Nikola Jovanovic

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

Read more

Pistons Waive Nikola Jovanovic

The Pistons have waived forward Nikola Jovanovic, the team announced via press release. Jovanovic’s minimum salary deal included a partial guarantee of $30K, which Detroit will be on the hook for, provided the player isn’t claimed off waivers by another team. The Pistons’ roster count now stands at 17 players, which is still two above the regular season maximum.

Jovanovic wasn’t selected in June’s NBA Draft after forgoing his senior year at USC in order to become draft-eligible. In his final season with the Trojans, the 22-year-old averaged 12.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG, shooting 52.4% from the field.

The forward saw action saw action in one preseason game for the Pistons, going scoreless in just over three minutes of playing time. He’ll likely join Detroit’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids to start the season.

Contract Details: Warriors, Nuggets, Celtics, Pistons

Teams signing players to training camp deals in the hopes that those players will eventually land with their D-League affiliates often incentivize their offers by including partial guarantees. That appears to be the case with the Warriors — as we noted earlier today, Golden State awarded $50K guarantees to Cameron Jones, Scott Wood, and Elgin Cook, who all seem like good bets to end up with Santa Cruz. Given how modest D-League salaries are, that extra guaranteed money can motivate players to accept D-League assignments rather than seeking more lucrative jobs overseas.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), another Warriors camp invitee, Phil Pressey, also received a small guarantee, worth $35K. However, JaVale McGee‘s contract with the team is fully non-guaranteed. Of course, McGee seems more likely to earn a spot on Golden State’s regular-season roster than many of his fellow camp invitees, in which case he’d have an opportunity to earn his full $1.4MM+ salary.

Here are a few more salary details from around the NBA, via Pincus:

  • According to Pincus’ salary information, the Nuggets signed Robbie Hummel and Jarnell Stokes to two-year, minimum-salary contracts, while Nate Wolters got a three-year, minimum-salary deal. Hummel and Stokes received guarantees worth $150K apiece, while Wolters received $50K in guaranteed money.
  • The Celtics signed Damion Lee to a two-year, minimum-salary contract that features $50K in guaranteed money, while Jalen Jones got a one-year deal with a $25K guarantee, per Pincus (Twitter link).
  • The one-year, minimum-salary deals Nikola Jovanovic and Trey Freeman inked with the Pistons are both worth about $543K, the rookie minimum. However, Jovanovic got a $30K guarantee from the team, while Freeman’s deal is fully non-guaranteed, Pincus notes.

Pistons Sign Nikola Jovanovic

The Pistons are adding another undrafted free agent to their roster for training camp, having signed former USC forward Nikola Jovanovic to a contract, according to RealGM’s transactions log. Jovanovic confirmed the agreement himself on Twitter, announcing that “it’s official!”

Jovanovic, who worked out for the Pistons just a few days before the 2016 draft, wasn’t selected in June after forgoing his senior year at USC to become draft-eligible. In his final season with the Trojans, the 22-year-old averaged 12.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG, shooting 52.4% from the field.

The Pistons have 14 players on guaranteed contracts on their books for 2016/17 so far, so the team’s final roster slot could be up for grabs in training camp. Jovanovic will face some stiff competition for that opening though — so far, Detroit has added Lorenzo Brown, Ray McCallum, and Trey Freeman on non-guaranteed deals. The club still has two more open spots on its 20-man offseason roster.

Jovanovic’s deal is believed to be for one year, and will likely be worth the minimum salary ($543K), with little to no guaranteed money.

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.

Western Notes: Nowitzki, Ingram, Jazz

Dirk Nowitzki still hasn’t made up his mind on whether he is going to opt out of his deal with the Mavericks, but he is leaning toward it and he addressed the topic on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan (h/t to the Dallas Morning News for the transcript). “Is [opting out] best for the franchise? Just trying to find out from Donnie [Nelson] and Mark [Cuban] what’s out there, what the plan is,” Nowitzki said. “So, 100 percent, my mind’s not made up, but I’m leaning toward opting out and trying to help, and see what’s out there.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

And-Ones: Carlesimo, Kings, Lee

The Sixers intend to hire former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo as lead assistant on Brett Brown‘s staff, David Aldridge of relays (via Twitter). Carlesimo, 66, will replace Mike D’Antoni, who is reportedly set to become the Rockets‘ new head coach. His last post in the league was with the Nets during the 2012/13 campaign, when he took over for fired coach Avery Johnson but was let go after the team was eliminated by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs that season. Carlesimo has a career regular season record of 239-315 and a postseason mark of 6-13.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Kings have pre-draft workouts scheduled for May 31st with Roscoe Allen (Stanford), Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Nikola Jovanovic (USC), Manny Malou (Yuba College), Patricio Garino (George Washington) and Majok Deng (Louisiana Monroe), the team announced.
  • The reported hiring of David Fizdale as head coach signals that the Grizzlies are looking ahead to their future rather than adding a coach who is geared more toward the current crop of players, Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal writes. The scribe also analyzes the team’s offseason ahead, noting that Memphis will likely target depth at guard in the draft and mentions Wade Baldwin, Tyler Ulis and Demetrius Jackson as potential draftees this June.
  • The Mavericks expect the positive experience that David Lee had with the organization this season will aid it in recruiting free agents this offseason, Earl K. Sneed of writes. “You know, we acquired David Lee two months ago. I don’t remember the exact date, but when you acquire a player like that that’s been a two-time All-Star and has been in some successful organizations, you know, you want him to have a great experience,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He did, and he helped us get to the playoffs. We wouldn’t have got to the playoffs without David Lee, and the word spreads. You know, veterans like him know other veterans, and the word gets out that Dallas is a high-level organization. And we take great pride in that.

And-Ones: Noah, Nets Mini-Camp, Jovanovic

Despite the reports that Joakim Noah is ready to leave the Bulls when he becomes a free agent this summer, talks between the big man and the team have resulted in a “positive dialogue” about a new contract, a league source tells Nick Friedell of Noah had reportedly told teammates in recent weeks that he’s done with the organization once free agency begins, adding that he “has no trust in the front office getting this in the right direction.” The big man’s agent disputed the reports, adding that his client has “great respect” for the city of Chicago, Bulls fans, and the organization. “Joakim and I speak on a daily basis about his future,” Duffy said. “There has been zero indication he doesn’t wish to return to Bulls.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Nets are planning on holding another free agent mini-camp next month and the invitees will include Quinn Cook, Alex Stepheson, Scotty Hopson, Jerrelle Benimon, Alex Kirk, Kwame Vaughn and McKenzie Moore, international journalist David Pick reports in a series of tweets. Moore is also scheduled to work out for the Mavericks, Pick notes.
  • USC junior big man Nikola Jovanovic has hired Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management to represent him, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today relays (via Twitter). The 22-year-old is no lock to be selected this June and isn’t among the top 100 players, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Former Oklahoma shooting guard Isaiah Cousins has a workout scheduled with the Raptors on May 31st, Adam Zagoria of tweets. Cousins is a potential second-rounder, with Givony slotting him No. 67 overall.
  • D’Andre Downey (Stillman College) and Alec Wintering (Portland) have withdrawn from the 2016 NBA draft and are returning to school, Dan Feldman of relays.

Jaron Blossomgame Withdraws From Draft

Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame has decided to withdraw from the 2016 NBA draft, sources tell Jon Rothstein of (Twitter link). The decision comes in advance of tonight’s deadline for NCAA underclassmen to remove their names from the draft and retain their college eligibility.

Blossomgame, who will return to Clemson for his senior season, had a strong junior year with the Tigers, averaging 18.7 points per game to go along with 6.6 boards per contest. He ranked 38th overall on Chad Ford’s list of 2016’s top 100 prospects, and placed just outside the top 50 on Jonathan Givony’s list at DraftExpress, at No. 51.

Before deciding that he would return to Clemson for another year, Blossomgame worked out for the Suns, Sixers, Clippers, Jazz, and Grizzlies, so he likely received a good deal of feedback from teams about his draft prospects.

Here are a few more updates on this year’s underclassmen draft decisions:

  • USC big man Nikola Jovanovic will remain in the 2016 NBA draft, reports Rothstein (via Twitter). Jovanovic, a junior in 2015/16, will forgo his final year of college eligibility.
  • Stanford’s Rosco Allen will keep his name in the 2016 NBA draft, sources tell Rothstein (Twitter link). Although Allen is technically coming off his senior year, he had one more year of college eligibility remaining, which he’ll forgo.
  • ESPN’s Jeff Goodman previously reported that Malik Newman‘s father, Horatio Webster, told him Newman would withdraw his name from the draft and return to college. However, Goodman follows up with another comment from Webster, who says, “We haven’t made a decision yet. Right now he’s still enrolled at Mississippi State” (Twitter link).

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Maker, Workouts

Timing will be crucial for the Blazers this offseason, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Meyers Leonard Allen Crabbe and Maurice Harkless are all restricted free agents and leading up to free agency, it will be critical for GM Neil Olshey to understand the market for the trio in order to project how Portland operates this summer, Marks argues. The Blazers have a chance to add other pieces using their cap space and then circle back and sign their restricted free agents. However, if another team swoops in and signs one of them, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to use the cap space they’ve created.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Wolves interviewed Thon Maker last week in Chicago, reports Darren Wolfson of (Twitter link).
  • The Jazz have worked out Anthony Beane, Ethan Telfair, Quincy Ford, Jarrod Uthoff, DyShawn Pierre and David Walker, according to the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Nuggets will work out Anthony Barber, Isaiah Cousins, Nikola Jovanovic, Alec Peters, Josh Scott and Pascal Siakam on Friday, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Nuggets also have workouts planned for Saturday. They will work out Ron Baker, Dillon Brooks, Robert Carter, Tyler Dorsey, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Shawn Long on Saturday, Kennedy tweets.