Dejan Milojevic Rumors
You might’ve seen the latest Warriors coaching news. Vijesti, a Montenegrin outlet, reported early Tuesday morning that Dejan Milojević will join Steve Kerr’s staff. It’s not official, but it’s happening. Milojević and the Warriors have verbally agreed to terms, The Athletic can confirm. Expect an announcement in the coming days.
Who is he? A Serbian basketball legend. He won three Adriatic League MVPs in his playing days back in the early 2000s as an old-school power forward. ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan did a mini-profile on him during the bubble playoffs. In it, Milojević — the player — is described as a “rugged, undersized big man whose deft skills and tenacity on the glass earned him the nickname ‘The Serbian Barkley.’” Click here for some highlights.
But, in Tuesday conversations with those within the Warriors, there was a reluctance to just tag him as the Jokic whisperer. In international basketball circles, Milojević’s accomplishments stretch far beyond a single star pupil. His Mega Basket teams have been a recent NBA factory. He was the head coach between 2012-20. While there, 11 Mega Basket alums were selected in the NBA Draft. Five made the overseas leap: Jokic, Ivica Zubac, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Vlatko Čančar and Goga Bitadze.
Collins’ departure leaves a vacancy in the front of the bench as the second assistant behind Brown. Milojević, sources indicate, isn’t expected to move into that seat. His hiring is on the player development side, with an obvious focus on big men, giving him an important level of responsibility in the growth plan for James Wiseman.
Milojević has been eyeing the NBA for several years. He’s been added to a few summer league staffs to dip his toes in the water. He was part of the Hawks’ Summer League staff in 2016, the Spurs’ in 2017 and the Rockets’ in 2018, which one Warriors source said would make the transition much smoother since “he’s already somewhat familiar with how we operate.”