Tre Jones

COVID-19 Updates: Grant, Batum, Herro, McConnell, Smart, T. Jones, Jenkins

Sidelined since December 10 after surgery on his right thumb, Pistons forward Jerami Grant has now entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Grant has been making progress toward playing again and began a rehab assignment with the G League’s Motor City Cruise this week.

Grant is considered the “grand prize” by some observers heading into the trade deadline and has been the subject of rumors involving at least nine teams. His time in the protocols could further limit the number of games he can play before Detroit has to make a decision on a deal.

He and rookie center Luka Garza are the only players currently in the protocols for the Pistons, who recently were among the hardest-hit teams in the league by COVID-19.

Here are some more protocol-related updates:

  • Clippers forward Nicolas Batum has been placed in the protocols, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Batum also spent time in the protocols in November.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Herro is the only Miami player currently in the protocols.
  • Pacers guard T.J. McConnell, who may miss the rest of the season after having hand surgery, has been placed in the protocols, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files.
  • Celtics guard Marcus Smart has exited the protocols, the team announced in its injury report. However, he’s not playing tonight due to “return to competition reconditioning.”
  • Spurs guard Tre Jones has cleared the protocols, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express News. He missed seven games while he was out of action.
  • Taylor Jenkins is out of protocols and is coaching the Grizzlies tonight, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link). Jenkins missed six games.

COVID-19 Updates: Pacers, Kidd, Fultz, Tre Jones, Daigneault, A. Brooks

Justin Anderson and Torrey Craig have become the latest Pacers players to enter the league’s health and safety protocols, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). The Pacers now have six players in protocols. Craig signed a two-year, $10MM deal with Indiana last summer, while Anderson just signed a 10-day hardship contract with the team last week.

On the bright side, Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce has cleared the protocols and has returned to the team, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files.

Here are some more COVID-related updates:

  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has entered the protocols, with assistant coach Sean Sweeney set to take over his duties Friday night in Houston, sources tell Marc Stein of Substack (Twitter link). Kidd is the 13th head coach to enter the protocols.
  • Markelle Fultz isn’t ready to return from his torn ACL yet, but he has exited the protocols for the Magic, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
  • The Spurs‘ outbreak continues, with Tre Jones being the sixth player currently in the protocols, tweets Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault has cleared the protocols and will resume his duties Friday vs. Minnesota, the team tweets.
  • Rockets guard Armoni Brooks has exited the protocols and is listed as available for Friday’s game against the Mavs, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 (KRIV) relays (Twitter link).

Spurs Notes: T. Jones, Walker, Popovich, Young

Spurs guard Tre Jones is eager to bounce back from a sprained left ankle that slowed his progress after an outstanding Summer League performance, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Jones had to miss the entire preseason after suffering the injury in training camp, but there’s optimism that he will be ready for Wednesday’s season opener.

A second-round pick in 2020, Jones averaged just 7.3 minutes and 2.5 PPG in the 37 games he played as a rookie. He took a big step forward in Las Vegas, putting up 22.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, and he hopes to carry that over to the new season.

“It’s only been two weeks, so it’s not that much time in the big scheme of things. but it feels like it’s been forever,” Jones said. “I’m itching to get back out there.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • The Spurs are counting on Lonnie Walker to provide an offensive spark off the bench, Orsborn notes in a separate story. Walker has focused on improving his outside shooting after connecting at a 35.5% clip last season. “(Shooting coach) Chip Engelland has worked with him really well in trying to improve and get confidence in the 3-point shot,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “The last part we want to keep working on is him finding other people. He’s one of the guys on our team that can beat somebody, get into the paint and create, so it gives him an added responsibility finding teammates. That will be his next step.”
  • Rumors have emerged recently that Popovich is contemplating retirement, but he sounds energized by the challenge of coaching a young team, per Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. With his veteran core gone, the 72-year-old is in a rebuilding role after missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. “A lot of these guys, they had one or two years in college and haven’t had a lot of time to get grounded in the fundamentals and that sort of thing,” Popovich said. “It’s made it a lot of fun to come to work every day and watch these guys wanting to improve, get to know each other and figure out how you have to play to win.”
  • Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News offers predictions for the upcoming season, including a trade of Thaddeus Young and more games in the NBA than the G League for first-round pick Joshua Primo.

NBA G League Announces 2020/21 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on Monday, Delaware Blue Coats forward Paul Reed – who is on a two-way contract with the Sixers – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Reed was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by MVP runner-up Kevin Porter Jr. of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as well as Oklahoma City Blue big man Moses Brown, Lakeland Magic forward Mamadi Diakite, and Westchester Knicks guard Jared Harper. All of those players are currently on either standard NBA contracts or two-way deals.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently under contract with NBA teams or have past NBA experience.

The complete list of the 2020/21 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).


All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Jared Harper (Westchester Knicks) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:


NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Malachi Flynn (Raptors 905) *
  • Brodric Thomas (Canton Charge) ^
  • KJ Martin (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Tahjere McCall (Lakeland Magic)
  • Gary Payton II (Raptors 905)

Of the 18 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Brissett, Uthoff, McCall, and Payton – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’20/21 season began. All four of them have previous NBA experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Spurs Notes: Aldridge, DeRozan, T. Jones, Mills

LaMarcus Aldridge may be looking at his last chance to prove he can help the Spurs win before the team decides to move in a different direction, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News. Aldridge is expected to return to the lineup tonight after missing the past six games with a sore right hip. He’s officially listed as questionable, but the Spurs need him after losing half their rotation to health and safety protocols.

Finger notes that the team was playing its best basketball last week with Aldridge on the sidelines. A younger, faster lineup strung together six straight wins and pushed San Antonio into fifth place in the Western Conference.

Aldridge is in his sixth year with the Spurs and has helped the team remain a yearly playoff contender after the championship core retired. He remains somewhat productive at age 35, averaging 14.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18 games this season, but will be a free agent this summer and may not have a future in San Antonio even if he remains with the team past the trade deadline.

There’s more on the Spurs:

  • DeMar DeRozan‘s agent, Aaron Goodwin, is upset that his client wasn’t part of the All-Star reserves that were announced Tuesday despite being the leading scorer and play-maker on a top-five seed in the West. DeRozan has numbers worthy of All-Star consideration, averaging 19.8 points. 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 25 games. “I’d love to see the coaches’ votes,” Goodwin said. “At some point, the winning has got to matter.”
  • The Spurs are encouraging DeRozan to take as much time as he needs with his family after his father died last week, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. DeRozan missed two games in January to spend time with his father, and teammates have praised his ability to stay focused on basketball during a time of crisis. “It’s a difficult situation,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “But I’ve been in touch with him. He is a very mature, kind man, and he is doing what he needs to do with his family right now.”
  • Rookie guard Tre Jones, who led the G League in assists before being recalled this week, has impressed his teammates with his feel for the game, Orsborn adds in the same story. “He has a huge basketball IQ and understands the flow and what’s needed at times, when to score, when to pass, when to set up the team and get other people involved,” Patty Mills said. Jones saw limited playing time in nine games with the Spurs before the G League assignment.

Southwest Notes: Cousins, McDermott, Spurs, Pelicans

Although the Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins intend to amicably part ways, it’s possible the veteran center hasn’t played his last game for the team yet. Addressing the Cousins situation on Sunday, head coach Stephen Silas said the 30-year-old was still at practice and that the plan was to have him continue to start at center as long as he remains on Houston’s roster, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Cousins’ representatives and the Rockets are working on a potential trade or release that would get the big man to a team of his choosing. Other players in similar situations, like Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, are being held out of action while their teams look to finalize a resolution, but Silas’ comments indicated the Rockets aren’t necessarily committed to that same approach.

Still, Cousins’ availability in the coming days will hinge in large part on his health. He has been ruled out for Monday’s game due to a sore right heel and it’s safe to assume the Rockets will be very cautious with the big man as they explore the trade market in search of a potential deal.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • With the Grizzlies‘ roster getting a little healthier, the team has sent two-way player Sean McDermott to the G League bubble, transferring him to the Memphis Hustle (Twitter link). McDermott has been a depth option on the wing for the Grizzlies this season, appearing in just eight games, so he’ll see more frequent playing time for the Hustle.
  • The Spurs also made a pair of G League transactions, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve recalled guard Tre Jones and forward Luka Samanic from the Austin Spurs. Jones had been leading the G League with 9.7 assists per game, while Samanic ranked in the top six in the NBAGL in both PPG (21.8) and RPG (11.3).
  • The Pelicans continue to gradually increase the number of fans allowed at the Smoothie King Center, issuing a press release today confirming that capacity will increase to 2,700 as of Wednesday. New Orleans, whose previous capacity was 1,900 fans, hope to bump that number up to 4,000+ by season’s end.

Southwest Notes: Tre Jones, Silas, Pelicans, Bane

A seven-game losing streak has seen the Rockets plummet in the Western Conference standings. Houston is currently the No. 13 seed with an 11-17 record, and head coach Stephen Silas is struggling to determine how to break out of the slump, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle details. Silas concedes that adjusting to the absence of several key frontcourt contributors has been a big hurdle.

“There’s some sleepless nights for sure,” the Rockets’ coach said. “But internally, my nature is to be positive, No. 1, and to be a problem solver, No. 2. So as each guy goes down or as each challenge arises based on our roster or who we’re playing, it’s just my nature to not make it emotional and concentrate on the problem-solving part of it.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs point guard Tre Jones is impressing during his tenure with San Antonio’s G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. Jones has appeared in just nine games with San Antonio, but Austin head coach Matt Nielsen lauded the rookie’s court vision. Jones leads the G League with 9.8 assists per game for Austin. “He’s a fantastic reader of basketball when the plays are in front of him,” Nielsen said. “At the same time, he knows how to use his teammates and get them involved.”
  • Pelicans star forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are continuing to figure out how to collaborate in late-game scenarios, per Scott Kushner of NOLA.com“We’re going to get in the lab, individually and as a team, and prepare for a different outcome,” Williamson said following a recent late-game defeat.
  • Grizzlies rookie shooting guard Desmond Bane, the No. 30 pick out of TCU who currently leads all 2020/21 rookies in three-point shooting accuracy (48.2%), is set to rejoin Memphis for the club’s game against the Pistons tomorrow, following a four-game absence due to personal matters, per Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Southwest Notes: Porter, SVG, Grizzlies-Thunder, Jones

New Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr., who has participated in only one practice since being added to Houston earlier this month from the Cavaliers, has a lot to gain from his new G League assignment, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle opines.

“[The G League assignment] is for him to get his feet wet with what we do and how we do it,” Rockets head coach Stephen Silas said of Porter. “And then, he hasn’t played in quite a while. So, to have consistent games night after night or every other night is important for him and his growth as far as being a part of our team.”

There’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans have not seen their defense take the strides they were hoping for under new coach Stan Van Gundy, per Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Van Gundy has previously coached several top-10 defenses in his prior head coaching stops with the Heat, Magic and Pistons. “We need a whole different defensive disposition,” Van Gundy said. “We just do. To keep the ball in front of us. To fight. To make shots more difficult.”
  • A GrizzliesThunder matchup in Memphis, initially projected to be played during the second half of the NBA season schedule, has been shifted up to Wednesday, February 17 at 8 p.m. CT, per a Grizzlies press release.
  • Spurs rookie guard Tre Jones has been assigned to San Antonio’s G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). Jones will travel to Orlando to join the NBAGL “bubble” campus.

Southwest Rumors: Harden, Westbrook, Grizzlies, Porzingis, More

The Rockets still expect to begin the season with former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster, despite a handful of November trade rumors, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance on Complex’s Load Management podcast.

Although there’s no momentum toward a trade involving either player, Charania dropped a couple interesting tidbits during his podcast discussion about the Rockets stars, mentioning that the Warriors “made a call” about Harden and that the Cavaliers talked to Houston about Westbrook. Based on Charania’s comments, it doesn’t sound like any traction was gained in either case.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Grizzlies are currently carrying 17 players on guaranteed contracts, meaning a couple of those players will have to be traded or released before the start of the regular season. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian suggests that Mario Hezonja and Marko Guduric appear to be the most likely odd men out.
  • Confirming a previous report, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle reiterated today that Kristaps Porzingis (knee) won’t play until at least January, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Carlisle did say that Porzingis’ rehab is going well and that the big man is doing “light court work.”
  • Mavericks rookie guard Tyrell Terry will receive $4.6MM in guaranteed money on his four-year contract, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. While we don’t know the exact terms of Terry’s deal, it sounds like his first three seasons will be guaranteed.
  • The three-year, minimum-salary contract that second-rounder Tre Jones signed with the Spurs is fully guaranteed for the first two years, as Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports details (via Twitter).

Spurs Sign Second-Rounder Tre Jones To Three-Year Deal

6:05pm: The Spurs have officially announced the signing in a press release.


3:18pm: The Spurs have signed former Duke guard Tre Jones to a three-year contract, agent Kevin Bradbury tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Terms of the deal aren’t known, but Jones figures to get at least one fully guaranteed season, if not more.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

As a sophomore in 2019/20, Jones averaged 16.2 PPG, 6.4 APG and 1.8 SPG in 29 games for the Blue Devils. He was named ACC Player of the Year and declared for the 2020 draft in the spring. San Antonio used the No. 41 pick last Wednesday to select him.

With Jones under contract, San Antonio now have 15 players on traditional contracts, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). While the Spurs are over the tax line, they can slip below if they waive Tyler Zeller‘s non-guaranteed contract, Marks adds.

The Spurs will use a small portion of their mid-level exception to sign Jones.