Stephen Zimmerman

And-Ones: Kobe, C. Randle, Seattle, Ball Family

Kobe Bryant retired from the Lakers two years ago, but his days of competitive basketball may not be over. BIG3 founder Ice Cube plans to make a strong push to get Bryant involved in his three-on-three league of former NBA players, relays Nina Mandell of USA Today.

“To me he’s the biggest name out there for us to get and he’s going to have to get a restraining order on me to leave him alone about this,” Ice Cube said.

BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz started the rumor mill earlier this week by indicating in a conference call that Bryant had interest in joining the league, but a spokesperson for Bryant later issued a denial. Bryant, who turned 40 today, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and underwent knee surgery late in his career.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • In a G League trade, the expansion Capital City Go-Go acquired the rights to Chasson Randle from Westchester, according to a tweet from the Knicks. Randle agreed to a training camp deal last month with the Wizards, who are the parent team of the Go-Go. Randle, 25, had brief stints with the Sixers and Knicks during the 2016/17 season. In return, Westchester received the rights to center Stephen Zimmerman, who was selected in Wednesday’s expansion draft.
  • In a separate deal announced by the Knicks (Twitter link), Westchester acquired the G League rights to Duje Dukan from Capital City, Wisconsin received the rights to Travis Trice and the Go-Go got the rights to Josh Davis.
  • The NBA’s return to Seattle will be televised by ESPN, relays Jordan Ramirez of NBA.com. The Kings and the Warriors will square off October 5 in the first NBA game at Key Arena since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City a decade ago.
  • The Ball family didn’t make a good impression during its four months in Lithuania, according to Steve Gardner of USA Today. LaVar Ball pulled his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo off their BC Prinai-Skycop team with two games remaining in the season and left a lot of animosity behind. In a press release issued today by the team, coach Virginijus Seskus claims the Ball brothers were “nowhere near the level of the LKL (Lithuanian league)” and “they had no inner drive to become better.” BC Prinai-Skycop also claims that LaVar Ball took back his financial support from the team, along with shooting machines that were presented as gifts.
  • In the latest installment of her five-part series on mental health issues in the NBA, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN talks to referees about the stress they face. Joey Crawford, one of the game’s legendary officials, discusses his experience with counseling after being suspended following a 2007 confrontation with Tim Duncan.

Go-Go Stock Roster in G League Expansion Draft

The Capital City Go-Go welcomed their first 14 players today in the G League expansion draft, tweets Adam Johnson of Two Ways and 10 Days. The Wizards’ new affiliate stocked its roster with a mixture of young players and veterans, including a few names familiar to NBA fans, including Lavoy Allen, Alonzo Gee and Luke Harangody.

As we saw with last year’s expansion draft, being selected isn’t a guarantee that any of these 14 players will take the court for Capital City in its inaugural season. Many of the players chosen today are still seeking NBA opportunities and some will head overseas.

Allen, 29, played 388 games for the Sixers and Pacers, with his last NBA action coming in the 2016/17 season. Gee, 31, played for six teams in eight seasons and has also been out of the league since 2016/17. Harangody, 30, appeared in 70 total games with the Celtics and Cavaliers and hasn’t been in the NBA since 2011/12.

The other G League franchises were permitted to protect up to 12 players on their roster, and Capital City was limited to taking a maximum of two players from a single team. The Go-Go will begin play this fall, bringing the G League to 27 teams and leaving the Pelicans, Nuggets and Trail Blazers as the only NBA clubs without direct affiliates.

The other new members of the Go-Go, listed alphabetically, are:

Quinton Chievous

Michael Cobbins

Will Cummings

Alex Davis

Will Davis

Duje Dukan

Kellen Dunham

Tyler Harvey

Pe’Shon Howard

Vince Hunter

Stephen Zimmerman

Lakers Waive V.J. Beachem, Stephen Zimmerman

The Lakers have begun to make cuts to their roster with the preseason nearing an end, announcing today in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on V.J. Beachem and Stephen Zimmerman. Beachem and Zimmerman will become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday, assuming they clear waivers.

Beachem and Zimmerman both signed contracts with the Lakers this summer, but saw very limited action during the preseason, and weren’t strong candidates to make the club’s 15-man roster.

Beachem, a 6’8″ forward who played his college ball at Notre Dame, averaged 14.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 3PG, and 1.1 BPG in his senior year last season. He received a $50K guarantee when he signed with the Lakers and looks like a candidate to join the club’s G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Zimmerman, the 41st overall pick in the 2016 draft, was waived by the Magic after just one year with the franchise, but had some success in the G League last season. In 21 games for the Erie BayHawks, the young center averaged 13.4 PPG and 8.9 RPG.

The Lakers’ roster is now down to 18 players, including one (Alex Caruso) on a two-way contract. The club will have to make at least two more roster moves before the regular season begins.

Lakers Sign Stephen Zimmerman To Camp Deal

2:46pm: The Lakers’ deal with Zimmerman is now official, with the team confirming the signing in a press release.

10:53am: Free agent center Stephen Zimmerman has agreed to a deal with the Lakers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Zimmerman will sign a partially guaranteed contract and join the Lakers for training camp.

Zimmerman, 20, was the 41st overall pick in the 2016 draft, landing with the Magic. The former UNLV big man saw limited action during his rookie season in Orlando, averaging 1.2 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 19 games (5.7 MPG) for the club. However, he had a more extensive role in 21 games for the Erie BayHawks, averaging 13.4 PPG and 8.9 RPG in the G League.

The Magic’s contract agreement with Zimmerman included just one guaranteed season, with a non-guaranteed salary for year two. Faced last month with a deadline to make a decision on his 2017/18 salary, Orlando’s new management group opted to move on from Zimmerman, waiving him and making him a free agent.

Zimmerman is the third young player who has recently agreed to sign a camp deal with the Lakers. The team also added Vander Blue last week and struck an agreement with Briante Weber on Tuesday.

Magic Waive Stephen Zimmerman

The Magic have parted ways with the 41st overall pick from last year’s draft, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel, who tweets that the team has waived second-year center Stephen Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 20, saw limited action during his rookie season in Orlando, averaging 1.2 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 19 games (5.7 MPG) for the club. The former UNLV big man had a more extensive role in 21 games for the Erie BayHawks, averaging 13.4 PPG and 8.9 RPG in the G League.

While teams are often inclined to stick with second-round projects for longer than just one year, the Magic are under new management this offseason, having hired Jeff Weltman and John Hammond to replace Rob Hennigan in the front office, so the new group didn’t have any particular attachment to Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s contract also forced the team to make a decision on him this week — his minimum salary for 2017/18 was set to become fully guaranteed if he wasn’t cut by the end of the July moratorium. The Magic won’t be on the hook for any of that money now that they’ve waived him.

Southeast Notes: Schroder, Ellington, Oubre Jr.

A mid-game argument resulting in an ugly defensive breakdown has some questioning the team harmony in the Hawks‘ lockerroom. In addition to a spat with Dwight Howard, 23-year-old point guard Dennis Schroder is said to have engaged with head coach Mike Budenholzer too, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

While Schroder and Howard were caught on camera arguing about a Howard turnover the previous possession, Stephen Curry wasted no time calling for the inbound pass and draining a three. The basket put the Warriors in front and they would go on to win the game. Shortly after the incident, Schroder – who at that point had led the Hawks in scoring with 23 points – was benched by Budenholzer for the remainder of the contest.

We need to learn to play together and stay together for 48 minutes,” Budenholzer said of his Hawks. “That is something that is important to us.

Vivlamore reminds readers that this isn’t the first time the Hawks have punished Schroder. When the guard returned to Atlanta late after the All-Star Break, he was suspended for one game. In that situation, Schroder cited passport complications as the reason for his delay.

Worth noting, Schroder has posted a photo of himself and Howard on Instagram and Twitter, a likely attempt to bury the hatchet, publicly at least.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/13/17

Here are Monday’s D-League Assignments and recalls from around the league:

  • The Trail Blazers have recalled Tim Quarterman and Jake Layman from the Windy City Bulls, the team announced via Twitter. Layman had been assigned to Windy City on January 23, and Quarterman on January 29. Quarterman has averaged 9.8 points in the D-League this season, and Layman has averaged 17.9.
  • The Magic recalled Stephen Zimmerman from the Erie BayHawks, the team announced via Twitter. Zimmerman has scored 10 points through eight NBA games this season, but has fared better in the D-League; recording 13.3 points with 8.9 rebounds with Erie.
  • The Nets have recalled Chris McCullough from their D-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, the team announced in a press release. McCullough, who last appeared in an NBA game on January 27 against the Cavaliers, has averaged 18.1 points through 30 D-League games this season.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 12/31/16

Here are Saturday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Magic assigned center Stephen Zimmerman to the Erie BayHawks, the team tweets. The 7’0” center has appeared in eight games this season with the Magic, averaging 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 4.0 minutes. This is his third assignment to the BayHawks. He’s averaged 17.3 points, 13.5 rebounds 1.5 blocks in 34.2 minutes over six games with them.
  • The Suns recalled forward Derrick Jones Jr. from the Northern Arizona Suns, eight days after he was assigned to the D-League for the third time, the team tweets (Twitter link). He has averaged 14.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 32.1 minutes over 14 games with Northern Arizona.
  • The Knicks recalled guard Ron Baker and center Marshall Plumlee and they will rejoin the team in Houston, according to their Twitter feed. They were assigned to the Westchester Knicks on Friday and started their game against Fort Wayne. Baker had nine points, four assists and four steals in 30 minutes, while Plumlee posted 16 points and six rebounds in the same amount of action.
  • The Hornets recalled guard Aaron Harrison and forward Christian Wood from the Greensboro Swarm, they announced in a press release.  Harrison has appeared in 13 Swarm games over three assignments, recording averages of 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 36.5 minutes per game. Wood has appeared in 11 Swarm games during two D-League stints, averaging 17.2 points, 9.3 boards and 2.1 blocks in 29.3 minutes.
  • The Lakers recalled Ivica Zubac from the D-Fenders, one day after assigning him to the D-League, Harrison Faigen of SB Nation tweets. The 7’1” center had 17 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes against Northern Arizona on Friday.
  • The Jazz recalled forward Joel Bolomboy after he appeared in one game with the Salt Lake City Stars during his latest assignment. the team announced in a press release. He recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes against Sioux Falls on Friday.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 12/19/16

Here are Monday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

9:51pm:

  • The Warriors have recalled Damian Jones from their D-League affiliate, says the team in a press release. The center posted 17 points and nine rebounds in his lone game with the Santa Cruz Warriors Sunday night.

3:20pm:

  • The Raptors have sent Bruno Caboclo and Fred VanVleet back the D-League, the team announced today (via Twitter). Neither player has seen much action this season for Toronto, but with Cory Joseph and Delon Wright on the shelf, VanVleet was Kyle Lowry‘s backup on Sunday and played a career-high 23 minutes.
  • The Jazz have recalled rookie forward Joel Bolomboy from the Salt Lake City Stars, according to a team release. During his most recent game with Utah’s D-League affiliate over the weekend, Bolomboy helped lead the team to a win with 28 points and 19 rebounds.
  • The Magic have recalled C.J. Wilcox and Stephen Zimmerman from their D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Both players were sent down on December 15.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 12/15/16

Here are Thursday’s D-League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Raptors assigned point guard Fred VanVleet and forward Bruno Caboclo to their affiliate, Raptors 905, according to the team’s Twitter feed (Twitter links). They both played against the Oklahoma City Blue on Thursday, with VanVleet scoring nine points and dishing out 12 assists, while Caboclo had 13 points. VanVleet has seen action in six games with Toronto this season, while Caboclo has appeared in three games.
  • The Magic assigned guard C.J. Wilcox and center Stephen Zimmerman to the Erie BayHawks, the team announced on its website. Wilcox has played in 10 games this season with the Magic. Zimmerman has appeared in four games this season with the Magic. He was previously assigned to Erie on November 28th.
  • The Suns recalled point guard Tyler Ulis and big man Alan Williams from the Northern Arizona Suns, the team tweets. Ulis, an early second-rounder, has played in 14 games with Phoenix this season. Williams has played nine games with the NBA club.
  • The Jazz assigned forward Joel Bolomboy to their affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, the team announced. This marks the fifth assignment this season for Bolomboy, who has played eight games this season with the Jazz.
  • The Grizzlies assigned guard Wade Baldwin IV to their affiliate, the Iowa Energy. Baldwin, who has appeared in 20 games with Memphis, played two games for the Energy last month.