Justin Wright-Foreman

Joe Johnson, Langston Galloway Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the next two qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team, coached by Jim Boylen, will be made up of G League players and current free agents. Here’s the roster:

With the exception of Ryan, all of the players on Team USA have some NBA experience, though some are certainly more accomplished than others. Johnson has earned seven All-Star berths and has appeared in 1,277 career regular season games. Bell, Black, and Galloway have also each played in more than 160 career regular season contests.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia next August and September. Teams play 12 qualifying games before then — those contests take place across six windows, with World Cup hopefuls playing twice during each window.

Team USA went 1-1 in its first two qualifying games in November, defeating Cuba but losing to Mexico. Boylen coached that team and Bowen played for it, but the other 11 roster spots have since been turned over, with Isaiah Thomas among the players who aren’t back this time around. The new-look squad will face Puerto Rico on February 24 and Mexico again on February 27.

After this month’s games, the remaining four qualifying windows are scheduled for June, August, November, and next February. While the next two windows fall outside of the NBA season, the expectation is that USA Basketball will continue using G-Leaguers for the qualifiers before recruiting NBA stars for the event itself next summer.

As our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter), forward DaQuan Jeffries had been expected to be part of Team USA’s roster for this month’s qualifiers, but had to de-commit due to an injury.

And-Ones: Wright-Foreman, B. Johnson, Canada, Banchero

A pair of former NBA players who were on two-way contracts during the 2019/20 season have signed new contracts overseas.

Point guard Justin Wright-Foreman, the 53rd overall pick in the 2019 draft, has joined Chorale Roanne Basket in France for the remainder of the season, the team said in a press release. Wright-Foreman spent all of ’19/20 on a two-way deal with the Jazz, but appeared in just four games and wasn’t retained in the fall. He played for the Erie BayHawks in the G League bubble this winter.

Meanwhile, small forward B.J. Johnson, who appeared in 10 games last season while on a two-way contract with Orlando, has inked a rest-of-season contract with the Brisbane Bullets, the Australian team announced. Like Wright-Foreman, Johnson hasn’t played in the NBA at all in 2020/21, but participated in the NBAGL bubble, averaging 18.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 14 games (31.1 MPG) for the Long Island Nets.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

Pelicans Waive Four Players

The Pelicans announced on Saturday that they’ve waived guards Rawle Alkins and Tony Carr, forward Jarrod Uthoff, and center Ike Anigbogu.

Given all four of those players were on non-guaranteed deals, the Pelicans’ roster is likely set for the regular season with 12 guaranteed contracts, two partially guaranteed deals (Willy Hernangomez and Sindarius Thornwell), and a pair of two-way pacts.

Anigbogu is the most prominent name among the bunch as the big man was a second-round draft pick (47th overall) of the Pacers in 2017. However, Anigbogu has seen action in just 14 games from 2017-19. The 6’10” center has also seen time in the G League, suiting up for 47 games over the past three seasons.

Uthoff and Alkins have also seen NBA action; Uthoff appeared in three games for the Wizards last season while Alkins played in 10 games for the Bulls in 2017/18.

Carr, 23, was a second-round pick of the Pelicans in 2018 and saw time for the team’s G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, in 2019/20.

New Orleans also signed and waived Justin Wright-Foreman, per RealGM’s transactions log, presumably for G League purposes.

Jazz Notes: Bradley, Oni, Brantley, Wright-Foreman

Jazz center Tony Bradley may have saved his NBA career with his Summer League performance, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. It’s unusual for a first-round pick to still be playing Summer League games going into his third season, but Bradley has done little to establish himself as an NBA player so far. After being taken with the 28th pick in 2017, he has appeared in just 12 games, with only three of those coming last season.

Bradley said he was aware of the stakes heading into Las Vegas, and he responded by leading the league in rebounding with 11.3 per game. He also averaged 19.7 PPG and shot 56% from the field. He appears to have won a roster spot and is expected to be third on the depth chart at center behind Rudy Gobert and Ed Davis.

“It was important for me,” Bradley said of the experience. “I knew that I had to go out there and play well.”

There’s more from Utah, all courtesy of Jones:

  • Versatility was the key to Miye Oni earning a fully guaranteed contract as a rookie. The Jazz consider him to be the best defender among their three draft picks, and his ability to play several positions gives him another advantage. However, rookie power forward Jarrell Brantley will probably need more time to develop. Jones states that he took bad shots and made bad decisions during Summer League and has a lot to learn before he’s ready for the NBA.
  • The Jazz want two-way player Justin Wright-Foreman to develop into a point guard. He was a high-scoring combo guard at Hofstra, but he will be asked to focus on one position during his time in the G League. He also needs to show some improvement on defense, but Jones adds that he has the talent to improve in that area.
  • The organization has two years to experiment with the roster before it becomes financially restrictive. Gobert and Donovan Mitchell will both be eligible for new contracts in the summer of 2021, and decisions will have to be made on Mike Conley, Dante Exum and Joe Ingles as well. That’s why they used three second-round picks this summer and gambled on William Howard and Stanton Kidd, hoping to find some future contributors while they still have flexibility.

Jazz Sign Jarrell Brantley, Justin Wright-Foreman To Two-Way Deals

The Jazz have filled both of their two-way contract slots, inking Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman to deals, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Brantley was the No. 50 selection in the 2019 draft and Utah acquired his draft rights in a trade with the Pacers. Brantley spent four years at the College of Charleston before coming to the league, averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 33 games as a senior.. The 23-year-old wing recently played for the Jazz’s Summer League squads.

Wright-Foreman was selected with the No. 53 overall pick in this year’s draft. He spent four years in college as well, appearing in 125 games for Hofstra and ranking second in the nation in 2018/19 with 27.1 PPG. The 21-year-old guard also played for Utah’s 2019 Summer League teams.

Utah didn’t have any first-round picks in this year’s draft, but loaded up on selections in the back half of the second round. In addition to selecting Brantley and Wright-Foreman, the club also nabbed Miye Oni at No. 58 — he signed a standard NBA contract earlier this week.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Wade, Raptors, Workouts

The Celtics own three of the first 22 selections in the NBA draft and we reported last month that the team was expected to shop at least one of those picks. It appears that Boston has begun making calls with Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders connecting Houston as a potential trade partner for the franchise.

Boston has interest in Clint Capela, though the big man is not the organization’s top priority. As we wait to see if Capela is shipped to Boston or if Danny Ainge‘s squad unloads a first-rounder elsewhere, let’s take a look at some draft notes from the Atlantic Division:

Hornets Notes: Zeller, Kemba, Draft Workouts

Hornets center Cody Zeller had some fun with Kemba Walker‘s impending free agency by jokingly setting up a lemonade stand to raise the necessary $221MM for his teammate’s new super-max contract, as Roderick Boone of The Athletic details in an entertaining story. While Zeller’s fundraising efforts were obviously in jest, he recognizes the importance of Kemba’s upcoming decision, acknowledging that it’s a “pretty serious situation” for the franchise.

“I mean, our careers and a lot of the organization, to be honest with you, depends on what Kemba decides this summer, whether he stays or goes,” Zeller said. “I think it really depends on his choice. But our team and our future can go two very different ways depending on what he decides. So I was kind of trying to make light of a serious situation.

“I think he likes Charlotte,” Zeller said of his All-Star teammate. “I think he’s a good fit here. But the reality of it is we haven’t been able to make deep runs in the playoffs. So hopefully that will still come in the future. But at the end of the day, Kemba has to do what’s best for him. And I’m going to support him, whatever decision he makes.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

Draft Notes: Vick, Caroline, Kings

The NBA Draft is less than one month away. As we await the big night, let’s take a look at some workout notes:

Northwest Notes: J. Howard, Jazz, Nuggets, Noel

Before he reached a deal to become the new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Juwan Howard reportedly drew interest from the Timberwolves as they considered whether to retain head coach Ryan Saunders or go in a different direction.

While Minnesota ultimately opted to retain Saunders and Howard left the NBA for a college job, the Wolverines’ new head coach revealed today that the Timberwolves’ interest was real. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (via Twitter), Howard said that the Wolves offered him their associate head coach position – presumably under Saunders – but he declined. “My heart is with Michigan,” he said.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Northwest…

Draft Notes: Brazdeikis, Pistons, Pacers, Dort, Wooten

University of Michigan freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis is strongly leaning toward staying the draft, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. “Definitely leaning toward staying in,” he said while working out for the Pistons on Monday. Brazdeikis’ representatives have told him he’ll go anywhere from No. 20-40 in the draft, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony currently pegs the power forward at No. 46 overall.

We have more developments regarding draft prospects: