Justin Dentmon

NBA G League Officially Announces Plans For Disney Bubble

The NBA G League has officially announced that its shortened 2020/21 season will take place in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World, confirming the news in a press release. An exact start date has yet to be announced, but the season will tip off in February, per the NBAGL. Previous reports suggested a tentative opening night of February 8.

“We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” NBAGL president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said in a statement. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

Since at least November, a G League bubble has been in the works in order to avoid the frequent commercial travel associated with a typical NBAGL season. A late-December report indicated that the bubble would be set up at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where the NBA resumed its ’19/20 season last summer.

As expected, 18 teams, including the G League Ignite, will participate in the season. Those teams are as follows:

  1. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)
  2. Austin Spurs (Spurs)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers)
  4. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers)
  5. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans)
  6. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers)
  7. G League Ignite (Select Team)
  8. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets)
  9. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves)
  10. Lakeland Magic (Magic)
  11. Long Island Nets (Nets)
  12. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder)
  14. Raptors 905 (Raptors)
  15. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets)
  16. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz)
  17. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors)
  18. Westchester Knicks (Knicks)

As we previously relayed, the G League didn’t anticipate being able to accommodate all 29 of its teams in a Disney bubble, so clubs were asked to volunteer to opt out the season. That’s why 11 NBA teams’ affiliates won’t be in action this season. Those NBA franchises will have the ability to assign players on standard contracts and transfer players on two-way deals to another G League team via the flexible assignment rule.

According to previous reports, NBAGL teams are expected to play between 12 and 15 games before advancing to the postseason, which will begin in early March. Today’s press release indicates that the top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff.

G League rosters will be made up of affiliate players, who signed Exhibit 10 contracts with NBA teams and were waived in December, and returning-rights players, who were on NBAGL contracts in previous years. Teams will also be able to directly add one “designated veteran” who has five or more years of NBA experience, and can select players in the G League draft, which will take place on Monday, January 11.

We passed along word on Thursday that NBA veterans such as Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, Emeka Okafor, Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, and Shabazz Muhammad, among many others, will be eligible to be drafted next week.

Reports in the last 24 hours from Nicola Lupo of Sportando and G League expert Adam Johnson (all Twitter links) have indicated that Justin Dentmon, Josh Huestis, Mario Chalmers, and Festus Ezeli are among the other former NBA players who have signed NBAGL contracts and are draft-eligible.

The Ignite is the one team whose roster is made up a little differently. The newly-introduced squad consists of top prospects who decided to forgo college ball – including Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga – as well as a handful of veteran NBA and G League players – including Amir Johnson – who will serve as mentors.

And-Ones: Kenyon Martin, Will Bynum, 2017 NBA Draft

There have been plenty of headlines about George Karl‘s pending book release, but lost in the Carmelo Anthony barbs that have been heavily discussed in the media of late is the seemingly reignited feud between the ex-Nuggets head coach and his former power forward Kenyon Martin.

Marc Spears of The Undefeated explored the intricacies of the hostile relationship between Karl and Martin.

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 UpsideMotor.com 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)

Odds & Ends: Odom, Dentmon, T-Mac, Minnerath

On the heels of reports that Lamar Odom has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, at least one NBA general manager believes the veteran forward's NBA career is over.

"Just going by what he is giving you on the court, he would have been a risk anyway, maybe someone you give a partial guarantee to just to see if he can turn things around," the GM told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. "But with the circus that’s around him off the court now, no way."

As Odom continues to work through his off-court issues, let's check in on a few more odds and ends from around the Association:

Mavs Sign Josh Akognon To 10-Day Contract

3:49pm: The Mavs have officially signed Akognon to a 10-day deal, the team confirmed in a press release. To create space on the roster, Dentmon was released from his contract before it expired.

8:13am: Justin Dentmon's 10-day contract with the Mavericks is set to expire tonight, and the team will not re-sign him to a second 10-day deal. Instead, the Mavs will continue to audition guards, adding Josh Akognon on a 10-day contract later this week, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Akognon, 27, was in camp with the Mavericks in the fall, but was cut by the team a couple weeks before the regular season got underway. He spent the season in China, pouring in 29.0 PPG on 54.8% shooting in 36 games for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters. It was Akognon's second straight impressive season in the CBA, after he averaged 28.2 PPG for the DongGuan New Century Leopards in 2011/12.

The Mavs have had a revolving door of guards occupying their 15th roster spot in recent weeks, including Dentmon, Chris Wright, and now Akognon. Depending on when Akognon's 10-day deal is finalized, it appears it will expire before the postseason, though after last night's loss in Los Angeles, Dallas is extremely unlikely to advance to the playoffs anyway.

Mavericks Sign Justin Dentmon

MONDAY, 11:06am: The Mavericks have officially signed Dentmon to a 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release.

SATURDAY, 11:45am: The Mavericks are set to sign Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (on Twitter).  Dentmon will fill the spot left by Chris Wright since the Mavs are not going to re-sign him to a second 10-day deal.

The Mavs are quite familiar with Dentmon, who plays for their D-League affiliate Texas Legends.  The 27-year-old has been strong in 2012/13, averaging 22.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.7 APG this season for the Legends and the Austin Toros.  Last year, Dentmon received 10-day contracts with the Spurs and Raptors and was named the MVP of the D-League.

Dallas is apparently looking to audition multiple guards between now and the end of the season.  After Dentmon they'll likely test out one more backcourt option before making a final determination.

Odds & Ends: Kings, Dentmon, Howard

With only three games on the schedule, Tuesday is a slow NBA night in terms of quantity.  However, with the Lakers in Oklahoma City looking to eclipse the .500 mark for the first time since November, there is plenty of quality.  Let's round up any odds and ends from around the league here:

  • Sacramento officials, led by Kevin Johnson, released a report today that provided statistical support for why Sacramento is a better market for the NBA than Seattle, reports Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.  According to the report, the Kings benefit from a pro sports monopoly in Sacramento, as evidenced by the fact that, when compared to Seattle, the Kings had higher attendance in 20 of the 23 seasons in which both cities had an NBA team.  With the Sacramento bid in, the NBA Board of Governors will decide whether or not to approve the Seattle deal in mid-April.
  • In his Hang Time Blog, Sekou Smith takes a look at the tough decisions and disapointment that can come with being a D-Leaguer through Justin Dentmon of the Texas Legends.  Despite currently leading the D-League in scoring and being last year's league MVP, Dentmon is in danger of going the entire 2012-13 season without an NBA look.  Last year Dentmon received 10-day contracts with the Spurs and Raptors.
  • Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops ranks the top 15 free agents come the offseason – both restricted and unrestricted – a list that is headed by Dwight Howard.  
  • Speaking of Howard, the former Magic star ripped into his old squad in a recent interview with an Los Angeles television station, saying the team was "full of people nobody wanted," reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.  Howard makes his return to Orlando on March 12, as if that fire needed any more fuel. 

D-League Links: Draft, Cavs, Dentmon, Head

The annual NBA D-League draft takes place tonight, as the league's 16 teams look to stock up their rosters for the coming season. Former first-round pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, but there are plenty of familiar names among the list of players eligible to be drafted. Let's round up a few D-League updates as the draft approaches….

  • The D-League's official site has the complete list of draft-eligible players, with its picks for the top 25 prospects in bold.
  • As we've discussed in previous posts, NBA teams are permitted to retain the rights to three camp invitees and assign them to their D-League affiliates. For instance, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets, the Cavaliers protected the rights to Micheal Eric, Kevin Jones, and Kevin Anderson. These players are ineligible to be drafted by a rival team tonight, though they could still be signed by another NBA team, if the club was willing to use one of its 15-man roster spots.
  • D-League teams have announced their camp invitees in advance of the draft, as Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside writes. Among the notable names: Justin Dentmon and Luther Head of the Austin Toros, Seth Tarver of the Idaho Stampede, Troy Hudson and Keith Benson of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and D.J. Kennedy of the Erie BayHawks.

Odds & Ends: Dentmon, Curry, Williams, Wright

Here are a few Friday odds and ends from around the Association, with opening night just over a month away:

  • After we rounded up a few highlights from the Celtics' media day earlier this afternoon, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com adds a few more, courtesy of Kevin Garnett's podium appearance. KG discussed Ray Allen, the Heat, and his decision to re-sign with the Celtics, among other topics.
  • Justin Dentmon has signed with Fujian Quanzhou in China, agent Bill Neff tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. Last year's D-League MVP had brief stints with the Spurs and Raptors in 2011/12.
  • Asked once again about his contract situation in a Q&A with Jason McIntyre of Big Lead Sports, Stephen Curry reiterated that he hopes to remain with the Warriors long-term, adding: "I’m an NBA junkie and I know all of the latest news and contract situations. But I won’t base my decision on 'Oh, this guy makes a certain amount, I need to make more' or that kind of thing. It’s about timing in the NBA and the right situation, and winning more than money. But yeah, I know everybody’s contract, that’s common knowledge, but it doesn’t impact my situation."
  • The Trail Blazers must decide by October 31st whether to pick up Elliot Williams' $2.37MM option for 2013/14, and with Williams' season over due to a ruptured achilles tendon, he's not sure what the team will do. Either way, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, Williams intends to be ready and healthy for the '13/14 season.
  • Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside wonders which former D-Leaguers on camp invites have the best odds to earn regular-season NBA roster spots.
  • We heard earlier this week that Julian Wright was closing in on a deal with Israel's Maccabi Rishon, but David Pick of Sportando says (via Twitter) Wright may be having second thoughts after agreeing to terms with the club.
  • In a piece for the Detroit Free Press, Dan Feldman of PistonPowered says Joe Dumars' willingness to look overseas to acquire a player like Slava Kravtsov is a good sign for the Pistons.

Minor Moves: Justin Dentmon

We'll track today's news from the D-League and overseas in this post, with latest update on top: