Tag: Sasha Vujacic


Players union VP Dooling near deal with Turkish team

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Right now, the NBA players’ union board is mostly made up of guys who are the rank and file of the league — Chris Paul is the only All-Star player in the group.

Those rank and file guys — the guys not making $12 million a year or more — are the ones who might most benefit from going to Europe for a season if the lockout drags on.

Which brings us to Milwaukee Bucks guard Keyon Dooling. He is the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and he is close to inking a deal to play in Turkey next season, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Bucks guard Keyon Dooling is nearing agreement on a contract with Efes Istanbul, the Turkish team which recently signed New Jersey Nets guard Sasha Vujacic….

(Dooling’s agent Kenge) Stevenson said Dooling would expect to play in Turkey next season even if the lockout ends and any opt-out clause would be for legal purposes. The veteran has one year and $2 million remaining on his contract with the Bucks, but Stevenson indicated he thought an agreement could be reached to allow Dooling to play in Europe in the event the lockout was settled.

Dooling, who averaged just 11 minutes a game last season, is going to see a lot less of the court next season (if not get traded) after the Bucks acquired Beno Udrih and Shaun Livingston on draft night. The Bucks very well might be open to letting Dooling stay in Europe for the rest of the season.

Dooling will turn 31 next season and has made good money over his NBA career ($26 million total) but his days of earning playing basketball are nearing an end. A season in Europe is money coming in, something he can’t be sure of right now in the NBA because few are optimistic there will be a full NBA season.

Kevin Love is playing at the beach this summer

Kevin Love Visits FOX Business
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In the summer in parts of Los Angeles, beach volleyball is a way of life. Very good athletes are out diving and leaping in the sand at 16th Place in Manhattan Beach (and a host of other spots from Pacific Palisades down to Newport).

Countless of basketball stars with Southern California ties have worked out playing beach volleyball — all the way back to Wilt Chamberlain (who was very good and played for many years after his NBA career ended, we used to see him up in Pali all the time) and Bill Walton through Sasha Vujacic and Chase Budinger (who was a top flight prep volleyball player).

Now add Kevin Love to the list.

The Timberwolves big man was in New York testing out his game on a makeshift beach court in Times Square Tuesday as part of the Pro Beach Volleyball Series. It is sponsored by Jose Cuervo and Love plans to play in the Manhattan Beach Open next month (the biggest beach volleyball tournament in the nation).

Laugh if you want, but if you can run and jump in the sand, you sky when you get back on the hardwood. It’s a great workout. And you’d like to think it would be easy on your body — Misty May won an Olympic gold just fine then blew out her Achilles on Dancing With The Stars. Although you might want to ask Robert Edwards about that.

Agents expect overseas signings to escalate. Of course they do.

Sasha Vujacic
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At the end of the day, what is the job of an NBA players agent? Make his client as much money as possible. Picture Cuba Gooding Jr. yelling “show me the money.”

If a player isn’t going to be getting paid in the NBA — and a lot of agents think this lockout is going to drag on — then finding them some other place to earn a paycheck becomes a priority. (Also, the agent doesn’t get paid if the player doesn’t.)

With that, it shouldn’t be a shock that agents told the Sports Business Journal they expect more overseas signings.

“We are having a lot of conversations with (European) teams,” said Mark Bartelstein, president of Priority Sports & Entertainment, which represents about 45 NBA players and recently negotiated a one-year, $1.5 million deal for former Philadelphia 76ers forward Darius Songaila to play for Turkish team Galatasaray. The European market is in full force right now,” Bartelstein said, “and I would think (signings) will be an everyday occurrence….”

Greg Lawrence, an NBA player agent at Wasserman Media Group, which has a large NBA player practice, said, “We haven’t had any current NBA players sign over there yet, but I think it will happen soon.” Lawrence said all 15 player clients that he personally deals with have asked him about opportunities in Europe. “If teams make good offers,” he said, “I think there will be guys that go over there that will surprise you.”

European teams are wise to see if there is a fit — more marginal NBA players can have a big impact on a European team. Not every NBA player is a good fit — both in terms of style of play and of expectations and ability to deal with a very different environment overseas — but many are. Teams should be talking to guys they like, players would be smart to listen.

For guys like Nenad Krstic, Sonny Weems and Sasha Vujacic signing an overseas deal makes a lot of sense. For the big rumors — Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and guys of that ilk — the risk is much greater. That didn’t stop Deron Williams, and it may not stop other big names. But you’ll see a lot more movement among guys farther down the bench.