Michael Qualls

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.

Thunder Waive Qualls, Zanna, Stone, Wells

The Thunder have officially waived Michael Qualls, Talib Zanna, Julyan Stone, and Dez Wells, the team announced in a press release. All four players were in camp on non-guaranteed deals, so Oklahoma City won’t be responsible for any salary as a result of these moves. The team’s roster count now sits at 15 players, all of whom possess fully guaranteed pacts, which is the regular season maximum.

Qualls was considered a second round hopeful before tearing his ACL in the weeks leading up to the draft. Prior to his injury, Qualls, a shooting guard, was listed as the 40th best prospect in the draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and the 48th best one by Chad Ford of ESPN.com. He was inked with the intent for him spend the season with Oklahoma City’s D-League affiliate while he recovers from his injury.

Stone, 26, saw his last NBA action during the 2013/14 campaign when he appeared in 21 contests for the Raptors and averaged 0.9 points in 5.7 minutes per game. His NBA career also includes parts of two seasons with the Nuggets. Stone’s career NBA numbers overall are 1.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 1.1 APG to go along with a slash line of .440/.211/.722. The 6’6″ guard spent the 2014/15 season playing for Umana Reyer Venezia of Italy.

Zanna, 25, split summer league between the Thunder and Cavs, putting up 6.0 points and an efficient 4.7 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. Indeed, at 6’9″, he showed a touch on the boards in the D-League this past year, pulling down 11.0 RPG to go with 13.3 PPG in 27.7 MPG. It’s a skill he didn’t show as much of in college, where he topped out at 8.6 RPG in 30.3 MPG as a senior.

The Wizards were one of six teams to extend training camp invitations to Wells before he signed with the Thunder. He reportedly turned down Washington’s offer because the Wizards already possessed 15 players on guaranteed pacts and he wanted better odds at landing a regular season roster spot, but the Thunder already had their 15 full guarantees in place when Wells agreed to join them. In 28 appearances during his senior season with the Terrapins, Wells averaged 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists to go along with a slash line of .464/.510/.806.

Thunder Sign Michael Qualls

SEPTEMBER 29TH, 11:12am: The deal is finally official, the team announced via press release. The idea is for him to spend the season with Oklahoma City’s D-League affiliate while he recovers from the ACL injury, tweets Royce Young of ESPN.com. That would indicate that the Thunder will cut him at the end of camp and retain his D-League rights, as they’re allowed to do with as many as four players they waive. Qualls will join 18 others on the camp roster, 15 of whom have fully guaranteed contracts.

JUNE 30TH, 11:52pm: The Thunder have reached agreement on a one-year deal with former Arkansas Razorbacks star Michael Qualls, according to a source who spoke with Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Qualls has suffered tears in both of his knees but OKC has been monitoring his progress through rehab. Apparently, the Thunder are comfortable with what they’ve seen.

Qualls was considered a second round hopeful before tearing his ACL in the weeks leading up to the draft.  He is not expected to be ready in time for summer league or training camp, according to The Shreveport Times.  Prior to his injury, Qualls, a shooting guard, was listed as the 40th best prospect in the draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and the 48th best one by Chad Ford of ESPN.com.

Eastern Notes: Russell, Porzingis, Raptors

Ohio State playmaker D’Angelo Russell had an under-the-radar workout with the Knicks back on June 11th, shortly before he pulled out of a scheduled workout with the Sixers due to an undisclosed illness, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. There are rumblings that Philadelphia has become enamored with forward Kristaps Porzingis, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has Philly taking the Latvian with the No. 3 overall pick in his latest mock draft. However, a league source insists the Sixers taking Porzingis over Russell is a reach and they are after the best available player regardless of position, Berman notes. “If you’re basing taking him [Porzingis] because of last week’s workout, you should be fired,’’ the league source told Berman.

Here’s the latest from the East:

  • Porzingis met with representatives from the Magic today in Orlando, but did not work out for the team, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops relays (Twitter link).
  • Texas big man Myles Turner has an individual workout scheduled Friday morning with the Hornets, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays (on Twitter). The majority of mock drafts predict that Charlotte will select a wing who can score from deep, and though Turner does have the ability to stretch defenses, selecting him could prove redundant in the wake of the team’s acquisition of Spencer Hawes from the Clippers.
  • The Raptors held pre-draft workouts today for Terry Rozier (Louisville), R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Phil Greene (St. John’s), Tekele Cotton (Wichita State), and Jarekious Bradley (Southeast Missouri State), the team announced.
  • Michael Qualls (Arizona), Rashad Vaughn (UNLV), Richaun Holmes (Bowling Green), and Josh Smith (Georgetown) all pulled out of their scheduled workouts with the Nets today, The Brooklyn Game relays (Twitter link). The reason for Qualls’ withdrawal is obvious, with the player having suffered a torn ACL, but it is unclear why the other players declined to attend the showcase.

Draft Notes: Booker, Hornets, Knicks, Qualls

The trade sending Lance Stephenson to the Clippers will likely have an impact on how the draft unfolds, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com tweets that the move raises the probability that the Hornets take Devin Booker or Kelly Oubre with the 10th pick. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune concurs (on Twitter), suggesting that Booker “definitely” won’t be around by the time the Jazz are on the clock with the 12th selection. Ford adds (via Twitter) that the Hornets have an affinity for R.J. Hunter too but that the team won’t take him as high as 10th. Instead, Ford thinks they could potentially move down in the draft if the right deal presents itself. Let’s have a look at more on the quickly approaching draft:

  • The Knicks are giving serious consideration to trading down and drafting Cameron Payne, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, who adds that the decision not to bring in the former Murray State point guard for a workout means there could potentially be varying opinions on his value in the team’s front office.
  • Kristaps Porzingis’ draft stock is rising faster than any other lottery pick’s, league executives tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
  • Second round hopeful Michael Qualls has been diagnosed with a torn ACL, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress passes along on Twitter. The Arkansas wing had been listed as the 40th best prospect by Givony and the 48th best one by Ford, but this injury almost certainly means Qualls won’t be selected.
  • The Pacers possess the 11th pick, but Frank Vogel insists that the depth of this draft has him feeling like he can get a talent that would usually be taken with the third, fourth, or fifth selections, as Dana Hunsinger of the Indy Star details.
  • If the Hornets are to move down in the draft, Ford tweets that the most logical trade partner for the team is the Celtics, who have the 16th pick. It’s unclear whether his statement is an indicator of interest on either team’s part or if it’s merely speculative, however.

Pacific Notes: Clarkson, Atkins, Lakers, Iguodala

The players at the Lakers‘ pre-draft workout Saturday were inspired by the rise of Jordan Clarkson, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The session was for second-round hopefuls like D.J. Newbill of Penn State, Phil Greene of St. John’s and Darrun Hilliard of Villanova, but everyone present hopes to follow the path set by Clarkson, the 46th selection last year by the Wizards, who was sent to the Lakers for cash considerations and wound up as their starting point guard. “It gives you a lot of hope seeing how great he played last year and how good he is,” Greene said of Clarkson. “It just gives you a lot of hope of staying with the grind and knowing anything can happen.” The Lakers have more pre-draft workouts scheduled for Monday and Friday.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Virginia’s Darion Atkins, one of the players at Saturday’s Lakers workout, believes his ACC background will help him transition to the pros, Turner writes in a separate story. Atkins earned National Defensive Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, but fears he has “dropped off” most NBA draft boards. “I think coming from the ACC has helped me a lot,” he said. “I think that’ll be a great transition over into the NBA because the physicality is going to be great in the NBA, but I think it’ll give me more of an advantage.”
  • Delaware State’s Kendall Gray was also among the participants at Saturday’s workout (Twitter link). Michael Qualls of Arkansas had to skip the event because of a knee injury, tweets Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
  • The Lakers are debating whether a center or point guard is more valuable in today’s NBA as they face a likely draft choice between Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell, Turner writes in another story. “In years past and maybe even today, it makes sense to build around a big,” said GM Mitch Kupchak. “But you don’t want to take a big because it’s a big and then pass on the No. 3 pick, which turned out to be Michael Jordan [in 1984]. So we’re going to look at the bigs, then you want to look at the guards and see if there is a guard there that despite being just a guard, you don’t want to miss and pass on him because he’s not a big.”
  • The NBA Finals are giving the WarriorsAndre Iguodala a chance to showcase all his skills after spending the season as a reserve, according to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Iguodala, who joined Golden State as a free agent in 2013, is signed through the 2016/17 season.

Atlantic Notes: Russell, Celtics, Draft

Illness prompted D’Angelo Russell to cancel a workout with the Sixers planned for this weekend, a source close to the combo guard told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who heard from another source who wouldn’t rule the notion of the workout taking place sometime later. Still, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Twitter links) speculates that Russell may have received a promise from the Lakers, a prospect that could have a trickle-down effect that would make Jahlil Okafor available to the Knicks at pick No. 4. That seems far-fetched, particularly since the Lakers have reportedly zeroed in on Okafor for the second pick. Still, plenty is unknown with less than two weeks to go before the draft.

Here’s the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics are having trouble attracting players with lottery aspirations to work out with them in spite of “better than average” odds that Boston trades up from the 16th overall pick, writes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Wisconsin small forward Sam Dekker pulled out of a workout with the C’s last week.
  • Working out for the Raptors this Saturday will be Delon Wright (Utah), Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Michale Kyser (Louisiana Tech), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), and Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), the team announced.
  • The Nets have four upcoming workouts scheduled, the team has announced. Monday’s group will be Ryan Boatright (UConn), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), D.J. Newbill (Penn State), Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming), and Brandon Ashley (Arizona).
  • Working out for Brooklyn on Tuesday will be Marcus Thornton (William and Mary), Will Cummings (Temple), Tyler Haws (BYU), Julian Washburn (UTEP), Jordan Mickey (LSU), and Yanick Moreira (SMU).
  • Displaying their wares on Wednesday for the Nets will be Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Ray Parks Jr. (Melrose H.S.), Dez Wells (Maryland), Norman Powell (UCLA), Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State), and Vince Hunter (UTEP).
  • The final batch of players working out for the Nets, which will take place on Thursday, are Travis Trice (Michigan State), Rashad Madden (Arkansas), Michael Qualls (Arizona), Trawick, Richaun Holmes (Bowling Green), and Josh Smith (Georgetown).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Divac, Grizzlies, Pack

One of the strangest aspects of the Kings‘ hiring of Vlade Divac as the team’s president of basketball and franchise operations is that no one but Divac and team owner Vivek Ranadive actually understood he’d be in a powerful basketball operations position until a few days after the announcement, Tom Ziller of SBNation writes. It was assumed that because Divac had extremely limited prior front office experience, he would be more of a figurehead than being actively involved in personnel decisions, Ziller notes. There were even members of Sacramento’s front office who didn’t realize that Divac had the power to make personnel moves until Divac and Randive relayed that information to the media, the SBNation scribe adds.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Grizzlies have workouts scheduled on Sunday for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Cady Lalanne (Massachusetts), Denzel Livingston (Incarnate Word), Norman Powell (UCLA), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), and Maurice Walker (Minnesota), the team announced via a press release.
  • The Nuggets are expected to work out Murray State point guard Cameron Payne, who is rocketing up draft boards, this Monday, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post tweets.
  • Robert Pack has signed on to be an assistant on the staff of new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Working out for the Suns today were Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State), Mouhammadou Jaiteh (France), Derrick Marks (Boise State), Michael Qualls (Arkansas), Chasson Randle (Stanford), and TaShawn Thomas (Oklahoma), Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic notes (Twitter links). Qualls suffered an undisclosed injury during the workout, Coro relays, and was replaced by Polish guard Mateusz Ponitka.
  • The Kings have added John Welch and Chad Iske as assistants on George Karl‘s coaching staff, Spears reports (on Twitter). Both men were previously with Karl when he coached in Denver, Spears adds.

Southwest Notes: Gasol, Calathes, Draft

One comment that Marc Gasol made to Spanish media should be encouraging for the Grizzlies, while another appears to fuel Spurs hope. Gasol said that he hasn’t thought about changing teams and once more cited his deep roots in Memphis, according to Adriano Correal of Gigantes del Basket (translation via HoopsHype). Still, he called the Spurs a model franchise and expressed his admiration of Tim Duncan, as Abraham Romero of Diario As passes along (translation via Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News). The Spurs are the team the Grizzlies fear the most among Gasol’s suitors, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com recently reported. Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Nick Calathes told Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype that his primary goal is to remain in the NBA and denied a report from Javier Maestro of Encestando.es that he wanted to leave the NBA and that his camp had offered his services to Barcelona of Spain (translation via HoopsHype). Calathes, whose contract with Memphis expires at the end of next month, is nonetheless expected to draw pursuit from several European teams, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, who says the 26-year-old stands to make more money overseas than he would remaining in the NBA. The Grizzlies can match competing NBA bids for him if they tender a qualifying offer worth more than $1.147MM.
  • The Mavs on Wednesday were set to work out Florida shooting guard Michael Frazier, Villanova small forward Darrun Hilliard, Nebraska swingman Terran Petteway, Arkansas shooting guard Michael Qualls, Baylor small forward Royce O’Neale and Incarnate Word combo guard Denzel Livingston, a source told Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link).
  • Terrence Jones questioned whether he would ever play again after suffering a nerve injury earlier this season that knocked him out for nearly three months, so he’s not too upset that the Rockets benched him during the playoffs, as Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle examines. Jones is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.

Atlantic Notes: Towns, Marks, Qualls

Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns said that playing for the Knicks would be a childhood dream come true if the franchise selects him in the NBA Draft, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes. “It would be an honor, not only as a player, but as a Knicks fan, to be able to play for that organization,” Towns said. “It’s gonna be, I guess a childhood dream — rooting for the Knicks all this time, and the next thing you know, you hear an organization call your name to go out there and give it your best shot. I think it would very cool, and really very honored and blessed to be able to play for them.” You can view our full prospect profile on Towns here.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  •  Towns also indicated that he’s more than willing to learn the triangle offense if he becomes a member of the Knicks, Begley adds. “It’s a system that works. If you don’t believe it then say it to Phil Jackson’s rings,” Towns said. “I just feel like anyone going into the offense, it takes time. It’s a very complicated offense and you also have to be able to make stuff happen out of it. It just takes time. It would be an honor and blessing to play in that offense and I’d try my best at it.
  • Nets assistant GM Bobby Marks‘ contract option for 2015/16 wasn’t picked up by the team, and Brooklyn has now given Marks permission to explore other opportunities, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Arkansas junior guard Michael Qualls, a projected second-rounder this June, believes he could make an impact on the Sixers next season if the team drafts him, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I feel like I can help right now,” Qualls said. “I can be a force right away to help change that atmosphere and [turn] that program around.
  • The Knicks‘ front office is torn over whom to select in the draft should the team not snag one of the top two picks in June, Begley writes in a separate piece. “As of today, it looks like Jahlil Okafor would be the second choice. While he doesn’t have the defensive skills of Towns, his ability to play right away and his dominance on the offensive end will make him difficult to pass. After that, the Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell battle rages in the Knicks’ front office the same way it’s raging in front offices around the NBA,” ESPN Insider Chad Ford told Begley.