Nate Robinson

And-Ones: Sabonis, Valanciunas, N. Robinson, Offseason

Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis and Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas are expected to join the Lithuanian National Team for the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers next month, according to Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link). Lithuania is scheduled to play qualifying games in Vilnius against Denmark on November 26 and Belgium on November 29, and the country’s basketball federation has confirmed that Sabonis and Valanciunas are part of the team’s preliminary squad.

Unfortunately for Lithuania, it’s not clear yet whether Sabonis and Valanciunas will be available next summer for the all-important Olympic qualifying tournament that begins on June 29. Lithuania will be vying for one of four final spots in the Tokyo Olympics, and typically NBA players would be free to join their national teams by that point. In 2021, however, it’s possible the NBA’s regular season won’t yet have finished by the end of June.

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

  • Veteran guard Nate Robinson hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015/16 season and his odds of making a comeback at this point are incredibly long. However, he hasn’t given up on the idea, as Eric Woodyard of ESPN relays (via Twitter). Even at 36, I could still play and still ball out, still be a good spark off the bench,” Robinson said. “But times have changed, the NBA has changed so much. Naw, I will never say I’m retired. They retired me. I didn’t retire.”
  • Several ESPN reporters and analysts discussed a series of NBA offseason issues, including the most intriguing player on the free agent market, the trade candidate most worth watching, and the team worth keeping an eye on. Fred VanVleet, Jrue Holiday, and the Warriors, respectively, received the most votes in those three categories.
  • In the second part of their survey of NBA agents, Ben Standig and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic solicited opinions on the league’s best player, how many games the NBA will be able to play in 2020/21, and when the season will start, among other topics. We recapped the first part of the agent survey on Wednesday.
  • Several beat writers from The Athletic conducted a new mock draft for the top 10 picks this week. The exercise saw LaMelo Ball go No. 1 to the Timberwolves and included a trade involving the Knicks‘ No. 8 pick and the Suns‘ No. 10 selection, with Phoenix trading up for Tyrese Haliburton.

And-Ones: Gudaitis, Beaubois, Paul, Robinson, Curry, King

Lithuanian center Arturas Gudaitis is expected to leave Olimpia Milano and join Zenit St. Petersburg next season, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Gudaitis, who played 19 games last season with Olimpia Milano and averaged 7.3 PPG and 4.4 RPG, had been signed through next season with the Italian club. The Sixers used a 2015 second-round pick on Gudaitis but he has never appeared in an NBA regular-season game. The Cavaliers acquired his rights in 2018 via a three-way trade with the Kings and Jazz.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois has reached a two-year contract extension with his Turkish club Anadolu Efes, Misko Raznatovic tweets. Beaubois, 32, hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2012/13 season. Last season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.
  • Chris Paul has made a strong impression as NBA Players Association president, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman details. Players Association executive director Michele Roberts indicates that not all superstar players like the Thunder point guard command the same respect. “I won’t name any names, but there have been other marquee players that have been on the executive committee,” Roberts said. “They haven’t come close, they haven’t come close to providing and demonstrating a level of commitment and time that Chris has. And he’s not only just there, he’s engaged, he understands the issues. … He does insist on hearing all sides, and he brings in the other players.”
  • Joe Johnson, Mario Chalmers, Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry are among the former NBA players slated to participate in 3-on-3 pay-per-view tournament later this month, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets. The “5 Tournament” is scheduled to take place July 19-29, just before the NBA’s planned restart.
  • Former Suns two-way player George King has signed with Bundesliga’s Chemnitz 99ers, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. King, who appeared in one game with the Suns in 2018/19, played in Italy and Poland last season.

Nate Robinson To Play In Lebanon

Former NBA player Nate Robinson will continue his playing career overseas, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, Robinson penned a deal with Homenetmen of the Lebanese Basketball League.

Robinson, a late first-round selection in the 2005 NBA Draft, spent his first five seasons with the Knicks before becoming a journeyman during the back half of his NBA career. From 2010 to 2015 he played for seven additional NBA franchises and in 2016, he signed his first contract overseas with Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League.

The 5’9” point guard, perhaps best known for being a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion from 2006 to 2010, said as recently as December that he is still looking for an opportunity to return to the NBA, but for now, he’ll have to settle for a chance to showcase his ability in Lebanon.

Robinson, 34, holds NBA averages of 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in 618 career contests with a career shooting line of .463/.360/.796.

And-Ones: Trade Candidates, N. Robinson, Simons

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic has been the subject of more trade rumors than virtually any other NBA player over the last several weeks, but he’s not the only “sell-high” trade candidate around the league, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. In an Insider-only piece, Pelton identifies several players whose trade value may not get higher than it is right now, including Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans, Suns center Alex Len, and Nets teammates Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris.

Those players may not be on the move before next month’s trade deadline – Pelton admits that the idea of dealing Dinwiddie would be a “particularly tough sell” for the Nets – but it would make sense for those clubs to at least explore the possibilities.

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

  • Former NBA guard Nate Robinson has officially signed a BIG3 contract and joined Tri-State – Jermaine O’Neal‘s team – as a co-captain, the league announced today (Twitter link). We heard as recently as last month that Robinson hadn’t given up on the idea of getting back to the NBA.
  • While top prospect Anfernee Simons may commit to a college for the 2018/19 season at some point, he’s also considering making the leap directly to the NBA this year, as Jared Weiss of USA Today details. Simons reportedly intends to test the 2018 draft waters in the same way that Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo did a year ago.
  • Kristaps Porzingis is one of the few active NBA players capable of potentially matching the 48-point, 17-rebound stat line that Anthony Davis posted in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. While Porzingis isn’t at Davis’ level, Ian Begley of ESPN points to the development of the Pelicans star as evidence that the Knicks should be patient with Porzingis’ own development.
  • Former Mavericks guard Gian Clavell, who was on a two-way contract with Dallas earlier this season, has signed with Turkish team Sakarya Buyuksehir for the rest of the 2017/18 campaign, per international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). Clavell appeared in seven games for the Mavs.

And-Ones: A. Miller, Bennett, N. Robinson, Rookies

As we outlined earlier today, ASM Sports president Andy Miller has relinquished his certification as an agent after his agency was raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into college basketball corruption. Miller’s roster of NBA clients features a number of notable names, including some All-Stars, so what’s next for them?

According to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter links), Miller’s clients have been told that their contracts with Miller are no longer in effect, allowing them to sign new deals with other certified NBA agents. As Mullen notes, there’s usually a 15-day waiting period when a player changes agents, but that 15-day period is waived when an agent relinquishes his certification. As such, players like Kyle Lowry, Kristaps Porzingis, and Serge Ibaka will be free to hire new representation immediately.

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

  • Although he’s widely viewed as one of the biggest NBA draft busts of the last decade, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett hasn’t given up on his efforts to get back into the league and make an impact. Bennett recently spoke to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders about his career and about playing in the G League.
  • Veteran NBA guard Nate Robinson is looking for an opportunity to return to the NBA, suggesting that a team like the Bulls could use him, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details.
  • While Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz stole most of the pre-draft headlines, many of the stars of this year’s rookie class came off the board a little later. Alex Squadron of The New York Post examines some of the more unsung rookie standouts of the 2017/18 season, including John Collins (Hawks), Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), and OG Anunoby (Raptors).
  • Former Grizzlies guard Xavier Munford, who was in camp with the Bucks in October, has hired agents Happy Walters and George Langberg of Catalyst Sports for representation, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Munford has played well for Milwaukee’s G League affiliate this season, averaging 24.4 PPG and 5.3 APG with a .551/.641/.737 shooting line for the Wisconsin Herd.

Northwest Notes: Robinson, Thornton, Westbrook

The Timberwolves have plenty of room on their roster to bring aboard talent ahead of the 2017/18 season and have been busy looking for the perfect fit. Per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), veterans Nate Robinson, Shawne Williams and Marcus Thornton have all stopped by to make an impression.

Of the three, Robinson is the highest profile but the 33-year-old hasn’t seen consistent NBA action since 2014/15 when he played 33 games in half a season with the Nuggets. The scrappy guard with a career average of 11.0 points per game could potentially add depth to the Timberwolves second unit.

A more intriguing option for the Timberwolves, however, may be adding Thornton.  Not only is the two-guard three years young, he’s played more substantial roles for other teams lately than Robinson has. The journeyman has suited up for seven teams in the past four seasons, granted, but has the ability to put points on the board when given the opportunity. In 2011/12. Thornton averaged 18.7 points per game for the Kings.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz are still reeling from the loss of Gordon Hayward this summer but have an intriguing long-term prospect in lottery pick Donovan Mitchell, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes.
  • With his original five-year Jordan Brand deal set to expire after this season, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook signed a 10-year extension with the Nike offshoot. Now, Nick DePaula of ESPN writes, the company will start developing an on-court Westbrook shoe.
  • The massive 10-year Jordan Brand extension could impact Russell Westbrook’s decision to sign an extension with the Thunder, Brett Dawson of the Oklahoman writes. While a player like Westbrook, who relies heavily on athleticism, may normally be inclined to lock in a long-term deal at age 28, Westbrook won’t exactly be hard up for cash if he decides to pursue other options.

And-Ones: Robinson, Billups, Schedule, Alie-Cox

After briefly seeing some action for the Pelicans in two games last season, Nate Robinson hasn’t caught on with an NBA team in 2016/17. That doesn’t mean he has given up on the possibility of continuing his career though. Robinson, who is still just 32 years old (33 next month), tells Nina Mandell of USA Today Sports that he believes there’s no shortage of teams right now that could use him, including one of his former clubs.

“Playoff teams, that could use me right now: The Chicago Bulls for sure, I’m going to say them first because that was one of my favorite places to play,” Robinson said. “I was just disappointed they didn’t give me a contract that they should have after I helped them get to the playoffs (in 2013) and did everything that I did.”

While the odds of Robinson catching on with an NBA team this season are very slim, it’s possible a club will take a shot on the veteran free agent in the offseason — as he tells Mandell, Robinson is “not a money guy” and would play for free if he could, so he’d represent an inexpensive flier. For now, the 5’9″ guard continues to work out two or three times a day in hopes of attracting NBA interest.

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

  • Over at ESPN.com, Zach Lowe has an interesting piece on an outside-the-box proposal that would change the way late-game basketball situations played out, potentially reducing intentional fouling and speeding up the endings of games. The NBA isn’t ready to try the idea, even in the D-League, but the league will have an eye on The Basketball Tournament as it experiments with the new rule this summer.
  • In a conversation with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Chauncey Billups discusses how the point guard position has changed since his NBA heyday, and shared his excitement about the new BIG3 league. As our comprehensive list shows, Billups will be playing on a BIG3 team this summer with Stephen Jackson and Charles Oakley.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver said today that the league hasn’t seriously discussed the idea of shortening the 82-game regular season, but ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh lays out the case for why it might be the league’s best move.
  • Former VCU basketball standout Mo Alie-Cox is attempting to earn a spot on an NFL roster. Zach Links has the story over at our sister site, Pro Football Rumors.

Nate Robinson To Play In D-League

9:00 PM: The 87ers have officially acquired Robinson, according to a team press release.

FEBRUARY 8, 11:35 AM: Robinson has been claimed off waivers by the Delaware 87ers, Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate, per Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 2: Veteran point guard Nate Robinson signed a contract with the NBA Development League on Thursday, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports. Herman Manakyan, Robinson’s agent, told Charania of Robinson’s decision to play in the league with the hope of catching someone’s eye and returning to the NBA.

Robinson played for Hapoel Tel Aviv last season and needs a letter of clearance from the team into order to enter the D-League’s player pool. Oklahoma City, Erie, Texas, Fort Wayne and Grand Rapids hold the top priorities in the D-League waiver order, according to Charania.

Robinson had a workout with the Sixers in January but they passed on the 32-year-old and instead signed a younger point man, Chasson Randle. Robinson then lobbied LeBron James to spark some interest from the Cavaliers, who are looking for a backup point. Robinson’s difficulty in landing an NBA job last summer was due in part to his dalliance with the NFL.

Robinson appeared in two games last season with the Pelicans. He played a combined 42 games with the Clippers and Nuggets the previous season.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Pistons, Bucks

LeBron Jamescall this week for the Cavaliers to add a playmaker to their roster represented the latest development in his full-court press on the club’s front office, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Although he clarified that he doesn’t intend to criticize GM David Griffin or the job the club’s front office has done, James’ comments are meant to apply pressure to Cleveland’s decision-makers, as Windhorst details.

Cavaliers executives aren’t the only ones who took notice of James’ comments. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando notes, multiple veteran free agents made an appeal to LeBron and the Cavs after the Finals MVP asked for another playmaker. Nate Robinson posted a message on Instagram imploring James to call him, while Jordan Crawford posted a similar message on Twitter. While Robinson and Crawford may be available, they probably won’t be the first players the Cavs pursue as the team looks to fortify its roster.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

  • The Cavaliers aren’t the only Central team whose point guard situation has been in the news. Reggie Jackson‘s name surfaced in a a trade rumor last week, but Rod Beard of The Detroit News makes the case that there just aren’t many point guards on the trade block that would be an upgrade over Jackson if the Pistons wanted to make a move.
  • With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope back in the lineup, the Pistons have a healthy roster for the first time in a while, creating some interesting decisions for Stan Van Gundy, Beard writes in a separate piece for The Detroit News.
  • The Oshkosh Common Council has approved plans for an arena that could serve as a home for the Bucks‘ D-League affiliate, according to a report from Fox 11 News. However, the Bucks have yet to commit to a specific city for a new D-League affiliate, and organizers say they won’t move forward and start building the $15MM arena until Milwaukee makes a decision. In addition to Oshkosh, the cities of Racine and Sheboygan are also believed to be in play for a D-League franchise.

Sixers Sign Chasson Randle To 10-Day Contract

JANUARY 10: The Sixers officially signed Randle today, starting the clock on his 10-day deal, the team announced in a press release.

JANUARY 9: The 76ers have agreed to a deal with Chasson Randle, and will sign him to a 10-day contract on Tuesday, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). We first heard over the weekend that Randle had a workout scheduled with the club.

Randle, who went undrafted in 2015, appeared headed toward a roster spot with the Knicks in October, but was waived after suffering an orbital bone fracture. He joined the Westchester Knicks in the D-League as an affiliate player and has averaged 20.7 PPG through 19 contests. There was some speculation that Randle might return to New York at some point, but Ron Baker, the team’s third point guard, secured a guaranteed contract this weekend, opening the door for another club to land Randle.

According to a Sunday report, Randle was one of a handful of point guards to audition for Philadelphia, along with Briante Weber, Cat Barber, and Yogi Ferrell. Interestingly, international basketball reporter David Pick added today (via Twitter) that the Sixers also worked out Nate Robinson, who has been out of the NBA since 2015.

The Sixers had an open spot on their 15-man roster after cutting Hollis Thompson last week, so a corresponding move won’t be necessary to add Randle. Philadelphia is the third club this month to take advantage of the 10-day deal — the Nuggets re-signed Alonzo Gee to a 10-day contract on Sunday, and the Nets are reportedly bringing in Quincy Acy on a 10-day pact of his own.