Dzanan Musa

And-Ones: Jefferson, Somacescu, Musa, FAs By Position

Veteran power forward Amile Jefferson, who appeared in 30 games for the Magic between 2018-20 and was in camp with the Celtics last December, has returned to his alma mater and will be part of the Duke staff going forward. The Blue Devils announced today in a press release that Jefferson has been named the director of player development for the men’s basketball team.

“This is an honor to be back at Duke and I’m so grateful to Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski for considering me for this opportunity,” Jefferson said in a statement. “I’d also like to thank Coach (Jon) Scheyer for his help through the process and look forward to his leadership in the future. Duke has been a part of my story and my life and it’s a privilege to give back to the program and the University that has meant so much. I can’t wait to work with these guys — helping them develop, grow and learn — and be a small part of something bigger than myself.”

In addition to playing in the NBA and the G League since going pro in 2017, Jefferson – who won a title with Duke in ’15 – has spent some time overseas, playing for Turkish team Galatasaray in 2020/21. It’s unclear if the 28-year-old will look to resume his playing career at some point or if he’s prepared to transition to coaching full-time.

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

  • Up-and-coming Romanian-born point guard Tudor Somacescu, who turned 16 in June, became the 12th player to sign with the Overtime Elite league, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN writes. Somacescu is the youngest player to sign with Overtime Elite to date, per Givony.
  • Dzanan Musa, a first-round pick in 2018, has joined Spanish team CB Breogan, according to agent Misko Raznatovic. Musa appeared in 49 across two seasons with Brooklyn before being traded to Detroit last November. The Pistons waived him a month later and he spent most of the 2020/21 season with Anadolu Efes.
  • Point guard looks like the strongest position in this year’s free agent class, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who writes that as many as 10 starting-caliber players could be available on the open market. Based on Hollinger’s system, Dennis Schröder barely cracks the top-10 list of free agent point guards, while Derrick Rose comes in at No. 11.
  • In two more stories for The Athletic, Hollinger also previewed this year’s crop of free agent shooting guards and small forwards. There are no elite shooting guards available, but the class includes several reliable rotation options. At small forward, despite his injury, Kawhi Leonard easily headlines a group that doesn’t include a ton of surefire starters.

And-Ones: Midseason Tournament, Martin, Grant, Musa

The NBA could benefit from adding more incentives if it chooses to create a midseason tournament, Jabari Young of CNBC writes. The league would likely use money as a primary incentive, whether it be for a charity, a social justice organization, or for the players.

While no plans have been finalized, the NBA is actively seeking ways to improve the viewing experience for fans during the regular season. The league recently added a play-in tournament, which has received mixed reactions from fans and teams.

As we relayed last month, the NBA hopes to eventually add a midseason tournament, though it would have to agree with the players’ association first. In addition, two-thirds of the league’s 30 team owners would have to approve of the idea, with 2022/23 being the earliest that it could be tested.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Sydney Kings and former NBA first-round pick Jarell Martin have exercised their mutual option for next season, the team announced. Martin, who averaged 17.9 points in 28 games this year, will return to the club for a second campaign. “Even though Jarell put up strong numbers, we still only got to see a small sample of what he can do in this league – coming in late, dealing with injuries, adjusting to the physicality – we expect him to have a big year” team CEO Chris Pongrass said, as relayed by Sportando.
  • Jerian Grant is receiving interest from Olimpia Milano (Italy) and Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia), according to SDNA (hat tip to Sportando). Grant holds five seasons of NBA experience (2015-20), most recently playing in Greece.
  • Former Nets forward Dzanan Musa and Anadolu Efes have parted ways, according to Basket Faul (as relayed by EuroHoops). Musa played 49 games with Brooklyn from 2018-20, originally signing with Efes in January.

Dzanan Musa Signs With Anadolu Efes

Former NBA first-round pick Dzanan Musa will resume his playing career in Turkey. Anadolu Efes announced (via Twitter) on Wednesday that the team has signed Musa to a contract that will cover the rest of the 2020/21 season, plus two additional years.

Musa, 21, began his professional career in Spain, playing for Cedevita in Croatia from 2015-18 before being selected 29th overall in the ’18 draft by the Nets. In two seasons with Brooklyn, the guard/forward appeared in just 49 games, averaging 4.3 PPG and 1.9 RPG on .376/.227/.726 shooting in 10.7 minutes per contest.

When Musa was traded to the Pistons in a deal involving Bruce Brown in November, it looked like he might get an opportunity in Detroit to get his NBA career on track. However, the Pistons waived him just before the regular season began last month to trim their roster down to 15 players on standard contracts.

Musa initially joined the NBA G League draft pool, but decided to pull out and return to Europe. He’ll join an Anadolu Efes squad that has dominated the Turkish League so far, but has had a tougher go of it in EuroLeague play, currently ranking in the middle of the pack with a 10-9 record.

And-Ones: Felder, Rockets, Musa, 2021 Prospects

Ex-NBA point guard Kay Felder is returning to the Chinese Basketball Association, where he will play for Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando.

The 5’9″ point guard was selected out of Oakland with the No. 52 pick in 2016 by the Hawks before being traded to the Cavaliers. He suited up for the Cavaliers, Bulls and Pistons across parts of two NBA seasons. Felder played for the G League affiliates of all three teams, and joined the Raptors’ G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, for part of the 2018/19 season.

For his NBA career, Felder averaged 3.8 PPG, 1.3 APG and 1.0 RPG. As Lupo notes, Felder averaged approximately 18 points, eight assists, and five rebounds per game during the 2019/20 season for the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers.

There are more notes from around the basketball world:

  • The Rockets‘ 120-102 loss to the Lakers on Sunday night marked the first Houston game broadcast in China since former general manager Daryl Morey sent out a now-infamous tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters ahead of the 2019/20 NBA season, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Stein adds that Morey’s current club, the Sixers, has not yet had a game broadcast in China this season.
  • Former Nets wing Dzanan Musa will return to Europe to join a new international club, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (via Twitter). The 6’9″ swingman averaged 4.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG across 49 games in his two NBA seasons.
  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN have discussed which 2021 draft prospects have recently caught their eye in a new top 100 list. Stanford wing Ziaire Williams, LSU shooting guard Cam Thomas, and ASU shooting guard Josh Christopher all merit mention.

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Lance Stephenson Among NBA Vets Eligible For G League Draft

As previously reported, the NBA G League’s 2020/21 draft will take place on Monday, January 11. And according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links), there will be some interesting names on the list of players eligible to be selected in that draft.

Veteran swingman Lance Stephenson, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor, and other recent NBA players like Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and Admiral Schofield will be part of the draft pool, per Givony. Former first-round picks Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will be draft-eligible as well.

According to Givony, the following players who have been on NBA rosters in the past are also among the G League’s other draft-eligible veterans: Kenny Wooten, Antonio Blakeney, Tyler Ulis, Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Hollis Thompson, Cat Barber, Isaiah Briscoe, Phil Booth, Dusty Hannahs, Jemerrio Jones, Cory Jefferson, and Freddie Gillespie.

These, presumably, are players who have signed G League contracts but whose rights aren’t currently held by any teams. A player whose returning rights are controlled by a club participating in the G League’s bubble season wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted.

For instance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that LiAngelo Ball has signed a contract to play in the bubble. Since the Oklahoma City Blue hold his returning rights and are playing in the bubble, Ball shouldn’t be in the general draft pool.

The Blue are one of 18 teams set to participate in the shortened bubble season, which is expected to take place at Walt Disney World. That list of teams can be found right here.

Givony previously reported that the G League is adjusting its roster rules for this season to make it easier for NBA teams to recruit and sign veterans with five or more years of NBA experience. Each NBAGL team will be able to designate an “NBA Vet Selection” who fits that bill and can sign that player directly without navigating the league’s complicated waiver process. My understanding is that those designated won’t be in the draft pool.

Pistons Waive Dzanan Musa

11:33am: The move is official, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.


8:16am: The Pistons will waive swingman Dzanan Musa, a source tells Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Musa will still earn $2,002,800 for the season as Detroit had 16 players in camp with guaranteed contracts. His $3,615,054 team option for 2021/22 will be voided unless he’s claimed on waivers.

The move will bring the roster down to 15 players on standard contracts, although Detroit still has an open two-way slot.

Musa was acquired from the Nets last month in a three-team trade that also brought Rodney McGruder and the draft rights to Saddiq Bey, the 19th pick this year. Musa spent two years in Brooklyn and averaged 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 40 games last season.

Nets, Clippers, Pistons Complete Kennard/Shamet Deal

The Nets, Clippers, and Pistons have officially completed a three-team trade, Brooklyn announced in a press release. The deal is an amalgamation of a series of moves that were previously reported separately. Here’s what the swap looks like as a whole:

  • Nets acquire Landry Shamet (from Clippers), Bruce Brown (from Pistons), and the draft rights to Reggie Perry (No. 57 pick; from Clippers).
  • Clippers acquire Luke Kennard (from Pistons), Justin Patton (from Pistons), the draft rights to Jay Scrubb (No. 55 pick; from Nets), the Trail Blazers’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pistons), the Pistons’ 2024 second-round pick, the Pistons’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Pistons’ 2026 second-round pick.
  • Pistons acquire Dzanan Musa (from Nets), Rodney McGruder (from Clippers), the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (No. 19 pick; from Nets), the draft rights to Jaylen Hands (from Nets), the Raptors’ 2021 second-round pick (from Nets), and cash (from Clippers).

Got all that?

Besides combining these three trades into one giant transaction, the three teams exchanged a few more pieces that weren’t previously reported — most notably, the Clippers received a whopping four future second-round picks from Detroit as part of the deal. Patton and Hands’ draft rights also weren’t mentioned in previous reports, though they’re minor pieces.

The most important parts of the deal from Brooklyn’s perspective are Shamet and Brown, who will compete for backcourt minutes in 2020/21. The Clippers acquire Kennard, a knockdown outside shooter who should fit in well alongside L.A.’s stars, and stock up on future second-round picks. And the Pistons were able to land a top-20 pick that allowed them to nab Bey, a prospect who had been viewed as a potential lottery pick entering draft night.

Pistons Trading Bruce Brown To Nets For Dzanan Musa, Second-Rounder

The Pistons and Nets have reached an agreement on a minor trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Detroit is sending guard Bruce Brown to Brooklyn in exchange for forward Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick. The Pistons will also receive cash in the swap, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

Brown, the 42th overall pick in the 2018 draft, has started 99 games in his first two professional seasons, appearing in 132 in total. Last season, he averaged 8.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.0 APG with a .443/.344/.739 shooting line in 28.2 minutes per contest.

Musa was the 29th overall pick in the same draft, but has less of a professional track record than Brown, having only logged minutes in 49 total games so far. He recorded just 4.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .372/.244/.750 shooting in 40 games (12.2 MPG) in 2019/20.

The 2021 second-round pick being sent to Detroit in the deal won’t be the Nets’ own pick, which Brooklyn traded away in a previous move. It’ll be Toronto’s ’21 second-rounder, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Brown has a non-guaranteed minimum salary ($1.66MM) for 2020/21 which will have to be guaranteed to make the trade work. He’ll be a restricted free agent in a year. As for Musa, he’ll earn a guaranteed $2MM salary next season, and Detroit will have until December 29 to decide whether or not to pick up his $3.62MM fourth-year option for 2021/22.

It’s easy to see why the deal makes sense for the Nets, who will save a little money and pick up a more reliable role player. They’re high on Brown’s defensive ability, Wojnarowski notes. Plus, as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer observes (via Twitter), Brown gives the club added depth in the event of a possible Spencer Dinwiddie trade.

The Pistons’ motivation is a little less clear, but it’s worth noting that a new general manager – Troy Weaver – is making personnel decisions in Detroit now, so he wouldn’t have had any real attachment to Brown. Woj suggests (via Twitter) that Weaver’s first trade as the Pistons’ GM is the start of the process of “gathering future picks and assets.”

The NBA’s trade moratorium will end at noon eastern time today, so the Pistons and Nets can officially finalize their deal anytime after that point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Kanter, Robinson, Musa

Sixers center Joel Embiid is joining forces with team managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer on a $1.3MM contribution to fund testing for 1,000 health care workers in the Philadelphia region, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports. The donation has been confirmed in a team press release.

Embiid said he learned that “testing for COVID-19 antibodies has the chance to let health care workers know if they are immune to the virus.” The big man notes that the workers who have immunity can work in “risky environments” and donate blood to help patients recover. Embiid’s partnership with team ownership should quell speculation that he has a fractious relationship with the organization which could eventually lead to his departure.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics center Enes Kanter remains hopeful that the remainder of the season, or at least the playoffs, can be played, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach writes. “We are competitors man, so we want to go out there and finish the season,’‘ Kanter said on Zoom. “Especially, like, it’s crazy — we actually have a really good chance to go out there and win a championship.”
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson might have the league’s most team-friendly contract, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The big man has a $1.66MM salary for next season with a $1.8MM team option for 2021/22, Berman notes. The Knicks’ net rating improves by 5.3 points per 100 possessions with Robinson on the court, Berman adds.
  • The Nets’ European players — Dzanan Musa, Rodions Kurucs and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot — have been separated from their families indefinitely during the coronavirus pandemic, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. Travel restrictions prevent them from reuniting with their families. “They are coping, and their families are coping with this. But that’s really difficult,” Nets GM Sean Marks said. “Their families are completely separated. They’re not in the same time zone, they’re in completely different countries, and obviously there is a travel ban in place.”