Okaro White

And-Ones: COVID-19 Testing, Female Coaches, White, Hilliard, A-Rod

All of the players in the Finals have been tested daily for COVID-19 and none of them have returned a confirmed positive test since July 7, the NBA announced today (via Twitter). Outside of Chris Paul early in the postseason, no player has returned a positive test since the playoffs began.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • NBA players are increasingly open-minded about female coaches, but front offices remain reluctant to give one of them a shot as a head coach, according to Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Times. There’s increasing pressure on the league to give Spurs assistant Becky Hammon — a finalist for the Trail Blazers job — a chance to be a head coach, but GMs in a risk-averse league keep finding reasons to pass on her and other female candidates. Having more female executives around the league could change those perceptions, Nguyen adds.
  • Former NBA big man Okaro White has signed to play with Greece’s Panathinaikos next season, Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays. White played in Russia last season. He appeared in 41 games for the Heat in 2016-18 and saw action in three games with the Wizards in 2018/19.
  • Former NBA guard Darrun Hilliard has agreed to terms with Germany’s Bayern Munich, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Hilliard appeared in 77 Pistons games from 2015-17 after getting drafted in the second round. He also played 14 games for the Spurs during the 2017/18 season.
  • Timberwolves buyers Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore met with the league’s Finance Committee this week, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. It’s part of the process to receive league approval for their first 20% purchase of the team. They will make multiple purchases of the franchise over the next few years until they become the controlling owners. The sale agreement was reached in mid-May. The Finance Committee is expected to recommend to the NBA’s Board of Governors that it approves the first sale.

And-Ones: White, McCullough, Bolmaro, Orlando Reunions

Forward Okaro White has signed with Russia’s BC UNICS Kazan, the team tweets. White played for the Nets’ G League team this season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. White was waived by the Wizards in December and playing a couple of seasons with the Heat.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Another former NBA forward, Chris McCullough, is finalizing an agreement with Lithuania’s Rytas Vilnius, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. The Nets drafted McCullough with a late first-round pick in 2015 and he appeared in 59 games, most recently 10 with the Wizards during the 2017/18 season.
  • Argentinian shooting guard Leandro Bolmaro, a potential first-round pick, is planning to stay in Barcelona next season, Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. His overseas contract doesn’t expire until 2023, though it has NBA outs.  The 6’7” Bolmaro is currently ranked No. 23 by ESPN. Bolmaro’s decision to remain overseas could make him attractive to cost-conscious clubs as a draft-and-stash prospect.
  • The NBA is now allowing select family members to enter the Orlando campus during the second round of the playoffs. That’s a cause for celebration and relief for many players, as Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated details.

New York Notes: McCall, White, Dinwiddie, Jordan

Tahjere McCall, who had been on a 10-day contract with the Nets, had that deal expire overnight on Thursday, and has returned to Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island, the club announced today in a press release. That means that, for now, the Nets will have an open spot on their 15-man roster.

G League forward Okaro White, who has been playing well for the Long Island Nets, might have been a candidate for that final roster spot, but White recently sustained a season-ending ankle injury, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. McCall will take White’s place on Long Island’s roster, and Brooklyn will have to look elsewhere for a potential 10-day signee.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Speaking to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (audio link), Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie said he’d be happy to get involved in recruiting free agents this summer. “I would love to do anything that’s within the rules and not considered tampering to get guys to come to Brooklyn,” Dinwiddie said, adding that the club should appeal to star players because it’s a “players-first” organization.
  • It may seem like 11-year NBA veteran DeAndre Jordan has been around forever, but the Knicks center is still only 30 years old. As he prepares to re-enter unrestricted free agency, Jordan wants to push back on the idea that he’s getting old, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “People think you’re 30 and think you’re old,” Jordan said this week. “I hate that. When I do something athletic, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, he’s so athletic and especially because he’s so old.’ I’ll take that.”
  • After securing one of the most lucrative rookie contracts ever for a second-round pick last summer, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson has continued to cash in off the court, lining up endorsement deals with Nike and several other companies, writes Tommy Beer of Forbes.com.

And-Ones: Trade Deadline, Goodwin, Watson, Williams

There probably won’t be significant activity prior to the trade deadline, according to Keith Smith of RealGM (Twitter links). The biggest trades this season may have already occurred, one source told Smith, because teams are intent on preserving salary-cap space for 2019. Still, some expiring contracts could be moved and there’s always a possibility that a team “might get desperate” and do something bold, the same source suggested.

A front-office member from another team believes many of the trades coming before the deadline could be motivated by trying to stay below the luxury-tax line, even if it results in a talent downgrade. However, that executive also believes that there should be more sellers in a month than there are now. “Some of us will get real about our chances and start moving guys,” the source said to Smith.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Guard Archie Goodwin has returned to the United States to join the G League’s Maine Red Claws, the team announced in a press release. Goodwin most recently played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season, when he appeared in a combined 15 games with New Orleans and Brooklyn. The shooting guard played his first three seasons with Phoenix. The Red Claws acquired his returning player rights in a trade prior to the season. Goodwin lost his roster spot with China’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls to former Spurs guard Brandon Paul in late December.
  • Lakers guard and former UCLA star Lonzo Ball has endorsed former Suns coach Earl Watson to be the Bruins’ next coach, Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times report. UCLA recently fired Steve Alford and replaced him on an interim basis with assistant Murry Bartow. “I know Earl personally,” Ball said. “I think he has coaching experience in the league. Obviously, he went there, he’s alumni, so I think he’s a good fit.”
  • Veteran big man Alan Williams is in advanced talks with China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Williams was waived by the Nets this week to allow him to pursue the overseas opportunity. He was on a two-way deal after getting released by the Suns during the offseason. Williams was playing well in the G League but did not make an appearance with Brooklyn.
  • Forward Okaro White, who was waived by the Wizards last month, has signed with the G League’s Long Island Nets, according to NetsDaily.com. Long Island acquired his G League rights last year. The Nets are not using their available two-way slot on White, according to the report. White made three appearances with Washington this season.

Wizards Sign Ron Baker, Waive Okaro White

DECEMBER 21: The Wizards have officially signed Baker and waived White, the team announced today in a press release.

DECEMBER 19: The Wizards have agreed to sign Ron Baker to a new contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. In a related, albeit unnecessary move, Wojnarowski adds that Washington will waive forward Okaro White. Marc Berman of the New York Post adds that the Nuggets also had interest in Baker before he agreed to terms with the Wizards.

As it currently stands, the Wizards only have 14 players on their roster with standard NBA contracts, so they could have kept White and signed Baker. However, as we’ve noted on several previous occasions, Washington is extremely cognizant of their looming luxury tax bill, so it’s not surprising that they will waive White, the only player on the roster with a non-guaranteed contract, and keep their roster at 14.

Assuming that White is waived/Baker signs for the veteran’s minimum tomorrow (all that Washington can offer), and that White is not picked up off waivers, the Wizards will incur a cap hit of just over $957K for Baker and just under $248K for White, totaling approximately $1.2MM. The cap hit for White, had he remained on the roster past January 10, was for $1.19MM, so the ultimate tax difference is negligible.

Accordingly, the move likely comes down to roster fit and team need, and as Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports notes, the Wizards really need a guard more than a forward/big man right now, as further indicated by yesterday’s signing of point guard Chasson Randle and the surprisingly positive play from Sam Dekker.

Baker, 25, was recently waived by the Knicks to make room for the signing of former two-way standout Allonzo Trier. In his three NBA seasons with New York, Baker averaged only 3.3 points and 1.8 assists per game, but had become a fan favorite with his work ethic and hard-nosed play.

Meanwhile, White, 26, signed with the Wizards about a month into the 2018/19 season after spending the last couple of seasons in Miami. For his career, he’s averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignment and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have assigned Brandon Ingram to the G League for a rehab assignment and since recalled him, according to the team’s website. The former No.2 overall pick is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • The Lakers have recalled Rajon Rondo from the South Bay Lakers, according to team’s website. The assignment was part of Rondo’s rehab from a broken right hand.
  • The Sixers have assigned Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. This is Bolden’s seventh assignment in the G League this season.
  • The Wizards assigned Okaro White to the Capital City Go-Go, according to the team’s website. White scored a season-high 31 points in a game during his last stint in the G League.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/6/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/3/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards recalled power forward Okaro White from the Capital City Go Go, the Wizards’ PR department tweets. White has appeared in one Go Go game, scoring six points in 25 1/2 minutes. He’s also seen action in one Washington game.
  • The Jazz assigned guard Grayson Allen and forward Georges Niang to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s PR department tweets. Allen, the 21st overall pick out of Duke, has appeared in 14 Jazz games, averaging 4.6 PPG in 10.5 MPG. Niang has seen action in 18 games, averaging 3.2 PPG in 7.4 MPG. The Stars play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Monday.
  • The Pacers assigned center Ike Anigbogu to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for the fifth time this season, according to a team press release. The 2017 second-round pick has seen action in three Indiana games.
  • The Thunder recalled forward Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. Nader piled up 31 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Blue’s game on Sunday. He’s seen action in nine Thunder games after being acquired from Boston during the summer.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/28/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards have assigned forward Okaro White to the Capital City Go-Go, per an update from the team’s official Twitter account. This will be his first assignment this season, but he averaged 18.4 PPG and 8.7 RPG in 23 G League contests last season.
  • Both Moritz Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk have been assigned to the Lakers’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, for tonight’s game against the Texas Legends (link). Mykhailiuk scored 21 points in his lone G League appearance this season, while Wagner has averaged 16.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in his two appearances with South Bay.

Wizards Sign Okaro White

NOVEMBER 23: The Wizards have officially signed White, the team announced today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 21: The Wizards intend to sign free agent forward Okaro White to fill one of the open spots on their roster, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Details of the agreement aren’t yet known, but I’d expect a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.

A report earlier this week suggested that White was close to signing with Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv, but that deal wasn’t yet official, and the Wizards have apparently agreed to terms on their own deal with the 26-year-old before he headed overseas. White is traveling to Washington today to join his new team, according to Charania.

A former undrafted free agent out of Florida State, White appeared in 41 games for the Heat over two seasons after making his NBA debut in January of 2017. He played just 13.4 minutes per contest for Miami, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG. White also finished the 2017/18 season with the Cavaliers and spent training camp with the Spurs this fall, but was waived by both teams.

The Wizards had to add a player to their roster within the next few days after having waived Chasson Randle earlier in November. NBA rules require teams to carry at least 14 players on standard contracts, but clubs can dip below that figure for up to two weeks at a time. Washington had been carrying 13 players since releasing Randle on November 12.