Nate Hinton

NBAGL All-League, Defensive, Rookie Teams Announced

The NBA announced all of the major All-NBA G League teams on Thursday (All Twitter links found here), including the First Team, Second Team, Third Team, All-Defensive Team, and All-Rookie team.

Several current and former NBA players are among the honorees. Here is the full list of winners for the 2023/24 season.

All-NBA G League First Team:

All-NBA G League Second Team:

All-NBA G League Third Team:

G League All-Defensive Team:

G League All-Rookie Team:

* Denotes two-way contract

^ Denotes standard contract

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Jackson, Udoka, Wembanyama

The Grizzlies aren’t ready to shut down any of their players, but Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal questions whether that’s a sound strategy. Before Memphis ended its nine-game losing streak Wednesday night, coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters that the team will bring back as many injured players as it can over the season’s final two months.

“We’re actively preparing and training these guys as if they are playing,” Jenkins said. “We haven’t had any conversations about shutting down guys. This is a competitive bunch.”

Injuries have made this a nightmarish season for the Grizzlies, who were one of the West’s top teams the past two years. Players such as Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart could still return, but Giannotto believes it’s wiser for the organization to hold them out to avoid any further injury risk while seeing what the team’s young talent can do after the All-Star break.

Giannotto notes that general manager Zach Kleiman didn’t offer any timeline for Bane or Smart in a news conference last week, but he indicated that it might be beneficial for Brandon Clarke to see some action when he’s cleared to return from an Achilles tear he suffered last season.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies rookie GG Jackson called it a “joyful experience” as his two-way contract was converted to a new four-year deal last week, per Damichael Cole of The Commercial Appeal. The second-round pick has excelled as the team’s injuries have given him an unexpected chance to play big minutes, and he had been hoping to land a standard contract. “I kind of had a feeling with the way everything has been panning out, but I tried to keep the main thing with basketball,” Jackson said. “But nonetheless, I’m grateful.”
  • Rockets coach Ime Udoka said lineup changes may be necessary following Wednesday’s loss at Memphis, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston faced an early 23-point deficit as its pattern of slow starts continued. Jalen Green sat out the entire fourth quarter for the second time in four games, and Feigen notes that little-used Nate Hinton played more second half minutes than Green did. “Maybe I have to look at the rotation and the lineup I have out there starting and try to get five competitors out the court at one time to avoid poor starts like that,” Udoka said. “I will look at all of that over the break, look in the mirror myself and figure out the best way to move forward to get us off to better starts.”
  • Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press previews what Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama can expect as he prepares for his first All-Star Weekend.

Rockets Notes: Whitmore, Thompson, Sengun, Udoka

It was a big offseason for Cam Whitmore, who was named the Summer League MVP in Las Vegas, then was voted the biggest steal of the 2023 draft by NBA general managers. However, the rookie forward hasn’t been part of the Rockets‘ rotation this fall, logging just 32 total minutes in five appearances at the NBA level.

Whitmore has seen more action in the G League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate. In six games as a Viper, the 19-year-old has put up 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per night with a shooting line of .486/.431/.786.

While the scoring numbers are impressive, the Rockets have been even more encouraged by Whitmore’s assist totals, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required), who notes that the youngster only had 19 assists in 26 college games at Villanova. Head coach Ime Udoka said the team liked what it saw from the rookie in several other areas too.

“He did well,” Udoka said of Whitmore’s G League play. “He had numbers, obviously. But it’s not really the scoring. It’s shot selection, improvement on defense, recognition. They do the same schemes that we do.

“One thing about the G League, people go down there to score; it doesn’t always translate to the NBA. You’re not always going to get those same looks or other things. It’s how you blend in with the team and the scheme. When you’re getting a lot of time as a young guy, I think it’s invaluable to go down there to … play. We’re looking at everything, from understanding game plans, coverages and everything we don’t get a chance to work on daily.”

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Whitmore was one of four Rockets sent to the Vipers on Tuesday, along with fellow first-rounder Amen Thompson and two-way players Jermaine Samuels and Nate Hinton. Thompson is recovering from an ankle injury and Feigen suggests (via Twitter) that playing with the Vipers may be the next step in his return for the NBA club. Rio Grande Valley has three games in four days beginning on Wednesday.
  • Rockets center Alperen Sengun has put up All-Star caliber numbers, averaging 21.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 5.5 APG through his first 17 games this season. However, he’ll face tough competition as a frontcourt player in the Western Conference, so his case would be strengthened if the Rockets – who have lost six of their last eight games – can reverse their recent slide and remain in the thick of the West’s playoff race, Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).
  • The Rockets’ loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Saturday night wasn’t the team’s finest hour. As Kelly Iko of The Athletic details, Ime Udoka was ejected following a verbal altercation with LeBron James, while Dillon Brooks ripped the officiating after the game, referring to them as a “terrible group” of referees. Still, if the team emulates Udoka’s intensity and “don’t get punked” attitude going forward, the game could prove beneficial, according to Feigen (subscription required). “We’re trying to imitate our coach,” Jabari Smith Jr. said. “That’s who he is. That’s how he is. We’re trying to be like that.”

Rockets Re-Sign Nate Hinton To Two-Way Contract

After waiving him on Saturday, the Rockets have re-signed swingman Nate Hinton to a two-way contract, reports Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

The move is official, per RealGM’s log of NBA transactions, as is the reported release of Trevor Hudgins, whose two-way spot was opened to make room for Hinton.

A 6’5″ wing who played his college ball at Houston, Hinton has spent most of his three professional seasons on two-way contracts or G League deals, appearing in 23 NBA games for the Mavericks and Pacers since 2020.

The 24-year-old played for the Cleveland Charge – the Cavaliers’ NBAGL affiliate – during the 2022/23 season, averaging 12.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .466/.383/.789 shooting in 27 regular season games (33.9 MPG). He appeared in three preseason games for the Rockets, playing limited minutes.

The Rockets have now made multiple changes to their two-way players ahead of the regular season, having also cut Darius Days in order to convert Jeenathan Williams to a two-way contract on Monday.

It’s unclear why Houston didn’t simply hang onto Hinton and convert him as it did Williams, since Hinton’s deal also included Exhibit 10 language. Negotiating a two-year deal would’ve required him to pass through waivers, but Hoops Rumors has learned that Hinton’s new contract is only for one year. He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.

Rockets Cut Nate Hinton

The Rockets have officially waived camp invitee Nate Hinton, according to’s transaction log.

Hinton, a 6’5″ wing who played his college ball at Houston, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Rockets in August. He has spent most of his three professional seasons on two-way contracts or G League deals, appearing in 23 NBA games for the Mavericks and Pacers since 2020.

The 24-year-old played for the Cleveland Charge – the Cavaliers’ NBAGL affiliate – during the 2022/23 season, averaging 12.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .466/.383/.789 shooting in 27 regular season games (33.9 MPG). He appeared in three preseason games for the Rockets, playing limited minutes.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League team, acquired Hinton’s returning rights from the Charge earlier this week, signaling that the plan is to have him report to the Vipers once he clears waivers. His contract makes him eligible to earn a $75K bonus if he spends at least 60 days with the NBAGL club.

The Rockets still have 20 players under contract, so a couple more moves will be necessary to get the roster ready for the regular season. Interestingly, no transaction involving Jeenathan Williams – another camp invitee – shows up on today. That could be a signal that Houston plans to convert him to a two-way deal — the team would have to cut one of its current two-way players to make that move.

In addition to Williams and their three two-way players, the Rockets are carrying 16 players who are on fully or partially guaranteed contracts. Because they’ll have to trade or release a player who is owed guaranteed money in order to set their standard 15-man roster, there’s no rush to finalize that move until Sunday or Monday, as we explained in a separate article.

Rockets Sign Nate Hinton, Matthew Mayer To Camp Deals

3:06pm: Hinton and Mayer have officially signed with the Rockets, according to a press release from the team.

10:12am: A flurry of roster moves for the Rockets will continue with training camp deals for Summer League standouts Nate Hinton and Matthew Mayer, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).

In the process of filling out its 21-man offseason roster, Houston also recently signed Joshua Obiesie to a camp contract and agreed to a camp deal with Jeenathan Williams and a two-way pact with Jermaine Samuels.

Hinton, a 6’5″ wing who played his college ball at Houston, has spent most of his three professional seasons on two-way contracts or G League deals, appearing in 23 NBA games for the Mavericks and Pacers since 2020. The 24-year-old played for the Cleveland Charge – the Cavaliers’ NBAGL affiliate – during the 2022/23 season, averaging 12.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .466/.383/.789 shooting in 27 regular season games (33.9 MPG).

A 6’9″ forward, Mayer went undrafted in June out of Illinois and caught on with the Rockets’ Summer League team, putting up 12.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG with a .516/.435/.889 shooting line in four contests (25.2 MPG). Hinton also played well for the Rockets in Vegas, averaging 11.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.7 SPG on 50.0% shooting in six appearances (26.4 MPG).

As Feigen explains, Hinton, Mayer, and Williams are all expected to participate in training camp with the Rockets this fall, so they’re receiving contracts with Exhibit 9 language, which protects a team financially in the event of an injury.

A team can only sign a player to an Exhibit 9 contract once it has 14 players already on standard contracts, so Houston added Obiesie as its 14th man in order to begin finalizing the rest of its camp deals. Obiesie, whose deal doesn’t include Exhibit 9 protection, “will not be involved in the camp,” per Feigen, but the Rockets will control his G League rights after he’s waived.

I would expect that all of Houston’s camp invitees will also have Exhibit 10 language in their deals, which will entitle them to bonuses worth up to $75K if they eventually join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and remain with the Rockets’ G League affiliate for at least 60 days.

Rockets Notes: Brooks, Whitmore, Smith, Samuels

The Rockets were facing competition for Dillon Brooks on the free agent market, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. Houston raised its offer beyond what was originally projected, eventually signing the defensive-minded swingman to a four-year contract that could pay him up to $90MM if he meets incentives.

The Mavericks were “seriously in the mix” for Brooks, sources tell Iko, and the Bucks were watching him closely in case they weren’t able to re-sign Khris Middleton. Brooks had a meeting with the Lakers, Iko adds, but L.A. didn’t have enough cap space to give him the kind of offer he wanted and wasn’t willing to arrange a complex sign-and-trade like Houston did.

Iko understands that many Rockets fans are surprised by the money they gave to Brooks, who landed a yearly salary close to what Bruce Brown did in free agency and now has a contract similar to Jordan Clarkson, Terry Rozier and Malcolm Brogdon. However, Iko points out that Houston had to overpay to get any significant free agent considering its dismal record over the past three years, and there’s hope that Brooks can transform his approach, especially on offense, while playing for a demanding coach like Ime Udoka.

There’s more from Houston:

  • Summer League MVP Cam Whitmore played mostly at small forward, which Iko expects to be his primary position during the upcoming season. Iko has the 20th overall pick listed behind Tari Eason as the backup small forward on his projected depth chart and says it’s hard to predict how much he’ll play as a rookie. Iko states that Whitmore has the talent to create a steady role for himself right away, but the Rockets don’t have to rush him with their revamped roster so he may be sent to the G League to get consistent minutes.
  • In a separate story, Iko talked to some of the league’s best defenders throughout the season about what Jabari Smith has to do to become elite in that area of the game. The Rockets were happy to land Smith with the third pick in the 2022 draft because of his defensive potential, combining the size of a center with the quickness to stay in front of smaller players. “Watch a lot of film,” advised Nets forward Royce O’Neale. “Try to study guys as much as you can. This league has a lot of great scorers and different guys like doing different things. Learn and watch other guys. Don’t be afraid to ask guys who are defenders how they guard certain people and little tips like that.”
  • Jermaine Samuels appears to be the most likely unsigned member of the Rockets’ Summer League team to get a training camp invitation, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston has two roster slots and a two-way spot open, and Feigen lists Nate Hinton, Matthew Mayer and current two-way player Trevor Hudgins as others who helped themselves in Las Vegas.

And-Ones: World Cup Qualifiers, Nike Summit, MVP Race, Rising Stars, Draft

With two more qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup right around the corner, USA Basketball has officially announced the 12-man roster that will compete in February’s games. Team USA’s squad is made up primarily of G Leaguers, but features a number of players with NBA experience.

The 12 players who will represent the U.S. on February 23 vs. Uruguay and Feb. 26 vs. Brazil are Deonte Burton, Will Davis II, Abdul Gaddy, Langston Galloway, Treveon Graham, Dusty Hannahs, Nate Hinton, Jay Huff, Xavier Moon, Elijah Pemberton, Reggie Perry, and Craig Sword.

So far, Canada is the only team in the Americas field to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, having won all of its first 10 qualifying contests. However, Team USA – which has an 8-2 record so far – will clinch a World Cup berth by winning either one of its two games this month, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

Meanwhile, USA Basketball also announced the rosters for the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit, an annual showcase of U.S. high school prospects that will take place on April 8. The most notable name on the men’s roster is Bronny James, but Bronny isn’t the only son of a former Cavaliers lottery pick to be named to the event — the 13-player roster also includes Dajuan Wagner Jr.

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

  • Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is building a strong case for his third consecutive MVP award and leads the way in the latest straw poll conducted by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. Bontemps’ survey asks 100 media members for their current MVP ballots — Jokic received 77 first-place votes, easily besting runners-up Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks (11 first-place votes) and Joel Embiid of the Sixers (6).
  • Rockets guard Jalen Green (left groin strain) and Pistons center Jalen Duren (right ankle sprain) have been forced to withdraw from Friday night’s Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend due to injuries, according to the NBA (Twitter link). They’re being replaced by Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu and Rockets forward Tari Eason.
  • In his latest mock draft for The Athletic, Sam Vecenie moves Alabama wing Brandon Miller up to No. 3, writing that Miller is considered the safest bet in the 2023 draft class – outside of Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson – to be a “really good player” at the NBA level. Vecenie’s top five is rounded out by Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson at No. 4 and Houston forward Jarace Walker at No. 5.

Cavs Exercise Options On E. Mobley, Okoro; Waive Five Players

The Cavaliers are exercising their 2023/24 rookie scale options on Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro, sources tell Chris Fedor of (Twitter link). The team has officially confirmed the moves (Twitter link).

The news was expected, as both 21-year-olds are key members of a young Cleveland squad. Mobley will earn $8,882,640 in his third season, while Okoro will make $8,920,795 in his fourth. Exercising Okoro’s fourth-year option also makes him eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.

Mobley was the Rookie of the Year runner-up in ’21/22 after averaging 15 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.7 BPG in 69 games (33.8 MPG). The 7’0″ big man was the third overall pick in 2021.

Okoro was the fifth overall pick in 2020. The 6’5″ wing is an impressive athlete and strong defender, but needs to develop his offensive game. He’s averaged 9.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.9 APG and 0.9 SPG over his first two seasons (134 games, 31 MPG).

In unrelated news, the Cavs have waived Mamadi Diakite, Sharife Cooper, Nate Hinton, Jamorko Pickett and RJ Nembhard, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. The team officially confirmed the roster cuts (via Twitter). The Cavs now have 14 players on standard contracts and one two-way spot open after waiving Nembhard.

The Cavaliers plan to keep their 15th standard roster spot open to start the season, according to Fedor (Twitter link), who adds that Cooper, Hinton and Pickett are expected to join the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs’ G League affiliate. If they spend at least 60 days with the Charge, they could each receive a bonus worth up to $50K due to their Exhibit 10 contracts.

Diakite had a strong preseason showing for the Cavs, and Fedor wondered last night if they might keep him around. Obviously he won’t receive the final standard roster spot right now, but there’s a chance they could re-sign him to a two-way contract if he clears waivers. He was on an Exhibit 9 training camp deal, which cannot be converted into a two-way deal.

Nate Hinton Signs Exhibit 10 Contract With Cavs

Former Mavericks and Pacers guard Nate Hinton has agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Cavaliers and will attend training camp, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Hinton is expected to compete for a spot on the 15-man opening night roster. While the Cavaliers have 16 other players on standard contracts, only 12 have fully guaranteed salaries. The team also has both two-way slots filled.

The Cavaliers’ G League squad, the Cleveland Charge, recently acquired Hinton’s rights in a trade with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in exchange for Norvel Pelle and a second-round pick in the NBAGL draft. Hinton will receive a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days the Charge, provided he doesn’t make the 15-man Cavs roster and signs a G League contract.

Hinton played 21 games with Dallas in his rookie season after going undrafted in 2020. He spent most of last season with Fort Wayne and averaged 18.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.2 steals for the Mad Ants in his second G League season. He also signed a pair of 10-day deals with the Pacers and appeared in two games, later inking a two-way contract to finish the season.