James Young

International Notes: Mirotic, J. Young, Kuzminskas, Poythress

Former NBA forward Nikola Mirotic was reportedly set to join Italian club Olimpia Milano last month after spending the past four seasons with FC Barcelona. The Spanish side recently officially terminated Mirotic’s contract, which still had two guaranteed years remaining.

After his agreement with Milano fell through, Mirotic reached a three-year deal with Serbia’s KK Partizan, but the 32-year-old announced on Instagram that he decided not to sign his new contract. He cited unspecified “threats and insults” after the news broke, as BasketNews.com relays. The Montenegrin also said he would not compete for any other team in Serbia, even though it’s a country he loves.

Partizan issued its own statement on the matter, per BasketNews, saying the team assured Mirotic that he and his family would be safe, including the president of Serbia personally reaching out to the veteran. The club also expressed skepticism at Mirotic’s reasoning for backing out of the agreement.

Mirotic has been the highest-paid player in Europe since he left the NBA in 2019, winning EuroLeague MVP in 2021/22. The former first-round pick averaged 12.3 PPG and 5.9 RPG on .423/.359/.808 shooting across 319 games with the Bulls, Pelicans and Bucks from 2014-19.

Here are few more notes from across the pond:

  • Another former first-round pick, James Young, has signed a contract with Italy’s Universo Treviso Basket, according to Sportando. Young appeared in 95 NBA games over four seasons with Boston and Philadelphia, with his last campaign coming in 2017/18. He has played in Israel and Greece over the past three seasons. The swingman was selected 17th overall in 2014 and is still just 27 years old.
  • Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is finalizing a deal with AEK Athens, sources tell Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews (Twitter link). The 33-year-old has spent 13 seasons in Europe, having spent ’22/23 with Turkish club Karsiyaka Basket. He played 69 games for New York from 2016-17.
  • Free agent big man Alex Poythress, who played 52 games with the Sixers, Pacers and Hawks from 2016-19, is finalizing a contract with Olimpia Milano, according to Urbonas of BasketNews. Moses Barda of One first reported the Italian club’s interest in Poythress (via Twitter). The 29-year-old has played for teams in Turkey, Russia and Israel since leaving the NBA, most recently suiting up for Maccabi Tel Aviv last season.

And-Ones: Paschall, J. Young, Egan, History Of Star Trades

Eric Paschall, who spent last season with the Jazz but wasn’t extended a qualifying offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent, is reportedly drawing interest from Greek club Panathinaikos, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. In reference to a tweet claiming he was “going to Europe,” Paschall said that was “false news” (Twitter link).

Of course, a team being interested in a free agent is different than a player being open to going overseas. The 6’6″ forward had a productive rookie season in 2019/20 with the Warriors as they dealt with major injuries to their stars and finished with just a 15-50 record, but has seen his role reduced significantly the past two years.

In 58 games (12.7 MPG) with Utah last season, Paschall averaged 5.8 PPG and 1.8 RPG on .485/.370/.767 shooting. Tony Jones of The Athletic reported last month that the 25-year-old was expected to draw interest on the open market — apparently that includes EuroLeague teams as well.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former first-round pick James Young has re-signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, the Israeli team announced (on Twitter) today (hat tip to Sportando). Young appeared in a total of 95 NBA games with the Celtics and Sixers from 2014-18, but only averaged 8.5 MPG. Last season with the Israeli side he averaged 17.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .451/.318/.750 shooting in 21 games (28.2 MPG).
  • Johnny Egan, a former head coach and player for the Rockets, has passed away, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Egan was 83 years old. He played 11 NBA seasons from 1961-1972, averaging 7.8 PPG and 3.0 APG. He then made an immediate transition to coaching, guiding the Rockets for parts of four seasons from 1972-76. “He was a down-to-Earth guy,” said former Rockets player Major Jones, who became a longtime friend of Egan. “He cared a lot about former players and was always willing to help former players. If something needed to be done, he’d be there. He always cared a lot about people. He was just a fantastic person.” Our condolences go out to Egan’s friends and family.
  • Tim Bontemps, Kevin Pelton and Matt Williams of ESPN examine some of the biggest star trades in recent NBA history. According to ESPN’s trio, the Pelicans received more trade equity than any other team over the past two decades when they moved Anthony Davis to the Lakers in 2019. I’m sure the Lakers would be happy to make that trade again, however, as they won the title in Davis’ first year in Los Angeles.

And-Ones: ASG, Embiid, Simmons, J. Young, Singh

When word broke on Sunday that Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had been ruled out of the All-Star Game due to being in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, there was some concern that the NBA was at risk of its worst-case scenario – a COVID-19 outbreak at All-Star weekend – playing out. However, Embiid and Simmons didn’t have any contact with their fellow All-Stars and the game was able to take place as planned, with no other players affected.

Now, the NBA is expressing confidence that its mini-bubble in Atlanta for the All-Star Game was a success. As Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes, the league said in a statement on Monday that all players, coaches, and officials involved in the event were tested three times in Atlanta, including right before the game, and there were no positives.

As for Embiid and Simmons, there’s no indication so far that their close contact with a barber who tested positive will result in positive tests for them as well. Head coach Doc Rivers said after the game that his two stars continued to register negative tests and that he hopes that continues for a few more days (Twitter link via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer).

“Both of them, their biggest concern would be if they could play the first two games when we get back,” Rivers said, per Reynolds. “So we don’t know the answer to that yet. That’s going to be really important for us. It would be tough to start the second half of the year and not have either one.”

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

  • Former NBA first-round pick James Young has signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv, the Israeli team announced today (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). It’s the second stint in Israel for Young, who played for Maccabi Haifa in 2019/20. The veteran wing played for the Westchester Knicks in this year’s G League bubble but hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2018.
  • In an in-depth piece for HoopsHype, Yossi Gozlan explores what each team can and should do at the trade deadline, including which clubs can afford to be aggressive buyers or sellers, and which ones have more limited trade options.
  • Michael Lee of The Washington Post takes a closer look at 20-year-old G League forward Princepal Singh‘s goal of becoming the first Indian-born player to appear in an NBA game, and why his development is important for a league trying to establish a foothold in India.

New York Notes: McGee, Noel, Toppin, G League, Nets’ D

The Nets were granted on Friday a disabled player exception worth approximately $5.727MM due to Spencer Dinwiddie‘s season-ending injury. With that in mind, HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan takes a look at some of the frontcourt players Brooklyn could pursue in a trade that would fit the salary slot. JaVale McGee, Nerlens Noel, Ed Davis and Bismack Biyombo are among those options for the Nets, who could use another veteran in the middle.

We have more on the teams in New York City:

  • The Knicks had concerns about Tyrese Haliburton‘s slender build when they passed on the point guard in favor of Obi Toppin during the draft lottery, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Haliburton has made an immediate impact with the Kings, who selected him with the No. 12 pick. Toppin, the eighth overall selection, has played an average of 12 MPG the last four games after recovering from a calf injury.
  • The Knicks unveiled their G League roster for the Orlando “bubble” season, which is slated to begin next month. According to a team press release, forwards Louis King and Skal Labissiere and guards Myles Powell and James Young have been named affiliate players. Affiliate players remain free agents available for any of the 30 NBA teams to sign.
  • The Nets know they can’t rely on the offensive prowess of their Big Three to make the Finals, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. After giving up 147 points to the Cavaliers in a double-overtime loss, they must focus on defensive improvement. “We feel positive in that we can improve defensively; but it’s definitely got to be a priority,” coach Steve Nash said.

Knicks Waive James Young

The Knicks have waived guard James Young two days after signing him, the team announced (via Twitter). Young’s next stop could be the organization’s G League affiliate in Westchester.

The 25-year-old shooting guard spent three years with the Celtics and had a brief stay with the Sixers after being taken with the 17th pick in the 2014 draft. Young played in Israel last season.

The move brings the Knicks’ roster to 19, including two players on two-way deals. They have until Monday to trim it down to 17.

Knicks Sign James Young, Waive Tyler Hall

The Knicks have signed James Young and waived Tyler Hall, according to the team’s PR department (Twitter links).

New York’s intention to sign Young was reported last week. Young, 25, was the 17th pick of the 2014 draft by Boston. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2017/18 season, when he made six appearances for Philadelphia. He played in Israel last season.

Young’s contract terms were not revealed but it’s likely an Exhibit 10 deal.

Hall was signed over the weekend to an Exhibit 10 contract. Hall’s G League rights are already held by the Knicks, so he could earn a $50K bonus if he plays for the Westchester Knicks for at least 60 days.

Hall, who played college ball at Montana State, was on the Westchester roster last season. He appeared in 39 games, averaging 9.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.7 APG in 39 games.

The Knicks are stocking their G League team with these types of roster maneuvers and Young could be headed through the same process.

Knicks Add Skal Labissiere, Will Sign James Young

DECEMBER 9: The signing of Labissiere is now official, the Knicks have tweeted.

DECEMBER 7: Big man Skal Labissiere is signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Knicks, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. According to Stein, James Young is also headed to New York’s camp, apparently on a similar deal.

Labissiere and Young will receive $50K bonuses if they’re on the roster of the Knicks’ G League affiliate, Westchester, for at least 60 days.

Naturally, both former first-round picks hope they can make an even bigger impression in camp. Labissiere became an unrestricted free agent when the Hawks declined to extend a qualifying offer last month.

Labissiere, 24, played 33 games for the Trail Blazers last season, averaging 5.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 17.2 MPG. He suffered a knee injury in December and never suited up for Atlanta after it acquired him in a trade deadline deal.

Young, 25, was the 17th pick of the 2014 draft by Boston. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2017/18 season, when he made six appearances for Philadelphia. He played in Israel last season.

The Knicks already have the maximum of 20 players in camp, so they’ll have to open up roster spots to sign the duo.

James Young To Play In Israel

Former first-round pick James Young has signed a contract with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa, the club announced in a press release.

The 17th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Young appeared in just 95 total games for the Celtics and Sixers during his first four professional seasons. He hasn’t appeared in a regular season NBA game since March 2018, though he averaged 18.9 PPG and 5.1 RPG with a .424/.422/.811 shooting line in 19 contests last season for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate.

Young is only 23 years old (24 next Friday), but is a long shot at this point to realize the upside that NBA evaluators saw when he came into the league out of Kentucky. Still, if he plays well in 2019/20 in Israel, perhaps he’ll have an opportunity to make it back to the NBA down the road.

Omri Casspi, Quincy Acy, and Johnathan Williams are among the other NBA players who have signed with Israeli teams so far this offseason.

And-Ones: All-Rookie Teams, Trade Candidates, Europe, J. Young

Dallas guard Luka Doncic is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year honors midway through the season, writes Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders as he selects his all-rookie teams. Doncic has transformed the Mavericks and has a chance to be the first rookie selected for the All-Star Game since 2011. Joining him as Nadeau’s first-team selections are the SunsDeandre Ayton, the GrizzliesJaren Jackson Jr., the KnicksKevin Knox and the HawksTrae Young.

The CavaliersCollin Sexton, the HawksKevin Huerter, the NetsRodions Kurucs, the KingsMarvin Bagley Jr. and the SunsMikal Bridges make up the second team, while the BullsWendell Carter Jr., the KnicksAllonzo Trier, the SixersLandry Shamet, the Clippers‘ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Timberwolves‘ Josh Okogie get honorable mention honors.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez of the Bulls are among the most likely players to be traded before the February 7 deadline, according to Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders. Parker couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity when Lauri Markkanen missed the start of the season with an elbow injury, but Rhodes suggests a change of scenery might help. Lopez has seen his playing time reduced this year, but the Bulls are determined to work out a trade rather than consider a buyout. Rhodes lists the KnicksEnes Kanter, the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic and the MavericksDennis Smith Jr. as other players with a good chance of being dealt.
  • After this week’s sellout for the Wizards and Knicks in London, the NBA is looking at other European venues, relays Martyn Herman of Reuters. NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum indicated that Paris is likely the next destination and Berlin may follow. “There has been a lot of interest in teams wanting to go to Paris because France is a hotbed for basketball,” Tatum said. “We have nine French players in the NBA now. It’s just a matter of building the right business case and having the right partners in those areas. It is an important market for many of our marketing partners. It’s just a matter of time.” He added that Spain and Italy don’t have arenas yet that are capable of hosting a game.
  • Former Celtics first-round pick James Young was waived this week by the G League’s Wisconsin Herd, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. It’s the latest setback for Young, who was waived by the Bucks shortly before the season began.

Bucks Waive James Young, Two Others

After releasing Travis Trice, Jordan Barnett, and Brandon McCoy earlier this week to make room on their roster for James Young, Ike Nwamu, and Robert Johnson, the Bucks have now waived Young, Nwamu, and Johnson as well, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

The back of Milwaukee’s roster has been undergoing significant turnover this month as the team secures certain players’ G League rights for the Wisconsin Herd. There’s a good chance that at least three or four players from that group – Young, Nwamu, Johnson, Trice, Barnett, and McCoy – end up with the Herd to start the 2018/19 season.

With three openings having been created on their 20-man offseason roster, the Bucks appear likely to finally complete a series of long-rumored signings. The team has reportedly agreed to terms with NBA free agents Shabazz Muhammad, Christian Wood, and Tim Frazier. Officially signing the trio would bring Milwaukee’s roster back up to 20 players for next week’s camp.

As for the three players just waived by the Bucks, Young is probably the best bet to get another shot from an NBA team. The 23-year-old has logged 95 career regular season games in four seasons for the Celtics and Sixers since being drafted 17th overall in 2014.