Jason Preston

NBAGL All-League, Defensive, Rookie Teams Announced

The NBA announced all of the major All-NBA G League teams on Thursday (All Twitter links found here), including the First Team, Second Team, Third Team, All-Defensive Team, and All-Rookie team.

Several current and former NBA players are among the honorees. Here is the full list of winners for the 2023/24 season.

All-NBA G League First Team:

All-NBA G League Second Team:

All-NBA G League Third Team:

G League All-Defensive Team:

G League All-Rookie Team:

* Denotes two-way contract

^ Denotes standard contract

Jazz Notes: Lineup, Preston, George, Confidence

Jazz coach Will Hardy has been doing a lot of tinkering with the starting lineup and rotation and it’s paying off, according to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Utah has had 12 different players in the starting lineup at some point.

“I think it just shows our depth and that we can win in a lot of different ways,” guard Collin Sexton said. “You’ve just got to be ready when your number is called.”

In their win over Milwaukee on Monday, the Jazz started John Collins, Lauri Markkanen, Simone Fontecchio, Sexton and Kris Dunn.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • Jason Preston received a two-year two-way contract from the Jazz on Monday, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Preston will get the maximum two-way guarantee for next season, which is equivalent to an Exhibit 10 bonus –that figure was worth $75K this season and will increase at the same rate as the salary cap. Utah waived Josh Christopher to make room for Preston, who had been playing for the Memphis Hustle in the G League.
  • Keyonte George admits it’s been a struggle for him since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for six games, he told Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune. The rookie has been relegated to a bench role, though he delivered a 19-point, four-assist performance against Milwaukee on Monday. “Yeah, to be honest, a little difficult for sure. I mean, I’m human,” George said. “It’s gonna take some time to get back to where I was and try to figure out times be aggressive and times where you’re trying to get people involved.”
  • After winning eight of their last 10 games, including road victories over Philadelphia and Milwaukee, the Jazz are feeling better than they have all season, Walden writes. “I like to call it ‘swag,’ and our swag is a little up right now,” Dunn said. “We just keep doing the right things. We have a lot of talent on this team. If we move the ball, if we guard at a high level, good things can happen, as we showed in this three-game road trip.”

Jazz Waive Christopher, Sign Preston To Two-Way Deal

The Jazz have waived Josh Christopher and signed Jason Preston to a two-way deal, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets.

Preston spent training camp with the Grizzlies but was waived prior to the season. He was also cut by the Clippers at the beginning of October before his $1.8MM salary became fully guaranteed. He appeared in 14 games with L.A. last season and spent most of his time in the G League.

Prior to getting a contract with Utah, Preston was playing for the G League’s Memphis Hustle. Preston played in 17 games (16 starts) for the Hustle, averaging 12.4 points (on 48.1% shooting), 8.6 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per contest.

Christopher appeared in 138 games with Houston from 2021-23 but hasn’t seen any NBA action this season. He has appeared in 18 games (17 starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per contest.

He was signed to a two-way deal in mid-October.

And-Ones: Nwaba, G. Robinson, Gillespie, Call-Ups

Former NBA wing David Nwaba is signing with the London Lions of the British Basketball League, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com (Twitter link).

After going undrafted out of Cal Poly in 2016, Nwaba caught on with his hometown Lakers. He also suited up for the Bulls, Cavaliers, Nets and Rockets from 2016-22, last playing for Houston in 2021/22.

The six-year veteran appeared in 237 regular season games during his NBA career, averaging 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. Known for his strong frame, athleticism and defense, Nwaba has spent most of the past two seasons playing for Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

The 30-year-old will be heading to Europe for the first time in his career.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently spoke to Glenn Robinson III about his NBA comeback attempt after stepping away from basketball for two years. The former second-round pick has been playing with the G League’s Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee’s affiliate) this season, averaging 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 39.1% from three in 12 Showcase Cup games (23.6 minutes). Robinson holds seven years of NBA experience and has been mentoring his young teammates, according to Fischer.
  • Nuggets guard Collin Gillespie, who is on a two-way deal, was named the NBA G League’s Player of the Month for December, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). According to Wind, Gillespie averaged 21.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 11.8 assists in six games last month for the Grand Rapids Gold (Denver’s affiliate). The former Villanova Wildcat missed all of last season with a lower left leg fracture.
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac takes a look at some NBAGL players who could be candidates for call-ups to the NBA, with Mac McClung, Jason Preston, Ethan Thompson, Darius Bazley and Trey Jemison among the players mentioned.

Grizzlies Sign Adonis Arms, David Johnson

The Grizzlies tweaked their preseason roster by signing Adonis Arms and David Johnson, the team announced in a press release. Jason Preston and Timmy Allen, who both signed with the team on Monday, were waived to make room.

Because Memphis already has 15 guaranteed contracts and all three of its two-way slots filled, all four players are likely to end up in the G League. Assuming they all have Exhibit 10 deals, they can earn up to a $75K bonus by spending at least 60 days with the Memphis Hustle.

Arms, a 25-year-old guard, finished last season with the Hustle after being acquired from Grand Rapids in a G League trade. He spent time with both Denver and Phoenix during the 2022 preseason and played for the Nets in this year’s Summer League.

Johnson, a 22-year-old guard, was drafted in the second round by Toronto in 2021, but only appeared in two NBA games before being waived last October. He spent most of his time with Raptors 905 in the G League, but was traded to the Hustle in late August.

The moves leave the Grizzlies with 21 players on their preseason roster, with three needing to be trimmed by Monday’s league-wide cutdown date.

Grizzlies Sign Jason Preston, Timmy Allen

The Grizzlies have added Jason Preston and Timmy Allen to their roster, waiving Matthew Hurt and Mychal Mulder to make room, the team announced (via Twitter).

Preston, a 24-year-old point guard, was waived by the Clippers earlier this month before his $1.8MM salary became fully guaranteed. He appeared in 14 games with L.A. last season and spent most of his time in the G League.

Allen, a rookie forward, played for the Grizzlies’ Summer League team after going undrafted out of Texas. The 23-year-old averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game with the Longhorns last year.

Memphis has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, so there’s virtually no chance for either Preston or Allen to win a roster spot. However, if they signed Exhibit 10 deals, they can earn a bonus of up to $75K if they get waived and spend at least 60 days with the Memphis Hustle, the organization’s G League affiliate.

Hurt and Mulder both signed with the Grizzlies two weeks ago and saw limited action in the preseason. Hurt, a 23-year-old forward, appeared in two games and had three points, three rebounds and an assist. Mulder, a 29-year-old guard, scored three points and grabbed two rebounds in two games.

The moves leave Memphis at the offseason roster limit of 21 players.

Clippers Waive Jason Preston

Clippers point guard Jason Preston is being waived by L.A., reports Law Murray of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team has officially confirmed the move.

Preston’s $1.8MM non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24 would have become fully guaranteed had he remained with the club through Sunday. Earlier this week, team president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank had indicated that the Clippers were still considering whether or not to retain Preston into training camp.

John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets that this move had been anticipated given that L.A. already has 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts. Hollinger adds that the 6’4″ guard may have intriguing upside as a two-way signing somewhere. The Clippers currently have all three of their two-way slots occupied.

Preston, 24, was selected with the No. 33 pick in the 2021 draft out of Ohio, but missed the entirety of what would have been his rookie campaign in 2021/22 after undergoing a preseason foot surgery. He appeared in a scant 14 games for the Clippers in 2022/23, averaging 2.9 PPG, 1.9 APG and 1.6 RPG across 8.9 MPG.

That said, Preston showed some promise with his club’s G League team in 2022/23. In 21 games with L.A.’s NBAGL affiliate, the Ontario Clippers, Preston averaged 16.7 PPG, 6.7 APG, 5.2 RPG and 0.7 SPG. He posted a shooting line of .486/.372/.844.

Clippers Notes: Kawhi, PG13, Holiday, Harden, Preston

Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have dealt with a litany of injuries since they joined L.A. in 2019, but they’re “fully healthy” and ready to go for training camp, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank told reporters, including Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).

The news was expected, as Frank was mostly just confirming what head coach Tyronn Lue said on a podcast a few weeks ago.

Frank also said the Clippers have talked to both players about possible contract extensions, according to Youngmisuk (Twitter link). Frank described it as a “process,” but the team hopes to continue to build around Leonard and George.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • At the same press conference, Frank said that while he likes the roster he’s assembled, the Clippers won’t hesitate to be aggressive in looking for upgrades if the opportunity arises, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register (subscriber link). “We like our team,” Frank said. “(But) you are always looking for ways to get better, both individually and as a team. Typically, if you follow the probability, the greatest way to get better is internal improvement. But from our standpoint, we’ll always be aggressive in trying to find ways to improve the team. I like our approach, but we’ll always look for ways to get better.”
  • The Clippers have been linked to All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, who is from the Los Angeles area. Law Murray of The Athletic makes the case that Holiday would be a better fit for the Clips than disgruntled star James Harden, noting that Holiday is a far superior defender. Holiday’s contract also aligns with Leonard’s and George’s, Murray adds, with all three players holding player options for 2024/25. Harden, meanwhile, is on an expiring deal and is not extension-eligible, but Holiday will be later this season.
  • Point guard Jason Preston‘s non-guaranteed salary becomes guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before this Sunday. Frank said the team is still weighing its options and the decision will likely come down to the wire, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Jason Preston’s Salary Guarantee Date Moved To October

Jason Preston‘s salary guarantee date has been pushed back to October 1, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

The Clippers agreed at the start of the month to move Preston’s guarantee date to July 18. If they hadn’t pushed it back for a second time, they would have had to decide on Tuesday whether to fully guarantee his $1,836,096 salary for next season.

The early second-round pick in 2021 has been sidetracked by injuries during his first two seasons. He missed his entire rookie campaign after undergoing right foot surgery, then appeared in just 14 NBA games last season. He recently revealed he underwent LASIK eye surgery and had another procedure to fix a deviated septum.

Preston, who spent most of ’22/23 playing for the Clippers’ G League affiliate, averaged 9.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.2 rebounds in Summer League competition this month.

The Clippers, of course, are rumored to be James Harden‘s preferred destination in a potential trade with Philadelphia. That possibility could have played a role in the team’s decision to delay Preston’s guarantee.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Murray, Fox, Clippers, Preston

On a recent episode of Podcast P with Paul George (YouTube link), Draymond Green said new point guard Chris Paul will help stabilize the Warriors‘ second unit and “unlock” one of the team’s former lottery picks.

“CP can anchor that unit…and I think that is a big thing to helping unlock our team again…I’ll tell you one more thing that I think it unlocks and I look forward to learning this from him; I think Chris Paul will completely unlock Jonathan Kuminga and his growth. CP is great with young guys,” Green said (hat tip to HoopsHype).

The Warriors are trading Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin, a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second round pick to the Wizards for Paul. The deal isn’t official yet but likely will be tomorrow once the free agency moratorium lifts.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Kings forward Keegan Murray is once again shining in Summer League action. As he prepares for his sophomore season, the first-team All-Rookie member is working with star guard De’Aaron Fox on a daily basis, writes Hunter Patterson of The Athletic. “I’ve been with him every single day so far this summer,” Murray said. “We play one-on-one three, four times a week so that’s helped me a lot in different areas on the court.” For those curious, Murray said he has yet to beat Fox one-on-one, though he’s come “very close.”
  • Additional trades could still be in the works, but it appears as though the Clippers‘ free agency work is done, according to Law Murray of The Athletic, who examines the team’s moves this offseason. With 16 players on standard contracts and Jason Preston on a non-guaranteed deal (it will be guaranteed July 18), the young guard’s performance during Summer League will be critical for his future with the team, says Murray.
  • Speaking of Preston, he said he underwent LASIK eye surgery and had another procedure to fix a deviated septum, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The 23-year-old former second-round pick missed his entire rookie season after foot surgery and appeared in just 14 games with the Clippers in 2022/23.