With the burning cities, murderous dictators and wild economic instability currently haunting our world, I think its only right that we focus a little on Nikola Pekovic amiright? Firstly, a panel of 91 ESPN experts (of which I am one–hope its not the last time I team up with Bruce Bowen on a journalistic assignment) rated Big Pek a 2.38 out of 10, good enough for 395th best in the league. This means that he bested 105 other players, including luminous gents like Samardo Samuels and Pape Sy. Unfortunately, now that I’m looking at the bottom of that list, its unclear if anybody ranked between 400-500 actually played a minute in the league last year. Oh wait, there’s Lazar Hayward at 409, I know he definitely played. (As did Sasha Pavlovic at 423, which is totally amazing.)
Although the homer in me wants to protest that some great injustice has been done, 2.38 out of 10 actually seems about right. The only thing I’d add is that I see Solomon Jones up there at 389 (2.44 out of 10) and I have a distinct memory of Pek giving him an ungodly pounding during a pre-season game (and then promptly fouling out after 12 minutes of floor time.) You could almost see the exact moment Solomon Jones stopped enjoying basketball. This doesn’t mean that Pekovic should have been ranked higher; I’m just saying is all.
In other Nikola Pekovic news, it seems that the big boy is the first T-Wolf to cast his hat into the European ring during the lockout, (although it would surely not be surprising to see Ricky Rubio add his name to the list). Word is that Pek has signed to play with Partizan Belgrade so long as the NBA has its doors shuttered. Which is great; goodness knows he could use all the floor time he can get. But one gets the distinct feeling that if he’s really ever going to be better than 395th best, what he really needs are NBA minutes, at NBA speed, against NBA players. Come to think of it, there are probably a lot of guys in that same boat.