An Inside Look At The Newest Cavalier: Scotty Hopson

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Hopson on his way to winning the 2013 Israeli League Dunk Contest

The Cavs are making a playoff push, and they’ve filled out their roster with a 15th guy.

Is Scotty Hopson any good? Decide for yourself after watching him play, but here is my take after watching him this season.

On Monday, it was announced that Cleveland had signed the ex-Anadolu Efes wingman to a 2-year, $3.8 million contract, with a team option for next year. There has been talk that the primary focus of the deal was the $2.5 million team option for next season that can be used as a valuable addition to draft day trades, but let’s not forget there is still a basketball player involved in this deal.

Hopson came to Anadolu Efes after a standout year in Hapoel Eilat, who our team, Maccabi Rishon Lezion, played in the quarterfinals of the Israeli League playoffs. Hopson arrived in Israel after a sub-par season in a very physical Greek League in which it is traditionally tough to succeed as a rookie.

Mitnick: 10 Overseas Players Who Can Help NBA Playoff Teams

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overseasNBA playoff teams in need of help can still find a difference maker before the deadline arrives for setting postseason rosters.

All they need to do is look overseas.

With the playoffs less than a month away, and the trade deadline and “February free agency” in the distant past, NBA teams are typically left to rely on the D-League to provide injury replacement players at this point of the season.

With players needing to have been released by their previous NBA team by March 1 to be playoff-eligible, there is a limited market of guys who can sign to fill in for an injured player. One month ago, a team like the Clippers could make a big upgrade, as they did in signing Danny Granger and Glen Davis.

However, at this stage in the game it becomes a little more tricky – unless you cast a wider net.

With the Chinese CBA Finals coming to a close and many European league regular seasons winding down, there is a market of high-level players who have not played in the NBA this season and are eligible for the NBA playoffs.

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Mitnick: Bogdanovic The Answer To The Nets’ Future?

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Not to be confused with the Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Nets may have traded away most of their future cap space and draft picks to obtain KG and “The Truth”, but they sneakily held on to one of their aces, Bojan Bogdanovic, a Croatian star who may just be the answer to how the Nets will transition into the post-KG era.

After a horrid 11-20 start, the Nets have managed to turn things around since New Year’s, and have started to find some sort of identity as a team. After trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this past summer, the Nets left themselves with very little in the way of draft picks and cap space over the next few years. With KG, Pierce and Joe Johnson not getting any younger, the Nets will need to be crafty to have a shot at contending without breaking up their core.

Enter Bojan Bogdanovic, one of the most explosive scorers in Europe, whose rights the Nets have retained since he was the 31st pick of the 2011 draft.

Mitnick: Top Five American Draft-and-Stashes

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Ennis-PerthNBA teams have been drafting European players and stashing them overseas for several years. But the term “Eurostash” has taken on a whole new meaning this season.

It’s the Americans who are being stashed across the pond, too. And one of them can actually be called an “Aussiestash.” There’s a new term for y’all.

This year’s draft featured five American players taken out of college who are currently hooping overseas while their rights are retained by NBA teams.

And that doesn’t count second-round picks Pierre Jackson (Pelicans, No. 42, Baylor) and Alex Oriakhi (Suns, No. 57, Missouri), who have been cut by their foreign teams.

Mitnick: Top European “Rookies” in NBA Camps

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europe_mapWith training camps underway, teams are getting their first look at players making their way from Europe to begin their NBA journey.

Over the last two decades, the talent pool for basketball has rapidly expanded worldwide, and teams are constantly scouring the globe to find the next hidden gem.

Just who are these newest international men of mystery, and what can they bring to their respective squads? Here is a look at the top European players who are set to make their NBA debuts this season.

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