Wenyen Gabriel

Kings Waive Brandon Austin

The Kings have waived training camp invitee Brandon Austin, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports. Austin signed with the team on Thursday after appearing in 15 games with the team’s G League affiliate Reno Bighorns last season.

Austin, who went undrafted out of Northwest Florida State in 2016, is a 6-foot-6 guard who’s shown flashes of potential on both ends of the floor. He’ll likely rejoin the Bighorns for the upcoming season, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC10.

Following the decision to waive Austin, the Kings now have 19 players on their active roster. This includes the two-way contract of Wenyen Gabriel, along with the non-guaranteed salaries of Cameron Reynolds, Jamel Artis and the recently added Kalin Lucas.

Kings Sign Wenyen Gabriel To Two-Way Deal

JULY 31: The Kings have officially signed Gabriel to a two-way contract, the club confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 28: According to James Ham of NBC Sports California, the Kings are signing undrafted rookie Wenyen Gabriel to a two-way contract. David Aldridge of TNT first reported that the Kentucky product and Sacramento were close to a deal.

Gabriel, 21, averaged 6.8 PPG and 5.4 RPG as a sophomore last season at Kentucky, but showed the ability to protect the rim (1.1 BPG) and hit outside shots (.396 3PT%).

Gabriel, who figures to spend most of his time with the Kings’ G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, also performed relatively well during the NBA Summer League, appearing in all five games for the Kings in Las Vegas and averaging a similar stat line of 6.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG during 16.4 minutes per game.

The Kings don’t currently have any two-way players on their roster for the 2018/19 season, so another spot remains open after the Gabriel signing.

Draft Notes: Grizzlies, Magic, Nuggets, Gabriel

Teams near the top of the draft continue to explore trade options as Thursday approaches. The Grizzlies are one of those teams, as they continue to receive significant interest in scenarios that would see them send out Chandler Parsons along with the No. 4 pick, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, it seems clear that remaining in the lottery is crucial to the Grizzlies, who are believed to be taking more calls than they’re making.

Meanwhile, a couple spots down the draft order, the Magic are also having “exploratory” trade talks, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said on Monday.

“We’re having discussions above us and below us, but I wouldn’t comment more specifically than that,” Weltman said, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s our job to explore every possible option, get to know the draft as well as we possibly can. And, obviously, the draft isn’t just about the draft. It’s about other roster moves that you could potentially look at as well. So there’s not a team we don’t talk to. There’s not a stone we don’t turn over.”

As Robbins notes, Weltman made similar comments leading up to last year’s draft. In that case, the Magic kept their lottery pick, but traded a couple of their other selections later in the draft.

Here’s more on the 2018 NBA draft:

  • The Nuggets‘ Monday workout with potential first-round pick Mitchell Robinson was canceled, according to an announcement from the team. No reason for the cancellation was provided.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel is working out for the Cavaliers today, then the Hornets on Tuesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Gabriel is a candidate to be drafted in the second round.
  • The Warriors continued to take a closer look at prospects on Monday, bringing in Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Xavier Cooks (Winthrop), Ben Emelogu (SMU), Melvin Frazier (Tulane), Terry Larrier (UConn), and William Lee (UAB) for workouts (Twitter link via Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News).
  • Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of NBA veteran Enes Kanter, was in Oklahoma City on Monday to work out for the Thunder, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The younger Kanter brother isn’t considered likely to be drafted.
  • Loyola-Chicago guard Donte Ingram is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on Tuesday, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

Draft Notes: Bagley, DiVincenzo, Sexton, Brunson, Gabriel, Bates-Diop

Duke University product Marvin Bagley III is expected to sign an endorsement deal with Puma, tweets JonKrawczynski of The Athletic. The deal is over five years and is expected to be the largest shoe deal signed by a rookie since Kevin Durant inked a seven-year, $60MM deal with Nike, Krawczynski adds.

The deal is historic as Puma has not represented an NBA player in nearly two decades. The last time Puma signed an NBA player was Vince Carter in 1998, per Yahoo! Sports. Bagley is widely expected to one of the top five picks in the draft.

Puma has also expressed interest in Oklahoma point guard Trae Young, another likely top-10 pick, per ESPN’s Nick DePaula.

Check out more draft notes below:

  • Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo is in Phoenix to interview with the Suns, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. DiVincenzo has already worked out for the Timberwolves, Bulls, Pacers, and several other clubs.
  • Fellow Villanova guard Jalen Brunson completed a previously-reported workout with the Pacers on Thursday, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Brunson now has scheduled visits with the Spurs and Celtics.
  • Alabama point guard Collin Sexton, who has been selective with the teams he works out for, is scheduled to meet with the Magic on Saturday, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Possible first-round pick Keita Bates-Diop will work out for the Hawks soon, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Ohio State forward worked out for the Wizards on Thursday.
  • After working out for the Raptors on Thursday, Wenyen Gabriel has scheduled visits with the Sixers, Pistons, and Hornets on tap, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.
  • The Hornets will work out six players on Friday, the team announced in a press release. The scheduled participants include Xavier’s Trevon BluiettMississipi’s Markel Crawford, Oregon State’s Drew Eubanks, Nebraska’s Anton Gill, Virginia’s Nigel Johnson, and Wichita State’s Shaquille Morris.

Draft Updates: Porter, Doncic, Bagley, Bamba

Teams that had planned to attend Michael Porter Jr.‘s workout tomorrow are being told it will be held at another time, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Porter’s representatives canceled the session late Wednesday night without providing an explanation.

The move has led to speculation that Porter’s surgically repaired back may be bothering him, but it’s also possible he has received a guarantee that would make a group workout unnecessary. Porter’s camp may be rethinking his status and devoting time just to teams at the top of the draft, according to Tom Ziller of SB Nation, who adds that they now believe he will be taken in the top four.

There’s “a very real chance” that the Kings will use their No. 2 pick on Porter, Amick adds, but it’s not certain at this point whether last night’s news will impact their decision. The organization may request more medical information and take another look at Porter in action before making a commitment.

There’s more draft-related news this morning:

Draft Workouts: Brown, Lakers, Grizzlies, Alkins

Oregon shooting guard Troy Brown worked out for the Spurs on Sunday, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. The Spurs hold the No. 18 pick and Brown is ranked No. 19 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Brown then worked out for the Wizards Monday and is headed to Milwaukee for an evaluation by the Bucks, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Washington owns the No. 15 selection with the Bucks at No. 17.

We have plenty of other workouts to pass along:

Lakers Rumors: Lopez, Clarkson, Draft Workouts

Brook Lopez‘s ability to space the floor would make him a good match with the Bucks, according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Lopez’s 3-point shooting would open up the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, the Bucks are already over the projected salary-cap limit and would thus only be able to offer the unrestricted free agent their non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Other potential landing spots for Lopez if he doesn’t re-sign with the Lakers include the Trail Blazers, who could lose restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic, and the Nets, his former team.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Jordan Clarkson‘s struggles in the playoffs make it clear that the Lakers got the best of their trade deadline deal with the Cavaliers, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report opines. Clarkson was benched in Game 3 after making only 23.1% percent of his shots attempts in the first two games and he shot just 30.9% in prior playoff games, Pincus notes. Clarkson also hasn’t been a playmaker, doling out just one assist over the last eight games, Pincus continues. The Lakers also gave up forward Larry Nance Jr. while getting back Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a first-round pick. The draft pick, plus Thomas’ expiring contract, sets up the Lakers for a potentially momentous summer, Pincus adds.
  • The Lakers will work out mainly second-round prospects on Saturday, according to a team release. Brian Bowen II, Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Wenyen Gabriel (Kentucky), Tra Holder (Arizona State), Nick King (Middle Tennessee) and Theo Pinson (North Carolina) will pay a visit. Evans is the top-rated prospect in the group, currently ranked No. 29 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
  • What are the team’s biggest offseason questions? Hoops Rumors’ Luke Adams takes a closer look.

West Draft Workouts: Jazz, T-Wolves, Blazers, Suns

UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday and Duke guard Grayson Allen were among the first-round prospects that the Jazz evaluated on Monday, according to a team tweet. Holiday is ranked No. 17 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on his latest Top 100 prospects list, while Allen checks in at No. 30. Creighton’s Khyri Thomas (No. 27), Villanova’s Jalen Brunson (No. 34), Louisville’s Ray Spalding (No. 52) and San Diego State’s Malik Pope were the other prospects who visited Utah.

We have some other draft workouts involving Western Conference clubs to pass along:

Draft Decisions: Happ, Matthews, Gabriel, Riley

Draft decisions have been rolling in all day as we move closer to the 11:59pm Eastern deadline. While some prominent names such as Jontay Porter, PJ Washington, Brian Bowen, Tyus Battle and Lindell Wigginton have announced their choices, we’re still waiting to hear from prospects such as Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt, Nevada’s Caleb Martin and Cody Martin and a few others.

Here are some of the players who reached decisions today:

  • Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ will return to the Badgers for his senior season, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box. He averaged 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds this season and was a first team All-Big 10 selection for the second straight year.
  • Charles Matthews will return to Michigan for his senior season, according to Tom Wywrot of MGoBlue.com. Matthews averaged 13.0 points per night in helping the Wolverines reach the national title game. “I learned a lot throughout this process, but my main focus will now be completing my education at Michigan and leading my teammates to more success next season,” he said.
  • Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel plans to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, relays Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He appeared in 38 games as a freshman, averaging 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.
  • Cody Riley will play another season at UCLA, Rothstein adds (Twitter link). Riley was held out the entire year after being involved in an alleged shoplifting incident in China.
  • Iowa’s Tyler Cook will also leave the draft, according to Rothstein (Twitter link). He averaged 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Noah Dickerson will return to Washington for another season, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Dickerson earned first team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior, averaging 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
  • Wyoming’s Justin James has withdrawn from the draft, according to a story on GoWyo.com. The 6’7″ guard averaged 18.9 points and 6.0 rebounds as a junior. “I received some very promising feedback from around the NBA,” James said. “I will continue to grow my game here in Laramie and put myself in position to live my dream and play at the next level following one more season playing for the Cowboys.”
  • Robert Franks will play his senior season at Washington State, tweets the school’s basketball program. Franks posted a 17.4/6.6/1.9 line this year.

Draft Notes: Robinson, Kings, Bluiett, Rorie, Caldwell

Despite reports suggesting otherwise, the Lakers aren’t believed to have made a promise to Mitchell Robinson to take him in the first round, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Robinson skipped last week’s combine and a report surfaced that the Lakers made a pledge to him with the No. 25 overall pick. The seven-footer did not play college basketball, as he withdrew from Western Kentucky as a freshman last September to focus on the draft. He’s ranked as the No. 22 prospect on ESPN Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 list.

In other draft-related developments: