It's been a precipitous fall for Gilbert Arenas, as three years after he averaged 22.6 points per game for the Wizards, it appears there's not much interest in him among NBA executives. For his part, Arenas doesn't have his sights set on a return to the Association after spending this season playing in China, according to comments he recently made to Karan Madhok of SLAM Online.
"Nah!," Arenas said, shaking his head vehemently. "Because after this season I can enjoy my family. You know my kids are getting older. Being in the NBA, you don’t really get to enjoy your family life because you’re always on the road, you’re always gone. So, no. After this season will be the first time I’ll get to be with my kids for a long period of time."
The Chinese season is over, so Arenas, who averaged 20.4 points for the Shanghai Sharks this year, including a 45-point effort against Fujian, could sign with an NBA team and still be eligible for the playoffs, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors pointed out earlier today. But, it looks like that's not going to happen, and as Madhok notes, Arenas isn't fully healthy. The three-time NBA All-Star indicated he's fine with continuing his career in China, noting the CBA's shorter season and game lengths.
"Thirty-two games a year," he said. "Maximum 36 minutes. That’s all I need at this point in my career. So as long as China teams want me, I’ll be here."
Arenas last appeared in the NBA with the Grizzlies in 2011/12, notching 4.2 PPG over 12.4 minutes per game in 17 regular season contests. He totaled just 23 minutes in six playoff games for Memphis last year. He signed a six-year, $110MM contract with the Wizards in 2008, who traded him to Orlando in 2010. Arenas is still receiving money from the Magic, who used the amnesty clause to remove him from their roster and salary cap in 2011.
It's a Wednesday night full of storylines in the NBA, as LeBron James and the Heat go for their 20th consecutive win in Philly and Carmelo Anthony returns to Denver for the first time since he was traded to the Knicks. Let's round up all the other Wednesday links from around the league here:
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld took to Twitter tonight to offer thoughts on various questions about the NBA. Here are some of the highlights:
On this date in 1987, Michael Jordan won his first NBA Slam Dunk contest in Seattle with his famous leap from the foul line maneuver that wowed the sold-out crowd and viewers across the country. Let's catch up on the latest news and stories making headlines from around the league.
Tonight's schedule includes a battle for Western Conference positioning between the Rockets and Jazz, Andrew Bogut's possible return to the court for the Warriors, and an opportunity for the Wizards to win their third straight game (and eighth of their last 11). As we look forward to the evening's slate of games, let's check out a few odds and ends from around the NBA....
Addressing the media in London today, commissioner David Stern didn't share many new details about a possible sale of the Sacramento Kings, but he did confirm that the NBA hasn't been informed of any sale agreement with Chris Hansen's Seattle group, according to Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. As Stern watches the Knicks and Pistons play at the O2 Arena, let's round up a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
The Mavericks, who've been linked to Derek Fisher, are looking for a veteran point guard, reports Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, who mentions Fisher and Earl Boykins as possibilities. He also identifies Gilbert Arenas as a long shot, though it's unclear whether Arenas can get out of his one-year deal in China. Dallas is without Darren Collison, who has a sprained middle finger, for tonight's game against the Bulls, and there's no word on how long he'll be sidelined.
The Mavs would have to let someone go to make a signing, though Troy Murphy, whom the team added at the beginning of the month, is presumed to be on a non-guaranteed deal. They have $1,974,509 of their room exception available if they want to dole out more than the minimum salary.
Fisher will reportedly decide on a team by Thursday, having narrowed his choices to three finalists, which have yet to be revealed. There hasn't been much buzz surrounding the 36-year-old Boykins since he finished up last season with the Rockets, but he did rack up a 17.6 PER in 15.1 minutes per game for the Bucks in 2010/11. For a complete look at all the available point guards, check out the Hoops Rumors list of free agents.
After Steve Nash suffered a fracture in his left leg on Halloween, the Lakers contacted Gilbert Arenas, according to Arenas himself. The former Wizard told hupu.com (English translation via HoopsHype) that Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan, who used to coach Arenas in Washington, told him that Los Angeles had interest in him. However, Arenas indicated that he'd like to try playing in China, where he recently signed with the Shanghai Sharks.
While it may seem as if playing for the Lakers would be a more desirable opportunity than heading overseas, there's no guarantee that L.A. would have been willing to offer Arenas a guaranteed contract, or any type of contract, for that matter. Additionally, the 30-year-old will receive significantly more playing time for the Sharks, and should still have the opportunity to return to the NBA later this season, when the CBA season ends.
The Lakers also displayed some interest in Arenas last season in their search for backcourt help -- the former All-Star worked out for the Lakers, but eventually signed with the Grizzlies.
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.
FRIDAY, 10:20am: Arenas has reached an agreement to sign with the Shanghai Sharks, according to a 361 Sport report out of China (translation via HoopsHype). The deal will reportedly be for one year with an additional one-year option. It's worth noting again that Arenas was previously said to have reached an agreement with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, which fell through, so nothing is official until Arenas and the Sharks sign on the dotted line and formally announce the deal.
TUESDAY, 8:30am: Arenas was seen at the Sharks' facilities, practicing with the team, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Shanghai is already carrying two import players, the maximum allowed, so Carchia speculates that Elijah Millsap could be released to clear a spot for Arenas, if the team decides to sign him.
MONDAY, 8:58am: Nearly two weeks ago, it was reported that Gilbert Arenas had agreed to a deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. However, since then, the agreement between the two sides appears to have fallen apart. Guangdong added Terrence Williams, and while the team still seemed open to signing Arenas, the former NBA All-Star was reportedly required to travel to China for a tryout.
With nothing finalized between Guangdong and Arenas, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that Arenas may be exploring other options in China. According to Stein (Twitter links), the 30-year-old is now auditioning for the Shanghai Sharks, a CBA team owned by Yao Ming. When Arenas first agreed to play for Guangdong, Stein reported that the veteran guard had also been in talks with Shanghai, so there appears to be some level of mutual interest.
While Arenas didn't make much of an impact last season with the Grizzlies, reports this summer suggested that he's in good shape and is fully healthy. Signing in China would allow Arenas the opportunity to return to the NBA late in the season if he impresses overseas, since the CBA regular season ends in March.