Todd Withers

Pistons Sign Craig Sword, Waive Todd Withers

The Pistons have made a minor change to their roster, announcing tonight in a press release that they’ve signed guard Craig Sword and waived forward Todd Withers.

Sword, who played college ball at Mississippi State, went undrafted in 2016 and has spent much of his professional career since then playing for the Erie BayHawks in the G League.

After averaging 9.5 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 49 games (23.7 MPG) for Erie in 2018/19, the 25-year-old had his NBAGL rights traded to the Grand Rapids Drive – Detroit’s G League affiliate – last month.

That trade and today’s signing signal that Sword – like Withers – will join the Drive for the coming season as a returning-rights player. His deal with the Pistons figures to be an Exhibit 10 contract, which will put him in line to earn a bonus worth up to $50K after he spends at least 60 days in Grand Rapids.

Pistons Sign Donta Hall, Todd Withers

The Pistons have signed a pair of players that were on their Summer League roster earlier this month, inking free agent forwards Donta Hall and Todd Withers to contracts, per RealGM’s official transactions log.

Exact details of Hall’s and Withers’ new deals aren’t known, but RealGM classifies them as one-year contracts. Detroit likely made use of the Exhibit 10 clause in both cases.

Hall, who went undrafted out of Alabama last month, averaging 10.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 34 games as a senior in 2018/19. In five games for the Pistons’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, he recorded 6.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in just 16.8 minutes per contest.

As for Withers, he played his college ball at Queens University of Charlotte before joining the Pistons’ G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, for the 2018/19 season. The 23-year-old appeared in 48 NBAGL games last season, averaging 6.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG and earning an invite for Summer League this offseason. He played well in Vegas, averaging 10.0 PPG on 56.7% shooting in five games (18.8 MPG) for Detroit’s squad.

Neither Hall nor Withers looks like a strong bet to make the Pistons’ 15-man regular season roster for 2019/20, though both players could end up in Grand Rapids playing for the Drive.

NBA Announces 80 Players For G League Elite Camp

The NBA has announced in a press release that 80 players are set to participate in its G League Elite Camp next week in Chicago from May 12-14. The event will include 40 prospects who are eligible for this year’s draft, as well as 40 standout prospects from the 2018/19 G League season.

Heading into this spring, the NBA revamped its G League Elite Camp, which in past years has simply showcased some of the NBAGL’s top performers.  That aspect of the event will still exist, but G League players will only participate in the first two days of the event.

The second half of the event will feature 40 draft-eligible prospects who aren’t among the 60 prospects invited to the actual draft combine. The list of participants was determined by an NBA team vote, and those prospects will work out and scrimmage during the final two days of the event — there will be no overlap with the G League portion of the event.

As this week’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating l in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which takes place from May 15-19 in Chicago.

Here are the list of draft-eligible prospects who are expected to participate in the 2019 G League Elite Mini Camp, per the NBA:

  1. Tyus Battle (Syracuse)
  2. Bennie Boatwright (USC)
  3. Phil Booth (Villanova)
  4. Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  5. Bryce Brown (Auburn)
  6. Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)
  7. Chris Clemons (Campbell)
  8. Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
  9. Tyler Cook (Iowa)
  10. Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  11. Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida)
  12. Javin DeLaurier (Duke)
  13. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  14. CJ Elleby (Washington State)
  15. Tacko Fall (UCF)
  16. Robert Franks (Washington State)
  17. Jared Harper (Auburn)
  18. Ethan Happ (Wisconsin)
  19. Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
  20. Amir Hinton (Shaw (NC))
  21. DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa)
  22. Sagaba Konate (West Virginia)
  23. Matur Maker (Mississauga Prep (Canada))
  24. Terance Mann (Florida State)
  25. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
  26. Cody Martin (Nevada)
  27. Luke Maye (North Carolina)
  28. Trey Mourning (Georgetown)
  29. Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
  30. James Palmer Jr. (Nebraska)
  31. Josh Perkins (Gonzaga)
  32. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  33. Jalen Pickett (Siena)
  34. Myles Powell (Seton Hall)
  35. Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech)
  36. Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
  37. Max Strus (DePaul)
  38. Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State)
  39. Kenny Wooten (Oregon)
  40. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)

Here are the 40 G League players set to participate in the G League Elite Camp:

  1. Josh Adams (Raptors 905)
  2. Jaylen Barford (Greensboro Swarm)
  3. Amida Brimah (Austin Spurs)
  4. Jared Brownridge (Delaware Blue Coats)
  5. Antonius Cleveland (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  6. Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  7. Cody Demps (Stockton Kings)
  8. Aaron Epps (Northern Arizona Suns)
  9. Abdul Gaddy (Oklahoma City Blue)
  10. John Gillon (Greensboro Swarm)
  11. Kaiser Gates (Windy City Bulls)
  12. Isaac Haas (Salt Lake City Stars)
  13. Johnny Hamilton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  14. Dusty Hannahs (Memphis Hustle)
  15. Zak Irvin (Westchester Knicks)
  16. Peter Jok (Northern Arizona Suns)
  17. Matt Jones (Stockton Kings)
  18. Marcus Lee (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  19. Zach Lofton (Grand Rapids Drive)
  20. Tahjere McCall (Long Island Nets)
  21. Brandon McCoy (Wisconsin Herd)
  22. MiKyle McIntosh (Raptors 905)
  23. Jordan McLaughlin (Long Island Nets)
  24. Jaylen Morris (Erie BayHawks)
  25. Mychal Mulder (Windy City Bulls)
  26. Malik Newman (Canton Charge)
  27. Retin Obasohan (Northern Arizona Suns)
  28. Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm)
  29. Norvel Pelle (Delaware Blue Coats)
  30. Darel Poirier (Capital City Go-Go)
  31. Billy Preston (Texas Legends)
  32. Desi Rodriguez (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario)
  33. Kenneth Smith (Grand Rapids Drive)
  34. Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue)
  35. Emanuel Terry (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  36. Juan Toscano-Anderson (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  37. Dakarai Tucker (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  38. Andrew White III (Maine Red Claws)
  39. Thomas Wimbush (Long Island Nets)
  40. Todd Withers (Grand Rapids Drive)

Draft Updates: Z. Smith, Huerter, Allen, Brunson

The Lakers are “super infatuated” with Zhaire Smith and have held several meetings with the Texas Tech guard, tweets Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. Smith has worked out for a number of teams, but L.A. is excited about his potential fit in its backcourt.

The Lakers, who don’t pick until No. 25, will have to trade up to have a shot at Smith. The 19-year-old averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman with the Red Raiders and is projected to go to the Suns with the 16th selection in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

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

  • Maryland’s Kevin Huerter, a potential first-round pick, is expected to miss two months after having surgery to fix torn ligaments in his right hand, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Projected at No. 21 in Givony’s mock draft, Huerter has been rising on draft boards since an impressive performance at the combine. He averaged 14.8 points per game for the Terrapins and shot 41.7% from 3-point range.
  • Duke’s Grayson Allen will work out for the Timberwolves Thursday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Allen has already auditioned for the Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Jazz, among others, and made a strong impression at the combine and his pro day.
  • Donte Ingram of Loyola-Chicago will also take part in a session Thursday with the Wolves, Wolfson adds (Twitter link). Ingram had a recent workout with the Grizzlies.
  • Oklahoma’s Trae Young will work out for the Bulls on Thursday, tweets ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
  • Villanova’s Jalen Brunson will have an individual workout for the Pacers Thursday, the team announced on its website.
  • Six players will work out for the Nuggets Thursday, tweets Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. Scheduled to attend are UCLA’s Thomas Welsh, Idaho’s Victor Sanders and Iowa State’s Donovan Jackson, along with Dayon Goodman of Westminster (Utah), Todd Withers of Queens (North Carolina) and Tryggvi Hlinason of Valencia Basket.
  • European sources are confident that Serbian center Dusan Ristic will be taken as a draft-and-stash player, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando (Twitter link).

Draft Workouts: Brown, Lakers, Grizzlies, Alkins

Oregon shooting guard Troy Brown worked out for the Spurs on Sunday, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. The Spurs hold the No. 18 pick and Brown is ranked No. 19 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Brown then worked out for the Wizards Monday and is headed to Milwaukee for an evaluation by the Bucks, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Washington owns the No. 15 selection with the Bucks at No. 17.

We have plenty of other workouts to pass along:

Draft Notes: Wright-Foreman, Davis, Clippers, Kings

Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman is returning to school for his senior year, he announced on Twitter. The 6’1” point guard averaged 24.4 PPG and 3.2 APG in his junior season. Ole Miss guard Terence Davis is also going back to school for his senior campaign, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. The 6’4” Davis averaged 13.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG in his junior year.

In other draft-related news:

  • The Clippers and Lakers worked out forwards Omari Spellman (Villanova) and Terry Larrier (UConn) on Thursday, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com tweets. Larrier also has workouts lined up with the Nets (June 5), Knicks (June 6) and Mavericks (June 14), Zagoria adds in another tweet. Spellman is ranked No. 49 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his Top 100 prospects list.
  • Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado will work out for the Jazz in the near future after visiting the Lakers on Thursday, according to Zagoria (Twitter link).
  • The Kings will bring in centers Jock Landale (St. Mary’s) and Dusan Ristic (Arizona); forwards Todd Withers and Billy Preston; and guards Joel Berry (North Carolina) and Jordan McLaughlin (USC) on Friday, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
  • Rhode Island guard E.C. Matthews has worked out for the Nets, Knicks and Celtics, Zagoria tweets.