Justin Anderson

Atlantic Notes: Anderson, Nets, Kemba, Waters, Horford, Raptors

Nets swingman Justin Anderson reached a deal with the team back in June, but didn’t officially sign his substitute-player contract until this past Saturday. As Brian Lewis of The New York Post details, that delay was a result of a case of COVID-19.

“It’s something we wanted to try and keep in-house because we weren’t quite sure when we’d be able to pass the protocols,” Anderson said on a Zoom call on Tuesday. “Battling between negative and positive tests, battling between trying to make sure I got here in a car service rather than a plane to make sure I continue to follow protocol. It was just a long journey.

“… (I) spent time here in Orlando outside of the bubble, about five days to get everything situated and past the protocol with two negative tests. It was a process, and I’m just glad that I’m finally here.”

Although Anderson has finally joined the Nets and cleared quarantine, he won’t be among the players who see action during the team’s first scrimmage on Wednesday. According to Lewis, Jamal Crawford and Tyler Johnson also won’t play in that game — neither will Donta Hall, who remains in quarantine.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Over the weekend, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens downplayed concerns about the status of Kemba Walker‘s knee, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Stevens offered an update on his star point guard on Tuesday, telling reporters – including ESPN’s Tim Bontemps – that Walker likely won’t play in the team’s first scrimmage on Friday. “But he’s pretty darn close right now,” Stevens said.
  • Rookie guard Tremont Waters, who is on a two-way contract with the Celtics, suffered a concussion last week, but is in the later stages of the league’s concussion protocol, Stevens told reporters on Monday (link via Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston).
  • Sixers big man Al Horford will likely be looking at a reduced role this summer, and head coach Brett Brown said on Tuesday that Horford has been “great” in handling that change, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
  • With a full and healthy roster for the first time all season, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse will have plenty of lineup options available to him when play resumes, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. As Blake Murphy of The Athletic relays, Nurse is interested in experimenting with some five-man groups that are heavy on bigs. “It seems to me we started really dominant on the defensive end with the jumbo lineup,” he said.

Nets Sign Justin Anderson As Substitute Player

4:24pm: The signing is official, the team announced on Twitter.

3:42pm: Justin Anderson will sign with the Nets later today, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Rumors of the 27-year-old swingman joining the team began in late June and continued last week when he discussed the possibility on a radio show (YouTube link). However, Brooklyn opted for Lance Thomas instead, making the deal official earlier this week.

Another spot opened up when veteran forward Michael Beasley tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in Orlando and failed to clear quarantine. It’s possible the Nets already knew they’d be replacing Beasley when they signed Thomas instead of Anderson last week.

Anderson signed a 10-day contract with the Nets in January and averaged 1.0 PPG in three games before being released by the organization. He also spent part  of the season with Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island. A first-round pick by the Mavericks in 2015, Anderson had brief stops with the Sixers and Hawks as well.

Nets Will Replace Michael Beasley

Nets forward Michael Beasley will become the summer’s first substitute player who requires a substitute player of his own, as Shams Charania reports (via Twitter) that Beasley won’t be joining the team after all.

Beasley signed with Brooklyn a week ago, but tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving to the Walt Disney World campus and didn’t clear quarantine. As a result, the Nets have decided to sign a substitute player to replace him. Although Charania doesn’t specify who that player will be, he notes that Justin Anderson “remains a signing candidate.”

Anderson reportedly reached a deal back in June to sign with the Nets and said during an appearance on the JWILLY Show (YouTube link) on Monday that he was quarantining in an Orlando-area hotel in preparation.

It’s a tough break for Beasley, who had been out of the NBA since February of 2019 and likely would have had a chance to earn some playing time this summer for the Nets, who are missing a total of seven players from their original squad.

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Nicolas Claxton are sidelined with injuries, Wilson Chandler voluntarily opted out, and DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince have been ruled out following positive coronavirus tests. Beasley becomes the eighth Nets player who won’t participate in the restart.

Brooklyn has been able to sign substitute players to replace its non-injured players, bringing aboard Jamal Crawford, Lance Thomas, and Donta Hall along with Beasley. The former No. 2 overall pick will now be replaced by a fifth substitute player, presumably Anderson.

Nets Sign Lance Thomas As Substitute Player

3:03pm: The Nets have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Thomas as a substitute player.

There’s no word yet on how the deal will affect Anderson.

2:56pm: The Nets have finalized an agreement with free agent forward Lance Thomas, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Begley first reported over the weekend that Thomas was nearing a deal with Brooklyn.

Thomas hasn’t appeared in an NBA game in 2019/20, having been waived by the Nets before the regular season began last fall. The 32-year-old previously appeared in 392 regular season contests over eight seasons with New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and New York, averaging 5.2 PPG and 2.6 RPG. He last suited up for the Knicks in ’18/19, recording 4.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 46 games (17.0 MPG).

Word of Thomas’ agreement with the Nets comes on the heels of Justin Anderson saying during an appearance on the JWILLY Show (YouTube link) that he’s quarantining in an Orlando-area hotel as he prepares to officially sign his contract with Brooklyn, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays.

The Nets are allowed to sign substitute players to replace their four players who have either opted out of the restart (Wilson Chandler) or been ruled out due to COVID-19 (Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, and Taurean Prince). So far, the team has officially signed three substitutes — Jamal Crawford, Michael Beasley, and Donta Hall.

While it’s possible that Brooklyn could sign both Thomas and Anderson, that would presumably mean a fifth player on the roster is being replaced. There has been no word yet that another Net has opted out or contracted the coronavirus, and the club has yet to formally announce the signing of either Thomas or Anderson, so we’ll await further updates.

Nets To Sign Justin Anderson

The Nets are signing free agent forward Justin Anderson to a contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Anderson will serve as a substitute player for Brooklyn, who lost combo forward Wilson Chandler for the season after he announced his intentions to remain home and care for his family on Sunday. The team is also slated to play without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Nicolas Claxton due to injuries.

Teams are required to submit their final rosters by Wednesday, July 1 for the NBA restart, which is slated to commence in Orlando later next month.

Anderson, who was drafted No. 21 in 2015 by Dallas, spent part of this season with Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island. He earned a 10-day contract with the Nets in January, later being released by the organization.

Anderson holds prior experience with the Mavericks, Sixers and Hawks in his young NBA career, most recently joining the Wizards for training camp last fall. He owns career-averages of 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 13.1 minutes per contest.

Justin Anderson Drawing Interest From Several Teams

Numerous teams heading to Orlando have expressed serious interest in signing wing Justin Anderson, Ian Begley of SNY tweets.

Prior to the stoppage of play, Anderson was a member of the Long Island Nets. He was signed to a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets in early January but the NBA Nets didn’t offer him another contract. His G League rights were traded by Raptors 905 to the Nets affiliate later that month. Earlier on Friday, Anderson was named to the All-NBAGL Third Team.

Anderson was on the Wizards’ training camp roster but was waived prior to the season.

Anderson, 26, has appeared in 219 NBA games. He saw action in three Nets games this season and played 48 games for the Hawks last season. He’s also worn the Dallas and Philadelphia uniforms since entering the league in 2015/16.

Anderson’s defensive ability is the attraction for the teams looking to sign him, Begley adds. He’s averaged 5.3 PPG in 13.1 MPG while shooting 30% from long range during his NBA career.

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.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Pelle, Anderson

Knicks management didn’t make any public statements during the preseason suggesting they expected to make the postseason, but Ian Begley of SNY.tv hears that the front office privately conveyed to players that anything less than a playoff spot would be a disappointment. According to Begley, Knicks players who can become free agents in 2020 were told they’d be judged more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than on their individual play.

As Begley explains, management may have been trying to motivate a roster that consisted of mostly young players or newcomers. If that was the plan, it has backfired, as the Knicks have fallen well short of those expectations.

Begley’s article is worth checking out in full for more details on the pressure the coaches and players have felt this season and how those preseason expectations influenced the decision to fire David Fizdale. In my view, if Steve Mills and Scott Perry legitimately believed the Knicks should be a playoff team, that should be more of an indictment of their ability to build and evaluate a roster than of the coaches’ or players’ performances.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • While there has been speculation since Kawhi Leonard‘s departure last summer that the Raptors could become sellers due to their expiring veteran contracts, their success this season has made that increasingly unlikely. President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri essentially confirmed as much this week when he said the Raps will “die trying” to defend their title, as Julia Kreuz of Sportsnet.ca relays. “If we do something (on the trade market), it’s out of the fact that we think this is giving us a chance, or a bigger chance, and right now I think we have that chance, if we continue to play ball and continue to figure it out,” Ujiri said.
  • Sixers two-way player Norvel Pelle reached his 45-day NBA limit when he was active on Wednesday night vs. Toronto, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pelle is unsure what’s next for him, suggesting he’ll leave that up to his agent and the team. If he’s not converted to a standard contract – perhaps after the trade deadline – he won’t be eligible to suit up for the 76ers until after the G League regular season ends in late March.
  • The Nets‘ and Raptors‘ G League teams swapped a pair of players with NBA experience, as the Raptors 905 traded swingman Justin Anderson to the Long Island Nets for big man Henry Ellenson. Ellenson was a two-way player for Brooklyn earlier in the season, while Anderson was on a 10-day contract with the Nets this month. Kelsea O’Brien of Raptors Republic first reported the deal (via Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Rose, Wooten, Anderson

There are few players who are off the table in trade talks for the Knicks, as I recently wrote for SLAM Magazine. RJ Barrett, who injured his ankle earlier tonight, and Mitchell Robinson are both unlikely to be dealt. Everyone else on the roster seems available for the right price, including Marcus Morris, who returned from a five-game absence in the loss tonight.

As we wait to see which players from New York get traded before the deadline, let’s take a look around the Atlantic Division:

  • Should the Sixers trade for Derrick Rose? ESPN’s Tracy McGrady (video link) believes the point guard could be the right target for Philadelphia at this year’s trade deadline.
  • Kenny Wooten‘s two-way contract with the Knicks runs through two seasons, ESPN Bobby Mark tweets. Wooten’s deal is just one of seven like it in the NBA.
  • Javonte Green is getting a chance to live out his dream with the Celtics, as he tells NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg.“When I first got the offer from [Danny Ainge], it was a dream come true,” said Green. “I still don’t think it’s really hit me. But every day, a random day, I can just be going to the grocery store, and I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m really in the NBA.’”
  • Justin Anderson will re-join the Raptors‘ G League affiliate, per the team’s Twitter feed. Anderson was with the Raptors 905 before signing a 10-day deal with Brooklyn.

Nets Part With Justin Anderson, Sign Luwawu-Cabarrot To 10-Day Deal

The Nets won’t re-sign Justin Anderson to a second 10-day contract, tweets Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report.

His roster spot will go to two-way player Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who has been playing regular minutes lately and has about a week left on his 45-day NBA limit. Luwawu-Cabarrot will be given a 10-day contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Anderson signed with Brooklyn on January 6, so his 10 days expired tonight. The small forward appeared in three games, averaging 5.7 minutes per night and scoring three total points. The Nets were the fourth NBA stop for Anderson, who played for the Hawks last season and has spent time with the Mavericks and Sixers.

Anderson, who had been playing for Raptors 905 before signing with Brooklyn, is expected to return to Toronto’s G League team, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.