Star Tribune’s Phil Miller reported that Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis and president of basketball operations David Kahn took an early summer vacation together, jet-setting across “the pond” to spent time in the beautiful locations like Madrid, Athens, and Kragujevac, Serbia????
There were no reports of drinks with umbrellas, hand-holding or white shorts with sandals.
OK, I am done with that.
While, they probably enjoy their time together, I am pretty sure they were in Europe scouting players – at least that is what they told their wives.
…Rambis attended a Spanish League semifinal game in Madrid, and “paid special attention” to Croatian center Ante Tomic, drafted two years ago by Utah. The next night, he was in Malaga, watching last year’s No. 5 draftee, point guard Ricky Rubio, score four points and hand out two assists in Barcelona’s 71-58 victory in the other semifinal series.
The Greeks spotted Rambis on Sunday, with Athens paper Kathimerini reporting that the coach scouted center Nikola Pekovic, the Serbian center drafted by the Wolves in 2008. Pekovic, a 6-foot-11 24-year-old who has told the Wolves he wants to play in the NBA next season, scored 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting but had only one rebound in Panathinaikos’ loss in the Greek championship series. Their opponent in the Finals, Olympiakos, features NBA veteran forwards Linus Kleiza and Josh Childress.
By Wednesday, Rambis and Kahn had moved on to Serbia to visit center Darko Milicic, whom the Wolves hope to re-sign this summer. While there, according to thehoopsmarket.com, Serbian newspaper Sportske noted that Ramis attended a Serbian League game to scout Nemanja Bjelicka, a 6-10 forward expected to be taken in the second round of next month’s draft.
Nemanja Bjelicka (don’t even pretend you can say his name) is projected as a second round pick, is 45th out 106 on Jay Bilas’ Best Available List, and, based on scouting reports, is a very good passer and ball handler, ultimately a “point-forward”. Sounds a little like Toni Kukoc.
Copy of a Copy Side-Note – I love this sentence in the third paragraph “While there, according to thehoopsmarket.com, Serbian newspaper Sportske noted that Ramis attended a Serbian League game to scout Nemanja Bjelicka…” So to clarify; this blog post is a report, on a report, on a report, on a report of a sighting of Rambis.
They scare me because we have no box to put them in when judging their talent or stats. But that the unknown is what makes those players interesting and exciting. Like freshmen, used to be high-schoolers, the potential and then unknown is what draws team to them. But with freshmen, you have at least seen one season against top-level talent.
Obviously you can look at a player and know they are tall, or long. You can watch them play and see that they can shoot, jump out of the gym, or block a ton of shots. But you can’t always tell the level of competition they are playing.