Archive for July 1st, 2018

Grizzlies sign rookie Jaren Jackson Jr

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team has signed 2018 first round draft pick Jaren Jackson Jr. to his rookie contract.

Selected fourth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, Jackson became the second player in Big Ten history to win both Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season after leading the conference and ranking seventh in the nation in blocks per game (3.03) for Michigan State University.

Jackson (6-11, 242) started 34 of his 35 games at Michigan State and averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range and 79.7 percent from the free throw line en route to being selected to the All-Big Ten Third Team and Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The 18-year-old set a Spartans single-season record last year with 106 blocks and tied the school’s single-game record with eight rejections on Dec. 5, 2017 vs. Rutgers.

The Indiana native, who was named a 2017 McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American as a high school senior, is the highest-drafted Michigan State product since 1979, when Magic Johnson was selected first overall and Greg Kelser was taken fourth. Jackson’s father, Jaren Sr., enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with nine different teams, winning the 1999 NBA Championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers signed rookie guard Malik Newman to a two-way contract today.

Newman appeared in 39 games (33 starts) for Kansas last season, averaging 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.6 minutes. The 2018 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year averaged a team-high 21.6 points in the NCAA Tournament, leading Kansas to the Final Four and earning NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have up to two players under two-way contracts on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster.

Lakers sign rookie Moritz Wagner

The Los Angeles Lakers signed rookie center Moritz Wagner today, General Manager Rob Pelinka announced.

Wagner, the 25th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, appeared in 107 career games (77 starts) for the Michigan Wolverines from 2015-18, with career averages of 10.4 points (.547 FG%) and 4.5 rebounds per game. In 2017-18, Wagner helped lead the Wolverines to a berth in the NCAA Championship game, earning All-Tournament Team honors with 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals in six NCAA Tournament games.

The 2018 Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Wagner helped Michigan to the team’s second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship with four straight double-digit scoring outings. Wagner started every game of his sophomore and junior seasons, averaging career bests of 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals last season.

Miami Heat sign Derrick Jones Jr

The Miami Heat signed forward/guard Derrick Jones Jr. today.

Jones Jr., who was originally signed to a two-way contract by the HEAT on December 31, 2017, appeared in 14 games (eight starts) with Miami last season and averaged 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.2 minutes of action. He spent 13 games with the HEAT’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.69 blocks, 1.46 steals and 29.1 minutes while shooting 51.2 percent from the field.

Prior to signing a two-way contract with Miami, Jones Jr. spent time with the Phoenix Suns and their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, earlier in the season where he totaled nine points, four rebounds, four blocks, three assists, a steal in 33 minutes of action during six games with Phoenix and averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.81 blocks, 1.8 assists, 1.13 steals and 28.9 minutes in 16 games with Northern Arizona.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed rookies Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman.

Drafted 19th overall by the Hawks in the 2018 NBA Draft, Huerter averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34.4 minutes (.503 FG%, .417 3FG%, .758 FT%) as a sophomore at Maryland while starting 32 games, garnering All-Big 10 Honorable Mention and All-Academic Big 10 honors. He ranked fourth in the conference in minutes per game and ninth in 3FG%. For his career, the 6’7 Huerter posted 12.0 points, 5.0 rebound and 3.0 assists in 31.9 minutes (.466 FG%, .394 3FG%, .748 FT%) in 65 games (all starts).

Spellman, the 30th overall pick by Atlanta in the 2018 NBA Draft, entered the draft after a redshirt freshman season at Villanova that saw him named the Big East Freshman of the Year while helping the Wildcats to the 2018 National Championship. He averaged 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 28.1 minutes (.476 FG%, .433 3FG%, .700 FT%) in 40 games (39 starting assignments). He ranked second in the Big East in blocks and fourth in both rebounding and 3FG% in 2017-18.

An early-entry candidate, the 6’2 Young was a consensus First Team All-American as a freshman at Oklahoma after becoming the first player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg), while also averaging 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 35.4 minutes (.422 FG%, .360 3FG%, .861 FT%) in 32 games (all starts). His scoring average was the highest in Big 12 history and his assists per game rank second on the all-time list. The Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year award winner, Young was also a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection and named the conference’s Freshman and Newcomer of the Year. He was selected fifth overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2018 NBA Draft before the Hawks acquired his rights, along with a 2019 first-round draft pick, in exchange for the third overall selection, Luka Doncic.

The three Hawks rookies join second-year players John Collins, Tyler Dorsey, Antonius Cleveland and Jaylen Morris on Atlanta’s summer league team, which will begin competition on Monday in Utah vs. Memphis (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

The Atlanta Hawks have signed rookie Jaylen Adams to a two-way contract.

Adams, a 6’2” guard, played four years at St. Bonaventure, and as a senior in 2017-18, averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 37.0 minutes (.438 FG%, .436 3FG%, .851 FT%). He was the Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Player of the Year and an AP Honorable Mention All-American last season. He was First Team All-Conference in each of his final three collegiate seasons.

Adams attended Mount St. Joseph HS in Baltimore, MD, where he scored over 1,200 career points and led the Gaels to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League championships as a senior in 2013-14.

Only players with three-or-fewer years of NBA experience are permitted to sign two-way contracts. Per league rules, teams are allowed to have up to two two-way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A two-way player for the Hawks will primarily play for the team’s NBA G League Affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, but can spend up to 45 days with Atlanta, not including any time prior to the start of Erie’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

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