LiAngelo Ball

2021/22 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2021/22 season on Saturday afternoon.

The 28 G League teams affiliated with NBA teams participated in the event, with the G League Ignite and Mexico City Capitanes sitting it out. The Ignite and Capitanes will be taking part in the NBAGL’s Showcase Cup this fall, but won’t be part of the 36-game regular season that tips off in late December.

The first player selected in today’s draft was former St. John’s point guard Shamorie Ponds, who was picked by the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers‘ G League affiliate. Ponds has a little NBA experience, having appeared in four games as a rookie in 2019/20 while on a two-way contract with Toronto.

Among the other notable picks were Nate Darling by the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario at No. 5 and LiAngelo Ball by the Greensboro Swarm at No. 14. Last week, the Clippers and Hornets signed and waived Darling and Ball, respectively, in an effort to secure their affiliate rights, but were unable to get those rights for procedural reasons. The two teams had to use the draft to make sure they landed those players.

The Knicks also signed and waived veteran guard Brandon Knight during the preseason and were unable to get his affiliate rights due to a procedural issue. However, Westchester passed on Knight with the No. 4 overall pick today, and the Heat‘s affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, snatched him up at No. 6. We’ll see if Knight is no longer in the Knicks’ plans or if the Skyforce intend to trade his rights to Westchester.

Lance Stephenson to the Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets) at No. 13 and Dwyane Wade‘s son Zaire Wade to the Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz) at No. 10 were a couple of the other notable picks that played out as expected.

Here are the full 2021/22 G League draft results:


Round One:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Shamorie Ponds
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Tyler Hagedorn
  3. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Gabe York
  4. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Turner
  5. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Nate Darling
  6. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Brandon Knight
  7. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Eddie Stansberry
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Jaylen Johnson
  9. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Michael Gbinije
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Zaire Wade
  11. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Loudon Love
  12. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Alan Griffin
  13. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Lance Stephenson
  14. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): LiAngelo Ball
  15. Lakeland Magic (Magic): TJ Haws
  16. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): B.J. Taylor
  17. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Scottie Lindsey
  18. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Isaiah Ross
  19. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Ruot Monyyong
  20. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Marlon Stewart
  21. Stockton Kings (Kings): Joe Young
  22. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Samir Doughty
  23. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Chudier Bile
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Rodney Pryor
  25. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Tim Bond
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Tyree White
  27. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Montell McRae
  28. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Cullen Russo

Round Two:

  1. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Karim Mane
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Kalob Ledoux
  3. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Gerard Tarin
  4. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Barra Njie
  5. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Tahj Eaddy
  6. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Trevon Duval
  7. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Gary Chivichyan
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Ryan Daly
  9. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Keaton Wallace
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): Pedro Bradshaw
  11. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Alexis Wangmene
  12. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Ian DuBose
  13. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Mike Smith
  14. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Jaire Grayer
  15. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Blake Francis
  16. Cleveland Charge (Cavaliers): Jack Pagenkopf
  17. Lakeland Magic (Magic): Devonte Patterson
  18. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Jordan Allen
  19. Birmingham Squadron (Pelicans): Devearl Ramsey
  20. Long Island Nets (Nets): Chris Walker
  21. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Eric Demers
  22. Birmingham Squadron (Pelicans): Derrick Griffin
  23. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): JaQuan Lyle
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Jachai Taylor
  25. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Lydell Elmore
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Ikenna Ndugba
  27. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Tevin King
  28. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Kammeon Holsey

Round Three:

  1. South Bay Lakers (Lakers): Elijah Cain
  2. College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Landon Taliaferro
  3. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Will Vorhees
  4. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Asante Gist
  5. Stockton Kings (Kings): Princepal Singh
  6. Grand Rapids Gold (Nuggets): Trevor John
  7. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Tristan Jarrett
  8. Motor City Cruise (Pistons): Devon Baulkman
  9. Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): Jaylen Bland
  10. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): J.C. Show
  11. Austin Spurs (Spurs): No pick
  12. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): No pick
  13. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat): Joel Ntambwe
  14. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  15. Texas Legends (Mavericks): Lamonte Bearden
  16. Stockton Kings (Kings): No pick
  17. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): No pick
  18. Maine Celtics (Celtics): Lindsey Drew
  19. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Artur Labinowicz
  20. Long Island Nets (Nets): Jaylen Fisher
  21. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): Randy Onwuasor
  22. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Seth Allen
  23. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Jovan Mooring
  24. Capital City Go-Go (Wizards): Jermaine Haley
  25. Windy City Bulls (Bulls): Kerwin Roach
  26. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Isaiah Blackmon
  27. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Marlon Taylor
  28. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Jimond Ivey

Teams will fill out their rosters with affiliate players, returning-rights players, tryout players, and players who are assigned to the G League from the NBA roster (including those on two-way contracts).

G League training camps open on Monday, with the Showcase Cup tournament tipping off on November 5.

Labissiere, Knight Among Players Eligible For G League Draft

NBA veterans Skal Labissiere and Brandon Knight are among a list of 101 players eligible for the 2021 G League Draft, which takes place tomorrow, October 23.

Some other interesting names on the list, with varying amounts of NBA experience, include Lance Stephenson, Nate Darling, Trevon Duval, Shamorie Ponds, Karim Mane, and Joe Young.

Marc Stein of Substack tweets that Stephenson might land with the Nuggets‘ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold.

Knight was signed and waived last week (Knicks), as was Darling (Clippers), so perhaps there were procedural issues with their affiliate rights, similar to what happened with the Hornets and LiAngelo Ball.

The full G League Draft order can be found here.

Southeast Notes: Li. Ball, Bridges, Huerter, Heat

Although the Hornets signed and subsequently waived LiAngelo Ball before the regular season began, procedural issues will prevent the team from making Ball an “affiliate player” for the Greensboro Swarm, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

NBA teams can secure the G League rights of up to four affiliate players by signing and waiving them before the season begins, then having those players sign NBAGL contracts. In Ball’s case, he signed his G League contract before the Hornets signed him, explains Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. That’s why Charlotte can’t make him an affiliate player.

Ball will now be eligible to be selected by an team in Saturday’s draft, and he could actually be one of the more intriguing targets in a somewhat thin draft pool. Greensboro currently holds the 14th, 23rd, and 26th picks in the first round and could use one of those to select Ball — if he falls that far.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said this week that he believes a playoff spot is a realistic goal for the team this season, and added that the lack of a rookie scale contract extension for Miles Bridges by no means suggests the club doesn’t want to retain him long-term. “We love Miles Bridges,” Kupchak said, per Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer. “… We did have conversations with his representative — up until the last minute. And the decision was made to let’s just wait and see how the season plays out. And we’ll approach it again in the spring when we’re able to talk.”
  • Hawks swingman Kevin Huerter, who signed a four-year, $65MM contract extension earlier this week, is excited about the fact that the team locked up several members of its core – including Trae Young, John Collins, and Clint Capela – to long-term deals this offseason, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details. “We signed a lot of people to a lot of money this offseason. … As players, it speaks a lot,” Huerter said. “They kind of put their money where their mouth was. … There’s a lot of guys locked in for a couple years now as we try to make some noise.”
  • The Heat are starting the season without a 15th man on their roster because carrying another player would push them over the luxury tax line. However, team president Pat Riley said ownership would be willing to go into the tax this season if the Heat show they’re a legit contender and it makes sense to do so. “(Not) paying the tax, it’s never been a mandate, but it’s always been on my mind,” Riley said, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I’m not just going to say, ‘Every year we’re going into the tax,’ and then we don’t win and (team owner) Micky (Arison)‘s writing these big checks. I don’t think that’s fair. But, when we have a real contender, which I think we have, then we’ll entertain that. I think we’ll entertain it this year, too.”

Hornets Sign, Waive LiAngelo Ball

OCTOBER 15: The Hornets have officially waived Ball, the team confirmed today in a press release. Barring a change of plans, it looks like his next stop will be Greensboro.


OCTOBER 14: The Hornets are signing LiAngelo Ball to a non-guaranteed contract and will waive him shortly thereafter, a source tells Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The team issued a press release announcing the signing.

A report earlier this week suggested that Ball would sign a general G League contract and would be entered into the NBAGL draft pool, where the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte’s affiliate) might select him.

However, it sounds like the Hornets – and the Swarm – have decided they want to secure Ball’s G League rights directly. Signing the 6’5″ wing to an Exhibit 10 deal will do that, and will allow the team to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with Greensboro.

Ball, the brother of LaMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball, played for Charlotte’s Summer League team in Las Vegas and reportedly impressed members of the organization with his work ethic. He averaged 9.6 PPG on .375/.345/1.000 shooting in five games (17.4 MPG) for the Hornets in Vegas.

And-Ones: Li. Ball, Restricted Free Agency, 2022 Draft, Floyd

LiAngelo Ball, the brother of NBA guards LaMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball, is signing a G League contract and will enter the October 23 NBAGL draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

LiAngelo played for the Hornets in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Charania suggests he’s a candidate to be selected by the Greensboro Swarm – Charlotte’s G League affiliate – in the NBAGL draft. However, if the Hornets were prioritizing Ball for a spot on their G League squad, they’d likely sign him to an Exhibit 10 contract in order to make him an affiliate player.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, the G League draft isn’t expected to be packed with talent, so Ball has a good chance of coming off the board in the top 10 or 20 picks.

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

  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) have updated their top-100 list for the 2022 NBA draft. Within the article, Schmitz identifies French center Ismael Kamagate as the international prospect who is “making the most noise” early in the season. Kamagate is the No. 36 player on ESPN’s 2022 big board.
  • In an interesting piece for HoopsHype, Michael Scotto spoke with a handful of agents and team executives about how restricted free agency works behind the scenes. One agent suggested that restricted free agency is “not really free agency,” since rival teams are so reluctant to sign players to offer sheets that tie up cap space for several days at the start of the league year and may just end up being matched.
  • The Bucks (No. 2), Heat (No. 5), Suns (No. 6), Warriors (No. 7), and Hawks (No. 11) are among the biggest risers in ESPN’s latest installment of “future” power rankings from Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). For a second consecutive year, the Nets rank first and the Cavaliers are dead-last on ESPN’s list, which is essentially designed to be power rankings that cover the next three seasons.
  • Free agent guard Jordan Floyd, who was on the Lakers’ Summer League roster, is signing with Kolossos H Hotels in Greece on a deal that includes an NBA out, a source told our JD Shaw (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Redick, Ball, Bates, Nurse

J.J. Redick, who finished last year on the Mavericks after being traded from the Pelicans, has no plans to sign a deal before training camp, he said on a recent episode of his podcast The Old Man And The Three.

You know, I would say, pretty much definitively, like, I won’t be in a training camp to start the season,” he said. “That’s not gonna happen. So, you know, I’ll join a team at some point this season and finish the year and try to go get a chip. That’s the plan.”

Redick was vocally unhappy with what he felt were broken promises by Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin, which may have contributed to his desire to take his time in finding a new team.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • LiAngelo Ball feels that he proved his worth with the Hornets’ Summer League team, writes Roderick Boone of Sports Illustrated. “I feel like I belong in the league, but I know I can show more than what I did,” Ball said. “I’m not satisfied with how I played this last game, but overall it was all right.” Ball started hot in his first game, but ended up shooting 37.5% from three with more turnovers than assists. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz quotes Hornets’ assistant Jay Triano as saying: “Great kid. Love him. He was at the facility practicing everyday for two months to play in the Summer League. Shows a ton of character.”
  • High school basketball phenomenon Emoni Bates said that the fame of being on the Sports Illustrated cover – and generally being considered the top young prospect in the country from age 15 – was “fun at first,” but soon grew irritating, writes Jeff Goodman of Stadium. “The things people say definitely affect me,” Bates said. “People don’t really know me. If people knew who I really was, I don’t think they’d be saying some of the things they say.” Bates admits that he considered quitting, but said that he has finally gotten back to enjoying the game.
  • Nick Nurse will remain in his role as Team Canada’s head coach during the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Nurse is hoping he can recruit the best of Canada’s deep crop of talented players to join him over the next three years. Grange writes that Nurse wants a core group to train next summer and be ready for the World Cup qualifiers in June and August.

Southeast Notes: LiAngelo, Haslem, Cooper, Reddish

Multiple members of the Hornets organization have loved what they’ve seen out of guard LiAngelo Ball, a member Charlotte’s Summer League club who is hoping to earn a G League contract, reports Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Schultz, Charlotte appreciates the work ethic of Ball, older brother to reigning Hornets Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball. The 6’5″ LiAngelo, 22, is the middle brother in a family of basketball pros. His older brother, Lonzo Ball, just inked a lucrative four-year, $80MM deal with the Bulls this summer.

The Hornets are no doubt hoping that LiAngelo, the only member of the three Ball brothers to not be drafted, can prove to be a diamond in the rough. “Great kid,” Hornets assistant coach Jay Triano raved. “He was at the facility practicing every day for two months to play in the Summer League. Shows a ton of character. He can shoot it, great feel, knack for scoring.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Now that the Heat have re-signed lifer Udonis Haslem to a veteran’s minimum deal for his 19th season in Miami, the rest of the club’s offseason signings can now be completed, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Haslem is the 14th Miami player under a standard contract for the 2021/22 season, meaning the Heat will now be able to ink younger players to Exhibit 10 deals. Those players will compete for two-way deals and could end up playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate.
  • Hawks rookie point guard Sharife Cooper sat down for an extensive conversation with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic about falling to the middle of the second round in the 2021 NBA draft and his fit on the team behind star point guard Trae Young. The Hawks drafted Cooper with the No. 48 pick out of Auburn. “It’s extremely motivating,” Cooper said of his slide in the draft. “We’ll see in a couple of years who can really play and who can’t play. That’s what I’ll say.” A high-level ball-handler, Cooper has already shown promise as a distributor and a speedy interior finisher at the next level while in Summer League, writes Kirschner. “I can pass,” Cooper said of his attributes as a player. “I can score. I feel like I’m a leader. I like talking on the floor. My biggest weakness — I definitely want to be more efficient. I definitely want to take care of the ball better.”
  • Hawks forward Cam Reddish, eligible for an extension to his rookie contract in 2022, has signed with Klutch Sports Group, per an announcement from the agency (Twitter link). Though Reddish only appeared in 26 games with Atlanta during the 2020/21 season due to an Achilles injury, he showed promise during his brief stint with the Hawks in the 2021 postseason, averaging 12.8 PPG on 52.8% shooting (64.3% on threes) in 23.0 minutes per contest.

Hornets Notes: Oubre, I. Smith, Li. Ball, Summer League

Kelly Oubre‘s two-year deal with the Hornets, which was completed using cap space, is worth $12MM and $12.6MM in year two, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. That second year is only partially guaranteed for $5MM, however, so the agreement includes just $17MM in total guaranteed money.

Meanwhile, Ish Smith‘s two-year contract with the Hornets uses most of the club’s room exception, according to Smith (Twitter link). It starts at $4.5MM in 2021/22, while the $4.725MM salary for ’22/23 is non-guaranteed.

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • LiAngelo Ball, who is playing for the Hornets’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, said he’s “very thankful” for the opportunity and isn’t taking it for granted, as Rod Boone of SI.com writes. Ball was supposed to play for Oklahoma City’s G League affiliate in March 2020 before the pandemic stopped the season. He impressed Charlotte’s brass while working out in the gym with his brother LaMelo Ball in recent months, Boone writes.
  • Ball’s performance in Las Vegas is one of a handful of Hornets Summer League storylines to watch, according to Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer, who says he’ll also be keeping an eye on James Bouknight‘s three-point shooting and how much time Kai Jones spends at center.
  • In case you missed it, the Hornets are still believed to be eyeing restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen, despite no longer having the cap room necessary to sign him to an offer sheet.

Southeast Notes: LiAngelo Ball, Robinson, Heat, Unseld

LiAngelo Ball is signing a deal to play for the Hornets’ Summer League team, reports Rod Boone of Sports Illustrated. The move will reunite LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball for the first time since they played in Lithuania together during the 2018/2019 season.

The middle Ball brother has been working out with members of the Hornets, notably RFA-to-be Devonte’ Graham. He had joined the Thunder’s G League team in 2020 just days before the league was shut down due to COVID-19, and signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Pistons in December, but failed to play due to an ankle injury and was subsequently waived.

The Summer League opportunity could be a chance for the third Ball brother to get a foothold in the NBA, writes Boone.

We have more news from around the Southeast Division:

  • Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson, entering his first free agency as a coveted player, isn’t sure what’s going to happen, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’d love to try to make something work with Miami,” Robinson said. “The reality is, like, I tell this to my family, I don’t know how the next 10-plus days, two weeks, how it’s going to play out. At this point, and I’ve said this already on this podcast, but I think the biggest challenge has been detaching myself from a particular outcome.”
  • Winderman also answered a mailbag question about whether the Heat could bring back former players Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow this summer. Winderman believed that there could be more desire with the team to bring back Richardson than Winslow, but if Richardson declines his $11.6MM player option with the Mavericks, it’s unlikely that the Heat could afford him.
  • Wes Unseld Jr. discussed his on-court plans for the Wizards this week, as Fred Katz of The Athletic writes. Unseld talked about trying to limit early shot-clock opportunities, his philosophy on the intersection between creating a sound defensive scheme and tailoring it to individual personnel’s strengths and preferences, and how he wants to make Bradley Beal even more effective. “A lot of times, he’s gonna see two, sometimes three bodies,” Unseld said. “So, getting him off the ball to get it back, putting him in multiple actions to kinda loosen up defenders I think is gonna be helpful for him.”

Lance Stephenson Among NBA Vets Eligible For G League Draft

As previously reported, the NBA G League’s 2020/21 draft will take place on Monday, January 11. And according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links), there will be some interesting names on the list of players eligible to be selected in that draft.

Veteran swingman Lance Stephenson, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor, and other recent NBA players like Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and Admiral Schofield will be part of the draft pool, per Givony. Former first-round picks Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will be draft-eligible as well.

According to Givony, the following players who have been on NBA rosters in the past are also among the G League’s other draft-eligible veterans: Kenny Wooten, Antonio Blakeney, Tyler Ulis, Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Hollis Thompson, Cat Barber, Isaiah Briscoe, Phil Booth, Dusty Hannahs, Jemerrio Jones, Cory Jefferson, and Freddie Gillespie.

These, presumably, are players who have signed G League contracts but whose rights aren’t currently held by any teams. A player whose returning rights are controlled by a club participating in the G League’s bubble season wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted.

For instance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that LiAngelo Ball has signed a contract to play in the bubble. Since the Oklahoma City Blue hold his returning rights and are playing in the bubble, Ball shouldn’t be in the general draft pool.

The Blue are one of 18 teams set to participate in the shortened bubble season, which is expected to take place at Walt Disney World. That list of teams can be found right here.

Givony previously reported that the G League is adjusting its roster rules for this season to make it easier for NBA teams to recruit and sign veterans with five or more years of NBA experience. Each NBAGL team will be able to designate an “NBA Vet Selection” who fits that bill and can sign that player directly without navigating the league’s complicated waiver process. My understanding is that those designated won’t be in the draft pool.