Zach Norvell

Bulls Release Zach Norvell, Simi Shittu

The Bulls have waived shooting guard Zach Norvell and power forward Simisola Shittu, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Norvell and Shittu were training camp invitees for the Bulls and saw limited action in the club’s four preseason contests. Norvell had 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 40 total minutes, while Shittu put up 17 points and grabbed 10 boards in just 24 total minutes.

Neither player had a full or partial guarantee on his contract, so the Bulls won’t be on the hook for any dead money. Typically, both Norvell and Shittu would be candidates to play for the Windy City Bulls in the G League. However, Ridiculous Upside and Sportando have both reported that Chicago’s NBAGL affiliate isn’t expected to take part in the league’s proposed bubble.

The Bulls are now carrying 15 players on standard contracts (all guaranteed) and a pair on two-way deals, so their roster may be set for the regular season.

Bulls Sign Zach Norvell To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 28: The Bulls have officially signed Norvell, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

NOVEMBER 26: The Bulls have reached an agreement to sign free agent shooting guard Zach Norvell to a one-year contract, his agents at Priority Sports tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). No further details on the agreement were provided, but I’d expected it to be a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

After going undrafted out of Gonzaga in 2019, Norvell signed a two-way contract with the Lakers for the start of the ’19/20 season. He was waived last December and then briefly returned to the NBA in February when he signed a 10-day contract with Golden State.

Norvell, who will turn 23 next month, only logged 41 minutes across five games at the NBA level, but appeared in 36 G League contests, recording 14.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.9 APG on .397/.388/.814 shooting.

Once the Bulls finalize the signing of Norvell and the rest of their reported roster moves, they’ll have just one spot left on their 20-man offseason roster, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Pacific Notes: Simmons, Thompson, Harrell, Caruso

Swingman Jonathon Simmons is among the non-roster players joining the Warriors for their mini-camp, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Simmons joined the Warriors’ G League team in Santa Cruz in February after having played a combined 56 games with Orlando and Philadelphia in 2018/19. Zach Norvell, Jeremy Pargo, Ryan Taylor, and Roger Moute a Bidias are the other non-roster players participating in the mini-camp.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Klay Thompson will be able to practice without restrictions, but there are still some questions to be answered during the Warriors’ mini-camp, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. While reports have been encouraging, Thompson still has to show he can regain the form he had prior to tearing his ACL. Kevon Looney, who underwent core muscle injury in May, could also answer some questions about his health if he looks sharp on the court, Poole adds.
  • The Clippers probably won’t re-sign forward Montrezl Harrell unless it’s a sign-and-trade scenario, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines. The likely contract demands of the league’s Sixth Man Award winner, coupled with his limitations and subpar playoff performances, make him a prime candidate for a sign-and-trade, Buha continues. The team will also look for an upgrade at point guard, though there won’t be a lot of attractive alternatives in free agency.
  • Guard Alex Caruso has become an essential role player for the Lakers and the stats prove it, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times notes. In Caruso’s 18.4 MPG during the regular season, the Lakers were 9.8 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents. During the postseason, the Lakers’ best defensive lineups have often been with Caruso on the court. He can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Warriors To Replace Pargo, Norvell On Roster?

FEBRUARY 19: Despite an earlier report (outlined below) that suggested Pargo would probably return to the Warriors, Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears that the team is expected to sign new players soon to replace Pargo and Norvell.

That doesn’t mean that Pargo – or Norvell – won’t re-sign with Golden State later in the season, but it sounds like the team is casting a wider net as it evaluates back-of-the-roster players.

FEBRUARY 18: A pair of players on 10-day contracts with the Warriors saw those deals expire on Monday night, as guards Jeremy Pargo and Zach Norvell are now technically free agents. Golden State’s roster count has dipped back down to 12 players, and the club will have up to two weeks to return to the league-mandated minimum of 14 players.

Although the Warriors may not wait the full two weeks to fill out their roster, they seem unlikely to make a move for at least a couple more days, since their schedule doesn’t resume until Thursday against Houston.

There’s no guarantee that both Pargo and Norvell return for another 10-day contract – or a full-season deal – but Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle suggests that Pargo’s time in Golden State probably isn’t over yet. A source tells Letourneau that the Warriors are expected to let Pargo finish the season on the NBA roster.

Pargo, who turns 34 next month and hadn’t played in the NBA since 2013, was an unlikely G League call-up for the Warriors, but he has played well in three games with the team, averaging 8.3 PPG and 2.7 APG with a .500 FG% and .429 3PT% in 14.7 MPG. As Letourneau relays, head coach Steve Kerr has been impressed with the veteran guard.

“You watch him play, and he fits,” Kerr said. “He’s an NBA player. It’s good to see him out there, and I’m glad we’re able to give him this opportunity because he’s earned it.”

While Pargo intends to play professionally for several more years, he’s not necessarily counting on this season as a springboard to further NBA opportunities, per Letourneau. The former Gonzaga standout says he’s just trying to “enjoy the moment” with the Warriors and see what happens next. According to Letourneau, Pargo has already emerged as a respected elder statesman in Golden State, where he’s the oldest player on the roster.

“The biggest thing for me is that guys like Jordan (Poole) and Ky (Bowman), they really listen to what I have to say,” said Pargo, who has played in just 86 total NBA games. “They don’t go, ‘Oh, you’re not this or that.’ They listen, and that means a lot.”

Warriors Sign Zach Norvell To 10-Day Deal

FEBRUARY 8: The Warriors have signed Norvell to his 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release. The contract will cover Golden State’s next three games and will expire during the All-Star break.

FEBRUARY 6: The Warriors are not done making moves. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), the team will sign Zach Norvell to a 10-day contract.

The shooting guard suited up for the Lakers earlier this season, as he was on a two-way deal with Los Angeles. He was waived in December with only five minutes of NBA playing time to his name.

The Warriors had several open roster spots after making a handful moves at the trade deadline. They’re on track to fill three vacancies with Norvell, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Ky Bowman, with Marquese Chriss likely to be promoted to the 15-man roster at some point.

Even if all four of those players are officially added to the standard roster, Golden State would still have two open spots.

Lakers Waive Zach Norvell Jr., Sign Devontae Cacok

7:30pm: The Lakers have officially signed Cacok to a two-way contract and waived Norvell, the team announced in a press release.

3:38pm: The Lakers are making a change to one of their two-way contract slots, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the club is waiving guard Zach Norvell Jr. and signing big man Devontae Cacok.

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Norvell, who went undrafted earlier this year, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers on the first day of the league year in July. He has logged just five minutes in two games with the NBA club this season, spending most of his time with the South Bay Lakers. In 23 G League games (24.7 MPG), he averaged 13.3 PPG on .353/.340/.867 shooting.

Cacok, meanwhile, was in camp with the Lakers this fall on an Exhibit 10 contract but was cut at the end of the preseason when the team set its regular season roster. He reported to South Bay as an affiliate player and has been productive as a member of the Lakers’ G League squad, recording 16.3 PPG and 11.7 RPG with a .669 FG% in 12 games (22.8 MPG).

Because he’s signing his two-way contract partway through the regular season, Cacok will be eligible to spend up to 33 days with the Lakers, a prorated portion of the usual 45-day limit.

Kostas Antetokounmpo is the Lakers’ other two-way player. His status remains unchanged.

Lakers Sign Zach Norvell Jr. To Two-Way Contract

The Lakers have formally signed undrafted Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported shortly after the draft that the team would use one of its two-way slots on Norvell.

Norvell was a player viewed by many draft experts as a strong candidate to be selected last month after he left the Zags following his sophomore season. He ranked 15th on ESPN’s list of prospects who went undrafted.

The shooting guard was a top perimeter threat for the Zags in 2018/19, averaging 14.9 PPG and shooting 37.0% from outside the three-point line (2.6 makes per game).

The Lakers also have a two-way qualifying offer out to Johnathan Williams, who had a two-way deal with the club last season.

Lakers Agree To Sign Zach Norvell, Devontae Cacok

The Lakers have reached deals with a pair of undrafted free agents following the conclusion of the 2019 draft. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the team will sign Zach Norvell Jr. to a two-way contract, while ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets that Devontae Cacok will ink an Exhibit 10 contract with L.A.

Norvell was a player viewed by many draft experts as a strong candidate to be selected on Thursday night after he left Gonzaga following his sophomore season. He ranks 15th on ESPN’s list of prospects who went undrafted. The shooting guard was a top perimeter threat for the Zags in 2018/19, averaging 14.9 PPG and shooting 37.0% from outside the three-point line (2.6 makes per game).

Two of Norvell’s teammates, Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, were first-round picks on Thursday, so Norvell will become the third Gonzaga player to enter the NBA as a rookie this year.

As for Cacok, the UNC Wilmington forward isn’t as notable a name as Norvell, but he had a solid senior season in 2018/19, posting a double-double in 33 games (15.2 PPG, 12.3 RPG). His Exhibit 10 deal will make him a candidate to either become an affiliate player for the South Bay Lakers or to have his contract converted into a two-way pact.

Central Notes: Bulls, Gasol, Cavs, Pacers, Pistons

There’s a growing belief around the NBA that the Bulls are open to discussing trades for anyone on their roster – and any assets they hold – besides Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., sources familiar with the team’s plans tell Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Still, while the Bulls will likely consider a number of trade options this offseason, Mayberry makes a case that the club shouldn’t part ways with the No. 7 overall pick. Mayberry argues that cashing in their chips now for a veteran could be both premature and risky for the Bulls, who would have marginal assets available going forward. Plus, the No. 7 selection has proven valuable for the franchise in recent years — Markkanen and Carter were both selected at that spot.

Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tackles a handful of Bulls-related topics in his latest mailbag, exploring draft, trade, and free agency options. Johnson believes the Bulls would “absolutely” try to get involved as a facilitator in a multi-team Anthony Davis trade, and later suggests that if Chicago pursues an RFA point guard, Malcolm Brogdon is probably a more realistic target than D’Angelo Russell.

Here’s more from around the Central:

Draft Updates: Bol, Claxton, Norvell, Green Room

As expected, Oregon center Bol Bol held a Pro Day on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that about a dozen NBA teams attended the event, including five general managers. Bol, who is viewed as one of the draft’s biggest high-risk, high-reward prospects, is coming back from surgery on his left foot and wanted to use the Pro Day to ease concerns about his health, says Givony.

Givony adds that Bol showed on Wednesday why he’s considered a top-five prospect in terms of talent, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) also hears from teams that the young big man looked good. However, Vecenie points out that the questions about Bol weren’t going to get answered in a non-contact open gym setting. He remains one of the draft’s most intriguing wild cards.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Georgia big man Nicolas Claxton has canceled and shut down all of his workouts for non-lottery teams, a source tells Vecenie (Twitter link). Claxton, who ranks 29th on ESPN’s big board, feels good about where he’ll be picked based on the feedback he’s received so far, per Vecenie.
  • Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr., the 63rd prospect on ESPN’s big board, said today he’s been told he’s projected to be drafted in the 20-40 range, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Norvell also said that he’s had 15 workouts during the pre-draft process (Twitter link).
  • Two more draft prospects have been invited to the Green Room for next Thursday’s event, according to reports. Jonathan Givony of tweets that Georgian center Goga Bitadze has received an invite, while Evan Daniels of adds Keldon Johnson (Kentucky) to the list (Twitter link). Sixteen other Green Room invitees were previously reported.
  • In addition to his previously-reported workouts, Cameron Johnson (UNC) has auditioned for the Timberwolves, Celtics, Thunder, Sixers, and Warriors, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) named several of their favorite draft sleepers, singling out Grant Williams (Tennessee), Dylan Windler (Belmont), and Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), among others.