More G League players than ever are either leaving their teams for personal reasons or being “removed from a team,” writes Adam Johnson of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Terrence Jones, who recently completed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Rockets, is the latest example, as Johnson tweets that he has been removed from the active roster of the Erie BayHawks.
Jeff Ledbetter, Lavoy Allen, Jarnell Stokes, Raphiael Putney, Quincy Acy, DeAndre Liggins and Chris McCullough have also left their G League teams this season for various reasons. Some ultimately returned, but Johnson sees the pattern as an issue for the league. He notes the stress involved in being so close to the big leagues can make players react poorly if they have a bad game in front of NBA scouts.
Johnson urges new G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim to expand the availability of mental health services available to players and encourage more discussion on the topic, just like the NBA did after revelations from Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan.
There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:
- Former NBA forward Thomas Robinson, who signed a G League contract this week, has been claimed on waivers by the Celtics‘ affiliate in Maine, Johnson tweets. The league mistakenly awarded Robinson to the Red Claws a day early, as players must spend at least 48 hours on waivers unless they are claimed by the team with the top waiver spot. Robinson prefers to go to Maine, and Johnson states that still appears to be his destination (Twitter link). The fifth player selected in the 2012 draft, Robinson played for six NBA teams in five seasons.
- Spencer Hawes has been impressive in the G League and is “on the radar” for an NBA call-up, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Playing for the Lakers‘ affiliate, Hawes had a 29-point game last night and is shooting 59% from 3-point range.
- A few unlikely teams appear to have done very well at the trade deadline, according to Matt John of Basketball Insiders. Many observers thought the Clippers were giving up on this season when they traded away leading scorer Tobias Harris, but they got a nice collection of young talent and future assets in return and acquired Ivica Zubac from the Lakers in a separate deal. The Clippers have solidified a playoff spot at 40-30 and appear in stronger position to make an offseason run at Kawhi Leonard. The Pistons only made minor moves, John adds, but trading away Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock created more playing time for Luke Kennard and Wayne Ellington, who have helped Detroit to a 10-4 record since the deadline. The Grizzlies have been playing better since unloading Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple. Avery Bradley and Jonas Valanciunas have been standouts in Memphis and have increased the chances that the Grizzlies will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics this year rather than having to worry about it in the future.
- Italian club Grison Bon Reggio Emilia has expressed interest in former NBA center Alexis Ajinca, who left his French team last week, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.