Isaiah Joe

Sixers Sign Isaiah Joe To Three-Year Deal

The Sixers have signed second-round pick Isaiah Joe, according to the Real GM Transactions Page.

The former Arkansas guard inked a three-year deal with the first two seasons guaranteed for a total of $2.4MM, writes Kevin McPherson of KARK.com. The total value of the deal is nearly $4.2MM if Joe remains on the roster for 2022/23. Philadelphia completed the signing using its mid-level exception.

Joe, 21, was selected with the 49th pick in this year’s draft. He played two seasons at Arkansas, averaging 16.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Philadelphia also completed two-way contracts with Paul Reed and Dakota Mathias, along with the signings of Derrick Walton Jr., Ryan Broekhoff and Justin Anderson.

Draft Notes: Tyrell Terry, Isaiah Joe, LaMelo, Hayes

Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry has worked out for the Nets and Grizzlies, in addition to conducting Zoom meetings with Brooklyn and the Knicks, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post (Twitter link). Lewis notes that Terry has not worked out in person for any other clubs as of earlier today. Brooklyn has the No. 19 and No. 55 picks in tomorrow’s draft, while Memphis owns the No. 40 pick.

There’s more in the the lead up to the big day tomorrow:

  • According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), there is buzz that the Sixers may have promised to draft 6’5″ Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe with either the No. 21 or No. 34 pick tomorrow.
  • Ahead of tomorrow’s draft, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reflects back on LaMelo Ball‘s 2018/19 tenure with SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio before heading overseas before his NBA eligibility. “It was great for a time and it was helpful to our brand and it was good for the program and it was interesting, but I don’t think that’s something we want,” SPIRE chief operating officer Jeff Orloff said.
  • 6’4″ Ratiopharm Ulm combo guard Killian Hayes reflected on his international career prior to this season’s NBA draft with Sean Deveney of Forbes.com. “It wasn’t easy at all,” Hayes said. “The physical part was very tough for me.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Hayward, Knicks, Vassell, Nets

An accelerated timeline for the start of the 2020/21 NBA season would reduce the likelihood of the Raptors being able to return to their home arena in Toronto. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still significant restrictions on international travel from the U.S. to Canada and it seems unlikely that will change too drastically within the next two months.

With that in mind, Eric Koreen of The Athletic weighs the pros and cons of several possible temporary homes for the Raptors in 2020/21. While Louisville – briefly mentioned as a possibility last weekdoesn’t appear to be a realistic option, Koreen believes there are several other alternatives that could work.

Buffalo, Newark, Kansas City, and Fort Myers are some of the cities that might make sense for the Raptors, according to Koreen, who adds that sharing a home arena with one of the NBA’s other Eastern Conference teams could also be a possibility — especially since those arenas likely won’t be hosting concerts or other major events anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Although it seems likely that Gordon Hayward will opt into the final year of his $34MM contract with the Celtics, agent Mark Bartelstein figures to do his homework and quietly survey the landscape to determine whether there’s a scenario in which Hayward could secure a lucrative, longer-term deal in Boston or elsewhere, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Zach Lowe discussed that possibility on The Lowe Post podcast on Monday, likening Hayward’s situation to that of Al Horford a year ago, as John Karalis of MassLive.com relays.
  • A team tracking Devin Vassell told Ian Begley of SNY.tv that the Knicks are collecting “a ton” of information on the former Florida State wing. The Knicks are one of several teams in the top 10 of the draft with Vassell on their radar, says Begley.
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post identifies former Arkansas sharpshooter Isaiah Joe as a draft sleeper who may be of interest to the Nets. Joe is the No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Brooklyn holds the Nos. 19 and 55 picks.

Knicks Rumors: Westbrook, Draft, Okoro, Vassell

While Chris Paul‘s name has been connected most frequently to the Knicks in recent months, it’s worth keeping an eye on Russell Westbrook as well, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley reports that some agents who represent top free agent point guards think the Knicks will “poke around” on a possible Westbrook trade if the Rockets make him available.

It’s certainly not a sure thing that Houston considers moving Westbrook this offseason. And even in that scenario, “poking around” doesn’t mean that the Knicks would make a deal.

Still, the Knicks are well-positioned to take on a big contract like Westbrook’s, which has three years and more than $132MM left on it. Begley also cites sources who say that Westbrook viewed New York as a favorable landing spot when the Thunder were shopping him last July. So if the Rockets do mull a potential trade at some point, it’s a safe bet the Knicks will be linked to the star point guard.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Arkansas’ Isaiah Joe Re-Enters 2020 NBA Draft

Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe has declared for the 2020 NBA draft as an early entrant for the second time, announcing his decision today (via Twitter).

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA’s deadline for early entrants to declare for the draft (August 17) falls after the NCAA’s early entrant withdrawal deadline (August 3) this year. Joe, who entered the draft pool in April, withdrew before the NCAA’s withdrawal date earlier this month, but has had a change of heart and re-entered, forgoing his remaining college eligibility.

“My announcement on Aug. 1 to return to school for another season as a Razorback was made with whole-hearted excitement and sincerity, but a lot has happened in a short period of time since then to increase the uncertainty that college sports will be played this season,” Joe said in today’s statement.

Joe is coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 26 games (36.1 MPG) for the Razorbacks. Although his .390 FG% over two college seasons isn’t particularly impressive, it’s largely a result of his reliance on the three-point shot — 548 of his 718 total shot attempts came from beyond the arc, where he shot 37.8%.

Joe is a viable candidate to be drafted this fall. When he first declared for the draft back in April, Joe was the No. 61 prospect on ESPN’s 2020 big board. After withdrawing early in August, he was the No. 42 player on Jonathan Givony’s new mock draft for 2021.

And-Ones: Draft, Robinson, NBA Foundation, Bubbles

There was some surprise around the NBA that so many college early entrants decided to withdraw from the 2020 draft before Monday’s deadline, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com. As Woo observes, the 2021 draft class is widely viewed as stronger than 2020’s, and the ’20/21 college season remains somewhat in flux, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Still, Woo acknowledges that the stability of returning to a college program was likely appealing for many of those prospects who withdrew, especially since we also don’t yet know what the NBA and G League schedules will look like for ’20/21.

Elsewhere on the draft front, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) has updated his 2021 mock draft to account for recent early entrant decisions. Prospects such as Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Isaiah Joe (Arkansas), Trendon Watford (LSU), and Luka Garza (Iowa), who recently pulled out of the 2020 draft pool, now show up in the second round of Givony’s mock for next year.

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

  • Former No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson has parted ways with Khimki Moscow, his team in Russia, as Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. Robinson appeared in 313 games for six NBA teams after being drafted in 2012, but hasn’t been on an NBA roster since being cut by Atlanta before the 2018/19 season.
  • The NBA announced today that its Board of Governors – in partnership with the NBPA – will contribute $300MM over the next 10 years to a new, league-wide charitable foundation called the NBA Foundation, which is “dedicated to creating greater economic empowerment in the Black community.”
  • Jason Lloyd of The Athletic takes an interesting look at what the “bubble” sports leagues are getting right and what lessons can be learned from the experiments, which have been a success so far.

Draft Notes: Cockburn, Dosunmu, Ayayi, Carr, More

Illinois will have two important players back on campus next season as center Kofi Cockburn and guard Ayo Dosunmu have both withdrawn from the NBA draft, writes Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. Cockburn made an impact in his first collegiate season, averaging 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 31 games. He announced his decision today on Twitter.

“He’s coming back to improve on all aspects of his game,’’ said Karriem Memminger, who serves as a mentor to the 7-footer. “He feels like there’s so much more he wants to show to the next level (NBA). He’s never satisfied. He wants to win a Big Ten championship followed by a national championship. And he wants to be selected to first team all-conference. Plus he loves the coaching staff and Illinois fans, who he feels are the best fans in college basketball. His dream is to become an NBA player and an NBA All-Star.’’

Dosunmu, who made his decision Friday night, averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a sophomore. He was among the players invited to this year’s draft combine.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Joel Ayayi has decided to return to Gonzaga for his junior season, Zagoria tweets. Ayayi averaged 10.6 points and 6.3 rebounds this year and was named Most Outstanding Player in the West Coast Conference Tournament.
  • Point guard Marcus Carr has decided to bypass the draft and return to Minnesota, writes Marcus Fuller of The Star Tribune. A transfer from Pitt, Carr set a school record this season with 207 assists and was a Third Team All-Big 10 selection by the media. “I am dedicating this season to my brother, and I can’t wait to be out on the court with my teammates in front of Gopher nation,” Carr wrote in a text.
  • Damien Jefferson and Denzel Mahoney will both return to Creighton next season, according to a tweet from head coach Greg McDermott.
  • Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe will return to school for his junior season, tweets Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. Joe averaged 16.9 PPG this year.
  • Colorado guard McKinley Wright has elected to pull out of the draft and return to school next season, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Knicks Notes: Mosley, Jones, Rose, Trier

Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, a head coaching candidate for New York, has a keen ability to connect with players, longtime coach George Karl told The New York Post’s Marc Berman. “He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities,” Karl said. “He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Arkansas guard Mason Jones could be a wise choice for the Knicks with their second-round pick in the draft, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic opines. Jones’ ability to get to the foul line could make him a valuable asset, Vorkunov notes. Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe and Alabama wing John Petty are among the other underrated prospects the team should consider, Vorkunov adds.
  • Leon Rose has been the team’s president for nearly four months and the early returns have been promising, according to Berman. Rose has made wide-ranging, diverse front office hires while keeping Scott Perry as GM, Berman notes. He’s also conducting a patient, thorough search for a head coach, even though Tom Thibodeau is widely considered the favorite to get the job, Berman adds.
  • Waiving Allonzo Trier in order to add Theo Pinson was a telling move by Rose, Steve Popper of Newsday opines. Trier, who was signed by the previous regime, showed talent but also drew criticism for his lackadaisical defensive effort and refusal to play his role offensively, Popper continues. That shows that Rose will value character and work ethic in future roster moves, Popper adds.

Draft Notes: Joe, Bailey, Kurucs, Taylor, Eboua

Arkansas sophomore guard Isaiah Joe will test the 2020 NBA draft waters, head coach Eric Musselman told reporters today, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Joe is coming off a season in which he averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 26 games (36.1 MPG) for the Razorbacks. Although his .390 FG% over two college seasons isn’t particularly impressive, it’s largely a result of his reliance on the three-point shot — 548 of his 718 total shot attempts came from beyond the arc, where he shot 37.8%.

Joe is ranked 61st on ESPN’s big board of 2020 prospects, making him a viable candidate to be drafted.

Here are a few more of the latest draft decisions:

  • Marquette forward Brendan Bailey is declaring for the draft while maintaining his college eligibility, a source tells Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com (Twitter link). Bailey averaged 7.1 PPG and 5.2 RPG with a .383 3PT% in 30 games (all starts) as a sophomore.
  • Arturs Kurucs, the brother of Nets forward Rodions Kurucs, has entered the 2020 draft, tweets ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The Latvian guard spent this past season playing for VEF Riga in Latvia.
  • Austin Peay junior guard Terry Taylor announced on Twitter that he’ll be testing the draft waters without hiring an agent. Taylor, who averaged 21.8 PPG and 11.0 RPG in 33 games (36.6 MPG) in 2019/20, is the second Austin Peay underclassman to declare for the draft, joining teammate Jordyn Adams.
  • Cameroonian forward Paul Eboua has signed with BDA Sports for representation, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Eboua – who ranks 56th on ESPN’s big board – hasn’t declared for the draft yet, but is expected to do so soon, per Carchia.