Ignas Brazdeikis

And-Ones: Hernangomez, Brazdeikis, Take Fouls, Mitrou-Long

Juancho Hernangomez told Daniel Arribas of El Pais (hat tip to HoopsHype) that he “can’t picture himself” returning to Europe next season, despite speculation about that possibility. “I have spoken to nobody or signed any offer,” he said.

While the Celtics are three wins away from the championship, Hernangomez said his 18-game stint with Boston wasn’t a pleasant experience. “I wasn’t happy there, it was very hard. There was no communication,” he said. “I didn’t know what was expected of me. There were many super selfish players, no team building. I lost my love for basketball a bit.”

Hernangomez finished the season with the Jazz and is technically under contract through 2022/23, but his $7.42MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed. Utah is expected to make him a free agent before the guarantee deadline at the end of the month.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Magic forward Ignas Brazdeikis will play for Lithuania in FIBA World Cup qualifiers this summer, according to BasketNews.com. “I want to play, and I will play for Lithuania,” Brazdeikis said. Brazdeikis was born in Lithuania but grew up in Canada, and has a Canadian passport. It took nearly two years for the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) to complete all the paperwork required to receive official FIBA confirmation he could play for their national team.
  • NBA coaches and players frustrated by transition take fouls will see a rules change next season, according to commissioner Adam Silver, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. The fouls, committed to prevent fast-break baskets, will include stiffer penalties next season. The G League rule awards teams one free throw and possession, while international rules have a penalty of two free throws plus possession.
  • Fenerbahce is currently leading the race for former NBA guard Naz Mitrou-Long, according to Italian newspaper La Prealpina (hat tip to Sportando). Mitrou-Long is also being pursued by Olimpia Milano after a strong season with Germani Brescia. He appeared in 20 NBA games, most recently with Indiana in 2019/20.

NBA, NBPA Agree To Adjust COVID-19 Protocols

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement to adjust the league’s COVID-19 protocols amidst a wave of positive tests among players and coaches, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. ESPN obtained a memo stating that the NBA will increase testing and face mask use for players and staff during the holiday season.

Beginning on December 26, players and staffers – besides those who received their booster shot at least 14 days ago or those who recently recovered from the virus – will be tested for COVID-19 on game days. For most of the season, vaccinated players haven’t been tested unless they showed symptoms or were a close contact of someone who contracted the virus.

Additionally, as Wojnarowski details, players and staffers will be required to wear face masks on the bench, in their team’s workout facility, and while traveling with the team.

With so many teams shorthanded and taking advantage of the hardship provision to sign extra players, sources tell Wojnarowski that there’s been some league-wide discussion about finding an easier way to expand rosters.

The Magic added forward Ignas Brazdeikis to their injury report on Thursday night due to the health and safety protocols, making Orlando the 12th team to have at least one player currently in the protocols. A 13th team – Indiana – has its head coach, Rick Carlisle, in the protocols.

Of course, that number seems very likely to change in one direction or the other by the end of the day, since players are entering and exiting the protocols with increasing frequency this month. Lakers guard Malik Monk was the latest player to test out of the protocols on Thursday, per Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link).

Magic Sign Ignas Brazdeikis To Two-Way Deal

AUGUST 11: The Magic have officially announced that they’ve inked Brazdeikis to a two-way contract, per a press release (Twitter link).


AUGUST 10: The Magic plan on signing Ignas Brazdeikis to a two-way contract, reports Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

The 6’6 lefty was originally drafted with the 47th pick by the Knicks during the 2019 draft, but failed to crack New York’s rotation before being traded in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to the Sixers and two second-round picks to the Knicks.

Despite his difficulty carving out a spot in either New York or Philadelphia, Brazdeikis has a versatile offensive game and a propensity for making big shots going back to his time at Michigan. The 22-year-old wing played eight games at the end of last season for the Magic after being waived by the Sixers, and averaged 11.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 2.0 APG while shooting 40.7% from three.

As per the rules on two-way contracts, Brazdeikis will be limited to a maximum of 50 games with Orlando, and will likely spend some time with the team’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic. He should help shore up Orlando’s wing depth during his time in the NBA.

Brazdeikis is the first reported two-way signing for the Magic in 2021/22, so the team still has another slot to fill.

And-Ones: Lin, Appling, Brazdeikis, Bucks

Jeremy Lin plans to keep on playing next season with the hope of hooking onto an NBA franchise, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Lin played in the G League this season, with the aim of landing another NBA contract. That didn’t happen, much to his dismay, despite averaging 19.8 PPG in nine G League contests. Lin is preparing for next season and evaluating his options, Stein adds. Lin hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Keith Appling, who played five games for the Magic during the 2015/16 season, has been arrested in regard to a homicide investigation in Detroit, according to an Associated Press report. The former Michigan State star has been accused of shooting a 66-year-old man after an argument on Saturday night. Appling was placed on probation last year in a heroin-related case.
  • Forward Ignas Brazdeikis, who finished this season with the Magic, is looking to make the Lithuanian national team, Marius Milasius tweets. He’ll participate in the team’s camp before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas. Brazdeikis, who has previously represented Canada in international play, is officially a Lithuanian citizen, but doesn’t have his passport yet and still needs to meet FIBA requirements. He will be among 14-15 national team candidates.
  • The Bucks are partnering with Motorola and will wear the company’s “batwing” logo on the front left shoulder of their jerseys, according to a team press release. The team previously wore a Harley-Davidson patch.

Magic Sign Ignas Brazdeikis For Rest Of Season

Following the expiration of his 10-day contract on Tuesday night, Ignas Brazdeikis has signed a new rest-of-season contract with the Magic. The team announced the deal in a press release.

Brazdeikis, 22, appeared in five games during his first 10 days with the Magic, averaging a solid 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds on .432/.500/.700 shooting in 28.4 minutes per contest.

The second-year wing, who was selected 47th overall in the 2019 draft, previously spent time with the Knicks and Sixers, but only appeared in 14 total games for those two clubs, logging limited playing time at the NBA level. Of Brazdeikis’ 210 career NBA minutes, 142 have come during his brief stint with the Magic.

With Brazdeikis back under contract, Orlando is once again carrying 18 players (including two-ways). Although 17 is the usual limit, the Magic have been granted a hardship exception allowing them to carry an extra player, due to all the injuries the team is dealing with.

Southeast Notes: Ariza, Westbrook, Robinson, Brazdeikis

Heat forward Trevor Ariza has provided a maximum payoff since being traded to Miami earlier this year, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. Ariza has since earned a role in the team’s starting lineup, giving consistent production on both ends of the floor.

“Trevor’s one of the most underrated players in this league,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Ariza. “But I would say that the contending teams that had him before, he’s not underrated. He does so many things — his activity, his deflections, his ability to guard multiple positions.

“And he also has been a very underrated scorer over the course of his career.”

Ariza has averaged 8.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season, playing an average of 27.1 minutes across 23 contests. He’s provided versatility alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo at 6’8″, also shooting 35% from downtown.

Here are some other notes from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Wizards guard Russell Westbrook further proved that he’s still a star in the team’s game against the Mavericks on Saturday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Westbrook finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two steals against Dallas, shooting 17-of-30 from the floor.
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald examines the impressive milestone from Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson. Robinson became the fastest player to reach 500 made threes in NBA history on Saturday, finishing the game against Cleveland shooting 6-of-9 from deep. He’ll be a restricted free agent in August.
  • Josh Cohen of NBA.com examines 10 interesting basketball facts about new Magic forward Ignas Brazdeikis, who signed a 10-day contract with the team on Sunday. Brazdeikis, the No. 47 pick in 2019, holds brief NBA experience with the Knicks and Sixers.

Magic Sign Ignas Brazdeikis To 10-Day Deal, Release Donta Hall

9:39am: The Magic announced the Brazdeikis signing (via Twitter) and have released Hall from his 10-day contract a day before it would have expired.


8:33 am: Ignas Brazdeikis will sign a 10-day contract with the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. 

Brazdeikis, 22, started the season with the Knicks, but only played four games before being traded to the Sixers in March. He got into one game for Philadelphia, but was waived last month to open a roster spot.

In two NBA seasons, Brazdeikis has played a total of 14 games, averaging 1.4 points in 4.9 minutes per night. Most of his action has come in the G League, where he averaged 20.9 PPG and 8.1 RPG in two seasons with Westchester.

Orlando has a full roster, with Donta Hall‘s second 10-day contract expiring later today, so it appears Hall won’t be signed for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old big man got into eight games for the Magic, averaging 3.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per night.

Sixers Waive Ignas Brazdeikis

10:13am: The Sixers have officially waived Brazdeikis, according to the team (Twitter link).


10:04am: The Sixers are waiving forward Ignas Brazdeikis, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move will create an opening on Philadelphia’s 15-man roster.

The 76ers acquired Brazdeikis at the March 25 trade deadline along with George Hill in a three-team, six-player trade with the Knicks and Thunder. The 22-year-old was included in that deal for roster and salary purposes and wasn’t thought to be a player Philadelphia was specifically targeting, so it doesn’t come as a major surprise that he’s being released.

Brazdeikis was originally selected with the 47th overall pick in 2019 and acquired by the Knicks in a draft-night trade. However, the Lithuanian failed to earn regular playing time in New York, appearing in just 13 games in a season-and-a-half with the team. He did play well in the G League, however, with 20.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 3.3 APG in 36 total appearances (33.7 MPG) for the Westchester Knicks.

Assuming Brazdeikis goes unclaimed on waivers, Philadelphia will remain on the hook for the rest of his $1.52MM salary this season, but won’t owe him any of his $1.78MM team option for 2021/22. If he becomes a free agent, the second-year forward would be eligible to sign with any team except the Knicks.

Sixers Acquire George Hill In Three-Team Trade

7:15pm: The trade is now official, according to press releases from the Sixers and Knicks. The deal breaks down as follows:

  • Sixers acquire Hill and Brazdeikis.
  • Thunder acquire Bradley, Rivers, the Sixers’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Sixers’ 2026 second-round pick.
  • Knicks acquire Ferguson, Poirier, the Sixers’ 2021 second-round pick, the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (top-55 protected; from Sixers), and the draft rights to Emir Preldzic (from Sixers).

The Knicks’ acquisitions of the Heat’s protected 2024 second-rounder and Preldzic’s rights weren’t reported earlier, but neither is a difference-making asset, as the pick will only be conveyed if it falls between 56-60 and Preldzic is unlikely to ever play in the NBA.

New York will waive Poirier now that the deal is official, as we relayed earlier.


11:52am: The Sixers, Thunder, and Knicks are finalizing a trade that will see George Hill land in Philadelphia, according to reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (all Twitter links).

The Thunder are receiving Tony Bradley and Austin Rivers, according to Wojnarowski, who says Philadelphia will send Terrance Ferguson to New York and will acquire Ignas Brazdeikis from the Knicks (Twitter link). Vincent Poirier will join Ferguson in heading from Philadelphia to New York, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.

The Sixers are also sending a pair of second-round picks to Oklahoma City, per Wojnarowski, who tweets that those second-rounders will be Philadelphia’s own in 2025 and 2026. Meanwhile, Steve Popper of Newsday reports (via Twitter) that the Knicks are acquiring Philadelphia’s own 2021 second-rounder.

While the 76ers were viewed as one of the top suitors for Kyle Lowry, it appears they’ve opted to go in a different – and less costly – direction, addressing the point guard position by acquiring Hill, a steady veteran who has a ton of postseason experience.

The 34-year-old Hill averaged 11.8 PPG and 3.1 APG with a .508/.386/.840 shooting line in 14 games (26.4 MPG) for the Thunder before he was sidelined by a thumb injury. It’s not clear how much more time he’ll miss, but a report this week indicated he’s out of his cast and is working toward a return. Presumably, Philadelphia is confident about his ability to contribute down the stretch.

Hill’s $10MM salary for the 2021/22 season only has a small ($1.28MM) partial guarantee, so the Sixers will have some flexibility during the offseason as they consider whether or not to hang onto him.

As for the Thunder and Knicks, the two rebuilding clubs will add to their ever-growing collections of draft picks in this deal. Ferguson and Poirier probably aren’t in New York’s plans, but the two players headed to Oklahoma City are a little more intriguing.

Bradley, who is eligible for restricted free agency, had 18 points and 11 rebounds in his final game as a Sixer on Tuesday, while Rivers has been a rotation player for playoff clubs in the past and is on a team-friendly contract, with non-guaranteed cap hits of $3.33MM in 2021/22 and $3.15MM in ’22/23.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: DSJ, Brazdeikis, Harper, Harden, Shumpert

The Knicks have granted Dennis Smith Jr.‘s request to be sent to the G League bubble, announcing today (via Twitter) that the former lottery pick is among the players being assigned to the Westchester Knicks. Smith reportedly asked to be sent to Westchester in order to get some regular minutes, since he hasn’t been part of the rotation in New York this season.

In addition to Smith, the Knicks have assigned second-year forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the G League and transferred two-way player Jared Harper there as well. Those three members of New York’s 17-man NBA roster will join a Westchester squad that also features former NBA first-round picks like Skal Labissiere and James Young.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams:

  • Unlike Harper, Theo Pinson – the Knicks‘ other two-way player – will remain with the NBA team rather than heading to the G League. As Marc Berman of The New York Post explains (via Twitter), Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, who formerly represented Pinson at CAA, loves the 25-year-old as a locker-room presence.
  • James Harden missed Sunday’s game vs. Washington due to a left thigh contusion, but it’s not expected to be an injury that lingers or keeps the Nets star sidelined for much longer, according to head coach Steve Nash. “I think it’s pretty manageable, but just a precautionary measure not to get it banged again and make it severe,” Nash said on Sunday, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “… Hopefully, it’s just this game.”
  • In a separate story for The New York Post, Lewis examines how offseason acquisition Bruce Brown has established himself as a regular part of the Nets‘ rotation.
  • Barring a setback in the health and safety protocols, Iman Shumpert – who signed with the Nets over the weekend – should be available by Saturday’s game vs. Philadelphia, says Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. As Schiffer notes, besides playing for the Nets last season, Shumpert has also played alongside Harden and for Mike D’Antoni in the past, giving him a level of comfort in Brooklyn.