Devon Dotson

Wizards Notes: Dunn, Davis, Beal, Henry

Former lottery pick and free agent guard Kris Dunn will participate in a Wizards mini-camp this weekend, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Dunn was the fifth pick of the 2017 draft

Dunn spent one season with the Timberwolves and three with the Bulls before joining the Hawks during the 2020/21 season, where he only saw action for four games due to an ankle injury. He struggled to get another NBA job last season until March, when he received a 10-day contract with Portland. He finished last season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 7.6 PPG and 5.6 APG in 24 MPG over 14 games.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • President of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard said lottery pick Johnny Davis not only fills a need in the backcourt, he’s also a high-character individual, Ava Wallace of the Washington Post writes. “Out on the floor, he understands the game very well. He’s a quick learner — we couldn’t find a coach who could compliment him enough about his basketball IQ, his character, his athleticism,” Sheppard said. “I think he’s an underrated passer — I’m going to continue to say he’s a great passer. He didn’t pass a whole lot in college, so I’m trying to encourage him subliminally to pass a little bit more.”
  • Sheppard said he’ll meet with franchise player Bradley Beal when free agency begins June 30, Robbins tweets. Beal is reportedly declining his $36.4MM option in order to enter the free agent but he’s widely expected to re-sign with Washington. He is eligible for a new five-year contract with the Wizards worth a projected $247MM+. The most a rival team could offer him in free agency would be a projected $183.6MM over four years.
  • Pierriá Henry will also attend the team’s mini-camp this week, according to Robbins (Twitter links). The 29-year-old Henry, a 6-foot-4 point guard who led Fenerbahçe to the 2021/22 Turkish Super League title, finished fourth in the EuroLeague Best Defender voting. Devon Dotson and Tahjere McCall will be among the other participants. Dotson played 22 games with the Bulls over the past two seasons.

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.

And-Ones: Sharpe, 2022 Draft, Dotson, Douglas

It was reported a few days ago that top prospect Shaedon Sharpe will be eligible to apply for the 2022 draft, which could have a ripple effect on the projected lottery selections this summer. Kyle Tucker and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic explore the next steps for both Kentucky and Sharpe, who has yet to play a game for the Wildcats. Sources tell The Athletic that although Sharpe is able to apply, there are still questions as to whether he would actually be granted eligibility by the NBA.

Tucker relays that Kentucky wasn’t surprised by the news that Sharpe was eligible to apply for the draft, as it was always a possibility. Sharpe just joined the Wildcats at the beginning of January and hasn’t even gone through a full practice yet. Coach John Calipari said the report doesn’t change anything from his perspective.

It doesn’t change anything. He plans on being here next year. He’s watching. Whether I play him or not this year, if he’s ready to be able to be in games, I’ll put him in. But he’s a great kid and he’s doing well and he’s going to make practices even better. He’s only been here two weeks. But at the end of the day, you know I’m going to be for kids. That’s how I do this,” Calipari said.

The plan all along has been for Sharpe to sit out the ’22 season and suit up for 2022/23. Tucker had a text exchange with Sharpe’s mother, Julia Bell, to verify the plan was still in place and she confirmed that it was. Tucker believes that Sharpe will end up playing at some point this season, but Vecenie thinks that it would behoove him not to.

Vecenie hasn’t projected Sharpe in any mock drafts for ’22 due to the murkiness of his eligibility, but he believes the 6’6″ wing has the upside to be the No. 1 overall pick. If Sharpe does end up applying and is granted eligibility by the NBA, Vecenie says he’d rank him around No. 5 on his board and would be surprised if he fell outside of the top 10. Sharpe would immediately become one of top wing prospects in a draft that is mostly known for its big men.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

Bulls Sign Malcolm Hill To Two-Way Deal, Waive Devon Dotson

JANUARY 19: Hill has officially signed his two-way contract, according to NBA.com’s transactions log. The move ensures he’ll be active for Wednesday’s game vs. Cleveland.


JANUARY 17: The Bulls have released guard Devon Dotson, the team announced today (via Twitter). Dotson had been on a two-way contract with the club.

An undrafted free agent out of Kansas, Dotson spent his rookie season in 2020/21 on a two-way deal with the Bulls, then signed a new contract for the ’21/22 campaign. Across two seasons in Chicago, the 22-year-old averaged 2.4 PPG and 1.0 APG in 22 NBA games (6.1 MPG). He played a larger role in the G League, especially this season, when he averaged 20.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, and 2.2 SPG in 10 contests (36.9 MPG) for the Windy City Bulls.

Dotson will clear waivers on Wednesday, assuming he goes unclaimed, and will be free to sign with any team at that time.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will fill their newly-opened roster slot by signing forward Malcolm Hill to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As we detailed over the weekend, Hill – who is currently on a 10-day hardship contract – played 18 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Boston and was on the court in the closing minutes as the game was being decided. That’s the only game he has played so far for the Bulls, but he apparently impressed head coach Billy Donovan and the front office enough to earn a rest-of-season commitment.

Hill’s 10-day contract runs through Sunday night. However, the Bulls will have no players left in the health and safety protocols with Alex Caruso on the verge of returning, so they wouldn’t be able to activate Hill as long as he remains on that hardship deal. Immediately converting him to a two-way contract would ensure he remains available this week.

Zach LaVine, Four Other Bulls Exit COVID-19 Protocols

All the Bulls players who were in the health and safety protocols have now rejoined the team, head coach Billy Donovan said today (Twitter link via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago). That group consists of Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Alize Johnson, Matt Thomas, and Devon Dotson.

LaVine, Dosunmu, Johnson, and Thomas were all placed in the COVID-19 protocols at least 10 days ago. Dotson just entered the protocols on Tuesday, but has since tested out of them, according to Donovan (Twitter link via Johnson). That suggests that perhaps Dotson registered a false positive test earlier in the week.

It’s great news for the Bulls, who were one of the first teams to be affected by a coronavirus outbreak this month and who have had three games postponed. They’ll resume play on Sunday when they host Indiana.

The Bulls currently have three replacement players on 10-day hardship contracts. Alfonzo McKinnie signed his second 10-day deal on Monday and Ersan Ilyasova and Mac McClung inked their respective 10-day pacts on Wednesday.

While those contracts remain active for now, once all the Bulls players coming out of the protocols have been medically cleared to return to action, the team won’t be able to continue carrying those hardship signees, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That means Ilyasova and McClung likely won’t get to play out their full 10-day contracts, and if Chicago wants to keep McKinnie around, the team would have to create room by trading or waiving someone from the 15-man roster.

Caldwell-Pope, Gallinari, Capela, Others Enter Protocols

Wizards wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Washington had been one of 10 teams that didn’t currently have any players in the protocols, but that’s no longer the case.

According to Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr., Caldwell-Pope returned a positive COVID-19 test on Monday evening (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington). He’ll be sidelined for 10 days or until he can return consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari and center Clint Capela been placed in the health and safety protocols, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). An earlier report stated that two Atlanta players were entering the protocols today — now we know that Gallinari and Capela are those two players.
  • Lakers center Dwight Howard and guard Talen Horton-Tucker have exited the health and safety protocols, the team announced today (Twitter link via Dave McMenamin of ESPN). That doesn’t necessarily mean that both players have been cleared to return to action, but they’re able to rejoin the team for practices and should be available soon.
  • Bulls two-way guard Devon Dotson is now in the health and safety protocols, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link). Chicago has had some players return since the team’s initial COVID-19 outbreak, but still has five other players in the protocols in addition to Dotson.
  • Kings two-way center Neemias Queta is the latest Sacramento player to enter the COVID-19 protocols, tweets Wojnarowski. The club now has seven players in the protocols.
  • The NBA has told the 10 teams scheduled to play on December 25 that some of their games could be shifted to new times if any Christmas Day contests have to be postponed, tweets Wojnarowski. As Woj explains, the league is prioritizing the 2:30pm ET, 5:00pm, and 8:00pm windows, so if one of those games is postponed, either the early or late game would likely be moved.

Bulls’ Devon Dotson Signs Qualifying Offer

Free agent guard Devon Dotson has signed his qualifying offer from the Bulls, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Dotson will be on a two-way contract and the qualifying offer includes a $50K guarantee. Chicago still has its other two-way slot available.

Dotson, 22, was also on a two-way deal last season when he appeared in 11 games with the Bulls as a rookie, averaging 2.1 PPG in 4.5 MPG. Dotson averaged 13 PPG and 5.6 APG in 10 G League games with the Canton Charge.

He’s currently averaging 6.7 PPG and 3.0 APG in 22.2 MPG through three summer league games in Las Vegas.

Nico Mannion, Saben Lee, Others Receive Qualifying Offers

The Warriors have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Nico Mannion, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Because Mannion, the 48th overall pick in the 2020 draft, was on a two-way contract during his rookie season, his qualifying offer will be the equivalent of another two-way deal, with a partial guarantee worth $50K. The QO will give Golden State matching rights in the event that another team signs Mannion to an offer sheet next week.

Here are more updates on players on two-way contracts receiving qualifying offers:

  • Saben Lee, a 2020 second-round pick who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, has received a qualifying offer from the Pistons, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. As expected, Detroit also officially renounced the draft rights to Jaylen Hands, Smith notes.
  • The Bulls issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Devon Dotson, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Chicago also gave a QO to Lauri Markkanen on Friday.
  • Nuggets guard Markus Howard, another two-way player, received a qualifying offer that makes him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Howard appeared in 37 games for Denver last season as an undrafted rookie out of Marquette.
  • The Spurs extended a qualifying offer to forward Keita Bates-Diop to make him an RFA, tweets Smith. Like the other players listed above, Bates-Diop has fewer than four years of NBA experience and is therefore eligible to sign another two-way contract after spending the 2020/21 season on a two-way deal.
  • The Cavaliers gave a qualifying offer to two-way shooting guard Brodric Thomas, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Thomas appeared in a total of 32 games for Houston and Cleveland as a rookie in 2020/21.
  • The Grizzlies announced they’ve issued a qualifying offer to big man Killian Tillie, making him a restricted free agent. Tillie appeared in 18 games for Memphis as a rookie on his two-way deal.

Since all of these players are coming off two-way contracts and have only spent one season with their respective teams, their QOs are one-year, two-way offers with $50K guarantees.

Central Notes: Hayes, Bulls, Dotson, Thanasis

Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes remains out indefinitely due to a hip injury but coach Dwane Casey said the rookie point guard is progressing, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “It’s been solid; it’s really going well,” Casey said. “He’s in the situation where he’s moving and shooting right now. Hopefully, (he returns) sometime in the next month — don’t hold me to it; I’m going by what the medical people are talking about.” Hayes suffered the labral tear seven games into the season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls executive VP Arturas Karnisovas anticipates a tight market heading toward the March 25 trade deadline, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times tweets. He said there are very few sellers at the moment because most feel clubs like they’re still in the running for the postseason, including a couple of “delusional” teams.
  • The Bulls recalled guard Devon Dotson from the G League’s Canton Charge, the team tweets. Dotson was averaging 13 PPG and 5.6 APG in 10 games at Orlando’s “bubble” season. He’s on a two-way contract with Chicago.
  • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Lori Nickel details how Thanasis Antetokounmpo provides the Bucks with an energetic wing option for coach Mike Budenholzer. The league MVP’s older brother is averaging 2.3 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 9.0 MPG in 24 appearances this season.

Bulls Notes: Carter Jr., LaVine, Williams, Dotson

Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. is in line for an earlier-than-expected return from a quadriceps injury, practicing with the team fully on Sunday, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports writes.

Carter, 21, sustained the injury nearly one month ago and has been out for the club’s last 11 games. He also missed time with injuries during his previous two campaigns, averaging 11.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 29.2 minutes per game during the 2019/20 season.

“Eventually, we’re going to have to throw him in there with the number of games coming and the limited amount of practice time,” coach Billy Donovan acknowledged. “(Sunday) was a good day for the fact we were able to practice and go up and down and do some 5-on-5 and he was able to participate in all of those things. And he looked fine doing it. I don’t think there was any problems at least while that was going on. We’ll see how he responds to the workload.”

Chicago will open a three-game road trip on Monday against Pacers, followed by games against the Hornets on Wednesday and Sixers on Friday.

Here are some other notes from the Windy City:

  • Zach LaVine‘s teammates believed he’s being overlooked as a potential All-Star this season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Though his defensive production needs work and the Bulls are 10-15, LaVine has averaged a career-high 28.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game this season. ‘‘I think he understands at this point in his career that individual accolades come when the team does really well,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘I think if it happens, it would be great for him to be recognized as an All-Star; it’s an incredible honor. But I don’t think it’s the driving force for him.’’
  • Playing on Friday against Kawhi Leonard, his favorite player, was a learning experience for forward Patrick Williams, Cowley writes in a different story. Leonard finished with a game-high 33 points, also tallying six rebounds and zero turnovers in nearly 33 minutes in the Clippers’ 125-106 win. ‘‘Me, I think I could have done better — energy, defensively, just making it tough on him,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I think he was a little bit too comfortable out there. That’s on me. So . . . just gotta watch the film and get better from it offensively and defensively. And also, as a team, there are some things, some areas there where we kind of dropped the ball.’’
  • Two-way player Devon Dotson had an impressive start to the G League Bubble last week, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports writes. Dotson finished with 16 points in the first contest, along with 12 points and 10 assists in the second, making a respectable impact in both games.