Vander Blue

Vander Blue Leaves Italian Team

Vander Blue, who spent part of this season as a two-way player with the Lakers, is no longer with Fiat Torino in Italy, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando.

Blue played five games for L.A. before being waived in January, seeing just nine total minutes of court time. He was much more effective for the Lakers’ South Bay affiliate in the G League, averaging 19.0 points in 15 games.

Blue was MVP of the Italian Cup in February, but had difficulty adjusting to the new league after that. He averaged 3.1 points per game while shooting 12% from the field and 10% from 3-point range.

Lakers Waive Vander Blue

The Lakers have waived two-way player Vander Blue, the team announced today in a press release. Assuming he goes unclaimed, Blue will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday.

Blue, who was in camp with the Lakers in the fall, was cut at the end of the preseason, but rejoined the team on a two-way contract. Over the course of the 2017/18 campaign, the 6’4″ guard has appeared in 15 games for the South Bay Lakers, averaging 19.0 PPG and 5.3 APG. However, he has struggled with his shot, posting a .390 FG% and .333 3PT% in the G League. Blue also played in five NBA games for L.A.

With Blue no longer occupying one of the Lakers’ two-way slots, the team has an opening and will have until Monday to fill it. January 15 represents the last day this season that NBA clubs can sign players to two-way deals.

The Lakers also have an open spot on their 15-man NBA roster, created when they waived Andrew Bogut last weekend.

Lakers Sign Vander Blue To Two-Way Contract

OCTOBER 18: The Lakers have officially signed Blue to a two-way contract, the club announced today in a press release.

OCTOBER 17: After being waived by the Lakers on Saturday, shooting guard Vander Blue is returning to the franchise. The Lakers and Blue have reached an agreement on a two-way contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

Blue, 25, has appeared in just five total regular season NBA games, most recently playing for the Lakers in 2014/15. While he hasn’t seen any NBA action in recent years, he has emerged as one of the G League’s most reliable scorers, averaging more than 23.3 PPG in each of the last three seasons for L.A.’s affiliate.

In 2016/17, Blue racked up 24.8 PPG to go along with 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 47 games for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, earning G League MVP honors. This season, he’ll return to the club – now known as the South Bay Lakers – as a two-way player, which will result in a pay bump and a chance to spend some time with the NBA club.

The Lakers have now filled both of their two-way slots, with Blue joining Alex Caruso.

Lakers Waive Blue, Wear, Weber

The Lakers have reached the roster limit by waiving Vander Blue, Travis Wear and Briante Weber, the team announced on its website.

Blue has played just five NBA games — three with the Celtics and two with the Lakers — since going undrafted out of Marquette in 2013. The 25-year-old was MVP of the G League last season with L.A.’s affiliate and had a strong showing in the Las Vegas Summer League. His camp contract contains a $50K guarantee.

Wear has an Exhibit 10 deal, which could still be converted to a two-way contract as the Lakers have an opening. The 27-year-old forward will receive a bonus if he winds up in the G League.

Weber, a 24-year-old point guard, played 13 games with the Hornets at the end of last season.

The moves bring the Lakers’ roster down to 16 players, including a two-way contract for Alex Caruso.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Kuzma, Blue, Bogut

Lonzo Ball‘s NBA debut brought an electric atmosphere to Saturday’s preseason opener, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The second overall pick had a rough shooting night, going 2 for 9 from the field and finishing with five points, but he contributed eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals and showed a sell-out crowd his triple-double potential. “He is so unselfish that sometimes he has good shots for himself and he tries to get someone else a shot,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton. “We want him taking those. We are looking for him to be a little more aggressive to score the ball, especially early on. I thought he was great the way he was moving around out there and getting people involved.”

There’s more news out of Los Angeles:

  • Fellow first-rounder Kyle Kuzma had no shooting problems, sinking 9 of 12 shots and scoring 19 points. The 27th pick out of Utah sparked the Lakers’ offense in the third quarter with four buckets in 91 seconds and showed the same explosiveness he displayed during summer league. “It’s not so much 100 miles per hour like you’d think it is,” Kuzma told Joey Ramirez of NBA.com about the adjustment to the pro game. “It’s really pace, stop and go — I definitely learned a lot out there just in that one game.”
  • Reigning G League MVP Vander Blue is trying to use every advantage as he competes for a roster spot, Ramirez writes in a separate story. Blue has been showing up to practice three hours early each day and scouted all his potential teammates on video before camp began. Blue has been a productive G League player over the past three years, but has just five NBA games on his resume since leaving Marquette in 2013.
  • Andrew Bogut has resolved his visa issues and is ready to join the Lakers, the veteran center tweeted. Bogut agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal with L.A. in mid-September but hasn’t been able to come to the United States because of the visa problem. Bogut is eager to prove that he is fully recovered from a fractured tibia that ended his season in March.

Lakers Notes: Bogut, Blue, Ball, George

Lakers coach Luke Walton will have the final say on who wins the 15th roster spot in training camp, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet tweets. GM Rob Pelinka made the comment during the team’s media day. Bresnahan hints that it could come down to center Andrew Bogut or guard Vander Blue. Bogut signed a one-year, $2.3MM contract but only $50K is guaranteed. Blue hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2014/15 season. Pelinka added that the team isn’t actively seeking another veteran player, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

In other news regarding the Lakers:

  • President of basketball operations Magic Johnson isn’t concerned about LaVar Ball’s antics or comments unless it impacts the on-court effectiveness of son and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball,  he told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN and other media members. “Only time I am going to concern myself with what [Lonzo] does off the court is if it is affecting his play on the court,” Johnson said.  The Hall of Famer already considers the rookie as the team’s leader heading into his first season. “We needed a leader on this team,” Johnson said. “And we have one now.”
  • Johnson is mainly concerned that the team displays improvement this season and demonstrates to future free agents that the franchise is once again an attractive destination, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Johnson does believe this season’s group is talented enough to make the playoffs, Ganguli adds. LeBron James and Paul George, among others, are expected to seriously consider the Lakers next summer.
  • George said he’s more concerned with winning than joining his hometown team, Sam Amick of USA Today relays. George believes he can win a championship with the Thunder“You ask anybody, and who wouldn’t want to play for their hometown team?” George said. “Who wouldn’t want to go home and win a championship for their home? So yeah, a lot of me wanted to be a Laker. Even in the draft, coming out of the draft, I wanted to be a Clipper, to have a chance to play at home…(But) I’m not solely tied to LA. This feels like a championship team. Like I said, man, I’m in a good place.”

Lakers Sign Vander Blue

AUGUST 4: The Lakers have officially signed Blue, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 29: The Lakers have reached an agreement with combo guard Vander Blue on a partially guaranteed contract, sources told Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The guarantee is $50K, Chris Reichert of The Step Back tweets.

Blue, 25, played eight games for Los Angeles’ summer-league team in Las Vegas and made a strong impression, averaging 15.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 3.0 APG in 27.4 MPG. The 6’4” Blue also made half of his field-goal attempts.

Blue did not play in the NBA the past two seasons but lit up the G League last season, earning MVP honors. He played 47 games for the Lakers’ affiliate, the D-Fenders, and averaged 24.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG and 1.6 SPG in 34.8 MPG.

Blue, a Marquette product, has a limited NBA resume. He appeared in three games with the Celtics during the 2013/14 season and two games with the Lakers the following season. Mainly a shooting guard, Blue joins a backcourt that includes rookies Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, Jordan Clarkson, Tyler Ennis and free agent signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

While not all the contract details have been revealed, it’s safe to assume there are no guarantees beyond this season. The Lakers want to have as much salary-cap space as possible next summer in order to make runs at top free agents.

NBADL Announces All-NBA D-League Teams

The NBA Development League has announced its All-NBA D-League teams for the 2016/17 season, headlined by league MVP Vander Blue. While Blue didn’t play in the NBA at all this season, many of the players on the NBADL’s three All-NBA D-League squads received call-ups throughout the year, and some of them finished the season on an NBA roster.

Here are this year’s 15 All-NBA D-League players, many of whom will have a decent chance of finding their way onto an NBA roster next season:

First Team:

Second Team:

Third Team:

And-Ones: Blue, BIG3, NBPA, Draft, Expansion

NBA D-League veteran Vander Blue has appeared in more than 150 NBADL games since making his debut in 2013, and once again ranks among the league’s scoring leaders this season. In 35 games for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Blue has averaged 25.2 PPG and has shot 37.2% on three-point attempts.

Despite his success in the D-League, the former Marquette standout has only appeared in five NBA regular-season games. Nonetheless, at age 24, he continues to believe he’s deserving a longer look in the NBA, telling Alberto de Roa of HoopsHype that he knows it’s eventually going to happen. In fact, as he focuses on producing for the D-Fenders and earning another shot in the NBA, he says he’s not considering more lucrative offers overseas.

“I told my agent I don’t really wanna hear about overseas right now,” Blue said. “I feel like if I start thinking about that I’m gonna lose focus about what I need to do here. And I want my mind, my soul, my body all to be in one spot so I can really be the best I can be.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • The BIG3 has confirmed another new team, announcing in a press release that Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, and three other players will team up on a club called the Killer 3s. Previously, we heard that Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams would co-captain a team called the 3 Headed Monsters.
  • TNT’s David Aldridge spoke to NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, engaging in an interesting Q&A on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and her role as an advocate for the league’s players.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) has updated his latest 2017 mock draft in the wake of this week’s trades, which saw two first-round picks change hands. The Trail Blazers and Magic acquired first-rounders from Denver and Toronto, respectively, so Ford has incorporated new picks for those teams.
  • There’s no indication that the NBA is seriously considering expansion at the moment, but that didn’t stop Tom Ziller of SBNation.com from identifying his top 13 candidates for a new NBA franchise, from an obvious choice (Seattle) at No. 1 to a surprise choice at No. 13.

Qualifying Offers: Tuesday

Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..

Earlier Updates:

  • The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources.  In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
  • The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).  Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
  • As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.