Jaylen Martin

Nets Sign Jaylen Martin To Two-Way Contract

FEBRUARY 21: The Nets have officially signed Martin to a two-way contract, according to an announcement from the team (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 20: The Nets are signing swingman Jaylen Martin to a two-way deal, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. It’ll be a two-year contract, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.

Martin has been playing for the Knicks’ NBA G League team in Westchester. 

The rookie signed a two-way contract with New York over the summer after going undrafted out of the Overtime Elite league, but he was waived before the 2023/24 season began. Martin signed another two-way deal with the Knicks in late November, then was cut again in December. He has yet to make his NBA debut.

Martin has averaged 15.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 27.9 minutes through 15 appearances with Westchester, including eight starts. Brooklyn had an open two-way spot, so the team won’t need to make a corresponding move.

Jalen Wilson and Keon Johnson are the Nets’ other two-way players. Brooklyn still has an opening on its 15-man roster, which Wilson has made a strong case for as of late.

New Nets interim head coach Kevin Ollie coached Martin in the Overtime Elite program.

Knicks Waive Duane Washington, Sign Jaylen Martin

2:25pm: The moves are official, per the Knicks (Twitter links).

2:19pm: The Knicks plan to waive guard Duane Washington Jr. in order to sign wing Jaylen Martin, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Washington, who is out six-to-eight weeks with a right thumb injury, is on a two-way contract with New York. Martin will be taking that spot once Washington is released, according to Charania.

Martin has impressed the Knicks “with his play and approach to the game,” tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv. The rookie signed a two-way contract with New York over the summer after going undrafted out of the Overtime Elite league, but he was waived before the 2023/24 season began. He’ll receive a one-year deal, sources tell Begley. His previous agreement covered two years.

Martin, 19, has averaged 10.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in six appearances with the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester this fall (22.6 minutes per game). New York still has a full 18-man roster after the transactions, with 15 players on standard deals and three on two-way contracts.

Isaiah Roby, Jaylen Martin Waived By Knicks

The Knicks have waived forward Isaiah Roby and swingman Jaylen Martin, the team announced (via Twitter).

Roby, 25, signed with New York on the final day of the 2022/23 regular season. He spent most of the season with the Spurs, appearing in 42 games and averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per night before being released in early March. Roby spent his first three NBA seasons with Oklahoma City.

Martin signed a two-way contract with the Knicks this summer after going undrafted out of the Overtime Elite League. His departure leaves New York with an open two-way slot as the others are currently held by Nathan Knight and Dylan Windler.

Roby got into two of the team’s three preseason games and averaged 8.0 PPG and 2.5 RPG. Martin made one three-minute appearance during the preseason.

Neither player had any guaranteed money for this season, so the moves won’t cost the Knicks anything. The team is down to 19 players on its roster, with 12 fully guaranteed contracts.

Knicks Notes: Brown, Toppin, Martin, Bridges

Bruce Brown revealed this week that the Knicks were the only other team he met with before deciding to sign with the Pacers, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Brown was one of the most sought-after free agents on the market after helping the Nuggets win the NBA title. Several teams, including New York, were hoping to land him with their mid-level exception, but Indiana blew away its competitors with a two-year, $45MM offer.

“The Knicks were the first (meeting). I think we had others lined up, but we didn’t make it there,” said Brown, who added that he was heavily recruited by Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton.

Bondy notes that Indiana is also the destination for Obi Toppin, who was acquired from New York in exchange for a pair of future second-round picks. Toppin was stuck behind Julius Randle with the Knicks and his defense wasn’t up to coach Tom Thibodeau’s standards, but Indiana views him as a perfect fit for its up-tempo style.

The trade leaves New York with an unbalanced roster that’s heavy on guards and doesn’t have an obvious replacement for Toppin, Bondy adds. The current options are either too small to play power forward or too inexperienced to be counted on for regular minutes.

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • With a potential hole in their rotation and plenty of assets available to make an impact trade, the Knicks can’t be done with their offseason, says Peter Botte of The New York Post (subscriber link), arguing that the team still needs to take a big swing if it wants to have a legitimate chance to contend in the East next season.
  • Jaylen Martin, who signed a two-way contract with New York after going undrafted, was one of Overtime Elite’s most talented players, his coach told Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Tim Fanning said a hamstring injury that forced Martin to miss two months of the season kept him from getting the same notice as the Thompson twins, who were both lottery picks. “He just ticks a lot of boxes in terms of what you want from a basketball player, especially on the wing,” Fanning said. “He was shooting the ball at a great clip from three. His defense and rebounding – his floor game – was spectacular. His transition, (attacking the) close out, also was on another level from the rest of the competition outside of the Thompsons in that first month of the season.”
  • Mikal Bridges, now a cornerstone player for the cross-town Nets, said recently on the Tidal League podcast that he thought he’d be drafted by the Knicks back in 2018 (Twitter video link). “I thought I was going to go to New York at 9,” Bridges said (hat tip to Jeremy Layton of The New York Post). “I was excited though because I wanted to go to the Knicks, I wanted to be in New York, I’m like, ‘That’s lit.’ Like, still close to home, but a little further out – and I love MSG, all my best games in college were there.” New York ended up drafting Kevin Knox with the No. 9 pick, with Bridges going one spot later to Phoenix (via Philadelphia).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Contract/Cap Notes: Middleton, Lopez, C. Johnson, Watanabe, More

The three-year contract Khris Middleton signed with the Bucks only has a base value of about $93MM, well below the reported figure of $102MM, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).

As Marks explains, the deal features approximately $9MM in total incentives — $2MM are currently considered likely to be earned, while the other $7MM are unlikely (meaning Middleton and/or the Bucks didn’t achieve the criteria last season). For now, the forward’s annual cap hits, which take into account his base salaries and likely incentives, will be $29.3MM, $31.7MM, and $34MM.

Meanwhile, Brook Lopez‘s two-year, $48MM contract with the Bucks has a declining structure, according to Marks. The veteran center will earn $25MM in 2023/24 and $23MM in ’24/25.

Here are a few more contract and cap details from around the NBA:

  • Marks also has the specifics (via Twitter) on Cameron Johnson‘s four-year contract with the Nets, which includes several incentives and declines in years two and three before rising again in year four. Johnson has base salaries of $24.5MM, $22.5MM, $20.5MM, and $22.5MM, with annual bonuses of $4.9MM, $4.5MM, $4.1MM, and $4.5MM. Currently, a total of $4.4MM of those incentives are considered likely, while the other $13.6MM are unlikely.
  • The Sunsdeal with Yuta Watanabe is a two-year, minimum-salary agreement with a second-year player option, confirms Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That was the common structure on the contracts Phoenix offered to free agents — Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop, and Drew Eubanks received similar deals.
  • A pair of two-way contracts that have been signed early in the 2023/24 league year will cover two seasons instead of just one. Craig Porter‘s deal with the Cavaliers and Jaylen Martin‘s agreement with the Knicks are each for two years, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links).
  • A handful of teams using cap room this season have renounced their free agent rights to one or more players in order to maximize their space. According to RealGM’s transaction log, the Pacers (George Hill), Kings (Terence Davis, Jeremy Lamb, Corey Brewer), Pistons (Hamidou Diallo, Rodney McGruder, and Buddy Boeheim), and Thunder (eight players, including Dario Saric, Jared Butler, and Nick Collison) all renounced players. In some cases, those cap holds had been on teams’ books for multiple seasons — they won’t be there going forward.

Jaylen Martin Signs Two-Way Deal With Knicks

JULY 3: Martin’s two-way contract with the Knicks is now official, per NBA.com’s transaction log.

JUNE 23: Undrafted former Overtime Elite guard Jaylen Martin has agreed to a two-way contact with the Knicks, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 19-year-old averaged 14 points, 5.9 dimes, 1.6 steals, 1.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks a night across 23.3 minutes per during his lone season with the Atlanta-based developmental league, per Overtime Elite’s official website.

As a two-way signing, the 6’6″ prospect is expected to split his time between New York and the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

With New York having already agreed to sign former Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin, younger brother of Knicks power forward Obi Toppin, to a two-way contract earlier tonight, two of the team’s three available two-way slots are now accounted for.

It remains to be seen whether or not New York will decide to bring back either of last year’s two-way players, shooting guard Trevor Keels and combo guard Duane Washington, to occupy that third and final two-way contract.

Draft Notes: Bates, Ongenda, Pacers, Hawks

Wing Emoni Bates has upcoming workouts lined up with the Jazz, Kings and Pistons, a league source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Bates has already reportedly worked out for eight other teams, so he is certainly getting accustomed to the extensive travel of NBA life.

According to Zagoria, Bates will have more workouts as the 2023 NBA draft — which takes place on June 22 — draws nearer. A former top high school recruit, the 19-year-old has seen his stock fall over two inconsistent college seasons at Memphis and Eastern Michigan. He’s currently ranked No. 51 on ESPN’s big board, making him a projected late second-round pick.

However, Bates impressed during shooting drills at last month’s draft combine and reportedly interviewed well too, which has helped his standing. He has risen up six spots on ESPN’s list within the past few days.

Here are a few more draft-related notes:

  • DePaul center Nick Ongenda decided to stay in the draft as the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline passed, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The Canadian big man missed most of the season with a wrist injury, according to Steve Newhouse of 247Sports.com, who reports that Ongenda recently worked out for the Mavericks. He averaged 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and an eye-popping 4.4 blocks, but only played eight games as a senior in ’22/23.
  • The Pacers are hosting a pre-draft workout Friday featuring Toumani Camara (Dayton), Tosan Evbuomwan (Princeton), Jaylen Martin (Overtime Elite), Landers Nolley (Cincinnati), Miles Norris (UCSB) and Julian Strawther (Gonzaga), tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Indiana controls five draft picks in 2023, including No. 7 overall. Strawther (No. 49), Camara (No. 54) and Evbuomwan (No. 77) may have the best chances to get drafted, per ESPN’s board.
  • The Hawks, who control the Nos. 16 and 46 picks, are hosting six prospects for a workout Friday. They are Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine), Mike Miles Jr. (TCU), Kris Murray (Iowa), Pete Nance (North Carolina), Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette) and Ben Sheppard (Belmont), as Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays (via Twitter). Murray (No. 25), Prosper (No. 29) and Sheppard (No. 36) are the highest rated by ESPN.

Southeast Notes: Unseld, Wizards, Hornets, Vincent

Wes Unseld Jr.‘s coaching staff will be undergoing some changes this offseason, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, who reports (via Twitter) that assistant coaches Alex McLean and Dean Oliver won’t be returning to the Wizards for 2023/24.

As Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets, McLean had been with the Wizards for the last six seasons and also served as the team’s director of player development. Oliver is an analytics specialist and had been with the franchise for four years.

The expectation, as Wallace notes, is that Unseld will have more power to shape his coaching staff and to hire new assistants going forward.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards‘ search for a new head of basketball operations is moving at a deliberate pace and is still in the early stages, according to Robbins (Twitter links), who says the team continues to compile a list of viable candidates for the job. Washington hasn’t hired an outside firm to run the search, which has been led more by ownership, Robbins adds.
  • The Hornets are hosting a group of six prospects for a pre-draft workout on Friday, the team announced in a press release. Led by Eastern Michigan forward and former five-star recruit Emoni Bates, the workout will also include Meechie Johnson Jr. (South Carolina), Jaylen Martin (Overtime Elite), Landers Nolley (Cincinnati), Jalen Slawson (Furman), and Trey Wertz (Notre Dame).
  • After evolving into more of a play-maker and distributor during his time in Miami, Heat guard Gabe Vincent has been asked to take on more scoring responsibilities since Tyler Herro went down in the first round. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes, Vincent – an unrestricted free agent this summer – has responded admirably, averaging 15.1 points per game and making 40.4% of his three-pointers since the playoffs began.

50 Prospects Reportedly Invited To G League Elite Camp

A total of 50 prospects for the 2023 NBA draft have been invited to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp, according to reports from Adam Zagoria of Forbes and Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter links).

Those players are as follows:

The name of the G League Elite Camp is a bit of a misnomer — when first introduced, the event showcased NBAGL players, but the field of participants now consists exclusively of draft prospects. The event will take place on May 13 and 14 in Chicago, ahead of this year’s draft combine.

Like the combine, the Elite Camp brings young players to Chicago to meet NBA teams and participate in drills and scrimmages. While the combine focuses on the top prospects in a given draft class, the Elite Camp generally features prospects who are trying to break into that upper echelon of prospects but are more likely to go undrafted. The top performers at the event typically receive invites to the combine.

Of the 50 G League Elite Camp invitees, 15 show up on Jonathan Givony’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects at ESPN.com. However, no Elite Camp invitee ranks higher than No. 58 (Hart) on ESPN’s board.

The G League Elite Camp will give the invitees who declared for the draft as early entrants an opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the draft withdrawal deadline on May 31. Not all of the players who participate in this event will remain in the draft pool.

Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.