Ronald Roberts Jr.

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

Raptors Sign Brady Heslip

SEPTEMBER 20: The Raptors have officially signed Heslip, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 15: The Raptors will add a Canadian sharpshooter to their roster for training camp, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Brady Heslip will get a partially guaranteed contract from the team.

Charania’s report comes on the heels of an announcement by Raptors 905, Toronto’s D-League affiliate, indicating that the club has acquired Heslip’s D-League rights (Twitter link). Heslip’s rights were previously held by the Reno Bighorns, the Kings’ affiliate. The Raptors 905 traded second- and third-round picks in the 2016 D-League draft, along with the rights to Ronald Roberts, to the Bighorns in exchange for Heslip’s rights and a second-round pick.

The pair of moves suggests that the Raptors are signing Heslip with an eye toward assigning him to their D-League affiliate for the 2016/17 season. Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic confirms as much, tweeting that the Baylor alum is headed for the D-League.

After going undrafted out of Baylor in 2014, Heslip joined the Bighorns for a brief stint before heading overseas and playing in Bosnian and Italian leagues. Last season, the 26-year-old played for Acqua Vitasnella Cantù in Italy, averaging 12.7 PPG and shooting 45.5% on three-pointers in 29 Italian League contests.

Bucks To Sign Ronald Roberts

The Bucks have reached an agreement with D-League standout Ronald Roberts, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. The 6’8″ power forward averaged 18.1 points and 12.1 rebounds last season with Raptors 905, Toronto’s affiliate in the D-League.

Roberts, 24, went undrafted out of St. Joseph’s in 2014. He signed contracts with the Sixers and Raptors, but was waived by both teams and has yet to appear in an NBA game.

Roberts is recovering from a patellar tendon strain in his right knee that cut short his 2015/16 season. He is an undersized power forward with a reputation as a relentless rebounder, and Woelfel writes that several teams were interested in signing him. The Bucks plan to use Roberts on their summer league team.

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Vaulet, Roberts

The Celtics, who are among many teams dreaming of signing Kevin Durant this summer, would have taken the Texas product first overall in the 2007 draft if the pingpong balls had bounced their way, writes Chris Forsberg of Instead, Portland landed the top pick and selected Ohio State center Greg Oden, with Durant falling to the Thunder at No. 2. “I was in the draft room, and they would have taken Durant,” said Austin Ainge, son of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “I did have some inside information there.” Team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has verified that claim, according to Forsberg.

Boston may be able to make its pitch to Durant more appealing by acquiring another high-level talent first. Forsberg suggested the Celtics may pursue Hawks free agent center/power forward Al Horford, who is also headed toward free agency and whom they reportedly targeted prior to last month’s trade deadline. Boston will have about $34MM in guaranteed salary for next season if it elects not to hang on to Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko. If the salary cap tops $90MM, as some estimates have suggested, the Celtics could have enough room for two elite free agents.

There’s more on the Atlantic Division:

  • Durant, who will face the Celtics in Boston tonight for the first time since 2012, had plenty of good things to say about the city, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe“I like the city a lot,” Durant told reporters this morning. “It’s cold, but they love sports here. It’s a family atmosphere I feel when I walk around the city, so yeah, I like it a lot.” 
  • The Nets are hoping they might have “the next Manu Ginobili” in second-round pick Juan Pablo Vaulet, according to NetsDaily. Playing in Argentina, Vaulet missed 19 games with an early-season stress fracture in his ankle, but he is starting to show why Brooklyn and other observers were so high on him during the draft. That includes new Nets GM Sean Marks, who was watching Vaulet closely when he was still with the Spurs’ front office.
  • The Raptors‘ D-League affiliate has announced that Ronald Roberts Jr. will miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Three NBA teams had considered signing Roberts to a 10-day contract before the injury, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Pierce, Conley, Prokhorov

Despite the seemingly long odds for either the Knicks or the Nets landing Mike Conley in free agency this summer, sources close to the point guard say he will be more receptive to playing in New York than most people think, Mike Mazzeo of relays. “It’s tough,” Conley, who was reportedly disappointed that the Nets fired coach Lionel Hollins, said. “But at the same time, like I said, I’ll give everybody their fair shot. With Lionel being here, obviously, it was a big reason to look [at the Nets]. But still, at the same time, with him gone, I’ll give everybody the same look.”

When asked what he was looking for in a prospective free agent suitor, Conley said, “I want to win. That’s what I want to do at the end of the day, wherever that may be. So hopefully, when that time comes, I’ll have a better vision on what I want and what I want going forward in the summer, but right now, I’m all about winning, and I want to be somewhere that’s committed to doing that.” Here are more news and notes regarding the teams of the Atlantic Division:

  • Paul Pierce at least briefly considered signing with the Celtics before deciding that the draw of family and friends in Los Angeles and the chance to play for Doc Rivers again on a title contender was too alluring to turn down, as Pierce acknowledged Wednesday, observes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The 38-year-old once more said that he’s not sure he’ll play beyond this season, and he also said he’d “love” to work for the Celtics organization after he retires, as Himmelsbach also relays.
  • Nets team owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants whomever is hired as the team’s next GM to establish a firmer identity for the team and its roster, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays. “I think I want us to have a much firmer blueprint,” Prokhorov said. “What kind of players we’re looking for and why, in line with the strategic guidelines developed with the new coach and GM. I think we need to have a sense of identity and a style of play. Are we building a team around a franchise player, or are we balancing with younger athletes without a superstar system or about 3-point shooting, defense or speed?
  • Multiple NBA teams are keeping their eyes on Raptors D-League power forward Ronald Roberts, who is expected to receive a 10-day deal at some point in the near future, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders relays.
  • It is highly unlikely that Knicks owner James Dolan would grant team president Phil Jackson permission to join the Lakers this summer if Jackson desired to leave New York, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. A “strong belief” persists that Jackson will wind up back with the Lakers organization and fiancee Jeanie Buss in the future, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Raptors, Holiday, Middleton, Asik, Draft

Attracting a major free agent to Toronto comes down to the team’s success on the court, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri believes, and Toronto is holding up its end of the bargain so far this year, as Kevin Arnovitz of examines. The Raptors are in second place in the Eastern Conference, thanks in part to a lineup of Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, offseason signees Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo, and the recently extended Terrence Ross that outscores opponents by a whopping 32.6 points per 100 possessions, Arnovitz notes.

“It’s simple: Win,” Ujiri said. “If you have a good culture, you can attract free agents. We have a very unique opportunity here.”

See more on the Raptors amid the latest from around the NBA:

  • Jrue Holiday has shown flashes of his peak form, and that’s perhaps partly because the Pelicans restricted his minutes earlier in the season as he recovered from a stress reaction in his right leg, writes Brett Dawson of The New Orleans Advocate. Would-be trade suitors have been “petrified” about Holiday’s leg issues, though the Pelicans are reluctant to deal him, as Zach Lowe of wrote this week. “I think it helped me mentally, for one, preparing mentally to feel good,” Holiday said of the minutes restriction, since lifted. “Not to second-guess myself if I’m making a cut or doing a move, especially when it comes to the point where I’m playing back-to-back and playing a lot of minutes. And physically, I do feel really good right now.”
  • The five-year, $70MM deal that Bucks leading scorer Khris Middleton signed this past offseason is the NBA’s most trade-able contract, opines Keith Smith of RealGM, while Pelicans center Omer Asik‘s five-year pact worth nearly $53MM, also signed this past summer, is the league’s least trade-able deal, Smith writes in a follow-up piece.
  • LSU combo forward Ben Simmons unsurprisingly tops the latest draft rankings from Scott Howard-Cooper of, with Duke small forward Brandon Ingram second and Providence point guard Kris Dunn third.
  • Raptors D-League power forward Ronald Roberts, who’s averaging 18.4 points in 34.4 minutes per game, tops the latest D-League prospect rankings.

Eastern Notes: Dinwiddie, Roberts, Noah

The Pistons intend to keep point guard Spencer Dinwiddie with their D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids for the remainder of the season, Peter J. Wallner of MLive relays. “I landed on red eye and was headed to the practice facility and [GM] Jeff Bower called me and said I was going down for the rest of the season, and I said OK,” Dinwiddie told Wallner. As for his reaction to the news, Dinwiddie may not agree with the decision, but he understands it is part of his development process, Wallner adds. “There’s nothing really more to say about it,” Dinwiddie continued. “A lot of people ask me for extended thoughts and I honestly just said, ‘OK.’ When you have a job and your employer tells you to do something, you go do it. You don’t have time to second-guess it because you like your job and want to keep it.”

Here’s more from the East:

  • A number of NBA teams have expressed interest in Raptors preseason cut Ronald Roberts, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports relays (Twitter links).  The power forward turned down an offer to join the Israel club Maccabi Tel Aviv in hopes of landing an NBA deal, Spears adds.
  • The return of Bulls center Joakim Noah from injury could aid in the development of rookie forward Bobby Portis, Vincent Goodwill of opines. Goodwill notes that pairing Noah and his passing skills alongside Portis’ outside game could make for a potent combo, an assessment that coach Fred Hoiberg agrees with. “They’ll be out there some, together in the second unit,” Hoiberg said. “I think they’ll play well with each other. They’ve developed a really tight relationship and a good bond. Jo has really taken him under his wing and taught him a lot early in Bobby’s career, so I know those two are looking forward to playing with each other.
  • The presence of rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who has exceeded expectations thus far with his play, has allowed Carmelo Anthony to become more of a team player, which has the Knicks heading in the proper direction as a franchise, writes Kevin Kernan of The New York Post.

And-Ones: Howard, Roberts, Jones, Kidd

Rockets center Dwight Howard recently turned 30 and hopes he can continue to play in the NBA into his 40s, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays. “That’d be fun if I was to play this game [that long],” Howard told Feigen. “That was always my goal, to play 20 years, 20-something years in this league. I’m extremely happy and blessed to have been able to play this game for as long as I have been so far. I have played a lot of minutes. I’ve been doing a lot since I came into the league. I’m thankful. I’m not going to complain about it. I’m happy that I’ve been able to play 12 years so far. A lot of NBA players never played this long so I am very happy and blessed that I’ve been able to play 12 years in the NBA. Hopefully, I can play another 10, but the time I’ve played, I’ve enjoyed it.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several NBA teams have expressed interest in Raptors preseason cut Ronald Roberts, Adam Zagoria of relays (via Twitter). In 10 appearances for the Raptors 905 this season Roberts is averaging 17.9 points and 13.0 rebounds on 67% shooting.
  • Timberwolves rookie point guard Tyus Jones believes his recent stint in the D-League will help him to contribute more at the NBA level, Jace Frederick of The Pioneer Press writes. That definitely helped me out and definitely prepared me even more than I was, and it’s just helped my process,” Jones said. “I think it did prepare me a little bit better to help this team out.
  • The Knickstrade of J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers was a move met with displeasure by the team’s fanbase, but it has worked out well for both sides so far, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “We made the decision,’’ Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “It seems like it’s worked out well for both. J.R. and Shump, they seem happy. We like our team as it is at this point. I think our team would be OK if they were here or not because of what [habits] we’re doing every day.’’
  • Bucks front office officials would have liked to have drafted Bobby Portis with the 17th overall pick this year, but coach Jason Kidd went with Rashad Vaughn instead, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (audio link via Twitter at 57-minute mark). Kidd is calling the shots on personnel, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times told us in a recent edition of The Beat. People around the league wonder whether Kidd’s leave of absence for hip surgery is the first step toward him dropping the coaching job and moving into a full-time front office role with the team, Wojnarowski hears.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

D-League Notes: Harris, Dekker, Patterson

The Raptors‘ D-League affiliate has added swingman Nick Wiggins and power forward Ronald Roberts to its roster, Josh Lewenberg of relays (via Twitter). Wiggins, a native Canadian, was waived by the Wolves during the preseason, and later by the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s affiliate. Roberts was among the final cuts made by Toronto this year. Both players will still remain free to sign with any interested NBA team.

Here’s more news from out of the D-League:

  • The Cavaliers assigned Joe Harris to the Canton Charge, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be the first D-League assignment of the season for both the player and the team. Harris’ assignment was first reported by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
  • Rookie combo forward Sam Dekker has been assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets‘ affiliate, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets. This is Dekker’s first D-League assignment of the young season.
  • The Hawks have assigned Lamar Patterson to the D-League, and he will report to the Austin Spurs as part of the flexible assignment process, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays. This will be Patterson’s first jaunt to the D-League this season.
  • The Raptors have assigned Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo to the Raptors 905, their D-League affiliate, the team announced.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford said that the team is open to sending Aaron Harrison to the D-League at some point this season, but added that Harrison was currently needed with the main squad for Charlotte’s practice sessions, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets.
  • You can keep track off all the D-League assignments and recalls made throughout the season here.

Raptors Part Ways With Four

The Raptors have officially released Shannon Scott, Axel Toupane, Michale Kyser, and Ronald Roberts, the team announced. Scott, Toupane, and Kyser all had partial guarantees of $25K included in their deals, and Roberts’ pact includes a partial guarantee of $75K. Toronto will be responsible for these payments unless the players are claimed off waivers. The Raptors’ roster count is now at 15 players.

Roberts, 23, played for the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines last season after inking a deal in January. Prior to signing overseas, he played in the D-League after the Sixers released him. He spent less than a week on Philadelphia’s NBA roster in December, having been signed to replace Jorge Gutierrez and let go to accommodate Furkan Aldemir. The Adam Pensack client was also with the Sixers during the preseason, and he played for Philly’s summer league team after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s last summer.

Kyser’s numbers at Louisiana Tech weren’t overwhelming, as he put up 8.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game as a senior this past season, but at 6’10”, he patrolled the paint well, blocking 2.9 shots per contest. He put up 3.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 0.8 BPG in 14.6 MPG in four summer league appearances.

Scott played for the Spurs summer league team that won the title in Las Vegas, and he also saw action for San Antonio’s squad at the Salt Lake City summer league, averaging 5.3 points and 2.4 assists in 22.6 minutes per game over nine total appearances. The 6’2″ 22-year-old who went undrafted this summer was a full-time starter only in his senior season at Ohio State, when he averaged 8.5 PPG, 5.9 APG and 2.4 turnovers in 30.5 MPG.

The 6’7″ Toupane has been a mainstay for France’s Strasbourg IG over the past few seasons, and he averaged 7.0 points in 18.3 minutes per game with 35.4% three-point shooting in 2014/15. He put up 4.3 PPG in 10.9 MPG for the Raptors in summer league, missing all four of his three-point attempts.