Dakota Mathias

And-Ones: Lingering Questions, Ref Vaccinations, Noel, Jenkins, Mathias

The NBA’s summer of player movement may be winding down, but there are still some questions looming over teams. An ESPN panel of insiders looked at some of them on Thursday (before the Lauri MarkkanenLarry NanceDerrick Jones Jr. three team deal broke).

Among the predictions that were made: Nick Friedell believes Damian Lillard will eventually end up with the Knicks, just not in the immediate future; Kirk Goldsberry thinks that J.J. Redick will end up with the Nets; Andrew Lopez predicts Paul Millsap will start the season not on a roster, but will be picked up mid-season.

The crew also looks at which new coaches have the hardest road ahead: Chauncey Billups with the Blazers and Willie Green with the Pelicans each received two votes, while Jason Kidd with the Mavericks received one.

And, of course, the much-discussed Ben SimmonsSixers impasse was the first topic of debate.

We have more news from around the world of hoops:

  • The NBA will require its referees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, barring medical or religious exemptions, the league announced today. A report from ESPN laid out the scope of the policy, including that referees will receive booster shots once those become recommended, and that refs without an approved exemption who aren’t vaccinated will not be eligible to work games.
  • Knicks center Nerlens Noel‘s lawsuit has the potential to change the NBA-agent landscape, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Fischer writes that as opposed to the league’s tampering rules between teams and players, there are no such prohibitions on agents trying to poach clients, and that this unprecedented peek behind the curtain could give the league incentive to put some protections in place.
  • John Jenkins has signed with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque in France, reports Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (via Twitter). Jenkins played eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 5.0 PPG while shooting 36.7% from three on 319 career attempts. Jenkins recently participated with the Team USA select team as Team USA prepared for their eventual gold medal run.
  • Dakota Mathias has signed with the G League Ignite, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The 26-year-old played eight games for the Sixers as one of their two-way contracts last season, and Scotto reports that several teams have interest in him as a two-way player again this year. Mathias averaged six PPG and 1.6 APG in 15.4 minutes a night for Philadelphia.

Olympic Notes: Johnson, Garland, Bey, Durant, Satoransky

The Spurs’ Keldon Johnson, Cavaliers’ Darius Garland and Pistons’ Saddiq Bey will move up from the U.S. Select Team and play for Team USA in exhibition games, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The trio will fill in for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who will join Team USA after the Finals. Johnson, Garland and Bey would be candidates to join Team USA for the Olympics if any players have to bow out.

Exhibition games in Las Vegas will begin on Saturday with a matchup against Nigeria.

We have more on the Olympics:

  • Select Team members Cameron Reynolds, Josh Magette, John Jenkins and Dakota Mathias will remain in Las Vegas and will be available for exhibition games, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. The pool of Select Team players has been reduced by injuries and COVID-19 protocols. Timberwolves big man Naz Reid suffered a minor injury in Thursday’s practice, Windhorst adds.
  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant will look to collect his third gold medal in Tokyo and he’s energized by that possibility, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “I committed to USA Basketball when I was coming out of college,” Durant said. “And every chance that I can get that I’m healthy and my mind is in the right place to play basketball, I’m going to go out there and play. Finished the year off healthy, the regular season and the playoffs, so I felt it’d be cool to get a kickstart on next season by getting in shape a little earlier in the summer with Team USA.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be facing backcourt partner Tomas Satoransky in Group A play and he’s looking forward to the matchup, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Satoransky will play for the Czech Republic, which is in Team USA’s Group along with Iran and France. “I’m looking forward to playing them and having some bragging rights,” LaVine said good-naturedly. “Hopefully, we really kick their butt.”

Roster Announced For U.S. Select Team

The roster has been released for the U.S. Select Team, which will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Select Team, which will practice with and scrimmage against the national team during the upcoming training camp in Las Vegas, is made up mostly of first- and second-year NBA players. It will be coached by Erik Spoelstra of the Heat.

Making up the roster are:

And-Ones: Evans, Spellman, Buyouts, Lauvergne, Mathias

The Pelicans’ NBAGL affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, has acquired guard Jacob Evans and forward Omari Spellman to replace Jordan Bell, who was recently called up to the Wizards on a 10-day deal, and Rawle Alkins, whom the BayHawks waived, per Michael Somrak of GLeague.com.

Evans and Spellman will join the BayHawks for the G League’s 2021 season in an Orlando “bubble” campus environment. Evans has logged parts of the last two seasons with the Warriors and Timberwolves. Spellman has played for the Warriors and the Hawks across his two years of NBA action.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Zach Harper of The Athletic takes an early gander at buyout possibilities around the NBA, two months before most buyouts transpire. Harper expects contenders like the Nets, Lakers, Clippers, Sixers and Bucks to be aggressive in seeking to build out their contending rosters. Harper anticipates the list of available names to potentially include veterans like Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, Pistons point guard Derrick Rose, Hornets center Cody Zeller, Cavs center JaVale McGee, and Bulls forward Otto Porter.
  • Former NBA big man Joffrey Lauvergne has inked a two-year extension with Lithuanian EuroLeague club Žalgiris, the team announced on its site. The deal, which includes a guaranteed season and an option, will keep him under contract through the 2022/23 season. Lauvergne is averaging 11.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.5 APG with Žalgiris. The 6″11″ center/power forward enjoyed NBA stints with the Nuggets, Thunder, Bulls and Spurs, averaging 5.6 PPG (on 47.9% shooting from the floor), 3.8 RPG, and 0.9 APG across 208 total NBA contests.
  • Ex-Sixers shooting guard Dakota Mathias is set to join the Team USA roster for the AmeriCup qualifying tournament for two games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 19 and 20, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Fellow NBA alumni Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson will also represent USA Basketball. By benefit of a 4-0 record across prior qualifying contests, Team USA has technically already qualified for the 2022 AmeriCup tournament.

Sixers Waive Dakota Mathias

The Sixers are waiving guard Dakota Mathias, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com reports. The team has confirmed the transaction (Twitter link).

Mathias was playing on a two-way contract, so the move will open up one of those slots. However, the Sixers don’t plan to fill it right away. The decision to cut ties with Mathias was done to create flexibility for opportunities that may become available down the road, Neubeck adds.

Forward Paul Reed holds the other two-way contract.

A former Purdue standout, Mathias had appeared in eight games, including two starts, as a result of the team’s COVID-19 issues. He was averaging 6.0 PPG on 39.6% shooting and 1.6 APG in 15.4 MPG.

Mathias, 25, played last season for the Mavericks’ affiliate, the Texas Legends. He averaged 18.1 PPG and 3.1 APG while shooting 39.5% on 3-point attempts.

Sixers Sign Isaiah Joe To Three-Year Deal

The Sixers have signed second-round pick Isaiah Joe, according to the Real GM Transactions Page.

The former Arkansas guard inked a three-year deal with the first two seasons guaranteed for a total of $2.4MM, writes Kevin McPherson of KARK.com. The total value of the deal is nearly $4.2MM if Joe remains on the roster for 2022/23. Philadelphia completed the signing using its mid-level exception.

Joe, 21, was selected with the 49th pick in this year’s draft. He played two seasons at Arkansas, averaging 16.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Philadelphia also completed two-way contracts with Paul Reed and Dakota Mathias, along with the signings of Derrick Walton Jr., Ryan Broekhoff and Justin Anderson.

Dakota Mathias, 76ers Agree To Two-Way Contract

The Sixers have agreed to a two-way contract with G League guard Dakota Mathias, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets.

Mathias, 25, played last season for the Mavericks’ affiliate, the Texas Legends. He averaged 18.1 PPG and 3.1 APG while shooting 39.5% on 3-point attempts.

Mathias was not selected in the 2019 draft after spending four seasons at Purdue. He was in Dallas’ camp last season but was waived prior to signing with the Legends. He has yet to make his NBA debut.

Two-way players are eligible to play up to 50 NBA games next season.

 

And-Ones: WNBA, Wade, Two-Way Candidates

The WNBA and its players union have reached a landmark labor deal, announcing the tentative eight-year agreement today, as Doug Feinberg of The Associated Press outlines.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will increase the average and maximum salaries for players while enhancing standards and benefits related to travel and maternity leave. The deal, which has been approved by players and still must be ratified by owners, includes a 50-50 revenue sharing split beginning in 2021.

“I call it historic,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “The CBA guarantees substantial (financial) increases. The way we are paying these players is different than the past. … The top couple players are tripling (in pay) where they were. Other players are making $200-300K. The average will be over $130K. Everyone gets an increase here.”

The WNBA is also introducing a mid-season competition called the Commissioner’s Cup, per Mechelle Voepel of ESPNW. The event could be a mini-preview of what’s to come in the NBA, where commissioner Adam Silver has pushed the idea of an in-season tournament.

“We will designate Cup games the first half of the season leading into the Olympic break this year,” Engelbert said. “And then [for] the two teams with the best records, we will have a final in August as our first game back to re-launch the season. In 2020, the cash prizes will be more moderate, but in 2021, we’re going to step them up as we seek sponsors.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

Mavericks Waive Aric Holman, Dakota Mathias

The Mavericks have waived Aric Holman and Dakota Mathias, the team announced today in a press release. The team’s training camp roster now sits at 17 players, as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

Mathias was not selected in the 2019 NBA Draft after spending four seasons at Purdue. The shooting guard is a candidate for the team’s G League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

The Mavericks claimed Holman off waivers earlier this offseason from the Lakers, though the big man was never expected to make the regular season roster. Like Mathias, Holman could also find his way onto the Legends.

Mavericks Sign Dakota Mathias

The Mavericks have officially signed free agent guard Dakota Mathias to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but it figures to be a non-guaranteed camp deal.

Mathias went undrafted in 2018 after spending four years at Purdue, where he was a two-time Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection and briefly held the school’s record for total three-pointers made (Carsen Edwards surpassed him in 2018/19).

In his first professional season, Mathias joined the Cavaliers for Summer League play, then signed with Joventut in Spain, appearing in 12 games overseas before an ankle injury ended his stint with the club.

The former Boilermaker returned stateside to play for the Lakers’ Summer League team in Las Vegas this month. Although he struggled with his shot in five games for the Lakers, going just 9-for-33 from the floor (27.3%), the Mavs apparently like him enough to bring him to camp.

Mathias looks like a good bet to ultimately end up playing for the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League affiliate.