Isaiah Cousins

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Kings Waive Jordan Farmar, Isaiah Cousins

The Kings have officially waived guards Jordan Farmar and Isaiah Cousins, the team announced via press release. Sacramento will be on the hook for $100K for Cousins, who had a partially guaranteed deal, unless he is claimed off waivers by another team.

The team also released its opening night roster, which includes 15 players. No mention was made of Lamar Patterson, who was reportedly re-signed by Sacramento on Friday. It’s unclear if the signing never occurred, the player was already waived or the deal is still pending.

Farmar, who will turn 30 in November, has played more than 500 regular-season games over the course of his nine-year NBA career, though he appeared in just 12 games last season. In those contests, Farmar averaged 9.2 PPG, 3.1 APG and 1.3 SPG. However, his production dipped in the playoffs, as he shot just 32.3% from the floor during the club’s first-round loss to San Antonio.

Cousins (no relation to DeMarcus) is a 6’6″ shooting guard out of Oklahoma who became the second-last player selected in this year’s draft. In his final year with the Sooners, Cousins averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 37 contests. The senior also shot 41.1% on three-point attempts and made nearly two of them per game — his shooting percentage was better on three-pointers than on two-pointers for a second consecutive season.

Kings Rumors: Point Guards, Gay, McLemore

As Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes in his latest piece, most NBA teams avoid making trades in training camp, preferring to wait until at least December to give their rosters a chance to mesh. However, the Kings still have multiple trade candidates on its roster, and they don’t have much depth at point guard, so it’s not out of the question that the team could make a move within the next month or so.

Here are a few of the highlights from Jones:

  • Currently, the Kings have 14 players on guaranteed salaries, and the team’s 15th man is expected to be a point guard — likely either Ty Lawson, Jordan Farmar, or Isaiah Cousins. According to Jones, the decision on which point guards make the regular-season roster could end up being tied to a possible Rudy Gay trade.
  • Sacramento has made Ben McLemore available in trade discussions for months, but Jones suggests (via Twitter) that the coaching staff has really connected with the fourth-year guard and is excited to see how he performs this season. At one point it seemed like a lock that McLemore would be dealt, but he has impressed the Kings lately, says Jones.
  • One another Kings veteran expected to be traded this summer was center Kosta Koufos, Jones notes. Koufos, whose name was connected to trade rumors in July and August, is fairly affordable at $8MM, given the free agent prices this offseason, but Sacramento has yet to find an acceptable deal.

Contract Details: Kings, Lakers, Raptors, Wizards

Although he may not make the Kings‘ regular-season roster, second-round guard Isaiah Cousins received a $100K guarantee on his one-year, minimum-salary contract, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). If Sacramento waives Cousins at the end of the preseason, the club will lose his NBA rights. However, the Kings will be able to hold onto his D-League rights and assign him to the Reno Bighorns. That $100K guarantee may make Cousins more willing to accept a low-paying D-League assignment rather than seeking out a job overseas.

Here are a few more contract details on recently-signed contracts, via Pincus:

  • Thomas Robinson received a non-guaranteed, one-year summer contract from the Lakers, Pincus tweets. Robinson’s non-guaranteed $1,050,961 salary is the same figure he would have been guaranteed if he’d exercised his player option with the Nets back in June.
  • Pincus passes along another Lakers contract note, tweeting that Tarik Black‘s new deal includes a 10% trade kicker.
  • New Raptors sharpshooter Brady Heslip is likely ticketed for the team’s D-League affiliate, but Toronto made it worth his while to sign a minimum-salary deal, guaranteeing him $56,500, according to Pincus (Twitter link).
  • A pair of Wizards camp invitees, Johnny O’Bryant and Casper Ware, signed one-year, non-guaranteed summer contracts with the team, tweets Pincus.

Kings Sign Isaiah Cousins

One of the final few unsigned picks from the 2016 draft has a new contract in place, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). Charania reports that the Kings have signed 59th overall selection Isaiah Cousins to a partially guaranteed, one-year contract.

Cousins (no relation to DeMarcus) is a 6’6″ shooting guard out of Oklahoma who became the second-last player selected in this year’s draft. In his final year with the Sooners, Cousins averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 37 contests. The senior also shot 41.1% on three-point attempts and made nearly two of them per game — his shooting percentage was better on three-pointers than on two-pointers for a second consecutive season.

With 14 guaranteed contracts on their books already, the Kings may not have room on their regular-season roster for Cousins. Unless the team waives another player, the 22-year-old rookie would have to beat out both Ty Lawson and Lamar Patterson – along with any other camp invitees – to grab a spot on the 15-man roster.

If Sacramento ultimately cuts Cousins before the regular season begins, the team would retain its D-League rights to him, and could assign him to the Reno Bighorns. However, if another NBA club wanted to sign Cousins to its 15-man roster, the Kings wouldn’t be able to stop that from happening.

With Cousins locked up, there are only two 2016 drafteesDaniel Hamilton of the Thunder and Tyrone Wallace of the Jazz – whose outlooks for 2016/17 remain uncertain. For a team to retain its NBA rights to a second-round pick, it must tender a one-year, minimum-salary contract offer by September 6, so it’s possible Hamilton and Wallace will have their situations resolved soon as well.

While Cousins’ contract will likely be a minimum-salary pact, the Kings still have their $2.898MM room exception available, so they could have offered more than the minimum.

Latest Update On Unsigned 2016 Draftees

The NBA draft took place two months ago tonight, and when Brandon Ingram signed his rookie contract with the Lakers earlier today, he became the final first-rounder to lock in a plan for the 2016/17 season.

Of course, for Ingram, there was never any doubt that he’d sign an NBA contract and enter the league immediately, but that’s not the case for all of this year’s first-rounders. As our list of draft pick signings shows, three of the 30 players selected in the first round – including two Celtics – will play overseas this season.

The percentage of draftees heading (or staying) overseas is higher among second-round picks, but for those second-rounders, there are options besides entering the NBA or playing international ball — Celtics second-rounder Abdel Nader, for instance, has agreed to sign with Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine. He’ll earn less money there than he would’ve overseas, but the Celtics will be able to keep a close eye on him and will have a hand in his development as they retain his NBA rights.

When we provided an update on 2016 draft pick signings in late July, five first-round picks and eight second-rounders were still waiting to resolve their situations. Since then, 10 of those draftees have gotten that resolution, leaving just three players whose statuses remain uncertain. They are as follows:

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder: Daniel Hamilton, SG (UConn)
  2. Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Cousins, SG (Oklahoma)
  3. Utah Jazz: Tyrone Wallace, PG (California)

Hamilton, Cousins, and Wallace were all bottom-five picks in the draft, having been selected 56th, 59th, and 60th, respectively. All three were also drafted by teams with their own D-League affiliates. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if those clubs wanted agreements similar to the one Nader worked out with the Celtics — getting these draftees to sign D-League contracts would mean retaining their rights without having to worry about clearing an NBA roster spot for them.

If Hamilton, Cousins, or Wallace signs an NBA contract, then doesn’t earn a spot on his team’s 15-man, regular-season roster, that team would still hold his D-League rights, but would lose his NBA rights. In other words, Hamilton could be assigned to the OKC Blue, but another NBA team could sign him to its regular-season roster, and the Thunder wouldn’t be able to stop it.

For a team to retain its NBA rights to a second-round pick, it must tender a one-year, minimum-salary contract offer before September 6. With that deadline fast approaching, we should soon find out what the short-term future holds for this year’s final three unsigned draftees.

Ben Simmons Works Out For Sixers

11:00am: Simmons’ workout with the Sixers is the “strongest indication yet” that the club has promised to take the former LSU forward with the first overall pick, since agent Rich Paul likely wouldn’t have let Simmons work out without such a promise, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

9:52am: After initially appearing as though he wouldn’t work out for any teams leading up to the 2016 NBA draft, top prospect Ben Simmons did indeed have a workout this morning with the Sixers, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reports have indicated that the Sixers are strongly leaning toward Simmons with the No. 1 pick over Brandon Ingram, the other consensus top-two prospect in this year’s class. From Simmons’ perspective, there didn’t seem to be much benefit in working out for clubs — even if Philadelphia opted to pass on him with the first overall pick, he’d almost certainly land with the Lakers, initially rumored to be his preferred destination anyway.

However, it seems as if that stance changed, with Simmons getting a look from the Sixers this morning, a few days after meeting with the club. While there have been no reports yet on how today’s workout went, there’s probably not much chance it turned Philadelphia off the former LSU forward.

Let’s check in on a few other Sixers items…

  • Trade talks between the Sixers and Celtics may be heating up, according to Gary Tanguay and Tim Welsh of WEEI.com (Twitter link). As we’ve heard before, Philadelphia likes former Providence point guard Kris Dunn a lot, and while the team probably won’t seriously consider Dunn at No. 1, acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from Boston to select him is a possibility. Either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel would have to be involved in such a deal.
  • In addition to working out Simmons, the Sixers also have a six-man workout group in today, according to a team release. The participants are Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Brandon Taylor (Penn State), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), and Guerschon Yabusele (France).
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) is also expected to work out for the Sixers prior to Thursday’s draft, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

Central Notes: LeBron, Pistons, Bucks, Draft

After leading the Cavaliers to a historic NBA Finals comeback, and the first championship in franchise history, LeBron James likely won’t be attempting to lead Team USA to Olympic gold later this summer. According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Finals MVP is leaning toward not participating in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. As Mannix details, James has yet to inform USA Basketball of his decision, one way or the other. However, team officials are operating under the expectation that the 31-year-old superstar is unlikely to play in Rio.

Here are a few more updates from out of the Central division:

  • The Pistons‘ pre-draft workout today, highlighted by Ivica Zubac, also featured five other players, according to David Mayo of MLive (Twitter link). The other participants were Nikola Jovanovic (USC), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Elgin Cook (Oregon), and Brannen Greene (Kansas).
  • The Bucks also worked out several players today, conducting an individual workout for Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis and a group session for six other prospects. As announced in a press release, those six players were Matt Costello (Michigan State), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Diamond Stone (Maryland), and Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall).
  • The Bucks formally broke ground on their new downtown Milwaukee arena over the weekend, according to a report from Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press. The project is expected to cost approximately $524MM, and the club is expected to begin playing games in the new building at the start of the 2018/19 season.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Durant, Hornets

Heat swingman Justise Winslow just completed his rookie campaign and hopes to develop into a player who the franchise can build around, of The Miami Herald relays. “Yeah, definitely. Growing up, that was something I always wanted,” Winslow responded when asked if he wants to be the face of the franchise. “And being part of an organization that over the past 10, 13 years has sort of been built around one guy, it’s just something to look forward to. I know there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m not sure what team it will be with, hopefully with Miami, but eventually I would want to be a franchise guy, a leader on a team and the guy that the organization kind of builds around.

Here’s the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat held a free agent mini-camp this week and attendees included Rodney McGruder, Quinton Upshur, Brandan Kearney, Juwan Howard Jr., Jabril Trawick, Okaro White, Xavier Gibson, Kevin Tumba, Kenny Gabriel and Norvel Pelle, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes.
  • While the notion is certainly a long-shot, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel makes the case for why Kevin Durant should sign with the Magic if he departs Oklahoma City as a free agent this offseason. The scribe cites the lack of media pressure, the presence of GM Rob Hennigan, who Durant is familiar with from their time together with the Thunder, new coach Frank Vogel and the team’s wealth of cap space as reasons the Slim Reaper should give serious consideration to joining Orlando.
  • The Hornets have workouts set for Thursday with Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Anthony Gill (Virginia), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), Codi Miller-McIntyre (Wake Forest), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced.

Southwest Notes: Morey, Durant, Pelicans, Grizzlies

The Rockets already have several players on their roster who fit new coach Mike D’Antoni’s style, GM Daryl Morey told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Appearing as a guest on Wojnarowski’s podcast, Morey said D’Antoni has a very positive reputation with players and agents around the league because they know players can put up good offensive numbers in his system. “I think a lot of what we went through last year is guys weren’t as engaged on defense,” Morey said. “That’s because we were struggling from A to Z, and that impacted our defense overall.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets are still hoping to meet with free agent Kevin Durant next month, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein reported this week that Houston isn’t among the teams that Durant is considering.
  • The Pelicans have workouts scheduled for 12 players Monday, according to John Reid of The Times-Picayune. On the list are French stars Isaia Cordinier and Guerschon Yabusele, along with Troy Williams of Indiana, Michael Gbinije of Syracuse, Jake Layman of Maryland, Wayne Seldon Jr. of Kansas, Gary Payton II of Oregon State, Yogi Ferrell of Indiana, Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, Kaleb Tarczewski of Arizona, Prince Ibeh of Texas and Perry Ellis of Kansas. New Orleans has the sixth pick in the first round and the 39th and 40th selections in the second round.
  • The Grizzlies held a workout today for Ben Bentil of Providence, Isaiah Cousins of Oklahoma, Brice Johnson of North Carolina, Payton, Malachi Richardson of Syracuse and Selden, according to Grizzlies.com. Memphis holds picks No. 17 and 57.
  • Johnson could be the young power forward the Grizzlies need, speculates Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Zach Randolph will turn 35 this summer, and Jarell Martin and JaMychal Green haven’t shown they can handle the position, Tillery writes. At 6’10” and 210 pounds, Johnson has a mixture of size and skills that makes him an intriguing prospect.
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