Part One: American players who returned to the NBA
Part Two: Players making significant jumps in our rankings
Part Three: European players coming off the list
Part Four: American players coming off the list
The number you'll see next to the player's name is his ranking from last year on the overseas free agent list. This year's list will be released shortly.
#12 Terrell McIntyre* PG
32 years old, 5' 9" 180lbs.
Terrell McIntyre continues to hold the title of best American point guard in Europe, with no clear-cut challenger in sight. Hes proven to be an incredible winner for Montepaschi Sienaas we documented in a feature article on DraftExpress and has also vocally expressed interest in playing in the NBA. So why hasnt it happened yet? Thats a good question, one that probably starts with his diminutive size (5-9) and advanced age (32). Still, its a bit difficult to see the same mediocre point guards (Jason Hart, Mike Wilks, Lindsey Hunter, Chucky Atkins, Royal Ivey, Kevin Ollie, etc etc) recycled by NBA teams year after year and not wonder if they arent missing or already did miss the boat on a terrific backup. As opposed to previous seasons, though, McIntyre will be a true free agent this summer, which removes at least one hurdle from the way. If he wants to come start working on his NBA pension plan, likely on a minimum contract, now would be the time.
#17 Lynn Greer PG
30 years old, 6' 1" 180lbs.
One of the top shooter/scorers in European basketball, Green moved Euroleague addresses from Olympiacos to Fenerbahce this summer, and is continuing to do what he does bestput the ball in the net. Considering his age, massive salary and the fact that he already did the NBA thing, he probably wont mind that we bump him off the list in favor of the next generation.
#21 Trajan Langdon SG
33 years old, 6' 3" 197lbs.
Probably still best remembered by casual NBA fans as just another lottery bust from Duke, all Trajan Langdon has done since then is win win and then win some more at the highest level of competition of European basketball. In Europe hell be remembered as one of the smartest and most productive American players of this generation, but unfortunately for NBA fans he never had a chance to redeem himself in his home country and show how much playing for a coach like Ettore Messina helped him become a more complete player. Turning 34 at the end of the season, its safe to say thats not going to happen at this point.
#23 Travis Hansen SF
31 years old, 6' 6" 210lbs.
A fairly athletic wing player with a very nice perimeter jumper, Hansen has reportedly had some interest in making his way back to the NBA at some pointhe spent the 03/04 season with the Atlanta Hawksbut with each year that goes by that seems less likely. Hansen has a very valuable Russian passport in his possession and is fresh off signing a two year contract to play for Ettore Messina at Real Madrid this past summer. Combine that with the fact that hell be 32 before the end of this season and you can understand why hes clearing his spot on this list for someone else.
#25 Terence Morris PF
30 years old, 6' 9" 221lbs.
Morris earned a spot on this list after his First team All-Euroleague performance for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2007-2008. Since then hes made a lot of money playing for CSKA Moscow and now Barcelona, but has not really shown quite the same form. Turning 31 next month, and with another year on his contract after this, its probably safe to take him off this list for now.
#32 Bonzi Wells SF
33 years old, 6' 5" 210lbs.
NBA teams shied away from offering Bonzi Wells a minimum contract this summer, for a variety of reasons, indicating that at age 33, his tenure in the League is likely over. He can probably only wonder now what would have happened if he accepted the reported 5-year, 38.5 million dollar contract that was offered to him in the summer of 2006 by Sacramento.
#33 DaShaun Wood PG
24 years old, 6' 0" 167lbs.
After a phenomenal rookie season in Italy in 2007-2008 playing for Cantu, Wood has been hampered severely by a knee injury, sitting out a big chunk of last year and electing to start off the 2009/2010 season at home. That doesnt exactly sound like the credentials of a top overseas free agent, which means hell be clearing room for someone else. With his quickness, basketball IQ and perimeter shooting ability, its not out of the question that we see him back on here considering that hes only 24 years old.
#34 David Harrison C
27 years old, 7' 0" 260lbs.
The former Indiana Pacers first round pick showed up for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas looking severely overweight, indicating that he himself may have already given up on returning to the League. Considering the type of money big men like him usually make in China (upwards of 50k per month), no one is probably shedding any tears for him.
#35 Kris Lang C
30 years old, 6' 11" 260lbs.
The former North Carolina big man has improved in a major way since his collegiate days, emerging as a physical and hustling role player who understands his limitations and does a good job defensively and on the glass. He took a leap of faith in 2007-2008 by giving the NBA another shot with a brief cameo in the D-League, but eventually finished off the year making big bucks overseas. Having just recently turned 30, and apparently struggling with some nagging injuries, Langs NBA window is probably closing at this point.
#38 Michael Wright PF
29 years old, 6' 7" 238lbs.
Wright was on his way to emerging as one of the best American power forwards in European basketball during the 2007-2008 season playing for Turk Telekom, until multiple knee surgeries set him back severely. Most big teams in Europe shied away from trying to sign him this summer, but hes proven them wrong to a certain extent by playing incredibly well in Poland thus far this year. The NBA was probably a long-shot even back then, and almost certainly is now with his 30th birthday coming up in January. Still, its tough not to think that had Wright been a draft prospect now rather than 9 years ago, his lack of size might not have been as much of an issue in todays NBA.
#43 Loren Woods C
31 years old, 7' 1" 245lbs.
Woods turned down a number of strong offers in Europe (from Prokom for example) and China to instead sign in Iran just recently. Although a 10-day contract might not be out of the question considering his physical attributes, the NBA has probably moved on at this point.
#44 Andre Hutson PF
30 years old, 6' 8" 260lbs.
We loved what we saw from Hutson last season playing alongside Brandon Jennings in Rome, but his performance (particularly his rebounding) has fallen off this year dramatically and considering that he turns 31 next month, his future is probably in Europe at this point.
#50 Marc Salyers SF/PF
30 years old, 6' 9" 220lbs.
Le Mans Sarthe
Salyers was the #1 scorer in the Euroleague in 2007-2008, but he fell off the radar screen after getting burned by the collapse of the Eastern European economy playing for Azovmash last year. Hes back in France but is not competing in the Euroleague. Considering that he turns 31 in February, the NBA is probably not a realistic goal.
#51 Rawle Marshall SF
27 years old, 6' 6" 186lbs.
Marshall made the NBA as an undrafted free agent out of Oakland University and managed to hang on for two seasons with the Mavs and Pacers, and hes still young and athletic enough to garner some attention from scouts. The problem is that he seemingly cant stop shooting himself in the foot, first with the violent and unbelievably stupid fight he incited in the Adriatic league last season with Cibona Zagreb (which earned him a three month suspension), and most recently by being cut by Pamesa Valencia head coach Neven Spahija after reportedly refusing to enter a game late in the fourth quarter.
#52 Milt Palacio PG
31 years old, 6' 3" 195lbs.
Palacio was a revelation for Partizan in 2007-2008, emerging as one of the top point guards in European basketball in his first season playing overseas. Its all been downhill ever since, though, as he struggled with conditioning issues after signing a fat two-year contract in Russia, and is now sitting at home waiting for his next gig. Hes the type of guy who could probably earn a 10-day contract playing in the D-League, especially if he can replicate his phenomenal play from two seasons ago.
#53 Mike Batiste PF
32 years old, 6' 8" 225lbs.
The former Memphis Grizzly continues to trudge along playing for Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos, having recently kicked off his 7th season with the team. This is a fairly amazing accomplishment in European basketball all things considered, as most American players consider themselves lucky to finish a single season with a team, let alone seven. While Batiste continues to put up points at a terrific per-minute rate on phenomenal efficiency numbers, its tough to see him getting anywhere near the same money he does in Europe at age 32, which is why hell be clearing his spot on this list for someone a little hungrier for an NBA opportunity.
#59 Mike Harris SF/PF
26 years old, 6' 6" 240lbs.
Harris is still an NBA prospectfrom what we hear he could be in the League very soon actually--he just has moved from our overseas free agent rankings to our (soon to be released) D-League call-up candidate list. Harris is the only player of the 60 overseas free agents that elected to play in the D-League, which tells you something about how difficult it is to get top flight players to play for peanuts, despite the lure of a potential call-up.
Unranked Louis Bullock PG/SG
33 years old, 6 1 180 pounds
Unquestionably one of the best American guards in Europe, Louis Bullock continues to put up big numbers week after week in the highest levels of competition outside of the NBA. Hes now in his 6th consecutive season with Real Madrid after signing a two year extension this past summer, and considering that he turns 34 in April, hes probably not a realistic NBA candidate anymore. In a different time and under different circumstances, Bullock surely could be doing what Daniel Gibson, Randy Foye, Ronnie Price, Luther Head or a host of other combo guards are doing in the NBA, if not much more.
Check back with us later this week as we explore some new faces in European basketball as well as some old ones that have made enough strides to be considered NBA prospects and/or we may have missed in the past.