Spurs elect against bringing former first-round pick Nikola Milutinov to NBA this season
The Spurs have owned the rights to Milutinov since they selected him with the 26th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. It seems his NBA dream will have to wait at least another year.
The Serbian center has played for Olympiacos for the past four seasons. 2019-20 will be the final season of the three-year extension he signed with the Greek squad in 2017.
Milutinov has established himself as one of the best centers in the EuroLeague. In fact, according to EuroHoops, reigning EuroLeague champ CSKA Moscow tried to acquire the 7-foot center, but Olympiacos reportedly declined the offer.
Milutinov posted averages of 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, while shooting at a 66.3 percent clip in the 2018-19 season. In 2015-16, Milutinov won the Greek League championship with Olympiacos. In the 2016-17 season, he won Most Improved Player of the Greek League.
San Antonio might remain patient and let Milutinov develop and hone his game a little more in Europe. Or perhaps, the Spurs just want to keep their hidden gem a secret for a little longer.
Over the last two decades, the Spurs’ organization has done a magnificent job in finding hidden gems in the draft and overseas. In fact, they selected another promising international prospect, Croatian forward Luka Samanic, in this year’s draft.
We will see if the Spurs can strike it rich in the world of international prospects once again, recalling how their first dynasty was built in France and Argentina with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.