Mychel Thompson

And-Ones: Fizdale, Jefferson, Thompson

New Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale has drawn rave reviews from a number of his former players, including Mike Miller, who says Memphis hit the jackpot by hiring the former Heat assistant this offseason, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relays. “He’ll do a great job because he can communicate,” Miller said. “At this level it’s becoming that, it’s communicating with your players and obviously being organized. He’s going to take that same culture that was in Miami. He’s from the Pat Riley [coaching] tree, you know he’s going to be organized and prepared. For him, the biggest challenge will be coaching the personnel and not the system. That’s going to be his challenge, but I think he’ll do a phenomenal job.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Cory Jefferson, who was in training camp with the Cavaliers this year, has signed a contract to join the D-League, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest reports (via Twitter). Jefferson’s rights are currently held by the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s affiliate, Johnson adds.
  • Also signing a D-League contract is Mychel Thompson, whose rights are held by the Santa Cruz Warriors, Johnson relays (via Twitter). Thompson has played parts of the last three seasons with the Warriors’ affiliate. He also appeared in 14 games with Pallacanestro Varese of Italy last season before rejoining Santa Cruz.
  • Former Relativity Sports executives Happy Walters and Josh Swartz are launching a new venture, Catalyst Sports & Media, an agency that will focus on representing athletes who play basketball, soccer and esports, Ian Thomas and Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal report.

Kings Notes: Arena, Thompson, Lawson

In other developments concerning the Kings:
  • The club will work out swingman Mychel Thompson, brother of Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, international journalist David Pick tweets. Mychel Thompson has played parts of the last three seasons with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors. He also appeared in 14 games with Pallacanestro Varese of Italy last season before rejoining Santa Cruz.
  • Point guard Ty Lawson made a foolhardy decision last summer when he consented to give up $13.2MM in salary non-guaranteed to facilitate a trade from the Nuggets to the Rockets, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (Twitter links). Lawson was subsequently waived and wound up with the Pacers, where he played 13 games. He couldn’t find a team before he signed a $1.3MM summer contract with the Kings on Wednesday that offers him no salary protection, even if he’s injured.

Grant Jerrett Tops Field Of D-League Draftees

The Thunder’s D-League affiliate used the No. 1 overall pick in tonight’s D-League draft on Grant Jerrett, allowing the Thunder to closely monitor a player whose NBA rights also belong to them. Oklahoma City traded for Jerrett shortly after the Blazers took him 40th overall in June’s NBA draft. A report in September indicated Jerrett had signed with the Thunder-owned Tulsa 66ers, but as I pointed out at the time, he’d have to enter the D-League draft rather than sign with Tulsa outright. The 66ers pulled off a trade yesterday to acquire the No. 1 pick in the D-League draft, positioning themselves to secure Jerrett’s D-League rights.

The Pelicans didn’t do the same with the second-rounder they picked up in the Jrue Holiday/Nerlens Noel trade. Pierre Jackson, the 42nd overall pick in the NBA draft, went fourth overall in the D-League draft to the Idaho Stampede, the affiliate of the Blazers.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the one-to-one affiliate of the Rockets, took four-year NBA vet James Johnson second overall tonight, while Quincy Douby, who has three years of NBA experience, went at No. 3 to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the affiliate of the Heat. The Texas Legends, who are affiliated with the Mavs, rounded out the top five with their selection of C.J. Aiken, who was in an NBA camp with the Kings last month after leaving St. Joseph’s in the spring.

Ricky Davis was perhaps the most well-known figure selected, as the Erie BayHawks, the affiliate of the Knicks, drafted him in the sixth round, signaling that the Knicks liked what they saw when the 34-year-old worked out for them in September. Other notable picks include former Magic and Thunder swingman DeAndre Liggins, who went to the Skyforce at seventh overall. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the brother of Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo, went at No. 9 to the Delaware 87ers. Check out the entire list of draftees right here.

Some D-League clubs were involved in draft day trades. The Santa Cruz Warriors came into the draft already stocked with Stephen Curry‘s brother Seth Curry, whose D-League rights Golden State had protected after cutting him at the end of camp. Santa Cruz swapped a second-round pick for Mychel Thompson, brother of Golden State sharpshooter Klay Thompson, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes, giving the Warriors’ affiliate their own version of the big club’s “Splash Brothers” duo.

Players with prior D-League experience who were cut from NBA camps can re-enter the D-League and go back to their old teams without entering the draft. That’s what James Nunnally, fresh off a camp appearance with the Suns, has decided to do, as he’ll return to the Bakersfield Jam, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. The Suns are one of five NBA teams affiliated with the Jam, as our list of NBA/D-League affiliations shows.

Knicks Waive Bellfield, Shurna, Thompson, Sims

The Knicks waived four players to get down to the 15-man roster limit today, cutting ties with Oscar Bellfield, John Shurna, Mychel Thompson and Henry Sims, as Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports (Twitter link). Shurna and Sims had partial guaranteed of $50K, while Bellfield's and Thompson's contracts were non-guaranteed. The moves likely mean Chris Copeland, who has a non-guaranteed deal, will be on the Knicks opening-night roster.

Knicks Sign Sims, Bellfield, Thompson

The Knicks have officially signed four players to contracts that include training camp invites, according to a team press release. We heard yesterday about the team's deal with John Shurna, but the other three names are new — the Knicks have added center Henry Sims, guard Oscar Bellfield, and forward Mychel Thompson.

Sims, a seven-footer out of Georgetown, was ranked as the seventh-best center in this year's draft by ESPN.com's Chad Ford after averaging 11.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in his senior year, but went undrafted. Bellfield, a senior out of UNLV, also went undrafted in 2012.

Thompson, meanwhile, is the only player of the four with any NBA experience, after a brief stint with the Cavaliers in 2011/12. Klay Thompson's older brother appeared in five games for Cleveland last season, starting three. He's a year removed from going undrafted out of Pepperdine, where he averaged 14.6 PPG in his senior year (2010/11).

According to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter), all four players worked out for the Knicks in the spring, and will be fighting to earn one of the team's final roster spots. The Knicks now have 19 players under contract heading into camp, including up to seven believed to be on non-guaranteed deals. For the players that don't earn an NBA roster spot, a place on the Erie BayHawks, New York's D-League affiliate, could be in the cards.

Cavaliers Waive Mychel Thompson

The Cavaliers have officially waived Mychel Thompson, according to the team. Tom Reid and Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported (via Twitter) that the Cavs intended to waive the 23-year-old.

Thompson signed with the Cavs as an undrafted rookie out of Pepperdine, and worked his way into the starting lineup in the last week. He struggled in his three starts, making just five of 21 shots from the field (23.8%) and averaging 4.7 points in just under 27 minutes per game.

Thompson's contract would have become guaranteed for the rest of the season on Friday had he remained on the roster, so the move gives the Cavs some extra flexibility. Their roster now stands at 14.