BIG3

And-Ones: Howard, Summer League, Spain, BIG3

Having been sent from Washington to Memphis in a trade for C.J. Miles, veteran center Dwight Howard is a member of the Grizzlies for now. However, the club is expected to waive or trade him at some point. After he was limited to just nine games in 2018/19 for health reasons, it’s not clear what the next step will be for Howard, but the eight-time All-Star tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that he has adjusted his mindset and is prepared to do whatever it takes to help his next team win.

“I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am. Sometimes when you want to become who you want to be, you have to die within yourself. Once you learn that you have to give up yourself for the team, that’s when things flourish.”

According to Charania, several NBA teams have said that they’re intrigued by Howard, who says he has been fully cleared after last year’s injury issues. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year claims he has lost 25 pounds since the end of the season, and one executive who saw him recently said he appears to be in his best shape in years, per Charania.

It remains to be seen whether Howard will get an opportunity to choose his next team on the free agent market, but if he does, he has one clear priority, he tells Charania: “Winning. Winning. Winning. I want to win. Nothing else. Just win.”

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

  • According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), there has been talk in Las Vegas about the possibility of moving back the start of Summer League in future years. Postponing the start date until after the end of the July moratorium would help address the problem of having traded 2019 draftees tied up in deals that can’t be made official until after Summer League is underway.
  • Spain announced its preliminary roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup this week, as Sportando relays, and the group includes a number of familiar names. The 16-man list, which will be cut down to 12 for the competition, features Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangomez, Juan Hernangomez, and former NBA players like Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver.
  • The BIG3 announced on Wednesday that Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal are being “deactivated” for the 2019 season. The league cited the need to “maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3.”

Greg Oden, Royce White, Others Selected In BIG3 Draft

The BIG3, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league, completed its draft for the 2019 season on Wednesday night, and a number of noteworthy former NBA players were among the players selected.

Former NBA first overall pick Greg Oden wasn’t the first player picked in the BIG3 draft, but he did come off the board in the first round, going seventh overall to the Aliens, a team whose roster also includes Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Brown.

The No. 1 selection in the BIG3’s draft was former NBA first-rounder Royce White, whose NBA career was cut short after just three games due to battles with mental health and a fear of flying. White will join an Enemies squad led by captain Gilbert Arenas and co-captains Lamar Odom and Perry Jones III.

The following veterans who appeared in at least 100 games during their NBA careers were also selected in the 31-player draft on Wednesday:

  1. Larry Sanders (3 Headed Monsters)
  2. Josh Powell (Killer 3s)
  3. Shawne Williams (Bivouac)
  4. Jamario Moon (Ghost Ballers)
  5. Donte Greene (Killer 3s)
  6. Jason Richardson (Tri-State)
  7. Alan Anderson (Triplets)
  8. Sam Young (Trilogy)
  9. Brandon Rush (Aliens)
  10. Craig Smith (Enemies)
  11. Mario Chalmers (3 Headed Monsters)
  12. C.J. Watson (Killer 3s)
  13. Carlos Arroyo (Trilogy)
  14. Dion Glover (Bivouac)
  15. Bonzi Wells (Tri-State)

A full breakdown of the 2019 BIG3 draft results can be found right here, while the rosters for the 12 teams set to compete in the ’19 season are here.

Larry Sanders To Play In BIG3

Another notable NBA veteran has joined the BIG3’s draft pool, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, who tweets that big man Larry Sanders is looking to resume his basketball career by playing in the 3-on-3 league this summer. The BIG3 posted a photo of Sanders participating in its pre-draft combine on Tuesday.

Sanders, the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft, appeared in 238 regular season games over the course of six NBA seasons with the Bucks and Cavs. In 19.5 minutes per contest, he contributed 6.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and an impressive 1.8 BPG. He last appeared in an NBA game in April 2017.

A variety of off-court factors related to anxiety, depression, and marijuana use ultimately derailed Sanders’ career. However, as a result of being waived via the stretch provision, he’ll continue to be paid approximately $1.87MM per year by the Bucks through 2021/22.

While Sanders is still just 30 years old and his rim-protecting skills would certainly be a fit for the modern game, an NBA comeback appears to be a long shot for now. So far, Josh Childress is the only player to sign an NBA contract after playing in the BIG3, and he was waived by the Nuggets before the 2017/18 regular season begin.

Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, Lamar Odom, Gilbert Arenas, Kendrick Perkins, Josh Smith, and Mario Chalmers are among the other NBA veterans to commit to the BIG3 for the 2019 season.

And-Ones: Hoiberg, Morrow, Summer League, Hamilton

Former Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is expected to be a frontrunner for Nebraska’s coaching job if and when the Huskers part ways with current coach Tim Miles, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link). There has been contact between Nebraska and Hoiberg, according to Chris Basnett of The Lincoln Journal Star, who confirms that the former Bulls coach would be a “strong candidate” for job if Miles is dismissed.

A source tell Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link) that Hoiberg would definitely “entertain” the Nebraska job if it’s offered to him, but it’s not entirely clear if he’d accept it. As Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets, Hoiberg’s top choice would be to coach in the NBA. However, there’s a sense that he’d likely prefer to coach in the NCAA rather than work in an NBA front office.

As we wait to see what’s next for Hoiberg, here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran NBA sharpshooter Anthony Morrow has signed on to participate in the BIG3 this summer, the league announced on Tuesday (via Twitter). Morrow, a career 41.7% three-point shooter in 564 NBA games, last played in the league during the 2016/17 season, appearing in 49 games for the Thunder and Bulls.
  • All 30 NBA teams will be represented at this year’s Summer League in Las Vegas, and a pair of international teams will join them. According to an Associated Press report, the Chinese and Croatian national squads will participate in the event. China is expected to use the Vegas Summer League as a tune-up for the 2019 World Cup; Croatia didn’t qualify.
  • Former Thunder and Hawks guard Daniel Hamilton has signed an NBA G League contract, per Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link). Hamilton is eligible to be claimed off waivers, with the NBAGL postseason right around the corner.

Jason Terry To Play In BIG3

Former NBA champion and Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry is the latest big-name addition to the BIG3, the league announced today (via Twitter).

Terry, 41, appeared in 51 games for the Bucks just last season, but despite his desire to play a 20th NBA season, he didn’t catch on with a team in 2018/19. Instead, he’ll set his sights on Ice Cube‘s three-on-three league, as he’ll participate in the 2019 BIG3 season. Speaking to James Herbert of CBSSports.com, Terry said he decided to join the BIG3 because of his “love for the game and for the fans.”

“Watching the BIG3 the last two years — the first year I was able to attend the championship game in Vegas, last year I was at one of the home games in Dallas — sitting courtside, I promised Cube, the very first year that I retire, that I will play in the BIG3,” Terry said.

Terry, who currently ranks fifth on the NBA’s all-time list with 2,282 three-pointers made, also vowed to take full advantage of the ability to attempt four-point shots in the BIG3.

“I love it. I love that dynamic of the game,” Terry told Herbert. “I think it’s a part of the game that, guys in today’s NBA, they shoot it from long range but they only get three points for it. Now we’re out here in the BIG3, I’m going to get four points for something that I ordinarily did. An extra point goes a long way for me.”

Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, Lamar Odom, Gilbert Arenas, Kendrick Perkins, Josh Smith, and Mario Chalmers are among the other players that have committed to playing in the BIG3 in 2019. The league also announced a couple more additions to its player pool in recent days, confirming (via Twitter) that NBA veterans Ronnie Brewer and Brandon Rush will participate this season.

Mario Chalmers, Josh Smith Sign To Play In BIG3

Former NBA players Mario Chalmers and Josh Smith have both signed on to play in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league this summer, according to a series of tweets from the league.

Chalmers, a two-time NBA champion with the Heat, currently plays with Virtus Bologna in Italy and is expected to join the BIG3 once his contract ends in June, as noted by Sportando. The BIG3 schedule is set to begin on June 22.

Chalmers played 66 games with the Grizzlies last season, starting in 10 contests and averaging 7.7 points, 3.7 assists and 21.5 minutes per contest. He played a key role on the Heat’s 2012 and 2013 championship teams, giving the team quality minutes as a starting point guard on both ends of the floor.

Smith, a versatile forward drafted 17th to Atlanta in 2004, holds 13 seasons of NBA experience with the Hawks, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers and Pelicans. He appeared in three games with New Orleans last season, getting waived two weeks after he was signed.

Longtime NBA veterans Joe Johnson and Al Jefferson also signed on to play in the BIG3 on Thursday, adding to a mix of talent that already includes Lamar Odom, Gilbert Arenas, Kendrick Perkins, and others.

The deadline for players to sign with the league is Tuesday, March 19. More player signing announcements are expected to be made in the coming weeks.

Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson To Play In BIG3

Ice Cube’s three-on-three BIG3 league has secured a couple of its biggest names yet, as the league announced (via Twitter) that Joe Johnson and Al Jefferson signed on to play in the BIG3 for the 2019 season.

Johnson, a seven-time All-Star, played in the NBA last season for the Jazz and Rockets, appearing in a total of 55 games. Although he didn’t catch on with a new NBA club this season, the 37-year-old also hasn’t announced his retirement as a player, so it’s possible he’ll still attempt a comeback in 2019/20 after spending the summer playing BIG3 ball.

In 17 NBA seasons, Johnson has averaged 16.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.9 APG with a .441/.371/.802 shooting line. He has appeared in a total of 1,276 regular season games for Atlanta, Brooklyn, Phoenix, Utah, Boston, Miami, and Houston, plus 120 postseason contests for those same teams (minus the Celtics).

As for Jefferson, the 34-year-old big man played in China this season after spending the previous 14 seasons with the Celtics, Timberwolves, Jazz, Hornets, and Pacers. His NBA averages stand at 15.7 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 915 career regular season games, and he was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2014. Like Johnson, he hasn’t indicated that he plans to retire as an NBA player, so a comeback next season remains a possibility.

While Johnson and Jefferson are two of the most noteworthy name added to the BIG3’s roster this summer, they’re far from the only former NBA players to join the league’s ranks. The BIG3 has also added Gilbert Arenas, Lamar Odom, Daniel Gibson, C.J. Watson, Charlie Bell, Stromile Swift, and many others to its player pool during the offseason.

And-Ones: Bird, Swift, Draft, Acy, Morant

Former Celtics guard Jabari Bird is awaiting sentencing after entering a plea of sufficient facts to the accusation of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, according to an Associated Press report. The plea is not an admission of guilt but acknowledges a likely conviction at trial.

Bird was released on bail after the hearing and will be sentenced May 28. He faced several charges in the alleged attack on the woman in September, including strangulation or suffocation, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Bird’s contract was traded to the Hawks in February, who quickly waived him.

We have more developments from around the basketball world:

  • Power forward Stromile Swift has entered his name in the BIG3 draft pool, the league’s PR department tweets. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2000 draft last appeared in the NBA during the 2008/09 season with the Suns and Nets.
  • NBA executives will scour the country at conference tournaments this week, looking at every possible prospect who might put his name in the draft. It’s a unique opportunity for some players to improve their stock on a big stage, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony notes. Las Vegas will be a particular hotbed of activity, with the Pac-12, WCC, WAC and Mountain West holding tournaments there. Givony takes a deep dive in the prospects that the scouts will be perusing this week.
  • Veteran forward Quincy Acy has left the Texas Legends, the G League affiliate of the Mavericks, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.  Acy, 28, played 10 games with the Suns this season.
  • Murray State point guard Ja Morant has leapfrogged Duke’s R.J. Barrett as the second-best prospect in the draft behind Zion Williamson, according to Mike Schmitz of ESPN. Morant put on a dazzling display while carrying the Racers through the OVC tournament and into the NCAA Tournament. Givony maintains it’s premature to make that assessment before the draft lottery.

And-Ones: White, Adams, Hawes, Withey

Former first-round pick Royce White still plans to play in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league this summer despite making a jump to mixed martial arts, the 27-year-old told Hoops Rumors.

White, who last played in the NBA with Sacramento in 2014, entered his name to the BIG3 player pool in early February. White first made his intentions of starting a career in MMA known during an interview with ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein.

“I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” White told ESPN. “Among the NBA community, part of my appeal as a draft prospect was my unique size, athleticism, vision and that I probably have one of the 10 biggest set of hands in the NBA. I think all of those things will translate beautifully to the UFC.”

White released a book this week titled “MMA x NBA: A Critique of Modern Sport in America”. He was drafted 16th by the Rockets in 2012 after a standout season at Iowa State, later moving on to hold stints with the Kings and teams overseas before temporarily stepping away from the court last August.

White, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward, joins Shannon Brown, Kendrick Perkins, Lamar Odom and other former NBA players who are set to play in the BIG3 this summer.

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

  • Free agent Jordan Adams has been acquired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, G League affiliate of the Rockets, agent Shasta Scott told Hoops Rumors. Adams appeared in 32 games with the Grizzlies from 2014-16, averaging 3.2 points per game in limited time. He was drafted with the No. 22 pick by Memphis in 2014.
  • Former NBA player Spencer Hawes has signed a contract in the NBA G League and is available to be claimed off waivers, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. Hawes, a 10-year NBA veteran, has made stops with the Kings, Sixers, Cavaliers, Clippers, Hornets and Bucks during his professional career.
  • Jeff Withey has agreed to a deal with Greek team Lavrio B.C. for the rest of the season, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando). Withey started the season in Turkey with Tofas Bursa, but left the team following their elimination in the EuroCup. He last played in the NBA with the Mavericks during the 2017-18 season.

And-Ones: Jersey Ads, Bibby, C. Bell, Delfino

The NBA’s jersey patch experiment has been a success for the league, generating more than $150MM in new revenue, per a report from Terry Lefton and John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal (hat tip to RealGM). According to Lefton and Lombardo, uniform sponsorship deals to date have ranged in value from about $5-20MM per year, but executives expect that number to increase in value when it’s time to renew agreements.

“Like most teams, we’re heading towards renewal thinking these are worth substantially more, because the impression numbers have been so good,” Bucks president Peter Feigin said.

While the NBA will look to extend the program, there’s no demand to increase the size of the patches beyond their current dimensions (2.5-by-2.5 inches), league and team officials tell Lefton and Lombardo.

Currently, 29 of the league’s 30 teams have sponsored patches on their jerseys, with the Thunder representing the lone holdout so far. The full list of sponsors by team can be found right here.

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

  • NBA coaching hopeful – and longtime guard – Mike Bibby is under investigation after being accused of sexual abuse and harassment by a teacher at Shadow Mountain High School, according to Lily Altavena of The Arizona Republic. Bibby recently coached the school’s basketball team to its fourth consecutive state title, but has been removed from his position following these allegations, Altavena writes in a separate story.
  • The BIG3 has added another former NBA starter to its player pool, announcing this week (via Twitter) that Charlie Bell will participate in the 3-on-3 league this season. A one-time Michigan State standout, Bell appeared in 376 total regular season NBA games between 2001-11, primarily as a member of the Bucks.
  • Another former NBA player, Carlos Delfino, has a new team in Italy, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who passes along word that the veteran forward has officially signed with Fortitudo Bologna. Delfino had a contentious exit from his former team, Fiat Torino, earlier in the season.
  • In an entertaining Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Chris Herring, Bobby Marks, and Kevin Pelton ranked the NBA’s top 25 players under the age of 25. Giannis Antetokounmpo tops the list, followed by Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, and Luka Doncic.