Kings to sign Chris Johnson
March 26th, 2014
Tomorrow, the Sacramento Kings will sign former LSU Celtics, Blazers, Hornets and Timberwolves big man Chris Johnson. It is not known at this time whether it will be for the remainder of the season, multiple seasons, or a 10 day deal. Johnson has spent this season in China, averaging 20.0 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 29 games for Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. The 28 year old is known for his length, athleticism and shotblocking. With a roster spot already open after the waiving of Jimmer Fredette, and with Orlando Johnson’s 10 day contract having expired, Sacramento has only 14 players under contract and will not need to make a move to accommodate Johnson. EDIT, THE FOLLOWING DAY – Johnson’s signing was cancelled the following day for unknown reasons. The Kings signed Willie Reed instead.
Mavericks to sign Gal Mekel to three year guaranteed deal
July 1st, 2013
It was actually three, but close enough. Looking to reinvent their point guard rotation, the Dallas Mavericks have looked to the overseas market, and will sign Israeli national team point guard Gal Mekel. Mekel has been named in NBA circles in recent times, as he has participated in a series of workouts and free agent camps for teams around the league, hoping to catch on. Recently, this culminated into accepting an offer to join the Milwaukee Bucks’ summer league team. Yet in signing a three year, fully guaranteed deal, Mekel has done much more than merely catch on. Mekel played for Wichita State between 2006 and 2008, establishing himself as a solid but unspectacular point guard who shot too much and had absolutely no NBA prospects. However, after leaving college after his sophomore season and returning to his native Israel, Mekel (who also has a Polish passport) has improved markedly and emerged as one of the best floor generals on the continent. In winning last year’s Israel Premier League MVP award, the 6’3 Mekel recorded per game averages of 13.3 points and 5.4 assists (good for second in the league), including a 21 point 7 assist 3 steal outing in the deciding championship game. Mekel commands games with passing vision, ball handling, high basketball IQ, genuine leadership skills and a deadly pick-and-roll game, and, while he’s not fast and lacks a good outside jumpshot, he nonetheless brings a wealth of transferrable skills to the NBA. Last year, Mekel impressed the Utah Jazz so much that they extended him a training camp offer, one he was only prevented from taking due to visa problems. This year, he’s done a lot better than that. Mekel’s three year guaranteed minimum salary contract will pay him $490,180, $816,482 and $947,276 over the next three […]