Charlie Brown

Thunder Sign Charlie Brown Jr. To Multi-Year Deal

The Thunder have signed guard Charlie Brown Jr. to a multi-year contract, according to a team press release.

Brown had signed a pair of 10-day contracts but the second of those deals expired on Friday. He has appeared in eight games, averaging 4.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG and 0.9 APG in 15.1 MPG. He scored seven points in his last appearance against Sacramento on Tuesday.

The terms and length of the contract weren’t disclosed but it’s unlikely he’ll have much – or any – guaranteed money beyond this season. Oklahoma City plays its season finale against the Clippers on Sunday.

Brown, 24, went undrafted out of Saint Joseph’s in 2019, and signed with the Hawks as a two-way player for 2019/20. This season, he appeared in 13 games with the Timberwolves’ G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, within the NBAGL’s “bubble” campus in Orlando. Brown averaged 12.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.69 SPG in 30.0 MPG for Iowa.

Charlie Brown Jr. Inks Second 10-Day Deal With OKC

The Thunder have signed guard Charlie Brown Jr. to his second 10-day deal following the expiration of his first one on Tuesday night, the team announced in a press release.

Since first joining Oklahoma City late last month, Brown has logged time in three games, including one start, and is averaging 5.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 1.0 SPG across 15.9 MPG.

Brown went undrafted out of Saint Joseph’s in 2019, and signed with the Hawks as a two-way player for 2019/20. This season, he appeared in 13 games with the Timberwolves’ G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, within the NBAGL’s “bubble” campus in Orlando. Brown averaged 12.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.69 SPG across 30.0 MPG for Iowa.

Brown’s new deal will run through May 14. The Thunder will have to decide after that whether to sign him to a rest-of-season contract that covers the club’s final game on May 16.

Northwest Notes: Brown, D-Lo, Campazzo, Edwards

With the Thunder now officially eliminated from play-in tournament contention, the rebuilding team appears open to developing some of its less-heralded young prospects. According to head coach Mark Daigneault, 6’6″ second-year shooting guard Charlie Brown Jr. will start and receive significant run while on a 10-day deal with the club, tweets Cameron Jourdan of the Oklahoman.

Brown inked a two-way deal with the Hawks after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s for the 2019/20 season. So far with the Thunder, he’s averaging 16.0 MPG across three games.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The minutes restriction has been lifted for Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell, who will continue to come off the bench for Minnesota, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The Timberwolves are 8-7 since Russell returned to the lineup following a February left knee surgery.
  • 30-year-old rookie Nuggets point guard Facundo Campazzo recently explained to Mike Singer of the Denver Post why he was ready to try his hand at the NBA after spending several years as a star overseas. “I just wanted the opportunity,” Campazzo said. “I don’t know if my level can work here or my game can fit here, but I just needed the opportunity to try at least. I don’t want to finish my career and think, ‘OK, I didn’t try at least, you know?’” In 58 games with Denver (including 12 starts), the 5’10” guard is averaging 20.8 MPG, 5.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.1 SPG.
  • The next step in the long-term evolution of the Timberwolves is for 2020 No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards to become a star, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “We know what [Karl-Anthony Towns] can bring to the table,” guard Ricky Rubio said. “We know what [D’Angelo Russell] can bring to the table. But Ant, he has to bring it every night. That’s the toughest part of the NBA if you want to be one of the best.”

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Wiggins, Thunder, Nuggets

Damian Lillard has long been commended for his loyalty to the Trail Blazers, but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports questions where that loyalty has gotten Lillard during what has been his most frustrating season. The veteran guard, who has repeatedly stated his desire to win a title in Portland, hasn’t played with an All-Star since 2015 and the team doesn’t appear to be moving any closer to contention — the Blazers’ recent 4-9 slide has them in play-in territory at No. 7 in the Western Conference.

Acquisitions like Robert Covington and Norman Powell looked like steps in the right direction, but Haynes advocates for the Trail Blazers’ front office to take a more aggressive, riskier approach, seeking a deal that would pair Lillard with a legitimate second star.

While Haynes’ piece for Yahoo Sports is an opinion column, it’s worth noting that the veteran reporter is on good terms with Lillard, having frequently interviewed him and reported on him. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lillard shares the views Haynes puts forth in the piece, but the Trail Blazers star will turn 31 this summer and will want to make the most of his remaining prime years.

Whether or not they’re getting a push from Lillard, it’s fair to say the pressure is increasing on the Blazers’ front office. That pressure applies to the coaching staff too. Echoing another recent report, Haynes suggests within his column that head coach Terry Stotts is very much on the hot seat.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Former Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, who played in Minnesota on Thursday as a Warrior, said he has “nothing but love” for his old team and for his time in the city, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Living here was great,” Wiggins said. “I got to meet a lot of people in the community. I made a lot of friends and people that I’ll talk to and be cool with the rest of my life. Just playing here with the organization it was cool. Helped me grow into the man I am today.”
  • Charlie Brown Jr. is looking to make the most of his 10-day audition with the Thunder, a team he worked out for prior to the 2019 draft, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. Meanwhile, in a separate story, Mussatto writes about Gabriel Deck‘s “welcome to the NBA” moment during his debut on Thursday — the Argentinian forward was matched up with Zion Williamson during his first few minutes in the NBA.
  • In his latest mailbag for The Denver Post, Mike Singer explores Michael Porter Jr.‘s contract situation, JaVale McGee‘s role, and whether any more roster moves are coming for the Nuggets. Singer expects the current 17-man group to be the one Denver takes into the postseason.

Charlie Brown Jr. Signs 10-Day Deal With Thunder

Shooting guard Charlie Brown Jr. has inked a 10-day deal with the Thunder, according to an official team press release.

Brown, 24, went undrafted out of Saint Joseph’s in 2019, and began his NBA life as a two-way player for the Hawks for the 2019/20 season. Though he played sparingly for Atlanta (appearing in just 40 minutes across 10 games), Brown had a more robust output for Atlanta’s G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks. Over 29 games, he averaged 17.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.52 SPG across 33.2 MPG.

Earlier this season, Brown signed a training camp contract with the Timberwolves, but was cut before playing any regular season games for Minnesota.

The 6’6″ second-year wing most recently suited up in 13 games for Minnesota’s G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, during the 2021 NBAGL “bubble” season in Orlando, averaging 12.5 PPG (on 44.7% field goal shooting), 5.5 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.69 SPG across 30.0 MPG. Brown was among several Iowa Wolves players to be suspended for two games after violating the G League’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols while in Orlando.

The Thunder had an open spot on their 15-man roster after Justin Robinson‘s second 10-day deal with the team expired.

Wolves Notes: Towns, Edwards, G League Bubble

After suiting up and taking the court for the first time in nearly a month on Wednesday, Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns admitted he endured a “rough journey” during his absence as he battled COVID-19.

“I am a high-risk case,” Towns said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights. One of the things that I told my sister when I got COVID was that, ‘Hey, I got it, and I don’t got a good version of it. I got a lot of COVID in me, but I am going to fight and beat it.'”

While Towns acknowledged that many players around the NBA have experienced few symptoms – or none at all – after testing positive for the coronavirus, he noted that everyone’s experience is “totally different.” Several of Towns’ family members have died of complications from COVID-19, including his mother, to whom Towns said he is most “genetically connected.”

“You hear those stories where people get COVID,” Towns said, according to Youngmisuk. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, for four days, five days, I didn’t feel well, and then I turned the corner magically one day and I was feeling great.’ That did not happen with me.”

Towns was solid in his return to action, putting up 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, but he admitted to reporters that he didn’t feel mentally ready for the game. It may take a little more time before the 25-year-old back to his usual dominant self.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • As Youngmisuk relays, Towns also became the latest star player to question the logic of holding an All-Star Game in 2021. “I personally don’t believe there should be an All-Star Game, but what the hell do I know?” Towns said, sarcastically adding: “S–t, I obviously haven’t dealt with COVID, probably a guy who has some insight into that. What should I know about COVID, right?”
  • Anthony Edwards got off to a slow start during his rookie year, shooting just 34.4% from the floor and 27.4% from beyond the arc through his first 16 games. However, he has come on lately, averaging 16.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 3.1 APG on .435/.400/.800 shooting in his last nine, and entering Minnesota’s starting lineup during that time. The No. 1 overall pick is just getting started, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, who says the Wolves drafted Edwards knowing he was raw and not expecting him to dominate right out of the gate.
  • The Iowa Wolves – Minnesota’s G League affiliate – have been penalized for violating the health and safety protocols at the NBAGL bubble at Walt Disney World. As Adam Zagoria of Forbes tweets, the club was fined $10K, while Charlie Brown, Ashton Hagans, Jaylen Johnson, Ade Murkey, and Dakarai Tucker were all suspended without pay for two games. Iowa added Isaiah Briscoe and Jaylen Morris from the bubble’s available player pool to temporarily fill the holes on its roster, tweets Adam Johnson.

Timberwolves Place Four Players On Waivers

As rumored earlier today, the Timberwolves have officially waived veteran forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, along with guard Charlie Brown Jr. and forwards Zylan Cheatham and Tyler Cook.

Hollis-Jefferson was in camp on a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract, but he played well in three preseason games, averaging 7.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per night. After four years in Brooklyn, he joined the Raptors last season and posted a 7.0/4.7/1.8 line in 60 games.

Brown appeared in 10 games for the Hawks last season, but spent most of his rookie year in the G League. Cheatham got into four games for the Pelicans as a rookie, while Cook played a combined 13 games for the Cavaliers and Nuggets.

The moves leave Minnesota’s roster at 14, with 12 guaranteed contracts, plus a pair of two-way players.

Wolves Sign Charlie Brown Jr. To Camp Contract

The Timberwolves have signed free agent shooting guard Charlie Brown Jr. to a training camp contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Brown, 23, signed a two-way contract with the Hawks in July 2019, shortly after going undrafted out of Saint Joseph’s. He spent his entire rookie season playing on that deal, appearing in 10 games for Atlanta and 28 for the College Park Skyhawks.

Although he logged just 40 total minutes at the NBA level, Brown had a productive year in the G League, recording 17.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 33.3 minutes per contest for the Skyhawks. He struggled a little with his shooting efficiency, however, making 42.2% of his total field goal attempts, including just 26.8% from beyond the arc.

Brown seems more likely to end up playing for the Iowa Wolves – Minnesota’s G League affiliate – than to earn a spot on the Timberwolves’ regular season roster.

The Wolves now have 19 players under contract, with a 20th (Jordan McLaughlin) still a restricted free agent.

Hawks Notes: Okongwu, Trade Offers, Labissiere, QOs

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk never got to see Onyeka Okongwu play in person, but he was convinced the USC center was the right choice with the No. 6 pick, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Atlanta’s scouts were promoting Okongwu during the season and urged Schlenk to watch him, but that fell through when the Pac-12 Tournament was canceled.

Okongwu also didn’t work out for the Hawks because of a stress fracture in his sesamoid bone, which is located underneath his big toe. However, Schlenk knows what his new center can provide without seeing him in action.

“He’s going to be a plus rebounder defensively,” the Atlanta GM said. “He’s going to be a rim protector, and the other thing he does is he moves his feet very, very well in pick-and-roll coverages, and as you guys know, that’s extremely important for big guys to be able to guard in pick-and-rolls. Those are his strengths coming in. He’s got great instincts. Improving defensively is important for our group. The foundation of your defense is your big guy. They’re kind of the quarterback of the defense. They’re on the back line. They see everything. … That’s his strength, and that’s a very valuable strength in the NBA.”

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • The Hawks took a long look at Israeli forward Deni Avdija and Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton, according to Kirschner and Vecenie, but decided Okongwu’s potential was too good to pass up. They also listened to trade-down offers from the Knicks, Wizards and a few teams in the teens, but there were no prospects they especially liked in that range.
  • Atlanta now has four centers on its roster, but the front office won’t be in a hurry to unload any of them, Kirschner and Vecenie add. The Hawks traded for Clint Capela and Dewayne Dedmon last season. They also have Bruno Fernando, and John Collins plays in the middle sometimes. The addition of Okongwu means there’s no longer room on the roster for Skal Labissiere, who will not receive a qualifying offer. QOs also won’t be coming for DeAndre’ Bembry, Damian Jones and Charlie Brown Jr.
  • The Hawks aren’t worried that Okongwu’s injury will be a long-term issue, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Journal-Constitution. Their medical team was able to evaluate his condition during the pre-draft process in October and will check him again soon to see how much he has healed. “The doctors, they weren’t concerned about a long-term injury at all,” Schlenk said. “So hopefully it’s healed from when the MRI was taken probably about four weeks ago, but it’s really hard to say until we get him here and get our doctors to see him. But there was no concern of a long-term injury with it.”

 

Hawks’ Bembry, Labissiere, Jones To Become UFAs

The Hawks have elected not to extend qualifying offers to DeAndre’ Bembry, Skal Labissiere, Damian Jones, or Charlie Brown Jr., according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link). As a result, all four players will be unrestricted free agents rather than restricted.

The decisions don’t come as a major surprise. Bembry was the No. 21 pick in 2016 and has spent the last four seasons in Atlanta, but didn’t have a great year in 2019/20, averaging 5.8 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .456/.231/.542 shooting in 43 games (21.3 MPG). Labissiere was said to be someone who intrigued Atlanta when he was acquired at the trade deadline, but he was unable to suit up for the Hawks due to health issues.

Jones made 55 appearances for Atlanta in 2019/20 but was unlikely to have a regular role next season with Clint Capela healthy and Onyeka Okongwu joining the Hawks in the draft. Brown, meanwhile, saw limited action in 10 games for the Hawks while on a two-way contract.

While those four players appear unlikely to return to Atlanta, Kirschner says (via Twitter) that the team is expected to guarantee Brandon Goodwin‘s minimum salary for 2020/21. Goodwin would earn a $1.7MM salary before becoming eligible for restricted free agency himself in 2021.