Markel Brown

And-Ones: TBT, Daniels, Whittington, Newman

A number of former NBA players are set to take part in 2020’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, an annual, winner-take-all tournament with a prize of $1MM.

As Carmine Carcieri of ESPN details, veteran guard Joe Johnson is playing in The Basketball Tournament after winning a championship and an MVP award in the BIG3 in 2019. Malachi Richardson, Tony Wroten, Johnny O’Bryant, and Markel Brown are among the others with NBA experience who will suit up for the event, per Carcieri.

More recently, a couple more notable names have joined the list of participants, with veteran guard Jarrett Jack joining Johnson’s Overseas Elite squad (Twitter link), while former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet will be a member of the Playing For Jimmy V team.

With most professional sports still on hiatus, The Basketball Tournament should be under a larger spotlight in 2020. ESPN announced its broadcast schedule for the event today, starting with four games on July 4 and culminating in a July 14 championship.

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

  • CAA Sports is hiring Evan Daniels of 247Sports to become an agent in its college basketball coaching division, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Daniels has long been one of the most well-connected and reliable sources for college basketball and NBA draft news.
  • Free agent forward Greg Whittington, who had a strong year in Turkey in 2019/20, isn’t eligible to join an NBA team for the summer restart, but continues to receive strong offers from EuroLeague teams, including Panathinaikos BC, agent Jerry Dianis tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter links).
  • Former lottery pick Derrick Williams has received interest from international teams, including Khimki, but no deal is imminent, reports JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Williams, who last played in the NBA in 2017/18, spent the ’19/20 season with Fenerbahce.
  • Malik Newman, who spent a little time with the Cavaliers this season, has signed with Turkish team Bursaspor, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Newman appeared in just one game for Cleveland, spending most of 2019/20 with the Canton Charge in the G League.

Thunder Waive Markel Brown

The Thunder have opened up another spot on their 20-man roster by waiving Markel Brown, the team announced today in a press release. Brown was initially signed on Tuesday.

A former second-round pick, Brown spent last season in Turkey and has also played in Russia in recent years. The last year he spent stateside was in 2017/18, when he spent some time with the Rockets but suited up for the Oklahoma City Blue in the G League for most of the season.

Brown’s brief union this week with the Thunder signals that the team expects him to return to the Blue this fall. His Exhibit 10 contract will put him in line to earn a $50K bonus if he spends at least two months with OKC’s G League affiliate.

The Thunder now have four open spots on their 20-man roster, which they’ll likely fill in the coming days.

Thunder Sign Markel Brown To Camp Deal

9:20pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

5:31pm: The Thunder will sign Markel Brown to an Exhibit 10 contract, sources tell JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).

Brown was the No. 44 overall pick in the 2014 draft, having been selected by Minnesota and subsequently traded to Brooklyn on draft night. He spent two seasons with the Nets before carving out a career internationally.

The Thunder entered the day with four open spots on their training camp roster and 13 guaranteed deals. Training camp in Oklahoma City begins next Monday.

Markel Brown, Jeff Withey To Play In Turkey

A pair of NBA veterans are headed to Turkey for the coming season. Michael Scotto of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that free agent guard Markel Brown has agreed to a one-year deal with Darussafaka, while Tofas Bursa has announced a contract agreement with center Jeff Withey.

Brown, 26, signed a two-way contract with the Rockets in January after previously appearing in 113 games for the Nets. The former second-round pick appeared in only four games for Houston last season, but averaged 15.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG in nine games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. He was initially tendered a two-way qualifying offer, but had that QO rescinded earlier this month.

As Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic notes (via Twitter), the team that Brown is joining is the one from which potential Raptors two-way signee Jordan Loyd has been attempting to negotiate his release. It’s not clear if Darussafaka’s addition of Brown will open up a path for Loyd’s exit.

Meanwhile, we relayed word of Tofas Bursa’s interest in Withey over the weekend. A former second-round pick, Withey has appeared in over 200 total NBA regular season games for the Pelicans, Jazz, and Mavericks. His most recent NBA stint came in Dallas before the Mavs waived him last December.

Marshall Plumlee, Two Others Become UFAs

Three players who finished the 2017/18 season on two-way contracts and received qualifying offers from their respective clubs have now become unrestricted free agents. According to RealGM’s transactions log, the Bucks, Bulls, and Rockets rescinded qualifying offers for Marshall Plumlee, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Markel Brown, respectively.

Plumlee, who turned 26 on Saturday, signed a two-way deal with the Bucks in January and appeared in just eight games for the NBA club. He averaged 11.8 PPG and 8.2 RPG in 13 games for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate. Plumlee posted a farewell Instagram message to the Bucks on Monday, suggesting he won’t return to the club.

Arcidiacono appeared in 24 games for the Bulls last season, but wasn’t expected to be part of Chicago’s point guard picture in 2018/19 with Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne both healthy. As for Brown, the former second-round pick appeared in only four games for Houston, but averaged 15.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG in nine games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

As our tracker shows, the Bulls and Rockets are each believed to have one two-way contract slot open, while the Bucks have two open slots — one may be filled by Xavier Munford, whose two-way qualifying offer remains on the table.

Players whose two-way contracts expire can be tendered qualifying offers that are equivalent to a one-year, two-way contract offer, with $50K guaranteed. Those QOs make them restricted free agents. Munford, Jabari Bird (Celtics), Tyrone Wallace (Clippers), and Darrun Hilliard (Spurs) are the only two-way RFAs still on the market.

Rockets Extend Qualifying Offer To Clint Capela

The Rockets extended a qualifying offer to center Clint Capela, making him a restricted free agent, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets.

Capela’s qualifying offer is worth $4,749,591. The move was a mere formality, since Capela has emerged as their most important frontcourt component.

Capela averaged 13.9 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 1.9 BPG in his fourth season. He was a finalist for the league’s Most Improved Player award.

The Rockets might have an easier time than expected locking up Capela. There aren’t many teams who are both looking for a center and have enough cap room to put together a serious offer sheet. The Mavericks, who are in the market for a quality big man, have their sights set on DeAndre Jordan. The Suns were a possibility until they drafted Deandre Ayton.

The Rockets also gave two-way player Markel Brown a qualifying offer, making the 6’3” guard a restricted free agent as well.

Qualifying Offer Decisions: Caboclo, M. Brown, Paige

The Kings won’t tender a qualifying offer to former first-round pick Bruno Caboclo, league sources tell ESPN’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Caboclo will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday.

A qualifying offer, which would have been worth $3.5MM+, was never expected for Caboclo, who has appeared in just 35 games in his NBA career since being picked 20th overall in the 2014 draft.

At the time the Raptors selected him, draft guru Fran Fraschilla infamously referred to Caboclo as “two years away from being two years away,” but after four NBA seasons, the 6’9″ forward doesn’t appear to be on the verge of breaking through. In 10 games (10.0 MPG) with the Kings after being included in a midseason trade, the 22-year-old averaged 2.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG with a .310/.200/.833 shooting line.

Here are a couple more updates on qualifying offer decisions:

  • The Rockets have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Markel Brown, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. The one-year, two-way contract offer, which includes a $50K guarantee, will give Houston the opportunity to match an offer sheet for Brown.
  • Former UNC guard Marcus Paige, who was on a two-way contract with the Hornets, won’t be receiving a qualifying offer from the team, according to a press release. The decision ensures that Paige will become an unrestricted free agent.

Rockets Sign Markel Brown To Two-Way Contract

10:15pm: The Rockets officially signed Brown to a two-way deal and cut Weber, the team announced tonight in a press release.

5:51pm: The Rockets plan to sign Markel Brown to a two-way contract and release guard Briante Weber, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets.

Brown has been playing for the Thunder’s G League team, the Oklahoma City Blue, after getting waived by the Thunder during training camp. Brown appeared in 22 games with the Blue, averaging 17.4 PPG in 31.4 MPG. Brown hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2015/16 season. He saw extensive action for two seasons with the Nets, appearing in 109 games and averaging 5.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.2 APG in 16.2 MPG.

Brown will give Houston a little more depth at the two-guard spot.

Weber had used up a good portion of his 45-day limit of NBA service. Houston decided to bring in another player with NBA experience who could restart the clock in terms of service time. Weber appeared in 13 games with the Rockets, averaging 2.0 PPG in 9.1 MPG. All but four of those appearances came over the last 11 games after James Harden was sidelined by a hamstring injury.

USA Basketball Announces Roster For First World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, bringing back four members of the squad that won gold earlier this year in FIBA’s AmeriCup tournament.

Here’s Team USA’s full 12-man roster:

The squad, which will be coached once again by Jeff Van Gundy, is comprised almost entirely of G League players, since most of the qualifying tournaments take place during the NBA season, preventing NBA players from participating. Team USA’s goal is for Van Gundy’s squad of G Leaguers to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in August and September, when NBA players will be free to participate.

The new-look USA Basketball program is off to a good start, having gone 5-0 this summer to win a gold medal at the AmeriCup tournament. Drew, Hearn, Munford, and Warney were all part of that team.

This time around, Team USA will face Puerto Rico on November 23 and then Mexico on November 26. After those contests, the first round of World Cup qualifiers will resume in February before concluding in July. The top three teams in each first-round group will advance to the second round, which begins in September 2018 and concludes in February 2019, so the qualifying process will take some time to play out.

Meanwhile, the G League teams temporarily losing players to Team USA will be permitted one free move per lost player from the available player pool, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days.

Thunder Waive Alford, Brown, Thomas

The Thunder have waived three players from their preseason roster, announcing today in a press release that guard Bryce Alford, guard Markel Brown, and forward Rashawn Thomas are no longer part of the squad.

Alford, Brown, and Thomas all received training camp invitations from the Thunder, but didn’t appear in a game during the preseason. There’s a good chance that the trio will end up playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G League affiliate. Alford and Thomas are particularly well positioned to head to the Blue, since they’re rookies whose G League rights haven’t been claimed by another team.

Following today’s roster moves, the Thunder still have 17 players under contract, with one of those 17 on a two-way deal. The club will have to make at least one more cut to its NBA roster before the regular season begins, and that decision figures to come down to Isaiah Canaan or Semaj Christon.