Michael Jenkins

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Freeland, Jenkins

The Blazers‘ offseason will revolve around whether LaMarcus Aldridge re-signs with the franchise or departs as an unrestricted free agent, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com writes in his season review for the talented forward. Aldridge hopes to make his free agency decision as quickly as possible, and though he has expressed warm feelings toward Portland, the veteran hasn’t committed to returning, Young adds. “I’m definitely not one to prolong things and drag it out,” said Aldridge. “That’s not really my personality. I think if me and my agents can figure it out fast, then of course we will,” Aldridge continued, saying, “I love being here and [am] thankful for everything that this city has given me,” he said. “I am thankful for my time here. It’s been an amazing nine years, of course I’m not trying to have that end, so when the time comes we’ll sit down with my agent, [Blazers GM Neil Olshey] and [owner Paul Allen] and we’ll just figure it out.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Wednesday for Gary Bell Jr. (Gonzaga), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), Askia Booker (Colorado), Shaquielle McKissic (Arizona State), R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), and Nick Paulos (UNC Greensboro), the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Michael Jenkins, who was in training camp with the Thunder prior to the 2014/15 season, signed a two-year, $1MM deal with the Turkish club Turk Telekom, David Pick of Euorbasket.com tweets. The deal includes an NBA out clause, Pick adds.
  • Euroleague club CSKA Moscow is interested in signing Blazers big man Joel Freeland, Chema de Lucas of Gigantes.com reports (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Freeland can become a restricted free agent this summer if Portland tenders him a qualifying offer worth $3,766,890. The 28-year-old appeared in 48 contests for the Blazers this past season, averaging 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game.

And-Ones: Richardson, Mekel, Jenkins

Sixers guard Jason Richardson said that he expects to return to the court in late January after being sidelined for nearly two years, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports. Richardson last played in an NBA game on January 18th, 2013 before knee and ankle maladies sidelined him. “It will mean a lot to come back,” Richardson said. “I thought I was done playing. I really did. But seeing my son play AAU over the summertime, seeing his love for the game, it made me get the love back for the game. My thing is to always walk away on my own terms. I understand that things happen. Me having this knee injury, fading away like that is not the way I wanted to go out. Retirement is three or four years away from now.”

Here’s more from around the league and abroad:

  • Michael Jenkins has signed a deal with the Turkish club Istanbul BSB, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports (Twitter link). Jenkins was in training camp this season with the Thunder prior to being waived.
  • NBA scouts and executives are essentially in agreement that Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker are better pro prospects than fellow Kentucky backcourt studs Andrew Harrison and brother Aaron Harrison, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who writes in his weekly chat. Booker is No. 35, Ulis is No. 48, Andrew is No. 65 and Aaron is No. 67 in Ford’s prospect rankings.
  • Gal Mekel is still hoping to land with an NBA team after being released by the Pelicans earlier this month, Allon Sinai of The Jerusalem Post writes. “After I was released by New Orleans I received several offers from Europe and Israel,” Mekel said. “I wanted to give them the respect they deserve and listen to them all. It is no secret that I really want to remain in the NBA and I believe with all my heart that I can succeed in this league. But I also really want to play, lead and realize my potential.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Thunder Cut Jenkins, Solomon, Zanna

The Thunder have waived camp invitees Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna, the team announced via press release. All three were on non-guaranteed contracts. The moves leave Oklahoma City with 15 players, including a non-guaranteed pact with Lance Thomas. A report earlier this week indicated the team planned to keep only 14 players for opening night, but it appears the Thunder have changed plans, as they’ll keep Thomas into the regular season, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. That’s perhaps because Anthony Morrow has a sprained left MCL, an injury that typically takes four to six weeks to heal, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

Jenkins joined the Thunder in late September after agent Daniel Moldovan had said earlier in the summer that the shooting guard would instead be in Nets camp. The 28-year-old who was on his first NBA contract after going undrafted out of Winthrop in 2008 put up 6.0 points in 17.5 minutes per game in seven preseason appearances with Oklahoma City.

Solomon, a power forward, put up 4.7 PPG in 11.9 MPG in three preseason appearances this month after going undrafted out of Cal in June. Zanna, another power forward, showed his strength on the boards, posting 4.4 PPG and 5.0 RPG in 17.4 MPG across seven exhibitions. He was an undrafted free agent who came out of Pittsburgh this year and played with the Sixers in summer league.

And-Ones: Thunder, Raptors, D-League

Although the Thunder have sustained a rash of injuries, the team will only keep 14 players on the roster, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Slater also notes that Michael JenkinsRichard SolomonTalib Zanna and Lance Thomas have all played vital roles in the preseason, yet it is unlikely any of them force the team to consider filling their 15th and final regular season roster spot before opening night.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Raptors still have 17 players on their preseason roster, and haven’t decided on who will make the final cut. Head coach Dwayne Casey said the final roster decisions would come down to the wire, Jay Satur of NBA.com reports.
  • The Wizards signing of Paul Pierce was a short-term fix with the franchise hoping that Otto Porter can develop into a valuable contributor in the coming season, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. With the injury to Bradley Beal, and with Trevor Ariza departing as a free agent to Houston, Porter may be called upon to log heavy minutes early in the season.
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is against maximum individual salaries for NBA players, writes David Mayo of MLive. “If it were more of a free-market system, I think things would change,” Van Gundy said. “I think you’d see greater parity in the league — especially having the (salary) cap and no individual max.”
  • Teams are finding ways to get around the D-League’s individual maximum salary restrictions to entice players to sign with their affiliates, writes Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). This preseason, many NBA teams have signed players to their active roster only to release or waive the player shortly thereafter. By doing this, the team obtains the player’s D-League rights and the player can sign a partially guaranteed contract that trumps the D-League maximum salary which is slightly less than $26K per year. Elhassan points out this loophole would motivate fringe NBA talent to play in the D-League rather than take international offers.
  • Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links) disputes the notion that the Kings had interest in Jordan Crawford prior to him heading over to China to play. The two sides never had serious discussions, and if Sacramento was interested in signing a veteran shooting guard they would have preferred MarShon Brooks, who played well for them in Summer League, Jones notes.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Maxiell, Clippers, Thunder, Brooks

Jason Maxiell agreed to join the Hornets knowing that the team envisions him in a capacity more similar to the reduced role he played for the Magic last year than to the 71-start campaign he had with the Pistons in 2012/13, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines.

“It’s both maturing in life and maturing in basketball,” Maxiell said. “Respect your coach, your owner and your teammates, and help the other guys to understand this is a career. It’s not just playing basketball, it’s getting to a place where you can do other things after basketball.”

The pressure’s on the 31-year-old to make an impression this month, since he has a non-guaranteed deal. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Doc Rivers admits that the Clippers have a greater need at point guard, a position that Jared Cunningham can play, than at the forwards, Joe Ingles‘ positions, but Rivers insists that he won’t necessarily make a decision on the final regular season roster based on that. Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has the details.
  • The contracts of Thunder camp invitees Lance Thomas, Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna are all non-guaranteed for the minimum salary and cover just one season, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). All four fit the criteria for Exhibit 9 Contracts that would keep the Thunder from paying them if they’re injured during camp, but it’s unclear whether any of them agreed to such a deal.
  • Championship dreams led Aaron Brooks to sign for just the minimum salary when he joined the Bulls, as he tells Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Former Bulls and fellow Seattle natives Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford gave Brooks full-throated endorsements of the organization, as Brooks says to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
  • Agent Charles Briscoe is joining forces with NFL agent Joby Branion to form Vanguard Sports Group, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. Our Agency Database shows that Briscoe, who formerly operated through Briscoe Sports Management, represents Archie Goodwin and Joe Jackson of the Suns, Xavier Silas of the Wizards, and Junior Cadougan, who was briefly with the Bucks last fall.

Thunder Sign Richard Solomon, Talib Zanna

The Thunder have signed power forwards Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna, the team announced via press release. Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman was the first to report the deals (Twitter links). The team also confirms previously reported agreements with Lance Thomas and Michael Jenkins. The team has the capacity to give more than the minimum to Solomon and Talib, both of whom went undrafted this past June, but it’s unlikely the Thunder did so. It’s not clear whether there’s any guaranteed money on their respective deals.

Solomon averaged a double-double as a senior this past season at Cal, notching 11.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game. Zanna came fairly close as a Pittsburgh senior, with 13.0 PPG and 8.6 RPG in 30.3 MPG, before joining the Sixers for summer league in July.

The moves will give Oklahoma City 18 players for camp. The Thunder have 14 fully guaranteed pacts, leaving Zanna and Solomon to fight with Thomas and Jenkins for the final regular season roster spot, presuming the team carries the NBA-maximum 15 players on opening night.

Thunder Sign Michael Jenkins For Camp

MONDAY, 6:39pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

FRIDAY, 2:04pm: The Thunder and free agent shooting guard Michael Jenkins have struck agreement on a deal for training camp, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Agent Daniel Moldovan tweeted this summer that Jenkins had a camp deal with the Nets after he’d been part of Brooklyn’s summer league squad, but his name wasn’t on the roster that Brooklyn released yesterday. Oklahoma City has the capacity to give more than the minimum salary, but it’s unlikely that Thunder did so, though perhaps there’s a small partial guarantee involved.

The 28-year-old Jenkins has spent much of his pro career overseas after going undrafted out of Winthrop in 2008, having played in Italy the past two seasons. Jenkins averaged 10.3 points and shot 39.9% from three-point range in 25.9 minutes per game for Pallacanestro Cantu last year, but his numbers were even better for Centrale del Latte Brescia the year before, when he put up 17.0 PPG in 31.4 MPG with 41.1% accuracy from behind the arc.

The Thunder have been carrying 14 fully guaranteed deals plus a non-guaranteed pact with Lance Thomas. That ostensibly gives Jenkins a decent shot to make the opening-night roster for Oklahoma City, though the Thunder have only carried 14 players to start the season the last two years.

No Camp Deal For Nets, Michael Jenkins

SEPTEMBER 25TH, 4:01pm: The Nets released their training camp roster today, and Jenkins’ name isn’t on it, so presumably he won’t be with the team.

JULY 21ST, 1:21pm: Shooting guard Michael Jenkins has accepted a training camp invitation from the Nets, agent Daniel Moldovan of Entersport tweets (hat tip to Sportando’s Enea Trapani). The deal is likely the standard non-guaranteed one-year deal for the minimum salary that most camp invitees receive.

The 6’4″ shooting guard had his first taste of NBA experience this month with Brooklyn’s summer league team, having pursued his career overseas since going undrafted out of Winthrop in 2008. He averaged 6.8 points in 15.7 minutes per game across five summer league contests for the Nets, and this past season he averaged 10.3 PPG and 25.9 MPG with 39.9% three-point shooting for Pallacanestro Cantu of Italy.

It appears for now that he’ll stand a puncher’s chance of making the opening-night roster for Brooklyn, which has 12 players under contract, including free agent signee Alan Anderson. Bojan Bogdanovic seems destined to become the 13th, leaving Jenkins to compete with Markel Brown, Xavier Thames and Cory Jefferson, Brooklyn’s trio of second-round picks from last month.