Sindarius Thornwell

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Favors, Rockets, Clarke

When the Pelicans announced on Monday that they’d signed Sindarius Thornwell, they indicated in their press release that the guard is a substitute player, but didn’t reveal which player on the roster he’d be replacing. More than 24 hours later, we have no further clarity on which New Orleans player will be supplanted by Thornwell.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), Thornwell is replacing a player who tested positive for the coronavirus and the Pelicans can’t name that player for privacy reasons. The team previously announced that three players tested positive for COVID-19, but the identities of those players wasn’t reported. Still, it will likely just be a matter of time until we know which Pelican won’t participate in the summer restart, if only by the process of elimination.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Pelicans center Derrick Favors, whose contract expires at season’s end, admitted today that he weighed the risk of suffering a pre-free-agency injury this summer before ultimately deciding to play. I definitely thought about it,” Favors said, per Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). “But I trust my body and I trust what I’ve done.”
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey said this week that he isn’t too concerned about the 2020/21 salary cap uncertainty, having concluded that any fluctuation is “probably not going to impact us too much,” tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets – and as I pointed out when I previewed Houston’s ’20/21 cap – a shifting tax line could affect the Rockets, since they already have more than $123MM committed to six guaranteed contracts.
  • Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, who missed the team’s last eight games before the hiatus due to a quad injury, said on Monday that he feels like he’s back to full health, as Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. “Over these past five to six weeks, I’ve gotten back to the player that I was. I feel like I’m pretty much the same health that I was pre-injury,” Clarke said. “I got the same balance and running habits, so it’ll all just be about my habits on the court.”

Pelicans Sign Sindarius Thornwell As Substitute Player

6:25pm: Miller has been officially ruled out as he continues his rehab from right Achilles surgery, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez tweets.

1:04pm: The Pelicans have officially signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell for the rest of the season as a substitute player, the team announced today in a press release.

Thornwell, 25, was selected with the 48th overall pick in the 2017 draft and spent the first two years of his professional career with the Clippers. He appeared in 137 total games for Los Angeles, averaging 2.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG on .415/.342/.689 shooting in a limited role (10.7 MPG).

After being waived by the Clippers last July, Thornwell spent the 2019/20 season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League, averaging 9.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 40 games (28.9 MPG). The 6’5″ guard is considered a strong perimeter defender.

It remains to be seen which player on the Pelicans roster is being replaced by Thornwell. According to Christian Clark of NOLA.com (Twitter link), swingman Darius Miller isn’t traveling to Orlando with the team due to his ongoing Achilles recovery, but an injured player like Miller isn’t eligible to be replaced by a substitute player.

At this point, a substitute player can only be signed to replace a player who voluntarily opts out of the NBA’s restart or who has tested positive for COVID-19. No Pelicans players have announced they plan to opt out, but three tested positive for the coronavirus in June. We’ll have to wait for further updates to confirm which player is being replaced by Thornwell and why — the player in question will be ineligible to return this season.

Cavaliers Waive Four Players

The Cavaliers have made a series of roster cuts, announcing tonight in a press release that they’ve waived guards Daniel Hamilton, Sindarius Thornwell, and J.P. Macura, as well as forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The club now has 16 players under contract.

Hamilton, Thornwell, Macura, and Luwawu-Cabarrot were all on non-guaranteed contracts in Cleveland, so releasing them won’t have an impact on the team’s cap. According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers are hopeful that Hamilton and Macura, in particular, will end up joining the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate.

All four players have some NBA experience, with Thornwell and Luwawu-Cabarrot seeing the most action in 2018/19. Thornwell, 24, appeared in 64 games for the Clippers, while Luwawu-Cabarrot, a former first-round pick, played in 50 contests for the Thunder and Bulls.

The Cavs are currently carrying 13 players with guaranteed salaries and one player on a two-way contract, so there are at least two openings available on the roster to start the regular season — one two-way deal and at least one spot on the 15-man roster (teams are permitted to carry just 14 players on standard contracts).

While Jarell Martin and Marques Bolden are the two camp invitees who remain under contract, that doesn’t mean they’re assured spots on the Cavs’ final roster, sources tell Fedor. With a ton of cuts expected across the NBA over the next several days, Cleveland will continue to monitor the rest of the league for potential roster additions, Fedor adds.

Cavs Officially Sign Four Players, Waive Two

The Cavaliers have finalized a series of roster moves, according to RealGM’s log of official NBA transactions. Cleveland released a pair of players on non-guaranteed contracts, then signed four players to training camp deals, filling their 20-man offseason roster. Here’s a breakdown of the moves made by the Cavs:

Signed:

Waived:

Newman and Randolph signed with the Cavs nearly a month ago, but didn’t stick with the team long enough to attend training camp. Both players spent last season with the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate, and look like good bets to return to Canton in 2019/20. Their Exhibit 10 deals will entitle them to bonuses worth up to $50K if they spend at least two months with the Charge this season.

As for Bolden, Hamilton, Macura, and Thornwell, we provided more details on all four players in our previous stories on their deals with the Cavs, as linked above. They’ll fill out the team’s 20-man roster and will get an opportunity to compete in camp for a spot on the 15-man regular season roster or a two-way contract.

Currently, Cleveland is carrying 13 players with guaranteed salaries and one on a two-way deal. The newly-signed quartet will join Alex Robinson and Jarell Martin as non-guaranteed camp invitees who will look to make a positive impression in the preseason.

Sindarius Thornwell To Sign With Cavaliers

6:52pm: Thornwell’s new contract will be non-guaranteed, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

6:09pm: The Cavaliers will sign Sindarius Thornwell to a one-year contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The agreement was confirmed by Thornwell’s agent, Andy Shiffman of Priority Sports.

The 24-year-old shooting guard spent his first two NBA seasons with the Clippers after being taken with the 48th pick in the 2017 draft. Thornwell played 15.8 minutes in 73 games as a rookie, but those numbers dropped to 4.9 minutes in 64 games last season. He averaged 2.5 PPG during his time in L.A.

He became a free agent when the Clippers waived him last month before his $1,618,520 salary for next season would have become fully guaranteed on July 20.

The signing will bring Cleveland to 14 players officially under contract, along with one two-way player, plus the expected additions of Marques Bolden and J.P. Macura. Teams can bring 20 players into training camp.

Clippers Waive Tyrone Wallace, Sindarius Thornwell

5:04pm: The Clippers have officially waived both Wallace and guard Sindarius Thornwell, according to the NBA’s official transactions log. The 48th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Thornwell had a promising rookie season but struggled last year in a reduced role, averaging 1.0 PPG and 0.7 RPG in 64 games (4.9 MPG).

Thornwell’s $1,618,520 salary was due to become guaranteed on July 20, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, so the Clippers won’t be on the hook for it.

3:54am: The Clippers will waive guard Tyrone Wallace, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Per Basketball Insiders, Wallace was on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract which would have become partially guaranteed for $300K in September, then fully guaranteed in January.

The news of Wallace’s release will be significantly overshadowed by other Clippers-related moves tonight, as the team reached an agreement to sign Kawhi Leonard and struck a deal to acquire Paul George during perhaps the most dramatic half-hour in franchise history.

Still, Wallace saw a decent amount of action as a role player for the Clips in 2018/19, averaging 3.5 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 62 games (10.1 MPG). His performance represented a step down from his 2017/18 showing, when he posted 9.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 30 games (19 starts) while playing on a two-way contract.

Those rookie-year numbers helped earn Wallace an offer sheet from the Pelicans as a restricted free agent last summer, which the Clippers matched. Because of that offer sheet, New Orleans will be the only team not eligible to claim Wallace off waivers, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The former Cal standout will become an unrestricted free agent if he goes unclaimed.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/10/19

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Clippers recalled guards Jerome Robinson and Sindarius Thornwell from the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s PR department tweets. In 18 games with Agua Caliente, Robinson has averaged 19.7 PPG and 3.5 APG in 31.3 MPG. The 13th overall pick of the 2018 draft has appeared in 25 games with the Clippers. Thornwell has played six games with the G League club this season, averaging 14.7 PPG in 30.6 MPG but has shot just 18.5% from deep.
  • The Spurs recalled forward Chimezie Metu and rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV from the Austin Spurs in time for Sunday’s game against Milwaukee, according to a team press release. In 22 games with Austin, Metu has averages of 14.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 1.5 BPG in 27.8 MPG. Walker IV has posted averages of 16.2 PPG and 1.8 APG over 27.2 MPG in 26 games with Austin.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/8/19

Here are today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Suns have assigned rookie guard Elie Okobo to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Okobo, who has appeared in 43 games and started 11 for Phoenix this season, has fallen out of the club’s rotation since the All-Star break, so he’ll get some reps for the Northern Arizona Suns.
  • The Clippers have recalled guards Jerome Robinson and Sindarius Thornwell from the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, a day after sending them down (Twitter link). Robinson and Thornwell combined for 33 points on 9-of-26 shooting for L.A.’s NBAGL affiliate on Thursday.
  • The Pistons have sent a pair of 2018 second-rounders, Khyri Thomas and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, to the G League, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The duo will get an opportunity to suit up for the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday night against the Erie BayHawks.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/7/19

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls 3/6/19

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA: