James Nunnally

International Notes: Lin, Germany, Turkey, Powell

Jeremy Lin posted a message to fans on Instagram as he returned to China for the resumption of the CBA season, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Overseas players have come back to the nation and are undergoing a two-week quarantine before play resumes in the Chinese Basketball Association.

“Safely landed back in Beijing to finish out the CBA season,” Lin wrote. “Excited to hoop again, but leaving the bay worried and with a heavy heart for the sick, the jobless and all those fighting fear, anxiety and stress over the unknown future. Shoutout to our medical staff in the 50 states for working tirelessly and everyone keep doing your part in slowing the virus!

“It’s been an awesome 2 months camped out in the gym…basketball has never been more meaningful. The world needs basketball now more than ever. I still remember when I went through my toughest moments and worst injuries, you guys were there for me. I hope to return the favor. As all you beloved fans told me the day after my knee injury, keep fighting bc we’re #NeverDone.”

There’s more international news this morning:

  • Brose Bamberg in Germany is the latest team to permit its American players to return home, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Former NBA guard Jordan Crawford is the most recognizable name on the roster.
  • All players from the Fenerbahce team in Turkey, along with coaches and staff members, have been tested for the coronavirus and a team manager in under observation in the hospital, writes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The roster includes former NBA players James Nunnally, Nando De Colo, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Thomas, Jan Vesely, Luigi Datome and Joffrey Lauvergne.
  • New Iona coach Rick Pitino, who had been coaching Panathinaikos in Greece since 2018 before recently leaving the team, tells Lupo that Seton Hall’s Myles Powell could have a bright future in the EuroLeague. He compares Powell to former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James, who has become a star in Europe. “Myles Powell reminds me of Mike a little bit,” Pitino said. “Do I think he’ll be in the NBA? I think he’ll try out with a team, but I think he’ll be a terrific player over in Europe and make a lot of money and be very successful. Could he play in the NBA? I’m sure he could, but I don’t think he’s somebody you’re gonna say he’s definitely gonna make it, but he’s a very talented young man and I think he’ll get a good shot at the NBA.”

James Nunnally Signs With Fenerbahce

Former Timberwolves and Rockets forward James Nunnally has officially completed a deal with Turkish team Fenerbahce, the club announced today in a press release.

Nunnally had previously been playing for the Shanghai Sharks, but the Chinese club released him from his contract. In 12 games in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, the 29-year-old averaged 22.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG while making 50.0% of his three-point attempts.

A former UC Santa Barbara standout, Nunnally has spent most of his professional career overseas, but has logged a total of 28 NBA games in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Houston. He started the 2018/19 season with the Wolves before being waived at the salary guarantee deadline; he later signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets, but hasn’t played in the NBA since then.

The move to Turkey represents a reunion for Nunnally, who played for Fenerbahce from 2016-18 and and won a EuroLeague title with the organization in 2017.

James Nunnally Signs With Shanghai Sharks

AUGUST 12: Nunnally has reached a buyout agreement with Olimpia Milano and finalized his deal with China’s Shanghai Sharks, according to a pair of stories from Sportando.

JULY 28: James Nunnally, who spent time with the Timberwolves and Rockets last season, is expected to sign with the Shanghai Sharks, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

After four years out of the NBA, the 29-year-old small forward won a roster spot with Minnesota last fall and saw limited playing time in 13 games. He was waived in early January before the league-wide salary guarantee date. He signed a 10-day contract with Houston later that month, but was released after six days to open a roster spot for Kenneth Faried.

Nunnally returned to Europe to finish the season, signing a two-year deal with Olimpia Milano. However, former Spurs assistant Ettore Messina took over the team last month and wants to move on from Nunnally, Carchia adds, so he will be released from his contract.

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.

Rockets Release James Nunnally

5:00pm: The Rockets have officially waived Nunnally, the team confirmed in a press release announcing the signing of Faried.

4:01pm: The Rockets will terminate James Nunnally‘s 10-day deal early, releasing him before the contract expires, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania notes, cutting Nunnally will allow Houston to finalize its signing of Kenneth Faried tonight.

Nunnally, 28, reportedly turned down lucrative offers from international teams to sign a 10-day contract with the Rockets last Thursday. With Houston in need of help on the wing, the veteran sharpshooter immediately claimed a rotation role, averaging 19 minutes per game in two contests with the club. However, he struggled to make an impact, making just 3-of-13 shots from the floor, including 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Parting ways with Nunnally was the simplest way for the Rockets to open up a roster spot to sign Faried. The club’s other option would have been to trade or release Carmelo Anthony, but it appears a viable trade involving Anthony has yet to materialize. Houston would like to avoid cutting Anthony outright, since trading him would reduce the team’s projected tax bill.

As for Nunnally, he’ll get paid for the full 10 days, even though his 10-day contract is being terminated on day six. The Rockets could bring back the 28-year-old swingman later in the season if a roster spot opens up, but if there are no NBA opportunities out there for him right away, Nunnally might end up returning to Europe, where he has thrived in recent years.

Rockets Sign James Nunnally To 10-Day Deal

5:02pm: The Rockets have signed Nunnally to a 10-day deal, per an official release from the team. In anticipation of the signing, Nunnally had the following to say, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

I thought I would sign with (the Rockets) after meeting them on July 1st in LA. It didn’t happen. Now over six months later, I was going to make a decision today to go to a great Euroleague situation and the Rockets called last night. Crazy 24 hours! I am very excited.”

9:26pm: The Rockets are expected to fill the opening on their 15-man roster by signing veteran sharpshooter James Nunnally to a 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A source confirms to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) that the Rockets are “heading in that direction.” Feigen first reported on Tuesday that Houston would likely sign a veteran wing to a 10-day contract, identifying Nunnally as a candidate.

After playing in Europe for the past two seasons, Nunnally signed with the Timberwolves during free agency, as Minnesota was looking to add players that could space the floor and provide solid defense. However, Nunnally was not a regular part of the rotation and rarely saw the court during his time with the Wolves, who waived him last week before his full 2018/19 salary became guaranteed.

The 28-year-old wing only played 64 minutes this season, averaging 2.1 points per game while knocking down 38.5% of his 3-pointers. Despite his limited role in Minnesota, Nunnally received offers from multiple teams in Europe when he became a free agent again this month, according to Feigen, who hears that the former UC Santa Barbara standout is “giving up a lot” by opting instead for a 10-day contract (Twitter link).

Nunnally may get an opportunity to play a little more over the next 10 days in Houston than he typically did in Minnesota, given the Rockets’ injury and depth issues. While Eric Gordon‘s return appears imminent, the Rockets are missing Chris Paul and Clint Capela due to injuries, while Danuel House has returned to the G League for now and Carmelo Anthony remains away from the team.

The Rockets will incur a cap hit worth just over $76K for Nunnally’s 10-day deal, which will slightly increase the club’s projected year-end tax bill.

Rockets Expected To Sign Wing Via 10-Day Deal

8:46pm: House’s agent, Raymond Brothers, claims the Rockets initially offered a non-guaranteed, three-year deal before offering him a guaranteed one, MacMahon tweets. “We rejected both offers and asked the Rockets to convert him for the remainder of the season,” Brothers said.

House’s representatives want him to be a restricted free agent at the end of the year.

7:51pm: The Rockets are expected to sign a wing to a 10-day deal on Wednesday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links).

It appears unlikely that the team reaches an agreement with Danuel House on a standard NBA contract today, meaning the team has a need for another perimeter player. House remains on a two-way deal with the organization, though has already spent 45 days (the maximum allowed) with the NBA club.

House has been offered a deal by the Rockets but has declined it. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that 25-year-old was offered his choice of the rest of the season on a minimum-salary deal or a two-year deal at the minimum. The Rockets were unwilling to go further given their luxury tax issues. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com confirms (Twitter link) that House, who has been starting for Houston, has been offered a deal.

Feigen notes that the Rockets and House still could come to an agreement but it’s not an expected outcome. He’ll be in the G League when the Vipers, Houston’s affiliate, plays on Wednesday.

James Nunnally may be a potential fit for the Rockets, Feigen tweets, adding that the team has contacted Nunnally but no offer has been made at this time. Jodie Meeks and Brandon Rush are among the veteran wing options available on the free agent market.

And-Ones: Withey, Nunnally, K. Porter, NBA 2K

Former NBA center Jeff Withey, who has logged over 200 career games for New Orleans, Utah, and Dallas, is exploring opportunities in China after parting ways with his Turkish club last month. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link), a report suggesting that Withey has reached a deal with the Shanghai Sharks is inaccurate, but the big man has tried out for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Meanwhile, another former NBA player, James Nunnally, is a candidate to head back overseas after being waived by the Timberwolves last week. As Carchia relays, Nunnally continues to weigh his options after being linked to Spanish team Baskonia.

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

  • Top 2019 draft prospect Kevin Porter Jr. has been suspended for “personal conduct issues” by USC, the team announced over the weekend. Trojans head coach Andy Enfield said after Sunday’s game that the suspension is indefinite, per J. Brady McCollough of The Los Angeles Times. “We’ll re-evaluate his future with the program this week,” Enfield said. In his most recent 2019 mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had Porter, a freshman guard, coming off the board at No. 11 overall.
  • One executive who spoke to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports today cautioned against reading too much into reports on trade discussions or inquiries (Twitter link). “Be careful of these reports of teams talking,” the executive told Smith. “I mean, everyone is talking to everyone else. It’s trade season. Of course we’re all talking. I have 20 conversations a day at least that go nowhere as far as deals go, but it just takes one.”
  • The NBA, NBPA, and 2K announced today in a press release that they’re extending their partnership. The agreement, which ensures that NBA teams and players will continue to appear in the NBA 2K franchise for the foreseeable future, is believed to be worth $1.1 billion over seven years, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who notes (via Twitter) that’s more than double the value of previous deals.

Timberwolves Waive James Nunnally

In the latest move in a busy day for the Timberwolves, the club is waiving guard James Nunnally, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The transaction will happen in advance of Nunnally’s contract guarantee deadline this week.

After playing in Europe for the past two seasons, Nunnally signed with the Timberwolves during free agency, as Minnesota was looking to add players that could space the floor and provide solid defense. However, Nunnally was not a regular part of the rotation and rarely saw the court during his time with the Wolves.

The 28-year-old wing only played 64 minutes this season, averaging 2.1 points per game while knocking down 38.5 percent of his 3-pointers. The emergence of Josh Okogie and the additions of Robert Covington and Dario Saric pushed Nunnally further out of the rotation.

If Nunnally doesn’t catch on with another NBA team right away, a return to the EuroLeague is a viable possibility, given his past success overseas.

Timberwolves Notes: Nunnally, Patton, Drama

The Timberwolves could potentially use James Nunnally in Jamal Crawford‘s role, Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune writes. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has developed a fondness for using a three-guard offense off the bench.

In a comprehensive feature, Reusse details Nunnaly’s path to the Timberwolves in 2018. The swingman went undrafted in 2012 and has made several stops around the NBA and abroad since.

Nunnally has proven that he can be potent deep threat while also contributing defensively. If he can come anywhere close to the .554 he shot from beyond the arc in Germany last year, it will be a marked improvement over the .331 that Crawford shot in 2017/18.

There’s more from the Timberwolves today:

  • The Timberwolves have officially ruled Justin Patton out indefinitely. The team issued a press release that said the center will have surgery in the near future.
  • The upcoming season will have massive implications for the Timberwolves’ future, Drew Maresca of Basketball Insiders writes. At present, only one of the three stars in Minnesota’s locker room are signed long-term. Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns can be free agents next summer.
  • Last night we asked readers to tell us what they think will come of this Timberwolves team. Weigh in at our Community Shootaround.