April 15, 2011
[...] Alongside him in the Kazan frontcourt is another former Knicks project, Slavko Vranes, who has enjoyed a decent European career despite never having advanced (or ever having much chance of advancing) beyond "limited." Vranes averages 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 fouls per game; this, combined with his career apex as a starting centre for Euroleague final four team Partizan Belgrade last year, prove there is still a role in 21st century basketball for 7'5 behemoths with no ball skills or mobility, who can impact the game simply by being there. It's just not a very big role.
May 28, 2010
- Slavko Vranes
It has been mentioned several times in this series of posts about the fairytale run that Partizan Belgrade have had this summer. In fact, it was mentioned to start this post. But here it is again. Despite an extended refit over the summer that saw them lose many senior players - whom, in the cases of Uros Tripkovic, Milenko Tepic and Novica Velickovic, had been homegrown talents - Partizan didn't have the budget to keep them, so they had to continue the cycle of letting them go and retooling from within. Nevertheless, they found sufficient talent in their young players and under-the-radar signings to make it all the way to the Euroleague Final Four this season, a phenomenal achievement for such a comparatively small market team.
Slavko Vranes was one half of Partizan's centre tandem. Backing up Aleks Maric - who had a fantastic year - Vranes averaged 4.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the Euroleague, 4.5/5.7/1.4 in the Adriatic League, and 5.5/3.9/1.4 in the Serbian league. Now 27, Vranes never developed much of an offensive game, and nor did he get the necessary 37 times faster. But he's still 7'5, and capable enough to play in the rotation for one of Europe's better teams. Not a bad career, all told, albeit not quite enough to justify being picked 39th overall in 2003. (If we play the always-fun Draft Hindsight game, we can see that players picked behind Slavko that year include Matt Bonner, Willie Green, Zaza Pachulia, Keith Bogans, James Jones, Kyle Korver and Mo Williams. This doesn't really mean anything, but it's fun nonetheless.)