Kenny Wooten

NBA G League Announces 2019/20 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, Wisconsin Herd guard Frank Mason III – who is on a two-way contract with the Bucks – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Mason was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jaylen Adams, as well as Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley, South Bay Lakers big man Devontae Cacok, and Memphis Hustle forward Jarrod Uthoff. Mason, Brantley, and Cacok are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently on two-way contracts or have had NBA experience in the past.

The complete list of the 2019/20 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd)
  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Frank Mason III (Wisconsin Herd) ^
  • Jarrod Uthoff (Memphis Hustle)

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Donta Hall (Grand Rapids Drive)
  • Marial Shayok (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tremont Waters (Maine Red Claws) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

Of the 20 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Adams, Jones, Koumadje, and Hollins – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’19/20 season began.

Adams and Jones have previous NBA experience, while Koumadje and Hollins have yet to make their regular-season NBA debuts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Christ Koumadje Named NBAGL Defensive Player Of The Year

Now that the remainder of the NBA G League’s 2019/20 season has been officially canceled, the league is moving forward with its end-of-season awards, announcing today that Delaware Blue Coats big man Christ Koumadje has been named the NBAGL Defensive Player of the Year.

Koumadje, who went undrafted out of Florida State in 2019, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Sixers last July. Philadelphia waived him before the season began and made him an affiliate player for the Blue Coats.

A G League rookie, Koumadje emerged as the league’s most fearsome rim protector almost immediately, averaging an NBAGL-best 4.0 blocks per game in 33 contests. The Chad native also averaged a double-double, recording 11.3 PPG and 10.9 RPG in just 26.4 minutes per contest. His most impressive outing came on February 1, when he logged a triple-double consisting of 18 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 blocks.

It’s not clear if or when Koumadje will get a shot at the NBA level with the 76ers or another team. Some recent NBAGL Defensive Player of the Year winners, including Chris Boucher (2019) and DeAndre Liggins (2014, 2016) have played rotation roles in the NBA.

Canton Charge swingman Sir’Dominic Pointer and Westchester Knicks forward Kenny Wooten were the top two runners-up in G League Defensive Player of the Year voting. Wooten is on a two-way contract with New York, while Pointer was in the midst of a 10-day with Cleveland when the NBA suspended its season in March.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Houston, Wooten, Robinson

Nearly three weeks after reportedly reaching an agreement to bring him aboard, the Knicks still haven’t made it official with incoming president of basketball operations Leon Rose. However, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that an official announcement confirming the hiring of the veteran agent is expected to happen next week.

The official arrival of Rose, who has been tying up loose ends at his longtime agency CAA, could bring about some changes, according to Berman, who notes that the new president of basketball operations may encourage interim head coach Mike Miller to increase Knicks youngsters’ playing time. As Berman notes, Miller said on Monday that he speaks frequently with interim head of basketball operations Scott Perry, but hasn’t yet had a conversation with Rose.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Following up on a recent report that executive Allan Houston is expected to receive a promotion, Berman says that Houston already received one unreported promotion late last season, having been named special assistant to the GM. A source tells Berman that Houston is tight with Rose and William Wesley (“World Wide Wes”), who figures to become an unofficial advisor.
  • A torn ligament in his left thumb is expected to sideline Knicks two-way player Kenny Wooten for at least six weeks, Berman writes in a separate New York Post story. As such, it remains to be seen whether the shot-blocking rookie will get an opportunity to make his NBA debut this season. If he doesn’t, that’s probably fine with the Knicks — sources tell Berman the club signed him to his two-way deal last month primarily to prevent another team from poaching him from New York’s G League affiliate.
  • Miller is happy with what he has seen from second-year center Mitchell Robinson, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. “He’s very important,” Miller said of Robinson. “… He’s a high-energy guy. That’s a skill. He can play at high energy now. He’s matured and grown more, extended those minutes where he is impacting the game at a high level.”
  • In case you missed it on Monday, we passed along a report indicating that the Knicks aren’t planning on buying out any of their veteran players.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Rose, Wooten, Anderson

There are few players who are off the table in trade talks for the Knicks, as I recently wrote for SLAM Magazine. RJ Barrett, who injured his ankle earlier tonight, and Mitchell Robinson are both unlikely to be dealt. Everyone else on the roster seems available for the right price, including Marcus Morris, who returned from a five-game absence in the loss tonight.

As we wait to see which players from New York get traded before the deadline, let’s take a look around the Atlantic Division:

  • Should the Sixers trade for Derrick Rose? ESPN’s Tracy McGrady (video link) believes the point guard could be the right target for Philadelphia at this year’s trade deadline.
  • Kenny Wooten‘s two-way contract with the Knicks runs through two seasons, ESPN Bobby Mark tweets. Wooten’s deal is just one of seven like it in the NBA.
  • Javonte Green is getting a chance to live out his dream with the Celtics, as he tells NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg.“When I first got the offer from [Danny Ainge], it was a dream come true,” said Green. “I still don’t think it’s really hit me. But every day, a random day, I can just be going to the grocery store, and I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m really in the NBA.’”
  • Justin Anderson will re-join the Raptors‘ G League affiliate, per the team’s Twitter feed. Anderson was with the Raptors 905 before signing a 10-day deal with Brooklyn.

Knicks Waive Ivan Rabb, Add Kenny Wooten

JANUARY 14, 3:03pm: The Knicks have officially signed Wooten to a two-way contract, the team announced today (Twitter link).

JANUARY 13, 5:07pm: Rabb has officially been waived, according the team’s PR department (Twitter link).

JANUARY 13, 4:09pm: The Knicks will waive forward Ivan Rabb and add forward Kenny Wooten on a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Wooten has been playing for the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester.

The move didn’t come as a surprise. Wednesday is the final day that two-way contracts can be offered this season, and several teams had been watching Wooten, who is among the G League leaders in blocks per game. Rabb and guard Kadeem Allen were on two-way deals with the Knicks and one of them had to go to make room for Wooten.

Rabb was signed to his two-way contract in late October. Rabb, 22, was the 35th overall pick in the 2017 draft and spent his first two professional seasons in Memphis, but didn’t develop into a reliable, consistent rotation player. In 2018/19, he averaged 5.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 49 games (14.7 MPG).  He was released by the Grizzlies during training camp.

Rabb was averaging a double-double with Westchester in 18 games — 13.1 PPG and 11.0 RPG. Wooten, 21, has appeared in 24 games with Westchester. He’s averaging 7.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.3 BPG in 24.0 MPG.

An undrafted rookie out of Oregon, Wooten was waived from the Knicks’ training camp roster after signing an Exhibit 10 contract during the summer. On his new two-way deal, he’ll be eligible to spend up to 24 days in the NBA before the end of the G League regular season.

Knicks Notes: Knox, Wooten, Drummond

The Knicks are wasting an opportunity to develop their young players as they string together losses with veteran journeymen, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. After whiffing on the big names in the free agent market last summer, New York signed seven players, with only Julius Randle having a fully guaranteed salary beyond this season. Those additions make up the core of a team that is 10-29 with five straight losses.

Affected most by not being on the court is Kevin Knox, a lottery pick from 2018, Popper adds. When Marcus Morris was hurt earlier this week, interim coach Mike Miller inserted Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup and continued to give limited minutes to Knox, who has regressed in his second NBA season.

“My Pops always just tells to go out there and just play every single possession as hard as I can, because you never know how long you’re going to be on the floor,” Knox said. “So just go out there and give it your all. So that’s the approach. The six minutes I had (January 5 against the Clippers), I thought I played really well; went out there and played hard. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back in the game. But like I said, you never know when your number is going to get called. So you always got to stay prepared, stay ready.”

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The Knicks have an important decision to make this week on G League standout Kenny Wooten, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Wednesday is the final day that two-way contracts can be offered this season, and several teams are watching Wooten, who is among the G League leaders in blocks per game. New York doesn’t have a roster opening, so either Kadeem Allen or Ivan Rabb would have to be waived to create a two-way slot for Wooten.
  • Tommy Beer of Forbes examines why it would be a mistake for the Knicks to give up future assets in a trade for Andre Drummond. Not only would they be committing to re-signing Drummond to a massive contract once he opts out this summer, they already have a promising young center in Mitchell Robinson.
  • The Knicks would still be on shaky ground even if they had achieved their dream scenario of signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and drafting Zion Williamson, observes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Williamson’s knee issue, Irving’s shoulder problem and Durant’s uncertain future after a ruptured Achilles tendon would all be giving nightmares to Knicks fans if they were on the roster.

Kenny Wooten Drawing Interest From Teams

G League standout Kenny Wooten is drawing interest from teams for a 10-day contract, SNY’s Ian Begley reports.

The undrafted rookie from Oregon, who was in camp with the Knicks in the fall, has stood out with his defense for the Westchester Knicks, particularly his blocks. He currently leads the G League with 3.7 blocks per game while averaging 6.8 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

“He certainly looks capable of defending on the interior at this level,” a scout said of Wooten’s NBA potential, per Begley.

As a G League player, Wooten is eligible to ink a 10-day contract with any NBA team. The Knicks could add Wooten to the NBA roster by waiving or trading a player to free up a roster spot.

Knicks Waive Three Players

The Knicks have officially waived guard Lamar Peters, swingman V.J. King, and forward Kenny Wooten, the team announced today in a press release. All three players were on non-guaranteed contracts, so New York’s cap won’t be affected by the cuts.

Peters, King, and Wooten each joined the Knicks as rookie free agents after going undrafted in the spring, which makes them eligible to be designated as affiliate players for the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League team. That appears to be the plan, as Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets.

As a result of today’s roster moves, the Knicks now have 16 players under contract, including 15 on guaranteed salaries and one on a two-way deal. I expect the club will make an additional move by Monday to fill that second two-way slot.

Knicks Release Amir Hinton

The Knicks have waived guard Amir Hinton, according to a release from the club. Hinton was signed to a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deal, so the Knicks won’t be on the hook for any dead money.

Hinton, 22, declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after his junior season at Division II school Shaw University, where he led all Division II players with 29.4 points per game and earned CIAA Player of the Year honors.

Shortly after going undrafted, Hinton agreed to a training camp deal with the Knicks, which became official last month. Now that he’s been cut, it’s likely he’ll become an affiliate player for New York’s G League team, the Westchester Knicks.

The Knicks now have 19 players under contract, including one two-way player. Of the 18 guys on standard contracts, 15 have guaranteed deals, meaning it looks like it’ll be an uphill climb for V.J. King, Kenny Wooten, or Lamar Peters to earn a roster spot.

Knicks Officially Sign Four Undrafted Rookies

The Knicks have officially signed four players who previously reached contract agreements with the team, according to RealGM’s transactions log. All four players are believed to have received non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deals.

Here are the players who have now officially joined the Knicks:

Word of New York’s deals with Hinton and King broke shortly after the draft concluded in June. The Knicks also struck a tentative agreement on a two-way contract for Kris Wilkes at that time, but it fell through for health reasons. Hinton, a former Division II standout, and King both went undrafted this year.

Like Hinton and King, Peters and Wooten are rookies who went undrafted after declaring as early entrants in the spring. Both players were members of the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July, with Wooten’s 2.5 blocks per game in just 13.3 MPG turning heads. Peters struggled with his shot (2-for-17 from the floor), but still apparently showed enough to earn a deal with New York.

The Knicks now have a full 20-man roster, including 15 players on guaranteed contracts and one (Kadeem Allen) on a two-way contract. One of the players from this new group could end up in that second two-way slot, but most of them are good bets to eventually land with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.