Now that all the draft hubbub has died down a little bit, it's time once again for the weekly transactions report. Not much this week, as a lot of guys were likely waiting to see if/where they'd get drafted by the D-League before looking at signing overseas or elsewhere.
None of these guys were in the draft pool, of course, but for slightly different reasons. Roby is an Israeli league vet, and he was the University of Colorado's leading scorer in college. He likely would've been a high pick in the D-League draft had he chosen that route, but he fits the Euro-ball profile. Roby went to Summer League with Oklahoma City, but didn't play a whole lot. Suton also likely would've been a high pick given his NBA draft-ee status, but as a center with a mid-range game Europe is a good fit for him as well. He had a somewhat up-and-down Summer League for Utah, and the Jazz already have a passel of big men so his being cut wasn't a huge surprise. Suton's deal is reportedly for three years, so we probably won't be seeing him for awhile. Byars wasn't available to be drafted because he actually made an NBA roster. I thought he played reasonably well for the Bulls during the preseason, but they cut him one day into the regular season. Partially guaranteed vs. fully guaranteed contracts, etc. Byars chose the Europe route rather than diving into the D-League player pool (sorry) because he's 25 years old, which isn't that old for an NBA player, but he's been out of college for several years now and Chicago was the best NBA opportunity he had. Since that didn't work out, he chose the larger paycheck instead of waiting around for a potential call-up. I do wonder if we'll see Byars in the D-League in the future or if it's Europe from here on out, where truth be told he should do very well.
November 4: Robert "Tractor" Traylor - signed with Martos Napoli (Italy)
Were you aware that Traylor was still playing basketball? Because I wasn't. Now that he's playing in Italy (he was in Turkey) he'll get all the carbs he can handle.
November 5: Chris Ellis - signed with Union Atletica (Uruguay)
Ellis spent the bulk of his D-League career in Tulsa, although he split last season between the 66ers and Sioux Falls. He never put up a great shooting percentage as a 6'9" power forward but he's a decent rebounder. Come to think of it, I don't recall him being on any Summer League or preseason rosters. The only offseason action he's had was participating in the NBA Asia Challenge, which raises the question of why it's taken him so long to sign an overseas deal, since the NBA clearly wasn't calling.
I became engaged in a Twitter discussion with Mark Deeks from ShamSports about Gilder's being waived, and as you'd imagine I made my standard points about Gilder being cheaper than players that Memphis isn't playing and who are terrible, like Steven Hunter or Marko Jaric. Deeks made the competing (valid) point that waiving Gilder is a money-saving move in itself because he wasn't even on the active roster. At the heart of our 140-word discussion was a disagreement over whether Gilder can play in the NBA. I obviously believe he can, and as quoted in that profile, so does his 14ers coach and former NBA scout Bob MacKinnon (and I realize a coach isn't going to badmouth his player, but coaches also don't just offer up the phrase "NBA prospect" all the time). Deeks noted that Gilder was a sixth man in Colorado, but he actually started about a dozen games, and he was behind players like James Mays and Josh Davis on the depth chart, so I don't think there should be any knock on him there, particularly since undebatably-NBA-level-talented Sonny Weems also came off the bench for that team at times. Gilder isn't perfect as a player, of course, and I think he'd do well to come back to the D-League this season where he'd be more accessible to NBA scouts, and work on building up some muscle and maybe a mid-range game. I don't think he's very far from making another NBA roster, though.