APRIL 21, 2:39pm: Stein has now confirmed (via Twitter) that it’ll be a 10-day contract for James. As such, the expectation is that Brooklyn will simply release Aldridge to create a roster spot.
APRIL 21, 12:47pm: There are conflicting reports on the terms of James’ deal with the Nets. Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) suggests it’ll be a two-way contract, while Shams Charania of The Athletic says (via Twitter) it’ll be a 10-day pact.
Signing James to a 10-day contract would simply require waiving Aldridge. Chris Chiozza and Reggie Perry currently occupy Brooklyn’s two-way slots, so one of the two would have to be waived or promoted to the 15-man roster (taking Aldridge’s spot) if the team wants to do a two-way deal with James.
APRIL 21, 11:44am: James will sign with the Nets on Friday, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who confirms (via Twitter) that the veteran guard is still going through the COVID-19 testing protocols.
CSKA Moscow announced (via Twitter) it has reached an agreement with James that will allow him to become a free agent “until the end of the 2020/21 season,” and that he’ll sign with an NBA team soon.
The wording of CSKA’s statement suggests that James’ contract hasn’t been terminated, so it sounds like he’ll be required to report back to the Russian club for 2021/22 after finishing this season with Brooklyn. Andrew Bogut did this a couple years back, joining Golden State in the middle of a two-year contract with the NBL’s Sydney Kings before returning to Australia for the second year.
APRIL 19, 4:00pm: The Nets are in advanced talks with veteran guard Mike James, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who tweets that a deal between the two sides could be completed as soon as Tuesday.
Antonis Stroggylakis and Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops initially reported that the Nets were eyeing James, who has also drawn interest from the Knicks. Chema de Lucas subsequently reported (via Twitter) that the 30-year-old was expected to sign a rest-of-season contract with Brooklyn, though Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link) heard that James was one of a couple players the team was interested in.
James, who averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 assists in 36 total games for Phoenix and New Orleans during the NBA’s 2017/18 season, has been playing in Europe since then. He was having a big year for CSKA Moscow this season, racking up 19.3 PPG and 5.7 APG in 27 EuroLeague contests (31.2 MPG), but was suspended indefinitely by the club following an altercation with head coach Dimitris Itoudis in late March.
James is under contract with CSKA Moscow through 2023, but Eurohoops’ report indicates that the club is willing to accommodate him if he finds an NBA opportunity, while Stein suggests that James has already been released from his contract overseas.
Further clarity on James’ situation should come soon. Assuming he does officially complete a deal with the Nets, he’ll take the roster spot previously held by LaMarcus Aldridge. While Aldridge technically remains under contract with Brooklyn for the time being, he announced his retirement last week and is expected to be waived in a procedural move.