Geron Johnson

Rockets Sign Richmond, Waive Geron Johnson

The Rockets have made a pair of moves today. The team has signed Akeem Richmond and waived Geron Johnson, the team announced in a press release. These moves do nothing to alleviate Houston’s current preseason roster logjam, and the team still has 20 players under contract. The Rockets will still need to pare down their roster by five prior to the deadline. Signing Richmond this close to the wire is likely aimed at retaining his D-League rights for the season, though the is merely my speculation. It isn’t known yet if Johnson’s deal included any guaranteed money, nor if Richmond’s does.

Johnson was inked only yesterday, with the team waiving Akil Mitchell to clear the required roster slot. Johnson went undrafted this past June, but the Rockets were among the teams that worked him out prior to the draft, and he subsequently joined Houston’s summer league team in July. The 22-year-old guard averaged just 8.9 points in 27.9 minutes per game as a senior with Memphis last season, but he did log 4.9 RPG, excellent numbers from a backcourt player.

The 6’0″ Richmond went undrafted this year out of East Carolina, after spending his first two seasons with Rhode Island. His career collegiate numbers are 11.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG. His career shooting numbers were .384/.384/.824.

Rockets Sign Geron Johnson, Waive Akil Mitchell

The Rockets have signed former University of Memphis shooting guard Geron Johnson and waived power forward Akil Mitchell, the team announced via press release. The terms of the deal for Johnson aren’t immediately clear, but it’s probably a minimum-salary arrangement, perhaps with a nominal guarantee. Houston will be stuck with the $150K partial guarantee on Mitchell’s contract unless another team claims him off waivers.

Johnson went undrafted this past June, but he’s been on Houston’s radar for a while. The Rockets were among the teams that worked him out prior to the draft, and he joined Houston’s summer league team in July. The now 22-year-old Johnson averaged just 8.9 points in 27.9 minutes per game as a senior with the Memphis Tigers last season, but he grabbed 4.9 rebounds per contest even though he’s only 6’3″.

Mitchell also went undrafted this summer and scored his deal with the Rockets shortly before training camp began. Still, he didn’t play in any of the team’s preseason games and a report last week indicated he hadn’t been with the Rockets for several days.

Houston still has 20 players on its roster, and with 15 fully guaranteed contracts plus a non-guaranteed pact with starting point guard Patrick Beverley, the Rockets have a logjam they must resolve by Monday’s deadline for teams to set their opening-night rosters. Johnson seems unlikely to remain with the team into the regular season, so it appears the Rockets are signing him chiefly to be able to claim his D-League rights, though that’s just my speculation.

Draft Notes: Payton, Embiid, Knicks

In Jeff Goodman’s latest mock draft for ESPN (Insiders only), Elfrid Payton gets selected by the Timberwolves at No. 13. In response to that projection, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN said that Minnesota doesn’t have any interest in drafting the former Louisiana Lafayette guard with that pick. It probably won’t matter anyway, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe hears that Payton has been greatly impressive in workouts and won’t slip past the top 10 on draft night (Twitter links).

With that aside, we’ll keep tabs on this evening’s draft-related news here:

  • Add Sweden’s Viktor Gaddefors to the list of players that Memphis is bringing in for a second workout on Wednesday, notes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.
  • The Hornets appear primed to add at least one big man with either the 24th or 45th pick in this year’s draft, and Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer lists Mitch McGary and Johnny O’Bryant as potential targets.
  • Former Florida big man Patric Young is on Phil Jackson’s draft wish list, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman also points out that the Knicks worked out Jahii Carson recently.
  • Following up Andy Katz’s earlier ESPN report that the Kings have three deals in place regarding their No. 8 pick, ESPN’s Marc Stein identified the Celtics, Suns, and 76ers as the potential trading partners.

Earlier updates:

  • The Pelicans are making a concerted effort to acquire a first-round pick, tweets’s David Aldridge.
  • According to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, Joel Embiid is strongly in play for the 76ers at No. 3 and the Magic at No. 4; the worst-case scenario is that Embiid won’t fall past the Kings at No. 8 (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks remain confident that they’ll land a first-round pick and/or a second-round pick in Thursday’s draft, tweets Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
  • The Pistons are without a first-round pick this year, but team president/head coach Stan Van Gundy says that one team picking between No. 26 and No. 30 is open to shedding their pick for the best offer. There’s one team that’s saying “give us your best deal for (our) pick” (Twitter link via Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News). 
  • The Bucks made an unsuccessful attempt to bring in Cleanthony Early for a workout, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
  • In another piece, Woelfel notes that the Spurs, Pacers, and Pistons are among the list of teams that brought second-round hopeful Jamil Wilson in for a workout.
  • The Grizzlies are trying to put together a last minute workout for Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Adams, Joe Harris, and Geron Johnson tomorrow, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.
  • Former Duke swingman Rodney Hood participated in a second workout for the Suns, notes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Kerr, Fernandez, Draft

Money wasn’t the issue for Steve Kerr when he chose the Warriors over the Knicks, as Howard Beck of Bleacher Report hears that New York would have met whatever salary demand he made, as Beck said on the Knickerblogger Podcast. Robert Silverman of provides the transcription.

More from out west:

  • A source close to Rudy Fernandez told The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry that there wasn’t anything to a February report that the Thunder were interested in the four-year NBA veteran, as Mayberry writes amid a chat with readers.
  • The Grizzlies announced they will be holding workouts this Monday for Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jahii Carson, Bryce Cotton, Cleanthony Early, Geron Johnson, and Glenn Robinson III.
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Friday with Kyle Anderson, Devin Oliver, Melvin Johnson III, Tyler Stone, Jeronne Maymon, and Davon Usher, the team announced via Twitter.
  • Darvin Ham is being considered by the Jazz for an assistant coaching position on Quin Snyder‘s staff, reports Jody Genessy of The Deseret News.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Randle, Magic, Eriksson, Capela

Julius Randle and his family deny that there’s anything wrong with his right foot, in spite of a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that the potential top-five pick will likely require surgery. Randle issued his denial in a pair of tweets, while his mother and godfather spoke with Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal and Adam Zagoria of, respectively. The procedure would force Randle to miss six to eight weeks but allow him to start training camp on time, according to Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski’s original report indicated that the surgery wouldn’t affect his draft stock, but later said via Twitter that it was “an issue,” echoing what an NBA executive told Jeff Goodman of, who suggests the injury could indeed affect his stock. NBA teams are worried that putting off surgery will lead to major problems in the future, Wojnarowski tweets. There’s more on Randle amid our latest on the draft:

  • The Celtics, who pick sixth, say Randle has “full clearance” as far as they’re concerned, tweets Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe.
  • Tucker’s report adds the Magic to the teams auditioning Randle.
  • Spanish league shooting guard Marcus Eriksson is pulling out of this year’s draft, agent Andy Miller tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).  Eriksson is No. 80 in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress prospect rankings, but Chad Ford of doesn’t have him ranked. There have been no reports of Eriksson setting up interviews or workouts with teams.
  • Clint Capela is the leading name in a Raptors workout today that also includes LaQuinton Ross, Jamil Wilson and Markel Brown, the team announced (on Twitter).
  • Brown has worked out for the Thunder, a source tells Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Slater also passes along an earlier report from Adam Zagoria of that Kyle Anderson worked out for the team, and another report from Jeremy Rauch of Fox 19 in Cincinnati that adds the Thunder, Heat and Bulls to the list of teams auditioning Semaj Christon (Twitter links).
  • Zach LaVine is among the prospects who’ll show off for the Celtics on Friday, tweets Jeff Goodman of The Celtics are auditioning Luke Hancock and Geron Johnson on top of previously reported names today, as Chris Forsberg of reveals via Twitter.

Eastern Rumors: Stephenson, Nets, Fisher

One GM tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops that Lance Stephenson is probably in line for a three year deal worth $8-10MM annually, adding that the “immaturity” he showed in the playoffs hurt his value to a degree. On talent alone, Stephenson would be worth between $10-12MM a year, the GM believes, according to Scotto. Still, another GM thinks the shooting guard is headed for annual salaries of $4-6MM, while two agents say he’s likely to receive deal along the lines of three years and $18MM, Scotto reports. Scotto also reiterates a February report that cast the Bulls and Hornets among likely suitors for Stephenson. Here’s more from the:

  • Nets GM Billy King won’t rule out trading for a late first-round pick, but Brooklyn’s more likely to end up with a second-rounder, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link). King indicated earlier that the team is thinking about acquiring a selection.
  • The Nets will almost certainly decline their team option for 2015/16 on Marquis Teague‘s rookie scale contract, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. The deadline for a decision on the option, worth more than $2MM, is October 31st this year.
  • Derek Fisher‘s duties when he was union president made him familiar with Knicks owner James Dolan, and Fisher believes he can be successful within in the Knicks organization if he ends up coaching the team, a source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
  • The Bucks have interviewed Dante Exum and will put him through a workout and a physical, as Chad Ford of reports in the latest version of his Insider-only Big Board.
  • Geron Johnson, Justin Simmons and Kendall Williams are among the second-round prospects working out for the Bucks today, the team announced (Twitter link). Milwaukee is also auditioning Devyn Marble, confirming Marble’s own Twitter report.

Draft Notes: Sanchez, McRea, Williams

Here’s the latest information regarding the rapidly approaching NBA Draft:

  • Javon McRea has scheduled workouts with the Bulls, Sixers, Grizzlies, Raptors, and Magic, reports Adam Zagoria of (Twitter link). McRea is projected as a second round pick.
  • Chaz Williams is scheduled to work out for Celtics on Monday, tweets Josh Newman of
  • Jerrelle Benimon will work out on Friday for the Sixers, and has workouts scheduled next week with the Knicks and Bulls, and the following week with the Hawks, Hornets, and Mavericks, reports Jeff Goodman of (Twitter link).
  • Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal looks at the draft prospects and workout schedule of former University of Memphis guard Joe Jackson. Smith adds the Knicks, Rockets and Mavs to the list of teams auditioning Jackson. Jackson’s college teammate Tarik Black will work out for the Grizzlies, and Geron Johnson, another ex-Tiger, will show off for the Knicks and Rockets.
  • Jordan Bachynski tweeted that he worked out for the Bulls today. The 7’2″ center is projected as a possible late second-round pick.
  • Former Nevada point guard Deonte Burton will work out for the Bucks on Thursday, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link).
  • Former St. John’s forward Orlando Sanchez is scheduled to work out with the Sixers on Friday, tweets Zagoria. Sanchez averaged 7.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.4 APG last season.
  • Daniel Leroux of RealGM breaks down the best and worst fits for each projected lottery pick in this year’s draft.