General manager Sam Presti said the Thunder came “pretty close” to signing Serbian star Vasilije Micic, writes Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Micic has won back-to-back EuroLeague titles and Final Four MVPs with Turkish club Anadolu Efes.
“He’s really taken off since the time in which we acquired his rights,” Presti said, referring to the trade in 2020 that sent Micic’s rights to Oklahoma City from Philadelphia. “All I can tell you is I thought we were pretty close at one time. He is on a contract, and he’s committed over there. But I wouldn’t rule anything out. It’s probably a year-to-year thing.”
Micic’s representatives were rumored to be pushing the Thunder to trade his rights, with several teams said to be interested in his services. However, he was still under contract in Europe and ultimately decided to stay with Efes for another season.
Here’s more from the Northwest:
- The Thunder recently announced some changes to their coaching staff for the 2022/23 season. In addition to formalizing an agreement with longtime Spurs assistant Chip Engelland, the Thunder have also named Grant Gibbs an assistant coach. Gibbs has been the head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue, the team’s G League affiliate, for the past three seasons, and will be replaced by Kameron Woods, who was an assistant with the Thunder last season.
- The Trail Blazers need Jerami Grant to improve upon his Pistons play if Portland hopes to contend this season, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian, who writes that Grant should see a bump in offensive efficiency playing on a more talented roster. The Blazers are interested in reaching a long-term extension with Grant, whose $20.96MM contract expires after ’22/23, Fentress adds.
- Justin Tillman is not on the Nuggets‘ training camp roster but is still expected to play for their G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold, our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter). Tillman, who is still signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, will likely be waived and replaced by another Exhibit 10 player within the next few days, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). Tillman spent last season in the G League with the College Park Skyhawks, Atlanta’s affiliate.