Jumpers

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Jumpers

Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:51 am

Here's a list I have of players (and some referees) who jumped leagues (i didn't include players who were waived by one league and signed with another as a free agent). Any additions? -


ABA/NBA LEAGUE JUMPERS
►Did not jump leagues

Date Player Notes
15Apr67 ►LeRoy Ellis BLT to NJA Remained with BLT
18Apr67 ►Jim Barnes LAL to DLC LAL filed suit, returned to LAL
25Apr67 ►Erwin Mueller CHI to NJA Remained with CHI
16May67 Wayne Hightower DET to DEN
18May67 ►Lou Hudson STL to MNM STL filed suit, returned to STL
22May67 ►Clyde Lee SFW to NOB Remained with SFW
23May67 ►Bob Love CIN to NOB Remained with CIN
9Jun67 ►Joe Strawder DET to PTC Remained with DET
11Jun67 Chico Vaughn SDR to PTC
19Jun67 Rick Barry SFW to OAK Sat out option year
20Jun69 Connie Hawkins PTC to PHO Signed after suit against NBA
29Aug69 Rick Barry WSH to SFW Forced to fulfill WSH contract
10Sep69 ►Luke Jackson PHI to CAR Returned to PHI
10Sep69 Norm Drucker NBA to ABA Game Official
10Sep69 Joe Gushue NBA to ABA Game Official
10Sep69 Earl Strom NBA to ABA Game Official
10Sep69 John Vanack NBA to ABA Game Official
5Sep69 Billy Cunningham PHI to CAR
7Oct69 Zelmo Beaty ATL to LAS Sat out option year
8Sep70 Ray Scott BUF to VIR
30Oct70 Joe Caldwell ATL to CAR
30Dec70 Spencer Haywood DEN to SEA Ended NBA 4-year rule
8Jan71 Billy Cunningham CAR to PHI Forced to fulfill CAR contract
4Sep71 ►Adrian Smith SFW to VIR
17Feb72 Jim McDaniels CAR to SEA
13Mar72 Charlie Scott VIR to PHO Acquired NBA rights from BOS
8Aug72 John Brisker DLC to SEA PHI compensated by SEA
Apr72 ►Julius Erving VIR to ATL Remained in ABA with NJN
31Jul73 Jack Madden NBA to ABA Game Official
31Jul73 Ed Rush NBA to ABA Game Official
26Sep73 ►Wilt Chamberlain LAL to SDS Sat out option year
20May74 Jim Chones CAR to CLE Acquired NBA rights from LAL
16Sep75 ►Tom Owens KEN to HOU Joined HOU in 1976-77
25Sep74 Zelmo Beaty UTS to LAL
27Sep74 Don Chaney BOS to SSL
10Jul75 George McGinnis IND to PHI Orginally signed with NYK
Oct75 Steve Jones DEN to POR Acquired NBA rights from GSW
Last edited by Robert Bradley on Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:14 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:28 pm

Robert, how do you find out who was actually waived, vs who just didn't like their situation and bolted?
A number of NBA guys just signed with the ABA (Freddie Lewis, John Barnhill, George Lehmann, etc), according to this site -
http://www.prosportstransactions.com/ba ... Search.php
... and as such they 'jumped', in my book.
Theoretically, they'd have likely hooked up with an NBA team, had they stayed around. What with all the expansion and such.

25Feb75 Caldwell Jones SDS to PHI Joined PHI in 1975-76

Caldwell was still in the ABA for the 1975-76 season.
He re-signed with Philly in summer of '76.

[I was gonna say he joined the '76ers in '76, but it's confusing enough already.]
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:49 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:Robert, how do you find out who was actually waived, vs who just didn't like their situation and bolted?
A number of NBA guys just signed with the ABA (Freddie Lewis, John Barnhill, George Lehmann, etc), according to this site -
http://www.prosportstransactions.com/ba ... Search.php
... and as such they 'jumped', in my book.
Theoretically, they'd have likely hooked up with an NBA team, had they stayed around. What with all the expansion and such.

25Feb75 Caldwell Jones SDS to PHI Joined PHI in 1975-76

Caldwell was still in the ABA for the 1975-76 season.
He re-signed with Philly in summer of '76.

[I was gonna say he joined the '76ers in '76, but it's confusing enough already.]


I usually go through one-by-one and look for news articles to see what their situation was. I am still looking for additions.

Freddie Lewis was among the 12 players the rockets picked 1May67 in the expansion draft and the pacers signed him sometime between then and Sep67. I didn't find any articles mentioning him being waived, or any articles about him being an NBA player jumping leagues (like the others i've listed). My guess is he may have been waived or told to find himself a better deal because the rockets didn't feel he would make the team.

Barnhill appears to have been waived by Baltimore, or might have gone unsigned until about Oct69 when he joined the Pacers. He wad been signed out of the Eastern League in 1968-69, and was considered a roster filler at best and may not have been in the Bullets' plans.

George Lehmann signed with Los Angeles 28Feb69 from the Eastern League. He had left the Hawks in 1968 after a disagreement with coach Richie Guerin, but the article I found didn't mention if he had been waived or not.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:29 pm

OK, so a guy who was waived by an NBA team is 'out of the league', and so he can't have 'jumped'.
I was just supposing that with 2-3 teams added every year, a lot of NBA roster spots would be opening up.

Another oddity:
22May67 Clyde Lee SFW to NOB

Lee played his rookie season, 1966-67 in SF and several years thereafter.
11Jun67 Chico Vaughn SDR to PTC

Chico was down to 680 minutes (Det) in 1966-67; Freddie Lewis had played 334 min (Cin) that year. Both were taken by the Rockets in the expansion draft.

Neither guy had any 'period of NBA unemployment'; so whether they were officially 'waived' by a given team, or they had a bad feeling or just a better offer, it seems they jumped from the NBA to the ABA.

This situation contrasts with that of Art Heyman, Gary Bradds, Les Hunter, Bill McGill, Bill Melchionni (perhaps others) who were out of the NBA for a year or more, then hopped onto the ABA.

I look at these guys (Lewis, Vaughn, etc) as league-jumpers who opted for a full-time gig in the ABA over an annual uncertainty in the NBA.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:43 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:OK, so a guy who was waived by an NBA team is 'out of the league', and so he can't have 'jumped'.
I was just supposing that with 2-3 teams added every year, a lot of NBA roster spots would be opening up.

Another oddity:
22May67 Clyde Lee SFW to NOB

Lee played his rookie season, 1966-67 in SF and several years thereafter.
11Jun67 Chico Vaughn SDR to PTC

Chico was down to 680 minutes (Det) in 1966-67; Freddie Lewis had played 334 min (Cin) that year. Both were taken by the Rockets in the expansion draft.

Neither guy had any 'period of NBA unemployment'; so whether they were officially 'waived' by a given team, or they had a bad feeling or just a better offer, it seems they jumped from the NBA to the ABA.

This situation contrasts with that of Art Heyman, Gary Bradds, Les Hunter, Bill McGill, Bill Melchionni (perhaps others) who were out of the NBA for a year or more, then hopped onto the ABA.

I look at these guys (Lewis, Vaughn, etc) as league-jumpers who opted for a full-time gig in the ABA over an annual uncertainty in the NBA.


I may have to see what else i can dig up on Vaughn.

I don't really consider a player who was waived by a team to have 'jumped' leagues, I would define it as a player who is under contract or that a team holds his negotiating rights and still have an interest in him.

If Vaughn was waived by San Diego I probably wouldn't include him for that reason.

Of course your definition may be different than mine, and that's certainly fine.

And Lee was just an oversight, I added a note for him.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:16 pm

Here are a few more for consideration.
Some were mentioned earlier, but they all appear as 'jumping' from one league to the other in consecutive (or the same) seasons:
Code: Select all
Player               NBA         ABA
Reggie Harding     68 Chi      68 Ind
Freddie Lewis      67 Cin      68 Ind
Ben Warley         67 Bal      68 Ana
George Lehmann     68 Atl      69 LAS
John Barnhill      69 Bal      70 Ind
Neil Johnson       70 Phx      71 Va
Al Tucker          71 Bal      71 Fla
Len Chappell       71 Cle/Atl  72 Dal
Ed Manning         71 Por      72 Car
Manny Leaks        73 Phl      72 Uta/Fla
Gary Gregor        72 Por      73 NY
Gus Johnson        73 Phx      73 Ind
Larry Jones        74 Phl      73 Uta/Dal
Flynn Robinson     73 LA/Bal   74 SD 
Jim Chones         75 Cle      74 Car
Jimmy Jones        75 Bal      74 Uta
George Thompson    75 Mil      74 Mem
Don Adams          75 Det      75 StL
Bruce Seals        76 Sea      75 Uta
Donnie Freeman     76 LA       75 SA
Wali Jones         73 Mil      75 Uta
Wali Jones         76 Phl      75 Uta
Johnny Roche       76 LA       76 Uta
Don Adams          76 Buf      76 StL


The chronology isn't necessarily left-to-right. It's just easier to have an NBA column and an ABA column.
Wali Jones was unemployed for a year ('74) but was still 'NBA material' in '76.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:20 pm

Thaks Mike, I'll go through the list when I have some time.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45 pm

A few who were out of the leagues for a year or more
Code: Select all
player         NBA        ABA
Larry Cannon   74 Phl    72,74 Ind
Dave Lattin    69 Phx     71 Pgh
Jim McDaniels  76 LA      76 Ky
Bob Verga      74 Por     72 Car/Pgh

McDaniels didn't play in '75 or in '77.
Several others had been out of the NBA a year or more before joining the ABA in the '60s.
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Postby MCT » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:
25Feb75 Caldwell Jones SDS to PHI Joined PHI in 1975-76

Caldwell was still in the ABA for the 1975-76 season.
He re-signed with Philly in summer of '76.

[I was gonna say he joined the '76ers in '76, but it's confusing enough already.]

IINM, the contract that Jones signed with the 76ers in February 1975 was originally supposed to take effect for the 1977-78 season. At the time of the merger, since Jones had already signed an NBA contract, the NBA decided it made the most sense to assign him to the 76ers right away. I've seen references to Jones also signing a contract with the 76ers at the time of the merger, but I think it was just a renegotiation or replacement for the earlier contract, reflecting the fact that he would be joining the 76ers a year sooner than was originally planned.

As a side note, when the San Diego franchise folded in November 1975, the ABA offered to let the Sixers buy out the remainder of Jones' ABA contract, which would have allowed him to join Philadelphia at that point. This is why he wasn't included in the dispersal draft. No agreement was ultimately reached, so Jones stayed in the ABA.
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Postby MCT » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:54 pm

The availability of transaction information from the '60s and early '70s in standard reference sources is often sketchy. Info on the ABA in particular is often hard to come by. Sources like the NBA and ABA Guides (the Register was part of the Guides back then) are typically more concerned with how a player was acquired by a team than how he left, and have no interest in transactions outside of their own league. Newspapers are definitely a good source of information, but even they can be hit-or-miss. This is especially true if you're dealing with an obscure player, or if you don't have access to a paper with local coverage of the team in question.

Mike Goodman wrote:This situation contrasts with that of...Bill Melchionni...who [was] out of the NBA for a year...then hopped onto the ABA.

In putting together a list like this, there are going to be some judgement calls. Melchionni may be an exception to the rule here; even though he was absent for a year, he fits the "league jumper" profile much better than the "waived player" profile.

After playing his first two pro seasons with the 76ers, Melchionni was taken by the Suns in the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft. He refused to report to Phoenix and sat out the 1968-69 season (I don't think he played organized basketball of any kind). Conveniently for him, this also represented the option year under the reserve clause in his prior contract, meaning he was now free to jump to the ABA. Apparently recognizing this, and trying to get something for him before he jumped leagues, Phoenix traded his rights back to Philadelphia for a future 2nd round draft pick. Shortly after, he signed with the ABA anyway.
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Re: Jumpers

Postby MCT » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:09 pm

Robert Bradley wrote:8Sep70 Ray Scott BAL to VIR

Scott was selected by Buffalo in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft, and it was Buffalo (not Baltimore) that ended up fighting with Virginia over Scott. From what I understand, there was contradictory language in different parts of Scott's contract concerning how many years it was supposed to run. Buffalo thought they were drafting a player who was signed up for a couple more years, but Scott claimed that he had completed his obligations and was now a free agent.

Robert Bradley wrote:8Aug72 John Brisker PTC to SEA PHI compensated by SEA

Brisker was selected by Dallas in the dispersal draft after the Pittsburgh franchise folded. He was actually placed on waivers by Dallas, but I think he was either bought out or waived by mutual agreement (he didn't want to be there, and Dallas had decided they didn't want him; why they had chosen him in the dispersal draft is anyone's guess). He certainly wasn't "cut", in the way that term is normally used.

Jim Chones' move from the ABA to the NBA in 1974 was similar. Technically, he was waived by the Cougars. But both parties had essentially agreed to a divorce. Chones was unhappy in the ABA, and Cleveland was interested in him. The Cougars didn't want to keep paying Chones under what they saw as an unfavorable contract, and were fine with him leaving as long as he didn't go to a direct competitor. The Lakers held Chones' NBA rights, and Cleveland had to send them a 1st round draft pick before they could sign Chones.

Even though they were technically waived out of the ABA, I think both of these guys belong on the list.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:59 pm

What does it mean to be 'waived out of the league'? That doesn't really happen, does it?
Don Nelson was drafted in 1962 by the Chicago Packers and waived after a season. Picked up by the Lakers and waived 2 years later. Picked up by the Celtics and played 12 years.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:40 pm

well, it's pretty much semantics. when you're waived the team you were with pretty much decides they're done with you and forfeit their rights to you.

so when nelson was waived by the packers and lakers he was definitely out of the league, even if it was brief.

as for melchionni, it would depend on when he signed with the ABA - if he sat out his option year and became a free agent i wouldn't really consider that jumping because no team had any rights to him (even if the league considered only one team to have negotiating rights to him). if he had done like rick barry and signed a contract and then sat out his option year that would be different - there would still be a team that could claim a legal right to block him from joining another club (until the option year was over). again, your definition may be different than mine, and no less viable.

as for brisker and chones, i would include both of them since the team they were with was compensated to end their rights to him. i will probably remove caldwell jones since he didn't change leagues until after the merger.
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Postby MCT » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:29 pm

By "waived out of the ABA", I just meant that the player was free to switch leagues because he had been placed on waivers by his last ABA team, as opposed to becoming a free agent because he had completed his contractual obligations. The "out of the ABA" part was only to emphasize that the player subsequently changed leagues.

Robert Bradley wrote:as for melchionni, it would depend on when he signed with the ABA - if he sat out his option year and became a free agent i wouldn't really consider that jumping because no team had any rights to him (even if the league considered only one team to have negociating rights to him). if he had done like rick barry and signed a contract and then sat out his option year that would be different - there would still be a team that could claim a legal right to block him from joining another club (until the option year was over). again, your definite may be different than mine, and no less viable.

I don't think Melchionni signed with the Nets until after he had sat out the 1968-69 season, so he probably wouldn't meet the above criteria. In fact, I don't know if jumping to the ABA was even an original consideration, or if his primary goal was to get Phoenix to trade him somewhere else.

Melchionni may actually be a unique case. I can't think of another player who sat out a year without a contract in hand (thus getting paid by neither a current or future team), then signed a contract to jump leagues. Others had a contract in place before they sat out the year, or played out the option, or were able to argue that they didn't need to wait a year because the option hadn't been validly exercised. All in all, though, I'd still call Melchionni a jumper. I think people would still think of Barry and Beaty as having "jumped leagues" even if they had signed with ABA teams after sitting out their option year instead of before.

Robert Bradley wrote:i will probably remove caldwell jones since he didn't change leagues until after the merger.

I think you should keep Jones, because he signed the contract prior to the merger. In addition, the existence of this contract also affected how Jones' status was handled at the time of the merger. He didn't really move to the NBA via the merger process at all. Instead of being included in the dispersal draft, he just went straight to the Sixers.

Another player in this category is Tom Owens. Owens signed a contract with the Rockets in September 1975, as he was heading into the option year under the reserve clause of his ABA contract. He apparently tried to buy out the option, but was unsuccessful, and had to play the 1975-76 season in the ABA (he was traded three times after signing with the Rockets, as everyone knew he would be leaving for the NBA at the end of the year). Similar to Jones, Owens did not enter the NBA via the merger process, but under the terms of his previously signed contract with Houston. He finshed the 1975-76 season with the Spurs but did not stay with them as they moved to the NBA. He instead he went to the Rockets, and would have done so even if the merger hadn't happened.

If we wanted to stretch things a bit, we could also consider M.L. Carr moving from the Spirits to the Pistons after the 1975-76 season. Carr had apparently played for the Spirits under a one-year contract that did not have an option year. He therefore became a free agent at the end of the season, and signed with the Pistons five days before the merger was announced (no NBA team controlled Carr's rights; the team that originally drafted him had previously waived him, as had a second team that had later signed him and brought him into training camp). St. Louis ownership argued that Carr should be included in the dispersal draft, but the NBA ruled that he was the property of the Pistons. I'd be curious as to how things would have been handled if Carr hadn't already signed with someone. If St. Louis had no further claim to him, my guess is that he would have just been declared a free agent anyway; I don't see how he could have been included in the dispersal draft either way.
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Postby MCT » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:47 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:Here are a few more for consideration.
Some were mentioned earlier, but they all appear as 'jumping' from one league to the other in consecutive (or the same) seasons:

Comments on some of these players, mostly from the mid '70s (where I've done some transaction research).

Reggie Harding 68 Chi 68 Ind

Wavied by Chicago early in the 1967-68 season.

Gus Johnson 73 Phx 73 Ind

Waived by Phoenix early in the 1972-73 season.

Jim Chones 75 Cle 74 Car

Discussed a bit already; Carolina placed Chones on waivers shortly after the end of the 1973-74 season, but it was more of a buyout or mutual agreement type of thing than Chones being "cut". Cleveland acquired his NBA rights from the Lakers, and signed him.

Jimmy Jones 75 Was 74 Uta

Jones' contract with Utah expired at the end of the 1973-74 season. He remained unsigned through the offseason and preseason, then signed with the Bullets shortly after the start of the 1974-75 season (the Bullets had originally drafted him in 1967, and probably still held his NBA rights). The Stars took legal action, claiming an option year over Jones. Jones argued that the Stars had not validly exercised the option, so he didn't need to wait a year. Jones ultimately won. The Stars had apparently tendered Jones a new contract for 1974-75, but had neglected to pick up the option in his old contract.

George Thompson 75 Mil 74 Mem

Thompson signed with Milwaukee in May 1974. The Celtics held Thompson's NBA rights, so the Bucks had to send "future consideration" to Boston before they could sign him. I'm not sure exactly how Thompson became a free agent, but I would presume he played out his contract. Based on the timing of when he signed with Milwaukee, he certainly wasn't a training camp cut.

Don Adams 75 Det 75 StL

Adams was waived by Detroit in February 1975 to clear room on the roster when a player was activiated from the injured list. It seems surprising that Adams would have been the player Detroit cut to make room (he was a rotation player, not someone on the end of the bench). I've seen some suggestion that Detroit management cut him because they considered him to be a troublemaker. A short time after Detroit released him, St. Louis signed him.

Before the season, Adams had held out into the early part of training camp -- his previous contract had expired but he was in his option year -- before finally signing a new one-year contract. So he was only under contract until the end of the season, although I would assume that Detroit again held an option over him for the next season.

Bruce Seals 76 Sea 75 Uta

I've actually tried to figure out how Seals left Utah, but I haven't been able to nail it down. Seals turned pro with the Stars in 1973 after his sophomore year of college. The Stars waived him early in the 1974-75 season, then re-signed him a few months later. Because he had not applied for early entry to the NBA draft, he was eligible in 1975, the year he would have been a senior. Seattle took him on the second round, then signed him in August.

My best guess is that the contract Seals signed when he re-signed with Utah only ran through the end of the 1974-75 season, and it either did not contain an option or Utah declined to exercise it (the deadline to pick up options, at least in the NBA, was August 1, which lines up nicely with Seattle signing him later that month). This is all speculation on my part, though.

Donnie Freeman 76 LA 75 SA

This is another one where I've tried to figure out how Freeman left the Spurs, but haven't come up with anything. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, my best guess would be that he simply completed his prior contract and became a free agent (played out his option, etc.). Maybe a San Antonio newspaper would have the answer. Freeman signed with the Lakers early in training camp. No NBA team held his rights, because the team that originally drafted him had waived him.

Wali Jones 73 Mil 75 Uta

Jones was placed on waivers by the Bucks during the 1972-73 season.

Wali Jones 76 Phl 75 Uta

Another case where I've tried to figure out how Jones left Utah but haven't been able to. My best guess is that he signed one-year contract with them and it either had no option clause or the Stars didn't pick it up, but it isn't inconceivable that he could have been waived. I've seen no evidence that he was in training camp with anyone before the 1975-76 season. Jones was signed by Detroit in December after a couple of their guards had been injured, so they needed backcourt help. He got injured himself in his first game, and was eventually released without appearing in another game for the Pistons. Philadelphia then signed him and he finshed out the year with them.

Johnny Roche 76 LA 76 Uta

Roche was with Utah at the the time the franchise folded early in the 1975-76 season. He was not one of the four players selected to be sold to St. Louis, and was not picked up by another ABA team. The Lakers signed him several weeks later, in late January. Phoenix held Roche's NBA rights, so the Lakers had to make a deal with the Suns first before they signed him.

Don Adams 76 Buf 76 StL

Adams was one of three players waived by St. Louis to make room for the players they purchased from the disbanded Utah franchise. Again, his waiving raised a few eyebrows, as he was a regular rotation player at the time (I think he may have actually been starting). A short time after St. Louis released Adams, Buffalo signed him.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:49 pm

Seals was a free agent in 1975 that the Stars didn't express any interest in re-signing in 1975, Seattle then signed him on 19Aug75.

Same with Wali Jones - he was out of the Stars plans in 1975 and a free agent when Detroit signed him as a free agent 17Dec75. He didn't appear in any games and was waived 28Jan76. He then signed with Philadelphia 27Feb76.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:57 pm

According to newspaper articles the Spurs were expecting Donnie Freeman to retire in 1975 when his contract expired (they had George Gervin, James Silas and Mike Gale ahead of him in the backcourt), and he went unsigned until the Lakers signed him 1Oct75 to fill in for Gail Goodrich. He last one year in LA before they waived him 5Oct76.
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Here is what Melchionni told Basketball Digest

Postby rlee » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:23 am

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Melchionni in the second round of the 1966 draft. He gained valuable experience as a rookie, playing in 73 games as the Sixers went 68-13, won the NBA title, and entrenched themselves as one of the best teams ever.

"I learned a lot from Wilt Chamberlain Lucious Jackson, Chet Walker, Billy Cunningnam, Hal Greer, Wali Jones, and coach Alex Hannum," Melchionni says. "It was a tremendous advantage for a young player to be great players."

After spending one more season as a reserve for the Sixers, the Phoenix Suns picked Melchionni in the expansion draft. He faced a dilemma: He could move to Phoenix where he might get a chance to play more, but that would mean uprooting his family from the area where he had lived and played his whole career.

"I refused to go and sat out a year," Melchionni says. "I was making about $13,000, which was a reasonable amount of money in 1968, but I couldn't ask my family to make that move."

During his year away from basketball, St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca gave Melchionni a call, saying he was going to become coach of the Nets in the newly formed ABA. He wanted Melchionni to come play for him.

It was a match in basketball heaven. In his first year with the Nets, Melchionni averaged 15.2 points and 5.7 assists a game. He blossomed the next season, 1970-71, leading the ABA with a 8.3 apg. He also averaged 17.6 ppg and scored 12 points in his first All-ABA First Team.

The next season would be Melchionni's best, He averaged a career-high 21.0 ppg and a league-record 8.4 apg. He started in the All Star Game at Louisville and was selected to the All-ABA First Team.

In 1972-73, it was much the same for Melchionni. He led the league in assists and played in the All-Star Game. Though he was displaced as the league's assist king the next season, Melchionni helped the Nets beat the Utah Stars for the ABA title.

In 1976, Melchionni helped the Nets win another title, serving as player-assistant coach. The sixth and final game against the Denver Nuggets proved to be Melchionni's final as a player. He finished third on the all-time ABA list in career assists and third among Nets in career ABA points.

When the Nets joined the NBA, Melchionni joined the club's front office, serving as the team's general manager for a year and a half. "There were stories circulating that the team was having some financial woes," Melchionni says. "So, I decided to get out."
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:43 pm

i found an article about Melchionni's signing with the Nets which gives 15Sep69 as the date, which support the conclusion that he sat out the entire option year.
Last edited by Robert Bradley on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:08 pm

If Melchionni knows he can't go straight to the ABA, and he can't go to another NBA team, because he's 'owned' by Phoenix; then whether he signs a 2nd contract and doesn't play a year, or just sits around for a year, he can expect to be playing after one year. In one league or the other.

Signing the ABA contract and never playing there doesn't constitute 'jumping'. It's only the playing that creates the 'jump'. Sitting out a year, with or without a known destination, a player makes the jump when he plays in the rival league.
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Postby rlee » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:40 pm

Mike,

"stop, you're both right". The term "jumper" can be defined a number of ways. One definition is not necessarily "better" or "more accurate" than another. Your definition - moving from one league to another - is fine. For the purposes of his list, Robert has chosen a contextually different definition, which is his prerogative since it is his list. He certainly tried to eliminate confusion by defining what does and doesn't constitute "jumping" for the purposes of his list. Your definition would result in a different list. Could Robert have chosen a different label? Of course.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:29 pm

It isn't about anyone being "more right" than anyone else. Rather, there are some pretty obvious questions about whether various players could be considered as having "jumped" between the leagues.

It can only be considered useful to have more information. It's also informative to know that a given reader of such a list will have such questions and alternatives as have been offered in this thread.

If this creates alternative lists, based on when players may have been under contract to more than one team, whether they were officially waived, waived for other than the usual reasons, etc; it's just a more useful list when there are explanations and qualifiers.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:38 pm

all replies and input is welcome, even if it's just to clarify why someone shouldn't be on the list.

for instance there may be someone out there who wonders what did happen to melchionni, whether he should be considered a jumper or not.

like i said, your definition of what a jumper is may differ from mine, and that's fine.
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Postby rlee » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:21 pm

Mike, I didn't say "more right" - in fact in a sense almost the opposite, like the Certs ad : "Stop, you are both right". The rest of your post is entirely consistent with what I was trying to say - in fact it seems to say the same thing in a different way. To me, it re-asserts my point.
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Postby MCT » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:36 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:A few who were out of the leagues for a year or more
Code: Select all
player         NBA        ABA
Larry Cannon   74 Phl    72,74 Ind
...
Jim McDaniels  76 LA      76 Ky
...

McDaniels didn't play in '75 or in '77.

Some background on these guys:

Cannon:

Late in the 1971-72 season, after suffering blood clots following a blow to the chest, Cannon was diagnosed with some kind of blood disorder. He apparently missed the entire 1972-73 season as a result. An article in the Google News archive indicates that Cannon would suffer recurring clots any time he engaged in strenuous physical activity (like playing basketball). Blood thinners solved the problem, but made him susceptible to hemophiliac-like bleeding if he got a cut.

Cannon came back in 1973-74, his health issues presumably under control. I've seen conflicting information on his stay with the Pacers that season, but as best I can tell he was waived at some point after having played in only three games. In February, the 76ers signed him (first making a deal with the Bulls, who owned Cannon's NBA rights, for "future considerations"), and he finished out the year with Philadelphia.

Cannon was in training camp with the 76ers in the fall of '74, but was their last cut before the start of the 1974-75 season. He was also in camp with the Celtics in 1975, but did not make the team.

McDaniels:

McDaniels was waived by the Sonics in December 1973, although he continued to get paid by Seattle for several more years under the lucrative contract he had signed when he jumped from the ABA in early 1972. McDaniels did not play in the NBA or ABA again until the 1975-76 season. He reportedly played in Italy in 1974-75.

In the fall of 1975, McDaniels turned up in the Lakers' training camp. According to news reports, he had not signed a contract with L.A. (and I assume could therefore not play in any exhibition games), but practiced and worked out with the team. I don't know the reason for this arrangement, but the fact that he was still getting paid by Seattle may have had something to do with it. When Gail Goodrich's option-year holdout extended into the regular season, the Lakers placed Goodrich on the suspended list and finally signed McDaniels. McDaniels would remain with the team even after Goodrich returned. He was released in February, however, to make room for another player coming off of the injured list.

At some point after the Lakers released McDaniels, he was picked up by the ABA Colonels, although I've never found any documentation of this transaction. McDaniels finished out the season with Kentucky. At the time of the merger, McDaniels was found to be ineligible for the dispersal draft, and was declared a free agent (I would surmise that the contract he signed with Kentucky only ran through the end of the season and didn't have an option year). I don't know if he tried to hook on with an NBA team for 1976-77, but as far as I know he wasn't in training camp with anyone. I'm not sure what he did in 1976-77; he may have returned to Europe.

In the fall of 1977, McDaniels surfaced again, this time in Buffalo's camp. He made the team and played about half the season with them. In early February, however, Buffalo released him. To replace him, they signed Larry McNeill, an NBA veteran who had been playing in the All-American Basketball Alliance.
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