Grant Riller

Summer League Commitments: Sixers, Pelicans, Timberwolves

The Sixers have received a summer league commitment from guard Grant Riller, his agent Scott Nichols of Rize Management told Hoops Rumors. The 25-year-old spent time on a two-way contract with the team this past season.

Riller was waived in December after undergoing shoulder surgery, which came with a four-to-six-month timetable. Riller has fully recovered and worked out for multiple teams before committing to the Sixers, who open summer league play against the Raptors on July 9.

Here are some other commitments for this year’s summer league:

  • Point guard Jared Harper will be playing with the Pelicans, Hoops Rumors has learned. Harper signed a two-way deal in March and will soon become a free agent. He averaged 21.2 points and 7.2 assists in the G League this season, shooting an efficient 50% from the floor.
  • Former Alabama guard John Petty Jr. will also play with the Pelicans during summer league, Hoops Rumors has learned. The 23-year-old signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the franchise last fall.
  • The Timberwolves are adding guard Kahlil Whitney to their summer league roster, a source told Hoops Rumors. The 21-year-old spent time with the Rockets’ G League team this past season.

Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans Among FAs Attending Mavs’ Mini-Camp

The Mavericks are hosting a free agent mini-camp this week that will have over 30 players in attendance, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter).

The list of participants includes a handful with extensive NBA experience, including veteran guards Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway.

Jalen Lecque, Chris Clemons, Emanuel Terry, Grant Riller, Jay Huff, and Tyler Hall are among the other mini-camp invitees who have played in at least one regular season NBA game. A.J. Lawson, Andrew Andrews, Isaiah Brown, Justin Gorham, and Sekou Wiggs are some of the participants without NBA experience (Twitter links).

Teams are permitted to carry up to 20 players during the offseason, giving them some flexibility to take fliers on veterans or youngsters who could come to training camp on non-guaranteed contracts and compete for a 15-man roster spot.

It’s possible one or more of the players at Dallas’ mini-camp this week will make a strong enough impression to earn a camp invite. As Shaw notes, some of the mini-camp participants could also be invited to join the Mavericks’ Summer League team next month.

It’s worth noting that even after agreeing to trade four players for Christian Wood, the Mavs don’t project to have a ton of open 15-man roster spots for 2022/23. Dallas will have nine players on guaranteed salaries, plus Maxi Kleber and Frank Ntilikina on non-guaranteed contracts. Jalen Brunson and Theo Pinson are free agents, but the team reportedly wants to bring back both. If all of those players return, it would leave just two openings on the Mavs’ standard regular season roster.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Workouts, Jokic, Wolves, Roddy

The Jazz hosted another free agent mini-camp this week, bringing in 20 players on Monday and Tuesday for a closer look, as our JD Shaw relays (Twitter links). While not all of the invitees have NBA experience, there are a handful of noteworthy names in the group, including former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker. Big man Reggie Perry, swingman Denzel Valentine, forward Bruno Caboclo, and guards Langston Galloway, Sindarius Thornwell, and Grant Riller were among the other players to audition for Utah.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Jazz are working out six more draft-eligible prospects on Wednesday, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, who tweets that Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Tommy Kuhse (Saint Mary’s), Josh Minott (Memphis), Darryl Morsell (Marquette), Henri Drell (G League), and Jermaine Samuels (Villanova) will be in town.
  • Nuggets star and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic has committed to playing for the Serbian national team this offseason, the Serbian Basketball Federation announced on Wednesday (hat tip to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops). Jokic likely won’t participate in the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup that will take place in a couple weeks, but he’s expected to be available later in the summer for the 2022 EuroBasket tournament.
  • Colorado State forward David Roddy, who went to high school in Minnesota, is working out for his hometown Timberwolves on Wednesday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Roddy, the No. 30 prospect on ESPN’s big board, could be an option for the Wolves in the first round at No. 19 or in the second round if he slips — Minnesota holds the 40th, 48th, and 50th overall picks.

Sixers Notes: Harris, Draft Plans, Warren, Riller, J. Williams

Tobias Harris‘ large contract makes his future with the Sixers uncertain, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, who takes a deep dive into what the team should do with the veteran forward.

Neubeck notes that Harris, who will make $37.63MM in 2022/23 and $39.27MM in ’23/24, has roughly twice the salary of other productive NBA starters, limiting the team’s financial flexibility. Harris also saw his offensive role reduced following the trade for James Harden, becoming more of a complementary spot-up shooter.

In 73 regular season games, Harris averaged 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 3.5 APG on .482/.367/.842 shooting. He had a nice postseason run, playing improved defense while averaging 16.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.1 SPG on .500/.386/.864 shooting in 12 games.

As Neubeck writes, Harris is paid like a star, but produces more like a high-end starter. Ultimately, Neubeck believes the most likely outcome is that the Sixers will hold onto Harris through next season, at which point his expiring contract in ’23/24 could make him more valuable.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • In a separate article for PhillyVoice, Neubeck thinks the Sixers will stand pat on draft night and select a player who can step into an immediate rotation role with the No. 23 pick. However, he notes that things change quickly in the NBA, so that outcome isn’t set in stone by any means. Neubeck states that Danny Green, whose name has been floated in trade rumors, underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL roughly two weeks ago.
  • Within the same piece, Neubeck says that “talk has picked up some” that forward T.J. Warren, an unrestricted free agent this summer, could receive a relatively large, one-year, $10+MM “prove-it” deal from a rebuilding club. Warren has played just four games over the past two seasons, so the injury concerns are obvious. If he’s unable to land such a deal, Neubeck thinks the Sixers and other contending clubs will likely pursue Warren and try to sell him on rebuilding his value on a short-term deal, similar to what happened with Victor Oladipo in Miami.
  • Free agent point guard Grant Riller has a workout scheduled with the Sixers later this week, a source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Riller spent time on two-way contracts with Philadelphia and Charlotte the past couple seasons. The 25-year-old was waived by the Sixers in December when he injured his shoulder, which required surgery, but he’s fully recovered now.
  • Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams could be an intriguing option if he’s still available at No. 23, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He’s ranked No. 21 on ESPN’s big board and averaged 18 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .513/.396/.809 shooting for the Broncos in ’21/22.

And-Ones: Riller, Offseason, Micic, Thunder, BIG3

Former Sixers guard Grant Riller has fully recovered from shoulder surgery and plans to work out for teams ahead of free agency this summer, a league source told Hoops Rumors. Riller spent time on two-way contracts with Philadelphia this season and Charlotte last season.

The 25-year-old started the 2021/22 season with Philadelphia, but he was waived upon needing surgery. The operation cost Riller over four months of action and ultimately ended his campaign. He averaged 13.1 points and 3.5 assists in 11 G League games, shooting an efficient 49% from the floor and 46% from deep.

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

  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider-only link) examines the offseason for all 30 teams, identifying every club’s biggest questions and priorities. The NBA draft will be held on June 23, while free agency is set to commence in early July. Some of the biggest free agents will include Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Suns center Deandre Ayton (restricted) and Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson. Nets star Kyrie Irving, Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Sixers guard James Harden also hold player options that could be declined.
  • Donatas Urbonas of examines how Serbian star Vasilije Micic appears ready to make a jump to the NBA. Micic, whose NBA draft rights are held by the Thunder, played for Anadolu Efes in Turkey this season and could soon join the NBA if Oklahoma City pushes to make it happen. “I’m in a situation where I have two more years of the contract no matter what happens. But of course, I like to look at all kinds of challenges. If this option comes out, I would be ready to risk (it),” he said.
  • Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports shares the schedule for this year’s BIG3, which will tip off on June 18 in Chicago. The season will last 12 weeks and feature the league’s first-ever All-Star Game, according to Haynes. The draft will be held on May 25.

Atlantic Notes: Riller, Celtics, Stevens, Walker, McBride

Grant Riller was waived by the Sixers on Sunday and new details have emerged why that move was made. He’s undergoing right shoulder surgery and will miss the next four-to-six months, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Riller was on a two-way contract and could return to Philly next season after he recovers. Riller, a 24-year-old point guard, suffered a torn meniscus in early October and injured the shoulder in a G League game last month.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Boston has new vaccine requirements for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment establishments going into effect next month, according to a Boston Globe report. However, all professional athletes are exempt, meaning it won’t have any impact on the Celtics or visiting players, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps tweets. Under the new mandate, proof of at least one vaccine dose will be required after January 15 to enter those facilities except for medical or religious reasons.
  • Brad Stevens has had far more hits than misses in the moves he’s made since becoming president of basketball operations 200 days ago, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston opines. Forsberg breaks down each transaction while noting that those moves can’t be fully judged until Stevens utilizes the cap flexibility generated by them.
  • Kemba Walker and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau have not discussed the point guard’s situation since he was removed from the rotation, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. However, Walker doesn’t want to be a distraction. “I’m not starting, I ain’t playing,” Walker said. “So I’m here for my team, I’m here for my teammates. I can’t say it enough. Whatever’s asked of me that’s what I’m here for.” Walker erupted for 29 points in 37 minutes for the depleted Knicks on Saturday, his first action since Nov. 26.
  • Thibodeau has been impressed by the team’s rookies, particularly guard Miles McBride, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. “The thing that I was most proud of is the way those guys all worked. ,,, they’ve been phenomenal and not just in the way they work but when they were competing in practice,” he said. McBride is currently in the health and safety protocols.

Sixers Sign Myles Powell, Waive Grant Riller

DECEMBER 19: The Sixers have officially signed Powell to a two-way deal and waived Riller, according to Derek Bodner of The Daily Six newsletter (via Twitter).

DECEMBER 18: The Sixers will sign former Seton Hall standout Myles Powell to a two-way contract, according to Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Current two-way player Grant Riller will be waived to make room on the roster, Neubeck adds.

Powell is currently with the Westchester Knicks in the G League, where he had 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in the only game he has played this year. He also appeared in 13 games for Westchester last season.

Powell has been seeking an NBA opportunity since going undrafted in 2020. He has signed three times with the Knicks, only to be waived shortly thereafter. The last time was in mid-October so that New York could retain his G League rights and give him an Exhibit 10 bonus for returning to Westchester.

He was a prolific scorer at Seton Hall, putting up 21.0 PPG in 2020 while earning Big East Player of the Year and first-team All-American honors.

Riller, a 24-year-old point guard, has been slowed by injuries since signing with Philadelphia in August and hasn’t appeared in any games this season. He suffered a torn meniscus in early October and injured his right shoulder in a G League game last month. He played seven games for the Hornets last season.

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Walker, Kanter, Riller

Ahead of the Knicks‘ eventual 112-110 loss to their cross-town rival Nets on Tuesday night, New York All-Star forward Julius Randle praised Brooklyn All-Star forward Kevin Durant, per Peter Botte of the New York Post.

“He’s the best player in the league, for sure,” Randle raved on Monday. “[I’ve] never seen a 7-footer that skilled… [He can] do anything, everything, on the court. No weakness. That’s him. He’s tough. Great player, but I love competing against him.”

In an MVP-level season for the Nets, Durant is averaging 28.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 5.6 APG in 35.8 MPG, with a shooting line of .539/.389/.863.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The demotion of Kemba Walker from starting Knicks point guard to a DNP-CD serves as clear evidence of head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s zeal to win, per Ian O’Connor of the New York Post. Though the move for the 31-year-old hometown hero may not be a popular one, Thibodeau knows it will help the club’s defense significantly. “I just don’t like the way we’ve been trending, the inconsistency of our team,” Thibodeau said. “I want to get bigger. I want our defense to get bigger at the point of the attack.” The six-foot Walker, never a good defender, has seen his efficacy on both sides of the ball decline following knee injuries while with the Celtics. Fred Katz of The Athletic notes that the disparity in points per possession when Walker plays as opposed to when he sits represents the difference between what would be the best defensive efficiency in the NBA (when he sits) and what would be the worst (when he plays).
  • Upon becoming a US citizen on Monday, Celtics reserve center Enes Kanter has officially changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). “It was really important to me” to acknowledge the freedom that the Turkish native gets to enjoy as an American citizen, the freshly-anointed Kanter Freedom said.
  • Sixers two-way player Grant Riller injured his right shoulder during a contest for Philadelphia’s NBA G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, this past Sunday, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Bodner adds that Riller’s health status will be reassessed in a week. The No. 56 pick in 2020 out of the College of Charleston, Riller has yet to appear in a game for the Sixers this season. The 6’2″ point guard is averaging 5.5 PPG, 2.3 APG and 1.5 RPG across four games for Delaware.

Atlantic Notes: Curry, Bassey, Riller, Fournier

Seth Curry has been one of the bright spots in the early portion of the season for the Sixers, averaging a career-high 15.7 PPG with an outstanding shooting line of .515/.443/.935. Curry recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about a number of topics, including the early portion of his career, his breakout season, the Ben Simmons situation, career goals, and more.

Scotto asked Curry what has led him to the breakout season he’s having. Curry says he’s a well-rounded offensive player, no matter who’s in the lineup.

I think I’m a pretty versatile player. I can catch and shoot, stretch the floor, play off guys who draw a lot of attention like Joel [Embiid] and Ben [Simmons]. When those guys are out, I feel like I can play in the pick-and-roll. My mid-range game is pretty good. I think I can put the ball on the floor and score. I just pride myself on being able to do a lot of different things offensively and taking good shots,” Curry said.

The interview is worth checking out in full.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Sixers rookie center Charles Bassey, the last 2021 draft pick to sign a contract, recently flashed significant potential in Embiid’s absence, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Sixers two-way player Grant Riller has recovered from meniscus surgery and is now playing in the G League, tweets Gina Mizell of the Inquirer.
  • Knicks guard Evan Fournier knows he needs to bring more to the table earlier in the game in light of his recent fourth-quarter benchings, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I think the situation right now is I don’t know how many minutes I’m going to play, so I have to have the mindset of if I’m going to play 20 minutes, then just come out the gate with extreme energy,” Fournier said. “Being very alert. Being ultra-aggressive. And trying to have an impact.”

Sixers Notes: Simmons, Brogdon, Riller, Defense

Recent reports have indicated that Sixers star Ben Simmons and his representatives fully understand the financial ramifications of the 25-year-old’s holdout and are prepared to ride it out, but Kyle Neubeck of hears that those financial ramifications are starting to hit home for Simmons’ camp.

According to Neubeck, after Simmons was fined approximately $360K for missing Philadelphia’s first preseason game on Monday, his reps had another conversation with the players’ union. Sources tell that it was reiterated during that discussion that Simmons wouldn’t be able to recoup the money he loses in fines.

As Neubeck writes, Simmons would have the ability to attempt to recoup his lost salary through the arbitration process, but the general belief is that he’d be unsuccessful going that route. The only real path to getting that money back would be reaching a settlement with the 76ers, but the team will have little incentive to negotiate such a deal.

Here’s more on Simmons and the Sixers:

  • A source tells Neubeck that Simmons’ camp believes the development of the former No. 1 pick has been evaluated on an “accelerated timeline,” since he missed his rookie season and then was expected to be a key part of a contending team almost instantly. Most other top picks join bad teams and don’t face such intense scrutiny early in their careers, Simmons’ camp has contended. While some members of the Sixers are sympathetic to that argument, they believe it “went out the window” after he signed a maximum-salary contract, writes Neubeck.
  • In addition to discussing Caris LeVert, the Sixers have also inquired about Malcolm Brogdon in their trade conversations with the Pacers, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. Brogdon’s name surfaced in Simmons-related rumors early in the offseason as well.
  • Grant Riller, who is on a two-way contract with the 76ers, suffered a torn left meniscus on Monday, a team official said today (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic). Riller is undergoing surgery and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
  • Rich Hofmann of The Athletic examines the Sixers’ game plan without Simmons, particularly on defense, where last season’s Defensive Player of the Year runner-up will be missed most. “It’s a collective thing,” swingman Danny Green said. “We’re not going to leave each assignment that Ben has taken on to one person. We’re going to do it as a group.”