Xavier Moon

Pacific Notes: Westbrook, Lakers, LeBron, Moon, Ayton

Lakers star Russell Westbrook said he didn’t have a response to Magic Johnson‘s recent criticism of his team’s effort, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes.

Johnson recently called out the team for a lack of enthusiasm, tweeting the following: After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency. Owner Jeanie Buss, you deserve better.” When asked to comment, Westbrook was blunt in his response.

“I do not have a reaction,” he said. “Everybody is entitled, in this world, to their opinion. Regardless of what that it is. You can either take it and run with it or you can take it and put it in one ear and out the other or you cannot respond to it.

“Magic’s entitled to his opinion. And he’s not here every day. He’s not around us every day. He’s not aware of what’s going on internally with us and trying to figure things out. But I have no response to that. … Like I said, everyone in this world is entitled to their opinion and that’s that.”

Johnson spent his entire 13-year career with the Lakers, making the All-Star team 11 times and winning five NBA titles. He was also the team’s president of basketball operations from February of 2017 to April of 2019.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Bill Oram of The Athletic further examines Johnson’s comments on the Lakers, noting that LeBron James has stayed publicly silent. Los Angeles has lost three straight games and owns just a 21-22 record. Anthony Davis has only played 27 games, while James has appeared in just 31.
  • Clippers guard Xavier Moon is showing he belongs on the team, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. As Hoops Rumors first reported, Los Angeles signed Moon to a third 10-day hardship deal last week, choosing to keep him after his impressive play. “I love his pace, he knows how to play … to come to a team like this and perform the way he has, it shows he’s a good player and that he’s definitely making a case that he belongs,” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “So it’s just good to see. He has a skill set and he just needed an opportunity and the opportunity we’ve given him, he’s definitely taking advantage of it.”
  • Suns center Deandre Ayton exited the team’s game against the Pistons early on Sunday, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Ayton suffered a right ankle sprain and didn’t return for the second half. It’s unclear how much time he may miss.

Clippers Sign Xavier Moon To Third 10-Day Contract

12:11pm: The Clippers have officially signed Moon to a new 10-day contract, the team announced. It’ll run through Janaury 23, covering the team’s next five games.

11:53am: The Clippers intend to sign swingman Xavier Moon to a third 10-day contract, agent Stacey Leawood tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Moon’s second 10-day deal with Los Angeles expired overnight.

A player isn’t permitted to sign three traditional 10-day contracts with the same team in a single season, but that rule doesn’t apply to 10-day signings completed using COVID-related hardship exceptions. Moon is on track to join Davon Reed (Nuggets) and Marquese Chriss (Mavericks) as players who have signed three 10-day hardship deals with the same team this season.

Moon appeared in six games during his first 20 days with the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.5 RPG in 13.8 MPG. He spent a little time in the health and safety protocols during his most recent deal, but looked good on Thursday night, registering 10 points and four assists on 3-of-4 shooting in 15 minutes vs. New Orleans.

The Clippers still have Luke Kennard and Justise Winslow in the COVID-19 protocols, making them eligible for two hardship signings. Moon will rejoin Wenyen Gabriel, who is on a 10-day contract that runs through next Thursday.

Moon will earn $53,176 on his newest 10-day contract, but that money won’t be applied to team salary for cap or tax purposes.

COVID-19 Updates: Gay, Hughes, Harrell, Hachimura, Winslow, Waters, Brooks

Jazz forwards Rudy Gay and Elijah Hughes have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). They join Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles as players in protocols for Utah.

All four players will miss the team’s game against the Pistons on Monday. Two-way player Malik Fitts will also be sidelined due to a right wrist injury, meaning Utah will be without five players for the contest. According to our tracker, nearly 50 players are currently in the NBA’s protocols.

Here are some other COVID-related notes from around the league:

COVID Updates: Gobert, Holiday, Jackson, Moon, Mykhailiuk

Rudy Gobert has entered the league’s health and safety protocols. The Jazz center returned two rapid negative tests on Thursday but his PCR test overnight came back positive, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter links). Of course, Gobert’s COVID-19 positive in March 2020 led to postponements and cancellations across the sports world. The big man is having another fine season, averaging 15.5 PPG and 15.1 RPG.

We have more on players entering or exiting the health and safety protocols:

  • Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday has entered the protocols, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Holiday, who was also in protocols last season, joins teammates George Hill, Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton.
  • After eight teammates exited protocols this week, Pistons guard Frank Jackson entered the protocols, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Jackson is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.
  • Clippers guard Xavier Moon has entered the protocols, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Moon signed a second 10-day contract under the hardship exception on Tuesday.
  • Raptors swingman Svi Mykhailiuk has cleared the protocols and is available for Friday’s game against Utah, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets.

Clippers Re-Sign Xavier Moon To Second 10-Day Deal

The Clippers have signed wing Xavier Moon to a second 10-day contract via a hardship exception, the team announced today. Moon’s initial 10-day deal with the club expired overnight.

The nephew of former NBA forward Jamario Moon, Xavier Moon appeared in four games during his first 10 days with the Clippers, averaging 5.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG in 16.8 minutes per contest.

Those numbers were buoyed significantly by a strong showing on Monday night, when Moon recorded 13 points, four assists, four rebounds, and four steals in 26 minutes vs. Minnesota. Prior to that game, he had scored just 10 points on 5-of-17 shooting (0-for-4 on threes), but acting coach Brian Shaw has been impressed by what he’s seen from the 27-year-old.

“He belongs in this league, he has a good feel for the game and I think you saw that tonight,” Shaw said on Monday, per Mirjam Swanson of The Southern California News Group (Twitter link). “He plays hard, gets off the ball at the right time and he competes. Just a matter of finding the right fit, but I do believe he belongs on an NBA roster.”

The Clippers still have three players in the health and safety protocols and Moon is their third hardship replacement, along with James Ennis and Wenyen Gabriel.

Xavier Moon Joins Clippers On 10-Day Contract

Xavier Moon has signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers under the hardship exemption, tweets Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register.

The 26-year-old guard has been playing for L.A.’s G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers, where he’s averaging 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 14 games. Moon went undrafted out of Morehead State in 2017 and mostly played overseas before this season.

The Clippers are short-handed in the backcourt with Reggie Jackson entering the health and safety protocols this week. They will also have to get through the next month or so without Paul George, who suffered a torn ligament in his elbow.