So far this offseason, we haven't seen many NBA free agents sign with teams overseas, but that could change in the coming weeks, as NBA roster spots dry up. In many cases, a player's best chance at guaranteed money could come in Europe. Here are the latest updates and rumors on NBA players signing overseas:
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports confirms the Kleiza news below, tweeting that the ex-Raptors has signed a two-year contract with Fenerbahce Ulker to become one of the highest-paid players in Europe.
- According to various reports out of Turkey, Linas Kleiza and Fenerbahce Ulker have reached an agreement in principle on a lucrative two-year contract, as Uğur Türker of EuroBasket.com tweets. Kleiza was amnestied by the Raptors earlier this month, with reports at the time suggesting he was likely to return overseas.
- Former Cavs big man Samardo Samuels has officially reached an agreement with Italy's Olimpia Milano, the team announced on its website. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando provides an English translation of the club's press release.
- Carchia also reports that former Warrior and Sixer Charles Jenkins has agreed to terms with Red Star of Belgrade. Jenkins' agent, Misko Raznatovic, tweets that his client has yet to sign anything, but according to Carchia's source, the deal is done.
It sounds like the Knicks will fall short of landing Samuel Dalembert, who's close to a deal with the Mavs. As Knicks GM Glen Grunwald and company search for free agent help, they're limited to handing out no more than the $1.7MM portion of their mini mid-level exception that remains after the team used part of it to re-sign Pablo Prigioni. Still, the team has plenty of targets, as we detail:
- The Knicks are in the lead for Kenyon Martin, a source tells Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. Since Martin played on the Knicks last season, the team can ink him using Non-Bird rights, but that would still provide a salary of no more than about $1.6MM.
- Nate Robinson, Aaron Brooks, Daniel Gibson, Charles Jenkins, John Lucas III, A.J. Price, Nolan Smith, Sebastian Telfair and Toure Murry are all point guards the Knicks are considering, Zwerling writes.
- Robinson would consider signing with the Knicks, but only if he doesn't receive a more lucrative offer from another team, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. The team reached out to the diminuative point guard recently, but as we heard yesterday, a few other clubs have interest in him, too.
- Jerome Jordan, Liam McMorrow and Jeremy Tyler will draw close attention from the Knicks during the Las Vegas summer league, according to Zwerling. There's a "big chance" Tyler will draw an invitation to Knicks training camp, perhaps with a partial guarantee, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
- Mike Woodson is intent on keeping Carmelo Anthony at power forward, prompting the club to search for a veteran small forward to use alongside him. Zwerling points to Raja Bell, Josh Childress, Dahntay Jones, Metta World Peace, Mickael Pietrus and Shawne Williams as some of the small forwards drawing the Knicks' eye.
- Al Harrington, who seems to be drawing close to a buyout from the Magic, is another Knicks target, Berman adds.
With free agent rumors coming in fast, we have enough updates on point guards alone to dedicate a whole post to the position. Here's the latest:
- Chris Broussard of ESPN.com hears the Pistons are intent on bringing back Jose Calderon (Twitter link), though an earlier report indicated that the team is unwilling to exceed a deal worth $7MM a year to re-sign him.
- Sebastian Telfair has drawn interest from the Knicks, Nets, Heat, and Thunder, sources tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (Twitter link).
- Finding a starting point guard remains a top priority for the Mavericks, who hope to have Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel compete for backup minutes, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News suggests keeping an eye on Greivis Vasquez, though he's more of a secondary option for the Mavs, since the Pelicans may not be inclined to trade him even with Jrue Holiday on board.
- The Jazz, who had plenty of free agents come off their roster last night, were no doubt busy, but they did reach out to Jamaal Tinsley, tweets Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune.
- Nemanja Nedovic, who says he's ready to come stateside next season if the Warriors want him, was "shocked" when Golden State drafted him. He had worked out for the Pistons, Cavaliers, Hawks, Knicks, and Bucks, but not the Warriors, prior to the draft (Twitter links via Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle and Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group).
- The Sixers didn't extend a qualifying offer to Charles Jenkins, making him an unrestricted free agent, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The Celtics are in the market for a free agent big man, and we heard this morning that the club is considering signing D.J. White to a 10-day contract. White isn't the only player Boston has its eye on, however. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Jerome Jordan, Tim Ohlbrecht, Shavlik Randolph, and Louis Amundson are among the other players being considered by the Celtics.
Here are a few more post-trade-deadline notes out of the Atlantic Division:
- 76ers GM Tony DiLeo spoke to the media about acquiring Charles Jenkins in what he calls a "no-risk" move, and said that he talked to every NBA team about potential trades before the deadline (video link via NBA.com).
- As Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, DiLeo also said that re-signing Andrew Bynum remains "Plan A" for the Sixers, but that the team's cap flexibility allows for "Plan B"s as well.
- Knicks GM Glen Grunwald told ESPN Radio that the Knicks had "a number of inquiries" on Iman Shumpert, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
- While Nets fans may be disappointed that the club couldn't land Josh Smith yesterday, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post thinks hanging on to assets will benefit the team in the long run.
- Although a Lithuanian report suggested that injury woes could put Linas Kleiza's career in jeopardy, the forward told reporters today that's not true, and that he expects to return soon (Twitter link via Holly MacKenzie of Sportsnet).
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
- The Houston Rockets traded Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns and Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a future second-round pick.
- The Miami Heat traded Dexter Pittman and a future second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Ricky Sanchez and cash considerations.
- The Washington Wizards traded Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exception and the rights to Georgios Printezis. The Blazers waived Ronnie Price to clear a roster spot for Maynor.
- The Thunder also acquired Ronnie Brewer from the New York Knicks for a future second-round pick.
- The Atlanta Hawks traded Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dahntay Jones.
- The Suns traded Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a future second-round pick.
- The Orlando Magic traded J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ishmael Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and Doron Lamb.
- In a separate deal, the Magic traded Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for Hakim Warrick.
- The Golden State Warriors traded Jeremy Tyler to the Hawks for a second-round pick. They also traded Charles Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers for an additional second-round pick.
3:15pm: The Warriors acquired a pair of second-round picks, one from the Sixers and one from the Hawks, in their respective deals, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The Sixers' pick is top-55 protected, GM Tony DiLeo tells Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com (Twitter link).
2:59pm: The trade deadline was nearly an hour ago now, but news of a couple deals is still trickling in. According to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links), the Warriors reached agreements to send out Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler in two separate trades. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that Jenkins is heading to the 76ers while Tyler is going to the Hawks.
Golden State had been looking for a way to get under the luxury-tax threshold, and was able to do so by moving two minimum-salary players like Jenkins and Tyler. As such, no players will be coming back to the Warriors in either deal.
Jenkins, the Warriors' second-round pick in 2011, was notoriously kept on the team's roster in place of Jeremy Lin prior to the '11/12 season. He has played in 47 games for the team this year, though he averages just 6.2 minutes per contest. He's on an expiring contract, so the Sixers will have the option of offering him a qualifying offer and making him a restricted free agent at season's end.
Tyler, 21, hasn't seen as much playing time for the Warriors this season, though he's averaged 15.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG in a handful of games for the D-League's Santa Cruz Warriors. The 6'10" youngster, who was selected five picks ahead of Jenkins in the 2011 draft, has a non-guaranteed contract for next season, so the Hawks will have a chance to decide whether or not to bring him back at a reasonable price.
Both Jenkins and Tyler are earning $762,195 this season, so moving them takes the Warriors about $300K below the tax. That gives them enough wiggle room to add players on 10-day contracts or perhaps a rest-of-season deal.
Just to make sure they don't slip through the cracks, here are a few odds and ends from overnight and this morning, as the trade deadline creeps closer….
In his latest piece for CBSSports.com, Ken Berger echoes a rumor we've heard recently, writing that concerns about increasing luxury-tax penalties may make teams reluctant to deal this week. While there may be something to that idea, I'd be surprised if we don't end up seeing a handful of trades consummated by Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm CST. And Berger also shares the latest on a few possibilities, so let's round up the highlights from his column:
- The Clippers are willing to listen on Eric Bledsoe inquiries, but are reluctant to move him as long as there's even the slightest doubt that Chris Paul will re-sign this summer.
- Talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett are dormant for now. Rival execs believe that Danny Ainge recognizes that if he trades Garnett, he'll probably have to trade Paul Pierce as well, and vice versa. If the C's don't blow things up, moving Jason Terry to get under the luxury tax will also be a consideration.
- Other teams who could attempt to get under the luxury tax: The Bulls, by moving Richard Hamilton, and the Warriors, who could try to deal a couple of minimum-salary players like Jeremy Tyler, Kent Bazemore, or Charles Jenkins.
- Bergers suggests that Eric Maynor, who we heard is being shopped by the Thunder, could be a fit for the Jazz, but Utah is "consumed with the dilemma" of whether to trade Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. I'm sure if Oklahoma City approached the Jazz with an offer, they'd listen, but it doesn't sound like a priority for Utah at the moment.
- The Timberwolves are aggressively shopping draft picks in an attempt to acquire wing help. We heard a similar report from Adrian Wojnarowski last night.
With the most active weeks of the 2012 free agent period behind us, it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2013 free agency. Stephen Brotherson does just that today, ranking the best of the 2013 free agent class in a piece for HoopsWorld. There's a heavy Los Angeles presence at the top of his list, with Andrew Bynum coming in third, Chris Paul in second, and Lakers' trade target Dwight Howard in the top spot. I examined Bynum as a potential extension candidate earlier today, but here are a few other Tuesday notes on L.A.'s rivals in the Pacific Division:
- Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com notes that Charles Jenkins' contract with the Warriors becomes guaranteed if he's not waived by tomorrow. Despite the team's proximity to the tax threshold after agreeing to sign Carl Landry and Brandon Rush, Golden State will almost certainly be keeping Jenkins, according to GM Bob Myers. At this point, only about $200K of his 2012/13 salary is guaranteed, but as of tomorrow he'll be in line for his full $762,195 salary.
- Meanwhile, given their recent signings, the Warriors appear very unlikely to re-sign Dominic McGuire. According to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter), McGuire would like to return, but the Warriors think they can get similar production out of Draymond Green.
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines what the future holds for the Kings, pointing out that there's no guarantee where the team will play starting in 2013/14. Kyler says to keep an eye on Seattle, which is making progress toward building a new arena.