Shabazz Muhammad

Lakers Work Out Several Veteran Free Agents

SEPTEMBER 18: Thomas disputed the claim that he participated in the Lakers’ workout, posting a tweet stating that he didn’t work out for the club.


SEPTEMBER 17: Isaiah Thomas was among several free agents who worked out recently for the Lakers, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The 33-year-old guard is looking for his next team after finishing last season with the Hornets.

If Thomas earns a roster spot, it would mark his third stint with the organization. He signed a 10-day contract with L.A. under the hardship provision last December, appearing in four games and averaging 9.3 PPG in 25.3 minutes per night. Thomas also played 17 games with the Lakers during the 2017/18 season.

A report in July indicated that the Hornets still had some interest in bringing back Thomas, who signed a rest-of-the-season contract after joining the team on a pair of 10-day deals in March. Charlotte currently has two openings on its offseason roster.

Armoni Brooks, Sharife Cooper and Mychal Mulder took part in the workout as well, according to Scotto. He also identifies Shabazz Muhammad, Jeremy Lamb, Dwayne Bacon and Miye Oni as participants (Twitter link).

L.A. currently has one opening on its 20-man roster, but it’s a long shot for any of these players to be with the team once the season begins. Luxury tax penalties would cost the Lakers about $7MM to fill their final roster spot, so they will likely operate with 14 players for most of the season. Friday’s signing of Dennis Schröder gives them 12 fully guaranteed contracts, while Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel are on non-guaranteed deals.

Warriors Working Out Ben McLemore, Elfrid Payton, Others

The Warriors are bringing in a number of veteran free agents this week for workouts, league sources tell Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

According to Charania and Slater, some of the free agents taking part in the workouts are Ben McLemore, Elfrid Payton, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kenneth Faried, Miye Oni, Ty-Shon Alexander, Wesley Saunders, and Jon Axel Gudmundsson.

Golden State also held similar free agent workouts in August, according to Charania and Slater, who say that Shabazz Muhammad, Solomon Hill, Tyler Cook, and Kelan Martin were among the players who participated in those sessions about two weeks ago.

The purpose of this week’s workouts is twofold — as Tim Kawakami of The Athletic tweets, the players currently on the Warriors’ roster are beginning their informal pre-camp work at the team’s facility this week, so the free agents who join them will help ensure there are enough bodies to play 5-on-5 scrimmages. Additionally, there’s an expectation that the Warriors could sign one or more of the auditioning veterans to their 20-man training camp roster, per Charania and Slater.

Golden State currently has 18 players under contract (13 on guaranteed standard deals), with Jerome Robinson expected to be the 19th. That leaves one spot available for now.

Andre Iguodala has yet to decide whether he’ll retire or return to the Warriors for another season, so it’s possible he could fill that 20th and final roster spot (and become the 14th man on the team’s projected regular season roster). Robinson, Mac McClung, Pat Spencer, and Trevion Williams are among the camp invitees who could compete for a place on the 15-man regular season roster, especially if Iguodala doesn’t return.

Charania and Slater also note that that, while Lester Quinones and Quinndary Weatherspoon are currently on two-way deals, those roster spots are flexible. According to The Athletic’s duo, the Warriors are high on Weatherspoon, who is a candidate to join the 15-man roster either this fall or later in the season

Scotto’s Latest: Muhammad, Murray, Chandler, Maine Celtics

Former lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad is expected to be among the veteran free agents the Lakers host for workouts, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The 14th selection of the 2013 draft, Muhammad has been attempting an NBA comeback after being out of the league since 2018. He recently worked out for the Kings and said the Mavericks have shown some interest as well.

Still only 29 years old, Muhammad holds career averages of 9.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .473/.319/.751 shooting in 278 games (17.2 MPG). He played in China for a couple seasons after his NBA departure, and last season appeared in a pair of G League games during the Showcase Cup before joining a team in the Philippines.

Here are a few more notes from Scotto:

  • Jamal Murray is expected to make his return at the beginning of next season for the Nuggets after missing all of 2021/22 with a torn ACL. He called the prolonged absence a “learning experience and a test of patience,” but he’s ready to be a difference-maker next season. “A championship mindset, a winning attitude, and raising everybody’s level of play,” Murray replied when Scotto asked what he’d bring to Denver upon his return. “That’s what I do best.”
  • Former NBA forward Wilson Chandler, who played 12 seasons in the league, has had “exploratory” discussions with the Timberwolves about joining their front office, according to Scotto, who notes that Chandler had four seasons of overlap under new Wolves president Tim Connelly while the two were with the Nuggets. Chandler had a productive career, averaging 12.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .443/.341/.770 shooting in 676 games (483 starts, 30.0 MPG).
  • Boston’s G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics, are promoting Jarell Christian to GM from head coach, while Alex Barlow – Christian’s associate head coach last season – will take his place, sources tell Scotto. Christian was formerly an assistant coach with the Wizards, Scotto notes.

And-Ones: Muhammad, Musa, James, Grant

29-year-old former 2013 NBA lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad is hoping to return to the NBA after spending the past four seasons abroad, writes Dana O’Neil of The Athletic. Muhammad indicates that he has worked out for the Kings and has received interest from the Mavericks.

Muhammad was selected with the No. 14 pick out of UCLA in 2013 and spent the majority of his NBA tenure with the Timberwolves. After Minnesota waived him in the spring of 2018, he latched on with the Bucks. Since then, he has suited up for a pair of CBA clubs, the Shanxi Brave Dragons and the Shenzhen Aviators. During the 2021/22 season, Muhammad played briefly with the Nuggets’ NBAGL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold. He next joined the San Miguel Beermen of the Phillippine Basketball Association.

“It was a big adjustment,’’ Muhammad said of his time abroad. “The language barrier — I needed a translator to talk to my teammates — the food. I got down on myself.’’

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Nets small forward Dzanan Musa has inked a deal with top EuroLeague power Real Madrid, according to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando. The 6’9″ wing, still just 23, was selected with the No. 29 pick by Brooklyn in 2018. From 2018-20, he appeared in a total of 49 games for the Nets, averaging 4.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.1 APG while shooting 37.6% from the floor. Musa spent the 2021/22 season with another Spanish team, Club Baloncesto Breogán, for whom he averaged 20.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 3.1 APG.
  • Another recent Net, point guard Mike James, has opted to re-sign with AS Monaco on a two-year deal, according to Eurohoops. James, 31, was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team during his 2021/22 season with AS Monaco, averaging 16.4 PPG, 5.7 APG and 3.4 RPG. The 6’1″ James last suited up in 13 games for the Nets during the 2020/21 season, averaging 7.7 PPG, 4.2 APG and 2.5 RPG across 18.2 MPG.
  • Former NBA reserve guard Jerian Grant has signed with the Turkish club Turk Telekom, per Eurohoops. Grant, now 29, was selected with the No. 19 pick out of Notre Dame in 2015, and logged time with the Knicks, Bulls, and Magic, before landing with the Wizards for his last NBA season, 2019/20. The 6’4″ vet holds career NBA averages of 6.1 PPG, 2.9 APG, 1.9 RPG and 0.7 SPG across 279 games. Grant spent the 2021/22 season with Italian EuroLeague club Olimpia Milano. During his games played within the Italian League, he averaged 7.4 PPG 2.7 APG and 1.9 RPG.

Matthew Dellavedova Auditioning For Kings

7:08pm: Quinn Cook and Shabazz Muhammad also have workouts set for the Kings this week, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320. Sacramento has three roster spots to fill.


6:44pm: Matthew Dellavedova is working out for the Kings in Las Vegas in hopes of earning an invitation to training camp, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The 31-year-old Australian guard played for the Cavaliers during the 2020/21 season, but was limited to 13 games because of various injuries, a concussion and an emergency appendectomy. He returned home to play for Melbourne United this past season, but is hoping for an NBA comeback.

McMenamin notes that Mike Brown, Sacramento’s new head coach, was coaching in Cleveland when Dellavedova broke into the NBA in 2013.

Dellavedova played 447 games in eight NBA seasons, mostly with the Cavaliers, though he also spent some time with the Bucks. Known as an on-court leader and a scrappy defender, he was part of Cleveland’s championship team in 2016.

And-Ones: 2022 Big Board, Sleepers, Muhammad, Russia

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren and Auburn forward Jabari Smith are in a tier of their own atop Sam Vecenie’s latest Big Board for the Athletic. Vecenie has four Duke players in the top 24, including Paolo Banchero at No. 4 and AJ Griffin at No. 6.

One new addition: Kentucky wing Shaedon Sharpe at No. 5. Sharpe hasn’t played this season after joining the Wildcats in January with the plan to play in 2022/23, but he could be draft-eligible this year if he declares. Sharpe is an outstanding athlete at 6’6″ (7’0″ wingspan) and is a legitimate pull-up shooter, according to Vecenie.

Strong performances during March Madness when more NBA eyes will be watching the 2022 draft class could lead to major movement on the board, as Vecenie states that there are minimal differences from spots 15-58. He plans to update his board again in April.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic explores 11 draft sleepers to keep an eye on during March Madness, including Colorado State forward David Roddy and Memphis forward Josh Minott. Hollinger’s favorite “deep, deep sleeper” is Toledo shooting guard Ryan Rollins, who was No. 29 on Vecenie’s board.
  • Shabazz Muhammad recently had an interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, stating that he’s hoping to make an NBA comeback. Muhammad last played in the league in 2017/18 with the Bucks, and he admits he wasn’t in the best shape at the time. “I’ve been working on my game seriously. When I was in Milwaukee, I noticed I had gotten myself out of shape. I’m in tip-top shape right now. I’m 220 pounds. That was my original weight when I came into the NBA and had some good years in Minnesota,” Muhammad said. “I realized you can’t take the NBA for granted, and that’s one thing I thought I did when I was in the NBA. Now, I’m thinking about getting back there by working my butt off and doing everything I have to do on and off the court as a person to be the best player and teammate I can be.” The 29-year-old swingman is currently playing in the Philippines.
  • Sources tell Marc Stein of Substack (Twitter link) that Russian teams are attempting to lure their American players back to the country by promising bonuses. Many players currently under contract have returned stateside due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. As Stein notes (via Twitter), Russian teams were barred from European competition by FIBA, but league play is set to continue within the country. Stein is skeptical that the American players will rejoin the teams given the instability in the region and the fact that WNBA star Brittney Griner is currently detained in Russia.

And-Ones: Roster Rules, Muhammad, Faried, Prospects

A handful of reporters have shared some additional details on the changes to the NBA’s roster rules as agreed upon by the league and the players’ union, which we outlined this morning.

According to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, while teams are now being required to sign replacement players if they have multiple players sidelined due to positive COVID-19 tests, a club won’t have to sign any additional replacements if it’s able to have 13 healthy players in uniform.

Meanwhile, Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) cites multiple sources who say it won’t just be new hardship signings that don’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes — that change will be applied retroactively to all of this season’s hardship signings. Teams, of course, will still be required to pay 10-day salaries to each player they sign, but those deals won’t have an impact on a club’s cap or tax situation.

Finally, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link), even though players on two-way contracts no longer face a 50-game regular season limit, they remain ineligible to participate in play-in or postseason games unless they’re promoted to their team’s standard roster.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad, who last played in the NBA in 2018, joined the Grand Rapids Gold – the Nuggets‘ G League affiliate – for the NBAGL Showcase, as Marc Stein reported (via Twitter). Muhammad struggled in his debut on Sunday vs. the G League Ignite, recording four points, four turnovers, and six fouls in 16 minutes of action.
  • CSKA Moscow and veteran NBA big man Kenneth Faried have parted ways, the Russian club recently announced in a press release. Faried signed a two-month contract with CSKA in October, but played a limited role for the team, which opted not to extend his deal to cover the entire season. “Thank you for having me, it was amazing – the organization, coaches and people of CSKA Moscow,” Faried said in a statement. “I wish I could have stayed the whole season but it’s a business and I understand that!”
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic identifies seven college upperclassmen to keep an eye on this NCAA season as 2022 draft prospects, singling out Kansas wing Ochai Agbaji, Duke wing Wendell Moore Jr., and Northwestern forward Pete Nance (Larry Nance Jr.‘s brother), among others.

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Lance Stephenson Among NBA Vets Eligible For G League Draft

As previously reported, the NBA G League’s 2020/21 draft will take place on Monday, January 11. And according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links), there will be some interesting names on the list of players eligible to be selected in that draft.

Veteran swingman Lance Stephenson, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor, and other recent NBA players like Justin Patton, Jacob Evans, Dzanan Musa, and Admiral Schofield will be part of the draft pool, per Givony. Former first-round picks Terrence Jones and Shabazz Muhammad will be draft-eligible as well.

According to Givony, the following players who have been on NBA rosters in the past are also among the G League’s other draft-eligible veterans: Kenny Wooten, Antonio Blakeney, Tyler Ulis, Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Hollis Thompson, Cat Barber, Isaiah Briscoe, Phil Booth, Dusty Hannahs, Jemerrio Jones, Cory Jefferson, and Freddie Gillespie.

These, presumably, are players who have signed G League contracts but whose rights aren’t currently held by any teams. A player whose returning rights are controlled by a club participating in the G League’s bubble season wouldn’t be eligible to be drafted.

For instance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that LiAngelo Ball has signed a contract to play in the bubble. Since the Oklahoma City Blue hold his returning rights and are playing in the bubble, Ball shouldn’t be in the general draft pool.

The Blue are one of 18 teams set to participate in the shortened bubble season, which is expected to take place at Walt Disney World. That list of teams can be found right here.

Givony previously reported that the G League is adjusting its roster rules for this season to make it easier for NBA teams to recruit and sign veterans with five or more years of NBA experience. Each NBAGL team will be able to designate an “NBA Vet Selection” who fits that bill and can sign that player directly without navigating the league’s complicated waiver process. My understanding is that those designated won’t be in the draft pool.

Shabazz Muhammad, Zhou Qi Sign With Chinese Teams

A pair of former NBA players are returning to China for the 2019/20 season, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando, who writes that Shabazz Muhammad has signed with Shenzen and Zhou Qi has rejoined Xinjiang.

Muhammad, the 14th overall pick in the 2013 draft, spent five seasons in the NBA with the Timberwolves and Bucks. However, after being waived by Milwaukee last October, he opted to continue his career in China, joining the Shanxi Brave Dragons for the 2018/19 season.

The 26-year-old averaged 29.8 PPG and 11.2 RPG in 41 games for Shanxi, and will now continue playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, albeit with a new team.

As for Zhou, the Chinese big man was the 43rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, but remained with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers for one more year before joining the Rockets for the 2017/18 season.

Zhou appeared in 18 games for Houston in his rookie year, then played in just one game in 2018/19. The 23-year-old got a longer look in the G League during his time under contract with the Rockets, averaging 11.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 31 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He was released by the club last December and will now resume his career with his old team in Xinjiang.