Gary Neal

International Notes: Lawson, Barbosa, Neal, Ajinca

Veteran NBA guard Ty Lawson, who spent last season in China before signing with the Wizards for their brief playoff run, is headed back overseas to his old team, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. As Carchia relays, Lawson has re-signed with the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association, replacing another former NBA guard, Andrew Goudelock. Goudelock is out for the season with a knee injury.

In 46 contests in China last season, Lawson averaged 25.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 2.2 SPG, shooting 40.1% on three-point attempts. Although he parlayed that performance into a spot on a playoff roster upon returning to the NBA, the 31-year-old didn’t end up on a regular season roster for the 2018/19 NBA season. China’s season ends before the NBA league year does, so we’ll see if Lawson can once again find an NBA home once his overseas deal expires.

Here are a few more notes on former NBA players joining new teams or drawing interest internationally:

  • Brazilian guard Leandro Barbosa is continuing his playing career in his home country, with Minas Tenis Clube recently announcing the signing of Barbosa. The 36-year-old spent most of his lengthy NBA career with Phoenix.
  • Former Spurs guard Gary Neal, who also spent time with five other NBA clubs, has officially signed with Turkish club Banvit, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Neal last appeared in the NBA during the 2016/17 season, when he played two games for Atlanta.
  • Former NBA guard Manny Harris is also playing in Turkey, as Carchia notes. Harris, who appeared in 93 NBA games for the Cavaliers, Lakers, and Mavericks, has officially joined Turkish club Bahcesehir (Twitter link).
  • Veteran NBA big man Alexis Ajinca, who was cut in October after being traded to the Clippers, is a candidate to play for ASVEL in France in the new year. Carchia hears that Ajinca has been telling people he’ll join ASVEL and relays a report from Le Progress that also links Ajinca to the French team.

Gary Neal Signs With Spanish Team

Veteran shooting guard Gary Neal, who played briefly for the Hawks last season, has reached an agreement in Spain, according to Sportando. Neal will play for Tecnyconta Zaragoza.

Neal appeared in two games for the Hawks after signing a 10-day deal in January. He scored four points in 18 total minutes and wasn’t re-signed. He returned to the G League, first with the Texas Legends, then the Reno Bighorns.

Neal, who will turn 33 next month, played for six teams in six NBA seasons. His best year was 2013/14, when he averaged 10.5 points per game while splitting time with the Bucks and Bobcats.

And-Ones: Players Association, Campazzo, Fredette, Neal

Several NBA players and coaches (including Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy, Kyle Lowry, and Luol Denghave launched criticisms of President Trump’s executive order banning entry to the U.S. of all refugees. Most recently, the NBA Players Association lent their voice to the conversation, releasing the following statement to members of the press:

“Anything that might compromise our players’ freedom as members of the global basketball community is a cause of concern for the NBPA,” relayed USA Today reporter Jeff Zillgitt. “With that in mind, we have been working diligently to gather all available information regarding the recent executive order on immigration and its potential affects on our players. We’ve also been in regular contact with the players who could be impacted, and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

More from around the league:

  • Facu Campazzo, a 25-year-old star of Liga ACB, plans on transitioning to the NBA, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. A skilled point guard, Campazzo had a strong 2016 Olympics alongside Manu Ginobili, Wojnarowski notes. Campazzo initially voiced his interest in making the leap to the NBA in September of last year.
  • Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette is thriving for the Shanghai Sharks, regularly tallying 40+ point performances in the CBA. According to Les Carpenter of The Vertical, Fredette had never been to China prior to signing with the Sharks in August of last year. “Obviously, I’m from the USA and the NBA is the greatest league in the world, and if I have the opportunity to play in the NBA that’s where I would love to play,” Fredette said. “But China is a great opportunity. The fans have been great to me, more than I can imagine, especially in such a short amount of time. It’s a good league over there, and there are some changes coming, good changes for the league, and I think there’s an amazing opportunity to make a great living, to make a lot of money.”
  • Gary Neal, whose 10-day contract with Atlanta expired on Friday, has been acquired by Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back. The Texas Legends acquired Reno’s 2017 4th round draft pick in exchange for the 32-year-old veteran. Neal, who averaged 20.2 MPG in 40 games with the Wizards last season, has appeared in just two NBA games in 2016/17.

Hawks Sign Lamar Patterson To 10-Day Deal

JANUARY 29, 12:40: The signing is official, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Journal Constitution.

JANUARY 27, 10:36pm: Despite facing competition from other potential suitors for Patterson, the Hawks are in the process of finalizing a 10-day contract for the D-League guard, tweets Stein.

7:39pm: The Hawks and two other teams are “extremely interested” in signing Patterson, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Twitter link)

2:46pm: The Hawks have “strong” interest in signing Lamar Patterson to a 10-day contract, sources tell Marc Stein of (Twitter links). Patterson is currently playing in the D-League for the Reno Bighorns.

Gary Neal‘s 10-day deal with Atlanta will end at midnight tonight and the team could elect not to bring the veteran back and give Patterson the roster spot, Stein adds. Neal has only played a total of 18 minutes over two games with the Hawks. He missed all five of his shots from the field over that span, though he made all four of his foul shots.

Patterson played for the Hawks during the 2015/16 campaign. He appeared in 35 games for the team and scored 7.7 points per 36-minutes. Prior to the 2015/16 season, he played for Tofas Bursa of the Turkish Basketball League.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Neal, Hornets, House

The Heat have been granted a $1.3 million salary-cap exception, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. The exception can be used through March 10 to sign a single player whose contract expires at the end of the season. The amount is half the salary for Justise Winslow, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery earlier this month. The Heat would have to open a spot to use the exception because they have a full roster after signing Okaro White on Tuesday.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said his familiarity with Gary Neal played a role in the team’s decision to sign the veteran guard to a 10-day contract, relays Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Budenholzer was an assistant with the Spurs when Neal played for San Antonio from 2010-13. “I have a great comfort level and confidence in Gary,” the coach said. “His ability to shoot and make shots and be a weapon coming off the bench in big games. He is a competitive guy, a smart guy.” Budenholzer plans to use Neal primarily as a third point guard.
  • The Hornets will have to make roster changes to have a shot making a playoff run, contends Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer. He argues that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t the same player he was before his injury and says the Hornets need to acquire another scorer to take the late-game load off Kemba Walker.
  • Wizards rookie Danuel House had a CT scan on his right wrist today, tweets J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. The undrafted shooting guard out of Texas A&M has played just one game this season and will probably be sent to the D-League when he does return. House has just a $100K guarantee on his $905,249 salary for next season.

Hawks Sign Gary Neal To 10-Day Contract

3:25pm: The signing is official, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

9:08am: The Hawks will sign Gary Neal to a 10-day contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Atlanta will open up a roster spot by trading Mo Williams to the Nuggets.

Marc Stein of ESPN reported over the weekend that the team was “strongly leaning” toward signing the shooting guard. The 32-year-old previously played under coach Mike Budenholzer when Budenholzer was an assistant in San Antonio.

Neal has been playing for the Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Mavericks. He’s played for five teams over his six-year NBA career, including the Wizards last season.

Hawks May Sign Gary Neal To 10-Day Contract

JANUARY 15th, 11:08am: Atlanta would waive Mo Williams if it signs Neal, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Williams, who was acquired from the Cavaliers in the Kyle Korver trade last week, underwent surgery on his left leg in October and is officially retired. The Hawks will have to pay the remainder of his $2.2MM contract even if he is released.

JANUARY 14th, 7:34pm: The Hawks are “strongly leaning” toward signing Gary Neal, tweets Marc Stein of Atlanta worked out the veteran guard earlier this week and may be ready to give him a 10-day contract.

Neal recently joined the Texas Legends of the D-League (Twitter link). He spent last season with the Wizards, where he averaged 9.8 points and shot .410 from 3-point range in 40 games. The 32-year old has also played for San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Minnesota in a six-year NBA career.

The Hawks have an open roster spot to sign Neal after waiving Ryan Kelly last week.

Southwest Notes: Finney-Smith, Harrell, Forbes

Undrafted Mavericks rookie Dorian Finney-Smith has started 25 games so far this season despite barely making Dallas’ roster out of training camp. With the former Florida Gator’s partially-guaranteed contract set to guarantee on January 5, the fact that he’s managed to hold onto his spot in the starting lineup even with Dirk Nowitzki healthy bodes well.

In 22.8 minutes per game this season, the 23-year-old Finney-Smith has emerged as a capable perimeter defender for the Mavericks – even if that means being thrown into the deep end against NBA superstars like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

It’s great experience for young guys,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said of his rookie’s recent baptism by fire. “They learn a lot in a very short period of time. And some of it is very painful. But this is how you get better.”

As Eddie Sefko of Dallas News writes in the same article, the 15th and final addition to the Mavericks roster last fall has already beaten the odds.

That’s not all out of the Southwest Division:

And-Ones: Motiejunas, Neal, Jerrett, 2017 FAs

Now an unrestricted free agent, Donatas Motiejunas has more freedom than ever to decide the next step in his basketball career, even if he can no longer sign with the Nets. As he looks for a new NBA home, Motiejunas released a statement today on Twitter, announcing that he has “a lot more to give to the game of basketball, and can’t wait to get back on the court.”

“I invest so much into my craft and have worked extremely hard to stay healthy and prove myself on the basketball court, which was evident last season,” Motiejunas said. “I look forward to immediately contributing to a new team and ultimately winning championships.

“I want to thank the great fans in Houston for all of their support. I really enjoyed my time in the community. The city and people will always hold a special place in my heart as the place where my NBA career began.”

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

Gary Neal Signs D-League Contract

Former Wizards shooting guard Gary Neal has signed a contract to play in the D-League, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link). It’s not clear yet which team Neal will land with, but Reichert tweets that either Maine or Long Island has top waiver priority. Those are the Celtics’ and Nets’ NBADL affiliates.

Neal, 32, started his NBA career with the Spurs, playing a major role off the bench for the team for three seasons, starting in 2010/11. After leaving San Antonio, Neal also spent time with Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Minnesota, before landing in Washington last season. In 350 career NBA games, he has averaged 9.9 PPG, shooting 38.3% on three-point attempts.

While Neal’s numbers last year – and in the past – were solid, he was unable to find an NBA home to start this season. In July, he wrote on Facebook that he was the Wizards’ leading scorer off the bench and their best three-point shooter, pointing to some of the contracts his fellow second-unit players received and hinting that he should be in line for a decent payday of his own.

Around that same time, J. Michael of reported that Neal rubbed some Washington players and coaches the wrong way, and was viewed by some as a player who was out for his own stats. Perhaps that perception contributed to Neal’s inability to find a new contract over the summer after his deal with the Wizards expired. In any case, it looks like he’ll try to get back into the league by making an impression in the D-League first.