In G League, Cleveland Charge add Omar Cook to coaching staff

The Cleveland Charge of the NBA G League have announced the staff that will serve in support of Head Coach Mike Gerrity for the 2022-23 season. Chris Darnell returns as Associate Head Coach and Kendall Chones returns as an Assistant Coach. New additions for 2022-23 include Omar Cook & D.J. Ham as Assistant Coaches, Daniel Gibson as Assistant Coach Program Apprentice/Scout, Willie Williams as Video Coordinator, and Jamie Pasquin as Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Omar Cook joins the Charge on the heels of a successful 22-year professional basketball career that included stints in the NBA and NBA G League as well as playing professionally in over half a dozen countries internationally. Cook has led five different leagues in assists in a season and has been part of two FIBA Champions League winning teams. The Bronx, NY native was a McDonalds All-American and First-Team Parade All-American at Christ the King HS and starred at St. John’s University before being drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2001.

D.J. Ham comes to the Charge after spending the past four seasons as an Assistant Coach at his alma mater, Northwood University, where he primarily focused on the program’s offensive schemes and player development with the guards. After completing his four-year career with the Timberwolves, Ham played professionally for a year in Germany before beginning coaching experiences at the high school and collegiate level. He is the son of Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach and 10-year NBA veteran Darvin Ham.

Daniel Gibson returns to Cleveland as part of the NBA Assistant Coaches Program, where the league places an aspiring coach/front office member with a NBA G League team in an opportunity to continue their growth. “Boobie” starred for the Cavaliers in nearly 400 games over seven seasons, memorably providing a spark with 31 points in the closeout victory of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. Gibson played two years collegiately at Texas, where he was Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2005 and Honorable Mention All-America his sophomore year.

Wille Williams will serve the Charge as Video Coordinator after spending the previous nine seasons with the Cavaliers working in basketball operations. Williams started out as a game night team attendant and worked his way up to assistant equipment manager, supporting the Cavs team with travel and logistics.

Jamie Pasquin has been added to the Charge staff as the new Strength and Conditioning Coach after most recently serving as the athletic performance coach at Creo Health and Performance for the last two years. Pasquin also brings four years of collegiate experience in the field, leading 21 different Division I sports.

Jazz trade Donovan Mitchell to Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired NBA All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

In exchange, Cleveland has sent guard Collin Sexton (via sign and trade), forward Lauri Markkanen, guard Ochai Agbaji and three future unprotected first round draft picks (2025, 2027, 2029) to Utah, while also agreeing to swap picks in 2026 and 2028.

“The acquisition of Donovan Mitchell presented us with an incredible opportunity to bring one of the NBA’s most dynamic young All-Stars to Cleveland,” said Altman. “Already a special and proven talent at just 25-years-old, Donovan brings a competitive mentality that organically fits with the core group of this team. We are excited to see the impact that someone of Donovan’s caliber can bring to the Cavaliers with his ability to score the basketball, but also make plays for his teammates. We welcome Donovan and his entire family to Northeast Ohio. I also want to thank Collin and Lauri for their contributions to our team as well as Ochai, who has a very promising future in this league. The Cavaliers have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for all three players and wish them and their families all the best in Utah.”

Mitchell (6-3, 215), who was a 2022 NBA All-Star, played in 67 games (all starts) for the Jazz last season while averaging 25.9 points (9th-best in NBA), 4.2 rebounds, a career-high 5.3 assists, and a career-best 1.5 steals in 33.8 minutes. He also made 3.6 three-pointers per contest, which was the fourth-highest in the league, and scored at least 20 points on 52 occasions and 30-plus points in 23 outings. Mitchell earned Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in December 2021, the first Jazz player to earn the accolade since Deron Williams in November 2010, and was the Western Conference Player of the Week for Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2021. Additionally, he averaged 12.4 points as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll plays (2nd-best in NBA) and had the highest effective field goal percentage (.538) of the top five players in that category. Mitchell’s 232 three-pointers were tied for seventh in the NBA and was the fifth straight season he had knocked down over 170 threes. On March 16 versus Chicago, he connected on a career-best nine three-pointers and scored 37 points, including 25 points in the third quarter, tying the Jazz franchise record for a single period.

A three-time NBA All-Star (2020-22), Mitchell owns career averages of 23.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.7 minutes over 345 games (337 starts) in five NBA seasons, all with Utah. He leaves the Jazz ranking second in their team’s history in three-pointers made (958) and eighth in points scored (8,234). Mitchell is also just the sixth player in NBA history to total over 8,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,400 rebounds through their first career 345 contests, joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Michael Jordan, Pete Maravich and Oscar Robertson. The 6-3 guard has also reached the playoffs in all five of his NBA seasons, appearing in 39 total postseason games (all starts) with averages of 28.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.18 steals in 37.0 minutes per contest. An NBA All-Rookie First Team selection (2018) and NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (2018), Mitchell was originally selected by Denver as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft before being traded to the Jazz on draft night.

Sexton (6-1, 192), who appeared in 11 games (all starts) with the Cavaliers last season before missing the final 71 contests due to a left knee meniscus tear, finished the 2021-22 campaign with averages of 16.0 points, a career-high 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.91 steals in 28.7 minutes. Selected as the No. 8 overall pick by Cleveland in the 2018 NBA Draft, Sexton owns career averages of 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in four NBA seasons with the Cavaliers.

Markkanen (7-0, 238) was acquired by Cleveland in a sign and trade agreement from the Chicago Bulls on August 28, 2021. In his lone season with the Cavaliers (2021-22), Markkanen played in 61 games (all starts), averaging 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.74 steals in 30.8 minutes. Markkanen owns career averages of 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes during his five NBA seasons (four with Chicago and one with Cleveland).

Agbaji (6-5, 215) was selected by the Cavaliers with the 14th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Agbaji started in all 39 games this past season as a senior at Kansas, averaging a Big-12 leading 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in a team-high 35.0 minutes. Agbaji was named the 2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and also finished as a 2021-22 consensus All-American First Team selection, the 2021-22 Big-12 Player of the Year and Big-12 Male Athlete of the Year.

Jazz reportedly trading Donovan Mitchell to Cavs

The Utah Jazz are reportedly trading star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

The guard was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, for a haul that includes three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps.

Yahoo’s Chris Haynes added that the Cavs are also sending Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and 2022 first-round pick Ochai Agbaji to Utah.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Sexton is coming to the Jazz via a four-year, $72 million sign-and-trade. His deal is fully guaranteed.

The deal was neither sudden nor surprising when viewed through the lens of the team’s recent deconstruction process, the admission from the front office that the team’s window of contention had closed, and the corresponding declaration that no one on the team was “untouchable,” and the subsequent weeks of reports that the Jazz were fielding offers for him.

2022-23 Cleveland Cavaliers preseason game schedule

The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced a four game 2022-23 preseason schedule, beginning on October 5 and concluding on October 14.

The slate of games tips off at Philadelphia (Oct. 5) followed by back-to-back games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse vs. Philadelphia (Oct. 10) and Atlanta (Oct. 12).

The Cavs will conclude their preseason schedule at Orlando on October 14.

Cavaliers sign Darius Garland to huge contract extension

The Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday signed guard Darius Garland to a multi-year contract extension, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced.

“Darius has proven to be a tremendous basketball player and someone who embodies everything a franchise would want in a young player,” said Altman. “We’ve quickly seen Darius grow into an NBA All-Star and an integral core piece in our pursuit of sustainable success. Both on and off the court, Darius has demonstrated a strong commitment to this organization and the community. We look forward to our future and what we can accomplish here in Cleveland.”

Per Cleveland.com, “Garland officially signed the richest contract in franchise history — a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could be worth as much as $231 million and does not contain a player option.”

Garland, a first-time NBA All-Star this past season, appeared in 68 games (all starts) and registered career highs in points (21.7), rebounds (3.3), assists (8.6, sixth-best in NBA), steals (1.31), minutes (35.7), field goal percentage (.462) and free throw percentage (.892, seventh-best in NBA). He also had more double-doubles (29), 20-point games (42) and 30-point games (seven) this season than his first two NBA campaigns combined. The third-year guard joined LeBron James as the only players in franchise history to finish a season averaging at least 20.0 points and 8.0 assists and was just one of only five NBA players to do so this season (Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Luka Dončić, James Harden). Garland helped lead the Cavaliers to a 44-38 record, their best mark since 2017-18, and finished third place in the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year voting.

More from Cleveland.com: “Garland — the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft whose career got off to a terrible start while he was still working his way back from a college meniscus injury — has developed into one of the league’s premier point guards. Using a summer with Team USA as a catapult for his third-year leap, Garland averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.6 assists while igniting a franchise transformation.”

The 6-1 guard was one of only two NBA players to average at least 20.0 points and 8.0 assists while shooting .450 or better from the field and .850 from the foul line (Trae Young). Garland also recorded 29 point-assist double-doubles and 19 games of at least 20 points and 10 assists, both were the fourth-most in the entire NBA. He earned NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the week of Jan. 10-16 and had a stretch of five straight games with at least 10 assists in January (Jan. 15-24), becoming just the second Cavs player to accomplish that feat since 2003 (LeBron James). Additionally, Garland became the fourth-youngest player in Cavaliers history to notch a triple-double in a win at Utah on Jan. 12 (LeBron James, Brad Daugherty, Kyrie Irving) and just the third player in NBA history to have a game of at least 27 points, 18 assists and five rebounds before age 22 during Cleveland’s victory at Oklahoma City on Jan. 15 (Trae Young, Luka Dončić).

At 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, Garland helped Team Cavs capture the championship at Taco Bell Skills Challenge and followed that up with 13 points in Team LeBron’s victory in the All-Star Game. After the break, Garland averaged 24.8 points and 10.0 assists over the final 21 games. During that span, he dished out a career-high 19 assists on March 4 at Philadelphia, which was tied for the most assists by any player in the NBA this season (Chris Paul, twice). Garland also recorded a career-high 41 points, to go along with 13 assists, five rebounds and two steals in a win at Indiana on March 8, becoming one of just six players in NBA history at age 22 or younger to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals in a single game (Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Isiah Thomas, Chris Webber, Luka Dončić).

Garland, who was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by Cleveland, has appeared in 181 career games (177 starts) with averages of 17.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.09 steals in 33.4 minutes over three NBA seasons. He is also the fastest Cavaliers player to make 300 career three-pointers, doing so in his 147th game (Jan. 9 at Golden State), and already ranks 11th in team history in threes made (384).

Cleveland Cavaliers sign R.J. Nembhard to two-way contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday signed guard R.J. Nembhard to a Two-Way contract, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Nembhard (6-5, 200), who went undrafted out of Texas Christian University in 2021, originally signed a Two-Way contract with Cleveland on Oct. 16 and appeared in 14 games for the Cavaliers this past season. He was converted to a standard NBA contract on March 31 and waived on April 7 before signing a second Two-Way contract with the Cavaliers on April 10. Nembhard also played in 15 games (14 starts) for the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers’ exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, averaging 24.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 38.4 minutes per contest. He joins Isaiah Mobley as a Two-Way player with the Cavaliers.

Cavaliers sign rookies Ochai Agbaji and Isaiah Mobley

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed 2022 NBA Draft picks Ochai Agbaji and Isaiah Mobley, President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Agbaji (6-5, 215) was selected by the Cavaliers with the 14th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Agbaji started in all 39 games this past season as a senior at Kansas, averaging a Big-12 leading 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in a team-high 35.0 minutes. Agbaji also finished second in the Big-12 in three-point percentage (.409) and three-point field goals made per game (2.64). He helped lead Kansas to its fourth national championship in program history under head coach Bill Self and was named the 2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Agbaji also finished as a 2021-22 consensus All-American First Team selection as well as the 2021-22 Big 12 Player of the Year.

The four-year guard played in 122 games (116 starts) in his career at Kansas, averaging 13.6 points (.374 3FG%), 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 32.6 minutes and finished fourth in Kansas history in three-pointers made (250 3FGM). During his tenure, Agbaji also set a program record by making a three-pointer in 53 consecutive games. He also ended his Kansas career ranked 15th in points (1,652), seventh in consecutive starts (98) and ninth in minutes played (3,978) and he is also a three-time All-Big 12 as well as an Academic All-Big 12 selection.

Mobley (6-10, 240), who signed a Two-Way contract with the Cavaliers, appeared in 32 games (all starts) as a junior for USC this past season, averaging team-highs in points (14.2) and rebounds (8.3) in 34.1 minutes. Mobley played in 95 career games (72 starts) for the Trojans and held career averages of 10.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27.5 minutes. His brother Evan Mobley was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection for the Cavaliers this past season and was selected with the 3rd pick by the Cavaliers in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Cavaliers extend qualifying offers to Collin Sexton and R.J. Nembhard

The Cleveland Cavaliers have extended a qualifying offer to guard Collin Sexton and a Two-Way contract qualifying offer to guard R.J. Nembhard, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Sexton (6-1, 192), who appeared in 11 games (all starts) with the Cavaliers last season before missing the final 71 contests due to a left knee meniscus tear, finished the 2021-22 campaign with averages of 16.0 points, a career-high 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.91 steals in 28.7 minutes. Selected as the No. 8 overall pick by Cleveland in the 2018 NBA Draft, Sexton owns career averages of 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in four NBA seasons with the Cavaliers.

Nembhard (6-5, 200), who went undrafted out of Texas Christian University in 2021, originally signed a Two-Way contract with Cleveland on Oct. 16 and appeared in 14 games for the Cavaliers this past season. He was converted to a standard NBA contract on March 31 and waived on April 7 before signing a second Two-Way contract with the Cavaliers on April 10. Nembhard also played in 15 games (14 starts) for the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers’ exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, averaging 24.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 38.4 minutes per contest.

Kings trade 49th pick in 2022 NBA Draft to Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the 49th pick in tonight’s NBA Draft from the Sacramento Kings (from Chicago via Memphis) in exchange for cash considerations and the draft rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavaliers now have picks 14, 39, 49 and 56 in the draft.

Vezenkov (6-9, 225) was acquired on January 14, 2021 from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team trade that brought Jarrett Allen to Cleveland. He was drafted 57th overall by Brooklyn in the 2017 NBA Draft.