Pooh Jeter

International Notes: Bogut, France, Slovenia, Jeter

Former NBA center Andrew Bogut says players in Australia’s NBL were “used like pawns” in the league finals, according to an Associated Press report. His team, the Sydney Kings refused to fly across the country for Game 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Their opponent, Perth, had a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series and was eventually awarded the title.  Travel restrictions were coming into effect across Australia when the Kings decided against taking the flight. “It’s something the NBL needs to learn from,” he said. “The disappointing thing is that it was left up to the players to decide.”

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The French LNB plans to complete its season when the pandemic subsides, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The LNB is evaluating several different formats if the season resumes, Lupo adds.
  • The Dutch Basketball League Eredivisie has decided to cancel the rest of the season and the Slovenian league has taken the same action. Neither league will crown a champion, according to the two posts from Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.
  • Former NBA guard Pooh Jeter has returned to China and is eager to play again next month, he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. Jeter has played there for eight years and is under quarantine there after flying back from the U.S. “It will definitely be exciting to play again,” he said. “I know China. And China definitely wanted to show it did things the right way.”

Xavier Munford, Bobby Brown Expected To Play In China

A pair of players who logged NBA minutes last season are expected to sign with teams in China, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, former Bucks guard Xavier Munford is set to sign with Fujian to replace Eugene “Pooh” Jeter, while Bobby Brown will likely sign with Shanxi to replace Josh Adams.

Munford, 26, was a two-way player for Milwaukee last season, but only appeared in six games for the Bucks. He was impressive in the G League, averaging 24.4 PPG and 5.2 APG on .509/.444/.747 shooting in 34 games for the Wisconsin Herd. That performance earned him a two-way qualifying offer in June, but the Bucks withdrew that QO in September, making him an unrestricted free agent.

As for Brown, he signed a deal earlier this month with KK Mornar Bar to play in Montenegro. However, as Carchia notes, that agreement included an exit clause, which Brown is expected to take advantage of to make the move to China.

Brown, a former Cal State Fullerton standout, appeared in 25 games for the Rockets in 2016/17 and 20 more in 2017/18. The 34-year-old played a limited role for the club, averaging 2.5 PPG and 0.6 APG in just 5.3 minutes per contest. He finished last season playing for Olympiacos in Greece after being cut by Houston in February.

And-Ones: Rush, Jeter, Terry, Wizards

After a difficult 2013/14 season in which he was granted sporadic playing time while returning from knee surgery in Utah, Brandon Rush tells Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s feeling positive about his upcoming season with the Warriors. “This is a great situation for me to be able to come back and to be with a winning team,” said Rush. “I’m just going to try to help the team out with little things: rebounding, shooting and playing defense. I’m in a good mood. My head is in on straight. I’m happy with where I’m at…Coming back [to Golden State] was a no-brainer.” Here’s more from around the league:

  • Pooh Jeter has no intentions of leaving his Chinese team, despite having a workout lined up with the Lakers, as he tells Hupu (translation via Enea Trapani of Sportando).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders expects the deal in place between the Rockets and Kings, which will send Jason Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, will finally transpire within the next 24 hours (Twitter link). Pincus does not expect the Kings to retain either Gee or Hopson, whose contracts are non-guaranteed. The teams initially struck an unofficial agreement on August 31.
  • The Wizards are still working out additional players to bring to camp, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Washington will have 16 of the maximum 20 contracts on the books for training camp after the new additions of Xavier Silas and Damion James.
  • Brett Koremenos of RealGM looks at the careers of Milos Teodosic, Ante Tomic, and Emir Preldzic, three players caught in the “limbo” between European starring roles and NBA backup spots. While these players shine in international play, their advanced age, on-court shortcomings, and comfort level overseas are barriers to their likehood of signing in the NBA.

Lakers Work Out Five Players

The Lakers held workouts this past Wednesday for five players, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). Displaying their wares in Los Angeles were Pooh Jeter, Ronnie Price, Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Tyler, and James Nunnally, according to Carchia’s sources. The Lakers currently have 15 players on their pre-season roster, with 13 of those contracts being guaranteed.

The 5’11”, thirty year-old Jeter, played one season in the NBA with the Kings back in 2010/11, and he averaged 4.1 PPG and 2.6 APG. Jeter was reportedly drawing interest from some NBA teams back in March of this year for a possible 10-day contract. With Steve Nash‘s health a question, the team could be looking to add another body behind Jeremy Lin, Roscoe Smith, and Jordan Clarkson.

Price also falls into this possibility, and the 6’2″, thirty-one year-old would provide a bit more NBA experience than Jeter. Price has been in the league for nine seasons, and has career averages of 3.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG. He spent last season with the Magic, and was waived by Orlando in July just prior to his salary becoming guaranteed.

Ellington would provide depth behind Kobe Bryant and compete with Xavier Henry for backup duties. The 6’4″, twenty-six year-old has career numbers of 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.0 APG. Ellington has been involved in two trades this offseason, and was waived by the Kings last week. Ellington would provide more upside than Jeter or Price, but he hasn’t shown he is capable of handling primary ball-handling duties, which might be a more pressing need for the Lakers.

Tyler, who was also a part of one of the deals involving Ellington, and Nunnally would bolster the Lakers frontcourt. Tyler is more of a power forward than a center, which is already a crowded position with Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, Ed Davis, and Ryan Kelly being on the roster. This would make Nunnally more of a fit backing up Nick Young and Wesley Johnson at small forward. Nunnally also can man the power forward position if needed, which might give him an edge, despite Tyler’s high upside.

And-Ones: Lottery, Jeter, Nash

With teams starting to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, more and more focus will be given to the talk about franchises “tanking” for a better lottery pick. Commissioner Adam Silver has denied that teams are losing on purpose, but that hasn’t quieted the chatter. There has been some talk of changing how the league determines draft order to combat this, but Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post doesn’t think the current system needs to be altered. Dempsey cites the fact that the team with the worst overall record rarely gets the top pick. In fact, since the lottery system began in 1985 only four teams have secured the first-overall pick, and none since 2004 when the Magic won the lottery and selected Dwight Howard. Dempsey also opines that losing now to try to secure a brighter future is a smart move, not one to be condemned.

More from around the league:

International Notes: Saric, Ajinca, Jeter

Earlier today, we learned that former No. 6 overall pick Yi Jianlian agreed to a new two-year deal in the Chinese Basketball Association that, somewhat surprisngly, does not include an NBA out clause.  Jianlian’s first go-round in the NBA was far from dazzling, but he looked rather strong last season in the CBA and had some wondering if he turned a corner in his professional career.  Here’s more from around the globe..

  • In a piece for ESPN.com, Mark Woods spoke with Dario Saric, who pulled out of this year’s draft despite being ticketed for a first-round selection.  Scouts who have watched him play over the last couple of seasons say that he is as close to a can’t-miss prospect as there is, but Saric says that he withdrew his name based on his own assessment of his readiness.
  • Big man Alexis Ajinca says his contract with Strasbourg of the French League still includes an NBA out clause and his agent is looking at options in the NBA, according to HoopsHype (via Twitter).  Ajinca, taken 20th overall by the Bobcats in the 2008 Draft, says that he wasn’t mentally or physicially ready for the challenge of the NBA but believes that he’ll return (Twitter links).  The 25-year-old is doing well at the Eurobasket, averaging 10.7 PPG and 6.9 RPG in less than 20 minutes per contest.
  • Guard Pooh Jeter, currently playing in Ukraine, still hopes to return to the NBA, writes Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.  Jeter, 29, spent the 2010/11 season with the Kings, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.6 RPG in less than 14 minutes per game.
  • If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Hoops Rumors’ International Player Movement Tracker.