Lazar Hayward

And-Ones: Blair, Hayward, Warriors/Thunder Ratings

The Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League traded for DeJuan Blair, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Adam Johnson of D-League Digest shed further light on the deal, reporting that the Texas Legends acquired a future draft pick in exchange for Blair. A seven-year veteran of the NBA, Blair signed to play with the Legends on January 17, averaging 10.6 points through six games with Texas.

  • Lazar Hayward signed a deal with Guaros de Lara of Venezuela, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports. A native of Buffalo, NY, Hayward appeared in 20 games with the Long Island Nets this season, averaging 12.3 points with 5.3 rebounds. Hayward’s last NBA appearance came with the Timberwolves in 2012/13.
  • Kevin Durant‘s return to OKC drew massive TV ratings, garnering a 4.1 metered-market rating, Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman reports. Saturday’s marquee match-up drew the highest ratings of any non-Christmas NBA game since 2013. The game’s peak ratings, Dawson writes, came between 10-10:15 pm with a 4.7 rating.


And-Ones: Lakers, Mozgov, Okafor, Wojnarowski

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak didn’t want Timofey Mozgov to be tempted by other offers and that contributed to the team handing him a four-year, $64MM deal, a source tells Ramona Shelbourne of Shelbourne adds that Luol Deng, who signed a four-year, $72MM deal with Los Angeles this past offseason, had other offers for his services, but no team gave him more than a three-year deal. Both Mozgov and Deng were recently relegated to the bench.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Lakers would need to attach a young prospect, such as Ivica Zubac or Larry Nance Jr., to Deng or Mozgov if they want to move one of their free agent additions, Shelbourne writes in the same piece. She adds that the contracts of Deng and Mozgov are not problematic for Los Angeles right now, but they will be soon, as Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell will be eligible for extensions over the next couple offseasons.
  • Jahlil Okafor, who we profiled as a trade candidate, is making the most of his increased minutes, John Reid of The Time-Picayune writes. Okafor was the subject of trade rumors earlier in the week with the Pelicans being the latest team to show interest in him.
  • The Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s D-League affiliate, have acquired center Prince Ibeh and waived forward Lazar Hayward, according to a team press release.
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical is close to joining ESPN, multiple sources tell Kevin Draper of Deadspin.

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 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)

Pelicans Waive Lazar Hayward

The Pelicans have waived small forward Lazar Hayward, the team announced. He appeared for a total of just 15 minutes in two preseason contests for New Orleans, the team with which he signed a non-guaranteed deal shortly before camp. The move drops the Pelicans roster count to 15 players.

Hayward was the last pick of the first round in 2010, and he’s been traded and waived three times apiece since then. He spent a pair of brief stints with the Timberwolves last season, but he only managed to appear in four games. The 6’6″ former Marquette Golden Eagle also played 14 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League in 2012/13. Reggio Emilia of Italy appeared to have interest in Hayward this summer before he signed with the Pelicans, so perhaps the 26-year-old will head overseas.

Pelicans GM Dell Demps could carry his roster as is into the season, allowing Arinze Onuaku, on a non-guaranteed contract, and Lance Thomaswhose deal is guaranteed for $15K, to remain with the team. Still, NBA clubs are only obligated to have 13 players on their roster, and the Pelicans could always sign someone else, so Onuaku and Thomas are no locks for opening night.

Pelicans Sign Lazar Hayward

One of the only NBA teams still carrying just 15 players, the Pelicans have added at least one more name to their training camp roster. Jim Eichenhofer of reports (via Twitter) that Lazar Hayward will participate in camp with the club.

Hayward, 26, was a first-round draft pick in 2010, but has yet to make a real impact in his limited NBA action. In 72 total games for the Timberwolves and Thunder, the 6'6" swingman has averaged 2.9 PPG and a 9.0 PER.

The Pelicans may not be done adding players to their camp roster, since they still have four available spots on the roster. At the moment, the team has 13 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Lance Thomas on a partially guaranteed deal, and Hayward and Arinze Onuaku on non-guaranteed pacts.

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International Notes: Vujacic, Hayward, Holiday

Guard Sasha Vujacic is working out hard in Los Angeles in hopes of relaunching his NBA career, according to Marc Stein of (Twitter links).   In fact, the 29-year-old is determined to hold out for an NBA deal rather than return to Europe, where he'd surely find a lucrative offer.  According to one witness, Vujacic was a hit in the Lakers' gym last week and has been looking sharp in pickup games in the L.A. area after his time in Turkey with Anadolu Efes.  

Over parts of seven seasons in the states, mostly with the Lakers, Vujacic averaged 5.6 PPG and 1.3 APG in 15.9 minutes per game.  He also showed that he can fill a stat sheet during a run with the Nets in 2010/11 where he put up 11.4 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 28.5 minutes per contest.  Here's the rest of today's news from around the globe..

  • Italian club Reggio Emilia is looking to make a final roster addition with Lazar Hayward and Justin Holiday as the two main targets, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.  If they can't land either player, Cory Higgins is their third option.  Hayward, a standout at Marquette, spent last season with the L.A. D-Fenders of the D-League averaging 15.9 PPG and 8.1 RPG.  Justin Holiday was with the 76ers for nine games and with the D-League's Idaho Stampede  for 47 games, where he put up 17.3 PPG.
  • Italian club Sidigas Avellino officially announced that they have signed Jarvis Hayes, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).  It was reported last week that the longtime NBA forward struck a deal with the club after spending last season with Israel's Elizur Ashkelon. 
  • Former Knicks big man Jerome Jordan has officially signed with Italian club Virtus Bologna, according to Carchia (on Twitter).
  • As always, you can keep up with all global basketball activity with Hoops Rumors' International Tracker.

International Notes: Johnson, Williams, Kennedy

As we noted earlier this morning, one of the more intriguing big men still available in free agency came off the board today, when Ivan Johnson signed with China's Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Today's round of international updates includes more tidbits on Johnson's decision, along with notes on a couple other former NBA players. Let's dive in….

  • Johnson's one-year deal in China doesn't include an opt-out, but the CBA season ends before the NBA season does, so the ex-Hawk is hoping to catch on with an NBA team after his run with the Golden Bulls ends, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • The Bulls, Knicks, Clippers, and Pacers all had some interest in Johnson, according to Jared Zwerling of However, agent Jeremiah Haylett tells Zwerling that Zhejiang's offer was "so lucrative" that it persuaded his client to opt for China (Twitter links).
  • Enea Trapani of Sportando, citing Meidan Katsnelson, reports that Shelden Williams has turned down offers from Euroleague teams in search of a more lucrative deal. Williams, who played in France last season, may end up in China, according to Trapani.
  • Sportando also passes along a Gazzetta di Reggio report suggesting that Italian team Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia is targeting D.J. Kennedy, and keeping an eye on Cory Higgins and Lazar Hayward as possible alternatives. All three players have at least a little NBA experience, and may be more inclined to seek out NBA offers if those are available.

Odds & Ends: Joseph, West, Delany, Wiggins

Here are a few odds and ends from around the NBA on Wednesday night:

  • Kris Joseph, who was waived last month by the Celtics, is weighing international offers in Italy, Russia and France as well as a few NBA invites, tweets Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. 
  • Haynes also tweets that free agent guard Delonte West has impressed at a coach's camp in Las Vegas.  West, who spent some time in the D-League last year, hasn't played in the NBA since his 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks.  West has also played with the Celtics and Cavs. 
  • The Heat have named advance scout Pat Delany the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM evaluates the prospects of the eight 2010 first-round picks that are currently not on NBA rosters – Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, Craig Brackins, Elliot Williams, Damion James, Dominique Jones and Lazar Hayward.
  • Andrew Wiggins has the potential to single-handedly turn around an NBA franchise, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, adding that his ceiling has teams lining up to better their chances for his services. Kennedy names the Sixers, Magic, Suns, Bobcats, Kings and Jazz as the six teams who have positioned themselves for Wiggins, and Celtics and Raptors as outside possibilities. 

Western Rumors: Mavs, Barea, Gelabale, Kings

The Western Conference appears to be the stronger than the East once again this season, and the Heat's struggles on their Western road trip further drive home that point. Miami lost again tonight, to the Jazz, and face another stiff test Wednesday against the Warriors. We rounded up news from a couple Pacific Division teams earlier tonight, and we'll do the same for the rest of the Western Conference here.

T-Wolves Planning To Sign Mickael Gelabale?

The Timberwolves appear close to reaching a deal with French forward Mickael Gelabale, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Minnesota doesn't currently have an open roster spot, but the team may add Gelable on a 10-day deal when Lazar Hayward's 10-day contract expires.

We heard yesterday that Gelabale's team in Spain has granted him permission to travel stateside to negotiate an NBA deal. The 29-year-old has an NBA out in his contract that must be exercised by the end of the month — otherwise, he'll head back overseas and finish the season with Valencia.

According to Zgoda, Timberwolves president David Kahn confirmed before yesterday's game that the club maintains its interest in Gelabale, and said the Wolves are "working on some things," though he didn't confirm whether an agreement was in place. As our 10-day contract tracker shows, Hayward's deal is set to expire this Thursday, so Minnesota will have an open roster spot at that point.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities has reported multiple times that Gelabale is seeking a 20-day guarantee to come to the NBA, so if he signs a 10-day contract with the T-Wolves, it's possible it will be followed by a second 10-day deal. A 2005 second-round pick, Gelabale hasn't appeared in an NBA game since the 2007/08 season, with the SuperSonics.