The last newsworthy thing that former Bulls forward Tommy Smith did was get arrested for kidnapping.
Smith signed with Liaoning in China in November 2008, but played in only two games (totalling 2 points and 12 rebounds) before being released. A couple of months after he came back to America, Smith was arrested on multiple charges after allegedly punching his girlfriend when leaving a party, breaking her nose, driving her away, taking her phone off her and abandoning her at the roadside by a lake. He later came back for her and took her to hospital, but she pressed charges anyway.
Smith’s basketball career has not existed since that time. In December, he pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, credited with 173 days of time already served.
Former Penn State forward Tyler Smith spent his second season with the Hitachi Sunrockers of Japan’s JBL. He averaged 10.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, shooting 37% from three-point range. It is still not immediately obvious as to how he signed with the Jazz in 2006, although this is meant with endearment.
Tennessee’s Tyler Smith – the other Tyler Smith – was kicked off the team in January. His professional career thus begun earlier than was intended. It’s off to a good start, though; playing for Bornova in Turkey, Smith averages 18.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, shooting 54% from the field and 45% from three-point range. Had he played enough games to qualify, those numbers would rank him third in the country in scoring, sixth in rebounding and fifth in assists. He remains a viable draft candidate, despite his acrimonious departure from the Vols.
(Question: how far does Tennessee get in the tournament had Smith stayed?)
Eric Snow is currently an analyst on NBA TV, awaiting his first NBA head coaching gig, which the whole basketball world seems to think is inevitable. Philadelphia have a vacancy.
Snyder’s criminal and mental health histories have been covered quite a lot on this website before. For those not previously aware of them, here’s a York Notes version of Snyder’s last 18 months.
Snyder signed in China for the 2008-09 season, and averaged a ridiculous 33.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. When the season was over he returned to his Ohio home…..and then it got weird.
On March 30th last year, Snyder was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and felonious assault. Snyder broke into a house on the same street as his, and beat the living daylights out of the male occupant as he slept, in front of his wife. And then he went back to his house as if nothing had happened. The wife who witnessed the beating called the police, who brought a canine unit along and tracked a scent back to Snyder’s house. Snyder was arrested, charged, and taken to jail, where he promptly got into a fight with another inmate. Due to the savage and seemingly unprovoked nature of the initial beating, Snyder was sent for psychiatric evaluation, and later placed on suicide watch.
While in the psychiatric hospital, Snyder refused all medication and all food. A court order came down allowing him to be force-fed, and several months later, Snyder was found competent to stand trial (being diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Snyder was released under the proviso that he wore an electronic ankle bracelet, and even tried to play basketball again in China. But the CBA vetoed any move, and Snyder was later re-arrested and returned to jail after he cut off the ankle bracelet.
Last month, the case finally went to trial, with Snyder found mentally competent. His defence of “temporary insanity” did not work, and it didn’t take long before he was found guilty on all charges. Snyder currently awaits his sentencing hearing which takes place next month, and his charges include a felony count that carries a mandatory prison sentence, with a maximum term of 18 years.
Nene’s mate and one-time Nugget signee Sobral is back in his native Brazil, spending his second season with Joinville. He was a Brazilian NBB All-Star this year, and while Brazilian league stats are hard to come by, it appears he averaged 11.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Not sure how those numbers make a man an All-Star, but then again, I don’t know much about Brazilian basketball.
The Kings released Solomon towards the end of last season at his request so that he could join up with Fenerbahce for the remainder of their season. Solomon averaged 11.5 points in Fenerbahce’s last 14 games last year, and was signed through 2010, but he left the team back in November after only four games and 30 points. (Ironically, he was replaced by Roko Ukic about a month later.) Solomon has not signed elsewhere since.
– Pape Sow
Sow started the year in Poland with Asseco Prokom Gdynia, but was released at the end of last year even with the team still in the EuroLeague, due to an argument with the coach. He later signed with Meridiano Alicante in Spain, and has averaged 6.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 fouls per game as a two-headed centre monster with Martynas Andriuscabbages.
San Diego State forward Kyle Spain is not in Spain, but in Belgium. He went to summer league with the Washington Wizards but was unable to secure a contract offer and thus signed with the Passe-Partout Leuven Bears. In 21 games for the team Spain averaged 13.1 points and 4.6 rebounds, shooting 37% from three point range, but injured his foot last month and is out for the season. Leuven replaced him with former Arizona swingman Micah Downs, who was previously with Croatian club KK Zadar but who left when they fell behind on his payments. That’s happened a lot all over Europe this year.
After the Spurs traded for his contract and bought him out for $0 in the summer of 2007 – using Luis Scola as a means to dump Jackie Butler’s contract, in a rare misstep on their part – Spanoulis signed with Panathinaikos. He is still there to this day, the lead guard on last year’s EuroLeague champions. This year, Spanoulis is averaging 11.0 points and 3.5 assists per game in the Greek league, and also put up 10.5 points and 3.8 assists per game in the team’s now-finished EuroLeague campaign.
Spencer is in France, signed with Le Mans. He is second in the French league in scoring with an 18.4 ppg scoring average, while also averaging 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He also averaged 17.6 points per game in Le Mans’ EuroCup campaign, and is one of the best players in France. Not many can make the kind of jump shots he does.
Spurs draft pick Splitter is, as always, with Caja Laboral (the artists formerly known as Tau Ceramica). He is averaging 27.7 minutes, 16.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, shooting 60% from the field and 79% from the free throw line. His PER in the ACB is a whopping 26.9, best in the competition. Considering the ACB is the second-best league in the world, second only to the NBA, then you can see what that means. Splitter is arguably the best player not in the NBA.
(By the way, second in the ACB in PER is former Warriors draft pick Richard Hendrix, and third is former Utah State guard Jaycee Carroll. Hendrix should also be in the NBA. Carroll should stay where he is.)
The rule regarding rookie scale contracts is that if a player does not sign his within three seasons of being drafted, he is no longer bound by it. This will mean that in the summer, the Spurs can use their mid-level exception to sign him, which they will need to do to outbid Vitoria. (The same rule also applies to Frederic Weis, who therefore is a candidate for the Rockets’ MLE this summer. Sort of.) San Antonio knew this would be the case when they drafted him, which is why they took him anyway, knowing that a low 20’s pick’s salary would not be sufficient to sign him. It looks like it’s going to pay off.