Branden Dawson

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Magic Waive Alexander, Dawson, Murphy

The Magic have waived Cliff Alexander, Branden Dawson and Kevin Murphy, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. GM Rob Hennigan announced the moves, which bring the roster down to 16, after tonight’s game with the Hawks.

Alexander, 20, is a power forward/center who appeared in eight games with the Trail Blazers last year after signing as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas. Portland waived him in July before his salary for this season became guaranteed.

Dawson is a 23-year-old power forward who played six games for the Clippers last season. He was a second-round pick out of Michigan State, but spent most of the year in the D-League.

Murphy, 26, is a shooting guard who has played for three D-League teams and spent time in China and Japan. He played 17 games for Utah in 2012/13 after being taken by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft.

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.

Clippers To Waive Branden Dawson

The Clippers will waive Branden Dawson, Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reports (on Twitter). Dawson’s contract for next season is non-guaranteed, Woike tweets.

Dawson spent time in jail in March  on felony domestic violence charges. The small forward was a rookie last season after the Clippers drafted him in the second round of Michigan State.

Dawson played in only six games for the Clippers last season. He logged five points and four rebounds and spent most of last year in the D-League.

Western Rumors: Durant, Parsons, Burks, Dawson

The sense around the league is that Kevin Durant is “very much in play” and that a decent chance exists that he’ll leave the Thunder in free agency this summer, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck (video link; scroll to 1:50 mark). That’s a positive development for the 29 other teams in the league, particularly the Warriors, whom The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski identified in February as the former MVP’s top choice if he were to bolt from Oklahoma City.
While we wait to see how that plays out in the summer, see more from the Western Conference:
  • Chandler Parsons reiterated that he would love to remain with the Mavericks, but he expressed openness to going back to the Rockets, his original NBA team, as he spoke with reporters Wednesday, notes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Parsons, who’s expected to opt out and hit free agency this summer, has indicated he plans to speak with Dwight Howard about the possibility of teaming up, and Howard reportedly prefers to stick with the Rockets as he considers free agency this year. “I wouldn’t count [Houston] out,” Parsons said. “Obviously, playing there three years, I had a great time there. We had a lot of success. It will be interesting to see what they do with the head coaching job. I would love J.B. [Bickerstaff] to get that job. I wouldn’t count out that option.”
  • The Jazz plan to have Alec Burks back in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Clippers, team sources tell Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. It appeared as though Burks would miss only two months when he broke his left fibula in late December, but he’s remained out, and last week some within the organization raised the possibility of him missing the rest of the season, citing the rationale that so few games remain, according to Sorensen. The team’s thinking has changed as it’s drawn closer to clinching a playoff berth, Sorensen explains.
  • The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office won’t pursue felony domestic violence charges against Clippers rookie Branden Dawson that stemmed from an incident last month, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register detail. A lack of evidence prompted the decision, a spokesperson for the city attorney said. Dawson’s minimum salary for next season is non-guaranteed.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Karl, Dawson, Davis

DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl can’t find common ground on much these days, even on the matter of whether they spoke with one another in between his one-game suspension and Sacramento’s loss on Sunday to the Jazz. Karl said before the Utah game that he and Cousins had engaged in small talk, but Cousins insisted after the game that the Kings coach hadn’t said a word to him, reports Marc J. Spears of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. People around Cousins believe Karl has pushed the Kings to suspend him on several occasions this season, according to Spears, who adds that a November tirade Cousins directed at Karl deeply affected the coach. GM Vlade Divac, when told that Cousins believes the suspension came from Karl and not the organzation, only smiled and said simply that he loves Cousins, Spears observes.

“There is a lot of chaos,” Cousins said. “Usually, there is just frustration with coming out and winning games. But so much extra stuff this season. Extra unnecessary stuff. It’s a lot of stuff within. There are battles with guys that should be on your side.”

See more on the Kings situation amid news from the Pacific Division:

  • Cousins insists he’s not the only one frustrated with the situation, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. “I know for a fact there’s a lot of frustration in this locker room,” Cousins said. “€œI believe everyone believes we should be a lot better than we are and we’re just frustrated that we’€™re not. We haven’t performed to the level of expectations, so there’€™s a lot of frustration with that.”€
  • Clippers rookie Branden Dawson was freed from jail on $50K bond Sunday afternoon, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Dawson was arrested Sunday morning on felony domestic violence charges, according to TMZ Sports. His first court appearance is set for April 7th, notes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). That’s an off day before an April 8th game at Utah. “Obviously, it’s an awful situation,” Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers said, as Rowan Kavner of relays (Twitter link). “…We’™ll figure out what we want to do and how we want to handle it.”
  • It’s a long shot, but Baron Davis would prefer to rejoin the Warriors if he makes it back to the NBA, notes Jay Mariotti of the San Francisco Examiner. Davis has nonetheless said he’d play for any team as he tries to return, having recently joined the D-League affiliate of the Sixers.

And-Ones: Ulis, Dawson, Lawson, Budinger

University of Kentucky coach John Calipari this week erased nearly any doubt that sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis will enter this year’s draft, telling reporters he’ll be drafted this year, as Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal relays. The 20-year-old, who today won the SEC Tournament MVP award, hasn’t made a formal announcement, but Chad Ford of lists him among those “officially” in the draft, for what it’s worth. Ford ranks Ulis as the 25th-best draft prospect this year, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 37th on his top prospects list. See more from around the NBA:

  • Clippers rookie Branden Dawson is in custody on $50K bail after police arrested him this morning on felony domestic violence charges, reports TMZ SportsDan Woike of the Orange County Register confirmed the arrest (Twitter links). The team recalled Dawson, last year’s 56th pick, from the D-League on Saturday.
  • The contract Ty Lawson signed with the Pacers was a prorated minimum-salary deal that covers just the rest of this season, meaning he’s still on track to hit free agency this summer, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. He’ll see $265,068 from Indiana, meaning he came out slightly ahead after giving up $225K in his buyout with the Rockets.
  • Pincus also lists the Pacers with a $5MM cap hit for the waived contract of Chase Budinger, indicating that he didn’t give up any of his salary to secure his release. Previous reports referred to the parting of ways as a buyout.

And-Ones: Noah, Pressey, D-League

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg confirmed that Joakim Noah will not return to the court this season as he recovers from surgery that that repaired his dislocated left shoulder, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Noah has not played since the middle of January.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Phil Pressey will head to the Idaho Stampede of the D-League after the Suns declined to bring the point guard back after consecutive 10-day contracts, Chris Reichert of Upside Motor tweets.
  • The Thunder have recalled Josh Huestis from their D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team’s website. Huestis averaged 12.2 points and 1.32 blocks in 19 D-League games this season.
  • The Warriors have assigned Kevon Looney to their D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, according to Golden State’s website.
  • The Clippers have recalled Branden Dawson from the D-League, per a team press release. Dawson was on assignment with the Erie BayHawks.

And-Ones: Ajinca, Dawson, Lawson

Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca, who is dealing with a fractured sternum he suffered on March 2nd, hopes to return to action this season, but he is still experiencing significant discomfort, Jim Eichenhofer of writes. “It’s still painful,” Ajinca said. “I’m still trying to catch my breath sometimes. But it’s getting better. I started shooting. I’m hoping to come back soon, but I’m still dealing with the pain, so we’ll see how far I have till I come back.

Ajinca wants to help out his injury-depleted team by returning to the court, but he also needs to weigh his desire to play versus long-term health concerns, Eichenhofer relays. “I’m trying to come back, because sitting on the side is not really my thing. I don’t like doing that,” Ajinca said. “I’m trying to come back before the end of the season. But on the other hand, I’m also trying to be healthy and not jeopardizing my health if I’m coming back too early. I hope I can come back soon and have a pad on [the injury to protect it]. Hopefully it won’t be too painful if I get hit again.” The big man is in the first year of the four-year, $20.2MM deal he inked last July.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Clippers rookie Branden Dawson has spent the bulk of his rookie season in the D-League, only making three NBA appearances on the campaign, but the small forward believes this will help his development in the long run, Rowan Kavner of writes. “Just a better opportunity and just playing more,” Dawson said about his D-League time. “The first time I went down, when I went to Bakersfield, it was different. I didn’t know what to expect going down for the first time. Now, I’m a lot more confident and I’m playing more. The main thing is to get better. The reason why guys go down is to get better. The first two times, I learned a lot from the coaches I played with, the different programs. The main thing is to just come down and get better.
  • A number of teams had interest in point guard Ty Lawson after he reached a buyout agreement with the Rockets, including the Bucks and the Jazz, Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports tweets.  Lawson subsequently signed with the Pacers because he wanted to catch on with a new team quickly and he believed Indiana was a perfect fit for his skills, Agness adds.
  • Shelvin Mack has impressed the Jazz with his solid play since arriving in a trade deadline deal from Atlanta, and he’s provided the stability the team sought after losing starter Dante Exum for the year with a torn ACL in his left knee, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes. “I think he’s making a good transition,” coach Quin Snyder said. “A lot of that is a compliment to Bud [Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer] and his staff and their team … and to him, of course.

Pacific Notes: Green, Varejao, Dawson

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers reportedly plans to try to re-sign Jeff Green this summer, and he’s glad to be reunited with his former Celtics player for several reasons. Rivers was effusive in his praise of Green to Scott Howard-Cooper of, calling him one of the best NBA people ever (Twitter link), and he’s also a fan of what the combo forward can do on the court, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee details.

“I really wanted more length,” Rivers said of his goals going into the trade deadline, according to Jones. “When you look at the teams we have to beat, we need to get longer, more athletic, and we need to increase our shooting. And I think with Jeff we did all three of those things. … I thought of all the things that were offered, he was the best available for us.”

See more from the Pacific Division: