L.J. Peak

Celtics Trim Roster With Four Cuts

The Celtics have waived Daniel Dixon, Jonathan Holmes, L.J. Peak and Andrew White, the team announced on Twitter.

Dixon, initially reported to be joining the team in August, didn’t officially sign on with the C’s until this week. The shooting guard went undrafted out of William & Mary back in June.

Holmes, on the other hand, a big man out of Texas, went undrafted back in 2015 and has struggled with injuries since.

Peak, a familiar face from his time at Georgetown also went undrafted this summer after declaring as an early entrant.

Finally, White, a sharp-shooting swingman inked back in August has also been let go.

Dixon, Peak and White could all end up as affiliate players with with the club’s G League squad while Holmes could end up in Maine as well, with returning rights.

Celtics Sign Ex-Hoya L.J. Peak

AUGUST 29: The Celtics have officially signed Peak, per RealGM’s log of NBA transactions.

AUGUST 28: The Celtics and rookie swingman L.J. Peak have agreed to a partially guaranteed contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The former Georgetown forward will likely be ticketed to Boston’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, Wojnarowski adds.

Undoubtedly, Peak would have to be make a huge impression during training camp to nab a spot on Boston’s opening-night roster. Boston now has 19 players on the roster — 14 with guaranteed deals, three more with partial guarantees and a couple of two-way contracts, as Bobby Marks of ESPN.com notes (Twitter link).

The 6’5” Peak played three seasons with the Hoyas. He averaged 16.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 3.5 APG last season as a junior, then went undrafted as an early entrant. He played for the Rockets’ summer-league team and averaged 7.3 PPG in 13.7 MPG in four appearances while making half of his 3-point attempts.

Rockets To Sign L.J. Peak, George De Paula

The Rockets have agreed to free agent deals with a couple of undrafted prospects, though the moves are not yet official. Per Mark Berman of Fox 26, the club has an agreement in place to sign Georgetown’s L.J. Peak.

Ranked 46th of DraftExpress.com’s list of top 100 prospects, the junior Hoya will look to stick on a roster seeking to add as many potential weapons as possible. In Peak, the Rockets will get a 21-year-old fresh off a campaign in which he posted 16.3 points and 3.5 assists per game.

Per Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Rockets will also take a flyer on Brazilian point guard George de Paula. An international early entrant in this year’s draft, de Paula comes in at No. 72 on DraftExpress’ big board.

At this time it’s not entirely clear whether the deals will be for Summer League or for training camp, but it sounds like both players should have a spot on Houston’s 20-man camp roster.

Atlantic Notes: James, Celtics, Pre-Draft Workouts

Rumors are swirling that LeBron James will look to leave Cleveland for a second time after next season and potentially head out west. If he is not on the Cavaliers after 2017/18, James’ departure would have a domino effect across the league. A. Sherrod Blakely joined Mike Felger and Gary Tanguay at CSN New England to discuss Celtics general manager Danny Ainge‘s potential moves if James heads out West and weakens the Eastern Conference.

Blakely believes that no matter James’ future, Ainge should not focus on what’s going around the league, focusing instead on his own team. The Celtics have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and are coming off a year where they were the first seed in the East. The Celtics have their own issues to address, including the impending free agency of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and others.

In any case, the Celtics are in the best position of any Eastern Conference team to unseat the Cavaliers as the class of division and a James departure after next season only strengthens that.

Here are other notes from around the Atlantic Division:

Sixers Notes: Korkmaz, Colangelo, Leaf, Draft

Don’t count on seeing Furkan Korkmaz in a Sixers uniform next season, writes Derek Bodnar on his website. The 26th pick in last year’s draft, Korkmaz spent this season playing in Turkey and has a $2MM buyout to leave Anadolu Efes. He would probably spend most of next season in the D-League if he does join the Sixers, which may not be better for his development than another year overseas, plus it would take one year off his rookie contract and push him closer to free agency. The buyout is also an issue because it exceeds the $675K that the Sixers are permitted to pay, along with Korkmaz’s rookie contract of about $1.2MM. Unless Anadolu Efes is willing to renegotiate, Bodner believes Sixers fans will have to wait at least another year for Korkmaz.

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • The draft will present Bryan Colangelo with his most difficult decision since becoming the team’s president of basketball operations, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers hold the third selection, and there’s no obvious choice if Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are the first two players taken. Duke’s Jayson Tatum would provide much-needed scoring, while Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox would be a valuable point guard in case the team changes its mind about having Ben Simmons run the offense. Josh Jackson of Kansas and Malik Monk of Kentucky are also considered possibilities. Colangelo said he prefers athletic players with the versatility to handle multiple positions. “If it’s the vision of where we want to take this basketball team, again, talent versus fit is something that we clearly always look at,” he said. “But we’re a young team, the stage where we are. You can’t necessarily choose one or the other. Right now, what we’re looking at is a situation that again the group of players that are available to us at No. 3 is probably going to be able to address both with the same decision.”
  • Georgetown guard L.J. Peak, who recently worked out for the Sixers, was a high school teammate of Jahlil Okafor, notes Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. They spent a year together at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, and Peak would like to team up again. He is considered a late second-round pick at best, and Philadelphia holds choices No. 36, 39, 46 and 50.
  • The Sixers aren’t likely to keep all of their second-rounders, Camerato writes in a separate piece. They already have eight players under contract for next season and will be looking for draft-and-stash opportunities if they can’t unload some of the picks.

Draft Notes: Monk, Kennard, Green Room Invitations

The Knicksworkout with Kentucky’s Malik Monk this week will be private, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Projected as a high to mid-lottery pick, Monk has already worked out for the Suns, who own the fourth selection, and Magic, who have No. 6. New York’s front office is giving serious consideration to Monk at No. 8, along with French point guard Frank Ntilikina and North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith, Begley notes. Smith had a session scheduled with the Knicks this week, but wound up having dinner with team president Phil Jackson and didn’t participate in a workout.

There’s more draft news as June 22nd approaches:

  • Shooting specialist Luke Kennard of Duke also has a private workout scheduled for the Knicks, Begley adds in the same piece. Kennard may have pushed himself into the top 12 with his performance in pre-draft workouts, including CAA’s event last weekend in Los Angeles, according to Begley, who adds that the Knicks would like to trade for another first-rounder and may be targeting Kennard if that happens. New York has discussed a deal with the Trail Blazers, who hold picks 15, 20 and 26. The Pistons have expressed a willingness to swap the 12th selection for veteran help, and Begley believes the Knicks have reached out to them.
  • Kennard is part of a high-profile group to work out for the Pistons today, tweets Keith Langlois of MLive. He is joined by Duke’s Harry Giles, Wake Forest’s John Collins and Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries. Teams are permitted to bring in up to six players at a time, but Detroit is having difficulty getting players to visit because it doesn’t own a second-round pick (Twitter link). Kennard told reporters he has upcoming sessions with the Magic, Knicks, Mavericks and Hornets, who all pick before the Pistons. (Twitter link).
  • Ntilikina, Collins and Jarrett Allen of Texas have been added to the list of green room invites for draft night, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. That brings the total to 13, with more invitations to be extended Monday.
  • Creighton’s Justin Patton held his first pre-draft workout this week for the Trail Blazers, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. He also plans to visit the Nuggets, Pistons, Hornets, Heat and maybe the Thunder.
  • Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig will work out for the Clippers Monday, Begley posts on ESPN Now. He has a session later in the week with the Rockets.
  • Georgetown’s L.J. Peak had a workout with the Sixers this week, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. He has future sessions set up with the Hawks, Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Spurs, Wizards and Suns.
  • Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet worked out for the Knicks this week, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. He also had workouts for the Kings, Celtics, Suns and Jazz.
  • Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. has worked out for the Pistons, Kings, Wizards, Magic and Rockets, with more on the schedule, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Horford, Celtics, 76ers

Celtics GM Danny Ainge was impressed by Markelle Fultz after the point guard spent two days in Boston, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Boston owns the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft and is strongly considering using the pick on Fultz.

“It went well. I had dinner with him last night. He had a physical yesterday and he had a workout this morning with Brad [Stevens]. Everything went well. He’s very talented,” Ainge told Himmelsbach by phone Tuesday.

But that is not all going on in the Atlantic division:

  • Fresh off the first season of his sizable contract with the CelticsAl Horford opens up about the high expectations and immense pressures he faces in an article from Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Horford explains how he copes: “My biggest thing, and I learned this at an early stage in my career, was to not read any of that information or see anything, good or bad…One day people love you, the next they hate you, it’s really up and down, and my focus was making sure the team kept getting better as a group, and not worry about anything outside. One thing that helped me was not paying attention to a lot of things.”
  • 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is not speeding up the team’s rebuild and instead appears to be patiently and strategically building a contender a la Sam Hinkie‘s “The Process,” writes Bob Cooney of Philly.com.
  • The 76ers will hold a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, reports Keith Pompey of Philly.com (link via Twitter). The scheduled participants are Jordan Bell (Oregon), Thomas Bryant (Indiana), Tyler Dorsey (Oregon), Elie Okobo (Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez), L.J. Peak (Georgetown), and Steve Vasturia (Notre Dame).

Draft Notes: Swanigan, Diallo, Jackson, Lakers

Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan will remain in the draft, ESPN’s Jeff Goodwin reports (ESPN Now link). One GM tells Goodman that Swanigan is the most underrated guy in the draft. The big man is the 35th best prospect, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Hamidou Diallo will withdraw from the draft and play at Kentucky next season, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets. Several NBA teams had interest in Diallo and Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog (Twitter link) reports that the Nets and Jazz were the two teams that had the strongest interest in the athletic wing.
  • Josh Jackson is expected to come off the board early on draft night, but Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype speculates that Jackson’s off-court troubles could cause teams to pass on the Kansas product. Jackson was charged with a misdemeanor back in December for kicking and damaging another student’s car door and taillight. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and ultimately signed a diversion agreement which calls for him to attend anger management classes as part of its conditions.
  • The Lakers worked out several prospects, according to Joey Ramirez of NBA.com. Kadeem Allen (Arizona), Jamel Artis (Pittsburg), Sidy Djitte (Clemson), J.J. Frazier (Georgia), Josh Hawkinson (Washington State) and L.J. Peak (Georgetown) all participated in drills for the team.
  • Ike Anigbogu, who is expected to be taken in the first round, is dealing with a knee injury, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. The ailment forced the UCLA product to miss a workout with the Pistons.

Draft Notes: Johnson, King, Thompson, Pasecniks

Junior guard Robert Johnson will withdraw from the draft and return to Indiana, according to Jon Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. Players who entered the draft but did not hire an agent have until May 24th to pull out and remain in school. Johnson averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with the Hoosiers this season. He was not listed among the top 100 prospects by DraftExpress and would have been a long shot to be taken this year.

There’s more draft news on lottery day:

  • Colorado’s George King will also return to school next season, Rothstein reports. He averaged 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior. Stephen Thompson Jr. is heading back to Oregon State, Rothstein adds. The sophomore guard put up 16.3 points and 3.0 assists this season. Both were outside the DraftExpress top 100.
  • Anzejs Pasecniks could be the next young Latvian star in New York, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets reportedly have interest in the 21-year-old, who was considered to be a similar prospect to Kristaps Porzingis when they were growing up. At 7’2″, Pasecniks would fill a need at backup center for Brooklyn, which holds the 22nd and 27th picks in next month’s draft. “I don’t want to say he’s Porzingis, but he’s a reasonable facsimile,” said international draft expert Fran Fraschilla of ESPN. “I don’t want to give the impression he’s unathletic, because he’s not. He gives you length, he gives you shooting, he can protect the rim a little bit.”
  • The Bucks will work out six players today, according to a tweet from the team. Scheduled to participate are Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, Georgetown’s L.J. Peak, SMU’s Sterling Brown, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Utah State’s Jalen Moore and Louisville’s Deng Adel.
  • North Carolina center Tony Bradley will participate in a workout with the Knicks on Wednesday, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
  • The Lakers have four players coming in for a workout on Thursday, tweets Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Participants will be Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett, UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Miami’s Davon Reed.
  • The Ringer has issued a draft guide ranking the top 60 players available. Markelle Fultz is the site’s top pick, followed by Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball and Malik Monk as a surprise in the No. 4 slot. Seven guards are likely to be taken in the lottery, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer in a separate piece.

Draft Workouts: Nets, Smith Jr., Magic, Bucks, Celtics

The Nets will be the only non-playoff team without a close eye on Tuesday night’s lottery results, since the Celtics have swap rights to their first-round pick. But after that swap is made, the Nets will hold the rights to the first-round picks for the two teams in action on Monday night, the Celtics and the Wizards. And Brooklyn is busy exploring its options for those two late first-round selections, along with its second-round pick.

According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, the Nets will bring in Rawle Alkins, Melo Trimble, Kobi Simmons, Davon Reed, Amida Brimah, and Omer Yurtseven for a group workout on Tuesday. On Thursday, Brooklyn will take a closer look at Josh Hart and Tyler Dorsey. Meanwhile, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan is also expected to be a part of that Thursday workout, per Nathan Baird of The Journal & Courier (Twitter link).

As Brooklyn does its homework on the non-lottery prospects in this year’s draft class, let’s check out a few more workout-related updates, including an additional note on Swanigan: