Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 3
January 4th, 2009
– Rafael Araujo is sadly out of basketball right now. He’s unsigned. He’s unwanted. He’s unloved. Commitment-free. Homeless. A nomadic vagabond living off the land, maybe. But this is just one tale to tell. There are thousands of children like this all over BYU. Please. End poverty now. Give generously.
– Robert Archibald is currently playing for Unicaja Malaga in Spain, after turning down a contract from the Hornets this summer. (I went on holiday to Malaga only recently, and didn’t see Robert Archibald there. Shame. I looked hard and everything.) Archibald averages 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds on a pretty stacked Malaga team.
By the way, while looking this up, I found out about Neil Fingleton, a former UNC and Holy Cross player and one-time McDonald’s All-American. After a brief playing career career in Europe, the ABA and the D-League, Fingleton has since given up playing basketball due to injuries, and is now an aspiring actor. He was also recently awarded the seminal title of UK’s Tallest Man, which is good news I suppose. But it begs the question; the previous holder of that record – a man named Christopher Greener – had been dining out on that fame for 40 years. What the hell is he going to do now? Who the hell remembers who comes second? Where’s the TV work going to come from? He’ll be jobless, he’ll be penniless, he’ll be a waste of height. He’ll be unsigned. He’ll be unwanted. He’ll be unloved. Commitment-free. Homeless. A nomadic vagabond living off the land, et cetera.
– Koko Archibong is not a nomadic vagabond living off the land, as he has procured a plum position with the pre-eminent Polish powerhouse, Prokom. Archibong averages 6.6 points per game, good enough (if that’s the right phrasing) for eighth on the team. To find out about some of his team mates, keep reading these posts until we get to the Bu-‘s.
– Darrell Armstrong is unsigned, but recently attended the Suns’ point guard mini-camp, where he and many other hopefuls vied for Phoenix’s compulsory 13th man role. He lost.
– Brandon Armstrong is playing for Budivelnyk in Ukraine, or at least is signed there. He hasn’t played since November – which may or may not be injury related, I don’t know – and averaged only 14.2 minutes and 6.5 points per game when he did.
– Carlos Arroyo signed with Maccabi Tel-Aviv this summer, as a part of the mass European migration that wasn’t. Arroyo averages 13.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists, and rumours (perhaps unsubstantiated) abound about a return to the Magic.
– The Bulls gave up two second-round picks to move up a mere three spots in this year’s second round, which is an extremely committed and kind of bizarre thing to do. They did this to get their hands on the rights to Omer Asik, whom clearly they rate extremely highly. Asik then instantly repaid the Bulls’ faith in him by tearing his knee ligament, and he hasn’t played all season as a result. Nonetheless, Asik has spent some time in the Bulls’ practices this season, clearly eager to get an early taste of their poisonous chemistry and inability to utilise young big men.
– Stacey Augmon jacked it all in and is now a Denver Nuggets assistant coach.
– James Augustine averages 8.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game for Gran Canaria in Spain. By the way, way back in the day, I asked for information and/or your theories as to how Augustine managed to be re-signed and waived by the Magic in the same July, in an act so weird that I can’t think of a single other time that it’s happened. I’ve since gotten that info, and it’s no less weird – Orlando tendered Augustine a qualifying offer of $972,581 in an act of fairly standard practice, and Augustine unusually accepted it almost immediately. Of note, though, is the rule with qualifying offers which states that they have to have a level of guarantee that is, at a minimum, identical to the previous season’s salary. Augustine’s 2007/08 salary called for a minimum salary of $687,456, but with only 25% guaranteed if he was waived on or before the 30th of July 2007. Therefore, the qualifying offer had to have a similar level of guarantee, and so the qualifying offer that Augustine accepted was 25% guaranteed until July 30th 2008. So those three weeks that Augustine spent with the Magic this season, in which he didn’t play a single game, cost the tax-tight Magic a significant $243,145, and would have been more if they haven’t waived him when they did. A congratulations, therefore, go to Augustine’s vigilant agent, who got his client a decent pay check without him having to actually do anything and still having the opportunity to land a pretty plush European gig as well. Similarly, condolences go to Orlando, who in hindsight should never have offered the qualifying offer in the first place. Creative financing at its finest once again.
– The Bulls other unsigned draft pick, Mario Austin, started the season with Besiktas in Turkey, but left without playing a game for reasons that I’m not aware of.
– Finally, and somewhat boringly, Larry Ayuso is still chasing the NBA dream, this time in the D-League with the Iowa Energy. He’s doing this by averaging 13.0 points on 40% shooting, shooting more three-pointers than two-pointers, and with more turnovers than assists. He would appear to be trying to showcase himself as a scoring machine, which, yeah, he has always been that, but that eficiency isn’t working at the next level. But he did get this ESPN article about himself last month, so the D-League might have been the right place for him to go.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.
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