2014 Summer League rosters – Houston
July 2nd, 2014

Miro Bilan – The 6’11 Bilan turns 25 later this month, yet this is his first foray into the NBA. He has long been on the radar of clubs around the world, appearing in European championships at various age levels, and finally cracking the Croatian national team this past season. Bilan has never really broken out, however, merely making steady improvements to his game year on year. A brief spell in the Euroleague in 2012/13 coupled with a longer spell in the Eurocup last season to allow him to take on the best European centres at his position, and he held his own on the offensive end at least, where his post and pick-and-roll play helped him to 8.8 points in 18.4 minutes on 58% shooting, alongside 13.3 points in 22 minutes per game of Croatian league play. Bilan is a prototypical European big man – big enough and offensively skilled, but unathletic, and a defensive factor only by the virtue of giving a good hard foul. He can make shots around the basket and from mid-range, but neither his physical tools nor style of play are ideally suited for the NBA and he is probably best where he is. Greg Smith admittedly played a bit like this while being slightly smaller, but Greg Smith was faster and had hands like mattresses. Or like Tim Howard. Tarik Black – Black was covered emphatically in the 2014 NCAA Senior Centres round-up. Click here. Jabari Brown – Brown plays and photographs with a permanent look of insouciance. He never ever smiles, save for one time after a game winner. It does not undermine his skill set, but it would have helped his draft credentials a bit better had he looked like he was enjoying himself. Brown played alongside Earnest Ross on Missouri’s […]

Posted by at 6:51 PM

Chandler Parsons And The Rare Instance Of The Deliberate Overpayment
June 5th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) After they picked him 38th in the 2011 draft, the Houston Rockets signed second round pick Chandler Parsons to a four year contract, one that paid slightly but not significantly above the minimum salary. Giving three year contracts to early second round picks, or late second round picks that you really like, or undrafted players you really thought were going to be second round picks and are happy to get a chance at signing, is a trend that developed some years ago and continues to this day. It requires either cap space or a chunk of the mid-level exception to do it – the Minimum Salary Exception, the device which allows teams over the salary cap to sign players to the minimum salary, or trade for those who already are, is limited to two years in length. Nevertheless, teams quite regularly do this so as to lock up potential young pieces for three years, partly to give them ample opportunity to develop and partly to gain full Bird rights in preparation for any future contract. Four year minimum salary contracts, or four year near-minimum salary contracts, are a logical extension of that. It, too, is not especially new – Bill Walker and the undrafted Quinton Ross come to mind as two players to have received this treatment prior to Parsons, and they certainly were not the only two. Lance Stephenson did so the year before Parsons, and his four year deal expires this summer, as the Pacers are all too aware of. Parsons’s contract contains a slight difference to those others mentioned. Specifically, the final year of Parsons’s contract (2014/15) is both subject to a team option and an unguaranteed portion. This, too, is not unique – Gustavo Ayon was in the same situation last summer, Jamario Moon a better known recipient a […]

Posted by at 1:34 AM