Sean Williams

Odds & Ends: Abdur-Rahim, Kazemi, Butler

According to a team press
release
, former NBA All-Star and Kings' director of player
personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim has
been named as the general manager of the Reno Bighorns, which serves as Sacramento's D-League affilliate. Abdur-Rahim will be joined by Chris Gilbert,
who was named assistant general manager. Here are some more of this evening's miscellaneous news and notes:

  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that the 76ers could still send second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi overseas for the coming season. 
  • Caron Butler is "thoroughly excited" about returning home to Wisconsin to play for the Bucks, writes Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times
  • Suns GM Ryan McDonough issued a statement about the team's trade agreement with Milwaukee, saying that the deal was about creating more cap space (Paul Coro of AZCentral.com). 
  • Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld profiles this year's rookie head coaches and identifies some challenges that may lie ahead for each of them. 
  • Later in the same piece, Koutroupis wonders if Marcin Gortat is the next player in Phoenix to be on the move. 
  • The newly created Delaware 87ers of the NBDL acquired the rights of 16 players via the D-League's expansion draft last night (NBA.com). Among the more notable names on that list with NBA experience are Ish SmithSean Williams, Willie Warren, Jerome Dyson, and Josh Akognon. Smith and Akognon remain on NBA rosters, but if they were released and wanted to play in the D-League, Delaware would hold their rights.

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.

Odds & Ends: Kirilenko, Draft, Mavs, Anderson

It's one of the busiest nights of the year on the hardwood in the Association, with a slate of 14 games before the league takes a one-day hiatus for Thanksgiving. There's plenty of off-court news as well, and we've got that covered here.  

Odds & Ends: Mavs, Kings, Kapono, Williams

The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Tuesday night:

  • Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW.com writes that, despite a hot start, the Mavericks are struggling without the injured Dirk Nowitzki.
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee has a Q&A with Kings GM Geoff Petrie covering the state of the franchise.
  • Former NBA guard Jason Kapono is still unsure whether or not he will play in Greece, as he agreed to, citing a family emergency.
  • Sean Williams has signed to play in China, according to Jon Pastuzek of NiuBBall.com.

Arenas, Diogu, McCants, Williams Sign In China

10:56am: Sean Williams has also signed with a Chinese team, joining McCants on the Foshan Dralions, according to Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com (via Twitter). Williams was waived by the Rockets earlier this summer and drew some interest from the Timberwolves and Knicks, but didn't land an NBA deal.

10:20am: Gilbert Arenas has officially signed with the Shanghai Sharks, the team announced on its website (Chinese link). Reports earlier this month indicated that Arenas had agreed to sign with Yao Ming's Sharks, after a verbal agreement with the Guangdong Southern Tigers fell through.

While Arenas is the biggest name heading to China this week, he's not the only former NBA veteran signing overseas. According to a NetEase report (translation via HoopsHype), forward Ike Diogu has signed with Guangdong, with the team waiving Derrick Caracter to clear room. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was in camp with the Suns last month before being released.

Another 2005 lottery pick will also be playing in the Chinese Basketball Association this season, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets that Rashad McCants will join the Foshan Dralions. According to Stein, McCants' scoring ability has kept him on the radar of NBA teams, though the former UNC standout hasn't appeared in an NBA game since the 2008/09 season. The Pacers were one club that displayed some interest in McCants before he landed his deal in China, tweets Stein.

Arenas, Diogu, and McCants will all be eligible to return stateside and catch on with an NBA team before the playoffs begin, since the CBA regular season ends in February.

Free Agents Ineligible To Sign With Specific Teams

Among the myriad rules in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement is a stipulation that says teams that trade players can't claim those players off waivers or re-sign them until the earlier of the following two dates:

  • One year after the trade was completed.
  • July 1st after the player's contract ends.

In some cases, this rule is simple to apply to practical cases. For instance, the Nets traded Mehmet Okur's expiring contract to Portland last March at the trade deadline, and the Blazers waived Okur shortly thereafter. Because Okur's deal was set to expire at season's end, he was ineligible to re-sign with the Nets during last season, but regained that ability as of July 1st, when his contract expired.

Other cases are trickier, however. For example, Derek Fisher was traded to the Rockets by the Lakers last March 15th, and was bought out by the Rockets shortly thereafter. Fisher had a player option on his contract for 2012/13, which raises the question: When exactly is his contract considered to be "over"? In his CBA FAQ, salary cap expert Larry Coon provides an answer:

  • For contracts with options or ETOs, the end date of the contract is interpreted as the June 30th before an option year, and the June 30th after an ETO year.

Fisher's option wasn't an ETO, so the June 30th before his option year should be considered the "end" of his contract, making him eligible to sign with the Lakers beginning in July, right? Well, not quite.

As confirmed by Coon, Fisher's player option for 2012/13 actually was exercised when he worked out his buyout with the Rockets, allowing the team to split his buyout amount in half between the 2011/12 and '12/13 seasons. That means Fisher is still on the Rockets' books for this season, and his contract isn't considered to be over until next June 30th. As such, the earliest date he can re-sign with the Lakers is March 15th, 2013, a year after the trade.

Since players acquired in trades generally aren't waived immediately, this situation doesn't arise all that often. And many of the players who found themselves in such a position have since signed with other teams — for instance, Josh Harrellson was ineligible to rejoin the Knicks after being waived by the Rockets, but ended up signing with the Heat.

By my count, the eight players listed below, plus Fisher, comprise the group of NBA free agents who are currently ineligible to sign with a specific team, but feel free to contact us if there are any I've missed.

Note: Players who were waived via the amnesty clause are also ineligible to re-sign with their old teams until the amnestied contract expires.

Odds & Ends: T-Wolves, Yi, Arroyo, Rockets

Let's round up a few of today's odds and ends from around the Association….

  • The Timberwolves ultimately signed Louis Amundson to a minimum-salary deal to bolster their frontcourt, but were also seriously considering Sean Williams and were close to signing Yi Jianlian, tweets Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Yi ended up signing in China, where he presumably received a larger guarantee.
  • Two and a half months after urging management to make roster upgrades, Kevin Love says he's happy about the changes and is optimistic about the Timberwolves' playoff chances, according to an AP report (via NBA.com).
  • According to a Primera Hora report (Spanish link), longtime NBA point guard Carlos Arroyo is still debating whether to join an NBA team's training camp or play in Turkey.
  • The Rockets announced a series of coaching and basketball operations hirings and promotions today, including a pair of assistant coaches.
  • There has been so much turnover in New Orleans in recent years that Jason Smith, who joined the team almost exactly two years ago, is now the longest-tenured Hornet. Smith spoke to Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com about the club's offseason acquisitions and his expectations for the coming year.

Odds & Ends: Heat, T-Wolves, Hudson, Grizzlies

After weeks of consideration, the Heat appeared to conclude their hunt for a big man yesterday, inking Josh Harrellson to a non-guaranteed deal. Another team that has long been eyeing free agent bigs, the Timberwolves, continued their search today. According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 (via Twitter), Wolves GM David Kahn is still talking to agents, with Hassan Whiteside, Sean Williams, and others believed to be in the mix. That's one of a handful of today's odds and ends that we've yet to cover, so let's round up the rest….

  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel fielded questions in his mailbag about how the signing of Harrellson would affect the Heat's roster and rotation.
  • Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio follows up his tweet on Lester Hudson from earlier today with a full story on Hudson's agency letting him go when he failed to attend a workout with the Bobcats. "The Bobcats ended up eating a ticket for $750," said agent Tyler Glass. "I worked so hard to get him a workout, and he didn’t show. The Bobcats were annoyed and they should have been. They’re a professional organization. You don’t skip out on workouts…. He really can play in the league. But what happened with the Bobcats… Word gets around."
  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld makes his picks for the offseason's most underrated acquisitions.
  • The sale of the Grizzlies to Robert Pera continued to move in the right direction today, as Memphis City Council approved transfer of the city's agreement with ownership. Amos Maki of the Memphis Commercial Appeal has the details.
  • With Dwight Howard no longer a distraction, the Magic are excited about their new direction, writes John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.

Odds & Ends: Fegan, Childress, Anthony, Gee

Prominent NBA agent Dan Fegan has confirmed that he's no longer with Lagardère Unlimited, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal (via Twitter). Fegan, who had been serving as the president of basketball at the agency, represents a number of NBA players, including big names like Dwight Howard and Nene. It will be interesting to see how many of those clients he takes with him.

Here are a few more Monday odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Josh Childress will meet with Nets GM Billy King and coach Avery Johnson and work out for the team on Tuesday, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. We heard last week that Childress and Dominic McGuire would work out for the Nets, but McGuire has since reached an agreement with the Raptors.
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel thinks the Heat could be angling to find a way to move Joel Anthony's contract. Anthony has three years remaining on his deal (including a third-year player option) for about $3.8MM annually.
  • Sean Williams remains on the Timberwolves' radar, tweets Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Wolfson had reported late last month that the T-Wolves were eyeing the big man.
  • Alonzo Gee's new deal with the Cavaliers, which was finally completed earlier today, was held up because Gee switched agents during the negotiations, says Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Sulia link). The Cavs wing is now represented by Happy Walters.
  • After the Kings, Cavaliers, Wizards, Bobcats, and Hornets drafted in the top five in June, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines whether any of last year's NBA bottom-dwellers are ready to contend for the postseason in 2012/13.

Odds & Ends: Warriors, Jazz, Rockets, Iverson

We've seen a sharp rise in the size of overseas contracts in recent years, and it seems that the Chinese Basketball Association has had about enough.  Several CBA clubs are calling for an NBA-style salary cap to be instituted post-haste as the season gets underway in two months, writes Alastair Himmer of Reuters.  The league has had a salary cap in years past, but with no luxury tax system in place, there was no real way to enforce it.  Last year, Kenyon Martin signed a $2.7MM deal with the Xinjian Flying Tigers before leaving midway through the season.  Here's tonight's look around the Association..

  • Warriors coach Mark Jackson has promoted Darren Erman to the No. 3 assistant coach after the departure of Wes Unseld Jr., sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  Unseld Jr. recently left Golden State to join Jacque Vaughn's staff in Orlando.
  • The Jazz are still working to complete a buyout agreement with Raja Bell and sign second-round pick Kevin Murphy, but Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter) would be surprised if both situations aren't resolved before camp starts.
  • The Jazz announced that Michael Sanders has been promoted to an assistant coach on Tyrone Corbin’s staff.  Utah also agreed in principle with D-League coach and former Jazz scout Brad Jones to take over Sanders’ previous position as assistant coach in charge of player development.
  • The Rockets have elevated Gersson Rosas to executive vice president of basketball operations, according to Mark Berman of FOX Houston.  Rosas, who previously served as the club's vice president player personnel, was a finalist to become the next assistant GM of the Spurs.
  • Former MVP Allen Iverson is reportedly thinking about playing if China if he cannot land an NBA deal, but Neil Hartman of CSNPhilly.com would like to see him call it a career.  Iverson last appeared in an NBA game in February 2010 and turned down offers in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic last season.
  • Robert Pera, the prospective new owner of the Grizzlies, is recruiting singer/actor Justin Timberlake to be a minority owner of his club, sources have told Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  One source added that Timberlake is making "a meaningful investment into the team" and "plans to be active" with the club.  A recent piece by Will Leitch of New York Magazine revealed that rapper Jay-Z owns just a fraction of one percent of the Nets.
  • Kevin Willis celebrated his 50th birthday today and the former NBA center told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) that he could still play 15-20 minutes a night and would return if a team was serious.  Willis would easily eclipse Kurt Thomas and Grant Hill (both turn 40 in October) as the NBA's oldest player.  With that said, it's extremely difficult to imagine a comeback for Willis at this stage.
  • In an interview with HoopsWorld, free agent Sean Williams said that he isn't sure where his next NBA opportunity might come from and hasn't spoken with his agent recently.  Late last week it was reported that the Knicks are considering the former first-round pick.
  • Former University of Florida standout Taurean Green has signed with Italian team Sigma Barcellona, according to a report from Amnotizie.it passed along by Sportando.  Green averaged 9.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 3.9 APG for Turkish team Tofas Bursa last season.
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