Erick Green

International Notes: Motiejunas, McCallum, Vaughn, A. Williams

Former NBA big man Donatas Motiejunas has decided not to participate when the Chinese Basketball Association resumes play on June 20, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia posted a photo of Motiejunas boarding a flight this morning to his native Lithuania.

The seven-footer is in his third season in China, signing with the Shanghai Sharks last summer. He was averaging 22.8 points and 15.1 rebounds through 28 games when the CBA was placed on hiatus. He reportedly passed up opportunities with the Suns and Timberwolves earlier this season.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • The Sharks are discussing a contract extension with former Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies guard Ray McCallum, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. McCallum spent time in the G League last year and signed with Shanghai in the fall.
  • Former NBA guard Rashad Vaughn will play next season for KK Buducnost in the Montenegrin Basketball League, Carchia writes. Vaughn also played in the G League last year.
  • Buducnost VOLI is hoping to sign Erick Green for next season, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The former Nuggets and Jazz point guard spent time in China and Spain this year.
  • Alan Williams has agreed to an extension with Lokomotiv Kuban, according to Carchia. The former Suns and Nets big man averaged a double-double during his first season in Russia.
  • FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis addressed several topics during an interview with Sam Corp of SportsPro, including plans for the Basketball Africa League, which was set to begin in March, but had to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I believe this project has the potential of making our sport on the men’s side what is already on the women’s side the most popular team sport on the continent,” Zagklis said. “Of course, the NBA has an ambition to become the top lifestyle brand on the continent, and the NBA is the best men’s league in the world, and their promotional capabilities are great. I believe that now, as a new product, building on the tradition of the African Champions Cup that has been organised by FIBA Africa in the past, this can really bring a level of popularity of basketball in the continent like we have never seen before.”

Pelicans Continue To Seek Point Guard Depth

The Pelicans remain on the lookout for point guard depth, according to Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate, who tweets that the club is hoping to add another player to its camp roster at that position.

As we relayed last week, New Orleans recently worked out veteran point guard Ty Lawson, along with Tyrone Wallace, who was a two-way player for the Clippers last season. In addition to those free agents, the Pelicans have also taken a closer look at Darius Morris and Erick Green, per Kushner.

A former second-round pick who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2015, Morris has played extensively for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League and also spent some time in China with the Guangdong Southern Tigers last season.

Green, a former standout at Virginia Tech, has played primarily overseas in recent years, having been a member of Valencia in Spain during the 2017/18 campaign. The 6’3″ guard averaged a team-high 14.4 PPG in 28 EuroLeague contests with Valencia, making 41.7% of his three-pointers.

Currently, Jrue Holiday, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Jackson highlight the Pelicans’ point guard depth chart. However, Jackson has yet to appear in an NBA game after missing his rookie year with a broken foot, and New Orleans was fond of playing Holiday off the ball alongside Rajon Rondo last year, so the All-Defensive guard figures to see action at the two again in 2018/19.

The Pelicans only have 12 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Jahlil Okafor, Emeka Okafor, Troy Williams, and DeAndre Liggins among the other veterans vying for roster spots. With one opening left on their 20-man offseason roster, the Pelicans may bring in a point guard to compete for a spot on the 15-man regular season squad as well.

And-Ones: Tarczewski, Green, Fegan, MVP Race

Center Kaleb Tarczewski is leaving the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, to play for Italy’s Olimpia Milano. He is signing a three-month contract to join the Italian champions with an option for next year, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia relays via La Gazzetta dello Sport. As Chris Reichert for The Step Back tweets, this is a big loss for the Blue with the D-League playoffs on the horizon. He was averaging 10.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG for the Blue. Tarczewski went undrafted last June after he averaged 9.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG in his senior year at Arizona.

In other news around the NBA:

  • Former Nuggets and Jazz guard Erick Green, who is playing for the Euroleague’s Olympiacos, could get another shot with an NBA team this offseason as a backup point, Trevor Magnotti of reports. Backup point guards will be at a premium this summer, Magnotti continues, and Green is a solid defender who has improved his offensive play. Green is also believed to have an opt-out clause if an NBA club comes calling, Magnotti adds. Green played in a combined nine games for the Nuggets and Jazz last season and 43 with Denver in 2014/15.
  • Agent Dan Fegan has been sued by his former employer, Independent Sports & Entertainment, for alleged unfair business practices, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Daily. One of the claims in the suit filed in Los Angeles by Independent Sports & Entertainment is that Fegan operated a side business which steered business away from ISE, Mullen continues. Howard Weitzman, Fegan’s attorney, called the side business claim  “a total fabrication,” Mullen tweets.
  • A survey of NBA executives puts James Harden ahead of the pack for the MVP race but it’s close, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. The newspaper polled 32 executives, including 20 GMs or team presidents, and 12 voted for Harden. Russell Westbrook received eight votes, Kawhi Leonard garnered seven and LeBron James picked up five.

Northwest Notes: Henderson, Jazz, Wolves

Earlier in his career, Gerald Henderson‘s top priority as a free agent might have been to find a team that would give him the opportunity to start. However, with his Trail Blazers contract set to expire, Henderson will prioritize contending teams this offseason, recognizing that being a starter isn’t as important to him as it once was.

“It’s great to start; starting the game is a special thing,” Henderson said, according to Cody Sharrett of “To be a starter in the NBA is a cool thing, I’ve done it for a long time, but what’s really more important to me is playing significant minutes in times where a team needs you and more of your impact while you’re out on the floor – just being a part of what’s going on. You look at different teams, sometimes the best player comes off the bench, it all depends on what kind of team you have. I’d probably say three or four years ago, [starting] was much more important to me.”

Let’s check in on a few more items from out of the Northwest…

  • The Jazz are hosting six more players for pre-draft workouts today, the team announced (via Twitter). The list of participants: Josh Gray (LSU), Rosco Allen (Stanford), Tanner Plomb (West Point), Trey Lewis (Louisville), Brannen Greene (Kansas), and James Webb III (Boise State).
  • The Timberwolves worked out Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere individually on Tuesday, and also had Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Tim Quarterman (LSU), Wes Washpun (Northern Iowa), Devin Thomas (Wake Forest), and Josh Scott (Colorado) in for a group workout, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter links). Damion Lee (Louisville) had also been scheduled to participate, but pulled out due to an injury.
  • The Trail Blazers are hosting multiple free agent mini-camps and are saying they may end up signing multiple participants from those camps, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Russ Smith and Erick Green were among the free agents in attendance at Portland’s first veteran mini-camp.
  • As Erik Horne of The Oklahoman details, Andre Roberson enjoyed a breakout season in 2015/16, and is becoming a reliable two-way wing just in time for the opening of his contract extension window. If the Thunder don’t sign Roberson to an extension this year, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.

Western Notes: Martin, Howard, Green

The Trail Blazers didn’t want to part with any of their young core of players at this year’s trade deadline, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes. “We went into the trade deadline trying to be opportunistic,” Portland president of basketball operations Neil Olshey told Freeman. “We wanted to gather assets. Clearly this group is really overachieving. There’s a lot of young guys that have a future and we wanted to make sure we were giving them the chance to win. We didn’t want to touch the core group of guys that have exceeded expectations. [Coach] Terry [Stotts] is comfortable with those guys, they’re doing what we need them to do on the court. But we need things in the future to continue to build the roster and that’s what we did today.

There is a chance that the team will re-sign Tim Frazier, who was waived earlier today, Freeman adds. “Tim was a casualty. He’s been great for us,” Olshey said. “He’s great in the locker room, he’s close with our guys. We told him, ‘Look, if we don’t have an opportunity to add another player at your position, we would look at bringing you back if you clear waivers.’ I can’t speak to that right now. But at the time he was the most viable candidate to be waived to create the roster spot for Anderson Varejao.” Varejao was subsequently waived by Portland.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Timberwolves GM Milt Newton said the team hasn’t discussed a potential buyout arrangement with shooting guard Kevin Martin but added that it’s a conversation that will probably come up in the near future, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune relays (on Twitter). Martin, who possesses a player option worth nearly $7.378MM for next season, was reportedly a trade deadline target of the Knicks, but the teams didn’t strike a deal. The 33-year-old has appeared in 35 games for Minnesota this season and is averaging 11.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.6 minutes per night.
  • The Grizzlies‘ players have let team management know that they don’t want newly acquired swingman Lance Stephenson waived, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey noted that the team never came close to trading center Dwight Howard, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays (Twitter links). “It was going to have to take something significant to make us look at anything and even then we probably wouldn’t have,” Morey said. “Part of my job is I have to explore everything. We believe in James [Harden] and Dwight together.
  • Numerous teams were interested in Howard, but any deal was contingent on the big man agreeing to opt in next season, something Howard wasn’t keen on, relays Marc Stein of “Not surprisingly, as the deadline approached, several teams called stating they had worked out the trade parameters with Houston for a Dwight deal but were not prepared to give up their assets unless Dwight agreed to opt into the last year of his contract and forgo free agency. Dwight declined,” Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, said.
  • Point guard Erick Green has officially rejoined the Reno Bighorns following the expiration of his second 10-day pact with the Jazz, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (via Twitter). Reno is the D-League affiliate of the Kings.
  • The Jazz have assigned big man Tibor Pleiss to the Idaho Stampede, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Pleiss’ fourth stint in the D-League on the season.

Northwest Notes: Rubio, Martin, Foye, Green

Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who holds sway over the team’s personnel decisions, has a longstanding admiration for Ricky Rubio, and while the Timberwolves haven’t been looking for Rubio trades, they’re likely to do so this summer, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Other recent reports have indicated that Rubio is currently on the block, though Minnesota doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to deal him for the time being, judging by Wojnarowski’s reporting. See more from Minnesota amid the latest from around the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin is unlikely to end up in a trade unless he turns down his player option, worth nearly $7.378MM for next season, league sources told Wojnarowski for the same piece. Martin probably won’t do that, since he’d have a tough time making up that money on the free agent market this summer.
  • Randy Foye‘s eminently positive locker room presence appeals to the Nuggets, who won’t be quick to give him up, according to Wojnarowski. The Heat reportedly have interest, and Wojnarowski suggests others do as well.
  • Erick Green, whose second 10-day contract with the Jazz expired Sunday, will return to the D-League affiliate of the Kings, a league source tells Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link).
  • Joey Dorsey, whom the Nuggets acquired in the Ty Lawson trade this past summer and later waived in a buyout, has left Turkey’s Galatasaray and will sign with Barcelona of Spain, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter links).

Western Notes: Green, Rockets, McDaniels, Lillard

Erick Green won’t mind missing the D-League All-Star Game next week after signing a second 10-day contract with the Jazz, writes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Green has only seen nine minutes of playing time in three games with Utah, but the 6’3″ guard has managed to impress coach Quin Snyder. “We felt like he’s done everything we’ve asked of him and the minutes that he has played he’s played pretty good,” Snyder said. “Some of it is a question of we’ve had a couple situations where guys are getting bumped and banged up a little bit and we feel good about what he brings.”

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Today’s lopsided loss to the Blazers is the latest evidence that the Rockets need a complete makeover, according to Calvin Watkins of Houston is 27-26 a year after reaching the Western Conference finals, and there have been rumblings for some time that changes are needed. The Rockets are over the luxury tax threshold and facing a hard cap, so GM Daryl Morey is limited in what he can do.
  • The Rockets have assigned K.J. McDaniels to their D-League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, the team tweeted today.
  • New teammates surround the BlazersDamian Lillard this year, but the move that bothers him most is LaMarcus Aldridge‘s decision to sign with the Spurs, according to Sam Amick of USA Today“I would have loved nothing more than to have him back,” Lillard said of Aldridge. “To have another All-Star on the team was good for me. I was happy with it. I reached out to him a bunch of times [before and during free agency], but I think he had got to the point where he thought maybe the organization was choosing me over him. And to this day, I still tell people that it’s not my team, it’s [owner] Paul Allen’s team, and I was willing to be the best complement I could to LaMarcus Aldridge. I expressed that to him multiple times, but I think it just came down to him being ready to move on to a new situation.” Portland lost four of its starters over the offseason, with Wesley Matthews signing with the Mavericks, Robin Lopez signing with the Knicks and Nicolas Batum being traded to the Hornets.

Jazz Sign Erick Green To Second 10-Day Contract

The Jazz have signed point guard Erick Green to a second 10-day contract, the team announced. His first expired overnight. The latest deal will cover four games, against the Bucks, Suns, Mavericks and Pelicans. It’s set to end before the February 18th trade deadline, leaving Utah to decide whether to re-sign Green for the duration of the season or leave him in free agency and keep an open roster spot. The other 14 Jazz players are signed through at least the end of the season.

Green originally joined the Jazz the day after starting point guard Raul Neto suffered a concussion in a game against the Pistons, but Neto returned to play in time for Utah’s next game and hasn’t missed any time since. Green has only seen six total minutes of playing time with the Jazz, scoring four points, but it appears the team is interested in keeping him around nonetheless. He was the 46th overall pick in the 2013 draft and averaged 26.7 points, 4.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers per game in 23 D-League appearances after the Nuggets let him go earlier this season.

Utah has reportedly considered a pursuit of Hawks trade candidate Jeff Teague, but the Jazz have often gone without a point guard on the floor this season, using a three-wing lineup while Neto and backup Trey Burke sit. Dante Exum, who started 41 games at the position as a rookie last year, is out for the season with a torn ACL, but the team apparently remains 100% committed to him, leaving it unclear where a developing prospect like Green would fit in.

Western Notes: Howard, Morris, Brown, Kilpatrick

Conflicting reports abound on whether the Rockets have explored trading Dwight Howard lately and whether they have a desire to move him. The Rockets have engaged teams about Howard but set a high asking price, league sources told Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), a notion that runs counter to the idea that Houston hasn’t had any Howard trade talk since December, as a source told Calvin Watkins and Marc Stein of and as we passed along Wednesday night. The trade market for Howard is relatively limited anyway, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News hears, and that apparently extends to free agency, at least as far as the Mavericks are concerned. Dallas doesn’t have interest in giving the center a maximum-salary deal, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick, though Howard’s former teammate and recruiter extraordinaire Chandler Parsons spoke to Amick about his desire to play again with Howard, as Amick relays. See more from the Western Conference:

Jazz Sign Erick Green To 10-Day Contract

12:03pm: The deal is official, the team announced. Utah plays four games over the next 10 days.

8:16am: The Jazz will sign former Nuggets point guard Erick Green to a 10-day contract, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The move will compensate for the loss of Raul Neto, who suffered a concussion in Monday’s game. Utah has an open roster spot following the expiration of J.J. O’Brien‘s 10-day contract Monday, so no corresponding move is necessary.

Green has been impressive since joining the D-League affiliate of the Kings in November. The 24-year-old has averaged 26.7 points, 4.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers in 39.0 minutes per contest across 23 games. He’s also nailed 48.1% of his 154 3-point attempts, showing off a long-distance stroke that didn’t register in his time in the NBA with the Nuggets. Green is a 29.2% 3-point shooter in the NBA, though he’s attempted only 48 shots in limited playing time. The 46th overall pick from 2013 signed with Denver before last season after spending a year playing with Mens Sana Siena of Italy, but the Nuggets waived him in early November to sign Kostas Papanikolaou, who’s no longer with Denver.

The 10-day deal will be worth $49,709. Green already pocketed $100K from his partial guarantee with the Nuggets. It’s unclear how long Neto will be out, or whether the Jazz have any intention of keeping Green past the expiration of his 10-day if Neto returns to action quickly. Utah has shown reluctance to add to its point guard depth all season in the wake of Dante Exum‘s offseason injury, preferring to give significant minutes to a lineup with three wing players.

Should the Jazz keep Green even after Neto returns? Leave a comment to tell us.