Gerald Green - Last year, Gerald Green played in Russia. Playing for Lokomotiv Kuban, Green averaged 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, shooting 44% from the field and 35% from three point range. Unfortunately, there's no stat for whether he "gets it" yet.
Another ex-NBA draft pick to have signed in Italy is Milovan Rakovic, whose rights are owned by the Magic. Rakovic was one of the best players in the Russian Superleague last year, averaging 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game for Spartak St Petersburg. He's cashing in on that and moving to Italy to play for Italian powerhouse Montepaschi Siena. There's lots of upheaval in Russia at the moment; the Superleague teams have all signed a pact vowing to break away from the current governing body, with whom they are thoroughly disenfranchised, and to begin running operations on their own. Amidst this upheaval, many players have left; Spartak also released James White (14.8/3.7) and Goran Suton (played 94 minutes all season). Additionally, Unics Kazan have released veteran Lithuanian jumpshooter Saulius Å tombergas, and Lokomotiv Kuban have released their imports James Gist, Andre Owens and Gerald Green. It's probably fair to say that Green will not be returning to the Dallas Mavericks.
White was under contract to the Rockets to start this season after being signed through 2010 at the end of last year. However, with no chance of making the Rockets roster, he was traded to Denver for the draft rights to Axel Hervelle - essentially, nothing at all, since it's unlikely Hervelle ever comes over. White didn't make the team there either, though, and moved to Russia to play for Spartak St. Petersburg. He averaged 16.0ppg in the Eurocup and 14.8ppg in the Russian Superleague, and was also a participant in the Russian Slam Dunk Contest. (Obviously. I mean, he's James White.) He went up against Gerald Green, another renouned dunker, and here's the video of their little tÃªte-a-tÃªte.
Needs a little Damon Jones, maybe, but it was much better than the NBA's one.
Green squirmed out 4 years in the NBA, but never came close to realising the potential that a man with his combination of athleticism and jumpshooting has by default. He last played with the Mavericks; however, at the Nerdjerkfest Conference Thing last week (or whatever it was called; said with affection, by the way), Mark Cuban famously and amusingly stated that Green "just doesn't understand the game of basketball." Quite the burn there from a man who spent a year signing his paychecks, but after four years of experimenting, the whole NBA seems to have bought into it.
Green is now in Russia playing for Lokomotiv Kuban. He is averaging 15.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Gerald Green — Rather unfortunately a poster child for low basketball IQ’s, Green nevertheless is one of the best talents on this list. He demonstrated this at the D-League showcase, scoring 18.6 points per game in a variety of ways, demonstrating that he is more than just a physical profile. He is, however, fantastically inconsistent still.
[...] The lure of first-round picks is in what they can yield, not what they always do. It is well established, of course, that many first-round picks are failures relative to expectation, and this is truer the lower they are. However, first-rounders can yield star talent, star talent that has no choice but to sign with you. It can yield quality role players for basement prices, and it can yield contributors in any form you choose. Most importantly, however, first-rounders are always young and cheap. Bad teams need this to get good, and good teams need this to stay good when the market forces and punitive luxury taxes designed to break them up necessitate they cut costs. Talent is talent, but cheap, young talent is the best type of talent.
Back at the start of the summer, Utah took on a whopping $25 million in salary that it didn't want in the forms of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush, purely to acquire two first-round picks and three second-round picks from the Golden State Warriors. The Jazz did this because it was more beneficial to their long-term rebuilding goal to target first-round picks, and that amount of money is now the cost of acquiring them. Or at least, it should be. First-round picks should be a valued commodity, much more than they were. Now, it seems as though they finally are.
A cursory look at the market indicates this change in philosophy. The last few deals to have included first-round picks include:
- Washington trading a pick (top-12 protected in 2014, top-10 protected through 2019, thereafter unprotected) along with Emeka Okafor in exchange for Marcin Gortat.
- Indiana trading a pick (lottery protected through 2019, thereafter unprotected) along with Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green in exchange for Luis Scola
- Boston acquiring first-rounders in all of 2014, 2016 and 2018 as a part of the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett deal
- New Orleans acquiring Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson in exchange for the rights to Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick
- Toronto acquiring a 2016 first-round pick from New York -- along with two second-round picks, Steve Novak and Marcus Camby -- in exchange for Andrea Bargnani
In that list, we mostly see first-rounders traded for quality. Hall of Fame players like Pierce and Garnett, fringe All-Stars like Holiday or non-lottery picks for a legitimate starting center in Gortat. The ones where we don't see that -- the deals for Scola and Bargnani -- therefore stand out as bad deals for that reason. The inclusion of the first-round picks in each instance leaves the recipient team drastically overpaying for backup-caliber forwards. And if he's not re-signed or extended, the Gortat deal might join them.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.