Tag: Summer League


Adam Morrison is back, will play for Nets in Summer League


If you are a guy with some skills willing to play for the veterans’ minimum, the New Jersey Nets might be the team to hook up with — whatever happens with Dwight Howard they are loaded with big contracts and need some affordable talent.

Enter Adam Morrison.

The former No. 3 overall pick of the Bobcats, last season showing some confidence and playing well in Serbia, will play for the Nets in Summer League, reports Yahoo’s Marc Spears on twitter.

The Nets are looking for a few guys who can contribute while not costing much. There was a time when Adam Morrison could flat out shoot the rock. We’ll see for ourselves if things are different, but it’s a good Summer League look for the Nets. For Morrison, even if he doesn’t land the long shot and get back in the NBA, the real business of Summer League is guys getting good deals in Europe and he can try to do that.

Two-week NBA pro league plans September run in Vegas

summer league

The NBA players are learning that the marketing machine that is the NBA is not so easy to replace.

While there has been Grassroots buzz about all the pro-am events this summer, that has not seeped into the national sports consciousness. Not in a meaningful way. (There are people criticizing the lack of marketing around the Goodman vs. Drew showdown last weekend, and there could have been a bigger profile, but that sort of misses the point of the Goodman League. That should have been a grassroots event for the people, and it was.)

Now Impact Basketball — one of the biggest off-season workout and training facilities in the nation — is trying to organize a two-week run in Las Vegas for pros, reports Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld.

Joe Abunassar, the founder and head trainer of Impact Basketball, confirmed that the league will kick off in mid-September, likely during the week following Labor Day. Two games will be played each day and the league is expected to last at least two weeks long. There is a possibility that the games will be streamed online.

“It will start in September, with two games a day,” Jared Dudley told HOOPSWORLD. “There will be a blend of all-stars, veterans and rookies. We’ll play by NBA rules – have a 24-second shot clock and everything. You heard of the Drew League and Goodman League, but the difference with this league is that it’s not a pro-am. There will just be NBA pros. It really gets guys ready for the NBA season. I’m excited every summer because at Impact, you only can get better. Now, the games are there to put what you learn into action on the court.”

No doubt Impact has the player connections — John Wall, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans and a ton of other NBA players have worked out at Impact.

But can Impact get those players to come to Vegas and play for a couple weeks? The bigger question for players trying to gain leverage in negotiations with owners — if we are just hearing about this a couple weeks before it starts (and without a lot of details), can you get people to attend? Can you really market it? Would it even match the buzz of NBA Summer League? If the games “may” be streamed online I have doubts about that end of it.

And if they start this Vegas run right as the NFL and college football start up, will anyone notice or care?

Winderman: K-State’s Pullen shows how this NBA summer is different

Jacob Pullen

Yes, we can gasp all we want about reports that link Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant or Dwyane Wade to European destinations. The NBA rumor cycle, even amid a lockout, must, after all, be fed 24-7-365.

But whether any of that happens certainly will be more of a September or October story, if it is a story at all.

No, what July is about, what it always has been about, lockout or no lockout, are the players who fill out rosters, those at the end of the bench.

And that makes this week’s biggest story this:

Jacob Pullen has signed to play for Series A Pallacanestro Biella of the Italian League, in a city of about 50,000 in the foothills of the Alps.

Granted, Pullen went undrafted in June coming out of Kansas State. But we are talking about Kansas State’s all-time leading scorer, a player with the fourth-highest point total in Big 12 history, someone who helped guide the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons, the final three played in the absence of former running partner Michael Beasley.

The official NBA Draft guide when as far as to note, “Excellent perimeter scorer capable of creating his own shot. Gets to the free-throw line well. Good at running pick-and-rolls. Tough and energetic defender.”

Prior to the draft, Pullen auditioned for the Kings, Nuggets, Suns, Bobcats, Heat, Timberwolves, among other teams. This is not a case of a player deemed unworthy of an NBA tryout.

During a typical offseason, he would have graced the roster of one team during the Orlando Pro Summer League and another during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Both of those events, of course, were canceled.

Because of that, there was no one there to offer the type of small guarantee that often keeps such a known quantity stateside for training camp, where increased exposure can be gained during the preseason.

It is the type of partial guarantee that John Lucas III received last summer from the Bulls, Marquis Blakely received from the Clippers, Kenny Hasbrouck received from the Heat, Patrick Ewing Jr. received from the Knicks, Tweety Carter received from the Thunder, figures that generally range from $50,000 to $150,000.

The NBA will be just fine without Jacob Pullen.

But just about every year a Jacob Pullen becomes some team’s, well, Gary Neal, someone who makes the most of an opportunity because the opportunity is there in the first place.

Yes, Deron Williams is planning a Turkish retreat, but his NBA future is secure. The Nets know when the lockout is over they will have an All-Star point guard in place.

But when a team is looking for a backup point guard during camp or for an injury replacement at midseason, there might not be as many options in 2011-12, with the Jacob Pullens of the world locking themselves into Euros at a time when the dollars simply aren’t there.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

KFC offers Dwyane Wade another job during lockout

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's 24th Annual Sports Spectacular

NBA players make a lot of money, but they spend a lot of money. Just ask Patrick Ewing.

Dwyane Wade, like the rest of us, could use a few extra bucks in his pocket. Right after the lockout started he even tweeted “Any1 hiring?” Which is not really funny with the recession hurting most people badly, but we’ll let it slide for today.

Because Wade got a job offer — his former employer KFC wants him back (via TMZ).

We’ve always been proud to call you a former KFC employee and, it goes without saying we’d love to have you back on our team dishing out the World’s Best Chicken, like you dish out assists on the court.

Our offer: Come serve as an honorary captain at a local KFC drive-thru window. And, while we can’t match your most recent salary, we’ll honor your KFC service by making a donation in your name to Colonel’s Scholars, a charity providing young people with much needed college scholarships, if you accept. How’s that for a slam dunk?

It this a naked publicity stunt? Damn straight it is. But since the NBA decided to cancel Summer League — which would be going on in Las Vegas this week giving us lots of players to break down, deals to report and rumors to pass along — this is what we are stuck with. You get the Colonel and your rumors extra crispy.

If this doesn’t work out for Wade, I bet Kris Humphries would hire him at the Five Guys he owns.

Pitt’s Gilbert Brown signs in Europe as insurance

Connecticut v Pittsburgh

Gilbert Brown was one of those undrafted guys who stands a chance of making an NBA roster. The Pitt senior plays on the wing and is a good athlete who plays a smart all-around game. He may not be explosive, but he does all the little things well.

He’s a guy who needed Summer League and a long training camp to prove to a team he could make it. The Boston Cetics worked him out before the lockout and may have been that team.

But for now, he’s signed with the German team S. Oliver Wurzburg as an insurance policy — there’s a clause in his contract that lets him leave Europe when the lockout ends, he told the Pittsburgh Tribune.

“If the lockout ends early, I probably won’t even go,” he said. “It’s basically an insurance policy so I’m not waiting around for the lockout to end.”

Expect to see a lot of borderline NBA guys sign similar deals. It makes a lot more sense — getting to work on their games and getting paid to do it — rather than sitting around playing a lot of Halo 3 here waiting for the phone to ring. But he still gets his crack at the NBA.