The final stages of NBA free agency are never pretty. As teams slowly fill their roster spots during the summer, the fringe role players without deals are sent a subtle message that the next step in their NBA journey may come without long-term guarantees or even a spot in the rotation. Adam Morrison, Cartier Martin, Trevor Mbakwe, Ronnie Price, Charles Jenkins and others recently made the difficult decision to leave the NBA. Some players are still waiting to decide what should happen next. Here's the latest NBA free agency news.
Adam Morrison leaving NBA to join Gonzaga coaching staff
At age 29, after battling injuries to play four disappointing years in the NBA, former No. 3 overall pick Adam Morrison has decided to enroll in classes at Gonzaga and become a student assistant for the Bulldogs, according to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few confirmed the news in the piece. Morrison made an estimated $16.9 million during his NBA career, and he was a member of two championship teams -- the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers.
Bucks waive Gustavo Ayon; several contenders in position to claim him
The Milwaukee Bucks opted to waive 28-year-old big man Gustavo Ayon one day before his $1.5 million salary was set to become guaranteed for the 2013-14 NBA season. Kevin Pelton of ESPN noted that the Celtics, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder all have the ability to claim Ayon using either cap space or trade exceptions. But Pelton also said that if a claim were to occur, the 76ers, Jazz, Warriors, Clippers and Hawks would be the most likely to land Ayon, based on waiver priority.
Milwaukee now effectively has $9.7 million in cap space to play with, and it's natural to wonder if they executed the move to free themselves up for a run at Gerald Henderson, Danny Granger, Luol Deng or some other wing player. Carlos Delfino and rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only viable small forwards on the roster at this point.
Corey Maggette considered retiring to pursue a front office job
Veteran forward Corey Maggette has toiled away on sub-par teams for years, but he has made nearly $100 million in the process. Maggette recently took part in the NBPA's Leadership Development Program, which helps to train players to make a transition to executive roles, and he briefly considered retiring to pursue a job in an NBA front office, according to Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD. The report states that Maggette is now looking to play for at least one more year, preferably with a contender, before going after a front office job next offseason.
Magic officially sign Ronnie Price
"We're excited to welcome Ronnie (Price) and his family to the Magic organization," said Hennigan. "We believe Ronnie's toughness and competitive spirit, along with the varied experiences he's gained throughout his career, will impact the development of our team in a positive way."
Forgotten role players head to Europe
Trevor Mbakwe has agreed to sign a deal with Virtus Roma in Italy and Charles Jenkins has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Red Star of Belgrade, according to reports from Sportando. Meanwhile, former Wizards wingman Cartier Martin is close to a two-year deal with Olympiacos, according to Eurohoops.net. Finally, Christian Eyenga and Craig Brackins have both signed with Stelmet Zielona Gora in the Euroleague, according to Alex Kennedy.