The 23-year-old Hall has played eight games for the Magic, averaging 3.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 11.5 MPG. Hall also played in a total of nine games for Detroit and Brooklyn last season.
9:39am: The Magic announced the Brazdeikis signing (via Twitter) and have released Hall from his 10-day contract a day before it would have expired.
Brazdeikis, 22, started the season with the Knicks, but only played four games before being traded to the Sixers in March. He got into one game for Philadelphia, but was waived last month to open a roster spot.
In two NBA seasons, Brazdeikis has played a total of 14 games, averaging 1.4 points in 4.9 minutes per night. Most of his action has come in the G League, where he averaged 20.9 PPG and 8.1 RPG in two seasons with Westchester.
Orlando has a full roster, with Donta Hall‘s second 10-day contract expiring later today, so it appears Hall won’t be signed for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old big man got into eight games for the Magic, averaging 3.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per night.
Orlando is Hall’s fourth NBA team February 2020, when he signed a 10-day contract with Detroit. He later joined the Nets for the summer restart in Walt Disney World, played for the G League Ignite in this season’s NBAGL bubble at Disney, then inked a 10-day deal with the Raptors.
Hall got the chance to play regular minutes during his first 10 days in Orlando, averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in four contests (14.0 MPG). His best game came last Wednesday in Chicago, when he put up seven points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes, posting a plus-eight rating and helping the Magic beat the Bulls.
Hall’s new 10-day pact will cover Orlando’s next five games before expiring next Sunday night. At that point, the Magic will have to either let him go or sign him to a rest-of-season contract.
Like his last 10-day deal, Hall’s new contract will be worth $99,020, so he’ll earn $198,040 for his 20 days with the Magic. That number would increase if the team re-signs him to a rest-of-season deal in May.
APRIL 13: The Magic have officially signed Hall to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. In order to create room for Hall on the 15-man roster, Orlando released Devin Cannady from his 10-day deal, which had been set to expire on Thursday night.
Hall also signed a 10-day contract with the Raptors in February, but didn’t appear in any games for Toronto. He played three games for the Raptors’ G League affiliate in the Orlando “bubble,” along with nine games for G League Ignite, averaging a combined 10.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per night.
The 23-year-old had brief NBA stays last season with the Pistons, who signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts, and the Nets, who added him as a replacement player for the summer restart. Hall played nine total games as a rookie, averaging 4.3 PPG and 4.2 RPG.
Orlando has a roster opening, so it won’t have to make a move before adding Hall. He will earn $99,020 on the 10-day contract.
All seven of the 10-day contracts that were signed during the final week of February have now expired. As our 10-day tracker shows, that list included three Nets deals (Tyler Cook, Iman Shumpert, and Andre Roberson), along with contracts signed by the Pelicans (Sindarius Thornwell), Raptors (Donta Hall), Lakers (Damian Jones), and Kings (Norvel Pelle).
None of those players have been re-signed to a second 10-day deal so far, but that comes as no surprise. The five teams that had players on 10-day contracts won’t begin their second-half schedules until Thursday at the earliest (Friday for the Lakers), so it doesn’t make sense to sign someone to a 10-day contract now and waste the first few days of the deal.
That doesn’t mean that all the players listed above will get a second 10-day stint with their respective teams later this week, but some of them seem like good bets to stick around a little longer. Jones, for instance, looked good during his 10 days as a Laker, putting up eight points in eight minutes in his first appearance and earning a start in Sacramento last Wednesday.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Lakers and Pelicans are now carrying 13 players on standard contracts, while the Nets are carrying just 12. The NBA requires teams to have a minimum of 14 players under contract (not counting two-ways), but clubs are permitted to dip below that minimum for two weeks at a time.
So even if those three clubs decide not to bring back the same players on 10-day contracts, they’ll have to add a player (two players in Brooklyn’s case, but one will be Blake Griffin) at some point during the next couple weeks.
The Jazz are also in this boat, but will have to add a player even sooner. They dipped to 13 players on standard contracts when they waived Shaquille Harrison on February 24, so we can probably expect them to sign a player to a 10-day deal before the second-half schedule gets underway this week.
The Hornets, Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Suns, Trail Blazers, Kings, Spurs, and Raptors also have openings on their 15-man rosters, but aren’t under any pressure to fill them in the near future, since they’re all at the 14-player minimum.
Most teams with open roster spots will fill them before the end of the regular season, but for the time being, it makes sense for those teams to either hold them open or fill them with players on 10-day deals in order to maximize their roster flexibility for the March 25 trade deadline.
There are positive signs that the Pistons–Raptors game in Tampa will be played on Wednesday but Toronto will have to go without three starters. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have been ruled out under the league’s health and safety protocols, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw will also be sidelined by the protocols. Jalen Harris and Donta Hall have been recalled from the G League bubble in Orlando, Lewenberg adds.
A majority of the coaching staff, including head coach Nick Nurse, will also miss the game, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. Those coaches were placed under the protocols prior to the team’s game on Friday. Sergio Scariolo will once again run the team on Wednesday. The Raptors, who had their game against Chicago on Sunday postponed, were originally scheduled to face Detroit on Tuesday.
We have more from the Atlantic Division:
- Marcus Smart is “getting a lot closer” to returning to action, according to Celtics coach Brad Stevens. Mark Murphy of the Boston Globe tweets that Smart will benefit from additional team practice time after the All-Star break. Smart has been out since January 30 due to a Grade 1 left calf strain.
- Tom Thibodeau has established himself as a serious candidate for Coach of the Year in his first season with the Knicks, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Knicks players have been impressed with how hard the staff works and it has resulted in a winning record entering Tuesday’s game.
- The Sixers have been given the go-ahead by the city of Philadelphia to bring back crowds in a limited capacity, the team tweets. The team will be allowed to have crowds at 15% capacity, or approximately 3,100 fans.
- Knicks guard Derrick Rose missed the team’s game against San Antonio on Tuesday after being placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, the team’s PR department tweets.
Sergio Scariolo is prepared to serve as acting head coach of the Raptors for as long as necessary, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Scariolo got his new responsibilities Friday when Nick Nurse and five members of his staff were placed in health and safety protocols. The team responded with a victory over the Rockets.
The win capped a hectic week for Scariolo, who was in Poland last weekend with the Spanish national team for a pair of FIBA EuroBasket qualification games. He flew to Florida on Monday and entered quarantine, as required by league guidelines. Thursday afternoon marked the first rumors that Nurse and most of the coaching staff wouldn’t be available for Friday’s game.
“We are learning that we have tools and capacity to react to really weird situations, to emergency situations … like this, or I imagine a hundred more that happen all over the world to every person, to every company, every sports club, whatever,” Scariolo said. “We are learning that sometimes we love to have a great plan going from day one to the last one, (but) it’s good to know that we are able to react to different circumstances. We learned how not to panic and try to face what’s going on with a positive attitude.”
There’s more on the Raptors:
- Toronto isn’t making an effort to move Kyle Lowry, Smith states in an examination of the team’s position ahead of the March 25 trade deadline. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby should be considered untouchable, Smith adds, and the team prefers to hold on to Norman Powell. That means any trade will have to involve the bench, where the Raptors hope to upgrade without taking on a lot of long-term salary.
- Lowry’s agent disputes a report Friday that the point guard is eyeing a move to the Sixers. Appearing on Sirius XM Radio, Mark Bartelstein said there’s no truth to the story (hat tip to Brad Botkin of CBS Sports). “There was a story today that he’s pushing to go to Philadelphia. That’s just not true,” Bartelstein said. “That story came out today, and so I had to get on the phone with (Raptors president) Masai (Ujiri) and (general manager) Bobby (Webster) and make sure they knew that certainly wasn’t coming from us.”
- For Donta Hall, signing a 10-day deal with the Raptors just meant going from one G League team to another, writes Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Hall has been impressive in his first two games and may eventually get a chance in Toronto because he’s a natural center.
If the Raptors are buyers at the trade deadline, the contracts of Patrick McCaw, Aron Baynes, Stanley Johnson and Norman Powell are the ones most likely to be included in a deal for an impact player, according to The Athletic’s Eric Koreen. Powell, who holds an $11.6MM option on his contract for next season, and Kyle Lowry ($30.5MM expiring contract) are the players most likely to be traded if Toronto goes into sell mode. However, it’s likely that the team values Powell’s Bird rights to the point where it would take a very strong offer to part with the scoring wing, Koreen speculates.
We have more on the Raptors:
- The success of smaller lineups could alter the front office’s approach to the trade market, Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes. The team has gotten positive results by using OG Anunoby as the de facto starting center and moving Baynes to the bench. That could result in expanding its options beyond an upgrade at center, rather than overpaying a potential trade partner for a big man.
- Lowry deserves to finish out the season, if not his career, with the Raptors, Scott Stinson of The National Post opines. He’s been the only constant in the team’s sustained period of success and his days with the franchise shouldn’t end in pursuit of assets.
- The club’s G League team, Raptors 905, has traded center Dewan Hernandez to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for guard Jarron Cumberland, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Raptors 905 is also receiving Stockton’s original second-round pick in the 2021/22 G League Draft via Canton. Hernandez, 24, played six games with Toronto last season. The undrafted Cumberland played four college seasons with Cincinnati.
- In case you missed it, the Raptors have signed big man Donta Hall to a 10-day contract.
FEBRUARY 26: The Raptors have officially signed Hall, according to a team press release. He’ll be assigned to the G League, where the Raptors 905 have six days during his 10-day deal, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.
After Hall went undrafted out of Alabama in 2019, he split limited time in his rookie NBA season with the Pistons and Nets. Across nine NBA contests, he averaged 4.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 0.7 BPG in 14.8 MPG.
Hall spent the majority of his rookie season with the Pistons’ G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. He averaged 15.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in 38 games (37 starts), while shooting 66.9% from the floor.
Across nine games with the Ignite in the NBAGL’s Orlando “bubble” this season, while averaging five fewer minutes than he did with the Grand Rapids Drive, Hall posted solid tallies of 8.9 PPG (on 61.4% shooting from the floor), 9.0 RPG, and 1.8 BPG.
Hall could prove valuable to his new club as an athletic, hyper-efficient center with legitimate bulk. Toronto could theoretically use the size of the Hall to help supplement forward Chris Boucher‘s minutes at the five in speedy lineups. Hall, 23, is listed at 232 pounds to Boucher’s 200.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Driven by veteran leadership and featuring several high-level young players, the G League Ignite are finally ready to tip off their inaugural season, with games set to begin on Wednesday in a familiar bubble format at Walt Disney World in Florida.
The Ignite, founded as a development program by the NBA last year, possess a unique roster: veterans Jarrett Jack, Amir Johnson, Reggie Hearn, Donta Hall, Bobby Brown, Brandon Ashley, Cody Demps, and Jessie Govan will play alongside young prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, Kai Sotto, and Princepal Singh. It’s an intriguing mix that has quickly gelled during its time together, led by former NBA head coach Brian Shaw.
“Jarrett Jack, Amir, Donta, Reggie, Bobby Brown, Brandon Ashley, Cody Demps — they’re all like big bros to us,” said Green, a projected 2021 lottery pick. “They get on us when we’re not doing good, they talk to us, watch film with us, talk about life with us. We connect with them on that level. It’s been very helpful just to have someone there that we call a big bro.”
A professional alternative to college basketball, this program aims to give young players like Green unique training and education — both on and off the court — to ensure they’re prepared for the road that lies ahead. They learn from veterans, participate in essential life programs coordinated by the G League, and compete against other professionals, all while being eligible to earn up to $500K in salary, depending on the specific terms of their contract.
Green became the first player to join the Ignite back in April 2020, bypassing top schools such as Auburn, Memphis and Oregon. Soon after his announcement, fellow five-star recruits Todd and Nix also formally committed to the Ignite, with the 7’3″ Sotto making his decision to leave the Philippines and join the team a short time later. Kuminga, who was touted as the top player in the class of 2021, re-classified to the class of 2020 and fortified the Ignite’s young core by signing in July. Singh joined shortly thereafter.
“I think everybody understands that our team is unique in terms of the other G League teams. We’re not a feeder team for one particular NBA team,” Shaw said. “So, in terms of that, even though our title is the ‘G League Ignite,’ we’re not a ‘G League’ team, per se. This team was specifically created for this pilot program to develop and teach these young guys how to be professionals on and off the court.
“Everyone here was kind of hand-selected and pieced together to fit as best possible. That part has been nice because I think the group of veterans we have fit seamlessly with the young guys we have. They all like each other. They’ve all been good teammates to each other. It’s been a pleasure to coach them all.”
Shaw started his coaching career as an assistant with the Lakers in 2004. The run included two NBA championships and lasted until 2011, when he left to join the Pacers’ coaching staff. Shaw helped guide Indiana to Eastern Conference Finals berths in 2012 and 2013, then served as head coach of the Nuggets from 2013-15 before returning to the Lakers as an associate head coach for the next three seasons. He was hired as the Ignite’s first coach last summer.
Simply put, the man knows basketball, but he also recognizes the importance of giving back. Shaw entered the league in 1988 as part of a veteran-laden Celtics team, with future Hall-of-Famers such as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish showing him the ropes as a rookie. The process has continued with the Ignite this year, where veterans have done their best to assist young players as the regular season nears.
“For us young guys, it was great having a steady core of veterans to teach us the right way to do things — how to have some longevity in the league, eat right, take care of your body and things of that nature,” Shaw explained. “In putting this whole thing together, it was important to get the right veterans to do the same thing for these young guys.”
The Ignite added veterans in waves. Johnson, Hearn, Brown, Demps and Ashley joined the team in November, with Jack and Hall coming aboard in January and Govan filling out the roster last week. The final two additions are certainly noteworthy; Jack holds 13 years of NBA experience, while Hall logged NBA minutes with the Pistons and Nets last season. Hall played with Brooklyn during the 2020 summer restart, meaning he’s back for a second stay at the Disney bubble, a subject his teammates constantly joke about with him.
“I feel like the talent around, the up-and-coming (ability) of these guys is just amazing,” Hall said of his teammates. “And we have Coach Shaw. I’m telling you, the man is intelligent with the game. And he breaks it down so simple for the guys. Even me, I’m still learning small aspects of the game. He’s been in (coaching) about 13, 14 years. It might be even longer than that. But I’ve been picking his brain a little bit also. I’m learning the game just like the rest of us. The whole process has been great.”
Despite being 23 years old and the youngest veteran on the team, Hall holds valuable experience — and he’s eager to help his teammates in any way possible. The 6’10” big man might have been thrown into the mix late, but that hasn’t stopped him from sharing any knowledge he can.
“When I first got here, it was nothing but love,” Hall said. “I was getting my brain picked about small stuff I do on and off the court. Especially guys like JG (Green), Prince (Singh), IT (Todd), and those guys, asking me a couple questions and stuff. It’s good that I can be there. I’ve experienced (the NBA) for a year or so now. I’ve been through the upper league and the G League, stuff of that nature.”
The Ignite initially began training in Walnut Creek, California back in August. The team started without its veterans, but as they arrived, things started to change. Like all new teams, the Ignite required a feeling-out process. After all, this wasn’t just the first time most of the players were sharing the court together — it was the first time most had even met one another.
“At first, I think the young guys were a little shy,” Shaw recalled. “They kind of kept to themselves. But as they started working with the vets, started developing a little bit more trust and started opening up and sharing things — they’ve all kind of gravitated toward different vets at different times — but it’s been really organic, the way that it’s come together.
“I haven’t had to script anything or premeditate any messaging that I want the veterans to get across to the young guys. They’ve just kind of done it organically and naturally. When they see an opportunity to jump in and make a point of saying something on the court, they do it.”
When the team first began its workouts, young players mostly held individual sessions. But as the veterans joined and the bubble continued to near, practices were gradually ramped up. The competitive fire of both the veterans and prospects increased, with scrimmages later being introduced to the schedule.
“It gets very intense,” Green said. “We talk trash. My team always wins for sure, though.”
Even as the intensity of practices and scrimmages has escalated, the goals have remained the same: make sure the team is ready for Disney, but at the same time, keep an eye on the future by ensuring each young player is mentally and physically prepared for what comes next. Some veterans may be looking to prove they still have something left in the tank, but that hasn’t interfered with those overarching goals.
As Shaw noted, different players have gravitated to different veterans to this point. One veteran from whom Green has frequently sought advice is Hearn, a 29-year-old otherwise referred to as “Uncle Reg” by his teammates (don’t believe us, check out this recent social media post by the man himself). This is Hearn’s eighth season in the G League, making him one of the NBAGL’s longest-tenured players — only four players have appeared in more career G League games than Hearn’s 271.
“Uncle Reg was one of the first veterans here,” Green said. “We got to connect on a good level. He was already open to sharing the problems that he went through and just trying to help us. So that was a big, cool thing for us, just so we could feel comfortable. With us in general, you know, they’ve been here before. They’ve been in this position. They just try to give us as much knowledge as they can.”
As one of the first veterans to arrive, Hearn set the tone early. He embraced the role of a veteran leader and was always willing to give advice and pointers, sometimes in the middle of practice.
“When situations come up or I see various things that happen when we practice, if it’s not right away pointing it out, I might take a guy aside afterward, show them particular things that I’ve seen and give them suggestions,” Hearn explained, noting that the onus isn’t just on the coaches to do this. “In both of those ways, like I’ve said before, help them to prepare for what the program is like. Help them transition from what I think is a very different style of ball in high school and AAU to what they need to be prepared for in the NBA.”
This month’s Disney bubble will provide most G League players with the opportunity to play in competitive games for the first time in several months — or even upwards of a year. COVID-19 has complicated the Ignite’s plans, but it hasn’t diminished the palpable energy within the team. Despite the wide gaps in age and experience among various members of the roster, the Ignite are a well-connected unit.
“They’re young, but they learn very, very quick,” Hall said of his teammates. “Small things on and off the court. They love the game, they study the game — stuff they should and shouldn’t do — they already know things of that nature. With them picking our brain and stuff like that, it also helps them in the long run.”
“Most of what any of us learned comes from what we’ve seen or been taught,” Hearn added. “So, as a leader, someone has taught me. I would be neglecting the natural chain of events, the natural way of things moving if I didn’t try to teach what I know. Hopefully the guys can take some of the best of what I do and say, along with some of the best of what other vets do and say and combine it all.
“Going forward into these games, I would hope some of the things we’ve been saying to them will stick in their mind. Hopefully we could get them into pretty solid routines and habits that will just naturally come out when they play. Most people will tell you that when you’re out there on the court, most things are subconscious and instinctual. So we’re going to see what’s been sticking with them once we get out on the court. We’re going to see what’s come out based on what we’ve practiced.”
At long last, the Ignite are ready to show what they’re about. The condensed G League season officially starts on Wednesday, and the Ignite will tip things off later this morning with a matchup against Jeremy Lin and the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Each team will play a total of 15 regular-season games between February 10 and March 6, with the top eight teams advancing to a single-elimination playoff tournament from there.
“My mindset is locked in on that championship,” a confident Green said. “I’m very happy with where our team is right now and how much we’ve grown together. We’re just locked in.”
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.