D'Or Fischer

Pelicans Notes: Zion, Lewis, Luxury Tax, Coaching Changes

Appearing on The Hoop Collective (video link), Brian Windhorst’s podcast, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez said Pelicans star Zion Williamson is “ready to go” for the 2022/23 season. Williamson, who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery and subsequently experiencing setbacks from a broken foot, has been working out with his trainer as opposed to the team’s staff since he was cleared to play with no restrictions at the end of May, Lopez added.

He is now working with Jasper Bibbs, his strength and conditioning coach, he has a chef, he has taken steps to improve his body so we don’t have a situation where he is only playing 85 games in a three-year stretch, or missing an entire season,” Lopez said.

In an interview last week with William Guillory of The Athletic, Bibbs said Williamson was in “fantastic shape” and “a better athlete now than he’s ever been.” The former No. 1 overall pick signed a five-year, maximum-salary extension in July, and will reportedly be required to undergo regular weigh-ins throughout the duration of his new contract due to a conditioning clause.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Speaking at Media Day on Monday, general manager Trajan Langdon said guard Kira Lewis Jr. is not ready for five-on-five yet action yet, according to Lopez (Twitter link), who notes that Lewis tore his ACL last December. The recovery period for a torn ACL is typically 12-plus months, so it might be a while until we see the 21-year-old former lottery pick back in action.
  • When asked about paying the luxury tax, executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said that ownership was willing to commit when appropriate. “When it’s time to really go all-in on something, we will,” Griffin said (Twitter link via Christian Clark of NOLA.com). New Orleans is currently about $3.5MM under the $150,267,000 luxury tax line for ’22/23.
  • The Pelicans announced a series of front office and coaching promotions and additions in a press release. Sammy Gelfand is the team’s new senior director of basketball analytics. Ryan Pannone, formerly the head coach of the Birmingham Squadron, the Pelicans’ G League affiliate, is now an assistant coach. Jordan Kincaide has also been added as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Ryan Frazier has been promoted to assistant coach; Both Corey Brewer and Darnell Lazare have been promoted to assistant coach/player development coach; Brandon Demas has been elevated to two-way coach; Jordan McGuire and D’Or Fischer have been elevated to player development assistant, with McGuire also serving as an assistant shooting coach.

Minor Moves: Warriors, Douby, Fischer

A look at today’s minor moves from around basketball..

  • The Warriors announced that they re-assigned center Dewayne Dedmon and guard Nemanja Nedovic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.  Both players will be in uniform for tonight’s home game against the Austin Toros this evening.  To keep up with all of this season’s D-League assignments, check out Hoops Rumors’ running list.
  • Quincy Douby reached agreement with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks, a source told Shams Charania of RealGM.  Douby is free to sign with an NBA club once the CBA season ends in March, but Shanghai’s squad is rather strong with Douby in the fold and he could be locked in with them longer if they make a deep playoff run.  The Rutgers product was previously with the Sioux Falls SkyForce, the affiliate of the Heat, and was being groomed as a point guard.
  • German team Brose Baskets Bamberg officially announced the signing of D’or Fischer, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The big man spent last season with BC Donetsk of Ukraine averaging 11.0 PPG and 7.6 RPG in Superleague action and was in camp with the Wizards over the summer.

Wizards Release D’or Fischer

The Wizards have trimmed their roster by one, having waived camp invitee D’or Fischer, according to a press release from the team. Fischer’s release reduces Washington’s roster count to 18.

As Hoops’ Rumors international player movement tracker shows, Fischer finished last season with Ukraine’s BC Donetsk. appearing in 38 games for the club and averaging 11.0 PPG and 7.4 RPG. The West Virginia product has made a number of overseas stops since his days with the Mountaineers, playing in Spain, Israel, Belgium, Poland, and Germany, as well as in the D-League.

Since they already have 15 players on guaranteed deals, the Wizards aren’t likely to shake up the roster heading into the regular season. Still, the team continues to carry three camp invitees on non-guaranteed contracts: Josh Childress, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, and Xavier Silas.

D’or Fischer Accepts Invite To Wizards Camp

Free agent big man D'or Fischer has accepted an invite to training camp with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com (via Twitter). Fischer becomes the third player to agree to a camp deal with Washington in the last several days, along with Josh Childress and Xavier Silas.

As Hoops' Rumors international player movement tracker shows, Fischer finished last season with Ukraine's BC Donetsk. appearing in 38 games for the club and averaging 11.0 PPG and 7.4 RPG. The West Virginia product has made a number of overseas stops since his days with the Mountaineers, playing in Spain, Israel, Belgium, Poland, and Germany, as well as in the D-League.

While Fischer, Childress, and Silas will be in camp with the Wizards, it won't be easy for any of them to earn a regular-season roster spot. Washington already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts, so the club would have to trade or release a player to make room for one of its camp invitees.

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