The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have signed forward Brian Bowen II to a two-way contract. In addition, the Pacers signed forward JaKeenan Gant and guard C.J. Wilcox to Exhibit 10 contracts.
Jeremy Woo: League sources: the Indiana Pacers have agreed to a two-way contract with Brian Bowen, who spent last season with the Sydney Kings.
Nineteen year-old American Brian Bowen II will become the first player in the NBL’s Next Stars program when he lines up for the Sydney Kings in 2018-19. The Next Stars program contracts NBA draft eligible players and develops them in Australia with a view to fast tracking their readiness for the NBA.
The initiative follows the drafting of Terrance Ferguson by NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder after he elected not to go to college in the US, instead spending the 2016/17 NBL season with the Adelaide 36ers straight out of high school. Bowen had 21.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a senior in high school at La Lumiere. He was a McDonald’s All-American in 2017 and ranked number 14 in ESPN’s 2017 Recruiting Class. He chose to pull out of the 2018 NBA Draft but is eligible in 2019.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “Brian is an exciting young talent and exactly the sort of NBA prospect we had in mind when developing the Next Stars initiative.” “We are delighted he is joining the Sydney Kings this season and we look forward to seeing him develop as a professional basketballer. It is a really significant stage of any player’s career and we think that the NBL is the perfect league for Brian to transition from amateur to professional, and demonstrate to all the NBA scouts out there that he has what it takes to compete against grown men playing professional basketball. The Next Stars program will give guys like Brian the chance to refine their game in a world class league in the NBL and, just like Terrance, demonstrate that they’re ready for the NBA."
December 7, 2021 | 12:38 pm EST Update
A bit of important reporting we will try not to bury in a recap — a source familiar with the situation spoke to PhillyVoice on Monday evening and said the Sixers have had no recent discussions with Portland regarding a CJ McCollum trade, and a package centered around the Blazers’ guard is not currently of interest to the Sixers.
“Me and Dame have a good relationship,” McCollum said. “I think when Dame speaks, you hear him. When you hear ‘sources’ and ‘anonymous’, I don’t necessarily know if that is Dame or not, because it’s not Dame putting his name on it. He generally puts his name on things. I know where he stands with me, and he knows where I stand with him. The organization, they need to do what is best for themselves.” I asked where he thought he stood with Lillard. “If he wanted me to leave, I think he would say that,” McCollum said. “He’s not speaking on me behind closed doors because that’s not in his DNA. He’s not built like that. He’s solid, and I know his word is his bond.”
I asked him if he felt his future in Portland was more cloudy or uncertain now that Olshey is gone. “That’s a question for somebody else. I just do my job: show up for work and do my job,” McCollum said.
As I looked down at his text message, I was taken aback. Enough so that I pulled over and read it again. “Oregon is home,” McCollum wrote. “Always will be. I got married here. My son will be born here. We bought 318 acres here and started planting our vineyard here. This city and organization have been very good to me and my family. We’re forever grateful.”
As my car idled on the side of the road, my mind raced. Did I miss something? Did McCollum get traded? I did a quick search. Nothing. “Damn,” I texted back. “You make it sound like a goodbye.” “It’s not a goodbye,” he replied. “I’m still here, my friend.”
On top of it all, the Blazers (11-14) have lost six of their last seven games, many in blowout fashion. That bonfire of rumors is starting to put out enough heat that McCollum can feel it. “Try having a kid in the middle of COVID,” McCollum said before leaving the Moda Center. “That shit ain’t normal. Now, try having a kid during COVID amid trade rumors in the middle of the season. Yeah …”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Any unvaccinated NBA player with temporary VISA status leaving the country will be unable to re-enter the United States, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. For example, a player would be unable to re-enter after playing in Canada, or traveling outside U.S. on All-Star weekend.