DaQuan Jeffries

Eastern Notes: Knicks, R. Williams, Isaac, Portis

The Knicks held a free agent mini-camp this week, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog (Twitter link), who says a number of players with NBA experience were in attendance.

Guards Devon Dotson and Chris Clemons, swingman DaQuan Jeffries, forwards Louis King and George King, and big men Alize Johnson and Reggie Perry were among the players who participated in the Knicks’ mini-camp, per Zagoria. John Petty, Craig Randall, Carlik Jones, Aaron Henry, and A.J. Lawson also took part.

The Knicks won’t necessarily sign any of the free agents who attended the mini-camp, but it gave them a chance to see some of the talent that’s out there as they mull possible Summer League and training camp invites.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics big man Robert Williams, who is still listed as questionable for Game 6 on Friday, was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee after colliding with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 3, head coach Ime Udoka said today. Williams’ injured knee is the same one he had surgery on in March, but that procedure isn’t the cause of his current absence. “There’s no problems with the surgery at all,” Udoka said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “It’s just that specific hit that he took (in Game 3).”
  • Because of the injury-related language and games-played requirements in Jonathan Isaac‘s contract with the Magic, his $17.4MM annual salaries for the next three years are now partially guaranteed instead of fully guaranteed, as Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets. Isaac has missed two straight seasons due to an ACL tear, but there’s no indication that the Magic are considering waiving him, which is the only way they could avoid paying his full salaries.
  • Bobby Portis only shot 4-of-14 from the floor in the Bucks‘ Game 5 win on Wednesday, but he grabbed 15 rebounds and made the sort of crucial hustle plays the team values, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Averaging a double-double (11.3 PPG, 10.4 RPG) so far this postseason, Portis is once again displaying his value ahead of possible free agency. He holds a $4.6MM player option for 2022/23.

Joe Johnson, Langston Galloway Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the next two qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team, coached by Jim Boylen, will be made up of G League players and current free agents. Here’s the roster:

With the exception of Ryan, all of the players on Team USA have some NBA experience, though some are certainly more accomplished than others. Johnson has earned seven All-Star berths and has appeared in 1,277 career regular season games. Bell, Black, and Galloway have also each played in more than 160 career regular season contests.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia next August and September. Teams play 12 qualifying games before then — those contests take place across six windows, with World Cup hopefuls playing twice during each window.

Team USA went 1-1 in its first two qualifying games in November, defeating Cuba but losing to Mexico. Boylen coached that team and Bowen played for it, but the other 11 roster spots have since been turned over, with Isaiah Thomas among the players who aren’t back this time around. The new-look squad will face Puerto Rico on February 24 and Mexico again on February 27.

After this month’s games, the remaining four qualifying windows are scheduled for June, August, November, and next February. While the next two windows fall outside of the NBA season, the expectation is that USA Basketball will continue using G-Leaguers for the qualifiers before recruiting NBA stars for the event itself next summer.

As our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter), forward DaQuan Jeffries had been expected to be part of Team USA’s roster for this month’s qualifiers, but had to de-commit due to an injury.

Grizzlies Sign DaQuan Jeffries To 10-Day Contract

The Grizzlies have signed swingman DaQuan Jeffries under the hardship exception, the team’s PR department tweets.

He has appeared in 44 games the past two seasons with the Kings and Rockets, averaging 4.0 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 14.4 MPG.

Jeffries was playing for Atlanta’s G League team, the College Park Skyhawks, prior to signing the 10-day deal. He was averaging 15.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 1.6 APG in 26.6 MPG for the Skyhawks. He was waived by the Hawks during training camp before joining their G League squad.

Memphis currently has six players in the league’s health and safety protocols, including one of the players they signed to a 10-day contract.

And-Ones: Thomas, Anderson, Team USA, Offseason Moves, More

Since USA Basketball announced its 12-man roster earlier this week for the first qualifying games for the 2023 World Cup, two players have been removed from the squad — DaQuan Jeffries withdrew due to an injury, and Frank Mason wasn’t cleared to participate.

NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Justin Anderson will replace Jeffries and Mason on the Team USA roster, according to a press release. Thomas, who continues to pursue an NBA roster spot, represented the U.S. in the AmeriCup qualifiers back in January, so he’s no stranger to international competition.

The same is true of Anderson — the veteran swingman, who has appeared in 226 NBA games, played for Team USA in the AmeriCup qualifiers in 2020 and was part of the Select Team that scrimmaged against the U.S. team prior to the 2019 World Cup.

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

  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks identifies some of the offseason moves that been the most impactful during the first month of the 2021/22 NBA season, including the Cavaliers‘ acquisition of Ricky Rubio and Tommy Sheppard‘s reshaping of the Wizards‘ roster.
  • The NBA plans to increase COVID-19 testing during the Thanksgiving holidays next week, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski explains, the league is trying to avoid risking any team-wide breakouts after players participate in family celebrations.
  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) breaks down the pros and cons of the various pathways to the NBA for top prospects, taking an in-depth look at the G League, Overtime Elite, National Basketball League (Australia), and college basketball. As Givony writes, the NCAA remains “the most bankable path to the NBA” for top prospects, but those players have more options than ever to choose from.

Jordan Bell, Shaq Harrison Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its roster for a pair of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The squad, which will be coached by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, is comprised of G-Leaguers, nearly all of whom have prior NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 have appeared in at least one NBA regular season game, led by Harrison (173 career games) and Bell (160 games). Simpson is the only player without any NBA experience under his belt.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place later this month. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Although NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so USA Basketball generally opts to build a roster made up of G League veterans. A group led by Jeff Van Gundy put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup from 2017-19. Mason and Randle participated in a handful of those contests.

Hawks Release DaQuan Jeffries, Two Others

The Hawks have cut three players from their preseason roster, announcing in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on swingman DaQuan Jeffries, center Johnny Hamilton, and guard Ibi Watson.

Of the three, only Jeffries has NBA experience. The 24-year-old averaged 4.1 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 31 games (15.9 MPG) for the Kings and Rockets in 2020/21, and also spent the ’19/20 season in Sacramento. However, he was a non-guaranteed contract this fall, so Atlanta won’t take on any dead money as a result of releasing him.

Like Jeffries, Hamilton and Watson also weren’t owed guaranteed money. Watson is probably a good bet to join the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, but it’s not clear if Hamilton will head to the NBAGL too — he has played in international leagues over the last two seasons.

After today’s roster moves, the Hawks’ roster is technically ready for the regular season, with 15 players on standard contracts (14 on guaranteed deals, plus Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot) and a pair on two-way pacts. However, Atlanta could still make more moves before Monday’s deadline for teams to set their regular season squads.

Hawks Sign DaQuan Jeffries, Waive A.J. Lawson

12:00pm: In order to make room on the roster for Jeffries, the Hawks have waived guard A.J. Lawson, who had been on an Exhibit 10 contract, per a team press release confirming both transactions. Lawson could end up playing for the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate.

10:57am: The Hawks have agreed to sign free agent wing DaQuan Jeffries, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Jeffries will get a partially guaranteed contract.

Jeffries, 24, made his NBA debut with the Kings during the 2019/20 season and saw limited minutes for the team across two seasons before being released this past April. He was claimed off waivers by the Rockets and ended up averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 31 games (15.9 MPG) for Sacramento and Houston in 2020/21.

The Rockets cut Jeffries during the final week of the regular season and he was once again claimed off waivers, this time by the Spurs. However, he didn’t appear in a regular season game with San Antonio and the club opted not to pick up his option for the 2021/22 season, making him a free agent.

The Hawks have a full 20-man roster and will have to trade or waive a player in order to officially add Jeffries. As for whether he has a chance to make the regular season squad, that remains to be seen — the size of his partial guarantee could provide a hint, once it’s reported.

Atlanta has 14 players on fully guaranteed salaries, so the 15th spot appears up for grabs. A player who spent training camp with the team might have a leg up for that spot, but camp invitees Jahlil Okafor and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot haven’t been particularly effective in the preseason so far. Of course, the Hawks may also elect not to carry a 15th man to start the season.

2021 NBA Qualifying Offer Recap

Players eligible for restricted free agency don’t become restricted free agents by default. In order for a team to make a player a restricted free agent, it must extend a qualifying offer to him. The qualifying offer, which is essentially just a one-year contract offer, varies in amount depending on a player’s previous contract status.

A qualifying offer is designed to give a player’s current team the right of first refusal. Because the qualifying offer acts as the first formal contract offer a free agent receives, his team then has the option to match any offer sheet the player signs with another club. If a player doesn’t receive a qualifying offer, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team — his previous club is given no formal opportunity to match.

You can read more about qualifying offers here.

Listed below are the details on which players did and didn’t receive qualifying offers this summer. Our list is based on various reports and team announcements leading up to the August 1 deadline, along with information from RealGM’s official NBA transactions log.

It’s possible that one or two qualifying offers slipped through the cracks and will be reported later today before free agency officially gets underway — if so, we’ll update this list. For now though, this is what the qualifying offer landscape looks like. The players who received QOs will be restricted free agents, while the players who didn’t will be unrestricted.

Received qualifying offers:

Players on standard contracts:

Players on two-way contracts:

Note: Qualifying offers for two-way players are one-year, two-way contracts with a $50K guarantee unless otherwise indicated.

Did not receive qualifying offers:

Players on standard contracts:

Players on two-way contracts:

Note: Some players who finished the season on two-way contracts signed two-year deals, making them ineligible for free agency this summer. They remain under contract. Additionally, some of the players listed below did not have spent enough time on an NBA active roster to be eligible for a qualifying offer.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

Southwest Notes: Jeffries, Grizzlies, Olynyk, Pelicans

While DaQuan Jeffries will technically be part of the Spurs‘ roster for their play-in game on Wednesday and any other games they may play this season, he won’t see any action for the club in 2020/21, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News.

Jeffries, who was claimed off waivers by the Spurs on Saturday, is mainly a developmental pickup, according to Orsborn, who suggests that the team will evaluate the young swingman during the summer. However, it’s worth noting that Jeffries has a team option for 2021/22, which San Antonio will have to pick up or decline prior to free agency and Summer League play. If the Spurs don’t exercise that option, Jeffries could move on to another club.

Here are a few more Southwest notes:

  • The Grizzlies have joined the list of teams increasing the number of fans they’ll allow into their building for the postseason, announcing in a press release that they’ll bump the capacity of FedEx Forum from 20% to 40%. Of course, the Grizzlies will end up just hosting a single play-in game if they’re unable to earn one of the final two playoff spots in the West.
  • With free agency around the corner, Rockets big man Kelly Olynyk said his newfound familiarity with the team and its staff will be a factor in his offseason decision. “I know the coaching staff here, the organization, the people,” Olynyk said (video link via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston). “I know I have a role here if I decide to come back and I think they would welcome it.”
  • After a disappointing showing in 2020/21, the Pelicans will be under pressure to take a major step forward next season, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic, who states that finishing 10 games below .500 again won’t be acceptable.

Spurs Claim DaQuan Jeffries Off Waivers

The Spurs have claimed DaQuan Jeffries off waivers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is the second time this season that the 23-year-old shooting guard has been claimed on waivers. The Rockets claimed him in early April, and he appeared in 13 games, averaging 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per night, before being released Thursday.

Jeffries started the season with the Kings, averaging 3.5 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 18 games before they waived him April 3. He also played 13 games for Sacramento as a rookie last season.

San Antonio has a roster opening, so another move won’t be necessary to add Jeffries. As was the case when he was claimed off waivers by the Rockets, Jeffries will take his existing contract with him as he joins the Spurs, so he’ll still have a $1.7MM team option for 2021/22.

The Spurs will close out their season Sunday afternoon against the Suns before heading to the play-in tournament.