And-Ones: Boylen, Team USA, Stephenson, Exum, More

USA Basketball has announced that former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen will coach Team USA during November’s qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29.

While NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so the roster is typically made up of G League veterans. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Jeff Van Gundy coached the qualifying team leading up to the 2019 FIBA World Cup before handing things off to Gregg Popovich for the World Cup itself. USA Basketball has yet to announce Popovich’s successor, but Steve Kerr has been identified as a frontrunner. If Kerr gets the job, he’d coach the 2023 team in the World Cup, assuming Boylen’s group clinches a spot in the event.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • NBA veteran Lance Stephenson, who last played in China, has signed an NBA G League contract and will be draft-eligible on October 23, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter). Stephenson’s last stint in the NBA came during the 2019/20 season with the Lakers. He has appeared in more than 500 career regular season games.
  • The NBA announced on Tuesday that this season’s opening-night rosters feature a total of 109 international players from 39 countries. That includes a record number of players from Canada (18) Germany (seven), and the Bahamas (three). Appropriately, the Raptors lead the league with 10 international players.
  • Within his in-depth look at the players who did and didn’t sign extensions this offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) notes that Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Bulls guard Zach LaVine remain extension-eligible, but would be able to maximize their future earnings by waiting until free agency to sign new deals.
  • Dante Exum, who was waived on Saturday by the Rockets, owns a minority stake in the South East Melbourne Phoenix, and the NBL team’s general manager indicated it would love to him as a player. “If and when Dante decides that the NBL is the right move for him, we of course will do whatever we can do to make that as easy for him as possible,” GM Tommy Greer said (link via

Elijah Bryant Signs With Anadolu Efes

After being waived by the Bucks last week, free agent shooting guard Elijah Bryant is headed overseas, having signed a two-year contract with Anadolu Efes, the Turkish team announced in a press release.

Bryant, 26, joined the Bucks during the last week of the 2020/21 regular season and was part of the group that won an NBA championship three months later. He put up 16 points and six rebounds in 32 minutes during Milwaukee’s regular season finale, then logged garbage-time minutes in 11 playoff contests.

The former BYU standout, who began his professional career by playing in Israel from 2018-21, was released by the Bucks in September, rejoined the team for training camp and the preseason, then was cut again last Thursday.

In addition to playing in Turkey’s top basketball league, Bryant’s new team also competes in the EuroLeague — Anadolu Efes won its first EuroLeague title earlier this year.

And-Ones: Njie, Young, Mannion, Mudiay

Swedish player Barra Njie is signing a contract in the NBA G League and entering the October 23 draft, agent Jerry Dianis told Hoops Rumors.

Njie rejected multiple offers from the EuroLeague and Liga ACB, Dianis said. The 6’3″ point guard was named Rookie of the Year in the Swedish Basketball League last season, averaging 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Njie, 20, will be NBA draft-eligible for 2022 and attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory school before signing overseas.

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

  • Speaking of the G League Draft, former NBA guard Joe Young will also sign a contract and enter the event, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Young played 127 games with the Pacers from 2015-18, most recently spending time in China.
  • Former Warriors guard Nico Mannion dealt with an intestinal infection caused by salmonella this summer, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Mannion estimates that he lost over 40 pounds due to the infection, and photos eventually surfaced online of his poor condition. He made his debut with Italian club Virtus Bologna on Saturday.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay recently discussed a variety of subjects with Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops, including his recent impressive performance overseas and why he chose to spend the last year away from basketball. “I just wanted to take some time off and spend time with my family,” said Mudiay, a five-year NBA veteran who signed with Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) in August. “I just stayed at home to be with my family.”

And-Ones: Li. Ball, Restricted Free Agency, 2022 Draft, Floyd

LiAngelo Ball, the brother of NBA guards LaMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball, is signing a G League contract and will enter the October 23 NBAGL draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

LiAngelo played for the Hornets in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Charania suggests he’s a candidate to be selected by the Greensboro Swarm – Charlotte’s G League affiliate – in the NBAGL draft. However, if the Hornets were prioritizing Ball for a spot on their G League squad, they’d likely sign him to an Exhibit 10 contract in order to make him an affiliate player.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, the G League draft isn’t expected to be packed with talent, so Ball has a good chance of coming off the board in the top 10 or 20 picks.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) have updated their top-100 list for the 2022 NBA draft. Within the article, Schmitz identifies French center Ismael Kamagate as the international prospect who is “making the most noise” early in the season. Kamagate is the No. 36 player on ESPN’s 2022 big board.
  • In an interesting piece for HoopsHype, Michael Scotto spoke with a handful of agents and team executives about how restricted free agency works behind the scenes. One agent suggested that restricted free agency is “not really free agency,” since rival teams are so reluctant to sign players to offer sheets that tie up cap space for several days at the start of the league year and may just end up being matched.
  • The Bucks (No. 2), Heat (No. 5), Suns (No. 6), Warriors (No. 7), and Hawks (No. 11) are among the biggest risers in ESPN’s latest installment of “future” power rankings from Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). For a second consecutive year, the Nets rank first and the Cavaliers are dead-last on ESPN’s list, which is essentially designed to be power rankings that cover the next three seasons.
  • Free agent guard Jordan Floyd, who was on the Lakers’ Summer League roster, is signing with Kolossos H Hotels in Greece on a deal that includes an NBA out, a source told our JD Shaw (Twitter link).

Kosta Koufos To Play For G League Ignite

Veteran center Kosta Koufos is returning stateside, but he’ll be playing in the G League, rather than the NBA, reports Marc Stein of Substack (Twitter link). According to Stein, Koufos is signing with the G League Ignite.

Koufos, 32, was a first-round pick in 2008 and has appeared in over 700 total games in the NBA (counting postseason contests) for Utah, Minnesota, Denver, Memphis, and Sacramento. However, he has been out of the league since playing for the Kings in 2018/19, having spent the last two seasons in the EuroLeague with CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos.

According to Stein, Koufos – who posted regular season averages of 5.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 11 NBA seasons – received multiple offers from European teams this offseason, but decided to sign with the Ignite instead.

The G League Ignite is the league’s developmental team for top prospects who are not yet draft-eligible. That group of prospects – which will include Jaden Hardy this year – is supplemented by a handful of experienced veterans who serve as mentors to their young teammates. In 2020/21, Amir Johnson and Jarrett Jack were among those veteran mentors. This year, Koufos will play that role.

Although the Ignite won’t take part in the standard G League regular season in 2021/22, the team will compete in the league-wide Showcase Cup tournament that will tip off in early November. Their full roster will be announced at some point before then.

Greek Team Announces Deal With Yogi Ferrell

Yogi Ferrell has signed with Panathinaikos with Greece, the team announced (via Twitter). There was a report of negotiations two weeks ago, but it took time to finalize a deal as Ferrell was hoping to land another NBA opportunity.

The deal is a lucrative one-year contract, a source told Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link). It also contains an NBA out.

The 28-year-old point guard was waived by the Clippers last month after spending the last five years in the NBA. He came to L.A. on a 10-day contract in April and signed with the team for the remainder of the season, averaging 4.6 points and 2.1 points off the bench in eight games. He had a non-guaranteed $1.98MM salary for 2021/22 before the Clippers cut him loose.

Ferrell also played two games for the Cavaliers in January and was in the G League with the Salt Lake City Stars.

This will be Ferrell’s first experience in the EuroLeague, notes Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops, who adds that the guard’s contract will run through the rest of the season. Ferrell began exploring his options in Europe earlier this summer in case he didn’t get invited to an NBA training camp, according to Stroggylakis, who notes that Panathinaikos is a traditional league power, but could use backcourt help.

Kenneth Faried Signs In Russia

Veteran NBA big man Kenneth Faried has signed a deal in Russia with CSKA Moscow, the team announced today. This marks the third overseas contract for Faried during his career, along with the second one signed in just the past two weeks.

Faried previously agreed to play with Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico on October 1, but the contract included an out for the EuroLeague, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link).

“I am excited to be a part of the NBA team of EuroLeague and such a big organization such as CSKA Moscow,” Faried said, as relayed by EuroHoops. “I am excited to be able to contribute with my presence to help achieve many mutual goals together and I am appreciative for the opportunity to play.”

Faried most recently played with Portland during Summer League in Las Vegas, joining other veterans such as Michael Beasley and Emmanuel Mudiay. He holds eight years of NBA experience, making past stops with Denver, Brooklyn and Houston.

Faried was also drafted No. 22 overall in 2011 after spending four seasons at Morehead State. In 478 NBA games, the 31-year-old holds career averages of 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 24.5 minutes per game.

Michael Beasley Joins Puerto Rican Team

Longtime NBA power forward Michael Beasley has inked a new deal with Puerto Rican club Cangrejeros de Santurce, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Carchia notes that Beasley will join the club just in time for the BSN playoffs next weekend.

The second overall selection out of Kansas State in the 2008 draft ahead of future All-Stars Russell Westbrook (the No. 4 pick) and Kevin Love (the No. 5 pick), the well-traveled Beasley suited up for 11 NBA seasons with the Heat, Timberwolves, Suns, Rockets, Bucks, Knicks and Lakers. Los Angeles was Beasley’s most recent regular season NBA destination, during the 2018/19 season.

Beasley had reportedly been under consideration for a training camp invitation from the Trail Blazers, after playing for the club’s 2021 Summer League team.

The 32-year-old is known as a solid jump shooting stretch four who never developed as a defender. Across 609 NBA games, he holds averages of 12.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 1.3 APG, plus a .465/.347/.759 shooting line.

Beasley will suit up alongside fellow former NBA player J.J. Barea, notes Marc Stein of Substack (via Twitter).

And-Ones: Faried, Injuries, Revenue Sharing, Ignite

Former NBA big man Kenneth Faried signed with Puerto Rican team Leones de Ponce last week, as our JD Shaw tweets.

Faried, who will turn 32 next month, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2018/19 season, but hasn’t given up on getting back into the league. He reportedly received some consideration from the Knicks in the spring, then played for Portland’s Las Vegas Summer League team in August and worked out for the Lakers in September. For now though, Faried’s professional career will continue outside the NBA.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN’s team of basketball writers took a league-wide look at the injuries that will (or could) compromise players’ availability for opening night, checking in on where in the recovery process those players are and when we might see them back on the court.
  • Within a larger story about the Pelicans‘ ownership situation and succession plan, team president Dennis Lauscha shared an interesting tidbit, telling Jeff Duncan and Lee Zurik of that commissioner Adam Silver has said the NBA’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement will include an “enhanced revenue sharing model” to further assist smaller-market teams. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports has more details.
  • Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer takes a deep dive into the G League Ignite, exploring where the NBA G League’s developmental team stands after its first season and how the league envisions the program growing in the coming years.

JaKarr Sampson To Play For Italian Team

After spending the past two seasons with the Pacers, JaKarr Sampson has reached an agreement to play in Italy. Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna announced in a press release that it will sign Sampson to a two-year deal that runs through June 30, 2023.

“Jakarr Sampson is a 28 year old athlete, with 200 NBA games of experience, and with characteristics of physicality and dynamism that we believe are useful to our roster,” said general manager Paolo Ronci. “On behalf of Virtus Segafredo I welcome JaKarr, who will be in Bologna in the next few days after completing the paperwork for the issuance of a visa to enter Italy.”

Sampson signed with the Sixers in 2014 after going undrafted out of St. John’s. He also had brief stops with the Nuggets, Kings and Bulls before coming to Indiana in 2019. He got into 29 games last season, starting four, and averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per night.

There was a report last month that the Lakers might have interest in Sampson, but without a training camp invitation he decided to play overseas.