Chinanu Onuaku

2018 NBA G League Draft Recap

The Jazz’ G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, selected five-year NBA veteran Willie Reed with the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s G League draft. Reed, 28, has played for the Nets, Heat, Clippers, and Pistons, holding career averages of 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 152 career contests. Some other notable selections include:

Onuaku, 21, was just recently waived by the Trail Blazers. He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, and has extensive G League experience, playing in 83 total games for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers the past two seasons.

Warrick, 36, last played in the NBA during the 2012-13 season with the Charlotte Bobcats, where he appeared in 27 games and scored 7.0 PPG. In 526 career games, the Syracuse product averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Last season, the veteran played with Ironi Nahariya of the Israeli Premier League.

Blair, 29, last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season with the Wizards, where he appeared in 29 games and averaged only 7.5 minutes per contest. In 424 career games, the big man averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Blair most recently played professionally for San Lorenzo de Almagro in Argentina.

The full results of all four rounds of this year’s G League draft can be viewed here.

Trail Blazers Cut Payton, Oliver, Onuaku

The Trail Blazers have waived Gary Payton II, Cameron Oliver and Chinanu Onuaku, according to an official release from the team. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. All three players were on fully non-guaranteed contracts, so Portland won’t be on the hook for any money.

With the moves, the Trail Blazers have lowered their roster count to 15 players in anticipation of the upcoming regular season. Portland could have kept one or two of Payton, Oliver, and/or Onuaku as two-way players, but with no G League affiliate, the team decided not to go that route.

Payton, 25, is the son of NBA Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton. He has seen a little NBA action over the last two seasons with the Lakers and Bucks, but spent most of his time in the G League.

Oliver, 22, signed a training camp contract with the Rockets after going undrafted in 2017, but was waived before the regular season.  He averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 39 total G League games last season.

Onuaku, 21, was selected in the second-round of the 2016 NBA Draft, but has only appeared in six NBA regular season games in his first two NBA seasons. Like Payton and Oliver, he has extensive G League experience, playing in 83 total games for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers the past two seasons.

Trail Blazers Sign Three Players To Camp Deals

SEPTEMBER 4: The Trail Blazers have officially announced their deals with Onuaku, Oliver, and Payton, confirming the signings in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 3: Three free agents are set to join the Trail Blazers on training camp deals, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who reports that Chinanu Onuaku, Cameron Oliver, and Gary Payton II have all reached agreements with Portland.

Onuaku, a 2016 second-round pick, appeared in just six NBA regular season games in two seasons with the Rockets. The former Louisville center has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and averaging 12.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.1 SPG, and a .617 FG%. The 21-year-old was traded from Houston to Dallas earlier this offseason, with the Mavericks subsequently waiving him.

Oliver, a former Nevada standout, signed a training camp contract with the Rockets after going undrafted in 2017, but was waived by Houston just before the regular season began. The 6’8″ forward spent his rookie season in the G League with Delaware and Wisconsin, averaging 10.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 39 total games.

Payton, meanwhile, is the son of NBA Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton. The 25-year-old point guard has seen a little NBA action over the last two seasons, appearing in 29 total contests for the Lakers and Bucks. Like Onuaku and Oliver, he also had a stint with the Rockets earlier in his career and has extensive G League experience.

The Trail Blazers already have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, meaning there might not be any opportunities for their camp invitees to earn regular season roster spots. Portland also doesn’t have its own G League squad, so Onuaku, Oliver, and Payton won’t become affiliate players for the Blazers.

Still, the Blazers haven’t filled either of their two-way contract slots, and Onuaku, Oliver, and Payton would all qualify for a two-way deal. It’s possible that one or two of them could have their camp contracts converted to two-way pacts if they look good in the preseason.

Mavericks Waive Chinanu Onuaku

AUGUST 6: The Mavs have officially waived Onuaku, according to a team press release.

AUGUST 2: The Mavericks will waive newly-acquired center Chinanu Onuaku, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). After completing the move, Dallas will be able to move forward with other signings, such as the club’s new deal with free agent guard Devin Harris.

Onuaku, 21, appeared in just six NBA regular season games in two NBA seasons with the Rockets. The former Louisville big man has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and averaging 12.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG% in the NBAGL.

While the Mavs’ acquisition of Onuaku may look pointless now that he’s being released, it essentially represented a no-cost opportunity to move up a few spots in the second round of the 2020 draft. The Rockets are reportedly covering Onuaku’s salary with cash as part of the trade, with the Mavs giving up the rights to a player who will likely never play in the NBA. Dallas will get the chance to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick for Houston’s second-rounder.

As we noted earlier today, the Mavs had already committed to free agent deals with 21 players this offseason, so it’s not a surprise that they’re cutting Onuaku to help make room for those signings. They’ll need to release or trade one more player to finalize all their reported deals.

As for Onuaku, once he’s officially waived, he’ll spent two days on waivers. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, eligible to sign with any team except the Rockets.

Rockets Trade Chinanu Onuaku To Mavericks

AUGUST 2: The Mavericks have officially announced the trade in a press release. Dallas receives Onuaku, cash, and the ability to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick with the Rockets’ pick. In exchange, Houston receives the draft rights to 2008 second-rounder Maarty Leunen.

AUGUST 1: The Rockets are trading center Chinanu Onuaku to the Mavericks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Dallas will receive Onuaku and cash from Houston in exchange for the ability to swap 2020 second-round picks.

Onuaku, 21, was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2016 draft with the 37th overall pick. Although he has spent the last two seasons with Houston, he has appeared in just six NBA regular season games for the club.

The former Louisville big man has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In his NBAGL career, Onuaku has averaged a double-double (12.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG) to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG%.

Having apparently felt that Onuaku wouldn’t have a role on this year’s team, Houston will move him and his guaranteed $1,544,951 salary to Dallas, creating a trade exception worth that same amount. The in-the-tax Rockets may end up replacing Onuaku on their roster, but will perhaps do so with a slightly less expensive player who has a better chance to contribute to the 2018/19 squad.

As for the Mavericks, they’ll absorb Onuaku’s contract using their leftover cap room. Once the move is official, Dallas figures to move forward with completing minimum salary deals for Salah Mejri and Devin Harris.

Rockets Pursuing Hawks’ Kent Bazemore?

The Rockets are interested in dealing for the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore, according to Kelly Iko of RocketsWire.

While the addition of Carmelo Anthony after he clears waivers seems like a foregone conclusion, the Rockets are in the market for a defensive-minded wing. Bazemore fits that bill but Houston would have come up with a package that would interest the Hawks.

Presumably, the Rockets would deal Ryan Anderson’s contract to make the numbers match up, but they’d have to attach a draft pick and/or young player to entice Atlanta’s front office. Anderson has two years and $41.7MM left on his deal with no options; Bazemore has two years and $37.3MM left on his contract but holds a player option for the final year.

A package of Anderson, Chinanu Onuaku and a 2019 first-rounder would be feasible financially but Atlanta doesn’t view Onuaku as a ‘move-the-needle’ player, according to Iko.

Bazemore averaged 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.5 APG and 1.5 SPG in 65 starts with Atlanta last season.

The Pelicans are also looking at Bazemore, according to Iko, but Atlanta doesn’t want Solomon Hill as part of the deal.

Rockets Looking To Sign Isaiah Hartenstein?

According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are working toward signing 2017 second-round pick Isaiah Hartenstein to an NBA deal with hopes they will reach an agreement by the end of the week.

Hartenstein, 20, had a strong showing for the Rockets during this year’s NBA Summer League after the 7-foot center played for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, last season.

Before being selected No. 43 overall in last year’s draft, Hartenstein played with Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, where he helped lead the team to a seventh straight Lithuanian Basketball Club title.

With the Vipers, Hartenstein averaged 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game, making 57.1 percent of his shots. He averaged 10.3 points and eight rebounds per game during this year’s Summer League.

Hartenstein’s signing could mean the end of center Zhou Qi‘s time with the Rockets. Both big men Nene and Chinanu Onuaku have fully-guaranteed salaries for the upcoming 2018/19 campaign, while Qi has no guaranteed money on his contract that runs through 2021.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/28/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

7:40pm:

  • After participating in today’s practice with the South Bay Lakers, Thomas Bryant has been recalled to the NBA, the Lakers announced (via Twitter). Bryant, who will be in uniform for L.A.’s game on Wednesday night, has posted 19.7 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 37 G League games this season.

7:24pm:

  • The Rockets assigned young bigs Zhou Qi and Chinanu Onuaku to the G League today, the team announced (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). Houston’s affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, will be in action on Friday night, hosting the Texas Legends in the NBAGL playoffs.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/21/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

9:32pm:

  • The Warriors have recalled guard Quinn Cook and center Damian Jones from their affiliate in Santa Cruz, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area.
  • The Cavaliers have assigned center Ante Zizic to their Canton affiliate, the team announced on its website.
  • The Jazz assigned center Tony Bradley to their affiliate in Salt Lake City, according to the team website.

4:05pm:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/23/18

Here are the G League moves from around the league on Tuesday: