Veteran NBA big man Jeff Ayres is back in the D-League, according to a press release issued today by the Los Angeles D-Fenders. The Lakers’ NBADL affiliate announced that it has acquired Ayres’ rights as a returning player.
Ayres, who was named a D-League All-Star last season after being selected first overall in the NBADL draft, averaged 16.2 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in 27 total contests for the Idaho Stampede and L.A. D-Fenders. The 29-year-old was acquired in a trade by the D-Fenders during the season, and received an NBA call-up just two games later, when he signed with the Clippers.
After playing on two 10-day contracts, Ayres signed with the Clippers for the remainder of the 2015/16 season. He appeared in 17 games for L.A., averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.3 RPG in limited playing time. Ayres has also played for the Trail Blazers, Pacers, and Spurs over the course of his six-year NBA career, winning a championship in 2014 with San Antonio.
Ayres signed with Russia’s CSKA Moscow earlier this year, but was let go by the club last week and was said at the time to be seeking an NBA return. Previously represented by Impact Sports Basketball, Ayres hired BDA Sports for representation, and will now attempt to showcase his skills in the D-League as he looks for a new NBA home. The man formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph is expected to suit up tonight for the D-Fenders against the Salt Lake City Stars.