Zavier Simpson

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Lakers Waive Zavier Simpson, Kevon Harris, Tres Tinkle

The Lakers waived guard Zavier Simpson, guard Kevon Harris, and forward Tres Tinkle on Sunday, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.

Simpson, Harris, and Tinkle were all rookie free agents who went undrafted last month, then agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with the Lakers. It looked as if the plan was for them to participate in training camp and then perhaps join Los Angeles’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. However, the team reportedly opted not to bring them to camp as a coronavirus precaution.

The Lakers are also among the teams expected to bypass the proposed G League bubble, as our JD Shaw has reported. As such, Harris, Simpson, and Tinkle may not get an opportunity to play for South Bay this season. Still, it appears all three players officially signed their Exhibit 10 deals, just in case.

Following the series of transactions, the Lakers are once again carrying 16 players on their roster, including 14 on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals. They seem likely to open the season with those 16 players under contract.

L.A. Notes: Lakers, Cook, Davis, George, Clippers

According to a report from Ben Stinar of Forbes (Twitter link), the Lakers have sent home their players who don’t have guaranteed contracts as a coronavirus precaution in order to limit the number of people on the court during training camp.

The exact details here are a little unclear. The Lakers reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 deals with undrafted rookies Zavier Simpson, Tres Tinkle, and Kevon Harris, but those signings haven’t been announced by the team and haven’t shown up in the league’s public transactions log, so it’s possible they simply won’t be officially finalized.

Meanwhile, Quinn Cook formally re-signed with the Lakers on Friday, and Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that Cook received a non-guaranteed training camp contract. However, it doesn’t appear that Stinar’s report would apply to the veteran guard. Head coach Frank Vogel suggested on Sunday that he expects Cook to begin practicing later this week once he clears COVID-19 protocols, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets.

As we await more details on the Lakers’ camp roster, let’s round up a few more notes on the NBA’s two L.A. teams…

  • After signing a five-year contract with the Lakers, Anthony Davis explained that he felt more comfortable locking in a longer-term deal in part because of his injury history, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I do have a little history with injuries, and a two-year deal, you kind of bet on yourself. … God forbid, knock on wood, something happens,” Davis said. “… I want to secure the most amount of years possible and be here long-term with this team, so I thought the five-year deal was best for me in my situation.”
  • After suggesting during an appearance on the All The Smoke podcast that Doc Rivers misused him last season and suggesting the Clippers failed to make adjustments during their second-round loss to Denver, Paul George walked those comments back a little on Friday, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. Rivers’ response, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Hey, listen, I enjoyed coaching him. So not a lot to say there. (New Clippers coach) Ty Lue was sitting right next to me. So he better hope it’s not adjustments. It ain’t going to be much different.”
  • Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley said that he and his teammates are entering the season angry and looking to make up for their disappointing playoff showing. “The attitude around here is guys are pissed off,” Beverley said, according to Youngmisuk. “Which is good. We should be pissed off after our exit last year in the playoffs. … It is a little quieter workplace and guys are more locked in, more focused, and that is the way it should be.”

Lakers Agree To Sign Zavier Simpson

The Lakers have agreed to sign free agent guard Zavier Simpson, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Simpson went undrafted on Wednesday night.

A four-year college player at Michigan, Simpson had his best year as a senior in 2019/20, averaging 12.9 PPG, 7.9 APG, and 4.5 RPG on .476/.360/.574 shooting in 30 games (33.7 MPG) for the Wolverines.

Charania didn’t offer any specifics on Simpson’s deal, so it doesn’t sound like it’s a two-way pact. A non-guaranteed or lightly guaranteed standard contract, perhaps with an Exhibit 10 clause, is probably most likely.

The Lakers traded away their draft picks and didn’t make a selection on Wednesday night, so Simpson is the first rookie confirmed to be joining the roster for training camp.