Zhou Qi

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

Shabazz Muhammad, Zhou Qi Sign With Chinese Teams

A pair of former NBA players are returning to China for the 2019/20 season, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando, who writes that Shabazz Muhammad has signed with Shenzen and Zhou Qi has rejoined Xinjiang.

Muhammad, the 14th overall pick in the 2013 draft, spent five seasons in the NBA with the Timberwolves and Bucks. However, after being waived by Milwaukee last October, he opted to continue his career in China, joining the Shanxi Brave Dragons for the 2018/19 season.

The 26-year-old averaged 29.8 PPG and 11.2 RPG in 41 games for Shanxi, and will now continue playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, albeit with a new team.

As for Zhou, the Chinese big man was the 43rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, but remained with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers for one more year before joining the Rockets for the 2017/18 season.

Zhou appeared in 18 games for Houston in his rookie year, then played in just one game in 2018/19. The 23-year-old got a longer look in the G League during his time under contract with the Rockets, averaging 11.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 31 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He was released by the club last December and will now resume his career with his old team in Xinjiang.

And-Ones: Pacers, Favors, Zhou, Teodosic

The Pacers were thrilled to see Goga Bitadze still available when the team picked at No. 18, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star relays. The scribe hears that many within the league were surprised Bitadze was still available at that spot. However, several executives told Michael that had they been running the Pacers, they wouldn’t have taken the center unless they planned on trading either Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Most of the executives Michael spoke to believe that if the team decides to trade either Turner and Sabonis, the latter will be the one to go. Turner is entering the first season of a four-year, $80MM contract, while Sabonis is entering the last year of his rookie deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Pelicans were Derrick Favors‘ preferred destination once it was clear the Jazz were moving him, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Utah needed to trade Favors in order to accommodate the Bojan Bogdanovic signing.
  • Former Rockets center Zhou Qi plans to play in Europe next season, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Zhou has not yet picked a team.
  • Milos Teodosic will make slightly over €5MM during his three-year contract with Virtus Bologna, Carchia passes along in a separate piece. Teodosic last played for the Clippers during this past season.

Rockets Waive Zhou Qi

The Rockets have waived Chinese big man Zhou Qi, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston selected Zhou with the 43rd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Zhou, 22, has appeared in just one game this season as he’s dealt with knee and ankle injuries. His last G League game with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers came on Nov. 20, when he sprained his left ankle. In seven G-League contests, Zhou averaged 11.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 52.9 percent from the field.

The 7’1″ forward/center appeared in 18 games with the Rockets last season, averaging just 1.2 PPG in 6.9 minutes per game.

By waving Zhou, the Rockets reduce their roster total to 14 players, plus a pair on two-way contracts. And because Zhou was on a non-guaranteed contract, he’ll only count for about $506K on Houston’s cap for 2018/19.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/1/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Rockets have assigned center Zhou Qi to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Qi, 22, saw one minute of action in the team’s game against Portland on Tuesday. He appeared in 18 contests with the Rockets last season.
  • The 76ers recalled rookie center Jonah Bolden from the Delaware Blue Coats, the club announced (Twitter link). Bolden is in uniform for the Sixers’ game against the Clippers Thursday night. He was drafted by Philadelphia with the No. 36 pick in 2017, then signed a four-year deal with the club this summer after playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Clarkson Permitted To Play In Asian Games

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson and two other NBA players have been granted permission by the league to participate in the Asian Games. The story was first reported by CNN Philippines.

Clarkson was originally barred from playing in the event because it wasn’t sanctioned by the NBA and FIBA. The NBA has an agreement with FIBA to permit players to take part in the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup and Continental Cups, plus qualifying tournaments. The Asian Games do not fall into any of those categories, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN notes.

Clarkson will play for the Phillippines, while the Rockets’ Zhou Qi and Mavericks’ Ding Yanyuhang are expected to suit up for China, Windhorst adds. The Philippines will play their first game on Thursday when they face Kazakhstan.

Rockets Looking To Sign Isaiah Hartenstein?

According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are working toward signing 2017 second-round pick Isaiah Hartenstein to an NBA deal with hopes they will reach an agreement by the end of the week.

Hartenstein, 20, had a strong showing for the Rockets during this year’s NBA Summer League after the 7-foot center played for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, last season.

Before being selected No. 43 overall in last year’s draft, Hartenstein played with Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, where he helped lead the team to a seventh straight Lithuanian Basketball Club title.

With the Vipers, Hartenstein averaged 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game, making 57.1 percent of his shots. He averaged 10.3 points and eight rebounds per game during this year’s Summer League.

Hartenstein’s signing could mean the end of center Zhou Qi‘s time with the Rockets. Both big men Nene and Chinanu Onuaku have fully-guaranteed salaries for the upcoming 2018/19 campaign, while Qi has no guaranteed money on his contract that runs through 2021.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/28/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

7:40pm:

  • After participating in today’s practice with the South Bay Lakers, Thomas Bryant has been recalled to the NBA, the Lakers announced (via Twitter). Bryant, who will be in uniform for L.A.’s game on Wednesday night, has posted 19.7 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 37 G League games this season.

7:24pm:

  • The Rockets assigned young bigs Zhou Qi and Chinanu Onuaku to the G League today, the team announced (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). Houston’s affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, will be in action on Friday night, hosting the Texas Legends in the NBAGL playoffs.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/25/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Rockets have recalled center Zhou Qi from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The 7’1” center has made 14 brief appearances with the Rockets this season. He’s averaging 11.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.3 BPG in G League play.
  • The Raptors recalled forward Nigel Hayes from their Raptors 905 affiliate, the team’s media relations staff tweets. Hayes has appeared in 43 G League games this season, averaging 15.0 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He’s also made two cameo appearances for Toronto, which signed him to a second 10-day contract on March 16th.
  • The Timberwolves recalled rookie center Justin Patton from their Iowa affiliate, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 7-footer averaged 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.4 BPG for the Iowa Wolves, who did not qualify for the G League playoffs. Patton has yet to make his NBA debut.
  • The Warriors recalled Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced in a press release. The center has averaged 15.0 points and 8.1 boards in 44 games with the affiliate. Also, two-way forward Chris Boucher has also been recalled from Santa Cruz. He appeared in one game with the Warrior.
  • The Suns recalled veteran big man Alan Williams from their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, as part of his rehab process in returning from a torn right meniscus, per an official press release.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/20/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Suns have assigned veteran big man Alan Williams to their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, as part of his rehab process in returning from a torn right meniscus, per an official press release. In his first rehab assignment last week, Williams scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Northern Arizona.
  • The Magic have assigned 10-day contract recipient Rodney Purvis to their G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, per an official tweet from the team. Purvis, 24, has averaged 20.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 37 G League games so far this season.

Also, two other G League assignments transpired on Sunday:

  • The Rockets assigned Zhou Qi to their G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per the G League’s official transaction log. Qi, 22, is averaging 11.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in 21 G League contests this season.
  • The Nets have assigned Isaiah Whitehead to the Long Island Nets of the G League, according to the G League’s official transaction log. In 27 G League games this season, Whitehead, 23, is averaging 20.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG.