Dikembe Dixson

Wizards Sign, Waive Dikembe Dixson

9:10pm: Dixson has been waived, as our own JD Shaw relays (Twitter link).

3:52pm: The Wizards are expected to waive Dixson before their preseason game on Friday, tweets Katz. The team plans on him starting the season with the Go-Go.

3:09pm: The Wizards are back up to 20 players, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the club has signed forward Dikembe Dixson to an Exhibit 10 contract.

Dixson, who went undrafted out of UIC in 2018, started his professional career in Lebanon before returning stateside. He appeared in 12 G League games in 2018/19, averaging 5.3 PPG and 1.3 RPG in just 9.4 minutes per contest for the Windy City Bulls and Capital City Go-Go.

The Wizards’ G League affiliate holds Dixson’s returning rights and appears set to bring him back for the coming season. By signing an Exhibit 10 deal with Washington, he’ll be eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Go-Go.

The Wizards made three cuts on Wednesday, but have already filled those three roster spots by signing Dixson, Jalen Jones, and Anzejs Pasecniks.

And-Ones: Canada, Blatt, HOF, Dixson

Per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, former Indiana University basketball player and Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald has been named the new president and CEO of Canada Basketball.

A native of Chicago, Grunwald was hired by the Raptors in 1994 as the team’s vice president for legal affairs and assistant general manager under former college teammate Isiah Thomas. Grunwald took over for Thomas in a few years later, eventually orchestrating a trade for Vince Carter that led to three straight playoff berths from 2000 to 2002.

Since that time, Grunwald has been heavily involved in all things Canadian. He obtained Canadian citizenship in 1999, served as the president and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade, and even spent time as the Athletic Director at McMaster University in Ontario.

“I’m honoured and proud to have this opportunity to work with Canada Basketball,” said Grunwald in a press release announcing his hiring. “This is an exciting time for the sport in our country and I look forward to working with the entire basketball community to continue the tremendous progress the sport has made here at all levels.”

Here are a few more items from around the basketball universe:

  • Former Cavaliers and current Olympiacos head coach David Blatt has called for an end to the dispute between FIBA and the EuroLeague, per Antigoni Zachari of EuroHoops. Saying the conflict is a matter of egos and political designs, Blatt iterated how the two organizations ongoing spat is not good for the sport of basketball.
  • In addition to Shawn Marion, who we highlighted here, Joe Nguyen of The Denver Post also opines that the following players could find their way into the Hall of Fame next year – guards Chauncey Billups, Tim Hardaway, Sidney Moncrief, and Kevin Johnson; and forwards Chris Webber and Ben Wallace.
  • Less than two weeks after working out for the Hawks, undrafted rookie Dikembe Dixson has signed with the Lebanese Basketball League’s Hoops Club, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Dixson, 22, posted career averages of 17.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in his three seasons at UIC.

Dikembe Dixson To Work Out For Hawks

Dikembe Dixson, a 6’7″ forward out of Illinois-Chicago, has a workout with the Hawks scheduled for Wednesday, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

Dixson, who will turn 22 this week, went undrafted in June after averaging 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals a game in three years with the Flames. He joined Miami’s Summer League team and played limited minutes in both the Sacramento and Las Vegas leagues.

The Hawks already have 15 players with guaranteed contracts and their two-way slots are committed to Jaylen Adams and Alex Poythress. If Dixson does earn a training camp invite, he will likely be competing for a spot with Atlanta’s G League affiliate in Erie.

Draft Updates: London, Dixson, Magee, Ahmad

A pair of early entrants who declared for the 2018 NBA draft without hiring agents will keep their names in this year’s pool and go pro, according to reports.

Chattanooga’s Makinde London, who began his college career at Xavier, has signed with an agent, a source tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Twitter link). London, who didn’t receive an invite to the NBA draft combine, is coming off a junior year in which he averaged 13.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.8 APG.

Meanwhile,  Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports reports (via Twitter) that UIC sophomore forward Dikembe Dixson will also be staying in the draft rather than returning to college. That news doesn’t come as a surprise, since Dixson’s initial announcement – in which he talked about wanting to eventually return to UIC to graduate – strongly suggested that he would go pro, forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility.

Here are more draft-related updates on this year’s early entrants:

  • Southern Miss guard Dominic Magee will return to the program for his senior year after testing the draft waters, a source tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Magee averaged 11.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 2017/18 for the Golden Eagles.
  • West Virginia junior forward Esa Ahmad, who announced in early April that he would test the draft waters without an agent, is expected to withdraw his name from the 2018 draft pool, reports Goodman (via Twitter). Ahmad’s WVU teammate Sagaba Konate is also going through the draft process –both players will have to formally decide by May 30 whether to stay in the draft or return to school.
  • Junior center Malik Martin won’t be returning to South Florida for his senior year, tweets Rothstein. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Martin will go pro. According to Rothstein, there’s also a chance that the big man will graduate and transfer.

Draft Updates: Ayton, Trier, Okogie, Black, Dixson

A bracket-busting upset on the first evening of March Madness saw Arizona ousted from this year’s NCAA tournament, as the fourth-seeded Wildcats fell to No. 13 Buffalo. Arizona’s loss accelerated the timeline for top prospect Deandre Ayton to make the leap to the NBA, as he confirmed after the game that – as expected – he’ll enter this year’s draft.

Ayton has a reasonable chance to be the No. 1 pick this June, and a report early in March had already indicated that he’d enter this year’s draft, so his announcement on Thursday came as no surprise. As ESPN’s Linda Cohn tweets, Ayton’s teammate Allonzo Trier also confirmed after Thursday’s loss that he’d be leaving the Wildcats and entering this year’s draft, as previously reported.

Here are more updates on NCAA underclassmen who are eyeing a potential move to the NBA or another professional league:

  • Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie plans to test the draft waters by declaring without hiring an agent, as Ken Sugiura of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays. Okogie currently ranks as the 44th-best prospect on ESPN’s big board, making him a viable candidate to be drafted. The sophomore averaged 18.2 PPG and 6.3 RPG for the Yellow Jackets this season.
  • Illinois forward Leron Black will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility and enter the draft, head coach Brad Underwood announced on Thursday. Black, who plans on signing with an agent, led Illinois in PPG (15.3), RPG (5.2), FG% (.547), and 3PT% (.512) during the 2017/18 season.
  • Dikembe Dixson, a redshirt sophomore at UIC, will pursue a professional career, the school announced in a press release. While the announcement doesn’t specify whether or not the young forward will sign with an agent, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back. Coach Steve McClain said in a statement that the program wishes Dixson “great success in the pursuit of his professional career.” Dixson added: “Though I am leaving the university at this time, it is definitely my intention to finish the work necessary to graduate from UIC someday.”