Gani Lawal

Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Anderson, Hardaway

One outgrowth of the Nets‘ record spending spree is depth, and that was on full display on Friday when Brooklyn knocked off the Heat. Paul Pierce, one of the team’s veteran starters who stands to benefit from a bench capable of allowing him to play fewer minutes, acknowledged the advantage to Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News.

“It was huge,” Pierce said. “One to 10, one to 15, we match up pretty much with anybody in the league and we have more depth than anybody in the league, especially when you talk about Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, Andrei Kirilenko, Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson.”

Here’s more on a member of the Nets bench and other notes from Brooklyn’s Atlantic Division rivals:

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Bradley, Lawal

The stripped-down Sixers have somehow managed to start 2-0, with wins over the Wizards and Heat. Still, not all is rosy in Philadelphia, where Evan Turner and GM Sam Hinkie appear to be suffering from a disconnect. Turner has spoken about feeling unwanted with coach Brett Brown, who doesn’t think the issue will cause problems for the team this year, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer observes. Here’s more on the Sixers and their Atlantic Division rivals:

  • Avery Bradley isn’t worried that he and the Celtics couldn’t come to a deal on an extension, and neither is GM Danny Ainge, notes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. “It doesn’t mean anything other than we talk next summer,” Ainge said. “He’s a big piece of our future.”
  • The Sixers waived camp invitee Gani Lawal last week, and he’s headed back to Italy, where he played last season. Lawal has agreed to a deal with Olimpia Milano, reports Chema de Lucas of Gigantes (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Paul Pierce knew weeks before the Celtics traded him to the Nets this summer that his time in Boston was short, writes Chris Mannix of, who examines the attitudinal adjustment Pierce and Kevin Garnett have brought to the Nets.
  • Executives from rival teams are convinced the Celtics have some sort of clause in their six-year contract with Brad Stevens that would allow them to recoup money in case Stevens leaves early, according to Ian Thomsen of That’s an indication of the unusually high stature Stevens has as he enters his first NBA job.

Sixers Cut Rodney Williams, Gani Lawal

SUNDAY, 9:34am: The Sixers officially announced the moves, via Twitter.

SATURDAY, 2:49pm: The Sixers have let go of Rodney Williams and Gani Lawal, a source tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter links). The team will absorb Lawal’s $100K partial guarantee and the $35K partial guarantee on Williams’ contract. Their subtraction leaves the Sixers with 14 players, one under the regular season max and one more than the minimum.

Williams and Lawal appeared to be the most vulnerable among the team’s remaining non-guaranteed players, and Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer predicted yesterday that the last roster spot would come down to one of them (Twitter link). That assumed Philly would carry 15 players, but the team apparently will go with fewer. Cooney speculates on Twitter that Kwame Brown could be next to go, though he’s on a fully guaranteed deal for nearly $3MM and would likely have to agree to a buyout.

Sixers Sign Gani Lawal

SATURDAY, 8:56am: The Sixers confirmed the signing via press release.

FRIDAY, 2:18pm: The 76ers have agreed to sign Gani Lawal to a deal that is partially guaranteed for this season, a source tells Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).  Meanwhile, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link) that it's a multi-year pact.

We heard earlier today that Lawal broke off an agreement with Latvia's VEF Riga in order to sign an NBA contract.  The forward, who was taken with the 46th overall pick by the Suns in 2010, wasn't able to stick in the NBA coming out of school, but has found success overseas.  Lawal spent this past season with Italy's Virtus Roma, averaging 13.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.4 blocks per game.  He worked out for the Pacers, Raptors, and Magic this summer and possibly other clubs, but his reintroduction to the NBA will be in Philadelphia.

To keep up with the whereabouts of the top international talent, be sure to check out Hoops Rumors' International Tracker.

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Gani Lawal To Sign With NBA Team

Forward Gani Lawal is signing with an unknown NBA team, a source told Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (on Twitter).  Lawal just parted ways with VEF Riga shortly after agreeing to a deal.

To date, Lawal has a whopping two minutes of NBA experience to his credit.  However, as we learned back in May, the forward caught the attention of several teams with his play overseas.  The Pacers, Raptors, and Magic all scheduled Lawal for workouts and four or five other clubs were said to be considering it.  

Lawal spent this past season with Italy's Virtus Roma, averaging 13.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.4 blocks per game. The 24-year-old has reportedly lost weight and added strength since he was drafted by the Suns with the 46th overall pick out of Georgia Tech in 2010.  

Lawal was in training camp with the Spurs in 2011, but San Antonio cut him before the start of the regular season.

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International Notes: Murphy, Lawal, Johnson

So far today, the international rumor mill is a little busier than the NBA version, so let's round up a few of the latest reports on various teams overseas….

  • Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports that unrestricted free agent Kevin Murphy will sign with France's SIG Strasbourg. Murphy was selected by the Jazz in the second round of last year's draft, and spent time in both Utah and Reno, with the D-League's Bighorns. The 23-year-old guard was included as the only outgoing piece from Utah to Golden State in the trade that landed the Jazz several expiring contracts and future draft picks, and was later waived by the Warriors.
  • 6'9" forward Gani Lawal has signed with VEF Riga of Latvia, according to the team (hat tip to Sportando). After being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Suns, Lawal appeared in just one regular-season game for Phoenix, but had reportedly been drawing NBA interest again this offseason.
  • Former Celtics big man JaJuan Johnson has signed with Italy's Giorgio Tesi Pistoia, the team announced (translation via Sportando). Johnson was drafted 27th overall in 2011 and spent the 2011/12 season in Boston before being included last summer in the three-way trade that sent Courtney Lee to the C's. After being cut by the Rockets, Johnson played for three D-League teams in '12/13.

Zwerling On Knicks, Ivan Johnson, Humphries

Jared Zwerling of has tweeted a string of updates on the Knicks today, as we've noted in a pair of posts. Marc Berman of the New York Post delivered plenty more on the Knicks earlier today, and this evening Zwerling delivers a full story on the latest from New York. We'll hit the highlights from Zwerling's piece here:

  • The Knicks and Ivan Johnson are discussing a potential deal. The former Hawks power forward had been holding out for a team to commit its mini mid-level exception to him, but his interest in the Knicks, who can only offer the minimum, indicates that his price may have come down.
  • The Knicks' interest in Kris Humphries is mutual, but the Celtics are still unlikely to buy him out.
  • Other big men the Knicks are considering include Cole Aldrich, Hamed Haddadi, Jerome Jordan, Gani Lawal, Shavlik Randolph and Henry Sims.
  • The Knicks remain interested in Beno Udrih and Bobby Brown, but Zwerling confirms Berman's report that the team is no longer looking at Delonte West.
  • Berman wrote that the Knicks are expected to invite Toure Murry to training camp, and Zwerling hears that the team will do the same with "a few young developmental point guards."

International Notes: Colton Iverson, Mbakwe, Lawal

We'll keep track of tonight's relevant international basketball rumblings below: 

  • Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy tweets that Christian Eyenga and Craig Brackins have signed with Stelmet Zielona Gora of the Euroleague. Eyenga, a former first-round pick by the Cavaliers, was last seen in the NBA as a member of the Lakers during the 2011-12 season. Brackins' last stint in the NBA was with the 76ers during the 2011-12 season as well. 
  • 2013 second round pick Colton Iverson had reportedly reached a two-year agreement to play for Besiktas, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. However, Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) cites a league source that says Iverson has not agreed in principle or signed a deal with anyone. 
  • Carchia also notes that undrafted prospect Trevor Mbakwe will head to Italy next season to play for Virtus Roma. 
  • Interestingly enough, Carchia writes that Mbakwe will replace Gani Lawal, who we've heard had been drawing NBA interest from at least four teams early in June. 

Western Notes: Hollins, Suns, Liggins, Kings

After appearing on Memphis radio to express surprise and disappointment at his current situation with the Grizzlies, head coach Lionel Hollins reiterated to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he's still holding out hope for a contract extension.

"I hope things can work out and I think things can work out," Hollins said. "I'm happy in Memphis. I've been there for a long time. My kids went to school in Memphis. My son graduated as a doctor in Memphis. My daughter is a grad student at the University of Memphis. I love the city of Memphis and really want to be there. I have no reason to want to leave."

Despite Hollins' comments, Grizzlies management is still upset that the head coach didn't publicly support the Rudy Gay trade, according to Spears. It appears the team and Hollins will end up going their separate ways, with the Grizzlies coach potentially receiving interest from the Clippers and Nets.

Here's more from around the Western Conference:

Atlantic Notes: Ujiri, Raptors, Knicks, Lawal

Masai Ujiri is the new man in charge in Toronto and he's not wasting any time in making changes to the Raptors organization.  Here's more on that and other news out of the Atlantic..

  • After letting Ed Stefanski and several scouts go, Ujiri is quickly moving to re-staff the front office, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.  League sources say the Raptors have already conducted interviews with assistant coach hopefuls Nick Nurse of the Rio Grande Vipers of the D League, Nets assistant Popeye Jones, and ex-NBA player Tyronn Lue.  No one on the current staff is signed past June 30th and and it’s expected none will be in town this week when some players come back for workout sessions with the team’s training staff.
  • Well-regarded scout Maury Hanks is among the people that have been let go by Ujiri, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  Hanks spent more than a decade with the Nets before joining the Raptors organization.
  • The Knicks are interested in Gani Lawal, agent Dan Curtin tells Jared Zwerling of  The Knicks are "interested" in Lawal and will likely work him out after he finishes the season with Italian team Virtus Roma.  Curtin said he could envision a one-year contract at the minimum level with an NBA team.  Lawal played with the Iman Shumpert at Georgia Tech from 2008-10.