Jarnell Stokes

International Notes: Stokes, Morris, Mourning, Senegal

Power forward Jarnell Stokes has decided to remain in China for a third consecutive season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Stokes will sign a $1.9MM contract with Xinjiang. Stokes has appeared in 28 NBA games for the Grizzlies, Heat, and Nuggets. He played five games with the Trail Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League last month and averaged 10.6 PPG and 6.4 RPG.

We have more news from around the basketball globe:

  • Guard Darius Morris has officially signed with Russia’s Enisey Krasnoyarsk, Carchia reports. Morris played in the G League last season with Santa Cruz Warriors, averaging 15.2 PPG and 6.1 APG. The former Lakers and Nets guard has appeared in 132 total NBA games after being selected in the second round of the 2011 draft but the 2014/15 season was his last in the league.
  • Trey Mourning, son of former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, will play for Russia’s Runa Basket, Carchia adds in another post. The former Georgetown forward, who went undrafted this June, averaged 9.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG in four games for the Heat in summer league action last month.
  • Former NBA players Hamady Ndiaye and Maurice Ndour are among the players on Senegal’s World Cup roster, according to a FIBA press release. Ndiaye, a center, was a Timberwolves’ 2010 second-round pick and appeared in 33 NBA games. Ndour, a small forward, played 32 games for the Knicks during the 2016/17 season.

Free Agent Rumors: Horford, Nets, Suns, Stokes, Rockets

In a surprising development, Al Horford is expected to leave the Celtics to sign with a new team in free agency, as we relayed on Tuesday night. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explains in his story on the situation, the gap between what Boston was willing to offer and what Horford is seeking on a long-term deal was too significant to bridge. The Celtics and Horford’s agent Jason Glushon aren’t expected to re-open talks, Woj adds.

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter), there’s a belief in front office circles that Horford knows there will be a four-year offer worth $100MM+ waiting for him in free agency, which led to talks with the Celtics breaking down.

It will be fascinating to see if that sort of lucrative offer is actually on the table for a 33-year-old who battled nagging injuries last season. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (via Twitter), a league source says the Nets are a team to keep a close eye on, given their cap room and Horford’s connection to head coach Kenny Atkinson.

However, Kyrie Irving is believed to be headed to Brooklyn as a free agent, and Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets that he would be “beyond surprised” if Horford teams up with Irving again after a disappointing season in Boston.

Here are a few more notes and rumors on 2019 free agency:

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.

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.

Grizzlies Notes: Caboclo, Holiday, Gasol

While the Grizzlies are in agreement with Bruno Caboclo on a 10-day contract, that deal won’t be finalized today, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian, who tweets that the signing might be done in time for Caboclo to play for Memphis in Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte.

Once the deal is done, it will leave the Grizzlies with $377,860 in breathing room below the luxury tax threshold, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). If they want to avoid being a taxpayer, the Grizzlies will have to stagger their 10-day signings for the rest of the season, Marks notes. Of course, trimming a bit of salary in a pre-deadline trade could also create the flexibility necessary for Memphis to fill that final spot on its 15-man roster going forward.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Justin Holiday, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has seen his production fall off significantly since he was traded from Chicago to Memphis, as he’s averaging just 5.1 PPG on .265/.182/.917 shooting in eight games with the Grizzlies. David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal explores why Holiday’s transition hasn’t gone smoothly and how his new club will look to get him back on track.
  • There’s still no indication that the Grizzlies are seriously considering the idea of shopping Marc Gasol before next month’s trade deadline, but Frank Urbina of HoopsHype identifies four teams that could be fits if that stance changes. The Hornets, Wizards, Clippers, and Kings all make some sense, in Urbina’s view.
  • After being waived last week by the Grizzlies, Jarnell Stokes has rejoined the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Stokes was on a two-way contract with Memphis and will be a candidate for a 10-day contract during the second half of the 2018/19 season.

Grizzlies Sign Julian Washburn, Cut Jarnell Stokes

1:27pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Washburn to a two-way contract and released Stokes, the club announced today in a press release.

12:57pm: The Grizzlies are among the teams making a change to their two-way players in advance of today’s deadline. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), the club is signing small forward Julian Washburn from out of the G League to a two-way contract. Jarnell Stokes will be released to open up a roster spot, tweets Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com.

Washburn, 27, has signed a pair of camp contracts with the Spurs – one in 2015 and one in 2018 – but has never appeared in a regular season NBA game. The 6’8″ forward has been a regular start this season for the Austin Spurs, however, recording 10.6 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .444/.371/.789 shooting in 23 G League contests (31.7 MPG).

Washburn is unlikely to see a whole lot of playing time in Memphis, but he’ll provide the team with some depth, serving as a potential three-and-D option on the wing. The Grizzlies recently lost Dillon Brooks for the season and Kyle Anderson for two to four weeks due to injuries, so they could use a player like Washburn more than a big man like Stokes.

Grizzlies Sign Jarnell Stokes, Waive D.J. Stephens

JANUARY 1: Stokes has officially signed, according to a tweet from the Grizzlies.

DECEMBER 30: The Grizzlies plan to sign forward Jarnell Stokes to a two-way deal, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Memphis created an open two-way roster spot by waiving D.J. Stephens on Sunday, reaching the agreement to sign Stokes beforehand.

Stokes had worked out for the Grizzlies in early November before the team signed Joakim Noah, a league source told Hoops Rumors.

Stokes has spent the first part of the season playing in Sioux Falls, G League affiliate of the Heat, and appeared in 19 games with Memphis during the 2014/15 season. He’s improved vastly on defense in his time away from the team, transitioning into a solid two-way player that fits the Grizzlies’ grit-and-grind mentality.

Stephens, 28, signed a two-way deal with Memphis on Oct. 8 and played just one game with the team this season. He appeared in 10 contests with the club’s G League team, averaging 7.9 points and five rebounds per outing.

The Grizzlies have upcoming games scheduled against the Rockets (Dec. 31), Pistons (Jan. 2) and Nets (Jan. 4), holding a 18-17 record through the season’s first 35 games.

And-Ones: Team USA, Jefferson, Jennings, Bass

With another round of World Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin next week, USA Basketball has officially announced its latest 12-man roster for games against Argentina (November 29) and Uruguay (December 2). The roster is made up primarily of G League players, though NBA free agents Tyler Zeller, Jarnell Stokes, and Eric Moreland are also on the squad. Other former NBA players on the roster include Chasson Randle, DeAndre Liggins, and John Jenkins.

With one more qualifying window scheduled for February after next week’s set of games, Team USA is in prime position to secure a spot in the 2019 World Cup. Team USA currently has a 7-1 record in qualifying contests, which puts the club in a tie with Argentina for first place in Group E. Puerto Rico and Uruguay are tied for third at 5-3. The top three teams in the group will earn spots in the World Cup, and the fourth-place team will have a chance to qualify as well.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • With some help from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, longtime NBA forward Richard Jefferson published a piece on ESPN.com this week, sharing some of his memories from his NBA career and discussing his move into broadcasting.
  • After becoming a free agent this week, veteran guard Brandon Jennings may take the G League route as he tries to work his way back into the NBA, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. However, Smith notes that nothing’s official yet.
  • Smith also checks in a pair of former NBA forward playing in China, reporting (via Twitter) that Brandon Bass is hoping to return to the NBA later in 2018/19, once the Chinese Basketball Association season ends. Jared Sullinger is also putting up huge numbers in China and is in good shape, according to Smith, who tweets that the former Celtic may be ready for another shot in the NBA.
  • Former Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman signed this week with Israeli team Ironi Naharyia, per his agency Prostep Sports (Twitter link). Quarterman was waived by the Rockets this past April.

Heat Release Briante Weber, Three Others

1:40pm: As expected, the Heat have waived Purvis, Putney, and Stokes along with Weber, the team announced today in a press release. They’re all candidates to end up with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League squad.

10:29am: The Heat have moved toward the regular season roster limit by waiving guard Briante Weber, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Weber hinted earlier today that he had been released by Miami, tweeting, “Some things just don’t change smh.”

Weber’s frustration is understandable — this is the third time in the last four years that he has been waived by the Heat before the start of the season. He had been hoping this year would be different, suggesting last month that there was “nothing else” for him to do in the G League. “My game speaks for itself down there. I am here for the NBA,” Weber said at the time.

However, after being cut by the Heat, Weber may have to decide between returning to the G League once again or trying to find a job overseas, unless another NBA opportunity arises. The 6’2″ guard has appeared in 87 total G League games, primarily for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, over the last three seasons.

Miami will need to make at least a couple more cuts before Monday to set their roster for the regular season. Rodney Purvis, Raphiael Putney, and Jarnell Stokes remain under contract on non-guaranteed deals, and all three will be released if the Heat decide to start the season with an open roster spot.

Heat Notes: Dragic, Olynyk, Stokes, Bosh

The Heat may be willing to trade Goran Dragic, but only if they can get a first-round pick and some financial flexibility for next summer, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Dragic’s name was floated last week as a possible target for the Suns, who are without a veteran point guard after dealing Brandon Knight to the Rockets.

Dragic is the only established point guard on the Heat roster, but Winderman notes that Miami has a logjam in the backcourt, needing to find time for Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and possibly Dwyane Wade. The Heat, who are over the projected luxury tax for this season with nearly $127MM in guaranteed salary, could also benefit financially from unloading Dragic, who will make more than $18.1MM this year and has a $19.2MM player option for 2019/20.

Winderman passes along more Heat info in the same story:
  • Kelly Olynyk has committed to play a pair of World Cup qualifying games this month for the Canadian national team. Olynyk is among several NBA players on the roster for Canada, which hopes to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2010. Olynyk’s games are set for Wednesday and September 17, so they won’t interfere with Miami’s training camp.
  • Jarnell Stokes is grateful for the opportunity to join the Heat in camp, even though he faces long odds to win a roster spot. The power forward played five games with Miami during the 2015/16 season and has a high opinion of the franchise. “They are very fair when it comes to trusting what they see,” Stokes said in a recent interview with J.D. Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. “A lot of guys go by numbers and politics, but you can pretty much trust that if you put in the work — guys like Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson — these guys really did not have an opportunity at first. Miami is typically the spot that is able to trust in what they see.”
  • Former Heat big man Chris Bosh continues to express his desire to return to the NBA. The Georgia Tech alum, who hasn’t played since doctors discovered a recurrence of blood clots in 2016, said in an interview with ramblinwreck.com that he hopes to work toward a comeback this season. Because Bosh left the Heat over a medical issue and the final two years of his contract were removed from Miami’s cap, he is not permitted to rejoin the team.