D.J. Stewart

Heat Notes: Jarreau, Okpala, Stewart, Yurtseven

A strong Summer League performance has made DeJon Jarreau a leading candidate to grab one of the Heat‘s open two-way slots, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A thigh contusion forced Jarreau to miss the two games in Sacramento, but he was among the team’s best players in Las Vegas, averaging 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The 23-year-old guard played for Miami this summer after going undrafted out of Houston and finds himself in an open competition for a two-way deal. Both of last season’s two-way players, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, have received standard contracts.

“With DeJon, it’s just his makeup,” said Summer League coach Malik Allen. “He finds a way to put his imprint on the game … He has the vision and it’s just a matter of trying to harness the things that we see so he can keep growing and getting better as an NBA point guard.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • KZ Okpala went from the playoffs to the Olympics to the Summer League, and now he’s focused on trying to expand his role in his third NBA season, Chiang notes in a separate story. However, Okpala’s path to more minutes appears blocked after Miami added P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris in free agency. Okpala is heading into the final season of a three-year, $4.2MM contract.
  • The Heat see potential in D.J. Stewart, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract on Tuesday, Chiang adds. The undrafted guard out of Mississippi State is likely to end up with the team’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. “There is something there. He’s long. He’s got good athleticism. He’s competitive,” Allen said. “And offensively he’s got a little ways to go, but just continuing to develop. … He’s just one of those great intangible guys that has a lot of potential to keep growing in that type of role.”
  • Omer Yurtseven‘s impressive Summer League showing may give him a chance to become Miami’s backup center, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. That job currently belongs to veteran Dewayne Dedmon, but Winderman expects Yurtseven to see spot duty early in the season to determine which frontcourt combinations are most effective.

Heat Sign D.J. Stewart

The Heat have signed rookie free agent D.J. Stewart, the team announced in a press release. The deal includes Exhibit 10 language, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).

An undrafted 6’6″ guard out of Mississippi State, Stewart averaged 16.0 PPG on .410/.344/.806 shooting in 33 games (35.0 MPG) for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2020/21. Although he wasn’t drafted on July 29, Stewart caught on with Miami for the Las Vegas Summer League.

Stewart has made a limited impact in Vegas, averaging just 2.5 PPG on 28.6% shooting in four games (16.0 MPG), but the Heat like what they’ve seen enough to add him to their 20-man offseason roster. He may be a candidate to become an affiliate player for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate.

The Heat now have 15 players under contract, including 14 on guaranteed deals. A handful of other players are expected to sign training camp contracts with the team, including Javonte Smart, Marcus Garrett, and Micah Potter.

Central Notes: Bulls, Pistons, Pacers Workouts

After the Bulls mortgaged their long-term future to nab 2021 All-Star center Nikola Vučević in a deadline deal with the Magic, they still missed out on a play-in tournament appearance. The club is understandably anticipated to be seeking roster upgrades this summer, especially at the point guard position, writes Matt Moore of the Action Network.

Moore suggests that free agent point guards Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Lonzo Ball, and Spencer Dinwiddie are among Chicago’s preferred targets. Given the ages of the Bulls’ two best players – 30-year-old Vučević and 25-year-old All-Star Zach LaVine – 35-year-old veteran Lowry may not be a long-term fit, but would certainly raise the team’s floor for the 2021/22 season.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will get to choose from a handful of highly-touted NBA prospects with the top selection of the 2021 draft. Where Detroit opts to go in the second round of the draft is less clear. In a new piece, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines several possible draft-and-stash prospects the Pistons could pursue in the second round. Detroit has the Nos. 37, 42 and 52 picks in the second round. Edwards examines the fits of several draft candidates, including Zalgiris Kaunas guard Rokas Jokubaitis, Minas wing Guilherme Santos, Paris Basketball guard Juhann Begarin, and Antwerp Giants forward Vrenz Bleijenbergh.
  • Among 2020/21 season holdovers, the Pistons will face some interesting roster decisions in the summer, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Langlois notes that restricted free agents Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson, forward Josh Jackson, deep-bench center Jahlil Okafor, 2019 draft selections Sekou Doumbouya and Deividas Sirvydis, and guard Tyler Cook all could move on during the offseason.
  • The Pacers are set to hold their sixth round of pre-draft workouts Tuesday, per a team press release. The club possesses the No. 13 pick in the 2021 draft, as well as the No. 54 and No. 60 picks in the second round. Indiana will work out Kansas guard Marcus Garrett, South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson, Alabama guard John Petty Jr., Tennessee forward Yves Pons, Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr., and Clemson forward Aamir Simms.

Draft Workouts: Wizards, Springer, Kuminga, Pacers, Hornets, Bezhanishvili

The Wizards own the No. 15 pick and they’ve been very busy working out players. Guards Chris Duarte of Oregon, Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois and Josh Christopher of Arizona State visited last week, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. They brought in some less heralded prospects on Tuesday, a list that includes Mitchell Ballock (Creighton), D.J. Carton (Marquette), Matt Coleman III (Texas), Ryan Daly (St. Joseph) and Mark Vital (Baylor), according to a team press release.

Potential first-round Jaden Springer (Tennessee) heads the list of prospects who will work out for the club on Thursday, Hughes tweets. They’ll also take a look at Zane Martin (Towson), Asbjorn Midtgaard (Grand Canyon), Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon), Micah Potter (Wisconsin) and Guilherme Santos (Minas-Brazil).

We have more draft workout info:

NBA G League Announces 40 Draft-Eligible Participants For Elite Camp

The NBA G League has announced in a press release that 40 draft-eligible prospects are set to participate in the NBAGL Elite Camp next week in Chicago from June 19-21.

The G League Elite Camp is back this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place right before the draft combine, will give a few dozen draft-eligible players an opportunity to impress scouts, coaches, and executives through strength and agility drills and 5-on-5 games.

As today’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which is scheduled for June 21-27 in Chicago.

The list of draft-eligible players who took part in the most recent G League Elite Camp in 2019 included a handful of prospects who were eventually drafted, such as Terance Mann, Cody Martin, Justin Wright-Foreman, Reggie Perry, and Dewan Hernandez.

Many of the draft-eligible participants in the 2019 Elite Camp also made it to the NBA after going undrafted, including Oshae Brissett, Chris Clemons, Tyler Cook, Tacko Fall, DaQuan Jeffries, Caleb Martin, Justin Robinson, and Max Strus.

Two years ago, this event also featured 40 G League veterans, for a total of 80 players. Based on today’s press release, it sounds like this year’s Elite Camp may be pared down to only include draft-eligible prospects, though it’s possible the NBAGL will announce more names within the next few days.

Here are the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the 2021 G League Elite Camp:

  1. Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
  2. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
  3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)
  4. Juhann Begarin (France)
  5. Chaundee Brown (Michigan)
  6. Jordan Burns (Colgate)
  7. Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
  8. D.J. Carton (Marquette)
  9. Moussa Cisse (Memphis)
  10. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)
  11. Oscar Da Silva (Stanford)
  12. Darius Days (LSU)
  13. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
  14. Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
  15. Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
  16. Haowen Guo (China)
  17. Jay Huff (Virginia)
  18. DeJon Jarreau (Houston)
  19. Carlik Jones (Louisville)
  20. DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina)
  21. Balsa Koprivica (Florida State)
  22. A.J. Lawson (South Carolina)
  23. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)
  24. Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
  25. JaQuori McLaughlin (UCSB)
  26. Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
  27. RJ Nembhard (TCU)
  28. Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon)
  29. EJ Onu (Shawnee State)
  30. Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt)
  31. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State)
  32. Aamir Simms (Clemson)
  33. Javonte Smart (LSU)
  34. Mike Smith (Michigan)
  35. D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State)
  36. MaCio Teague (Baylor)
  37. M.J. Walker (Florida State)
  38. Duane Washington (Ohio State)
  39. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  40. Jalen Wilson (Kansas)

Draft Notes: G. Brown, Stewart, Mikhailovskii, Hollatz, More

Texas forward Greg Brown is going pro after a single college season, announcing on Instagram that he has decided to enter the 2021 NBA draft and has signed with BDA Sports for representation.

Brown put up relatively modest numbers as a freshman for the Longhorns in 2020/21, averaging 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 26 games (20.6 MPG). However, his athleticism and his long-term upside make him an intriguing prospect — ESPN ranks him at No. 29 on its big board for 2021.

Here are several more draft-related notes and updates:

  • After initially testing the draft waters, Mississippi State sophomore wing D.J. Stewart has decided to hire an agent and remain in the draft, according to Paul Jones of Gene’s Page. Stewart comes in at No. 86 on ESPN’s top-100 list.
  • Russian wing Nikita Mikhailovskii, who sneaks onto ESPN’s big board at No. 94, is entering the draft, agent Arturs Kalnitis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The 20-year-old averaged 8.5 PPG on .468/.418/.811 shooting in 24 games (18.3 MPG) for BC Avtodor this season.
  • German guard Justus Hollatz has also declared for the draft, according to agent Dragan Jankovski of BeoBasket (Twitter link). Hollatz currently plays for the Hamburg Towers in Germany.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report passes along some of the latest buzz he has heard on this year’s draft-eligible prospects, identifying Joshua Primo and JT Thor as potential risers on NBA teams’ boards.
  • Looking ahead to the 2022 NBA draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) provides his impressions of some of the top prospects who participated in the Iverson Classic over the weekend, including Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.

Marcus Bagley Among Prospects Entering 2021 Draft

Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley has decided to declare for the 2021 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Bagley, the younger brother of Kings big man Marvin Bagley III, currently ranks 27th overall on ESPN’s big board of 2021 prospects. He missed a portion of his freshman season due to COVID-related interruptions and ankle and calf injuries, but showed enough in 12 games to make him a potential first-round pick.

The 19-year-old averaged 10.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG while shooting 34.7% from beyond the arc in 29.2 minutes per contest during his first – and possibly only – college season.

Bagley is one of many early entrants who has declared for the draft in recent days. Here are some others:

Expected to go pro:

Testing the draft waters: