Ishmail Wainright

Contract Details: Gabriel, K. Edwards, Cannady, More

During the final three days of the regular season, five NBA players who had been on two-way contracts were promoted to their respective teams’ 15-man rosters.

[RELATED: 2021/22 NBA Two-Way Contract Conversions]

Three of those five players – Jazz guard Trent Forrest, Suns forward Ish Wainright, and Cavaliers Moses Brown – received straight conversions, having their contracts turned into one-year, minimum-salary contracts, Hoops Rumors has learned. Forrest, Wainright, and Brown will be eligible to play in the postseason with their respective teams, but won’t be under contract beyond the 2021/22 season.

The other two – Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel and Nets forward Kessler Edwards – signed two-year, minimum-salary deals that include team options for the 2022/23 season. Their clubs will have the opportunity to bring them back for another year if they pick up those options before the June 29 deadline. Gabriel’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if his option is exercised.

Here are a few more details on contracts signed in recent days:

  • The Magic used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Devin Cannady a three-year deal and a $100K rest-of-season salary on Sunday, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. A minimum-salary contract would’ve been limited to two years and would’ve resulted in a rest-of-season salary of just $8,558. Smith adds that Cannady’s second- and third-year salaries (worth the minimum) are non-guaranteed, with a team option on the 2023/24 season.
  • The Bucks dipped into their mid-level exception in order to give Rayjon Tucker a three-year, minimum-salary deal, according to Smith (Twitter link). The contract is non-guaranteed beyond this season.
  • Juwan Morgan‘s new two-year deal with the Celtics includes a minimum-salary team option for 2022/23, tweets Smith. Morgan’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if the option is exercised.
  • Chaundee Brown‘s new two-way contract with the Hawks is a two-year deal, while the two-ways signed in recent days by Mac McClung (Lakers) and RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers) were just rest-of-season agreements, Hoops Rumors has learned. The majority of the players on two-way deals will be free agents this summer, but Brown is one of 13 who is also under contract for 2022/23, as our tracker shows.

Suns Convert Wainright’s Two-Way Deal Into Standard Contract

2:23pm: The Suns have officially converted Wainright’s contract from a two-way to a standard deal, the team confirmed (via Twitter).


1:28pm: The Suns are converting the two-way contract of rookie forward Ishmail Wainright into a standard deal, making Wainright eligible for the playoffs, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Wainright has seen action in 44 Suns games this season, averaging 2.1 PGG and 1.2 RPG in 7.4 MPG. The 27-year-old signed his two-way contract in October after being waived by Toronto during training camp.

It’s unlikely that Wainright will see much action in the playoffs, but he might be employed as a defensive specialist in certain situations.

Wainright, who went undrafted out of Baylor in 2017, played for a number of international leagues prior to this season.

COVID-19 Updates: McMillan, Casey, Dieng, Suns, Holmes, More

Two NBA head coaches have exited the health and safety protocols today. Hawks coach Nate McMillan was back at practice with the team on Tuesday, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). McMillan should be ready to return to Atlanta’s bench on Wednesday night when the team hosts Miami.

Additionally, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is no longer in the protocols after having entered them on Monday. In a press release confirming Casey’s status, the club stated that Casey registered two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests following what was believed to be a false positive. Casey will coach Detroit on Tuesday night against Chicago.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Hawks big man Gorgui Dieng has cleared the health and safety protocols, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta had one of the league’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks this season, with a staggering 13 players in the protocols at one point in late December. However, the team doesn’t have any players left in the protocols now.
  • The Suns got guard Landry Shamet out of the COVID-19 protocols on Monday, but saw two-way forward Ish Wainright enter them, as Kellan Olson of 98.7 Arizona Sports tweets. Wainright is currently the only Sun affected.
  • Richaun Holmes has cleared the protocols and is headed to the Kings‘ G League affiliate in Stockton for some reconditioning work, says James Ham of ESPN 1320 (Twitter links).
  • The Thunder placed forward Kenrich Williams in the protocols on Monday and ruled him out for Tuesday’s game vs. Washington, tweets Andrew Schlecht of The Athletic.
  • The Grizzlies are once again listing Yves Pons as being in the health and safety protocols (Twitter link). Pons initially entered the protocols on Saturday and exited them on Sunday. It’s unclear whether that status update on Sunday was a mistake or if his test results have been inconsistent in recent days, but Pons is once again listed in our health and safety protocols tracker.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Hield, Wainright, Davis, Bagley III

Following a strong start to the season, the Clippers have lost seven of their last 10 games and currently own a 12-12 record. Los Angeles has seen good and bad moments this year, but head coach Tyronn Lue believes the team can still improve its play-making, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes.

“We had the plays that were there to be made,” Lue said after the team lost 104-99 to Sacramento on Saturday. “We just didn’t make them.”

Los Angeles, playing without Kawhi Leonard (torn ACL rehab), hoped to address its play-making issues by re-signing Reggie Jackson and acquiring Eric Bledsoe this past summer. Nevertheless, the franchise clearly has some work to do if it hopes to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • James Ham of The Kings Beat examines whether the Kings can survive the Buddy Hield experience. Hield, who’s averaging 15.9 points on 39% shooting this season, has played noticeably better during the team’s wins and worse during its losses.
  • The Suns‘ packed early-season schedule and injuries prompted head coach Monty Williams to give Ishmail Wainright a little playing time, notes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (video link). Williams hadn’t planned on giving players on two-way contracts minutes entering the season.
  • The Kings defeated the Clippers in its most recent game behind strong performances from Terence Davis and Marvin Bagley III, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes. Davis finished with 28 points and four rebounds (6-of-11 from deep), while Bagley recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds in just under 20 minutes off the bench.

Ishmail Wainright Signs Two-Way Deal With Suns

OCTOBER 22: Wainright has officially joined the Suns on a two-way deal, per the team (Twitter link).


OCTOBER 21: Ishmail Wainright is signing a two-way contract with the Suns, his agents Jim Tanner and Deirunas Visockas told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). 

Wainright, 27, was in the Raptors’ training camp. Toronto waived him on Saturday. Wainwright had some partial guarantees on his minimum-salary contract with Toronto, as he’ll collect $250K from the Raptors this season and $125K in 2022/23.

Wainright, who went undrafted out of Baylor in 2017, played for a number of international leagues prior to this season. In 2020/21, he suited up for Strasbourg in France, registering 11.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.8 SPG on .485/.320/.726 shooting in 36 games (28.1 MPG). He’s considered a solid defender, and could carve out a niche role with the Suns.

With Wainright joining the defending conference champions, the Magic are the only team with an unfilled two-way spot. Chandler Hutchison holds Phoenix’s other two-way contract.

Raptors Waive Ishmail Wainright

The Raptors have placed Ishmail Wainright on waivers, according to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter links). That could clear the way for Sam Dekker and Isaac Bonga to make the team’s 15-man roster, though the final roster deadline isn’t until Monday.

Wainwright, 27, had been playing overseas since going undrafted out of Baylor in 2017. Murphy expects other teams to have interest in Wainwright because of his versatility on defense.

Dekker, a 2015 first-round pick, has been out of the league since the end of the 2018/19 season. He spent time in Russia and Turkey before getting an opportunity with Toronto.

Bonga signed with the Raptors as an unrestricted free agent this summer after the Wizards opted not to give him a qualifying offer. The 2018 second-round pick started 49 of 66 games in 2019/20, averaging 5.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 18.9 MPG. His playing time dropped dramatically this past season, as he played in 40 games (eight starts) and posted modest stats (2.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG in 10.8 MPG).

Toronto will take on some dead money for Wainright if he goes unclaimed on waivers, since he had some partial guarantees on his minimum-salary contract. He’s owed $250K this season and $125K in 2022/23.

Dekker and Bonga have partial guarantees too, but their salaries for 2021/22 will reportedly become fully guaranteed if they make the opening-night roster. If the Raptors want to avoid locking in both of those cap hits, they could still decide to cut one of them before Monday’s deadline.

Raptors Notes: Roster Battle, Siakam, Boucher, Anunoby

The fight to make the Raptors‘ 15-man regular season squad has been one of the NBA’s more competitive preseason roster battles, with Sam Dekker, Ishmail Wainright, and Isaac Bonga vying to earn two spots (or just one, if Toronto opens the season with 14 players). Addressing the competition today, Dekker said he’ll be happy for Wainright and/or Bonga if they beat him out for a roster spot.

“These are guys I’ll stay in touch with for a long time no matter what and I’m always going to cheer for them, because it’s the weakness of a man to root for someone to fail,” Dekker said, adding that his current teammates are some of the “kindest human beings” he knows (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca).

Wainright also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to make his case for a regular season roster spot, regardless of what the Raptors decide.

“No matter how it goes, I’m not going to hang my head,” Wainright said (Twitter link via Lewenberg). “My family always told me when one door closes, another opens. I’m coming out of this a better man, a better basketball player, a better person, period… Whatever happens, I gave it my all from start to finish.”

All three players have had strong camps, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). While many teams will set their rosters by Saturday, the Raptors could wait until Monday if they want, since Dekker, Wainright, and Bonga all have partial guarantees. That means their cap hits would remain unchanged if they don’t clear waivers until after the regular season begins, unlike a player on a non-guaranteed deal, who must be waived by Saturday for a team to avoid incurring a small cap charge.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday, head coach Nick Nurse said that Pascal Siakam (shoulder) is starting contact work this week and may only be a few weeks away from returning, while big man Chris Boucher (finger) is about 10 days away (Twitter link via Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca).
  • With Siakam sidelined to start the season and Kyle Lowry no longer a Raptor, the team is grooming OG Anunoby to be a centerpiece of its offense, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “He’s our number one option right now,” Fred VanVleet said of his teammate. “He’s been great, he’s been assertive finding his spots, I think me and him are finding a little bit of rhythm together, so it’s good to see.”
  • Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca takes a look at the battle between Goran Dragic and Gary Trent Jr. for the second starting spot in the backcourt alongside VanVleet, suggesting Dragic appears to have the upper hand.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic didn’t love the terms of the Raptors’ free agent contracts with Trent and Khem Birch, but praised the team for getting Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on a minimum-salary deal. Hollinger projects the team to finish with a 40-42 record, good for ninth in the East.

Atlantic Notes: Watanabe, Gillespie, Schroder, Williams, Maxey

The Raptors have 12 players with guaranteed contracts and five others with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. Eric Koreen of The Athletic speculates on who might grab the remaining roster openings, with Yuta Watanabe and Freddie Gillespie most likely to nail down spots. That would leave Sam Dekker, Ishmail Wainright and Isaac Bonga in a battle for the final spot, unless Toronto chooses to carry 14 players on the regular roster.

We have more on the Atlantic Division:

  • Dennis Schroder cost himself serious money but passing on a four-year, $84MM extension offer from the Lakers but he’s taking a lighthearted approach to that mistake, Brianna Williams of ESPN relays. In an Instagram post, the Celtics guard — who settled for a one-year, $5.9MM contract — said he “fumbled the bag” and invited fans to insert their best joke about his bad free agent gamble.
  • Details on Robert Williams‘ extension with the Celtics were reported late last month and now Keith Smith provides more specifics on the incentives in the four-year deal (Twitter link). Williams will make $446,429 if he plays 69 games; an additional $223,215 if the team reaches the conference semifinals along with meeting the games criteria; $223,214 more if the Celtics make the Eastern Conference finals; and $446,429 if he’s named to the league’s All-Defense First Team, or $223,215 if he’s named to the All-Defense Second Team. Those incentives will increase by 8% per year after the deal goes into effect in 2022/23.
  • Would the Sixers benefit from Tyrese Maxey‘s offensive skills in the starting lineup? Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice takes a closer look at whether playing Maxey with the other starters would make Philadelphia a better postseason team in the long run.

Atlantic Notes: Bullock, Knicks, Wainright, Sixers

Despite enjoying one of the best years of his career in New York in 2020/21, Reggie Bullock called it an easy decision to leave the Knicks for the Mavericks in free agency, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. Bullock received a three-year deal worth a little over $30MM from Dallas.

“When I played against the Mavericks last year, I liked the way that they competed as a team,” Bullock said. “They got great players, so it was an easy, no-brainer for me. Being with the Knicks last year, we made it to the playoffs but I see (the Mavericks) as a team that’s taking that next step to be in the postseason.”

New York re-signed Alec Burks, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, and Taj Gibson this month, making Bullock the only key free agent who got away. A source tells Berman that Bullock would’ve been open to returning to the Knicks if they’d been willing to get something done quickly, but the team asked him to wait. The veteran wing wasn’t interested in waiting — his deal with the Mavericks was reported about 75 minutes into free agency.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at Raptors camp invitee Ishmail Wainright, a selfless, hard-working player whom Murphy describes as a “walking culture-builder.” Wainright, who has played in Europe since 2018, has a partial guarantee and is vying for a spot on Toronto’s regular season roster. As Murphy writes, the 6’6″ forward is determined to stick in the NBA. “I’m here to stay,” he said. “I don’t plan on going back overseas. Ever.”
  • The $8.1MM trade exception the Sixers generated in last offseason’s Al Horford trade is set to expire on September 7, Derek Bodner of The Athletic observes. Bodner also explores how much of the mid-level exception Philadelphia still has available and the team’s current roster breakdown, which includes 14 players on standard NBA contracts.
  • In case you missed it on Sunday, we relayed some details on new contracts signed by the Celtics and Knicks, and examined the impact the Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk signing will have on the Raptors‘ roster battles.

Implications Of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk Deal For Raptors

With the signing of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the battles for the Raptors’ final roster spots are coming into focus, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Murphy writes that the player option included in Mykhailiuk’s deal makes it very likely he gets one of the team’s final roster spots, especially given Toronto’s lack of guaranteed depth at the shooting guard spot. Second-round pick David Johnson and partially-guaranteed Ishmail Wainright are the only shooting guards on the roster beyond Gary Trent Jr. Fred VanVleet has seen plenty of time at the position in recent years, but is almost certainly going to start games as the team’s point guard.

Murphy adds that if Mykhailiuk is guaranteed a spot on the 15-man roster, that means that Wainright, Freddie Gillespie, Sam Dekker, Isaac Bonga, and Yuta Watanabe will vie for the final three openings. Gillespie and Watanabe both showed promise for the Raptors in limited time last season, while Bonga has at times proved an interesting, potential-filled player as a 6’9″ playmaker with decent defensive instincts and some shooting ability.

Murphy added in a response to his initial tweet that Watanabe is considered a heavy favorite for a spot after his strong play last season, but given his non-guaranteed contract, he’s not quite a lock. Murphy also says that Egyptian big man Anas Mahmoud is likely to receive an Exhibit 10 deal.

In a final tweet, Murphy adds that the Raptors are operating like a team that knows that it’ll be able to move Goran Dragic by the deadline to avoid a tax bill.