Terrence Ross

And-Ones: G League, Trier, Ross, Expansion, 2021 Draft

Many G League hopefuls – including a number of NBA veterans –  are eligible to be selected in the NBAGL’s 2021 draft, which will take place on Monday. But competition for those draft slots figures to be fierce.

Since the majority of NBAGL roster spots are occupied by affiliate players and returning-rights players, teams often don’t make full use of the draft anyway. In a typical year, the G League draft is four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. As G League expert Adam Johnson points out (in a Twitter thread), this year’s draft will last just three rounds and teams won’t be required to make any picks.

Roster spots will also be at a premium for a couple more reasons — 11 NBA teams’ affiliates aren’t participating in the G League bubble, and rosters won’t be expanded for training camp, as a coronavirus precaution. Johnson suggests he wouldn’t be surprised if only about 20 or so players are selected in Monday’s draft.

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

  • Former Knicks guard Allonzo Trier will be among the players vying to be picked in Monday’s G League draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Trier is signing an NBAGL contract.
  • Magic swingman Terrence Ross has signed with Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul for representation, says Charania (Twitter link). Klutch also added Calvin Andrews as a senior agent directing basketball operations, per Charania, who notes that Andrews’ client list includes Magic forward Aaron Gordon and Timberwolves wing Josh Okogie.
  • A high-ranking team executive who spoke to David Aldridge of The Athletic said the NBA is unlikely to seriously consider expansion before the end of the 2021/22 season. However, Aldridge notes that Seattle is at the top of the league’s list. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said this week that she’s “pretty optimistic” about the city’s chances of getting a team in the coming years.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, draft gurus Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz examine how NBA evaluators are approaching this year’s class, take a closer look at some underperforming Kentucky prospects, and consider how a single-site NCAA tournament will impact NBA scouting.

Southeast Notes: Westbrook, Ross, Magic, Hornets

Russell Westbrook has yet to make his Wizards debut, and it won’t happen on Thursday night vs. Detroit. The team announced today (Twitter link) that Westbrook has been ruled out of tonight’s exhibition game for rest purposes.

As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes, it’s somewhat surprising that the Wizards wouldn’t be more motivated to get Westbrook into an actual game to allow him to establish some chemistry with his new teammates. However, Scott Brooks suggested on Wednesday that the team doesn’t think preseason action is all that necessary for the veteran guard.

“With him being whatever it is, 13 years (in the NBA), an exhibition is not gonna make much a difference for him,” the Wizards head coach said. “… Normally, sometimes you say that you need a couple of games under your belt before you start the season, but with him, he’s probably the exception to that rule. He’s been in the league long enough. He knows what he needs to do to get his rhythm back.”

Like Westbrook, Davis Bertans will sit out Thursday’s preseason contest too, but Bradley Beal is expected to make his 2020/21 debut for the Wizards.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Terrence Ross has missed the Magic‘s first two preseason games due to a hairline fracture in his left big toe, but he sounds just about ready to return. Ross participated in all the contact drills during Wednesday’s practices and head coach Steve Clifford thinks there’s a good chance he’ll play on Thursday, per Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).
  • Evaluating the Magic‘s November roster changes, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes that the club’s “defining move this offseason was its lack of moves.” With Jonathan Isaac out for the season, Hollinger wonders if the time is right for Orlando to “soft tank” rather than vying for a back-end playoff berth that would lead to another quick postseason exit.
  • The Hornets have lacked depth in recent years, but when the team is fully healthy this season, the likes of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, and Jalen McDaniels should all be coming off the bench, giving head coach James Borrego some intriguing lineup options, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

Health Updates: Zion, Ross, Claxton, Warriors

Zion Williamson‘s NBA debut last season was delayed by knee surgery and he dealt with minutes limitations upon returning, but the Pelicans forward said he has “no restrictions” for the 2020/21 season, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Williamson’s comments came shortly after new head coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters that the former No. 1 pick easily passed his conditioning test and had “no limitations” in practice.

“Me and Coach Van Gundy have talked and from what I know now, there are no restrictions,” Williamson said. “None.”

As a rookie, Williamson was often limited to four- or five-minute “bursts” and found himself being subbed out of games at key moments. He’s looking forward to playing for longer stretches and hopes to look more like his old self this season, as Lopez details.

“I want to show that I’m a basketball player. I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do on offense or defense no matter what it is to win. I’m just a competitor,” Williamson said. “When I’m healthy and competing, I’m just a different kind of player. I think that’s the player everyone fell in love with.”

Here are a few more health updates from around the NBA:

  • Having undergone an MRI, Magic swingman Terrence Ross has been diagnosed with a minor, non-displaced hairline fracture in his left big toe, the team announced today in a press release. Ross is continuing to participate in non-contact work during practices. According to the team, his return to full contact will depend on how his toe responds to treatment.
  • After the Nets announced over the weekend that Nicolas Claxton is dealing with right knee tendinopathy, head coach Steve Nash said today that he expects the second-year big man to be out for “weeks,” tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • The two Warriors players who tested positive for the coronavirus aren’t expected to be able to participate in group practices until next week at the earliest, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The identities of those two players are still unknown.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Heat, Monk, Hornets

Magic guard Terrence Ross has recovered from a stomach ailment and is now back with the team for the postseason, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Ross, who left the Orlando campus for medical care last week, described his experience in great detail, explaining what caused the issue in the first place.

“Sometimes your stomach creates too much stomach acid when you eat and it can get into your esophagus,” he said.

Ross finished eating in the team room at roughly 8:30 pm before ordering more food just 90 minutes later, according to Parry. He went to bed around 10:40 and began to experience sharp pains shortly after that.

“I started feeling like … almost like really, really, really intense like heartburn, almost. But then I realized it was more than that,” Ross said. “I didn’t even know what it was at the time but it was debilitating. It hurt. I was hunched over the floor for like an hour in the fetal position because of just whatever I wanted to do, everything that I was doing was just amplified and getting worse. So I called the team doctor and they took it from there.”

The Magic are set to open their first-round playoff series against the Bucks on Tuesday with Ross in the rotation. He has averaged 14.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 27.4 minutes per game off the bench this season, shooting 40% from the field and 35% from downtown.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division today:

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explores whether the Heat are truly ready for the playoffs in his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has opted to change his rotation in Orlando, starting forward Jae Crowder in place of Meyers Leonard in order to play smaller and quicker.
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines whether Malik Monk could make a similar leap with the Hornets that Devonte’ Graham did. Charlotte drafted Monk with the No. 11 pick in 2017, with Monk averaging a career-high 10.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest this season.
  • Bonnell also examined a perk the Hornets got from the Orlando restart in a separate story for the Charlotte Observer, securing a 2020 second-round draft pick from the Celtics. Charlotte finished with the tenth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 23-42 this season.

Terrence Ross Returns To NBA Campus

Magic sharpshooter Terrence Ross wasn’t away from the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World for long. After announcing on Monday that Ross had left to address a medical matter unrelated to COVID-19, the Magic said this morning (via Twitter) that he has returned.

Ross’ medical tests came back negative and he has begun his quarantine period, according to the team. Typically, a player who leaves the NBA’s campus for personal reasons must quarantine for at least four days upon returning. However, the league sent out a memo in July informing teams that players wouldn’t necessarily have to quarantine for that long if they leave the bubble for local medical treatment with league approval.

The Magic previously announced that Ross would be out for Tuesday’s game against Brooklyn, but if we assume his quarantine period will be brief, he could be back in action on Thursday when Orlando faces New Orleans in the team’s final seeding game. Whether or not he plays this week, he definitely should be available for the start of the postseason on August 17.

Although he hasn’t started a game in 2019/20, Ross is the first man off the bench for the Magic, playing 27.4 minutes per contest. He has averaged 14.7 PPG on .403/.351/.853 shooting in 69 games this season, though those numbers are slightly down during the restart — 14.3 PPG on .362/.300/.913 shooting in six games this summer.

Terrence Ross Temporarily Leaves Campus For Medical Reasons

Magic wing Terrence Ross has temporarily left the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World due to a personal medical matter that is unrelated to COVID-19, the team announced today (Twitter link). Ross’ medical issue requires him to undergo off-site tests, the club notes.

As a result of his departure from Disney World, Ross has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against Brooklyn. His availability moving forward will depend on his test results and the NBA’s quarantine protocols, according to the Magic.

Typically, a player who leaves the NBA’s campus for personal reasons is subject to a quarantine period of at least four days upon returning. However, the league sent out a memo in July informing teams that players wouldn’t necessarily have to quarantine for that long if they leave the bubble for local medical treatment with league approval.

The Magic have had some bad luck this summer, having lost forward Jonathan Isaac to a torn ACL, while other key contributors like Aaron Gordon and Michael Carter-Williams have been sidelined with injuries of their own. The team is now locked into the No. 8 seed in the East, so the focus will be on getting as many players as possible healthy for the start of the postseason next week.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Gortat, Adebayo, Aminu

Magic forward Terrence Ross has ramped up his production in recent weeks, John Denton of the team’s website details. Ross is averaging 20.3 PPG over his last 12 games. He’s settled in comfortably as a sixth man after re-signing with the team on a four-year, $54MM contract. “I just have a better understanding of how things go over a long season and I feel like now I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Ross. “I just think I have really found my niche now.”

We have more Southeast Division news:

  • Former Wizards center Marcin Gortat regrets his rift with John Wall during his latter years in Washington, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. Gortat expressed that in an NBC Sports podcast. “Playing with John was extremely great. I wish I could sacrifice more time to be a better leader back then, during the fourth and fifth year in the locker room,” said Gortat, who has retired. “Now I can just say ‘I wish.’ But again, five years was extremely great and amazing to me.”
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo believes the next step for him is to become a 3-point threat, he told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Adebayo has made just one 3-pointer this season and four in his young career. “That will become a conversation [with coach Erik Spoelstra] because at the end of the day, he wants me to get better,” Adebayo said. “He wants me to be unguardable. He wants me to help this team win. In the future, it will be a conversation we will have.”
  • Magic forward Al-Farouq Aminu endured a rough first season with the club, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic details. The highly-regarded defender signed a three-year, $29.2MM contract with Orlando during the off-season but he only played 18 games before injuring his right knee, which eventually required surgery“You have a lot of disappointments throughout life, and you learn how to deal with it,” Aminu said. “I’ve been just been finding the silver lining and finding other things in order to keep myself entertained and keep myself busy and keep myself being productive.”

Southeast Notes: Capela, Fournier, Wall, Crowder

Clint Capela still hasn’t made his Hawks debut due to plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise in his heel. Capela. who is expected to be re-evaluated on March 18, says he’s still dealing with pain but the center is seeing improvement, as Chris Kirschner of The Athletic relays. The Rockets traded him in a four-team deal. “It’s way better now,” Capela said. “Before (with Houston), it was an 8, 9 or 10. Now, it’s coming back down slowly. It’s like a 7 to 5 somedays. There are still a lot of ups and downs, but it’s really progressing.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic swingman Evan Fournier will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time with an elbow injury, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. He underwent an MRI which revealed a UCL sprain in his right (shooting) elbow. Wesley Iwundu will likely soak up a good portion of Fournier’s minutes since the team will likely leave Terrence Ross in his sixth man role, John Denton of the team’s website writes.
  • With John Wall‘s max extension kicking in, the Wizards franchise can’t afford to let him play this season, as David Aldridge of The Athletic explains. Wall has recovered from his Achilles injury to the point where he’s been taking part in controlled scrimmages twice a week with the Go-Go, Washington’s G-League affiliate, and working out three times a week. However, if Wall suffered a setback in an actual game, it would be devastating to the organization, Aldridge opines.
  • Forward Jae Crowder has settled into a crucial role with the Heat, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Crowder is averaging 13.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 11 games since he was acquired in a three-team swap. Moreover, he played 108 of a possible 120 fourth-quarter minutes during his first 10 games with the club, Chiang notes.

And-Ones: Dinwiddie, Ross, Rising Stars, Zion

There hasn’t yet been a league-wide push to retire Kobe Bryant‘s No. 8 or No. 24, but some players around the NBA have begun informally retiring those numbers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania tweets, the first of those players is Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who had worn No. 8 and will be switching to No. 26. Magic sharpshooter Terrence Ross is changing from No. 8 back to his old No. 31, Charania adds (via Twitter).

It’s not yet clear which other players will follow suit and make changes of their own. The NBA generally doesn’t allow players to change jersey numbers during the season, but Dinwiddie and Ross were granted permission, a source tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Given the special circumstances, it seems safe to assume the league would approve similar requests from others. However, Stein hears that they’ll be reviewed on a case-to-case basis (Twitter link).

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

  • The NBA’s announcement of the rosters for this year’s Rising Stars game has been pushed back to this Friday at noon eastern, the league announced today in a press release. A source tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) that Pelicans forward Zion Williamson would be interested in participating now that he’s healthy, which would certainly add some extra excitement to the All-Star event.
  • Former Trail Blazers and Rockets guard Tim Quarterman has signed a G League contract and has been acquired off waivers by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, per the NBAGL’s transactions log. Quarterman, who appeared in 19 total games for Portland and Houston from 2016-18, spent last season playing in Israel and New Zealand.
  • A pair of former NBA guards have reached deals with international teams, according to reports from Sportando. Emiliano Carchia relays word of ex-Thunder guard Semaj Christon signing with Spanish team Baskonia, while Nicola Lupo has the details on former Pelicans guard Charles Cooke agreeing to sign with Atleticos de San German in Puerto Rico.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Chalmers, Isaac, Wall

The Heat will need to use Justise Winslow at either point guard or power forward to optimize their other main wing options, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines in his latest mailbag. Putting Winslow at the ‘one’ or ‘four’ would allow coach Erik Spoelstra to play rookie Tyler Herro and Dion Waiters more often with the team’s top player, Jimmy Butler. If Winslow ends up playing regularly at small forward, Spoelstra would have to choose between Herro and Waiters as a mainstay in the rotation, Winderman adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • A reunion between the Heat and point guard Mario Chalmers is unlikely at this point, Winderman writes in another mailbag post. Chalmers, 33, is aiming for an NBA comeback after playing in Italy last season. However, even if the Heat are interested, they’d have to release Kendrick Nunn in order to create a roster spot for Chalmers since the team is hard-capped, Winderman notes.
  • Entering his third season, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is brimming with optimism over his team’s future after it reached the playoffs last season. Isaac likes the team’s continuity after it re-signed key free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, as he told John Denton of the team’s website. “We’re all hyped up for the season,’” he said. “And I’m sure as guys get together and start playing again, we’ll have more of those talks about, ‘Hey, we can go even farther than we did last (season).'”
  • The Wizards are closely monitoring John Wall‘s rehab process as he works his way back from a ruptured Achilles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. They are even providing owner Ted Leonsis with daily progress reports. “I used to start my day reading the Washington Post. Now I start my day reading [and watching] my daily John Wall exercise video,” Leonsis told Hughes.