Michael Dunigan

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.

Cavs Lead With 16 Free Agent Signings

The Cavaliers have drawn plenty of attention the past few months for a free agent they haven’t signed, but even though Tristan Thompson lingers in free agency, Cleveland has taken care of more free agent business than any other team in the league during the 2015 offseason. They signed 16 free agents, three more than the Spurs, the team that recorded the next most free agent signings. The Cavs just made their latest signing this weekend, replacing Michael Dunigan with Dionte Christmas on the camp roster.

It might be easy to presume a direct correlation between free agent activity and success, given the teams at the very top and bottom of the list below. The Cavs and Spurs are strong bets to win their respective conferences this season, while the Jazz, Timberwolves and Sixers are nowhere near the title picture. The presence of the Warriors and Thunder on the bottom half of the list and the Kings and Nets close to the top debunk that theory, however. It has more to do with the fact that the Cavs had only four players signed for 2015/16 when they ended last season, while the Jazz had 13. Cleveland simply had more jobs to hand out.

Still, other factors are at play, since free agent signings don’t encompass draft picks, draft-and-stash signings, trades or waiver claims. The Trail Blazers made significant changes to their roster, but they did much of their work via trade instead of free agency. The Rockets had 10 players under contract on July 1st, but they still wound up making 11 free agent signings.

Here’s a look at the number of free agent signings for each team. Click the team’s name to see the names of each of their signees via our 2015 Free Agent Tracker.

  1. Cavaliers, 16
  2. Mavericks, 13
  3. Spurs, 13
  4. Kings, 12
  5. Knicks, 12
  6. Nets, 12
  7. Pelicans, 12
  8. Rockets, 11
  9. Clippers, 10
  10. Grizzlies, 10
  11. Suns, 10
  12. Heat, 9
  13. Pacers, 9
  14. Raptors, 9
  15. Bulls, 8
  16. Hawks, 8
  17. Magic, 8
  18. Wizards, 8
  19. Bucks, 7
  20. Celtics, 7
  21. Hornets, 7
  22. Lakers, 7
  23. Nuggets, 7
  24. Warriors, 7
  25. Pistons, 6
  26. Thunder, 6
  27. Trail Blazers, 6
  28. 76ers, 5
  29. Timberwolves, 5
  30. Jazz, 4

Cavs Sign Dionte Christmas, Waive Dunigan

SATURDAY, 11:30am: The signing is official, the team announced.

THURSDAY, 10:24pm: The Cavaliers are close to signing shooting guard Dionte Christmas, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). The deal is contingent on Christmas passing his physical, which will be administered on Friday, Spears adds. In order to clear a roster spot, the Cavs will release center Michael Dunigan, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Cleveland currently has a roster count of 20 players, which is the preseason maximum.

Cleveland is limited to offering Christmas a minimum salary contract, and Spears termed the pending arrangement as a “make good deal,” which likely means that there will be no guaranteed money involved. Christmas, 29, last played in the NBA during the 2013/14 campaign when he made 31 appearances for the Suns, averaging 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per contest. He spent last season with Paris-Levallois of France.

Dunigan, 26, was in training camp with the Grizzlies back in 2012, but he’s primarily played overseas since going undrafted in 2011. The Mike Naiditch client came to the U.S. to spend part of last season with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, notching averages of 11.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game across 24 regular season appearances. It’s possible that the Cavs are eyeing Dunigan for a spot on the Canton Charge for 2015/16, though that is merely my speculation.

Cavs Notes: Williams, J.R. Smith, Blatt

Mo Williams is a client of Mark Bartelstein but said Monday that he represented himself in free agency, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. The point guard who simply wanted to return to the Cavaliers signed a two-year deal for nearly $4.295MM after trying and failing to get the team to lift the value of the deal, as McMenamin relays. Williams also said he rooted for the Cavs even when he wasn’t playing for them, as George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal writes.

“I didn’t see me [being] over here because I said they’re pretty good at point guard,” Williams said.  “[Matthew Dellavedova] was coming out of his shell and turning into a player. I didn’t see that then. Obviously once the conversation started with [GM David Griffin], I saw a bigger role for me and listening to him, I thought it was a good place for me to be.”

Williams was coy when asked about his relationship with LeBron James, Thomas notes in the same piece, pointing to tweets Williams made in the past criticizing the four-time MVP. However, James embraced the idea of Williams’ return to the team, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this summer. See more from Cleveland here:

  • J.R. Smith will make $5MM with the Cavs on his new deal this year after declining a player option worth about $6.4MM, but he expressed no regret over that decision Monday, Haynes notes (Twitter link). “I’m a gambler,” Smith said. “I’ll take a gamble on myself any day.”
  • Michael Dunigan was the last of the Cavaliers camp invitees to be reported, but he was the first to sign, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All Twitter links). Cleveland ordered its transactions thusly so that it could sign Jared Cunningham, Chris Johnson, Austin Daye, D.J. Stephens, Quinn Cook and Nick Minnerath to Exhibit 9 contracts that cover one season at the minimum salary with no money guaranteed and limited injury protection, Pincus reports. Teams have to have 14 players signed to non-Exhibit 9 contracts before they can sign anyone to an Exhibit 9, and Dunigan was the 14th player, as Pincus reveals. Dunigan is on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary with standard injury protection, according to Pincus, so the Cavs would be on the hook for his salary for as long as he’s sidelined if he were to get hurt while playing for them.
  • One of the best ways for David Blatt to show he’s learned after his first year in the NBA will be to cut down the minutes for LeBron to keep him fresh, opines Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • We looked at the latest involving Tristan Thompson right here.

Cavs Sign Michael Dunigan, Quinn Cook, Five Others

The Cavaliers have signed center Michael Dunigan, the team revealed on its training camp roster, one that also officially confirmed earlier reports of deals with Jared Cunningham, Austin Daye, Chris Johnson, Nick Minnerath and D.J. Stephens. Quinn Cook also appears on the roster, so it looks like he and the team have worked out a deal, as expected. Cleveland has 20 players, 13 of whom have fully guaranteed contracts, though those totals don’t include Tristan Thompson, who remains in restricted free agency with Thursday looming as the final day for him to sign his qualifying offer before it expires. The Cavs would have to waive a player before signing Thompson, since they’re at the preseason roster limit.

Dunigan, 26, was in camp with the Grizzlies in 2012, but he’s chiefly played overseas since going undrafted in 2011. The Mike Naiditch client came stateside to spend part of last season with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, putting up 11.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game across 24 regular season appearances, so the Cavs are familiar with him. It’s unclear exactly what sort of terms he’s getting, though Cleveland is limited to paying the minimum salary, just as with all the rest of the deals the team confirmed today.

Cook, 22, went undrafted out of Duke this year. Conflicting reports had clouded the matter of whether he and the team had agreed to a deal, but Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the point guard would be on a non-guaranteed pact.

Cunningham and Daye are former first-round picks. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Cunningham’s deal with the team, with Haynes noting that the 24-year-old shooting guard would be on a non-guaranteed contract. Charania also first reported Daye’s deal, and international journalist David Pick added that the pact for the 27-year-old small forward would be non-guaranteed.

Johnson, a 30-year-old center from LSU, is not to be confused with the swingman by the same name. Haynes reported his deal, which is for one year at the minimum salary and non-guaranteed. Haynes also had the story of Minnerath’s one-year deal. The 26-year-old combo forward is on a non-guaranteed pact.

Zach Links of Hoops Rumors first reported the Stephens deal. The terms of the contract for the 24-year-old high-flying swingman are unclear, beyond the fact that he’ll be making the minimum.

International Notes: Alexander, Singleton, Dunigan

Let's round up some of Friday's notes from a few non-NBA leagues around the globe….

  • Former eighth overall pick Joe Alexander has signed with the Liaoning Hunters of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an Asia-Basket.com report (hat tip to Sportando).
  • Another former NBA player is back in China as well, with James Singleton joining the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, per Asia-Basket.com. Singleton, who played in 12 games for the Wizards last season, was rumored back in September to be signing with the Flying Tigers.
  • Michael Dunigan, a Grizzlies camp invitee this fall, has signed a one-month deal to play for the Perth Wildcats in Australia, according to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Sulia link).
  • Another Grizzlies camp invitee, Jerome Jordan, is drawing interest from China and is also considering the D-League, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Jordan was said to be receiving some interest from Chinese teams while he was still in camp with the Grizzlies.

Grizzlies Waive Michael Dunigan, Kyle Weaver

The Grizzlies have requested waivers on camp invitees Michael Dunigan and Kyle Weaver, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). The roster moves reduce the number of Grizzlies under contract to 16.

Memphis opened the month with 20 players in camp, but released D.J. Kennedy and Jarrid Famous earlier in October. With 16 players still on the roster, 13 of those have fully guaranteed contracts, while three camp invitees remain: Ronald Dupree, Jerome Jordan, and Flip Murray. Depending on how many players the Grizzlies decide to carry into the regular season, at least one of those players will have to be cut.