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 […]

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Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 37
April 1st, 2010

– Petteri Koponen Blazers draft pick Koponen is still only 21 years old, but is already playing his second season with Canadian Solar Bologna in Italy’s Serie A (known as La Fortezza Bologna until about two months ago). Last year he was something of a bit-part player in Serie A play, but this year he’s one of their best, ranking second on the team in minutes per game (26.8) and points (11.7). Koponen is shooting 44% from three-point range and is also third on the team in assists with 1.7 apg, a team where the team leader (Andre Collins) has only 2.6 in over 29 minutes per game. Good old Italy.   – Yaroslav Korolev After two years of not playing in the NBA, Korolev went back to his native Russia, where he spent two years not playing in the Superleague. This year, to mix it up, he decided to get some playing time. Korolev entered the D-League draft pool and was picked with the last selection in the fourth round by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. He played 20 games for the Thunderbirds and averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, but was traded in January to the Reno Bighorns for Marcus Hubbard. And in 23 games for the Bighorns, Korolev’s numbers have declined down to 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Better than Danny Granger yet? Not quite. No matter how much hindsight you give it, the selections of players such as Korolev, Skita and Darko look no less ridiculous. In fact, they’re more ridiculous than ever – athletic young big guys with amazingly little to show on their CV and no defined skillsets picked in the NBA draft lottery, far above multiple established, more talented and simply better players. It was a very strange period for the game, that […]

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Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 29
February 5th, 2009

– Coby Karl began the season with the Idaho Stampede before going to Spain and DKV Joventut Badalona to replace Bracey Wright. He averaged 18.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists for Idaho, and has appeared in all of one game for Badalona, scoring two points in two minutes on 0-2 shooting.   – Former Magic centre Mario Kasun – who I like to consider the forerunner to Marcin Gortat, albeit not as good, because nobody is as good as Marcin Gortat – is signed with Efes Pilsen in Turkey, but has missed most of the season through injury. Returning about three weeks ago, Kasun has so far totalled 25 points and 15 rebounds in two Turkish league games, and a 10-minute 8-point performance in his sole EuroLeague game versus Real Madrid.   – Sasha Kaun is with CSKA Moscow, craftily located in Moscow. As is the case with young players in Moscow, Kaun kaun’t much get off the bench, averaging 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in nine Russian league games, and totalling 2 points and 6 rebounds in four EuroLeague games. Kaun was also drafted in the fifth round of the CBA Draft, but that’s not much of a boast, because the CBA Draft is the most pointless thing in the world. “Quick, let’s draft these players so that we’ll hold their rights if they decide to join the CBA!…..Oh no, wait, they got NBA contracts instead. Damn. If only they knew of all the needlessly misspelt fun that we have here at the Pittsburgh Xplosion.”   – Tre Kelley is with Eldan Ashkelon in Israel, forming a lethal tiny backcourt with Steve Burtt Jr. Kelley averages 11.3 points and 2.9 assists, as part of a three-guard rotation with Burtt and some Israeli guy called Avi Ben Chimol.   […]

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