Xavier Henry

D-League Notes: New Rules, Henry, Obekpa

The D-League is a prime venue for the NBA to test out the viability and effectiveness of new rules and procedures. The league announced a number of experimental rule changes that will be in place when the 2016/17 D-League campaign kicks off (h/t to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). We listed those below, along with some other news regarding the D-League:

  • Each team will be entitled to a “Reset Timeout” in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and final two minutes of any overtime period. “Reset Timeouts” do not allow teams to huddle, but otherwise mirror standard timeouts, allowing teams to advance the ball (when applicable) and make unlimited substitutions. If either team huddles or prevents the ball from immediately being put back into play, it will result in a delay of game being issued to the offending team. The “Reset Timeout” replaces the “Advance Rule” which has been in use in the D-League the past two seasons.
  • A 75-second limit on the duration of instant replay reviews has been implemented, except in circumstances where the review is for a hostile act or altercation, could lead to an ejection, there is a technical equipment problem or other atypical circumstances.
  • The 24-second clock will reset to 14 seconds after an offensive rebound or when the offensive team is the first team to retain possession after the ball contacts the rim.
  • Xavier Henry, who was waived by the Bucks in September, has signed a contract with the Santa Cruz Warriors as a returning player, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets.
  • Undrafted free agent Chris Obekpa will join Santa Cruz as an affiliate player for the Warriors, Johnson relays (on Twitter).
  • Shooting guard Elijah Millsap, who spent time last season overseas with the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, has signed a D-League contract with the Northern Arizona Suns, Johnson tweets.
  • Perry Ellis, who was waived by the Hornets on Saturday, is joining Charlotte’s D-League affiliate, Johnson relays (via Twitter).

Bucks To Sign Jabari Brown, Cut Xavier Henry

The Bucks will bring a former Laker to training camp, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. According to Spears (via Twitter), Milwaukee is adding free agent shooting guard Jabari Brown to its roster for camp.

Brown, 23, made his NBA debut with the Lakers during the 2014/15 season after going undrafted out of Missouri. Brown saw plenty of action for the team down the stretch that season, appearing in 19 games and averaging 11.9 PPG, 2.1 APG, 1.9 RPG, and a .371 3PT% in 29.9 minutes per contest.

Over the last two seasons, Brown has also played in China and has spent time with the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Brown averaged 23.1 PPG and shot .443/.374/.842 in 47 D-League games. He also worked out for the Jazz earlier this month.

In Milwaukee, Brown figures to be on the outside looking in as he attempts to earn a regular-season roster spot. The Bucks currently have 15 players on guaranteed salaries, with Orlando Johnson and J.J. O’Brien among the other camp invitees on non-guaranteed deals.

Xavier Henry also recently signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Bucks, though NBA.com’s transactions log suggests the club waived him on Tuesday — it’s not clear why Henry’s stint in Milwaukee was so short-lived. Ronald Roberts was also rumored to be heading to camp with the Bucks, but hasn’t officially signed a contract and may not end up doing so.

Bucks Sign Xavier Henry

SEPTEMBER 12th: The signing is official, the Bucks announced.

AUGUST 30th: The Bucks have added a well-traveled NBA veteran to their offseason roster, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Xavier Henry has agreed to a training camp deal with Milwaukee. Henry worked out for the Lakers earlier this month and had been considering his options, per Charania.

Having recently signed Jason Terry and Steve Novak, the Bucks now appear to have 15 players on guaranteed salaries for the 2016/17 season, assuming Novak’s contract is guaranteed. That will make it an uphill battle for Henry as he attempts to earn a regular-season roster spot. However, if he has a strong preseason, he could attract interest from other teams and may become a 10-day contract candidate later in the season.

Henry, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, and has since appeared in 185 total regular-season NBA games. Henry’s best season came in 2013/14 with the Lakers, when he averaged 10.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.0 SPG in 43 contests (21.1 MPG). He previously spent time with Memphis and New Orleans, and last year played for the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

Henry is now nearly two years removed from suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that required a long recovery period. The 6’6″ wing said earlier this month that he’s healthy and feels “blessed” that he’s even able to play basketball again.

Western Notes: Parker, Ginobili, Henry, Karl

Longtime Spurs stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili both wrapped up their international careers with Olympic losses today in Rio de Janeiro. Parker confirmed that this afternoon’s defeat to Spain was his “last game” for the French team, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The 34-year-old Parker, whose playing time was limited during this Olympics, added that he’s “not gonna change his mind like that.”

Ginobili, 39, also acknowledged his retirement from international basketball after his Argentinian team was soundly defeated by the United States. He got more of a sendoff than he was expecting, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News“It was emotional,” Ginobili said. “I didn’t want it to be. I was hoping to sneak out and go to the locker room and do what I had to do there, but everybody conspired against it. The coach put me back in to play together one last time, somebody gave me the ball and brought me back in, somebody threw me a shirt. Then my teammates — it got emotional.” Ginobili has already signed with the Spurs for next season, and Parker is under contract until 2017/18.

There’s more news tonight from the Western Conference:

  • Former Laker Xavier Henry is optimistic as he continues the long road back from a ruptured left Achilles tendon, writes Joey Ramirez of NBA.com. Henry, who was one of several NBA veterans at L.A.’s mini-camp today, spent last season with the D-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors and credits their coaching and training staffs for helping with his comeback. “I’ve been doing a lot of workouts this summer with a lot of different teams and getting feedback and seeing how I feel,” Henry said. “I’ve been feeling really good. I’m feeling blessed that I can even play basketball again.”
  • The Lakers will hire Coby Karl, son of former NBA coach George Karl, to be head coach of their D-League affiliate, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. Karl was an assistant with the D-League’s Westchester Knicks last season.
  • The Grizzlies have made the final two additions to new head coach David Fizdale’s staff, the team announced today. Bob Bender, who worked as a scout for the Nets last season, was hired as an assistant coach, and former Clippers and Nets shooting coach Bob Thate will fill that role in Memphis.

Lakers Notes: Free Agents, Young, Mozgov, Ingram

Six players with NBA experience participated in the Lakers’ free agent mini-camp today, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Attending the camp were Xavier HenryJeff Ayres, P.J. Hairston, Johnny O’Bryant, Orlando Johnson and Travis Wear. A swingman, Henry played 43 games for the Lakers during 2013/14, but was waived after just nine games the following season. Ayres is a six-year veteran center/power forward who played 16 games with the Clippers last season. Hairston, a swingman, has been in the league two years with the Hornets and Grizzlies. A power forward with two years of NBA experience, O’Bryant played 66 games for the Bucks last season but was waived in June. Johnson, a shooting guard, has four years of NBA experience and had brief stops last season with the Suns and Pelicans. Wear, a small forward, was out of the league last season after playing 61 games for the Knicks in 2014/15. “What we’re looking at here are known players,” GM Mitch Kupchak said in a video on the team’s website. “We do have roster spots open in terms of our team, but also we have roster spots open in terms of training camp.”

There’s more out of Los Angeles today:

  • It’s unlikely that Nick Young will be on the Lakers’ roster when the season starts, states Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. Young recently expressed a desire to end his dispute with D’Angelo Russell, but Ding doesn’t believe he’ll get that opportunity. In a video on the Bleacher Report website, he says the Lakers have been trying to trade Young for a long time and will likely waive him if they can’t find a taker. He has two seasons and more than $11MM left on his contract. The league deadline for teams to use the stretch provision is August 31st.
  • Timofey Mozgov was able to participate in a full practice with his Russian team today after an injury scare last week, reports Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times. Mozgov, who joined the Lakers on a four-year, $64MM deal last month, suffered a groin injury Friday and was forced to miss two tournament games. The Lakers said he reported no more pain after undergoing an MRI Saturday and has no more restrictions.
  • The Lakers held off on signing first-round pick Brandon Ingram and free agent center Tarik Black so they would have cap room for deals like the one today with Yi Jianlian, Medina tweets.

Pacific Notes: Murphy, Russell, Livingston

The Warriors announced today that Chris Murphy has been named team president of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate. “We’re extremely pleased to have Chris in position to lead our business efforts with the Santa Cruz Warriors,” said Golden State team president Rick Welts. “He’s done a terrific job of enhancing our ticket sales initiatives with the Warriors in recent years and he’s ready for a bigger challenge and an opportunity to expand his role within our organization. We truly view our Santa Cruz partnership as the perfect training ground for not only our players and coaches, but for front office personnel such as Chris. This is a great example of that synergy within the organization and a move that will benefit both the Warriors and Chris as we move forward.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Despite receiving criticism for not playing rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell, Lakers coach Byron Scott says that he won’t rush the young playmaker’s development along, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “I’m not just going to put him out there to put him out there. If I do that and he’s not prepared and he’s not learning, then I’m preparing him to fail,” Scott said. “And I’m not going to do that. I think this kid is too valuable to us. His learning process is getting better and better. Our coaches are spending more time with him. So I’m pretty confident that he’ll be better in a week or so, that he’ll understand exactly what we need from him on a night to night basis.
  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston credits the late Flip Saunders for reviving his career back in 2010 when both were with the Wizards, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. “After playing the season with him, I just felt like I understood the NBA game, and that was the first time I really understood it,” Livingston said of Saunders. “I always had a high IQ, but just as far as time and score and just as a pro, he was a guard’s coach. He gave me the opportunity to implant me back into the NBA. Just to be somewhat relevant again…he gave me an opportunity. He blessed me an opportunity and allowed me to a chance to make the most of it.
  • Xavier Henry, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear while with the Lakers last season, said he was glad to join the Warriors‘ D-League team as an affiliate player this season because of the reputation of the team’s training staff, who are lauded for their ability to rehab players from serious injuries, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest relays. Henry also told Johnson that the current timetable for his return to action is anywhere from one to two months. “I can’t really tell you exactly, could be better in three weeks, it could be better in two and a half months, but the things that I’ve done already that I have in place I feel like all I need is more strength, more structure,” Henry said. “And from then on as long as everything’s great, strength and your form’s good then it’s all about repetition, repetition, repetition before you can really do it full speed, every day on the court.

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.

Warriors Cut Babb, Eddie, Henry, Udofia

The Warriors have waived Chris Babb, Jarell Eddie, Xavier Henry and Chris Udofia, the team announced via press release. Cutting those four non-guaranteed deals gives the Warriors 15 players, the regular season maximum, and it’s a positive signal for Ian Clark, whose deal is also non-guaranteed. Golden State has 13 full guarantees plus a partial guarantee for James Michael McAdoo, who has the support of coach Steve Kerr.

Henry, a five-year NBA veteran, has the most extensive experience of the four players Golden State is letting go, though the 24-year-old just signed with the team Monday in a move that could be related to his D-League rights. That was the same day the Warriors also inked Udofia, 23, who went undrafted out of the University of Denver in 2014. Neither saw any preseason action. Both signed non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that only covered one season, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported (Twitter link).

Babb, a 25-year-old shooting guard, came to Golden State from the Celtics in this summer’s David Lee trade. He averaged 2.8 points in 11.4 minutes per game during six preseason appearances. Eddie agreed in August to a deal for camp. The 23-year-old small forward posted 4.5 points in 10.1 minutes per game across two preseason contests.

Clark would pick up a partial guarantee of about $474K if he sticks for opening night. The 24-year-old offseason signee had a strong preseason, knocking down five of his 12 3-point attempts and averaging 5.9 points in 13.1 minutes per game over seven appearances, including one start. The two-year NBA veteran who’s played for the Jazz and Nuggets circled back to the Warriors this year after first making his mark in the NBA on Golden State’s summer league team in 2013.

Do you agree with Golden State’s moves? Leave a comment to give us your input.

Warriors Sign Swingman Xavier Henry

The Warriors have signed swingman Xavier Henry to an undisclosed contract, the club announced Monday via press release. The Warriors apparently view Henry as an insurance policy. He was signed for the purpose of eventually playing for the team’s D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group tweets.

The 24-year-old Henry averaged 2.2 points and 9.6 minutes in nine games with the Lakers last season before rupturing his left Achilles tendon in practice last November. The Lakers waived Henry in late December while he was in the early stages of his recovery.

The 6’6” Henry has also played for the Grizzlies and Pelicans organizations. Originally selected by the Grizzlies as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Henry has appeared in 185 games during his career.

Presumably, Henry could eventually work his way into the mix on the Warriors’ 15-man roster if Golden State has injuries and Henry can show that he’s all the way back from his injury.

Golden State’s training camp roster now stands at 19 players.

Lakers Claim Tarik Black, Waive Xavier Henry

6:00pm: The Lakers made the move official, as Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets.

4:22pm: The Lakers have claimed Tarik Black off waivers from the Rockets, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  To make room, the Lakers are saying farewell to Xavier Henry (link).

Just minutes ago, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Hornets were planning on putting in a claim for Black.  However, thanks to their record, the Lakers had waiver priority over the Hornets and other potentially interested clubs.

Black, who was signed to a non-guaranteed deal by the Rockets prior to being waived, averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 25 games for Houston.  The Kansas product reportedly had interest from several clubs when the Rockets decided to sever ties.

Henry, 23, saw time in nine games for the Lakers this season, averaging 2.2 PPG in 9.6 minutes per contest.  For his career, Henry has averaged of 5.7 PPG and 1.9 RPG across five seasons with the Grizzlies, Pelicans (née Hornets), and the Lakers.  Henry is out for the year, meaning that it’s highly unlikely that anyone will claim him and take that $1.082MM salary off of the Lakers’ books.

With Black off the books, Stein tweets that the Rockets have now dipped back below the luxury-tax line.