Keith Appling

And-Ones: Rabb, Meeks, Griffin, Appling

A desire to enter the NBA as a more polished prospect drove Ivan Rabb to decide against entering this year’s draft in spite of his strong chances of becoming a lottery pick, as he told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. Rabb was widely considered the No. 1 player in this year’s class before suffering an injury in high school, Goodman writes, and the 6’10” power forward has heard the talk about the lack of stellar prospects in the draft, but in recent weeks he grew more attracted to the idea of returning for California for his sophomore year, as Goodman details.

“I know I need to get stronger,” Rabb said. “I want to come back better defensively, a better shooter, a better rebounder, more comfortable on the floor. I want to be the leader. I wanted to have a bigger role.”

Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranked him No. 11 among this year’s draft prospects and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had him at No. 14 just before he announced he would stay in school. Multiple NBA executives told Goodman he was unlikely to fall out of the top 10 picks, and Cal coach Cuonzo Martin told Rabb that NBA personnel had said his draft range extended as high as No. 6. See more on the draft amid a look at news around the league:

  • Center Kennedy Meeks will withdraw from this year’s draft and return to North Carolina for his senior season, the school announced. The 6’9″ 21-year-old entered the draft without an agent last month, thus preserving his college eligibility. He was outside the top 100 in both Ford’s and Givony’s rankings.
  • Ex-Iona combo guard A.J. English will have predraft workouts with the Bucks, Cavaliers and Wizards, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • Xavier small forward Trevon Bluiett will work out for the Timberwolves on Saturday and the Celtics on May 14th, Goodman tweets.
  • Valparaiso power forward Alec Peters is working out with the Rockets today and the Celtics on Friday, according to Goodman (Twitter link).
  • Former Heat, Mavericks and Pistons preseason signee Eric Griffin pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder charges stemming from a Friday arrest, reports Sam Gardner of Fox Sports. Griffin allegedly fired gunshots at an Orlando man in the early morning hours of April 27th. The 25-year-old swingman has been in NBA training camps the past three seasons but has yet to make a regular season roster.
  • Keith Appling, who spent time with the Magic this season, faces a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon and misdemeanor charges of possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle and possession of marijuana, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. An arraignment is set for today in Dearborn, Michigan, where police arrested Appling outside a strip club on Sunday night, MLive’s Kyle Austin notes.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Pacers

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has drawn criticism from his players at times, but his job is safe, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that GM Gar Forman has been acting as though his own job might not be as secure. Forman has been working to distance himself from the team’s shortcomings lately in an effort to polish his resume for his next job, knowing that he wouldn’t win a power struggle with executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson if it came to it, Cowley wrote in an earlier piece. Former coach Tom Thibodeau, who notoriously feuded with management, had more respect for Paxson than Forman, feeling as though Paxson was more up front with him, Cowley hears. Still, both Forman and Paxson appear safe for the time being, Cowley adds. See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Thibodeau has long had his heart set on the Knicks head coaching job, a source close to him tells Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link), as we passed along amid much more news in the wake of the team’s decision to fire coach Derek Fisher.
  • Carmelo Anthony has had not one but two MRIs in the past three weeks as his surgically repaired left knee continues to bother him, a team source tells Isola, but Anthony said Sunday that doctors have assured him the lingering soreness is simply part of the recovery process, notes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo‘s 10-day contract with the Knicks and Keith Appling second 10-day deal with the Magic expired overnight, making them free agents. New York can re-sign Antetokounmpo to another 10-day pact, but that’s not the case with Appling. Orlando can’t ink him to any more contracts this season without signing him for the balance of 2015/16.
  • Pacers coach Frank Vogel has been impressed with lottery pick Myles Turner, who’s tamped down fears over his running style and come a long way from a disappointing season at the University of Texas last year, as Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com examines.

Magic Sign Keith Appling To Second 10-Day Deal

9:37am: The deal is official, the team announced via press release. It’s set to cover six games — two against the Celtics, plus the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Hawks.

FRIDAY, 9:16am: The signing has taken place, team officials told Robbins (Twitter link), though the club hasn’t made a formal public announcement.

TUESDAY, 1:13pm: The Magic will re-sign Keith Appling to a second 10-day contract once his existing pact expires, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). The second signing will take place Friday, according to Robbins, shortly after his first 10-day term runs out at the end of Wednesday.

The former Michigan State mainstay has played sparingly in his brief time with Orlando, totaling six points on 2 of 6 shooting in 15 minutes of play combined over two games. Still, he has a history with the Magic, having joined the team for the preseason before a late October release, and he’s played for Orlando’s D-League team across parts of the past two seasons.

Appling, technically an NBA rookie, is in line for another $30,888 on this deal to go with the same amount he’s making from 10-day No. 1 and the $100K partial guarantee he had on his training camp contract. Orlando has 14 other players on deals that run through at least the end of the season, and the team will face a decision about what to do with its last flexible roster spot when Appling’s second set of 10 days runs out. The Magic would have to either sign him for the balance of the season or let him go at that point.

And-Ones: D-League, Clippers, Beal, Draft

The recent call-ups of J.J. O’Brien by the Jazz and Keith Appling by the Magic could represent a new trend in how NBA teams use the D-League, according to D-League Digest. They are the first call-ups of the season directly from a franchise’s minor league affiliate, and their familiarity with the parent teams’ systems made them an easy fit. With 10-day contracts limiting the amount of instruction time for new players, it helps to have someone who already understands how a team approaches the game.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • NBA veteran Henry Sims is one of three D-League centers identified as top prospects by Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012, Sims played 121 games with New Orleans, Cleveland and Philadelphia. He is currently averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds for the Grand Rapids Drive. Also on Reichert’s list are 28-year-old Alex Stepheson of the Iowa Energy and 26-year-old Jordan Bachynski of the Westchester Knicks.
  • Dennis Wong, a former college roommate of Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, has bought a small percentage of the team, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The sale amounts to less than 4% of the franchise.
  • Bradley Beal is slowly easing back into the Wizards‘ rotation and hopes to have his minutes restriction raised soon, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Beal, who is headed toward free agency, recently admitted that he may have to deal with restricted playing time for the rest of his career.
  • California’s Ivan Rabb, Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield were the biggest risers in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. His top five remains the same with Ben Simmons of LSU, Brandon Ingram of Duke, Dragan Bender of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kris Dunn of Providence and Skal Labissiere of Kentucky.

Magic Sign Keith Appling To 10-Day Deal

MONDAY, 9:07am: The deal is official, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel tweets.

SATURDAY: The Magic will sign point guard Keith Appling to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Appling has been a standout with Orlando’s D-League affiliate in Erie, averaging 15.9 points and 5.4 assists in 16 games. The Magic have just 14 players under contract, so another move will not be necessary.

Appling, 23, played with Orlando’s summer league team and received an invitation to training camp. He played sparingly in the preseason, seeing just 43 minutes of court time in five games before being waived. The Magic retained Appling’s D-League rights from the previous season, so he was allocated to Erie after clearing waivers.

Appling was a star guard at Michigan State before going undrafted in 2014. He signed with the Lakers in September of that year and wound up with the D-League Los Angeles D-Fenders as an affiliate player. The D-Fenders traded him to Erie in March of 2015.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.

Magic Waive Keith Appling, Jordan Sibert

The Magic have waived Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert, the team announced via press release. Both will join the team’s D-League affiliate assuming they clear waivers, the Magic also said. Appling and Sibert have matching $100K partial guarantees, so Orlando would be on the hook for those if they indeed clear waivers. The move leaves the team with 17 players, 13 of whom have full guarantees.

Appling, a point guard from Michigan State, scored six points in about 43 total minutes of play in five appearances in the preseason, while Sibert, a shooting guard from Dayton, totaled three points in approximately 30 minutes of play across five preseason games. Both are 23, though Sibert went undrafted this summer while Appling is in his second season as a pro, having spent last season with the D-League affiliates of the Lakers and Magic after a short time on the Lakers NBA roster prior to opening night last fall.

Teams can keep the D-League rights to as many as four players they waive, providing they clear waivers and agree to join the D-League, though the Magic already had Appling’s rights from his time with their affiliate last season. Centers Nnanna Egwu and Greg Stiemsma, small forward Melvin Ejim and shooting guard Devyn Marble are the remaining Magic players without fully guaranteed salaries. Ejim is the only one with a partial guarantee. He’s assured of $150K, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Who do you think will get the final two regular season roster spots on the Magic, assuming they carry 15 players? Leave a comment to let us know.

Southeast Notes: Bazemore, Heat, Wizards

Hawks guard Kent Bazemore is entering the final season of his current deal, but there is mutual interest between the team and the 26-year-old in reaching an agreement on a new contract next offseason, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Speaking about his feelings for Atlanta, Bazemore said, “I’ve come to love Atlanta. Of the whole summer, I was probably only gone two weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time here. I just moved into a new house. I’m renting it. Maybe I can buy it next year.” Bazemore and the Hawks will have to wait until next summer to work out a new deal since his current deal was signed for less than four years, meaning Bazemore is ineligible to sign an extension during the season, Vivlamore adds.

Here’s the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat assistant Dan Craig was officially named as head coach of the franchise’s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the team announced. The news of Craig’s hiring was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
  • Jaron Johnson‘s one-year deal with the Wizards is non-guaranteed and for the league minimum, while Jaleel Robertsagreement is also for the minimum, but his includes a partial guarantee of $10K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter links).
  • The Heat‘s deals with John Lucas III and Tre Kelley are one-year pacts for the league minimum and do not include any guaranteed salary, Pincus tweets.
  • Hawks coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said that it may make more sense for the team to carry the regular season maximum of 15 players rather than keeping a slot open, Vivlamore tweets. Atlanta currently has 13 players inked to fully guaranteed deals.
  • The Hornets are hoping that Jeremy Lamb will get off to a fresh start in Charlotte after not seeing much playing time during his three seasons with the Thunder, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. Lamb was acquired back in June in exchange for for Luke Ridnour and a 2016 second-round pick.
  • Greg Stiemsma‘s and Nnanna Egwu‘s one-year, minimum salary deals with the Magic are non-guaranteed, while Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert‘s minimum salary arrangements include partial guarantees of $100K, Pincus relays in a series of tweets.
  • The presence of Goran Dragic, who re-signed with the Heat this offseason, was a big draw for Amar’e Stoudemire to join Miami as a free agent, Surya Fernandez of SB Nation tweets. Of Dragic, Stoudemire said, “If he would have stayed in Phoenix, I would have thought about going back to Phoenix.

Magic Rumors: Skiles, Hezonja, Fournier, Appling

The month between the start of training camp and the start of the regular season will be crucial for new Magic coach Scott Skiles, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Skiles, who held his first full practice today, needs to change the team’s mindset, improve a defense that ranked 25th last season and establish a new identity, among other priorities, Robbins writes. Two of the main objectives will be to work in second-year player Aaron Gordon, who is limited at the start of training camp by a fractured jaw, and to help rookie swingman Mario Hezonja get comfortable with the NBA game.

There’s more news out of Orlando:

  • Hiring Skiles to take over a team with a young, talented nucleus has some in Orlando dreaming of the playoffs, Robbins writes in a separate story. The author notes Skiles’ track record of turning teams around quickly. In his first full season as the Bulls’ coach in 2004/05, the won-loss record improved by 24 games. When he took over the Bucks in 2008/09, their record improved by eight games in the first season and another 12 in the second season. “Our goal is to make the playoffs, and our expectation is that we’ll compete for a playoff spot throughout the entire season,” said GM Rob Hennigan. “It’s important for us to be playing games that matter at the end of the season.”
  • Evan Fournier is hoping for an extension, Robbins tweets, with Fournier saying it would be “awesome” if it happens before the November 2nd deadline. Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors examined Fournier’s extension candidacy earlier this month.
  • Hezonja was called the team’s best new addition by Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders in the site’s season preview of the Magic. The Croatian star, who was taken fifth overall in this year’s draft, impressed the coaching staff with his performance during summer league. Taylor said the rookie has shown an ability to pass, drive, hit open three-pointers and throw down some “highlight-reel dunks.”
  • Keith Appling‘s two-year minimum deal comes with a $100K guarantee, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Magic Sign Keith Appling

SEPTEMBER 24TH, 4:17pm: The signing is official, the Magic announced in a press release.

JULY 20TH, 2:51pm: The Magic and Keith Appling have agreed to a partially guaranteed two-year deal, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The point guard from Michigan State played summer league ball with the Magic earlier this month. Orlando has its $2.814MM room exception to spend, but it seems more likely that this will be a minimum-salary contract.

The Thunder reportedly met with him a couple of weeks ago. Appling was with the Lakers during the preseason last fall after having gone undrafted in 2014. He spent much of the season with the Lakers D-League affiliate before a trade sent him to the Magic’s D-League team. He averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 turnovers in 24.4 minutes per game across 38 total D-League appearances. The 23-year-old displayed more scoring prowess in summer league this year, posting 15.6 PPG in 26.3 MPG over five games.

The existence of a partial guarantee in his deal doesn’t necessarily mean he has a better shot to make the Magic’s opening night roster. Orlando reportedly gave Peyton Siva a partial guarantee in his deal last summer but viewed him as a D-League player. The Magic apparently used the partial guarantee as a way to gild his D-League salary and help keep him from signing overseas or ending up with another D-League team. NBA clubs can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they waive at the end of training camp. Still, it appears he’ll have a chance to impress the Magic in NBA training camp and force his way onto the regular season roster.

What do you think Appling’s chances of making the opening night roster are? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.