An Unnecessarily Exhaustive Guide To The NBA Prospects Of The Unsigned NBA Draft Picks
April 2nd, 2011

If your team drafts a player, and yet never signs him, the chances are that they’ll still own his draft rights. The presence of those draft rights means that that player can sign only with the right-holding NBA team, and not with any others. Such draft rights can also be traded, either to a recipient team who values the player and thus gives something of value for them, or as arbitrary filler obliging the NBA’s rule that all partners in a trade must trade something outbound, however menial. In theory, there exists multiple uses for these draft rights. In practice, however, they are often of no use whatsoever. They exist as technicalities, relevant only on a whimsical level, interesting only to the insanely boring. Luckily, I am such a person. Atlanta Alain Digbeu (50th pick, 1997) – Digbeu was drafted late in the second round in 1997 after spending his career to date in his home land of France, specifically with ASVEL Villeurbanne. The 6’4 shooting guard played there for two more years, then embarked on a tour of Spain and Italy (including stops with big teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid), before returning to France a decade later to play for IG Strasbourg. Digbeu was once very athletic, but that has gone now, and he is now largely just a three point shooter and/or heady veteran. Digbeu is still playing for Strasbourg, averaging 6.5 points in 22.2 minutes per game, yet he just turned 35; his NBA candle obviously burned out a long time ago. Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0% Cenk Akyol (59th pick, 2005) – Akyol was drafted by the Hawks aged only 18, on the off-chance that he would flourish into an elite European big point guard in the mould […]

Posted by at 9:45 PM

15 More Ten Day Contract Candidates (Because Apparently 101 Wasn't Enough After All)
January 10th, 2011

Newest Phoenix Sun, Zabian Dowdell. A mere 48 hours after the Top 101 Ten Day Contract Candidates list was completed, the Phoenix Suns went and signed somebody that wasn’t on it. Clearly, 20 would not have been enough. With the second signed ten day contract of the season – the Clippers used the first to re-sign Jarron Collins – Phoenix called up guard Zabian Dowdell from the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League, re-signing a player they had only recently cut in training camp. Dowdell did not make the initial list, perhaps in part due to an oversight, but because his numbers thus far this season had not been overwhelming. Playing on the incredibly deep 66ers roster, Dowds averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.8 turnovers in 29 minutes per game, shooting 41% from the field and 31% from three, with 261 points on 230 shots. The assist to turnover ratio was nice, and the defence as present as ever, yet Dowdell’s individual scoring ability has not been there. Nevertheless, Phoenix now gives a regular season look to this long-coveted player for them, who should fit in nicely with an up-tempo game, and defend better than the Nash/Dragic point guard combo (which, while awesome, only impacts one end). In a bit to avoid another such occurence, here are some more names for the call-up list. Players who can be removed from the original list, however briefly, include Collins, Damien Wilkins (re-signed with Atlanta), Patrick Beverley (signed in Russia with Spartak St Petersburg) and J.R. Giddens (signed in Spain with Valencia). New players again listed in no order but alphabetical. Marqus Blakely – Blakely went to camp with the Clippers, despite interest from Atlanta, and picked up $35,000 for doing so. That’s more than he’s currently getting in the D-League, […]

Posted by at 9:27 AM

Top 101 NBA Ten-Day Contract Candidates (When 20 Would Probably Have Been Enough)
January 5th, 2011

As of today, January 5th, NBA teams are able to start signing players to 10 day contracts. Up until now, players signed mid-season had to be signed to contracts lasting at least until the end of the season; as of Wednesday, however, you need sign them for no longer than 10 days, either as emergency cover or an extended tryout. This system is widely used every year, and sometimes leads to beautiful stories, such as the successes enjoyed by players such as Reggie Williams, C.J. Watson and Anthony Tolliver (all 10 day contract signees at one part), or the record breaking NBA career of JamesOn Curry (whose NBA career, despite technically being two years long, has resulted in 4 total seconds of playing time earned while on a 10 day contract with the Clippers last year). Players signed to ten day contracts tend to be young prospects, and tend to be signed by teams destined for the lottery, either by accident, destiny or design. That said, the occasional veteran will sign one or two ten day contracts with a team, thereby enjoying something of a comeback. This has been the case for players such as Alvin Williams, Doug Christie and Darius Miles in the past, and is particularly good news for Antonio Daniels. There follows a subjective yet comprehensive list of possible if highly unlikely ten day contract candidates, crafted from a combination of the current free agents list, as well as current D-League players (who, more often than not, are the recipients). Listed in no order other than alphabetical. “POPPYCOCK!” Point guards Blake Ahearn – Ahearn started the year in Italy, playing for struggling Serie A team Bancas Teramo. He averaged 9.3 points and 1.3 assists in 24 minutes per game, but shot only 35% from three point range […]

Posted by at 9:40 PM

Chinese Basketball Association Imports, 2010/11
December 15th, 2010

The first two rounds of games in the 2010/11 Chinese Basketball Association were played this week, giving us an opportunity to confirm once and for all who is actually playing there. With no major English language version of a Chinese Basketball Association website available – other than perhaps here – accurate information as to signings is hard to find. We are reliant upon snippets, leaks, the occasional accurate translation, and often the players themselves. This is a pity because of the calibre and volume of import players to be found within that league. Every year China lands quality former and fringe NBA talent, normally fairly athletic ex-NBA big men, who put up double doubles and dominate amongst domestic players without the athleticism and strength to stop them. And it’s fun to watch their statlines as they do it. This year, it appears, will be the year of the guard. There follows a lot of all the imports in the CBA to begin this season. As will perhaps become apparent fairly quickly, each team is allowed two imports, and all meet that quota, save for the Bayi Rockets (whose players also serve in the People’s Liberation Army, which would explain a lot). – Bayi: None (they never do)– Beijing: Randolph Morris, Steve Francis– Dongguan: Jackson Vroman, Josh Akognon– Foshan (formerly Shaanxi): Olumide Oyedeji, Stephon Marbury– Fujian: Dwayne Jones, Chris Porter– Guandong: David Harrison, Fred Jones– Jiangsu: Jerome Moiso, Ricky Davis– Jilin: Jameel Watkins, David Young– Liaoning: Chris Richard, Donta Smith– Qingdao: Charles Gaines, Dee Brown– Shandong: Rodney White, Myron Allen– Shanghai: Devin Green, Mike Harris– Shanxi: Leon Rodgers, Jamal Sampson– Tianjin: Herve Lamizana, Lee Benson– Xinjiang: Quincy Douby, James Singleton– Zhejiang Cyclones: Mike James, Josh Boone– Zhejiang Lions: Javaris Crittenton, Peter John Ramos Of those 32 players, 24 have played in […]

Posted by at 9:17 PM

…..Third Prize Is You're Fired
October 6th, 2010

Continuing the lengthy look at training camp invitees league wide, here’s part three. Part one can be found here, and part two is here. Oklahoma City – View Thunder roster– View Thunder salary information With a full roster, Oklahoma City saw fit to bring in four more. They signed undrafted point/combo guards Jerome Dyson of UConn and Tweety (Demond) Carter of Baylor, as well as fellow undrafted swingman Elijah Millsap of UAB. They later brought in former University of Oklahoma centre Longar Longar to round up the numbers and complete a roster of 19. Curiously, but probably rightly, they did not bring in any of their currently unsigned second rounders. 2009 pick Robert Vaden was rumoured to be a candidate, but eventually did not come over, and 2010 picks Latavious Williams and Ryan Reid also did not sign, despite currently not being under contract elsewhere. Dyson played for the Cavaliers in summer league, at which time I wrote this about him: There was a time when averaging 20/5/5 at UConn meant a guarantee to be drafted. Not so for Dyson. For all the scoring numbers, Dyson is far from a complete scorer; for all the assist numbers, Dyson is far from a point guard. And at 6’3, he’ll struggle to be a shooting guard as well. Much of his production comes from the fast break, where he is unbelievably good. He can snake his way to the basket with blistering speed, and finish with athleticism despite his small size. In the half court, however, he can’t get to the basket as readily. This is due in no small part to his jump shot, which doesn’t really exist. And while Dyson has the athletic tools for perimeter defence, he lapses. If he goes to the D-League – and he should, because […]

Posted by at 10:46 AM

Anybody Wanna See Second Prize? Second Prize Is A Set Of Steak Knives…..
September 30th, 2010

Continuing the lengthy look at training camp invitees league wide, here’s part two. Part one can be found here. Indiana – View Pacers roster– View Pacers salary information Indiana already has 15 guaranteed contracts, so they didn’t bring in many for camp. The only two players they signed were D-League veteran centre Lance Allred, and their second second-round draft pick from this summer, Magnum Rolle. Additionally, the contracts of both A.J. Price ($175,000 of $762,195 guaranteed) and Josh McRoberts ($500,000 of $885,120) are not fully unguaranteed, although you can pretty much guarantee McBizzles is making the team since Pacers coach Jim O’Brien has already said he’s considering him at starting power forward.Weber State graduate Allred played briefly with the Cavaliers down the stretch of the 2007/08 season, his only NBA experience thus far. Cleveland called him up on account of the 16.2 points and 10.0 rebounds he had averaged during the season for the Idaho Stampede; in the ten minutes of NBA playing time he received, Allred put up a negative PER (admittedly a far from reprehensible act in only 10 minutes). Allred has spent most of the last four seasons with the Stampede, and has not had much luck on the occasions that he’s chosen to leave. Last year, for example, Allred signed with Italian team Napoli, only for this to happen. He stayed in Italy to play four games with Scavolini Pesaro, averaging 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds, before returning to the Stampede again and averaging 13/9. Allred, perhaps most famous for being legally deaf (although not fully deaf), signed this summer for Ukrainian team Khimik, but left there to try to make this team instead. Now aged 29, this might be his last NBA chance. Rolle’s draft rights were acquired by the Pacers for those of Ryan […]

Posted by at 11:44 PM

We're Adding A Little Something To This Month's Sales Contest. As You All Know, First Prize Is A Cadillac El Dorado.
September 28th, 2010

No matter how much you may think you know, NBA training camp always offers an opportunity to learn more. In that respect, it rivals summer league and draft night; all three present chances to learn more about players about whom you previously did not know about, and you get to try to understand what the NBA sees in them. If a player makes it as far as training camp, after all, then they must be doing something right, because all these players have signed valid NBA contracts. They’re no longer just here for show; they’re under contract, and even being paid a small stipend. In some cases, the player’s presence is for no reason other than convenience and/or practice purposes, and some are there purely as fodder. Yet even then, it’s intriguing. A contract is a contract. And as Jason Richards has proved in the past, even unguaranteed contracts can be lucrative. There follows both predictions and analysis, if you will, of the upcoming training camp battles in October 2010. This post is so named because I like to imagine that this NSFW speech by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross actually takes place at every team’s media day. If it doesn’t, don’t tell me otherwise. Atlanta – View Hawks roster– View Hawks salary information The Hawks have already taken the purpose out of any training camp signings. They have already emphatically stated that the 14 man roster they already have is the 14 man roster that they will begin the season with; their three signings (Evan Brock, Ricardo Marsh and Richard Delk) serve only to prove that. Additionally, of those 14 contracts, only one (that of Etan Thomas) is unguaranteed. And the only way Thomas doesn’t make it is if he’s in some way unhealthy. Considering Thomas has played […]

Posted by at 2:33 PM

Training camp signings thus far
September 23rd, 2010

There follows a compendium of all players who have signed, or agreed to sign, for 2010 training camp. I could not find such a compendium elsewhere and thus decided to make one. This list also includes earlier signings of players with unguaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. In some cases, such as with Cucumber, certain players will obviously make it, yet they are included for the sake of uniformity. There exists the possibility that any of these signings could yet change – nothing is certain until the date that the contract is signed. This was recently proven to be the case with Jon Scheyer, who was going to camp with Utah as recently as last week, even seen saying so himself here. But then Utah signed Earl Watson and Scheyer/his agent changed their minds. However, with so little time left until camp starts, most of the signings can be assumed to happening now. Some already have. Atlanta: Etan ThomasEvan BrockRicardo MarshRichard Delk Boston: Oliver LafayetteTony GaffneyDelonte WestVon WaferJamar SmithChris JohnsonStephane LasmeMario West Charlotte: Javaris CrittentonSherron CollinsDerrick BrownDarius Miles Chicago: John LucasBrian ScalabrineRoger PowellKyle WeaverChris Richard Cleveland: Samardo SamuelsDanny GreenJawad WilliamsDidier Ilunga-MbengaManny HarrisGreg StiemsmaTasmin MitchellLoren WoodsCedric Jackson Dallas: Steve NovakDee BrownBrian CardinalAdam Haluska Denver: Shane EdwardsGary ForbesCourtney SimsEric BoatengMelvin Ely Detroit: Ike DioguVernon Hamilton Golden State: Jeff AdrienJeremy LinVernon GoodridgeCheyne GadsonAaron MilesJames Mays Houston: Jordan EglsederIshmael SmithAntonio AndersonMike HarrisAlexander JohnsonPatrick Sullivan Indiana: Lance AllredA.J. PriceJosh McRobertsMagnum Rolle L.A. Clippers: Jon ScheyerJake VoskuhlWillie WarrenMarqus BlakelyJarron CollinsStephen Dennis L.A. Lakers: Russell HicksAnthony RobersonTrey JohnsonDrew Naymick Memphis: Kenny ThomasTre KelleyDamien WilkinsAcie LawLuke Jackson Miami: Da’Sean ButlerShavlik RandolphKenny HasbrouckMickell GladnessAnthony Mason Jr Milwaukee: Billy RushTory JacksonChris KramerTiny GallonLuc Richard Mbah A Moute Minnesota: Maurice AgerDerMarr JohnsonJohn ThomasJason Hart New Jersey: Ben UzohBrian ZoubekJoe SmithStephen GrahamEddie GillAndre Brown New Orleans: D.J. StrawberryDarryl WatkinsPops Mensah-BonsuMustafa ShakurJoe AlexanderMichael Washington […]

Posted by at 1:24 PM

Where Are They Now, 2010 Summer League
September 17th, 2010

The transfer markets are pretty much closed. In many places, pre-season has already begun. EuroLeague qualifiers begin next week, as does the mighty British Basketball League regular season, and while signings continue to go down, most are done by now. By this time, if you’re still a free agent without a training camp invite, you’re struggling. Unless you’re going to the D-League, of course. There follows a list of the whereabouts of all the players featured on NBA summer league rosters this year. Summer league is a terrific catalyst for the worldwide basketball market; it’s not just NBA teams who find their next players here. GM’s, scouts and agents the world over find players here, and thus these moves often form the basis of the international import market. With that in mind, here’s who has gone where. In the instances of players quite obviously under NBA contracts, I’ve tried to write something really interesting instead. No attribution is given for these transactions for the simple reason that there’s too damn many of them. Atlanta – Boston – Charlotte – Chicago – Cleveland – Dallas – Denver – Detroit – Golden State – Houston – Indiana – L.A. Clippers – L.A. Lakers – Memphis – Miami – Milwaukee – Minnesota – New Jersey – New Orleans – New York – Oklahoma City – Orlando – Philadelphia – Phoenix – Portland – Sacramento – San Antonio – Toronto – Utah – Washington – D-League select Atlanta – View Hawks summer league roster preview (July) – View Hawks salary information. – View Hawks summer league statistics – Alade Aminu – Signed with French ProA team Chalon. Aminu signed with Chalon before summer league started, yet played for two SL teams anyway looking for an NBA offer. – James Augustine – Moved from Spanish […]

Posted by at 1:10 PM

The best of what's left after what was the best of what's left has gone and is no longer left
August 21st, 2010

It’s weird that Ben Wallace is the only one of these four with a contract. This snappily titled post is, in essence, an update to the earlier similarly titled one that detailed the best remaining free agents in the world of basketball. The list was designed to be comprehensive – which is why Greg Buckner was in it – yet it wasn’t perfect. Some players should have been listed on it before, and are listed now. Some others who should have been listed before, but weren’t, have now signed elsewhere and are once again not listed (as is the case with Ishmael Smith, who has signed a two year deal with the Rockets, and Artsiom Parakhouski, who signed with Latvian team VEF Riga.) And these players need removing from the list, as they have now signed contracts: Jason Williams re-signed with Orlando.Acie Law signed with Memphis.Eddie House signed with Miami.Travis Diener signed in Italy with Dinamo Sassari.Marcus Williams signed with BC Enisey Krasnoyarsk in Russia.Sherron Collins signed with Charlotte.Lester Hudson agreed to go to training camp with Washington.Jerome Randle signed with Aliaga Petkim in Turkey.Shannon Brown re-signed with the L.A. Lakers.Roger Mason signed with New York.Jaycee Carroll will stay with Gran Canaria in Spain.Blake Ahearn signed with Bancas Teramo in Italy.Louis Bullock signed with Cajasol Sevilla in Spain.Donell Taylor signed with Fastweb Casale Monferrato in Italy.Ryan Thompson agreed to go to training camp with Utah.Tracy McGrady signed with Detroit.Linton Johnson signed with Air Avellino in Italy.Keith Bogans signed with Chicago.Taylor Griffin was waived by the Suns and then immediately signed in Belgium with Belgacom Liege.Raymar Morgan signed in Israel with Maccabi Rishon.Lee Nailon also signed in Israel with Bnei Hasharon.Alando Tucker signed in Russia with Lokomotiv Kuban.Pops Mensah-Bonsu signed in Spain with Caja Laboral.Sean May signed with New Jersey.Rob Kurz […]

Posted by at 11:27 AM

2010 Summer League Rosters: Portland Trail Blazers
July 12th, 2010

These things tend to tangent. Stick with it. Luke Babbitt I’m still not sure of why Portland has been trying to acquire small forwards so proactively. The Luol Deng rumour won’t die, even if you want it to, and the team just signed Wesley Matthews to a full MLE contract. They also traded for Babbitt’s draft rights and signed him straight away, despite already having Nicolas Batum on the roster. Batum is really good and already has a capable backup in Dante Cunningham in place; now with Babbittt as well, I don’t see the need for this constant desire to get another one. Jimmy Baron Baron holds every Rhode Island shooting record going. He is an absolute 100% pure, unsullied, virginal shooter, who unfortunately doesn’t do a lot else. Baron’s first and only professional season thus far saw him play for Mersin in Turkey, where he averaged 16.5 points in 28.6 minutes with 43.4% three point shooting….and nothing else. Such is the Jimmy Baron experience. Not a bad thing, but not an NBA thing. Dante Cunningham Considering he’s always been a power forward in a small forward’s body, Cunningham made a pretty decent effort of pretending otherwise. Given plenty of opportunities due to injury, Cunningham shot his customary mid range two’s well, rebounding well enough for a man of his size, and proved he could play defence on both small forwards and power forwards. He also turned it over only 25 times all year, leading all rookies in turnover percentage at 6.0%. This is helped significantly by the fact that he doesn’t dribble, but nevertheless, it’s a hugely impressive number. (Tyler Hansbrough was next lowest at 7.1% in his part-season of work; Marcus Thornton was third at 7.3%. The worst? Jrue Holiday, 21.9%. Then James Johnson. Then Hasheem Thabeet.) In […]

Posted by at 10:23 AM

2010 Summer League Rosters: Utah Jazz
July 2nd, 2010

Free agency is going on, and big names are moving all over the world. However, so are the little names. And since half of this website is devoted to the little names, there follows looks at the summer league roster for all NBA teams. These posts will be in no particular order. Sundiata Gaines Gaines made a name for himself quickly last season, when he hit a desperation game-winning three-point jump shot for the Jazz in a win over Cleveland. It was only Gaines’s fifth game, ninth day and sixteenth shot with the team, yet it gained him a legacy. Gaines later signed a second ten-day contract with the team, and then signed for the remainder of the season and through 2010/11 when that expired. The 2010/11 contract was fully unguaranteed, becoming $25,000 if not waived on or before July 1st (which he wasn’t); it’ll become $50,000 guaranteed if he makes the team’s roster for their first regular season game. He probably will do that. Despite his legacy, Gaines is not really a shooter, but he fills up the stats. He’s an athlete who thrives in the open court and scores heavily, who can score in isolation and in the half court, and who doesn’t turn it over too much. He’s not better than Ronnie Price, and Utah still needs an upgrade at their backup guard spots, yet they could also use some cheap depth. Gaines is that, and he should make the team. Dominic Waters Dominic Waters has been playing in the NABL with a team called the Portland Showtime. The NABL (stands for National Athletic Basketball League) is a new minor league in the northwestern United States that plays from March until May, that uses NBA rules and NBA franchise principles (ambitiously), and that has six teams; the […]

Posted by at 12:52 AM

2010 KBL Pre-Draft Pool
June 17th, 2010

The South Korean basketball league [KBL] is a relatively new league, only thirteen years in existence, that unashamedly focuses on Korean national players. Part of that means heavily restricting the amount of imports that so heavily permeate all the other leagues around the world. Teams are allowed only two imports, and unlike in some other countries, dual citizenship is very hard to come by. It also has some quirky rules. Each team is allowed two foreign players, but in the second and third quarter of all games, only one import is allowed to play at any one time. Additionally, a few years ago, the KBL had a rule that barred any players standing 6’8 and above. What the intended purpose of that was, I don’t know, but presumably they quickly figured out how damaging that rule was to their basketball product, because they have now done away with it. Now, tall foreign dudes are allowed, and they’re kind of prevalent. A combination of that, and the 54-game schedules that teams play, make the KBL highly intriguing to the hardened nerds amongst us. Every summer, the KBL holds a draft of foreign players who want to play in their league that year. The players that are drafted are mostly tall guys, as Korea doesn’t produce much talented size of their own. (Ha Seung-Jin excepted.) The criteria for entry in the draft, though, is pretty weird. Players pay a $100 fee to be entered into the pre-draft list camp, and that list of players is culled down to a manageable amount of invitees by the KBL. The surviving list then go through one more cull, and the surviving few proceed (if they still want to) to the KBL pre-draft camp, which takes place in Las Vegas. And from there, the draft choices […]

Posted by at 8:18 AM

The 2010 Puerto Rican BSN Season
June 7th, 2010

The Chinese Basketball Association is an area of particular focus on this website, because it’s fun. Every season, the CBA plays host to many former NBA players, and plays them for the vast majority of their 48-minute games, resulting in huge statistics and thereby being more fun over leagues such as Italy’s Serie A, where teams employ 11-man rotations, nobody plays more than 25mpg, and everyone averages about 9/4. They are better standards of league for this reason, but they’re just not as fun as the CBA. In the CBA, imports rule. The Baloncesto Superior Nacional, Puerto Rico’s premier basketball league, is much the same. The games are 40 minutes, and the season is shorter, but the import talent is highly comparable (often identical), and the homegrown talent is vastly superior. Puerto Rico has a strong basketball pedigree, and a history of turning out high-calibre international players. Those players are mostly guards, which is why I think a merger with Senegal, which exclusively produces quality big men, would change the international basketball game beyond all recognition. Nonetheless, there’s always ability coming out of there, and also some NBA-calibre talent. Puerto Rican players in the NBA right now include Carlos Arroyo, Jose Barea and Carmelo Anthony. And Carmelo’s backup, Renaldo Balkman, might soon be joining that list. Apart from those select few, almost all of the good Puerto Rican players play in the Puerto Rican BSN. Even if they’ve been playing in other leagues, players generally go to play in the BSN once those other commitments have been fulfilled. NBA players do not go, of course, but the Puerto Rican players dotted around the clubs of the world usually return for some hot BSN action, bringing with them many of the ex-NBA imports that had previously been partaking in the CBA. […]

Posted by at 5:15 AM

Mengke Bateer Is A Coconut Wielding Homicidal Badass
March 10th, 2010

Everyone remembers their first Mengke Bateer experience. Mine came in the 2000 Olympics. In a game against the USA in which Yao Ming beasted from three point range (true story), and in which Wang Zhizhi picked up four first half fouls, Mengke came in and hit some mid range jump shots, in that way that he does. It was kind of fun, if ultimately kind of forgettable. Bateer went on to enjoy a few years in the NBA. He started out as a training camp signee of the Denver Nuggets in 2002, yet was waived before the season started. He thus went back to China and averaged 24.3 points and 14.2 rebounds per game for Beijing, before returning to the Nuggets in February 2002 to see out the season with them. Bateer played in 27 games for that God awful Nuggets team and even squeezed out 10 starts, averaging 5.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 fouls in 15 minutes per game. You’ll no doubt have noticed that that’s a lot of fouls. That offseason, Bateer – who had been signed through 2003 – was a throw-in by Denver in the trade with Detroit that saw him, Don Reid and a first-round pick swapped for Rodney White. That pick was later traded to Atlanta (who used it on Josh Smith) as the centrepiece of the Rasheed Wallace deal; in a way, therefore, Mengke Bateer was an integral part of building the 2003-04 NBA champion Detroit Pistons. An underrated bad Kiki Vanderweghe trade, that one. (It was perhaps overshadowed by the fact that it came in the same offseason as the drafting of Nikoloz Tskitishvili, a move you may have heard about.) Nevertheless, despite how much Bateer had brought to the franchise, Detroit moved him on without him playing a game for […]

Posted by at 2:04 PM

2009 NBA Summer League rosters whereabouts updated, again, needlessly
November 19th, 2009

For no reason other than an itching craving to scratch my own Where Are They Now itch – I can’t really start the 2009 series of posts until all leagues are underway, which will be about another six weeks – I have decided to revisit the whereabouts of all players on summer league rosters this past summer. Eagle eyed viewers will have noticed that I’ve already done this once before, in a series of three posts back in September. This list is designed to update that list. Everyone whose circumstances have changed since the last update is listed, as are those few who are still unsigned. Part of me hopes that this list might in some way help those players get some gainful basketball employment. Then the other part of me remembers that the only people who read this website are Chilean teenagers and my uncle Peter. Can’t win them all.   Boston Celtics – Coby Karl: Strangely, Karl made the Cavaliers roster this summer. He has racked up three whole minutes on the season, and will probably rack up about seven more before the contract guarantee date gets here. I don’t know why a luxury tax team like Cleveland is so keen on carrying 15 men all the time. But they are, and this is good news for Karl. – Chris Lofton: Lofton was signed with with Caja Laboral in Spain – formerly known as Tau Ceramica – but he left he team last week when his contract expired. The team brought in Sean Singletary instead, seemingly wanting a different kind of player. – Gabe Pruitt: Pruitt went to camp with the Knicks, but was an early cut. He then signed with the D-League and was allocated to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, but he was waived today due to […]

Posted by at 12:19 AM

2009 NBA Training Camp predictions, revisited
October 29th, 2009

At the start of the month, over the course of three posts united by the overused theme of Alec Baldwin’s monologue from Glengarry Glen Ross, I attempted to analyse and predict the training camp rosters of every team in the NBA. For the hell of it, here’s the monologue again: Preseason is now over, and rosters have been set. Here are my predictions again, along with a depressing look at their whimpering inaccuracy and some half-baked excuses for my own failings as a person.   – Atlanta Hawks Signings: Juan Dixon, Othello Hunter, Mario West, Frank Robinson, Garrett Siler, Courtney Sims, Mike Wilks, Aaron Miles Predicted to make it: “Dixon, Wilks, Siler. Or any two from three.” Actually made it: Hunter only. Excuses: The Hawks needed an extra guard, hence why they signed four of them. So expecting them to sign at least one of them seemed logical; I guess they decided Dixon hasn’t enough left. As for the Siler/Sims thing, it never did make a whole lot of sense for the team with Randolph Morris at fourth string centre to be bringing in two more for training camp, but Siler and Sims represent two of the best American centre prospects not currently in the NBA, so I figured one of them had a chance. Guess not.   – Boston Celtics Signings: Lester Hudson, Michael Sweetney Predicted to make it: Hudson. Actually made it: Hudson. Excuses: Reports came out that stated that the Celtics really liked Sweetney, and tried to find a way to keep him on the roster, but they eventually decided that he wasn’t worth eating someone else’s guaranteed money for. And they’re probably right. If ever Sweetney gets it together, loses all the weight and finds a mentor that gets him to dedicate himself to the game, […]

Posted by at 9:42 PM

Second prize is a set of steak knives.
October 7th, 2009

Continuing the round-up of training camp invites.   – Milwaukee played the training camp game in the spirit that it deserves…..briefly. They initially announced three signings; former Marquette point guard Domimic James, D-League big man Marcus Hubbard and former Temple guard Mark Tyndale, and they later added veteran big man Charles Gaines to that line-up. However, all four have already been waived, because I took too long to write this. Still, for the sake of consistency, we’ll give a cheeky round-up anyway. James is an undersized guard with a sub-par jump shot and the worst free throw stroke on a point guard since Vernon Hamilton, who would have been a first-rounder two years ago, but who eventually went undrafted due to a string of injuries (and a lack of improvement). He’s quick, “dynamic” and great in transition, but being unable to shoot doesn’t do much for his half-court game, as any Kevin Ollie fan could tell you. James doesn’t turn it over a lot, but when you’re undersized AND a bad shooter, that’s not a great combination for the NBA. (He has signed with Mersin in Turkey for next year, alongside Jimmy Baron and Richie Frahm. So at least he’ll have shooters around him.) Hubbard was in training camp with the Hawks last year, thus making this his second consecutive NBA contract. Yet it’s not immediately clear as to why. Hubbard is an athletic big man, but he’s not a good rebounder or a shot blocker, and his offence is based around a mid range jump shot. All the athleticism seems to do for him is prevent his jump shots from getting blocked. And that’s not that big of a deal, really. He wasn’t a standout in the D-League last year, averaging 8.2 points and 4.1 rebounds split between two […]

Posted by at 12:51 AM

Third prize is you’re fired.
October 7th, 2009

Continuing the round-up of training camp invites.   – Phoenix are going to run with 13 players, because they always run with 13 players. And they already had 13 players before training camp started, so the prospects of their signings were slim to none before they even started. Regardless, the Suns brought in three more, just in case; Carlos Powell, Dan Dickau and Raymond Sykes. Dickau joins one of the few teams that he hadn’t previously on. For those counting, he’s now up to 10; Kings (drafted by, but never signed), Hawks, Blazers, Warriors, Mavericks, Hornets, Celtics, Blazers again, Knicks, Clippers, Warriors again, and now the Suns. It’s not bad going, that. Last year he was in Germany, averaging 17.6 points in only five games for Brose Baskets Bamberg, doing the Dickau thing of shooting jump shots and not much else. The story’s been told on him by now; he is what he is, and what he is is perpetually on the cusp. Well, except for that time Danny Ainge gave him $7.5 million. Carlos Powell has put up very big numbers in far smaller leagues, including one frankly awesome season in the D-League when he put up 22.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Dakota Wizards. Last year was similar, when he put up 25.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game for Black Slamer in South Korea. He also led Australia’s NBL in scoring back in 2007, averaging 28.2 points per game. Those numbers are big, regardless of the context, and Powell’s scoring talent speaks for itself. He drives, shoots off the dribble, exploits the mid-range game, and his three-point range has gotten a bit better over the years. However, there’s also a reason for them; Powell completely and totally dominates the ball, […]

Posted by at 12:26 AM

As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado
October 4th, 2009

Training camp. Love it. Ever since I grew up with a mild addiction to the Championship Manager series of computer games, I have nurtured a mild fascination for transactions in sports. I know it’s not healthy, but I also know I’m not alone. It might be harsh on the players involved, but it’s always fun to us hardened losers when players change teams. It gives us something to think about, something to analyse, and something to find important. Judging the people that are competing at the highest standard in a profession we could only dream of competing in is strangely fun, hence the existence of this website and the presence of your eyes on these words. We love it. Maybe we’re crazy. Oh well.   – Atlanta have well and truly played the training camp game. Teams are allowed a maximum of 20 players under contract in the offseason, and as of last week, Atlanta had only 12. Yet now they have the full compliment of 20, re-signing two of their own free agents (Mario West and Othello Hunter) and bringing in six more (Aaron Miles, Mike Wilks, Juan Dixon, Frank Robinson, Garrett Siler and Courtney Sims), playing the game in the spirit it deserves. The first four of those latter six are guards, which isn’t a coincidence given the Hawks’ lack of depth there. Miles and Wilks are journeyman point guards with NBA experience, and Dixon can pretend to be one on occasion; in case you missed it, the Hawks are openly in the market for a third point guard. Robinson is an undersized shooting guard who was also with the Hawks in training camp last year, and Siler and Sims represent two decent offensive centre prospects. The eight are fighting for a maximum of three spots, but with […]

Posted by at 8:09 PM

Dreaming about Mark Madsen
March 16th, 2008

Do you ever stop and think about that time that Mark Madsen shot seven three-pointers in an overtime game, when Minnesota and Memphis had the most blatant tank-off that history has ever seen? No, nor did I. That is, not until this morning, when I woke up thinking about it. It’s not an entirely normal thing to wake up thinking about, even for the most hardcore Madsen fans amongst us. (For we are all Mark Madsen fans, obviously.) But some part of this must have ruffled my feathers, stoned my crows and enraged my loins, because this was all that i could think about for about three minutes after waking up. It is now a permanent blot on the NBA landscape. The situation Minnesota found themselves in – not good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to bottom out without trying to – left them deliberately trying to lose games. It needn’t have done, but General Manager Kevin McHale had already trded away Minnesota’s first rounder that season, as it was owed to the L.A. Clippers along with Sam Cassell in exchange for Lionel Chalmers and┬áMarko Jaric. The pick, however, had top ten protection, and so in order to be able to keep it, Minnesota had to lose with a bit more regularity and finesse than they were doing up until that point. They did this with aplomb, telling Kevin Garnett to stop playing (or so we thought), playing their better players for merely token minutes, and letting their lesser players do whatever the hell they wanted, in what then-head coach Dwane Casey called “letting them have some fun” (to be read as “playing really badly so that we lose”.) The fact that they met an equally-tanking Memphis team, who were tanking for a different reason, was an […]

Posted by at 3:43 PM

The NBA bench player handbook
August 19th, 2007

For those amongst you who, like me, have a strange fascination with transactions, both those finalized and those possible, this is a bad time of year for you. This is late August, the draft is long since gone, and most of the juicy bits of free agency have passed us by. Of the remaining free agents, only a select few are good enough to be starters in this league – Ruben Patterson to name……one – and merely the journeymen remain. This is the NBA’s equivalent of what it’s like to try and completely scrape clean an almost-empty pot of jam – you can try and try and try to clean every last morsel out of the jar, and occasionally strike it lucky with a decent-sized chunk. But most of the residual jam offers up stubborn resistance, and is not even worth your time – even if there was a practical way of getting it off there, you wouldn’t garner anything useful from it anyway. Additionally, when writing these new player profiles for the site, I have had a very tough time trying to keep them interesting. How, for example, do you make the profile of JamesOn Curry read wildly different to that of Jannero Pargo or Salim Stoudamire, when they are similar players? It’s a quandary that has cropped up all too often. Too many players are too alike too many other players, and too many players conform to stereotypes. So, let’s look at those stereotypes and give them broad definitions based around the pioneer – the trendsetter, if you will – of that particular stereotype. Every team needs their role players, after all.   1 – The Jerome Williams: The athletic forward whose main skill is the fact that they are an athletic forward. They’re too small to play […]

Posted by at 4:13 PM