Former NBA veterans Greg Smith and Sean Williams are among the first-time imports who will see action in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which starts this Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Smith is suiting up for the Blackwater Elite while Williams will be reinforcing the GlobalPort Batang Pier for the midseason tournament which allows teams to hire imports with a maximum height of 6-foot-10.
Two other imports who had brief stints in the NBA are also in town in Tony Mitchell of the Star Hotshots and Alex Stephenson of the Meralco Bolts.
The Alaska Aces, on the other hand, are going with Octavious Ellis, who has little experience playing professional ball compared to his fellow debutants. Ellis is coming off a stint in Montenegro – his first after completing his US NCAA stint with the University of Cincinnati.
Philippine Cup champion San Miguel is going with long-time South Korean league import Charles Rhodes in its quest to win back-to-back titles.
Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee, TNT KaTropa’s Denzel Bowles, Mahindra’s James White, Rain or Shine’s Sean Taggart, NLEX’s Wayne Chism and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps – all returnees – complete the cast of reinforcements.
Smith averaged 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in his 149 career NBA games. He first played for the Houston Rockets from 2012-2014, before making quick stops with the Dallas Mavericks in 2015 and the Minnesota Timberwolves last season.
Williams played his first three NBA seasons with the New Jersey Nets from 2007-2010, before going overseas in China, Puerto Rico, Israel, Iran and Turkey coupled with short stints in the NBA D-League.
Mitchell played just 21 NBA games for the Detroit Pistons in the 2013-14 season.
Stephenson signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks last season.