Milos Teodosic

Teodosic Not Expected To Return To NBA This Season

After being waived by the Clippers earlier this month, veteran point guard Milos Teodosic looked like a strong candidate to return to a team in Europe if he didn’t draw immediate NBA interest. Now, it sounds like Teodosic may not play for an NBA team or for a European club for the rest of the season.

According to a report from Nikola Stejkovic of Serbian outlet (Twitter links), Teodosic is expected to suit up for Serbia’s national team in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, then plans to sit out the rest of the season to prepare for the 2019/20 campaign (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

Serbia, which has a 6-4 record in qualifying matches for the 2019 World Cup so far, has games against Estonia and Israel in the coming days. The squad is in position to secure a spot in this fall’s event, assuming it can hold off Georgia (5-5) and Israel (4-6) in the standings.

As for Teodosic, while his focus is on international play for now, the longtime EuroLeague star is still just 31 years old and presumably has several good years left in him. In a season and a half with the Clippers, he averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.0 APG with a .420/.378/.811 shooting line in 60 games (21.4 MPG). He saw his role dwindle this season due to a crowded backcourt rotation in Los Angeles.

Based on comments he made in the fall, Teodosic sounds prepared to return to the EuroLeague going forward, after having given the NBA a shot. Having played for CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Olympiacos (Greece) in the past, the veteran guard was said to be drawing interest from Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey) earlier this season, though he figures to have multiple suitors in the offseason.

Clippers Waive Milos Teodosic

8:09pm: Having completed their trade with the Lakers, the Clippers have officially released Teodosic, the club announced in a press release.

“We feel privileged that Milos chose to play for the Clippers after a fantastic career in Europe,” president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement. “He has been a terrific playmaker and we are grateful for his contributions to the organization.”

Teodosic will clear waivers this weekend and is a strong candidate to return overseas if he doesn’t receive immediate NBA interest.

1:56pm: The Clippers are waiving Milos Teodosic, according to a tweet from Eurohoops. The Clips need to open a roster spot to complete the two-for-one deal that brought Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley from the Lakers. The move was confirmed by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Teodosic was a star in Europe who was highly sought after when he came to the NBA, but his experience in L.A. never worked out like he had hoped. He averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 45 games last year in an injury-plagued season, but has only appeared in 15 games this year as those numbers have dropped to 3.2 PPG and 2.1 APG.

Teodosic was already frustrated by his decreased playing time in November, when he talked about going back to Europe. A report in December indicated that a team in Turkey was “seriously pursuing” him if he could get out of his NBA contract.

Eastern Trade Rumors: Cavs, A. Holiday, Kaminsky, Raps

It has been a busy season on the trade market for the Cavaliers, who entered sell mode early and have moved Kyle Korver, George Hill, and Alec Burks in separate deals over the course of the 2018/19 campaign.

Even after all that action, the Cavaliers may not be done dealing, according to Chris Fedor of, who reports that Cleveland’s front office is still exploring the market in search of a possible home for J.R. Smith. Although the Cavs plan to continue their efforts to move Smith right up until today’s deadline, making a deal is “easier said than done,” a source tells Fedor.

Despite the fact that Smith is on a pseudo-expiring contract, with only $3.87MM of his $15.68MM salary for 2019/20 guaranteed, his $14.72MM cap hit for this season – and the fact that he hasn’t played in an NBA game since mid-November – will be a tough sell. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Smith ultimately ends up on the buyout market after the deadline.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • We’ve heard that the Pacers might be willing to move Cory Joseph and Darren Collison, but it’s their other point guard – rookie Aaron Holiday – who has been a popular target for teams making inquiries, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star. Although Indiana initially took those calls, the club has now pulled Holiday off the table and has no plans to deal him this week, a source tells Michael.
  • While the Hornets remain in the mix for Marc Gasol, they’re also still on the lookout for a potential landing spot for Frank Kaminsky, independent of a Gasol deal, tweets Sporting News’ Sean Deveney. Kaminsky, who has played just 41 minutes in Charlotte’s last 23 games, would presumably welcome a change of scenery.
  • Despite some rumors this week involving the Raptors, Mike Conley, and Kyle Lowry, there’s currently no traction on a Toronto deal that would include those players, tweets Michael Grange of
  • The Magic and the Bulls are among the clubs that have expressed some level of interest in Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, who hears that a Teodosic trade is still possible. As we heard earlier in the season, the former EuroLeague star also continues to draw plenty of interest from international teams, Cauchi notes.

Clippers Rumors: Trade Deadline, Teodosic, Lopez

As one of a handful of big-market teams looking to pursue top-tier free agents during the summer of 2019, the Clippers would prefer not to take on any 2019/20 money in deadline trades. However, as Johan Buva of The Athletic outlines, the team could be convinced to cut into its projected cap space if a multiyear deal provides too much value to pass up, as was the case with Lou Williams‘ three-year extension or Montrezl Harrell‘s two-year contract.

“It’s a lot that goes in it,” head coach Doc Rivers said of his team’s trade deadline plans. “It’s easier when you think you have a shot to win it. Then it’s an easy move. If there’s a move to make your team or put your team over the hump, those are easy. Where we’re at, you have to be very careful with anything you do because anything that puts money on your cap and all that, it’s probably a bad move in some ways. Unless you think it’s a longtime guy. Every team has their own stuff. It’s different for everyone.”

Despite a recent slump, the 26-22 Clippers remain very much in position to push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, holding the No. 8 seed for now. Los Angeles wants to make the postseason, according to Buva, who suggests a playoff berth would help prove to potential free agent targets that the club has the “players and infrastructure to build and support a contender.”

Still, the Clippers’ long-term goal is to build a roster capable of sustained success, so if there’s a move that would align with that goal, the team would be interested, per Buva — even if it means taking a step back in the short term.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • According to Buva, Milos Teodosic is a player to keep an eye on at the deadline, as the veteran point guard has hinted that he’s not thrilled with his role. The Clippers aren’t necessarily actively looking to move on from Teodosic, since they view him as an important insurance policy behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Patrick Beverley. However, if they find a suitable trade partner or Teodosic expresses interest in a buyout, that stance could change.
  • Outside of possibly Teodosic, the Clippers aren’t shopping any of their other players on expiring contracts, says Buva. That group includes Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Beverley. Avery Bradley is also on a de facto expiring deal, with a $2MM partial guarantee for 2019/20.
  • While the Clippers aren’t targeting a specific position at the deadline, Buva suggests that center could be a spot to watch. League sources tell Buva that the Clippers inquired about Bulls center Robin Lopez, but talks didn’t advance.

Team In Turkey “Seriously Pursuing” Milos Teodosic

A Turkish team is ready to welcome Clippers guard Milos Teodosic if he’s serious about leaving the NBA, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul is “seriously pursuing” Teodosic, according to Carchia, although he would have to reach a buyout agreement with the Clippers before signing anywhere else. L.A. is paying Teodisic $6.3MM this season and can extend a $7.875MM qualifying offer next summer.

Teodosic, a former EuroLeague star, said last month he wasn’t sure if he wanted to finish out the current NBA season because of reduced playing time. He is seeing just 10 minutes per night through 15 games, way down from 25.2 minutes as a rookie. The Clippers’ backcourt got more crowded this year as Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley both returned from injuries and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was added through the draft.

Teodosic and the Clippers had opportunities to terminate their relationship over the offseason, but both elected to extend it for another year. He exercised a player option in June, but it only carried a $2.1MM guarantee through July 15, meaning the team could have saved $4.2MM by waiving him before that date.

L.A. Notes: McGee, James, Scott, Teodosic

JaVale McGee is grateful to LeBron James for lobbying the Lakers to sign him, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reports. The 30-year-old journeyman center is averaging a career-high 13.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 2.4 BPG after signing a one-year, $2.93MM contract over the summer. “He could have said get anybody,” McGee said. “It’s just a reassuring feeling, a confidence-builder I guess, knowing that you’re going into a situation wanted as an option, like you’re really wanted. That’s pretty dope.”

We have more on the Lakers and Clippers:

  • The Lakers haven’t proven whether they’re a quality team yet and they’ll need to give James more help than he required in Cleveland if they want to compete for championships, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times opines. James is now in a tougher conference and while he might be able to drag the team into the playoffs, if would be easier if the players around him were more productive, Woike adds.
  • Forward Mike Scott has become a valuable piece on the Clippers’ second unit since signing a one-year, $4.3MM contract over the summer, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times notes. Scott has taken 64.4% of his shots beyond the arc and made 48.9% of them with top reserves Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell drawing most of the defensive attention.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers doubts guard Milos Teodosic will wind up in Europe this season, Greif writes in the same piece. Teodosic has expressed frustration over his lack of playing time and speculated he could leave the Clippers before the season’s end despite his $6.3MM contract. Rivers shrugged it off. “We want Milos to be happy, too,” Rivers said. “He’s a great guy and he’s great for this organization. Obviously he hasn’t played the minutes or the way he wants to, but we love him around here, so we’ll figure that all out.”
  • The Lakers are urging point guard Lonzo Ball to stay aggressive on a consistent basis, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Milos Teodosic Talks About Leaving Clippers

Frustrated over a lack of playing time, Clippers guard Milos Teodosic is thinking about returning to the EuroLeague, possibly before the season ends. In an interview with GlasAmerike (hat tip to Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops), Teodosic sounds ready to end his NBA experiment.

“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,” he said. “So, I will return to Europe for sure, will it be during this season or at the end, we’ll see.”

To make a move before the end of the season, Teodosic would have to negotiate a release from his $6.3MM contact in Los Angeles. He and the Clippers made a mutual decision this summer that enabled him to return for this season. Teodosic exercised his player option in June, but it was only guaranteed for $2.1MM. L.A. could have saved the rest by waiving him before July 15, but opted to bring him back.
The 31-year-old was a longtime star in Europe before deciding to give the NBA a try last season. However, his brief career in the U.S. has been marked by injuries. He was limited to 45 games last year, then suffered a tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot near the end of the season. He has gotten into just eight games this year and is averaging about 10 minutes per night in a crowded Clippers backcourt.

If he does get out of his NBA contract, Teodosic would be in great demand in Europe, Stroggylakis adds. When he came to the Clippers in the summer of 2017, the Serbian star passed on a three-year, $12MM offer from CSKA Moscow that would have made him the highest-paid player in the EuroLeague.

Pelicans Rumors: Porter, Moore, Bazemore, Lin

Few players have made a bigger impact on their teams this season than Anthony Davis, whose Pelicans have a +10.7 net rating when he’s on the court and a -13.7 rating when he sits. However, Davis could use some help, so Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer devotes his latest article to exploring a number of potential trade options for New Orleans, providing a handful of interesting tidbits along the way.

Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • There are “whispers” that the Pelicans have interest in Wizards forward Otto Porter, according to O’Connor, who believes that Porter could thrive in New Orleans’ up-tempo offense and would fill a major need for the team. While there’s no indication that the two teams have engaged in trade discussions, O’Connor suggests that a package along the lines of Solomon Hill, Julius Randle, and a first-round pick might work.
  • Following up on a report suggesting that the Pelicans offered Nikola Mirotic and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, O’Connor writes that E’Twaun Moore was included in a version of New Orleans’ offer for Butler. Sources tell O’Connor that the Pels declined to make Jrue Holiday available in those trade talks, and also resisted offering an unprotected 2022 first-round pick.
  • O’Connor identifies Kent Bazemore, Wesley Matthews, James Johnson, Trevor Ariza, and DeMarre Carroll as some other wings and forwards who could be of interest to New Orleans, and who may end up being available. The Pelicans made a play for Bazemore in the offseason, O’Connor notes.
  • Scott Kushner of The Advocate recently argued that the Pelicans could use another playmaker, even when Elfrid Payton is healthy. O’Connor makes a similar point, observing that New Orleans had interest in Jeremy Lin before he signed with the Nets in 2016. Lin could be a trade candidate to watch, according to O’Connor, who points to Milos Teodosic (Clippers) and T.J. McConnell (Sixers) as others to keep an eye on.

Jimmy Butler Returns To Timberwolves’ Practice

Three weeks after his trade request went public, Jimmy Butler returned to the Timberwolves‘ facility and practiced with the team today, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

While Butler’s participation in practice doesn’t necessarily mean a trade won’t happen, it’s another indication that he won’t sit out once the regular season begins next week. Of course, that was never really a realistic option for Butler, since – as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets – the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement features language that makes a holdout impractical.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Butler was vocal during today’s practice, verbally challenging coaches, teammates, and the front office, including Tom Thibodeau, Scott Layden, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins. Woj describes the 29-year-old as “vociferous and emotional at times,” adding in a second tweet that at one point, Butler screamed at Layden, “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me.”

As we relayed earlier today, the Timberwolves reached back out to the Rockets on Tuesday, and the Heat remain interested in rekindling talks with Minnesota, so those trade discussions figure to continue. However, reports throughout the process have indicated that Thibodeau would prefer to see Butler start the season with the Wolves. That scenario appears increasingly plausible now that the All-NBA wing is practicing with his teammates again, though perhaps the obvious tension in practice will make Thibodeau reconsider his stance.

Here are a few more of the latest notes on Butler:

  • Besides their discussions with the Heat, the Timberwolves have had no “serious, active talks” with any other team about Butler, league sources tell Wojnarowski.
  • According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, the Nets have been “timid” in their approach toward pursuing Butler, and have made Caris LeVert unavailable. Deveney also confirms that the Clippers are unwilling to include Tobias Harris in any offers, having instead proposed deals headlined by Danilo Gallinari or some combination of other players, such as Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and others.
  • Some league executives who spoke to Deveney expressed reservations about Butler’s potential locker room fit. “As good as Jimmy is, I think you have to be concerned about the impact he is going to have in the locker room, on your younger guys, on your coaching staff, all of that,” one general manager said. “He has gotten the benefit of the doubt, but if you look at his history, he’s had trouble getting along in Chicago and now in Minnesota. Everywhere he goes, it becomes about Jimmy, and if you’re going to bring him in, you have to account for that.”
  • Earlier today, we passed along details on the Timberwolves‘ discussions with the Rockets.

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Teodosic, Boban, Booker

When LeBron James joined the Lakers, several other seasoned veterans followed suit. While Los Angeles was not able to lure another high-priced free agent alongside James, the team did sign experienced players who all fill specific roles.

Longtime Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson, a noted on-court nemesis of James, was one of the first players to sign. Speaking a party to say farewell to Indianapolis, Stephenson told The Indianapolis Star that he did not personally hear from James but was aware of his interest.

Magic (Johnson) called me and he told me LeBron was interested, very interested in me,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson, 27, is coming off a year in which he played all 82 games for the first time in his career. He averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG for Indiana off the bench while providing his usual hard-nosed yet quirky style of play.

“Give me a few hours to make this decision,” Stephenson said he told Johnson. “I decided to go there and, hopefully, we will win a lot of games and have fun.”

Check out more Pacific Division notes below:

  • Clippers players Milos Teodosic and Boban Marjanovic have decided not to join the Serbian national team for September’s FIBA World Cup qualifiers, head coach Sasha Djordjevic confirmed to (via Sportando).
  • The Clippers‘ quest for a new arena took a positive step forward on Friday, as lawmakers approved a bill that would streamline the process, Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.
  • Suns guard Devin Booker is off to a strong start in his career and he only sees better things ahead. Speaking to a group of 300 kids at a youth camp, Booker said that he feels the playoffs are within reach, given the team’s acquisitions and young talent, Greg Moore of the writes. “I want to build my own legacy here in Phoenix,” Booker said. “I feel like I’m off to a pretty good start. Just gotta keep going. Turn these losses into wins and make the playoffs and go from there.”