Zoran Dragic To Play In Russia

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.

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3 thoughts on “Zoran Dragic To Play In Russia

  1. Jake Bullis

    Easily Shved, he actually played real minutes in the NBA. Also finished the year off nice once he got to NY and got a little praise from Phil Jackson.. That alone gives him a shot of coming back. Didn’t they just make him highest paid player in Europe? He could prob be in NBA right now if he wanted too.

  2. Unfortunately Alexey Shved….Zoran is a lights out shooter with some serious ball skills he has shown off in international competition. It’s only a matter of time until he lets it loose and becomes a star over there. I would have really liked for him to go to NY where he could have been the #2 SG behind Afflalo

  3. Chuck Myron

    I’d have to agree with both Jake and jimmer, though it would be interesting to see what Zoran could do with a little playing time.

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