Drew Gordon

Former NBA Forward Drew Gordon Dies At Age 33

Drew Gordon, a former NBA player and the older brother of Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon, has died following a car accident in Portland, Oregon, agent Calvin Andrews confirmed to Marc J. Spears of ESPN. He was 33 years old.

Drew, who played his college ball at UCLA and New Mexico from 2008-12, went undrafted in ’12. The 6’9″ forward began his professional career in Serbia, Italy, and Turkey before getting a shot with the Sixers in 2014. He appeared in nine games for Philadelphia, recording 17 points and 18 rebounds in 71 total minutes.

While those nine games represented Gordon’s entire NBA career, he played professionally for over a decade in total, spending time in the G League, France, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Japan up until 2023 following his stint in Philadelphia. He was named an All-Star in France’s LNB Pro A in 2016 and Russia’s VTB United League in 2018. He also won the Italian Cup with Dinamo Sassari in 2014.

“The Denver Nuggets organization is devastated to learn about the tragic passing of Drew Gordon,” the Nuggets said in a statement on Thursday night (Twitter link). “Drew was far too young to leave this world, but his legacy will forever live on through his three beautiful children and all of his loved ones. Our hearts are with Aaron and the Gordon family during this extremely difficult time.”

We at Hoops Rumors send out our condolences to Gordon’s family and friends.

And-Ones: G League Ignite, Barea, Contract Extensions, Ukraine

Being involved with All-Star Weekend was a dream experience for several members of G League Ignite, writes Tania Ganguli of The New York Times. Jaden HardyScoot Henderson, MarJon Beauchamp and Dyson Daniels were all selected to participate alongside first- and second-year NBA players in the Rising Stars games. Fanbo Zeng and Michael Foster Jr. were chosen for a shooting competition, but Zeng had to withdraw because of an injury.

“I was nervous before the game before I even got out there, but when I got out there it was kind of relieving,” said Beauchamp, who is projected to be a mid first-round selection in this year’s draft. Beauchamp added that he always watches the All-Star events, “so just seeing myself on the screen is pretty amazing.”

The Ignite team, which serves as an alternative to college for NBA prospects, is only in its second season but is proving to be successful. Two Ignite players, Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, were lottery picks last year and the team continues to attract elite young talent, paying up to $500K per season. The chance to be part of the All-Star experience was a bonus that the NBA offered this year.

“It was just fun to be able to be out there on the court with those young stars really and just being able to go out there and just laugh and compete,” Hardy said.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran guard J.J. Barea will return to Cangrejeros de Santurce in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 37-year-old, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA, also played for the team last season.
  • Although Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will miss an extended stretch due to plantar fasciitis, he’s among a handful of viable candidates to receive contract extensions before the regular season ends, writes Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype. Nurkic is on track to be a free agent this summer, but he’s also eligible to extend his current deal for up to $64.5MM over four years. Another option, Gozlan notes, is to extend for two years at $25.8MM if Nurkic wants to keep his trade eligibility this offseason. Gozlan identifies Robert Covington, Thaddeus Young, Gary Harris and Tyus Jones as other players who are eligible for in-season extensions and could be realistic candidates.
  • The attacks on Ukraine are having an effect on basketball in the region, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Roughly 40 American players have played in the country this year and several are still under contract. An agent told Smith that there’s an effort to bring those players home to protect their safety, even though it would be a breach of contract. Familiar names on the Budivelnik Kiev roster include Michael Stockton, son of Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, along with former NBA players Gian Clavell, Drew Gordon and Alec Brown, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Team USA, G League, Sessions, D. Gordon

Steve Kerr and Brad Stevens are considered the most likely candidates to succeed Gregg Popovich as head coach of Team USA, but there could be other names in the mix, relays Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. During a recent podcast, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned Erik Spoelstra as a possibility, along with Nate McMillan and Villanova’s Jay Wright, although he added that the job will probably go to a current NBA coach.

ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst, who joined Wojnarowski for the show, questioned whether McMillan is really in the running, but called Spoelstra a “very strong” candidate, noting that he is highly respected around the league and is the second-longest-tenured head coach with the same team. Spoelstra’s main obstacle is that he’s not already on the Team USA staff.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • The G League’s new alternative to college basketball is getting mixed reviews from some of the nation’s top high school players, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The league plans to offer $125K “select contracts” to top prospects who are at least 18 years old but aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft. Givony talked to a few five-star recruits who haven’t chosen a college — along with their families — and found both interest and skepticism about the new arrangement. “My first reaction was I’d like to hear more,” said Richard Hurt, the father of top-10 recruit Matthew Hurt. “… There are some things that are intriguing about it. It’s not the money. It’s the opportunity to focus solely on what your craft will be. Similar to what a trade school would be.”
  • Ramon Sessions may be headed to Israel, notes Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Maccabi Tel Aviv is reportedly considering an offer for the 11-year NBA veteran, who played a combined 28 games last season for the Knicks and Wizards. Sessions may replace another former NBA player, Jeremy Pargo, who will miss several weeks with an injury.
  • Drew Gordon tells NetsDaily.com that he sees the G League as his chance to return to the NBA after three years of being overseas. Gordon, who is playing for Long Island, has just nine games of NBA experience, all coming with the Sixers during the 2014/15 season. “I’ve basically been living my life out of four suitcases for the last five, six years,” he said. “It’s always interesting to immerse yourself into different cultures and having to live there for an extended period of time. You just have to learn to go with the flow with certain types of things and be able to adapt quickly and make changes with your game and everyday lifestyle.”

Nets Waive Gordon, McCall, Scott

The Nets got down to the roster limit by waiving forward Drew Gordon and guards Tahjere McCall and Shannon Scott, the team announced today in a press release.

Gordon will join Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island and is expected to be called up during the season after turning down offers to play overseas. The older brother of Aaron Gordon, most of his professional experience has come in Europe. He has played nine NBA games, all for the Sixers in 2014/15.

McCall and Scott both signed Exhibit 10 contracts yesterday and appear headed back to the G League. Both played for Brooklyn’s affiliate in Long Island last season.

Nets Sign Gordon, Waive Creek

The Nets have signed forward Drew Gordon and waived forward Mitch Creek, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets.

The older brother of Magic star Aaron Gordon, Drew Gordon went undrafted out of New Mexico in 2012. He has bounced around various professional leagues since that point, primarily playing overseas. In addition to a brief stint with the Sixers during the 2014/15 season, the 6’9″ power forward has also spent time with clubs in Serbia, Italy, Turkey, France, Lithuania, and Russia.

Gordon will be making up for lost time. He was expected to sign with Brooklyn prior to camp but that deal didn’t come to fruition.

Most recently, Gordon played for Zenit St. Petersburg during the 2017/18 season. The 28-year-old recorded 11.1 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 21 VTB League games, along with 12.4 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 17 EuroCup contests.

Creek has spent most of his professional career with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia before signing with the Nets in August. In 31 games in Australia last season, Creek averaged 14.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG. He was named to the All-NBL Second Team. He also played for the Mavericks’ summer league team, recording 6.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG in five games in Las Vegas.

Nets Sign Nuni Omot To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Nets have filled their 20-man training camp roster by signing forward Nuni Omot to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link), it’s an Exhibit 10 deal.

Omot, who went undrafted out of Baylor this spring, averaged 9.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.7 APG with a .489/.433/.855 shooting line during his final college season. He spent two years at Division II school Concordia University before transferring to Baylor for his junior and senior years, where he showed off a shooting stroke that made him a potential NBA sleeper, as Chris Dortch of NBA.com detailed in May.

With Omot under contract, the Nets now have a full 20-man roster, meaning there’s no room at the moment for Drew Gordon, who was reported to be on track for an Exhibit 10 deal of his own. It’s possible Brooklyn will still waive someone and sign Gordon at some point, but for now it’s Omot that claimed the final roster spot.

Brian Lewis of The New York Post first reported last week that Omot was a candidate to become Brooklyn’s 20th man for training camp.

Nets Expected To Sign Drew Gordon

Drew Gordon, the older brother of Magic star Aaron Gordon, is expected to sign with the Nets, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, the new deal for the elder Gordon will feature an Exhibit 10 clause.

Gordon, who went undrafted out of New Mexico in 2012, has bounced around various professional leagues since then, primarily playing overseas. In addition to a brief stint with the Sixers during the 2014/15 season, the 6’9″ power forward has also spent time with clubs in Serbia, Italy, Turkey, France, Lithuania, and Russia.

Most recently, Gordon played for Zenit St. Petersburg during the 2017/18 season. The 28-year-old recorded 11.1 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 21 VTB League games, along with 12.4 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 17 EuroCup contests.

Given the presence of an Exhibit 10 clause in Gordon’s reported agreement with the Nets, it seems likely that the club views him as a potential contributor for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate.

Currently, the Nets have 18 players officially under contract. The team could fill its 20-man offseason roster by finalizing reported deals for Gordon and Alan Williams, who reached a two-way contract agreement with the Nets.

Sixers Notes: Henderson, Bayless, Rodriguez, Pleiss

The Sixers solidified their backcourt and added a veteran presence in their locker room with three offseason signings, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Entering free agency with $54MM in cap space, the team spent most of it on shooting guard Gerald Henderson and point guards Jerryd Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez. Philadelphia will pay Bayless more than $9.4MM for the upcoming season, along with $9MM for Henderson and $8MM for Rodriguez, giving them the three highest salaries on the roster. Marks adds that the Sixers learned the importance of having a serviceable point guard last season when they started 1-30 before trading for Ish Smith on Christmas Eve.

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers are the only team with 20 players currently under contract, Marks notes in the same story. That’s the league maximum heading into training camp, and it means the team will face some tough decisions in cutting down its roster. Friday’s trade for Tibor Pleiss gives the Sixers 14 players with fully guaranteed contracts, although Pleiss’ deal is only for $3MM, so there has been speculation that Philadelphia may not hold onto him. Pleiss played just 82 minutes in Utah last season, so the Sixers may want to evaluate him in camp before making a decision. Philadelphia has six players with partial or non-guaranteed deals.
  • In his rookie season, Jahlil Okafor never found a way to use his one-on-one offensive skills to help his teammates, writes Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com. In comparing the contributions of Okafor and Nerlens Noel, Bodner also contends that Okafor doesn’t do much on offense when he doesn’t have the ball and that the defensive concerns that haunted him coming into the league were well founded. Bodner believes the Sixers will eventually have to deal either Okafor or Noel, and the drafting of Ben Simmons and the apparent health of Joel Embiid will probably make the decision happen sooner.
  • Former Sixers power forward Drew Gordon is close to signing with Rytas Vilnius in Lithuania, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Gordon, the younger brother of Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, played nine games with Philadelphia in 2014/15.

And-Ones: Brand, Gordon, Knicks

Free agent big man Elton Brand, 36, who’s contemplating retirement, told Jane Lerner of The Journal News that he has not received “the phone call,” and remains noncommittal toward his future. Brand, who played for the Hawks last season, had been connected to the Mavs earlier this summer.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Drew Gordon, who played mostly in the D-League and appeared in nine games with the Sixers last season, inked a deal with France’s Chalons-Reims, according to the team’s site (h/t Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The forward averaged 13 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game with the D-League’s Delaware 87ers. Gordon, 25, was waived by the Sixers in December.
  • Kristaps Porzingis, whom the Knicks drafted No. 4 overall, approved of the team’s signing of fellow European player Sasha Vujacic, a veteran and former member of the Lakers, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. “I played against him,’’ Porzingis said. “Very experienced. He’s a cold-blooded shooter. He doesn’t care. He loves the pressure. He’s great. Those situations will help the team in those important moments. For me, it will be great having him. His experience and being European, he can teach me a lot on how hard he works. He’s a hard worker.”

Eastern Rumors: Pistons, Wilbekin, Pacers

Ersan Ilyasova would have been a top target for the Pistons if he had been a free agent this summer, coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Ilyasova was acquired in a trade with the Bucks, who re-signed restricted free agent Khris Middleton, another Detroit target, according to Langlois. “If he’d been a free agent, he’d have been the guy at the top of our list at power forward,” Van Gundy said of Ilyasova. The Pistons also would not have pursued a free agent small forward if Marcus Morris had been made available sooner. He was acquired in a salary dump by the Suns in early July after Detroit came up empty in its aim to sign either DeMarre Carroll or Danny Green“There’s no question we would have opted to take him rather than go into free agency had that been there [before July 1],” Van Gundy said to Langlois. “It wasn’t at the time, so we did try to make a play for a couple of guys. But when it didn’t work out and that presented itself, we were fortunate.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Scottie Wilbekin received a $200K guarantee from the Sixers for the upcoming season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The remainder of the four-year, $3.5MM contract that the ex-University of Florida point guard signed is not guaranteed, Pincus adds. Wilbekin will make $525,093 in the first year if he’s still on the roster January 10th. He played in Australia and Greece last season after going undrafted.
  • Monta Ellis has the potential to ultimately become one of the Pacers’ greatest free agent signings, argues Mark Montieth of Pacers.com, who nonetheless ranks David West, who bolted for the Spurs this summer, as the most significant free agent addition in team history. Montieth addressed that and other topics in a mailbag format.
  • Drew Gooden‘s $3.547MM salary for the 2016/17 season becomes guaranteed on July 15th, according to Pincus (Twitter link). The Wizards forward, who has a guaranteed $3.3MM contract for the upcoming season, has a no-trade restriction on his deal which lifts on January 15th.