Sean Kilpatrick

And-Ones: Clemons, Kilpatrick, NBA Owners, Super-Teams

A pair of former NBA guards will continue their playing careers in China, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Sportando reports that ex-Rockets guard Chris Clemons is leaving the G League to sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, while journeyman wing Sean Kilpatrick has agreed to a deal with the Fujian Sturgeons.

Clemons appeared in 33 games for Houston in 2019/20, but bad health luck prevented him from suiting up in the NBA in subsequent seasons. He tore his Achilles prior to the 2020/21 season and was subsequently waived by the Rockets, then entered the health and safety protocols shortly after signing a 10-day deal with Atlanta last December.

Kilpatrick, meanwhile, has been out of the NBA for a few years, but appeared in a total of 157 games for six teams from 2014-18. Since then, he has bounced around a series of international leagues, playing in Greece, Montenegro, Turkey, Spain, and Israel.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In an episode of his Hoop Collective podcast this week, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculated that we may see a handful of NBA owners consider selling their teams, with valuations up and franchises in other sports selling for record-setting numbers. “There might be some folks sitting on the sideline sort of wondering ‘Should I sell?’ and they’re going to see these numbers,” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM).
  • With teams like the Clippers, the Nets, and especially the Lakers struggling to live up to expectations, Justin Verrier of The Ringer wonders if the NBA’s super-team era has run its course and explores what the struggles of those big-market clubs means for roster building going forward.
  • Bill Shea of The Athletic takes a closer look at NBA Launchpad, a “type of tech business pitch program and an incubator” which focuses on developing technology to improve the basketball experience for both players and fans. As Shea outlines, last season’s winning applicants included a German ankle-brace maker and a British virtual-reality training service, among others.

And-Ones: Scoring Race, Lottery Teams, EuroLeague, Cole

The NBA’s 2021/22 scoring race could end up being one for the ages, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. As Reynolds outlines, the league is currently on pace for its closest three-way scoring race of all-time.

Currently, Lakers forward LeBron James leads the pack with 30.0 points per game, followed by Sixers center Joel Embiid at 29.8 PPG and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo at 29.7 PPG.

Five more players are averaging at least 27.0 PPG, but are unlikely to crash the top three even with strong finishes. Nets forward Kevin Durant (29.6 PPG) would have made it a fascinating four-way race if were able to meet the required minimum of 58 games played, but he’ll fall just short of that threshold.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Dan Devine of The Ringer takes a look at the 10 teams who appear likely to miss the playoffs and the play-in and identifies one silver lining for each club. Devine’s list includes Anfernee Simons‘ breakout for the Trail Blazers, Markelle Fultz‘s return for the Magic, and Kyle Kuzma‘s development for the Wizards.
  • After initially suspending the Russian teams in the EuroLeague and EuroCup, the Euroleague has opted to expel those clubs for the rest of 2021/22, writes Aris Barkas of The decision, made in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will affect CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, and UNICS Kazan in the EuroLeague and Lokomotiv Kuban in the EuroCup.
  • In other international basketball news, former NBA point guard Norris Cole has signed with JL Bourg in France, while journeyman wing Sean Kilpatrick has joined Spanish team Zaragoza, according to press releases from the respective clubs. Cole has played in 360 regular season NBA games, while Kilpatrick has appeared in 157, but both have been out of the league for a few years.

And-Ones: Kilpatrick, Bennett, Bates, Mahmoud, 2022 Draft, Baker

Israel’s Hapoel Jerusalem continued its push to sign former NBA players, adding Sean Kilpatrick and Anthony Bennett to its roster, according to the team’s social media feed (Twitter links). Kilpatrick played in Turkey last season and hasn’t appeared in an NBA contest since 2018. Bennett, a former No. 1 overall pick, had his contract with a Puerto Rican franchise terminated last month. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016/17 season. As previously noted, Hapoel Jerusalem also announced the signing of Pistons and Cavaliers big man Thon Maker.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Emoni Bates, considered the best high school prospect in the country, has committed to the University of Memphis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. He reclassified into the Class of 2021  but still won’t be eligible for the NBA draft until 2023 because his 19th birthday isn’t until January 2023. A 6’9″ small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bates committed to Michigan State last summer, but he de-committed in April.
  • Anas Mahmoud played with the Raptors in the Las Vegas summer league and is looking to become the first homegrown Egyptian player to make the NBA. Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a closer look at the 7-footer, who could be ticketed to the G League if he doesn’t gain a spot on the Toronto roster. “I’ll probably be the first Egyptian coming out of the Egyptian league,” Mahmoud said. “I was a little different (from other Egyptians who have made the NBA) because I only got here right (before) college and went back to play in the (Egyptian) league. It’s a pleasure and it’s an honor.”
  • Gonzaga power forward Chet Holmgren, Duke power forward Paolo Banchero and G League Ignite shooting guard Jaden Hardy top ESPN Jonathan Givony’s initial top-100 list for the 2022 draft. Givony also explores a number of storylines surrounding next year’s projected draft class, including the lack of point guard depth.
  • Former NBA guard Ron Baker quietly retired last year and he’s got a new job, according to Shelby Kellerman of the Wichita Business Journal. Baker has been hired as a project manager in Ascension Via Christi’s strategy and business development department. Baker, 28, appeared in 96 games during his NBA career, including a combined 15 with the Knicks and Wizards during the 2018/19 season.

International Moves: Baldwin, Kilpatrick, Hunter, Liggins

Former NBA guard Wade Baldwin, who was drafted 17th overall in 2016, is poised to spend a second consecutive season in Europe, having reached an agreement with German club Bayern Munich, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

After appearing in 56 games over three seasons with the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers from 2016-19, Baldwin spent this past season with Olympiacos in Greece. He only played a part-time role for the EuroLeague club, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.8 RPG in 16.3 MPG (24 games).

Here are more updates on former NBA players who have agreed to – or signed – new deals overseas:

  • Veteran shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick has agreed to a deal with Tofas Bursa, the Turkish club announced in a press release. The 30-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since he was waived by Chicago during the summer of 2018, having previously logged 157 career appearances with six teams.
  • Former first-round pick R.J. Hunter has signed a one-year contract with Turkish team Galatasaray, per a press release. The 28th overall selection in 2015, Hunter finished the 2018/19 season on a two-way contract with Boston before spending the ’19/20 campaign in Turkey and in the G League.
  • Veteran NBA journeyman DeAndre Liggins has signed with the London Lions of the British Basketball League for the 2020/21 season, the team announced in a press release. Liggins, who played for the Bucks and Pelicans in 2017/18, has appeared in a total of 177 NBA games with seven teams since making his debut in 2012.

Sean Kilpatrick Signs With European Team

Former NBA guard Sean Kilpatrick has signed with Buducnost VOLI in Montenegro, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports.

Kilpatrick played in Greece with Panathinaikos last season after signing a contract in January. He averaged 10.3 PPG in the EuroLeague.

Kilpatrick, 29, appeared in 157 NBA games after entering the league during the 2014/15 season. He last played in the NBA during the 2017/18 campaign. He bounced around that season, as he was waived by the Nets before signing a two-way contract with the Bucks. Milwaukee converted his two-way deal to a standard NBA contract, then waived him in March. Kilpatrick later inked a pair of 10-day contracts with the Clippers before finishing the season with the Bulls.

Kilpatrick, who played with the Nuggets and Timberwolves earlier in his career, was waived by the Bulls in the summer of 2018. Kilpatrick can fill it up, as he averaged 10.3 PPG in 19.6 MPG during his NBA career while shooting 33.5% from long range.

Sean Kilpatrick To Play In Greece

Veteran NBA shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick has lined up a new deal, with Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos announcing in a press release that it has reached an agreement with Kilpatrick on a rest-of-season contract (hat tip to Sportando).

Kilpatrick, who turned 29 on Sunday, has appeared in 157 total NBA games and had an eventful 2017/18 campaign. After starting the season with the Nets, he was waived by Brooklyn and signed a two-way contract with the Bucks. Milwaukee converted his two-way deal to a standard NBA contract last January, then waived him in March. Kilpatrick subsequently inked a pair of 10-day contracts with the Clippers before finishing the season with the Bulls.

In 52 total games with four clubs last season, Kilpatrick averaged 6.3 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 12.3 minutes per contest. He was at his best in Chicago, posting 15.4 PPG on .439/.396/.813 shooting in nine games with the Bulls, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a roster spot for 2018/19 — the team waived him in July.

Panathinaikos is just 7-9 in EuroLeague play so far this season, but has gone undefeated (11-0) so far in Greek Basketball League contests. Kilpatrick will be joining a squad that features a handful of former NBA players, including 2016 lottery pick Georgios Papagiannis, who signed with the team during the 2018 offseason.

International Notes: Kilpatrick, M. Williams, China, Pitino

Sean Kilpatrick received an offer to play for Panathinaikos is Greece, but turned it down as he waits for another NBA opportunity, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The news was first reported by George Zakkas of SDNA.

Saturday marked the first day that NBA teams could offer 10-day contracts, and Kilpatrick, who has gone that route with four organizations, is hoping it will be his way back into the league. He played for four teams last season, starting the year with the Nets before being waived in December. He signed a two-way deal with the Bucks later that month and was converted to a regular NBA contract before being waived in March. He signed a pair of 10-day deals with the Clippers, then finished the season with the Bulls before they waived him over the summer.

The 29-year-old averaged 6.3 points per game last season, including 15.4 PPG in nine games with Chicago.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Matt Williams, who started last season as a two-way player with the Heat, has reached an agreement with GS Kymis in Greece, Lupo notes in a separate story. Williams began this  season with KTP Basket in Finland. He got into just three games with Miami before being waived in December of 2017.
  • The Lakers and Nets will play a pair of preseason games in China, according to an ESPN report. The contests are set for October 10 in Shanghai and October 12 in Shenzhen. It will be the third appearance in China for LeBron James and possibly the fourth for Lance Stephenson, who will set a record if he remains on the roster.
  • In the wake of Steve Alford’s firing at UCLA, a group of boosters is targeting Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino, writes Adam Zagoria for Forbes. Pitino made his debut with the Greek team late last month and is under contract for the rest of the season, so the move couldn’t take effect until the 2019/20 season. A source tells Zagoria that Pitino is “very interested” in taking over the Bruins. Approval from the UC Board of Regents is seen as the main obstacle in light of Pitino’s dismissal from Louisville amid his alleged role in an NCAA scandal. Murray Bartow is serving as interim coach at UCLA.

Sixers Work Out Rush, Afflalo, Others

The Sixers held a free-agent workout this week with multiple veteran players, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who tweets that Brandon Rush and Arron Afflalo were among those in attendance.

The team also worked out Sean Kilpatrick, who last played for the Bulls, and Haywood Highsmith, who currently plays in the NBA G League, according to Charania.

The Sixers are not expected to make a roster move following the workout, a source told EJ Smith of the Philly Inquirer.

Philadelphia is likely seeking to bolster its bench and find another talent who can play on the wing. The team traded for All-Star Jimmy Butler last month and has a 17-9 record through the season’s first 26 games, good for third in the Eastern Conference.

Rush last played in the NBA during the 2016-17 season, scoring 4.2 points per game on 37% shooting in 47 contests with Minnesota. He holds nine years of experience and is a career 40% three-point shooter. Last season, Rush was waived by the Bucks in training camp and signed a 10-day deal with Portland, but didn’t appear in any games.

Afflalo, an 11-year veteran, spent 53 games with Orlando last season before reaching free agency in July. He averaged career-lows in points (3.4) and minutes (12.9) per game, but provided veteran leadership off the court for the Magic‘s younger players.

Kilpatrick, 28, has bounced around the NBA since going undrafted in 2014. He’s made stops with Minnesota, Denver, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Highsmith plays for the Delaware Blue Coats, G League affiliate of the 76ers. He’s a 6’7” sharpshooter who’s impressed multiple league-observers this season, averaging 22 points, 12.5 rebounds and three assists per outing.

Bulls Waive Sean Kilpatrick

The Bulls have waived veteran guard Sean Kilpatrick, the team announced today (via Twitter). The club now has 14 players under contract, not counting restricted free agents David Nwaba or Ryan Arcidiacono.

Kilpatrick, 28, had an eventful 2017/18 campaign. After starting the season with the Nets, he was waived by Brooklyn and signed a two-way contract with the Bucks. Milwaukee converted his two-way deal to a standard NBA contract in January, then waived him in March. Kilpatrick subsequently inked a pair of 10-day contracts with the Clippers before finally joining the Bulls on a multiyear contract.

In 52 total games with four teams last season, Kilpatrick averaged 6.3 PPG and 1.7 RPG in 12.3 minutes per contest. He was at his best in Chicago, posting 15.4 PPG on .439/.396/.813 shooting in nine games with the Bulls, but it seems that wasn’t enough to earn him a roster spot for 2018/19.

Kilpatrick’s $2MM+ salary for 2018/19 was non-guaranteed, so Chicago won’t be on the hook for any of it. However, the Bulls – who were under the salary floor for 2017/18 when they signed him – paid the well-traveled guard a generous $2.16MM salary for nine games last season.

With Kilpatrick no longer on their books, the Bulls can create up to nearly $16MM in cap space for 2018/19 by renouncing various exceptions and Noah Vonleh’s cap hold. That figure could increase to approximately $19MM if the club waives its other non-guaranteed players (Julyan Stone and Paul Zipser), even with Nwaba’s qualifying offer still on the cap.

Bulls Notes: LaVine, Grant, Payne, Stone

The Bulls will be investing in an unknown commodity by matching the Kings’ four-year, $78MM offer sheet for Zach LaVine, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Chicago’s most recent offer to LaVine was only about $2MM less per year than the deal with the Kings, so it’s not a great financial burden for the team to take on. The bigger question is what kind of player LaVine will be after an ACL tear limited him to a combined 71 games over the past two seasons.

The 23-year-old got into just 24 contests in his first season with Chicago and wasn’t particularly effective. LaVine averaged 16.7 points per game, but shot a career-low 38.3% from the floor and the Bulls were outscored by 7.2 PPG while he was on the court. Friedell states that LaVine hasn’t progressed beyond what he was when he entered the league, an athletic marvel who lacks efficiency on offense and consistency on defense.

The Bulls may also have to repair their relationship with LaVine, who said he felt more wanted by the Kings in free agency. The front office believes it has to match LaVine’s offer sheet so it won’t lose the centerpiece of the Jimmy Butler trade, Friedell adds, but it isn’t certain that it’s getting a player to build around for the next four seasons.

There’s more news out of Chicago:

  • An escalating salary cap will make LaVine’s new contract look better in future years, notes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Conflicting reports give LaVine a starting salary of either $18.1MM or $19.5MM, which would be either 17.8% or 19.1% of the salary cap, and that percentage will fall in future years as the cap continues to rise. Johnson also notes that the Kings did the Bulls a favor by putting substantial injury protection for themselves in the deal in case LaVine has more problems with his left knee. Chicago’s front office didn’t suggest that in its negotiations out of fear of angering LaVine and his representatives.
  • Tonight’s decision to trade Jerian Grant was a sign of confidence in Cameron Payne as the backup point guard, Johnson adds in a separate story. The Bulls will save about $1MM in swapping Grant for Julyan Stone and another $1,656,092 by waiving Stone before his August 1 guarantee date. Injuries have limited Payne to just 36 games since being acquired from the Thunder at the 2017 trade deadline.
  • The Bulls will create a $2.6MM trade exception in tonight’s deal, tweets salary cap specialist Albert Nahmad. The team can open as much as $29MM before officially matching LaVine’s offer sheet by waiving Paul Zipser and Sean Kilpatrick (Twitter link).