Sampson Carter

And-Ones: Anderson, Carter, Matthews

Ryan Anderson is strongly considering a change of scenery this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, which makes the Pelicans‘ decision not to trade him prior to this season’s deadline puzzling, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. Sources tell Kennedy that Anderson seems to be leaning toward signing with a team other than New Orleans. Teams expressing interest in Anderson leading up to the deadline included the Wizards, Pistons, Cavaliers, Clippers, Kings and Suns, Kennedy notes. It’s unclear just how many of those teams will pursue Anderson this summer, with Washington acquiring Markieff Morris, Detroit landing Tobias Harris, Channing Frye ending up in Cleveland and Jeff Green now a member of the Clippers as a result of various deadline trades.

The 27-year-old says he hasn’t discussed his pending free agency with the team yet, Kennedy notes. ”No conversations at all about it,” Anderson told reporters. ”Obviously I think they are in the same boat, so many things can happen they may have multiple pieces they are thinking about. A lot of stuff that I don’t know about obviously that they talk about behind closed doors. So I haven’t communicated at all with them.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews scoffs at the notion that the Dallas roster is devoid of talent and places the blame for the team’s struggles this season on porous defense, Tim MacMahon of relays (ESPN Now link). “A talent problem? No, we don’t have a talent problem,” Matthews told MacMahon. “If we don’t have a talent problem, then what’s the problem? We’re giving up too many points in transition. I just said it. I mean, you guys can pick apart our team all you want. We’ve got talent on this team. So y’all can miss me with that.
  • Kentucky freshman center Skal Labissiere has played his way back into the lottery in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. The young big man is currently projected to go 10th after plummeting toward the bottom of the first round in Givony’s previous projection. Labissiere is averaging 6.8 points and 3.2 rebounds on the season, and while he’s picked up his play as of late, scouts remain skeptical and want to see how well he performs in postseason tournaments before making their final judgments, Adam Zagoria of relays.
  • One reason for the Trail Blazers‘ surprise success this season is that the players have fully embraced coach Terry Stotts and his combination of compassion, toughness and basketball IQ, Jason Quick of writes.
  • Small forward Sampson Carter, who was with the Grizzlies during the preseason, has signed with the Mexican club Caballeros de Culiacan, the team announced (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando).

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.

Several With NBA Ties Enter D-League Draft

The NBA D-League Draft is set for today, and a whopping total of 290 players are eligible for selection during this annual event. The D-League posted the full list of eligible participants, which can be viewed here, and it contains a number of notable players with NBA ties.

The two names that immediately jump out off the list are Jimmer Fredette, who was waived by the Spurs last week, and Perry Jones III, whose fully guaranteed deal was cut loose by Boston. Fredette’s chances of catching on in the NBA appear to be dwindling rapidly, though I do expect that there is a better than average chance he will be selected No. 2 overall by Westchester, the Knicks’ D-League affiliate. If that is indeed the case, then Fredette may have a shot at catching on with the Knicks at some point during the course of the 2015/16 campaign, given New York’s lack of backcourt depth.

As for Jones, his is likely to be the first named called by Idaho, Utah’s affiliate, when the draft commences, though that is merely my speculation. Jones, a former first-rounder, hasn’t been able to get on the court consistently over the course of his three years in the league. This was partly due to the depth and talent ahead of him while with the Thunder, but his lack of a consistent outside shot and defensive limitations also held him back from carving out a place in the team’s rotation. It was a bit of a surprise to see Boston cut him loose, but Jones was the victim of a numbers crunch with the Celtics, who had 16 fully guaranteed deals on their roster heading into the October 26th deadline to cut rosters to the league maximum of 15 players.

We’ve sorted through those 290 names to pare it down to a list of all D-League draft-eligibles who were in NBA camps this year or on NBA regular season rosters in 2014/15. The last NBA team with which they were under contract is in parentheses.
*Note that since the recent camp cuts among the names listed above are entering the D-League draft, they’re not affiliate players whose D-League rights were claimed by their former NBA teams.
These are NBA veterans who don’t fit the criteria for the above list but are otherwise noteworthy:

The current order for the first round of the 2015 NBA D-League Draft is as follows:

1. Idaho
2. Westchester
3. Iowa (from Los Angeles)
4. Iowa (from Reno)
5. Delaware
6. Texas
7. Grand Rapids
8. Delaware (from Santa Cruz via Erie)
9. Iowa
10. Rio Grande Valley
11. Raptors 905
12. Rio Grande Valley (from Fort Wayne)
13. Oklahoma City
14. Sioux Falls
15. Canton
16. Austin
17. Bakersfield
18. Santa Cruz
19. Maine

Grizzlies Waive Diawara, Carter, Jones, Stepheson

The Grizzlies have waived Yakhouba Diawara, Sampson Carter, Lazeric Jones and Alex Stepheson, the team announced. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported the moves minutes earlier (Twitter link). The Memphis roster drops to 16, which means one more cut has to take place no later than Monday. JaMychal Green, who has a $150K partial guarantee, and Ryan Hollins, who’s on a non-guaranteed deal, are the only remaining Grizzlies without full guarantees. The four players Memphis is letting go have no guaranteed money.

Diawara, 33, was attempting an NBA comeback after having played overseas since his last NBA appearance in 2009/10. The swingman averaged 2.3 points in 16.0 minutes per game across six preseason contests this month.

Carter was a 25-year-old combo forward who went undrafted out of UMass in 2014. Last season he hopped from BC Prievidza in Slovakia to CAB Madeira in Portugal and finally to Club Virgilio Castillo, also known as Chola, of the Dominican Republic. Pincus reported that his contract was a one-year, minimum-salary arrangement without a guarantee. He averaged 1.0 point and 6.0 minutes per game in six preseason appearances.

Jones’ contract was the first NBA deal for the former UCLA point guard who spent three years playing overseas. The 25-year-old put up 5.8 points in 14.3 minutes per game over six preseason contests for the Grizzlies.

Stepheson followed a similar path, playing overseas after going undrafted in 2011 out of USC and finally landing his first NBA deal with the Grizzlies earlier this month, when the team cut camp invitee Michael Holyfield. Stepheson’s deal was a one-year, minimum-salary arrangement without a guarantee, as Pincus reported. He averaged 2.3 points in 9.2 minutes per game over three preseason appearances.

Grizzlies Sign Sampson Carter

The Grizzlies have signed former UMass combo forward Sampson Carter, the team announced via press release. Carter, 25, went undrafted in 2014 and split last season between teams in Slovakia, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. He replaces shooting guard Dan Nwaelele, whom Memphis waived Monday. Today’s move gives the Grizzlies a full 20-man preseason roster again.

Carter put up 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game with 35.0% three-point shooting for the Minutemen as a senior in 2013/14. He initially signed with BC Prievidza in Slovakia before moving on to CAB Madeira in Portugal and finally to Club Virgilio Castillo, also known as Chola, of the Dominican Republic.

He’s a long shot to make the Grizzlies, who have 14 fully guaranteed contracts plus a partial guarantee for JaMychal Green, as our roster count shows. Still, he seems like a candidate to end up on the D-League affiliate of the Grizzlies. Memphis can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players it waives, and fellow Grizzlies camp invitees Ryan Hollins and Yakhouba Diawara are veterans unlikely to end up in the D-League.