Juwan Morgan

Northwest Notes: Morgan, Millsap, Nuggets/Jazz Series, Draft

Defensive-oriented Jazz rookie swingman Juwan Morgan, who went undrafted in 2019 out of Indiana University, has already developed into a playoff starter for the West’s No. 6 seed. Tony Jones of The Athletic details Morgan’s journey.

After starting point guard Mike Conley left the NBA’s Orlando restart campus to attend the birth of his child, coach Quin Snyder elected to move All-Star Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell to the point to make room for Morgan as the team’s starting power forward in their quarterfinals matchup with the Nuggets, currently knotted at 1-1.

“My main focus was the same thing any time I step on the floor,” Morgan said of his playoff debut as a starter. “I wanted to hustle hard, play defense, get offensive boards and block out. I wanted to do all the little things and then make life easier for all of the other guys.” Conley has since returned to Disney World and is probable to rejoin his Jazz teammates for tomorrow’s third game in the series.

There’s more out of the Northwest:

  • Veteran Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap needs to be relegated to the bench in favor of the more athletic Jerami Grant, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post opines. Millsap is currently the team’s highest paid player earning $30.5MM this season on an expiring deal, but Kiszla sees the 35-year-old former All-Star as a liability to the team’s success in third-seeded Denver’s playoff quarterfinals series against the Jazz.
  • The outcome of the series between the Nuggets and the Jazz may be determined by which team can out-rebound the other, per Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Because Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic represents a threat to initiate his team’s offense or shoot from outside the paint, he draws his All-Star counterpart Rudy Gobert away from the basket, which leaves his Jazz teammates vulnerable to taller Nuggets players in the battle of the boards. “It’s really a point of emphasis for our team,” Gobert said. “Especially with the way [the Nuggets] crash the boards and the way my guys have been fighting. I need to go back out there and make sure I get those long rebounds.”
  • In case you missed it: The Timberwolves, who entered the NBA draft lottery with a 14% chance of moving up to take the top pick, will now draft first during the 2020 draft, as we detailed earlier tonight. Anthony EdwardsLaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Obi Toppin are among the most-coveted players ahead of this year’s draft. The Wolves last had the No. 1 draft pick in 2015, when the team selected future All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/2/20

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

  • The Warriors assigned guard Stephen Curry to its affiliate in Santa Cruz and then recalled the former MVP, according to a team press release and Twitter post. Curry got in a practice with the G League club as he prepares to return from a broken left hand. The team also assigned forward Alen Smailagic to Santa Cruz. Smailagic has appeared in 19 games with Santa Cruz this season, posting averages of 15.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 25.9 MPG.
  • The Pacers recalled center Goga Bitadze and forward Alize Johnson from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s PR department tweets. Bitadze, the team’s first-round selection, has averaged 3.0 PPG in 8.5 MPG while making 46 appearances for the Pacers. Johnson, a 2018 second-rounder, has seen action in 12 NBA games this season.
  • The Magic recalled guard Melvin Frazier from Lakeland, the team’s PR department tweets. A 2018 second-round pick, Frazier has appeared in 14 games with Orlando this season.
  • The Bulls assigned and then recalled power forward Lauri Markkanen from the Windy City Bulls, the team tweets. Markkanen participated in a practice as part of his rehab process. He has been sidelined since January 22 with a stress reaction of his right pelvis.
  • The Clippers assigned big man Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Terance Mann to their Agua Caliente affiliate, according to the team’s PR department. A late first-rounder last June, Kabengele has appeared in 12 Clippers games. Mann, a rookie drafted in the second round, has seen action in 35 NBA games.
  • The Jazz assigned forward Juwan Morgan and guard Rayjon Tucker to the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the G League transactions log. A pair of undrafted rookies, Morgan has appeared in 16 Jazz games this season while Tucker has made 14 NBA appearances.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/28/20

Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Wizards have recalled Admiral Schofield from the Capital City Go-Go, per the team’s Twitter feed. Schofield was a second-round pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Celtics are bringing Romeo Langford back from the G League. They’ve recalled him, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs have recalled Keldon Johnson from the Austin Spurs, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Johnson was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
  • The Clippers have assigned Derrick Walton Jr. and Terance Mann to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, per the team. Los Angeles hasn’t practiced in several days but is expected to hold practice tomorrow.
  • The Jazz have assigned Nigel Williams-Goss, Juwan Morgan, and Miye Oni to the G League, according to the league’s transaction log. All three are were just with the Salt Lake City Stars over the weekend.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/24/20

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Sixers recalled Zhaire Smith from the Delaware Blue Coats, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. Smith has appeared in six NBA games this season, averaging 6.7 PPG in 18.5 MPG. He provides depth at the shooting guard spot with Josh Richardson sidelined by a hamstring strain.
  • The Rockets assigned guard Chris Clemons to their Rio Grande Valley affiliate, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets. The undrafted rookie has appeared in 25 games with Houston but only three this month.
  • The Jazz assigned forward Juwan Morgan to the Salt Lake City Stars, according the G League transactions log. The rookie forward has appeared in 10 games with the NBA club this season.
  • The Nets assigned guard Theo Pinson to their Long Island affiliate, according to the G League transactions log. He has appeared in 26 games with Brooklyn this season, averaging 4.5 PPG in 12.5 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/23/20

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

  • The Warriors have assigned Jacob Evans to the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced on Twitter. Evans has appeared in 22 NBA contests this season.
  • The Jazz have recalled Juwan Morgan from the Salt Lake City Stars, per the G League’s assignment log. Morgan signed with Utah in late November and is not eligible to be traded before the deadline, as I mentioned in the franchise’s Trade Deadline Primer for SLAM Magazine Newswire.
  • Keldon Johnson has been recalled by the Spurs. Johnson was selected with the No. 29 overall pick in this year’s draft.
  • The Heat have sent Chris Silva to the G League, the team announced on its website. He’s expected to be back with the NBA club before Miami’s contest against Orlando on January 27.

Jazz Notes: Clarkson, Ingles, Morgan, Zanik

Jordan Clarkson has quickly transformed the Jazz bench after being acquired in a trade with the Cavaliers last week, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Clarkson was brought in to add more scoring punch, but he has also surprised with his defense while adding a burst of energy to the second unit.

“He’s been everything we thought he was going to be these past three games,” teammate Donovan Mitchell said, “and he’s learning all this on the fly and still playing well, and that’s tough to do.”

Clarkson is averaging 16.0 PPG in three games since joining the Jazz, including a 20-point outburst in last night’s win over the Pistons. Before the trade, Utah ranked next to last in the league in bench scoring at 26.9 points per night.

“I’m trying to learn every day,” he said. “When we come in for practice I’m very attentive and everyone is talking to me. I’m just trying to pick everything up as quick as possible.”

There’s more from Utah:

  • Joe Ingles turned his season around this month by adjusting to the new way defenses are playing him, relays Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. Other teams have been copying the Rockets‘ playoff approach of shading to his left and forcing him to go right on screens. It took Ingles a while to adjust, but now he’s become proficient on 3-pointers while moving to his right. He has shot 55% from beyond the arc this month.
  • Rookie forward Juwan Morgan may be headed for a larger role, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic. Morgan was waived in training camp, but played well enough in the G League that the Jazz signed him last month. Utah likes Morgan’s defensive versatility, but there are questions about whether he can shoot well enough to become a regular part of the rotation.
  • General manager Justin Zanik may not be done shaking up the roster after adding Clarkson last week and waiving Jeff Green to sign Rayjon Tucker, Jones suggests in a separate story. He notes that the Jazz could still use more depth on their reserve unit, including an upgrade at backup center, which is currently being handled by Tony Bradley and Ed Davis.

Western Notes: Jazz, Kings, Grizzlies, Spurs

There haven’t been a ton of roster moves made around the NBA since the regular season began, but the Jazz completed a surprising one this week, officially waiving forward Jeff Green on Tuesday, less than six months after signing him as a free agent. According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the team loved Green’s professionalism, but wanted to open up minutes for Georges Niang, whose shooting is a threat off the bench.

While Niang might be the main beneficiary of Green’s departure, sources tell Jones that Utah is also very happy with two-way player Jarrell Brantley and views him as a rotation player at some point. Additionally, John Hollinger of The Athletic suggested on Monday that the Jazz may want to create more minutes for G League standout Juwan Morgan, who signed a standard contract with the club last month.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Kings had to get by without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III for much of the season’s first two months. Now, with both players healthy, the challenge will be integrating Fox and Bagley while the team finds its identity, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. “There’s some things as a group that we have to find our rhythm again,” head coach Luke Walton said over the weekend. “I believe in our group and we are going to get there, but in the meantime, the only way to do is to watch film and work harder. So that’s what we are going to do.”
  • When the Grizzlies played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday last week, rookies Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke appeared in both contests for the first time this season. Expect that to happen more often going forward, says David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • The Spurs have begun to see “positive steps” in the development of 2018 first-rounder Lonnie Walker, who has been playing more regular minutes lately, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details. Head coach Gregg Popovich said Walker is still learning how to “be a pro” and play with his teammates, but praised the 21-year-old’s intelligence.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/1/19

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

  • The Clippers assigned Derrick Walton Jr. to the G League, then recalled both Walton and rookie center Mfiondu Kabengele later in the day, according to the team. Both players suited up for the Agua Caliente Clippers on Sunday, with Kabengele posting 15 points and 19 rebounds, though he shot just 6-of-17 in a loss to Santa Cruz.
  • The Pistons recalled rookie forward Sekou Doumbouya from Grand Rapids on Sunday, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya saw a little garbage-time action in Detroit’s blowout win over San Antonio, scoring four points in less than three minutes.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Naz Reid from the G League on Sunday, per a team release.
  • After scoring 18 points in 18 minutes for the Northern Arizona Suns on Saturday, Ty Jerome was recalled to the NBA by the Suns, the team announced (via Twitter). Jerome, coming off an ankle injury, has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Kings recalled third-year forward Caleb Swanigan from the G League on Sunday, according to the club (Twitter link).
  • The Jazz sent forward Juwan Morgan and guard Miye Oni to the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday, the team announced in a press release. Presumably, both players will suit up for Utah’s G League affiliate on Monday vs. Grand Rapids.

Jazz Sign Juwan Morgan, Waive Stanton Kidd

The Jazz have made a change to the back of their 15-man roster, waiving forward Stanton Kidd and signing forward Juwan Morgan to fill the newly-opener roster spot, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. NBA.com’s log of transactions confirms Utah has officially signed Morgan.

Morgan, an undrafted rookie out of Indiana, was a full-time starter as a senior in 2018/19, averaging 15.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 35 games (29.9 MPG). He signed with the Jazz for Summer League and for training camp, but was waived before the regular season begin, joining the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s NBAGL affiliate. He got off to a strong start in the G League, recording 15.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG, and 1.8 BPG on 71.8% shooting in five games and earning a call-up.

As for Kidd, the 27-year-old earned a regular season roster spot in Utah out of camp, but saw limited action for the team in the first month of 2019/20, logging 15 total minutes in four games. He didn’t score a single point during those appearances.

A league source tells Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com that Morgan’s deal is a multiyear contract, though it’s almost certainly a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary pact. Kidd’s minimum-salary contract was partially guaranteed for $250K, so Utah will remain on the hook for that amount.

Kyle Collinsworth, Juwan Morgan Waived By Jazz

The Jazz have waived Kyle Collinsworth and Juwan Morgan, according to a tweet from the team.

Collinsworth spent last year with Raptors 905 of the G League. He has NBA experience with the Mavericks, getting into 32 games during the 2017/18 season.

Morgan is a rookie who signed an Exhibit 10 contract after going undrafted out of Indiana. He appeared in two preseason games, averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.