Xavier Moon

Pacific Notes: Booker, McGee, Wiggins, Moon, Ranadive

The Suns were an NBA-best 64-18 during the regular season and are currently up 2-0 in their second-round series against Dallas. After Phoenix lost to Milwaukee in the Finals last season, it would have been easy to have a letdown, but Devin Booker says he’s driven to help the Suns win their first championship.

I have shifted that energy from losing the Finals in a good way,” Booker told Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “It’s a good segue in the locker room to talk about and motivate. We talk about the details of the game. Even [the Pelicans’ series], offensive rebounding doesn’t sit with us well because it’s the reason why we lost [games]. Winning a championship is something I want more than anything in my life.

“… I dreamed about [the Finals] as a kid. But now it’s a reality and I have to make it happen.”

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Cydney Henderson of USA Today details JaVale McGee‘s evolution into a valuable role player for three championship teams — and possibly a fourth, if the Suns win the title. The backup center believes he was the missing piece to Phoenix’s championship puzzle. “They were the best team last year, they just lost in the Finals,” said McGee. “They need one more piece and I’m that piece. I feel it, this that year.”
  • Andrew Wiggins is thriving in his new role as a small-ball power forward for the Warriors, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I mean, it’s not easy, obviously,” Wiggins said, “because 99 percent of the time, I’m smaller. But I feel like I’m just as strong and athletic as anyone else. I love fighting with guys. I love the physicality down there. I feel like it just gets you going. You gotta wake up for this. You can’t just ease into it. If you ease into it, those guys are gonna push you under the rim and bury you.”
  • Xavier Moon, who finished the season on a two-way contract with the Clippers, said in an interview with Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he’s going to work on getting stronger this summer in an effort to stick in the NBA. “Just my body. Improving my body, getting stronger, obviously add a little weight and that will help with every aspect of my game and other than that just being a student of the game, just learning to be an NBA point guard, facilitating and knowing when and where to score,” Moon said.
  • Can Kings owner Vivek Ranadive learn from his meddling mistakes of the past and let GM Monte McNair make the final call on the team’s new head coach? James Ham of The Kings Beat explores that question and delves into Ranadive’s history of involvement in prior front office/coaching moves.

Clippers Notes: George, Rivers, Moon, Preston

The Clippers‘ playoff prospects would be a lot brighter with Paul George in the lineup, and his teammates are encouraged by his performance Thursday in his first practice since tearing a ligament in his right elbow, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. George wasn’t involved in much contact during the practice session, but Amir Coffey and Ivica Zubac both said he looked “great.”

George has been limited to 26 games this season, but his numbers have been typically outstanding at 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night. The Clippers will start out in the play-in tournament, with a matchup looming against one of the Western Conference powers if they advance, so they’ll need George available to have a realistic shot.

“Just having that hope that he has a chance to come back, that gives them a lot of hope, especially the job this team has done this year, guys playing out of position, guys taking on bigger roles, you know?” coach Tyronn Lue said. “The job the team has done this year, it’s phenomenal. But we could use an extra little bump right now, especially in these dog days, going down the stretch of the season.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers can empathize with Lue, who is trying to survive without three of his best players, Swanson states in the same piece. After his Sixers blasted L.A. on Friday, Rivers said the toughest part of being short-handed is making players believe they can be successful without their stars. “They’re NBA players and you can win games, teams can win games during that period, and I think Ty’s done a great job with that,” Rivers said. “I mean, he’s really kept them afloat, so it’s been impressive.”
  • Xavier Moon earned his new two-way contract by helping the Clippers when their roster was depleted due to health and safety protocols, Swanson adds in a separate story. Moon signed three 10-day hardship deals in December and January and made a strong impression on his teammates despite only playing six games. “His will, his want-to. How much he’s been about the team,” Reggie Jackson said when Moon’s last contract expired. “He’s come in, he’s gotten better every day, hasn’t complained, fears no one, doesn’t back down, so it’s been fun to watch him compete.”
  • Jason Preston‘s rookie season was wiped out after foot surgery in October, but the Clippers believe the second-round pick has a bright future ahead, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Clippers Waive Ojeleye, Convert Coffey, Sign Moon

The Clippers have called up guard Xavier Moon from their G League affiliate, signing him to a two-way contract, agent Stacey Leawood told Hoops Rumors. To create roster space, the team has promoted two-way player Amir Coffey to the 15-man roster and has waived veteran wing Semi Ojeleye, who was acquired in a trade last month.

Coffey, 24, earns a rest-of-season deal after playing 62 games with the club this season. He most recently finished with 21 points in a loss to the Sixers on Friday, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor. Converting Coffey to a standard contract will allow the Clippers to have him available during the playoffs.

Moon, a 6’2″ point guard, signed three 10-day contracts with Los Angeles earlier this season. The club was quickly impressed by his production and maturity, as the 27-year-old averaged 5.5 points and 1.7 assists in 13.8 minutes per contest.

Moon, the nephew of former NBA player Jamario Moon, has also been impressive in the G League. He has averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game with Agua Caliente, shooting 46% from the floor and 38% from three-point range.

Ojeleye was traded from Milwaukee to Los Angeles in the four-team deadline deal that sent Serge Ibaka to the Bucks. The Clippers’ primary motive in that trade was to reduce their tax bill — Ojeleye appeared in 10 games for L.A. following his arrival, but mostly saw garbage-time minutes. He’ll clear waivers on Monday, assuming he goes unclaimed, but wouldn’t be playoff-eligible for a new team.

The Clippers currently rank eighth in the Western Conference standings at 36-39. The team has seven games left on its schedule, which includes outings against the Jazz (45-29) on Tuesday and Bulls (42-31) on Thursday.

Pacific Notes: Moon, Barnes, AD, LeBron, Johnson

Xavier Moon, who recently completed three 10-day hardship contracts with the Clippers, is determined to make it back to the NBA, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Moon’s last game was in New York City against the Knicks, and he said it was a surreal experience.

Watching these games on TV, Madison Square Garden, everybody doing what they do and getting a chance to take the court?” Moon said. “Man, surreal.”

The 27-year-old NBA rookie has plenty of international experience, having made stops in France, England, Israel and Canada. Upon hearing that some G League teams were interested in his services late last summer, Moon decided to buy out his contract with an Italian club and give things a shot closer to home, Greif writes.

I was like, I think I’ll hold off from going overseas this year,” Moon said. “And I think that was probably one of the better decisions that I made.”

Moon appeared in six games with the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.5 RPG in 13.8 MPG. In 17 games with Agua Caliente, the team’s G League affiliate, he has averaged 13.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.4 SPG on .489/.386/.864 shooting.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are in a tailspin, losing 12 of their last 14 games to fall to 18-32 on the season, 13th in the West, and Harrison Barnes is understandably frustrated with the team’s performance, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “It’s a range of emotions: frustration, anger, embarrassment, disappointment. You can go down the list,” Barnes said after posting 28 points and nine rebounds in the loss to the Hawks on Wednesday. “No one prepares and wants to lose, wants to go through losing the way we’ve been going about it. There’s a lot of frustration, but it’s on us to get out of this.”
  • Anthony Davis said X-rays on his right wrist came back negative after injuring it on a dunk over Joel Embiid in the Lakers‘ loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. Davis will miss Friday’s game against Charlotte with wrist soreness, McMenamin relays in a separate tweet.
  • LeBron James is also inactive Friday night for the Lakers and is considered day-to-day with left knee soreness, as Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group details. In a follow-up tweet, Goon notes that James’ knee is swollen on top of being sore, so the team is being cautious with the 37-year-old star.
  • Within the same article from Goon, Stanley Johnson says he’s thrilled he was able to turn his 10-day deals with the Lakers into a standard contract that will cover the remainder of the season, with a team option for next year. “I couldn’t have dreamed of something like this in wildest my dreams,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I wanted it. … Seeing a 10-day guy with a fit like this, it’s happened before. And it will happen again. But it doesn’t happen a lot.”

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.