Former Clipper and German national team member Jagla has spent the season with Prokom Sopot Gdynia in Poland. Gdynia are the best team in Poland and are also a EuroLeague team, which is why they have imports such as Jagla, Lorinza Harrington, Qyntel Woods and Daniel Ewing. They also used to have Pape Sow, but he left the team in February to sign in Spain. It was reported that Jagla had left the team with him, but that report was erroneous, for Jagla has spent the whole year there. He averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the EuroLeague, alongside an almost-identical 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the Polish league.
Marquette product James didn’t get drafted last summer, partly because his numbers went backwards throughout his four-year career, and partly because he broke his foot down the stretch of his senior season. He did however land a training camp contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, but it didn’t last long; aware of his unlikelihood of making the Bucks roster, James asked for his release so that he could sign a contract with a Turkish team. That Turkish team is Mersin, and James has averaged 14.7 points and 4.3 assists with them this year. James has shot 31% from three and 62% from the foul line this season, numbers improved on last year’s career-ows of 28%/46%, but numbers still unbecoming of a point guard.
James was traded to the Wizards last season as an ever-so-slightly cheaper alternative to Antonio Daniels. He played in 53 games for the Wizards after the trade, starting 50 of them, and playing 1,575 minutes. It feels weird to say that Mike James played 1,649 minutes in an NBA season as recently as last year, considering how this year has transpired, but so it is.
This year, James spent most of the year on the inactive list, playing in only four games and 46 minutes. He shot 30% and sported a 1:1 turnover ratio, and was eventually bought out for his contract for a small $150,000 saving. It was reported that he might be an option for the Miami Heat, but that was more of an idea than it was news. James remains unsigned and now spends a lot of time talking about the Bible on Twitter.
Jaric was another player to have been bought out midseason. His contract was the price Memphis paid for swapping Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo, a trade which they did OK in but probably didn’t win. Unable to get a trade done for Jaric and his two years of remaining guaranteed salary, Memphis bought him out for a small saving, and Jaric went to Spain around Christmas time. Jaric is not the primary ball-handler at Real – that honour goes to Pablo Prigioni – but he’s able to play the point forward role that has always suited him best. In ACB play, Jaric is averaging 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, dropping to 7.7/4.0/1.6 in the EuroLeague.
Jasikevicius is another former buyoutee, backing up another former buyoutee (Vassilis Spanoulis) who is now with Panathinaikos in Greece. He has played little this year, missing much of the first half due to injury and then having to wait his turn in Panathinaikos’ very deep rotation. He has played a combined 269 minutes all year, and is averaging 8.8 points and 2.6 assists per game in Greek league play. Saras also averaged 5.2 points and 2.5 assists in Pana’s EuroLeague campaign, but that’s ended now.
Javtokas was with Dynamo Moscow last year, a team that reached the quarter finals of the EuroCup. He left the team in the summer as Dynamo released all of their foreign players once they ran out of money, and he moved to Khimki, the Russian team based just outside of Moscow that lost to Lietuvos Rytas in last year’s EuroCup final. Because of that (somewhat) success, Khimki are a EuroLeague team this season, although they got knocked out in the last 16 a couple of weeks ago. Javtokas averaged 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25 minutes per game in the EuroLeague, alongside 9.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in the Russian league, and 7.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in the VTB United League.
Fresno State product Chris Jefferies really didn’t have much of a career. He was drafted by the Raptors in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft, did not play much to begin the year, before getting a lot of minutes (and ten starts) to close Toronto’s disjointed, Nate Huffman-riddled season. And when he got those minutes, he struggled mightily, scoring 197 points on 194 shots and having a 1:2 assist to turnover ratio. He played only eight more minutes for the Raptors the following season before being traded to the Bulls, for whom he shot 8-27 from two-point range in 19 games.
In that time, however, he managed to win my lifelong fandom. There’s something about 6’8 defensive-minded jump shooters with no NBA dribbling skills whatsoever, and whom look permanently a bit stoned, that just gets me right there. I roll with Chris Jefferies.
Upon being bought out by the Bulls after only two years in the NBA (meaning four buyoutees in this one post; I made that word up by the way), Jefferies joined the Visalia Dawgs, an ABA team located damn near to his home town of Fresno. They survived all of one season, and Jefferies survived all of about two games. This was in October 2004; he has not played since. Jefferies was injured around about this time – forgot what it was; seem to remember it may have been a torn Achilles – an injury from which he was still rehabbing 18 months later, yet it has now been nearly five and a half years since he last played. If he was willing and/or able to keep playing, he surely would have done so by now. Be it because of injuries or whatever, Chris Jefferies has not been playing, and doesn’t look like he’s ever going to again.
As for what he does do, Jefferies is now the Vice President of a Las Vegas-based concierge service called Allen Professional Services. Do you want his phone number and email address? Of course you do. And for good measure, here’s his Twitter.
Jefferson was waived by the Bobcats in training camp after they signed Ronald Murray for guard depth. He returned to the D-League to spend another season with the Utah Flash, averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 assists in 34 games as a constant figure in the team’s myriad of guards this season. However, Jefferson’s season ended prematurely late last month when he suffered a knee injury.
Former Pistons guard Horace Jenkins has not played in a year, after leaving Italian team Eldo Caserta last February. He had averaged 9.5 points per game for the team, which, at age 34, was not bad going. It’s especially strong considering that Jenkins didn’t start college ball until he was 24, didn’t leave until he was 27, and played only at Division III school William Paterson. In his first professional, Jenkins averaged 30.9 ppg in Italy’s LegaDue, which was the stepping stone to his good Serie A career that followed and his one year with the Pistons. Jenkins made his NBA debut in the 2004-05 season at the age of 30, and, in doing so, became one of only nine players all-time to have played in both NCAA Division III and the NBA. (Devean George is another notable one.)
It makes you wonder what he might have achieved in basketball had he not had those four gap years between 1994-98 to look after his family.
Baylor graduate Jerrells did not get drafted, yet was able to secure a $75,000 guaranteed contract from the San Antonio Spurs to attend their training camp. It had initially been announced that Jerrells had signed with the Pistons, but San Antonio’s improved amount of guaranteed money won them the day. Despite the money, Jerrells never really had much of a chance of making the Spurs roster, which therefore meant that they spent $150,000 (after tax) on a player that they knew wouldn’t play for them. The reason for this is obvious; it is not in any way coincidental that Jerrells later signed with the D-League and was immediately assigned to the Spurs affiliate (which they own), the Austin Toros. Essentially, they kept him in house and expanded their roster. They technically had no claim to him, but they had him where they wanted him, and where they had the inside track on his progress and abilities. And that’s surely the aim of signing anyone. It’s not illicit; it’s shrewd.
However, when the Spurs needed some ten-day contract guard help midseason, they instead opted to sign Cedric Jackson and Garrett Temple, not Jerrells. This was a genuine eye-opener. All that manipulation of the system to get the player where you wanted for when you wanted, and then you didn’t want him.
On the season, Jerrells is averaging 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, shooting 48% from the field and 35% from three-point range. He totalled 98 points and 19 assists in his last three games, leading to player of the week honours.
Jeter started the year with Unicaja Malaga, but was signed on only a short-term basis. When that contract expired, Malaga did not renew it (replacing him with Shammond Williams), and Jeter moved to Israel to join Hapoel Jerusalem. Jeter comes off the bench there, but still plays the majority of the game, averaging 12.5 points and 2.5 assists in 25 minutes per game in the EuroCup and 18.1/8.2/1.7 in the Israeli league.