2010 Summer League Rosters: Minnesota Timberwolves
July 14th, 2010

Mo Charlo Charlo is a small forward formerly from Nevada who turns 27 next week. He is an athlete and defensive specialist, who has spent much of his professional career in the D-League. Last year, playing for the Reno Bighorns on account of his local ties, Charlo averaged 9.7ppg, 5.2rpg and 2.7apg. There were also a couple of near triple doubles in there, with statlines of 12/15/9 and 19/12/8, before a slow finish to the season dragged down his numbers. But for all his athleticism, Charlo struggles to score outside of the dunk. Sometimes he can slash to the basket, but there’s no jump shot there. Wayne Ellington Wayne Ellington is Minnesota’s only shooting guard, and yet they still won’t play him. Ellington was forced (as were we) to watch Sasha Pavlovic and Damien Wilkins play a combined 2,462 minutes last season, while both playing really really badly (particularly Pavlovic, who was arguably the worst player in the league last year that actually played). And when he did get to play, he didn’t do especially well either improving as the season went on but finishing at only 6.6 points per game on 42% shooting. Nevertheless, Ellington shot 40% from three point range, which gives him a use on next year’s Timberwolves squad. (If he’s still there.) Jonny Flynn This time last year, I claimed that Jonny Flynn was not much better than Ty Lawson. After one season, here’s how they stack up: Flynn: 28.9 mpg, 13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 spg, 2.9 topg, 41% shooting, 38% 3PT, .511% TS, 13.0 PER Lawson: 20.2 mpg, 8.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.9 rpg, 0.7 spg, 1.3 topg, 51% shooting, 41% 3PT, .600% TS, 16.5 PER So I had a point. There are other factors, of course. Lawson was playing for a […]

Posted by at 8:41 AM

2010 Summer League Rosters: Philadelphia 76ers
July 6th, 2010

Ryan Brooks Ryan Brooks is a shooting guard whose nose is a different colour to the rest of his body. He just graduated from Temple, where he led the team in scoring in his senior season with 14.6 points per game. He also chipped in 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while turning it over only 1.2 times, an incredibly solid number. He’s a solid all-around player and a quality college guard; unfortunately, there’s nothing that stands out about his game. Brooks is slightly undersized, a mediocre athlete, a crafty scorer but not a standout shooter, an interested and pretty effective defender without the physical tools to be so at the next level, a man who doesn’t make many mistakes but who doesn’t create much either. That’s a summer league calibre player, but not an NBA calibre player. Not at 6’4, at least. But he’ll make some money in Europe. Ndudi Ebi Sandwiched amongst all their vetoed Timberwolves first rounders from the Joe Smith debacle came Ndudi Ebi, a half-British man who was a first-round draft pick of the team in 2003 out of high school. He did not justify his draft billing and failed to even get to the third season of his rookie contract, but not before a shambolic a moment that saw the Timberwolves ask the NBA if they could send Ebi down to the D-League for his third season, in circumvention of the rule that states only rookies or sophomores can be assigned by teams to the D-League. Their justification for the request? Ebi hadn’t played much, and thus didn’t really have two years experience. The NBA denied the request, and Ebi was waived to accommodate the incoming Ronald Dupree. After leaving the NBA, Ebi spent a couple of years in the D-League (fittingly), playing […]

Posted by at 5:52 AM

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 60
April 24th, 2010

A previous post showed a tizzy featuring Charles Gaines and Du Feng in game two of this year’s CBA Finals. What looked initially to be Gaines dropping Feng cold with a swift and well-placed right hand later emerged to be a flop of the highest order; after a lame headbutt on Gaines, Feng then went down to the ground like he’d been knocked clean out, whereas pictures of the incident showed that Gaines actually open-handed Feng in the mandible. It was a shove more than a punch, and a valid retaliation to a headbutt. So far from being an inevitable suspension, Gaines was absconded from blame. And Feng looked like a big wuss. Both played in game three. Gaines was not suspended, and Feng (amazingly!) was not dead. Guangdong won the game and took a 3-0 lead in the first to four.   – Josh Shipp Even though he spent quite a lot of his UCLA career deferring offensively to NBA-calibre scorers, Josh Shipp has plenty of offence of his own. He is currently second in the Turkish TBL in scoring, averaging 19.3 ppg for Bornova (along with 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals). The Turkish league is not the best in the world, and it’s not got a lot of parity in it, but it’s not a bad one, and scoring 19.3 ppg in it is no small achievement. Shipp is second only to Quincy Douby (23.6 ppg), and ranks just ahead of Mire Chatman (Besiktas, 18.4 ppg), Kedrick Brown (also Bornova, 18.1 ppg), Quinton Hosley (Aliaga, 17.9 ppg) and Lonny Baxter (Besiktas, 17.4 ppg). That list is made up of all Americans, which alludes to the self-fulfilling prophecy that the best Turkish players don’t play in Turkey. But Josh Shipp does, and he plays well.   – […]

Posted by at 7:45 AM

Spencer Nelson and Gary Wilkinson sign with Peristeri, who release two others
December 2nd, 2009

Despite a solid 3-2 start to the season, Greek A1 team Peristeri Athens announced that they were releasing former Illinois big man and Golden State Warriors camp invite Shaun Pruitt, as well as Rhode Island forward Will Daniels, to be replaced by Utah natives Spencer Nelson and Gary Wilkinson. Nelson has not signed anywhere this season after being released by the Utah Jazz in training camp. It was rumoured that he was to sign with an unnamed Belgian team as of only last week, yet that’s not going to happen now. Nelson played in Greece last year with Aris Thessaloniki, and averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds on the season. He’s a tweener forward without any distinct position, but wherever he goes he rebounds, passes, and scores a bit with an inside/outside game. This is Wilkinson’s first professional season at the ripe old age of 27. (The reason for that is described here.) He had spent the season to date in the South Korean KBL, after being made the 11th overall pick in their draft this summer. He was averaging 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16 minutes per game for Dongbu Promy, splitting court time with their other American import, Marquin Chandler. (A silly KBL rule says that each team can have only two Americans, but the two can’t play on the court at the same time.) Peristeri haven’t had much luck with their imports this year. They first signed Cedric Simmons, but had to release him in preseason after deciding he was not up to par. Three of their other four American players – Jamie Arnold, Marcus Faison and Michael Bramos – all hold European passports (Israeli, Belgian and Greek respectively), which absolves them of being counted as Americans. And the fourth (Cliff Hammonds) is doing OK, averaging […]

Posted by at 9:06 AM

2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Denver Nuggets
July 6th, 2009

Since Cleveland and Dallas haven’t announced their rosters yet, and Charlotte aren’t having one, we’ll advance list this along to Denver, whose summer league effort this year is a strange one. Their roster is only small, but they’ve made a decent effort nonetheless..   – Derrick Byars: Byars survives as a testament to the reign of Billy King as Sixers general manager. The Sixers acquired the 30th pick in the 2007 draft as a part of the Allen Iverson to Denver trade, but they decided that they didn’t want the guaranteed contract that it necessitated. Therefore, on draft night, the Sixers traded the pick to the Blazers for the #41 pick and cash, using the 41st pick on Byars. They then waived Byars in training camp, and wound up with just the cash. Nice return on a first-round draft pick, that, particularly one which featured a second-round with Marc Gasol, Ramon Sessions, Glen Davis and Carl Landry in it. Byars’ only other NBA flirtation came when he signed with the Thunder in training camp last year, but he didn’t make the team. He then went to the D-League, and averaged 17.7ppg and 4.9rpg for the Bakersfield Jam, but there’s a guy elsewhere on his list who has taken any potential roster spot that Byars may have had. (Clue: it rhymes with “creams”.)   – Dontaye Draper: Draper is a 5’11 guard out of the College of Charleston, who was also on the Nuggets 2007 summer league roster. He split last season between France and Belgium, averaging 20.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the EuroChallenge for Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (the French half of that split). Draper has been trying to establish himself as more of a pass-first guard over the years, which is kind of necessary when you’re 5’11, […]

Posted by at 9:15 PM

Preview Sort Of Thing: Chicago Bulls
October 23rd, 2008

The Bulls are, quite possibly, the hardest team in the league to gauge right now. Every one of their significant players is a question mark. Other than predicting Larry Hughes will shoot a pull-up 18 footer on 85% of the fast breaks that he’s involved in, there’s nothing that you can say with any conviction about this current Bulls roster. It’s a poser. Theoretically, they could be great. This is still, essentially, the same 49-win second round team of the 2006/07 season, with only a few changes. The corpse of P.J. Brown has been replaced by Joakim Noah. The corpse of Ben Wallace has been replaced by Drew Gooden. And Chris Duhon has been replaced by Derrick Rose, which may or may not be an upgrade. (Sarcasm!) So, with those three upgrades, along with the return of Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Kirk Hinrich, plus the overdue-but-genuinely-forthcoming breakout of Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls should easily be able to usurp that 2007 team. Shouldn’t they? Well, no. The other change between then and now is the entire coaching staff. As outlined in the Milwaukee Bucks preview, Scott Skiles’s coaching jobs seem to always have a shelf-life, but until it goes wrong, he can make teams overachieve. The Bulls achieved what they did in 2007 despite having only the NBA’s 20th-best offence, purely because they had the best defence in the league. Skiles was directly responsible for that. However, after he lost the team last year – and after his replacement Jim Boylan proved to be about as much use as a surfboard with handlebars – the Bulls defence regressed to being middle of the road, and the offence was no better. It’s not known what new coach Vinny Del Negro will try to do, and it’s futile to guess. […]

Posted by at 6:29 AM

2008 NBA Offseason Preview: Chicago Bulls
April 17th, 2008

The first in a new series of posts detailing teams financial outlooks for the upcoming free agency period, what cap room they have, what exceptions, what draft slots, etc. Should be fascinatingly fascinating, if you’re easily pleased. No information is 100% guaranteed accurate, but unless you’re privy to hitherto unknown information, or just better at this than I am (highly possible), then it’s probably more accurate than you’ve seen before.. To be completed in an order best described as “Random”.   ¬†¬†Chicago Bulls   Currently Committed Salary, 2008/09: Larry Hughes – $12,827,676* Kirk Hinrich – $10,250,000* Andres Nocioni – $8,000,000 Drew Gooden – $7,151,183 Tyrus Thomas – $3,749,880 Joakim Noah – $2,295,480 Thabo Sefolosha – $1,931,160 Cedric Simmons – $1,742,760 Aaron Gray – $711,517 JamesOn Curry – $711,517 (not fully guaranteed) Total: $49,371,173 (* = has incentives. Hughes’s salary listed WITHOUT incentives, that are dependent on win totals, and thus won’t be considered likely. Hinrich’s salary listed WITH incentives, which probably won’t be considered likely either.)   Unrestricted Free Agents: Shannon Brown (cap hold – $1,116,960) Chris Duhon (cap hold – $6,496,000)   Restricted Free Agents: Ben Gordon (qualifying offer – $6,404,749, cap hold – $14,645,007) Luol Deng (qualifying offer – $4,452,574, cap hold – $9,961,017) Demtris Nichols (qualifying offer – $886,517, cap hold – $512,596)   Draft picks: First round: 9th pick, subject to lottery results. (Cap hold – $1,840,800) Second round: 39th pick (no cap hold)   Cap room/exceptions: Nada room, MLE, BAE, and a $5,205,000 trade exception.   Mario Austin: Is brilliant.   Depth chart if you take all the free agents away: PG – Hinrich, Curry SG – Hughes, Sefolosha SF – Nocioni, Sefolosha PF – Gooden, Thomas, Simmons C – Noah, Gray   Sensible things to do: Let Chris Duhon go. Gas Larry Hughes. Don’t […]

Posted by at 3:30 AM