Here are a few of the latest non-NBA links, from the D-League and overseas:
- Italy's Pallacanestro Cantu is still interested in signing Sundiata Gaines, but the point guard, who was waived in October by the Pacers, has also received an offer from a Chinese team, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
- We heard yesterday that Spain's Lagun Aro was closing in on a deal with Jermaine Taylor, and today the team made the signing official (as translated by Sportando). Taylor had been in camp with the Timberwolves.
- At his introductory press conference with the Melbourne Tigers, Jonny Flynn explained that he wanted to sign where he'd have the "best chance to play," as Wendell Maxey of Ridiculous Upside writes.
- Celtics coach Doc Rivers is rooting for JaJuan Johnson, the former Celtic who was the first overall pick in last week's D-League draft. "I know he has the talent, I’ll put it that way," said Rivers, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. "I told him that this summer. He’s going to either have to pull it out of himself, or it’ll be there. But I do believe that he has NBA talent. And I hope he makes it."
- Johnson, Andrew Goudelock, and Justin Harper, the top three picks in the D-League draft, spoke to HoopsWorld about making the most of their time in the D-League.
- If former Spur James Anderson can improve his long-range jumper with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, don't expect him to be in the D-League for long, says Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside.
With NBA rosters set, plenty of players who were waived prior to the regular season by NBA teams have turned to the D-League, as we outlined yesterday. However, others are looking overseas as they attempt to continue their basketball careers. Here's the latest on a number of players who are signing with or drawing interest from non-NBA clubs:
The Timberwolves waived guard Jermaine Taylor following last night's preseason game against the Bulls, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter). Minnesota now has 17 players remaining on the roster with Taylor out of the picture.
The Wolves have 14 players with guaranteed deals for 2012/13, essentially leaving Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, and Will Conroy to battle over one remaining spot. Harris and Johnson are on make-good contracts while Conroy's comes with a modest partial guarantee of $100K.
Taylor, 25, last appeared in the NBA in 2010/11 when he spent 34 games with the Rockets and Kings, averaging 6.6 PPG in 14.2 minutes per contest. The former UCF star also had a cup of coffee with the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, averaging 14.2 PPG in 14 games.
The Timberwolves formally announced today that they have signed six players to fill out their roster for training camp. Besides Will Conroy and Seth Tarver, whose signings had been previously reported, Minnesota has also added Jermaine Taylor, Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, and Phil Jones, according to the team (Twitter link).
Of the four additions that we're hearing about for the first time, Taylor, Harris, and Johnson all have previous NBA experience, though only Johnson logged NBA minutes in 2011/12. Taylor, the 32nd overall pick in 2009 appeared in 65 games for the Rockets and Kings, while the undrafted Harris played for the Rockets and Wizards in parts of three seasons. Jones, meanwhile, played his college ball for the Charlotte 49ers, where his senior year was cut short in 2011 after he was ruled academically ineligible for the second half.
Conroy has a small guarantee on his contract, which should give him a slight advantage over the other five players for the T-Wolves' 15th and final roster spot. However, I expect the team would be happy to eat the $100K owed to Conroy if one of the other non-guaranteed players excels in training camp and preseason action.
With Minnesota's roster now at 20 players, it appears the T-Wolves are officially out of the running for Sean Williams, Hassan Whiteside, and various other big men that have been linked to the team in recent weeks.
Jason Fleming of HoopsWorld provides
a primer on how the trade market works as of right now through the end of June, asserting that teams currently out of the playoffs can make trades. He also covers a list of players who can't be traded, distinguishes teams that can absorb contracts in exchange for picks as well as those that have Traded Player's Exceptions, and adds that players with partially guaranteed contracts can still be dealt. Either Boston or Miami will join the 27 other teams on the trade eligibility list tonight, and while we wait for tip off, here's more from around the league...
- There have been several reports over the last two weeks that Lou Williams will opt-out of his contract this summer, and 76ers team president Rod Thorn echoed the same sentiments today, according to John Finger of CSN Philly.
- Jared Sullinger happily quelled concerns about his height when the draft combine measurements showed that he stands at 6'9'' in shoes, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. Some NBA executives had been convinced that Sullinger was shorter than his listed height in college. We wrote more about the draft combine and the measurements yesterday.
- Earlier, we reported about the Trail Blazers draft targets. Another thing we made note of was that former Florida guard Bradley Beal will not work out for the team, as his agent, Mark Bartelstein, says that Beal will only work out for teams at the top of the draft.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweets that Jermaine Taylor will play for the Bulls in the Las Vegas Summer League and hopes to play for the Magic in the Orlando Summer League.
- Former Kentucky guard Marquis Teague insists that his jumpshot has significantly improved and added that he has been getting good feedback from his workouts, says Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld.
Seattle mayor Mike McGinn is reportedly set to unveil details of Christopher Hansen's proposal for a new sports arena later this afternoon. However, while Seattle is making strides toward returning to the NBA, it will likely need to relocate another franchise to do so. The Kings are the most likely candidates to be relocated, so let's check in on the progress on Sacramento's new arena, along with some other notes out of the Pacific....
- The Suns hosted a free agent work out today, with Michael Finley and Jermaine Taylor in attendance, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
- It has become clear that Monta Ellis is expendable in Golden State, writes Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group. Poole says that rookie guard Klay Thompson has been getting more playing time as it becomes clear to the Warriors that they will continue to struggle if Ellis remains their best player.
- Sacramento is seeking a contribution of about $85MM toward a new arena from the Maloofs, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee. It's not yet known whether the NBA, negotiating on the Kings' behalf, will agree.
- Suns owner Robert Sarver and president of basketball operations Lon Babby are confident the team can become competitive again in the near future, writes Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic. The team still doesn't plan to trade Steve Nash unless he asks out, and isn't interested in a full-scale "blow-up" since that process would mean not contending for several years.
- Reports last week suggested Mo Williams was unsatisfied with his role for the Clippers, but Williams told Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld that's not the case.
- Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders if the Lakers' point-guard issues could be solved in part by Steve Blake rather than a free agent signing or trade acquisition.
J.R. Smith's potential deal with the Knicks is the biggest free agent story of the day, but there are plenty of players out there hoping to land contracts of their own. Let's round up a few of the day's free agent updates....
- Allen Iverson is still drawing international interest, though there are conflicting reports on whether A.I. has received official contract offers. According to Sportando, Iverson has offers on the table from Puerto Rican and Venezuelan teams, but ESPN.com's Chris Broussard hears no formal offers have been extended so far. Broussard says Iverson would sign in the Caribbean, South America, or even the D-League, if it could lead to another shot at the NBA.
- Both Iverson reports agree that the next week will be crucial. According to Broussard's source, Iverson will "accept that his forced retirement is permanent" if he hasn't signed by the All-Star break.
- Some teams are backing off of Joel Przybilla, concerned that he's not fully healthy, tweets Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. Przybilla was thought to be deciding between the Heat and Bulls, but perhaps those clubs are wary of extending formal offers.
- Jermaine Taylor, who appeared in 34 games for the Kings and Rockets last season, has signed with the D-League, according to Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside. Perhaps Taylor's time in the D-League will be short-lived though -- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld says (via Twitter) the Suns will work out Taylor today, while Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets that the 25-year-old will work out for the Clippers tomorrow..