DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell

Hollinger’s Latest: Bertans, 2020 Draft, Celtics, G League

While Tommy Sheppard‘s claim that the Wizards intend to retain Davis Bertans through the trade deadline and beyond this season could be viewed as a leverage play, John Hollinger of The Athletic sounds inclined to believe the first-year general manager. As Hollinger writes in his round-up of chatter from the G League Showcase in Las Vegas, all signals indicate the Wizards are serious about keeping Bertans.

Hollinger points to the Wizards’ recent promotion of center Anzejs Pasecniks as one more sign that the Wizards are committed to Bertans. Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with Washington, is a Latvian like Bertans, and the two big men share an agent, per Hollinger.

Hollinger passed along several more tidbits from Las Vegas, so let’s round up some of the most notable items from the former Grizzlies executive…

  • Teams around the NBA aren’t particularly high on the 2020 NBA draft class, leading Hollinger to surmise that contenders won’t be averse to including 2020 first-round picks in trades this winter.
  • While center is widely viewed as the Celtics‘ biggest need, most logical trade targets at that position earn $20MM+ and would be difficult for Boston to acquire. As such, one source who spoke to Hollinger thinks the C’s might actually pursue another perimeter player, perhaps a wing or forward. The thinking is that the Celtics often play four of their top five perimeter players – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward – together and could benefit from adding another reliable contributor to that group.
  • Rayjon Tucker, a guard for the Wisconsin Herd, looks like a prime candidate for an NBA call-up, according to Hollinger, who notes that Tucker was getting buzz even before his 34-point game at the G League Showcase. Hollinger’s other top candidates for potential call-ups include DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (Oklahoma City Blue), Jeremiah Martin (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Dedric Lawson (Austin Spurs), and Simisola Shittu (Windy City Bulls).

Thunder Waive Four Players

The Thunder trimmed their roster this morning by placing DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Abdul Gaddy, Myke Henry and Eric Moreland on waivers, the team announced in a press release.

The moves indicate that Justin Patton, who has been limited by injuries to a combined four games in his first two NBA seasons, has won the 14th roster spot. Oklahoma City may not carry a 15th player because of salary cap concerns. The 16th pick in the 2017 draft, Patton signed with OKC in August and had a $700K guarantee on his $1,620,564 contract.

Of today’s four cuts, Moreland is the only one with significant NBA experience. He played a combined 83 games for the Kings, Pistons, Suns and Raptors over the past five years. Henry appeared in 20 games for the Grizzlies in 2017/18, while Akoon-Purcell got into seven games with Denver last year. Gaddy was also cut by the Thunder in training camp last season.

Thunder Officially Sign Four Players To Camp Roster

The Thunder have officially signed four players to their roster for training camp, filling up their 20-man squad, the team announced today in a press release. Swingman DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, big man Eric Moreland, guard Abdul Gaddy, and forward Myke Henry have all joined the Oklahoma City roster.

The team’s deals with Akoon-Purcell and Moreland were previously reported. We broke word of Akoon-Purcell’s contract agreement on Saturday, while Moreland agreed to terms with the Thunder back in August. Akoon-Purcell spent part of the 2018/19 season on a two-way deal with Denver, while Moreland finished the year with the NBA champion Raptors.

Gaddy, 27, joined the Thunder for training camp a year ago but was waived before the regular season began. He spent the 2018/19 campaign in the G League with the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 9.5 PPG, 6.7 APG, and 3.2 RPG in 49 games (29.1 MPG). The former Washington standout appears likely to return to the Thunder’s G League affiliate again this season.

As for Henry, his deal with the Thunder was first noted by his agency Edge Sports earlier in September. The 6’6″ forward made his NBA debut in 2017/18 when he appeared in 20 games for the Grizzlies. He played in Israel last season but has previously spent time with the OKC Blue and is another candidate to return to the Blue in 2019/20.

The Thunder now have 13 players on fully guaranteed salaries, two on two-way contracts, and Justin Patton on a partially guaranteed contract. Patton is the favorite to win the 14th spot on the roster and Oklahoma City may not carry a 15th man, so it would be an uphill battle for any of today’s signees to earn a regular season roster spot.

Thunder To Sign DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell

DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who spent part of last season on a two-way contract with the Nuggets, will join the Thunder for training camp, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. League sources tell Shaw that the free agent shooting guard has agreed to a partially guaranteed contract.

Akoon-Purcell, 26, signed with Denver last summer and saw limited action in seven NBA games before being waived in December. He spent time with Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel and finished the season with ESSM Le Portel in France.

The addition leaves Oklahoma City with two open roster spots ahead of the start of training camp on Tuesday. Once the Thunder make it official with Akoon-Purcell, they’ll have 15 players signed to standard contracts (13 fully guaranteed), along with both two-way slots filled and a reported agreement with Eric Moreland.

Delaney, Meeks, Afflalo Working Out For Warriors

9:02am: Jodie Meeks, Arron Afflalo, and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell are also working out for the Warriors today, Shaw has learned (Twitter link).

7:52am: Veteran point guard Malcolm Delaney is working out for the Warriors today, a source tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Delaney also recently auditioned for the Knicks.

A former Virginia Tech standout, Delaney spent two seasons with the Hawks from 2016-18, averaging 5.7 PPG and 2.8 APG in 127 total games in Atlanta. Outside of that two-year NBA stint, Delaney has spent his professional career overseas, playing for teams in France, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, and China.

A recent report indicated that Delaney was in talks with Spanish club Barcelona about a potential deal, but was continuing to seek out NBA offers before deciding whether or not to return to Europe.

While the Warriors have room on their offseason roster to add Delaney or another player, it’s hard to see a path to a regular season roster spot for a camp invitee in Golden State, given the team’s hard cap. The Dubs would have to release Alfonzo McKinnie‘s non-guaranteed contract or make a trade to create the room necessary to carry another player into the regular season.

A report on Monday indicated that former first-round pick Jared Cunningham would also be working out for the Warriors.

France Next Stop For DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell

Shooting guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who started the season on a two-way contract with the Nuggets, has signed with Le Portel in France, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

The 25-year-old got into seven games for Denver before being waived in mid-December and replaced by Brandon Goodwin. Akoon-Purcell also played in two G League contests, averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

He signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League a few days later, but appeared in just eight games before parting ways with the team in February.


DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell To Play In Israel

Just three days after being waived by the Nuggets, free agent shooting guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell has finalized a new deal. Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv has officially signed Akoon-Purcell, according to an announcement from the club (hat tip to Sportando).

Akoon-Purcell, 25, signed a two-way contract with the Nuggets during the offseason and held onto one of the team’s two-way slots for the first two months of the season, until Denver elected to replace him with Brandon Goodwin. Akoon-Purcell played limited minutes in seven games for the Nuggets, and averaged 24.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG in a pair of G League contests.

The move represents a return overseas for the Akoon-Purcell, who began his professional career with the Bakken Bears in Denmark after going undrafted out of Illinois State in 2016. He won a pair of championships in Demark’s league (Basketligaen) and was also named the MVP in 2017.

Within Hapoel Tel Aviv’s press release announcing Akoon-Purcell’s signing, team president Rami Cohen suggests that the club had multiple discussions with the player’s agent during the offseason before he signed with the Nuggets. As such, it’s no surprise the two sides reached a quick agreement once Akoon-Purcell was cut by Denver.

Nuggets Sign Brandon Goodwin To Two-Way Deal

4:00pm: The Nuggets have officially announced the signing of Goodwin to a two-way contract and the subsequent waiving of Akoon-Purcell, according to a press release sent from the team. Akoon-Purcell appeared in seven games with the Nuggets, averaging 1.0 points in 3.1 minutes per game.

11:53am: The Nuggets are expected to complete the signing today after waiving Akoon-Purcell, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports. Akoon-Purcell has been kept in the NBA all season because of injuries and has nearly reached his 45-day limit (Twitter link).

8:20am: Brandon Goodwin will return to the Nuggets on a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Denver already has both two-way slots filled, so either DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell or Thomas Welsh will have to be waived before the signing can be completed. Akoon-Purcell, who has appeared in seven games for the Nuggets, is the more likely candidate to be let go, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Goodwin first came to Denver in late November when the team was granted a hardship exception. He spent about two weeks with the Nuggets before being waived when Nick Young was signed on Monday. Goodwin didn’t see any game action during his first stint in Denver.

The former Florida Gulf Coast guard was in training camp with Memphis after signing an Exhibit 10 contract, but was released before the start of the season. He had been playing in the G League with the Grizzlies’ Memphis Hustle affiliate.

Marcus Georges-Hunt To Work Out For Nuggets

Former Timberwolves guard Marcus Georges-Hunt is working out with the Nuggets this week, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

The 6’5” shooting guard became an unrestricted free agent this summer after Minnesota decided not to give him a qualifying offer. He appeared in 42 games and only averaged 1.4 points in 5.3 minutes per contest during the 2017/18 season with the Wolves.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, have already filled both of their two-way slots with rookies DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Thomas Welsh, and have 15 players on their roster with guaranteed contracts for the 2018/19 season. Accordingly, any deal for Georges-Hunt would likely be an unguaranteed, training camp contract only.

Georges-Hunt, 24, was a four-year college standout at Georgia Tech, but went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. In addition to his stint with the Wolves, he also spent some time with the Magic toward the end of the 2016/17 season.

Nuggets Sign DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell To Two-Way Deal

AUGUST 7: The Nuggets have officially signed Akoon-Purcell to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 6: The Nuggets are expected to sign shooting guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell to a two-way contract, Chris Dempsey of tweets.

Akoon-Purcell averaged 12.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.5 APG and 2.0 SPG in 19.3 MPG over four Las Vegas summer league contests with Denver. He played the last two years with the Bakken Bears in the Danish league, averaging 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 3.8 APG last season.

The 6’5” Akoon-Purcell went undrafted in 2016 after playing at Illinois State. As a senior, he averaged 14.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.9 APG.

Denver’s two-way slots will now be filled if the team completes the transaction. The Nuggets signed second-round pick Thomas Welsh, the former UCLA center, to a two-way deal last month.