Shawn Jones

And-Ones: Sidney, D-League, Turner

The top performing players during the 2015 NBA D-League Elite mini-camp were Aaron Craft, Adonis Thomas, Shawn Jones, and Casey Prather, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets. The NBA D-League’s camp offers standouts from the past season another chance to perform in front of NBA team personnel in advance of Summer Leagues and 2015 training camps, Brian Kotloff of writes. “It’s really a great thing for our league to showcase the players,” Elite Mini Camp director Bob MacKinnon, a five-year NBA D-League coaching veteran, said. “Every NBA team will be represented with scouts in these two days. We changed the schedule to accommodate what NBA scouts have told us they want to see.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Eight NBA teams are attending a workout for former Mississippi State center Renardo Sidney tonight in Chicago, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The big man is a free agent and went undrafted back in 2012.
  • The NBA draft combine allows teams to examine more than just the players’ on court abilities, and in some cases these secondary observations can mean the difference between a player getting drafted or needing to scramble to snag a training camp invite, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. “The interviews are a big part of this week,” said a Western Conference official. “For teams, a lot of times it’s the first chance they get to sit down with players and find out the answers to some questions that might mean the difference between that kid staying on their board or taken off entirely.
  • Texas big man Myles Turner has a chance to contribute immediately and possibly become a building block for a future contending team, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops writes. Turner is looking to make a splash in the league, saying, “Definitely a long-term goal is to get Rookie of the Year and get into the NBA All-Star Weekend. As far as short-term goals, I’d like to be able to have a great role within the team I’m drafted by to be able to go out there and get quality minutes instead of riding the bench the whole entire rookie season.” The 19-year-old is the No. 10 overall prospect according to Ford, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slots him at No. 11. You can view Hoops Rumors’ expanded profile of Turner here.

Minor Moves: Covington, Mekel, Heat, Warriors

Robert Covington nearly had a deal with the Sixers this week shortly after the Rockets waived him, but talks broke down over contract length and the 23-year-old forward is expected to sign with the D-League instead, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. Philadelphia offered a four-year arrangement with a “high” amount of guaranteed salary, Charania writes, but Covington apparently passed on that. The sides were unable to forge a deal on a shorter contract, Charania notes. Covington joins K.J. McDaniels, the 32nd pick in this year’s draft who inked with the Sixers for just one year, among those resisting Philly’s efforts to tie up young players on long-term deals. The deluge of players hitting waivers in the past week has led to news around the D-League and international circuits, and we’ll pass along the latest here:

  • Gal Mekel isn’t thinking of heading overseas to play in the wake of the Mavs‘ decision to waive him Wednesday, tweets David Pick of, so he’ll remain free to sign with another NBA team providing he clears waivers.
  • Khem Birch, Larry Drew II, Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones have agreed to join the Heat‘s D-League affiliate, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Miami is using its ability to reserve the D-League rights to up to four of its preseason cuts to keep Birch, Johnson and Jones out of the D-League draft, but Drew played with the Heat’s D-League affiliate last year, so he wouldn’t have been subject to the draft. That allows the Heat to preserve their ability to retain the D-League rights to one player they waive during the regular season. Andre Dawkins seems a likely candidate for that sort of maneuver, Winderman suggests (on Twitter).
  • Sean Kilpatrick will play for the Warriors D-League affiliate, tweets Adam Zagoria of, who confirms an earlier report that Aaron Craft will do the same. That means Golden State retained the D-League rights to both after waiving them last week.

Heat Cut Drew, Johnson, Jones

SATURDAY, 4:56pm: All three players have been officially waived, the team announced.

8:47pm: All three players have been waived, according to the RealGM transactions log. No announcement from the team has been made yet.

THURSDAY, 11:58am: The Heat are waiving Larry Drew II, Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones, as coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters today, including Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). The team has yet to make a formal announcement, but Miami hopes that all three will sign with its D-League affiliate, tweets Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. The Heat has a $75K partial guarantee with Johnson and $25K with Drew, so the team will be on the hook for those amounts assuming they clear waivers. Jones has been on a non-guaranteed pact.

The athletic Johnson appeared in only one preseason game, but he performed well, scoring 17 points and coming up with four steals in more than 36 minutes of action. Jones averaged 3.0 points in 16.5 minutes per game in four preseason contests, while Drew, who signed on Monday, hasn’t played in any of the team’s exhibitions. Johnson and Jones went undrafted this summer, while Drew spent much of last season with the Heat’s D-League affiliate after joining Miami for camp last year.

The moves will leave Miami with 16 players, including 11 with fully guaranteed contracts. Three others have partial guarantees, while Shannon Brown and Andre Dawkins are on non-guaranteed deals.

And-Ones: Pistons, LeBron, Contract Details

The Pistons have a new direction as a franchise now that Stan Van Gundy has taken over as team president and head coach. In their season preview the crew at Basketball Insiders don’t see the team becoming contenders just yet, and their predictions have Detroit finishing either third or fourth in the Central Division.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Nuggets signees Joe Alexander and Marcus Williams, new Lakers Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Tyler, Heat additions Andre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, Wizards wing men Xavier Silas and Damion James, and Hasheem Thabeet of the Pistons are all on non-guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links here).
  • LeBron James might be gone from Miami, but he takes with him a number of lessons the Heat organization taught him about professionalism, Brian Windhorst of writes. James is a much different person than when he was with the Cavs the first time, notes Windhorst, and the additions of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, and James Jones are indications that Cleveland wants to bump up the work ethic and preparation habits of their younger players.
  • When asked about departed free agent Trevor Ariza, who left the Wizards to sign with the Rockets this summer, Marcin Gortat believed Ariza’s decision wasn’t about finances, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Gortat said, “In my opinion I think he was trying to get back to the West. I don’t think it was about the money.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Heat Sign Shawn Jones For Camp

SEPTEMBER 23RD: The signing is finally official, as the team has followed up with a formal announcement.

AUGUST 7TH: The Heat have reached a non-guaranteed deal with undrafted power forward Shawn Jones, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). It appears it’ll be a summer contract for the former Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider, giving him a chance to make the club out of training camp. It’ll almost certainly be a minimum-salary arrangement, especially since the Heat are limited to handing out no more than that.

Jones, 22, was the 99th-best draft prospect this year in the rankings that Chad Ford of compiled, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress didn’t list him within his top 100, pegging him as only the 81st-best senior in the 2014 draft class. The 6’8″ Jones was nonetheless impressive on the boards at the Portsmouth Invitational, a seniors-only predraft showcase, averaging 11.7 rebounds in 31.0 minutes per game in three contests. He pulled down 5.2 RPG in 14.6 MPG in summer league action with the Clippers.

Miami has been active in recent days, striking deals with Shawne Williams and Tyler Johnson. The addition of Jones gives the team agreements with 15 players, though only 11 are known to have fully guaranteed salaries, as our roster counts show.

Southeast Notes: Zeller, Vonleh, Anderson, Wiz

Today’s news that Josh McRoberts has opted out of his contract, while widely expected, promises to make a busy offseason in Charlotte even busier. The Hornets have two first round picks and, as GM Rich Cho tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte observer, there are plenty of teams looking to make moves heading into next Thursday’s talent-rich draft (Twitter links).

Here are some additional updates from the Southeast division:

  • Bonnell also tweets that Cho is still very much committed to the development of Cody Zeller, who the Hornets took fourth overall in last summer’s draft. Should Charlotte select a power forward next Thursday, it would not be an indictment of Zeller according to Bonnell.
  • The Hornets were supposed to host one of the draft’s premier bigs today in Noah Vonleh, but Adam Zagoria of SNY tweets that the Indiana product pulled out of the workout. Vonleh is almost certain to be off the board by the time Charlotte is on the clock at No. 9.
  • Kyle Anderson will work out for the Hawks on Monday, reports Zagoria. It will be Anderson’s second workout in Atlanta. Zagoria reported a few weeks back that the Hawks had been trying to get the intriguing UCLA product back in town. Atlanta picks 15th.
  • The Wizards will work out Davion Berry, Andre Dawkins, Cory Jefferson, Shawn Jones, Wally Judge and James McAdoo on Thursday, the team announced today.
  • The Hornets officially announced via a team release that they have added Steve Hetzel as an assistant coach. Hetzel coached the Canton Charge of the D-League this season.

Draft Notes: Smart, Randle, Jazz, Knicks

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders cautions us not to overlook Julius Randle.  Randle, a surefire lottery pick and possible top five selection, has the killer instinct and confidence that NBA talent evaluators love.  That fire is something Randle has had dating back to his high school days and he continued that at Kentucky.  Here’s a look at the latest draft news..

  • Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart knows that he’s a polarizing prospect heading into the NBA draft, writes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune.  A year ago, Smart might have been the No. 1 overall pick.  Instead, he stayed in school and played out a sophomore season that raised more question marks than anything.  Still, Smart is a talented point guard and a tenacious defender and appears to be a mortal lock for the lottery.
  • The Jazz will work out second-round candidates Aaron Craft, LaQuinton Ross, Roscoe Smith, and Cam Bairstow tomorrow morning, tweets Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.  Ross and Smith will be the first two underclassmen that the Jazz have brought in (link).  Ross has a connection to the state of Utah as his father, Chris Russell, played at Utah State.
  • UNC’s James Michael McAdoo and Middle Tennessee State’s Shawn Jones worked out for the Knicks today, tweets Ian Begley of

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Knicks, Bird

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens tell Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel that they know it will be difficult to turn around the franchise, but are optimistic they can do so over the long haul. “Our view is we’re going to try to do this over the next five years,” Lasry said. “We’ve got the best 23-and-under team, but that’s not the way it works.” Here’s more from the East:

  • The co-owners also revealed to Gardner that they used a coin flip to determine Edens would represent the Bucks in the role of primary owner.
  • Both James McAdoo of North Carolina and Shawn Jones of Middle Tennessee State worked out for the Knicks today, tweets Ian Begley of While McAdoo projects as a potential second round pick, Begley hears that Jones, who isn’t expected to be drafted, outplayed the Tar Heel.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today argues that Pacers team president Larry Bird deserves a share of the blame for Indiana’s disappointing season. Zillgitt writes that Bird’s acquisitions ran counter to his chemistry-building efforts in years past, and he gave up assets without yielding the depth the Pacers needed.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel outlines the Magic‘s cap situation and provides an overview of the decisions that the team will be faced with once the draft and free agency periods are underway.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.