Tomislav Zubcic

Tomislav Zubcic Signed, Waived By Thunder

SEPTEMBER 23: Zubcic was technically waived by the Thunder after signing the second-round tender he received from the team, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The end result is the same: Zubcic becomes an unrestricted free agent, whose NBA rights are now up for grabs. However, it suggests that perhaps the player forced the issue, rather than the team simply letting him go.

SEPTEMBER 18: The Thunder have renounced the rights to Tomislav Zubcic on Sunday, making the 6’10” power forward a free agent, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman reports.

Zubcic, 26, played 36 games for Oklahoma City’s D-League affiliate last season, averaging 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.8 minutes per game. Zubcic was fourth on the Blue in 3-pointers made (44), shooting 35.2%.

Zubcic was unlikely to ever join the Thunder, Horne writes, so the move isn’t at all surprising and Zubcic can play with the Blue if he does not sign with another team. The 56th overall pick by the Raptors in 2012 was acquired by the Thunder in June 2015 in a deal that had helped the Thunder create roster space for Cameron Payne.

Tomislav Zubčić Joins Thunder D-League Team

DECEMBER 24TH, 1:04pm: The move is official, the D-League team announced (another hat tip to Reichert).

DECEMBER 4TH, 11:02am: Draft-and-stash prospect Tomislav Zubčić will sign with the D-League affiliate of the Thunder, according to Vedran Modrić of the Eurohopes scouting service (Twitter link; hat tip to Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor). Oklahoma City acquired the NBA rights to Zubčić, the 56th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, when they sent Luke Ridnour to Toronto in a late June trade this year. The 25-year-old Zubčić left KK Cedevita in his native Croatia shortly after the start of the season.

Zubčić, who’s 6’11”, plays both forward positions, is a proficient corner 3-point shooter and performs well in transition, but he lacks the strength to put up much of a fight for rebounds inside, Modrić observes (Twitter links). He had a fairly limited role for Cedevita last season, averaging 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game, and he shot 39.8% from behind the arc.

He’ll be perhaps the most high-profile European player to come stateside directly via the D-League, Modrić posits. It’s a move that takes advantage of a rule put into place last season that allows NBA teams to allocate draft picks directly to their D-League affiliates. In previous years, Zubčić would have been subject to D-League waivers, and any NBA team’s affiliate could have grabbed him. The Thunder have frequently used the rule to their advantage, funneling 2014 draft picks Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon to their D-League team, and they did the same with Dakari Johnson, whom they drafted 48th overall this year.

The Thunder have 15 fully guaranteed contracts on their NBA roster, so it appears that unlikely Oklahoma City will be bringing Zubčić to the NBA in the near future, barring another roster move.

Northwest Rumors: Thunder, Mudiay, Jazz

The Thunder want a first-round pick to part with Perry Jones, according to two execs who spoke with Chris Mannix of SI.  Unfortunately for OKC, however, that doesn’t seem to be a realistic demand.  Here’s more from the Northwest Division..

  • Nuggets head coach Michael Malone spoke with Mannix about the chaos of draft night and the events leading up the selection of Emmanuel Mudiay.  Mudiay did not work out for Denver, but the Nuggets did watch a great deal of film on him.  Despite the uncertainty, Malone said that he trusted his front office and wasn’t hesitant about the pick.
  • The Jazz will have a conversation with Raul Neto, the Brazilian point guard they drafted two years ago, to gauge his interest in playing in the NBA next season, according to Aaron Falk, Tony Jones, and Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune.  The sense is that the Jazz want the 2013 second round pick to join them sooner rather than later.  However, it’s not clear where he’d fit in given the team’s current logjam at point guard.
  • The Raptors never considered Tomislav Zubčić, a late second-round pick in the 2012 draft whose rights Toronto sent to the Thunder today, to be an NBA prospect, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (on Twitter).  Apparently, the Raptors drafted him mostly as a favor to help speed up the team’s buyout for Jonas Valanciunas, Wolstat writes.
  • Blazers GM Neil Olshey is prepared for what’s ahead, regardless of whether LaMarcus Aldridge stays or goes, Ian Thomsen of writes.
  • The Thunder announced that they have named Monty Williams, Maurice Cheeks, and Anthony Grant as assistant coaches.

Raptors Acquire Luke Ridnour

10:45am: The Raptors say (on Twitter) they’ve also acquired cash in the transaction.

10:15am: The deal is official, the Thunder announced via press release.

9:47am: The Raptors and Thunder have agreed to a trade that sends Luke Ridnour to Toronto, reports Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (Twitter links). The rights to draft-and-stash prospect Tomislav Zubcic go to Oklahoma City, Mayberry adds. The Thunder will also get to create a trade exception worth $2.75MM that they can use to acquire a player who makes up to $100K more than that amount, as Mayberry notes. Ridnour’s salary is non-guaranteed if he’s waived before the end of July 10th, and it appears as though the Raptors intend to release him unless they, too, can find a taker for him, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star (on Twitter).

It’ll be the fourth time in a week that Ridnour will be involved in a trade, once the deal becomes official. The Magic sent him to the Grizzlies, who shipped him to the Hornets, who conveyed him to the Thunder.

Zubic, whom the Raptors drafted 56th overall in 2012, is a 6’10” center who averaged 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game for Croatia’s KK Cedevita.