Exactly one year ago, Andres Nocioni’s agent said his client turned down an offer from an NBA team. The Spanish league forward received interest from several teams this past summer, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, and now, the 34-year-old tells Johnson that he’s warming to the idea of returning stateside to play.
“Europe is a great, great place to play basketball,” Nocioni said. “I came back here because I sat on the bench a lot in Philly and that was frustrating for me because all my life I have played. But my situation has changed a little bit. I don’t need to play as many minutes. I’m too old. So maybe I go to the NBA and try to enjoy a good organization and try to help young guys and the team to win games. I think about playing more like a veteran helping with fewer minutes and more experience. But I have no decision now. I’m not thinking long-term.”
Nocioni signed a one-year extension with Spain’s Laboral Kuxta Baskonia last June. He’s averaged 14.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game this season, his best numbers since leaving the NBA. He played just 56 minutes total in 11 games for the Sixers during his final NBA season in 2011/12, and Philadelphia waived him that March.
He was much more productive in his four and a half seasons with the Bulls, a time he recalls fondly to Johnson. He scored a career-high 14.1 points per game during 2006/07, his third year with Chicago, and otherwise put up a statistical line eerily similar to the one he’s compiled in Spain this year. He was also a 37.3% three-point shooter in the NBA, demonstrating an ability to stretch the floor.