Markel Brown

Markel Brown, Jeff Withey To Play In Turkey

A pair of NBA veterans are headed to Turkey for the coming season. Michael Scotto of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that free agent guard Markel Brown has agreed to a one-year deal with Darussafaka, while Tofas Bursa has announced a contract agreement with center Jeff Withey.

Brown, 26, signed a two-way contract with the Rockets in January after previously appearing in 113 games for the Nets. The former second-round pick appeared in only four games for Houston last season, but averaged 15.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG in nine games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. He was initially tendered a two-way qualifying offer, but had that QO rescinded earlier this month.

As Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic notes (via Twitter), the team that Brown is joining is the one from which potential Raptors two-way signee Jordan Loyd has been attempting to negotiate his release. It’s not clear if Darussafaka’s addition of Brown will open up a path for Loyd’s exit.

Meanwhile, we relayed word of Tofas Bursa’s interest in Withey over the weekend. A former second-round pick, Withey has appeared in over 200 total NBA regular season games for the Pelicans, Jazz, and Mavericks. His most recent NBA stint came in Dallas before the Mavs waived him last December.

Marshall Plumlee, Two Others Become UFAs

Three players who finished the 2017/18 season on two-way contracts and received qualifying offers from their respective clubs have now become unrestricted free agents. According to RealGM’s transactions log, the Bucks, Bulls, and Rockets rescinded qualifying offers for Marshall Plumlee, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Markel Brown, respectively.

Plumlee, who turned 26 on Saturday, signed a two-way deal with the Bucks in January and appeared in just eight games for the NBA club. He averaged 11.8 PPG and 8.2 RPG in 13 games for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate. Plumlee posted a farewell Instagram message to the Bucks on Monday, suggesting he won’t return to the club.

Arcidiacono appeared in 24 games for the Bulls last season, but wasn’t expected to be part of Chicago’s point guard picture in 2018/19 with Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne both healthy. As for Brown, the former second-round pick appeared in only four games for Houston, but averaged 15.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG in nine games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

As our tracker shows, the Bulls and Rockets are each believed to have one two-way contract slot open, while the Bucks have two open slots — one may be filled by Xavier Munford, whose two-way qualifying offer remains on the table.

Players whose two-way contracts expire can be tendered qualifying offers that are equivalent to a one-year, two-way contract offer, with $50K guaranteed. Those QOs make them restricted free agents. Munford, Jabari Bird (Celtics), Tyrone Wallace (Clippers), and Darrun Hilliard (Spurs) are the only two-way RFAs still on the market.

Rockets Extend Qualifying Offer To Clint Capela

The Rockets extended a qualifying offer to center Clint Capela, making him a restricted free agent, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets.

Capela’s qualifying offer is worth $4,749,591. The move was a mere formality, since Capela has emerged as their most important frontcourt component.

Capela averaged 13.9 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 1.9 BPG in his fourth season. He was a finalist for the league’s Most Improved Player award.

The Rockets might have an easier time than expected locking up Capela. There aren’t many teams who are both looking for a center and have enough cap room to put together a serious offer sheet. The Mavericks, who are in the market for a quality big man, have their sights set on DeAndre Jordan. The Suns were a possibility until they drafted Deandre Ayton.

The Rockets also gave two-way player Markel Brown a qualifying offer, making the 6’3” guard a restricted free agent as well.

Qualifying Offer Decisions: Caboclo, M. Brown, Paige

The Kings won’t tender a qualifying offer to former first-round pick Bruno Caboclo, league sources tell ESPN’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Caboclo will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday.

A qualifying offer, which would have been worth $3.5MM+, was never expected for Caboclo, who has appeared in just 35 games in his NBA career since being picked 20th overall in the 2014 draft.

At the time the Raptors selected him, draft guru Fran Fraschilla infamously referred to Caboclo as “two years away from being two years away,” but after four NBA seasons, the 6’9″ forward doesn’t appear to be on the verge of breaking through. In 10 games (10.0 MPG) with the Kings after being included in a midseason trade, the 22-year-old averaged 2.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG with a .310/.200/.833 shooting line.

Here are a couple more updates on qualifying offer decisions:

  • The Rockets have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Markel Brown, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. The one-year, two-way contract offer, which includes a $50K guarantee, will give Houston the opportunity to match an offer sheet for Brown.
  • Former UNC guard Marcus Paige, who was on a two-way contract with the Hornets, won’t be receiving a qualifying offer from the team, according to a press release. The decision ensures that Paige will become an unrestricted free agent.

Rockets Sign Markel Brown To Two-Way Contract

10:15pm: The Rockets officially signed Brown to a two-way deal and cut Weber, the team announced tonight in a press release.

5:51pm: The Rockets plan to sign Markel Brown to a two-way contract and release guard Briante Weber, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

Brown has been playing for the Thunder’s G League team, the Oklahoma City Blue, after getting waived by the Thunder during training camp. Brown appeared in 22 games with the Blue, averaging 17.4 PPG in 31.4 MPG. Brown hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2015/16 season. He saw extensive action for two seasons with the Nets, appearing in 109 games and averaging 5.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.2 APG in 16.2 MPG.

Brown will give Houston a little more depth at the two-guard spot.

Weber had used up a good portion of his 45-day limit of NBA service. Houston decided to bring in another player with NBA experience who could restart the clock in terms of service time. Weber appeared in 13 games with the Rockets, averaging 2.0 PPG in 9.1 MPG. All but four of those appearances came over the last 11 games after James Harden was sidelined by a hamstring injury.

USA Basketball Announces Roster For First World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, bringing back four members of the squad that won gold earlier this year in FIBA’s AmeriCup tournament.

Here’s Team USA’s full 12-man roster:

The squad, which will be coached once again by Jeff Van Gundy, is comprised almost entirely of G League players, since most of the qualifying tournaments take place during the NBA season, preventing NBA players from participating. Team USA’s goal is for Van Gundy’s squad of G Leaguers to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in August and September, when NBA players will be free to participate.

The new-look USA Basketball program is off to a good start, having gone 5-0 this summer to win a gold medal at the AmeriCup tournament. Drew, Hearn, Munford, and Warney were all part of that team.

This time around, Team USA will face Puerto Rico on November 23 and then Mexico on November 26. After those contests, the first round of World Cup qualifiers will resume in February before concluding in July. The top three teams in each first-round group will advance to the second round, which begins in September 2018 and concludes in February 2019, so the qualifying process will take some time to play out.

Meanwhile, the G League teams temporarily losing players to Team USA will be permitted one free move per lost player from the available player pool, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days.

Thunder Waive Alford, Brown, Thomas

The Thunder have waived three players from their preseason roster, announcing today in a press release that guard Bryce Alford, guard Markel Brown, and forward Rashawn Thomas are no longer part of the squad.

Alford, Brown, and Thomas all received training camp invitations from the Thunder, but didn’t appear in a game during the preseason. There’s a good chance that the trio will end up playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G League affiliate. Alford and Thomas are particularly well positioned to head to the Blue, since they’re rookies whose G League rights haven’t been claimed by another team.

Following today’s roster moves, the Thunder still have 17 players under contract, with one of those 17 on a two-way deal. The club will have to make at least one more cut to its NBA roster before the regular season begins, and that decision figures to come down to Isaiah Canaan or Semaj Christon.

Thunder Sign Markel Brown, Finalize Camp Roster

The Thunder have announced their 20-man roster for training camp, confirming a few previously-reported agreements and announcing one new deal. The following players are now members of the Oklahoma City roster, according to the team:

Brown, the 44th overall pick in the 2014 draft, spent two seasons with the Nets from 2014 to 2016, averaging 5.3 PPG on an unimpressive .382/.297/.781 shooting line. Unable to find an NBA job last season, Brown signed with Russian club Khimki for the 2016/17 campaign. Now, he’ll get a chance to head to camp with the Thunder.

The signing of Brown signals that the Thunder won’t bring center Yannis Morin to camp at this point. Multiple outlets reported in July that Morin had reached an agreement with OKC, but the French big man isn’t listed on the team’s training camp roster.

Markel Brown To Play In Russia

After being waived by the Cavaliers last week, Markel Brown has lined up another job. Brown will head overseas, having agreed to a deal with Russian team Khimki Moscow, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link).

Brown, 24, spent the last two seasons in Brooklyn, averaging 5.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in his 109 total contests with the club. He played sparingly during the 2015/16 season until Lionel Hollins was dismissed as the Nets’ head coach — he saw his minutes – and his production – increase down the stretch. In his final 30 games of the season, Brown averaged 9.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, and shot .438/.358/.758, a significant improvement on his career marks.

Despite his solid performance last spring, Brown ultimately wasn’t in the Nets’ plans. After initially tendering him a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent, Brooklyn rescinded that QO near the end of the July moratorium. The OSU alum signed a camp deal with the Cavs, but didn’t receive any guaranteed money from the team and was one of Cleveland’s cuts leading up to the season.

Cavs Waive Markel Brown, Cory Jefferson, Jonathan Holmes

The Cavaliers have cut down the numbers of players on their roster from 20 to 17, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived shooting guard Markel Brown, power forward Cory Jefferson, and power forward Jonathan Holmes. The Cavs confirmed the moves in a press release.

Brown, Jefferson, and Holmes each signed a one-year summer contract with the Cavaliers heading into training camp this year, with none of the three players receiving any guaranteed money from the team. Cleveland only has 13 guaranteed salaries on its books for 2016/17, so there’s a roster spot or two available for a player without a fully guaranteed deal, but it was always going to be an uphill battle for Brown, Jefferson, or Holmes to make the cut.

While Holmes has never appeared in a regular season NBA game, Brown and Jefferson have seen some action over the last two seasons, and were teammates in Brooklyn in 2014/15. Brown is the slightly more accomplished player of the pair, having appeared in 109 games to Jefferson’s 58. Brown averaged 5.9 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.5 APG in those games.

With at least two more cuts to make, the Cavs will be making decisions on players like John Holland, Jordan McRae, Dahntay Jones, and DeAndre Liggins within the next few days.

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Within an interesting piece on Kevin Love, Lee Jenkins of SI.com writes that Cavs GM David Griffin told Love in February that he didn’t want to trade him, but would understand if the big man wanted to go somewhere where he could be the primary option again. According to Jenkins, Love replied, “I want to be a champion.”
  • James Jones, who re-signed with the Cavaliers this summer, tells Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders he’s focused on playing 15 years in the NBA, then retiring. Jones is currently entering his 14th season, so that plan would put him on track to call it a career in 2018.