John Jenkins

And-Ones: Lingering Questions, Ref Vaccinations, Noel, Jenkins, Mathias

The NBA’s summer of player movement may be winding down, but there are still some questions looming over teams. An ESPN panel of insiders looked at some of them on Thursday (before the Lauri MarkkanenLarry NanceDerrick Jones Jr. three team deal broke).

Among the predictions that were made: Nick Friedell believes Damian Lillard will eventually end up with the Knicks, just not in the immediate future; Kirk Goldsberry thinks that J.J. Redick will end up with the Nets; Andrew Lopez predicts Paul Millsap will start the season not on a roster, but will be picked up mid-season.

The crew also looks at which new coaches have the hardest road ahead: Chauncey Billups with the Blazers and Willie Green with the Pelicans each received two votes, while Jason Kidd with the Mavericks received one.

And, of course, the much-discussed Ben SimmonsSixers impasse was the first topic of debate.

We have more news from around the world of hoops:

  • The NBA will require its referees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, barring medical or religious exemptions, the league announced today. A report from ESPN laid out the scope of the policy, including that referees will receive booster shots once those become recommended, and that refs without an approved exemption who aren’t vaccinated will not be eligible to work games.
  • Knicks center Nerlens Noel‘s lawsuit has the potential to change the NBA-agent landscape, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Fischer writes that as opposed to the league’s tampering rules between teams and players, there are no such prohibitions on agents trying to poach clients, and that this unprecedented peek behind the curtain could give the league incentive to put some protections in place.
  • John Jenkins has signed with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque in France, reports Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (via Twitter). Jenkins played eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 5.0 PPG while shooting 36.7% from three on 319 career attempts. Jenkins recently participated with the Team USA select team as Team USA prepared for their eventual gold medal run.
  • Dakota Mathias has signed with the G League Ignite, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The 26-year-old played eight games for the Sixers as one of their two-way contracts last season, and Scotto reports that several teams have interest in him as a two-way player again this year. Mathias averaged six PPG and 1.6 APG in 15.4 minutes a night for Philadelphia.

Olympic Notes: Johnson, Garland, Bey, Durant, Satoransky

The Spurs’ Keldon Johnson, Cavaliers’ Darius Garland and Pistons’ Saddiq Bey will move up from the U.S. Select Team and play for Team USA in exhibition games, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The trio will fill in for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who will join Team USA after the Finals. Johnson, Garland and Bey would be candidates to join Team USA for the Olympics if any players have to bow out.

Exhibition games in Las Vegas will begin on Saturday with a matchup against Nigeria.

We have more on the Olympics:

  • Select Team members Cameron Reynolds, Josh Magette, John Jenkins and Dakota Mathias will remain in Las Vegas and will be available for exhibition games, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. The pool of Select Team players has been reduced by injuries and COVID-19 protocols. Timberwolves big man Naz Reid suffered a minor injury in Thursday’s practice, Windhorst adds.
  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant will look to collect his third gold medal in Tokyo and he’s energized by that possibility, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “I committed to USA Basketball when I was coming out of college,” Durant said. “And every chance that I can get that I’m healthy and my mind is in the right place to play basketball, I’m going to go out there and play. Finished the year off healthy, the regular season and the playoffs, so I felt it’d be cool to get a kickstart on next season by getting in shape a little earlier in the summer with Team USA.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be facing backcourt partner Tomas Satoransky in Group A play and he’s looking forward to the matchup, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Satoransky will play for the Czech Republic, which is in Team USA’s Group along with Iran and France. “I’m looking forward to playing them and having some bragging rights,” LaVine said good-naturedly. “Hopefully, we really kick their butt.”

Roster Announced For U.S. Select Team

The roster has been released for the U.S. Select Team, which will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Select Team, which will practice with and scrimmage against the national team during the upcoming training camp in Las Vegas, is made up mostly of first- and second-year NBA players. It will be coached by Erik Spoelstra of the Heat.

Making up the roster are:

And-Ones: Lin, G League, Jenkins, Rookie Extensions

Jeremy Lin will indeed be a late addition to the G League Ignite’s roster for the squad’s scrimmages on Tuesday and Thursday this week, says Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). As Givony explains, Lin lives near Walnut Creek and has been practicing recently with the NBAGL’s Select Team. The veteran point guard will be able to stick with the Ignite in a practice player capacity for as long as he chooses, Givony adds.

The Ignite’s two scrimmages this week against a squad of G League veterans won’t be streamed publicly, but NBA teams will receive access to the film, according to Givony, who lists the rosters for each club (Twitter link). The Ignite are headlined by prospects like Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, and Jonathan Kuminga, while the team of G League vets includes Isaiah Briscoe, London Perrantes, and Bryce Alford, among others.

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

And-Ones: Speights, BIG3, Jenkins, Jersey Ads

Veteran NBA big man Marreese Speights will be joining the BIG3, Ice Cube’s professional three-on-three league, for the 2020 season, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. According to Spears, Speights will be a player and co-captain for Bivouac this year.

Bivouac, one of the teams introduced in the BIG3’s 2019 expansion, was captained last season by former NBA forward Josh Smith, and he’s one of several captains who have re-signed for the coming season, per ESPN’s Eric Woodyard (Twitter link). Speights will fill one of just seven open captain or co-captain slots available around the league.

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

  • Former first-round pick John Jenkins, who suited up for the Wizards and Knicks last season, has signed with Hapoel Eliat in Israel, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando). Jenkins had just joined a team in China last month, so it seems he was let out of that contract when the CBA went on hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • According to Terry Lefton and John Lombardo of L.A. Biz, the next round of jersey sponsorship deals for NBA teams could be worth at least 30% more than the original deals (hat tip to RealGM).
  • HoopsHype provides an informative breakdown on which NBA players are on track to earn bonuses in their contracts this season and which will fall short of those incentives.
  • In an interesting piece for NBC Sports, Tom Haberstroh and Monte Poole take an in-depth look at marijuana use in the NBA. Despite league rules prohibiting marijuana use, six players surveyed by Haberstroh and Poole estimated that more than half of the NBA’s active players use it in some form.

John Jenkins To Play In China

Veteran NBA guard John Jenkins will continue his professional career in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who hears from a source that Jenkins has reached an agreement with the Jiangsu Dragons.

Jenkins, who will turn 29 in March, was the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 draft and has played for five NBA teams since then, logging a total of 171 regular season games. Most recently, he appeared in 22 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 5.2 PPG with a .357 3PT%. However, New York declined its team option on Jenkins for 2019/20.

While Jenkins’ strong G League play last season ultimately earned him an NBA contract, he opted not to return to the NBAGL this season, instead waiting for an international opportunity. He’ll join a Jiangsu roster that also includes former NBA guards Antonio Blakeney and Jonathan Gibson.

This will be Jenkins’ first stint in the Chinese Basketball Association, but he does have some overseas experience. The former Vanderbilt standout played for San Pablo Burgos in Spain during the 2017/18 season.

World Cup Notes: Olynyk, Canada, Select Team

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a knee injury will prevent Heat forward Kelly Olynyk from playing for Team Canada during this year’s World Cup in China. The Heat confirmed as much today in a press release announcing Olynyk’s right knee bone bruise.

According to Wojnarowski and the Heat, Olynyk is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA regular season. However, it’s not clear whether he’ll be healthy enough to fully participate in training camp next month. If he’s not, it could mean added reps for the likes of Meyers Leonard, James Johnson, Duncan Robinson, and/or some camp invitees.

As for Team Canada, their World Cup squad takes yet another hit. It has been overshadowed by all the Team USA withdrawals, but Team Canada has also experienced an exodus of NBA players from its roster, as we detailed last week. Olynyk joins Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Dwight Powell, and many other Canadians on the list of players won’t be participating in the 2019 World Cup.

Here are a few more notes related to the World Cup:

Knicks To Decline John Jenkins’ Team Option

The Knicks intend to decline John Jenkins‘ 2019/20 team option at tomorrow’s deadline, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post (via Twitter). If it had been exercised, the option would have paid Jenkins his minimum salary of $1,988,119.

[RELATED: NBA Team Option Decisions For 2019/20]

Jenkins, 28, caught on with the Knicks last season after excelling for the club’s G League affiliate in Westchester. However, he played a limited role in 22 for the NBA club, averaging 5.2 PPG on .388/.357/.833 shooting in 14.5 minutes per contest.

The Knicks will be looking to maximize their cap flexibility this summer, so they’ve been opting against most of their team options and qualifying offers that would eat slightly into their cap room. Billy Garrett‘s team option was also turned down, and Emmanuel Mudiay and Luke Kornet won’t receive qualifying offers.

Despite passing on Jenkins’ option, the Knicks have some interest in bringing back the former Vanderbilt standout, according to Berman. He’s unlikely to receive offers that exceed the minimum, so he could even be an option for New York after the team uses up its cap room.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sixers, T. Harris, Nets

The Knicks find themselves in an interesting cap situation this summer as they mull a possible run at Anthony Davis, as well as the pursuit of multiple elite free agents. As Ian Begley of SNY.tv explains, it’s possible for New York to sign a pair of star free agents and then acquire Davis by sending out just enough salary to match his cap figure. However, matching salaries in that scenario could be complicated by Davis’ trade bonus and by which players the Knicks have at their disposal to move.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the Knicks’ flexibility could actually increase if they exercise some combination of options on players like Allonzo Trier, John Jenkins, Henry Ellenson, and Billy Garrett. Picking up some of those options could still leave New York with two max slots, and would give the team additional salaries to send out for matching purposes in a Davis offer.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • If the Sixers re-sign both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to lucrative long-term deals and also make a maximum-salary commitment to Ben Simmons, they won’t necessarily be a taxpayer in 2019/20, but it’d be virtually impossible to avoid the tax in future seasons, Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes in an in-depth cap breakdown.
  • With Tobias Harris’ list of suitors continuing to grow, Net Income of NetsDaily explores whether it would be worth it for the Nets to offer the free agent forward a maximum-salary contract.
  • Performances like the one Kawhi Leonard turned in on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals were what Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri envisioned when he pulled the trigger on the Leonard blockbuster with San Antonio last July, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
  • Kansas guard Devon Dotson was among the draft-eligible prospects to work out for the Celtics on Thursday, tweets Sean Deveney of Sporting News. According to Deveney, Dotson is still mulling the possibility of returning to the Jayhawks and will make his decision next week before the NCAA’s May 29 withdrawal deadline.

Atlantic Notes: Meeks, Baynes, Nets, Jenkins

Jodie Meeks played in an NBA game on Sunday for the first time in approximately 10 months, making his first appearance as a member of the Raptors. The veteran shooting guard was hit with a 25-game suspension at the end of last season for violating the league’s anti-drug program, was traded from the Wizards to the Bucks in the offseason, and was ultimately cut by Milwaukee. Meeks didn’t get another NBA offer until last week, when the Raptors signed him to a 10-day contract.

“When I got the call this past week, I was really excited and knew that I was ready for the opportunity,” Meeks said, per Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca. “I’m just looking at it as a chance to prove myself again. I’m trying not to look at it as a 10-day. Don’t put any pressure on yourself — just go out there and play hard. Just come in ready when your number’s called, like any other player on this team. (The Raptors) have treated me very well here. I know I’ve only been here a few days, but it’s a first-class organization. I hope to stay.”

Meeks made a good first impression with the Raptors on Sunday, scoring 10 points and making a pair of three-pointers in 17 minutes off the bench. His 10-day deal will expire this Friday night, but if he keeps knocking down shots, he should get another opportunity in Toronto or elsewhere.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • It has been a frustrating season for Celtics center Aron Baynes, who has been slowed by foot and hand injuries over the course of the year, as ESPN’s Kevin Pelton details. While Baynes will face a decision this offseason on his $5.45MM player option for 2019/20, his focus for now is on getting healthy and helping the C’s make a deep playoff run.
  • An agreement between Mikhail Prokhorov and Joseph Tsai, which will allow Tsai to eventually assume controlling ownership of the Nets, had significant potential for disharmony, but has been a success so far, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “That’s probably one of the greatest things about [them], and a credit to Mikhail and Joe. I haven’t noticed a differing of opinions. Both collaborate,” Nets GM Sean Marks said of the ownership situation. “I collaborate with them a lot. There’s no surprises.”
  • John Jenkins, who inked a rest-of-season contract with the Knicks last week, is thrilled that he was able to parlay a 10-day deal into a longer-term commitment, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. “It’s all I could ask for coming in on a 10-day and getting an opportunity to succeed,” Jenkins said. “I’m thankful, grateful, extremely happy. All the hard work I’ve put in, and sacrifice, all paying off at the perfect time.”