By John Harris |@JHBasketball
Greek guard Nick Calathes wants to star in Dallas:
Team Greece guard Nick Calathes — who is out of contract with Panathinaikos this Summer — wants to make the move to the NBA and the Dallas Mavericks after several successful seasons in the Greek league. The versatile 6″6 guard was taken with the 45th pick in the 2009 NBA draft by Minnesota, who later traded his rights to the Mavericks. According to EuroHoops, who broke the story:
Calathes is a 23 years old player, who believes that he learned all he could from European basketball and now feels that it’s the right time for him to try and achieve his childhood dream of playing in the NBA. He will play for the Greek national team at the FIBA Pre-Olympic tournament, but he wants also to be present at the Las Vegas summer league and will chase his dream, something that can be done if Greece doesn’t qualify to London.
Calathes starred in High School and College in the US, where he played for the Florida Gators and became their 3rd highest all-time assist leader, despite only playing for 2 years. After moving to Panathinaikos Calathes added a Euroleague title, Most Improved Player Award and All-Star selection to his resume in 2011 after a strong year for The Greens.
The only potential problem for Calathes is that Dallas is hesistant about adding him to the roster because of the impending retooling that will take place following their disappointing exit from the playoffs. The Mavericks have a logjam at guard with several other ‘development project’ players at the position. Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones and Kelenna Azubuike all fit that description and are currently sitting behind veterans Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Delonte West and Vince Carter in the backcourt.
Austin Rivers rumoured to have NBA guarantee, not at pre-draft combine:
One-and-done Duke star Austin Rivers didn’t workout at the NBA pre-draft combine late last week amid rumours that he has a guarantee from a team picking late in the lottery (1-14), according to Marc Spears. Rivers — who is the son of Boston Celtics Head Coach and former NBA star Doc Rivers — was originally projected to go somewhere between the 10th and 20th pick in a draft that is considered to be one of the deepest in recent years.
The ACC Freshman of the year has already attracted some positive buzz around the league and Portland (#6, #11), Toronto (#8), Houston (#14), Cleveland (#4), Phoenix (#13), Washington (#3) and New Orleans (#1, #10) plan to run workouts for him before Draft day on 28th June.
“If I was a team in the top 10, he’s a kid I would be zeroing in on because he has the ability to score. Maybe I’m partial, but I’ve always said coach’s kids who have had dads who have been in the NBA, a lot of times know what it takes. They’re not intimidated by situations. They know how hard you have to work and usually have more respect for the game.”
- Flip Saunders (Former NBA Head Coach and current basketball consultant with the Boston Celtics)
19 years since basketball lost Hall of Famer Drazen Petrovic:
June 7th marked the 19 year anniversary of the death of European basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer Drazen Petrovic, he was 28 years old. The Croatian won Gold medals in both the World Championships and the European Championships and had two Olympic Silver Medals. He endured a miserable season on the bench for the Portland Trailblazers after moving to the NBA in 1989 but became a star in the league after making the switch to New Jersey, who have had the guard’s #3 jersey hanging from the rafters since his death in 1993.
His last season with the Nets was also his best, averaging 22.3ppg while shooting over 50% from the field and 45% from behind the arc. He was voted to the All-NBA 3rd team and became one of the leagues premier shooting guards, often engaging in historic battles with Michael Jordan and the Bulls whenever they crossed paths. Petrovic’s story in basketball was set against the painful backdrop of turmoil in his home country as civil war tore apart Yugoslavia and with it his close friendship to Yugoslavian teammate and NBA legend Vlade Divac, a story documented in the excellent ESPN documentary ‘Once Brothers’.
“It was a thrill to play against Drazen. Every time we competed, he competed with an aggressive attitude. He wasn’t nervous; he came at me as hard as I came at him. So, we’ve had some great battles in the past and unfortunately, they were short battles.”
- Michael Jordan
Would you like to see Calathes get a chance to shine in the NBA, is Dallas a good fit? Where do you think Austin Rivers will end up on draft day? Hit us up below!
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