Sundiata Gaines

And-Ones: Oden, Casspi, One-And-Done, Loyd

Sixty teams have been announced for this summer’s The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team, $2MM, winner-take-all competition, writes Jeff Goodman of While no NBA players will play in the tournament, several ex-NBAers – including Sundiata Gaines, Donte Greene, and former No. 1 pick Greg Oden – will participate, and some current NBA players will be coaches.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the basketball world…

  • Omri Casspi, who was formerly represented by Dan Fegan, has changed agents and signed with CAA Sports, per Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link). Casspi, whose change in representation was reported last month in the wake of Fegan’s legal troubles, will be a free agent this offseason.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer takes a deep dive into the changes the NBA may eventually make to the current one-and-done system for players coming out of high school, noting that many team execs don’t necessarily agree with commissioner Adam Silver on the matter.
  • D-League guard Jordan Loyd is drawing some NBA interest, according to international reporter David Pick, who tweets that Loyd will attend a Nets free agent mini-camp, then will audition for the Clippers and play in Summer League with the Pacers. The 23-year-old averaged 15.1 PPG in 49 games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2016/17.
  • In a pair of pieces for Basketball Insiders, James Blancarte and Spencer Davies identify several potential trade candidates in both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference.

D-League Moves: Gaines, Wizards, Knicks

Sundiata Gaines is headed to the D-League, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. The three-year NBA veteran has appeared in 11 games with Besiktas Milangaz in Turkey this year and was in camp with the Pacers in the fall of 2012. The 6’1″ guard’s most memorable contribution to the NBA was a buzzer-beater for the Jazz in 2010, though his best season was in 2011/12, when he started 12 games for the Nets. Here are more comings and goings from the D-League:

Grizzlies Eyeing Dooling, Flynn, Others

MONDAY, 7:46am: Dooling is still the "big favorite" to earn a spot with the Grizzlies, but the team's search for a guard may continue for a couple more days before a signing occurs, tweets Marc Stein of

FRIDAY, 10:56am: In addition to Dooling and Flynn, the Grizzlies are also considering Scott Machado, Courtney Fortson, and Sundiata Gaines, according to Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 10:14pm: Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe received a similar text from Dooling, who says he'll know for sure about a deal with Memphis by Sunday (Twitter link).

10:05pm: Dooling texted TNT's David Aldridge to say that he's been in contact with the Grizzlies, but hasn't signed with the team (Twitter link).

7:20pm: The Grizzlies haven't committed to signing Dooling, a source tells Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal. Memphis is also considering Jonny Flynn as the team looks to add a veteran point guard rather than rely on rookie backup Tony Wroten, according to Tillery (Twitter links).

6:31pm: Former New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey reports that the Grizzlies have signed Keyon Dooling for the rest of the season (Twitter link). If the move becomes official, it would mark an end to Dooling's retirement, which he announced in September while with the Celtics. Presumably, he'd have to leave his job as a player development coordinator for the C's, which he assumed after he retired.

Dooling suffered a nervous breakdown over the summer that stemmed from sexual abuse he endured in childhood, as he detailed last year to Jessica Camerato of and TNT's David Aldridge. Shortly after his retirement, he was linked to the Heat, but denied interest in a return to the league. The 32-year-old guard told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe he was open to coming back in January and said he informed Celtics coach Doc Rivers he was upping his workout regimen, but announced a few days later that he would not return to the NBA this year.

Boston and Dooling agreed to a $400K buyout of his guaranteed minimum-salary contract, so he's represented a small cap hit for the C's all year despite not having been on the team's roster. Dooling couldn't return to the Celtics unless they waived someone else, but the Grizzlies have two open roster spots, so they could accomodate Dooling if they choose.

Knicks Eyeing Another Point Guard

Citing a source close to the team, ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling reports that the Knicks are considering adding a veteran point guard to supplement Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni.  While injuries have decimated their frontcourt, Zwerling says a lack of free agent options has led the Knicks to consider opting for guard help.

Zwerling indicates that the Knicks are ideally looking for a point guard that has some speed and quickness, in contrast to the wisdom and decision making of the older Kidd and Prigioni.  The source points to Delonte West, Sundiata Gaines and Jannero Pargo as options, with West being the most likely.  While West has some issues – as evidenced by his absence from the NBA this year – the Saint Joseph's product would join a veteran roster in New York.  Meanwhile, all signs point towards Pargo signing a 10-day contract with Charlotte tomorrow.  So unless that deal falls through, the Knicks would have to hope the Bobcats let him walk once his contract expires if they want to pursue him.

Two of those veterans are injured big men Amare Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace, both out for the remainder of the regular season.  Zwerling says Mike Woodson remains committed to Wallace, probably making James White the odd man out should the team decide it needs a roster spot. 

Should the Knicks decide their need for frontcourt help is too pressing to consider anything else, Zwerling lists Henry Sims, Tony Battie, Josh Boone, Brian Cook, Dan Gadzuric, Troy Murphy, Ben Wallace, Hassan Whiteside and Sean Williams as potential targets.  While Sims provides the most intrigue of the bunch, Zwerling says the Knicks would prefer a veteran.

Sundiata Gaines Signs In China

Just over three weeks after he was cut by the Pacers, Sundiata Gaines has found a new team, signing with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia reported last week that Gaines had received an offer from a Chinese team in addition to drawing interest from Italy's Pallacanestro Cantu, so presumably that CBA club was Fujian.

Gaines, 26, has played in 113 NBA games over a three-year career for the Jazz, Timberwolves, Raptors, and Nets. The point guard appeared in a career-high 57 contests for New Jersey last season, averaging 5.1 PPG and 2.2 APG in 13.9 MPG. After attending training camp with the Pacers, he was released along with Blake Ahearn and Luke Nevill when Indiana made its roster cuts in anticipation of the regular season.

Since the CBA season ends before the NBA season, Gaines could still have a chance to catch on with an NBA team later in the year if he impresses in China.

International/D-League Updates: Thursday

Here are a few of the latest non-NBA links, from the D-League and overseas:

Odds & Ends: Martin, Jennings, Parker, Gaines

The NBA has issued its first two warnings for flops, as the league's official site outlines today. The league has formally warned the Timberwolves' J.J. Barea and the Cavs' Donald Sloan about flopping, meaning that if either player commits a second offense, they'll be fined $5K. Let's round up a few more odds and ends from around the Association….

Pacers Exercise Option On George, Release Three

The Pacers announced a series of roster moves today in a press release, formally exercising their 2013/14 option on Paul George and releasing three players: Luke Nevill, Sundiata Gaines, and Blake Ahearn.

The three cuts reduce the Pacers' roster to 15 players, though it's unclear if the club will carry a full 15-man roster into the regular season. Camp invitee Ben Hansbrough is still on the roster, on a fully non-guaranteed contract, and wasn't considered likely to make the team. Sam Young also has a contract that only has a small guarantee, though he appears a much stronger bet to stick around.

While Nevill had a fully non-guaranteed deal, both Ahearn and Gaines had $25K guarantees on their contracts, so the Pacers will take a very small cap hit for both players.

As for George, he was the only Pacer with an option decision pending for 2013/14. That will be the final year of his rookie contract, and he'll earn a guaranteed $3.28MM salary before potentially becoming a restricted free agent in the summer of 2014. The Pacers will also have the opportunity to sign him to a long-term extension in the 2013 offseason.

Central Notes: Pacers, Villanueva, Jaric, Pargo

As the Cavs reportedly put the finishing touches on a training-camp contract for Kevin Anderson, their division rivals are staying active as well. Here's the latest on a few Central Division teams:

  • Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star examines the Pacers' final couple roster spots, predicting that Sam Young will earn one, while Blake Ahearn and Sundiata Gaines will compete for the other.
  • After a forgettable 2011/12 season, Charlie Villanueva is fighting to bounce back for the Pistons this year, as Vince Goodwill of the Detroit News writes. Asked about the amnesty rumors that surrounded him in July, Villanueva admitted that it was hard not to notice: "It burns me up. It just drove me. Instead of being upset, I said, this will pass and I will let my game do the talking."
  • Marko Jaric was in recently to work out with the Bulls, according to Aggrey Sam of (via Twitter). Jaric has seven years of NBA experience under his belt, but hasn't played in the league since 2008/09, with the Grizzlies.
  • Jannero Pargo expects to finalize a deal within the next couple days, reports Shams Charania of (via Twitter). Charania adds that Pargo is "sticking around Chicago," but I would assume that's just where he's working out, rather than an indication he'll sign with the Bulls.

Pacers Sign Sam Young, Sundiata Gaines

The Pacers announced that they have signed small forward Sam Young and point guard Sundiata Gaines.  The press release also confirmed the signing of guard Blake Ahearn, whose deal reportedly comes with a partial guarantee.

Young became an unrestricted free agent in late June when the 76ers opted not to extend him a qualifying offer.  The 27-year-old was traded from Memphis to Philadelphia at the deadline for the rights to Ricky Sanchez in a deal that allowed the Grizzlies to get below the luxury tax threshold.  Young averaged 3.3 PPG and 1.8 RPG in 35 games for the two clubs last season.

Gaines, 26, established himself as a regular in the Nets rotation last season, serving as a backup to Deron Williams and playing alongside him as a two-guard at times.  The veteran saw 13.9 minutes per contest, averaging 5.1 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG.

Ahearn was the D-League's top scorer last season, averaging 23.8 PPG and 5.1 APG in 37 games for the Reno Bighorns.  The 27-year-old has built a reputation as a sharpshooter and shot 40% from three-point range last year for Reno.