Johnathan Motley

Johnathan Motley Signs Two-Way Deal With Clippers

After declining to issue him a qualifying offer last month, the Clippers have decided to bring back big man Johnathan Motley on another two-way contract, reports Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Motley spent the entirety of last season on a two-way contract with the Clippers after being acquired in an offseason trade from Dallas, but spent most of his time with the team’s G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, where he was named All-NBAGL Second Team.

In 22 games with the Clippers, Motley averaged a respectable 4.6 PPG and 2.3 RPG while playing 7.1 minutes per contest. As a rookie, he actually started the last four games of the season for the Mavs, averaging 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in those four starts.

The 24-year-old Baylor product will join rookie Amir Coffey as the Clippers’ two-way players for the 2019/20 season, meaning last season’s G League Rookie of the Year Angel Delgado appears to be the odd man out barring a promotion to a standard contract on the 15-man roster.

Clippers Extend Qualifying Offers To Zubac, McGruder

The Clippers have extended a qualifying offer to center Ivica Zubac, making him a restricted free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. They have also extended a QO to swingman Rodney McGruder, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

The Clippers declined forward Johnathan Motley‘s QO and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Motley was one of the team’s two-way players.

The move to make Zubac an RFA was a mere formality, as he impressed the Clippers after they acquired him from the Lakers at the trade deadline. His qualifying offer is $1,931,189 and the Clippers can now match any offer sheet for the young big man in free agency.

He averaged 9.4 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.5 APG in 20.2 MPG over 26 regular-season games after the deal, including 25 starts. The 7’1” Zubac, 22, saw reduced action in the postseason, averaging 9.8 MPG in four games during the first-round series against the Warriors.

Zubac, a 2016 second-round pick, was part of the February trade that sent veteran forward Mike Muscala to the Lakers.

McGruder’s QO is the same amount extended to Zubac. He was claimed by the Clippers in April after the Heat waived him for luxury-tax purposes. He did appear in any games with the Clippers and was ineligible for the postseason. He averaged 7.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 1.7 APG in 66 games with Miami last season, including 45 starts.

NBA G League Announces 2018/19 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2018/19 season on Monday, Raptors 905 big man Chris Boucher – now a member of the Toronto Raptors – headlines the All-NBA G League first team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Boucher was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jordan Loyd, as well as Capital City Go-Go guard Jordan McRae, Long Island Nets big man Alan Williams, and Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario center Angel Delgado. All four players are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams, as most of the 15 players named to the three squads aren’t currently NBA free agents, having signed two-way or NBA contracts.

The complete list of the 2018/19 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on a 15-man NBA roster are marked with an asterisk (*), while players on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Chris Boucher (Raptors 905) *
  • Angel Delgado (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario) ^
  • Jordan Loyd (Raptors 905) ^
  • Jordan McRae (Capital City Go-Go) ^
  • Alan Williams (Long Island Nets) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Chris Chiozza (Capital City Go-Go) *
    • Note: Chiozza wasn’t on an NBA contract for most of the season, but was recently called up by the Rockets.
  • Angel Delgado (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario) ^
  • Yante Maten (Sioux Falls Skyforce) ^
  • Theo Pinson (Long Islands Nets) ^
  • Duncan Robinson (Sioux Falls Skyforce) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

The All-Defensive team is the only squad that features players who are currently NBA free agents — Brimah and Pelle haven’t been on an NBA roster this season, while Payton only briefly spent time with an NBA team, signing a 10-day contract with the Wizards in January.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls 3/5/19

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Pacific Notes: Ingram, Green, Motley, Suns

The sudden injury to Lakers star LeBron James has opened up a new opportunity for Brandon Ingram, who’s set to control more ball-handling duties until James returns from his strained left groin.

Ingram, who was drafted second by the Lakers in 2016, will have an expanded role with the team in their game against the Kings on Thursday. His numbers have slightly regressed from last season with the new free-agent additions on the club, but the absence of James could give him a chance to show his improvements from the offseason.

“It’s an opportunity,” Ingram said after a team shootaround Thursday, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and play my game a little bit more. I think I’m going to be a little bit more ball-dominant, cutting off the basketball. I have to play even better defense and be on the help side on the defensive end. So it’s a chance for me to just up my game a little bit.”

Along with James, point guard Rajon Rondo will be sidelined as he rehabs from a sprained finger earlier in the week. The Lakers open the first half of a back-to-back set on Thursday in Sacramento, then host the Clippers in an L.A. showdown on Friday.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Warriors star Draymond Green discussed his shooting slump after the team blew a home loss to the Lakers on Christmas Day, acknowledging that he hasn’t been himself this season. “I ain’t really been doing me,” Green said as part of a larger statement, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “I ain’t been playmaking like I can, I ain’t been scoring when I got the opportunity, I ain’t been rebounding like I can, I ain’t been defending, I just haven’t been myself.”
  • The Clippers plan to give an extensive look to two-way player Johnathan Motley, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes.  The team called Motley up from the G League on Wednesday and plans to activate him in the near future, according to Swanson. “I like Mot,” coach Doc Rivers said, “What we don’t know is if defensively he can play the five spot, but I do like him at that spot. I don’t like him as a four that much. Really like him at the five.”
  • The Heat Index at Azcentral.com browsed through different mock drafts for the Suns next June, examining various prospects the team could target for the 2019 event. Players such as Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Kevin Porter Jr. could be available for the Suns, who currently hold the league’s second-worst record at 9-26.

Mavs Sign Chinese Star Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have signed Chinese swingman Ding Yanyuhang to a contract, according to a team press release.

It’s not immediately clear whether Yanyuhang received a two-way contract, though Dallas opened up one of those slots by trading forward Johnathan Motley to the Clippers on Monday. Dallas also has roster space to give Yanyuhang a standard contract and is currently thin at the wing positions.

The 6’6” Ding has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong last season, he averaged 26.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.6 SPG and earned his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding played on the Mavericks’ summer-league team last year. He was a candidate for a two-way contract with Dallas last summer.

Clippers Acquire Johnathan Motley From Mavs

The Clippers have acquired forward Johnathan Motley in a deal with the Mavericks, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Both Los Angeles and Dallas have confirmed the transaction via press releases.

The Clippers also received the rights to Renaldas Seibutis in exchange for the draft rights to Maarty Leunen, plus $50K. Motley is on a two-way contract. It’s the first-ever trade involving a two-way contract, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Dallas opened up a two-way contract slot via the transaction.

Motley, 23, averaged 8.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG in 11 games with Dallas last season. The 6’10” power forward went undrafted out of Baylor.

Seibutis was a second-round pick by Dallas all the way back in 2007. Siebutis, 33, is a 6’5” guard who currently plays in Lithuania and is also a member of that country’s national team.

Leunen was drafted in the second round by the Clippers in 2008. The 6’9” Leunen, 32, attended the University of Oregon and is currently playing in Italy.

Mavericks Notes: Noel, McDermott, Carlisle, Motley, Offseason Plans

The Mavericks may have dodged a bullet when Nerlens Noel rejected the team’s four-year, $70MM offer last summer, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News writes. Noel will hit the open market this summer and the type of role and deal he will secure is up in the air.

Noel, still just 23 years old, was limited by injuries this season as he played in just 30 games. Noel averaged 4.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG. After his recent five-game suspension, Noel’s tenure in Dallas is likely over and Cowlishaw writes that while the talent is there, Noel will likely face a challenge to find a consistent role.

“I don’t see him as a starting center on a good team. He’s not enough of a post threat to scare anyone and he certainly can’t drift out to the perimeter and shoot 3’s like so many big men can in today’s league,” the scribe notes. “He’s a decent defender when he’s willing and not a lot beyond that.”

Check out more Mavericks news and notes below:

  • Doug McDermott is a more-than-capable three-point shooter, which makes it likely that the Mavericks will try to retain him beyond the current season. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News speculates that McDermott could search for a deal in the $6MM-$8MM range, which would be a fair deal for both him and the Mavericks.
  • Rick Carlisle will complete his 10th season as the Mavericks head coach amid a rebuilding phase. While it may be a frustrating process to coach a losing team, Carlisle thinks the team has made progress, Sefko writes in a separate story. “This is a challenge I have not taken on as a head coach. So from that standpoint, I welcome it,” he said. “And I understand that there’s going to be difficult periods. But we are making progress.”
  • With just a few games left, Carlisle gave an indication as to what the team’s rotation will look like, Mavs.com reporter Dwain Price tweets. “We know what the guys that have been playing heavy minutes all year can do. We want to see what (Kyle) Collinsworth and Jalen Jones and (Johnathan) Motley — of course — and these other guys can do. And Aaron Harrison, Carlisle said.
  • Sefko writes in another piece that the Mavericks are more likely to improve the team via free agency rather than the trade market.
  • The Mavericks’ sole focus for the rest of the season is to audition players for next season. Sefko writes that Johnathan Motley has impressed with his play recently and will be looked at as a potential player for next season.

Southwest Notes: Holiday, Motley, Gasol

The addition of Rajon Rondo to the Pelicans‘ lineup has helped bring out the best in Jrue Holiday. William Guillory of The Times-Picayune writes that the converted shooting guard is playing some of the best basketball of his New Orleans tenure.

Holiday has established himself as a desperately needed perimeter scoring option, especially now that the presence of Rondo allows him to focus on scoring. The extra offensive output comes at an ideal time for the Pelicans, as they’ve been without Anthony Davis for the past three games..

I think Jrue is one of the best. He’s easily one of the top three 1-on-1 players in our game today,” Rondo, who signed with the Pelicans in the offseason, said. Since Rondo has slid into the lineup, Holiday has averaged 20 points and 4.4 assists per game with a .483 field-goal percentage.

His aggression and just taking advantage of being a bigger guardHe’s one of the best two-way players in this league when he’s aggressive. That’s the guy we need for our team to go to the next level,” Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins added. “He’s been playing great, he’s taken our team to another level and we’re a tough team to beat when he’s playing that way.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks have added Johnathan Motley to their active lineup for the first time this season after the two-way contract signee averaged 22.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in the G League, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. “[When you’re in the G League] you can’t just try to be a guy and get everybody else involved,” teammate J.J. Barea, an alum of the NBA’s minor league, said. “You got to kill it. That’s how you get noticed.
  • The NBA has fined Marc Gasol $15K for dropping an F-Bomb on live television, the league announced. It’s been a rocky season for the Grizzlies.
  • The Rockets have looked impressive with Chris Paul back in the lineup, not only on offense but on defense. Sam Amick of USA Today writes that Paul’s defensive presence – in addition to P.J. Tucker‘s and Luc Mbah a Moute‘s – has helped Houston make a name for itself with the fifth-best defensive rating in the league.

Mavericks Notes: Nowitzki, Mejri, Motley

Dirk Nowitzki, entering his 20th season with the Mavericks, will have a lot of questions surrounding his health and productivity. While the 39-year-old was still productive in 54 games last season, averaging 14.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG, his shooting (.437% )from the field was the lowest figure since his rookie season. As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, the legendary Maverick could become a bench player in 2017/18.

Sefko notes that coming off the bench would help keep Nowitzki’s legs fresh and perhaps prevent long term injuries. The German-born All-Star missed several games last season with Achilles tendon issues and considering the mileage on his body, pushing the near 40-year-old legend could only result in further damage.

However, the Dallas scribe is adamant in mentioning that if Nowitzki did not feel he could help, he would not play. “He will probably split time again between power forward and center, and the long-talked-about scenario of him coming off the bench might finally be in the cards, although he still seems better suited to start, keeping those creaky old legs from stiffening up after pregame warmups,” Sefko writes.

Below you can find additional notes surrounding the Mavericks organization:

  • While Salah Mejri found his way into 73 games for Dallas last season, Eddie Sefko writes in a separate piece that he will have to prove himself in 2017/18 if he wants to remain with the Mavericks. Mejri averaged just 2.9 PPG last season and entering the final year of his deal, he will need to show improvements across the board.
  • While he does not figure to get much NBA playing time, Johnathan Motley, who signed a two-way deal with the Mavericks, feels he can provide energy and size if called upon, NBA.com’s Earl K. Sneed writes. Motley enjoyed three good years at Baylor and went undrafted this year but could see time if the Mavericks are struck by injuries.
  • Once from Sefko, he writes that Motley’s role with the team is uncertain but the two-way deal gives Dallas a choice to shuttle him between the NBA and G-League. If he stays healthy and proves he can be effective in the NBA’s minor leagues, he will get a look from the team, Sefko adds.