A.J. Lawson

Mavs Waive Tyler Dorsey, Sign A.J. Lawson To Two-Way Deal

3:35pm: The moves are now official, the Mavericks announced (via Twitter).

12:25pm: The Mavericks are waiving Tyler Dorsey, who is on a two-way contract, and plan to sign A.J. Lawson to fill the open two-way spot, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Lawson, a 6’6″ wing, went undrafted out of South Carolina in 2021. He signed a training camp deal with the Hawks last fall, but was waived before the season started and spent his first year as a pro with the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate.

The 22-year-old has had a busy 2022. He attended a free agent mini-camp with the Mavs over the summer and then played for their Summer League squad. At the end of July, the Wolves signed him to a two-way deal, waived him before the season started, and then re-signed him to another two-way contract in mid-November.

However, he was waived again on December 6 to make room for Matt Ryan, and thus became a free agent. Lawson has only made one NBA appearance (for two minutes), so he’s technically still a rookie, but he has been a G League fixture over the past two seasons and obviously the Mavs liked what they saw from him during Summer League action as well.

Dorsey, the 41st pick of the 2017 draft, played 104 games over two seasons with the Hawks and Grizzlies from 2017-19. The former Oregon star averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds before heading overseas in 2019.

The 6’5″ shooting guard had strong showings for Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv and Greece’s Olympiacos before returning stateside over the summer and inking his two-way deal with the Mavs. He only appeared in three NBA games for Dallas, but he put up big numbers for the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate, averaging 24.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 2.2 APG on .466/.467/.842 shooting.

According to Aris Barkas of Eurohoops (Twitter link), Dorsey is expected to draw significant interest from EuroLeague clubs, including Olympiacos, once he becomes a free agent in a couple days.

Timberwolves Sign Matt Ryan To Two-Way Deal, Waive Lawson

DECEMBER 8: The Timberwolves have put out a press release officially announcing that they’ve signed Ryan to a two-way contract and waived Lawson.

DECEMBER 6: The Timberwolves are signing forward Matt Ryan to a two-way contract, Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweet. Minnesota will waive A.J. Lawson to make room for Ryan, Krawczynski adds in another tweet.

Ryan was waived by the Lakers last week.

Minnesota ranks 28th in 3-point shooting at 32.6% and hopes that Ryan can help in that area. He joined the Lakers on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract in September and earned a spot on the regular season roster.

Ryan made 13-of-35 attempts 3-point attempts (37.1%) for L.A. this season but only converted 2-of-14 two-pointers. In total, he averaged 3.9 PPG in 12 appearances (10.8 MPG).

Ryan went undrafted out of Chattanooga in 2020 and eventually landed with the Grand Rapids Gold in the G League in 2021/22. He made his NBA debut with the Celtics this past spring.

Lawson appeared in just one game for the Timberwolves after signing a two-way contract in mid-November. He was playing for the Hawks’ G League affiliate prior to inking that contract.

It’s the second time Minnesota has waived Lawson. He was previously signed on a two-way deal in July. The Wolves initially waived him to add Luka Garza in mid-October.

Timberwolves Sign A.J. Lawson To Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 16: The Timberwolves have officially signed Lawson to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 14: The Timberwolves are signing forward A.J. Lawson on a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Lawson has averaged 22.3 points for the G League’s College Park Skyhawks, the Hawks’ affiliate. He is expected to join Minnesota for Wednesday’s game against Orlando.

Minnesota has an empty two-way slot and won’t have to make a corresponding roster move.

The Timberwolves previously signed Lawson on a two-way deal in July. However, they waived him to add Luka Garza in mid-October. At the time, Eric Paschall occupied the other two-way slot but Minnesota soon waived him as well.

Lawson excelled during the Las Vegas Summer League for the Mavericks, averaging 15.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in five games.

Lawson, a 6’6” guard, was waived by the Hawks during training camp in 2021. He then averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.8 APG in 31.8 MPG for the Skyhawks while appearing in 33 games.

Lawson went undrafted that summer despite putting up 16.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .351 3PT% in 21 games (31.3 MPG) as a junior for South Carolina.

Timberwolves Waive Dozier, Elleby, Lawson

The Timberwolves reached the 15-man roster limit by waiving guard PJ Dozier, forward CJ Elleby and guard A.J. Lawson, according to a team press release.

Dozier was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract last month. He spent the last three seasons with the Nuggets, where he averaged 6.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 97 games (six starts).

Elleby received an Exhibit 10 contract in early August and appeared in two preseason games. He spent the last two seasons with the  Trail Blazers. Last season, he averaged 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in 58 games.

Lawson held one of the team’s two-way contracts but Minnesota chose to give big man Luka Garza his two-way spot. Lawson signed his two-way deal in July. The Garza signing was officially announced in a press release on Saturday.

Lawson saw action in three preseason games for the Wolves and also played for the Mavericks’ summer league squad, for which he averaged 15.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in five games.

Given Dozier and Elleby’s NBA experience, it wouldn’t be a surprise if either gets claimed. Dozier returned to basketball activities this summer after tearing his ACL last December.

Wolves Converting Luka Garza To Two-Way Deal

10:50pm: Lawson will be waived to make room for Garza, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). Minnesota was high on Lawson, but didn’t want to lose Garza, per Krawczynski.

10:26pm: The Timberwolves are signing center Luka Garza to a two-way deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While Charania says “signing,” Garza is already under contract with the team, so the Wolves are technically converting his Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way deal. Minnesota’s two-way slots are currently occupied by A.J. Lawson and Eric Paschall, so they’ll need to waive one of them in order to convert Garza.

Garza, 23, was selected by the Pistons with the 52nd overall pick in the 2021 draft and spent his rookie season in Detroit, averaging 5.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 32 games (12.2 MPG). He was a standout for the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate, putting up 20.6 PPG and 9.5 RPG in 16 games (29.8 MPG) and earning a spot on the All-NBAGL Third Team.

The former Iowa star’s contract with the Pistons was for two years, but the 2022/23 season was a team option, which Detroit declined, making him an unrestricted free agent. Garza signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Wolves in August.

Wolves head coach Chris Finch recently stated that he likes what Garza has brought to the team during training camp.

He’s the perfect system fit for us. Great acquisition by our front office,” Finch said. “He’s a guy I think can really grow into our system here. He can stretch the floor and he can score around the basket. That’s a great combo. Not a lot of bigs can do that.”

Timberwolves Sign A.J. Lawson To Two-Way Contract

JULY 26: The Timberwolves have officially signed Lawson to his two-way deal, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

JULY 19: The Timberwolves are signing free agent wing A.J. Lawson to a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Lawson excelled during the Las Vegas Summer League for the Mavericks, averaging 15.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in five games.

Lawson, a 6’6” guard, was waived by the Hawks during training camp last fall. He then averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.8 APG in 31.8 MPG for the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, while appearing in 33 games.

Lawson went undrafted in 2021 despite putting up 16.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .351 3PT% in 21 games (31.3 MPG) as a junior for South Carolina in 2020/21.

Both of Minnesota’s two-way slots are empty, though the team has a two-way qualifying offer out to Nathan Knight.

Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans Among FAs Attending Mavs’ Mini-Camp

The Mavericks are hosting a free agent mini-camp this week that will have over 30 players in attendance, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter).

The list of participants includes a handful with extensive NBA experience, including veteran guards Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway.

Jalen Lecque, Chris Clemons, Emanuel Terry, Grant Riller, Jay Huff, and Tyler Hall are among the other mini-camp invitees who have played in at least one regular season NBA game. A.J. Lawson, Andrew Andrews, Isaiah Brown, Justin Gorham, and Sekou Wiggs are some of the participants without NBA experience (Twitter links).

Teams are permitted to carry up to 20 players during the offseason, giving them some flexibility to take fliers on veterans or youngsters who could come to training camp on non-guaranteed contracts and compete for a 15-man roster spot.

It’s possible one or more of the players at Dallas’ mini-camp this week will make a strong enough impression to earn a camp invite. As Shaw notes, some of the mini-camp participants could also be invited to join the Mavericks’ Summer League team next month.

It’s worth noting that even after agreeing to trade four players for Christian Wood, the Mavs don’t project to have a ton of open 15-man roster spots for 2022/23. Dallas will have nine players on guaranteed salaries, plus Maxi Kleber and Frank Ntilikina on non-guaranteed contracts. Jalen Brunson and Theo Pinson are free agents, but the team reportedly wants to bring back both. If all of those players return, it would leave just two openings on the Mavs’ standard regular season roster.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, R. Williams, Isaac, Portis

The Knicks held a free agent mini-camp this week, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog (Twitter link), who says a number of players with NBA experience were in attendance.

Guards Devon Dotson and Chris Clemons, swingman DaQuan Jeffries, forwards Louis King and George King, and big men Alize Johnson and Reggie Perry were among the players who participated in the Knicks’ mini-camp, per Zagoria. John Petty, Craig Randall, Carlik Jones, Aaron Henry, and A.J. Lawson also took part.

The Knicks won’t necessarily sign any of the free agents who attended the mini-camp, but it gave them a chance to see some of the talent that’s out there as they mull possible Summer League and training camp invites.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics big man Robert Williams, who is still listed as questionable for Game 6 on Friday, was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee after colliding with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 3, head coach Ime Udoka said today. Williams’ injured knee is the same one he had surgery on in March, but that procedure isn’t the cause of his current absence. “There’s no problems with the surgery at all,” Udoka said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “It’s just that specific hit that he took (in Game 3).”
  • Because of the injury-related language and games-played requirements in Jonathan Isaac‘s contract with the Magic, his $17.4MM annual salaries for the next three years are now partially guaranteed instead of fully guaranteed, as Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets. Isaac has missed two straight seasons due to an ACL tear, but there’s no indication that the Magic are considering waiving him, which is the only way they could avoid paying his full salaries.
  • Bobby Portis only shot 4-of-14 from the floor in the Bucks‘ Game 5 win on Wednesday, but he grabbed 15 rebounds and made the sort of crucial hustle plays the team values, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Averaging a double-double (11.3 PPG, 10.4 RPG) so far this postseason, Portis is once again displaying his value ahead of possible free agency. He holds a $4.6MM player option for 2022/23.

Hawks Sign DaQuan Jeffries, Waive A.J. Lawson

12:00pm: In order to make room on the roster for Jeffries, the Hawks have waived guard A.J. Lawson, who had been on an Exhibit 10 contract, per a team press release confirming both transactions. Lawson could end up playing for the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate.

10:57am: The Hawks have agreed to sign free agent wing DaQuan Jeffries, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Jeffries will get a partially guaranteed contract.

Jeffries, 24, made his NBA debut with the Kings during the 2019/20 season and saw limited minutes for the team across two seasons before being released this past April. He was claimed off waivers by the Rockets and ended up averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 31 games (15.9 MPG) for Sacramento and Houston in 2020/21.

The Rockets cut Jeffries during the final week of the regular season and he was once again claimed off waivers, this time by the Spurs. However, he didn’t appear in a regular season game with San Antonio and the club opted not to pick up his option for the 2021/22 season, making him a free agent.

The Hawks have a full 20-man roster and will have to trade or waive a player in order to officially add Jeffries. As for whether he has a chance to make the regular season squad, that remains to be seen — the size of his partial guarantee could provide a hint, once it’s reported.

Atlanta has 14 players on fully guaranteed salaries, so the 15th spot appears up for grabs. A player who spent training camp with the team might have a leg up for that spot, but camp invitees Jahlil Okafor and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot haven’t been particularly effective in the preseason so far. Of course, the Hawks may also elect not to carry a 15th man to start the season.

Hawks Sign A.J. Lawson To Camp Deal

The Hawks have signed rookie free agent A.J. Lawson to a one-year contract, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions. While terms of the deal aren’t known, it figures to be a non-guaranteed camp deal that includes Exhibit 10 language.

Lawson, who went undrafted on July 29, put up 16.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .351 3PT% in 21 games (31.3 MPG) as a junior for South Carolina in 2020/21. The 6’6″ shooting guard earned a spot on the All-SEC Second Team.

Shortly after the draft, Lawson reportedly reached an agreement to sign with the Heat, then joined the team for Summer League play. However, he left Miami’s Summer League club in Las Vegas in order to join the Hawks’ SL squad, which was a pretty clear indication that he no longer intended to attend training camp with the Heat. Instead, it appears he’ll do so with Atlanta.

With the signing, the Hawks now have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, two on Exhibit 10 deals (Lawson and Johnny Hamilton) and one on a two-way pact (Sharife Cooper). Atlanta also has a two-way qualifying offer out to Skylar Mays and reportedly intends to sign undrafted rookie Ibi Watson to an Exhibit 10 contract.