Kevin Hervey

Thunder Second-Rounder Kevin Hervey To Play In G League

Rookie forward Kevin Hervey has signed an NBA G League contract, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. The Thunder selected Hervey with the No. 57 pick in the draft last June, with the team set to hold his rights in the G League.

Hervey, 22, spent four seasons at the University of Texas at Arlington before declaring for the NBA Draft. At 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, he has the ability to play both the small forward and power forward positions. He averaged 20.5 points per contest in his senior season last year.

The Thunder have opted to send other draft picks to the G League in recent seasons, including Josh Huestis and Dakari Johnson.

Hervey is represented by agent Michael Tellem of CAA Sports.

Four 2018 NBA Draftees Remain Unsigned

With Thunder second-rounder Devon Hall set to spend the upcoming season playing in Australia, 56 of 60 players selected in the 2018 NBA draft have now made plans – in the NBA or elsewhere – for the 2018/19 campaign.

As our 2018 draft pick signing tracker shows, that leaves four players whose status for 2018/19 has yet to be reported or announced. Here’s what we know – or can deduce – about those four rookies:

  1. Justin Jackson (Magic): According to our roster counts, the Magic have used both of their two-way contract slots and have 16 players on NBA contracts. However, only 14 of those NBA deals are fully guaranteed, meaning there could be a path for Jackson to claim the 15th spot. Still, Isaiah Briscoe looks like he’ll have an opportunity to make the team despite not having a guaranteed salary. Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel expects Jackson, who is coming off a major shoulder injury, to spend the 2018/19 season with the Lakeland Magic, so perhaps he’ll sign a G League contract with an eye toward joining Orlando’s 15-man squad in 2019.
  2. De’Anthony Melton (Rockets): The Rockets only have 10 players on fully guaranteed salaries, meaning there’s plenty of room for Melton to join the mix. It’s possible Houston is waiting to sign Melton in order to keep him trade-eligible — as soon as he signs, he can’t be dealt for one month, and the Rockets may want to keep their options open as they scour the market for a wing player. Assuming Melton remains with the Rockets, they’ll likely lock him up for at least three years using part of the taxpayer mid-level exception, like they did with Isaiah Hartenstein.
  3. Chimezie Metu (Spurs): The Spurs have a lone opening on their projected 15-man roster, with 14 players on guaranteed deals. It’s possible Metu could slot into that spot, but he’s not the only option. Former two-way player Darrun Hilliard is a candidate to be promoted to a standard NBA contract, and 2017 second-rounder Jaron Blossomgame could also be signed. The Spurs are very comfortable stashing draft picks, as they currently retain the NBA rights to 11 players who aren’t playing in the NBA. We’ll see if Metu becomes the 12th or if the Spurs held onto part of their mid-level exception this summer in order to sign him to a long-term deal.
  4. Kevin Hervey (Thunder): Hall’s move overseas looks like it could be good news for Hervey. The Thunder have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, leaving no clear path to OKC’s regular season roster, but the club only has Deonte Burton on a two-way deal. That leaves the Thunder’s other two-way contract slot open, and it would make sense for Hervey to fill it, as four other 2018 draftees in the 54-60 range have inked two-way deals so far this summer.

Thunder Notes: Schroder, Nader, Hall, Hervey

Six days after initially reaching an agreement with the Hawks and Sixers, the Thunder have officially completed the trade that sends Carmelo Anthony and a future first-round pick to Atlanta, with Oklahoma City acquiring Dennis Schroder and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

As we detailed in our story on the trade, the move will create a traded player exception for the Thunder worth about $10.88MM and will also go a long way toward reducing the club’s projected tax bill. Oklahoma City’s salary remains well over the tax line, but the team’s projected tax penalties now work out to about $88.75MM rather than $150MM+. Taking into account their $148.74MM in player salaries, the Thunder are looking at a total roster cost of about $237.5MM for now.

Here’s more out of OKC:

  • Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman explores whether Schroder makes sense in the old Reggie Jackson role on the Thunder’s roster, while Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examines the on-court fit of OKC’s newest guard and wonders whether the franchise can help rebuild the 24-year-old’s image.
  • In another article for The Oklahoman, Tramel praises the work that GM Sam Presti has done in turning another seemingly unmovable contract into a useful asset. While Tramel’s argument is fair, I’d push back on his assertion that Schroder will be a better fit than Anthony from a chemistry perspective, given the whispers we heard about the point guard in Atlanta. The impact on team chemistry is yet to be determined, in my opinion, as are the long-term financial benefits of swapping Anthony’s $27.93MM expiring contract for Schroder’s $15.5MM annual salary over three years.
  • In a piece focusing on newly-acquired wing Abdel Nader, Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman notes that 2018 second-rounders Devon Hall and Kevin Hervey appears “less likely” to be on the club’s regular-season roster. The Thunder still have two open roster slots (one 15-man, one two-way), but there’s no guarantee they’ll fill both of them, and 45th overall pick Hamidou Diallo would likely take priority.

Checking In On 2018’s Unsigned Draft Picks

The 2018 NBA draft took place less than a month ago, but over three quarters over the players selected on the night of June 22 have already signed their first NBA contracts. That includes each of the 30 players picked in the first round, all of whom are now under contract.

The following players have not yet signed contracts with their new NBA teams:

  1. Detroit Pistons: Khyri Thomas, SG (Creighton)
  2. Orlando Magic: Justin Jackson, F (Maryland)
  3. Washington Wizards: Issuf Sanon, G (Olimpija Ljubljana)
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Hamidou Diallo, SG (Kentucky)
  5. Houston Rockets: De’Anthony Melton, G (USC)
  6. San Antonio Spurs: Chimezie Metu, F/C (USC)
  7. New Orleans Pelicans: Tony Carr, PG (Penn State)
  8. Oklahoma City Thunder: Devon Hall, SG (Virginia)
  9. Philadelphia 76ers: Shake Milton, G (SMU)
  10. Charlotte Hornets: Arnoldas Kulboka, SF (Capo D’Orlando)
  11. Dallas Mavericks: Ray Spalding, PF (Louisville)
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Hervey, SF (Texas-Arlington)
  13. Denver Nuggets: Thomas Welsh, C (UCLA)

Sanon, Carr, and Kulboka will reportedly spend the 2018/19 season overseas, so we can safely remove their names from this list — they won’t be signing NBA contracts this offseason. Welsh, meanwhile, has reportedly agreed to terms on a two-way contract with Denver, though it’s not yet official.

That leaves just nine players from 2018’s draft class who we should still expect to sign at some point. Of those nine players, the higher picks such as Thomas (Pistons), Jackson (Magic), Diallo (Thunder), and Melton (Rockets) are good bets to sign multiyear NBA contracts. Even though some of those teams have luxury-tax concerns, they’ll have to fill out their rosters somehow, and a rookie contract at or near the minimum is the best way to avoid significantly increasing their potential tax penalties.

The players selected in the 50s may be candidates for two-way deals. A year ago, no player selected between Nos. 49-60 received a standard NBA contract, with all of those players signing two-way contracts, agreeing to straight G League contracts, or heading overseas to join an international team.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

As such, players like Hall (Thunder), Milton (Sixers), Spalding (Mavericks), and Hervey (Thunder) should be considered two-way options. For now though, Dallas doesn’t have a two-way slot open, and Oklahoma City only has one, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for these late second-rounders. We should find out in the coming weeks.

Draft Workouts: Walker, Knicks, Kings, Lakers

Potential lottery pick Lonnie Walker IV has workouts on tap with the Bulls and Knicks, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Zagoria tweets that Walker’s audition for Chicago is scheduled for Wednesday, while his workout with New York will happen “down the road.” Walker previously worked out for Charlotte.

Both the Bulls and Knicks hold top-10 picks and could go in a number of different directions, depending on who’s available, so it’s no surprise that both clubs have been active in terms of pre-draft workouts. Trae Young, Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges, and Wendell Carter Jr. are among the other prospects earning a look from both Eastern clubs.

Here are more updates on various pre-draft workouts from around the NBA: