Justin Cobbs

And-Ones: Cobbs, Bass, Wright, Casey

Justin Cobbs has signed a deal with the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). Cobbs was released yesterday by the German club VEF Riga after a one-month tryout. The 23-year-old point guard signed with Riga earlier this month shortly after the Hornets released him in advance of opening night.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Brandon Bass‘ minutes are down this season to 18.5 minutes per game from 27.6 last season, but the Celtics big man is still determined to be productive, Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com writes. “My mindset? It’s the same,” Bass said. “I’m just trying to get better, try to make the best of my opportunities. I try to be efficient and see how it goes.”
  • The Mavs’ Brandan Wright is on a record-breaking pace for field goal percentage in a season thus far, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. This increase in production comes at a good time for Wright, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. “Brandan’s come a long way,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s worked very hard since getting here. He’s gotten stronger, his shooting has gotten better. His free throw shooting has come light years. And he’s a smart player. He knows how to play within our system very well. And this year, he’s playing the four [power forward] pretty well, too. And that’s challenging without the spacing of a stretch-four out there beside him. We just need him to continue on the path he’s on, because he’s a very important guy for us.”
  • Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, whom the team re-signed to a three-year deal this offseason, has been garnering nothing but praise around the league for his work in Toronto the last two seasons, Eric Koreen of The National Post writes.
  • The Pistons have re-assigned forward Tony Mitchell to the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA D-League, the team announced in a press release. This will be Mitchell’s second trip to the D-League this season.

And-Ones: Labor, Mudiay, Prospects, Cobbs

The sharp exchange between Adam Silver and Michele Roberts of late has seemingly served as indication that a work stoppage is on the way in 2017, but Roberts is optimistic that the sides will be able to settle their differences, as she explains to Chris Mannix of SI.com.

“But of course I think it’s avoidable,” Roberts said of a work stoppage. “Does anyone really expect Adam and I will sing kumbaya every day? We’re grown ups. He has a constituency, and I do. We disagree. But that’s the world. You know what we do agree on? We don’t want a work stoppage. Neither one of us wants to see that happen. We have said it to each other. We have said it out loud. Our teams are all smart, we all have the same goals and we should be able to sit down and avoid it. I’d be surprised, frankly, if we had one, but I’m ready if we do.”

While NBA fans hope that Roberts is right about that, here’s the latest from around the league:

  • About half of the league’s teams plan to send either scouts, executives or both to China to check out highly touted draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay, and teams are calling almost daily for information about the point guard, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling (Twitter link). Mudiay, who signed with China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers rather than attend SMU for what would have been his freshman season this year, is No. 2 in the rankings of both Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
  • Errick McCollum, who worked out for the Cavs, Kings and Rockets this summer, is one of several overseas prospects who are making a mark after having gone undrafted, as David Pick examines for Basketball Insiders.
  • German club VEF Riga has let go of Hornets camp invitee Justin Cobbs after what amounted to a one-month tryout, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Cobbs signed with Riga earlier this month shortly after the Hornets released him in advance of opening night. The 23-year-old point guard averaged just 2.0 points in 13.7 minutes per game across seven overseas appearances.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Hawks, Cobbs

It was an active year for extensions around the league as a whole, but the only two Eastern Conference players to sign rookie scale extensions in October reside in the Southeast Division, where Nikola Vucevic and Kemba Walker each wound up with four-year, $48MM deals. The Cavs were active, too, but their extension with Kyrie Irving happened back in July and the Anderson Varejao extension isn’t of the rookie scale variety. Time will tell if Vucevic and Walker prove wise investments for a pair of clubs that had the NBA’s worst records just two seasons ago, but in the meantime, here’s more news from around the Southeast Division.

  • The passage of the extension deadline left the Magic with some cap flexibility for next summer after they failed to reach a deal with Tobias Harris, but the free agent market doesn’t give them much chance to capitalize on it, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel examines.
  • Hawks executive and prospective owner Dominique Wilkins doesn’t believe the team’s racism scandal will affect its ability to attract top free agent stars, as he tells USA Today correspondent Ray Glier. “I don’t buy that,” Wilkins said. “Do they want to come in with the negativity? Of course not. But this is a great town to live in. This franchise has been to the playoffs seven straight years. This is a healing process. If it’s genuine, guys will come.”
  • Hornets training camp invitee Justin Cobbs is headed to play for Latvia’s VEF Riga, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Cobbs spent camp with both the Hornets and Spain’s Laboral Kuxta in an unusual arrangement, but he failed to earn a spot with either club.

Hornets Waive Justin Cobbs

10:26am: The move is official, the team announced via press release.

8:48am: The Hornets are waiving Justin Cobbs, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports. Carchia indicates that the move has already taken place, and while the team has yet to make an official announcement, Hornets assistant GM Chad Buchanan spoke of the 6’3″ point guard in the past tense in his remarks to the Sportando reporter. Dropping the non-guaranteed contract for Cobbs will reduce the Hornets roster to 17 players.

“Justin was really good for us,” Buchanan said. “He plays hard and is a very mature kid with a good work ethic. He makes shots, isn’t selfish and plays defense. He has a bright future.”

Cobbs played sparingly in two preseason games this month, scoring just two points in about nine total minutes of action. The 23-year-old joined Charlotte after going undrafted out of California and playing for the Grizzlies in summer league. He also attended preseason camp with Laboral Kuxta in Spain before joining Hornets camp, and while the Spanish team’s coach praised Cobbs in comments to Carchia, the coach also indicated that he’s still a year or two away from becoming ready for Euroleague action.

The move leaves the Hornets with 14 fully guaranteed contracts plus non-guaranteed pacts for Jason Maxiell, Dallas Lauderdale and Brian Qvale. Maxiell is the leading contender for the 15th spot on the regular season roster, should the team keep that many for opening night, and Hornets coach Steve Clifford appears to favor holding on to the former longtime Pistons big man, as reports indicated earlier this week.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Varejao, Hornets, Heat

The Magic supplemented their coterie of young players with veteran signees like Channing Frye, Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour this summer, but much more significant moves have to happen for the team to become a contender again, as Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel argues. The team has failed to land marquee free agent talent in recent years, and it’ll be a challenge to contend without the benefit of a No. 1 overall pick, Schmitz writes. Only the Bulls and Cavs look like true title contenders in the East this year, but with the season looming, we’ll soon find out if there are any surprises in store. Here’s the latest from around the East:

  • Phil Jackson believes that the Knicks should make the playoffs this year, as he declares in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post. Jackson also disputed the notion that the Knicks didn’t offer Steve Kerr as much to coach the team as they gave Derek Fisher. The Zen Master added that during negotiations with Carmelo Anthony on his new contract, ‘Melo repeatedly expressed a desire for the team to alleviate some of his scoring burden.
  • People close to Anderson Varejao advised him to buck for a trade the past few years, but he says he never wanted to leave the Cavs and can’t see himself playing for another team, as he tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Varejao can hit free agency next summer.
  • Hornets signees Justin Cobbs, Dallas Lauderdale and Brian Qvale are all on non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that cover one season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Heat named Phil Weber the coach of their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Weber, a longtime NBA assistant coach, had been serving as a consultant for Miami.

Hornets Sign Brian Qvale For Camp

The Hornets have signed former University of Montana center Brian Qvale, the team announced via press release. The release also included formal announcements of the team’s deals with Justin Cobbs and Dallas Lauderdale. David Pick of Eurobasket.com originally reported the team was set to sign Cobbs, while Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer first had the news on Lauderdale. Terms for all three remain unclear, but while the team has the capacity to give each of them more than the minimum salary, it seems unlikely that’s the case with any of the trio.

The 6’11” Qvale has spent the past three years playing overseas after he went undrafted in 2011. His addition to the Hornets roster is particularly surprising, given that he’s never attended camp with an NBA team before and didn’t take part in summer league action this past July. His career has taken him to Turkey, Belgium and last year to Germany, where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 26.8 minutes per game for Medi Bayreuth.

Charlotte’s roster swells to 17 with today’s signings. The team has fully guaranteed pacts with 14 players, leaving Qvale, Cobbs and Lauderdale to fight for the 15th spot on the team’s opening-night roster, providing GM Rich Cho decides to carry a full complement of players into the regular season.

Hornets Sign Justin Cobbs For Camp

SEPTEMBER 22ND: The deal is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 18TH: Point guard Justin Cobbs will be on the Hornets roster for training camp, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Cobbs, who went undrafted out of the University of California in June, will also take part in training camp with Laboral Kuxta of Spain, Pick adds. Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia first reported the unusual dual-camp arrangement, with Pick later filling in the identity of the teams. The arrangement would appear to give Cobbs a European fallback in case he doesn’t make it to opening night with Charlotte.

Cobbs went into the draft as the 92nd-best prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings, while Chad Ford of ESPN.com pegged him 131st. In any case, it was no surprise that he was passed over on draft night, and while he totaled just 12 minutes in two summer league games with the Grizzlies, it looks like Cobbs impressed during his predraft workout with the Hornets. His production in college wasn’t shabby, as he averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and 2.4 turnovers in 34.5 minutes per game as a senior this past year.

It’s presumably a non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary for the 6’3″ 23-year-old. Charlotte is only carrying 13 other players, all on guaranteed deals, and that number is poised to swell to 14 once 26th overall pick P.J. Hairston signs his rookie scale contract. Cobbs nonetheless faces an uphill battle on a roster that already includes point guards Kemba Walker, Brian Roberts and Jannero Pargo.

And-Ones: Cavs, Draft, Pelicans, Wolves

The Cavs coaching search may be down to just three candidates, writes Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal. While some names are still being mentioned, Finnan (hat tip to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders) believes the finalists are Clippers assistant coaches Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue and former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt.

Here’s more from around the association:

  • The Nuggets are planning to bring in Tyler Ennis, Zach LaVine, James Young, Clint Capela, Casey Prather and Tarik Black for workouts on Saturday, reports Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves tweeted that Adreian Payne, Justin Cobbs, Kyle Anderson, Cory Jefferson, Markel Starks and Jamil Wilson all have workouts scheduled with the team.
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reports (Twitter link) Russ Smith, Jahii Carson, and Jordan Morgan worked out for the Wolves on Wednesday.
  • Adi Joseph of USA Today looks at the draft needs of the Pelicans. The team currently doesn’t have any picks, but they are reportedly trying to acquire one. According to the article, the team’s biggest needs are at small forward, center, and point guard.
  • In a separate article, Joseph looks at the draft needs of the Timberwolves. According to Joseph, the team’s priorities should be at point guard, and both forward spots.
  • The crew over at Basketball Insiders (video link) analyze the 2014 free agent class and where each player may end up.
  • In a separate article, the latest mock draft from Basketball Insiders has them split over who will be the first-overall pick–Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid.

Draft Notes: Cobbs, Rockets, Gordon, Jazz

We rounded up the draft news this morning and this afternoon, but there’s plenty of new info still coming out. Here’s the latest:

  • Justin Cobbs had a workout with Warriors today, tweets Diamond Leung of Bay Area News.
  • The Rockets brought in Iona guard Tre Bowman for a workout, reveals Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (on Twitter).
  • Aaron Gordon will work out for the Celtics, tweets Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. Boston is reportedly “locked in” to big man with the No. 6 pick.
  • Patric Young, Jordan Adams, T.J. Bray, Alec Brown, and Jabari Brown will work out for the Jazz, the team announced (on Twitter).
  • The Hornets’ workouts tomorrow will include Jordan Bachynski, Justin Jackson, Alex Kirk, Daniel Miller, Dwight Powell, and D.J. Shelton, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter links).
  • Jordan Clarkson made a strong impression during his workout for the Suns, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).

Southeast Notes: Chalmers, Oden, Hornets

Mario Chalmers has struggled mightily for the Heat lately, but he doesn’t attribute his on-court woes to his looming free agency, reports Sean Deveney of Sporting NewsI am not even thinking about that,” Chalmers said today. “Whatever happens this summer, happens.” Here’s more on Miami and the Southeast:

  • The Heat are expected to work out Kyle Anderson, C.J. Wilcox, Joe Harris, Jordan Bachynski and Markel Brown, a source tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link).
  • Greg Oden admits he was disappointed at his lack of playing time for the Heat this season, but it won’t discourage him from signing a new contract this summer, be it with Miami or another club, passes along Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet.
  • Jeff Adrien, whom Charlotte dealt to the Bucks at the trade deadline this year, joined several Hornets veterans for a workout in Charlotte today, notes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Adrien becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
  • Shabazz Napier and Elfrid Payton auditioned for the Magic today, according to Scotto (Twitter link). Isaiah Sykes also worked out for the club, as Sykes revealed via Twitter (hat tip to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).
  • The Wizards will bring in Billy Baron, Jerrelle Benimon, Justin Cobbs, Josh Huestis, Lamar Patterson, and Davon Usher, the team announced.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.