Ray McCallum

International Notes: Motiejunas, McCallum, Vaughn, A. Williams

Former NBA big man Donatas Motiejunas has decided not to participate when the Chinese Basketball Association resumes play on June 20, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia posted a photo of Motiejunas boarding a flight this morning to his native Lithuania.

The seven-footer is in his third season in China, signing with the Shanghai Sharks last summer. He was averaging 22.8 points and 15.1 rebounds through 28 games when the CBA was placed on hiatus. He reportedly passed up opportunities with the Suns and Timberwolves earlier this season.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • The Sharks are discussing a contract extension with former Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies guard Ray McCallum, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. McCallum spent time in the G League last year and signed with Shanghai in the fall.
  • Former NBA guard Rashad Vaughn will play next season for KK Buducnost in the Montenegrin Basketball League, Carchia writes. Vaughn also played in the G League last year.
  • Buducnost VOLI is hoping to sign Erick Green for next season, relays Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The former Nuggets and Jazz point guard spent time in China and Spain this year.
  • Alan Williams has agreed to an extension with Lokomotiv Kuban, according to Carchia. The former Suns and Nets big man averaged a double-double during his first season in Russia.
  • FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis addressed several topics during an interview with Sam Corp of SportsPro, including plans for the Basketball Africa League, which was set to begin in March, but had to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I believe this project has the potential of making our sport on the men’s side what is already on the women’s side the most popular team sport on the continent,” Zagklis said. “Of course, the NBA has an ambition to become the top lifestyle brand on the continent, and the NBA is the best men’s league in the world, and their promotional capabilities are great. I believe that now, as a new product, building on the tradition of the African Champions Cup that has been organised by FIBA Africa in the past, this can really bring a level of popularity of basketball in the continent like we have never seen before.”

Coronavirus Notes: Paul, Dolan, Arenas, China

Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, admitted to reporters in a teleconference today that nobody can be certain what’s going to happen with the current season, writes Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman (link via USA Today).

“This is a situation where no one knows,” Paul said. “The virus is actually in complete control. I seriously tried to answer things the best I could, but there are things where, it’s not like I’ve got the answers and I’m just not telling you.”

Today marks six weeks since the last NBA game was played, and the league was supposed to be conducting the first round of its playoffs. If the season does resume, Paul estimates players will have to train for two to four weeks to get ready. He expressed confidence that the league will give them the time they need.

“Whatever the amount of time is, just know that players will have the input because we’re the ones playing,” Paul said. “We don’t ever want to put guys in a  situation where their injury risk is higher.”

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

  • Knicks owner James Dolan has fully recovered from the virus and has registered to donate plasma antibodies to help with research, according to Larry Brooks of The New York Post. Dolan recently tested negative and is reportedly in good health. He had only mild symptoms and continued to work while quarantined.
  • A professor at MIT tells Michele Steele of ESPN that arenas can eventually be made as safe as public parks. Alex Pentland, head of the human dynamic lab, recommends having fans wear masks and filling only half the available seats, although family members could sit together. He also advises making all aisles one way and having fans in each section enter from a specified gate.
  • Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times talked to several American players about their experiences with the Chinese Basketball Association. Kyle Fogg said when he returned to China, he had his temperature taken several times by workers in hazmat suits. He and Ray McCallum Jr. were both quarantined to hotel rooms with armed guards posted outside to ensure they didn’t leave. “Everybody back home, they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re quarantined,’” McCallum said. “But I see on the news they’re outside. No.” The CBA remains on hold with hopes of starting play again in July.

And-Ones: Olympic Qualifiers, Garrett, McCallum

The FIBA Executive Committee has decided the hosts of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for next summer, announcing the news in a press release.

The four FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, set to take place from June 23 to June 28, 2020, will be hosted by Canada (Victoria), Croatia (Split), Lithuania (Kaunas) and Serbia (Belgrade), the release states.

For the women, the National Federations of Belgium (Ostend), China (Foshan), France (Bourges) and Serbia (Belgrade) were awarded hosting rights of the four tournaments, set to take place from February 6 to February 9, 2020.

Eight men’s teams have already qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, doing so during the 2019 FIBA World Cup: Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Nigeria, Spain and the United States.

The Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will include 24 teams competing in four tournaments of six teams each.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Knicks guard Billy Garrett Jr. and French team Elan Chalon have parted ways, the team announced, as relayed by Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Garrett, who appeared in four games with New York last season, signed a deal with Elan Chalon in July. He went undrafted back in 2017 after spending four seasons at DePaul University, with the 25-year-old now back on the open market. Garrett averaged 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.2 minutes with Elan Chalon.
  • The Shanghai Sharks are expressing interest in former NBA point guard Ray McCallum, with the team hoping to bring him in for a workout, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). The Sharks play in the Chinese Basketball Association, while McCallum, 28, holds NBA experience with Sacramento, San Antonio and Memphis. McCallum was drafted with the No. 36 pick in 2013 and spent time in the NBA G League with Agua Caliente last season.

Ray McCallum To Play In Spain

Free agent guard Ray McCallum is headed overseas after spending parts of the last four seasons on NBA rosters. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays, Spanish team Unicaja Malaga has announced the signing of McCallum.

Unicaja Malaga initially agreed last month to sign another former NBA guard, Marcelo Huertas. However, as international basketball reporter David Pick reported last week (via Twitter), Huertas broke off that agreement and joined Baskonia. According to Pick, (via Twitter), McCallum’s new deal with Malaga – worth approximately $650K – is very similar to the one the team originally offered Huertas.

McCallum, the 36th overall pick in the 2013 draft, spent his first two NBA seasons with the Kings, then played for the Spurs and Grizzlies in 2015/16. A year ago, McCallum was in camp with the Pistons but failed to earn a regular season roster spot.

Although he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hornets in February, the 26-year-old didn’t appear in a game for Charlotte and spent most of the season with the Grand Rapids Drive in the G League. McCallum averaged 17.6 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 5.8 RPG in 43 G League contests.

And-Ones: Free Agents, D-League, Bennett, Oden

Several under-the-radar players who will be free agents this summer are improving their bargaining position with their performance in the playoffs, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. He identifies six players, starting with Golden State big man JaVale McGee, who is averaging 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks through five games despite playing just 11.8 minutes per night. McGee signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Warriors for the veteran’s minimum and could be in line for a huge pay raise in July. The others that Kennedy singles out are Serge Ibaka of the Raptors, Joe Ingles of the Jazz, Nene of the Rockets, Andre Roberson of the Thunder and Deron Williams of the Cavaliers.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • The Texas Legends, the Mavericks‘ affiliate in the D-League, have given coach Bob MacKinnon a two-year extension, tweets D-League Digest. The D-League veteran is in his first season with the Legends.
  • Invitations have been issued for the D-League’s Elite Mini Camp, which will be held May 8-9 in Chicago, relays Chris Reichert of FanSided. Many players have used this showcase to earn spots on summer league rosters, with alumni such as Jonathon Simmons, Hollis Thompson and DeAndre Liggins. Among the best-known names at this year’s camp will be Russ Smith, JaKarr Sampson, Ray McCallum and Cliff Alexander.
  • Former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, who played 23 games for the Nets this season, has been replaced on his Fenerbahce team in Turkey, according to Bugra Uzar of Eurohoops. Taking his spot on the roster is Pero Antic, who played for the Hawks from 2013 to 2015. Bennett will remain with the club and is expected to be part of the upcoming EuroLeague Final Four.
  • Greg Oden, another former No. 1 pick, is hoping to be part of The Basketball Tournament this summer on ESPN, relays Alysha Tsuji of USA Today. Oden’s team is called Scarlet and Gray and is made up of Ohio State alumni. “We think we’re a team that can win it,” he said. “We look at the talent we’ve had here in the last 10 years or so, and we can match up with anybody. We want the state of Ohio supporting us. We’re called Scarlet and Gray, but this team is a representation of the whole state.”

Central Notes: Pistons, Parker, Rondo

Rumors swirled around Pistons players as the NBA’s trade deadline approached but as Thursday came and went, the Detroit roster went unchanged. Stan Van Gundy spoke with Aaron McMann of MLive about the club’s lack of activity.

Look, we’re not real happy with how we’ve played up to this point overall, but we still do have a young group,” Van Gundy said of the now 28-31 Pistons.. “And as much as you would like the progress to be steadily up hill, it’s not always. That doesn’t mean that you lose faith in your guys.”

The Pistons have struggled since starting guard Reggie Jackson returned to the lineup in early December, previously he had been recovering from a knee procedure and Ish Smith had stepped in to man the point. Over the course of the past month, Jackson’s name has been linked to the Timberwolves in a possible two- or three- team trade, potentially involving the Knicks.

You don’t want to get that deal fever where you just want to make a deal so badly that you end up making a bad one,” he said. Considering that Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, two names that came up as possible trade candidates at the deadline, are just 23 and 24 years old respectively, patience may still pay off.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Though 2014 second-overall pick Jabari Parker will miss the remainder of this season and part of next season recovering from a torn ACL, his second drastic injury in the past three seasons, the Bucks didn’t consider dealing him at the deadline, tweets Stephen Watson of WISN 12 News. “Absolutely not,” general manager John Hammond told Watson, when asked explicitly.
  • It’s not clear whether the Bulls will embrace a rebuild or continue to push to win now and the continued presence of Rajon Rondo in the lineup embodies the organization’s indirection, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.
  • After a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hornets, former Pistons guard Ray McCallum – one of the last cut by the Pistons during training camp – is back in the D-League with Detroit’s affiliate in Grand Rapids. The point guard is averaging 17.8 points and 7.5 assists per game with the Drive so far this season.

Hornets Sign Johnny O’Bryant To 10-Day Deal

3:14pm: The Hornets have officially signed O’Bryant to a 10-day contract, the team announced this afternoon in a press release.

7:32am: After playing on a pair of 10-day contracts with the Nuggets earlier this season, Johnny O’Bryant is poised to join a new team, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back, who reports (via Twitter) that the Hornets will sign the free agent forward to a 10-day contract.

The Hornets have been carrying 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, along with a pair of players – Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey – on 10-day contracts. The latest 10-day deals for both McCallum and Tobey expired overnight, so it seems the Hornets won’t retain both players.

Assuming the team finalizes a deal with O’Bryant, there would still be one opening on the roster to sign McCallum, Tobey, or someone else. Since McCallum and Tobey each signed two 10-day contracts with Charlotte, they would need to be signed for the season to stick with the Hornets.

O’Bryant, 23, was the 36th overall pick in the 2014 draft, and spent his first two NBA seasons with the Bucks. In 100 games for the club, O’Bryant averaged 3.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG. The LSU product signed as a free agent with the Wizards prior to training camp last fall, but didn’t earn a regular-season roster spot with the team.

O’Bryant subsequently joined the D-League’s Northern Arizona Suns, averaging 18.5 PPG and 8.7 RPG in 24 games for Phoenix’s affiliate this season. He even added a three-point shot to his game during his time in the NBADL, making 38.0% of his attempts and averaging more than one three-pointer per game. That earned O’Bryant a couple 10-day contracts with the Nuggets, for whom he appeared in seven games, averaging 2.9 PPG and 1.6 RPG.

Hornets Re-Sign Ray McCallum

The Hornets have re-signed Ray McCallum to a second 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. McCallum briefly became a free agent today after his initial 10-day deal with Charlotte expired last night.

McCallum, who has played for the Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies over the course of his NBA career, spent most of this season with the D-League’s Grand Rapids Drive, averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game for Detroit’s NBADL affiliate. The 25-year-old was cut by the Pistons just before the start of the season — he appeared to have a roster spot won, but was let go when the organization decided to claim Beno Udrih off waivers.

The Hornets signed McCallum on February 3 after a trade with the Bucks created an extra opening on their 15-man roster. Since joining the team, McCallum has not appeared in a single game, though the Hornets apparently liked what they saw in practice enough to keep the veteran guard on the roster.

Charlotte signed rookie big man Mike Tobey to a 10-day contract on the same day the team inked McCallum earlier this month. Tobey’s deal also expired last night, though there’s no indication yet whether the Hornets will bring him back on a second contract, sign someone else, or keep a roster spot open.

Hornets Sign Ray McCallum To 10-Day Deal

2:07pm: The Hornets have officially signed McCallum, the team announced today in a press release.

9:57am: The Hornets will sign point guard Ray McCallum to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

McCallum, who has played for the Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies in his three-year NBA career, has spent this season with Grand Rapids in the D-League, where he is averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game.

The 25-year-old was waived by the Pistons just before the start of the season. He appeared to have a roster spot won, but was let go when the organization decided to claim Beno Udrih off waviers.

The Hornets had an opening after Thursday’s trade that sent Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes to the Bucks in exchange for Miles Plumlee. Charlotte also signed center Mike Tobey to a 10-day contract on Thursday.

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

Read more