Nnanna Egwu

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.

Magic Waive Nnanna Egwu

9:54pm: Egwu has been waived, the Magic announced via a press release.

9:25pm: The Magic have waived center Nnanna Egwu, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reports (Twitter link). Egwu was in camp on a non-guaranteed deal, so Orlando won’t be responsible for any salary as a result of this move.

Egwu had played for the Magic in the summer league this year, where he logged averages of 3.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game across five contests. He appeared in four preseason contests for Orlando, averaging a single point in 9.3 minutes per appearance. The 6’11” 23-year-old spent four seasons at Illinois, notching career averages of 5.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks to accompany a slash line of .438/.258/.708.

Orlando’s roster count now sits at 14 players, including 13 possessing full guarantees on their pacts.

Southeast Notes: Bazemore, Heat, Wizards

Hawks guard Kent Bazemore is entering the final season of his current deal, but there is mutual interest between the team and the 26-year-old in reaching an agreement on a new contract next offseason, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Speaking about his feelings for Atlanta, Bazemore said, “I’ve come to love Atlanta. Of the whole summer, I was probably only gone two weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time here. I just moved into a new house. I’m renting it. Maybe I can buy it next year.” Bazemore and the Hawks will have to wait until next summer to work out a new deal since his current deal was signed for less than four years, meaning Bazemore is ineligible to sign an extension during the season, Vivlamore adds.

Here’s the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat assistant Dan Craig was officially named as head coach of the franchise’s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the team announced. The news of Craig’s hiring was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
  • Jaron Johnson‘s one-year deal with the Wizards is non-guaranteed and for the league minimum, while Jaleel Robertsagreement is also for the minimum, but his includes a partial guarantee of $10K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter links).
  • The Heat‘s deals with John Lucas III and Tre Kelley are one-year pacts for the league minimum and do not include any guaranteed salary, Pincus tweets.
  • Hawks coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said that it may make more sense for the team to carry the regular season maximum of 15 players rather than keeping a slot open, Vivlamore tweets. Atlanta currently has 13 players inked to fully guaranteed deals.
  • The Hornets are hoping that Jeremy Lamb will get off to a fresh start in Charlotte after not seeing much playing time during his three seasons with the Thunder, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. Lamb was acquired back in June in exchange for for Luke Ridnour and a 2016 second-round pick.
  • Greg Stiemsma‘s and Nnanna Egwu‘s one-year, minimum salary deals with the Magic are non-guaranteed, while Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert‘s minimum salary arrangements include partial guarantees of $100K, Pincus relays in a series of tweets.
  • The presence of Goran Dragic, who re-signed with the Heat this offseason, was a big draw for Amar’e Stoudemire to join Miami as a free agent, Surya Fernandez of SB Nation tweets. Of Dragic, Stoudemire said, “If he would have stayed in Phoenix, I would have thought about going back to Phoenix.

Magic Sign Greg Stiemsma, Nnanna Egwu

4:18pm: The signings are official, the team announced via a press release.

11:02am: The Magic expect to bring Greg Stiemsma and Nnanna Egwu to training camp, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Robbins lists the pair along with Keith Appling, Melvin Ejim and Jordan Sibert, each of whom has a previously reported deal to join the Magic for camp. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reported earlier that Stiemsma was close to a deal with Orlando. The additions of the veteran center, plus Egwu, a center who went undrafted out of Illinois this year, will give the Magic 19 players, including 13 on fully guaranteed contracts.

Stiemsma, 29, has five years of NBA service time and spent this past season with the Raptors after securing a regular season roster spot in camp last fall. His playing time was down sharply from a career-best 18.3 minutes per game for the Pelicans in 2013/14, when he made 20 starts. Stiemsma came off the bench in all 17 appearances for Toronto in 2014/15 and saw a career-low 3.9 minutes per game.

Egwu was with the Magic in summer league, when he posted 3.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game across five contests. The 6’11” 22-year-old, who turns 23 next month, also had a single-digit scoring average in each of his four college seasons, though he was a starter for all but one game the past three years for the Illini.

Veterans like Stiemsma don’t usually end up in the D-League, but it seems a decent chance exists that Egwu will ultimately make his way to Orlando’s D-League affiliate. The Magic can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they cut at the end of the preseason.

Should the Magic keep Stiemsma for the regular season? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.