Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Pelicans Sign Jeremiah Robinson-Earl To Two-Year Contract

FEBRUARY 17: The Pelicans have officially converted Robinson-Earl to a standard contract, according to a press release from the team.

FEBRUARY 16: The Pelicans plan to promote forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to a two-year standard contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Robinson-Earl is currently on a two-way deal with New Orleans.

A league source tells Christian Clark of that the second season of Robinson-Earl’s new contract (2024/25) will be a team option (Twitter link).

After playing two college seasons at Villanova, Robinson-Earl was selected with the 32nd pick of the 2021 draft. He spent his first two NBA seasons with the Thunder, but he was traded to Houston in October and subsequently released by the Rockets before the 2023/24 season began. The 23-year-old caught on with the Pelicans the following week, with the deal made official on his birthday (November 3).

A 6’9″ big man, Robinson-Earl hasn’t played much for New Orleans this season, logging just 10.0 MPG across 21 appearances. He has averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.3 RPG over that span, with an impressive .517/.364/.909 shooting line, though the sample size is very small.

The Pelicans have two openings on their standard roster, so they won’t need to waive anyone to convert Robinson-Earl. In addition to a standard roster spot, they’ll also have an open two-way slot once the move is official.

As our tracker shows, Robinson-Earl will be the 12th player to be promoted from a two-way deal to a standard contract in 2023/24. Trail Blazers big man Duop Reath is the 11th, having agreed to a three-year deal with Portland this afternoon.

Injury Notes: Davis, Hayes, Jones, Herro, C. Thomas

After previously expressing optimism that he wouldn’t miss additional time with the injury, Lakers big man Anthony Davis was ruled out of Wednesday’s game vs. Houston due to left hip spasms, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.

The Lakers were also without reserve center Jaxson Hayes, who is dealing with a left ankle sprain, McMenamin adds.

Davis initially sustained the injury on Monday against Miami, exiting the game in the third quarter. Sources tell McMenamin the Lakers are hopeful Davis will be back in action for Friday’s matchup in Phoenix.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans were extremely shorthanded on Wednesday, with multiple rotation players sidelined for various reasons. A third starter — wing Herbert Jones — was ruled out ahead of the matchup vs. Minnesota due to a right fibula contusion, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. With so many players injured, all three of the team’s two-way players (Matt Ryan, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Dereon Seabron) received first-quarter minutes, with Robinson-Earl getting a starting nod, Guillory adds (via Twitter). Robinson-Earl just signed his two-way deal with the Pelicans last week.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro is off to a strong start in 2023/24, but unfortunately he sustained a right ankle sprain in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game vs. Memphis and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest, the team announced (via Twitter). Bally Sports Heat has the video (Twitter link), with Herro landing on Jaren Jackson Jr.‘s foot following a floater in the lane. Herro was unable to put weight on his leg after the injury and hopped to the locker room.
  • Another player off to a terrific start this season is Nets guard Cam Thomas. Unfortunately, he suffered a left ankle sprain on Wednesday vs. the Clippers and missed the remainder of the game, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter links), who adds that Thomas will undergo an MRI on Thursday. The 2021 first-round pick rolled his ankle after stepping on P.J. Tucker‘s foot (Twitter video link via Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily).

Western Notes: Kings, Tucker, McCollum, JRE, Thunder

With De’Aaron Fox on the shelf due to a right ankle sprain, the Kings are struggling to establish their identity and display the sort of physicality and stalwart defense that head coach Mike Brown wants to see, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. After suffering back-to-back blowouts to the Rockets in Houston on Saturday and Monday, Brown suggested changes might be coming to the rotation.

“I’ve got to evaluate some things,” Brown said. “In this business, you always have to have a sense of urgency, but you have to believe in what you do whenever you make any type of change or any time you do this instead of that. For me, I’m going to go back and I’m going to watch the film, and if I feel the same way after the film, then I’ve got to try to make sure I keep trying to put five guys out there who are going to do what we ask, which is to play together and play the right way while playing fast and bringing a sense of physicality.

“I always have a 24-hour rule, especially after something like this,” Brown continued. “So, I’m going to sleep on it and I’m going to watch this film, and if you earn a chance to play, I’m going to play you. Nobody’s position on this team is sacred.”

The Kings, winners of 48 games last season, are off to a 2-4 start in 2023/24 and rank 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating (114.0).

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Western Conference…

  • New Clippers forward P.J. Tucker admitted on Monday that, despite the trade rumors that swirled around teammate James Harden all offseason, he hadn’t anticipated being part of a Harden deal. “I wasn’t expecting to get traded, so I didn’t know,” Tucker told Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. “It kind of came out of nowhere.”
  • Pelicans head coach Willie Green told reporters on Monday that the team doesn’t have any new details on CJ McCollum‘s collapsed right lung, but expressed optimism that the ailment isn’t too serious, writes Christian Clark of “We don’t think it’s too bad,” Green said. “But we have to run more tests and see where we are after that.” As Clark observes, McCollum dealt with a similar health issue during his time in Portland and it cost him 18 games.
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl‘s two-way contract with the Pelicans is just a rest-of-season deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means Robinson-Earl will be eligible for restricted free agency at the end of the 2023/24 season, assuming he plays out his new contract.
  • Some rival scouts and executives think the Thunder are capable of being a top-four seed in the West this season, but head of basketball operations Sam Presti is preaching patience and appears in no rush to accelerate his team’s contention timeline, as Tim MacMahon details in an interesting feature for

Pelicans Sign Jeremiah Robinson-Earl To Two-Way Contract

NOVEMBER 3: The Pelicans have officially signed Robinson-Earl to a two-way contract and waived Gates, the team announced today in a press release.

NOVEMBER 2: The Pelicans are signing forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Robinson-Earl, 22, was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in two seasons with the Thunder. Robinson-Earl appeared in 92 games (56 starts) with Oklahoma City. With the Thunder facing a roster crunch this season, they sent him in a trade to the Rockets, who waived him before the season.

According to Charania, the former Oklahoma City forward had standard contract offers elsewhere but chose to sign with the Pelicans for a potential better opportunity.

The Pelicans had all three of their two-way contract spots filled, with Dereon Seabron, Kaiser Gates and Matt Ryan under contract. New Orleans is waiving Gates to make room for Robinson-Earl, according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link).

Gates signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Pelicans this offseason after averaging 14.0 points per game in the G League with the Long Island Nets last season. He shot 55.4% from beyond the arc on 5.0 attempts per game last year.

While the Pelicans have an opening on their 15-man standard roster, their proximity to the tax meant they were unlikely to convert one of their two-way guys to a standard deal.

In signing Robinson-Earl, the Pelicans are adding more depth to a frontcourt that has been affected by injuries. As a player with extensive NBA experience, it’s possible Robinson-Earl gets playing time right away, much like two-way player Ryan is.

Once Robinson-Earl officially joins the team, the Pelicans will still have three players on two-way deals and 14 players signed to standard contracts.

Rockets Waive Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

5:10pm: The Rockets have officially waived Robinson-Earl, per’s transaction log. The club also converted Williams to a two-way contract and cut Darius Days in order to set its regular season roster.

1:18pm: The Rockets will waive center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ahead of the regular season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Robinson-Earl, who will turn 23 in November, was the 32nd overall pick in the 2021 draft. He spent his first two NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, averaging 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game across 92 appearances, with a shooting line of .427/.344/.781.

The Thunder included Robinson-Earl last week in the trade that sent Victor Oladipo to Houston in exchange for Kevin Porter Jr. and a pair of future second-round picks. Robinson-Earl had fallen behind Jaylin Williams on OKC’s frontcourt depth chart and was projected to have his role reduced further in 2023/24 with Chet Holmgren healthy. As such, he became a victim of the Thunder’s preseason roster crunch.

While I speculated at the time of the trade that the Rockets might keep Robinson-Earl and waive the injured Oladipo, they’ll go the other direction, preferring to keep Oladipo’s $9.45MM expiring contract on their books for potential trade purposes rather than adding the healthy Robinson-Earl to their group of developing young players.

Houston already has Jock Landale and Boban Marjanovic as projected backups behind starting center Alperen Sengun and presumably saw no need to add a fourth big man to that mix, despite Robinson-Earl’s modest salary. He’ll earn a guaranteed $1.9MM salary this season, but the Rockets won’t be on the hook for his $1.99MM team option for 2024/25.

Unless a team uses cap room a trade exception to claim Robinson-Earl off waivers, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent later this week, free to sign a standard contract with any team except Oklahoma City or a two-way deal with any team besides the Thunder or the Rockets. A team can’t sign a player it traded away if his new team waives him; additionally, a club that cuts a player is ineligible to re-sign him to a two-way contract if he was owed more than $75K in guaranteed money.

Houston now has 16 players on standard contracts and three on two-way deals, so one more move will be necessary today to set their roster for the regular season. Jeenathan Williams, who is on an Exhibit 10 contract, seems likely to be converted to a two-way deal, in which case the Rockets would have to waive one of their current two-way players.

Rockets Notes: Oladipo, Robinson-Earl, Boban, Brooks, Landale

There’s “little” belief among NBA personnel that Victor Oladipo will be able to play much – if at all – during the 2023/24 season as he continues to recover from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Kelly Iko and John Hollinger of The Athletic agree that Oladipo will likely be sidelined for most or all of the coming season.

However, a source with knowledge of the the team’s plans tells The Athletic that the Rockets intend to keep Oladipo under contract until February’s deadline if they can’t trade him before then.

As Hollinger explains, being able to use Oladipo’s expiring $9.45MM contract in a subsequent trade was Houston’s prime motivating factor for giving up two second-round picks in its deal with Oklahoma City. The thinking is that the Rockets will be able to carry Oladipo well into the season if necessary, which may not have been a viable path with Kevin Porter Jr., given the optics of his domestic assault charges and the fact that his partial guarantee for 2024/25 would have increased if he remained under contract through opening night.

While Oladipo may make a better trade chip at this point than Porter, the 31-year-old’s knee injury means that he won’t have positive value either. If the Rockets want to acquire a rotation player using his expiring salary, they’ll have to give up additional assets beyond the two second-round picks they surrendered to land him.

Alec Burks and Talen Horton-Tucker are among the potential trade targets that have already been connected to Houston.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • With Oladipo considered likely to be on Houston’s regular season roster, it’s possible Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who was acquired from the Thunder in the same trade, will be the odd man out for a Rockets team that has 16 players on standard contracts, according to Hollinger. Alperen Sengun and Jock Landale are expected to be the club’s top two centers, so Robinson-Earl and Boban Marjanovic, who has a minimum-salary contract that’s partially guaranteed for $1.3MM, could be vying for the 15th regular season roster spot as well as the third center role, Hollinger speculates.
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, Iko explores the impact that free agent addition Dillon Brooks is having on the Rockets’ defensive mindset. The feisty forward is earning praise from his teammates and head coach Ime Udoka. “Dillon’s been great,” Udoka said. “We want to challenge our younger guys to defend at a higher level, and I think bringing in the right personnel, the right veterans, has been crucial to that. Not only them pulling guys aside and giving them pointers but directly watching them on the court. To have those guys gives us versatility and raises the expectations of the whole group.”
  • Landale, who injured his left ankle in a World Cup tune-up game in August, still isn’t feeling quite like his old self, but he’s getting closer to full strength, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). “It’s a rehab process. It’s going to be a little bit a little bit before I’m back 100% healthy,” Landale said, referring to the ankle sprain as a “significant” injury. “But I feel I’m in a good spot where I can play, play competitively. I just want to be the me of last year.”

Thunder Trade Oladipo, Robinson-Earl To Rockets For Porter, Second-Round Picks

7:28pm: Both teams have officially announced the trade, the Rockets via a press release and Thunder with a separate news release. The Thunder also announced they have waived Porter.

Houston made a related move, waiving Matthew Mayer in order to open a roster spot to complete the two-for-one deal. Mayer, who signed a camp deal in early August, went undrafted in June out of Illinois and caught on with the Rockets’ Summer League team. He’ll likely wind up with their G League squad, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

11:42am: The Thunder and Rockets have agreed to a trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Oklahoma City will receive guard Kevin Porter Jr. and a pair of future second-round picks in the deal, while Houston will get guard Victor Oladipo and forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

The Thunder, who will immediately waive Porter, are acquiring the Timberwolves’ 2027 second-round pick and the Bucks’ 2028 second-rounder from Houston, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

Porter was arrested in September on charges of assault and strangulation after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. The Rockets began trying to trade the 23-year-old shortly after his arrest and confirmed on media day that he wouldn’t be rejoining the team.

According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required), prosecutors dropped a second-degree assault charge against Porter this week due to “insufficient evidence.”

However, Porter still faces charges of second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault, so the dropped charge doesn’t materially affect his NBA outlook. No team is likely to consider picking him up at least until the legal process has played out and the league has completed its own investigation and potentially handed out a suspension.

The Rockets’ goal in shopping Porter was to replace him with a player who could actually contribute on the court this season. It’s unclear what the team’s plans are for Oladipo, who is still recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, but Robinson-Earl should provide some depth in Houston’s frontcourt.

Once the deal is complete, the Rockets will have 16 players on standard contracts — 14 with fully guaranteed salaries, plus Aaron Holiday and Boban Marjanovic on partially guaranteed deals. The team will have to waive or trade one of those 16 players by Monday to get down to the regular season roster limit.

It’s possible Oladipo will be the odd man out, especially if his injury recovery is expected to extend well into the season. His expiring $9.5MM salary could be useful for salary-matching purposes in a subsequent deal, so the Rockets may try to find a way to hang onto him, but most of their roster consists of promising young players or recent additions, so there aren’t any other obvious candidates to be let go.

The Thunder were facing a roster crunch of their own this fall, with 18 players on standard contracts for 15 regular season roster spots. In trading Oladipo and Robinson-Earl for a player whom they’ll waive immediately, they’ll reduce their roster count to 16 players, meaning only one more cut (or trade) will be necessary before opening night.

Acquiring Porter doesn’t look great from a PR perspective for Oklahoma City, given what he has been accused of, but the team will drop him right away and acquires two more future draft picks in the deal. The Thunder also received two future second-round selections when they took on Oladipo in a salary-dump deal with the Heat earlier this offseason, so they’ve essentially added four second-rounders by taking him on from Miami and then flipping him to Houston.

In waiving Porter, the Thunder will eat $15.86MM in dead money this season, plus a $1MM partial guarantee for 2024/25. The rest of Porter’s four-year, $63MM+ contract was non-guaranteed, so Oklahoma City won’t be on the hook for additional money beyond that $16.86MM. OKC also generates a $1.9MM trade exception in the move, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

As for the Rockets, they’ll save a little money in the deal and create a new $4.5MM trade exception of their own. It’s also worth noting that Robinson-Earl, who is owed $1.9MM this season, has a $1.99MM team option for 2024/25, so Houston could hang onto him at a near-minimum cost for two seasons.

Robinson-Earl, who will turn 23 next month, appeared in 43 games for the Thunder last season, starting 20. He posted respectable averages of 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in a part-time role (18.9 MPG) and has shown an ability to make an outside shot (.344 career 3PT%), but was buried on OKC’s frontcourt depth chart with Chet Holmgren returning to action.

The Thunder and Rockets have been frequent trade partners in recent years, dating back to their Chris Paul/Russell Westbrook swap in July 2019. They also came together for trades during the 2021 and 2022 offseasons, and they were both involved in the five-team deal sending Dillon Brooks to Houston earlier this year.

Northwest Notes: Yurtseven, Edwards, Thunder, Simons

Omer Yurtseven tells Semih Tuna of Eurohoops that he received interest from two Turkish teams before deciding to sign with the Jazz last month. The 25-year-old center, who spent his first two seasons with Miami, said he wants to try to establish himself in the NBA before giving consideration to playing in his native country.

Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested,” Yurtseven said. “Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”

Yurtseven, who is spending this summer with the Turkish national team, became an unrestricted free agent when the Heat opted not to give him a qualifying offer. He had a promising rookie year, but was limited to nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He’s happy to get a chance to start over in Utah.

Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top three preferences,” Yurtseven said.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Edwards believes the Timberwolves would been much better if not for a calf injury that forced Karl-Anthony Towns to miss most of the season, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “I think if we get KAT for a whole season, we’ll be all right,” Edwards said. He added that the trade for Mike Conley in February brought a much-needed veteran presence to the team and expressed delight that Minnesota was able to reach an extension with Naz Reid.
  • In a mailbag column, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman projects the Thunder‘s 15-man roster for opening night. Mussatto expects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jack White, TyTy Washington and Victor Oladipo to all be waived at some point.
  • Anfernee Simons expressed support for Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Asked what it would be like to lose his mentor in a potential trade, Simons responded, “A lot of people ask me that question all the time, obviously, like what’s going on with Dame. I say, ‘They say he asked for a trade, he asked for a trade.’ That was it. Obviously, me and Dame have a close relationship. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

Western Notes: Jackson, Smart, Hughes, Pokusevski, Thunder

Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, says he’s excited to team up with Marcus Smart, who won the award in 2022, writes Jerry Jiang of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Smart was acquired from the Celtics last month in a three-team trade, and Jackson reached out to him when the news broke.

That doesn’t happen pretty often or ever,” Jackson said, referring to a team having two DPOY winners at the same time. “I just know what he brings to Boston. I’ve seen it before I was in the league and it’s crazy.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • The Mavericks intend to hire Eric Hughes as an assistant coach, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Hughes got his NBA start as an assistant with Toronto and previously worked under head coach Jason Kidd with the Nets and Bucks, MacMahon notes. He has been with the Sixers for the past four seasons.
  • Thunder big man Aleksej Pokusevski won’t be able to represent his native Serbia in the FIBA World Cup next month, according to The 17th pick of the 2020 draft, Pokusevski suffered a broken arm during an offseason workout at the end of May and won’t receive medical clearance to train with a basketball until late August, the report states. The World Cup starts August 25 and runs through September 10. The 21-year-old was hoping to secure a spot on the Serbian national team’s 12-man roster.
  • In a mailbag for The Oklahoman, Joe Mussatto predicts that Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Victor Oladipo, Jack White, Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington are the the most likely players to be on the chopping block due to the Thunder‘s roster crunch. However, Mussatto notes that OKC has a few months to figure things out and more trades could be in order rather than outright waiving all five players.

Raptors’ Thaddeus Young Among Players Earning Salary Guarantees

Veteran forward Thaddeus Young got good news on Friday when the Raptors opted to keep him on their roster rather than waiving him. Because he’s still under contract, Young’s $8MM salary for the 2023/24 season has become fully guaranteed, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). It was previously only partially guaranteed for $1MM.

Young didn’t initially look like a great bet to earn that full $8MM, since Toronto was facing a cap crunch and he didn’t play a major role in 2022/23. The 35-year-old, who appeared in 54 games for the Raptors last season, averaged just 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per night — all three numbers were career lows.

However, the Raptors gained significant cap flexibility when Fred VanVleet opted to leave Toronto for Houston in free agency. With no risk of surpassing the luxury tax threshold, the team opted to hang onto Young, whose expiring salary could come in handy in a trade at some point during the 2023/24 league year.

Young was one of several players who had a salary guarantee deadline on Friday, as our tracker shows. Hoops Rumors can confirm that Jeremiah Robinson-Earl of the Thunder ($1.9MM) and Brandon Boston Jr. of the Clippers ($1.84MM) also remain under contract and have fully guaranteed salaries for 2023/24, as does Timberwolves guard Jordan McLaughlin ($2.32MM), which was anticipated.

Trail Blazers forward Trendon Watford was the only roster casualty among Friday’s group, having been cut before his $1.84MM salary became guaranteed. The Magic postponed their decision on big man Bol Bol, though his new salary guarantee date has yet to be reported.