Salah Mejri Inks Deal In Chinese League

Salah Mejri of the Dallas Mavericks

While he’s never played more than a bit role for the franchise, Salah Mejri had become a familiar face for the Dallas Mavericks over the course of the past four seasons. Now, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports that the 33-year-old Tunisian has signed a deal with Liaoning of the CBA.

The 7’2″ center has served as a reserve big man and occasional spot starter for the Mavs and will now suit up with the Flying Leopards as a temporary replacement for Brandon Bass.

While Mejri’s size, age and speed limit him in the modern NBA, he remains an imposing physical force. In the 19 2018-19 contests where he saw at least 10 minutes of action, Mejri averaged 5.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Mejri’s CBA signing officially brings to an end the pipe dream of having the 7’7″ Boban Marjanovic share a locker room with the 7’3″ Kristaps Porzingis and 7’2″ Mejri. For now.

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Blazers Sign Moses Brown To Training Camp Deal

Moses Brown of UCLA

The Portland Trail Blazers have inked UCLA big man Moses Brown to a training camp deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. The 7’1″ center played one single NCAA season and averaged 9.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Brown went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft but signed on with the Houston Rockets’ summer league team. He only saw brief action in one summer league game in Las Vegas.

While the Blazers can’t offer the biggest incentive of an exhibit 10 deal since they don’t have a G League squad, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes that they can still offer one, since that attachment would also allow them to convert the deal into a two-way pact.

The Blazers have just 14 players, which means they could bring aboard one additional player when rosters condense at the start of the season, but perhaps more likely is them extending a two-way contract offer if they’re impressed with the raw center.

Portland has one additional two-way slot remaining, the other already occupied by Jaylen Hoard.

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Suns To Sign Haywood Highsmith To Exhibit 10 Deal

Haywood Highsmith of the Philadelphia 76ers

The Phoenix Suns are expected to ink 22-year-old forward Haywood Highsmith to an exhibit 10 contract, Gina Mizell of The Athletic reports. Highsmith spent the 2018-19 campaign split between the Philadelphia 76ers and Delaware Blue Coats on a two-way deal.

The Wheeling Jesuit University product averaged 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game during his G League opportunities last season and will now have financial incentive to stick with Phoenix’s affiliate in Northern Arizona.

Given that the Suns already have 15 guaranteed contracts that they can bring into the regular season, Highsmith will have his work cut out for him making the team’s standard roster, but they do have one two-way slot available.

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Celtics Add Kaiser Gates To Training Camp Roster

Boston is bringing in forward Kaiser Gates, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Gates is expected to compete with Tacko Fall and Javonte Green for the team’s 15th roster spot.

The Celtics have 14 guaranteed contracts on the books for the upcoming season, as our Roster Count page shows. The team’s two-way contracts are spoken for (Max Strus, Tremont Waters), leaving the three prospects to compete for the last spot on the team, barring any unforeseen roster move by General Manager Danny Ainge.

Gates, who played his collegiate ball at Xavier University, is a 6’8″ forward who went undrafted in 2018. He caught on with the Windy City Bulls of the G League where he made .375 of his three point attempts. Boston is unable to add him to its G League squad if he doesn’t make the NBA team, as Chicago’s affiliate still owns his G League rights.

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Hornets Signing Ahmed Hill To Two-Way Deal

The Charlotte Hornets are signing Ahmed Hill to a two-way deal for the 2018-19 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The shooting guard will split time between the team’s big league club and their Greensboro Swarm affiliate.

Hill, 23, is coming off his best collegiate season as a senior at Virginia Tech. In a career-high 35.3 minutes, Hill averaged 13.1 points and 3.9 rebounds. He shot 44 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Augusta, Georgia native further demonstrated his shooting prowess in six Summer League contests with the Brooklyn Nets. Hill averaged 6.8 points on 44.8 percent shooting.

With the signing, the Hornets have brought their training camp roster to the limit of 20 players. Hill, along with Robert Franks, will be Charlotte’s two-way players.

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William McDowell-White’s Rockets Deal Converted To Two-Way

William McDowell-White

The Houston Rockets have converted Australian export William McDowell-White’s training camp deal into a two-way contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. The 21-year-old will join Shamorie Ponds, plying his trade for the franchise’s big league squad and their G League affiliate.

McDowell-White suited up for Fresno State during the 2016-17 season but has bounced between German and Australian league’s ever since. He declared as an early entrant for the 2018 NBA Draft but ultimately withdrew to try again in 2019.

McDowell-White played sparingly for the Rockets during summer league in Las Vegas, averaging just eight minutes per game across four contests.

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Rockets Convert Shamorie Ponds’ Deal Into Two-Way

Shamorie Ponds of the St. John's Red Storm

The Houston Rockets have converted Shamorie Ponds’ training camp deal into a two-way contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.That means the St. John’s product will stick with the franchise when rosters condense before opening day of the regular season.

Ponds went undrafted last June but was a fringe first-round talent heading into the draft and will bolster Houston’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley. Of course he’ll also get 45 days with the big league squad, without counting toward the team’s overall payroll.

Ponds averaged 19.7 points and 5.1 assists in his junior season with the Red Storm and could conceivably convince the Rockets to convert his two-way deal into a standard contract at some point during the season given that Houston has just ten players on guaranteed deals at this point.

For now, however, Ponds will occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, the other occupied by William McDowell-White, another training camp deal signee that Houston elected to promote into a two-way player.

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