Two former Arizona guards — Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas — who helped lead the Wildcats into national title games in 1997 and 2001, respectively, were not on NBA rosters as the season started tonight.
Arenas appeared headed to China to play professionally, but Yahoo! Sports reported earlier tonight that his deal with a team there is falling apart.
Arenas and Guangdong of the Chinese Basketball Association reached a verbal agreement but are now at an impasse over completing a signed contract. The conflict could keep Arenas from joining Guangdong for the upcoming CBA season, sources told Yahoo.
Arenas, 30, was a three-time NBA All-Star from 2005-07 with the Washington Wizards, but knee surgery and a locker-room gun incident started a decline that led him to Orlando, Memphis and out of the NBA.
Bibby, 34, played 14 years in the NBA, posting career averages of 14.7 points and 5.5 assists per game. He played the last three seasons with Atlanta, Miami and New York. No teams showed interested of signing him this summer. According to reports, he remains hopeful of signing as a free agent this season.
Arenas leads all former UA players with an NBA scoring average of 20.6 points in 10 seasons. In career-assist average, Arenas’ 5.3 mark trails only Damon Stoudamire (6.1) and Bibby.
Money Mike to Detroit. Jacksonville traded former UA receiver Mike Thomas, who was used sparingly by the Jaguars, to Detroit for a conditional draft pick in April. Thomas became the Jaguars’ third choice at receiver and he was recently stripped of his role as punt returner. Thomas has just 13 receptions for 80 yards this season.
He signed a three-year extension worth $18 million last October. The deal included $9 million guaranteed.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2009, Thomas has 171 catches for 1,768 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons.
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner