Jawun Evans

International Notes: Campazzo, Scott, Kurucs, Evans

Argentinian guard Facundo Campazzo had an eventful stint in the NBA over the past three seasons, appearing in 138 games with Denver and Dallas.

Campazzo joined the Nuggets in 2020, playing in 65 games and making 19 starts, averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 assists. The 5’10” guard became integral to the Nuggets’ rotation, starting nine out of 10 of Denver’s playoff games and averaging 9.3 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 27.0 minutes. However, Campazzo’s regular season role diminished slightly the following season and he only averaged 3.3 minutes in Denver’s ’21/22 playoff run.

In an interview with Marca (hat tip to Eurohoops), Campazzo spoke about the unpredictability of the NBA.

It’s a roller coaster, you always have to be ready,” he said. “Knowing that it is a seesaw, I tried to put my energy into things that I could control, like having an impact on the game when it was my turn to play and, if not, being ready when the coach called my name.

After spending two years in Denver, Campazzo didn’t return to the Nuggets. The Mavericks signed him to a deal at the beginning of the ’22/23 season, but he only appeared in eight games with Dallas, averaging 6.5 minutes.

I wanted to try another year in the NBA and it happened that they cut me after a month and a half,” Campazzo said. “That’s why my return to Europe after the cut was a bit strange, in the middle of the season, with the teams already assembled, it was difficult… There were offers, but it was complicated.

Campazzo ended up signing with Crvena Zvezda of the Serbian League before inking a four-year contract with Liga ACB’s Real Madrid, where he previously played in ’14/15 and ’17-20.

It was possible to negotiate a return and [I’m] happy to be able to return to a place that I feel is my home,” Campazzo said. “I am super motivated and looking forward to everything starting now.

There’s more international news.

  • Forward Rodions Kurucs, the No. 40 overall pick from the 2018 NBA draft, signed with UCAM Murcia of Liga ACB, according to a release from the club. Kurucs played in 115 games for the Nets from 2018-20, averaging 6.5 points per game for the team, before making brief stops with the Rockets and Bucks. As a 20-year-old rookie for the Nets, Kurucs averaged 8.5 points for a Brooklyn squad that earned the sixth seed in the playoffs. During his rookie season, Kurucs was named to the Rising Stars Challenge. Eventually, Kurucs was part of the trade that sent James Harden to the Nets from the Rockets, but he wasn’t in the Rockets’ long-term plans and returned to play overseas in 2021.
  • Fresh off being named MVP of the Puerto Rican League final, former NBA forward Mike Scott is reportedly signing with ASVEL Basket and will make his EuroLeague debut next season, as Sportando relays (original report via Théo Quintard). Scott played in the NBA from 2013-21, averaging 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 555 career appearances across stints with the Hawks, Wizards, Clippers and Sixers. Following his time with the Sixers, Scott played with SLUC Nancy Basket of the LNB Pro A in 2022/23 before playing with Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico, where he won the aforementioned finals MVP after averaging 26.7 PPG in the team’s four wins.
  • Former NBA guard Jawun Evans has signed with Poland’s Slask Wroclaw, the team announced in a press release. Evans, the No. 39 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, has 56 games of NBA experience with the Clippers, Suns and Thunder. Evans’ played 48 of those games with the Clippers, averaging 4.8 PPG with the team in ’17/18. Evans played in summer league with the Suns this month before signing with Slask.

And-Ones: Vaccines, Miller, Evans, Villanova

The NBA has issued a memo to its 30 teams, warning that franchises will not be allowed to pursue or administer COVID-19 vaccines on a team-wide basis ahead of public health guidelines for prioritization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The league will make exceptions for team physicians, health-related personnel, older staff members, and those with underlying conditions, however, Wojnarowski notes.

Throughout the country, states are administering vaccine doses to healthcare workers as the fight against COVID-19 rapidly accelerates. The vaccines come from Pfizer and Moderna, with a country-wide expectation that those with an increased risk of contracting the virus will have access to the vaccine sooner.

Seniors and those with underlying conditions would naturally come next, though many have questioned whether the NBA would move quickly and get its players and staffers vaccinated sooner than expected.

“It goes without saying that in no form or way will we jump the line,” commissioner Adam Silver said last week. “We will wait our turn to get the vaccine. When you think about the logistical feat that now the federal and state governments are undertaking, where if every citizen ultimately requires two doses and with a population of over 300 million, it’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the logistical challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran forward Quincy Miller has signed overseas in Portugal with Benfica, he announced on social media, as relayed by Ricardo Brito Reis of Sport TV (Twitter link). Miller last played in the NBA with Sacramento and Detroit during the 2014/15 season, also holding experience with Denver. He appeared in 69 total games after being drafted No. 38 overall in 2012.
  • Free agent guard Jawun Evans has signed in Greece with Promitheas Patras, according to EuroBasket (Twitter link). Evans, 24, most recently played in the NBA G League with Toronto, making past NBA stops with the Clippers, Suns and Thunder. He was the No. 39 pick in 2017 after spending two seasons at Oklahoma State.
  • Villanova has paused all basketball activities after head coach Jay Wright and another staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com writes. Wright, 59, is now in isolation with mild symptoms. “Our players have been very diligent and disciplined with all of the COVID protocols,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have had two staff members test positive. I am one of them. My symptoms are mild, and we remain connected as a team and staff by phone and Zoom. I am grateful to our Team Physician, Dr. Mike Duncan, who has worked tirelessly to help guide us safely through this.”  

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Miller, Brown, Tatum, Kurucs

The Knicks still haven’t settled on a starting point guard but Frank Ntilikina is “motivated” by the franchise’s decision to pick up his contract option for next season, as he told Marc Berman of the New York Post and other reporters. The Knicks took a cap hit of $6,176,578 to retain Ntilikina through the 2020/21 season. “It’s great here in New York to be part of this situation,” he said. “It’s motivation and a big excitement. It makes me willing to give even more on the court on a daily basis.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Malcolm Miller has made an NBA roster at the start of a season for the first time and he’s breathing a sigh of relief, Blake Murphy of The Athletic relays. The 26-year-old forward won a training camp battle for a spot on the Raptors’ roster. “Like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Like a huge exhale,” Miller said. “Two years of back and forth, but now it’s finally official. I feel like I’ve laid two years of groundwork, so I’m more than ready to attack it at full speed.”
  • Miller’s G League rights were traded to the Northern Arizona Suns along with the 21st pick in the G League draft for guard Jawun Evans, Murphy tweets. However, this won’t affect Miller’s status with the Raptors. They can still assign him to Raptors 905 despite not holding his G League rights because he’s on the 15-man roster.
  • The incentives on Jaylen Brown’s four-year extension include $8MM if he wins the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year award or makes one of three All-NBA teams, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Celtics and Brown reached an extension agreement on Monday. Another $4MM in more reachable incentives includes playing 65 or more games, the team winning 49 or more games and reaching the second round of the playoffs. As previously noted, the total guaranteed money in the deal is $103MM, but it could be worth up to $115MM.
  • The Celtics’ decision to give Brown a huge extension sends a clear signal that they’ll do the same for Jayson Tatum next year, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. That will give Boston a dynamic duo who will both be 23 years old or younger and have ample playoff experience, Blakely notes.
  • Nets forward Rodions Kurucs made a brief court appearance on Monday regarding a domestic assault charge, Andrew Denney of the New York Post reports. Kurucs was arrested in September over the June 27 incident in which he allegedly choked his ex-girlfriend. He was ordered back to court Nov. 19.

Thunder Claim Jawun Evans Off Waivers

8:05pm: The transaction is official, according to a team press release.

4:39pm: The Thunder have claimed point guard Jawun Evans off waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

This comes as a surprising development, as the Rockets were expected to claim Evans after the two-way player was waived by the Suns on Saturday. Oklahoma City, which has tumbled to sixth in the Western Conference standings, made a preemptive strike to prevent Evans from going to Houston. The Rockets are currently third in the West.

It’s a kind of homecoming for the 22-year-old Evans, who starred at Oklahoma State. He made seven brief appearances with Phoenix this season.

Oklahoma City had a two-way opening after converting Deonte Burton‘s two-way deal to a standard contract earlier this month. Two-way players are not eligible for the playoffs.

It’s unlikely Evans will get any significant playing time with Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schroder and Raymond Felton at point guard.

Houston was looking to fill a two-way slot after promoting Danuel House to its 15-man roster.

Evans spent a good portion of this season with Northern Arizona in the G League, posting a 15.1/3.8/5.8 line in 32 games.

The Clippers waived him in October just before the start of the regular season, although he had a guaranteed $1.378MM deal.

Suns Waive Jawun Evans; Rockets Expected To Make Claim

4:57pm: Phoenix has waived Evans, tweets Gina Mizell of The Athletic.

4:17pm: The Suns will waive two-way player Jawun Evans, who already has interest from the Rockets, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

Evans signed a two-way deal with the Suns in December, but has only appeared in seven games for Phoenix, playing about nine minutes per night and averaging less than a point per game. He was much more productive with Northern Arizona, posting a 15.1/3.8/5.8 line in 32 games.

The second-year point guard had a promising rookie season with the Clippers, but couldn’t earn a spot on this year’s roster. He was waived in October just before the start of the regular season, although he had a guaranteed $1.378MM deal.

The Suns won’t be able to replace Evans because the deadline for signing two-way players has already passed. The G League season ends this weekend, and Northern Arizona won’t be in the playoffs.

Houston has a two-way slot open after promoting Danuel House to the 15-man roster. No move would be necessary before adding Evans, but the Rockets’ record puts them toward the back of the line for waiver claims, so it’s possible another organization could seize Evans. Teams will have 48 hours to submit claims once Evans is officially waived.

Suns Notes: Kokoskov, Oubre, Rivers, Ewans, Arena

Over the weekend, the Suns struck a deal — which initially started as a failed three-team trade — that sent swingman Trevor Ariza to the Wizards in exchange for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers. The deal became official on Monday as both teams announced the move.

The Wizards reunited with a former player who has experience contending for the postseason. For the Suns, their return is more rooted in maintenance, head coach Igor Kokoskov told reporters (via Gina Mizell of The Athletic).

“We need somebody who’s gonna help us with maintaining,” he said.  “A lot of games, we can’t go through the 48 minutes…We’re gonna find their roles. We definitely can use the talent and experience they have.” 

Kokoskov’s comments are reflective of the Suns’ NBA-worst 6-24 record. It’s possible that Phoenix trades one or both of their new players closer to the trade deadline but in the meantime, they should help the Suns at least appear competitive.

Check out more Suns notes below:

  • Kokoskov is an 18-year NBA assistant coach currently in his first season as a head coach. In that short stint, the Suns have made seven different roster moves, showing the team’s state of influx. As Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes, Kokoskov is involved in the process of all those moves. “NBA organization is a serious organization,” Kokoskov said. “I’m always asked for opinion and my job description is to run the team and coach the team and get us ready and prepared for Minnesota.”
  • Jawun Evans, currently on a two-way deal with the Suns, has shown the ability to be an effective player in the G League. Ewans’ hope is to translate that success with Phoenix, where he was carved out a role off the bench, Cody Cunningham of NBA.com writes. “I just hope to bring grit to the team,” Evans said. “Somebody that on the defensive and offensive end, just to play faster and get everybody involved. Go out there and just have fun playing basketball.”
  • Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic examines the Suns’ arena situation and why it might be one of the worst in the NBA. As various NBA franchise attempt to sway the NBA into new arenas, the Suns’ 26-year-old Talking Stick Resort Arena will be the oldest arena in the NBA not to be renovated or rebuilt in the past five years, Sanders writes.

Suns Sign Jawun Evans To Two-Way Deal

5:55pm: The Suns have officially signed Evans, the team announced in a press release.

5:00pm: The Suns will sign guard Jawun Evans to a two-way contract, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets.

Evans has been playing for the team’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. The 6-foot Evans, 22, has appeared in 14 G League games this season, averaging 18.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.6 SPG in 30.4 MPG.

The Suns have been searching for a short-term solution at point guard with Devin Booker, who had been moved to the point in the starting lineup, nursing a hamstring injury.

Phoenix had an open two-way slot. George King, a shooting guard, has the other two-way deal.

The Clippers waived Evans in mid-October despite having a guaranteed contract worth approximately $1.378MM after they acquired swingman Wesley Johnson. Evans underwent sports hernia surgery last spring after appearing in 48 games with the Clippers as a rookie. He averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.1 APG in 16.2 MPG.

The Oklahoma State product was the 39th pick of the 2017 draft and was traded by the Sixers to the Clippers in a draft-night swap.

Clippers Trade Wesley Johnson To Pelicans, Cut Two Players

4:11pm: The Clippers have officially announced their trade with the Pelicans and confirmed that they’ve waived both Ajinca and Evans. L.A. is now in compliance with the regular season roster limit.

2:19pm: The Clippers and Pelicans have reached a trade agreement that will send Alexis Ajinca to Los Angeles and Wesley Johnson to New Orleans, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Marc Stein of The New York Times first reported (via Twitter) that the two teams were in advanced discussions on a swap involving Ajinca and Johnson.

From the Clippers’ perspective, the trade will simply be about saving a little money before they make their final roster cuts. Ajinca ($5.29MM) earns a more modest 2018/19 salary than Johnson ($6.13MM) and both players are on expiring deals.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Clippers will waive Ajinca after acquiring him. 2017 second-round pick Jawun Evans will be Los Angeles’ other cut, Wojnarowski adds. That means that non-guaranteed players Patrick Beverley and Tyrone Wallace will both open the regular season on the Clips’ roster.

There are some teams that like Evans, according to Keith Smith of RealGM.com (Twitter link), but those clubs opted not to trade for the second-year guard, who could draw interest on waivers or as a free agent if he goes unclaimed.

As for the Pelicans, they weren’t expecting to get much out of Ajinca, who missed the entire 2017/18 season with knee issues and still hadn’t been cleared for contact at the start of training camp. By swapping him for Johnson, New Orleans will add some veteran depth at a position of need, without sacrificing future cap flexibility.

Johnson, 31, was the fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, but has never been more than a role player at the NBA level. Last season, the 6’7″ wing averaged 5.4 PPG and 2.9 RPG with a .408/.339/.741 shooting line and solid defense in 74 games (40 starts) for the Clippers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Clippers Exploring Trades To Clear Roster Logjam

With the roster deadline for the 2018/19 season just a few days away, the Clippers are exploring the trade market in the hopes of finding a deal or two that will help them clear their roster logjam, reports Keith Smith of RealGM.com (Twitter link). According to Smith, the club had been hoping to address the issue in a potential Jimmy Butler trade, but that seems like a long shot at this point.

The Clippers have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, but likely won’t end up keeping those specific 15 players on their regular season squad. Patrick Beverley has a non-guaranteed deal and Tyrone Wallace has a partial guarantee worth $300K, and both guards are strong candidates to make the roster.

Of the players with guaranteed salaries, Wesley Johnson ($6.13MM) and Jawun Evans ($1.38MM) are among those who may not be locks for the 15-man squad. Neither player projects to have a major role in the Clippers’ 2018/19 rotation.

The Clippers already found a trade that allowed them to clear one guaranteed salary when they sent Sam Dekker to Cleveland in August. If the team can’t find similar deals in the coming days, two players will need to be waived in order to get the roster down to 15 (plus a pair of two-way players) for opening night.

Pacific Rumors: Bagley, Thornwell, Ariza, Cousins

Kings lottery pick Marvin Bagley III has a pelvic bone bruise and will miss the remainder of summer-league action, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports tweets. Bagley, who suffered the injury during the Kings’ game against the Suns on Saturday, will be able to resume basketball activities after 1-2 weeks of rest. The 6’11” Bagley was the No. 2 pick in the draft after one season at Duke.

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns signed Rockets free agent forward Trevor Ariza to provide guidance to a young team, according to an Associated Press report. Ariza left the Western Conference powerhouse for a one-year, $15MM contract with Phoenix. “We need his defensive ability and versatility, his shooting ability but I think as much as anything, maybe more than anything, we need his leadership and his winning pedigree,” GM Ryan McDonough said.
  • Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans face a logjam in the Clippers’ backcourt and will have to fight for playing time, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times notes. The duo played a combined 121 games last season but the team currently has eight guards on the roster with the addition of first-round picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson. Both Thornwell and Evans have guaranteed contracts worth approximately $1.378MM for next season. “In this game, you can’t worry about nobody else,” Thornwell said. “You can’t come in and worry about what the next man got going on and what the next man is doing.”
  • DeMarcus Cousins says he’s not bothered by the reduced offensive role he’ll have with the Warriors, as he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “I’m sure there will be many games where I may have, you know, four attempts. Then there may be other games where I’m the leading scorer,” he said. “I look at that as a positive. I don’t have to be the guy. I’ve dealt with that my entire career. I’ve always wanted a team where everything doesn’t rely on me. Now I’m in that position.”