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 45
April 9th, 2010

The Bulls just waived Jerome James and signed Rob Kurz (or, as Vinny Del Negro will no doubt call him, Rob Kirk.) Goodbye, Jerome. Chicago traded Larry Hughes to the Knicks last trade deadline in exchange for James, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson. Roberson is long gone, and Thomas and James played a combined 0 minutes for the Bulls this season while being paid $11.2 million. So, would they rather have had Larry Hughes instead? (Probably not.) – Chris Mihm Mihm was a member of both the Lakers and Grizzlies last year, but played only 105 minutes. He played only 279 minutes the year before that, and missed the whole 2006-07 season, all because of his chronic ankle problems. What started out as a sprain turned into four years of torture, a breakdown of which can be found here. And check the date that that was written; despite the feel-good nature of the final stanza, it was nearer to the beginning of the ordeal than the end. Mihm has not played anywhere this year.   – Aaron Miles Miles is signed with Aris in Greece, winding up there after failing to make the Hawks’ regular season roster out of training camp. He is averaging 8.4 points and 3.5 assists per game in the EuroCup, alongside 6.8/3.0 in the Greek league. He still can’t shoot from outside, but Aris have enough of that from elsewhere. Just being in the Aris backcourt for the whole year has been quite an achievement in itself, for Aris have turned over quite a bit of their backcourt this year (Matt Walsh in, Juan Dixon out, Ivan Paunic in, Quinton Day out), and have been linked to about 400 other players (Rob Kurz and Vuk Radivojevic being the only two I can remember at the moment, […]

Posted by at 5:11 AM

Where Are They Now, 2009; Part 36
February 22nd, 2009

– Sergei Monia is into his third season with Dynamo Moscow, and has extended his contract so that he can stay there a bit longer. Then again, unless they start filling out that stadium a bit more, they might just run out of money. Monia (who seems to go by Sergey Monya these days, although I fear change and will keep it the same on here) averages 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in the EuroCup, alongside 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in the Russian league.   – Paccelis Morlende is unsigned after not making the Ural Great Perm team this preseason. Those who don’t know who Paccelis Morlende should first congratulate themselves, and then read this: Patch was a second-round pick of the Seattle Supersonics (via the Sixers) back in 2003, after a season in the French first division that saw him average 13.4 points per game. Since then, he has stagnated and then gone backwards. Morlende averaged 14.5 ppg and 4.9 apg in the French league the following season, before leaving to sign in Italy. There, he didn’t get nearly as much time, and averaged 5.1 ppg and 1.5 apg for Bennetton in the Italian league. His career has still not gotten back on track since then – last season, back in the French league with Gravelines, Morlende averaged a mere 4.6 ppg and 2.7 apg before being released from his contract a year early. And those numbers came in the French league, remember. Morlende also turns 28 in six weeks, and currently doesn’t have a basketball career to speak of. Most depressingly of all, his website (www.paccelismorlende.com) no longer works, which seems to be a sign of the times in the world of Paccelis Morlende. But the Thunder hold his draft rights anyway on a technicality, so maybe […]

Posted by at 8:32 PM

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