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.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.