Zoran Dragic has signed a two-year deal with Khimki of Russia, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Dragic cleared waivers from the Celtics on Wednesday following his Monday release. It’s no surprise to see the native of Slovenia return to overseas ball, as his camp pushed the Celtics to let go of him when they did so that he could sign with a European team that would give him minutes, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported this week. The Celtics reportedly intended to unload him somehow, though it appeared as though they were waiting to see if another NBA team would take him in a trade.
The Celtics stand to benefit to some degree if Dragic’s deal calls for a salary of more than the NBA one-year veteran’s minimum of $845,059, since that would allow them to invoke set-off rights to defray the $1.5MM they owe him. In any case, it’s a quick end to Dragic’s NBA excursion, one in which he saw just 4.7 minutes per game in 16 total appearances split between the Suns, who originally signed him a year ago, and the Heat, to whom Phoenix traded him along with his brother, Goran Dragic. Miami flipped him to Boston in a salary-clearing move last month.
Zoran nonetheless faces competition for playing time with Khimki, which bestowed a deal upon fellow former NBA guard Alexey Shved that reportedly makes him the highest-paid player in Europe. The team also has Mavs draft rights held player Petteri Koponen in the backcourt, as Carchia points out.
Who do you think stands a better chance of playing in the NBA again, Dragic or Shved? Leave a comment to tell us.