Aaron Craft

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

And-Ones: Sidney, D-League, Turner

The top performing players during the 2015 NBA D-League Elite mini-camp were Aaron Craft, Adonis Thomas, Shawn Jones, and Casey Prather, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets. The NBA D-League’s camp offers standouts from the past season another chance to perform in front of NBA team personnel in advance of Summer Leagues and 2015 training camps, Brian Kotloff of NBA.com writes. “It’s really a great thing for our league to showcase the players,” Elite Mini Camp director Bob MacKinnon, a five-year NBA D-League coaching veteran, said. “Every NBA team will be represented with scouts in these two days. We changed the schedule to accommodate what NBA scouts have told us they want to see.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Eight NBA teams are attending a workout for former Mississippi State center Renardo Sidney tonight in Chicago, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The big man is a free agent and went undrafted back in 2012.
  • The NBA draft combine allows teams to examine more than just the players’ on court abilities, and in some cases these secondary observations can mean the difference between a player getting drafted or needing to scramble to snag a training camp invite, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “The interviews are a big part of this week,” said a Western Conference official. “For teams, a lot of times it’s the first chance they get to sit down with players and find out the answers to some questions that might mean the difference between that kid staying on their board or taken off entirely.
  • Texas big man Myles Turner has a chance to contribute immediately and possibly become a building block for a future contending team, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops writes. Turner is looking to make a splash in the league, saying, “Definitely a long-term goal is to get Rookie of the Year and get into the NBA All-Star Weekend. As far as short-term goals, I’d like to be able to have a great role within the team I’m drafted by to be able to go out there and get quality minutes instead of riding the bench the whole entire rookie season.” The 19-year-old is the No. 10 overall prospect according to Ford, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slots him at No. 11. You can view Hoops Rumors’ expanded profile of Turner here.

California Notes: Kobe, Green, Craft, Rivers

Although Kobe Bryant contends he’ll likely play through his current contract, which expires after the 2015/16 season, he admits that he’s at least considered hanging it up at the end of this year, relays Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. “I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t crossed my mind,” Bryant said of retiring. “Right now I doubt it … but anything’s possible… You have to find new challenges, not playing for a championship, it’s pretty tough.” The Lakers sit near the bottom of the Western Conference at 12-29, but Bryant says the team would never consider tanking, going as far as to call the practice “sacrilegious,” notes Plaschke.

There’s more form the California-based teams:

  • Lessons that the WarriorsDraymond Green learned at Michigan State are going to lead to a huge contract this summer, suggests Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group. A second-round pick three years ago, Green has blossomed into one of Golden State’s leaders and will be a restricted free agent this summer. “The guy really is a coach’s dream,” said Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry. “You can’t place a value on that. Use every cliché you can. His teams always win. The squad you put him on in a scrimmage, his team is going to win.”
  • Aaron Craft has generated a positive buzz as a result of his performance at the D-League showcase, observes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, who adds that the 23-year-old guard out of Ohio State is on NBA teams’ radars (Twitter link). Craft was cut from the Warriors out of training camp and currently suits up for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate.
  • The ClippersDoc Rivers and Austin Rivers are trying to downplay their father/son and coach/player relationship, reports Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times“I’m over it,” Austin Rivers said. “[Friday] night was about the son thing and I’m done with that. Now it’s basketball for me.” Los Angeles acquired Rivers from the Celtics Thursday in a three-team deal involving the Suns. The younger Rivers “jumped at the opportunity” to  join L.A., as he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Craft, Gasol, Ledo

NBA executives are growing increasingly intrigued with guard Aaron Craft, who is currently playing in the D-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s affiliate, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports (Twitter link). Craft was in training camp with the Warriors this season, and was considering a contract offer from Partizan Belgrade of the Serbian League back in November, but he chose to remain with Santa Cruz rather than head overseas.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Spurs seem poised to chase Marc Gasol in free agency this coming summer, but there’s little call for them to go after a replacement for Tim Duncan when Duncan continues to demonstrate that he can still play at a high level, opines Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • The Mavericks have assigned Ricky Ledo to the Texas Legends, their D-League affiliate, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com reports (Twitter link). This is Ledo’s fifth excursion of the season to the D-League.
  • Mavs owner Mark Cuban believes the most difficult choice a team owner has to make is selecting a head coach, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. Cuban said there are different kinds of coaches for different kinds of jobs, including jobs that may inherently not be long-term fits, Sefko adds. “What do you expect [from coaches], and are they living up to it?” Cuban said. “Is it wins and losses or player development? How many coaches do you know that they knew the team was going to be down [before taking the job]? We’ve all heard about coaches who were brought in and were there to take the beating until they turn things around. You hear about that all the time. I haven’t been in that position, fortunately. And it takes one type of coach rather than another.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Bryant, Garrett, Craft, Smith

Kobe Bryant needs to take a step back and allow some of his teammates to take charge of the Lakers, opines Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Coach Byron Scott agrees. “I’ve talked to a couple individuals about just being a little bit more assertive, not relying on Kobe as much,” Scott said. “You guys can ask Kobe this. I think he wants to get those guys to step up. He really does. Take shots when they have them. Not defer to him as much.” Earlier this week in a loss to the Suns, Bryant took 37 shots, while the rest of the team’s starters combined to take only 35.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Diante Garrett will be returning to the Iowa Energy, who are the D-League affiliates of the Grizzlies, the team announced. The Blazers recently waived the Iowa State product after spending just a month on their roster.
  • Aaron Craft is mulling a contract offer from Partizan Belgrade of the Serbian League, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando reports. Craft spent training camp with the Warriors and was set to play for Golden State’s D-League affiliate this season. Though the amount of Partizan Belgrade’s offer to Craft has not been reported, it’s likely for more than the guard would have earned playing in Santa Cruz this season, though that is just my speculation.
  • Ish Smith is excited to be the newest member of the Thunder because of his relationship with his new teammates, writes Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman. “I’m really good friends with a lot of guys, played against them. Russ (Russell Westbrook), (Kevin Durant), Lance (Thomas), all in the ’06 class, so I know a lot of them,” Smith said.
  • Canada is producing basketball prospects at unheard of rates, writes Dave Skretta of the Associated Press.  Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett of the Wolves are the past two No. 1 overall NBA draft picks and are each of Canadian descent. Many, including Bennett, have attributed their interest in basketball to watching Vince Carter when he was on the Raptors. “That’s when we seen him doing all these types of dunks,” Bennett said of watching Carter. “We just had a love for his game.”

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Brazil, Shorter Games, Hawks, Nets

The NBA has struck a deal to partner with Brazil’s Liga Nacional de Basquete, the top domestic league in that country, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. The arrangement will likely give the NBA an ownership stake in the league and will allow for the exchange of ideas on marketing, player development and other best practices, according to Lowe. Many NBA league office types would like to see the pro game played with one universal set of rules around the globe, a sentiment that some others around international basketball share, Lowe notes, so the Brazilian deal could be a step in that direction. There’s more from Lowe amid our look at the latest around the league:

  • There’s “nearly unanimous” opposition to the idea of reducing the length of games to 44 minutes, as Lowe writes in the same piece, laying out a handful of reasons why many around the league are against the idea that the NBA experimented with earlier this month. Still, Lowe believes there’s a decent chance the idea resurfaces at some point.
  • Sources tell Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal that they expect the Hawks to sell for at least $750MM and perhaps close to $1 billion. Presumably, those figures pertain to 100% of the franchise, and it’s still uncertain just how much of the Hawks will end up on the block.
  • Evercore Partners, with Bruce Ratner at the controls, is once more shopping its 20% share of the Nets after tabling that pursuit earlier, Kaplan adds.
  • Warriors camp invitee Aaron Craft will play for the team’s D-League affiliate, his agent tells Bob Baptist of The Columbus Dispatch (Twitter link). That signals that Golden State made him one of the four preseason cuts it can reserve for its affiliate, since Craft would otherwise have to go through the D-League draft.
  • Kim English, whom the Bulls waived earlier this month, has a deal with SLUC Nancy, a French team, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.

Warriors Waive Five Players

The Warriors have waived Aaron Craft, Jason Kapono, Sean Kilpatrick, James Michael McAdoo, and Mitchell Watt, the team announced in a press release. These moves will reduce Golden State’s preseason roster count to 15, which is the regular season maximum. None of these moves come as a surprise as all were longshots to make the regular season roster. All of the players except for Kapono had partial guarantees for $35K. Kapono’s deal was non-guaranteed, so the Warriors aren’t on the hook for any money for him.

Craft averaged 8.9 PPG and 4.7 APG during his four seasons at Ohio State. He put up 7.4 points in 22.0 minutes per contest in July during Las Vegas summer league play for the Warriors after going undrafted in June. The 22-year-old also joined the Sixers for the Orlando summer league, though he didn’t see nearly as much playing time. Craft appeared in four preseason games, averaging 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.00 steal in 14.7 minutes per contest.

The veteran Kapono appeared in five preseason games, averaging 3.2 and 1.6 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game. The 6’8″, 33 year-old swingman last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season when he appeared in 27 games for the Lakers. Kapono’s career numbers over nine seasons are 6.7 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 0.8 APG. His career slash line is .442/.434/.835. He had officially announced his retirement back in May of this year, but decided to give making the Warriors a shot.

The undrafted Kilpatrick signed with the Warriors on October 20th but did not see any action in the preseason. McAdoo appeared in five preseason games, averaging 5.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 1.2 SPG in 13.0 minutes per contest. Watt appeared in two preseason games, averaging 3.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and a team-leading 1.5 blocks while logging 9.5 minutes per game.

Western Notes: Faried, Warriors, Andersen

Kenneth Faried‘s stellar play with Team USA is going to raise his asking price during his upcoming extension talks with the Nuggets, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. A few months ago a GM told Deveney that Faried was going to be paid in the Paul Millsap ($9.5MM) or Taj Gibson ($8MM) range, but now he’ll most likely command a salary more comparable to Al Jefferson‘s ($13.7MM), the GM opines.

Here’s more from the west:

  • Such a deal for Faried would carry a risk for Denver, according to what one Western Conference assistant coach told Deveney. The assistant said, “I guess you don’t know what kind of production he would give you over a long period of time. What happens if they get Danilo Gallinari back and healthy? Now they have Arron Afflalo back. Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee were not healthy last year. How much will having those guys affect his numbers?
  • The Warriors gave partial guarantees of $35K apiece to Aaron Craft, James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt and Justin Holiday, all of whom are on one-year deals for the minimum salary, as Pincus reports in a pair of tweets and on the Basketball Insiders Warriors salary page.
  • David Andersen has signed with ASVEL Villeurbanne of the French League, the team announced via Twitter (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). Earlier this summer he was eying a possible return to the NBA. Andersen played two seasons in the league, and made his last appearance in the association during the 2010/11 campaign with the Pelicans.  His NBA career averages are 4.9 PPG and 2.8 RPG. His career slash line is .440/.347/.674.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Warriors Sign Aaron Craft

SEPTEMBER 2ND: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

AUGUST 6TH: The Warriors and former Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with a partial guarantee, agent Lance Young tells Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. It’s almost assuredly a minimum-salary arrangement, since Golden State is limited to paying no more than that.

The news comes not long after a report that Warriors reserve guard Nemanja Nedovic suffered a stress fracture in his right foot, as Leung points out, suggesting that Craft is an insurance policy in case Nedovic isn’t healed in time for the season. Still, the partial guarantee represents an investment in Craft, and it at least ensures he won’t walk away empty-handed should he fail to make the opening-night roster.

Craft earned raves from Warriors coach Steve Kerr for his play in college, as Leung notes (on Twitter), in spite of never having averaged more than 10.0 points per game over the course of his four seasons with the Buckeyes. He put up 7.4 points in 22.0 minutes per contest last month during Las Vegas summer league play for the Warriors after going undrafted in June. The 22-year-old also joined the Sixers for the Orlando summer league, though he didn’t see nearly as much playing time.