The Nets declined to extend the required tender necessary to keep the draft rights to Xavier Thames, the 59th overall pick from 2014, so he’s free to negotiate a deal with any NBA team, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Brooklyn had until the league’s deadline today to make the former San Diego State shooting guard an offer of at least a non-guaranteed minimum salary for one year.
The move is somewhat surprising, since the Nets have only 18 players, with just 12 who have fully guaranteed contracts, and NBA teams are allowed as many as 20 players for the preseason and 15 for the regular season. Brooklyn seemingly had room to make the required tender, in which case the worst scenario would have seen Thames sign it and fail to win a regular season roster spot, meaning the Nets would have lost his rights when they placed him on waivers. That would have given Brooklyn a chance to see him perform against others in training camp, but it appears that the Nets decided they have already seen enough.
The 24-year-old wasn’t dazzling in summer league this July, averaging 4.0 points in 12.6 minutes per game across eight appearances, with 4 for 13 three-point shooting. Thames shot 37.2% from behind the arc as a senior in college, but his stroke has appeared to desert him since, as he hit on just 28.0% of his three-pointers in 18 regular season games after joining the D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants last season He went 2 for 10 from long distance in the D-League playoffs and connected on 28.6% of his three-pointers earlier in the season with Sevilla of Spain.
The Raptors originally drafted Thames, but they traded his rights to the Nets that same night in exchange for cash. Brooklyn used cash to acquire three 2014 second-rounders, but with Cory Jefferson off to the Suns, Markel Brown is the only one remaining on the Nets.
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