Jarrett Culver

Hawks Sign Donovan Williams To Two-Way Deal, Cut Jarrett Culver

JANUARY 17, 10:13am: The Hawks have officially signed Williams to a two-way contract, as expected, the club confirmed in a press release.

JANUARY 14, 4:13pm: The Hawks have requested waivers on Culver, the team announced in a press release.

JANUARY 14, 1:16pm: Free agent swingman Donovan Williams is set to sign a two-way deal with the Hawks, sources inform Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). To make room, Atlanta will waive two-way shooting guard Jarrett Culver. Point guard Trent Forrest remains with the Hawks in the team’s other two-way slot.

Williams is currently with the Brooklyn’s NBAGL Long Island affiliate. The UNLV alum had been averaging 15.6 PPG for the Long Island Nets this year, per Charania.

According to Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), the Hawks view Williams as more of a project, but one possessing potentially higher upside than Culver. John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets that Williams showed what he was capable of during this season’s G League Winter Showcase, when he had two of his best games of the season.

In 10 games with the Hawks, including one start, Culver averaged 4.4 PPG and 3.8 RPG in just 13.7 MPG. The 23-year-old out of Texas Tech will now look to join his fourth NBA team in as many seasons, following prior stints with the Timberwolves and Grizzlies.

Hawks’ Bogdanovic Makes Season Debut Friday; Young Out

Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic made his 2022/23 season debut Friday against Denver, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd when he entered the game off the bench (Twitter video link via Caleb Johnson of 92.9 The Game). He had been recovering for several months after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

Bogdanovic has been a key member of Atlanta’s rotation over the past two seasons, averaging 15.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals on .448/.398/.862 shooting in 107 total games (54 starts, 29.5 minutes per contest). His long-distance shooting and complementary play-making will definitely be helpful for the 12-10 Hawks, since they currently rank 29th in the league in three-point attempts, 27th in three-point percentage (32.5%), and 21st in assists per game.

The 30-year-old holds an $18MM player option for ’23/24. He’s extension-eligible and could hit free agency next summer if he declines his option.

Unfortunately, star point guard Trae Young was ruled out with right shoulder soreness prior to the game, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Third-year guard Trent Forrest (concussion evaluation), who’s on a two-way contract with Atlanta, was also ruled out.

With Young and forwards De’Andre Hunter and John Collins sidelined, the Hawks started rookie AJ Griffin, former lottery pick and current two-way player Jarrett Culver, and second-year forward Jalen Johnson. It’s a huge opportunity for all three players to possibly earn bigger roles going forward.

Jarrett Culver Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

The Hawks have signed Jarrett Culver to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

The 23-year-old shooting guard spent last season with the Grizzlies, appearing in 37 games and averaging 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per night. Memphis acquired him in a trade with the Timberwolves last summer.

Culver was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft, but he wasn’t able to establish himself in a regular role with either the Grizzlies or Wolves. The Hawks are taking a low-risk gamble on his youth and potential.

Culver was a star at Texas Tech, where he averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 75 games. He led the Red Raiders to the first NCAA Championship Game in school history and earned a spot on the 2019 Final Four All-Tournament Team.

The Hawks opened up a two-way slot on Sunday by waiving Chaundee Brown. The team’s other two-way contract belongs to guard Trent Forrest.

The addition of Culver brings Atlanta’s roster back to 18 players, two below the offseason limit, with the start of training camp 15 days away.

Raptors Give Jalen Harris Qualifying Offer

The Raptors tendered a two-way qualifying offer to Jalen Harris, according to RealGM’s transactions log. That makes Harris a restricted free agent.

Harris was reinstated by the league earlier this week. He was dismissed and disqualified from the NBA on July 1, 2021 for violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program, then became eligible to apply for reinstatement last month.

Harris was still under contract with Toronto at the time of his suspension and the Raptors had 30 days to tender him a one-year, two-way qualifying offer.

The Raptors already have 19 players under contract, with second-round pick Christian Koloko still unsigned and a two-way qualifying offer out to another restricted free agent, David Johnson.

Jarrett Culver also might also be added to the camp roster, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. The 2019 lottery pick played 37 regular season and three postseason games for the Grizzlies last season. He became an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Teams are permitted to carry up to 20 players until the day before the regular season begins.

The 59th overall pick in 2020, Harris spent his first professional season on a two-way contract with the Raptors, then signed with Vanoli Cremona in Italy for the 2021/22 campaign following his suspension from the NBA. This May, he joined the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League as he prepared to apply for reinstatement to the NBA.

Harris averaged 7.4 PPG on .500/.472/.778 shooting in 13 NBA games (13.2 MPG) and put up 17.6 PPG on .457/.500/.667 shooting in seven NBAGL contests (29.4 MPG) as a rookie in ’20/21.

Western Trade Rumors: Covington, Nurkic, Beverley, Culver, Lakers

Of the veteran Trail Blazers who are candidates to be traded by the February 10 deadline, Robert Covington has been described as the most likely one to be moved, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Ben McLemore‘s name has also emerged in recent trade discussions, Fischer adds.

Conversely, there doesn’t seem to be any momentum toward a trade involving Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, according to Fischer. Marc Stein said something similar in a recent Spotify Greenroom session, suggesting he hasn’t heard Nurkic’s name mentioned much in his recent conversations with teams. Stein gets the sense there’s not a “huge amount” of interest in the veteran center (hat tip to HoopsHype).

Nurkic himself recently told Jason Quick of The Athletic that he doesn’t think he’ll be traded this season. If the latest reports from Fischer and Stein are accurate, he may be right.

Here are a few more items from around the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves are exploring some possible trade avenues involving Patrick Beverley ahead of his upcoming free agency, Fischer reports. Responding to that report, Minnesota-based reporters Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter links) said that head of basketball operations Sachin Gupta is casting a wide net and is willing to discuss anyone besides Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. However, neither Wolfson nor Krawczynski expects Beverley to be traded.
  • The Grizzlies aren’t considered likely to make any major moves at the trade deadline, but they may receive inquiries on fourth-year swingman Jarrett Culver, Fischer writes. There’s so much leaguewide interest in wings who can play defense that Culver – who isn’t currently part of Memphis’ rotation and will be a free agent this summer – could appeal to another team, Fischer explains.
  • The Lakers, who continue to shop veteran wing Kent Bazemore, have been mentioned as a potential suitor for big man Paul Millsap if he reaches the buyout market, says Fischer. Brooklyn is still looking to trade Millsap.

COVID-19 Updates: Sixers, Celtics, Rondo, Blazers, More

Sixers wing Danny Green cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Jaden Springer and Matisse Thybulle are both in the protocols now, joining two-way player Myles Powell.

In the latest injury report for the Sixers’ Monday game vs. Houston, Powell and Springer are both listed as out, while Thybulle is considered questionable. That suggests that the team is likely waiting for the results of Thybulle’s latest COVID-19 test before determining whether or not he’ll be available.

Here are more protocol-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Dennis Schröder and Bruno Fernando returned to action for the Celtics on Sunday after a stint in the health and safety protocols. Jayson Tatum has exited the protocols, but remained sidelined for Sunday’s game — he’s expected to return on Wednesday, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • On the LakersSunday injury report, Rajon Rondo was listed as out due to return to competition reconditioning. Rondo had been in the COVID-19 protocols since December 26, which presumably delayed the official completion of the trade sending him to Cleveland. Now that he has cleared the protocols, the Cavaliers and Lakers should soon officially announce that deal.
  • Robert Covington, Trendon Watford, and Keljin Blevins are no longer in the health and safety protocols for the Trail Blazers, per the injury report.
  • Knicks center Jericho Sims remained out of action on Sunday, but he was listed on the injury report as taking part in return to competition conditioning, so he has exited the protocols.
  • McKinley Wright (Timberwolves), Jarrett Culver (Grizzlies), and Jay Scrubb (Clippers) are among the other players who have recently cleared the COVID-19 protocols, according to the league’s injury report.
  • Our full health and safety protocols tracker can be found right here.

Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Jarrett Culver Enter Protocols

Wizards star Bradley Beal has entered the health and safety protocols and will miss Thursday’s game vs. New York, according to the team (Twitter link). Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also currently in the protocols for Washington.

If Beal hasn’t registered a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, it’s possible he could exit the protocols in a matter of days. But if he did test positive, the 28-year-old figures to be sidelined for at least 10 days unless he can return two consecutive negative tests.

Beal, who remained unvaccinated as of September, missed the Olympics earlier this year because he tested positive for the coronavirus just before Team USA left for Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Lakers forward Trevor Ariza and Grizzlies wing Jarrett Culver have also been placed in the COVID-19 protocols, according to their respective teams (Twitter links). Ariza is the fifth Laker in the protocols, while Culver is the second Grizzlies player affected, joining Ziaire Williams.

While three players enter the protocols, another has exited — the Knicks announced that Quentin Grimes has been cleared to rejoin the team (Twitter link).

Grizzlies Exercise 2022/23 Options For Morant, Clarke, Bane

The Grizzlies have picked up the fourth-year options for Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke and the third-year option on Desmond Bane, the team announced (via Twitter). The moves were expected as all three players deliver a level of production that exceeds their salaries for the 2022/23 season.

Morant, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, was named Rookie of the Year in 2020 and helped Memphis reach the playoffs last season. He will make $12.1MM next season and will be eligible for a rookie-scale extension in July.

Clarke, who was selected 21st in 2019, has been a consistent bench player and part-time starter during both of his years with the Grizzlies. He will earn $4.3MM in 2022/23 and will also be eligible for an extension next summer.

Bane, the 30th pick in 2020, was acquired in a draft-night trade and had a productive rookie year, starting 17 of the 68 games he played. He will make $2.13MM during the 2022/23 season.

Memphis elected not to pick up the $8.1MM fourth-year option for Jarrett Culver, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. Culver, who was acquired from the Timberwolves in an August trade, will be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Culver, Cash, Nielsen

No team has been more active this summer than the Grizzlies, who have made six trades and have a reported seventh deal looming with the Celtics, but the moves have mainly been to cut salary and collect future assets rather than to provide any immediate on-court benefit, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Four of the players Memphis has acquired have already been traded or waived, assuming Juan Hernangomez gets shipped to Boston, Barnes notes. He adds that Daniel Oturu, who was part of a deal with the Clippers, is unlikely to remain on the roster when the season starts.

Barnes points out that the deals didn’t address the Grizzlies’ most pressing needs, which are three-point shooting and scoring off the bench. Starters Jonas Valanciunas and Grayson Allen were traded away, and Barnes sees their likely replacements, Steven Adams and Ziaire Williams, as a step down.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Even if Jarrett Culver earns a roster spot with the Grizzlies after two disappointing seasons in Minnesota, it figures to be a short-term arrangement, Barnes adds in the same story. Memphis has a November 1 deadline to pick up Culver’s $8.1MM option for 2022/23, and Barnes doesn’t expect the team to make that commitment so early in the season.
  • Former WNBA star Swin Cash talked about her front office role with the Pelicans during an interview with Alexa Philippou of The Hartford Courant. “Coming in, the biggest thing was (executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin) let me know because of what I was bringing, he really needed me to be that person, that glue, that can see what we need, can get in front of it, can build it and understanding the player’s perspective, understanding the front office perspective,” Cash said. “And so that’s how I kind of approach my day. I wear multiple hats, but I’m never too far away from decisions that are being made within our organization and having a seat at that table and being able to contribute in a very organic way.”
  • Matt Nielsen is the latest young coach who should benefit from being on Gregg Popovich’s staff, observes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express News. Nielsen, who is replacing Will Hardy, continues the Spurs‘ preference for hiring inexperienced coaches whenever they have an opening.

Grizzlies Trade Beverley To Wolves For Culver, Hernangomez

AUGUST 25: Over a week after agreeing to terms, the Grizzlies and Timberwolves have completed their trade, according to press releases sent out by both teams. Memphis waived Sean McDermott in order to make room on the 20-man roster for the extra incoming player.

AUGUST 17: A day after acquiring him from the Clippers, the Grizzlies have lined up a deal to flip veteran guard Patrick Beverley to the Timberwolves, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, Memphis will receive wing Jarrett Culver and forward Juan Hernangomez from Minnesota in the trade.

As Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas worked in the Rockets’ front office when Beverley was in Houston and appreciates the toughness and leadership he can bring to a young team. Minnesota lost some point guard depth when the team shipped Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, so Beverley will help fortify that position.

Beverley, 33, averaged 7.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.1 APG on .423/.397/.800 shooting in 37 games (22.5 MPG) for the Clippers in 2020/21 and is considered a strong perimeter defender.

Moving Hernangomez will reduce the Wolves’ options at an already-thin power forward spot, but it may have been a necessary move. There was reportedly tension between the player and the team after Minnesota’s medical staff prevented the 25-year-old from representing Spain at the Tokyo Olympics last month due to a shoulder injury.

Culver, meanwhile, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft. One of Rosas’ first moves after being hired by the Wolves was to trade Dario Saric and the No. 11 pick (Cameron Johnson) in order to move up for Culver, but he struggled during his first two years in the NBA, putting up a modest 7.8 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .406/.288/.503 shooting in 97 total games (20.7 MPG).

After taking on some extra 2021/22 money in their trade with the Clippers, the Grizzlies will reduce this year’s team salary a little in this deal — the combined salaries for Culver ($6.4MM) and Hernangomez ($6.9MM) come in slightly lower than Beverley’s cap hit ($14.32MM). Neither player is owed any guaranteed money in 2022/23 yet either, though Culver has an $8.11MM team option and Hernangomez has a $7.42MM non-guaranteed salary.

It’s unclear how Culver and Hernangomez fit into Memphis’ plans. The deal certainly doesn’t help the Grizzlies’ roster crunch — they already had 17 players on guaranteed contracts before swapping out Beverley for two new players, and will actually have to waive someone from their 20-man roster in order to complete the one-for-two trade.

There are likely more moves to come for the Grizzlies, so we’ll have to wait to see what they have in mind for Culver and Hernangomez, but it’s worth noting that Culver is still just 22 years old — the club may seem some untapped potential there. Memphis will have to make a decision on his $8.1MM option for 2022/23 this fall.