– Maccabi Tel-Aviv declined their contract option on former Warriors draft pick Stephane Lasme. The Raptors are said to have been scouting him, alongside his Maccabi frontcourt teammate D’Or Fischer. Granted, the Israeli press are notorious for making things up, and the now-27-year- old Lasme is coming off a bad year and has hardly added the missing dimensions to his somewhat one-dimensional game. But then again, Amir Johnson becomes an unrestricted free agent in three weeks time. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
– Other guys not being invited back include Steve Burtt Jr, who will not stay with Ukrainian team Ferro-ZNTU. French club Roanne are not retaining ex-Bucks draft pick David Noel, and another ex-Bucks player Jiri Welsch is leaving Unicaja Malaga after four seasons. Malaga simultaneously exercised a contract option on Omar Cook, which was always going to happen.
– Two players who left their clubs midway through last season, only to return, have now left them again. Australian international Brad Newley left Besiktas towards the end of last year as the team had fallen more than the allowable amount behind on his payment schedule – it is customary for teams to be allowed to fall a certain amount behind on payments before a player is allowed to break the contract with all obligations, both future and outstanding, still owed to them. Newley did this once the team had fallen several thousand dollars behind on his pay, and agreed to sign with AJ Milano for the remainder of the Serie A season. However, due to paperwork errors, FIBA blocked the transfer and Newley had to return to Besiktas for the remainder of the season. With it now over for good, Newley has left the team again and signed in Lithuania for Lietuvos Rytas (who, incidentally, elected to keep Milko Bjelica for next year as well). Additionally, the wolf man Vuk Radivojevic has left the destitute Crvena Zvezda for good this team. He was said to have left the team towards the end of last season, but returned to play the remainder of the season, presumably doing so unpaid. He really has gone this time, though, signing with Turkish team Trabzonspor for next season.
– In Germany, Rickey Paulding of EWE Basketa Oldenburg and Torrell Martin of Bremehaven both signed extensions with their teams. Paulding re-signs for his fourth year with the team; last year he took six three-pointers a game and hit only 33% of them, but must have done something right if they wanted him back. Meanwhile, in his first Bundesliga season, Martin averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, helping Bremerhaven reach the semi-final stages, where they lost 3-2 to Frankfurt. Martin scored only four points in 39 minutes of the elimination game, which Frankfurt won 56-52. Sounds like it was bloody fascinating.
Oldenburg have also brought in German national forward Robin Smeulders, who just finished his collegiate career at Portland. Someone tell Kevin Pelton.