Obadiah Noel

Knicks Waive Obadiah Noel

The Knicks have released Obadiah Noel, according to NBA.com’s official transactions log (hat tip to Blake Stern of ldsport.com).

The move was expected. Noel was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract, which means he’ll earn a bonus if he spends at least 60 days with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s NBA G League affiliate.

Noel went undrafted in 2021 after four college seasons at UMass-Lowell. Since turning pro a couple years ago, the 6’4″ guard has been playing in the NBAGL.

Noel, 24, spent the 2022/23 regular season with Westchester, averaging 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals on .487/.382/.689 shooting in 29 games (26.8 minutes).

By waiving Noel, the Knicks have created a roster opening, which will most likely be used to sign more players to Exhibit 10 deals. They now have 20 players under contract, one shy of the offseason maximum.

Knicks Sign Obadiah Noel To Exhibit 10 Deal

5:32pm: New York has officially announced the signing of Noel to an Exhibit 10 deal (Twitter link).

1:12pm: The Knicks intend to sign free agent guard Obadiah Noel to an Exhibit 10 contract, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

It will be the first NBA contract for Noel, who went undrafted in 2021 after four college seasons at UMass-Lowell. The 24-year-old has spent his first two professional seasons playing in the G League.

During the 2021/22 season, Noel played for the Raptors 905, Toronto’s NBAGL affiliate. He held modest averages of 6.2 points on .393/.232/.783 shooting in 22 regular season games (17.1 minutes).

The 6’4″ guard began the ’22/23 G League season with the Raptors 905 during the fall Showcase Cup, but his minutes were further reduced, and he caught on with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s affiliate. He had a solid showing during the regular season, averaging 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals on .487/.382/.689 shooting in 29 games (26.8 minutes).

With a crowded backcourt and all three two-way slots filled, the most likely outcome is that Noel will be waived by the Knicks before the season starts. In that scenario, he would be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he spends at least 60 days with Westchester in ’23/24.

Southeast Workouts: Wizards, Magic, Hornets, Hawks

The Wizards worked out six draft prospects today, and there are four more scheduled for tomorrow, according to team announcements. Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey, Texas’ Greg Brown III, and Isaiah Todd, of the G League Ignite, headlined today’s workouts, along with Jay Huff, Blake Francis, and Colbey Ross.

Tomorrow’s slate of workouts will include Troy Baxter Jr., Obadiah Noel, Jamorko Pickett, and Devontae Shuler.

We have more draft workout news from around the Southeast Division:

  • Corey Kispert, the sharp-shooting senior out of Gonzaga, worked out today for the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The 6’6″ guard/forward would fill a much-needed role for a Magic team that is well-stocked at some positions but still low on shooters.
  • The Hornets worked out potential lottery pick Jalen Johnson today, according to a tweet from the team. Johnson had a turbulent year at Duke, and eventually withdrew from the program, but came in with a high pedigree and an intriguing point-forward skillset.
  • Ruot Monyyong, out of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will work out for the Hawks on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The 6’10 big man was the 2019/20 All-Sun Defensive Player of the Year.

Jared Butler, Aaron Henry Among Prospects Withdrawing From Draft

A pair of early-entry prospects who were ranked within the top 60 on ESPN’s big board have pulled out of the draft in advance of Monday’s withdrawal deadline.

Baylor guard Jared Butler was one of those two players, announcing in a Twitter video on Monday morning that he has decided to return to the Bears for his junior year. Butler explained his decision in a conversation with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“After going through this process, making an important decision for the rest of my life, I truly felt like I couldn’t go wrong with either decision,” Butler said. “It came down to making the most out of my development as a player and as an adult. In the end I felt like coming back to school would set me up in both aspects in a way that I couldn’t deny. Even though the opportunity to reach my dream of playing in the NBA was readily at hand, I think next year it will still be there, possibly even with greater opportunities.”

Butler emerged as Baylor’s leading scorer in 2019/20 as a sophomore, averaging 16.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 30 games (30.4 MPG). He also showed improvement on his outside shot, making 38.1% of 6.7 three-point attempts per contest. He came in at No. 46 on Givony’s top-100 list at ESPN.com, making him a strong candidate to be drafted had he decided to go pro.

Meanwhile, Michigan State swingman Aaron Henry has also decided to withdraw from the draft after testing the waters, as Givony writes in a separate story. Henry had been the No. 55 prospect on ESPN’s big board.

Henry’s numbers as a sophomore in 2019/20 were somewhat modest — 10.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.9 APG in 30 games (29.1 MPG). However, Givony describes him as a “long, athletic wing with strong two-way potential” and points out that he’s in position to take on a larger role for a Spartans team that won’t have Cassius Winston back next season.

“Cassius leaves big shoes to fill. He was asked to do everything for Michigan State,” Henry told ESPN. “I’m hoping to step into a bigger role with the ball in my hands. Things will definitely look different. Everyone is going to need to step up and be a piece to the puzzle. NBA teams want to see me in a bigger role. They want to see me be the man on a team. I’m not afraid of that. Let’s get to it.”

Here are a few more early entrants who tested the waters and have now pulled out of the draft ahead of Monday’s withdrawal deadline:

Malachi Flynn Among Prospects Entering 2020 NBA Draft

San Diego State junior point guard Malachi Flynn has elected to enter the 2020 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility, as he tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Flynn, who transferred to the Aztecs after starting his college career at Washington State, had a breakout season in 2019/20, averaging 17.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.8 SPG with a .441/.373/.857 shooting line in 32 games (33.4 MPG). He was named the Mountain West Player and Defensive Player of the Year.

With a 30-2 record, San Diego State was in position for a top seed in the NCAA tournament, and Flynn told Givony he regrets not getting an opportunity to attempt a Final Four run.

“It was a tough decision deciding to declare,” Flynn said. “One of the biggest things that had me wanting to come back was not playing in March Madness. I talked to a lot of people about it, especially my family. My coaches were on board with me going all-in and trying to make a name for myself at the next level, which helped me out a lot. I think I showed teams enough, and it was time to make that step and move forward to the NBA.”

Currently the No. 43 overall prospect on ESPN’s big board, Flynn would have been a strong contender to go in the first round if he had led the Aztecs to a few March Madness wins, writes Givony.

Here are more updates on players declaring for the draft:

  • UMass-Lowell junior guard Obadiah Noel and LSU sophomore forward Darius Days are entering the draft while hiring agent Austin Walton of Next Sports, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). Because Walton is NCAA-certified, Noel and Days will retain their college eligibility throughout the process.
  • 18-year-old Greek forward Nikos Rogkavopoulos, a member of AEK Athens, has entered the 2020 draft, writes Stefan Djordjevic of EuroHoops.
  • A pair of Turkish prospects, 21-year-old shooting guard Sehmus Hazer and 21-year-old power forward Yigitcan Saybir, have declared for the draft, per Bugra Uzar of EuroHoops. Hazer plays for Teksut Bandirma, while Saybir is a member of Anadolu Efes.