Day'Ron Sharpe

COVID-19 Updates: Wizards, Trail Blazers, Heat, Rockets, Sixers, I. Thomas, More

The league continues to be battered by players entering and exiting the health and safety protocols. If any of the players entering the protocols registered a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, they’ll remain sidelined for at least six days or until they can return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Here are the latest updates from around the NBA:

Latest On Kyrie Irving

The Nets plan to bring Kyrie Irving back for road games once he clears health and safety protocols, but general manager Sean Marks may not be committed to that as a long-term decision, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Asked today if the team will continue with Irving as a part-time player when the roster returns to normal, Marks declined to answer, calling the question “hypothetical.”

Brooklyn has been hit hard by COVID-19 in the past week and currently has 10 players in health and safety protocols with tonight’s addition of rookie Day’Ron Sharpe, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The Nets, who also have Joe Harris sidelined after ankle surgery and Nicolas Claxton sitting out with soreness in his wrist, are missing 12 players for tonight’s game with Orlando. They signed four players this week with hardship exceptions to fill out their roster.

Marks admits the extreme shortage of personnel was behind the decision to let Irving start playing again, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, although he’s still ineligible for home games because he hasn’t met New York City’s vaccine requirement.

“Several months ago we made a decision that was based around what was best for the team,” Marks said. “What was best for the team at that point was continuity and I think we all see that continuity right now over the course of the last week and whatever the future looks like may be out the window for a while, and we’ve got to navigate that as best we can.”

Irving was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols earlier today, which means he either tested positive for the virus or returned an inconclusive result. Marks said he hasn’t appealed to Irving to get vaccinated or tried to change his mind about the issue, Reynolds adds.

“There’s also a risk for Kyrie when a guy comes in and if they’re not vaccinated,” Marks said. “I don’t want to get into those type of discussions, but that’s a risk for him coming into this environment, not just the team and so forth. But we’re all well aware of the status and his status and moving forward and how we’ll navigate this as best we can.”

Coach Steve Nash echoed Marks’ comments in a pre-game meeting with reporters, saying the original decision on Irving was based on continuity, but “continuity’s out the window now,” tweets David Aldridge of The Athletic.

“I’m excited to have Kyrie back,” Nash continued (Twitter link from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype). “He’s an incredible player, no matter what capacity. We’ll incorporate him in. It’s a positive for our group.”

Owner Joe Tsai also spoke about the thinking behind the reversal on Irving, telling Brian Lewis of The New York Post that the decision was made solely for basketball reasons and isn’t an attempt to make a statement about the vaccine mandate.

“We’re trying to be practical. And I’ve always said I don’t want to make this a political issue,” Tsai said. “My only religion is to win games and win the championship. That’s where we are.” 

New York Notes: Randle, Knicks, Noel, Claxton, Nets

The Knicks will be looking to pick up a win in Milwaukee on Friday night, but Julius Randle views the Bucks as a success story worth emulating, as Fred Katz of The Athletic details. Milwaukee won a title in Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s eighth season, having patiently built a championship-caliber roster around its star player without making any major splashes on the free agent market.

“It was beautiful to watch simply because the aspect of, they built it from the ground up,” Randle said. “They didn’t put a super team together or whatever it was. These guys were in the mud every day grinding the thing out. They took some lumps along the way there trying to figure it out.”

While the Knicks lack a bona fide superstar on the level of Antetokounmpo, Randle likes the idea of building the roster “organically” and believes that it an eventual breakthrough would be more rewarding.

“(The Bucks) did something that’s very unique, especially in today’s league, as far as building something like that and not putting a bunch of players together,” he said. “They really built it.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Responding to news that Owen Phillips is joining the Knicks‘ coaching analytics team, Seth Partnow of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that the franchise has gone from one of the league’s smallest analytics departments to one of the largest under president of basketball operations Leon Rose.
  • Knicks center Nerlens Noel missed the first six games of the season with what was termed “knee soreness,” but he told reporters today that it was more of a hamstring issue, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
  • The Nets have assigned Nicolas Claxton to the G League as he works his way back from an illness. According to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link), Claxton still isn’t ready to play and will just be training and ramping up during his time with Long Island.
  • While Claxton probably won’t play in any games for Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, a handful of the team’s rookies are expected to be regulars for the Long Island Nets this season. Chris Milholen of NetsDaily takes a closer look at the Nets‘ developmental plans for Cameron Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, Kessler Edwards, and David Duke.

Nets Sign Day’Ron Sharpe To Rookie Contract

The Nets have signed first-round pick Day’Ron Sharpe to his first NBA contract, the team announced on Friday in a press release.

The Suns drafted Sharpe with the No. 29 pick last week on behalf of the Nets, who had agreed on draft day to acquire that pick along with Jevon Carter in exchange for Landry Shamet. The trade couldn’t become official until today, and Brooklyn didn’t waste any time in locking up Sharpe to his rookie contract.

Sharpe, who declared for the draft after a single season at North Carolina, averaged 9.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG in 29 games (19.2 MPG) for the Tar Heels. The 6’11” center is one of five prospects selected by the Nets in this year’s draft and is the second one to officially sign with the club, joining fellow first-rounder Cameron Thomas.

As our breakdown of this year’s rookie scale salaries shows, Sharpe is on track to earn just over $2MM in his first NBA season is he receives the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale.

Nets Trade Landry Shamet To Suns For Jevon Carter, Day’Ron Sharpe

AUGUST 6: The Suns have officially acquired Shamet from the Nets in exchange for Carter and the rights to Day’Ron Sharpe, the team announced in a press release.


JULY 29: The Nets have agreed to trade sharpshooter Landry Shamet to the Suns in exchange for Jevon Carter and the No. 29 pick in Thursday’s draft, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As a result, Brooklyn now owns the 27th, 29th, 44th, 49th and 59th picks in the 2021 draft. Carter, a 6’1″ point guard, will provide backcourt depth behind the likes of Kyrie Irving and James Harden, assuming he stays with the team.

Phoenix wasn’t interested in using the No. 29 pick on a player who likely wouldn’t have played much, preferring to add a more proven veteran to the mix, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweets. The Suns are coming off their first NBA Finals berth since 1993 and third berth in franchise history.

Suns coach Monty Williams is a strong supporter of Shamet, dating back to when he coached him as an assistant with the Sixers, Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter). The 24-year-old Shamet averaged 9.3 points per game in 61 contests last season, shooting 41% from the floor and 39% from three-point range.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), the trade won’t be completed until August 6 at the earliest. Shamet’s salary will increase from $2MM to $3.76MM for next season, while Carter will make $3.65MM in 2021/22. Shamet also becomes eligible for a rookie-scale extension on August 6.

Draft Notes: Butler, K. Johnson, Sharpe, Mocks

Baylor guard Jared Butler has been referred to a Fitness to Play panel by the NBA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Butler won’t be able to play or practice in the league until he’s cleared. In the short term, he’s also unable to participate in on-court elements of the pre-draft process, though he can still meet with teams and conduct off-court activities (Twitter link).

While it’s unclear what aspect of Butler’s medicals caught the NBA’s attention, the league’s Fitness to Play panels typically deal with cardiac illnesses or conditions, or issues related to blood clots and other blood disorders. Hopefully this setback is just a temporary one for precautionary reasons and Butler is cleared to get back on the court soon.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Draft Notes: Sharpe, Carr, Sengun, Champagnie

Potential first-round pick Day’Ron Sharpe has declared for the draft, posting his decision on his Twitter page. He’s currently ranked No. 33 on ESPN’s Best Available list. The one-and-done center out of North Carolina averaged 9.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG for the Tar Heels in 29 appearances, including four starts. He’s ranked fourth among center prospects.

We have more draft decisions and news:

  • Minnesota’s Marcus Carr will test the draft waters and sign with an NCAA-certified agent, though he’s also entering the transfer portal as a backup plan, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. The junior guard led the Golden Gophers with 19.4 PPG, 4.9 APG and 4.0 RPG. He currently ranks 89th on ESPN’s board.
  • Euro prospect Alperen Sengun isn’t interested in being a draft-and-stash prospect, Sportando’s Dario Skerletic relays. Sengun indicated that via Anadolu Agency. “I want to go there and develop there as soon as possible,” he said of the NBA. The 18-year-old Turkish big man is a potential lottery pick, currently ranked No. 13 on ESPN’s board.
  • St. John’s sophomore wing Julian Champagnie will enter the draft process but maintain his eligibility, according to RedStormSports.com. Champagnie averaged a Big East-leading 19.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG.