Vasilije Micic

Atlantic Notes: Lowry, Tsai, Sixers, J. Brown

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract, suggested last week that he’d love to remain in Toronto beyond the 2019/20 season and would have interest in signing an extension with the team. However, Eric Koreen of The Athletic believes it’s unlikely that Lowry and the Raptors will find common ground on a new deal before he reaches free agency next summer.

As Koreen explains, Lowry projects to be one of the very best free agents on the market next offseason, particularly if Anthony Davis re-ups with the Lakers. He’s also a five-time All-Star who just helped lead the Raptors to a championship. In other words, he’ll likely be expecting another big payday.

On the other hand, the Raptors are entering a transition year and are still trying to figure out what their post-Kawhi Leonard future might look like. With barely any guaranteed money on the books for next season, Toronto may prefer to maintain its flexibility rather than entering into a new agreement with Lowry right away.

Plus, with Lowry set to turn 34 during the 2019/20 season, it’s not clear how heavily the Raptors would be willing to invest in him going forward. While a contract extension is still a possibility, Koreen wouldn’t be surprised if those discussions are “put on hold for a while.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • With the Nets swapping one wealthy foreign owner for another, Brian Lewis of The New York Post suggests that the team’s willingness to spend won’t change much as Joseph Tsai takes the reins from Mikhail Prokhorov. However, Lewis expects Tsai to be far more visible around the Nets and the NBA than Prokhorov had been in recent years.
  • In his latest mailbag for The Athletic, Derek Bodner explores the likelihood of the Sixers bringing draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic stateside at some point, weighs the team’s ability to make another big splash on the trade market, and addresses a handful of other 76ers-related topics.
  • After being a full-time starter for the Celtics in 2017/18, Jaylen Brown started just 25 of his 74 contests last season and saw his playing time reduced by nearly five minutes per game. Appearing on this week’s episode of The Michael Holley Podcast, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge praised Brown for the way he responded. “He might have handled a difficult situation better than anybody on our team last year,” Ainge said (per Dave Green of NBC Sports Boston). “Very mature kid, wants to be great, knows that his time is coming.”

And-Ones: Global Camp, Gasol, EuroLeague, Free Agents

This year’s NBA Global Camp is in serious jeopardy, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Organizers fear the league’s official international combine will have to be cancelled due to logistical issues with the venue in Monaco, as well as other concerns.

“Chances are greater that it may not happen but situations are in play that may still save the camp,” a source told Givony.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Pau Gasol has officially decided not to play for Spain during the FIBA tournament this summer, according to a Sportando report. The Bucks big man underwent surgery two weeks ago to repair a stress fracture in his left foot. He’s hopeful of playing in the Olympics next year if his national team qualifies.
  • The EuroLeague has been affected by a talent drain from the NBA, the G League and China, according to Givony. The top international free agents shooting guard Cory Higgins, former Celtics point man Shane Larkin and combo guard Vasilije Micic. Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Deni Avdija was a standout in the Adidas Next Generation tournament and the 6’9” point forward could be a Top 10 selection in next year’s draft.
  • Headed by the Knicks, teams with the most salary-cap space and their ability to land top free agents go under the microscope in ESPN’s Bobby Marks latest in-depth piece.
  • In his own look at free agency, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports explores how this season’s All-NBA choices – which will be announced very soon – could impact contract situations for several stars. We took a deep dive into this subject earlier in the year too.

Eastern Notes: Bargnani, Micic, Sloan, Porter

Former fixture on the injury reports of both the Knicks and the Nets, Andrea Bargnani, has inked a deal to play overseas in Spain with Baskonia, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). The agreement is for two years and contains opt outs for both sides, the report notes. Bargnani also reportedly drew interest from Turkey’s Darussafaka Dogus, who are now being coached by David Blatt. The 30-year-old made 46 appearances for Brooklyn last season and averaged 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per outing.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Sixers draft-and-stash pick Vasilije Micic has signed a one-year deal with Tofas Bursa to play overseas in Turkey, Carchia also reports (on Twitter). The 22-year-old point guard was the No. 52 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • Another former Nets player is headed overseas, with Donald Sloan inking a one-year deal worth approximately $2.5MM-$2.8MM with Guangdong of The Chinese Basketball Association, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Sloan will have the opportunity to sign with an NBA club once the Chinese season concludes in late March/early April of 2017.
  • The Wizards aren’t expected to ink forward Otto Porter to an extension this fall, preferring instead to see how he develops this season before committing to him for the long-term, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com writes.
  • Former NBA player Eric Maynor, who missed the entire 2015/16 campaign with a torn ACL, has signed with the Italian club Varese, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). Maynor last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 season when he split time between the Sixers and the Wizards.
  • The Celtics remain a team on the rise, with a deep roster and talented coach in Brad Stevens, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes, noting that the future is bright in Beantown in his look at the strengths of the team.

Sixers Draft-And-Stash Prospect To Play In Serbia

3:35pm: Pick has informed Hoops Rumors that Micic has been loaned to Crvena Zvezda by Bayern, and the German club still possesses an option on Micic for the 2016/17 season.

3:26pm: Sixers draft-and-stash pick Vasilije Micic has signed with the Serbian club Crvena Zvezda, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (on Twitter). Chema de Lucas of Gigantes del Basket first reported the deal (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). International journalist David Pick confirms the signing has taken place (Twitter link). The length and terms of the arrangement are not yet known, nor if the deal includes an NBA buyout clause that would allow Micic to join the Sixers if his deal with Crvena Zvezda spans multiple seasons.

Micic, 21, was the No. 52 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but he signed with Bayern Munich in Germany on a multiyear pact rather than heading stateside that year. The point guard averaged a combined 7.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 38.4% shooting in 2014/15 while playing overseas. Micic’s numbers took a significant dip this season, with the point guard notching a meager 1.5 points and 1.5 assists for Bayern while appearing in just eight of the team’s 24 regular season and Euroleague contests. It has yet to be announced if Micic was released by Bayern or if he exercised an escape clause in his contract that allowed him to depart.

It is unclear if Philadelphia has any intention of bringing Micic stateside at any time in the near future, though, judging by his poor play overseas this season, he doesn’t appear ready to contribute at the NBA level regardless of the Sixers’ current backcourt woes. In all fairness to Micic, he did suffer an ankle injury over the summer and may not have been fully recovered when play began this year, but his numbers last season when healthy fail to impress as well.

And-Ones: Internationals, Crowder, Cavs

With Rockets and Timberwolves playing below the border and the Blazers scoring 111 points in the first three quarters in Denver, the NBA’s Wednesday night has been anything but normal. As the final quarter ticks away in Mexico City, let’s look at some news and notes from around the league:

  • David Pick of Basketball Insiders includes Vasilije Micic (Sixers), Alex Abrines (Thunder), Davis Bertans (Spurs), Dario Saric (Sixers), Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Suns) on his list of six international draft-and-stashes who could contribute in the NBA now.
  • In a chat with readers, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News calls the MavericksJae Crowder a “keeper in this league” on a good team. Crowder will hit restricted free agency after this season, but has not really gotten an opportunity to put his skills on display thus far in his third NBA season, as Sefko adds.
  • Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders provides an extensive evaluation of how the Cavaliers have handled building around their trio of stars, for this and the coming years. As Duncan points out, the Anderson Varejao extension now looks a bit riskier considering the team’s defense struggles. Duncan opines that locking up fellow big Tristan Thompson might be shrewd since the Varejao deal has limited any other options.

Vasilije Micic To Play In Germany

AUGUST 4TH: The deal is official, as Bayern Munich announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s a three-year contract with an option for the final season, though it’s not entirely clear whether that’s a team option or a player option. The team also apparently makes no mention of an NBA buyout that would allow Micic to join the Sixers next summer.

JULY 21ST: Micic told Aco Lazarević of MVP.rs that the deal isn’t quite done yet, though he confirms he’s in the process of finalizing it (translations via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia and Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, on Twitter).

JULY 15TH: Sixers second-round draft pick Vasilije Micic has an agreement to play for Bayern Munich in Germany, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The Serbian point guard was the 52nd selection in this year’s draft.

Remaining overseas was the likely outcome for the 20-year-old, who’s played the past few seasons with KK Mega Vizura in his native Serbia. Philadelphia will have no shortage of rookies for the coming season, even without No. 10 overall pick Dario Saric, who’ll also stay in Europe.

And-Ones: Union, Celtics, Blatche, Diawara

The players union is worried that teams like the Heat are trying to strong-arm players into making financial sacrifices by triggering hard caps with the use of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe explains. Clubs can’t exceed the tax apron, the line $4MM above the tax threshold, if they use either the larger mid-level or the bi-annual. Ron Klempner, the interim executive director for the union, argues that such teams can eschew those exceptions and find ways that don’t trigger a hard cap to accommodate contracts for the players they want.

“Teams are being exposed for what they are doing,” Klempner told Lowe. “It has been laid bare. They are hiding behind the rules. Teams like the Heat have the ability to bring back all their players, and give them raises, but they are choosing to go in another direction.”

Here’s more from around the league:

Draft Notes: Cavs, Parker, Wiggins, Embiid

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wants the team to draft Andrew Wiggins first overall, but the front office prefers Jabari Parker, report Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com. That’s somewhat surprising, considering that Parker is seemingly the better of the two for Gilbert’s desire to win now. It’s unclear if Gilbert will let GM David Griffin and company take Parker, but after letting his executives make the call on Anthony Bennett at No. 1 last year, Gilbert will at least have a “stronger voice” this time around, Ford tweets. Here’s more on the eve of the draft:

  • Andrew Wiggins wants to play for the Sixers, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • The Sixers would take Wiggins at No. 1 if they were to move up, but the Bucks, Magic, Jazz, and Celtics would all select Jabari Parker if they wound up at the top of the draft, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
  • Multiple teams are trying to buy copies of Joel Embiid‘s medical records, a source tells Jake Fischer of The Boston Globe. Other sources tell Fischer that the buying of draftees’ medical records is common practice. (Twitter links)
  • James Young says his workout with the Sixers went well, and gets the sense that he could be selected by Philadelphia with the No. 10 pick, tweets Pompey.
  • Julius Randle passed on a second workout with the Celticstweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Marcus Smart did perform a second workout with the Celtics, and also worked out for the Magic a second time, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders,
  • Zach LaVine tells Andrew Perna of RealGM he has worked out for every team holding picks six through 17 (Twitter link). The Sixers, Magic, and Bulls are teams in that range that had not been linked to a workout with LaVine previously.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo worked out for the Knicks, tweets Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Knicks acquired two second round picks earlier today.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic has come stateside to work out for the Spurs and Clippers, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets that the Serbian wing is gaining steam as a potential pick late in the first round.
  • Alec Brown has worked out for the Bulls, Cavs, Mavs, Clippers, Knicks, Sixers, and Raptorstweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Tim Bontemps of The New York Post thinks it’s likely that the Nets can pick up a second round pick, and opines that they could even make their way into the late first round, where multiple teams would like to trade out of.

Earlier updates

  • Dan Gilbert tweeted out his insistence that he and the Cavs front office are not split (hat tip to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).
  • An opposing GM told Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that the Cavs are entertaining “everything,” because they are in the driver’s seat (Twitter link).
  • It’s still unknown if Dante Exum will work out for the Cavs at their request, but Andy Katz of ESPN.com reports that the guard is unlikely to cooperate without an assurance that there is a deal in place for Cleveland to move down and select him.
  • The Hornets have shown sporadic interest in dealing away their No. 24 pick, but those talks have cooled recently, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
  • The Celtics face tough odds of moving up in the draft because “lots” of other teams with better players to offer are trying to do the same, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
  • One such team could be the Kings, who sources tell Ken Berger of CSBSports.com are trying to move up from No. 8 to have a chance at landing Joel Embiid.
  • Rival GMs believe that Nuggets GM Tim Connelly is in “deal-making mode” with Denver’s No. 11 pick, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Nuggets have been reportedly shopping the pick for some time now.
  • Noah Vonleh is expected to be selected first of the power forward grouping including Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Gordon is not expected to drop any lower than the eighth selection, per Spears’ source.
  • Nets GM Billy King told Rod Boone of Newsday that the asking price to acquire a first round draft pick is likely too high for Brooklyn, and that a second round pick seems more possible (Twitter link).
  • Jusuf Nurkic has a buyout to leave his international club and join the NBA this season, tweets Wojnarowski. There was some confusion as to Nurkic’s willingness and ability to join an NBA team immediately before this revelation, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Joel Embiid is in “strong consideration” for the Sixers at No. 3, and it’s highly unlikely he slides past the Lakers at No. 7, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). The Sixers have obtained Embiid’s medical information, as Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports.
  • The NBA buyout in the extension that Walter Tavares signed with his Spanish team is $600K, agent Andy Miller tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, and that’s precisely the amount NBA teams can pay without it counting against the cap. There were representatives from 11 NBA teams at a private workout Tavares held on Tuesday, and Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and executives from the Knicks and Nets were among them, Zagoria reports. Zagoria also adds the Spurs to the list of teams that have brought the 22-year-old center in for an audition.
  • Fellow European prospect Vasilije Micic prefers to stay overseas regardless of whether he’s drafted on Thursday, as he told Rigas Dardalis of Eurohoops.net.
  • The Hawks were the last of a dozen teams to work out Zach LaVine, observes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • Andre Dawkins auditioned for the Kings, as Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report notes within his broader look at the draft. Dawkins tells Zwerling that the Cavs, Pistons and Wizards have expressed interest in him.
  • Jordan Adams wasn’t able to get to Memphis in time as the Grizzlies scrambled to put together a last-minute audition, so Michael Dixon is taking his place in the four-man workout group, tweets Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.

Draft Notes: Embiid, Celtics, Trades

Joel Embiid‘s foot injury has shaken up the draft, with split opinions around the league regarding the seven-footer’s prospects for the draft and beyond. One league source tells Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe that Embiid’s health concerns place him in legitimate danger of plummeting out of the lottery, while others are confident he will still be selected in the top 10. More draft rumblings:

  • Tyler Ennis will have his second audition for the Magic on Monday, tweets Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (H/T Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic).
  • The international teams for Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, Nemanja Dangubic, and Vasilije Micic will not put any barriers in place to keep the players from joining the NBA if drafted, per tweets from Yugobasket and Misko Raznatovic (H/T Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
  • Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon are the Celtics preferred group of draftees at No. 6, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Boston’s “most likely” scenario for the draft is to keep both of their picks, GM Danny Ainge tells Washburn (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Cavs are making efforts to trade down from the top spot to the No. 3-5 range in the draft, where they think Embiid would still be available, tweets Brett Poirier of Sheridan Hoops. The Magic, sitting at No. 4, have not been contacted by Cleveland, a source tells Poirier (Twitter link). The Sixers and Jazz own the third and fifth pick, respectively.
  • The Lakers would consider taking Embiid at No. 7 if he fell that far, a source familiar with their thinking tells Mark Medina of Los Angeles Daily News. Unsurprisingly, LA’s choice would hinge on their confidence in the big man’s recovery.
  • The Lakers are more likely to hang on to that seventh pick than deal it, despite their ongoing efforts to explore what they could net for it, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The pick was linked to Klay Thompson as part of the Kevin Love discussions earlier today.
  • The Suns are willing to trade away the 27th pick for a future first-rounder, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
  • Jakarr Sampson, Niels Giffey, Glenn Robinson III, and Chane Behanan will work out for the Celtics today, tweets Holmes.
  • As previously reported, the Warriors, Blazers, Pelicans, and Knicks are all looking to acquire first round draft picks, but the price tag is extremely high due to the deep draft pool, reports Alex Kennedy (via Twitter). Kennedy says that teams are asking for future picks that are unprotected or barely protected in return for first-rounders this year.
  • The NBA has invited 21 prospects to the green room for the draft broadcast, Chad Ford of ESPN.com reveals in two tweets. The invite is a sign of consensus around these players as first round selections. The players invited were Andrew Wiggins Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, Doug McDermott, Dario Saric, Gary Harris, Elfrid Payton, Nik Stauskas, James Young, Zach LaVine, Jusuf Nurkic, Adreian Payne, T.J. Warren, Tyler Ennis, Rodney Hood, and Shabazz Napier.

NBA Draft Withdrawal Deadline Updates

Monday was the deadline for players to withdraw from the NBA draft, and the league has announced the list of those who’ve pulled out. The deadline applied mostly to prospects from overseas, since any collegian who takes his name out of consideration at this point isn’t be able to return to NCAA competition. Mychal Ammons of South Alabama is the only U.S.-based player who withdrew, but he’d already signed a deal with an overseas club.

Yesterday’s reports identified several of the prospects taking their names out of the draft, as well as some high-profile players staying in, and we’ve added the previously unreported names of those pulling out to the top of the list below. For the complete register of early entrants denoting those who’ve withdrawn, click here.

Withdrawing from the draft

  • Ammons, Berkay Candan, Tomas Dimsa, Marko Ramljak, Alejandro SuarezDevon Van Oostrum are all out of the draft, the NBA announced.
  • Joonas Caven has pulled out of the draft, agent K.C. Callero tells Givony (Twitter link).
  • Matias Bortolin is withdrawing from the draft, his agent tells Sportando (Twitter link).
  • Ilja Gromovs will exit the draft, too, agent Arturs Kalnitis says to Givony (Twitter link).
  • Mateusz Ponitka has removed his name from draft consideration, Givony tweets.
  • Moussa Diagne and Guillem Vives will take their names out of the draft, agent Herb Ruboy says to Givony (Twitter link).
  • Rasmus Larsen has decided to exit the draft, as agent Doug Neustadt informs Givony (Twitter link).
  • OKK Spars Sarajevo teammates Nedim Buza and Adin Vrabac have decided to pull out of the draft, agent Alexander Raskovic tweets.
  • Lefteris Bochoridis has withdrawn from the draft, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM.

Remaining in the draft

  • Jokic isn’t the only prospect to flip-flop today.  Damien Inglis changed his mind and has decided to keep his name in the draft, agent Pedja Materic tells Jonthan Givony of DraftExpress (via Twitter).
  • Raznatovic, Saric’s agent, took to Twitter to confirm that his client will remain in the draft (hat tip to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
  • Nikola Jokic has changed his mind and will remain in the draft after all, Raznatovic tweets (hat tip to Chad Ford of ESPN.com).
  • Dario Saric will stay in the draft, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link).
  • Vasilije Micic remains in the draft, agent Misko Raznatovic tweets.
  • Clint Capela will keep his name in this year’s draft, agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Givony (Twitter link).