Several former Kansas Jayhawks to play for NBA teams in 2021 summer league

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NBA summer league basketball returns during the first 2 1/2 weeks of August after being called off a year ago because of COVID-19 protocols.

It’s an important if not critical time for several former University of Kansas players, including Marcus Garrett, who agreed to an Exhibit 10 training camp contract with the Miami Heat after not being selected in Thursday’s 2021 NBA Draft.

Also, there’s 2020 first-round pick Udoka Azubuike of the Utah Jazz as well as Devon Dotson, who signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls before the 2020-21 season after not being selected in the 2020 draft.

Garrett, a 6-foot-5, 22-year-old point guard/shooting guard from Dallas, is expected to debut for Miami during the four-team Sacramento Classic, set for Tuesday and Wednesday in Sacramento, California.

The Heat, who also will play in the Las Vegas Summer League Aug. 8-17, have signed several guards to assess in summer league action. Garrett is joined by Tyson Carter (Greece), Dejon Jarreau (Houston), A.J. Lawson (South Carolina), R.J. Nembhard (TCU), Javonte Smart (LSU), Dru Smith (Missouri), D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State), Max Strus (Miami) and Gabe Vincent (Miami).

Azubuike, who averaged 3.8 minutes a game in 15 games for the Utah Jazz during an injury-plagued rookie season in the NBA, will play for the Jazz summer league team in the upcoming Salt Lake City Summer League, then in Vegas.

The Salt Lake Summer League will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Two Utah Jazz teams will be joined by the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs in the event.

Azubuike, 21 from Lagos, Nigeria, suffered a severe ankle injury in an NBA G League game and missed most of the 2020-21 season. Utah recently traded big man Derrick Favors to Oklahoma City, lending some to believe the 6-10 Azubuike will be counted on as backup big man to Rudy Gobert in 2021-22. Azubuike is ticketed to earn $2,075,880 in 2021-22.

The Chicago Bulls, meanwhile, have extended a $1.49 million qualifying offer to Dotson, according to NBA writer Keith Smith of Spotrac. This means the 6-2, 22-year-old Dotson is a restricted free agent. The Bulls have the right to match any offer Dotson might accept in free agency.

Chicago native Dotson will play for the Bulls summer league team in Vegas.

“Given how well Dotson played for the Bulls in a limited role last season (2.1 points per game in 11 games), there should be some excitement surrounding his potential impact in the few games in Summer League,” wrote Andrew Miller of fansided.com.

“The run in the Vegas Summer League starts on the afternoon of Aug. 9 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Dotson will be looking to move up his role in this Bulls’ rotation with a solid run in Summer League (in which Bulls play at least five games),” Miller added.

Newman on Utah’s summer roster

Former Kansas guard Malik Newman will play for the Utah Jazz summer league team, Newman’s representation, Young Money APAA Sports, announced Friday.

Newman, a 6-3 native of Jackson, Mississippi, played at KU during the 2017-18 season after sitting out a season following his transfer from Mississippi State. He was not taken in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Newman, 24, averaged 14.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds a game in 19 games for Ironi Nahariya of of the Israeli Premier League in 2020-21. He started last season with Frutti Extra Bursaspor of the Turkish Super League where he averaged 12.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 14 games.

Newman played for Canton of the NBA G League in 2019-20 and for Canton, Ohio and Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the G League in 2018-19.

Lawsons to play for Celtics

Former KU forwards Dedric Lawson and his brother, K.J. Lawson, will play for the Boston Celtics summer league team in Las Vegas, according to Chris Grenham of Forbes Sports.

Dedric Lawson, a 6-9, 23-year-old native of Memphis, averaged 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season for Goyang in South Korea. If he doesn’t make an NBA roster, he will play for Besiktas Sompo Istanbul in Turkey in 2021-22. Lawson averaged 13.6 points and 8.0 rebounds a game for Austin, Texas in the G League in 2019-20. He averaged 19.4 points and 10.3 rebounds at KU in 2018-19.

K.J. Lawson, a 6-7, 25-years-old native of Memphis, played for the Worcester Wolves in England in 2020-21. He averaged 6.8 points and 4.7 boards. K.J. averaged 3.1 points and 2.0 rebounds a game at KU in 2018-19 then transferred to Tulane where he averaged 13.1 points and 5.5 boards in 2019-20.

Milton Doyle on Portland’s roster

Former Loyola of Chicago guard Milton Doyle, who started his college career at KU, is slated to play for the Portland Trail Blazers in summer league. Doyle, a 6-4, 27-year-old Chicago native, averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 assists a game last season for Alma Pallacanestro Trieste in Italy.

Devonté Graham is a restricted free agent

The Charlotte Hornets on Sunday extended a qualifying offer (worth $4.7 million) to point guard Devonté Graham, which would make him a restricted free agent, the Charlotte Observer reported.

As a restricted free agent, the Hornets could keep the 6-1 Graham by matching offers from other teams.

Graham, 26, was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft. He averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 assists last season after averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per contest for the Hornets in 2019-20.

According to Luke Adams of Hoopsrumors.com, “while he (Graham) could accept that one-year offer, it’s more likely that he’ll work out a more lucrative – and longer-term – agreement with the Hornets or another team.” Reporters in Charlotte have indicated the team likely will sign former KU point guard Graham to a long-term deal.

Svi Mykhailiuk is also a restricted free agent

The Oklahoma City Thunder have extended a qualifying offer (worth $2.08 million) to Svi Mykhailiuk, Hoopshype.com’s Michael Scotto reported Sunday. Thus the 24-year-old former KU shooting guard will enter the market as a restricted free agent.

The 6-7 Mykhailiuk averaged 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30 games with Oklahoma City a year ago. He started the season with Detroit and was traded for Hamidou Diallo. He was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018.

Kelly Oubre to sign with Spurs?

Former KU wing Kelly Oubre, who is an unrestricted free agent after finishing last season with Golden State, may sign with San Antonio, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News.

“UFA small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has interest in the #Spurs, with his camp believing he would be a good fit in San Antonio and would flourish under Pop (Gregg Popovich) and the developmental staff, a league source said,” Orsborn wrote on Twitter.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote that Dallas, Miami and New York also may have interest in Oubre, a 25-year-old, six-year veteran from New Orleans. The 6-7 Oubre averaged 15.4 points a game in 55 games with the Warriors last season.

He’s also played for Washington and Phoenix in his NBA career.

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