According to a report Thursday, no 2nd-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has signed for more guaranteed money than Brooklyn Nets choice Rodions Kurucs.
It’s been widely reported that Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks was high on Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs, dating back to 2017 before Kurucs opted to withdraw from consideration for the NBA Draft.
Kurucs re-entered the draft this year and the Nets took the former FC Barcelona player with the 40th overall pick, signing him to a four-year contract.
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As it turns out as of right now, that deal tops all 2018 second-rounders in the amount of money guaranteed.
Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights has Kurucs’ deal at four years and nearly $6.4 million, with the first three years (almost $4.6 million) guaranteed.
On Thursday, Bobby Marks of ESPN reported that is the largest guarantee for any 2018 second-round selection, topping the $4.3 million Jared Brunson got from the Dallas Mavericks and the $3.9 million the Sacramento Kings guaranteed to Gary Trent Jr.
Kurucs’ contract includes $1.8 million for the fourth year that is non-guaranteed.
If that seems like a big chunk to invest in a second-round pick regarded as a project, it’s worth pointing out that Kurucs was widely considered to be a first-round prospect in 2017 before withdrawing.
His market value then took a hit when FC Barcelona coaches Sito Alonso and Svetislaw Pesic buried Kurucs on their junior team for much of the season, opting to play guys who were not looking at making the jump to the NBA.
Kurucs played in only 10 games with the top club last season, a season after missing all but 25 games due to a knee injury. Those factors didn’t help his draft stock at all and he became an afterthought among a highly regarded group of incoming prospects.
Last season was to be his first full season with the top Barcelona squad after getting a three-minute taste in Euroleague play in 2016-17.
In limited time at the top division, Kurucs averaged 1.4 points in 5.9 minutes per game, shooting 6-for-15/2-for-7/—.
With the second-division club, he played in 16 games and put up 10.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 20.8 minutes a night, shooting .445/.333/.769.
It’s still likely Kurucs will spend considerable time on assignment with the G-League’s Long Island Nets, but his contract — and the amount guaranteed — shows the Nets are in it with the 20-year-old forward for the longer haul.