Seven players who signed contracts with NBA teams this past summer have still yet to take the floor for their teams during the regular season this year, even as we near the midway point. It’s not uncommon for players to miss time because of injury, but it’s especially frustrating for teams and their fans when recent signees aren’t producing any on-court dividends. Still, for a few teams, encouraging news has surfaced.
Alan Anderson was on the floor shooting 3-pointers while the Wizards practiced Thursday, a sign of progress as he continues to recover from a pair of left ankle surgeries, notes Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post (Twitter link). The Warriors sent rookie Kevon Looney on a D-League rehab assignment Monday as he makes his way back from August hip surgery. Nets first-round pick Chris McCullough recently began practicing with teammates on a limited basis.
Injury isn’t always the reason why signees don’t play. Josh Huestis is healthy, but he still hasn’t seen any playing time this season for the Thunder, who’ve kept him on D-League assignment much of the year. It’s essentially an extension of last season, when the Thunder stashed him in the D-League, though this time around he’s drawing an NBA salary. His numbers at the D-League level don’t suggest he’ll give the Thunder much return on their investment any time soon, as Nate Duncan of Sports Illustrated’s “The Cauldron” blog notes via Twitter.
Pacers rookie Rakeem Christmas has also been healthy and has played on D-League assignment, but while his numbers haven’t been eye-popping, he’s averaging a fairly proficient 16.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game. He’s also a second-round pick in his first pro season, unlike Huestis, who’s in his second season after having been a first-round pick in 2014. Undrafted Kings signee Duje Dukan has also played in the D-League but not the NBA, but he’s suffered a tibial bone contusion that will cost him a few weeks.
Here’s a look at the 2015 offseason signees who’ve yet to make their debuts this season, with their respective contract information in parentheses:
- Alan Anderson, Wizards (one year, $4MM)
- Rakeem Christmas, Pacers (four years, $4.3MM)
- Duje Dukan, Kings (two years, $1,399,729)
- Mike Dunleavy, Bulls (three years, $14,512,500)
- Josh Huestis, Thunder (four years, $5,817,886)
- Kevon Looney, Warriors (four years, $5,775,721)
- Chris McCullough, Nets (four years, $5,817,886)
The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.