Matt Costello

Grizzlies Waive Duo, Sign Costello, Dunham

The Grizzlies waived guard Chris Crawford and forward Vince Hunter on Thursday, according to the team’s website. The team then signed center Matt Costello and shooting guard Kellen Dunham, according to a separate press release. The moves leave the Grizzlies’ training-camp roster at 20 players.

Costello was waived by the Hawks on Monday. The undrafted rookie out of Michigan State averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.0 minutes during his two preseason appearances with Atlanta.

Dunham played for the Grizzlies’ summer-league team in Las Vegas, making four reserve appearances while averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.9 minutes. He also went undrafted in June after a four-year collegiate career at Butler.

Crawford signed a non-guaranteed contract just before training camp. He has appeared in 64 games for the D-League’s Canton Charge since going undrafted in 2014, and has also spent some time in France with Rouen Métropole Basket. In four preseason appearances, he averaged 3.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 16.3 minutes.

Hunter was signed 11 days ago after being waived by the Bulls. GM Chris Wallace said when Hunter was signed that the club needed frontcourt depth during the preseason to limit the minutes of his rotation players. In four preseason games, Hunter averaged 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 19.4 minutes. He spent last season with the Kings’ D-League affiliate in Reno, as well as Panathinaikos in the Greek League.

Hawks Waive Matt Costello

The Hawks have begun to make their preseason cuts, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived Matt Costello. The move reduces Atlanta’s roster count to 19, so the club will still have to cut at least four more players before opening night.

Costello, who played his college ball at Michigan State, averaged 10.7 PPG and 8.2 RPG during his senior year in 2015/16. After going undrafted in June, Costello quickly agreed to terms with the Hawks and then made it official with the team in July. The power forward received a $50K guarantee on a two-year deal from Atlanta.

Costello played sparingly during the preseason with the Hawks, appearing in two games and totaling 18 minutes. He seems like a good bet to land with a D-League team, but Atlanta doesn’t have its own affiliate, so it would be a challenge for the Hawks to closely monitor him if he does end up in the D-League.

Hawks Sign Matt Costello

JULY 26: The Hawks have issued a press release formally confirming their deal with Costello.

JULY 18: According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), Costello got a two-year, minimum-salary deal from the Hawks. The pact includes a $50K guarantee in year one.

JUNE 24: The Hawks have agreed to a deal with Matt Costello, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The big man will play on Atlanta’s Summer League team.

Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds during his senior season at Michigan State. The Michigan native ranked 72nd among all seniors, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Costello wasn’t expected to be drafted on Thursday night and he probably faces long odds of making the Hawks’ regular season roster. Entering the day, Atlanta had 12 players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource shows.

Central Notes: LeBron, Pistons, Bucks, Draft

After leading the Cavaliers to a historic NBA Finals comeback, and the first championship in franchise history, LeBron James likely won’t be attempting to lead Team USA to Olympic gold later this summer. According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Finals MVP is leaning toward not participating in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. As Mannix details, James has yet to inform USA Basketball of his decision, one way or the other. However, team officials are operating under the expectation that the 31-year-old superstar is unlikely to play in Rio.

Here are a few more updates from out of the Central division:

  • The Pistons‘ pre-draft workout today, highlighted by Ivica Zubac, also featured five other players, according to David Mayo of MLive (Twitter link). The other participants were Nikola Jovanovic (USC), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Elgin Cook (Oregon), and Brannen Greene (Kansas).
  • The Bucks also worked out several players today, conducting an individual workout for Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis and a group session for six other prospects. As announced in a press release, those six players were Matt Costello (Michigan State), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Diamond Stone (Maryland), and Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall).
  • The Bucks formally broke ground on their new downtown Milwaukee arena over the weekend, according to a report from Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press. The project is expected to cost approximately $524MM, and the club is expected to begin playing games in the new building at the start of the 2018/19 season.

Southeast Notes: Batum, Forcier, Hornets

Hornets GM Rich Cho, speaking at a pre-draft press conference on Friday, told reporters that the team is likely to draft the best available player and would not target a specific need given the large amount of the roster set to hit free agency, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “With eight free agents, I don’t know what’s going to happen, so we’re just trying to get more depth,” Cho said. “[Need] is a hard question to answer because we have so many free agents and don’t know how it’s going to play out.” The executive also reiterated that the team’s top offseason priority is re-signing unrestricted free agent swingman Nicolas Batum, Bonnell adds. “We hope to meet with him as soon as free agency starts,” Cho said of Batum. “Our goal is to get something done with him.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets held a workout earlier this week that included Marshall Plumlee (Duke), Matt Costello (Michigan State), Frank Eaves (Appalachian State), Angel Rodriguez (Miami) and Wayne Selden (Kansas), Bonnell relays in a separate piece.
  • New Magic head coach Frank Vogel is pursuing Spurs assistant Chad Forcier to be his top assistant in Orlando, Marc Stein of relays (via Twitter).
  • The uncertainty surrounding the health status of power forward Chris Bosh will hamper the Heat‘s offseason plans and could result in a number of the team’s free agents departing this summer, Keith P. Smith of RealGM writes. The scribe also notes that the potential for unpleasantness exists if Bosh is medically cleared to play and Miami is still unwilling to allow him to risk a return to the court.

Draft Notes: Maker, Zimmerman, Richardson

Here’s the latest news and notes regarding the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 23rd in Brooklyn, New York:

  • The Wolves held a workout on Friday for Matt Costello (Michigan State), Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma) and  Mike Tobey (Virginia), Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN relays (via Twitter).
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled for today with Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Damion Lee (Louisville), James Robinson (Pittsburgh), Josh Scott (Colorado), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced.
  • Working out for the Grizzlies on Sunday will be Petr Cornelie (France), Julian Jacobs (USC), Alpha Kaba (Mega Leks), Abdel Nader (Iowa State), Josh Adams (Wyoming) and Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), the team announced via press release.
  • The Pistons held workouts on Friday for Thon Maker (Australia), Cornelie, Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State), Isaiah Taylor (Texas) and Cat Barber (NC State), Keith Langlois of relays (Twitter links).

Atlantic Notes: Atkinson, Olynyk, Draft

Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov indicated that he intends to exercise greater patience than in the past as the franchise attempts to rebuild itself under GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson, Ohm Youngmisuk of relays. “We’re all on the same page,” Marks told the media during Atkinson’s introductory press conference on Monday. “In talking to Mr. Prokhorov — he sat in, and he was right there interviewing Kenny with me — he made it well clear that things were going to be done a little differently. He’s given us the reins to build this thing our way, and if it takes some time, it does. But we’ll be doing everything we can to turn this thing around quickly.

Atkinson acknowledged that Brooklyn’s high coaching turnover rate under Prokhorov gave him pause, but trust in Marks helped him overcome his initial reticence regarding the post, Youngmisuk notes. “I think it gives you pause because you look at the past,” Atkinson said on becoming the Nets’ sixth coach since 2012. “But that’s why you meet with ownership, and that’s why my relationship with Sean was important, because he had an intimate conversation, and when I came up here to interview with them, that was part of my question. I was more than satisfied with the answers. We’re going to build something sustainable. We’re going to build something for the long term, so that excited me and convinced me.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • If the Sixers snag to No. 1 overall pick as well as the No. 2 or No.4 overall one, look for the team to target a playmaker and an outside shooter, Chad Ford of tweets. The scribe mentions the combination of Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray or Brandon Ingram and Kris Dunn as potential pairings.
  • The Celtics announced via press release that center Kelly Olynyk underwent successful surgery to repair damage to his right shoulder. He will begin a rehabilitation program immediately, according to the team, but no timetable was given for Olynyk’s return to action. The 25-year-old still has one year and $3,094,013 remaining on his current contract.
  • The Nets worked out former Michigan State center Matt Costello today, Adam Zagoria of relays (via Twitter). Costello is a potential late second-rounder, with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranking him as the No. 71 overall senior.
  • Former Toledo power forward Nathan Boothe has workouts scheduled this week with the Nets and the Pistons, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). Boothe is the No. 46 overall senior, per Givony’s rankings.

Central Notes: Pacers, Cavs, Workouts, Pistons

The Pacers, who typically employ three assistant coaches, will have at least one hole to fill in that group after Nate McMillan‘s promotion to head coach. However, as Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes (via Twitter), the team would like to retain its other two assistants, Dan Burke and Popeye Jones. That would leave one opening, and McMillan would have the opportunity to pick his replacement, per Buckner.

Here’s more on Indiana and a few more Central teams:

  • The Pacers held their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday, and will hold another session on Wednesday, according to a pair of announcements from the team. Participants today that had not been previously reported included Dorian Finney-Smith, Michael Gbinije, Sheldon McClellan, and Tyrone Wallace. Tomorrow, Ryan Arcidiacono, Wade Baldwin, Matt Costello, Max Landis, Patrick McCaw, and Kaleb Tarczewski will work out for Indiana.
  • Before he works out for Indiana on Wednesday, Tarczewski participated in a workout for the Cavaliers today, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Cleveland also took a look at Maryland’s Rasheed Sulaimon in that workout, says Scotto.
  • Thon Maker had been scheduled to take part in Indiana’s workout on Wednesday, but he won’t participate due to a scheduling issue, tweets Adam Zagoria of Zagoria suggests that Maker will still work out for the Pacers and Bulls at some point.
  • Given how defined their roster already is, the Pistons could have the opportunity to gamble on upside with the 18th overall pick in the draft, rather than seeking instant help, writes Keith Langlois of

Western Notes: Scott, Nelson, Draft

Lakers executive Jim Buss was effusive in his praise for the work Luke Walton did while coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr‘s absence this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays. “He was thrust into a situation. People might say, ‘Anyone could coach Golden State with their roster.’ No you couldn’t have,” Buss told Pincus. “There’s a lot of pressure in that. There’s a lot of preparation for that.”

Regarding the Lakers waiting 11 days prior to making a decision on former coach Byron Scott‘s fate, Buss told Pincus he thought he was simply being fair to Scott. “There was a lot to go through before that decision was made,” Buss said. “I’m not going to have a knee-jerk reaction because everybody says, ‘You won 17 games, he’s got to go.’  I made a promise to sit with him and [GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and give him a fair shake.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Trey Freeman (Old Dominion), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Matt Costello (Michigan State) and Andrew White (Nebraska), the team announced.
  • Former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler has a workout scheduled with the Thunder on Thursday, Royce Young of tweets.
  • The contributions from Festus Ezeli, in particular, and Ian Clark were vital for the Warriors in their Game 2 victory over Portland on Tuesday, observes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Both are poised for restricted free agency this summer.
  • Jameer Nelson still has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Nuggets, but he isn’t keen on remaining on the bench as the team’s third point guard for another campaign, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post in his analysis of the 12th-year veteran. Nelson wouldn’t hesitate to have his agent ask the Nuggets to trade him if it looks like he won’t get more playing time, Dempsey wrote previously. In 39 appearances, Nelson averaged 7.7 points, 4.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 36.8% from the field overall and 29.9% from beyond the 3-point line.