Swingman Sam Young has signed a deal that includes an NBA out clause with the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League, agent Joel Bell tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com. The 28-year-old can return to the NBA at any point, unless Sydney is in participating in the Australian playoffs, which begin March 28th.
Young has played parts of each of the past four seasons in the NBA, and was a key component of the Pacers’ bench last year, holding his own on defense against LeBron James in the playoffs. He was with the Spurs for training camp but didn’t come close to making the regular season roster, as San Antonio waived him in early October.
Young follows the path of Jonny Flynn, who signed in Australia last season, and Heat second-round draft pick James Ennis, who’s also playing in Australia this year. Keep up with transactions around the globe with the Hoops Rumors International Player Movement Tracker.
As one of a handful of teams still carrying the maximum 20 players allowed in the preseason, the Spurs will have to cut at least five players before opening night, and started today by waiving Sam Young, according to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).
Young, 28, spent most of last season with the Pacers after playing for the Grizzlies and Sixers in his first three years in the NBA. The former second-round pick has seen a dip in his production and his playing time over the last couple seasons, but was familiar to Spurs fans for his role in the Grizzlies’ 2011 playoff upset of San Antonio, as he recently told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
With Young reportedly no longer on the roster, Marcus Cousin, Courtney Fells, Myck Kabongo, Corey Maggette, and Daniel Nwaelele remain in the hunt for the final opening on the Spurs’ roster, assuming the team decides to start move forward with a full 15-man squad.
The Spurs have been searching for a backup small forward since releasing Stephen Jackson in the spring, and the team may have found its man in Sam Young. However, as Young competes for a roster spot in San Antonio, the veteran tells Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News that Spurs fans haven’t forgotten the role he played in the Grizzlies’ 2011 upset of the West’s No. 1 seed.
“That was one of the biggest moments in Grizzlies history, so when we beat them, a lot of Spurs fans were upset,” Young said. “When I got here, a couple people let me know on Twitter; a lot of people let me know on Facebook. Even a couple coaches talked about it, but it’s cool. They’ve embraced me.”
Here’s the latest on a few more players hoping to earn roster spots around the NBA:
The Spurs have reached a contract agreement with free agent Sam Young, reports Shams Charania of RealGM, citing a league source. We haven't heard much about Young's eventual destination this offseason, but the silver and black of San Antonio seems like a pretty good fit for the defensive-minded Pittsburgh alum. Charania reports that the Kings and Knicks also kicked the tires on the 6-foot-6 swingman.
After being drafted 36th overall by Memphis in 2009, Young was traded to Philadelphia in 2012 and then latched on with the Pacers last year. Young was cut in early January last year by the Pacers in a strategic roster move, but was re-signed to the team less than a month later. He's averaged 5.8 points and 15.9 minutes per game over his four-year career, but is better known for his defensive intangibles than his statistical production.
No division race is tighter than the Central, where the Bulls hold a half-game lead over the Pacers, while he Bucks sit three back in the loss column. Derrick Rose and Danny Granger will soon return to Chicago and Indiana, respectively, so we’ll see how that affects the dynamics of the race. In the meantime, here’s what’s happening around the division:
- The Cavs are open to using their $4MM in cap space to absorb an otherwise unwanted player in exchange for a draft pick, but Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal believes the team is done dealing this year. Signing Greg Oden is another possibility for that cap space, as Lloyd notes as he answers more questions from his Twitter followers.
- Cavs shooting guard Wayne Ellington, acquired in last week’s trade with the Grizzlies, will be a restricted free agent this summer, and though he didn’t address his future plans, he spoke to Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer about his Charlotte connections and mentioned that he’s best friends with Bobcats swingman Gerald Henderson, who’s also set to hit restricted free agency.
- Sam Young demonstrated why the Pacers re-signed him this week with his defense against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in last night’s blowout of the Heat, observes Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Wells writes that Young will have an impact the rest of the season, which suggests he isn’t merely on a 10-day contract; when Young signed, the terms were unclear.
- MLive’s David Mayo, in a pair of features, breaks down the impact that new starting point guard Jose Calderon will have on Detroit’s rotation, and Matt Moore of CBSSports.com wonders why the Pistons aren’t shopping Jonas Jerebko, who’s struggled to find a role.
- Hunter Atkins of The New York Times looks at the rapid improvement of Larry Sanders, whom Atkins compares to Tyson Chandler. Sanders will be up for an extension on his rookie deal with the Bucks this summer.
The Pacers have officially re-signed Sam Young, the team announced today in a press release. Indiana had waived Young earlier in January after he sprained his ankle and before his contract could become guaranteed for the season.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reported (via Twitter) that the Pacers were expected to re-add Young to the roster to replace Dominic McGuire, whose second 10-day contract has expired. While Young takes McGuire's place as the team's 15th man, it's not clear whether the 27-year-old is back on a 10-day contract or rest-of-season deal.
Young was averaging 3.6 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 16.0 minutes per game earlier this season with the Pacers, before he went down with the ankle injury. Presumably, since the team is comfortable re-signing him at this point, Young's ankle has healed and he'll be available immediately.
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….
- Dominic McGuire's second 10-day contract with the Pacers has expired, and the team has elected to let him go rather than sign him to a rest-of-season deal. According to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter), the Pacers will likely bring back Sam Young, though it's not clear whether he'll get a 10-day contract or a rest-of-season deal. Indiana released Young before his contract became guaranteed, and shortly after he suffered an ankle sprain.
- Agent Bill McCandless expects the Timberwolves to keep Mickael Gelabale for more than just one 10-day contract, as he tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype: "Based on my conversations with Timberwolves management, I understand that Minnesota is very likely to offer M.G. a second 10-day contract." (Twitter links).
- With Sacramento and Seattle potentially set to battle over the Kings, Neema Hodjat of RealGM.com makes a case for why the NBA should consider expansion as an alternative to relocation.
- We heard last week that Kris Joseph had signed a contract to play for Orleans in France, but David Pick of Sportando reports (via Twitter) that Joseph backed out of that deal for a possible D-League offer.
- A.J. Mitnick of Sheridan Hoops makes his early picks for the top 10 European prospects of the 2013 draft class.
- Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, and D.J. White are among the former NBA players in China whose CBA teams won't qualify for the postseason, according to Shaopeng Shen of Hupu.com (via Twitter). As such, those players would be free to return to the NBA sooner, assuming there's any interest.
- The Timberwolves received a disabled player exception worth about $381K for Malcolm Lee, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and HoopsWorld. Considering how small that amount is, the team is unlikely to use the exception.
Things aren't getting any easier in Lakerland, where Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill have all been sidelined with injuries. Howard suffered a torn labrum, Gasol has a concussion, and Hill is dealing with a hip issue, meaning the Lakers' frontcourt looks awfully thin in the short-term. While Robert Sacre looks forward to more playing time and we wait to see if the Lakers add another body, let's round up a few more notes out of the Western Conference….
- The Lakers haven't reached out to free agent big man Kenyon Martin, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com wonder if the Lakers should consider trading Howard.
- The Rockets are prepared to chalk up 2012/13 as a lost season for Royce White and attempt to reach some sort of agreement with the rookie forward in the offseason, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Zillgitt and TNT's David Aldridge have the latest details on White, including his desire for the NBA and the Rockets to sign a document detailing his wishes for the mental health protocol that the team believes would be in violation of the CBA.
- Despite recent comments by Dirk Nowitzki questioning the Mavericks' approach to building the roster, owner Mark Cuban tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that Dallas won't be altering that approach. "If you only knew the things [Dirk] has said to me during recent seasons about our team," Cuban joked. "I'm glad I didn't listen."
- Nowitzki stressed to reporters today, including Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, that he never said he wanted to be traded.
- The Timberwolves have kicked the tires on Sam Young, who was released by the Pacers this weekend, but he's unlikely to land in Minnesota, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Young is currently out with an ankle injury.
- It would be a surprise if the Timberwolves don't move Derrick Williams at the trade deadline, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
While the Pacers didn't necessarily want to cut Sam Young, a recent ankle injury that required several weeks of recovery coupled with the need for more help at the wing position had forced Indiana's hand, says Mike Wells of IndyStar.com. Wells also writes that the team will likely sign someone to a 10-day contract and thinks about Dominic McGuire as a possible fit. Lastly, he believes that guard Ben Hansbrough will remain on the team for the rest of the season. Here are a few more tidbits we've heard from the Central Division tonight:
4:26pm: The Pacers have officially waived Young, according to Wells (via Twitter).
1:48pm: The Indiana Pacers are expected to release Sam Young today, reports Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). Wells points out that Young suffered a severe ankle sprain that is expected to keep him out several weeks, just as teams are forced to make a decision on whether to guarantee nonguaranteed contracts.
Wells also reports that the Pacers are likely to sign another player to a 10-day contract for short-term wing help, which the team has needed since the injury to Danny Granger. Wells speculates that the team may look to sign forward Dominic McGuire, who was waived by the Hornets over the weekend.