David Duke

Spurs Waive Rice, Sign Duke To Two-Way Deal

8:20pm: The Spurs have officially signed Duke and waived Rice, according to a press release from the team.

3:43pm: The Spurs plan to sign David Duke Jr. to a two-way contract, agent Todd Ramasar tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

San Antonio is waiving Sir’Jabari Rice to make room for Duke, reports ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (via Twitter). That move is official, per NBA.com’s transaction log.

Duke spent the past two seasons with the Nets on two-way deals prior to being converted to a standard contract in April. The former Providence guard averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 45 games with Brooklyn from 2021-23, shooting 40.3% from the floor in 12.6 minutes per contest.

Duke, 24, inked an Exhibit 10 deal with the Sixers for training camp and was waived before the ’23/24 season began. He’s been playing for their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.

Rice, who went undrafted in June’s draft, spent four college seasons at New Mexico State before transferring to Texas for his super-senior year in 2022/23. The 6’4″ guard appeared in 38 games for the Longhorns last season, averaging 13.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.0 APG on .464/.371/.863 shooting.

Rice has yet to appear in an NBA game. He’s been playing for San Antonio’s G League affiliate in Austin to open his rookie season.

Sixers Waive Ricky Council, David Duke Jr.

The Sixers have waived Ricky Council and David Duke Jr., the team announced on Friday night.

Council being cut is somewhat of a surprise. He was one of the top prospects who went undrafted this year following his junior season at Arkansas and quickly reached an agreement on a two-way contract with Philadelphia.

A two-way deal signed before the regular season begins can be partially guaranteed for up to the maximum Exhibit 10 bonus amount for that year. In 2023/24, that amount – also known as the maximum two-way protection amount – is $75K. Council received that partial guarantee.

Two-way contracts don’t count against the salary cap, and evidently the Sixers have other plans for the spot that Council held. The 6’6″ guard averaged 9.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in five games (24.6 minutes) with the Sixers in Las Vegas Summer League action, though he didn’t shoot the ball well (.361/.100/.769 slash line). He also appeared in three preseason games, but didn’t play much (8.3 minutes per night).

As for Duke, who spent the past two seasons with the Nets, he’ll likely be headed to the Delaware Blue Coats — Philadelphia’s G league affiliate — to open ’23/24. He signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Sixers, so he could receive a $75K bonus if he spends at least 60 days with Delaware.

The Sixers now have 19 players under contract, with one open two-way spot.

Sixers Sign David Duke To Exhibit 10 Contract

SEPTEMBER 11: Duke’s Exhibit 10 contract is now official, the 76ers announced.

SEPTEMBER 5: Free agent guard David Duke is signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Sixers, Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Duke became an unrestricted free agent this summer when the Nets declined to give him a qualifying offer.

The Sixers had 18 players on their roster, so even with Duke joining them in camp they can still add two more players. They have just 13 players on fully guaranteed salaries, so it’s conceivable Duke could earn a spot on the 15-man roster.

Duke first joined Brooklyn on a two-way deal after going undrafted out of Providence in 2021. He returned to the Nets on another two-way contract for the 2022/23 season, then received a standard deal in April.

Duke averaged 3.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 0.9 APG in 23 games with the Nets last season. In 22 games for Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, Duke averaged 22.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 1.9 SPG and was named to the All-NBA G League First Team.

Under the terms of an Exhibit 10 contract, if Duke is waived and then spends at least 60 days with Philadelphia’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, he’d be in line for a bonus worth up to $75K.

Mikal Bridges Doesn’t Expect Any Major Moves From Nets

The Nets have been rumored as a potential participant in a Damian Lillard trade — either acquiring him directly or helping to facilitate a deal between Portland and Miami — but Mikal Bridges believes the team is done with major offseason moves, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Speaking at his youth camp, Bridges said the opening night roster is probably more or less set and he’s looking forward to seeing how the team can benefit from stability and what Jacque Vaughn can implement in his first full season as head coach.

“Just excited for him to have a preseason, have his guys he wants around and pretty much have it his way,” Bridges said. “And I’m excited for us to all be together and have these schemes from jump, (instead of) being thrown out there with three different teams in one lineup and just trying to go figure it out. So I’m definitely excited.”

Brooklyn still has some minor decisions to make before training camp, Lewis adds. The team has a two-way slot to fill and it has to decide whether to keep guard David Duke, who is an unrestricted free agent after not receiving a qualifying offer. Lewis notes that the Nets have also received trade interest involving Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith.

Bridges is relieved that Brooklyn was able to re-sign forward Cameron Johnson, who has been his close friend since they both entered the league in Phoenix. The Pistons in particular were viewed as a potential destination for Johnson before he agreed to a four-year, $94.5MM deal early in free agency.

“I think Detroit was in talks a lot, and I know (former Suns coach Monty Williams) is over there, so I’m just like, ‘All right now, calm down. Don’t take Twin away,’” Bridges said. “So definitely very, very for the team — outside my selfish reasons, but for the team — big-time. We need Cam. And for him to get paid and kind of get that baby weight off his shoulders, I think it’s great for the team and great for him.”

Atlantic Notes: Beverley, Harden, J. Brown, Duke, Knicks

Patrick Beverley played with James Harden in Houston for five seasons from 2012-17 and is hoping to get the opportunity to reunite with his old backcourt mate in Philadelphia. Acknowledging that the decision on how to handle Harden’s trade request is “above my pay grade,” Beverley said during his introductory press conference on Monday that he’d love it if Harden is still with the Sixers when the season begins.

“One of my decisions coming here was because James Harden was here,” Beverley said, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “So I hope he stays. Hope that everybody can kind of work something out and put that behind us and kind of move forward. I think it’s important.

“… I love him. James, I love you, bro. Stay. … I’m very familiar with James. And I’m excited. I’m excited to get it going. He knows I’m here. So we’ll see.”

Beverley officially signed his one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers over the weekend. Harden’s future – or lack thereof – in Philadelphia will be one of the factors that determines what Beverley’s role looks like in 2023/24.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Extension discussions between Jaylen Brown and the Celtics have progressed as expected so far, and the two sides appear to be moving closer to an agreement, potentially within the next week, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Weiss adds that the three teams involved in the Grant Williams sign-and-trade – Boston, Dallas, and San Antonio – are still finalizing the details on all the draft picks involved in that complex deal, which should become official soon.
  • Although he didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Nets in June, David Duke has been playing for their Summer League team and remains hopeful about returning to Brooklyn, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Duke, who finished the season on a standard contract with the Nets after being promoted from his two-way deal, admitted that he was a little surprised not to be given a QO. “You know, things don’t always happen as you really expect it. So yeah, I can say that I was expecting (a qualifying offer),” he said. “But my whole career I feel like there’s been things that have kind of been thrown at me that I didn’t expect, so it’s not really something that shook me or anything like that. … I think if I take care of the stuff on the court, everything will fall into place.”
  • In a story for The Athletic, Fred Katz examines the impact Donte DiVincenzo could have on the Knicks‘ defense, outlines the unlikely incentives in DiVincenzo’s new contract, and weighs the value of the second-round picks the team got back in the Obi Toppin trade with Indiana.

Nets To Make David Duke Jr. Unrestricted Free Agent

Nets combo guard David Duke Jr.. is not going to receive a qualifying offer from Brooklyn and will thus enter unrestricted free agency, reports Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).

Nets shooting guard Dru Smith, inked to a two-way contract last season, was also not given a qualifying offer by Brooklyn, Lewis adds. He, too, will become an unrestricted free agent.

The 23-year-old Duke first joined Brooklyn on a two-way deal after going undrafted out of Providence in 2021. He returned to the Nets on another two-way contract for the 2022/23 season, but saw his agreement converted to a standard roster deal this past April, ending the year on the club’s 15-man roster.

Across 23 games for Brooklyn in 2023/24, Duke averaged 3.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 0.9 APG. In 22 games for Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, Duke averaged 22.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 1.9 SPG.

Smith, 25, barely played for the Nets during his inaugural NBA season. In 10 games for Brooklyn, he averaged just 3.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG and 1.5 RPG across 9.1 MPG. Smith played 14 contests for the Long Island Nets, starting just three. He averaged 14.1 PPG on .500/.426/.667 shooting splits, along with 5.4 RPG.

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.