Mamadi Diakite

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 670TheScore.com).
  • 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.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Brissett, Diakite, Bulls

Promising young Cavaliers guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are showing signs that they can be an effective long-term pairing, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Together, the 6’1″ teammates comprise a somewhat undersized back court, but can compensate for that with high-level playmaking and scoring. The two players were top-10 picks in consecutive drafts.

“It’s really fun to play with Collin,” Garland said of his Cavaliers teammate. “It’s cool being out there with him and seeing all the stuff that he can do with the ball and even without the ball. He’s gonna go get it regardless. Anytime we need a bucket, we’re gonna go to him. Like I said, he’s gonna play hard for 48 minutes, he’s gonna do what he do.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pacers used their mid-level exception to give newly-extended forward Oshae Brissett a $757K salary for 2021/22, about three times what his minimum would have been, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Instagram video).
  • The Bucks applied the rest of their own mid-level exception, about $160K, to give power forward Mamadi Diakite a three-year deal, per Marks (Instagram video). The agreement also includes a $100K partial guarantee for the 2021/22 season.
  • The Bulls, currently the No. 12 seed in the East by percentage points despite fielding two 2021 All-Stars in Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, could see their offseason recruiting pitches impacted if they can’t at least crack the play-in tournament this season, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls are 5-10 since trading two future top four-protected draft picks and former No. 7 selection Wendell Carter Jr. in a package for Vucevic. Chicago would need to nab the No. 10 seed to make the play-in tournament this season.

Bucks Promote Mamadi Diakite, Sign Justin Jackson

APRIL 21, 12:11pm: Jackson has now officially signed with the Bucks too, as the team issued a second release announcing his two-way contract.


APRIL 21, 11:22am: The Bucks have made Diakite’s new deal official, announcing in a press release that he has signed a new multiyear contract.


APRIL 20, 10:06pm: The Bucks are converting Mamadi Diakite‘s two-way contract into a multiyear deal, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

An undrafted forward out of Virginia, Diakite was named to the All-NBAGL First Team while playing for the Lakeland Magic in the Orlando bubble. He’s appeared in 11 Bucks games since the All-Star break, averaging 2.5 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 8.6 MPG.

“I have more to prove, I have more to give to the team and I have more to show to the fans,” Diakite said. “Them doing this shows me that they trust me in many ways, but I still have work to do.”

The exact terms of Diakite’s deal aren’t known, but it’s unlikely to be fully guaranteed beyond this season.

The Bucks are filling the two-way slot with forward Justin Jackson, who played 33 games with the Thunder this year. Oklahoma City released him earlier this month.

Jackson, who turned 26 in March, averaged 7.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .406/.306/.857 shooting this season.

The former 15th overall pick began his career in Sacramento in 2017 and also played for Dallas before arriving in OKC in the 2020 offseason along with Trevor Ariza as part of a three-team trade that sent Delon Wright to the Pistons and James Johnson to the Mavs.

Milwaukee now has a full roster.

NBA G League Announces 2020/21 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on Monday, Delaware Blue Coats forward Paul Reed – who is on a two-way contract with the Sixers – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Reed was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by MVP runner-up Kevin Porter Jr. of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as well as Oklahoma City Blue big man Moses Brown, Lakeland Magic forward Mamadi Diakite, and Westchester Knicks guard Jared Harper. All of those players are currently on either standard NBA contracts or two-way deals.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently under contract with NBA teams or have past NBA experience.

The complete list of the 2020/21 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).


All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Jared Harper (Westchester Knicks) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:


NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Malachi Flynn (Raptors 905) *
  • Brodric Thomas (Canton Charge) ^
  • KJ Martin (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Tahjere McCall (Lakeland Magic)
  • Gary Payton II (Raptors 905)

Of the 18 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Brissett, Uthoff, McCall, and Payton – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’20/21 season began. All four of them have previous NBA experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks To Sign Myles Powell To Two-Way Contract

The Bucks intend to sign former Seton Hall guard Myles Powell to a two-way contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Powell, who went undrafted in 2020, joined the Westchester Knicks for the G League season and has played well at the Walt Disney World bubble, averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 1.8 SPG with a .448/.446/.818 shooting line in 13 games (28.1 MPG).

The NBA is expected to loosen the rules for players on two-way contracts this season, removing the restrictions that limit them to 50 regular season games and make them ineligible for the playoffs. So once Powell officially signs with Milwaukee, he should be eligible to play in the rest of the team’s regular season and postseason games.

The Bucks currently don’t have a two-way slot open, so they’ll have to waive either Mamadi Diakite or Jaylen Adams to make room for Powell.

Adams has logged just 18 minutes for Milwaukee this season and Diakite has yet to make his NBA debut, but both players have impressed at the G League level — Adams put up 20.9 PPG and 5.2 APG with a .401 3PT% in 34 games for the Wisconsin Herd last season, while Diakite averaged a double-double (18.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG) with 2.1 BPG and a .580/.500/.750 shooting line in 12 games for the Lakeland Magic before being recalled today.

Eastern Notes: Rose, Pistons, Hayward, Diakite, Bamba

Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was sidelined for Tuesday’s game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but it sounds like he shouldn’t miss additional time. According to Steve Popper of Newsday, Rose registered an inconclusive COVID-19 test and was held out for precautionary reasons.

Rose has since returned multiple negative results and was cleared to accompany the team on its flight back home. As long as he continues to test negative today and tomorrow, the former MVP will be able to play in the Knicks’ final first-half game against Detroit on Thursday, says Popper.

Despite Rose’s absence on Tuesday, the Knicks have been relatively fortunate so far this season not to be significantly affected by the coronavirus. No Knicks players have tested positive for the virus since the regular season began, and the club’s only postponement came when its opponent – San Antonio – was dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pistons are among the latest teams to announce plans to bring a limited number of fans back into their arena. According to a press release, Detroit will permit up to 750 fans at Little Caesars Arena starting on March 17. That number may increase later in the season.
  • After missing two games due to a right hand contusion, Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has been upgraded to probable for Wednesday’s game, per the team (via Twitter). Charlotte could give Hayward another full week of rest by holding him out tonight, but it sounds like he’s ready to return.
  • The Bucks have recalled rookie two-way forward Mamadi Diakite from the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Milwaukee’s own NBAGL affiliate isn’t active this season, but Diakite had been playing very well for the Lakeland Magic, averaging a double-double (18.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG) with 2.1 BPG and a .580/.500/.750 shooting line in just 27.7 minutes per contest (12 games).
  • Although he didn’t get into the Magic‘s last game on Monday, center Mohamed Bamba has been told to expect a steadier stream of minutes going forward and is eager to take advantage of the opportunity, as Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel details. Bamba has played just 149 total minutes in 16 games so far in 2020/21.