Former NBA veteran Tyreke Evans and current free agent Terrence Ross are the latest players who have received offers to continue their careers overseas. According to Tomer Givati of the newspaper “Israel Hayom,” Evans is mulling an offer from a European club, while Ross recently confirmed an offer from a Serbian team.
Former 4th overall pick and NBA Rookie of the Year – Tyreke Evans, Considering the possibility of moving to play in Europe for the first time in his career, I’m told @IsraelHayomHeb
— Tomer Givati (@givati_tomer) August 21, 2023
NBA Rumors: Tyreke Evans, Terrence Ross Mulling Overseas Offers
Tyreke Evans was drafted fourth overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2009. He averaged an astounding 20.1 points per game on 46% shooting from the field, along with 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists, to be named the 2010 Rookie of the Year. Though his scoring gradually decreased, he played a key role for the Kings in the four years he spent there. Evans was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013, before another trade sent him back to Sacramento in 2016. He also made free agent stops with the Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers. Evans played well for Indiana in the 2019 playoffs. He averaged 15.3 points on 43% shooting from the field and 55% from three.
In May 2019, Evans was dismissed by the NBA after violating the league’s Anti-Drug Program. He was reinstated in 2022 and played for the Milwaukee Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. However, he has been unable to return to the NBA, likely prompting this recent offer from Europe.
The veteran sharpshooter Ross confirmed via Twitch that he received an offer from Serbian team KK Partizan. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward most recently played for the Phoenix Suns, averaging nine points on 43/34/85 splits. Though Ross remains a free agent—one of several notable wings left on the market—there’s a chance that another NBA team will be requesting his talents soon.
NBA to Overseas: Signings
From veterans who get overseas deals, it’s time to examine the ones who signed on the dotted line.
30-year-old center Frank Kaminsky agreed to a one-year deal with Partizan, according to Eurohoops.net. Kaminsky spent eight years in the NBA, playing mainly for the Charlotte Hornets and Suns before brief stops with the Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets. Throughout his career, he averaged 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
On Sunday, 6-foot-10 big man Ed Davis put pen to paper on a contract with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Davis recently played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2021-22 season. Drafted 13th overall from UNC in 2010, he played 12 years in the NBA across eight different franchises. Davis averaged 5.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 56% from the field.
Finally, 26-year-old guard Grant Riller, who last played for the Hornets, inked a deal with the Beijing Fighters of the CBA. Riller, the 56th pick in 2021, only appeared in seven games.
In 2021, Riller dealt with numerous injuries while on a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. He suffered a torn meniscus in October and underwent shoulder surgery in December. Riller never suited up for the Sixers, who waived him in December.
He spent two seasons in the G League (2020-21 and 2022-23) and averaged 18.8 points and 3.7 assists per game on 51/38/81 splits. Riller’s contract with Beijing includes an “NBA-out clause,” which would allow him to leave the CBA if he receives an offer from an NBA franchise.
More NBA Players are Going Abroad
In the last few years, it appears more notable names are making the jump from the NBA to overseas clubs. One of the most prominent examples is Dwight Howard, who has burst onto the Taiwanese basketball scene after a star-studded 18-year NBA career.
Howard explained his decision in an interview on the “My Expert Opinion Show”, hosted by MC and rapper Math Hoffa.
“I was like, ‘Man, I want to try something different,’” Howard said. “I’ve always wanted to play in a different country, but being in the NBA, it’s not possible. There’s nothing else I have to prove in the NBA. So why not go somewhere else and meet some fans that would never see me play basketball in person unless they’re in the States?”
“It was the best decision I made,” he continued. “It rejuvenated me. You’ve got 25 million people on this small island that support me no matter what…I’m glad I got a chance to go.”
Possibility of NBA Return
As mentioned earlier, Ed Davis likely signed with an international squad as an opportunity to continue his professional career after his years of service in the league. Fellow veterans Evans and Ross have that same opportunity. They’d be following not only Davis’s lead but also Kemba Walker’s, who signed with AS Monaco earlier this summer.
In a recent interview with Eurohoops.net, Walker expressed his desire about promoting the Euroleague to a wider audience.
“I hope I can help increase the notoriety of the EuroLeague. To increase the style of play and just built it up more…It’s a big step. Something different. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity. I just want to play basketball“
For younger ex-NBA players like Riller, this gives them a new opportunity. An opportunity to keep playing professional basketball with an opportunity to come back to the NBA if they desire. It’s a solid move for someone who is still willing to wait on an NBA offer—even if their journey takes them across the globe in the meantime.
The Last Word
The recent trend of NBA-to-overseas transactions is a surprising one. These players—whether offered the chance or taken it up—show that many athletes’ NBA dreams can have a bit of international flair.