DECEMBER 18: Chalmers will join the Nuggets’ G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold, and will take part in the G League Showcase from December 19-22, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.
DECEMBER 14: Free agent Mario Chalmers is pursuing an NBA comeback and has signed a contract in the G League, agents Ronnie Chalmers and Jerry Dianis told Hoops Rumors. Chalmers will be free to sign with any team if he goes unclaimed on waivers over the next 48 hours.
Chalmers, 35, is one of several veterans to choose the G League in recent weeks, joining Isaiah Thomas (Grand Rapids Gold) and Langston Galloway (College Park Skyhawks). He bypassed interest from multiple teams overseas to return to the U.S. At least one G League team has already made a commitment to the point guard, his agents said.
“Finishing my career where I started would mean the world to me,” Chalmers said of possibly returning to the NBA. “I first got drafted into the NBA. I never had dreams of walking away from the game of basketball overseas, so this would be a great way to end my career. Just being back at home in front of the fans that helped me get to where I am today.”
Chalmers most recently played in Greece, appearing in 22 games for Aris Basketball Club in 2020/21. He averaged 10.5 points, 2.3 assists and 22.2 minutes per contest, shooting 46% from the floor and 37% from deep.
“This is the most expedient route for Mario to get in front of NBA eyes,” Dianis explained. “Playoff teams need players who know how to win. Mario is a proven winner with championship pedigree.”
Chalmers was the No. 34 pick in 2008 after spending three seasons at Kansas, where he famously hit a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in the NCAA championship game to force overtime and help his team win the national title.
Chalmers also started at point guard for the Heat between 2010-14, when the club won two NBA championships and made four Finals appearances. A nine-year veteran, he has made past NBA stops with Miami and Memphis, averaging 8.9 points and 3.7 assists in 22.5 minutes per game.
“I have a lot left in the tank,” Chalmers said. “I have fresh legs, a fresh body and I’m ready for that full NBA grind again. A lot of teams are fighting for those 16 playoff spots, so at the end of the day, if someone gets hurt or COVID becomes an issue, I’m ready.
“I’ve been in the gym. I catch on fast and won’t miss a beat. I’ve already been there before. At the end of the day, I know what it takes to help win a championship.”