Scotty Hopson

2016 NBA D-League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA D-League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s three new teams to add the rights to 12 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 19 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to 10 players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, as Chris Reichert of UpsideMotor.com explained earlier today.

As we noted on Tuesday, the D-League’s three new franchises this year are affiliates for the Nets (Long Island Nets), Hornets (Greensboro Swarm), and Bulls (Windy City Bulls).

The players those three teams added today won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s somewhat rare for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs, as D-League Digest tweets. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas. Still, the expansion draft gives the D-League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Per Reichert, here are the results of today’s expansion draft. The player’s former D-League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Long Island Nets (Twitter link)

  1. Gary Forbes (Grand Rapids Drive)
  2. Carrick Felix (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Jamaal Franklin (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  4. Akil Mitchell (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  5. Peyton Siva (Delaware 87ers)
  6. Alex Kirk (Canton Charge)
  7. Austin Freeman (Westchester Knicks)
  8. Kendall Gray (Iowa Energy)
  9. Lazar Hayward (Los Angeles D-Fenders)
  10. Dwayne Polee Jr. (Reno Bighorns)
  11. Matt Bouldin (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Lewis Jackson (Salt Lake City Stars)

Greensboro Swarm (Twitter link)

  1. Josh Davis (Austin Spurs)
  2. Abdul Gaddy (Maine Red Claws)
  3. Tony Bishop (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  4. Scotty Hopson (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  5. Toure’ Murry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  6. Rodney Williams (Oklahoma City Blue)
  7. Josh Huestis (Oklahoma City Blue)
  8. Ralston Turner (Grand Rapids Drive)
  9. Keanau Post (Raptors 905)
  10. Damien Wilkins (Iowa Energy)
  11. Kris Joseph (Westchester Knicks)
  12. Dee Bost (Raptors 905)

Windy City Bulls (Twitter link)

  1. Wesley Saunders (Austin Spurs)
  2. Kiwi Gardner (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  3. Ralph Sampson III (Maine Red Claws)
  4. Booker Woodfox (Texas Legends)
  5. Jerel McNeal (Northern Arizona Suns)
  6. Akeem Richmond (Reno Bighorns)
  7. Casey Prather (Northern Arizona Suns)
  8. Jon Octeus (Canton Charge)
  9. Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends)
  10. Jamal Jones (Delaware 87ers)
  11. Xavier Thames (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  12. Ian Chiles (Salt Lake City Stars)

And-Ones: Zanik, Kidd, Brown, Cousins

The Bucks will hire Justin Zanik as GM-in-waiting and are working on a contract extension for coach Jason Kidd, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Currently an assistant GM in Utah, Zanik will have a similar title with the Bucks. A provision of the move is that Zanik will eventually take over for Milwaukee GM John Hammond, although it’s uncertain when that will happen. Hammond has been GM of the Bucks since 2008 and has one year left on his contract.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • California forward Jaylen Brown worked out for the Bucks, Raptors and Sixers today, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. A source told Spears that Brown was in “great shape” and “super explosive.” He is expected to be a top 10 pick and could be in the running for the No. 3 choice. New Timberwolves GM Scott Layden also traveled to California to see Brown and came away impressed, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Oklahoma point guard Isaiah Cousins worked out for the Suns on Friday, and has upcoming sessions with the Raptors on Tuesday and the Hawks on Thursday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Anthony Bennett and Quinn Cook were the most recognizable players invited to a Nets mini-camp this week, according to NetsDaily. Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, played 19 games with the Raptors last season. Cook, the point guard on Duke’s 2015 NCAA title team, was cut by the Cavaliers in training camp. Also receiving invitations were Alex Stepheson, Scotty Hopson, Alex KirkJerrelle BenimonFuquan Edwin, D.J. Newbill, Will CummingsJarrid Famous, Victor Rudd, Josh Magette and Joel Wright. International journalist David Pick says the Nets are planning another session.

And-Ones: Noah, Nets Mini-Camp, Jovanovic

Despite the reports that Joakim Noah is ready to leave the Bulls when he becomes a free agent this summer, talks between the big man and the team have resulted in a “positive dialogue” about a new contract, a league source tells Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Noah had reportedly told teammates in recent weeks that he’s done with the organization once free agency begins, adding that he “has no trust in the front office getting this in the right direction.” The big man’s agent disputed the reports, adding that his client has “great respect” for the city of Chicago, Bulls fans, and the organization. “Joakim and I speak on a daily basis about his future,” Duffy said. “There has been zero indication he doesn’t wish to return to Bulls.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Nets are planning on holding another free agent mini-camp next month and the invitees will include Quinn Cook, Alex Stepheson, Scotty Hopson, Jerrelle Benimon, Alex Kirk, Kwame Vaughn and McKenzie Moore, international journalist David Pick reports in a series of tweets. Moore is also scheduled to work out for the Mavericks, Pick notes.
  • USC junior big man Nikola Jovanovic has hired Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management to represent him, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today relays (via Twitter). The 22-year-old is no lock to be selected this June and isn’t among the top 100 players, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Former Oklahoma shooting guard Isaiah Cousins has a workout scheduled with the Raptors on May 31st, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets. Cousins is a potential second-rounder, with Givony slotting him No. 67 overall.
  • D’Andre Downey (Stillman College) and Alec Wintering (Portland) have withdrawn from the 2016 NBA draft and are returning to school, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com relays.

Scotty Hopson To Join Heat D-League Team

The D-League affiliate of the Heat has picked up former Cavs swingman Scotty Hopson, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Presumably, that means Hopson signed with the D-League and the team claimed him off waivers, since Miami’s affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, wouldn’t otherwise have had his rights. The team has yet to publicly acknowledge the move.

Hopson is perhaps most notable for having been traded four times this past offseason. The Cavs used the pro-rated mid-level exception to sign him for the final weeks of last season and tacked a non-guaranteed salary for 2014/15 onto the contract. That helped the salaries match as Cavs sent him to the Hornets, who flipped him to the Pelicans, who sent him to the Rockets in the complex Omer Asik deal before Houston traded him to the Kings. The game of hot potato with his non-guaranteed salary finally ended in Sacramento, which waived him in late September as training camp neared.

The 25-year-old reportedly came close to signing with Turkey’s Galatasaray last month but decided against doing so. Hopson has spent the majority of his pro career overseas after going undrafted out of Tennessee in 2011. He appeared in only two games for the Cavs last season for a total of less than seven minutes of playing time, scoring a single point.

No Deal For Scotty Hopson, Turkish Team

5:56pm: Hopson has decided against signing the deal, agent Eric Fleisher tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link).

11:09am: Small forward Scotty Hopson is close to putting pen to paper on a deal with Galatasaray of Turkey, Ismail Senol of NTV Spor reports (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). A follow-up tweet from Carchia indicates that the sides have already reached agreement and that Hopson is likely to make his debut for the team this weekend. The arrangement only covers a month and a half, though Hopson will have an option to extend it through the end of the season, according to Senol. It’s unclear how much the 25-year-old stands to earn through the pact.

Hopson spent the summer as NBA trade fodder, going from the Cavs, who signed him late last season, to the Hornets, to the Pelicans, to the Rockets, and finally to the Kings, who waived him the week before training camps began. Hopson had a non-guaranteed salary of more than $1.45MM that teams found useful to help them match salaries thanks to Cleveland’s decision to use its prorated room exception to ink him at the end of March. The Cavs would have been able to create an even larger non-guaranteed salary, and thus a more attractive trade chip, had they signed a veteran to a minimum-salary deal, but Hopson came aboard without NBA experience, having played overseas since going undrafted out of Tennessee in 2011. He was with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes when Cleveland came calling last season.

Reports shortly before Sacramento waived Hopson indicated that he was moving close to a deal with Italy’s Enel Brindisi, though the Italian team denied that there were talks, and the sides never wound up coming to terms. The former McDonald’s All-American had his best pro season in 2012/13, when he put up 17.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game for Hapoel Eilat of Israel. He appeared in only two games for a total of less than seven minutes during his stint with the Cavs last season.

Kings Waive Scotty Hopson

WEDNESDAY, 2:24pm: The move is official, the team announced.

TUESDAY, 11:15pm: The Kings have waived swingman Scotty Hopson, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to make an official announcement. His nearly $1.451MM salary is non-guaranteed, so it won’t stick on Sacramento’s books. Reports on Monday indicated that the Alberto Ebanks client was moving close to a deal with Italy’s Enel Brindisi even as he remained on the Kings roster, but representatives from the Italian team denied that they were pursuing him. In any case, Hopson will have to wait at least another two days to sign to play in Italy or anywhere else, since he’ll need to clear waivers first.

The 25-year-old former University of Tennessee standout has two games of NBA experience, but he’s already been with five NBA teams after signing with the Cavs at the end of March. Cleveland appeared to add Hopson chiefly to use him as a trade chip, and he was involved in four swaps this summer, passing through the Hornets, Pelicans and Rockets on his way to Sacramento. He’s spent most of his pro career overseas since going undrafted in 2011, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to international ball.

Sacramento has deals with 18 players following Hopson’s departure, leaving the Kings with two open preseason roster spots to fill if they choose. It would make sense if Sacramento were to also release Alonzo Gee, the other player the team acquired in the Jason Terry trade, though that’s just my speculation. Gee’s $3MM salary is also non-guaranteed.

Scotty Hopson In Talks To Play In Italy?

TUESDAY, 10:16am: Representatives from Enel Brindisi deny that they’re moving toward a deal with Hopson, Carchia tweets.

MONDAY, 11:39am: Scotty Hopson is finalizing a deal with Italy’s Enel Brindisi, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Hopson is still under contract with the Kings, who officially acquired him in the Jason Terry trade last week, but it seems unlikely that Sacramento would carry his non-guaranteed salary of nearly $1.451MM into the season. Italian outlets Mismatchbrindisi and La Gazzetta dello Sport were the first to report the talks, according to Carchia, who provided a translation of the original dispatches.

Hopson was averaging 10.9 points in 24.9 minutes per game for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes last season when Cleveland signed him at the end of March to a deal that covered the rest of the season, with non-guaranteed salary included for 2014/15. The Cavs used their room exception to make the deal more lucrative and thus more valuable for matching salaries in a trade, though they could have created a more valuable trade chip and saved money at the same if they’d signed a 10-plus-year veteran to a minimum-salary deal. Still, Hopson played out the season and Cleveland indeed shipped him out, sending him to Charlotte, which flipped him to New Orleans less than 48 hours later. The Pelicans sent him along to Houston in the Omer Asik trade less than 48 hours after that, and the Rockets held on to him for two months so they could aggregate his salary with Alonzo Gee‘s in the Terry swap.

A deal overseas would presumably give Hopson some degree of certainty about where he’ll play the coming season after a whirlwind summer, though it’s unclear whether it would contain an NBA escape clause. The 25-year-old swingman saw action in only two games for less than seven minutes combined during his stint with the Cavs, so he didn’t have much of a chance to prove his worth in the Association.

Western Notes: Terry, Papanikolaou, Lakers

With a few weeks until training camps begin, here is the latest news coming out of the Western Conference on Tuesday evening:

  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rocketsdeal for Jason Terry will be completed tomorrow (via Twitter). The trade, which will send Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, was originally agreed to on August 31st. There was a report yesterday that it would be finalized today, so we should expect an official announcement shortly.
  • Feigen also expects the signing of Kostas Papanikolaou to become official this week, though he cautions that his buyout ($1.5MM) and the necessary FIBA approval make it a little unpredictable (Twitter link). Papanikolaou’s first-year salary of just under $4.8MM is the most ever given to a second-round pick in his first NBA season.
  • The Lakers announced today that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will join Byron Scott on the Los Angeles bench as assistant coaches this season. Beyond that trio, the team also announced Clay Moser, Larry Lewis, Tom Bialaszewski and J.J. Outlaw as members of the staff. Rondre Jackson has been promoted to director of player development and Jordan Wilkes has been hired as an operations assistant, according to the team release.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Rush, Jeter, Terry, Wizards

After a difficult 2013/14 season in which he was granted sporadic playing time while returning from knee surgery in Utah, Brandon Rush tells Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s feeling positive about his upcoming season with the Warriors. “This is a great situation for me to be able to come back and to be with a winning team,” said Rush. “I’m just going to try to help the team out with little things: rebounding, shooting and playing defense. I’m in a good mood. My head is in on straight. I’m happy with where I’m at…Coming back [to Golden State] was a no-brainer.” Here’s more from around the league:

  • Pooh Jeter has no intentions of leaving his Chinese team, despite having a workout lined up with the Lakers, as he tells Hupu (translation via Enea Trapani of Sportando).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders expects the deal in place between the Rockets and Kings, which will send Jason Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, will finally transpire within the next 24 hours (Twitter link). Pincus does not expect the Kings to retain either Gee or Hopson, whose contracts are non-guaranteed. The teams initially struck an unofficial agreement on August 31.
  • The Wizards are still working out additional players to bring to camp, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Washington will have 16 of the maximum 20 contracts on the books for training camp after the new additions of Xavier Silas and Damion James.
  • Brett Koremenos of RealGM looks at the careers of Milos Teodosic, Ante Tomic, and Emir Preldzic, three players caught in the “limbo” between European starring roles and NBA backup spots. While these players shine in international play, their advanced age, on-court shortcomings, and comfort level overseas are barriers to their likehood of signing in the NBA.

Rockets, Pelicans, Wizards Swap Ariza, Asik, Ely

2:19pm: The deal is official, the Pelicans have announced. New Orleans is folding Scotty Hopson into the trade after acquiring him over the weekend, marking the third trade for Hopson’s non-guaranteed contract in less than a week. So, It’s Asik, Casspi and $1.5MM to the Pelicans, Ariza, Gee, Hopson and a protected 2015 first-round pick to the Rockets, and Ely to the Wizards.

TUESDAY, 10:23am: The NBA has given its approval for the trade, and a formal announcement is forthcoming, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 7:55pm: Ely will not be retained by the Wizards, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

5:59pm: Ariza will go to Houston on a three-way deal, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (on Twitter).  The Pelicans will get Omer Asik, Omri Casspi, and $1.5MM from the Rockets.  Houston will get Ariza from Washington, Alonzo Gee, and a protected 2015 first-round choice from New Orleans.  The Wizards will take on the non-guaranteed contract of Melvin Ely from New Orleans while receiving a $8.5MM trade exception (link).

Of course, Asik was already headed to the Pelicans in exchange for the 2015 first-rounder.  Now, the deal has been expanded to help facilitate the Ariza sign-and-trade.  Gee, meanwhile, has now been traded twice inside of a week.

5:08pm: The Rockets will acquire Trevor Ariza in a sign-and-trade deal with the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  The Wizards will get a $8.5MM trade exception by making the deal, but it’s not clear what they’ll be sending to Houston in the trade.

The Rockets and Ariza agreed on a four-year, $32MM deal yesterday.  A number of teams were rumored to be interested in the sharpshooter’s services, but the Rockets came out on top.  Ariza will try and help fill the void at small forward for Houston now that Chandler Parsons is Dallas-bound.

Ariza’s contract is structured on a declining scale, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.  He will earn $8.6MM this season, and $8.2MM, $7.8MM, $7.4MM, in the following years.  Ariza could have served as a stretch four alongside Dwight Howard if Parsons was retained, but he’ll now line up at his natural position.

In 77 games with the Wizards last season, the Rob Pelinka client averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per night.  He shot 40.7% from beyond the arc, well above his career mark of 34.7%. Ariza, 29,  played in Houston during the 2009/10 season.

While Ariza is a nice addition, it goes without saying that this wasn’t the summer the Rockets had in mind.

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