Perry Jones III

Perry Jones Drawing NBA Interest?

Russian team BC Khimki announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve used their option to release Perry Jones from their roster, making him a free agent able to sign with any team. Jones joined the club in August, and played in just one regular-season game before he was cut.

A former first-round pick, Jones spent three seasons with the Thunder from 2012 to 2015, averaging 3.4 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 143 regular-season contests. Oklahoma City sent him to the Celtics in a trade last July, but Boston waived him prior to the regular season. The 6’11” forward ultimately landed with the D-League’s Iowa Energy, but only appeared in five games for the team, recording 13.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG in those contests.

While Jones’ NBA track record wasn’t great, he has reportedly drawn some interest from clubs around the league. Sam Amico of reports (via Twitter) that several teams, including the Nuggets, have been in touch with Jones’ agent. With the regular season just two weeks away, those clubs are likely just checking in on Jones’ health and perhaps his willingness to play for a D-League affiliate.

As Chris Reichert of Upside and Motor tweets, the Iowa Energy still hold Jones’ D-League rights — Iowa is the Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate.

And-Ones: Jones, Buycks, Stephenson

Perry Jones III  has agreed to play in Russia this upcoming season with Khimki Moscow, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link). Jones spent last season with the Iowa Energy of the D-League after being waived by the Boston Celtics. He was selected by the Thunder with the 28th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Dwight Buycks will play in China for Fujian Quanzhou, Pick reports in a separate tweet. Buycks played for the team last season before coming stateside to join the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League.
  • Lance Stephenson may have to look overseas if he wants to play next season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. Washburn contends that Stephenson has the talent to play in the NBA, however, his personality may be scaring teams away.
  • Stephenson made a bet on himself back in 2014 when he bypassed a five-year, $44MM deal from the Pacers in favor of a shorter deal with the Hornets. Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders revisits the shooting guard’s decision and examines the decisions of other players whom have taken shorter deals with the hope of cashing in on a big payday only to be disappointed by what the market offers.

And-Ones: D-League Showcase, Cavs, Terry

Former Nuggets point guard Erick Green heads the list of free agents at the D-League Showcase event that begins on Wednesday, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports opines. Shooting guard Elliot Williams, who was with the Pelicans, Hornets and Jazz last season, is second on Spears’ list, followed by point guard Lorenzo Brown, shooting guard Orlando Johnson and power forward Perry Jones. Brown saw action for the Timberwolves last season, Johnson played for the Pacers and Kings from 2012 to 2014 and Jones appeared in 43 games with the Thunder last season. Players at the Showcase are angling for opportunities to sign 10-day contracts.

In news around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers are leaning toward retaining combo guard Jared Cunningham, a source informed Dave McMenamin of ESPN.comUnless Cleveland waives Cunningham by the close of business Thursday, his $981,348 salary for the remainder of the season is guaranteed. It’s a bigger money commitment than that, since his salary would cost the Cavs approximately $3.8MM in luxury tax if no other changes are made to the roster. Cunningham will accompany the Cavs on their upcoming road trip, McMenamin continues, and is viewed by them as a young, versatile bench player who has endeared himself to his teammates. Joe Harris potentially season-ending injury will not influence Cleveland’s decision, McMenamin adds.
  • Jason Terry could be closing out more games for the Rockets, considering the way interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff gushed about him to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Terry, who has shared the point guard spot with Ty Lawson and Patrick Beverley, made a key basket and assist that lifted Houston to a two-point win over the Jazz on Monday. “Jet is clutch,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s been that way since I can remember, since he was in college at Arizona. In the big moments, when a big shot is needed, Jet makes those plays.”
  • The Thunder assigned small forward Josh Huestis to their D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team’s website. Huestis has already appeared in 10 games for the Blue.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.

Jeff Ayres Tops D-League Draftees

The NBA D-League held its Draft today, with Jeff Ayres going first overall to the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz’s D-League affiliate. The selection of Ayres was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor was the first to report that Ayres signed a D-League contract making him eligible for today’s draft. In addition to Ayres, the top of the draft was saturated with selections of players who had not survived the October 26th league-wide cut down date, when rosters were required to be pared down to the regular season maximum of 15 players, including the likes of Jimmer Fredette, Perry Jones III, and Cartier Martin.

The 28-year-old Ayres, once known as Jeff Pendergraph, averaged 2.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 7.5 minutes per game during the 2014/15 season for San Antonio. Rumors of NBA interest in the big man were scarce over the summer after the Spurs renounced their Early Bird rights to him in an effort to clear cap room for their offseason free agent haul, according to RealGM. Ayres had inked a one-year deal with Shanxi of the Chinese Basketball Association worth a reported $1MM back in early September, but he was unceremoniously waived by the club at the beginning of October.

It was a bit of a surprise to see Jones slip to the No. 3 overall pick, with the 24-year-old possessing one of the higher upsides among the pool of potential draftees. However, it wasn’t a shock to see the Knicks nab Fredette, who was born in Glens Falls, New York, and who will likely become a fan-favorite in Westchester in short order. With the Knicks’ backcourt depth dangerously thin, as well as being one of the poorer units statistically in the NBA thus far, Fredette has an excellent chance of returning to the NBA at some point this season, though he is still free to sign with any NBA team that were to come calling.

Here is the full list of first round selections. You can view the complete round by round summary of picks here:

  1. Idaho Stampede (Jazz) — Jeff Ayres
  2. Westchester Knicks (Knicks) — Jimmer Fredette
  3. Iowa Energy (Grizzlies) — Perry Jones III
  4. Iowa Energy (Grizzlies)  — Cartier Martin
  5. Delaware 87ers (Sixers) — Rysheed Jordan
  6. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets) — Amir Williams
  7. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors) — Sam Thompson
  8. Delaware 87ers (Sixers) — David Laury
  9. Iowa Energy (Grizzlies) — Rick Jackson
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets) — Jarvis Summers
  11. Maine Red Claws (Celtics) — Askia Booker
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets) — Cliff Hammonds
  13. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder) — Rodney Carney
  14. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat) — Jabril Trawick
  15. Canton Charge (Cavaliers) — Antonio Barton
  16. Austin Spurs (Spurs) — Jean Victor Nguidjol
  17. Bakersfield Jam (Suns) — Kevin Young
  18. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors) — Jared Shaw
  19. Raptors 905 (Raptors) — Mike Anderson

Several With NBA Ties Enter D-League Draft

The NBA D-League Draft is set for today, and a whopping total of 290 players are eligible for selection during this annual event. The D-League posted the full list of eligible participants, which can be viewed here, and it contains a number of notable players with NBA ties.

The two names that immediately jump out off the list are Jimmer Fredette, who was waived by the Spurs last week, and Perry Jones III, whose fully guaranteed deal was cut loose by Boston. Fredette’s chances of catching on in the NBA appear to be dwindling rapidly, though I do expect that there is a better than average chance he will be selected No. 2 overall by Westchester, the Knicks’ D-League affiliate. If that is indeed the case, then Fredette may have a shot at catching on with the Knicks at some point during the course of the 2015/16 campaign, given New York’s lack of backcourt depth.

As for Jones, his is likely to be the first named called by Idaho, Utah’s affiliate, when the draft commences, though that is merely my speculation. Jones, a former first-rounder, hasn’t been able to get on the court consistently over the course of his three years in the league. This was partly due to the depth and talent ahead of him while with the Thunder, but his lack of a consistent outside shot and defensive limitations also held him back from carving out a place in the team’s rotation. It was a bit of a surprise to see Boston cut him loose, but Jones was the victim of a numbers crunch with the Celtics, who had 16 fully guaranteed deals on their roster heading into the October 26th deadline to cut rosters to the league maximum of 15 players.

We’ve sorted through those 290 names to pare it down to a list of all D-League draft-eligibles who were in NBA camps this year or on NBA regular season rosters in 2014/15. The last NBA team with which they were under contract is in parentheses.
*Note that since the recent camp cuts among the names listed above are entering the D-League draft, they’re not affiliate players whose D-League rights were claimed by their former NBA teams.
These are NBA veterans who don’t fit the criteria for the above list but are otherwise noteworthy:

The current order for the first round of the 2015 NBA D-League Draft is as follows:

1. Idaho
2. Westchester
3. Iowa (from Los Angeles)
4. Iowa (from Reno)
5. Delaware
6. Texas
7. Grand Rapids
8. Delaware (from Santa Cruz via Erie)
9. Iowa
10. Rio Grande Valley
11. Raptors 905
12. Rio Grande Valley (from Fort Wayne)
13. Oklahoma City
14. Sioux Falls
15. Canton
16. Austin
17. Bakersfield
18. Santa Cruz
19. Maine

Perry Jones, Jeff Ayres Signing In D-League

Free agents Perry Jones III and Jeff Ayres are signing D-League contracts and will be eligible for Saturday’s D-League draft, reports Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). The D-League hasn’t made an announcement, but Reichert indicates that Jones and Ayres have already put pen to paper. Jones cleared NBA waivers after the Celtics cut him loose this weekend, while Ayres, coming off two seasons with the Spurs, was briefly on a deal this fall with Shanxi of the Chinese Basketball Association, which released him about a month ago. Jones and Ayres will still be able to sign NBA contracts should offers emerge.

Jones, 24, finds himself out of an NBA job in large measure because of a numbers crunch in Boston, where Jones had one of the 16 fully guaranteed salaries the Celtics carried into training camp, one more than the regular season roster limit. The C’s still owe him the $2.038MM that his rookie scale contract called for him to make this season. The Thunder offloaded his contract to the Celtics earlier this summer in the trade that sent the former 28th overall pick to Boston.

The 28-year-old Ayres, once known as Jeff Pendergraph, averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game for the second time in his five-year career last season. Rumors of NBA interest in the big man were scarce over the summer. The Spurs renounced their Early Bird rights to him to clear cap room for their free agent haul, according to RealGM.

Which NBA teams would be the best fits for Jones and Ayres? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Eastern Notes: Jones, Pistons, Lin

The Celtics knew there wasn’t a market for Perry Jones III, but they liked him and probed other trades with the thought of keeping him on the roster, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweets. No deal materialized and Boston waived the 24-year-old earlier today.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Detroit hopes that Adonis Thomas, who was waived by the team on Friday, will play for Grand Rapids Drive, the team’s D-League affiliate, Keith Langlois of writes. “I hope it’s an option he’ll look at,” President of Basketball Operations/coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Selfishly, we hope so. But I don’t know what he’s thinking about.” The Pistons own Thomas’ D-League rights, but the 22-year-old could look to secure a roster spot on another NBA team or look to sign overseas, where the money is often significantly more.
  • The entire reason the Pistons were so judicious in their handling of Greg Monroe on the business side was that they wanted to be careful not to overspend on a center who isn’t a rim protector at the core, David Mayo of opines in his latest mailbag. Mayo believes Monroe could have played center in Van Gundy’s system, but Andre Drummond‘s defensive ability and athleticism gives him a better chance to succeed at that spot.
  • New addition Jeremy Lin has helped the Hornets go undefeated in the preseason and he has proven to be a good fit next to Kemba Walker in the backcourt, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer writes. “It takes a lot of pressure off me.” Walker said of playing with Lin. “I don’t always have to go back for the basketball every time. When he’s out there, he’s helping me with the pace, with the tempo. He’s very unselfish and he can score the basketball very well. So that’s fun.” The Hornets and Lin agreed to a two-year, $4.3MM deal with a player option in year two.

Celtics Waive Perry Jones III, Corey Walden

The Celtics have waived Perry Jones III and Corey Walden, the team announced via press release. By doing so, the Celtics will be responsible for the $2,038,206 that Jones is due for the 2015/16 season, as well as the $25K partial guarantee owed to Walden, unless either player is claimed off waivers. These moves reduce Boston’s roster count to the regular season maximum of 15 players.

Jones had been acquired by the Celtics from OKC in exchange for a protected 2018 second round pick back in July, and the team had reportedly been shopping the 23-year-old, but was apparently unable to find a taker. Through 143 career games Jones has notched averages of 3.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists.

Walden, who went undrafted out of Eastern Kentucky, appeared in two games with the Celtics’ summer league team in Las Vegas, averaging 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game. Walden averaged 18.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists for EKU is his senior season. He intends to play for Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine this season, his agent tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Johnson, Jones, Hernangomez

Amir Johnson‘s production fell off last season with the Raptors, but the Celtics regard their free agent signee as a steal, according to Chris Forsberg of President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is enamored with his versatility and the way he can complement any of the team’s other big men, as Forsberg notes. Johnson is just as sold on his new home.

“I like the vision, I like that we are young, and I like what they did last season coming into the playoffs,” Johnson said. “I felt like they were doing their best to get better. Just talking to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and [coach Brad] Stevens, I love what they got going on here.”

See more on the Celtics amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • Stevens distanced himself from roster decisions, but he complemented Perry Jones III, who’s on the chopping block as the Celtics must offload at least one fully guaranteed salary to trim to the 15-man regular season roster limit within the week, relays Steve Bulpett of the Boston HeraldI think the biggest thing for Perry is, Perry has a chance to be a very, very good multi-positional defender, and he’s got a chance to be a guy that can play off closeouts, make shots or post switches,” Stevens said. “So being able to do those things regularly is a huge key. But I’ve been impressed with what Perry can do, what he has done, especially in practice.”
  • Knicks draft-and-stash prospect Guillermo Hernangomez wants to play for Real Madrid of Spain for many years before considering a move to the NBA, as he said to Emilio V. Escudero of (translation via HoopsHype). An earlier report indicated that the Knicks were planning to sign him before the 2016/17 season. New York acquired the NBA rights to the 6’11” center via trade after the Sixers selected him 35th overall in June.
  • The Sixers‘ rebuilding process is enduring criticism, but even though GM Sam Hinkie has presided over three offseasons, it’s still too early to judge the success of his plan because so many of the assets he’s acquired are for the future, opines Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.