Fresh on the heels of the report that 2005 Orlando Magic lottery pick Fran Vazquez is unlikely to ever join the NBA comes this missive, from ShamSports, that 2007 second-rounder Milovan Rakovic has just signed in Italy. From Sham:
Rakovic was one of the best players in the Russian Superleague last year, averaging 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game for Spartak St Petersburg. He's cashing in on that and moving to Italy to play for Italian powerhouse Montepaschi Siena.
This report elsewhere says the deal is for three years.
We last heard from Rakovic last summer, when he was scheduled to play on the Magic's summer-league team. He showed up, and was at RDV SportsPlex while the Magic played, yet never got into uniform or played in a game due to a paperwork issue. When I asked Sham, via Twitter, if Rakovic's signing with Siena ruled him out of summer-league, he responded, "Probably, unless Siena allow it, which they don't really have incentive to do." Later, he said Rakovic "has all the makings of the kind of player who will never come over," though I should add he applied this disclaimer to that statement.
Maybe this really isn't a big deal; none of the last five no. 60 picks, including Rakovic, is still in the NBA, so drafting a guy who never makes the league in that position is about par for the course. The same can't be said for Vazquez, whom Orlando drafted 11th overall in 2005. That pick still stings, I'm sure.