David Duke

NBAGL Announces 2022/23 All-League Awards

The NBA G League named the recipients of its All-League, All-Rookie, and All-Defensive teams on Thursday (all Twitter links found here). Many of the honorees are on standard NBA or two-way contracts.

Here’s the full list:

All-NBA G League First Team

All-NBA G League Second Team

All-NBA G League Third Team

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Kenneth Lofton
  • Lester Quinones – Santa Cruz Warriors *
    • Note: Quinones placed second in ROY voting.
  • Darius Days
    • Note: Days placed third in ROY voting.
  • Jamaree Bouyea
  • Moussa Diabate

(^ denotes standard NBA contract)

(* denotes two-way contract)

(# Bouyea signed 10-day deals with the Heat and Wizards, but is now an NBA free agent)

Both Dunn and Samanic signed standard contracts with the Jazz, while Harrison signed with the Lakers at the very end of the season after playing with Portland on a 10-day deal. Duke and Lofton recently had their two-way contracts converted into standard deals.

Cooper, Chiozza and Anderson all hold NBA experience as well. Cooper spent 2021/22 — his rookie season — on a two-way deal with the Hawks; Chiozza has played for the Rockets, Nets and Warriors, and recently signed with a Spanish team; Anderson has appeared in 242 NBA games with six teams in as many seasons.

David Duke Jr. Gets Standard Contract From Nets

9:25am: The move is official, the Nets announced (via Twitter).

9:06am: The Nets will convert David Duke Jr.‘s two-way contract to a standard deal, sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post. An official announcement is expected to be made later today.

The 23-year-old combo guard has appeared in 21 games in his second season with Brooklyn, averaging 3.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per night. He emerged as a star in the G League, Lewis notes, finishing third in this year’s MVP voting.

Duke earned a two-way contract in 2021 after going undrafted out of Providence and got into 22 games last season. He had hoped to get a standard offer after a strong Summer League showing, according to Lewis, but he had to settle for another year on a two-way contract.

The Nets have a roster spot open after Moses Brown‘s second 10-day contract expired on Thursday. Brown played just six total minutes in two appearances with Brooklyn and wouldn’t have been eligible for the playoffs because the Knicks waived him past the March 1 cutoff point.

Bulls’ Carlik Jones Named 2022/23 G League MVP

Bulls guard Carlik Jones has been named the NBA G League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022/23 season, the league announced today (via Twitter). Thirty NBAGL head coaches and GMs voted on the award.

Jones joined the Windy City Bulls in the fall after spending the preseason on Chicago’s roster. His strong play at the G League level earned him a two-way contract in December and then a promotion to the Bulls’ 15-man roster about a month ago.

Jones has only made four brief appearances at the NBA level this season, but he put up big numbers in the NBAGL.

In 19 Showcase Cup games in the fall, the 25-year-old averaged 20.3 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 5.4 RPG with a .494/.387/.683 shooting line in 35.9 minutes per night. He boosted his scoring average to 26.1 PPG on .483/.360/.789 shooting in 24 regular season contests (38.3 MPG) while also contributing 7.0 APG and 4.4 RPG.

Windy City made it to the finals of the Showcase Cup in December and then went 18-14 in the G League regular season, including 15-9 when Jones played.

Jones’ contract with Chicago includes non-guaranteed salaries for 2023/24 and ’24/25, so the Bulls will be able to keep him on their NBA roster at the veteran’s minimum for two seasons beyond this one, if they so choose.

The runners-up in MVP voting were Kings center Neemias Queta and Nets guard David Duke, who are both on two-way contracts. They finished second and third, respectively.

Nets Notes: Noel, Simmons, Duke, Smith, Ayton

With Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Nic Claxton (right thumb sprain, left Achilles tendinopathy), Cameron Johnson (right knee soreness), and Royce O’Neale (left knee soreness) all unavailable in Milwaukee on Thursday, the Nets ran out a new-look starting lineup that scored just 15 total points, the lowest mark for any starting five since 2008, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

One of Brooklyn’s new starter was Nerlens Noel, who was playing in just his second game as a Net. Despite not scoring a single point, Noel was the only starter who had a plus/minus rating better than minus-14 (he was a plus-2) and made a positive impression on head coach Jacque Vaughn, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays.

“He continues to get himself in shape,” Vaughn said. “The charge that he took was great, putting his body on the line, so that was great. A (blocked shot) was great. So those things we want to continue to see from him.”

Noel’s contract with the Nets only covers 10 days, but so far he hasn’t been used like a player the team plans to soon part ways with, logging 18 minutes in consecutive games. Vaughn’s postgame comments also hinted that he expects the big man to be in Brooklyn for more than just 10 days.

“He’ll continue to learn conceptually what we want to do on the defensive end, and we’re switching back and forth between defenses, you know, so you got to turn your brain on and off and back on again,” Vaughn said of Noel. “So that challenge is what’s ahead of him.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Ben Simmons, still dealing with knee and back issues, missed his eighth game in a row on Thursday, and Vaughn said Simmons’ back inflammation remains “in the process of settling down,” per Lewis. “A big piece of it is still the strengthening, to make sure that there’s no reoccurrence,” Vaughn said. “And then for a while we had to kind of press pause a little bit in order for the inflammation in the back to kind of settle down a little bit. So last few days, that’s what that’s look like.”
  • Although Brooklyn’s starting five was ineffective on Thursday, the team showed off its depth, scoring 98 bench points. That total was the highest in a regular season game since at least 1982, according to Reynolds, who notes (via Twitter) that Toronto scored 100 bench points vs. Brooklyn in a playoff game in 2020.
  • Nets two-way players David Duke and Dru Smith got a rare chance to play rotation minutes at the NBA level on Thursday and combined for 30 points. Duke and Smith have spent much of the season playing key roles for a Long Island Nets team that won its 16th straight game on Thursday, led by veteran point guard Chris Chiozza, according to NetsDaily. Brooklyn’s NBAGL affiliate now holds a league-best 22-3 record.
  • Sign-and-trade rules would have made it tricky for the Nets to acquire center Deandre Ayton from Phoenix in a package for Kevin Durant last summer, but Ayton would’ve been much easier to move at last month’s deadline. However, Ayton wasn’t part of the Suns‘ package for Durant and league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN (Insider link) that Brooklyn was “never much interested” in trading for the former No. 1 pick.

NBA G League Announces 24 Players For Next Up Game

The NBA G League announced today that G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson and Timberwolves/Iowa Wolves forward Luka Garza have been named team captains for the NBAGL Next Up Game, which will take place in Salt Lake City during All-Star weekend.

While the exhibition match isn’t technically being called a G League All-Star Game, that’s essentially what it is. The 24-player pool was selected by a fan vote and by the league itself.

Henderson averaged 21.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 4.3 RPG in six Showcase Cup games (28.5 MPG) before missing time with an injury. The guard, widely projected to be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, has registered 17.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.5 RPG in 11 regular season games (29.8 MPG) since returning.

Garza, meanwhile, has been dominant at the G League level while playing for the Timberwolves on a two-way contract. He averaged 29.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3.2 APG on .628/.500/.794 shooting in nine Showcase Cup games (34.4 MPG) and has been boosted those averages in two regular season games (32.5 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 5.0 APG) for the Iowa Wolves.

Here’s the full list of players who will take part in the G League Next Up Game:

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

As is the case with the NBA All-Star Game, the team captains – in this case, Henderson and Garza – will select their 12-man squads in a draft. The draft for the G League Next Up Game will take place on February 14.

Nets Sign David Duke Jr. To Another Two-Way Contract

 The Nets have re-signed guard David Duke Jr. to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

The signing came as no surprise, as a report surfaced late last month that Duke was likely to return on a two-way deal. Former Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams holds the other two-way slot. Duke will earn about $502K (half the rookie minimum) on the deal, and could eventually have it converted into a standard contract if he’s productive.

The Nets tendered a two-way contract offer to Duke earlier this summer. Duke had initially passed on the proposal and was reportedly eyeing a spot on Brooklyn’s 15-man roster but eventually settled for another two-way deal.

Duke Jr. played on a two-way contract last season. In 22 games (seven starts) for Brooklyn, he averaged 4.7 PPG and 3.0 RPG  in 15.5 MPG. The 22-year-old started games for the G League Long Island Nets, averaging 16.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.3 APG and 1.5 SPG in 29.5 MPG. He also averaged 19.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.4 SPG in 28.6 MPG in five Summer League games this July.

Prior to joining the Nets, Duke went undrafted in 2021 after playing three seasons at Providence College.

David Duke Jr. Likely To Return To Nets On Two-Way Deal

Free agent guard David Duke Jr. will likely rejoin the Nets on his second two-way contract, sources tell Chris Milholen of NetsDaily.

The Nets tendered a two-way contract offer to Duke earlier this summer. Duke had initially passed on the proposal and was reportedly eyeing a spot on Brooklyn’s 15-man standard roster, but it sounds like he’s prepared to accept the two-way offer.

Duke would be Brooklyn’s second two-way player, joining former Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams. As Milholen notes, the 6’5″ guard will earn about $502K (half the rookie minimum) on the deal, and could have his two-way deal converted into a standard contract later on in the season.

After going undrafted out of Providence, Duke averaged 4.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.8 APG in 22 games with Brooklyn for the 2021/22 season. In Summer League play this year, he put up 19.0 PPG on 50% shooting, along with 4.6 RPG and 4.0 APG.

Duke’s return to the fold would bring the total sum of Nets players to 15 ahead of training camp. The team has 12 players inked to fully guaranteed deals, along with the partially-guaranteed contract of Edmond Sumner and the aforementioned duo of two-way players.

Brooklyn can still sign up to five players to its 20-man offseason roster and is reportedly considering some veteran big men for bench depth.

Atlantic Notes: G. Williams, Duke, Koloko, Mitchell

The Celtics have a recent history of reaching extensions with their first-round picks, and Grant Williams hopes to be next, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Weiss reports that Boston has already started extension talks with Williams, who displayed his value during the team’s run to the NBA Finals. He provides a strong defensive presence off the bench and shot 39.3% from three-point range during this year’s playoffs.

Williams talks about wanting to play his entire career for the Celtics and help the organization add more banners to the rafters. Weiss notes that negotiations might be tricky in light of recent deals for similar players, but Williams expressed confidence that management will be fair with him.

“Just making sure that the extension works for both sides. My number one focus is winning,” Williams said. “You take care of the good guys. You take care of the guys that provide value to your team, both on and off the floor. I feel like the Celtics are feeling the same way. I’m not too stressed about the negotiations because I feel like both parties want to get a deal done.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • David Duke Jr. improved his chances for a standard contract after turning down a two-way offer from the Nets prior to Summer League, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Duke, who also had a Summer League offer from the Raptors, showed the most improvement among Brooklyn’s second-year players in Las Vegas, Lewis observes. “The great thing is I haven’t noticed anything other than complete professionalism and dedication to playing well and doing everything we asked of him: Attacking and being aggressive within the team framework,” coach Adam Caporn said. “I just love what he’s doing defensively, picking the ball up, setting the tone. He’s doing everything the right way.”
  • The Raptors may be saving part of their mid-level exception to sign second-round pick Christian Koloko, Eric Koreen of The Athletic suggests in an overview of Toronto’s roster. Koreen adds that the team might also be waiting to to see if the Arizona center’s draft rights are needed in a trade package before officially signing him.
  • The Knicks‘ collection of young players and draft assets makes them seem like a logical landing spot for Donovan Mitchell, but Fred Katz of The Athletic looks at why Jazz CEO Danny Ainge and New York’s front office might night not be perfect trading partners.

Nets Notes: Simmons, Thomas, Duke, Free Agency

Though his two All-Star Nets colleagues Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could very well be on the move this summer, a trade for injured All-Defensive Team Brooklyn guard Ben Simmons remains very unlikely, Brooklyn sources inform Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Simmons missed the entire 2021/22 season due to mental health issues and a back injury that required surgery. Sources tell Lewis, who notes that Simmons is on track to rejoin Brooklyn in time for the team’s training camp this fall, that the former No. 1 overall pick has little trade value at present. The three-time All-Star, still just 25, holds career averages of 15.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 7.7 APG.

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • Several teams have contacted the Nets about potential deals for second-year player Cam Thomas, Lewis writes in another story for the New York Post. According to Lewis, a Thomas trade may fetch a first-round draft pick for Brooklyn, should the team want to move off the 20-year-old shooting guard. Across 67 games with the Nets, Thomas averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.5 APG in just 17.6 MPG.
  • After going undrafted in 2021 out of Providence, point guard David Duke Jr. impressed the Nets on a two-way deal. This summer, he has thus far passed on an offer from Brooklyn for a second two-way contract (presumably the standard two-way QO that includes a $50K partial guarantee) in the hopes of instead being signed to a standard deal to join the team’s 15-man roster, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post“Well, you know, I’m always going to strive for the most that I can get, right?” Duke said of his reasoning. “So if there’s a roster spot to strive for that, then whatever happens from there, happens… But like I said, I’m just out here [in Summer League] trying to play the best that I can, show what I can bring to Brooklyn, to whoever.”
  • The Nets are thus far the biggest losers in free agency this year, opines Kevin Pelton of ESPN (YouTube link). That issue may have more to do with the team’s top stars potentially wanting to be traded off the team more so than its fairly minimal free agent signings. “No matter how this Durant situation plays out, even if they’re able to retain him… still you’re going to have Kyrie Irving’s situation hanging over their entire season,” Pelton said. “And it’s also kind of affected their ability to make moves so far this offseason,” Pelton added. While Pelton applauded their low-risk signing of T.J. Warren to a one-year contract, he was less enthused about another big Brooklyn transaction. “[I] wasn’t a big fan of their trade to send a first-round pick to Utah for Royce O’Neale. People are going to describe O’Neale as a 3-and-D player, but the defense part of that equation has been lacking the last couple of seasons.”

Atlantic Rumors: Tucker, Sixers, Knicks, Robinson, Nets

With free agency still two days away, rumors about P.J. Tucker landing in Philadelphia continue to percolate. After Marc Stein reported earlier in the week that multiple executives believe the Sixers will sign Tucker to a three-year, $30MM contract, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer conveys a similar sentiment today.

According to Pompey, three sources believe Tucker to the 76ers is a “done deal,” while a fourth source said he’d be shocked if the veteran forward doesn’t end up in Philadelphia. Sources tell Pompey that Tucker’s three-year deal with the Sixers, assuming it materializes, could be worth $27MM with incentives that increase the value to $30MM.

The Sixers still need to do some cap work in order to realistically make that kind of offer to Tucker. If James Harden turns down his $47MM+ player option and agrees to a lesser first-year salary on a new contract, the team could create the cap flexibility necessary to use its full mid-level exception on Tucker. But Harden is expected to opt in and then sign an extension, which means Philadelphia would have to shed some salary. Furkan Korkmaz ($5MM), Matisse Thybulle ($4.4MM), and Georges Niang ($3.5MM) are among the club’s potential trade candidates.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks are considering converting Jericho Sims‘ two-way contract into a standard NBA deal, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. If that occurs, second-round pick Trevor Keels would likely receive a two-way pact. Both moves were considered likely as of Tuesday afternoon, Begley writes.
  • Within the same story, Begley says he expects the Knicks to give strong consideration to re-signing Taj Gibson if they waive him this week as part of their cap-clearing efforts.
  • The four-year, $48MM contract Robert Williams signed with Boston last fall is viewed by rival executives as a fair comparable for Mitchell Robinson, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who suggests the Knicks likely wouldn’t want to go much higher than that to retain Robinson this summer.
  • The Nets are expected to give David Duke a prominent role in summer league games next month and will give him an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in 2022/23, sources tell Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. Duke received a two-way qualifying offer from Brooklyn, as we relayed earlier today.