Sindarius Thornwell

Sindarius Thornwell Signs With German Team

Veteran free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell will resume his career overseas, having signed with Ratiopharm Ulm, the German team announced today in a press release. Thornwell is an injury replacement for Christoph Philipps, who hurt his shoulder.

A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Thornwell has appeared in 160 total regular season games since entering the NBA, spending time with the Clippers, Pelicans, and Magic from 2017-21. He played in 21 games last season for New Orleans and Orlando.

Thornwell is considered a strong perimeter defender, but his offensive output in the NBA has been modest. The 6’4″ guard, who turns 27 next Monday, averaged 2.5 PPG on 40.7% shooting in his 160 NBA contests (10.8 MPG).

Thornwell finished last season on a two-way deal with the Magic, but had been a free agent since then. In Germany, he’ll join a Ratiopharm Ulm roster that includes a handful of other former NBA players, including Cristiano Felicio, Jaron Blossomgame, and Semaj Christon. The club competes in both Germany’s top league and the EuroCup.

Southeast Notes: Hunter, Young, Dragic, Thornwell, Adebayo

Hawks‘ second-year forward De’Andre Hunter underwent surgery today for a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, according to a team press release. He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of preseason.

Hunter had a breakout start to his second year in the NBA, but his season was derailed by knee injuries after just 18 games and several attempts at an early return went poorly. He looked to be rounding back into shape during the Hawks’ first-round series against the Knicks, but started experiencing swelling that caused him to miss the first two games of the team’s series against the Sixers before the injury was announced.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks guard Trae Young is being listed as probable for Game Five due to right shoulder soreness, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Young said that he injured the shoulder in Game Three but kept it to himself due to a desire to play in Game Four, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I wasn’t gonna tell nobody anyways other than the training staff,” he said, which may explain why head coach Nate McMillan claimed to have not known about the injury prior to tip-off. Young finished the game with 25 points and 18 assists, tied for second-most in Hawks history, as he helped lead the team to a comeback victory to tie the series at two games apiece.
  • Heat guard Goran Dragiccoming off a magical Finals run, had a disappointing season by his own standards, much of which was due to a string of injuries that prevented him from getting any real rhythm. The Slovenian guard opened up about his struggles with injuries, as Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. “I think I opened the season pretty well. I played well,” Dragic said. “Then just nagging injuries, a couple of injuries, COVID protocols, players in and out of the lineup. Sometimes you’re starting, sometimes not. It’s tough to catch a rhythm like that when you play two or three games and then you’re out for nine.” He’s hoping that this offseason will give him time to get his body right and be ready for next season. Dragic has a $19.4MM team option this summer, which the Heat will have to make a decision on.
  • Sindarius Thornwell may not have had a huge impact on the Magic in his seven games with the team, but he proved himself a capable defender and physical player, writes Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. But Orlando is going into the offseason with a roster filled with promising guards, and Thornwell is likely the odd man out. Parry writes that Thornwell could parlay his play with the Magic into a deal with another team.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines whether it could be worth it for the Heat to explore trading Bam Adebayo in a package for a star such as Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal, and what the ramifications of such a move could look like.

Magic Sign Sindarius Thornwell To Two-Way Contract

The Magic have signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release. Devin Cannady has been waived in a corresponding roster move.

Thornwell, 26, spent his first two NBA seasons with the Clippers after being selected 48th overall in the 2017 draft. He later caught on with the Pelicans for the 2020 summer restart and spent much of the 2020/21 season with New Orleans as well, first on a non-guaranteed contract, then on a pair of 10-day deals. The Pels didn’t re-sign him after that, largely due to luxury tax concerns.

In 153 career games, Thornwell has averaged just 2.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG in 10.3 minutes per contest. However, his shooting percentages (.414 FG%, .348 3PT%) haven’t been too bad, and he’s considered a solid perimeter defender.

Cannady recently underwent season-ending ankle surgery and was on an expiring deal, so there was no real incentive for the Magic to keep him under contract for the rest of the 2020/21 season. I’d expect Orlando to consider him for either a new two-way deal or a spot on the team’s G League affiliate once he fully recovers from his ankle injury.

Southwest Notes: Ball, Thornwell, Rockets, Spurs

As of Wednesday, Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball seemed more likely than not to be traded this week. But Thursday’s deadline came and went without a Ball deal, and the former No. 2 overall pick is now on track to reach restricted free agency with New Orleans later this year.

In the view of Will Guillory of The Athletic, the Pelicans made the right move by hanging onto Ball, who has noticeably improved since joining the team two years ago and complements New Orleans’ star forwards (Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram) well. Guillory suggests there were “legitimate” offers on the table, with the Hawks, Knicks, and and Bulls among the teams in the mix, but the Pels ultimately opted to take their chances with the point guard in restricted free agency.

Ball’s free agency will provide its own set of challenges, particularly since the Pelicans also want to retain RFA-to-be Josh Hart and may have to move off Steven Adams‘ or Eric Bledsoe‘s contract to re-sign both Ball and Hart and avoid the tax. An aggressive offer sheet for Ball from a rival suitor could also force New Orleans into a tough decision. But Guillory believes there would be a trade market for Ball down the road even if his next contract is worth a little more than the Pelicans would like.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • After signing Sindarius Thornwell to a pair of 10-day contracts, the Pelicans had been considering a rest-of-season deal for the veteran guard. If that happens though, it’ll have to be a little later this spring. As Andrew Lopez of ESPN notes (via Twitter), New Orleans moved so close to the tax line following its deadline-day trade that a rest-of-season signing at this point would push team salary over that threshold.
  • Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle explains the thinking behind the Rockets‘ decision to trade Victor Oladipo to Miami for a relatively modest return. As Feigen details, Oladipo’s days in Houston were likely numbered if the Rockets had hung onto him through the deadline, and the team wanted to open up more minutes for Kevin Porter alongside John Wall, so the front office opted to take the best offer available for Oladipo on Thursday.
  • With several veterans on expiring contracts, the Spurs were in position to shake up their roster at the trade deadline. However, as is typically the case in San Antonio during the season, the team opted to stand relatively pat instead, making just one small financially motivated move, acquiring Marquese Chriss and cash from Golden State. Noting that the Chriss trade was the Spurs’ first deadline deal since 2014, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News examines the club’s decision to once again remain quiet at the deadline.

Southwest Notes: Lonzo, Terry, Thornwell, Dieng

Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball may be on the move at the trade deadline, a possibility that could be predicated on the fact that Ball is hoping to make around $20MM annually on his next deal, per Sam Amick of The Athletic. The 6’6″ UCLA alum, 23, is currently earning $11MM in the final season of his rookie deal, and will enter restricted free agency this summer.

Ball is enjoying the best scoring season of his career, averaging a career-high 14.2 PPG. He is connecting on a career-high 42.5% of a career-most 12.1 field goal looks a night, including a career-best 38.5% from long range on a career-most 7.8 three-point looks a night. His 76.7% free throw percentage is also leagues beyond his previous high of 56.6%, though the volume remains modest (1.1 attempts a night).

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks point guard Tyrell Terry is not traveling with Dallas at present for personal reasons, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “I don’t have any timetable for him being back,” head coach Rick Carlisle said of Terry. The rookie, who has appeared in 11 games for Dallas, has been sidelined from the team for the past seven contests.
  • Though Pelicans swingman Sindarius Thornwell has run out of 10-day contracts with New Orleans, he may latch on with the club for the rest of the year as early as this Friday, depending on what trade deadline transactions transpire for the Pelicans by Thursday, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). The 6’4″ wing has appeared in 14 games for New Orleans this season.
  • Grizzlies reserve center Gorgui Dieng, who has been out of the lineup for almost a month, seems more likely to be bought out than be traded due to his hefty $17.3MM expiring deal, per Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Though Dieng has some appeal as a lengthy stretch big man, connecting on a career-best 47.9% from long range this season, his salary may preclude a deal. The Grizzlies have prioritized rookie big man Xavier Tillman Sr., the No. 35 pick in the 2020 draft out of Michigan State, over Dieng in their rotation.

Southwest Notes: Hayes, Vaccine, Gay, Mavericks, Wood

Pelicans big man Jaxson Hayes has regained his rotation spot and he’s determined to hold onto it, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. In his past five games, Hayes is averaging 11.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 1.4 BPG in 17.5 MPG. The 2019 lottery pick, who had his third-year rookie-scale option picked up by New Orleans in December, has displaced Willy Hernangomez as the second-unit backup center.

The main thing I took away was I never want to be in that position again,” Hayes said of his February benching. “It’s not like it was a bad thing. I just always want to be on the court.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Eligible members of the Pelicans organization received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. A majority of the players who were eligible received the shot did so, including Sindarius Thornwell, Lopez tweets. Italian Nicolo Melli also received the vaccine, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
  • The Spurs had four games prior to the All-Star break postponed due to coronavirus issues. Two of the affected players, Rudy Gay and Derrick White, expressed their gratitude to the team’s training and medical staffs for the high quality of care to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News“They’re just great people, the most helpful people I’ve been around, and they care about us,” Gay said.
  • While the Mavericks plan to give stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis periodic nights off, don’t expect coach Rick Carlisle to give the team’s four rookies extended playing time, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes.
  • Rockets big man Christian Wood is hopeful of returning to action on Tuesday, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Wood has been sidelined since February 4 due to an ankle injury. He’s listed by the team as doubtful.

Sindarius Thornwell Gets Second 10-Day Contract With Pelicans

The Pelicans have signed guard Sindarius Thornwell to a second 10-day contract, the team announced on Twitter.

This is the third contract of the season for Thornwell, even though he has been with New Orleans virtually the entire time. He signed a non-guaranteed deal in training camp, then was waived last month to avoid having his $1.62MM cap hit locked in for the entire season.

Teams can only offer players two 10-day deals, so if the Pelicans want to keep Thornwell after this one expires, they’ll have to sign him for the rest of the season. Thornwell has appeared in 11 games so far, starting one, and averages 1.4 PPG in 4.8 minutes per night.

The former South Carolina star was a second-round pick in 2017 and spent his first two NBA seasons with the Clippers. He joined the Pelicans as a substitute player for the restart last summer, but only played two games in Orlando.

The signing leaves New Orleans with one open roster spot.

Several 10-Day Contracts Expire; Multiple Teams Have Roster Spots To Fill

All seven of the 10-day contracts that were signed during the final week of February have now expired. As our 10-day tracker shows, that list included three Nets deals (Tyler Cook, Iman Shumpert, and Andre Roberson), along with contracts signed by the Pelicans (Sindarius Thornwell), Raptors (Donta Hall), Lakers (Damian Jones), and Kings (Norvel Pelle).

None of those players have been re-signed to a second 10-day deal so far, but that comes as no surprise. The five teams that had players on 10-day contracts won’t begin their second-half schedules until Thursday at the earliest (Friday for the Lakers), so it doesn’t make sense to sign someone to a 10-day contract now and waste the first few days of the deal.

That doesn’t mean that all the players listed above will get a second 10-day stint with their respective teams later this week, but some of them seem like good bets to stick around a little longer. Jones, for instance, looked good during his 10 days as a Laker, putting up eight points in eight minutes in his first appearance and earning a start in Sacramento last Wednesday.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Lakers and Pelicans are now carrying 13 players on standard contracts, while the Nets are carrying just 12. The NBA requires teams to have a minimum of 14 players under contract (not counting two-ways), but clubs are permitted to dip below that minimum for two weeks at a time.

So even if those three clubs decide not to bring back the same players on 10-day contracts, they’ll have to add a player (two players in Brooklyn’s case, but one will be Blake Griffin) at some point during the next couple weeks.

The Jazz are also in this boat, but will have to add a player even sooner. They dipped to 13 players on standard contracts when they waived Shaquille Harrison on February 24, so we can probably expect them to sign a player to a 10-day deal before the second-half schedule gets underway this week.

The Hornets, Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Suns, Trail Blazers, Kings, Spurs, and Raptors also have openings on their 15-man rosters, but aren’t under any pressure to fill them in the near future, since they’re all at the 14-player minimum.

Most teams with open roster spots will fill them before the end of the regular season, but for the time being, it makes sense for those teams to either hold them open or fill them with players on 10-day deals in order to maximize their roster flexibility for the March 25 trade deadline.

Pelicans Sign Sindarius Thornwell To 10-Day Deal

After waiving guard Sindarius Thornwell on Monday, the Pelicans have brought him back on a 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release.

Thornwell was released for financial reasons before his contract would have become guaranteed for the rest of 2020/21. Instead of having his $1.62MM cap hit locked in for the season, he’ll make about $111K on his new 10-day deal with New Orleans.

The 26-year-old has appeared in 11 games this season, making one start, and was averaging 1.4 points in 4.8 minutes per night.

Thornwell signed a substitution contract with New Orleans prior to the NBA’s restart last summer and got into two games in Orlando. He re-signed with the team during the offseason.

Pelicans Waive Sindarius Thornwell

FEBRUARY 23: The Pelicans officially waived Thornwell on Monday, per NBA.com’s transactions log.


FEBRUARY 22: The Pelicans intend to release guard Sindarius Thornwell, reports Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Thornwell appeared in 11 games for New Orleans this season, but saw limited action, averaging just 4.8 minutes per contest. In 53 total minutes, he scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, chipping in four steals.

According to Guillory, the Pelicans were happy with Thornwell’s performance, but will make the move for financial reasons. The 26-year-old’s minimum-salary contract isn’t fully guaranteed, so by waiving him prior to Wednesday’s salary guarantee deadline, the club will save some money and create more breathing room below the luxury tax line.

Rather than counting for $1,620,564 against the Pelicans’ cap, Thornwell will have a cap charge of $721,484, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. New Orleans will move approximately $1.4MM below the tax threshold, Marks adds (Twitter link).

Because the Pelicans already have an open spot on their 15-man roster, releasing Thornwell will reduce their total standard contracts to just 13. The league-mandated minimum is 14, but teams can dip below that number for two weeks at a time. New Orleans will have to add a 14th man within two weeks and will likely do so by utilizing a 10-day contract — 10-day deals can be signed starting on Tuesday.