NBA Rumor: Training Camp Invitations

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The Houston Rockets today signed rookie forward KJ Martin along with free agent guards Jerian Grant (JARE-in), Trevelin Queen (TREH-vill-in), and Brodric Thomas. Martin (6-6, 215) was the 52nd overall pick by Sacramento in the 2020 NBA Draft. The Rockets acquired his rights on November 25. Martin spent last season with IMG Academy’s post-graduate team and averaged 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 69.1% from inside-the-arc. The 19-year-old is the son of Kenyon Martin, who was the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft

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The French Basketball Federation announced Tuesday that Axel Toupane will travel across the Atlantic Ocean accepting an invitation by the Golden State Warriors to take part in the training camp scheduled to begin on December 1 instead of remaining with the national team and playing in the approaching FIBA international window featuring the next batch of EuroBasket qualifiers. “Since the end of the last season my goal is to return to the NBA,” said Toupane, a former player of the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and New Orleans Pelicans, “I know that if I am in shape and with my experience, I have a real chance. I know the players better, I know my game better, I am overall better suited than three years ago.”

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward Keljin Blevins to a training camp contract, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. Blevins, 23, appeared in three games for the Trail Blazers during the 2019 NBA Summer League, totaling five points, three rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes. Undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Blevins (6-6, 200) played two seasons at The University of Southern Mississippi (2014-16) before transferring to Montana State.

Keith Smith: I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about how Boston has 22 guys on their camp roster after signing Bryce Brown and John Bohannon. The easy answer is: they don’t. Kaiser Gates and Yante Maten never officially signed with the Celtics. Still could happen, but Boston is at 20 for now.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to an Exhibit 10 training camp deal with center Marques Bolden, league sources tell cleveland.com. After not being selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, Bolden played for the Cavaliers during summer league. He will now come to training camp to compete for one of the final roster spots. Following JR Smith’s departure, the Cavs have 13 players under contract, two below the maximum number allowed. The Cavs also have an open two-way contract.

Bolden, 6-foot-11, averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in summer league action. Because of Cleveland’s roster makeup, Bolden will be one of the few bigs invited to training camp. Last week, the team agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with shooting guard J.P. Macura, who will also be looking to claim one of the final spots. According to sources, the Cavs are not expecting to have a full roster going into the season opener. They have a few minimum-level players on their radar for the 14th spot, but nothing lined up quite yet. They might even wait until after camp to see which players get released from other NBA teams.

The Chicago Bulls have signed free agents Kaiser Gates and JaKarr Sampson to round out their 2018-19 training camp roster. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed. Gates (6-8, 227) played in three games on the Bulls’ 2018 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League team, averaging 6.7 points per game. Prior to his Summer League experience, Gates played three seasons at Xavier (2015-18), appearing in in 97 games (22 starts). He finished his career with an average of 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Gates’ statistical averages improved in each season at Xavier, averaging 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds per game and scoring in double figures in 11 games in his final season. As a junior in 2017-18, his .378 shooting percentage from behind the arc ranked second on the Big East-champion Musketeers.

The L.A. Clippers today announced their 2018-19 training camp roster. The team signed free-agent forward Desi Rodriguez to bring the roster to 20 players. Rodriguez, 22, 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. The 6’6”, 220-pound swingman 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. A native of the Bronx, NY, Rodriguez went undrafted in 2018.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team’s roster for Grizzlies 2018 Training Camp, presented by Mid-South Ford Dealers. The Grizzlies will hold training camp from Sept. 25-28 at the Grizzlies Built Ford Tough Training Facility inside FedExForum. The Grizzlies’ training camp roster, included below, will be available to the media at the team’s annual Media Day starting at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at FedExForum along with coaches, players and select members of the front office.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Marcus Lee. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lee began his collegiate career at the University of Kentucky before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley for his senior season where he appeared in 32 games (all starts) with the Golden Bears last season and averaged 11.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.63 blocks, 1.3 assists and 27.8 minutes while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has signed guard Joe Chealey to the team’s training camp roster. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Chealey, an undrafted free agent out of the College of Charleston, participated in the 2018 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League with the Hornets. In four games, he averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.4 minutes per game. The Orlando, Florida, native played in 129 collegiate games over four years (2014-18) for the Cougars, finishing his career with averages of 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per game.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has signed guard Jaylen Barford and forwards Zach Smith and Isaiah Wilkins to the team’s training camp roster. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In two years at Arkansas, the 6-3 Barford averaged 15.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.3 minutes per game in 71 contests. An undrafted free agent, Barford recorded averages of 17.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 35 games as a senior in 2017-18. The Jackson, Tennessee, native finished the season amongst the SEC leaders in the following categories: field goals made (first, 224), points scored (third, 628), points per game (third, 17.9), three-point field goals (fourth, 87) and field goal percentage (sixth, .470). As a junior, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed DeAndre Liggins. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Liggins, who was originally signed by the HEAT to two 10-day contracts in 2014, spent two seasons with Miami’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, helping them capture the 2016 Championship after appearing in 34 games (33 starts) and averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.06 steals and 38.4 minutes while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three-point range and 71.1 percent from the foul line.
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