Alex Oriakhi

And-Ones: Austin, Facebook, Postponement, Oriakhi

Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin, whose NBA dreams were derailed by health problems, has signed his first professional contract, tweets international journalist David Pick. Austin will join Red Star Belgrade affiliate FMP in the Adriatic League. He was considered to be a late first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft before being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. Austin received medical clearance to play again in late November. “He was told he’d never get a chance to play again, so he’s thrilled to get on the court,” said Austin’s agent, Dwon Clifton. “His talent is there; he hasn’t lost it; he loves the game.” (Twitter link).

There’s more basketball news to pass on tonight:

  • The NBA is preparing to stream its first game on Facebook, although it will only be available in India, the league announced on its website. The Kings will host the Warriors Sunday in the team’s fourth annual Bollywood Night, which features a celebration of Indian culture. It will be streamed to India on the Facebook pages of the NBA and both teams. “We are always looking for ways to utilize technology for opportunities to connect with our diverse group of fans throughout the world and are thrilled to engage with our followers in India tomorrow night,” said Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts.
  • Tonight’s game between the Pistons and Trail Blazers was postponed because of severe weather conditions in Portland, according to a league statement. It will be made up Sunday night.
  • Alex Oriakhi, whose rights are owned by the Kings, has signed to play in Mexico, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’9″ forward began the season in Turkey. His rights were acquired in the 2014 deal that sent Isaiah Thomas to Phoenix.

International Notes: Beaubois, Hernangomez, Harvey

After turning down the Mavericks‘ offer to sign a partially-guaranteed contract and compete in training camp for a regular-season roster spot, Rodrigue Beaubois has made it official with Baskonia, as Orazio Cauchi of Sportando details. Beaubois, a former NBA first-round pick who spent several seasons in Dallas, has inked a two-year deal with the Spanish team and will remain overseas rather than returning stateside.

Here are a few more international updates on players with NBA ties:

  • Spanish forward Juan Hernangomez, who was selected 15th overall last month by the Nuggets, said prior to the draft that he’d love to come to the NBA immediately, and it seems he might get his wish. Nothing is official yet, but over at Sportando, Cauchi passes along a report from Gigantes del Basket indicating that Hernangomez is expected to sign with Denver. The Nuggets have reportedly reached agreements with their other first-round picks, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley, but they’ve yet to formally confirm those signings — the team may be waiting for resolution with Hernangomez to make an official announcement.
  • Tyler Harvey, a 2015 second-rounder whose NBA rights are held by the Magic, announced on Instagram that he has signed with Italian team Auxilium Pallacanestro Torino for the upcoming season. Harvey spent last season playing for the Erie BayHawks, Orlando’s D-League affiliate, but it seems the Magic won’t be able to keep as close an eye on the 23-year-old guard in 2016/17.
  • Center Cady Lalanne is joining Chinese team Zhejiang Banks, sources tell international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Lalanne, a second-round pick in 2015, is one of many players whose draft rights are held by the Spurs.
  • Kings draft-and-stash prospect Alex Oriakhi, a second-round pick in 2013, has signed a deal with Turkey’s Socar Petkim, per Sportando. It will be the eighth team the well-traveled big man has spent time with since he was drafted out of Missouri three years ago.

Suns Acquire Isaiah Thomas

SATURDAY, 1:07pm: The trade is complete, per a release from the Suns.

5:51pm: Thomas confirms that he’s heading to the Suns once the sign-and-trade is complete, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Of the deal, Thomas said, “I feel wanted. That’s all I wanted.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Sacramento KingsFRIDAY, 5:40pm: The Suns and Kings are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal on a four-year, $27MM contract for Isaiah Thomas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). This was after Thomas had reached an agreement and signed an offer sheet with Phoenix, tweets Wojnarowski. Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link) reports that the Suns will send rights to 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi, and that Sacramento will also wind up with a $7.2MM trade exception.

Phoenix was one of a handful of teams that had reached out to Thomas since free agency began. The Lakers, Mavericks, Pistons, Warriors and Heat were also reported to have had interest in the former Sacramento point guard.

Thomas averaged 20.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 6.3 APG last year for the Kings, while appearing in 72 games for the team. His slash line was .447/.360/.857.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor Moves: McNeal, Oriakhi, Landry

NBA teams aren’t making a whole lot of changes to their rosters these days, but plenty of recognizable names are on the move overseas and in the D-League. Here are the latest international and D-League transactions worth tracking:

  • Jerel McNeal was released by the Jazz just before the regular season began because he received a lucrative offer from China’s Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls. However, McNeal may be returning stateside, as Zhejiang is prepared to cut him, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Suns 2013 draftee Alex Oriakhi has landed with the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League, tweets Sportando contributor David Pick. The Knicks‘ affiliate now holds Oriakhi’s D-League rights, but the Suns are the only NBA team eligible to sign him.
  • Marcus Landry, who was waived by the Lakers in October, has signed in Spain with Cajasol Sevilla, the team announced today (hat tip to Sportando). Carl Landry‘s younger brother last played an NBA regular season game back in 2009/10.

Odds & Ends: Casey, Lowry, Mavs, Oriakhi

Here are a few late night tidbits from Tuesday:

  • With both his owner and his general manager strategically intent on making the team worse in the short term, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey‘s career has become a tightrope walk, writes Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun. Casey is in the last year of his deal and is rumored to be on thin ice in Toronto.
  • One way the Raptors will get worse is to move point guard Kyle Lowry, who is reportedly on the trade block. Per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, Lowry was asked about the rumors after tonight’s loss to San Antonio: “That’s part of the business. I’ve been in trade rumors before. I’m still going to go about my business and I’m going to still play my butt off and try to win games for this team.” (Twitter links)
  • While they’re likely interested, the Mavericks probably don’t have what it takes to land Omer Asik from Houston given their current asking price, Mavs play-by-play man Mark Followill said on Tuesday in a chat. Followill also suggested that Trevor Ariza would be an intriguing trade target for Dallas if they’re looking to upgrade their bench.
  • Former UConn and Missouri center Alex Oriakhi has been waived by Hapoel Holon of the Israeli league after four games with the club, according to Sportando. Oriakhi, who was drafted 57th by the Suns this summer, was also waived by France’s CSP Limoges last month after he signed there in August.

Odds & Ends: Ewing, Oriakhi, Jackson

The divergent paths the Nets and Pacers took to upgrade their teams this summer underscores how the current collective bargaining agreement allows deep-pocketed owners to further their advantage, opines Mark Deeks of ShamSports in a piece for HoopsWorld. Indiana steadfastly refuses to pay the luxury tax, while Brooklyn is set to pay about $80MM in penalties on its $100MM+ payroll this season. Still, the Pacers are the NBA’s lone unbeaten team and my pick to win the championship. Here’s more from a nine-game NBA evening:

  • There were 13 coaching vacancies this past offseason, and Patrick Ewing didn’t receive an interview for any of them, notes Fred Kerber of the New York Post, who catches up with the Bobcats assistant pining for a chance to lead a team.
  • Alex Oriakhi, whom the Suns drafted 57th overall this summer, is leaving the French team Limoges, but he wants to continue to play somewhere in Europe, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.
  • This year is crucial for Reggie Jackson, as he’ll have a chance to prove his worth as a sixth man. The Thunder believe he can lead their second unit, but they must find out for sure before he becomes extension-eligible in the summer, as The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater examines.
  • Larry Sanders is averaging just 17.3 minutes per game after signing a four-year, $44MM extension with the Bucks this offseason, but he simply hasn’t earned any more playing time with his performance so far, the Journal Sentinel’s Michael Hunt argues.

Suns Notes: Butler, Beasley, Frye, Oriakhi

The Suns completed a pair of transactions yesterday, officially signing fifth overall pick Alex Len, and sending Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov. On the heels of those deals, GM Ryan McDonough spoke to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic about the Butler deal, Michael Beasley's future, and a few other Suns-related topics. Let's dive in…

  • According to McDonough, the Butler trade had nothing to do with Beasley's situation, despite the fact that the money saved in the deal could make waiving the troubled forward more palatable. The GM expects resolution on Beasley in "the next week or so," and Coro suggests the former second overall pick will likely be released.
  • Assuming Channing Frye, who missed last season with heart problems, is able to participate in training camp, the Suns expect to have at least 16 players on guaranteed contracts in camp. "All the results we’ve gotten on Channing are positive," McDonough said. "We’re just waiting for a conclusion."
  • Coro also says that second-round pick Alex Oriakhi will be in camp with the team, which is interesting, since the big man signed a professional deal with a French team several weeks ago.
  • Smith and Kravtsov are expected to battle for regular-season roster spots, though it might be an uphill battle for Smith, since Phoenix already has several players capable of playing the point, including Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Kendall Marshall, Malcolm Lee, and even Archie Goodwin.
  • Further discussing the Butler trade, McDonough noted that the decision to move the veteran forward was a difficult one. "Caron is a great player," McDonough said. "Our timeline and Caron’s timeline were different at this stage of his career. This was just a unique opportunity because Milwaukee aggressively pursued him."

Suns Draftee Alex Oriakhi Signs In France

Suns second round pick Alex Oriakhi has signed with France's CSP Limoges, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.  Phoenix drafted the center with the 57th overall pick in the 2013 Draft.

Oriakhi began his collegiate career at UConn where he served as the starting center for the Huskies' 2010/11 championship team.  Then, after a year in which he saw a diminished role with the addition of Andre Drummond and the Huskies were banned from postseason play for 2013, he transferred to Missouri.  The big man averaged 11.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in his final year on campus.

Draft Notes: Jazz, Noel, Cavs, Suns, Blazers

We unveiled the first edition of Hoops Rumors' 2013 mock draft earlier today, as our own Alex Lee ran through picks one through 30. We'll have our second and final mock up next week, just in time for Thursday night's draft, and given the lack of consensus on this year's class, it wouldn't be a surprise to see major changes to our board over the next several days. Here are the latest draft-related notes and rumors:

  • The Clippers worked out E.J. Singler, Carrick Felix, Alex Oriakhi, and Jackie Carmichael at their Playa Vista training center this morning (
  • Among those who will participate in a pre-draft workout with the Wizards tomorrow include Keith Clanton, D.J. Cooper, Joffrey Lauvergne, Korie Lucious, Nicolo Melli, and Maurice Sutton, according to the team's official website
  • The Timberwolves will host Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk, Christian Watford, and Colton Iverson tomorrow, as per the team's official PR Twitter account

Earlier updates:

  • Today's NBA AM piece from Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld is heavy on draft content, including an interview with Nerlens Noel and updates on Alex Len, the Jazz, and possible draft-and-stash candidates.
  • Sources within the Cavaliers organization seem somewhat "cool" on Noel, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. Still, Lloyd says the Cavs continue to prioritize long-term results rather than a short-term desire to make the playoffs, so Noel's inability to make an immediate impact likely wouldn't be a significant factor in the club's decision at No. 1.
  •'s Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has unveiled his annual tiered rankings of the draft class, and none of this year's prospects qualified for either the first or second tier.
  • While most of the focus among Suns fans figures to be on the team's fifth overall pick, Phoenix also has the 30th and 57th selections. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the names of the candidates for those picks who worked out for the team today, including Jeff Withey and Deshaun Thomas (Twitter link).
  • Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, and Ricky Ledo are among the prospects working out for the Trail Blazers today, and Chris Haynes of believes one of them could end up being the No. 10 pick (Twitter links).

Draft Notes: Wyatt, Jazz, Foster

It's tough when you dominate at your college, but fail to see any interest from the professional ranks. That's what Santa Clara's all-time leading scorer, Kevin Foster, is facing as he prepares to possibly be snubbed later this month in the draft.

Foster told the San Jose Mercury News' Curtis Pashelka "it would be a dream come true" to play for the Warriors, who are so close to his adopted hometown. Foster participated in a predraft workout with six other hopefuls including five guards this morning.

Even after workouts with the Rockets and Bucks, Foster said the Warriors are his "preference" because of their locale, but followed that up by saying, "I just want to get drafted somewhere." Here are some more notes surrounding the upcoming draft. 

  • Former Temple guard, Khalif Wyatt, worked out for the Sixers today, writes Keith Pompey at the Philadelphia Inquirer. But what wasn't reported was that Wyatt was joined by Shane Larkin, DeShaun Thomas and Glen Rice Jr. in the unannounced workout.
  • Tom Moore of notes that Wyatt spent six weeks at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, eating better and getting stronger while dropping from 223 lbs. to 210 on his 6'4" frame.
  • Keith Schlosser of SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside breaks down the intriguing prospects at the NBA's only 2012 National D-League Tryout next Saturday.  
  • The Jazz had a big day of workouts highlighted by Gonzaga University center Kelly Olynyk, writes the Salt Lake Tribune's Bill Oram, but it's his connection to Hall of Famer John Stockton, who is also a Gonzaga alum, that made the workout so enjoyable.
  • The Salt Lake Tribune's Steve Luhm said the Jazz also worked out three other likely first round selections today: Gorgui Dieng, Rudy Gobert, and Jamaal Franklin (Twitter).
  • About Franklin, SB Nation's Mountain West Connection profiled the San Diego State shooting guard.
  • Oram said the Jazz will work out Will Clyburn, Robert Covington, Troy Daniels, Rodney McGruder, E.J. Singler and Adonis Thomas tomorrow (Twitter).
  • Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic said the Suns worked out Steven Adams, Lorenzo BrownMyck Kabongo, Mike Muscala, Alex Oriakhi and Brandon Paul today (Twitter)
  • Nerlens Noel was featured in a courtside report video by Monumental Network.
  • The Knicks will work out Archie Goodwin, Jordan Henriquez, Trent Lockett, Dejan Musli, Stan Okoye and Josiah Turner on Monday, reports's Ian Begley (Twitter).
  • reports Janis Timma will work out with five NBA teams before the draft and then head to the Las Vegas. After the draft, he may play in the NBA's summer league.  
  • Charles F. Gardner of the Journal-Sentinel profiled 6'6" Providence prospect, Ricky Ledo, who is receiving interest from NBA teams after workouts despite being deemed ineligible to play as a freshman for the Friars.