Derrick Walton

And-Ones: Team USA, Walton, J. Crawford, Draft

USA Basketball has announced its 13-man roster for the upcoming 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the squad once again made up of NBA G League players. Of the 13 players on the roster, Reggie Hearn, Xavier Munford, Cameron Reynolds, and Travis Trice have suited up for previous World Cup qualifiers.

They’ll be joined by nine newcomers, including players with a little NBA experience like Chinanu Onuaku and Emanuel Terry.

Josh Adams, Kyle Casey, Chris Chiozza, Charles Cooke, Michael Frazier II, D.J. Hogg, and Tanner McGrew round out the roster.

Team USA, having gone 8-2 in previous qualifiers, has already earned its spot in the 2019 World Cup, so there won’t be as much pressure on this group for the games taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 22 (vs. Panama) and February 25 (vs. Argentina).

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

  • Former Michigan and Heat point guard Derrick Walton, who recently left his team in Lithuania, has signed with ALBA Berlin in Germany, according to the club (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). Walton was on a two-way contract with Miami last season and was in training camp with the Bulls in the fall before heading overseas.
  • Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford saw his one-month contract with Israeli club Ironi Nahariya expire and is once again a free agent, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has released an updated 2019 mock draft at ESPN.com, with Murray State’s Ja Morant moving up to No. 3 to break up a run of Duke prospects at the top of the draft.
  • In an entertaining piece for SI.com, Jake Fischer spoke to a number of role players who have been traded along with stars to find out what it’s like to be an afterthought at an introductory press conference.

Derrick Walton To Play In Lithuania

After being waived by the Bulls over the weekend, guard Derrick Walton has lined up his next opportunity, with Lithuanian team Zalgiris Kaunas announcing today (via Twitter) that it has officially added Walton to its backcourt (hat tip to Sportando).

Walton, 23, signed a two-way contract with the Heat last year and appeared in 16 games for the NBA squad, playing limited minutes. He saw more extensive action for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, recording 16.1 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 4.0 RPG with a .442/.377/.902 shooting line in 27 games for the club.

Although the Heat initially tendered Walton a two-way qualifying offer, they withdrew that QO in July, clearing the way for the former Michigan point guard to sign a camp deal with the Bulls. However, he didn’t make the team’s regular season roster.

Walton joins a lengthy list of veterans who will play overseas in 2018/19 after seeing NBA action last season.

Bulls Waive Four Players

The Bulls have released four players from their 20-man preseason roster, the team announced today (via Twitter). Antonius Cleveland, Derrick Walton Jr., Kaiser Gates, and JaKarr Sampson will all become unrestricted free agents on Monday, assuming they clear waivers.

Cleveland was claimed by the Bulls off waivers from the Hawks back in July, while the other three players signed camp deals with Chicago in August and September.

Of the four, Sampson has the most NBA experience, having appeared in 169 total regular season games for the 76ers, Nuggets, and Kings. Cleveland and Walton saw some action last season in Atlanta and Miami respectively, while Gates – a rookie out of Xavier – has yet to make his NBA debut.

The Bulls now have 16 players under contract, with 15 on standard deals and one (Rawle Alkins) on a two-way pact. Today’s moves clear the way for Ryan Arcidiacono, who has a $50K partial guarantee on his contract, to open the season on Chicago’s roster.

Bulls Sign Derrick Walton Jr.

AUGUST 14: The Bulls have made it official, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed Walton.

AUGUST 10: Former Heat two-way player Derrick Walton Jr. intends to sign a new contract with the Bulls, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Walton, 23, inked a two-way contract with the Heat last July after going undrafted out of Michigan. The 6’1″ point guard stuck with the franchise all season, appearing in 16 games for the NBA squad and 27 for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League.

Although his role for the Heat was very limited, Walton averaged 16.1 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 4.0 RPG with a .442/.377/.902 shooting line in the NBAGL.

When Walton’s two-way agreement with the Heat expired at season’s end, the club tendered him a qualifying offer, retaining the right of first refusal. However, Miami withdrew that QO during the second week of July, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.

While details of Walton’s deal with Chicago aren’t yet known, the club has a little flexibility. The Bulls currently have 17 players under contract — 14 on fully guaranteed deals, two on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals, and one on a two-way pact. As such, the team could give Walton a camp deal and allow him to compete for the last spot on the 15-man regular season roster, or it could ink him to a two-way contract.

Central Notes: Arcidiacono, Dekker, Walton, Clarkson

The way that Ryan Arcidiacono‘s contract with the Bulls is structured to keep him eligible for the G League, Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus tweets. Arcidiacano has a $50K guarantee, which will allow him to play with the Windy City Bulls. He signed a minimum one-year deal worth $1,349,383. The 6’3” guard out of Villanova appeared in 24 NBA games last season as a two-way player, averaging 2.0 points in nearly 13 minutes of action. He posted a 13.8/4.5/8.6 line in 37 G League games.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • The Clippers will send $1,247,494 to the Cavaliers as part of the Sam Dekker trade, which was made official on Tuesday, Pincus reveals in another tweet. That amount isn’t random — it’s the exact difference between Dekker’s salary and a veteran’s minimum salary, essentially allowing the Cavs to take a flier on the forward at the minimum.
  • Derrick Walton Jr. gives the Bulls another alternative, along with Arcidiacono, to Cameron Payne as Kris Dunn‘s backup, Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago notes. Walton is expected to sign with Chicago, according to his agent, after the Heat cut ties with the former University of Michigan floor leader last month. Walton is a better perimeter shooter than Payne, who is more comfortable having the ball in his hands and running pick-and-rolls, Michael Walton continues. The Bulls have a number of players who can create for themselves, so Walton might be a better fit behind Dunn, Michael Walton adds.
  • Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is unlikely to play for Philippines in this month’s Asian Games, according to a Sportando report. Clarkson was a late addition to their national team but won’t be able to join them in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Heat Notes: Trade Rumors, Walton, Haslem, Free Agents

Don’t be surprised if the Heat keep their current roster together for a while despite a flurry of trade rumors surrounding the team, Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel writes in a mailbag column. Numerous Miami players have been mentioned in possible deals, with Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson among the most prominent.

Winderman notes that team president Pat Riley indicated in a media session that month that he would like to keep the current core together to see what it can accomplish. A deal could still happen before training camp opens in late September, but Winderman believes it would be more of a surprise, rather than something that has been rumored for weeks.

There’s more today out of Miami:

  • Derrick Walton may go on to better things with the Bulls, but the Heat didn’t have playing time to offer him, Winderman adds in the same piece. The 23-year-old guard is close to a deal with Chicago after Miami pulled his qualifying offer last month. The Heat have a crowded backcourt with Goran DragicTyler JohnsonWayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder all established, Waiters returning from ankle surgery and Dwyane Wade possibly wanting to play another season. Walton appeared in 16 games last year as a two-way player.
  • The Heat are giving up a roster spot by holding onto veteran forward Udonis Haslem if coach Erik Spoelstra refuses to play him, Winderman states in a separate mailbag. Haslem, 38, has developed into a virtual assistant coach, getting into 14 games last season and 16 the year before. Even so, he has a standing offer to return to the team if he wants to keep playing.
  • The Heat don’t have much playing time to offer combo guards or big men, which is why Mario Chalmers and Jahlil Okafor didn’t consider Miami before signing elsewhere, Winderman writes in another mailbag. Along with the logjam in the backcourt, the Heat have Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo all competing f0r playing time in the middle. Winderman speculates that the team could look for help at small forward if either Wade or Haslem doesn’t return.

Heat Notes: Trade Talks, Johnson, Whiteside

The Heat have been looking to shed salary, having made Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, and Dion Waiters available in trade talks, two rival high-ranking executives tell Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

According to those execs, however, Miami has been unwilling to attach a future first-round pick or a young player like Justise Winslow or Josh Richardson to those highly-paid veterans. As Jackson details, the Heat’s preference would be to move a big contract like Johnson’s for a lesser-paid – and perhaps less effective player – or a draft pick.

Whiteside, Johnson, and Waiters aren’t bad players, but they’re not positive trade assets on their current contracts, which span multiple seasons and will pay them $25.4MM, 19.2MM, and $11.6MM respectively in 2018/19. As such, the Heat will likely have to adjust their expectations and their asking price if they hope to move any of those players.

Here are several more notes out of South Beach:

  • In an article for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson explores the Heat’s options with Tyler Johnson‘s contract and notes that agent Mark Bartelstein isn’t ruling the possibility of Derrick Walton returning to the Heat. Miami withdrew Walton’s two-way qualifying offer earlier this week.
  • Heat head coach Erik Spoeltra appears committed to a fresh start with Hassan Whiteside, telling reporters this week that he has been in “constant contact” with the veteran center this summer (link via The Miami Herald). “I’m looking forward to the start of the season with a healthy Hassan. I know he’s looking forward to that,” Spoelstra said. “And we still have a good part of the summer to get better. I think Hassan having an opportunity to start off the season healthy will be a really big boost for us.”
  • The Heat remain on the lookout for under-the-radar free agents who are participating in the Las Vegas Summer League or holding individual workouts in Vegas this week, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Guys are getting two-ways during Summer League right now,” assistant GM Adam Simon said. “So those guys come off the table. So my job, our job, is to make sure we’re aware of all players that are available and then when it’s time to make decisions, then, as a group, we make those decisions.”
  • In a separate article for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman examines how the Heat will handle their logjam at shooting guard with Wayne Ellington re-signing and a Dwyane Wade return still in play.

Heat Withdraw Derrick Walton’s Qualifying Offer

The Heat have withdrawn Derrick Walton‘s qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions.

A two-way player for Miami last season, Walton received a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The qualifying offer was a one-year, two-way contract with a $50K guarantee, and gave the Heat the ability to match any offer sheet Walton signed with another team. However, Miami has apparently given up its right of first refusal by rescinding its QO.

Teams around the NBA have until this Friday to withdraw qualifying offers for NBA and two-way restricted free agents. If clubs keep their QOs on the table beyond that date, they can’t be withdrawn without the player’s consent for the rest of the summer.

[RELATED: Key 2018 NBA Offseason Dates, Deadlines]

Walton, 23, saw limited action in 16 games for the Heat last season, playing more extensively for the club’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In 27 NBAGL contests, the point guard averaged 16.1 PPG and 7.0 APG with a .442/.377/.902 shooting line.

Duncan Robinson is currently occupying one of the Heat’s two-way contract slots. With Walton seemingly no longer in the mix for the other spot, Miami should have a two-way opening going forward.

Two-Way QO Decisions: Walton, Cooke, Craig, More

Derrick Walton Jr. has received a qualifying offer from the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Walton, who had been on a two-way contract with the Heat, will thus be a restricted free agent next month. The undrafted 6’1” point guard out of Michigan appeared in 16 games with Miami last season.

As is the case for all two-way players who remain eligible to sign another two-way deal, the qualifying offer Walton received from the Heat will be a two-way contract offer with a $50K guarantee.

We have several other qualifying offer decisions involving two-way players to pass along:

  • The Pelicans will not make Charles Cooke a qualifying offer, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Cooke, an undrafted 6’5” shooting guard out of Dayton, appeared in 13 games for the Pelicans.
  • The Nuggets made a qualifying offer to Torrey Craig, ensuring he’ll be a restricted free agent, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes.  The 6’6” Craig saw quite a bit of action with Denver last season, averaging 4.2 PP and 3.3 RPG in 16.1 MPG while making 39 appearances. The 27-year-old went undrafted in 2014, then played in Australia and New Zealand before the Nuggets signed him.
  • The Magic will not make a qualifying offer to Jamel Artis, Sportando tweets. The 6’7” Artis, who went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 2017, saw action in 15 games and averaged 5.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.2 APG in 18.6 MPG. Artis will be on the Cavaliers‘ Summer League squad, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets.
  • The Kings have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player JaKarr Sampson, per RealGM’s transactions log. No QO is listed for Jack Cooley, Sacramento’s other two-way player, so it’s possible Cooley will reach the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Heat Make Qualifying Offer To Derrick Jones

The Heat have tendered a qualifying offer to two-way player Derrick Jones, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

The move comes with minimal financial risk, as qualifying offers for players on two-way contracts are just $77K. Jones will now be a restricted free agent, and Miami will be able to match any offers he receives.

The rookie forward originally signed with the Suns last fall, but played just six games before being waived in December. He joined the Heat three weeks later and started eight games while the team was dealing with multiple injuries. Jones played 14 games in Miami, averaging 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per night.

The Heat will have to make a similar decision soon with guard Derrick Walton, their other two-way player, Winderman notes. They also must determine whether to pick up the guarantee on Rodney McGruder’s $1,544,951 contract for next season by June 29. They turned down their 2018/19 option on Jordan Mickey last month.