Darius Bazley

NBAGL All-League, Defensive, Rookie Teams Announced

The NBA announced all of the major All-NBA G League teams on Thursday (All Twitter links found here), including the First Team, Second Team, Third Team, All-Defensive Team, and All-Rookie team.

Several current and former NBA players are among the honorees. Here is the full list of winners for the 2023/24 season.

All-NBA G League First Team:

All-NBA G League Second Team:

All-NBA G League Third Team:

G League All-Defensive Team:

G League All-Rookie Team:

* Denotes two-way contract

^ Denotes standard contract

Northwest Notes: SGA, Bazley, I. Thomas, R. Jackson

Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in his 65th game of the season on Thursday, meaning he now officially qualifies for end-of-season awards such as Most Valuable Player and All-NBA, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If Gilgeous-Alexander makes an All-NBA team this year – which is a virtual lock – he’ll become eligible to sign a super-max extension with Oklahoma City during the 2025 offseason. He’ll have met the performance criteria by having earned an All-NBA spot in each of the past two years, but will remain one season shy of the service time requirement — he’ll have six years of service after this season, and a super-max deal (which starts at 35% of the cap instead of 30%) can’t be signed until a player has at least seven seasons under his belt.

Given that Gilgeous-Alexander has been performing at an MVP level this season and shows no signs of slowing down, it seems safe to assume that super-max offer will be waiting for the two-time All-Star on July 1, 2025.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The terms of Darius Bazley‘s new three-year deal with the Jazz are virtually identical to those of Kenneth Lofton‘s contract, Hoops Rumors has learned. Bazley will make $500K the rest of this season via Utah’s room exception, with various trigger dates on non-guaranteed minimum salaries in 2024/25 and ’25/26. Because this is Bazley’s fifth NBA season, his minimum salaries are worth more than Lofton’s, so the overall value of his contract is approximately $5.74MM, whereas Lofton’s is about $4.9MM. The other difference between the two deals is that Bazley’s final year is simply non-guaranteed, rather than a team option.
  • Isaiah Thomas, who is playing with the Salt Lake City Stars as he pursues an NBA comeback, credited Jazz CEO Danny Ainge for pulling the strings to get him a shot with the team’s G League affiliate, per Jay King of The Athletic. “Danny helped make this thing happen,” Thomas said of the veteran executive who previously had the guard on his roster in Boston. “He connected the dots.”
  • Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson has been struggling with his shot in recent weeks, making just 36.8% of his attempts from the field and 25.5% of his three-pointers since February 4. However, he appreciates the fact that his teammates and coaches have encouraged him to shoot his way out of the slump, writes Bennett Durando of The Denver Post (subscription required). “They want me to continue to be myself. Continue to be aggressive. They’ve been kind of upset at me for not playing my game the last few,” Jackson said. “So then I started playing aggressive. Even still in the midst of missing shots. … But just hearing the encouragement from my teammates … once you have a great group like that — front office, coaches, teammates — believing in you like that, you can’t do anything but start believing in yourself again.”

Darius Bazley Signs With Jazz

MARCH 12: Bazley has officially signed with the Jazz and they’ve terminated the 10-day contract of guard Kinsey, according to a team press release.

As we relayed in a separate story, Lofton officially signed his contract with Utah on Monday when the team waived Porter.

MARCH 11: The Jazz will sign Darius Bazley to a three-year, non-guaranteed contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Utah will also add Kenneth Lofton Jr. under the same terms, Wojnarowski tweets.

Bazley, a 23-year-old center/power forward, made a brief NBA appearance last month when he signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers. He saw limited playing time in three games and didn’t receive a second 10-day deal.

Bazley returned to the Delaware Blue Coats in the G League, where’s he’s averaging 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in 22 regular season games.

The Jazz will be third team this season for Lofton, a 21-year-old power forward. He began the season in Memphis, where he played on a two-way contract in 2022/23, but he was waived in mid-December after appearing in 15 games.

The Sixers signed him to a two-way contract five days later, but released him at the beginning of March. He’s averaging 2.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 17 total games this season.

Utah currently has a full roster, but that includes Taevion Kinsey, whose 10-day contract began on Saturday. Kinsey may be released early from that deal, or the Jazz could wait a few days to make the Bazley or Lofton signings official.

Veteran forward Otto Porter, who hasn’t played since being acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, seems likely to be waived to open another roster spot.

Sixers Notes: Melton, Bazley, Payne, Rubin

Sixers guard De’Anthony Melton was sidelined for Friday’s contest vs. Charlotte and won’t be with the team for its upcoming two-game road trip, tweets Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. The Sixers will play in Dallas on Sunday and in Brooklyn next Tuesday before returning home for Wednesday’s game vs. Memphis.

Melton has been battling a lumbar spine injury for the past few months, which caused him to miss 18 consecutive games before returning last Friday vs. Cleveland. However, in his third game back — on Tuesday vs. Boston — the 25-year-old experienced back spasms, limiting him to nine minutes of action and now at least three more missed games.

The former USC guard will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason if he doesn’t sign an extension with Philadelphia. Melton is earning $8MM in 2023/24, the final season of his current contract.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Darius Bazley, a former first-round pick who has spent most of the season playing for the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s NBA G League affiliate, was on a 10-day contract that expired Thursday night. It doesn’t sound like a second 10-day deal is imminent, as he has rejoined the Blue Coats, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The fifth-year forward/center played 10 minutes across three appearances with the 76ers, who now have 13 players on standard contracts and will need to sign another player within 14 days.
  • Cameron Payne‘s role with the Sixers has been changing along with the team’s post-deadline roster. Payne went from starting with Tyrese Maxey out to serving as a backup to moving to the third string with the addition of Kyle Lowry. The ninth-year guard knows what’s being asked of him in order to establish himself in the rotation, according to Pompey. “I’ve needed to be more aggressive, more offensive, from where I came from,” Payne said. “That wasn’t needed from me. So just honestly having the ball in my hand is the change.
  • Former Sixers minority owner and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said he feels more connected to sports now that he’s no longer a part-owner of the Sixers, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell. Rubin joked he was “violating every rule the NBA had” while owning a stake in the Sixers, Mizell writes, which included taking bets on Philadelphia players after Fanatics entered the space. “If you look through the rules of the leagues, it didn’t work for me to own part of a team,” Rubin said. “It was holding back Fanatics. It was a great privilege and honor to be a part of.

Tristan Tucker contributed to this post.

Darius Bazley Signs 10-Day Deal With Sixers

FEBRUARY 20: Bazley has officially signed with the Sixers, according to a team press release.

FEBRUARY 19: The Sixers will sign Darius Bazley to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 23-year-old big man has been playing with Philadelphia’s G League affiliate in Delaware since being waived by Brooklyn prior to the start of the season. Bazley is averaging 20.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 18 regular season games with the Blue Coats, and Charania points out that he recently had a 38-point, 15-rebound performance.

Bazley should provide some depth to the Sixers’ front line, which has been depleted with the loss of Joel Embiid to meniscus surgery. Assuming he signs on Thursday, Bazley will be eligible for that night’s game against New York, plus four more over the 10-day contract.

After creating three open roster spots through trades, Philadelphia faces a deadline of Thursday to get back to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players. The team filled one opening by signing Kyle Lowry last week.

A first-round pick in 2019, Bazley began his career in Oklahoma City, where he spent three-and-a-half seasons before being traded to Phoenix at last year’s deadline. He appeared in just seven games with the Suns before becoming a free agent last summer. He was selected to participate in the G League’s Up Next Game at All-Star Weekend.

NBA G League Announces Up Next Participants

A pool of 28 players has been selected for the NBA G League’s Up Next Game at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, the NBAGL announced in a press release.

According to the release, the event features “four teams of seven players competing in two semifinal games. The winner of each semifinal will face off in a Championship game.

“The teams will be made up of 28 NBA G League players, including 10 selected by a fan vote. The remaining 18 players will be selected by the NBA G League and will include eight members of NBA G League Ignite and at least one member of the Indiana Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the All-Star hosting Indiana Pacers. Each team will be coached by a head coach from the NBA G League.”

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are on two-way contracts.

Fan vote:

Former Kentucky guard Hagans received the most votes.

NBAGL selections:

G League Ignite:

They aren’t currently on NBA teams, but it’s worth noting that Labissiere and Bazley are ineligible for two-way deals because they each hold four years of NBA experience. Weatherspoon (three years), Hagans (one) and Williams (one) also hold at least some NBA experience.

And-Ones: Nwaba, G. Robinson, Gillespie, Call-Ups

Former NBA wing David Nwaba is signing with the London Lions of the British Basketball League, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com (Twitter link).

After going undrafted out of Cal Poly in 2016, Nwaba caught on with his hometown Lakers. He also suited up for the Bulls, Cavaliers, Nets and Rockets from 2016-22, last playing for Houston in 2021/22.

The six-year veteran appeared in 237 regular season games during his NBA career, averaging 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. Known for his strong frame, athleticism and defense, Nwaba has spent most of the past two seasons playing for Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

The 30-year-old will be heading to Europe for the first time in his career.

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

  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently spoke to Glenn Robinson III about his NBA comeback attempt after stepping away from basketball for two years. The former second-round pick has been playing with the G League’s Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee’s affiliate) this season, averaging 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 39.1% from three in 12 Showcase Cup games (23.6 minutes). Robinson holds seven years of NBA experience and has been mentoring his young teammates, according to Fischer.
  • Nuggets guard Collin Gillespie, who is on a two-way deal, was named the NBA G League’s Player of the Month for December, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). According to Wind, Gillespie averaged 21.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 11.8 assists in six games last month for the Grand Rapids Gold (Denver’s affiliate). The former Villanova Wildcat missed all of last season with a lower left leg fracture.
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac takes a look at some NBAGL players who could be candidates for call-ups to the NBA, with Mac McClung, Jason Preston, Ethan Thompson, Darius Bazley and Trey Jemison among the players mentioned.

And-Ones: MVP Poll, All-Stars, Basketball Day, Bazley

After finishing runner-up to Nikola Jokic in 2020/21 and ’21/22, Sixers center Joel Embiid won his first MVP award last season. And he’s arguably been even better through the first third of the ’23/24 season, averaging career highs in multiple categories, including points (35.1), assists (5.9) and free throw percentage (89.3%).

In the first MVP straw poll conducted by Tim Bontemps of ESPN (subscriber link), Embiid is the clear frontrunner, receiving 63 first-place votes and 848 points. However, several top players are in the mix, with Nuggets center Jokic (630 points), Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (352), Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (340) and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (306) rounding out the top five.

12 total players received at least one top-five vote in the informal poll, which features 100 media members and mimics the NBA’s scoring system. Embiid made it clear he’d welcome more hardware.

I have a pretty good chance [at another MVP],” Embiid told Bontemps. “I mean, if I have a chance to be in the conversation, why not? I want it all. I’m not shy about it. I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Oh, I don’t care about this.’ Anything that I can get my hands on, I want it.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • All-Star fan voting is underway, prompting Zach Harper of The Athletic to choose his starters to this point in the season. Out West, Harper has Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic in the backcourt, with LeBron James (Lakers) and Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) joining Jokic in the froncourt. For the East, Harper selects Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Antetokounmpo, and Embiid.
  • In a press release, the NBA announced its celebrations for the first-ever World Basketball Day, which was established by the United Nations earlier this year during the World Cup. It will be observed annually on December 21 — the day Dr. James Naismith first introduced the game of basketball at the Springfield YMCA in 1891.
  • Former first-round pick Darius Bazley is attempting to make his way back into the NBA through the G League after being waived by the Nets prior to the season. Playing for the Delaware Blue Coats (the Sixers‘ affiliate), Bazley had a huge game at the Winter Showcase on Wednesday, recording 43 points, 18 rebounds, three steals and six blocks in the victory over the Texas Legends (Twitter link via the NBAGL).

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Rotation, Record, Arena, Bazley

Joel Embiid twisted his knee on Friday when the Sixers defeated Atlanta, but it’s considered a minor issue. The reigning Most Valuable Player was essentially a full participant in Sunday’s practice, other than some early weight room work while the rest of the team was on the floor, Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Embiid is questionable to play against Washington on Monday.

We have more on the Sixers:

  • With the team relatively healthy, coach Nick Nurse has decisions to make regarding the rotation, Mizell writes. Nurse essentially went with an eight-man rotation in the win over the Hawks. Paul Reed and Mohamed Bamba combined for just 11 minutes, while Robert Covington, Danuel House and Furkan Korkmaz didn’t play. “It’s a good thing to have a different variety of players and guys that bring different things,” Marcus Morris said. “But at the same time, for players, it can get frustrating. Because everybody wants to play and everybody works hard. It will definitely be interesting.”
  • The Sixers have a 14-7 record and play some of the league’s weakest teams this week, including a pair of games against the downtrodden Pistons. Nurse believes the team is generally playing well and he expects the defense to improve during the second quarter of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We are doing a lot of things well. … We’re just not finishing off possessions,” Nurse said. “Things like that would be at the top of my list.”
  • The Sixers want to model their new arena after Boston’s TD Garden, but would that work in Philadelphia? Inga Saffron of the Inquirer takes a closer look.
  • The 76ers’ NBA G League affiliate in Delaware has acquired the rights to Darius Bazley from the Wisconsin Herd in exchange for a 2024 G League first round pick, the Blue Coats tweet. Bazley was waived by the Nets during training camp after signing with Brooklyn during the offseason on a non-guaranteed contract. A 6’8″ forward/center, Bazley holds career averages of 9.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG on .411/.310/.673 shooting in 228 regular season games (118 starts, 23.6 MPG) with the Thunder and Suns.

New York Notes: Quickley, Knicks, DSJ, Bazley, Dinwiddie, Claxton

The Knicks had interest in signing Immanuel Quickley to a rookie scale extension prior to Monday’s deadline, but the two sides were too far apart to bridge the gap, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Maxey, Quickley, Williams Among Players Who Didn’t Sign Extensions]

An extension for Quickley would have made him more difficult to trade during the 2023/24 season due to the poison pill provision, but New York wasn’t worried about that, per Katz, since the team doesn’t anticipate any superstars will become available on the trade market before next summer. Presumably, the club would only consider including Quickley in a trade package for that caliber of player.

For his part, Quickley said on Tuesday that he has no concerns about playing out his contract year, and that he won’t let the business side of the game distract from his play on the court, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post.

“Contract, no contract: I’m here for the season,” Quickley said. “I’m here for the team to try to be the best version that I can each and every day. To try to dominate. That’s why I’m here.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Amid the latest round of rumors linking the Knicks to high-profile potential trade targets, head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday that he’s happy with the group he has, according to Steve Popper of Newsday (subscription required). “That’s for you guys,” Thibodeau said of the trade speculation. “You know, it’s all rumors. That’s part of the NBA now. Obviously, we’re not dealing with any hypotheticals. We love the guys we have. Leon (Rose)‘s job is to survey the league, which he does. He and his staff are on top of everything. So if there’s something at the end of the day that can make the team better we’ll take a look at it. But if not, just keep going forward. We love the guys we have and just focus on our improvement and getting ready to play day by day.”
  • Nets guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was battling a sprained ankle in the preseason, has been removed from the team’s injury report and should be ready to go for its regular season opener on Wednesday, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Although the Nets are one of two NBA teams with an open two-way slot, they won’t be able to use it to re-sign Darius Bazley, whose four years of NBA experience make him ineligible for a two-way contract, notes Lewis. “I do think Darius Bazley will have a place in this league,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said of the big man, who was in camp with Brooklyn until he was waived last Thursday. “I enjoyed coaching him. He’s still a young dude that can still play in this league and I was able to tell him that face-to-face.”
  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Spencer Dinwiddie said his expectations this season for the Nets are to “make the playoffs and roll the dice from there and see how far we can take it.” Dinwiddie also expressed confidence in Ben Simmons‘ ability to have a bounce-back season and – perhaps most interestingly – weighed in on what Nic Claxton‘s contract as a 2024 free agent might look like. The Nets guard projected a four-year deal in the range of $70-110MM for Claxton.