Now that the Sacramento Kings’ season is officially over, club president Geoff Petrie can finally … um, get back to work. Speaking specifically, the exec is here on The Continent to scout some fine Euro talent.
Naturally, Petrie gave away little of the specifics of his visits; however, the Sacramento Bee has certainly dropped a right proper hint as to who the Kings might be peeking at for the 2010 NBA Draft.
Predictably, Petrie’ll be in Paris for the Euroleague Final Four later this week: The Bee hints the exec will be assessing 21-year-old FC Barcelona forward Xavier Rabaseda (though he’s currently not listed by the EL as on the active roster). The ‘paper goes on to note that Petrie “plans to go to a game and practice in Treviso, Italy, and would figure out other venues to attend.”
Now clearly, Donatas Motiejunas – projected as a top-five pick on surely the majority of mock drafts – will be *the* draw for Petrie in Treviso. The remaining question is, “Which opposing side will Petrie be looking at?”
Assuming he doesn’t leave Paris to attend the Treviso game on the 8th, this leaves the 2nd and 16th – games against Carife Ferrara and AJ Milano, respectively – as possibilities, as both are being hosted by Treviso. If Petrie did in fact leave California on Friday, it seems unlikely he’d be attending a practice the day after arriving, followed by a game the following night.
So how about that Milano? One would think Team Italy’s Stefano Mancinelli would get a look, especially if one is to believe the will-he-won’t-he free-agency hype that flared up around this guy going into the season, but Mancinelli is 27 and seems more than slightly unwilling to give the NBA a try. Of course, Petrie does hint that he has money to spend ($20 million in cap room) and is more seeking a free-agent type than a gem in the rough.
Then there’s Jonas Maciulis. The Lithuanian has two years on Mancinelli, contributed similar stats in Serie A to his fellow forward and in fact outscored, out-rebounded and out-passed Mancinelli in 10 Euroleague games. While Maciulis’ shot selection in the big league wasn’t exceptional (resulting in 24-of-53 shooting, or 45%), this has improved as 2009-10 has worn on. Additionally, Maciulis has been playing a high level of professional ball since age 17, first breaking in with Žalgiris Kaunas.
The only problem is … Sacramento doesn’t really appear to need another shooting forward. (Do they?) One supposes that at 6’6” and blessed with Maciulis’ passing skills, the Milano SF could easily morph into a quick SG in the NBA. Is that the plan?
Or maybe Petrie’s gonna get really sneaky and scout Milano’s 17-year-old SG Giacomo Cacace early. Like, reeeeeeeeeeeally early.
In any case, here’s to wishing Mr. Petrie a nice tour of Europe and best of luck in the quest.