Overtime Elite

And-Ones: Trade Market, Spain, Coaches, Overtime Elite

Even though we’re only a month into the 2022/23 NBA season, some front offices are “beginning to get itchy trading fingers,” writes Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com, citing league sources. While the in-season trade market often doesn’t heat up until December 15, when most offseason signees become trade-eligible, some clubs may already be looking to make changes, according to executives who spoke to Bulpett.

“Everyone comes into the year having talked themselves into their roster,” one general manager said. “But then we start playing the games and soon enough reality sets in. Some teams shouldn’t read too much into it, because it takes time for guys to get on the same page if you’ve made some changes. But even though it’s crazy, some guys look at the standings and think, ‘Oh, s–t, I better do something.’ … And some of them are going to be under pressure to do something. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens after December 15.”

Bulpett’s story features some speculation from executives about what struggling or inconsistent teams like the Lakers and Nets might do on the trade market, as well as a suggestion from one exec that clubs’ financial situations will be worth monitoring as the trade deadline nears.

“There could be some interesting players out there as we get deeper into the season, because I think teams are going to be looking to dump salary once it’s clear they’re not in the playoff mix — or maybe in the mix but with no chance to do anything if they get there,” the executive said. “Teams are going to start looking at that luxury tax bill and their record, and the two just aren’t going to mesh.

“Where it could get interesting is if some guys get the idea they need to make a splash to keep their jobs. But I think you’re going to see some owners step in and look at the bottom line. What’s funny is that they may end up saving their GMs from themselves — you know, keep them from doing something stupid.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Spain has leapfrogged the United States as the No. 1 national team in FIBA’s men’s basketball rankings, according to a press release. The U.S. had held the top spot in FIBA’s rankings since 2010 and has won the last four Olympic gold medals, but finished seventh in the 2019 World Cup (which Spain won) and third in this year’s AmeriCup.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic divides the NBA’s 30 coaches into “hot seat” tiers, starting with the ones who definitely aren’t going anywhere – such as Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra – and working his way down to the coaches who might want to keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date — Tom Thibodeau of the Knicks and Doc Rivers of the Sixers are in that final tier.
  • A panel of NBA.com writers weighs in on the biggest surprises of the NBA season to date. Besides obvious choices like the Warriors‘ struggles and the Jazz‘s unexpected early success, the panel singled out the Pacers for their solid start and noted that offensive production has been off the charts in the early going.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic checks in on where Overtime Elite stands heading into its second year, highlighting some of the tweaks the league has made. Among those tweaks? Offering recruits a choice of a scholarship or a salary, allowing them to leave the door open to eventually playing college ball by retaining their amateur status, if they so choose. “The scholarship option (for high-school aged recruits) has been big for us, if not bigger than NIL,” OTE general manager Damien Wilkins said. “Because now we can go out and recruit without restrictions. There’s no real downside.”

And-Ones: Media Rights, G League, Bledsoe, Beasley, Franklin

When the NBA negotiates its next television deal, expect the league to sell a separate package of streaming-only games, writes Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. As McCarthy outlines, the NFL and MLB have sold packages of games to Amazon and Apple in recent years, and the NBA is expected to follow suit, with Amazon in particular having made it clear it wants to get into business with the league.

“Amazon is locked and loaded for a shot at the NBA,” a source told Front Office Sports.

According to McCarthy, sports media consultant Patrick Crakes estimated that the bidding for a streaming-only NBA package could start in the neighborhood of $1 billion per year. The league’s current TV deal with ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports pays the league about $2.6 billion annually — the next rights deal is expected to double or triple that figure, McCarthy writes.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Russia, Okafor, Clark, Overtime Elite, Kuzminskas

Despite its war with Ukraine and controversial imprisonment of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Russia is still viewed as a viable destination for some U.S. basketball players, writes Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times. There are projected to be about 30 American men participating in Russia this year, which is twice the normal rate. Those who made the decision cited the financial incentives, which include salaries of more than $1MM, along with free housing and cars.

“Everybody’s going to say, ‘Why would you go there?’” said 35-year-old K.C. Rivers, who has played for several Russian teams. “But at the end of the day, you still have mouths to feed. You still have family to provide for. And sometimes it is not always the easiest decision, but you have to do what’s best for you. You can’t make decisions based off of what the general society says.”

Female players, even those in the WNBA, formerly viewed Russia as a great money-making opportunity, but that has largely changed because of the Griner case. However, those who are still willing to travel to Russia are finding offers more lucrative than ever. An agent told Abrams that Russian teams are paying 50% more this year to women and sometimes they triple the salaries offered in other countries.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball globe:

  • The Mexico City Capitanes, who will be a full-fledged participant in the G League regular season for the first time in 2022/23, have acquired the returning rights to NBA veterans Jahlil Okafor and Gary Clark, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Overtime Elite will add three high school teams for its upcoming season, states Jacob Polacheck of Zagsblog. The programs are Hillcrest Prep (Arizona), Our Saviour Lutheran (New York) and Word of God (North Carolina). The league will have 20 players returning from last season, including Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, who are both projected as top-10 picks in the 2023 draft. The newest addition to Overtime Elite is 7’0″ high school junior Somto Cyril, who is considered among the 25 best players in the Class of 2024, per Eric Bossi of 247 Sports.
  • Former Knicks player Mindaugas Kuzminskas has signed with Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey, according to Eurohoops. The 32-year-old small forward played for Lithuania during EuroBasket.
  • USA Basketball will resume its Junior National Team minicamp after a two-year absence due to the pandemic, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. It will take place October 7-10 in Colorado Springs. “This camp has been an important part of developing our junior national team, and we’re really happy to be back doing it again,” said Sean Ford, national team director of USA Basketball. “The world is getting better at a faster rate than we are improving, so we need to continue to improve with more camps, continuity and teaching.”

Knicks, Jean Montero Agree To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Knicks and undrafted free agent guard Jean Montero have reached an agreement on an Exhibit 10 contract, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link).

An Exhibit 10 deal is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that counts toward a team’s 20-man offseason roster limit, but doesn’t count against the cap unless the player makes the regular season roster. Although it’s not guaranteed, a player on an Exhibit 10 contract can earn a bonus of up to $50K if he’s waived and then joins his team’s G League affiliate.

Montero, who will turn 19 in July, began his professional career with Gran Canaria in Spain and played for the new Overtime Elite program in 2021/22. The Dominican combo guard is considered a talented scorer and has also exhibited creativity as a passer, according to Givony, who writes in his scouting report that the youngster’s inconsistent defense is a concern.

Montero was the No. 4 prospect on ESPN’s list of players who went undrafted on Thursday night.

Full List Of 2022 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 76 players who have been invited – and who are expected to attend – next week’s draft combine in Chicago. The combine workouts will take place from May 18-20.

Over the course of the week, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft likely won’t participate in scrimmages, those top prospects are still expected to attend. That group includes Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.

A handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp could be invited to participate in the combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 76 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link):

  1. Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (senior)
  2. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee (freshman)
  3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (freshman)
  4. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  5. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  6. Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001)
  7. Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State (freshman)
  8. Christian Braun, G, Kansas (junior)
  9. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor (freshman)
  10. John Butler Jr., F/C, Florida State (freshman)
  11. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (junior)
  12. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  13. Max Christie, G, Michigan State (freshman)
  14. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois (junior)
  15. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  16. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (sophomore)
  17. JD Davison, G, Alabama (freshman)
  18. Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan (freshman)
  19. Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003)
  20. Khalifa Diop, C, Spain (born 2002)
  21. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (freshman)
  22. Tari Eason, F, LSU (sophomore)
  23. Keon Ellis, G, Alabama (senior)
  24. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  25. Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova (super-senior)
  26. AJ Griffin, F, Duke (freshman)
  27. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  28. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers (senior)
  29. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (freshman)
  30. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford (freshman)
  31. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (sophomore)
  32. Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana (junior)
  33. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003)
  34. Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA (junior)
  35. Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001)
  36. Trevor Keels, G, Duke (freshman)
  37. Walker Kessler, F/C, Auburn (sophomore)
  38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona (junior)
  39. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest (junior)
  40. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette (sophomore)
  41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State (junior)
  42. Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona (sophomore)
  43. Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor (senior)
  44. Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska (freshman)
  45. Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003)
  46. Josh Minott, F, Memphis (freshman)
  47. Aminu Mohammed, G/F, Georgetown (freshman)
  48. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  49. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  50. Wendell Moore, F, Duke (junior)
  51. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (sophomore)
  52. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  53. Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (junior)
  54. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002)
  55. Orlando Robinson, F/C, Fresno State (junior)
  56. David Roddy, F, Colorado State (junior)
  57. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo (sophomore)
  58. Dereon Seabron, G, NC State (sophomore)
  59. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  60. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (freshman)
  61. Terquavion Smith, G, NC State (freshman)
  62. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor (freshman)
  63. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Italy (born 2003)
  64. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  65. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  67. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado (sophomore)
  68. TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA (freshman)
  70. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame (freshman)
  71. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest (super-senior)
  72. Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara (junior)
  73. Jaylin Williams, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  74. Mark Williams, C, Duke (sophomore)
  75. Trevion Williams, F/C, Purdue (senior)
  76. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2022 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2022 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 283 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 247 are from colleges, while 36 are international early entrants.

Those are big numbers, but they fall well short of the 353 early entrants who initially declared for the draft a year ago. Beginning in 2021, the NCAA granted players an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in seniors having to decide between staying at college for one more season or declaring for the draft as an “early” entrant.

That tweak to the NCAA’s eligibility rules has increased the number of total early entrants due to the influx of seniors into the pool. However, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN observes (via Twitter), the number of college non-seniors (123) on the initial early entry list this year is actually the lowest since 2016, while the number of international prospects (36) is the lowest since 2014.

This year’s total of 283 early entrants figures to shrink significantly by June 1 and again by June 13, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it still looks like the pool will remain extremely crowded, with the eventual number of early entrants certain to exceed 58, the number of picks in the draft.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2022 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:


Newly-added players:

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

International players:

These players weren’t previously mentioned on our list of international early entrants. The country listed here indicates where they last played, not necessarily where they were born.

Other notable draft-eligible early entrants:

The NBA sent its teams a list of 33 “also-eligible” names. That list isn’t public, but Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) shared some of the most notable players on it, and we’ve added them to our early entrant tracker. They are as follows:

  1. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite
  2. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite
  3. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite
  4. Henri Drell, G/F, Windy City Bulls
  5. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite
  6. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite
  7. Makur Maker, C, Sydney Kings (formerly Howard Bison)
  8. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite
  9. Samson Ruzhentsev, G/F, Mega Basket (formerly Florida Gators)
  10. Kai Sotto, C, Adelaide 36ers (formerly G League Ignite)
  11. Zaire Wade, G, Salt Lake City Stars
  12. Kok Yat, F, Overtime Elite
  13. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite

Players removed:

Despite reports or announcements that the players below would declare for the draft, they didn’t show up on the NBA’s official list.

That could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.

In any case, we’ve removed the following names from our early entrant list, at least for the time being.

Finally, Givony reports (via Twitter) that Canadian forward Leonard Miller, from the Fort Erie International Academy has been asked to fill out additional paperwork to finalize his entrance into the draft pool. According to Givony, there’s an expectation that Miller will be added to the list, so we’ve left him listed in our early entrant tracker among the international players.

And-Ones: Mills, Presti, Cunningham, Jaquez

Nets guard Patty Mills has won this season’s Sportsmanship Award, according to a league press release. The annual award is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

Each NBA team nominated one of its players for the award and current players selected the winner from the list of six finalists. Bam Adebayo, Mikal Bridges, Darius Garland, Jeff Green and Jaren Jackson Jr. were the other finalists.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Thunder general manager Sam Presti is a proponent of an in-season tournament, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman notes, saying it shows the league is “thinking big picture.” Presti called an in-season tournament “necessary to have a better business and a better game in the future.” He feels that it would appeal to a non-traditional or younger fan base as well as improve competitive parity.
  • Overtime Elite has landed the top recruit in ESPN’s Class of 2024. Naasir Cunningham told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony about his reasons for joining Overtime Elite, which was confirmed in a press release. “This is best place for me to develop as a player, while getting the right education to fall back on at the same time,” the 6’7” Cunningham said. “Overtime built a relationship with my family and I, which was a big factor in trusting them with my future.” Cunningham will be the first player to decline a salary by OTE, which should preserve his eligibility to play college basketball after graduating from high school.
  • While many players are testing the draft waters, some prominent prospects have chosen to return to college. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Wood looks at five such players, including UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez and UConn’s Jordan Hawkins.

And-Ones: Selden, Brantley, MVP, OTE, Shue

Veteran shooting guard Wayne Selden, who began the 2021/22 season with the Knicks, has signed with Ironi Ness Ziona in Israel, the team announced in a press release. Selden has appeared in 127 total NBA games for Memphis, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York since 2016. He spent the 2020/21 campaign with Ironi Ness Ziona, so the move represents a reunion for the two sides.

Former Jazz forward Jarrell Brantley is among the other NBA veterans who has signed with a team outside the NBA. Puerto Rico’s Leones de Ponce announced today in a press release that they’ve signed Brantley to a short-term deal. The former second-round pick played in 37 games for Utah from 2019-21 before he was waived last September.

Here are a few more notes from around the basketball world:

  • Cole Huff of The Athletic singles out three under-the-radar veterans who are playing well after changing teams at the trade deadline nearly two months ago, highlighting Clippers forward Robert Covington, Spurs wing Josh Richardson, and Pistons big man Marvin Bagley III.
  • Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the top contenders for this season’s Most Valuable Player award, but it looks like upwards of a dozen candidates could receive top-five votes. A panel of ESPN writers took a closer look at the field.
  • In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Jonathan Givony outlines the biggest takeaways from year one of the Overtime Elite league and explores what’s next for OTE. It became clear quickly that Overtime Elite is a “serious, ambitious venture with significant financial backing,” Givony writes.
  • Gene Shue, a five-time NBA All-Star from 1958-62 and a two-time Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1982, passed away at age 90 on Monday, writes Tony Garcia of The Detroit Free Press. Shue enjoyed much of his success as a player in Fort Wayne and Detroit, then coached the Bullets (Baltimore and Washington), Clippers (San Diego and Los Angeles), and Sixers for over two decades.

And-Ones: Young Point Guards, Henson, Holmgren, Draft

Rising Grizzlies star Ja Morant has enjoyed a breakout year in Memphis, but 11 of 15 scouts and executives polled by Tim Bontemps of ESPN would still take Mavericks star Luka Doncic over Morant if they were picking a young point guard to build around.

Bontemps asked those 15 scouts and execs to rank Doncic, Morant, Trae Young, LaMelo Ball, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Darius Garland, and got some interesting responses. Doncic was the overwhelming top pick, with Morant (who had the other four first-place votes) coming in second, followed by Young in third. Ball and Gilgeous-Alexander were neck and neck for the fourth spot, with Garland bringing up the rear.

The question engendered plenty of debate, according to Bontemps, who notes that the respondents’ evaluations of certain prospects varied significantly. For instance, one Eastern Conference executive believes that Gilgeous-Alexander could be “potentially be doing a lot of the same things” as Morant if their situations were flipped, while an East scout said SGA is “clearly last” of the six in his view, since the others are better at passing and making plays for teammates.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA lottery pick John Henson has signed with Mets de Guaynabo for the upcoming season in Puerto Rico, tweets agent Christian Santaella. Henson, who has appeared in 445 regular season NBA games, signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks last April, but hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2019/20 season.
  • In an Insider-only story for ESPN, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz explore why Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren is such a polarizing player for NBA scouts. As ESPN’s duo explains, Holmgren is a one-of-a-kind prospect who can’t be easily compared to current or former NBA players, making it more difficult to evaluate both his potential upside and his potential risk.
  • Givony and Schmitz have also updated their top-100 prospect list for the 2022 NBA draft and discussed some of the players who have recently risen up that big board.
  • Jeremy Woo of SI.com takes an in-depth look at Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson, identical twins who are candidates to be drafted in the lottery in 2023. The Thompson twins, who are currently playing for Overtime Elite, both went in the top 10 of ESPN’s most recent 2023 mock draft.

And-Ones: 2022 Cap Room, Stephenson, G League, More

Only four NBA teams currently project to have significant cap room in the 2022 offseason, writes Danny Leroux of The Athletic. Not only is that number lower than usual, but none of those four teams appear likely to have enough space for a maximum-salary player worth 30% of the cap, Leroux adds.

The Pistons currently project to have the most space, with Blake Griffin‘s dead money coming off their books. According to Leroux, the Magic, Spurs, and Grizzlies join them as the other clubs likely to have at least $15MM in room. Teams like the Wizards and Bulls could have room too, but that would be a worst-case scenario for those clubs, since it would mean losing Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, respectively, in free agency.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran NBA swingman Lance Stephenson spoke to Jack Green of Betway about his decision to play in the G League and the role he expects to have with the Grand Rapids Gold, the Nuggets‘ new affiliate. Stephenson, who worked out for several NBA teams during the offseason, hopes to show in the NBAGL that he still has plenty left in the tank. “My body feels amazing,” he said. “I don’t feel like an older guy, I still feel like a young guy. So I think I’ve got a couple more years left.”
  • The original plan for the Mexico City Capitanes was to join the NBA G League for the 2020/21 season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed their debut back by a year, and the team has now been uprooted from its home in Mexico due to pandemic-related travel concerns. Eric Gomez of ESPN takes an in-depth at the new G League franchise and the adjustments it has had to make over the last couple years.
  • Former CAA agent Michael Tellem has joined Excel Sports, the agency announced (via Twitter). Danilo Gallinari, Jakob Poeltl, and Daniel Theis are among the most notable NBA clients for Tellem, whose father is Pistons vice chairman and former agent Arn Tellem.
  • It’s not just NBA scouts and executives who have been impressed so far by the new Overtime Elite league — the program’s level of professionalism and credibility has also made an impact on its players, writes Kyle Tucker of The Athletic. “It’s even more than I thought it would be,” said 2022 draft-eligible forward Kok Yat. “If I didn’t come here, no NBA scouts would know who I am. You want to be seen, so this feels like a huge step.”