July 13, 2018, 12:28 pm
Welcome back Hoop Ballers to our International Spotlight weekly feature where we will be focusing on the most notable players in Europe this year, some of which have already secured or are looking into securing guaranteed contracts with NBA teams.
Most of the guys we take a look into this week participated in the EuroLeague, the Europe-wide top-tier level professional basketball club competition that has long established itself as the benchmark for basketball outside the NBA. Organized by EuroLeague Basketball, since 2000, for eligible European basketball clubs, the league is so financially stable that approximately 100 players are making as much or more money than the bottom 100 players in the NBA.
EuroLeague teams (along with EuroCup and FIBA Basketball Champions League teams, the other major European leagues) also compete in domestic competition each week during the season so the schedule starts in October and often ends in June, with grueling travel across the continent, daily practices and more than 50 games throughout the year.
With a tight free agent market this summer NBA teams are placing more and more value on veterans who have succeeded at the highest levels overseas. Most rookies aren’t ready to contribute immediately while NBA vets with name recognition can command contracts that are disproportionate to the value they bring on the court thus opening the door to minimum deals for guys like Shane Larkin and Daniel Theis in recent years.
Signed by NBA teams
Brad Wanamaker, SG, 28 years old, Boston Celtics
11.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals on 45/39/83 splits in 69 games with Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey last year.
Wanamaker was named the 2018 Turkish BSL League Finals MVP for the second time in four years while also helping Fenerbahce reach the EuroLeague Final Four before falling to Luka Doncic and Real Madrid. He is a Philly basketball legend who played at the University of Pittsburgh and then half a season in the D-League before heading over to Europe where he has been very successful for the last six seasons. At 6’4” with a 6’8” wingspan, Wannamaker is a well-built versatile player who played on and off the ball while defending across the perimeter. A system guy who can score from anywhere in the court, he is a good but not a great shooter who doesn’t have much pull-up ability but is able to shoot off the catch if you leave him open. I can’t wait to see how Brad Stevens integrates him in a loaded Celtics’ backcourt.
Ryan Broekhoff, SF, 27 years old, Dallas Mavericks
10.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals on 53/49/89 splits in 32 games with PBC Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia last season.
Broekhoff is an excellent addition to a Mavs team that has one of the best international scouting departments. The 27-year-old sharpshooter has spent the past five seasons in Europe and at 6’7”, he possesses great size and length, allowing him to interchange between forward positions, providing the Mavs with added depth on the wing.
Isaiah Briscoe, PG, 22 years old, Orlando Magic
22.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals on 45/37/72 splits in 16 games with BC Kalev-Cramo in Russia last year.
Kyrie Irving’s cousin won the VTB United League Young Player of the Year award which is given to the league’s best player under 23 years of age. Despite being just 6’3”, he is a strong combo guard who plays a tough and physical game and excels on the defensive end but shooting will determine whether he can play at the NBA level. The point guard situation in Orlando will be one to monitor this year and there is a slight chance Briscoe emerges with fantasy value deep in the season.
Pursuing an NBA deal
Will Clyburn, SF, 28 years old
11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals on 47/41/70 splits in 64 games with CSKA Moscow in Russia last season.
The athletic forward can do pretty much everything on the court. He sets up plays for himself, scores after a dribble, has a consistent outside shot, runs the court with ease and provides important help in the game over the rim, being one of the best rebounders in his position. The former Iowa State Cyclone has really developed his game and is a prototypical long, lanky two-way wing who could be back in the NBA sooner than later.
Stanton Kidd, SF/PF, 26 years old
6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds on 49/39/80 splits in 48 games with Darussafaka Basketbol Istanbul in Turkey last year.
Kidd is another intriguing two-way player with legit size and athleticism who can shoot with confidence. He moves well without the ball and finds a way to get himself open but more importantly he has the tenacity and quickness to guard multiple positions, whether it’s locking down on an opponent along the perimeter or in the post. The 26-year-old forward from Colorado State is averaging 12.3 points and 3.5 rebounds for the Jazz in Summer League and the team is reportedly looking to sign him, presumably to a two-way deal.
James Nunnally, SG, 27 years old
10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 53/51/89 splits in 56 games with Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey last year.
Nunnally reportedly wants a guaranteed contract and a chance to play and if he doesn’t find this kind of deal, he will return to Fenerbahce or another Euro powerhouse. Former Cavs coach David Blatt is making a strong push to sign him with Olympiacos in Greece but Nunnally and the Rockets held a meeting at the beginning of July. The 2017 EuroLeague and Turkish League champion has drawn attention from ten playoff teams, six from the Western conference and four from the East, while a non-playoff team also has Nunnally on its radar and he already worked out privately for the Blazers a few days ago. After years toiling in the D-League and in a handful of international leagues, the 27-year-old UC Santa Barbara product emerged on Fenerbahce as arguably Europe’s best 3-and-D wing. Nunnally spent every July from 2012 through 2016 on an NBA Summer League roster, after playing in the D-League during his first two years out of UCSB, earning all-rookie and all-league honors.
Anthony Randolph, PF/C, 28 years old
8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds on 45/32/72 splits in 49 games with Real Madrid in Spain last season.
Randolph has been drawing interest from multiple NBA teams and it’s a possibility that he could return to the NBA this coming season after a great year with Real Madrid and the national Slovenian team, adding the kind of much-improved jump shot he never showed in his six NBA seasons. He appeared to be in the exit door of Real Madrid a few weeks ago but it seems that he will remain with the reigning EuroLeague champions next season even though he still has an NBA buyout clause in his contract.
Alexey Shved, SG, 29 years old
22.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals on 42/32/82 splits in 58 games with Khimki in Russia last season.
Shved had a stunning EuroLeague season earning the EuroLeague Alphonso Ford Top Scorer award and even though he signed the biggest contract in Europe last summer, he has an NBA out option and there is already interest and discussions with a couple teams from the NBA. He has has clarified to his agents that he wants to return to the NBA and prove he can stand out there, but that will only happen if a proposal meets his financial demands as well.
Chris Singleton, PF, 28 years old
9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals on 43/42/76 splits in 67 games with Panathinaikos in Greece.
Singleton wasn’t as good as he was in the 2016-2017 season but he was still better than most of his compatriots in the EuroLeague. He maintained his numbers at a high level hitting 46 percent of his shots from the 6.75 line in the Euroleague, evolving into an extremely dangerous modern stretch four, forcing rival big men to constantly follow him. Singleton has rejected offers from Panathinaikos, CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce and Efes and looks poised to return to the NBA.
Axel Toupane, SG, 25 years old
7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds on 49/38/76 splits in 76 games with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania.
Toupane has started private workouts for NBA teams since last week, pursuing a free-agent deal. He is a 6’7” shooting/defending wing with prior NBA experience that helped lead Zalgiris to Euroleague Final Four this year and has played for the Pelicans, the Bucks and the Nuggets in recent years.
Aaron White, PF, 25 years old
8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds on 56/39/71 splits in 81 games with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania.
The Wizards are currently in talks with Aaron White, the 49th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft who is under contract with Zalgiris for the next season but has NBA out clause that he can exercise until the middle of July. White is coming off of his most successful pro season to date and was a key contributor for Zalgiris Kaunas, who made it all the way to the Euroleague Final Four this season. The Wizards could definitely use more athleticism and youthful depth in their frontcourt and the former University of Iowa star projects to be a stretch-four who can rebound and make plays above the rim.
Thank you for reading this article and please make sure to check us out throughout the summer. Stay up to date on all the breaking news and rumors posted on our website and on our Twitter account @HoopBallFantasy.
July 18, 2019, 5:40 pmCameron ReynoldsPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal.
Reynolds played in 19 games with the Wolves as a rookie after playing for five years at Tulane University. As he moves to the Bucks, expect him to continue to compete for the opportunity to be a backup point guard in the NBA. With the Bucks entering next season as title contenders, there is no room for Reynolds in the fantasy landscape.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 18, 2019, 4:39 pmJavonte GreenF, Boston Celtics
Javonte Green will join the Celtics on a partially guaranteed contract.
After a strong Summer League performance where he averaged 10.8ppg on 50% shooting, Green will get an opportunity to fight for a roster spot for the Celtics. He most recently played overseas in Germany.
Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter
July 18, 2019, 4:31 pmAmida BrimahC, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have signed Amida Brimah to a one-year contract.
The seven foot big man, Bridah, has had a couple short stints with the Spurs but has yet to play in a game. Expect him to compete for a roster spot come training camp but there are no guarantees that he will make the final roster.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 18, 2019, 3:04 pmDaniel TheisPF, Boston Celtics
The Celtics have officially re-signed Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker.
The team rescinded their qualifying offer to Theis in a procedural move to maximize cap space, but he's back in Boston on a two-year, $10 million deal. He'll be battling for backup center minutes and his shooting ability (38.8 percent from deep last season on low volume) could set him apart from the rest of Boston's frontcourt options. As a player who can knock down threes and pick up some steals and blocks, there's deep-league potential for Theis should he end up pushing for something like 20 mpg. Wanamaker decided to pass on larger offers from European teams to return to the Celtics, where he may have a better shot at minutes with Terry Rozier out of the picture. Even so, he's not a fantasy target.
Source: Boston Celtics
July 18, 2019, 2:05 pmThanasis AntetokounmpoSF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have made their signing of Thanasis Antetokounmpo official.
Antetokounmpo is believed to be on a two-year deal that is fully guaranteed for the veteran's minimum. Antetokounmpo has just two NBA appearances to his name, both coming back in 2016 with the Knicks. It's unlikely that he'll play much, if at all, though at least he'll get to hang with his MVP little brother.
Source: Milwaukee Bucks
July 18, 2019, 1:59 pmRondae Hollis-JeffersonSF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have announced the signing of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Hollis-Jefferson had a tough season in Brooklyn, suffering an offseason adductor strain and then falling out of the rotation when he was ready to play. The Raptors will take a one-year flier on a player that can capably defend multiple positions while bringing great energy, and he'll fit in with the team's defensive identity. RHJ is only a year removed from being a top-100 fantasy player but it's unlikely that he holds standard-league value in a reserve role for Toronto. Deep-league managers can consider Hollis-Jefferson a late-round flier.
Source: Toronto Raptors
July 18, 2019, 1:41 pmKelly Oubre Jr.SF, Phoenix Suns
The Suns have officially re-signed Kelly Oubre.
Oubre is headed back to Phoenix on a two-year, $30 million deal and lost out on a bigger payday as teams alternately gobbled up cap space or played a long waiting game in free agency, leaving one of the top RFAs on the board to settle for a deal that clocks in below expectations. Oubre missed the end of the season because of thumb surgery but blossomed in Phoenix, averaging 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.7 3s on .453 shooting. That was good for top-50 value, and while that might be too lofty to expect a repeat without some breaks (the efficiency is a definite question mark), it's clear that Oubre is finally on a team that will commit to his future and there will be enough playing time to make him a late-middle round option in fantasy drafts.
Source: Phoenix Suns
July 18, 2019, 1:37 pmDavid NwabaSF, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have announced the signing of David Nwaba.
Nwaba will head to Brooklyn on a two-year deal after bouncing around over his first three NBA seasons. It's a nice pickup for the Nets, who will get a hard-nosed forward that's capable of defending and rebounding with tenacity. Nwaba's poor shooting might not do him favors in Brooklyn's system, but he's the type of hustle player that coaches tend to like. Expect him to play a part in Kenny Atkinson's deep rotation, though fantasy value is probably out of the question when everyone is healthy.
Source: Brooklyn Nets
July 18, 2019, 12:42 pmJR SmithSG, Cleveland Cavaliers
J.R. Smith will meet with the Bucks on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This is the first team other than the Lakers, who have already been deemed an unlikely landing spot, to be connected to Smith. Milwaukee is looking for another wing shooter and Smith would fit the bill in a perfect world, though it's unlikely that he would play a major role for any team after sitting out since November.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 18, 2019, 12:39 pmKyle LowryPG, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry has undergone a procedure to repair the tendon in his left thumb, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lowry battled with either a left thumb sprain or dislocation (depending on who you believe) in the playoffs and often spoke of how he struggled to handle the ball. It didn't seem to matter too much as Lowry shot 42 percent from deep over the Eastern Conference Finals and Finals, but this procedure is far from surprising. The point guard is still hoping to be ready for Team USA training camp and the FIBA World Cup, so we are not looking at a lengthy recovery here.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter