Filip Petrusev

Nikola Jokic Included On Serbia’s Preliminary Olympic Roster

The Serbian national team has officially unveiled its preliminary roster for the 2024 Olympics, and that group is headlined by a noteworthy name. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is one of the 16 players on Serbia’s preliminary roster, which will be cut down to 12 players for this summer’s games in Paris.

Jokic was noncommittal when asked last month at the end of Denver’s season whether he intended to play for Serbia in the Olympics. Svetislav Pesic, the head coach of the national team, recently stated that the Nuggets star remained undecided. Jokic’s inclusion on the 16-man preliminary roster doesn’t guarantee he’ll be in Paris, but it’s a signal that he’s planning to participate.

Even without Jokic, the Serbians claimed a silver medal at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, falling to Germany in the final but qualifying for the Olympics based on that deep World Cup run. Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and Heat forward Nikola Jovic were among the key players on that team.

Bogdanovic and Jovic are also on the preliminary Olympic roster, and are joined by three more NBA players in Jokic, Hornets guard Vasilije Micic, and Hornets forward Aleksej Pokusevski. Filip Petrusev and Marko Guduric previously played in the NBA, while Nikola Milutinov, Ognjen Jaramaz, and Vanja Marinkovic were selected in past drafts but have never signed NBA contracts.

Serbia will be in Group C along with the United States at the Olympics and can secure a spot in the quarterfinals with a top-two finish in round-robin play. South Sudan and the winner of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico (Lithuania is the top-rated club in that six-team tournament) will be the other competition in Group C. Assuming Jokic plays, he could end up facing fellow Nuggets star Jamal Murray – who will suit up for Canada – at some point in the single-elimination portion of the event.

Filip Petrusev Officially Signs With Olympiacos

As expected, former Sixers and Kings big man Filip Petrusev has returned to the EuroLeague, officially signing with Olympiacos, according to a press release from the Greek club.

Petrusev’s deal with Olympiacos was reported when he was waived by Sacramento last week. As we relayed over the weekend, the Serbian agreed to a three-year contract from the team. It reportedly includes a third-year club option and NBA outs.

The 50th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Petrusev remained overseas for two seasons before signing a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the 76ers during the 2023 offseason. He received a partial guarantee (approximately $560K) and survived a preseason roster crunch, but was sent to the Clippers in the James Harden blockbuster just eight days into the regular season and then flipped to the Kings in a separate deal.

Petrusev, 23, ultimately appeared in just three games in his NBA rookie season — one for Philadelphia and two for Sacramento. As Eurohoops relays, the forward/center said this week that Kings teammate and former Olympiacos star Sasha Vezenkov helped convince him to return to Europe and join the Greek club, which will give him a chance to play more regularly.

According to Eurohoops, Petrusev isn’t ruling out the possibility of playing again in the NBA down the road, but believes it will be better for his growth to take on a key role in the EuroLeague rather than sitting on the bench in the NBA. And if he does decide to return stateside eventually, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, rather than having a single team control his rights.

“I didn’t give up on the NBA dream because it didn’t go well this year,” Petrusev said. “I’m young, there’s time for everything. I might come back in two or three years. If I want to return to the NBA, I can go anywhere and not just to the Sixers, where it was my only choice.”

Petrusev joins an Olympiacos roster that features many former NBA players, including Isaiah Canaan, Ignas Brazdeikis, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Naz Mitrou-Long, among others. He previously played in the EuroLeague from 2021-23 as a member of Anadolu Efes and Crvena Zvezda.

And-Ones: Petrusev, 2024 Draft, Trade Candidates, More

After being cut by the Kings on Friday, big man Filip Petrusev should officially clear waivers later today. Nebojsa Covic, the president of Crvena Zvezda, Petrusev’s former team in Serbia, indicated on Saturday that he would be open to bringing back the 23-year-old.

“I heard about it and that Olympiacos made a very decent offer,” Covic said, per Mozzart (hat tip to Eurohoops). “The door of Red Star is open for Petrusev now, but it’s his and his agent’s decision. We’ll let them decide. There won’t be any hard feelings, regardless of this decision.”

Any interest the Serbian club may have in Petrusev appears to be moot. As Covic alluded to, reporting on Friday suggested the NBA rookie is set to join Greek team Olympiacos once he clears waivers, and that deal remains on track to be completed.

Aris Barkas of Eurohoops reports that Petrusev is expected to sign a three-year contract with Olympiacos that includes a third-year team option. The agreement will also include NBA outs in the event that Petrusev is offered another opportunity stateside, according to Barkas.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has updated his mock draft for 2024, making major changes to rounds one and two. Two of the biggest risers are Pittsburgh’s Carlton Carrington and Virginia’s Ryan Dunn, who weren’t on Wasserman’s previous board but are now projected as lottery picks at No. 10 and No. 14, respectively.
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype takes a look at a few players who are currently injured or out of their team’s rotation, identifying them as possible in-season trade candidates. A pair of PistonsMonte Morris and James Wiseman – and Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski are among the players singled out by Gozlan.
  • Which players are the NBA’s biggest overachievers and underachievers through the first month of the regular season? Mark Medina names three for each category in a story for Bovada Sportsbook, with 10-time All-Star James Harden and five-time All-Star Klay Thompson showing up in his list of underachievers.

Kings Waive Filip Petrusev

10:30pm: Petrusev has been officially waived, per NBA.com’s transaction log.


10:05pm: The Kings plan to waive big man Filip Petrusev, a league source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, the Kings intend to keep their 15th standard roster spot open “for the foreseeable future” once the move is official. Petrusev is expected to sign a contract overseas, Woj adds.

James Ham of TheKingsBeat.com reports (via Twitter) that the Serbian forward/center will be signing with EuroLeague team Olympiacos — there were rumors linking Petrusev to the Greek club last week.

Petrusev, 23, was the 50th pick of the 2021 draft. He was stashed overseas for a couple years before signing a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers this offseason. Philadelphia traded him to the Clippers in the James Harden deal, and he was immediately flipped to Sacramento for cash.

Although Petrusev was on a two-year deal, only his salary for 2023/24 included guaranteed money — he’ll make $559,782, half of the rookie minimum (or the equivalent to a two-way salary). That will also be the Kings’ cap hit when Petrusev clears waivers, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Petrusev, who played college ball at Gonzaga, won a EuroLeague championship with Anadolu Efes in 2022, earned a Serbian League title with Crvena Zvezda in 2023, and was part of the Serbian national team that finished second at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Now he’ll be heading back to Europe after what must have been a frustrating NBA experience — he was on three different rosters just a week into his rookie season.

Overall, Petrusev appeared in three games this season — one with Philadelphia, two with Sacramento — for 10 total minutes.

The Kings will have 17 players under contract once Petrusev is released, with all three of their two-way spots filled.

Pacific Notes: K. Murray, Petrusev, Clippers, Payton

Kings forward Keegan Murray has been tasked with a handful of challenging defensive assignments so far this season and has responded well, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Head coach Mike Brown praised Murray for his work against Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell earlier in the week, then named him Sacramento’s defensive player of the game on Wednesday for his play vs. the Lakers (Twitter link via Anderson).

“I love it,” Murray said of being asked to do more defensively. “When I was in college and even last year, I really wasn’t known as a defender and I just tried to figure it out on my own, and obviously ask the coaches and the coaches helped me, too. But it’s just a lot of figuring out what guys do and their tendencies, just trying to be the aggressor on defense because, I mean, I feel like over the offseason, I kind of got more athletic and stronger, and that’s helped a lot.”

Murray’s offensive numbers are down to open this season, as he’s made just 38.7% of his shots from the field, including 29.6% of his three-pointers. However, he showed during an All-Rookie season in 2022/23 that he’s capable of being an offensive weapon — evolving into a legitimate two-way threat would further increase Murray’s value as a cornerstone piece for the Kings.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Greek team Olympiacos is showing interest in Kings big man Filip Petrusev, according to reports from Sport24.gr and Sportando. Although Petrusev is on a two-year contract with Sacramento, only about $560K of his 2023/24 salary is fully guaranteed, so his roster spot for the rest of the season isn’t necessarily assured. Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops.net suggests that while it has been a frustrating start to Petrusev’s career – he has already been on three different rosters this season – he’s still focused for now on earning his place in the NBA.
  • While the Clippers have more top-end talent following the James Harden trade, they sent out four wings and forwards in that deal, leaving their roster somewhat thin at other spots, Terance Mann observed this week. “We don’t have much depth, I guess at a certain position,” Mann said, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. “It’s just a whole different scheme, you know. Now we have James Harden. So, you know … different.” Mann is expected to move into the starting lineup on Friday after Russell Westbrook volunteered to come off the bench.
  • Warriors guard Gary Payton II was diagnosed with a sprain after turning his left ankle in the second quarter of Thursday’s loss and was wearing a boot on the injured foot after the game, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter links). However, head coach Steve Kerr said X-rays on the ankle were negative and wasn’t prepared to rule him out for Saturday’s contest yet, so it remains to be seen how much time – if any – Payton might miss.

Clippers Trade Filip Petrusev, Cash To Kings

8:23pm: The trade is official, the Clippers announced (via Twitter).


7:59 pm: The Clippers will send Petrusev and cash to the Kings in exchange for the draft rights to Luka Mitrovic, a source tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Mitrovic, a 30-year-old forward currently playing in Serbia, was the final pick in the 2015 draft.


3:02pm: The Clippers and Kings have agreed to a trade that will send big man Filip Petrusev and cash to Sacramento, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Petrusev was dealt to Los Angeles along with James Harden and P.J. Tucker in the blockbuster trade that was officially completed on Wednesday. However, Law Murray of The Athletic reported at the time of the agreement that the Serbian rookie wasn’t in the Clippers’ plans and wasn’t expected to remain on the roster.

By trading Petrusev to Sacramento, the Clippers will open up a second roster spot on their 15-man squad. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team can only carry fewer than 14 players on standard contracts for up to 14 days at a time and 28 total days during a season, so Los Angeles will have to replace Petrusev on its roster sooner rather than later.

Even after the Clippers add a 14th man, I’d expect them to keep their 15th roster spot open for the time being in order to maintain some flexibility and to avoid increasing their projected luxury tax bill.

The Kings, meanwhile, entered the season with an open roster spot of their own and will now use it to take a look at Petrusev, a draft-and-stash prospect who was selected 50th overall in 2021 and joined the 76ers two years later.

The 6’11” forward/center, who played college ball at Gonzaga, won a EuroLeague championship with Anadolu Efes in 2022, earned a Serbian League title with Crvena Zvezda in 2023, and was part of the Serbian national team that finished second at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Assuming the terms of his contract aren’t being adjusted as part of the trade, Petrusev’s salary is currently only partially guaranteed for $559,782 (50% of his full salary), so the Kings could waive him at some point with no real financial penalty if they want to reopen that 15th roster spot. His full cap hit is $1,119,563.

It’s unclear what the Kings are sending the Clippers in the trade, but based on the structure of the deal and how it’s been reported, I expect it to be either a heavily protected second-round pick or the draft rights to a player who will likely never sign an NBA contract.

Sixers Trade James Harden To Clippers In Three-Team Deal

NOVEMBER 1: The trade is official, according to press releases from all three teams. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Clippers acquire James Harden, P.J. Tucker, and Filip Petrusev.
  • Sixers acquire Marcus Morris; Nicolas Batum; Robert Covington; Kenyon Martin Jr.; the Clippers’ 2028 first-round pick (unprotected); either the Rockets’ (top-four protected), Clippers’, or Thunder’s 2026 first-round pick (whichever is least favorable); the right to swap their own 2029 first-round pick with the Clippers’ 2029 first-round pick (top-three protected); a 2024 second-round pick (details below); the Clippers’ 2029 second-round pick; and cash ($2MM; from Clippers).
    • Note: The 2024 second-round pick acquired by the Sixers will be either the Raptors’, Pacers’, Jazz’s, or Cavaliers’ pick, whichever is most favorable. If either the Jazz’s or Cavaliers’ pick is the most favorable, Philadelphia would instead receive the second-most favorable of the four.
  • Thunder acquire the right to swap either their own 2027 first-round pick or the Nuggets’ 2027 first-round pick (top-five protected) for the Clippers’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected) and cash ($1.1MM; from Clippers).

As expected, Danny Green was waived by the Sixers in order to make room for the incoming players.

Harden received the maximum portion of his trade bonus ($40,595) that he could while still making the deal legal for salary-matching purposes, Hoops Rumors has learned.


OCTOBER 31: The Sixers are shipping star guard James Harden to the Clippers, his latest destination of choice, sources inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia is sending out Harden, veteran forward P.J. Tucker and rookie center Filip Petrusev to Los Angeles in exchange for forwards Kenyon Martin Jr., Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington, plus some significant future draft equity.

The 76ers will receive the Clippers’ 2028 unprotected first-round draft pick, two second-rounders and a 2029 pick swap, as well as an additional first-round pick. That extra first-round pick the Sixers are acquiring in the blockbuster deal is a 2026 first-rounder that had been controlled by the Thunder, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Thunder will receive a 2027 first-round pick swap from the Clippers in exchange for that 2026 first-rounder. Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports reports (via Twitter) that the 2026 first-round selection the Thunder are trading to Philadelphia will be the least favorable of the Clippers’ pick, OKC’s own pick, and Houston’s selection (top-four protected).

The two second-round picks the Clippers are trading to the Sixers are 2024 and 2029 selections, sources tell Wojnarowski. The ’29 pick will be Los Angeles’ own, but the Clips have already traded away their own 2024 second-round pick, so the other second-rounder in this deal will be one of two others that L.A. controls (one is Toronto’s pick; the other could be Indiana’s, Utah’s, or Cleveland’s).

Philadelphia wing Danny Green is being cut to create an open roster spot for the new additions from the Clippers, sources tell Wojnarowski. Green’s salary had only been partially guaranteed for $200K.

According to Wojnarowski, the Sixers and Clippers – who have had conversations about Harden for months – began talking again over the weekend following L.A.’s recent “pause” in negotiations, with Philadelphia recognizing it was becoming increasingly untenable to incorporate Harden back into its lineup.

This will bring the latest Harden trade request saga to a close. The 10-time All-Star opted into the final season of his current contract, worth $35.6MM, and immediately requested a trade rather than joining a new team in free agency. It was the third time in three years that he had sought a change of scenery via trade — he was originally dealt from Houston to Brooklyn in 2021, then from Brooklyn to Philadelphia in 2022.

Following his June trade request, Harden made some explosive comments over the summer about Sixers team president Daryl Morey, calling him a “liar” and saying he had no intention of being part of the same organization as Morey. When the NBA launched an investigation into those comments, Harden informed league investigators that he called Morey a liar because he told the former MVP he’d be traded “quickly” after he asked to be moved. The incident cost him $100K.

Harden skipped media day and the first day of training camp before reporting to the 76ers this fall. He participated in just one 5-on-5 scrimmage and no preseason games before leaving the team again for what was described as a personal matter, only to return after a 10-day absence. He has missed all of Philadelphia’s regular season games to this point as he continues to ramp up to game shape.

Harden struggled with injuries in 2022/23. Though the 34-year-old was clearly no longer in his athletic prime, he remained his prolific self while playing alongside eventual MVP Joel Embiid. Across 58 regular season contests, he averaged 21.0 points per game on .441/.385/.867 shooting, also contributing 10.7 assists, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per night.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Harden is “ecstatic” to be joining the Clippers alongside fellow Southern California natives Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook. Los Angeles has long sought a play-making point guard who can stretch the floor alongside its two star forwards and will now insert Harden into that role for at least the 2023/24 season.

Harden is on an expiring contract and won’t become extension-eligible before reaching unrestricted free agency next July. Leonard, George, and Westbrook all have 2024/25 player options, so they could also hit the open market after the season if things don’t go well in L.A., though Leonard and George remain eligible to sign extensions before then.

Harden is hoping to fly to Los Angeles right away and there’s a chance he’ll attend the Clippers’ home game against Orlando on Tuesday, Shelburne adds, though it will likely still be a few days before he makes his debut for his new team.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Clippers will hang onto Petrusev, tweets Law Murray of The Athletic, though Tucker is in their plans.

While the Sixers won’t land Terance Mann – whose inclusion in the deal was long believed to be a sticking point – they’ll acquire four players on expiring contracts and get out from under Tucker’s 2024/25 player option, further increasing their cap flexibility for the summer of 2024. They project to have between $50-65MM in space next offseason, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

The draft assets and expiring contracts the Sixers are acquiring from Los Angeles also put Philadelphia in position to make another pre-deadline trade to further reinforce its roster. The 76ers are expected to scour the trade market for another “high-level guard,” writes Wojnarowski.

The four players the Sixers are adding in this deal will be ineligible to have their salaries aggregated in a separate trade for the next two months, but could be flipped immediately as long as they’re not being combined with other players for salary-matching purposes.

Meanwhile, as Marks observes (via Twitter), Harden’s contract includes a $5.1MM trade bonus, which Philadelphia would be responsible for paying. However, based on the terms that have been reported so far, he would have to waive most or all of that bonus for the trade to be legal.

The Clippers’ projected luxury tax bill is projected to increase by approximately $29MM once the deal is finalized, Marks adds (via Twitter), while the Sixers’ projected tax bill will dip by $13.4MM.


Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Harden Trade Notes: TPE, Hard Cap, Sixers’ Next Targets, More

The size of the traded player exception the Sixers create in their James Harden deal with the Clippers will depend on whether or not they’re comfortable being hard-capped at the first tax apron ($172.3MM), notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Philadelphia could complete the trade using either the more lenient salary-matching rules for teams below both tax aprons or using the more restrictive matching rules for apron teams, which prohibit clubs from taking back more than 110% of their outgoing salary (plus $250K).

Going the latter route would result in a smaller trade exception ($6.8MM), but would avoid creating a hard cap; the former route would mean a bigger TPE ($11MM) but would leave Philadelphia just $2.8MM below a hard cap. I’d expect the 76ers – who want to make another trade or two before February’s deadline – to settle for the smaller TPE to avoid limiting their cap flexibility, but that’s just my speculation.

Here’s more on the Harden blockbuster:

  • Which players might the Sixers target in pre-deadline trades using the draft assets they’re acquiring for Harden? According to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link), the “early chatter” on names to watch includes Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Raptors forward OG Anunoby. Based on Mannix’s wording, it sounds like that may just be speculation from rival executives rather than anything concrete from Sixers sources.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic gives the Clippers a B-minus grade and the Sixers a C-minus grade for the trade, expressing surprise that Philadelphia didn’t get Terance Mann or Norman Powell as part of the return for Harden. In a separate Athletic story, Harper shares five reasons why he doesn’t love the deal for either side, including the fact that Russell Westbrook has played well since being traded to the Clippers and will now have his role adjusted.
  • While Harden and Westbrook will once again have to figure out how to coexist in a backcourt after stints together in Oklahoma City and Houston, there’s no conflict between the two guards, who have long “maintained a line of communication,” a league source tells Law Murray of The Athletic.
  • Filip Petrusev isn’t expected to be a contributor for the Clippers, a team source tells Murray. If Los Angeles were to waive the rookie big man, the team would open up a second spot on its 15-man roster and would only be on the hook for his partial guarantee ($559,782) rather than his full $1,119,563 salary, assuming that guarantee isn’t being increased as part of the trade.
  • In his story on the trade, Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times writes that the Clippers weren’t in “Harden-or-bust” mode. In fact, some people with the team believe L.A. came “extremely close” to winning the bidding for Jrue Holiday a few weeks ago, Greif writes. If the Clippers had landed Holiday, it’s unclear how the Harden saga would’ve been resolved.

Eastern Notes: Thompson, Petrusev, Sixers’ Camp, Jovic

The Pistons have veteran options at small forward in Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Harris. However, The Athletic’s James Edwards III believes lottery pick Ausar Thompson could jump right into the starting lineup.

Thompson looks like the best defensive option at the position and general manager Troy Weaver has made defensive improvement a priority, according to Edwards, who adds that the Pistons’ new staff might want to establish a defensive tone, then sprinkle in its perimeter shooters.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers big man Filip Petrusev averaged 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game during the World Cup, helping Serbia to its surprising silver medal performance. Petrusev is now looking forward to his first NBA season, George Efkarpides of Eurohoops.net writes. “This is a motivation maybe to just keep working,” he said. Philadelphia signed the draft-and-stash prospect in July.
  • The first Sixers training camp under Nick Nurse will begin far away from Philadelphia, according to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. They’ll be at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. from Oct. 3-6. Whether James Harden is still on the team or shows up for camp remains up in the air.
  • Nikola Jovic excelled during the World Cup but Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel doubts that will alter the Heat‘s willingness to include him in a potential Damian Lillard trade. He’s not even certain of a rotation spot this upcoming season, Winderman notes, so unless the team’s brass and coaching staff projects him as the team’s power forward of the future or a potential All-Star talent, they won’t hesitate to move him for a proven star.

Sixers Notes: Harden, Harris, Petrusev, Green, More

Despite another second-round playoff exit, which has been followed by another drama-filled offseason, Sixers owner Josh Harris believes Philadelphia is in an enviable position, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The situation with James Harden is unfortunate,” Harris told ESPN. “I want this to work out for all sides, including James. But we have to keep our eye on the big picture, which is that we’re still a contending team and most teams in the NBA would change places with us in five minutes.”

Here’s more on the 76ers:

  • Harden took to Instagram in response to Shelburne’s report that he was “pouting” earlier this year over a perceived All-Star snub. The former league MVP’s message was simple: “Lies,” he wrote.
  • Sixers big man Filip Petrusev had an impressive performance for Serbia in the team’s World Cup quarterfinal victory over Lithuania, notching 17 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds in just 17 minutes of action. However, the 2021 second-round pick says his right ankle still isn’t 100%, per Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. “I had the injury in the first game. So, I am not where I am supposed to be physically,” said Petrusev, who missed two games in the first round of group play. “I was just glad I could help (Nikola) Milutinov. He had so much work on defense guarding (Jonas) Valanciunas. He did a great job. That was the opportunity for me to step in, especially in the offense, and contribute.”
  • The uncertainty surrounding Harden’s situation has created question marks up and down the roster, Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes (subscriber link). How new head coach Nick Nurse will construct the offense, Tyrese Maxey‘s role, and how Joel Embiid might adjust without Harden are among the most pressing questions posed by Mizell.
  • In an opinion piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer, David Murphy shares some thoughts on the reported addition of Danny Green, and how the lead guard spot might be handled sans Harden.