It's a small WojBomb, but a WojBomb nonetheless. Adrian Wojnarowski, in his first Draft Day report says the Nets are interested in Sasha Kaun, the 30-year-old European center who's played the last seven years in Moscow for CSKA.
Sources: Brooklyn, San Antonio among teams checking with Cavs on deal for rights to sign center Sasha Kaun. He's leaving Russia for NBA.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2015
The Nets or the Spurs would have to offer the Cavs, who hold his rights, something before approaching Kaun. The Cavs already had a Russian center in Timofey Mozgov.
The Nets interest raises questions about why Brooklyn, who want to retain Brook Lopez, and have Mason Plumlee for another two years, are interested in Kaun. The Nets have dangled Plumlee in an attempt to move into the lottery. As a former second round pick, Kaun can negotiate a deal outside the rookie salary scale. While in Russia, he made the equivalent of the NBA vets minimum. If he wanted more than that from the Nets, they would have to dip into the mini-MLE.
Kaun, a member of the 2007-2008 Kansas national championship team, is a Russian citizen who never played in the NBA. While listed at 7-foot, he measured 6'9" without shoes, and a little under 6'11" with, in 2008. Not a great athlete, Kaun plays a tough, smart game and has a 7'6" wingspan that permits him to serve as a solid rim protector and inside scorer.
Sasha Kaun shot 69 percent from the field last year for CSKA Moscow. Good night, Twitter.— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) June 25, 2015
He averaged a career-high 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Euroleague last season and 10.5 and 3.4 in the Russian League. He's earned about $1 million a year in Europe. He played for the Russian national team in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as well as the FIBA World Cup in 2010. Along with Sergey Karasev and Andrei Kirilenko, he won the bronze at the London Olympics.
He's represented by Andy Miller, the former Nets employee who represents Karasev among others.