Greg Brown

Trail Blazers Notes: Nurkic, Brown, Offseason Grade

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is optimistic about his role on the team after the hiring of Chauncey Billups as head coach, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. Billups mentioned Nurkic during his introductory press conference, telling reporters, “I want to get more out of Nurk this year. He’s a weapon that most teams don’t have.” The new coach talked about installing an inside-out offense that will take advantage of Nurkic’s low-post scoring abilities as well as the team’s shooting prowess.

It was welcome news for Nurkic, who felt like his relationship with the organization was “fraying” after last season’s playoff loss to the Nuggets, Quick adds. Nurkic wasn’t happy with the way he was used by former coach Terry Stotts and was starting to doubt his future in Portland. He met with Billups after hearing his comments and believes things will be different this season.

“It’s not a question anymore whether I want to be here or not,” Nurkic said. “When the team hired Chauncey and I have a conversation with him and (assistant) Roy Rogers, there was no doubt. I’m 100 percent committed to Blazers.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Nurkic has fully recovered from a left thumb injury he suffered in the playoffs, Quick adds in the same story. He hurt the thumb in Game 4 of the series and it continued to bother him into the summer. “I had that thumb thing to take care of, so I did a bunch of shooting to get my touch back,” Nurkic said.
  • Second-round pick Greg Brown is relying on veterans to teach him about the NBA, notes Casey Holdahl of NBA.com. Brown played alongside Michael Beasley, Kenneth Faried and Emmanuel Mudiay during Summer League and he continues to seek advice at the team’s practice facility as training camp nears. “We had Larry Nance Jr. come in, I’m excited to see how he thinks about the league, pick his brain,” Brown said. “(Damian Lillard) for sure, CJ (McCollum) for sure, (Nassir Little) — I’ve been knowing Nas since high school, see how his transition is. Everybody has their story and you can pick something from their story and put it in yours to help you move further.”
  • The Blazers’ offseason gets a C-plus grade from Zach Harper of the Athletic, who says the additions of Nance and Cody Zeller will help the interior defense, but he doesn’t see much improvement otherwise. Harper adds that questions about Lillard’s future will hang over the franchise until the situation is resolved.

Northwest Notes: Barton, Green, Robinson-Earl, Muscala, Brown

In an Instagram video, ESPN’s Bobby Marks broke down two of the Nuggets’ contracts, clarifying that Will Barton is on a descending two-year deal, with $30MM fully guaranteed. He’ll receive $15.6MM in year one and $14.37MM in year two. Keith Smith of Spotrac adds that Barton’s deal includes $1MM in unlikely bonuses in each of the two years.

Marks also outlined Nuggets’ forward Jeff Green‘s new contract, which is a two-year, $9MM pact with $1MM in bonuses. Green will have a player option in year two, as had been previously reported. Marks notes that Green had been on minimum-salary contracts for several seasons, so this contract represents a big win for him and his agent.

We have more news from around the Northwest Division:

  • While the general terms of the Thunder’s No. 32 pick Jeremiah Robinson-Earl have been previously reported, Keith Smith provides a breakdown of the exact amount of Robinson-Earl’s four-year deal. The ex-Villanova Wildcat will receive two years at $2MM, fully guaranteed, followed by $1.9MM non-guaranteed in year three, and a non-guaranteed team option of $1.98MM in year four. OKC signed Robinson-Earl using part of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype confirms via tweet that Mike Muscala‘s contract with the Thunder is for $7MM over two years, and adds that the second year is a team option. This will be the third straight season in OKC for the 30-year-old center
  • Scotto also clarifies the terms of Greg Brown III’s deal with the Trail Blazers. The 43rd pick, for whom the Blazers traded a 2026 second-round pick and cash considerations, will receive a three-year, $4.3MM (minimum-salary) deal, with the first two years fully guaranteed. The final year of the contract will be non-guaranteed. The signing used Portland’s mid-level exception.

Trail Blazers Sign Second-Rounder Greg Brown

The Trail Blazers have officially signed second-round pick Greg Brown to his first NBA contract, the team announced today in a press release.

A 6’9″ forward, Brown was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team during his lone year with the Longhorns. Across 26 games, including 24 starts, Brown averaged 9.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG, and 0.6 SPG in just 20.6 MPG.

The Blazers entered draft night without any picks in either round, but reached a deal to acquire the No. 43 pick from the Pelicans in exchange for a 2026 second-round pick and $2MM in cash. The team used that selection to draft Brown.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

Terms of the contract agreement weren’t disclosed, but there’s no indication it’s a two-way deal. I’d expect Brown to earn the rookie minimum or something close to it, with at least one or two years guaranteed. Assuming Portland used a portion of its mid-level exception to complete the signing, a deal that covers three seasons seems likely.

The Trail Blazers now have 13 players on standard contracts, with Trendon Watford on a two-way deal.

Blazers Acquire No. 43 Pick Greg Brown From Pelicans

11:23pm: The trade is now official, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced on the NBA’s draft broadcast.

The Blazers are sending New Orleans a 2026 second-rounder in the deal, tweets Jason Quick of The Athletic. The Pelicans are also receiving cash considerations, as Lopez tweets.


10:53pm: The Trail Blazers have agreed to acquire the No. 43 pick in the draft from the Pelicans, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Portland is using its newly-acquired selection to nab Texas power forward Greg Brown. Portland had no picks heading into the night.

Andrew Lopez of ESPN reports (Twitter link) that the Trail Blazers will be sending out a future second-rounder to the Pelicans in exchange for Brown.

The 6’9″ Brown was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team during his lone year with the Longhorns. Across 26 games, including 24 starts, Brown averaged 9.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG, and 0.6 SPG in just 20.6 MPG.

The Pelicans continue to add to their war chest of future draft equity with the move. They still will have had multiple selections in this draft when the dust settles, having drafted Virginia guard Trey Murphy with the No. 17 pick and Alabama forward Herb Jones with the No. 35 pick.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Pacific Notes: Ayton, K. Jones, Lakers, Warriors

Deandre Ayton, fresh off of his first NBA Finals appearance with the Suns, is eligible for a five-year, $168MM max contract that would kick in at the start of the 2022/23 season, and Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic takes a look at what could be next for the big man.

Ayton’s career lows in PPG and APG were a result more of the context of adding Chris Paul and reorganizing the offense, rather than any regression on Ayton’s end, Rankin writes. In fact, Ayton’s growth as a team-first player willing to do whatever it takes for the success of the Suns adds even more appeal for the club as it decides if it will offer him a max deal.

If sacrificing is leading the wins and where we are today, I’ll sacrifice everything, you know what I’m saying,” Ayton said. “Everything (Paul’s) told me has led up to here, so why stop now?

We have more news from the Pacific Division:

Southeast Workouts: Wizards, Magic, Hornets, Hawks

The Wizards worked out six draft prospects today, and there are four more scheduled for tomorrow, according to team announcements. Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey, Texas’ Greg Brown III, and Isaiah Todd, of the G League Ignite, headlined today’s workouts, along with Jay Huff, Blake Francis, and Colbey Ross.

Tomorrow’s slate of workouts will include Troy Baxter Jr., Obadiah Noel, Jamorko Pickett, and Devontae Shuler.

We have more draft workout news from around the Southeast Division:

  • Corey Kispert, the sharp-shooting senior out of Gonzaga, worked out today for the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The 6’6″ guard/forward would fill a much-needed role for a Magic team that is well-stocked at some positions but still low on shooters.
  • The Hornets worked out potential lottery pick Jalen Johnson today, according to a tweet from the team. Johnson had a turbulent year at Duke, and eventually withdrew from the program, but came in with a high pedigree and an intriguing point-forward skillset.
  • Ruot Monyyong, out of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will work out for the Hawks on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The 6’10 big man was the 2019/20 All-Sun Defensive Player of the Year.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)

Draft Notes: Giddey, Pro Days, Combine, G League Elite Camp

Potential lottery pick Josh Giddey isn’t expected to attend the NBA draft combine in Chicago or any pre-draft workouts, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Instead, scouts will get a look at Giddey later this month when his Australian team travels to Las Vegas for exhibition games with Team USA, Spain, Nigeria and Argentina.

The 6’8″ shooting guard has been moving up draft boards and ranks No. 13 on ESPN’s latest list of prospects. Giddey, 18, played this season with the Adelaide 36ers and averaged 10.9 points, 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

Draft Notes: G. Brown, Stewart, Mikhailovskii, Hollatz, More

Texas forward Greg Brown is going pro after a single college season, announcing on Instagram that he has decided to enter the 2021 NBA draft and has signed with BDA Sports for representation.

Brown put up relatively modest numbers as a freshman for the Longhorns in 2020/21, averaging 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 26 games (20.6 MPG). However, his athleticism and his long-term upside make him an intriguing prospect — ESPN ranks him at No. 29 on its big board for 2021.

Here are several more draft-related notes and updates:

  • After initially testing the draft waters, Mississippi State sophomore wing D.J. Stewart has decided to hire an agent and remain in the draft, according to Paul Jones of Gene’s Page. Stewart comes in at No. 86 on ESPN’s top-100 list.
  • Russian wing Nikita Mikhailovskii, who sneaks onto ESPN’s big board at No. 94, is entering the draft, agent Arturs Kalnitis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The 20-year-old averaged 8.5 PPG on .468/.418/.811 shooting in 24 games (18.3 MPG) for BC Avtodor this season.
  • German guard Justus Hollatz has also declared for the draft, according to agent Dragan Jankovski of BeoBasket (Twitter link). Hollatz currently plays for the Hamburg Towers in Germany.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report passes along some of the latest buzz he has heard on this year’s draft-eligible prospects, identifying Joshua Primo and JT Thor as potential risers on NBA teams’ boards.
  • Looking ahead to the 2022 NBA draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) provides his impressions of some of the top prospects who participated in the Iverson Classic over the weekend, including Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.

And-Ones: G League Union, Brown, Lin, Terry

G League players will begin deciding on Saturday whether to form a union, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The National Basketball Players Association is assisting in the formation of a G League-governed union, Wojnarowski continues.

By creating a union, the players could bargain with the NBA and G League on issues such as housing, salary and travel, Wojnarowski writes.  A majority of G League players must sign an electronic authorization card for passage.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Five-star recruit Greg Brown turned down a $400K offer to join the G League’s professional pathway program and opted to sign with Texas, Jeff Goodman of GoodmanHoops tweets. Brown, a 6’9” power forward, could have joined fellow top recruits Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd in the program but decided to spend next season with the Longhorns. “Just not rushing the process … the NBA is always going to be there,” Brown told Goodman.
  • Some foreign players are essentially stuck in China until the Chinese Basketball Association decides whether to resume its season, former NBA guard Jeremy Lin told USA Today’s Mark Medina.  Lin has been practicing regularly with the Beijing Ducks. The CBA was expected to restart in April but those plans were shelved due to continuing concerns about players contracting the novel coronavirus. “We’re basically just waiting until June to decide whether we play in July or not,” Lin said. “That’s the current situation. We’re kind of in limbo right now.”
  • Longtime NBA player Jason Terry has accepted an assistant coaching position with the University of Arizona, Jason Scheer of 247Sports reports. The news regarding Terry, who played for the Wildcats from 1995-99, won’t be official for several weeks since the school currently has a hiring freeze.