Tony Wroten

And-Ones: TBT, Daniels, Whittington, Newman

A number of former NBA players are set to take part in 2020’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, an annual, winner-take-all tournament with a prize of $1MM.

As Carmine Carcieri of ESPN details, veteran guard Joe Johnson is playing in The Basketball Tournament after winning a championship and an MVP award in the BIG3 in 2019. Malachi Richardson, Tony Wroten, Johnny O’Bryant, and Markel Brown are among the others with NBA experience who will suit up for the event, per Carcieri.

More recently, a couple more notable names have joined the list of participants, with veteran guard Jarrett Jack joining Johnson’s Overseas Elite squad (Twitter link), while former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet will be a member of the Playing For Jimmy V team.

With most professional sports still on hiatus, The Basketball Tournament should be under a larger spotlight in 2020. ESPN announced its broadcast schedule for the event today, starting with four games on July 4 and culminating in a July 14 championship.

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

  • CAA Sports is hiring Evan Daniels of 247Sports to become an agent in its college basketball coaching division, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Daniels has long been one of the most well-connected and reliable sources for college basketball and NBA draft news.
  • Free agent forward Greg Whittington, who had a strong year in Turkey in 2019/20, isn’t eligible to join an NBA team for the summer restart, but continues to receive strong offers from EuroLeague teams, including Panathinaikos BC, agent Jerry Dianis tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter links).
  • Former lottery pick Derrick Williams has received interest from international teams, including Khimki, but no deal is imminent, reports JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Williams, who last played in the NBA in 2017/18, spent the ’19/20 season with Fenerbahce.
  • Malik Newman, who spent a little time with the Cavaliers this season, has signed with Turkish team Bursaspor, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Newman appeared in just one game for Cleveland, spending most of 2019/20 with the Canton Charge in the G League.

And-Ones: NCAA, Mozgov, Whitehead, Wroten

The NCAA’s Board of Governors announced today in a press release that it’s moving toward allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements and promotions. According to the announcement, athletes would be allowed to identify themselves by sport and school, but conference and school logos and other trademarked items would remain prohibited.

The guidelines, which are expected to go into effect when the 2021/22 academic year begins, aren’t a direct response to the NBA recently ramping up its G League developmental program and substantially increasing the amount of money that top high school recruits can make by going the NBAGL route. After all, the NCAA’s new rules will apply to student-athletes across the board, not just basketball players.

Still, top basketball prospects figure to take these forthcoming changes into account as they consider whether to play college ball or take the G League path. The NCAA has historically issued strict penalties for student-athletes found to be accepting even modest benefits — today’s announcement signals that those restrictions are on the verge of loosening to some extent.

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

  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov, who signed with Russian team Khimki last summer, missed the entire 2019/20 season due to knee issues. However, the club’s sports director, Pavel Astakhov, told Mosregtoday.ru that Mozgov is expected to remain with the team next season and should be healthy enough to play, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. The NBA permitted the Magic to remove Mozgov’s remaining cap hits from their books after determining that his health issues were likely career-ending.
  • Isaiah Whitehead, a Nets guard from 2016-18, has signed a contract extension with BC Mornar Bar, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link). The club, which Whitehead joined in January, is based in Montenegro.
  • Former NBA guard Tony Wroten and Joventut Badalona have reached an agreement to termine his contract, two months before it was set to expire, the Spanish team announced (via Twitter). It’s unclear what the next step will be for Wroten, who spoke recently about wanting to make it back to the NBA.

And-Ones: Lottery, Draft, Wroten, NBA 2K League

The NBA draft lottery is still scheduled to take place on May 19, but Anthony Slater of The Athletic is hearing the event is unlikely to happen that night. As Slater explains, the NBA will likely end up using the month of May as an “information-gathering” period before finalizing decisions in June, so the lottery figures to be postponed, with the June 25 draft date still up in the air too.

On executive who spoke to Slater estimated that front offices would want at least a three-week period or so between the lottery and draft to give teams time to adjust to their exact placement and to do last-minute research on players presumed to be in their range.

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

  • Updates on early entrants for the 2020 NBA draft continue to trickle in even after Sunday night’s deadline passed. Valparaiso sophomore guard Javon Freeman-Liberty tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link) that he has decided to transfer rather than keep his name in the draft. Meanwhile, Senegalese guard Brancou Badio, who played this season for Barcelona’s second team, has entered his name in the draft pool, according to Eurohopes (Twitter link).
  • Former NBA guard Tony Wroten, who appeared in 145 games for Memphis and Philadelphia from 2012-15, continues to pursue an NBA comeback, as he tells Chema De Lucas (Spanish link). Our Chris Crouse took an in-depth look last summer at how injuries have derailed Wroten’s career and how he has continued playing professionally in international leagues.
  • The NBA 2K League, which was originally scheduled to start its season on March 24, announced in a press release that its new “opening night” will be Tuesday, May 5. The eSports contests will be played remotely for at least six weeks, according to the announcement.

And-Ones: Clippers, Wroten, Giedraitis, Caffey

The signing of Kawhi Leonard and the trade for Paul George helped the Clippers have the league’s best offseason, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic. L.A. added two potential MVP candidates while keeping the core of last year’s playoff team intact and acquiring another rotation piece by trading for Maurice Harkless.

The Nets, who also hit the jackpot in free agency by signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, finished second on Aldridge’s list, followed by the Jazz, Lakers and Sixers. At the bottom are the Hornets, who lost Kemba Walker and replaced him with Terry Rozier, and the Warriors, who not only saw Durant leave, but also parted with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, two key components of their championship teams.

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

  • Tony Wroten, whose journey to the EuroLeague we profiled earlier this week, has decided to sign with Anwil Wloclawek in Poland rather than KK Zadar in Croatia, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Wroten, 26, attended a mini-camp with the Wizards in June.
  • Lithuanian swingman Rokas Giedraitis turned down multiple opportunities to play in Summer League this year, according to international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link). A few teams considered offering him a two-way deal last year, but he remains “under the NBA radar.” Giedraitis is considered a late bloomer at 27 and is under contract with Alba Berlin for the upcoming season.
  • Jason Caffey admits he embraced an irresponsible lifestyle during his time in the NBA, and now he is trying to warn younger athletes not to make the same mistakes, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Caffey believes the choices he made, along with an undiagnosed mental illness, prevented him from having a longer career. Caffey had 10 children with eight women and says watching their success inspired him to change. “When I saw them doing so well — got a son at Alabama and a daughter at Missouri, D1 schools,” he said. “I knew then if I could help my own kids — kids who were pegged to be kids of a guy who’s a deadbeat dad, a guy who’s never going to be anything again — when I overcame that stigma, I knew it was time for me to step out and help other children.”

Tony Wroten’s Journey Will Continue In Europe

Every basketball player is told at some point that they can no longer play the game. It could be a coach telling you that you didn’t make the team, an organization deciding to go in a different direction, or simply the voice in your head telling you that risk of injury is too great at a certain age. It’s an inevitable message, one that Tony Wroten isn’t ready to hear yet.

Wroten’s basketball journey takes another turn with the former first-round pick set to play for a new European team next season

(Note: Croatian team KK Zadar announced the signing of Wroten on its website, but multiple reports since then have indicated he’s on track to land instead with Polish club Anwil Wloclawek.)

Wroten is no stranger to international play. He suited up for BC Kalev/Cramo in Estonia last season, an experience he said helped him to improve.

“Obviously, Europe in general is different than the States,” the 6’5″ combo guard told Hoops Rumors during the Wizards’ pre-Summer League training camp earlier this offseason. “Even basketball. The basketball is different, the culture, it was a learning experience. I was able to learn things about myself and get better both mentally and physically on and off the court. I really think that helped me to get to where I am now.”

Injuries have stunted Wroten’s growth as a player. He tore his ACL early in the 2014/15 season while playing for Philadelphia but was able to work his way back to the court in December of 2015. The Sixers waived him on Christmas Eve—just eight games into his comeback campaign—and he hasn’t played in an NBA game since.

Wroten said he felt like his health was finally back to 100 percent while speaking to Hoops Rumors at the Wizards’ camp back in June. He was impressive during the three-day event, displaying athleticism, passion, and leadership, at least during the media portion of drills.

“Being a professional, I know I’m not perfect. I’m trying to work on every single thing,” Wroten said with a mix of conviction and urgency. “In the NBA, it’s the best of the best and you have to pretty much have no weaknesses if you’re going to be a star in the league.”

Wroten still has ambitions to continue his career in the NBA. Sources told Hoops Rumors earlier this summer that the 26-year-old was under consideration for an NBA roster spot in at least one organization.

Instead of returning to the league, Wroten will spend another season in a situation that will require him to learn on the fly. Last year, he had to adjust to the the Latvian-Estonian Basketball League, which has a reputation for not being kind to scorers due to slightly different restrictions and rules in the paint. Wroten figured it out, averaging 19.6 points per game during his final five contests in Eastern Europe, all while playing in an environment that was much different than in any of his previous stops.

“In the States, no one is beating the drums all game and throwing things on the floor. [The European fans] are really passionate. It’s just a different kind of passion the NBA vs. Europe,” Wroten explained.

Among the other players on BC Kalev/Cramo’s roster last season? Arnett Moultrie. Yes, former NBA player Arnett Moultrie, who was Wroten’s teammate on the 2013/14 Sixers.

The duo played together for just one NBA season, as Moultrie was traded to New York in 2014. In return, the Sixers took back Travis Outlaw and netted a 2018 second-rounder and a 2019 pick that ended up being the No. 33 overall selection—the Sixers packaged this pick with its first-rounder to move up and select University of Washington’s Matisse Thybulle.

“Being there since the start of The Process, [through the] bad years, and for them to be in the playoffs and close to the Eastern Conference Finals, it just shows the trust [the organization] has in the team and the players behind [Joel] Embiid,” said Wroten who was in Philadelphia for parts of three seasons. “I’m happy for them.”

Wroten is also happy for the city. He remembers the Philadelphians who continued to show up to the Wells Fargo Center to see a team that didn’t put out the best product. “For us to have a record like we did and to still have the support: Philadelphia is terrific fan base,” he said.

The 26-year-old feels like he’s fully healthy for the first time since those pre-injury Sixers days. While the Seattle-native appears likely to play in Poland this upcoming season, he’ll knock on the NBA’s door again in the future.

Injuries cause many professional athletes to consider retirement and potentially pursue other career choices. Wroten’s setbacks could have forced him to second-guess his future but he never doubted his path: Basketball is life.

“Injuries, you can’t control,” Wroten said. “But with me being a competitor, I’d have to be dead not to play.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tony Wroten Signs With Estonian Team

Former first-round draft pick Tony Wroten has signed a deal with the Estonian team BC Kalev/Cramo, the club announced in a press release. Kalev/Cramo is part of the Latvian–Estonian Basketball League and the VTB United League.

Wroten, 25, was drafted 25th overall by the Grizzlies in 2012 and spent parts of the ensuing four seasons in the NBA. Memphis traded Wroten to the Philadelphia after his first season, where he would see most of his NBA action. Over three seasons, Wroten played in 110 games with the Sixers, averaging 13.8 PPG and 3.8 APG.

A partially torn ACL in Wroten’s right knee in Jan. 2015 forced him to the remainder of the season. After he returned, Wroten received limited playing time and was eventually waived. The University of Washington product signed with the Knicks but did not appear in a game and was waived in the summer of 2016 after the team acquired Derrick Rose.

The Grizzlies reacquired Wroten in June 2016 after claiming him on waivers. However, he was subsequently waived, re-signed and waived again over a four-month stretch.

Wroten appeared in 35 G League games last season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, averaging 10.8 PPG and 3.8 APG in 35 games (11 starts).

Tony Wroten, Archie Goodwin Sign With D-League

Former NBA guards Tony Wroten and Archie Goodwin have signed D-League contracts, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back.

Wroten, who was waived three times during the offseason, has been claimed by the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate (Twitter link). Goodwin, who has been waived by both the Suns and Pelicans in the past five weeks, is also joining the D-League (Twitter link).

Wroten, 23, spent a lot of time in the D-League during his four NBA seasons with the Grizzlies and Sixers. He played in just eight NBA games last season, all with Philadelphia, before being waived on Christmas Eve.

Wroten signed with the Knicks in March, but never played for the team. He agreed to a two-year deal with no guaranteed money, and was waived in June after New York traded for Derrick Rose. Wroten was claimed off waivers by the Grizzlies, who waived him in July, re-signed him in August, then waived him again in October.

The 25th pick in the 2012 draft, Wroten started his career in Memphis but spent just one season there before being traded to the Sixers. He is averaging 11.1 points and 3.0 assists in 145 career games.

Goodwin, the 29th pick in the 2013 draft, also made frequent trips to the D-League during his three seasons in Phoenix. A 22-year-old combo guard, Goodwin averaged 6.2 points and 1.2 assists per night in 150 games with the Suns. He signed with New Orleans on November 7th, but appeared in just three games before being released.

Grizzlies Waive Tony Wroten

Veteran point guard Tony Wroten finds his name on the NBA’s transaction wire once again, with the Grizzlies announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived him from their roster. It’s the third time since the end of the season that Wroten has been cut, including the second time by Memphis.

Wroten, the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft, appeared in just eight games for the Sixers last season before Philadelphia waived him in December. The Knicks later signed Wroten to a two-year deal, minimum-salary deal that contained no guaranteed money for the 2016/17 campaign, but removed him from their roster in June when they acquired Derrick Rose from the Bulls. The Grizzlies claimed him off waivers at that point, cut him in July, and re-signed him in August.

When Memphis initially claimed, waived, and re-signed Wroten, it appeared the team just wanted to make sure he was under contract on modified terms, but it’s unlikely that’s the case this time around. The Grizzlies had guaranteed a small portion of the point guard’s salary for 2016/17, so the team will carry a cap hit of $25K after waiving Wroten, assuming he goes unclaimed.

With Wroten no longer on the roster, Wade Baldwin and Andrew Harrison will continue to vie for the backup point guard job behind Mike Conley. Check out the Grizzlies’ depth chart at RosterResource.com.

Contract Details: E. Williams, Christon, Paige

We’ve already published one contract details round-up today, passing along some specifics on deals for Jason Terry (Bucks), Joel Bolomboy (Jazz), and Yi Jianlian (Lakers). However, several more details on recently-signed contracts have surfaced since then, so let’s dive in and round up the newest updates…

  • As expected, the one-year deal signed by Elliot Williams with the Warriors earlier this month is a minimum-salary pact. The contract was initially reported as having a “strong” partial guarantee — the amount of that guarantee is $250K, per Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). If Williams earns a spot on Golden State’s opening-night roster, his full salary will become guaranteed.
  • Draft-and-stash signee Semaj Christon got a three-year, minimum-salary deal from the Thunder, according to Pincus (via Twitter). Christon’s 2016/17 salary is guaranteed for $200K, so he’s no lock to make the roster, particularly since Oklahoma City already has 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts.
  • D.J. Kennedy‘s three-year contract with the Nuggets is a minimum-salary pact that features a modest $50K guarantee in year one, tweets Pincus.
  • The Celtics‘ deal with Marcus Georges-Hunt is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that includes a $25K guarantee, says Pincus (via Twitter). Despite the guarantee, Georges-Hunt is a long shot to make Boston’s regular-season roster.
  • By re-signing with the Grizzlies, Tony Wroten received a $25K guarantee and a second non-guaranteed year, tweets Pincus. Wroten’s previous contract included several guarantee dates, but those have been removed — the point guard will get his full 2016/17 salary if he remains under contract through January 10.
  • According to Bobby Marks of The Vertical, Marcus Paige‘s new deal with the Jazz is a two-year, minimum-salary pact with $125K guaranteed in year one.

New York Notes: Wroten, Hernangomez, Bennett

The Knicks had long-term plans for point guard Tony Wroten when they signed him in mid-March, Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak reveals in the latest installment of “The Phil Jackson Chronicles.” Wroten, who was waived in June after New York traded for Derrick Rose, was originally set to get an extended audition this offseason. Jackson, the team president, said the Knicks signed Wroten during the season rather than waiting for free agency because it wanted to have him available for summer league play.

“Signing Tony now also gives us more time to evaluate him,” Jackson said in March about Wroten, who was recovering from surgery on a partially torn ACL in his right knee. “Can he make it all the way back? Can he grasp our philosophy? Tony is only 22 and, if everything does work out, he certainly fits the description of the type of point guard that we’re looking for. It’s a futuristic move for us. A move that gives us another choice. And it’s one of the things we have to do to find suitable talent.” Wroten never appeared in a game for the Knicks. The Grizzlies claimed him off waivers, then released and later re-signed him.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Willy Hernangomez, a Spanish center who will face Team USA at the Olympics today, has a chance to be part of the Knicks‘ rotation next season, writes Fred Kerber of The New York Post. That’s the opinion of ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who is considered an expert on international basketball. “He does not have ‘starter’ or ‘stardom’ written all over him yet, but he has a chance because of his youth, mobility and size to develop into a good player in time,” Fraschilla said. “If you could find a 6-11 second-round pick who’s only 22 years old and is beginning to prove himself both at the Olympics and in the second-best league in the world in Spain, you’d say it is a bonus for the Knicks.”
  • Former overall No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett says he likes the “brand new vibe” in Brooklyn as he tries to resurrect his career with the Nets, relays NetsDaily.com. “For the most part, [I’m] going in here with an open mind, no pressure, just going out there and playing,” Bennett says in a new video posted on YouTube. Bennett signed a two-year deal that will pay him a guaranteed $1,015,696 this season and $1,087,745 if he’s on the roster for opening night in 2017.