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Kings To Sign Garrett Temple

The Kings and shooting guard Garrett Temple have agreed on a three-year deal, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports. Sam Amick of USA Today Sports tweets that the deal is worth $24MM in total. The third year is a player option, Amick adds.

It became clear after the Wizards acquired Trey Burke that Washington had no plans to re-sign Temple, who is 30. Temple, however, did provide the Wizards with solid production. He averaged a career best 7.3 points per game in a career-high 43 starts. The move could end up being a shrewd one for the Kings. Temple is a solid reserve player with versatility, as James Ham of tweets.

Temple earned the veteran minimum for the last two seasons. He is now obviously cashing in big, comparatively speaking. The Celtics, Nuggets, Kings, Pelicans and Hawks all reached out to Temple, according to J. Michael of

Full 2018 NBA Draft Order

Now that the NBA’s draft lottery results are in, the full 2018 draft order has been set.

We’ll likely see some of these picks change hands on June 21, or in the days leading up to draft night — we’ll be sure to update the list below if and when picks are traded.

Here’s the full 2018 NBA draft order:

First Round:

  1. Phoenix Suns
  2. Sacramento Kings
  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. Memphis Grizzlies
  5. Dallas Mavericks
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Chicago Bulls
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Nets)
  9. New York Knicks
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Pistons)
  13. Los Angeles Clippers
  14. Denver Nuggets
  15. Washington Wizards
  16. Phoenix Suns (from Heat)
  17. Milwaukee Bucks
  18. San Antonio Spurs
  19. Atlanta Hawks (from Timberwolves)
  20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder)
  21. Utah Jazz
  22. Chicago Bulls (from Pelicans)
  23. Indiana Pacers
  24. Portland Trail Blazers
  25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cavaliers)
  26. Philadelphia 76ers
  27. Boston Celtics
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. Brooklyn Nets (from Raptors)
  30. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)

Second Round:

  1. Phoenix Suns
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Orlando Magic
  6. New York Knicks (from Bulls)
  7. Sacramento Kings
  8. Philadelphia 76ers (from Nets)
  9. Los Angeles Lakers (from Knicks via Sixers)
  10. Brooklyn Nets (from Lakers)
  11. Orlando Magic (from Hornets)
  12. Detroit Pistons
  13. Denver Nuggets (from Clippers)
  14. Washington Wizards
  15. Charlotte Hornets (from Bucks via Nets)
  16. Houston Rockets (from Heat)
  17. Los Angeles Lakers (from Nuggets)
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Indiana Pacers
  21. New Orleans Pelicans
  22. Utah Jazz
  23. Oklahoma City Thunder
  24. Dallas Mavericks (from Trail Blazers)
  25. Charlotte Hornets (from Cavaliers)
  26. Philadelphia 76ers
  27. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Celtics)
  28. Denver Nuggets (from Warriors)
  29. Phoenix Suns (from Raptors)
  30. Philadelphia 76ers (from Rockets)

Vince Carter Plans To Retire After 2019/20 Season

After announcing in April that he intends to return for the 2019/20 season, Vince Carter has now confirmed that next season will be his last in the NBA. Carter made the announcement during an appearance on The Jump on ESPN (video link via Chris Montano of DefPen).

“I’ve got one more [year] in me,” Carter said, later confirming to Rachel Nichols that he doesn’t plan to play beyond ’19/20.

Despite turning 42 in January, Carter continued to be a productive rotation player in Atlanta in 2018/19, averaging 7.4 PPG and 2.6 RPG with a .419/.389/.712 shooting line in 76 games (17.5 MPG) for the Hawks. Head coach Lloyd Pierce also praised the veteran swingman for helping to create a “different atmosphere” in the Hawks’ locker room.

Carter will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he’ll need to sign a new contract with Atlanta or catch on with a new team once the new league year begins.

Assuming he doesn’t have any trouble finding an NBA contract, Carter will become the first player in league history to play for 22 seasons, breaking the record that he and Dirk Nowitzki tied this season. Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, and Kevin Garnett also had 21-year NBA careers.

Over the course of his 21 NBA seasons, Carter has averaged 17.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG with a .437/.374/.798 shooting line in 1,481 games for the Raptors, Nets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings, and Hawks. He has also appeared in another 88 postseason contests, averaging 18.1 PPG in those games. Carter ranks 20th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Draft Notes: Hood, Stokes, Jackson, Anderson

This morning, Hoops Rumors learned (Twitter link) that Duke sharpshooter Rodney Hood will audition for the CelticsKingsHawks, and Hornets in the next few weeks.  As previously reported, his future workout schedule will also include the Sixers and he has already worked out for the BullsMagicNuggets, and Suns.  Back in May, Hood told Hoops Rumors that he could go as high as No. 6-12 and it sounds increasingly plausible as he has worked out for most of the top half teams. Here’s the latest draft news..

  • Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders explains why he thinks Noah Vonleh would have limited upside as a lottery pick. Duncan thinks Vonleh’s leaping ability has become overrated, and cites poor instincts on both ends of the floor as reason to temper expectations.
  • Robby Kalland of checked in with Brian Schroeder of Hardwood Paroxysm to get the goods on first round draft prospect Jusuf Nurkic.  Schroeder raves about his size, relative mobility, rebounding, and scoring touch.  Currently, the big man is slated to go No. 11 to the Nuggets in DraftExpress‘ mock draft.
  • Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders runs down some common mistakes teams make in the draft, highlighting players from this year’s pool that could produce similar letdowns.

Earlier updates:

  • Jabari Parker would have no issue with being drafted by the Bucks, his father Sonny and Duke teammate Hood tell Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
  • The Suns were expected to work out Adreian Payne, Jordan Adams, Markel Brown, Sean Kilpatrick, Daniel Miller, and C.J. Wilcox today, reports azcentral sports.
  • Shawn Glover worked out for the Jazz today, reports Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune, and both Payne and David Stockton will work out for Utah tomorrow, Falk tweets. Payne is projected near Utah’s No. 23 overall pick, but neither Glover or Stockton (son of Jazz legend John Stockton) are projected as either first or second round picks.
  • A source tells Hoops Rumors (Twitter link) that Clemson small forward K.J. McDaniels will work out for the Thunder tomorrow.  McDaniels is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick and while he figures to be in range, he could be gone by the time OKC picks at No. 21.
  • Hoops Rumors has also learned (via Twitter) that Stanford forward Josh Huestis auditioned for the Knicks this week and will be playing in front of the Magic today.  The source adds that there aren’t enough days before the draft for Huestis to work out for every team that wants to see him (link).
  • In continuing their trend of working out point guards, the Magic will work out Tyler Ennis and Elfrid Payton over the next few days, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
  • Hoops Rumors has also learned (via Twitter) that former Tennessee Volunteers big man Jarnell Stokes is one of the 12 players working out for the Jazz today.  Stokes is projected to be a first round pick thanks to his tenacious rebounding and high motor.
  • A source tells Hoops Rumors (via Twitter) that Cincinnati forward Justin Jackson has worked  out for the Bulls with the Mavs, PacersHawksHornets, and Suns still on the docket.  To learn more about Jackson, a second-round prospect, check out the interview we conducted with him last month as a part of our Prospect Profile series.
  • Former UCLA point guard Kyle Anderson will work out for the Thunder tomorrow and the Sixers on Monday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.

B.J. Johnson To Sign With Suns

Small forward B.J. Johnson is set to sign a deal with the Suns, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter).

Johnson, 24, was on a two-way contract with Magic for the 2019/20 season but did not receive a qualifying offer from Orlando. Details of Johnson’s agreement with the Suns are unknown as of this writing, but it’s unlikely to be a fully guaranteed deal.

The 6’7″ wing went undrafted out of La Salle in 2018. After a stop with the Magic’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, at the start of the 2018/19 season, he logged limited time for the Hawks and Kings before landing back in Orlando in the fall of 2019. He appeared in just 10 games for Orlando, averaging 8.3 MPG.

In 28 games (all starts) for the Lakeland Magic during the 2019/20 season, however, Johnson averaged 22.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.1 SPG. He had a shooting line of .461/.414/.784. For his efforts, Johnson was rewarded with a 2020 All-NBA G League Second Team inclusion.

Full 2018 NBA Draft Lottery Results

With Tuesday night’s lottery results now official, the top 14 picks in the 2018 NBA draft have been set. The lottery order is as follows:

  1. Phoenix Suns
  2. Sacramento Kings
  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. Memphis Grizzlies
  5. Dallas Mavericks
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Chicago Bulls
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Nets)
  9. New York Knicks
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Pistons)
  13. Los Angeles Clippers
  14. Denver Nuggets

The Suns entered the night with the best odds (25.0%) at landing the No. 1 overall pick, and came away with that selection. The Kings, seventh in the lottery standings, only had an 18.3% chance at a top-three selection, but moved all the way up to No. 2. The Hawks, who had a 42.3% chance at a top-three pick, moved up from No. 4 to No. 3.

The Grizzlies, Mavericks, Magic, and Bulls had no lottery luck — Memphis and Dallas fell two spots each, while Orlando and Chicago each slipped one spot. Picks eight through 14 held to form.

With the Lakers’ first-rounder headed to Philadelphia, the Sixers will now owe the Celtics a first-round pick in 2019. That selection will be the more favorable of the Kings and Sixers first-rounders, unless one of those picks lands at No. 1. In that scenario, Boston would receive the less favorable pick.

The Pistons will send their first-round pick to the Clippers since it didn’t land in the top four, so Detroit’s obligation to L.A. has now been fulfilled — Detroit will have its own first-rounder in 2019 and beyond.

As we detailed earlier today, this is the last year these specific lottery odds will be in effect. Beginning in 2019, the NBA will smooth out those odds, reducing the chances of the worst teams landing the top picks, and putting the top four selections up for grabs instead of just the top three.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Hawks Working Out Jaren Jackson Jr.

The Hawks are hosting a pair of pre-draft workouts today, and one of those two sessions will be an individual workout for top prospect Jaren Jackson Jr., the team announced in a press release.

A potential top-five pick in this year’s draft, Jackson also auditioned for Phoenix recently, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter) calling it a “monster workout.” According to Wojnarowski, clubs outside the top four are interested in moving up to snag Jackson, meaning teams with top picks like the Kings (No. 2), Hawks (No. 3), and Grizzlies (No. 4) may receive some interesting trade offers as draft day approaches.

Jackson could also simply be a fit for Atlanta. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the Michigan State big man going to the Hawks in his most recent mock draft, writing that Jackson would be the “ideal” big man to pair with youngster John Collins. The 18-year-old has intriguing upside on both the offensive (.396 3PT%) and defensive (3.0 BPG in 21.8 MPG) ends of the floor.

In addition to Jackson, the Hawks will take a look at several prospects in a group workout today, according to the club. Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky), Trevon Duval (Duke), Isaac Haas (Purdue), Chimezie Metu (USC), Malik Newman (Kansas), and Andrew Rowsey (Marquette) are participating in that session.

Mutual Interest Between Lakers, Chris Kaman

In the wake of losing the league’s best center in free agency, the Lakers have growing interest in free agent center Chris Kaman and the feeling is mutual, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  As the Hoops Rumors Agency Database shows, the big man is a client of Landmark Sports Agency, the same agency that represents Kobe Bryant.

Several other teams have expressed interest in Kaman, including the Warriors, Hawks, Kings, and Knicks, according to sources.  Discussions are still in the formative stages between the former No. 6 overall pick and the Lakers, but Kaman has a reputation as a hard-working, dependable player who can fill a needed role. 

Kaman, who played his first eight seasons for the Clippers, likes the idea of returning to L.A., a league source said.  The 31-year-old averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 20 minutes a game for the Mavericks last year.

Free Agent Rumors: Howard, Lee, Waiters

Dwight Howard‘s meeting with the Hawks has concluded and a source tells Chris Broussard of (Twitter link) that Atlanta was “impressive.” Howard will still listen to the Celtics’ pitch, as well as speak with other teams, and a decision is expected to be made within the the next day.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Minnesota GM Scott Layden has reached out to Courtney Lee, but no offer has been made yet, Darren Wolfson of tweets. In addition to the Wolves, Lee has received interest from the Knicks, Kings, Nets and Hawks, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Kennedy adds that Atlanta’s interest in Lee is contingent on Kent Bazemore‘s decision to stay or leave in free agency.
  • Dion Waiters will have a face-to-face meeting with the Kings this weekend, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Pompey adds that the Sixers would like their own meeting with the shooting guard.
  • James Ennis has received calls from the Pelicans, Mavericks, Clippers, Warriors and Hawks, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link).
  • Nick Minnerath is receiving interest from the Nets, Lakers, Wizards, Pelicans and Mavericks, tweets international journalist David Pick.  Minnerath last played in the D-League for the Canton Charge.

Draft Notes: Shittu, Powell, Cole, Tinkle, Sharkey

Vanderbilt power forward Simisola Shittu has a workout scheduled with the Hornets on June 1, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. Shittu announced this week he was staying in the draft. He averaged 10.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG as a freshman and is ranked No. 89 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his Top 100 prospects list.

We have more on this year’s draft prospects:

  • Seton Hall guard Myles Powell worked out for the Nets this week as he ponders whether to stay in the draft, Adam Zagoria of reports. He’s already worked out for the Hornets, Kings, Thunder and Hawks. The junior averaged 23.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 2.9 APG last season.
  • Point guard RJ Cole will withdraw from the draft and transfer to the University of Connecticut, Jeff Goodman of tweets. Cole averaged 21.4 PPG and 6.4 APG for Howard as a sophomore.
  • Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle is heading back to school, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. The redshirt junior averaged 20.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG last season.
  • Josh Sharkey of Samford is withdrawing from the draft, Goodman tweets. The point guard averaged 16.3 PPG and 7.2 APG in his junior year.

Draft Rumors: Doncic, Kings, Porter, Brunson

While Luka Doncic is no longer considered a lock to be a top-three pick, the Suns, Kings, and Hawks have each traveled to Europe recently to meet him, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Doncic’s eventual landing spot remains a mystery, as Phoenix is widely expected to select Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick and Sacramento has focused on adding a perimeter big throughout the pre-draft process, Charania writes.

As Charania notes, the Kings view last year’s top-five pick, De’Aaron Fox, as their point guard of the future. While Doncic won’t necessarily slot in at the point once he arrives in the NBA, that’s the position he views as the best fit for himself.

“Honestly, I really prefer to play point guard, to have the ball in my hands and play for other people,” Doncic told Charania. “Playing from the one to the four, that’s the strength that I have over everyone. I want to play for my teammates and make them better. I really prefer to have the ball in my hands, and play for everybody else. I will do anything for my team. I’m happy when I can play point. It’s easier for me. I can fight more in the post and create for my teammates.

“From the beginning when I came to Real Madrid, I saw that I loved to create for others,” Doncic continued. “I like to play pick-and-roll with the ball and pass from everywhere. From the beginning, I wanted to be the point guard.”

Here are more draft notes and rumors, with the big night just three days away:

Draft Notes: Lakers, Johnson, Berzins, Payne

The Lakers would prefer Karl-Anthony Towns to Jahlil Okafor, but Towns appears to be the player that the Timberwolves are targeting with the top pick, as Chris Mannix of hears (Twitter link). L.A. has swung and missed on attempts to have Towns in for a workout, while Mark Heisler of heard recently that Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders has become enamored with the Kentucky big man. The Lakers have zeroed in on Okafor if Towns is off the board, as Mannix reported earlier. Here’s more on the rapidly approaching draft:

  • Stanley Johnson is refusing to work out with the Hornets, who pick ninth, in hopes that either the Pistons, at No. 8, or the Heat, with the 10th pick, will draft him, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Latvian small forward Janis Berzins is working out for the Spurs and Celtics in addition to his audition with the Jazz this past Friday, as VEF Riga, his Latvian team, revealed via Twitter (translation via HoopsHype).
  • Cameron Payne has worked out for the Lakers, Kings, Nuggets, Pacers and Thunder, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. In addition, Payne held a meeting with the Celtics.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said earlier this week that he has workouts left with the Jazz, Kings and Hawks, tweets Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.
  • Justin Anderson recently completed his eighth workout, Castillo tweets. He has the Cavaliers and Thunder remaining.
  • Larry Nance Jr. tells the Associated Press he has worked out for “about a dozen” teams, including the Spurs, Sixers, Celtics, Suns, Heat, Pacers and Knicks. The last workout on his schedule will be Wednesday with the Cavaliers.
  • Pat Connaughton has managed to fit more than a dozen teams into his workout schedule, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The Notre Dame product has received positive reviews at most of the workouts and has a chance to be a second round pick, Himmelsbach writes.
  • Kevon Looney has worked out for “nine or 10 teams,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of One of those sessions was with the Celtics on June 17th, writes Josh Slavin of

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Bulls, G. Robinson, Pacers, Cavs

When the Bulls completed the Jimmy Butler blockbuster last June and embarked on a full-scale rebuild, team management expected to end up with a top-five pick in the 2018 draft. However, the rebuild appears to be advancing faster than anticipated, reducing Chicago’s chances of securing a premium pick — the team is currently tied for seventh in our Reverse Standings. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune examines how the Bulls’ relative success this season could affect the team’s long-term plans.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Pacers provided an injury update this week on swingman Glenn Robinson III after he practiced with the club for the first time since September. Robinson, who underwent ankle surgery in the fall, is “still a ways away,” according to head coach Nate McMillan, but there’s a small chance he’ll play before the All-Star break, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
  • Indiana center Myles Turner is getting close to returning from an injury of his own, but Pacers fans shouldn’t expect him to slide into the starting lineup alongside Domantas Sabonis, writes Mark Montieth of Turner will likely come off the bench at first, then reclaim his starting spot from Sabonis once he gets his legs back under him, since McMillan has no interest in having both players in the starting lineup.
  • The Cavaliers have been linked to several trade targets in recent weeks, but which one will they acquire? Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post can’t pick just one, so he outlines four hypothetical trades that the Cavs should make to save their season. Bontemps’ proposed deals with the Kings, Pistons, Hawks, and Nets would result in four of five new starters in Cleveland’s lineup, leaving only LeBron James.
  • Earlier today, we identified several trade candidates from Central teams.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Valentine, Ujiri, Wizards

The Pistons remain in limbo as some teams around the NBA start reopening their practice facilities, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes.

The Cavaliers and Trail Blazers formally opened their facilities on Friday under strict restrictions and guidelines from the NBA, with teams such as the Nuggets, Kings, and Hawks intending on doing the same next week. Detroit is likely multiple weeks away from opening its own facility, the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, Sankofa notes.

“There’s a set of guidelines, we’ll follow them to the T and we’ll be very cautious for both the player and the staff,” Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski said. “But … it’ll be a slow process. We’re waiting for the state of Michigan to allow us. We’re not doing anything until then.” 

Detroit has mostly relied on virtual workouts during the hiatus, including using features such as Zoom, joining other teams in doing whatever they can over break. It’s likely the team will continue to use these approaches as time progresses this month.

“It’s not perfect from a basketball/cardio stance, but we’re not in perfect times,” Stefanski admitted. “We understand that the players are just getting their strength workout and some cardio, even if it’s outside on a track and things like that. That’s what we’re trying to do right now. We’re not encouraging them to go into gyms and things like that that are not regulated by NBA people.”

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Eric Woodyard of ESPN explores how Bulls forward Denzel Valentine wound up wearing No. 45 from the day he was drafted by Chicago in 2016. Bulls legend Michael Jordan wore No. 45 for 22 games in 1995, causing many in Valentine’s circle to wonder whether he’d be able to don the number with Chicago.
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines the draft history of Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who’s widely considered to be one of the top executives in the league. Ujiri was responsible for drafting Pascal Siakam in 2016 and OG Anunoby in 2017, along with signing Fred VanVleet as an undrafted free agent in 2016.
  • Precious Achiuwa would fill some important needs for the Wizards if the team chooses to draft him, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington contends. Achiuwa, who turns 21 in September, is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 15.8 points per game with Memphis last season.

Latest On Courtney Lee

The Knicks continue to search for a wing player to add to their roster, and to that end, are still pursuing unrestricted free agent Courtney Lee. New York’s latest offer to Lee was for four-years and approximately $40MM, or to do some quick math, $10MM per season, Ian Begley of reports (ESPN Now link). Phil Jackson and company are also reportedly in the mix for Eric Gordon, with potentially disgruntled Heat star Dwyane Wade lurking as a fallback option.

New York is facing competition for Lee, with the Kings ready to offer the swingman a deal valued at approximately $14MM per season, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets. The Wolves Kings, Nets and Hawks are also reported to be interested in Lee. After agreeing to a deal with center Joakim Noah, the Knicks project to have approximately $12MM in cap space remaining, Begley notes, which could prove problematic for the team if the bidding for Lee escalates.

Lee finished the 2015/16 season with the Hornets, appearing in 28 games after being acquired from Memphis and averaging 8.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists during his time in Charlotte. He shot .445/.392/.885 from the field.

Jared Cunningham To Play In Germany

Former first-round pick Jared Cunningham is headed to Germany for the 2017/18 season, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details. Cunningham has signed a one-year contract with Bayern Munich, the team confirmed (via Twitter).

Cunningham, 26, was the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft, but had trouble sticking with an NBA team. From 2012 to 2016, the former Oregon State shooting guard played in just 84 total regular season contests, but spent time with six NBA teams, appearing in games for the Mavericks, Hawks, Kings, Clippers, Cavaliers, and Bucks.

Althought Cunningham failed to make an impact in the NBA, his G League averages (17.2 PPG, 3.7 APG, 3.2 RPG in 69 games) were solid, and he posted big numbers for Jiangsu Tongxi in Chinese League play last season (34.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.2 APG in 31 games).

Cunningham will join a growing list of former NBA players who will play overseas in 2017/18, as we detailed earlier this month.

Shelden Williams To Sign In China

Free agent Shelden Williams has agreed with Tianjin in China on a deal, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  

Williams, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 Draft, has played for seven NBA teams over the course of his career.  We heard back in August that the big man was likely going to sign somewhere overseas.  Williams turned down offers from Euroleague teams and it would appear that he found a more lucrative deal waiting for him in China.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old spent last season with France's Elan Chalon.  Before that, he averaged 4.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG over the course of his career with the Hawks, Kings, Wolves, Celtics, Nuggets, Knicks, and Nets.  

Williams didn't pan out the way that the Hawks hoped when they tabbed him with the fifth pick, but he's far from the only bust to come from the 2006 class.  Fellow top picks Andrea Bargnani, Adam Morrison, and Tyrus Thomas also failed to live up to expectations while LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Roy were the only All-Stars out of that draft.

Read more

Wizards Sign Alex Len To One-Year Deal

JANUARY 23: The Wizards have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Len.

JANUARY 22: Free agent center Alex Len, who cleared waivers on Thursday after being released by the Raptors on Tuesday, has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania, Len had multiple suitors and chose the Wizards in part because of the clear path to playing time in D.C. — starting center Thomas Bryant tore his ACL earlier this month and will miss the rest of the season, while Anzejs Pasecniks was released this past weekend, leaving Robin Lopez as the only true center on the active roster.

The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Len signed a one-year, $2.26MM contract with the Raptors in November, but didn’t see much action in his brief stint with the team. The 2.3 points and 10.9 minutes per game he averaged in seven contests with Toronto would’ve been his lowest marks since his rookie season.

Len has been more productive in recent years. He averaged a career-best 11.1 PPG in 77 games (20.1 MPG) with Atlanta in 2018/19, then posted 8.0 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 55 games (17.6 MPG) in part-time roles for the Hawks and Kings last season.

Having waived Pasecniks a few days ago, the Wizards had an open spot on their 15-man roster, so no corresponding move will be required to make room for Len.

The big man will earn a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum on his new deal with Washington, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). If the signing is officially completed today, Len would earn a $1,712,648 salary and the Wizards would take on a $1,276,472 cap hit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jared Cunningham To Play In China

After spending four seasons in the NBA and the D-League, Jared Cunningham is taking his talents overseas for the 2016/17 season. As relayed by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Cunningham has signed with Chinese team Jiangsu Tongxi.

The 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Cunningham was sent to Dallas by the Cavaliers in a draft-day trade, the first move in an NBA journey that saw the former Oregon State guard spend time with six different teams. The Mavericks, Hawks, Kings, Clippers, Cavaliers, and Bucks have all had Cunningham on their regular-season rosters for at least brief stints since he entered the league.

In total, Cunningham appeared in 84 regular-season contests, including 40 with the Cavs last season. He never carved out a consistent role, however, averaging just 2.3 PPG on .347/.306/.674 shooting for his NBA career.

The 25-year-old had more success in the D-League, where he averaged 17.2 PPG for four separate teams in 69 overall games. However, by heading to China, Cunningham will get a chance to earn more playing time than he would in the NBA, and more money than he would in the D-League.

Hawks Among Those Interested In Zach LaVine

Count the Hawks among those interested in Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. They’ll join a handful of suitors that also includes the Kings, as we wrote about earlier this week.

Atlanta, like Sacramento, will have plenty of cap space to throw at the restricted free agent. A bidding war between clubs well short of the cap, coupled with the 23-year-old’s hypothetical ceiling, could drive the former slam dunk champion’s forthcoming contract through the roof.

While there are concerns about LaVine’s health following an ACL tear in early 2017, he remains a world-class athlete that averaged 18.9 points per game half-way through 2016/17 before succumbing to the injury.

LaVine performed admirably in just over a third of a season with the Bulls but Chicago may pause at the thought of matching a max or near-max contract offer sheet should either the Hawks or Kings decide to go that high.

It’s worth noting that Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has been particularly conservative financially throughout his short tenure with the franchise. That said, the chance to net a potential All-Star young enough to build around may prove too much to resist.

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