Yves Pons

COVID-19 Updates: Grizzlies, Doumbouya, Oubre, Pistons, More

The Grizzlies now have a league-high four players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. When they updated their injury report on Tuesday for Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee, the Grizzlies removed Yves Pons from the protocols, but added key contributors Kyle Anderson and Desmond Bane (Twitter link). Big man Killian Tillie also remains in the protocols for Memphis, and point guard Tyus Jones was added today (Twitter link).

While the Grizzlies shouldn’t have to wait too long to get some of their players back from the protocols, they’ll likely be shorthanded on the wing for their next few games, with Anderson and Bane both unavailable and Dillon Brooks (ankle) still on the shelf too.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

  • Lakers two-way forward Sekou Doumbouya entered the COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, according to the team (Twitter link via Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group). Doumbouya had been in the G League with South Bay, so his absence won’t have a major impact on the NBA club.
  • Hornets forward Kelly Oubre and Pistons guard Frank Jackson are among the players to have exited the protocols this week, according to their respective teams (Twitter links). Jackson missed Tuesday’s game vs. Golden State due to reconditioning, while Oubre is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s contest in Boston.
  • Pistons rookie Luka Garza, who was on a G League assignment, had his status changed to “health and safety protocols” on Tuesday night’s injury report. Meanwhile, this morning’s injury reports no longer list Jazz guard Jared Butler or Kings wing Robert Woodard, an indication that both players have cleared the protocols.
  • Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley and top assistant Nate Tibbetts both entered the protocols on Monday, resulting in assistant Jesse Mermuys taking over on a temporary basis as Orlando’s acting head coach, per the team (Twitter link).

COVID-19 Updates: McMillan, Casey, Dieng, Suns, Holmes, More

Two NBA head coaches have exited the health and safety protocols today. Hawks coach Nate McMillan was back at practice with the team on Tuesday, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). McMillan should be ready to return to Atlanta’s bench on Wednesday night when the team hosts Miami.

Additionally, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is no longer in the protocols after having entered them on Monday. In a press release confirming Casey’s status, the club stated that Casey registered two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests following what was believed to be a false positive. Casey will coach Detroit on Tuesday night against Chicago.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Hawks big man Gorgui Dieng has cleared the health and safety protocols, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta had one of the league’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks this season, with a staggering 13 players in the protocols at one point in late December. However, the team doesn’t have any players left in the protocols now.
  • The Suns got guard Landry Shamet out of the COVID-19 protocols on Monday, but saw two-way forward Ish Wainright enter them, as Kellan Olson of 98.7 Arizona Sports tweets. Wainright is currently the only Sun affected.
  • Richaun Holmes has cleared the protocols and is headed to the Kings‘ G League affiliate in Stockton for some reconditioning work, says James Ham of ESPN 1320 (Twitter links).
  • The Thunder placed forward Kenrich Williams in the protocols on Monday and ruled him out for Tuesday’s game vs. Washington, tweets Andrew Schlecht of The Athletic.
  • The Grizzlies are once again listing Yves Pons as being in the health and safety protocols (Twitter link). Pons initially entered the protocols on Saturday and exited them on Sunday. It’s unclear whether that status update on Sunday was a mistake or if his test results have been inconsistent in recent days, but Pons is once again listed in our health and safety protocols tracker.

COVID-19 Updates: Powell, Kings, Pacers, Lopez, Springer, Pons

Trail Blazers wing Norman Powell entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

As our tracker shows, Powell is currently the only Portland player in the protocols. However, the Trail Blazers are also missing Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum due to injuries, so Powell’s absence means the team is without its three top scorers. Lillard, McCollum, and Powell are averaging a combined 63.2 points per game so far this season.

Here are more protocol-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Kings added one big man – center Damian Jones – to the protocols on Sunday as another – forward/center Chimezie Metu – exited, per reports from James Ham of ESPN 1320 and Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links).
  • Pacers swingman Torrey Craig and center Isaiah Jackson were back at practice on Sunday, signaling they’ve cleared the protocols, tweets James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana still has four players in the protocols.
  • Robin Lopez remained sidelined for Sunday’s game vs. Washington, but the Magic center was no longer listed in the protocols, having progressed to return to competition reconditioning (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).
  • Sixers rookie Jaden Springer has exited the protocols, but has been ruled out for Monday’s game in Houston due to a non-COVID illness, as Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays (via Twitter).
  • Grizzlies two-way player Yves Pons was placed in the health and safety protocols on Saturday, but was no longer listed in the protocols for Sunday’s game, suggesting he registered a false positive or inconclusive test (Twitter links).

COVID Updates: Green, Brooks, Bazley, Augustin, Scrubb, Niang, Neto

The league continues to be ravaged by COVID positives with an increasing number of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols. Here are the latest updates:

  • Warriors star forward Draymond Green has entered the protocols, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Green joined four other Warriors in the protocols heading into a pair of games against Denver.
  • The Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton and Yves Pons all entered the protocols prior to their game against Sacramento on Sunday, the team’s PR department tweets. Memphis now has five players under those restrictions.
  • Darius Bazley became the first Thunder player in protocols, Andrew Schlecht of The Athletic tweets.
  • Veteran Rockets guard D.J. Augustin has entered the health and safety protocols, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Clippers two-way player Jay Scrubb has been placed in the protocols, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • Wizards guard Raul Neto has joined two other Washington players in the protocols, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets.
  • Two Hornets regulars, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, are now in the protocols, the team’s PR department tweets.
  • On the positive side, Sixers forward Georges Niang has cleared the protocols, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Grizzlies To Give Yves Pons Two-Way Contract

The Grizzlies are converting Yves Pons’ Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way contract, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

With Killian Tillie also on a two-way deal, both of Memphis’ two-way slots will now be filled.

Pons is an undrafted 6’6″ wing out of Tennessee who earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019/20. Last season, Pons averaged 8.7 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 26 games (28.5 MPG).

Pons could emerge as a defensive specialist, though he’ll have to improve his 3-point shooting (31.8%) and free throw shooting (65.3%) to have a regular role in the league.

Grizzlies Sign Yves Pons

As expected, the Grizzlies have officially signed undrafted rookie free agent Yves Pons, the team announced today in a press release.

Pons – the 19th-best available undrafted rookie, according to ESPN’s list – is a 6’6″ wing who earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019/20. After becoming a full-time starter for Tennessee as a junior, Pons averaged 9.9 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 57 games (31.4 MPG).

Word broke shortly after the July 29 draft ended that Pons had reached a deal to join the Grizzlies. While terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed by the team, it’ll be an Exhibit 10 deal, per Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link).

An Exhibit 10 contract can be converted a standard or two-way deal prior to the regular season if the Grizzlies want to keep Pons on their roster. If he’s cut, he’d be a candidate to end up with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G League team, as an affiliate player.

Grizzlies Expected To Sign Yves Pons, Romeo Weems

The Grizzlies have lined up deals with a pair of notable undrafted free agents, according to reports. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) says Tennessee’s Yves Pons is expected to sign with Memphis, while Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears from sources that DePaul’s Romeo Weems will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the team.

Pons – the 19th-best available undrafted rookie, according to ESPN’s list – is a 6’6″ forward who earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019/20. After becoming a full-time starter for Tennessee as a junior, Pons averaged 9.9 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 57 games (31.4 MPG).

It’s not clear what kind of contract Pons will sign with the Grizzlies, but an Exhibit 10 deal or a two-way pact are the most likely options.

Weems – the 26th undrafted prospect on ESPN’s list – is another defensive-minded small forward. He averaged 7.3 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 18 games (28.6 MPG) for DePaul as a sophomore in 2020/21, knocking down 36.6% of this three-point attempts.

His Exhibit 10 deal could be converted a two-way contract before the regular season starts or could make him a candidate to end up with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate.

Central Notes: Bulls, Pistons, Pacers Workouts

After the Bulls mortgaged their long-term future to nab 2021 All-Star center Nikola Vučević in a deadline deal with the Magic, they still missed out on a play-in tournament appearance. The club is understandably anticipated to be seeking roster upgrades this summer, especially at the point guard position, writes Matt Moore of the Action Network.

Moore suggests that free agent point guards Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Lonzo Ball, and Spencer Dinwiddie are among Chicago’s preferred targets. Given the ages of the Bulls’ two best players – 30-year-old Vučević and 25-year-old All-Star Zach LaVine – 35-year-old veteran Lowry may not be a long-term fit, but would certainly raise the team’s floor for the 2021/22 season.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will get to choose from a handful of highly-touted NBA prospects with the top selection of the 2021 draft. Where Detroit opts to go in the second round of the draft is less clear. In a new piece, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines several possible draft-and-stash prospects the Pistons could pursue in the second round. Detroit has the Nos. 37, 42 and 52 picks in the second round. Edwards examines the fits of several draft candidates, including Zalgiris Kaunas guard Rokas Jokubaitis, Minas wing Guilherme Santos, Paris Basketball guard Juhann Begarin, and Antwerp Giants forward Vrenz Bleijenbergh.
  • Among 2020/21 season holdovers, the Pistons will face some interesting roster decisions in the summer, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Langlois notes that restricted free agents Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson, forward Josh Jackson, deep-bench center Jahlil Okafor, 2019 draft selections Sekou Doumbouya and Deividas Sirvydis, and guard Tyler Cook all could move on during the offseason.
  • The Pacers are set to hold their sixth round of pre-draft workouts Tuesday, per a team press release. The club possesses the No. 13 pick in the 2021 draft, as well as the No. 54 and No. 60 picks in the second round. Indiana will work out Kansas guard Marcus Garrett, South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson, Alabama guard John Petty Jr., Tennessee forward Yves Pons, Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr., and Clemson forward Aamir Simms.

Southeast Notes: Crowder, Heat, Mosley, Wizards

The Heat made a key personnel decision that could have adversely impacted their 2020/21 season in letting Jae Crowder walk as a free agent during the 2020 offseason, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The club opted to not sign Crowder to a long-term deal so that it could keep its coffers open for the summer of 2021, when Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was scheduled to be a free agent. Of course, Antetokounmpo then signed a lucrative extension with Milwaukee, and the Bucks would go on to sweep the Heat 4-0 in the first round of the 2021 postseason.

Crowder, meanwhile, signed a three-year, $29.2MM deal with the Suns. Though Crowder’s statistical numbers may be modest, Winderman notes that his toughness and versatility would have significantly aided Miami’s 2020/21 season. Crowder is now bringing those same attributes to bear for the Suns in the NBA Finals. The club is up 2-0 against the Bucks.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Team Nigeria head coach Mike Brown sang the praises of Heat forwards Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala after they contributed to Team Nigeria’s 90-87 exhibition match upset over Team USA in an Olympics tuneup game, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Achiuwa and Okpala’s contributions went beyond their minor offensive output. Their Miami teammate Gabe Vincent, meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar offensive game for Nigeria, scoring a team-high 21 points on 66.7% field goal shooting.
  • Several current and former Magic players expressed their excitement when the news broke today that Orlando would be hiring Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley to be the club’s new head coach, writes Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel. “I’m happy for him,” Magic forward Jonathan Isaac told Hays. “He’s been faithful to the grind and the league for many years.” Former Magic guard J.J. Redick, who was coached by Mosley in Dallas this season, tweeted “Love this!!”
  • The Wizards, who have the No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft, will hold pre-draft workouts for six draft candidates on Monday, per a team press release. Richmond guard Blake Francis, Florida guard Tre Mann, Avtodor Saratov forward Nikita Mikhailovskii, Tennessee swingman Yves Pons, Stanford forward Oscar Da Silva, and Coppin State wing Koby Thomas will all get a look from Washington’s brain trust.

Kings Notes: Haliburton, Draft Workouts, Wagner

Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton is enjoying his experience with the U.S. Select Team, which is giving him a chance to test his skills against some of the NBA’s best players, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Haliburton had previous experience in the international format as part of the USA under-19 National Team while at Iowa State.

Haliburton has fully recovered from the hyperextended left knee that brought an early end to his first NBA season. Although he played just 58 games, he was an All-Rookie First Team selection and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. He has been working out in Sacramento for the past month and now gets to see how his expanded game fares against elite competition.

“For me to get out and use that stuff against other guys and see it work against them in live action, it helps a lot,” Haliburton said. “And just kind of seeing what other guys are working on at the same time, how other guys are improving. Just taking bits and pieces of that, putting that into my training and things like that.”

There’s more from Sacramento: