Cleanthony Early

And-Ones: LaMelo, G League Draft, Gentile, Blair

LaMelo Ball was extremely impressive during the Drew League pro-am in Los Angeles, writes Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The younger brother of Lonzo Ball will spend the upcoming season in Australia and has a chance to be one of the top picks in the 2020 draft.

After seeing him in action, Woo states that LaMelo has a chance to be the best player in the family. He’s already 6’6″ at age 18 and is a much better scorer than Lonzo was at the same age. Woo describes LaMelo as “an excellent passer” with an effective change-of-pace move and a “quicker, cleaner release” on his shot than his brother has.

Woo also got a first-hand look at Cade Cunningham, whom he calls “best high school prospect regardless of class.” The 6’7″ point guard appears to be headed to Kentucky, North Carolina or Oklahoma State and could be the first player drafted in 2021.

  • Former NBA forward DeJuan Blair can’t fulfill the contract he signed with Italian team VL Pesaro earlier this month because of a doping suspension, Carchia writes. Blair failed an anti-doping test during the 2017/18 season, but wasn’t aware because FIBA sent the notification to the wrong email address. Blair was selected by the Austin Spurs in last year’s G League draft.

International Notes: Mayo, Robinson, Early, Meeks

O.J. Mayo is in Taiwan for the next step of his basketball career, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 31-year-old signed with the Dacin Tigers and has already played a few games, Carchia adds.

Mayo recently became eligible for reinstatement into the NBA after serving a two-year ban for a second violation of the league’s Anti-Drug Program. He was hoping for an invitation to training camp, but no team made an offer. Mayo last played in Puerto Rico over the summer.

Mayo spent eight NBA seasons with the Grizzlies, Mavericks and Bucks, but hasn’t been in the league since fracturing his right ankle in March of 2016.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • China may be the next stop for former lottery pick Thomas Robinson, according to Carchia. The Beikong Fly Dragons are negotiating with Robinson, who spent last season with Khimki Moscow Region in Russia. The fifth pick in the 2012 draft, Robinson played 313 games for the Kings, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Sixers, Nets and Lakers. He was in training camp this year with the Hawks, but was waived last month before the start of the season.
  • Cleanthony Early, who spent two seasons with the Knicks, has joined the Tokyo Hachioji Trains of the Japanese second division, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The team officially announced the signing of Early, who averaged 4.3 PPG in 56 games with New York in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
  • Kennedy Meeks, who was in training camp with the Raptors last season and played for the organization’s G League affiliate, is also playing in Japan, Lupo adds in a separate story. The former North Carolina center is with SeaHorses Mikawa in the first division.

And-Ones: Warrick, McCullough, Early, Rozier

Former first-round pick Hakim Warrick has logged 526 regular season NBA games over an eight-year career, but has been out of the Association since the 2012/13 campaign, bouncing around various international leagues since then. In a span of just five years, Warrick played for teams in China, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, and Israel.

Now, as Adam Zagoria details in a piece for, Warrick is giving the G League a try for the first time as he makes one more push for an NBA roster spot. At age 36, the veteran forward is a long shot to earn a contract offer from an NBA team, but believes he could offer “wisdom and experience” in a locker room — as well as still being able to play a little.

In five games so far this season for the Iowa Wolves, Warrick has recorded 9.2 PPG and 6.4 RPG with a .577 FG% in 18.5 MPG. He’s hoping that his play in the G League will earn him a look, telling Zagoria, “It (the G League) just seems the way to go if you want to try to get back in the NBA.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays a pair of international roster moves, tweeting that Chris McCullough‘s one-month deal with Shanxi in China has expired, and writing that Japan’s Tokyo Hachioji Trains have signed Cleanthony Early. McCullough, a 2015 first-round pick, spent time with the Wizards last season, while 2014 second-rounder Early last played in the NBA in 2015/16 for the Knicks.
  • Preparing for the possibility of the Celtics making Terry Rozier available in trade talks later this season, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype identifies four possible landing spots for the point guard, exploring the potential fit for the Knicks, Suns, Magic, and Spurs.
  • In an interesting feature for, Kevin Arnovitz explores the ways in which NBA teams have begun to add major revenue streams entirely unrelated to basketball to their operations.

And-Ones: Hansbrough, Early, T. Ennis

Former NBA lottery pick Tyler Hansbrough will reportedly continue his professional career in China, with Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reporting that the veteran forward has reached an agreement with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Hansbrough, who played seven NBA seasons for the Pacers, Raptors, and Hornets after being drafted 13th overall out of UNC in 2009, last appeared in the league during the 2015/16 season. The 32-year-old spent the 2017/18 campaign in China as well, falling just short of a double-double on the season (20.8 PPG and 9.9 RPG) with Guangzhou.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world, including a couple more notes from overseas:

  • Former Knicks forward Cleanthony Early signed with Rebeldes del Enriquillo, a club in the Dominican Republic, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays. Early appeared in 56 NBA games for the Knicks from 2014 to 2016.
  • Tyler Ennis – a 2014 first-rounder who spent time with four NBA teams, including the Lakers – signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce this summer, but will be sidelined for several months after suffering a fractured right tibia. Ennis underwent surgery to repair the injury, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando).
  • A growing number of teams in the NBA and G League are adding female assistant coaches to their staffs, with the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ NBAGL affiliate – among them. That trend is “great for the NBA,” according to Hornets head coach James Borrego, who arrived in Charlotte this offseason after serving on the Spurs‘ staff for years. “It speaks to our league, the diversity, the openness, the inclusion and I’m proud to be part of that, part of a league that’s open to that,” Borrego told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “I’ve been around Becky Hammon for a number of years now. These are bright women that belong in our league.”
  • After playing in the NBA for 13 seasons, Antonio Davis battled depression and mental health issues following his retirement. Now, as Branden Peters of The Athletic details, Davis is serving as the director for the NBA’s “Off the Court” program, a program aimed at helping players transition to the next phase of their life when their playing careers end.

And-Ones: Ball Family, Durant, Early, Tanking

Both LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are set to play for the Lithuanian team Vytautas Prienai starting next year and the marketing campaign behind the brothers is not far behind. The Balls’ new team has shipped jerseys of the brothers to the United States and they will be available for purchase on Amazon soon after the new year, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.

Vytautas has shipped 500 jerseys (half for each brother) to an Amazon warehouse and more will be shipped in the first week of January. LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, have provided branding to facilitate the marketing deal, Charania writes.

The brothers’ outspoken father, LaVar Ball, has captured headlines across the basketball world for the better part of two years, advocating for his sons and their basketball futures. Lonzo Ball is currently in his rookie season with the Lakers but his two siblings will have to pursue NBA careers differently. LaMelo was taken out of Chino Hills High School and homeschooled before signing with Vytautas; LiAngelo was enrolled in UCLA before he was arrested for shoplifting in China. Shortly after returning to the United States, LiAngelo left UCLA to pursue his professional career.

Check out other news from the basketball world below:

  • Former Knicks player Cleanthony Early was traded in the G League last week, going from the Santa Cruz Warriors to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Early, 26, last appeared in the NBA during the 2015/16 season. He was averaging  13.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 2.6 APG with the Warriors at the time of the trade.
  • The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report from Christmas Day’s matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers revealed that Kevin Durant fouled LeBron James multiple times during the final possession of the game.
  • While teams have found success and results from prolonged stretches of losing seasons, the entire league suffers when teams decide to tank, ESPN’s Howard Bryant writes.

And-Ones: Early, Wanamaker, Munford, Bond

An apparent dispute over his diet has led to Cleanthony Early being stripped of his $150K deal with AEK Athens. International writer David Pick cited “disciplinary reasons” for the Greek club terminating the contract that Early agreed to last week (Twitter link). The Knicks fan site, Posting and Toasting, part of SB Nation, fleshed out the story with a few now-deleted screen shots of messages between Early and a team official. Early is a vegan and claims he couldn’t find the food he needs close to Athens. He added that he lost seven pounds since coming to Greece and told the team to release him if there wasn’t a way to solve the problem.

There’s more basketball news from around the world:

  • Brad Wanamaker, who was hoping to get an offer this summer from the Pelicans or Celtics, has accepted a deal with Fenerbahce in Turkey, according to Sportando (Twitter link).
  • After two successful G League seasons, Xavier Munford is hoping a team will give him an invitation to training camp, writes Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. The 25-year-old point guard, who was part of the gold-medal-winning Team USA squad at AmeriCup, played briefly for the Grizzlies at the end of the 2015/16 season and was in training camp with the Clippers last year.
  • Jaylen Bond, who spent last season with the Westchester Knicks in the G League, has signed with Flexx Pistoia in Italy, Reichert relays (Twitter link).
  • Kevin Jones, who has spent the past three seasons overseas but was involved in a G League trade in March, is in advanced talks with Crvena Zvezda in Serbia, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Jones’ only NBA experience came in 2012/13 with the Cavaliers.

Cleanthony Early Headed To Greece

Former Knick Cleanthony Early has agreed to a deal with AEK Athens, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.

Early, 27, spent part of last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League after being waived by New York in October. He appeared in 16 games, averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per night.

A second-round pick out of Wichita State in 2014, the 6’8″ small forward spent his first two NBA seasons with the Knicks. He averaged 4.3 points in 56 combined games and was in the G League for much of that time.

Early’s career suffered a setback in December of 2015 when he was shot in the right knee during a robbery.

Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

Rumors are swirling that LeBron James will look to leave Cleveland for a second time after next season and potentially head out west. If he is not on the Cavaliers after 2017/18, James’ departure would have a domino effect across the league. A. Sherrod Blakely joined Mike Felger and Gary Tanguay at CSN New England to discuss Celtics general manager Danny Ainge‘s potential moves if James heads out West and weakens the Eastern Conference.

Blakely believes that no matter James’ future, Ainge should not focus on what’s going around the league, focusing instead on his own team. The Celtics have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and are coming off a year where they were the first seed in the East. The Celtics have their own issues to address, including the impending free agency of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and others.

In any case, the Celtics are in the best position of any Eastern Conference team to unseat the Cavaliers as the class of division and a James departure after next season only strengthens that.

Here are other notes from around the Atlantic Division:

Northwest Notes: Miller, Jokic, Jazz, Brooks

After 17 years in the NBA, Nuggets forward Mike Miller isn’t ready to think about retirement, writes Mick Garry of the Argus [S.D.] Leader. Mitchell returned to his home state Saturday for an annual appearance at a basketball clinic and reflected on what it’s like to play professionally at age 37. “For me, it’s just a lot of fun – I enjoy playing,” Miller said. “I always will. My family still enjoys me playing, which is most important. So we’re going to keep going as long as we can. Every year is a new challenge and I enjoy those challenges. Until I quit, finding something to replace this will be hard.” Miller signed with Denver last summer, but appeared in just 20 games and averaged 7.6 minutes per night. His $3.5MM salary for next season won’t become guaranteed until July 12th.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Miller believes Nikola Jokic‘s breakout season will give free agents a reason to come to Denver. In an interview posted on the Nuggetswebsite, Miller talked about the bright future the 22-year-old has in the league. “I think the good thing that we have right now is Joker is one of those guys that everyone in the league is starting to take heed to and understand who he is,” Miller said. “He’s one of those superstars, I think he’s going to be a superstar. I think you’ll see even more growth at the beginning of this next year, that everyone just wants to play with. He plays that style of basketball. I’ve compared him a lot to Marc and Pau Gasol, I think he’s a lot like that.”
  • The Jazz have 11 players scheduled for workouts today, including UCLA big man T.J. Leaf, who is projected as a late first-rounder, relays Brandon Judd of The Deseret News. Joining Leaf at the second session will be Kentucky’s Dominique Hawkins, Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene, Louisiana Tech’s Erik McCree and Virginia Tech’s Zach LeDay. The first workout will feature Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe, Oregon’s Dylan Ennis, South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier, Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu, Indiana’s Thomas Bryant and North Carolina’s Tony Bradley.
  • Several players with NBA ties were among the 25 participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp Friday and Saturday. Tyler Hansbrough, Lamar Patterson, Cleanthony Early and R.J. Hunter are the most recognizable names, and the complete list can be found on the Jazz website.
  • Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, who worked out Saturday for the Trail Blazers, told Casey Holdahl of that he can see a role for himself with the organization. “I got to watch Portland a lot, you get to see where you’d fit in,” Brooks said. “Especially with Portland, they’ve got two dominant guards and they need help with role players scoring. They get up and down, get into guys, it’s kind of like Oregon. The coach is kind of like [Oregon] Coach [Dana] Altman, they just let their guys play and go out there and try to compete and try to win games.”

And-Ones: All-Star Game, Early, P. Jackson, Sager

Players and the media will help fans choose the starters for this year’s All-Star Game in a new arrangement announced today by the NBA. Fan voting will count for 50% of the final tally, while all current players will be given 25% and a select group of media members will get 25%. All-Star voting will begin on Christmas and run through January 16th, and players will be permitted to vote for themselves and their teammates, relays John Reid of The Times Picayune. Players and media will pick two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. Fans can vote up to once per day and can choose from all NBA players. The game is scheduled for February 19th in New Orleans.

There’s more basketball-related news to pass on:

  • Former Knick Cleanthony Early was involved in a D-League trade today, tweets Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. New York’s affiliate in Westchester sent Early to Golden State’s affiliate in Santa Cruz as part of a three-team deal. Because he is not under an NBA contract, Early remains eligible to be signed by any NBA team. He spent two years in New York after being taken 34th in the 2014 draft and played 17 games there last season.
  • Former Baylor star Pierre Jackson is making an impact in the D-League, Johnson notes in his weekly rankings. Jackson, who signed a deal with the Sixers in 2015 but never played for the team, is leading the league in scoring at 29.3 points per game. He has moved up to second on this week’s list, trailing only Briante Weber, who has topped the rankings for three straight weeks.
  • Tuesday’s memorial service for longtime NBA reporter Craig Sager will be televised on NBA TV and streamed on, according to a statement from the league. Sager, who died Tuesday, was part of NBA coverage on TNT for 26 years.