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NBA AM: 10-Day Contract Candidates

A look at some D-League standouts who are candidates to land a 10-day contract from an NBA team.

Cody Taylor



10-Day Contract Candidates

Beginning tomorrow, teams may begin signing players to 10-day contracts. These sort of contracts are most commonly used as a tryout period for respective players. Most players that sign a 10-day contract originate from the NBA’s Development League.

Teams may sign a player to a maximum of two 10-day contracts. Following the end of the second 10-day contract, teams must decide if they want to sign that player for the remainder of the season or cut ties with that player.

Last season, we saw a record number of call-ups from the D-League, as 47 players received an all-time high 63 call-ups. Players like Hassan Whiteside, Tim Frazier, Tyler Johnson, Seth Curry, Langston Galloway and Robert Covington were some of the players called-up to the NBA who still remain on an NBA roster.

This week also represents the deadline in which non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed, with teams needing to cut those players by Friday in order to allow for the two-day waiver period before those contracts become guaranteed on Sunday. As more roster spots open up, this could free the way for more prospects to earn their way onto NBA rosters.

With the window opening tomorrow for players to make their impressions on NBA teams, here are 10 prospects to keep an eye on that could earn a 10-day contract (in no particular order):

F – Ronald Roberts, Raptors 905:

After a successful showing in the Vegas Summer League, Roberts earned an invitation to play with the Raptors during training camp. He would eventually be waived by Toronto, but he then joined the Raptors 905 in the D-League. Among players that have played at least 10 games in the D-League, Roberts ranks third in field goal percentage at 66.2 percent. In addition, he’s averaging 17.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. His rebounds rank second in the D-League and his blocks rank 10th. Roberts is an exceptional athlete and has demonstrated that he should be playing in the NBA.

G – Jimmer Fredette, Westchester Knicks:

The struggles Fredette has faced since coming into the league in 2011 have been well-documented. Fredette made a name for himself in college, but hasn’t been able to catch on with NBA teams as he’s played with four different franchises in his career. Fredette now finds himself playing for the Knicks’ D-League team in Westchester. He’s fourth in the D-League in scoring (among players who have played at least 10 games) with 23.5 points per contest. He’s shooting 47 percent from three-point range and is also adding nearly five rebounds and five assists per game. He can still provide teams with a viable shooting option off of the bench. The Knicks have been reportedly interested in adding a guard to the roster, and have been linked with Fredette in recent weeks.

G – Elliot Williams, Santa Cruz Warriors:

It seems as though Williams is the most likely player to be called-up at some point this season since he’s the No. 1 D-League prospect, according to the league’s rankings. It should come as no surprise then that Williams is leading the D-League in scoring at 28.1 points per game. He’s also adding 7.1 assists, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting an even 50 percent from the field. Williams figures to be one of the most scouted players this week when the D-League Showcase kicks off on Wednesday. Each of the 19 D-League teams will be playing two games over the five-day showcase, giving players plenty of chances to catch the eye of potential teams.

Since this article has published, Williams will sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, as reported by Marc Spears.

G – Sean Kilpatrick, Delaware 87ers:

Kilpatrick seems to be right behind Williams in terms of players poised to earn a call-up. Kilpatrick ranks as the No. 2 prospect in the D-League, and is tied for second in scoring with 26.1 points per game. On his resume this season is a 45-point outing at the beginning of December where he knocked down 6-of-8 shots from three-point range. He’s hitting 3.3 three-pointers per game and is converting on 45 percent of those shots. It’s possible Kilpatrick could earn a call-up from the 76ers at some point. Although the Sixers already have 15 players on their team, several of those players are on non-guaranteed deals and could be cut by the deadline this weekend, which could open up a spot for Kilpatrick.

F – Earl Clark, Bakersfield Jam:

With six seasons of experience in the NBA, Clark is perhaps the most experienced player in the D-League. Given his vast experience, he could be a favorite to be called-up to a team in need of some frontcourt depth. Playoff races will only continue to heat up as the season progresses, and Clark could provide a veteran presence for a team in need of an extra body. Clark ranks ninth in scoring with 20.7 points per game, and is also adding 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. Clark could also be a candidate to head back overseas to pursue a larger contract if he can’t catch on with an NBA team. The fact that he’s in the D-League means he wants to play in the NBA, so he may just stick it out for a while in the States.

G – Erick Green, Reno Bighorns:

Green has already played a season overseas and two seasons with the Denver Nuggets before being waived by the Nuggets back in November. After being waived by Denver, Green was acquired by Reno in the D-League. Rather than go back overseas, Green stayed in the D-League in an attempt to catch on with an NBA team. Green is the No. 4 ranked prospect in the D-League and is turning in a great 2015-16 campaign so far. He’s tied with Kilpatrick for second in scoring with 26.1 points per game, and is also adding 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. In addition to that, he’s shooting 44 percent from three-point range and 52 percent from the field. In 24 games this season, Green has scored at least 20 points in all but three of those games. He’s proven himself in the D-League and it seems he should be on an NBA roster.

G – Terrico White, Bakersfield Jam:

White is perhaps one of the more interesting names in the D-League. He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Detroit Pistons, but never appeared in a game after suffering a foot injury. He spent the next season with the Idaho Stampede, before spending the next three seasons overseas. Now, he’s back in the States trying to land in the NBA. He’s in the D-League with the Phoenix Suns’ affiliate looking to earn a call-up. In 15 games for the Jam, White is averaging 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He’s also shooting 45 percent from the floor, including 43 percent from three-point range. His best game of the season came on Dec. 15 when he recorded 34 points (on 7-of-8 shooting from three-point range), 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals.  

G/F – Darington Hobson, Santa Cruz Warriors:

Hobson is touted as the 12th-best prospect in the D-League. With several teams in the NBA in need of guard depth, Hobson could be a name to watch over the course of the next few weeks. He’s shown that he can be a capable passer and rebounder as well. On the season, Hobson is averaging 17.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. He’s been an efficient shooter this season as he’s converting on 41 percent of his shots from the field and 40 percent from three-point range, including 47 percent over his last four outings. He’s played four seasons in the D-League and is by far having his best success this year, which could earn himself a spot on an NBA team.

F – Vince Hunter, Reno Bighorns:

Hunter went undrafted this past year, and has torn up the D-League so far. He’s averaging 22.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s tied for the league lead in double-doubles with 13, his 22.2 points are sixth-highest, his 11.9 rebounds rank third and his 5.1 offensive rebounds are tops in the league. His best game of the season came back on Nov. 21 after he scored 32 points and pulled down 24 rebounds. Hunter could be an option for teams seeking frontcourt depth and rebounding help.

G – Toure’ Murry, Texas Legends:

Murry is a player who has shown that he can contribute in a wide variety of different ways. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 6.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game this season for the Legends. He’s become a consistent scorer this season as he’s scored in single-digits just one time, and is coming off of a season-high 24 points on Saturday. He also added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in that outing. The Utah Jazz have reportedly shown interest in Murry already, and he could become an option for the Brooklyn Nets now that Jarrett Jack is done for the season. He’s proven he can create mismatches with his 6’5 frame and has shown he can be a capable defender.


These are all players to keep an eye on in the coming weeks since they could find themselves on an NBA roster. With the D-League growing each year, teams will surely be looking there to add some depth to their respective rosters. Some teams could be looking for an extra body or two for their playoff push, while others could begin to look ahead and try to add players for the future. These players are looking to get into the league; if their quest proves unsuccessful, they could look for a bigger deal overseas.

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.


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NBA Daily: The Golden State Warriors Need to Enter Rest Mode

With a bevy of injuries to their stars, the Golden State Warriors should rest up the remainder of the regular season to avoid any playoff letdowns.

Dennis Chambers



After a three-year-long run of dominating the NBA, the Golden State Warriors are showing some cracks in their armor.

Granted, those cracks aren’t a result of a botched system or poor play, but rather the injury bug biting the team in full force as they come down the regular season stretch.

First, it was Steph Curry and the ankle that’s bothered him all season — and for most of his career — when he tweaked it yet again on March 8 against the San Antonio Spurs. Golden State announced he would miss at least four games. Then it was Klay Thompson, who fractured his thumb three days later against the Minnesota Timberwolves — he’ll miss at least two weeks.

Now it’s Kevin Durant. Last year’s Finals MVP suffered an incomplete rib cartilage fracture and was ruled out of Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings. Durant is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks. The Warriors would go on to lose that contest 95-93.

In about two weeks time, the Warriors went from having one of the most formidable offenses and scoring trios in the entire league, to having  Quinn Cook and Nick Young logging starter minutes.

Luckily for the Warriors, they’ve built up a big enough lead in the standings to achieve a 52-17 record, good for second place in the Western Conference. But the issue for the remainder of the season now becomes how healthy will the Warriors be come playoff time?

Curry and Durant have injury histories. Curry particularly has been bothered by this ankle since he entered the league. Without either of them, the Warriors — while still incredibly talented — will be on a completely even playing field with the Houston Rockets, and possibly other teams in the gauntlet that will be the Western Conference playoffs.

The bigger issue on top of the pending injury concerns becomes whether the Warriors should just pack it in for the rest of the regular season, and regroup for another expected title run.

Steve Kerr doesn’t seem to be thinking that way, however.

“All these injuries seem to be temporary,” Kerr told reporters. “A couple weeks, a week, two weeks – whatever. We’re in good shape. We’ve just got to survive this next slate of games and hopefully, start getting guys back and get rolling again for the playoffs.”

That’s true. None of the aforementioned injuries seem to be anything more serious than a few weeks of rest and relaxation. But that’s assuming the best case scenario for these players.

Should we assume that the Warriors are without their scoring trio for the next couple of weeks as their health updates have indicated, that would put their return roughly around April 1. At that time, Golden State would have six games remaining on their schedule. Four coming against playoff teams (Oklahoma City, Indiana, New Orleans, and Utah) with the other two games against Phoenix.

After missing the last few weeks on the court, with injuries that most likely won’t be at 100 percent, tossing their most valuable contributors back into the fray against a slate of playoff teams probably isn’t the smartest idea.

At this point, the Warriors postseason position is locked up. They likely won’t take the top seed away from Houston, and their lead is big enough to keep their second seed intact regardless of who’s on the court. The only thing left now is the determining who Golden State will play in the first round. With the revolving carousel that is the playoff standings out West, that’s anybody’s guess right now.

The only thing that’s certain is whichever team coming into Oracle Arena for that first round will be battle tested and talented based off of the dogfight they had to survive just to make the playoffs. The last thing the Warriors need to be is a banged up in a postseason with their first opponent smelling blood in the water.

In all likelihood, the Warriors — should everything go according to plan — will play the Houston Rockets for a chance to return to their fourth straight NBA Finals. Only this time, a potential Game 7 won’t be at Oracle Arena. It will be in downtown Houston, at the Toyota Center.

An advantage as big as the Warriors’ homecourt can never be understated. Operating in a do-or-die situation away from home will be newfound territory for this bunch. Regardless of talent or team success, at that point, it’s anybody’s game.

It won’t be easy for the Golden State Warriors as they try to extend their dynasty’s reign. This might be their most difficult year yet.

Durant, in his own words, can’t even laugh right now without feeling pain. The league’s only unanimous MVP is operating on one and a half ankles, and the team’s second Splash Brother has an injury on his shooting hand.

Resting up the team’s stars should be the team’s top priority right now, at risk of entering the postseason hobbled. Track record means nothing if the Warriors don’t have their full arsenal at disposal when the games matter most.

Hey, a 16-seed finally won a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament. Anything is possible on a basketball court, and the Warriors should do everything possible to ensure they’re not the next major upset candidate in line.

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Fixing The Detroit Pistons

David Yapkowitz looks at how the fading Pistons can turn things around moving forward.

David Yapkowitz



We wrap this week up with another installment of our “Fixing” series here at Basketball Insiders. The next team up is the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons came into this season with playoff aspirations after a disappointing 2016-17 campaign that saw them regress instead of building on their playoff appearance the season before. To begin the season, they looked like they were on their way to accomplishing that objective. Then Reggie Jackson got hurt and the season began spiraling out of control.

They tried to inject some life into the team by trading for Blake Griffin, but it hasn’t worked out as expected. The Pistons have gone 8-12 since acquiring Griffin and the postseason looks like a pipe dream at this point.

What Is Working

Not a whole lot. Despite trading for a superstar player, the Pistons have tumbled down to the point where playoffs are looking extremely unlikely.

If there’s one thing that’s a welcome sight, it’s the bounce back of Andre Drummond. After being named to his first All-Star team in 2015-16, Drummond had a bit of a let down the following season. This season, he was once again an All-Star while putting up career-highs in rebounds (15.7) and assists (3.2). Drummond is still only 24 years old and has his best basketball years ahead of him.

The Pistons have also received encouraging signs from rookie Luke Kennard. A lottery pick in last summer’s draft, Kennard he’s been one of the few bright spots at times for the Pistons. About a week ago, his playing time had diminished some and he racked up a few DNP’s, but Stan Van Gundy has since reinserted him into the rotation.

They’ve also gotten solid production out of Reggie Bullock. When Bullock came over to the Pistons in a trade with the Phoenix Suns almost three years ago, he was little more than a seldom-used wing with the potential to become a solid 3&D guy. This has been his year, however. He’s the best shooter on the team at 43.5 percent from the three-point line. His numbers, 10.8 points per game and 49.1 percent shooting from the field, are career-highs.

What Needs To Change

Quite a bit. Acquiring Griffin was a move the Pistons needed to make. On the verge of losing control of the season, they needed to make a move to try and turn things around. It’s been a disaster thus far, however. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and although they’re in ninth place, they’re falling farther and farther away from eighth.

Who the Pistons are really missing is Reggie Jackson. Ish Smith, who has proven himself beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is an NBA player, just isn’t Jackson. They desperately need Jackson’s playmaking abilities to help take the pressure off everyone else. Even if he returns this season, it’s already too late. The Pistons need to focus on getting him healthy and ready for next season.

The Pistons also need to improve their offense. They’re in the bottom half of the league in both points per game (25th) and offensive rating (24th). A big part of that is Jackson’s absence, but they could also benefit from additional outside shooting. Right now they have one long-range threat on the roster and that’s Bullock.

Focus Area: The Draft

To make matters worse, the Pistons will likely give up their draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Griffin trade. The only way the Clippers wouldn’t acquire the Pistons’ pick this year is if it falls in the top four, and that’s not going to happen.

The Pistons will have a second-round pick though. The draft is never 100 percent guaranteed, and the second round is even more of a crapshoot, but talented players can definitely be found. That’s what the Pistons’ main objective in the draft should be. It sounds silly, but they truly need to buckle down and do their homework in hopes of finding that one overlooked guy in the second round. That’s pretty much all they have to look forward to come draft night.

Focus Area: Free Agency

The Pistons are going to have a couple of minor decisions to make this summer regarding their free agents. Jameer Nelson, James Ennis, and Anthony Tolliver are all unrestricted free agents. Out of the three, Ennis has given the team the best on-court production, but it isn’t necessary that any of them are brought back.

Bullock and Dwight Buycks have non-guaranteed contracts, and those are the two guys that the Pistons should work towards bringing back in the fold. Both should have their contracts guaranteed for the following season. Bullock is their only three-point threat. Buycks began the season as a two-way contract player splitting time between the Pistons and the Grand Rapids Drive of the G-League. He’s since been converted to a standard NBA contract and has done enough to earn his spot on the team next year.

In terms of adding new players to the roster, as mentioned before, the Pistons need outside shooting. Marco Belinelli and Wayne Ellington are possible options that the Pistons might be able to afford. Joe Harris is another option, but it will be interesting to see what the market is for him after the strong season he’s been having in Brooklyn.

It’s tough to gauge the Pistons’ true potential without Jackson. If he returns before the season ends, it will be too small a sample size to accurately assess the team. There are only 14 games left. Although things look pretty bleak right now, it can’t be argued that injuries haven’t played a big role in the Pistons disappointing season.

The team deserves a shot at seeing how a healthy Jackson, Griffin, and Drummond trio looks on the court together. If they start off next season the same way despite all three being healthy and in the lineup, then it would be time for serious changes.

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Fixing The Chicago Bulls

Spencer Davies says the Bulls have a long way to go, but they’re taking steps forward. In year one without the former face of the franchise, that’s about all they can ask for.

Spencer Davies



Next up on Basketball Insiders’ “fixing” series is a stop in the Windy City.

In spite of the criticisms over last summer’s Jimmy Butler trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, it feels like the Chicago Bulls at least have a sense of direction. Many members of the media—including this one—expected them to finish dead last in the NBA, yet they have 23 wins, with seven other teams worse off.

Obviously, the goal for the organization this season was to establish an identity and see what they had with their new cornerstone pieces. To a good extent, there’s optimism regarding those players because of the potential they’ve shown.

There’s still a good chunk of the year left, but the Bulls are 12th in the Eastern Conference standings with 15 games to go.

What Is Working

If it weren’t for the spectacular seasons by Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons, Chicago stretch big man Lauri Markkanen might be the Rookie of the Year. Even with some second-half struggles, the entire body of work is impressive.

The 7-foot Finnish forward continues to stay aggressive with a high usage and great mentality in snatching up those boards. It’s normal for a first-year player to go through those ups and downs. Add in a back injury that’s been bothering him as of late and the slump make a little more sense. Markkanen has shown the skill and consistent effort that it takes to be a mainstay in this league.

Bobby Portis is another member of the frontcourt who’s made a noticeable impact off the Bulls’ bench. In his third year, you can see the confidence continue to grow as a versatile offensive threat with a ton of touches. He’s taken a responsibility upon himself to lead the second unit and the proof is in the pudding. According to Cleaning The Glass, the team is a net plus-11.5 per 100 possessions with him on the court.

Second-year swingman Denzel Valentine has filled the stat sheet in multiple games as one of the most unselfish players on the roster. David Nwaba’s role from the beginning was to be a defensive menace and he’s come through for the majority of the year. Even two-way contract rookie Antonio Blakeney has shown flashes as a volume scorer in stretches.

Recently, Chicago has given a couple of cast-offs opportunities to display their skills. In 10 games, Cameron Payne looks as comfortable as he has in quite some time coming off a major foot injury. Noah Vonleh has been an effective late addition playing next to Portis and filling in for Markkanen. Let’s not forget that these two were lottery picks and are still in their early 20s.

What Needs To Change

Looking at what Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine have done, it’s been a mixed bag. With that being said, there’s clearly untapped potential between the both of them.

Dunn proved in very little time that the narrative of him being a lost cause was far from the truth. Hoiberg’s trust in him to be Chicago’s floor general has gone a long way. He’s been in attack mode with the ball in his hands, has seen his outside game get better and has been bothersome with his length defensively. It hasn’t resulted in wins, but remember—it’s this group’s first season together.

As for LaVine, it’s difficult to judge where a player is using a 23-game sample size. Yes, it’s a good amount of playing time, but let’s not forget he’s coming off a devastating left ACL tear. His defense has been subpar, but the bounce seems to still be there. The jumper is on and off, but he hasn’t been bashful at all. Starting the year off fresh in 2018-19 will benefit him.

Speaking of next season, the goal for the front office of Gar Forman and John Paxson should be simple—get younger. Currently, Robin Lopez is the highest paid player on the Bulls and he’ll have one year left on his deal going into the summer. The same applies to Justin Holiday. These are two veterans who could contribute on teams ready to win now, and it would be logical to part ways considering the direction the franchise is going.

Focus Area: The Draft

Due to the Nikola Mirotic trade on February 1st, Chicago acquired a first-round draft pick from the New Orleans Pelicans. That gives them two chances to add to their young talent pool in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft.

Typically you’d go with the best player available when you’re slotted in the top ten, but the Bulls should feel good about their backcourt and the power forward position. What they really are lacking are reliable shooters and perimeter defenders, as well as a player with a bulldog mentality.

Chicago doesn’t get to the free throw nearly enough and they don’t convert looks that they should. Considering a true wing is amiss, it’d be the ideal scenario for Michael Porter Jr. to fall right into their lap. The Missouri freshman just returned after missing basically the entire season with a back injury. He was a top name coming into the class because of his size and could be a steal with the eighth selection.

If Porter Jr. doesn’t make it to them, Miles Bridges would make for a heck of a consolation prize. Unlike Porter, he has a more muscular frame at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds that allows him to bully the opposition. There’s a relentless nature and fearlessness about him that will translate to the next level.

Using that Pelicans pick, the Bulls would be happy to see Duke sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr. fall to them in the early-to-mid 20s, but that seems more unlikely with Anthony Davis continuing to carry New Orleans to new heights. If they end up selecting towards to the back end of the first round, Arizona junior guard Allonzo Trier could end up being a good fit as well.

Focus Area: Free Agency

Entering the summer, Chicago doesn’t have too many decisions to make on the contract front.

The trade exception from the Butler deal expires on June 22nd. If it’s not used by then, the amount will be renounced if the team goes under the salary cap. The deadline to present Noah Vonleh and David Nwaba a qualifying offer is June 29th.

Everybody’s going to keep an eye on LaVine because of restricted free agency, but the Bulls have indicated they prefer him to be a part of their core. They’ll in all likelihood look to bring him back on a long-term contract. If he doesn’t approve of the terms, he can always choose to play on his qualifying offer and bet on himself.

Chicago has to decide whether or not to guarantee Paul Zipser’s $1.5 million salary for next season by July 18th. The extension deadline for Payne, Portis, and Grant is the day before the first day of the 2018 campaign and team option deadlines for Dunn and Markannen come on Halloween.

There probably won’t be too much activity on the Bulls’ part regarding free agency. The focus will lay on improving their young core and getting guys who are just getting on the upswing in the pros. There are talents out there who fit the bill. It just all depends on what comes from the draft.

All in all, Chicago has a long way to go to get back into the postseason conversation, but they’re taking steps forward. In year one without the former face of the franchise, that’s about all you can ask for.

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