Gracin Bakumanya

Trey Burke, 15 Other FAs Attend Bucks’ Mini-Camp

The Bucks are hosting a free agent mini-camp on Tuesday and Wednesday this week as they look to fill out their training camp roster and identify candidates to play for their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, according to Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The mini-camp, which will give the club a chance to evaluate possible camp invitees, includes a handful of notable names among its 16 participants.

Former lottery picks Trey Burke and Hasheem Thabeet are among the first-rounders who will be in attendance at the mini-camp, as Velazquez details. MarShon Brooks, Toney Douglas, Archie Goodwin, R.J. Hunter, John Jenkins, Perry Jones, and James Young are also set to get a look from the Bucks.

The Bucks don’t have a ton of flexibility to add more players to their offseason roster, having already locked up 16 players to NBA deals and two more to two-way contracts. That leaves just a pair of openings on the team’s 20-man training camp roster. Still, two of those roster players – Gary Payton II and JeQuan Lewis – are on non-guaranteed contracts, so Milwaukee has some flexibility if it wants to make changes at the back of its roster.

In addition to the players listed above, the following free agents are attending the Bucks’ mini-camp, per Velazquez: Cliff Alexander, Gracin Bakumanya, Trahson Burrell, Jeremy Evans, Aaron Harrison, Luke Petrasek, and Jacob Pullen.

Any player that signs with the Bucks figures to get a minimum salary deal that is non-guaranteed or features a very modest guarantee, since the Bucks are currently slightly above the luxury tax line.

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Suns Waive Bakumanya, Cooke, Harrison

The Suns trimmed their roster to 16 players by waiving center Gracin Bakumanya, forward Derek Cooke Jr. and guard Shaquille Harrison, the team announced today.

All three players signed with Phoenix on September 25th, but none saw any playing time during the team’s first three preseason games. They will all likely wind up with the Suns’ D-League affiliate, suggests Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. (Twitter link).

Bakumanya was an international early-entry candidate who hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was part of the Rockets’ summer league team and spent last season in France.

Cooke has a history with the organization. He played for the Suns’ D-League affiliate in Bakersfield last year and was part of the Phoenix entry in the summer league.

Harrison went undrafted after playing college ball at Tulsa and earning All-American Athletic Conference second team honors.

All teams must cut their rosters down to 15 players by October 24th.

Contract Details: Brand, Rockets, Thunder, Pacers

With training camps underway, teams have now officially finalized the contract agreements with various camp invitees that had been reported over the past several weeks, meaning we have plenty of contract details to round up. As usual, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has been busy reporting those details, updating his salary pages for teams around the NBA.

Because we have so many updates to pass along from Pincus, we’ll divide them up by players who received some guaranteed money from their teams, and those who didn’t. All of the links below point to the Basketball Insiders team salary pages, so be sure to click through for additional information.

Here are the latest salary updates from across the league, via Pincus:

Players receiving guaranteed money:

These players aren’t necessarily assured of regular-season roster spots. In fact, many of them likely received guarantees as an incentive to accept a D-League assignment. Still, for some players, larger guarantees should increase their odds of making 15-man rosters.

  • Thomas Walkup (Bulls): One year, minimum salary. $69.5K guaranteed.
  • Keith Benson (Heat): Two years, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Henry Sims (Jazz): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Alex Poythress (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $35,381 guaranteed.
  • Kevin Seraphin (Pacers): Two years, $3.681MM. First year ($1.8MM) guaranteed.
  • Julyan Stone (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Gary Payton II (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. First year ($543,471) guaranteed.
  • Isaiah Taylor (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $275K guaranteed.
  • Cat Barber (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Elton Brand (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $1MM guaranteed.
  • Derrick Jones (Suns): Three years, minimum salary. $42.5K guaranteed.
  • Alex Caruso (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Chris Wright (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $100K guaranteed.

Players receiving no guaranteed money:

The following players all signed one-year, minimum salary contracts with no guaranteed money. Many of these deals are “summer contracts,” which won’t count against a team’s cap unless the player earns a spot on the 15-man roster.

Western Notes: Payne, Suns, Barnes, Wolves Coaches

Second-year Thunder guard Cameron Payne has shown encouraging signs in his recovery from the Jones fracture surgery he had in July, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Payne has gone through full contact during Oklahoma City’s first two days of practice and is expected to participate in a scrimmage on Tuesday. Coach Billy Donovan said Payne has been working to recapture his timing, but the medical staff hasn’t recommended any limitations on his playing time. “He probably feels like the more he can play, the more comfortable he’ll get back into a routine,” Donovan said. “He’s obviously been in practice. He’s been active. Cam’s got a really, really instinctive game. He’s got a good feel for the game. I think getting his timing back playing, because he hasn’t done a lot of 5-on-5 will take him a little bit of time. But he looks good; he’s moving well.”

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The four players the Suns added to their training camp roster today will probably end up in the D-League, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix reached agreements with undrafted rookies Gracin Bakumanya, Shaquille Harrison and Derrick Jones, along with returning D-League player Derek Cooke. Teams can assign up to four waived players to the D-League as long as they aren’t claimed by other organizations.
  • As he gets ready for his first training camp with the Kings, one of Matt Barnes‘ objectives will be to improve team chemistry, relays Andy Furillo of The Sacramento Bee. The 36-year-old Barnes agreed to a two-year, $12MM contract this summer to come to Sacramento. He joins an organization that was beset by internal problems last season, especially between star big man DeMarcus Cousins and former coach George Karl. “I’ve never been a star player, so to speak,” Barnes said, “but I’ve been one of the leaders, one of the voices of reason, and I have, I think, an uncanny ability to be able to get through to everybody, and not so much by talking. I lead by example, so that when I do talk, people listen, and I’m respected.”
  • The Timberwolves finalized their coaching staff today, the team announced on its website. Minnesota named Andy Greer and Rick Brunson as assistant coaches, Peter Patton as shooting coach and Daisuke Yoshimoto as special assistant to the president of basketball operations. In addition, Vince Legarza was promoted to player development coach.

Suns Sign Bakumanya, Cooke, Harrison, Jones

The Suns signed four players just before the start of training camp, the team announced today on its website. The addition of Gracin Bakumanya, Derek Cooke, Shaquille Harrison and Derrick Jones gives Phoenix 19 players under contract heading into the first day of camp on Monday.

Bakumanya, a 6’11” center, was an international early-entry candidate who wasn’t selected in June’s draft. A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bakumanya played in France last season and was part of the Rockets’ summer league team.

A 6’9″ power forward, Cooke played for the Suns’ D-League affiliate in Bakersfield last season, averaging 4.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in 47 games. Cooke, a Wyoming alumnus, played for the Suns’ team in the summer league.

Harrison, formerly of Tulsa, also went undrafted this year. A 6-4 guard, he averaged 15.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists as a senior and earned All-American Athletic Conference second team honors the past two seasons.

Jones, a 6’7″ power forward, spent one season at UNLV before entering the draft. The 19-year-old averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 30 games with the Runnin’ Rebels.

Central Rumors: Cavaliers, Love, Bucks, Pistons

After winning a championship, the Cavaliers may not be as inclined to retool their roster as they otherwise might have been, but the team is still expected to listen to any trade inquiries it receives on Kevin Love, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Appearing on Zach Lowe’s podcast (hat tip to RealGM.com), Windhorst identified the Celtics as the ideal trade partner for Love, suggesting that the Cavaliers “really like” Avery Bradley and could also ask for Marcus Smart and a draft pick (not the No. 3) if Boston shows interest in making a deal.

While we wait to see if those hypothetical trade talks come to fruition, let’s round up a few more items from out of the Central division…

  • While plenty of reports have suggested Thursday could be a busy trade night around the NBA, Bucks general manager John Hammond isn’t expecting much movement at the top of the board, telling reporters that “people feel good about this draft” (Twitter link).
  • Hammond spoke a little more about the Bucks‘ draft and trade options, telling reporters that Milwaukee is targeting three or four players with the No. 10 pick, and hasn’t ruled out a big man at that spot (Twitter links via Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Hammond was also asked about rumors that the Celtics may be targeting Khris Middleton, and while he declined to comment on that report, he noted that many Bucks players have “great value around the league” (Twitter links via Gardner).
  • Wes Washpun (Northern Iowa), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Cinmeon Bowers (Auburn), and Gracin Bakumanya (Democratic Republic of Congo) participated in a workout for the Bucks today, the team announced in a press release.
  • The Pistons are hosting Florida State’s Malik Beasley for a workout today, according to David Mayo of MLive.com (Twitter link). Beasley is ranked 17th on Chad Ford’s ESPN big board and 23rd at DraftExpress.com, so he’s a candidate to be on the board when Detroit picks 18th overall.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News doesn’t mention Beasley in his list of five potential targets for the Pistons at No. 18, instead naming Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), and Ivica Zubac (Croatia), among others.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Poeltl, Thunder, Jazz

Former Utah big man Jakob Poeltl worked out for the Timberwolves earlier this week, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), who notes that the club has done its homework on every possible top-five prospect. Poeltl currently ranks eighth on DraftExpress.com’s big board and 12th on Chad Ford’s at ESPN.com.

Here’s more from around the NBA’s Northwest division:

  • With the NBA increasing its salary cap projection for 2016/17 to $94MM, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman explores what that would mean for the Thunder and Kevin Durant.
  • The Nuggets and Jazz are both holding pre-draft workouts on Saturday, according to announcements issued by the teams. Denver will be hosting Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey) and Tanner Samson (Elon Phoenix), while the Jazz (Twitter link) are taking a look at Ante Zizic (Croatia), Jordan Tolbert (SMU), and Gracin Bakumanya (Democratic Republic of Congo).
  • Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune examines why it has been a challenge for the Jazz to attract top-level prospects for pre-draft workouts over the last couple years.
  • Timberwolves CEO Rob Moor has stepped down from his position, the team announced today. Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune discusses the move, which shouldn’t have a real impact on Minnesota’s basketball operations.