5:25pm: The Knicks have announced the signing, tweets Howard Beck of The New York Times.
5:03pm: Jones' deal covers next season as well, and becomes guaranteed for 2013/14 if he's not waived by a certain date, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link).
1:40pm: The Knicks are signing Jones rather than Singleton because Singleton didn't receive FIBA clearance due to a procedural delay with his Chinese team, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
11:12am: The Knicks will sign big man Solomon Jones to a contract for the remainder of the season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Jones, who played in China this year, received his FIBA letter of clearance today, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).
Unless the Knicks intend to waive a second player in addition to Kurt Thomas, the signing of Jones may indicate that the team's agreement with James Singleton fell apart, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweets. Jones, a 6'10" big man, would give New York a little more size than Singleton, a 6'8" forward, in what has become an injury-depleted frontcourt.
Jones, 28, played for the same CBA team as Josh Akognon, who is currently on a 10-day contract with the Mavericks. In 19 games for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters, Jones averaged a double-double, recording 15.8 PPG and 10.4 RPG. The former second-round pick, who has appeared in 268 contests in parts of six NBA seasons, played for the Clippers and Hornets in 2011/12 and was in camp with the Suns in the fall.
1:25pm: The Knicks have officially waived Thomas, according to the team's PR Twitter account.
FRIDAY, 11:40am: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has reported that the Knicks will waive Thomas to clear a spot to sign Solomon Jones. While Wojnarowski doesn't explicitly mention Singleton in his report, the implication seems to be that the Knicks' agreemeent with Singleton fell through, leading them to turn to Jones instead.
If the Knicks were to waive another player in addition to Thomas, they could clear room for both Singleton and Jones. It's possible that there were complications with Singleton's letter of clearance from China, though that's just my speculation.
WEDNESDAY, 6:38pm: The Knicks will waive Thomas, Isola tweets. Thomas, 40, will have surgery on his foot next week. Thomas has been the league's oldest player this season, a distinction that will fall to Grant Hill of the Clippers, who is one day younger.
5:52pm: The Knicks will sign free agent power forward James Singleton, a source confirms to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). Frank Isola of the New York Daily News first tweeted the news that a deal was close. Kurt Thomas, in the last season of a two-year contract for the minimum salary, will likely be waived to create room on the roster, according to Isola.
Singleton signed in November with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese league after turning down a minimum-salary offer last summer from the Wizards, with whom he played 12 games last season. The 6'8", 31-year-old Singleton averaged 15.2 points and 11.1 rebounds as a part-time starter in 21 games for Xinjiang this season, down slightly from the 17.8 PPG and 11.9 RPG he produced while playing in China during 2011/12. He's seen much more limited playing time with the Clippers, Mavs and Wizards in parts of five NBA seasons, notching 8.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG with Washington last year.
Begley reported earlier today that the Knicks were looking at free agent big men in the wake of Kenyon Martin's injury last night. The Knicks have been especially hard hit with ailments to their front line, Thomas included. He suffered a stress fracture in his right foot last month, and played with the injury in a game against the Jazz before shutting it down with hopes of returning for the playoffs. That game, Thomas' last appearance, was the first win in New York's current 13-game winning streak, Isola points out (Twitter link).
Let's round up some of Friday's notes from a few non-NBA leagues around the globe....
Earlier this summer, we heard that former Magic guard Von Wafer was heading overseas for the coming season, agreeing to sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China. Now, it appears that another NBA free agent is joining him. Late last night, Wafer tweeted: "My boy James Singleton jus signed with us yes yes yes bro let's go grind time."
While there has been no confirmation from Singleton's camp that a deal with the Flying Tigers has been finalized, at least one Chinese report indicates an agreement has been reached, and the pieces fit -- a month ago, it was reported that Singleton had turned down a one-year offer from the Wizards and, in his search for a multiyear deal, was considering four offers from Chinese teams.
Singleton, who has played in 243 career NBA games for the Clippers, Mavericks, and Wizards, finished the season strong in Washington last season. In his 12 contests for the club, he averaged 8.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG with a .547 FG% and a 19.6 PER.
When Wafer signed in China, agent Terrance Doyle noted that his client hoped to sign with an NBA team late in the season, after the CBA season comes to an end. However, it sounded as if Singleton was searching for at least a two-year contract wherever he signed, so he may not have the same priorities as Wafer.
The Wizards are looking to round out their roster with low-cost options and Michael Lee of The Washington Post has the latest on the club's top targets..
James Singleton appears to have moved on from the Wizards and will explore other opportunities. His agent tells Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner that Singleton has passed on Washington's contract offer (Twitter link). According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, the Wizards were unwilling to offer more than the veteran's minimum for the forward (Twitter link).
Singleton was impressive in the final month of the 2011/12 season with the Wizards, initially joining the club on a 10-day contract before signing for the rest of the year. In 12 games, the 31-year-old averaged 8.2 PPG on 54.7% shooting in 21.8 minutes per contest. Those averages, along with his 19.6 PER, were all career highs.
Still, it's hard to imagine Singleton earning more than a minimum-salary deal this summer, as the five-year NBA veteran has never been more than a bench player. If he doesn't get an NBA offer he likes, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Singleton sign overseas -- the Murray State product has shown a willingness to travel in the past, having played in Italy, Spain, China over the course of his career.
Singleton had signed a 10-day contract with Washington on April 5. Since then, the 30-year-old forward has put up double figure scoring in four of his last six games, including a 12 point and eight rebound performance in a win against the Magic last Tuesday. This should be a great opportunity for James to showcase himself, as he has averaged 24.8 minutes under Randy Wittman since joining the club.
The Hawks head into Boston tonight on a three-game winning streak and a half-game ahead of the Magic in the Southeast Division. As Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes, it may not be a bad thing for the Magic if the standings hold their current position. Currently the East's sixth seed, the Magic would face the third-place Pacers if the season ended today, and Robbins figures the Pacers are the best matchup for Orlando among the East's present playoff squads.
While we wait to see how the playoff seeding shakes out, let's check in on the latest from the Southeast....
Singleton, 30, last played in the NBA for the Wizards in 2009/10, appearing in 32 games for Washington. In 231 career NBA games, the 6'8" forward has averaged 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per contest.
The Wizards have an open roster spot, so no corresponding move is required to clear room for Singleton. As our 10-day tracker shows, the Murray State alum is the third player to sign a 10-day deal with Washington since the trade deadline.