Kennedy Chandler

Nets Sign, Waive Kennedy Chandler, Patrick Gardner

October 21: The Nets waived both Chandler and Gardner, the team announced (Twitter link via Spotrac’s Keith Smith).

October 19: The Nets have signed guard Kennedy Chandler and center Patrick Gardner, according to the team (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).

In all likelihood, both players received Exhibit 10 contracts that will make them eligible for bonuses worth up to $75K if they’re waived by Brooklyn and then spend at least 60 days with the Long Island Nets. Neither player’s G League rights are held by another team, so the Nets will be able to make them both affiliate players. Exhibit 10 deals can also be converted to two-way contracts, and Brooklyn does have an open two-way slot.

Chandler, the 38th overall pick in the 2022 draft, signed a four-year contract with the Grizzlies last July that included three guaranteed seasons. However, the team opted to waive him in April to make room on the roster for Kenneth Lofton, eating his salaries for 2023/24 and ’24/25.

As a rookie, Chandler appeared in 36 NBA games, averaging 2.2 points and 1.6 assists in 7.8 minutes per night. He was more effective in 12 G League games with the Memphis Hustle (15.3 PPG, 6.2 APG) and this summer with Brooklyn’s Summer League team (14.0 PPG, 5.4 APG), though he continued to struggle with his outside shot — after hitting just 24.0% of 4.2 attempts per game in the NBAGL last season, he made 2-of-14 (14.3%) in Las Vegas.

Gardner, meanwhile, reached his Exhibit 10 agreement with the Nets back in July after playing for the Heat in Summer League and before representing Egypt at the World Cup. The big man, who transferred to Marist for his final year of college ball, averaged 19.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per game (33 games) in 2022/23. He also had a three-point percentage of 38.3%, an impressive mark for a 6’11” frontcourt player.

Brooklyn had only been carrying 18 players on its preseason roster, so no cuts were necessary to make room for Chandler and Gardner. The club still has one opening on its 21-man squad.

Timberwolves Notes: Payne, Payton, Chandler, Edwards, Towns

The Timberwolves are “kicking the tires” on free agent point guard Cameron Payne, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). However, as of Friday morning, the team hadn’t extended an offer to the veteran guard, per Wolfson.

Payne, 29, averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 assists in 48 games with the Suns last year, becoming a reliable rotation point guard for Phoenix. The 6’1″ guard closed out his Suns tenure with a 31-point game in the playoffs against Denver. Phoenix traded him to San Antonio this offseason in order to open up a roster spot, then he was waived by the Spurs on Monday.

Minnesota has also had a couple point guards – Elfrid Payton and Kennedy Chandler – in for workouts during the last few weeks, according to Wolfson. However, neither guard was offered a contract following their respective workouts.

Payton, 29, holds career averages of 10.1 points and 5.7 assists in 500 NBA games. The 6’3″ guard hasn’t appeared in a game since the 2021/22 season. Chandler, 21, spent last season with Memphis after being drafted with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2022 draft. However, the former Tennessee guard was waived in April. He averaged 2.2 points in 36 appearances in his lone NBA season so far.

We have more from the Timberwolves:

  • Anthony Edwards‘ ascension from young star to potential superstar was obvious during the 2023 FIBA World Cup, though one of his most impressive moments came off the court, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer opines. Fischer writes that Edwards was asked a question about which teammate he’d rather trade: Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert. After initially ignoring it, Edwards circled back to the question. “Neither one, man,” Edwards said. “I like all my teammates. I love them. They my brothers. I wouldn’t trade neither one of them.” In his journey to superstardom, Fischer writes, Edwards’ leadership shined this summer.
  • In his annual NBA player tier rankings, The Athletic’s Seth Partnow placed Towns in his Tier 4B, defining him as a “sub-elite” big. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski joined Partnow to go through his logic for placing Towns between the 55th and 66th-best players in the league in his ranking. Partnow reasons that while Towns’s offensive production is tremendous, his defense and availability leave much to be desired.
  • In case you missed it, the Timberwolves signed guard Vit Krejci to a training camp deal on Thursday.

Atlantic Notes: Chandler, Siakam, Anonoby, Harden, Harris

Kennedy Chandler is hoping for a two-way contract offer from the Nets after getting extensive playing time with their Summer League team, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Chandler averaged 14.0 points, 5.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in Las Vegas, but he did little to ease concerns about his outside shot. He was just 2-of-14 from beyond the arc during Summer League after shooting 13.3% on three-pointers with the Grizzlies last season.

Armoni Brooks and second-round pick Jalen Wilson hold two of Brooklyn’s two-way spots, but there’s an opening after RaiQuan Gray, who was in line for the other one, was waived this week. Chandler is expected to receive consideration, according to Lewis, but his fate might depend on who else becomes available.

Chandler was an intriguing prospect with Memphis a year ago after a strong season at Tennessee and a 41 1/2-inch leap at the draft combine. However, he was waived on the final weekend of the season when the Grizzlies promoted Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a standard contract. Chandler has guaranteed money for two more years, but he doesn’t want to face the end of his NBA career at age 20.

“That’s the whole point of me playing this summer,” he said. “I want to play every single game, kill, dominate whoever is in front of me. And not just worry about myself, honestly. You just worry about doing what I can do; then the rest will come.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors are exploring the market for Pascal Siakam, but they aren’t interested in trading OG Anunoby, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Koreen confirms that Toronto talked to Charlotte and Portland about moving Siakam in a deal for the No. 2 or No. 3 pick, but never got close to a trade with either team. He adds that if Raptors officials don’t like the offers they get for Siakam, they’re likely to begin extension talks sometime this summer.
  • As Sixers guard James Harden waits for a trade, he has removed any mention of the team or Philadelphia from his social media accounts, per Dhani Joseph of The New York Post.
  • Sixers owner Josh Harris felt “humbled and awed” after his group’s purchase of the NFL’s Washington Commanders for a record $6.05 billion was finalized this week, writes John Keim of ESPN. “I feel an awesome responsibility to the city of Washington,” said Harris, who grew up in the area. “I know what I’ve got to do. It comes down to winning. It’s on me and on our ownership group to deliver. That’s what we’re going to do.”

And-Ones: Expansion, I. Thomas, Rubio, K. Chandler

NBA commissioner Adam Silver once again addressed the possibility of expansion during a press conference on Monday, telling reporters – including Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic – that the league will more seriously consider that possibility after completing the next media rights deal. The current media deal expires after the 2024/25 season.

Silver acknowledged that Las Vegas and Seattle are two markets the NBA will consider if and when the time comes, but stressed that the league hasn’t started that process and that it would involve more than just those two cities.

“We will look at this market,” he said from Vegas. “There’s no doubt there’s enormous interest in Seattle. That’s not a secret. There are other markets that have indicated interest. For the people who hear or read about this interview, we are not engaged in that process now. We’re not taking meetings right now with any potential groups. What we’re saying to everyone, privately is the same thing I’m saying publicly that there’ll be a very open process at the time already to consider expansion. But that’s not yet. That’s not yet now.”

Silver also addressed several other topics during his press conference in Las Vegas, including the influence of gambling on the sport and sovereign wealth funds purchasing stakes in NBA franchises. Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press and Tim Bontemps of ESPN have quotes from Silver on those issues, among others.

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

  • As first tweeted by Jamal Crawford and later confirmed by the guard himself, Isaiah Thomas is among the veteran free agents conducting workouts for teams in Las Vegas as he looks to get back into the NBA. John Wall, Dion Waiters, and Harry Giles are a few of the other free agents who have worked out for NBA clubs in Vegas.
  • Could this be Ricky Rubio‘s last season in the NBA? According to a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the veteran point guard is considering returning to his home country and playing for Barcelona in 2024. Rubio is under contract with the Cavaliers for two more seasons, though his ’24/25 salary is only partially guaranteed.
  • After being waived by Memphis last season, guard Kennedy Chandler is owed guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons. However, he’s not satisfied to simply cash those pay checks, telling Brian Lewis of The New York Post that he’s determined to get back on an NBA roster in 2023/24. “I don’t really care that they still have to pay me for two years. I really don’t care about that because I want to get paid more,” he said. “It’s not just about the money. I could say ‘Nah, I’m good.’ I could sign a regular G-League, or a two-way. But I want to push myself and get back on a contract with another team and get back to what I used to do and be me, be myself.”
  • Speaking to Howard Beck of GQ, veteran agent David Falk – who represented Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, among other stars in the 1990s – explained why he finds NBA free agency “a little bit boring” these days. In Falk’s view, the league’s cap and contract rules have limited agents’ ability to get creative when they negotiate contracts. “The nature of being an agent, it’s become so restrictive that it doesn’t require a lot of skills,” he said. “Mathematically, only 30 percent of the contracts are negotiated. And I think that most players really don’t need agents today.”

Grizzlies Promote Lofton, Waive Chandler, Sign Gilyard

1:48pm: The Grizzlies have officially announced their series of roster moves, including a two-way deal for guard Jacob Gilyard, which was first reported by Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

An undrafted rookie in 2022, Gilyard spent the season with the Memphis Hustle in the G League and led the NBAGL in assists per game (9.7). He’ll occupy the two-way slot previously held by Lofton, while Lofton moves into the 15-man roster spot that had been held by Chandler.

12:39pm: The Grizzlies are promoting rookie two-way forward Kenneth Lofton Jr. to their standard roster, and will sign him to a four-year, $7MM contract, Lofton’s agent Mike George informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

Lofton was recently named the 2022/23 G League Rookie of the Year. With the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, he averaged 20.2 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.2 SPG and 0.6 BPG across 17 games, including 15 starts.

The 6’7″ power forward has appeared in 23 games for the Grizzlies proper, posting modest averages of 3.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG and 0.9 SPG in 5.9 MPG.

Woj notes that Lofton is being inked to Memphis’ standard 15-man roster in part to address the absence of center Steven Adams, who is reportedly likely to miss the entire 2023 postseason due to the lingering effects of his right knee injury. Adams is one of two key big men unavailable for the Grizzlies — reserve power forward Brandon Clarke tore his Achilles in early March.

Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian tweets that Lofton, who would have entered restricted agency this summer if not for his new deal, has impressed the Grizzlies with his development thus far this season.

To carve out roster space for Lofton, Memphis is releasing rookie guard Kennedy Chandler, sources inform Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Chandler, 20, was selected with the No. 38 pick in the 2022 draft out of Tennessee. As Charania notes, Chandler had been on a long-term agreement with the club, and should now garner significant attention on the waiver wire or as a free agent if he manages to clear waivers.

Herrington adds (via Twitter) that Chandler flashed promise with his ball-handling and defense this season, and may be a better fit on a team that will have more patience as he develops. The 51-30 Grizzlies are clearly prioritizing win-now pieces.

Memphis will be on the hook for Chandler’s guaranteed cap hits in 2023/24 ($1.72MM) and ’24/25 ($2.02MM) if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Southwest Notes: Jones, Chandler, Luka, Mavs, Spurs

With Ja Morant sidelined on Monday due to left ankle soreness, Tyus Jones showed why the Grizzlies made him the NBA’s highest-paid backup point guard this past summer, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Inserted into the starting lineup, Jones responded by scoring 28 points and dishing out 10 assists en route to an impressive Memphis win over Miami.

While we could quibble over whether Jones is technically the NBA’s highest-paid backup point guard (Russell Westbrook is coming off the bench in Los Angeles while earning more than three times as much), the Grizzlies point guard is perhaps the league’s highest-paid point guard who signed his contract expecting to be a backup — even if he doesn’t think of himself that way.

“I feel like I view myself as a starter in this league,” Jones said. “I feel like I am a starter in this league. I just come off the bench, and I have no shame in that. I love being in Memphis, and I take pride in my role.”

Morant’s absence and Jones’ promotion gave Grizzlies rookie Kennedy Chandler the rare chance to play a major role off the bench, and he logged a season-high 26 minutes in the win over the Heat. As Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details, Chandler has taken advantage this season of the opportunity to lean from the two veteran point guards ahead of him on the depth chart, but admits he has had to adjust to not playing regularly.

“It’s hard. It’s the first time I’ve ever dealt with this. My whole entire life I’ve played 30 minutes (a game),” Chandler said. “This is a business, it’s a growing up moment for me to just keep my mind right.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd recognizes that the workload Luka Doncic has handled so far this season isn’t sustainable, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Doncic ranks first in the West with a 37.9% usage rate and is second in the conference in minutes per game (36.8). “For 82 games, it’s no way that he can play at this level, the usage is just way too high. No one can. You know, the things that we ask him to do on the offensive end and then asked him to defend on the other end. It’s a lot,” Kidd said, noting that other players will have to step up for Dallas.
  • Now a member of the Wizards, former Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is willing to admit in a conversation with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports that he “just wasn’t the right guy” to be Doncic’s co-star. “On paper, it would be the perfect fit, but it just didn’t mesh the way that we wanted to,” Porzingis said. “We just did not mesh together well. Sometimes it’s like that in the workplace, you know? It just didn’t work out the way you expected.”
  • The Spurs are doing a ton of homework to prepare for the possibility of landing Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 draft, including considering how their current players might mesh with him, according to LJ Ellis of The Spurs won’t have more than a 14% chance of winning the No. 1 pick in next year’s lottery, but it seems likely they’ll be among the top contenders for Wembanyama — San Antonio is currently just 6-18, dead last in the West.

Grizzlies Sign Kennedy Chandler To Four-Year Deal

JULY 6: The Grizzlies have officially signed Chandler, according to the transactions log at

JULY 5: The Grizzlies are signing second-round pick Kennedy Chandler to a four-year, $7.1MM contract, his agent Ryan Davis tells Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

According to Charania, Chandler’s rookie contract contains $4.94MM in guaranteed money, which is the most an American second-rounder has ever received.

A four-year, minimum-salary contract would have been worth $6.94MM, so Chandler will likely receive a little more than the minimum in his rookie season.

The Grizzlies acquired Chandler in a draft-day trade from the Spurs in exchange for the Lakers’ 2024 second-round pick and cash. He was the 38th selection of the 2022 NBA draft.

Chandler was ranked 20th on ESPN’s big board prior to the draft, so he slid a bit to fall into the second round. The Memphis native averaged 13.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.7 APG and 2.2 SPG on .464/.383/.606 shooting in 34 games (30.8 MPG) as a freshman for Tennessee this past season.

Although he stands just 6’0″, Chandler is an excellent athlete and has a reputation as a strong defender. The 19-year-old recorded the highest max vertical leap (41.5″) and the second-fastest shuttle run (2.89) among all participants who were tested at the NBA draft combine in May.

Chandler is a true point guard, capable of distributing and getting to his spots at a high level. He’s currently starting for Memphis’ Summer League squad against Philadelphia in Salt Lake City, recording six points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks through nearly three quarters of action, per ESPN.

As Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian observes (Twitter links), Chandler’s deal is pretty similar to the contract Xavier Tillman received from the Grizzlies as the 35th pick in 2020 ($6.5MM over four years, with $4.6MM guaranteed). The Grizzlies had to use part of their mid-level exception to give Chandler a four-year deal, Herrington notes.

Grizzlies Acquire Kennedy Chandler From Spurs

JUNE 24: The trade is now official, the Spurs announced in a press release. The Grizzlies have also announced the deal, indicating in their press release that they’re sending the Lakers’ 2024 second-round pick to San Antonio.

JUNE 23: The Grizzlies are acquiring Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler, the No. 38 pick, from the Spurs, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the Spurs will receive a future second-rounder and cash in exchange for the No. 38 pick.

Chandler was ranked No. 20 on ESPN’s big board prior to the draft, so he appears to be a solid value pick for the Grizzlies in the second round. The Memphis native averaged 13.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.7 APG and 2.2 SPG on .464/.383/.606 shooting in 34 games (30.8 MPG) as a freshman this season.

Chandler’s local ties likely played a factor in Memphis’ decision to trade for him, as the team had plenty of opportunities to scout him. Although he’s just 6’0″, likely causing his draft stock to fall, Chandler is an excellent athlete and a strong defender. He’s a true point guard, capable of distributing and getting to his spots at a high level.

The Grizzlies are trading De’Anthony Melton to the Sixers, so they had a hole to fill in the backcourt depth chart. It will be interesting to see if the decision to acquire Chandler has an impact on the impending free agency of backup point guard Tyus Jones.

Central Notes: Pistons Prospects, Griffin, Bucks Wings, Chandler

The Pistons could go in a variety of directions with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. According to Edwards, while Purdue guard Jaden Ivey or Iowa forward Keegan Murray seem most likely to be selected, Arizona swingman Bennedict Mathurin enjoyed a good workout with the club and has impressed Detroit’s front office personnel.

Edwards considers the 6’4″ Ivey, a consensus All-American and a 2021/22 All-Big Ten selection, to have the highest ceiling among this trio. In 36 college contests, Ivey averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG and 0.9 SPG with a shooting line of .460/.358/.744.

Edwards acknowledges that the versatile Murray seems more readily capable of contributing at the next level than Ivey. The 6’8″ forward, himself a consensus All-American and 2021/22 All-Big Ten honoree while with the Hawkeyes, averaged 23.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 1.5 APG and 1.3 SPG across 35 games.

Mathurin projects to be a solid long-range shooter and wing defender, Edwards writes. Mathurin was a consensus All-American and the 2021/22 Pac-12 Player of the Year during his second season with the Wildcats, averaging 17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 2.5 APG. During his sophomore season, the 6’7″ guard boasted shooting averages of .450/.369/.764.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Former Duke small forward AJ Griffin believes he would be a good match for the Pacers, per James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star. The Pacers possess the sixth pick in the 2022 draft. “I think I would fit perfectly,” Griffin said. “Just being able to play with guys who look for their open teammates and get your teammates going, I think I would fit perfectly… I love [guard Tyrese Haliburton]’s game.” Though Griffin averaged a fairly modest 10.4 PPG and 3.9 RPG as a one-and-done freshman for the Blue Devils, he proved to be a promising three-point shooter, connecting on 44.7% of his 4.1 long-range looks per night. The 18-year-old is currently listed as the ninth-best player on ESPN’s big board.
  • Though the Bucks did not defend their 2021 title in the 2022 postseason, the team’s rotation wings performed at a high level during the 2021/22 season, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Nehm grades the on-court play of All-Star small forward Khris Middleton, swingman Wesley Matthews, guard Pat Connaughton, guard Grayson Allen, and the rest of Milwaukee’s perimeter players.
  • The Cavaliers are set to work out Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler on Wednesday, according to Andrew Slater of Pro Insight (Twitter link). Cleveland possesses the No. 14 pick at the end of the 2022 draft lottery. Chandler was the MVP of the 2022 SEC Tournament. A 2022 All-SEC Second Team selection, the 6’0″ guard averaged 13.9 PPG, 4.7 APG and 3.2 RPG on .464/.383/.606 shooting for the Volunteers. Chandler is listed as the No. 19 prospect on the latest ESPN board.

Central Notes: Ibaka, Bucks, Branham, Pacers

Despite some chatter out of Europe regarding his future, veteran Bucks big man Serge Ibaka, an unrestricted free agent this summer, intends to remain in the NBA next season, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Carchia notes that Italian EuroLeague club Virtus Bologna, winners of the 2021 Italian Serie A, would be interested in adding Ibaka, but the team has not made any formal outreach to the 32-year-old. Before joining the NBA for the 2009/10 season, Ibaka played for two Spanish pro clubs: Bàsquet Manresa and EuroLeague powerhouse Real Madrid.

Last year while with the Clippers and Bucks, Ibaka posted his most modest numbers since his 2009/10 rookie season with the Thunder. For the regular season, the 6’10” power forward/center averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG across 16.2 MPG.

Ibaka, a former three-time All-Defensive Team selection and a champion with the Raptors in 2019, played even more minimally in the postseason for Milwaukee. He appeared in only six of the Bucks’ 12 playoff contests this year, averaging 1.5 PPG and 1.7 RPG in just 3.7 MPG when he did play.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks may look to the upcoming draft to build out their bench depth for the 2022/23 season. Eric Nehm of The Athletic assesses four point guard prospects who could fit for Milwaukee behind 2022 All-Defensive Second Teamer Jrue Holiday: Kentucky guard TyTy Washington, G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy, Tennessee freshman Kennedy Chandler, and 6’7″ Arizona prospect Dalen Terry.
  • An ankle sprain prevented Ohio State guard Malaki Branham from participating in a group workout with the Cavaliers, but the team was nevertheless intrigued by the NBA prospect following a dinner, per Chris Fedor of (Twitter link). Fedor adds (via Twitter) that Cleveland intends to bring Branham back to its facilities for a healthy workout ahead of the June 23 draft.
  • Due to a flight delay, three prospects missed their group workout with the Pacers on Friday, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, Iraurgi Saski Baloia shooting guard Pavel Savkov and Urbas Fuenlabrada guard Ziga Samar were not able to participate in a team workout that also included G League Ignite prospect Dyson Daniels, Oklahoma guard Kameron McGusty and Villanova forward Jermaine Samuels. Given that most prospects have fairly busy schedules leading up to the draft, it is unclear whether this triumvirate’s Pacers workout will be rescheduled.