Ochai Agbaji

Jazz Notes: Vanderbilt, Beasley, Conley, Trade Talks

The Jazz are facing a “robust” trade market with plenty of interest in Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mike Conley, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Sources tell Jones that Utah has been involved in trade calls with every team and has received multiple offers for more than one of its players. He cites “general interest” in Jordan Clarkson as well, although some clubs don’t want to commit to an impending free agent, and states that teams have also called about Kelly Olynyk.

The front office started reviewing all the offers over the weekend, according to Jones’ sources, and will decide soon if any are worth pursuing. He hears that the Jazz won’t approach the trade deadline as a fire sale and will only move forward with deals if they are in the best interest of the team’s future.

Jones was informed that a Western Conference team has offered multiple second-round picks in exchange for Vanderbilt. He’s not sure if Utah will accept that or hold out in hopes of landing a first-rounder as Thursday’s deadline draws closer.

Jones views Vanderbilt as the player most likely to be moved this week. He has been a starter for much of the season, but the emergence of rookie center Walker Kessler has limited the need to keep Vanderbilt on the roster. Utah has received multiple offers for Vanderbilt and must decide whether his age and favorable contract make him more valuable as a keeper or a trade asset.

Jones offers more insight from Utah:

  • A Western Conference team offered the Jazz a “significant expiring contract” in exchange for Conley earlier this season, but they turned down the deal. Jones hears that Conley, who is under contract for one more season with a partial guarantee, is happy to remain in Utah and serve as a veteran leader and will only be sent to a contender if he is traded.
  • The Jazz have talked to the Lakers about taking on Russell Westbrook‘s contract, but nothing appeared substantial Sunday night, according to Jones. L.A. has been reluctant to part with its first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to get rid of Westbrook’s expiring $47.1MM deal.
  • Utah has also discussed deals involving John Collins, but multiple league sources tell Jones that the Hawks won’t part with him unless they’re confident that the return would significantly boost their playoff chances.
  • The Jazz also asked the Mavericks about Dorian Finney-Smith before Dallas included him in the deal with Brooklyn for Kyrie Irving.
  • Inquiring teams have been told that Lauri Markkanen, Kessler and fellow rookie Ochai Agbaji aren’t being made available, Jones confirms.

Stein’s Latest: Drummond, Agbaji, Magic, Ross, Wizards

Bulls center Andre Drummond is a good candidate to be on the move prior to the February 9 trade deadline, according to Marc Stein, who notes in his latest Substack story that the veteran big man hasn’t been a regular part of Chicago’s rotation as of late.

Drummond wasn’t playing big minutes early in the season either, but has seen his playing time decline further since then, having received a handful of DNP-CDs in January. He has played more than nine minutes in only two games since the calendar flipped to 2023. For the season, the 29-year-old averaging 6.1 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 13.0 minutes per game in 36 appearances — all of those numbers are career lows.

Drummond isn’t on a minimum-salary contract, but his modest $3.2MM cap hit makes him an attainable trade chip for just about any NBA team. He does have a $3.36MM player option for 2023/24, so a club acquiring him would have to be comfortable with the possibility that he’ll exercise that option.

Here’s more for Stein:

  • After having previously reported that the Jazz are willing to listen to inquires about anyone on their roster except for Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, Stein adds a third name to that list, citing a source who says rookie wing Ochai Agbaji also appears to be off-limits.
  • The Magic are “welcoming” inquiries on Terrence Ross, Gary Harris, Mohamed Bamba, and R.J. Hampton, league sources tell Stein. Rival teams are keeping an eye on Ross as a possible buyout candidate if he’s not moved by February 9, Stein adds. Orlando hasn’t made a habit in recent years of buying out veterans in contract years, but it’s possible that Ross – who suggested last spring that he’d welcome a trade – could push for a change of scenery.
  • Having previously reported that the Suns turned down a trade involving Jae Crowder and Rui Hachimura, Stein corrects the record, writing that the obstacle in those discussions was actually the Wizards’ desire to flip Crowder to the Bucks — the three teams discussed a deal, but couldn’t work out an agreement that appealed to Washington more than the Lakers’ offer.

Jazz Notes: Olynyk, Trade Talks, Sexton, Agbaji

Jazz center Kelly Olynyk, who has missed the team’s last six games due to a left ankle sprain, was a partial participant in practice on Thursday after beginning on-court work on Wednesday, tweets Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. Olynyk still has a little ways to go before he’s cleared to return to action though — Larsen said on Friday night that the big man isn’t expected to play for the next week.

Here’s more out of Utah:

  • Although the Hawks turned down a Jazz trade proposal that would have sent Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to Atlanta for John Collins and a first-round pick, the expectation is that those two teams will resume their conversations closer to the trade deadline, sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Utah is expected to engage in plenty of trade discussions with teams around the league and will consider any deal that would be good for the franchise, whether that means buying or selling, Jones adds.
  • In case you missed it, Marc Stein reported earlier today that the Jazz will likely be open to listening to inquiries on anyone except Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler. In her own trade deadline primer, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News expresses a belief that Collin Sexton belongs with Markkanen and Kessler in that group of players who are highly unlikely to be dealt this season.
  • In a separate story for The Deseret News, Todd explores the developmental process that the Jazz rookies have been going through in their first NBA season, noting that No. 14 overall pick Ochai Agbaji has been earning more playing time as of late. Agbaji has put up more than four points just once in his last five outings, but the Jazz have outscored opponents by 41 points in his 111 minutes during that stretch.

Northwest Notes: Porter Jr., Payton II, Simons, Agbaji

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. participated in practice on a limited basis Monday for the first time since he suffered a heel injury, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets. Porter is unlikely to play Wednesday against the Wizards but the team is hopeful he can keep progressing at practice this week, including contact and live drills. He hasn’t played since Nov. 22.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Guard Gary Payton II is targeting his season debut in the next week or two, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Payton signed a three-year, $26MM contract with the Trail Blazers as an unrestricted free agent in July, then had core muscle surgery during the offseason. Payton was a key rotation player on the Warriors’ championship team and the Blazers view him as a valuable reserve.
  • Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups has invested more time with Anfernee Simons than anyone else on the roster and it’s paying off, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Simons, who signed a four-year, $100MM extension during the summer, is averaging 24.2 points and is shooting 39.2% from 3-point range. “He’s still like PlayDoh; we are still shaping him,” Billups said. “He’s still scratching the surface, in my opinion.”
  • It’s been a rough rookie campaign for the Jazz’s Ochai Agbaji thus far, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News notes. The No. 14 overall pick has only appeared in 11 games, averaging 9.5 MPG, and has also struggled at the G League level. The Jazz are still sold on the former Kansas standout’s raw talent and athleticism.

Northwest Notes: Sharpe, Hart, Agbaji, Bolmaro, Towns

With Damian Lillard sidelined due to a calf strain, rookie guard Shaedon Sharpe earned his first career NBA start on Friday and didn’t disappoint, scoring 14 points in the Trail Blazers‘ victory over Houston. Given that Sharpe didn’t play at all at Kentucky and just turned 19 this spring, there was a sense that he may not see much action right away, but head coach Chauncey Billups hasn’t hesitated to throw the youngster into the deep end.

“I look at it as, man, we lost a lot of basketball games to get Shaedon Sharpe; let’s play this kid,” Billups said, per Jason Quick of The Athletic. “Let me see what he’s got.”

While Sharpe wasn’t the reason Portland won on Friday, he was the Blazers’ most electrifying player, throwing down three big dunks over the course of the night and earning praise from coaches and teammates alike, with Billups calling him “must-see TV.” Veteran Blazers center Drew Eubanks is among those already excited about Sharpe’s long-term potential.

“I heard Dame say it earlier this year, he was saying like, Shaedon is the type of talent that could take us over the edge of being a fringe playoff team into a full-blown playoff team fighting for a championship,” Eubanks said. “When he said that, I was like, ‘Damn, I’m gonna kind of take that with a grain of salt.’ Because I hadn’t seen Shaedon play … but after watching him play these first six games, and in preseason, I’m like, he’s super talented. He has the world at his fingertips. I believe what Dame said now, for sure.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart has entered the NBA’s concussion protocol, tweets Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Hart suffered the injury on Friday when he hit his head on the floor after a drive to the basket.
  • Ochai Agbaji and Leandro Bolmaro, two young players acquired in Utah’s blockbuster summer trades, got their first extended run with the Jazz on Friday night, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News details. Agabaji scored nine points in 19 minutes, while Bolmaro flashed promising play-making and defense and was a plus-16 in 15 minutes. The Jazz have until Monday’s deadline to exercise Bolmaro’s $2.59MM option for the 2023/24 season.
  • As the Timberwolves adjust to their new-look frontcourt that now features Karl-Anthony Towns at power forward instead of center, head coach Chris Finch continues to praise his All-Star big man for his willingness to accommodate Rudy Gobert, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “That guy is All-NBA. There’s no other All-NBA player who is being asked to play a completely different position,” Finch said. “One that he’s willing to do and has approached it with an open mind-set, and he’s actually embraced it.”

Western Notes: Nowell, KAT, Dinwiddie, Jazz

Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell is hoping to take advantage of a more consistent role in 2022/23 after the Rudy Gobert trade created the potential for additional playing time off the bench, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

With the trade that happened, it definitely opened up a lot of opportunity for me,” Nowell said. “It’s my job to make sure I don’t take that for granted, I continue to get better as a player, and whenever I get on that court just be the best version of myself.”

Nowell, 23, averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG and 2.1 APG on .475/.394/.783 shooting in 62 games (15.7 MPG) in ’21/22. He’s entering the final season of his non-guaranteed contract, which will pay him $1,930,681. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023, but he says he’s not focused on that.

I definitely just try to keep that to the side,” Nowell said, per Hine. “Because I think if I’m focusing on that, I’m not doing my part as a teammate. So, you know, obviously it’s coming up. It’s just part of this business, but at the end of the day I’m focused on this year and how good we can be this year. I just want to be the best teammate and be the best player I can be so we can all succeed.”

Here are a few more notes from the Western Conference:

  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is hopeful Karl-Anthony Towns will be able to start “low-level” basketball activities early next week after missing training camp practices with a non-COVID illness, Hine relays in the same story. The three-time All-Star will slide down to power forward this season with Gobert’s addition, though he’ll almost certainly play some center when Gobert rests. Minnesota will feature one of the biggest starting lineups in the NBA in ’22/23.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie says he’s no longer worried about his ACL injury, which he suffered in late December 2020, per Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “It’s a normal offseason, full training mode, not worried about swelling or taking a break, or two days on and one day off,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s let’s get to it.” After starting seven of his 23 games with the Mavericks last season, the 29-year-old will replace Jalen Brunson as a full-time starter in ’22/23, Price notes. “I don’t really see myself filling Jalen’s role per se,” Dinwiddie said. “There were a lot of games (last season) I finished games, there were games I played without Luka (Doncic) and without JB, and where I started games as well. But in terms of the mentality, green means go. Go make plays and try to win the game.”
  • Fourth-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker and a trio of rookies — Ochai Agbaji, Walker Kessler and Simone Fontecchio — are impressing the Jazz during training camp, writes Sarah Todd of The Desert News. “Nickeil is a very, very skilled, diverse offensive player,” head coach Will Hardy said. “He has good size, is a very good passer, he can put the ball in the basket. When he’s open and he shoots, I think it’s going in. He’s just really shown a confidence throughout open gym and training camp that I think has been really, really great for our group. His presence when he has the ball, sort of settles everybody down and he has been awesome.”

Jazz Notes: Mitchell Trade, Knicks Talks, Conley, Bass

Within their Thursday press release officially confirming the trade that sent Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland, the Jazz‘s top decision-makers explained why they felt it was necessary to move the club’s leading scorer, a three-time All-Star who just turned 26.

“It was clear that in order to optimize our opportunity to create a team that could truly contend and establish sustained success, we needed to transition our roster,” Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said in a statement. “In trading Rudy (Gobert) and now Donovan, it was a rare opportunity to maximize our ability to get quality talent and picks to best position us moving forward. We have a plan in place to help us assemble the championship team our fans deserve. It will take time to craft our roster. We all understand the work ahead and are committed to our vision.”

General manager Justin Zanik, meanwhile, referred to Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji as three “exciting young players,” suggesting the front office views the trio as part of the Jazz’s long-term plan.

“We believe that they fit the Jazz culture and hard-nosed, competitive brand of basketball we’ve built here in Utah,” Zanik said. “They give us versatility and athleticism on both ends of the floor as we grow toward the future. We look forward to our fans getting to know them.”

Here’s more out of Utah:

  • Previous reports suggested there was some level of “animus” between the Jazz and Knicks, due in part to Knicks executives sitting courtside at Utah’s first playoff game vs. Dallas in the spring, as well as to New York’s decision to extend RJ Barrett while the two teams were negotiating his possible inclusion in a Mitchell trade. However, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast that any hard feelings between the Jazz and the Knicks weren’t the reason why Utah made a deal with Cleveland instead of New York.
  • “Emotions can play into this,” Lowe said, per RealGM. “I’ve been assured by the Utah side that ‘No, look, we’re mature people. Yes, we were upset with particularly the Mavs’ game incident, but we’re not going to make decisions based on those kind of things that now happened four months ago or whatever. We’ve made the best deal possible.'”
  • In a column for The Salt Lake Tribune, Robert Gehrke focuses on the off-court impact of the Mitchell trade, arguing that Utah has lost a “conscience of our community.”
  • Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com considers what Mike Conley can still bring to a contending team and explores which clubs might be realistic trade suitors for the veteran point guard. Meanwhile, Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune weighs where Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson could land if they’re traded.
  • The Salt Lake City Stars – Utah’s G League affiliate – acquired the returning rights to Paris Bass and Elijah Cain in a trade with the South Bay Lakers, per a press release. Bass is reportedly signing an Exhibit 10 deal with the Jazz, so the team clearly intends to have him play for the Stars — it remains to be seen whether Cain is also in SLC’s plans for 2022/23.

Jazz Trade Donovan Mitchell To Cavaliers

SEPTEMBER 8: The Jazz officially confirmed the trade of Mitchell in a press release. “Our entire organization wishes him every success in his future,” team owner Ryan Smith said in the release. “Once a Jazzman, always a Jazzman.”


SEPTEMBER 3: The Mitchell trade is now official, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“The acquisition of Donovan Mitchell presented us with an incredible opportunity to bring one of the NBA’s most dynamic young All-Stars to Cleveland,” general manager Koby Altman said in the press release announcing the move. “Already a special and proven talent at just 25 years old, Donovan brings a competitive mentality that organically fits with the core group of this team.”


SEPTEMBER 1: The Cavaliers have agreed to a trade with the Jazz and will acquire star guard Donovan Mitchell, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Cleveland is sending three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps to Utah as part of the deal. Lauri Markkanen, first-round pick Ochai Agbaji, and Collin Sexton are also headed to the Jazz in the blockbuster trade, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Sexton is a restricted free agent, so he’ll need to be signed-and-traded as part of the agreement. His new deal with the Jazz will be worth $72MM over four years and will be fully guaranteed, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

The three first-round picks going to Utah will be in 2025, 2027, and 2029, since Cleveland already owes its lottery-protected 2023 first-rounder to Indiana, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. The Jazz will have the ability to swap first-rounders with the Cavs in 2026 and 2028, tweets Wojnarowski.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 first identified the Cavaliers last week as a team with interest in Mitchell, and Ian Begley of SNY.tv subsequently reported that Cleveland had “touched base” with Utah about the three-time All-Star guard.

Still, today’s news comes as a major surprise. Begley reported last Friday that the Cavs were removing themselves from the Mitchell negotiations, while Brian Windhorst of ESPN said Cleveland had made it clear to the Jazz in their earlier discussions that Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen weren’t on the table. That seemingly made it difficult for the Cavs to meet Utah’s asking price.

However, the Cavs’ package will include most of the other noteworthy assets at their disposal, including all their tradable first-round picks, this year’s No. 14 overall selection (Agbaji), and Sexton, who is just one year removed from averaging 24.3 PPG and 4.4 APG on .475/.371/.815 shooting in 60 games (35.3 MPG).

As good as Sexton was in 2020/21, Mitchell represents an upgrade at the shooting guard position in Cleveland. In his last two seasons, he has averaged 26.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game in 120 appearances (33.6 MPG), with a shooting line of .444/.368/.849 shooting line. He’ll earn a $1.68MM trade bonus as part of the deal, Marks notes (via Twitter).

With a core of Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen, the Cavs will be led by a pair of star duos — an offensively-minded pairing in the backcourt and a rim-protecting duo in the frontcourt.

All of those cornerstone players will be under contract for at least the next three years. Garland signed a new five-year extension this offseason, Mobley’s rookie contract runs through 2025, Allen is in the second year of a five-year contract, and Mitchell is locked up through at least the 2024/25 season (he has a player option for ’25/26).

With their three-for-one trade, the Cavs no longer have to worry about a logjam on their 15-man roster and should, in fact, have one open spot to fill. Once the deal is official, they’ll have 12 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade on non-guaranteed deals. They’ll also create a $3.9MM trade exception in the swap and remain $2.47MM below the tax line, according to Marks (Twitter link).

The Knicks had long been viewed as the frontrunners for Mitchell, but they were never willing to offer more than two unprotected first-round picks (in addition to other protected first-rounders), per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Unprotected first-round picks and swaps had been the trade chips that Danny Ainge and the Jazz coveted most, as was the case when they acquired a similar return in exchange for Rudy Gobert earlier this summer.

The Knicks and Jazz reportedly reached an impasse earlier this week when the Knicks set an informal Monday night deadline to either agree to a Mitchell trade or extend RJ Barrett, who was being discussed as a possible centerpiece in several permutations of a Mitchell deal. New York ultimately decided to sign Barrett to an extension, which complicated salary matching in a potential trade due to the poison pill provision and brought those trade talks to a temporary halt.

While there was an expectation that the Knicks and Jazz would reengage in the coming weeks, their stalemate opened the door for Cavs general manager Koby Altman to circle back to Utah general manager Justin Zanik, according to Wojnarowski, who says (via Twitter) the two teams “reassembled” a deal they’d been discussing in previous weeks.

The Jazz are now in full rebuilding mode, having traded their two All-Stars in the two most significant deals of the NBA offseason. Taking into account the trades for Mitchell, Gobert, and Royce O’Neale, Utah has acquired eight future first-rounders this summer, and all but one of those picks is unprotected (the eighth is top-five protected). The Jazz also acquired three pick swaps and a pair of players who were drafted in the first round this June (Agbaji and Walker Kessler).

While the Jazz appear to be in teardown mode, their four-year investment in Sexton suggests he’s a major part of their long-term plans. Fischer had reported back in July that Utah was exploring a possible sign-and-trade for the 23-year-old, so he has been on the club’s radar for some time.

Sexton is coming off a lost season due to a torn meniscus, but should be fully healthy this fall and has shown in his first four NBA seasons that he’s capable of becoming one of the league’s highest-scoring guards. Utah also views Markkanen and Agbaji as keepers going forward, tweets Wojnarowski.

Once the trade is official, the Jazz will have 17 players on fully guaranteed contracts, so more roster moves – either cuts, trades, or both – will be coming before opening night. Veterans like Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Malik Beasley, and Jordan Clarkson could still be on the trade block.

While it shouldn’t have much of an impact on their roster moves, it’s also worth noting that the Jazz will face a hard cap of $156.98MM for the rest of the 2022/23 league year once they formally sign-and-trade for Sexton. For now, they’re $1.7MM below the tax line ($150.27MM), tweets Marks.

Western Notes: Gobert, Mitchell, Jazz, Westbrook, Vezenkov

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert had some differences with Donovan Mitchell over the years but he feels his former Jazz teammate will thrive with the Cavaliers, he told Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net.

“I think he has a bright future,” Gobert said. “He’s one of the best young players in his position. He’s going to keep getting better. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to just get to a new system, a new team and be able to show what he can do.”

Gobert also praised Utah executive Danny Ainge for the players and draft picks he collected from Cleveland in the trade: “I think he definitely did a great job in getting as many assets as possible.”

We have more Western Conference news:

  • Jazz fans will need to get acquainted with all the players the team has acquired in the Gobert, Mitchell and Patrick Beverley trades. Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune takes a quick look at each of the acquisitions, highlighted by Collin Sexton and lottery pick Ochai Agbaji.
  • Russell Westbrook is expected to show up if LeBron James hosts a players-only minicamp before Lakers training camp, as James has often done in the past, Marc Stein reports in Substack article. The mini-camp would help ease any lingering tensions among their veteran players. Citing well-placed sources, Stein adds that the franchise won’t sit out Westbrook if he remains on the roster, unlike what the Rockets did with John Wall last season. New coach Darvin Ham will carve out a role for Westbrook if he’s not dealt.
  • Kings draft-and-stash prospect Sasha Vezenkov said he’s not focused on a potential jump to the NBA for the 2023/24 season, according to Semih Tuna of EuroHoops.net. “It’s a big season, I have a big priority with my team Olympiacos in what will be a very difficult year,” he said. “My only thought is to stay focused and stay healthy, to give everything I can [to Olympiacos]. And then we will see. Next summer is ten months away.” Vezenkov, 27, was a 2017 second-round pick. The Bulgarian star is the leading scorer in the EuroBasket event.

Central Notes: Ivey, Pistons Roster, Agbaji, Bulls

After injuring his ankle against the Wizards last weekend in an eventual 105-99 win, Pistons lottery pick Jaden Ivey was held out for the rest of Detroit’s Summer League action. Head coach Dwane Casey clarified that Ivey’s absence was precautionary, per Mike Curtis of the Detroit News.

[Ivey’s] OK, just a good turned ankle and he bounced back like a trooper,” Casey said. “He wanted to play, but the medical staff held him out.”

The 20-year-old was selected by Detroit in this year’s draft with the fifth pick after a stellar showing at Purdue. During his second and final college season in 2021/22, Ivey averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 0.9 SPG. He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, and the All-American Second Team for his efforts.

Despite playing just five quarters of Summer League basketball, the 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.0 RPG in Las Vegas while shooting 50% from beyond the arc.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • With the Pistons’ five-game Summer League run in the rear view, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines the club’s personnel heading into training camp. Though the team currently has 15 guaranteed deals on its main roster and both two-way slots filled, Edwards notes that, with $8-10MM in unused cap space, Detroit’s front office could look to make further adjustments to the team. Edwards projects depth charts for the roster as currently comprised, noting that only point guard Cade Cunningham and power forward Saddiq Bey appear guaranteed to start on opening night.
  • Cavaliers rookie shooting guard Ochai Agbaji, selected with the No. 14 pick out of reigning NCAA champion Kansas this year, appears to be headed for a rotation role, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Agbaji could be used to bolster Cleveland’s long-range shooting as an off-ball option. “We know how great of a shooter he is and how good he is running off screens,” said Summer League head coach Mike Gerrity, who serves as a player development coach in the regular season under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “I imagine that is going to be a way that J.B. is going to utilize him come the regular season.”
  • Prior to an unfortunate (minor) right hamstring injury, Bulls rookie first-round pick Dalen Terry was rounding into form as a promising finisher and versatile defender who could contribute to Chicago’s rotation in the fall, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Johnson adds that second-year center Marko Simonovic had an uneven second Summer League and voices skepticism about Simonovic’s ability to crack Chicago’s center rotation behind starter Nikola Vucevic and new backup Andre Drummond. Johnson also floats Summer League Chicago reserve center Makur Maker as a potential fit for Chicago’s open two-way player slot next to undrafted rookie Justin Lewis.