Vipers Complete Trade With Santa Cruz

By Vipers Communications | February 25, 2020

EDINBURG, Texas (Feb. 25, 2020) – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced today that they have acquired the returning players rights to Antonius Cleveland, the returning player rights to Jared Cunningham and the 2020 NBA G League 1st Round Draft via Agua Caliente from Santa Cruz Warriors. In return, RGV traded Jonathan Simmons and the returning player rights to Chris Walker to Santa Cruz.

Cleveland (6-5, 195 lbs.) most recently played for the Texas Legends as a two-way player for their NBA affiliate, Dallas Mavericks, during the 2019-20 campaign. He has averaged 14.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.2 minutes played with Texas.

This season, Cleveland has appeared in six games for the Mavericks shooting 33.3% from the field. Cleveland made his NBA debut on November 17, 2017 with the Mavericks and recorded 2 points and 2 rebounds in only 6 minutes of play.

During the 2017-18 season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas before heading to the Atlanta Hawks. During his short stint with the Hawks, Cleveland averaged 3.3 points, 1.0 rebounds in 4 appearances made.

Cunningham (6-4, 194 lbs.) appeared in 13 games, starting in 12, for Santa Cruz this 2019-20 season prior to being waived. He has averaged 10.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals.

Prior to Santa Cruz, Cunningham appeared for six NBA teams averaging 2.3 points and 7.2 minutes in 84 games played (three starts); Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks. He was selected 24th overall by the Cavaliers in the 2012 NBA Draft where his rights were acquired by the Mavericks.

Walker (6-9, 200 lbs.) was a member of the Vipers organization for four seasons and has played his entire NBA G League career with RGV thus far. Most recently, he was a part of the 2018-19 Championship team where he appeared in 49 games averaging 7.5 points (59.0% FG), 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks in 17.7 minutes of action.

During his career at RGV, Walker leads the all-time franchise records in first with 191 games played, first in rebounds (1,058), first in blocks (215), third in field goals made (626), fourth in both minutes played (3,280) and points scored (1,564).

Simmons (6-6, 195 lbs.) played for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018-19 campaign where he appeared in 15 games. Simmons averaged 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 45.3% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc.

Prior to the 76ers, Simmons also appeared in 41 games (9 starts) for the Orlando Magic during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists in 20.6 minutes of action. His best year in the NBA yet, was during the 2017-18 season as Simmons played for the Magic. He made 69 appearances (50 starts) while averaging 13.9 points, 3.5rebounds, 2.5 assists in 29.4 minutes of play.

 The Vipers are set for a three-game road trip as they tip-off the trip at Texas Legends on Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. CT.