Nigel Williams-Goss

Jazz Sign Nigel Williams-Goss

JULY 19: The Jazz have officially signed Williams-Goss, per NBA.com’s transactions log. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), the three-year deal is worth $4.8MM, with a fully guaranteed first season.

A minimum-salary contract for Williams-Goss would only be worth about $4.2MM, so it sounds as if Utah used its remaining cap room to give him a larger first-year salary.

JULY 13: The Jazz are signing Nigel Williams-Goss to a three-year contract, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic (hat tip to EuroHoops.net).

Utah selected the former Gonzaga star in the second round of the 2017 draft and retained his rights. He drew interest from two other teams who wanted to acquired him via trade, but the Jazz chose to retain him and add him to their roster (Twitter links here).

Williams-Goss played in Europe last season for Olympiacos in Greece. He averaged 11.3 PPG and 4.6 APG in 25.0 MPG in 23 games.

The 6’3” Williams-Goss, 24, spent the previous season with Serbian club Partizan.

He joins a crowded backcourt that includes point men Mike Conley, Dante Exum and Emmanuel Mudiay.

Nigel Williams-Goss To Sign With Olympiacos

The Jazz’ 2017 second-round draft pick, Nigel Williams-Goss, has agreed to terms on a new, three-year contract with EuroLeague club Olympiacos, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

We heard in May that the 23-year-old guard out of Gonzaga had drawn attention from a number of EuroLeague teams for next season, so the deal comes as no surprise, especially after Utah re-signed Raul Neto.

Williams-Goss, who played for the Jazz in last year’s summer league, spent last season with Serbian club Partizan.

Jazz Notes: Team Options, Coaching Staff, Williams-Goss

The Jazz will look internally to improve over the course of the upcoming offseason rather than chase major acquisitions via trade of free agency, general manager Dennis Lindsey said. Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News writes that there are plenty of players on board with room to grow.

Not only will Jazz fans wait with anticipation as Donovan Mitchell rounds out his game for his sophomore season but for returning veterans like Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio to raise theirs for 2018/19, too.

All told, even without making a major transaction splash, it’s conceivable that the vastly improved Jazz take another leap forward next season. Not bad considering that they won’t have the luxury of picking in the lottery this year given their success.

McDonalds writes that one area that the club should be particularly focused on improving is offensive production off the bench. Outside of oft-injured guard Dante Exum there aren’t many players on the current roster who pack a strong scoring punch off the bench.

There’s more out of Utah tonight:

  • When free agency resumes, the Jazz will have to make decisions on three veteran players. Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes that all of Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh and Jonas Jerebko have team options in their contracts for 2018/19 and will have to wait until July before they find out whether they’ll be back on board for next season.
  • Despite the loss of assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who will serve as the head coach of the Suns in 2018/19, the impression for now is that the Jazz will return the same coaching staff next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets.
  • Draft-and-stash prospect Nigel Williams-Goss, selected by the Jazz with the 55th pick in 2017, has drawn attention from a number of EuroLeague teams for next season, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes.

Jazz Draftee Nigel Williams-Goss To Play In Serbia

Jazz second-round pick Nigel Williams-Goss will begin his professional career overseas. Serbian team KK Partizan Belgrade announced in a press release that it has signed the rookie guard to a two-year contract (English link via Sportando).

With 15 players already on guaranteed contracts, the Jazz didn’t have room on their regular-season NBA roster for Williams-Goss, who was the 55th overall pick in this year’s draft. Many players drafted in that neighborhood have agreed to two-way contracts with their new NBA clubs, and Williams-Goss was said to be a candidate for a two-way opening in Utah. However, it appears either he or the Jazz decided to go in another direction.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

According to international basketball reporter David Pick (via Twitter), KK Partizan will pay Williams-Goss $130K, which is a significantly higher salary than he would have earned on a standard G League contract — if he had signed a two-way deal, the base value would have been $75K, though he could have exceeded that figure with NBA call-ups. Williams-Goss’ new contract in Serbia will include a $500K buyout for the 2018 offseason if the Jazz want to bring him stateside at that point, according to Pick.

Williams-Goss, who left Gonzaga after his junior year, was a key contributor for a squad that appeared in the Final Four for the first time this spring, falling to UNC in the championship game. The young point guard averaged 16.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, and 1.7 SPG in 2016/17 for the Zags.

Checking In On Unsigned 2017 Draft Picks

One month into the 2017/18 NBA league year, most of this year’s draftees know where they’ll be playing for the upcoming season. As our tracker for draft pick signings shows, we’re only waiting for resolution on a small group of players.

Twenty-nine of 30 first-round picks have signed their first NBA contracts, and the 30th – Sixers big man Anzejs Pasecniks – will remain overseas for at least one more year. Meanwhile, in the second round, about half of this year’s picks have signed NBA contracts, a handful of others have agreed to two-way deals, and some will continue to play international ball.

There’s no rush at this point for teams to finalize plans for the last few unsigned draft picks from this year’s class, but it’s still worth checking in to see where things stand for those players. Here are the 2017 draftees whose statuses for ’17/18 appear to be up in the air:

  • Ivan Rabb (Memphis Grizzlies, No. 35): The Grizzlies signed 45th overall pick Dillon Brooks, but have yet to lock up Rabb, who now finds himself in an interesting spot. Memphis already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts for 2017/18, and that total doesn’t even include RFA JaMychal Green, who seems likely to return. Even though there’s no current opening for Rabb, he was probably too high a draft pick to accept a two-way contract, so perhaps the Grizzlies ultimately intend to trade or waive a player (or two) to make room. Otherwise, it’s not clear what the plan is for Rabb.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein (Houston Rockets, No. 43): International basketball reporter David Pick provided an update on Hartenstein today, tweeting that Houston will likely have him start with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. So far, no player drafted earlier than No. 51 has signed a two-way contract, and typically only players selected at the very end of the draft accept straight G League contracts. If Hartenstein is willing to go to the G League, it would be a great value move for the Rockets.
  • Nigel Williams-Goss (Utah Jazz, No. 55): Two weeks ago, we heard that Williams-Goss was a candidate for Utah’s second two-way contract opening. The Jazz haven’t made a move to fill that slot since then, so I’d expect Williams-Goss remains the leading candidate.
  • Jabari Bird (Boston Celtics, No. 56): Like Williams-Goss in Utah, Bird appears to be the top candidate for the final two-way contract opening in Boston. Such a move would make a lot of sense. There isn’t enough room on the Celtics’ regular-season roster for Bird, and the four players selected with the picks from 51 through 54 in this year’s draft all got two-way deals — it’s logical that the 55th and 56th picks would too.

Jazz Notes: Roster, Williams-Goss, Expectations

The Jazz have been busy since Gordon Hayward opted to sign with the Celtics rather than returning to Utah, using their leftover cap room on a handful of smaller acquisitions rather than trying to land a single impact player. Last week, Utah agreed to sign Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh, and Jonas Jerebko, and now a reported agreement with Royce O’Neale has also been confirmed by Jazz beat writers.

After finalizing those deals, the Jazz will have 16 players under contract for the 2017/18 season, meaning the club would likely end up having to cut someone who is owed some guaranteed money to get the regular season roster down to 15. That has created some trade speculation in Utah, but according to Jody Genessy of The Deseret News (Twitter link), the club’s recent moves aren’t setting up a potential deal. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Jazz won’t make a trade at some point before the regular season begins, but for now, nothing is on tap.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • After reaching an agreement on a two-way contract with Eric Griffin, the Jazz are considering how to use their other two-way slot, and second-round pick Nigel Williams-Goss is a candidate, sources tell Genessy (Twitter link). It appears there will be no room on the 15-man roster for Williams-Goss, so a two-way contract would allow the team to keep a close eye on him while retaining his NBA rights.
  • Despite losing their top scorer in free agency, the post-Hayward Jazz believe they’re capable of surprising in 2017/18, as Genessy details in a piece for The Deseret News. “We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.”
  • Unsurprisingly, the Jazz never considered embarking on a rebuild after losing Hayward, GM Dennis Lindsey tells Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Draft Notes: Briscoe, Fox, Ferguson, Artis

Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe had to cancel his remaining workouts because of an ankle injury, according to Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports. The scheduled sessions were with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers. Briscoe had reportedly been impressive in workouts with the Knicks, Sixers and a few other teams. DraftExpress lists Briscoe 71st in its list of top 100 prospects.

There’s more draft-related news as the clock winds down toward Thursday:

  • De’Aaron Fox, Briscoe’s backcourt partner at Kentucky, is intrigued by the prospect of joining former Wildcats Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker in Phoenix, writes Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated. The Suns hold the No. 4 pick, but seem unlikely to take another guard unless they make a trade to clear out their already overcrowded backcourt. Fox, who is considered a top five pick, sees the Lakers at No. 2 as another possibility. “I’ve heard they’re trying to move D’Angelo [Russell] to the 2,” he says. “Even if he does play point, I feel like we could play together. A lot of teams play two point guards anyway.” Fox touches on several other subjects, including his rivalry with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, in a wide-ranging piece.
  • Regardless of the order, the first five picks in the draft appear to be set, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Turner talked to several league executives and found a consensus. After Washington’s Markelle Fultz is taken at No. 1, Ball, Fox, Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Duke’s Jayson Tatum will round out the top five. However, some believe Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac has a shot at being the fifth pick.
  • Terrance Ferguson, who is projected as the Nets‘ pick at No. 27 in the latest mock drafts from DraftExpress and Chad Ford of ESPN.com, will work out for Brooklyn today, according to NetsDaily.com (Twitter link).
  • Pitt’s Jamel Artis has scheduled workouts today with the Pistons and Monday with the Thunder, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Jazz held a workout Saturday that could be their last one before the draft, relays Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News. Baylor’s Johnathan Motley was the highest-ranked prospect on hand, joined by Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss, Houston’s Damyean Dotson, North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks, La Salle’s Jordan Price and Southeast Missouri State’s Antonius Cleveland. “It was great,” Motley said. “Played with a lot of energy, played good defensively and shot the ball well during the workout. I think I did pretty good.”

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Cotton, Auguste, Williams-Goss

The Hornets expect their lottery pick to jump right into the rotation, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. GM Rich Cho told Bonnell that the second unit needs more answers and the No. 11 overall pick should provide one of them. “One thing we feel like we were really lacking last year, where we took a step back, was the bench,” Cho said. “We need a backup point guard, we need another big, we could use another wing to do some more shooting.” A backup point behind Kemba Walker is a high priority and will be filled by the draft or free agency, Bonnell continues. The club holds a $6.27MM option on reserve guard Ramon Sessions but it’s uncertain whether they will exercise it, given that Sessions is coming off a subpar, injury-marred season, Bonnell continues. Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell would be a strong consideration if the Hornets decide to fill that need via the draft, Bonnell adds.

In other news around the Southeast Division:

  • Point guard Bryce Cotton will play on the Hawks’ summer-league team, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets. Cotton played for the Perth Wildcats in the Australian League last season. The 6’1” Cotton played a total of 23 games for the Jazz, Suns and Grizzlies during the previous two seasons.
  • Forwards Zach Auguste and Norvel Pelle will play on the Heat’s summer league team, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. The 6’10” Auguste played in the Turkish league last season after the Lakers cut him during training camp. The former Notre Dame forward also played on the Lakers’ summer league team. The 6’11’ Pelle played on the Heat’s summer league squad last season.
  • Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss could be a nice fit for the Wizards with their second-round pick, Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com opines. The Wizards, who hold the No. 52 overall selection, need another point guard behind John Wall and Williams-Goss could make an instant impact, according to Hughes.

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Central Notes: Pistons, Bucks, Wade, Pacers

A pair of Michigan prospects are among the players to work out for the Pistons this week, with both Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin getting a look from the club. Walton was part of a Tuesday workout group that also included Tony Bradley (UNC), Melo Trimble (Maryland), Davon Reed (Miami), Peter Jok (Iowa), and Luke Fischer (Marquette) (Twitter links via Rod Beard of The Detroit News and Keith Langlois of Pistons.com).

Meanwhile, Irvin’s pre-draft workout will take place today, as the Pistons audition a group that also features Tyler Lydon (Syracuse), Marcus Keene (Central Michigan), Bryce Alford (UCLA), Derek Willis (Kentucky), and T.J. Cline (Richmond), per Langlois (Twitter link).

As Detroit weighs its draft options, let’s round up a few more items from around the Central division…