Derrick Jones

2019 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its 2019 expansion draft on Wednesday, allowing the latest iteration of the Erie BayHawks to acquire the rights to up to 14 players.

Erie has been a G League mainstay in recent years. However, after serving as the affiliate for the Atlanta Hawks last season, the BayHawks were relocated to College Park and renamed the Skyhawks. As such, the Erie BayHawks team that participated in today’s expansion draft is technically a new G League franchise — it’ll be the affiliate for the Pelicans in 2019/20.

[RELATED: NBA G League Affiliations For 2019/20 Season]

As Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days recently outlined, each of the G League’s other 27 teams were permitted to protect the rights for up to 12 players. Although the BayHawks could select up to 14 players in the expansion draft, they weren’t permitted to acquire more than two players from any one team.

Here are the 14 players whose rights were acquired by New Orleans’ G League affiliate, with each player’s previous NBAGL team noted in parentheses:

  1. Taylor Braun (South Bay Lakers)
  2. Trey Burke (Westchester Knicks)
  3. Quinton Chievous (Capital City Go-Go)
  4. Xavier Gibson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Isaac Hamilton (Canton Charge)
  6. Isaiah Hartenstein (Grande Valley Vipers)
  7. Derrick Jones Jr. (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Scottie Lindsey (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Erik McCree (Lakeland Magic)
  10. Codi Miller-McIntyre (College Park Skyhawks)
  11. Xavier Silas (Iowa Wolves)
  12. Matt Williams Jr. (Grand Rapids Drive)
  13. Kyle Wiltjer (Canton Charge)
  14. Michael Young (Northern Arizona Suns)

Not all of the players whose rights the BayHawks acquired today will actually suit up for the team. In fact, many won’t.

Multiple players selected by Erie – Burke, Hartenstein, and Jones – are currently under contract with NBA teams and won’t be available to the BayHawks as long as they remain on those NBA deals. Other players will spend the 2019/20 season playing overseas.

However, if any of the players selected in today’s expansion draft sign contracts to play in the G League in ’19/20, the BayHawks will have their rights. Erie will hold each of these 14 players’ NBAGL rights for the next two seasons.

Mark Cuban Explains Snag In Trade With Heat

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban blames “miscommunication” for a failed trade that would have helped Jimmy Butler get to Miami, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Dallas attempted to get involved with the sign-and-trade on June 30 shortly after Butler reached an agreement with the Heat. The reported deal would have sent Goran Dragic to the Mavericks, although several media outlets later claimed Dallas believed it was getting Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones Jr. Miami would have needed to include another player to make that deal work financially and wasn’t interested in parting with Jones, according to Jackson.

“As far as we can tell, it was just miscommunication,” Cuban stated in an email. “… We get along great with the Heat and have done many deals with them. Wires just got crossed somehow.”

Cuban added that his team respects Dragic, but had plans for its cap space that would have been affected by taking on his $19.2MM salary. The Mavs believe they have addressed their point guard needs by acquiring Delon Wright on a three-year, $29MM deal in a sign-and-trade with the Grizzlies.

“I was sitting in the room full of people when the call was discussed and we put the trade we thought was happening on our board,” Cuban explained of the misunderstanding with Miami. “We later discussed trade kickers and added a player to make it work. They obviously thought they heard something else.”

The Heat eventually acquired Butler in a four-team deal involving the Sixers, Trail Blazers and Clippers.

After the original trade collapsed, the Heat told Dragic’s representatives they would try to trade him to complete the Butler deal. However, that need disappeared when Portland offered to take Hassan Whiteside‘s hefty salary, and Dragic’s camp was informed that he will remain with the team “barring something unforeseen.” Heat officials haven’t commented on their negotiations with Dallas.

Derrick Jones’ 2019/20 Salary Becomes Guaranteed

Derrick Jones‘ $1,645,357 salary for the 2019/20 season has become fully guaranteed as a result of the Heat standing pat today. The small forward had an August 1 guarantee deadline on his deal, which meant that if he remained under contract through today’s waiver deadline (5:00pm ET) and didn’t agree to push that date back, he’d be assured of receiving his full salary for the coming season.

Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote earlier today that a source close to the situation stressed there were “no plans” to make any roster moves that would allow the Heat to avoid Jones’ guarantee.

Jones had a promising season for the Heat in 2018/19, averaging 7.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 60 games (19.2 MPG). On the opening night of free agency a month ago, it appeared that the 22-year-old might be Dallas-bound as part of the multi-team trade that would ultimately land Jimmy Butler in Miami. However, that deal fell through, with reports indicating that the Heat didn’t want to part with Jones. Now, it looks like a near-lock that he’ll be part of the team’s regular season roster in 2019/20.

August 1 also represented a guarantee deadline for a handful of other players around the NBA. It’s possible that one or more of these players agreed to push his deadline back at the request of his team, but nothing along those lines has been reported.

Unless we hear otherwise, we’re assuming the following players received full or partial guarantees by remaining under contract through today’s waiver deadline:

  • Dwayne Bacon (Hornets): $1,618,520 salary becomes fully guaranteed (Twitter link via ESPN’s Bobby Marks).
  • Deonte Burton (Thunder): $1,416,852 salary becomes fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Marks)
  • Kendrick Nunn (Heat): $50,000 partial guarantee increases to $150,000 (link via Winderman). Nunn is no longer eligible to sign a two-way contract with Miami. His full salary is $1,416,852.

Heat Notes: Salary Guarantees, Two-Way Players, Westbrook, Adebayo

The Heat face three roster decisions this week that will determine how much flexibility they will have heading into training camp, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Thursday is a salary guarantee date for Derrick Jones Jr., Kendrick Nunn and Yante Maten, and with Miami operating under a hard salary cap, every dollar the team spends will be important.

Jones’ $1.6MM salary will become fully guaranteed August 1, and the Heat are almost certain to keep him, according to Winderman. Jones, 22, has made great strides since joining the organization as a two-way player in December of 2017. He was a rotation player last season, averaging 7.0 PPG in 60 games, and his promising future and low salary appear to make this an easy decision.

Nunn also seems likely to be retained, Winderman adds. He was signed on the final day of the regular season and played well in Summer League in both Sacramento and Las Vegas. He cashed in a $50K guarantee on his $1.4MM salary on July 1 and will have that guaranteed bumped to $150K on Thursday, then to $450K if he makes the opening-night roster.

Maten has already received a $100K guarantee and is due for another $50K on Thursday ($150K in total). Because he is already guaranteed more than $50K, he is ineligible for two-way status, and a shaky Summer League performance may make him expendable.

There’s more this morning from South Florida:

  • The Heat are one of just two teams that haven’t filled any two-way slots yet, and Winderman suggests they could go to two of the three players who will come to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts — Chris Silva, Jeremiah Martin and Kyle Alexander. All three were signed at the end of Summer League.
  • Even if the Heat had increased their offer for Russell Westbrook, it may not have been enough, Winderman observes in a separate story. The Thunder were willing to give Westbrook his first choice, which was to play alongside his long-time friend James Harden in Houston. Also, the Rockets parted with a generous package of draft picks that was better than what Miami had available.
  • The invitation to Team USA’s World Cup camp gives more exposure to Bam Adebayo, which should boost his trade value at least slightly, Winderman writes in another story. Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will both have the chance to improve through this summer’s international competition.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Heat, Celtics

The Wizards are still looking to make moves with their $8.6MM trade exception and in free agency, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets. Washington has already agreed to a sign-and-trade to ship out Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls, agreed to a two-year deal with Ish Smith and come to terms with center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat are still seeking to ship out contracts to ease their cap burden and reduce the need to stretch Ryan Anderson‘s contract, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Miami is hopeful of reducing or eliminating its luxury tax penalty for next summer, Jackson adds. The Heat are trying to hold onto Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. but are open to moving other veterans, Jackson adds in another tweet. The Heat have been extremely active in recent days, most notably piecing together a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and reaching an agreement to trade Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers.
  • The Celtics have reached agreements with free agents Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter but they’re far from done, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The Celtics are still looking at a number of free agents and potential sign-and-trades that could free up money to get another impact player, Bulpett continues. Interior defense is the biggest area of need, he adds.

Sixers, Heat Search For New Team To Join Jimmy Butler Sign-And-Trade

The Heat are still working on options to complete the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade with the Sixers, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The two sides will search for a third team to take on additional salary from Miami, as Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

[RELATED: Heat Finalizing Sign-And-Trade For Jimmy Butler]

The Mavericks appeared to be the team willing to take on salary in order to help both teams complete the trade. It was reported that Goran Dragic would be sent to Dallas as part of a three-team deal, but the Mavs then felt that Dragic’s salary would eat into their cap space and hinder their other plans.

Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones were believed to be taking Dragic’s place in the trade, but then it was revealed that the Heat did not want to part with Jones in the deal. The Olynyk/Jones combo wouldn’t have been quite enough from a salary-matching perspective anyway.

The Heat will look for a trade partner for Dragic out of respect for the veteran. The team and his representatives are working to find a deal by July 6. per Shelburne. However, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) hears from Dragic’s camp that there is no joint effort yet to find him a suitor.

Dragic will make approximately $19.2MM next season. After a day of contract agreements, The Mavericks, Clippers, and Lakers are the only teams with the clear ability to absorb Dragic’s deal without sending salary back, though other teams could potentially create the necessary space.

It’s possible the Mavericks will change its stance again on Dragic once they have a clearer picture of who they can sign with their cap space, though that’s simply my speculation.

Assuming the two sides find a third team to make the sign-and-trade work, Josh Richardson will go to Philadelphia and Butler will begin the Miami chapter of his career on a four-year max deal.

Potential Mavs, Heat Trade Hits Snag

11:59pm: Tim Cato of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the deal is off from the Mavs’ perspective. It’s up to the Heat to salvage the deal, possibly with another team, Cato adds.

As detailed below, Miami’s acquisition of Butler is dependent on the team being able to send salary to a third team, so it’s hard to imagine the Heat not figuring it out with some team, but they’re losing leverage and don’t have a ton of assets left to sweeten the deal.

10:21pm: There’s a “glitch” in the agreement between the Mavericks and Heat, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who tweets that Miami is reluctant to part with Jones and Dallas is telling people that the deal is off.

The Mavericks maintain that they thought they were getting Olynyk and Jones in the deal, but the Heat don’t want to give up Jones and say they must part with Dragic to make the math work, tweets Stein. As noted below, the Heat would have to send out at least one more player to an Olynyk/Jones package to make the trade work financially.

There’s an expectation that the deal is far enough down the road that things will get ironed out, says Weiss. The Heat’s acquisition of Butler hinges on sending out other salaries, so Miami will be very motivated to get it done. However, as Nahmad points out (via Twitter), it will be tricky for the Heat to stay under the tax apron without moving bigger salaries.

10:01pm: The Mavericks and Heat have changed the framework on their part of the sign-and-trade deal that will send Butler to Miami, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links). Rather than acquiring Dragic, Dallas will land Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones, Stein reports.

According to Stein, the Mavs are “huge fans” of Dragic, but didn’t want to surrender flexibility to make additional moves by acquiring his contract.

“In analyzing it, his salary was too high based on other things they’re trying to do,” Dragic’s agent Bill Duffy tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Due to the change, the Heat aren’t quite sending out enough salary to make the deal work, so another outgoing piece will be required, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad.

8:42pm: Goran Dragic will become part of the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade deal with the Heat sending the point guard to the Mavericks, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. No major compensation will head from Dallas to Miami, as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Mavs will technically have to send something out and it will likely be cash or a heavily-protected first-round pick.

Miami is sending Josh Richardson to the Sixers in exchange for Butler, who will ink a four-year max deal with a starting salary of approximately $32.7MM. The Heat needed to send out additional salary as part of the agreement to make up for the gap between Richardson’s salary ($10.1MM) and Butler’s new starting salary.

The move to send Dragic to the Mavs had been speculated throughout the day with salary cap guru Albert Nahmad (Twitter link) among those reading the tea leaves. Dragic will join Rookie-of-the-Year award winner Luka Doncic in Dallas’ backcourt.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southeast Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:

Justin Anderson, Hawks, 25, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $7MM deal in 2015
The Hawks can make Anderson a restricted free agent if they extend a $3.62MM qualifying offer. Anderson hasn’t given them much incentive to do so since they acquired him in an offseason trade with Philadelphia. Anderson is getting fewer minutes off the bench than ageless wonder Vince Carter, with under six minutes per game in seven March appearances. A recent report indicated that the Hawks would be aggressive in free agency. Renouncing Anderson’s rights would give them more elbow room to pursue top-tier players.

Shelvin Mack, Hornets, 28, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
It’s rare when NBA players are claimed off waivers. Mack proved to be an exception after the Grizzlies traded him to the Hawks last month, who weren’t interested in retaining his services. The Hornets were looking for some insurance behind backup Tony Parker, but Mack has been mostly a spectator. He’s appeared in just three games since the waiver claim after receiving steady minutes on Memphis’ second unit. Mack will be shopping around for a one-year minimum deal once again this offseason.

Derrick Jones Jr., Heat,, 22, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $3.16MM deal in 2018
The Heat have an August 1 deadline to guarantee Jones’ $1.645MM salary for next season. Considering that Jones is a young rotation player, that would seem to be an easy decision. Jones remains a work in progress offensively but advanced metrics indicate he’s making a defensive impact. His Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating, according to Basketball-Reference is a solid 1.4. Jones is shooting 49% from the field, mainly due to the fact that 54% of his attempts have come within three feet of the basket. He’s averaging 21.5 MPG in March, a sign of trust from coach Erik Spoelstra.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic, 28, C (Up) — Signed to a four-year, $53MM deal in 2015
There have been conflicting reports whether Dallas will make a big push for Orlando’s big man this summer. No doubt, there will be a market for Vucevic’s services. He’s averaging career highs of 20.6 PPG and 12.2 RPG in his walk year and coach Steve Clifford adds that Vucevic essentially gives the team “two point guards” when he’s on the floor. Vucevic isn’t considered a defensive stalwart but his Defensive Box rating this season is a career-high 3.7. Vucevic won’t get a max-level offer but he’ll be making a lot more than $12.75MM next season.

Sam Dekker, Wizards, 24, SF (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $7.9MM deal in 2015
Dekker could be a restricted free agent this summer if the Wizards extend a $3.91MM qualifying offer. That’s not going to happen, as Dekker hasn’t been any better in Washington than he was in three other NBA stops. The 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft has made 33 appearances with the Wizards since he was acquired from Cleveland in early December. He’s averaging 5.9 PPG in 15.4 MPG, but shooting just 29.4% from deep and 51.6% from the foul line. Dekker’s expectations should be modest in the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pat Riley Talks 2020, Playoff Race, Draft Picks

Assuming Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic exercise their player options for next season, the Heat won’t be in position to open up cap room this summer. The club would have over $129MM in guaranteed money on its books for 2019/20 in that scenario, well above the projected $109MM cap.

However, with the contracts for Whiteside and Dragic set to expire in 2020, Heat president Pat Riley believes his team can be a major player during free agency that offseason. Riley said as much in an interview with Heat reporter Jason Jackson (video link), as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel relays.

“In 2020, we’ll have a lot of room,” Riley said. “We’ll also have the possibility to have enough room to go after two max contracts, and we’re going to do that. So we’re planning that 2020 will be the room year.”

The NBA’s latest salary cap projection calls for a $118MM cap for 2020/21. Currently, the Heat project to have about $71.6MM on their books for that season if James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk pick up ’20/21 player options. So Riley’s suggestion that the team will have two max slots may hinge on one or both of those players opting out.

While Riley and the Heat are eyeing that 2020 offseason as their next opportunity to make a major splash in free agency, it sounds like he’s not ruling out the possibility of pursuing upgrades this coming summer, when the club will have a mid-level exception available.

“We’re chasing a playoff spot and we’re young, and then we’re going to be chasing some players that could come in,” Riley said, per Winderman. “If we could get one or two players to come in with this group, this young group, then I think the sky’s the limit for this team in the next couple of years.”

Here’s more from Riley on the Heat, via Winderman:

  • If they continue to slump, the Heat – who currently rank 10th in our reverse standings – would be in position to snag a pretty favorable draft pick. However, Riley wants to see the squad continue pushing for one of the final playoff spots in the East. “It’s absolutely essential that they grow with experience, but not only experience with the playing time, but they get to the playoffs,” Riley said. “… I don’t care if you’re fighting for spot number eight or seven or five or three or the top spot or you’re fighting for a championship. You’ve got to be chasing something that’s positive.”
  • While Riley sounds far more interested in earning the No. 8 seed than in landing a top-10 pick in the draft, he dismissed the idea that he doesn’t value draft picks: “People think I don’t believe in draft picks. They’re so wrong. … Draft picks are very important to us.”
  • Riley suggests that Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, and Josh Richardson are the key members of the Heat’s young core going forward. However, the club president also mentioned Derrick Jones Jr., and noted that players like Dion Waiters (25), Olynyk (27), and Whiteside (28) are still fairly young.

Heat Notes: Dragic, Jones, Wade, Terry

The Heat announced on Wednesday (via Twitter) that injured guards Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones were full participants in practice and traveled with the team to Philadelphia for tonight’s game against the 76ers.

While Dragic and Jones have been cleared to return to action, head coach Erik Spoelstra said the duo may still need “a little more work” (Twitter link). Spoelstra is “not necessarily” planning on having both players return to the court in Philadelphia, he added today (Twitter link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).

Whether or not Dragic and Jones earn minutes tonight, it’s great news for the Heat that both players are ready to return — Jones was originally expected to be sidelined until at least March. Still, after trading Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington at the deadline two weeks ago, Miami will once again have to sort out a crowded backcourt rotation.

Dragic and Jones will be vying for minutes with Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Rodney McGruder, and Dwyane Wade. Winslow has been effective as the Heat’s de facto point guard in Dragic’s absence, and Dragic indicated that he’d be happy to play off the ball if the club wants to keep the ball in Winslow’s hands, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Over the All-Star break, Barry Jackson spoke to a pair of veteran NBA scouts who are both bearish on the Heat’s long-term outlook. “They have really screwed it up,” a Western Conference scout said. “They are in this mess by themselves, have only themselves to blame. They got deluded by one year of performance, fell much too in love with their own players. They have five bad contracts – James Johnson, (Hassan) Whiteside, Waiters, Kelly Olynyk and now Ryan Anderson. Their whole team is just a bunch of other guys. They have too many mediocre players.”
  • Appearing at his final All-Star Game in Charlotte this past weekend, Dwyane Wade noted one reason why he’s not regretting his decision to retire at season’s end, as Nick Friedell of ESPN.com details. “The game is in good hands,” Wade said. “So it’s easy to walk away right now.”
  • Rookie forward Emanuel Terry was working out at the University of Miami this week as part of Team USA’s training camp when he found out that the Heat wanted to sign him to a 10-day contract, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Very last drill I did … I was walking back to my chair and (Heat assistant GM) Adam (Simon) stopped me,” said Terry, who had been prepared to participate in this week’s World Cup qualifiers. “He asked me how I was doing, I told him, ‘Well.’ I asked him how he was doing and he said, ‘We called you up.’ I couldn’t stop smiling, really for at least 10 minutes, and then I kind of told everyone, well, everyone approached me, and I kind of went on about my day.”