Joel Berry

Lakers Waive Joel Berry, Jeffrey Carroll

The Lakers have begun making roster cuts in advance of next week’s regular season opener, announcing today in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on camp invitees Joel Berry and Jeffrey Carroll. Both players will become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday, assuming they go unclaimed on waivers.

Berry, a 6’0″ guard, joined the Lakers after a four-year college career at UNC which included a national championship win in 2017. He appeared briefly in three preseason games for the club. As for Carroll, the 6’6″ swingman went undrafted out of Oklahoma State this spring, then played in just one preseason game for the Lakers.

Both Berry and Carroll are good candidates to join the South Bay Lakers, L.A.’s G League affiliate. As for the NBA squad, the Lakers are now down to 15 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals, so they don’t necessarily need to make any additional roster moves before the regular season begins, though Johnathan Williams is still on a non-guaranteed contract and isn’t a lock to make the team.

L.A. Notes: Gallinari, Kalamian, Berry, Kobe

After being slowed by injuries throughout last season, Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari has proclaimed himself healthy as he prepares for this weekend’s NBA Africa Game, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Hand and glute issues limited Gallinari to 21 games in his first season with the Clippers after being acquired in an offseason trade. It’s a familiar story for Gallinari, who has only reached 70 games in a season twice in his career.

“Of course I will play. I got to show you some of the Gallo magic,” Gallinari joked in Wednesday’s conference call with reporters. “Yeah, yeah, everything is good. I’m very excited. I’m healthy now, body is good. So I can’t wait to start.”

Gallinari still has two years remaining on a three-year, $65MM deal he signed prior to a three-team trade that brought him from Denver to L.A. last summer. He will make $21,587,579 this season and $22,615,559 in 2019/20 with no team or player option on the final year. Gallinari fractured his right hand late in the season, but says it has fully healed.

There’s more this morning from Los Angeles:

  • Former Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian has officially joined the Clippers‘ coaching staff, the team announced on its website. Kalamian, who broke into the NBA as a scout with the Clippers in 1992, worked under Dwane Casey in Toronto for the past three years. L.A. also promoted G League coach Casey Hill to an assistant role with the NBA team.
  • Lakers guard Joel Berry has a huge goal for a player who wasn’t drafted. In an interview with Drew Ruiz of Hoops Hype, Berry said he hopes to be among the contenders for Rookie of the Year and talks about the feeling of being passed over on draft night. “It was pretty tough,” he recalled. “It’s always a dream to hear your name get called, but honestly, I’ve always taken the path where I was always overlooked and my game is not the flashiest – I just win – and that speaks more than being a flashy player.”
  • Kobe Bryant‘s wife is quashing any speculation that he might be thinking of a comeback, according to Alysha Tsuji of USA Today. Shaquille O’Neal sparked rumors of a return in a TMZ interview over the weekend, but Vanessa Bryant made it clear that it won’t happen. “Kobe will not be coming out of retirement to play again,” she wrote on Instagram. “He doesn’t want to play again and frankly we really enjoy spending time together as a family without the crazy game schedule interfering with birthdays, holidays and special events.”

Lakers Sign Joel Berry

The Lakers have signed point guard Joel Berry, the team officially announced today. Terms of the deal have not yet been released.

Berry, 23, went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft after spending four seasons at North Carolina. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 NCAA Final Four as a junior after leading North Carolina to a National Championship.

As a senior last season, Berry earned First Team All-ACC honors after averaging 17.1 points in 33.1 minutes per game. He was a member of the Lakers’ 2o18 NBA Summer League squad, but failed to see any game action after suffering an ankle injury.

Lakers Expected To Sign Joel Berry, Jeffrey Carroll

The Lakers are expected to add a pair of undrafted rookies to their roster sometime after the new NBA league year begins, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Scotto, the Lakers have reached agreements on free agent deals with UNC guard Joel Berry and Oklahoma State guard Jeffrey Carroll.

[RELATED: Malik Newman to sign two-way deal with Lakers]

A four-year veteran with the Tar Heels, Berry increased his scoring average to 17.1 PPG in 2017/18, though he struggled a little with his efficiency, posting a shooting line of .396/.344/.893. He won a national championship at North Carolina in 2017.

As for Carroll, he recorded 15.4 PPG and 6.2 RPG in his senior year with the Cowboys. Carroll ranked as the No. 96 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at, while Berry wasn’t in the top 100.

At this time of year, reporting on agreements between teams and players can sometimes be ambiguous, since there’s a difference between Summer League deals, two-way contracts, and training camp invites. However, it sounds like both Berry and Carroll will be in camp with the Lakers this fall. Scotto classifies Berry’s agreement as a free agent deal and Carroll’s as an Exhibit 10 contract.

West Draft Workouts: Jazz, T-Wolves, Blazers, Suns

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday and Duke guard Grayson Allen were among the first-round prospects that the Jazz evaluated on Monday, according to a team tweet. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his latest Top 100 prospects list, while Allen checks in at No. 30. Creighton’s Khyri Thomas (No. 27), Villanova’s Jalen Brunson (No. 34), Louisville’s Ray Spalding (No. 52) and San Diego State’s Malik Pope were the other prospects who visited Utah.

We have some other draft workouts involving Western Conference clubs to pass along:

Draft Notes: Wright-Foreman, Davis, Clippers, Kings

Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman is returning to school for his senior year, he announced on Twitter. The 6’1” point guard averaged 24.4 PPG and 3.2 APG in his junior season. Ole Miss guard Terence Davis is also going back to school for his senior campaign, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. The 6’4” Davis averaged 13.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG in his junior year.

In other draft-related news:

  • The Clippers and Lakers worked out forwards Omari Spellman (Villanova) and Terry Larrier (UConn) on Thursday, Adam Zagoria of tweets. Larrier also has workouts lined up with the Nets (June 5), Knicks (June 6) and Mavericks (June 14), Zagoria adds in another tweet. Spellman is ranked No. 49 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his Top 100 prospects list.
  • Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado will work out for the Jazz in the near future after visiting the Lakers on Thursday, according to Zagoria (Twitter link).
  • The Kings will bring in centers Jock Landale (St. Mary’s) and Dusan Ristic (Arizona); forwards Todd Withers and Billy Preston; and guards Joel Berry (North Carolina) and Jordan McLaughlin (USC) on Friday, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
  • Rhode Island guard E.C. Matthews has worked out for the Nets, Knicks and Celtics, Zagoria tweets.

Draft Notes: Ponds, Heron, Spellman, Melton

After being passed over for the NBA Draft Combine, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s is concentrating on team workouts to prove himself, writes Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. The sophomore guard put up a 21.6/5.0/4.7 line for the Red Storm this season, but wasn’t among the 69 players who received combine invitations.

“For sure, I was most definitely upset,” he said. “I feel I deserved it.”

Ponds worked out today for the Cavaliers and has held a session with the Nets. Cleveland GM Koby Altman spoke with all the participants after the workout, and Ponds said he received positive feedback. “[Altman] said he really likes my game a lot, he really enjoyed watching it,” Ponds added. “There was great energy after the workout.”

Ponds still has workouts remaining with the Jazz, Pistons and Lakers and wants to reschedule sessions with the Knicks and Hawks that he had to cancel because of final exams. He will use the results of those workouts to determine whether to remain in the draft, a decision that has to be made by May 30.

There are more draft-related notes to pass on:

Draft Notes: Ferguson, Blakeney, Berry

Terrance Ferguson has hired Rich Paul of the Klutch Sports Group to be his agent, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The shooting guard opted to play in Australia over attending a university this season and Jonathan Givony of Draft Express pegs him as the 15th best prospect in the draft.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Antonio Blakeney is staying in the draft and he has hired Aaron Turner of the Verus Management Team, Jeff Goodman of tweets. The shooting guard is the 97th best prospect in the draft, according to Givony.
  • Joel Berry is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to North Carolina, according to the university’s website“I know I can continue to improve my game and be better prepared for the NBA after another year playing against the best college competition in the country. There’s no reason to rush leaving school,” Berry said.
  • B.J. Johnson is will return to La Salle for his senior season, according to the school’s website. Johnson had previously declared for the draft but didn’t hire an agent.
  • Elijah Stewart will head back to USC, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reports (Twitter link). Stewart initially intended to declare for the draft without hiring representation, but that didn’t happen because he never submitted the proper paperwork.

UNC’s Joel Berry, Theo Pinson Testing Draft Waters

Three University of North Carolina prospects will test the draft waters, the school announced today in a press release. According to UNC, juniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson are entering the draft without representation. The Tar Heels also confirmed that freshman center Tony Bradley is testing the draft waters, as had been previously reported.

[RELATED: UNC’s Tony Bradley to enter draft without hiring agent]

“We fully support our players taking this step of being evaluated by NBA teams to see where they stand in relation to the Draft,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “All three players have options to do what is best for their careers and going through the evaluation process helps them make the best decision available to each of them.”

Of the three players, Bradley is viewed as the one with the highest upside, but Berry and Pinson are also both solid prospects who played major roles in this year’s championship run. Berry is ranked 86th on DraftExpress’ big board, and comes in even higher on Chad Ford’s board at ESPN, placing 64th. The junior point guard, who turned 22 this month, isn’t considered an elite prospect, but is a solid pure point guard who sees the floor very well, says Ford.

As for Pinson, he comes in at No. 66 on Ford’s big board, though he doesn’t earn a spot in DraftExpress’ top 100. The 6’6″ small forward averaged a modest 6.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 3.7 APG during his junior year, and struggled with his shot, making just 38.1% of his field goal attempts, including 23.7% from three-point range.

In addition to Berry, Pinson, and Bradley, UNC’s Justin Jackson has also declared for the draft — he intends to keep his name in the draft pool and won’t be back with North Carolina next season.