Wade Baldwin

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/4/19

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter and big man Ivan Rabb from the Memphis Hustle, the team’s PR department tweets. Carter has appeared in 13 games with the Hustle, averaging 17.8 PPG and 5.5 APG in 33.0 MPG. Rabb has played five games with the Hustle and posted averages of 23.4 PPG and 10.2 RPG in 36.7 MPG.
  • The Trail Blazers transferred guard Wade Baldwin IV to the Texas Legends, according to a team press release. Baldwin has appeared in 13 games with the Trail Blazers but averaged just 5.5 MPG in those outings. He saw action in 17 games with the Legends last season. He joins forward Caleb Swanigan, who was transferred to the Legends on December 31st.
  • The Timberwolves assigned rookie forward Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round selection has already played 13 G League games, posting averages of 17.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG in 35.7 MPG.
  • The Hornets recalled forward Dwayne Bacon, the re-assigned him to the Greensboro Swarm, according to team press releases. That allowed Bacon, who has appeared in 18 games with the Hornets this season, to play for the Swarm against the Lakeland Magic on Friday. He’s averaged 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 3.2 APG in six G League appearances.
  • The Pacers recalled forward Ike Anigbogu from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to a team press release. In 14 games with the Mad Ants, Anigbogu posted averages of 11.6 PPG and 10.1 RPG in 29.3 MPG.

Northwest Notes: Noel, Thomas, Favors, Blazers

Five years removed from being drafted No. 6 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, newly-acquired Thunder big man Nerlens Noel is looking to rehabilitate both his game and reputation in Oklahoma City, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman.

A one-and-done talent at college powerhouse Kentucky, Noel is aware of the rumors surrounding his game – that he’s a talented but unwilling to work – but he’s ready to come out this season and turn things around.

The Thunder are ready for that too, which is why head coach Billy Donovan and All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George all made recruiting pitches to Noel on the first night of free agency.

“I’m excited about having him,” Donovan said. “He’s early in his career, and I know his career probably hasn’t evolved into what he’d hoped when he was a rookie. But he’s still very young, and he’s still got a lot of time to continue to get better.”

Noel has yet to have much of any success at the NBA level so far. He sat out his first season in Philadelphia recovering from injury and then saw his playing time dwindle after the Sixers drafted up-and-coming star Joel Embiid. But now that Noel feels he has a new home where winning is a priority, he is ready to prove his worth.

“You want to be in a situation where you’re wanted on a team that really wants to win,” Noel said. “That means the utmost to me, and that’s what my game is. I don’t think playing on teams that are really headed in the other direction complements me as well or makes me look as good as I might want to.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Armed with deep motivation after having his career curtailed by injury, Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas is eager to play for a team who wanted him, reports Christopher Dempsey of Nuggets.com. Thomas, who played for head coach Mike Malone in Sacramento during his breakout season in 2013-14, credits Malone’s trust in him as a key to his continued success.
  • Per Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.comJazz forward Derrick Favors is looking for an increased role on offense next season. During his free agent meeting with Utah’s front office, the two parties spoke about getting Favors more cuts to the basket and playing out of pick-and-roll or dribble-handoffs more often.
  • The Trail Blazers have made a couple of minor roster moves in the past day or so, deciding to retain guard Wade Baldwin and part ways with center Georgios Papagiannis.

Blazers To Retain Guard Wade Baldwin

The Trail Blazers will retain guard Wade Baldwin and guarantee his contract for next season, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports.

Baldwin’s $1,544,951 salary will be guaranteed once he remains on the roster through Thursday. Baldwin will claim the 15th spot on the roster and center Georgios Papagiannis is expected to be waived, Freeman adds. The team also had a Thursday deadline to guarantee Papagiannis’ salary.

Baldwin solidified his roster spot with a strong showing in the summer league. The former first-round pick by the Grizzlies joined Portland last season on a two-way contract after Memphis waived him, then received a standard contract in March. He played seven regular-season games with the Trail Blazers last season after playing in 33 games with the Grizzlies.

He then appeared in three of Portland’s four postseason games against the Pelicans. Baldwin earned spot duty in the rotation with his tenacious on-ball defense, Freeman notes.

Papagiannis appeared in just one game with Portland last season after seeing action in 38 games over two seasons with the Kings.

Northwest Notes: Udoh, Thunder, Tolliver, Blazers

The Jazz have been relatively generous during free agency so far this summer compared to most teams, handing out a two-year, $36MM contract to forward Derrick Favors, agreeing to a three-year, $33MM deal with backup guard Dante Exum, and reaching terms on a two-year, $4MM pact with seldom-used guard Raul Neto.

Furthermore, Utah has already guaranteed the 2018/19 salary of Thabo Sefolosha, who was limited to only 39 games last season. As such, it would appear that the Jazz are intent on sticking with their 2017/18 roster for now, which means that both Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh can be cautiously optimistic while waiting for their 2018/19 salary to become guaranteed.

Udoh in particular, who averaged 2.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 63 games for the Jazz last season, and whose $3.36MM salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on Utah’s roster past July 9, is trying to remain positive while awaiting Utah’s decision on his future, writes Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News.

“You know, we’ll see what happens,” Udoh told the Deseret News. “I’m grateful. I’m getting great workouts at the facility. I’ve been here pretty much since the season has been over outside of a couple trips, but I’ve just been getting in good work.”

Per Woodyard, Udoh is excited and prepared to return in a Jazz uniform next season, but also understands the business-like nature of the NBA.

“It’s gonna be a fun season,” Udoh said. “The West has gotten better but we’ve gotten better and we’re gonna be the same team next year. Starting last year, you didn’t know what you were going to get with so many new pieces, but now we’ll be ready from the beginning.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman writes that although Paul George did in fact want to be a Laker at this time last year, he is now happy in Oklahoma City after signing a four-year, $137MM max contract with the Thunder on the eve of free agency.
  • According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star TribuneTimberwolves’ free-agent signee forward Anthony Tolliver chose a return to Minnesota over four other pursuing teams because of the familiarity he has for the franchise – he played for the Wolves from 2010 to 2012 – and because “(he) want(s) to win.”
  • While it’s probably a bit bold to get too excited about the free agent signing of a backup, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes that the addition of 24 year-old center Nerlens Noel on a minimum-salary deal is a low-risk, high-reward move by the Thunder.
  • Per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, a couple of key subplots have emerged for the Trail Blazers during the team’s summer league minicamp. First, it’s an opportunity for Portland to get a first-hand look at rookies Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. in an NBA practice. Moreover, both Wade Baldwin and Georgios Papagiannis are fighting for their NBA lives while Jake Layman looks to secure a more prominent role for next season.

Grizzlies Notes: Pera, Transactions, NBA Draft

The working assumption around the NBA is that Robert Pera will retain ownership of the Grizzlies franchise, Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal tweets. The scribe cites comments made by Marc Stein of The New York Times in a recent podcast.

As we covered last month, Pera is expected to have the opportunity to buy out minority stakeholders Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus after they triggered a clause in the purchase agreement that forced him to either buy them out or sell at a valuation of their choosing.

Herrington also relays that if Pera remains in control of the franchise, J.B. Bickerstaff is a decent bet to retain the head coaching job.

There’s more out of Memphis tonight:

Trail Blazers Sign Wade Baldwin To NBA Contract

2:50pm: The Trail Blazers have officially signed Baldwin, the team confirmed in a press release.

1:52pm: The Trail Blazers have filled the open spot on their 15-man roster, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the club has signed Wade Baldwin to a rest-of-season, minimum-salary contract.

Baldwin, who will turn 22 later this month, signed a two-way contract with the Blazers back in October, shortly after he was waived by the Grizzlies. A thumb injury kept him on the shelf for several weeks near the start of the season, but he has since returned to the court and played well in the G League.

Because Portland doesn’t have a G League affiliate of its own, Baldwin has been playing for the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ affiliate. In 17 games for the Legends, the former first-round pick has averaged 18.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 2.2 SPG. He made his Blazers debut last Tuesday, playing three minutes in garbage time against the Knicks.

I wouldn’t expect Baldwin to become a key part of the Blazers’ rotation going forward, but he could see a little more action down the stretch, and his new contract will make him playoff-eligible.

Portland now has 16 players under contract in total — Baldwin will be the 14th on a standard, full-season NBA deal. The Blazers are also carrying Georgios Papagiannis on a 10-day contract and C.J. Wilcox on a two-way pact.

Northwest Notes: Trail Blazers, Baldwin, Dieng

The Trail Blazers have jumped out to a hot start this season thanks in large part to their formidable second unit. Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest writes that the club’s bench is becoming one of the league’s best.

The catalyst, Quick writes, has been Evan Turner, the 28-year-old second-year Trail Blazer who’s posted 13.3 points, 3.8 boards and 4.3 assists per game. Between Turner’s production, his ability to minimize turnovers and chip in with solid defense, he’s making an early case to be included in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation.

Other player who have looked solid off the bench for the Trail Blazers include Ed Davis and Pat Connaughton. This season, 28-year-old Davis has emerged as a voracious rebounder (18.8 per-36) and Connaughton has chipped in with 10.8 points per game, including two three-pointers made per contest at a 50% clip.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets strike Gina Mizell of the Denver Post as the ideal landing spot for disgruntled Suns guard Eric Bledsoe. While the team has expressed a willingness to let Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray play through their mistakes, it’s understandable that they may be intrigued to make a play for Bledsoe now that he’s definitely available.
  • Second-year guard Wade Baldwin signed a two-way contract with the Trail Blazers this week but the team’s official website has announced that the guard has undergone surgery and is expected to miss six weeks after tearing a ligament in his right thumb.
  • The Timberwolves will need to figure out just how Gorgui Dieng fits into their plans now that they’ve revamped their roster, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes. After playing 32.4 minutes per game last season, the 27-year-old advanced stat darling has seen just 13.8 through five games so far in 2017/18.

Blazers Sign Wade Baldwin To Two-Way Contract

OCTOBER 20: The Blazers have officially signed Baldwin to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release.

OCTOBER 19: The Blazers and free agent point guard Wade Baldwin have agreed on a two-way deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The 21-year-old was waived by the Grizzlies earlier in the week.

Baldwin will join a Portland franchise that has done a particularly good job developing guards over the years, most notably their star backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Considering Baldwin’s potential heading into his rookie campaign as a first-round pick last season, it will be interesting to see if the change of scenery serves him well.

Baldwin averaged just 3.2 points per game in limited time on the court last season but spent the summer in competition with Andrew Harrison for a role off the bench in Memphis. In Portland, Baldwin will set out to steal minutes from incumbent backup Shabazz Napier if and when he gets a shot with the NBA club.

While Baldwin’s contract will be a two-way deal, the Blazers currently lack a direct G League affiliate, so it’s not yet clear which G League club he’ll suit up for this season.

Northwest Notes: Baldwin, Exum, Bolomboy, George

The Timberwolves‘ G League affiliate has expressed interest in point guard Wade Baldwin, who cleared waivers earlier today, tweets Darren Wolfson of Eyewitness 5 News. Baldwin would obviously prefer to land another NBA opportunity, but he may have to consider the G League if that doesn’t happen.

The 17th pick in the 2016 draft, Baldwin was waived Monday after just one year in Memphis. The Rockets, Knicks and Pelicans have reportedly expressed interest in the 21-year-old guard, but of those three teams only Houston has an open roster spot. The Wolves have both a roster opening and a two-way slot available if they decide to make an offer to Baldwin.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Jazz guard Dante Exum explained his decision to have surgery on his separated left shoulder in a video tweeted by the team. Exum had been exploring non-surgical options, but after consulting with team doctors, he opted to have the operation, which is scheduled for Tuesday. “They were saying when I was getting back there could be some strength issues, even still pain as I was returning to play,” Exum said. “I’m only 22 at the moment, and I think whether it be now or later, I think it’d be something I’d want to get fixed.”
  • Former Jazz power forward Joel Bolomboy became an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers today, according to the RealGM transactions page. The 52nd pick in the 2016 draft, Bolomboy spent most of last season in the G League and played just 12 games for Utah.
  • Thunder forward Paul George said he felt “nauseous” watching the injury to the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward Tuesday night, relays Royce Young of ESPN. George went through a similar experience in 2014, fracturing the tibia and fibula in his right leg while playing for Team USA in an exhibition game. “It just brought me back to Vegas and when it happened to me, my incident,” George said. “Immediately I felt devastated. I was like nauseous watching it, just going back to that place. Immediately after it happened I texted Gordon. We talked last night. I just tried to give him words of encouragement, just tried to be there for him.” George missed almost an entire season after his injury, returning for the final six games.

Southwest Notes: Aldridge, CP3, Grizzlies, Parsons

LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs haven’t always seen eye to eye over the last two years, but in the wake of a contract agreement that extended Aldridge’s deal by an additional two years, the big man sounds as happy as he’s ever been in San Antonio. As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details, Aldridge says “everything is great” between him and the Spurs, and that both sides are pleased with the extension.

“I feel like the talks this summer (between Aldridge and the Spurs) were very constructive and were kind of needed, having a heart to heart where you just say how you feel,” Aldridge said. “And I feel like Pop (Gregg Popovich) has been great about the things that I said or kind of needed or wanted, and so far it’s been great.”

Asked by Jabari Young of The Express-News (Twitter link) if he hopes to finish his career with the Spurs, Aldridge said that would most likely be his preference. Still, his new deal doesn’t add a ton of new years to his contract. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets, the extension adds one guaranteed year worth $26MM, then one additional season that’s partially guaranteed ($7MM of $24MM). The pact also features a 15% trade kicker, Woj adds.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Troy Williams (Rockets) and Dorian Finney-Smith (Mavericks) saw the guarantees on their respective contracts increase this week, as our salary guarantee calendar shows. Williams’ salary for the season is now fully guaranteed.
  • In an in-depth feature for ESPN The Magazine, Jackie MacMullan provides an inside look at Chris Paul‘s decision to join the Rockets over the summer. Within the piece, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers admits that the relationship between him and Paul suffered toward the end.
  • After waiving Wade Baldwin and Rade Zagorac to set the regular season roster this week, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said those decisions were “extremely difficult,” per Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “If this was a normal year when we didn’t have extra players who were viable then Wade and Rade wouldn’t be released,” Wallace said. Zagorac isn’t eligible to head to the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate, but the team thinks there’s a good chance they’ll bring him back down the road, tweets Tillery.
  • The Grizzlies‘ major free agent signing of 2016, Chandler Parsons, won’t be in the starting lineup to open the season, making him one of the NBA’s highest-paid bench players. Tillery has the details in another article for The Commercial Appeal.