Is Rudez the replacement to PatPat (say it ain’t so!)

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Toronto Raptors are among NBA four teams interested in importing 6-foot-10 Croatian sharpshooter Damjan Rudez. The 27-year-old went unsigned after being drafted in 2008 therefore he is a free-agent. Aside from Toronto, the Cavaliers, Jazz and Pacers are also in on the chase.

So, unless you’re an ardent Euroleague purveyor, your question is obviously, “who is Damjan Rudez?”

Truth be told, I have no idea. I have, however, watched multiple highlight mixes over the past half-hour. Based on watching this, this, this or this, here’s my loosely-formed scouting report on the stretch-four:

  • Closer to small-forward than a power-forward
  • Can definitely sink a spot-up three, especially from the corners
  • Mostly a stand still shooter, but can play off the bounce
  • Has solid handles for a big man, can reasonably move the ball from the high-post area, good passing instincts
  • Decent quickness, able to counter hard closeouts by crossing over and putting the ball onto the floor
  • Unfortunately, his counter looks to be taking a step in, and shooting a long-two
  • Runs well in transition
  • Can finish in traffic

The observations sound pretty optimistic, which makes sense given that I only watched highlight videos, but if the question is: can he play the stretch-four role in the NBA, the answer is undoubtedly “yes.” He’s definitely more capable than Steve Novak. I would peg his NBA comparison as a smaller Danilo Galinari with half the handles.

Reading into this further, Rudez could potentially replace Patrick Patterson, who is a free-agent this offseason. Passing a somewhat credible comparison between PatPat and Rudez based on just highlights alone isn’t really possible, but Rudez does seem capable of replicating most of Patterson’s offensive skills.

Last season in the ACB, Rudez averaged 10.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.2 minutes per game. You can read more about Rudez on Draft Express.

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  • Bob

    1.9 rebounds A GAME!!!??? and this might be patman’s replacement? How bout we just have him as insurance?

    • JJh

      Still better than Novak, but is actually inferior per 36 min lol

      • Ben

        Your comment means nothing. Bob was questioning his ability to replace 2pat when 2pat is clearly a better player. It’s not like we would use Novak as a replacement for 2pat either.

    • Vimsanity

      Not just 1.9 rebounds per game, but 1.9 rebounds per game IN EUROPE! That’s Bargnanian! Maybe even worse!

      • Vimsanity

        That said, if he could be had for cheap in addition to 2Pat, he seems like he might be able to add some much needed scoring punch off the bench at the 3.

      • WhiteVegas

        No one rebounds well in Europe. JV was averaging just above 5 boards a game there, in a much easier league than the ACB. So take those rebounding numbers with a grain of salt.

  • arsenalist

    My free-agency boner died.

    • DMart

      His 2008 NBA draft comparison was to Hedo Turkoglu, so I would say more of a comparison/cheaper version of Steve Novak rather than a replacement for Patterson (making Novak expendable)

  • YungHansbrough

    Still a better rebounder than Bargnani.

    • Ben

      1.9 rebounds a game. this guy makes bargnani look like dennis rodman.

      • Borg

        I miss Bargnani and his pasta commercials. Bring him back for 4 year/12Mill next year 😀

  • hotshot

    If he can play the 3 and come cheap, I say why not. Otherwise I prefer to have PatPat back.

    • katmore9

      Otherwise? So you’d prefer this guy to 2Pat?

      • suckmybutt

        Learn to read bud.

        • katmore9

          I read it just fine, but thanks for the advice. 🙂

  • Ben

    This guy’s game screams Mirza Teletovic/Steve Novak, neither of whom is a good replacement for 2pat. 1.9 rebounds per game to replace 2pat? This a load of bs. Learn how to make player comparisons before calling someone a replacement.

  • Take it in

    That’s crazy talk

  • 70inches

    Sounds like a smaller version of Andrea Bargnani. to me(a big that doesn’t rebound). I don’t see him replacing PatPat.

  • c_bcm

    Novak is good trade bait, 2Pat needs to be retained. If SN is gone, i have problems bringing this guy in. otherwise move along donkey kong

  • thead

    a 6’10” guy averaging less than 2 boards in 20 something minutes scares the shit out of me. PASS

    • c_bcm

      but, but, but, that has to do with the system they played in. Maybe his coach kept him away from the basket like you’d expect from a “stretch” 4. [note the hints of sarcasm with a sprinkle of truth-on par for a RR comment 😉 ]

  • Jensan

    Are you bargs ex agent – fool me once shame on you , fool me twice- Mmmmm

    • DDayLewis

      In all fairness to Bargs’ agent, he must be really, really good. He got his client (and himself) paaaaiiidddd

  • ezz_bee

    You mis-quote the original story. He went UNdrafted in 2008, not drafted…

  • Coolio

    Garbo 2.0