Donatas Urbonas: Vasilije Micic on the possibility to go to the NBA next season: “I’m in a situation where I have two more years of the contract no matter what happens. But of course, I like to look at all kinds of challenges. If this option comes out, I would be ready to risk.”
Vasilije Micic signed a three-year extension last summer and while his deal with Anadolu Efes includes NBA outs, the Serbian guard will only agree to move to the States if he gets the playing time there. Otherwise, he’s happy where he is. “Honestly, I have a desire to go to the NBA. But in a way, and I told that to the people from Oklahoma, to actually play there. I don’t see myself going there to tell my neighborhood friends that I was in the NBA and bring them back an OKC jersey. That doesn’t inspire me. I also came to Efes when they were at the bottom, and I had offers of some, perhaps, better-standing names,” Micic said on Mozzart’s “Na Ivici Terena” (On the Court Edge).
“I haven’t really heard the NBA league ‘cry’ for me. Jokes aside. I don’t follow (what is said and written). I don’t even follow what is happening in the Euroleague. That is a mitigating circumstance for me. That puts a lot of pressure on young players and players my age, that burden with results, statistics and who says what. I went through that early in my career and I know how much it affected me. As for the NBA, I really don’t know what’s going on. I have some pro forma contact with people from Oklahoma. They are interested in how I am, how my life is going, but they also mostly know everything. They can’t miss anything. My job is to play…”
While on the NBA matter, the 55-year-old Efes coach also addressed the rumor mill surrounding EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic as well as the upcoming departure of Sertac Sanli to Barcelona. “There are a lot of candidates for the NBA, especially Vasilije Micic, but we are doing everything we can to keep them. While we were worried about Micic, Sertac Sanli’s transfer to Barcelona came out. He’s talking very seriously right now. Although, during our last visit, President Ergodan also warned him. He said, ‘what would you do there? Why would you leave the champions for the runner-ups?”. I’m saying the same thing.”
June 27, 2022 | 11:25 am EDT Update
While Nets GM Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to speak this offseason, Kyrie Irving’s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began. Irving only appeared in 103 regular-season games in Brooklyn, a three-year run ravaged in Year 1 by a nagging shoulder injury; in Year 2 due to absences for personal reasons; and in Year 3 due to Irving’s unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a city that didn’t create a professional athlete exemption in its vaccine mandate until weeks before the NBA playoffs began.
Irving reportedly has six teams on his radar: the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, 76ers and Mavericks. A Durant and Westbrook reunion in Brooklyn remains unlikely, according to a source. The Knicks, Mavericks and Heat are the teams that have the biggest capacity to pull off a deal for Irving, but the Knicks and Mavericks appear to be in a bidding war over free agent guard Jalen Brunson.
June 27, 2022 | 11:03 am EDT Update
Malik Monk said he’d consider accepting less money than his market price to stay with the Lakers for the taxpayer midlevel exception. “They might not be able to pay me as much as I want,” he said. “But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team (that would pay) me $5 million more. So it’s just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”