Bernard James

And-Ones: 2017 Draft, Trade Rumors, J. Anderson

With the NBA’s All-Star Game around the corner, the trade deadline nearing, and the home stretch of the 2016/17 season not far off, it may not be the time to focus on June’s draft. But don’t tell that to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link), who has published his newest 2017 mock draft, based on the current projected draft order.

In Ford’s latest mock, Markelle Fultz (Celtics), Lonzo Ball (Lakers), Josh Jackson (Suns), Malik Monk (Sixers), and Dennis Smith (Magic) are the first five players off the board. As ESPN’s draft guru explains, teams like the Celtics and Lakers don’t necessarily need another point guard, as their rosters feature bigger holes elsewhere. However, Ford thinks it will be hard for any team in the top two to pass up Fultz or Ball, based on their potential.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype spoke to a handful of current and former NBA players, including Caron Butler, Garrett Temple, and Rashard Lewis, about what it’s like to have one’s name mentioned in trade rumors, and how NBA players deal with those reports. “A lot of times, guys just want to be told the truth – no matter what that is,” Temple said. “What upsets guys the most is when the GM or personnel people are saying one thing to their face and doing something totally different behind the scenes.”
  • James Anderson, who has appeared in 247 NBA games, including 51 for the Kings last season, is believed to be drawing NBA interest, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’6″ wing has spent the season with Turkish team Darussafaka Dogus, with whom he has a two-year deal. However, Carchia writes that the club may be willing to let him out of that pact in the event of an NBA offer.
  • Former Mavericks center Bernard James has been cut by French club Limoges just two games into his contract with the team, a source tells international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). It’s not exactly an ideal birthday gift for James, who turns 32 today.

Bernard James To Play In China

Former Mavericks center Bernard James has signed a deal with the Shanghai Sharks of China, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops reports (Twitter link). The length and terms of the arrangement are unknown, likewise if the pact contains an NBA out clause. Dallas had renounced its rights to James earlier this week.

The center had also signed with the Sharks last November after the Mavs waived him just before the season started. “You know, I’ve been talking to my agent a lot, and there’s a few teams interested,” James said at the time. “But, hopefully, I’d like to be back here with the Mavericks. We’ll see what happens in the draft, what’s their needs and whoever [Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle] find for next year. Whatever players they sign, hopefully there’s a spot for me and there’s a niche I can carve out. We’ll see what happens, man, but I’m expecting it not to be quite as crazy as the last two summers.”

James re-signed with the Mavs back in March for the remainder of the season after completing two 10-day pacts with the team. He made 16 appearances for Dallas, including two starts, and averaged 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per contest.

Texas Notes: Jenkins, Mavs, Spurs, Fredette

John Jenkins had interest from several teams this offseason, but the former No. 23 overall pick is optimistic about his decision to sign with Dallas, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
“I feel great about it,” Jenkins said. “I think I needed a fresh start, and the Mavericks are giving me that opportunity. I waited longer than I thought I’d have to wait, as crazy as it was, but it was well worth it going to this team and for their interest in me. It feels good to be wanted and to go out there and be a part of what is going on with their team is great.”
The guard was vaunted for his shooting ability prior to the 2012 Draft and he has shown the potential to be an offensive weapon since coming into the league. Jenkins shot 37.5% from behind the arc in limited playing time during his first three seasons. New addition Wesley Matthews is expected to be ready for opening night after recovering from an Achilles injury, but if the Mavs choose to proceed with caution and limit the 28-year-old’s minutes, Jenkins could see significant playing time right off the bat. Owner Mark Cuban expects big things from the shooting guard and gave him some advice after the team signed him last week.
“He told me just to make buckets,” said Jenkins. “That’s what I do best, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Here’s more from The Lone Star State:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Bucks Arena, Mavs, Huestis

The $500MM plan to fund a new Bucks arena has enough votes to pass the Wisconsin State Assembly on Tuesday, Republican Majority Leader Jim Steineke said, according to Scott Bauer of the Associated Press. Under the proposal, half of the cost would initially be paid by state and local taxpayers and the other $250MM would come from current and former Bucks owners, Bauer continues. If approved without any changes by the Assembly, the bill would then head to Governor Scott Walker for his consideration, Bauer adds.

In other news around the league:

  • The Mavericks have renounced their rights to Bernard James, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Pincus notes the Mavs did the same thing last summer, then re-signed him. James’ cap hold was $947,276.
  • The Spurs’ contract with Reggie Williams is not guaranteed, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Williams would make approximately $1.186MM this upcoming season if he gets paid the full amount.
  • The Thunder are saving their final open roster spot for Josh Huestis, Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). Oklahoma City selected the 6’7” forward with the 29th overall pick in 2014 but he spent last season with the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League.
  • The Warriors will hire from within regarding their coaching moves and promote Luke Walton and Jarron Collins, Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com tweets.

Qualifying Offers: Tuesday

Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..

Earlier Updates:

  • The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources.  In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
  • The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).  Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
  • As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter).
  • The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.

Southwest Notes: Gordon, James, Grizzlies

Eric Gordon, who will reportedly pick up his player option worth more than $15.514MM to stay with the Pelicans, is likely making a savvy financial decision, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes, because there’s a strong chance the guard fetches a more lucrative deal in the summer of 2016, when the salary cap rises. The projected salary cap of $67.1MM for next season is expected to jump to $89MM in 2016/17 before soaring to $108MM in 2017/18, as Reid points outs. There’s a distinct possibility Gordon thrives under new coach Alvin Gentry‘s up-tempo offense, Reid adds, and that would give a boost to his numbers and stock.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Free agent Bernard James has teams interested in signing him, but the center would like to return to the Mavs, the team that re-signed him in March for the remainder of the season after two 10-day pacts, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. James signed with the Shanghai Sharks of China in November after the Mavs waived him just before the season started. “You know, I’ve been talking to my agent a lot, and there’s a few teams interested,” James said. “But, hopefully, I’d like to be back here with the Mavericks. We’ll see what happens in the draft, what’s their needs and whoever [Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle] find for next year. Whatever players they sign, hopefully there’s a spot for me and there’s a niche I can carve out. We’ll see what happens, man, but I’m expecting it not to be quite as crazy as the last two summers.”
  • Cliff AlexanderAaron HarrisonJamal JonesKenneth SmithCorey Walden and Christian Wood will all work out for the Grizzlies on Monday, the team announced in a press release.

Mavs Re-Sign Bernard James For Season

The Mavericks have re-signed Bernard James to a contract that covers the balance of the season, as Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com tweets and as the team announced via press release. The news is no surprise, since Mavs owner Mark Cuban said even before the club’s second 10-day contract with James was official that he would eventually sign him for the rest of the season. That second 10-day pact expired Monday. Neither the team nor Sneed indicate that it’s a multiyear pact, which suggests that it doesn’t contain any non-guaranteed salary for next season as such contracts often do.

The move locks Dallas into 15 contracts that run until at least season’s end, so the team would have to eat one of them to make another signing. So, that likely precludes any lingering chance that Jermaine O’Neal would join the team, and the Mavs don’t appear likely to end up with JaVale McGee, either.

Of course, Dallas didn’t mind taking the full hit for James’ guaranteed full-season minimum salary when the Mavs waived him at the end of the preseason to make room for Charlie Villanueva, who was then on a non-guaranteed pact. Still, James, a 30-year-old former Air Force Air Force staff sergeant, filled a prominent role for the banged-up Mavs on his 10-day deals, averaging 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game across five appearances, two of them starts. That’s significantly more minutes a night than the Happy Walters client saw in either of his first two seasons in the NBA, both of which were with the Mavs.

Mavericks Re-Sign Bernard James

SATURDAY, 11:17am: The second 10-day signing is official, Dallas announced in a press release.

11:21pm: Mavs owner Mark Cuban said the team intends to sign James to a second 10-day deal, and then for the remainder of the season once that pact expires, Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets.

THURSDAY, 1:15pm: The Mavericks have reached agreement on a second 10-day contract with center Bernard James, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).  James’ current 10-day deal is scheduled to expire on Saturday.

James had been playing with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks since shortly after the Mavs waived him at the end of the preseason, but the Sharks failed to make the Chinese Basketball Association playoffs, allowing the 30-year-old big man to become a free agent and circle back to Dallas.

James recently told Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News that the time he spent overseas with the Sharks made him a better player.

It was huge,” James said. “It kind of got me back to feeling like myself again. I’m not hesitating. I’m believing in my game. It was good to play major minutes and having a team really rely on me.

James appeared in one game for the Mavs before the All-Star break, scoring 9 points and grabbing 3 boards against the Jazz.

Western Notes: Wolves, Murphy, Brown

Despite having desirable veteran trade assets in Thaddeus Young and Kevin Martin, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders isn’t actively looking to make more deals before the February 19th trade deadline, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes. Saunders is willing to listen to offers, but he said that the team now has plenty of competition for playing time at every position, and the Wolves are focused on trying to get their current roster settled, Zgoda adds.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Kevin Murphy, who was in training camp with the Jazz this season, is considering returning to the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter link). Murphy had been playing in China for Zhejiang Guangsha, whose regular season has just concluded.
  • The Suns are expected to discuss a deal with Alec Brown, their 2014 second round draft pick, to join the team for the 2015/16 campaign, Shams Charania of RealGM.com reports. Brown has been rehabilitating a dislocated shoulder that he suffered during summer league play in Las Vegas. The big man is set to join the Bakersfield Jam, Phoenix’s D-League affiliate, next week, Charania notes.
  • Bernard James, who was recently inked to a 10-day deal with the Mavericks, believes that his time spent with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association made him a better player, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes.  “It was huge,” James said of playing overseas. “It kind of got me back to feeling like myself again. I’m not hesitating. I’m believing in my game. It was good to play major minutes and having a team really rely on me.
  • Some NBA executives aren’t dismissing the idea of George Karl retaining Tyrone Corbin as an assistant on his coaching staff with the Kings, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times reports (Twitter link).

Mavs Sign Bernard James To 10-Day Contract

WEDNESDAY, 10:20am: The deal is official, as Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com tweets. It’ll run just the standard 10 days, since the Mavs have a game tonight and return from the All-Star break with a back-to-back on December 19th and 20th, fulfilling the three-game requirement.

TUESDAY, 8:09am: The Mavericks will sign Bernard James to a 10-day contract once he receives his FIBA letter of clearance to make the jump back from China, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. James had been playing with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks since shortly after the Mavs waived him at the end of the preseason, but the Sharks failed to make the Chinese Basketball Association playoffs, allowing the 30-year-old big man to become a free agent last week. The FIBA letter of clearance is a standard procedural step that players go through when they move between countries, and it’s unlikely that it serves as a stumbling block.

Stein and ESPN colleague Tim MacMahon reported this past weekend that Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and company would seek to add a big man on a 10-day contract while they waited for Jermaine O’Neal, for whom Dallas is by all accounts the front-runner, to ready himself to play. The Mavs have an open roster spot, as our roster counts show, though the team is prepared to clear a second spot to add Amar’e Stoudemire if he works a buyout with the Knicks, as Stein and MacMahon wrote.

James, who turned 30 this past weekend, played the previous two seasons with Dallas, which first acquired the rights to the former Air Force staff sergeant the same night that Cleveland drafted him 33rd overall in 2012. James averaged just 4.9 minutes per game across 30 appearances last season after he started 11 games as a rookie, but Dallas saw fit to re-sign him to a fully guaranteed contract for the minimum salary this past summer. That commitment bit the team in October, when non-guaranteed camp invitee Charlie Villanueva beat James out for a spot on the opening-night roster. James proceeded to put up 19.1 points and 11.2 rebounds in 30.0 minutes per game for Shanghai.

The 10-day contract that James signs with the Mavs might last longer than 10 days depending on when he signs it. All 10-day deals must cover at least three games, a rule that normally doesn’t come into play. However, with the expanded All-Star break this year, it would last 11 days if James signed either today or on Thursday.

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