August 7, 2018, 4:40 pm
The Wolves have finally added a true small forward to the roster, signing James Nunnally to a two-year contract according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. The terms of the deal are not yet known, but it’s likely a minimum contract with a partial guarantee.
Euroleague standout James Nunnally has agreed to a two-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 7, 2018
If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because he hasn’t been around the NBA much, but instead torching up the Euroleague from beyond the arc.
Undrafted in 2012 out of UC Santa Barbra (where he was a career 38.6 3-point shooter), Nunnally put two years of service into the G-League (where he was a career 41 percent 3-point shooter, sense a theme?). He was awarded three 10-day contracts to close out the 2013-14 season before deciding to jump overseas and formulate an international career.
He bounced around quite a bit before most notably landing in Turkey to play for Fenerbahce, one of the biggest powerhouse teams in Euroleague. He helped the team win a title in 2016-17, shooting a robust 45.1 percent from 3-point range, then followed up that campaign shooting 55.4 percent in 2017-18 (on 2.9 attempts per game!), losing to the Luka Doncic led Real Madrid squad in the championship.
Really happy for Bako Jam alum James Nunnally (27th G-League draft pick in 2012) signing w/ Minny. He's played in Greece, Puerto Rico, Spain, Israel, Italy, and most recently Turkey for Fenerbahce. Prototype size, high-level shooter, feel for the game. Grinded back to the NBA.
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) August 7, 2018
This feels like a savvy move for the team and shows that they did their homework. Standing at 6′-7″ Nunnally has ideal size for the wing and at 28 years old with high-level Euro experience, he fits the exact player Thibodeau described in their offseason presser. More than just a shooter, Nunnally is also capable with the ball in his hands and understands team basketball. Euroleague is much different than the NBA and encourages more ball movement and team play.
Big game for former Bakersfield Jam wing James Nunnally against Real Madrid — 16 PTS on 8 shots in 29 MIN. Great to see him back on the floor after a scary fall in January. He's shooting 56% from 3 on the year. pic.twitter.com/21hJ3ziJB6
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 3, 2018
Nunnally was determined to return to the NBA. The Wolves brought him in for a workout in early July, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. He also had workouts with the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets, and other teams showed varied interest.
His fit with the Wolves is clear, and it’s possible he chose the Wolves over others because the path to playing time is not hard to envision. With Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins as the only two established players on the wing, Nunnally has a huge opportunity to carve out a role that no one on the Wolves could last year.
Between the disastrous stretch from Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bejlica playing somewhat out of position and the Wolves giving Derrick Rose a shot in three-guard lineups, noting quite seemed to work over the course of the season at the reserve wing for Minnesota.
Nunnally can solve that weakness and give the Wolves a dynamic they completely lacked last season, so long as he can carry over that sweet shooting stroke from Europe.
With Tyus Jones being the facilitator, Rose being the playmaker, Nunnally and Anthony Tolliver stretching the floor and Gorgui Dieng manning the middle, the Wolves have a semblance of a bench squad that is versatile and experienced, a key for Thibodeau. As well as Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop played in the Summer League, it was a risky proposition to bet on them to contribute right away for a playoff contender. Now the two can come in and compete with a little less pressure.
The roster now stands at 15 players, including both the two-way contracts the Wolves signed. This should just about complete the offseason for the team as they are totally capped out.
The Wolves set out to add playmaking, defense and shooting. Between bringing back Rose and adding Tolliver, Okogie, Bates-Diop and now Nunnally the Wolves achieved just that. They may not have been the biggest household names but with limited resources this feel like a solid haul for Minnesota.
Here’s a highlight package from Nunnally’s 2017-18 season to send you off.
July 15, 2019, 5:49 pmGoga BitadzeC, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have announced the signing of first-round pick Goga Bitadze.
Bitadze's visa issues prevented him from playing in Summer League, but he has a chance at cracking the rotation in his first season. He will be playing behind Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, however, which means it's unlikely he receives significant playing time. Bitadze's versatile game warrants attention in dynasty formats but he could require some patience.
Source: Indiana Pacers
July 15, 2019, 5:44 pmKyle AlexanderC, Miami Heat
The Heat have signed Kyle Alexander to an Exhibit 9, 10 contract.
An Exhibit 9 contract is for one year at the minimum, and they cannot be signed by teams until there are 14 players on the roster already. In essence, it's the sort of contract that can help hard-capped teams (like Miami) in the case of preseason injury, where a similar injury to a player on a different contract would have larger cap ramifications. An injured player's salary becomes fully guaranteed until he recovers, while an Exhibit 9 player can be waived at a cost of $6,000 to the team. Alexander averaged 4.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in Summer League. Look for him to spend his season in Sioux Falls.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:37 pmBrandon ClarkePF, Memphis Grizzlies
Rookie Brandon Clarke has been named the 2019 Summer League MVP.
Clarke put the Grizzlies through to Monday's championship game with a game-winner in Sunday's semifinal matchup, and he'll look to put the finishing touches on his strong debut with another trophy tonight. He's averaged 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.2 steals and 1.6 blocks on .570 shooting across five games so far, all in only 21.4 mpg. Clarke has increased his stock as much as anyone in Vegas, though the presence of Jaren Jackson Jr. could make it hard for him to carve out huge minutes from the jump. Still, there's a chance that Clarke puts himself on the standard-league map and he can be considered a late-round flier in competitive formats.
Source: NBA on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:32 pmMitchell RobinsonC, New York Knicks
Mitchell Robinson, Jarrett Allen, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Brandon Clarke and Kendrick Nunn have been named to the Summer League First Team.
Robinson averaged 13.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in only 25.2 mpg in Vegas, and the hype train will continue to roll. Allen had a slow start to his Summer League but came around to dominate as a player of his caliber should. Alexander-Walker and Clarke showed out for the rookie class, with NAW finishing third in scoring at 24.3 points per game. Nunn put up 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.5 steals in his summer session and will look to crack the backcourt rotation in Miami this year.
Source: NBA on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:27 pmRui HachimuraPF, Washington Wizards
The 2019 Summer League Second Team is comprised of Rui Hachimura, Lonnie Walker, Anfernee Simons, Jaxson Hayes and Chris Boucher.
Of the bunch, Hachimura looks the most likely to be fantasy-relevant this season. He's going to have a great chance to log minutes for a Wizards team that's short on depth at the forward spots. In three games in Vegas, Hachiumra averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Walker is looking to crack the rotation after an injury-plagued rookie season but might have a hard time outplaying San Antonio's capable guards. Simons could slot into the Portland backcourt with the departure of Seth Curry while Boucher is the reigning G-League MVP and Hayes looks like an interesting long-term prospect next to Zion Williamson in New Orleans.
Source: NBA on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:21 pmJR SmithSG, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Lakers should be considered an "unlikely destination" for J.R. Smith, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers are the only team that's really been tied to Smith, so that's not great for him. L.A. has done a decent job filling out their roster and no longer has a need for Smith, and his market figures to be fairly limited. Rebuilding teams are unlikely to see him as a typical veteran presence considering the Cavs told him to go home rather than sulk around their young players, and he has a lot to prove after last appearing in a game on November 18.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:18 pmD'Angelo RussellPG, Golden State Warriors
Bob Myers says that the Warriors did not sign D'Angelo Russell just to trade him.
Saying otherwise would surely draw the ire of the league and players association, so Myers' hands are sort of tied here. It's already been reported that the Warriors will try and move Russell when Klay Thompson returns, and that makes plenty of sense. That uncertainty is something to keep in the back of your mind when fantasy drafts open, but Russell is still going to come off draft boards in the middle rounds with a great opportunity in front of him while Thompson is out.
Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:14 pmChristian WoodPF, New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have waived Christian Wood, per Shams Charania.
Wood was a dominant force in Summer League last season and that carried over into the G-League, where he averaged 29 points, 14 boards and two blocks. He burst onto the scene with some big games for the Pelicans late in the season, ending up with 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.8 threes in 23.6 minutes per night across eight contests with New Orleans. Unfortunately for him, the Pels added Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Derrick Favors and Jaxson Hayes to the frontcourt mix. Wood will be a name to watch in deep leagues on the chances that he lands in a favorable situation.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 15, 2019, 5:09 pmMiye OniPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially signed rookie Miye Oni to a contract.
Oni was the 58th overall pick in the draft and figures to spend most of his year in the G-League, though he did have a few strong moments in Summer League, averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 25.4 mpg. The Ivy League Player of the Year is only a target in deep dynasty formats.
Source: Utah Jazz
July 15, 2019, 5:07 pmJosh OkogieSG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Josh Okogie (left ankle/shin contusion) is not facing a serious injury, though there's a chance that he sits out Monday's Summer League title game.
Okogie had played well throughout the summer schedule but sat out Sunday's semifinal game. The Wolves already have a good idea of what they have in him and there's no need to push him into action. Okogie is a deep-league source of cash counters but he could be worth a pickup depending on the validity of the rumors about Robert Covington's trade availability.
Source: Darren Wolfson on Twitter