D.J. Wilson

D.J. Wilson Joins Sixers On 10-Day Deal

MARCH 24: Wilson’s 10-day contract is official, the Sixers announced (via Twitter).

MARCH 19: Power forward D.J. Wilson has agreed to sign a 10-day contract with the Sixers, sources inform Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

The former Michigan forward, who was selected with the No. 17 pick by the Bucks in the 2017 draft, has spent the duration of the 2023/24 season with Orlando’s NBAGL affiliate squad, the Osceola Magic.

Wilson has posted some impressive numbers in the G League, averaging 19.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 1.5 BPG in 33.2 minutes per game, across 33 total appearances in the Showcase Cup and the G League regular season. His shooting line is a similarly impressive .556/.396/.750.

In parts of five NBA seasons, Wilson has scored 4.4 PPG on .419/.327/.618 shooting. He has also averaged 3.1 RPG and 0.7 SPG in 146 regular season contests. In addition to the Bucks, the 6’10” journeyman logged brief stints with the Rockets and the Raptors.

The Sixers only have 13 players on full-season standard contracts, with Kai Jones also on a 10-day deal, so no corresponding roster move will be necessary to open up a spot for Wilson.

Magic Sign Miye Oni, Waive D.J. Wilson

OCTOBER 13: The Magic have officially signed Oni, the team announced today in a press release. To make room on the 21-man roster, which is full, Orlando waived D.J. Wilson, who had been on an Exhibit 10 contract.

AUGUST 22: The Magic have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with free agent wing Miye Oni, reports Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).

According to Beede, it will be a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 agreement. A contract with Exhibit 10 language can be converted to a two-way deal or can put a player in line for a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived in the preseason and then spends at least 60 days with his team’s G League affiliate.

A former Yale standout who was drafted 58th overall in 2019, Oni appeared in 80 games for the Jazz across three seasons from 2019-22, but never developed into a consistent, reliable NBA rotation player. He averaged just 1.8 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 8.4 minutes per contest in those three years.

Oni, 26, was traded in January 2022 from the Jazz to the Thunder, who subsequently waived him. He signed a 10-day hardship contract with New Orleans later that season, but didn’t appear in a game for the Pelicans.

After reaching free agency last summer, Oni signed with the London Lions of the British Basketball League and had a strong season in England, helping the Lions claim a BBL championship and a spot in the EuroCup playoffs.

Magic Sign D.J. Wilson To Exhibit 10 Contract

SEPTEMBER 29: The Magic have issued a press release officially confirming that they’ve signed Wilson.

SEPTEMBER 28: The Magic plan to sign free agent forward D.J. Wilson to an Exhibit 10 contract, reports Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).

A former first-round pick (17th overall in 2017), Wilson played in 146 regular season games (12.3 MPG) with the Bucks, Rockets and Raptors from 2017-22. The 27-year-old holds career averages of 4.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG, with a .419/.327/.618 shooting line.

Last summer, Wilson signed a two-year deal with the Raptors, but he only had a $250K partial guarantee and was released before 2022/23 began. He spent most of last season in the G League with the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s affiliate.

According to Beede, Orlando’s affiliate — the Osceola Magic — acquired Wilson’s returning player rights in February. He also played for the Magic’s Summer League squad a couple months ago, Beede adds.

While Exhibit 10 contracts can ordinarily be converted into two-way deals, that won’t be the case for Wilson. Since he has five years of NBA experience, he’s ineligible for a two-way contract.

The former Michigan big man will likely be waived before the season starts and headed to the Osceola Magic. In that scenario, he could receive a bonus worth up to $75K — on top of his G League salary — if he spends at least 60 days with Osceola.

Once the deal is official, the Magic’s offseason roster will be full, with 21 players under contract.

Justin Champagnie Earns Raptors’ 15th Roster Spot

Justin Champagnie has won the training camp battle for the Raptors‘ 15th and final standard roster spot, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Twitter link).

Toronto has waived the three other contenders for the last spot on the 15-man roster, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Those players are Josh Jackson, D.J. Wilson and Gabe Brown, and they’ll clear waivers on Monday, assuming they go unclaimed.

Champagnie, 21, went undrafted last year after starring in two college seasons at Pitt. He signed a two-way deal with the Raptors as a rookie, averaging 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per night in 36 games last season.

Though his role with the NBA club was modest, Champagnie averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 boards, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks on .489/.409/.778 shooting in 14 regular season games (35.9 minutes) for the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G League affiliate, and clearly made a strong impression on the organization. His contract was previously partially guaranteed for $325K, but now he’s set to have his $1,637,966 deal for 2022/23 fully guaranteed.

Wilson had a $250K partial guarantee on his deal, and the Raptors will be on the hook for that amount. Jackson’s deal was non-guaranteed, as was Brown’s, but unlike Jackson, Brown signed an Exhibit 10 contract, so he will earn a $50K bonus if he spends at least 60 days with the Raptors 905.

Raptors Notes: Roster Battle, Boucher, Porter, J. Jackson, Achiuwa

With Dalano Banton likely to make the team after a strong preseason, the Raptors appear to have a three-man battle for their final roster spot, writes Lori Ewing of The Toronto StarJustin ChampagnieJosh Jackson and D.J. Wilson are all in the running and Friday’s preseason finale is their last chance to make an impression.

The competition is particularly stressful for Champagnie, who missed the first three preseason games with pain in his hip, Ewing notes. He played only eight minutes Sunday, recording one point and one rebound. Champagnie, who appeared in 36 games for Toronto as a rookie last season, estimates that he is 90 to 95 percent recovered from the hip issue.

“I sensed some urgency from Justin,” coach Nick Nurse said. “I think some other guys just kind of let their game each day do what it does. It’s hard to get all excited one game and be not so excited the next because they play good and then not so good. Then they come back in practice and light it up again and get you thinking again. (Making cuts) is always a tricky thing. We’ll see how it all shakes out. I think there are still a lot of questions to be answered.”

There’s more from Toronto:

  • A hamstring injury will keep Chris Boucher out of the lineup for Friday’s game, which is in his hometown of Montreal, Ewing adds. Free agency addition Otto Porter Jr. will also miss the game with an injured hamstring, and Nurse said he’s not certain if either player will be ready for the regular season opener next Wednesday.
  • Jackson is hoping to revive his career with the Raptors after playing for four teams in his first five NBA seasons, per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Jackson takes responsibility for not living up to the expectations that came along with being the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. “I can’t say that every organization that I’ve been a part of has been great in helping its players succeed but, with that, what I have learned is you’ve got to be the one to make sure that you’re getting everything that you need,” he said. “You have to make sure you’re working on the things you need to work on because, at the end of the day, it is your career, it’s not theirs.”
  • Sixth Man of the Year or Most Improved Player honors might be within reach for Precious Achiuwa after his impressive performance during the second half of last season, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “[The accolades are] something that [will] just happen based on how I play,” Achiuwa said. “Control what I can control. Your shots aren’t always going to go in but being able to play defense and bring effort, that’s something you can control every game.”

Raptors Notes: Starting Lineup, VanVleet, Last Roster Spot, Barnes

When the Raptors face opponents with bigger frontcourts, they may switch up their lineup, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby will start most nights but it “doesn’t mean you always have to start your five best,” according to head coach Nick Nurse said.

“Do we really want Scottie, Pascal or OG guarding a really good, big five to start the game?” Nurse said. “I don’t think we do, so we’re going to have to make some adjustments to that, or it’s just going to be three minutes and we’re sending in a guy.”

We have more on the Raptors:

  • Fred VanVleet believes there’s good chemistry in the locker room, Michael Grange of SportsNet.ca writes. “I think you have to give credit to management and coaching staff. They have their hands full in terms of putting together a locker room that works before we even step on the court,” said VanVleet. “I think we have done a good job of building that back up. It feels more like a Raptors team now.”
  • Nurse may weigh potential offensive contributions a little more heavily when it comes to deciding which player gets the 15th spot on the roster, Grange tweetsJustin ChampagnieD.J. WilsonJosh Jackson and Gabe Brown are the candidates.
  • Barnes has been a little slow getting up to speed and there’s a good reason for that — the reigning Rookie of the Year was held out of training for the last three weeks prior to camp with a mild ankle sprain, Grange tweets. Nurse commented on that subject. “He’s playing a little bit of catch-up and it’s noticeable,” Nurse said, as relayed via a Lewenberg tweet. “I don’t think he’s shown a whole lot in the preseason… I think he’s just behind a little bit, conditioning-wise, feel-wise. We need to keep plugging away and get him feeling (like himself).”

Atlantic Notes: Harden, Melton, Raptors, G. Williams

Asked by Joe Vardon of The Athletic if he believes he’s gotten the proper credit for taking a pay cut this season in order to allow the Sixers to sign other players, including P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, James Harden shook his head.

“Nope, but guess what? I don’t care,” Harden said. “There’s like a stereotype (of Harden) where people always want to talk. People don’t really know me, so they feel like they can just say anything. One thing I won’t do is give them any attention. I won’t say anything, media-wise, publicly. I don’t care, because I’m comfortable and I’m confident in the things I do on and off the court.”

Harden turned down a player option worth more than $47MM and accepted a $33MM salary for 2022/23, with a player option worth $35.64MM for ’23/24. Having sacrificed some short-term money for the good of the team, the former MVP told Vardon he intends to take the same approach with his on-court statistics this season.

“At this point, (big) numbers are great, but whether I’m averaging 22 or 28 (points per game), I think it’s more that I’m making an impact on the game each and every night,” Harden said. “I don’t really think about numbers. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about numbers, honestly. … Ultimately, it’s winning a championship. The numbers don’t really mean anything, individually.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • De’Anthony Melton is looking forward to showing what he can bring this season to the Sixers and is grateful that Grizzlies head of basketball operations Zach Kleiman traded him to a favorable landing spot, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Zach and I have a good relationship to where I know he wouldn’t send me to a bad situation,” Melton said. “He wouldn’t do anything that he doesn’t feel like is a good situation for his organization and for me. You don’t get that in a lot of GMs. So that’s why the care factor was there. I could be wrong. I could be right, but that’s what I felt, given the situation.”
  • Dalano Banton‘s place on the Raptors‘ regular season roster looks increasingly secure after another solid performance vs. Chicago on Sunday, but the team’s 15th spot remains very much up in the air, says Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. As Grange notes, Justin Champagnie got a late start to the preseason, but hasn’t fallen far behind in the battle for the No. 15 spot, since none of D.J. Wilson, Josh Jackson, and Gabe Brown have run away with it.
  • In a mailbag for NBC Sports Boston, Chris Forsberg makes a case for why the Celtics and Grant Williams should be able to get a rookie scale extension done before next Monday’s deadline, arguing that a deal in the range of $12-13MM per year would allow Williams to earn more than the mid-level and let the team lock up another member of its core.

Raptors Notes: Banton, Champagnie, Wilson, Jackson, Siakam

From all appearances, Dalano Banton will have his contract guaranteed and a spot on the Raptors’ opening night roster, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. That would leave forwards Justin Champagnie, D.J. Wilson and Josh Jackson fighting for one job during the preseason.

Coach Nick Nurse has spelled out the parameters of what he’s looking for at the end of his bench.

“Are they going to be able to understand what we’re doing, know what we’re doing, not make too many mistakes, be opportunity-type scorers?” he said. “Being on the same page out there, and being able to execute so that you’re fitting in, is always right at the top of the list. Competitive fire and drive, (playing) super hard is always 1, 1 and 1A. It’ll be interesting. It’s a battle, for sure.”

We have more on the Raptors:

  • Banton, a 2021 second-round selection, had nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Jazz in the preseason opener. Fred VanVleet notes how much Banton has learned since joining the team, Smith writes. “There’s a progression to the game slowing down for guys as they gain experience and you can see that with him,” VanVleet said of his young teammate. “Picking his spots, knowing where to attack, getting stronger and being able to finish at the rim. Last year he came in with amazing pace and that height at 6-9 but for him to really read the floor and know the system and kind of run the team a bit, I think that’s where he’s probably grown most and will continue to grow.”
  • A Siakam will bide his time with the team’s NBA G League affiliate this season. Christian Siakam, the older brother of the star forward, has been added to the Raptors 905 coaching staff, according to The Star. He worked with the club last season and played professionally for Bahrain Club and the Malaysian club KL Dragons.
  • Pascal Siakam aspires to reach the superstar level, prompting both Michael Grange of Sportsnet and Eric Koreen of The Athletic to explore how he could elevate his game to new heights.

Raptors Sign D.J. Wilson To Two-Year Contract

The Raptors have signed free agent forward D.J. Wilson to a multiyear contract, the team announced today in a press release. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), it’s a two-year, minimum-salary deal that includes a $250K partial guarantee.

It’s a reunion for the Raptors and Wilson, who signed three 10-day contracts and appeared in four games with Toronto in 2021/22. The former first-round pick out of Michigan played well in his limited run with the club, averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 13.5 minutes per game while knocking down 11-of-15 shots (73.3%).

Wilson was released from his third and final 10-day contract with the Raptors in March after injuring his knee.

A year ago, the Raptors signed several free agents to multiyear deals with small partial guarantees in the first season and had them compete for spots on the 15-man regular season roster. It’s possible the team will take the same route this year.

Currently, Toronto has 12 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts, with Dalano Banton and Armoni Brooks on partially guaranteed deals. Second-rounder Christian Koloko is also likely in line for a spot on the 15-man regular season roster, which would leave just two openings available for Banton, Brooks, Wilson, and any other free agents the Raptors may sign before the season.

Of course, with the Raptors still being linked to the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, it’s possible the roster could undergo more significant changes by the fall.

Pacific Notes: Johnson, Kings, Atkinson, Lakers

After suffering a frustrating seven-game Western Conference Semifinals loss to the Mavericks, the Suns face some key rotation decisions during a 2022 offseason that arrived earlier than expected. One of those decisions involves Cameron Johnson, eligible for his rookie contract extension this summer. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic examines whether or not it would behoove Phoenix to extend Johnson this year, and whether he should be moved into the team’s starting rotation for the start of the 2022/23 season.

Johnson, the No. 11 pick out of North Carolina in 2020, proved to be a key contributor off the bench for the Suns during the team’s 64-18 season. He averaged a career-high 12.5 PPG on .460/.425/.860 shooting from the floor, while chipping in a career-best 4.1 RPG, 1.5 APG and 0.9 SPG. Johnson also was the first player promoted to a starting role when All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker missed three postseason games due to a hamstring injury.

Rankin predicts that Johnson could earn between $15-20MM annually on an extension, and points to the fact that the Suns reached rookie extension agreements with two of its three most important extension-eligible young players during the 2021 offseason. Jae Crowder started ahead of Johnson at power forward in his 80 games of regular season availability, but as he embarks on the last season of the three-year, $30MM contract he inked with the Suns in 2020, Rankin wonders if a Johnson extension would eventually necessitate the younger player’s move into the starting five over Crowder.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings, who have not made the playoffs since 2006, are believed to be on the hunt for a “win-now player” using their lottery pick, league sources inform Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Sacramento owns the fourth pick in this year’s draft, and could either draft an NBA-ready player or use the selection in a trade to acquire a veteran who could grow with the team’s current core.
  • Thanks to successive seasons as an assistant coach with the Clippers and now the Warriors, former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson has joined the ranks of top assistants vying for head coaching vacancies once again, as Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com writes. Atkinson was in the running late to become the new Lakers head coach, and is a major contender to be the prime shot-caller for the Hornets. “It’s a great experience being considered (for head coaching jobs), but, man, I’m in such a great place — not only from basketball, but from a living in California, the Bay Area, the whole thing,” Atkinson said of his current gig as a Golden State assistant under head coach Steve Kerr. “So it almost takes the pressure off when you’re really in a good situation. I mean, I’m still competitive, and I try to do my best in interviewing and everything, but also in the back of my mind I’m saying, like, man, if I don’t get another shot, I’m in a great, great situation.”
  • The Lakers, who may need to replace as many as seven now-free agent players from its 2021/22 roster, got an in-person look at several free agents on Tuesday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). McMenamin reports that free agents Alize Johnson, Langston Galloway, Kyle Guy, Louis King and D.J. Wilson were in attendance for a workout.