D.J. Wilson

Raptors Sign D.J. Wilson To Two-Year Contract

The Raptors have signed free agent forward D.J. Wilson to a multiyear contract, the team announced today in a press release. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), it’s a two-year, minimum-salary deal that includes a $250K partial guarantee.

It’s a reunion for the Raptors and Wilson, who signed three 10-day contracts and appeared in four games with Toronto in 2021/22. The former first-round pick out of Michigan played well in his limited run with the club, averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 13.5 minutes per game while knocking down 11-of-15 shots (73.3%).

Wilson was released from his third and final 10-day contract with the Raptors in March after injuring his knee.

A year ago, the Raptors signed several free agents to multiyear deals with small partial guarantees in the first season and had them compete for spots on the 15-man regular season roster. It’s possible the team will take the same route this year.

Currently, Toronto has 12 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts, with Dalano Banton and Armoni Brooks on partially guaranteed deals. Second-rounder Christian Koloko is also likely in line for a spot on the 15-man regular season roster, which would leave just two openings available for Banton, Brooks, Wilson, and any other free agents the Raptors may sign before the season.

Of course, with the Raptors still being linked to the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, it’s possible the roster could undergo more significant changes by the fall.

Pacific Notes: Johnson, Kings, Atkinson, Lakers

After suffering a frustrating seven-game Western Conference Semifinals loss to the Mavericks, the Suns face some key rotation decisions during a 2022 offseason that arrived earlier than expected. One of those decisions involves Cameron Johnson, eligible for his rookie contract extension this summer. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic examines whether or not it would behoove Phoenix to extend Johnson this year, and whether he should be moved into the team’s starting rotation for the start of the 2022/23 season.

Johnson, the No. 11 pick out of North Carolina in 2020, proved to be a key contributor off the bench for the Suns during the team’s 64-18 season. He averaged a career-high 12.5 PPG on .460/.425/.860 shooting from the floor, while chipping in a career-best 4.1 RPG, 1.5 APG and 0.9 SPG. Johnson also was the first player promoted to a starting role when All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker missed three postseason games due to a hamstring injury.

Rankin predicts that Johnson could earn between $15-20MM annually on an extension, and points to the fact that the Suns reached rookie extension agreements with two of its three most important extension-eligible young players during the 2021 offseason. Jae Crowder started ahead of Johnson at power forward in his 80 games of regular season availability, but as he embarks on the last season of the three-year, $30MM contract he inked with the Suns in 2020, Rankin wonders if a Johnson extension would eventually necessitate the younger player’s move into the starting five over Crowder.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings, who have not made the playoffs since 2006, are believed to be on the hunt for a “win-now player” using their lottery pick, league sources inform Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Sacramento owns the fourth pick in this year’s draft, and could either draft an NBA-ready player or use the selection in a trade to acquire a veteran who could grow with the team’s current core.
  • Thanks to successive seasons as an assistant coach with the Clippers and now the Warriors, former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson has joined the ranks of top assistants vying for head coaching vacancies once again, as Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com writes. Atkinson was in the running late to become the new Lakers head coach, and is a major contender to be the prime shot-caller for the Hornets. “It’s a great experience being considered (for head coaching jobs), but, man, I’m in such a great place — not only from basketball, but from a living in California, the Bay Area, the whole thing,” Atkinson said of his current gig as a Golden State assistant under head coach Steve Kerr. “So it almost takes the pressure off when you’re really in a good situation. I mean, I’m still competitive, and I try to do my best in interviewing and everything, but also in the back of my mind I’m saying, like, man, if I don’t get another shot, I’m in a great, great situation.”
  • The Lakers, who may need to replace as many as seven now-free agent players from its 2021/22 roster, got an in-person look at several free agents on Tuesday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). McMenamin reports that free agents Alize Johnson, Langston Galloway, Kyle Guy, Louis King and D.J. Wilson were in attendance for a workout.

Raptors Sign Armoni Brooks To 10-Day Deal

10:14am: Toronto has signed Brooks and released Wilson, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. The Raptors will likely continue to fill that 15th roster spot – which Brooks now occupies – with 10-day signings unless they decide to convert Justin Champagnie‘s two-way contract, Lewenberg adds (Twitter link).

9:16am: Former Rockets guard Armoni Brooks will sign a 10-day deal with the Raptors, tweets Blake Murphy of Sports.net.ca.

Murphy adds that D.J. Wilson might be let go early from his 10-day contract to make room for Brooks. Wilson hurt his knee on Monday in the only game he played after signing his third 10-day agreement with Toronto. That deal is set to expire on Wednesday.

Brooks, 23, was waived by Houston last month to accommodate a three-for-one deal with the Celtics at the trade deadline. A long-distance shooting specialist, he averaged 6.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Rockets this season, but connected at just 30% from three-point range. He signed with Houston as a two-way player last year and was converted to a standard contract in October.

Brooks had been playing for the College Park Skyhawks in the G League, and there was a report last week that the Rockets had interest in bringing him back.

If Brooks signs before tonight’s contest at Cleveland, he will be eligible for five games during the 10-day deal. Toronto’s next game after that isn’t until Wednesday.

Raptors Sign D.J. Wilson To Third 10-Day Contract

The Raptors have signed forward D.J. Wilson to a third 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. Toronto had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no one needed to be waived to complete the signing.

Wilson, 26, initially joined the Raptors on a 10-day deal on December 23, then signed a second one on January 7. During his time with the club, the former first-round pick appeared in three games and played well in a limited role, averaging 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 16.0 minutes per contest. He also made 8-of-11 shots from the floor (72.7%).

Because Wilson’s first two 10-day contracts were both completed via the COVID-related hardship exception, he wasn’t ineligible to sign another 10-day deal with the Raptors.

A player is limited to two standard (ie. non-hardship) 10-day contracts per season with the same team, so Wilson could technically sign one more 10-day pact with Toronto after this one before a rest-of-season commitment would have to be made.

Wilson will earn $102,831 during his 10 days with the Raptors, who take on a $95,930 cap hit. The deal will run through March 9, making the forward eligible for the team’s next six games.

Although two-way player Justin Champagnie is still a candidate to eventually be promoted to fill the 15th spot on Toronto’s standard roster, Wilson could make a case for a rest-of-season deal if he plays well in the next 10 days.

Raptors Sign D.J. Wilson To Second 10-Day Deal

Veteran forward D.J. Wilson is back under contract with the Raptors, according to the team. Toronto stated in a press release that Wilson has signed a second 10-day deal using a hardship exception.

Wilson, who first signed with the Raptors on December 22, played well in two games with the club, averaging 12.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 2.5 SPG in 23.5 minutes per contest and making 8-of-11 shots from the floor. However, he entered the health and safety protocols before his deal expired.

Having presumably been cleared in recent days, Wilson is back with the team as the apparent hardship replacement for Yuta Watanabe, who is the only Raptor currently in the health and safety protocols.

A former first-round pick, Wilson will earn $102,831 during his second 10-day stint with Toronto. That money won’t count toward team salary for cap or tax purposes, since it’s a hardship signing. His contract will run through January 16, covering the team’s next five games.

If the Raptors don’t have any players left in the protocols by the time Wilson’s current deal expires, they could still re-sign him, since they have an open spot on their 15-man roster. In that scenario though, his new salary would count toward the cap and tax.

COVID-19 Updates: Vogel, Lue, Pelicans, Raptors, Pokusevski

One Los Angeles team is getting its head coach out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols today, while the other has placed their coach in the protocols.

The Lakers got the good news, as Frank Vogel has cleared the protocols and will be back on the sidelines for the team on Friday night vs. Portland, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). David Fizdale will return to his role as Vogel’s lead assistant after serving as the acting head coach for the last 12 days.

Meanwhile, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has entered the protocols, according to an announcement from the team. Lue, the 10th head coach to be affected by the protocols this month, will be replaced in the short term by assistant Brian Shaw.

Here are more protocol-related updates from across the NBA:

  • The Pelicans got Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Naji Marshall, and Jose Alvarado back at practice today following their respective stints in the COVID-19 protocols, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com. New Orleans isn’t entirely out of the woods though — center Jonas Valanciunas has entered the protocols, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • According to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Raptors rookie Justin Champagnie has exited the protocols, leaving Isaac Bonga as the only player from the team’s standard roster still affected. However, one of Toronto’s replacement players – D.J. Wilson – has now entered the protocols, Murphy notes.
  • Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski is no longer in the protocols and will be available for Friday’s contest vs. the Knicks, says Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link).

Raptors Complete Three 10-Day Signings

The Raptors have officially signed guard Tremont Waters and forwards D.J. Wilson and Juwan Morgan to 10-day contracts, according to NBA.com’s transactions log. The deals were completed on Wednesday, so they’ll run through December 31.

Toronto’s agreements with Waters, Wilson, and Morgan were all previously reported. The team, which currently has eight players in the health and safety protocols, is also expected to sign Nik Stauskas and Brandon Goodwin to 10-day deals via hardship exceptions, though there have been rumors that at least one of them tested positive for COVID-19.

The Raptors had their game on Wednesday in Chicago postponed and won’t resume play until December 26, so they theoretically could’ve gotten a couple extra games out of their new additions if they’d waited until Sunday to complete the signings. However, I suspect the NBA’s new roster rules required the team to finalize at least three of its hardship signings on Wednesday, even though the game in Chicago was postponed. The Bulls, who will also be off until Sunday, completed two 10-day deals on Wednesday too.

Waters, Wilson, and Morgan should be available for the Raptors’ next three scheduled games vs. Cleveland (Sunday), Philadelphia (next Tuesday), and the Clippers (next Friday).

Raptors To Sign D.J. Wilson Via Hardship Exception

Free agent power forward D.J. Wilson will sign a 10-day contract with the Raptors via a hardship exception, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

The 25-year-old was drafted with the No. 17 pick out of Michigan by the Bucks in 2017. He was traded to the Rockets during the 2020/21 season. In 142 games, the 6’10 big man holds career averages of 4.3 PPG and 3.1 RPG, across 12.3 MPG.

Wilson was most recently with the Thunder’s NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 13.9 PPG and 9.7 RPG.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN notes (Twitter link) that Wilson will be Toronto’s fifth replacement player added to address the team’s wide array of absences. The team has also reached deals with Brandon Goodwin, Tremont Waters, Juwan Morgan, and Nik Stauskas.

Per our COVID-19 tracker, the Raptors have seven players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols: Precious Achiuwa, Dalano Banton, Scottie Barnes, Malachi Flynn, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., and Fred VanVleet.

Additionally, Khem Birch and David Johnson remain absent with injuries, while Justin Champagnie is dealing with a non-COVID illness. Veteran point guard Goran Dragic is away from the team indefinitely for personal reasons.

Thunder Release D.J. Wilson, Scotty Hopson

The Thunder have waived forward D.J. Wilson and guard Scotty Hopson, the team announced today. The moves reduce Oklahoma City’s roster count to 18 players, for the time being.

Wilson, the 17th overall pick in the 2017 draft, spent the first three-and-a-half season of his career in Milwaukee before being traded to Houston at last season’s trade deadline. He had fallen out of the Bucks’ rotation, but averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a shooting line of .416/.339/.696 in 23 games (14.3 MPG) during his stint with the Rockets.

Hopson, who appeared in two NBA games in 2014 with Cleveland and one in 2018 with Dallas, has spent most of his career in the G League or playing in international leagues. The 6’7″ wing played for Melbourne United in 2020/21 after appearing in 41 G League games for the Oklahoma City Blue from 2018-20.

Hopson looks like a good bet to rejoin the Blue for the upcoming season, and it’s possible Wilson will join him.

Meanwhile, it appears the Thunder have also officially signed Zavier Simpson, whose Exhibit 10 deal with the team we reported on Thursday. Oklahoma City hasn’t formally announced the signing, but Simpson is listed on the team’s official roster page.

Northwest Notes: Billups, Lillard, Thunder, Jazz

Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups recently sat down for an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link), and he says he’s not going to be preaching “stay here” to star point guard Damian Lillard.

Billups adds that he won’t be constantly discussing whether or not Lillard wants to stay with the team with his star player, saying he has a responsibility to coach the rest of the players. However, he definitely wants him to stay, and believes Lillard when he says he’s “all in” for the upcoming season with the Trail Blazers.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Former first-round pick D.J. Wilson knows he might be a long-shot to make the Thunder‘s 15-man regular season roster, but that’s not going to stop him from trying, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Mussatto notes that the Thunder had their eyes on Wilson in the 2017 draft, but the Bucks selected him (17th) before Oklahoma City was able to (21st). Wilson is on a non-guaranteed training camp contract.
  • In a tweet, Mussatto says the Thunder are being cautious with Vit Krejci, who’s a year removed from an ACL tear. Coach Mark Daigneault said Krejci has been cleared to play, but he’s still not a full participant in practices. This could be a result of the “slight setback” Krejci had last week. Mussatto adds that the bigger issue for Krejci is his visa status, which has no timeline for a resolution.
  • One reason the Jazz appealed to Rudy Gay in free agency is they had the best regular season record in the NBA last season, so he doesn’t feel any pressure to rush his recovery process following heel surgery, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.