One of the more insulting phrases in basketball circles is "sign-and-retire", a clever quip for players who ink lucrative contracts and seemingly transition into cruise control. Today, ESPN.com's John Hollinger (Insider sub. req'd) looked at several players who have been underwhelming so far in 2012/13 after signing big money deals. The Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova signed a five-year, $40MM deal this summer but now has a 9.69 PER to go along with 35.3% shooting from the floor. Other disappointing players highlighted by Hollinger include the Celtics' Jeff Green, the Pacers' Roy Hibbert, and the Raptors' Landry Fields. Here's more from around the Association..
- Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside looked at players in the D-League who could potentially help the Lakers solve their point guard problem. The Lakers could turn their own affiliate and call upon Darius Johnson-Odom or Courtney Fortson. Pilato also suggests that the Lakers could re-unite with Andrew Goudelock, who is currently playing with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
- When asked if the Clippers can turn the corner, Mavs center Chris Kaman responded, "If [owner Donald] Sterling sold the team they might be able to," Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram tweets.
- Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said that he would like to get a new contract as coach and "be the new owners' guy" going forward, tweets Rob Fischer of Sports 560 AM. The Grizzlies were recently purchased by 34-year-old Robert Pera, who is joined by a group of high-profile minority owners.
- Derrick Caracter has signed a contract with Israel's Bnei Herzliya, according to David Pick of Eurobasket (via Twitter). The former Laker spent last season in the D-League with three different teams and was on the Hawks' summer league team.
10:56am: Sean Williams has also signed with a Chinese team, joining McCants on the Foshan Dralions, according to Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com (via Twitter). Williams was waived by the Rockets earlier this summer and drew some interest from the Timberwolves and Knicks, but didn't land an NBA deal.
10:20am: Gilbert Arenas has officially signed with the Shanghai Sharks, the team announced on its website (Chinese link). Reports earlier this month indicated that Arenas had agreed to sign with Yao Ming's Sharks, after a verbal agreement with the Guangdong Southern Tigers fell through.
While Arenas is the biggest name heading to China this week, he's not the only former NBA veteran signing overseas. According to a NetEase report (translation via HoopsHype), forward Ike Diogu has signed with Guangdong, with the team waiving Derrick Caracter to clear room. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was in camp with the Suns last month before being released.
Another 2005 lottery pick will also be playing in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets that Rashad McCants will join the Foshan Dralions. According to Stein, McCants' scoring ability has kept him on the radar of NBA teams, though the former UNC standout hasn't appeared in an NBA game since the 2008/09 season. The Pacers were one club that displayed some interest in McCants before he landed his deal in China, tweets Stein.
Arenas, Diogu, and McCants will all be eligible to return stateside and catch on with an NBA team before the playoffs begin, since the CBA regular season ends in February.
Four of the five teams in the Pacific Division stand at least a reasonable chance to improve in 2012/13. The Lakers, last year's first-place team, brought in Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison. The Clippers will have Jamal Crawford and a healthy Chauncey Billups. The Warriors will finally get to see Andrew Bogut on the floor, and the Kings added another high lottery pick with No. 5 overall selection Thomas Robinson. The only team that figures to take a step back is the Suns, and there are a couple items of interest from Phoenix this afternoon:
- Suns executives believe yesterday's three-team deal that sent Robin Lopez to the Hornets and brought back Wesley Johnson represents a key point in the team's rebuilding phase, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic writes. The deal was helped along by draft picks and cash the Suns acquired when they sent Steve Nash to the Lakers, team officials said.
- Former Suns and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said if he were still coaching in New York, he would have "walked to Phoenix" to persuade Nash to sign with the Knicks, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. The Knicks were seen as frontrunners for the two-time MVP before he wound up with L.A.
- Former Lakers reserve Derrick Caracter didn't see much playing time in the summer league for the Hawks, but Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld expects the 6'9" free agent power forward to get a training camp invite (Twitter link).
We'll round up today's news from the D-League and international circuits here, with the latest up top:
- Guard Justin Dentmon has been named D-League MVP, RealGM.com reports. Dentmon, playing for the Austin Toros, was D-League's fourth-leading scorer at 22.8 PPG, and also racked up 5.5 APG and 1.6 steals a night. As our 10-day tracker shows, the University of Washington product signed a pair of 10-day deals with NBA teams this season, averaging 4.3 PPG and 1.7 APG in a total of six games with the Spurs and Raptors.
- Former Laker Derrick Caracter has signed with the Puerto Rican team Mets de Guaynabo, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports. Caracter, a 2010 second-round pick who appeared in 41 games for the Lakers last year, was waived by the team in February and let go by the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers last month.
We'll track today's notable international and D-League-related transactions here:
- After playing just one game for Piratas de Quebradillas in Puerto Rico, Rashad McCants was waived, according to Sportando. McCants is hoping his play in Puerto Rico will help propel an NBA comeback, but he's now been waived twice this week.
- The D-League's Idaho Stampede have waived another comeback-hopeful, Antoine Walker, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The team needed to add a player to the roster using Walker's spot while he tends to personal matters, says Spears. The Stampede could add Walker back to the roster this weekend (Twitter link).
- Derrick Caracter has been waived by the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, adds Spears. Caracter, who played 41 games for the Lakers last year, was waived this year before his contract became guaranteed for the season.
February 10th marks the day that all players on non-guaranteed contracts will have their deals guaranteed for the remainder of the season. However, if a team wants to meet that Friday deadline, it will need to make its decisions today, allowing its player(s) to pass through waivers in time.
Some non-guaranteed players, such as DeJuan Blair and Jeremy Lin, are in no danger of being waived. However, with a few dozen players on non-guaranteed deals across the league, there will be plenty of cuts before the day is out. Some of those players will sign 10-day contracts shortly after being cut, while others could join the D-League or find a place on our list of current unrestricted free agents.
We'll track all the day's decisions on non-guaranteed contracts right here, with the latest news up top:
- Other players who will have their contracts guaranteed for the remainder of the year: Ivan Johnson, Jannero Pargo, Jerry Stackhouse (Hawks), Cory Higgins (Bobcats), Brian Scalabrine, John Lucas (Bulls), Samardo Samuels, Alonzo Gee (Cavaliers), Sean Williams (Mavericks), Julyan Stone (Nuggets), Vernon Macklin, Damien Wilkins (Pistons), Dominic McGuire, Chris Wright (Warriors), Sundiata Gaines, Keith Bogans (Nets), Steve Novak, Jerome Jordan (Knicks), Ryan Reid (Thunder), DeAndre Liggins (Magic), Lavoy Allen, Francisco Elson (Sixers), Danny Green, Gary Neal (Spurs), Jeremy Evans (Jazz).
- The Jazz will guarantee Jamaal Tinsley's contract, according to Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter).
- The Pistons are keeping guard Walker Russell, agent Giovanni Funicello told HoopsHype (via Twitter).
- The Hornets have waived DaJuan Summers and Carldell Johnson, league sources tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- The Rockets waived Jeff Adrien, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The move clears a roster spot for Greg Smith.
- The Wizards have waived Hamady N'Diaye, according to a team release.
- Chris Johnson received a call from Trail Blazers GM Chad Buchanan this morning saying his contract would be guaranteed, tweets Mike Tokito of The Oregonian.
- The Celtics will hang on to Greg Stiemsma and guarantee his deal, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
- The Lakers have waived Derrick Caracter. Caracter broke the news himself, tweeting "It's over before it begun!!! .... On to the next chapter of my life" (Twitter links). The Lakers will hang on to Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, and Darius Morris, tweets Mike Breshnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Clippers have cut Solomon Jones, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).
- The Heat have waived Mickell Gladness, the team announced (Twitter link). Miami's other two players on non-guaranteed deals, Eddy Curry and Terrel Harris, look safe, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
- The Grizzlies have waived Josh Davis, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- The Spurs announced they've waived Malcolm Thomas, who was assigned to the team's D-League affiliate last week.
Zach Links contributed to this post.