Hollis Thompson

Western Notes: Dumars, Thompson, Horford, Morris, Zion

The Kings have named former Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars as a special advisor to GM Vlade Divac, according to a team press release. Dumars, who build Detroit’s 2004 championship team, stepped down from his post with the Pistons in April 2014. “Joe and I played together in the league and is a legend in our sport,” Divac said in a press release. “As an experienced and talented basketball executive, I’m excited to have him serve as a special advisor and expert resource for our incredible front office team.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Former Sixers forward Hollis Thompson will join the Kings’ summer league team, J.D. Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Thompson hasn’t appeared in an NBA regular-season game since the 2016/17 season, when he played a combined 40 games for Philadelphia and New Orleans.
  • While numerous teams and agents believe Celtics big man Al Horford will receive a four-year, $112MM offer in free agency, it won’t be coming from the Mavericks, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Horford will decline his $30.1MM player option and has broken off negotiations with Boston.
  • Veteran NBA guard Darius Morris will play for the Spurs’ summer league squad, Shaw reports in another tweet. Morris hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2014/15 season. He had stints with the Lakers, Sixers, Clippers, Grizzlies and Nets.
  • The Pelicans’ top executive, David Griffin, is trying his best to keep the pressure off top pick Zion Williamson. He said on Friday to ESPN”s Malika Andrews and other media members that Williamson doesn’t have the burden of “saving this franchise.” Griffin added that Williamson is not yet the face of the franchise. “This is Jrue Holiday‘s team,” Griffin said. “Zion is going to be learning how to win at a really high level. At some point, if there is a time that the baton gets passed in terms of who is expected to carry us to win games, it will. That is not now.”

And-Ones: Age Limit, Watson, Loyd, Overseas Signings

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is calling on the NCAA to develop a plan in response to the NBA’s expected rule change that would lower the draft eligibility age from 19 to 18, relays Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The NBA has submitted a proposal to its players union that would make the change effective in 2022.

“The NCAA is not prepared right now,” Krzyzewski said. “They need to be in concert with the NBA in developing a plan that is specific for men’s college basketball. And that should include what an athlete gets, how he’s been taken care of, whether or not there’s a re-entry if something – really, it’s deep. And if we only look at it shallow, then we’re doing a disservice to the kids. And that’s why I would hope that the NCAA has someone leading this to figure it all out.”

Krzyzewski asked whether the G League would start attracting blue-chip players and providing more competition for college basketball and how the NCAA will adapt once the one-and-done rule is gone. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo shared some of the same concerns and worried that too many players will be pressured to turn pro before they’re ready.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • Former Suns coach Earl Watson has interviewed for the head coaching position at UCLA, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. A former Bruins player, Watson was fired by Phoenix three games into last season. Schultz reports that longtime college and NBA coach Larry Brown would join Watson as a top assistant.
  • Jordan Loyd is this year’s 2 Ways & 10 Days pick for NBA G League MVP, writes Adam Johnson. He’s the second straight player from the Raptors 905 to claim the honor, following Lorenzo Brown‘s MVP season in 2017/18. Loyd is playing on a two-way contract and has appeared in 10 games at the NBA level.
  • Three players with NBA ties have signed contracts overseas. Hollis Thompson, who played four NBA seasons and was with the Pelicans two years ago, is joining Crailsheim Merlins in Germany, according to Emiliano Carchia of SportandoXavier Rathan-Mayes, who appeared in five games for the Grizzlies late last season, has signed with Bnei Herzelia in Israel, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. Brad Newly, whose rights are owned by the Lakers, has signed with Sydney in Australia, Smith adds (Twitter link). Newly was drafted in 2007, but has never played in the NBA.

Western Notes: Clippers, Nuggets, Bjelica, Musa

The Clippers will bring in some first-round candidates for a pre-draft group workout on Wednesday, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Scotto, Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Kevin Knox (Kentucky), Aaron Holiday (UCLA), and Mitchell Robinson will participate in the session.

The Clippers currently hold the 12th and 13th overall picks in the draft, presenting a number of potential opportunities and directions for the club. Bridges and Knox are viewed as two potential lottery picks who may still be on the board at No. 12, while Holiday and Robinson are ranked slightly lower on most big boards.

Let’s round up a few more Western Conference notes…

  • Speaking last week to reporters, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the team will target a strong defensive player with two-way versatility with the No. 14 pick, and didn’t rule out the possibility of trading or waiving highly-paid players to maintain cap flexibility. Matt L. Stephens of The Denver Post has the story and the quotes.
  • The Jazz and Suns are among the teams that could show interest in power forward Nemanja Bjelica this summer, a source tells Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Bjelica is eligible for restricted free agency, so the Timberwolves have the chance to match any offer he receives, assuming they extend a qualifying offer.
  • Bosnian wing Dzanan Musa, a potential first-round pick who will be keeping his name in the 2018 NBA draft, has workouts on tap with the Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Spurs, and Jazz, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News passes along word of a few more of the players who participated in the Timberwolvesveteran mini-camp on the weekend, tweeting that that Hollis Thompson, Dorell Wright, and Jordan McRae took part, among others.
  • Veteran guard Rodney Stuckey is participating in a free agent mini-camp with the Trail Blazers, a league source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Hollis Thompson To Play In Greece

Free agent swingman Hollis Thompson is headed overseas, having formally signed with Greek team Olympiacos, per the Euroleague’s official site. Details of Thompson’s new deal aren’t yet known.

Thompson, 26, spent the first three and a half seasons of his NBA career in Philadelphia, appearing in 256 games for the Sixers and posting respectable numbers, including 7.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and a .386 3PT%. However, the 76ers opted to waive Thompson in January before his 2016/17 salary became fully guaranteed.

After reaching the free agent market, Thompson spent some time in the G League and with the Pelicans, inking a pair of 10-day contracts with New Orleans. The former Georgetown standout struggled in his short run with the Pelicans, compiling a shooting line of .268/.250/.667 in nine games with the franchise.

In Greece, Thompson will join an Olympiacos squad that finished as the runner-up in this year’s Euroleague Final Four, losing the championship game to Turkey’s Fenerbahce. Thompson is the second NBA free agent to sign with Olympiacos this offseason — the club added former Hornets point guard Brian Roberts last month.

And-Ones: Mexico City, Schedule, Llull, Thompson

The Nets will be involved in both games in Mexico City next season, the NBA announced today on its website. Brooklyn will face the Thunder on December 7th, followed by the Heat on December 9th at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The games will be the 25th and 26th in the country, more than other other nation besides the United States and Canada. “They will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America,” said commissioner Adam Silver.

There’s more news from around the league:

  • The NBA has sent a memo to all its teams explaining the changes in next season’s schedule, relays Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The season will start a week earlier, giving teams more days off with the goal of eliminating the practice of healthy players being rested. The new schedule also cuts out stretches of four games in five days and reduces the number of single-game road trips, among other improvements.
  • Spanish guard Sergio Llull, whose rights are owned by the Rockets, suffered an ACL injury today that will force him to miss EuroBasket and Euroleague for his Real Madrid team, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Llull sent out a tweet thanking his fans and promising that he will return to action. Houston purchased Llull’s rights from Denver in 2009, but has been unable to convince the 29-year-old to leave Spain.
  • Hollis Thompson, who spent time with the Sixers and Pelicans last season, is in “advanced negotiations” with Olympiacos in Greece, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Thompson began the season with Philadelphia and played 31 games before being waived in early January. He signed a pair of 10-day contracts with New Orleans in February and March, appearing in nine games, but wasn’t retained when the second deal expired.

And-Ones: Ball, G. Allen, H. Thompson, Fultz

Sam Amick of USA Today raises concerns of LaVar Ball’s impact on Lonzo Ball‘s draft stock. A potential No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, Lonzo’s elite skill-set has overshadowed his father’s “controversial style” thus far.

“Passing on the kid because of the father may not hold up well over time,” one anonymous executive told Amick. “There are players who come from more challenging family situations who have (done) quite well in the NBA,” another executive added.

Most likely, Amick concludes, LaVar can continue making brash, boastful statements “without the slightest fear” of it hurting Lonzo’s NBA future.

More from around the game…

  • Grayson Allen doesn’t regret returning to Duke for his junior year, Jeff Goodman of ESPN writes. While Allen would have been a first-round pick after his sophomore season, his stock has dipped to mid-second-round value after this year. “I knew with the decision I made, once I made it, I was going to live with it,” Allen said. “Obviously, I haven’t had the season I’d like to have. A lot of things out of my control happened. I didn’t know I was going to get injured three games into the year, reinjured later and all stuff happen in the middle…I didn’t come back for personal goals, I came back to be in the spot I am right now and trying to make another run for a national championship, and I’m still able to do that.”
  • After spending the duration of two 10-day contracts with the Pelicans, Hollis Thompson has returned to the D-League with the Austin Spurs, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports (Tweet). Thompson had scored just 11 points over his last five games with the Pelicans.
  • The HoopsHype staff produced their latest NBA mock draft, with Markelle Fultz taking the No. 1 spot (article link). Regarding Fultz, HoopsHype wrote “no prospect in this draft is perfect, and Fultz remains on top of most scouts boards as the premiere prospect available,” before comparing him to James Harden.

Hollis Thompson Back On Free Agent Market

Hollis Thompson‘s second 10-day contract with the Pelicans expired overnight, giving the team the option of either locking him up for the season or letting him go. According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (via Twitter), New Orleans has decided against signing Thompson for the remainder of the season, meaning he’ll return to the free agent market.

Thompson, who turns 26 next month, appeared in nine games during his 20 days with the Pelicans, starting eight of those games. However, he struggled mightily with his shot, making just 11 of 41 attempts from the field. Thompson’s shooting percentages in New Orleans (.268 overall, .250 on threes) represented a significant step down from his career averages in Philadelphia (.417/.389).

Assuming Thompson doesn’t catch on with another NBA team right away, there’s a good chance he’ll rejoin the Austin Spurs, his team prior to his stint with the Pelicans. The 6’8″ swingman would remain an NBA free agent even if he headed back to San Antonio’s D-League affiliate.

Having paired DeMarcus Cousins with Anthony Davis in their frontcourt in a trade that cost them three guards, the Pelicans have been looking for ball-handlers and shooters to fill out their rotation, experimenting with a number of players on 10-day contracts. The club initially signed Jarrett Jack and Reggie Williams along with Thompson, but none of those players are on the roster anymore.

Currently, New Orleans is carrying Jordan Crawford and Wayne Selden on 10-day deals, with one newly-opened spot on the team’s 15-man roster.

Pelicans Sign Hollis Thompson To Second 10-Day Contract

2:48pm CST: The Pelicans officially announced the signing via Twitter (link).

12:07pm CST: The Pelicans are expected to give shooting guard Hollis Thompson a second 10-day contract when his first deal expires today, according to John Reid of The Times-Picayune.

Thompson is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game with the Lakers, so it’s reasonable to think that New Orleans plans to keep him around for a while. The Pelicans are short on wing players after shipping Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway to the Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade.

They signed Thompson on February 23rd to help fill the void. He has appeared in five games since then, starting four, with averages of 4.6 points and 3.0 assists.

”I think he’s solid and we like our rotation with E’Twaun Moore coming off the bench because we have the ability to, if a guy got in quick foul trouble or something like that,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. ”We stuck Hollis out there to see if he would be OK. I think he’s been a pleasant surprise, really … moreso on the defense end, just being able to get to the right spot and things like that.”   

Thompson started the season with the Sixers and played 31 games, but was released in early January before his salary became fully guaranteed. When his second 10-day contract with New Orleans expires, the Pelicans will have to either waive him or sign him for the remainder of the season.

Pelicans Sign Hollis Thompson To 10-Day Deal

FEBRUARY 23rd, 5:16pm: The signing is official, according to a press release from the team.

FEBRUARY 22nd, 6:31pm: The Pelicans will sign Hollis Thompson to a 10-day contract, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New Orleans had an open roster spot after the DeMarcus Cousins trade, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates.

The team auditioned several players earlier in the week. Mario Chalmers, Quinn Cook and Reggie Williams were among the players trying out for a 10-day deal.

Thompson has been playing for the Spurs’ D-League affiliate. He played for the Sixers earlier this season but was cut before his contract became fully guaranteed.

Pelicans To Audition Chalmers, Thompson, Others

3:50pm: Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (Twitter link) adds Wayne Selden to the list of players auditioning for the Pelicans. Selden, 22, was in camp with the Grizzlies and has spent the regular season with the D-League’s Iowa Energy, averaging 18.3 PPG.

8:57am: The workouts noted below are happening today at the Pelicans’ facility, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link).

8:40am: The Pelicans were widely praised for their trade for DeMarcus Cousins this week, but even though the acquisition cost for the All-NBA center wasn’t exorbitant, New Orleans’ roster looks a little unbalanced in the wake of the deal. Having sent Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway to Sacramento in the swap, the Pelicans will now be looking to fortify their backcourt, and will audition several free agent guards this week, per ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link).

According to Stein (via Twitter), the group of guards working out for New Orleans this week includes Mario Chalmers, Hollis Thompson, Quinn Cook, and Reggie Williams. All of those players except Chalmers are currently on D-League teams, but aren’t under contract with the affiliated NBA club, making them free agents.

Cook and Williams each have previous experience with the Pelicans — Cook was with the club in training camp, while Williams had a brief stint in New Orleans earlier this season before he was waived to make room for Donatas Motiejunas. Both players have had solid seasons in the D-League, though Cook in particular has stood out. The former Duke guard has averaged 26.0 PPG for the Canton Charge and earned MVP honors this past weekend in the NBADL All-Star Game.

Like Williams, Thompson was on an NBA roster earlier this season, but the Sixers cut the four-year veteran before his salary for the year became fully guaranteed. He has since played for the Spurs’ D-League affiliate in Austin. As for Chalmers, he’s the most well-known player in the group, having won a pair of championships with the Heat and appeared in 580 total NBA games for Miami and Memphis.

After trading three players for two in the Cousins deal, the Pelicans currently have an open spot on their 15-man roster. The club may wait until after the trade deadline to seriously consider signing a free agent guard, just in case that roster spot can be used to accommodate another trade.