When I came in from bowling last night, many messages awaited me asking me for my views on the news that Devin Brown had joined the Bulls. You know how sometimes you get an irrational like for a fringe NBA player, a staunch loyalty that reaches far in excess of that player’s talent level, and you yearn for them to join your team if only for them to play badly so that you can break that bond? That guy is Devin Brown for me, and such a kinship made my name synonymous with that of Devin Brown to at least one person. This can only end well. Or rather; well, this can only end. Good times.
Of course, acquiring Brown means nothing more than acquiring a minimum-salary backup. I don’t think anyone is deluded into thinking otherwise, even those of us with inexplicable love for Downtown Devin Brown. His three-point shooting this season is an anomaly until further notice, and he’s still the same player he’s always been; a replacement-level one. But Brown doesn’t have to be a good shooter or a good player to be a worthwhile player for the Bulls. He just has to be competent. Competent will do. Competent is fine. Competent is better than what they had before.
Also, Jerome James is about ready to make his return from injury and apathy, and trading away Aaron Gray now makes James the only garbage time centre option. Isn’t it better for the world that we let that happen?
A great trade all around. Genuinely very happy about this.
Spurs draft pick Nando De Colo left France in the summer and moved to Valencia in the ACB in order to play against better competition. In the ACB he is averaging 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, alongside 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in the EuroCup. The points per game leads the team in the ACB, but it’s only second in the team’s EuroCup campaign behind Spanish guard Rafa Martinez’s 13.8 points per game. Rafa Martinez is a 27-year-old slightly undersized off-guard with an automatic jump shot, defensive hustle strong hairline and not much else. You’re better off worrying about Nando.
A few weeks ago, I lost my wallet at Finsbury Park train station when trying to catch the train. I rushed for the train, just made it on before the door shut, then checked my pockets as the train pulled away and realised I had lost my wallet sprinting up the stairs. I sulked about this for a good three days, but on the fourth day, an anonymous package arrived at my door. Someone – using deliberately anonymous handwriting so as to avoid being traced, and cheekily using the stamps I had in my wallet to cover the cost – had returned my driving license and Nando’s (the chicken restaurant) loyalty card. They kept the wallet itself, but they returned the Nando’s loyalty card. I don’t know what this says about society. Or about Nando’s.
Dean started the year with Unicaja Malaga, averaging 11.7 points in the EuroLeague and 9.3 points in the ACB. He took a lot of three-pointers to get those numbers, hit only about 35% of them, and did not really endear himself to the fans. (Ask a Malaga fan about Dean and gauge their reaction. They’re generally a trifle brusque about it.) Malaga released Dean earlier this month, as mentioned in an earlier post, and yesterday he signed a one-month contract with rival Spanish team Caja Laboral (the artists formally known as Tau Ceramica).
Deane started last season with Zalgiris in Lithuania, and then moved to Lukoil Akademik in Bulgaria. He averaged 21/5 to finish the season there, and moved to Poland this summer to play for PGE Turow Zgorzelec. Turow released him after 11 Polish league games in which Deane averaged 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He returned to Lukoil Akademik this month to replace Walker Russell, and totalled 12 points and 10 rebounds in his only game for them so far.
DeClercq was covered a few months ago in the 1995 NBA Draft Round-Up Thing. Back then, I wrote this about him:
DeClercq’s last NBA season was in 2004/05, and the Magic showed no interest in him after the season. He wasn’t very good anyway, and he also had a bad knee. Nonetheless, DeClercq rehabbed the knee for 18 months, and tried a comeback in 2006 preseason, working out for the Bulls, in the summer that saw them try out every big man alive. But no contract came his way, and he gave up trying after that. DeClercq doesn’t really do much with his time these days, other than working with kids basketball camps and being a stay at home dad. He also contributed $2,300 to Todd Long’s election campaign, whoever that is.
We can add to that now: DeClercq is now an assistant coach at Montverde Academy in Florida, which is Luc Richard Mbah A Moute’s former high school. He is also the owner of two real estate ventures; New Creation Properties and ATD Properties. And he’s also on the board of Vision360. Vision360’s website doesn’t work at the moment, but a quick search reveals that:
Vision360 is an evangelical, multi-denominational ministry that seeks to serve church planters and church planting agencies.
UAB product Delaney is in Israel. He started the year with Hapoel Holon, but was replaced before the season started, and moved to Ironi Nahariya. I don’t think Ironi means the same thing in Israel that it does in England. Delaney averages 14.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game for the team, although he’s shooting 33% from three-point range and only 68% from the foul line.
Mario Delas is an upcoming draft prospect who was pretty excellent at the World U-19 Championships this summer. His post footwork was mercurial for such a young age, and even though being a slender and unathletic 6’10 doesn’t bode well for any potential NBA career, he was great fun to watch. Until recently, Delas had played his whole life with KK Split in his native Croatia, and even though he turned 20 only last week, that was still at least five years he’d spent there. This year he was averaging 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 fouls for Split in 24 minutes per game, but earlier this month he set off for pastures new when he joined Zalgiris Kaunas, a team looking to reload on future talent to rebuild a once-prestigious program. In his one Lithuanian league game for Zalgiris so far, Delas totalled 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Delk was also covered only recently, this time in the 1996 NBA Draft Round-Up Thing. If you have a good hour to spare, I implore you to read those things. Here’s the Delk bit:
The last time we checked in on Delk, he was a technical advisor in Puerto Rico. Well, he’s not any more. Nowadays, along with Scott Padgett, he is working with John Calipari at Kentucky as a “coach in training.”
Eric Devendorf declared for the draft after his junior season as he received some advice that it might have been a good idea. It wasn’t. Devendorf went undrafted, not coming close to being drafted, and has barely played since then. He spoke of offers from various countries, and it was reported in early November that he was going to go play in Israel. But he didn’t, instead returning to America and joining the D-League. He was picked up by the Reno Bighorns in late December, played three games for the team, totalled 38 minutes and 14 points, and then was released again. He now sits in the D-League’s available players pool, getting paid a small amount of money for his troubles, but not playing any professional basketball.
For all of Devendorf’s excessive overconfidence in himself, lack of NBA talent, and established mouthiness (or call it what you may), he’s better than a good many players in the D-League. It shouldn’t have gone THIS badly for him. Someone in the D-League should pick him up because they’ll get a good infusion of talent if they do.
Dial spent all of last season in the D-League. I’m not sure why exactly, because the D-League is not really designed for 33-year-old journeyman point guards. Yet he played in 47 out of 50 games anyway, and averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the Tulsa 66ers. Dial is unsigned this year.
Diamantidis is still with Panathinaikos because he has no reason to ever leave. He averages 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 25 minutes per game in the Greek league, alongside 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in the EuroLeague. I don’t see any reason to think that he won’t win the EuroLeague’s DPOY award this year. He’s won every single one there’s ever been to date, and he hasn’t lost any ability yet.
Diaz was fourth in the Italian league in scoring last season, and spent the summer playing for the Puerto Rican national team. However, despite all of that pedigree, he is not currently signed anywhere.