Justin Jackson

Bucks Promote Mamadi Diakite, Sign Justin Jackson

APRIL 21, 12:11pm: Jackson has now officially signed with the Bucks too, as the team issued a second release announcing his two-way contract.


APRIL 21, 11:22am: The Bucks have made Diakite’s new deal official, announcing in a press release that he has signed a new multiyear contract.


APRIL 20, 10:06pm: The Bucks are converting Mamadi Diakite‘s two-way contract into a multiyear deal, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

An undrafted forward out of Virginia, Diakite was named to the All-NBAGL First Team while playing for the Lakeland Magic in the Orlando bubble. He’s appeared in 11 Bucks games since the All-Star break, averaging 2.5 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 8.6 MPG.

“I have more to prove, I have more to give to the team and I have more to show to the fans,” Diakite said. “Them doing this shows me that they trust me in many ways, but I still have work to do.”

The exact terms of Diakite’s deal aren’t known, but it’s unlikely to be fully guaranteed beyond this season.

The Bucks are filling the two-way slot with forward Justin Jackson, who played 33 games with the Thunder this year. Oklahoma City released him earlier this month.

Jackson, who turned 26 in March, averaged 7.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .406/.306/.857 shooting this season.

The former 15th overall pick began his career in Sacramento in 2017 and also played for Dallas before arriving in OKC in the 2020 offseason along with Trevor Ariza as part of a three-team trade that sent Delon Wright to the Pistons and James Johnson to the Mavs.

Milwaukee now has a full roster.

Thunder Release Justin Jackson

10:13am: The Thunder have officially waived Jackson, the team announced in a press release.


10:04am: The Thunder are waiving fourth-year forward Justin Jackson, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The move will open up a spot on Oklahoma City’s 15-man roster to go along with the team’s open two-way contract slot.

Jackson, who turned 26 in March, has appeared in 33 games (16.5 MPG) for the Thunder this season, averaging 7.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .406/.306/.857 shooting.

The former 15th overall pick began his career in Sacramento in 2017 and also played for Dallas before arriving in OKC in the 2020 offseason along with Trevor Ariza as part of a three-team trade that sent Delon Wright to the Pistons and James Johnson to the Mavs.

With a $5,029,650 cap hit for 2020/21, Johnson had been the third highest-paid player on the Thunder’s active roster. Although Oklahoma City will remain on the hook for that money, the club won’t owe the forward anything beyond this season, since he had been on track for free agency.

Jackson would have been eligible to be a restricted free agent if he had played out his contract, but clearly wasn’t in the Thunder’s long-term plans and always seemed unlikely to receive a qualifying offer. He’ll instead reach the open market later this week as an unrestricted FA, and will be able to sign with any team except the Mavs.

Wright To Pistons, Ariza To Thunder, Johnson To Mavs In Three-Team Trade

NOVEMBER 27: The Thunder, Mavericks, and Pistons have officially finalized their three-team trade, according to press releases from the teams. As detailed below, Ariza and Jackson are headed to Oklahoma City, Johnson is going to Dallas, and Wright moves to Detroit.

The Thunder also acquired a 2023 second-round pick (the more favorable of Dallas’ and Miami’s picks) and the Mavs’ 2026 second-rounder in the deal.


NOVEMBER 21: The Thunder, Mavericks, and Pistons have agreed to a three-team trade, according to reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links) and Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links).

The move will send James Johnson from Oklahoma City to Dallas and Delon Wright from Dallas to Detroit. The Thunder will receive Trevor Ariza (from the Pistons), Justin Jackson (from the Mavericks), and – unsurprisingly – some form of draft compensation.

From the Mavericks’ perspective, the deal will allow them to open up a roster spot and add some veteran toughness, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who tweets that Dallas intends to keep Johnson on its roster. Moving Wright, who had two years left on his contract, and taking back Johnson’s expiring $16MM deal also allows the Mavs to create some added cap flexibility for the summer of 2021.

The Pistons will reduce team salary for 2020/21 and will reunite Wright with his former coach in Toronto, Dwane Casey. Having signed a three-year deal in Dallas in 2019, Wright had a decent year off the bench, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG in 73 games (21.5 MPG). But he became expendable when the club acquired Josh Richardson earlier this week.

As for the Thunder, I’d be surprised if they have big plans for Ariza or Jackson — they simply saw another opportunity to pick up an extra draft pick to add to Sam Presti‘s constantly-growing collection.

Ariza, who is still technically a member of the Blazers, has now been part of trade agreements that will send him to Houston, Detroit, and Oklahoma City within the last few days. Those deals will all be completed after the transaction moratorium lifts on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Winslow, Grizzlies, Mavs, Gordon

The Grizzlies faced some criticism for last week’s trade with Miami and Minnesota, which saw them trade away veteran forwards Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill for Justise Winslow, Gorgui Dieng, and Dion Waiters.

The price for acquiring Winslow was taking on a pair of pricey multiyear contracts that – along with a Dillon Brooks extension – eliminated Memphis’ projected cap room for the summer of 2020. However, executive VP of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said today that the team feels Winslow is worth that price, as Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian relays.

Kleiman referred to Winslow as a player who will be a “very strong fit” both on and off the court for the Grizzlies, praising the forward’s work ethic, basketball IQ, and defensive tenacity.

“There were several options that were on the table at the end of the day,” Kleiman said. “… We’re well aware that we leveraged our cap space (for 2020), pulling ourselves out of the free agent market. There’s an opportunity cost to doing so. None of that is lost on us. But to be able to add one player that we believe in as a key piece to fit what we’re building, that was Plan A. That was the deal that we were hoping to get.”

Of course, Winslow’s health is the question mark that looms over the deal, but Kleiman said today that Memphis fully expects the former lottery pick to return to the court this season and is confident his back injury won’t be a long-term issue, per Herrington.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • By insisting on finding a trade for Andre Iguodala instead of simply buying him out, the Grizzlies aimed to send a message to the rest of the NBA that they shouldn’t just be viewed as a “feeder system for the league’s glamour destinations,” writes Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.
  • Despite a little drama leading up to the trade deadline, both Iguodala and the Grizzlies said they were on the same page when it came to having the swingman stay away from the team. Iguodala told Sam Amick of The Athletic that the Grizzlies actually approached him about the idea. “We were in communication with Andre’s camp,” Kleiman said today, per Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. “The communications were fine and we were on the same page throughout.”
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic shares some Mavericks-related trade deadline leftovers, reporting that the team inquired on Alex Len before the Hawks sent him to Sacramento. Aldridge also says there was “scuttlebutt in the air” that Delon Wright and/or Justin Jackson were available.
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon is expected to be sidelined with a left shin contusion until after the All-Star break, head coach Mike D’Antoni said today (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston).

Mavs Pick Up 2020/21 Options On Doncic, Jackson

The Mavericks have exercised the third-year option for Luka Doncic and the fourth-year option for Justin Jackson, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic (Twitter link). Both rookie scale team options apply to the 2020/21 season.

Doncic, who will have a cap hit of $8,049,360 in ’20/21, is the NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year winner and projects to be a cornerstone in Dallas for many years to come. The Mavs will have to exercise his 2021/22 option next year, and he’ll become eligible for his first rookie scale extension during the 2021 offseason.

As for Jackson, the 24-year-old forward had an impressive stretch for the Mavs to finish the 2018/19 season after coming over from Sacramento in the Harrison Barnes deal. In 29 games (18.3 MPG) for Dallas, he averaged 8.2 PPG on .484/.372/.724 shooting. His fourth-year option in ’20/21 will have a cap charge of $5,029,650.

Assuming Tim Hardaway Jr. picks up his $19MM player option for 2020/21 next spring, the Mavs project to have about $108MM+ in guaranteed money on their books, which wouldn’t leave any meaningful cap room. Barring cost-cutting moves, Dallas’ next opportunity to make a splash in free agency will likely come in 2021.

While the Mavs have made decisions on their 2020/21 rookie scale team options well in advance of the October 31 deadline, there are still plenty of option decisions to come. Our tracker can be found right here.

Kings Acquire Harrison Barnes From Mavericks

FEBRUARY 7, 12:43am: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Mavericks. The club confirmed it has released Mejri, who will become a free agent if he clears waivers.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), assuming Dallas uses its recently-created Wesley Matthews traded player exception to absorb Randolph’s salary, the team should generate a new TPE worth $21,299,378. It would be the largest trade exception in NBA history.

FEBRUARY 7, 12:13am: Because they’re acquiring two players in exchange for one, the Mavericks will need to waive a player to finalize the trade. That player will be Salah Mejri, according to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com (Twitter link). Mejri was informed of the decision during Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte, per JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 6, 9:18pm: The Mavericks are finalizing a trade that will send Harrison Barnes to Sacramento, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph will be heading to Dallas, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). There are no picks involved in the deal, confirms Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

The Kings are hoping for a long-term arrangement with Barnes, who has a $25.1MM player option for next season, Woj adds (Twitter link). He has been a consistent scorer during his two and a half years in Dallas, peaking at 19.2 PPG in 2016/17. He is averaging 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 48 games this season.

Sacramento, which is the only team with remaining cap space, will use $10.5MM to complete the trade, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. Barnes has an 8% trade bonus that comes to $686,443 if the deal is finalized tomorrow. The Kings will have $21MM in cap room this summer if Barnes opts in or $45.2MM if he doesn’t. Today’s trades will leave Sacramento with an open roster spot.

The Kings appear serious about making a run at a playoff spot, which seems more available after the Clippers traded Tobias Harris early this morning. Sacramento started the day in ninth place at 28-25, just one game behind L.A.

The trade leaves Dallas close to being able to offer a maximum contract in free agency this summer, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Jackson will make $3.28MM next season and Randolph has an $11.7MM expiring contract. Lowe states that the position of the Mavericks’ 2019 first-round pick could determine whether they can reach a full max deal. Dallas won’t have that pick – or the associated cap hold – unless it lands in the top five.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kings Exercise Options On Five Players

The Kings showed their commitment to the youth movement by exercising the rookie scale options on five players — guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, small forward Justin Jackson and big men Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere, according to a team press release.

Teams have until the end of the month to make rookie scale option decisions but Sacramento beat the deadline by nearly a week. The biggest salary commitment, due to his status as the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft, goes to Fox. He’ll have a salary just shy of $6.44MM for the 2019/20 season. Hield’s fourth-year option will result in a $4.86MM cap hit.

Jackson’s third-year option is worth $3.28MM while Giles will make approximately $2.58MM. Labissiere’s fourth-year option will cost nearly $2.34MM.

All of those affirmative option decisions were expected with the possible exception of Labissiere’s contract. However, he’s off to a productive start this season, averaging 8.5 PPG and 4.7 RPG.

Fox is emerging as one of the cornerstones of the franchise, averaging 17.6 PPG, 6.6 APG and 1.4 steals through five games during his sophomore campaign. Hield is scoring at a 14.0 PPG clip thus far while making 43.2% of his 3-point tries. Jackson has posted 9.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 1.6 APG, while Giles is averaging 3.8 PPG and 3.0 RPG while working his way back from major knee issues.

You can find all the rookie scale option decisions around the league here.

Kings’ Frontcourt Logjam Worth Monitoring

The Kings are projected by most oddsmakers and NBA analysts to be the Western Conference’s worst team in 2018/19, but there are several young players on the roster who should be fun to watch. Marvin Bagley III, 2018’s second overall pick, is one of those players, while 2017 first-rounder Harry Giles, who generated buzz with his play this summer after missing his entire rookie season, is another.

However, Bagley only played 12 minutes in Sacramento’s opening-night game on Thursday, while Giles saw just 10 minutes of action. It’s certainly not unusual for rookies to have modest roles to start the season, but the Kings’ frontcourt rotation in their first game highlighted the logjam that exists at the four and five, as Jason Jones of The Athletic details.

With Willie Cauley-Stein and Nemanja Bjelica starting at center and power forward, respectively, and Justin Jackson also playing at the four in some lineups, head coach Dave Joerger suggests it may be “tough” to find minutes for Bagley, especially since the club is thinking long-term with its top pick, Jones writes. For his part, the No. 2 overall pick said he’s “trying to stay patient” when it comes to his playing time.

“I can only control what I can control,” Bagley said after Thursday’s loss. “And whenever my number is called, I’ve just got to go hard, go 100%, and try to do whatever I can to try to help us win. I think I did all right for what I did tonight, how much time I played tonight.”

Besides Cauley-Stein, Bjelica, Jackson, Bagley, and Giles, there are a few more big men on the Kings’ roster who would like to earn some minutes up front. Skal Labissiere didn’t play in the club’s opener, and neither did veteran Zach Randolph, who wasn’t even active for the game. Throw in Kosta Koufos, who should be healthy soon after battling a hamstring injury, and you have seven or eight players vying for playing time at two positions.

In other words, there will likely be “unhappy bigs every night” in Sacramento this season, as Jones tweets.

The Kings, who don’t have serious playoff aspirations, are unlikely to address their frontcourt logjam right away, but this is a situation worth monitoring over the course of the season. At least one trade before the deadline seems likely, and vets like Randolph and Koufos could ultimately be strong buyout candidates if they’re not moved by February. Stay tuned.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/8/18

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

3:50pm:

  • The Celtics have recalled Abdel Nader and Guerschon Yabusele from the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Nader and Yabusele played for the Maine Red Claws during Sunday’s loss to the Raptors 905.
  • The Hornets have assigned Dwayne Bacon to the G League for the third time this season, the team announced today in a press release. Bacon has played two games for the Greensboro Swarm so far this season, averaging an eye-popping 38.5 PPG.

3:12pm:

  • The Nets have assigned injured guard D’Angelo Russell to the G League, the club announced today in a press release. As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Russell is practicing with Brooklyn’s affiliate today as he rehabs the knee issue that his kept him out of action for several weeks. He’ll be recalled to the NBA after that practice.
  • Rookie guard Davon Reed has been re-assigned to the G League by the Suns, according to an announcement from the team. Reed, who recently made his G League debut after recovering from a torn meniscus, has yet to appear in an NBA game.
  • The Kings have recalled Justin Jackson and Georgios Papagiannis from the Reno Bighorns, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California. The two youngsters have yo-yo’d back and forth between Sacramento and Reno over the last few days, appearing in a pair of games for the Bighorns since Friday.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/7/2018

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

  • The Lakers recalled rookie center Thomas Bryant from their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers so he could play in tonight’s game, per a press release. Bryant has appeared in two NBA games this season. Bryant has appeared in two games for the Lakers this season. With South Bay, Bryant has averaged  21.3 PPG and 7.5 RPG  in 29.7 minutes per game.
  • The Bucks have recalled D.J. Wilson from their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, the team announced in a press release. Wilson has appeared in 12 games with Milwaukee this season.
  • After recalling the duo on Saturday, the Kings re-assigned Justin Jackson and Georgios Papagiannis to the G League on Sunday, per RealGM’s transactions log. The duo helped lead the Reno Bighorns to a victory, combining for 43 points and 20 rebounds.
  • A pair of Celtics, Abdel Nader and Guerschon Yabusele, headed to the G League on Sunday, according to RealGM’s transactions log. The two youngsters suited up for the Maine Red Claws in Sunday’s loss to the Raptors 905.