Jarrell Brantley

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thunder, Booker, Bazley, Jazz

When the Nuggets rested all five of their starters for the entire fourth quarter in a close loss to the Lakers on Monday night, it was clear that the team was prioritizing health over its playoff seed, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Having been shorthanded throughout the restart, Denver will want to make sure it keeps key players like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Paul Millsap off the injured list with the playoffs around the corner.

Fortunately for the Nuggets, two of their missing rotation players may be nearing a return. As Singer relays (via Twitter), TNT’s Jared Greenberg said on Monday night’s broadcast that the club is hoping to have Gary Harris and Will Barton available on Friday for the last of eight seeding games. Neither player has suited up so far this summer.

Meanwhile, rookie Vlatko Cancar, who is recovering from a foot fracture, has arrived at the Walt Disney World campus and is in quarantine, according to Singer (Twitter link). Although Cancar isn’t expected to play, the Nuggets can now say their entire team is in Orlando, Singer notes.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Northwest…

  • Former Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who drafted Devin Booker with the No. 13 pick in 2015, tells Chris Mannix of SI.com that the Thunder tried to trade up one spot from No. 14 in what he believes was an effort to nab Booker themselves. “You could kind of hear or sense the air come out of the (OKC) room,” McDonough said of the moment when he told the Thunder he was drafting Booker. “You could tell they wanted him.”
  • Although he has been part of the Thunder‘s rotation for most of his rookie season, Darius Bazley has received a bump in minutes this summer and has responded well, with his first career double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) on Monday. Nick Gallo of OKCThunder.com notes that Bazley’s play in the restart bodes well for his long-term potential, while Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman points to the 20-year-old’s shot selection as a key reason for his breakout.
  • Like Denver, the Jazz are prioritizing staying healthy and developing their bench players as the postseason nears, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Miye Oni, Jarrell Brantley, and Rayjon Tucker are among the beneficiaries, playing at least 23 minutes apiece on Monday vs. Dallas.

NBA G League Announces 2019/20 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, Wisconsin Herd guard Frank Mason III – who is on a two-way contract with the Bucks – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Mason was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jaylen Adams, as well as Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley, South Bay Lakers big man Devontae Cacok, and Memphis Hustle forward Jarrod Uthoff. Mason, Brantley, and Cacok are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently on two-way contracts or have had NBA experience in the past.

The complete list of the 2019/20 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd)
  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Frank Mason III (Wisconsin Herd) ^
  • Jarrod Uthoff (Memphis Hustle)

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Donta Hall (Grand Rapids Drive)
  • Marial Shayok (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tremont Waters (Maine Red Claws) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

Of the 20 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Adams, Jones, Koumadje, and Hollins – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’19/20 season began.

Adams and Jones have previous NBA experience, while Koumadje and Hollins have yet to make their regular-season NBA debuts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Celtics’ Tremont Waters Named NBAGL Rookie Of The Year

Celtics two-way player Tremont Waters has been named the NBA G League Rookie of the Year for the 2019/20 season, the league announced today in a press release.

The 51st overall pick in the 2019 draft, Waters didn’t receive the attention from media and fans that fellow Celtics two-way player Tacko Fall did, but the former LSU guard thrived in his first professional season.

In addition to appearing in 10 games for Boston, Waters was Maine’s starting point guard for 36 games, averaging 18.0 PPG, 7.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.0 SPG with a shooting line of .429/.354/.780 in 33.8 minutes per contest. He helped lead the Red Claws to a 28-14 record, good for third in the NBAGL’s Eastern Conference.

Previous NBA G League Rookies of the Year don’t necessarily have a lengthy track record of eventual NBA success, but several recent recipients of the award have become rotation players at the NBA level, including Quinn Cook, Abdel Nader, Tim Frazier, and especially Robert Covington.

Waters beat out Jarrell Brantley and Devontae Cacok, who finished second and third, respectively, in the NBAGL Rookie of the Year vote. Brantley plays for the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz‘s affiliate, while Cacok is a member of the South Bay Lakers.

Western Notes: Jazz, Kings, Grizzlies, Spurs

There haven’t been a ton of roster moves made around the NBA since the regular season began, but the Jazz completed a surprising one this week, officially waiving forward Jeff Green on Tuesday, less than six months after signing him as a free agent. According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the team loved Green’s professionalism, but wanted to open up minutes for Georges Niang, whose shooting is a threat off the bench.

While Niang might be the main beneficiary of Green’s departure, sources tell Jones that Utah is also very happy with two-way player Jarrell Brantley and views him as a rotation player at some point. Additionally, John Hollinger of The Athletic suggested on Monday that the Jazz may want to create more minutes for G League standout Juwan Morgan, who signed a standard contract with the club last month.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Kings had to get by without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III for much of the season’s first two months. Now, with both players healthy, the challenge will be integrating Fox and Bagley while the team finds its identity, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. “There’s some things as a group that we have to find our rhythm again,” head coach Luke Walton said over the weekend. “I believe in our group and we are going to get there, but in the meantime, the only way to do is to watch film and work harder. So that’s what we are going to do.”
  • When the Grizzlies played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday last week, rookies Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke appeared in both contests for the first time this season. Expect that to happen more often going forward, says David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • The Spurs have begun to see “positive steps” in the development of 2018 first-rounder Lonnie Walker, who has been playing more regular minutes lately, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details. Head coach Gregg Popovich said Walker is still learning how to “be a pro” and play with his teammates, but praised the 21-year-old’s intelligence.

Jazz Notes: Bradley, Oni, Brantley, Wright-Foreman

Jazz center Tony Bradley may have saved his NBA career with his Summer League performance, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. It’s unusual for a first-round pick to still be playing Summer League games going into his third season, but Bradley has done little to establish himself as an NBA player so far. After being taken with the 28th pick in 2017, he has appeared in just 12 games, with only three of those coming last season.

Bradley said he was aware of the stakes heading into Las Vegas, and he responded by leading the league in rebounding with 11.3 per game. He also averaged 19.7 PPG and shot 56% from the field. He appears to have won a roster spot and is expected to be third on the depth chart at center behind Rudy Gobert and Ed Davis.

“It was important for me,” Bradley said of the experience. “I knew that I had to go out there and play well.”

There’s more from Utah, all courtesy of Jones:

  • Versatility was the key to Miye Oni earning a fully guaranteed contract as a rookie. The Jazz consider him to be the best defender among their three draft picks, and his ability to play several positions gives him another advantage. However, rookie power forward Jarrell Brantley will probably need more time to develop. Jones states that he took bad shots and made bad decisions during Summer League and has a lot to learn before he’s ready for the NBA.
  • The Jazz want two-way player Justin Wright-Foreman to develop into a point guard. He was a high-scoring combo guard at Hofstra, but he will be asked to focus on one position during his time in the G League. He also needs to show some improvement on defense, but Jones adds that he has the talent to improve in that area.
  • The organization has two years to experiment with the roster before it becomes financially restrictive. Gobert and Donovan Mitchell will both be eligible for new contracts in the summer of 2021, and decisions will have to be made on Mike Conley, Dante Exum and Joe Ingles as well. That’s why they used three second-round picks this summer and gambled on William Howard and Stanton Kidd, hoping to find some future contributors while they still have flexibility.

Jazz Sign Jarrell Brantley, Justin Wright-Foreman To Two-Way Deals

The Jazz have filled both of their two-way contract slots, inking Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman to deals, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Brantley was the No. 50 selection in the 2019 draft and Utah acquired his draft rights in a trade with the Pacers. Brantley spent four years at the College of Charleston before coming to the league, averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 33 games as a senior.. The 23-year-old wing recently played for the Jazz’s Summer League squads.

Wright-Foreman was selected with the No. 53 overall pick in this year’s draft. He spent four years in college as well, appearing in 125 games for Hofstra and ranking second in the nation in 2018/19 with 27.1 PPG. The 21-year-old guard also played for Utah’s 2019 Summer League teams.

Utah didn’t have any first-round picks in this year’s draft, but loaded up on selections in the back half of the second round. In addition to selecting Brantley and Wright-Foreman, the club also nabbed Miye Oni at No. 58 — he signed a standard NBA contract earlier this week.

Trade Details: Jazz, Warriors, Lakers, Magic, More

NBA teams weren’t allowed to send out more than $5.243MM in trades during the 2018/19 league year, but the Jazz entered last Thursday’s draft will that full allotment still available, and made use of it during the second round.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter), the Jazz sent their own unprotected 2021 second-round pick along with $1MM in cash to the Pacers in order to acquire the No. 50 overall pick. Utah used that selection to nab Charleston forward Jarrell Brantley.

The Jazz also traded for one more selection near the very end of the draft, sending $2MM to the Warriors in exchange for the rights to No. 58 pick Miye Oni, tweets Pincus. In total, Utah gave up $3MM and a future second-rounder to acquire the two picks in the 50s.

Here are a few more leftover trade details from draft night, courtesy of Pincus:

  • The Warriors sent an even $1MM and their own 2021 and 2023 unprotected second-round picks to the Pelicans in order to acquire the rights to No. 39 pick Alen Smailagic, Pincus tweets.
  • The exact amount of cash the Lakers sent to the Magic to acquire the rights to No. 46 pick Talen Horton-Tucker was $2,226,778, according to Pincus (Twitter link). That was precisely the amount that Orlando was still eligible to receive. The Lakers’ own 2020 second-round pick was also sent to the Magic in that deal.
  • In the deal that saw them send the draft rights to Bol Bol (No. 44 pick) to the Nuggets, the Heat received $1.2MM in cash and will get either the Nuggets’ or Sixers’ 2022 second-round pick (whichever is lower), Pincus reports (via Twitter).
  • In exchange for Jonathon Simmons and the No. 42 pick, the Sixers acquired $2MM in cash from the Wizards, according to Pincus, who adds (via Twitter) that Washington didn’t require Simmons to pass a physical.

Jazz Acquire No. 50 Pick From Pacers

JUNE 21: The trade is now official, according to an NBA press release. Indiana received a 2021 second-round pick and cash from the Jazz, tweets Agness.

JUNE 20: Scott Agness of The Athletic is reporting that the Pacers will trade the No. 50 pick in tonight’s draft to the Jazz in exchange for a future second-rounder.

It’s unclear what the incentive for Indiana was in the deal, but presumably the future pick is higher in the draft, or perhaps there is some cash going to the Pacers from the Jazz in addition to the future pick.

With the No. 50 selection, the Pacers selected Charleston forward Jarrell Brantley on behalf of the Jazz.

Draft Notes: Blazers, Hawks, Hunter, Samanic, Kings, Warriors

The Trail Blazers, who hold just one pick – No. 25 overall – in this year’s draft, brought in a total of 24 prospects for workouts, according to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com.

In addition to the 12 prospects whose names we previously relayed, the Trail Blazers also brought in David Crisp (Washington), Matur Maker (Slovenia), KZ Okpala (Stanford), Samir Sehic (Tulane), Jaylin Walker (Kent State), Cameron Young (Quinnipiac), Vic Law (Northwestern), Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Louis King (Oregon), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock) over the last week.

Not all of those players are candidates to be selected 25th overall, so the Trail Blazers were also doing their homework on potential undrafted free agent signings — or possibly even second-round picks, if Portland opts to trade back into the draft.

Here are a few more draft-related notes and rumors worth rounding up:

  • The Hawks are “very high” on Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link). Sources tell Givony that Atlanta is the only team Hunter has worked out for, though if the Hawks want to secure him, they may have to trade up from No. 8. The Hawks are also said to like Jarrett Culver.
  • Croatian forward Luka Samanic isn’t interested in becoming a draft-and-stash player, sources tell Givony. That might cause his stock to fall a little, since he’s still “raw and inexperienced,” Givony writes. Some teams may be reluctant to guarantee him a roster spot until he’s a little more NBA-ready.
  • The Kings worked out Kyle Guy (Virginia), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock), Miye Oni (Yale), Daulton Hommes (Point Loma), and Kenny Wooten (Oregon) on Monday, per James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets are among the teams that brought in Purdue Fort Wayne’s John Konchar for a pre-draft workout, tweets ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
  • Jordan Poole (Michigan) and Jarrell Brantley (Charleston) auditioned for the Warriors today, per Gery Woelfel and Adam Zagoria, respectively (Twitter links).

Draft Notes: Wolves, Kings, Pistons

We’re continuing to pass along workout schedules for NBA teams in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. See below for some additional workout notes from Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Detroit.