BIG3

And-Ones: Trade Candidates, N. Robinson, Simons

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic has been the subject of more trade rumors than virtually any other NBA player over the last several weeks, but he’s not the only “sell-high” trade candidate around the league, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. In an Insider-only piece, Pelton identifies several players whose trade value may not get higher than it is right now, including Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans, Suns center Alex Len, and Nets teammates Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris.

Those players may not be on the move before next month’s trade deadline – Pelton admits that the idea of dealing Dinwiddie would be a “particularly tough sell” for the Nets – but it would make sense for those clubs to at least explore the possibilities.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Nate Robinson has officially signed a BIG3 contract and joined Tri-State – Jermaine O’Neal‘s team – as a co-captain, the league announced today (Twitter link). We heard as recently as last month that Robinson hadn’t given up on the idea of getting back to the NBA.
  • While top prospect Anfernee Simons may commit to a college for the 2018/19 season at some point, he’s also considering making the leap directly to the NBA this year, as Jared Weiss of USA Today details. Simons reportedly intends to test the 2018 draft waters in the same way that Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo did a year ago.
  • Kristaps Porzingis is one of the few active NBA players capable of potentially matching the 48-point, 17-rebound stat line that Anthony Davis posted in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. While Porzingis isn’t at Davis’ level, Ian Begley of ESPN points to the development of the Pelicans star as evidence that the Knicks should be patient with Porzingis’ own development.
  • Former Mavericks guard Gian Clavell, who was on a two-way contract with Dallas earlier this season, has signed with Turkish team Sakarya Buyuksehir for the rest of the 2017/18 campaign, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Clavell appeared in seven games for the Mavs.

And-Ones: BIG3, G League, Quarterman, J. Brown

Two more former NBA players have signed on with the BIG3, including one that just formally announced his retirement from the NBA this past summer. Veteran big man Jason Maxiell was one of those players joining the BIG3 player pool this week, according to the league (Twitter link). After playing more than 600 NBA regular season games and another 35 postseason contests, Maxiell signed a one-day contract in August and retired as a Piston. Now, he’ll have a chance to compete against – or team up with – former teammate Chauncey Billups in the BIG3.

Veteran forward Jamario Moon, who played in 286 total games for the Raptors, Heat, Cavaliers, Clippers, and Hornets from 2007 to 2012, also signed a BIG3 contract this week, according to an announcement from the league (Twitter link).

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Multiple 2018 NBA draft prospects who aren’t currently playing NCAA ball have been informed that they’re ineligible to play in the G League this season, a league source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. As Givony explains, players who were enrolled in college during an academic calendar year are ineligible to sign a G League contract in the same season unless they’ve been ruled permanently NCAA-ineligible. Mitchell Robinson, De’Anthony Melton, and Brian Bowen are among the potential 2018 first-rounders currently in limbo.
  • Former Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman had been set to join the Jiangsu Dragons in China, but passport complications prevented him from finalizing his deal, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). According to Pick, the Chinese club signed ex-Lakers guard Jabari Brown instead.
  • Former first-round pick Archie Goodwin is back in the Suns‘ system, having been traded to Phoenix’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, earlier this week. Northern Arizona sent out a first-round pick and a second-round pick for the 2018 G League draft in the three-team deal.
  • The NBA’s next wave of international stars appears to have arrived, Michael Lee writes in an interesting feature for Yahoo Sports.

And-Ones: Referees, Baron Davis, Ball Brothers

Having become dissatisfied working with the NBA to moderate issues between referees and players, Lee Seham, the general counsel for the National Basketball Referees Association recently met with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to discuss those issues, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. After meeting at the players’ union’s Manhattan offices, Seham and Roberts plan to hold another informal sitdown at All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, which will include a few top referees and players.

As Wojnarowski details, both the referees’ union and players’ union have expressed concerns about how treatment from the other side — the NBRA believes that the league office has become too lenient in allowing players to verbally go after referees, while players are put off by what they view as dismissive or disrespectful reactions from refs when they ask about a call.

The NBA would ultimately need to sign off on any official changes to the way its referees are trained, or the way that disputes between players and refs are handled. However, if the referees’ and players’ unions can reach common ground on some of those issues, they’d have added leverage to take those suggestions to the league.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league has added another former NBA All-Star to its ranks, announcing this week in a press release that Baron Davis has signed with the BIG3 and will play for 3’s Company next season.Hearing about the fun they had this past summer really made me excited to suit up,” Davis said. “I have a lot of basketball left, and this is a great opportunity to fill that void I’ve been missing.”
  • In a fascinating piece for The Washington Post, Candance Buckner shines a light on some of the NBA’s behind-the-scenes power brokers, including a video game marketing director, a fashion designer, and a skills trainer.
  • How did LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball end up landing with a little-known team in Lithuania? Andrew Keh of The New York Times takes a deep dive into the city of Prienai and its basketball club (Prienu Vytautas), which has already added five more people to its modest staff to help handle the increased marketing workload.

Metta World Peace To Play In BIG3

After playing for the Lakers last season, Metta World Peace will take his talents to the BIG3 for the 2018 campaign, the league announced today. Interestingly, the press release – issued on World Peace’s birthday – refers to the 38-year-old by his given name, Ron Artest, noting that he’ll play under that moniker in the BIG3.

With the 2016/17 season winding down, World Peace publicly expressed a desire to reach the 20-season mark as a professional basketball player. However, the veteran forward, who has 18 years under his belt, was unable to find a new home this offseason and recently accepted a role as an assistant coach for the Lakers’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Despite taking on a coaching role, World Peace seemingly hasn’t given up on the idea of playing. It’s not clear whether he hopes to parlay his BIG3 gig into another professional opportunity, as Josh Childress did, or if he simply wants to compete against other players who have retired from the NBA.

Either way, World Peace is on track to suit up as a BIG3 player in 2018. He’ll team up with Stephen Jackson, co-captaining the Killer 3s squad with his former Pacers teammate.

And-Ones: Lottery Ideas, White, BIG3

While the NBA recently voted to approve changes to the league’s draft lottery rules, Mavs owner Mark Cuban had a pair of other ideas to dissuade teams from tanking. Neither gained traction but the details that Cuban shared with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon are admittedly intriguing.

One of Cuban’s proposals would see the NBA draft eliminated outright with teams, instead, getting an allotted budget from the league to sign draft eligible players as free agents. The teams with the worse records would have the biggest budgets but wouldn’t necessarily be a lock to land the top talent if they don’t position themselves as an appealing destination.

The team with the worst record gets the most money and the team with the best record gets the least money,” Cuban said. “It’s like a free agency. It makes it a lot harder to tank because you don’t know if you get the best players if you’re horrible all the time. Nobody liked that at all, not a single person.

Cuban pitched the idea to the league’s board of governors but the concept didn’t have much of an impact.

The other idea that Cuban had was to lock the team with the worst record into a single draft position, potentially third or fourth. Doing so, Cuban argues, would give teams incentive to compete down the stretch to ensure that they didn’t finish the regular season with the worst record. By avoiding finishing 30th of all 30 teams, a team would effectively keep their chances of snagging the top pick in the draft alive.

Tuck the two Cuban ideas up on a shelf beside The Wheel for future speculation, however, considering that the league moved quickly and enthusiastically to adopts its relatively modest rejigging of the traditional draft lottery format.

There’s more news from around the league:

  • The NBA didn’t set a record for international players on opening day rosters but it came close. A total of 108 international players from 42 countries suited up for Game 1, Michael Yuan of ESPN writes, that’s down from 113 international players from 41 countries in 2016/17.
  • The G League returning rights to Heat forward Okaro White were acquired by the Long Island Nets in a trade with the Memphis Hustle, a press release on the Nets’ affiliate’s site reports.
  • The BIG3 will expand its rosters ahead of its second season of operation, the league announced. This year teams will have one additional slot for a co-captain… which could come in handy.

Nuggets Sign Josh Childress

SEPTEMBER 20: Childress has officially signed his new contract with the Nuggets, according to RealGM’s log of NBA transactions.

SEPTEMBER 12: Josh Childress has reached an agreement with the Nuggets, making him the first BIG3 player to get an NBA deal, reports Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. According to Scotto, it’ll be a one-year, non-guaranteed pact for the veteran forward.

Childress, 34, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, when he had a four-game stint with the Pelicans. He was the sixth pick in the 2004 draft and had four strong seasons with the Hawks before signing in Greece in 2008. He returned to the United States in 2010, spending two seasons with Phoenix and one with Brooklyn before being waived. He has also played in Australia and the G League and spent last season in Japan.

Childress will be a long shot to make the team in Denver, but there is a potential roster spot open. His signing brings the Nuggets to 17 players in camp, with 14 having guaranteed money. Those totals don’t include restricted free agent center Mason Plumlee, who remains unsigned.

Lamar Odom Talks Lakers, Retirement, BIG3

Longtime NBA forward Lamar Odom hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2012/13 season, having battled off-court issues – including drug use – since then. However, the 14-year veteran believes he’d have a chance to still be playing in the NBA today if not for the trade that sent him from the Lakers to the Mavericks during the 2011 offseason. As he tells Shams Charania of The Vertical, Odom feels that he was never really himself after that trade.

“Being in L.A., the structure, the people I knew, it hurt leaving. I had great memories with the Lakers, with Kobe [Bryant] and Pau [Gasol]. That was a special time in my life,” Odom said. “I think about it all the time, about how much I had left in the tank. I had issues going on. But barring injury, could I play in the NBA today? I could play. I should still be playing.”

At age 37, Odom doesn’t intend to attempt an NBA comeback, and in fact has been in talks with the Lakers about signing a one-day contract during training camp to retire as a member of the organization, according to Charania.

Charania’s whole piece is worth checking out, but here are a few more highlights from Odom, who talked about the possibility of retiring as a Laker, his plans for the future, and a number of other topics:

On potentially retiring as a Laker:

“My family looks forward to me retiring as a Laker more than me. I’m not really emotional about being praised, about signing for a day. I’m shy at the end of the day. For my son, for my family, for my fans, they may enjoy that day. It’s for them. I ain’t celebrating not playing no more. In life though, I’ve learned to live with regrets.”

On his disappointing 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks:

“That was a hard year for me because my cousin had just got killed. It was the lockout year, so I didn’t work out any, none, before that season. I spoke to Mark Cuban, and I told him the situation I was in emotionally, that this is what you’re getting, the player you’re getting. There were hard feelings over the course of the season. I thought I would return to my old form. … It’s too bad that it didn’t work out there because I really could have flourished with Dirk Nowitzki. I could have taken advantage of his skills and my skills. It’s too bad that I wasn’t at the top of my game mentally or physically. I couldn’t perform.”

On spending time with Luke Walton and the Lakers earlier this year, and potentially re-joining the franchise as a player development coach:

“I’ve thought about coaching with the Lakers, but I don’t know if I’m ready to commit myself. It was cool being back around that environment, watching Lonzo [Ball] work out. You could tell he will be special. It’s always good to be back around the Lakers’ facility. There’s nothing but good memories, besides that trade.

On the possibility of joining Ice Cube’s BIG3 league in 2018:

“I might play in the BIG3 next year. It would give me something to do. That league is going to last. It’s not going anywhere, and more dudes will get down with it. Getting $100,000 for playing, and three-on-three is nothing to these guys. They can play still. … I think the BIG3 could become international. It could tour. Basketball is an international game, and the four-point shot is entertainment. The reason it’s going to last is Cube – and celebrities come out for it.”

And-Ones: Robinson, BIG3, Caboclo, Landry

Mitchell Robinson, who had considered leaving school to prepare for the 2018 NBA draft, has decided to play this season at Western Kentucky, reports Chad Bishop of WBKO in Bowling Green, Ky. The 7-foot center, who is ranked 14th in the DraftExpress mock draft for next year, is a freshman and will be immediately eligible to play. Robinson committed to Texas A&M in 2015, but changed his mind after A&M assistant Rick Stansbury left to become head coach at WKU. Robinson, 19, was considering overseas offers before deciding to remain in college.

There’s more basketball news today:

  • Trilogy wrapped up a perfect season and claimed the first BIG3 title Saturday with a win over the 3 Headed Monsters, writes Adi Joseph of USA Today. Rashad McCants, the first pick in the league’s draft, scored the final five points in a 51-46 victory. McCants, who spent most of his five-year career with the Timberwolves, remains angry about the premature end of his time in the NBA. “Most importantly it’s just shutting the book on a career that never really reached full potential,” McCants said. “The years of a potential prime are vanished without a trace because of a few upper-level executives that decided to make my life a living hell. Ice Cube brought me in with a chance to reinvent myself.”
  • Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo has been removed from the Brazilian National Team after refusing to enter a game in the AmeriCup tournament, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. “Bruno Caboclo committed an act of indiscipline refusing to enter on the court when the coach requested him to do that,” said team manager Renato Lamas. “We cannot allow any player to commit any act of indiscipline while wearing the jersey of the Brazilian National Team.” 
  • Carl Landry, who spent time with five teams during his nine years in the NBA, will play for China next season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Landry, who will turn 34 next month, will join the Jilin Tigers. His last NBA experience came in 2015/16 when he played 36 games for the Sixers.

And-Ones: Barrett, Jones, Seattle, Jackson

Small forward R.J. Barrett, considered the top junior prep player, has been reclassified as a senior for the next school year and could be eligible for the draft in 2019, according to Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com. The Ontario native will be eligible to sign a national letter of intent in November and is being recruited by virtually all the top programs, Biancardi continues. The 6’6” Barrett was the tournament MVP while leading Team Canada to a gold medal in the FIBA U19 World Cup.

In other news around the league:

  • Forward Terrence Jones signed a one-year contract to play in China but it’s clear he just sees it as a temporary stay, as he told Oliver Maroney of Uproxx.com in a Q&A session. Jones views his upcoming season with Qingdao as a “last opportunity” to show he can be a better all-around player so that he can return to the NBA. He was waived by both the Pelicans and Bucks last season. “This is my last opportunity to prove to my family, my city and myself that I deserve where I dream to be,” Jones told Maroney. “I want to be a champion in the NBA, I want to win a lot of games and I want the opportunity to have the best job in my world, that’s playing in the NBA. I feel like I’ve made some immature decisions in life before this summer. But whenever I do get that next opportunity, I’m going to make sure I take full advantage of it.”
  • Seattle is a likely choice for an expansion franchise but it’s not going to happen in the short term, as David Aldridge of NBA.com examines in depth. With NBA franchises raking in money, current owners don’t have much incentive to give a piece of the $24 billion they are receiving on TV deals through 2025 to an expansion franchise, Aldridge continues. There are two competing groups who are hoping to be awarded with a potential Seattle franchise and it’s unknown which group the league favors, Aldridge adds.
  • Stephen Jackson hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season but he’s holding out hope of hooking onto a team this season, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports. Jackson, 39, has been playing in the BIG3 league and he is the league’s second-leading scorer at 21 PPG. “I want to play basketball as long as I can,” Jackson told Orsborn. “I feel like there are guys in the NBA who can’t guard me.”

McCants Is First Overall Pick In BIG3 Draft

If you had Rashad McCants in your office BIG3 Draft Pool, today is your lucky day. The 32-year-old former Timberwolves guard was the first player drafted in the initial three-on-three league roster draft.

To Kenyon Martin‘s Trilogy the explosive shooting guard goes hoping to replicate the 2007/08 campaign that saw him average 14.9 points per game.

The second overall draft pick was Andre Owens, a now-36-year-old point guard whose NBA resume is limited to two partial seasons with the Jazz and Pacers.

Notable names taken high in the first round include Reggie Evans (third overall), Kwame Brown (fifth overall) and Jerome Williams (sixth overall).

Other notable players taken later include Larry Hughes (14th overall), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (17th overall) and Ruben Patterson (21st overall).

Worth noting is that several marquee players said to have been available didn’t end up getting drafted, this includes Latrell Sprewell, Steve Francis and Isaiah Rider, among others.

For a complete list of of the draft results, check out the league’s official site.

For a continually updated list of the rosters – including a list of the players who were announced but did not get drafted – check out our own BIG3 player database.

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