Getting to know the Wolves’ Damjan Rudez

Damjan Rudez likes to shoot the 3. 

Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images

Last week, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Damjan Rudez. 

Who exactly is this newcomer? 

The 6-foot-10, 200-pound Croatian turned 29 in June. He played for the first time in the NBA this past season after a long professional career in Europe, where he played for teams in Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Belgium, as well as the Croatian national team.

Despite his size, Rudez is best known for his shot. In European competition, he made 370 of his 902 3-point attempts (41.0 percent) — although the line is shorter overseas than in the NBA.

Nevertheless, Larry Bird, who knows a thing or two about hitting 3s, said Rudez was "one of the best shooters in Europe."

Rudez signed with the Pacers last year and also tried out for Cleveland. He is due $1,149,500 this season and has a team option for 2016-17 for $1,199,000. To put that in perspective, rookie Tyus Jones will earn $1,282,080 this season. 

With Indiana, Rudez played in 68  games, averaging 4.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3 (giving him a 58.4 percent effective field-goal percentage). He also shot 69.6 percent from the line.

Rudez didn’t qualify for the leaders, but his 3-point percentage would have placed him 12th in the league.

The adjustment to the NBA took some time for Rudez, and he started to finally find his stroke as the season went along. After the All-Star break, he made 50.8 percent of his 3-pointers (top among all NBA rookies). 

On Jan. 25, he tallied a season-high 18 points and also had a 17-point game in March (both games were against Orlando, as it turns out). In those games he made four and five 3-pointers, respectively.

Yes, Rudez likes to shoot the 3. In fact, 64.6 percent of his shots last season came from behind the arc.

Oh, and there was also this moment, which pretty much speaks for itself:

 

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