July 10, 2010
Korolev was drafted ahead of Danny Granger, based on his potential. Turns out he's not even as good as Danny Green. Korolev is still only 23 years old, but he's still also not an NBA player. Last year, Korolev returned from three years of not playing in Russia to go to the D-League, splitting his time between the Albuquerque Thunderbirds and the Reno Bighorns. The 6'9 small forward averaged 9.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 turnovers in 20.8 minutes of 29 games for the Bighorns, shooting 43% from two point range and 35% from three. If you see anything NBA calibre there other than the words "6'9 small forward," let me know.
May 10, 2010
[Anthony] Morrow is to be a free agent this summer. There's no getting around that, because he is not eligible for an extension. He has played only two years in the league, and teams can make players with three years or less experience into restricted free agents, whether they like it or not, by extending a qualifying offer. [...] The exception to this rule, the only exception, is players who were on a first round rookie scale contract, who had an option year declined. This means that players like Acie Law, Joe Alexander and Ian Mahinmi will not and cannot be restricted free agents this summer. They can also never be restricted free agents ever again, so even if Alexander (a two year veteran) were to sign a one year deal somewhere this summer, meaning that he would be only a three year veteran during his second free agency stint in the summer of 2011, he cannot be made into a restricted free agent then either. This is what happened to Shannon Brown last year.
April 1, 2010
- Yaroslav Korolev
After two years of not playing in the NBA, Korolev went back to his native Russia, where he spent two years not playing in the Superleague. This year, to mix it up, he decided to get some playing time. Korolev entered the D-League draft pool and was picked with the last selection in the fourth round by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. He played 20 games for the Thunderbirds and averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, but was traded in January to the Reno Bighorns for Marcus Hubbard. And in 23 games for the Bighorns, Korolev's numbers have declined down to 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Better than Danny Granger yet? Not quite.
No matter how much hindsight you give it, the selections of players such as Korolev, Skita and Darko look no less ridiculous. In fact, they're more ridiculous than ever - athletic young big guys with amazingly little to show on their CV and no defined skillsets picked in the NBA draft lottery, far above multiple established, more talented and simply better players. It was a very strange period for the game, that whole Euro phase, and it's continually mesmeric quite how much the NBA is a copycat league.