Quincy Miller

And-Ones: Vaccines, Miller, Evans, Villanova

The NBA has issued a memo to its 30 teams, warning that franchises will not be allowed to pursue or administer COVID-19 vaccines on a team-wide basis ahead of public health guidelines for prioritization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The league will make exceptions for team physicians, health-related personnel, older staff members, and those with underlying conditions, however, Wojnarowski notes.

Throughout the country, states are administering vaccine doses to healthcare workers as the fight against COVID-19 rapidly accelerates. The vaccines come from Pfizer and Moderna, with a country-wide expectation that those with an increased risk of contracting the virus will have access to the vaccine sooner.

Seniors and those with underlying conditions would naturally come next, though many have questioned whether the NBA would move quickly and get its players and staffers vaccinated sooner than expected.

“It goes without saying that in no form or way will we jump the line,” commissioner Adam Silver said last week. “We will wait our turn to get the vaccine. When you think about the logistical feat that now the federal and state governments are undertaking, where if every citizen ultimately requires two doses and with a population of over 300 million, it’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the logistical challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran forward Quincy Miller has signed overseas in Portugal with Benfica, he announced on social media, as relayed by Ricardo Brito Reis of Sport TV (Twitter link). Miller last played in the NBA with Sacramento and Detroit during the 2014/15 season, also holding experience with Denver. He appeared in 69 total games after being drafted No. 38 overall in 2012.
  • Free agent guard Jawun Evans has signed in Greece with Promitheas Patras, according to EuroBasket (Twitter link). Evans, 24, most recently played in the NBA G League with Toronto, making past NBA stops with the Clippers, Suns and Thunder. He was the No. 39 pick in 2017 after spending two seasons at Oklahoma State.
  • Villanova has paused all basketball activities after head coach Jay Wright and another staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com writes. Wright, 59, is now in isolation with mild symptoms. “Our players have been very diligent and disciplined with all of the COVID protocols,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have had two staff members test positive. I am one of them. My symptoms are mild, and we remain connected as a team and staff by phone and Zoom. I am grateful to our Team Physician, Dr. Mike Duncan, who has worked tirelessly to help guide us safely through this.”  

And-Ones: LaMelo, G League Draft, Gentile, Blair

LaMelo Ball was extremely impressive during the Drew League pro-am in Los Angeles, writes Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The younger brother of Lonzo Ball will spend the upcoming season in Australia and has a chance to be one of the top picks in the 2020 draft.

After seeing him in action, Woo states that LaMelo has a chance to be the best player in the family. He’s already 6’6″ at age 18 and is a much better scorer than Lonzo was at the same age. Woo describes LaMelo as “an excellent passer” with an effective change-of-pace move and a “quicker, cleaner release” on his shot than his brother has.

Woo also got a first-hand look at Cade Cunningham, whom he calls “best high school prospect regardless of class.” The 6’7″ point guard appears to be headed to Kentucky, North Carolina or Oklahoma State and could be the first player drafted in 2021.

  • Former NBA forward DeJuan Blair can’t fulfill the contract he signed with Italian team VL Pesaro earlier this month because of a doping suspension, Carchia writes. Blair failed an anti-doping test during the 2017/18 season, but wasn’t aware because FIBA sent the notification to the wrong email address. Blair was selected by the Austin Spurs in last year’s G League draft.

Western Rumors: Warriors, Hammon, Suns, Clippers

With no cap room available this summer, the mid-level exception represents the Warriors‘ best chance of signing a free agent who can become a part of the club’s rotation. However, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic details, it’s not a lock that Golden State will use its full taxpayer MLE, which figures to be worth approximately $5.3MM in 2018/19.

“It depends,” general manager Bob Myers said earlier this week when asked about the possibility of using that mid-level exception. “[Warriors owner] Joe [Lacob] has always shown a high level of aggressiveness. So if it makes sense for us and if it helps us win, he’s always said yes. But that’ll be the markers that have to be met.”

Because the Warriors project to be well over the luxury-tax threshold next season, a player signed using the MLE figures to cost exponentially more than $5.3MM due to the tax penalties. So if the Dubs do use the exception, they’ll want to do it on a player who they feel is worth a $15-20MM investment. Avery Bradley, Tyreke Evans, Trevor Ariza, Will Barton, and J.J. Redick are some potential targets mentioned by Slater, though those players figure to receive larger offers on the open market.

Here are a few more items from around the Western Conference:

  • The Spurs have promoted Becky Hammon to a role on the front of the team’s bench, the club announced on Wednesday in a press release. According to the club, Hammon will be taking over the role previously held by James Borrego, who was hired as the Hornets’ new head coach this spring.
  • The Suns will be on the lookout for point guard in free agency, but John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 doesn’t think Rajon Rondo or Marcus Smart are likely to end up in Phoenix, and essentially rules out the possibility of the team pursuing Milos Teodosic (Twitter links).
  • The Clippers have worked out several free agents who had been playing overseas, a source tells international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). In addition to Chris Babb, whose workout was previously reported, the club also took a look at Quincy Miller, Victor Rudd, and others, according to Pick.
  • In a piece for The Oklahoman, Erik Horne takes a look at several potential luxury-tax scenarios for the Thunder, depending on whether players like Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Jerami Grant stay or go.

Timberwolves Hosting Free Agent Mini-Camp

The Timberwolves will become the latest NBA to host a mini-camp for veteran free agent this week, with Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News providing some details on the session that will take place in the coming days in Minnesota.

According to Wolfson (Twitter link), former Slam Dunk champion Jeremy Evans is the most notable NBA veteran taking part in the Wolves’ mini-camp. Although Evans has appeared in 250 NBA games over the course of his career, it has been a while since he played real minutes for a team — since the start of the 2016/17 season, he has appeared in just one regular season contest, playing five minutes for the Hawks this April.

Besides Evans, Quincy Miller, Jarnell Stokes, Jarell Eddie, and Shawn Long are among the other mini-camp participants who have some NBA experience, per Wolfson (all Twitter links). Of those players, Eddie suited up for an NBA team most recently, appearing in three total games for the Celtics and Bulls during the 2017/18 season. His outside shooting ability could intrigue the Wolves — in 128 career G League games, Eddie has knocked down 44.2% of his three-point tries.

Jonathan Holmes, German guard Maodo Lo, and Minnesota native Alec Brown are among the other players who will take part in the Wolves’ mini-camp this weekend, Wolfson adds.

Sonny Weems, Quincy Miller To Play In Israel

THURSDAY, 1:19pm: Miller’s deal is a two-year, $2.1MM arrangement that includes an escape clause that would allow him to return to the NBA, a source tells Pick (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 1:51pm: Recent Suns and Sixers swingman Sonny Weems is putting the finishing touches on a two-year guaranteed deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Philadelphia released Weems late last month a few weeks after claiming him off waivers from Phoenix, which signed him this past summer to a two-year deal worth about $5.755MM. The second year on his NBA contract was non-guaranteed.

The Israeli team, poised to lose Dragan Bender to the NBA draft, has also reached agreement with three-year NBA veteran Quincy Miller, Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi reports. The club had been a heavy favorite to land Miller, as Pick reported earlier this week (Twitter link). The Nets waived Miller in October, but he quickly latched on with Serbian team Red Star Belgrade.

Weems, 29, is headed back overseas after what appears to have been a brief return to the NBA. He started 29 games for the Raptors in 2010/11 but spent the next four seasons playing for Zalgiris in Lithuania and later CSKA Moscow. He put up 2.5 points in 11.7 minutes per game for the Suns this season, failing to secure a more significant role even amid a rash of injuries. The Sixers reportedly intended to take a hard look at him even though they acquired him chiefly to eclipse the minimum team salary, but his playing time in Philadelphia was almost identical to what it was in Phoenix as he averaged 2.4 points in 11.1 minutes.

Miller is only 23 and less than four years removed from having been the No. 38 pick in the 2012 draft, but he’s made it into only 69 NBA games, 10 of which came last season, when he split time between the Kings and Pistons. Detroit traded him to Brooklyn last summer for Steve Blake.

Quincy Miller Signs To Play In Serbia

WEDNESDAY, 7:48am: The deal is official, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

TUESDAY, 4:01pm: Nets camp cut Quincy Miller has signed with the Serbian team Red Star Belgrade, aka Crvena Zvezda, according to international journalist David Pick (Twitter link), who confirms an earlier tweet from scout Vedran Modrić, who said the small forward would join the team (Twitter link). The deal is contingent on Miller clearing waivers from Brooklyn, which released the 22-year-old just this afternoon.

Miller, the 38th overall pick from 2012, split last season between the Kings and Pistons, who traded him to the Nets this past summer. He was a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school in 2011, when he was No. 5 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, right behind Bradley Beal. Injury has curtailed much of that promise since.

He’s nonetheless spent at least part of each of his three seasons as a pro on an NBA roster. It’s unclear if Miller’s deal with Red Star has any mechanism that would allow him to make it four NBA stints in four years. He grabbed six points and eight rebounds in about 30 minutes total during the preseason with the Nets.

Do you think Miller is worthy of a regular season roster spot on an NBA team? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Nets Release Boatright, Miller, Daniels

The Nets have waived point guard Ryan Boatright, small forward Quincy Miller and center Chris Daniels, the team announced via press release. The moves take Brooklyn’s roster down to 17 players, including 13 with full guarantees. Boatright’s contract includes a partial guarantee of $75K and Miller’s has a $50K partial guarantee, while the salary for Daniels is non-guaranteed, so Brooklyn stands to be eat $125K in salary, barring waiver claims.

Boatight, 22, reached a two-year, minimum-salary agreement with Brooklyn shortly after he went undrafted out of Connecticut this year. He averaged 4.2 points, 3.8 assists and 1.0 turnover in 13.9 minutes per game, numbers that aren’t shabby but nonetheless inferior to those that free agent signee Donald Sloan put up, so it appears Sloan has won the third point guard job for the team.

The 22-year-old Miller came from the Pistons in the Steve Blake trade. He played in as many preseason games this fall as he did regular season games for the Pistons last season, scoring six points in nearly 30 total minutes of preseason play.

Daniels, who’s played in China the last two seasons, scored effectively for the Nets, averaging 7.4 points in 13.0 minutes per game, but despite injury concerns for fellow Nets big men Andrea Bargnani and Willie Reed, it wasn’t enough to save the 31-year-old’s job.

Reed and Sloan have partial guarantees of $500K and $50K, respectively, while Justin Harper and Dahntay Jones are on non-guaranteed contracts. Those four players are ostensibly competing for two regular season spots.

Who do you think the Nets will keep for opening night? Leave a comment to weigh in.

Central Notes: Monroe, Allen, Christmas

Bucks GM John Hammond was elated to sign big man Greg Monroe this summer, and not just because of his talent, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Milwaukee scored the former Pistons mainstay with a three-year max deal.
“Just such a great opportunity for us, we felt,” Hammond said of Monroe. “We need a player of that caliber. We need a player that we can throw the ball to in the post. But it’s just as important that we continue to try to build and build this the right way, that we can build with the right kind of people.”
Milwaukee’s playoff-ready roster was a key reason behind Monroe’s decision to sign there, as agent David Falk said earlier this month, but the Bucks aren’t in a rush to become a championship contender, as GM John Hammond explains to Lee. Here’s more from the Central Division:
  • Lavoy Allen new three-year, $12.05MM contract with the Pacers includes a $1.5MM signing bonus, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). That bonus is spread evenly across his cap hits for each season, so the net effect is that if the Pacers trade him, the team acquiring him would pay him $500K less per season, though his cap number would stay the same, as Pincus explains.
  • The third season of of the three-year deal Rakeem Christmas signed with the Pacers is partially guaranteed for $50K, and the fourth season contains both a team option and a partial guarantee of $52,064, Pincus tweets. The precise value of the deal is $4.3MM, as Pincus shows on the Pacers salary page, resolving conflicting reports from earlier.
  • Shayne Whittington will see the minimum salary on both years of his new deal with the Pacers, Pincus adds (Twitter link).
  • The Pistons traded Quincy Miller to the Nets this month because of a roster crunch in the frontcourt, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes in a mailbag column. Pistons coach/exec Stan Van Gundy opted to parlay him for Steve Blake to reinforce the point guard position, given the uncertainty over whether Brandon Jennings, still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, will be ready to start the season. Miller was far from a lock to make the opening night roster in Detroit, Langlois adds.
Zach Links contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Canaan, Nets

The Wizards let the remaining $2,252,089 of their Trevor Ariza trade exception expire Wednesday. The exception, gained when Washington signed-and-traded Ariza to the Rockets, was originally worth $8,579,089. The Wizards used most of that initial amount to acquire Kris Humphries and Ramon Sessions in separate deals. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Markel Brown added another $50K in partially guaranteed money, now totaling $150K, to his $845,059 contract for the 2015/16 season when he remained on the Nets‘ roster through Wednesday, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates shows.
  • As a result of remaining on the Sixers‘ roster through Wednesday, Isaiah Canaan‘s 2015/16 salary of $947,276 became fully-guaranteed.
  • Quincy Miller picked up a $50K partial guarantee on his $981,348 salary this season with the Nets, courtesy of him sticking on the Nets‘ roster through Wednesday.
  • Forbes magazine estimated the value of the Nets to be $1.5 billion, which is a higher figure than the team’s internal valuation, which is $1.3 billion, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily relays (via Twitter).
  • Heat small forward James Ennis said that the combination of Miami’s packed frontcourt and his non-guaranteed deal has placed a significant amount of stress on him, Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post tweets. The 25-year-old made 62 appearances for the Heat last season, averaging 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 17.0 minutes per game.
  • Tobias Harris‘ four-year deal with the Magic will pay him $16MM this coming season, $17.2MM in 2016/17, $16MM in the third year, and $14.8MM during the 2018/19 campaign, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Miller, Ellington, Mickey

The Sixers, for all their losing on the court, continue to turn a profit, and the value of the franchise has at least tripled since owner Josh Harris and his partners bought the team in 2011, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. Thus, Harris continues to appear patient with a slow, draft-focused rebuild, and even as last month’s draft was going on, the Sixers were in talks with teams in the bottom half of the lottery, seeking to acquire their picks, Lowe hears. Philadelphia is reportedly interested in Norris Cole, but it remains to be seen if that manifests into the first free agent signing of much significance in the tenure of GM Sam Hinkie. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets appeared likely to waive Quincy Miller shortly after acquiring him from the Pistons on Monday, but a source tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com that Brooklyn plans to keep him at least through the start of training camp in the fall (Twitter links). It’ll cost the Nets a $50K partial guarantee if they keep him through Wednesday.
  • Wayne Ellington‘s two-year deal with the Nets is worth $3,067,500, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Celtics and No. 33 overall pick Jordan Mickey began negotiations on Monday, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (on Twitter), and confidence about the ability to reach a deal surrounded the opening of the talks, MassLive’s Jay King hears. Still, neither side is in a hurry, Bulpett tweets. Mickey, a client of Matt Babcock, is expected to seek guaranteed money, King writes.
  • Gigi Datome spoke with the Mavericks, Clippers and Wizards, but those teams wouldn’t promise him that he’d be a part of their rotations, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. The former Celtics forward just signed with Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker.
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t see deals for veterans like David Lee and Amir Johnson as antithetical to a youth-focused approach, believing that vets can serve important mentorship roles, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald details.