9. Milos Teodosic (2017-2019)
I chose to include Milos Teodosic—a truly awesome international player who just won a EuroLeague Championship last year—because he demonstrates one of my favorite continuities of basketball: someone’s game can be lost in translation.
Teodosic signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Clippers in 2017, but never could put a solid NBA season together. The reason he makes this list is the maddening fact that he had a player option for the second season, which he picked up before being waived, effectively sitting as $6 million in dead cap.
But in 14 seasons in Europe, Teodosic only failed to average double digits twice and has been a prolific contributor to the Serbian national teams since 2003. His style of play is consistent with many other Balkan players, known for positionless skills and all-court mentality. Teodosic may have been an oversized point guard in the States, but in Europe, he would play all around the floor.
He was probably just more comfortable in the European system, where players are demanded to develop a game fitting every position. That’s very unlike the United States, where players are identified at extremely young ages and often hemmed into a particular positional style based on their build, height, and innate skills. That’s why so many big men can’t shoot free throws. It was never prioritized.
Teodosic is still cooking in Serbia, playing for his childhood club KK Crvena Zvezda. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t make it in the NBA, but I doubt he’s too beat up about it.