Thomas Walkup

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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And-Ones: Roster Moves, Bulls, Rudez, Onuaku

Monday afternoon is the deadline to reach the roster limit of 15, and nine teams still have cuts to make, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. The Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets, Lakers, Pelicans, Thunder, Sixers, Suns and Kings all remain over the limit leading into what should be an eventful day, says Nahmad. By our count, the Grizzlies still have a move to make as well. The Pacers were the latest team to trim their roster, waiving Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone tonight.

There’s more news from around the NBA:

  • J.J. Avila, who was waived Friday by the Bulls, has agreed to play for Chicago’s D-League affiliate, tweets Dennis Silva II of Monitor News. The 6’8″ power forward from Colorado State signed a training camp contract with Chicago in September. Guard Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, another Friday cut, will also be joining the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link).
  • Damjan Rudez and Arinze Onuaku both traveled a lot of miles to realize their dream of returning to the NBA, writes John Denton of NBA.com. After playing overseas and in the D-League, both veterans were told Saturday that they had earned a place on the Magic’s final roster. “It was a big blessing,” Onuaka said. “When you are out here fighting for a spot every day it’s stressful and to get that news, it was great. You’ve always got to wait to hear if you’re in or you’re out, so it wasn’t easy sleeping at night.’’
  • Fred VanVleet won the Raptors‘ final roster spot, but coach Dwane Casey said all the training camp invitees were impressive, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Casey said Drew Crawford and Brady Heslip have the talent to be NBA players, adding that he was disappointed he didn’t have room to keep all of them.

Bulls Waive Three Players; Roster Stands At 15

The Bulls have waived three players from their roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve parted ways with camp invitees J.J. Avila, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and Thomas Walkup. All three players will become free agents if and when they clear waivers.

Avila, Smith-Rivera, and Walkup each signed one-year contracts with the Bulls this summer, and were always viewed as long shots to earn regular-season roster spots. Walkup received a guarantee of $69,500 on his minimum-salary contract, while Avila and Smith-Rivera received no guaranteed money. Assuming they aren’t snatched up by another club, all three players are candidates to join Chicago’s new D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.

The Bulls are now down to 15 players, meaning their roster is set for the regular season. Still, if the team wants to dip below the maximum, it has some flexibility to make additional cuts. Currently, 13 Chicago players have fully guaranteed salaries for 2016/17, while Spencer Dinwiddie and Cristiano Felicio are on non-guaranteed contracts.

For a breakdown of the Bulls’ current 2016/17 salary cap situation, check out our salary cap snapshot for the team.

Contract Details: Brand, Rockets, Thunder, Pacers

With training camps underway, teams have now officially finalized the contract agreements with various camp invitees that had been reported over the past several weeks, meaning we have plenty of contract details to round up. As usual, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has been busy reporting those details, updating his salary pages for teams around the NBA.

Because we have so many updates to pass along from Pincus, we’ll divide them up by players who received some guaranteed money from their teams, and those who didn’t. All of the links below point to the Basketball Insiders team salary pages, so be sure to click through for additional information.

Here are the latest salary updates from across the league, via Pincus:

Players receiving guaranteed money:

These players aren’t necessarily assured of regular-season roster spots. In fact, many of them likely received guarantees as an incentive to accept a D-League assignment. Still, for some players, larger guarantees should increase their odds of making 15-man rosters.

  • Thomas Walkup (Bulls): One year, minimum salary. $69.5K guaranteed.
  • Keith Benson (Heat): Two years, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Henry Sims (Jazz): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Alex Poythress (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $35,381 guaranteed.
  • Kevin Seraphin (Pacers): Two years, $3.681MM. First year ($1.8MM) guaranteed.
  • Julyan Stone (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Gary Payton II (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. First year ($543,471) guaranteed.
  • Isaiah Taylor (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $275K guaranteed.
  • Cat Barber (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Elton Brand (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $1MM guaranteed.
  • Derrick Jones (Suns): Three years, minimum salary. $42.5K guaranteed.
  • Alex Caruso (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Chris Wright (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $100K guaranteed.

Players receiving no guaranteed money:

The following players all signed one-year, minimum salary contracts with no guaranteed money. Many of these deals are “summer contracts,” which won’t count against a team’s cap unless the player earns a spot on the 15-man roster.

Bulls Sign Thomas Walkup

The Bulls continue to fill out their training camp roster, signing former Stephen F. Austin wing Thomas Walkup to a deal. Walkup himself broke news of the agreement, publishing a photo on Instagram that showed him signing his first NBA contract (hat tip to HoopsHype).

“Signed my first NBA contract today,” Walkup wrote on Instagram. “So many people that helped me get to this point. Chicago Bulls training camp starting Monday!”

Walkup, 23, averaged 18.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 2.1 SPG during his senior year at Stephen F. Austin, earning Southland Conference player of the year honors for a second consecutive season. He went undrafted in June.

Details of Walkup’s agreement with the Bulls aren’t known, but a non-guaranteed summer contract seems likely. Chicago currently has 13 players on its roster with guaranteed salaries, and five with non-guaranteed deals. Walkup figures to become the sixth, joining Spencer Dinwiddie, Cristiano Felicio, Vince Hunter, J.J. Avila, and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera as camp invitees competing for a 15-man roster spot.

Western Draft Notes: Pelicans, Nuggets, Wolves

The Pelicans had a large workout group in on Monday, with a dozen players earning a look from the club. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players participated in the workout: Isaia Cordinier (France), Troy Williams (Indiana), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Jake Layman (Maryland), Guerschon Yabusele (France), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona), Prince Ibeh (Texas), and Perry Ellis (Kansas).

While none of those prospects figures to come off the board at No. 6, when the Pelicans make their first selection, many of them could be in play in the second round — New Orleans currently holds the 39th and 40th overall picks, and is doing its due diligence on potential second-round prospects.

Let’s check in on a few more draft updates from around the Western Conference…

  • The Nuggets, armed with three top-20 picks, will work out former Michigan State forward Deyonta Davis on Wednesday morning, the team announced today in a press release. We profiled Davis, the 10th prospect on DraftExpress.com’s big board, in April, noting that Denver could be a fit. The Nuggets are also expected to bring in Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono for a workout later this week, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.
  • The Timberwolves, who have the fifth overall pick in the draft, had Jamal Murray in for an individual workout on Monday, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).
  • Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops passes along a pair of updates, reporting (via Twitter) that Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga) worked out with the Jazz on Monday, and that Xavier’s James Farr participated in a group workout with the Thunder today.
  • The Clippers will work out Dayton’s Dyshawn Pierre, according to Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link) adds former Kansas forward Cheick Diallo to the list of prospects that will work out with the Clips.
  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a workout lined up with the Warriors, tweets Camerato.

Southwest Notes: Morey, Durant, Pelicans, Grizzlies

The Rockets already have several players on their roster who fit new coach Mike D’Antoni’s style, GM Daryl Morey told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Appearing as a guest on Wojnarowski’s podcast, Morey said D’Antoni has a very positive reputation with players and agents around the league because they know players can put up good offensive numbers in his system. “I think a lot of what we went through last year is guys weren’t as engaged on defense,” Morey said. “That’s because we were struggling from A to Z, and that impacted our defense overall.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets are still hoping to meet with free agent Kevin Durant next month, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein reported this week that Houston isn’t among the teams that Durant is considering.
  • The Pelicans have workouts scheduled for 12 players Monday, according to John Reid of The Times-Picayune. On the list are French stars Isaia Cordinier and Guerschon Yabusele, along with Troy Williams of Indiana, Michael Gbinije of Syracuse, Jake Layman of Maryland, Wayne Seldon Jr. of Kansas, Gary Payton II of Oregon State, Yogi Ferrell of Indiana, Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, Kaleb Tarczewski of Arizona, Prince Ibeh of Texas and Perry Ellis of Kansas. New Orleans has the sixth pick in the first round and the 39th and 40th selections in the second round.
  • The Grizzlies held a workout today for Ben Bentil of Providence, Isaiah Cousins of Oklahoma, Brice Johnson of North Carolina, Payton, Malachi Richardson of Syracuse and Selden, according to Grizzlies.com. Memphis holds picks No. 17 and 57.
  • Johnson could be the young power forward the Grizzlies need, speculates Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Zach Randolph will turn 35 this summer, and Jarell Martin and JaMychal Green haven’t shown they can handle the position, Tillery writes. At 6’10” and 210 pounds, Johnson has a mixture of size and skills that makes him an intriguing prospect.

Draft Workouts: Jazz, English, Pacers, Pistons

The Jazz, armed with four picks in this year’s draft, are doing plenty of due diligence in the weeks leading up to June 23rd, and will bring in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow. According to the team (via Twitter), the following players will participate in that workout: Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Max Landis (IPFW), Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Kenny Gaines (Georgia), and Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State).

Utah is hardly the only NBA team bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts, so let’s round up a few more updates from around the league…

  • Former Iona guard A.J. English has a pair of workouts for Eastern Conference teams lined up this week, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, who writes that English will get a look from the Wizards on Wednesday and the Knicks on Thursday.
  • Thon Maker‘s previously-reported workout with the Pacers will take place on Wednesday, and the seven-footer will be joined by five other players, according to Zagoria (Twitter link). Jake Layman (Maryland), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) will also participate in the workout.
  • Zagoria provides a couple more workout updates, tweeting that Manhattan’s Jermaine Lawrence will work out for the Warriors on June 6th, while his college teammate Shane Richards works out for the Nets on Wednesday.
  • Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Ron Baker (Wichita State), Derrick Jones (UNLV), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), and Marcus Paige (UNC) worked out for the Pistons on Tuesday, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ferrell’s participation had been previously reported. Meanwhile, per Ellis (Twitter link), Tobias Harris‘ brother Tyler Harris also was a part of Detroit’s workout — the younger Harris played college ball for N.C. State, Providence, and Auburn.

Western Notes: Scott, Nelson, Draft

Lakers executive Jim Buss was effusive in his praise for the work Luke Walton did while coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr‘s absence this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays. “He was thrust into a situation. People might say, ‘Anyone could coach Golden State with their roster.’ No you couldn’t have,” Buss told Pincus. “There’s a lot of pressure in that. There’s a lot of preparation for that.”

Regarding the Lakers waiting 11 days prior to making a decision on former coach Byron Scott‘s fate, Buss told Pincus he thought he was simply being fair to Scott. “There was a lot to go through before that decision was made,” Buss said. “I’m not going to have a knee-jerk reaction because everybody says, ‘You won 17 games, he’s got to go.’  I made a promise to sit with him and [GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and give him a fair shake.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Trey Freeman (Old Dominion), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Matt Costello (Michigan State) and Andrew White (Nebraska), the team announced.
  • Former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler has a workout scheduled with the Thunder on Thursday, Royce Young of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The contributions from Festus Ezeli, in particular, and Ian Clark were vital for the Warriors in their Game 2 victory over Portland on Tuesday, observes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Both are poised for restricted free agency this summer.
  • Jameer Nelson still has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Nuggets, but he isn’t keen on remaining on the bench as the team’s third point guard for another campaign, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post in his analysis of the 12th-year veteran. Nelson wouldn’t hesitate to have his agent ask the Nuggets to trade him if it looks like he won’t get more playing time, Dempsey wrote previously. In 39 appearances, Nelson averaged 7.7 points, 4.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 36.8% from the field overall and 29.9% from beyond the 3-point line.