Henry Ellenson

NBA G League Announces 2020/21 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on Monday, Delaware Blue Coats forward Paul Reed – who is on a two-way contract with the Sixers – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Reed was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by MVP runner-up Kevin Porter Jr. of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as well as Oklahoma City Blue big man Moses Brown, Lakeland Magic forward Mamadi Diakite, and Westchester Knicks guard Jared Harper. All of those players are currently on either standard NBA contracts or two-way deals.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently under contract with NBA teams or have past NBA experience.

The complete list of the 2020/21 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Jared Harper (Westchester Knicks) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Malachi Flynn (Raptors 905) *
  • Brodric Thomas (Canton Charge) ^
  • KJ Martin (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Tahjere McCall (Lakeland Magic)
  • Gary Payton II (Raptors 905)

Of the 18 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Brissett, Uthoff, McCall, and Payton – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’20/21 season began. All four of them have previous NBA experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers’ Paul Reed Named G League Rookie Of The Year, MVP

Sixers two-way player Paul Reed has a pair of two major NBA G League awards for the 2020/21 season, having been named the NBAGL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, per a press release. He beat out Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. and Raptors 905 big man Henry Ellenson, who finished second and third, respectively, in MVP voting.

Reed, the 58th overall pick in the 2020 draft, spent the entire G League season at the NBAGL bubble in Walt Disney World, appearing in all 15 games and helping to lead the Delaware Blue Coats to a 10-5 record and a spot in the G League Finals.

In 31.5 minutes per contest, Reed filled up the box score with 22.3 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.8 BPG. He also posted a scorching .588/.444/.789 shooting line.

Reed hasn’t seen much action at the NBA level so far this season, logging just 64 minutes in seven games for Philadelphia. However, he’s considered a promising young prospect and is expected to have his two-way deal turned into a standard contract at some point.

Reed is the third player to be named the G League Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, joining Tim Frazier (2015) and Devin Brown (2003).

Raptors Sign Henry Ellenson To 10-Day Contract

5:18pm: The signing is official, the team announced in a press release.

10:11am: The Raptors will fill the open spot on their 15-man roster by signing free agent power forward Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Ellenson, who was in camp with Toronto in December, had been playing for the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble for the last month. Toronto’s NBAGL affiliate was eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday night, and it appears the Raptors are wasting no time in calling up the 24-year-old to the NBA club.

The 18th overall pick in 2016, Ellenson has appeared in a total of 81 NBA regular season contests for the Pistons, Knicks, and Nets, averaging just 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 9.2 minutes per game.

He has played a more regular role in the G League across 74 career NBAGL games. This season, he recorded 21.2 PPG and 8.1 RPG on .493/.427/.882 shooting in 15 games (30.6 MPG) as a key contributor for a Raptors 905 squad that earned the No. 1 seed heading into the single-elimination playoffs. The team was knocked out in the semifinals.

Ellenson, who received a $50K partial guarantee on his initial preseason deal with the Raptors, will earn approximately $119K on his new 10-day deal, with Toronto taking on a $111K cap hit, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). He’ll fill the roster spot that was vacated when Donta Hall‘s 10-day deal with the club expired over the weekend.

Raptors Cut Oshae Brissett, Alize Johnson, Henry Ellenson

The Raptors have waived forward Oshae Brissett, forward Alize Johnson, and big man Henry Ellenson as they move closer to setting their regular season roster, the team announced today.

Brissett, who went undrafted out of Syracuse in 2019, spent his rookie year on a two-way contract with Toronto, appearing in 19 games for the NBA team and 30 for the Raptors 905 in the G League. He averaged 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 30 games (27.8 MPG) at the NBAGL level.

Since Brissett’s new multiyear deal with the Raptors had a $300K partial guarantee in year one, the club will remain on the hook for that money unless he’s claimed off waivers on Monday.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Both Johnson and Ellenson were training camp invitees who always looked like long shots to make the Raptors’ regular season roster. Johnson’s deal was non-guaranteed, while Ellenson had a modest $50K guarantee.

The Raptors are now down to 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, but will likely make a couple more roster moves before their regular season squad is locked in. According to Kelsea O’Brien of BasketballNews.com (Twitter link), current two-way player Paul Watson is expected to be promoted to the standard roster. Camp invitee Yuta Watanabe appears likely to fill Watson’s two-way contract slot, notes Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Raptors Sign Jalen Harris To Two-Way Deal, Re-Sign Oshae Brissett

The Raptors have officially filled out their training camp roster, having signed second-round pick Jalen Harris to a two-way contract and restricted free agent forward Oshae Brissett to a multiyear deal, per RealGM’s official log of NBA transactions.

Harris, who began his college career at Louisiana Tech, transferred to Nevada and had a huge year in 2019/20 as a junior, averaging 21.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.9 APG with a .446/.362/.823 shooting line in 30 games (33.0 MPG). The 22-year-old guard declared for the draft and was selected by the Raptors with the 59th overall pick. He’ll occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, while Paul Watson holds the other.

As for Brissett, he appeared in 19 games for the Raptors on a two-way contract as a rookie last season, playing mostly garbage-time minutes. The former Syracuse standout averaged 1.9 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 7.1 minutes per contest. In 30 G League games for the Raptors 905, he bumped those numbers to 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 27.8 MPG.

Brissett received a two-way qualifying offer from Toronto, but the two sides ended up negotiating a new standard contract instead — it’ll probably be a two-year deal worth the minimum salary. He’ll likely get a small partial guarantee in year one and will compete in training camp for a regular season roster spot, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

Brissett’s competitors for the 15th roster spot will be Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, and Alize Johnson. Their deals, which were reported on Friday, are all official now too, per RealGM.

Raptors Signing Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, Alize Johnson

The Raptors will be adding big man Henry Ellenson, forward Yuta Watanabe, and forward Alize Johnson to their training camp roster, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (via Twitter).

As Murphy outlines, Ellenson will sign a two-year, minimum-salary contract with a $50K partial guarantee on year one. Details aren’t provided for Watanabe’s deal or Johnson’s, but the safe bet would be a pair of Exhibit 10 contracts, which are essentially non-guaranteed one-year deals.

All three players will have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the regular season roster, though the 15th spot could be up for grabs if the Raptors don’t sign second-round pick Jalen Harris to a standard contract, promote two-way player Paul Watson, or retain two-way RFA Oshae Brissett.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Watanabe, one of just two Japanese-born players currently in the league, spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old didn’t see much playing time at the NBA level, but was solid in the G League, averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .546/.364/.816 shooting in 22 games for the Memphis Hustle in 2019/20.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and has spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests. The Pacers didn’t tender him a qualifying offer last week, so he entered the market as an unrestricted free agent.

The moves will take the Raptors’ unofficial roster count to 19, not including Brissett.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Pelle, Anderson

Knicks management didn’t make any public statements during the preseason suggesting they expected to make the postseason, but Ian Begley of SNY.tv hears that the front office privately conveyed to players that anything less than a playoff spot would be a disappointment. According to Begley, Knicks players who can become free agents in 2020 were told they’d be judged more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than on their individual play.

As Begley explains, management may have been trying to motivate a roster that consisted of mostly young players or newcomers. If that was the plan, it has backfired, as the Knicks have fallen well short of those expectations.

Begley’s article is worth checking out in full for more details on the pressure the coaches and players have felt this season and how those preseason expectations influenced the decision to fire David Fizdale. In my view, if Steve Mills and Scott Perry legitimately believed the Knicks should be a playoff team, that should be more of an indictment of their ability to build and evaluate a roster than of the coaches’ or players’ performances.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • While there has been speculation since Kawhi Leonard‘s departure last summer that the Raptors could become sellers due to their expiring veteran contracts, their success this season has made that increasingly unlikely. President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri essentially confirmed as much this week when he said the Raps will “die trying” to defend their title, as Julia Kreuz of Sportsnet.ca relays. “If we do something (on the trade market), it’s out of the fact that we think this is giving us a chance, or a bigger chance, and right now I think we have that chance, if we continue to play ball and continue to figure it out,” Ujiri said.
  • Sixers two-way player Norvel Pelle reached his 45-day NBA limit when he was active on Wednesday night vs. Toronto, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pelle is unsure what’s next for him, suggesting he’ll leave that up to his agent and the team. If he’s not converted to a standard contract – perhaps after the trade deadline – he won’t be eligible to suit up for the 76ers until after the G League regular season ends in late March.
  • The Nets‘ and Raptors‘ G League teams swapped a pair of players with NBA experience, as the Raptors 905 traded swingman Justin Anderson to the Long Island Nets for big man Henry Ellenson. Ellenson was a two-way player for Brooklyn earlier in the season, while Anderson was on a 10-day contract with the Nets this month. Kelsea O’Brien of Raptors Republic first reported the deal (via Twitter).

Nets Waive Forward Henry Ellenson

5:32pm: The Nets have officially waived Ellenson, according to a team press release.

1:01pm: The Nets‘ series of roster moves will include waiving two-way player Henry Ellenson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wonjarowski, who tweets that Brooklyn may use its newly-opened two-way slot to add a backcourt piece.

As we relayed on Thursday, the Nets are also making changes to their 15-man roster, waiving injured swingman David Nwaba and signing G League wing Justin Anderson to a 10-day contract to replace him.

Ellenson, a former 18th overall pick, has been one of Brooklyn’s two-way players this season, alongside Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. While TLC has gotten the opportunity to play a rotation role, Ellenson appeared in just five games at the NBA level, logging 15 total minutes. The big man has spent most of the season with the Long Island Nets, averaging 18.3 PPG and 9.5 RPG in 11 NBAGL games (28.6 MPG).

January 15 is the deadline for teams to sign players to two-way contracts, so the Nets figure to fill their open spot by then. If Brooklyn wants to promote Luwawu-Cabarrot to the 15-man roster, the team could end up adding a pair of new two-way players.

Nets Notes: Prince, Atkinson, Chandler, Temple

Taurean Prince was happy to deliver one of his best games of the year against the Hawks, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Prince had 23 points, seven rebounds and hit 5 of 7 shots from beyond the arc Wednesday as the short-handed Nets defeated his former team.

“I was 100 percent motivated, especially being the team that traded me away. That was part of it,” Prince said. “… There’s just a lot more trust given to me, a lot more situations I’m put in to be great. Just credit to the Brooklyn Nets for allowing me to be myself.”

The Nets acquired Prince in a summer trade, sending Allen Crabbe to Atlanta in a salary dump. Coach Kenny Atkinson served as an assistant with the Hawks until just before they drafted Prince and thought he would fit in well. Brooklyn quickly rewarded Prince with a two-year extension worth $29MM.

“I loved his toughness, I loved his shooting,” Atkinson said. “[General manager] Sean [Marks] and I were on the same page, and the staff was on the same page in terms of, ‘Man, we got a good player.’ And obviously re-signing him to the deal we did we’re ecstatic we got that done.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Atkinson is in his fourth season with the Nets, but he’s already the longest-tenured active coach in New York professional sports, Lewis notes in a separate story. Atkinson inherited that title Tuesday when the NHL’s New Jersey Devils fired John Hynes. “I think it shows coaching is a tough business,” Atkinson said. “I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know if it makes me proud or sad for the other guys. I know this is a tough business, tough to survive in, especially in New York.”
  • With just 10 days before Wilson Chandler returns from suspension, Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News examines who might be waived to make room. Brooklyn became eligible to carry a 16th player once Chandler served the first five games, and signed Iman Shumpert, who has been a valuable contributor. Winfield speculates Rodions Kurucs, who has only played in three of the past 13 games, could be released. The Nets may also cut one of their two-way players, Henry Ellenson or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and then waive either Theo Pinson or Dzanan Musa and hope to re-sign them to a two-way deal.
  • Kyrie Irving gave the Nets a valuable piece of advice when he urged them to sign veteran free agent Garrett Temple, relays Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily. Temple’s signing was barely noticed because it came on the same day that Brooklyn landed Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan, but he has been an important addition.

Nets Notes: Atkinson, Dinwiddie, Musa, Ellenson

The Nets‘ success in free agency has changed the atmosphere around the organization, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Roughly 200 press members showed up to Friday’s Media Day, accompanied by a throng of fans who waited outside the team’s training center for a glimpse of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“It’s like Real Madrid. I thought it was funny,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “There’s a different excitement with the fans. I didn’t say they camped out, but there was some kind of tent there. So I drove around the other way and I came the back way the guy had my picture up. It’s just funny.”

Neither of the newly-added stars participated in the first workout Saturday. Durant will likely miss the entire season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Irving was sidelined by a facial fracture he suffered in an informal scrimmage this week.

“Precautionary, totally. More us just saying, we don’t want you to get another whack,” Atkinson explained.

There’s more Nets news to pass along:

  • Spencer Dinwiddie will proceed with a digital investment plan in his new contract even though the league considers it a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, Lewis adds in the same story. “You’ve got to think about it: If I spent just short of a year building it, you really think I didn’t read the CBA? You really think I didn’t have lawyers read the CBA? That would be outrageously stupid,” Dinwiddie said. “… So we constructed it in a way that doesn’t violate the CBA. … It’s very simple. Once the Nets pay me, that’s the end of it. If I wanted to shoot the money into deep space, technically, I could.”
  • Dzanan Musa was one of the top players for the Long Island Nets last season, but he tells Chris Milholen of NetsDaily that he hopes his G League days are finished. Even though he remains the youngest player on Brooklyn’s roster, Musa believes he’s ready for the NBA. “The Long Island experience was just great for me to learn American basketball,” Musa said. “I think that was great for me but I hope I am no more there. I think I am ready for the opportunity in Brooklyn and I am hoping I will take advantage of it.”
  • After spending time with the Pistons and Knicks, Henry Ellenson, who signed a two-way contract with Brooklyn in July, believes he’s finally with a team that will develop his skills, Milholen writes in a separate story.