Brandon Ashley

Amir Johnson, Four Other Vets Join G League Ignite

Five veteran players have joined the G League Ignite, the NBAGL’s Select Team, the league announced today in a press release. Those vets are big man Amir Johnson, guard Bobby Brown, guard Reggie Hearn, forward Brandon Ashley, and guard Cody Demps.

The G League Ignite’s roster is made up of those five veterans and several young prospects, including Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, Princepal Singh, and Kai Sotto.

The program’s aim is to provide top prospects with an alternative path to college or international ball during the year before they become draft-eligible. The veteran players are meant to help provide leadership and stability as those prospects prepare for the NBA.

Johnson, 33, is the most notable name among the Ignite’s additions. He has appeared in a total of 870 regular season games since making his debut in 2006, averaging 7.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 21.1 minutes per contest for the Pistons, Raptors, Celtics, and Sixers. He didn’t play in the NBA last season after making 51 appearances for Philadelphia in 2018/19.

Brown also has a solid NBA résumé, having made 158 total regular season appearances since 2008 for five NBA teams. The 36-year-old guard also has extensive international experience, spending time in leagues in Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, China, Turkey, and Montenegro.

Hearn, Ashley, and Demps are G League veterans — of the three, only Hearn has played in an NBA regular season game, logging limited minutes in three contests for Detroit during the 2017/18 season.

It remains to be seen exactly what the NBA G League’s 2020/21 season will look like, but the Ignite – led by head coach Brian Shaw – have already begun training in Walnut Creek, California.

Mavs Waive Ashley, Sign Jameel Warney

The Mavericks have waived power forward Brandon Ashley and signed another forward, Jameel Warney, according to a team press release that was relayed by Earl K. Sneed (Twitter link).

The 6’8” Warney was on the team’s training camp roster last season but was waived midway through camp. He then played 44 games for the Texas Legends of the G League and averaged 17.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG in 29.2 MPG. Warney went undrafted in 2016 after playing four seasons for Stony Brook University.

The 6’9” Ashley signed with Dallas in August after playing for its Summer League teams. The former University of Arizona product appeared in five games this preseason and averaged 3.2 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 13.9 MPG.

Mavericks Sign Brandon Ashley

The Mavericks have signed Brandon Ashley, according to a team press release. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ashley, who played for both of Dallas’ Summer League teams this offseason, spent the 2015 preseason with the Mavericks before being waived. He then joined the team’s G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, for the 2015/16 campaign and earned a G-League All-Star appearance.

The power forward was not selected in the 2015 draft after playing three seasons at the University of Arizona. During his collegiate career, he helped the Wildcats reach the elite eight on two occasions.

And-Ones: Ashley, Williams, Thomas

During an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 FMSuns GM Ryan McDonough admitted that he’d erred in trading away point guard and 2016 NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas last February. I think in retrospect trading Isaiah Thomas when we did was a mistake. I think sometimes in the recruitment process things sound better in July [luring Thomas in free agency] than they do in November,” McDonough said. “He wanted more. He wanted a bigger role and I understand why: He’s a talented player. In retrospect, we should have carried him into the summer. If there’s one [decision] that stands out, if I could get a mulligan, that’d be it.” In 58 appearances for the Celtics this season Thomas is averaging 21.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists with a slash line of .422/.348/.898.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Mavs affiliate player Brandon Ashley has signed with the German club Alba Berlin, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor reports (on Twitter). The exact terms of the deal are unknown, but international journalist David Pick (Twitter link) notes that Ashley’s deal includes an option for 2016/17, though it is unclear if that option belongs to the player or the team.
  • Thunder coach Billy Donovan indicated no date has been set for assistant coach Monty Williams to return to the team, John Reid of The Times-Picayune writes. Williams is still mourning the tragic loss of his wife Ingrid in a car accident earlier this month. ”I don’t have really know the answer to that,” Donovan said regarding Williams’ return.”We haven’t talked about when he’ll be coming back. It’s been more of how he and his children are doing; just them adjusting to life without Ingrid and just getting the kids settled and back in school. I haven’t really talked to him about that, but whatever he decides to do I’m behind him on that 100% because the one thing I know and respect about Monty is that he’s going to put his family and children first. Those decisions I think will be made once he gets to a point when he can get them into some kind of rhythm and routine after what happened.
  • If the Rockets sign another player this season, he will likely be a power forward who is a solid defender, which probably rules out any interest in Joe Johnson, Calvin Watkins of tweets. The Nets waived Johnson earlier today as part of a buyout arrangement.
  • Tim Frazier, whom the Blazers waived last week, is expected to rejoin the Maine Red Claws in the coming days, Reichert relays (via Twitter). Maine is the Celtics‘ D-League affiliate, though Frazier will be free to sign with any NBA team that were to come calling.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.

Mavs Release Ashley, Holloway, Wilson

The Mavericks have waived power forward Brandon Ashley, point guard Tu Holloway, and small forward Jamil Wilson, the team announced via a press release. Wilson and Ashley both have $50K partial guarantees on their deals, which Dallas will be responsible for provided they clear waivers. The terms of Holloway’s deal were not reported, though it was likely a minimum salary pact with little or no guaranteed money. The Mavs’ roster count now sits at 16 players, one over the regular season maximum.

Holloway played for the Venezuelan team the past two seasons and has also made stops in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Belgium and Turkey since going undrafted in 2012. He totaled 12 points, eight assists and three turnovers in nearly 44 minutes of action over four games with the Mavs summer league team in July of that year after posting averages of 17.5 points, 4.9 assists and 3.0 turnovers in 36.6 minutes per game as a senior for Xavier in 2011/12. He did not make an appearance during this preseason for Dallas.

Wilson, 24, played for the Wizards in this year’s summer league in Vegas. He averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 41.7% from the field. He also saw action in all seven games this preseason and averaged 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.

The 6’9” Ashley averaged 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds as a junior last season before declaring for the draft. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds as a sophomore before breaking his foot in February of that season. Ashley played seven games for the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 10.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Ashley appeared in all seven preseason contests for the Mavs this season and averaged 1.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12.1 minutes.

Southwest Rumors: Matthews, Bonner, Rockets

The Mavericks have tempered their expectations of Wesley Matthews for the upcoming season because they don’t want to jeopardize his future, according to Earl K. Sneed of Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said that the club won’t take any shortcuts as Matthews recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, Sneed continues. “I think the most important thing is that he makes a full recovery, because we’re signing him to a four-year deal,” Carlisle said. “The first year is more about making sure that he’s right and getting him out there on the right terms, and from there we want him to make a full recovery and continue to get better.” Matthews said in the same story that the Mavs will get their money’s worth, even though they have been criticized for giving him a $70MM deal. “It’s just going to make me hungrier to prove that I’m worth the money,” he said. “I’m not concerned with that. I just know that I can play this game, and I know that I can play it at a high level.”

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Maurice Ndour will see $1 more the minimum on his three-year contract with the Mavericks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s fully guaranteed for this season, but the guarantees beyond that are still unknown, Pincus indicates. Brandon Ashley, Jarrid Famous and Jamil Wilson are also receiving the minimum from the Mavs this year, Pincus shows on the same page.
  • Matt Bonner received a $795,000 guarantee from the Spurs on his $1.5MM deal, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Bonner gets the full amount if he’s still on the roster on January 10th.
  • Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has been named International Player Personnel Scout for USA Basketball, the team announced Monday. Entering his fourth season with the Rockets in that capacity, Rosas was previously the Mavericks’ GM.

Texas Notes: Jenkins, Mavs, Spurs, Fredette

John Jenkins had interest from several teams this offseason, but the former No. 23 overall pick is optimistic about his decision to sign with Dallas, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
“I feel great about it,” Jenkins said. “I think I needed a fresh start, and the Mavericks are giving me that opportunity. I waited longer than I thought I’d have to wait, as crazy as it was, but it was well worth it going to this team and for their interest in me. It feels good to be wanted and to go out there and be a part of what is going on with their team is great.”
The guard was vaunted for his shooting ability prior to the 2012 Draft and he has shown the potential to be an offensive weapon since coming into the league. Jenkins shot 37.5% from behind the arc in limited playing time during his first three seasons. New addition Wesley Matthews is expected to be ready for opening night after recovering from an Achilles injury, but if the Mavs choose to proceed with caution and limit the 28-year-old’s minutes, Jenkins could see significant playing time right off the bat. Owner Mark Cuban expects big things from the shooting guard and gave him some advice after the team signed him last week.
“He told me just to make buckets,” said Jenkins. “That’s what I do best, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Here’s more from The Lone Star State:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Mavs Sign Brandon Ashley To Camp Deal

MONDAY, 3:00pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

SATURDAY, 12:41pm: The Mavericks have reached agreement with undrafted Arizona power forward Brandon Ashley on a partially guaranteed multiyear deal, RealGM’s Shams Charania tweets. The 6’9” Ashley averaged 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds as a junior last season before declaring for the draft. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds as a sophomore before breaking his foot in February of that season.

Ashley played seven games for the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 10.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He originally committed to play for the Lakers in the summer league, then shifted gears and instead joined Atlanta.

According to his draft profile by ESPN Insider Chad Ford, Ashley’s attributes include length, athleticism, shot-blocking ability and an improving jump shot. On the downside, he needs to add strength and refine his post game and footwork, along with showing he has the motor and toughness to play in the NBA.

Eastern Notes: Williams, Knicks, Celtics

There have been reports that the Knicks intend to trade down in the NBA Draft if Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, and D’Angelo Russell are off the board when New York is set to pick at No. 4 overall. As for what team president Phil Jackson is seeking in return for the fourth pick, in his weekly chat Chad Ford of (Insider subscription required) relays that the Knicks want a young veteran player and a pick in the 8 to 14 range. One player who New York has been linked to in that draft range is fast-rising playmaker Cameron Payne of Murray State, who would fill a glaring need for the franchise at the point guard spot.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern Conference:

  • Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams is expected to receive strong interest from teams that include the Kings, Lakers, Knicks, and Nets, providing a clear competition for the Raptors to retain his services, Shams Charania of RealGM writes. Williams is expected to seek a three-year deal in the range of $27MM or four years for $35MM, Charania adds.
  • The Celtics held workouts today for Kevon Looney (UCLA), Brandon Ashley (Arizona), JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova), and Maurice NDour (Ohio), Chris Forsberg of relays (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards will hold workouts on Thursday for Justin Anderson (Virginia), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Aaron White (Iowa), Derek Cooke Jr. (Wyoming), and Maxie Esho (UMass), Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Working out for the Cavaliers today were Josh Richardson (Tennessee) and Olivier Hanlan (Boston College), Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops notes (on Twitter).
  • The Hornets are hoping that newly acquired Spencer Hawes can help replace the outside shooting the team lost when Josh McRoberts signed with the Heat last offseason, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “In the offseason you try to make your team fit better together, and I think that’s what this trade does. Our defense is more than good enough to win and our offense isn’t,” Clifford said. “If you look more specifically into the numbers [the flaw] is our [long] range shooting. What Spencer will do is improve our range shooting and he’s also a very good passer.