Three more former NBA players are headed to the D-League as they attempt to work their way back into the NBA, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Stein reports (via Twitter) that Hilton Armstrong will join the Santa Cruz Warriors, Rasual Butler will join the Tulsa 66ers, and Josh Boone will join the Iowa Energy.
Armstrong, 28, was drafted 12th overall in 2006 and played in parts of five NBA seasons for the Hornets, Kings, Rockets, Wizards, and Hawks. The big man averaged 3.1 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 277 career contests, last playing in the NBA during the 2010/11 season. He'll join a Santa Cruz team that's fully owned and operated by Golden State.
Butler, who began his NBA career with the Heat in 2002/03, has averaged double-digit points three times and played in 638 NBA games, but was waived by the Raptors last season after appearing in 34 games for Toronto. The 33-year-old is headed for a 66ers squad that's owned and operated by the Thunder.
Boone, the Nets' 23rd overall pick in 2006, played four seasons with New Jersey, but hasn't played in an NBA game since his rookie scale contract expired in 2010. The former UConn big man averaged 5.2 PPG and 4.9 RPG in his career, and will join an Iowa Energy team that's shared as an affiliate by four NBA teams.
All three veterans will remain NBA free agents, free to sign with any team if they impress in the D-League.
FRIDAY, 7:56am: Armstrong has officially signed with Panathinaikos for the upcoming season, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
THURSDAY, 8:42am: Despite working out for the Nets yesterday, it doesn't appear Hilton Armstrong will be returning to the NBA for the 2012/13 season. The 27-year-old big man announced this morning on his Twitter account that he'll be signing with Greek team Panathinaikos for the upcoming year (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
Armstrong, the 12th overall pick in the 2006 draft, played 277 NBA games from 2006 to 2011, seeing regular-season action with the Hornets, Kings, Rockets, Wizards, and Hawks. However, he didn't catch on with an NBA team after the lockout, having signed in France last summer.
We heard just yesterday that Panathinaikos had interest in signing Armstrong. The Greek squad was also said to be eyeing Louis Amundson, but the former Pacer appeared confident that he'd receive a satisfactory offer from an NBA team, so it's no surprise Panathinaikos shifted its interest to Armstrong.
6:42pm: With Donte Greene's deal on hold because of his ankle injury, the Nets may intensity their search for another small forward, and Fred Kerber of the New York Post suggests Sam Young, Josh Childress and Damion James could be candidates. James was with the Nets the past two seasons, but the team did not pick up his option and renounced his rights, so Brooklyn would only be able to give him the minimum salary, just like Young, Childress or any other free agent.
12:14pm: The Nets are working out free agent big men Eddy Curry and Hilton Armstrong today, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). According to Spears, Nets GM Billy King is still seeking a center and a small forward, and is hoping to discover another "diamond in the rough," as the team did last season with Gerald Green.
We heard earlier today that Armstrong is interested in returning to the NBA, but the former lottery pick hasn't played in the Association since before the lockout. The 27-year-old big man, who participated in a minicamp for the Nets in May, appeared in 277 games for five teams in his five NBA seasons, most notably starting 29 contests for the Hornets in 2008/09.
Curry, meanwhile, saw limited minutes in 2011/12 with the Heat, but hasn't seen regular action for an NBA team in years -- since the end of the 2007/08 campaign, the former fourth overall pick has played in just 24 games. The seven-footer has had some success in the past, averaging 19.5 PPG in 2006/07, but has been plagued by health and conditioning issues in recent years.
While Spears says the Nets are targeting both a center and a small forward, it appears a center is Brooklyn's more pressing concern at the moment. That's no surprise, considering the club agreed to sign Donte Greene last week, and still doesn't have a true backup behind Brook Lopez in the middle.
Many of the overseas leagues begin their seasons about a month earlier than the NBA does, meaning international training camps are getting under way. Some of the player movement involves guys with NBA ties, and we'll round up all today's international news here, with the latest on top:
The Celtics took a 3-2 lead in their series with the Sixers tonight with a 101-85 victory in Game 5. There's plenty happening off the court for Atlantic Division teams as well, so let's dive in: