Justin Tillman

Nuggets Waive Justin Tillman

As expected, the Nuggets have waived forward Justin Tillman, per NBA.com’s official transaction log.

The move had been anticipated after Denver recently announced a training camp roster that didn’t include Tillman. As we relayed on Friday, the 26-year-old is expected to play for the Grand Rapids Gold – the Nuggets’ G League affiliate – this season after signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the club earlier this offseason.

A former VCU standout, Tillman has yet to make his NBA regular season debut, but has seen action in a number of leagues around the world since going undrafted in 2018. He has spent time in Korea, Israel, Italy, Turkey, and Puerto Rico, as well as in the G League.

Tillman was a member of the All-NBAGL First Team in 2021/22, averaging an impressive 23.5 PPG and 11.8 RPG in 28 games (35.3 MPG) for the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s affiliate. Grand Rapids acquired Tillman’s returning NBAGL rights from College Park in an August trade.

The Nuggets now have 19 players officially under contract.

Northwest Notes: Thunder, Micic, Grant, Tillman

General manager Sam Presti said the Thunder came “pretty close” to signing Serbian star Vasilije Micic, writes Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Micic has won back-to-back EuroLeague titles and Final Four MVPs with Turkish club Anadolu Efes.

“He’s really taken off since the time in which we acquired his rights,” Presti said, referring to the trade in 2020 that sent Micic’s rights to Oklahoma City from Philadelphia. “All I can tell you is I thought we were pretty close at one time. He is on a contract, and he’s committed over there. But I wouldn’t rule anything out. It’s probably a year-to-year thing.”

Micic’s representatives were rumored to be pushing the Thunder to trade his rights, with several teams said to be interested in his services. However, he was still under contract in Europe and ultimately decided to stay with Efes for another season.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • The Thunder recently announced some changes to their coaching staff for the 2022/23 season. In addition to formalizing an agreement with longtime Spurs assistant Chip Engelland, the Thunder have also named Grant Gibbs an assistant coach. Gibbs has been the head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue, the team’s G League affiliate, for the past three seasons, and will be replaced by Kameron Woods, who was an assistant with the Thunder last season.
  • The Trail Blazers need Jerami Grant to improve upon his Pistons play if they hope to contend this season, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, who writes that Grant should see a bump in offensive efficiency playing on a more talented roster. The Blazers are interested in reaching a long-term extension with Grant, whose $20.96MM contract expires after ’22/23, Fentress adds.
  • Justin Tillman is not on the Nuggets‘ training camp roster but is still expected to play for their G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter). Tillman, who is still signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, will likely be waived and replaced by another Exhibit 10 player within the next few days, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). Tillman spent last season in the G League with the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s affiliate.

Contract Details: Koloko, Caboclo, Silva, Tillman, Watanabe, Spurs

As initially reported by Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca, the Raptors used exactly $1.5MM of their mid-level exception to sign rookie big man Christian Koloko to a three-year contract on Friday. With the second and third years worth the minimum, Koloko’s deal has a total three-year value of $5,239,563.

The first two years of that contract are fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned, with the third year non-guaranteed. Koloko’s salary for 2024/25 would become fully guaranteed if he hasn’t been waived within 48 hours of the 2024 NBA draft.

Here are a few more details on newly-signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • The new one-year, non-guaranteed contracts for Bruno Caboclo (Celtics), Chris Silva (Hawks), and Justin Tillman (Nuggets) all include Exhibit 10 language. Silva’s and Tillman’s deals could be converted into two-way contracts, but Caboclo’s can’t, since he has too many years of NBA service to be two-way eligible.
  • Yuta Watanabe‘s one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Nets includes an Exhibit 9 clause, but not an Exhibit 10. That essentially means that Watanabe is only in the mix to compete for a regular season roster spot and probably won’t be joining Brooklyn’s G League affiliate if he’s cut (he’s ineligible for a two-way deal).
  • Alize Johnson‘s non-guaranteed contract with the Spurs is an Exhibit 9, but not an Exhibit 10. Tommy Kuhse‘s deal is an Exhibit 10, so he could have it converted into a two-way deal or could become an affiliate player for the Austin Spurs.

Nuggets Sign Justin Tillman

AUGUST 26: The Nuggets have officially signed Tillman, according to RealGM’s NBA transactions log.

The Grand Rapids Gold – the Nuggets’ G League affiliate – announced in a press release on Thursday that they’ve obtained Tillman’s returning player rights, signaling that they expect the big man to suit up for them in 2022/23.


AUGUST 12: The Nuggets have agreed to terms on a deal with free agent power forward Justin Tillman, agent Daniel Hazan informs Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Since going undrafted out of VCU in 2018, Tillman has played for clubs in South Korea, Israel, Italy, Turkey, and Puerto Rico. He also appeared in eight games for the Grizzlies’ NBAGL affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, during the 2018/19 season.

Haynes notes that Tillman was an All-G League First-Teamer for the 2021/22 season. The 6’8″ big man averaged 13.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 0.6 BPG for the Hawks’ G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, in 14 games.

Denver is currently carrying 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster, meaning Tillman’s deal is most likely an Exhibit 10 training camp agreement. The Nuggets also have both their two-way player slots filled.

Lakers Notes: Irving, Draft, Mini-Camp

If the Lakers have a realistic chance to land Kyrie Irving, they should brush aside any concerns about his reliability and make the move, argues Bill Oram of The Athletic. L.A. has been mentioned as a potential destination for Irving if his contract talks with the Nets remain at an impasse. While that could be a negotiating ploy from Irving’s camp, there was a report Wednesday that he has spoken to LeBron James about teaming up again.

Oram believes head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka should jump at the chance to add Irving, who could spark a quick turnaround for an L.A. team that missed the playoffs this season. Oram admits there’s a “buyer beware” component to Irving, who has only played 93 total games in his three seasons with the Nets because of injuries, a commitment to social causes and his stand against vaccine mandates, but he says the Lakers can’t afford to pass on his talent.

There’s more on the Lakers:

Warriors Notes: Green, Game 6, Kerr, Evans

Draymond Green admits the Celtics present certain challenges, but it’s not the same as facing LeBron James in the NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. One victory away from picking up his fourth ring with the Warriors, Green reflected Wednesday on the four Finals matchups with James when he was in Cleveland.

“It doesn’t compare to mentally playing against LeBron James, who I think is arguably the smartest guy to ever play this game,” Green said. “Not one of, he is arguably the smartest guy to set foot on a basketball court. To say that it compares to that, it’s disrespectful to LeBron, and it’s a lie to you.”

Green noted that the Celtics provide matchup problems because they’re “super athletic,” but said he has been able to outthink them so far. He singled out point guard Marcus Smart and coach Ime Udoka as being especially cerebral, but again mentioned James and his ability to diagnose the game.

“Like that’s just a skill that not many people possess,” Green said. “Not many people can come and sit here and find a random stretch from seven minutes to four minutes in the second quarter and give you every play like to the T and not miss a beat. There’s not many people that can do that.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State will lean on its experience as it tries to wrap up the series in Boston tonight, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. The Warriors have been in this situation plenty of times before and realize the clinching game can be the hardest to win. “You just understand what the nerves are like,” Stephen Curry said. “We understand the specifics of how we need to approach the game from a physicality perspective, our game plan adjustments from Game 5 to Game 6, understanding what the building is going to feel like, that energy, being prepared for it.”
  • Steve Kerr has a chance to add another championship to his legacy of success, per Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. Kerr is already the first person to win at least at least three titles as both a player and a coach. “Just hanging around the right people,” he said as an explanation. “You hang around superstars long enough, you’re going to get some residual success falling your way.”
  • Former NBA guard Tyreke Evans was among the players at a Warriors mini-camp held Wednesday, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors, who adds that Evans worked out for the team in March. Justin Tillman and Louis King also attended.

Central Notes: Branham, Terry, Beauchamp, Tillman, Pacers

The Cavaliers are hosting Ohio State’s Malaki Branham for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Cleveland holds the No. 14 overall pick and Branham, a shooting guard, is ranked 13th on ESPN’s Best Available list. He averaged 13.7 PPG and knocked down 41.6% of his 3-pointers in his lone college season.

We have more from the Central Division:

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Daniels, Kroenke, Jazz

G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels was the headliner of the Trail Blazers‘ first pre-draft workout on Tuesday, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Of the six prospects who auditioned for Portland, Daniels is the only one expected to receive consideration at No. 7, assuming the Blazers keep the pick and he’s still on the board.

Julian Champagnie (St. John’s), Darius Days (LSU), Mouhamed Gueye (Washington State), Fatts Russell (Maryland), and Dallas Walton (Colorado), all of whom are viewed as probable second-round or UDFA prospects, were the other players to work out for the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. In addition to controlling the No. 7 overall pick, Portland also holds the 36th and 57th selections in this month’s draft.

  • The media availability for Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke, who is expected to address Tim Connelly‘s departure, was postponed again, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Kroenke was originally scheduled to speak last Thursday, then had that session tentatively pushed back to Tuesday after he tested positive for COVID-19. It will likely happen later this week once he clears the health and safety protocols, says Singer.
  • The Jazz held a free agent mini-camp on Tuesday, according to our JD Shaw, who notes (via Twitter) that G League standouts Justin Tillman and Craig Randall II were among the attendees.
  • Loyola guard Lucas Williamson has a pre-draft workout on tap with the Jazz on Thursday, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Williamson has already worked out for several teams, including the Bucks, Celtics, and Grizzlies, Jones adds.
  • Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune proposes 29 hypothetical offseason trades involving the Jazz — one with each of the NBA’s teams.

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.

Hawks Sign Justin Tillman To 10-Day Deal

The Hawks have signed forward Justin Tillman to a 10-day contract under the hardship provision, the team announced in a press release.

Tillman, 25, has been playing for Atlanta’s G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, where he’s averaging 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 14 games. After going undrafted out of VCU in 2018, Tillman spent most of his time overseas before catching on with the Skyhawks.

Atlanta has been one of the hardest-hit teams by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 10 players currently in the league’s health and safety protocols.