Semi Ojeleye

Los Angeles Notes: James, Davis, Coffey, Ojeleye, Powell

Lakers star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis are listed as doubtful to play Tuesday at Dallas, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. James injured his left ankle against New Orleans on Sunday and under treatment on Monday. In Davis’ case, it’s an upgrade. Davis went through a full, live practice for the first time since he suffered a mid-foot sprain on February 16.

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • Amir Coffey has been a steady contributor since Clippers forward Paul George was sidelined and his status won’t change when the perennial All-Star forward potentially returns on Tuesday, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register tweets. Coffey is averaging 8.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.8 APG in 23.6 MPG in his third NBA season. “He’s earned it, last three years, the work he’s put in … this season he’s kind of kept us afloat,” Lue said.
  • Coffey had his two-way contract converted to a standard one this weekend and Semi Ojeleye was waived to make room for him on the 15-man roster. It was due to the franchise’s desire to reward Coffey rather than anything regarding Ojeleye’s play. Lue said Ojeleye “did everything right” and was sad to see him depart, Greif tweets.
  • Norman Powell still has a number of steps to go before returning from his left foot injury. The Clippers forward has done some shooting but hasn’t progressed beyond that in his recovery, Greif added in another tweet.

Clippers Waive Ojeleye, Convert Coffey, Sign Moon

The Clippers have called up guard Xavier Moon from their G League affiliate, signing him to a two-way contract, agent Stacey Leawood told Hoops Rumors. To create roster space, the team has promoted two-way player Amir Coffey to the 15-man roster and has waived veteran wing Semi Ojeleye, who was acquired in a trade last month.

Coffey, 24, earns a rest-of-season deal after playing 62 games with the club this season. He most recently finished with 21 points in a loss to the Sixers on Friday, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor. Converting Coffey to a standard contract will allow the Clippers to have him available during the playoffs.

Moon, a 6’2″ point guard, signed three 10-day contracts with Los Angeles earlier this season. The club was quickly impressed by his production and maturity, as the 27-year-old averaged 5.5 points and 1.7 assists in 13.8 minutes per contest.

Moon, the nephew of former NBA player Jamario Moon, has also been impressive in the G League. He has averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game with Agua Caliente, shooting 46% from the floor and 38% from three-point range.

Ojeleye was traded from Milwaukee to Los Angeles in the four-team deadline deal that sent Serge Ibaka to the Bucks. The Clippers’ primary motive in that trade was to reduce their tax bill — Ojeleye appeared in 10 games for L.A. following his arrival, but mostly saw garbage-time minutes. He’ll clear waivers on Monday, assuming he goes unclaimed, but wouldn’t be playoff-eligible for a new team.

The Clippers currently rank eighth in the Western Conference standings at 36-39. The team has seven games left on its schedule, which includes outings against the Jazz (45-29) on Tuesday and Bulls (42-31) on Thursday.

DiVincenzo To Kings, Bagley To Pistons In Four-Team Trade

7:14pm: The four-team deal is official, according to a Kings press release.

A press release from the Clippers notes that L.A. also received the draft rights to Vanja Marinkovic from Sacramento in the deal, sending the draft rights to David Michineau to the Kings. The cash going to Milwaukee in the trade comes from the Clippers.

As we previously relayed, the Kings waived Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard to complete the move.


10:47am: The Kings are trading former No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III to the Pistons, sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), that move will be part of a four-team trade that sends Bucks wing Donte DiVincenzo to Sacramento.

The Clippers will be the fourth club involved in the deal, as Charania reports (via Twitter) that big man Serge Ibaka is headed to Milwaukee. Los Angeles is acquiring swingman Rodney Hood and forward Semi Ojeleye from the Bucks, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Sacramento is receiving Pistons forwards Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles along with DiVincenzo, per Charania (via Twitter), while Detroit is also sending out multiple second-round picks, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Woj (via Twitter) breaks the deal down as follows:

  • Kings acquire DiVincenzo, Jackson, and Lyles.
  • Pistons acquire Bagley.
  • Clippers acquire Hood and Ojeleye.
  • Bucks acquire Ibaka, two second-round picks, and cash.

The Kings continue to reshape their roster after acquiring Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, and Jeremy Lamb in a trade with the Pacers Tuesday. DiVincenzo ($4.7MM this season) is eligible for restricted free agency in 2022 if Sacramento chooses to give him a qualifying offer, while Jackson ($3MM) is on an expiring deal. Lyles, however, earns $2.5MM this season and has a club option for next season at $2.6MM, giving the Kings some added flexibility.

DiVincenzo has been a solid defender, rebounder, and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He’s had a slow start to this season after recovering from ankle surgery and then entering the health and safety protocols, but he’s a young, controllable asset who likely won’t be too expensive going forward. Sacramento tried to acquire him prior to last season in the botched sign-and-trade that would have sent Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks, but the deal was nullified due to “gun-jumping.” The Bucks ended up forfeiting a second-rounder in the process.

The Kings had reportedly been shopping Bagley for well over a year, as he was drafted by the previous front office regime and was publicly unhappy with the franchise. As a three-for-one trade, the Kings will have to waive two players, unless they make subsequent moves prior to the deal becoming official.

The Pistons are taking a gamble on Bagley, a good athlete who failed to develop in his time in Sacramento. Still just 22, Bagley could have untapped upside and figures to see more minutes on a rebuilding Pistons team. Like DiVincenzo, Bagley will be a restricted free agent in 2022. He’s earning $11.3MM in the final year of his rookie contract this season.

James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link) reports that the Pistons will be sending Sacramento’s 2024 second-round pick and either Cleveland’s or Golden State’s 2023 second-rounder (whichever is less favorable) to the Bucks.

For the Clippers, it’s a cost-cutting move that will save them approximately $30MM in luxury tax payments, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). In order for the deal to work, Ibaka will need to amend a portion of his 15% trade bonus, Marks tweets, which Los Angeles will be responsible for.

Greif reports (Twitter link) that the Clips have been interested in Hood and Ojeleye in the past. Both players are on veteran minimum deals that expire this summer. Moving Ibaka gives more clarity to a crowded center rotation featuring Ivica Zubac, Isaiah Hartenstein, and newly-acquired Robert Covington (in small-ball looks).

By adding Ibaka’s $9.7MM contract and sending out three players, the defending champion Bucks will have three open roster spots (not including Greg Monroe, who’s on a 10-day deal) and add $6MM towards the luxury tax, Marks tweets. The cash they’re receiving will help offset the additional luxury tax payment. The Bucks had been searching for a center for a few months due to Brook Lopez‘s back injury; their starting center has suited for just one game this season.

Ibaka is having a down year after undergoing back surgery himself last summer, but he’s a smart, proven veteran who can space the floor and protect the paint when healthy. The two-second round picks will be key assets for a Bucks team that could be facing the repeater tax for multiple seasons as they contend for more titles.

Rory Maher contributed to this story.

Bucks Rumors: DiVincenzo, Center, Wing Defender

Fourth-year swingman Donte DiVincenzo has generated “considerable” trade interest from teams around the NBA this season, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. However, the Bucks don’t intend to move DiVincenzo unless they can get back a good young player or a veteran who will help them win this season, per Scotto.

Last fall, when DiVincenzo and Grayson Allen were both eligible for rookie scale extensions, Allen signed a new contract with the Bucks and DiVincenzo didn’t. That made some people around the league wonder if Milwaukee was choosing Allen over DiVincenzo, but that wasn’t the case, according to Scotto, who says the team tried to extend both players and still has interest in re-signing DiVincenzo as a restricted free agent this summer.

Here’s more on the NBA’s defending champions:

  • The Bucks are interested in adding a backup center to their roster, either on the trade market or via a buyout signing, Scotto confirms. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report previously named Jalen Smith and Daniel Theis as a couple possibilities for Milwaukee.
  • Some rival executives are curious to see whether the Bucks will look to acquire a wing defender who can play a role similar to the one P.J. Tucker did on last season’s title squad, according to Scotto. The club may have hoped that offseason signee Semi Ojeleye would be able to fill that hole, but he got off to a poor start and hasn’t been part of the regular rotation since November.
  • In case you missed it, DiVincenzo recently told The Athletic that he’s not concerned about being mentioned in trade rumors or about his looming free agency.

Eastern Trade Rumors: Smart, Hawks, Collins, Siakam, Sabonis, More

Prior to sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks discussed the framework of a trade with the Celtics that would’ve sent Reddish and Kevin Huerter to Boston in a deal for Marcus Smart, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Huerter is one of 11 players affected this season by the poison pill provision, complicating salary-matching in any trade involving him, but the deal described by Fischer theoretically would’ve worked for both sides if Atlanta had included another minimum-salary player (likely Solomon Hill).

Smart ultimately stayed put, and Fischer says it would take “significant value” for the Celtics to move him in another deal in the next two weeks. According to Fischer, there’s a sense around the league that the Celtics will be better in the second half than they were in the first half, as long as they’re healthier and first-year head coach Ime Udoka gets more comfortable.

Here a few more trade notes and rumors from around the Eastern Conference:

  • One team contacted by the Hawks told Bleacher Report that Atlanta wanted a “valuable” first-round pick and a starting-caliber player in exchange for John Collins. Other teams think the Hawks could get even more than that for Collins, says Fischer.
  • According to Fischer, the Raptors and Pacers at least briefly discussed a trade involving Domantas Sabonis and Pascal Siakam, but those talks stalled. The concept makes some sense in theory, since it would allow Myles Turner to be the lone center in Indiana, and Toronto has long been in the market for a five.
  • Since Brook Lopez‘s recovery timeline remains up in the air, the Bucks are “poking around” the market for a center, with Suns big man Jalen Smith mentioned as a possible target, per Fischer. Semi Ojeleye is considered to be available and Milwaukee has received inquiries about Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo, Fischer adds.
  • A handful of teams have expressed some interest in Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, including the Spurs, Hornets, Mavericks, and Bucks, writes Fischer.

COVID-19 Updates: Hachimura, Roby, Grizzlies, Bucks, Robsinon, Suns, Nance, Hawks

Wizards power forward Rui Hachimura has exited the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, though an exact timeline for his return to the court has yet to be determined, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Hachimura, 23, has missed the entirety of the Wizards’ 37-game 2021/22 NBA season thus far, due to a combination of an extended personal absence and subsequently his stint in the protocols. The 6’8″ big man is averaging 13.7 PPG and 5.8 RPG across his two seasons with Washington thus far.

Here are more protocol-related updates from across the league:

  • Young Thunder reserve center Isaiah Roby has entered the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols, per Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman (Twitter link).
  • Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks and guard De’Anthony Melton have cleared the NBA’s coronavirus protocols but remain questionable ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Pistons as they continue to re-condition, while forward Kyle Anderson has also cleared protocols but will most likely not play due to back soreness, according to Memphis’s PR team (Twitter link).
  • Bucks forwards Jordan Nwora, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Semi Ojeleye have exited the league’s COVID-19 protocols and are available for a short-handed Milwaukee team tonight against the Raptors, per Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). We first mentioned earlier today that that triumvirate of Bucks players was nearing a return. Through the game’s first half, Nwora is the only one of the three that has played.
  • $90MM Heat shooting guard Duncan Robinson has exited the NBA’s coronavirus protocols and will reunite with the team in Portland ahead of its game against the Trail Blazers tonight, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The team has announced that Robinson will play (Twitter link).
  • Suns centers Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee, along with starting power forward Jae Crowder, have all cleared COVID-19 health and safety protocols but will remain sidelined for Thursday’s home contest against the Clippers as they work their way back into game shape, reports Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
  • Trail Blazers forward Larry Nance Jr. has cleared the league’s coronavirus protocols and will be available to play tonight against the Kings, per Aaron J. Fentress of the Oregonian (Twitter link). We had first noted earlier today that Nance had registered an inconclusive COVID-19 test and that a quick return was a possibility.
  • Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and small forward Jalen Johnson have exited health and safety protocols, writes Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Spencer says the two players are expected to consult with Atlanta’s medical staff in Los Angeles ahead of the team’s games against the Lakers and Clippers on Friday and Sunday. Spencer adds that Johnson struggled a bit with the coronavirus and could need additional conditioning time.

Julius Randle, Three Pacers Enter COVID-19 Protocols

Knicks power forward Julius Randle has entered the health and safety protocols and will miss Friday’s game vs. Oklahoma City, the team announced today (via Twitter). If Randle registered a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, he’ll remain sidelined for at least six days or until he can return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Randle logged 26 minutes in the Knicks’ win in Detroit on Wednesday night after playing over 37 minutes on Tuesday in Minnesota, so his teammates and recent opponents will likely be monitoring for symptoms of their own in the coming days.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates from around the league:

  • After placing Jeremy Lamb in the health and safety protocols on Wednesday, the Pacers have had three more players enter the protocols today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, and Isaiah Jackson are joining Lamb. Indiana had avoided a COVID-19 outbreak so far this month, but it may be catching up to the team now.
  • Bucks forward Semi Ojeleye has entered the protocols, tweets Wojnarowski. Milwaukee had multiple players in the protocols earlier in the month, but Ojeleye is the team’s lone player affected for now.
  • Timberwolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt has exited the COVID-19 protocols and should be available on Friday vs. Utah, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Minnesota is down to just three players in the protocols, though Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are two of those three.

Bucks’ Ojeleye Out At Least Three Weeks With Calf Injury

Bucks forward Semi Ojeleye, whose season debut last month was delayed by a left calf strain, has now sustained an injury in his right calf and will be sidelined again, the team announced in a press release.

According to the Bucks, an MRI confirmed that the injury Ojeleye suffered on Friday vs. Oklahoma City is a strained right calf. He’ll remain on the shelf for at least three weeks before he’s reevaluated.

Ojeleye, who turns 27 in December, has struggled with his shot in his first 11 games in Milwaukee, making just 25.5% of his attempts from the field, including 21.4% of his threes. However, he has been a regular rotation player for the team, providing solid defense in 19.8 minutes per contest.

Even if Ojeleye is cleared to return three weeks from today, he’ll miss the Bucks’ next 11 games. While he’s unavailable, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Jordan Nwora are among the reserve forwards who could see an increase in playing time. Center Brook Lopez may also be ready to return from his back injury during Ojeleye’s absence, further solidifying the team’s frontcourt.

Central Notes: Ojeleye, LaVine, Bulls, Hayes

After signing a minimum-salary deal with the Bucks in the offseason, Semi Ojeleye has had his debut with his new team pushed back by a calf injury that he suffered early in training camp. Ojeleye didn’t think it would keep him out long, but he was ultimately on the shelf for nearly a month and is finally set to return to action, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter links).

“Honestly, I was thinking I was going to get back in the next couple days, the next couple days, the next couple days and then it kind of took a little longer than I hoped, but it was all in God’s time and now it’s time to go,” Ojeleye said on Wednesday. He’s expected to be active for tonight’s Bucks game vs. Minnesota.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Bulls guard Zach LaVine confirmed that he intends to play through a small ligament tear in his left thumb, but said he’ll be smart about it and won’t take any risks if the medical staff advises against it. “I don’t want to put myself in any danger,” LaVine said (Twitter link via Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago). “I don’t have all the information on it yet. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow and go from there. You know me, I try to play through everything. If I’m able to, I will. If not, we’ll see how it goes.”
  • Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago discussed a number of Bulls-related topics, including his first impressions of Lonzo Ball and LaVine’s long-term future. “I’d say every indication I’ve been given both internally from his side and the organization is this is a match made to move forward together,” Johnson said of LaVine, who will be a free agent in 2022.
  • Killian Hayes‘ sophomore season with the Pistons got off to a shaky start when he scored just two points on 1-of-11 shooting in two games vs. Chicago, but his performance in Monday’s loss to Atlanta (12 points and no turnovers in 27 minutes) was more encouraging, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Hayes’ backcourt role figures to change a little once Cade Cunningham is ready to make his debut.

Bucks Sign Semi Ojeleye To One-Year Contract

AUGUST 6: The Bucks have officially signed Ojeleye, the team announced on Friday (via Twitter).


AUGUST 2: The 2021 NBA champion Bucks will be adding forward Semi Ojeleye to shore up their frontcourt depth, agent Sean Kennedy informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

Eric Nehm of The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that Ojeleye is set to join the Bucks on a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

Selected with the No. 37 pick in the 2017 NBA draft out of SMU by the Celtics, the 6’6″ forward spent his first four NBA seasons in Boston. Though not much of a scorer (his career-best average thus far is 4.6 PPG in 2020/21), Ojeleye nevertheless found his way into the rotation for the Celtics’ various playoff-bound teams over the years, including two Eastern Conference Finals teams in 2018 and 2020.

A versatile defender, Ojeleye could fill the absence left by veteran tweener forward P.J. Tucker, who is expected to depart for the Heat after agreeing to a new two-year,  $15MM deal.

In 2020/21, Ojeleye averaged the aforementioned 4.6 PPG, to go along with 2.6 RPG, in 17.0 minutes per contest. He played in 56 games, starting 15. The 26-year-old Ojeleye proved to be a reliable three-point shooter last year, albeit on a modest volume, connecting on 36.7% of his 2.8 looks from long range.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.