M.J. Walker

Knicks Cut Brandon Knight, Aamir Simms, M.J. Walker

The Knicks have made their end-of-preseason roster cuts, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the team placed Brandon Knight, Aamir Simms, and M.J. Walker on waivers. All three players are candidates to join the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Having released Knight, Simmons, and Walker, the Knicks are now carrying 16 players, including 15 on standard contracts. Luka Samanic is expected to be signed to a two-way contract to fill out the 17-man regular season roster.

Of those 15 players on standard deals, only Wayne Selden has a non-guaranteed salary. The Knicks will essentially be paying Selden by the day to start the regular season, so they could move on from him at any time, if they so choose. However, head coach Tom Thibodeau has mentioned a couple times this fall that he’s been impressed with the veteran wing behind the scenes, according to Katz (Twitter link).

New York Notes: Irving, Bacon, Selden, G League

Kyrie Irving rejoined the Nets for a light workout at the Brooklyn Park Bridge earlier this afternoon, writes Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

Braziller notes that before the public event, Irving posted a tweet that seemed to indicate he still might be hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Irving received a large ovation from the crowd, and new teammate Patty Mills seems glad to have him back, Braziller relays.

“I think we’re taking it one step at a time, so to have everyone here outside at this [event] is pretty special,” Mills said.

Braziller opines that this represents minor progress, but Irving’s vaccination status is still front and center for the team.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Dwayne Bacon and Wayne Selden appear to be the frontrunners for the 15th roster spot for the Knicks, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Coach Tom Thibodeau appears non-committal as to who might have the upper hand. “We have a number of guys who are battling it out,” Thibodeau said. “(Bacon) is a good competitor and obviously his length, his wing play. Wayne Selden has been terrific, along with Dwayne. Both guys are really solid veterans that can add to a team.” Thibodeau also said that M.J. Walker and Aamir Simms are still in the running as well, per Bondy, and who wins out might come down to who shows the most in practices.
  • The Knicks‘ G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, will be relocating to Bridgeport, CT for the upcoming season, the team announced in a press release. The team’s normal home arena, the Westchester County Center, is currently being used as a COVID-19 vaccination site.
  • In a member-only article, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes that he believes that Irving’s situation has morphed into a public crisis for the Nets.

Knicks Sign M.J. Walker To Exhibit 10 Contract

AUGUST 20: The Knicks have officially signed Walker, the team tweets.


AUGUST 2: The Knicks have reached an agreement to sign former Florida State shooting guard M.J. Walker to an Exhibit 10 contract, reports Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link).

Walker, who went undrafted last Thursday, averaged 12.2 PPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.5 RPG in 24 games (29.0 MPG) as a senior in 2020/21. He posted an impressive three-point shooting percentage of 42.3% and earned a spot on the All-ACC Second Team.

Walker is the second undrafted rookie reported to have reached a contract agreement with the Knicks, who also lined up a training camp deal for Clemson’s Aamir Simms.

An Exhibit 10 contract will put Walker in position to either have his deal converted to a standard contract or two-way deal if he makes the team. If not, he could earn a bonus worth up to $50K by joining the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Draft Notes: Warriors, Hornets, Green Room Invites, Preston

The Warriors brought in some first-round prospects for workouts on Friday, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweetsChris Duarte, Keon Johnson, Corey Kispert, Trey Murphy III, Ziaire Williams and Ayo Dosunmu visited the Warriors’ training facility. Johnson is the highest-rated prospect on the list, as the Tennessee guard is currently ranked No. 9 overall by ESPN.

Gonzaga’s Kispert (No. 13), Virginia’s Murphy (18), Oregon’s Duarte (23), Stanford’s Williams (24) and Illinois’ Dosunmu (34) could all be off the board by the second round. Golden State holds the seventh and 14th overall picks.

We have more draft-related news and tidbits:

Draft Notes: Executive Roundup, Duarte, Monyyong, Lakers, Mini-Combine

In a Draft Confidential column for The Athletic, Hall-of-Fame reporter David Aldridge interviews anonymous team executives and college coaches to get their inside scoop on the 2021 draft’s burning questions.

Some of the topics discussed: the Jalen Green versus Jalen Suggs debate, who will be the fourth guard taken after Suggs, Green, and Cade Cunningham are off the board (James Bouknight, Moses Moody, Davion Mitchell, and Keon Johnson are the top candidates), draft promises, some of the late risers (Joshua Primo, Nah’Shon Hyland, Miles McBride, and others), and a whole lot more.

We have more news from the draft:

Draft Notes: Pistons, Timberwolves, Banton, Hornets

Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagnie, Toledo’s Spencer Littleson, UC Santa Barbara’s Jaquori McLaughlin and Florida State’s M.J. Walker are among the players the Pistons worked out on Friday, Keith Smith tweets. The 6’6” Champagnie is ranked No. 63 among all prospects and 10th among small forwards by ESPN. The G League Ignite’s Daishen Nix also participated in the workout. Nix is ranked by No. 55 by ESPN and 10th among point guard prospects.

We have more draft-related news:

  • McLaughlin, ranked No. 93 by ESPN, also worked out recently for the Timberwolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. The 6’4” McLaughlin was the Big West’s Conference Player of the Year. Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr. also visited the Timberwolves, Wolfson adds in a separate tweet. Washington is participating in the G League Elite Camp in Chicago this weekend.
  • Nebraska guard Dalano Banton also received an invite to the Elite Camp, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated tweets. Blanton averaged 9.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.9 APG last season.
  • The Hornets hosted several prospects on Thursday, including North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Dayton’s Jalen Crutcher, Winthrop’s Chandler Vaudrin, Tennessee’s Yves Pons and Washington’s Nahziah Carter, according to Matthew Stephens of the Charlotte Observer. Pons, a small forward, is ranked No. 88.

NBA G League Announces 40 Draft-Eligible Participants For Elite Camp

The NBA G League has announced in a press release that 40 draft-eligible prospects are set to participate in the NBAGL Elite Camp next week in Chicago from June 19-21.

The G League Elite Camp is back this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place right before the draft combine, will give a few dozen draft-eligible players an opportunity to impress scouts, coaches, and executives through strength and agility drills and 5-on-5 games.

As today’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 is scheduled for June 21-27 in Chicago.

The list of draft-eligible players who took part in the most recent G League Elite Camp in 2019 included a handful of prospects who were eventually drafted, such as Terance Mann, Cody Martin, Justin Wright-Foreman, Reggie Perry, and Dewan Hernandez.

Many of the draft-eligible participants in the 2019 Elite Camp also made it to the NBA after going undrafted, including Oshae Brissett, Chris Clemons, Tyler Cook, Tacko Fall, DaQuan Jeffries, Caleb Martin, Justin Robinson, and Max Strus.

Two years ago, this event also featured 40 G League veterans, for a total of 80 players. Based on today’s press release, it sounds like this year’s Elite Camp may be pared down to only include draft-eligible prospects, though it’s possible the NBAGL will announce more names within the next few days.

Here are the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the 2021 G League Elite Camp:

  1. Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
  2. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
  3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)
  4. Juhann Begarin (France)
  5. Chaundee Brown (Michigan)
  6. Jordan Burns (Colgate)
  7. Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
  8. D.J. Carton (Marquette)
  9. Moussa Cisse (Memphis)
  10. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)
  11. Oscar Da Silva (Stanford)
  12. Darius Days (LSU)
  13. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
  14. Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
  15. Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
  16. Haowen Guo (China)
  17. Jay Huff (Virginia)
  18. DeJon Jarreau (Houston)
  19. Carlik Jones (Louisville)
  20. DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina)
  21. Balsa Koprivica (Florida State)
  22. A.J. Lawson (South Carolina)
  23. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)
  24. Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
  25. JaQuori McLaughlin (UCSB)
  26. Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
  27. RJ Nembhard (TCU)
  28. Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon)
  29. EJ Onu (Shawnee State)
  30. Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt)
  31. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State)
  32. Aamir Simms (Clemson)
  33. Javonte Smart (LSU)
  34. Mike Smith (Michigan)
  35. D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State)
  36. MaCio Teague (Baylor)
  37. M.J. Walker (Florida State)
  38. Duane Washington (Ohio State)
  39. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  40. Jalen Wilson (Kansas)