In G League, Jameer Nelson named General Manager of Delaware Blue Coats

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the promotion of Jameer Nelson to General Manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

Nelson previously served as Blue Coats Assistant General Manager/76ers Scout since November 2020, a tenure that included three-straight trips to the G League Finals, a 2021 Winter Showcase Cup Title, and culminated with the 2022-23 NBA G League Championship.

“Jameer has approached his front office and scouting roles with the same tenacity that he approached the game during his playing career. He is a great talent evaluator who is well-respected by players, agents, coaches and executives alike, suiting him for success as the next General Manager of the Blue Coats,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey said.

“Jameer succeeds Prosper Karangwa, who led the Blue Coats to their first-ever G League title last year and has done an incredible job in growing the program. We are thankful to Prosper for what he’s done in Delaware and are grateful he’s an integral member of our 76ers front office.”

A 14-year NBA veteran, Nelson was named an All-Star in 2009 as a member of the Orlando Magic. Nelson was a first-round pick (No. 20 overall) of the Denver Nuggets in 2004 and averaged over 11 points, five assists and three rebounds across a career with Orlando, Dallas, Boston, Denver, New Orleans and Detroit. Collegiately, the Chester, Pennsylvania native starred at St. Joseph’s University, guiding the Hawks to the Elite Eight in 2004 and was named National Player of the Year, a first-team All-American selection and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

The Blue Coats also announced the team’s coaching staff for the 2023-24 season. Under first-year head coach Mike Longabardi, newcomer Ryan Ayers completes the Blue Coats’ bench, joining returning assistant coaches JP Clark and God Shammgod Jr.

NBA G League Ignite adds five veteran players to roster for 2023-24 NBA G League season

NBA G League Ignite today announced the addition of five veteran players to its roster for the 2023-24 NBA G League season. The signees include 2022-23 Ignite players John Jenkins and Eric Mika, NBA G League veterans Jeremy Pargo and David Stockton, and newcomer Admon Gilder.

“We have a great group of veterans who can help accelerate the growth and development of our young players both on and off the court,” said Ignite head coach Jason Hart. “Bringing back John Jenkins and Eric Mika was vital for us. Their production and professionalism had a tremendous impact on our team as a whole last season.”

A full breakdown of Ignite’s veteran signees is below.

Admon Gilder | Guard

Gilder joins Ignite after one season with the Calgary Surge of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. In his lone season with the Surge, he averaged 9.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23 games. His international experience also includes stints in Israel, Poland, and Finland. Gilder played collegiately at Texas A&M and Gonzaga.

John Jenkins | Guard

Jenkins returns for his second season with Ignite after averaging a team-high 17.9 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 2022-23. Last season, Jenkins set several Ignite records, including the most points in a game (37), most 20-point games in a single season (14) and most three-pointers in a game (11). Jenkins, who was originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 23rd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged 5.0 points in 171 games over six NBA seasons.

Eric Mika | Center

Mika returns for his second season with Ignite after appearing in 40 games and averaging 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the 2022-23 campaign. Mika ranked second on the team in both total rebounds (342) and assists (161), and third in blocks (28). He recorded the only triple-double in franchise history with 16 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Jan. 21, 2023, and posted the second most double-doubles in single season Ignite history (13).

Jeremy Pargo | Guard

Pargo averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 assists in 26 games with the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League during the 2022-23 season. Over the past decade, Pargo has appeared in 86 NBA games with the Memphis Grizzles, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors. Pargo has played internationally in China, Israel, Italy, Russia and Spain.

David Stockton | Guard

Stockton, an eight-year NBA G League veteran, has appeared in 220 NBA G League games and owns career averages of 16.5 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Last season, Stockton averaged 13.3 points and 9.0 assists with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers. He was eighth in the league in total assists (199) and set an NBA G League record for assists in a single game (19).

Timberwolves name Ernest Scott as head coach of Iowa Wolves G League team

The Minnesota Timberwolves today named Ernest Scott as Head Coach of the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate.

Minnesota also announced the promotion of Nathan Bubes to Assistant Coach and Michael DiBenedetto to Assistant Coach/Director of Operations for the Wolves.

“I couldn’t be happier for Ernest, Nathan, and Michael to take on these new roles with our team in Iowa and continue to develop our young players,” said Timberwolves Director of Player Personnel /Iowa Wolves General Manager Jonathan Wallace. “Ernest has worked hard to earn this role and has developed great relationships with players, staff and the community in Iowa. We look forward to Nathan and Michael joining him in Des Moines as we prepare for the upcoming season.”

“I am proud of the professional development of Ernest, Nathan and Michael to lead them to their new positions with the Iowa Wolves,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch. “We are excited for the future of our G League team and know that these three will do a phenomenal job leading our program in Iowa.”

“I am grateful to be named the Head Coach of the Iowa Wolves and represent the Timberwolves organization in the best light possible,” Scott said. “I’m excited to continue being a part of the community in Des Moines and execute the vision and goals of Coach Finch and the Timberwolves in everything we do on and off the court.”

Overtime Elite forwards Tyler Smith and Izan Almansa sign with NBA G League Ignite

Overtime Elite forwards Tyler Smith and Izan Almansa have signed with NBA G League Ignite.

“As the basketball landscape evolves, the G League continues to solidify its place as a central development pathway for top talent throughout the world,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “We are thrilled to welcome Tyler and Izan to the NBA G League family, where they’ll have the opportunity to learn from our NBA-caliber coaches and veterans and battle against top talent in our league. We’re excited to continue to build on the foundation started at OTE to help Tyler and Izan prepare for successful NBA careers.”

A Houston native, Smith attended George Bush High School in Fort Bend County, Texas, before signing his first professional contract with Overtime Elite in August 2021. Prior to joining OTE, the consensus five-star prospect was ranked by ESPN as the No. 8 player in the 2023 high school class.

In 2022-23 with OTE’s Cold Hearts, Smith averaged 15.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, earning All-OTE Second Team honors. In his rookie season with Team OTE in 2021-22, Smith finished fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (36.2).

Almansa, who is from Spain, is currently projected as the No. 18 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft by ESPN. He spent the past two seasons with Overtime Elite, averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists during the 2022-23 season with YNG Dreamerz.

Last summer playing for Spain, Almansa became the first player to win MVP honors at both the FIBA U17 World Cup and the FIBA U18 European Championship.

“OTE’s mission is to develop players at a customized and accelerated rate, and Tyler and Izan are perfect examples of players who bought in and utilized every resource OTE offers for player development both on and off the court,” said Damien Wilkins, General Manager and Head of Basketball for OTE. “We have proven success in building a strong foundation for players as they look to continue their basketball careers, and we are proud and excited for both of these guys as they head to compete at G League Ignite.”

Smith and Almansa join 2023 McDonald’s All-Americans Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland, NBA Academy graduates Thierry Darlan and Babacar Sane, second-year Ignite player London Johnson and Texas high school standout Dink Pate on Ignite’s 2023-24 roster.

Ignite has produced four top 10 NBA Draft picks in the previous three years – the most by any program in that span – in Jalen Green (2021, No. 2, Houston Rockets), Jonathan Kuminga (2021, No. 7, Golden State Warriors), Dyson Daniels (2022, No. 8, New Orleans Pelicans) and Scoot Henderson (2023, No. 3, Portland Trail Blazers). Ignite has had a total of 10 NBA Draft picks in the last three years, which is the highest total for a program in that period.

In NBA G League, Osceola Magic name Dylan Murphy head coach

The Osceola Magic, NBA G League affiliate of the Orlando Magic, have named Dylan Murphy head coach, Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

Murphy will also serve as head coach of the Orlando Magic’s NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas.

“Dylan (Murphy) has done a tremendous job in regard to player development in his role as an assistant coach with the Magic,” said Weltman. “He also brings past G League experience and we look forward to his continued leadership and seamless connectivity between the Osceola and Orlando Magic.”

Murphy has spent the last five seasons with the Orlando Magic, including three seasons as an assistant coach (2020-23). From 2018-20, he served as basketball operations analyst, providing analytics support to the coaching staff.

Murphy joined Orlando after serving as a graduate assistant with the men’s basketball team at Ball State University in 2018. Before his time with Ball State, he spent one season (2016-17) as an NBA G League scout for the Atlanta Hawks. In that role, he was responsible for identifying potential call-up candidates for the Hawks NBA roster.

Prior to Atlanta, Murphy spent three seasons (2013-16) as assistant coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League. In 2013-14, the Mad Ants won the NBA G League championship, posting a league-best record of 34-16 during the regular season and going a perfect 6-0 during their playoff run. In the following season (2014-15), the Mad Ants earned a second-straight trip to the G League Finals.

Murphy earned a bachelor’s degree in classics from Columbia University in 2012.

Name of new Portland G League team revealed: The Rip City Remix

The Portland G League team, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers, announced today the franchise’s team name, logo, and branding at a community event at the University of Portland.

Rip City Remix is a team name and brand that reflects the city of Portland, community, and culture and draws on the inspiration of remixing what is already amazing to enhance, innovate and transform into something extraordinary.

“This is an exciting day for Rip City and the next chapter in Trail Blazers basketball,” said Portland Trail Blazers President of Business Operations Dewayne Hankins. “We are thrilled to launch this team in the North Portland community, with a name and brand inspired by our fans, culture and region. Rip City Remix games will be fun, family friendly, and accessible, and we look forward to seeing you on the court this upcoming season.”

Ron Holland signs with NBA G League Ignite team

Forward Ron Holland, a consensus five-star high school prospect who is ranked by ESPN as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2023, has signed with NBA G League Ignite, General Manager Anthony McClish announced today.

“First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with the abilities to play the game that I love,” Holland said. “I want to thank everyone that has believed in me throughout the whole process, it hasn’t been easy. I am super excited to join G League Ignite. I feel Ignite has the tools needed to prepare me for the life I want on and off the court. Let’s get to work!”

A Duncanville, Texas, native, Holland was selected as a 2023 McDonald’s High School All-American and earned a spot on the U.S. Team for the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit. He was named the 2022-23 Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 20.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals while leading Duncanville High School to a 29-1 record this past season. As a sophomore in 2020-21, Holland helped Duncanville finish 28-1 and win a state championship.

Holland has won two gold medals with USA Basketball, at the FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship in 2021 and the FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup in 2022. In the Under-16 competition, he averaged 19.0 points and 10.2 rebounds and earned All-Tournament Team honors. In the Under-17 event, he averaged 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Holland joins fellow 2023 McDonald’s All-American and Gatorade Illinois Player of Year Matas Buzelis, NBA Academy graduates Thierry Darlan and Babacar Sane, second-year Ignite player London Johnson and Texas high school standout Dink Pate on Ignite’s roster as the latest group of top national and international prospects preparing for the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.

Ignite has produced three top 10 NBA Draft picks in the previous two years – the most by any program in that span – in Jalen Green (2021, No. 2, Houston Rockets), Jonathan Kuminga (2021, No. 7, Golden State Warriors) and Dyson Daniels (2022, No. 8, New Orleans Pelicans). Ignite has had a total of six NBA Draft picks in the last two years, which matches the highest total for a program in that period.

Portland G League team hires Hannah Grauert as team President

The Portland G League team, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers, has announced Hannah Grauert as the franchise’s President.

Grauert comes to the role with a ten-year history of working with the Portland Trail Blazers and the NBA, and most recently from roles in event planning and innovation at Nike and Microsoft.

“We are thrilled at Hannah’s return to our organization and are excited to see her lead our G League team in her new role as President,” said Dewayne Hankins, Portland Trail Blazers President of Business Operations. “Hannah’s innovative nature and dedication to our community combined with an expansive knowledge in project and event management are vital as we head into a new chapter of Rip City basketball.”

Grauert joined the Trail Blazers in 2007 as a Ticket Operations Coordinator and in her 10 seasons with the Trail Blazers, she touched almost every aspect of the business, from fan development and community programming to leading the youth basketball program. Grauert managed elaborate consumer-focused events as well as the creation of communication and brand plans to launch the innovative Community Player Ticket Program.

“From the start, Rip City has always held a special place in my heart as I grew up around the Trail Blazers and developed my early career here,” said Hannah Grauert, Portland G League President. “Returning to the excitement of fans and stepping into the role of President is an absolute honor and I look forward to leading this team to success as we enter a new era of development and expand basketball in our Portland community.”

Portland G League team names Danny Connors as GM, Pooh Jeter as assistant GM

The Portland G League team has announced Danny Connors has been named General Manager and Eugene “Pooh” Jeter named Assistant General Manager.

Connors becomes the General Manager of the Portland G League team after spending the previous seven seasons with the Trail Blazers organization. He most recently served as the team’s Personnel Analyst since January 2022 where he contributed to the talent evaluation of players at all levels through scouting and analytics. The Yardley, Pennsylvania native joined the team as a Basketball Operations Assistant in 2016 before serving as the team’s High School Scouting Coordinator (2018-21) and Scouting Coordinator (2021-22).

Prior to joining the Trail Blazers, Connors was a graduate assistant for the University of Massachusetts from 2014-16 while earning his Master’s in Sports Management. He also worked as a Basketball Operations Intern for the Philadelphia 76ers in the summer of 2013. Connors holds a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, where he worked with former assistant coach Mike Hopkins in an analytics role.

A former standout of the University of Portland, Jeter joins the Portland G League team as the Assistant General Manager after spending the past two seasons with the G League Ignite and averaged 7.4 points (44.2% FG, 44.9% 3-PT, 92.9% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 17.3 minutes per game in 28 contests for the Ignite during the 2022-23 season. Jeter spent the 2010-11 NBA season with the Sacramento Kings where he appeared in 62 games and brings a wealth of international experience from a prolific career which includes time in Spain, Israel, China, France, Turkey and the Ukraine.

As a Portland Pilot, Jeter was a three-time All-West Coast Conference point guard (2004-06) and ranks No. 2 all-time in scoring with 1,708 career points. Jeter also ranks fourth in steals (160), three-pointers made (200), free throws made (408) and free throw percentage (.846), while his 346 assists is No. 7 all-time.

Trail Blazers will have their own G League team starting in the 2023-24 season

The Portland Trail Blazers and the NBA G League today announced that the Trail Blazers have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA G League team that will launch in the Chiles Center on the University of Portland’s campus in North Portland. The team is expected to debut in the 2023-24 season. With today’s announcement, the NBA G League expands to a record 31 teams for the 2023-24 season. The name and brand identity of the team will be announced at a later date, as well as the front office and coaching staff.

Chiles Center serves as the home for the University of Portland’s Division I athletics programs competing in the West Coast Conference. Opened in 1984, the 4,852-seat convocation dome has hosted numerous high-profile events, including college basketball’s Phil Knight tournaments last November, as well as the 1992 and 2007 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships. The University has previously partnered with the Trail Blazers on hosting countless NBA events over the last decade, including a successful partnership that resulted in the 2030 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four recently being awarded to the City of Portland.

“I’m excited to welcome Jody Allen and the Trail Blazers ownership group to the NBA G League family,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “The NBA G League continues to grow to meet the developmental demands of NBA teams, and today’s announcement is further proof of the value the league provides to the NBA every day. I can’t wait to watch the team tip off at the Chiles Center next season.”

“It was very important to our organization to enter the G League with an affiliate here in Portland and strategically strengthen our dedication to player development,” said Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers General Manager. “I would especially like to thank Jody Allen, who is aligned with Dewayne Hankins and myself, to make it a priority to have this team ready for next season as it will serve not only as a developmental tool for players but also for aspiring coaches and staff while we continue to be a mainstay in the community as a whole.”

“Entering the G League with a team of our own will increase development in numerous areas,” said Dewayne Hankins, Portland Trail Blazers President of Business Operations. “Not only will this team be an asset for developing young talent on the court, but developing talent off the court as well. We’ll be leaning into an innovative approach that will improve all aspects of our business across both teams. With the team launching at the University of Portland, we’re excited to continue engaging with the North Portland community.”

“Pilot Nation is thrilled to welcome the Trail Blazers G League franchise to their home on The Bluff,” said University of Portland President Robert D. Kelly, PhD. “UP has a rich and storied athletic tradition, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue that tradition by hosting this new franchise on our beautiful campus. I am grateful to our friends from the Portland Trail Blazers and our Athletic Department staff for making this wonderful partnership happen, and I can’t wait for the inaugural season to begin!”