Lindell Wigginton

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

NBA’s Bottom Eight Teams Gearing Up For Group Workouts

Monday, September 14 marks the first day of the three-week offseason workout window for the NBA’s bottom eight teams. The first phase of these de facto training camps will last for one week, through next Monday. During that time, activities will continue to be limited to individual workouts, as participants begin being tested daily for the coronavirus.

After one week, once participating players have returned multiple negative COVID-19 tests – or have been quarantined if they test positive – the second phase of the camps will take place in bubble-type environments. Group workouts, including practices and intra-squad scrimmages, will be permitted during the next two weeks as coronavirus testing continues.

The eight teams not invited to Orlando – the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, and Hornets – won’t congregate at a single site like the top 22 teams did at Walt Disney World. Their “bubbles” will be created in their respective markets.

[RELATED: Eight Teams Left Out Of Restart To Conduct Workouts At Home Sites]

For instance, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, the Bulls will stay at a downtown hotel and will be transported back and forth between there and the Advocate Center. The Hawks, meanwhile, are working to secure their players a hotel that has not yet opened to help avoid any outside contact, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The other clubs will make similar arrangements.

These workouts – both the individual sessions this week and the group activities beginning next week – are entirely voluntary. However, since these players have been unable to take part in organized basketball activities with teammates since March and are likely itching to get back on the court, there’s an expectation that attendance will be robust for most clubs.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports, for example, that the Hawks anticipate all their core players – including Clint Capela – will take part in the camp. Jeff Teague is one of the only players not expected to participate, per Spencer, who notes that the veteran point guard is ticketed for free agency.

The Pistons are in a similar situation — James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that free-agent-to-be Langston Galloway isn’t expected to be in attendance, but most of the rest of the team’s players will participate.

There are some cases where players who could reach free agency in the coming months will take part in workouts. For instance, Marc Berman of The New York Post says that Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson will likely be in attendance for the Knicks. Portis has a pricey team option for 2020/21, while only $1MM of Gibson’s $9.45MM salary is guaranteed, so both vets could be let go by the team this fall.

Berman does caution that some veteran Knicks players intend to participate in individual workouts but won’t join the rest of the club in the “bubble.”

Teams that want to fill gaps on their roster and make sure they have enough players to hold intra-squad scrimmages will be able to invite players who suited up for their G League affiliates this past season. For example, Lindell Wigginton and Canyon Barry of the Iowa Wolves will join Minnesota for the team’s mini-camp at Mayo Clinic Square, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

With these offseason camps set to end on October 6 and the NBA Finals likely to wrap up shortly thereafter, the next time clubs meet for organized activities will presumably be for training camps at the start of the 2020/21 season.

Timberwolves Sign Two Players, Waive Two

The back of the Timberwolves‘ roster has undergone some turnover today, with the team announcing in a press release that it has signed guards Tyus Battle and Barry Brown. The two new Wolves will occupy the roster spots vacated by forward Jordan Murphy and guard Lindell Wigginton, who have been waived.

Battle, who went undrafted out of Syracuse, agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Timberwolves right after the draft ended in June, but the two sides didn’t finalize that agreement until now. That’s a signal that Minnesota views the 6’6″ guard as someone who will join the Iowa Wolves – the team’s G League affiliate – after he’s waived.

Brown, who played his college ball at Kansas State, also went undrafted this spring. He averaged 14.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 34 games (35.0 MPG) during his final college season, then played for the Wolves’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July. His contract, like Battle’s, is an Exhibit 10 pact, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

According to Wolfson, it appears likely that all four players involved in today’s transactions – including Murphy and Wigginton – will ultimately end up playing for the Iowa Wolves.

Timberwolves Sign Lindell Wigginton

The Timberwolves have signed rookie free agent Lindell Wigginton to a contract, according to RealGM’s transactions log. RealGM classifies it as a one-year deal, so it figures to be a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 pact.

[RELATED: What Teams Can Do With Exhibit 10 Contracts]

Wigginton, who was a sophomore at Iowa State in 2018/19, declared for the draft as an early entrant this spring after averaging 15.3 PPG with a .397 3PT% in two college seasons. After going undrafted, the 6’2″ Canadian guard caught on with the Raptors for Summer League play, averaging 7.4 PPG on 33.3% shooting in five games (15.0 MPG) in Las Vegas.

Having officially signed Wigginton, the Timberwolves now have 19 players under contract, including 15 players with guaranteed salaries and two more on two-way deals. Tyrone Wallace is the other player without a guaranteed contract.

A post-draft report in June indicated that the Wolves would also sign undrafted rookie Tyus Battle to an Exhibit 10 deal, so he could ultimately fill out the team’s 20-man offseason roster.

Wigginton likely won’t make Minnesota’s regular season roster, but he’d be a good fit for the Wolves’ G League affiliate, which is based on Iowa.

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Heat, Magic, Hawks

The Hornets have looked into the possibility of moving up in the draft from their current spot in the lottery at No. 12, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bonnell acknowledges that it may be difficult for Charlotte to put together the sort of trade capital necessary to make a deal happen, but says GM Mitch Kupchak is active.

Meanwhile, the Hornets will continue to explore their draft options by bringing in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow, according to the team. Marques Bolden (Duke), Tacko Fall (UCF), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest), Jalen Hudson (Florida), and Luka Asceric (Mega Bemax) are among the players set to participate.

Here are a few more draft-related items from around the Southeast:

Draft Decisions: Wigginton, Cumberland, Lamb, More

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants is this Wednesday, May 29. That means that a number of college underclassmen who tested the draft waters this spring are now faced with a decision on whether to keep their names in the draft pool or pull out and head back to school for at least one more year.

Here’s a round-up of some of the latest reported early entrant decisions:

  • Iowa State sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton has decided to keep his name in the 2019 draft, he announced on Sunday (via Twitter). Wigginton doesn’t show up in ESPN’s top-100 list, so he’s far from a lock to be drafted.
  • The Bearcats got some good news today, as guard Jarron Cumberland will return to Cincinnati for his senior season, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link).
  • A spokesman tells Goodman (Twitter link) that Vermont forward Anthony Lamb will also head back to school for his senior year.
  • Two Davidson early entrants, sophomore guard Kellan Grady and junior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson, are pulling out of draft and going back to school, as Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports relays (via Twitter).
  • Notre Dame guard TJ Gibbs will be heading back to school for his senior year, tweets Rothstein.
  • Missouri State junior forward Tulio Da Silva is withdrawing from the 2019 draft and retaining his college eligibility, a source tells Rothstein (Twitter link).
  • Portland State’s Holland Woods, a sophomore guard, is withdrawing from the 2019 NBA draft, according to Rothstein (via Twitter).

NBA Announces 80 Players For G League Elite Camp

The NBA has announced in a press release that 80 players are set to participate in its G League Elite Camp next week in Chicago from May 12-14. The event will include 40 prospects who are eligible for this year’s draft, as well as 40 standout prospects from the 2018/19 G League season.

Heading into this spring, the NBA revamped its G League Elite Camp, which in past years has simply showcased some of the NBAGL’s top performers.  That aspect of the event will still exist, but G League players will only participate in the first two days of the event.

The second half of the event will feature 40 draft-eligible prospects who aren’t among the 60 prospects invited to the actual draft combine. The list of participants was determined by an NBA team vote, and those prospects will work out and scrimmage during the final two days of the event — there will be no overlap with the G League portion of the event.

As this week’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which takes place from May 15-19 in Chicago.

Here are the list of draft-eligible prospects who are expected to participate in the 2019 G League Elite Mini Camp, per the NBA:

  1. Tyus Battle (Syracuse)
  2. Bennie Boatwright (USC)
  3. Phil Booth (Villanova)
  4. Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  5. Bryce Brown (Auburn)
  6. Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)
  7. Chris Clemons (Campbell)
  8. Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
  9. Tyler Cook (Iowa)
  10. Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  11. Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida)
  12. Javin DeLaurier (Duke)
  13. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  14. CJ Elleby (Washington State)
  15. Tacko Fall (UCF)
  16. Robert Franks (Washington State)
  17. Jared Harper (Auburn)
  18. Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)
  19. Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
  20. Amir Hinton (Shaw (NC))
  21. DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa)
  22. Sagaba Konate (West Virginia)
  23. Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep (Canada))
  24. Terance Mann (Florida State)
  25. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
  26. Cody Martin (Nevada)
  27. Luke Maye (North Carolina)
  28. Trey Mourning (Georgetown)
  29. Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
  30. James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)
  31. Josh Perkins (Gonzaga)
  32. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  33. Jalen Pickett (Siena)
  34. Myles Powell (Seton Hall)
  35. Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech)
  36. Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
  37. Max Strus (DePaul)
  38. Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  39. Kenny Wooten (Oregon)
  40. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)

Here are the 40 G League players set to participate in the G League Elite Camp:

  1. Josh Adams (Raptors 905)
  2. Jaylen Barford (Greensboro Swarm)
  3. Amida Brimah (Austin Spurs)
  4. Jared Brownridge (Delaware Blue Coats)
  5. Antonius Cleveland (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  6. Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  7. Cody Demps (Stockton Kings)
  8. Aaron Epps (Northern Arizona Suns)
  9. Abdul Gaddy (Oklahoma City Blue)
  10. John Gillon (Greensboro Swarm)
  11. Kaiser Gates (Windy City Bulls)
  12. Isaac Haas (Salt Lake City Stars)
  13. Johnny Hamilton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  14. Dusty Hannahs (Memphis Hustle)
  15. Zak Irvin (Westchester Knicks)
  16. Peter Jok (Northern Arizona Suns)
  17. Matt Jones (Stockton Kings)
  18. Marcus Lee (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  19. Zach Lofton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  20. Tahjere McCall (Long Island Nets)
  21. Brandon McCoy (Wisconsin Herd)
  22. MiKyle McIntosh (Raptors 905)
  23. Jordan McLaughlin (Long Island Nets)
  24. Jaylen Morris (Erie BayHawks)
  25. Mychal Mulder (Windy City Bulls)
  26. Malik Newman (Canton Charge)
  27. Retin Obasohan (Northern Arizona Suns)
  28. Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm)
  29. Norvel Pelle (Delaware Blue Coats)
  30. Darel Poirier (Capital City Go-Go)
  31. Billy Preston (Texas Legends)
  32. Desi Rodriguez (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario)
  33. Kenneth Smith (Grand Rapids Drive)
  34. Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue)
  35. Emanuel Terry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  36. Juan Toscano-Anderson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  37. Dakarai Tucker (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  38. Andrew White III (Maine Red Claws)
  39. Thomas Wimbush (Long Island Nets)
  40. Todd Withers (Grand Rapids Drive)

Northwest Notes: Murray, Jazz Workouts, Thunder, Hood

Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray has been fighting through a right thigh injury, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reports.  Murray was limited to 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting, along with just one assist, in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series against Portland. But Murray refused to admit the injury might have affected him, Singer adds.

“I always play through pain,” the Nuggets’ guard said. “It’s something I’ve always done. I always put myself through more and do more than I can. Playing through pain is just another challenge for me. I’m gonna do it regardless of the stakes. Just try to be smart about it, obviously. If it’s something I can play through, it’s what I’m gonna do.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz are bringing in six prospects for pre-draft workouts on Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. Centers Kevin Samuel (TCU) and Nathan Knight (William & Mary), forwards Tres Tinkle (Oregon State) and Jalen Hudson (Florida) and guards Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State) and Chris Clemons (Campbell) are the players they’ll evaluate.
  • The Thunder should make everyone but Russell Westbrook and Paul George available in trade talks, Brett Dawson of The Athletic argues in his offseason outlook. Oklahoma City needs to acquire more shooters to complement their All-Star duo and find a backup center, Dawson continues. Westbrook must also adjust his game in order for the Thunder to end their cycle of first-round playoff exits, Dawson adds.
  • Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood has hired CAA Sports to represent him, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Hood will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He was previously represented by Travis King of Independent Sports and Entertainment.

Draft Updates: Waters, Mays, Hommes, Wigginton

After LSU center Naz Reid announced earlier this week that he’s entering his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, two of his teammates have followed suit. According to a pair of press releases from the program, sophomore point guard Tremont Waters and junior combo guard Skylar Mays have also declared for the draft.

Waters, who is ranked as the No. 49 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, confirmed that he’ll be hiring an agent. While that doesn’t necessary preclude a return to LSU next season, his announcement doesn’t say anything about preserving his college eligibility, so it seems like a safe bet that he’ll go pro. The 5’11” guard is coming off a sophomore year in which he averaged 15.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 2.8 SPG in 33 games and was named to the All-SEC first team.

As for Mays, his announcement doesn’t reveal whether he’ll hire an agent, or whether he’s leaving the door open to return to the Tigers for his senior season. A second-team All-SEC selection, Mays posted 13.4 PPG on .421/.313/.860 shooting in 35 games. He’s not ranked in Givony’s top 100.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for this year’s draft:

  • Division II Player of the Year Daulton Hommes has informed Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that he’s entering the draft and will look to hire an agent. The junior forward, who played his college ball at Point Loma Nazarene University, is one of the only D-II players to crack Givony’s big board, coming in at No. 96.
  • Iowa State sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton is entering the draft and plans on keeping his name in this year’s pool, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 6’2″ Canadian – who tested the draft waters in 2018 before withdrawing – averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.1 APG with a .413/.390/.720 shooting line off the bench for the Cyclones this season.
  • All-Ivy League guard Bryce Aiken announced that he’ll test the draft waters, leaving the door open to potentially return to Harvard for his senior year. “I am excited for the opportunity to see where I stand in this process the NBA has created,” Aiken said in a statement. “My goal has always been to be a Harvard graduate and an NBA player.”
  • Our full list of the early entrants for 2019’s draft can be found here.

Lindell Wigginton Withdraws From Draft

Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton has tweeted his decision to pull out of the NBA draft and return to school for another season.

“Was a blessing going through the draft process but I have made my decision,” he wrote. “I’m now looking forward to helping lead the Cyclones to a great year and getting us back on the national map! Thanks so much to all of the support from CyclONEnation during this process!”

The 20-year-old guard averaged 16.7/3.7/2.8 as a freshman. He has international experience with Canada, winning a silver medal at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship in 2016 and a gold medal at the Under-19 tournament in 2017.

Wigginton is 67th on the list of top 100 prospects compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and doesn’t appear in his mock draft.

Wigginton’s pre-draft workouts included sessions with the Lakers, Hawks and Suns.