Jeff Ayres Bolts D-League, Heads To Japan

Ex-NBA big man Jeff Ayres has signed with Toyota Alvark in the Japanese League, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Ayres, 29, had been playing for the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the D-Fenders. He has left that team to pursue overseas opportunities, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Ayres appeared in 22 games this season, averaging 12.5 PPG and 7.2 RPG.

He had another overseas journey last year, signing with CSKA Moscow, but the Russian team decided not keep him. Ayres changed agents — hiring BDA Sports — after that experience and then hooked on with the D-League in December.

The fact that Ayres opted to go overseas in the midst of the D-League season was an apparent concession that he wasn’t getting any NBA nibbles, despite his respectable stats.

Ayres, formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph, was part of the Spurs’ 2014 championship team, but wasn’t re-signed after the 2014/15 season. He was the first player selected in the 2015 D-League draft and spent much of the season in Idaho before joining the Clippers last January.

After playing on two 10-day contracts, Ayres signed with the Clippers for the remainder of the 2015/16 season. He appeared in 17 games for L.A., averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.3 RPG in limited playing time. Ayres has also played for the Trail Blazers and Pacers over the course of his NBA career.

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