Brad Wanamaker

COVID-19 Updates: McGee, Buchanan, Hill, Wanamaker, More

JaVale McGee is the latest Suns player to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols, as Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic writes. McGee joined Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, and Abdel Nader in the protocols on Thursday evening.

On the plus side, the Suns did get Elfrid Payton out of the protocols for the second time this week — Payton was placed in the protocols on Sunday and Wednesday, but quickly cleared both times, so it’s possible he has registered multiple false positive tests in recent days.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Shaq Buchanan, signed by the Grizzlies as a hardship replacement player, has now entered the health and safety protocols himself, according to the team (Twitter link). Buchanan’s 10-day deal runs through Tuesday night, so it may expire before he clears the protocols.
  • The Hawks‘ COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, as Malcolm Hill – a 10-day hardship addition – has entered the protocols, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Hill, who had appeared in three games since signing with the team last Wednesday, is one of a dozen Atlanta players in the protocols.
  • Brad Wanamaker signed a 10-day deal with the Wizards on Wednesday, recorded seven points and seven assists in his first game with the club on Thursday, and has now entered the health and safety protocols on Friday, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He’s one of seven Wizards players affected.
  • Kenyon Martin Jr. exited the COVID-19 protocols and practiced with the Rockets on Thursday, says Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • We continue to update our health and safety protocols tracker several times per day. It can be found right here.

Brad Wanamaker Signs With Wizards

6:40pm: Wanamaker’s deal is now official, according to’s transactions log. As anticipated, it’s a 10-day hardship deal. It’ll cover Washington’s next five games.

10:59am: Veteran guard Brad Wanamaker, who was waived by Indiana on Monday, is expected to sign with the Wizards, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando and Yakov Meir of Israel Hayom (Twitter link).

The Wizards don’t currently have any openings on their standard roster and have eight players in the health and safety protocols, so we can safely assume Wanamaker will get a 10-day deal via the hardship exception. He’ll be Washington’s fifth hardship addition.

Wanamaker, 32, appeared in 22 games for Indiana this season and struggled to make an impact, averaging 3.5 PPG and 2.2 APG with a .361/.235/.909 shooting line in 13.3 minutes per contest. His numbers in three previous seasons with Boston, Golden State, and Charlotte – 5.7 PPG and 2.4 APG on .427/.305/.906 shooting – were a little better.

Since he was just cut on Monday, Wanamaker will technically be on waivers until later today. Assuming he goes unclaimed, he and the Wizards will be free to complete their deal.

Pacers Waive Brad Wanamaker, Sign Keifer Sykes

11:06am: The Pacers have officially signed Sykes and waived Wanamaker, according to a press release from the team.

10:51am: The Pacers intend to waive guard Brad Wanamaker and sign another guard, Keifer Sykes, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Most of the deals being completed around the NBA right now are 10-day hardship contracts, but it doesn’t appear that’ll be the case here, since the Pacers don’t have any players in the health and safety protocols and will be waiving a player from their 15-man roster in order to sign Sykes.

Wanamaker, 32, has appeared in 22 games for Indiana this season, averaging 3.5 PPG and 2.2 APG with a .361/.235/.909 shooting line in 13.3 minutes per contest. His minimum-salary contract isn’t fully guaranteed for 2021/22, so by releasing him before next month’s league-wide guarantee date, the Pacers would only have to pay him $715,538, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

An undrafted free agent out of Green Bay in 2015, Sykes has spent most of the last several years playing in international leagues. He has played for teams in Korea, Turkey, Italy, China, and Greece, and is coming off a one-year stint with the South East Melbourne Phoenix in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Sykes, who hit the game-winning three-point shot for Boeheim’s Army in this summer’s The Basketball Tournament, signed an Exhibit 10 deal with Indiana and then joined the Pacers’ G League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He has averaged 16.5 PPG and 7.5 APG on .409/.351/.741 shooting in 13 G League games (34.3 MPG) this season.

It’s unclear whether or not Sykes will get a rest-of-season guarantee. If he doesn’t, the Pacers would have until January 7 to decide whether or not to lock in his full-season salary.

Central Notes: Wanamaker, Windler, Markkanen, Nwora

Veteran point guard Brad Wanamaker signed a training camp deal with the Pacers this week and he’s out to prove he deserves a spot on the 15-man roster, David Woods of The Indianapolis Star writes.

“I didn’t come here just to come here,” Wanamaker said. “I came here to compete, show what I’m capable of and try to make the roster.”

Wanamaker has a shot to be the third point man behind Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. McConnell.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Following two injury-riddled seasons, Dylan Windler is making his case for a rotation spot as the Cavaliers’ backup wing, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes. Windler had 12 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes in Cleveland’s preseason game on Friday. “To be out here at the start of the season and contributing in the ways that I’m supposed to, it feels great,” he said. “I don’t control the rotations. That’s coach’s job. I’ve just got to come in, get my work in, do what I do and continue to prove myself when I get the opportunities.”
  • Lauri Markkanen will spend most of his time at power forward but Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff also plans to use him at small forward in jumbo lineups, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “It’s one of those things where I believe he’s one of our best players,” Bickerstaff said. “So we have to do what we can to get him on the floor so he can help us. His versatility helps. Right now, you see the strength of our bigs and the fact that they are so versatile and they can play next to each other, you can get them out there on the floor.”
  • Forward Jordan Nwora only appeared in 30 regular-season games with the Bucks during his rookie campaign but he’s angling for more playing time this season, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. Coach Mike Budenholzer is looking for Nwora, a second-round pick in 2020, to become a more complete player. “I think, defensively, he’s making progress in practice, making progress in the games,” Budenholzer said. “He’s really got to improve on that end, and he’s making steps in the right direction.” Nwora will be a free agent next summer, either restricted if he receives a qualifying offer, or unrestricted.

Pacers Sign Brad Wanamaker To Training Camp Contract

OCTOBER 6: Having completed their trade sending Sumner to Brooklyn, the Pacers have officially signed Wanamaker to his camp contract, the team announced in a press release.

OCTOBER 5: The Pacers will sign free agent point guard Brad Wanamaker to a training camp contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but it will most likely be an Exhibit 10 agreement.

As Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets, because the Pacers had a full 20-man roster, the club is likely trading away injured guard Edmond Sumner to open up a roster slot for Wanamaker. Agness suggests that Wanamaker could serve as a third point guard in Indiana’s rotation, behind starter Malcolm Brogdon and chief backup T.J. McConnell, assuming he makes the regular season roster.

Wanamaker, 32, is a journeyman reserve who started the 2020/21 season with the Warriors before being dealt to the Hornets. He averaged 5.5 PPG, 2.9 APG and 1.7 RPG across 61 games for both clubs during the year.

The 6’3″ point guard went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 2011. He played in Europe for a variety of clubs and had stateside cameos for the then-Austin Toros in 2012 and a few Summer League rosters. Wanamaker joined the Celtics as a free agent ahead of the 2018/19 season, and stayed in Boston for two seasons before signing up with Golden State.

Free Agency Rumors: R. Jackson, Cavaliers, Suns, Wizards

Reggie Jackson is getting a lot of interest on the free agent market after his strong playoff run, but the Clippers remain hopeful about re-signing him, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN.

Jackson, 31, is coming off a strong season and playoff run with the Clippers — he topped 20 points nine times during the playoffs and shot a career-high 43.3% from three-point range last season. Los Angeles holds his Early Bird rights and can offer him a starting salary worth up to nearly $10.4MM.

Money will be a key factor in Jackson’s decision, according to Schultz (via Twitter), who adds that the Pelicans may be a “sleeper team” in the race for the veteran point guard. New Orleans general manager Trajan Langdon is known to be a fan of Jackson.

There’s more news on free agency:

European Teams Reportedly Interested In Brad Wanamaker

10:29am: Wanamaker appears to be disputing the report, calling it “fake news” in a tweet.

10:00am: Hornets point guard Brad Wanamaker will have at least two offers in Europe if he can’t find an NBA deal he likes in free agency, according to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando.

Virtus Bologna in Italy and KK Partizan in Serbia have both expressed interest in Wanamaker. The news was first reported by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, which says Wanamaker will wait until free agency starts in August before making a decision.

The 31-year-old started this season with the Warriors before being moved to Charlotte at the trade deadline in March. He was used as a backup for both teams and averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 assists in 61 total games. He played two seasons with the Celtics before signing with Golden State as a free agent last offseason.

Wanamaker had plenty of international experience before coming to the NBA in 2018. He had stops in Italy, France, Germany and Turkey.

And-Ones: Theus, Griffin, Ellenson, Wanamaker

Bethune-Cookman University is expected to hire former NBA guard Reggie Theus as its athletic director and men’s basketball head coach, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.

The agreement is set to become official this week, Spears notes. Theus will replace Ryan Ridder, who left for the same position to join the University of Tennessee-Martin in March.

According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link), the school failed to notify interim coach Dominique Jones of its decision before the ESPN report surfaced, with Jones being responsible for much of the recruiting duties in recent weeks.

Theus was the No. 9 pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He spent 13 years in the league, making stops with Chicago (two All-Star seasons), Kansas City, Sacramento, Atlanta, Orlando and New Jersey during his career.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Jazz two-way forward Eric Griffin has reached an agreement with AEK Athens B.C. in Greece, a source told Hoops Rumors. News of the sides being close to a deal was first reported by SDNA. Griffin went undrafted back in 2012 and has mostly played overseas since then, most recently playing in Australia’s NBL.
  • Free agent big man Henry Ellenson is drawing serious interest from KK Cedevita Olimpija in Slovenia, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). Ellenson holds 83 games of NBA experience and is coming off a brief stint with the Raptors in 2020/21.
  • Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv is expressing interest in former NBA guard Brad Wanamaker, Orazio Cauchi of writes. Wanamaker spent time with the Warriors and Hornets this season, also playing 107 games with the Celtics from 2018-20.

Warriors Trade Brad Wanamaker To Hornets

10:37pm: The Warriors tweet that they have officially dealt Wanamaker to the Hornets. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Hornets acquire Wanamaker, the Raptors’ 2022 second-round pick (top-54 protected), and cash.
  • Warriors acquire the Hornets’ 2025 second-round pick (top-55 protected).

2:19pm: The Hornets have agreed to acquire veteran guard Brad Wanamaker in a trade with the Warriors, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Golden State won’t receive any players or picks in return, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Charlotte has the room to absorb Wanamaker’s $2.25MM cap charge, so no salary-matching was necessary.

Cash will be involved in the deal, per Slater, though it’s unclear which team is receiving it. Given Wanamaker’s middling production and the Warriors’ sizeable tax bill, I’d expect Golden State to be the team sending out cash, but Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury-News says it’ll be Charlotte doing so. We’ll have to wait for more details.

Wanamaker was expendable because Golden State views rookie Nico Mannion as its backup point guard moving forward, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports (Twitter link). The Warriors were able to open two roster spots today ahead of the buyout season.

After signing with the Warriors as a free agent in November, Wanamaker appeared in 39 games, all as a reserve, and averaged 4.7 points and 2.5 assists per night.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Poole, Kennard, Ramsey

As a hard-capped team lacking in tradeable pieces, the Lakers will find it difficult to make a significant deal before this month’s deadline, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. Their best bargaining chip heading into the season, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, hasn’t lived up to his $12MM contract. Goon suggests the best the team could hope for is to sign Andre Drummond if the Cavaliers choose to buy out the exiled center.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors guard Jordan Poole made a strong impression after being recalled from the G League and he could eventually supplant Brad Wanamaker as the backup point, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Poole had 26 points in 26 minutes in a loss to Phoenix on Thursday. The 2019 first-round pick averaged 22.4 PPG in 11 G League contests with Santa Cruz.
  • Luke Kennard‘s last outing was a promising development for the Clippers, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times notes. Kennard contributed 14 points and four assists in 21 minutes against Washington. After acquiring Kennard in a multi-team trade during the offseason, the Clippers signed Kennard to a four-year, $64MM extension in December.
  • The Kings recalled rookie guard Jahmi’us Ramsey from the G League’s Agua Caliente Clippers, according to a team press release. Ramsey appeared in 12 games at the Orlando bubble and averaged 9.8 PPG in 21.0 MPG. The second-round pick has seen action in four games with Sacramento this season.