Petr Cornelie

And-Ones: Hardship Deals, Sharpe, Cornelie, All-Star Voting

The NBA will continue to allow teams to sign players to 10-day hardship contracts via a COVID-related allowance through February 17, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). When first introducing the new form of hardship deals last month, the league said they would be permitted until at least January 19.

Unlike the injury-related hardship deals that have been available for many years, a COVID hardship contract doesn’t count against a team’s salary for cap or tax purposes. Additionally, an injury-related hardship exception is only granted if a club has at least four players out with longer-term injuries, whereas that club becomes eligible for a COVID hardship exception as soon as one player enters the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

There are far fewer players in the protocols now than there were in mid-to-late December and early January, so hopefully the worst of this season’s COVID-19 outbreaks are behind us and not many hardship deals will be required in the coming weeks.

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

  • Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe, once ranked by ESPN as the top prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, will be eligible to apply for the ’22 NBA draft as an early entrant, a source tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. It’s unclear whether or not Sharpe, who has yet to play at all for the Wildcats, will actually declare for this year’s draft. If he does, it would shake up the top 10 for lottery teams — Givony has tentatively placed the 18-year-old sixth overall on ESPN’s 2022 big board.
  • Despite some rumors that he was being eyed by a team in Spain, former Nuggets forward Petr Cornelie has signed a G League contract and joined the Grand Rapids Gold, Denver’s affiliate, according to the league’s transactions log. Cornelie was waived last week so the Nuggets could sign Davon Reed to a two-way contract.
  • The NBA announced the latest All-Star voting results on Thursday and issued a reminder that voting will end on Saturday and the All-Star starters will be announced next Thursday, January 27. The fans’ selections will account for 50% of the overall vote, with current NBA players (25%) and a media panel (25%) accounting for the remainder.

Nuggets Trade Bol Bol To Pistons, Sign Davon Reed To Two-Way Deal

JANUARY 10: The Nuggets have officially acquired McGruder and the Nets’ 2022 second-round pick in exchange for Bol, the team announced today in a press release. Denver also confirmed Reed’s two-way deal and Cornelie’s release in a separate announcement on Sunday.


JANUARY 9: The Pistons will be sending veteran shooting guard Rodney McGruder and a future second-round draft selection to the Nuggets in exchange for intriguing young power forward Bol Bol, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The pick going to Denver in the deal will be a 2022 second-rounder that Detroit originally acquired from the Nets, per Woj and James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

There is more personnel news out of Denver. The Nuggets will upgrade the contract of guard Davon Reed, currently signed to his third 10-day hardship exception contract, to a two-way deal, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. To make a two-way slot available for Reed, Denver will release current two-way player Petr Cornelie.

In 12 games with Denver, including two starts, Reed is averaging 4.4 PPG on a .457/.350/.800 shooting line, along with 3.0 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.2 SPG.

Singer notes that Bol struggled to find a consistent position while with the Nuggets and thus toggled between spot minutes at small and power forward. Head coach Michael Malone and his coaching staff also apparently projected more upside out of big men Vlatko Cancar and Zeke Nnaji, who had moved ahead of Bol in the team’s rotation prior to Cancar’s recent foot fracture. Singer adds that the Nuggets plan to retain McGruder for the time being.

Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press opines that the addition of Bol will help a depleted Detroit squad up front, which Sankofa identifies as one of the 8-30 club’s key weaknesses. Woj writes in his piece that the addition of the 7’2″ forward will be an opportunity for the rebuilding Pistons to take a flyer on a young player with upside.

This season, Bol is averaging 2.4 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 5.8 MPG. Last season across eight games with the Windy City Bulls, the 22-year-old averaged 12.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 2.3 BPG. He recently had his best offensive game at the NBA level, scoring 11 points against the Rockets in 20 minutes on January 1.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link) that, by sending the expiring $2.15MM deal of Bol out in exchange for the $1.7MM expiring deal of McGruder, the Nuggets will carve out additional space below the NBA’s luxury tax. Denver is now $2.4MM under the tax line.

The 6’4″ McGruder has not made much of an impact during his time in Detroit. The 30-year-old re-signed with the Pistons on a veteran’s minimum deal this summer after spending the 2020/21 season in Detroit. This season, he is averaging just 2.5 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 9.5 MPG, across 17 of the club’s 38 contests.

Northwest Notes: DSJ, Zeller, Nuggets, Beverley, Azubuike, Kalaitzakis

The Trail Blazers will keep Dennis Smith Jr. on their roster through the salary guarantee date, ensuring that he receives his full salary for 2021/22, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Smith won a training camp battle to earn a regular season roster spot and has averaged 5.4 PPG and 3.3 APG in 19 games (17.2 MPG). While his shooting numbers (.396 FG%, .273 3PT%) are below his mediocre career rates, Smith has apparently made enough of an impress on the Trail Blazers to stick around as the team’s 14th man. He’ll earn a $1,789,256 salary ($1,669,178 cap hit) for the season.

Wojnarowski also provides another updates on the Trail Blazers, tweeting that center Cody Zeller is expected to be available vs. Cleveland on Friday night. Zeller, who hasn’t played since December 6, missed time due to a knee injury and a stint in the health and safety protocols, but it appears he’s been cleared to return on both fronts.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Nuggets forwards Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji are no longer in the health and safety protocols, but two-way rookie Petr Cornelie has entered them, tweets Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Because the team still has one player in the COVID-19 protocols, hardship signee Davon Reed can remain active.
  • The Patrick Beverley trade has been a major coup for the Timberwolves, according to Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune, who says the veteran guard has been an “ideal leader” for the young team. Minnesota gave up Jarrett Culver and Juan Hernangomez to land Beverley.
  • Udoka Azubuike hasn’t played much for the Jazz since being selected with the 27th pick in the 2020 draft, but he logged a career-high 16 minutes in his first ever start on Wednesday in Denver, holding his own against Nikola Jokic. Tony Jones of The Athletic has the story on the young center’s unexpected showcase, which came with Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside unavailable. “I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little nervous,” Azubuike said. “I just came back from (an ankle) injury, and I’m playing against the MVP? That was a lot to process.”
  • Georgios Kalaitzakis, the 60th overall pick in the 2021 draft who was waived by Milwaukee earlier this season, has signed an NBA G League contract, as our JD Shaw recently reported (via Twitter). The 23-year-old Greek forward joined the Oklahoma City Blue and appeared in his first game with the Thunder‘s affiliate on Thursday.

Nuggets Sign Petr Cornelie To Two-Way Deal

The Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

The 6’11” Cornelie appeared in 34 games for Elan Bearnais of the French LNB Pro A league last season, averaging 14.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 1.5 APG while shooting 54.0% from the field and 44.2% from 3-point range in 28.9 MPG. The 26-year-old also helped France’s national team earn a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Cornelie, who has played professionally overseas since 2013, was a draft-and-stash selection by Denver as the 53rd pick in the 2016 draft. He has appeared in 14 games for three Nuggets summer league teams from 2016-18, averaging 5.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 1.0 APG in 16.8 MPG.

With guard Markus Howard holding the other spot, the Nuggets now have both two-way slots filled.

Draft Notes: Maker, Luwawu, Cordinier

Here’s the latest news and notes regarding the 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held in Brooklyn, New York next Thursday:

  • The Nuggets have a group workout scheduled on Friday for Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Isaia Cordinier (France), Petr Cornelie (France) and Majok Deng (Louisiana-Monroe), the team announced via press release.
  • Denver held an individual workout today for swingman Timothe Luwawu, the team announced. The Frenchman averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in 31.1 minutes for Mega Leks of the Serbian League this past season.
  • The Hornets have a group workout scheduled for Friday with Thon Maker (Australia), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Joel Bolomboy (Weber State), Patricio Garino (George Washington) and Melvin Johnson (VCU), Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter).
  • Former Auburn small forward Tyler Harris has a workout scheduled with the Raptors on Sunday, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays (Twitter link).

Suns Notes: Chandler, Workouts, J. Brown

The Suns are taking a closer look at candidates for that fourth overall pick, having hosted former California forward Jaylen Brown for a workout on Monday. We also heard yesterday that Phoenix has a workout lined up with Dragan Bender, who will be traveling stateside to meet with a handful of teams with top picks.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Veteran center Tyson Chandler isn’t getting any younger, and may not want to remain in Phoenix if the team plans to undergo a major rebuilding effort. For now though, Chandler is content to take a wait-and-see approach and won’t seek out a trade, as he tells ESPN’s The Jump with Rachel Nichols. “If there is a decision and they want to go young and stay young, then we’ll have that conversation. But we’re not there,” Chandler said. “I’m happy where I am. I feel like the Suns have a bright future if we continue to build and build the right way. It’s all about building the right way.”
  • The Suns have a six-man pre-draft workout group lined up for today, according to the team (Twitter link). The prospects participating in that session are Josh Adams (Wyoming), Gerry Blakes (Arizona State), Petr Cornelie (France), Juan Hernangomez (Spain), Mamadou Ndiaye (UC Irvine), and Georgios Papagiannis (Greece).
  • Former Syracuse guard Malachi Richardson is also scheduled to work out for the Suns this week, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).
  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic takes a look at whether Jaylen Brown would be a fit in Phoenix, talking to Suns assistant GM Pat Connelly and Brown himself.

Draft Notes: Maker, Zimmerman, Richardson

Here’s the latest news and notes regarding the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 23rd in Brooklyn, New York:

  • The Wolves held a workout on Friday for Matt Costello (Michigan State), Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma) and  Mike Tobey (Virginia), Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN relays (via Twitter).
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled for today with Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Damion Lee (Louisville), James Robinson (Pittsburgh), Josh Scott (Colorado), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Grizzlies on Sunday will be Petr Cornelie (France), Julian Jacobs (USC), Alpha Kaba (Mega Leks), Abdel Nader (Iowa State), Josh Adams (Wyoming) and Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), the team announced via press release.
  • The Pistons held workouts on Friday for Thon Maker (Australia), Cornelie, Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State), Isaiah Taylor (Texas) and Cat Barber (NC State), Keith Langlois of NBA.com relays (Twitter links).

Petr Cornelie Declines To Enter Draft

Projected second-round pick Petr Cornelie will pass on entering this year’s draft, agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). The power forward who’s a native of France was the 47th-ranked prospect on Givony‘s list as well as the one that Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles. Cornelie has a strong chance to become a first-round pick next year, according to Givony.

Cornelie, who turns 20 in July, combines shot blocking, outside shooting and mobility in a 6’11” frame, and he drew more attention from NBA scouts this year, Givony tweets. He saw only 16.4 minutes per game for the French club Le Mans Sarthe Basket this season, but his role with the club figures to expand in 2015/16, according to Givony. Cornelie averaged 3.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per contest, though his range didn’t consistently extend beyond the three-point line, as he hit just 30.0% of his shots from that territory. He put up 5.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in close to 12 MPG during last year’s Adidas EuroCamp, a showcase of significance of overseas prospects.

It’s quite conceivable that Cornelie wouldn’t have been playing in the NBA next season even if he had entered the draft and been selected, since draft-and-stash maneuvers are common in the second round. There’s no guarantee Cornelie enters next year’s draft, either, since international players aren’t automatically eligible for the draft until the year they turn 22, which would be 2017 in Cornelie’s case, though the chance to become a first-round pick might be too tempting to pass up.