V.J. Beachem

Lakers Waive V.J. Beachem, Stephen Zimmerman

The Lakers have begun to make cuts to their roster with the preseason nearing an end, announcing today in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on V.J. Beachem and Stephen Zimmerman. Beachem and Zimmerman will become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday, assuming they clear waivers.

Beachem and Zimmerman both signed contracts with the Lakers this summer, but saw very limited action during the preseason, and weren’t strong candidates to make the club’s 15-man roster.

Beachem, a 6’8″ forward who played his college ball at Notre Dame, averaged 14.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 3PG, and 1.1 BPG in his senior year last season. He received a $50K guarantee when he signed with the Lakers and looks like a candidate to join the club’s G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Zimmerman, the 41st overall pick in the 2016 draft, was waived by the Magic after just one year with the franchise, but had some success in the G League last season. In 21 games for the Erie BayHawks, the young center averaged 13.4 PPG and 8.9 RPG.

The Lakers’ roster is now down to 18 players, including one (Alex Caruso) on a two-way contract. The club will have to make at least two more roster moves before the regular season begins.

Lakers Sign V.J. Beachem

AUGUST 11: The Lakers have officially signed Beachem, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 9: The Lakers continue to fill out their roster for training camp, reaching an agreement with undrafted free agent V.J. Beachem, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Wojnarowski reports that Beachem will sign a partially guaranteed contract with L.A.

Beachem, a 6’8″ forward who played his college ball at Notre Dame, averaged 14.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in his senior year last season. He also made 2.4 three-pointers per game, though his .361 3PT% in 2016/17 was down from his career rate of .413 in his first three college seasons.

Shortly after the 2017 draft concluded, a report indicated that Beachem would be signing with the Timberwolves. However, that agreement only applied to Summer League play. Beachem appeared in four games for the Wolves last month in Las Vegas, averaging just 9.5 minutes per contest.

Beachem is the fourth young player to join the Lakers on a partially guaranteed contract within the last week. The Lakers signed Vander Blue on Friday and have since agreed to terms with Briante Weber and Stephen Zimmerman.

Taking into account their three unofficial NBA deals, the Lakers will have 18 players on NBA contracts, along with one player on a two-way contract. After finalizing the signings of Weber, Zimmerman, and Beachem, the Lakers will have one roster spot still available for a camp invitee or two-way player.

Cooke, Beachem Agree To Deals With Wolves

Dayton’s Charles Cooke has agreed to a free agent contract with the Timberwolves, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. The 6’5″ senior averaged 15.7 points per game with the Flyers this year, but wasn’t listed among the Draft Express top 100 prospects.

The Wolves also reached an agreement with Notre Dame senior small forward V.J. Beachem, according to David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link). Beachem averaged 14.5 points per night and is 67th on the Draft Express list. Neither deal can become official until after July 1st, per league rules.

Minnesota dealt away Zach LaVine in tonight’s trade for Jimmy Butler, so there may be an opportunity for Cooke or Beachem to make a run at a roster spot.

 

Pre-Draft Workouts: Hart, Smith Jr., Kennard, Adebayo

It’s that time of the summer, days until the NBA draft, when your favorite team is doing its due diligence and working out every prospect and his brother. Here is the latest in pre-draft workout news:

Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Collins, Leaf, Sixers

The Lakers have a short list of players they’re said to be targeting with the No. 2 pick in this year’s NBA Draft but they opted to bring North Carolina State guard Dennis Smith Jr. for a workout just in case they trade down, Mark Medina of the Orange County Register writes.

Smith Jr., a possible top-10 pick, participated in a group workout this weekend with a series of other draft hopefuls, including Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon. The guard impressed in the audition, his talent a cut above the rest.

Smith Jr. was sure to do his homework prior to his day with the Lakers and thinks that he can fill a void.

I checked one of the stats and they’re bottom 10 in almost everything relative to pick-and-roll scoring,” he said. “I think I can contribute to that.

There are more draft notes from around the league:

  • While he may not be around when the Jazz pick 24th in this month’s draft, TJ Leaf believes he would be a good fit with the franchise, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News writes. “Obviously draft number’s a big deal as well, but if I drop a couple of places and go to a team with a perfect fit, that’s who we want,” Leaf said after a recent workout in Utah. “We see a team like this — great coach, great system — and I think I’d fit well here, so that’s why I scheduled this one.
  • After an unexpectedly dominant first season at Gonzaga, Zach Collins is a potential one-and-done lottery pick. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee recently profiled the sharp-shooting big man, offering him up as a legitimate option for when the Kings pick at No. 10.
  • The Sixers will bring in Kyle Kuzma of Utah and Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame for workouts tomorrow, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Kuzma is projected as a late first-round pick by NBADraft.net, while Blossomgame is expected to drop into the second round. Billy Garrett (DePaul), Jalen Moore (Utah State), V.J. Beachem (Notre Dame), and Dominique Hawkins (Kentucky) will also audition for Philadelphia.

Southeast Notes: Porter, Wall, Gay, Hawks

The Wizards will face plenty of competition for free agent Otto Porter if they don’t submit a max offer, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Coming off a season in which he put up career-best numbers in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, Porter is eligible for a new contract starting at $25.5MM per season. Because he is restricted, Washington can match any offer he receives. Another free agent priority will be Bojan Bogdanovic, who was acquired from the Nets at the trade deadline. He will be looking for a substantial raise from the $3.73MM he made this season, and Marks says Washington will have to determine how much luxury tax it is willing to absorb to keep him.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After earning All-NBA honors, Wizards point guard John Wall is eligible for an extension worth up to 35% of the salary cap, Marks notes in the same story. The DPVE would begin with the 2019/20 season and is projected at $168MM over four seasons. Wall’s cap hit, which is $18.1MM next season and $19.2MM in 2018/19, could be as much as $37.5MM when the extension kicks in. If Wall’s extension is delayed and he makes an All-NBA team again next season, he could increase the value of the deal by about $50MM. If he doesn’t, Wall would only be eligible for a regular extension worth 120% of his 2017/18 salary.
  • Kings free agent Rudy Gay continues to have interest in joining the Heat, tweets J.D. Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. However, it’s uncertain whether Miami intends to pursue him (Twitter link).
  • North Carolina forward Justin Jackson made an impression on the Hawks during a workout Friday, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The ACC Player of the Year averaged 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists this year as a junior and helped the Tar Heels capture the national championship. Jackson’s trip to Atlanta was his fifth workout so far, and he hopes to complete five or six more before draft day. “Honestly, I’m just trying to put myself in the best position,” Jackson said. “Whether that is [overall pick No.] 10 or 20. In the back of my mind, I know these guys have watched me play all year, pretty much my whole career. At the end of the day, it’s one workout.”
  • Indiana center Thomas Bryant and BYU center Eric Mika were also part of Friday’s workout, Vivlamore notes in a separate story, along with Kansas guard Frank Mason, Kansas State guard Wesley Iwundu and Notre Dame small forward V.J. Beachem. Vivlamore believes the Hawks will be looking for size with the No. 19 pick (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: D’Alessandro, Batiste, Smith Jr.

The Magic will hire Pete D’Alessandro as their new assistant general manager, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical tweets. D’Alessandro last served as an executive with the Nuggets, having previously served as the general manager of the Kings.

Just last month we wrote about the Magic adding Bucks executive John  Hammond to fill their general manager role following the departure of Rob Hennigan.

D’Alessandro will return to the basketball operations side of a franchise for the first time since his stint with the Kings which ranged from 2013 to 2015.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Workouts

After a disappointing 2016/17 season, the Pistons will be looking this offseason for ways to improve the team’s outlook for next year. However, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press details, Andre Drummond doesn’t believe a roster overhaul is necessary.

“I don’t think we need to do any changes,” the Pistons center told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of bumps in the road last season with different things going on, and it took everybody out of sync. … With this summer coming up, we have to do a better job staying connected — the more stuff we do together, the better our camaraderie will be.”

Even if the Pistons were interested in making major changes to their roster, they would be tricky to pull off. Detroit has nearly $95MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18 without counting Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $9.2MM cap hold, so the team won’t have cap room to work with.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

Tatum, Monk, Other Top Prospects To Skip Combine

10:09pm: V.J. Beachem, Nigel Hayes, Peter Jok, Derrick Walton and Chris Boucher, originally alternative invitees, have now made the official NBA combine list, sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

9:19pm: Lonzo Ball won’t be the only top prospect skipping this year’s NBA draft combine. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter), a handful of other standout prospects expected to be top-10 picks won’t participate in the event next week in Chicago.

[RELATED: Lonzo Ball to skip combine]

Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, Josh Jackson, Lauri Markkanen, Jonathan Isaac, and Dennis Smith Jr. will skip this year’s combine, Charania reports. While none of those players are quite as highly regarded as Ball, most are in the tier right below him — DraftExpress, which has Ball at No. 2 on its big board, ranks those six players between Nos. 3 and 9.

The mass exodus from this year’s combine leaves Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox as the only elite prospects whose status for the event hasn’t been reported. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either player – particularly Fultz – skip the combine, as more and more players in recent years have passed on attending and haven’t seen their draft stocks suffer as a result.

For a player like Ball, there’s little upside to attending the combine, since he’s already viewed as a near-lock to be a top-two pick. The event has more appeal to prospects whose stocks aren’t as high, since they could potentially move up a few spots on teams’ draft boards if they have a strong week in Chicago.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets, the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement indicates that the NBA and NBPA have agreed to work on a solution to address this issue.

Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem To Withdraw From Draft

V.J. Beachem, a junior small forward, will withdraw from the draft and return to Notre Dame next season, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, citing Irish coach Mike Brey’s Twitter page. Last month, Beachem announced his intent to enter the draft without hiring an agent, giving him until May 25th to make a final decision.

The 21-year-old had projected as a possible second-round pick, with ESPN’s Chad Ford listing him at No. 58 in his latest rankings and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress pegging him 60th in his list of the top 100 prospects. Givony places Beachem 20th among college juniors and projects him 42nd in his 2017 mock draft.

The 6’8″ Beachem averaged 12.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game in his first year as a starter with the Irish. He is an excellent outside shooter, connecting on 44% of his 3-point shots this season and averaging 5.5 attempts per game. Ford says he may have the ability to play both forward spots in the NBA, but he projects as a stretch four.

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