D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

And-Ones: Thunder, CBA, Lee, Smith-Rivera

Although the Thunder have put together a reasonably strong supporting cast around Russell Westbrook, there’s no simple way for the team to add a second star to complement the standout point guard, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. According to Mannix, Oklahoma City has received zero indications that Blake Griffin is interested in coming home in free agency next summer, and the team would be hard-pressed to create the cap room for another max player anyway.

Still, with players like Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, and Domantas Sabonis locked up on long-term deals, it makes plenty of sense for Westbrook to stick with the Thunder, particularly if the team takes advantage of the designated veteran extension to offer him a five-year pact next summer, Mannix writes.

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • In an informative piece for The Vertical, former NBA front office executive Bobby Marks takes an in-depth look at how the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will affect salary and cap situations for teams around the league next summer.
  • Damion Lee, who was one of the Celtics‘ training camp invitees and D-League affiliate players this fall, has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. After going undrafted out of Louisville this year, Lee had been averaging 17.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 16 games with the Maine Red Claws.
  • Speaking of training camp invitees, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who was in camp with the Bulls this fall, has a new home. As Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com details, Smith-Rivera was acquired from the D-League player pool by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers‘ NBADL affiliate.

Central Notes: Rondo, Smith, LeBron

Rajon Rondo was in street clothes during the Bulls‘ Monday night loss to the Blazers due to a one game suspension by the team resulting from a a “heated exchange” the point guard had with an assistant coach. Rondo’s teammates are ready to move on from the incident, with veteran guard Dwyane Wade telling Nick Friedell of ESPN.com that Rondo understands what he did wrong and that the team still has full confidence in the playmaker’s leadership. “Let’s play,” Wade said when asked what he told Rondo. “He’s going to have enough messages. Our job is to say, “Let’s go, let’s play.” We got to win the game [Tuesday]. This is about basketball. All those things, it’s not my job to stay on him about. He’s been disciplined, they’ve talked about it, he understands and we’ve moved on.

He’s going to have fresh legs,” Wade continued. “Whatever happened, the organization took care of it. As players, we support each other and back each other. It’s an emotional game and guys have emotional moments. [The team] handled it the way they thought was best. Now we move on.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • LeBron James has no desire to sit down with Knicks president Phil Jackson to discuss comments the executive made during a recent interview about the Cavs forward, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com relays. “Didn’t affect me, just know how much further we still have to go and how far we still have to go as African-Americans, even in the light of today,” James said about Jackson’s opinions. “For me, I’ve built my career on and off the floor on the utmost respect, and I’ve always given the utmost respect to everyone — all my peers, people that’s laid the path for me and laid the path for coaches, players, things of that nature. I’ve always given respect to them, and it’s always, like I told you before, it’s always shade thrown on me, so. It means we got a lot more work to do, myself and the team.
  • The Cavaliers received some good news regarding J.R. Smith, who exited Monday night’s contest against the Raptors after suffering a left knee injury in the first quarter. Smith underwent an MRI today that showed no damage and the guard’s status is considered day-to-day, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter).
  • Bulls training camp cut and D-League affiliate player,D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, has been waived by the Windy City Bulls, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old made six appearances for Windy City, averaging 3.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 11.1 minutes per outing while sporting a slash line of .269/.091/.600.

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

Read more

Contract Details: Bulls, Knicks, Kings, Mavericks

The three camp invitees recently signed by the Bulls got one-year, non-guaranteed summer contracts, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Vince Hunter, and J.J. Avila are therefore probably unlikely to make Chicago’s roster, though they could eventually be ticketed for the team’s new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.

In addition to providing the contract details for those three Chicago signings, Pincus passes along a few more contract notes from around the NBA, so let’s round them up…

  • As expected, Lou Amundson‘s new one-year deal with the Knicks will pay him $1.55MM+ while counting for just $980K against the team’s cap. Amundson’s contract is fully guaranteed, and will give him the opportunity to veto trades, Pincus notes (via Twitter).
  • Despite his extensive NBA experience, Jordan Farmar didn’t get any guaranteed money from the Kings, signing a minimum-salary summer contract with the team, according to Pincus. Farmar and Ty Lawson essentially have the same non-guaranteed one-year deal with Sacramento, so the team will likely end up carrying just one of those two players into the regular season.
  • C.J. Williams, the Mavericks‘ 20th man, got a non-guaranteed, one-year summer contract from the club, per Pincus. Williams, a 6’5″ guard, could end up playing for Dallas’ D-League squad, the Texas Legends.

Bulls Sign D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

SEPTEMBER 16th: The signing is official, per the RealGM transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 15th: The Bulls have taken another step toward filling out their training camp roster, according to Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed former Georgetown guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera to a training camp contract. The deal will likely be a minimum-salary pact featuring little or no guaranteed money.

Smith-Rivera, who will turn 24 in December, initially declared for the 2015 NBA draft, but withdrew his name and returned to his Georgetown for his senior year. In 2015/16, the 6’3″ guard saw his PPG (16.2), FG% (.413), and 3PT% (.330) slip for a third straight season, though he did dish out a career-high 4.5 APG. Smith-Rivera went undrafted this June.

While the Bulls may be planning on having Smith-Rivera join their new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, Chicago currently only has 13 guaranteed salaries on its books for 2016/17, so the Georgetown alum could get a chance to earn a regular-season roster spot. In addition to those 13 players on guaranteed contracts, the Bulls also have Spencer Dinwiddie and Cristiano Felicio on non-guaranteed deals.

Wizards Notes: Coaching Staff, Durant, Workouts

New Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is in the process of putting together his first coaching staff in Washington, and ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link) has an update on some of Brooks’ targets. In addition to confirming the Wizards’ interest in Tony Brown, with whom the team is reportedly finalizing a deal, Stein reports that Brooks is targeting Chad Iske and Sidney Lowe for his bench.

Iske, a former Kings assistant who wasn’t retained when Dave Joerger took over in Sacramento last month, has also drawn interest from Memphis. As for Lowe, he most recently served as an assistant in Minnesota — before that, he was an assistant in Utah and a head coach at North Carolina State.

Here’s more out of D.C.:

  • Don’t count Jared Dudley among those who expect to see Kevin Durant return home and sign with the Wizards this summer. Dudley, a free-agent-to-be who spent the 2015/16 season in Washington, told Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 that he doesn’t envision Durant leaving the Thunder for the Wizards. “I realistically don’t,” Dudley said, per Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post. “I hope for the fans they do, because he’s from there, and he would bring such excitement. They’d be right behind Cleveland, right there with them to be able to contend. I don’t see it though.”
  • More from Dudley on why he doesn’t expect superstar free agents like Durant to land in Washington this offseason: “It’s the system the NBA built. In general, no star player’s leaving to go to another team. … The system’s built for these guys to stay. Guys like Kevin Durant, Al Horford — the Wizards most likely will be going after these players, as they should. Are they really going to leave that money on the table?”
  • The Wizards are bringing in prospects D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown), James Webb III (Boise State), Tyler Harris (Auburn), and James Robinson (Pittsburgh) in for a pre-draft workout today, league sources tell Michael Scott of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards are also keeping their eye on former Seton Hall and UConn guard Sterling Gibbs, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, who tweets that Washington is looking at Gibbs for a second time on Monday.
  • We recently took a closer look at the Wizards’ salary cap situation for the coming offseason.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera Withdraws From Draft

APRIL 8TH: Smith-Rivera has changed his mind and won’t enter the draft, reports Brian Snow of Scout.com (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether he formally submitted paperwork, but even if he had, the NCAA allows players to withdraw and maintain college eligibility until this coming Monday.

MARCH 31ST: Georgetown junior shooting guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has decided to enter the NBA draft, the school announced. Smith-Rivera faces long odds to find his way to an NBA roster, as he isn’t among the top 100 prospects that either Chad Ford of ESPN.com or Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress compile. Ford has him at No. 185, and while Givony doesn’t list an overall ranking, he tabs him as the 61st-best prospect among college juniors. It’s unlikely that the 6’3″ Smith-Rivera would have been any more than a fringe prospect had he remained in school for another season, Givony tweets. Still, Givony surmises that he’ll undoubtedly draw interest from European teams (Twitter link).

The 22-year-old averaged 16.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 34.4 minutes per game with 38.7% three-point shooting this season, certainly a respectable line, though with the exception of his assists, those numbers were all down from his sophomore year. He was fairly well-regarded coming out of high school in 2012, as he ranked 37th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index that year, one spot ahead of current lottery prospect Willie Cauley-Stein.

Smith-Rivera was the leading scorer for this year’s Hoyas, who entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed and advanced to the round of 32 before falling to fifth-seeded Utah. He plans to sign with an agent, according to the school’s announcement, though if he holds off on doing so, he can still withdraw his name by April 12th and retain his eligibility for his senior year.