International

And-Ones: Gudaitis, Beaubois, Paul, Robinson, Curry, King

Lithuanian center Arturas Gudaitis is expected to leave Olimpia Milano and join Zenit St. Petersburg next season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Gudaitis, who played 19 games last season with Olimpia Milano and averaged 7.3 PPG and 4.4 RPG, had been signed through next season with the Italian club. The Sixers used a 2015 second-round pick on Gudaitis but he has never appeared in an NBA regular-season game. The Cavaliers acquired his rights in 2018 via a three-way trade with the Kings and Jazz.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois has reached a two-year contract extension with his Turkish club Anadolu Efes, Misko Raznatovic tweets. Beaubois, 32, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2012/13 season. Last season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.
  • Chris Paul has made a strong impression as NBA Players Association president, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. Players Association executive director Michele Roberts indicates that not all superstar players like the Thunder point guard command the same respect. “I won’t name any names, but there have been other marquee players that have been on the executive committee,” Roberts said. “They haven’t come close, they haven’t come close to providing and demonstrating a level of commitment and time that Chris has. And he’s not only just there, he’s engaged, he understands the issues. … He does insist on hearing all sides, and he brings in the other players.”
  • Joe Johnson, Mario Chalmers, Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry are among the former NBA players slated to participate in 3-on-3 pay-per-view tournament later this month, Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype tweets. The “5 Tournament” is scheduled to take place July 19-29, just before the NBA’s planned restart.
  • Former Suns two-way player George King has signed with Bundesliga’s Chemnitz 99ers, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. King, who appeared in one game with the Suns in 2018/19, played in Italy and Poland last season.

International Notes: Dekker, Kokoskov, Crawford, P. Jones

Panathinaikos is targeting former NBA forward Sam Dekker for next season, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops. The Greek club is under new management and is considering Dekker as a possible replacement for Deshaun Thomas.

Dekker, 26, played for Lokomotiv Kuban this year, averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in the EuroCup and 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in the VTB League. It was the first season outside the NBA for the former first-round pick after spending time with the Rockets, Clippers, Cavaliers and Wizards.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov was introduced today as the new head coach of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, according to EuroHoops. He reportedly received a three-year deal to take over the Turkish team. “I feel obligated to the Fenerbahce fans and the people who brought me here to give them the best of my abilities, experience and knowledge to help this club keep being successful as it is,” he said. “Fenerbahce fans love their basketball team, so we will give our best to keep them happy by winning lots of basketball games and trophies.” Kokoskov, who spent a season as head coach of the Suns, also coaches the Serbian National Team.
  • Jordan Crawford has signed a one-year deal with Lokomotiv Kuban, Barbarousis writes in a separate story. Crawford, 31, played for five teams in eight NBA seasons before moving overseas early last year. He played in Israel and China before spending part of this season with Brose Bamberg in Germany.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Perry Jones III will continue his career with Bursaspor in Turkey, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The 28-year-old spent three seasons with the Thunder.

Australian League Team Looking To Add Deng Adel

Small forward Deng Adel is being pursued by the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s NBL, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchinia.

The Hawks are based in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. This would mark a return to Adel’s adopted home country. The swingman’s family fled from the war-ravaged South Sudan to Uganda before planting roots in Melbourne when he was eight.

The 6’7″ Adel went undrafted out of Louisville in 2018. Signed as a two-way player to the Cavaliers, Adel saw limited time in 19 games for Cleveland during the 2018/19 season. The Cavaliers did not retain him in the summer of 2019.

After being added and subsequently waived by the Nets prior to the start of the 2019/20 season, Adel latched on with Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. Before the G League season was paused – and ultimately canceled – due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, Adel held averages of 11.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.6 APG.

Raymond Felton Will Look To Resume Playing Career

After spending a second season with the Thunder in 2018/19, Raymond Felton hasn’t been on a roster – in the NBA or elsewhere – during the ’19/20 campaign. However, the 36-year-old point guard isn’t yet ready to call it a career, as he tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

Discussing his future, Felton said he thinks his agent has had conversations with NBA teams about the possibility of him being a substitute player in Orlando this summer. However, he’s not sure he’d feel comfortable playing at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus if he received an offer. Still, Felton will aim to make a return to the court for the 2020/21 season.

“Oh, no question,” Felton told Kennedy. “It’d be like I was away for just one season and I would definitely be looking to try to get with somebody next season. I just want to play. I’m not retiring. I want to play. Even if I have to go across that water to play, I will. I just want to play basketball. I’m not ready to let the game go yet.”

Felton added that his “ultimate goal” has always been to play professional basketball for 16 seasons. He has spent 14 years in the NBA so far, so he’d like to play for at least two more seasons, or even three, if possible. The former UNC star stressed to Kennedy that he’s open to playing in an international league if no appealing NBA opportunities arise.

“This is the first time that I’ve actually been open to (playing overseas), just seeing the changes in the (NBA) and how they want to go younger and want to basically not even have veterans that much anymore,” Felton said. “It’s just one of those things where I’m like, ‘Okay, well, I still want to play…’ So even if I have to go play over there, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Felton appeared in all 82 games for Oklahoma City in 2017/18 as the team’s backup point guard, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .406/.352/.818 shooting in 16.6 minutes per contest. However, he fell out of the Thunder’s regular rotation in ’18/19, averaging just 11.5 MPG in 33 appearances.

Kings Assistant Igor Kokoskov To Coach Fenerbahce

Former Suns head coach and current Kings assistant Igor Kokoskov has agreed in principle to become the new head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahce, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ismail Senol of beIN Sports, who first reported the agreement, tweets that the two sides agreed to a three-year deal. Kokoskov will replace longtime Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic, a three-time EuroLeague Coach of the Year who parted ways with the Turkish club last week.

Kokoskov became the NBA’s first European-born head coach when he was hired by Phoenix in 2018 to replace Jay Triano. However, he lasted just a single season with the Suns before being replaced by Monty Williams. After interviewing for the Grizzlies’ head coaching vacancy in 2019, Kokoskov ultimately landed in Sacramento as the top assistant on Luke Walton‘s staff.

A native of Serbia, Kokoskov is currently the head coach of the country’s national team and will look to lead Serbia to a spot in the Tokyo Olympics next summer. He previously coached the Slovenian National Team, leading that club to a 2017 EuroBasket victory, and was also the head coach of the Georgian National Team from 2008-15.

Despite his agreement with Fenerbahce, Kokoskov will join the Kings in Orlando this summer and finish out the season with the team, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic.

Gal Mekel Extends With Spanish Team

Gal Mekel, once a point guard for the Mavericks and Pelicans, has signed a two-year extension with the Spanish ACB League/EuroCup club Unicaja Málaga, per Dario Skerletic of Sportando.

He had signed with the team just ahead of a pause in league play due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Mekel suited up for six games with Unicaja Málaga.

Mekel, 32, appeared in 35 NBA games across parts of two seasons. 31 of those contests were for Dallas in 2013/14, and four were as a Pelican the following season. A Wichita State alum who went undrafted in 2008, the Israel-born Mekel has been well-traveled internationally.

A three-time All-Israeli League First Teamer, Mekel is a two-time Israeli League MVP, for Hapoel Gilboa Galil in 2011 and for Maccabi Haifa in 2013.

Former Raptor Jordan Loyd Signs With Serbian Club

Jordan Loyd, a former two-way point guard on the championship 2018/19 Raptors, has inked a contract with Serbian club KK Crvena Zvezda, per Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Loyd’s new squad belongs to the Basketball League of Serbia, the Adriatic Basketball Association League, as well as the EuroLeague.

The 6’4″ 26-year-old has just wrapped up a successful initial season with Valencia, a team that plays in both the Spanish League ACB and the EuroLeague. Loyd averaged 11.9 PPG (he converted 41% from deep), 2.2 APG and 1.0 SPG while with Valencia during his tenure for the squad’s 2019/20 season.

Loyd’s cup of coffee in the NBA is perhaps most notable for his moment as the “Random Guy In A Suit” next to Kawhi Leonard as he clinched his notoriously clutch 2019 semifinals Game 7 buzzer-beater against the Sixers. The guard saw action in 12 games for Toronto during his lone NBA season thus far.

Loyd went undrafted out of the University of Indianapolis in 2016. After logging time in the then-D-League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Loyd went overseas, where he suited up for the Israeli club Hapoel Eilat in 2017/18.

And-Ones: Luxury Tax, Thomas, Scola, Top Defenders

The Trail Blazers have the highest luxury tax bill at $5.9MM, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Team salaries are now frozen after the one-week transactions period that closed late Tuesday. The Heat ($2.9MM), Thunder ($2.5MM) and Timberwolves ($582K) are also over the luxury tax line but the projected $11.9MM total is the lowest since the luxury tax was introduced in 2002/03, Marks notes.

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And-Ones: TBT, Daniels, Whittington, Newman

A number of former NBA players are set to take part in 2020’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, an annual, winner-take-all tournament with a prize of $1MM.

As Carmine Carcieri of ESPN details, veteran guard Joe Johnson is playing in The Basketball Tournament after winning a championship and an MVP award in the BIG3 in 2019. Malachi Richardson, Tony Wroten, Johnny O’Bryant, and Markel Brown are among the others with NBA experience who will suit up for the event, per Carcieri.

More recently, a couple more notable names have joined the list of participants, with veteran guard Jarrett Jack joining Johnson’s Overseas Elite squad (Twitter link), while former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet will be a member of the Playing For Jimmy V team.

With most professional sports still on hiatus, The Basketball Tournament should be under a larger spotlight in 2020. ESPN announced its broadcast schedule for the event today, starting with four games on July 4 and culminating in a July 14 championship.

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

  • CAA Sports is hiring Evan Daniels of 247Sports to become an agent in its college basketball coaching division, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Daniels has long been one of the most well-connected and reliable sources for college basketball and NBA draft news.
  • Free agent forward Greg Whittington, who had a strong year in Turkey in 2019/20, isn’t eligible to join an NBA team for the summer restart, but continues to receive strong offers from EuroLeague teams, including Panathinaikos BC, agent Jerry Dianis tells JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter links).
  • Former lottery pick Derrick Williams has received interest from international teams, including Khimki, but no deal is imminent, reports JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Williams, who last played in the NBA in 2017/18, spent the ’19/20 season with Fenerbahce.
  • Malik Newman, who spent a little time with the Cavaliers this season, has signed with Turkish team Bursaspor, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. Newman appeared in just one game for Cleveland, spending most of 2019/20 with the Canton Charge in the G League.

International Notes: Mirotic, Scola, M. Gasol, Rudez

Former NBA forward Nikola Mirotic has been named MVP of Liga ACB, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. It’s the second European MVP award for the 29-year-old, who is preparing for a semifinal playoff game tomorrow with his FC Barcelona team.

Mirotic made a surprising decision to return to Europe last summer after five NBA seasons. He was projected to land a contract somewhere in the range of $45MM over three years if he had remained in the NBA, and Johnson reports that he had an offer in place from the Jazz. Mirotic spent most of his career with the Bulls, and split last season between the Pelicans and Bucks.

“You can see it in my face, in my smile. It was a good surprise, it brightened my day,” he said in an interview with Eurohoops.net about winning the award. “The MVP award for me means a collective work of the team. This award goes to all my teammates who have helped me to be better every day. Each game has helped me to feel good. And of course to the coaching staff who have managed to put me in the best position that I feel effective. And also for all those who support us, the fans.”

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Luis Scola, who left Olympia Milano earlier this month, will remain in Italy and sign with Varese, a source tells Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The 40-year-old forward hopes to play one more season before ending his career with the Olympics next summer.
  • Raptors center Marc Gasol announced Friday that the club he owns in Spain, Girona Basket, will create the country’s first 3×3 professional team, according to Michael Houston of insidethegame.biz. Growing in popularity around the world, 3×3 basketball will make its Olympics debut next year in Tokyo.
  • Former Pacers, Timberwolves and Magic forward Damjan Rudez signed a two-year deal with Donar in the Netherlands, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.