The only official NBA roster move so far today saw Jannero Pargo ink a rest-of-season deal with the Bobcats. However, a handful of teams overseas have been active, so let's check in on a few transactions of note....
It's a fairly quiet time of year for NBA transactions, but many former NBA players are still involved in the roster carousel with teams overseas. Here's the latest on a few of them:
While the majority of NBA executives are holding off on movement until December 15th, when most of the free agents signed this summer can be traded, there's plenty going on overseas. We'll round up the latest here.
D.J. Mbenga has agreed to sign with the Qingdao Double Star Eagles, the same Chinese team that Tracy McGrady plays for, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Mbenga was waived by the Mavericks on the eve of camp last month, despite an agreement that he would join the Mavs' D-League affiliate after going through training camp with Dallas.
Mbenga reportedly turned down offers from teams in China and Greece to sign with the Mavs, though it's unclear whether that Chinese offer was from Qingdao. The 31-year-old Mbenga played seven seasons in the NBA, though he hasn't seen action in the league since 2010/11, despite drawing interest from the Bucks at midseason last year. He has career NBA averages of 1.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game.
Since the Chinese season ends before the NBA regular season does, there's a chance Mbenga, as well as McGrady, could latch on in the Association if he impresses overseas.
Just a few days after officially signing them, the Mavericks have waived D.J. Mbenga and Tu Holloway, the team announced today in a press release. With Mbenga and Holloway no longer on the training camp roster, the team now has 16 players under contract.
With the preseason still a few days from getting underway, the timing of the moves seems a little unusual. Dallas was under no pressure to reduce its roster size yet, and I would've assumed the club would at least take a look at Mbenga and Holloway in camp this week. Perhaps the pair of players is being given the chance to explore other opportunities, though that's just my speculation.
Mbenga, 31, has appeared in 234 career games for the Mavericks, Warriors, Lakers, and Hornets, and was reportedly prepared to join Dallas' D-League affiliate if he didn't earn a spot on the team. Holloway, 23, was ranked as this year's 68th-best prospect by ESPN.com's Chad Ford but went undrafted. The 6'0" point guard averaged 17.5 PPG and 4.9 APG in his senior year at Xavier before playing for the Mavs' summer league squad in July.
The Mavericks are one of a handful of teams that get to open training camp early today, since they're headed overseas for part of the preseason. It brings to a close an offseason that was all about Plan B after they were spurned by Deron Williams. GM Donnie Nelson instead went about acquiring players on short-term deals that will allow the team to go after marquee free agents again in the future. The team took a step back last year after winning the championship in 2011, but not everyone believes that will be the case again this season.
The Mavericks have officially added three players to their training camp roster, according to a press release from the team. Dallas finalized its deals with Josh Akognon and D.J. Mbenga, which had been previously reported, and also added former Xavier guard Tu Holloway.
Akognon, who graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2009, averaged 23.9 PPG in his senior year, earning Big West Conference Player of the Year honors. Since going undrafted, he has played primarily overseas, including an impressive 2011/12 season with the CBA's DongGuan New Century Leopards. In 37 games for DongGuan, the 26-year-old was a top-five scorer in the league, averaging 28.2 PPG on 51% shooting.
Mbenga, 31, began his NBA career with the Mavericks in 2004, having been signed as a rookie free agent by Dallas. The seven-footer played three seasons in Dallas before spending time with the Warriors, Lakers, and Hornets. Mbenga, who has appeared in 234 career games, last played in the NBA in 2010/11, with New Orleans.
Holloway, 23, was ranked as this year's 68th-best prospect by ESPN.com's Chad Ford but went undrafted. In his senior year at Xavier, the 6'0" point guard averaged 17.5 PPG and 4.9 APG. Holloway was originally slated to join the Raptors' summer league roster in Las Vegas, but ended up playing for Dallas' squad instead.
All three players figure to be on non-guaranteed deals, bringing the Mavericks' roster to 18 players. We've previously heard that Mbenga has agreed to join Dallas' D-League affiliate if he doesn't earn a spot on the team, while Akognon appears ready to head back to China if he fails to make the regular-season cut.
It's been a busier day than we've had for a while around the NBA, and with training camps opening as soon as September 29th, expect the faster pace of news to continue. Let's dive right into some of the latest from around the league:
Back in 2004/05, D.J. Mbenga began his NBA career with the Mavericks, spending the first of three seasons with the club. Now, it appears he'll be heading back to Dallas. According to an RTBF report (French link), Mbenga said he has been working out with the Mavs and has signed a one-year deal with the team (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). ESPN.com's Marc Stein confirms that the Mavs will bring Mbenga to training camp.
Mbenga, 31, will likely receive no more than a non- or partially-guaranteed minimum-salary deal with a camp invite. The seven-footer has never been a serious contributor on an NBA team, but he has managed to stick around the league for seven seasons, most recently playing 41 games for the Hornets in 2010/11.
RTBF's report indicates that Mbenga turned down offers from teams in China and Greece in favor of joining the Mavericks. He may face an uphill battle making the Dallas roster, however, since the team already has 15 guaranteed contracts on its books. Still, according to Stein, the Mavs would like to find a way to add one more center to their roster for depth purposes.
Although the Spurs will bring one international prospect stateside this season, having signed Nando De Colo to a contract, another of the team's top international players doesn't appear headed for San Antonio. Spanish club Regal Barcelona announced today that they have re-signed Erazem Lorbek to a three-year deal to remain with the team (English translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The Spurs, who hold Lorbek's NBA rights, were said earlier this offseason to be "very close" to a deal with the Slovenian forward, so it's a little surprising to see him re-up with Regal Barcelona.
Let's round up a few more Friday morning odds and ends....