Reggie Hearn

Pistons Waive Hearn; Lofton Gets Two-Way Deal

2:30pm: The Pistons have officially announced both moves in a press release.

1:25pm: The Pistons will reach the regular season roster limit by converting Zach Lofton‘s Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way deal and waiving two-way player Reggie Hearn, sources inform James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter links). The moves will leave Detroit with 15 players on standard contracts and two on two-way pacts.

Lofton, who turns 26 in November, played college ball for four different schools, eventually finishing his college career at New Mexico State in 2017/18. The 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 20.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG with a .456/.380/.772 shooting line in his senior year, but went undrafted in June. After signing a camp deal with the Pistons, Lofton reportedly impressed the team this fall — we heard last week that he was making a strong case for a two-way contract.

As for Hearn, he was one of the Detroit’s two-way players last season, having inked a two-year deal with the club. Although he was solid in the G League, averaging 14.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG on .423/.370/.842 shooting, he appeared in just three games for the Pistons.

Given the positional overlap between Hearn and Lofton, it makes sense that Hearn would be the odd man out if the Pistons were determined to keep Lofton.

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.

Pistons Notes: Robinson III, Nori, Hearn

The Pistons nabbed former Michigan Wolverine Glenn Robinson III for two years at just north of $8MM. His goal this season, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes, is to contend for a starting gig.

Before joining the Pistons, Robinson III made a name for himself as a sharp-shooting reserve on a Pacers team but an early ankle injury early last season threw a wrench in what could have been a breakout year in 2017/18.

Looming large ahead of Robinson on the Pistons’ depth chart is Stanley Johnson but the new addition could carve out a meaningful role for himself thanks to his long-range shooting regardless.

There’s more out of Detroit this evening:

  • The Pistons will bring Micah Nori aboard to join Dwane Casey‘s coaching staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The club will also bring aboard former Warriors analytics ace Sammy Gelfand, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes.
  • The Pistons will return a number of key rotation players this season, while integrating a number of fresh faces eager to compete for minutes. Rod Beard of The Detroit News breaks down what fans can make of each player currently on the roster.
  • The Pistons retain the rights to 2017/18 two-way player Reggie Hearn, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets and the guard is hopeful to return to the team’s G League affiliate this season.

And-Ones: Brown, Motiejunas, Broekhoff, USA Basketball

Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown will sign his contract to become the head coach of the Euroleague’s Fiat Torino on Sunday, according to a Sportando report. Brown’s agent, Massimo Rizzo, said his client has already signed a letter of intent to coach the club but won’t ink the official contract until his press conference this weekend, the report adds. The 77-year-old will be taking his first head coaching position since resigning from Southern Methodist two years ago.

We have more international and domestic basketball news:

  • Forward Donatas Motiejunas will remain in China next season, Sportando relays. He re-signed with Shandong for approximately $3MM, the report adds. Motiejunas played 34 games with the Pelicans in 2016/17 after beginning his career with the Rockets, but long-terms concerns over the soundness of his back sidetracked his NBA career.
  • Australian swingman Ryan Broekhoff has visited several teams this week hoping to land an NBA contract, HoopsHype tweets. Broekhoff, who went undrafted out of Valparaiso in 2013, was scheduled to visit and work out for the Wizards, Timberwolves, Bucks and Nets, HoopsHype adds.
  • Reggie Hearn, Jonathan Holmes, Amile Jefferson, David Stockton and Xavier Munford are among the 14 players who will be on the training camp roster for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team, according a USA Basketball press release. Training camp begins on Wednesday and the final roster will be pared to 12 players.  In the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games, the U.S. will face Mexico on June 28th in Mexico City and Cuba on July 1st in Havana.
  • The Hornets and Raptors are interested in adding Sergio Scariolo, who is currently the head coach of the Spanish national team, to their staffs, according to another Sportando post.

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Ellenson, Jackson, Smith

The Pistons’ faint playoff hopes were officially snuffed out on Wednesday night, when Detroit’s loss to Philadelphia eliminated the club from postseason contention. While the Pistons don’t have a ton to play for in the season’s final four games, injured star Blake Griffin continues to push for a return from his ankle injury and Stan Van Gundy hasn’t ruled out that possibility, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details. Still, Detroit’s head coach doesn’t sound desperate to get Griffin back on the court.

“I don’t know if that’s going to come or not,” Van Gundy said. “We’ve only got six days left. Four games in six days. Whether we see him again, I have no idea. But it’s certainly no better than 50-50.”

With Griffin still on the shelf for now, expect to see plenty of Henry Ellenson down the stretch for the Pistons, writes Langlois.

Here’s more out of Detroit:

  • How different might the Pistons’ season have looked if Reggie Jackson had been able to stay healthy? As Ansar Khan of MLive.com notes, Detroit had a 25-16 record in games Jackson played, which is a stat Van Gundy could point to when he meets with owner Tom Gores after the regular season ends.
  • Although the Pistons are officially out of the playoffs, there are still some important developments to watch down the stretch, says Rod Beard of The Detroit News. As Beard observes, Ellenson, Luke Kennard, and Stanley Johnson should get a significant chunk of minutes in the club’s final four games — and the Pistons could get to .500 without compromising their lottery position by winning their remaining games.
  • Ish Smith has seen action with 10 different teams in eight NBA seasons, but he has finally found a home with the Pistons, Beard writes in another piece for The Detroit News. Smith has one more year left on his contract with Detroit after this season.
  • With the 2017/18 season now in the books for the Grand Rapids Drive, expect two-way players Kay Felder and Reggie Hearn to be with the Pistons the rest of the way, tweets Beard.

Pistons Notes: Trade Talks, S. Johnson, Griffin

The Pistons have already completed a deal that will likely go down as the biggest in-season trade of the 2017/18 season, acquiring Blake Griffin last week from the Clippers. Still, that doesn’t mean Detroit is ready to sit out this week’s deadline.

“[GM Jeff Bower] is always working,” president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy said today, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link). “I don’t know that we will do anything or we won’t. I couldn’t put a percentage on the possibilities, but Jeff is still working.”

With Griffin and Andre Drummond – the latest Eastern Conference player of the week – leading the frontcourt, Van Gundy was asked about the possibility of adding a third star to that duo and creating a “Big Three” for the Pistons. In Van Gundy’s view though, the club already has a solid third option on the roster.

“To me, the third piece is Reggie [Jackson],” Van Gundy said, per Beard (Twitter link). “That’s pretty good. That’s a pretty good three. We’ve got it in place. We just don’t have it on the court right now.”

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • With the possibility of another trade looming, Ansar Khan of MLive.com runs through the entire Pistons’ roster, examining each player’s value and odds of being dealt.
  • Stanley Johnson‘s name has surfaced repeatedly in trade rumors this season, and according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), the Knicks are one team that has been monitoring the third-year forward. Ellis adds that he’d be “stunned” to see Johnson moved, however.
  • The acquisition of Griffin has re-energized the Pistons and their fan base, Beard writes for The Detroit News. Within the same piece, Beard notes that two-way players Kay Felder or Reggie Hearn could be in line for a call-up from the G League if Detroit’s need for backcourt help persists.
  • Earlier today, we passed along the latest on the Pistons’ reported interest in Rodney Hood.

Pistons Sign Reggie Hearn To Two-Way Deal, Waive Luis Montero

JANUARY 15, 2:43pm: The Pistons have made their deal with Hearn official, confirming in a press release that they’ve waived Montero. The team also announced Felder’s signing.

JANUARY 14, 1:26pm: The Pistons will waive Montero and sign both Hearn and Felder to two-way contracts, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Their pro-rated deals will give them each 22 days in the NBA.

12:50pm: The Pistons are close to finalizing a two-way contract with G League guard Reggie Hearn, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Hearn, who was in training camp with the Kings, has been playing for the Reno Bighorns and is averaging 14.7 points in 14 games.

The Pistons currently have Luis Montero filling one two-way spot and were reported yesterday to to be close to a deal with Kay Felder for the other one, so either the Felder deal fell through or some other roster move is in the works. Detroit converted Dwight Buycks‘ two-way deal to a regular contract on Friday.

USA Basketball Announces Roster For First World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, bringing back four members of the squad that won gold earlier this year in FIBA’s AmeriCup tournament.

Here’s Team USA’s full 12-man roster:

The squad, which will be coached once again by Jeff Van Gundy, is comprised almost entirely of G League players, since most of the qualifying tournaments take place during the NBA season, preventing NBA players from participating. Team USA’s goal is for Van Gundy’s squad of G Leaguers to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in August and September, when NBA players will be free to participate.

The new-look USA Basketball program is off to a good start, having gone 5-0 this summer to win a gold medal at the AmeriCup tournament. Drew, Hearn, Munford, and Warney were all part of that team.

This time around, Team USA will face Puerto Rico on November 23 and then Mexico on November 26. After those contests, the first round of World Cup qualifiers will resume in February before concluding in July. The top three teams in each first-round group will advance to the second round, which begins in September 2018 and concludes in February 2019, so the qualifying process will take some time to play out.

Meanwhile, the G League teams temporarily losing players to Team USA will be permitted one free move per lost player from the available player pool, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days.

Kings Waive Three Players

The Kings got down to the regular season roster limit on Saturday by parting with three players, according to RealGM’s official NBA transactions log. Sacramento waived camp invitees Matt Jones, David Stockton, and Reggie Hearn.

Jones, a 6’5″ guard out of Duke, received an Exhibit 10 contract when he signed with the Kings, so he’s a good bet to land in the G League with the Reno Bighorns as an affiliate player, earning him a modest bonus.

Stockton and Hearn, meanwhile, have been mainstays at Reno in recent years, so it makes sense that they’d return to the Bighorns for the coming season. Details of the contracts they signed with Sacramento earlier this week aren’t known, but there’s a good chance they include Exhibit 10 clauses as well, to ensure both players get a little extra bonus money for heading back to the G League.

With the three cuts, the Kings are now ready for the regular season, with 15 players on NBA contracts and two on two-way deals.

Kings Sign Reggie Hearn, David Stockton

The Kings have signed Reggie Hearn and David Stockton, according to a team press release.

Hearn played for Sacramento’s G League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, over the past three seasons. During the 2016/17 campaign, he averaged 13.5 points while shooting 44.2% from downtown.

Stockton played for the Bighorns during three separate stints since 2014. He supplemented his G-League experiences with contracts in Croatia and New Zealand.

The Kings’ roster now stands at 20 players. Sacramento is likely to waive both players before the season begins and the duo is expected to suit up for the Bighorns as a result.