Justin Patton

Heat Notes: Dedmon, Stephenson, Iguodala, Portis

When the Heat make the anticipated Dewayne Dedmon signing official, his contract will cover the rest of the season rather than just 10 days, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami opted for a longer deal, according to Jackson, because it doesn’t expect anyone better to become available on the buyout market. Players who have appeared in at least one NBA game this season must be waived by Friday to be eligible for the postseason with their new team.

The Heat were looking for a big man who would accept not playing every game, which ruled out DeMarcus Cousins, who has since joined the Clippers on a 10-day deal. Jackson lists Ian Mahinmi, Thon Maker, Dewan Hernandez, Skal Labissiere, Tyler ZellerKyle Alexander, Trey Mourning, Kyle O’Quinn, Justin Patton and Anthony Tolliver as some of the names Miami considered before reaching an agreement with Dedmon.

In 2019, Dedmon signed a three-year, $40MM contract with the Kings, but he quickly lost his job as starting center. Poor three-point shooting is a major reason that Sacramento soured on him, Jackson adds, and he was eventually traded to the Hawks and then the Pistons, who released him in November.

The Heat face a deadline to add a 14th player to their roster by Thursday. If Dedmon signs then, his contract will carry a cap hit in the neighborhood of $433K. Miami would be about $314K below the tax line and could add a 15th player later this season without going into luxury tax territory.

There’s more on the Heat, all from Jackson:

  • As Miami considered roster additions, the organization was made aware that Lance Stephenson and Greg Monroe are both hoping to return to the NBA. The Heat got good reports on Stephenson, but they don’t need another wing player and they were looking for more immediate help than Monroe was likely to provide.
  • Some Grizzlies players are still upset about Andre Iguodala‘s decision to remain inactive until Memphis found somewhere to trade him last season. Jackson notes that several Grizzlies felt they had something to prove when they faced Iguodala Monday night.
  • Jackson proposes Bucks forward Bobby Portis as a potential free agent target for Miami this summer. Portis has a $3.8MM player option for next season that he’s expected to decline, and Jackson suggests he could get a $10MM mid-level exception offer as the start of a multiyear deal.

Rockets Sign Armoni Brooks To Two-Way Deal, Waive Justin Patton

APRIL 4: Both moves are official, the Rockets announced on Twitter.


APRIL 3: The Rockets will sign free agent guard Armoni Brooks to a two-way contract, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Houston will make room by waiving center Justin Patton, who is currently on a two-way deal, sources tell Iko (Twitter link).

Brooks, 22, played for the Rockets’ G League affiliate this season, averaging 16.8 PPG in 15 games in the Orlando bubble. He also played in the NBAGL last season after going undrafted out of the University of Houston. There was an announcement last week that Brooks was headed to France to join Orléans Loiret Basket, but those plans fell through.

“It’s just exciting,” Brooks told Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. “It’s a dream come true to finally be able to play in the NBA and being able to do it in the city that I went to college in is just great” (Twitter link).

Patton, 23, appeared in 13 games with the Rockets after signing in mid-February. He averaged 5.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, but fell out of the rotation when Christian Wood returned from an ankle injury. Houston was the fourth team in four years for Patton, who has struggled through injuries since being selected with the 16th pick in the 2017 draft.

The moves continue a roster overhaul for the rebuilding Rockets, who are also planning to waive Ben McLemore. The team doesn’t have any immediate plans to replace McLemore, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Rockets Notes: Wood, Patton, Starting Lineups, Mini-Camp

Rockets starting center Christian Wood is striving to return from his right ankle injury to the court before the All-Star Game, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “I want to come back before All-Star break,” Wood said. “If I had to give you a percentage of where my ankle is, I’d probably tell you 80 percent.”

Wood, in the midst of a career season during his first year with the Rockets, has been trying to think positively about the injury. “It was definitely hard to deal with at first,” Wood said of his ankle sprain. “But then when I found out the news wasn’t as bad as it seemed, I was grateful and thankful that it could have been worse.”

There’s more out of Houston:

  • Newly-added Rockets two-way center Justin Patton is hoping to stick with Houston, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. “That’s the sole reason for what I’m doing,” Patton says. “Every single day I’m working with a chip on my shoulder, proving a point, just as everybody else on our team right now.” Numerous foot injuries have limited Patton to just nine NBA appearances since he was drafted with the No. 16 pick out of Creighton in the 2017 draft. He has exhibited flashes of promise, however, at the G League level.
  • The Rockets have struggled to build chemistry through a flurry of 16 different starting lineups, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Perfect example today in practice, Eric (Gordon) and Tuck (P.J. Tucker) have this like language that they speak to each other that makes sense to them,” head coach Stephen Silas said. “We as a group don’t have any of that… You see teams that have been together a long time and have had steady lineups throughout the season are at the top of the league.”
  • Since the Rockets had their weekend slate of games postponed because of ongoing weather problems in Texas, the team was able to have a three-practice “mini-camp,” as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle details. Silas is hopeful that the new-look team will be able to parlay these intense workouts into chemistry. “It feels great to really get down to the bare knuckles of offense and defense,” Silas said. “We broke down today and did some live two-on-two which we haven’t been able to do all season.”

Latest On DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins‘ diminished mobility, brought on by back-to-back Achilles and ACL injuries, is behind the Rocketsdecision to cut ties with him in the next few days, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Cousins had been filling the role the team envisioned when it signed him, Iko adds, serving as a backup to starting center Christian Wood and spacing the offense while playing in short bursts. However, an ankle injury that has kept Wood off the court since February 4 pushed Cousins into a starting role that he wasn’t ready to handle.

Coach Stephen Silas is working to build a defensive identity in his first season in Houston, and Cousins’ inability to cover ground was getting in the way. With Cousins defending, opponents were shooting an incredible 63.4% on shots from six feet and closer.

Silas liked Cousins and the veteran presence he brought to the locker room, Iko writes. Several young players sought advice from him, especially rookie Jae’Sean Tate. But Cousins’ inability to handle more minutes convinced the team that it needs to go in a different direction at center.

There’s more on the Cousins situation:

  • The Rockets will be forced to re-run last year’s small-ball experiment until Wood is ready to return, Iko notes in the same story. Justin Patton, who signed a two-way deal on Friday, could see some playing time, and Houston will consider the free agent market, with Dewayne Dedmon and Ersan Ilyasova as possibilities.
  • The Lakers will be among the teams to pursue Cousins, sources tell Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer (Twitter link). He adds that sources expect the market for Cousins to be limited because of his struggles so far, but the 30-year-old offers significant upside for any team that needs depth in the frontcourt. Cousins signed with the Lakers last season, but wasn’t able to play because of an ACL injury.
  • Cousins would consider joining the Heat if he reaches free agency, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. A source confirms Cousins’ interest.
  • The Raptors could use help at center, but Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports doesn’t expect them to make a play for Cousins (Twitter link). He notes that Toronto opted to sign Aron Baynes and Alex Len during the offseason when Cousins was available.

Rockets Sign Justin Patton To Two-Way Deal

3:35pm: The Rockets have officially signed Patton to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.


7:15am: The Rockets will fill their open two-way contract slot by promoting a center from the G League, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who hears from agent Brian Jungreis that Justin Patton has agreed to a two-way deal with Houston.

Patton, 23, was the 16th overall pick in the 2016 draft, but was limited to just nine NBA games across his first three seasons in the NBA with the Timberwolves, Sixers, and Thunder due in large part to injuries, including broken bones in both feet.

The big man has seen more action at the G League level, appearing in 83 total NBAGL games since 2017/18. He was selected in the first round of this year’s G League draft by the Westchester Knicks and has played in four games for the club, averaging 10.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.8 BPG in 21.5 minutes per contest.

The Rockets opened up one of their two-way spots earlier this week when they waived Ray Spalding, who suffered an Achilles injury in just his second game with the club. That was the latest blow to a Houston frontcourt that has had some bad injury luck lately — Christian Wood has been on the shelf with an ankle sprain for two weeks, while a quad issue has sidelined P.J. Tucker for the last two games.

[RELATED: 2020/21 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

It’s possible Patton will see some action in the Rockets’ depleted frontcourt in the short term. Once he officially signs, we should get a better sense of whether Houston intends to keep him with the NBA squad for a little while or if he’ll report to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers before the G League season ends in March.

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Lance Stephenson Among NBA Vets Eligible For G League Draft

As previously reported, the NBA G League’s 2020/21 draft will take place on Monday, January 11. And according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links), there will be some interesting names on the list of players eligible to be selected in that draft.

Veteran swingman Lance Stephenson, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor, and other recent NBA players like Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and Admiral Schofield will be part of the draft pool, per Givony. Former first-round picks Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will be draft-eligible as well.

According to Givony, the following players who have been on NBA rosters in the past are also among the G League’s other draft-eligible veterans: Kenny Wooten, Antonio Blakeney, Tyler Ulis, Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Hollis Thompson, Cat Barber, Isaiah Briscoe, Phil Booth, Dusty Hannahs, Jemerrio Jones, Cory Jefferson, and Freddie Gillespie.

These, presumably, are players who have signed G League contracts but whose rights aren’t currently held by any teams. A player whose returning rights are controlled by a club participating in the G League’s bubble season wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted.

For instance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that LiAngelo Ball has signed a contract to play in the bubble. Since the Oklahoma City Blue hold his returning rights and are playing in the bubble, Ball shouldn’t be in the general draft pool.

The Blue are one of 18 teams set to participate in the shortened bubble season, which is expected to take place at Walt Disney World. That list of teams can be found right here.

Givony previously reported that the G League is adjusting its roster rules for this season to make it easier for NBA teams to recruit and sign veterans with five or more years of NBA experience. Each NBAGL team will be able to designate an “NBA Vet Selection” who fits that bill and can sign that player directly without navigating the league’s complicated waiver process. My understanding is that those designated won’t be in the draft pool.

Bucks Waive EJ Montgomery, Justin Patton

EJ Montgomery and Justin Patton, who both signed with the Bucks earlier this month, have been waived, the team announced (via Twitter). Neither player saw any action in Milwaukee’s two preseason games.

Montgomery, 21, went undrafted last month out of Kentucky. He averaged 4.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in two seasons with the Wildcats.

Patton, 23, was the 16th pick in the 2017 draft, but injuries have limited him to nine total NBA games with three teams. He was also waived by the Clippers last month, shortly after being acquired from the Pistons.

The Bucks now have 18 players on their roster and have until Monday to make at least one more cut.

Bucks Sign Justin Patton To Training Camp Contract

DECEMBER 2: Patton’s deal with the Bucks is now official, according to RealGM’s transactions log.


NOVEMBER 26: Free agent center Justin Patton is set to receive a training camp invitation from the Bucks, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Since being drafted with the No. 16 pick in 2017, the 23-year-old big man has logged time with the Timberwolves, Sixers and Thunder. After being signed by the Pistons earlier in the summer,

Patton was traded to — and subsequently released by — the Clippers earlier this offseason. The Creighton alum, who will clear waivers on Friday, has appeared in nine NBA games across his three-season career.

Last season, the 6’11”, 241-pound big man logged seven games with Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, and 23 for the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. Across his 30 G League games during the 2019/20 season, Patton averaged 12.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.2 BPG, and 2.9 APG.

Clippers Waive Center Justin Patton

The Clippers have waived center Justin Patton, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

Patton was part of a three-team swap among the Clippers, Nets and Pistons that became official on Thursday. Los Angeles also acquired Luke Kennard, the draft rights to Jay Scrubb and four second-round picks in the deal.

Patton was signed by the Pistons to a non-guaranteed contract early in the summer but didn’t make a notable impression during workouts. By waiving him, the Clippers will avoid being on the hook for his $1.82MM salary in 2020/21, creating some extra wiggle room below their hard cap.

Patton, the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was plagued by injuries during his first two NBA seasons with the Timberwolves and Sixers, breaking bones in both feet and appearing in just four total games. He signed with Oklahoma City last summer, playing in five games for the Thunder before being traded to Dallas and subsequently waived.