Josh Hall

Western Notes: Curry, Green, C. Johnson, Jazz, J. Hall

Warriors veterans Stephen Curry and Draymond Green didn’t make the trip to Phoenix for Thursday’s game and won’t be available, reports Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s a rest day for Curry, who will be participating in the All-Star Game this weekend. As for Green, he’ll get an extra day of rest for his sore ankle before Golden State gets a week off for the All-Star break.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Second-year sharpshooter Cameron Johnson also won’t play in Thursday’s Suns/Warriors contest, as he’s been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. If Johnson is subject to contact tracing, he could be good to go following the All-Star break, but if he has tested positive for COVID-19, he won’t be available for the start of the second half either.
  • After waiving Shaquille Harrison last week, the Jazz are still about $1.2MM above the luxury tax line, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who suggests Utah could still get out of tax territory by paying a team to take on Juwan Morgan‘s contract before the trade deadline, then filling its open roster spots off-and-on with 10-day contracts for the rest of the season. Of course, a bigger trade that reduces team salary would also work.
  • The Thunder recalled rookie two-way player Josh Hall from the G League bubble on Wednesday, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Hall, who played in just one game for the OKC Blue at Walt Disney World, was listed on Wednesday’s injury report as out due to left knee soreness.

G League Assignments: Pokusevski, Oturu, Magnay, Azubuike, Forrest

Thunder rookie big man Aleksej Pokusevski has averaged 17.4 minutes per game in 17 appearances but he’s headed to Orlando to join the G League’s Oklahoma City Blue, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The 17th overall pick, who played 20 minutes in a blowout loss to Houston on Monday, is shooting just 24.7% from the field and the team wants him to develop his offensive game.

Guard Ty Jerome and two-way players Moses Brown and Josh Hall are also going to Orlando. “A lot of time and effort has gone into deciding who to send and when to send them,” Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said. “We felt like sending the four of them together, all for different reasons developmentally, was the best decision.”

We have more G League transactions from Western Conference clubs:

  • The Clippers assigned rookie big man Daniel Oturu to the Agua Caliente Clippers, according the RealGM transactions log. Oturu has appeared in 10 NBA games this season but has only averaged 4.2 MPG. He’s only gotten on the court once since January 22 and the organization wants Oturu to get some extended playing time during the bubble season in Orlando.
  • The Pelicans have transferred two-way player Will Magnay to the Erie BayHawks, the Pelicans’ PR department tweets. The 22-year-old rookie power forward out of Tulsa, who played in Australia last season, has not appeared in a game this season.
  • The Jazz duo of rookie center Udoka Azubuike and Trent Forrest are joining the Salt Lake City Stars, the G League team tweets. Azubuike, the team’s first-round pick out of Kansas, has made 12 limited appearances this season. Forrest, an undrafted guard out of Florida State, has played in two NBA games.

Thunder’s Josh Hall Out Due To COVID-19 Protocols

Thunder rookie small forward Josh Hall will miss at least tomorrow’s tilt against the Clippers due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman (Twitter link).

Hall was inked to a two-way contract by the Thunder in December after going undrafted straight out of high school via Moravian Prep in Hickory, North Carolina. The 6’9″ wing has yet to crack the regular rotation, averaging 7.8 MPG in five games for the Thunder.

Details on the exact nature of Hall’s absence have yet to emerge. It is possible the 20-year-old is being withheld from game action and isolating as a precautionary measure after returning a positive or inconclusive test result for the novel coronavirus.

Alternately, Hall may also be absent due to the league’s contact tracing protocols. If it’s determined he was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, he would need to continue to test negative for seven days following exposure.

Thunder Sign Josh Hall To Two-Way Contract

The Thunder have officially signed undrafted rookie Josh Hall to his two-way contract, agent Nathan Conley tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Hall’s agreement with the club was reported shortly after the draft last month.

Ranked by ESPN as the No. 5 prospect among those who went undrafted, Hall has “considerable potential” as both a shooter and ball-handler, according to Mike Schmitz’s scouting report. A 6’9″ forward, Hall had been on track to play college ball at North Carolina State after a year at Moravian Prep, but opted to go pro and enter the draft instead.

The Thunder opened up a pair of spots on their 20-man training camp roster by completing their Al Horford trade earlier today, so it appears that Hall slid into one of those openings.

The signing increases Oklahoma City’s roster count to 19 players, with reported deals for Theo Maledon, Chasson Randle and Moses Brown (two-way contract) still to come. The club will have to make at least two cuts to finalize those moves.

Thunder Expected To Sign Omer Yurtseven, Josh Hall

The Thunder have reached an agreement on an Exhibit 10 contract for undrafted Georgtown big man Omer Yurtseven, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Yurtseven, 22, began his college career at North Carolina State before transferring to Georgetown. He was the Hoyas’ starting center in 2019/20, averaging 15.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 26 games (27.3 MPG).

Having declared for the draft following his junior season, Yurtseven wasn’t one of the 60 players selected on Wednesday night, but ranked as ESPN’s 31st-best undrafted prospect and didn’t take long to find a home for training camp.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have also reached a deal to sign free agent forward Josh Hall, an undrafted prospect out of Moravian Prep, a source tells Jake Weingarten of StockRisers.com (Twitter link). It’ll be a two-way contract, according to Weingarten (Twitter link).

The No. 5 undrafted prospect on ESPN’s list, Hall has “considerable potential” as both a shooter and ball-handler, according to Mike Schmitz’s scouting report. Schmitz adds that Hall isn’t NBA-ready, but could develop into a rotation wing with some G League seasoning.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Draft Notes: Bey, Hall, Mamukelashvili, Jones

Colorado’s Tyler Bey has signed with an agent and will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets. Bey declared for the draft in late March. The 6’7” Bey is a potential first-round pick. He’s currently ranked No. 35 overall by ESPN and No. 8 among power forward prospects. He posted 13.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG with 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG in 31 games (29.0 MPG) in 2019/20.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Josh Hall will bypass college and remain in the draft, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports. The 6’9” Hall had signed to play with North Carolina State next season but has hired an agent and will pursue pro opportunities. He’s eligible for this year’s draft because he graduated for high school last year, did a post-graduate season year and is 19 years old.
  • Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has a dozen video interviews lined up with NBA teams but could still return for his senior season, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com reports. He declared for the draft in March without hiring an agent. Mamukelashvili averaged 11.9 PPG and 6.0 RPG this season but missed seven weeks due to a fractured wrist.
  • Mason Jones declared on a Twitter post he’s not returning to Arkansas, Goodman relays in another tweet. The junior guard averaged 22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG in his final year with the Razorbacks. The 6’5” Jones is ranked No. 77 overall and No. 14 among shooting guards by ESPN.

UCLA’s Chris Smith, Others Declare For 2020 Draft

UCLA junior forward Chris Smith is among the latest early entrants to declare for the 2020 NBA draft, telling Jonathan Givony of ESPN that he’s “100% committed to the process.”

Smith, who was named the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player last month, averaged 13.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 31 games (28.3 MPG), with a shooting line of .458/.341/.840.

Givony, who has Smith coming in at No. 72 on ESPN’s big board for 2020, notes that the UCLA forward is the youngest junior in ESPN’s top 100, since he enrolled in college as a 17-year-old — he just turned 20 in December.

Givony adds that Smith’s age, improving shot, and defensive versatility will make him an intriguing target for NBA teams. However, Smith is the sort of prospect who may have benefited from in-person workouts and interviews, which likely won’t be possible during this year’s pre-draft process, as we detailed on Monday.

Here are a few more of the latest early entrants for the 2020 draft:

  • Stanford guard Tyrell Terry will test the 2020 draft waters, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Terry, who is ranked by ESPN as the 20th-best freshman prospect, is considered one of the country’s best young shooters, having knocked down 40.8% of his three-pointers and 89.1% of his free throws in 2019/20.
  • North Carolina State recruit Josh Hall will test the draft waters, he announced on Twitter. Hall, a former standout forward at Moravian Prep, previously re-classified from the 2019 recruiting class to 2020, so he has the option of going pro or joining the Wolfpack for next season.
  • Utah sophomore swingman Both Gach is declaring for the draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he tells Evan Daniels of 247Sports (Twitter link). Gach averaged 10.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 27 games (30.4 MPG) as a sophomore, but struggled with his shot, making just 39.7% of his field goals and 25.0% of his threes.