DeLaurier becomes first elite Canadian Basketball League player to sign with NBA club

The increase in COVID-19 cases around the NBA is prompting clubs to take unconventional measures to fill the rosters.

40-year-old “Iso Joe” Johnson got real minutes on the NBA floor in 2021 on Wednesday. And on Thursday, Javin DeLaurier became the first player to play for a Canadian Elite Basketball League franchise. (CEBL) to be signed by an NBA club.

The Milwaukee Bucks announced Thursday that they have signed the 6-foot-10 forward / center to a 10-day contract under the COVID Hardship Allowance.

In March 2021, the unedited Duke product was signed by the Niagara River Lions of CEBL. In 11 games with the club, he averaged 14.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

The River Lions finished 10-4, advancing to the CEBL Championship game, where they lost to the Edmonton Sting. DeLaurier has been named to the All-CEBL First team.

After the CEBL season, the 23-year-old returned to the other side of the border and competed in the 2021 NBA Summer League. In September, he signed a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks NBA G League affiliate. , Wisconsin Herd.

In 12 games this season with the Herd, DeLaurier has averaged 7.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 17.0 minutes, shooting 60 percent from the field. DeLaurier appeared in seven games for the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets G league affiliate, in 2020.

“We are incredibly happy for Javin as he signs his contract today, becoming the first CEBL player to move to the NBA,” CEBL CEO and Commissioner Mike Morreale said in a statement. “As a league, we celebrate Javin’s accomplishments and thank him for making our league a step in his basketball journey. We can’t wait to listen.

The CEBL currently has seven players on the NBA G League rosters.

The Bucks are third in the East with a 20-13 record; they face the Dallas Mavericks (15-15) Thursday night.

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