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Grand Rapids Drive news gathered from around the net.

Chane Behanan To Sign In D-League

Former Louisville forward and NCAA champion Chane Behanan has committed to sign in the NBA Development League and enter its draft, a source told RealGM.

After going unselected in June’s NBA Draft, Behanan discussed deals with overseas teams and came close to signing with a club in Germany.

In three seasons at Louisville, Behanan, 21, averaged 9.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 91 games. Behanan was a starter on Louisville’s title team in 2013.

Last December, Rick Pitino dismissed Behanan from the university for violating school policy. Behanan attempted to transfer to Colorado State University, but the 6-foot-7 forward didn’t play a game there.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Magic Name Bill Peterson Head Coach Of BayHawks

The Orlando Magic have named Bill Peterson as head coach of its D-League team, the Erie BayHawks.

“We are excited to welcome Bill (Peterson) and his family,” said Hennigan. “Bill’s passion for teaching and development fit seamlessly into our vision of creating a culture of collaboration and synergy between the Orlando Magic and Erie Bayhawks. His wealth of knowledge and experience will help our players fulfill their ultimate basketball potential.”

"When speaking with Bill, it's clear that he’s committed to developing our players and has a strong desire to win," said BayHawks majority owner Steve Demetriou. "We're looking forward to him becoming a part of the Erie community and leading our team as we begin our new affiliation with the Orlando Magic."

Peterson spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks from 2007-13. Before joining the Bucks, he served as associate head coach at Colorado State University for seven seasons (2000-07).

Via RealGM Staff Report

Thanasis Antetokounmpo Turned Down Significant Money In Europe To Remain In D-League

Thanasis Antetokounmpo chose to play in the D-League for just $25,000 while turning down significant financial offers in Europe.

Antetokounmpo wants to play in the NBA and believes playing for the New York Knicks' D-League affiliate will help accomplish that goal.

According to agent Tim Lotsos, Varese offered Antetokounmpo a two-year deal worth $550,000 with an opt-out to join the NBA after one year. Olympiakos in Greece and Sevilla in Spain also offered him deals.

“Amazing isn’t it?,’’ Lotsos told The Post in a phone call from Greece. “To my surprise, he passed on it. He’s very ambitious and determined to make the NBA. It’s a big sacrifice. It could’ve really put him ahead of schedule in his career. I didn’t try to force him. I wanted him to make his own decision.’’

Last season, before Thanasis was drafted, Antetokounmpo played in the D-League.

“He spoke with Steve Mills and Phil Jackson,’’ Lotsos said. “He felt he’s in their plans in the future. They don’t have room for him on the roster, but they supported the idea of keeping [him] within the system and working and improving. He felt they do have a plan for him but they didn’t guarantee anything for next year.’’

Via Marc Berman/New York Post

Thunder Name Mark Daigneault Head Coach Of D-League Affiliate

The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault as the head coach of its D-League team.

“Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization,” said Presti. “His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.”

Daigneault joins the Thunder organization after spending the past four years working under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida where he most recently held the position of Assistant to the Head Coach. Last season, the Gators became the first SEC team to go 18-0 in conference play, and during Daigneault’s four years at Florida, the program posted a 120-30 record (.800) while advancing to the Elite Eight each season.

“Mark has been a valuable member of our staff the past four seasons, and I'm very happy to see him get this opportunity with a great organization,” said University of Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan. “We all wish him the best of luck and know he'll do a tremendous job.”

Prior to arriving at Florida, the Leominster, Mass. native spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Thanasis Antetokounmpo Joining Knicks' D-League Affiliate After Considering Europe Deals

After mulling between the NBA Development League and European clubs, New York draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo has decided to play next season with the Knicks’ affiliate in Westchester, sources told RealGM.

Antetokounmpo considered several significant contract offers in Europe if he elected to pass on a consecutive season in the D-League, but Knicks management made clear that it hoped Antetokounmpo would remain within the organization in 2014-15.

For now, the Knicks plan for Antetokounmpo to sign directly with Westchester, meaning no training camp deal, sources told RealGM. This allows the Knicks to maintain his rights into the D-League, leaving him off the available market as a free agent should he be released in camp participation.

Throughout Antetokounmpo’s decision-making process, Phil Jackson and Steve Mills reaffirmed their long-term vision for the 22-year-old forward, sources said. The Knicks have a full roster of guaranteed contracts at 15.

Antetokounmpo – the older brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo – was New York’s 51st overall selection in the NBA Draft in June. Thanasis Antetokounmpo showcased his defensive activity in five summer league appearances for the Knicks, and he averaged three points and nearly two rebounds per game.

Louis Labeyrie, the Knicks’ No. 57 pick in the draft, will continue to develop with his French team in Paris and could start discussions on an NBA contract next summer, a source told RealGM.

A scouted talent out of Greece, Antetokounmpo started his professional career a year ago with Delaware of the D-League. He averaged 12 points and 4.6 rebounds in 50 games for Delaware.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Phil Hubbard Could Become Head Coach Of D-Fenders

Phil Hubbard is the leading candidate to become head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, D-League affiliate for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hubbard played for the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Hubbard is a longtime assistant coach with a long tenure under Eddie Jordan with the Washington Wizards and previous stops in the D-League.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Jonnie West Named Santa Cruz Associate GM

The Golden State Warriors have promoted Jonnie West to associate general manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

West, 26, is the youngest son of Jerry West.

West has lived with his parents in Los Angeles, but he expects to move to San Francisco in September.

At West Virginia, Jonnie played in 77 games and earned letters in 2008, 09, 10 and 11 under Bob Huggins. He had been redshirted as a true freshman in 2007.

Via Mickey Furfari/Register Herald

Dean Cooper Named Head Coach Of D-League's Stampede

The Utah Jazz Jazz have named Dean Cooper as Head Coach of the Idaho Stampede.

Cooper spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets.

“We are pleased to welcome Dean to our organization," Dennis Lindsey said in a statement. "The D-League is a critical component in building teams and it begins with each affiliate’s head coach."

The Jazz hired Quin Snyder as their new head coach this offseason.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Otis Smith In Talks To Become Pistons' D-League Coach

Otis Smith is in talks with the Detroit Pistons about becoming head coach of their D-League franchise.

Stan Van Gundy and Smith worked together with the Orlando Magic.

Detroit's D-League franchise will play in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Smith was named GM in Orlando in May 2006 and was ultimately promoted to president of basketball operations before leaving the franchise.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Jamal Jones To Sign In D-League After Junior Season At Texas A&M

After leaving Texas A&M’s basketball program as a junior, Jamal Jones will sign in the NBA Development League in hopes of boosting his stock for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source told RealGM.

Jones is fresh off a breakout season for the Aggies, averaging a team-high 13.4 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Jones has hired agent Charles Briscoe for represenation.

The 6-foot-8 swingman also had considered transferring to another school before he decided to start his professional career in the D-League.

Jones, 21, transferred to Texas A&M after spending his first two collegiate seasons at Ole Miss (2011-12) and Lee College (2012-13).

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Grand Rapids Drive Archives

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Pursue Pro Career

Todd Mayo told RealGM that he plans to sign in the D-League and place his name in next June’s NBA Draft.

Agent Of Josh Huestis Proposed Delaying Rookie Contract By Going To D-League

Josh Huestis will receive approximately $25,000 instead of $750,000.

D-League President Dan Reed Leaving NBA For Facebook

Dan Reed is leaving the NBA after more than a decade of service to join Facebook as head of global sports partnerships.

Magic, BayHawks Enter Single Affiliation Partnership

The D-League now has eight single partnership affiliates.

Suns, Bakersfield Enter Single Affiliate D-League Partnership

The Suns become the record 15th NBA franchise to have a one-to-one relationship with an NBA D-League team, solidifying half of the NBA’s 30 teams as singly-affiliated.

Howard, Murphy, Covington, Jeffers, Hamilton Headline All-D-League Team

Ron Howard, Kevin Murphy, Robert Covington, Othyus Jeffers and Justin Hamilton were First Team selections.

NBA Announces List Of 75 Early Entry Candidates For Draft

The NBA has announced 75 early entry candidates for the 2014 NBA Draft, including 45 players from colleges and 30 International players.

Ron Howard, Othyus Jeffers Named D-League Co-MVPs

Ron Howard averaged 20.5 points to go with 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists, while Othyus Jeffers averaged 20.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

DeAndre Liggins Named D-League Defensive Player Of The Year

DeAndre Liggins appeared in 42 regular season games for the Skyforce, anchoring the defensive efforts of a Sioux Falls team that held their opponents to league-lows of only 45 percent shooting from the field and 100.1 points per 100 possessions.

Robert Covington Named D-League Rookie Of The Year

Robert Covington averaged 23.2 points, good for second-best in the NBA D-League, while shooting 44 percent from the field.

Warriors Recall Ognjen Kuzmic, Nemanja Nedovic From Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic from the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Magic To Enter Into Single-Affiliate Relationship With Bayhawks

The Magic will run basketball ops and the ownership will handle business operations and community relations.

Rockets Reassign Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington To D-League

The Rockets re-assigned Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Cavaliers Recall Sergey Karasev From Canton

Sergey Karasev will be available for the Cavaliers on Saturday against the Celtics.

Kings Assign Willie Reed To D-League

The Kings assigned forward Willie Reed to their D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns.

Rockets Sign Dexter Pittman, Release Greg Smith

Dexter Pittman has averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds with the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League.

Armor To Relocate To Grand Rapids In Hybrid Deal With Pistons

The Pistons will launch a D-League team in Grand Rapids with the Springfield Armor relocating.

Rockets Recall Robert Covington, Troy Daniels From D-League

The Rockets recalled Robert Covington and Troy Daniels from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League.

Glen Rice Jr. Enjoyed Building Endurance In D-League

Glen Rice Jr. averaged 14.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in the D-League.

Thunder Sign Grant Jerrett

Grant Jarrett joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
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