Damien Inglis

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:

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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Knicks Cut Chasson Randle, Lou Amundson, Others

The Knicks have waived point guard Chasson Randle, according to multiple reports, including one from Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). In addition to parting ways with Randle, the team has also cut big man Lou Amundson and shooting guard J.P. Tokoto, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The team confirmed those three cuts and announced two more, tweeting that small forwards Cleanthony Early and Damien Inglis have also been released.

New York had been carrying 15 guaranteed salaries on its roster, along with five non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals, so its roster decisions had looked fairly simple on the surface. However, Randle and Ron Baker – two players without guaranteed deals – had impressed the team in training camp, complicating those decisions. The Knicks also had to weigh the fact that Randle is set to miss the next few weeks due to a left orbital fracture.

Marc Berman of The New York Post had speculated earlier today that Randle and Baker would both make the cut for the 15-man roster, with the Knicks cutting a pair of guaranteed salaries – Amundson and Maurice Ndour – along with Tokoto. While the team did eat Amundson’s guaranteed contract, it appears Ndour is safe, given Randle’s release. The Knicks are down to 15 players, so their regular-season roster seems set.

Among today’s cuts, Tokoto and Randle each had partial guarantees of $100K on their contracts, so the Knicks will carry that money on their cap. Both players are candidates to join the D-League’s Westchester Knicks, as are Early and Inglis. Randle may also receive consideration to re-sign with the Knicks when he gets healthy — Baker’s salary won’t become fully guaranteed until January 10, so the club will have some flexibility with that final roster spot.

Knicks Sign Damien Inglis

The Knicks have added another body to their preseason roster, with the team announced today (via Twitter) that free agent forward Damien Inglis has signed a contract with the team. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, but a non-guaranteed pact seems likely.

Inglis, 21, was selected by the Bucks in the second round of the 2014 draft and made his NBA debut last season, appearing in 20 contests for Milwaukee. He only averaged 7.8 minutes in those games, and became a roster casualty during the offseason, with the Bucks waiving him in late June, just before the new league year began. He suited up for the Pelicans in Summer League play in July.

The Knicks have 14 guaranteed salaries on their books for 2016/17, which means there may be a regular-season roster spot up for grabs. However, Inglis looks like a long shot for that opening. Other camp invitees like Chasson Randle, Ron Baker, and Maurice Ndour have been with the team longer and will have the leg up on that 15th spot.

Inglis could very well end up playing for the Knicks’ D-League affiliate though, as Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets. Because the Bucks don’t have a D-League affiliate of their own, Inglis spent some time with the Westchester Knicks during the 2015/16 season, averaging 9.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 21.4 minutes per contest for the club.

Bucks To Waive Johnny O’Bryant, Damien Inglis

The Bucks have requested waivers on a pair of forwards, according to Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who reports that the team is parting ways with Johnny O’Bryant and Damien Inglis.

Both O’Bryant and Inglis were selected by Milwaukee early in the second round of the 2014 draft, but neither player developed into a major contributor for the Bucks. Of the two, O’Bryant saw the court more often, averaging 13.0 minutes per game in 66 contests last season. He averaged 3.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 0.5 APG. Ingles, meanwhile, made his NBA debut in 2015/16, appearing in 20 games and playing sparingly in those contests.

Both players had been on the Bucks’ books for minimum salaries worth $980,431 in 2016/17. Those salaries were set to become guaranteed later this week if O’Bryant and Inglis had remained on the roster.

By waiving the duo, Milwaukee opens up a couple extra roster spots, and creates a small amount of cap room (less than $1MM in total). Not including this year’s draftees, Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, the Bucks now have eight players under contract for next season, plus a qualifying offer out to RFA Miles Plumlee.

And-Ones: Len, Brown, Cavs, Roberts

Suns interim head coach Earl Watson has no qualms about pairing up centers Alex Len and Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Watson wants to utilize Len as the team’s primary offensive target the rest of the season and foster his development, Coro continues. “Who’s playing two 7-footers any more?”  Watson explained to Coro. “We have this trend of playing small ball and we know the greatest small ball team is the Warriors. We’re not going to catch them. Let’s create a new trend. Let’s let Alex Len get experience.”

In other developments around the Western Conference:

  • Swingman Jabari Brown, who played with the Lakers last season, is joining the team’s D-League D-Fenders after returning from China in recent days, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. Brown, who appeared in 19 games with the Lakers as a rookie, was the last player cut in training camp when the club decided to keep veteran Metta World Peace.
  • A coaching change that’s produced only an 11-6 record so far and the inability to land Joe Johnson are among the problems that ail the Cavaliers, as TNT’s David Aldridge examines in his Morning Tip for NBA.com. Internal carping from players about their respective roles, shots and ability to mesh on the court with LeBron James has also been a factor, Aldridge hears.
  • Point guard Brian Roberts, whom the Trail Blazers recently acquired from the Heat, believes he’ll land an NBA job next summer when he enters the free agent market, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders reports. Roberts passed through the Heat organization via the Hornets after he was included in the three-team deal that sent Courtney Lee from the Grizzlies to Charlotte. “I feel like I’m a guy that whatever opportunities I get I’m going to make the most of it,” he told Brigham. “I’m reliable, and that’s what it comes down to in this league. If you can be dependable every night, you’ll have a job.”
  • Pelicans power forward Ryan Anderson will be a prime target for the Mavericks in free agency, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. Anderson’s ability to stretch the floor would make him a very good fit but he’ll be in heavy demand, Sefko notes.
  • The Grizzlies recalled rookie power forward Jarell Martin from the Iowa Energy, the D-League club tweets. Martin, a first-round pick, averaged 18.3 points over three games in his latest assignment there. He made his fourth appearance with Memphis on Monday night.
  • The Bucks recalled small forward Damien Inglis from the D-League’s Westchester Knicks, Milwaukee announced through its website. Inglis played 13 games for the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, averaging 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21.4 minutes.

And Ones: Papanikolaou, Clark, Inglis, RFAs

Kostas Papanikolaou, whom the Nuggets waived last week, will return to Olympiacos in Greece, according to Sport24 (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Papanikolaou, who won two Euroleague titles during his last stint with Olympiacos, will sign a contract that runs through June 2019. He was released twice this season by Denver, most recently on January 8th, just before the remainder of his veteran’s minimum salary of $845,059 would have been guaranteed for the season. Papanikolaou also played for the Rockets during his season and a half in the NBA, averaging 3.6 points in 69 games with the two franchises. The 6’8″ forward was sent to Denver in the July 20th trade that brought Ty Lawson to Houston.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former lottery pick Earl Clark, who is playing in the D-League while hoping to earn a 10-day contract, was part of a trade Saturday, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Clark was sent from the Suns‘ Bakersfield affiliate to the Sixers‘ Delaware affiliate in exchange for a second-round D-League draft pick. The 27-year-old, who played 10 games with the Nets last season, hopes the move will give him a fresh start in his quest to return to the NBA. “It’s a grind,” Clark said of the D-League. “It’s definitely different from any other league. I just felt like [the NBA] was within my reach if I came down here and played well. I believe in my talent. I told myself I’m going to give myself another year to make this NBA thing work.”
  • The Bucks have sent Damien Inglis to the D-League, the team announced Saturday. Because Milwaukee doesn’t have a direct affiliate, Inglis will be assigned to the Westchester Knicks. He played for the Canton Charge during an earlier trip to the D-League.
  • Chasing restricted free agents is a risky way to pursue talent, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The danger is that while teams wait for other organizations to decide whether to match an offer, top talent could be signing elsewhere. Prominent RFAs this summer will include Andre Drummond, Harrison BarnesBradley BealFestus Ezeli, Allen Crabbe and Evan Fournier.

And-Ones: Jones, All-Stars, Draft Picks, Inglis

The Timberwolves have assigned rookie point guard Tyus Jones to the D-League, the team tweeted tonight. The former Duke star was drafted 24th overall by the Cavaliers in June and then shipped to Minnesota in a draft-night trade. He has played just 14 minutes in two games with the Wolves, with 1 point, 1 rebound and 1 assist. Minnesota officials had previously announced their intention to have Jones spend part of the year in the D-League to get more playing time. Jones will be sent to the Idaho Stampede, the affiliate of the Jazz. Wolves GM Milt Newton will address the situation Sunday, according to a tweet from the team.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Pistons center Andre Drummond heads a list of most likely first-time all stars compiled by Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. With Drummond averaging more than 18 points per game and leading the league in rebounds, Brigham considers the fourth-year center a shoo-in for the February 14th contest in Toronto. Potentially joining him from the Eastern Conference are Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, the HornetsKemba Walker, the Celtics‘ Isaiah Thomas and the Heat’s Hassan Whiteside. Brigham’s five picks for the Western squad are the WarriorsDraymond Green, the SpursKawhi Leonard, the SunsEric Bledsoe and/or Brandon Knight and the Jazz’s Derrick Favors.
  • LSU’s Ben Simmons looks like the clear No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, Brigham writes in a separate story analyzing the top six contenders for that honor. Brigham cites the Australia freshman’s versatility on offense, where he possesses the skills of a point guard but the 6’10” frame of a power forward. Also on Brigham’s list are Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere, California freshman Jaylen Brown, Duke freshman Brandon Ingram, Providence junior Kris Dunn and Utah sophomore Jakob Poeltl.
  • The Bucks recalled Damien Inglis from the Canton Charge of the D-League, tweets Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He was sent to Canton on November 22nd.
  • The Raptors recalled Bruno Caboclo and Delon Wright from Raptors 905, the team tweeted today. Neither was active for today’s game with the Warriors.

And-Ones: Sixers, Bucks, Stoudemire

One reason why the Sixers are the worst team in the league right now is because almost half the team’s salary (which is close to $60MM) is going to players no longer on the roster, Michael Schwartz of ESPN.com details. Perhaps even more startling, 17 players make more this season than the combined salaries of the Sixers players who have taken the court this season, according to Schwartz. While the present is dreadful, the future seems bright, Schwartz writes, because the Sixers could own up to four first-round draft picks in the 2016 draft and already have five draft picks from the past three drafts under team control.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • The Bucks have assigned Damien Inglis to the Canton Charge of the D-League, Milwaukee announced in a press release. Inglis is headed to the Cavs affiliate as part of the flexible assignment rule since the Bucks are without a one-to-one partnership with a D-League team. Inglis has appeared in five games for the Bucks this season and averaged 1.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire believes his lack of playing time is part of a bigger plan to preserve his body, Marc Berman of the New York Post relays. Stoudemire has played in only two games with the Heat despite saying he is healthy, Berman notes. “We’ve got a big picture in mind,” Stoudemire said. “We know we want to be there in the postseason. We want guys to stay healthy. Now, it’s not about wearing somebody down during the regular season. It’s about really just keeping the maintenance program and making sure we’re at 100% strength by the playoffs.” The veteran power forward inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with Miami this past summer.
  • David West, who signed with the Spurs for $1.5MM as a backup instead of staying with the Pacers for $12MM, is playing well while filling in for LaMarcus Aldridge, who remains sidelined, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes.

Central Notes: Noah, Varejao, D-League

Joakim Noah, who will be a free agent after the season, is struggling to find his rhythm and the center believes it’s because of a lack of scoring chances, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes.

“I just got to be more aggressive. I got to be more aggressive offensively and look for my opportunities. Right now, I’m just not really sure where I can get them, but when they come I have to be ready and I have to be ready to score,” Noah said.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Anderson Varejao hasn’t received the playing time that he is accustomed to seeing and the big man admits that it’s not an ideal situation, Chris Fedor of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “It’s tough. It’s not easy,” Varejao said. “You never know how much you can do in practice because you never know if you’re going to play or not, but the main thing is stay ready.”
  • The Cavs have recalled Joe Harris from the Canton Charge, the team’s D-League affiliate, according to a team press release. Harris averaged 26.0 points and 9.0 rebounds during two games for the Charge.
  • The Bulls have sent Cameron Bairstow to the D-League and the Bucks will do the same with Damien Inglis, according to Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter link). Neither franchise has its own D-League affiliate and the affiliates to which they’ve been assigned have yet to be announced.