Jazz exercise contract option on center Tony Bradley

The Utah Jazz have exercised their third-year team option on center Tony Bradley for the 2019-20 season.

The-20-year-old Bradley (6-11, 240, North Carolina) was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (28th overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft, but was acquired by the Jazz in a draft night trade. The Bartow, Fla. native saw action in 24 games (all starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, in 2017-18, owning averages of 15.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks in 29.6 minutes per contest. He appeared in nine games for the Jazz, scoring a career-best four points, also grabbing three rebounds, at Oklahoma City on Dec. 20.

During the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League, Bradley appeared in three games, averaging 14.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, earning a 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League Standout selection. He also posted averages of 16.0 points and 3.5 boards in two contests at the 2018 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

In his sole collegiate season at North Carolina (2016-17), the 6-11 center averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game, helping the Tar Heels to a 2017 NCAA Championship.

Jazz exercise contract option on Donovan Mitchell

In a 100 percent expected move, the Utah Jazz have exercised their third-year team option on guard Donovan Mitchell for the 2019-20 season.

Mitchell (6-3, 215, Louisville) led all rookies last season in scoring at 20.5 points per game and total points (1,616), joining David Robinson (1989-90), Larry Bird (1979-80), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) and Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) as one of the last five rookies, and only guard, to lead their team in scoring while their squad won 45-or-more games. During the 2017-18 season, Mitchell was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times (December, January, February and March/April), also setting an NBA rookie record for three-pointers made in a single season (187). Following last year’s campaign, Mitchell was unanimously named to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was dubbed the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year at the 2018 ESPY Awards.

The 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner averaged 24.4 points over 11 postseason games, becoming the first rookie to average over 20 points in the postseason since Tim Duncan in 1998. He set a Jazz playoff rookie scoring record with 33 points against Oklahoma City on April 23, passing Karl Malone who had 31 points on April 20, 1986 against Dallas and then broke his own rookie record with a 38-point performance against the Thunder on April 27 in Game 6, helping Utah advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Thunder sign Dez Wells, Donte Grantham and Scotty Hopson

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed forwards Dez Wells and Donte Grantham, and guard Scotty Hopson.

These signings probably won’t carry into the regular season. NBA preseason wraps up Friday, then teams must trim down their rosters.

Grantham (6-8, 205) was a four-year starter at Clemson University. In 114 career games (113 starts), he averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.2 minutes per game.

The West Virginia native is one of six players in Clemson history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in a career.

Hopson (6-7, 204) played with Galatasaray in Turkey during the 2017-18 season, appearing in 27 games (13 starts) and averaging 11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 20.9 minutes per game.

The Tennessee product played in 43 games (35 starts) during the 2014-15 season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League and averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.2 minutes per game.

Wells (6-5, 215) spent the 2017-18 season with Sidigas Avellino in Italy, appearing in 52 games (28 starts) and averaging 11.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting from the field, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.4 minutes per game.

Wells has previously appeared in 47 games (22 starts) over two seasons with the Oklahoma City Blue and averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.06 steals in 27.5 minutes per game.

Rockets sign guard Angel Rodriguez

Rockets sign guard Angel Rodriguez

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Ángel Rodríguez.

Rodríguez (5-11, 181) was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his senior season at the University of Miami. Over his final three seasons with the Hurricanes, Rodríguez averaged 12.0 points, 4.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. He has since played professionally in France, Israel, and his home country, Puerto Rico.

Jazz center Isaac Haas undergoes knee surgery

Utah Jazz center Isaac Haas underwent right knee arthroscopic surgery and debridement. The procedure was performed by Jazz head orthopaedic team physician Dr. Travis Maak in Salt Lake City this morning. Haas will continue to rehab in Salt Lake City.

Signed by the Jazz on August 16, 7-foot-2, 290-pound Haas was a four year collegiate player at Purdue and averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks as a senior, earning 2018 All-Big Ten Third Team honors.

Sixers sign Matt Farrell and DJ Hogg, waive Anthony Brown and Norvel Pelle

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Matt Farrell and forward DJ Hogg. And in related moves, the team has waived guard-forward Anthony Brown and center Norvel Pelle.

It’s likely that these signings be very short term, as preseason wraps up tomorrow.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Farrell spent four years playing collegiately at the University of Notre Dame, finishing as one of the more decorated players in the program’s history. Named 2018 All-ACC Third Team, the team captain improved his averages across the board each year, culminating in a senior season in which he averaged 16.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 35.8 minutes per game. His 98 made three-point field goals were the second-most in the ACC during the 2017-18 season.

Farrell, a native of Bridgewater, New Jersey, was part of Irish squads that went a combined 103-43 over his four years in South Bend and made three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 2015-17.

Playing for Texas A&M University for three seasons from 2015-18, Hogg finished with career averages of 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. In his three seasons with the Aggies, the 6-foot-8 forward totaled a team-best 155 three-pointers.

Hogg, a member of two A&M teams that reached the Sweet Sixteen (2016, 2018), helped the Aggies to their highest Associated Press ranking in school history at No. 5 in both 2016 and 2018.

Farrell (Miami) and Hogg (New Orleans) most recently appeared in MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018, where in four games Farrell averaged 3.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 16.5 minutes per game, while Hogg held averages of 7.5 points, 0.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 13.5 minutes per game across four contests. Farrell also averaged 1.7 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 9.3 minutes for the Heat in three games at the California Classic Summer League.

Jazz guard Raul Neto out with hamstring injury

Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto, currently out with a right hamstring injury, was reevaluated on Tuesday by Jazz medical staff. The team says he is showing progress, and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Entering his fourth season with Utah, Neto played in 41 games last season, and averaged 4.5 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per outing.

Mavs waive Ding Yanyuhang

Mavs waive Ding Yanyuhang

The Dallas Mavericks have waived guard-forward Ding Yanyuhang (pronounced yin-you-hong).

Ding (6-7, 205) was originally signed by the Mavericks on July 23 and played in one preseason game for Dallas. His only action of the exhibition season was on Monday in Shenzhen, China where Ding scored 1 point in 9 minutes.

Ding has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong in 2017-18, he averaged 26.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game en route to winning his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding also played on the Mavericks’ Orlando and Las Vegas summer league teams in 2017.

The Xinjiang, China native has represented the Chinese national team in international competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

Magic sign John Petrucelli, waive B.J. Johnson

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard John Petrucelli and have waived B.J. Johnson.

Petrucelli (#12, 6’4”, 190, 10/27/92) appeared in 43 games (seven starts) last season (2017-18) with the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League, averaging 8.3 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 1.2 apg. and 1.28 stlpg. in 20.9 minpg. He has played in 75 career NBA G League games with Erie and Lakeland, averaging 7.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 1.3 apg. and 1.09 stlpg. in 21.0 minpg. Petrucelli spent two seasons (2014-16) in Slovakia after playing collegiately at Molloy College (NY).

Cavs waive Levi Randolph

Cavs waive Levi Randolph

The Cleveland Cavaliers waived guard Levi Randolph today.

Randolph (6-5, 205) participated in two preseason games with the Cavs.

Cleveland’s roster now stands at 19.

Preseason for the league ends Friday. Teams must then trim their rosters down to 15 players, plus they’re allowed to have two additional players signed to “two-way” contracts. Those two-way players will spend the majority of the season playing in the G League.

Thunder waive Richard Solomon, Bryce Alford and K.J. McDaniels

The OKC Thunder waived center Richard Solomon, guard Bryce Alford and forward K.J. McDaniels today.

Solomon did not play at all in preseason.

Alford played in three preseason games, averaging 2.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 3.0 minutes per outing.

McDaniels participated in two preseason games and averaged of 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 8.2 minutes.

According to the Oklahoman, “the Thunder has until the NBA’s opening day (Oct. 16) to get its roster to 15 or fewer guaranteed contracts, not including two-way players. The Thunder is currently carrying 14 guaranteed contracts. Two-way contracts do not count against the NBA salary cap.”

Clippers waive forward Desi Rodriguez

Clippers waive forward Desi Rodriguez

The L.A. Clippers waived forward Desi Rodriguez today.

Rodriguez, 22, appeared in two preseason games for L.A., tallying one assist and one steal in 9.3 minutes. The 6’6”, 220-pound swingman appeared in six games for the Clippers in the 2018 Las Vegas NBA Summer league, averaging 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21.6 minutes. Rodriguez played four collegiate seasons at Seton Hall University, appearing in 129 games (97 starts) and averaging 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from three-point range in 26.3 minutes. He was named to the Second Team All-Big East as a senior, after averaging 17.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in his final collegiate season.

Rockets sign Brandon Sampson

Rockets sign Brandon Sampson

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Brandon Sampson.

The deal is likely non-guaranteed and will probably only last through preseason, which ends in a few days.

Sampson (6-5, 184) was eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft following his junior season at Louisiana State. He played for Atlanta in both the Utah Jazz Summer League and the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Following his senior year of high school in 2015, Sampson was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Louisiana.

Hawks sign guard C.J. Anderson

Hawks sign guard C.J. Anderson

The Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday signed guard C.J. Anderson. The deal will likely only last during preseason.

Earlier Tuesday, the team waived Isaac Humphries, who had signed with the Hawks on Oct. 8.

Last season, as a senior at University of Massachusetts, Anderson played in 32 games (28 starts), averaging 10.6 points, 5.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 35.2 minutes (.414 FG%, .400 3FG%, .813 FT%), ranking fourth in the Atlantic-10 Conference in assists.

He appeared in 126 games (47 starts) in his four years with the Minutemen. The native of Memphis, TN attended Arlington High School (Arlington, TN) for three years before finishing at Whitehaven High School in Memphis. He will wear No. 8.

Warriors sign guard Will Cherry

Warriors sign guard Will Cherry

The Golden State Warriors on Tuesday signed free agent guard Will Cherry.

It’s probably a non-guaranteed deal that will only last during preseason, which wraps up in a few days.

Cherry, 27, appeared in eight games with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.0 assist in 8.6 minutes per game. The Oakland native went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft after a four-year career at the University of Montana and has played professionally with several international clubs: Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia) in 2017-18; Gaziantep Basketbol (Turkey) in 2016-17; Alba Berlin (Germany) in 2015-16 and Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) in 2014-15.

-30-

Grizzlies sign D.J. Stephens, waive Ismaila Kane

The Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday signed guard/forward D.J. Stephens to a two-way contract and waived forward Ismaila Kane.

Stephens (6-5, 188) played professionally last season in France, where he competed in 46 games (nine starts) and averaged 9.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.3 minutes to help guide Le Mans Sarthe Basket to the French LNB Pro A championship and earn the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. Most recently, he appeared in seven games for the Grizzlies during MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas, his second summer league stint with the Grizzlies.

The 27-year-old saw action in three NBA regular season games for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2013-14 season and split the 2015-16 season with the NBA G League’s Canton Charge and Iowa Energy (now Wolves). He holds NBA G League career averages of 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.03 steals and 1.26 blocks in 24.0 minutes in 38 games (29 starts). Stephens was named the NBA G League Performer of the Week on March 28, 2016 and competed in the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest as part of 2016 NBA G League All-Star Weekend.

Stephens went unselected in the 2013 NBA Draft following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Memphis, where he was named the 2012-13 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. The Killeen, Texas native also has played professionally in Ukraine (2016-17), Puerto Rico (2016-17), Russia (2014-15), Greece (2013-14) and Turkey (2013-14).

Kane (6-9, 200) was signed by the Grizzlies on September 24 and made one preseason appearance, logging two minutes on October 5 vs. Atlanta. The Senegal native went unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft after playing 13 games last season for Atlanta Metropolitan of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Big game for Bulls from Zach LaVine

It’s just preseason, but still, a big game is a big game. Here’s NBC Sports Chicago reporting on Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who now has big responsibility on his young shoulders:

The Bulls once again struggled defensively in Monday night’s 110-104 loss to the Charlotte Hornets…

Jabari Parker will have better nights: At least we hope he does. It was a second (third, really) consecutive disappointing outing - for the Bulls’ top free agent…

Zach LaVine still looks like it’s all coming together

On the flip side, the Bulls’ other large offseason investment continues to produce. Zach LaVine was arguably the best player on the floor (when taking the Bulls’ defense into consideration). He scored 26 points on just 15 shots, a serious improvement in the efficiency department. Ironically he was at his best after an ugly long missed 2-pointer that was tightly contested early in the shot clock. It looked like 2017-18 Zach LaVine.

Then the new school LaVine showed up. He looked comfortable coming off screens and pulling up from beyond the arc, finishing in transition and getting to the basket. He did a little bit of everything, which is a far cry from what he did last season. An aggressive LaVine and a smart shot taking LaVine is a tough one to stop on the offensive end. Another night, another positive for the $78 million man.

Chris Bosh, who perhaps may someday play in the league again but for now is enjoying life while his sneakers hang nearby, has some very positive words about new Knicks head coach Dave Fizdale. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Chris Bosh isn’t sure if he will play again, but he said he will give himself until the All-Star break to make that decision.

But Bosh is sure of one thing. His former assistant coach David Fizdale is the real deal and should eventually recruit at least one superstar.

Bosh, who has suffered from multiple blood clots, was at the Knicks preseason game against the Wizards at the Garden and caught up with the Knicks’ first-year coach after the contest. Bosh, who has not played in an NBA game since the 2015-16 season, played for Fizdale when the latter was an assistant coach in Miami.

“We always tried to make it simple,’’ Bosh said. “If you’re trying to accomplish something, you have to know where you’re going. You have to have a core set of values, which [Fizdale] has. You also have to be confident. Which I know he is. You got to work hard. I know that he’s going to inspire the guys to do what they need to do on the court and off the court to get the job done. Once he inspires them, it’s on the players. That’s what great coaches do.

Phoenix Suns fire general manager Ryan McDonough

The Phoenix Suns have fired general manager Ryan McDonough.

It’s surprising that this happened in preseason. It’s an unusual time for any team to fire their GM. Logically it’s done during a key stretch of the regular season, or perhaps at the end of the season, as offseason for the team begins. To do it right in the middle of preseason is unusual.

In the interim, general manager duties will be handled by Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones and Assistant General Manager Trevor Bukstein. Jones will manage basketball operations including oversight of coaches, players and staff, while Bukstein will be the primary contact for player transactions.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our basketball operations, I have decided to relieve Ryan McDonough of his duties as general manager of the Phoenix Suns,” said Suns Managing Partner, Robert Sarver. “Our focus in the short term is to prepare for the upcoming NBA season and to continue pursuing opportunities to strengthen our roster. Over the course of the season, we will explore both internal and external options as we look to restructure our basketball front office leadership. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Ryan for his efforts and contributions during his five-plus years with the Suns. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Spurs waive Jaron Blossomgame

Spurs waive Jaron Blossomgame

The San Antonio Spurs have waived forward Jaron Blossomgame.

Blossomgame played in three preseason games for San Antonio, and averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 6.3 minutes pr outing.

He was drafted by the Spurs 59th overall in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draftt. Blossomgame spent last season with the Austin Spurs (G League), who won the G League Championship.

Basketball blog