Sasha Pavlovic

Sasha Pavlovic Signs To Play In Serbia

Sasha Pavlovic has signed with Partizan Belgrade, the team announced (translation via Sportando on Twitter). first reported news of the agreement this weekend. The 30-year-old shooting guard has spent each of the past 10 seasons in the NBA, including last season with the Blazers. He didn’t attend camp with an NBA team this fall, and today’s announcement makes it unlikely he’ll play in an 11th straight NBA season.

Portland waived the Dan Fegan client over the summer a year after acquiring him in a sign-and-trade deal. He averaged 2.6 points in 13.5 minutes per game last season. In spite of his longevity in the NBA, he’s never averaged double-figures in points or started more than 45 games in a single season.

Pavlovic will likely serve as a mentor for Bogdan Bogdanovic, another Partizan Belgrade shooting guard. Bogdanovic is one of the top overseas prospects for the 2014 draft, checking in at No. 31 on the DraftExpress rankings and No. 52 at ESPN Insider.

Odds & Ends: Bradley, Dumars, D-League

The Celtics have seen Avery Bradley make a leap in production this year, and the third-year guard tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders he’s focusing on his play while his restricted agency looms over this summer: “Just like any other process, you try not to worry about it–it’s just like the trade deadline and all that stuff. You just don’t worry about it. You can only control your play and your attitude, and that’s all I am focused on.” Here are more notes from around the league:

  • Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders says it’s time for teams to part ways with Evan Turner, Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol, Kyle Lowry, and Omer Asik. Hamilton argues that the time for bluffing and driving up values has passed, and that it is always better to be compensated by pre-empting the inevitable loss of players likely to move on in the coming offseason.
  • Sasha Pavlovic has agreed to play in Serbia with the Partizan Belgrade team, per (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 10-year NBA veteran was released by the Blazers this offseason and failed to land with another team after scoring 2.6 points on .353 shooting and 13.5 minutes per game last year.
  • Joe Dumars is still running the Pistons front office, but is a rumored candidate for the GM opening with the Cavs, per a tweet from HoopsHype. Dumars is in the last year of his contract, and is reportedly under pressure  after splurging this offseason to construct an atypical, playoff-hopeful roster that hasn’t stopped Detroit’s losing woes to this point.
  • Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report says that, despite the trend to rely on drafting and under the CBA’s tax structure, the Lakers‘ strongest advantage and best strategy as an organization lies in their ability to draw free agents to Los Angeles. Ding contrasts the gambles and limitations small market teams like the Cavs and Thunder have to take to secure and keep talent like Andrew Bynum and James Harden with the ability the Lakers have to sign stars and afford luxury tax payments. Ding says the Lakers should be optimistic they can bounce back faster than teams in major rebuilding modes, keeping up their championship history.
  • Howard Beck and Reese Waters of Bleacher Report discussed the Bucks‘ options heading into the trade deadline with a disappointing league-worst record. Beck thinks the only untouchable player in Milwaukee should be rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  • Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders sees a lot of parallels in the Magic‘s current rebuilding process with the successful rebuild that brought the Thunder to the top of the Western Conference. Orlando isn’t winning many games this year, but their roster is filled with promising young players, and another high pick likely awaits them in the upcoming 2014 draft. The Thunder perfected the art of bottoming out while acquiring and developing assets, and the Magic hope to duplicate their success.
  • Dakota Schmidt of Ridiculous Upside provides a nice rundown of the pro prospects that will be featured in the D-League All-Star festivities. Schmidt looks at young players looking to get their first real shot at the NBA like Pierre Jackson and Justin Hamilton, players who have spent some time with NBA teams this year like Hilton Armstrong, Seth CurryDewayne Dedmon, Manny Harris, and Malcolm Thomas (currently on the Jazz roster), along with players looking to revive their NBA careers like DeAndre Liggins, Chris Wright, and Kevin Jones.

Blazers Waive Sasha Pavlovic

The Blazers have waived Sasha Pavlovic, the team announced via Twitter. Pavlovic's deal extended through 2014/15, but both years left on it were non-guaranteed, meaning Portland doesn't owe him any more money after paying him $1,232,713 this past season. Pavlovic was acquired last summer as part of a three-team sign-and-trade arrangement, and he seemed to be included in the deal simply to make the salaries match. Since players who are signed-and-traded must be given three-year deals, that's what Pavlovic got, but the lack of guaranteed money allows the Blazers to part ways with him now.

The Dan Fegan client will hit the free agent market, unless another team puts in a claim for him, which would be unlikely. He was in and out of Portland's rotation this past season, averaging 2.6 points in 13.5 minutes per game. With the team's acquisition of C.J. McCollum at the draft and its agreement today to sign Dorell Wright, the Blazers added depth at the wing positions, likely eliminating any need to keep Pavlovic around.

Pavlovic was set to earn close to $1.4MM this season and nearly $1.5MM in 2014/15, so his release figures to give the Blazers a little more wiggle room under the cap. Still, it'll be a tight squeeze if they want to sign anyone else, given their trades for Robin Lopez and Thomas Robinson. Portland's best weapon left might be its $2.65MM room exception. 

Injured Players On Expiring Contracts

The Lakers announced yesterday that Metta World Peace underwent successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will miss six weeks. Whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs, World Peace's season could be over, and Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wondered yesterday if the veteran forward has played his last game as a Laker.

World Peace isn't necessarily in the final year of his contract, since he has a player option for next season. However, if he exercises that option, he becomes a prime candidate to be amnestied. If he declines the option, he'll hit unrestricted free agency. Either way, the man formerly known as Ron Artest may sign a new contract before he plays in his next NBA game.

A number of players are in the same situation as World Peace, with potential free agency looming and an injury keeping them off the court. Here are a few guys who we may not see play for their current teams again, and whose free agent stocks could be affected by their current injuries:

  • Leandro Barbosa (Wizards): If you'd forgotten Barbosa was on the Wizards' roster, you're probably not alone. Acquired for salary purposes in the deal that sent Jordan Crawford to Boston, Barbosa is on an expiring minimum-salary contract, and his ACL/MCL injury may hurt his chances of signing another deal this offseason. Having suffered the season-ending injury in February, he probably won't be healthy in time for fall camps.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois (Mavericks): Eligible for restricted free agency this summer, Beaubois underwent surgery on his hand last week, and is unlikely to return this season. I doubt the Mavs will make him a qualifying offer, and there's a good chance he doesn't return to Dallas.
  • Andrew Bynum (76ers): As well-documented as any non-Derrick Rose injury this season, Bynum's ongoing knee troubles will certainly hurt his earning potential in free agency this summer, and may also ensure he never plays a game with the Sixers.
  • Richard Hamilton (Bulls): While Hamilton remains optimistic that he'll play again this season, his ongoing health problems will likely lead the Bulls to part ways with him this summer. Hamilton's $5MM salary for 2013/14 is partially guaranteed, so he figures to receive a $1MM buyout and hit the free agent market.
  • Sasha Pavlovic (Trail Blazers): Pavlovic's quad injury has kept him out of action for more than a month, but even if he were healthy, he doesn't appear to be part of the Trail Blazers' plans. Although he's under contract for two more seasons, both years are non-guaranteed, so he may find himself seeking a new deal this July.
  • A.J. Price (Wizards): Price earned 22 starts this season for the Wizards, so perhaps the team will have interest in bringing him back next year. He's eager to return to the court to try to improve his free agent stock, but for now, groin issues are keeping him out indefinitely.
  • Brandon Roy (Timberwolves): All the time Roy has missed this season with knee problems ensured that the second year of his contract with the Timberwolves became non-guaranteed, and there's virtually no chance the Wolves will retain him and his $5.33MM salary. If Roy is forced to call it a career at season's end, it would be an unfortunate way for him to go out, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we're headed.
  • Brandon Rush (Warriors): After going down during the season's first week, Rush underwent knee surgery in January that ended his year. Fortunately for him, he's got a $4MM player option for 2013/14, so he figures to be returning to the Warriors rather than looking for work next year.
  • Jason Smith (Hornets): Out for the season with a torn labrum, Smith, like Hamilton, has a partially guaranteed contract for 2013/14. The price to keep him wouldn't be exorbitant – $1MM of his $2.5MM salary is guaranteed – so we'll have to wait and see what the Hornets decide.
  • Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace (Knicks): A pair of aging Knicks bigs on expiring contracts, it would be a little surprising to see both Thomas and Wallace playing in the NBA next year, even if they return in the playoffs. Even if Thomas and Wallace wanted to extend their playing careers, their latest foot issues would raise red flags for any interested teams.
  • Elliot Williams (Trail Blazers): Unlike some other players on this list, Williams is no lock to receive an NBA contract, especially if he can't show that he's healthy before the fall. That's probably why, even after surgery on his achilles, he talked about wanting to return to the court in '12/13 and auditioning in the Summer League.

Western Notes: Terry, Virginia, Pavlovic, Suns

Although Jason Kidd and the Mavericks didn't seem to part ways on the best of terms this summer, Mavs owner Mark Cuban had kinder words for Jason Terry, who also left Dallas over the offseason. Cuban said Monday that the club looked at the possibility of a multiyear deal for Terry, but "couldn't make the numbers work," according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

"I would have liked for him to stay," Cuban said. "But I understood what his goals were. He’s always going to be special and hopefully when his career is over he’ll come back and work with us."

As Terry and his new club, the Celtics, prepare to host Cuban's Mavs tomorrow, let's round up a few more updates out of the Western Conference:

Northwest Rumors: Bell, Wolves, Blazers, Hayward

The Thunder are the only Northwest Division team in action tonight, as they take on the Bulls, and after that, every team in the division will have just one more preseason game before final roster decisions must be made. Clubs are offering a few clues about their plans, and we round them up tonight along with other news out of the Northwest. 

Blazers Links: Stotts, Freeland, Vanterpool

In an interview with, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts talked about the different combinations he's been using in scrimmages early on and the improvisational aspect of his offensive philosophy. Here are a few more noteworthy links to look at from Portland tonight…

Celtics Acquire Courtney Lee

5:49pm: The second-round picks the Blazers will get are both for 2013, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. They'll receive the Celtics' own selection, along with the Timberwolves' pick that the C's acquired in an earlier deal. Freeman also passes along word from Blazers GM Neil Olshey, who says he is hopeful Pavlovic will make the team out of camp (Twitter link). Freeman confirms, via Twitter, that the Celtics will send the Blazers cash to cover Pavlovic's salary, which will likely be the veteran's minimum. Pavlovic's 2012/13 contract is non-guaranteed, so he could be waived without the Blazers taking a cap hit, Freeman confirms in an email to Hoops Rumors.

4:05pm: In making their own official announcement about the trade, the Trail Blazers noted that they'll acquire two future second-rounders from the Celtics, rather than just one (Twitter link).

2:12pm: The Rockets have officially announced the Lee sign-and-trade agreement in a press release. Based on the team's announcement and a tweet from Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the deal looks like this:

According to's John Hollinger (via Twitter), Lee will earn exactly $5MM in his first year, making his total contract worth the same as the maximum mid-level exception (four years, $21.35MM). The Rockets, meanwhile, are expected to waive Moore and Williams in the very near future. Diebler, the player whose rights Houston receives from Portland, was selected by the Blazers 51st overall in 2011 and spent last season overseas.

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Odds & Ends: Lakers, Pacers, Pavlovic, Henson

With a loss tonight against the Heat, the Pacers' season will end.'s Joel Brigham believes that even if that happens, Indiana has established themselves as a franchise to contend with

  • With Celtics guard Avery Bradley out for the playoffs,'s Rich Levine asks if the team could get any production out of Sasha Pavlovic
  •'s J.A. Adande writes that in order for them to arrive back at the elite level they're most familiar with, the Lakers need to move away from their current strength (size) and shift towards the league's current trend (speed).
  •'s Eric Pincus discusses some serious tax issues the Lakers are facing in the immediate future, and how it could shape important personnel decisions. 
  • Through conversations with several NBA general managers and scouts,'s Sam Amico takes a look at North Carolina big man John Henson, a possible lottery pick in this year's draft.