Mychal Mulder

Magic Sign Admiral Schofield To Two-Way Deal, Waive Mychal Mulder

The Magic announced in a press release (via Twitter) that they’ve signed forward Admiral Schofield to a two-way contract, and in order to do so they’ve waived guard Mychal Mulder.

Schofield recently completed two 10-day contracts with Orlando via hardship exceptions, and the team decided to keep him around. In nine games with the Magic this season, he is averaging 4.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 16.9 MPG.

The Magic previously signed Schofield to an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, but he was waived ahead of the regular season. He’d been playing with Orlando’s G League affiliate in Lakeland prior to the call-up, averaging 14.4 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 12 games (33.0 MPG).

The combo forward out of Tennessee was originally drafted with the No. 42 pick in 2019 by the Sixers, before being sent to the Wizards in a draft-night trade. Across 33 NBA appearances during his 2019/20 rookie season with Washington, the 24-year-old Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 11.2 MPG.

Mulder spent three seasons in the G League after going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017. He signed a 10-day contract with Golden State in February of 2020 and played well enough to earn a multi-year deal. The 27-year-old played 60 games for Golden State last season, averaging 5.6 PPG and 1.0 RPG with a .397 3PT% in 12.8 MPG. He remained with the Warriors through the preseason, but was waived in the team’s final round of cuts.

Mulder inked a two-way deal with Orlando on October 26, but he struggled to make an impact during his stint with the Magic this season, averaging 3.7 PPG and 1.4 RPG on .299/.283/1.000 shooting in 15 games (13 MPG).

COVID-19 Updates: Magic, Trail Blazers, Rockets, Pacers

Here are the latest updates on players and coaches entering and exiting the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols:

  • Four Magic players have cleared the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will suit up for Orlando against the Celtics. The team has announced (Twitter link) that center Mohamed Bamba, shooting guard Mychal Mulder, swingman Terrence Ross and point guard Hassani Gravett are all now available.
  • Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups, who has been unavailable since December 27, has exited the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Portland lead assistant Scott Brooks, who had been serving in Billups’s stead as acting head coach, has entered COVID-19 protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hardship signee Cameron McGriff has entered the protocols, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). Combo guard Anfernee Simons has left protocols after just three days, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The 13-22 Trail Blazers could certainly use all the help they can get, and the return of the 6’3″ guard will help shore up a team still missing seven players to health and safety protocols, with McGriff now replacing Simons in coronavirus protocols.
  • Rockets wing Garrison Mathews has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Houston rewarded Mathews for a solid performance early in the 2021/22 season by converting his two-way contract into a fresh four-year, $8MM deal last month.
  • Pacers small forwards Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren, plus center Goga Bitadze, have entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Warren has been dealing with a major foot injury since the start of 2020/21, and has only played in four games over the past two seasons. Today’s news brings Indiana’s total count for players in protocols to eight.
  • After exiting the protocols on Friday, Pistons guard Cory Joseph has re-entered them, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Two Hawks Players, Magic’s Mulder Enter Protocols

Two more Hawks players have entered the health and safety protocols, according to the team (via Twitter). Veteran guard Lou Williams and wing Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot have been ruled out of Wednesday’s game vs. Orlando after being placed in the protocols.

Williams and Luwawu-Cabarrot join Trae Young, Clint Capela, and Danilo Gallinari in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols. If those players have tested positive, they’ll be out for 10 days or until they can return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

The Hawks have taken steps to add replacement players and aren’t currently at risk of falling short of the required minimum of eight players. The team signed Lance Stephenson and Malcolm Hill on Wednesday and is expected to finalize a deal with Wesley Iwundu on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Magic two-way guard Mychal Mulder also entered the health and safety protocols today, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Like their Wednesday opponents, the Magic have been hit hard by COVID-19 but have added several replacements and will have enough bodies available to play tonight’s game in Atlanta.

Mulder is the sixth player to enter the protocols for Orlando, joining Mohamed Bamba, Ignas Brazdeikis, R.J. Hampton, Terrence Ross, and Moritz Wagner. The club is also missing several players due to long-term injuries.

Southeast Notes: Butler, Morris, Hachimura, Mulder

The Heat may have enough talent to challenge for an NBA title, but they’ll have to break their habit of letting big leads slip away, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Jimmy Butler addressed the topic Saturday night after Miami squandered a 16-point third quarter advantage while losing to the Wizards in a battle of two of the East’s top teams.

Most troubling for an organization built around its defensive mentality is that the Heat couldn’t stop the Wizards in the fourth quarter. Miami allowed Washington to shoot 73.3% in the final 12 minutes, including 5 of 9 from three-point range.

“I just think everybody’s got to grow up a little bit and realize, if we want to be a really good team, we’ve got to win these games, we’ve got to hold on to these leads, we’ve got to keep playing basketball the right way, keep getting stops, even when we’re not making shots,” Butler said. “Because that’s what’s going to win us a championship, on the defensive end. And if we’re making shots, great. Maybe we’ll win by a little bit more. But it we’re stopping other teams from scoring, that’s what champions are borne of.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra provided an update on Markieff Morris, who is still recovering from whiplash after being hit from behind by Nikola Jokic, Winderman adds in a separate story. Morris didn’t accompany the team on its current four-game road trip, which means he will miss at least 10 games. “It was a very dangerous play and it’s really unfortunate,” Spoelstra said. “That’s the byproduct of those kind of dangerous actions. But he is feeling better. We’ll just continue to take it one day at a time.”
  • Rui Hachimura attended the Wizards‘ shootaround Saturday and is getting closer to making his season debut, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “The fact that he was able to go through parts of shootaround today were terrific,” said coach Wes Unseld Jr. “I think it’s just another step in his ramp-up. We still don’t have a definitive timetable, but every day it seems like it’s more.”
  • Mychal Mulder, who signed a two-way contract with the Magic late last month, enjoys being with his new team, notes Matt Murschel of The Orlando Sentinel. The former Warriors guard turned in his best performance of the season Saturday night as Orlando’s reserves nearly erased a 28-point deficit in Milwaukee. “We’ve got good chemistry all around, up and down the roster,” Mulder said. “Guys love playing with each other here. We like one another. We’re a unit and we’re connected. That connectedness in our group is going to show up over time.”

Magic Sign Mychal Mulder To Two-Way Deal

Former Warriors guard Mychal Mulder has signed a two-way contract with the Magic, the team announced (via Twitter).

The 27-year-old played 60 games for Golden State last season, averaging 5.6 points and 1.0 rebounds with a .397 3PT% in 12.8 minutes per night. He remained with the Warriors through the preseason, but was waived in the team’s final round of cuts.

Mulder spent three seasons in the G League after going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017. He signed a 10-day contract with Golden State in February of 2020 and played well enough to earn a multiyear deal.

The signing gives the Magic a full roster, with 15 standard contracts and both two-way slots filled. They had been the only team in the league with a two-way opening, so all 60 spots are now occupied.

Warriors Waive Gary Payton II, Avery Bradley, Two Others

The Warriors made several roster cuts late on Friday night following their final preseason game, announcing in a press release that they’ve cut guards Gary Payton II, Avery Bradley, and Mychal Mulder, as well as big man Jordan Bell.

The four players had been vying for the 15th spot on Golden State’s regular season roster. Instead, it seems the team has decided to keep that spot open — at least for now.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains, if the Warriors had decided to carry a 15th man, it almost certainly would’ve been Payton. In fact, there’s a possibility the club could bring back the 28-year-old on a new deal if he clears waivers, according to Slater.

The language in Payton’s contract called for him to receive a $659K partial guarantee if he had made the opening-night roster. The Warriors, who are far over the luxury tax line, would face a tax penalty worth several million dollars if they were to commit to that partial guarantee, which they weren’t prepared to do.

According to Slater, if Golden State re-signs Payton, it would likely be to a non-guaranteed deal that doesn’t include any trigger dates, so the team would essentially be paying the guard by the day until the league-wide guarantee date in January.

Bradley, Mulder, and Bell, meanwhile, figure to be on the lookout for new jobs if and when they clear waivers on Monday. All three players have multiple years of NBA experience on their résumés and Bradley, in particular, will be among the more accomplished veterans hitting the market this week. However, many teams around the NBA don’t have the flexibility – or the desire – to make last-minute additions to their 15-man regular season rosters.

It’s worth noting that Golden State does still have an open two-way contract slot. However, of the four players released today, only Mulder qualifies to sign a two-way deal. Perhaps that’s a possibility if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

In addition to their four cuts, the Warriors also announced that they’ve signed free agent forward Axel Toupane. That move was almost certainly made for G League purposes — Toupane will likely be cut on Saturday.

Warriors Notes: Green, Centers, Front Office, Mulder

Draymond Green missed the Warriors‘ Media Day on Monday and the first two days of the club’s training camp for personal reasons, but he returned on Thursday from his excused absence, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

As Slater details in an Athletic story, it’ll be Kevon Looney who starts at center for the Warriors this season, but the expectation is that Green will play plenty of minutes at the five. Golden State didn’t prioritize adding more traditional big men this offseason and doesn’t play to use them regularly, according to Slater, who predicts we’ll see a ton of small lineups from the club in 2021/22.

“The league feels different to me than five, six years ago,” Kerr said. “There are more and more small lineups out there. Every team has more shooting, so you have to cover more ground, which is something Draymond is really good at. Then when we’re on offense, we want to have more shooting, so putting him at five, having him run pick-and-roll with Steph and shooters around them, that’s tough to guard.”

As Slater points out, the equation will change a little for the Warriors when James Wiseman gets healthy and is ready to return to the lineup, but the club is planning to be cautious and patient with the youngster’s recovery process. Wiseman could get some rehab work in at the G League level before he plays in the NBA and is unlikely to have a huge role when he returns to action, Slater adds.

Here’s more on the Dubs:

  • The Warriors announced a wide range of front office promotions and additions today, including naming Mike Dunleavy Jr. as their vice president, basketball operations and Zaza Pachulia as a liaison, basketball and business. The full list of updates to the basketball operations department can be found in the team’s press release.
  • Battling against several other players for the 15th spot on the Warriors’ roster, Mychal Mulder faces an uphill climb to make the team after appearing in 60 games for Golden State last season, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic believes Golden State is confident that Andrew Wiggins will ultimately get vaccinated, noting that the Warriors aren’t acting with the sort of urgency you’d expect if they were preparing to be without a starting forward for 41 games.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Armstrong, Paul, Anthony

A $659K contract guarantee kicks in Wednesday for Gary Payton II, which may affect the Warriors‘ decision to keep him on the roster, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. There’s an expectation that Golden State will release Payton with the hope of re-signing him if he clears waivers, Slater adds. That would give him a chance to win a roster spot in camp on a non-guaranteed deal.

Payton finished last season with the Warriors, appearing in 10 games after signing a pair of 10-day contracts in April. Slater points out that the team could use a defensive specialist like Payton to make up for the losses of Kelly Oubre and Kent Bazemore.

Golden State’s roster will be nearly set heading into camp, Slater notes. Thirteen players have guaranteed contracts and a large part of Damion Lee‘s deal will become guaranteed if he remains with the team through August 15, which is expected. Payton may wind up competing for the final roster spot with Mychal Mulder, whose contract is non-guaranteed. A source told Slater that the Warriors are “still monitoring” the free agent market in hopes of adding another veteran.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Former NBA center Hilton Armstrong has joined the Warriors‘ coaching staff, Slater adds. He will work in the video department and has been involved with the Summer League team in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
  • Suns guard Chris Paul should be healed in plenty of time for training camp after having surgery on his left wrist after the NBA Finals, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic“For Chris, it was something minor,” general manager James Jones said in an ESPN interview. “He’ll be ready in a couple of weeks to get back out on the court with these guys as we start to try to get back after this short offseason.”  
  • Carmelo Anthony is thrilled to finally team up with his long-time friend LeBron James on the Lakers, per Mark Medina of USA Today. They have both been in the league for 18 years, but are teammates for the first time after Anthony agreed to a one-year contract with L.A. “Most people would say you should’ve gotten together years ago or earlier in our careers. But we were in two different lanes,” Anthony said. “We were in two different paths. Everything comes full circle.”

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

14 NBA Players On Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Qualifying Roster

Team Canada has yet to secure a place in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the club should have a loaded roster as it looks to lock up a spot in a qualifying tournament next month.

Canada Basketball issued a press release today announcing its 21-player preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifier, and the group includes 14 players who finished the season on NBA contracts. Here’s the full list:

Of the seven players who didn’t play in the NBA this season, one (Bennett) is a former first overall pick, another (Nicholson) was also a first-round selection, and a third (Alexander) has NBA experience. Bell-Haynes has played in the G League, while Doornekamp, Ejim, and Nembhard all have extensive experience representing Canada in past international competitions.

Still, a few noteworthy names are missing from the list. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be able to participate. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also dealing with an injury, announcing on Instagram that rehabbing the plantar fasciitis in his right foot will prevent him from representing Team Canada.

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is a third notable omission. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Boucher is focused on rehabbing a knee sprain and wants to make sure he’s 100% healthy heading into 2021/22. He also has a somewhat uncertain contract situation — his $7MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, though I’d be shocked if he’s not retained.

Even without Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Boucher, Canada Basketball is in position to run out a roster stacked with NBA talent and led by former NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse.

While the final roster will depend in part on which players are available, none of the 21 players on the preliminary are on teams expected to still be alive for the conference finals. However, a club like Powell’s Mavericks or Barrett’s Knicks could surprise.

Team Canada will compete against Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic in a qualifying tournament in Victoria, British Columbia between June 29 and July 4. If the club wins that six-team qualifier, it will be part of the 12-team field in Tokyo and would be a legit contender for a medal.