Mike James

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 team signed him to a one-year, $6MM contract. Burks is averaging 12.6 PPG on 40.8% shooting beyond the arc in 25.8 MPG. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent once again but the Knicks have 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’s unlikely to hit unrestricted 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 season. Brunson’s father, Rick Brunson, is under consideration as an assistant. 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 they’re 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.

And-Ones: Graham, Green, James, Free Agents

Free agent guard Treveon Graham has committed to play with Team USA in this year’s AmeriCup qualifying tournament, according to a report from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The tournament is scheduled to be held from Feb. 19-20 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Graham is the fifth reported player to commit thus far, joining Joe Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Dakota Mathias and Josh Boone.

Other former NBA players could join the team in the coming days, as the tournament is being held in the midst of the G League season. Graham, 27, has made past stops with the Hornets, Nets, Timberwolves and Hawks since going undrafted in 2015.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic examines the G League dream of Jalen Green, who’s currently preparing to play with the Ignite in the G League bubble next month. Green, 18, is a high-level prospect for the 2021 NBA Draft. “It’s different,” said Green, who opted to join the Ignite instead of attending college last year. “It’s a different path from what others are used to. We’re learning overall NBA terms. We’re getting stronger, faster. We’re getting ahead of the game, so, I think overall it’s been a great experience.”
  • Veteran guard Mike James will stay with CSKA Moscow, according to Lithuanian basketball journalist Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link). James was suspended by the team due to an incident with his participation on Jan. 22, prompting him to release a statement on social media. He holds NBA experience with the Suns and Pelicans.
  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic examines the supply and demand of free agency, along with the potential domino effect for the class of 2021. Several players — such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George and Rudy Gobert — opted to sign extensions with their teams last year, choosing not to reach free agency this summer.

And-Ones: James, Deck, Sefolosha

Despite recent rumors, veteran point guard Mike James is set to stay with CSKA Moscow for three more seasons, according to Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops (Twitter link).

James, 29, is a talented two-way point guard who originally signed a one-year contract with the club last summer. He averaged a scorching 21.1 points per game in the EuroLeague this season, also dishing out 4.3 assists while grabbing 3.3 rebounds per contest.

James holds NBA experience with the Suns and Pelicans, making stops with several teams overseas during his career. He played college basketball at Eastern Arizona (2008-10) and Lamar University (2010-12), later going undrafted in 2012.

Despite transactions being temporarily locked in the NBA and NBA G League, several overseas teams continue to add and lose players amid the coronavirus pandemic. There has been increased optimism about a potential NBA return in recent weeks — something that could happen as early as July.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • There is growing concern within Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid that the team may lose forward Gabriel Deck to the NBA, according to Spanish newspaper AS (as relayed by Sportando). Deck’s contract with the team is set to expire in 2021, with the 25-year-old going undrafted three years ago. Deck averaged 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 20.1 minutes per game in the EuroLeague this past season.
  • Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press interviewed Thabo Sefolosha to get his thoughts on the death of George Floyd and the ongoing topic of police brutality. “I was just horrified by what I saw,” Sefolosha said. “That could have been me.” Sefolosha was involved in a well-documented incident with the New York Police Department in April of 2015 while playing for the Hawks, which resulted in a broken leg upon being arrested.

International Notes: James, Koufos, Kaba, Delaney, Clark

EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow has agreed to a two-year contract extension with former NBA guard Mike James, according to a report from Russian outlet Izvestia (hat tip to Sportando). James enjoyed a brief NBA stint in 2017/18 when he appeared in 36 games for Phoenix and New Orleans, but has otherwise spent his professional career overseas, playing for teams in Greece and Italy before joining CSKA.

Meanwhile, the same Izvestia report also indicates that CSKA Moscow isn’t expected to exercise its second-year option on veteran center Kosta Koufos, who signed a one-plus-one deal with the team in 2019. Koufos spent over a decade in the NBA, playing in 686 games from 2008-19, but it’s not clear if the 31-year-old would draw any stateside interest if and when he becomes a free agent.

Here are a few more NBA-adjacent updates on international basketball leagues:

  • Alpha Kaba, whose NBA rights are held by the Hawks, is joining French team Nanterre 92, according to a report from BeBasket (French link). A 24-year-old forward/center, Kaba was selected by Atlanta with the No. 60 pick in the 2017 draft, but has continued to play in France since then.
  • Spanish team FC Barcelona has parted ways with veteran guard Malcolm Delaney, per a team press release (h/t to Sportando). A standout EuroLeague contributor who spent two seasons with the Hawks from 2016-18, Delanyed is in talks with Italian club Olimpia Milano and has drawn interest from Olympiacos in Greece, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Veteran forward Earl Clark, who appeared in 261 NBA games from 2009-15, has parted ways with Spanish team San Pablo Burgos, according to the club (h/t to Sportando). Clark has spent time in China, Turkey, Montenegro, Spain, and the G League since last playing in the NBA.

International Notes: Beaubois, Spain, Nurse, James

Anadolu Efes of Turkey and former NBA guard Rodrigue Beaubois have reached a contract extension agreement until 2022, Sportando’s Dario Skerletic relays via Israeli reporter Roi Cohen. Beaubois played four seasons for Dallas from 2009-13. This season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Spain’s ACB league has been suspended indefinitely, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Play was already suspended until April 24th due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The league’s teams will decide how to proceed n the upcoming weeks.
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse remains fully committed to coaching Team Canada in Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Nurse is “really excited” about it and hopes the Olympics, rescheduled for next summer, can go forward as planned.
  • A trio of former NBA players heads the list of the best players in Europe, according to Jeff Greer of The Athletic. A survey of 21 coaches and players overseas choose former Phoenix and New Orleans guard Mike James as the top player in Europe this season in a close votes. Guard Shane Larkin and forward Nikola Mirotic tied for the second-most votes. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija, a likely top-10 pick in this year’s draft, is considered the top international NBA prospect.

And-Ones: Extension Deadlines, Team USA Scrimmages, James

The deadline for players to sign rookie extensions prior to opening night this upcoming season is Monday, October 21 at 6 p.m. ET, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN. That group of 18 eligible players includes Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown.

The extension deadline is the same for a veteran with multiple years remaining on his contract who has met certain criteria, including All-Star guard Bradley Beal. Players with one year left (including a player option) have until June 30, 2020 to sign an extension.

Regular season rosters will also be set on October 21, while Saturday, October 19 will be the last day a team can waive a player with a non-guaranteed contract and not incur a cap hit, Marks adds (Twitter links here).

We have more from the basketball world:

  • The USA Basketball World Cup team will scrimmage against a collection of G League and fringe NBA players over the next three days, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. There are 15 players remaining on the USA roster with Monday’s withdrawal by Kyle Lowry and 12 will make the final roster that will compete in the FIBA tournament in China. The group they’ll scrimmage will be called the L.A. Select Team and be coached by Jeff Van Gundy. That team will include players who participated in FIBA qualifiers, including Scotty Hopson, Chasson Randle and Ben Moore, Givony adds in another tweet.
  • Former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James has signed with CSKA Moscow, according to a tweet from the team. James played a total of 36 NBA games in 2017/18, averaging 9.3 PPG and 3.5 APG in 19.1 MPG. James appeared in 30 Euro League games with Olimpia Milano last season, averaging a league-high 19.8 PPG and 6.8 APG. James and the Italian team mutually parted ways late last month.
  • The NBA released 2019/20 season schedules for every team on Monday. You can find them here.

International Notes: Colson, E. Terry, A. Williams, James

After spending much of the 2018/19 season on a two-way contract with the Bucks, forward Bonzie Colson was waived by Milwaukee earlier this month. However, it appears he didn’t remain on the free agent market for long.

According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando and Turkish journalist Ferhat Yesiltas, Colson is close to an agreement with Istanbul-based team Darussafaka. Markel Brown, Toney Douglas, and Doron Lamb are among the other former NBA players who have suited up for the Turkish club in recent seasons.

Colson appeared sparingly in just eight games for the Bucks last season, but saw action in 46 G League games for Wisconsin and Canton. He averaged 14.9 PPG and 6.9 RPG in 30.8 minutes per contest.

Here are a few more international notes on veterans who have recently played for NBA teams:

  • Emanuel Terry, a 23-year-old forward who appeared in three NBA games for the Suns and Heat last season, has signed with Turkish club Bandirma B.I.K., according to an announcement from the team (via Twitter).
  • After a recent report suggested that veteran big man Alan Williams would likely sign with Russia’s Lokomotiv Krasnodar, Alessandro Maggi of Sportando hears that it’s a done deal. Williams, who previously appeared in 62 games over three seasons in Phoenix, was on a two-way deal with Brooklyn last season.
  • Italian team Olimpia Milano confirmed that it has officially parted ways with veteran point guard Mike James, who played 36 games for the Suns and Pelicans in 2017/18. James became expendable when Olimpia Milano signed free agent guard Shelvin Mack earlier this month.

And-Ones: Lin, James, Harrison, Williams

Point guard Jeremy Lin has received an offer from CSKA Moscow, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Lin is one of the biggest names remaining on the NBA free agent market but has received little interest following a disappointing stint with the champion Raptors. He was expected to be a rotation player in the playoffs after reaching a buyout with the Hawks but only appeared in eight postseason games during the title run, averaging 1.1 PPG in 3.4 MPG. Lin, 30, has appeared in 480 NBA games.

We have more international basketball news:

  • Olimpia Milano is looking to part ways with former NBA guard Mike James, Carchia tweets. The Euro team signed another former NBA point guard, Shelvin Mack, on Thursday to essentially replace James. Head coach Ettore Messina informed James there’s no playing time available with the addition of Mack. James played a combined 36 games with the Suns and Pelicans during the 2017/18 season.
  • Guard Aaron Harrison will remain in Turkey with Galatasaray, his agent told Carchia (Twitter link). Harrison, 24, last appeared in the NBA with the Mavericks, playing nine games during the 2017/18 season.
  • Former Suns and Nets forward Alan Williams will likely sign with Russia’s Lokomotiv Krasnodar, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. Williams, 26, played five games with Brooklyn last season.

Suns Rumors: Nash, Morris, Connelly, Point Guards

Former Suns guard and Hall of Famer Steve Nash has no interest in replacing GM Ryan McDonough, who was abruptly dismissed on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Though Nash is a favorite of owner Robert Sarver, Nash does not want the time-consuming responsibility of running a front office, Wojnarowski adds. Nash is currently a Warriors consultant. Vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant GM Trevor Bukstein have taken over GM duties in Phoenix on an interim basis.

We have more from Phoenix:

  • Former Suns Markieff Morris and Mike James voiced their distaste for McDonough on social media, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. McDonough infuriated Morris, currently with the Wizards, and his brother Marcus Morris by trading Marcus to the Pistons in the summer of 2015 after they signed team-friendly contracts with Phoenix. “Bout time lol,” Morris tweeted after learning of McDonough’s dismissal. James, who was waived last December after signing a contract two weeks earlier, tweeted, “I don’t think he was the right person for that job.”
  • Suns assistant GM Pat Connelly and director of scouting Courtney Witte were also fired on Monday, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Connelly was the Wizards’ director of player personnel before he was hired by Phoenix in 2013. More front office changes could be on the horizon, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Isaiah Canaan, Shaquille Harrison and rookies De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo continue to compete for point guard duties and none has emerged, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reports. First-year coach Igor Kokoskov admits that he needs to see much more from all of them. “A lot of mistakes,” he told Rankin and other media members. “There’s a lot of room for improvement.”
  • The timing of McDonough’s firing is an example of how Sarver has made a mess of the franchise, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post opines. The Suns will probably never reach their potential with Sarver heading the organization, Bontemps adds.