Eurohoops, the official Euroleague fan blog, reports that CSKA Moscow, which essentially ‘loaned’ Mike James to the Nets in April, appear ready to let him go and stay in the NBA. James is under contract with CSKA until 2023.
Eurohoops’ Aris Barkas reported this weekend …
the Nets“The deal was a godsend for all parties involved. James gets the chance to show off his talent as an elite member of the NBA who needs some guards. And CSKA, on the other hand, are ready to let James continue his NBA career – and not end up signing with a European rival – while negotiating with him next summer for his release and saving a game, if not. all of the money for the remainder of his contract, which includes $ 5 million in salaries until the summer of 2023.
Likewise, Chema de Lucas, the Spanish hoop writer who broke the news of the Nets’ interest in James, tweeted on Monday that “Mike James will try to stay in the NBA.”
Making James’ stay in the United States more likely is the news that CKSA extended head coach Dimitrios Itoudis until 2023. Itoudis was the one who suspended James indefinitely in March. This ultimately led to James’ decision to attempt an NBA return and sign with the Nets. In fact, Itoudis continued to criticize James, implying that he had forced himself out of the Euroleague’s eternal power.
Normally, signing a Euroleague star like James would force an NBA team to pay off their former club. James was the third highest paid player in Europe before being suspended. Arkis, however, suggested the Russian team might be content to save a large chunk of James’ contract.
In practice, Mike James is currently “loaned” to the Nets by CSKA Moscow. There is no buyout and it can be assumed that CSKA have already saved money on Mike James’ salaries in the final months of the 2020-2021 season.
If necessary, NBA teams can help European free agents with buyouts but cannot pay an international team more than $ 800,000. (Mirza Teletovic paid his Spanish League side over $ 2 million to sign with the Nets.)
So what about the Nets? Would they be interested in keeping it? James played well for Brooklyn and won praise from Steve Nash. On Sunday, he scored 14 points and distributed eight assists (not counting the rebound pass from the backboard that Kevin Durant slammed through the hoop finishing the Game of the year.).
Additionally, Kevin Durant, who knew James through his brother before he was signed, said on Sunday: “Mike and I (James) have been hanging out every day since he arrived.”
According to Bobby Marks, the Nets can make James a restricted free agent before the end of July. That would mean the Nets could sign him outside the salary cap and match any offers he might receive from other teams … assuming they have to pay him more than the vets minimum.