Zavier Simpson

Magic Sign Morales, Scrubb; Waive Ford, Simpson

The Magic have added guards Alex Morales and Jay Scrubb, the team announced (via Twitter). Training camp invitees Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson were waived to create room on the roster.

The Morales deal becomes official after first being reported in mid-August. The 24-year-old was voted NEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year last season with Wagner and took part in Summer League with the Warriors. Morales has an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract and could wind up with Orlando’s G League affiliate in Lakeland.

Scrubb spent the past two years with the Clippers after being selected with the 55th pick in the 2020 draft. He got into 18 games last season and averaged 2.7 PPG in limited minutes.

Ford and Simpson both had Exhibit 10 deals, so they may also be headed to Lakeland. They signed with Orlando in late September, shortly before the start of training camp. Both players saw action in the preseason, with Ford appearing in three games and Simpson getting into two.

Contract Details: Lakers, Galloway, DSJ, McCollum, More

When the Lakers signed Matt Ryan and Dwayne Bacon to non-guaranteed training camp contracts earlier this month, both players received Exhibit 9 clauses in their new deals, but not Exhibit 10s, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Exhibit 9 contracts are non-guaranteed camp deals that don’t count against the cap during the preseason and offer teams some protection in the event of an injury. Exhibit 10s are similar, but also allow teams to convert the player to a two-way deal (if he’s eligible) or to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate.

As a general rule, a player who signs a training camp contract without an Exhibit 10 clause is usually just competing for a spot on his team’s 15-man regular season roster and won’t end up playing for the club’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t make the cut.

Langston Galloway (Pacers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Hornets), LiAngelo Ball (Hornets), Cody Zeller (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Suns), and Wes Iwundu (Trail Blazers) are among the other recently signed free agents who signed Exhibit 9 – not Exhibit 10 – contracts.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

Magic Sign Aleem Ford, Zavier Simpson, Waive Joel Ayayi

The Magic have set their roster for the start of training camp, signing Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson and placing Joel Ayayi on waivers, the team announced (via Twitter).

Ford, a 24-year-old small forward, got into five games after signing a 10-day contract with Orlando last December when the roster was ravaged by COVID-19. The former Wisconsin star played most of the season with the Magic’s G League affiliate in Lakeland, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31 games.

Simpson, whose signing has been rumored since late July, started four games for the Thunder at the end of last season after inking a 10-day hardship contract in April. The 25-year-old point guard has played mainly in the G League since going undrafted out of Michigan in 2020.

Ayayi, a former two-way player with the Wizards, signed with Orlando 12 days ago and may be ticketed for the G League. The 22-year-old shooting guard saw limited playing time in seven games with Washington last season before being waived in March.

Magic To Sign Zavier Simpson To Exhibit 10 Deal

5:27pm: Simpson will indeed be signing an Exhibit 10 deal, tweets Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.


5:08pm: The Magic are signing free agent Zavier Simpson, his agent Daniel Hazan tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

While the terms of Simpson’s deal were not disclosed, it’s probably going to be a non-guaranteed contract, possibly an Exhibit 10 deal. As shown by our roster count page, Orlando already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts and both two-way slots filled, and once the contracts for Simpson and Drake Jeffries (Exhibit 10) become official, the Magic will have a 20-man roster, which is the maximum an NBA team can carry during the offseason.

Simpson, 25, went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020 and spent his first two pro seasons with the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. In 35 regular season games (32.4 MPG) with the Blue in 2022, the 6’0″ point guard averaged 14.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.5 APG and 1.8 SPG on .488/.350/.692 shooting.

The Thunder signed Simpson to a 10-day hardship contract to finish out last season as the team dealt with several injuries. In his first taste of NBA action, he averaged 11 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .365/.125/1.000 shooting in four games.

Simpson most recently suited up for the Magic during Summer League in Las Vegas, appearing in five games (three starts, 22.6 MPG) while averaging 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.2 APG, 2.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG on .357/.286/.600 shooting, per RealGM.

Given the Magic’s lack of open regular season roster spots, the most likely outcome for Simpson is that he’s waived before the regular season begins and subsequently joins Orlando’s G League team in Lakeland as an affiliate player. In that scenario, he’d receive a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with Lakeland.

Thunder Sign Zavier Simpson To Hardship Deal

In addition to signing Georgios Kalaitzakis to a 10-day hardship contract, the Thunder have also added guard Zavier Simpson to their roster using a hardship exception, per NBA.com’s official transactions log.

As we noted when we discussed Kalaitzakis’ signing earlier today, Oklahoma City has a full 15-man roster, but is eligible to sign additional players to short-term contracts because the team qualifies for multiple hardship exceptions due to all its injured players. The Thunder now have 20 players under contract, including two-ways.

Simpson, who went undrafted out of Michigan in 2020, has spent his first two professional seasons playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G League affiliate. In 35 regular season NBAGL games in 2022, he has averaged 14.5 PPG, 6.7 APG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.5 SPG with a .487/.353/.686 shooting line in 32.3 MPG.

It looked earlier this season like Simpson would get a call-up on a COVID-related 10-day hardship contract, but he entered the health and safety protocols himself before the deal was officially finalized. Three months later, he’ll get a chance to play in the Thunder’s final four games of the season.

COVID Updates: Cheatham, Brown, Simpson, York

Here’s are the latest updates regarding players entering or exiting the league’s health and safety protocols or on 10-day contracts:

  • Zylan Cheatham‘s 10-day contract with the Heat expired after the team’s game against the Rockets on Friday, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. The Heat still have six other players on 10-day contracts and six players in protocols. Cheatham never appeared in a game with the Heat and entered protocols on Dec. 29.
  • Charlie Brown Jr. won’t receive another 10-day from the Mavericks, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Brown made three cameo appearances for Dallas.
  • Gabe York agreed to a 10-day contract with the Magic on Dec. 29. However, he tested positive for COVID-19 the next day, scuttling the deal, Justin Spears of Tucson.com reports. York has been playing with the G League Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ affiliate.
  • Guard Zavier Simpson agreed to a 10-day with the Thunder on Monday. However, he has also entered protocols, according to Shaw. It’s still possible Simpson could sign a contract once he’s cleared.

Thunder To Sign Zavier Simpson Using Hardship Exemption

The Thunder are planning to sign guard Zavier Simpson to a 10-day contract under the hardship exemption, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.

The former University of Michigan point guard was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract by Oklahoma City this fall. He’s been playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the team’s G League affiliate.

Simpson has averaged 7.6 PPG and 4.4 in 12 games, including three starts, with the Blue this season. He also started 15 games for the Blue in the G League bubble last season after going undrafted.

Oklahoma City has four players in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Jordan Bell, Shaq Harrison Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its roster for a pair of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The squad, which will be coached by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, is comprised of G-Leaguers, nearly all of whom have prior NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 have appeared in at least one NBA regular season game, led by Harrison (173 career games) and Bell (160 games). Simpson is the only player without any NBA experience under his belt.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place later this month. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Although NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so USA Basketball generally opts to build a roster made up of G League veterans. A group led by Jeff Van Gundy put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup from 2017-19. Mason and Randle participated in a handful of those contests.

Thunder Sign, Waive Zavier Simpson

OCTOBER 16: As expected, Simpson has been waived, according to a tweet from their PR department. Simpson will likely play for the Blue once he clears waivers.


OCTOBER 15: The Thunder have signed Zavier Simpson to an Exhibit 10 deal, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (via Twitter). The move was first reported yesterday by Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw.

Simpson will likely be waived before the start of the regular season. If he spends at least 60 days with the OKC Blue, the Thunder’s G League affiliate, he could earn a bonus of up to $50k.

Simpson, a 6’0″ point guard, went undrafted in 2019-20 after four seasons with the Michigan Wolverines. He played well as a senior, averaging 12.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 6.9 APG (33.7 MPG) in 30 games. He spent last season with the OKC Blue in the G League bubble, averaging 9.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 6.1 APG (28.5 MPG) in 15 games, all starts.

Thunder Release D.J. Wilson, Scotty Hopson

The Thunder have waived forward D.J. Wilson and guard Scotty Hopson, the team announced today. The moves reduce Oklahoma City’s roster count to 18 players, for the time being.

Wilson, the 17th overall pick in the 2017 draft, spent the first three-and-a-half season of his career in Milwaukee before being traded to Houston at last season’s trade deadline. He had fallen out of the Bucks’ rotation, but averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a shooting line of .416/.339/.696 in 23 games (14.3 MPG) during his stint with the Rockets.

Hopson, who appeared in two NBA games in 2014 with Cleveland and one in 2018 with Dallas, has spent most of his career in the G League or playing in international leagues. The 6’7″ wing played for Melbourne United in 2020/21 after appearing in 41 G League games for the Oklahoma City Blue from 2018-20.

Hopson looks like a good bet to rejoin the Blue for the upcoming season, and it’s possible Wilson will join him.

Meanwhile, it appears the Thunder have also officially signed Zavier Simpson, whose Exhibit 10 deal with the team we reported on Thursday. Oklahoma City hasn’t formally announced the signing, but Simpson is listed on the team’s official roster page.