Lonnie Walker

Southwest Notes: Mbah A Moute, Rivers, Porzingis, Spurs

Speaking today to reporters for the first time since reporting to the NBA’s campus and clearing quarantine, Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute confirmed that his arrival was delayed because he had contracted the coronavirus, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Mbah a Moute signed with the Rockets on July 7 as a substitute player replacing Thabo Sefolosha, but didn’t arrive in Orlando until last Wednesday. According to Feigen, Mbah a Moute said today that he dealt with “chills (and) body ache” while battling COVID-19, adding that the recovery was “tough.”

Meanwhile, Mbah a Moute’s teammate Austin Rivers hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus, but remains quarantined in his hotel room after briefly leaving the Orlando campus last week. Rivers, who returned on Saturday, is scheduled to complete his four-day quarantine period on Tuesday and should be ready to go for the Rockets’ first seeding game this Friday vs. Dallas, Feigen writes for The Chronicle.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was held out of Sunday’s scrimmage because he missed a mandatory coronavirus test on Saturday, though head coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t overly upset by the mistake, per Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “This situation was one where he just took his eye off the ball a little bit in terms of the day-to-day protocols and procedures,” Carlisle said. “It can be challenging on off days to keep track of the schedule. I almost missed testing on our first off day. … It’s an innocent mistake, but it’s significant.”
  • Trey Burke just signed with the Mavericks on July 1 and was late arriving to the NBA’s campus in Orlando, but he believes his experience playing for Carlisle in 2018/19 will help him quickly adjust, Sefko writes at Mavs.com. “I feel comfortable, rather than other places coming into a new place and it’s a brand new system and a brand new coaching staff,” Burke said. “I pretty much know the pace that coach likes to play with, I know how hard he can be on guys and I’m ready for that.”
  • With LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles sidelined for the summer, the Spurs are experimenting with some guard-heavy lineups, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. One unit, which features recent first-rounders Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker playing alongside each other, could be a preview of the club’s future backcourt, McDonald notes.

And-Ones: 2020 Draft, Powell, Trade Market, Reed

A trio of guards — Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and North Carolina’s Cole Anthony — top The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie’s latest draft board. Another guard, 18-year-old Killian Hayes, made the biggest move among the top 20 prospects. Hayes, who is playing in Europe, jumped from No. 16 to No. 7.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Nuggets’ Malik Beasley, the Spurs’ Lonnie Walker and the Celtics’ Robert Williams are among five buy-low trade targets for teams seeking to fortify their benches, according to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz.
  • Dwight Powell‘s season-ending Achilles injury was not only a major setback for the Mavericks but also Team Canada, Michael Grange of SportsNet Canada notes. Powell was expected to be a foundation piece for Canada’s Olympic push and his size, smarts, and athleticism will be hard to replace, according to Grange.
  • Veteran center Willie Reed has signed with the G League and returned to the Salt Lake City Stars, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. Reed, 29, was playing in Greece but parted ways with Olympiacos earlier this month.

Western Notes: Jazz, Kings, Grizzlies, Spurs

There haven’t been a ton of roster moves made around the NBA since the regular season began, but the Jazz completed a surprising one this week, officially waiving forward Jeff Green on Tuesday, less than six months after signing him as a free agent. According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the team loved Green’s professionalism, but wanted to open up minutes for Georges Niang, whose shooting is a threat off the bench.

While Niang might be the main beneficiary of Green’s departure, sources tell Jones that Utah is also very happy with two-way player Jarrell Brantley and views him as a rotation player at some point. Additionally, John Hollinger of The Athletic suggested on Monday that the Jazz may want to create more minutes for G League standout Juwan Morgan, who signed a standard contract with the club last month.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Kings had to get by without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III for much of the season’s first two months. Now, with both players healthy, the challenge will be integrating Fox and Bagley while the team finds its identity, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. “There’s some things as a group that we have to find our rhythm again,” head coach Luke Walton said over the weekend. “I believe in our group and we are going to get there, but in the meantime, the only way to do is to watch film and work harder. So that’s what we are going to do.”
  • When the Grizzlies played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday last week, rookies Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke appeared in both contests for the first time this season. Expect that to happen more often going forward, says David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • The Spurs have begun to see “positive steps” in the development of 2018 first-rounder Lonnie Walker, who has been playing more regular minutes lately, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details. Head coach Gregg Popovich said Walker is still learning how to “be a pro” and play with his teammates, but praised the 21-year-old’s intelligence.

Southwest Notes: Jackson, Murray, Walker, Ingram

After being traded to the Grizzlies in a salary-dump deal over the summer, former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson had his 2020/21 rookie scale option turned down by his new team. However, Memphis isn’t giving up entirely on the 22-year-old, having sent him to the G League for an assignment with the Memphis Hustle to start the season. As David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal relays, Jackson is hoping the change of scenery will benefit him.

“I think this year we have a lot more structure (with the Grizzlies) as opposed to what we did in Phoenix,” Jackson said. “The team was just a little bit too young. And with that comes a lot of things that you don’t know, that you have to learn. Here I feel like we’ve got great guys in place as far as a coaching staff and training staff to kind of coach us a little bit more as to how to be a pro.”

The G League regular season will get underway a week from today, on November 8. Presumably, the Grizzlies plan on having Jackson stay with the Hustle through that date to ensure he’ll play regular minutes in live games. However, the team hasn’t publicly offered many specifics about its plan for the former Sun. And, as Cobb details, Jackson is somewhat in the dark as well.

“As of now, no specific benchmarks,” the Grizzlies forward said. “No timeline, either, of when or if I’ll be called up. Right now, it’s just all about putting in the work, getting better. That’s all I’m focusing on.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Coming off his torn ACL, newly-extended Spurs guard Dejounte Murray has been on a minutes restriction, playing between 22-24 minutes in each of the team’s four games so far. He’s looking forward to having that restriction lifted at some point, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).I love to hoop. I love to compete, so it is frustrating,” Murray said. “But like I said, it has nothing to do with me trusting them and trusting their plan or whatever they got for me. But, yeah, I am frustrated. I think about it a lot. I’m not going to lie.”
  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was critical of second-year guard Lonnie Walker after Thursday’s loss, Orsborn tweets. I expect better effort, better awareness and a better attempt to take advantage of the minutes that he gets,” Popovich said of the 2018 first-rounder. “I thought he was non-competitive.”
  • In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram spoke about his contract situation, being the subject of trade rumors last season, his reaction to being dealt, and his first impressions of New Orleans, among other topics.

Spurs Exercise 2020/21 Options On White, Walker

The Spurs have picked up their 2020/21 rookie scale team options on guards Derrick White and Lonnie Walker, according to RealGM’s transactions log. The moves ensure that White’s $3,516,284 cap hit and Walker’s $2,892,000 cap hit are officially guaranteed for the ’20/21 season.

White, 25, enjoyed a modest breakout season for the Spurs in 2018/19, averaging 9.9 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 3.7 RPG in 67 games (55 starts) for the club. He parlayed that regular season performance into a couple impressive playoff showings and a spot on Team USA’s 2019 World Cup roster.

White is entering the third year of his rookie contract, so the option picked up by the Spurs is for his fourth season. He’ll become eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason, and if he doesn’t sign a new deal at that point, he’d be on track for restricted free agency in 2021.

As for Walker, the 20-year-old is entering just his second NBA season, so San Antonio exercised his third-year option. The team will be faced with a decision on his fourth-year option for 2021/22 next October.

The 18th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Walker was limited to just 17 games in his rookie season due in part to a knee injury that sidelined him to start the year. The former Miami standout had an impressive Summer League this July, averaging 24.8 PPG on 55.1% shooting in four games as he began to make his case for a regular rotation role in 2019/20.

You can track all of this year’s decisions on 2020/21 rookie scale options right here.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/24/19

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Rockets recalled Gary Clark from Rio Grande Valley after he played in last night’s regular season finale, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.
  • The Spurs recalled Chimezie Metu and Lonnie Walker from their Austin affiliate, the team announced on its website.
  • The Magic recalled Melvin Frazier from their Lakeland affiliate, according to a tweet from the team.
  • The Warriors recalled Jacob Evans from Santa Cruz, the team announced in an email. The rookie guard is averaging 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the G League.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/23/19

Here are Saturday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Kings have assigned Cody Demps, who signed a 10-day contract yesterday, back to their Stockton affiliate, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic. He’s posting an 11.8/4.8/3.2 line in 49 G League games.
  • The Spurs assigned Lonnie Walker to Austin for tonight’s regular season finale, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/22/19

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Sixers assigned big man Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s PR department tweets. Bolden is averaging 16 PPG and 12 RPG in 33.3 MPG over six appearances with the Blue Coats, who play a back-to-back this weekend.
  • The Spurs recalled rookie guard and first-round pick Lonnie Walker IV from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 28 games with Austin, Walker IV is averaging 16.7 PPG in 27.5 MPG.
  • The Magic assigned guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland ahead of the G League’s team back-to-back games this weekend, the team’s PR department tweets. Frazier is averaging 12.1 PPG in 29.8 MPG over 16 games with Lakeland.
  • The Knicks recalled center Luke Kornet from Westchester, the team’s PR department tweets. Kornet is averaging 18.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 32.5 MPG over 11 games with Westchester.
  • The Jazz assigned first-round pick and guard Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. Allen is averaging 17.5 PPG in 31.8 MPG while starting 11 games for the Stars.
  • The Warriors assigned rookie guard and first-round pick Jacob Evans III to Santa Cruz, according to a team press release. In 20 games with Santa Cruz, he’s averaging 11.5 PPG and 2.5 APG in 26.4 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/21/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls 3/20/19

Here are Wednesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pistons assigned Khyri Thomas and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk to the Detroit Drive as the G League team tries to wrap up a playoff spot, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
  • The Spurs recalled  Chimezie Metu and Lonnie Walker from their Austin affiliate, the team announced on its website. Metu is averaging 14.2/7.5/2.2 in 24 G League games, while Walker is posting a 16.4/3.0/1.8 line in 27 games.
  • The Grizzlies recalled Jevon Carter and Tyler Dorsey from the Memphis Hustle, according to a tweet from the team. Both players played key roles in helping the team clinch a playoff berth last night.
  • The Jazz recalled Grayson Allen from the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). The first-round pick is averaging 17.5/2.8/2.4 in 11 games with the Stars.
  • Hamidou Diallo has been recalled from Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder announced in an email. He scored 26 points last night in a win over Sioux Falls.