Former NBA big man Jeff Ayres will be returning to Japan for the 2018/19 season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who relays a report from BasketballKing.jp. As Carchia details, Ayres has signed with Japan’s Ryukyu Golden Kings.
Ayres, formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph, was drafted by the Kings in 2009 and traded to Portland on draft night. While Ayres made his NBA debut with the Trail Blazers that season, he only appeared in 39 games for Portland, eventually spending time with the Pacers, Spurs, and Clippers over the course of several seasons.
The 31-year-old’s most recent NBA stint came in 2015/16, when he played in 17 games for the Clippers, but his most notable stretch came in San Antonio from 2013 to 2015, when he averaged 10.8 minutes per contest in 124 regular season games for the Spurs. The former Arizona State standout appeared in 17 playoff games for the Spurs in 2014 en route to an NBA title.
Since his last NBA appearance, Ayres has spent time in the G League, Japan, and Turkey. During his first stint in Japan, he played for Alvark Tokyo.