2010 Summer Signings, Part 4
June 19th, 2010

– In Italy, Bucks draft pick Szymon Szewczyk signed a two-year extension with Air Avellino. He ranked second the team in rebounds last year behind Chevon Troutman, was second in points behind Dee Brown, and also managed not to get arrested in a drunken car wreck unlike the other two. Another NBA draft pick signed in Italy, Petteri Koponen, is to remain in Bologna for at least one more season. And ex-NBA player Jumaine Jones is staying with Pepsi Caserta for at least one more season, which really crippled this otherwise infallible post.   – Another ex-NBA draft pick to have signed in Italy is Milovan Rakovic, whose rights are owned by the Magic. Rakovic was one of the best players in the Russian Superleague last year, averaging 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game for Spartak St Petersburg. He’s cashing in on that and moving to Italy to play for Italian powerhouse Montepaschi Siena. There’s lots of upheaval in Russia at the moment; the Superleague teams have all signed a pact vowing to break away from the current governing body, with whom they are thoroughly disenfranchised, and to begin running operations on their own. Amidst this upheaval, many players have left; Spartak also released James White (14.8/3.7) and Goran Suton (played 94 minutes all season). Additionally, UNICS Kazan have released veteran Lithuanian jump shooter Saulius ┼átombergas, and Lokomotiv Kuban have released their imports James Gist, Andre Owens and Gerald Green. It’s probably fair to say that Green will not be returning to the Dallas Mavericks.   – Not everyone is suffering, though. Khimki have taken advantage of the situation by signing ex-Blazers forward Sergei Monia from cash-strapped rivals Dynamo Moscow, and have also signed ex-Nets guard Zoran Planinic from the other Moscow team, CSKA. CSKA can […]

Posted by at 6:31 PM

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 64
April 29th, 2010

– Brad Stricker Stricker played his first two college years with Texas A&M back in 1995-97. He averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds before transferring to Arizona State, but had sat only one semester of his required three at ASU before transferring again, this time to Georgia State. There, in the 1998-99 season, Stricker averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds, before leaving with a year of eligibility left to go and join the real world. Stricker started a construction company, Stricker Construction, and made a couple of returns to basketball. Although one of them is hard to verify. His CV says that he played briefly in the SWBL in 2001, winning the championship that year with the San Antonio Bombers; however, a Google search for “SWBL basketball” reveals the only such league in existence to be the Strathcona Women’s Basketball League, and a search for “San Antonio Bombers” reveals only this. After that, Stricker played the 2001-02 season in Mexico, where he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists per game for Correcaminos Matamoros in the LNBP. But Stricker did not play for the next three years in order to run the construction company. In 2005, having sold the business, Stricker attended offseason workouts with the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. Teams frequently let players work out with them during the summer, and Stricker worked out with Denver again in 2006. He signed with the Great Falls Explorers of the CBA in November 2006, but did not seem to appear in any games. (I tried to find out, but the Explorer’s website is now pornography.) And then in 2007, after a third summer of working out with the Nuggets, Stricker signed a training camp deal with the team. The chances of Stricker making the team […]

Posted by at 8:51 AM

2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Utah Jazz
July 25th, 2009

All right! Only three weeks late!   – James Augustine: Augustine was covered in the Bulls round-up from bloody ages ago. He played well for both teams and definitely re-established himself. But neither team has room for him next year.   – Jimmy Baron: Jay Bilas lookalike Baron just played four years at Rhode Island, where his coach was his dad. I’ve always wondered why players think this is a good thing, but anyhoo. Baron set the school record for made three-pointers in a season in his sophomore season, then broke it in his junior season, then broke it again in his senior season. He made 118 of those bad boys last year in only 34 games. So you get the idea of how he plays. 6’3 shooting specialists have to have something extra to make the NBA, and Baron doesn’t, but no matter; he has already signed for Mersin in Turkey next season, presumably as Chris Lofton’s replacement.   – Cedric Bozeman: I’m a big fan of Cedric Bozeman and I don’t know why. As such, it buoyed me to see him play well last year, to the tune of 19.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Even the jump shot is getting there, shooting 35% from three-point range last season. This encourages me. Here’s hoping he’s doing enough for one more go-around.   – Derrick Brown: Brown is a second-round draft pick of the Bobcats who has signed with the team for two years, who played on the Jazz summer league team because his own team was too cheap to run one. Typically, he led the team in scoring, which probably makes the Jazz feel a little weird about their hospitality. Especially since their own second-round draft pick this year, Goran Suton, played pretty badly.   […]

Posted by at 1:45 AM

Sham’s unnecessarily long 2009 draft diary, part 3
June 26th, 2009

Part One Part Two 03.30: Discussion is taking place about why DeJuan Blair continues to fall, and about how not having any ACLs is no doubt the cause behind his falling draft stock. I’ve got news for you, analyst’s panel – intercourse his knees. He didn’t have any ACLs last year, and he rebounded better than all but one other player in the draft. This isn’t an ability he’s going to lose any time soon. He might not have a very long career projection on those pins, but it’s not like DeMarre Carroll and Taj Gibson are going to have ten-year careers, is it? Just draft Blair and end the charade. 03.30: Also, before you go on about how he’s merely a rebounding specialist, may I remind you that we just witnessed a shot-blocking specialist get picked second overall. Teams need specialists. Teams don’t need Taj Gibson. (I’m still a bit mad about this, as you might be able to tell.) 03.31: Adam Silver comes to the stage to a far bigger cheer than anyone before him. It’s a beautiful thing. Incidentally, why does the number #31 pick get five minutes to decide and not the two minutes that second-round picks should get? 03.32: At #31, Portland picks a power forward, and it’s not DeJuan Blair. Despite needing a physical power forward after a season of LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye and Travis Outlaw, and despite their rebounding being almost solely reliant on the genius of Joel Przybilla (so says I), they pass on Blair for another finesse power forward in Jeff Pendergraph, who gives them nothing that they don’t already have. In fairness, Portland were the best rebounding team in the league last year, so it’s not like they need a prolific rebounder. But they could still use a physical […]

Posted by at 2:00 AM