July 19, 2016, 6:51 pm
While this likely isn’t anything to get too worked up about, DeMarcus Cousins, according to various media outlets, voiced his confusion with the direction that the Sacramento Kings took during the draft:
DeMarcus Cousins – Kings getting younger/bigger: ‘Like I said I don’t really understand what’s going on, I just control what I can control.’
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) July 18, 2016
Again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this story blow over, but right now this isn’t a great look for DeMarcus or the organization. As most have already seen, Cousins sent out a tweet immediately following their selection that showed some pretty clear disappointment with the pick, although he did later say that the it was unrelated.
Whether you believe that or not, the organization had a clear opportunity to reach out to their star player and explain their direction following the picks. If they are truly trying to build around him, then their picks should be explainable. How do the players fit into the organization’s plans?
No matter what the answer is, the pick only makes sense if the Kings see a way to extract the value from it down the road, and I don’t see any reason to not reassure Cousins afterwords. He has had to deal with far more difficult situations than most young NBA players ever do, so his skepticism shouldn’t be that much of a shock.
Their Kings’ inability to at least appease Cousins to the point where he can offer a generic response when asked about the draft is not a good thing, especially for an organization that should strive for relative anonymity after everything that’s gone on for the last few seasons.
DeMarcus’ stance is a little more concerning. The face of the franchise needs to be supportive of his teammates, and there’s no doubt that young players are the ones in need of the most encouragement. Georgios Papagiannis is an especially good example because he’s just 18 years old, and he’s also living in a completely new country. Cousins was fairly quick to compliment Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere:
Cousins said he was impressed with Malachi Richardson prior to the draft based on workouts in Las Vegas.
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 18, 2016
DeMarcus Cousins’ impressions on the Kings’ summer league showing: “Skal was very impressive.”
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 18, 2016
Cousins has been fairly quiet about Papagiannis. No matter what he thinks of the picks, he needs to show his support for the players. The three of them will surely be searching for guidance in their first professional seasons, and there’s no better place to get it than one of the top players in the league.
As a young player looking to establish himself, public encouragement would be a huge boost, especially if it’s coming from arguably the best player at your position in the league. Not only that, but his praise directed towards the other two picks, coupled with his public lack of enthusiasm surrounding the draft as a whole, paints a clear picture for Papagiannis about where the problem lies for Cousins.
I’m sure he understands that part of it is the frustration associated with the team picking another player that plays his position, but on another level this could still be difficult to hear. We have no idea how he’s taking the comments, but this just isn’t the best way to start a relationship with a new teammate.
July 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKenny WootenPF, New York Knicks
The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.
Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post
July 20, 2019, 3:09 pmOshae BrissettSG-SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 2:32 pmJordan McLaughlinG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.
McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.
Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 1:26 pmEmmanuel MudiayPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.
All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.
July 20, 2019, 12:59 pmCJ McCollumSG, Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:51 pmFrank MasonPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.
Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:25 pmKyle KorverSF, Milwaukee Bucks
Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 11:49 amChris PaulPG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.
Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.
July 20, 2019, 11:20 amEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.
Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter
July 19, 2019, 9:59 pmLuke KornetPF-C, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have officially announced the signings of Luke Kornet and Shaquille Harrison.
Kornet can provide threes and blocks as a backup big for the Bulls. He is currently behind Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. but may be able to carve out some minutes for deep-league owners. Harrison will be fighting for minutes with the Bulls' plethora of point guards at the moment. If he can find some minutes during the season, he can be a source of steals as a player to stream or for deep leagues.