Damjan Rudez

And-Ones: Rudez, Trade Candidates, Singh, Canales

Former NBA forward Damjan Rudez has announced his retirement, as Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files relays (via Twitter). Rudez confirmed his decision on his own Twitter account, posting a message thanking everyone who was “a part of this long and beautiful journey with me.”

A 6’10” Crotian, Rudez spent most of his professional career in Europe. Besides playing in his home country, he also had stints in Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, Monaco, and The Netherlands. He did briefly play in the NBA from 2014-17, appearing in a total of 146 games for the Pacers, Timberwolves, and Magic.

Rudez’ NBA career got off to a promising start in Indiana, where he made 40.6% of his three-point attempts in 68 games (15.4 MPG) as a 28-year-old rookie. However, he was traded to Minnesota in exchange for Chase Budinger following his rookie year and his production fell off after that.

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

  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype identifies some players around the NBA who aren’t getting regular minutes and could become trade candidates this season. Some, including Raptors guard Goran Dragic and Kings big man Marvin Bagley III, are probably already on the trade block, while others, such as Magic center Robin Lopez and Pistons wing Hamidou Diallo, are more speculative.
  • Indian prospect Principal Singh is finalizing a three-year contract with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League, tweets Marc Stein. Singh spent last season with the G League Ignite, but logged just 25 minutes in four games with the developmental club.
  • Veteran NBA assistant coach Kaleb Canales will be the associate head coach for Mexico’s national team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Canales, who became the NBA’s first Mexican-American head coach in 2012, last worked for the Pacers under Nate Bjorkgren.
  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) have updated their 2022 NBA mock draft and provided early impressions on a handful of prospects, including Duke guard Trevor Keels, who enjoyed an impressive college debut on Tuesday.

International Notes: Mirotic, Scola, M. Gasol, Rudez

Former NBA forward Nikola Mirotic has been named MVP of Liga ACB, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. It’s the second European MVP award for the 29-year-old, who is preparing for a semifinal playoff game tomorrow with his FC Barcelona team.

Mirotic made a surprising decision to return to Europe last summer after five NBA seasons. He was projected to land a contract somewhere in the range of $45MM over three years if he had remained in the NBA, and Johnson reports that he had an offer in place from the Jazz. Mirotic spent most of his career with the Bulls, and split last season between the Pelicans and Bucks.

“You can see it in my face, in my smile. It was a good surprise, it brightened my day,” he said in an interview with Eurohoops.net about winning the award. “The MVP award for me means a collective work of the team. This award goes to all my teammates who have helped me to be better every day. Each game has helped me to feel good. And of course to the coaching staff who have managed to put me in the best position that I feel effective. And also for all those who support us, the fans.”

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Luis Scola, who left Olympia Milano earlier this month, will remain in Italy and sign with Varese, a source tells Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The 40-year-old forward hopes to play one more season before ending his career with the Olympics next summer.
  • Raptors center Marc Gasol announced Friday that the club he owns in Spain, Girona Basket, will create the country’s first 3×3 professional team, according to Michael Houston of insidethegame.biz. Growing in popularity around the world, 3×3 basketball will make its Olympics debut next year in Tokyo.
  • Former Pacers, Timberwolves and Magic forward Damjan Rudez signed a two-year deal with Donar in the Netherlands, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

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: