Olivier Sarr

Lakers Notes: Irving, Draft, Mini-Camp

If the Lakers have a realistic chance to land Kyrie Irving, they should brush aside any concerns about his reliability and make the move, argues Bill Oram of The Athletic. L.A. has been mentioned as a potential destination for Irving if his contract talks with the Nets remain at an impasse. While that could be a negotiating ploy from Irving’s camp, there was a report Wednesday that he has spoken to LeBron James about teaming up again.

Oram believes head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka should jump at the chance to add Irving, who could spark a quick turnaround for an L.A. team that missed the playoffs this season. Oram admits there’s a “buyer beware” component to Irving, who has only played 93 total games in his three seasons with the Nets because of injuries, a commitment to social causes and his stand against vaccine mandates, but he says the Lakers can’t afford to pass on his talent.

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Thunder Sign Melvin Frazier Jr. To Two-Way Deal

The Thunder have signed Melvin Frazier Jr. to a two-way deal and waived Olivier Sarr to make room for Frazier, the team announced in a press release.

Frazier, 25, was the 35th overall pick of the 2018 draft after three years at Tulane. He played his first couple seasons with the Magic, appearing in 29 games with a modest average of 5.9 minutes per contest.

He has spent more time in the G League than the NBA over the last four years, appearing in 41 games with the Lakeland Magic from 2018-20, then suiting up for the Oklahoma City Blue in the 2021 NBAGL bubble. This season Frazier split time between the Iowa Wolves and the Blue, appearing in 50 games (30.2 MPG) and averaging 13.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.5 SPG.

Sarr, 23, was signed to a two-way deal back in February after spending the majority of the season with the Blue. Prior to the two-way deal, he’d signed a couple of 10-day hardship contracts with the Thunder.

In 22 games (19.1 MPG) with the Thunder this season, Sarr posted solid averages of 7.0 PPG and 4.2 RPG on .574/.448/.828 shooting. The shooting splits are particularly impressive from the 7’0″ big man.

Opting to waive Sarr is pretty surprising, because he’d played the best basketball of his young NBA career over the last five games (30.3 MPG), averaging 14.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 1.4 BPG on .628/.538/.929 shooting. That stretch included a 24-point (on 9-12 shooting), six-rebound, two-block performance in just 22 minutes in the team’s shocking 117-96 win over the Suns on Sunday.

The Thunder are currently carrying 20 players on the roster, including a full 15-man standard rotation, three players on injury-related hardship deals that expire when the season ends, and a pair of two-ways.

Thunder Sign Olivier Sarr To Two-Way Contract

The Thunder have signed Olivier Sarr to a two-way deal, the team announced in a press release. He previously spent time with the team via two 10-day hardship contracts. He appeared in two games with the Thunder for a total of 14 minutes, averaging 2 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Sarr, who just turned 23 on Sunday, spent four years in college — three with Wake Forest and then his senior season with Kentucky. He went undrafted this past summer after averaging 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds with the Wildcats.

Sarr has spent the majority of the season with the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. Through 23 games with the Blue, he’s averaged 7.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.7 minutes per contest.

Both of Oklahoma City’s two-way slots are now filled. The team had one available after promoting Aaron Wiggins to its 15-man roster earlier in the month.

Olivier Sarr Signs Second 10-Day Deal With Thunder

Rookie center Olivier Sarr has inked his second 10-day contract with the Thunder, according to the official NBA transactions log.

Oklahoma City has an open spot on its 15-man roster, Sarr has been added via a hardship exception, since power forward Isaiah Roby is currently in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per our tracker.

Sarr, who has spent most of the 2021/22 season with the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, first joined the Thunder proper in late December. The 22-year-old went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2021.

The seven-footer had been averaging 7.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG across 14 games with the Blue before being called up. Sarr has appeared in two contests with the Thunder thus far, averaging 2.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 7.0 MPG.

Three G League Players Sign With Thunder Under Hardship Exemption

Center Olivier Sarr and guards Scotty Hopson and Rob Edwards have signed 10-day contracts with the Thunder under the hardship exemption, according to the official NBA transactions log. All three have been playing for the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.

Sarr, who went undrafted this year after playing at Kentucky last season, has averaged 7.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG while mostly coming off the bench in 14 games for the Blue.

Hopson, 32, has three games of NBA experience. He’s appeared in 11 G League games this season, averaging 6.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 1.4 APG.

Edwards, undrafted last year out of Arizona State, has averaged 12.3 PPG and 1.9 APG in 15 NBAGL games this season.

Oklahoma City, with four players currently in the league’s health and safety protocols, also reportedly intends to sign Zavier Simpson.

Thunder Waive Mamadi Diakite, Two Others

The Thunder have waived forward Mamadi Diakite, guard Justin Jaworski and center Olivier Sarr, the team announced in a press release today.

Diakite was claimed off waivers by Oklahoma City last month, while Jaworski and Sarr both signed Exhibit 10 deals with the club earlier today. Diakite was only guaranteed $100K this season and held a non-guaranteed salary for the 2022/23 campaign.

Jaworski and Sarr are strong contenders to join the Thunder’s G League team this season.

Diakite is coming off a G League season where he averaged 18.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was recently diagnosed with a left hip fracture.

Oklahoma City now has 17 players under contract, including Paul Watson and Aaron Wiggins on two-way deals. It appears that Gabriel Deck, whose deal is non-guaranteed, has earned a spot on the Thunder’s 15-man opening night roster.

Thunder Sign Olivier Sarr, Justin Jaworski

The Thunder have signed center Olivier Sarr and guard Justin Jaworski, the team announced today. Both players are likely to be waived and play for the club’s G League affiliate this season.

Sarr, a 7’0 Wake Forest and Kentucky product, went unselected in July’s NBA draft. The 22-year-old averaged 8.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in college, playing 22 minutes per contest.

Jaworski, also 22, went undrafted in July after spending four seasons at Lafayette College. He appeared in 98 games, averaging 15.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 31.3 minutes per contest.

Hawks Notes: Prunty, J. McMillan, Workouts, Collins

Joe Prunty and Jamelle McMillan are expected to become part of Nate McMillan‘s revamped coaching staff with the Hawks, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Prunty, who began working as an NBA assistant in 1996, has spent time with a total of seven different teams and briefly served as the interim head coach of the Bucks during the 2017/18 season. Prunty, who last coached in the NBA in 2018/19 as a Suns assistant, was the head coach of the Team USA squad that played in the AmeriCup qualifiers earlier this year. He and Nate McMillan worked together in Portland from 2008-10.

Jamelle McMillan, who is Nate’s son, has spent most of his career with the Pelicans, including several years as an assistant under Alvin Gentry. He joined the Suns for a season in 2018/19 before rejoining the Pelicans, but was let go in 2020 when Stan Van Gundy was hired by New Orleans.

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