Josh Howard

Josh Howard Plans To Sign In D-League

Former All-Star Josh Howard plans on signing to play in the D-League, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It’s part of an NBA comeback attempt for the 35-year-old who nonetheless remains open to an overseas deal, Spears adds. Howard, who averaged 19.9 points per game for the Mavs in 2007/08, was last under NBA contract with the Spurs, who signed him and quickly waived him in 2013 to grab his D-League rights.

The Spurs still have those D-League rights, since he played for their affiliate within the past two seasons. Howard averaged 14.7 points in 29.5 minutes per game for San Antonio’s D-League team over 24 appearances in 2013/14, decent numbers that nonetheless signaled that his game was far from its peak. He last saw NBA regular season action with the Timberwolves in 2012/13, when he put up 6.7 points in 18.8 minutes per contest over 11 appearances before he suffered a torn right ACL.

Howard might be best known for admitting in 2008 that he used marijuana in the offseason. Still, he was a key part of the Mavericks before and after that remark. His career took a downturn when he tore the ACL in his left knee four games into his brief tenure with the Wizards, who acquired him from Dallas in a trade midway through the 2009/10 season. He’s played in only 76 NBA games since then.

Josh Howard Attempting NBA Comeback

Former NBA All-Star Josh Howard is working out in Las Vegas with hope of being picked up for an NBA training camp, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Howard also indicated that he would be open to returning to the NBA D-League, notes Spears. Howard played for the Pelicans’ entry in the summer league this year, but was unable to secure an invite to New Orleans’ training camp. He only saw the court in three of the team’s five contests, and after scoring 14 points in the opening game, he managed just six points combined over his next two appearances.

His last action in the league came during the 2012/13 campaign when he appeared in just 11 games for the Timberwolves. During his ten year career, Howard has appeared in 507 games and averaged 14.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His career slash line is .448/.332/.770.

Last season was spent with the Austin Toros, the Spurs’ D-League affiliate, where Howard made 24 appearances, averaging 14.7 PPG and 5.8 RPG while playing 29.5 minutes per night. Howard’s season came to an end when the Toros released him following an injury, which was another in a string of knee maladies that derailed the now 34-year-old’s career at its peak.

At this juncture it’s unlikely that he’ll be picked up by a team for training camp unless there are a run of injuries. Howard’s best opportunity may in fact be to return to the D-League, prove that he’s healthy enough to contribute, and possibly snag a 10-day contract later in the season and hope he can turn that opportunity into a long-term deal.

Odds & Ends: Kobe, Bulls, Heat, Wizards

Kobe Bryant says he gave no thought to leaving the Lakers in free agency, and defended himself against criticism that his extension will hurt the team, as USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt observes. Most Hoops Rumors readers agree, believing the Lakers will sign another max free agent in either 2014 or 2015. Here’s more from the Association:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Howard, Turiaf, Bobcats, Beasley

Here’s a quick rundown of some notes around the NBA this Saturday:

  • Josh Howard was named to the training camp roster for the Austin Toros, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. The 10-year veteran, who underwent season-ending ACL surgery last winter, will play for the Spurs’ D-League affiliate as he rehabs his knee. The Spurs signed and waived Howard just last Saturday to ensure that they would retain his D-League rights.
  • McDonald adds that San Antonio camp invitees Courtney Fells and Myck Kabongo will join Howard in Austin.
  • The Timberwolves announced today (via Twitter) that Ronny Turiaf has undergone an MRI revealing a fracture of his right elbow. No timetable for his return has been given. The Wolves are already missing forward Chase Budinger, who is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. We heard last night that no Wolves roster moves were brewing, but if Turiaf and Budinger miss significant time, the team may need to reconsider its options.
  • Bobcats owner Michael Jordan oversaw a summer in which the team hurt its chances for next year’s No. 1 pick, but he finally showed that he has a legitimate plan in place for the team, argues Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel notes that Michael Beasley and Roger Mason of the Heat need to prove they can provide value off the bench since their non-guaranteed contracts can be waived until the January 10th NBA guarantee date. Beasley in particular needs to demonstrate that he has grown out of his off-the-court issues that caused many NBA GMs to look past him during free agency.
  • The NBA Player’s Association has started to narrow down candidates for the executive director position, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The NBPA aims to have finalists selected by All-Star weekend.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Spurs Waive Josh Howard

The Spurs today announced that they have waived forward Josh Howard.  Howard barely had a chance to unpack his bags as he was signed by the club just yesterday.

Howard was originally drafted 29th overall in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Mavericks where he played for seven seasons.  Over the course of his career with the Mavs, Wizards, Jazz, and Timberwolves the Wake Forest University product has averaged 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.3 minutes.

According to Mike Monroe of the San Antonio News-Express (via Twitter), the gameplan is to wait for Howard to clear waivers so that they can send him to the D-League’s Austin Toros.  There, Howard can continue to ramp back up towards being in game shape.

Spurs Sign Josh Howard

1:17pm: The Spurs have officially signed Howard, the team announced in a press release.

12:34pm: While most NBA teams are spending the day shedding players from their rosters, the Spurs will increase their roster count by one. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, the club has reached an agreement to sign Josh Howard to a non-guaranteed contract.

McDonald writes that the deal is expected to be finalized later today, but Howard’s stint on the Spurs’ roster may not last long. According to the Express-News report, it looks as if Howard may be released in order to sign a D-League contract. The Spurs would then hold his D-League rights, allowing them to monitor the veteran forward’s progress with the Austin Toros as he recovers from a knee injury. It’s not clear yet whether Howard has agreed to such a plan, but if he’s quickly cut by the Spurs, he’d still be free to sign with any NBA team, even if he’s playing for the Toros.

The Timberwolves signed Howard a couple weeks into the 2012/13 season in order to provide depth on an injury-ravaged roster. However, the 33-year-old fell victim to that injury bug himself about a month later, suffering a torn ACL which required season-ending surgery. Prior to going down, Howard averaged 6.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 11 contests for Minnesota.

San Antonio had been carrying 14 players on its roster, so the club won’t have to waive anyone to clear room for Howard.

Latest On Notable Veteran Free Agents

Even with about 550 players currently under contract with NBA teams, there are still a number of interesting names remaining on our list of 2013/14 free agents. That list will only grow in the next several weeks, as teams release camp invitees in an effort to reduce their roster counts to the regular-season maximum of 15. Still, it wouldn't be surprising to see some of the players presently available to land on NBA teams once the season gets underway.

Injuries are already starting to pile up for some teams, and when a club needs to add an extra body or two during the season, a veteran addition is more likely than a rookie signing. Even if a team would rather take a look at a few young players during camp, a known commodity has more value when that same team needs immediate help during the season.

So which players could we see join teams at some point after training camp ends? Here are a few names to keep in mind, along with the latest rumors and updates we've heard about them:

Rodrigue Beaubois
Previous team: Mavericks
Latest updates: The Heat were reportedly hoping to bring Beaubois in for an "audition," but a wrist injury derailed those plans. If and when he gets healthy, Beaubois could draw renewed interest, though perhaps a lottery team would be more likely to take a flier than a contender.

Jason Collins
Previous team: Wizards
Latest updates:'s Marc Stein recently explored Collins' free agency, identifying the Nets, Wizards, and Clippers as potential fits for the big man. Coach Mike Woodson also confirmed that the Knicks kicked the tires on Collins before deciding to go younger.

Chris Duhon
Previous team: Lakers
Latest updates: The Knicks and Sixers were said to be considering Duhon back in August, and we heard again about Philadelphia's interest last month. The team went younger and cheaper shortly thereafter though, signing Darius Morris.

Richard Hamilton
Previous team: Bulls
Latest updates: A report a month ago indicated that the Rockets and Knicks could have interest, but both clubs have several other options for now. Perhaps New York could re-emerge as a viable option if J.R. Smith has lingering issues related to his offseason knee surgery.

Josh Howard
Previous team: Timberwolves
Latest updates: While some of the players on this list may be waiting out the market in the hopes that teams will get more desperate when rosters are reduced to 15 players and injuries start to add up, Howard was said to be in the market for a camp invite. That doesn't seem to bode well for his chances of catching on with an NBA team this season, though there's still plenty of time.

Stephen Jackson
Previous team: Spurs
Latest updates: Jackson was linked to the Rockets and Heat back in August, but both of those teams have several other three-point shooters in the mix. With Jackson's production in decline, clubs may be reluctant to roll the dice on the 35-year-old and his strong personality.

Mickael Pietrus
Previous team: Raptors
Latest updates: Although Pietrus received a camp invite from the Spurs, he continues to seek a guaranteed deal, as he did a year ago. It worked out for him last fall, when he signed a guaranteed contract with the Raptors several weeks into the season, but he didn't play well and didn't stay healthy in Toronto. We'll see if his patient approach to free agency pays off again this time around.

Other notable veterans on the market: Daequan Cook, Drew Gooden, Lamar Odom, Sasha Pavlovic, Tyrus Thomas, Jamaal Tinsley, Luke Walton, Hakim Warrick, Chris Wilcox

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Western Notes: Wolves, Mavs, Lakers, Cousins

As a number of NBA teams hold their annual fall Media Days, let's check in on a few items out of the Western Conference….

  • With Chase Budinger expected to be sidelined with a knee injury for the near future, the Timberwolves are getting calls about potential replacements, says Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (via Twitter). According to Wolfson, Josh Howard is one possibility, but the Wolves aren't making any moves for now.
  • Mavericks GM Gersson Rosas sat down with Earl K. Sneed of to talk about analytics, his transition from the Rockets, and the advantages of a one-to-one D-League affiliation. He admits that the Mavs must catch a few breaks to be successful this season, pointing to defense and rebounding as weaknesses (video links).
  • According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni and executive Jeanie Buss are now on the same page, despite the fact that Buss had initially hoped to see Phil Jackson hired by the team.
  • DeMarcus Cousins' contract extension with the Kings, which was officially announced today, is built on trust between Cousins and the team's new ownership group, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

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Josh Howard Seeking Camp Invite

Josh Howard's 2012/13 season was cut short after just 11 games when he suffered a torn ACL, becoming one of many Timberwolves to miss time due to injury last year. But Howard is looking to return to the NBA, and is hoping to land a camp invite before the preseason gets underway next week, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

We heard back in May that Howard was participating in a workout that included many veteran free agents represented by ASM Sports. There haven't been any reports on potential suitors for Howard since then, but Spears indicates that the veteran forward had "good workouts" for the Spurs and Rockets. It's not clear if either of those teams is interested in bringing him to camp, but it sounds as if he at least showed he was healthy.

Howard, 33, spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Mavericks before stints in Washington, Utah, and Minnesota. He's extremely unlikely to replicate his Dallas numbers again, but he could be a useful piece coming off the bench on a minimum-salary deal, assuming he's back to 100% health.

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Cuttino Mobley Attempting NBA Comeback

After an 11-year NBA career, Cuttino Mobley announced his retirement in December 2008 when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition. Although Mobley hasn't appeared in an NBA game in nearly five years, he'll be attempting to make a comeback this year, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.

Kennedy reports that ASM Sports, an agency that represents Kevin Garnett, Serge Ibaka, and Jeff Teague, among others, is holding a workout on May 31st for their draft prospects and veteran free agents. Mobley is one of a handful of veteran ASM clients expected to participate in drills and five-on-five scrimmages that day. According to Kennedy, Josh Howard, Rasual Butler, and Christian Eyenga are among the other free agents who will be in attendance.

It will be an uphill battle for Mobley, who will turn 38 before the 2013/14 season begins. I'd be surprised if he lands a spot on an NBA roster, but he did demonstrate exceptional scoring ability during his 11-year career. In 747 total contests for the Rockets, Clippers, Magic, and Kings, Mobley averaged 16.0 PPG to go along with shooting percentages of .433/.378/.835.