Mamadi Diakite

Heat Trade KZ Okpala To Thunder

2:05pm: As part of the deal, the Heat have amended their future draft obligations to the Thunder, the Heat announced in a full press release and the Thunder confirmed in a release of their own.

Instead of owing Oklahoma City their top-14 protected first-round pick in 2023, the Heat will now owe OKC their 2025 first-rounder (also top-14 protected).

That ’23 first-rounder would have been top-14 protected for three straight seasons before becoming unprotected in 2026. Now, the Heat’s ’25 first-rounder will be lottery-protected for just one year before becoming unprotected in ’26.

Essentially, the Thunder improved their odds of gaining a higher first-rounder by pushing the pick a couple years into the future (when the Heat could theoretically be less assured of having a playoff-caliber roster) and ensuring it has just one year of protection. Miami could also now trade its 2022 or 2023 first-round pick without running afoul of the Stepien rule.

The 2026 second-rounder the Heat acquired in the trade will be the least favorable of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ second-rounders that year, according to the Heat’s announcement.

Oklahoma City ended Mamadi Diakite‘s 10-day contract a day early in order to complete the trade, per the team. It’s not yet clear if the Thunder plan to hang onto Okpala, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.

1:50pm: The Heat have traded forward KZ Okpala to the Thunder in exchange for a 2026 second-round pick, Miami announced today (via Twitter).

While the Thunder, who have a massive collection of future draft picks, can certainly afford to give up a ’26 second-rounder, we’ll have to wait for their official announcement to see if there are protections on the pick or if the Heat are sending out any cash in the deal, since Okpala’s trade value is presumably limited.

The 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Stanford, Okpala has appeared in just 63 games across three seasons for Miami. In 2021/22, he has averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 21 contests (11.6 MPG). Okapala hasn’t played since December due to a wrist injury. He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end.

By moving Okpala, the Heat, who had been right up against the luxury tax line, open a second spot on their 15-man roster and now should be in a comfortable position to promote Caleb Martin from his two-way contract.

Miami may wait until after Thursday’s trade deadline to make that move in order to maximize its roster and financial flexibility. But it’s a safe bet Martin will be added to the 15-man roster sooner or later. If they don’t make any other trades, the Heat could go shopping on the buyout market with their other roster opening.

Thunder Re-Sign Mamadi Diakite To 10-Day Deal

The Thunder have brought back forward Mamadi Diakite on another 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. Diakite’s previous 10-day deal expired on Sunday night.

Diakite, 25, has averaged 3.0 PPG and 3.3 RPG in eight games (11.6 MPG) with the Thunder over the course of a pair of 10-day contracts. This will be Diakite’s third 10-day pact with Oklahoma City — the first was a hardship deal and the second was a standard agreement.

The Thunder don’t currently have any players in the health and safety protocols, so this new deal will be a standard contract too. Assuming they aren’t eligible for a hardship exception when Diakite’s 10-day deal expires, the Thunder will have to either sign him to a rest-of-season contract or let him go at that point.

Diakite was in training camp with Oklahoma City in the fall, but fractured his hip and was waived at the end of the preseason. He spent his rookie year in 2020/21 with the Bucks after going undrafted out of Virginia, appearing in 14 regular season games and seven postseason contests for the NBA champions.

The 6’9″ forward will earn another $85,578 over the course of his 10 days with Oklahoma City. That figure will count against team salary for cap and tax purposes, which won’t be a problem for a Thunder club that remains significantly below the league’s minimum salary floor.

Diakite’s contract will run through February 9, covering OKC’s next six games.

Thunder Re-Sign Mamadi Diakite To 10-Day Deal

The Thunder have officially signed forward Mamadi Diakite to a second 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Diakite’s first 10-day deal with Oklahoma City, which expired overnight, was completed using a COVID-related hardship exception. However, with Kenrich Williams no longer in the health and safety protocols, the Thunder are ineligible for another hardship exception, so Diakite will be on a standard 10-day contract, filling the open spot on the club’s 15-man roster.

In his first 10 days with the Thunder, Diakite saw action in four games, averaging 3.5 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 11.8 minutes per contest.

The 6’9″ forward, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today, was in training camp with Oklahoma City in the fall, but fractured his hip and was waived at the end of the preseason. He spent his rookie year in 2020/21 with the Bucks after going undrafted out of Virginia, appearing in 14 regular season games and seven postseason contests for the NBA champions.

Diakite will earn $85,578 over the course of his 10 days with Oklahoma City. Unlike his last deal, this one will count against team salary for cap and tax purposes — that’s not a problem for a Thunder club that remains significantly below the league’s minimum salary floor.

Thunder Sign Mamadi Diakite To 10-Day Contract

The Thunder have signed forward Mamadi Diakite to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. The deal was completed using a COVID-related hardship allowance.

Diakite, who will turn 25 next Friday, was in training camp with Oklahoma City in the fall, but fractured his hip and was waived at the end of the preseason. The 6’9″ forward spent his rookie season in 2020/21 with the Bucks after going undrafted out of Virginia. He initially signed a two-way contract, then was converted to a standard deal last April ahead of Milwaukee’s championship run.

Diakite played a very limited role at the NBA level in 14 regular season games and seven postseason contests. However, he put up big numbers in the G League bubble last winter for the Lakeland Magic, averaging a double-double (18.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG) and 2.1 BPG in just 27.7 MPG (12 games). He made 58.0% of his shots from the field for Lakeland, including half of his three-point tries (7-for-14).

The Thunder currently have two players – Isaiah Roby and Kenrich Williams – in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, allowing them to sign two replacement players using hardship exceptions. The team now has Diakite and Olivier Sarr on 10-day deals.

Diakite will earn $85,578 over the course of his 10 days with Oklahoma City, but it won’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes. His deal will cover the Thunder’s next five games before expiring on his birthday.

Thunder Waive Mamadi Diakite, Two Others

The Thunder have waived forward Mamadi Diakite, guard Justin Jaworski and center Olivier Sarr, the team announced in a press release today.

Diakite was claimed off waivers by Oklahoma City last month, while Jaworski and Sarr both signed Exhibit 10 deals with the club earlier today. Diakite was only guaranteed $100K this season and held a non-guaranteed salary for the 2022/23 campaign.

Jaworski and Sarr are strong contenders to join the Thunder’s G League team this season.

Diakite is coming off a G League season where he averaged 18.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was recently diagnosed with a left hip fracture.

Oklahoma City now has 17 players under contract, including Paul Watson and Aaron Wiggins on two-way deals. It appears that Gabriel Deck, whose deal is non-guaranteed, has earned a spot on the Thunder’s 15-man opening night roster.

Injury Notes: Diakite, P. Williams, C. White, Zion, Lakers

Thunder forward Mamadi Diakite has been diagnosed with a left hip fracture and has been ruled out indefinitely, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter links). Diakite sustained the injury during Sunday’s preseason game against Milwaukee, Mussatto adds.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Diakite, who was claimed off waivers by the Thunder last month and was trying to prove he deserved a spot on the regular season roster. Only $100K of Diakite’s minimum-salary contract is guaranteed, making him a potential casualty of a roster crunch.

Although the Thunder haven’t revealed their plans for their 15-man regular season roster, they’re carrying 13 players on guaranteed contracts, and Kenrich Williams is a lock for the roster despite his non-guaranteed salary. That leaves just one available 15-man spot — if Diakite’s injury takes him out of the running, Gabriel Deck and D.J. Wilson would likely be the top contenders for it.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Bulls forward Patrick Williams appears to be nearing a return. He participated fully in Wednesday’s practice and said his injured ankle “feels good,” per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Bulls guard Coby White, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, still isn’t close to being cleared for contact. Head coach Billy Donovan said on Wednesday the team is about three or four weeks away from determining the next step in White’s rehab process (Twitter link via Cody Westerlund of
  • Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin said last month he thought Zion Williamson, who underwent offseason foot surgery, would be ready for opening night. However, head coach Willie Green confirmed on Monday that Williamson still isn’t running or participating in team activities, according to William Guillory of The Athletic, who says Zion’s uncertain status leaves New Orleans in limbo with the regular season around the corner.
  • Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is hopeful that Malik Monk (groin) and Kendrick Nunn (ankle) will be ready to go by opening night, per Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group (Twitter links). However, veteran guard Wayne Ellington is dealing with a hamstring strain that makes him more of a question mark for the start of the season.

Northwest Notes: Hyland, Diakite, Beasley, Bogdanovic

Rookie guard Bones Hyland may be a fixture in the Nuggets‘ rotation when the regular season starts next week, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. The 26th pick in this year’s draft has been impressing teammates throughout camp and the early part of the preseason with his offensive explosiveness and his attitude toward the game.

“Youngin’s fearless, and I love it,” Aaron Gordon said. “His game is nice.”

Hyland filled the stat sheet Friday in a loss to the Timberwolves with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. However, he also had six turnovers and made a costly defensive mistake that allowed Minnesota to send the game to overtime, which coach Michael Malone recognizes as part of the learning process. Hyland staked his case for regular playing time with an impressive shooting night.

“That’s what I do, honestly,” Hyland said. “I was like 2-for-10 on the first two preseason games. I was like, ‘That’s not me at all, that’s not how I shoot the ball.’ … I make it rain from the three.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Mamadi Diakite was part of championship teams last season in both the G League and the NBA, and now he’s trying to trying to earn a roster spot with the Thunder, notes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City claimed Diakite on waivers after the Bucks released him two weeks ago, giving them 16 players with standard NBA contracts. He is due to earn $1.5MM this season and $1.8MM next season, although both years are non-guaranteed. “I’m gonna keep fighting,” Diakite said. “I’ve been fighting since I was little. I know I have some disadvantages, but I’m an underdog. I’ll keep fighting, and I’ll keep proving everyone wrong.” 
  • Timberwolves coach Chris Finch didn’t get much of a chance to work with Malik Beasley after being hired in February, but they know each other from their time in Denver when Beasley was a rookie, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Beasley was suspended by the league for 12 games shortly after Finch arrived in Minnesota, then suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in early April. The coach believes Beasley has matured during his five NBA seasons. “You can tell he’s comfortable with who he is as a player,” Finch said, “what his role and impact on the floor is and just his maturity and overall approach is that of a young vet.”
  • Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic was a full participant in practice Friday and Saturday after dealing with a sore shoulder, according to Sarah Todd of The Deseret News.

Thunder Claim Mamadi Diakite, Waive Charlie Brown Jr.

The Thunder have claimed big man Mamadi Diakite off waivers from the Bucks, the team announced in a press release. Milwaukee waived Diakite on Friday.

Diakite, 24, went unselected in the 2020 draft. He signed a two-way deal with the Bucks shortly thereafter, then signed a multi-year deal at the end of the season. Only $100K of his salary was guaranteed for next season, however, making it easier for Milwaukee to waive him.

Diakite was a force in the G League during his 12 games last season. He averaged 18.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest, shooting 58% from the floor. The 6’9″ Virginia product will have the ability to add depth for a young Thunder frontcourt this season.

Because Diakite is on a three-year contract, the Thunder couldn’t use the minimum salary exception to claim him and had to instead use part of a traded player exception, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter). The team likely used a portion of its $9.59MM TPE from last season’s George Hill deal.

Oklahoma City also waived guard Charlie Brown Jr. in a separate transaction, the team said. Assuming he goes unclaimed, Brown will reach free agency this week after spending part of last season with the Thunder. The 24-year-old appeared in nine games, averaging 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 16.9 minutes per contest.

Bucks Sign Javin DeLaurier, Waive Mamadi Diakite

The Bucks have signed Javin DeLaurier to a non-guaranteed training camp contract, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (via Twitter), and waived Mamadi Diakite, per our JD Shaw (Twitter link).

DeLaurier, a 6’10” forward/center, spent four seasons at Duke prior to going undrafted in 2020. Last season he signed an Exhibit 10 training camp contract with the Hornets, was waived, and then played seven games for Hornets’ G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. He most recently played for the Hawks’ Summer League squad. It’s worth noting that he played just 11.1 MPG for the Swarm — roughly in line with his college averages.

Diakite, a 6’9″ forward, played four seasons for Virginia prior to going undrafted in 2020. Diakite signed a two-way contract with the Bucks and put up strong numbers in the G League, averaging 18.5 PPG/ 10.4 RPG/ 2.0 APG/ 2.1 BPG (27.7 MPG) with a .580/.500/.750 shooting line in 12 games for the Lakeland Magic (he was assigned to the Magic because the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, elected not to participate in the bubble last season). He played in just 14 games for the Bucks but had his two-way contract converted to a standard contract in April.

Diakite had a partial guarantee of $100K that the Bucks will be on the hook for unless he’s claimed off waivers by another team.

The two moves leave the Bucks with 19 players for their training camp roster, with 13 on fully guaranteed contracts. 2021 60th overall pick Georgios Kalaitzakis has a partial guarantee of $462K for the upcoming season, so he might have a leg up on the competition for the 14th spot, but the remainder of his contract is non-guaranteed.

Eastern Notes: Martin-Garrett, Spoelstra, Bucks, Noah

The top-heavy Heat could benefit from their two-way players proving their NBA mettle sooner rather than later. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if either of their two two-way players, guards Caleb Martin or Marcus Garrett, could find their way onto Miami’s 15-man roster by the end of the year.

Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, two-way player rules no longer have restrictions on how frequently two-way players can practice or travel with their NBA clubs. Winderman thinks Garrett will see more run with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, but that Martin could carve out a fringe rotation role at the next level.

The 6’5″ Martin played his first two years with the Hornets, and holds career averages of 5.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.3 APG, with shooting splits of .391/.315/.682.

There’s more out of the East:

  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra could be a finalist to succeed Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich in future international competitions, opines Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Spoelstra coached the Select Team, comprised of young up-and-coming American players, who faced off against Team USA ahead of their gold medal run this summer.
  • The Bucks could look to more carefully manage the minutes of Olympic champions Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, coming off the club’s championship run, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic in an extensive mailbag. Nehm anticipates that second-year forwards Jordan Nwora and Mamadi Diakite, as well as reserve point guard George Hill, will benefit the most from the resting of Holiday and Middleton.
  • Retiring former Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah will be celebrated by Chicago during an October 28 Bulls-Knicks contest. The Knicks are led by Noah’s former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, and feature his former Chicago teammates Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls are currently led by Noah’s old college coach, Billy Donovan, with whom Noah won two straight NCAA titles with the University of Florida in 2006 and 2007. Noah was a two-time All-Star and the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year while with the Bulls.