Charles Cooke

Heat Sign Charles Cooke, DeAndre Liggins

The Heat have signed guards Charles Cooke and DeAndre Liggins and waived Marcus Lee and Malik Newman, the team announced on Twitter.

Lee and Newman are both expected to wind up with Miami’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The Heat already have 14 players with guaranteed contracts, so it’s possible that Cooke and Liggins will eventually be joining them.

Cooke was a two-way player with the Pelicans last season and got into 13 NBA games, playing less than 3 minutes per night. He became a free agent when New Orleans elected not to make him a qualifying offer.

Liggins has bounced around the league since 2011, seeing brief stays with seven franchises, including one game with the Heat in 2013/14. He split last season between the Bucks and Pelicans and was waived by New Orleans at the end of August.

Two-Way QO Decisions: Walton, Cooke, Craig, More

Derrick Walton Jr. has received a qualifying offer from the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Walton, who had been on a two-way contract with the Heat, will thus be a restricted free agent next month. The undrafted 6’1” point guard out of Michigan appeared in 16 games with Miami last season.

As is the case for all two-way players who remain eligible to sign another two-way deal, the qualifying offer Walton received from the Heat will be a two-way contract offer with a $50K guarantee.

We have several other qualifying offer decisions involving two-way players to pass along:

  • The Pelicans will not make Charles Cooke a qualifying offer, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Cooke, an undrafted 6’5” shooting guard out of Dayton, appeared in 13 games for the Pelicans.
  • The Nuggets made a qualifying offer to Torrey Craig, ensuring he’ll be a restricted free agent, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes.  The 6’6” Craig saw quite a bit of action with Denver last season, averaging 4.2 PP and 3.3 RPG in 16.1 MPG while making 39 appearances. The 27-year-old went undrafted in 2014, then played in Australia and New Zealand before the Nuggets signed him.
  • The Magic will not make a qualifying offer to Jamel Artis, Sportando tweets. The 6’7” Artis, who went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 2017, saw action in 15 games and averaged 5.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.2 APG in 18.6 MPG. Artis will be on the Cavaliers‘ Summer League squad, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets.
  • The Kings have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player JaKarr Sampson, per RealGM’s transactions log. No QO is listed for Jack Cooley, Sacramento’s other two-way player, so it’s possible Cooley will reach the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Pelicans Sign Charles Cooke To Two-Way Deal

AUGUST 2: Shortly after confirming Jones’ two-way contract with the club, the Pelicans have done the same with Cooke’s, issuing a press release to confirm his new two-way deal.

JULY 31: The Pelicans have reached an agreement with undrafted Dayton guard Charles Cooke, and will sign him to a two-way contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

[RELATED: 2017/18 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Cooke, 23, averaged 15.7 PPG and 5.3 RPG during his senior year at Dayton, recording a shooting line of .485/.398/.694. The young shooting guard wasn’t viewed as an elite prospect, but was ranked 32nd among this year’s seniors by DraftExpress.

Shortly after the draft ended last month, a report indicated that Cooke had agreed to a deal with the Timberwolves. However, that agreement only spanned Summer League play — the 6’5″ guard averaged 10.0 PPG and 3.0 RPG in five games for the Wolves in Vegas. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News had reported last week (via Twitter) that Cooke wasn’t open to a two-way contract with Minnesota.

For the Pelicans, Cooke appears to be their second two-way player. Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days reported this weekend (via Twitter) that Jalen Jones‘ agreement with the Pelicans is a two-way deal. That signing isn’t official yet, but is expected to be finalized soon.

Cooke, Beachem Agree To Deals With Wolves

Dayton’s Charles Cooke has agreed to a free agent contract with the Timberwolves, tweets Chris Haynes of The 6’5″ senior averaged 15.7 points per game with the Flyers this year, but wasn’t listed among the Draft Express top 100 prospects.

The Wolves also reached an agreement with Notre Dame senior small forward V.J. Beachem, according to David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link). Beachem averaged 14.5 points per night and is 67th on the Draft Express list. Neither deal can become official until after July 1st, per league rules.

Minnesota dealt away Zach LaVine in tonight’s trade for Jimmy Butler, so there may be an opportunity for Cooke or Beachem to make a run at a roster spot.


Central Notes: George, Pistons, Cavs, Bucks

With reports that Paul George intends to explore free agency after next season, with his hometown Lakers as his preferred destination, concerns over possible tampering have surfaced. However, Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star writes that the Pacers are unlikely to pursue any tampering charges against the Lakers.

Team president Magic Johnson alluded to George’s situation during a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, and cryptically tweeted “God is so good!” this week shortly after the George’s plans to leave Indiana were reported. However, the Pacers are more concerned with getting value for their All-Star rather than stirring up issues in Los Angeles, according to Taylor.

Taylor adds that new Pacers president Kevin Pritchard hopes to have a trade for George in place ahead of Thursday’s draft.

Below are additional notes from the Central Division:

Draft Rumors: Jackson, Kennard, Isaac, Smith Jr.

Although foot issues have prevented former Duke guard Frank Jackson from working out for teams in recent weeks, he has been visiting and meeting with several clubs, per Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Deveney reports that the Hawks, Knicks, and Jazz have all brought in Jackson.

Elsewhere in his piece, Deveney provides updates on OG Anunoby and Luke Kennard, writing that the Lakers are holding out hope that Anunoby will fall to them at No. 28, though he’s receiving interest from plenty of teams picking earlier. As for Kennard, one scout who spoke to Deveney wasn’t overly bullish on Kennard’s ability to sneak into the top 10.

“I understand that everyone wants shooters,” the scout said of Kennard. “No one questions that the kid can shoot. But I can’t see him becoming a good defender. You just hope that he develops into a neutral defender, that he does not hurt you. He might go in the lottery in this draft because of the way he can shoot, but in most drafts he is more down in the late teens.”

Here are a few more draft-related rumors and notes from around the league:

Draft Notes: Josh Jackson, Fultz, Smith Jr., Heat

Kansas forward Josh Jackson paid a visit to Kings today, but didn’t go through a workout, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Jackson is expected to be one of the first players selected next week and probably won’t be around for Sacramento’s pick at No. 5. There have been rumors that the Kings would like to move up, but a report today said they aren’t willing to give the Sixers the fifth and 10th picks to get No. 3.

There’s more from a full day of draft workouts:

Draft Decisions: Ndiaye, Edwards, Cooke, Brown

Underclassmen who submitted their names for draft consideration have until tomorrow –  May 25th – to decide whether or not to remain in the draft. If those players don’t withdraw from consideration by Wednesday’s deadline, they’ll forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility and will be available to NBA teams in June.

For many prospects projected to come off the board early, that decision is a no-brainer, but we’ll see plenty of lower-level prospects announce today and tomorrow that they’ll be returning to school for at least one more year. Here are some of the latest draft decisions made by early entrants:

  • Junior center Mamadou Ndiaye tells Jeff Goodman of (Twitter link) that he plans to remain in the NBA draft, forgoing his final year of college eligibility at UC Irvine. Despite the decision, Ndiaye isn’t a lock to be drafted.
  • Purdue’s athletics department has announced that 6’8″ forward Vince Edwards will return to the Boilermakers for the upcoming season, removing his name from draft consideration. “We are excited that Vince is returning for his junior year. The feedback he received in his workouts will only help him continue to improve and become one of the best players in the Big Ten in the upcoming season,” head coach Matt Painter said in a statement.
  • Dayton guard Charles Cooke has elected to return to school rather than staying in the draft, coach Archie Miller tells Goodman (Twitter link). The Flyers’ leading scorer has one year of eligibility left.
  • New Mexico guard Elijah Brown will head back to school for his junior season, according to Goodman (Twitter link).
  • Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and Kentucky’s Marcus Lee are among the players who are still undecided on whether or not to withdraw from the draft, according to Scott Agness of and Goodman, respectively (Twitter links).

Celtics Notes: Ainge, Olynyk, Draft

Team executive Danny Ainge says the Celtics plan on working out 80-100 players in advance of June’s NBA Draft, A. Sherrod Blakely of relays. “We’ll put them through a lot of different situations,” Ainge said. “We’ll see how bigs are at guarding guards, and guards defending bigger players, some of the roles they would have to play if they were Celtics. … We’ll get a good look at what they can do in a lot of different scenarios. With our picks, it is in a player’s best interest to work out for us. But for us, we want to see as many players as possible so that we can draft the best fit, the best player that’s available.

Ainge also noted that he expects to be on the phone with other teams talking trades more often than in previous seasons because of the team’s wealth of draft picks, Blakely writes. If Boston is unable to package some of its picks to acquire more talent, the Celtics will look at drafting players from overseas with the intent that they won’t join the NBA for a few seasons, the scribe adds.

Here’s more from Boston:

  • Boston is gearing up for a busy offseason, as Ainge detailed and as Jay King of MassLive relays (Twitter links). “There are scenarios where our team could be better, and be significantly better, and there are scenarios where we have younger players that are maybe not as good from a win/record standpoint, but with the development that standpoint being a much, much higher ceiling,” Ainge said.
  • Center Kelly Olynyk intends to consult with additional doctors prior to making a decision regarding surgery for his injured right shoulder, Blakely writes in a separate piece. The big man is hoping to avoid going under the knife this offseason, telling Blakely, “It’s always an option when you have an injury of certain degrees. If you can make sure it’s healthy without it, then it’s healthy without it.
  • The Celtics are holding predraft workouts today for Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida), Quincy Ford (Northeastern), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Sheldon McClellan (Miami), Mike Tobey (Virginia) and Jameel Warney (Stony Brook), as Chris Forsberg of relays (via Twitter).
  • Dayton shooting guard Charles Cooke will work out for the Celtics on Saturday, Jeff Goodman of tweets.

Draft Notes: White, Taylor, Diop, Sipahi

Nebraska junior small forward Andrew White intends to test the waters and declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, reports Jeff Goodman of (via Twitter). The 22-year-old is the No. 25 ranked junior according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and lands at a less optimistic No. 262 overall according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. In 34 appearances for the Cornhuskers this season, White averaged 16.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals to accompany a shooting line of .481/.412/.775.

Here’s the latest news regarding this year’s draft:

  • University of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor intends to hire an agent, which would eliminate the opportunity for him to withdraw from the draft and return to school for his senior season, relays Jon Rothstein of (via Twitter).
  • Turkish point guard Kenan Sipahi intends to enter this year’s NBA draft, agent Misko Raznatovic tweets. The 20-year-old is the No. 18 overall ranked international player in his class, according to Givony.
  • African center Ilimane Diop and Latvian forward Rolands Smits intend to enter this year’s NBA draft, relays (via Twitter). Diop, a native of Senegal, is the No. 13 international prospect born in 1995, according to Givony, who projected him as the No. 50 overall player in the 2017 draft. Smits is the No. 20 international prospect in his class, according to the DraftExpress scribe.
  • Florida sophomore small forward Devin Robinson underwent surgery to repair a left foot stress fracture and is expected to be out of action for four to six months, Jeff Goodman of tweets. The ESPN scribe speculates that this will result in Robinson withdrawing from this year’s NBA draft, though no announcement to that end has been made by the player or the university.
  • Dayton junior guard Charles Cooke intends to enter this year’s NBA Draft, though he’ll hold off on hiring an agent, which will allow him to return to school if he withdraws prior to the May 25th deadline, Goodman relays (on Twitter). The 21-year-old is a long shot to be selected and doesn’t appear among the top 100 prospects on Givony’s or Ford’s rankings.