Egidijus Mockevicius

Raptors Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

As the Raptors‘ players and coaches focus on preparing for a potential NBA Finals close-out game in Oakland on Thursday night, the team’s front office will take a closer look at a number of veteran free agents over the next two days in Toronto.

According to a press release, the Raptors will host a free agent mini-camp at its practice facility on Wednesday and Thursday, with 23 players scheduled to attend.

Those players are as follows:

McLemore, Patton, and Payne – all former first-round picks – are perhaps the most well-known players on the list of participants, but they aren’t the only ones with some NBA experience. Artis, Brussino, Costello, Lofton, Thomas, and Weber have each appeared in at least one regular season game as well.

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)

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Players Catch On With D-League Franchises

Several players who were recently waived out of the NBA have reached agreements with D-League teams, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back:

  • Spencer Dinwiddie, released on Friday by Chicago, has signed with the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link). Chicago, which acquired Dinwiddie in a deal with the Pistons, then waived and later re-signed him, parted ways with the guard again despite being at the roster limit of 15.
  • Johnny O’Bryant, who was waived by the Wizards on Friday, has signed a D-League contract and will be eligible for the draft (Twitter link). The 23-year-old power forward spent the past two seasons with the Bucks.
  • Vince Hunter, who was waived by the Bulls and Grizzlies this month, will return to the Reno Bighorns (Twitter link). Hunter, 22, is a 6’8″ forward out of Texas-El Paso who has yet to play in the NBA.
  • Cliff Alexander, who was released by the Magic, has signed with the Erie BayHawks (Twitter link). The 20-year-old power forward played eight games for the Trail Blazers last season.
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts will return to the Texas Legends, where he finished the 2015/16 season (Twitter link). The 29-year-old swingman last played in the NBA in 2014/15, when he spent 12 games with the Clippers.
  • Josh Childress, who has been out of the NBA for almost three full seasons, signed with the Texas Legends (Twitter link). The 33-year-old swingman’s last NBA experience was four games with New Orleans during the 2013/14 season. He finished last season with the Legends after playing in Australia. (Update: Report denied by Childress’ agent; Reichert has removed his tweet)

Also, from the D-League Digest:

  • Axel Toupane, who was waived by the Nuggets, will return to Raptors 905 (Twitter link). The 6’7″ small forward played 21 games for Denver last season.
  • Jarell Eddie, who was released by the Wizards on Friday, will return to the Austin Spurs (Twitter link). Eddie, 24, appeared in 26 games for Washington a year ago.
  • J.J. O’Brien, who was cut by the Bucks, has signed with the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). A 24-year-old small forward, he got into two games with the Jazz last season.
  • Egidijus Mockevicius, who was waived last week by Brooklyn, will play for the Long Island Nets (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Lithuanian forward has no NBA experience.
  • Veteran point guard Jannero Pargo has signed with Oklahoma City Blue (Twitter link). The 37-year-old last played for the Hornets in 2014/15.

Nets Waive Chase Budinger, Three Others

The Nets have reduced their roster from 20 players to 16 today, announcing in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on four players. Chase Budinger, Jorge Gutierrez, Beau Beech, and Egidijus Mockevicius are the roster casualties in Brooklyn.

Budinger and Gutierrez are the most notable names in the Nets’ list of Tuesday cuts. Budinger has logged more than 400 NBA regular season games over the course of his seven-year career, while Gutierrez has appeared in regular-season contests with three different teams in the last three seasons. Both players were on non-guaranteed contracts, however, and it seems neither will earn a spot on Brooklyn’s 15-man roster.

Beech and Mockevicius were also camp invitees, though they each received modest guarantees on their minimum salary deals — Mockevicius got $100K from the Nets, while Beech received $45K. Still, both players were viewed as long shots to make the club’s regular season roster as undrafted free agents, and seem like good bets to join the D-League’s Long Island Nets.

With 16 players still in the mix, the Nets have to make one more cut before opening night. The most likely candidate to be waived is Yogi Ferrell, the only other player on the roster who doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary for 2016/17.

Nets Notes: Stephenson, Ferrell, Mockevicius, Beech

Former Nets GM Billy King turned down a trade proposal last season that would have brought Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn, according to King, who lost the GM title in January in a shakeup that cost coach Lionel Hollins his job, nixed the deal, which would have sent Joe Johnson to Charlotte in exchange for Stephenson and other unidentified players. The trade had the approval of Dmitry Razumov, chairman of the Nets’ board of directors, and NetsDaily shares the story as a way of showing that King had final say on all personnel moves, including the disastrous deal with the Celtics that put Brooklyn in its current position. King, the columnist added, also rejected Razumov’s suggestion to pursue JaVale McGee.

There’s more news tonight out of Brooklyn:

  • Yogi Ferrell, Egidijus Mockevicius and Beau Beech will come into camp knowing that they’re likely headed to the Nets’ new D-League affiliate on Long Island, NetsDaily writes in the same piece. All three received “training camp invites,” which don’t become fully guaranteed unless the players remain on the roster until all contracts are guaranteed in early January. The author notes that roster spots could be hard to earn with Brooklyn having 15 players with fully guaranteed contracts, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Seven of those players have deals that either will expire or can expire after the upcoming season, so the Nets have flexibility if they decide to keep Ferrell, Mockevicius or Beech.
  • The Nets may pick up another player before camp with the intention of sending him to the D-League, NetsDaily adds. The rights of the last four players cut would automatically go to the Long Island affiliate if they aren’t claimed off waivers. Brooklyn currently has 18 players headed to camp, two shy of the NBA limit.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Olynyk, Sloan, Nets

The Raptors have focused on keeping as much of their own talent as possible in free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Over the years, Toronto has been a place that star players have left, with the list including Marcus Camby, Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh. This summer, the Raptors didn’t have the cap room to keep backup center Bismack Biyombo, but they held onto DeMar DeRozan as part of a core that is largely tied up with long-term contracts. “The improvement of our team is going to come from inside,” said GM Masai Ujiri.Kyle [Lowry], DeMar, and Jonas [Valanciunas] and Patrick [Patterson] and Terrence [Ross]. They will probably take it to another level.” The Raptors’ major addition in free agency was former Boston power forward Jared Sullinger.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics will probably wait until next offseason to make a long-term decision on Kelly Olynyk, Washburn writes in the same piece. Olynyk can sign an extension up to the October 30th deadline, but Boston wants to see the 25-year-old big man for one more season before making a commitment. Olynyk has missed 43 games in his first three seasons, and Washburn writes that the Celtics want him to display more “toughness and consistency.”
  • Donald Sloan, who played 61 games for the Nets last season, has reached an agreement to play in China with the Guangdong Tigers, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. His teammates will include former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer and one-time lottery pick Yi Jianlian. The 28-year-old Sloan averaged 7.0 points and 4.4 assists with Brooklyn in 2015/16.
  • The $100K guarantees the Nets gave to Yogi Ferrell and Egidijus Mockevicius are the largest the organization has ever handed out to an undrafted college player, according to NetsDaily. Brooklyn signed both players to partially guaranteed training camp contracts this week, along with Beau Beech, who got $45K in guaranteed money. Brooklyn now has 18 players under contract, and the website projects veteran big man Henry Sims and summer league standout Marcus Georges-Hunt as possibilities if GM Sean Marks decides to go with the league maximum of 20.

Nets Sign Egidijus Mockevicius

JULY 28: The Nets have officially signed Mockevicius to a camp deal, per Mockevicius certainly won’t be assured of a regular-season roster spot, but Brooklyn currently doesn’t have a ton of depth at center, with only Justin Hamilton behind Lopez, so the rookie could receive 15-man consideration if he impresses in camp.

JUNE 26: The Nets have agreed to a partially guaranteed, one-year deal with Egidijus Mockevicius, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, it’s likely a minimum-salary arrangement.

Mockevicius played four seasons at Evansville, shooting 61.7% from the field. The 6’10″center is ranked 97th in Jonathan Givony’s T0p 100 prospects on The big man averaged 15.6 points and 14.1 rebounds per game while sporting a 29.3 player efficiency rating during his senior season.

Brook Lopez is the only center under contract for the Nets, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Brooklyn will need to add at least one more bruiser in the frontcourt and Mockevicius’ staying power will likely be tied to who else the team can add in free agency.

Western Notes: Welch, Davis, Ellis, Selden

Here’s the latest news and notes from the Western Conference:

  • Former Sacramento assistant coach John Welch and the Clippers are in the process of finalizing a deal that will see him join Doc Rivers‘ coaching staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link).
  • The Kings held a pre-draft workout today for Zachary Auguste (Notre Dame), Egidijus Mockevicius (Evansville), Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Antwan Scott (Colorado State), Eric McClellan (Gonzaga) and Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Kings on Thursday will be Elgin Cook (Oregon), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), Shaquille Harrison (Tulsa) and Derrick Jones (UNLV), Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 tweets.
  • The Jazz have a private workout scheduled on Thursday for former Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis, the team announced. Davis is the No. 10 overall prospect according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
  • The Clippers have workouts set for Thursday with Wayne Selden (Kansas), Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall), Brandon Austin (NW Florida State), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Kaleb Tarczewski and Tonye Jekiri (Miami), Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Vivant Arena, Nuggets

Tyrell Corbin, son of former Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, was among the participants in Utah’s free agent mini-camp this week, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. It’s the fourth year for the camp, which GM Dennis Lindsey brought to the Jazz after experiencing similar sessions when he worked for the Spurs and Rockets. Thirteen players from the last three free agent mini-camps have either landed spots on an NBA roster or earned invitations to training camp. “It’s a chance for them to play in front of an NBA coaching staff and for us to get a look at them,” said Jazz director of pro player personnel David Friedman. “Last year, we had a kid by the name of Jonathon Simmons [in camp] just to give you an idea. He didn’t end up with us, but he ended up with the Spurs.”

The camp has an extra dimension this year because Utah has its own D-League team and will be looking for players to fill the roster. Along with Corbin, other prominent names at this week’s event included Preston Medlin, Spencer ButterfieldDionte Christmas and Julian MavungaGreg Stiemsma, who has played for four NBA teams, was also in attendance, along with Argentinian prospect Nicolas Brussino.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz hosted a workout this morning, Genessy notes in the same piece. Attending were LSU’s Tim Quarterman, California-Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson, Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin, Texas’ Isaiah Taylor, Oral Roberts’ Obi Emegano and French prospect Mathias Lessort.
  • Utah is planning a $125MM renovation project at Vivant Arena, Genessy writes in a separate story. Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment will cover $102.3MM, and the franchise is hoping for $22.7MM from Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency. The Jazz will submit their proposal to the agency this week.
  • Washington’s Dejounte Murray will have a private workout with the Nuggets Monday afternoon, the team announced in a press release. The 6’5″ point guard has been rising on draft boards and is listed ninth on the latest list of 100 best prospects compiled by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Denver will hold a Monday morning workout for Bryson, Joe De Ciman of Colorado State, Patrick McCaw of Nevada-Las Vegas, Egidijus Mockevicius of Evansville, Abdel Nader of Iowa State and Chinanu Onuaku of Louisville.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is joining the effort to keep Kevin Durant with the Thunder, according to The Tulsa World. She is willing to offer the free agent forward a government job to get him to stay with Oklahoma City. “Oklahoma loves Kevin Durant and Kevin Durant loves Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “But if he’ll stay, I’ll make him a Cabinet person for health and fitness.”

Southwest Notes: Carter, Duncan, Pelicans

Vince Carter and Paul Pierce were both top-10 picks in the 1998 NBA draft, but while Pierce remains undecided on whether or not he’ll continue his career, Carter said that he hopes to play two more seasons, per Fred Kerber of The New York Post (Twitter link). Carter, who would have a 20-year career if he can play for two more seasons, is under contract with the Grizzlies on a partially guaranteed deal for 2016/17.

Here’s more from out of the Southwest division:

  • Another NBA veteran debating whether or not to call it a career? Spurs big man Tim Duncan, who turned 40 in April and would be on track to play a 20th season if he decides to return. As Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News details, most observers expect Duncan to retire, but the future Hall-of-Famer has made surprising decisions in the past — he’ll have to officially make the call on his 2016/17 player option by June 29th.
  • Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops points out (via Twitter) that former Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry was a “big fan” of Kent Bazemore during his time with the Hawks, and suggests that the Pelicans could pursue Bazemore as a free agent this summer. Ferry was officially hired by New Orleans on Wednesday as a special advisor.
  • Evansville center Egidijus Mockevicius, who had previously-reported workouts with Brooklyn and Chicago, also auditioned for the Mavericks, according to agent Pedro Power (Facebook video link via Jo Jo Gentry of 44Sports). Power added that his client will have a workout in Los Angeles, though it’s not clear if it will be for the Lakers or Clippers.