When Bleeding Your Colors went on hiatus late last year, I had a lot of different projects rolling through my head. Some of them got started while others didn't leave the confines of my brain. One of them was the NBA Draft Rights Retained series. I got through 21 installments of DRR before it went into hibernation. I am here today to announce that starting tomorrow, Draft Rights Retained will be back EVERY DAY (and I mean that) until the NBA Draft on June 25th and sporadically afterwards until of course, the list is finished. In the meantime, I am taking the time to remember those who fell through the proverbial cracks on Draft Rights Retained. These are the players that either were signed before their profiles were written and players who have come over to the NBA after said profile had been completed. Let's start with the Lost Six (in order by signing date).
JAMES ENNIS, F (MIAMI HEAT) SIGNED 7/15/14
A product of Long Beach State, Ennis spent a year in Australia before signing with the Heat this past summer. He played in 62 games for the defending Eastern Conference champions, starting three of them. He recorded a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) in the final game of the season against Philadelphia.
The older of the Bogdanovic brothers ended his four year stint with Turkish giants Fenerbahçe when the Nets came calling towards the end of last July. He immediately became a regular rotation player for the playoff bound Nets starting 28 of the 78 games he played. Primarily though he was instant offense off the bench for Brooklyn. He scored 20+ points six times including a career high 28 against Orlando in Brooklyn's regular season finale. He scored 19 in their Game 3 win against the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.
The first sad tale thus far is former Baylor Bear Pierre Jackson. Like Bogdanovic, Jackson came to the States from Fenerbahçe. Unlike the Nets forward, Jackson never saw a single minute of regular season game action for the lowly Sixers. He played one summer league game for the team and ruptured his right Achilles. He was eventually waived by the club on September 30th. The good news however is Jackson seems to have a job back with Philly waiting for him upon his recovery.
Green was third in the point guard pecking order in Denver behind Ty Lawson and Randy Foye. He saw 43 games of action in '14-'15 including one start. As you can probably see as the pattern by now, his best game was the last game of the regular season when he recorded career highs in points (17), assists (7), and rebounds (4) in a 133-126 shootout loss against eventual Western Conference champions Golden State.
The much traded and well-traveled big man is still better known for his hair than his play. "Bebe" only made six appearances for the Raptors this past year totaling just six points and eleven rebounds. His time down in the D-League for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants wasn't any more impressive. He played just four games for them averaging 8.3 PPG on just 43% shooting. At least he has fellow Brazilian Bruno Caboclo in T-Dot with him.
The Greek forward, originally drafted by the Knicks, came over to Houston as the Rockets dealt with a variety of early season injury woes. He filled in seamlessly getting regular minutes, including crunch time. He scored a career high 19 points, and was the team's second leading scorer behind James Harden, in a loss to the Lakers on November 19th. As Houston got more healthy, Papanikolaou's minutes dwindled. He only played 20 combined minutes in eight Houston playoff appearances.
Now for the three players for whom profiles had already been made who made their NBA debuts or had their rights renounced in 2014-15, in order of signing/renouncement date.
The former St. Joseph's Hawk didn't get the call he was expecting mid-September from the New York Knicks. The Knicks were piecing together a patchwork squad around Carmelo Anthony this year and still decided to renounce Nivins' draft rights on September 15th. The sixth man profiled on Draft Rights retained remained with French outfit ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne, whom he had signed with in the summer. He was a vital contributor to the team in all competitions including EuroLeague qualifiers.
The Turkish international, and 16th DRR profile, was brought over by Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie in the middle of December. He wasn't thrust into the lineup immediately but would eventually start nine games (out of 41 played) for the lottery bound Sixers. Aldemir's best game was a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds in one of those nine starts. That night Philadelphia almost upset the eventual Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Barring multiple signings after the draft, it looks likely Philadelphia will pick up his team option for next year.
He may have been #77 in your programs, but Joffrey Lauvergne was #21 here on Draft Rights Retained. The last player profiled thus far in the series was the latest signing of this group. He left Russia's Khimki BC mid-season to come over as reinforcements for a Nuggets team that had all but quit on their coach Brian Shaw. Lauvergne scored in double figures twice, including the last game of the year unsurprisingly, and pulled down a career best nine board in back to back games directly after his debut.
As always, I'd like to thank you for reading Bleeding Your Colors' Draft Rights Retained. I look forward to getting back in the swing of things with this column leading up to my favorite day of the year- the NBA Draft on June 25th. Keep it locked here, like us on Facebook, check out the Twitter @B3WHYC3, and our burgeoning Bleeding Your Colors Youtube page.
Image Credits: Cracked pavement (thetransportpolitic.com); Ennis, Bogdanovic, Green, Nogueira, Aldemir photos (espn.com); Jackson, Lauvergne photos (nba.com); Nivins photo (nbadraft.net)