Damjan Rudez

Damjan Rudez To Play In Monaco

Former NBA forward Damjan Rudez has signed with AS Monaco Basket, a team that plays in LNB Pro A in France, the club announced today (via Twitter).

Rudez, 31, began his professional career in Europe, playing for a variety of clubs in Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, and his home country of Croatia before making the jump to the NBA in 2014. The 6’8″ forward appeared in 68 games for the Pacers during the 2014/15 season, averaging 4.8 PPG and shooting 40.6% on three-pointers in a part-time role for the club.

However, following his single season in Indiana, Rudez struggled to find regular minutes for the Timberwolves in 2015/16 and for the Magic in 2016/17. After being invited to camp with Orlando again this past fall, the veteran forward was cut from the Magic’s preseason roster, prompting him to head back overseas, where he signed with Spanish team Valencia Basket.

Rudez’ stint with Valencia was unspectacular — he averaged just 2.9 PPG in 21 total contests (10.3 MPG). Having signed a three-month contract with the club, Rudez was let go when that deal expired near the end of January.

Damjan Rudez To Play In Spain

Veteran NBA forward Damjan Rudez will make his next stop in Spain, having officially signed a contract with Valencia, the team announced today (via Twitter). The deal has been confirmed by Rudez’ agency, Octagon Basketball Europe (Twitter link). According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, it’s a three-month pact for Rudez.

Rudez, 31, began his professional career in Europe, playing for a variety of clubs in Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, and his home country of Croatia before making the jump to the NBA in 2014. The 6’8″ forward appeared in 68 games for the Pacers during the 2014/15 season, averaging 4.8 PPG and shooting 40.6% on three-pointers in a part-time role for the club.

However, following his single season in Indiana, Rudez struggled to find regular minutes for the Timberwolves in 2015/16 and for the Magic last season. After being invited to camp with Orlando again this season, the veteran forward was cut from the club’s preseason roster, prompting him to head back to Croatia to train and stay in shape as he sought out his next opportunity.

Rudez will be joining a Valencia squad that also features former NBA players Tibor Pleiss and Erick Green, who have been the team’s leading scorers early in the 2017/18 season.

And-Ones: Childress, Coaches, Rautins, Rudez

After playing in the BIG3 earlier this year and then joining the Nuggets for the preseason, veteran forward Josh Childress has signed a one-year contract with the Adelaide 36ers, the team announced in a press release. It will be the second stint in Australia for the former sixth overall pick, who played for the Sydney Kings from 2014 to 2016.

While Childress hasn’t appeared in a regular season NBA game since December 2013, his new team is excited to add him to its roster and believes he’ll make a major impact.

“It’s great to have such a veteran player on board. Josh is known in the basketball circles as a pros pro,” said Adelaide 36ers head coach Joey Wright. “Who he is and how he operates typifies what we want our program to be about; class and talent.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA went 532 days between head coach firings, from May 7, 2016 (Dave Joerger fired by the Grizzlies) to October 22, 2017 (Earl Watson‘s dismissal by the Suns). That stretch of head coaching stability is virtually unprecedented for the NBA, prompting Marc Stein of The New York Times to take a closer look at why the coaching climate has been so favorable as of late.
  • After spend time with the Raptors during training camp and the preseason, former Syracuse sharpshooter Andy Rautins is heading back overseas, signing with Turkish team Banvit (English link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
  • Former Magic forward Damjan Rudez, who was waived earlier this month after spending last season in Orlando, is training in his home country with Cibona Zagreb, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. According to Pick, Rudez is discussing a deal with the Croatian team that would allow him to opt out if an NBA opportunity arises.
  • Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days lays out a blueprint for how the G League could play a major role if the NBA decides to lower its minimum draft age.

Magic Waive Damjan Rudez, Kalin Lucas

The Magic have released Damjan Rudez and Kalin Lucas, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel tweets.  The decision brings Orlando’s roster down to 15 players.

Rudez, a 31-year-old veteran of three NBA seasons, played 45 games for the Magic last year but had a negligible impact on the court. Had Rudez managed to secure a spot with the team, it would have likely been because of his positive influence in the locker room.

Lucas, a 28-year-old point guard out of Michigan State last saw NBA action back in 2014/15 when he played a single game for the Grizzlies.

With Rudez and Lucas out of the picture, it appears as though Khem Birch will stick with the team through the start of the regular season.

Magic Re-Sign Damjan Rudez

The Magic have re-signed 31-year-old forward Damjan Rudez, the team announced in a press release. His deal, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, is non-guaranteed.

In 45 games with Orlando last season, Rudez played just 7.0 minutes per game but his largest contributions to the young roster will presumably come in other areas. The forward is regarded as a positive influence in the locker room and his skillset as an adept three-point shooting big man is in vogue.

The addition of Rudez brings Orlando’s roster to 19 players but his stiffest competition for the 15th spot will likely be summer signing Khem Birch, Robbins writes.

Southeast Notes: Bazemore, Rudez, Wizards

As an unrestricted free agent this summer, Kent Bazemore drew serious interest from the Rockets and other teams, but ultimately re-signed with the Hawks on a four-year, $70MM contract. While Bazemore recognizes that there’s added pressure now that he’s on a lucrative new deal, he intends to get even better, telling Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s aiming to make the NBA’s All-Defensive team.

“I think, for me, if I do that then the [Hawks] will be in a great spot,” Bazemore said. “There are some very special teams this year with some very special players. If I can do well against them, we’ll have a great chance to win. … I’ve got to add to my Lefty Driesell Award from college. I’ve got a big gap in my defensive awards. I’ve got to put something else on the shelf.”

Here’s more from out of the Southeast:

  • As Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel details, the Magic kept two players on non-guaranteed contracts on their regular-season roster, including Damjan Rudez, who is thrilled to have made the team. According to Robbins, head coach Frank Vogel lobbied team executives to give the veteran forward a chance to earn a spot on the 15-man squad.
  • There were offseason rumblings about a potentially contentious on-court relationship between Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the backcourt duo is on the same page to open the season, per The Associated Press.
  • Andrew Nicholson could turn out to be one of the major free agent bargains of the summer for the Wizards, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com.

And-Ones: Roster Moves, Bulls, Rudez, Onuaku

Monday afternoon is the deadline to reach the roster limit of 15, and nine teams still have cuts to make, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. The Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets, Lakers, Pelicans, Thunder, Sixers, Suns and Kings all remain over the limit leading into what should be an eventful day, says Nahmad. By our count, the Grizzlies still have a move to make as well. The Pacers were the latest team to trim their roster, waiving Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone tonight.

There’s more news from around the NBA:

  • J.J. Avila, who was waived Friday by the Bulls, has agreed to play for Chicago’s D-League affiliate, tweets Dennis Silva II of Monitor News. The 6’8″ power forward from Colorado State signed a training camp contract with Chicago in September. Guard Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin, another Friday cut, will also be joining the Windy City Bulls (Twitter link).
  • Damjan Rudez and Arinze Onuaku both traveled a lot of miles to realize their dream of returning to the NBA, writes John Denton of NBA.com. After playing overseas and in the D-League, both veterans were told Saturday that they had earned a place on the Magic’s final roster. “It was a big blessing,” Onuaka said. “When you are out here fighting for a spot every day it’s stressful and to get that news, it was great. You’ve always got to wait to hear if you’re in or you’re out, so it wasn’t easy sleeping at night.’’
  • Fred VanVleet won the Raptors‘ final roster spot, but coach Dwane Casey said all the training camp invitees were impressive, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Casey said Drew Crawford and Brady Heslip have the talent to be NBA players, adding that he was disappointed he didn’t have room to keep all of them.

And-Ones: Jones, Snell, Gay

Cleveland is likely to waive Dahntay Jones, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops (Twitter link). The Cavs currently have 16 players under contract after waiving John Holland earlier today.

Here’s more from around the league:

Magic Add Six Camp Invitees To Roster

SEPTEMBER 8: The Magic officially confirmed that they’ve signed the six players listed below (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 7: The Magic entered the day with just 13 players on their roster, but will add six more names to that list with a group of training camp invitees. According to Brian K. Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter), the Magic are bringing the following six players to camp:

  • Cliff Alexander, F/C: Alexander signed with the Blazers as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas last July, but only saw action in eight games for the club during the 2015/16 season, playing a total of 36 minutes. He was waived in July before his 2016/17 salary became guaranteed.
  • Branden Dawson, F: Waived by the Clippers in July, Dawson faced felony domestic violence charges earlier this year, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office didn’t pursue those charges, due to insufficient evidence. On the court, the 2015 second-rounder out of Michigan State appeared in just six games for the Clippers, spending most of the season in the D-League.
  • Nick Johnson, G: The 42nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Johnson spent a year with Houston, appearing in 28 games for the team. He was sent to Denver in last year’s Ty Lawson trade, and was subsequently waived by the Nuggets, eventually landing with the D-League’s Austin Spurs for 34 games.
  • Kevin Murphy, G: Since being selected by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft and playing 17 games in his rookie season, Murphy has bounced around, spending time with three D-League teams, as well as in China and Japan.
  • Arinze Onuaku, F/C: Although he appeared in regular-season games for three different teams – New Orleans, Cleveland, and Minnesota – from 2013 to 2015, Onuaku saw action in just 11 total contests. The former Syracuse big man spent time with teams in Israel and the Phillippines last season.
  • Damjan Rudez, F: Rudez’ training camp invite from the Magic was first reported last month. The 30-year-old Croatian saw a decent amount of playing time in Indiana during his first NBA season in 2014/15, averaging 15.4 minutes in 68 regular-season contests for the Pacers. However, he was traded to the Timberwolves last July in a deal for Chase Budinger, and never carved out a consistent role in Minnesota last season. The Wolves declined their team option on his contract in June.

Contract details on the Magic’s new additions aren’t yet known, but the team is over the cap and short-term, minimum-salary deals seem likely. Orlando does still have its $2.898MM room exception available if it needs to offer more than the minimum to secure a player’s services.

With 13 guaranteed contracts on their books, the Magic could be looking to fill two more roster spots for the regular season, with the players listed above vying for those openings.

Magic To Sign Damjan Rudez?

4:09pm: According to Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link), Rudez was invited to training camp but was not offered a contract.

12:41pm: Free agent Crotian forward Damjan Rudez appears set to join the Magic, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.com, who reports that Rudez and the Magic have agreed to terms on a contract. Terms of the deal aren’t known, but Varlas suggests that an official announcement should happen soon.

Rudez, 30, saw a decent amount of playing time in Indiana during his first NBA season in 2014/15, averaging 15.4 minutes in 68 regular-season contests for the Pacers. However, he was traded to the Timberwolves last July in a deal for Chase Budinger, and never carved out a consistent role in Minnesota last season. The Wolves declined their team option on his contract in June.

A three-time Croatian League All-Star, Rudez spent the first part of his basketball career playing overseas, and according to Varlas, several European clubs expressed interest in him this offseason. Assuming the Magic make things official though, it looks like the veteran forward will remain in the NBA for now.

Orlando doesn’t have a ton of outside shooting on its roster, particularly with Jodie Meeks‘ health in question, so Rudez should help provide some range, if he makes the regular-season roster. He has shot 39.1% from beyond the arc in his 101 NBA games.

Taking into account their cap limitations, the Magic could sign Rudez to a minimum-salary deal or to a contract using some or all of their $2.898MM room exception.