Jerel McNeal

2016 NBA D-League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA D-League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s three new teams to add the rights to 12 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 19 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to 10 players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, as Chris Reichert of explained earlier today.

As we noted on Tuesday, the D-League’s three new franchises this year are affiliates for the Nets (Long Island Nets), Hornets (Greensboro Swarm), and Bulls (Windy City Bulls).

The players those three teams added today won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s somewhat rare for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs, as D-League Digest tweets. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas. Still, the expansion draft gives the D-League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Per Reichert, here are the results of today’s expansion draft. The player’s former D-League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Long Island Nets (Twitter link)

  1. Gary Forbes (Grand Rapids Drive)
  2. Carrick Felix (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Jamaal Franklin (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  4. Akil Mitchell (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  5. Peyton Siva (Delaware 87ers)
  6. Alex Kirk (Canton Charge)
  7. Austin Freeman (Westchester Knicks)
  8. Kendall Gray (Iowa Energy)
  9. Lazar Hayward (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  10. Dwayne Polee Jr. (Reno Bighorns)
  11. Matt Bouldin (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Lewis Jackson (Salt Lake City Stars)

Greensboro Swarm (Twitter link)

  1. Josh Davis (Austin Spurs)
  2. Abdul Gaddy (Maine Red Claws)
  3. Tony Bishop (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  4. Scotty Hopson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Toure’ Murry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  6. Rodney Williams (Oklahoma City Blue)
  7. Josh Huestis (Oklahoma City Blue)
  8. Ralston Turner (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Keanau Post (Raptors 905)
  10. Damien Wilkins (Iowa Energy)
  11. Kris Joseph (Westchester Knicks)
  12. Dee Bost (Raptors 905)

Windy City Bulls (Twitter link)

  1. Wesley Saunders (Austin Spurs)
  2. Kiwi Gardner (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Ralph Sampson III (Maine Red Claws)
  4. Booker Woodfox (Texas Legends)
  5. Jerel McNeal (Northern Arizona Suns)
  6. Akeem Richmond (Reno Bighorns)
  7. Casey Prather (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Jon Octeus (Canton Charge)
  9. Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends)
  10. Jamal Jones (Delaware 87ers)
  11. Xavier Thames (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Ian Chiles (Salt Lake City Stars)

Jerel McNeal Signs To Play In Greece

Jerel McNeal has signed to play for Aris Thessaloniki following his release from the Suns earlier this month, the Greek team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The former Marquette standout who went undrafted in 2009 is a three-year NBA veteran, though his only official action came this past season with Phoenix.

The Pelicans and Jazz have carried McNeal on their respective rosters during the regular season in the past, but he didn’t appear in a game for either of them. The shooting guard scored nine points in a total of 36 minutes for the Suns this spring after signing a 10-day contract and later a deal for the rest of 2014/15 with a non-guaranteed 2015/16 salary tacked on. That minimum salary was to have become fully guaranteed earlier this month, prompting Phoenix to let him go.

McNeal, 28, has remained stateside in recent years, playing in the D-League in each of the past three seasons, so it would appear that at this point that he’s switched gears and is prioritizing superior money in Europe over a better chance to stay on the NBA radar. It’s unclear just how much McNeal will make with his new Greek team, however.

Suns Waive Jerel McNeal

The Suns have waived guard Jerel McNeal, the team announced. McNeal’s minimum salary arrangement with Phoenix for the 2015/16 campaign would have become fully guaranteed if he remained on the roster past July 21st, as is shown by our schedule of guarantee dates. This move reduces the Suns’ roster count to 13 players.

McNeal initially signed with the Suns via a 10-day contract back on April 1st after Phoenix opted not to re-sign guard A.J. Price when Price’s 10-day deal expired. The shooting guard, who was not drafted when he was eligible in 2009, had been playing for the Bakersfield Jam, the Suns’ D-League affiliate, prior to joining Phoenix. In 27 games for the Jam, McNeal had averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 32.6 minutes per contest. He has previously had NBA training camp stints with the Clippers, Raptors and Rockets.

The Pelicans and Jazz have briefly carried McNeal on regular season rosters in the past, but he didn’t see action with either team during those stints. In just six total NBA regular season appearances, all with Phoenix last season, McNeal has notched averages of 1.5 points, 0.5 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 6.0 minutes per contest. His shooting line is .273/.500/1.000.

Pacific Notes: Knight, Blue, Hudson

The Suns could face a situation with Brandon Knight that is similar to the one the team endured with Eric Bledsoe last summer in regards to re-signing the player, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. The Suns and Bledsoe remained at an impasse for the bulk of last summer while the two sides haggled over the amount of the contract, and Bledsoe didn’t put pen to paper on his deal until the end of September. When Knight was in discussions with the Bucks regarding an extension last offseason, the player was requesting a deal in the range of $12MM per season, while Milwaukee held fast at $9MM per year, Deveney notes.

Knight only made 11 appearances for the Suns after being acquired at the trade deadline from Milwaukee thanks to a foot injury he suffered. The guard is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, provided Phoenix tenders him a qualifying offer of $4,790,680. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on a new deal this summer, Knight could simply ink the qualifying offer and play out the 2015/16 season. He would then hit free agency in the summer of 2016 when the salary cap is expected to increase significantly, Deveney adds.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Lester Hudson‘s $1,015,421 salary for 2015/16 with the Clippers is non-guaranteed, but if the guard is still on the roster on July 15th his salary becomes fully guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers paid Vander Blue a total of $14,408 for the three days he spent with the team after being inked to a pact that covered the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign, Pincus tweets. Blue can become a restricted free agent this summer if Los Angeles tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276.
  • Jerel McNeal‘s minimum salary arrangement with the Suns for 2015/16 will become fully guaranteed if he is still on Phoenix’s roster past July 21st, Pincus adds (Twitter link).

Suns Sign Jerel McNeal Through Next Season

Jerel McNeal has been signed by the Suns through the 2015/16 season, RealGM reports. Further details were not immediately made available. McNeal’s first 10-day contract with the club expired after Friday night’s action.

McNeal has appeared in four games with the Suns, though he has only scored two points in 19 minutes. McNeal signed the 10-day contract April 1st after Phoenix opted not to re-sign guard A.J. Price after Price’s first 10-day contract expired. McNeal, a shooting guard who was not drafted when he was eligible in 2009, was playing for the Bakersfield Jam, the Suns’ D-League affiliate, prior to joining Phoenix.

In 27 games for the Jam, McNeal averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 32.6 minutes per contest. He has previously had NBA training camp stints with the Clippers, Raptors and Rockets. The Pelicans and Jazz have briefly carried him on regular season rosters in the past, but he didn’t see action with either team, so he’s technically a two-year veteran even though he did not make his official NBA debut until this month.

Suns Sign Jerel McNeal To 10-Day Contract

WEDNESDAY, 2:38pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

TUESDAY, 7:07pm: The Suns intend to sign Jerel McNeal to a 10-day contract, and they will not re-sign A.J. Price, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports (Twitter link). Price’s first 10-day deal with Phoenix expired last night. The Suns’ roster count will move back to 15 players once McNeal is officially signed.

McNeal is a 6’3″ shooting guard who went unselected back in the 2009 NBA draft. The 27-year-old had been playing for the Bakersfield Jam, the Suns’ D-League affiliate. In 27 games for the Jam, McNeal averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 32.6 minutes per contest. He has previously had NBA training camp stints with the Clippers, Raptors and Rockets. The Pelicans and Jazz have briefly carried him on regular season rosters in the past, but he didn’t see action during either stint, so he’s technically a two-year veteran even though he has yet to make his official NBA debut.

Price had also played for the Pacers and Cavaliers this season. He appeared in 10 games with Indiana, averaging 10.5 points, 2.7 assists and 19.3 minutes, before the club waived him in late November. Cleveland then claimed him off waivers and he appeared in 11 games with the Cavs, averaging just 2.0 points, 1.2 assists and 7.9 minutes, until they waived him in early January. In five appearances for the Suns, Price notched 1.2 PPG and 1.2 APG in 8.8 minutes per contest.

Odds & Ends: Iverson, World Peace, McNeal

Celtics second round pick Colton Iverson is working hard in Turkey in an effort to get himself in position to jump to the NBA, writes Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders.  “It’s great to know that they’re still supporting me, watching me evaluating me, helping me think about ways that I can better,” Iverson said. “I know they’re really invested in me right now; I am going to try and put in the hard work and do everything I can to be ready, when they are ready for me be to be ready for them. I am going to keep working every day. Knowing that they have my back and are supporting me right now is a great motivation and I’ll keep working harder than ever before.”  More from around the NBA..

  • It sounds very unlikely that the Nets will make a run at keeping Metta World Peace in New York City, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.  Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (on Twitter) says Brooklyn has zero interest.  MWP probably doesn’t mind since he reportedly has his eye on the Thunder, Heat, and Spurs.
  • Jerel McNeal is back with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest.  McNeal played in China earlier this season for Zhejiang Chouzhou and averaged 21.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 15 games.  Last season for Bakersfield, the Marquette averaged 18.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 44 games. He also earned a call-up with the Jazz at the end of March.
  • Expect the Clippers to make a move on another player or two during buyout season, tweets Arash Markazi of  Doc Rivers has said that he will continue to monitor the market, even after picking up Glen Davis.
  • Lakers newcomer Kent Bazemore used to get attention for his enthusiasm on the bench, but now he’s getting attention through his strong play, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.  The guard has averaged 16 points and 31 minutes in two games with L.A.

Minor Moves: McNeal, Oriakhi, Landry

NBA teams aren’t making a whole lot of changes to their rosters these days, but plenty of recognizable names are on the move overseas and in the D-League. Here are the latest international and D-League transactions worth tracking:

  • Jerel McNeal was released by the Jazz just before the regular season began because he received a lucrative offer from China’s Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls. However, McNeal may be returning stateside, as Zhejiang is prepared to cut him, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Suns 2013 draftee Alex Oriakhi has landed with the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League, tweets Sportando contributor David Pick. The Knicks‘ affiliate now holds Oriakhi’s D-League rights, but the Suns are the only NBA team eligible to sign him.
  • Marcus Landry, who was waived by the Lakers in October, has signed in Spain with Cajasol Sevilla, the team announced today (hat tip to Sportando). Carl Landry‘s younger brother last played an NBA regular season game back in 2009/10.

Western Rumors: Rivers, Jordan, McNeal, Blazers

It was an oft-repeated story this summer that Doc Rivers didn't want the Clippers to part with Eric Bledsoe as the team negotiated with the Celtics to bring Rivers to L.A. The Clippers wound up trading Bledsoe to the Suns in a separate deal, and now Rivers says he was worried that another Clipper would wind up in Boston. The coach wanted to bring Kevin Garnett with him to L.A., but not if it meant giving up DeAndre Jordan, according to Arash Markazi of There's more on Rivers and Jordan as we look at the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Rivers sees Jordan as a defensive player of the year candidate, as Markazi notes in the same piece. "[Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line," Rivers said. "He's a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense. There's five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he's one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them."
  • Former Jazz shooting guard Jerel McNeal has signed with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls in China, reports Kenya Brown of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported last month that McNeal had an agreement with a Chinese team, but it was unclear whether it was with the Golden Bulls or the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions.
  • The Trail Blazers have announced the hirings of Rob Werdann and Zendon Hamilton as assistant coaches for the Idaho Stampede. Chris Haynes of first reported the story (Twitter link). The Blazers control the basketball operations for the Stampede, who have a one-to-one affiliation with Portland.

Read more

International Moves: McNeal, Telfair, Wright

NBA training camp spots are filling up fast, and that's prompting a few hopefuls to cast their eyes overseas. Sometimes a relatively fat contract with an international team is too tempting to pass up for a mere training camp invitation, and that appears to be the case for a former member of the Jazz, as we detail: 

  • Jerel McNeal arranged for his release from the Jazz this week so he could sign a lucrative deal overseas, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reveals that the shooting guard is heading to play in China (Twitter link). Wojnarowski simply says McNeal has a deal with Zhejiang, so it's unclear whether he means the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls or the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions.
  • Several NBA teams have had interest in Sebastian Telfair during the offseason, but he's thinking about signing a deal to play in Europe, HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy reports in the same piece. 
  • Chris Wright will join France's ASVEL Villeurbanne, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter). The Chris Wright from Dayton is in camp with the Raptors for the next month, so this is presumably the guard from Georgetown.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Read more