Storyline: Milos Teodosic Free Agency

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Milos Teodosic joined the NBA as a 30-year-old when he signed with the LA Clippers back in the summer of 2017 and stayed until the February 2019. In his recent interview with RTS’s Slobodan Sarenac, he admitted that it might have been too late for him and shared his opinion on the ideal years to make the transition to the NBA, taking the Kings‘ Bogdan Bogdanovic as a prime example: “I think it’s individual. In any case, not too late as I did. I think I came to the US too late. Years with which Bogdan came are ideal. Some 24, 25 when you already did something in Europe, when you’ve matured and arrived with self-confidence which is very important. I think those are the ideal years”, he said.

Following Encestando’s report on Milos Teodosic agreeing for his return to CSKA Moscow ahead of the 2019-20 season, Andrey Vatutin denied any agreement is in place. CSKA’s president explained via TASS that he hasn’t even discussed the possibility with the 32-year-old Serbian point guard. “Only unlikely coincidences of circumstances can explain the report from Spain the day of our match versus Baskonia. I talked with Milos a week ago, but not about basketball. We talked about our families. His fans and opponents can calm down. Nobody has signed anything nor has agreed on anything” Vatutin said.

Milos Teodosic leaving Clippers?

L.A. Clippers guard Milos Teodosic revealed that his return to Europe might come much sooner than expected. How soon? Well, don’t be surprised if we see him back on European courts this season. “I think I definitely won’t stay here because… I came, I saw how it looks and somehow… I enjoy more and it’s nicer for me to play in Europe. So, I will return to Europe for sure, will it be during this season or at the end, we’ll see,” Teodosic said in an interview with Glas Amerike.

Here are Kokoskov’s full comments on Teodosic: “I think all the best about Milos, he is my friend and we had the opportunity to meet here. He is basketball legend. These are the names we take a look at when it comes to free agents, but of course, everything is far from a decision. What I can say is that Milos is absolutely an NBA player. He has done a lot both at the level of the (Serbian) national team and at the EuroLeague level, so his path now is the USA – he had a good season and certainly is one of the names we [Suns] discuss.”

The Clippers are going to stay over the luxury tax and they are in danger of paying also the repeater tax, for staying multiple seasons over the salary cap. That’s the main reason which pushes Teodosic towards the exit door and that’s why it’s expected that the Clippers will announce their decision about him before the start of the free agency. Considering his performance and his salary, Teodosic will be considered a bargain in the NBA market. Τhe scenario of him returning to Europe, while possible, is still just a possibility that depends clearly on the offers he will get from the NBA.

“It’s always good to have a guy like that on your team,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if he thought he would come in and be a superstar in this league, but he was so much better than a rookie. You can see that. I think if he decides to play more in the NBA, he’ll be even better.” Teodosic signed a two-season, $12.6 million contract, with a player’s option for next season. “He is as smart and clever as any player I’ve ever coached,” Rivers said.

“I met in Treviso, Italy, the head of international scouting Ivica Dukan, who is the man who took Tony Kukoc to Chicago. His opinion has a real value within the Bulls organization. He is practically the no3 decision maker on the team. We talked and he said to me that Milos was the best player they could get. After a few days the GM, Gar Forman, called me. We had agreed to a contract close to $ 30 million for three years, similar to the one Bogdan Bogdanovic signed in Sacramento. My only objection was that I wanted Milos to have the chance to opt out every summer because I believe that he can all-star money. We were ready to sign and Forman wanted the deal for one more reason. There are many Serbs in Chicago”.

In most cases around Europe the taxes are paid by the clubs and not by the players. Contracts also include perks like housing, cars and other bonuses. Practically that 12 million euros contract offer by CSKA Moscow – 11,4 to be exact – was equal to a $24 millions deal in the NBA. According to Eurohoops sources that was the deal initially offered by the Clippers and probably that was the deal Teodosic’ side also expected from Minnesota and Chicago, the two other teams that were more than interested on him.

Milos Teodosic to Chicago?

Chicago Bulls are set to announce 30-year old Serbian international point guard Milos Teodosic (195-89kg-87) who played last time at CSKA Moscow in Russia. Teodosic has played there for the last six years. In 29 Euroleague games he had very impressive stats: 16.1ppg, 2.1rpg and 6.8apg last season. Teodosic helped them to make it to the Euroleague Final Four. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Euroleague 2nd Team. Teodosic also played 21 games in VTB United League where he recorded 11.3ppg, 2.4rpg and 6.0apg (top 4). He contributed to his team winning the VTB United League championship (twice) (also twice).

Milos Teodosic is out of the picture now that the Nets have Russell. The Nets have made it a point to find playmaking guards who can play multiple positions. In a point guard heavy league it’s almost a necessity. With Russell, they have four guys under contract that can play the point in Lin, Russell, LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead. That doesn’t include Spencer Dinwiddie or Sean Kilpatrick who both have team options.

The “Army Team” doesn’t want to lose the best floor general in Europe and that’s why they are making him an offer which is hard to refuse. A total of 12 million euros for the next three seasons are on the table for the Serb guard. Teodosic with an annual salary of four million euros will became the higest paid ever player in the history of European basketball. Those are net ammounts, since it’s common practice in many parts of Europe the taxes to be paid by the clubs. “We will try to build a stronger team and that’s why we are waiting Teodosic’s answer as soon as possible”, said team president Andrey Vatutin after yesterday’s championship win in the VTB Unitel League.

CSKA will soon engage in one the greatest decisions the franchise had in a long time. Milos Teodosic – NBA or Europe? Several NBA GMs and scouts are eye-balling the Serbian wizard floor general. With ex-CSKA assistant Quin Snyder leading Utah into the second round of the playoffs with loads of international flavor, sources tell me the Jazz are bound to shoot Teodosic an offer-sheet. The Brooklyn Nets are also in active pursuit. People close to Teodosic estimate that he’ll push for a deal in 3-years $25-30 million range.

Did NBA teams talk to you about Milos Teodosic? CSKA Moscow’s Andrey Vatutin: “I don’t discuss such kind of scouting with them. I definitely know Milos better than any GM in the world, but my knowledge is used for CSKA alone.” Are you prepared for Milos leaving for the NBA, any backup plans? “I cannot discuss candidates to replace a player that hasn’t left or might re-sign with CSKA. Milos is unique. He is as unique as Nando De Colo, Victor Khryapa and all of my players. But if an NBA team makes him an offer – it will be impossible to compete with.”

CSKA will soon engage in one the greatest decisions the franchise had in a long time. Milos Teodosic – NBA or Europe? Several NBA GMs and scouts are eye-balling the Serbian wizard floor general. With ex-CSKA assistant Quin Snyder leading Utah into the second round of the playoffs with loads of international flavor, sources tell me the Jazz are bound to shoot Teodosic an offer-sheet. The Brooklyn Nets are also in active pursuit. People close to Teodosic estimate that he’ll push for a deal in 3-years $25-30 million range. “I’m proud to have elite NBA GMs from Brooklyn, San Antonio, Denver, Oklahoma, Houston and others as friends. Teams that want to scout Milos are able to do so with or without CSKA’s assistance. I think the teams that have concrete interest in Teodosic weren’t mentioned in the media.”

Two of the most important men for the Nets’ summer live in Moscow, and general manager Sean Marks is flying to see them both this week: team owner Mikhail Prokhorov and top target Milos Teodosic. Marks and Nets coach Kenny Atkinson head to ONEXIM headquarters to meet with Prokhorov, then they will scout free-agent priority Teodosic, whom one expert called the best passer in the world. “We’re heading over to meet with Mikhail this week, so we’ll sit down with him and give him the plan and discuss things with him,” Marks said. “We’ve had an open dialogue really throughout the course of the season. It’s been terrific. Mikhail has been back and forth here a number of times, so now we’re going to fly over there and sit with him and meet with him.”

The Nets’ interest in the Serbian star is well-documented. “Look, he’s a terrific player, there is no question on that,” Marks said. “But there are a lot of guys out there. Last time I was in Europe, I probably saw eight different teams. [Assistant general manager] Trajan Langdon was out there, he’s heading out again, and he’s going to see another 10 different teams. So we’re looking at a bunch of different players. It’d probably be pretty irresponsible of me to say we got one guy in mind.

Brooklyn’s interest in Teodosic is well-known. The 30-year-old point guard was voted the best player outside the NBA by league general managers earlier this year, leading Serbia to a silver medal in Rio and CSKA Moscow — Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s old team — to a Euroleague title. Teodosic’s passing has brought comparisons to former Nets great Jason Kidd.

Milos Teodosic: Many of you ask me about my future and my personal blog on Eurohoops is the right place for me to share my thoughts with you. First of all, until the season is over I don’t want to think about anything else other than winning all the titles for the second season in a row with CSKA Moscow. Then, as a free agent, I’m going to think and decide about my future, after first thoroughly examining all the prospects that I have. On March 19 I became 30 years of age and I know this is going to be a key decision for my career.

As Messina says: “Nowadays Teodosic is a far different player from who he was three years ago, and even more different, than six years ago… He is a more mature, a player who has finally won the Euroleague. He has improved himself it’s out of discussion that offensively he is read. The concerns are about his defense but he is a smart player and he knows how to avoid trouble. My opinion is that he could easily play at the NBA level, it’s up to him… Obviously, at least at the beginning, he won’t make the big money he is used to get in Europe but speaking in terms of talent, there is no doubt that he could compete at a high level”.

Milos Teodosic: In the past I felt that playing in the NBA was not something really close to me. Now, I think about it. I want to travel to the States, play in the NBA and compete against the best players in the world. Maybe now I am more ready mentally and also on the court. I know what I can do it, I believe in myself and I have no doubts or second thoughts. I am in the best phase of my career, I play for the Euroleague champs and I enjoy the most important thing for me since I was a kid, playing on open courts. I enjoy basketball. I will not risk losing that, because this is the only thing that I really need.

Milos Teodosic: I want to feel that an NBA team knows my game, has a plan for me and can use me in a unit with real chemistry, while having high goals and being competitive. I want to win, to be motivated and to feel that the coaches and the organization trust me. It’s important when you play to have high goals. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was a kid, I was chasing championship titles. I want to go to the NBA and I know that I can establish myself there and really contribute. I will not sign anywhere just to be able to say that I played in the NBA. I need the whole package that will excite me. So it depends on what offers I get as a free agent and the way the teams approach and talk to me. Ιf I end up in the NBA, I just want to be able to be myself. The spaces on the court are bigger compared to Europe, traps on defense and hedge outs to guards are rare, while there are many great shooters and big men who can finish the pick and roll.

It’s not a secter that Teodosic has a contract for next year with CSKA Moscow, however as he explained to “Sportski Zurnal” newspaper there’s at least a desire to explode the NBA possibility in the future: “I was always thinking about what would be to go there, to get a different feel about basketball which is in many ways different from the way things are in Europe. But I have another year on my contract with CSKA and this season I will not think about the NBA. When the time comes, we’ll talk”.

“Each player, whether he likes to admit it or not, has the desire to be in the NBA. To be part of it. I think that the quality of the NBA has quite fallen in the last five to ten years, but it is still the best league in the world. And I still have the desire to try myself out there. Of course, not anywhere and not in any way. If I left Europe for the NBA, it would be only for a situation where I knew I’ll be there to play”, Milos Teodosic said in the Serbian edition of VICE.

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