Kellen Dunham

Go-Go Stock Roster in G League Expansion Draft

The Capital City Go-Go welcomed their first 14 players today in the G League expansion draft, tweets Adam Johnson of Two Ways and 10 Days. The Wizards’ new affiliate stocked its roster with a mixture of young players and veterans, including a few names familiar to NBA fans, including Lavoy Allen, Alonzo Gee and Luke Harangody.

As we saw with last year’s expansion draft, being selected isn’t a guarantee that any of these 14 players will take the court for Capital City in its inaugural season. Many of the players chosen today are still seeking NBA opportunities and some will head overseas.

Allen, 29, played 388 games for the Sixers and Pacers, with his last NBA action coming in the 2016/17 season. Gee, 31, played for six teams in eight seasons and has also been out of the league since 2016/17. Harangody, 30, appeared in 70 total games with the Celtics and Cavaliers and hasn’t been in the NBA since 2011/12.

The other G League franchises were permitted to protect up to 12 players on their roster, and Capital City was limited to taking a maximum of two players from a single team. The Go-Go will begin play this fall, bringing the G League to 27 teams and leaving the Pelicans, Nuggets and Trail Blazers as the only NBA clubs without direct affiliates.

The other new members of the Go-Go, listed alphabetically, are:

Quinton Chievous

Michael Cobbins

Will Cummings

Alex Davis

Will Davis

Duje Dukan

Kellen Dunham

Tyler Harvey

Pe’Shon Howard

Vince Hunter

Stephen Zimmerman

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

Read more

Grizzlies Sign JaKarr Sampson, Waive Kellen Dunham

The Grizzlies have made a pair of roster moves, signing JaKarr Sampson and waiving Kellen Dunham, the team announced. The details of Sampson pact were not relayed, though it is almost assuredly a minimum salary arrangement that includes little or no guaranteed money. Memphis’ roster still stands at 20 players, so the team has five more players it will need to part ways with prior to the regular season commencing.

Sampson was waived by the Nuggets last week as Denver began paring down its preseason roster. Sampson was originally inked by the Nuggets this past February and played in the final 26 games (22 starts) of the 2015/16 season, averaging 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.0 minutes. He has appeared in one preseason contest this year, notching 10 points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 20 minutes.

Dunham’s stay in Memphis was brief, having just been signed on Thursday. The shooting guard played for the Grizzlies’ summer-league team in Las Vegas, making four reserve appearances while averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.9 minutes. He went undrafted in June after a four-year collegiate career at Butler. His addition was likely made with an eye on acquiring his D-League rights, though that is merely my speculation.

Grizzlies Waive Duo, Sign Costello, Dunham

The Grizzlies waived guard Chris Crawford and forward Vince Hunter on Thursday, according to the team’s website. The team then signed center Matt Costello and shooting guard Kellen Dunham, according to a separate press release. The moves leave the Grizzlies’ training-camp roster at 20 players.

Costello was waived by the Hawks on Monday. The undrafted rookie out of Michigan State averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.0 minutes during his two preseason appearances with Atlanta.

Dunham played for the Grizzlies’ summer-league team in Las Vegas, making four reserve appearances while averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.9 minutes. He also went undrafted in June after a four-year collegiate career at Butler.

Crawford signed a non-guaranteed contract just before training camp. He has appeared in 64 games for the D-League’s Canton Charge since going undrafted in 2014, and has also spent some time in France with Rouen Métropole Basket. In four preseason appearances, he averaged 3.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 16.3 minutes.

Hunter was signed 11 days ago after being waived by the Bulls. GM Chris Wallace said when Hunter was signed that the club needed frontcourt depth during the preseason to limit the minutes of his rotation players. In four preseason games, Hunter averaged 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 19.4 minutes. He spent last season with the Kings’ D-League affiliate in Reno, as well as Panathinaikos in the Greek League.

Central Notes: Noah, Walters, Draft

Bulls center and unrestricted free agent Joakim Noah is looking forward to the free agent process and being recruited by interested suitors, as he told Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. When asked how involved he is in the free agent process, Noah said, “I’m very focused on free agency. I spent the last 10 years in Chicago, there were good moments and bad moments but now I have an incredible opportunity for a player, being recruited by a team, I definitely want to live that kind of experience. It’s new for me but it’s something very intriguing for a player. I’ll consider every offer on the table, no doubt.

The big man was also asked if the culture of the team changed under Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg this season, with Noah telling Cauchi, “I don’t think so. I mean, Hoiberg is a good coach, the locker room is something that the players need to make work. It’s on us, not on the coach.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers have their sixth pre-draft workout scheduled for Wednesday, the team announced. Attendees will include Kellen Dunham (Butler), Jordan Loyd (Indianapolis), Taurean Prince (Baylor), Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Diamond Stone (Maryland), and Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV), according to the release.
  • The Pistons are expected to name Rex Walters as head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest relays. Walters previously served as the head coach at the University of San Francisco from 2008-16, compiling a record of 126-125 during his tenure. Otis Smith, the current coach of the Drive, is expected to be promoted to a front office position with the Pistons, Johnson tweets.
  • The Bucks held a group workout this morning for Max Landis (IPFW), Carrington Love (UWGB), Tyrone Wallace (California), Kyle Collinsworth (BYU), Derrick Jones (UNLV) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced. Milwaukee also held an individual workout this afternoon for Marquette big man Henry Ellenson, the team relayed in the same announcement.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Raptors, Knicks, Draft

The Celtics are extremely unlikely to use all eight picks they hold in this year’s NBA draft, but the fact that they have all those picks, including five in the second round, means Boston will be diligent about evaluating all sorts of prospects. The club is hosting 12 players for pre-draft workouts today, and the two six-man groups feature a handful of less recognizable names. Here’s the full list of the participants, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com (Twitter link): Isaia Cordinier (France), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Nick Faust (Long Beach State), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), Guerschon Yabusele (France), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Roosevelt Jones (Butler), Hunter Mickelson (Kansas), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), Tanner Plomb (Army), and Jordan Sakho (Spain).

Here’s more from around the Atlantic, including details on another team hosting a pre-draft workout today:

  • The Raptors will have an individual workout for Gonzaga big man Domantas Sabonis today, as Sportsnet’s Michael Grange tweets. Toronto will also be hosting a six-player workout that features Winston Shepard (San Diego State), Jake Layman (Maryland), Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Diamond Stone (Maryland), and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV). Brandon Austin, whose workout with the Raptors was previously reported, is also participating today.
  • In a weekend mailbag, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star tackles several Raptors-related questions, discussing potential outside free agent targets and predicting the odds of Toronto’s own free agents returning.
  • During an appearance on WFAN, new Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek confirmed that he’ll make the final call on his assistant coaches, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Kurt Rambis remains under consideration for one of the spots on Hornacek’s staff.
  • If the Celtics get a chance to make a pitch to Kevin Durant in free agency, they should play the history card, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com (video link), who says Boston could give Durant the opportunity to be the next star in a long line of greats that includes Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and many more.