Justin Jackson

NBA G League Announces 2021/22 All-NBAGL Teams

Rockets two-way player Trevelin Queen, who was named the NBA G League MVP and the G League Finals MVP this season, has added two more honors to his impressive 2021/22 résumé.

Queen headlined this year’s All-NBA G League First Team and also earned a spot on the NBAGL’s All-Defensive team, as the league announced today in a press release.

The complete list of the 2021/22 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players who finished the season on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team

All-NBAGL Second Team

All-NBAGL Third Team

NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Luka Garza (Motor City Cruise) *
  • Carlik Jones (Texas Legends)
  • Mac McClung (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Micah Potter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Braxton Key (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tacko Fall (Cleveland Charge)
  • Shaquille Harrison (Delaware Blue Coats)
  • Trevelin Queen (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) ^

All 19 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year were on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract during the 2021/22 season.

Of those 19, Tillman is the only player who has yet to make his NBA debut, as he didn’t appear in any games after signing a 10-day deal with Atlanta in December.

Suns Release Abdel Nader, Justin Jackson

The Suns have officially waived Abdel Nader, the team announced today in a press release (Twitter link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). Phoenix had to remove a player from its 15-man roster in order to accommodate its acquisition of Aaron Holiday.

Nader, 28, was sent from Oklahoma City to Phoenix during the 2020 offseason in the Chris Paul trade. Since then, he has appeared in 38 games with the team, averaging 5.1 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .457/.386/.723 shooting in 13.2 MPG.

Injuries marred Nader’s time with the Suns. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in late April 2021, and while he returned from that injury in the playoffs and was available to start the 2021/22 season, that knee continued to give him problems. Nader hadn’t played for Phoenix since November and was being listed on the injury report as out due to right knee injury management.

The Suns will be on the hook for the rest of Nader’s $2MM this season, but won’t owe him any money beyond that. He had a $2.16MM team option for 2022/23.

Phoenix also terminated the 10-day contract of Justin Jackson, per today’s announcement. Jackson’s deal, signed last Tuesday, would’ve expired at the end of the day, so he’ll become a free agent a day early. Unlike Nader, Jackson won’t have to pass through waivers.

Justin Jackson Signs Second 10-Day Deal With Suns

The Suns have signed forward Justin Jackson to a second 10-day contract, the team announced today (via Twitter). Last month, Phoenix signed Jackson to a 10-day deal via a hardship exemption, as the team had several players in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols at the time.

The Suns don’t currently have any players in the protocols, but they also have a full 15-man roster. It seems likely that Phoenix was granted a more traditional (non-COVID) hardship exception due to its injury situation. Dario Saric, Frank Kaminsky, Abdel Nader, and Cameron Payne are all currently sidelined with longer-term ailments.

Jackson, 26, was selected with the No. 15 pick in the 2017 draft out of North Carolina in 2017 and spent his first season with the Kings. He next suited up for the Mavericks, Thunder, and Bucks.

Earlier this season, Jackson signed a 10-day hardship exception deal with the Celtics, appearing in one game for Boston. He then joined the reigning Western Conference champs in Phoenix in January. Across three games with the Suns, Jackson is averaging 4.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 7.7 MPG, shooting 71.4% from the field and 60% on 1.7 looks from the three-point line per game.

In 252 total NBA games, the 6’8″ tweener forward holds career averages of 6.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.1 APG, with shooting splits of .428/.323/.799.

Justin Jackson Signs Hardship Deal With Suns

JANUARY 4: The Suns have officially signed Jackson to a 10-day deal, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Phoenix has four players in the health and safety protocols (Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, JaVale McGee, and Abdel Nader) and four players signed to 10-day hardship deals (Emanuel Terry, M.J. Walker, Paris Bass, and Bismack Biyombo), so the team was ineligible for another hardship addition without either another player entering protocols or one of its current 10-day deals being terminated.

As it turns out, both of those things have occurred. The Suns have released Terry and also placed Landry Shamet in the protocols, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links).

DECEMBER 30: Justin Jackson is close to signing a 10-day contract with the Suns, tweets veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein. Jackson signed a 10-day deal with the Celtics on Dec. 18, appearing in one game (two minutes) with the team prior to entering the league’s health and safety protocols.

The 15th pick of the 2017 draft, Jackson has appeared in 248 NBA games. Last season, he played 33 games for the Thunder and another for the Bucks. He began his career with the Kings and also played one full season and part of another for Dallas.

The Mavericks waived Jackson during training camp prior to the season. In 10 games this season with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League affiliate, Jackson averaged a stellar 22.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 36.1 MPG.

COVID-19 Updates: Hawks, Blazers, Celtics, Bucks, Nets

Wesley Iwundu, who just signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks on Thursday, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Iwundu played 23 minutes in the Hawks’ 98-96 victory over the Sixers Thursday night, scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets that the Hawks will need to sign another replacement player to replace Iwundu — himself a replacement player.

Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu, who made his season debut last week, has entered the protocols as well, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. In three games this season (22.3 MPG), Okongwu is averaging 10.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. The Hawks now have nine players in the protocols.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates:

  • Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and two-way rookie Trendon Watford have entered the protocols for the Trail Blazers and the rest of the team will now be re-tested, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). DSJ and Watford are the only players currently in the protocols for the Blazers.
  • The Celtics have four new players entering the protocols: C.J. Miles, Justin Jackson, Aaron Nesmith, and Bruno Fernando, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. However, Al Horford, Juan Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas, who’ve all been in the protocols, are listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, so they could be exiting the protocols soon. Until those four are cleared, the Celtics will have 12 players in the COVID-19 protocols — the largest outbreak in the NBA.
  • In addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis has exited the protocols for the Bucks, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Like Horford and the other Celtics, Donte DiVincenzo, who’s also been in the protocols, is listed as questionable to make his season debut Saturday.
  • Meanwhile, Bruce Brown and James Johnson have exited the protocols for the Nets, but seven others, including star Kevin Durant, remain in the protocols for their game Saturday against the Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
  • Warriors rookie Moses Moody has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Golden State now has four players in the protocols.

Celtics Notes: COVID-19, B. Thomas, J. Jackson, I. Thomas

The Celtics continue to be impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak, with Brodric Thomas the latest player to enter health and safety protocols, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Thomas is the sixth player in the past 48 hours to be placed in the protocols, giving Boston eight inactive players for tonight’s game against the Knicks. Others sidelined are Dennis Schröder, who has a non-COVID illness, and Romeo Langford, who is dealing with a neck issue.

Boston can replenish its roster with hardship exceptions, but because Thomas has a two-way contract he can only be replaced by a player with three years or fewer of NBA service, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). That’s also true for fellow two-way player Sam Hauser, who is among the six players in the protocols.

There’s more from Boston:

  • With Justin Jackson joining the Celtics via the hardship exception, Chris Forsberg of NBC  Boston looks at how the 26-year-old forward can help the team. Jackson will likely see time at power forward with Al Horford, Grant Williams, Juan Hernangomez and Jabari Parker all in the protocols. Jackson has been with four teams since being selected with the 15th pick in the 2017 draft, but he has been shooting well in the G League this season and may provide some minutes as a stretch four until a few players return.
  • Marcus Smart wishes the Celtics had signed former backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Thomas, a long-time fan favorite in Boston, scored 19 points Friday night in his first game since signing a 10-day deal with the Lakers. “It’s amazing. I’m just proud that he gets another chance,” Smart said. “He’s been doing everything he can to show the world that he’s still IT. I think he was written off a little early, but that dude is a quiet warrior, and I’m just happy that somebody gave him a chance.”
  • New coach Ime Udoka has been relying heavily on film sessions to motivate players and point out their errors, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. The latest instance was Friday’s game against the Warriors when Udoka showed clips at halftime of the Celtics getting beat to loose balls.

Celtics Sign Justin Jackson Via Hardship Exemption

4:17pm: Jackson’s signing is official, the Celtics announced in a press release.

11:35am: The Celtics are planning to sign forward Justin Jackson to a 10-day contract using the hardship exemption, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Jackson has been playing for the Texas Legends, Dallas’ NBA G League affiliate.

The 15th pick of the 2017 draft, Jackson has appeared in 248 NBA games. Last season, he played 33 games for the Thunder and another for the Bucks. He began his career with Sacramento and also played one full season and part of another for Dallas.

The Mavericks waived Jackson during training camp prior to this season.

Boston has a handful of players in the league’s health and safety protocols — Sam Hauser, Juan Hernangomez, Al Horford, Jabari Parker and Grant Williams. The exemption is being used by multiple clubs to handle the current COVID crisis around the league. Players signed via the exemption don’t count against the 15-man roster limit.

Mavericks Sign, Waive Justin Jackson, E.J. Onu

12:43pm: The Mavs have officially waived Jackson and Onu, per the team. Dallas’ roster is now at 17 players (including a pair of two-ways) and appears set for the regular season, barring any last-minute changes.

6:39am: The Mavericks have officially signed forwards Justin Jackson and E.J. Onu to their preseason roster, the team announced late on Friday night. The club had open spots on its roster after cutting Tyrell Terry, Carlik Jones, and Feron Hunt earlier in the evening.

Jackson, the 15th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has 248 NBA regular season games under his belt, including 94 with Dallas from 2019-20. He has also spent time with the Kings, Thunder, and Bucks, recording career averages of 6.6 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .427/.321/.797 shooting in 19.1 minutes per contest.

A 6’11” forward, Onu played four seasons at Shawnee State before going undrafted this year. He averaged 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds as a senior and helped the Bears capture the NAIA championship. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-South Conference three times and was selected as MSC Player of the Year this season. Onu played for Dallas’ Summer League team in August.

This type of signing would typically be for G League purposes, and it’s certainly possible that’s the case here. However, the deal with Onu is slightly perplexing, since Dallas already signed him to an Exhibit 10 contract and subsequently cut him earlier in the offseason, so the team could’ve made him an affiliate player without re-signing him. Perhaps the new deal gives him a more favorable bonus if he reports to the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League team.

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.