Drew Peterson

Celtics Notes: Queta, Kornet, Holiday, Peterson

Two-way player Neemias Queta is making a strong case to become the Celtics‘ full-time backup center, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The 24-year-old big man, who signed with Boston in September after being waived by Sacramento, had 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists off the bench in Saturday’s win over the Clippers. With Kristaps Porzingis nursing a sprained left ankle and Luke Kornet sidelined for the past week with an adductor strain, Queta is getting his first shot at consistent NBA minutes.

“This is what I’ve been pretty much waiting on,” he said. “Being ready for these type of moments. I had two years to do that. And whenever it is my turn, just be ready and everything works itself out. With time, the game’s just been slowing down for me and I’m getting more comfortable on the court.”

The Kings selected Queta with the 39th pick in the 2021 draft and signed him to two-way contracts the past two seasons. Sacramento opted for more experience this summer by adding JaVale McGee, and Queta found his next opportunity with a Celtics team that was in the market for size.

Queta’s two-way contract allows him to be on the active roster for only 50 NBA games, and Washburn notes that Boston is being cautious, using him in just 12 of its first 28 contests. He appears to be a strong candidate to be converted to a standard contract later this season, which would remove the games limit and allow him to be eligible for the playoffs.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Coach Joe Mazzulla said “we’ll play them all” when Porzingis and Kornet return to action, but the front office could be facing a major decision on Kornet in a couple of weeks, Washburn adds. His $2.4MM contract will become fully guaranteed on January 10, which is the league-wide guarantee date, and the Celtics may not want to commit that money if they believe Queta will eventually become the primary backup.
  • Boston is enjoying the rewards of outbidding the Clippers for Jrue Holiday when Portland made him available, observes Brian Robb of MassLive. Holiday had one of his best games since joining the Celtics in Saturday’s victory at L.A., posting 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while shooting 8-of-12 from the field.
  • Drew Peterson got help from his mother when he signed a two-way contract with the Celtics last week, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Peterson was in Chicago with the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce when he got the opportunity with Boston, so Stacy Peterson flew to his Sioux Falls apartment and drove many of his possessions to Chicago for the trip. She also flew some of her son’s clothing to Orlando and watched him play in the G League Winter Showcase. “So she had a busy few days, too,” Peterson said.

Celtics Sign Drew Peterson To Two-Way Contract

December 14: Peterson’s two-way deal is official, the Celtics announced.

December 13: The Celtics are expected to sign G League forward Drew Peterson to a two-way contract, according to Adrian Wojanrowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Agents Mike Silverman and Troy Payne tell Wojnarowski that Peterson has agreed to sign with the C’s and is on track to join the team as soon as Thursday.

Peterson, 24, went undrafted earlier this year after spending two seasons at Rice and three at USC. As a “super senior” in 2022/23, he averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, posting a .442/.358/.752 shooting line in 33 games (35.9 MPG) for the Trojans.

As an undrafted free agent, Peterson quickly agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with Miami and joined the Heat for summer league play and training camp. He was cut before the regular season began and was designated as an affiliate player for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League team.

Peterson was off to a strong start in his first professional season, putting up 15.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 4.2 APG on .528/.407/.857 shooting in his first 13 games with the Skyforce. Once he officially signs with Boston, he’ll make the move to the Maine Celtics. He’ll also be eligible to appear in up to 35 NBA games, assuming he officially signs on Thursday.

The Celtics won’t need to make a corresponding roster move to open up a spot for Peterson, since they already cut a two-way player earlier this week, parting ways with Nathan Knight on Tuesday. Neemias Queta and JD Davison are Boston’s other two-way players.

If Peterson signs on Thursday, his two-way salary will be $395,708. That salary would become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through January 7.

Heat Notes: Herro, Butler, Jaquez, Jovic, Champagnie

Tyler Herro is still in Miami after a long summer of trade rumors and he’s determined to show the Heat that he was worth keeping, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro appeared on the way out when Damian Lillard asked the Trail Blazers for a trade in early July and listed Miami as his only preference. But Herro’s role with the Heat is secure now and he’s ready to make an impact, as he showed with a 30-point performance on Sunday night.

“I’m always ambitious,” he said. “Motivation kind of drives me and it’s who I am. But that’s who I am, so that’s me every day. Just being myself. This year is obviously, I wouldn’t even call it revenge or a bounce back. It’s just a year to be myself and just have fun and enjoying what I love to do, which is play basketball. Tonight was a little bit of it.”

Herro was a productive scorer from everywhere on the court on Sunday, Chiang adds, finishing 11-of-19 from the field, 4-of-7 from three-point range, and 4-of-5 on free throws. He displayed an effective floater near the basket as nine of his shots came from inside the lane.

“Man, he’s just so efficient now,” Bam Adebayo said. “His movements, less dribbles, not trying to do much. He gets straight to his points, gets straight to his shots.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Jimmy Butler was held out of Sunday’s game after undergoing two separate dental surgeries this week, but he’s expected to return before the end of the preseason, Chiang adds.
  • Coach Eric Spoelstra cited progress by Drew Peterson and Alondes Williams, who were both waived over the weekend, Chiang states in another Miami Herald story. Both players were part of Miami’s Summer League team, and Spoelstra hopes they will continue to develop with the organization’s G League affiliate. “We’re encouraged by both of them,” he said. “This was part of the agreement to transition them and get guys on to Sioux Falls. It happens in stages. These can be great opportunities still. We want to invest in them for the entire season. That’s ideally the plan. They got a lot better these last eight weeks and we’re looking forward to this next step in Sioux Falls.”
  • Nagging injuries have virtually eliminated any chance that Jaime Jaquez or Nikola Jovic will be in the rotation when the regular season begins, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Jaquez has been limited by a groin strain in the preseason, while Jovic is dealing with a bruised knee.
  • Justin Champagnie may be the favorite to fill the open roster spot if the Heat don’t try to sign someone else, Winderman speculates in a separate piece. He expects Cole Swider to be converted to a two-way contract, with current two-way player Dru Smith possibly the odd man out.

Heat Notes: Cain, Smith, Butler, Injuries, Peterson, Williams

Jamal Cain is making a strong bid to have his two-way contract with the Heat converted into a standard deal, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Cain had 24 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes against San Antonio on Friday.

Miami currently has 13 players on standard deals and needs to add at least one more by the season opener.

“He really competed and played hard,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, as relayed by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “It’s satisfying to see. He’s put in so much time in the last year. His effort and attention to details defensively have gotten a lot better.”

We have more on the Heat:

  • Dru Smith is participating in his third straight training camp with Miami and also hopes to earn a spot on the 15-man roster, according to The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “I’m just really grateful and really appreciative of the opportunities that I’ve been able to have, the chances that I have in front of me right now,” Smith said. “After that, it’s in my hands but also it’s out of my hands. Whatever they decide to do, that’s what they decide to do. So I just have to go out there and try to play the best basketball that I can and let the rest fall where it may.” Smith currently holds a two-way contract.
  • Jimmy Butler is recovering from dental surgery, Winderman tweets. He remains on track to play in the team’s season opener on Oct. 25.
  • Caleb Martin (knee), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (groin), Nikola Jovic (hip), R.J. Hampton (hip), Smith (hamstring) and Josh Richardson (foot) also sat out the Heat’s preseason game against the Grizzlies on Sunday, Winderman tweets.
  • Spoelstra is hopeful Drew Peterson and Alondes Williams will join the Heat’s NBA G League team, Sioux Falls Skyforce, after they clear waivers, Winderman relays in another tweet. The duo was cut loose on Saturday.

Heat Cut Drew Peterson, Alondes Williams

The Heat have waived forward Drew Peterson and guard Alondes Williams, the team announced today in a press release. The cuts reduce Miami’s roster count from 21 players to 19.

Peterson, who went undrafted earlier this year out of USC, was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree while with the Trojans. Across 33 games in 2022/23, the 6’8″ super-senior averaged 13.9 PPG with a shooting line of .442/.358/.752. He also contributed 6.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.8 BPG.

Williams went undrafted in 2022 out of Wake Forest and spent most of the season with the Long Island Nets in the G League. He appeared in 24 games at that level, including 12 starts, and averaged 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. He also played one game for the Brooklyn Nets in December.

Peterson and Williams, who each appeared in one preseason game with the Heat, had been on Exhibit 10 contracts. Although they won’t make Miami’s regular season roster, the plan is still for them to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s NBAGL affiliate, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Assuming Peterson and Williams spend at least 60 days with the Skyforce, they’ll receive Exhibit 10  bonuses worth $75K.

The Heat are still carrying three players on Exhibit 10 contracts: Cole Swider, Justin Champagnie, and Cheick Diallo. Since Miami only has 13 players on standard deals, one of those camp invitees seems likely to either earn a spot on the 15-man roster or get a two-way contract (if the Heat convert a two-way player to a standard deal). Of the three, Swider has generated the most buzz so far this fall.

Heat Sign Drew Peterson, Caleb Daniels To Camp Deals

AUGUST 11: The signings of Peterson and Daniels are official, the team tweets.

JUNE 23: The Heat are set to sign training camp deals with a pair of undrafted NBA hopefuls.

Sources inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) that Miami will ink ex-USC forward Drew Peterson to an Exhibit 10 contract. Woj adds (via Twitter) that former Villanova shooting guard Caleb Daniels has agreed to a training camp contract with the Heat.

Wojnarowski’s tweet does not explicitly call Daniels’ deal an Exhibit 10, but it sounds like that will most likely be the case. As a reminder, under the NBA’s new CBA, Exhibit 10 bonuses can be worth up to $75K instead of $50K starting this offseason.

Peterson, a 6’8″ fifth-year senior, was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree while with the Trojans. Across 33 games in 2022/23, he averaged 13.9 PPG on .442/.358/.752 shooting splits. He also pulled down 6.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.8 BPG.

The 6’4″ Daniels was named to an NCAA All-Region Team during an extended college run. He spent his first two NCAA seasons with Tulane. Daniels redshirted his first year with Villanova in 2019/20, and then suited up for three more seasons as a Wildcat, enjoying a bonus year of college eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 34 games last season, Daniels averaged 14.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG.

Heat Notes: Swider, Cain, Audige, Herro

The Heat have been quiet while hoping for a Damian Lillard trade to materialize, but they reached an agreement Sunday with Cole Swider on an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The former Lakers forward spent most of last season in the G League on a two-way contract.

Chiang hears that Swider will have a chance to compete for a two-way deal with Miami and possibly even a spot on the 15-man roster. As a 6’9″ long-range shooter, Swider could have some value for a team that lost three-point threats Max Strus and Gabe Vincent in free agency. Duncan Robinson, a similar player, may be sent elsewhere in a potential Lillard deal, Chiang adds.

Swider made a verbal commitment to the Heat, according to Chiang, but if the team intends to include Exhibit 9 language in his deal, he can’t officially sign until the team has at least 14 players with standard deals. Drew Peterson, another 6’9″ sharpshooter who played for Miami’s Summer League team, is in a similar situation.

There’s more from Miami:

  • With the commitments from Swider and Peterson, along with 13 standard contracts and a pair of two-way deals, the Heat have four more roster spots to fill before training camp opens, Chiang adds. One of those could go to power forward Jamal Cain, who received a qualifying offer to return to the team on a two-way contract. Cain is still searching for a standard deal, which Miami has been reluctant to offer, according to Chiang. The deadline to rescind the two-way offer passed in July, so Cain is free to accept it at any time.
  • The Heat also contacted Northwestern guard Chase Audige about an Exhibit 10 contract, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, a source tells Jackson that Audige has decided to accept an Exhibit 10 offer from another team where he believes he has a better chance to earn a roster spot.
  • Zach Kram of The Ringer takes an in-depth look at Tyler Herro to determine whether he’s valuable enough to be the central piece in a Lillard trade. Miami is hoping to find a third team to take Herro and increase the number of draft assets going to Portland. Kram finds that Herro is part of a star-studded group that averaged at least 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game at age 23, but his defensive limitations put a cap on his trade value.

Heat Notes: Lillard Trade, Cain, Peterson, Summer League

The Heat are getting “frustrated” over the slow pace of trade talks with the Trail Blazers regarding Damian Lillard, Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report said on the latest edition of the “This League Uncut” podcast (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). It’s been nearly three weeks since Lillard made his trade request and told Portland officials that he wants to play in Miami, but there’s been very little progress toward a deal.

“Portland is telling them to, ‘Bring us your best offer.’ Miami would like to know what does Portland want and Miami is not getting that answer,” Haynes said. “And so they feel like things could be moving on a little bit quicker if Portland would say exactly what it is they want. Because obviously, Miami doesn’t have all the assets that Portland would want in a return for a Damian Lillard trade. So they want to know, okay, what do we have to get out there? What other teams do we have to get involved to make this work? And so far, the communication is just not there.”

On the Heat Check podcast, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald expressed doubt that the Blazers are trying very hard to grant Lillard’s trade request, at least for now. Chiang said a source told him that Portland may be planning to hold onto Lillard for a while to see if he changes his mind about his future with the team.

That thought is echoed by Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, who tweets that a team that contacted the Blazers about Lillard is skeptical that they actually want to move him. Jackson suggests that Portland’s goal may be to get Lillard into training camp, unless he makes the situation really uncomfortable for the rest of the summer.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Jamal Cain has a qualifying offer to return to the Heat on a two-way contract, but he’s hoping for a standard deal, whether it’s with Miami or another team, Chiang writes in a Herald story. The 24-year-old power forward appeared in 18 NBA games as a two-way player last season. Cain is a restricted free agent, so Miami can match any offer he receives, but the QO can’t be pulled because the deadline has already passed. Several teams have interest in Cain, according to Chiang.
  • Miami can’t sign players to Exhibit 10 deals until it has 14 players with standard contracts, but the team has received some verbal commitments, Chiang adds. One of them is from Drew Peterson, a 6’9″ shooting specialist from USC who played for the Heat’s Summer League team. Chiang suggests that Miami could take several weeks to sign any Exhibit 10 players while the front office waits to see if a Lillard trade materializes.
  • Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel examines Miami’s Summer League roster and looks at who did the most to help their future with the organization.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Peterson, Jaquez, C. Butler

Although Heat rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. played in just one full Summer League contest and less than half of a second before being shut down due to a shoulder ailment, Miami already likes what it’s seeing out of the UCLA alum.

Heat general manager Andy Elisburg raved about Jaquez’ fit during an interview on WQAM, as recounted by Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I think he’s our type of guy,” Elisburg said. “I think he comes from the same kind of ethos that we think we value, with players that we value. He has that kind of competitiveness and the work ethic that you want to see.

“… You’re excited to see what he’s able to do as he takes his game and grows it. At this point in time, he’s got things he does well, things he can do better at. And the great players take the things that they can do better at, and become better at that.”

There’s more out of Miami:

  • Given how pricey the final two years of Damian Lillard‘s contract are, the Heat are currently not particularly inclined to increase their offer for the Trail Blazers point guard, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently revealed during an interview on the network (Twitter video link via ClutchPoints). “The Miami Heat, the team that is most motivated to trade for Damian Lillard, where he wants to end up, they don’t want to be in a situation where they’re bidding against themselves right now,” Woj said (hat tip to HoopsHype for the transcription). “They look out into the marketplace, they see teams that are – they know the market does not love the idea of paying Damian Lillard a $60MM average at 35 and 36 years old over the last two years of that deal. If this was a contract with two years left, it would be different, perhaps. So there’s no rush for either side to be real aggressive in their conversations with each other.”
  • Drew Peterson, an undrafted combo forward out of USC, has been making waves as a sharpshooter while playing for the Heat’s Summer League club. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald wonders if the 6’9″ prospect could become Miami’s latest undrafted diamond-in-the-rough discovery. He will reportedly sign an Exhibit 10 training camp deal with the team. His size and shooting ability already appears to be intriguing the club. “Because he caught on to the team continuity and understood the concept of what we were trying to get accomplished,” assistant coach and Summer League head coach Caron Butler said. “From the spacing standpoint, playing off the other guys, the handlers, catch-and-goes, he’s done a remarkable job with that.” Across his three games with the Heat, Peterson is connecting on 57.1% of his 4.7 long range tries per contest.
  • Butler, an All-Star in his playing days, has unexpectedly fallen in love with coaching, Chiang writes in another Miami Herald story“I didn’t know that I was going to fall in love with the game and the teaching and all those things,” Butler told Chiang. “But it’s something that I just can’t see myself not doing now because of the connection with the players and seeing them get it and the information that you instill in them. That feeling is priceless.” After retiring from the league in 2016, Butler served as a TV analyst, first for the college game with ESPN in 2017, and subsequently for the Lakers, Wizards and the NBA at large with various networks. He joined Erik Spoelstra‘s coaching staff for the 2020/21 season.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Quickley, Hawks, Bucks, Beal

No team holds more picks in the 2023 NBA draft than the Pacers, who have had another full week of pre-draft workouts at the Ascension St. Vincent Center in Indianapolis.

The Pacers hosted Marcus Carr (Texas), Kendric Davis (Memphis), Zvonimir Ivisic (Croatia), Drew Peterson (USC), Julian Phillips (Tennessee), and Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky) for a group workout on Monday, then brought in D’Moi Hodge (Missouri), Colby Jones (Xavier), Omari Moore (San Jose State), Kevin Obanor (Texas Tech), Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette), and Malachi Smith (Gonzaga) on Tuesday.

The most notable workout of the team’s week so far is happening on Thursday, with the Pacers scheduled to host Gradey Dick. The Kansas guard could be a player Indiana considers with its lottery pick at No. 7.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • With Immanuel Quickley becoming eligible next month for a rookie scale extension, Fred Katz of The Athletic polled 15 front office members around the NBA to get a sense of what a “fair” extension for the Knicks guard would look like. Of those 15 participants, 11 projected an annual salary between $16-20MM, with five specifically suggesting $72MM over four years.
  • Discussing his newly completed coaching staff, Hawks head coach Quin Snyder told Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wanted a strong player development group made up of “selfless” individuals who would help instill that philosophy in Atlanta’s players. “It’s like putting any team together that whether it’s, tactical experience, analytics experience, literally different cultures and genders and all the different things that go into making a unique, strong group,” Snyder said. “But ‘The Thin Red Line’ to me that runs through all of it was, just selfless people that are able to put the group in front of themselves and I really want our staff to model that because that’s what we’re asking of our team.”
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic breaks down the rumor identifying the Bucks as a possible Bradley Beal suitor, examining how Milwaukee could build a package to acquire Beal and weighing whether or not the star guard would actually make a better long-term building block than Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton. As Nehm notes, while Beal is younger than Holiday or Middleton, he’s not as solid a defender as either of those current Bucks.