Willie Reed

Northwest Notes: Rosas, Reed, Bazley, Nuggets

Recently hired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is set to bring his worldly view and Latino roots to his new job with the Timberwolves, Chris Hine details in a story for the Star Tribune.

Minnesota hired Rosas, who previously spent 17 years in various basketball positions with the Rockets, as the team’s new president after a tumultuous regular season which saw the club trade its star player, fire its head coach and finish with just a 36-46 record.

“It’s definitely the road less traveled, and the odds are stacked against you,” Rosas said of being hired. “Being an immigrant in this country … it’s almost a responsibility, if somebody is willing to give you those opportunities, as an immigrant, a person coming into this country, you want to make the country proud.”

Rosas and his family migrated to America from Columbia when he was just three years old, according to Hine. His family settled in Houston, where Rosas discovered his love for the game of basketball and committed to starting a career. He’ll now be tasked with turning around a franchise in great turmoil last season, one that has a young star in Karl-Anthony Towns with several talented pieces around him.

“A lot of people have helped me get to this point, and because of that I have a responsibility to help others,” Rosas said. “We have such a special fraternity in the NBA, people that have been supportive of me. I need to help build a strong base, not only for Latinos but other individuals who want to be involved in the NBA.”

  • Free agent Willie Reed has committed to summer league with the Jazz, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link). Reed, a three-year NBA veteran, held per-game averages of 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 21 games with Utah’s G League affiliate this past season.
  • Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman details Darius Bazley‘s uncommon path to the NBA. Bazley was selected by the Jazz with the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, who then traded him to Memphis. The Grizzlies later traded him to the Thunder.
  • The Nuggets aren’t scared of the ongoing arms race in the Western Conference, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Denver has an intriguing young group headlined by star center Nikola Jokic going into the summer. “I think we focus on internal growth, focus on ourselves,” president Tim Connelly said of his team’s offseason focus. “I love our group, I love our core, love our coaching staff, so we’re pretty excited about whoever we’re competing against next season.”

Jazz Notes: Workouts, Reed, G League, Free Agency

The Jazz will hold two workout sessions for draft prospects on Saturday, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The first group will include guards Frankie Ferrari (San Francisco), Makai Mason (Baylor), wings Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas Little-Rock) and Vic Law (Northwestern) and big men Darel Poirier (France) and Kenny Wooten (Oregon).

The afternoon session will include guards Jeremiah Martin (Memphis) and Jordan Bone (Tennessee), wings Charlie Brown (St. Joseph) and Paul Eboua (Cameroon) and big men Luka Samanic (Croatia) and Daniel Gafford (Arkansas).

Utah possesses the No. 23 and 53 picks in this year’s draft.

We have more on the Jazz:

  • Center Willie Reed, who played for the team’s G League franchise in Salt Lake City last season, was among 30 free agent invitees to participate in the team’s annual mini-camp this week, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Reed averaged 20.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January. Reed, 29, has played for four other franchises and appeared in 152 NBA games.
  • Farmington City is lobbying the Jazz to relocate its G League team to Station Park once the Stars’ lease with Salt Lake Community College expires, Patrick Carr of the Standard-Examiner reports. The construction of a 5,000-seat, multi-use arena is part of the pitch, Carr adds.
  • Darren Collison, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Bullock are some of the middle-tier free agents the Jazz might pursue, Walden writes.
  • The Jazz brought in six guard/wing prospects on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets. That group included Terence Davis (Ole Miss), Aubrey Dawkins (UCF), Robert Franks (Washington State), Ahmed Hill (Virginia Tech), Eric Paschall (Villanova) and Jordan Varnado (Troy).

G League’s Top Pick Willie Reed Out For Season

Veteran big man Willie Reed, the top selection in this year’s G League draft by the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, has suffered a season-ending shoulder injury (link) that will foreclose any chance of the 28-year-old returning to the NBA this season.

Reed, who has played for four teams during his three-year NBA career, holds career averages of 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 152 career contests.

It was noted last month that the Warriors evaluated signing Reed after losing backup big man Damian Jones to injury, so it’s possible that another team would have been interested in his services moving forward as well, especially considering the possibility of now being able to offer a 10-day deal.

In 21 games with the Stars this season, Reed posted impressive averages of 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game.

Pacific Rumors: Booker, Warriors, Jones, Joerger

Suns star guard Devin Booker will take a cautious approach after re-aggravating a hamstring injury against the Lakers on Sunday, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. There’s no timetable for Booker’s return, Mizell adds. Booker, who missed the team’s previous game against Orlando, departed after 17 minutes. He is averaging 23.5 PPG and 6.7 APG. Booker has been starting at the point and rookie Elie Okobo could pick up some of Booker’s minutes.

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors dealt with a meningitis scare last March, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. An outside vendor who handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease. Extensive precautionary measures were taken to ensure the meningitis didn’t spread to the team, Amick continues. A majority of the Warriors’ players and some members of the basketball operations staff took vaccination shots and a team practice was relocated to Oracle Arena while the team’s practice facility in downtown Oakland was sanitized, Amick adds. The health scare appears to be what David West was referring to when he made cryptic comments in the spring about the private challenges the team had dealt with.
  • With Damian Jones likely out for the season, the Warriors are evaluating whether to make a roster move, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic details. Jones tore a pectoral muscle in Detroit on Saturday. Willie Reed, currently posting big numbers in the G League, could be a candidate. Robin Lopez and Enes Kanter could be options if they’re bought out after the trade deadline, Slater opines. But the Dubs have Marcus Derrickson on a two-way deal and DeMarcus Cousins should return soon from his Achilles injury, so they may elect to stand pat, Slater adds.
  • The issues between Kings coach Dave Joerger and assistant GM Brandon Williams is par for the course in a dysfunctional organization, Jason Jones of The Athletic notes. Details of Joerger’s increasingly uncomfortable situation became public last week. With the perception of a divided front office, it wouldn’t be a shock if Joerger seeks another coaching job, Jones adds.

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Bird, Okogie, Reed

Thunder star Russell Westbrook is nearing his return after missing the team’s first week of action, targeting Sunday’s home game against the Kings, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.

The team currently lists him as out for the game, but cautioned that his status is always subject to change. Should Westbrook miss the game against Sacramento, it’s possible that he makes his return on Thursday against the Celtics.

“A lot of it is him and the medical staff talking to each other and him giving feedback,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “In my conversations with him, it’s always how he’s feeling the next day. And I think for him, he needs to be right because you don’t want to have something lingering. And he knows his body better than anybody else.”

Westbrook underwent a preemptive arthroscopy surgery on his right knee last month, the fifth knee operation of his 10-year NBA career. He held per-game averages of 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists last season, and has played in at least 80 games throughout the past three seasons.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • WNBA star Sue Bird is meeting with the Nuggets executive staff this week, which could turn into a job with the team, Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com reports (Twitter link). Bird is still an active WNBA player, meaning she cannot work full-time with the organization.
  • Timberwolves rookie Josh Okogie played a solid role in the team’s game against Dallas on Saturday, filling in for Jimmy Butler at small forward and showing flashes of potential on both ends of the floor. “I knew where to pick my spots and what my role is when I’m on the court with them,” Okogie said, as relayed by Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I came in the game ready to make an impact. I knew I just had to come to the game, rebound, do the dirty stuff, let the others shine.”
  • The Salt Lake City Stars drafted former NBA center Willie Reed with the No. 1 pick in this year’s G League draft, banking on his experience and close ties to the organization, as written by Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News. The Stars are the G League affiliate of the Jazz, a team that features the likes of Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors and Ekpe Udoh at center.

2018 NBA G League Draft Recap

The Jazz’ G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, selected five-year NBA veteran Willie Reed with the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s G League draft. Reed, 28, has played for the Nets, Heat, Clippers, and Pistons, holding career averages of 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 152 career contests. Some other notable selections include:

Onuaku, 21, was just recently waived by the Trail Blazers. He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, and has extensive G League experience, playing in 83 total games for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers the past two seasons.

Warrick, 36, last played in the NBA during the 2012-13 season with the Charlotte Bobcats, where he appeared in 27 games and scored 7.0 PPG. In 526 career games, the Syracuse product averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Last season, the veteran played with Ironi Nahariya of the Israeli Premier League.

Blair, 29, last played in the NBA during the 2015-16 season with the Wizards, where he appeared in 29 games and averaged only 7.5 minutes per contest. In 424 career games, the big man averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Blair most recently played professionally for San Lorenzo de Almagro in Argentina.

The full results of all four rounds of this year’s G League draft can be viewed here.

G League Notes: Moreland, Select Contracts, Harrison, Draft

Several NBA teams secured returning rights for players who were in camp with them but failed to make the 15-man roster. Raptors 905 acquired center Eric Moreland from the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s affiliate, for forward Kyle Wiltjer, according to a G League release. The Raptors waived Moreland a week ago. Raptors 905 pulled off a similar deal with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ affiliate, to acquire guard Kyle Collinsworth, who was waived at the same time as Moreland. Texas acquired the returning player rights to forwards C.J. Leslie and Kennedy Meeks, according to a G League release. The Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ affiliate, gained the returning player rights of forward Cory Jefferson in a three-team swap with the Agua Caliente Clippers and the Legends, according to another G League post. The Sixers waived Jefferson on October 13th.

We have more from the G League:

  • The league is putting together a “working group” that will determine which players are eligible for select contracts, G League president Malcolm Turner said in a Q&A session posting on the league’s website. “That group will be charged with identifying appropriate, eligible, elite talent, not only in terms of on-court performance and potential, but also in terms overall readiness for the G League. In addition to identification, that working group will really help us monitor the rollout and execution of this professional path … that working group will be charged with developing its own framework and lens for eligible players.” Beginning next year, the G League will offer “select contracts” worth $125K to top prospects who are at least 18 years old but aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft.
  • Numerous NBA and G league executives, coaches, agents and players feel the select contract concept is intriguing, but there is widespread skepticism how much appeal the program will have to top-level prospects and how it will be implemented. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the topic in a lengthy analysis piece.
  • The Arizona Suns traded away the returning player rights of Shaquille Harrison to the Memphis Hustle in a deal involving four players and a draft pick, according to another G League release. Harrison was the odd man out in the Suns’ point guard competition, as he was waived early this week. It was still somewhat surprising they traded away his rights. The Grizzlies gave themselves a little extra depth at the G League level as protection against another Mike Conley injury.
  • NBA veterans such as Willie Reed, Hakim Warrick, DeJuan Blair, and Arnett Moultrie could be among the higher selections in the annual G League draft, which takes place on Saturday, Adam Johnson of 2Ways10Days.com reports. The Salt Lake City Stars own the top pick.

Willie Reed Signs G League Contract

Veteran NBA big man Willie Reed has signed a G League contract and will be eligible for the NBAGL draft later this month, according to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link).

Reed, who went undrafted out of Saint Louis University in 2011, has appeared in 152 regular season NBA games over the last three seasons, spending time with the Nets, Heat, Clippers, and Pistons during that span. In 12.4 minutes per contest, the 28-year-old has career averages of 4.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG.

Last February, Reed was released by the Pistons to clear a spot on the roster when the team acquired Jameer Nelson in a deadline-day trade. The move came shortly after word broke that the veteran big man had been suspended for six games as a result of a domestic incident involving Reed and his wife. If Reed makes it back to the NBA, he’ll have to serve that suspension before becoming eligible to play.

The G League draft is scheduled to take place on October 20 and will involve all 27 NBAGL teams.

Free Agent Rumors: Knicks, Reed, Smart, Stuckey

Although the Knicks are currently carrying 16 players on NBA contracts, the team hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of signing another free agent before training camp gets underway. As Ian Begley of ESPN.com details, members of the Knicks organization have been in contact regarding free agent big man Willie Reed this month.

Begley cautions that it’s not clear whether the Knicks had – or still have – “serious” interest in Reed, so it’s possible that nothing will come of the club’s inquiries. If New York does sign Reed or another free agent though, the team would eventually have to trade or waive at least two players currently under contract. Joakim Noah, Ron Baker, and Troy Williams could be at risk in a potential roster crunch.

Here are a few more notes and rumors on free agency:

  • While it’s possible that Marcus Smart‘s free agency could be resolved soon, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald suggests it could drag on for a while. One source tells Bulpett that if nothing gets done this week, Smart and the Celtics could “take a break” and revisit things a little later. According to Bulpett, the C’s would like to lock up Smart to a multiyear deal, but long-term security seems less important to the 24-year-old than “getting what he thinks is fair.”
  • A source close to Smart tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) that the veteran guard has been “unresponsive” to the Celtics‘ efforts to reach out because he’s “insulted” by a perceived lack of respect from team management.
  • Rodney Stuckey, who is looking to get back into the NBA after sitting out the 2017/18 season, is hosting a private workout on Thursday in Las Vegas, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, who tweets that several NBA teams will be in attendance. A February report indicated that Stuckey hoped to play two or three more NBA seasons.
  • Explaining the Lakers‘ approach to free agency after landing LeBron James, general manager Rob Pelinka said the front office didn’t target three-point marksmen in free agency because they feel like they already have several solid outside shooters, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. The Lakers wanted to add more multi-dimensional players to try to combat a team like the Warriors, according to Pelinka: “We did not want to go out and just sign specialists, ‘Oh this guy can just shoot.’ We wanted tough two-way players that can defend with a level of toughness and also make shots.”

Wizards Express Interest In Crawford, Mbah A Moute, Others

The Wizards lost one key member of their bench when Mike Scott reached an agreement with the Clippers on Monday, but the team has remained active in search of potential free agent additions.

According to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter links), the Wizards have expressed interest in a number of veteran free agents, including Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Dante Cunningham, and Willie Reed. Ty Lawson, who finished last season in D.C., also remains a possibility to return, Buckner adds.

The Wizards’ backcourt is getting pretty crowded, with Tomas Satoransky and newly-acquired Austin Rivers slotting in behind John Wall and Bradley Beal. Jodie Meeks and rookie Troy Brown could also see some time at the two, so it’s not clear whether Crawford, who will want a featured role off the bench, would be a good fit in Washington.

However, Mbah a Moute, Cunningham, and Reed make more sense as potential targets for the Wizards. Mbah a Moute and Cunningham are versatile forwards capable of knocking down three-pointers, while Reed is a big man who could add depth to a Wizards frontcourt that no longer features Marcin Gortat.

The Wizards have also been linked to Dwight Howard, Jeff Green, Treveon Graham, and Thomas Robinson, among other free agents.