Chris Obekpa

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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D-League Notes: New Rules, Henry, Obekpa

The D-League is a prime venue for the NBA to test out the viability and effectiveness of new rules and procedures. The league announced a number of experimental rule changes that will be in place when the 2016/17 D-League campaign kicks off (h/t to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). We listed those below, along with some other news regarding the D-League:

  • Each team will be entitled to a “Reset Timeout” in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and final two minutes of any overtime period. “Reset Timeouts” do not allow teams to huddle, but otherwise mirror standard timeouts, allowing teams to advance the ball (when applicable) and make unlimited substitutions. If either team huddles or prevents the ball from immediately being put back into play, it will result in a delay of game being issued to the offending team. The “Reset Timeout” replaces the “Advance Rule” which has been in use in the D-League the past two seasons.
  • A 75-second limit on the duration of instant replay reviews has been implemented, except in circumstances where the review is for a hostile act or altercation, could lead to an ejection, there is a technical equipment problem or other atypical circumstances.
  • The 24-second clock will reset to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound or when the offensive team is the first team to retain possession after the ball contacts the rim.
  • Xavier Henry, who was waived by the Bucks in September, has signed a contract with the Santa Cruz Warriors as a returning player, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets.
  • Undrafted free agent Chris Obekpa will join Santa Cruz as an affiliate player for the Warriors, Johnson relays (on Twitter).
  • Shooting guard Elijah Millsap, who spent time last season overseas with the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, has signed a D-League contract with the Northern Arizona Suns, Johnson tweets.
  • Perry Ellis, who was waived by the Hornets on Saturday, is joining Charlotte’s D-League affiliate, Johnson relays (via Twitter).

And-Ones: Salary Record, LeBron, CBA, D-League

The NBA’s record $24MM television deal is playing out just as predicted, writes Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. With LeBron James signing a three-year, $100MM deal with the Cavaliers, a record 17 teams now have the highest-paid players in franchise history on their current rosters. However, most of them are players who re-signed with their current teams or agreed to contract extensions. The only players who earned that distinction by changing teams this summer are Atlanta’s Dwight Howard, Boston’s Al Horford and Golden State’s Kevin Durant.

There’s more NBA-related news this afternoon:

  • Because James has a player option for the third season of his new contract, he can become a free agent in July of 2018, along with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, tweets Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. In March, James made headlines by speculating on the possibility of the four close friends one day joining forces.
  • A “super max” contract is among several changes the NBA and the players union should consider in a new collective bargaining agreement, suggests Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That provision would allow for a contract that is 40% of the salary cap, but would only count as a normal maximum deal against the cap. It would be available only to a player who remains with his current team and it would not be tradeable. Kyler also would like to see a third round added to the draft to help teams stock their D-League affiliates, a two-way contract with different salaries when players are in the NBA and D-League, and minimum qualifications that players would have to meet before being eligible for maximum contracts.
  • The D-League will holds its national tryouts Sunday in Manhattan, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Among the players who received invitations are Sterling Gibbs of Connecticut, Jonathan Holton of West Virginia, Chris Obekpa of St John’s and Markus Kennedy of SMU (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Labissiere, Poeltl, Murray

Here are the latest news and notes regarding the 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 23rd in Brooklyn, New York:

  • The Nuggets have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Josh Adams (Wyoming), Kay Felder (Oakland), Brice Johnson, (North Carolina),  Chris Obekpa, (UNLV), Malachi Richardson, (Syracuse) and Guershcon Yabusele (France), the team announced via press release.
  • The Suns held a group workout today for Johnson, Richardson, Alpha Kaba (France) and Maodo Lo (Columbia), the team announced in a series of tweets. Working out individually for Phoenix today was Skal Labissiere (Kentucky) and Jakob Poeltl (Utah).
  • Kentucky combo guard Jamal Murray said he intends to work out for just four teams: the Celtics, Suns, Timberwolves and Pelicans, Jay King of MassLive tweets. The teams on Murray’s list hold picks No. 3 to No. 6 in June’s draft, King notes.
  • The Wolves will bring in Damion Lee (Louisville) and Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova) as part of a group workout on June 14th, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN notes (Twitter links).

And-Ones: Demps, Obekpa, Bucks

People close to the Pelicans‘ front office feel that GM Dell Demps will be retained, reports Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter links). Kushner adds that the staff feels safe, but ownership has not made a final decision yet. The team is expected to have a press conference on Monday.

Here’s more from throughout the league:

  • Chris Obekpa, who sat out the season for UNLV, has hired Aaron Turner of Verus Management to be his agent, Jeff Goodman of tweets. Obekpa isn’t ranked in the ESPN nor DraftExpress top 100 lists and isn’t expected to be drafted.
  • The biggest need for the Bucks heading into the offseason is 3-point shooting, writes Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press. “Unfortunately in today’s game, two is not going to beat three. In today’s game, the 3 is so important,” coach Jason Kidd said.
  • Teams with young cores rarely develop into true championship contenders, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders argues. Greene takes a look at a some teams over the last 20 years that have possessed young talent but never were able to become true contenders.

And-Ones: Wright, Pistons, Draft

Villanova coach Jay Wright told Dana O’Neil of that he has a strong desire to remain with the school, but he left the door slightly ajar to the idea of jumping to the NBA. The 54-year-old who just led the Wildcats to the national title values the ability to fade from the spotlight during the offseason in Philadelphia and indicated that if that changes, it would be the most significant reason for him to leave, O’Neil writes. The Suns are reportedly interested in Wright for their head coaching job, but he said no team has made an offer. “I can say right now that in my mind I plan to stay at Villanova,” Wright said. “But I also don’t want to be a liar. I want to stay. I know I want to stay, but I just say I hope I can stay because I’ve learned from the past how crazy things can be. I hope I can stay at Villanova because this is where I want to be.”

See more NBA-related news:

  • The Pistons have decided against re-signing Lorenzo Brown and plan to keep a 14-man roster the rest of the season, barring injury, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy told reporters, including MLive’s David Mayo and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). The Pistons have three healthy point guards aside from Brown, so Van Gundy saw no need to keep him once his second 10-day contract with the team expired Wednesday, according to Ellis. Brown didn’t appear in a game during his 20 days with Detroit.
  • Iowa State junior point guard Monte Morris is eschewing a strong chance to become a second-round NBA draft pick this year to instead return for his senior season, the school announced. The 6’3″ 20-year-old was No. 47 in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and 57th with Chad Ford of
  • Conversely, long-shot draft prospect Chris Obekpa will at least test the waters, as he plans to enter the draft without an agent, a source told Jeff Goodman of (Twitter link). NCAA rules required the 6’9″ forward/center to sit out this season at UNLV following his transfer from St. John’s. Ford ranks the native of Nigeria as just the 177th-best prospect, while Givony, whose overall rankings don’t run past No. 100, pegs him as the 71st-best junior. Obekpa can return to college ball if he withdraws from the draft by May 25th as long as he doesn’t hire an agent.

Odds & Ends: Beaubois, Jordan, Paul

Chris Paul told reporters at All-Star Weekend that he isn’t sure if he would have stayed with New Orleans or left as a free agent had he not been traded to the Clippers  in 2011, reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports. “I can’t answer that because I don’t know,” Paul said. “It’s crazy; what was that, three years ago? It’s almost scary to think how much smarter I am now than I was then. That’s one of those that I don’t know.” Here are some more notes to pass along:

  • Rodrigue Beaubois will work out for the Grizzlies and Wizards late next week, a league source tells Chris Haynes of The four-year veteran point guard is still just 25 years old, but he has struggled to live up to the high expectations many had for the 6’2″ speedster. Beaubois recently recovered from a third surgery to his left hand, a procedure that has kept him from signing anywhere as a free agent so far this season.
  • Jerome Jordan is leaving the Italian league’s Virtus Bologna to join the Lebanese pro league, according to Il Corriere di Bologna (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 7-footer spent his lone NBA season with the Knicks in 2011/12.
  • St. John’s has multiple pros on the roster this year, scouts tell Adam Zagoria of, but none of them should come out for the upcoming draft. Zagoria runs down why the scouts think Rysheed Jordan, JaKarr Sampson, Chris Obekpa and D’Angelo Harrison, would all be best served by spending at least another year in college.