Milt Palacio shouldn’t have slacked off. Due to his refusal not to play with Partizan Belgrade on its American tour, Palacio has been eliminated from consideration for the black-and-white’s 2009-10 roster.
“The agreement with Palacio was clear and he should have joined the team in Chicago, and not just come to Belgrade a couple of days before the [regular season] starts. He called and said that he had some health issues. Soon after that, [he said] he had some legal issues and that he needed two days to solve the problems. He assured us that he would join the squad at any moment. It just did not happen. He broke all deadlines and we were forced to react, and deliver the final and definite decision that Palacio will not be a member of the Partizan roster for the 2009-2010 season.
“We now have the task of finding two more players to fill out the roster for the forthcoming season. One player is supposed to play power forward and the other should fill the vacancy at point guard. We may be unable to complete the task by the start of the NLB league [season], but we will do our utmost to close the roster in time for the first Euroleague match.”
From the Wild Unsubstantiated Rumors Department – specifically, from commenter/BallinEurope.com reader Milosh – comes the suggestion that the point guard spot might be filled by one-time Michigan State stud/Sacramento Kings dud Mateen Cleaves.
This supposition is a bit of a stretch, though believable enough, one supposes, depending on Partizan’s desperation. Cleaves has played just 15 regular-season games in Europe, with a 10-game stint for Unics Kazan in 2007 and a five-gamer for Panionios in 2008. On the other hand, Cleaves looked like quite the successful gun-for-hire for those teams in their respective ULEB Cup bids; in ’07, the man recorded a respectable line in average 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 24 minutes played per game.
Plus, what has Cleaves got to lose besides a career with the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA D-League? (His NBA comeback is still years in the making, apparently. (See below video.)
If anyone can find more information on this rumor, please let Ball in Europe know; for now, we’ll have to take this with a boulder of salt although we’d love to see a bona fide member of the Midwest All-Stars suit up for the black-and-white in Euroleague play. Hey, maybe Danilović and Partizan should consider Scot Pollard for Palacio’s vacated spot…