Chris McCullough

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/14/18

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

9:00 pm:

  • The Pacers have recalled Alex Poythress from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to the team’s website. The Kentucky product has played in seven G League games this season where he averaged 20.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

4:56 pm:

  • For the second consecutive day, the Jazz sent Dante Exum to the G League and then recalled him later in the day, the team announced in a press release. The former fifth overall pick is preparing for his return from a shoulder injury by practicing with the Salt Lake City Stars.
  • The Lakers have assigned rookie big man Thomas Bryant to the G League, according to the club (Twitter link). Bryant, who has averaged 19.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 32 G League games this season, is expected to suit up for the South Bay Lakers on Thursday night when they host the Agua Caliente Clippers.
  • Chris McCullough, who had been playing for the Northern Arizona Suns, was recalled today by the Wizards and then re-assigned to the Erie BayHawks, according to the team. Washington doesn’t have a G League affiliate of its own this season, so McCullough is eligible to play for other G League squads via the flexible assignment rule.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/4/18

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

  • The Spurs have assigned guard Derrick White to their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, the team announced today in a press release. White has averaged 2.5 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 16 games with San Antonio this season.
  • The Bucks recalled rookie power forward D.J. Wilson from the Wisconsin Herd, the team announced on its Twitter feed. The first-round pick is averaging 14.9 PPG and 5.2 RPG in nine G League games.
  • The Wizards have assigned third-year forward Chris McCullough to the G League, according to the team. Washington doesn’t have a G League team of its own, so McCullough will join Phoenix’s affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. He has appeared in 12 games with Northern Arizona this season.

Southeast Notes: Hernangomez, Hornets, Hezonja

Willy Hernangomez made it clear that he wanted to play — whether it was in New York or elsewhere — and the Hornets acquired him prior to the trade deadline. The fit seemed odd, given Charlotte’s depth at center. However, the 24-year-old Spaniard can still blossom into an asset, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes.

Hernangomez is still an effective scorer in the post and has some passing skills, which fit into head coach Steve Clifford’s system. Also, Hernangomez’s salary is team-friendly at $1.5MM next season and slightly higher the following year. That allows the Hornets to audition Hernangomez for an extended period; he can either develop into a rotational player or as a future trade chip.

Charlotte has one of the elite centers of the last decade in Dwight Howard to help mentor Hernangomez. “It’s great to have Dwight here. I want to learn so much every day,” Hernangomez said. “(Sunday) morning, he talked to me and gave me advice, and he doesn’t know me a lot. I’m very happy to be with one of the best centers in the league. I’m going to learn a lot from him.

Check out other Southeast Division notes below:

  • After Sunday’s loss, the Hornets are 10 games below .500 at 23-33 and their playoff hopes are fading. Bonnell writes in a separate story that it is time for Clifford to reexamine the team and figure out an effective rotation.
  • Mario Hezonja has shown signs of improvement in each of his three NBA seasons and his recent assignment on Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was a good growing experience, John Denton of NBA.com writes. “Mario had one of his best nights and defensively he got scored on some, but he had some of his best collisions at the rim that I’ve been begging him to do for two years now,’’ head coach Frank Vogel. “So, he had a big growth night.’’
  • Chris McCullough plays sparingly for the Wizards, usually seeing time toward the end of games. However, McCullough prides himself on having an impact for the team in the minutes he is given, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Washington Wizards

The Wizards made the bold decision to commit max money to three organization grown players long-term and will permanently have their hands full managing their finances as a result. In order to make the strategy work, they’ll need to be responsible with where they spend the rest of their budget.

While the club already projects to dip into the luxury tax this season and next (with over $29MM in guaranteed money tied up in Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi in 2018/19 alone), they’ll get a chance to practice financial restraint this summer with a handful of free agents that they can afford to part ways with if they feel the need to.

Tim Frazier, PG, 27 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $4.1MM deal in 2016
One season removed from a fantastic stint as a spot starter in New Orleans in 2016/17, Frazier hasn’t had much of an impact since coming over in a draft day trade last June. The Wizards were in need of a reliable backup point guard when they targeted Frazier but seem to have grown comfortable with the idea of Tomas Satoransky handling backup point guard duties in John Wall‘s absence. For that reason, Frazier will probably have to choose between rounding out the club’s rotation as a third-string playmaker or look elsewhere.

Sheldon Mac, SG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $1.8MM deal in 2016
A torn Achilles has rendered Mac unable to suit up in 2017/18. He’ll hit restricted free agency in the summer but don’t expect any suitors until he can prove that he’s healthy enough to battle for a rotation spot. That’ll likely have to happen in the G League.

Chris McCullough, PF, 23 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3,8MM deal in 2015
The Wizards, to this point, have shown little interested in working McCullough into their rotation. The 23-year-old showed some flashes of promise during his rookie campaign with the Nets in 2015/16 but then again many fringe NBA players have looked half-decent in Brooklyn’s lineup the last few years. If all goes well, McCullough will find another squad to break training camp with next fall. It’s hard to say whether or not there will be much more beyond that.

Jodie Meeks, SG, 30 (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $6.7MM deal in 2017
After several years of struggling to stay on the court, Meeks has shown that he can contribute modestly off the bench. While his player option for 2018/19 comes in at a rather cheap $3.5MM for a player with his experience, don’t be surprised if the veteran elects to return. There may be a team out there willing to give the career .417 three-point shooter more than that on the open market but an argument can be made that Meeks could benefit more in the long run from simply focusing on staying healthy and relevant where he is, while worrying about free agency in 2019.

Mike Scott, PF, 29 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.7MM deal in 2017
The Wizards got a key rotation piece for dirt cheap over the summer and the forward has done nothing but raise his stock over the course of the season. Expect teams to take an interest in the veteran role player with impressive efficiency numbers and the ability to put points on the board. Washington would likely be happy to retain him but will be limited in what they can offer him.

Jason Smith, C, 32 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $15.7MM deal in 2016
Smith hit free agency at the perfect time back in 2016. This summer, in contrast, teams won’t be so willing to cough up significant money for career reserves with forgettable portfolios. Smith’s stints with the Magic, Knicks and Pelicans hardly justified the contract he signed two summers ago but he’s done even less since arriving in Washington. For that reason, expect him to accept his $5.5MM player option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/3/2018

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

4:39pm:

  • The Rockets have recalled little-used big man Chinanu Onuaku from the G League, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). It appears the team is bringing Onuaku back to the NBA for health reasons, not because he’ll get a chance to play — Feigen indicates that the secodd-year center is undergoing sinus surgery.

3:49pm:

  • The Wizards have assigned third-year forward Chris McCullough to the G League, according to the team. Washington doesn’t have a G League team of its own, so McCullough will join Milwaukee’s affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. The Herd are in action tonight, but McCullough’s assignment may end up lasting multiple games beyond that, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
  • After being sent to the G League on Tuesday, rookie guard Derrick White was recalled by the Spurs today, per a press release. White helped lead the Austin Spurs to a win on Tuesday night, putting up 22 points in just 24 minutes.
  • The Pacers have assigned rookie center Ike Anigbogu to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. The NBA’s youngest active player, Anigbogu has appeared in seven games so far for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s G League affiliate, averaging 6.6 PPG and 6.7 RPG.

Wizards Won’t Exercise Chris McCullough’s Option

The Wizards won’t pick up their 2018/19 team option on power forward Chris McCullough, sources tell Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The decision will result in McCullough becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.

McCullough, 22, was selected with the 29th overall pick in the 2015 draft and spent most of his first two NBA seasons with the Nets before being sent to Washington along with Bojan Bogdanovic in a deadline deal earlier this year.

Even in Brooklyn, on a rebuilding squad, McCullough didn’t see much playing time, with the Nets frequently assigning him to the G League for further development. The young forward’s minutes dwindled further after he joined the Wizards — he only has only played 15 total minutes in three games since arriving in D.C. in February.

While the Wizards aren’t necessarily giving up on McCullough, they’ve decided not to guarantee his 2018/19 salary, which would have added $2,243,326 to team payroll. After exercising Kelly Oubre‘s option earlier this month, Washington is currently projected to carry approximately $116MM in guaranteed salary next year, putting the club at risk of ending up in tax territory again.

Wizards Notes: Expectations, McCullough, Robinson

The moves made this offseason by the Celtics and Cavaliers – including a blockbuster trade with one another – has allowed those two clubs to dominate the conversation on Eastern Conference contenders as the 2017/18 season approaches. However, the Wizards feel as if they’re right there with the top two clubs in the East. In fact, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst writes, Bradley Beal and the Wizards think they’re the best team in the East, and believe they match up particularly well vs. the Cavs.

“We love the matchup against them and why not?” Beal said. “I said it and J.R. [Smith] didn’t like it too much, some of their other guys didn’t like it too much. But I felt that way. It’s not disrespect with them, I’m not saying we’d have won the series (if the Wizards, instead of the Celtics, had made the Eastern Conference Finals), but I feel like our competition level and matchups would’ve been better.”

As the Wizards head into a new season with increased expectations, let’s round up a few more notes out of D.C.

  • Third-year forward Chris McCullough, acquired from the Nets last season, is battling for minutes in the Wizards’ rotation, and head coach Scott Brooks has been impressed, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details. “He’s a better shooter than I thought,” Brooks said of McCullough. “He hasn’t played much the last few years, but he’s having a good camp. I think that’s through the hard work that he’s put in. He came into camp in great shape. He’s showing us that he can play in the league. I don’t know where I can find him the minutes, but at least I know he can definitely play.”
  • With Markieff Morris at risk of being convicted on assault charges, which would result in an NBA suspension, the Wizards have been keeping a close eye on their power forwards during their first week back, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Veteran center Jason Smith is among the players seeing extra time at the four, per Buckner.
  • Wizards rookie Devin Robinson, who is on a two-way contract with the team, was in a walking boot at training camp last week, and Brooks suggests that Robinson will be out “for a while” due to a foot injury, tweets Buckner. The G League season doesn’t tip off until November 3, so Robinson has a little extra time to get healthy.
  • As we noted yesterday, the Wizards are one of four NBA teams without a G League affiliate for this season, which will have an impact on Robinson, Michael Young, and anyone else Washington wants to assign to the G League.

Wizards Notes: Bogdanovic, Oubre, Burke, Mac

Playing time will be the priority for Bojan Bogdanovic when he enters free agency this summer, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. Bogdanovic was averaging about 27 minutes per game with the Nets before a midseason trade to Washington cut that number to about 23. Bogdanovic may have to look elsewhere if he wants a larger role, particularly if the Wizards are able to re-sign fellow small forward Otto Porter, who has the starting job locked down. Washington used a three-man rotation at the position after the deal, Hughes notes, with Porter, Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre all contributing. Oubre is expected to have an expanded role next season. “I want to try to find a team where I can play heavy minutes,” Bogdanovic said. “I hope that I will play here maybe, but we will see. It’s a long summer in front of us before free agency. We’ll see.” Bogdanovic, who will represent Croatia in the European Championship this summer, added that he would like to remain on the same team with John Wall or find a point guard with similar skills.

There’s more news out of D.C.:

  • A platelet-rich plasma treatment has been prescribed for Oubre’s right knee, Hughes notes in a separate story. Oubre plans offseason workouts with teammate Bradley Beal, and possibly Wall, in hopes of becoming a better ballhandler.
  • The minutes totals for the starters in the Game 7 loss to the Celtics emphasizes the need to build a stronger bench, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall and Beal barely came out of Monday’s game, while Markieff Morris played nearly 42 minutes and Porter was close to 40. Buckner cites point guard as an area where important decisions must be made, with backups Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings both headed toward free agency. Burke fell behind rookie Tomas Satoransky in the rotation, then dropped out completely once Jennings was signed. Burke expressed frustration with the way things worked out and sounded ready to move on. “I don’t plan on my role being the same next year,” he said. “My agency is working very hard for me right now. I know what type of player I can be and I know what type of player I want to be. That’s not my plan. This summer, it’ll be great. I’m looking forward to the summer.”
  • The Wizards will take a closer look at three young prospects this offseason, Buckner adds in the same piece. Shooting guard Sheldon Mac and big men Daniel Ochefu and Chris McCullough will all be part of Washington’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. Mac, who changed his name from McClellan at midseason, has the best chance of the three to crack the rotation next year, according to Buckner, but his $1.3MM contract for 2017/18 in non-guaranteed.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/3/17

Here are the D-League transactions for Friday:

  • The Pelicans have assigned forward Cheick Diallo to the D-League, the team reports in a press release on its website. Diallo has averaged 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 18 contests with the Greensboro Swarm.
  • The Pistons have recalled rookies Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije from their D-League affiliate, Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Ellenson and Gbinije have seen action in 14 and nine games for the Pistons respectively.
  • The Wizards have assigned center Chris McCullough to the D-League, writes Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. McCullough has averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 31 D-League contests this season. Having previously played for the Long Island Nets, McCullough is expected to join the Northern Arizona Suns on this assignment, says Hughes.

Nets Notes: Lopez, Lin, Dinwiddie, Nicholson, McDaniels

Nets GM Sean Marks spoke to the press about Brooklyn’s trade deadline activity. While the team held onto Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker (each of whom have another year left on their contract), Marks was involved in a few lower-profile transactions.

“We’re very familiar with Andrew [Nicholson]…he’s a system fit for us,” Marks said. “He’s a stellar young man and another guy with high character and that’s exactly we’re trying to do.”

The Nets acquired Nicholson along with a first-round pick and Marcus Thornton (who was subsequently waived) in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. Bogdanovic performed well for the 9-47 Nets, but was a restricted free agent-to-be, and was dealt for an invaluable draft pick. Marks spoke about his team’s position in the upcoming draft.

“Now having two first round picks, it all helps,” Marks said. “It helps give us another vehicle where were can be systematic with the draft and see what happens. We obviously value the draft or we wouldn’t have done it. It’s about being strategic and having two picks now gives us an opportunity to move up with those picks, you can hold them where you are if your players are there at the time.”

More from Brooklyn…

  • One of the reasons Marks held onto Lopez at the deadline was to see how well he played with Jeremy Lin, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Lin has been limited to just 13 games this season due to injury, and hasn’t had an opportunity to be properly assessed by coach Kenny Atkinson. “To have a healthy Jeremy and a healthy Brook out there together with this team, it’ll be nice to evaluate that,” Marks said. “It’s something we started the season off with, and unfortunately, we only got a handful of games under our belt seeing that. We all know what those two bring to the table: They lift everybody else’s play.”
  • Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post profiled Spencer Dinwiddie, a former collegiate star at University of Colorado Boulder. Dinwiddie suffered a torn ACL during his junior year at CU, falling to the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Still just 23 years old, Dinwiddie has averaged more than 20 MPG for the first time in his career with Brooklyn. “He’s steadily getting better,” Atkinson said of Dinwiddie. “He played pretty well before the all-star break, started shooting it better and getting to the rim. We like his defense. He’s been a pleasant surprise, quite honestly.
  • Nicholson and K.J. McDaniels– each acquired at the deadline- are ready to step in right now for the rebuilding Nets. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me,” McDaniels told Greg Logan of Newsday“I’ll be able to show Brooklyn what I do, and play both ends of the court and just try to bring energy.” McDaniels’ acquisition was commended by writers across the league. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post gave the trade an “A” grade, describing the transaction as low-risk, high-reward. “If he doesn’t do anything, the Nets can simply decline his option for next season. If he does something, then it’s found money. For a team with no talent or assets to speak of, it’s a good move to make — and saves them money to boot, as they were below the salary floor.”
  • Dan Favale of Bleacher Report echoed Bontemps’ sentiments, praising Marks for taking a flier on McDaniels. “Getting K.J. McDaniels for absolutely nothing is a great encore to parlaying Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough into Andrew Nicholson and a first-round pick,” Favale wrote. “Although McDaniels is beyond raw, he has the length and lateral gait to be a lockdown defender across all wing positions.”