Mario Chalmers

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

NBA G League Officially Announces Plans For Disney Bubble

The NBA G League has officially announced that its shortened 2020/21 season will take place in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World, confirming the news in a press release. An exact start date has yet to be announced, but the season will tip off in February, per the NBAGL. Previous reports suggested a tentative opening night of February 8.

“We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” NBAGL president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said in a statement. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

Since at least November, a G League bubble has been in the works in order to avoid the frequent commercial travel associated with a typical NBAGL season. A late-December report indicated that the bubble would be set up at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where the NBA resumed its ’19/20 season last summer.

As expected, 18 teams, including the G League Ignite, will participate in the season. Those teams are as follows:

  1. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)
  2. Austin Spurs (Spurs)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers)
  4. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers)
  5. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans)
  6. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers)
  7. G League Ignite (Select Team)
  8. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets)
  9. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves)
  10. Lakeland Magic (Magic)
  11. Long Island Nets (Nets)
  12. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder)
  14. Raptors 905 (Raptors)
  15. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets)
  16. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz)
  17. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors)
  18. Westchester Knicks (Knicks)

As we previously relayed, the G League didn’t anticipate being able to accommodate all 29 of its teams in a Disney bubble, so clubs were asked to volunteer to opt out the season. That’s why 11 NBA teams’ affiliates won’t be in action this season. Those NBA franchises will have the ability to assign players on standard contracts and transfer players on two-way deals to another G League team via the flexible assignment rule.

According to previous reports, NBAGL teams are expected to play between 12 and 15 games before advancing to the postseason, which will begin in early March. Today’s press release indicates that the top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff.

G League rosters will be made up of affiliate players, who signed Exhibit 10 contracts with NBA teams and were waived in December, and returning-rights players, who were on NBAGL contracts in previous years. Teams will also be able to directly add one “designated veteran” who has five or more years of NBA experience, and can select players in the G League draft, which will take place on Monday, January 11.

We passed along word on Thursday that NBA veterans such as Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, Emeka Okafor, Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, and Shabazz Muhammad, among many others, will be eligible to be drafted next week.

Reports in the last 24 hours from Nicola Lupo of Sportando and G League expert Adam Johnson (all Twitter links) have indicated that Justin Dentmon, Josh Huestis, Mario Chalmers, and Festus Ezeli are among the other former NBA players who have signed NBAGL contracts and are draft-eligible.

The Ignite is the one team whose roster is made up a little differently. The newly-introduced squad consists of top prospects who decided to forgo college ball – including Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga – as well as a handful of veteran NBA and G League players – including Amir Johnson – who will serve as mentors.

And-Ones: Zion, Silver, Chalmers, Bona, Lawson

A panel of 15 NBA evaluators, including four general managers, unanimously agreed that Mavericks star Luka Doncic is the player under 25 whom they would most want to build a franchise around, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Suns guard Devin Booker, and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant received the next-highest scores in the poll.

As Scotto notes, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Pelicans big man Zion Williamson, placed just seventh on the evaluators’ list, tied with Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. Among the respondents who spoke to Scotto, the enthusiasm for Williamson’s obvious upside was dampened by long-term weight and injury concerns.

“He’s just a special player inside the arc who’s an elite finisher,” one executive said of the Pelicans’ rising star. “… He’s one of the best finishers behind Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and LeBron (James). He can hit the open man. He’s so physically dominant. His shooting shouldn’t be a problem, but we’ll see. I think he’s always going to be hurt, though.”

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

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to be at the league’s Walt Disney World campus this week, sources tell Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether Silver’s visit will be brief or if he plans to stick around through the NBA Finals.
  • Greek club Aris Thessaloniki has announced the signing of former NBA guard Mario Chalmers (hat tip to Sportando). A former two-time champion with Miami, Chalmers spent last season in Athens, but continues to hold out hope of making an NBA comeback.
  • Adem Bona, a 17-year-old Nigerian/Turkish big man, will spend the next two seasons stateside at Prolific Prep in California, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who refers to Bona as one of Europe’s “most promising” prospects (Twitter links). He’ll become draft-eligible in 2023, Givony adds.
  • Agent Chris Patrick and The Sports Law Group have ended their representation of former NBA guard Ty Lawson following his ban from the Chinese Basketball Association, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Lawson last played in the NBA during the 2018 postseason with Washington.

And-Ones: Chalmers, Canaan, Brown, Albert, Kuminga

Former NBA guard Mario Chalmers is vying for an NBA comeback, with the 34-year-old currently scanning the market as an unrestricted free agent. Chalmers explained his mindset and present situation in an interview with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype this week.

“I definitely do,” Chalmers said when asked if he hopes to sign with an NBA team in the near future. “I definitely think I can still help a team, especially with my resume. I have a lot of knowledge since I’ve been to four NBA Finals and won two NBA championships and a college national championship. I just feel like I can provide a lot of knowledge to a young point guard and be a mentor. That’s the role that I’d come back to the NBA and be, so I’m open to it if it happens.”

Chalmers, who holds experience with the Heat and Grizzlies, is a proven veteran with two NBA championships in his collection (2012 and 2013). He last played in the NBA with Memphis during the 2017/18 campaign, spending time in Greece last season.

Chalmers touched on a number of other subjects in the interview and echoed the thoughts of another veteran free agent, Raymond Felton, explaining how several teams are prioritizing younger players over locker room veterans in today’s NBA.

“I’ve definitely experienced that,” Chalmers said. “And, yeah, it is frustrating – just because there’s the saying, ‘A team always wants a winner.’ I just feel like with my resume, I’m a proven winner. I’m not a bad guy in the locker room; I’m not a jerk. So, I just feel like for me to not even get a chance and not even get a workout or nothing like that, it’s a little disheartening. But that’s the way the business goes… I’m definitely surprised how they’ve shifted away from (veterans). Those guys are very important. For me, some of my vets were Dwyane Wade, ‘Bron, Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Magloire and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, so I’ve had vets that have actually been All-Stars and they’ve taught me about basketball, about family, about a lot of different things.

“I just feel like if I was an NBA GM or somebody that’s running an NBA team, I would want a couple of vets on my team, just to make sure my young guys are following suit and not doing too much off the court. You want to make sure they’re still focused on basketball and that they understand the business aspect of everything. And once you get to the NBA, you have a lot of freedom. And if you don’t use that freedom wisely, it could be a lot of trouble for you. So, I just feel like vets are good with that stuff. I had a lot of vets who helped me out and I feel like vets are always needed; somebody who’s been there before is always needed to help teach the new school.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent guard Isaiah Canaan has signed overseas in Russia with UNICS Kazan, the team announced today. Canaan, who was drafted 34th overall in 2013, holds NBA experience with the Rockets, Sixers, Bulls, Suns, Timberwolves and Bucks. He spent last season in the NBA G League.
  • Veteran commentators Hubie Brown and Marv Albert won’t be calling games during the league’s restart in Orlando, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald tweets. Brown (86) and Albert (79) have an increased risk with COVID-19, preventing them from being at the campus.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic explores why class of 2021 high school star Jonathan Kuminga is signing in the NBA G League pro pathway program and reclassifying to the class of 2020. “I don’t see myself as a high school player again. I see my potential as an NBA player and with the G League they’ll help me a lot more than college,” Kuminga said as part of a larger quote.

And-Ones: Gudaitis, Beaubois, Paul, Robinson, Curry, King

Lithuanian center Arturas Gudaitis is expected to leave Olimpia Milano and join Zenit St. Petersburg next season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Gudaitis, who played 19 games last season with Olimpia Milano and averaged 7.3 PPG and 4.4 RPG, had been signed through next season with the Italian club. The Sixers used a 2015 second-round pick on Gudaitis but he has never appeared in an NBA regular-season game. The Cavaliers acquired his rights in 2018 via a three-way trade with the Kings and Jazz.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois has reached a two-year contract extension with his Turkish club Anadolu Efes, Misko Raznatovic tweets. Beaubois, 32, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2012/13 season. Last season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.
  • Chris Paul has made a strong impression as NBA Players Association president, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. Players Association executive director Michele Roberts indicates that not all superstar players like the Thunder point guard command the same respect. “I won’t name any names, but there have been other marquee players that have been on the executive committee,” Roberts said. “They haven’t come close, they haven’t come close to providing and demonstrating a level of commitment and time that Chris has. And he’s not only just there, he’s engaged, he understands the issues. … He does insist on hearing all sides, and he brings in the other players.”
  • Joe Johnson, Mario Chalmers, Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry are among the former NBA players slated to participate in 3-on-3 pay-per-view tournament later this month, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets. The “5 Tournament” is scheduled to take place July 19-29, just before the NBA’s planned restart.
  • Former Suns two-way player George King has signed with Bundesliga’s Chemnitz 99ers, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. King, who appeared in one game with the Suns in 2018/19, played in Italy and Poland last season.

And-Ones: BIG3, Gortat, Mack, Chalmers

The BIG3 has announced some changes in advance of its 2020 season, as Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com details. Most notably, Ice Cube‘s 3-on-3 league will lower the minimum age from 27 to 22 in order to try to eliminate the perception that the BIG3 is only for retired NBA players.

“I think lowering the age does erase the stigma,” Ice Cube told Woodyard. “It might’ve kept people from playing in the BIG3 because they don’t want to seem like they’re done.”

The BIG3 will also hold open tryouts this spring and will welcome two-sport athletes, as Woodyard details.

The most entertaining change to the league’s on-court rules is the introduction of a team’s once-per-half ability to challenge a foul call. Rather than having a replay official make a ruling, a challenge will result in an in-game, one-on-one possession, with the victor winning the call. The full list of changes can be found here.

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

  • Longtime NBA center Marcin Gortat was recently approached by Polish team Anwil Wloclawek, but rebuffed the club’s interest for health reasons, he told Interia.pl (hat tip to Sportando). Gortat suggested in the same interview that he will likely announce his retirement from the NBA at some point this year.
  • Veteran point guard Shelvin Mack, who had been playing for Olimpia Milano, has left the Italian team and is expected to join Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli League, according to Alessandro Maggi and Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Mack, who has played more than 450 regular season NBA games, spent last season with Memphis and Charlotte.
  • Another former NBA point guard, Mario Chalmers, has had his contract with AEK Athens extended through the end of the 2019/20 season, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Chalmers signed with the Greek club in November.
  • For a long time, the head of basketball operations for an NBA team was given the title of general manager, or perhaps president of basketball operations. In recent years though, those titles have become more varied, with minor distinctions helping to establish a hierarchy in front offices. Jake Fischer of The Washington Post takes a deep dive into NBA management titles and explores how Silicon Valley’s influence has changed things.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Chalmers, Isaac, Wall

The Heat will need to use Justise Winslow at either point guard or power forward to optimize their other main wing options, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines in his latest mailbag. Putting Winslow at the ‘one’ or ‘four’ would allow coach Erik Spoelstra to play rookie Tyler Herro and Dion Waiters more often with the team’s top player, Jimmy Butler. If Winslow ends up playing regularly at small forward, Spoelstra would have to choose between Herro and Waiters as a mainstay in the rotation, Winderman adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • A reunion between the Heat and point guard Mario Chalmers is unlikely at this point, Winderman writes in another mailbag post. Chalmers, 33, is aiming for an NBA comeback after playing in Italy last season. However, even if the Heat are interested, they’d have to release Kendrick Nunn in order to create a roster spot for Chalmers since the team is hard-capped, Winderman notes.
  • Entering his third season, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is brimming with optimism over his team’s future after it reached the playoffs last season. Isaac likes the team’s continuity after it re-signed key free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, as he told John Denton of the team’s website. “We’re all hyped up for the season,’” he said. “And I’m sure as guys get together and start playing again, we’ll have more of those talks about, ‘Hey, we can go even farther than we did last (season).'”
  • The Wizards are closely monitoring John Wall‘s rehab process as he works his way back from a ruptured Achilles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. They are even providing owner Ted Leonsis with daily progress reports. “I used to start my day reading the Washington Post. Now I start my day reading [and watching] my daily John Wall exercise video,” Leonsis told Hughes.

Mario Chalmers Aiming For NBA Comeback

A two-time champion, veteran point guard Mario Chalmers has not given up hope of resuming his NBA career. The 33-year-old has not suited up since the 2017/18 season when he appeared in 66 games for the Grizzlies.

After a productive eight-year run with the Heat and Grizzlies, a torn Achilles injury in 2016 forced Chalmers to miss all of the 2016/17 season. As Chalmers — who is currently with the Big3’s 3 Headed Monsters — tells Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, he’s hopeful for one more chance.

“It’s been kind of tough,” Chalmers said. “I’ve had a great NBA career. I’ve had a lot of fun playing. I still want to play. I still want to play at a high level.”

In addition to being the starting point guard on two Heat championship teams, Chalmers has career averages of 8.9 PPG, 3.7 APG and 35% shooting from beyond the arc.

After receiving no offers in the summer of 2018, Chalmers suited up for Virtus Bologna in Italy’s Serie A, leading the team to a championship. The Kansas product has not been a stranger to championship success; in college, in the NBA and in international play.

Hopeful of another opportunity, Chalmers has one round number in mind.

“I’m happy just to be playing basketball. But I do want to get back in the NBA,” he said. “As a kid, you always dream about being in this league. I always said to myself, I at least want 10-plus years in the league. I’m at nine right now. So I definitely want to get back in the league for at least two, three more years if I can. At least one, if anything.”

Greg Oden, Royce White, Others Selected In BIG3 Draft

The BIG3, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league, completed its draft for the 2019 season on Wednesday night, and a number of noteworthy former NBA players were among the players selected.

Former NBA first overall pick Greg Oden wasn’t the first player picked in the BIG3 draft, but he did come off the board in the first round, going seventh overall to the Aliens, a team whose roster also includes Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Brown.

The No. 1 selection in the BIG3’s draft was former NBA first-rounder Royce White, whose NBA career was cut short after just three games due to battles with mental health and a fear of flying. White will join an Enemies squad led by captain Gilbert Arenas and co-captains Lamar Odom and Perry Jones III.

The following veterans who appeared in at least 100 games during their NBA careers were also selected in the 31-player draft on Wednesday:

  1. Larry Sanders (3 Headed Monsters)
  2. Josh Powell (Killer 3s)
  3. Shawne Williams (Bivouac)
  4. Jamario Moon (Ghost Ballers)
  5. Donte Greene (Killer 3s)
  6. Jason Richardson (Tri-State)
  7. Alan Anderson (Triplets)
  8. Sam Young (Trilogy)
  9. Brandon Rush (Aliens)
  10. Craig Smith (Enemies)
  11. Mario Chalmers (3 Headed Monsters)
  12. C.J. Watson (Killer 3s)
  13. Carlos Arroyo (Trilogy)
  14. Dion Glover (Bivouac)
  15. Bonzi Wells (Tri-State)

A full breakdown of the 2019 BIG3 draft results can be found right here, while the rosters for the 12 teams set to compete in the ’19 season are here.

Mario Chalmers, Josh Smith Sign To Play In BIG3

Former NBA players Mario Chalmers and Josh Smith have both signed on to play in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league this summer, according to a series of tweets from the league.

Chalmers, a two-time NBA champion with the Heat, currently plays with Virtus Bologna in Italy and is expected to join the BIG3 once his contract ends in June, as noted by Sportando. The BIG3 schedule is set to begin on June 22.

Chalmers played 66 games with the Grizzlies last season, starting in 10 contests and averaging 7.7 points, 3.7 assists and 21.5 minutes per contest. He played a key role on the Heat’s 2012 and 2013 championship teams, giving the team quality minutes as a starting point guard on both ends of the floor.

Smith, a versatile forward drafted 17th to Atlanta in 2004, holds 13 seasons of NBA experience with the Hawks, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers and Pelicans. He appeared in three games with New Orleans last season, getting waived two weeks after he was signed.

Longtime NBA veterans Joe Johnson and Al Jefferson also signed on to play in the BIG3 on Thursday, adding to a mix of talent that already includes Lamar Odom, Gilbert Arenas, Kendrick Perkins, and others.

The deadline for players to sign with the league is Tuesday, March 19. More player signing announcements are expected to be made in the coming weeks.