Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 11
January 14th, 2010

Calling it early; Miami will trade Dorell Wright along with New Orleans’ 2010 second-rounder to the Grizzlies in exchange for changing the protection on the Grizzlies 2012 second-rounder – already owed to the Heat from last year’s Shaun Livingston deal – from top 55 to top 50. (That is to say, in exchange for as little as possible.) That’s a prediction, not a story, but it makes sense; Miami gets under the tax with this deal, and Memphis gains a free decent player and a 40-something pick to replace their own, which is owed to the Lakers as a part of the Pau Gasol deal. It’s the kind of deal a lot of teams have done lately, not least of all Memphis, who spent much of last year taking on either people’s unwanted cap hits in exchange for future picks and cash. It’s a solid way to do business, and, post-Iverson buyout, they can afford to do it again. Add this to my list of predicted trades, which previously featured one other; Hilton Armstrong to the Clippers, who’s now gone to the Kings instead. Don’t know why I was so hung up on it being the Clippers. Thought too much about TPE’s and forgot about cap space. Speaking of which, the salaries are updated. Also, what I said earlier about Mikki Moore was wrong. Golden State does not pay him more now that they’ve waived him; for some reason, the rebate thing applies once a player has been paid more than the two-year minimum, regardless of whether he’s on the roster not. Thus, Golden State will still only pay $825,495 to Moore after all. The confusion/misinformation stemmed from the case of Austin Croshere, who last season signed a one-year minimum salary contract with Indiana (later claimed off waivers by Milwaukee) […]

Posted by at 8:55 AM

2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Sacramento Kings
July 24th, 2009

– Robert Battle: Battle’s great. Every time he takes contact, he yells. And considering that he nails himself to the basket at both ends and never leaves the paint, that happens quite a lot. Good times. Battle averaged 12.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the Spanish LEB Gold last season, good enough numbers to get his team (Valladolid) promoted. But he’s not ever going to have NBA size, no matter how much he shouts (which he does on every contested lay-up attempt).   – Jon Brockman: All Brockman did in college was rebound, take charges and break his nose. He’s not a scorer, he can’t play away from the basket, and he doesn’t block any shots whatsoever. However, of all the abilities that translate from the college game to the NBA, rebounding, charge-taking and nose-breaking are arguably the three most transferrable, especially for the bad-rebounding Kings. So he should be OK, even if he was picked too high.   – John Bryant: Bryant’s numbers in his senior season for Santa Clara were big: 18.1 points, 14.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in only 31 minutes per game. He also has the size for the job, being listed at 6’11 and 275. But he wasn’t drafted anyway, despite how little size there was in the last draft. Why is that? I’m not sure, having not seen him, but being stabbed in the back three times during an off-campus assault probably didn’t help.   – Pat Calathes: Like his brother Nick, Calathes has a Greek passport, and like his brother Nick, Pat has already signed there for next year. He was there last year, too, where he averaged a sensational 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for Marousi.   – Omri Casspi: Nice beard.   – Tyreke Evans: Please play […]

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Robertas Javtokas has still got it
February 11th, 2009

For some reason, whenever we get a EuroCup game screened over here (something that happens way more than the screening of NBA games), it almost always involves Dynamo Moscow. It’s a bit annoying having to see the same old players out there time after time when there’s so many others that I’d rather watch. But it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either, because Dynamo Moscow (as is the case with all EuroCup teams) has plenty of good quality talent on it, and I get to see them all over again. The most notable players on the Dynamo Moscow team are former Hawk swingman Travis Hansen, Spurs draft pick Robertas Javtokas, former Nets and Rockets forward Bostjan Nachbar, former Blazer and King forward Sergei Monia, big Lithuanian Darjus Lavrinovic, and Russian national team point guard Sergei Bykov. (Brian Chase, who recently signed with Dynamo, hasn’t played yet.) Travis Hansen has taken an acceptable NBA career and turned it into a beast of a European career, playing as a first option player on some of Europe’s better teams, showing a fine mid-range game, the ability to run the offence, and his ever-present athleticism. Nachbar is playing well against the far less athletic European opposition, and Monia still rocks the “I’ll do anything but shoot” approach that so befits a baby-faced tweener Russian. Lavrinovic is a good all-around player, with legit NBA size, an inside/outside game, good rebounding instincts and no ability to jump off the floor, and Bykov is a good little guard whose sensible and smooth play is making the loss of Jannero Pargo entirely survivable. However, the one I’m going to focus on is Javtokas. Often, the commentators talk of Robertas Javtokas’s 40-inch vertical. You may have heard about it yourself; it was his combination of great size and athleticism […]

Posted by at 4:43 AM

Florida vs South Carolina, Feb 3rd 2009
February 9th, 2009

Random thoughts from random game. – I like it when guards constantly push the ball, but Devan Downey took this to extremes. He played like a mentalist, with one of the weirder 33-point outings that I’ve ever seen. Downey went 6-15 from two-point range, 7-9 from three, and 0-2 from the free throw line, making a series of tough threes when the game was out of reach that served only to make it overlap into the Syracuse game that was on afterwards. (Thanks for that, Devan.) He is one of the quickest players with the ball that I’ve ever seen, and clearly was a talented shot-maker. But he looked to pass about as much as Donte Greene, which is less excusable when you’re the lead guard who dominates the ball. And at 5’9 with a penchant for ball-watching, Downey didn’t have much value on the defensive end, either. He was explosive fun, much like a good curry night is, but he has some big old flaws. – Alex Tyus is going to have a nice career ahead of him, somewhere. Decently sized, athletic and with some nice touch from both hands. I didn’t see him challenge a shot all night, which was worrying, but the offensive talent is there. – Dominique Archie was impressive, too. He tended to drift towards the middle on defence, and toward the perimeter on offence, which was a bit odd. But he’s a good athlete, a slasher, a decent finisher, rebounder and help defender. – Zam Fredrick’s professional future, as a 6’0 shoot-first-second-and-third scoring guard without a terrific shot making ability, looks speculative. – I soon learnt that Nick Calathes is not much like Pat Calathes. At all. He’s far better, for a start. However, I worry about Nick’s future. It’s a lot easier to […]

Posted by at 5:04 AM

Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 9
January 13th, 2009

– Zarko Cabarkapa has not been signed since being let go by the Golden State Warriors about 18 months ago, at the end of the 2006/07 season. Zarko had not played that whole season, either, meaning that his last professional basketball game came nearly three years ago in April 2006. The reason for this is injury, as Cabarkapa has battled chronic back complaints for all this time, if not from before then. However, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – Cabarkapa has recently begun workouts with his former team, Buduńánost, hoping to get back into the game. He has not signed a contract with anyone, but it’s a start.   – Justin Cage is playing for Belgacom Liege, a team that unsurprisingly play in Belgium. Belgacom Liege employ a very strict eight-man rotation (the roster outside of those eight players have a total of 30 minutes played in 13 games), and only one of those eight players is a Belgian. As an Arsenal fan, I kind of know how this feels. Cage averages 16.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, making him the team’s second-leading scorer behind the man, the legend, Christopher Hill.   – Pat Calathes was not drafted, played on the summer league roster of all 30 teams (nearly), still didn’t make it to training camp, and so he went off to Greece, the country of his heritage. For Marousi in Greece, Calathes is averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds, while shooting three-pointers at a scintillating 22%.   – After being one of the best players in the D-League last year, Earl Calloway went in search of some slightly better money. Finding it with Cibona Zagreb, Calloway averages 11.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals a game, but his court time might be […]

Posted by at 12:38 AM