Mike James

Nets Sign Mike James For Rest Of Season

MAY 13: The Nets have officially re-signed James to a rest-of-season contract, the team announced today in a press release.

MAY 12: Mike James, whose second 10-day contract is set to expire on Wednesday night, will sign with the Nets for the remainder of the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops.com first reported last week that James was expected to receive a rest-of-season deal once his second 10-day contract expired.

James has been productive since coming to Brooklyn, getting into 10 games and averaging 6.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 16.6 minutes per night. The move leaves the Nets with a full roster, which probably won’t change between now and the playoffs.

“We’ve been really happy with Mike and what he’s brought to the team,” coach Steve Nash told reporters, including Brian Lewis of The New York Post, before tonight’s game.

The 30-year-old guard isn’t eligible for a multiyear contract because his rights for the next two seasons belong to CSKA Moscow. He left the Russian team in March after an altercation with coach Dimitris Itoudis.

Nets Expected To Sign Mike James To Rest-Of-Season Deal

Mike James‘ second 10-day contract with Brooklyn will run through next Wednesday, but there’s already an expectation that the Nets intend to sign him for the rest of the season when that deal expires, according to a report from Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops.com.

James, 30, has appeared in seven games for the Nets so far, averaging 6.7 points and 3.6 assists in 16.1 minutes per contest. He had 11 points and eight assists in a win over Toronto last Tuesday, and put up 15 points in a loss to Portland on Friday.

Since there’s still nearly a full week before James will be eligible to sign a rest-of-season contract, it’s possible the Nets’ plans could change between now and next Thursday. However, the veteran guard has produced as expected so far, providing backcourt depth and knocking down 35.7% of his three-point attempts.

As Aravantinos notes, James is only in the NBA temporarily, as his rights will belong to CSKA Moscow in Europe for the next two seasons after 2020/21. So if and when Brooklyn re-signs him, he won’t be able to get a multiyear deal.

Nets Sign Mike James To Second 10-Day Contract

MAY 3: The Nets have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed James to his second 10-day contract.

MAY 2: The Nets plan to sign guard Mike James to a second 10-day contract, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

James’ initial 10-day deal with Brooklyn will expire on Sunday night, so he’ll be able to sign his new deal on Monday. The 30-year-old’s second 10-day would expire during the last week of the regular season, at which point he’d be eligible to sign a standard contract if the Nets want to keep him around for the playoffs.

James averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 assists and 19.6 minutes per game during his first 10-day deal, appearing in a total of five contests. He shot 36% from the floor and 27% from deep in those outings.

Brooklyn signed James to a 10-day deal last month after releasing veteran LaMarcus Aldridge, who retired after dealing with health concerns. The team owns the second-best record in the East at 43-22 and plays Milwaukee for a second straight game on Tuesday.

Nets Notes: Irving, Johnson, James

Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been ruled out for Thursday’s game vs. Indiana due to right groin soreness, the team announced today (via Twitter).

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), Irving’s games-played total will be worth keeping an eye on down the stretch, since a couple of his contract bonuses hinge on him playing in at least 53 games — he’d have to appear in seven of Brooklyn’s nine contests after tonight in order to meet that threshold.

Irving’s contract includes eight separate bonuses, each worth $131,250. Some are out of reach, including playing 62 games and recording a defensive rating below 106 (he’s at 113.9). However, Kyrie is on track to reach some of his incentive benchmarks, including an offensive rating of 114+ (he’s at 119.9) and shooting at least 88.5% from the free throw line (he’s at 92.3%).

As Marks tweets, Irving would also receive three separate $131,250 bonuses for making at least 2.8 three-pointers per game, committing fewer than 2.4 turnovers per game (in 53+ games), and attempting at least 4.6 free throws per game (in 53+ games). His per-game averages in those categories so far are 2.7 threes, 2.5 turnovers, and 4.3 free throw attempts.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Nets forward Alize Johnson is available to play against Indiana on Thursday night, according to the team (Twitter link). Johnson missed the team’s last three games after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
  • Mike James is making a strong initial impression in Brooklyn, racking up 11 points and eight assists in Tuesday’s win over Toronto and making a case to stick around beyond his current 10-day contract, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “He’s an athletic and skilled player. As long as he plays simple and makes good basketball plays — like he has with us those first few games — he can play a role for us,” head coach Steve Nash said. “He has a burst of pace, he can get into paint, play draw-and-kick.”
  • While James’ new coach has been impressed by him so far, it doesn’t sound like two of his old coaches miss him much. As Lewis relays in a separate New York Post story, CSKA Moscow’s Dimitris Itoidis and Olimpia Milano’s Ettore Messina both offered less-than-glowing reviews of James’ locker room presence.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along word on Wednesday that Nets star James Harden still isn’t close to returning from his hamstring injury.

Nets Notes: James, Durant, Aldridge

Mike James, the latest addition to the Nets‘ backcourt, would still be playing for CSKA Moscow if not for an altercation last month with coach Dimitris Itoudis. After posting eight points and two steals in his debut with Brooklyn Friday night, James talked about the incident in Russia, as Peter Botte of The New York Post details.

“Some things happened in my personal life and I felt like stuff didn’t go how I thought somebody should handle my situations,” said James, who was also suspended in January. “We had a little clash there. Not really as a basketball player did I have a clash with Itoudis, more as an individual. As two men we had clashes, not really on the basketball court.”

The 30-year-old guard, who signed a 10-day contract on Friday, should get plenty of opportunity in Brooklyn with James Harden, Tyler Johnson and Chris Chiozza all injured. James is looking forward to playing a complementary role, rather than having to carry the offense like he did in Moscow.

“I liked playing a lot and having a star role. Just as you get older, I just don’t want to have that much responsibility on my shoulders every night,” he said. “Playing 21 minutes a night is better for me and just not being as much of a focal point and just trying to help out. I feel like I can shine in that if I got the opportunity.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Kevin Durant expects to play this afternoon against the Suns, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Durant sat out the past three games after suffering a left leg contusion last Sunday.
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post looks at Durant’s success off the court, which includes a possible Oscar win tonight for the live action short film “Two Distant Strangers.” Durant’s ultimate goal is to someday become an NBA owner. “We definitely have always been interested clearly in being involved in team sports, and learning the ownership business and being able to at one point have Kevin, and this organization, own and operate an NBA team,” said his business manager, Rich Kleiman. “The thought is so far down the line, not only because Kevin’s still playing, but the amount of money to get into it is a different level of money.”
  • The Nets are paying a price for chasing a star when LaMarcus Aldridge became available rather than addressing more significant needs, writes Kristian Winfield of Yahoo Sports. Brooklyn could have opted for Jeff Teague to provide backcourt depth or Khem Birch to help with rim protection, but chose to go after the bigger name. Aldridge was recently forced to retire because of an irregular heartbeat.

Nets Officially Sign Mike James To 10-Day Contract

APRIL 24: Not that there was any doubt, but NBA.com’s official transactions log confirms it was Aldridge waived to make room for James.

APRIL 23: The Nets have officially signed Mike James to a 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release. The move had been expected once James cleared the league’s coronavirus testing protocols.

James, who averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 assists in 36 total games for Phoenix and New Orleans during the NBA’s 2017/18 season, has been playing in Europe since then. He was having a big year for CSKA Moscow this season, racking up 19.3 PPG and 5.7 APG in 27 EuroLeague contests (31.2 MPG), but was suspended indefinitely by the club following an altercation with head coach Dimitris Itoudis in late March.

Although CSKA Moscow’s contract with James runs through 2023, the team announced this week that it had reached an agreement to allow him to become a free agent until the end of the 2020/21 season, clearing the way for him to sign with an NBA team.

While the Nets’ official release confirms that James’ 10-day deal has been finalized, it doesn’t mention who was released to make room for him on the 15-man roster. It seems safe to assume that LaMarcus Aldridge was the player waived — he announced his retirement as a player last week.

It’s also still not entirely clear how James’ agreement with CSKA Moscow will work. The team’s statement didn’t give any indication that his multiyear contract has been terminated, but a EuroLeague club loaning a player to an NBA team isn’t exactly a common occurrence. We should get more clarity soon on James’ situation.

Nets Expected To Sign Mike James To 10-Day Deal

APRIL 21, 2:39pm: Stein has now confirmed (via Twitter) that it’ll be a 10-day contract for James. As such, the expectation is that Brooklyn will simply release Aldridge to create a roster spot.

APRIL 21, 12:47pm: There are conflicting reports on the terms of James’ deal with the Nets. Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) suggests it’ll be a two-way contract, while Shams Charania of The Athletic says (via Twitter) it’ll be a 10-day pact.

Signing James to a 10-day contract would simply require waiving Aldridge. Chris Chiozza and Reggie Perry currently occupy Brooklyn’s two-way slots, so one of the two would have to be waived or promoted to the 15-man roster (taking Aldridge’s spot) if the team wants to do a two-way deal with James.

APRIL 21, 11:44am: James will sign with the Nets on Friday, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who confirms (via Twitter) that the veteran guard is still going through the COVID-19 testing protocols.

CSKA Moscow announced (via Twitter) it has reached an agreement with James that will allow him to become a free agent “until the end of the 2020/21 season,” and that he’ll sign with an NBA team soon.

The wording of CSKA’s statement suggests that James’ contract hasn’t been terminated, so it sounds like he’ll be required to report back to the Russian club for 2021/22 after finishing this season with Brooklyn. Andrew Bogut did this a couple years back, joining Golden State in the middle of a two-year contract with the NBL’s Sydney Kings before returning to Australia for the second year.

APRIL 19, 4:00pm: The Nets are in advanced talks with veteran guard Mike James, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who tweets that a deal between the two sides could be completed as soon as Tuesday.

Antonis Stroggylakis and Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops initially reported that the Nets were eyeing James, who has also drawn interest from the Knicks. Chema de Lucas subsequently reported (via Twitter) that the 30-year-old was expected to sign a rest-of-season contract with Brooklyn, though Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link) heard that James was one of a couple players the team was interested in.

James, who averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 assists in 36 total games for Phoenix and New Orleans during the NBA’s 2017/18 season, has been playing in Europe since then. He was having a big year for CSKA Moscow this season, racking up 19.3 PPG and 5.7 APG in 27 EuroLeague contests (31.2 MPG), but was suspended indefinitely by the club following an altercation with head coach Dimitris Itoudis in late March.

James is under contract with CSKA Moscow through 2023, but Eurohoops’ report indicates that the club is willing to accommodate him if he finds an NBA opportunity, while Stein suggests that James has already been released from his contract overseas.

Further clarity on James’ situation should come soon. Assuming he does officially complete a deal with the Nets, he’ll take the roster spot previously held by LaMarcus Aldridge. While Aldridge technically remains under contract with Brooklyn for the time being, he announced his retirement last week and is expected to be waived in a procedural move.

Nets Notes: Shamet, T. Johnson, Durant, James

Landry Shamet‘s recent scoring outburst is what the Nets were expecting when they acquired him from the Clippers in an offseason trade, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Shamet’s 30-point game Sunday at Miami continued a hot streak that has lasted throughout April. He is averaging 17.0 PPG this month while shooting 51.9% from three-point range and has taken on some of the point guard duties with James Harden injured.

“The NBA’s all about opportunity and been thrown into having to play some point guard minutes following up Kyrie (Irving) and alongside Kyrie,” Shamet said. “Ky’s been great. He’s taken me under his wing. Talks to me every day, believes in me. That goes a long way, knowing your teammates believe in you.

“I’m chopping wood and carrying water every day. It gets tedious having to do the little things every day that you might not want to, but it adds up. I trust in that. When you keep doing that — working on off days, watching film, asking questions and believing in myself — whatever comes from that I’m living with, because I’m doing everything in my power to put myself in the best position.”

There’s more on the Nets:

  • Injured guard Tyler Johnson has started running and doing shooting drills as he tries to work his way back from a sore knee, Lewis adds. Johnson has been sidelined since April 4 and hopes to return soon to help with Brooklyn’s push for the top seed in the East. “He has not played yet, so I’m not sure if that’s coming this week or not,” coach Steve Nash said. “It depends on literally every day, how he responds to his rehab and heightening his amount of mobility and activity. So we’ll see; but hopefully he’ll be back soon as well.”
  • Kevin Durant remains with the Nets on their road trip, which is a sign that his left thigh contusion isn’t overly serious, Lewis notes in a separate story. Durant was knocked out of Sunday’s game early, but team officials decided he didn’t need to go through any medical imaging or be sent back to Brooklyn.
  • Free agent guard Mike James is going through testing to satisfy the NBA’s health and safety protocols before he can sign with the Nets, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. James, who is expected to join the team this week, spent most of this season with CSKA Moscow.

New York Notes: Burks, Brunson, James, Nets Roster

Knicks guard Alec Burks has been placed on the league’s health and safety protocols list, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Burks is coming off a 21-point outing against New Orleans on Wednesday.

Burks has exceeded all expectations since the Knicks signed him to a one-year, $6MM contract, having averaged 12.6 PPG on 40.8% shooting beyond the arc in 25.8 minutes per contest. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent once again this summer, but the club has plenty of cap room and will try to retain him, Berman writes in a separate story.

We have more on the Knicks and Nets:

  • The Knicks have their eyes on Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, according to Berman, though he won’t hit free agency until after next season. Dallas needs only to guarantee his contract this summer, a modest $1.8MM, to hold onto him for one more year.
  • Brunson’s father, Rick Brunson, is under consideration as a possible Knicks assistant, Berman writes in the same story. The elder Brunson served under Tom Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota but left the Timberwolves amid allegations of workplace misconduct. He’s currently coaching Camden HS in New Jersey.
  • After allowing big man John Henson‘s 10-day deal to expire, the Knicks might add to their backcourt instead of pursuing another center, according to Berman. Euro standout and former NBA point man Mike James is one of the players the team is considering. James was recently suspended by CSKA Moscow after an altercation with his coach and returned to the U.S., though he’s still technically under contract with the Russian team.
  • With the abrupt retirement of LaMarcus Aldridge due to a heart condition, Nets GM Sean Marks is mulling all options regarding a roster move, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. The team is “doing due diligence” and hasn’t decided whether to bring in another big man or add depth elsewhere.

And-Ones: Rule Tweaks, Poirier, Buyouts, James

The NBA’s Competition Committee is mulling some possible rule modifications for the 2021/22 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who tweets the coach’s challenge is one rule that could be tweaked. The committee is considering giving teams an extra challenge or timeout if the first challenge is successful, Charania explains.

Sources tell Charania that the Competition Committee is also evaluating rules related to “unnatural shooting motions in connection with perimeter jump-shots and on-ball screens, and the principle of verticality.” Presumably, any changes to those rules would limit offensive players’ ability to draw fouls by jumping into defenders.

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

  • Having been traded by Philadelphia and waived by New York last month, veteran center Vincent Poirier is a free agent, and a report from Chema De Lucas (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando) suggests Real Madrid could be the frontrunner to sign the big man for the 2021/22 season. In 32 NBA games for the Sixers and Celtics, Poirier has career averages of 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest.
  • The NBA buyout market has been a hot topic of discussion after the Nets were able to add seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and six-time All-Star Blake Griffin for virtually nothing. NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman proposes an idea to fix the loose buyout market, suggesting a blind-bid process that also involves the player. Under Feldman’s plan, the player would go to the highest bidder, but if the player himself places the highest “bid,” he’d give up that amount of money on his buyout and become a free agent.
  • After leaving CSKA Moscow in Russia, veteran guard Mike James is returning to the U.S. in the hopes of receiving an NBA opportunity, his agency BDA Sports International confirmed (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). James played 36 NBA games in 2017/18, averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Phoenix and New Orleans.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.