Chris Johnson (LSU)

Cavs Sign Jack Cooley, Waive Chris Johnson

11:10am: The Cavs made it official and have announced that Cooley has been signed and Johnson has been waived.

9:15am: The Cavaliers have reached a deal with unrestricted free agent power forward Jack Cooley, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). The details of the agreement are not yet known, but Cleveland is over the luxury tax line and limited to offering just the league minimum. The Cavs currently have 20 players on their roster, and Cleveland will waive Chris Johnson to clear room to ink Cooley, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets.

Cooley, 24, was in training camp with the Jazz on a non-guaranteed deal, but Utah waived him on Tuesday. The forward made 16 regular season appearances last season for the Jazz, averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.4 minutes of action per night. While Cooley provides additional frontcourt depth, Cleveland could be bringing him in as insurance in the event Tristan Thompson‘s holdout is a prolonged one, though that is merely my speculation.

Johnson, 30, went undrafted out of LSU back in 2009, and is not to be confused with swingman Chris Johnson out of Dayton. The Johnson whom the Cavs are cutting last appeared on an NBA regular season roster back in 2012/13, when he made 30 appearances for Minnesota. His career NBA averages are 2.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks to accompany a slash line of .562/.000/.699. He spent the 2014/15 campaign playing in China.

Cavs To Sign Chris Johnson

The Cavaliers and unrestricted free agent center Chris Johnson have agreed to a deal, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. The arrangement is for one year at the league minimum and does not include any guaranteed salary, Haynes adds.

Johnson, 30, went undrafted out of LSU back in 2009, and is not to be confused with swingman Chris Johnson out of Dayton. The Johnson who’s headed to Cleveland last appeared in the NBA back in 2012/13, when he made 30 appearances for Minnesota. His career NBA averages are 2.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks to accompany a slash line of .562/.000/.699. He spent the 2014/15 campaign playing in China.

The addition of Johnson gives Cleveland a roster count of 18 players, though that number does not include restricted free agent Tristan Thompson, who is still unsigned, nor Quinn Cook, who’s reportedly expected to reach a deal amid conflicting reports on whether he already has.

Western Notes: Cooley, Garnett, Jazz

Jack Cooley is a candidate to be signed to a 10-day deal by the Jazz, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune reports (Twitter link). Utah is in need of frontcourt depth in the wake of the Enes Kanter trade. Cooley currently plays for the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz‘s D-League affiliate. In 15 D-League games, Cooley is averaging 15.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 28.5 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jazz re-sign swingman Chris Johnson, whom the team had on a 10-day contract a few weeks ago, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
  • The Clippers met with D-Leaguer Eric Griffin in New York over the weekend and discussed a 10-day deal, but no move is expected, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Griffin hooked on with the Texas Legends after being waived by the Mavs in October.
  • The Clippers have two roster openings and Arash Markazi of (on Twitter) hears that they plan to fill both.  They’ll likely go with two bought out players but they could sign one buyout guy and one player to a 10-day deal.
  • The Jazz like Alex Abrines, one of the Thunder’s draft-and-stash prospects, Genessy notes (Twitter link). Abrines, a 21-year-old shooting guard, is under contract with Barcelona of Spain until 2016, as our draft rights held players database shows.
  • The Jazz showed interest in Shane Larkin before the deadline, sources told Ian Begley of (Twitter link).
  • Just as the Timberwolves would reportedly like to sign Kevin Garnett for two more years, Garnett fully intends to play at least one more season, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron and Zach Links contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Tolliver, Dawkins, Butler

The release of Josh Smith is easily identifiable as the turning point for the Pistons, but the acquisition of Anthony Tolliver, which took place two days later, has benefited the team, too, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic examines. The deal appears to have helped all three sides, with the Suns on a roll just as the Pistons are and Tolliver having seen an uptick in playing time since his arrival in Detroit. Tony Mitchell, the player the Pistons gave up in the deal, has found a new home after the Suns let him go, as we passed along earlier today. There’s more on the Pistons amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics are reportedly meeting with Andre Dawkins this week as they mull signing him to a 10-day contract, but if they do, he’ll spend most if not all of his time with the C’s on D-League assignment, a league source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of (Twitter link).
  • Retirement is far from the mind of 35-year-old Rasual Butler, who credits his time with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate in 2012/13 for his keeping his career aflame and helping spark his sudden resurgence with the Wizards this season, as he tells Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens admires the Hawks, as Julian Edlow of observes while wondering whether the best path the Celtics can take back to contention involves following Atlanta’s egalitarian approach instead of chasing stars.
  • The Pistons are recalling Gigi Datome and Spencer Dinwiddie from the D-League, tweets Keith Langlois of Datome averaged 13.3 points in 25.3 minutes per game and made 6 of 13 three-point shots in his first-ever D-League action, while Dinwiddie has put up 13.0 PPG and 5.4 assists per game in 29.8 MPG across seven D-League games this season.
  • Heat camp invitee Chris Johnson has signed with Turk Telekom Ankara of Turkey, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The former LSU center, who’s not to be confused with the swingman by the same name from the University of Dayton, played in China earlier this season following his release from the Heat prior to opening night.

Minor Moves: Jerrett, Celtics, Johnson

The D-League season is underway, and with it will come a fast pace of assignments and recalls from NBA teams. We’ll be keeping track of those moves throughout the season in the post linked here and noting each transaction within our regular coverage. There are a pair of D-League notes and a move from overseas this afternoon amid our look at the latest news involving NBA players and minor league teams.

  • The Thunder recalled Grant Jerrett from the D-League today, the team announced via press release, just hours after sending him down to their affiliate for a practice. Coach Scott Brooks explained that the Thunder have been engaging merely in film study and walkthroughs of late, so the team wanted to allow him to engage in a full practice as he continues to recover from left ankle surgery, as Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman details (All four Twitter links).
  • The Celtics have assigned James Young and Dwight Powell the the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Young has appeared in two contests for Boston this season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in nine minutes per game. Powell has seen less than a minute’s worth of regular season action after logging 1.7 PPG and 1.2 RPG in six preseason appearances.
  • Heat camp invitee Chris Johnson is signing with China’s Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls, a source tells David Pick of (Twitter link). Johnson is a three-year NBA veteran center who last saw regular season action with the Timberwolves in 2012/13. He’s not to be confused with swingman Chris Johnson, whom the Sixers waived this afternoon.

Heat Waive Chris Johnson, Reggie Williams

The Heat have waived the non-guaranteed contracts of Chris Johnson and Reggie Williams, the team announced. The moves take Miami’s roster down to 18 players, with three players still to be shed before the deadline to set opening-night rosters two weeks from today.

Johnson, not to be confused with the Sixers swingman of the same name, was bidding to return to the NBA after spending the 2013/14 with Zhejiang Guangsha of China. The 29-year-old center from LSU went scoreless in his only preseason appearance this month for the Heat. Williams spent much of last season in the D-League as well as with the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines, though he did ink a pair of 10-day contracts with the Thunder. The Heat didn’t put Williams on the floor in any of the three preseason games they played while the 28-year-old swingman was on the roster.

The Heat still have much to decide before the regular season, with only 11 players under guaranteed contracts. Shannon BrownAndre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, all of whom have non-guaranteed deals, are trying to beat out Khem Birch, James Ennis, Justin Hamilton and Tyler Johnson, who have partial guarantees.

Heat Sign Chris Johnson For Camp

FRIDAY, 3:02pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

THURSDAY, 12:57pm: The Heat are expected to add former LSU center Chris Johnson to their camp roster, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Johnson is not to be confused with the Celtics swingman by the same name. The Heat are limited to giving out only the minimum salary to the three-year veteran, though since the team has only been carrying 11 fully guaranteed deals, there’s a decent chance that Johnson’s contract will include a small partial guarantee.

Guaranteed money didn’t help Johnson stick with the Timberwolves for opening night last year, as Minnesota waived him and his minimum salary at the end of training camp. He went to China to play with Zhejiang Guangsha instead, and but he nearly made it back to the NBA with the Kings in March before a failed physical scuttled his deal with Sacramento. The 6’11” Johnson also reportedly worked out for Charlotte earlier that month.

The addition of the 29-year-old Johnson will bring the Heat to a full 20-man preseason roster. Four players have partial guarantees in addition to the 11 fully guaranteed members of the Heat, while veterans Shannon Brown and Reggie Williams are among those who’ll be in Miami’s camp without any guaranteed salary, making for tough competition.

Pacific Notes: Young, Meeks, Hornacek, Kings

It appears likely that Nick Young will opt out of his contract, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, though there’s mutual interest in keeping him in purple-and-gold. The team also likes soon-to-be free agent Jodie Meeks, Bresnahan adds, and while Meeks has spoken of his desire to remain a Laker, the Times scribe believes the shooting guard will probably command a tidy raise from his $1.55MM salary this season. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Within a story noting that Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg must pay the school $500K if he accepts an NBA head coaching or GM job, Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register reveals that Jeff Hornacek is making $2MM as coach of the Suns this year. Hornacek reportedly has a four-year deal with a club option in the final season.
  • The Kings are debating whether to re-sign Royce White for the season, and they’re enamored with his play, professionalism and the way he’s meshed with teammates, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. White’s second 10-day contract with Sacramento expires tonight.
  • Sean Cunningham of News 10 Sacramento hears it was a failed physical that derailed Chris Johnson‘s deal with the Kings (Twitter link). The team is reportedly adding Willie Reed instead.

Kings, Chris Johnson Call Off Deal

WEDNESDAY, 12:45pm: The deal has come apart, and the Kings no longer plan to sign Johnson, Deeks reports (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 7:20pm: The Kings are set to sign Chris Johnson tomorrow, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports,com. The big man out of LSU is not to be confused with the Celtics player of the same name. We heard that the Bobcats worked out Johnson a couple of weeks ago, but Charlotte ended up signing DJ White to a 10-day contract instead, leaving the opportunity for the Kings to swoop in and ink the athletic center.

Johnson, 28, has been playing in China since November. He’s averaged impressive numbers of 20 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2 blocks per night in 29 games for Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. During his most recent stint in the NBA, Johnson played 30 contests for for the Timberwolves and averaged 3.9 points per game while posting an impressive 18.9 PER.

It’s not clear whether Sacramento is giving Johnson a 10-day deal or signing him for the rest of the season and possibly beyond, writes Deeks. The Kings have an open roster spot after waiving Jimmer Fredette and opting not to retain Orlando Johnson, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the club. The acquisition of Johnson will now put the Kings’ roster at an NBA maximum of 15 players.

Bobcats To Work Out Players For Possible 10-Day

THURSDAY, 3:40pm: NBA free agent Chris Johnson is part of the workout session today, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 7:19pm: The Bobcats plan to work out Ike Diogu, Mickell Gladness, and Denzel Bowles on Thursday for a possible 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of (Twitter link). The Bobcats currently have 15 players on the roster, so someone would need to be released. It’s possible they could let go of Justin Hamilton to make space when his 10-day contract expires tomorrow.

Diogu has been playing with Bakersfield in the NBA D-League. In 30 games he is averaging 16.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 30.2 MPG. The 6’8″ forward was taken in the first-round of the 2005 draft by the Warriors. He last saw NBA action during the 2011/12 season with the Spurs. His career numbers are 6.0 PPG, and 3.1 RPG over 12.4 MPG.

Gladness went undrafted in 2008 and has been playing for Reno in the D-League this season. His numbers in 30 games are 8.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 0.5 APG in 24.2 MPG. The 6’11” center saw limited NBA action during the 2011/2012 season with the Heat and the Warriors.

Bowles, a 6’10” center who averaged 26.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, is seen as a talented project, according to Charania. Bowles also has received interest from the Heat per Charania’s sources.