J.J. O’Brien

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

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.

Bucks To Waive Roberts, Johnson, O’Brien

The Bucks intend to waive Jaleel Roberts, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reports (via Twitter).  The Bucks will also waive Orlando Johnson and J.J. O’Brien, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated adds (on Twitter). None of the players have any guaranteed money included in their deals, so Milwaukee won’t be responsible for any money to the trio.

Roberts, 25, played his college ball for UNC-Asheville, going undrafted in 2015 after averaging 7.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG in his senior season. Despite his modest college stats, Roberts received a training camp invite from the Wizards last season, and after being waived by Washington last fall, the seven-footer rejoined the club for Summer League play this July. The big man will likely look to join the NBA D-League, though, since the Bucks do not have an affiliate in the league, they won’t be able to hold onto his rights.

Johnson, 27, has been with four teams in four seasons after being drafted in the second round by the Kings in 2012. He signed two 10-day contracts last season, one with the Suns in February and one with the Pelicans in March. He appeared in two games with Phoenix and five with New Orleans.

An undrafted 24-year-old out of San Diego State, O’Brien played for the Jazz in Summer League action a year ago, then later signed a 10-day contract with the team. However, he only appeared in two regular season contests for Utah. O’Brien spent the majority of the 2015/16 season with the Idaho Stampede, averaging 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.5 SPG for the D-League squad.

Bucks Sign J.J. O’Brien

The Bucks have added a couple more players to their offseason roster, inching closer to the 20-man limit. According to RealGM’s NBA transactions log, Milwaukee has signed free agent wing J.J. O’Brien. RealGM also confirms the team’s previously-reported agreement with Orlando Johnson.

An undrafted 24-year-old out of San Diego State, O’Brien played for the Jazz in Summer League action a year ago, then later signed a 10-day contract with the team. However, he only appeared in two regular season contests for Utah. O’Brien spent the majority of the 2015/16 season with the Idaho Stampede, averaging 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.5 SPG for the D-League squad.

The Bucks already have 15 guaranteed contracts on their books, so O’Brien will have an uphill battle ahead of him as he attempts to earn a roster spot in Milwaukee. In addition to their 15 players with guaranteed salaries, the Bucks have also reportedly reached agreements with Xavier Henry, Ronald Roberts, O’Brien, and Johnson, though the team has yet to formally announce those additions.

[RELATED: Salary Cap Snapshot: Milwaukee Bucks]

While exact details of O’Brien’s and Johnson’s contracts aren’t known, it appears likely that both players got one-year, non-guaranteed deals worth the minimum.

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

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.

And-Ones: D-League, Clippers, Beal, Draft

The recent call-ups of J.J. O’Brien by the Jazz and Keith Appling by the Magic could represent a new trend in how NBA teams use the D-League, according to D-League Digest. They are the first call-ups of the season directly from a franchise’s minor league affiliate, and their familiarity with the parent teams’ systems made them an easy fit. With 10-day contracts limiting the amount of instruction time for new players, it helps to have someone who already understands how a team approaches the game.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • NBA veteran Henry Sims is one of three D-League centers identified as top prospects by Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012, Sims played 121 games with New Orleans, Cleveland and Philadelphia. He is currently averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds for the Grand Rapids Drive. Also on Reichert’s list are 28-year-old Alex Stepheson of the Iowa Energy and 26-year-old Jordan Bachynski of the Westchester Knicks.
  • Dennis Wong, a former college roommate of Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, has bought a small percentage of the team, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The sale amounts to less than 4% of the franchise.
  • Bradley Beal is slowly easing back into the Wizards‘ rotation and hopes to have his minutes restriction raised soon, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Beal, who is headed toward free agency, recently admitted that he may have to deal with restricted playing time for the rest of his career.
  • California’s Ivan Rabb, Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield were the biggest risers in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv details. His top five remains the same with Ben Simmons of LSU, Brandon Ingram of Duke, Dragan Bender of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kris Dunn of Providence and Skal Labissiere of Kentucky.

Western Notes: O’Brien, Suns, Towns

J.J. O’Brien‘s gamble on the D-League has paid off, according to Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune. The 6’7″ forward signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz today and will be available for tonight’s game with the Lakers. O’Brien played for Utah’s summer league team and earned an invitation to training camp. After being cut, he decided to join the franchise’s D-League affiliate in Idaho rather than seek a larger contract with an overseas team. He averaged 9.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 24 games with the Stampede. “I had a pretty good confidence in myself that I could get to this level,” he said. “It’s the ultimate dream to get here. The best way to do that is to be here playing in the D-League.”

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • GM Ryan McDonough is remaining positive about the Suns‘ future, even as losses pile up, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Phoenix has dropped 12 of its last 13 contests, but is still on the edge of the playoff race, trailing eighth seed Utah by just five games. The team’s performance in the next few weeks will determine McDonough’s course of action. “Over the next month or so,” he said, “we’ll evaluate where we are and what our options are and be realistic about who we are as a team and what we can do this year as we get closer to the trade deadline.”
  • Karl-Anthony Towns may have landed with a struggling franchise, but he’s very happy to be in Minnesota, writes John Krawczynski of the Associated Press. The top pick in the 2015 draft has made an immediate impact, averaging 15.7 points and 9.4 rebounds over the first half of the season and putting himself in the race for Rookie of the Year honors. He also feels comfortable in Minneapolis, even though the Wolves are off to a 12-28 start. “I think I’m more and more a part of this community every day,” Towns said. “I love it here. I love absolutely everything here.”

Jazz Sign J.J. O’Brien To 10-Day Contract

The Jazz signed small forward J.J. O’Brien to a 10-day contract, the team announced via press release. O’Brien was with the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate. The Jazz now have 15 players on the roster.

O’Brien averaged 9.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game with the Stampede in 24 appearances.O’Brien’s familiarity with Utah’s system likely factored into the Jazz signing him, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News tweets. The Jazz waived O’Brien in October after he saw little action in the preseason.

The Jazz signed O’Brien to a  minimum salary training camp deal in August. O’Brien, 23, went undrafted last June out of San Diego State and has yet to make his NBA regular season debut. In his NCAA career, O’Brien averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Jazz Waive J.J. O’Brien, Jack Cooley

2:25pm: The moves are official, the team announced.

1:21pm: The Jazz are waiving J.J. O’Brien and Jack Cooley, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link). O’Brien has a $75K partial guarantee that Utah will be responsible for if he clears waivers, while Cooley’s pact is non-guaranteed. They’re the first cuts from the Jazz preseason roster, which shrinks to 18 players, including 13 with fully guaranteed salaries, as our roster count shows.

Neither had seen much playing time in preseason, with Cooley scoring a single basket in six and a half minutes of play spread over two games and O’Brien going scoreless in less than two minutes during his one-game cameo. The 6’9,” 24-year-old Cooley was also with the Jazz last season, when he signed a pair of 10-day contracts followed by a multiyear deal, while the 6’7″ O’Brien, 23, went undrafted this June out of San Diego State.

Cooley was also a training camp cut for the Jazz last fall, and he spent much of the season with Utah’s D-League affiliate before rejoining the NBA roster. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him return to the D-League Idaho Stampede or for O’Brien to follow in his footsteps, though that’s just my speculation. NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they waive, but Utah doesn’t need to use one of those four spots on Cooley since the Stampede already have his D-League rights.

Today’s moves will leave the Jazz with a five-man battle for two regular season roster spots, assuming Utah carries a full 15-man roster on opening night. Jeff Withey and Treveon Graham, with partial guarantees, are up against non-guaranteed holdovers Bryce Cotton, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap. I looked at the battle for regular season roster spots on the Jazz in more detail here.

Who do you think the Jazz will end up keeping for opening night? Leave a comment to tell us.