Rod Benson still can't catch a break, heads to Korea

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The cult of personality surrounding Rod Benson is rather incredible, but one unfortunate side effect appears to be the complete overshadowing of his game. Benson is in no way bound for NBA stardom, but as a 6-foot-10 rebounding machine, you’d think he would have received a legitimate NBA opportunity, but since going undrafted in 2006, Benson has yet to play a single NBA game.

He’ll likely keep that streak alive in the coming season, as according to Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside, Benson has been drafted into the Korean Basketball League. What’s that? You’d like to know more about the KBL? Schroeder would love to oblige:

The KBL has a few peculiar rules (players have to be three years
removed from any NBA experience and at least two years removed from
European experience unless that experience came in Spain, Turkey,
Italy, Israel, Russia, Greece or China) and, beginning this year, teams
are only allowed one import for the entire game –  a change from last
season when teams could play both of their imports during the first and
fourth quarter of each game.

All that aside, they make up for it by signing imports to $400,000
contracts – $73,604 less than the NBA minimum contract that the
majority of these players would have to fight through an NBA training
camp to earn.

Frankly, though Benson has played well in the D-League, it’s not all that surprising he’ll be playing overseas next season. That amount of guaranteed money is a pretty decent allure for a player in Benson’s position, and it likely makes more financial sense than holding out hope for a training camp miracle.

Benson, despite his combined Summer League stat line (from two games in Vegas and four games in Orlando) of 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, actually played pretty well. Out of the three games in which he played more than 10 minutes, he had two notable showings: a 13-point, seven-rebound, three-block, two-steal, stat-stuffing performance against the D-League Select Team (natch), and a 12-point, six-rebound game against the Nets’ Summer League squad in which Benson shot 62.5% from the field.

It wasn’t good enough. Again. Maybe next year, Rod.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

Derrick Rose
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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.