The gym was buzzing all day long with talk of the remaining playoff series still yet to be resolvedprimarily the NBA, Spanish and Italian leagues, while those executives who arent fortunate enough to be still playing made the rounds of the basketball industry trying to figure out what they can do this summer to change their teams fate. NBA draft talk, the coaching carousels in the various countries and the very active free agent markets dominated the discussions, while the Eurocamp games served as the days backdrop.
Some of the more interesting topics included:
-Talk of the Sacramento Kings making Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis the primary target in their head coaching hunt, with the only remaining obstacle being a contract figure that satisfies both parties.
-Ron Artest as a willing and interested free agent target for both Greek powerhouses this summer, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, granted he does not find a superior NBA offer on the free agent market.
-Next weeks early-entry deadline, which will likely see players such as Jodie Meeks and Tyler Smith return to school, while others remain on the fence. One NBA team mentioned being told quite confidently by Damion James that he is most certainly staying in the draft, and most assume that Gonzagas Austin Daye is a lock to stay in. Another executive discussed Jeff Teague telling them that he will not pull his name out if he receives any type of guarantee that he will be drafted in the first round, which is probably not what Wake Forest fans want to hear.
-Jordan Hill potentially slipping into the bottom of the top-10 or even possibly slightly beyond. The talk is that the Washington Wizards 5th pick could very well end up being claimed by Stephen Curry (whether for them or another team trading up), and that since Minnesota, Golden State, New York and maybe even Toronto appear to be looking at other positional needs, Hill could be on the short end of the stick come draft night.
-Plenty of chatter about the Ricky Rubio situation, with the most interesting commentary coming from the many members of the Spanish basketball industry, which are out here in full force. The news this morning about a lawsuit being planned by Rubios camp is apparently very true, and there was plenty of spirited discussion regarding whether his exorbitant buyout relative to his proportional contract will hold up in a Spanish court.
Some cited the fact that similar cases in soccer (for example in England) had sided in favor of the players in the past, while others mentioned that Rubios willing acceptance of a large pay raise a few months back had nullified his ability to dispute the validity of the deal. The main questions here arehow long will such a case take to play out? How much does Joventut need the money for this upcoming season? And how much will the negative publicity from such a bombastic story hurt them down the road in terms of signing young players? Can all this be resolved in satisfactory fashion in time for the draft? This move likely ends any chance Rubio has of pulling his name out of the draft, as the damage caused by such a lawsuit would likely be too great of a rift to heal this upcoming summer.
-High school junior Jeremy Tylerwho reportedly has offers from two teams in Greece (Marrousi and Panellinios) and Italys Armani Jeans Milano, but may opt to sign with a relatively unknown franchise in IsraelMaccabi Heat Haifabacked by quite an ambitious American owner by the name of Jeff Rosen. Tyler is now being represented by well-known basketball agency Wasserman Media Group, who had a very positive experience sending then-USC freshman Davon Jefferson to Haifa, where he had a breakthrough season. The offer is reportedly somewhere in the 200k range.
-Mike DAntonis New York Knicks apparently taking a strong liking to senior Jack McClinton, to the point that they could try to buy a pick in the late first round to ensure they land his services.
Day Two Evaluations
-Rodrigue Beaubois sat out todays action after injuring his wrist, a situation eerily similar to two years ago, where he also teased the NBA teams in attendance with an intriguing first game, and then subsequently shut it down for the rest of the camp. Beaubois has somewhat of a reputation for both being fairly injury prone and not the toughest guy around, and this probably doesnt help on that front.
-Jonas Jerebko will play the last day of the Eurocamp.
Satoransky mixed in a strong first step with excellent footwork and some crafty spin-moves, showing great fluidity and coordination to go along with his terrific size. Although he didnt always have the strength to finish his moves inside, it was interesting to see how much shake he has to his game already despite his young age. He plays with a real winning spirit, looking highly unselfish, yet still being very active, even if his perimeter shooting needs to improve. If he continues to develop at the same rate, he clearly has a great future ahead of him. At the very least hes shown that he isnt ranked as our #1 prospect in the 1991 international class all year long for nothing.
He also had a number of very impressive possessions defensively, smothering his opponent on the perimeter with his terrific length and lateral quickness. He needs to work on maintaining his focus and not trying to do too much with the ball, as at times he tends to get a bit crazy going behind the back with his dribble and settling for wild shots. His ball-handling skills need some work, but its pretty clear that he is one of the more naturally talented players in attendance, even if he doesnt always play up to his full potential.
Dasic may still pull out of the draft at the deadline were told, depending on what hes hearing from NBA teams. While hes probably not in the first round at this point, hes the type of player that could get there next year with a good season in a strong European league. Since his buyout issues have apparently been resolved, he probably isnt in as much of a rush to get to the NBA as he once was.
NBA teams we spoke to still expressed some doubt regarding his point guard skills, which is something he could still stand to work on. He posted 3 assists compared with 4 turnovers in the evening game, seeming to be hunting shots quite a bit, and didnt look all that comfortable getting others involved. Scouts generally were impressed by the quickness and shot-creating ability he showed, and he also did a better job defensively today as well.