Jameer Nelson

44 Prospects Invited To G League Elite Camp

Forty-four prospects for the 2024 NBA draft were invited to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link).

The list of players is as follows:

The field of draft prospects scrimmage for two days in Chicago starting on May 11 ahead of the NBA’s annual draft combine. If players perform well enough, they’re often promoted to the larger combine immediately following the G League Elite Camp. Typically, at least a half dozen players move on.

While the combine usually focuses on the top-ranked players in each draft class, the G League Elite Camp offers opportunity to prospects further down boards who are more likely to go undrafted. Of the 44 names invited to the G League Elite Camp, only 16 rank among ESPN’s top 100 prospects. No prospect ranks higher than No. 48 (Onyenso) on ESPN’s board.

Nine of ESPN’s top 100 prospects have not been invited to Chicago for either event: Armel Traore (France), Zacharie Perrin (France), Andrija Jelavic (Croatia), Yannick Kraag (Netherlands), Tre Mitchell (Kentucky), Ilias Kamardine (France), Dylan Disu (Texas), Riley Minix (Morehead State) and Jonas Aidoo (Tennessee). According to Givony (Twitter link), the NBA might not announce the official list until Monday, so there’s a chance it’s amended.

The G League Elite Camp will give invitees who declared for the draft as early entrants an opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the draft withdrawal deadline on May 29. Not all of the players who participate in this event will remain in the draft pool.

Last year, future NBA players like Hornets forward Leaky Black, Pistons forward Tosan Evbuomwan, Mavericks forward Alex Fudge, Celtics guard Drew Peterson and Nets guard Jaylen Martin all participated in the event. Other recent notable alums of the event include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and Clippers guard Terance Mann.

Jameer Nelson Named GM Of Sixers’ G League Team

Jameer Nelson has received a promotion, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports that the longtime NBA guard has been named the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers‘ G League affiliate.

Nelson has been with the organization since 2020, when he was hired as a scout for the 76ers and as the Blue Coats’ assistant GM.

The 41-year-old appeared in 878 regular season games as an NBA player from 2004-18, averaging 11.3 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per contest for the Magic, Mavericks, Celtics, Nuggets, Pelicans, and Pistons. He earned All-Star honors for the 2008/09 Orlando team that advanced to the NBA Finals.

Nelson’s performance as an executive earned him a mention back in July from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who took a closer look at rising execs around the NBA and noted that Nelson’s work in Philadelphia has made him a “valued member” of the organization’s front office. This promotion reflects that.

Nelson will be taking over the GM role from Prosper Karangwa, who is moving into a “more prominent” position in the 76ers’ front office, per Wojnarowski, after putting together the Blue Coats roster that won last season’s G League championship.

Former Warriors Exec Bob Myers Likely To Get Job Offers

Bob Myers indicated that he wanted some time away from the game when he stepped down as president of basketball operations and general manager of the Warriors, but fans should expect to hear his name mentioned in connection to any openings that arise in the next few months, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The most obvious team for Myers, according to Fischer, is the Clippers because of his longtime association with team consultant Jerry West and the working relationship they developed during their time together with Golden State. Myers spent more than a decade with the Warriors and helped to win four championships, so Fischer believes he’ll be among the first names that any team will call if it decides to shake up its front office.

Fischer identifies a few other former general managers who may be in line for a second chance, including ex-Utah GM Dennis Lindsey, who is currently working in the Mavericks‘ front office, Kings assistant GM Wes Wilcox, who has rebuilt his reputation after his experience in Atlanta, and former Orlando GM Rob Hennigan, who is VP of basketball operations with the Thunder.

Fischer passes along more information about rising stars in NBA front offices:

  • Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon was among the candidates to become the Wizards’ president of basketball operations and he’ll likely be considered for similar jobs in the future, Fischer writes. Raptors GM Bobby Webster, Cavaliers GM Mike Gansey and new Clippers GM Trent Redden all appear headed for team president roles someday, Fischer adds.
  • Jeff Peterson, the Nets‘ assistant GM, is considered one of the league’s best young executives, according to Fischer. Peterson interviewed for the Pistons’ GM slot in 2020, and Fischer hears that he’s viewed as one of the favorites to take over the Hornets if they decide to replace Mitch Kupchak, who’s in the final year of his contract. Pelicans assistant GM Bryson Graham could be first in line to replace Langdon if he leaves, but league sources tell Fischer that he might get an opportunity with another team before that happens.
  • Tayshaun Prince is a valuable member of the Grizzlies‘ front office and has received overtures about running other teams, according to Fischer. Among other former NBA players, Jameer Nelson has built a strong reputation in the Sixers‘ front office for his work with their G League affiliate, and Acie Law appears headed for a promotion with the Thunder after Will Dawkins was hired by the Wizards.
  • Fischer identifies CAA’s Austin Brown as an agent who might move into a front office role, noting that he was a candidate to run the Bulls in 2020. Fischer also singles out agents Jason Glushon and Todd Ramasar, along with Kirk Berger, a legal counsel with the players’ union.

Sixers Hire Jameer Nelson As Scout, G League Exec

NOVEMBER 11: Nelson’s hiring is now official, with the Delaware Blue Coats announcing he has joined the team as its assistant general manager and will also assist the 76ers in their scouting efforts.

OCTOBER 21: Former NBA point guard Jameer Nelson is poised to join the Sixers‘ front office, according to John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia, who hears from sources that the 76ers are hiring Nelson as a scout and as the assistant GM of the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G League affiliate.

The 20th overall pick in the 2004 draft, Nelson spent 14 seasons in the NBA, averaging 11.3 PPG and 5.1 APG across 878 regular season contests, earning All-Star honors for the Magic in 2009. He last appeared in the league during the 2017/18 season, when he played a total of 50 games for the Pelicans and Pistons.

About a month before the 2019/20 season began, Nelson said he hadn’t given up on the idea of making an NBA comeback and was putting off retirement for the time being. However, after not catching on with a team over the last year, it sounds like he’s prepared to transition into the next stage of his career.

Nelson’s agreement with the Sixers will represent a homecoming of sorts for the 38-year-old. Nelson grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania and played his college ball at Saint Joseph’s before going pro.

The Sixers have been making an effort to revamp their front office around general manager Elton Brand this offseason, with Nelson’s hiring representing the latest part of that effort. The team is also bringing aboard Peter Dinwiddie as executive VP of basketball operations and Prosper Karangwa in a key scouting role.

Atlantic Notes: Lowry, Brown, Miller, Prince

Long-tenured Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.8 PPG, 7.6 APG, and 5.0 RPG during Toronto’s excellent 22-10 start to the season. That win percentage would translate to 56 regular season victories if Toronto sustained its pace, just a two-game depreciation since losing their 2019 Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, to the Clippers in the offseason. Lowry and breakout star forward Pascal Siakam have picked up the slack in Leonard’s absence.

The 33 year-old, a five-time All-Star for the Raptors, credits retired point guard Jameer Nelson with helping him navigate the NBA to reach his current position, as one of the most important leaders for one of the league’s best teams.

“Nobody knows this, but to this day, I thank Jameer for helping me get to where I am,” Lowry told The Athletic’s Michael Lee. “Whenever he text[s] me, I text him, I tell him, ‘You’re the reason I even understand how to work.'” In the summer of 2005, following his rookie season for the Magic, Nelson began mentoring Lowry, then coming off his freshman season for Villanova. Lowry has been with the Raptors since the 2012/13 season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Wing Jaylen Brown, currently enjoying a breakout year for the ascendent Celtics, has a chance to make his first All-Star squad during his fourth season, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. However, that is hardly Brown’s focus. “I’m not really paying attention to [the All-Star buzz],” Brown claimed after a post-practice workout. “It would be extremely dope to even be mentioned in the conversation. To be honest, I still think I can be a lot better. I think the best is yet to come for me this season.”
  • Marc Berman of the New York Post tracks how new Knicks head coach Mike Miller’s success with the team makes David Fizdale defenders look bad. Berman specifically cites Fizdale’s defensive planning, his unnecessarily rankling players, and not involving all his assistant coaches equally for in-game strategizing. Steve Popper of Newsday concurs that the Knicks’ play has improved under Miller. New York is 5-6 under its new coach; the team was 4-18 under Fizdale this season.
  • Nets forward Taurean Prince is currently shooting a career-worst 37.3% from the field. His shooting struggles have taken their toll on Brooklyn, according to the New York Post’s Mollie Walker. “I think he’s going through a cold spell,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson reflected in post-practice comments on Friday. “I told him today, he’s a 40 percent career 3-point shooter, he’s got to keep shooting.”

Jameer Nelson Not Ready To Formally Retire

Longtime point guard Jameer Nelson hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since March of 2018, but he tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic that he hasn’t given up on resuming his career if a team expresses interest.

“I continue to stay in shape just in case somebody calls,” Nelson said. “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Although Nelson is still working out in case he gets another opportunity, he sounds as if he’s prepared to move onto the next phase of his career, according to Robbins, who writes that the 37-year-old is interested in finding broadcasting work. Nelson participated in the NBPA’s four-day broadcaster training program in June and is intrigued by the idea of becoming a color commentator.

“I love talking about the game, I love giving my knowledge,” Nelson told Robbins. “I played for 14 years (in the NBA), so I know situations, I know styles of play. If you listen to a guy who has played at a high level for a long time, I’m sure you can learn something.

“… I just have to get the reps,” he added. “Get the reps and be me.”

Nelson has appeared in 878 total regular season games for the Magic, Mavericks, Celtics, Nuggets, Pelicans, and Pistons since entering the league in 2004, earning an All-Star nod and a Finals appearance with Orlando in 2009.

He put up some of the worst numbers of his career in 2017/18 with New Orleans and Detroit, but was an effective contributor the year before for Denver, averaging 9.2 PPG and 5.1 APG on .444/.388/.714 shooting in 75 games (27.3 MPG) for the Nuggets.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2018: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons made it clear with their midseason blockbuster that they’re interested in competing in the Eastern Conference right away. While we won’t truly know the outcome of the Blake Griffin trade until the roster logs a full, reasonably healthy season together, there’s no denying that the franchise is committed to this core for better or worse.

With over $117MM already on the books for 2018/19, president Stan Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower have little room to get cute in free agency this summer. For that reason, the Pistons will have to rely primarily on in-house upgrades, and any reinforcements that do come from elsewhere will need to be modest.

James Ennis, SF, 28 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $6MM deal in 2016James Ennis of the Detroit Pistons
The Pistons brought Ennis aboard in one of their deadline-day deals, seemingly desperate to pad their core with solid veterans. While Ennis is typically a glue guy, capable of knocking down shots and contributing defensively, it’s hard to imagine that he showed enough during his half-season in Detroit to justify a raise — or even a similar contract to his current deal. The Pistons could benefit from having Ennis’ toughness on the perimeter as they look to establish themselves in the East, but they could probably seek out that skill-set on the cheap if they want to trim their overall payroll.

Jameer Nelson, PG, 36 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
One can’t fault Van Gundy for turning to a former pupil to help his current team take the next step, but the acquisition of Nelson has to be considered – by and large – a disappointment. The veteran point guard only played seven games during his time with the Pistons and was usurped on the depth chart by Dwight Buycks. With Reggie Jackson back in the fold for 2018/19, the team will already have three relatively capable options at the point, leaving little room for Nelson.

Anthony Tolliver, PF, 32 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in 2017
It was a disappointing season for the Pistons, but one consistent presence that helped provide stability as the club dealt with injuries and personnel turnover was Tolliver. Fresh off the second-highest scoring year of his 10-year career, Tolliver will be an intriguing free agency option for contenders looking to add veteran leadership. He stepped up in 2017/18, showing that he’s more than just a solid locker-room presence, shooting 43.3% from beyond the arc while registering an offensive rating of 125. If the Pistons truly plan on breaking into the postseason picture next season, they’d be wise to bring the 32-year-old combo forward back, since he can fit into whatever role or position the team needs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Griffin, Nelson, Postseason

The Pistons announced this week that injured guard Reggie Jackson has entered the next stage of his rehab as he recovers from a sprained ankle. Jackson has been out of action since late December as the Pistons have remained on the periphery of a postseason run.

As Ansar Khan of MLive.com writes, Jackson is cleared for light running and shooting. Per head coach Stan Van Gundy and Jackson himself, there is no indication that his recovery is being hindered in any way.

“I feel good that I’m getting better, but still not quite where I want to be,” Jackson said. “No setbacks. Wake up, it feels good. Some days it feels a little bit worse or a little bit better, but there’s nothing I’m doing that’s damaging it, so I’m just trying to get better, strengthen it and continue to get my cardio and making sure I’m taking care of it.”

The Pistons are 1.5 games behind the Heat for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. A healthy Jackson joining midseason acquisition Blake Griffin and stalwart center Andre Drummond would help the Pistons’ mission to make the postseason.

Check out other Pistons news and notes below:

  • Since acquiring Griffin, the Pistons have not had much time to familiarize him with the team’s offensive strategies. With 25 games left, head coach Stan Van Gundy is determined to speed up that process, NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes. “Blake’s different than anybody we’ve had at that spot,” Van Gundy said. “We’re not going to plug him in to what Tobias and (Anthony Tolliver) do. You’ve got to try to play through him more and get him in positions closer to the basket. You’ve actually having to do some stuff new to everybody and that’s been a challenge – a significant challenge.”
  • Jameer Nelson was traded to the Pistons on deadline day, unsure of what his role would be for the rest of the season. Rod Beard of The Detroit News analyzes Nelson rejoining his former coach in Orlando, Van Gundy, and how the veteran point guard expects to fit in the rest of the way.
  • The Pistons would not be in the playoffs if the season ended today, but the team still has a realistic shot at sneaking in as the eighth seed. John Niyo of The Detroit News examines Detroit’s chances to make a postseason run and how several players on the team view the last 25 games.

Central Notes: Bulls, Nelson, J.R. Smith, Pacers

The Bulls need to get more serious about tanking and start making moves to improve their lottery chances, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com argues. Cristiano Felicio, Paul Zipser, Noah Vonleh and Cameron Payne should receive a lot more playing time, while veterans like Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday should have their minutes reduced, Friedell says. Holding out Zach LaVine on the second game of back-to-backs would also facilitate the cause, Friedell adds.

Also around the Central Division:

  • Small forward James Ennis and point guard Jameer Nelson have jumped right into the Pistons’ rotation after being acquired just before the trade deadline. Ennis, who was traded by the Grizzlies for forward Brice Johnson and a future second-round pick, has averaged 9.5 PPG and 17.5 MPG over the past two games. Nelson, who was traded by the Bulls for Willie Reed and future draft considerations, has averaged 9.0 PPG and 5.0 APG in 19.5 MPG during his first two games with Detroit.
  • Nelson, 35, told Hoops Rumors and other reporters that he’d like to continue playing after this season. The Pistons point guard be an unrestricted free agent this summer.  “I never want to put a limit or a time frame on my career,” he said. “My body feels good, my mind is right. So I’ll just continue to work. My body and mind will tell me when it’s time for me to go. I think there will be a lot of teams that will need a guy like me next season.”
  • Pacers players lobbied GM Kevin Pritchard to stand pat during the trade deadline, Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star relays. Pritchard was approached by six players, who told him they wanted to see what they could accomplish with the current mix. “They feel like they are overachieving and had a little bit of a chip on their shoulder,” Pritchard said during a press conference. “They wanted to have the opportunity to finish this out and try to get into the playoffs. … That carried a lot of weight with me.”
  • Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith held onto his roster spot and retained his starting job, but he admits he was sweating out the deadline, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports. “My name was being thrown around a lot out there, so it was nerve-wracking for sure,” Smith said. “When you see six guys getting traded and there’s still more than an hour to the trade deadline, there’s no telling what can happen.” Smith is owed $30.3MM over the next two seasons, which made his contract difficult to move, McMenamin notes.

Central Notes: Irving, Nelson, Pacers

The Celtics and Cavaliers are preparing for their third meeting of the 2017/18 season and the outcome of this past summer’s Kyrie Irving trade is still a hot topic. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton breaks down how the trade that shipped one of the top point guards in the league out of Cleveland can be considered a lopsided bust.

Pelton notes that the consensus, in the beginning, was that the Cavaliers’ return was fairly decent; Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. However, it did not come out until later that Thomas’ hip injury was worse than initially feared, which delayed his Cleveland debut until several months into the season. Also, Pelton used two recent cases of players coming back from a similar labrum tear only to see their production wane.

Thomas’ trade value went south through 15 games with the Cleveland, Crowder was a massive disappointment and the organization blew everything up in the hours up until the deadline. Meanwhile, Irving has been his usual stellar self for the Celtics, making the deal go from fair to lopsided in a hurry.

Check out other Central Division news below:

  • Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson is not expected to play much for the Pistons but he is ready to help the team any way he can, Ansar Khan of MLive.com writes. Nelson had an eventful deadline as he dealt twice; first, the Pelicans shipped him to the Bulls in the Nikola Mirotic trade and then Chicago traded Nelson to Pistons. The trade also reunites Nelson with his former Magic head coach, Stan Van Gundy, NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes. “Still the same Stan,” Nelson said.
  • The Pacers stood pat at the deadline, with the team more focused on the future than short-term fixes, Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star writes. At 31-25, Indiana is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and on track to make the playoffs. However, Brown notes that the Pacers do not feel like they were one trade away from being a championship contender and elected to not make a move.