Larry Drew II

Pelicans Sign Larry Drew II To Second 10-Day Deal

The Pelicans have signed point guard Larry Drew II to a second 10-day contract, according to the NBA’s official transactions log. Drew’s initial 10-day deal with New Orleans expired overnight on Saturday.

This is Drew’s third 10-day contract of 2017/18. He signed one with the Sixers in January, and has now inked two with the Pelicans. During his first 10 days with New Orleans, Drew appeared in five games, averaging 3.0 PPG and 1.2 APG in 10.0 minutes per contest.

For most of the season, Drew once again played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, marking the fifth straight year that he has spent time with the G League club. In 35 games for the Skyforce this season, the UCLA alum averaged 11.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, and 4.6 RPG.

With Drew officially back under contract, the Pelicans are once again carrying a full 15-man NBA roster.

Pelicans Sign Larry Drew II To 10-Day Deal

MARCH 15: The Pelicans have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Drew to a 10-day contract.

MARCH 14: The Pelicans intend to fill the open spot on their 15-man NBA roster by signing Larry Drew II to a 10-day contract, sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Drew will replace Walt Lemon Jr., who won’t be re-signed by New Orleans after his 10-day deal expired last night.

This will be Drew’s second 10-day contract of the season, and his first with the Pelicans. The 28-year-old guard inked a 10-day pact with the Sixers back in January, but wasn’t re-signed by the club when that deal expired. Drew played just 15 total minutes in three games during his brief stint in Philadelphia.

For most of the season, Drew has once again played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, marking the fifth straight year that he has spent time with the G League club. In 35 games for the Skyforce this season, Drew has averaged 11.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, and 4.6 RPG. The UCLA alum has never shot below 40% from three-point range in a G League season — he’s at 40.1% in 2017/18, and is making a career-best 2.0 threes per game.

While the move to New Orleans is good news for Drew, Sioux Falls – Miami’s G League affiliate – will be scrambling to fill the hole left in its backcourt. Briante Weber, who had also been playing for the Skyforce, just finalized a 10-day deal of his own with the Grizzlies, so the team has now lost two key guards this week.

And-Ones: All-Star Draft, Team USA, G League

While it’s not clear how much the new format was responsible for the NBA’s best and most competitive All-Star Game in years, commissioner Adam Silver was happy with the result, telling ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he was appreciative of the players and thought the game was “incredible.” Silver also suggested that fans’ biggest complaint about this year’s All-Star draft format will likely be addressed for next year’s event.

“When we sat with the union and we came up with this format, we all agreed, let’s not turn something that’s 100% positive into a potential negative to any player,” Silver said. “But then … maybe we’re overly conservative, because then we came out of there, and the players were, ‘We can take it. We’re All-Stars. Let’s have a draft.’ So it sounds like we’re going to have a televised draft next year.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

Sixers Sign Larry Drew II To 10-Day Contract

The Sixers have reunited with veteran guard Larry Drew II, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com, who first tweeted that the club was set to sign Drew to a 10-day contract. A formal press release issued by the 76ers has confirmed that the move is official.

Drew, who was in camp with the Heat in the fall, was waived before the regular season began and returned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Drew has been a regular contributor for Miami’s G League affiliate for the last few seasons, and this year is no exception. In 26 games with the 2017/18 Skyforce, he has posted 11.3 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 5.1 RPG.

Drew’s only NBA experience came back in 2014/15 for the Sixers. That season, he appeared in 12 NBA contests for the team, but struggled with his shot in limited minutes. Drew averaged 3.8 PPG and 3.8 APG with a .345/.154/.667 shooting line in 18.3 minutes per contest.

The timing of the move makes sense, as the Sixers are currently dealing with a number of injuries in their backcourt. In addition to long-term injuries to rookies Markelle Fultz and Furkan Korkmaz, the club also has J.J. Redick on the shelf with a leg ailment, and Jerryd Bayless has been battling a wrist issue. Drew will provide some depth and insurance at guard for Philadelphia.

The Sixers only have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, not including two-way players, so they have an open spot on their 15-man roster. As such, no corresponding move is necessary in order to add Drew.

USA Basketball Announces Roster For First World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, bringing back four members of the squad that won gold earlier this year in FIBA’s AmeriCup tournament.

Here’s Team USA’s full 12-man roster:

The squad, which will be coached once again by Jeff Van Gundy, is comprised almost entirely of G League players, since most of the qualifying tournaments take place during the NBA season, preventing NBA players from participating. Team USA’s goal is for Van Gundy’s squad of G Leaguers to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in August and September, when NBA players will be free to participate.

The new-look USA Basketball program is off to a good start, having gone 5-0 this summer to win a gold medal at the AmeriCup tournament. Drew, Hearn, Munford, and Warney were all part of that team.

This time around, Team USA will face Puerto Rico on November 23 and then Mexico on November 26. After those contests, the first round of World Cup qualifiers will resume in February before concluding in July. The top three teams in each first-round group will advance to the second round, which begins in September 2018 and concludes in February 2019, so the qualifying process will take some time to play out.

Meanwhile, the G League teams temporarily losing players to Team USA will be permitted one free move per lost player from the available player pool, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days.

Heat Waive Larry Drew II, Sign Tony Mitchell

The Heat have made a change to their roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived guard Larry Drew II. Using the newly-opened roster spot, the club signed free agent forward Tony Mitchell.

Drew, who signed with the Heat last month, has been a regular contributor for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, for the last several years, appearing in 96 games for the squad since 2013. He figures to return to Sioux Falls to open the 2017/18 campaign.

As for Mitchell, the Alabama alum had a brief NBA stint back in 2013/14, playing sparingly in three games for the Bucks. Since then, he has spent most of his time playing for teams overseas. Mitchell – not to be confused with the North Texas product who shares the same name and played for the Pistons in 2013/14 – also looks like a good bet to land with the Sioux Falls Skyforce at some point.

With the pair of roster moves, the Heat’s roster count remains at 20 players. Miami, which is carrying one player on a two-way contract, will need to eventually remove four players from its NBA roster to reach the 15-man maximum.

Heat Notes: G League, Winslow, Whiteside, Williams

The Heat have passed the midway point of the preseason, which means a roster shakeup could be on the way, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. NBA rules state that players are eligible for an “affiliate” tag after spending half the preseason with a team. Winderman uses Erik McCree as an example, saying if he were to be waived now, then sign with another team and get waived again before the season opens, he would be assigned to Miami’s G League affiliate.

Waiving players once they pass the midway point and then signing replacements allows teams to create four affiliate spots for their G League franchises. The Heat pursued that strategy last year when they waived Stefan Jankovic and Keith Benson in the preseason, then signed Vashil Fernandez and Luis Montero, and all four wound up in Sioux Falls. In addition to McCree, Derrick Walton Jr., Matt Williams and Larry Drew II are eligible to join the Skyforce. Drew would be a returning player rather than an affiliate player, while Walton already has a two-way contract and will not count against the 15-man roster limit.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Justise Winslow will find out soon if the extra time he has been spending with shooting  consultant Rob Fodor is paying off, Winderman adds in a separate piece. The third-year forward has excelled in other areas, but shooting has been a persistent problem since he entered the league. He is a 40% career shooter from the field and 26% from 3-point range and is trying to bounce back from a torn labrum in his right shoulder that limited him to 18 games last season. “The way I see it in the basketball world, or just in general, God doesn’t give everyone everything,” Winslow said. “… And in the sense of basketball, once that thing gets figured out, there’s not much you could say I can’t do. I can bring the ball up. I can guard your best player. I can rebound. I can find my open shooters. I can push it on the break. So once that minor detail gets settled out, I think we’re going to have a very fun ride.”
  • Hassan Whiteside is a traditional low-post center, but the Heat would like to see him expand his shooting range, Winderman adds in another story.
  • Williams’ summer league performance gave him a shot to make the Heat roster, writes Mike Gramajo of The Miami Herald. The 23-year-old signed with Miami in late July after impressing the coaching staff with his performance during the summer. “It feels good just to know that my hard work is starting to pay off,” Williams said. “I’m with a great organization, and it couldn’t be better.”

Heat Sign Larry Drew II

The Heat announced the signing of guard Larry Drew II on Tuesday. This marks the third time in five seasons that Miami will bring the UCLA product to training camp.

Drew, 27, won a gold medal earlier this month as a member of the United States squad at 2017 FIBA AmeriCup. The 6’2″ guard averaged 4.6 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 2.0 RPG in almost 19.5 minutes per contest. In recent years, Drew has played internationally for teams in both Lithuania and Puerto Rico.

Two seasons ago, Drew made 12 appearances for the 2014/15 Sixers team, averaging 3.8 PPG and 3.8 APG in 18.3 minutes per game.

Entering 2017/18, Drew has significant experience in the G League, where he has played in 96 games (all with the Sioux Falls Skyforce) while averaging 10.8 PPG, 7.8 APG, and 3.4 RPG while shooting nearly 48% from the field.

USA Basketball Announces AmeriCup Roster

After taking 17 players to training camp, USA Basketball has narrowed that group down to 12 players for its official AmeriCup roster, the program announced in a press release. The players representing Team USA in next week’s AmeriCup tournament will be as follows:

The five players who missed the cut for the final roster were Rod Benson, Will Davis II, Ra’Shad James, Darius Morris, and Derek Willis.

“All 17 guys that came to camp in Houston had a strong case that they could have made that they should have been selected, but unfortunately, we could only take 12,” said U.S. coach Jeff Van Gundy. “It was very, very difficult getting down to that number, but we feel very happy with the guys that we have selected. We feel we have positional versatility, we have a good balance between size and quickness, so it will be interesting for us to go to Uruguay and see what we can do.”

As we detailed in an earlier story, FIBA has changed its format for qualifying for marquee events like the World Cup and the Olympics, and many of the qualifier tournaments will now take place during the NBA season. For those events, Team USA intends to primarily use players who have been spending time overseas and in the G League, with the bigger-name players taking over for the main events in 2019 and 2020.

Team USA doesn’t need to win the AmeriCup to qualify for the next World Cup and Olympics, but it’s a tournament the U.S. must participate in to eventually play in more crucial events. Van Gundy’s squad will participate in preliminary round games in Uruguay starting next Monday. If Team USA wins its group – which also includes Panama, the Dominican Republic, and host Uruguay – it would advance to the semifinals in Argentina in early September.

The program won’t face real pressure to win until November, when Team USA need a top-three finish in a pool that includes Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba in order to start advancing to later qualifiers. For more in-depth details on how those qualifiers work, be sure to check out FIBA’s breakdowns for the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

17 Players Vying For Spots On USA’s AmeriCup Roster

USA Basketball has begun the process of selecting its roster for the AmeriCup 2017, the first of a series of qualifying tournaments under FIBA’s new format. As Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press details, Team USA doesn’t need to win the AmeriCup to qualify for the next World Cup and Olympics, but it’s a tournament the U.S. must participate in to eventually play in more crucial events.

Because upcoming qualifiers will take place during the NBA season, Team USA is putting together a roster primarily made up of G League players and veterans who have been playing overseas, as we previously learned. With training camp set to begin on Thursday, 17 hopefuls are suiting up for Team USA, with the program poised to eventually pare that group down to a 12-man roster.

Here are Team USA’s training camp participants, via USA Basketball:

Although there are no high-profile names in this group, several players have some NBA experience. Hilliard is currently a free agent, but appeared in 77 games over the last two seasons for the Pistons. Drew, Munford, and Plumlee have all played in at least a dozen NBA games.

Marshall, Morris, and Reggie Williams are perhaps the most notable names on the list, having played regular rotation roles for various NBA teams in recent years. Marshall was a lottery pick in the 2012 draft, while Williams has appeared in more than 200 NBA games since 2010.

None of the players on Team USA’s training camp roster are currently under contract with an NBA club, but Willis – the only player of the group who has yet to play professional ball – has reportedly agreed to a training camp deal with the Pistons.

The club will be coached by Jeff Van Gundy, an international rookie himself, and will eventually participate in preliminary round games in Uruguay later this month. If Team USA wins its group – which also includes Panama, the Dominican Republic, and host Uruguay – it would advance to the semifinals in Argentina in early September.

As Mahoney outlines in his report, Team USA won’t face real pressure to win until November, when the club need a top-three finish in a pool that includes Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba in order to start advancing to later qualifiers. For more in-depth details on how those qualifiers work, be sure to check out FIBA’s breakdowns for the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.