The mysterious international prospect from Serbia, Milos Teodosic, first gained NBA buzz after recording 26 points and 9 assists on the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 2013 exhibition game when he was a part of a Russian pro basketball club known as PBC CSKA Moscow. That same year, ESPN’s Marc Stein, confirmed that the Memphis Grizzlies had tried to sign Teodosic for $5M but failed. And, during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Teodosic created more buzz for himself after leading Serbia to a near-victory versus Team USA, they lost 94-91. Now, the Los Angeles Clippers are giving the Serbian an opportunity to test his abilities in the NBA, and he will not deny another NBA offer this time around.
Teodosic signed a two-year deal worth $12.3M with the LA Clippers. The 6-foot-5-inch Serbian guard can be a key difference maker for the Clippers: for better or for worse.
In the history of the league (dating back to the 1946-47 season), there have only been 24 Serbian NBA players. Of those 24 players, 3 played the point guard position. Those 3 Serbian guards never played 1 full NBA season (Igor Rakocevic played 42 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves, in 2001, before being waived). So, Serbia is not known for producing NBA-level point guards. Will Teodosic defy those odds and avoid being a bust?
To add, Teodosic is 30-years old which puts him in the “oldest rookies” category. Either he can just be an “old rookie” who went on to be an epic failure like 30-year old Barry Stevens who only played 2 games for the Warriors in 1992-93. Or, be an “old rookie” who makes the most of his opportunities like 31-year old Arvydas Sabonis who, in 73 games with the 1995-96 Portland Trail Blazers, averaged 14 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. In today’s NBA, the game is very fast-paced with teams trying to perfect the “small ball” system. Assuming that Teodosic plays a big role on the Clippers, durability and endurance are two things that are concerning when assessing what kind of impact he can make at his age.
Now, positively, Teodosic has the potential to be a perfect point guard replacement for the Clippers. At 6’5″, with his playmaking ability and his soft shooting touch, Teodosic will be able to play the point and shooting guard positions which is very important in today’s NBA. Also, at his height, Teodosic will be able to see overtop of many of his point guard matchups. And, to add, Teodosic is also a very intelligent pick-and-roll player who is able to make the right basketball play. So, don’t be surprised if Teodosic continues to keep Lob City alive and Danilo Gallinari’s career gets revitalized due to plenty of open shot attempts Teodosic creates from pick-and-roll scenarios.
Teodosic has been getting the NBA’s attention for nearly half a decade now. Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski calls him “as good of a player, and as good of a guard, as there is in Europe.” Now, the Serbian-native will get his chance to showcase his playmaking skills on the grandest stage of them all.