Roscoe Smith

Western Notes: Wolves, Brewer, Lakers, Pelicans

Corey Brewer, a trade candidate, admits that he’s not enamored with the idea of going through a youth-focused rebuild with the Timberwolves, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes. Brewer can become a free agent at season’s end if he turns down a $4.703MM player option, and the Cavs, Rockets, Clippers and Heat have reportedly held interest in trading for him this season.

“It’s tough for me, I’m not going to lie,” Brewer said. “When I came back here, I wasn’t expecting this, to rebuild again. It comes with the territory. It’s business. It’s basketball. It’s what I love to do. So I wake up every day and I come to work.”

Still, the Wolves are relying heavily on Brewer for now, as we detail amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • The NBA has granted the Wolves a second 10-day period to keep a 16th roster spot via hardship, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Minnesota is holding on to Jeff Adrien, whom it signed to fill that spot the first time around, even though the team has a need a point guard, too, where Brewer, a swingman, is playing as the backup. “Let’s face the facts: Corey’s not the ideal point guard,” coach/executive Flip Saunders said. “But if something, heaven forbid, happened to Gorgui [Dieng], we have no center on our roster at all.”
  • The Lakers are still considering the addition of a wing player to the roster, and they’re still keeping a close eye on Roscoe Smith, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. Smith, who’s playing for the Lakers D-League affiliate, was one of several players whom the Lakers worked out last month.
  • The Pelicans have once more assigned Russ Smith to the D-League, the team announced via press release. It’s the second time this season that the team has sent Smith to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. His first assignment was a three-day stint that ended Monday.

Western Notes: Lakers, Parsons, Thunder, Ibaka

The Lakers are not making any immediate roster moves after holding free agent workouts this week, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Los Angeles brought in Roscoe Smith for a tryout yesterday. Smith joined Gal Mekel, Jordan Hamilton, Dwight Buycks, Quincy Miller and Tyrus Thomas as players who are candidates for a roster spot on the team. The 3-10 Lakers will host the Nuggets on Sunday after giving up 140 points to the Mavs on Friday night.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Mavs and Rockets squared off in Houston tonight and Chandler Parsons reflects on his relationship with his old team, writes Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle.  “This was home for me for three years so I have no hard feelings toward them,” Parsons said. “It obviously got a little ugly during free agency but (Rockets general manager) Daryl (Morey) told me it was gonna, so it didn’t surprise anyone. That’s just how it goes and it’s business and at the end of the day, my friendship with these guys will stay the same.”  The stellar play of Parsons has been key to the Mavs offense, which is scoring a league-best 111.3 points per game this season.
  • The injuries to the Thunder this season could help the team in the long run, opines Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times. Hoffman looks at the 1996/97 season, when the Spurs lost David Robinson to an injury and ended up with the top pick in the 1997 draft, as a potential blueprint for what Oklahoma City could strive for this year. Entering Saturday, the Thunder own a record of 3-11, which is second worst in the league. While this strategy might be tempting, Hoffman notes that more likely than not, the next top pick isn’t another player of Tim Duncan‘s caliber.
  • The rash of injuries to the Thunder have allowed Serge Ibaka to include the three-point shot in his game more frequently, and this new wrinkle isn’t going anywhere once the team’s stars return, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. “I think it continues,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “He doesn’t necessarily have to live out there and shoot 10 a game. But three or four a game is a good number for him.” Ibaka is shooting 38.3% on 60 attempts from behind the arc in 14 games this year, which already ties his career high.
  • The Lakers have assigned Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry to the D-League, the team announced. The pair went to the D-League for a one-day assignment a week ago.

Lakers To Work Out Roscoe Smith

Training camp cut Roscoe Smith is the latest in the procession of players the Lakers are bringing in for tryouts, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The 23-year-old small forward, who’ll audition for the team today, joins Gal Mekel, Jordan Hamilton, Dwight Buycks, Quincy Miller and Tyrus Thomas, all of whom have reportedly either worked out for the Lakers in recent days or are scheduled to do so.

Smith signed with the Lakers for training camp on a non-guaranteed one-year deal for the minimum salary after going undrafted out of UNLV, and the team let him go in advance of opening night after he averaged 3.1 points in 14.9 minutes per game during seven preseason contests. The Lakers retained his D-League rights, and he’s put up 18.3 PPG in 35.5 MPG in three games so far for the Los Angeles D-Fenders. The Lakers must notify the D-League before the workout and ensure that Smith doesn’t miss a D-League game to avoid running afoul of the rules governing NBA teams and their D-League affiliates, notes Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link).

The Lakers have won two in a row to improve to 3-9, but their 1-9 start was the worst in franchise history. They possess a Disabled Player Exception worth nearly $1.499 for Julius Randle and may also obtain another such exception worth nearly $5MM for Steve Nash, since both players are out for the season. Still, none of the players to whom the Lakers have been connected of late would appear to merit more than the minimum salary.

Ronnie Price and Wayne Ellington, who have partially guaranteed deals, are the only Lakers without fully guaranteed salaries, though Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report recently suggested Xavier Henry is in danger of being cut despite his one-year guaranteed contract for $1.082MM. Ellington had been on leave from the team as he mourned the recent murder of his father, but he returned to the Lakers today, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link).

Lakers Waive Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith

The Lakers have officially waived Jabari Brown and Roscoe Smith, the team has announced. These moves cut down Los Angeles’ preseason roster count to 15 players, which is the regular season maximum. Neither player’s contract came with any guaranteed money, so the team won’t owe them any salary.

These players being waived comes as no surprise, and with the loss of Steve Nash for the season the Lakers are most likely going to be in the market for point guard help, if they in fact decide to make another addition to their roster.

Smith went undrafted out out of UNLV, and is a bit undersized for his natural position of power forward. He spent his first two years of college at UConn before transferring. His career collegiate numbers were 7.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 0.4 APG. His career slash line was .452/.279/.698.

Brown, who led the SEC in scoring during the 2013/14 campaign , went undrafted in June after departing Missouri after his junior year. He averaged 19.9 PPG and shot 41% from beyond the three point line during his final year with the Tigers. Both players could be candidates to head to the D-League, though that is just my speculation.

And-Ones: Pistons, LeBron, Contract Details

The Pistons have a new direction as a franchise now that Stan Van Gundy has taken over as team president and head coach. In their season preview the crew at Basketball Insiders don’t see the team becoming contenders just yet, and their predictions have Detroit finishing either third or fourth in the Central Division.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Nuggets signees Joe Alexander and Marcus Williams, new Lakers Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Tyler, Heat additions Andre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, Wizards wing men Xavier Silas and Damion James, and Hasheem Thabeet of the Pistons are all on non-guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links here).
  • LeBron James might be gone from Miami, but he takes with him a number of lessons the Heat organization taught him about professionalism, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes. James is a much different person than when he was with the Cavs the first time, notes Windhorst, and the additions of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, and James Jones are indications that Cleveland wants to bump up the work ethic and preparation habits of their younger players.
  • When asked about departed free agent Trevor Ariza, who left the Wizards to sign with the Rockets this summer, Marcin Gortat believed Ariza’s decision wasn’t about finances, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Gortat said, “In my opinion I think he was trying to get back to the West. I don’t think it was about the money.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Roscoe Smith To Attend Lakers Camp

SEPTEMBER 23RD: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 4TH: Former UNLV and UConn forward Roscoe Smith has accepted an invite to Lakers training camp, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (on Twitter).  The 23-year-old went undrafted in June.

Smith was a second-round draft candidate but likely went undrafted thanks to his age and lack of size for his more natural power forward position.  Smith, who celebrated his 23rd birthday in May, stands at 6’8″ and weighed in at just 202 pounds this summer.

As a freshman at UConn, Smith started 33 games and put up 5.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He also started in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, helping the Huskies to the National Championship. The following season, he saw his playing time decrease thanks to the arrival of Andre Drummond.

After UConn was banned from postseason play thanks to academic issues, he transferred to UNLV and per the rules sat out the 2012/13 season.  Smith averaged 11.1 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game.

Southeast Notes: LeBron, Wizards, Hornets

The Heat granted agent Rich Paul and LeBron James‘ friend and adviser Maverick Carter unprecedented access to the team in the past year, prompting consternation from many within the organization, as Mike Wise of The Washington Post details. We’ll soon find out whether it was worth it for Miami, now that James has decided to opt out of his contract and hit free agency. Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards “draft and stash” prospect Tomas Satoransky wants the team to sign him before he competes in summer league this year, and he’s also pushing for a larger amount than the team is willing to give, as J. Michael of CSNWashington.com hears. The former 32nd overall pick isn’t bound by the rookie scale, so it would likely take a portion of the mid-level, which Michael says Washington doesn’t want to give up, to give him more than the minimum salary. Ultimately, the Wizards are willing to stand firm and have no intention of trading Satoransky’s rights, according to Michael.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford has indicated a preference for adding size and experience rather than more young perimeter players, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines.
  • Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops adds Gary Harris and Scottie Wilbekin to the list of draft prospects working out for the Magic (Twitter link).
  • Wizards are auditioning Jahii Carson, Dwight Powell, Roscoe Smith, Sean Kilpatrick, Chaz Williams, Richard Solomon, Isaiah Armwood, Maurice Creek, Halil Kanacevic, Devin Oliver and Talib Zanna, the team announced. They’re also giving LaQuinton Ross his second workout, having also taken a look at him two weeks ago.
  • The Hawks are giving thought to clearing cap space and making a run at Carmelo Anthony, as we passed along earlier.

And-Ones: Austin, Melo, Celtics, Cavs

Isaiah Austin‘s decision to jump to the NBA was questioned by scouts but strangely enough, it’s the NBA’s medical tests that may have saved his life, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.  Earlier today we learned that the Baylor center won’t be able to play in the NBA after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.  Here’s more from around the league..

  • Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) expects Carmelo Anthony to take a pay cut regardless of where he lands, even if it’s a return to the Knicks.  To Beck, it’s not a matter of if, but how much Melo is willing to lop off.
  • Beck (Twitter links) doesn’t see a sign-and-trade as being all that likely for the Knicks if Melo leaves.  The Knicks would be interested in expiring deals and draft picks, but it’s hard to see them taking on any salary commitments beyond 2014/15 that would handcuff their flexibility.
  • Celtics assistant Ron Adams is heading west to join the Warriors‘ staff, writes Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe.
  • The Cavs‘ hire of David Blatt as head coach might seem like a bit of a gamble, but Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio is all for it.  Vinny Del Negro wouldn’t have been a bad hire for Cleveland, but Blatt represents a bold, out-of-the-box choice for the club.
  • The Pacers will work out Mike Moser, Roscoe Smith, Eric Moreland, Tyler Stone, David Stockton, and Nick Kellogg on Monday, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.

Draft Notes: Lakers, Gordon, Smart, Ennis

The Lakers will audition Zach LaVine for a second time on Saturday, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, and they’d like to be able to do the same with Doug McDermott, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who writes in an Insider-only piece. The Lakers are also the only team for which Aaron Gordon has worked out twice, as he told reporters, including Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Here’s more from around the draft scene:

  • The Sixers would like to meet with Gordon, too, and they have an audition scheduled Saturday for Marcus Smart, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding tweets.
  • Tyler Ennis, Cleanthony Early, Roscoe Smith, Eric Moreland, Ojars Silins and Viktor Gaddefors are performing for the Suns today, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter links). It’s Smith’s second workout for the team, Coro notes.
  • It appears as though Jarnell Stokes hasn’t had a chance to make up workouts he had to cancel with the Sixers, Celtics and Hawks when he suffered injuries in a car accident, as Andy Katz of ESPN.com details. He has auditioned for the Rockets and Spurs, among previously reported teams, since his recovery, according to Katz.
  • Tarik Black, Sean Kilpatrick, Nick Russell and Philipp Neumann are among those showing off for the Bucks today, the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers added South Carolina power forward Matthew Hezekiah to today’s workout group, Pincus notes (on Twitter).

Draft Notes: Embiid, Exum, McDermott, Stauskas

Joel Embiid has suffered a right foot injury, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, and there’s fear that it’s broken, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Cavs discovered the injury during his physical exam with the team, it’s prompted Cleveland to want to work out Dante Exum, Wojnarowski says (Twitter link). Agent Arn Tellem tells fellow ESPN scribe Chad Ford that Embiid probably won’t be doing any more workouts before the draft (Twitter link). He was to have auditioned for the Bucks later this week, Goodman notes on Twitter, though the Bucks haven’t heard from Embiid’s camp about whether the workout is canceled or not, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (on Twitter).  Tellem told Andy Katz of ESPN.com that he’ll know more about the injury on Friday, as Goodman notes in his piece, so while the top of the draft hinges on tomorrow’s news on Embiid’s foot, here’s more on the wider field of prospects:

  • Representatives from the Kings, Nuggets, Wolves and Warriors observed Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas work out Wednesday in Chicago, Ford tweets.
  • C.J. Fair will audition Monday for the Mavericks, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
  • The Magic are bringing Kendrick Perry in for a second workout, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Perry will also audition Saturday for the Wolves, along with Roscoe Smith, Joe Jackson and Taylor Braun, tweets Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.
  • Isaiah Austin, Aaron Craft, T.J. Bray, Eric Moreland and Daniel Miller are the previously unreported prospects who are showing off for the Raptors today, the team announced via press release. Austin is fresh off an audition on Wednesday for the Clippers, according to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).
  • Jabari Brown, Markel Brown, Devin Oliver, Khyle Marshall and Xavier Munford are among those working out for the Celtics today, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Oliver reportedly auditioned for the Celtics last week, too.
  • The Kings will audition Michael Dixon on Monday, Scotto tweets.