As our 2016 Free Agent Tracker shows, a good deal of the players who finished the 2015/16 campaign with an NBA team but without a contract for 2016/17 have since signed new deals with NBA clubs. However, some players in that category ended up heading overseas for the coming season.
Signing a deal with a club in Europe, Asia, or elsewhere doesn’t necessarily mean that a player was unable to find any NBA teams interesting in adding him. Joining an international team can give a player the opportunity to earn a greater role, often serving as a primary option rather than as a 10th or 11th man. It can also be more lucrative and provide a little more cost certainty than an NBA deal — Norris Cole, for instance, reportedly received only minimum-salary offers from NBA clubs, but was able to land a multi-million dollar deal in China.
Listed below are the players who, according to our tracker, finished last season with an NBA team and reached an agreement with an international club. There are far more players who have some form of NBA experience and will head overseas — just this week, for example, camp invitees Jabari Brown and Richard Solomon, having been waived by NBA teams, agreed to terms with teams in China and France, respectively. They weren’t on regular-season NBA rosters in the spring though, so they’re not included on the list below.
NBA free agents who signed overseas:
- James Anderson, G/F (Kings): Darussafaka (Turkey)
- Jeff Ayres, F/C (Clippers): CSKA Moscow (Russia)
- Cameron Bairstow, F/C (Bulls): Brisbane Bullets (Australia)
- DeJuan Blair, C (Wizards): Jiangsu Tongxi (China)
- Norris Cole, PG (Pelicans): Shandong Golden Stars (China)
- Bryce Cotton, PG (Grizzlies): Anadolu Efes (Turkey)
- Duje Dukan, PF (Kings): Cedevita (Croatia)
- Andrew Goudelock, G (Rockets): Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
- Jordan Hamilton, SF (Pelicans): Tofas Bursa (Turkey)
- J.J. Hickson, F/C (Wizards): Fujian Sturgeons (China)
- Sergey Karasev, G/F (Nets): BC Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia)
- Shane Larkin, PG (Nets): Laboral Kutxa Baskonia (Spain)
- Devyn Marble, SG (Magic): Aris Thessaloniki (Greece)
- Tibor Pleiss, C (Jazz): Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (Turkey)
- Donald Sloan, G (Nets): Guangdong Southern Tigers (China)
- Greg Smith, F/C (Timberwolves): Istanbul BSB (Turkey)
- Amar’e Stoudemire, F/C (Heat): Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
- Jason Thompson, F/C (Raptors): Shandong Golden Stars (China)
- Shayne Whittington, PF (Pacers): Obradoiro CAB (Spain)
There are also a handful of players who didn’t finish the 2015/16 campaign with an NBA team, but are notable because they’re former top draft picks or All-Stars. Those players are noted below.