Jarrid Famous

And-Ones: Zanik, Kidd, Brown, Cousins

The Bucks will hire Justin Zanik as GM-in-waiting and are working on a contract extension for coach Jason Kidd, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Currently an assistant GM in Utah, Zanik will have a similar title with the Bucks. A provision of the move is that Zanik will eventually take over for Milwaukee GM John Hammond, although it’s uncertain when that will happen. Hammond has been GM of the Bucks since 2008 and has one year left on his contract.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • California forward Jaylen Brown worked out for the Bucks, Raptors and Sixers today, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. A source told Spears that Brown was in “great shape” and “super explosive.” He is expected to be a top 10 pick and could be in the running for the No. 3 choice. New Timberwolves GM Scott Layden also traveled to California to see Brown and came away impressed, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Oklahoma point guard Isaiah Cousins worked out for the Suns on Friday, and has upcoming sessions with the Raptors on Tuesday and the Hawks on Thursday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Anthony Bennett and Quinn Cook were the most recognizable players invited to a Nets mini-camp this week, according to NetsDaily. Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, played 19 games with the Raptors last season. Cook, the point guard on Duke’s 2015 NCAA title team, was cut by the Cavaliers in training camp. Also receiving invitations were Alex Stepheson, Scotty Hopson, Alex KirkJerrelle BenimonFuquan Edwin, D.J. Newbill, Will CummingsJarrid Famous, Victor Rudd, Josh Magette and Joel Wright. International journalist David Pick says the Nets are planning another session.

Southwest Notes: Durant, Famous, Davis

The pending Rockets deals with Michael Beasley and Andrew Goudelock show the team intends to try to outscore opponents rather than address its defensive deficiencies, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com writes. While both players are certainly capable of producing on the offensive end, neither is considered a capable defender, Watkins notes. “We’re trying to get better. [We’re] obviously not satisfied with where we are,” said interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who has more optimism regarding the two additions. “I think the organization has proven time and time again it will do whatever it takes to make the team better and improve the team. Whether it’s late-season additions, whether it’s trades or what have you, the team is willing to do it. By any means necessary, the ownership the front office, everybody is committed to improving the team.

Houston also thinks it has a legitimate shot to land free agent prize Kevin Durant this summer, Watkins also relays. The franchise believes that offering Durant the chance to play alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard, if he is re-signed, is superior to what the Thunder can offer him, the ESPN scribe adds. Now here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The toe injury that Pelicans big man Anthony Davis suffered on Saturday is not as serious as originally feared, and he should return to the team’s lineup shortly, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com relays. The power forward says he doesn’t know what caused the injury during warmups, and he was initially fearful because no contact was involved, Verrier adds. “It was just a simple routine that I do, that I’ve been doing for the past four years,” Davis said. “They’re the most scary ones — when nobody’s on you and you just get an injury. When it happened I didn’t really know what was going on, what was going on with my foot. I’m glad it was nothing [serious]. Hopefully I’ll be back on the floor tomorrow.
  • Beasley is happy for the opportunity the Rockets are giving him to play in the NBA again, the combo forward told Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports. “It’s a blessing for me, another chance to play basketball,” Beasley said. “Just a chance to play basketball, just show who I am and what I can do.”
  • Jarrid Famous, who was with the Mavericks for the preseason, has signed with Bucaneros de la Guaira in Venezuela, Hazan Sports Management, which represents Famous, announced (via Twitter). The 27-year-old has played for Yulon Luxgen in Taiwan and Fujian of China since Dallas waived his partially guaranteed contract prior to opening night.

Mavs Notes: Nowitzki, Carlisle, Williams, Famous

Dirk Nowitzki left the door open last month to playing beyond his existing contract, which runs through next season, and he more recently told Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that he values the idea of playing a 20th season with the Mavs, which would entail re-signing in 2017. Nowitzki has a player option worth about $8.692MM for next season and told USA Today’s Sam Amick in November that, “I’m going to definitely ride this contract out.”

“Yeah, I think 20 years is special, especially with one franchise,” Nowitzki said to MacMahon. “So that would mean I at least have to play one more [season after this contract expires], but I think that’s something I worry about later. I don’t want to look too far ahead because the end is near. I don’t want to look too far ahead.”

Nowitzki passed Shaquille O’Neal on Wednesday for sixth place on the NBA’s list of all-time scoring leaders. See more from Dallas:

  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle backed off Wednesday from comments he made Tuesday that suggested he’d push for roster changes if the team didn’t improve its effort, expressing his affection for the players and quipping, “I fly off half-cocked about every other day,” MacMahon observes in a separate piece. Owner Mark Cuban likes the roster and said to MacMahon that he doesn’t see a need for significant change, though he admitted inconsistent effort and energy have been problems. “Oh, it’s 100% about pressing buttons,” Cuban said about Carlisle’s Tuesday remarks. “The one thing you know about us, if we’re actually going to make a trade, nobody knows about it. And they were buttons that needed to be pressed, so I agree wholeheartedly with him.”
  • Deron Williams wound up with the better end of the buyout that halted his Nets tenure, posits Andy Vasquez of The Record, who points to Brooklyn’s significant decline in offensive efficiency without the point guard and Williams’ contentment in Dallas. “I feel a lot better,” said Williams, who has a player option worth about $5.621MM for next season. “My mindset’s a lot better. I’m happy in Dallas, happy where I am right now, and enjoy playing with this team.”
  • Jarrid Famous, who was with the Mavericks for the preseason, has signed with Yulon Luxgen in Taiwan, according to Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi. He had been playing with Fujian of China since shortly after Dallas waived his partially guaranteed contract prior to opening night.

Western Notes: Mudiay, Davis, West

Lakers coach Byron Scott thinks Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will be “pretty good,” but he had concerns about his three-point shooting and wasn’t as high on him coming into the draft as he was on D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers picked second overall, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Discussing what stood out about Russell leading up to the draft, Scott said, “His workouts were extremely good. You saw the leadership qualities that he had. You saw the ability to pass the ball and make other guys better, the ability to get to the basket and the ability to knock down 3s, open jump shots and off-the-dribble shots. He had the total package offensively. Defensively, the one thing I thought he did was he competed.

Here’s more from out of the Western Conference:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Mavs Release Jarrid Famous

The Mavs have waived center Jarrid Famous, the team announced via press release. Dallas needed to cut a player to accommodate its signing of former Xavier point guard Tu Holloway, since the team was already at the preseason roster limit. Famous signed with the team in July, but the deal only included a $10K partial guarantee, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Only Dwight Powell, whose salary is non-guaranteed, had less. The Mavs will be on the hook for that $10K assuming Famous clears waivers.

The 27-year-old Famous was in his second NBA training camp, having joined the Pacers in 2011, the same year he went undrafted out of South Florida. He embarked on an overseas odyssey in the meantime, one that he recalled this past May in an interview with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors. Famous has made a concerted effort to make the NBA in the past year after previously focusing on overseas opportunities, as Zach detailed. He averaged 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game across five preseason appearances with the Mavs.

Dallas still has work to do to pare down to the 15-man regular season roster maximum. The Mavs have 15 full guarantees plus a sizable $500K partial guarantee to JaVale McGee and matching $50K partial guarantees for Brandon Ashley and Jamil Wilson.

Should the Mavs keep McGee? If so, whom should they cut? Leave a comment to tell us.

Mavs Sign Tu Holloway

OCTOBER 22ND, 2:11pm: The Mavs have indeed signed Holloway, the team announced via press release. Dallas has also waived Jarrid Famous, the team also says in the release. The corresponding move was necessary, since the Mavs already had 20 players, the preseason maximum.

OCTOBER 14TH, 10:35am: Former Xavier point guard Tu Holloway is leaving the Venezuelan team Guaros de Lara after receiving an invitation from the Mavericks, the Guaros de Lara says (Twitter links; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s not entirely clear if it means Dallas is signing him, auditioning him in a workout or merely bringing him in for talks, but the Mavs are already familiar with the 26-year-old’s game, having had him on the summer league roster in 2012. They would have to make a corresponding move to sign Holloway, since the Mavs are already at the 20-man preseason roster limit. Dwight Powell is the only player on the Mavs without at least a partial guarantee on his contract, as our roster count shows, though the partial guarantee for Jarrid Famous is just $10K, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Guaros de Lara had Holloway on a guaranteed contact that included an NBA out, according to Carchia. He played for the Venezuelan team the past two seasons and has also made stops in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Belgium and Turkey since going undrafted in 2012. He totaled 12 points, eight assists and three turnovers in nearly 44 minutes of action over four games with the Mavs summer league team in July of that year after posting averages of 17.5 points, 4.9 assists and 3.0 turnovers in 36.6 minutes per game as a senior for Xavier in 2011/12.

The Mavs intend to keep all four of the point guards they have on fully guaranteed deals, according to coach Rick Carlisle, so that would make it remarkably tough for Holloway to find his way onto the regular season roster in Dallas. The Mavs can claim the D-League rights to as many as four players they waive, so it would appear Holloway has a stronger chance to be with the D-League Texas Legends than the Mavs come the end of the month, though that’s just my speculation.

Do you think Holloway has NBA-caliber talent? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Southwest Rumors: Matthews, Bonner, Rockets

The Mavericks have tempered their expectations of Wesley Matthews for the upcoming season because they don’t want to jeopardize his future, according to Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said that the club won’t take any shortcuts as Matthews recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, Sneed continues. “I think the most important thing is that he makes a full recovery, because we’re signing him to a four-year deal,” Carlisle said. “The first year is more about making sure that he’s right and getting him out there on the right terms, and from there we want him to make a full recovery and continue to get better.” Matthews said in the same story that the Mavs will get their money’s worth, even though they have been criticized for giving him a $70MM deal. “It’s just going to make me hungrier to prove that I’m worth the money,” he said. “I’m not concerned with that. I just know that I can play this game, and I know that I can play it at a high level.”

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Maurice Ndour will see $1 more the minimum on his three-year contract with the Mavericks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s fully guaranteed for this season, but the guarantees beyond that are still unknown, Pincus indicates. Brandon Ashley, Jarrid Famous and Jamil Wilson are also receiving the minimum from the Mavs this year, Pincus shows on the same page.
  • Matt Bonner received a $795,000 guarantee from the Spurs on his $1.5MM deal, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Bonner gets the full amount if he’s still on the roster on January 10th.
  • Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has been named International Player Personnel Scout for USA Basketball, the team announced Monday. Entering his fourth season with the Rockets in that capacity, Rosas was previously the Mavericks’ GM.

Mavs Sign Jarrid Famous

FRIDAY, 2:32pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.

10:17pm: It’s now a three-year deal instead of just one, Charania tweets. That means the Mavs are using cap space.

MONDAY, 9:46am: The Mavericks and center Jarrid Famous have agreed to a one-year deal that carries a partial guarantee, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM. Just how much money he’ll see is unclear, and while Mavs have cap flexibility, it seems likely that it’s a minimum-salary arrangement. It’ll be the first official NBA contract for the four-year pro since the fall of 2012, when he was on the Grizzlies preseason roster. He was with the Pacers in preseason the year before.

Famous looked strong in summer league with the Wizards this month, putting up 10.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game. He saw action this past season for the D-League affiliates of the Grizzlies and Mavs and overseas in the Philippines.

The now 27-year-old has played in numerous locales since going undrafted out of South Florida in 2011, but he made the pursuit of an NBA deal a priority in the past year, as he detailed recently to Zach Links of Hoops Rumors. The 6’11” Daniel Hazan client will attempt to prove in camp that he’s worthy of a regular season roster spot in which he could help the Mavs fill their vacancy at center, where the departure of DeAndre Jordan left a major hole.

Jarrid Famous Shifts Focus Toward NBA

Former Pacers and Grizzlies camp invitee Jarrid Famous has traveled the globe in his quest to play professional basketball at the highest level. After going everywhere from Lebanon to the Dominican Republic, the four-year pro has a passport that would make Carmen Sandiego jealous.

I’m a huge anime fan so I loved playing in Japan and getting to know their culture there,” the 6’11” center said. “My favorite place though was probably the Philippines. They love their basketball there and you get to play in front of 20,000 screaming fans every night. Plus they have TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, and Olive Garden there, so those things made me feel pretty much at home.” Jarrid Famous (vertical)

This year, after returning from China, Famous had an opportunity to play in another exotic location at a healthy rate of $30K per month, but no amount of money or bloomin’ onions could have swayed him. He shunned that opportunity and remained in the States to play in the D-League so that he could audition himself for NBA teams and get ready for training camp this coming fall, wherever that may be. Famous values his experiences around the globe, but he felt that he wasn’t getting the kind of in-game experience he needed playing internationally.

I feel I belong in the NBA. I could have done the international thing all over again this year but I chose instead to stay here and train and do the things I need to improve in advance of training camp. Going overseas, I felt like I didn’t have the right people there pushing me. In years past, I would just go overseas and then jump right into camp or summer league. Now, I’m here, I’m preparing for camp at home and I already know that I’m going to be very well prepared for it all,” the Hazan Sports Management client explained.

So far, Famous’ plan of staying in the U.S. seems to be paying off quite well.  After initially signing with a Chinese team, Famous started the 2014/15 season with the Iowa Energy, who later facilitated his request for a trade to the Texas Legends, a team that had a greater utility for his rebounding. All in all, Famous averaged 16.0 points and an eye-popping 14.9 rebounds per contest. On offense, he filled out the stat sheet while remaining an efficient scorer, knocking down 56.5% of his shots from the floor. For his quality effort in Iowa and Texas, Famous earned a runner-up nod for the title of Most Improved Player in the D-League from Ridiculous Upside.

We’re still weeks away from the meat of the offseason, but agent Daniel Hazan says that Famous already has an offer to play in minicamp. Famous’ last training camp experience is one that he’d probably like to forget. The Grizzlies were gung-ho about him in 2012, a year in which he played in the summer league for both the Pacers and the Bucks, but things were put on hold when Famous separated his left shoulder while dunking.  Three years later, Famous is 100% healthy and he says he’s more ready than ever for the stiff competition he’d face in an NBA team’s camp.

Now, the well-traveled 26-year-old is making his home base at his one-time school, Westchester Community College in New York. With the help of a trainer, Famous says he’s in the best shape of his life. He also says he’s rock-solid mentally and readily credits his years of world travel for his advanced maturity.

It’s a great experience,” Famous said of playing internationally. “It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and grow as a person. Going everywhere and seeing how other people live, it helped me appreciate the things that I have. Going to different places and how they do things helped me to grow as a person, and I took bits and pieces from every place that I went. It helped me grow.”

Famous contends that he’s a more well-rounded person, both on the court and off, thanks to his globetrotting. Years ago in college, at South Florida, Famous had a sometimes singular focus on scoring in bunches as he worked toward his NBA dream.  Now, he understands what he does best on the floor and what he needs to do to help his team win.  Often, that means putting up points, but it also means doing the little things, hustling, and playing tough D. Famous happily does it all and hopes to do it on the NBA stage next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.