Zavier Simpson

Grizzlies Sign Zavier Simpson, Jack White Via Hardship Exceptions

The Grizzlies have re-signed guard Zavier Simpson following the expiration of his initial 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Simpson, 27, appeared in three games during his first 10 days with Memphis, averaging 5.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 24.0 minutes per night. He made just 22.7% of his field goal attempts, though he did knock down 3-of-8 three-pointers (37.5%).

The Grizzlies have also signed forward Jack White, according to today’s announcement. It will be White’s first time back on an NBA roster since he was waived by Oklahoma City in October.

White, who appeared in 17 NBA regular season games in 2022/23 as a member of the Nuggets, has spent this season with the South Bay Lakers in the G League. In 29 total appearances for the Lakers’ NBAGL affiliate, he averaged 9.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.8 APG on .442/.321/.595 shooting.

Both Simpson and White were technically signed to 10-day contracts via hardship exceptions, which the Grizzlies qualified for due to the number of injured players on their roster. The deals will cover only the six days left in the regular season, however, before both players return to free agency. The club won’t hold any form of Bird rights this offseason on either player.

White will take Maozinha Pereira‘s spot on Memphis’ roster. Like Simpson, Pereira was on a 10-day contract that expired overnight on Monday, but it was his second 10-day deal with the Grizzlies, so he was ineligible to sign another one. The team is now carrying three extra players beyond its standard 15, with Simpson and White joining hardship signee Timmy Allen.

Grizzlies Sign Simpson, Pereira To 10-Day Deals

March 30: The Grizzlies officially signed Pereira to a second 10-day deal and added Simpson on a 10-day contract, the team announced (Twitter link).

March 29: The Grizzlies plan to sign free agent guard Zavier Simpson to a 10-day contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Memphis will also re-sign forward Maozinha Pereira to a second 10-day deal, Wojnarowski adds.

A 6’0″ point guard who went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020, Simpson holds one year of NBA experience, having signed a 10-day deal with Oklahoma City at the very end of the 2021/22 season. He appeared in four games and got extended playing time, averaging 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block in 43.5 minutes per contest.

Simpson has spent the majority of his four professional seasons playing in the NBA G League, suiting up for the affiliate teams of the Thunder, Magic and Pistons. He has spent the entire ’23/24 campaign with the Motor City Cruise (Detroit’s affiliate), averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 48 combined regular season and Showcase Cup games (36.6 minutes).

A rookie who hails from Brazil, Pereira averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 6.5 minutes during his first four games with Memphis. He had spent the ’23/24 season with the NBAGL’s Mexico City Capitanes before inking his first NBA contract with the Grizzlies.

Memphis technically has a full 18-man roster, but they’ve been shuffling through 10-day signees throughout the season via hardship exceptions, which is how they’ll be able to sign Simpson and re-sign Pereira.

Pistons Sign, Waive David Nwaba, Three Others

The Pistons have completed a series of signings ahead of the regular season, announcing today (via Twitter) that wings David Nwaba and Treveon Graham, forward/center Nate Roberts, and forward Ryan Turell all received Exhibit 10 deals from the team.

All four players were later waived, per’s transaction log. According to the Pistons (Twitter link), camp invitees Buddy Boeheim, Tosan Evbuomwan, Jontay Porter, and Zavier Simpson were originally cut to make room for the new signees.

Of the four newly signed players, Nwaba has the most NBA experience, having appeared in 237 regular season games from 2017-22 for the Lakers, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nets, and Rockets. He averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game at the NBA level, but didn’t play in the league last season, instead spending most of the season with the Motor City Cruise’s Detroit’s G League affiliate.

Nwaba put up 15.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 27 games (32.1 MPG) for the Cruise last season and appears likely to rejoin the team in 2022/23. His Exhibit 10 contract will put him in line for a bonus worth up to $75K as long as he spends at least 60 days with the club. Graham, Roberts, Turell, Boeheim, Evbuomwan, Porter, and Simpson figure to be headed to the Cruise as well.

Graham, who will turn 30 next Saturday, has 180 games of NBA experience under his belt, but hasn’t been in the league since the 2019/20 season. The former VCU standout has played in the G League and in the Canadian Elite Basketball League since then.

Roberts and Turrell – who went undrafted in 2022 out of Washington and Yeshiva, respectively – were both role players for Motor City last season. The Cruise still control their returning rights.

Notably, Detroit’s series of roster moves didn’t involve Stanley Umude, a training camp standout who was also on an Exhibit 10 deal. The Pistons still have one open 15-man slot and one open two-way slot — Umude looks like a prime candidate to fill one of those openings.

Zavier Simpson Signs Exhibit 10 Contract With Pistons

SEPTEMBER 13: Simpson officially signed with the Pistons on Tuesday, per RealGM’s transaction log.

JULY 27: Free agent point guard Zavier Simpson is signing a one-year contract with the Pistons, Simpson’s agent Daniel Hazan tells Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Sources inform James L. Edwards III of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) that Simpson’s deal will include an Exhibit 10 clause.

The six-footer went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020. He then joined the Thunder’s NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, late into the 2020/21 season. Simpson re-joined the Blue for the 2021/22 season. He finally made his NBA debut with the Thunder proper in April 2022, upon signing a rest-of-season deal.

Across his four contests with Oklahoma City, he averaged 11.0 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 1.0 BPG. It remains his only regular season NBA experience to date.

He joined the Magic’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic (now the Osceola Magic), for 2022/23. He averaged 16.8 PPG, 9.0 APG, and 1.7 SPG across 32 contests, all starts, with Lakeland, posting a shooting line of .524/.474/.580. Simpson made the NBAGL Next Up Game as a result of his play last year. Most recently, he played for Detroit’s Summer League squad this month.

Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, announced in a press release that it has acquired Simpson’s returning player rights through a trade with the Magic’s affiliate team, the Osceola Magic. Motor City is trading a 2024 G League second-rounder, plus the returning rights of Reggie Perry and Devontae Cacok, in exchange for Simpson.

The move signals that Simpson’s deal with the Pistons is meant to ensure he receives an Exhibit 10 bonus and that the team envisions him eventually joining the Cruise.

Central Notes: Simpson, Turner, Bucks’ Christmas Game, Cavs’ Arena

Guard Zavier Simpson gained a spot on the Pistons’ training camp roster and the former Wolverines star is thrilled to wear a Detroit uniform, he told Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

“It’s tremendous,” Simpson said of joining the Pistons. “Being able to be back here, it’s almost like home. Being able to play for the University of Michigan and have a tremendous career, and being able also to come here in Detroit and also play. It’s phenomenal. I’m excited, I love it and obviously the new coaching staff is coming in, which is phenomenal. Blessed to be a part of it, and it’s home so just want to keep working and do the most I can with the opportunity, and leave the results to the results.”

The Pistons’ NBA G League affiliate, Motor City Cruise, recently announced it has acquired Simpson’s returning player rights through a trade with the Magic’s affiliate team.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pacers big man Myles Turner is pleased with the team’s offseason moves, particularly the free agent acquisition of Bruce Brown. “I think we definitely got better,” Turner told Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. “We got that championship mindset with Bruce Brown. He’s fresh off a ‘chip. He could have gone anywhere this summer and he chose to come here and build with this group. I was with (GM Chad Buchanan) last night at the Nike Skills Academy in Portland and we just talked about the opportunity we have this year and a lot of that comes to being better on defense.”
  • The Bucks’ streak of playing on Christmas Day will continue this upcoming season, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays via The Athletic. Milwaukee’s sixth consecutive appearance during the league’s showcase day will come against the Knicks at New York. Milwaukee is 3-2 in Christmas Day games since the streak began.
  • The Cavaliers’ arena, now called the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, will be getting $24.4MM in publicly funded repairs, according to Lucas Daprile of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a subscriber-only story. However, the exact source of those funds remains a mystery.

NBA G League Announces 24 Players For Next Up Game

The NBA G League announced today that G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson and Timberwolves/Iowa Wolves forward Luka Garza have been named team captains for the NBAGL Next Up Game, which will take place in Salt Lake City during All-Star weekend.

While the exhibition match isn’t technically being called a G League All-Star Game, that’s essentially what it is. The 24-player pool was selected by a fan vote and by the league itself.

Henderson averaged 21.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 4.3 RPG in six Showcase Cup games (28.5 MPG) before missing time with an injury. The guard, widely projected to be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, has registered 17.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.5 RPG in 11 regular season games (29.8 MPG) since returning.

Garza, meanwhile, has been dominant at the G League level while playing for the Timberwolves on a two-way contract. He averaged 29.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3.2 APG on .628/.500/.794 shooting in nine Showcase Cup games (34.4 MPG) and has been boosted those averages in two regular season games (32.5 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 5.0 APG) for the Iowa Wolves.

Here’s the full list of players who will take part in the G League Next Up Game:

(* Players marked with an asterisk are on two-way contracts with NBA teams.)

As is the case with the NBA All-Star Game, the team captains – in this case, Henderson and Garza – will select their 12-man squads in a draft. The draft for the G League Next Up Game will take place on February 14.

Magic Sign Morales, Scrubb; Waive Ford, Simpson

The Magic have added guards Alex Morales and Jay Scrubb, the team announced (via Twitter). Training camp invitees Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson were waived to create room on the roster.

The Morales deal becomes official after first being reported in mid-August. The 24-year-old was voted NEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year last season with Wagner and took part in Summer League with the Warriors. Morales has an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract and could wind up with Orlando’s G League affiliate in Lakeland.

Scrubb spent the past two years with the Clippers after being selected with the 55th pick in the 2020 draft. He got into 18 games last season and averaged 2.7 PPG in limited minutes.

Ford and Simpson both had Exhibit 10 deals, so they may also be headed to Lakeland. They signed with Orlando in late September, shortly before the start of training camp. Both players saw action in the preseason, with Ford appearing in three games and Simpson getting into two.

Contract Details: Lakers, Galloway, DSJ, McCollum, More

When the Lakers signed Matt Ryan and Dwayne Bacon to non-guaranteed training camp contracts earlier this month, both players received Exhibit 9 clauses in their new deals, but not Exhibit 10s, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Exhibit 9 contracts are non-guaranteed camp deals that don’t count against the cap during the preseason and offer teams some protection in the event of an injury. Exhibit 10s are similar, but also allow teams to convert the player to a two-way deal (if he’s eligible) or to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate.

As a general rule, a player who signs a training camp contract without an Exhibit 10 clause is usually just competing for a spot on his team’s 15-man regular season roster and won’t end up playing for the club’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t make the cut.

Langston Galloway (Pacers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Hornets), LiAngelo Ball (Hornets), Cody Zeller (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Suns), and Wes Iwundu (Trail Blazers) are among the other recently signed free agents who signed Exhibit 9 – not Exhibit 10 – contracts.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

Magic Sign Aleem Ford, Zavier Simpson, Waive Joel Ayayi

The Magic have set their roster for the start of training camp, signing Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson and placing Joel Ayayi on waivers, the team announced (via Twitter).

Ford, a 24-year-old small forward, got into five games after signing a 10-day contract with Orlando last December when the roster was ravaged by COVID-19. The former Wisconsin star played most of the season with the Magic’s G League affiliate in Lakeland, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31 games.

Simpson, whose signing has been rumored since late July, started four games for the Thunder at the end of last season after inking a 10-day hardship contract in April. The 25-year-old point guard has played mainly in the G League since going undrafted out of Michigan in 2020.

Ayayi, a former two-way player with the Wizards, signed with Orlando 12 days ago and may be ticketed for the G League. The 22-year-old shooting guard saw limited playing time in seven games with Washington last season before being waived in March.

Magic To Sign Zavier Simpson To Exhibit 10 Deal

5:27pm: Simpson will indeed be signing an Exhibit 10 deal, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

5:08pm: The Magic are signing free agent Zavier Simpson, his agent Daniel Hazan tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

While the terms of Simpson’s deal were not disclosed, it’s probably going to be a non-guaranteed contract, possibly an Exhibit 10 deal. As shown by our roster count page, Orlando already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts and both two-way slots filled, and once the contracts for Simpson and Drake Jeffries (Exhibit 10) become official, the Magic will have a 20-man roster, which is the maximum an NBA team can carry during the offseason.

Simpson, 25, went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020 and spent his first two pro seasons with the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. In 35 regular season games (32.4 MPG) with the Blue in 2022, the 6’0″ point guard averaged 14.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.5 APG and 1.8 SPG on .488/.350/.692 shooting.

The Thunder signed Simpson to a 10-day hardship contract to finish out last season as the team dealt with several injuries. In his first taste of NBA action, he averaged 11 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .365/.125/1.000 shooting in four games.

Simpson most recently suited up for the Magic during Summer League in Las Vegas, appearing in five games (three starts, 22.6 MPG) while averaging 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.2 APG, 2.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .357/.286/.600 shooting, per RealGM.

Given the Magic’s lack of open regular season roster spots, the most likely outcome for Simpson is that he’s waived before the regular season begins and subsequently joins Orlando’s G League team in Lakeland as an affiliate player. In that scenario, he’d receive a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with Lakeland.