Miroslav Raduljica

Miroslav Raduljica, after being waived by Clippers, not ready to return to Europe


Here are the top 25 rookies from last season by win shares:

Player Team Win shares
Mason Plumlee BRK 4.7
Tim Hardaway NYK 3.1
Steven Adams OKC 2.9
Kelly Olynyk BOS 2.9
Cody Zeller CHA 2.6
Gorgui Dieng MIN 2.2
Ryan Kelly LAL 2.2
Matthew Dellavedova CLE 2.1
Hollis Thompson PHI 2
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope DET 1.8
Jeff Withey NOP 1.8
Tony Snell CHI 1.6
Nick Calathes MEM 1.5
Pero Antic ATL 1.4
Michael Carter-Williams PHI 1.3
Victor Oladipo ORL 1.3
Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL 1.2
Nate Wolters MIL 1.2
Robbie Hummel MIN 1.1
Miroslav Raduljica MIL 1.1
Trey Burke UTA 0.9
Ben McLemore SAC 0.8
Andre Roberson OKC 0.8
Dewayne Dedmon GSW/PHI/ORL 0.6
Rudy Gobert UTA 0.4
Solomon Hill IND 0.4
Ray McCallum SAC 0.4

Of those 27 (three tied for 25th), 26 have something in common. They’re under contract for next season.

The exception: Miroslav Raduljica, who was traded by the Bucks and waived by the Clippers.

Raduljica’s contributions in Milwaukee, 3.8 points on 54 percent shooting and 2.3 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game, were modest. But for a rookie, they were encouraging. The 7-foot center could definitely stick in the NBA a bit longer.

Or he could return to Europe, where he played prior to last season. After a promising year with the Bucks, maybe he could earn more there and avoid the indignity of pitching himself to NBA teams.

But he’s going to try to stick out in America.

John Schumann of NBA.com:

After one season in the league, he said he wants to stay (though it was “a little cold in Milwaukee”). He said he’s only heard rumors about any other teams that may want him and “I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen next.”

Someone should sign Raduljica. Though I might not offer him more than a minimum contract, I’d definitely be happy to have him for that.

Plenty of teams could use a 26-year-old third center on the border of deserving a rotation spot – including the team that just waived him.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.