Arinze Onuaku

Magic Waive Arinze Onuaku

The Magic have waived Arinze Onuaku, the team has announced over Twitter. The announcement came after Friday’s game against the Rockets, a significant contest in that it featured Onuaku’s brother Chinanu Onuaku.

In eight games for the Magic this season, the 29-year-old forward averaged just 3.5 points per game, he was signed to a one-year deal in September after impressing the team in Summer League

Onuaku’s release comes on the eve of January 7, the last day that teams can waive players with partially guaranteed contracts.

Previously Onuaku has seen limited action with Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Pelicans.

And-Ones: Roster Moves, Bulls, Rudez, Onuaku

Monday afternoon is the deadline to reach the roster limit of 15, and nine teams still have cuts to make, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. The Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets, Lakers, Pelicans, Thunder, Sixers, Suns and Kings all remain over the limit leading into what should be an eventful day, says Nahmad. By our count, the Grizzlies still have a move to make as well. The Pacers were the latest team to trim their roster, waiving Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone tonight.

There’s more news from around the NBA:

  • J.J. Avila, who was waived Friday by the Bulls, has agreed to play for Chicago’s D-League affiliate, tweets Dennis Silva II of Monitor News. The 6’8″ power forward from Colorado State signed a training camp contract with Chicago in September. Guard Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, another Friday cut, will also be joining the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link).
  • Damjan Rudez and Arinze Onuaku both traveled a lot of miles to realize their dream of returning to the NBA, writes John Denton of After playing overseas and in the D-League, both veterans were told Saturday that they had earned a place on the Magic’s final roster. “It was a big blessing,” Onuaka said. “When you are out here fighting for a spot every day it’s stressful and to get that news, it was great. You’ve always got to wait to hear if you’re in or you’re out, so it wasn’t easy sleeping at night.’’
  • Fred VanVleet won the Raptors‘ final roster spot, but coach Dwane Casey said all the training camp invitees were impressive, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Casey said Drew Crawford and Brady Heslip have the talent to be NBA players, adding that he was disappointed he didn’t have room to keep all of them.

And-Ones: Jones, Snell, Gay

Cleveland is likely to waive Dahntay Jones, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops (Twitter link). The Cavs currently have 16 players under contract after waiving John Holland earlier today.

Here’s more from around the league:

Magic Add Six Camp Invitees To Roster

SEPTEMBER 8: The Magic officially confirmed that they’ve signed the six players listed below (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 7: The Magic entered the day with just 13 players on their roster, but will add six more names to that list with a group of training camp invitees. According to Brian K. Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter), the Magic are bringing the following six players to camp:

  • Cliff Alexander, F/C: Alexander signed with the Blazers as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas last July, but only saw action in eight games for the club during the 2015/16 season, playing a total of 36 minutes. He was waived in July before his 2016/17 salary became guaranteed.
  • Branden Dawson, F: Waived by the Clippers in July, Dawson faced felony domestic violence charges earlier this year, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office didn’t pursue those charges, due to insufficient evidence. On the court, the 2015 second-rounder out of Michigan State appeared in just six games for the Clippers, spending most of the season in the D-League.
  • Nick Johnson, G: The 42nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Johnson spent a year with Houston, appearing in 28 games for the team. He was sent to Denver in last year’s Ty Lawson trade, and was subsequently waived by the Nuggets, eventually landing with the D-League’s Austin Spurs for 34 games.
  • Kevin Murphy, G: Since being selected by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft and playing 17 games in his rookie season, Murphy has bounced around, spending time with three D-League teams, as well as in China and Japan.
  • Arinze Onuaku, F/C: Although he appeared in regular-season games for three different teams – New Orleans, Cleveland, and Minnesota – from 2013 to 2015, Onuaku saw action in just 11 total contests. The former Syracuse big man spent time with teams in Israel and the Phillippines last season.
  • Damjan Rudez, F: Rudez’ training camp invite from the Magic was first reported last month. The 30-year-old Croatian saw a decent amount of playing time in Indiana during his first NBA season in 2014/15, averaging 15.4 minutes in 68 regular-season contests for the Pacers. However, he was traded to the Timberwolves last July in a deal for Chase Budinger, and never carved out a consistent role in Minnesota last season. The Wolves declined their team option on his contract in June.

Contract details on the Magic’s new additions aren’t yet known, but the team is over the cap and short-term, minimum-salary deals seem likely. Orlando does still have its $2.898MM room exception available if it needs to offer more than the minimum to secure a player’s services.

With 13 guaranteed contracts on their books, the Magic could be looking to fill two more roster spots for the regular season, with the players listed above vying for those openings.

Northwest Notes: Roberson, Gallinari, Onuaku

Andre Roberson will miss at least three weeks with a right knee sprain, The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater reports, and because of the timing of the All-Star break, it means he’s not expected to play again until February 19th at the earliest. The Thunder will seek to find ways to mitigate the loss of Roberson’s defensive prowess in the meantime, with Kyle Singler seemingly his most likely replacement in the starting lineup, Slater writes. The trade deadline is February 18th, one day before Roberson would return. See more from the Northwest Division:

And-Ones: Cavs, Wiggins, Nets

The Cavs will add veteran assistant Mike Longabardi to new head coach Tyronn Lue‘s staff, Brian Windhorst of reports. Lue and Longabardi spent four seasons together on Doc Rivers‘ staff in Boston, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic notes (on Twitter). Longabardi is expected to take over the defensive specialist role that Lue held, Windhorst adds. The Suns fired Longabardi, who is known as a defensive specialist, from his role as assistant coach in late December.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Andrew Wiggins has not spoke candidly about his feelings regarding the Cavs, the team that shipped him to the Wolves as part of the deal for Kevin Love, and instead has preferred to let his play speak for itself, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune writes. Wiggins has performed particularly well against the Cavs, as Youngblood points out.
  • One of the top assistants in the league, like Sean Sweeney of the Bucks, would be a sensible fit for the Nets‘ coaching vacancy because it would be wise for Brooklyn to avoid the long term implications of a flashy hire, Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders argues.
  • Center Salah Mejri, who was recently coming off the bench in the D-League, found himself starting for the Mavs in place of the injured Zaza Pachulia and is making the most out of his opportunity, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News relays.
  • Arinze Onuaku, who was with the Wolves at the end of last season, will be signing with the D-League, international journalist David Pick reports (on Twitter). Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv released Onuaku, Pick adds.

Arinze Onuaku Signs To Play In Israel

THURSDAY, 11:19am: The signing has taken place, the Israeli team announced.

MONDAY, 3:04pm: Two-year NBA veteran Arinze Onuaku is expected to sign with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, a source tells Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi. International journalist David Pick, writing for, also reports the deal, adding that it covers three months and that it includes an option worth $200K that would extend it for the entire season (Twitter link). Onuaku finished 2014/15 with the Timberwolves, who used a hardship provision of a 16th roster spot to sign him for the final week of the season.

Onuaku, who turned 28 in July, averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game across six appearances for Minnesota this past April. It was the most significant action of the power forward’s brief NBA career, as he made it into only five combined games for the Pelicans and Cavaliers in 2013/14. He was with the Pacers for the preseason a year ago, but he’s chiefly played with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate the past three years. The former Syracuse player put up 17.5 PPG and 12.2 RPG in 34.6 MPG over 41 appearances for the D-League Canton Charge this past season.

Minnesota had the opportunity to tender a $1,147,276 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent this summer, but the Wolves declined. Instead, he’ll join Jordan Farmar and draft prospect Dragan Bender with Maccabi Tel Aviv, which just played a pair of exhibitions in the U.S. last week.

Qualifying Offers: Tuesday

Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..

Earlier Updates:

  • The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources.  In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
  • The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).  Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
  • As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.

And-Ones: Wolves, Monroe, Noel

After the season, Chase Budinger’s contract with the Timberwolves will be down to one year at $5MM and Kevin Martin’s deal will go to two years for $14.4MM, making it easier for Minnesota to find trade partners for both players this summer, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. The Wolves were exploring ways to deal both players, as previous reports indicated and as Deveney confirms. There were conflicting reports about Minnesota’s willingness to trade Martin, but while coach/executive Flip Saunders likes him and won’t give him up easily, the Wolves aren’t expecting significant return for either Martin or Budinger, according to Deveney. In the same story, Deveney notes that the Wolves’ biggest question mark heading into the summer is if Saunders will remain coach or return to solely a front office role.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of the Wolves, they came pretty close to originally signing Arinze Onuaku back in mid-January, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets, but Minnesota instead went with Miroslav Raduljica, who played five games with the team. The Wolves officially inked Onuaku earlier today, a few months later.
  • Kevin Seraphin, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, told J. Michael of that he is adjusting to his smaller role within the second unit. He hasn’t scored more than 12 points in a game since January 19th. The big man said in January that he would like to re-sign with Washington.
  • Reggie Jackson’s production increased and the Pistons played well without Greg Monroe, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the season, but the team is determined to make things work with the big man expected back on the court Wednesday, David Mayo of writes. The Pistons were 7-4 without Monroe. Jackson is a restricted free agent this summer and it’s a distinct possibility that the Pistons will match any potential offer he receives from a different team, so it is much more likely that he is with Detroit next season than Monroe is, Mayo adds.
  • Cameron Payne, who announced Monday he will enter the draft fresh off finishing up his sophomore season with Murray State, has signed with agent Travis King of Relativity Sports, HoopsHype tweets.
  • Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel has quickly emerged as one of the league’s top big men because of his defensive efficiency, Wesley Share of writes. Noel, unlike many other rookies who were drafted in the first round, will hit free agency in 2017, and not 2018, because he signed his rookie scale contract before sitting out the entire 2013/14 season with an injury.

Timberwolves Sign Arinze Onuaku

5:10pm: Minnesota has been granted a hardship exception by the league and has officially inked Onuaku, the team announced.

1:34pm: The Timberwolves are bringing in Arinze Onuaku to help their injury-depleted roster, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Minnesota already has 15 players on contracts that run until at least the end of the season, but with Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Shabazz Muhammad out for the season and four other injured players, it seems as though the team is a candidate for a 16th roster spot via hardship exception. Minnesota added Jeff Adrien and Sean Kilpatrick earlier this season using that mechanism. In any case, a deal for Onuaku would have to cover the balance of 2014/15 and couldn’t be a 10-day contract, since there are fewer than 10 days left in the regular season.

Onuaku has spent this season with the D-League affiliate of the Cavs after the Pacers had him on their NBA roster for the preseason. The 27-year-old power forward was briefly with Cleveland and New Orleans during the regular season in 2013/14, and those teams gave him his first official NBA action, though he appeared in only five games for both the Cavs and Pelicans put together. Onuaku went undrafted out of Syracuse in 2010, but at 6’9″, he’s looked strong on the boards for the D-League Canton Charge this year, racking up 12.2 rebounds in 34.6 minutes per game across 41 appearances. He’s also averaged 17.5 points on 11.5 shots per game.

Kevin Garnett, Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng and Gary Neal are also injured for Minnesota, leaving the team with only Justin Hamilton, Adreian Payne and Robbie Hummel as inside players. So, Onuaku would help in that regard, and he’d also keep the team from scrambling to find a player to meet the minimum of eight healthy guys for the start of a game. The Wolves were down to seven healthy players when they signed Kilpatrick to be their eighth last month for a game against the Knicks, choosing him in part because he was a only short distance away.