Johnathan Motley

NBA Announces Official Rosters For Summer Restart

The NBA has announced the official summer rosters for each of the 22 teams involved in the resumption of the 2019/20 season. A total of 350 players make up the 22 squads, with only eight clubs carrying the maximum allowable 17 players. The Trail Blazers have the smallest summer roster, with just 13 players.

Injured players who didn’t make the trip to Orlando – such as Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – don’t show up on the official rosters list, but injured players who traveled with their teams – including Mavericks big man Dwight Powell and Pacers swingman Jeremy Lamb – are included, even if they won’t play this summer.

Besides players who are injured, voluntarily opted out, or were ruled out after contracting COVID-19, there are a few more notable omissions on the list, which we’ll round up here:

  • Houston Rockets: William Howard
    • A two-way player, Howard recently reached a two-year deal with ASVEL Basket in France, so it makes sense that he won’t be playing for the Rockets this summer.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Johnathan Motley, Mfiondu Kabengele
    • As previously reported, Motley and Kabengele didn’t travel to Orlando with the Clippers and won’t be playing this summer.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Cameron Reynolds
    • The Bucks only brought one of their two-way players (Frank Mason III), as Reynolds doesn’t show up on their official roster. The reason for his absence is unclear.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Gray
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Ryan Broekhoff
    • Broekhoff was signed as a substitute player to fill the Sixers’ open two-way slot, but later announced that he hadn’t traveled to Orlando because his wife, who is “high risk,” tested positive for COVID-19. Based on his omission from Philadelphia’s roster, it appears that Broekhoff won’t be joining the club after all.
  • Phoenix Suns: Tariq Owens
    • The Suns left one of their two-way slots open and apparently didn’t bring their lone two-way player to Orlando. The reason for Owens’ absence is unclear.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Moses Brown
    • Despite only having 13 players available in Orlando, the Trail Blazers won’t have Brown – their second two-way player – with them. The reason for his absence is unclear.
  • Washington Wizards: Gary Payton II

L.A. Notes: Kawhi, Clippers, Lakers, KCP, Waiters

After appearing in 51 of the Clippers‘ 64 games before the NBA went on hiatus in March, star forward Kawhi Leonard said this week that he feels good and is ready to go, as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times writes.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers suggested there would be “no limits” on the former Finals MVP, who hasn’t played in back-to-back sets over the last couple seasons due to leg issues. However, Rivers acknowledged that the Clips’ priority will be to keep Leonard in top shape, which may mean not pushing him too hard during the eight seeding games.

“Kawhi is healthy for the most part,” Rivers said. “That still doesn’t mean that we don’t want to maintain him and get him through the first eight games and get ready for the playoffs. We want to be smart about this. Not just for Kawhi, it’s with everybody.”

Here’s more on the Clippers and their L.A. rivals:

  • The Clippers will have 15 players available in Orlando when the season resumes, according to Greif, who notes in a separate Times story that the club didn’t bring rookie forward Mfiondu Kabengele or two-way center Johnathan Motley. Teams were permitted to bring up to 17 players to the NBA’s campus, but the Clips elected to “load up on medical personnel” to fill out their traveling party, writes Greif.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the leading candidate to replace Avery Bradley in the Lakers‘ starting lineup, head coach Frank Vogel said on Monday, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bradley, who opted out of the rest of the season, started 44 games this year, typically alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Danny Green, and JaVale McGee.
  • With Bradley not playing this summer and Rajon Rondo sidelined due to a broken thumb, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register wonders if Dion Waiters could assume some ball-handling duties off the bench for the Lakers. “Losing Rondo put more of a need on Dion’s skillset, so I look forward to seeing what he can do more as we get into games,” Vogel said.

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.

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.