Ding Yanyuhang

Southwest Notes: Carmelo, Rockets, Ding, Mack

Heading into the 2018/19 season, Carmelo Anthony – who has resisted accepting a bench role in the past – told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s ready to make that adjustment for his new team. However, in his first game in a reserve role for the Rockets, Anthony scored just nine points in 27 minutes on 3-of-10 shooting. After the loss, the veteran forward admitted that there would be a “learning curve” for his new role, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays.

“It’s challenging mentally more so than anything, having to prepare for the game differently,” Anthony said. “Other than that, it’s a challenge all the way around. It’s just a matter of how I’m going to react to that challenge and accepting that challenge, which I am, which I will do.”

As Anthony gets used to playing on the second unit in Houston, let’s round up a few more notes from around the Southwest…

  • The Rockets have promoted front office executive Monte McNair, changing his title from vice president of basketball operations to assistant GM, the team announced in a press release.
  • The Mavericks signed and waived camp invitee Ding Yanyuhang twice before the regular season began. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks confirms to Hoops Rumors, Ding’s first Exhibit 10 contract with Dallas only included a $5K bonus, whereas the second deal bumped that bonus to the maximum allowable $50K. Ding will earn that money if he spends at least two months with the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.
  • When DeMarcus Cousins went down with his Achilles tear last season, it was something of a turning point for Anthony Davis, who recognized that he had to take his game to another level and carry the Pelicans. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com has the story, along with the quotes from Davis and head coach Alvin Gentry.
  • The Grizzlies‘ signing of Shelvin Mack was something of an afterthought in an offseason that also included the acquisitions of Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Garrett Temple, However, Mack opens the season as Mike Conley‘s primary backup at point guard, as Jason Munz of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details.

Mavericks Waive Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have announced that they have waived forward Ding Yanyuhang, according to a press release from the team. It’s the second time Ding has been cut by Dallas in the last four days, as he received a new contract on Friday for G League purposes. He figures to end up on the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.

Ding was originally signed on July 23, but only appeared in one preseason game for the Mavericks. The 25-year-old has been a standout for China’s Shandong Golden Stars, as he won his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award in the 2017-18 season. He had previously played for the Mavericks’ Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League teams in 2017.

The Mavericks are now carrying 17 players, including 15 on standard contracts, so their roster is down to the regular season limit.

Mavericks Re-Sign Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have re-signed Ding Yanyuhang, a formality to place him on the team’s G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, Tim McMahon of ESPN tweets.

He was waived on Wednesday after missing most of the preseason because of tendinitis in his knee.

The 6’6” Ding has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong last season, he averaged 26.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.6 SPG and earned his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding played on the Mavericks’ summer-league team last year.

Mavericks Waive Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have waived Chinese forward Ding Yanyuhang, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Ding missed training camp and most of the preseason because of tendinitis in his knee, so it’s not surprising that he wasn’t able to earn a roster spot. He will join Dallas’ G League affiliate once he clears waviers, Stein adds (Twitter link).

Ding has played in China for the past seven seasons with the Shandong Golden Stars. He averaged 26.0 points and 5.2 rebounds last year and earned the Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award for the second straight season.

Southwest Notes: Chriss, Okafor, Grizzlies, Mavs

The Rockets hope Marquese Chriss will develop into the type of backup center they thought they acquired when they signed Brandan Wright late last season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Wright got hurt quickly and only played one game for Houston, but the team sees Chriss as the same style of player, a mobile big man who can attack the rim on pick-and-rolls.

Chriss was acquired from the Suns at the end of August in the trade that sent Ryan Anderson to Phoenix. The former eighth overall pick had a solid debut for the Rockets on Tuesday with 11 points and four rebounds and welcomes a more defined role.

“The difference is they know what they want me to do,” Chriss said of the Rockets. “They’re asking me to do a specific job. I’m trying to do it to the best of my ability. There really is no question about what they want my role to be. They made it straightforward to me when I first got traded here. I embraced it, and I’m working to do it as best as I can. Being on the Suns, it was kind of touch and go what we were capable of doing or I was able to show.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Jahlil Okafor‘s ankle injury won’t prevent him from making the Pelicans‘ roster, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Okafor is expected to miss a week or two after spraining his right ankle late in Sunday’s game, but coach Alvin Gentry said that won’t affect his decision on Okafor’s status.
  • The Grizzlies should have plenty of minutes for both rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and JaMychal Green, the returning starter at power forward, writes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. Jackson attracted more attention at media day, but Green is entering the final year of his contract at nearly $7.7MM and has incentive to put up big numbers heading into free agency.
  • Mavericks‘ forward Ding Yanyuhang hasn’t practiced yet because of knee tendinitis, but may be able to make his preseason debut in his home nation of China, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Coach Rick Carlisle said Ding has been ruled out for the team’s game in Shanghai, but he may practice and play in Shenzhen. Carlisle also said the next update on Dirk Nowitzki‘s condition will come October 12 (Twitter link).

Clarkson Permitted To Play In Asian Games

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson and two other NBA players have been granted permission by the league to participate in the Asian Games. The story was first reported by CNN Philippines.

Clarkson was originally barred from playing in the event because it wasn’t sanctioned by the NBA and FIBA. The NBA has an agreement with FIBA to permit players to take part in the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup and Continental Cups, plus qualifying tournaments. The Asian Games do not fall into any of those categories, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN notes.

Clarkson will play for the Phillippines, while the Rockets’ Zhou Qi and Mavericks’ Ding Yanyuhang are expected to suit up for China, Windhorst adds. The Philippines will play their first game on Thursday when they face Kazakhstan.

Mavs Sign Chinese Star Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have signed Chinese swingman Ding Yanyuhang to a contract, according to a team press release.

It’s not immediately clear whether Yanyuhang received a two-way contract, though Dallas opened up one of those slots by trading forward Johnathan Motley to the Clippers on Monday. Dallas also has roster space to give Yanyuhang a standard contract and is currently thin at the wing positions.

The 6’6” Ding has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong last season, he averaged 26.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.6 SPG and earned his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding played on the Mavericks’ summer-league team last year. He was a candidate for a two-way contract with Dallas last summer.

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Pelicans, Rockets

The Mavericks have liked what they’ve seen from Chinese swingman Ding Yanyuhang in limited Summer League minutes, but may not be able to keep him stateside with a low-paying two-way contract, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. As Sefko details, if the Mavs want to keep Ding around, it will likely require an NBA contract offer, even if the 23-year-old may not be NBA-ready quite yet.

Within his story on Ding, Sefko also suggests that Nicolas Brussino‘s time with the Mavericks may be coming to an end. Brussino’s salary guarantee deadline for 2017/18 is next Thursday, and the Argentinian swingman seems unlikely to remain in Dallas beyond that date, per Sefko.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • The Pelicans remain in the market for an impact guard and an outside shooter, but would likely need to shed salary to add both, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. As Kushner notes, it will be complicated for New Orleans to accomplish all three goals.
  • In an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Chris Paul explained why he felt it was time to move on from the Clippers, and what drew him to the Rockets.
  • Isaiah Taylor, who has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2017/18, will likely spend the majority of the season with the Rockets rather than the team’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, per head coach Mike D’Antoni (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle). Of course, that assumes Houston doesn’t use Taylor’s non-guaranteed contract to help accommodate a trade.

Free Agent Rumors: Afflalo, Timberwolves, Yanyuhang

Veteran swingman Arron Afflalo has remained on vine through the first week of free agency but TNTs David Aldridge suspects that he’ll be picked up soon.

The 31-year-old was waived by the Kings last month after putting up 8.4 points per game in his 10th pro season. In the right situation, Afflalo could be a valuable defensive presence out on the perimeter. In Sacramento he was an established, veteran piece on a team that hit the rebuild button part-way through the regular season.

Aldridge notes that the Timberwolves took a good look at him prior to signing Jamal Crawford, a testament to his value as a 3-and-D option for teams in win now mode.

There’s more free agency buzz from around the league: