Xavier Thames

2016 NBA D-League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA D-League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s three new teams to add the rights to 12 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 19 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to 10 players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, as Chris Reichert of UpsideMotor.com explained earlier today.

As we noted on Tuesday, the D-League’s three new franchises this year are affiliates for the Nets (Long Island Nets), Hornets (Greensboro Swarm), and Bulls (Windy City Bulls).

The players those three teams added today won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s somewhat rare for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs, as D-League Digest tweets. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas. Still, the expansion draft gives the D-League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Per Reichert, here are the results of today’s expansion draft. The player’s former D-League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Long Island Nets (Twitter link)

  1. Gary Forbes (Grand Rapids Drive)
  2. Carrick Felix (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Jamaal Franklin (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  4. Akil Mitchell (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  5. Peyton Siva (Delaware 87ers)
  6. Alex Kirk (Canton Charge)
  7. Austin Freeman (Westchester Knicks)
  8. Kendall Gray (Iowa Energy)
  9. Lazar Hayward (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  10. Dwayne Polee Jr. (Reno Bighorns)
  11. Matt Bouldin (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Lewis Jackson (Salt Lake City Stars)

Greensboro Swarm (Twitter link)

  1. Josh Davis (Austin Spurs)
  2. Abdul Gaddy (Maine Red Claws)
  3. Tony Bishop (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  4. Scotty Hopson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Toure’ Murry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  6. Rodney Williams (Oklahoma City Blue)
  7. Josh Huestis (Oklahoma City Blue)
  8. Ralston Turner (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Keanau Post (Raptors 905)
  10. Damien Wilkins (Iowa Energy)
  11. Kris Joseph (Westchester Knicks)
  12. Dee Bost (Raptors 905)

Windy City Bulls (Twitter link)

  1. Wesley Saunders (Austin Spurs)
  2. Kiwi Gardner (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Ralph Sampson III (Maine Red Claws)
  4. Booker Woodfox (Texas Legends)
  5. Jerel McNeal (Northern Arizona Suns)
  6. Akeem Richmond (Reno Bighorns)
  7. Casey Prather (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Jon Octeus (Canton Charge)
  9. Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends)
  10. Jamal Jones (Delaware 87ers)
  11. Xavier Thames (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Ian Chiles (Salt Lake City Stars)

Nets Forfeit Draft Rights To Xavier Thames

The Nets declined to extend the required tender necessary to keep the draft rights to Xavier Thames, the 59th overall pick from 2014, so he’s free to negotiate a deal with any NBA team, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Brooklyn had until the league’s deadline today to make the former San Diego State shooting guard an offer of at least a non-guaranteed minimum salary for one year.

The move is somewhat surprising, since the Nets have only 18 players, with just 12 who have fully guaranteed contracts, and NBA teams are allowed as many as 20 players for the preseason and 15 for the regular season. Brooklyn seemingly had room to make the required tender, in which case the worst scenario would have seen Thames sign it and fail to win a regular season roster spot, meaning the Nets would have lost his rights when they placed him on waivers. That would have given Brooklyn a chance to see him perform against others in training camp, but it appears that the Nets decided they have already seen enough.

The 24-year-old wasn’t dazzling in summer league this July, averaging 4.0 points in 12.6 minutes per game across eight appearances, with 4 for 13 three-point shooting. Thames shot 37.2% from behind the arc as a senior in college, but his stroke has appeared to desert him since, as he hit on just 28.0% of his three-pointers in 18 regular season games after joining the D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants last season He went 2 for 10 from long distance in the D-League playoffs and connected on 28.6% of his three-pointers earlier in the season with Sevilla of Spain.

The Raptors originally drafted Thames, but they traded his rights to the Nets that same night in exchange for cash. Brooklyn used cash to acquire three 2014 second-rounders, but with Cory Jefferson off to the Suns, Markel Brown is the only one remaining on the Nets.

Did the Nets make the right call here? Comment to share your thoughts.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, ‘Melo, Kirilenko

The Raptors appear to be in buying mode if they’re to make a deadline move, while the Sixers and Knicks are probably sellers, and the Celtics have already demonstrated their willingness to part with immediate assets with their flurry of trades so far this season. That leaves the Nets, amid persistent rumors surrounding Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson for the past two months. Still, coach Lionel Hollins doesn’t expect that the Nets will make any deadline moves, as Tim Bontemps of the New York Post observes. Here’s more from around the Atlantic while we wait to see if Hollins is correct about what GM Billy King and company do:

  • Heat team president Pat Riley said he called agent Leon Rose about Carmelo Anthony this past summer when Anthony was already deep into his free agent decision-making, but the Knicks star insists he never personally heard from the Heat, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
  • Andrei Kirilenko‘s wife gave birth to a healthy baby son this week, according to Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (Twitter link), and that’s a signal that movement might be afoot for Kirilenko’s NBA career. Kirilenko, without specifying the issue that’s kept him from playing since November 13th, told reporters in December that it would be resolved by February. The veteran forward has been on suspension while taking leave to tend to his wife for the past few months, and the Sixers have reportedly viewed him as a trade chip.
  • Xavier Thames, the No. 59 pick in the 2014 draft whose rights belong to the Nets, is joining the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants, reports Reggie Hayes of The (Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel. Thames had been playing with Baloncesto Sevilla of Spain.

Xavier Thames Signs With Spanish Team

The 59th pick in this year’s NBA draft is headed overseas, as Xavier Thames has inked a deal with Baloncesto Sevilla of Spain, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s not clear how long the contract is for or whether there’s a buyout involved that would allow him to join the Nets, who acquired his NBA rights in a draft-night trade with the Raptors.

The 6’3″ shooting guard had a breakout year as a senior at San Diego State, upping his scoring from 9.5 points per game to 17.6 PPG. It was nonetheless a mild surprise to see Thames sneak into the back end of the draft, since Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranked him as only the 76th-best prospect while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress pegged him 85th.

The 23-year-old is the only one of Brooklyn’s three second-rounders not to sign with the Nets this summer. Markel Brown, the 44th overall pick, and No. 60 selection Cory Jefferson are set to play with the Nets come fall, as our table of draft pick signings shows. Thames will team with potential 2015 top-10 pick Kristaps Porzingis on Sevilla, as well as head coach Scott Roth, who was an assistant for the Pistons this past season.

Nets Trade For Xavier Thames, Cory Jefferson

9:28am: The trade involving Jefferson is now official, too, the Nets announced in a press release. The Sixers receive cash in the deal, according to the release.

FRIDAY, 12:46am: The Nets have officially announced the Thames deal (on Twitter). Toronto receives cash in return. Brooklyn’s acquisition of Jefferson remains unofficial, but a release on the Sixers’ website helps explain the convoluted path that Jefferson took to Brooklyn. The Sixers acquired the No. 60 pick that was used on Jefferson as a part of their trade that sent No. 54 pick Nemanja Dangubic to San Antonio. The Sixers then agreed to ship that No. 60 pick to the Nets. It remains unclear what Philadelphia receives in return, but presumably it’s also cash.

THURSDAY, 11:55pm: The Nets have struck separate deals to acquire No. 59 overall pick Xavier Thames from the Raptors and No. 60 overall pick Cory Jefferson from the Spurs, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Atlantic Notes: ‘Melo, Garnett, Felton, Draft

Neither New York team has a pick in either round of Thursday’s draft, but it seems there’s a decent chance that will change. The Knicks are thinking about trading Iman Shumpert for the first-rounder they’re seemingly intent on landing, and the Nets have scheduled workouts for this week with a bunch of potential second-round prospects, as we detail below amid the latest from the Big Apple:

  • Carmelo Anthony has opted out of his deal with New York, but it wasn’t news to the Knicks. He told the team three weeks ago that he still planned to opt out and reiterated as much during their meeting a little more than a week ago, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks nonetheless like their chances of re-signing him, Berman also notes.
  • The Nets are quietly optimistic that Kevin Garnett will return next season, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. His willingness to play out the final year of his contract, worth $12MM, is reportedly key to the future of soon-to-be free agent Paul Pierce, as Stein notes.
  • Raymond Felton avoided jail time as part of a plea agreement to resolve felony gun-related charges stemming from a February incident, reports Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. The Knicks point guard has been a part of trade rumors.
  • C.J. Fair, Semaj Christon, James Michael McAdoo, Johnny O’Bryant III, Xavier Thames, Ronald Roberts Jr., Langston Hall, Branden Frazier, Cameron Clark, Kyle Casey, Akil Mitchell, Cory Jefferson and Artem Klimenko are all working out for the Nets this week, the team announced.

Draft Notes: Clippers, Vonleh, Hornets, Hairston

The Clippers are interested in trading up from pick No. 28, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Shelburne’s piece centers on a profile of former University of Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who can’t work out because he’s still recovering from a torn ACL. Dinwiddie’s nonetheless had meetings with the Bucks, Wizards, Bulls and Celtics, and he’s scheduled interviews and physicals with the Clippers, Heat, Hawks and Thunder, according to Shelburne. The ESPN scribe also says that he’ll interview and take a physical for the Jazz, advancing an earlier report that he was set to interview with the team. Here’s more on the draft:

  • Julius Randle is set to work out for the Jazz tomorrow, tweets Utah’s radio announcer David Locke.
  • Marcus Smart and Elfrid Payton are expected to work out for the Lakers on Friday for the second time, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports Spears advises his readers to “keep an eye” on Payton (via Twitter) in light of the second workout.
  • Nik Stauskas is expected in for his first workout with the Lakers, who have struggled to get Stauskas in, tweets Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times.
  • Rodney Hood had to sit out most of his Hornets workout today due to illness, reports Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.
  • Gary Harris and Zach LaVine will work out for the Hornets tomorrow, tweets Bonnell, who adds Charlotte’s other new workout appointees in a separate tweet: Rion Brown; Ronald Roberts Jr.; and Markel Brown, who missed an earlier workout due to travel issues.
  • The Rockets worked out Shabazz Napier, Xavier Thames, Patric Young, Nick Russell, and Kadeem Coleby, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.
  • Sim Bhullar, Earnest Ross, Ian Chiles, Cameron Clark, Philipp Neumann, and Jordan Bachynski will work out for the Wizards tomorrow, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

Earlier updates:

  • Noah Vonleh will work out for the Sixers on Thursday, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
  • Elfrid Payton, Josh Huestis, James Bell and Jordan Clarkson are the previously unreported prospects performing for the Hornets today, as Chris Littmann of The Sporting News tweets.
  • P.J. Hairston will audition for the Hawks, as he tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, who also reports that Hairston will show off for the Grizzlies, Lakers and Bulls (Twitter links).
  • Kyle Anderson will work out for the Suns, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, as well as the Grizzlies, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter links). A previous report indicated that the Suns were set to audition Anderson a week ago, so this appears to be his second workout with Phoenix.
  • Anderson will also perform for the Bulls, as will Clint Capela and DeAndre Daniels, Zagoria tweets.
  • Jordan Adams, Devyn Marble, Sean Kilpatrick, C.J. Wilcox and Jarnell Stokes are working out for the Raptors today, the team announced. A report from last month indicated that Stokes had already worked out for Toronto, but given that the dispatch came in the middle of the draft combine, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was actually an interview between Stokes and the club, rather than a workout.
  • The Wizards are auditioning Semaj Christon, Nick Johnson, Deonte Burton, Alec Brown and Khem Birch today, according to Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (on Twitter).

And-Ones: Knicks, Blatt, Vonleh, Wiggins

The latest from around the league as the Spurs hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy..

  • Heat guard Ray Allen told reporters he will see where his “true heart lies” in a couple of days in terms of playing or retiring, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo.
  • Phil Jackson will look to re-tool the Knicks‘ roster this summer, but new coach Derek Fisher told ESPN 98.7 that he believes the team can improve by 8-10 wins as currently constructed, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.  “In my opinion, I believe that success and failure are not as far apart as people think. It’s pretty close. And when you think about [the Knicks] winning 37 games a year ago, there are a number of things that you can isolate with the same exact roster that can provide 8-10 more wins without a change of any kind,” Fisher said last week.
  • Last week we learned that David Blatt will interview with the Cavs and today, we learned the date. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports hears that the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach will meet with Cleveland on Wednesday.
  • Indiana big man Noah Vonleh will work out for the Jazz tomorrow, tweets Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune.  Utah owns the No. 5 pick and DraftExpress has them pegged to draft the soon-to-be 19-year-old.
  • Executives see the Magic as the team most likely to shake up the draft, tweets Chris Mannix of NBC Sports.  The question now is whether they like Marcus SmartDante Exum, Vonleh, or someone else in the draft.
  • The Sixers are slated to work out Andrew Wiggins on Tuesday in Philadelphia, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  Philly, of course, owns the No. 3 pick.
  • No surprise here, but Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic will keep his name in the draft, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com.  Nurkic is projected to go somewhere between 12 and 21 in Ford’s view.
  • The Celtics are eyeing guard prospects such as Xavier Thames, Semaj Christon, and Russ Smith, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.  Last week, Austin Ainge told Washburn that the C’s are looking into trading back into the second round and Boston might do that with one of those three in mind.
  • Aaron Gordon is a lock for the lottery thanks to his athleticism and defense, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.  The 6’9″ forward out of Arizona is more athletic than Julius Randle and Noah Vonleh and is also a better defender.

Draft Notes: Sykes, Canadian Players, Johnson

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer examines the sudden influx of talent into the NBA from Canada. Bonnell notes that at least three Canadians will be selected in the first round of this year’s draft.

Here’s more news regarding the upcoming draft:

  • NBA.com released their prospect profile of Isaiah Sykes. Sykes, who averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 3.5 APG this season, is projected as a possible second round pick this year.
  • Wheat Hotchkiss of NBA.com looks at the adversity that Keith Appling, Andre Dawkins, and Scottie Wilbekin have had to overcome, and the draft prospects for each player.
  • NBA.com published their prospect profile on Arizona’s Nick Johnson. Johnson, who averaged 16.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.8 APG last season is a projected second round pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
  • The Nuggets have workouts scheduled Friday with Johnson, Jerrelle Benimon, Sykes, and Brandon Jefferson the team announced via NBA.com.
  • On Friday, the Pacers are set to work out Davion Berry, DeAndre Daniels, Will Sheehey, Russ Smith, Xavier Thames, and Kendall Williams, the team announced via Twitter.
  • Walter Tavares worked out for the Pacers today, reports Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link).

Draft Notes: Gordon, Kings, Napier, Stauskas

Aaron Gordon reveals some of the experiences he had while working out for the Kings, Lakers, and Jazz to Tzvi Twersky of SLAM Magazine. Gordon mentions shooting alongside Chris Mullin and playing defense against Doug McDermott among other details. Here’s a rundown of tonight’s other draft notes:

  • Cleanthony Earl and Glenn Robinson III will work out for the Kings next week, reports Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (subscription only).
  • Xavier Thames will work out for the Kings and Pacers, tweets Sean Cunningham of News10 Sacramento.
  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com adds the Thunder, Grizzlies, and Celtics to the list of teams that have auditioned Shabazz Napier (Insider only).
  • Nik Stauskas has rescheduled his scrubbed workout with the Lakers, the ESPN scribe adds.
  •  The Wolves will be working out K.J. McDaniels, Rodney Hood, and P.J. Hairston this weekend, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Wolfson adds that more players could be lined up for workouts in Minnesota in addition to those three.
  • Stephen Holt will work out for the Warriors, tweets Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group.