Alondes Williams

Heat Sign Alondes Williams To Camp Contract

2:51pm: The signing is official, the team tweets.

1:51pm: The Heat have agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with guard Alondes Williams, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Williams went undrafted last year and spent most of the season with the NBA G League Long Island Nets. He appeared in 24 games at that level, including 12 starts, and averaged 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. He also played one game for the Brooklyn Nets in December.

In late July, the Long Island Nets dealt the returning player rights for Williams to the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, in exchange for the returning player rights of shooting guard D.J. Stewart.

The Heat have agreed to Exhibit 10 deals with a handful of players this summer, but have yet to begin finalizing those contracts.

Williams could earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the Skyforce. He could also be a candidate for a two-way contract, as the Heat have an open slot.

New York Notes: Randle, Knicks, Long Island Nets, Simmons

Knicks All-Star power forward Julius Randle seems to be on the mend following his offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle last month. As Belle Fraser of The New York Post writes, Randle shared a new workout video to his personal Instagram account.

Randle sat out the final five contests of the 2022/23 regular season after spraining his ankle in a late March bout with the Heat. He then re-aggravated the ailment during the closeout bout of New York’s five-game first-round series win over the Cavaliers.

In the regular season, the 28-year-old averaged 25.1 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 4.1 APG during his second All-NBA season with the Knicks, who finished with a 47-35 record and the No. 5 seed in the East last year. His numbers regressed mightily in the playoffs, in part due to the ankle ailment. Randle averaged 16.6 PPG on 37.4% shooting from the field, along with 8.3 RPG, and 3.6 APG.

There’s more out of New York:

  • The Knicks have shored up their wing depth this offseason, but will still face an uphill battle in a stacked Eastern Conference. Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscriber link) predicts how the Knicks will fare this season, speculating that five Eastern teams will finish ahead of them.
  • The Nets’ NBAGL team, the Long Island Nets, have traded the returning player rights for swingman Alondes Williams to the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, in exchange for the returning player rights of shooting guard D.J. Stewart to the Nets, the Skyforce announced in a press release.
  • Oft-injured Nets guard Ben Simmons is now completely healthy after rehabbing from the back nerve impingement that caused him to miss the last six weeks of the 2022/23 regular season, sources inform Ian Begley of The 27-year-old anticipates that he will be able to fully partake in Brooklyn’s training camp in September.

New York Notes: Warren, Nets, A. Williams, Robinson, Knicks

With Kevin Durant sidelined due to a knee injury, Nets forward T.J. Warren feels as if he’s capable of stepping up and taking on a bigger role. However, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes, Warren is still on a minutes limit after missing nearly two years of action, and while he recognizes it’s in his best interest, he can’t help but be frustrated by it.

“Yeah, it’s super-frustrating, trust me,” Warren said. “It’s trying to find a balance (between) being out two years but also knowing that I feel like I can carry the load a little bit during those long stretches.

“But just got to put my trust and training staff’s hands. … They’ve been doing a great job with me, got me back to this point, and just got to see the bigger picture, end of the season, playoffs, playing at my best, hopefully off the minute restriction.”

Warren has averaged 20.7 minutes per game in 19 appearances since making his season debut. In the Nets’ last three games with Durant unavailable, he has averaged 16.0 points in 24.9 minutes per night.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams:

  • Despite losing all three of their games since Durant’s injury, the Nets remain upbeat and confident that they’ll be able to right the ship and avoid a repeat of last season’s 5-16 slide without KD, Lewis writes in another New York Post story. “Last year it was… it was kind of a toxic environment,” Nic Claxton said. “We didn’t know if everybody wanted to be here at the time. This year there’s no divide between everybody that’s out there. We’re going to figure it out.” As Lewis notes, Claxton’s comments appear to be referencing James Harden, who asked to be traded during Durant’s absence.
  • After being waived by the Nets last week, rookie guard Alondes Williams has rejoined the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, according to Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. Williams had spent plenty of time with Long Island on his two-way contract, but is now an NBA free agent and would be free to sign with any team if he gets an offer.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson left Wednesday’s game due to a sprained right thumb and will undergo further evaluation on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. If Robinson misses time, big man Jericho Sims will likely reclaim a rotation role for New York.
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t concerned about how much court time his top players are seeing, referring to critics of his rotation as the “minutes police,” Braziller says in another story for The New York Post. “I know you guys like to create the narrative for your stories and you don’t look at it in totality,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t think we have anyone in the top 20 in minutes played.” As Braziller details, in the 15 most recent games entering Wednesday night, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson were in the NBA’s top five in minutes played, while Quentin Grimes was 14th. However, all three players rank much lower among the full-season minutes leaders.

Nets Waive Alondes Williams

The Nets have waived rookie guard Alondes Williams, the team announced.

Williams won ACC Player of the Year in 2021/22 for Wake Forest, but went undrafted this past June. He caught on with the Nets shortly after the draft, signing a two-way contract.

The 23-year-old only made one NBA appearance for a total of five minutes. However, he was a regular for the team’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, averaging 9.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.5 APG in 11 games (26.2 MPG) during the Showcase Cup.

Williams struggled with turnovers (2.5 per contest) and efficiency (.368/.341/.625 shooting line) during the Showcase Cup, which may have played a factor in his release. The Nets have a full 15-man standard roster, but now have a two-way opening.

Nets Sign Alondes Williams To Two-Way Deal

JULY 4: Williams’ two-way deal with the Nets is now official, the team announced today in a press release.

As our tracker shows, Brooklyn’s other two-way slot remains open, though the club has a two-way qualifying offer out to David Duke.

JUNE 24: The Nets are signing Alondes Williams to a two-way deal, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

The 6’5″ guard averaged 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .507/.282/.691 shooting as a junior for Wake Forest in 2021/22. He spent his first two college seasons with Oklahoma prior to transferring to the Demon Deacons.

Williams won ACC Player of the Year and was selected to the All-ACC First Team for his strong performance this past season. He was ranked 59th on ESPN’s big board prior to the draft, so he was considered a fringe second-round pick, but ultimately went undrafted and landed in Brooklyn.

Wolves Notes: Connelly, KAT, Draft, Russell, A. Williams

If it were up to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, Karl-Anthony Towns would remain with the Timberwolves for his entire career. Towns is eligible for a super-max extension this summer after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

I hope he’s here forever. I hope we have the type of team success that would allow us to look up and see Karl’s jersey being hung up in the rafters,” Connelly said in a Q&A session with Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “I reached out to a bunch of these guys, but I don’t want to force relationships. You have to develop those things naturally. So, I’ve heard so many great things about him. I know how great a player he is on the court, but off the court it’s been so consistent, just an unbelievably sweet guy that treats everyone in a really classy manner.

“I think he’s been through so much, so many different faces and different chairs, from the front office to the coaching staff. So I think with continuity with Finchy (head coach Chris Finch), you’re going to see a better version of Karl and he’s already a great player.”

Connelly conceded that the team’s potential first-round pick (19th overall) likely won’t have a significant role on the team next year, but he believes the Wolves can find a good long-term fit with the selection.

We’ll beat up all the different possibilities pretty good. We’re also very content and pretty excited about if we’re going to get a good player at 19,” he said. “It’s going to be hard for any player we draft to have a huge role with the team that just had the success they had. We’re not drafting for June 24, we’re drafting for, hopefully, to add a person that can be a part of sustained success and a person who can grow into a role. I think things are on the table, but we do feel pretty convinced that 19 is going to yield a good player.”

It’s an interesting interview from Hine for any Wolves fans looking for insight into Connelly’s approach.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Amid rumors that Minnesota is exploring the trade market for veteran centers, including Clint Capela, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune wonders if one of the team’s biggest offseason moves might be a position change for Towns. Rand notes that sliding Towns down to the power forward spot would improve the Wolves’ rebounding woes, and he’d likely feast on smaller players in the post, but there are some possible drawbacks. Towns is quicker than most centers, so he might lose the ability to pump-fake and drive past slower-footed defenders, and it would take him time to adjust defensively. Ultimately, Rand believes utilizing a bigger lineup could work in certain matchups.
  • Jon Krawczynski and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic discuss Minnesota’s draft possibilities for the 19th and 40th picks (the Wolves also control the 48th and 50th picks). Vecenie doesn’t love the team’s options for the first-rounder and believes trading out in order to acquire additional first-round selections makes sense, but if the Wolves keep the pick, he thinks Blake Wesley or E.J. Liddell could be decent options. Wesley, a guard from Notre Dame, is ranked 22nd on ESPN’s big board, while Liddell, a forward from Ohio State, is ranked 21st. Vecenie says there are a number of “interesting, high-upside” prospects who could be available with the 40th pick, including Peyton Watson, Josh Minott and Kendall Brown, among others.
  • The Wolves haven’t come close to trading D’Angelo Russell “or any other player,” sources tell Krawczynski in another story for The Athletic. However, Krawczynski says trade talks are expected to heat up “the closer it gets to the draft,” which is tomorrow, and the fate of Russell and other possible trade candidates should become clearer once it concludes.
  • Alondes Williams worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). The 6’5″ guard averaged 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .507/.282/.691 shooting as a junior for Wake Forest. He’s ranked 59th on ESPN’s board, so he could be a possibility for one of the team’s second-round picks.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Hawks, Magic, Wizards

The Hornets hosted a pre-draft workout with six prospects on Monday, the team tweets. That group included Keon Ellis (Alabama), Michael Foster Jr. (G League Ignite), Kellan Grady (Kentucky), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), Brandon Horvath (Utah State) and Žiga Samar (Fuenlabrada/Spain).

We have more from the Southeast Division:

Draft Notes: Sochan, Combine, Withdrawals, Davison

The Pelicans and Nuggets are among the teams believed to have interest in Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, while the Spurs are viewed as a “strong fit” for him, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic writes in his recap of last week’s draft combine.

According to Vorkunov, one team executive put Sochan’s floor at the No. 12 pick, which means the Nuggets – who control No. 21 – would have to trade up if they want a shot at him. He’s far more likely to be available for the Pelicans (No. 8) or Spurs (No. 9).

Vorkunov’s article includes several more tidbits on the combine, including a look at some of the more outside-the-box questions teams asked in their interviews with prospects. According to Vorkunov, one club challenged Christian Braun to repeated staring contests, while the Nuggets told players during their meetings that if they could name enough players on the club’s roster, one of their team officials would do push-ups.

Here’s more on the 2022 NBA draft:

Full List Of 2022 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 76 players who have been invited – and who are expected to attend – next week’s draft combine in Chicago. The combine workouts will take place from May 18-20.

Over the course of the week, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft likely won’t participate in scrimmages, those top prospects are still expected to attend. That group includes Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.

A handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp could be invited to participate in the combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 76 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link):

  1. Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (senior)
  2. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee (freshman)
  3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (freshman)
  4. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  5. MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  6. Hugo Besson, G, Australia (born 2001)
  7. Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State (freshman)
  8. Christian Braun, G, Kansas (junior)
  9. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor (freshman)
  10. John Butler Jr., F/C, Florida State (freshman)
  11. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (junior)
  12. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  13. Max Christie, G, Michigan State (freshman)
  14. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois (junior)
  15. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  16. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (sophomore)
  17. JD Davison, G, Alabama (freshman)
  18. Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan (freshman)
  19. Ousmane Dieng, F, Australia (born 2003)
  20. Khalifa Diop, C, Spain (born 2002)
  21. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (freshman)
  22. Tari Eason, F, LSU (sophomore)
  23. Keon Ellis, G, Alabama (senior)
  24. Michael Foster, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  25. Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova (super-senior)
  26. AJ Griffin, F, Duke (freshman)
  27. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  28. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers (senior)
  29. Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (freshman)
  30. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford (freshman)
  31. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (sophomore)
  32. Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana (junior)
  33. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia (born 2003)
  34. Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA (junior)
  35. Ismael Kamagate, C, France (born 2001)
  36. Trevor Keels, G, Duke (freshman)
  37. Walker Kessler, F/C, Auburn (sophomore)
  38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona (junior)
  39. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest (junior)
  40. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette (sophomore)
  41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State (junior)
  42. Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona (sophomore)
  43. Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor (senior)
  44. Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska (freshman)
  45. Leonard Miller, F, Canada (born 2003)
  46. Josh Minott, F, Memphis (freshman)
  47. Aminu Mohammed, G/F, Georgetown (freshman)
  48. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State (junior)
  49. Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite (auto-eligible)
  50. Wendell Moore, F, Duke (junior)
  51. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (sophomore)
  52. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  53. Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt (junior)
  54. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Italy (born 2002)
  55. Orlando Robinson, F/C, Fresno State (junior)
  56. David Roddy, F, Colorado State (junior)
  57. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo (sophomore)
  58. Dereon Seabron, G, NC State (sophomore)
  59. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  60. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (freshman)
  61. Terquavion Smith, G, NC State (freshman)
  62. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor (freshman)
  63. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Italy (born 2003)
  64. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  65. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona (sophomore)
  66. Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  67. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado (sophomore)
  68. TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA (freshman)
  70. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame (freshman)
  71. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest (super-senior)
  72. Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara (junior)
  73. Jaylin Williams, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  74. Mark Williams, C, Duke (sophomore)
  75. Trevion Williams, F/C, Purdue (senior)
  76. Fanbo Zeng, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)

And-Ones: MVP Race, Fenway Sports Group, 2022 Draft

The 2021/22 MVP race is one for the ages, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who contends that we “aren’t talking about it nearly enough.” As Hollinger outlines, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Sixers center Joel Embiid are each in the midst of a historic season and would be a clear MVP frontrunner if it weren’t for the presence of the other two.

If the season ended today, Hollinger notes, Jokic (32.3) and Antetokounmpo (32.0) would have the two highest single-season PERs in NBA history, while Embiid’s (31.0) would also make the top 10. Hollinger says he’d pick Jokic for MVP if forced to decide right now, but with over a month left in the season, there’s still plenty of time for Antetokounmpo and Embiid to strengthen their cases.

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

  • Gerry Cardinale, a shareholder in Fenway Sports Group, says that adding an NBA franchise is “a real top priority” for the massive Boston-based firm, as Michael Silverman of The Boston Globe writes. The FSG conglomerate already owns MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Premier League’s Liverpool FC.
  • Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams, Kansas guard Christian Braun, and Colorado State forward David Roddy are among the best bets to further improve their draft stock with strong performances to finish out the NCAA season, says Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman also singles out four other prospects who are candidates to rise up draft boards in the coming weeks.
  • Touching on several stories from around the NBA in his latest article for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor makes a case for why the Knicks should lean more heavily on their young players, breaks down what Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans have brought to the Mavericks, and praises the work the Rockets have done developing their rookies this season. O’Connor also argues that the NBA should tweak its playoff format to allow top seeds to pick their first-round opponents.