Northwest Notes: Micic, Utah, Booth, Walker

28-year-old Vasilije Micic, the 2021 EuroLeague MVP whose draft rights are currently owned by the Thunder, is interested in joining the NBA if a trade is available, per Adrian Wojanarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Woj notes that, due to the team’s focus on rebuilding around a young roster, Oklahoma City might not make sense as a landing spot for the veteran guard. Micic was selected by the Sixers with the No. 52 pick in the 2014 draft. The Thunder acquired his draft rights during the 2020/21 season. Since 2018, Micic has played for Turkish club Anadolu Efes, winners of the past two EuroLeague titles.

During his 2021/22 EuroLeague stint with Anadolu Efes, Micic averaged 18.1 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.3 RPG and 1.1 SPG across 28 contests. He posted shooting splits of .467/.349/.886.

The 6’5″ guard recently reiterated his enthusiasm for taking the leap across the pond.

I’m still showing a desire to go to the NBA,” Micic told Achilleas Mavrodontis of Eurohoops. “I would like to try myself there, I would like to go there to see how is everything over there. Some things are not in my hands. I have some days left to make it happen, day by day. We will see. Otherwise, I will stay in Efes, but for now, it’s to go there.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • After trading All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for a handful of veterans and present and future draft picks, the Jazz will look very different during the 2022/23 season. Trent Wood of the Deseret News unpacks what Utah can expect from new ex-Minnesota acquisitions Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and rookie Walker Kessler. GM Justin Zanik praised 34-year-old veteran point guard Beverley. “Patrick Beverley, longtime NBA antagonist, brings great defensive fire and that intensity is needed with our team,” Zanik said. Beyond Kessler, it sounds as if the more veteran players could either be on-court contributors or be made available via trade.
  • New Nuggets team president Calvin Booth is not taking his opportunity to win a title in Denver for granted, writes Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. “I never thought I’d be, you know, the steward of a team of this caliber in my very first job,” Booth said.
  • Details have emerged regarding the deal of new Trail Blazers second-round pick Jabari Walker. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), Walker, the No. 57 selection in the 2022 draft, has inked a three-season contract worth $4.76MM, with only the 2022/23 season fully guaranteed. During the ’23/24 season, the deal is partially guaranteed for $400K, per JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Walker’s deal will be non-guaranteed under the last year of the contract in ’24/25. Although it’s a minimum-salary contract, Portland used the mid-level exception to give the rookie a third year.
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