Shane Larkin

And-Ones: All-In Teams, Second Apron, Paris, Larkin

The Suns, Lakers and Heat have all mortgaged significant future assets and spent a lot of money to make themselves better in the present, yet none of the three won 50 games in the regular season and they combined to win just two playoff games before being eliminated in the first round, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic.

As Hollinger details, all three teams face difficult questions entering the offseason, with Phoenix’s long-term outlook particularly problematic. Still, the best course of action for all three might be making relatively minor moves instead of going even more all-in than they already are, says Hollinger.

In the short-term, Miami is probably in the worst position of the three teams from a talent perspective, according to Hollinger, but the Heat have better young players than Phoenix and L.A. and have proven adept at developing undrafted free agents.

Seven of the NBA’s 10 biggest spenders in 2023/24 have already been eliminated from championship contention, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Those teams are, in order, the Warriors (No. 1), Suns (No. 3), Bucks (No. 5), Heat (No. 7), Lakers (No. 8), Pelicans (No. 9) and Sixers (No. 10).

The Clippers, who had the league’s second-highest payroll this season, also trail their first-round series with Dallas, Marks observes. Only the Celtics (No. 4) and Nuggets (No. 6) have advanced to the second round.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:salary cap

  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports takes a closer look at the NBA’s second tax apron, a new addition to last year’s CBA. The most restrictive aspects of the second apron will kick in this offseason, Fischer notes.
  • The NBA confirmed in a press release that Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs will face Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers for a pair of regular season games in Paris next year. The games in France’s capital will be held on January 23 and January 25, 2025.
  • Guard Shane Larkin, who played four NBA seasons with Dallas, New York, Brooklyn and Boston from 2013-18, has signed a four-year extension with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, the team announced in a press release (via Twitter). The 31-year-old has been one of the best players in Europe over the past several years, averaging 16.8 PPG, 5.1 APG, 2.9 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .464/.395/.912 shooting in 34 EuroLeague contests in ’23/24 (31.7 MPG).

And-Ones: Larkin, Anderson, Drew League

Former NBA guard Shane Larkin said he wasn’t healthy enough to play for the Turkish national team in an Olympic pre-qualifying tournament this month, Johnny Askounis of relays.

Larkin was fined approximately 3,000 Euros and suspended five games during the upcoming Turkish Super League season for failing to report to the national team. However, Larkin claims the national team knew it would have been “risky” for him to play.

“I was in the USA working on my body and trying to recover from a season full of injuries and to train for the upcoming season. The national team still asked me to come report to camp and come get an MRI on my knees to get a proper diagnosis,” Larkin said on Instagram. “I flew from Miami to Istanbul and the national team doctor told me that I was in bad shape and that if I were to push myself, I would be at risk of severe damage to my knee for the short and long-term.

“Word for word, I was told, ‘If you push yourself and don’t give it time to heal, you will potentially need surgery that will keep you out for months.’ I was informed to stay off my knees and to stop working out anything lower body. I then started treatment with different medications in order to help myself heal and was asked to come back a week later for another MRI. I did exactly what was asked of me and when came back for the second MRI, the bone was healing but still not in a place where I would be safe to go and play in the games.’

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard James Anderson has signed a one-year contract with Turkey’s Manisa, Sportando relays. Anderson played last season for UCAM Murcia in Spain. Anderson appeared in 247 NBA regular season games, most recently with Sacramento during the 2015/16 season.
  • Over the past dozen years, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan have participated in the Drew League. The Athletic’s Law Murray takes a closer look at the summer pro-am league, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
  • France has already been eliminated from World Cup contention. Get the details here.

International Notes: Bjelica, Calathes, Pullen, Larkin, Wilbekin

Fenerbahce’s general manager says he has informed former NBA players Nemanja Bjelica and Nick Calathes that they aren’t in the Turkish club’s plans for 2023/24, despite both players being under contract, as Alessandro Maggi of Sportando relays.

Bjelica, 35, played seven NBA seasons, most recently helping the Warriors win the championship in 2021/22. He signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahce last summer, but the veteran forward was limited to seven EuroLeague games in ’22/23 due to a calf injury, Maggi writes.

Calathes appeared in 129 games with the Grizzlies from 2013-15. The 34-year-old has spent most of his professional career overseas, primarily with Greece’s Panathinaikos, though he has also played for teams in Russia, Spain and Turkey. The veteran guard averaged 8.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.2 RPG and 1.1 SPG in 34 EuroLeague contests with Fenerbahce in ’22/23.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former Sixers two-way guard Jacob Pullen, who played three games with Philadelphia in the ’17/18 season, has signed a one-year contract with Italy’s Napoli Basket, the team announced in a press release. The 33-year-old is a well-traveled veteran, having played in Kuwait last season after spending most of his career in Europe.
  • Shane Larkin and Scottie Wilbekin failed to report to the Turkish national team during the 2024 Olympic pre-qualifying tournament earlier this month, which saw Turkey lose to Croatia in the final. As such, the Turkish Basketball Federation has fined both guards approximately 3,000 Euros and suspended them for five games apiece during the upcoming Turkish Super League season, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Both players are eligible to represent Turkey in international tournaments because they’re naturalized citizens, though each team only has one naturalized slot in FIBA events. Larkin, who currently plays for Anadolu Efes, appeared in 256 NBA regular season games from 2013-18. Wilbekin, meanwhile, plays for Fenerbahce. He signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Sixers in 2015, but never appeared for Philadelphia, having been waived before ’15/16 started.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along several World Cup notes this afternoon.

Shane Larkin Re-Signs With Anadolu Efes

Veteran point guard Shane Larkin has re-signed with Anadolu Efes, the Turkish team officially announced on Friday (Twitter link). Larkin received a two-year deal that includes an NBA opt-out clause.

Larkin has spent the last several seasons in Turkey following a pair of NBA stints earlier in his professional career. A first-round pick out of Miami in 2013, he averaged a modest 5.5 PPG and 2.9 APG on .422/.336/.777 shooting in 256 career NBA games for the Mavericks, Knicks, Nets, and Celtics, but has since emerged as a star in Europe.

Larkin has won back-to-back EuroLeague titles, making the All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2021 and the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2022. He ranked in the league’s top five this season in points (14.7), assists (5.3), and three-pointers (2.4) per game.

A report last week indicated that Larkin was drawing interest from the Wizards, who will be in the market for point guard help this summer. However, it sounds like the 29-year-old plans to spend at least one more year in Europe before considering an NBA return — Anadolu Efes’ announcement today didn’t provide any specific details on his out clause, but generally those opt-out windows open up between seasons.

It’s unclear what Larkin’s new contract is worth, but last week’s report suggested that Anadolu Efes was offering a salary similar to what he was earning on his previous deal, which was approximately €3.2MM.

Larkin said in 2020 that he wouldn’t return to the NBA to be a team’s third point guard, and spoke more recently about being happy to remain overseas and play a starring role in front of passionate European fans, so the fact that he’s signed a new contract to remain in Turkey doesn’t come as a major surprise.

Wizards Have Interest In Shane Larkin

Veteran point guard Shane Larkin is drawing serious interest from the Wizards, according to Donatas Urbonas of

A first-round pick out of Miami in 2013, Larkin spent his first three professional seasons in the NBA with Dallas, New York, and Brooklyn, then played for Baskonia in Spain for a year before returning stateside and joining the Celtics for the 2017/18 season. After playing a minor role in Boston, Larkin headed back overseas and has spent the last several years in Turkey playing for Anadolu Efes.

Although he was primarily a reserve in the NBA, starting 41 of his 256 regular season games, Larkin has emerged as a star in Europe. The 29-year-old made the All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2021 and the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2022 and won consecutive EuroLeague titles. He ranked in the league’s top five this season in points (14.7), assists (5.3), and three-pointers (2.4) per game.

According to Urbonas, Larkin’s current team – Anadolu Efes – is making an effort to retain him and is offering a salary similar to what he has made in each of the last two seasons. Sources tell BasketNews that’s around €3.2MM, which currently converts to about $3.43MM.

Larkin said in 2020 that he wouldn’t return to the NBA to be a team’s third point guard, and spoke more recently about being happy to remain overseas and play a starring role in front of passionate European fans. So if the Wizards are serious about signing him, the salary and the role they offer will have to reflect that.

Washington is in the market for help at point guard after last summer’s acquisition of Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t work out. Ish Smith, who has a non-guaranteed $4.7MM salary for 2022/23, is the only point guard currently under contract with the Wizards.

Larkin’s backcourt partner in Istanbul, Vasilije Micic, is also reportedly considering a move to the NBA.

International Notes: Satoransky, Micic, Larkin, Bryant

Andalou Efes is the latest European team to express interest in signing NBA guard Tomas Satoransky, tweets Bugra Uzar of EuroHoops. A report last month indicated that Spain’s FC Barcelona is also targeting Satoransky, so the Turkish club is likely to have some competition if he decides to return to Europe.

Satoransky played for three teams last season, starting with the Pelicans, who acquired him from the Bulls in an August trade. New Orleans moved him to the Trail Blazers prior to February’s trade deadline, and he was flipped to San Antonio in a three-team deal a day later, but he appeared in just one game for the Spurs before being waived. He signed with the Wizards two days later. Satoransky averaged 3.6 points and 3.3 assists in 55 combined games.

The 30-year-old guard played eight seasons in Europe before leaving for the NBA in 2016. Returning home would be an attractive option if he doesn’t receive another NBA opportunity, and Andalou Efes, which claimed its second straight EuroLeague title Saturday, should receive strong consideration.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Satoransky could be a replacement for Vasilije Micic, who is rumored to have interest in trying the NBA after winning his second consecutive Final Four MVP trophy. Micic, whose draft rights are held by the Thunder, said he wants to join two-time MVP Nikola Jokic as examples of the quality of Serbian basketball. “What we have in common with Jokic is that we both make Serbia proud,” Micic said in a post-game press conference, per a EuroHoops report“He is a unique person. He makes a small country so recognizable, so famous, he represents us. I’m supporting his achievements and I’m proud.”
  • Former NBA guard Shane Larkin has become a star in Europe and he’s happy to stay there, according to Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops. Larkin expressed a desire to return to the NBA amid the pandemic crisis two years ago, but he has since changed his mind. “I grew up in America. I didn’t know much about European basketball,” he said. “To be here, to see the passion, to be in this atmosphere. To do the things that I’ve been able to accomplish here. I wouldn’t trade this for the world. Even if I could’ve gone back in the NBA and sign for a max contract, I would much rather choose this. Being able to play in front of these fans, with this passion and experience this in my life. This has been amazing and I’m very happy with everything.”
  • Elijah Bryant, who was on the Bucks’ roster last season, achieved the rare feat of winning NBA and EuroLeague titles in consecutive seasons, tweets BasketNews.

And-Ones: Beasley, Delaney, Bolmaro, Duarte, EuroLeague, Ticket Prices

Michael Beasley has officially committed to play in the BIG3 league with 3’s Company this summer, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. ESPN’s Marc J. Spears recently reported Beasley was expected to play in the league. The former No. 2 pick, who last played in the NBA with the Lakers during the 2018/19 season, has hired agent Andre Buck and will continue pursuing an NBA comeback. 

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA player Malcolm Delaney will miss the remainder of Olimpio Milano’s season due to an abdominal injury, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Delaney won’t return to Milan next season. “Two special years, in which I played in two of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of, but with a lot of bad luck,” Delaney said. “I enjoyed my experience in Milan, on and off the court.”
  • Timberwolves rookie Leandro Bolmaro and Pacers rookie Chris Duarte will be among the coaches at the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Americas camp next week, according to an NBA press release. The camp will be held from Monday to Thursday in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and will bring together the top high-school age boys and girls from Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean.
  • This year’s EuroLeague First Team selections have a distinct NBA flavor. NBA veterans Mike James, Shane Larkin and Nikola Mirotic were all selected to the First Team along with Walter Tavares and Sasha Vezenkov, tweets.
  • Ticket prices around the NBA continue to rise as attendance drops, Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post report. According to the Post, fans are now paying an average of $109 per ticket, an 18.6% increase since 2018/19. However, the number of paid fans at arenas has dropped 7.1% to 13,603 per game. Those numbers could impact the league’s negotiations with its broadcast partners.

And-Ones: NBA Layoffs, Larkin, N’Diaye, Weber

The NBA has laid off a number of its behind-the-scenes employees this week, according to reports from Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News and Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links). Alex Silverman of Morning Consult suggests that approximately 100 employees were affected. League spokesperson Mike Bass confirmed the layoffs, though he declined to specify how many employees were let go.

We are restructuring certain functions at the league office to better align with changes in our business, particularly around digital media, and be well-positioned for future growth,” Bass said in a statement.

While Silverman’s report indicates that the cutbacks are related to the coronavirus pandemic, Bondy says it’s unclear what role the pandemic played, if any. The league’s events staff, ticketing staff and team business staff were affected by the layoffs, Bondy adds.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former first-rounder Shane Larkin, who last played in the NBA in 2018, has agreed to a two-year, $7.7MM contract extension with Turkish team Anadolu Efes, according to Semih Tuna of The deal includes an NBA opt-out for 2021, though Larkin recently said he’d only consider a return stateside if he were offered a favorable role.
  • Former NBA big man Makhtar N’Diaye has agreed to be the new general manager of Senegal’s national men’s basketball team, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). N’Diaye only appeared in four games back in 1999, but made history as the first player from Senegal to play in the NBA.
  • Veteran guard Briante Weber, who suited up for five NBA teams between 2015-18, has signed with Canada’s Hamilton Honey Badgers, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando). Weber, 27, was a G League All-Star in 2017 and made the NBAGL’s All-Defensive Team twice, but never carved out a regular rotation role with an NBA team for any extended stretch.

And-Ones: Larkin, Kulboka, Brussino, U17 World Cup

Shane Larkin won’t return to the NBA unless he’s guaranteed consistent playing time, Andrew Favakeh of reports. Larkin has established himself as one of the top point guards in Europe and played for Istanbul’s Anadolu Efes this season. In his last NBA stint in 2017/18, Larkin played 54 games for the Celtics. “I will not go back to the NBA as a third point guard,” Larkin said. “So, if any team asks about that, we’re not even gonna answer the phone.”

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Hornets’ draft-and-stash prospect Arnoldas Kulboka has officially re-signed with Spanish club Bilbao Basket for two more seasons, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 22-year-old Lithuanian forward was selected by the Hornets with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2018 draft, but has yet to sign an NBA contract. His agent previously stated that that if not for the coronavirus pandemic, his client planned to join Charlotte next season. It’s uncertain whether there are any opt-outs in Kulboka’s newest contract.
  • Former NBA wing Nicolas Brussino has re-signed with Spain’s Casademont Zaragoza, Carchia notes in a separate Sportando story. The Argentinean was averaging 9.8 PPG and 4,0 RPG in ACB. Brussino’s last appearance in the NBA came during the 2017/18 season, when he played four games with Atlanta.
  • The FIBA U17 World Cup has been cancelled, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. It had previously been postponed until August. FIBA will look into holding the event next year, Givony adds.

International Notes: Beaubois, Spain, Nurse, James

Anadolu Efes of Turkey and former NBA guard Rodrigue Beaubois have reached a contract extension agreement until 2022, Sportando’s Dario Skerletic relays via Israeli reporter Roi Cohen. Beaubois played four seasons for Dallas from 2009-13. This season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Spain’s ACB league has been suspended indefinitely, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Play was already suspended until April 24th due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The league’s teams will decide how to proceed n the upcoming weeks.
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse remains fully committed to coaching Team Canada in Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Nurse is “really excited” about it and hopes the Olympics, rescheduled for next summer, can go forward as planned.
  • A trio of former NBA players heads the list of the best players in Europe, according to Jeff Greer of The Athletic. A survey of 21 coaches and players overseas choose former Phoenix and New Orleans guard Mike James as the top player in Europe this season in a close votes. Guard Shane Larkin and forward Nikola Mirotic tied for the second-most votes. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija, a likely top-10 pick in this year’s draft, is considered the top international NBA prospect.