Multiple NBA teams, including the Lakers and the Jazz, have expressed interest in Lithuanian small forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, David Pick of Basketball Insiders reports. Kuzminskas, 25, wasn’t selected in the 2011 NBA draft, but has caught the attention of NBA scouts this season with his play for Unicaja Malaga of the Spanish League, Pick notes. The 6’9″ swingman is set to become a restricted free agent next summer, but according to Kuzminskas’ agent, Tadas Bulotas, the Spanish club may decide against re-signing the player, Pick adds.
“Kuzminskas has been very productive this season and there is NBA interest for sure. Teams have spoken with Malaga, but nothing is imminent at the moment,” Bulotas told Pick. “Kuzminskas could leave Malaga, but there is a heavy NBA buyout and [an] even higher Euroleague buyout. If Malaga [does] well in the ACB and the Euroleague, it might be worth it for the club to lower the buyout and sell Mindaugas. Otherwise, Kuzminskas could leave after next season [2015/16] for free.”
The Lithuanian is open to testing the NBA waters in this year’s Summer League showcase in Las Vegas, Pick notes. Bulotas confirmed this, saying: “We’re thinking about sending him, the Summer League came up in discussions.” Kuzminskas, who also spoke to Pick, said, “I’d like to get a chance to move to the NBA. I feel like I matched up against Team USA pretty well. USA have a lot of talent and great players, but they’re humans, not robots. I’m not thinking too much about the NBA because I have a contract with Malaga for next season. I’m trying to help the team win in the Euroleague Top 16, and to be consistent and improve in order to think about what is next.”
Kuzminskas is currently averaging 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game in the Euroleague, and 9.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG per contest while shooting over 38% from beyond the arc in Spanish League competition.