Sergio Rodriguez

International Notes: Brooks, Rodriguez, Cousins, Howard, Cook, Canaan

Veteran free agent guard Armoni Brooks has signed a two-year contract with Olimpia Milano, the Italian team announced today in a press release.

Brooks was in the NBA as recently as this year, having appeared in 10 games for the Nets on a two-way contract before being waived in January. The 26-year-old, who has also suited up for the Rockets and Raptors since making his NBA debut in 2021, spent the rest of the 2023/24 season with the Clippers’ G League affiliate.

Brooks will join an Olimpia Milano team that has won three straight Italian League titles but struggled in EuroLeague competition this past season, finishing just 15-19 and missing the playoffs.

Here are a few more notes from around the international basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Sergio Rodriguez has called it a career, formally announcing his retirement on social media (Twitter link). A first-round pick in 2006, Rodriguez spent four seasons in the NBA with Portland, Sacramento, and New York from 2006-10 before returning for the 2016/17 season with Philadelphia. However, the 38-year-old spent most of his career overseas, winning three EuroLeague titles, a EuroLeague MVP award (in 2014), and several other domestic championships in Europe. He was also a mainstay on Spain’s national team, winning a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and bronze in 2016, as well as a gold medal at the 2006 World Cup.
  • DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, and Quinn Cook – three members of the 2019/20 Lakers – are reuniting as with the Taiwan Mustags for the Asian Tournament this July, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Cousins and Howard have been out of the NBA since 2022, while Cook last played in the league in 2021.
  • Former NBA guard Isaiah Canaan has signed a two-year deal with Crvena Zvezda, according to a press release from the Serbian team. Canaan has 235 total regular season NBA games under his belt, though he hasn’t been in the league since 2019.

And-Ones: West, Finals Predictions, Spain, Hezonja

Former NBA guard Delonte West was arrested in Virginia on Thursday morning on misdemeanor charges of violating the conditions of his release and resisting arrest, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes reports. West is being held on a $2,000 bond at the Fairfax County Detention Center. An arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning.

Local police say they spotted West around 1 a.m. ET and attempted to serve a warrant. West allegedly fled and was found unresponsive after police lost track of him during the pursuit, per Holmes.

According to the Faifax County police, West was administered Narcan — which is used to treat overdoses — but it didn’t have the desired effect. Narcan was administered a second time after West was transported to a hospital, and the second dose was effective.

The former St. Joseph’s guard discussed his struggles with bipolar disorder while he was playing and he has battled substance abuse in recent years, Holmes notes.

West, 40, played eight NBA seasons from 2004-12. In 432 career regular season games, he averaged 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 27.4 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • While the Celtics are the betting favorites to win the NBA Finals in 2023/24, ESPN’s panel of experts believes the Mavericks will emerge victorious and claim their second championship. Nine voters selected Dallas, with eight going for Boston, so it was a very slim margin.
  • The Spanish basketball federation announced its preliminary 22-player roster ahead of the country’s Olympic qualifying tournament this summer, per Eurohoops. While the team features several former NBA players, Santi Aldama (Grizzlies) and Usman Garuba (Warriors) are the only two who finished the 2023/24 season on 15-man rosters. Former NBA guards Ricky Rubio and Sergio Rodriguez are among the noteworthy players who are not on Spain’s 22-man roster.
  • Former NBA wing Mario Hezonja, who is on Croatia’s preliminary roster for its qualifying tournament in Greece, is nearing a contract extension with Real Madrid, per Ramón Álvarez de Mon of La Galerna (Twitter link). The fifth pick of the 2015 draft, Hezojna last played in the NBA in 2019/20. A report in March said the 29-year-old was “aggressively exploring” the viability of a return to the league.

Sergio Rodriguez Heading Back Overseas

Unrestricted free agent point guard Sergio Rodriguez has agreed to a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow, international journalist David Pick tweets.

Rodriguez, who played for the Sixers last season, reportedly preferred to stay in the NBA but CSKA Moscow made a strong push for him after losing its starting point guard, Milos Teodosic, to the Clippers this summer.

The former Euroleague MVP had not played in the NBA since the 2009/10 season before he signed with the Sixers. He appeared in 68 games last season, including 30 starts, and averaged 7.8 PPG and 5.1 APG in 22.3 MPG. Philadelphia filled its point guard spot by moving up to draft Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall.

There didn’t appear to be a whole lot of interest in Rodriguez, 31, in the free agent market as it was flooded with point guards. He played for Real Madrid from 2010-16.

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, Crowder, Knicks, Buycks

In the wake of today’s trade with the Pistons that sends Avery Bradley to Detroit, the Celtics have no intention of moving Jae Crowder and have no “pressing” deals on the go, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter links). Himmelsbach adds that Boston will look to use its room exception, and the team never rules out the possibility of more dealing, as Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald tweets. For now, though, nothing appears imminent.

One player who could be a candidate for the Celtics’ room exception is free agent center Dewayne Dedmon. Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News suggests (via Twitter) that he kept hearing at the Utah Summer League how intrigued the Celtics are by Dedmon. However, it’s not clear if that interest is mutual, particularly given Boston’s cap limitations.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Asked today about the trade rumors surrounding Paul George, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard told reporters that the rumored offers from the Celtics and other teams were only about 5% correct (Twitter link via Matt Glenesk of The Indianapolis Star).
  • The Knicks were impressed by guard Dwight Buycks‘ performance in Summer League and are interested in signing him to their offseason roster, sources tell Ian Begley of Buycks helped lead the Mavericks’ squad to an Orlando Summer League title this week.
  • The Knicks‘ offer sheet for Tim Hardaway Jr. includes the same advance salary structure as Otto Porter‘s deal with the Nets, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Hardaway’s deal calls for 50% of his annual salary to be paid by October 1 annually.
  • Veteran guard Sergio Rodriguez, who spent the season with the Sixers, prefers to remain in the NBA. However, CSKA Moscow is making a push to lure him back overseas, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops. The Russian club lost Milos Teodosic to the Clippers in free agency.

Sixers Notes: Colangelo, Fox, Redick

Team president Bryan Colangelo is adamant that the franchise is well ahead of where it was this time last year, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer passes along.

“With those healthy bodies [Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jerryd Bayless] and some new talent coming in via draft, via trades, via free agency, we’re excited about what the future holds,” Colangelo said.

While optimism fills Philadelphia’s front office, the executive isn’t ready to declare his squad a 2018 playoff team just yet. “We talk about improvement, measured steps, taking the right path. We’re not going to jump ahead of ourselves,” Colangelo said. “We have a lot of decisions to make before we get there.”

Here’s more from Philadelphia

  • The team likes De’Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith Jr. as options for the No. 3 overall pick, sources tell Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The Sixers own that selection as a result of pick swap obtained in Sam Hinkie’s 2015 trade with the Kings.
  • The Sixers should attempt to sign J.J. Redick this offseason, Comcast Sportsnet’s Jessica Camerato contends. Camerato believes Philadelphia has scoring issues and Redick is the right guy to boost the backcourt.
  • Sergio Rodriguez will be a free agent this summer and the Sixers will face competition from NBA clubs as well as teams abroad. E. Carchia of Sportando relays that CSKA Moscow may pursue the point guard if their star Milos Teodosic leaves for the NBA.
  • Dario Saric should be untouchable in trade talks, Pompey opines (audio link) while noting that he doesn’t come with the injury concerns that plague the Sixers‘ other young talent. Pompey believes the team should prioritize developing the power forward and sign someone like Danilo Gallinari to mentor him.

Atlantic Notes: Raps, Celtics, Rodriguez, Covington

Earlier today, we passed along Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s comments to reporters, including his assertion that Carmelo Anthony might be “better off somewhere else.” We also rounded up a few end-of-season items on the Sixers. We’ve still got a handful of Atlantic notes to relay, so let’s dive right in…

  • With the Raptors preparing to face the Bucks in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes about how Toronto president Masai Ujiri “desperately” tried to trade into the 2013 NBA draft to nab Giannis Antetokounmpo. Of course, those efforts came up short, as Milwaukee selected Antetokounmpo with the No. 15 pick.
  • Appearing this week on WEEI, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck was asked about Al Horford‘s impact in Boston this season and said he’d make the Horford signing “in one second” if he had the chance to do it over again. John Tomase of has the quotes and the details.
  • Veteran point guard Sergio Rodriguez is facing free agency and may not be back with the Sixers next season, but he said on Thursday that he’d like to “try to stay in the NBA and play a few more years here,” tweets Jessica Camerato of Rodriguez spent the previous six seasons with Real Madrid before signing with Philadelphia last summer.
  • Sixers forward Robert Covington is undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Covington’s recovery isn’t expected to take more than four to six weeks, so he should be good to go well before training camp.

Atlantic Notes: Lopez, Rodriguez, Saric

Make no mistake, Brook Lopez has carved out a legacy with Nets, that’s the result of nine years of consistent production Filip Bondy of the New York Times writes. In nearly a decade with the franchise, Lopez has played in two states with 109 different teammates and is now closing in on the franchise scoring record.

In 560 career games with the Nets, Lopez has averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The 29-year-old veteran has endured countless trade rumors and come out as content as anybody could expect.

I definitely think I’m lucky,” he told Bondy of his time with the Nets, the only team he’s ever known. “When people look back on me and my career, I’d like them to say I was one of the people who helped start something big in Brooklyn. Started a legacy where players want to come and play.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Sixers have formally ruled point guard Sergio Rodriguez out for the remainder of the season, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Pompey also notes that he’s the sixth member of the team to be ruled out for the season.
  • The Raptors have no intention of resting their players in the final week of the regular season, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star says. Point guard Kyle Lowry says that the team can’t relax prior to the postseason.
  • First-year forward Dario Saric is battling plantar fasciitis and is on a minutes restriction but that hasn’t prevented him from playing as hard as possible for the Sixers, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The result is a palpable sense of urgency. “It’s like somebody just gorging at a buffet,” head coach Brett Brown said of his rookie’s appetite for scoring the ball.
  • Expect the return of Kyle Lowry to guide the Raptors to more three-point attempts, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. At least that’s what head coach Dwane Casey foresees. “We were great for a while, and then for a long period of time we were turning down three-point shots,” he said. “For the rhythm of the offence, for their confidence, for their ability to make those shots, you’ve got to take them.

Atlantic Notes: Rodriguez, Lowry, McConnell

Sergio Rodriguez, who has been a rotation mainstay in his first NBA season since 2009/10, stated his desire to remain with the Sixers beyond this season.

“It’s going to be a special thing in the coming years in Philadelphia,” Rodriguez told Keith Pompey of “You always want to be a part of that. It’s been a good season for me, a great season for the team.”

With only three games remaining this season, Rodriguez was uncertain whether he would play again in 2016/17.

“It’s feeling better. But the injury is kind of tricky because you never know when you are 100 percent,” Rodriguez said of his hamstring injury. “The way that we are not practicing, it makes it hard to recover well.”

More from around the Atlantic…

  • Kyle Lowry is in postseason form, logging 42 minutes in the Raptors’ 105-102 win over the Pistons on Wednesday. In a post-game interview, Lowry told Doug Smith of The Toronto Star he has no fear of wearing himself out before the playoffs. “That’s one thing about me . . . if I’m going to come back, I’m going to come back and play basketball. No limitations, no restrictions, I’m going to go hoop,” said Lowry, who had missed a 21-game stretch with a wrist injury. “The game of basketball is fun for me. It’s what I love to do and I just wanted to go out there and help my guys and help my team get a win.”
  • While T.J. McConnell emerged as Brett Brown‘s “primary ball-handler” with the Sixers, he projects to play behind Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless in 2017/18. When asked about the possibility of being a third-string point guard, McConnell told Keith Pompey of it wouldn’t impair his outlook. “Look, I’m not here to make coaches’ or players’ or front offices’ life more difficult. I’m here to do what they want me to do,” McConnell said. “They want me to be third string, I’m not going accept it. I’m going to work hard to try to be first and second string. But I’m not going to moan and complain about it. I’m going to work hard like I did this year.”

Sergio Rodriguez Plans To Remain In NBA

After spending four years in the NBA earlier in his career, Sergio Rodriguez returned to Europe for most of his 20s, playing for Spanish club Real Madrid from 2010/11 to 2015/16. Now, having returned stateside for the 2016/17 season, the veteran guard has no plans to head back to Europe again in the near future, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details.

“I am very happy here. I want to stay in the NBA for several years and I think I have chances,” Rodriguez told Marca, in Spanish. “My first [choice] is to remain here and play in the NBA for more years. I don’t know if [it will be] in the same situation or in another one. But I want to remain in the NBA and compete against the best players in the world.”

Rodriguez began the 2016/17 season as Philadelphia’s starting point guard, but has since ceded that role to T.J. McConnell. For the season, Rodriguez has appeared in 61 total games (30 starts), averaging 7.7 PPG and 5.1 APG, while making 35.8% of his three-pointers.

When Rodriguez caught on with the Sixers for this season, he signed a one-year contract, giving him the flexibility to choose a new destination again in the summer of 2017. Presumably, Rodriguez prioritized playing time over contending for a title when he chose Philadelphia last year, but even if he heads into his free agency this year with the same mindset, he may not return to the Sixers.

Given McConnell’s emergence, the Sixers’ plan to try Ben Simmons at point guard, and the possibility that the club will add another point guard via the draft or free agency, there may not be many minutes left over for Rodriguez in Philadelphia next season. However, he could end up drawing some interest from other teams in need of a veteran backup at the point.

Latest On Sixers, Bulls, Okafor, Mirotic

With the trade deadline several hours away, rumors continue to swirl around the Bulls and Sixers on a potential Jahlil Okafor deal. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports this morning (via Twitter) that Chicago is the Sixers’ preferred destination for Okafor if they end up moving him.

[RELATED: Bulls continue to pursue Jahlil Okafor]

Still, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), the Bulls haven’t yet been inclined to include a first-round pick along with the sort of player the Sixers is seeking in an offer for Okafor. Based on Johnson’s tweet and what we know about the 76ers’ asking price, it sounds like Philadelphia would want a young player – perhaps someone like Denzel Valentine – along with a first-round pick for Okafor, while Chicago is reluctant to include two assets of that caliber.

As Johnson notes in his tweet and writes in his latest piece for The Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have made Nikola Mirotic available in talks with the Sixers. However, Philadelphia doesn’t appear to have all that much interest in the veteran forward, who has been offered to the Clippers as well, per Johnson.

Meanwhile, although he may not be connected to the talks with the Bulls, Sergio Rodriguez could be available today, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Facebook Live link). Charania suggested last night that Rodriguez has fallen out of favor in Philadelphia, making him somewhat expendable at the deadline for the Sixers.