Xavier Rathan-Mayes

And-Ones: Age Limit, Watson, Loyd, Overseas Signings

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is calling on the NCAA to develop a plan in response to the NBA’s expected rule change that would lower the draft eligibility age from 19 to 18, relays Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The NBA has submitted a proposal to its players union that would make the change effective in 2022.

“The NCAA is not prepared right now,” Krzyzewski said. “They need to be in concert with the NBA in developing a plan that is specific for men’s college basketball. And that should include what an athlete gets, how he’s been taken care of, whether or not there’s a re-entry if something – really, it’s deep. And if we only look at it shallow, then we’re doing a disservice to the kids. And that’s why I would hope that the NCAA has someone leading this to figure it all out.”

Krzyzewski asked whether the G League would start attracting blue-chip players and providing more competition for college basketball and how the NCAA will adapt once the one-and-done rule is gone. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo shared some of the same concerns and worried that too many players will be pressured to turn pro before they’re ready.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • Former Suns coach Earl Watson has interviewed for the head coaching position at UCLA, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. A former Bruins player, Watson was fired by Phoenix three games into last season. Schultz reports that longtime college and NBA coach Larry Brown would join Watson as a top assistant.
  • Jordan Loyd is this year’s 2 Ways & 10 Days pick for NBA G League MVP, writes Adam Johnson. He’s the second straight player from the Raptors 905 to claim the honor, following Lorenzo Brown‘s MVP season in 2017/18. Loyd is playing on a two-way contract and has appeared in 10 games at the NBA level.
  • Three players with NBA ties have signed contracts overseas. Hollis Thompson, who played four NBA seasons and was with the Pelicans two years ago, is joining Crailsheim Merlins in Germany, according to Emiliano Carchia of SportandoXavier Rathan-Mayes, who appeared in five games for the Grizzlies late last season, has signed with Bnei Herzelia in Israel, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. Brad Newly, whose rights are owned by the Lakers, has signed with Sydney in Australia, Smith adds (Twitter link). Newly was drafted in 2007, but has never played in the NBA.

Knicks Notes: Player Development, Kanter, Jack

Speaking this week to reporters, including Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, Knicks executive Craig Robinson referred to the Knicks’ approach to player development as “innovative,” “transformative,” and “something that is completely new,” but said that he couldn’t get into specifics because “then everybody would do what I want to do.”

Given the Knicks’ spotty recent track record of player development, I imagine Robinson’s comments will be met with some skepticism from fans, but he should get an opportunity to prove the value of his philosophies in the coming years, having been hired by the new regime last August.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Count Enes Kanter among the veterans around the NBA frustrated by their declining minutes and by their teams’ frequent losses. “I came here to win games. I didn’t come here to get a good lottery pick,” Kanter said after Tuesday’s loss to Dallas, per Fred Kerber of The New York Post. “I came here to win games and make the playoffs. So games like this are just weird. They make me think, ‘Why am I sitting?’ It’s weird, but we’ve got 14 games left and I’ll just try to do my best for 14 games.”
  • Jarrett Jack admits that there were “a couple of situations” available to him if he had pushed for a buyout before the March 1 playoff-eligibility deadline, as Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Despite not playing a single minute for the Knicks since then, the veteran point guard doesn’t regret his decision. “I’m not miserable,” Jack said. “There are things that are a lot worse. I remember when I was hurt, playing for nobody, sitting on the couch. I would’ve given anything to be in the uniform.”
  • After playing on a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies, guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes has returned to the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate, per Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link).
  • As part of an ongoing Basketball Insiders series, Dennis Chambers offers up some suggestions for what he would do to try to build a contender around Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis.

Grizzlies Sign Briante Weber To 10-Day Deal

MARCH 14: The Grizzlies have officially signed Weber to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. The deal will run through next Friday, March 23.

In order to create room on the roster for Weber, Memphis waived Xavier Rathan-Mayes, whose 10-day contract had been set to expire tonight. We had previously noted that Rathan-Mayes wouldn’t be getting a second 10-day pact from the Grizzlies.

MARCH 13: The Grizzlies have agreed to a deal with Briante Weber, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The contract will be a 10-day pact.

Weber appeared in 13 games for the Rockets earlier this season, playing under a two-way deal. The point guard saw 118 minutes of action and scored 7.9 points per contest. After the Rockets waived him, he caught on with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G League.

This will be Weber’s second stint with Memphis, as he played seven games with the club during the 2015/16 season. He has also spent time with the Warriors, Heat and, Hornets. For his career, he has 40 games (four starts) under his belt and nearly 500 minutes worth of court time.

Walt Lemon Jr., Xavier Rathan-Mayes Won’t Be Re-Signed

Two players won’t be re-signed as they reach the end of their 10-day contracts, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.

The Pelicans have decided not to retain Walt Lemon Jr., Haynes tweets. The 25-year-old guard completed two 10-day deals with the team and would need to be signed for the rest of season to remain in New Orleans. Lemon appeared in five games during his 20 days with the Pelicans, averaging 3.4 points in 7.0 minutes per night.

The Grizzlies’ impending signing of Briante Weber means guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes won’t receive a second 10-day contract (Twitter link). The 23-year-old saw action in five games with Memphis, playing 23.6 minutes per night and averaging 5.8 points.

Also expiring overnight was a second 10-day contract for Antonius Cleveland, whom the Hawks are expected to sign to a multi-year deal.

Grizzlies Sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes To 10-Day Contract

MARCH 5: The Grizzlies have officially signed Rathan-Mayes, the team announced today in a press release. The deal will run through March 14, next Wednesday.

MARCH 4: The Grizzlies will sign G League guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Undrafted out of Florida State last summer, Rathan-Mayes joined the Knicks for training camp and was one of the team’s final cuts before the season began. He has been playing for Westchester in the G League, where he is averaging 16.6 points, 7.2 assists and 6.4 rebounds in 39 games.

The signing will bring the Grizzlies back to a full 15-player roster. They have been carrying an open spot since February 12 when they bought out Brandan Wright.

 

Knicks Waive Trey Burke, Two Others

The Knicks have announced three roster cuts, confirming today in a press release that they’ve waived point guard Trey Burke, guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and forward Nigel Hayes.

Burke is the most noteworthy player of the group. The former ninth overall pick signed a contract with the Knicks earlier this week, and given the team’s uncertain point guard picture, it looked like there may be an opportunity for him to sneak onto the regular season roster. That won’t happen after all.

Rathan-Mayes and Hayes look like good bets to land with the Westchester Knicks as G League affiliate players. Burke could also end up in the G League, though he’ll likely exhaust his NBA opportunities first, and overseas league may be an option for the former Michigan standout too.

As for the Knicks, they’re still carrying 16 players on their NBA roster, but don’t necessarily need to make any additional cuts before the season begins. Joakim Noah is in the midst of serving a 20-game ban and will open the year on the suspended list, giving the Knicks the chance to add a 16th player until Noah returns. Jarrett Jack – the only non-guaranteed player left on the roster – appears to be the beneficiary.

Knicks Notes: Houston, Hardaway, Anthony, Contract Details, Artis

Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston feels that New York is on the right track, relays Bob Herzog of Newsday. Although he would not comment on whether Carmelo Anthony would be playing for the Knicks next season, Houston was effusive in his praise of his new bosses, president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

“Steve and Scott have been intentional in their language about what we want to be,” said Houston. “It starts with identifying what you want to be and then going out and doing it. When I was here playing, it was very exciting and we had an identity. It’s about establishing that identity again. From what I’ve seen, the players are buying into it. I think it’s the first time in a long time that’s been the case.”

Houston also spoke enthusiastically about Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks’ notable free agent signing this offseason: “I’m excited for him. People tend to forget he was 20 years old coming into this environment [as a rookie]. Everybody has to grow. Everybody has to mature. He’s developed all the way around and he’s prepared himself for this. That’s the mindset I took. You want to be valuable to your family, your community, your franchise.”

Here are other relevant details regarding the Knicks:

  •  Anthony is headed for an awkward preseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The star small forward has told the Knicks that he is only willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal with the Rockets, but the two sides have not been close on a trade. Berman writes that there is a chance that Melo will be forced to attend training camp, which will begin September 25. If Anthony holds out, it will cost him money. If he attends training camp, expect a great deal of awkwardness.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN reports that both Knicks free agent signees Jamel Artis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have an Exhibit 10 in their contract. This means that each player would receive a $50K bonus if he is waived and would pend 60 days with the Knicks G-League team. Unlike the protection for Nigel Hayes, the Exhibit 10 bonus doesn’t impact the Knicks cap.
  • In another story penned by Marc Berman, the writer explains how the Knicks ensured that the undrafted Artis would not get away after his impressive Summer League performance. After a forgettable first game, Artis averaged 10.1 points, while shooting over 50% in his last four contests. “I feel great about making the team,’’ Artis said. “It’s just my competitiveness. I feel I bring a lot to the game and am better than a lot of people, but I want to keep being humble. I feel I’m better than some guys that got drafted.’’

Knicks Ink Xavier Rathan-Mayes To One-Year Deal

The Knicks have signed Xavier Rathan-Mayes to a one-year deal, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Scotto adds that the pact will be partially guaranteed.

Rathan-Mayes entered the 2017 draft out of Florida State University but was not selected. In three seasons at the school, he averaged 12.4 points per game while making 52.1% of his shots from the field.

After signing the combo guard, the Knicks have 15 players under contract. New York appears to be embarking on a genuine rebuild for the first time in over a decade, so it could mean the team will opt to keep young talent over borderline-rotation level veterans. If the Knicks go that route, Rathan-Mayes, who turned 23 in April, may have a decent chance to make the team.

Southeast Notes: J. Johnson, Heat, Hawks, Hornets

When James Johnson was asked about whether his affection for the Heat could translate into a team-friendly contract in free agency this offseason, the forward took a measured stance Sunday, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Johnson reiterated his love the organization, while maintaining that a business decision must be made:

I love this place so much and the opportunity they gave me. I couldn’t thank them enough. Down the line, it’s hard in this phase of my career to try to find somewhere that you call home or you want it to be home and things like that. So you know the love I have for this team is up there. But it’s just something I got to let the agent and Pat [Riley] discuss and try to figure out, and then just give my last say so at the end.”

Johnson enjoyed a career season in 2016/17, averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 3.6 APG.

Here’s what else you should know from the Southeast division:

Eastern Draft Notes: Knicks, Smith, Hornets, Bulls

Former North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is in town to work out for the Knicks, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets that the workout will take place tomorrow.

Smith, who was previously said to have a tentative session lined up with New York, has frequently been mentioned as a potential target for the club at No. 8. By that point, top point guards like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and De’Aaron Fox will almost certainly be off the board, but Smith may still be available, and the Knicks are in the market for a point guard of the future.

Here are a few more draft-related notes from around the Eastern Conference: