Malachi Richardson

And-Ones: TBT, Daniels, Whittington, Newman

A number of former NBA players are set to take part in 2020’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, an annual, winner-take-all tournament with a prize of $1MM.

As Carmine Carcieri of ESPN details, veteran guard Joe Johnson is playing in The Basketball Tournament after winning a championship and an MVP award in the BIG3 in 2019. Malachi Richardson, Tony Wroten, Johnny O’Bryant, and Markel Brown are among the others with NBA experience who will suit up for the event, per Carcieri.

More recently, a couple more notable names have joined the list of participants, with veteran guard Jarrett Jack joining Johnson’s Overseas Elite squad (Twitter link), while former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet will be a member of the Playing For Jimmy V team.

With most professional sports still on hiatus, The Basketball Tournament should be under a larger spotlight in 2020. ESPN announced its broadcast schedule for the event today, starting with four games on July 4 and culminating in a July 14 championship.

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

  • CAA Sports is hiring Evan Daniels of 247Sports to become an agent in its college basketball coaching division, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Daniels has long been one of the most well-connected and reliable sources for college basketball and NBA draft news.
  • Free agent forward Greg Whittington, who had a strong year in Turkey in 2019/20, isn’t eligible to join an NBA team for the summer restart, but continues to receive strong offers from EuroLeague teams, including Panathinaikos BC, agent Jerry Dianis tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter links).
  • Former lottery pick Derrick Williams has received interest from international teams, including Khimki, but no deal is imminent, reports JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Williams, who last played in the NBA in 2017/18, spent the ’19/20 season with Fenerbahce.
  • Malik Newman, who spent a little time with the Cavaliers this season, has signed with Turkish team Bursaspor, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Newman appeared in just one game for Cleveland, spending most of 2019/20 with the Canton Charge in the G League.

Malachi Richardson Leaves Israel, Will Play In Italy

DECEMBER 16: Italian club Vanoli Cremona has officially signed Richardson (Twitter link).

DECEMBER 14: Former Raptors and Kings guard Malachi Richardson has left his Israeli team and is close to signing with Vanoli Cremona in the Italian league, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports.

Richardson was averaging 11.2 PPG with Hapoel Holon before he departed the Middle East. Vanoli Cremona is part of the LBA, Italy’s top league. He’s expected to replace an injured player on the Italian club’s roster.

Richardson signed with Hapoel Holon in August. The former Syracuse standout appeared in 22 games with Toronto last season before he was traded to the Sixers in February, who subsequently waived him. He signed a G League contract with the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate, in March.

In 70 career NBA games, Richardson has averaged 2.8 PPG in 8.9 MPG.

Atlantic Notes: Burke, Kanter, Carmelo, M. Richardson

Trey Burke may have just a partially guaranteed training camp contract with the Sixers, but he’s overflowing with confidence that he can win a roster spot, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 26-year-old guard is expected to battle fellow free agent addition Raul Neto for playing time behind Ben Simmons and possibly a place on the team. However, Burke envisions a much larger role for himself.

“I think throughout stretches of the game we (Burke and Simmons) can play together and I can be out there with the starting lineup at times,” he told reporters. “That is the competitor in Trey Burke. That is who I am and what I bring to Philadelphia.”

Burke – whose minimum-salary contract reportedly has a $405K partial guarantee – hasn’t enjoyed a consistent role like that since his second season in the league. He was been with four teams in the past four years, splitting last season between the Knicks and Mavericks.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics signed Enes Kanter with the expectation that he will shoot more from the perimeter, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Kanter’s first step was to get together with Gordon Hayward, whom he played with in Utah, and a few more of his new teammates. “When I was in Boston, I played with (Hayward) in two-on-two action and I feel like he’s gained more confidence,” Kanter said. “When he played, he wasn’t scared of anything. It was me, Gordon, Jaylen Brown and Tacko (Fall). I was guarding Tacko. He’s good, man, and I love him. His personality is amazing, real good character. He’s a hard worker. I’m definitely really excited to play with him.”
  • Kanter made an appeal for someone to sign Carmelo Anthony during an appearance Wednesday morning on FOX Sports 1’s “First Things First” (Twitter link). “So you’re telling me a guy like ‘Melo can’t make a 15-man roster on 30 teams? It’s definitely crazy,” Kanter said. “Melo belongs in the NBA and he can still get 15-20 points.”
  • Malachi Richardson will play in Israel this season, but he tells Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops that he hasn’t given up on his NBA dream. “I think I just have to show teams who I am,” he said. “Just being able to go and play and just showing, ‘OK, this is why he was a first-round pick.’” Richardson played 22 games for the Raptors last season before being traded at the deadline to the Sixers, who waived him the next day.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Neto, Burke, Richardson

Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been cleared to return to action with Team USA, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Post. Smart has been sidelined for more than a week with a calf injury, and getting him back will help offset the unexpected loss of De’Aaron Fox, who withdrew from the team today.

Smart expressed confidence that he was close to playing again in an interview with Jared Greenberg of NBA TV during Friday’s exhibition game with Spain (video link). “Like I said, the calf is feeling amazing,” Smart said. “And, right now, we’re just taking it slow and making sure I’m a hundred percent and (then) get back out there.”

Smart appears to be in great position to earn a roster spot after the departures of Fox and fellow point guard Kyle Lowry in the past week. Team USA has 13 players left on its training camp roster, with just one cut to make before the FIBA World Cup begins.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics should honor Smart by making him the team captain this fall, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Smart’s leadership has been evident for a long time, Blakely observes, adding that the organization has an opportunity to recognize him in an official way. Boston hasn’t had a captain since Rajon Rondo in 2014, and Blakely contends that Smart, who is the longest-tenured Celtic and still has three years left on his contract, is a natural choice.
  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic examines the expected battle for backup point guard minutes between Sixers newcomers Raul Neto and Trey Burke. Both veterans signed minimum salary contracts this summer and both will try to fill the void created when T.J. McConnell left for the Pacers. Bodner notes that Burke has received more playing time than Neto over his career, but he has also been on worse teams that offered greater opportunity. He adds that Neto prefers to read the defense on any given play, while Burke tends to seek his own shots.
  • Malachi Richardson, who saw infrequent playing time for the Raptors last season, has signed with Hapoel Holon in Israel, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Richardson appeared in 22 games for Toronto before being traded at the deadline to the Sixers, who waived him.

Atlantic Notes: Zion, Raptors, Loyd, Moreland, Sixers

The Knicks apparently won’t have to worry about Zion Williamson demanding a trade if they win the lottery. Williamson said on Friday that he would “love to play” for the Knicks if they drafted him, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. The Duke freshman made the remark during a Final Four press conference while accepting the Oscar Robertson (Player of the Year) Award. He went on to say he’d be happy to go wherever he was drafted.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors made a number of cost-cutting moves during the course of the season that saved an approximate $18MM, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic details. Waiving Lorenzo Brown, dumping the salaries of Malachi Richardson and Greg Monroe, trading three players for Marc Gasol, getting Gasol to waive his trade kicker, and signing players to 10-day contracts to meet roster requirements all contributed to a healthier bottom line.
  • The Raptors still have an open roster spot heading toward the playoffs and will likely sign a player, Murphy writes in the same story. Guard Jordan Loyd’s two-way contract could be converted to a standard contract and center Eric Moreland, who recently played on a 10-day contract, is another candidate. Veteran center Marcin Gortat could also be in play.
  • The 76ers believe their powerhouse starting lineup will be the difference in the playoffs, even though they haven’t played much together, Michael Lee of The Athletic reports. They’ve gone 8-2 in games that Tobias Harris, J.J. Redick, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler have all been available to play. “Although that starting group hasn’t played that much basketball together, especially relative to the other teams, the excitement is to take the talent we have and quickly try to maximize that,” coach Brett Brown said.

Cavs Notes: Durant, Chriss, Knight, M. Richardson

Between the day that the Cavaliers beat the Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Finals and the day Kevin Durant opted to sign with Golden State, Cleveland’s then-GM David Griffin gathered his staff and instructed them to look into possible paths to landing Durant, writes ESPN’s Zach Lowe. As Lowe explains, there was a fear after the Finals that KD would head to the Dubs, and even though the Cavs recognized they had little chance of securing a meeting with him, they wanted to do all they could to explore the possibility.

“I don’t believe you can dream big enough in the NBA,” Griffin told Lowe recently, looking back on that 2016 offseason. “You have to go through the exercise.”

Of course, Durant ultimately signed with the Warriors and the Cavaliers didn’t get a meeting. That second part, at least, came as no surprise, since Cleveland was one of just three clubs during the summer of 2016 that ended up staying over the salary cap despite a huge cap spike that created room for 27 other teams. It would have been extremely difficult for the Cavs to create space to sign Durant, and a sign-and-trade with Oklahoma City would have been a long shot, even if the star forward had considered Cleveland.

It’s hard to even view the Cavs’ failed run at Durant an intriguing what-if scenario, since it never got off the ground at all. Still, it’s a reminder that even the league’s most successful teams will do their due diligence to find ways they can add another star and become even more dangerous — even if the road to an acquisition seems improbable.

Here’s more from out of Cleveland:

  • While many NBA observers and fans questioned the league’s decision to suspend Marquese Chriss for a game after he defended himself from a physical attack from Serge Ibaka, Cavs head coach Larry Drew thought it was the right call, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays. “Punches were thrown by both guys and I thought the ruling the league made was the right decision,” Drew said.
  • When the Cavaliers acquired Brandon Knight from the Rockets at last month’s trade deadline, he was viewed as the salary dump necessary for Cleveland to secure Houston’s first-round pick. Since his arrival though, Knight has been a regular part of the club’s rotation and has showed flashes of his old self, Fedor writes for Cleveland.com. “He’s the Brandon that I remember,” Drew said. “Probably not as explosive as he’s been in the past, prior to the injury, but still a guy who has a tremendous work ethic and he competes. That’s the thing I admire about him and respect about him. He’s a team player and he’s going to give you everything he has when he’s on the floor.”
  • Former Kings and Raptors swingman Malachi Richardson signed a G League contract and has been claimed off waivers by the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s NBAGL affiliate, a league source tells Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link). Richardson was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia at last month’s deadline and was subsequently waived by the Sixers.

Rockets Trade James Ennis To Sixers

9:49pm: The trade between the Rockets and Sixers centered around Ennis is official, both teams announced in press releases. Houston traded Ennis to Philadelphia in exchange for the rights to swap the Rockets’ 2021 second-round pick for the Sixers’ 2021 second-rounder.

The 76ers also confirmed the release of Richardson, who was acquired in a separate deal with Toronto this week.

11:45am: The Sixers will waive Richardson to open up room for Ennis, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

11:11am: The Rockets and Sixers have reached an agreement on a trade that will send James Ennis to Philadelphia, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). According to Charania, Houston will receive the right to swap 2021 second-round picks with the 76ers (Twitter link).

The Rockets signed Ennis to a two-year, minimum salary contract during the 2018 offseason in the hopes that he could help fill the void on the wing created when the team lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency.

The 28-year-old Ennis battled some injuries during his time with the Rockets, but was a solid contributor in the 39 games he played. In 23.6 minutes per contest, he averaged 7.4 PPG on .500/.373/.714 shooting. However, with Iman Shumpert set to arrive in Houston as a result of a three-team trade with Sacramento and Cleveland, it appears the Rockets are willing to move on from Ennis.

The Sixers, meanwhile, will add a solid bench piece at a low cost after sacrificing some depth in their acquisition of Jimmy Butler earlier in the season. It’s unclear how much playing time Ennis will get in Philadelphia, but I’d expect him to see minutes for the second unit in a three-and-D role.

The 76ers will be able to add Ennis to their roster without sending out any salary, since he’s on a minimum deal, though they’ll need to make a corresponding move to open up a roster spot. Malachi Richardson and Justin Patton look like the most expendable pieces on the roster.

As for the Rockets, they started the week at 14 players and had been poised to take on an extra man in their deal with the Kings and Cavs. Moving Ennis will get them back to 14 and will slightly reduce their projected luxury tax bill. They’ll also create a modest trade exception worth Ennis’ salary ($1,621,415).

The exact details on the pick swap rights aren’t yet known — the Rockets may simply get the chance to swap out their pick for the Sixers’ selection during the 2021 second round, but Philadelphia also holds ’21 second-rounders from Denver and New York, so it could be more complicated than that.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raptors Trade Malachi Richardson To Sixers

2:03pm: The trade is official, the Sixers and Raptors have confirmed in press releases.

1:43pm: A pair of Atlantic Division rivals have agreed to a trade one day after playing each other, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). According to Pompey, the Sixers are acquiring shooting guard Malachi Richardson from the Raptors, along with a 2022 second-round pick and the draft rights to Emir Preldzic. Toronto will receive cash considerations in return.

Richardson, 23, was acquired by the Raptors at last season’s trade deadline in exchange for Bruno Caboclo in a cost-cutting move, and this deal appears financially motivated as well. Toronto is over the luxury tax threshold for 2018/19, and will reduce its projected end-of-season tax bill by moving off Richardson’s $1,569,360 salary.

In parts of two seasons with the Raptors, Richardson appeared in just 23 games (4.7 MPG), averaging 1.4 PPG and 0.6 RPG in his very limited role. After trading him away, Toronto will have just 13 players on its 15-man roster and will have two weeks to get back up to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players.

The Raptors could make another trade before Monday’s deadline to add a 14th player, or could explore the buyout market later in the month for a veteran. Signing a player to a 10-day contract would also be an option, albeit just a temporary one — the club would have to get back up to 14 players again at some point once a 10-day deal expires.

As for the Sixers, they still have an open roster spot after letting Corey Brewer‘s second 10-day contract expire this week, so they won’t have to make a corresponding move to make room for Richardson. It’s not clear if the club envisions the former Syracuse standout filling that 15th roster spot for the rest of the season or if he’ll be waived at some point.

Preldzic, the 57th overall pick in the 2009 draft, appears unlikely to ever make the leap to the NBA at this point, so if the 76ers don’t have plans for Richardson, it looks like the 2022 draft pick will be the “prize” of this minor deal for Philadelphia.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/29/18

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

  • The Rockets have assigned veteran guard Brandon Knight to their affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. This will be the second G League trip of the year for Knight, who is working his way back after missing a year and a half with an ACL tear. Knight has seen limited minutes in six games with Houston since returning to action.
  • The Raptors sent Malachi Richardson to their Raptors 905 affiliate, according to a tweet from the G League team. Richardson has appeared in 19 games for Toronto, but is only seeing 5.0 minutes per night.
  • The Jazz tweeted that they have recalled Tony Bradley from the Salt Lake City Stars. Bradley has made several trips back and forth to the G League, but has yet to play in an NBA game this season.
  • The Bucks recalled Donte DiVincenzo from their Wisconsin affiliate, according to a tweet from the team. The rookie guard had 17 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Herd last night.
  • The Kings recalled Harry Giles after sending him to Stockton for Friday’s game, the team announced on its website. Giles had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his latest G league trip.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/18

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

  • The Raptors assigned guard Malachi Richardson to the Raptors 905 for the second time in a week, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Richardson, who was scheduled to be in the starting lineup for today’s game against the Iowa Wolves, was a late scratch with sinusitis.
  • The Grizzlies recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter and big man Ivan Rabb from their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, per a tweet from the team’s communications department. Carter, 23, has yet to play for the Grizzlies this season, while Rabb has averaged 6.3 minutes per game in nine contests.
  • The Jazz have assigned rookie guard Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s G League affiliate, for tonight’s game against the Texas Legends, the team announced. On his first assignment to the G League earlier this season, Allen poured in 26 points against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.