan Ennis has been among the most active prospects in pre-draft workouts, tweets Oliver Maroney of Dime Magazine. Ennis has already worked out for the Thunder, Raptors and Celtics, and has sessions with the Clippers, Kings and Spurs set for next week. He is listed by DraftExpress as a long shot to be selected.
  • Pitt’s Jamel Artis will work out for the Magic on Thursday, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.
  • Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan was the top name at Tuesday’s Raptors workout, tweets Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic. Swanigan was joined by Virginia’s Austin Nichols, Dayton’s Scoochie Smith, Houston’s Damyean Dotson, North Carolina’s Nate Britt and Southeast Missouri’s Antonius Cleveland.
  • The Knicks welcomed six players on Tuesday, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. At the workout were Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe, South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell, Duke’s Amile Jefferson, Colorado’s Derrick White, Florida’s Canyon Barry and Columbia’s Luke Petrasek.