NBA G League

Glen Davis Considers Playing In G League

Glen Davis may be headed to the G League as the next step in what he hopes will be an NBA comeback, relays Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

An eight-year veteran and a valuable reserve on the Celtics’ 2008 championship team, Davis hasn’t played in the NBA since the Clippers chose not to re-sign him after the 2014/15 season. At age 31, he still believes he has a place in the league.

“I want to play. That’s my next step,” Davis said. “Whatever I have to do to show I can play the game at a high level still and help a team win, I will do. I know it’s going to be a process because I haven’t played in two years. But I feel like I’m at the prime in my game and I still have a lot to offer. I am considering the G League. It’s a great opportunity to show all 30 teams that I can play without getting hurt. They can see what I can still do. This is the best opportunity to make my steps back to the NBA.”

Davis’ NBA resume includes 514 games with the Celtics, Magic and Clippers, averaging 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds over his career. He also has a long injury history that began in 2013 with Jones fracture surgery on his left foot. He had ligament surgery on his left ankle two years later, then broke the ankle in a 2015 playoff series.

Davis expected to recover within two to three months and said he was contacted by both the Clippers and Mavericks, but no offers materialized.

He claims to be “100 percent” recovered from the physical problems and can go through workouts without pain. Davis has dropped 20 pounds and lists his playing weight at 295. He also says he has improved his 3-point shot and is ready to be a stretch forward. He wants to prove he can contribute to an NBA team, even if he has to go to the G League first.

“I want to play. That’s my next step,” Davis said. “Whatever I go out there to do to show I can play the game at a high level still and help a team win, I will do. I know it’s going to be a process because I haven’t played in two years. But I feel like I’m at the prime in my game and I still have a lot to offer.”

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Gay, Clark, Harden

The Shreveport City Council voted on Tuesday against moving forward with the plan to invest $30MM into building an arena capable of housing a G League franchise for the Pelicans, according to William Guillory of The Times-Picayune. As we heard last month, Shreveport and Pensacola, Florida are considered the two finalists for the Pelicans’ G League affiliate.

A new facility in Shreveport would likely have made the Louisiana the strong favorite to become the home of the Pelicans’ G League squad, which is expected to begin play in 2018/19. However, even with the city reluctant to commit financially to the project, Shreveport remains in the conversation, per Pelicans VP of communications Greg Bensel.

“We are still moving in the process,” Bensel said, per Guillory. “Shreveport is part of our Saints and Pelicans family and we value that market and both teams will continue to promote our community outreach efforts throughout the area.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Less than eight months after tearing his Achilles, Rudy Gay has been cleared for all basketball activities and is ready to begin his first season with the Spurs, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. As McDonald notes, it remains to be seen how long it will take Gay to get back to full strength, but the veteran forward is optimistic. “I’m feeling great,” Gay told reporters on Wednesday. “I know a lot of people say that. I don’t think you’d expect me to say anything else. But I actually feel great.”
  • After winning a title with the Warriors last season, Ian Clark is looking forward to a new challenge – and a potentially larger role – with the Pelicans in 2017/18. Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com has the story on Clark, who explains why he decided to sign a one-year contract with New Orleans this summer.
  • While James Harden was happy to play some pickup ball with Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony this week, he was focused more on meshing with his new teammate CP3 than he was on the rumors that Anthony could become a member of the Rockets as well, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Sixers Name Elton Brand GM Of G League Team

The Sixers have formally named longtime NBA big man Elton Brand as the new general manager of their G League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. The move to hire Brand as the Delaware 87ers’ GM was reported earlier today by Shams Charania of The Vertical.

“We are thrilled that Elton has agreed to take on the GM position of the Sevens, a natural next step given both his personal and professional skillset,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. “The transition from a terrific playing career to team management was something that we have been talking about for some time and this opportunity is both timely and appropriate. I look forward to working side-by-side with Elton as we continue to grow and develop our overall basketball program.”

Brand, who announced his retirement as a player last fall, finished his career with the Sixers and then stepped into a front office role with the team during the 2016/17 season. The former No. 1 overall pick joined the 76ers as a player development consultant last December.

NBA teams have used G League affiliates for years to develop young players and coaches, and are increasingly taking advantage of those G League squads to mold young executives as well. While Brand enjoyed a successful 17-year run as an NBA player, he remains fairly inexperienced as an executive. However, if he does well with the Sevens, he could take on a larger role in the Sixers’ basketball operations department within the next few years.

Sixers Notes: Brand, Simmons, Summer Moves

The Sixers are expected to hire former player Elton Brand as the GM of their G-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Brand has served as a development consultant for the franchise, Charania adds. Brand would fill the vacancy left by the departure of Brandon Williams, who was hired by the Kings late last month as their assistant GM. Brand played for the Sixers from 2008-12, then rejoined them for the final 17 games of his career during the 2015/16 season.

In other news involving the club:

  • Ben Simmons says he’s “ready to go” for training camp after recovering from the foot injury that prevented him from playing last season, he told Roy Ward of The Age. Simmons said he’s eager to prove himself after his rookie season was delayed by the surgery. “A lot of people maybe doubt me now but I’m ready to come back stronger and get to work,” he vowed to Ward. Simmons has been medically cleared for all basketball activities. He ran a basketball camp in Melbourne, Australia last week but flew back to Philadelphia on Monday to prepare for training camp, Ward continues. The Sixers sent two coaches to Melbourne to work with Simmons, including a shooting coach, but the point forward isn’t concerned about his jumper. “My shot has always been fine,” he insisted to Ward.
  • The Sixers sent a message to their players and fans that they’re finally serious about winning when they traded up for the top pick in the draft, Shaun Powell of NBA.com notes in his offseason recap. The Sixers could have just taken the best available player at the No. 3 spot but GM Bryan Colangelo made a bold move by trading up for point guard Markelle Fultz, Powell continues. The Sixers now have solid building blocks with Joel Embiid, Simmons, Fultz and Robert Covington but still have to figure out what to do with Jahlil Okafor, Powell adds.

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

Pelicans’ Search For G League Home Down To Two Cities

The Pelicans have narrowed their search for a new home for their future NBA G League affiliate to just two cities, according to Shreveport Mayor Ollie Taylor. Shreveport, Louisiana is one of those two cities, along with Pensacola, Florida, as Rod Walker of The Advocate details.

Back in April, we heard that the Pelicans were considering six cities as possible homes for a new G League affiliate, including Shreveport and Pensacola. The other four locales named at that time – which are apparently no longer candidates – were Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

According to Lex Talamo of The Shreveport Times, Tyler announced on Monday that she plans on moving forward with a $100MM “mixed-use” complex that would be built in the city of Shreveport. That facility, which would have a seating capacity of about 3,000 people, could potentially house a new Pelicans G League team.

Pensacola is a little closer to New Orleans than Shreveport is, but the difference – approximately 100 miles – likely wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for the Pelicans as they make a decision on where their G League team will play. New Orleans has yet to confirm the latest news on the search for a home for that G League affiliate, but has previously indicated that the G League club is expected to be ready to debut for the 2018/19 season.

The Wizards are also on track to have their own G League squad by the time the ’18/19 season begins, which would leave the Nuggets and Trail Blazers as the only two NBA teams without an affiliate of their own. Here’s the full list of affiliations for the 2017/18 season.

And Ones: G-League, Expansion Draft, 2018 Rookies

The NBA Draft class of 2017 is preparing for the start of camp and shortly thereafter, the regular season, where the league’s top youngsters will look to prove their worth against basketball’s elite. But it’s never too early to look into the future and Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer provides us with an in-depth look at five standouts who could make up a superstar-laden draft class in 2018.

Michael Porter Jr., who is rated by most outlets as the top player heading into next season, is committed to the University of Missouri. O’Connor likes Porter’s size (6’11”), scoring ability, and ability to improve as a passer. O’Connor is particularly intrigued by Marvin Bagley III, who possess raw size and skill that can be shaped into some special. While he has had flashes of immaturity — something that’s expected with teenagers — the Ringer scribe says that Bagley “embodies qualities found in evolutionary big men with excellent athleticism, speed, and flashes of ballhandling and shooting.”

The other three players O’Connor highlights are DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, and Luka Doncic. Size is a recurring theme in O’Connor’s piece and he consistently notes that while next year’s draft does not figure to be as deep as this year’s class in terms of talent, the impact of the top picks makes for an interesting draft.

Read about other news around the basketball world below:

  • Starting next week, the NBA will head to Israel as part of an effort to expand the presence of international talent in the league. Commissioner Adam Silver will be on hand as part of the Basketball Without Borders program that hosts training camps for top teenage players. Israeli-born Omri Casspi will also be in attendance with NBA legend David Robinson doing some coaching.
  • The NBA G League Player Invitational will take place today and here is the roster of players currently set to play as they hope to impress scouts and officials enough to gain entry into the G League draft come October.
  • With four new teams added to the G League, 2Wins10Days breaks down the expansion draft and how each team is selected and who will/will not be eligible.

 

Warriors Notes: Durant, George, G League

After taking a pay cut this year to help the Warriors keep their roster intact, Kevin Durant cited Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki as other players who have been willing to accept less over the years in order to help their respective clubs build winning squads. Speaking to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Durant suggested that outside observers wanted the rising cost of the Warriors’ roster to break up the team, and he wanted to do his part to make sure that didn’t happen.

“They were all underpaid and I knew at some point they’d want to get what they deserve,” Durant said of teammates Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, and Shaun Livingston. “So I just took a step back and let the chips fall where they may. Then I took it in my hands. I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back. And on top of that, it’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.”

Slater’s Q&A with Durant, which is worth checking out in full, also included a discussion of some revamped Western Conference contenders, the recruitment of Nick Young, and an offseason trip to India.

Here’s more out of Golden State:

  • After suggesting recently on Tim Bontemps’ podcast that he expects the Warriors to pursue Paul George in free agency next summer, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic does a little damage control, writing that he has no inside information on Golden State’s interest in George. As Kawakami explains, the Warriors are simply the type of franchise that will go after virtually any top free agent that fits their style of play, and George’s two-way skill-set and expiring contract fit that bill for 2018. The odds of the Dubs actually landing George are probably slim, Kawkami notes.
  • The Santa Cruz Warriors – Golden State’s G League affiliate – have named former University of Kansas standout Aaron Miles as their new head coach, the club announced in a press release. “Aaron has stood out as a leader at every stop in his playing career and as a collegiate assistant coach,” GM Kent Lacob said in a statement. “We are confident that he will be a tremendous fit for our team and our organization as we look toward the 2017/18 season and beyond.”
  • For more news, notes, and rumors on the Warriors, be sure to check out their team page.

Eastern Notes: Stone, Oubre, Celtics, Bucks

Julyan Stone‘s agent is hopeful of freeing his client from a European contract so that the point guard can sign with the Hornets, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Charlotte has offered Stone a two-year deal to be its third point guard behind Kemba Walker and Michael Carter-Williams but he first must be released from the contract he signed with Reyer Venezia in the Italian pro league. Stone’s agent, Giovanni Funiciello, told Bonnell that he’s hopeful a compromise can be worked out this week so that Stone can remain in the U.S. and be close to his ailing father.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis hopes that small forward Kelly Oubre develops to the point where he has to pay the 2015 first-round pick “a lot of money,” Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. Leonsis indicated that Oubre was slowed by a knee injury last season and that coach Scott Brooks believes Oubre “can be a difference maker.” The Wizards are expected to pick up Oubre’s fourth-year option for 2018/19 prior to the start of the upcoming season, setting up Oubre for a potential big payday in the summer of 2019.
  • All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas is very pleased with the Celtics’ offseason, highlighted by the free agent signing of forward Gordon Hayward, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com tweets“We added Gordon Hayward, which is an All-Star-caliber player that’s going to help us get to the next level — and that’s the championship,” Thomas told Forsberg.
  • Jordan Brady has been named the first head coach of the Bucks’ G League team, the Wisconsin Herd, the Herd announced in a press release. Brady, 34, served as an assistant coach last season for the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s affiliate. He has also been an assistant coach with three other G League organizations.

And-Ones: Africa, Coach/Executives, Scott, G League

Improved coaching is the next step for Africa to produce more NBA players, writes Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The league held its annual Africa Game on Saturday, which brought several NBA coaches to the continent for a week of teaching. Powell notes that most of the players who represented Team Africa in the contest learned their skills while growing up in other places.

“The coaches here are getting involved in coaching clinics, teaching techniques and fundamentals like never before,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, who was part of the event. “Some of the high school coaches are very interested in learning more and understanding how to teach. I think it’s all progressing. The league saw the issue at hand and addressed it and I’ll be shocked if this is not the place where the next wave of NBA players come from.”

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver has privately voiced his concerns to some owners and team officials over the idea of coaches serving as executives, relays Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN. The Clippers became the latest team to abandon that approach on Friday when they made Doc Rivers a full-time coach and promoted Lawrence Frank to president of basketball operations. Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau are the only remaining coaches who serve both roles.
  • Byron Scott tells TMZ that he’s through with coaching and has no desire to return to the NBA. Scott, 56, was fired by the Lakers at the end of the 2015/16 season after two years with the team. He compiled a 38–126 record for a .232 winning percentage that is the worst of any coach in franchise history. He also frequently clashed with the team’s younger players. Scott served as head coach of the Nets, Hornets and Cavaliers before coming to L.A.
  • The G League is hoping to eliminate a buyout loophole by requiring anyone who gets waived to remain in the player pool for 14 days before being released from their contract, writes Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. In the past, overseas teams have been able to avoid $40K or $50K buyouts as teams would release players as a gesture of goodwill when they received offers. Johnson says the new rule amounts to a no-compete clause, which is illegal in some states.
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