Craig Sword

Pacers Waive Pedro Bradshaw, Craig Sword; Sign Jordan Bell

The Pacers have waived Pedro Bradshaw and Craig Sword and signed Jordan Bell, the team announced in a press release.

All three players received Exhibit 10 deals, which means they’ll each be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with the Indiana Mad Ants, the Pacers’ NBA G League affiliate. Based on previous reporting, Bell will almost certainly be waived in the coming days as well.

A 6’8″ big man, Bell has by far the most NBA experience of the group, appearing in 161 regular season games with the Warriors, Wolves, Grizzlies, Wizards and Bulls from 2017-22. He holds career averages of 3.7 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 12.0 MPG. The 28-year-old played in China last season but spent most of 2021/22 with the Mad Ants.

Bradshaw, who went undrafted out of Bellarmine in 2021, averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 29 regular season games (19.2 MPG) with the Mad Ants in ’22/23. He posted a .509/.419/.776 shooting line.

Sword was a member of the Capital City Go-Go last season who had his rights acquired earlier this month by the Mad Ants. An NBAGL veteran who has appeared in more than 200 games at that level, the 29-year-old averaged 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 22.2 minutes per game last season in 43 appearances for the Go-Go, with a shooting line of .566/.387/.725.

The Pacers now have 19 players under contract, including 15 on guaranteed standard deals and all three two-way slots filled.

Pacers Sign Craig Sword, Pedro Bradshaw To Camp Deals

The Pacers have signed free agent guards Craig Sword and Pedro Bradshaw to training camp contracts, according to RealGM’s transaction log. The club now has 20 players under contract.

Tony East of (Twitter link) previously reported that Sword would be getting an Exhibit 10 contract from Indiana, while marketing agency RBA Showcase (Twitter link) confirmed Bradshaw’s signing.

In all likelihood, both Sword and Bradshaw will end up as returning rights players for the Indiana Mad Ants (formerly the Fort Wayne Mad Ants), the Pacers’ G League affiliate. Bradshaw played for the team last season, while Sword was a member of the Capital City Go-Go who had his rights acquired earlier this month by the Mad Ants.

An NBAGL veteran who has appeared in more than 200 games at that level, Sword averaged 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 22.2 minutes per game last season in 43 appearances for the Go-Go, with a solid shooting line of .566/.387/.725. Bradshaw was a role player for the Mad Ants, averaging 9.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .507/.423/.763 shooting in 45 appearances (20.0 MPG).

Both players will earn bonuses worth up to $75K if they’re waived by the Pacers before the regular season and then spend at least 60 days with the Mad Ants.

Central Notes: Giannis, Turner, Sword, Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t directly threatening to leave the Bucks, but he hinted at that option this week during an appearance on the 48 Minutes podcast (YouTube video link). The two-time MVP said he enjoys playing in Milwaukee, but his priority is winning another championship and he’s willing to go elsewhere if he decides it’s necessary.

“I’m a Milwaukee Buck, but most importantly I’m a winner,” Antetokounmpo said. “… If there is a better situation for me to win the Larry O’Brien (trophy), I have to take that better situation.”

Antetokounmpo made similar comments last month, saying he would like to play 20 years with the same team, but “being a winner” is more important to him.

Antetokounmpo will become eligible for a five-year extension next summer that could be worth up to $334MM, which would be the largest contract in NBA history. He also holds a $51.9MM player option for 2025/26, so he’ll have the equivalent of an expiring contract for the following season if he doesn’t accept the extension.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Appearing on Tidal League’s “Run Your Race” podcast with Theo Pinson, Myles Turner expressed regret that he wasn’t ready to assume the role of team leader after the Pacers traded Paul George in 2017 (hat tip to FanSided). “The beginning of that year, I got hurt. I got a concussion,” Turner recalled. “I was out for like two and a half weeks. So I missed the first two and a half weeks of the season, (and) Vic (Victor Oladipo) was going crazy. Hitting game-winners. Averaging like 20 a game. Domas (Domantas Sabonis) was like 20 and 10.” Turner added that he’s grateful to get another chance to be a leader with the current version of the team.
  • The Pacers‘ G League affiliate has acquired returning player rights for guard Craig Sword. The Fort Wayne Mad Ants announced a deal with Capital City to land the rights to Sword, who played for the Warriors during Summer League.
  • Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are considered stars under the NBA’s new Player Participation Policy, but the guidelines shouldn’t affect the Bulls very much, observes Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune. She notes that the team doesn’t rely much on load management, with Vucevic and Patrick Williams both appearing in all 82 games last season, while LaVine played in 70 of the last 71 after working his way back from offseason knee surgery.

And-Ones: World Cup Qualifiers, Nike Summit, MVP Race, Rising Stars, Draft

With two more qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup right around the corner, USA Basketball has officially announced the 12-man roster that will compete in February’s games. Team USA’s squad is made up primarily of G Leaguers, but features a number of players with NBA experience.

The 12 players who will represent the U.S. on February 23 vs. Uruguay and Feb. 26 vs. Brazil are Deonte Burton, Will Davis II, Abdul Gaddy, Langston Galloway, Treveon Graham, Dusty Hannahs, Nate Hinton, Jay Huff, Xavier Moon, Elijah Pemberton, Reggie Perry, and Craig Sword.

So far, Canada is the only team in the Americas field to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, having won all of its first 10 qualifying contests. However, Team USA – which has an 8-2 record so far – will clinch a World Cup berth by winning either one of its two games this month, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

Meanwhile, USA Basketball also announced the rosters for the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit, an annual showcase of U.S. high school prospects that will take place on April 8. The most notable name on the men’s roster is Bronny James, but Bronny isn’t the only son of a former Cavaliers lottery pick to be named to the event — the 13-player roster also includes Dajuan Wagner Jr.

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

  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is building a strong case for his third consecutive MVP award and leads the way in the latest straw poll conducted by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. Bontemps’ survey asks 100 media members for their current MVP ballots — Jokic received 77 first-place votes, easily besting runners-up Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks (11 first-place votes) and Joel Embiid of the Sixers (6).
  • Rockets guard Jalen Green (left groin strain) and Pistons center Jalen Duren (right ankle sprain) have been forced to withdraw from Friday night’s Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend due to injuries, according to the NBA (Twitter link). They’re being replaced by Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu and Rockets forward Tari Eason.
  • In his latest mock draft for The Athletic, Sam Vecenie moves Alabama wing Brandon Miller up to No. 3, writing that Miller is considered the safest bet in the 2023 draft class – outside of Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson – to be a “really good player” at the NBA level. Vecenie’s top five is rounded out by Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson at No. 4 and Houston forward Jarace Walker at No. 5.

Wizards Convert Jordan Goodwin To Two-Way Deal, Waive Four Players

3:45pm: The Wizards have, as expected, waived Sword, Dotson, and Jackson, the team confirmed in a press release.

The Wizards also announced that they signed and waived center Jaime Echenique today. He’s a safe bet to return to the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate, which is where he spent most of last season.

The team’s roster is now set for the regular season, with 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-ways.

2:03pm: The Wizards have converted Jordan Goodwin‘s Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way deal, according to’s transaction log.

Goodwin, who will turn 24 next Sunday, spent his rookie season in the Wizards’ organization after going undrafted out of Saint Louis in 2021. For most of the year, he was a member of the Capital City Go-Go, averaging 16.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 2.0 SPG with a .412/.302/.792 shooting line in 31 NBAGL games (32.4 MPG).

Goodwin also got a chance to make his NBA debut when he was signed to a 10-day hardship contract in December. He appeared in two games for Washington during that time.

The Wizards had been carrying four players on Exhibit 10 contracts. Goodwin’s conversion to a two-way deal likely means that Craig Sword, Devon Dotson, and Quenton Jackson will be waived. That would leave the team with 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, plus Goodwin and Jordan Schakel on two-ways.

Wizards Sign Craig Sword To Training Camp Deal, Waive Makur Maker

The Wizards have brought back shooting guard Craig Sword on a training camp contract, the team announced (via Twitter). Center Makur Maker was waived to make room on the roster.

Sword, 28, appeared in three games for Washington last season after signing a 10-day contract under the hardship exemption in late December. Sword spent most of the year with the team’s G League affiliate in Capital City.

Maker joined the Wizards in August on an Exhibit 10 contract, and the organization is planning for him to play this season in the G League. He will receive a bonus worth up to $50K if spends at least 60 days with Capital City.

The moves leave Washington with a full 20-man roster.

And-Ones: Wembanyama, Henderson, James Lawsuit, Cole, Las Vegas

The top two projected picks in next year’s draft will square off in Las Vegas next month, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports.

Projected No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama and his team, Metropolitans 92 from Paris, will face the G League Ignite and projected No. 2 pick, Scoot Henderson, on October 4 and 6 in a pair of exhibition games in Henderson, Nevada.

Rafael Barlowe revealed earlier that discussions were ongoing about a potential matchup featuring those two teams (Twitter link).

They naturally won’t be guarding each other. Wembanyama is a 7’4” center with an eight-foot wingspan, while Henderson is a lightning-quick 6’3” point guard.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • LeBron James and rappers Drake and Future are accused in a $10MM lawsuit filed by former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter of stealing the “intellectual property rights” to a film, according to Carl Campanile and Priscilla DeGregory of the New York Post. Hunter is seeking a share of profits from the documentary as well as $10MM in damages in a complaint filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court. The film, “Black Ice,” focuses on a segregated hockey league for black players in Canada.
  • Former NBA guard Norris Cole and Craig Sword combined for 28 points as Team USA rolled past Panama 88-58 in the AmeriCup basketball tournament on Monday, ESPN reports. Sword appeared in three games with the Wizards last season. Another former NBA guard, Jeremy Pargo, added 10 points.
  • A $3 billion sports and entertainment center, including a $1 billion, 20,000-seat arena, near the Las Vegas Strip could be a stepping stone for the city to get an NBA franchise, Tashan Reed of The Athletic writes. The complex, which will break ground in 2023 and is set to be completed in 2026, will also include an amphitheater, hotel and casino. “There are no guarantees the NBA is coming, and that’s been made very clear,” Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said. “So, what you’ve got to do is go build (the arena) and make it work on everything else. My guess is they’ll get more interested and fascinated by Vegas if there is a world-class, billion-dollar arena.”

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For AmeriCup

At the same time that 24 European nations will be competing in this year’s long-awaited EuroBasket tournament, Team USA will be going for gold in the 2022 AmeriCup, another event that hasn’t taken place in five years. The U.S. team won the 2017 AmeriCup and was preparing to defend its title in 2021 before the event was pushed back a year due to the delay of the Tokyo Olympics.

With the 2022 AmeriCup around the corner, Team USA has announced the 15 players who will take part in training camp from August 23-27 in Las Vegas before the squad chooses a 12-man roster for the September event. Those 15 players are as follows:

While not every player on Team USA’s training camp roster has NBA experience, many do, including Meeks (539 regular season games), Cole (360), McCaw (199), Clark (170), Johnson (103), Mason (103), and Pargo (86). Sword, Cheatham, Lamb, and Zimmerman have also made brief NBA appearances.

The U.S. team will be coached by Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

The AmeriCup, also known as the Americas Basketball Championship, used to be part of the qualifying process for the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, but now it’s a stand-alone event.

This year’s tournament will take place from September 2-11 in Recife, Brazil. Sixteen teams have been divided into four groups of four teams apiece. After each team plays three round robin games within its group, the top two teams in each group – along with the two best third-place teams – will move onto the quarterfinals.

Team USA will be seeking its eighth overall AmeriCup gold medal and its first back-to-back golds since winning the event in 1997 and 1999.

Summer League Commitments: Blazers, Mavericks, Bulls, Wizards

Free agent guard Colbey Ross has committed to play summer league with the Trail Blazers, according to a league source. Ross last played for Era Nymburk in the Basketball Champions League.

Prior to going undrafted in 2021, Ross played four collegiate seasons at Pepperdine. He’s the only men’s player in NCAA Division 1 history with 2200+ points, 800+ assists, and 400+ rebounds in his career.

Here are a few more updates on summer league commitments:

  • Undrafted Clemson guard David Collins has agreed to play summer league with the Mavericks, his manager Ariel Levy told Hoops Rumors. Collins averaged 10.3 points per game last season, shooting an efficient 51% from the floor and 38% from three-point range.
  • The Bulls are adding guard Perrion Callandret to their summer league team, his agents Austin Eastman and Solomon Yon told Hoops Rumors. He played for the team’s G League affiliate this past season.
  • The Wizards are adding guard Craig Sword to their summer league roster, according to his agent, Josh Goodwin. Sword signed a 10-day contract with the team this past season. He also played 14 games for Washington’s G League affiliate.

Wizards Sign Craig Sword To 10-Day Contract

11:40am: Sword’s deal is now official, according to the Wizards (Twitter link). It’ll run through January 6.

11:22am: G League guard Craig Sword will sign a 10-day deal with the Wizards under the hardship exemption, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The 27-year-old has played mostly overseas since going undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2016. He’s averaging 6.4 points and 3.6 assists this season in 14 games with the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G League affiliate.

The Wizards currently have six players in health and safety protocols, including guards Bradley BealKentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Holiday and Raul Neto.