Denzel Bowles

Denzel Bowles In Talks With Chinese Team

Free agent center Denzel Bowles is closing in on a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). This continues what has become a suddenly robust Asian market for free agents, with Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford recently inking deals with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.

The 6’10″ Bowles is familiar with Jilin, having played for the Tigers last season, averaging 26.0 PPG and 8.6 RPG in 32.5 MPG in 34 appearances. He played for the Nuggets in this year’s NBA summer league, logging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per contest.

Bowles had recently worked out for the Pistons, and Charania also reports that Detroit invited him to training camp. But as we saw with Blatche, who received a one-year, $2.5MM deal, playing five months overseas and then trying to latch onto an NBA team in March can be much more financially rewarding than competing for a roster spot with little-to-no guaranteed money to bank on. Bowles had also reportedly displayed his wares for the Spurs, but likely wasn’t offered a deal or a camp invite.

Pistons Work Out Denzel Bowles

The Pistons are putting free agent center Denzel Bowles through a workout today, and there’s a distinct possibility the former James Madison standout will be auditioning for the Bulls, too, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).

The 6’10” Bowles has played overseas each of the past three seasons after going undrafted in 2011, with stops in Lithuania, the Philippines and China. He joined the Nuggets for summer league in July, averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per contest. His numbers were more impressive in China last season, when he put up 26.0 PPG and 8.6 RPG in 32.5 MPG in 34 appearances with the Jilin Northeast Tigers.

The Pistons wouldn’t offer Bowles much opportunity to make the opening night roster if they were to add him for training camp, since they’re already carrying 16 guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show. It’s possible that the Pistons envision bringing Bowles to camp so they can get an extended look at him for down the road and so that they can retain his D-League rights for their new one-to-one affiliate. The Bulls have only 12 guaranteed pacts, but they haven’t carried more than 13 players on opening night in any of the last three seasons, as I pointed out. Chicago is among a host of teams targeting Ray Allen, and it would make sense that the contending Bulls would prioritize adding a veteran.

Southwest Notes: Bowles, Bzdelik, Mavs

At the moment, the Southwest Division appears to be the only division in the NBA featuring all teams with playoff hopes for 2014/15. Here’s a rundown for what should be one of the most competitive groupings in the league:

  • Free agent Denzel Bowles will work out for the Spurs on September 7th, a source tells David Pick of (Twitter link). Bowles, who has spent time in the D-League and the Chinese Basketball Association, worked out for Charlotte at the end of last season but failed to earn a 10-day contract.
  • Jeff Bzdelik tells Ronald Tillery of Commercial Appeal [subscription-only] that he was brought to the Grizzlies as an assistant coach to focus on defense, where Memphis slipped from their elite standard last season.
  • In an Insider-only piece, Amin Elhassan of ranks the Mavs‘ re-calibrated frontcourt, featuring new arrivals Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler alongside Dirk Nowitzki, as the fourth-best big unit in the league.

Bobcats To Work Out Players For Possible 10-Day

THURSDAY, 3:40pm: NBA free agent Chris Johnson is part of the workout session today, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 7:19pm: The Bobcats plan to work out Ike Diogu, Mickell Gladness, and Denzel Bowles on Thursday for a possible 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of (Twitter link). The Bobcats currently have 15 players on the roster, so someone would need to be released. It’s possible they could let go of Justin Hamilton to make space when his 10-day contract expires tomorrow.

Diogu has been playing with Bakersfield in the NBA D-League. In 30 games he is averaging 16.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 30.2 MPG. The 6’8″ forward was taken in the first-round of the 2005 draft by the Warriors. He last saw NBA action during the 2011/12 season with the Spurs. His career numbers are 6.0 PPG, and 3.1 RPG over 12.4 MPG.

Gladness went undrafted in 2008 and has been playing for Reno in the D-League this season. His numbers in 30 games are 8.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 0.5 APG in 24.2 MPG. The 6’11” center saw limited NBA action during the 2011/2012 season with the Heat and the Warriors.

Bowles, a 6’10” center who averaged 26.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, is seen as a talented project, according to Charania. Bowles also has received interest from the Heat per Charania’s sources.

D-League Notes: Bowles, Williams, Nedovic

The Iowa Energy – who share an NBA affiliation with the Bulls, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, and Wizards – have acquired center Denzel Bowles (Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest reports). The 6’10 big man was previously a member of the Pelicans’ (then-Hornets) summer league team in 2012/13, where he averaged 7.2 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 16.1 MPG. Most recently, Bowles played in China before entering the D-League player pool.

Here are a few more NBDL-related notes worth passing along tonight:

  • The Thunder announced via press release that forward Reggie Williams has been recalled from the Tulsa 66ers. Oklahoma City assigned Williams to the D-League earlier today before announcing his recall. Williams has yet to see action with the Thunder on the 10-day deal he signed Thursday, but he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in today’s matinee for Tulsa.
  • The Warriors announced earlier today that they’ve recalled Nemanja Nedovic from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBDL.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

D-League Notes: Cuban, West, Bowles

Mark Cuban continues to argue that the D-League is a more honest and effective developmental system than college hoops. SportsDayDFW quotes the owner’s response to Larry Brown‘s defense of the college system: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence when a dad, uncle, cousin, an AAU coach and six other relatives find themselves at a university. And it seems like there are a lot of guys taking the easiest classes they can to get through, or correspondence or on-line classes and then get to the second semester,” said Cuban. “It’s a business that, when you look at it, it’s ripe for disruption. When you look for a business to disrupt, you look for one that’s done the same thing for years and everybody knows it’s dysfunctional but nobody’s done anything about it. We happen to be in that industry.”

More from the D-League:

  • Count Jerry West amongst the fans of what the D-League can do for the future of the NBA game, writes Keith Schlosser of SBNation. Last month West criticized the quality of this year’s draft, as well as expressed his disdain for the one-and-done college system. In Schlosser’s article, West goes into detail on why the D-League is a crucial component for developing young players.
  • According to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest, Denzel Bowles has entered the D-League’s player pool. Bowles most recently played for the CBA’s Jilin Northeast Tigers. In 34 games for the Tigers, he averaged 26.0 PPG, and 8.5 RPG.  Bowles played on Pelicans’ Summer League team in 2012/2013. He averaged 7.2 PPG, and 6.6 RPG in 16.1 minutes.
  • Kevin Jones has accepted a buyout from the Canton Charge to go play in the Philippines, according to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald (Twitter link). Jones last saw NBA action in 32 games with the Cavs during the 2012/2013 season, and averaged 3.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 0.3 APG in 10.4 minutes. Jones was a 2013/14 NBA D-League All-Star with Canton, averaging 16.9 PPG, and 8.0 RPG in 30.5 minutes per game. The Charge will retain Jones’ player rights in the D-League for the next two seasons, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.