Tag: Nemanja Nedovic

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks

Shane Larkin, a second thought as Knicks chase star free agents, trying to find his own way


BOSTON – Shane Larkin is still learning how to play in the NBA, but if there’s one thing he can already do at an elite level, it’s get steals.

Tony Allen, John Wall, Mario Chalmers and Elfrid Payton are the only guards who’ve played as much as Larkin this season and stolen the ball on a higher percentage of opponents’ possessions when on the court.

I ask Larkin the key to getting so getting so many steals.

“Fast and short,” interjects Knicks rookie Cleanthony Early, one locker over.

After playfully chiding Early for interrupting the interview, Larkin insists the simple assessment is inaccurate.

“It’s more than that, because there’s a lot of short, fast guys who don’t get steals,” said Larkin, 22, the Knicks’ youngest player. “It’s anticipation, seeing things happening before they happen.”

Larkin sure does that.

In the last six months, Larkin has been traded and had the third-year team option on his rookie contract declined, sending his career into a bit of chaos.

Overwhelming? Nah. Larkin saw it all coming.

The Mavericks acquired Larkin, the No. 18 pick in 2013, in a draft-night trade. An injury-riddled rookie year put him on the outside looking in at Dallas’ rotation this season. He understood the Mavericks were trying to win now around Dirk Nowitzki – “Dirk deserves that,” Larkin said – and predicted a trade. Dallas dealt him to the Knicks in June.

In New York, he realized the Knicks were trying to maximize 2015 cap space. So, he also understood why they called him into an office just before the season to tell him they were declining his option for the 2015-16 season.

Now, Larkin will become an unrestricted free agent this summer – a rare predicament/opportunity for a player with his résumé and a crucial moment for the Knicks, who’ve long struggled to develop and keep young talent.

Larkin’s production – 5.4 points, 2.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 23.0 minutes per game – is modest, but he’s beginning to make good on the potential he showed before the draft. The 5-foot-11 point guard jumped 44 inches at the combine, the fifth-best mark in the DraftExpress database. He also had the fastest sprint time among players drafted in his class.

No doubt, Larkin, who turned pro following his sophomore season at Miami and is the son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, has talent. His upside makes New York’s decision to decline his option all the more suspect.

The Knicks’ motivations are clear. They want to pursue big-time free agents next summer, pitching Carmelo Anthony’s star power, Phil Jackson’s winning pedigree and New York’s market share. By declining Larkin’s option and presumably renouncing him, they’ll gain $1,150,227 in cap room. If they renounce all their free agents, they could create more than $22 million in cap space.

Depending where the salary cap actually lands, declining Larkin’s option could make the difference between New York being able to offer someone a max contract. If that proves to be the case and the Knicks land a big free agent, the move will be a huge success.

But it’s risky to cast aside a promising young player on a cheap contract just for the chance of signing a star, especially when dropping the young player isn’t even guaranteed to increase the odds of nabbing the star. What if the Knicks would have had enough cap room to sign their top target with Larking remaining on the roster?

It’s not as if the Knicks can afford to keep throwing away young talent. That’s what got them into their current mess.

Make no mistake: Larkin is hardly an elite prospect. But he’s a former top-20 pick under the age of 24, a combination that shows his potential. Sure, there are 68 such players in the league, making the distinction far from unique. But Larkin is the Knicks’ only one.


The Pacers are the only other team outside playoff position with so few top-20 picks under age 24. Of course, the Pacers probably would be in playoff position if Paul George hadn’t gotten hurt.

What’s the Knicks’ excuse?

Not only are they bad (5-21), they’re choosing to let one of their better young players hit unrestricted free agency. Again, it’s not necessarily the wrong move – New York attracts free agents like few franchises – but it’s certainly intriguing.

Only one other player in the 2013 draft class had his third-year option declined – No. 30 pick Nemanja Nedovic, whom the Warriors outright waived because he couldn’t get on the court. In the last three years just five other first-round picks had their third-year options declined: Fab Melo, Kendall Marshall, Royce White, Jared Cunningham and JaJuan Johnson. Larkin has been much more productive than that group, save Marshall, whom the Wizards waived before he popped up with the Lakers for a surprisingly strong sophomore season.


Larkin still has the rest of this season to build on his total, and if he continues to progress – his 0.5 win shares are up from –0.1 last season – he could pass Marshall. He could also earn himself a raise first-round picks typically can’t get.

Larkin said he wants to re-sign with the Knicks, and they left that door open when informing him they were declining his option.

“I love it here. I want to be here,” Larkin said. “Obviously, I want to help bring the Knicks back to what they used to be.”

But the Knicks can offer Larkin only up to the $1,675,320 he would have earned on his rookie-scale contract. Any other team can pay more.

Will any?

He’s at least trending in the right direction.

Larkin broke his ankle just before what would have been his first summer league, and he didn’t make his NBA debut until the season was a few weeks underway. He never found his footing in Dallas, struggling between D-League stints.

“He basically didn’t have a rookie season,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.

Larkin doesn’t find that assessment far off.

“It was definitely the most frustrating time of my life,” Larkin said.

The Knicks offered him a second chance, and when Jose Calderon got hurt, a starting spot. Larkin started 12 of New York’s first 13 games, gaining valuable experience.

“This is like a redshirt rookie year,” Larkin said.

So far, one of Larkin’s biggest areas of improvement is 3-point shooting. He has made 13-of-35 shots from beyond the arc (42.9 percent), up from 12-of-38 (31.6) last season. Perhaps that’s due just to a small sample, but Larkin said he feels much more comfortable on those long-distance shots.

Of all the tough transitions Larkin made from Miami to the NBA, 3-point shooting wasn’t one he expected. He often shot from NBA range in college, but at this level, they defend that distance. Plus, gone were the easier closer 3s.

“In college, you can kind of shoot the 3 without setting your feet, without doing the right technique every time, because it’s not that far,” Larkin said. “But you get up here, and you realize that those damn near-two extra feet just make it that much harder of a shot.”

With so many talented point guards, it’s hard to carve out a niche without more of an all-around game, and maybe Larkin will develop one. Sometimes, it takes players a little while to adjust to the NBA.

Larkin doesn’t have the luxury of time, though. He’ll hit free agency twice as quickly as most of his draft-mates, unrestricted free agency four times as quickly as some of them.

But for a team looking for a backup, his skill set could work. If Larkin maintains his improved 3-point shooting, he makes a case as a feisty 3-and-D player. After all, those steals can be quite valuable.

After talking up the importance of reading plays to get steals, Larkin added one other key factor.

“You’ve just got to go out there and play hard,” Larkin said. “That’s the first thing. You’ve just got to go play hard as hell. It works out like that sometimes.”

Warriors waive 2013 first rounder Nemanja Nedovic, who had guaranteed salary remaining

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

Nemanja Nedovic, the No. 30 pick in the 2013 draft, never found his footing in the NBA.

He played just 24 games as a rookie, and then he missed the World Cup due to injury. The Warriors declined his 2015-16 option, making him one of only two players in his draft class – Shane Larkin was the other – not to receive a guarantee third season.

Nedovic was slated to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but Golden State, which had yet to play Nedovic this year, is just cutting to the chase.

Warriors release:

The Golden State Warriors have waived guard Nemanja Nedovic, the team announced today.


According to several sources, Nedovic is heading to Valencia Basket in ACB.

The timing of the move could be interesting if the Warriors have plans to use their now-vacated roster spot. But it’s also possible they just wanted to waive Nedovic while he could still sign elsewhere. Though they still owe him $1,104,240 this season, the Warriors could reduce that amount if he signs elsewhere for more than $816,482 thanks to the right of set-off.

If this is the end of Nedovic’s NBA career, he’d become just the eighth first-round pick since 2000 to play only one NBA season, joining:

  • Royce White
  • Fab Melo
  • JaJuan Johnson
  • Sergei Monia
  • Troy Bell
  • Jay Williams
  • Mirsad Turkcan

Every rookie-contract team option and extension decided by Friday

2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day

Friday was the deadline for a few contract items for first-round picks on the rookie scale.

Third-year options had to be exercised for second-year players, and fourth-year options had to be exercised for third-year players. Any player whose rookie-scale option was declined becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.

It was also the deadline for fourth-year players to sign extensions that begin in 2015-16. Eligible players who didn’t sign extensions can, at their teams’ discretions, become restricted free agents this summer.

Remember, the salary scale for first-round picks is determined by the year they sign, not the year they’re drafted (those are usually the same).

Here’s how all those decisions were made around the league:

Third-year options

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player 2015-16 salary Option
2013 1 CLE MIN Anthony Bennett $5,803,560 Exercised
2013 2 ORL ORL Victor Oladipo $5,192,520 Exercised
2013 3 WAS WAS Otto Porter $4,662,960 Exercised
2013 4 CHA CHA Cody Zeller $4,204,200 Exercised
2013 5 PHO PHO Alex Len $3,807,120 Exercised
2013 6 NOH PHI Nerlens Noel $3,457,800 Exercised
2013 7 SAC SAC Ben McLemore $3,156,600 Exercised
2013 8 DET DET Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $2,891,760 Exercised
2013 9 MIN UTA Trey Burke $2,658,240 Exercised
2013 10 POR POR C.J. McCollum $2,525,160 Exercised
2013 11 PHI PHI Michael Carter-Williams $2,399,040 Exercised
2013 12 OKC OKC Steven Adams $2,279,040 Exercised
2013 13 DAL BOS Kelly Olynyk $2,165,160 Exercised
2013 14 UTA MIN Shabazz Muhammad $2,056,920 Exercised
2013 15 MIL MIL Giannis Antetokounmpo $1,953,960 Exercised
2013 17 ATL ATL Dennis Schröder $1,763,400 Exercised
2013 18 ATL NYK Shane Larkin $1,675,320 Declined
2013 19 CLE BRK Sergey Karasev $1,599,840 Exercised
2013 20 CHI CHI Tony Snell $1,535,880 Exercised
2013 21 UTA MIN Gorgui Dieng $1,474,440 Exercised
2013 22 BRK BRK Mason Plumlee $1,415,520 Exercised
2013 23 IND IND Solomon Hill $1,358,880 Exercised
2013 24 NYK NYK Tim Hardaway $1,304,520 Exercised
2013 25 LAC LAC Reggie Bullock $1,252,440 Exercised
2013 26 MIN OKC Andre Roberson $1,210,800 Exercised
2013 27 DEN UTA Rudy Gobert $1,175,880 Exercised
2013 29 OKC PHO Archie Goodwin $1,160,160 Exercised
2013 30 PHO GSW Nemanja Nedovic $1,151,760 Declined

No. 16 pick Lucas Nogueira signed with the Raptors this summer, and No. 29 pick Livio Jean-Charles, whose rights are held by the Spurs, has yet to sign in the NBA.

Fourth-year options

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player 2015-16 salary Option
2012 1 NOH NOP Anthony Davis $7,070,730 Exercised
2012 2 CHA CHA Michael Kidd-Gilchrist $6,331,404 Exercised
2012 3 WAS WAS Bradley Beal $5,694,674 Exercised
2012 4 CLE CLE Dion Waiters $5,138,430 Exercised
2012 5 SAC POR Thomas Robinson $4,660,482 Declined
2011 5 TOR TOR Jonas Valanciunas $4,660,482 Exercised
2012 6 POR POR Damian Lillard $4,236,287 Exercised
2012 7 GSW GSW Harrison Barnes $3,873,398 Exercised
2012 8 TOR TOR Terrence Ross $3,553,917 Exercised
2012 9 DET DET Andre Drummond $3,272,091 Exercised
2012 10 NOH NOP Austin Rivers $3,110,796 Declined
2012 11 POR POR Meyers Leonard $3,075,880 Exercised
2012 12 HOU OKC Jeremy Lamb $3,034,356 Exercised
2012 13 PHO MIL Kendall Marshall Third-year option declined  
2012 14 MIL MIL John Henson $2,943,221 Exercised
2012 15 PHI ORL Maurice Harkless $2,894,059 Exercised
2012 16 HOU   Royce White Third-year option declined  
2012 17 DAL BOS Tyler Zeller $2,616,975 Exercised
2012 18 HOU HOU Terrence Jones $2,489,530 Exercised
2012 19 ORL ORL Andrew Nicholson $2,380,594 Exercised
2012 20 DEN ORL Evan Fournier $2,288,205 Exercised
2011 20 MIN HOU Donatas Motiejunas $2,288,205 Exercised
2012 21 BOS BOS Jared Sullinger $2,269,260 Exercised
2012 22 BOS   Fab Melo Third-year option declined  
2012 23 ATL ATL John Jenkins $2,228,025 Declined
2012 24 CLE LAC Jared Cunningham Third-year option declined  
2012 25 MEM PHI Tony Wroten $2,179,354 Exercised
2012 26 IND PHO Miles Plumlee $2,109,294 Exercised
2012 27 MIA   Arnett Moultrie $2,049,633 Declined
2012 28 OKC OKC Perry Jones $2,038,206 Exercised
2012 29 CHI   Marquis Teague $2,023,261 Declined
2012 30 GSW GSW Festus Ezeli $2,008,748 Exercised

Contract extensions

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player Extension
2011 1 CLE CLE Kyrie Irving Five years, $89 million-$98 million
2011 2 MIN SAC Derrick Williams No extension
2011 3 UTA UTA Enes Kanter No extension
2011 4 CLE CLE Tristan Thompson No extension
2009 5 MIN MIN Ricky Rubio Four years, $55 million
2011 6 WAS   Jan Vesely Fourth-year option declined
2011 7 SAC CHA Bismack Biyombo No extension
2011 8 DET MIL Brandon Knight No extension
2011 9 CHA CHA Kemba Walker Four years, $48 million
2011 10 MIL NOP Jimmer Fredette Fourth-year option declined
2011 11 GSW GSW Klay Thompson Four years, $70 million
2011 12 UTA UTA Alec Burks Four years, $42 million-$45 million
2011 13 PHO PHO Markieff Morris Four years, $32 million
2011 14 HOU PHO Marcus Morris Four years, $20 million
2011 15 IND SAS Kawhi Leonard No extension
2011 16 PHI ORL Nikola Vucevic Four years, $54 million
2011 17 NYK NYK Iman Shumpert No extension
2011 18 WAS   Chris Singleton Fourth-year option declined
2011 19 CHA ORL Tobias Harris No extension
2011 21 POR   Nolan Smith Third-year option declined
2011 22 DEN DEN Kenneth Faried Four years, $50 million
2011 24 OKC OKC Reggie Jackson No extension
2011 25 BOS   MarShon Brooks Fourth-year option declined
2011 26 DAL UTA Jordan Hamilton Fourth-year option declined
2011 27 NJN   JaJuan Johnson Third-year option declined
2011 28 CHI MIA Norris Cole No extension
2011 29 SAS SAS Cory Joseph No extension
2011 30 CHI CHI Jimmy Butler No extension

No. 23 Nikola Mirotic signed this season and not for scale.

Shaun Livingston’s injury has Warriors considering bring Andre Iguodala off bench

2014 NBA Golden State Warriors Media Day Images
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The Warriors just can’t find a backup point guard.

They traded for Jordan Crawford last season, and when he didn’t work out, they traded for Steve Blake, who also underwhelmed.

Their key offseason addition, Shaun Livingston, got hurt – and it seems his injury will keep him out on the long end of projections.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

If Livingston can’t play, the main point guard options behind Stephen Curry are Nemanja Nedovic (who played sparsely as a rookie last season) and Aaron Craft (acquired as an undrafted free agent). Needless to say, that’s pretty underwhelming.

But Andre Iguodala can distribute, and he might get a role that allows him to do so.

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

Although Iguodala would probably work well with the second unit, I’m quite fond of Golden State’s starting lineup and wouldn’t rush to break it up. This could be the Warriors creating a bigger problem to solve their backup-point guard dilemma.

Here’s how the Warriors’ other four starters – Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – performed with Iguodala or Barnes last season:

Lineup Offensive rating Defensive rating Net rating
With Iguodala 112.4 97 +15.4
With Barnes 97.3 102.8 -5.5

Bringing Iguodala off the bench might be necessary if neither Nedovic nor Craft can handle a rotation role, but it’d be my last resort. And if it’s necessary, I’d rather start Draymond Green – a better defender (and maybe player) than Barnes.

But the goal, regardless of who starts, still should be playing Iguodala frequently with Curry, Thompson, Lee and Bogut. That unit is just too reliably good to disband.

Warriors’ Nemanja Nedovic to miss FIBA World Cup

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors

A couple weeks back, it was reported that Warriors’ guard Nemanja Nedovic suffered a stress fracture in his foot that would cause him to miss out on playing for Serbia in the FIBA World Cup.

It was later revealed that the injury was not a fracture, which gave Nedovic hope that Golden State would allow him to participate after a review of his medical records.

But the recovery hasn’t gone as expected, and the injury remains a concern.

From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:

Warriors guard Nemanja Nedovic, who suffered a foot injury earlier this month while playing for Serbia’s national team, will miss the FIBA World Cup, according to his agent.

“After last medical check, there is no doubt,” agent Misko Raznatovic tweeted Wednesday. “Nemanja Nedovic, unfortunately, will miss World Cup in Spain. He needs to travel to Usa, on Sat.”

The Warriors said Friday that Nedovic was suffering from right foot inflammation as they looked to make a further review of the guard’s condition.

Nedovic is a development project for the Warriors, and someone who isn’t expected to be a part of the team’s rotation in the immediate future. He scored just 26 points in total in 24 appearances for Golden State last season, while averaging 5.9 minutes in those contests.