John Wall

Northwest Notes: Dillingham, Wolves, Hendricks, Nuggets

Timberwolves guard Rob Dillingham, the No. 8 overall pick of last month’s draft, has been receiving advice from Mike Conley and John Wall as he prepares for his rookie season, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

Dillingham said he reached out to new teammate Conley for defensive advice. As for Wall, the former All-Star point guard is a North Carolina native who went to Kentucky, just like Dillingham.

That’s my guy,” Dillingham said of Wall. “He been knowing me, texting me and stuff. At Kentucky, he came to all our games. I just hit him after the [Pelicans] game. I was super mad because I didn’t play that well. I just hit him, and he was just telling me to play my game.”

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Michael Rand and Hine of The Star Tribune recently discussed which Timberwolves players participating in Summer League have the best odds of becoming rotation members in the future. Despite struggling so far in Las Vegas, Dillingham will be given “every chance” to be Conley’s backup at point guard next season, according to Rand and Hine, who also expect fellow first-rounder Terrence Shannon to carve out rotation minutes in 2024/25. Former second-round pick Leonard Miller has impressed at Summer League, but he’s more likely to contribute in 2025/26 than ’24/25, per Rand and Hine.
  • Second-year Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks bounced back with a strong performance at Summer League on Wednesday after struggling on Monday, notes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. A lottery pick last year (No. 9 overall), Hendricks contributed 23 points (on 9-of-10 shooting), nine rebounds, one steal and one block. “I think he was just more aggressive and more physical right from the start,” said Summer League coach Sean Shelden. ” … How you stick in a rotation, how you stick in the NBA, is just playing like how he did tonight.”
  • In a subscriber-only story for The Denver Post, Bennett Durando breaks down the Nuggets‘ projected depth chart for next season. Durando has Christian Braun sliding into the starting lineup at shooting guard, with Russell Westbrook, Julian Strawther, Peyton Watson, Vlatko Cancar and Dario Saric as Denver’s first five off the bench. Westbrook will reportedly sign with the Nuggets after he finalizes a buyout with Utah and clears waivers.

Wall, Thomas, Caboclo Seeking NBA Contracts

Former No. 1 overall pick and five-time All-Star John Wall is among the NBA veterans who are in Las Vegas this week in the hopes of finding their way back into the league. Making an appearance on ESPN’s Summer League broadcast on Sunday (YouTube link), Wall said he’s seeking a new NBA home after having not been on a roster since February 2023.

“My focus is to still work hard and come here and network and be around teams,” Wall said (hat tip to Nick Jungfer of Basketball Forever). Whatever role it is, I’m willing to accept. … If it’s going to a team and being a vet and teaching the young guys how to be a point guard, just to help, that’s a development I’m willing to do.”

Once a 20-point-per-game scorer who was consistently among the league leaders in assists, Wall dealt with a series of leg injuries – including a torn Achilles – and hasn’t played more than 41 games in a season since 2016/17. He appeared in 34 contests for the Clippers in ’22/23, but his shooting rates (.408/.303/.681) were well below his career averages and he has lost a step on defense. The 33-year-old was traded from Los Angeles to Houston at the 2023 deadline and was waived by the Rockets a few days later.

Another former All-Star guard who has struggled to hold a consistent NBA roster spot in recent years, Isaiah Thomas also appeared on ESPN’s Sunday broadcast (YouTube link) and told Cassidy Hubbarth that he continues to seek a new contract after finishing last season with the Suns. Thomas’ time with Phoenix in March and April represented his first stint in the NBA in two years.

“I’m a free agent right now. (I’m) talking to a few teams trying to see what the best opportunity is down the line,” Thomas said. “I want to play a year or two more. Just staying on the slow grind. Staying patiently ready. Knowing that I can impact an organization whether I play or not, and be super impactful each and every day. So I’m just waiting for the call.”

Like Wall, Thomas hasn’t played a full NBA season since 2016/17 and has been slowed by injuries since then — in Thomas’ case, a hip issue limited his availability for multiple years. In the seven years since he averaged 28.9 points per game in 76 starts for Boston in ’16/17, he has played just 115 total NBA games.

Meanwhile, former NBA first-round pick Bruno Caboclo, who has been out of the league since 2020/21, is also in Vegas in search of an NBA offer, according to a report from Mozzart Sport (hat tip to Eurohoops).

A 6’9″ forward, Caboclo never developed into a reliable role player in the NBA, but has excelled in Europe, earning All-EuroCup Second Team honors and winning a German League (Basketball Bundesliga) championship with Ratiopharm Ulm in 2023. The 28-year-old technically remains under contract with KK Partizan, but has been at odds with the Serbian club and reportedly doesn’t intend to return, per Mozzart Sport.

While it’s not uncommon for free agents to hold workouts for NBA teams in Vegas during Summer League, with so many league personnel in attendance, it’s unclear if Wall, Thomas, or Caboclo will be holding any such workouts or if they’re simply in town for networking purposes.

Austin Rivers, John Wall Work Out For NBA Teams

A pair of veteran free agent guards, Austin Rivers and John Wall, worked out for NBA evaluators on Wednesday, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter links). Between 10 and 15 teams were in attendance to watch the session, Haynes adds.

Rivers and Wall have appeared in more than 1,350 regular season games between them, but neither player has been on an NBA roster this season. They’re looking to get back into the league and opted to hold a private workout in Orlando, where teams and executives have gathered this week for the annual G League Showcase.

Rivers, 31, spent last season with the Timberwolves, averaging 4.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.5 minutes per night across 52 contests (10 starts) for the club. His shooting line was .435/.350/.769.

Wall opened last season with the Clippers after sitting out the entire 2021/22 campaign while under contract with Houston. The 33-year-old appeared in 34 games (22.2 MPG) for the Clippers, averaging 11.4 PPG and 5.2 APG, before he was sent back to the Rockets in a trade deadline deal. Houston subsequently waived him and he has been a free agent since then.

NBA teams will be permitted to sign players to standard (ie. non-hardship) 10-day contracts beginning on January 5, so it’s possible more opportunities will open up for veteran free agents like Rivers and Wall at that time.

And-Ones: Mexico, Silver, Wall, Harding, Knight, Jackson

Commissioner Adam Silver dropped a hint that the league would consider having an NBA franchise in Mexico City, ESPN’s Eric Gomez writes.

“We see this as a gateway, essentially, to the rest of Latin America,” Silver said of the city. “We think, whether it be additional G League franchises in Mexico City and ultimately a larger footprint here in Latin America or ultimately the dream of an NBA franchise coming to Mexico City one day.”

Silver added that the league would definitely play another game or two in Mexico City next season. Orlando and Atlanta played there last week.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • In his latest notebook on Substack, Marc Stein confirms that free agent John Wall remains focused on trying to find another NBA opportunity, as he suggested last week. Wall practiced with the South East Melbourne Phoenix on a recent trip to Australia since he’s part of the franchise’s ownership group, but he’s not looking to play there. Wall appeared in 34 games with the Clippers last season.
  • Former WNBA star Lindsey Harding — the only woman currently serving as a head coach of an American men’s professional basketball team — made history as the first female NBA or G League coach in the Stockton Kings’ opener on Friday, The Athletic’s Joe Vardon notes. Nancy Lieberman served as head coach for the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ affiliate, from 2009-11 when the minor league was called the D League.
  • Italy’s Happy Casa Brindisi has shown interest in former NBA guard Brandon Knight, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Knight, who appeared in 451 NBA regular season games, was most recently in the NBA during the 2021/22 season, when he played five games with Dallas.
  • Another former NBA guard, Frank Jackson, is expected to part ways with France’s ASVEL Villeurbanne, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews. Jackson, who has appeared in six EuroLeague games, missed the EuroLeague derby against AS Monaco last week and was absent in the French league game against Dijon over the weekend. Jackson played one game with Utah last season and saw action in 53 games with Detroit the previous season.

John Wall Continues To Seek New NBA Opportunity

Five-time All-Star John Wall hasn’t been on an NBA roster since he was traded from the Clippers to the Rockets and then waived by Houston in February. However, he’s still attempting to make it back into the league, as he confirmed during an appearance in Melbourne, Australia, per

Wall is in Melbourne to visit with the South East Melbourne Phoenix, the National Basketball League team he owns a stake in.

“Whenever I can help the game grow in different countries and in different places, it’s super exciting for me to be hands-on and come and watch these guys working, to let them see the type of work I put in individually at the level I’m at and trying to get back to the NBA,” said Wall, who did some workouts with the team on Friday and will watch the Phoenix in action on Sunday.

“I love the game, I still get up every morning at 6:00 am, work out. I’m still dedicated to getting back in, I think something will happen soon,” Wall continued. “For me, I still love the grind, I still love to get up and put the work in. You just saw me work out for an hour, hour-thirty. No matter what, I still love the game. If I still have the hunger and desire to be [in the NBA], I’ll continue to chase my dream to get back in. It’s just being patient, staying ready, and just letting God do his work, and being ready whenever your name is called.”

Wall is no stranger to NBA comebacks. He missed he entire 2019/20 season due to heel and Achilles injuries before returning the following season for the Rockets. He was also held out of the entire 2021/22 campaign while under contract with Houston before getting an opportunity with the Clippers last season.

While he’s no longer the explosive scorer and play-maker he was earlier in his career, Wall has put up strong offensive numbers in his two most recent seasons, averaging 16.3 points and 6.1 assists in 27.6 minutes per game across 74 total appearances (43 starts). However, his shooting line was just .405/.313/.725 during that time and injuries have diminished some of the 33-year-old’s lateral quickness on defense.

Wall, who held a private workout for teams in July, remains focused on potential NBA opportunities, though he also didn’t rule out the possibility of someday suiting up for his NBL team.

“You never know what the future might hold down the road,” Wall said when asked about the idea of playing for the Phoenix. “I’m not going to make any promises. It’s super exciting to put the jersey on. They surprised me. I came with my own workout stuff on, and they said, ‘We’ve got shorts, we’ve got a jersey.’ I turn around, I got my college number with the name on the back. … That’s some memorabilia I get to take home, and hopefully, I can get all the guys to sign it before leaving so I can put it into my little trophy case.”

Suns Notes: Beal, Nurkic, Bates-Diop, Wall

Suns guard Bradley Beal missed his sixth straight game on Saturday, but there was an encouraging sign that his debut with the team may not be far off, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Beal, who has been sidelined with lower back spasms, went through a 20-minute workout of dribbling, moving and shooting and was able to end it by repeatedly sprinting from one sideline to the other.

Beal isn’t expected to play in Sunday’s game at Detroit, but the team’s medical staff will see how his back responds to today’s exertion. With two off days to follow, it’s possible that Beal’s first game in a Phoenix uniform could take place Wednesday in Chicago.

“I’m just excited for him. I know how much these dudes love to play,” Kevin Durant said, referring to Beal and Devin Booker, who sat out today’s game with ankle soreness. “They hate just being on the sidelines. We don’t want them to rush. We don’t want them to feel like it’s pressure to come back because we lose a couple of games. We want them to be 100% healthy for the rest of the season. So it’s important now to continue to ramp yourself up however you need to.”

There’s more on the Suns:

  • Jusuf Nurkic, who was acquired in a trade just before the start of training camp, continues to have trouble finishing at the rim, Rankin observes in a separate story. He shot 4-of-14 in today’s loss at Philadelphia and is connecting at just 41.7% from the field this season. Nurkic has started shooting more from the outside, with 14 three-point attempts in the last three games after just six in the first three.
  • Keita Bates-Diop made his first start of the season as coach Frank Vogel tinkers with his starting lineup, Rankin adds. Bates-Diop, who replaced Josh Okogie in the starting five, delivered eight points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. Vogel won’t be able to establish a regular rotation until Booker and Beal are playing full time, and it’s possible the fifth slot will keep changing throughout the season.
  • In an interview with Shams Charania on “Run It Back” (video link), John Wall said he would welcome the chance to reunite with Beal, his former backcourt partner in Washington. “Me and Brad are still brothers, we still talk a lot,” Wall said. “… If I could join their team, for sure, I would love that.” Wall, 33, has been out of the league since being traded to Houston and subsequently waived in February.

Heat Notes: Herro, Lillard, Richardson, Dragic, Roster Spots

Damian Lillard spent the summer trying to get traded, but Heat guard Tyler Herro, who likely would have been part of any deal that brought Lillard to Miami, was happy to stay where he is, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin reportedly didn’t want Herro, which made it difficult for the teams to reach a deal without a third franchise involved. Although Herro doesn’t hold any resentment toward Cronin for his decision, he’s happy with the way things worked out.

“I didn’t want to go to Portland, so I’m glad Portland didn’t want me,” Herro said. “I just don’t want to be in Portland. So it’s not personal with Portland, at all. I’m just happy to be on the court. I haven’t played since April. I broke my hand and I haven’t played since then, so I’m ready to play.”

Teammates have been raving about Herro’s performance in camp as he returned from the injury that forced him to miss virtually all of last season’s playoffs. Herro doesn’t believe the perception of his importance to the Heat should change because the team reached the NBA Finals without him.

“I got hurt and obviously we went on a run,” he said. “So I don’t know if that changed people’s perspectives on the way that I play or my value. Nothing has changed. I haven’t gotten any worse. I’ve only gotten better, older, more experienced. And our team didn’t get better without me, we just started shooting better and making shots. We didn’t make shots all year. And I’m the best shooter on the team. So I don’t think with me sitting out affected our shooting percentage. I just think we started making shots.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Lillard discussed his request to be dealt to the Heat during a weekend interview with Sirius XM NBA Radio (Twitter link). “I don’t think it was a secret that Miami is where I wanted to go when I asked for a trade,” he said. “When this conversation started, it was like ‘We’re not going to be able to build this team out. We’ll help you get to where you want to go.’ And that was where I wanted to go.”
  • Josh Richardson appears to be the backup point guard heading into the preseason opener, Winderman states in a mailbag column. In response to a reader’s question about signing Goran Dragic, Winderman said he doubts that the team would want two 37-year-old point guards on the roster, but he adds that the organization’s view of Dragic might change if Kyle Lowry gets traded. Winderman also mentions John Wall if the Heat are in the market for veteran help.
  • Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald takes at closer look at the Exhibit 10 players competing for a roster spot: Justin Champagnie, Cheick Diallo, Drew Peterson, Cole Swider and Alondes Williams.

And-Ones: Holiday, N. Young, J. Parker, 2024 Draft, More

The Heat and Clippers are believed to be the other teams that were seriously in the mix for Jrue Holiday before the Trail Blazers accepted the Celtics’ offer for the All-Defensive guard, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during the latest episode of his Hoop Collective podcast.

“I’m not sure exactly where are the offers were at the end for the Blazers before they decided on the Celtics’ offer, but based on my conversations, my feel was there was at least three teams who were making significant bids.” Windhorst said, according to RealGM. “… The teams I really think were there in the end were the Celtics, Heat and the Clippers.

“The reason I think those three teams were there because I think those were the three teams Jrue Holiday was really focused on at some point being able to sign a longer-term contract (with). And that message kind of went out in recent days. Other teams made offers but it was sort of a three-team, aggressive race at the end. Only the Blazers know exactly what the offers were.”

The Clippers came close to acquiring Malcolm Brogdon back in June, so it will be interesting to see if they make any effort to re-engage the Trail Blazers in talks for Brogdon after missing out on Holiday.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Nick Young is resuming his playing career overseas, having signed with the Macau Black Bears of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), according to the team (Instagram link; hat tip to Sportando). A former first-round pick, Young has appeared in 720 regular season NBA games, but has been out of the league since being waived by Denver in 2018.
  • Speaking to Alex Molina of Eurohoops following his move to FC Barcelona, former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker said he believes the NBA is getting “watered down” because so many teams are trying to tank for draft picks each season, and expressed dismay that players like Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall can’t find NBA homes.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has updated his mock draft for 2024, moving USC guard Isaiah Collier up to No. 2 and Perth Wildcats big man Alexandre Sarr up to No. 4. While Ron Holland of the G League Ignite is still considered the early favorite to be next year’s No. 1 pick, Givony says Sarr has done enough to join the small group of prospects with a legitimate case for the top spot in the 2024 draft.
  • With a series of holes in its programming schedule this winter due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, ABC will air NBA games on every Wednesday night in January, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That slate of games will includes matchups between the Pelicans and Warriors, Mavericks and Lakers, and Suns and Nets, among others.
  • Kurt Helin of NBC Sports believes that Jason Kidd (Mavericks), Steve Clifford (Hornets), and Billy Donovan (Bulls) are three head coaches who will be on the hot seat this season.

International Notes: Mirotic, Wall, Galloway, McCaw, More

Former NBA forward Nikola Mirotic has signed with Olimpia Milano in Italy, the team announced in a press release. The new contract for the 2021/22 EuroLeague MVP will run through 2026.

“I am happy to become part of this great family that is Olimpia Milano and to be able to contribute to making this team and this prestigious company more and more competitive,” Mirotic said. “… I am also very happy to be back playing for coach (Ettore) Messina, whom I met when I was starting out. I’m sure next season will be a fun one and our fans will be proud of us.”

Mirotic played five NBA seasons with the Bulls, Pelicans and Bucks before returning to Europe in 2019. The contract he signed with Barcelona was the largest in the EuroLeague at the time, but it was terminated last month with two years remaining.

After his original negotiations with Milano collapsed, Mirotic worked out a three-year agreement with KK Partizan in Serbia. However, he decided not to sign the contract, citing unspecified “threats and insults.” The franchise claimed it could guarantee his safety and was skeptical about his stated reasons for backing out of the deal.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • John Wall is disputing a report that surfaced on Wednesday that he’s also talking to Olimpia Milano, tweeting, “Where Do Y’all Get Ur Info from? False News!!” Wall played 34 games for the Clippers last season before being traded and waived in February. He held a private workout for several teams last month in Las Vegas.
  • Langston Galloway has signed with Pallacanestro Reggiana in Italy, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews (Twitter link). The eight-year NBA veteran is part of the Select Team that’s scrimmaging against Team USA’s World Cup squad. He played for College Park in the G League last season.
  • Patrick McCaw has joined Filou Oostende in Belgium, the team announced. He spent last season with the G League champion Delaware Blue Coats after winning three NBA titles with Golden State and Toronto.
  • Former NBA guard Semaj Christon has signed with Germani Brescia in Italy, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Christon participated in a free agent mini-camp with the Timberwolves in June.
  • Former Pistons shooting guard Deividas Sirvydis has a new contract with Lietkabelis Panevezys in Lithuania, according to Urbonas.
  • G League forward Robert Woodard II has joined ADA Blois Basket, the team tweeted. The 40th pick in the 2020 draft signed with the Thunder last October and spent the season in the G League.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Harden, Lillard, Reed, Wall, Knicks

Sixers center Joel Embiid admitted being disappointed in James Harden‘s trade request during an interview Sunday with Rachel Nichols of Showtime (Twitter link). Embiid also said he understands that it’s the “business” side of the league and expressed hope that Harden’s “mindset can be changed.”

It was Embiid’s first public comment on the situation since Harden expressed a desire to be traded after deciding to pick up his $35.6MM option for next season. The Clippers are reportedly his preferred destination, although there has been little indication of any progress in trade talks.

Embiid also said he and Harden will remain friends no matter what happens with the trade request, but he would like to have him stay in Philadelphia and see what they can accomplish under new head coach Nick Nurse.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers don’t have the assets for a Damian Lillard trade, even if president of basketball operations Daryl Morey decides to include Tyrese Maxey in his offer, argues David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Murphy points out that recent trades involving the NBA’s top stars have involved parcels of draft assets, which Morey doesn’t have available. The Sixers are limited to offering one future first-round pick, plus four pick swaps, which is unlikely to interest a team like the Trail Blazers, who will be hoping to build around young talent if they move Lillard.
  • The decision to match Utah’s offer sheet for Paul Reed leaves the Sixers $6.6MM over the tax threshold with 13 players holding guaranteed contracts, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.
  • The Celtics were among the teams that attended John Wall‘s private workout Sunday in Las Vegas, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. However, Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t see Wall as a good fit in light of the team’s recent moves. Boston signed free agent point guard Dalano Banton this summer and already has Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard on the roster. The Celtics are already facing a significant tax bill, Robb adds, and any free agent addition would bring millions more in tax penalties. Iko identifies the Trail Blazers as another team that sent representatives to watch Wall.
  • Knicks officials were at a private workout for free agents Alize Johnson and Ben McLemore, according to Ian Begley of (Twitter link). Johnson played four games for the Spurs last season before being waived in December, while McLemore most recently played in China.