International

MarShon Brooks Expected To Play In China

After being released by the Bulls last month, veteran guard MarShon Brooks appears to have lined up his next destination. A source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando that Brooks has agreed to a deal with China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers.

Brooks, 30, had an unusual NBA season, having found himself involved of a three-way trade rumor involving the Grizzlies, Wizards, and Suns in December. The three clubs nearly agreed to a deal, but it fell apart when the Suns realized the Grizzlies intended to send them MarShon rather than Dillon Brooks.

Memphis subsequently traded MarShon to the Bulls in a January deal for Justin Holiday, and Chicago waived him a few days later. In 29 games for the Grizzlies this season, Brooks averaged 6.6 PPG on .450/.278/.697 shooting in 13.3 minutes per contest.

Brooks is now poised to join a team that is battling for first place in the Chinese Basketball Association as the postseason approaches. Guangdong was in the news once today already, as the club was said to be finalizing a deal with Michael Beasley as well.

Teams in the CBA are only permitted to carry two international players, and Guangdong also has Sonny Weems under contract. However, Carchia suggests in a follow-up tweet that the club could technically carry three international players if one is inactive. It’s not clear yet what the team’s plan is, assuming both Brooks and Beasley officially sign.

Michael Beasley Expected To Play In China

Veteran NBA forward Michael Beasley is set to continue his career overseas, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Beasley is finalizing a deal with China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers. Wojnarowski suggests the deal, which figures to span about two months, will be worth “significant cash.”

Beasley, 30, spent most of the 2018/19 season with the Lakers after signing a one-year contract with the club last summer. However, his role in Los Angeles was limited. He appeared in just 26 games, averaging 7.0 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 10.7 minutes per contest.

The Lakers sent Beasley to the Clippers along with Ivica Zubac in exchange for Mike Muscala in a deadline deal earlier this month. The Clippers subsequently released Beasley, making him an unrestricted free agent.

A previous report from Emiliano Carchia of Sportando has suggested that veteran guard MarShon Brooks was set to replace guard Malcolm Delaney on Guangdong’s roster in China. That deal had yet to be officially finalized, so it’s possible Beasley is filling the spot that Brooks had initially been in line for, but we’ll wait for further confirmation to be sure.

This will be Beasley’s third stint in the Chinese Basketball Association, as he previously spent time with the Shanghai Sharks and the Shandong Golden Stars. While Guangdong is vying for first place in the CBA standings and could make a deep playoff run, Beasley’s season in China still may end before the NBA season does, which would leave the door open for him to return to an NBA team for the postseason.

As for Delaney, he told Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net that he’s in no hurry to sign with another team after leaving Guangdong. Varlas writes that three EuroLeague clubs have been in touch with Delaney, who is hoping for a return to the NBA. He previously spent a pair of seasons with the Hawks from 2016-18.

And-Ones: Iguodala, Gupta, Vesely, Williamson

Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala was elected First Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association, according to an NBPA press release. Iguodala has been on the Executive Committee since February 2013. He replaces LeBron James, whose four-year term has expired.

The BucksMalcolm Brogdon, the CelticsJaylen Brown and the HornetsBismack Biyombo were elected to serve as VPs on the Executive Committee. They replace Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry and Iguodala.

Chris Paul remains President of the committee with Anthony Tolliver, Pau Gasol, C.J. McCollum and Garrett Temple also serving on it.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Pistons assistant GM Sachin Gupta never knew ESPN’s Trade Machine would become so popular when he created it in 2006, Rod Beard of the Detroit News reports. Gupta called it a “fun project” and took about a month to write the code for the Trade Machine when he worked for the network, Beard adds. “It’s not meant to replace common sense. It’s not meant to replace any GM’s job,” Gupta said. “It’s simply based on the rules and whether it works or not.”
  • Former NBA player Jan Vesely has signed an extension with Fenerbahce that keep him under contract until 2022, the Turkish team tweets. The 7-foot power forward was drafted by the Wizards with the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft but only lasted three NBA seasons.
  • Stephen Curry is a fan of Duke’s Zion Williamson, considered the top prospect in this year’s draft, he said in an interview with The Undefeated and relayed by E. Jay Zarett of the Sporting News. “He’s unreal. We were talking about him the other day in our team room,” Curry said, via Justin Tinsley of the Undefeated. “He has a lot of hype around him and he’s unbelievably talented, but you can’t teach his passion and the way that … he plays. He plays hard every possession, and that’s an underrated skill that kids can kind of emulate.”

Teodosic Not Expected To Return To NBA This Season

After being waived by the Clippers earlier this month, veteran point guard Milos Teodosic looked like a strong candidate to return to a team in Europe if he didn’t draw immediate NBA interest. Now, it sounds like Teodosic may not play for an NBA team or for a European club for the rest of the season.

According to a report from Nikola Stejkovic of Serbian outlet MozzartSport.com (Twitter links), Teodosic is expected to suit up for Serbia’s national team in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, then plans to sit out the rest of the season to prepare for the 2019/20 campaign (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

Serbia, which has a 6-4 record in qualifying matches for the 2019 World Cup so far, has games against Estonia and Israel in the coming days. The squad is in position to secure a spot in this fall’s event, assuming it can hold off Georgia (5-5) and Israel (4-6) in the standings.

As for Teodosic, while his focus is on international play for now, the longtime EuroLeague star is still just 31 years old and presumably has several good years left in him. In a season and a half with the Clippers, he averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.0 APG with a .420/.378/.811 shooting line in 60 games (21.4 MPG). He saw his role dwindle this season due to a crowded backcourt rotation in Los Angeles.

Based on comments he made in the fall, Teodosic sounds prepared to return to the EuroLeague going forward, after having given the NBA a shot. Having played for CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Olympiacos (Greece) in the past, the veteran guard was said to be drawing interest from Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey) earlier this season, though he figures to have multiple suitors in the offseason.

And-Ones: Team USA, Walton, J. Crawford, Draft

USA Basketball has announced its 13-man roster for the upcoming 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the squad once again made up of NBA G League players. Of the 13 players on the roster, Reggie Hearn, Xavier Munford, Cameron Reynolds, and Travis Trice have suited up for previous World Cup qualifiers.

They’ll be joined by nine newcomers, including players with a little NBA experience like Chinanu Onuaku and Emanuel Terry.

Josh Adams, Kyle Casey, Chris Chiozza, Charles Cooke, Michael Frazier II, D.J. Hogg, and Tanner McGrew round out the roster.

Team USA, having gone 8-2 in previous qualifiers, has already earned its spot in the 2019 World Cup, so there won’t be as much pressure on this group for the games taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 22 (vs. Panama) and February 25 (vs. Argentina).

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

  • Former Michigan and Heat point guard Derrick Walton, who recently left his team in Lithuania, has signed with ALBA Berlin in Germany, according to the club (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). Walton was on a two-way contract with Miami last season and was in training camp with the Bulls in the fall before heading overseas.
  • Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford saw his one-month contract with Israeli club Ironi Nahariya expire and is once again a free agent, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has released an updated 2019 mock draft at ESPN.com, with Murray State’s Ja Morant moving up to No. 3 to break up a run of Duke prospects at the top of the draft.
  • In an entertaining piece for SI.com, Jake Fischer spoke to a number of role players who have been traded along with stars to find out what it’s like to be an afterthought at an introductory press conference.

And-Ones: A. Davis, Moreland, Weber, Stokes

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported last week that the Pelicans were told by the NBA that they’d be subject to fines of $100K per game if they sit a healthy Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, but league spokesperson Mike Bass suggested today that that’s not quite right, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links).

“The NBA did not tell New Orleans that it would be fined $100K per game if Anthony Davis were held out for the remainder of [the] season,” Bass said in a statement to Stein. “The Pelicans were advised that the team had not identified a proper basis for making that determination at this time and league rules governing competitive integrity therefore require that he be permitted to play.”

It seems clear that the Pelicans will face penalties if they elect to sit Davis and ensure that he’s healthy in advance of summer trade talks, and the league’s approach to the issue has been the subject of plenty of debate among NBA observers.

Several other teams, including the Rockets (Carmelo Anthony), Cavaliers (J.R. Smith), and Grizzlies (Chandler Parsons) have held out healthy players for much of the season, not even requiring those players to be with the team, and they haven’t faced any sort of discipline from the NBA, as Stein tweets. Of course, those players don’t have nearly the same on-court impact that Davis has — the Pelicans can’t make the case that they’re better off without AD, whereas perhaps those teams could have made that case with regard to their exiled players.

On the other hand, Davis and his representatives were fined by the league for making a public trade request, and it’s probably in the Pelicans’ best long-term interests to sit the All-NBA big man to protect their trade asset and to improve their spot in the draft lottery, writes Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated. You could make the case that the Pelicans should be allowed to run their team as they wish, given the unusual circumstances surrounding Davis and the franchise.

As we wait to see how the AD saga plays out, let’s round up some odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • While players who were released at the trade deadline are generating the most speculation at the moment, keep an eye on Eric Moreland, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. According to Scott, Moreland – who was waived by Phoenix last month – is on NBA teams’ radars.
  • It got lost amidst last week’s trade deadline madness, but journeyman guard Briante Weber has landed in the EuroLeague, inking a contract with Greece’s Olympiacos. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops first reported that Weber was nearing an agreement with Olympiacos, while Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) confirmed that a deal was in place.
  • Free agent big man Jarnell Stokes, who last played in the NBA in 2016/17 for Denver, has reached an agreement with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. We reported at the end of January that Stokes was drawing interest from Chinese clubs.
  • Longtime NBA guard Carlos Arroyo, who played in 569 total regular season games for seven teams, has joined the BIG3 draft pool for the 2019 season, the league announced today (via Twitter). The BIG3 has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for ’19, as we noted last week.

Lorenzo Brown Will Play In China

China will be the next stop for former Raptors point guard Lorenzo Brown, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Brown, who was waived in January, has signed a contract with the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Brown appeared in 26 games for the Raptors this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 assists in 8.2 minutes per night. He spent 2017/18  as a two-way player for Toronto, getting into 14 NBA games, then signed a standard contract last summer.

Brown, who was named MVP of the G League last year, was a second-round pick by the Timberwolves in 2013. He also had brief stops with the Sixers and Suns.

And-Ones: Munford, Stokes, Davis, Perkins, Brown

Former NBA guard Xavier Munford has left the Chinese Basketball Association to join the Wisconsin Herd, G League affiliate of the Bucks, the team announced this week.

Munford appeared in 34 games with the Herd last season, holding per-game averages of 24.4 points, five rebounds and 5.2 assists. He shot 50.9% from the floor and 44.4% from 3-point range during that stint, earning a two-way contract with the Bucks in January of 2018.

Munford went unsigned in free agency and agreed to a deal with the Fuijan Sturgeons this past December. He holds NBA experience with the Grizzlies and multiple summer league stints over the past few seasons, going undrafted in 2014 out of Rhode Island. NBA teams could look to Munford for a potential 10-day contract in the coming weeks.

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

  • Free agent Jarnell Stokes has registered interest from teams in China, a source told Hoops Rumors. The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced that Stokes, 25, left the team this week to pursue other opportunities. Stokes was waived from his two-way contract with the Grizzlies in early January after the team was faced with injuries to Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson and other wing players.
  • The Maine Red Claws have re-acquired Trey Davis, the team announced in a press release. Davis is expected to be in uniform on Friday when Maine takes on the Greensboro Swarm. Davis, a 6-foot point guard, originally made the team out of open tryouts as an undrafted guard in 2017.
  • Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Brown have become the latest ex-NBA players to sign with Ice Cube’s BIG3 league this summer, the association announced (Twitter links). Perkins, a bruising center who spent 15 seasons in the NBA, played a key role in helping the Celtics win a championship in 2008. Brown, a high-flying guard who held stints with several different teams, won two NBA championships as a member of the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

James Nunnally Will Play In Italy

JANUARY 27: Nunnally has signed a two-year deal with Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano, according to Sportando.

JANUARY 22, 8:59am: Agent Bill Neff tells Sportando that Milano was one of five teams to make Nunnally an offer before he signed with the Rockets, but the two sides aren’t in agreement on a new deal at this point. Nunnally has not yet decided on his next move, per Neff.

8:45am: After being waived by the Rockets on Monday, veteran swingman James Nunnally is expected to head back overseas, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who hears from a source that Nunnally will likely sign a two-year contract with Italian club Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano.

Nunnally, initially released by the Timberwolves earlier this month, reportedly turned down EuroLeague offers to join the Rockets on a 10-day contract, with at least one report suggesting that he was “giving up a lot” by opting to remain in the NBA.

However, the 28-year-old had his 10-day deal terminated after just six days when Houston needed to open up a roster spot to sign Kenneth Faried. Given how quickly he reportedly agreed to terms with Milano, it appears that EuroLeague interest in Nunnally didn’t wane over the last week.

For Nunnally, the move overseas will represent a return to the European leagues where he has enjoyed his most professional success. He averaged 18.4 PPG in 30 Italian League games in 2015/16 for Sidigas Avellino before joining Fenerbahce for the next two seasons. Last season, in 29 EuroLeague contests, he shot a sizzling 55.4% on three-pointers, averaging 9.3 PPG for the Turkish squad.

Assuming Nunnally makes his deal with Milano official, it will presumably rule out a return to the NBA this season. It’s not clear if the agreement would include a potential NBA out for the 2019 offseason.

And-Ones: All-Rookie Teams, Trade Candidates, Europe, J. Young

Dallas guard Luka Doncic is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year honors midway through the season, writes Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders as he selects his all-rookie teams. Doncic has transformed the Mavericks and has a chance to be the first rookie selected for the All-Star Game since 2011. Joining him as Nadeau’s first-team selections are the SunsDeandre Ayton, the GrizzliesJaren Jackson Jr., the KnicksKevin Knox and the HawksTrae Young.

The CavaliersCollin Sexton, the HawksKevin Huerter, the NetsRodions Kurucs, the KingsMarvin Bagley Jr. and the SunsMikal Bridges make up the second team, while the BullsWendell Carter Jr., the KnicksAllonzo Trier, the SixersLandry Shamet, the Clippers‘ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Timberwolves‘ Josh Okogie get honorable mention honors.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez of the Bulls are among the most likely players to be traded before the February 7 deadline, according to Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders. Parker couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity when Lauri Markkanen missed the start of the season with an elbow injury, but Rhodes suggests a change of scenery might help. Lopez has seen his playing time reduced this year, but the Bulls are determined to work out a trade rather than consider a buyout. Rhodes lists the KnicksEnes Kanter, the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic and the MavericksDennis Smith Jr. as other players with a good chance of being dealt.
  • After this week’s sellout for the Wizards and Knicks in London, the NBA is looking at other European venues, relays Martyn Herman of Reuters. NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum indicated that Paris is likely the next destination and Berlin may follow. “There has been a lot of interest in teams wanting to go to Paris because France is a hotbed for basketball,” Tatum said. “We have nine French players in the NBA now. It’s just a matter of building the right business case and having the right partners in those areas. It is an important market for many of our marketing partners. It’s just a matter of time.” He added that Spain and Italy don’t have arenas yet that are capable of hosting a game.
  • Former Celtics first-round pick James Young was waived this week by the G League’s Wisconsin Herd, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. It’s the latest setback for Young, who was waived by the Bucks shortly before the season began.