– Erazem Lorbek’s weird route to the NBA continues with CSKA Moscow. Lorbek is averaging 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in only 17 minutes per game in the Russian league, alongside 11.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21 mpg in the EuroLeague. Lorbek is shooting 46/65 combined from the free throw line, for an average of 71%, which shows that he’s working on his flaws. He’s also a combined 7-14 from three point range, which is a welcome bonus.
– John Lucas III began the season with the Thunder, and actually made the team out of training camp. However, he was waived after about a week so that the team could bring in Steven Hill, unhappy as they were with their other nine big men. Lucas hasn’t signed anywhere since, and didn’t get into any games with the Thunder either, thus taking his points total for the year to 0. However, the Rockets are still paying him, and he hasn’t been there for donkey’s years. So life isn’t too bad.
– Kevin Lyde could only be in one place right now, and that place is Estonia. For the seminal starlets known as BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn, Lyde averaged 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 38% FT in the EuroChallenge, as well as averaging 12.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.4 bpg in the Baltic League. Bet the parties must be wild. (I’m not kidding, either. Tallinn is THE new place for stag weekends, and all manner of holiday debauchery. Naturally, I’ve never been.)
– Speaking of former Hornets, they could perhaps use Arvydas Macijauskas back there right now. And they could probably have him, too. Macijauskas is technically a member of the Olympiacos roster, but he hasn’t played all season, and he’s not about to either. It’s hard for me to fully understand what is going on, since I have to rely on crudely translated web pages, but as far as I can tell Macijauskas has been out for three months with a broken foot, sustained while training in Lithuania. However, Olympiacos is trying to have his contract terminated (and all the money he is signed for next season invalidated), claiming that Macijauskas’s injury was caused while he was playing around with his friends. Macijauskas is now healthy enough to play, and has been practicing with Prokom in Poland while waiting for the Greek courts to rule on his outcome, one which hasn’t been decided yet, as far as I know. Tau Ceramica and Lottomatica Roma are both interested in signing him once he becomes available.
– Jonas Maciulis is with Zalgiris Kaunas, as ever, staying with the team he’s spent most of his life with in spite of their financial problems. Maciulis averages 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the Lithuanian league, as well as 13.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in the Baltic League and 14/5/2 in the EuroLeague. This willingness to stay is being tested, however; Maciulis vowed to stay until the end of the season, despite not being paid for two months, but now powerhouse Spanish team Valencia has come in for his services. Zalgiris are demanding 500,000 Euros in a buyout, but Valencia are offering only half of it. If Zalgiris are as broke as it appears they are, then they’ll have to take it anyway.
– Tito Maddox still hasn’t played for five and a half years. The last time we had heard from him was in May 2008, in a story about the O.J. Mayo booster scandal; Maddox revealed that he had had surgery for a brain tumour, was living extremely modestly with his wife and children, and gave no direct statement as to whether basketball would be on the cards for him ever again. Nearly one year on, and still no comeback is underway.
– Renaldo Major is another Fresno State player who has had a tough go of it of late, as seems to be the unintentional theme of this list. Major missed all of last season recovering from open heart surgery. However, he’s now back to full fitness, and back in the D-League with his old team, the Dakota Wizards, for whom he averages 17.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
– Jackie Manuel is also in the D-League, and he still can’t much score. Defends like hell, though. In 36 mpg with the expansion Erie BayHawks, Manuel averages 8.5 points and 7.1 rebounds a game, along with 3.9 fouls, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks.
– Aleks Maric went undrafted out of Nebraska, played for 45 teams in summer league, didn’t get a training camp spot, and so went off to Europe. Maric averages 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12 minutes a game while backing up Curtis Borchardt for CB Granada in Spain.
– Finally, if you missed the previous Rawle Marshall update, then check this. Since that time, Marshall has been released by Cibona and signed with Lokomotiv Rostov in Russia, where he averages 21.5 points per game in the Russian league. Not a bad alternative, really.