August 21, 2010
July 30, 2010
Nikola Vujcic - Vujcic has just been released by Olympiakos, who are looking to trim payroll. The 32 year old is a highly accomplished offensive player, standing 6'11 with great low-post and passing skills; he has the only two triple doubles in the history of the Euroleague, both of which involved assists. He is no longer the superstar that he was, and his minutes took a nosedive due to the presence of Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Giannis Bourousis last year (amongst others), yet Vujcic is as close of a like-for-like replacement as there is for Brad Miller out there, albeit with far more low post than high. For that reason, despite his advancing age and ever-increasing tendency to get injured, there exists a good opportunity here for Vujcic to finally join the NBA. But he'd probably have to take a discount, because plays who struggle to play 15 minutes are only minimum salary calibre.
June 10, 2010
After a bad season, ASVEL Villerbanne are cutting salary. To celebrate their first Euroleague campaign for five years, the team spent Tony Parker's money bringing in reinforcements with pedigree - Curtis Borchardt, Rawle Marshall, Mindaugas Lukauskis. Unfortunately, they never made it out of the group stage, and they didn't even break .500 in the ProA either, finishing in 9th place with a 14-16 record. Therefore, Borchardt and Marshall have been released, Victor Samnick has moved to Nancy, and Ali Traore might soon leave the team as well. ASVEL have already brought in replacements; Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds comes over from Peristeri in Greece, and draft prospect Edwin Jackson has returned from two years on loan, fresh with a new cut fastball that breaks late away from the right hander. But there is no replacement size yet.
May 29, 2010
- Nikola Vujcic
Nikola Vujcic is into his second season with Olympiakos. His minutes were way down this year, averaging only 13.9 minutes per game in the Euroleague and 12.0 in the Greek league. But this didn't stop him producing; Vujcic averaged 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the Euroleague, and 6.8/2.3/1.3 in the Greek A1. Those are more like a small forward's numbers than those of a 6'11 post player, but that's Nikola Vujcic for you.
Vujcic's minutes took such a hit partly because he's into his 30's now, but also because of how deep Olympiakos are up front. With Giannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis getting the bulk of the starts up front, Linas Kleiza getting a dollop of power forward minutes, and with Greek internationals Andreas Glyniadakis and Loukas Mavrokefalidis also in the big man mix, Vujcic had to share time with the rest of the talent (not helped by the fact he's Croatian; Greek teams can only have a maximum amount of six non-Greeks per game, hence the roles for Glyniadakis, Mavrokefalidis and the baffling Pangiotis Vasilopoulos). Olympiakos's front court depth is in fact so deep that even Bourousis is moaning about his minutes. And he's the best of the bunch.