Carlik Jones

Bulls Waive Kostas Antetokounmpo, Sign Carlik Jones To Two-Way Deal

The Bulls have waived forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, who was on a two-way deal, and signed guard Carlik Jones to fill their two-way opening, the team announced (via Twitter).

Jones, who turns 25 next week, was a rookie last season after going undrafted out of Louisville. He appeared in five NBA games in 2021/22 on 10-day hardship deals with the Mavericks and Nuggets, but spent most of his rookie year playing with the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.

Jones played for the Bulls’ Summer League team in 2022 and was later signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, but was waived before the season started. He has spent all of this season with Chicago’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, averaging 20.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 7.6 APG and 1.2 SPG on .529/.431/.667 shooting through 14 games (34.4 MPG).

The second-year guard was on our list of five G League players making bids for NBA call-ups due to their strong performances, and now that has come to fruition.

Although he has appeared in NBA games in three separate seasons (from 2018-21), Antetokounmpo has never played a regular rotation role during previous stops with the Mavericks and Lakers. The 25-year-old has logged just 87 total minutes in 22 games, putting up 21 points and 23 rebounds during his limited action.

Antetokounmpo, who spent last season with French club ASVEL, originally signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Bulls this fall, but had it converted to a two-way deal before the season started. He didn’t appear in any NBA games, but played in 12 games (28.9 MPG) for Windy City, averaging 11.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG and 1.3 BPG on .670/.200/.500 shooting.

According to a report from Eurohoops.net, at least three EuroLeague teams are interested in Antetokounmpo’s services, including Greece’s Panathinaikos, Turkey’s Fenerbahce, and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv. Antetokounmpo is the younger brother of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Five G League Players Making Bids For NBA Call-Ups

The NBA G League’s regular season won’t begin for another month, but all 30 NBAGL teams are currently competing in the Showcase Cup, a round-robin event that culminates in a single-elimination tournament at the G League’s Winter Showcase from December 19-22.

We’re only midway through the 16-game Showcase Cup, with each NBAGL team having played between seven and 10 games so far, but a number of standout performers are making their mark.

Some of those top players, like Luka Garza of the Iowa Wolves or Jaden Hardy of the Texas Legends, are already under contract with NBA teams and aren’t free agents. But many of the G League players turning heads are free to sign with any NBA club at any time.

Listed below are five early G League standouts who are making strong cases to be considered for NBA call-ups at some point this season. This is hardly a comprehensive list of the NBAGL’s top performers — it’s a safe bet that many more will receive NBA consideration in the coming days, weeks, or months, especially when the 10-day signing period begins in January. But these five players are worth singling out for their early-season play.

Let’s dive in…


Sharife Cooper, G, Cleveland Charge

A two-way player with the Hawks last season, Cooper accepted a two-way qualifying offer from Atlanta in July, but was waived shortly thereafter and spent training camp with the Cavaliers, becoming an affiliate player for Cleveland.

In 10 games so far for the Charge, Cooper has been one of the G League’s most dynamic offensive players, pouring in 25.3 points per game on .489/.433/.811 shooting while also chipping in 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per night.

Cooper isn’t a consistent defender, but his offensive ability will intrigue NBA evaluators. He’s the G League’s reigning Performer of the Week after posting back-to-back 40-point games on November 15 and 17 and has helped lead the Charge to a 6-4 record.

Carlik Jones, G, Windy City Bulls

Jones, 25 next month, got a brief taste of NBA action last winter as a 10-day hardship signee for the Mavericks and the Nuggets, appearing in five total games for the two teams. After spending training camp with the Bulls, he’s back in the G League this season for the Windy City Bulls, whose 6-2 record places them atop the Central.

Jones has been a major reason for Windy City’s early success, leading the team with 17.5 PPG and 8.1 APG. After struggling to consistently make his three-pointers in his first pro season in 2021/22, the former Louisville standout is hitting 41.9% of his treys so far this season and making 1.6 per game.

Jay Huff, F/C, South Bay Lakers

Huff began the 2021/22 season on a two-way contract with the Lakers and made brief appearances in four NBA games before being waived in January. The 24-year-old is still in the organization at South Bay and has emerged as one of the G League’s most fearsome rim protectors — he has blocked 35 shots in his first eight games this season and comfortably leads the league with 4.4 BPG.

Huff’s impact has gone beyond his shot-blocking ability. He’s also one of South Bay’s go-to scorers, averaging 17.9 PPG on 68.1% shooting; he leads the club with 8.9 RPG; and he has even shown off some play-making ability, averaging 3.1 APG.

If Huff can boost his three-point rate a few points (currently 29.4%), he’ll become an even more appealing target for NBA teams looking to develop a frontcourt prospect.

James Akinjo, G, Westchester Knicks

Although Akinjo earned a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team during his final college season in 2021/22, the Baylor guard struggled mightily with his shot, making just 38.3% attempts from the field and 29.5% from beyond the arc. So it has been encouraging to see him boost those averages to 46.4% and 46.7% in his first seven G League games.

The Westchester Knicks are just 1-6 so far, but Akinjo has been a bright spot, pouring in 19.9 points per night and tying for the G League lead with an impressive 11.1 assists per game.

Jontay Porter, F/C, Wisconsin Herd

The younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., Jontay Porter is a former five-star recruit whose college career was derailed by a pair of ACL tears. He’s still just 23 years old though and has been healthy through the Herd’s first 10 games.

Despite playing just 26.2 minutes per game and primarily coming off the bench, Porter has filled up the box score in Wisconsin, averaging 16.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.8 BPG while making 3.1 three-pointers per game at a 46.3% rate.

The Grizzlies took a flier on Porter during the 2020/21 season and played him in 11 games — it may be just a matter of time before he earns another shot at the NBA level.

Central Notes: Merrill, Stewart, Duren, Williams, Jones

The Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers’ affiliate, hold the top pick in the upcoming NBA G League draft and guard Sam Merrill could be the top pick, Marc Stein tweets. Merrill was waived late in training camp by the Kings. He played six games for Memphis last season and 30 for Milwaukee the previous year.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart is only 21, but he’s become a mentor to the youngest player in the league, Jalen Duren, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. It doesn’t bother Stewart that Duren might cut into his playing time. “I know this is a league where you’re fighting for positions and minutes, but that’s not something I’m worried about,” Stewart said. “I know what’s most important is being there for the young fella. I’m there for him, whatever he needs. Sometimes I’ll just start talking to him just because. I know you’re a rook, first year.’ I want him to feel and know that I’m here for him on a positive note.”
  • After missing most of last season due to injury, Bulls forward Patrick Williams is struggling through the early portion of this season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. Williams is trying to determine how he can make the biggest impact for his teammates. “I’ve been talking to them about it and trying to figure it out,” he said. “I’m totally confident we will. Specifically, because of the player I know I am.”
  • The Bulls waived guard Carlik Jones last week but they still want him in the organization. Their G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, acquired his returning player rights in a three-team trade, according to a press release.

Bulls Cut Carlik Jones, Okaro White

The Bulls have made multiple cuts, waiving guard Carlik Jones and forward Okaro White, according to NBA.com’s transaction log. The team also officially released two-way player Justin Lewis, as was reported on Friday.

Jones had been in camp with the Bulls in recent weeks after a strong Summer League showing with the team. He appeared in three preseason games. White, meanwhile, just signed with Chicago earlier this week.

It’s possible – but not certain – that both players will end up suiting up for the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s G League affiliate.

Lewis, meanwhile, is recovering from an ACL injury and is expected to remain around the team as he goes through his rehab process, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported on Friday.

The Bulls now have 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, so their roster is ready for the regular season, though that doesn’t mean they won’t make any last-minute moves before Monday’s deadline.

Bulls Sign Carlik Jones To Exhibit 10 Contract

The Bulls have signed guard Carlik Jones to a training camp contract, as tweeted by Keith Smith of Spotrac and confirmed by Jones himself.

The deal is a one-year, non-guaranteed contract that includes Exhibit 10 language, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means it could be converted into a two-way contract before the regular season begins or it could put Jones in line for a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s G League affiliate.

Jones, 24, went undrafted out of Louisville in 2021 and spent most of his first professional season with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League team. He made the All-NBAGL Third Team and the All-NBAGL Rookie Team by averaging 21.1 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 4.7 RPG in 33 regular season G League contests (35.6 MPG).

Jones also signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks and another with the Nuggets, appearing in five NBA games as a rookie. He subsequently suited up for the Bulls in last month’s Las Vegas Summer League, registering 11.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 2.2 SPG with a scorching hot .548/.667/.846 shooting line in five appearances (24.7 MPG).

Chicago is carrying 15 players on guaranteed contracts, so there likely won’t be room for Jones on the regular season roster. However, the team has one two-way slot open and its only current two-way player, Justin Lewis, is facing ACL surgery, meaning there may be a path to a two-way deal for Jones.

Summer League Commitments: Bulls, Hawks, Mavericks, Magic

The Bulls have agreed to a summer league deal with point guard Carlik Jones, a source told Hoops Rumors. Jones signed 10-day contracts with the Mavericks and Nuggets this past season. He averaged 22.1 points per game with Dallas’ G League affiliate, shooting an efficient 46% from the floor.

Jones, 24, was also named to the All-NBA G League Third Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team. He played for the Mavericks in summer league last year after going undrafted.

Here are some other summer league commitments to share:

  • The Hawks have received a summer league commitment from Chris Clemons, a league source told Hoops Rumors. Clemons averaged 21.3 points per game with the Celtics’ G League affiliate this season, which included a 52-point outing. The 5’9″ point guard was one of the top scorers in the G League this season.
  • Free agent guard Jalen Lecque has accepted a summer league invite from the Mavericks, a source told Hoops Rumors. The 22-year-old averaged 16.8 points per game with the Wisconsin Herd this season, shooting 42%. He holds experience with the Suns and Pacers.
  • Free agent forward Emanuel Terry has committed to playing summer league with the Magic, according to a source. Terry, 6’9″, holds brief NBA experience with the Suns and Heat. He averaged 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds with the Stockton Kings this year.

Jazz Notes: Far From Contending, Mini-Camp, Prospect Workouts

All four of the 2021/22 Conference Finalists — the Warriors, Mavericks, Celtics and Heat — proved how far the Jazz are from contending for a championship, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News opines.

Todd notes that head coach Quin Snyder, whose status remains uncertain for next season, said Utah was very close to competing at the highest level at his end-of-season press conference.

This year, I thought that our record didn’t necessarily reflect what we could do in the playoffs. I felt like we were this close to having a spark and kicking it in and finding that unity, that extra secret sauce, and taking off. And obviously that didn’t happen,” Snyder said, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Todd disagrees. Even assuming the Jazz had advanced past Dallas in the first round (they lost in six games), Todd is doubtful the Jazz would have been able to take the Suns to seven games in the second round, as Dallas was able to do.

She also doesn’t think the Jazz would have fared any better than the Mavs did against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, if they’d gotten past Phoenix.

Ultimately, the Todd believes the flawed roster was too much to overcome, and Utah’s front office will have a tough job improving it this summer.

Here’s more from Utah:

Eastern Notes: Knicks, R. Williams, Isaac, Portis

The Knicks held a free agent mini-camp this week, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog (Twitter link), who says a number of players with NBA experience were in attendance.

Guards Devon Dotson and Chris Clemons, swingman DaQuan Jeffries, forwards Louis King and George King, and big men Alize Johnson and Reggie Perry were among the players who participated in the Knicks’ mini-camp, per Zagoria. John Petty, Craig Randall, Carlik Jones, Aaron Henry, and A.J. Lawson also took part.

The Knicks won’t necessarily sign any of the free agents who attended the mini-camp, but it gave them a chance to see some of the talent that’s out there as they mull possible Summer League and training camp invites.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics big man Robert Williams, who is still listed as questionable for Game 6 on Friday, was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee after colliding with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 3, head coach Ime Udoka said today. Williams’ injured knee is the same one he had surgery on in March, but that procedure isn’t the cause of his current absence. “There’s no problems with the surgery at all,” Udoka said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “It’s just that specific hit that he took (in Game 3).”
  • Because of the injury-related language and games-played requirements in Jonathan Isaac‘s contract with the Magic, his $17.4MM annual salaries for the next three years are now partially guaranteed instead of fully guaranteed, as Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets. Isaac has missed two straight seasons due to an ACL tear, but there’s no indication that the Magic are considering waiving him, which is the only way they could avoid paying his full salaries.
  • Bobby Portis only shot 4-of-14 from the floor in the Bucks‘ Game 5 win on Wednesday, but he grabbed 15 rebounds and made the sort of crucial hustle plays the team values, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Averaging a double-double (11.3 PPG, 10.4 RPG) so far this postseason, Portis is once again displaying his value ahead of possible free agency. He holds a $4.6MM player option for 2022/23.

NBA G League Announces 2021/22 All-NBAGL Teams

Rockets two-way player Trevelin Queen, who was named the NBA G League MVP and the G League Finals MVP this season, has added two more honors to his impressive 2021/22 résumé.

Queen headlined this year’s All-NBA G League First Team and also earned a spot on the NBAGL’s All-Defensive team, as the league announced today in a press release.

The complete list of the 2021/22 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players who finished the season on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).


All-NBAGL First Team

All-NBAGL Second Team

All-NBAGL Third Team


NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Luka Garza (Motor City Cruise) *
  • Carlik Jones (Texas Legends)
  • Mac McClung (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Micah Potter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Braxton Key (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tacko Fall (Cleveland Charge)
  • Shaquille Harrison (Delaware Blue Coats)
  • Trevelin Queen (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) ^

All 19 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year were on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract during the 2021/22 season.

Of those 19, Tillman is the only player who has yet to make his NBA debut, as he didn’t appear in any games after signing a 10-day deal with Atlanta in December.

Nuggets Sign Carlik Jones To 10-Day Deal

2:42pm: Denver has officially inked Jones to his 10-day hardship contract, the team announced in a press release. Jones’ deal with Dallas hadn’t been set to expire until the end of the day, so the Mavs presumably terminated it a little early.


12:02pm: The Nuggets are planning to sign Carlik Jones to a 10-day contract under the hardship exception, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets.

Jones has been on the Mavericks’ roster under a 10-day deal, which will expire tonight. The point guard has made three short appearances with Dallas.

Denver currently has four players in league protocols.

Jones went undrafted earlier this year after transferring from Radford to Louisville for his senior season. He put up 16.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 19 games (37.5 MPG) in 2020/21 for the Cardinals and made the All-ACC First Team.

Jones spent training camp this fall with the Mavs, then reported to the Texas Legends, where he started all 10 games he played for Dallas’ G League team. He averaged 20.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 4.4 APG on .451/.324/.875 shooting in 30.8 minutes per contest.