RJ Nembhard

Contract Details: Gabriel, K. Edwards, Cannady, More

During the final three days of the regular season, five NBA players who had been on two-way contracts were promoted to their respective teams’ 15-man rosters.

[RELATED: 2021/22 NBA Two-Way Contract Conversions]

Three of those five players – Jazz guard Trent Forrest, Suns forward Ish Wainright, and Cavaliers Moses Brown – received straight conversions, having their contracts turned into one-year, minimum-salary contracts, Hoops Rumors has learned. Forrest, Wainright, and Brown will be eligible to play in the postseason with their respective teams, but won’t be under contract beyond the 2021/22 season.

The other two – Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel and Nets forward Kessler Edwards – signed two-year, minimum-salary deals that include team options for the 2022/23 season. Their clubs will have the opportunity to bring them back for another year if they pick up those options before the June 29 deadline. Gabriel’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if his option is exercised.

Here are a few more details on contracts signed in recent days:

  • The Magic used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Devin Cannady a three-year deal and a $100K rest-of-season salary on Sunday, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. A minimum-salary contract would’ve been limited to two years and would’ve resulted in a rest-of-season salary of just $8,558. Smith adds that Cannady’s second- and third-year salaries (worth the minimum) are non-guaranteed, with a team option on the 2023/24 season.
  • The Bucks dipped into their mid-level exception in order to give Rayjon Tucker a three-year, minimum-salary deal, according to Smith (Twitter link). The contract is non-guaranteed beyond this season.
  • Juwan Morgan‘s new two-year deal with the Celtics includes a minimum-salary team option for 2022/23, tweets Smith. Morgan’s salary will remain non-guaranteed even if the option is exercised.
  • Chaundee Brown‘s new two-way contract with the Hawks is a two-year deal, while the two-ways signed in recent days by Mac McClung (Lakers) and RJ Nembhard (Cavaliers) were just rest-of-season agreements, Hoops Rumors has learned. The majority of the players on two-way deals will be free agents this summer, but Brown is one of 13 who is also under contract for 2022/23, as our tracker shows.

Cavaliers Bring Back RJ Nembhard On Two-Way Deal

Shooting guard RJ Nembhard has returned to the Cavaliers on a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

Nembhard originally signed a two-way deal with Cleveland in October and was converted to a standard contract on March 31. He was waived Thursday to give the Cavs a roster opening to convert Moses Brown‘s contract, a move that was confirmed in today’s press release.

A rookie out of TCU, the 23-year-old Nembhard appeared in 13 games this season, playing just 4.6 minutes per night. He had a much bigger role with the Cavaliers’ G League affiliate, averaging 24.5 points, 8.1 rebounds an 5.5 assists in 23 games.

It’s unclear if Nembhard’s new contract is for one or two years. If it’s a one-year deal, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. A two-year deal would give Cleveland the option of keeping Nembhard in one of the team’s two-way slots next season.

Cavaliers Waive RJ Nembhard

The Cavaliers have waived guard RJ Nembhard, who was recently promoted to a standard contract from a two-way deal, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

As Fedor observes, waiving Nembhard creates an opening for Moses Brown or Brandon Goodwin to be promoted from their two-way contracts, but Cleveland hasn’t decided which route to take with the standard spot available. Both players were ahead of Nembhard in the team’s rotation.

Nembhard, 23, signed with Cleveland last summer after going undrafted out of TCU and was given a two-way deal before the start of the season. He has played in just 13 NBA games, averaging 4.6 minutes per night, and spent much of his time in the G League, where he put up 24.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 22 games.

Although Nembhard was only on a standard contract with the Cavs for a week, the deal will pay him $58,493.

At 43-37, the Cavs are currently the No. 7 seed in the East with two games remaining. Their last two games are in Brooklyn on Friday and at home against Milwaukee on Sunday. Cleveland has been playing poorly recently, going 2-7 over the last nine games.

Central Notes: Bickerstaff, Nembhard, P. Williams, Key, Vildoza

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was fined $15K on Monday for his public criticism of the league’s officiating, the NBA announced in a press release. Bickerstaff griped about the foul calls on Sunday following a 112-108 loss to Philadelphia in which James Harden and Joel Embiid combined to attempt 32 free throws.

“We deserved to win that game. That game was taken from us,” Bickerstaff said, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “We did a great job defensively, making their two best players have a difficult time from the field. But one thing you can’t defend is the free throw line. That’s absurd. That’s absurd. Our guys deserve way better than what they got tonight.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • RJ Nembhard‘s new contract with the Cavaliers is a straight-up conversion from his two-way deal, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Nembhard, who will earn $58,493 on the prorated minimum-salary contract, remains on track for restricted free agency this offseason.
  • Having returned from a wrist injury on March 21, Patrick Williams is playing increasingly well for the Bulls as the postseason nears, according to Cole Huff of The Athletic, who says the second-year forward has been “efficient and opportunistic” on offense while showcasing his usual versatility on the defensive end. Having already displayed the potential to be a long-term cornerstone in Chicago, Williams could help in the short term too and be an asset in the playoffs if he keeps progressing, Huff writes.
  • Braxton Key‘s new two-way contract with the Pistons is a two-year agreement, covering 2022/23 as well as the rest of this season, league sources tell our JD Shaw (Twitter link).
  • Luca Vildoza‘s two-year deal with the Bucks will be non-guaranteed for next season, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

Cavaliers Promote RJ Nembhard To Standard Deal, Sign Moses Brown To Two-Way Contract

MARCH 31: The Cavs have officially promoted Nembhard to a standard deal and signed Brown to a two-way contract, reports Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).


MARCH 30: The Cavaliers will convert guard RJ Nembhard to a standard contract and give his two-way spot to Moses Brown, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Nembhard, 23, signed with Cleveland last summer after going undrafted out of TCU and was given a two-way deal before the start of the season. He has played in just 12 NBA games, averaging 4.8 minutes per night, and spent much of his time in the G League, where he put up 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 13 games.

Brown, 22, was on the last night of his second 10-day contract with the Cavs, so the team had to make a roster move to keep him. He made his first start for Cleveland tonight, posting 12 points and nine rebounds in a loss to Dallas.

Brown, who was traded twice last summer, started the season with the Mavericks and averaged 3.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 26 games before being waived at the trade deadline in February. He has also spent time with the Trail Blazers and Thunder.

The Cavaliers will have a roster opening with Brown’s 10-day contract expiring, so no other moves will be necessary to complete the signings.

COVID-19 Updates: Suns, Blazers, Rockets, Wolves, More

Here are the latest health and safety protocols updates from around the NBA:

Entering the protocols:

  • Jae Crowder and Elfrid Payton have become the first two Suns players to enter the COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
  • The Trail Blazers‘ outbreak continues to grow, with Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller among the players now in the protocols, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Seven Portland players have been placed in the protocols since Friday.
  • Rockets guard Garrison Mathews became the second Houston guard to enter the protocols today, joining teammate D.J. Augustin, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Timberwolves big man Naz Reid is now in the health and safety protocols, bringing Minnesota’s list of affected players up to eight, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.
  • The Thunder announced today that they’ve placed rookie guard Tre Mann in the protocols. Oklahoma City now has two players affected — Mann and Darius Bazley.

Exiting the protocols:

  • Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to action on Sunday when the Kings hosted Memphis. Fox had been in the health and safety protocols since December 16.
  • A pair of TimberwolvesPatrick Beverley and Josh Okogie – are no longer in the health and safety protocols, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. They’re both listed as questionable for Monday’s game vs. Boston.
  • Clippers forward Marcus Morris has cleared the health and safety protocols, though he remained inactive on Sunday as he goes through a reconditioning period, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
  • Cavaliers wing RJ Nembhard was no longer listed on the team’s injury report on Sunday and played vs. Toronto, so he’s out of the protocols. Isaac Okoro has exited the protocols too, though he’s still working his way back, according to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (Twitter link via Kelsey Russo of The Athletic).

Five More Cavaliers Players Enter Protocols

12:28 PM: The five players who have entered the protocols are Allen, Lamar Stevens, Dylan Windler, Denzel Valentine and RJ Nembhard, the Cavaliers announced (via Twitter). Their game with the Hawks Sunday has been postponed due to the outbreak.


11:24 AM: Tonight’s game between the Cavaliers and Hawks is expected to be postponed, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It would be the third game of the season to be called off, following the Bulls’ games this week against the Pistons and Raptors.


11:21 AM: Center Jarrett Allen is among the five players being placed in the protocols, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Allen has been among the reasons for Cleveland’s turnaround, averaging 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 28 games.


10:30 AM: Five Cavaliers tested positive for COVID-19 today and there are concerns that the team may not have eight available players for tonight’s game in Atlanta, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Cleveland is already without Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro, who both entered the protocols this week.

Most players who would be eligible to join the team under the hardship provision are currently in Las Vegas for the G League Showcase, explains Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Travel issues would make it difficult for any of them to be in Atlanta by game time.

The Cleveland players haven’t been identified yet, but because they tested positive, they will have to spend 10 days in the protocols unless they can submit two consecutive negative tests for the virus at least 24 hours apart. The Cavaliers, one of the season’s early surprises with a 19-12 record, are scheduled to play four times in the next 10 days, including tonight’s game.

Follow all the latest COVID-19 updates in our daily tracker.

Cavs Convert Fall, Nembhard To Two-Way Deals; Waive Three Players

1:13pm: The Cavaliers have officially announced all the moves outlined below.


10:45am: The Cavaliers are signing center Tacko Fall to a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The team is also converting RJ Nembhard‘s contract to a two-way deal, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Additionally, Cleveland is trimming its roster by waiving Justin James, Kyle Guy and Mitch Ballock, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. They are expected to join the Cleveland Charge once they clear waivers, Fedor adds.

Fall was signed to a non-guaranteed contract in early September. The 7’6” big man appeared in three preseason games and made enough of an impression to earn the two-way deal.  He spent two seasons with the Celtics, averaging 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 0.9 BPG in 26 games.

Nembhard was also signed to a non-guaranteed contract in early September. He played for Miami’s summer league team after going undrafted. Nembhard was a redshirt junior for TCU in 2020/21 and averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.0 APG in 24 games (34.9 MPG).

Brodric Thomas, who had been a two-way deal last season, was waived this week.

Cavaliers Sign RJ Nembhard

10:00pm: The Cavaliers have officially signed Nembhard to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, per RealGM.


3:01pm: The Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a deal with undrafted free agent RJ Nembhard, according to our JD Shaw (Twitter link), who reports that Nembhard will compete for a roster spot in training camp.

Nembhard was a redshirt junior for TCU in 2020/21 and averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.0 APG in 24 games (34.9 MPG). The 6’5″ guard boosted his three-point percentage to 33.9% and made the All-Big 12 Third Team.

News of Nembhard’s agreement with the Cavaliers comes as a bit of a surprise, since Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after the draft that the rookie had agreed to a deal with the Heat. However, Woj’s report didn’t specify that Nembhard would attend training camp with the Heat — the 22-year-old played for Miami’s Summer League team, but it appears he’ll sign his first NBA contract with the Cavs rather than the Heat.

The Cavaliers have been busy in the last week, having signed Tacko Fall and Tre Scott to training camp deals and agreed to terms with Mitch Ballock as well. Like those camp invitees, Nembhard figures to receive a non-guaranteed contract that could put him in the mix for a two-way contract or even a spot on the 15-man roster. He’d also be a candidate to join the Cavs’ G League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge, if he’s cut before the regular season begins.

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Pacers, Butler, Heat

The two second-round picks the Bucks sent to the Grizzlies in the Grayson Allen trade were the 2024 and 2026 selections Milwaukee had just acquired from Indiana in a trade for the No. 31 pick, according to RealGM.

In the deal with Indiana, Milwaukee gave up the No. 31 selection in exchange for this year’s Nos. 54 and 60 selections along with those two future second-rounders. The team subsequently flipped the second-rounders to Memphis along with Sam Merrill for Allen.

The upshot is that the Bucks gave up Merrill and the No. 31 pick (Isaiah Todd) in exchange for Allen, the No. 54 pick (Sandro Mamukelashvili), and the No. 60 pick (Georgios Kalaitzakis).

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The Pacers officially announced a pair of additions to Rick Carlisle‘s staff, stating in a press release that Jannero Pargo has been hired as a player development assistant and Zach Chu has come aboard as the team’s manager of game strategy and analytics. Pargo spent the last two seasons with Portland, while Chu worked under Carlisle in Dallas.
  • Jimmy Butler‘s new maximum-salary extension with the Heat will actually be a three-year deal that begins in 2023/24, meaning it’s being tacked onto his 2022/23 player option, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Instagram video). Butler’s salary in ’23/24 will likely be 35% of that year’s cap, so the exact value of his extension isn’t yet known.
  • The Heat are taking their usual approach to their two-way contract slots, not filling them right away and instead auditioning several players for those openings. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, the next week at the Las Vegas Summer League could go a long way toward determining which players have the leg up for those spots. Javonte Smart, A.J. Lawson, RJ Nembhard, Micah Potter, and Marcus Garrett are expected to be in the mix.