Rodney McGruder

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/27/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

  • The Spurs recalled rookie guard Derrick White from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. He has averaged 16.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 15 games with Austin.
  • The Heat have recalled guard Rodney McGruder from their G League affiliate, the Sioux City Skyforce, the team announced in a press release. McGruder has not appeared in a regular season game after undergoing surgery on a left tibia stress fracture in mid-October. He appeared in two G League games last week.
  • The Jazz assigned center Tony Bradley and guard Naz Mitrou-Long to their affiliate in Salt Lake City, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/22/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie center Ante Zizic from their Canton affiliate, the team announced on its website. In 15 games for the Charge, Zizic has averaged 15.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG.
  • The Magic assigned forward Jonathan Isaac to their Lakeland affiliate, according to Orlando’s PR Twitter. Isaac will attend Lakeland’s practice but he is expected to be recalled back to Orlando before the team faces the Knicks on Thursday. Isaac, who has missed almost three months with an ankle injury, is expected to see his first game action tomorrow for the G League squad.
  • The Heat have assigned guard Rodney McGruder to their G League affiliate, the Sioux City Skyforce, the team announced in a press release. McGruder has not appeared in a regular season game after undergoing surgery on a  left tibia stress fracture in mid-October. He is expected to play two G League games on Saturday and Monday before making his NBA return, tweets Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
  • The Lakers assigned rookie center Thomas Bryant to the South Bay Lakers for their upcoming two-game road trip, according to the G League team’s Twitter feed. Thomas has averaged 19.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 27 games with South Bay.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned rookie center Justin Patton to the G League’s Iowa Wolves, according to the team (Twitter link). Patton has yet to make his NBA debut but has averaged 11.9 PPG for Iowa in 25 games.

Southeast Notes: McGruder, Wade, Isaac, Hawks

Heat guard Rodney McGruder is getting closer to his season debut after participating in a second full-contract practice Wednesday, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. McGruder has been sidelined since having surgery in mid-October to fix a left tibia stress fracture. He is hoping to be ready when the Heat resume play Friday in New Orleans, but coach Erik Spoelstra hasn’t commited to that.

“I’ve got to work a little bit,” McGruder said. “Being off a couple of months, you just don’t hop right back into basketball shape, so I have some more conditioning that I need to work on. I’ve been doing a little more with practicing and just conditioning, preparing myself for when the time comes on my return that I’m ready to play.”

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • Dwyane Wade plans to come off the bench for the Heat for the rest of the season, Jackson adds in the same story. Because of the All-Star break, he has only been in Miami for four days since being acquired in a trade two weeks ago and needs time to get used to playing alongside new teammates Wayne Ellington, Bam Adebayo and James Johnson“It’s definitely going to continue to be a work in progress, but the biggest thing is getting to know them personally,” Wade said. “On the court, it comes. You practice together, you play together, that’s going to come. Getting to know each other on the personal side helps even more. That builds trust and on the court you need that trust.”
  • Rookie forward Jonathan Isaac will test his injured ankle with the Magic’s G League affiliate, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. He will practice with the Lakeland team on Thursday and play on Friday, according to Orlando coach Frank Vogel“I definitely understand why they want me to spend some time there [with Lakeland],” said Isaac, who hasn’t playing since spraining his ankle November 11. “I’m just focused on getting back up here [with Orlando] as fast as possible and getting back around these guys.”
  • Coach Mike Budenholzer said the Hawks won’t be making the type of moves that are typical of tanking teams, relays Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta is tied with Phoenix for the top spot in our latest Reverse Standings at 18-41. “I think we’ve been a mix of young and veteran guys all year,” Budenholzer said. “I think the way we progressed through the season — of course when you start the season you think it could be a little different — [but] right now but I think the way we’ve played, and the way we continue to play, won’t be that much different.”

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Clifford, Cordinier

The Heat have watched Josh Richardson develop into a go-to perimeter player, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel says in a video published at the newspaper’s website. Richardson’s numbers are up across the board and his presence has helped the team weather the Dion Waiters injury.

Richardson has averaged 12.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Heat this season, up to 17.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per in 15 December contests.

Not only has the swingman been a revelation for the positionless Heat, he’s shown an ability to hang with large NBA small forwards despite weighing just 200 pounds and playing through college as a 6’6″ point guard.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks draft-and-stash prospect Isaia Cordinier will undergo season-ending knee surgery, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The 2016 second-round pick has been struggling with tendinitis since at least the summer.
  • The medical issue that Hornets coach Steve Clifford struggled with for over a month can be attributed to a combination of stress on the sidelines as an NBA coach and sleep deprivation, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes. The feature delves into the head coach’s decision and why he’s confident a similar setback won’t happen again.
  • The Heat have a number of options with which to replace Dion Waiters‘ production, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, including injured swingmen Justise Winslow and and Rodney McGruder. Players like Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington could also see larger roles.

Southeast Notes: Heat Injuries, Hornets, Isaac

The Heat have dealt with a plethora of injuries this season but, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, the team is slowly but surely making progress. Hassan Whiteside, for example, has started doing on-court work for the first time since being sidelined eight games ago.

While there’s still no timetable for Whiteside’s return, Heat fans can take solace in the fact that head coach Erik Spoelstra seems convinced that Rodney McGruder will return to the court by the end of the season.

I will not answer [in more detail] because he will read it and take it as major progress and then start banging on my door and say I’m ready to play,” the Heat coach said. “He’s out of the boot and doing more work, all non-impact at this point.

Finally, there was hope that Justise Winslow would be able to return within the week for the Heat. The forward received optimistic MRI results after injuring his knee on Wednesday. Spoelstra, however, pumped the brakes on that one saying that he wouldn’t commit to that timetable. Winslow is currently limited to bicycle and pool work.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division tonight:

Heat Notes: Whiteside, McGruder, Adebayo, Winslow

Heat center Hassan Whiteside returned to action tonight after missing five games with a bone bruise on his left knee. Although Whiteside’s absence has been part of the reason for a disappointing 2-4 start, there are other factors, explains Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Those include a defense that has slipped from fifth in points allowed last season to 23rd so far this year and 3-point shooting that ranks 27th in the league. Miami is also reeling from the loss of Rodney McGruder, who will miss three to six months after undergoing surgery for a left tibia stress fracture. “He’s always in the right spot, he’s always getting those 50/50 balls, even if it’s 70 against 30,” Goran Dragic said of the second-year shooting guard. “We don’t know how but he’s going to get that ball. Those are game changers.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat held a team meeting Sunday to let players discuss the reasons for the slow start, Jackson writes in the same story. Tyler Johnson said coach Erik Spoelstra opened the meeting, followed by the team captains, then other players. “Sometimes I forget what got me here is undeniable energy and hunger,” Johnson said. “Nobody can keep me from being able to do my job. Whoever is matched up in front of me, I didn’t care who they were, if they were an all-star. That Rodney McGruder type attitude. We definitely do need to get back to that.”
  • After posting his first double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds against the Timberwolves, rookie Bam Adebayo credited his time at Kentucky for helping him get ready for the NBA, Jackson adds. Adebayo said Wildcats coach John Calipari teaches players to put the organization above their own goals. “If you sacrifice for the better of the team, that means you care about the team more than yourself,” Adebayo said. “Kentucky is a blueprint for the NBA.”
  • Justise Winslow has relied on speed more than bulk while making the move to power forward, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The third-year player, who was limited to 18 games last season by wrist and shoulder problems, has dropped 10 pounds and embraced his new duties. “I think he’s quick, he’s faster, he’s able to get to the ball quicker,” Spoelstra said. “So much of having 12 rebounds in a game is quickness to the ball. And he’s got a knack to the ball, but now he can really get to it quickly.”

Heat’s McGruder, White Get Salary Guarantees

The Heat are guaranteeing the 2017/18 salaries for a pair of second-year players, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, who reports that Rodney McGruder and Okaro White will receive full guarantees for the season.

Both McGruder and White are in their second NBA seasons and have minimum salary contracts worth $1,312,611. Those contracts had only been partially guaranteed for about $453K before today, per Basketball Insiders.

As Basketball Insiders’ data indicates, both players were in line to have their salaries guaranteed if they remained on the roster through the first game of the regular season. We interpreted that as the Heat’s first game, listing an October 18 deadline on our salary guarantees calendar, but Winderman’s report suggests that both players are safe and already in line for their full guarantees.

Although McGruder and White received some good news in relation to their contracts, both players will be unable to play for the Heat in tonight’s season opener. White, who is battling a sprained left shoulder, expects to be back soon, as he tells Winderman. However, McGruder recently underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his leg and will likely be sidelined for a few months.

The Heat now have 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries for 2017/18.

Rodney McGruder Expected To Miss 3-6 Months

OCTOBER 17: McGruder underwent successful surgery to repair his left tibia stress fracture today, the Heat confirmed in a press release. The team has yet to announce a timetable for McGruder’s recovery.

OCTOBER 12: The Heat’s depth on the wing is about to take a hit, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that swingman Rodney McGruder is expected to undergo surgery on a stress fracture in his leg. The procedure would likely sideline him for three to six months, league sources tell Charania.

McGruder, 26, enjoyed a productive rookie season with the Heat in 2016/17, finding his way into the starting lineup for 65 of his 78 games. For the season, he averaged 6.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 25.2 minutes per contest.

Heading into the 2017/18 season, McGruder had been competing for a spot in the Heat’s starting lineup, with Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow among the other options the club had been considering at small forward. With McGruder reportedly set to miss a significant portion of the season, Richardson looks like the favorite to step into that starting role.

Currently, only about $453K of McGruder’s minimum salary is guaranteed, but he shouldn’t be in danger of losing his roster spot. Even in the unlikely event that the Heat were to waive him, the team would be on the hook for his full salary until he receives medical clearance.

Heat Rumors: Hammons, Liggins, Olynyk, Waiters

Rodney McGruder‘s injury could force the Heat to address the imbalanced roster, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. McGruder is out 3-6 months with a stress fracture in his leg, swinging the door open for Miami to keep or add another wing player, Jackson continues. The bottom of the roster is filled with power forwards and centers — Bam Adebayo, Udonis Haslem, Jordan Mickey and A.J. Hammons — and the Heat may have to waive Hammons and his guaranteed two-year contract to fortify the wing positions. Miami could keep either DeAndre Liggins or Matt Williams Jr. from its training-camp roster to fill the void, Jackson adds.

In other developments concerning the Heat:

  • Kelly Olynyk has made a strong case to be the starting power forward, even though James Johnson came into camp as the favorite to win the job, Jackson reports in another story. Olynyk has meshed well with center Hassan Whiteside in preseason action, which is making the decision tougher for coach Erik Spoelstra, Jackson continues. “Their skill sets really complement each other,” Spoelstra told Jackson and other media members. “Kelly does a lot of things very similar to JJ in his own personality, in his own way. We think it fits. We think it works whether he comes off the bench or not, I like the dynamic.”
  • Dion Waiters had to wait out the Gordon Hayward free agent saga before the Heat committed to him with a four-year, $52MM contract, Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni notes during an in-depth feature on Waiters. A confident Waiters opted out of his deal this summer and the gamble ultimately paid off when Miami lost the Hayward sweepstakes and instead spent a chunk of their free-agent money on Waiters. “He likes to say he bet on himself, but he also bet on the organization,” Spoelstra told Nadkarni. “We bet on him as well. We’re not only about reclamation projects. We wanted to develop a relationship that would last longer than a year.”

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Porter Jr., Richardson

The Magic have been hard at work gaining insights about their roster this preseason and have already come up with a five-man group that they’re fond of. John Denton of the Magic’s official site writes that Frank Vogel particularly enjoyed playing Elfrid Payton alongside Jonathon Simmons at the two with Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon at the three and four, respectively, with Bismack Biyombo at center.

That’s scary for other teams because there is a lot of athleticism out there and a lot of guys who can guard point guard through power forward,” Payton, entering his fourth year with the Magic, said. “There’s so much speed and athleticism there. Even though we’d be seen as a small unit, Jonathon [Simmons] is athletic, Isaac is athletic, A.G. is athletic and I don’t think we’d lose anything on the rebounding end. I look forward to seeing that [lineup] more.

The scribe also notes that Isaac, while famously raw as a 20-year-old, 210-pound forward, could still be utilized as a defensive specialist for the Magic in his first year in the pros. “He’s NBA-ready to come in and impact our team on the defensive end right now,” Vogel said.

There’s more from the Southeast Division: