Donald Sloan

Wizards Waive Donald Sloan, Retain Carrick Felix

The Wizards have waived veteran point guard Donald Sloan, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Washington has confirmed the move in a press release.

This move paves the way for Carrick Felix to enter the regular season holding Washington’s final roster spot, Bucker notes. Washington’s roster now appears set at the 17-player maximum, with 15 on the NBA roster and two under two-way contracts.

Sloan, 29, did not play in the Wizards’ preseason finale on Friday, a 110-103 win over the Knicks. Sloan has made appearances in five different uniforms, suiting up for the Hawks, Hornets, Pacers, Cavaliers, and Nets.

As for Felix, 27, the former Cavaliers second-round pick (33rd overall) is looking to complete a full comeback from a series of knee injuries. He has not appeared in a regular season NBA contest since his rookie campaign when he averaged 2.7 PPG in seven games.

“Things like that, the injury I suffered, it happens to one percent of the world,” Felix said to reporters, including Bucker, earlier this week. “A lot of people break their knee cap and it kind of stays together [but] mine had a really big displacement, so I just had to take the time and really rest and let my body heal at once.”

Felix played in 66 minutes during the preseason, posting 32 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks in four games. Felix figures to replace Sheldon Mac on the depth chart after the young shooting guard suffered a potentially season-ending left Achilles’ tendon tear last week.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Zeller, Hezonja

The battle for the Wizards‘ final regular season roster spot figures to come down to Donald Sloan and Carrick Felix, and head coach Scott Brooks calls it one of the “toughest” roster decisions he’s had to make in recent years, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. The decision may ultimately come down to what sort of player the Wizards want to keep around, since Sloan, a veteran point guard, and Felix, an athletic swingman, would play different roles.

In theory, the Wizards could keep both players on the roster. The team only has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, leaving two openings. However, a 14th player – Sheldon Mac – has been ruled out for most or all of the season with a torn Achilles, and Washington will be on the hook for his salary until he recovers, whether or not he’s on the roster. By waiving him and keeping both Sloan and Felix, the Wizards would essentially be paying 16 players, an undesirable outcome for a club already well over the luxury-tax line.

Here’s more from around the Southeast division:

  • Having signed a new four-year extension with the Heat this offseason, Josh Richardson is now determined to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2016/17 season, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes.
  • The offseason arrival of Dwight Howard supplanted Cody Zeller from the starting lineup, but the Hornets‘ backup center remains valuable to the team as he enters the first year of a new contract. Sam Perley of Hornets.com has the story on Zeller.
  • Mario Hezonja, 2015’s fifth overall pick, took a step backward during his second NBA season last year. However, he has been solid in the preseason as he looks to cement a role in the Magic‘s rotation, says John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.
  • Backup Hawks point guard Malcolm Delaney spoke to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype about making the leap to the NBA last year, his decision to join the Hawks, and his expectations for Atlanta in 2017/18. “With our system and the way we move the ball, we could surprise a lot of people,” Delaney said. “My goal is always going to be to win. I don’t believe in rebuilding. I certainly don’t believe in tanking. I’m going out to win every game because this is my contract year and I’ve gotten to this point because of winning.”

Wizards Notes: Sloan, Wall, Morris

Donald Sloan has impressed the Wizards in training camp and it appears his chances of making the team are getting better, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes.

“He’s definitely going to get an opportunity to make the team here. I like his professionalism, I like his toughness, I like his serious approach to the game. Those are all qualities that every team will want players to have on their rosters,” Coach Scott Brook said.

Having a reliable backup to John Wall has been an issue for the club since the team drafted him back in 2010. Sloan hopes he can help the team in that area, although the front office addressed the spot this summer with the addition of Tim Frazier. Frazier’s arrival, along with the addition of Jodie Meeks, added to a crowded guard rotation, something that Sloan was aware of before he agreed to join the Wizards in training camp.

“I knew what they had on the roster already. You wonder why. Why would you come in?” Sloan said. “I just didn’t come here to make the team … I came to be a part of what they’re trying to do here. I came to be that guy off the bench to give them what they need. I came to be that guy with backup minutes.”

“If coach has something set in his mind already about what he thinks it’s going to be. I’m going to put pressure on him to think otherwise.”

Here’s more from Washington:

  • Sloan turned down several international offers to come to the Wizards’ training camp, Buckner adds in the same piece. The point guard’s goal is to play in the NBA, specifically for Washington, and he worried that continuing to play overseas will cause NBA teams to typecast him as a non-league level player. Sloan spent last season in China where he led the Guangdong Southern Tigers to the Chinese Basketball Association Finals.
  • The Wizards believe John Wall, who signed a four-year, $170MM extension this offseason, is one of the best players in the league and Brooks can envision him winning the MVP award this season. Wall loves having his coach’s support and hopes to achieve that lofty goal, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. “[Winning MVP is] a goal that I have for myself, also,” Wall said. “It’s not more pressure. It’s an opportunity knowing how much I worked on my game. It shows how much coach believes in me. He wants me to run the team. He’s put me in different positions to excel. That’s my ultimate goal, to be MVP one day, why not have it have an MVP season this year?”
  • Markieff Morris, who was found not guilty of assault earlier today, will be cleared to join the Wizards without punishment from the league, Buckner reports in a separate piece.

Wizards Sign Donald Sloan To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 29: The Wizards have finalized their deal with Sloan, officially signing him to a one-year contract, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

AUGUST 17: The Wizards have reached agreement on a one-year deal with free agent guard Donald Sloan, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 29-year-old played in China last season for the second time in his career. His last NBA experience was in 2015/16, when he played 61 games for the Nets, starting 33.

Sloan has been a journeyman since signing with the Hawks in 2011 after going undrafted out of Texas A&M. He played just five games for Atlanta and three for New Orleans during his rookie year and finished the season with Cleveland. He later returned to New Orleans, then spent two seasons in Indiana.

A 6’3″ combo guard, Sloan is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists per game through his NBA career.

The Wizards now have 19 players under contract, one short of the maximum, with camp a little more than a month away.

Hornets Work Out Free Agent Guards

JULY 25, 11:03am: Michael Scotto (via Twitter) fills out the list of free agent guards who worked out today for the Hornets — Demetrius Jackson, Marcus Paige, Jared Cunningham, and Nick Johnson were also part of the group.

JULY 25, 8:16am: The Hornets will also work out free agent point guard Isaiah Canaan, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN, who tweets that the group session will take place on Tuesday.

JULY 24, 2:47pm: Former Georgia guard J.J. Frazier will also take part in the Hornets’ workout this week, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.

JULY 24, 11:48am: The Hornets are bringing in free agent guard Donald Sloan for a workout, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Another free agent point guard, Norris Cole, will also work out for the club, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

While Charlotte’s starting backcourt figures to look the same heading into the 2017/18 season, the team is making some changes on the bench. Backup point guards Ramon Sessions and Brian Roberts aren’t returning, and Marco Belinelli was traded to Atlanta. Belinelli’s roster spot has been claimed by lottery pick Malik Monk, and the Hornets signed Michael Carter-Williams as the probable backup for Kemba Walker at the point, but the club may add one more point guard to its roster for depth purposes.

Currently, Briante Weber holds that third point guard spot on the roster, but his deal is non-guaranteed. Per Basketball Insiders, Weber’s salary is believed to become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through August 1, so the fact that the Hornets are taking a closer look at veteran point guards now may not bode well for Weber’s hold on a roster spot.

Sloan, 29, has more than 200 NBA regular season games under his belt, but spent the 2016/17 season in China with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. His team-high 23.6 PPG and 6.5 APG helped buoy the club to an appearance in the CBA Finals.

As for Cole, the 28-year-old played sparingly for the Thunder last season, but has extensive NBA experience with the Heat and Pelicans, having appeared in 360 total regular season contests since 2011.

Knicks Contact Phoenix About Eric Bledsoe

The Knicks believe they can trade for a veteran point guard and have contacted the Suns about Eric Bledsoe, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Jeff Hornacek is well acquainted with Bledsoe after coaching him in Phoenix, Berman notes, but outside of Courtney Lee and possibly a first-round pick, the Knicks don’t have many assets to offer. Bledsoe, 27, still has two years and $29.5MM left on his current contract. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 assists last season, but was shut down in mid-March after playing in 66 games.

Bledsoe has reportedly been on the trade market, with the Suns talking to the Nuggets and Bulls about possible deals prior to the draft.

The Knicks are among a “multitude” of teams that have reached out to Ramon Sessions, Berman adds. The 31-year-old spent last season with the Hornets, who declined their option on him last month. New York only has $1.5MM in cap space remaining, but can go up to $2.3MM under the veterans minimum exception, which applies to players with at least 10 seasons of experience.

Another possibility Berman lists is Donald Sloan, who spent last season in China after playing for the Nets in 2015/16. In 61 games with Brooklyn that year, Sloan averaged 7.0 points and 4.4 assists per night.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Olynyk, Sloan, Nets

The Raptors have focused on keeping as much of their own talent as possible in free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Over the years, Toronto has been a place that star players have left, with the list including Marcus Camby, Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh. This summer, the Raptors didn’t have the cap room to keep backup center Bismack Biyombo, but they held onto DeMar DeRozan as part of a core that is largely tied up with long-term contracts. “The improvement of our team is going to come from inside,” said GM Masai Ujiri.Kyle [Lowry], DeMar, and Jonas [Valanciunas] and Patrick [Patterson] and Terrence [Ross]. They will probably take it to another level.” The Raptors’ major addition in free agency was former Boston power forward Jared Sullinger.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics will probably wait until next offseason to make a long-term decision on Kelly Olynyk, Washburn writes in the same piece. Olynyk can sign an extension up to the October 30th deadline, but Boston wants to see the 25-year-old big man for one more season before making a commitment. Olynyk has missed 43 games in his first three seasons, and Washburn writes that the Celtics want him to display more “toughness and consistency.”
  • Donald Sloan, who played 61 games for the Nets last season, has reached an agreement to play in China with the Guangdong Tigers, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. His teammates will include former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer and one-time lottery pick Yi Jianlian. The 28-year-old Sloan averaged 7.0 points and 4.4 assists with Brooklyn in 2015/16.
  • The $100K guarantees the Nets gave to Yogi Ferrell and Egidijus Mockevicius are the largest the organization has ever handed out to an undrafted college player, according to NetsDaily. Brooklyn signed both players to partially guaranteed training camp contracts this week, along with Beau Beech, who got $45K in guaranteed money. Brooklyn now has 18 players under contract, and the website projects veteran big man Henry Sims and summer league standout Marcus Georges-Hunt as possibilities if GM Sean Marks decides to go with the league maximum of 20.

Eastern Notes: Bargnani, Micic, Sloan, Porter

Former fixture on the injury reports of both the Knicks and the Nets, Andrea Bargnani, has inked a deal to play overseas in Spain with Baskonia, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). The agreement is for two years and contains opt outs for both sides, the report notes. Bargnani also reportedly drew interest from Turkey’s Darussafaka Dogus, who are now being coached by David Blatt. The 30-year-old made 46 appearances for Brooklyn last season and averaged 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per outing.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers draft-and-stash pick Vasilije Micic has signed a one-year deal with Tofas Bursa to play overseas in Turkey, Carchia also reports (on Twitter). The 22-year-old point guard was the No. 52 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • Another former Nets player is headed overseas, with Donald Sloan inking a one-year deal worth approximately $2.5MM-$2.8MM with Guangdong of The Chinese Basketball Association, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Sloan will have the opportunity to sign with an NBA club once the Chinese season concludes in late March/early April of 2017.
  • The Wizards aren’t expected to ink forward Otto Porter to an extension this fall, preferring instead to see how he develops this season before committing to him for the long-term, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com writes.
  • Former NBA player Eric Maynor, who missed the entire 2015/16 campaign with a torn ACL, has signed with the Italian club Varese, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). Maynor last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 season when he split time between the Sixers and the Wizards.
  • The Celtics remain a team on the rise, with a deep roster and talented coach in Brad Stevens, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes, noting that the future is bright in Beantown in his look at the strengths of the team.

Donald Sloan Signs With Chinese Team

10:58am: Sloan’s one-year deal with Guangdong will be worth $2.7MM, tweets Michael Scotto of The Associated Press.

10:21am: Veteran NBA free agent Donald Sloan will be taking his talents overseas for the coming season, according to his agency (Twitter link). Impact Sports Management announced that Sloan has signed a contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, a team in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Sloan, 28, appeared in a career-high 61 games for the Nets last season, starting 33 of them. In those contests, he averaged 7.0 PPG and 4.4 APG to go along with a respectable shooting line of .440/.384/.750. It’s known whether Sloan – who has also spent time with the Hawks, Cavaliers, Pacers, and Pelicans (when they were the Hornets) – drew any real NBA interest this offseason, but it appears his best offer came from overseas.

Guangdong, one of the top teams in the CBA last season, was led by a handful of former NBA players, including Yi Jianlian, Ike Diogu, and Will Bynum, a trio that combined to average 64.5 points per contest.

Terms of Sloan’s new deal with the club aren’t known.

Atlantic Notes: Rambis, Wright, Sloan, Early

Phil Jackson hoped Kurt Rambis would prove the right choice to keep the Knicks head coaching job for the long term when he installed him as interim bench boss last month, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, and Rambis has to win to secure his position, Begley writes. A desire to better the team’s record this season is why Rambis is shying away from playing Kristaps Porzingis at center, even though the coach admits the idea intrigues him, as Begley relays. Rambis said he’s spoken to management about whether to give rookie Jerian Grant more playing time but added that the team’s brass hasn’t signaled that it wants to shift focus strictly to player development yet, according to Begley. See more on the Knicks, who’ve reportedly struck a deal with Tony Wroten:

  • Delon Wright has barely played for the Raptors this season despite having been the 20th overall pick last year, with just 75 total minutes under his belt, but that doesn’t mean coach Dwane Casey is down on him, notes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News“I think he’s going to be a heck of a player in this league,” Casey said. “His defense is lagging his offense right now. Offensively, he’s an excellent pick-and-roll player, but there’s two sides to the game. … Guarding the speedsters in the NBA is going to be his next challenge on the defensive end. He’s improved tremendously with his shooting, his 3-point shooting.”
  • Soon-to-be free agent Donald Sloan has been the starting point guard for the Nets since mid-January after fighting in the preseason simply to make the opening-night roster, but he’s not upset with Brooklyn for making him work for his opportunity, telling Steve Simineri of NetsDaily that he didn’t feel “shafted” at any point. The fifth-year NBA veteran has been the most productive among Brooklyn’s cheap finds this past offseason, Simineri observes, positioning himself for more job security to start next season.
  • The Nets passed on Wroten earlier this season under the direction of former GM Billy King because the Sixers had him under minutes restrictions as he came back from injury and because of his high rate of turnovers, tweets NetsDaily. He’s averaged 3.7 per game the past two seasons.
  • Cleanthony Early appears closer to a return to game action from having been shot in his right knee in late December, as the Knicks have assigned him to the D-League, the team announced (Twitter link).
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