Nick Johnson

Spurs Waive Okaro White, Nick Johnson

The Spurs have removed a pair of players from their preseason roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived forward Okaro White and guard Nick Johnson.

White, who missed a good chunk of the 2017/18 campaign with a broken foot, was waived by the Cavaliers in August and joined the Spurs for camp. Formerly a member of the Heat, the Florida State alum has appeared in 41 NBA games over the last two seasons for Miami, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.4 minutes per contest.

Johnson, meanwhile, hasn’t played in the NBA since a 28-game stretch with the Rockets during the 2014/15 season. However, he has thrived in the G League, earning NBAGL Finals MVP honors last season for the Austin Spurs. Given the injuries to San Antonio point guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White this fall, Johnson seemed to have an increased chance of making the Spurs’ roster to start the season, but he’ll hit waivers instead.

San Antonio now has 15 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal. I believe Manu Ginobili, who announced his retirement this summer, is also technically still under contract with the team, since his release has yet to show up in the NBA’s transactions logs. If so, the Spurs figure to release him by Monday to finalize their regular season roster.

Spurs Waive Olivier Hanlan, Add Nick Johnson

The Spurs have waived guard Olivier Hanlan, according to the transactions log.

San Antonio signed Hanlan last week. Hanlan will likely wind up with the G League’s Austin Spurs unless he’s claimed. He played 44 games for them last season.

San Antonio has added guard Nick Johnson to the training camp roster, according to a team release. Johnson was named the G League finals MVP last season after leading Austin to the title.

The 6’3” Johnson has not played an NBA game since the 2014/15 season, when he was a Rockets rookie.

Houston selected him in the second round in 2014. He averaged 2.6 PPG in 9.4 MPG. Johnson has appeared in a total of 102 G League games and spent the 2o16/17 season with Bayern Munich in Germany.

The Spurs technically have a full camp roster, though recently-retired Manu Ginobili is still on the 20-player list.

Hanlan, a former Boston College standout, was selected in the second round by the Jazz in 2015. The Spurs acquired his rights the following summer in exchange for Boris Diaw and a future second-rounder.

Hanlan has also played professionally in Lithuania and France. With Austin last season, the 6’4” guard averaged 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 30.6 MPG. He averaged 6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 2.6 APG in five Las Vegas outings with the Spurs’ summer league team.

Hornets Work Out Free Agent Guards

JULY 25, 11:03am: Michael Scotto (via Twitter) fills out the list of free agent guards who worked out today for the Hornets — Demetrius Jackson, Marcus Paige, Jared Cunningham, and Nick Johnson were also part of the group.

JULY 25, 8:16am: The Hornets will also work out free agent point guard Isaiah Canaan, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN, who tweets that the group session will take place on Tuesday.

JULY 24, 2:47pm: Former Georgia guard J.J. Frazier will also take part in the Hornets’ workout this week, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.

JULY 24, 11:48am: The Hornets are bringing in free agent guard Donald Sloan for a workout, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Another free agent point guard, Norris Cole, will also work out for the club, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

While Charlotte’s starting backcourt figures to look the same heading into the 2017/18 season, the team is making some changes on the bench. Backup point guards Ramon Sessions and Brian Roberts aren’t returning, and Marco Belinelli was traded to Atlanta. Belinelli’s roster spot has been claimed by lottery pick Malik Monk, and the Hornets signed Michael Carter-Williams as the probable backup for Kemba Walker at the point, but the club may add one more point guard to its roster for depth purposes.

Currently, Briante Weber holds that third point guard spot on the roster, but his deal is non-guaranteed. Per Basketball Insiders, Weber’s salary is believed to become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through August 1, so the fact that the Hornets are taking a closer look at veteran point guards now may not bode well for Weber’s hold on a roster spot.

Sloan, 29, has more than 200 NBA regular season games under his belt, but spent the 2016/17 season in China with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. His team-high 23.6 PPG and 6.5 APG helped buoy the club to an appearance in the CBA Finals.

As for Cole, the 28-year-old played sparingly for the Thunder last season, but has extensive NBA experience with the Heat and Pelicans, having appeared in 360 total regular season contests since 2011.

Nick Johnson To Play Overseas

Nick Johnson is headed overseas to play after signing a deal with the German club Bayern Munich, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). The length and terms of the agreement are not yet known, nor if the pact includes and NBA-out clause.

The shooting guard was waived by the Magic last Saturday as Orlando pared down its roster to the regular season maximum of 15 players. Johnson appeared in four preseason games for the Magic, averaging 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 10.2 minutes per outing.

Johnson’s career NBA regular season numbers through 28 games, all with the Rockets, are 2.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG and 0.4 APG to accompany a shooting line of .347/.238/.680. The 23-year-old has a more extensive D-League résumé, appearing in 54 contests the past two seasons, averaging 13.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 3.7 APG to accompany a shooting line of .412/.303/.768.

Magic Waive Nick Johnson, Ramon Galloway

The Magic have officially parted ways with guard Nick Johnson, the team announced via press release. Johnson’s minimum salary agreement includes no guaranteed money, so Orlando won’t have any cap consequences as a result of the move.

Johnson appeared in four preseason games for the Magic, averaging 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 10.2 minutes per outing. His career NBA regular season numbers through 28 games, all with the Rockets, are 2.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG and 0.4 APG to accompany a shooting line of .347/.238/.680.

The team also announced that Ramon Galloway, who was signed on Friday, was also let go. Orlando’s roster count is now at 15 players, which is the regular season maximum.

Magic Add Six Camp Invitees To Roster

SEPTEMBER 8: The Magic officially confirmed that they’ve signed the six players listed below (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 7: The Magic entered the day with just 13 players on their roster, but will add six more names to that list with a group of training camp invitees. According to Brian K. Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter), the Magic are bringing the following six players to camp:

  • Cliff Alexander, F/C: Alexander signed with the Blazers as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas last July, but only saw action in eight games for the club during the 2015/16 season, playing a total of 36 minutes. He was waived in July before his 2016/17 salary became guaranteed.
  • Branden Dawson, F: Waived by the Clippers in July, Dawson faced felony domestic violence charges earlier this year, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office didn’t pursue those charges, due to insufficient evidence. On the court, the 2015 second-rounder out of Michigan State appeared in just six games for the Clippers, spending most of the season in the D-League.
  • Nick Johnson, G: The 42nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Johnson spent a year with Houston, appearing in 28 games for the team. He was sent to Denver in last year’s Ty Lawson trade, and was subsequently waived by the Nuggets, eventually landing with the D-League’s Austin Spurs for 34 games.
  • Kevin Murphy, G: Since being selected by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft and playing 17 games in his rookie season, Murphy has bounced around, spending time with three D-League teams, as well as in China and Japan.
  • Arinze Onuaku, F/C: Although he appeared in regular-season games for three different teams – New Orleans, Cleveland, and Minnesota – from 2013 to 2015, Onuaku saw action in just 11 total contests. The former Syracuse big man spent time with teams in Israel and the Phillippines last season.
  • Damjan Rudez, F: Rudez’ training camp invite from the Magic was first reported last month. The 30-year-old Croatian saw a decent amount of playing time in Indiana during his first NBA season in 2014/15, averaging 15.4 minutes in 68 regular-season contests for the Pacers. However, he was traded to the Timberwolves last July in a deal for Chase Budinger, and never carved out a consistent role in Minnesota last season. The Wolves declined their team option on his contract in June.

Contract details on the Magic’s new additions aren’t yet known, but the team is over the cap and short-term, minimum-salary deals seem likely. Orlando does still have its $2.898MM room exception available if it needs to offer more than the minimum to secure a player’s services.

With 13 guaranteed contracts on their books, the Magic could be looking to fill two more roster spots for the regular season, with the players listed above vying for those openings.

Nick Johnson To Play For Spurs D-League Team

SUNDAY, 7:55pm: The affiliate of the Spurs has claimed Johnson off D-League waivers, a source tells Reichert (Twitter link).

SATURDAY, 5:00pm: Nuggets camp cut Nick Johnson has signed with the NBA D-League, Chris Reichert of Upside and Motor reports (Twitter ink). Johnson will be subject to the league’s waiver process to determine which franchise he is assigned to. NBA teams can begin signing players to 10-day contracts on January 5th, and this move by Johnson should make him a more attractive option for teams seeking backcourt help, though that is merely my speculation. Johnson is still collecting a NBA paycheck thanks to his contract with the Nuggets being fully guaranteed for this season and the next. He is making $845,059 for 2015/16 and is owed $980,431 for the 2016/17 campaign by Denver.

The combo guard is no stranger to the D-League having made 20 appearances in 2014/15 for Rio Grande Valley, the Rockets’ affiliate. He averaged a solid 18.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 33.9 minutes per contest for the Vipers. His shooting numbers were .428/.283/.789.

Johnson, 22, had been acquired by Denver from Houston as part of the Ty Lawson trade. The 2014 42nd overall pick appeared in 28 NBA games last season, averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game, and he owned a slash line of .347/.238/.680.

Nuggets Waive Johnson, Pecherov, Sweetney

The Nuggets have waived Nick Johnson, Oleksiy Pecherov and Devin Sweetney, the team announced via a press release. The cuts pave the way for Erick Green to stick for opening night on his partially guaranteed deal, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, and he’s indeed made the regular season roster, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post confirms (Twitter links). Green’s guarantee is just $100K. Pecherov and Sweetney’s deals are non-guaranteed, but Johnson’s deal is fully guaranteed for two more seasons, and he is owed $845,059 for 2015/16 and $980,431 for the 2016/17 campaign, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Denver will be responsible for that unless Johnson is claimed off waivers. The team’s roster count now stands at 15, the regular season limit.

Johnson, 22, was acquired from Houston as part of the Ty Lawson trade. The 2014 42nd overall pick appeared in 28 games last season, averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game, and he owned a slash line of .347/.238/.680. Johnson’s release means the Nuggets have waived all four of the players they acquired in the Lawson trade, Dempsey notes (Twitter link).

Pecherov, 29, has been out of the NBA since the 2009/10 campaign when he appeared in 44 games for the Timberwolves. The center has career NBA averages of 3.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.2 blocks to go along with a slash line of .386/.290/.793.

The 27-year-old Sweetney went undrafted out of St. Francis of Pennsylvania in 2010. In four seasons with the Red Flash, the swingman averaged 14.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, and he had a shooting line of .423/.268/.785. Sweetney spent the 2014/15 season playing for a pair of teams in Switzerland, where he notched averages of 20.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 2.3 APG in 19 total contests, before finishing up with Huracanes of the Dominican Republic on a four-game stint in which he put up 9.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.0 APG in 27.3 MPG.

Western Notes: Rondo, West, Nuggets

It’s been barely two weeks since the start of training camp, but Kings coach George Karl has already had some run-ins with Rajon Rondo, the point guard said in a Q&A with Manny Vieites of Cowbell Kingdom (video link; scroll to 1:00 mark). Karl said this summer that he expected them to butt heads to some degree, notes Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.

“It’s not been going too well,” Rondo said to Vieites. “We got into a couple of arguments the last couple of days, but hopefully we continue to talk and get better.”

It’s unclear what Rondo’s remark means for the Kings, but it’s not ideal, Grantland’s Zach Lowe observes (on Twitter). Rondo is signed for just one season, with a salary of $9.5MM. See more from the Western Conference:

  • The Spurs have a “mythological lure,” as David West put it in an interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick as he explained his decision to sign with San Antonio for the minimum salary. “I’ve been a Spurs fan my whole life, and having an opportunity and wanting to learn from [Tim] Duncan and Manu [Ginobili] and Tony [Parker] and obviously Coach [Gregg] Popovich and all his knowledge, I just felt like it was a good environment, and it was the best environment,” West said.
  • Erick Green appears to have shown enough during the offseason and training camp to convince the Nuggets to keep him, posits Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post as he takes a crack at predicting the Nuggets lineups. Denver has 15 fully guaranteed pacts while Green has just a $100K partial guarantee. Nick Johnson, who came via the Ty Lawson trade and who possesses the smallest full guarantee at just more than $845K, isn’t in Dempsey’s lineup predictions, so ostensibly he’d be the one to go.
  • Turmoil seems to stalk the Kings, and the moves they made this summer don’t bode well for the long term, but Sacramento still has as much of a chance at the last playoff spot in the Western Conference as any of their competitors, opines Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.

Western Notes: Donovan, Capela, Nuggets

Thunder coach Billy Donovan isn’t focusing on the impending free agency of star small forward Kevin Durant, who is eligible to hit the open market next summer, because he doesn’t want it to take away from his other duties as a coach, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman tweets. “I’ve said this before that I feel that my job and responsibility each day on the court is to our staff and myself to try and help Kevin grow and get better as a player, to try to help the team grow and get better as a team, and put our focus on those things,” Donovan said. “I think for me to focus on something that’s going to be all the way down the road in June or July or during that timeframe, I think I’m taking away my focus on what we need to do. We have enough to do I think right now as a staff to try to improve and get better.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets intend to utilize second year big man Clint Capela in a larger role in an effort to reduce starting center Dwight Howard‘s minutes this season, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. “For me, it’s hard to focus on that right now because I’m really focused on the training camp, getting better every day,” Capela said. “But I think it is good for me. It is a good change. Right now, I have to focus on the right now. I’m going to get there, but I’m not there yet. I will be ready.
  • The battle for the Nuggets‘ final roster spot is likely to be between second-year players Erick Green and Nick Johnson, both of whom are competing to be the team’s third point guard, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. Both players are signed to the league minimum, but Johnson’s deal is fully guaranteed, while Green’s includes a partial guarantee of $100K, though that won’t likely be the determining factor, Dempsey adds.
  • The Thunder‘s new offense is opening up scoring opportunities for all the players, and not just the outside shooters, Horne writes in a separate piece. “Definitely. Definitely more space,” point guard Russell Westbrook said. “Guys are in positions where they can score the basketball. The space is especially good for myself and it’s also good for guys that shoot the basketball really well, roll to the basket, whatever it is, can use their strengths really well.”