Ben Hansbrough

Central Notes: Blatt, Jerebko, Hansbrough

The Bulls and Cavaliers, who many assumed were on their way to a clash in the Eastern Conference Finals, would meet in the first round as the respective No. 4 and No. 5 seeds if the playoffs began today. No. 4 signifies a much different fate for the Pistons, who are in line for the fourth-best chance at the No. 1 overall pick, as our Reverse Standings show. Detroit’s win over Cleveland on Sunday was just one more oddity among a season filled with them for Central Division teams. There’s more on the fallout from that amid the latest from around the division:

Central Notes: Monroe, Parker, Hansbrough

Greg Monroe is growing weary of the trade rumors surrounding him and the Pistons, Vince Ellis of USA Today reports. “The same thing happened this summer,” Monroe said. “They put that stuff out there, say somebody said it, and then I got to answer for it. I really don’t have time for that. Especially right now. After losing 13 straight and finally getting a couple of games, and then you got to come in here and hear this when you getting ready for a game. At this point, it’s definitely annoying. We’re trying to turn things around here right now, and I gotta come in here and answer to stuff that I absolutely have nothing to do with. It is annoying, yes.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • After being drafted by the Bucks with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, Jabari Parker said that he would like to remain in Milwaukee for his entire career, a statement Parker still stands by, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. “I want to be here as much as possible, I want to stay as long as possible,” Parker said. “I want to just grind it out and see what happens. Even if I were to slump and they wanted to trade me, I would probably want to try and get better so I could stay here.
  • The primary reason for Parker’s comfort level with the Bucks is how team owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have sold their vision for the future of the franchise to the young player, Deveney notes. “I feel very comfortable with them [Lasry and Edens],” Parker said. “A lot of times, when you think of ownership, it is almost like you think of slavery. You’re a piece of property. But with them, it is a partnership.”
  • Ben Hansbrough will have his D-League rights rescinded by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons‘ affiliate, to accommodate an overseas deal, Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reports (Twitter link). Hansbrough was in training camp with the Bulls this season.
  • Larry Drew doesn’t harbor any resentment toward the Bucks after being fired as head coach so that Milwaukee could replace him with Jason Kidd, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “I’ve seen stranger things happen,” Drew said. “Whether you think it’s fair or not, I don’t really dwell on that. I look back at guys who have been in similar situations and had stuff happen to them. I’ve learned to move on. I don’t any hard feelings about how things happened. Certainly, I wish it could have been handled a little differently [in Milwaukee] but it wasn’t.”

Robert Covington Tops D-League Draftees

The NBA D-League Draft was held today and the event was kicked off with Robert Covington being selected first overall by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons D-League affiliate. Covington’s selection was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old forward was arguably the most talented player in the D-League draft, though he isn’t expected to spend the full season in Grand Rapids, notes Chris Reichert of SB Nation, since he is on the radar of numerous NBA teams.

Covington spent much of last season with Houston’s D-League affiliate despite being on the team’s NBA roster the entire year. He earned himself a trip to the D-League’s All-Star game by averaging 23.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG in 34.1 minutes per game in 42 D-League appearances. He spent the preseason on Houston’s roster, though he was away from the team for weeks mulling offers to play in Europe before being waived. Covington came close to inking a deal with the Sixers, but decided to take the D-League route to begin the season.

Elliot Williams, a former 2010 first round pick of the Blazers, was selected by the Warriors affiliate with the second overall pick. The 6’5″ guard was a rotation player for the Sixers last year, averaging 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG, but was waived by Philadelphia when the team needed to pare its preseason roster count down to 15 players.

Other players selected in the opening round who had prior NBA regular season experience were Marquis TeagueBen HansbroughErik MurphyCarrick Felix and Damien Wilkins.

One other player to keep an eye on is Milos Milisavljevic, a 21-year-old Serbian point guard who was selected by the Texas Legends, who serve as the affiliate of the Mavericks. Milisavljevic will be NBA draft-eligible in 2015, and is on the radar of NBA scouts, though he isn’t currently projected to be taken in either round by DraftExpress.

Here is the full list of first round selections:

  1. Grand Rapids Drive (via Delaware) — Robert Covington
  2. Santa Cruz Warriors (via Erie) — Elliot Williams
  3. Austin Spurs — Erik Murphy
  4. Santa Cruz Warriors (via Maine) — Carrick Felix
  5. Grand Rapids Drive — Ben Hansbrough
  6. Texas Legends — Milos Milisavljevic
  7. Idaho Stampede — Tre’ Bussey
  8. Bakersfield Jam — Robert Vaden
  9. Oklahoma City Blue — Marquis Teague
  10. Reno Bighorns (via Westchester) — Joonas Caven
  11. Reno Bighorns — Brady Heslip
  12. Canton Charge — Michael Dunigan
  13. Santa Cruz Warriors — Melvin Johnson III
  14. Rio Grande Valley Vipers — Chane Behanan
  15. Sioux Falls Skyforce — Fuquan Edwin
  16. Iowa Energy — Damien Wilkins
  17. Los Angeles D-Fenders — Eloy Vargas
  18. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (via Fort Wayne) — Justin Jackson

Bulls Waive English, Hansbrough, Jones

The Bulls have officially waived Kim English, Ben Hansbrough, and Solomon Jones, the team announced in a press release. All three players were in training camp on non-guaranteed minimum salary arrangements, so the Bulls aren’t on the hook for any money. All three players signed with Chicago back on September 26th, and were considered longshots to make the final cut on a deep and talented Bulls roster.

These moves reduce Chicago’s preseason roster count to 14 players, with 12 of those deals being fully guaranteed. The lone player remaining with a non-guaranteed arrangement is Nazr Mohammed, but with the Bulls one under the 15 player regular season limit, Mohammed’s spot isn’t in any immediate danger.

Jones appeared in 11 games with the Magic last season, averaging 1.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 7.7 minutes per game before Orlando waived him. The 30-year-old also played for the Knicks D-League affiliate, and also traveled to play in a Chinese league during the summer.

The 2012/13 season is the only campaign that Hansbrough and English spent any time on an NBA regular season roster. Hansbrough averaged 7.2 minutes per game for the Pacers that year and contributed 2.0 PPG. English logged 9.9 MPG in 41 games for the Pistons, averaging 2.9 PPG. Both players have spent time overseas, Hansbrough with Gran Canaria in Spain, while English was with Montepaschi Siena in Italy.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Rondo, Raptors

With the injury to Rajon Rondo, Celtics rookies Marcus Smart and James Young will see significant action sooner than anticipated. Julian Edlow of WEEI 93.7 FM breaks down what to expect from each of Boston’s first-rounders this season.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The contracts of Kim English, Solomon Jones,and Ben Hansbrough with the Bulls are non-guaranteed camp deals that cover one season at the minimum salary, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • While appearing on Arbella Early Edition, Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay of said that Rajon Rondo‘s broken hand will destroy any trade value the Celtics‘ point guard had. Minihane was quoted as saying, “Now you’re talking about a guy with a bad knee, he’s had back issues, now he has a broken hand…They’re not gonna be able to trade this guy.”
  • In his training camp preview for the Raptors, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun looks at Toronto’s roster and a number of questions the team faces heading into the new season.
  • Former NBA player Julian Wright has agreed to a deal with Panathinaikos of the Greek League, the team announced on their website (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Wright last saw action during the 2010/11 season when he appeared in 52 games for the Raptors. David Pick of originally reported the deal (Twitter link).

Bulls Sign Kim English, Ben Hansbrough

The Bulls have signed one-year NBA veterans Kim English and Ben Hansbrough, the team announced via press release. The team is limited to giving out the minimum salary, and while it’s unclear whether there’s any guaranteed salary involved for either of them, it’d probably be nominal guarantees at best for the guards.

Hansbrough worked out for the Pistons and Lakers within the past month or so, while English was part of a large-scale Nets workout early in the offseason that seemed more geared toward summer league. The 2012/13 season is the only year that each has spent on an NBA regular season roster, with Hansbrough averaging 7.2 minutes per game for the Pacers that year while English saw the floor for 9.9 MPG in 41 appearances for the Pistons, who drafted him 44th overall in 2012. The 26-year-old Hansbrough, who went undrafted in 2011, spent this past season playing for Gran Canaria in Spain, while English, also 26, was with Italy’s Montepaschi Siena last year.

The additions give Chicago 17 players for camp. E’Twaun Moore has a partial guarantee for the 13th spot on the roster, likely leaving Hansbrough and English to compete against Nazr Mohammed and Solomon Jones to impress the team enough to keep them instead.

Pistons Try Out Ben Hansbrough, Andrew Warren

The Pistons have arranged for free agents Ben Hansbrough and Andrew Warren to work out for the team today and Wednesday, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). Both spent the past season playing overseas, though Hansbrough was with the Pacers in 2012/13, when he played alongside brother Tyler Hansbrough.

Hansbrough put up 2.0 points in 7.4 minutes per game in 28 appearances with the Pacers in his lone NBA season, and the 26-year-old is coming off a season with Gran Canaria in Spain in which he put up 10.9 PPG in 23.1 MPG. The 27-year-old Warren’s stops have included Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus and Argentina since he went undrafted out of Bradley in 2011. Warren, a 6’5″ two-guard, shot the three-pointer consistently well throughout his travels, nailing 39.5% of his treys last season in Argentina.

Detroit reportedly worked out former James Madison center Denzel Bowles on Monday, and it appears the team is focused on filling out its camp roster with 16 fully guaranteed deals already in tow, as seen on our roster counts. The Pistons have no shortage of cap space to go after more noteworthy figures, but with the roster already over the regular season limit, it looks like they’ll largely preserve that room for now.

And-Ones: Lakers, Hornets, CDR, Young, Mavs

Michael Beasley‘s second audition with the Lakers was part of a larger free agent workout today, writes Sam Amick of USA Today, who lists Dexter Pittman, Greg Stiemsma, Daniel Orton, Bobby Brown, Toney Douglas, Ben Hansbrough and Malcolm Lee as the other participants. As Amick points out, GM Mitch Kupchak has two roster spots to play with going into the 2014/15 season.

Here is what else is happening around the league on Wednesday evening:

Ben Hansbrough Signs With Spanish Team

After spending the 2012/13 season playing with his brother Tyler Hansbrough in Indiana, Ben Hansbrough will head back overseas for the coming year. Spanish club Herbalife Gran Canaria has announced (via Twitter) that Hansbrough has signed with the team.

The younger of the two Hansbrough brothers, Ben went undrafted in 2011 before spending time playing in Germany and Slovenia. The Pacers signed him to a non-guaranteed contract last fall, and the 25-year-old somewhat unexpectedly stuck with the team for the rest of the season. In 28 games for Indiana, Hansbrough played just 200 total minutes, averaging 2.0 PPG.

Spanish journalist Alfonso S. Lozano first reported (via Twitter) that Hansbrough would join Gran Canaria, as passed along by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Eastern Notes: Cavaliers, Green, Lopez

Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal debunks the misconception that the Cavaliers will be forced to spend big in free agency this summer as a result of the NBA's minimum team salary floor requirement. Next season, teams will be required to spend at least 90 percent of the league's salary cap number next year. Although Cleveland's total amount of committed salaries could fall short of that number, Lloyd points out that the Cavs will be allowed to make up for the difference by dispersing the remaining required amount to its players. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight: