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James Southerland reportedly signs curious one-year contract with Trail Blazers

James Southerland

James Southerland


James Southerland, after going undrafted out of Syracuse, played for the Bobcats and Pelicans last season.

In his 30 total minutes, I’m not sure he accomplished anything other than confusing everyone about his teams’ nicknames, especially now that the Bobcats are now the Hornets and took the Charlotte history of the Pelicans.

That, and he got an NBA salary.

NBA salaries are great if you can get ‘em, and for a player like Southerland who could fall out of the league at any time, you don’t pass one up.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

I don’t understand, if these terms are accurately reported, why Southerland signed this contract. Sure, he can say he had an NBA contract, but the odds of him actually playing in the NBA next season seem lower as a result of this deal.

Essentially, the Trail Blazers can waive Southerland at any time before the season at no cost. Southerland, on the other hand, can’t leave if he finds another team – in the NBA or a lower league – willing to make a better offer. It’s a one-way deal.

Plus, Portland already has 15 players with guaranteed contracts. The odds of Southerland making the team over one of them are obviously low.

And while he’s tied down, other teams are still filling their rosters. It’s only Aug. 8. Training camps don’t begin for several more weeks. Was it really necessary to sign already?

Maybe the Trail Blazers convinced Southerland another move was coming that would create a roster space he could earn – which, if so, interesting. Otherwise, I don’t get it.